Arne Bystrom and Marta Browns acrobatics warmed up things as attendees filed into the Moore Theatre.
  • Beth Crook
  • Arne Bystrom and Marta Brown's acrobatics warmed up things as attendees filed into the Moore Theatre.

Kim Roy leads the Seattle Rock Orchestra through a stunning rendition of Pink Floyds Atom Heart Mother Suite.
  • Beth Crook
  • Kim Roy leads the Seattle Rock Orchestra through a stunning rendition of Pink Floyd's "Atom Heart Mother Suite."

Stranger publisher Tim Keck and editor-in-chief Christopher Frizzelle reveling in the laughter their opening speech inspired.
  • Beth Crook
  • Stranger publisher Tim Keck and editor-in-chief Christopher Frizzelle reveling in the laughter their opening speech inspired.

Stranger Genius Awards nominees are toasted (in more ways than one, in some cases).
  • Beth Crook
  • Stranger Genius Awards nominees are toasted (in more ways than one, in some cases).

The 12th annual Stranger Genius Awards at the Moore Theatre lived up to its reputation as the smartest and most hedonistic party of the year, even though several attendees were hungover from former visual art Genius contender Amanda Manitach's Space Cowboys-themed party the night before. But they persevered to witness five deserving artists go home $5,000 richer, thanks to sponsors like Alaska Airlines VISA Signature Card (film), Amazon Authors Grants (literature), Frye Art Museum (performance), Microsoft Research's Studio 99 (visual art), the Space Needle (music), and a Kid from Kent and his special vintage of Sparkman Cellars wine, “Genius Juice” to laypeople. For a bunch of creative people, the folks who went to this event sure looked great. Below are some of the things that were said and done last night at this heady bash.

*In the lobby before the ceremony, DJ Riz of KEXP said he wanted Hollow Earth Radio win the music award because "we need more radio." It's great to see a veteran programmer be so supportive of a potential future competitor.

*Seattle Rock Orchestra surprised with a compelling version of Pink Floyd's strange, circuitous "Atom Heart Mother Suite." Sadly, Ron Geesin couldn't make it to the venue.

The Strangers Charles Mudede and David Schmader introducing this years incredibly talented nominees for film Genius.
  • Beth Crook
  • The Stranger's Charles Mudede and David Schmader introducing this year's incredibly talented nominees for film Genius.

*Film Genius winner Drew Christie seemed a bit stunned that he won. He related that his father told him “you're not going to get that award, but have fun.” In your face, pops! Christie praised his partner Amanda Moore for offering moral support and encouragement regarding his art, saying without it he'd probably be in his parents' basement eating knock-off-brand Ruffles chips and watching reruns of Full House tonight, instead of being coronated by The Stranger. By the way, Moore is an animator/graphic designer who runs Christie's retail shop on Whidbey Island, “which we are transitioning into a bar/restaurant called Kalakala Co.,” Christie said.

Film Genius winner Drew Christie, looking animated with his new light sabre.
  • Beth Crook
  • Film Genius winner Drew Christie, looking animated with his new "light sabre."

*Music contender Erik Blood duetted with former Eighteen Individual Eyes singer Irene Barber on his gorgeous, triumphant song "Quiet,” with help from SRO. Let's hope that Blood and Barber continue this fruitful collaboration.

Irene Barber and music Genius candidate Erik Blood sing his song Quiet angelically along with the SRO.
  • Beth Crook
  • Irene Barber and music Genius candidate Erik Blood sing his song "Quiet" angelically along with the SRO.

*Literature Genius victor Gary Groth, of the world-class comic-book publisher Fantagraphics, said in his acceptance speech that his company “is an economic engine to publish real geniuses like Robert Crumb & Jaime Hernandez.” He was very modest, praising his coworker Eric Reynolds and the late publisher Kim Thompson.

Stranger books editor Paul Constant drops some knowledge about this years literature nominees.
  • Beth Crook
  • Stranger books editor Paul Constant drops some knowledge about this year's literature nominees.

Literature Genius winner Gary Groth heads up Fantagraphics, considered by many to be the most important publisher of comic books in the world.
  • Beth Crook
  • Literature Genius winner Gary Groth heads up Fantagraphics, considered by many to be the most important publisher of comic books in the world.

*SRO played cult singer/songwriter Jan Terri's "Get Down Goblin," an absurdly giddy ditty that's a fave of Hollow Earth Radio bosses Garrett Kelly and Amber Kai Morgan. It charmed the hell out of everyone in the house equipped with a working heart.

Stranger art editor eloquently explains the virtues of this years visual arts Genius contenders.
  • Beth Crook
  • Stranger art editor Jen Graves eloquently explains the virtues of this year's visual art Genius contenders.

