December in Seattle means an onslaught of festive holiday events and New Year's Eve parties—but it also means plenty of arts, music, and food events. Below, we've rounded up the 150 biggest events that you should know about, ranging from concerts like Macklemore and Industrial Revelation Plays Björk, to food events like the Miracle on 2nd Pop-Up and Feasts of the Seven Fishes, to performances like the Dina Martina Christmas Show and George Balanchine's The Nutcracker, to comedians like Hari Kondabolu, to holiday events like the Renegade Craft Fair and the Christmas Ship Festival, to the opening of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. See them all below, and, as always, find even more options on our complete Things To Do calendar, including 47 things to drink in December.
DECEMBER 1FOOD & DRINK
1. Bok a Bok Fried Chicken Grand Opening
Bok a Bok, Brian O'Connor's much-raved-about White Center restaurant, brings its crispy Korean fried chicken, kimchi mac and cheese, and sandwiches in flavors like gochuchang BBQ and yuzu green chile to Capitol Hill! Be the first to try it at their grand opening. Their offerings will also be available at Neumos, Barboza, and the Runaway.
2. Great Figgy Pudding Caroling Competition
Raise money for the Pike Market Senior Center & Food Bank by forming caroling teams and singing with heart. The event is capped by a final sing-off on the "Figgy Main Stage."
3. A Perfect Circle
Tool vocalist Maynard James Keenan has amassed an avid following, one that he commands with every slight hint of musical activity. Tool-related or not, Maynard's cult is there to gobble it all up—documentaries on his passion for wine, his Puscifer side project, and, most recently, the resurrection of his supergroup, A Perfect Circle. After a 13-year hiatus, this dark, proggy, and more melodic alternative-rock band will release a new album, The Doomed, “sometime next year.” It might not be the new Tool, but hell, it’s enough to give his diehards that much-needed Maynard fix. KEVIN DIERS
4. Pere Ubu, Diminished Men
Called "startlingly unique" after the release of their 1975 debut single, "30 Seconds Over Tokyo," Cleveland-bred art-punk legends Pere Ubu combined elements of Black Sabbath–style metal dirge with dub and oddball rock experimentation to redefine left-field music. Led by David Thomas, Mark E. Smith's rival for curmudgeonly behavior, Pere Ubu moved straight past Ramones-core, ’77-style punk and helped pave the way for post-punk's admirable idiosyncrasies. On last year's tour, the band delivered Dub Housing–era favorites, medieval-looking horn instruments, and stunning art-rock atmospheres. While onstage at the Crocodile, Thomas abruptly stopped mid-set for a smoke break: "It'll be much faster if you clear a path," he told the audience. And we did. BRITTNIE FULLER
5. Slow Magic, Qrion
Another electronic musician donning a mask (this one a colorful deer head), Slow Magic refers to his sound as that made by an “unknown imaginary friend.” To elaborate, he makes euphoric 21st-century rave-lite tunes with bulging bass frequencies for millennials who want to feel like they’re all in this together… and nobody has hygiene issues. Slow Magic’s laptop-and-tom-tom approach to dance music is medium-to-high-energy, sparkly, and, yes, probably magical—to people born after 1993. DAVE SEGAL
Husband/wife duo Tennis burst onto the Pitchfork-led indie-blog scene in 2010 with runaway hit "Marathon," a simplistic, lo-fi, retro-sounding song that was all jangly pop chords and warm girl-group "oohs" and "ahhs." Though catchy as hell, the song seemed flimsy, and the band's merit appeared to be bolstered mostly by a conveniently marketable backstory (which always generates buzz regardless of musical quality) about some yuppie dream-vacation sailing trip the couple had just gone on. Six-plus years, three full-lengths, and a few EPs later, Tennis have yet to match "Marathon"—which was probably bitten from some obscure '60s cut anyway—but is probably a great band to see if you enjoy safe, "refined" things like tennis and sailing. MIKE RAMOS
7. NPR's Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
Comedians, journalists, celebrities, and listeners vie to win "a custom-recorded greeting by scorekeeper emeritus Carl Kasell for their voicemail" by answering current-events questions on NPR's Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!. Get in on the lighthearted news fun (if there can be such a thing these days) and celebrate the 20th season of the comedy show.
8. Trevor Noah
South African TV personality, writer, and comedian Trevor Noah is known mainly for being the host of Comedy Central's The Daily Show (he attracted tons of media attention for his controversial interview with young Republican Tomi Lahren). He also published a book last year titled Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood.
9. Washington Brewers Guild 2017 Winter Beer Festival
The bright side to long, gray, wet winters is all the time you get to savor the seasonal offerings from local craft breweries—"dark malty stouts, robust winter warmers, and barrel-aged gems." This event features beers from over 50 Washington Brewers Guild member breweries.
10. Next Fest NW: Disruption
Velocity's annual Next Fest NW is often the place to go to see Seattle's best up-and-coming performers and choreographers push the bounds of modern dance.
DECEMBER 1, 8 & 15FOOD & DRINK
11. Twilight Noodle Slurp
In 2015, Stranger food writer Angela Garbes wrote, "On a cold, rainy afternoon a few weeks ago, I was at Phnom Penh Noodle House in the International District, slurping my way through one of my favorite soups in town—the special rice noodle bowl filled with seafood, pork, and crunchy bits of roasted garlic. As I ate, a gentleman from the Wing Luke Museum came in to make the final arrangements for one of the museum’s upcoming Twilight Noodle Slurps, where the museum guides people on a three-hour walking tour of the ID during which they sample some of the many noodles offered at the neighborhood’s mix of Asian restaurants and learn about the dishes. “Be sure to tell them your story,” the man told the restaurant owner. I wanted to sign up for the tour immediately." The tours are back for this fall—don't miss out.
12. Leavenworth Christmas Lighting Festival
At this annual festival, the Bavarian town transforms into a twinkly holiday village of lights. Enjoy live holiday music and performances in the streets, an appearance from Old Saint Nick in front of the gazebo, roasted chestnuts, a traditional Gluhwein Tent selling hot spiced wine and cider, and much more.
Family-friendly musical Annie offers spunky orphans, a benevolent millionaire, and a very smart dog. Come for musical theater classics like Hard Knock Life, Easy Street, and We'd Like to Thank You Herbert Hoover.
14. The Humans
Stephen Karam's The Humans, which won a 2016 Tony Award for best play, gets plaudits for its expert characterization, its subtle but gut-busting humor, and its clear-eyed view on contemporary family relations despite the fact that it's a play about a dysfunctional family spending a dysfunctional Thanksgiving together in Chinatown dysfunctionally. This is the official Broadway tour, directed by Joe Mantello. RICH SMITH
15. Christmas Ship Festival
This "ship-to-shore" holiday celebration has been a Northwest tradition since 1949. The Spirit of Seattle is decorated with twinkly white lights and sails to 65 Puget Sound waterfronts, where an onboard choir serenades passengers and shore-dwellers alike.
16. Building the Wall
With this production of Pulitzer Prize-winning and Tony Award-winning playwright Robert Schenkkan’s Building the Wall, the theater world has officially moved on from indirect criticisms of the worst president in the history of the US to direct criticism of the worst president in the history of the US. In the play, which Schenkkan reportedly wrote in a “white heat” after the 2016 election, ICE rounds up immigrants following a terrorist attack in Times Square. As everyone waits to hear what will be done with the incarcerated, a history professor grills the supervisor of the private prison, who is in charge of administering the horrifying punishment they expect to come down the pike. Desdemona Chiang, who’s fresh off a pretty solid production of The World of Extreme Happiness at Seattle Public Theater, will direct. RICH SMITH
DECEMBER 1-24FOOD & DRINK
17. Miracle on 2nd Pop-Up
In 2014, Greg Boehm of New York bar Boilermaker temporarily transformed the space for his bar Mace into a kitschy Christmas wonderland replete with gewgaws and tchotchkes galore. This year, the pop-up has expanded to bars in 50 cities worldwide and will be taking up residence in Belltown’s Rob Roy. The specialty cocktails are no ordinary cups of cheer: Beverages are housed in tacky-tastic vessels (a drinking mug resembling Santa’s mug, for example), bedecked with fanciful garnishes like peppers and dried pineapple, and christened with irreverent, pop-culture-referencing names like the “Bad Santa,” the “Yippie Ki Yay Mother F****r,” and the “You’ll Shoot Your Rye Out.”
