THURSDAY THROUGH SUNDAY: THE NORTH BEND FILM FESTIVAL
Some of the best perks of living in Seattle, IMHO, are its endless film festivals. We've got children's film fests, noir film fests, queer film fests, secret film fests, big film fests, Black film fests—the list goes on. And it doesn't stop at the city's boundaries. The islands have fests (hello, Orcas, I'd love to come and visit later this October if you'll have me); even North Bend has a fest, with a Twin Peaks-tinged vibe and a reliably eccentric slate. This year's fest kicks off Thursday and runs through Sunday. We've got highlights here, with my top recommendation being Dash Shaw's Cryptozoo this Saturday. It won't be everyone's cup of tea, but if you're generally a fan of Fantagraphics' offerings or loved Shaw's My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea, you'll want to catch his fresh, freaky feature. CHASE BURNS
North Bend Film Fest is hybrid and in-person, to accommodate all the city slickers without cars. Find more information about the line-up and tickets here.
THURSDAY THROUGH SUNDAY: KENNY G AT JAZZ ALLEY
Nature is healing. Kenny G is coming home. This Thursday through Sunday, you can see Seattle's very own saxophone songbird live and in person at Jazz Alley at either 7:30 PM or 9:30 PM. Dip your toes back into normal life by letting Kenny G's sensuous sax sounds wash over you. He'll use his horn to croon tunes from his 2015 Brazilian Nights album. This is Kenny G's third time touring with this record, so that's gotta mean it's good.
I won't pretend to know much about Kenny G except that I played the alto saxophone for about four years and I was very average so I can (sort of) appreciate the breadth of his talents. Recently, I learned that Kenny G taught himself circular breathing, which is a way to keep playing your wind instrument non-stop by inhaling through a continuous, unbroken exhale. Superhuman saxman. (Shoutout to Radiolab's episode on breath for teaching me that.) Please study up before you venture out to Jazz Alley so you can truly appreciate Kenny G's saxophone prowess, primarily by watching his cameo in Katy Perry's "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)" music video. I hope he brings that kind of zeal to Brazilian Nights. NATHALIE GRAHAM
Tickets cost $70.50, ugh, and they're selling out. Grab 'em fast?
OPENING FRIDAY: THE ANTHONY BOURDAIN DOCUMENTARY, ROADRUNNER
When I learned of celebrated chef and writer Anthony Bourdain's untimely death by suicide three years ago, I was distraught. His book Kitchen Confidential and his wry, humane writing style convinced me to be a writer. His television shows No Reservations and Parts Unknown helped me develop an appetite for travel, food, and learning about the people around me. Bourdain's shocking death left me confused and hurt. How could this happen? I thought as I grief-purchased his final cookbook.
I was not alone in my grief-thinking. “Part of making the film was trying to understand his suicide," said Roadrummer: A Film About Anthony Bourdain director Morgan Neville, "but also to understand who he was, and what made him tick." In the film—which borrows its title from a Modern Lovers song, one of Bourdain's favorite bands—Neville interviews several people in Bourdain's inner circle: chefs David Chang and Éric Ripert, his ex-wife Ottavia Busia-Bourdain, his brother Chris. The result is a portrait of the TV personality and his dark final months before taking his own life. Bring tissues. JASMYNE KEIMIG
Get tickets to Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain here.
FRIDAY: RAIN CITY SOCCER CLUB'S FIRST PRIDE SEASON
Whether you’re an avid soccer player or you just really like looking at thighs, there’s something for everyone at a Rain City Soccer Club match. The season kicks off this weekend with the first game of the season — teams have already been selected, but I’m sure they wouldn’t mind spectators coming to cheer. (And if you’re like to get more involved, volunteers are always being sought.) The season will continue over the next seven weeks, culminating in a playoff, and that’s more sports talk than I engaged in for all of the preceding 12 months. After each Friday-evening game, everyone retires to a local bar to unwind, connect, and savor the drink specials du jour; it’s a perfect opportunity to support local businesses while also flirting with hot sweaty athletes. The Lord’s work, really. MATT BAUME
Rain City Soccer Club’s First Pride Season starts this Friday, July 16, at 6:30 PM at Cal Anderson Park.
