It Came From Aquarius Records

(FILM) Every record-store death is a tragedy, but some losses hit harder. For example, Aquarius Records' closure in 2016 after 47 years of peddling obscure, fantastic recordings to Bay Area music freaks and mail-order customers worldwide left a huge void in the collector ecosphere. Director Kenneth Thomas's award-winning documentary about San Francisco's Aquarius vividly portrays why great record stores are as close as capitalism comes to fostering sacred spaces. The store—which moved to various SF 'hoods and changed ownership often—was as much about community-building and friendship-mongering as it was about selling life-changing artifacts. The movie spotlights the most ingratiating aspects of small businesses (customer camaraderie, knowledge-sharing, scene-supporting), while detailing Aquarius' poignant struggle with SF's gentrification and the music industry's relentless push for digital hegemony. Grails/OM drummer Emil Amos—one of many notable musicians interviewed for the film—nailed Aquarius' appeal when he said, “Nothing really beats the arbitrariness of walking in the door and finding things you can never plan to find.” Though Aquarius was tiny in square footage, it made a global impact with its weekly email list, whose enticing descriptions of dozens of releases offered essential observations to music fanatics. After Aquarius folded, Stranded took over its Valencia St. location, and while it's a great store, nothing could quite equal the magical kinship that Aquarius engendered during its reign as America's most passionate music retailer. This doc reverently amplifies its specialness. (Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave, 7 pm, $7-$14, all ages; afterparty w/ DJ Veins at the Runaway, 1425 10th Ave, 9 pm, free, 21+) DAVE SEGAL


Kimya Dawson, Your Heart Breaks, and Peace and Red Velvet

(MUSIC) Listening to Your Heart Breaks' new album The Wrack Line feels a lot like sitting around a beach bonfire just after sunset when the bulk of summer's days are behind you and your brain begins to steep in the special brand of romantic nostalgia that can only be found in Puget Sound’s salty air. It's a Northwest thing. It's hard to explain. But how perfect it will be to see the band—always led by Clyde Petersen and currently featuring Eli Moore and Ashley Eriksson of LAKE and Katherine Paul of Black Belt Eagle Scout—perform their tender, wistful songs outside, under a setting sun. Headlining the evening is the one and only Kimya Dawson, an incomparable songwriter who can rejuvenate the most shriveled and bitter of hearts with just one strum of her guitar. (Georgetown Trailer Park Mall, 5805 Airport Way S, 6-10 pm, free, all ages) MEGAN SELING

FRIDAY 7/21 

Capitol Hill Block Party

(MUSIC) This year, CHBP offers a treasure trove of Gen-Z favorites. Droves of festival-goers will crowd the streets of Capitol Hill to see headliners like electropop duo Sofi Tukker, innovative Florida rapper Denzel Curry, and electronic music group Louis the Child. This isn’t your typical lounge-in-the-grass-type music festival, but rather, a bustling party that involves nine stages—both indoors and outdoors—that are nestled within the city streets. I am most excited to see the indie rock trio MUNA, whose infectious hit single "Silk Chiffon (ft. Phoebe Bridgers)" is the sapphic summer anthem that the girls and the gays deserve. I also can't wait to see the ethereal electronic gem Empress Of, meme-turned-hyperpop star Rebecca Black, and BFF pop duo Coco & Clair Clair. If you can't tell, this lineup exudes femme pop power. (Capitol Hill at E Pine St between Broadway and 12th Ave, July 21-23, $90-$525, all ages) AUDREY VANN


Oppenheimer in 35mm

(FILM) The latest from writer-director Christopher Nolan is a film in which men spend hours in rooms talking about creating a weapon of mass destruction that will kill thousands and fundamentally alter the world as they know it and then proceed to do just that. Led by Cillian Murphy as J. Robert Oppenheimer himself—an increasingly monstrous man who is also just kind of a dick—Oppenheimer is a work that spans decades over its three hours, and succeeds at making you feel every minute of it. At its most truly revealing, when the hell that its characters bring down upon the world shatters the fragile lies and hollow speeches they give to desperately avoid their culpability, it is a film where sound alone carries a suffocating weight. And though it wanders in its last hour, the final line makes painfully clear that this is by design as the men futilely attempt to find absolution and are instead forever damned for what they have done. (SIFF Cinema Uptown, 511 Queen Anne Ave, various showtimes, $13-$14) CHASE HUTCHINSON

