Is Burien the new Brooklyn? I hope not, despite a well-meaning e-mail from B/IAS—short for Burien/Interim Art Space—touting Burien as a budding, affordable Brooklyn for artists.
One Brooklyn is enough. When visiting New York's trendiest borough, I savor the art galleries and warehouse gigs. Yet I also lament the absurd rents and hipster clones sheathed in shaggy, holy-man beards, madras shirts, and jeans tighter than sausage casings. Why would anyone want to dress like my parents did in the 1970s?
Let Burien be Burien, but with adventurous art. This weekend, B/IAS does Burien proud by blanketing a city block with a colossal surround-sound playback system. Aptly named "Pieces of 8," the festival (Sat Aug 15, downtown Burien, SW 150th St and Fifth Pl, 10 am–11 pm as well as Sun Aug 16, 10 am–6 pm, free) features immersive electroacoustic works by a slew of local composers, including Seattle electronic-music forefather Marc Barreca, David Hahn, Scientific American, and singer/composer David Stutz, who performs live with digitally processed recordings of frogs, birds, and insects from the Amazon rainforest. Every work appears to be a premiere or at least new, except for the Flaming Lips' Zaireeka. Dave Fridmann and Scott Booker revive and replay the infamous DIY surround-sound album of sloughing, echoing guitars and enigmatic ambience. Burien is just a 15-minute drive south of Seattle; see www.interim-art-space.com for a full lineup, map, schedule, and directions.
Two festivals continue closer to home. Perfect for people-watching and soaking up music, Sounds Outside (Sat Aug 15, Cal Anderson Park, 1635 11th Ave, 1–8 pm, free) presents a marathon of adventurous jazz with the Melbatones and Figeater along with Skerik's fun and funky Syncopated Taint Horn Quartet. Reedman Greg Sinibaldi corrals top-flight players for his quintet, notably saxophonist Mark Taylor, bassist Geoff Harper, and Byron Vannoy. Making a rare Seattle appearance, Olympia-based out-jazz titan Bert Wilson closes the show.
Positioned as the antipode (and for some, the antidote) to Hempfest, MethFest (Thurs Aug 13, Rendezvous, 10 pm, $6; Fri Aug 14, Funhouse, 9 pm, $7; and Sat Aug 15, the Morgue, 6 pm, $5 with a nonperishable food item) musters a small army of bands to probe the nexus of harsh noise, sound collage, electronics, and rock. Forest of Gray, hardcore vets MDC, Ground Tissues, and Hemingway are just some.
For quieter listening, check out the Seattle Percussion Collective (Fri Aug 14, Chapel Performance Space, 8 pm, $5–$15 sliding-scale donation), performing pieces by Keiko Abe, John Cage, Stuart Saunders, and two works by the most underrated (and whimsical) composerShe's of the post–World War II avant-garde, Mauricio Kagel.