18. Snowflake Lane
Get photos with Santa, then experience beautiful lights, "toy soldier drummers," animatronic characters, and pretty music in artificial snow.
19. A Christmas Carol
ACT Theatre's production of A Christmas Carol is a dependable, simple pleasure, with just enough variation to warrant returning year after year.
20. George Balanchine's The Nutcracker
If you haven't seen this Christmas classic since you were a kid, give it a go this year. In 2015, PNB replaced its beloved Maurice Sendak set with one by Ian Falconer, who did the Olivia the Pig books, and I'm glad that they did. The new set is gorgeous in a Wes Anderson-y way, and it reflects the genuine weirdness and beauty in the story. I mean, the last 45 minutes of this thing is a Katy Perry video starring dancing desserts and a glittery peacock that moves like a sexy broken river. Bring a pot lozenge. RICH SMITH
21. Howl’s Moving Castle
Everything about this musical adaptation of Howl's Moving Castle looks good. Hayao Miyazaki’s anime, which was based on Diana Wynne Jones’s novel, is a wondrous fairy tale about the perils of wondrous fairy tales, and it’s beloved by all—or at least by all who harbor no particular fondness for the Iraq war. Book-It’s all-star cast features Sara Porkalob, whose solo show, Dragon Lady, floored me in all of its iterations. Expect top-notch performances from Randall Scott Carpenter, Kate Jaeger, and Opal Peachey, too. Justin Huertas will compose the songs and write the lyrics. His widely acclaimed musical Lizard Boy debuted at Seattle Repertory Theatre a couple years back, he’s been a touring cellist with the Broadway show Spring Awakening, and he displayed solid comedic chops during Book-It’s production of Welcome to Braggsville. He’ll likely draw out as much humor as he can from the story while still maintaining the magic. RICH SMITH
Wonderland returns! Can Can will transform its venue into a snowy chalet and populate it with teasing beauties. There's also a brunch show that's safe for kids, and there will be a special New Year's Eve performance.
23. Holiday Mini Art Exhibit
Sadly, the Ghost Gallery is losing its lease—although we hope to see it pop up elsewhere. Pay them a visit and buy some mini-art ("in the 10"x10"x10" range") for $300 or less.
24. Garden d’Lights
Garden d’Lights features over half a million sparkling lights formed into the whimsical shapes of plants, flowers, birds, animals, and cascading waterfalls set amid the natural beauty of the Bellevue Botanical Garden.
25. Gingerbread Village
This gingerbread village is no joke: Every year, Seattle architecture firms, master builders, and Sheraton Seattle culinary teams come together to build a meticulously planned candy wonderland. The theme of this year's village is "25 Years of Cheer: A Celebration of Seattle." See elements of the city's past and its imagined future in candy form, from skyscrapers to underground tunnels.
26. Ivar's Clam Lights
Every night, Ivar's powers up the park with thousands of Christmas lights depicting various clammy characters. Is this where clams go to heaven after you eat them at Ivar's?
27. Point Defiance Zoolights
See hammerhead sharks, sea turtles, carnivorous plants and their insect prey, a 30-foot-wide underwater landscape, a majestic polar bear family, and a giant Pacific octopus in light form. You can also: Ride a camel (!), enjoy tasty treats, spin around on the carousel, visit select animal exhibits, and shop for holiday gifts in the shop.
See the zoo in a new light—500,000 energy-efficient LEDs, in fact! See luminous animal-themed designs, have an indoor snowball fight, meet Santa and his very real reindeer and some nocturnal animals, listen to carolers, and enjoy the holiday beer garden.
29. Dina Martina Christmas Show
Do you appreciate irony? Do you enjoy joy? Are you a sucker for horrifying stories told as if they’re heartwarming, the spectacle of beastly narcissism among the untalented, and pop songs with the lyrics rewritten because the singer seems to have undergone some kind of brain scramble? The Seattle holiday tradition of the drag-gone-wrong Dina Martina Christmas Show is upon us. All we know for sure is that one song she sings every year will be in it. I wouldn’t miss it for the world. CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE
30. Irving Berlin's Holiday Inn
A musical based on the film by Gordon Greenburg and Chad Hodge, it features songs by Irving Berlin such as "White Christmas" and "Easter Parade." It's going to be the 5th's holiday show, directed by David Armstrong and choreographed by James Rocco. CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE
31. Demetri Martin: Let's Get Awkward Tour
Rare is the comic who can make meta-comedy hilarious, analyzing humor as it’s tumbling from the brain in real time. Like medium-energy humorist Todd Barry, Demetri Martin excels at this, delivering ingenious self-reflexiveness in precise, calm tones. And similar to Steven Wright, but more elaborative, Martin applies a warped microscope to reassess everyday situations, clichés, and conventional wisdom, nailing their targets and quickly moving on to the next witty, skewed point. “Why is spinning the way a corpse shows disapproval?” Martin reasonably asks. His bit on prune juice is the shit, too. DAVE SEGAL
32. BoomBox, The Erised
Excellently named Zion Rock Godchaux performs as BoomBox, a project that collects their electronic work as a songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist. They describe the project's style as "dirty disco blues."
33. Deadbeats Seattle
Shove away the winter blues with a neon-heavy night of EDM thanks to live sets by Zeds Dead, Ookay, Ganja White Night, Bleep Bloop, and GG Magree.
34. Deorro, Sharps
Genre-bending electronica craftsman Deorro has gone from making beats in his bedroom to selling out venues worldwide with his chart-topping releases and DJ sets.
35. Haute Sauce: Too Short
Mythic MC and self-proclaimed (but not incorrect) godfather of Bay Area hiphop Too Short will helm the stage for a night of deeply raunchy and classically enjoyable tracks. He'll be joined by Sean Cee, Beeba, and Swervewon.
36. SMooCH: Seattle Musicians for Children's Hospital
The charity circuit gets an indie-rock soundtrack as a pitch-perfect lineup including some of Sub Pop’s brightest stars gathers to help raise funds for Seattle Children’s Hospital. Attendees will get the unique treat of pairing their five-star meals with live sets by Phantogram, Built to Spill, and Tacocat, plus support from the Dirty Bomb + School of Rock Issaquah House Band. NICK ZURKO
37. Urban Craft Uprising
"Seattle’s largest indie craft show" boasts a very large number of vendors of toys, kits, clothing, jewelry, food, clothes, crafts, etc., etc., etc.
38. Diskoteka Avariya
Widely considered to be the pioneers of Russian house music, Diskoteka Avariya has since oriented themselves into the mainstream electropop movement. They'll perform tracks from each phase of their discography.
39. The Chris Robinson Brotherhood
Chris Robinson digs krautrock. No, really! I interviewed him last year, and he gushed: “I have been on a two-day record-buying high that is only understandable by people in complete dorkdom, like myself. I walked into a record store in Bloomington, Indiana, and found a Harmonia album on Brain Records, original pressing—only to be even more astonished by finding Ash Ra Tempel’s Join Inn on Ohr Records. Blown away!” The Chris Robinson Brotherhood’s new album, Barefoot in the Head, suggests that he’s applying krautrock repetition and distortion, in moderation, to boogie-choogle, giving us if not an Older America, at least a weirder lens through which to peer at the endless highway. ANDREW HAMLIN
40. Illionaire Ambition US Tour 2017
Esteemed South Korean hiphop crews ILLIONAIRE and AMBITION will make their US debut on this winter tour. The show will include five members: Dok2, the Quiett, Changmo, Keem Hyoeun, and Hash Swan.
