Piff the Magic Dragon
Piff the Magic Dragon is (1) British, and (2) a performer of very impressive and hilarious magic, while (3) dressed as a dragon. In a way, it’s like: What more do you want, jam on it? But in another way, his performance elevates what might and should have been pure gimmickry into something approaching the exalted state of high lowbrow, something that transcends this unbearable world by being utterly of it. Or maybe it is just pure gimmickry, but if so, the emphasis is on “pure,” which makes him a must-see. SEAN NELSON
Barber Shop Chronicles
Black men around the world gather in barber shops for politics, chat, preaching, and sports talk in this Fuel, National Theatre, and West Yorkshire Playhouse co-production that takes place in Harare, Accra, London, Johannesburg, Kampala, and Lagos.
14th Annual HUMP! Film Festival
The 14th Annual HUMP! Film Festival, the world's biggest and best porn short film festival, premiers in Seattle, Portland, and San Francisco this November! After the opening festival concludes its run, HUMP! will hit the road in 2019 and screen in more than 50 cities across the U.S. and Canada. HUMP! invites filmmakers, animators, songwriters, porn-star wannabes, kinksters, vanilla folks, YOU, and other creative types to make short porn films—five minutes max—for HUMP! The HUMP! Film Festival screens in theaters and nothing is ever released online. HUMP! films can be hardcore, softcore, live action, animated, kinky, vanilla, straight, gay, lez, bi, trans, genderqueer—anything goes at HUMP! (Well, almost anything: No poop, no animals, no minors, no MAGA hats.) DAN SAVAGE
In the 1960s, Uruguay’s economy was in crisis. An urban guerrilla group called the Tupamaros rose up and began redistributing the wealth by robbing banks and giving food and money to the poor. A right wing military dictatorship took power in a coup d'etat and started putting the kibosh on all that. Shortly thereafter, the United States swooped in and trained local police to interrogate and torture dissidents, which led to hundreds of disappearances and thousands of incarcerations. Uruguayan playwright Antonio Larreta dramatizes this story of political upheaval and US intervention in Juan Palmieri, which ACT will present for the first time in English. Arlene Martínez-Vázquez translates and directs. RICH SMITH
Seattle International Comedy Competition
For nearly all of November, a lengthy last-comic-standing battle rages. Thirty-two comedians (split into two batches, each of which performs every night for one week) start the contest, and one will finish a champion. Celebrity judges and audience reactions determine who passes the preliminaries and who becomes a finalist.
NOVEMBER 1-DECEMBER 22ART
Georges Rouault: The Complete Miserere
Davidson Galleries brings another European heavy hitter to town: Georges Rouault, who lived from 1871-1958 and worked in Fauvist and Expressionist modes. Here, you can see his two-part series comprised of the Miserere (plea for the pity of God) and Guerre (war), which responded to the horrors of World War I with Christian and humanist imagery. This is one of the great print series of the 20th century and it's pretty amazing that you can see it in Seattle for free.
NOVEMBER 1-APRIL 28ART
Hollywood & Vine
Enjoy a vintage and magic-filled tribute to Tinseltown with the 20-year-old circus troupe Teatro ZinZanni as they open their new home in Woodinville.
'Bohemian Rhapsody' Opening
I heart Queen. The song this film is named for was on the soundtrack of my youth. But early reactions to the film biopic (that’s more about Freddie Mercury than the British rock band he led,) have been mixed to bad. The New York Times’ Kyle Buchanan tweeted that Bohemian Rhapsody “is a glorified Wikipedia entry but Rami Malek plays Freddie Mercury (and wears his wonderful costumes) with incredible gusto.” Our own Chase Burns was not a fan at all. ("The 15-minute long shit I took during the middle of the movie was more nuanced than the straight-washed hagiography peddled in that movie theater.") In sum, enter at your own risk.. LEILANI POLK
Día de los Muertos
Mexico's Día de los Muertos honors loved ones who have died with colorful altars adorned with photos, memorabilia, and sugar skulls. Find a complete list of Seattle ways to celebrate here, including El Centro de la Raza's celebration on November 2, the Phinney Neighborhood Associaton's festival on November 3, and the Tacoma Art Museum's celebration on November 4.
This is a set of one world premiere, Kyle Davis's solo work A Dark and Lonely Space, and two Pacific Northwest Ballet premieres: resident Hubbard Dance Company choreographer Alejandro Cerrudo's Silent Ghost and Alexander Ekman's acclaimed parody of contemporary dance, Cacti.
NOVEMBER 2-JANUARY 13PERFORMANCE
Wonderland returns! Can Can will transform its venue into a snowy chalet and populate it with teasing beauties.
NOVEMBER 3FOOD & DRINK
America's Test Kitchen Seattle EATS Cooking, Food & Wine Festival
America’s Test Kitchen remains a perennial PBS staple for a reason: Its recipes are rigorously tested to within an inch of their life, and they’re proven to work. At this festival, you’ll get to mingle with the show’s cast, including hosts Bridget Lancaster and Julia Collin Davison, and have them sign books, plus watch cooking demonstrations and nosh on unlimited samples from Seattle restaurants, including Ba Bar, Central Smoke, Little Fish, Lady Yum, Heartwood Provisions, Molly Moon’s, La Spiga, and more. JULIANNE BELL
Ballard Brewed Winter Beer Festival
Can't wait for winter brews? Try 11 of them from different local breweries like Bad Jimmy's, Hales Ales, Lagunitas, and Lucky Envelope. While you're enjoying those, sway to live music from the Gus Clark Trio and Planet Fly, and fill up on food from So Good Food Truck and Big Mario's, knowing that proceeds will benefit local nonprofit Bellwether Housing.
Oyster New Year 2018
The apotheosis of the Pacific Northwest’s unofficial regional pastime, slurping oysters, is the eco-friendly Oyster New Year at Elliott’s Oyster House. The all-out briny bash features more than 30 varieties of bivalves shucked to order at a 150-foot oyster bar, a fresh seafood buffet, and local microbrews and wine from more than 60 wineries. Be a little superficial and cast your vote for the People’s Choice “Most Beautiful Oyster,” and don’t miss the oyster luge, in which a shucked oyster glides down a frozen slide in an ice sculpture, into your mouth, and down your gullet. JULIANNE BELL
Assembled from an online-forum casting call, Brockhampton are an explicit callback to Odd Future’s push at the beginning of this decade, with all their punk ethos and internet savvy, but with an aim to improve on the model. Instead of the OF dynamic of having both homophobic shock lyrics and queer members, Brockhampton ringleader Kevin Abstract, who is gay, is lyrically upfront about his sexuality. The crew’s mix of melancholy, motivation raps, and misanthropy has a pretty, melodic pop sheen that feels as post-Neptunes as their Odd forebears’ does, just a whole lot friendlier. Their Saturation series of albums is a map of their quick growth and deepening chemistry. While their individual members aren’t household names, and only a couple stand out, their collective vision is surprisingly compelling. LARRY MIZELL JR.
