Wednesday 5/17

Syttende Mai Celebration

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(HOLIDAY) It's Syttende Mai, Norwegian Constitution Day, and all of downtown Ballard is celebrating. Live music starts at Bergen Place Park at 1 pm and Leif Erikson Lodge is hosting an open house from 1-5 pm with food, music, dancing, and a visit from a genealogist Liv Marti Haakenstad so you can learn more about your Scandinavian roots. Elsewhere in the neighborhood, Scandinavian Specialties is your go-to for Norwegian snacks (and they'll also be at the festival serving pølse, a traditional bright red pork sausage), the National Nordic Museum has kid-focused programming—Norwegian Fjord Horses and a train!—as well as plenty of Norwegian flags in their gift shop, and Skål Beer Hall has an outdoor beer and aquavit garden, live music, and a walk-up grill. The main event, of course, is the annual parade. It starts at 6 pm at 24th Avenue Northwest and Northwest 62nd Street and travels south to Northwest Market Street, where it hangs a left for one block before turning down Ballard Avenue Northwest. There are marching bands, drum lines, traditional dancers, and little kids dressed in cute Norwegian suits and dresses and throwing out candy! It's terribly adorable. Want to celebrate but can't make it to Ballard in time? Catch the parade online at (Downtown Ballard, NW Market St and Ballard Ave NW, noon, free, all ages) MEGAN SELING

Thursday 5/18

Fisherman’s Village Music Fest 2023

(MUSIC) Here are four words you don't hear people say very often, "Let's go to Everett!" Everett's Fisherman's Village Music Fest is three days of music with more than 50 bands and artists playing across five stages. Several noteworthy local (and local-adjacent) acts are scheduled to perform—Krautrock-loving Telehealth play Thursday, guitar-slaying alt-rockers King Youngblood play Friday, and K Records angel (and former Anacortes resident) Karl Blau is set to perform Saturday. Plus, Naked Giants, Beautiful Freaks, Zookraught, and Biblioteka! But there are also several touring acts hitting the fest, and the fest is your only chance to see them while they make their way through the Pacific Northwest. Fat Possum Records punks Bass Drum of Death headline Friday night and doo-wopping surf rockers Shannon & the Clams and Nashville's Southern Gothic queen Adia Victoria are both set for Saturday. And you thought Everett was just for Kenny Loggins fans! (Downtown Everett, Hewitt Ave and Hoyt Ave, May 18-20, 6 pm, $30-$175, all ages) MEGAN SELING

Friday 5/19

Jane Wong with Michelle Peñaloza and Jin Ai Huang

Jane Wong will read at Elliott Bay Book Company Friday, May 19. Photo by Helene Christensen/Book cover courtesy of Tin House

(BOOKS) The New York Times, Publishers Weekly, and Kirkus all love Meet Me Tonight in Atlantic City, local poet Jane Wong's memoir about growing up in a Chinese takeout restaurant on the Jersey shore and then hustling to become a writer in a world still dominated by old white men, and you will, too. As other reviewers have noted, a lot of the style that makes Wong such a fun poet to read shines through in the memoir: her humor, her power with images, her love of her mom, her stunning emotional pivots, and her nearly maniacal embrace of the grotesque, dripping, greasy corners of the world—it's all there. As is her incisive critique of the oppressive systems designed to keep her down—systems she's already starting to conquer in her capacity as a creative writing and literature professor at Western Washington University and editor of the Bellingham Review. Jane's mom is going to be there, which is MORE THAN ENOUGH reason to go on its own. (Elliott Bay Book Company, 1521 10th Ave, 7 pm, free) RICH SMITH