41. Pixies, the Orwells
I was [screaming internally] about the upcoming joint Weezer and Pixies 2018 tour the other day, and Larry Mizell Jr. dropped in to call it the “Our Bassists Bounced to Start Better Bands” tour. He’s not wrong. Frank Black (Black Francis, SORRY), regardless of carrying on, never quite creatively recovered after Kim Deal peaced to breed the Breeders, and the Pixies catalog since is plain evidence. I’m no stranger to nostalgia, so I say allow the man his theatricality but be critical of his grievances. There’s no need for future tunes when Come On Pilgrim (and the whole Pixies pre-1991 discography) still exists, so throw on any of their first six releases and forget anything else that was released in this century. KIM SELLING
42. Joe Biden: American Promise Tour
Joe Biden is welcome to bring himself and his new memoir, Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship, and Purpose, to Seattle so long as he promises not to run for president in 2020. He did a great job as #2 despite tremendous personal hardship (if you didn’t have the TV on last year, his son died of a malignant brain tumor, and it was heartbreaking), as he details in the book, but we need new blood at the top of the ticket. That said, Uncle Joe is an honest and moving storyteller, and any advice he gives on keeping your head up through tough times is worth listening to. RICH SMITH
DECEMBER 4FOOD & DRINK
43. 11th Annual Cookbook Social
At this gathering at the Palace Ballroom, you can sip wine, purchase cookbooks, sample recipes inspired by the titles on display, get autographs, and visit with the authors of some of the season’s most vaunted cookbooks in the Pacific Northwest. The roster includes, among others, Bonnie Morales, whose book Kachka: A Return to Russian Cooking shares her “punk rock” approach to grandmotherly Russian cooking; Joshua McFadden, whose book Six Seasons: A New Way with Vegetables guides readers in the best preparations for produce based on the subtleties of the growing seasons; Chris Cosentino, whose book Offal Good imagines cunning and resourceful uses for often overlooked cuts of meat; and James Beard Award–nominated chef Rachel Yang (Joule, Trove, Revel), whose book My Rice Bowl uses classic Korean techniques as a foundation for a host of variations and cuisines. And, of course, host Tom Douglas himself will be there with copies of his four cookbooks on hand.
44. Little Fish Dinner Series
Zoi Antonitsas is a civic treasure. In addition to being an amazing, award-winning chef who has a really good handle on what "Northwest cuisine" actually means, she seems to bring fun times and a festive atmosphere wherever she goes. The first time I met her, at her house in Mount Baker, she opened a ludicrous amount of muscadet and we all threw a dinner party for her dog, replete with those miniature crystal wine glasses and tiny implements. I don't think he ate whatever it was we were trying to get him to eat, but if you go to this pop-up hype tour Zoi and Bryan Jarr are throwing for their upcoming MarketFront restaurant Little Fish, you will eat all the things. Things like smoked herring pâté, mussels in rosé, and even cannabis-leaf custard. That custard is fitting, as the last time I saw her, she pulled out a fancy case full of CO2 cartridges and smoked everyone under the table. TOBIAS COUGHLIN-BOGUE
45. Franz Ferdinand
When Scottish rock band Franz Ferdinand emerged in 2004, their smarts and savvy immediately made them stand out from their cohort of bland, cover-of-NME-type UK rock bands. Years later, the band’s self-titled debut holds up—the songs take relatively risky structural and dynamic twists, Alex Kapranos’s lyrics are wry and self-aware, and it’s anchored by a near-perfect rock song in “Take Me Out.” (One can’t be as complimentary of, say, Kasabian or the Bravery.) Judging by the LCD Soundsystem-lite dance-rock of their latest single, from a fifth album due in February, Franz Ferdinand should still sound vibrant at this tour-opening show. ANDREW GOSPE
46. The Grouch, Del Tha Funky Homosapien, DJ Fresh, DJ Abilities
Prolific indie-hop Oaklander the Grouch is back for another annual installment of his "How The Grouch Stole Christmas" holiday tour. He'll be joined in his seasonal crusade by fellow NorCalien Del Tha Funky Homosapien, as well as DJ Fresh and DJ Abilities.
47. David Litt: Thanks, Obama
David Litt relates the story of his Obama administration career as a speechwriter in the meme-ily titled Thanks, Obama: My Hopey, Changey White House Years. Apparently, you have Litt to thank for the lighthearted, humorous touches in the President's speeches. The publicity materials include a blurb from Judd Apatow: "David Litt has done the impossible: written a smart, insightful, and funny White House memoir you don't have to be a political junkie to love. Even better, he takes us back to a saner, more compassionate time when our president liked to read."
48. Jaron Lanier: Dawn of the New Everything
Jaron Lanier is the guy who wrote You Are Not a Gadget and Who Owns the Future?, and he is an important thinker about what the internet hive mind is doing to us. He worked at Atari back in the day, he works at Microsoft now (specifically, the super-fancy division of artists, philosophers, and experimenters called Microsoft Research), and his new book, Dawn of the New Everything, is about reality—both the regular kind and the virtual kind. He’s also a visual artist and musician. If you haven’t yet been exposed to this guy’s mind, you should go. CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE
49. Deck the Hall Ball: The Killers, the Lumineers, ODESZA, Portugal. The Man, Joywave, J Roddy Walston and the Business, J GRGRY
The Deck the Hall Ball is maybe the only time you’d want to be inside KeyArena for almost 12 hours. Even then, I don’t think it’s exactly desirable, but at least this year it’s a decent lineup, if you’re listening to all the bands’ music from the early 2000s. The Killers and Portugal. The Man are incredible live, even though their recent music has descended lower than mediocrity. The exceptions to this: Joywave’s edgy alt-rock with snarky lyrics combines to make a great live show, and J GRGRY produces emotional electro-pop ballads guaranteed to get you moving. The rest of the bands on the bill aren’t good and don’t matter. ANNA KAPLAN
50. John McLaughlin, Jimmy Herring
I have an ironclad belief: Anyone who played on Miles Davis’s 1972 fusion colossus On the Corner qualifies as a musical deity. Guitarist John McLaughlin, of course, starred on that LP, but he also contributed ferocious virtuosity and serene soulfulness to many other projects of world-historical importance: Tony Williams Lifetime, Shakti, the Love Devotion Surrender collab with Carlos Santana, and Mahavishnu Orchestra, the subject of this Meeting of the Spirits Tour. With Widespread Panic axman Jimmy Herring, McLaughlin will summon the combustible majesty and serpentine complexity of Mahavishnu classics like Inner Mounting Flame, Birds of Fire, Between Nothingness and Eternity, and Visions of the Emerald Beyond. For jazz-fusion heads, Kwanzaa comes early. DAVE SEGAL
51. Anca Szilágyi: Daughters of the Air Book Launch
Seattle novelist Anca L. Szilágyi's debut novel, Daughters of the Air, is about a young girl named Tatiana “Pluta” Spektor who's cast off to 1980s Brooklyn by her cold but grieving mother following the "disappearance" of her father at the hands of an oppressive Argentine regime. Judging from the press release (and the title), it seems like there might be some human wing-flappin' going on in this fabulist, political coming-of-age story. RICH SMITH
52. Say Anything, Dan Andriano + Mike Park, Backwards Dancer
When Say Anything broke onto the scene in earnest in 2004 with …Is a Real Boy, they might have fooled those poseurs at AbsolutePunk.com, but they didn’t fool me. Say Anything weren’t as raw as Taking Back Sunday, not as clever as Brand New. When it comes to overly affecting a SoCal drawl when singing the word “you,” I’ll take Adam Lazzara on his worst day or Tom DeLonge in his sleep. And when it comes to the gratuitous use of ‘dear,’ I’ll curl up with Dashboard Confessional’s Chris Carrabba. And lead singer Max Bemis’s struggle with Judaism and his self-touted ambition re: writing pop-punk songs about Holocaust narratives? I dig the sentiment, but… hard pass. And that’s coming from another member of the tribe, Bemis. Concerning 2007’s In Defense of the Genre: To lightly riff on a line from poet David Berman, emo died when the first kid said, “Emo’s not dead.” The new album is screamier, grittier, and trying too hard to be hard. So what if Kanye said he liked it. That guy’ll say anything. RICH SMITH
53. Elf the Musical
An oversized elf navigates human life in the USA in this musical show based on the 2003 film (in which Will Ferrell romps around in an adorable elf costume, winning over everyone he meets with his naiveté). Tony Award nominees and winners have lent their talents, with songs by Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin and a book by Thomas Meehan and Bob Martin.
DECEMBER 6FOOD & DRINK
54. Erin James: Tasting Cider
Erin James, Seattle native and the editor-in-chief of CIDERCRAFT® and Sip Northwest magazines, comes to Capitol Cider to celebrate her newly released book Tasting Cider: The CIDERCRAFT Guide to the Distinctive Flavors of North American Cider. Cider flights inspired by the book as well as a featured cocktail and pairing recommendations will be available, and there'll be a discount on the book and a four-bottle cider package for sale. She'll also give a talk at the Book Larder on December 7.
