THURSDAY, AUGUST 12: SKATEBOARD WITH SKATE LIKE A GIRL
If the can’t-look-away thrills of the Olympic skateboarding teams have inspired any youngsters in your life, now’s the time to take advantage of Skate Like a Girl’s free clinics, starting this Thursday and continuing through August. Open to all genders and designed for everyone age seven and up, these four-hour sessions will get you up and rolling if you’re a newcomer, or zipping along if you’re an experienced rider looking to improve. It’s recommended that you bring your own equipment (including protective gear) but they’ll have a few loaners if you need them. Kids will need to be accompanied at all times by an adult. Enrollment is limited to ten per session, so get there early to lock in your spot. MATT BAUME
Skateboard with Skate Like a Girl begins on Thursday, August 12, and continues on August 19 and 26 at Pier 62 from 3 PM to 7 PM.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 12: SLAY, MAMA!
In a drag tribute that literally no one asked for (but everyone wants [Eds. note: This is profoundly untrue]), Seattle showgirls Jane Don't and Michete have organized a genuinely unhinged night dedicated entirely to the oeuvre of The Black Eyed Peas called SLAY MAMA. And you know what? I think they are onto something. I mean, the lyrical impact of "My Humps"? The shallowness of the Justin Timberlake-assisted "Where Is the Love?" The maddening repetitiveness of "Boom Boom Pow"!?!??! It's (probably) drag brilliance! Here's the lineup: Rowan Ruthless, Britt Brutality, Hoochie Papa, and Beau Degas. All of them are so able to Get It Started, so utterly RIDICULOUS for agreeing to this show that you'll be contractually obligated to have a good-ass time. Clock out of work and then immediately clock into a queer reassessment of one the most bizarre and earworm-y musical acts of the 2000s. JASMYNE KEIMIG
FRIDAY, AUGUST 13: A WA NA WARI ARTIST RECEPTION AT WA NA WARI
The buzzy Seattle Deconstructed Art Fair officially kicked off last week during Pioneer Square Art Walk with more than 50 participating galleries around the city. This Friday, Wa Na Wari, a Black arts space in the Central District, will herald their participation in the art fair with a new suite of exhibitions. Join them on their lawn for their mask-required outdoor reception. And, yes, there will be champagne. Peek inside to see the work of three fantastic artists: Adetola Abatan, Natalie Ball, and Vanessa German.
In her show Tell Our Stories, Adetola Abatan—an inaugural participant in Wa Na Wari's artist residency—makes collages that explore "themes of multi-layered identity and the historical narratives that often reduce complex people to a single story." 2018 Betty Bowen Award winner Natalie Ball will present a selection of her incredible multi-media work in the space. And finally, Pittsburgh-based Vanessa German is inviting audience members to join her in creating a "living poem of togetherness." German asks visitors to bring small, hand-held objects to contribute to a site-specific power figure that will serve as a "protective force of people's hearts and spirit." JASMYNE KEIMIG
Wa Na Wari's artist reception runs from 7 PM - 9 PM on Friday, August 13. Masks are required!
SATURDAY, AUGUST 14, AND SUNDAY, AUGUST 15: DISCOVER YOUR QUEER ROOT ON THE BEACH
Do you have a gay "root"? A moment when you saw something queer and thought, Well, that's it; you've done me in, divas? The RuPaul-led gay conversion therapy camp at the center of Jamie Babbit's 1999 film But I'm a Cheerleader presents the idea of a gay root—an image, experience, or sensation that turns someone gay. It's not a real thing, but it feels like a real thing, and I love the idea that something like a Madonna music video could make someone gay. Media doesn't really have that power—if it did, RuPaul's Drag Race would be turning straight women gay all over the world—but gay people have obsessed over their roots ever since that infamous scene in Babbit's cult classic. Alki Beach Pride will screen But I'm a Cheerleader at an outdoor film screening presented with Three Dollar Bill Cinema on Sunday. If you've never seen this Natasha Lyonne-starring comedy, correct the error this weekend. CHASE BURNS
Visit Alki Beach Pride's website or read Mark Van Streefkerk's post on this weekend's pride festivities for more info. Alki Beach Pride's outdoor cinema event begins around 8:15 PM at Alki Playground this Sunday, August 15, in collaboration with Three Dollar Bill Cinema. There will be closed captions.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 15: RISE UP! SEATTLE QUEER HISTORY BIKE TOUR
Queer history is all around us, and what better way to explore it than on a bicycle, which is basically a gay car? The Cascade Bicycle Club has partnered with MoPOP to create a group tour of some local historical points of interest, from Volunteer Park to Lambert House to the former sites of watering holes like The Casino and Garden of Allah. It concludes at MoPOP, where the bike valet will be happy to look after your ride while you head inside to check out the new exhibit Rise Up: Stonewall and the LGBTQ Rights Movement. The free 5.6-mile ride is mostly downhill, just like Seattle’s gay culture ever since I moved here. MATT BAUME