SUNDAY 7/23 

Amoako Boafo: Soul of Black Folks

(VISUAL ART) Seattle is the second stop for this exhibition, which began in San Francisco and introduces to the United States a rising star in the world of Black art, Amoako Boafo. Larry Ossei-Mensah curated the exhibit, called Soul of Black Folks—a play on a 1903 book, The Souls of Black Folk, that famously described a feature of Black American consciousness that was not shared with their white counterparts: double consciousness, an "inward twoness," being Black for yourself and being Black for white people. Because the two are incompatible (or incompossible), they could not be resolved in the dialectical manner of a Hegelian synthesis. W. E. B. Du Bois, a thinker familiar with the works of Hegel, authored the book. Another writer familiar with Hegel, Frantz Fanon, is also in the exhibit. The mid-century Martiniquan philosopher is found in one of the self-portraits, "Black Skin, White Mask," near the show's entrance. This work continued Du Bois's twoness, in the context of colonialism, with this line: "The black man has two dimensions. One with his fellows, the other with the white man." And yet this split or twoness is entirely absent from Boafo's show. All of his subjects are Black, many from his country, Ghana, and some from the US, such as Jay-Z and Beyonce ("Sunflower Bee Shirt"). But there is a striking singularity in these portraits, most of which feature Black skin painted with Boafo's fingers. His subjects are very much at home in the world. Some are laughing, some are in love, others in deep thought, others gaze at their painter. None seems split or minding white people. And I think this is the meaning of moving the "s" from Du Bois's "Soul" to "Folk"—those in Boafo's portraits actually have just one soul. (Seattle Art Museum, 1300 First Ave, Wed-Sun 10 am-5 pm, $19.99-$32.99, all ages) CHARLES MUDEDE

MONDAY 7/24 

Paramore, Foals, and the Linda Lindas

(MUSIC) On their newest album, This Is Why, Paramore embraces a rigid, post-punk sound which is a far leap from the adolescent rage of their 2007 debut, Riot! (just listen to the album's title track to see what I mean). Catch the band on their first Seattle tour date in over a decade as they support the new album. But fear not, your teenage, studded belt-wearing self will still get to scream along to classics like "Misery Business," "That's What You Get," and "The Only Exception," which have all been included on recent setlists. For anyone still needing a dose of teen angst, there will be plenty of it courtesy of the actual teenage punk band the Linda Lindas. (Climate Pledge Arena, 305 Harrison St, 7 pm, $40.50-$136, all ages) AUDREY VANN


Doce Donut Co

Clockwise from upper left: Churro, Mexican hot chocolate, tres leches, guava con queso, passion fruit creme brulee, pina colada. MEGAN SELING

(FOOD) When Doce Donut Co first opened over the winter I had my doubts that Seattle needed yet one more doughnut shop. The city already has so many—Top Pot, General Porpoise, Mighty-O, Dough Joy, Dochi, Good Day—what could possibly be missing? Oh, what a fool I was. Doce Donut Co is a small shop on Stone Way owned by a family from Argentina and Venezuela and they incorporate vibrant Latin American flavors into every doughnut on their rotating menu. The current roster includes churro, Mexican hot chocolate, guava con queso, pina colada, and a delectably tart passion fruit creme brulee creation that's capped off with a crispy and delicate torched sugar shell. Swoon. My favorite, though, is the tres leches, which is a ring of ethereal, melt-in-your-mouth brioche soaked in three milk custard, dipped in chocolate, and topped with a crown of toasted meringue. It just might be the best doughnut in Seattle. I will never doubt Doce again. (Doce Donut Co, 4106 Stone Way N, Tues-Fri 8 am-2 pm, Sat- 9 am-2 pm) MEGAN SELING