55. Planes, Trains, and Traveling Chefs: Chris Cosentino
Italian-American celebrity chef Chris Cosentino, who's appeared on shows like The Next Iron Chef and Iron Chef America and won season four of Top Chef Masters, and who most recently authored Offal Good: Cooking from the Heart, with Guts, is known for his resourceful and inventive "nose-to-tail" approach to whole animal cookery. Tonight, he teams up with Matt's in the Market executive chef Jason McClure for a six-course dinner menu, part of the "Planes, Trains, and Traveling Chefs" dinner series.
56. GeekWire Gala
At this tech community party, the Newsmakers of the Year will be named and the Seattle 10, a short list of "promising startup companies," will show their ideas on giant cocktail napkins.
Legendary underground rock band Aquarium formed in Russia when it was still the seat of the Soviet Union, creating a tight-knit music community out of a deeply illegal cultural practice. They'll perform some of their classics from the early '70s.
58. The Irreplaceables Tour
The young dancers of the Irreplaceables were seen on the Lifetime TV show Dance Moms, and now they're here in the flesh with jazz, hiphop, and contemporary numbers.
59. Sam Harris and the 'Waking Up' Podcast
“More than half of our neighbors believe that the entire cosmos was created six thousand years ago, about a thousand years after the Sumerians invented glue,” Sam Harris writes in his concise and satisfying book Letter to a Christian Nation, a takedown of American wing nuts. He adds, “Anyone who cares about the fate of civilization would do well to recognize that the combination of great power and great stupidity is simply terrifying.” He wrote that in 2006, mind you. It couldn’t be more urgent now. Harris also hosts the Waking Up podcast. This event is a live recording. CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE
60. A Conversation with Tom Hanks
The perennially likable star just came out with his first book, entitled Uncommon Type: Some Stories, composed of 17 works of short fiction. Apparently he just wrote them on the side while filming movies, because some people never need to sleep.
61. Word Works: Jess Walter
National Book Award finalist, Washington State Book Award winner, and co-podcaster with Sherman Alexie Jess Walter will give a talk called "On the Clock, Time, and the Fiction Writer," delving into the sense of time in fiction—and for the writer.
62. TK Lofts 13th Annual Open House
If Santa and sleigh bells are too ho-hum for your winter celebrations, try this art party with butoh dance by members of DAIPAN, Suzanne Morlock's sculpture exhibition, Rosemary Dai Ross's holiday art, Lynn Schirmer's "Secret Language" installation, DeGennaro/Riutta family works, and open studios, plus a masquerade where you can make your own mask and a potluck for all.
63. Together We Rise: Seattle Human Rights Day Celebration
On Human Rights Day, honor nonprofits and meet the people who make our lives better. Guests will include former mayoral candidate Nikkita Oliver, attorney general of the Navajo nation Ethel Branch, and Jorge Baron of the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project.
64. The Missing Picture with Rithy Panh
Rithy Panh’s The Missing Picture, a 2014 Oscar nominee and Cannes Un Certain Regard winner, recreates a Cambodian childhood after the Khmer Rouge regime has wiped out all records of the era other than propaganda. Clay figurines and elaborate dioramas stand in for the truth behind the archival footage. The Henry will host a Q&A with the director after the screening.
Chef Eric Rivera of addo, whose resume includes Huxley Wallace and Alinea, is the mastermind behind pop-ups like Richard's Burger (an upscale take on the classic Dick's Drive-In experience) and Lechonera (an ode to Puerto Rican stalls selling pork). For this pop-up, he teams up with Chef Shota Nakajima, owner of Adana and an Iron Chef Gauntlet alum, for a 12-course menu featuring both chefs' unique interpretations of Northwest ingredients.
66. Family Dinner: Italian Seafood Feast
Gather around a long communal table and join the Pantry for their monthly family-style dinner party, made with what's fresh at the farmers market that week and accompanied by local wines. This month's menu is a sumptuous Northwest seafood feast that begins with delightful starters, such as potato chips with whipped salted cod and gremolata, and ends on a sweet note with ricotta cannoli and lace cookies.
67. Ivar's Northwest Winter Beer Tasting
At the seventh annual edition of Ivar's winter beer tasting, you can sample local brews from breweries like Georgetown, Maritime, Silver City, Diamond Knot, Pike, Reuben's, Stoup, and more. Plus, Chef Chris Garr will provide select food pairings.
68. Cindy Wilson, Sarah Jaffe, the Gods Themselves
For a reason I no longer remember, my sixth-grade teacher, Mrs. Gonzales, played my class her favorite song of all time one sunny afternoon. It turned out to be the B-52s’ “Rock Lobster.” I think every member of my 30-person class thought it was the dumbest, weirdest thing we’d ever heard. Now that I’m no longer a child, when I listen to this song, I hear “Monster Mash,” dolphin synergy, alien transmissions, queer triumph, party jams, and the freak zone tap dance of a generation very removed from mine, but one that will forever influence rock and pop in who knows how many unseen ways. Principal B-52 Cindy Wilson will play a solo show studded by many of the classic gems that rest on her 1980s grotto rock crown. Go pay your respects to a crustacean legend who will, I hope, keep breaking the brains of 11-year-olds for many more years to come. KIM SELLING
69. Jhené Aiko, Willow Smith, Kodie Shane, Kitty Cash
Generally known for her smooth electro-pop-R&B tracks, Jhené Aiko has hit hard this year with her latest release, Trip, a concept album that works through the highs of hallucinogenic drugs to explore feelings of loss, grief, and acceptance. She'll be joined by Willow Smith, Kodie Shane, and Kitty Cash.
70. Metz, Moaning
By their third album, even the noisiest of bands tend to rein things in a bit, but not Toronto trio Metz. Blunt-force song titles like "Headache" and "Rats" make their intentions clear. With engineering assistance from Steve Albini, the new Strange Peace bludgeons every bit as hard as their 2012 self-titled debut (Sub Pop has released all three records). If you're looking for catharsis, singer-guitarist Alex Edkins, bassist Chris Slorach, and drummer Hayden Menzies have got you covered (and Albini really accentuates the muscle in Menzies's attack). Better yet, they bring all that intensity—and more—to the stage. KATHY FENNESSY
71. Valerie June, Gill Landry
Memphis multi-instrumentalist/singer-songwriter Valerie June has a voice that’s tenderly sweet and bright like liquid gold yet somehow imbued with a wise, old-soul quality. She had her national “coming out” with 2013’s Pushin’ Against a Stone, partially produced by Black Keys heavyweight Dan Auerbach; it landed on several year-end best-of lists, including that of Rolling Stone and American Songwriter. Its follow-up, The Order of Time—which dropped earlier this year—is just as warm, effortless, and ethereal as you’d expect, and the mountain-hewn soul and rural-blues elements are still intact, though it’s definitely heavier on the classic country, bluegrass, and gospel-soaked folk influences. Additional cred: The hard-to-please Bob Dylan has given Valerie June his seal of approval. LEILANI POLK
72. Welcome to Night Vale
Something is just not quite right in the town of Night Vale. For one, there’s the mysterious lights circling above every night, and of course there are the hooded figures at the dog park. If you’re part of the "cult" that religiously follows the podcast Welcome to Night Vale, you’ll know that’s just the tip of the iceberg in this seemingly “friendly desert community.” But even if you aren’t, go to the show, set up like an old-timey live radio play, and experience host Cecil Palmer’s voice, which will simultaneously soothe your nerves and give you the shivers. AMBER CORTES
73. Dan Rather: What Unites Us
In the midst of post-Trump anxiety, Dan Rather's rational, morally solid musings on social media have become a source of much-needed sanity. Rather, one of the most celebrated TV journalists ever (he covered the news on CBS over several decades, including the 1968 Democratic convention, the Kennedy assassination, Watergate, and 9/11) will present his new book What Unites Us, about quintessential American institutions that really do make us great.