FRIDAY: LADY BUNNY AT QUEER BAR
If there’s one thing gays love, it’s antiquing, so expect to see a giddy crowd pack Queer Bar this weekend to see Lady Bunny. She’ll be spinning through town as part of Queer Bar’s summer-long cavalcade of talent, which will also feature Crystal Methyd, Pangina Heals, Derrick Barry, Nebraska, Kandy Muse, Sonique, Jaida Essence Hall, and Ginger Minj. Bunny’s been in this game longer than all of them (perhaps even all of them combined) and knows how to thrill a crowd with dizzyingly high-energy comedy bits. The last time I saw her, a few years ago, she was doing a routine inspired by the show Laugh-In — though it was genuinely quite funny, my favorite thing about it was watching the crowd, nearly all of whom were born several decades after Laugh-In was last on the air, try to figure out just what the hell they were seeing. I can’t wait to see how it goes over with the usual Queer Bar crowd, which is typically so young that every time I go I feel like one of those Galapagos turtles who knew Charles Darwin. Anyway, Bunny will be joined by the familiar faces of MX., followed by dancing to the tunes of DJ Baby Van Beezly, to whom I say, goo goo. MATT BAUME
Queer/Bar's Summer Series starring Lady Bunny is this Friday, July 16, at 9 PM. Grab tickets here.
THIS WEEKEND: WELCOME BACK TO THE CHINATOWN-INTERNATIONAL DISTRICT
The latest in a string of re-opening parties, Hay Hing Park in the International District will be host to a local food and culture party all weekend, and also a pop-up vaccination clinic if you still haven’t gotten your jab. It’s part of a city-sponsored initiative to draw crowds back to the city’s best hangouts, with similar parties coming next week for Pioneer Square and Westlake. The ID’s party will also include martial arts demonstrations, lion dances, and live music from performers like Hollis, Chong the Nomad, Evan Flore Barnes, Bleachbear, and many more; and that’s all very nice but I’m mostly interested in the food situation. Details on that front are scant, so I guess we’ll just have to show up hungry and ready to spend some dollars at the local venues that managed to make it through the last year. MATT BAUME
Find a full line-up of who's playing and what's going down in the Chinatown-International District this weekend here.
MONDAY: ANDREW PALMER READS FROM HIS DEBUT NOVEL, THE BACHELOR
Seattle author Andrew Palmer's first novel, The Bachelor, is about a debut novelist who endures a breakup, returns to his hometown in Iowa to do some thinkin' on it, becomes obsessed with both John Berryman's poetry and The Bachelor, and learns how to become a person again mostly by dating other people. Critics have been giving the book exactly the kind of reviews I'd hope for if I were a novelist. Publisher's Weekly said the book's "unexpected juxtapositions and probing spirit make this an original portrait of a lovelorn dreamer." A Kirkus reviewer gave it a star and called it "a quietly accomplished and unusually constructed novel that marks the debut of a significant talent." After praising the narrator's "smart insights" and "dry humor," a Seattle Times reviewer also used the T-word, saying the novel "excites for what’s next from Palmer, a new literary talent." He's drawing comparisons to Ottessa Moshfegh, Ben Lerner, and Elif Batuman all of which is extremely promising. Though it's easy to exceed expectations for a debut novel, this praise certainly warrants an hour or so of your attention on Monday, July 19, when Palmer will read from the book at 6 pm during a virtual event hosted by the Elliott Bay Book Company. He'll be joined on Zoom by Andrew Martin. RICH SMITH
Register for the online event here.
ONGOING: UNION AT WOODWORTH APARTMENT BUILDING
If you mosey on over to the Woodworth Apartment building on E Union St and look up in the evening, you'll see a 60-foot projection on one side of the building. The projection is part of a new art installation called UNION, a year-long exhibition featuring a rotating cast of curators and artists, and run by the Capitol Hill Arts District in partnership with SeaLevel Properties and Sensebellum.
For the inaugural show, organizers selected Seattle-based photographer LeLeita McKILL and her series of Office of Arts and Culture-commissioned photos documenting the city's essential workers, Essentially Seattle. In a press release, McKILL said her portraits are of people "who kept working and showing up for their community and for each other." You'll have two months to catch her work before the exhibition rotates to a new artist. JASMYNE KEIMIG
UNION will be projected onto the Woodworth Apartment building at 953 E Union St for the next year, every night at dusk.
UPCOMING: UNSTREAMABLE GOES TO BELLINGHAM
Unstreamable is going on tour! It's a one-stop tour, and that stop is in Bellingham, and we're fucking excited!! The Stranger's lil' niche film column about movies you can't watch on major streaming platforms started as a way to highlight hard-to-find-online films that are easy to find at Scarecrow Video. So far, we've organized a list of around 320 movies, and next Friday, July 23, we're heading up to Bellingham to partner with the Pickford Film Center to screen one of those films—for free!! The film we picked for Bellingham is Pink Floyd's The Wall. There will be an indoor and an outdoor screening, food @ 7, music and giveaways @ 8, and movie @ moonrise. It's gonna be loud and trippy. CHASE BURNS
The screening happens in downtown Bellingham (1318 BAY ST) next Friday evening, July 23. Follow Pickford on socials for more info.