If You’re New to Seattle, Here’s What You Need

Rhye Is the Post-Valentine's Day Balm Your Heart Needs

Rhye plays the Neptune tomorrow night with Rum.Gold
Rhye plays the Neptune tomorrow night with Rum.Gold Genevieve Medow Jenkins

Rhye has the best post-Valentine's Day music. It's moody—for when you’re sad about the state of your love life but also still horny and want to be surrounded by candlelight and expensive things that look pretty. It's the dark velvet recovery. Led by Toronto-bred, LA-based musician and lead singer Michael Milosh—whose detached and dulcet vocals are easy to fall for—their music is delicate, down-tempo R&B that's embellished by occasional stringed instruments.

Their Tiny Desk Concert really proves my point about the candlelight thing:

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Nude to Town: Where to Wear Your Birthday Suit in Public

The naked bike ride before the Fremont Solstice Parade kicks off Seattle’s summer.
The naked bike ride before the Fremont Solstice Parade kicks off Seattle’s summer. JESSICA STEIN

Where does one even begin with Seattle and nakedness? How about in 1970 (or so), with a man named Faygele ben Miriam, a prominent gay rights warrior, Radical Faerie, and strident "effeminist" who would show up at queer community meetings wearing "dresses that were not as long as his dong," as one person recalled it to me a few years back.

"That's asking a lot of your audience," this person said.

True. And yet, as RuPaul points out as often as possible, "we're all born naked." For Ru, "the rest is drag," but perhaps for you the rest is finding a chance to get naked again—in public.

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You're Pronouncing It Wrong: A Guide for Newcomers to Seattle

When Mount Rainier explodes, it will destroy Puyallup first. Learn to say it before it’s rubble!
When Mount Rainier explodes, it will destroy Puyallup first. Learn to say it before it’s rubble! Jessica Stein

Seattle is full of verbal land mines.

Botch the pronunciation of Leschi or Duwamish, and you'll immediately give away the fact that you only recently moved here. With places like Tukwila, Puyallup, and Sequim, this area can feel like a foreign land for us English speakers.

The reality—of course—is exactly the opposite: English speakers are the foreigners in this part of the world. In a twisted turn of history, the white people who invaded this land and decimated the Native population decided stealing their words for place names would be a good way to honor them.

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Slog AM: Trump Declares National Emergency, Cozy Texts Between Patriot Prayer and Portland Police

ITS OFFICIALLY A NATIONAL EMERGENCY! (Says Trump.)
IT'S OFFICIALLY A NATIONAL EMERGENCY! (Says Trump.) Rabbitti/Getty

Amazon was in talks up to the 11th hour: Amazon pulling the plug on their long-anticipated HQ2 plans for New York came as a big surprise to most people, but “no one was more surprised than the union leaders who were in talks with the company the day before,” according to the New York Times. Amazon is famously allergic to unions. Bezos can’t even be in the same room with unionization efforts, let alone the same city. Gov. Andrew Cuomo brokered a meeting between Amazon and union leaders Wednesday, and they left with a shaky, but encouraging path forward until Amazon said thank u, next.

Who won and lost during Seattle’s crippling snowstorms? Grocery stores made off like George Clooney at the end of Ocean's 11 because you all were so adamant about buying a month's worth of bread, milk, and assorted produce to survive the snow. Tow truck drivers also made quite a bit of bread. Anything involving delivery struggled: pizza, packages, you name it. Some of the biggest losers were Valentine’s Day businesses, like chocolate stores, florists, sex shops. I’m just assuming on that last one.

Trump is set to declare executive action on border wall: Both the House and Senate passed the bipartisan budget to fund the government and avoid another shutdown. According to the New York Times, President Trump is expected to sign it, too. He’s literally talking as I write this right now. The world needs to break all news before 8 am PST so I can get it into Slog AM on time. After rambling about North Korea, he’s getting to the good part. Or the bad part, depending on where you stand. Okay, now he’s talking shit about Democrats. Apparently, El Paso loves the wall, according to Trump. He’s going down his checklist of “big drugs” and human trafficking. He’s not providing any facts to back up anything he’s saying. I can’t live fact-check this, but check in with the Washington Post to see how many Pinocchios he’s going to get. He called them “monstrous caravans,” I mean this guy threw out the dog whistle and went straight for the bullhorn. Now he’s doubling down and calling them “MS-13 gang monsters." And here it is folks: HE’S DECLARING A NATIONAL EMERGENCY! It’s happening. Oof, he's going on a little beat poetry tangent about how it’s going to be held up in the courts. Which it will.