Short Run Comix and Arts Festival
Short Run is eight years old this year and, once again, it’s bigger than ever. You’re going. You’re bringing at LEAST $50 cash. You’re picking up new art books, zines, buttons, and little strips of beautiful screen-printed ephemera from more than 270 internationally/nationally/locally-renowned comics creators. Look for Jason Lutes, who’s debuting his gorgeous, sweeping, incredibly drawn book Berlin—which is about the rise of fascism and socialism in Germany before WWII. You also don’t want to miss Mimi Pond (Over Easy), Olivier Schrauwen (Arsene Schrauwen), Anna Haifisch (The Artist), Whit Taylor (The Anthropologists, Ghost), Carol Tyler (Late Bloomer), France’s Antoine Maillard, and Rina Ayuyang (Blame This on the Boogie, a Drawn & Quarterly–published book debuting at Short Run). Local stars like Spicy Metal, Cold Cube Press, and Colleen Louise Barry will also be peddling their wares. Okay, maybe bring $75. RICH SMITH
THROUGH NOVEMBER 4MUSIC
Earshot Jazz Festival
This year at the Earshot Jazz Festival, there is an emphasis on youth and women. Not saying that the festival has neglected young and female players. It has not. And the 2018 edition of Earshot seems to feature less huge names and more names you may not have heard of and need to discover. For example, there is harpist Brandee Younger, who’s worked closely with Ravi Coltrane and is certainly influenced by the musicians John Coltrane worked with in the last period of his musical career (1965–1967). Younger plays the kind of music that clears your brain and soul. Then there is Jane Bunnett and Maqueque. Bunnett is a pretty well-known Canadian saxophonist, but Maqueque, a superb band of Cuban women, is not. And there is also Helen Sung, a pianist who plays with a mesmerizing (and at times mind-boggling) mix of density and clarity. There’s the Seattle Women’s Jazz Orchestra, Samantha Boshnack, Sarah Manning, Madison McFerrin, and SassyBlack (formerly of THEESatisfaction). And there is much, much more. CHARLES MUDEDE
Taste of the Seahawks
At this "Party with a Purpose" benefiting Food Lifeline and Ben's Fund, savor offerings from restaurants like Lark and Din Tai Fung while you rub elbows with Seattle Seahawks and other local stars.
Black Lips, Iceage, Surfbort
The Black Lips are tough to write about, since their gnarly, raucous flower-freak sound was so original and dedicated for a very small subset of music when they started grinding on their own, but now that so many shitty garage-filth-slacker-punk bands have aped their sound, it’s difficult to separate the founding fathers from the apostles. Because, of course, the Black Lips didn’t invent punk or rock or punk rock, but they did manage to shake some nasty Atlanta salt on their trade in a way that made their subgenre more surreally juvenile (and thus accessible) while also showcasing a talent for hiding real skill amid woozy shithole humor. I don’t think the most fucked-up band at the end of the night deserves a trophy, but it remains true that these guys have sacrificed some serious liver tissue for almost two decades now in a supposedly slacker genre, so some credit is still due. KIM SELLING
In a genre where all but the avant fringes utilize the exact same type of beats, flows, and worldview, grown people who still enjoy the hypnotizing, war-chant quality of contemporary rap have to find what they like along the spectrum (a term popularly swiped from the mental-health world and appropriately appropriated here). Maybe you can’t fuck with most SoundCloud bottom-feeders and their lo-fi, mainstream trap reenactment society. Or maybe you, like me, can’t really stand Uzi but find that “South Atlanta goon” Playboi Carti more smoothly deploys that effort-free “ooh-yah” filler-flow, without the artificial sweeteners. As a far better MC once said: “So we internalize that, but then we customize that.” LARRY MIZELL JR.
Tank and the Bangas, Big Freedia, Naughty Professor
New Orleans is rolling through town, and Seattle ain’t ready! The aptly named Head Banga Tour features Tank and the Bangas of NPR Tiny Desk Concert fame and Big Freedia, Queen of Bounce, as coheadliners. Tarriona “Tank” Ball is the founder and frontwoman of the funky, gospel-inspired hiphop band, centering their performance with her clever lyrics and mesmerizing vocals. Big Freedia is the best version of what every MC should be—she knows how to get the motherfucking party going. Her philosophy? Everybody’s body can dance, and dance they will. Comfortable attire is almost a must for this show, and the ticket paid for in sweat and tears—just kidding, use real dollars, please! JASMYNE KEIMIG
NOVEMBER 7FOOD & DRINK
Author Talk: Everyday Dorie by Dorie Greenspan
Beloved New York-based cookbook author Dorie Greenspan shares recipes she turns to on an average day in her own kitchen in Everyday Dorie. Hear the author in conversation with local writer Jess Thomson, try some of her dishes, and get a copy of the book signed.
Susan Orlean: The Library Book
No matter what you think of dogs, or standing desks, or killer whales, or orchids, you have to admit that Susan Orlean can write. No matter what subject she tackles, she makes it interesting. Am I passionately interested in the fire that destroyed much of the Los Angeles Public Library in 1986? Not exactly. Will I read Orlean’s book about it? Absolutely. CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE
Seattle Winter Ciderfest
Sink into the chilly season with tastes of spiced, pumpkin-y, and barrel-aged ciders.
The Devil Makes Three, Erika Wennerstrom
If the Coen brothers made a sequel to O Brother, Where Art Thou?, it might resemble Redemption & Ruin, the recent covers collection from Bay Area trio the Devil Makes Three. Over 12 fiddle-driven tracks, they extol the virtues of rambling and gambling with assists from Emmylou Harris and Duane Eddy. It's the kind of outlaw music that could make a country fan out of a metal nephew or a punk niece. Even conservative cousins might appreciate the sprinkling of sin-atonement numbers. KATHY FENNESSY
I’ve always kind of liked Lily Allen. Sure, she’s a MySpace-made Not Ugly Person™ who had help from well-off parents with connections, but she also had a no-fucks-given ’tude and seemed like a real human, inebriated missteps and all. And her ska-tinged/reggae-lite synth-pop tunes—delivered with a potty-mouth cockney accent and a sense of humor—weren’t all that bad, either. You probably remember her sunny 2006 hit “Smile,” about basking in the pain of a cheating ex trying to reconcile, or maybe “Alfie,” a bouncy track chiding her younger brother for smoking too much pot and never leaving his room (it must have worked—Alfie Allen now plays Theon Greyjoy in Game of Thrones). Allen’s more recent album, Sheezus, is acceptable radio pop filled with half-interesting commentary on fame and internet trolling. EMILY NOKES
The Selecter, Rhoda Dakar
The 1982 song “The Boiler” was credited to Special AKA (aka the Specials), but sung by Rhoda Dakar and written by her old band, the Bodysnatchers; it remains a chilling, first-person account of rape and a chilling assessment of rape on a societal level—why it happened, what went through the victim’s mind, and how little progress we’ve made. Her ska peers the Selecter had the misfortune to drop a song called “Celebrate the Bullet” right when Hinckley shot Reagan. They needed a legion of boldly grim DJs to push that angle, and naturally, didn’t get it. But, both acts are still here to tell their stories. ANDREW HAMLIN
Pray for Snow
Summon a snowy winter on the mountain by busting out your '80s neon ski garb, dancing to live music, seeing an "epic ski film" and a retro ski fashion show, and filling up on fried confections in a Twinkie Roast. Proceeds will benefit the Northwest Avalanche Center.
THROUGH NOVEMBER 8FOOD & DRINK
Seattle Restaurant Week
Frugal gourmands everywhere rejoice over this twice-yearly event, which lets diners tuck into prix-fixe menus at more than 165 different restaurants hoping to lure new customers with singularly slashed prices: Three courses cost a mere $33, and many restaurants also offer two-course lunches for $18. It’s an excellent opportunity to feast like a high roller at an accessible price point and cross some otherwise spendy establishments off your food bucket list, including critically acclaimed restaurants like Tilth, Agrodolce, and Lark. JULIANNE BELL
Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker
A cast of touring ballet dancers from Moscow will take their 26th tour across the United States to perform the Great Russian Nutcracker, which promises puppets and amazing costumes.
Compagnie Käfig: Pixel
Watch a fine-art, experimental blend of hiphop, circus acrobatics, and video art with this renowned dance company from Lyon, France, headed by Mourad Merzouki. See dancers move through a pulsing field of dots and matrices that appears to ripple in response to their bodies.
