1. Dana Gould
Dana Gould is one of the most inventive, brilliant, and respected comics in the business. He was a writer on The Simpsons for seven years, and has been closely associated with excellent TV, including The Ben Stiller Show and Parks and Recreation. More recently, he wrote an episode of the Mystery Science Theater 3000 Netflix reboot and created the IFC horror-comedy show Stan Against Evil. He's acerbic, self-flagellating, and capable of spinning off into elaborate physical set pieces (you'll never hear the phrase "day-old chocolate cocks" the same way again) that shock you with their dark majesty. Go see Dana Gould do live stand-up so you can know what it's like to be in the presence of actual, uncomfortable greatness. SEAN NELSON
2. Dierks Bentley, Jon Pardi, Tenille Townes, Hot Country Knights
For those times when careworn singing and steel guitar are all that's required, Dierks Bentley is your guy. This modern traditionalist and Music Row darling will hit Tacoma with a full crew this winter, including Jon Pardi, Tenille Townes, and Hot Country Knights, on his Burning Man 2019 tour.
3. LP, Lauren Ruth Ward, Slugs
New Yorker singer-songwriter and self-styled "rock rebel" LP is all about brash honesty and soulful, stripped-down yet spirited rock. She'll showcase her latest work on this Heart to Mouth Tour of 2019.
4. The Sleeping Beauty
Ronald Hynd's adaptation of Marius Petipa's choreography gracefully brings the story of the dormant lovely to life, accompanied by the classic Tchaikovsky score. Join the Pacific Northwest Ballet for what promises to be another spellbinding performance.
5. Rock of Ages
The hair metal musical punctuates a romantic story with noisy tunes by Joan Jett, Pat Benatar, and others.
6. Seattle Museum Month
Visiting Seattle? For the entire month of February, get half-off admission to 40 local museums, including MoPOP, the Nordic Museum, the Seattle Art Museum, the Frye Art Museum, the Seattle Aquarium, and others. When you check into a participating downtown Seattle hotel, ask for a Museum Month packet for a map of participating museums and a guest pass. If you're local, you can still enjoy special membership deals happening for out-of-towners, or you can pretend you're a tourist by booking a staycation.
7. Black History Month
February is dedicated to honoring the countless contributions and untold stories of African Americans throughout history. Check out our complete Black History Month calendar for a full list of ways to celebrate, including MoPOP's Through the Eyes of Art event (Feb 1) and SAM's Kijiji Night (Feb 7).
FEBRUARY 2FOOD & DRINK
8. Belgian Fest
Brewing beers with Belgian yeast yields a range of ales with a distinctive fruity flavor. This festival featuring more than 100 Belgian-style beers crafted by Washington breweries is the perfect opportunity to taste them all, including funky lambics, tangy saisons, dubbels, tripels, abbeys, and wits. If you work up an appetite, food trucks like Dante’s Inferno Hot Dogs and Buddha Bruddah will be on-site slinging hearty fare. JULIANNE BELL
9. An Evening With Leftover Salmon
Colorado Americana project Leftover Salmon combines rock, folk, bluegrass, Cajun, soul, zydeco, jazz, and blues influences for a lively, homespun sound. The 25-year-old band will come to Seattle for an intimate show.
Here is one way of looking at indie rock in the ’00s: The lead singer of Vampire Weekend, Ezra Koenig, recalls Paul Simon (of the ’80s, that is), the lead singer of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Alec Ounsworth, recalls David Byrne, the lead singer of the Walkmen, Hamilton Leithauser, recalls Bono (particularly his early, good stuff), and, finally, the lead singer of Interpol, Paul Banks, recalls, of course, Ian Curtis (on a chair, legs crossed, cigarette burning between fingers). Interpol do have a masterpiece. It’s the track “Untitled” on their debut album, Turn on the Bright Lights. CHARLES MUDEDE
Despite Gene Simmons' political fanaticism and the band's many schisms over the years, iconic makeup metal group KISS is still gigging hard and will hit the Pacific Northwest this winter on their End of the Road World Tour, marking the chosen finale of their tenure as a band.
