Blabbermouth Podcast: Students in the Streets, Lamb Ahead in Pennsylvania, and Flint Town

Episode 140 hears from a National Student Walkout organizer, talks about the meaning of Conor Lambs victory, reacts to Flint Town, and disses emotional support animals.
Episode 140 hears from a National Student Walkout organizer, talks about the meaning of Conor Lamb's victory, reacts to Flint Town, and disses "emotional support animals." Nathalie Graham

Conor Lamb, a super-moderate Democrat, appears to have won a previously safe Republican House seat in Pennsylvania by just a few hundred votes. Dan Savage, Rich Smith, and Eli Sanders wade into this big political news and talk about whether Lamb—who’s not at all what you’d call “progressive”—is actually the kind of candidate Democrats need in order to win control of Congress.

After that, high school student Scout Smissen explains why she helped organize one of this week’s impressive student walkouts against gun violence, and then Dan, Rich, and Eli review how few policy changes have actually been enacted since the recent Florida high school shooting (and how long this problem has been going on without Congress passing serious, common sense gun safety laws).

Finally, at the urging of a Blabbermouth listener, Rich and Eli talk about the Netflix series Flint Town, and then Katie Herzog, turning toward a very different cultural phenomenon, talks about the plague of “emotional support animals.” Plus...

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Larry Gossett Has a New Reason for Wanting to Take Over 4Culture—and It Makes No Sense

More bad arguments from King County Council. This time from Larry Gossett.
More bad arguments from King County Council. This time from Larry Gossett. King County Council

In response to calls from constituents to oppose an ordinance that would allow the King County Council to take control of 4Culture, Council Member Larry Gossett has been sending around a four-page essay slamming the organization for inequitable spending. It's a doozie, but it can be summed up pretty quickly.

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Inbox Jukebox: A Weekly Shortlist of Good New Music. Belly, Liz Phair, Lithics, and More

After a 23-year hiatus, Belly dropped the feelgood hit of the spring.
After a 23-year hiatus, Belly drop the feelgood hit of the spring. Chris Gorman

Belly, “Shiny One” (PledgeMusic). Honestly, I did not expect to be impressed by Belly in 2018. But Tanya Donelly and company have come back strong with a song pregnant with a subtle Eastern psychedelic lilt and sensual beauty in the melody. Bonus: The production smacks of Smashing Pumpkins' billowing robustness circa Gish. There's an overall sense of spiraling ascent here that will have your eyes blissfully rolling around their sockets by the time "Shiny One"'s swirling, celebratory coda arrives. Could be the feel-good hit of the spring. You can find "Shiny One" on Dove (out May 4), Belly's first album in 23 years. (Belly play the Neptune Theatre on August 12.)

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Savage Love Letter of the Day: My Loving Dads' New Boyfriend Is a Real Asshat


My dads adopted me, and later my little brother, at birth. Neither of us have ever had to ask for anything: love, encouragement, support. Six months ago, when our dads told us they'd been seeing another man, "Melvin," for some time, I hoped I finally had the opportunity to return the favor.

But Melvin's sense of humor is barbed. One of my dads stayed home to raise my brother and me, and we're incredibly close. We chat on the phone three or four nights a week, and sometimes I'll speak with my other dad. Melvin often spends evenings with my dads, and he'll jump on the extension and say things like, "Oh, is she still talking?" Or, "You need more friends!" Last week he hit the receiver so the phone hung up while I was talking to my dad. He always says he's joking, and my dads assure me that's just his sense of humor.

Melvin also disappears to another room when my brother or I stop by the house. Our dads often invite us over for dinner, and if one of us is in the neighborhood, we might call and see if we can swing by. Melvin often "jokes" about how weirdly close-knit we are. He once made a joke about my brother being my dads' type, and when I called him on it, he insisted I'd misunderstood him.

My dads have asked my brother and me to be patient with Melvin. His parents, I gather, were fairly horrible people. I guess I'm wondering if the answer here is that I should get a life and give my dads space. My boyfriend thinks Melvin is an asshole, but it's hard for me to accept that my dads would choose to remain with someone who doesn't like, or isn't open, to my brother and me. Do you have any advice?

Kinda In Distress

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Anti-Patriarchy Punks Fucked and Bound Kick Off Their Tour in Seattle Tomorrow

Uly Curry

It was the evening of February 28 when Lisa Mungo walked out of Fremont’s Bar House, closing the door on a room full of the sound of Parliament-Funkadelic, and the cheers of her regular patrons. She had built up a stable of smiling, tipping, drinking faces during her tenure as a bartender, but was now leaving that life behind in favor of a professional position in social media at Roland Virtual Sonics.

The crowd there to send her off expressed nothing but joy for Mungo’s future, which to this writer seems a little incongruous, considering Mungo just sang a song on a punk album about how much contempt she can have for bar-goers.