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Buy Your Tickets to These 30 Newly Announced Events Before They Sell Out

Escape the darkness of the world with Tacocats neon-candy punk-pop in June.
Escape the darkness of the world with Tacocat's neon-candy punk-pop in June.

We all know that many of the biggest Seattle events often sell out well in advance. But it's not a lost cause—if you plan ahead, you can still score tickets for the most popular events. To help you with that, we've rounded up all of the major events that are going on sale in the next couple of days, like Heart, Bianca Del Rio, and Father John Misty, plus things that have just gone on sale, like The Stranger's Zymurgy Beer Series: Haze Craze. Can't get tickets? Check out our complete Things To Do calendar for more events.

Note: Tickets on sale at 10 a.m. unless otherwise specified

ON SALE FRIDAY
COMEDY
Nina Conti
Mon April 29 at Neptune Theatre

MUSIC
Beck, Cage the Elephant, Spoon, Starcrawler
Sat July 13 at Gorge Amphitheatre

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Slog PM: Seattle Considers Tossing Goat Into Volcano for Jeff Bezos, Popular Local Saxophonist Trapped in Kanye West's Home

Calling all goats.
Calling all goats. Beboy / Getty

You're stuck with me, Sloggers: Nathalie is on vacation until Monday. I won't tell you where she is, because I know you're all obsessed with her, but I hear she's having a great Valentine's dinner at Olive Garden.

Okay, this is a journey, buckle up for some Amazon news: Earlier this morning—but not early enough for Slog AM—Amazon rejected New York City after New York City rejected Amazon. In a surprise announcement, Amazon said that local opposition to the company prompted them to pull out of the Big Apple. That left Seattle shook. Then, to shake us down even more, the company announced it will "end its growth in Seattle in coming years," reports Mike Rosenberg of The Seattle Times. Those jobs that are now not going to New York? They're probably not coming here. Mudede said it best: "What does the billionaire of all billionaires, Bezos, want from us, Seattle? Should we toss something living into a volcano?"

Oh wait, there's an update:

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MusicArtsBikesPhotography

An Exhibition about Prince Is Opening in Seattle on April 6

Icon—dig it.
Icon—dig it. Nancy Bundt/Courtesy of MoPOP

MoPOP will be hosting an exhibition about late, legendary funk/R&B/rock multi-instrumentalist/producer Prince from April 6 to January 4, 2020. Hosted in conjunction with the University of Minnesota's Weisman Art Museum, the show, titled Prince from Minneapolis, focuses on the erection of Prince's persona via almost 50 artifacts (instruments, photographs, artworks, clothes that Prince Rogers Nelson—who died April 21, 2016—wore). The exhibition's mission is to delve into the superstar soul man's image, his impact on other artists and his fans, and his distinctive relationship with his hometown and native state.

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A Bracelet for People Who Are Tired of Dating Apps

The Offline Movement harks back to a time of pre-app (IRL) dating.
The Offline Movement harks back to a time of pre-app (IRL) dating. COLLAGE ART BY ANTHONY KEO AND JESSICA STEIN; PHOTOS COURTESY OF NASA AMES RESEARCH CENTER AND THE OFFLINE MOVEMENT

When you first fire up a dating app, the universe seems full of possibility. You're playing a no-stakes game of hot-or-not on a website full of single people extremely excited to tell you how tall they are. Matching with a cool-looking person does approximate the thrill of catching an eye across the room. And scrutinizing the wild profiles of weirdos and the shockingly basic profiles of normals is a bottomless joy.

If you're still on the apps six months later, however, you come to the realization that you've outsourced your romantic life to a data-collection service. Six months after that, you've deleted and re-downloaded the app more times than you can count, because what else is there? By then, you're probably not even going on dates. You're just swiping to score that dopamine hit from matching with a stranger. It's pitiful.