12. Unorthodox Live: Featuring Dan Savage
You're invited to expand your knowledge of sex and "news from the Jews" during this Valentine's-themed live recording of the online magazine Tablet's popular podcast. The Stranger's own intimacy advice dealer Dan Savage and other guests will join regulars Mark Oppenheimer, Stephanie Butnick, and Liel Leibovitz. Expect gossip, culture, and a Jewish-gentile dialogue on sex and matchmaking. VIP ticketholders can hang out with the guest artists for happy hour.
THROUGH FEBRUARY 2PERFORMANCE
13. Dear Evan Hansen
All I know about this show is that I very badly want to see it, it won a bunch of Tony Awards, and it’s about how social media can really screw up people’s lives. I’m so there. CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE
14. Seattle CannaCon
CannaCon's flagship expo takes place in Seattle, where people love weed very much. Hundreds of exhibitors and cannabis professionals gather for three days full of educational talks, shopping opportunities, and networking. There will be a lot of talk on what the future cannabis market has to offer for 2019 and beyond.
15. SR 99 - Step Forward
Celebrate the final days of the Alaskan Way Viaduct and check out the new Bertha-born SR 99 tunnel, which will provide new routes for getting to and through downtown Seattle, at this grand opening festival that will include a fun run and bike ride, live music, food trucks, and tours.
16. An Evening with Phil Lesh and the Terrapin Family Band
Grateful Dead lifer Phil Lesh has spent his years since that band's inception spreading jam band fervor to the far reaches of the earth with all of his spin-off musical projects. He will bring the Terrapin Family Band to Seattle for a night of reinterpreting the Grateful Dead songbook.
17. Super Bowl LIII
The Seahawks will not be playing in the 53rd Super Bowl—you’ll have to root for the New England Patriots or the Los Angeles Rams—but why pass up an opportunity to drink copious amounts of beer, eat a lot of chips, and watch decent commercials? Lots of places in Seattle are hosting watch parties complete with food and drink specials, which you'll find on our Super Bowl calendar.
18. Silent Movie Mondays: Variety/Variété
E.A. Dupont's dark love-triangle drama stars the renowned Emil Jannings (of The Last Laugh fame, for you German Expressionism fans) and Lya De Putti and was shot by the great cinematographic innovator Karl Freund. It's about a former trapeze artist who leaves his wife for a beautiful orphan. But when a creepy impresario engages the couple for a new act, their doom is nigh. The Amy Denio Ensemble will perform a live score.
19. Gnash, Mallrat, Guardin
Gnash, a fully emoting young up-and-comer, singer, and semi-rapper, will bring his dream diary to the stage on this Seattle tour stop, with support from queer Brooklyn pop punks Mallrat and Guardin.
FEBRUARY 4-JUNE 7COMMUNITY
20. Seattle General Strike Era & Centralia Tragedy of 1919
The year 1919 saw two major historical events in Seattle: the Seattle General Strike—when workers rallied for better working conditions and higher wages for five days in February—and the violent showdown that followed between radical labor activists and their opponents, which became known as the Centralia Tragedy. This exhibit features historical artifacts and first-hand accounts from both events.
Croatian classical populists 2Cellos, otherwise known as Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser, became famous in 2011 after their version of Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal" went viral and they were subsequently featured on Glee. They'll return to the Seattle area on their national Let There Be Cello tour.
22. Richard Thompson Electric Trio
Closing in on 70 years of age, Richard Thompson has earned the right to do whatever the hell he wants. A consensus choice for guitar-hero status, folk-rock division, this British master sauntered into the pantheon during the ’60s and ’70s with psych-folk deities Fairport Convention and via his many recordings with wife Linda Thompson. Richard’s sage, foghorn voice is one of the most comforting in music and his repertoire—including “Meet on the Ledge,” “Night Comes In,” “When I Get to the Border”—is more vast and compelling than most performers his age still treading the boards. DAVE SEGAL
23. The James Hunter Six
Of all the contemporary soul “throwbacks,” the James Hunter Six might be the most remarkable. I’m not sure I should even call the JH6 a “throwback,” as Mr. Hunter has been active for more than four decades. He is exceptionally well sussed. Everything just fits—there’s an earnestness bound to the rawness of Hunter’s vocals, as the songwriting and arrangements dial in the sweetest and most swinging early-1960s R&B, deep, plaintive soulful ballads, up-tempo dancers, and an occasional nod to period ska. Full disclosure: I slept on this group till recently. Y’all better not, ’cause the James Hunter Six rule. MIKE NIPPER
24. A$AP Rocky
A$AP Rocky might be the most famous member to spring out of NYC’s A$AP Mob, likely because he had a chart-topping catchy-as-fuck track with Drake, 2 Chains, and Kendrick Lamar in “Fuckin’ Problems.” I can’t lie, I dug it. I also don’t hate “Sundress,” although I might give credit to the Tame Impala track that’s being sampled (“Why Won't You Make Up Your Mind?") and one of its coproducers (Danger Mouse) than A$AP’s singsong raps about an ex stepping out with her new man. And that track “Everyday”? Hot. Soulful and dark, with perfect guest tapping (Rod Stewart, Miguel, Mark Ronson), and strong A$AP Rocky rhyme game, from more leisurely to sped-up spits matching a mid-song tempo change. Lester Black gets credit for turning me on to that one. And A$AP Rocky gets credit for being good. LEILANI POLK
25. Hippo Campus
The likable Minnesotan lads of Hippo Campus will play their mellow, brightly harmonic tunes for an all-ages crew two nights in a row.