Cinema Italian Style
The Cinema Italian Style is a weeklong SIFF mini-festival featuring the best in contemporary Italian cinema. This year, check out The Guest, a comedy about a man who crashes on a series of friends' and families' couches after being dumped; Dogman, Italy's submission to the 2019 Oscars, about a docile dog groomer who embarks on the path of vengeance against a local bully; Ferrante Fever, a documentary about the elusive author's work; and The Story of a Love Affair, Michelangelo Antonioni's classic melodrama about two lovers on the path to murder.
SAM Remix is a recurring and ever-changing art party that includes performances, tours, and dancing, all inspired by their current special exhibit. This time, it'll revolve around the beautiful special exhibition, Peacock in the Desert: The Royal Arts of Jodhpur, India.
If you have kids, leave 'em at home and experience the Seattle Aquarium after hours. KEXP DJ Troy Nelson will spin party jams, and you can enjoy your fill of drinks and hors d’oeuvres while you visit with a giant Pacific octopus, among other things.
'Boy Erased' Opening
This film features the most prolific twinks of our time: Troye Sivan, Lucas Hedges, and Nicole Kidman. These three gays will dazzle the screen in this year's most star-studded gay flick—oh wait, Troye Sivan is the only gay among them. Lucas Hedges has said he’s “not totally straight, but also not gay and not necessarily bisexual,” and Nicole Kidman, despite being the world's most famous twink, is surprisingly a 51-year-old Australian woman. While think pieces on Hedges’s sexuality will probably dominate the conversation around Boy Erased, it looks like a cute holiday movie about gay conversion therapy. Go see it! CHASE BURNS
'The Girl in the Spider's Web' Opening
Claire Foy takes over as the angry hacker babe Lisbeth Salander and an actual Nordic person, Sverrir Gudnason (whom Charles Mudede admired in Borg vs. McEnroe), as Mikael Blomqvist in another hacker-conspiracy thriller based on Stieg Larsson’s series. Also featuring Lakeith Stanfield of Sorry to Bother You.
The Whisky Extravaganza
Sip from a selection of over 100 whiskies, with craft cocktails, whisky-inspired bites, and classes led by industry pros.
An Evening with Paula Cole
Relive the top-charted Lilith Fair heyday of the '90s with Grammy-certified songstress Paula Cole. Make sure she plays "Where Have All the Cowboys Gone."
Southeast London EDM and trap producer TroyBoi will bring the noise and the funk to a live set in the south-end.
Seattle Black Panther Party Anniversary Events
Earlier this year, the Seattle Chapter Black Panther Party celebrated their 50th anniversary with a huge summit and a series of events across the city. Now, they’re continuing to pay tribute to the party’s local legacy with a Mural Unveiling Celebration (Fri Nov 9) and a Youth Empowerment Summit (Sat Nov 10). At the former, Franklin High School’s social and environmental justice-focused art club, Art of Resistance & Resilience, will unveil a 40-foot-long mural in honor of the SCBPP at a free public event also featuring short film, poetry and spoken word performances, music, Native American storytelling, and guest speakers Elmer Dixon (a SCBPP co-founder) and Bobby Seale (a co-founder and chairman for the national Black Panther Party). The next day at the Y.E.S., youth community organizers from around the city will gather for workshops, an opportunities fair, relationship building, and a closing plenary from Bobby Seale. That evening, Seale will also speak at a third event, this one open to the public and held at Washington Hall, on the theme of "Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow."
Swedish chef Magnus Nilsson, who is the head chef at Fäviken and has been featured on Mind of a Chef and Chef's Table, will join local James Beard Award-winning chef Matt Dillon for a cocktail reception on November 9, where Dillon will create drinks and a food menu inspired by Nilsson's new book The Nordic Baking Book, a comprehensive guide to Nordic baking. On November 10, he'll also give a talk about the book and about traveling his native Norway to research for the book.
Seattle Turkish Film Festival
The Turkish American Cultural Association of Washington will present the sixth annual edition of their community-driven, volunteer-led festival featuring a rich panorama of new Turkish films.
NOVEMBER 9-APRIL 14ART
BAM Biennial 2018: Glasstastic
Artists from Oregon and Washington will contribute their most innovative pieces in glass to this year's BAM Biennial.
NOVEMBER 10FOOD & DRINK
31st Annual Winter Beer Taste
Warm up with 10 tastes of winter ales and ciders from over 35 local breweries, plus pub snacks and homemade treats.
Soulful funk legends The Commodores will play a set of their acclaimed classics and favorite cuts for a casino audience.
Frankie Cosmos, Kero Kero Bonito, Tanukichan
The genesis of London trio Kero Kero Bonito was Sarah Midori Perry, the band’s bilingual singer, being recruited to the band via a message board post. Naturally, the group’s early work was an overstuffed, internet-literate amalgam of J-pop, dancehall, and rap. Now they perform and record as something closer to a traditional band, but one whose effervescent electro-pop still takes its cues from the likes of Yellow Magic Orchestra and Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. Most important, the group increasingly reflects its Japanese influences in form—intricate, tightly produced pop songs—more than sound. ANDREW GOSPE
The Legendary Ladies of Motown: Mary Wilson of The Supremes and Martha Reeves & The Vandellas
Queens of the Swinging Sixties, Mary Wilson of the Supremes and Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, will join their vocal powers in an evening of calling back to the golden age of Motown.
Lil Xan, Steven Cannon, Phem
Lil Xan is a part of the current heavy wave of opiate-shilling mumblecore rappers who has actually reversed his tune to try to get kids off drugs. He'll be joined by additional guests on his Total Xanarchy tour.
The Sound of Tomorrow Presented By Soulection
Los Angeles record label and artist collective Soulection, locally known for giving us beloved Seattle sound producer Sango, will hit the road with a full crew and support for their show, "The Sound of Tomorrow."
Amelia Bonow, Lesley Hazleton, Miki Sodos, Alana Edmondson, S. Surface, Alayna Becker, Shawna Murphy
Shout Your Abortion, co-founded by Lindy West and edited by local activists Amelia Bonow and Emily Nokes, is a collection of photos, essays, and creative work that addresses the threat to reproductive rights posed by the current administration. This evening, hear some stories from contributors.
R. O. Kwon: The Incendiaries
The world of literary fiction seems to be very excited about R.O. Kwon's debut novel, The Incendiaries, which is about a religious young man's quest to find a college woman who disappeared after being drawn into the midst of an extremist religious cult. Writing for the New Yorker, Laura Miller says the book is "the rare depiction of belief that doesn’t kill the thing it aspires to by trying too hard." NPR's Maureen Corrigan calls it an "angsty" novel about "the allure of a belief in God." Seija Rankin at Entertainment Weekly called it "perfectly Instagrammable." Authors Viet Thanh Nguyen and Lauren Groff stan for it. Go measure the hype against the reality at this reading. RICH SMITH
THROUGH NOVEMBER 10PERFORMANCE
A Thousand Splendid Suns
Based on Khaled Hosseini's best-selling novel, Ursula Rani Sarma's play A Thousand Splendid Suns shows what happens when two women, Laila and Mariam, join in unbreakable friendship in wartime Kabul.
NOVEMBER 10-11FOOD & DRINK
The Northwest Chocolate Festival
If your chocolate obsession borders on pathological à la the Cathy comic strip, look no further than this two-day all-out cacao bacchanal, which focuses on sustainability and will feature international chocolate exhibits, tastings, and a full lineup of educational seminars on all manner of chocolate geekery. Artisan chocolatiers from near (Theo Chocolate, Seattle Chocolate Co., Fran’s, Dilettante, Indi) and far (Valrhona, Guittard, Dandelion Chocolate) will bring their chocolatey wares so you can stuff yourself silly with all the samples your cocoa-craving heart desires. JULIANNE BELL
35th Annual Glitter Sale
Seattle's Goodwill flagship store will be filled with the absolute sparkliest clothes, shoes, and accessories for its glorious annual two-day Glitter Sale. Whether you're looking to find something flashy for a big event or you want the contents of your closet to better resemble a sea of gems, this is the place to go.