74. Neil Patrick Harris: The Magic Misfits
It has come to my attention that Neil Patrick Harris is not my husband. I’m not sure how this could have come about, but the evidence is irrefutable. Another recent discovery: He is the author of a new children’s book. The star of stage and screen, who is also a father in his own right, comes to Seattle to read from The Magic Misfits, about illusionists, carnies, adventure, and friendship. CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE
75. Bill Bellamy
Bill Bellamy (The Bounce Back, Def Comedy Jam), supposedly the coiner of the term "booty call," will swing round to Seattle with some delicious new collocations. See the man about whom Charles Mudede once wrote: "Just look at the fine brother. That skin, those eyes, those lips—to use the words of Dr. Dre: 'Make a ho's panty wet.'"
76. Kate Wallich + the YC: Dream Dances
You deserve a nice relaxing night out. In Dream Dances, Dance Church deacon Kate Wallich and her YCs are going to give you just that. The promotional copy contains some information about the inspirations of spatial geometry and "heightened reality." But when I watch the preview videos, all I see are dancers moving very slowly, very calmly, as if they're swimming in really delightful jelly. Toss a minimalistic, rhythmic, loopy score by Johnny Goss and Andrew J.S. on top of that, add a pot lozenge, and you got yourself the best Friday you've had in a while. RICH SMITH
77. The View from Santa's Lap
Sick of Nutcrackers and Dickensian ghosts? Try out this murder-filled thriller about a girl on the run hiding in a department store where a killer awaits. Scot Rigsby Auguston's play promises "Food! Music!" and "Mermaids!", plus Auguston's famous puppets, and apparently "you can bring your mom this year."
78. Land of the Sweets: The Burlesque Nutcracker
The 12th annual Land of the Sweets: The Burlesque Nutcracker is a lascivious holiday show experience with sugar plum fairies, exciting, clothes-dropping times, and who knows, maybe some "woody" jokes.
79. International Wood Engraving Invitational
See wood engraving from around the world by, among others, contemporary Japanese artist Atsushi Matsuoka, 20th-century German American artist Fritz Eichenberg, and English American modern artist Clare Leighton.
80. Tech Support
How can Seattle artists appeal to the affluent newcomers in the tech sector? This is a question I see a lot of artists and gallerists posing lately, and it seems to be an anxiety underlying Tech Support, a group exhibition curated by Colleen RJC Bratton aimed at bridging the gap between Seattle's art and tech scenes. Formatted like a quasi-store that sells tech-based art objects, Tech Support features an outstanding roster of artists including Dakota Gearhart, Jason Hirata, Sol Hashimi, Francisco Guerrero, and Ellen Jing Xu. A community discussion facilitated by Bratton and Minh Nguyen on December 9 will explore how art and tech communities can better support each other. EMILY POTHAST
81. Homo for the Holidays
This annual drag and burlesque gigglefest features a bunch of wacky little holiday-themed skits that our own Dan Savage once called "FUCKING GREAT… FUCKING HILARIOUS!" DeLouRue, aka Kitten 'n Lou and BenDeLaCreme, bring you a special with Cherdonna, Waxie Moon, and other superqueer stars.
DECEMBER 8FOOD & DRINK
82. Seattle Brewing: Craft, Culture, and History
If you've ever wondered about the history behind Seattle's brewing culture, this is your chance. The American Brewing History Initiative of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History will lead a discussion about how the unique confluence of community, geography, and agriculture has shaped the Emerald City’s unique beer scene and how current brewers are carrying on the legacy of the past. The multi-generational panel of guest speakers includes Dick Cantwell, brewer and co-founder of Elysian Brewing Co.; Charles and Rose Ann Finkel, founders of Pike Brewing Co.; Annie Johnson, Master Brewer-in-Residence at PicoBrew; and a representative from Skagit Valley Malting.
83. Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton
Having recently released Choir of the Mind on Last Gang Records, Metric front-woman Emily Haines is back to promote her first Soft Skeleton solo project album in over a decade.
84. Grizzly Bear, serpentwithfeet
There’s a small irony in the fact that Grizzly Bear have made their most cohesive album now that members of the originally all-New York band are split between coasts, but the truth is that sometimes art—and the artist—needs space to breathe. Released in August, Painted Ruins, Grizzly Bear’s first album since 2012’s Shields, balances their progressive folk harmonies and striking indie-rock melodies as well as the best moments from Veckatimest, and have traded most of their cerebral wandering for songs that rarely, if ever, lose momentum. TODD HAMM
85. Julien Baker, Half Waif, Adam Torres
22-year-old Memphis native Julien Baker discusses any and all things melancholy in her music, including substance abuse, questioning God, not being good enough... the list goes on. She pairs this with minimal piano or guitar chords that hit the sweet spot to get a tear rolling down your cheek. All sadness aside, Baker’s tracks are raw, mature, and breathtakingly beautiful—it’s almost as if she opens her diary to be read aloud. Baker’s music is refreshing in a time when many songwriters are recycling the same themes and concepts. ANNA KAPLAN
86. The Brutalesque Holiday Onslaught
Holiday variety performance will get tough and loud at this heavy metal burlesque extravaganza.
87. Khizr Khan: An American Family
Most of us know Gold Star father Khizr Khan for the elegance and poignancy of his speech at the Democratic National Convention in 2016, for batting down Trump’s insults following that speech, and for righteously defending immigrants in general and Muslims in particular while the president tries again and again to keep them out of the country. Now Khan is out with a memoir, An American Family, which shows us the path Khan took from Pakistan to the stage at the DNC. In the book, he describes the sacrifices he made in order to pursue the American dream back when those words still meant something. He contends that the dream is still very much alive, and that his story—from his immigration to his struggles at Harvard Law to the pain of the loss Humayun, his middle son—serves as living proof. RICH SMITH
DECEMBER 8-9READINGS & TALKS
88. Tara Hardy: Why Should Just the Pretty Survive?
Tara Hardy will revive her meditation on her own illness and mortality, the Washington State Book Award-winning My, My, My, My, My, for the stage as a one-woman show called Why Should Just the Pretty Survive? But she won't be lonely up there: Each night, she'll be joined by prominent local artists, including Elissa Ball, Ebo Barton, Jourdan Imani Keith, Nikki Agee, billie rain, and Tobi Hill Meyer.
DECEMBER 8-10GEEK & GAMING
89. Anglicon 2017: The Day of the Doctors
Fans of tacky monsters, sinister alien conspiracies, and impish Timelords, join other Whovians and TARDIS appreciators for this convention that will feature celebrity guests, panels, a cosplay contest, trivia olympics, a masquerade ball, exhibits of props and costumes, and special guests: Peter Davison, the Fifth Doctor, and Sylvester McCoy, the Seventh Doctor.
90. HUG: A henry solo show and book release party
Some artists aim for shock, estrangement, perturbation, alienation. Some just want you to feel loved. One of the latter is Ryan Henry Ward. You know him as Henry, and he's the muralist who has covered the walls of your city in walruses and ostriches and fish and wizards and Sasquatches. You've seen his doofily-expressioned, elastic-limbed creatures on the sides of schools, taverns, pot shops, coffee shops, bars, and private residences. No matter how familiar they become, their whimsicality is funnier and sweeter than it is cloying, and the rich yet muted colors blend in with the city's natural hues. Henry's solo show and launch of the book Mystic Thug Hug promises more of this affectionate Northwest fancy. Who doesn't want to see a beatific sloth cradling a baby or an owl hugging a human or, in fact, a human hugging a human?
91. Very Open House
See the work of more than 125 artists and artisans in four buildings as mammoth Georgetown arts collective Equinox celebrates its 11th birthday. The studios also promise "guest artists, music, poetry, dance, demos, food trucks, and a whole lot more!" Stay after 10 p.m. for a night of revelry and fire.
92. Live Wire with Luke Burbank
Luke Burbank's Live Wire is an NPR-type variety program based in Portland, Oregon, featuring artists, writers, filmmakers, and musicians in conversation. At this live recording, Burbank will moderate a panel with Seattle civic poet Anastacia-Reneé, Buzzfeed commerce editor Emmy Favilla, and singer-songwriter Laura Gibson.
93. Write-O-Rama: Winter 2017
Get the maximum amount of instruction from Hugo House's excellent prose writers and poets at this annual event featuring six hours of hourlong mini-workshops and talks.