26. 'The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part' Opening
Emmet, Wyldstyle, Batman, Unikitty, and all your other favorite blocky characters are back, but their LEGO world has been wrecked by the advent of a little sister and her oversized blocks. Now they live in Apocalypseburg, until an alien abduction disrupts their lives even further. Look forward to more witty wisecracks and another character, Rex Dangervest, who leads a troupe of velociraptors.
27. Dark Star Orchestra
Dark Star Orchestra keep the indomitable legacy of the Grateful Dead twinkling with their spot-on tribute concerts. They plunder the mother lode of the jam-band progenitors' vast output for Deadheads who miss the real deal or for those unfortunates who never had the chance to witness them live. DSO's MO is to replicate momentous Dead set lists from the group's deep archives, and then nail every facet of the music. Clearly, DSO have their inspiration's wonderfully tight/loose chops, fluid sense of time and space, and that all-important stamina to keep on truckin' through the transitive nightfall of diamonds. DAVE SEGAL
28. KEXP Presents International Clash Day
To wrap up a week of programming for International Clash Day—started by KEXP's own Morning Show host, John Richards—the local music station will host a Clash cover night with Hotels, Mirrorgloss, Guayaba, and Dark Smith, who will play songs from London Calling in honor of the album's 40th anniversary. While you're there, grab a special can of Transistor IPA, designed by Scuttlebutt Brewing just for the occasion.
29. Warren G, Grynch, DJ Indica Jones
The OG of the G-funk era who collaborated so effortlessly and classically with Nate Dogg (RIP) on numerous tracks including “Regulate”—a fine paradigm of hiphop and one of the greatest hiphop production tappings ever of Michael McDonald's soft-rock anthem “I Keep Forgettin' (Every Time You’re Near)”—is landing in Seattle. Warren G’s catalog isn’t large, but what he lacks in quantity he makes up for in quality. Spend the day listening to him on Spotify, and you’ll see what I mean—he gets flow, rhythm, and how to build a nice funky groove and make it sinister, sexy, or serious. Did you know he was instrumental in helping shape the sound of Dr. Dre’s The Chronic? Peep Warren’s YouTube doc, G-Funk, to learn more about how significant he was to West Coast hiphop. Then go get your head bob on with him on this night. LEILANI POLK
30. 140 LBS
Local theater powerhouse Sara Porkalob will direct the world premiere of Susan Lieu’s autobiographical solo show 140 LBS. When Lieu was young, her mom died two hours into a tummy tuck operation. The surgeon was charged with medical negligence, and her family struggled to move on from the loss. Decades later, Lieu decided to confront her mother's killer, as well her mother's and her own relationship with the "impossible ideal of Vietnamese feminine beauty." Porkalob is known for her ability to faithfully render a handful of wildly different characters in her solo shows, so look for her to draw out a similar talent in Lieu. RICH SMITH
31. The Magic Lantern of Ingmar Bergman
Swedish visionary film director Ingmar Bergman would have been 100 this year. His deeply introspective, unabashedly emotional, despairing yet strangely life-affirming oeuvre will once again be onscreen at Seattle Art Museum (in association with the Nordic Museum). Oh, hey, and they’re showing one of the most traumatizing movies about relationships ever made, Cries and Whispers, on Valentine’s Day. Happy coincidence? Also on tap this month: The Passion of Anna (Feb 7) and The Magic Flute (Feb 21). JOULE ZELMAN
FEBRUARY 7-MARCH 2VISUAL ART
32. Théo Tobiasse
See the figurative lithographs of Lithuanian Israeli artist Théo Tobiasse, a fascinating figure who survived the Holocaust in Paris by hiding for two years in a tiny apartment with his family.