Has any dirty-minded Asian woman ever gotten further in comedy than Margaret Cho? Or even a straitlaced Asian woman? With the possible exception of Ali Wong, it's doubtful. Besides her refreshingly brazen sex talk, Cho perceptively dissects Asian American stereotypes and finds endless fonts of funniness from her bisexuality, eating disorders, drinking and drugging to excess, her charming mother and her distinctively accented English, and the foibles of gay men (the latter of whom compose a large percentage of her fan base). There’s a great bit from her classic 2002 special, The Notorious C.H.O., about a trip to the colon-hydrotherapy clinic that deserves to be in heavy rotation even now. DAVE SEGAL
MST3K Live 30th Anniversary Tour
Take a nice Midwestern guy, two snarky robots, and some evil scientists on the jankiest spaceship in the galaxy and add a dreadful B-movie, and you've got Mystery Science Theater 3000, which has been providing schlocky amusement for an amazing 30 years. Each show is different, but both will feature Joel Hodgson and reboot star Jonah Ray. Show # 1 will be the Canadian sci-fi horror The Brain, and Show #2 will be the dreadful Deathstalker II.
This year, the 11th day of the 11th month has special significance: It’s the centennial of Armistice Day, a holiday that was first celebrated at the end of World War I in 1918 and that is now called Veterans Day in the US, as a way to honor military personnel of all wars, and to promote peace around the world. Find a list of Seattle Veterans Day events here, including Auburn's 53rd Annual Veterans Day Parade & Observance and MOHAI's Armistice Day Centennial Commemoration.
Ex-Seattleite Jake Shears is famous for two things: writing a single article for The Stranger back in 2005, and being the decorated leader of the glam pop group Scissor Sisters. He'll perform tracks from his critically acclaimed self-titled solo album.
Joe Walsh & Friends Present: VetsAid 2018
Most sentient beings of a certain age know Joe Walsh from his Eagles (he solos on “Hotel California”) and/or James Gang days, as well as for his near-ubiquitous solo radio smashes from the 1970s and ’80s. If that weren’t enough, Walsh’s tenure in Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band has helped him pay for his yachts. Despite acquiring so much mindshare over the last 40-plus years, this astronomically talented guitarist and distinctive vocalist has maintained high quality control over several releases. Especially in James Gang, Walsh proved himself as one of rock’s funkiest ax heroes. As late as 1985, Walsh was doing interesting things like inventing desert rock with “The Confessor.” (Right, Josh Homme?) Hits like “Rocky Mountain Way” and “Life’s Been Good” rank as some of the better earworms of the classic-rock era, but Walsh’s deep cuts from LPs like Barnstorm and So What deserve just as much respect. Let’s hope he shows them some this evening. DAVE SEGAL
Pete Souza is the guy who took the picture of Barack Obama leaning over to let the little kid touch his hair, to see if it really was just like his. This is the guy who took the picture of Barack and Michelle Obama hugging on reelection night 2012 that became one of the most retweeted photos ever. This is the guy who took the photo of Obama’s cabinet watching Osama bin Laden’s lead-filled demise—the one with Hillary Clinton’s hand clamped over her mouth. How can you miss this? CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE
Peter Sagal: The Incomplete Book of Running
Peter Sagal may be a star among the NPR set, but when he’s not hosting the public radio quiz show Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!, he’s often found running, a hobby this formerly indoorsy guy didn’t get serious about until he was 40. Since then, Sagal has logged tens of thousands of miles, and in his new book, he reflects on what running has given him, from life-changing experiences like crossing the finish line of the 2014 Boston Marathon just moments before the bombs went off, to your everyday, running-induced diarrhea. At once both witty and wise, The Incomplete Book of Running will appeal to both readers who run and to those of us who prefer to put up our feet, turn on the radio, and listen. KATIE HERZOG
THROUGH NOVEMBER 11PERFORMANCE
Oslo won a Tony for its dramatization of the top-secret peace negotiations between Rabin and Arafat in the 1990s. The diplomatic talks were, weirdly, orchestrated by young Norwegian power-couple Mona Juul and Terje Rød-Larsen. Expect lots of long gray coats, wary handshakes, dark humor, and fine acting from Christine Marie Brown and Avery Clark. RICH SMITH
WHY? Plays Alopecia
At this point, it almost goes without saying that Yoni Wolf isn’t your average rapper. The Cincinnati native rose to prominence in the late 1990s/early ’00s backpack-rap scene as part of cLOUDDEAD, along with Doseone and Odd Nosdam, cofounders of outré rap label Anticon. While Why? had been Wolf’s stage name since 1997, in 2004 he made the unprecedented move of turning his MC handle into the name of an indie-rock band that has remained popular for more than a decade. Part of Why?’s popularity can be attributed to the fact that there’s really no other band out there like them—rap-rock this is not. Rather, Why’s dexterous, sing-songy flow proved the perfect counterpart to Wolf’s bandmate and brother Matt Meldon’s imaginative, folk-friendly, and prog-inspired instrumentation, which has earned them fans more into Bob Dylan than Biz Markie. NICK ZURKO
Eileen Myles: Evolution
Eileen Myles is a living legend in the world of poetry and one of the foremost dog biographers of her generation. She’s reading from her first new book of poems in seven years—Evolution (Grove/Atlantic). Lambda Literary says Myles “circles back to classic themes such as their love of dogs, loneliness, and parental loss” in this book, which suggests a return, perhaps, to their chattier and less abstract modes. Ashley Tomaszewski at the Literati Bookstore in Ann Arbor called it “chicken soup for the queer soul.” You're going. RICH SMITH
Justin Timberlake, Guests
Recently rustic pop star Justin Timberlake will drag his critically panned new album Man of the Woods around the country on his tour of the same name.
Vienna Boys Choir
The Vienna Boys Choir, an internationally renowned preteen sensation for more than 500 years, bring their dulcet tones and confusingly adorable sailor suit outfits to Seattle for a night of childlike reverie, Austrian folk songs, vignettes from classical masters, and well-loved pop songs.
Kate Wallich + The YC: Industrial Ballet
Dance church deacon and choreographer Kate Wallich brings her Industrial Ballet back to the Moore Theatre. In City Arts, Rachel Gallaher described the goth rock dance performance—full of lightning and stage smoke and the driving minimalism of Johnny Goss—as Wallich's "best work yet." RICH SMITH
An Intimate Evening with Matisyahu
Matisyahu is undoubtedly devoted and faithful, and yet his iconic stage persona feels gimmicky and calculated. His earnestly worn Hasidic attire and Orthodox Judaism grant him an exoticized authenticity that trumps race and class, allowing white, middle-American footbaggers entry into a musical tradition that is otherwise comically foreign to them (as in white dreadlocks and the ubiquitous freshman-dorm Bob Marley poster). What's really bizarre is how Matisyahu's bland, lyrically ascetic music has become so popular. At least with dub appropriators like Sublime or jam-band heroes like Phish, there's a culture of rebellious hedonism to entice the youth. But Matisyahu's lyrics call out materialism, drug use, atheism, and apathy, all without even the radical political undertones of traditional reggae. Could it be that the kids just want to rock out with God? It's a possibility that shakes the very foundations of rock music. ERIC GRANDY
Guided By Voices
Living legends, y’all. Guided by Voices—the saliently sustained project by co-founder Robert Pollard—have been intergenerational anthemic antiheroes and will be for generations to come. It’s almost incomprehensible how you’ll be able to see such musical magnitude at such an intimate space as the Crocodile. They’re as true to their lo-fi psych-rock as ever as evinced on Space Gun, which came out earlier this year. Bandleader Robert Pollard has integrated some new and old blood into this year’s lineup, and we can rest assured that even after 100 studio releases, there’s still gold pouring out. ZACH FRIMMEL
KEXP Presents: Death & Music
Join KEXP morning show host John Richards for an evening on "death and music." The program features special local musical guests, personal stories from past years of the program and the history of how it came to be, and an exploration of the intersection of "these two distinct veins of life and how they feed into one another."
