RUNNING THROUGH AUG 7: SUSANNA BLUHM'S THE MONKEY-ROPE AT J. RINEHART GALLERY
The brushstrokes in Susanna Bluhm's paintings are thick—there's no delicacy about them. Not in the shrubs that cover her mountainscapes nor in the storm clouds that intimidate her beach scenes. Not even in her still life of cinnamon muffins that seem to occupy a light-filled room. But that thickness invites you to get lost in Bluhm's large, semi-abstract works that depict the corners of neighborhoods, restaurants, and beaches across the United States. In The Monkey-Rope at J. Rinehart Gallery, Bluhm created landscapes of places where she met and found common ground with people in red states during the Trump administration, a continuation of her previous series, Red Country. RV campgrounds in Kansas, puffy clouds over the Great Smoky Mountains, and roadside junk in Chattanooga all serve as serene subjects for her attentive and colorful gaze. JASMYNE KEIMIG
Susanna Bluhm's The Monkey-Rope runs until August 7 at J. Rinehart Gallery in Pioneer Square. The space is open Wednesday-Saturday, 11 am-5 pm.
FRIDAY: CHASTITY BELT AT NEUMOS
The fan-fucking-tastic news is that the fine hometown heroes who make up the Seattle rock band Chastity Belt are back and performing live at Neumos. The womp-womp news is that the show is sold out. But it's one of this week's most significant events, and we do recommend it, and we sure do hope you already have tickets — and now that you're reading, let's revisit some of my favorite words written about Chastity Belt, which come from The Stranger's Charles Mudede, who correctly argues that they made some of the best Pacific Northwest music of the previous decade.
On the final day of that decade, Charles wrote:
"The past three years do not contain a week that has passed without me spending an hour or so with Chastity Belt's third studio album, I Used to Spend So Much Time Alone, which was released in 2017 by the record label of the decade, Hardly Art, and opens with the raw but superbly catchy track 'Different Now.'"
"As for the track 'Seattle Party,' which is on Chastity Belt's debut album No Regrets—this should be a Seattle anthem, played at major sporting events at those bloated stadiums that consume a lot of SODO. 'Seattle Party' expresses a joy that matches the mood of our kind of late, over-extended consumerism, a joy that is thoroughly exhausted. We know there are no new excitements or thrills to be had. We know we are having fun not because we are having fun but because we are supposed to have a good time at a party that's just as great as all the other parties we organized or been to many times before."
Do whatever you can do to join this Seattle party on Friday! Enumclaw is opening the show!! CHARLES MUDEDE and CHASE BURNS
Tickets may be sold out, but follow Chastity Belt for more info here.
SATURDAY: A BRIDGE OPENING PARTY
The best days in a bridge’s life are the day that it opens and the day that it closes — that is, the days that cities often celebrate by allowing pedestrians to wander across the structure without the intrusion of cars. This weekend, the Fairview Ave N bridge will open to the public, with a day of celebration for the new waterfront structure along Lake Union. The ceremonies will begin at 9:30 am — on a Saturday, are you kidding me? — and then people will have two hours to enjoy the nice new paved area. Come see the pleasant new bike lanes, the expanded sidewalk space, and the scenic overlook of the lake, and enjoy mingling with the kind of person who wakes up early on a weekend for a bridge dedication. (You know who you are.) Traffic jams are scheduled to begin Sunday morning with the opening of the bridge to motorized vehicles and they shall continue for the next fifty years. MATT BAUME
The event on the bridge runs on Saturday, July 24 from 9:30 to 11:30 am.
SATURDAY: TAHMIMA ANAM READS FROM HER NEW NOVEL, THE STARTUP WIFE
Known for her critically acclaimed novels about the trouble and strife and shifting borders of Bangladesh, Tahmima Anam now tries her able hand at satire in The Startup Wife, a "romcom" as she describes it, about a couple who launches an app called WAI (short for "We Are Infinite," pronounced like "why") that offers a techy, secular alternative to religious worship. The company transforms the app into a social media platform that then blows up, deifies the startup husband for obvious sexist reasons, and introduces tension into an otherwise happy marriage. As she has mentioned in interviews, Anam drew from her personal experience working on her husband's tech startup board to write this takedown of our comically app-ified lives. Expect lots of app jokes and a good skewering of the inane celebrity worship that attends "thought leaders," all wrapped around an earnest critique of the way the tech world replicates repressive power systems more often than it dIsRuPtS them. RICH SMITH
Elliott Bay Book Company will host this virtual event at 1 pm on Saturday, June 24th. Get tickets here.