33. Brian Regan
The popular, clean-talking observational comedian, who first appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman in 1995, will return with more funny thoughts on daily life.
34. 'Cold Pursuit' Opening
Oh my god, it’s Liam Neeson. Oh my god, someone has fucked with him again. As in his other action films, he is just a guy trying to lead a normal life, but then the shit hits the fan and the bullets start flying. Oh my god, I can never get enough of Neeson’s troubles. I can’t stop watching him in the same story. The latest, Cold Pursuit, is based on a 2014 film called In Order of Disappearance, which Stranger contributor Andrew Wright described as “a Scandinavian thriller that certainly hits the Coen piñata hard.” CHARLES MUDEDE
What if your sixth-grade museum field trip grew up to be the boozy evening of your dreams? Such is the premise behind this geeked-out craft beer fest, where you’re invited to imbibe as many four-ounce samples as you can handle from breweries and cideries and learn the science behind your favorite beverages. Talk to the brewmasters to get the scoop on their processes, take a toasty trip through the Science Center, and participate in hoppy hands-on activities and demonstrations that would make Bill Nye proud. JULIANNE BELL
36. King Tuff, Tropa Magica
Judging by his newly bred full-length, The Other, it seems King Tuff has dashingly dropped the headbanger garage rock and is gracing us with something a little more synth-buttery smooth, a little more shimmery (like his album cover portrait), a little more situated in the hypno-pop arena. ZACH FRIMMEL
37. Tanya Tagaq
Inuk experimental artist and throat singer Tanya Tagaq was probably best known as one of Björk’s supporting players on the Medulla album before she won the prestigious Polaris and Juno prizes—not necessarily because people care about awards, but because her awards performance in front of a list of Inuit survivors of domestic assault went viral. Tagaq combines traditional throat singing with electronic arrangement, punk attitude, and some death-metal vocal flourishes to create dramatic music with a political slant. JOSEPH SCHAFER
38. Wiz Khalifa, Curren$y
I recently texted my brother—a huge Wiz Khalifa fan—asking why the Pittsburgh rapper is worth listening to. He hit me back with this: “Why is any music worth listening to?” Good point, bro, good point. He went on to explain that Wiz is “unique in this rap game” and that “all he raps about is weed and pursuing your goals.” Wiz raps for the people who just wanna light up and have a good time. Which is most of Seattle. On this date, he’s joined by Curren$y of “Bottom of the Bottle” fame. JASMYNE KEIMIG
40. Becoming: An Intimate Conversation with Michelle Obama
Michelle Obama is touring the country in support of her memoir, Becoming, which focuses on different aspects of her life, like being a mother, her time in the White House, her role as a public-health figure, and “how she found her voice.” I bought this book for my mom for Christmas—she refers to the former first lady as her “best friend” and she snatched up tickets to this event as soon as they became available. There’s no doubt that Obama will drop cute facts about her relationship with Barack, tell a few candid details about what it’s like to be at the top, and wear something completely and utterly stunning. JASMYNE KEIMIG
41. Roy Wood Jr.
You know Roy Wood Jr. as a wry correspondent on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah and the host of This Is Not Happening since 2017. He'll come to Seattle for four sets.