Rufus Wainwright, Rachel Eckroth
Rufus Wainwright—the belting vocal pop composer and songwriter with baroque and operatic persuasions and finely honed piano chops—has a résumé that includes nine Shakespeare sonnets set to music, originally inspired by a theater piece he scored for Robert Wilson. That release, 2016’s Take All My Loves, has cameos by Helena Bonham Carter, Carrie Fisher, William Shatner, and Florence Welch. Wainwright lands in Seattle on his All These Poses 20th Anniversary Tour, which celebrates his 2001 breakout LP, Poses, featuring his beloved quasi-hit “Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk” and a cover of Loudon Wainwright III’s “One Man Guy,” with his dad actually sitting in. LEILANI POLK
The adorably named Santa Fe artist collective Meow Wolf caught the fancy of George R.R. Martin, who helped them take over a disused bowling alley for an epic art exhibition. But success comes with its own struggles. Enter their world and find delirious, DIY inspiration.
Musical duo Black Violin blend classical, hiphop, rock, R&B, and bluegrass music to create their own complex, high-energy sound. They will be accompanied live by their backing band, a DJ, and rotating drummers.
Petit Biscuit, Manila Killa, Super Duper
Young Frenchman Petit Biscuit happens to be a rapidly rising electronica producer with a classical music education and a knack for chopping and twisting vocals. He'll be joined on tour by Manila Killa and Super Duper.
'Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald' Opening
Twee hunter Newt Scamander returns for more J.K. Rowling-inspired exploits.
Excuse me—Viola Davis? Viola Davis in a thriller? Viola Davis in a thriller leading a team of widows who scheme to commit a heist after their criminal hubbies are killed on the job? It’s directed by acclaimed British director Steve McQueen? And penned by Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn? Sign me up! If this McQueen film seems a little out of step with the director’s previous work, you’d be right—his features are usually heavily political and arthouse-y in nature. But Widows has no shortage of serious star power that’ll probably project the film to the top of the Academy Awards nominee ballot. Here’s to Davis’s and McQueen’s second Oscar! JASMYNE KEIMIG
The Best Chefs You’ve Never Heard Of 2018: Female Powerhouse Edition
Some chefs are household names in this city: Renee Erickson, Tom Douglas, Rachel Yang. But do you know the names of those more down-to-earth cuisiniers who run the kitchens? At this event emceed by Seattle Met editor Allecia Vermillion alongside Ethan Stowell and Joe Ritchie of Goldfinch Tavern, become acquainted with an all-female lineup of sous-chefs, banquet chefs, and chefs de cuisine who craft the excellent meals at some of the best restaurants in the city. BJ Bresnik (of The Walrus and the Carpenter), Rosie Cisneros (Lark), Martha de Leon (Cafe Juanita), Rebekah Dickson (Goldfinch Tavern), Cecily Kimura (Joule), Nicole Matson (How to Cook a Wolf), Sarah Nowak (Reckless Noodle House), and Kaylah Thomas (JuneBaby) will prepare small dishes, with dessert by pastry chef Dionne Himmelfarb (Ethan Stowell Restaurants), and drinks by Alexa Berry (Monsoon) and Tania Ross (Tavolata Capitol Hill). Visit each chef's station, graze on their morsels, and relax with a drink (two are included with each ticket). Once you’re finished, you’ll have a new appreciation for the busy and brilliant first mates of head chefs. JOULE ZELMAN
Seattle's 26th Annual Beaujolais Nouveau Wine Festival
In France, the first of the season’s Beaujolais nouveau—a famous, fruity young red wine made from Gamay grapes that is fermented for only a few weeks—is uncorked at midnight on the third Thursday of November and greeted with much fanfare and revelry. Even if you can’t make it to France, you can have the same experience with Seattle’s own Beaujolais Nouveau Wine Festival, hosted by the French-American Chamber of Commerce of the Pacific Northwest. Quaff Beaujolais nouveau as well as a host of other French wines, partake in a buffet of French cuisine, and take in live French music. JULIANNE BELL
Khruangbin's quick ascent to lofty popularity has been one of 2018's most pleasant surprises. Normally, groups as subtle, exotic, and smart as this Houston psych-rock trio (who are making their third visit to Seattle this year) don't headline venues as large as the Moore until many years deep into their career—if at all. Somehow, though, Khruangbin have harnessed their ultra-laid-back, cosmopolitan trippiness into crowd-pleasing songs on a mass level. The lesson: Bands can still make the trad guitar-bass-drums-vocals approach to rock sound vital, provided they can weave in global influences (in Khruangbin's case, Thai, Iranian, Latin, Middle Eastern). A blissed-out cover of Vince Guaraldi's “Christmas Time Is Here” doesn't hurt, either. DAVE SEGAL
Twenty One Pilots
It’s not surprising Ohio duo Twenty One Pilots have become so successful. As songwriters, they’ve ripped bits of influence from around the proven-popular-music landscape—from the approachability of Bruno Mars to the anthem-chasing of the Lumineers and plainspoken lyricism of Macklemore—and disguised their pandering with enough face paint and stage energy to seem edgy or experimental to the average middle-schooler (but safe enough for their parents), and fake-rapped all the way to the bank. Their ability to tickle the familiarity sensors in the minds of casual young music fans and whisper nonsensical angst rhymes that are vague enough to feign artsy-ness yet simplistic enough to not fly over anyone’s head must appear an admirable trait to a tastemaker with a checklist somewhere, but does that mean we have to let it pollute the minds of our young? Hide your children. TODD HAMM
Cote Smith, Zack Akers, and Skip Bronkie: Limetown-The Prequel to the #1 Podcast
Of all the supernatural and suspense podcasts out there, Limetown may be the tautest and most elegantly executed. Nowhere to be found is the cheesiness of, say, NoSleep or the wide-ranging whimsy of Welcome to Night Vale. This live event will be a prequel to the story about the vanishing of 300 people at a top-secret research facility.
Sixth Annual Freakout Festival
For two nights in November, Ballard gets an extra jolt of sonic excitement and diversity with Freakout Festival. Run by the folks behind Freakout Records (Skyler Locatelli, Guy Keltner, and Nathan Casey), this event has grown over the last six years into a dependable showcase of Seattle’s eclectic, burgeoning music scene, with up-and-coming acts from the US, Mexico, and the UK now in the mix. This year’s lineup boasts Sneaks, OCnotes, Death Valley Girls, Night Beats, and more. DAVE SEGAL
Kitten N’ Lou Present: Cream
A confession: I've watched Kitten N' Lou's wedding video at least 20 times. They're just so gosh darn intoxicating and lovely. (It's on their website. I didn't, like, steal it or anything.) The burlesque duo exudes a chemistry unrivaled by any other stage pair I've seen, and, luckily for Seattle, this "world's showbusiest couple" are mainstays of the Emerald City. Their new show, Cream, brings Milk, Cherdonna, and the Atomic Bombshells along for a Spanksgiving feast of drag and burlesque. Go and prepare to fall in love. CHASE BURNS
NOVEMBER 16-DECEMBER 15PERFORMANCE
The Twilight Zone: Live!