SATURDAY: DRINK AND EAT ON THE AVE
Head to the Ave this weekend to see and enjoy what happens when a culturally important street claims space devoted to cars and turns it over to pedestrians and consumers—in short, to the people. What do you see? You finally see a city. SDOT's Summer on the Ave program has reduced the impact and frequency of cars, and offers tons of outdoor seating for business at Little Lebanon (this area is now the outdoor dining plaza that SDOT completed in May), Aladdin Gyro-Cery, Big Time Brewery, and more. Again, it took a whole fucking pandemic for us, for the Ave, and so so many parts of Seattle to come to its senses. CHARLES MUDEDE
Begin your outdoor experience at the corner of NE 43rd Street and University Way NE.
SATURDAY: WATCH LUCA WHILE SWIMMING
What could be a more appropriate place to watch the movie Luca than in a large body of water? The Evergreen Community Aquatics Center will host a dive-in movie night this weekend, featuring the new animated Pixar film that is about two completely different things depending on whether you are heterosexual or queer. Anyone age 10 and up is welcome, and a reservation is required — it’s like the Arclight, but wet. This is the start of a summer Disney-movie series that will include The Incredibles 2 and Cruella; why Finding Nemo, The Thirteenth Year, or Ponyo aren’t on the agenda is a mystery for the ages. Keep your eyes peeled for sea monsters! MATT BAUME
Luca will show during the "Movie Night in the Pool" event at the Evergreen Community Aquatics Center on July 24th at 8 pm.
SATURDAY: RESEARCH FT. LIVWUTANG AT KREMWERK
Last week, Seattle experienced its final 9 pm sunset—nature's signal that summer is coming to a close. As the adage goes, every ending is a new beginning. A cycle must end for new things to blossom, etc. All of this is to say that this Saturday, one of Seattle's best and most talented DJs, livwutang, will play a set at Kremwerk before moving out of our fair Pacific Northwestern city for good. In perhaps the best way to say goodbye, liv will be at the club's helm from open to close as a featured guest of Research Summer Season, blending smoky, energetic, and slippery tracks from 10 pm to 2 am. Come through to wish her farewell on her next adventure and to move your body through her mossy and vibrant set. And on your way to and from the club, note the milky blue of the summer night sky—it won't last for long. JASMYNE KEIMIG
Research ft. livwutang will go down in Kremwerk from 10 pm to 2 am. Tickets are $11.20—you can snag them here or buy them at the door. Note that proof of vaccination is required.
SUNDAY: DOWNTOWN HALLOWEEN PARTY
Boooooo! For one day only Westlake becomes WestLURK and the Pacific Place mall becomes the Pacific Place MAUL! Bring the kids this Sunday for a Halloween-in-July-themed reopening party, featuring free face painting, trick-or-treating at local stores, a costume contest, a Thriller dance party, and performances by various local groups including UP UP UP, The Fraggle Rock Crew (breakdancing, not folksy subterranean songs), El Vez, and Teatro ZinZanni. Organizers also promise “workshops,” which doesn’t sound very spooky, but maybe they’re workshops about preparing blood-based smoothies for vampires, or about how to groom your werewoof. Honestly, summer is a much better time for Halloweeny events in Seattle; by the time October rolls around, it's too cold to wear your Sexy Gender-Flipped Misty From Pokémon costume. We should do this every year. MATT BAUME
"Welcome Back to Westlake" will haunt the streets from noon to 8 pm on July 25. Check the city's website for more details.
ANY DAY OF THE WEEK: RYUICHI SAKAMOTO's BTTB (20TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION)
Ryuichi Sakamoto is, of course, a Japanese pop icon. He has composed gorgeous film scores—The Last Emperor, Little Buddha, Gohatto, and The Revenant. (Indeed, Sakamoto's score for The Revenant is better than the movie itself.) In 1989, he made a significant contribution, Beauty, to the global movement of late 20th century pop (Duck Rock, Graceland, So). And in 1998, Sakamoto, in the middle of a career that began in the mid-1970s, released a hit album, BTTB ("Back To The Basics"), composed of 14 original solo pieces (and four pieces that are very hard to define—one is just the sound of water, another sounds like wooden pipes running through a dark cave). But the main influence on this album as a whole is definitely Erik Satie, the early 20th-century French pianist who also influenced the Japanese ambient movement of the 1980s. And this is why it makes sense to order the BTTB from the local label and distributor of all things wonderful, Light In The Attic. A big part of LITA's current mission is to connect the West with the missed world of Japanese "furniture music." CHARLES MUDEDE
Order Ryuichi Sakamoto's BTTB from Light In The Attic Records.