42. Cowboy Junkies
The first time I ever heard Cowboy Junkies was on a dirty, beer-stained couch at the radio station I used to help run in college. My friend and I were supposed to be studying, but we ended up just lying around listening to music. She put on their cover of Velvet Underground’s “Sweet Jane,” which seemed to fit every mood I could ever have at 21—melancholy, meditative, cautious, ready to yield to the good things in life. Like the rest of the band’s work. Cowboy Junkies are now celebrating 30 years together as a band. Cheers to that. JASMYNE KEIMIG
43. Roger Guenveur Smith: Frederick Douglass Now
Roger Guenveur Smith blew the top off my fucking skull when he came through Seattle a few years ago with his Rodney King solo show. Smith is an incomparably good character actor with an incredible command of language and a jazz-infused storytelling technique I haven't seen from anyone else. The Stranger's Sean Nelson called it "a master class in wringing glorious art from life's tragic dimension," a sentiment I agree with completely. Now Smith is coming through with Frederick Douglass Now, a solo show about the self-liberated abolitionist who is "getting recognized more and more," the president notices. Somehow, tickets for Rodney King didn't sell out back in 2016. Don't make that mistake again this time, Seattle. RICH SMITH
Former Stranger staffer Devin Bannon takes on the persona of Klaus Nomi, the famously strange German falsetto singer who became a celebrity of the underground art scene in New York in the 1980s. Among his innovations were an angular statue-suit he could not walk in and striking black-and-white makeup that made him look like an extraterrestrial mime. Bannon will be accompanied by Annastasia Workman on piano and Kathy Moore on guitar, with two backup dancers choreographed by the great boylesque dancer Waxie Moon and stage direction by Keira MacDonald. Be entertained by this spectral figure and enjoy a menu of pastry and pies.
FEBRUARY 9FOOD & DRINK
45. Alki Winter Beer & Food Truck Festival
As Special Olympics Washington attempts to set the Guinness World Record for the “largest polar plunge” ever into the punishingly icy waters of Puget Sound, the Mobile Food Rodeo will provide warming sustenance for plungers and onlookers alike. There will be flaky pastries from Piroshky Piroshky, slow-roasted wood-smoked barbecue from Pecos Pit Bar-b-que, Japanese taiyaki (fish-shaped cakes) from BeanFish, fried chicken from Ezell’s, fry bread and tacos from Native American food truck Off the Rez, and more. Plus, 10 local breweries will be serving their offerings from inside the winter beer-tasting garden. JULIANNE BELL
46. Beecher's Cheese for All
Cold winters call for comfort food, and Kurt Beecher Dammeier’s household-name handmade cheese company will rise to the occasion. At this tour, local chefs will prepare mac and cheese and cheeseburgers made with the company’s various cheeses and Mishima Reserve Wagyu beef. JULIANNE BELL
47. Lunar New Year Celebration
Welcome the Year of the Pig with traditional lion and dragon dances, other cultural performances, and food at Chinatown's annual Lunar New Year celebration. Plus, find more ways to celebrate on our complete Lunar New Year calendar.
48. Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band
Like Kraftwerk, Bob Seger largely ignores and underrates his early work. However, last year saw the rerelease of those brutal, soulful garage-rock singles he cut with the Last Heard circa 1966–67 on the Heavy Music comp. So maybe the Motor City icon is realizing the serious hunger for music from his wild, youthful phase? Does this mean Seger and the Silver Bullet Band will rekindle that flame, or will they play it safe with the heartland stadium-rock and sentimental balladry that scored some of your least-favorite TV ads? With a fan base consisting mainly of folks who’ve probably written their wills, the latter seems more likely—although recent sets have included early barn burner “Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man” and the haunting troubadour move “Turn the Page.” DAVE SEGAL
49. Fiji, Sly & Robbie & the Taxi Gang with Bitty Mclean
Fiji is a massively popular Hawaiian reggae singer who traffics in mellow, sunshiny vibes geared to buoy the heart and banish worries. But the main reason to hit Nectar tonight are Sly & Robbie, the in-demand Jamaican rhythm-section gurus who’ve provided dank, slinky, and tuff grooves for countless dub, reggae, dancehall, and R&B artists in a career dating back to the 1970s. Their work with Grace Jones’s 1980s LPs alone earns them a spot in the pantheon. This tour finds them backing UK/JA lovers rock singer Bitty McLean. DAVE SEGAL
50. Hippie Sabotage, Sebastian Paul
California’s Hippie Sabotage, much like our own local boys gone grand Odesza, perform the sort of sun-baked beachtronica that will make you feel like cracking open a Corona and playing hooky for a week. If you’re looking for a techno-pop fix on a Saturday night, it wouldn’t be wrong to steer you here, but why would you ever need a fix of techno pop? Just watch the ads before YouTube videos. KYLE FLECK
51. Golden Dragon Acrobats
Get ready to be very, very impressed with China's Drama Desk Award-nominated Golden Dragon Acrobats Circus, which plays an amazing 200 shows a year and has been touring America for over 30 years. The troupe will soar through the air and perform feats of contortion.