Experience the cheesy yet unsettling 1960s thrills of the classic Twilight Zone scripts—live! Rachel Delmar will direct "To Serve Man" (the only alien story hinging on nuances of the English language), "The Shelter," "Death's Head Revisited," and "The Changing of the Guard."
Paul Reiser (of Aliens, Stranger Things, and The Little Hours fame) will tell funny stories, perhaps in anticipation of the Mad About You reboot destined for 2019.
Gobble Up 2018
This free bazaar from the folks behind Urban Craft Uprising aims to apply the successful indie market format to specialty artisanal foods. This is a unique opportunity to peruse (and taste!) edible wares from more than 100 craft food vendors, and to meet the makers themselves. On the lineup this year: heritage preserves from Orcas Island’s Girl Meets Dirt, sourdough croissants from Temple Pastries, distinctive confections (like absinthe and black salt caramels) from Jonboy Caramels, drinking vinegars from the Shrubbery, and more. In addition to food and drink, there will also be handmade linens, ceramics, and other home goods available for purchase. JULIANNE BELL
After a flurry of activity in her younger years, Chan Marshall decelerated her pace, taking six years between albums, including 2012’s Sun and this year’s Wanderer (which was inexplicably rejected by Matador). Marshall, who became a mother in 2015, has always been a singular vocalist, an old soul who's finally grown into that aged-whiskey voice. If her music hews closer to today than yesterday, her unflappably phrased approach recalls subtle sirens from Julie London to Astrud Gilberto. On the new record, she pares instrumentation down to the core, the better to accentuate her open-hearted tales of hope and resilience. KATHY FENNESSY
An Evening with Fleetwood Mac
Fleetwood Mac are legendary for many things, most notably for their Elizabeth Taylor-like proclivity for divorce, a group-shared love of cocaine, and their evolution from an English blues band into a Californian pop juggernaut. Enjoy an evening that showcases their decades of immense talent, fringed scarves, theatrical yowling, extended guitar solos, and the simple drama of their presence.
The Hip Hop Nutcracker Featuring Kurtis Blow
This reinterpretation of the beloved ballet swaps out imperial Russia for 1980s Brooklyn as little Maria-Clara travels back in time to her parents' first meeting at a nightclub. It's acted out by a dozen hiphop dancers, a DJ, and an onstage electric violinist.
TedxSeattle: Tall Order
This independently organized TED event promises fast-paced and engaging presentations on the theme of "A Tall Order," i.e., meeting the huge challenges of modern civilization.
THROUGH NOVEMBER 17PERFORMANCE
Schoolhouse Rock Live
My guess is there are more people who get the fond nostalgic feels about Schoolhouse Rock than there are people who hate it or don’t even know about it at all. Granted, the animated, educational series of musical shorts touching on history, grammar, math, science and politics might have had its original run from 1973 to 1985, but it was revived for a while in the ’90s, and grade school teachers are likely still showing it to their students. A quick poll of millennial staffers finds that “I’m Just a Bill” (1976) and “Conjunction Junction” (1973) are the top two faves, which just goes to show you this shit is timeless. ReAct Theatre will present both of the aforementioned jams, along with various others (like “Lolly, Lolly, Lolly” and “Interplant Janet”) during their 90-minute stage production. LEILANI POLK
The Nordic Museum has long hosted this winter celebration of the Yuletide (this will be the 41st year, in fact), but this will be the first Julefest in their new and improved space. Adults over 21 can enjoy a fully stocked Scandinavian bar, while the kids can enjoy arts, crafts, and a visit from Santa. Scoop up some Nordic prizes in the raffle or the silent auction.
NOVEMBER 17-DECEMBER 26FESTIVALS
Seattle Festival of Trees
Every year, the Fairmont Olympic celebrates the winter season with a fancy dinner, caroling, an impressive display of decorated trees in their lobby, and a teddy bear suite.
NOVEMBER 17-JUNE 2ART
Edgar Arceneaux: Library of Black Lies
Enter Edgar Arceneaux’s unassuming wooden structure—a low, irregular-sided wooden shack—and find yourself in a parallel-world library of sugar-crystal clouded books. Their titles may be or merely recall the Western canon, like a sequence including the clearly referential Birth of a Nation and the murkier Birth of a Night, Nation Goodnight, and finally, Goodnight Moon. According to museum materials, this installation—first exhibited in Paris in 2016—concerns Arceneaux’s preoccupations with history, memory, and our subjective human reconstructions of both. The result looks like a cramped, mazelike hideaway, a metaphor for the limits imposed on our views of the past by our own need for containment. By amassing references to many different narratives, Arceneaux constructs an anti-narrative of history. JOULE ZELMAN
Good Charlotte, Sleeping With Sirens, Knuckle Puck, The Dose
Cut it any way you want, Good Charlotte are cathartic as hell. Whether you were singing "Seasons" in middle school, or heard “Actual Pain” on the radio yesterday, it’s likely you indulged in their drama for one mollifying moment. While many ’90s and early-’00s revivals feel forced, Good Charlotte’s pop-punk remains appealingly archetypal. Generation Rx, their seventh studio album, condemns the “thoughts and prayers” culture, calls out to “Better Demons,” and screamos at life’s meaningless—everything you want from your favorite Hot Topic tunes. Sleeping with Sirens support the big mood with their signature angst and tenore di grazia. AJ DENT
An Evening with Neil Gaiman
Gaiman is the British author behind darkly evocative works like the Sandman comic series, American Gods (his novel adapted into a well-regarded fantasy drama TV series on Starz), graphic novel-turned-film Coraline, and a huge range of other novels, plus children’s books and collections of short stories and poetry. (He’s also husband to piano-banging chanteuse, Amanda Palmer.) According to the release, on this night, he’ll tell and read stories, answer questions, and “amaze, befuddle and generally delight.” LEILANI POLK
Green Lake Gobble & Mashed Potato Munch Off
Run a 5 or 10K around Green Lake, then re-energize by entering a mashed potato munch-off at the finish line—it is the week before Thanksgiving, after all.
THROUGH NOVEMBER 18PERFORMANCE
A Bright Room Called Day
Because we're all such rugged American individuals, it's easy to dismiss the rising tide of fascism in this country and across the globe as a troublesome but ultimately passing fad doomed to be washed away by the incoming blue wave. A group of Berlin artists had a similar thought, too—in 1932. In Tony Kushner's 1985 classic, A Bright Room Called Day, those artists wrestle with all the same questions we're all wrestling with now—Do we stay or do we go? Do we stage a revolution? Or do we try to fight it from the inside? Like all of Kushner's plays, it's an intelligent and gripping story that will make you feel like you live in a vibrant, thriving city that matters. And if the play spurs you to get off your ass and actually do something for that city—or for the country at large—the show's producer, The Williams Project, says they'll put you in touch with local activists in order to facilitate civic action. RICH SMITH
Michael Franti: 'Stay Human' Documentary Tour
The Bay Area rapper/vocalist/guitarist will perform and present the new doc Stay Human, a hopeful look at people around the world battling pollution, illness, poverty, and war through innovation, love, and courage. The film also looks at Franti's personal and musical story. The evening will include a Q&A.