94. Punk Rock Flea Market
If shopping at the mall gives you hives, but you still need to buy something for someone, why not buy a locally procured good while drinking whiskey and listening to locally selected music? Since 2006, the biannual Punk Rock Flea Market has provided an opportunity to do just that, and today’s iteration promises to be bigger and better than ever. This year's event will be at a bowling alley, because of "the joys of knocking down small objects with a large object"—and because the venue is "big, it's family friendly, they got GREAT shoes, it's slowly succumbing to glorious decay, and it feels like home."
This convention of podnerds will spend two days producing livecasts, performances, panels, and more. A sampling of the guests: Dylan Marron (Welcome to Night Vale), Phoebe Judge & Lauren Spohrer (Criminal), Aaron Mahnke (Lore), and Rod & Karen Morrow (The Black Guy Who Tips).
96. Gala Bent and Justin Gibbens
Gala Bent's paintings and objects combine organic shapes, cell-like structures, geometric planes, and gradients of earth colors. The Michigan-born artist's new show, Particle Playlist, should continue her dual fascination with biological sculptural detail and abstract geometry. Alongside her show, Justin Gibbens's Sea Change depicts figural, macroscopic fauna: His whales and dolphins seem realistic at first glance, but human iconography, symbol, and expression intrude upon their bodies. A sperm whale sports a cartoon of an angry fanged face on its snout; an orca flops on its back as if it's playing dead. Both float in a white, contextless void like illustrations in a science textbook. Gibbens, with sad wit, reveals marine mammals as we humans are transforming them.
97. Jaime Hernandez and Charles Burns
If you have the slightest interest in the art of graphic novels, this is a big deal. Charles Burns, author of the haunting Black Hole, Big Baby, and Last Look, among others, is famed for his stark chiaroscuro style. His characters are either dramatically modeled or frighteningly simplistic, like masks clamped over real faces. His stories unfold in a sort of crepuscular adolescent realm, where bodies can change nightmarishly or give birth to new monsters. Jaime Hernandez is the cocreator of Love and Rockets, which he wrote and illustrated with his brothers Gilbert and Mario. Back in the 1980s, the Hernandez brothers wrote about queer Chicano characters when people of these demographics were rarely represented in comics. Jaime's stories focused on the dramas playing out among a group of punk friends in Los Angeles. Hopey, Maggie, and company have developed and aged in Hernandez's individuated, naturalistic ink. This exhibition at Fantagraphics, which is Love and Rockets' exclusive publisher and has issued many of Burns's works, will show original art by these two groundbreaking artists.
98. Tractor Tavern's Handmade Arcade
Enjoy live music (Taylar Elizza Beth, Gabriel Mintz, Bill Patton, Faith Grossnicklaus on December 10; Little Spirits, Country Dave Harmonson, Buffalo Moses, and Faith Grossnicklaus on December 17) and drinks while you shop for holiday gifts to bestow upon yourself and all your special friends.
99. 2017 SoDo Holiday Tasting
Taste special holiday wines (wines out of barrel, library wines, or other remarkable, exclusive pours) from six premium wineries, including Latta Wines, Kerloo Cellars, Nine Hats Wines, Rotie Cellars, Structure Cellars, and Waters Winery. All the wineries will serve food pairings, and Santa and Victorian-style carolers in full Dickensian dress will provide the ambience.
100. Jingle Bell Run
Raise money for arthritis research by running in your best holiday duds.
DECEMBER 11FOOD & DRINK
101. Feast of the Seven Fishes
The Feast of the Seven Fishes is a traditional Italian American supper featuring seven kinds of fish or seafood, usually served before midnight mass on Christmas Eve. This lavish spread from Delancey promises the freshest catches the Ballard pizzeria can procure, with albacore crudo, handmade Il Corvo pasta with lobster, Dungeness crab, Penn Cove mussels, anchovies, roasted oysters snatched from Delancey’s roaring wood-fired oven, and a steady flow of wine throughout. They’ll finish with some delightful-sounding butterscotch pots de creme for dessert.
102. Hillary Rodham Clinton
This reading is already sold out because of course it is, but in case any of the current ticket-holders suddenly come down with "pneumonia," you should know that the former Secretary of State / the first woman to win a major party nomination for the presidency is coming to town to tell you her side of the story, the one about the campaign we all watched with increasing dread (and misplaced confidence) during the Year of Our Dark Lord Satan 2016. She wrote it all down in What Happened, which, like Clinton herself, has drawn everything from blazing critiques to glowing paeans to dead-eyed shrugs. If you can slip through the doors of the Paramount this evening, you'll get to judge for yourself. RICH SMITH
103. Sebastian Bach
Solo artist and Skid Row lead singer Sebastian Bach, who has toured with artists including Bon Jovi and Guns N' Roses and appeared on TV shows including Gilmore Girls, shares "lurid tales of excess and debauchery" in his new memoir, 18 and Life on Skid Row. He'll sign books at this event.
104. Bianca Del Rio in Peaches Christ's 'Sheetlejuice'
Demented drag legend Peaches Christ, the "Queen of Mean," wreaks havoc as a denizen of the afterlife in this new drag parody of the Tim Burton cult classic.
105. Sam Wasson with Andrew McMasters: Improv Nation
Sam Wasson's new book Improv Nation: How We Made A Great American Art reveals the story of how experimental theater in 1950s Chicago led to the birth of a new type of comedy, and of how the new form influenced movie and TV acting. Hear him set forth the case for improv as America's great theater innovation.
106. John Mulaney
John Mulaney looks too clean-cut and handsome to be funny—he comes across as a goy Jerry Seinfeld, but younger. Yet, with his well-modulated thespian voice, dapper threads, and perfect smile, he unspools extended, witty narratives about pop culture (look on YouTube for his dissection of the deep strangeness of Back to the Future), real estate, being an altar boy, among other things. Mulaney honed his craft on Saturday Night Live, where he impressed as a “Weekend Update” correspondent, and he sometimes waxes political, because it’s one of the richest seams of humor. As Mulaney accurately observed, “Donald Trump is what a hobo imagines a rich man to be.” DAVE SEGAL
107. 2017 Hometown Holiday
Get deep into the rural side of the Seattle metro area with this country music holiday showdown, featuring live sets from big names like Dustin Lynch, Big & Rich, Chris Janson, Michael Ray, and Midland.
108. Jay-Z, Vic Mensa
Jay Z’s a business, a brand, and all that, and I’ve long respected his business moves, but forget ye not that this shit is art, not stocks or sports—and his art has damn near been George W. Bush fingerpaints for close over a decade. Jay Z the MC more than regained my respect, though, with the anti-commercial, pro-Black 4:44, his most honest-feeling work possibly ever. (Thank god for the limitless magic of the game-changing Knowles girls, the hardest steel his aesthetic blade has yet to sharpen itself against to date.) Beyond his sublime return to form as a lyricist, his oft-questionable taste is fairly unimpeachable here, possessing a subtlety he hasn’t had since his debut. LARRY MIZELL JR.
109. SAM Lights
Fight darkness and gloom in SAM's garden of luminarias and other installations while you make your own art, drink something hot, and listen to live performances.
110. Star Wars: The Last Jedi
And now it is a fact of American life that we must return to the theaters to watch, during holiday season, a story from a galaxy that’s faraway in a time long ago. This time, Luke Skywalker fully returns to the screen. He has aged a lot. But this makes sense. Because though Skywalker is in another galaxy, he is in the same universe. This means that the second law of thermodynamics apply to him as they apply to say, Donald Trump. Skywalker must age because everything in the universe is structured to move from a high or concentrated grade of energy to a low and disperse one. The heat-death of the universe is inevitable even in Star Wars. CHARLES MUDEDE
Three jazz students in Toronto bonded over their affinity for contemporary hiphop and tried their hand at reinterpreting the music of artists like A Tribe Called Quest and Odd Future. So began BADBADNOTGOOD, and while the backstory provides an interesting angle to their original instrumental grooves, the context is unnecessary for appreciating the deft beats and smooth arrangements that grew out of those early experiments. Anyone who pines for steady, muscular patterns in jazz, some actual soul in post-rock, or organic, hiphop-inspired instrumentation would be well served to pick up a ticket. BRIAN COOK
112. Gender Justice Awards
Since last year, life has not gotten easier for trans, nonbinary, intersex, and queer people. Join in solidarity at the Gender Justice Awards, where winning categories may include Celebration, Emergence, Mobilization, Media Justice (which Stranger journalist Sydney Brownstone won in 2016), Youth Justice, Creator, and more, depending on the submissions.