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Feeling Empty? Try Olive Garden

Indulge in carb-heavy feasting (and people-watching) this Valentine’s Day.
Indulge in carb-heavy feasting (and people-watching) this Valentine’s Day. COURTESY OF OLIVE GARDEN

Freshly dumped? Living the single life? Romance is a sham? Your significant other's tech job uprooted them and replanted them in the Deep South? Excellent. Go to Olive Garden on Valentine's Day.

It's warm in Olive Garden. The walls are a welcoming color. It smells like salad dressing. Everyone seems happy you're there.

A couple years ago on Valentine's Day, my friends dressed to the nines and journeyed up to the Lynnwood Olive Garden to have their own friend date. They loved it. The people-watching is amazing—the Garden is a very popular date spot, it turns out—and so are the endless breadsticks and bottomless salad. What more could you want?

If the "tech job" example in my first paragraph seemed a little too specific, there's a reason. This past week, my boyfriend relocated to Georgia. We're doing the whole "long distance" thing. It's supposedly temporary. But adapting to that absence has been a struggle. Especially for me. I'm a worrier.

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Don't Believe the Seattle Times, It's Still Illegal for Teenagers to Buy Assault Rifles

The kids cant buy these dangerous machines.
The kids can't buy these dangerous machines. GEORGE FREY/ GETTY IMAGES

Cops are not lawyers. They don't get to decide if a law is constitutional or correctly written. But for some reason the Seattle Times has decided their chief legal team is a police chief and gun dealer in the Tri-Cities.

In a column published yesterday, the Times’s Danny Westneat takes the side of a rural gun dealer and police chief who have decided a new state law increasing the minimum age for purchasing assault rifles from 18 to 21 doesn't apply to them because of a technicality in how the law defined the assault rifle. This gun dealer, and possibly others, are pledging to break the law and keep selling these dangerous guns to teens, and Westneat appears to be agreeing with them. Here's what he wrote:

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31 Movies Worth Watching in Seattle This Weekend: Feb 14-17, 2019

Ryan Cooglers Marvel hit Black Panther is up for Best Picture, Original Score, and a bunch of other awards at the 2019 Oscars. Lucky for you, its screening at Central Cinema and MoPOP this weekend.
Ryan Coogler's Marvel hit Black Panther is up for Best Picture, Original Score, and a bunch of other awards at the 2019 Oscars. Lucky for you, it's screening at Central Cinema and MoPOP this weekend. Courtesy of Matt Kennedy/©marvel Studios 2018

If your Valentine's Day plans involve dinner and a movie, or if you just want to escape from the post-snowpocalypse slush, this weekend brings options across the board. You can catch up on Oscar-nominated films like Roma (not to mention animated, live action, and documentary shorts), head to new releases like Alita: Battle Angel, or see a 55th anniversary screening of My Fair Lady. Follow the links below to see complete showtimes, tickets, and trailers for all of our critics' picks, and, if you're looking for even more options, check out our film events calendar and complete movie times listings.

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.

Note: Movies play Thursday to Sunday unless otherwise noted.

2019 Oscar Nominated Short Films: Animated, Live Action and Documentary
In this year's crop of animated short film nominees, meet characters like animals in therapy, a sweet little bao dumpling come to life, a Chinese American girl who wants to be an astronaut, and other charming folks. In the live action films, an aging woman bonds with her nurse; two young boys are interrogated over the death of a toddler; a mother receives a call from her young son, whose father has apparently abandoned him while on vacation; and more in these tense and touching films. The documentary subjects include a Zen hospice, Nigerian immigrants facing racism in England, refugees rescued from the Mediterranean, Indian women fighting menstruation stigma, and 20,000 American Nazis in 1939.
SIFF Cinema Uptown (live action & animation only) & AMC Seattle 10

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Amazon Uses New York City to Discipline Seattle; Seattle Throws a Goat into the Volcano

Until you behave, no more growth, Seattle!
"Until you behave, no more growth, Seattle!" Charles Mudede

This city is in a state of worry. It has to see the whole HQ2 episode as having always been about Seattle. The first thunderbolt was the announcement of HQ2. It shook Seattle, which is now the biggest company town in the US, to its core. Before another bolt struck, the city wasted no time ending the head tax. Then it had to sit and wait to see how HQ2 would impact its economy. During this nervous waiting, the business community cursed progressives for their outrageous apostasy. And now we're watching New York City lose its half of the HQ2 prize. But is this really about NYC? No, Seattle thinks. It is yet another reminder of how easily Amazon can change its mind. Seattle will take notice. Long Island City lost thousands of jobs and billions in tax revenue. It will remain underdeveloped. This could be Seattle in a heartbeat.