*Visual art Genius C. Davida Ingram said she was in shock, and had to take a minute to gather her thoughts. She thanked her many collaborators and then thanked her “mama and daddy” at the end, for always encouraging her to pursue her artistic career, even though she felt slightly outclassed by her valedictorian siblings. She said Genius competitor Glenn Rudolph is a “master of light” and Emily Gherard is the painter she’d want to be if she were still painting. It was a very gracious speech.

Former Genius winner Susie Lee hugs 2014 visual arts victor C. Davida Ingram.
  • Beth Crook
  • Former Genius winner Susie Lee hugs 2014 visual art victor C. Davida Ingram.

Visual art Genius C.Davida Ingram said she was shocked to win.
  • Beth Crook
  • Visual art Genius C.Davida Ingram said she was "shocked" to win.

*After the intermission, Jinkx Monsoon sashayed onstage and blew new life into an old Janis Joplin blues number, with help from SRO and Industrial Revelation's Ahamefule Oluo and Josh Rawlings. Near the end of it, she sat on the lip of the stage and freestyled a monologue about love that had the crowd whooping and generally losing their collective shit. Yeah, it was kind of a showstopper.

Jinkx Monsoon totally owns a Janis Joplin blues song, with help from the SRO.
  • Beth Crook
  • Jinkx Monsoon totally owns a Janis Joplin blues song, with help from the SRO.

Jinkx tries to get a leg up on the competition with a powerhouse diva display.
  • Beth Crook
  • Jinkx tries to get a leg up on the competition with a powerhouse diva display.

*But the show went on, with esteemed theater director Valerie Curtis-Newton upsetting the presumed favorite, Jinkx. “I had an out-of-body experience when I found out I'd been nominated,” Curtis-Newton related in her speech. She profusely praised her supportive wife and Seattle Theater Group's Vivian Phillips, who persuaded her not to move out of Seattle. Phillips said, “If you keep doing it long enough, people will find you.” Curtis-Newton promised, “I'm gonna keep on doing it. This award gives me fuel to do this another 10 years.”

Stranger theater editor Brendan Kiley and past performance Genius Juniper Shuey had the difficult task of following Jinkxs roof-raising vocalizing.
  • Beth Crook
  • Stranger theater editor Brendan Kiley and past performance Genius Jennifer Zeyl had the difficult task of following Jinkx's roof-raising vocalizing.

Performance Genius winner and renowned theater director Valerie Curtis-Newton (recent triumph: Trouble in Mind) said this award has given her fuel to to do this the next 10 years.
  • Beth Crook
  • Performance Genius winner and renowned theater director Valerie Curtis-Newton (recent triumph: Trouble in Mind) said this award has given her "fuel to to do this the next 10 years."

*Next up, Industrial Revelation joined forces with SRO on a composition that sounded like classic David Axelrod-esque spiritual jazz funk. It was incredibly moving.

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Music Geniuses Industrial Revelations Evan Flory-Barnes and Ahamefule Oluo tear it up with the SRO.
  • Beth Crook
  • Music Geniuses Industrial Revelation's Evan Flory-Barnes and Ahamefule Oluo tear it up with the SRO.

Industrial Revelation: industrious and revelatory.
  • Beth Crook
  • Industrial Revelation: not your father's jazz.

*As it turned out, Industrial Revelation would be up on that stage very soon, to accept their music Genius award. Trumpeter Oluo dedicated the win to their mentor, the jazz great Hadley Caliman. Drummer D'Vonne Lewis heaped praise on the other music nominees and said, “It's about the love [for music]. That's the genius in it.” Bassist Evan Flory-Barnes called Seattle “the richest creative community in the world.”

Stranger music editor Emily Nokes details what makes the music Genius candidates so special, with last years winners Eyvind Kang and Jessika Kenney.
  • Beth Crook
  • Stranger music editor Emily Nokes details what makes the music Genius candidates so special, with last year's winners Eyvind Kang and Jessika Kenney.

Music Geniuses Industrial Revelation dedicated their victory to jazz great Hadley Caliman, who was their mentor.
  • Beth Crook
  • Music Geniuses Industrial Revelation dedicated their victory to jazz great Hadley Caliman, who was their mentor.

*With that important business taken care of, the SRO kicked into ABBA's “Dancing Queen,” and hundreds of well-dressed creatives shook their genius-appreciating asses till the Moore staff kicked 'em out.

Stranger editor-in-chief Christopher Frizzelle and music editor Emily Nokes jump-start the torrid dance party that followed the awards ceremony, as the SRO jammed out old and new hits with panache.
  • Beth Crook
  • Stranger editor-in-chief Christopher Frizzelle and music editor Emily Nokes jump-start the torrid dance party that followed the awards ceremony, as the SRO jammed out old and new hits with panache.

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