Beloved humorist David Sedaris returns to Seattle for roughly his 10,000th appearance. This time around, he’ll be reading from his new book of essays, Calypso. As with all of his readings, you’ll find yourself wishing you’d been born a Sedaris, but this time around, don’t be surprised if you shed at least one tear—maybe two. Calypso, as usual, is laugh-out-loud funny, but it’s also a sweet, sad meditation on getting older, on death’s inevitable approach, on lives both gone right and gone wrong. KATIE HERZOG
Jonathan Franzen: The End of the End of the Earth
Megan Burbank, formerly editor of The Stranger's sister paper the Portland Mercury, once called Franzen "the Gwyneth Paltrow of the literary world." His latest book is a collection of essays and speeches mostly from the past five years. They touch on endangered seabirds, his relationship with his uncle, and other diverse topics.
Liane Moriarty: Nine Perfect Strangers
Nine urbanites arrive eager for relaxation at an isolated health retreat, Tranquillum House, but the transformation promised is not quite what they were expecting in this new novel by Australian author Liane Moriarty (Big Little Lies, now an HBO series).
Behemoth, At the Gates, Wolves in the Throne Room
After vocalist Adam “Nergal” Darski won his battle against leukemia in 2011, Polish blackened death-metal heavyweights Behemoth came back from their short hiatus ready to crush. They released a critically acclaimed album, The Satanist, and toured the world relentlessly in direct support of household names such as Slayer and Lamb of God. Their recently released LP, I Loved You at Your Darkest, finds the band at a creative high, blending a thick layer of melody among their trademark chaos. Don’t be late to this one, as it would be a serious mistake to miss Swedish metal legends At the Gates. KEVIN DIERS
NOVEMBER 20-JANUARY 1ART
For the 26th year in a row, diabetes research center RDRF Northwest will invite local architecture firms to use their skills for a holiday tradition: crafting an elaborate gingerbread village. See it in person throughout the holiday season.
'Creed II' Opening
After his stint in supervillainy, Michael B. Jordan returns as the boxer Adonis Johnson, the heir to Creed, along with Sylvester Stallone as his mentor Rocky Balboa and Tessa Thompson as his love Bianca. Director Ryan Coogler (Black Panther) is, alas, not coming back; the director will instead be Steven Caple Jr., who helmed The Land.
'Front Runner' Opening
Jason Reitman (Juno, Thank You For Smoking) depicts the downfall of the 1988 Democratic presidential frontrunner Gary Hart (Hugh Jackman) when the media discovers his extramarital affair.
'Green Book' Opening
The Jamaican American jazz pianist Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali) tours the Deep South with a tough nightclub bodyguard, Tony Lip (Viggo Mortensen). The screenplay was co-written by the real Tony Lip’s son, Nick Vallelonga. Directed by Peter Farrelly. Yes, he’s one of the Farrelly brothers. The fantastic-looking cast also includes Linda Cardellini and Sebatian Maniscalco.
Phosphorescent, Liz Cooper & The Stampede
Phosphorescent—singer-songwriter Matthew Houck—hails from the same beardy indie-folk school as Bon Iver, though he never escalated to such great heights of indie stardom. Houck’s vocals are imperfectly lovely and his music easy on the ears—heartfelt, poignant, and downhome sensible, with shades of twang and heartland rock. In the five years between his last album and C’est La Vie, Houck met and married his current wife, Australian songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Jo Schornikow, relocated from NYC to Nashville, and built a studio in the Nashville warehouse where they landed. C’est La Vie feels suitably fresh and Houck invigorated in songs like the spacious, krautrock-y “Around the Horn” and the island-vibing “New Birth in New England,” with its heart-squeezing lyrics about his chance meeting with Schornikow in a New England piano bar. LEILANI POLK
A Magical Cirque Christmas
Carols, acrobatics, magic, and live musicians will douse you in Christmas cheer.
Thanksgiving: The pinnacle of American colonialism that commemorates a fake story of sharing. While the holiday is built on a lie, it's been adapted into a day to spend with loved ones, list gratitudes, and eat turkey and pie. Find a list of Thanksgiving events here, including the Seattle Turkey Trot.
Excision Presents: The Thunderdome
Join up with Canadian arena dubstepper Excision on his massive Thunderdome experience, which will break out the bass-heavy beats, featuring artists like Ghastly, Liquid Stranger B2B Dubloadz, Squnto B2B Subtronics, and He$h B2B Al Ross.
Macy's Holiday Parade and Star Lighting
During the 28th annual Macy's Holiday Parade, bunches of floats, costumed characters, sports teams, and others will march the Christmas-light-adorned streets of downtown. In the evening, the downtown store will light up its 3,600-bulb star to greet the holiday season, and they'll celebrate with a grand fireworks display (weather permitting).
NOVEMBER 23-25WINTER HOLIDAYS
Native Gift Fair and Art Market
Find gifts for loved ones by local Native artists and makers at this annual market.
NOVEMBER 23–DECEMBER 23WINTER HOLIDAYS
Christmas Ship Festival
Every holiday season, the Spirit of Seattle (Argosy Cruises's "Official Christmas Ship™") sails to 65 Washington waterfronts, bringing Christmas choirs and sparkling light displays to onlookers.
NOVEMBER 23-DECEMBER 24PERFORMANCE
Christmastown: A Holiday Noir
If your holiday season lacks slinky dames, growling gumshoes, and hard-boiled bosses, try Seattle playwright Wayne Rawley's Christmas noir. Directed by Kelly Kitchens.
Flurries of snow (the kind that shoots out of a machine) will dust the streets of the Bellevue Collection as bright lights, festive music, toy drummers, and other emblems of magical holiday cheer fill the streets for nightly parades.
NOVEMBER 23-DECEMBER 28PERFORMANCE
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. For the 43rd (!) edition, Kurt Beattie will direct and Ian Bell and David Pichette will alternate as Scrooge.
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 2014, 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
NOVEMBER 23-DECEMBER 30PERFORMANCE
It is a hard knock life. But the sun will come out tomorrow. You don’t need me to explain what’s great about Annie. 5th Avenue performer Billie Wildrick directs. CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE
In the Heights
Every decade, a musical comes around that reminds the general public that musicals can be popular, cool, and mainstream. The ’80s had A Chorus Line, the ’90s had Rent, the early ’00s had Wicked, and the teens had Hamilton. But before Lin-Manuel Miranda became a household name after creating Hamilton, he was snatching up trophies and accolades for his other hugely popular musical, In the Heights. Broadway fans will go and fall in love again, and newbies will get a chance to see Miranda's earlier work for the first time. CHASE BURNS
The Mariners' home base will host "the world's largest Christmas light maze" and an artisan market.
NOVEMBER 23-JANUARY 5WINTER HOLIDAYS
The zoo will light up with more than 700,000 (energy-efficient) LED lights that recreate wild scenes and creatures at the annual WildLights display.
From a winter train village to an ice rink, and from music and dance performances to ice sculpting, Winterfest promises five weeks of free festive cheer for all ages.
You doubtless know her from her film comedies, but stand-up is where she gets real. So real. Remember when she had her come-up in 2007, on Last Comic Standing? She didn’t win, even though her bubbly delivery made the obscene observations about being a woman that came out of her mouth (and that I could totally relate to, and that were probably NSF network television) even more hilarious. Her raunchy-ass humor has remained firmly intact as her star has risen, and this stop in Seattle on Thanksgiving weekend will find her preggos and incorporating that into her material, if her viral morning sickness Instagram pic (viral Instagram photo caption to Schumer in front of the toilet: “Today Markle is in Fiji #same … Milf alert”) and reviews of recent sets are any indication. LEILANI POLK
An Evening with The Tallest Man On Earth
The Tallest Man on Earth is the misleadingly hyperbolic stage name of normal-sized Swedish folk musician Kristian Matsson. Most remarkable about Matsson is his voice, which should bear some accent from his native central Swedish province of Dalarna (which apparently does have its own particular dialect), but which actually evokes the ramble and drawl of America's Deep South and Wild West (with just a touch of Dylan's stretched nasal tone). Or maybe Sweden also has a Deep South and a Wild West? But the geographic incongruity of Matsson's voice gets a total pass, thanks to it also being as deeply affecting as it is affected: worn beyond its years, as rowdy as it is right on pitch, and always backed by Matsson's impressive fingerpicking and twangy guitar. ERIC GRANDY
Julien Baker with Phoebe Bridgers & Lucy Dacus
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
GeekCraft Expo Seattle 2018
If Etsy and Comic Con are two of your favorite things, you won't want to miss this annual geeky craft market, which just so happens to align with holiday shopping season. Find unique gifts from local artists, or make your own crafts.