“You want me to make you something fun?/You want me to make you something that I like?/Get the fuck out of here,” Mungo screams on “GTFO,” one of the 13 blistering cuts of high-distortion punk rock that make up Suffrage, the first LP by Seattle’s own Fucked and Bound. It is a record that’s arrived just in time to embody the most heated thrust of the #metoo movement.

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Babirusa is Back and More Seattle Food News You Can Use: March 15, 2018 Edition

Babirusa fans, rejoice! Charles Walpole and Rene Gutierrez’s beloved bar has re-opened in the former Kushibar space in Belltown.
Babirusa fans, rejoice! Charles Walpole and Rene Gutierrez’s beloved bar has re-opened in the former Kushibar space in Belltown. Babirusa / Facebook

This week brings a second chance for some previously closed restaurants: The ever-popular Babirusa, which broke a lot of hearts with the closure of its Eastlake location last December, is officially back in business in Belltown as of yesterday. Plus, RPM Pizza and Records opens again under new ownership. Read on for all of that and more food news you need to know, like the next round of James Beard finalists, new weekend hours for Westman's Bagel & Coffee, and St. Patrick's day specials at places like Salt & Straw and Cupcake Royale. For more ideas, check out our complete food & drink calendar or our restaurant listings.

The beloved Babirusa, which closed its Eastlake location in December, opened its doors at its new location in the former Kushibar space in Belltown this Thursday. While sibling restaurant Blind Pig Bistro is not returning, Babirusa will reprise Blind Pig Bistro's nightly six-course tasting menus.

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Watching Loveless Ruined My Day


Loveless is two hours of watching a divorcing couple argue viciously and search Moscow for their missing son, who they were considering putting in an orphanage anyway, while apocalyptic news broadcasts about the conflict in Ukraine play in the background. (ALSO, it's the middle of winter and the city looks like an arctic hellscape.) It's the most depressing movie I have ever seen. I felt horrible afterward and left with the urgent desire to rewatch Thor: Ragnarok.

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Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal Is Doing a Gun Violence Town Hall with High School Students Tomorrow

Ballard High students protesting during last Tuesdays school walkout.
Ballard High students protesting during last Wednesday's school walkout. SB

Did you cry when all those students walked out of their classrooms last Wednesday to protest political inaction on gun violence? Are you a student who walked out, too?

On Saturday, Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal and Seattle March for Our Lives—the group of high school students organizing the protests—will host a joint town hall where you can hear the student organizers flesh out their ideas and demands. The kids want to bring legislators' attention to other issues they're passionate about, too.

The town hall is at Garfield High School tomorrow morning, 11 a.m. RSVP to the event here.

Last-Minute Plans: 65 Free, Cheap & Easy Things To Do In Seattle This Weekend: March 16-18, 2018

Check out the opening reception for Susanna Bluhms Mississippi & Arizona gallery show on Saturday. The project came out of the artists vow to visit as many so-called red states as possible during Trumps presidency.
Check out the opening reception for Susanna Bluhm's Mississippi & Arizona gallery show on Saturday. The project came out of the artist's vow to visit as many so-called "red states" as possible during Trump's presidency.

We've already compiled a list of 43 cheap & easy St. Patrick's Day events, but affordable and last-minute entertainment doesn't have to involve bagpipes or green beer this weekend. Below, find non-Paddy's Day options that won't cost more than $10, ranging from a reading with Portland-based writers Matthew Dickman and Emily Strelow to Friends of Seattle Public Libraries' Huge Book Sale, and from Nowruz in Seattle to the free natural spectacle that is the UW cherry blossoms—expected to be in peak bloom this weekend. For even more options, check out our complete Things To Do calendar.

Stay in the know! Get all this and more on the free Stranger Things To Do mobile app (available for iOS and Android), or delivered to your inbox.

1. CommUNITY Cultural Celebration: Afro-Cuban Night
Each month, Union Cultural Center showcases a different cultural art offered in regular classes. This month, for Afro-Cuban Night, enjoy tasty treats while Mark Ifewoluwa Lilly and Bembe Olele perform Rumba and Orisha song and dance.
(Chinatown-International District, $10)

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Jewish-Owned Eatery in Portland Accused of Nazi Sympathizing

Getty Images

At Portland’s Kachka restaurant, you can get Russian hors d'oeuvres like perlova: pickled pears with barley, dill, sorrel, mushroom, and hazelnut. You can get dumplings, cabbage rolls, rabbit, game hen, and an array of pickles and spreads. And you can get vodka—an entire menu of it, from places like Moscow, Slovakia, Poland, and, of course, from Portland itself.

Much lauded by locals and food critics alike, “Kachka” is the Belarusian word for “duck,” and the name goes back to the chef/owner Bonnie Morales's family history. When Morales's grandmother, who was from a small town outside Minsk, Belarus, was in her 20s, Nazi soldiers invaded. German forces killed Soviet Communists, requisitioned peoples’ homes for Nazi soldiers, and seized so much food that thousands of civilians starved. Minsk became the site of one of the biggest Nazi-controlled ghettos in Europe, housing close to 100,000 Jews. As Morales told the Oregonian, her grandmother, who was Jewish, escaped in the middle of the night as Nazi soldiers were digging mass graves.