And just to keep our already nervous city in line, Amazon immediately announced, according to Mike Rosenberg of The Seattle Times, that the corporation "will end its growth in Seattle in coming years." This means "the 25,000 jobs intended for New York" will not return to Seattle. In short, the city should not celebrate NYC's loss. We are still in deep trouble. We have not done enough to appease Jeff Bezos. Rosenberg: "Seattle could still get some of those jobs or benefit indirectly, though it’s too early to say, the company said."

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I'm Crying Because Lizzo Loves Me

Happy Valentine's Day, y'all. I know this is a time when everyone groans about how this was a holiday created by the evil capitalists who work at card companies and are somehow our cultural overlords or whatever. I'm not saying these gripes are incorrect, but is there something wrong about wanting to carve out a day for love? To give the pink underwear you coincidentally put on this morning more meaning? To luxuriate in chocolate, steak, wine, and other foods that give you headaches? There's so much in the world to be cynical about but today I just want everybody to say love!

Lizzo gets what I'm saying. Today, the Minneapolis-based singer/rapper/dancer/entertainer dropped the visuals for "Cuz I Love You," the title track off her upcoming album of the same name. In the black and white video, Lizzo plays the role of a preacher, sitting in a confessional and also delivering a sermon to a parish of crying men. I can relate.

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Inbox Jukebox Track of the Day: The Sly UK Garage Banger "Absolutely" by Ascendant Seattle Producer Klein Zage

Only a dead-assed fool would resist Absolutely by Orphan Radio DJ/producer Klein Zage.
Only a dead-assed fool would resist "Absolutely" by Orphan Radio DJ/producer Klein Zage. Jacob Rosen

Klein Zage, "Absolutely" (Orphan.)

Klein Zage (aka Sage Redman), half of Seattle club-music catalysts Orphan Radio (an internet station and record label she runs with husband Joe Gillick), has a new EP coming out titled Womanhood, a pro-feminist, six-track collection to which you can optimize your sensuality and work out your slickest dance moves. (The record includes remixes by DJ Python, Ariel Zetina, and Local Artist. Check out some snippets here.)

I first heard "Absolutely" on KEXP during the wee hours last week, and it instantly riveted me. (Shout out to DJ Sean and my insomnia.) What grabbed me was the chunky, funky rhythm in which the beats seem to be getting sucked into a black hole. Add a bulbous yet lithe bass line, those warped, Chinese-music tintinnabulations familiar from the sinogrime subgenre and Redman's wry, Marie Davidson-like intonations you have a compulsive, propulsive, UK garage floor-filler. Redman told djmag.com that "Absolutely" represents “A sure but sly advocacy for female orgasm”; only a dead-assed fool would resist it.


Falling in Love With a Stoner

weedcouple3_stein_mag.jpg
COLLAGE ART BY JESSICA STEIN; PHOTOS SOURCED FROM GETTY IMAGES

Before I met my girlfriend, I spent a fair amount of time trying to convince dates that there's nothing wrong with smoking a little weed now and then. I had moderate success with this (it's Seattle, not Fort Worth). But then I'd try to convince them that if smoking a little weed now and then was okay, smoking a lot of weed all the time was even better. This may be why I was largely single until my 30s.


The biggest complaint I got from girlfriends was that weed changed me. When I'd point out that it changed me for the better (and probably had less effect than a daily dose of Prozac), this was viewed as evidence that I cared more about weed than I did about the relationship. Which was true.


Luckily for me, I finally met a woman who loves to get high as much as I do. Which means that instead of fighting about how much money I spend on weed, we can fight about how much we spend on weed. But not everyone has been as blessed by the Tinder gods as I have.

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