Rise Up! Seattle Queer History Bike Tour starts with bike decorating from noon to 1 PM at Volunteer Park, then coasts downtown for a ride that will probably wrap up sometime around 3:30 PM on Sunday, August 15.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 15: BLACK BELT EAGLE SCOUT AND DAMIEN JURADO PLAY A SHOW AT THE ZOO
Meet the Sunday scaries head-on with Damien Jurado's indefatigable, cheerful lonelinesses and Black Belt Eagle Scout's expansive yearnings at the goddamn zoo! Look, I know zoos are problematic, and I know that indie folk isn't everybody's cup of tears, but everyone needs the money. (You know how much it costs to take care of the animals?? About $9 million a year, actually, according to their latest audit.) In any event, I like singer-songwriters when they embrace life's doldrums but decide to keep on whistling anyway, and that's where Jurado's at on his latest record, The Monster Who Hated Pennsylvania. I also love a singer-songwriter when they catch a break but then write a whole album of dreamy indie-pop songs that wrestle with the possibility of ever attaining actual happinesses, and that's where Black Belt Eagle Scout's at on her latest record, At the Party with My Brown Friends. Should be a contemplative evening full of catchy music. RICH SMITH
ZooTunes starts at 6 PM on Sunday, August 15 at the Woodland Park Zoo. Find tickets ($55-85) here.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 15: EQUIP THE KIDS!!
I love a block party with a cause. This Sunday, get down to 9th and Thomas for Refill 2021, a free outdoor benefit concert thrown in support of Vera Project's Equip the Kids program. The goal of the program is to help young underserved artists in King County get access to training, gear, and support for making art, from “in-depth sound and video production to paid work in live-streaming and arts performance." Done in partnership with KEXP, Eva Walker of The Black Tones and Audioasis will serve as MC of an evening stacked with great performers. Rap duo Blimes and Gab are headlining their first live performance since the pandemic, with local acts Naked Giants, Enumclaw, Archie, and Brujita XO joining the party. The now Brooklyn-based Stas THEE Boss will also spin and perform some tunes for the crowd. If you're not feeling the in-person vibe, KEXP will stream the concert live on their YouTube channel. JASMYNE KEIMIG
Refill 2021 will go down on Sunday, at 9th and Thomas in South Lake Union. The event is completely free! But if you'd like to donate, find more information here.
ANY DAY OF THE WEEK: VISIT THE BOOKSTORE OF BOOKSTORES IN SEATTLE, MAGUS BOOKS
A bookstore is the perfect place for the Delta episode of what the future will certainly call The Long Pandemic. It is impossible, for example, not to remove your mask while in a bar; but while in a bookstore, you can keep it on the entire time. With the vaccine in your blood, and a mask on you face, and books all around, you are as safe here as a lamb in heaven. And the best bookstore in Seattle to experience this kind of tranquility is Magus Books, which is right next to a street (the Ave) that has this summer become friendly to pedestrians: reduced car activity and lots of outdoor seating. Magus Books is rich with the aristocratic smell of old books, books that have been read many times before, books that will be read again and again. There are said to be 70,000 used and rare books here. Most are on tall shelves; some are stacked on tables; a few are displayed in the window. One book I bought at Magus two years ago, The Intellectual Capital of Michal Kalecki, was once in the library of a Canadian Keynesian, Donald Moggridge. This scholar reached his academic peak around the time the best bookstore in Seattle opened its doors, in 1978. CHARLES MUDEDE
SOMETHING TO KEEP ON YOUR RADAR: NEXT TUESDAY, ASHLEY NELSON LEVY READS FROM HER NEW NOVEL, IMMEDIATE FAMILY
Ashley Nelson Levy's new novel, Immediate Family, sounds like a study in tension that runs on pure "frustration and resentment," according to more than one reviewer. The white narrator's adopted Thai brother asks her to give a speech at his wedding, and then the rest of the book is the narrator's reply to that question. In her response, she rolls through the whole fraught story of interracial adoption while telling a parallel story of her own struggles with infertility. Along the way, the book's intensity yields to surprising moments of affectionate humor, as at a family reunion when Uncle Steven makes a joke about grandma in the middle of a giant fight, and then everyone cracks up, except for grandma, of course, who can't help but smile. Necessary reading before obligatory family trips start in a few months, assuming the Delta tide recedes at some point. RICH SMITH
Elliott Bay Book Company will host this virtual reading and discussion on Tuesday, August 17 at 6 PM. Find tickets here.