Saturday 5/20

Sakamoto Tribute: Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence

(FILM) When two gods meet, that is the entire meaning and glory and immortality of this 1983 film. The gods are from the sphere of pop music, David Bowie (who died in 2016) and Ryuichi Sakamoto (who died this year). The movie, which is set during the Second World War, is directed by a key figure of Japan's Silver Age in cinema, roughly between 1960 and 1975, Nagisa Ōshima—the director's next, and penultimate, film will concern the romantic relationship a Western woman has with a chimpanzee. As for David Bowie, his brilliant career goes supernova (Let's Dance) two months after Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence debuts at Cannes Film Festival. As for Ryuichi Sakamoto, he, as a member of the Japanese groundbreaking electro band Yellow Magic Orchestra, releases a huge hit, "Kimi ni Mune Kyun," the same month his film with Bowie becomes public. And so the sexual tension between the two pop gods is nothing but electric. If Siouxsie Sioux sang the lead track for this movie, it would be: "Kiss Him For Me." (Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave, May 20-21, $7-$14) CHARLES MUDEDE

Sunday 5/21

Bill Carty's We Sailed on the Lake Book Launch/Float

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(BOOKS/BOATS) If you shuffle up to Foster Point on Foster Island this Sunday at 5 pm and lay out a blanket on the grass, you'll hear some of the strongest Seattle-area poets reading poems as boats variously motor and sail by. I can't think of a better spot to launch a book called We Sailed on the Lake (BUNNY), the second collection of poems from local poet, writer, and editor Bill Carty. The speaker in these poems comes off like a casually wise, funny friend trudging alongside you with a beer and cut-off shorts as you both navigate the indignities of the last decades. Despite all the bullshit, he finds enough worthy mystery in the world—and in language—to share. Carty's poems embrace jokes and straightforward speech, but rhythm and music drive every line. If you don't believe me, pick up the book in a local bookstore and read the first four poems, which are perfect. (Boating begins at Waterway No. 1 in Laurelhurts, 43rd Ave NE, 3 pm; reading is at Foster Point in Washington Park Arboretum, 2300 Arboretum Drive E, 5 pm, free) RICH SMITH 

Monday 5/22

SIFF Streaming: Art for Everybody

Art for Everybody COURTESY OF SIFF

(FILM) The Seattle International Film Festival isn't over yet—starting Monday, several SIFF films are available for streaming through May 28. One documentary you must add to your watch list is Art for Everybody, a documentary about the painter Thomas Kinkade. His paintings, which were universally bad, made him super-rich and famous. Goofy-looking cottages surrounded by gooey-green trees, cheesy rivers, and corny mountains were his bread and butter. He marketed himself as the “painter of light.” But Kinkade had a gift, though it was nowhere near artistic. He, with an ease that can only be described as preternatural, translated the core feeling (or the structure feeling, if we may borrow one of Raymond Williams’ key concepts) of conservative white American Christians into images. What was powerfully felt by this segment of society was made visible by the genius of Kinkade. Indeed, Kinkade died too soon, in 2012. Had he lived to and through the years between 2016 and 2020, he would have found his true moment. What he did for art, Trump did for politics. Do not miss Art for Everybody. (SIFF's virtual festival is May 22-28, visit for tickets) CHARLES MUDEDE

Tuesday 5/23

Cold Brew Slushie at the Birdhouse

Creamy. Ice-cold. Delicious. MEGAN SELING

(FOOD & DRINK) Over the very hot weekend, I ordered the Birdhouse's cold brew slushie on a whim, partly expecting a drink that was indeed cold but syrupy and too sweet. Summer is for slushies, but slushies are for kids. Too often I can only get in about five sips before I'm knocked out by the brain-freeze/sugar shakes combo. Oh, how I was wrong about the Birdhouse slushie; this cold brew slushie is a miracle. It's creamy, but still very light and refreshing. It's sweet, but just enough to take the bitter edge off the bold coffee. Finally, a booze-free slushie for mature (read: old, sugar-sensitive) palates! Fuck frosé; it's cold brew slushie time. Summer is saved. (The Birdhouse, 3507 SW Henderson St, Mon-Fri 6 am-5 pm, Sat-Sun 7 am-5 pm) MEGAN SELING