NOVEMBER 24-DECEMBER 30WINTER HOLIDAYS
Walk among "half a million" sparkling lights in the shapes of flowers, plants, birds, and waterfalls at this annual holiday display.
Contemporary Native American Music Showcase: Khu.éex, Indian Agent, Savage Family
Dave Segal has written, "Led by bassist [and renowned glass artist] Preston Singletary, large Seattle ensemble Khu.éex’ forge a unique fusion of robust funk, fiery, Pharoah-esque jazz, and Tlingit vocalizing and storytelling." They'll be joined by Indian Agent and Savage Family.
Yes, I know, they're cheesy in the extreme and not even actually from Siberia, but Trans-Siberian Orchestra's jolly blend of electric-guitar shredding and Christmas music is like the flu: It comes around every year and it's extremely catchy. That being said, if I'm going to be afflicted with pinch-harmonic-inflected cheer, then I'm at least going to focus on the upside. Which is, TSO formed from the remains of the excellent and under-appreciated power-metal outfit Savatage, whose interpretation of Edvard Grieg's "In the Hall of the Mountain King" probably sparked the whole classical-music-meets-metal fad. Now if only they still had Alex Skolnick from Testament in the band. JOSEPH SCHAFER
The Seattle Marathon has grown into the largest combination marathon/half marathon in the Northwest. Now in its 48th year, the event expects upwards of 15,000 participants.
NOVEMBER 26READINGS & TALKS
Seattle Arts & Lectures: Danez Smith
Appealingly, Danez Smith shuns an overly academic style of poetry, what they call the "anti-emotional, anti-sense-making thing that popped up in the 90s." Their most recent book,Don’t Call Us Dead, made the finals for the 2017 National Book Award.
NOVEMBER 26-27READINGS & TALKS
Neil deGrasse Tyson
Frequently memed celebrity astrophysicist and author Neil deGrasse Tyson will tour in support of scientific knowledge. The show on November 26 is entitled “Adventures in Science Literacy” and will address "the state of science today"; “The Cosmic Perspective” on November 27 will be about the emotional impact of understanding Earth's littleness in a vast universe.
Belgian beers don't have to be from Belgium—this brew fest highlights over 100 Washington breweries' Belgian-style beers, including Tripels, Dubbels, Saisons, Wits, Abbeys, and Lambics.
Barefoot Contessa is one of those cooking shows that you don’t even really have to watch; Ina Garten’s instructions on how to prepare, make, and serve anything from a big breakfast buffet (potato pancetta frittata, yum!), to food for a surprise Italian party (balsamic roasted beef, anyone?) is soothingly delicious background noise. The last few seasons of Food Network’s longest running cooking show all have a “Cook Like A Pro” theme, which spurred her 11th and latest cookbook (and the reason she’s coming to Seattle), Cook Like a Pro: Recipes and Tips for Home Cooks. LEILANI POLK
Massively popular K-pop group A.C.E. will hit Seattle on their world tour in promotion of their latest work, Adventures in Wonderland.
They 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
He's often referenced as one of the finest journalists of our time, the man who broke Nixon's Watergate scandal, won a second Pulitzer Prize for his work on the days after 9/11, and published over a dozen lauded books on politicians, the CIA, and the Supreme Court, and he's just published a flabbergasting portrait of the bizarro internecine zoo that is the Trump White House. Hear Bob Woodward give his incredibly perceptive account of our terrible times.
Dom Kennedy’s grind puts many other contemporary rappers to shame: Independently releasing a slew of good-to-great West Coast-repping mix tapes since the mid-'00s, starting his own record label, and dropping the scene-defining “My Type of Party” in 2012. Since 2013’s Get Home Safely, Dom’s been pretty quiet, apart from guest features and the seemingly inevitable major-label drama that comes with being an independent hiphop artist these days; it’ll be interesting to see if he’s got some new material for his hungry fans tonight. KYLE FLECK
Echo & The Bunnymen, Strings & Things, Enation
Pillars of 1980s alt rock Echo & the Bunnymen should pack tonight’s set with hits, and the Bunnymen have all the best hits, like infectiously jangly radio smash “Lips Like Sugar” and the mysterious “The Killing Moon,” which infamously darkened the Donnie Darko soundtrack. Their first four albums are now considered ’80s classics, with surreal lyrics and celestial, jangle-delic guitars—romance-drenched riffs planted firmly in the clouds. The Bunnymen carved out an utterly dreamy, psych-infused post-punk aesthetic in the same hyper-romantic realm as the Church or Psychedelic Furs. There are few acts throughout post-punk history to achieve the Bunnymen’s level of moody gorgeousness, and with 12 studio albums and 30 singles in their catalog, Echo & the Bunnymen have a wealth of material with which to stun us. BRITTNIE FULLER
Neko Case, Destroyer
For country-inflected rock in the 21st century, it doesn’t get much better than Neko Case. Steeped in tradition yet anything but stodgy, her songs possess a classy luster that’s impervious to changing trends and time’s uglifying forces. Same goes for her blessed voice, which is pure creamy velvet pulchritude and which has earned every dang comparison to Patsy Cline and Linda Ronstadt. DAVE SEGAL
Cat behaviorist and host of the (all-too-relatable) TV show My Cat from Hell will spread his love of humankind's favorite four-legged mischief-makers at this talk. He promises that you'll leave with a better foundation for your relationship with your feline child.
Jonathan Lethem: The Feral Detective
A talkative lady named Phoebe Siegler hires a reclusive detective, Charles Heist, to help her find a friend's missing daughter. But when the two find that Arabella has joined a group of desert-dwellers and turns out to be in danger, the mismatched duo find that they're also in harm's way.
NOVEMBER 29–DECEMBER 5PERFORMANCE
Celebrated local playwright Sara Porkalob returns with a "newer and chunkier" installment of her family saga (following Madame Dragon, Dragon Lady, and the first part of Dragon Mama), in which she tells the story of her mother, Maria, as she seeks friends of color and queer love in Bremerton, Washington.
Melodic heartbreak-heavy rapper and proud ATLien 6LACK (pronounced Black) first gained praise with his debut project, FREE 6LACK. He has since toured as support for the Weeknd on the Starboy Tour: Phase 1, and is now on his own headlining autumn tour.
Shove away the winter blues with a neon night of bass-heavy EDM at breakneck-beat speed thanks to live sets by Zeds Dead and additional guests.
An Evening with the Chris Robinson Brotherhood
Chris Robinson digs krautrock. No, really! I interviewed him in 2016, 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
NOVEMBER 30-DECEMBER 1FOOD & DRINK
Winter Beer Festival
At this tasting event benefiting the Washington Brewers Guild, you can try unique wintry sips from over 50 different local breweries, ranging from winter warmers to stouts to barrel-aged brews and more.
NOVEMBER 30-DECEMBER 16FESTIVALS
Leavenworth Christmas Lighting Festival
The Bavarian-style village transforms into the most whimsical of winter wonderlands for three weekends in December, featuring hundreds of twinkling lights, visits from St. Nickolaus and other Christmas characters, carolers, and much more.