113. Annie Leibovitz
The renowned photographer—she's captured such iconic images as naked John Lennon, Bruce Springsteen's bum, and pregnant Serena Williams—will speak about her life's work. Pick up a copy of the new collection Annie Leibovitz: Portraits 2005-2016 at this Town Hall event.
The Spectrum Dance Company and Spectrum school students dance the tale of Iolanta, a princess who has been carefully guarded from awareness of her own blindness, in a production choreographed by Tony- and Bessie-winning Donald Byrd.
115. Somebody Get Me A Chainsaw
Perhaps you've been fortunate enough to have been caught in the big gay whirlwind that is Mom Finley: a towering matriarch composed entirely of arched eyebrows and bons mots, she's as indelible a part of the Seattle landscape as one of those towering construction cranes, only with better angles. Her new show promises storytelling, songs, and maybe a little piano, which is all we could possibly hope for in a night of theater. Listening to Mom's stories is like riding a series of roller coasters, and at times you'll find them too outrageous to possibly be true—and yet also too good to possibly disbelieve. MATT BAUME
116. Hari Kondabolu
If you like your political/cultural humor astute, subtle, and punching from the left, Hari Kondabolu is your man. The former Seattle comic’s career has been ascending over the last five or so years, with writing gigs for Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell, appearances on late-night TV shows (John Oliver, Jimmy Kimmel, David Letterman, etc.), and acclaimed albums on stalwart indie-rock label Kill Rock Stars. From his Waiting for 2042 LP: “Saying I’m obsessed with racism in America is like saying I’m obsessed with swimming when I’m drowning.” These shows will be filmed for a comedy special release. DAVE SEGAL
117. Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox
In a reimagining of contemporary pop hits in the styles of jazz, ragtime, and swing classics of the '20s though the '50s, Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox busts genres with a rotating collective of musicians and vocalists who attempt to cross all musical boundaries and generations.
118. E.J. Koh, Mita Mahato, Montreux Rotholtz, and Jane Wong
"All the new thinking is about loss. / In this it resembles all the old thinking," says Robert Hass in his beloved poem "Meditation at Lagunitas." This group of local literary poets will present much of this new thinking, but in their own dramatically different styles. Jane Wong, who will descend on Seattle from her newly appointed ivory tower at Western Washington University, swims in the blood and the guts of loss in her recent collection, Overpour. Mita Mahato cuts it out of paper to create gorgeous, palpable poetry comics for In Between, which was published last month. Loss haunts Montreux Rotholtz's debut book, Unmark, and it's E.J. Koh's constant companion in her lauded new collection, A Lesser Love. Expect a lot of quiet intensity and powerful imagery. RICH SMITH
119. Seattle CityClub Year in Review
Prepare for another hair-raising—and maybe hopeful?—year with experts like Jorge Barón of the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, WA State Senator Joe Fain, journalist Blaine Harden of the New York Times and PBS, and President of Seattle Central College Sheila Edwards Lange.
120. Art Under $100
Find affordable gifts from over 100 "crackerjack artists" offering paintings, glass, fabric art, ceramics, jewelry, and more priced under one Benjamin.
121. Lily Tomlin
If you've only seen her in Grace & Frankie or Grandma, grab your chance to witness six-time Emmy and two-time Tony winner Lily Tomlin continue her multi-decade streak of being really, really funny.
122. The Chanukah Party
Enjoy a Feast of Lights celebration with Portland's Night Shade Dynasty puppetry show, comedy by Brett Hamil (past Stranger contributor, current Shadow Council presider), and music by Adra Boo and Hotels, plus a dance party DJed by Silk Safari to end the night.
Oh boy, SantaCon. Dress up as you know who and drink some you know what. (If you don't know: Santa; beer.) And be civil to anyone who isn't SantaConning this year.
124. Lindsey Stirling
Classical violinist Lindsey Stirling, 31, is trying to cross over to the pop and EDM worlds. It’s a bit of an awkward fit, fusing virtuosic strings redolent of 19th-century Europe with the distorted bass drops and massive, splashy beats of this decade’s brostep. But one must give credit to Stirling for attempting such an unlikely commingling of musical elements. Against the odds, her bold stab at making stuffy classical music shake its ass has garnered Stirling a large following. This show is part of her Warmer in Winter Christmas Tour. DAVE SEGAL
125. Anastacia-Reneé, Jane Wong, and Leena Joshi: Tender Table
Three excellent, prize-winning local poets of color—Jane Wong, Anastacia-Reneé, and Leena Joshi, who's also a visual artist—will read work about food and identity.
126. Renegade Craft Fair
Renegade Craft Fair ("the largest independent craft fair in the world") will return to Magnuson Park, bringing along more than 200 makers selling their wares, DIY workshops, food and drinks, and other special events.
DECEMBER 17FOOD & DRINK
127. Feast of the Seven Fishes with Musang
The Feast of the Seven Fishes (also known as the "Vigil") is a fish- and seafood-filled Italian American celebration of Christmas Eve. Join Musang (Bar del Corso chef Melissa Miranda's new pop-up) for a special holiday dinner featuring a menu of seven Filipino-style fish and seafood dishes, plus desserts.
128. Dwight Yoakam
With a career every bit as unusual as his name, Dwight Yoakam remains a standout country singer-songwriter 30 years into his career. Originally an Ohioan, Yoakam played honky-tonk music in the 1980s when Nashville didn’t want anything to do with the style. After moving to Los Angeles, Yoakam honed his craft alongside the city’s bustling punk-rock and garage-revival scenes. His debut album, Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc., Etc., remains pretty much perfect from front to back, both as a stand-alone music experience and as an intro to Yoakam’s wry, deadpan sense of humor. That same personality, and penchant for great titles, is still alive and kicking on his latest, Swimmin’ Pools, Movie Stars. JOSEPH SCHAFER
129. Industrial Revelation Plays Bjork
As 2014 recipients of a Stranger Genius Award, the polymathic jazzers of Industrial Revelation are no stranger to Seattle nor strokes of genius. Like Björk, they need no introduction, but the two votaries haven’t quite been introduced in this way. Equitably, their cover set of Björk’s 1997 Homogenic is the local icons’ way of giving an unshadowed salute to the female Goliath, avant-pop icon for whom they all share a deep appreciation in an age of so many man-made classics hogging the limelight. It’s beautifully an art-inspires-art, experimentation-inspires-experimentation kind of tribute. The more aesthetes the merrier. ZACH FRIMMEL
130. Feast of the Winter Solstice
Join the Fremont Arts Council on the longest night of the year to celebrate the season with shared dishes, colorful costumes (the suggestions span from "dance floor royalty" to "high animal spirits," so don't be shy), art, and live music.
131. Betty & Cookie's Not-So-Silent Night
Two of the most beloved, classiest queens in town, Betty Wetter and Cookie Couture, will embody the holiday spirit with a special show about "chosen family" and booze. There to round out the cast: Butylene O'Kipple (Dec 21), Old Witch (Dec 22), and Americano (Dec 23). Steven Palin will supply the music.
132. KEXP 2017 Yule Benefit
Lean into the season with this fundraising benefit show helmed by beloved cosmic hiphop duo Shabazz Palaces, soul-funk explosion the True Loves, and budding alt-R&B singer Falon Sierra.
133. A Hiphop Holiday Special with Sir Mix-A-Lot and Guests
Sir Mix-A-Lot did not rap like Ice Cube or Chuck D, nor was he swept up by the Das EFX fast-rap "-iggedy" craze of that moment. Sir Mix-A-Lot rapped only like Sir Mix-A-Lot. Sir Mix-A-Lot's hiphop was like a weird plant (purple leaves, red stem) growing under the blended and bending light of two distant suns. But most importantly, Sir Mix-A-Lot wasn't so fucking serious. "Baby Got Back," which opens with a conversation between two white girls disgusted by a black woman's huge butt, returned laughter to the hiphop charts and the dance floor. The record felt like a window being opened in a stuffy room. Finally, someone wasn't rapping about being shot, or shooting a nigga, or returning to Africa, or being proud about the color of their skin. "This," Riz Rollins explained to me, "was Seattle's big gift to black America. People remembered it was good to have fun now and then. And it could only happen in Seattle because we were so isolated. We were free to do whatever we wanted." "Baby Got Back" spent five weeks at the top of the Billboard chart. CHARLES MUDEDE
Macklemore will pass through his home town for two nights on tour for his new album, Gemini. The opening artists for the December 22 show will be Sol, Travis Thompson, and XPERIENCE, and the opening artists for the December 23 show will be Dave B and Otieno Terry.