“She ran toward Russia.” Morales recounted. “Along the way, she was stopped by a Starosta, or German village warden. He was convinced that she was Jewish. She made up some story about being a Ukrainian peasant going to visit family in Russia. He doubted her story. He asked her, ‘If you’re from the Ukraine, how do you say duck in Ukrainian?’ She was Belarusian, not Ukrainian. The languages have some overlap, but not completely. But she just crossed her fingers, prayed, and said the Belarusian word for duck: kachka.” The word was the same in Ukrainian, and the warden let her go. The next day, she would later find out, Nazis killed everyone in the ghetto. “Kachka” saved her grandmother’s life.

Considering Morales's family history, it is perhaps especially painful that she has recently been accused of being a Nazi sympathizer—an allegation that started on social media, and quickly set off a wave of criticism that resembled Seattle's own Jewish-Nazi firestorm last year.

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Tomb Raider: This Lara Croft Is Great! Her Movie Isn’t


While Marvel has mastered the art of bringing comic-book superheroes to life with fully realized films, successfully translating video games to the big screen has remained a puzzle for the ages. In Tomb Raider, Norwegian director Roar Uthaug attempts to buck this trend by injecting Lara Croft’s latest outing with the same grit and realism that made the video game’s 2013 reboot such a breath of fresh air. The results are… mixed.

An origin story through and through, Tomb Raider introduces us to a young and reckless Lara (Alicia Vikander), who’s refused a vast inheritance following the disappearance of her father (Dominic West). But with her day-to-day struggles as a London bike courier mounting, her father’s old business partner (Kristin Scott Thomas) convinces Lara to protect the Croft estate from being sold off.

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British Columbia Will Kick in $300,000 to Study High-Speed Rail

A bullet train in Tokyo.
A bullet train in Tokyo. JIANGANG WANG/getty

British Columbia will contribute $300,000 to the latest study of a potential high-speed rail line connecting the Pacific Northwest's three biggest cities.

The Washington State Legislature recently directed $1.2 million in public and private funds toward a new "business case analysis" of high-speed rail connecting Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver, British Columbia.

In a press conference with Washington Governor Jay Inslee Friday, British Columbia Premier John Horgan said B.C. will kick in another $300,000 toward the analysis. “It’s a first step and it’s a positive step," Horgan said.

Inslee called the project a sign of "mutual optimism...When you build a high speed rail line, you are building a monument to optimism." (Yeah, I don't know either.)

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Savage Love: What Is Love?

Joe Newton
I'm a 33-year-old woman from Melbourne, Australia, dating a 24-year-old man. We've been dating for about eight months; it is exclusive and official. He's kind and sweet, caring and giving, and his penis is divine. The thing is, he confessed to me recently that he doesn't really "feel." The way he explained it is, the only emotions he feels are fear and anxiousness that he'll disappoint the people he cares about. He says he's never been in love. He said his dad is the same way. The only time I see him really "feel" is when he's high, which he is semi-frequently. He uses MDMA and he comes alive—he seems the way a "normal" person does when they're in love. But when he's sober, it's like he's trying to mimic the things a person in love would say or do. I recently confessed I am falling in love with him and told him I wasn't saying this with any expectation of him feeling the same; I just wanted him to know. He responded that he cares for me a lot—but that's it. I'm now worried that he'll never love me. I don't want kids, so time isn't critical for me, but I don't want to be with someone who won't ever love me.

Lacking One Vaunted Emotion

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The Best Festivals in Seattle: Spring 2018

Sakura-Con, the Northwests oldest and most well-attended anime convention, will return on March 30.
Sakura-Con, the Northwest's "oldest and most well-attended" anime convention, will return on March 30. Vic DeLeon

Find a complete list of festivals in Seattle this spring on our Things To Do calendar, or check out the rest of our critics' picks from Seattle Art and Performance.

Stay in the know! Get all this and more on the free Stranger Things To Do mobile app (available for iOS and Android), or delivered to your inbox.

March 20–April 25
*Momentum Festival
This multi-genre festival will boast talks, readings, music, art, and film screenings. Highlights include films from the Port Townsend Film Festival, chamber works by composer Jherek Bischoff, a poetry slam with notable wordsmiths like Karen Finneyfrock and Nikkita Oliver, and a talk on hiphop with Dr. Daudi Abe.
Bainbridge Island Museum of Art

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The Spring Edition of The Stranger's Art + Performance Quarterly Is Out Now!


Spring has arrived once again, the weather is transforming from mostly dreary and wet, to bright, beautiful and fresh—and you're still around to enjoy it. Bravo! This means you're also around to enjoy a new season of art shows, performances, concerts, book readings and signings, film screenings, and festivals. Here's a quick breakdown of what you can find in The Stranger's Spring 2018 edition of the Art + Performance Quarterly, which hit the street this week...

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