135. Cirque Dreams Holidaze
This lavish circus performance is chock full of holiday icons like gingerbread men, snowmen, angels, Santa, ornaments, and others—all performing acrobatic feats in 300 costumes and 20 acts.
136. Extreme Nature: Two Landscape Paintings from the Age of Enlightenment Opening
Discover two new paintings in the museum's collection, newly found, including the dramatic French seascape Shipwreck off the Coast of Alaska (1806) by Louis-Philippe Crépin—the first of the Parisian's works to be exhibited in a US museum. The other landscape on view will be Eruption of Mount Vesuvius with the Ponte della Maddalena in the Distance from around 1770 by Pierre-Jacques Volaire.
137. Anchovies & Olives Feast of the Seven Fishes
Feast like an Italian with Chef Kyl Haselbauer's take on the "Festa dei Sette Pesci" (Feast of the Seven Fishes) Christmas Eve tradition, with a family-style four-course meal including oysters, crudo, octopus, clams, anchovies (of course!), Dungeness crab, and branzino, plus a huckleberry panna cotta for dessert.
DECEMBER 24FOOD & DRINK
138. Sicilian Feast of Fishes Dinner
James Beard award-winning chef Maria Hines and Executive Chef Abby Canfield offer their take on the traditional Sicilian Feast of the Seven Fishes, with options for a five-course or seven-course meal.
139. The Brian Setzer Orchestra’s 14th Annual Christmas Rocks! Tour
Reasonable expectations: There shall be rock! There shall be roll with the rock! There shall be rock with the roll! There shall be swing! There shall be sing with the swing! Folks will be swing dancing in the aisles! Possibly even in the lobby! There shall be a horn section! There shall be jumping, and jiving, to boot! The set shall consist of mostly but not entirely Christmas songs! Brian Setzer will announce the release of some new Christmas album! He already has three! ANDREW HAMLIN
140. Sara Gazarek: Home for the Holidays
Last time I caught Sara Gazarek here in town, at the Triple Door, I thought I knew what she was about: warm, elegant jazz vocals caught up in ever-novel and stimulating arrangements. Boy was I wrong! She was all about warm, elegant jazz vocals caught up in ever-novel and stimulating arrangements, but she sang high, she sang low, she sang heartbreak, she held notes for mystifying lifetimes. She dropped beats, added intros, swirled songs into medleys, blew notes out like candles, and let them die away like sustain-pedaled tones from Josh Nelson’s piano. Her latest album with Nelson, Dream in the Blue, was 2016’s best album. Gazarek is already the best, and she just keeps getting better. ANDREW HAMLIN
X were contemporaries of SoCal punk bands like the Germs and Black Flag, but X’s relevance and influence can still be heard draped across the sounds of the rock underground. I reckon you could say, even as their music is deeply rooted in, well, roots rock, at this point they MIGHT be considered roots rock themselves. And don’t forget they were/are universally loved by the nerdy college kids, punks, AND the goths. I bet it’s safe to say 1970s Exene is prolly still an archetype. MIKE NIPPER
142. Forms: Tokimonsta
Following Flying Lotus, Tokimonsta is arguably the second-biggest name to come out of the Los Angeles beat scene, due to her acute ability to straddle underground and mainstream sounds. She is the first woman to sign to FlyLo’s Brainfeeder label, where she prepped her fifth studio album, Lune Rouge, for a release last October. She recently released the album’s first single “Don’t Call Me,” with Yua-provided vocals. When not performing covers of Mariah Carey songs and doing remixes for Lil Uzi Vert, Tokimonsta is a road warrior thanks to her preternatural gift for taking any party to the next level. NICK ZURKO
143. Beethoven Symphony No. 9
Things you may or may not know about Beethoven’s 9th: It was his last symphony. Other composers became scared of writing a ninth symphony because the ninth was his last. He was almost totally deaf when he conducted the premiere, so the performers had to ignore him entirely! He was so deaf he couldn’t hear the applause at the end—five standing ovations in all. A contralto named Caroline Unger had to turn him around so he could see the clapping hands and stuff thrown into the air. Caroline Unger was on the bill because Beethoven added singing to the final movement of this huge mother, which takes more than an hour to perform, post-to-post. Whew. ANDREW HAMLIN
People have been slow to forgive natives Queensrÿche. Their influential Operation: Mindcrime album is a classic, but the band's nasty split with ex-singer Geoff Tate left many cold. Their ambitious latest LP, Condition Human, could smooth all that over, thanks to more ambitious arrangements and singer Todd LaTorre, formerly of Crimson Glory. JOSEPH SCHAFER
145. Resolution 2018
A gargantuan EDM bash as 2017 kicks the bucket, with world class festival-style electronica acts to keep you dancing through the night like Alesso, Duke Dumont, Feed Me, Ferry Corsten, Gorgon City, Madeon, Nero, NGHTMRE, ARMNHMR, BlackGummy, Crizzly, Destructo, Dubloadz, Figure, Ghastly, Ilan Bluestone, K?D, and LAXX. VIP tickets (21+) include a gift bag, private lounges and viewing areas, and meet-and-greets.
146. A Drag Queen Christmas
Hosted by RuPaul's Drag Race Season 9 contestant Trinity Taylor, this holiday spectacular boasts performances by all your Drag Race favorites, like Season 9 winner Sasha Velour, runners-up Shea Coulee and Aja, Season 4 contestant Latrice Royale, Season 6 alum Milk, and Season 8's Chi Chi DeVayne.
147. The Gay Uncle's Journey Through the Valley of the Dolls
The Gay Uncle Time was, according to Stranger contributor Matt Baume, "an avuncular variety show starring Santa-esque comedian Jeffrey Robert and a rotating cavalcade of local stars, drag queens, storytellers, and weirdos," which gave a "healthy dose of history, comedy, and song from the gay uncle you always wished you had and his friends you always suspected were up to no good." In this new iteration, he promises to start with Jacqueline Susann's "CLASSIC of Trash Literature" and tear through such topics as "ankhs, Judy Garland, barbiturates, Dory Previn, backstage drama, Charles Manson, breast cancer, poodles, wig fights, Russ Meyer, Patty Duke, and so much more."
148. Candid Camera: 8 Decades of Smiles
Peter Funt will host this beloved old TV show, in which ridiculous pranks are caught on camera.
149. Manatee Commune
Manatee Commune is gaining momentum as a producer of pleasant, chillworthy electronic songcraft with crossover potential. The Bellingham multi-instrumentalist has a sweet touch with melodies and a keen ear for vocalists—Moorea Masa, Marina Price, and Flint Eastwood—who complement his dewy, pastel tonal bouquets and delicate rhythmic origami. Manatee Commune’s self-titled album on Bastard Jazz explores the lushly beauteous, almost symphonic territory of fellow Washingtonians Odesza, but on a more intimate scale. Overall, the production is too well-scrubbed and cute for my taste, but there’s no denying the meticulous craftsmanship of it. This young man’s going to go far. DAVE SEGAL
150. New Year's Eve Parties
As of writing on December 1, our New Year's Eve calendar had 54 events listed—but many, many more will be (or have been) added. Plan ahead for our critics' picks, including concerts (Artist Home's 6th Annual New Year's Eve Celebration, New Year's Eve with BowieVision, A New Year's Eve Soiree with Thunderpussy), big parties (Indulgence, Chihuly NYE pARTy, Midnight: A NYE Dance Party, SPECTRA: New Year’s Eve Under the Arches) food & drink events (Countdown at the Bayou, Eden Hill New Year's Eve, The Herbfarm New Year's Eve Gala, Tarsan i Jane New Year's Eve), and the Moisture Festival New Year's Eve Extravaganza.