52. Venice is Sinking Masquerade Ball 2019
The Seattle Design Center's annual masquerade ball inspired by the Venetian palaces along the Grand Canal is straight-up majestic, featuring a variety of circus acts, musicians, and actors working tirelessly to set a dreamy mood. In addition to taking in performances, you can try your hand at (faux) gambling in the Salotto dei Giochi Classici room, feast on decadent confections in the Marie Antoinette dessert room, enter a costume contest (prepare your powdered wigs), and more.
53. The Big Plunge
You don't have to wait until next New Year's Day to jump into the chilly waters of the Puget Sound with reckless abandon. The organizers of this event want you to help break the Guinness World Record for "the biggest polar plunge." You'll be rewarded with food and winter brews, music, and more. Proceeds will benefit Special Olympics Washington athletes.
THROUGH FEBRUARY 9FILM
54. Children's Film Festival Seattle
The Children's Film Festival is founded on two premises: 1) Children are not stupid and 2) they deserve beautiful world cinema just like us grown-ups with underused film degrees. The organizers at Northwest Film Forum believe that art can do heavy lifting for "racial equity and diversity, inclusivity, social justice, [and] global awareness" through brilliant storytelling and lovely sound and imagery. The program this year includes Makoto Nakamura's Chieri and Cherry, a selection of shorts from Japan's KINEKO Film Festival, and a silhouette-animation installation for kids in the lobby.
55. Russell Peters: Deported World Tour
"Canada's number one stand-up export" Peters (Almost Famous on Netflix) will perform new material on his international tour.
56. Pike Chocofest
Dive headfirst into chocoholic bacchanalia with 10—count ’em 10—drink tickets in tow at this annual pre–Valentine’s Day bash. Indulge in libations from dozens of breweries, cideries, wineries, and distilleries, and sate your sweet tooth with confections from Fran’s Chocolates, Theo Chocolate, Chukar Cherries, Gelatiamo, Seattle Chocolate Company, Intrigue Chocolate, and more. Cut your sugar rush with something savory via bites from local restaurants like RN74 and Outlier. And know that all your hedonism supports a good cause: Proceeds benefit the Washington Trail Association’s efforts to protect local trails. JULIANNE BELL
Terius Youngdell Nash, aka the prolific pop songwriter and R&B mainstay The-Dream, has been providing club soundtracks equally tailored to the high-heeled dance-floor seductress and “the fellas” for more than a decade, before and during which he penned chart-topping songs for a string of stars from Britney Spears to Rihanna. Those familiar with his repertoire know not to look to his hypersexual R&B for tender love confessions, but for the smoothly sung, yet bluntly posed eroticism meant to take you from the bar to the bedroom and beyond. The often hilariously explicit detail you encounter on a Dream song is one of its draws, and it’s what will keep the drinks and pheromones flowing at his show. TODD HAMM
58. 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.
THROUGH FEBRUARY 10PERFORMANCE
59. Last of the Boys
A Vietnam vet living in isolation in the California Central Valley finds his lonely existence interrupted by his army pal, the pal's girlfriend, and the pal's girlfriend's mother. This is a play by Seattle's own Steven Dietz (Fiction).
FEBRUARY 11READINGS & TALKS
60. Ronan Farrow
Somehow, in the middle of helping to redefine the way journalists report on sexual assault, Ronan Farrow finished up a book about the decades-long decline of American influence around the world. In War on Peace: The End of Diplomacy and the Decline of American Influence, Farrow, who worked for Barack Obama's State Department for several years, takes a look back at American diplomacy through the eyes of the weary and disaffected public servants who saw their dreams of working toward peace darken as administrations cut budgets and closed embassies. As he tracks America's turn toward isolationism following the end of the Cold War, Farrow shows how another world power—China—is filling the diplomatic gaps the United States is leaving open. RICH SMITH
61. Solmaz Sharif
Unless you're getting your news from Democracy Now, or you have family in the Middle East/Central America/Afghanistan, or you're detained in a tent at the border, the disastrous consequences of America's foreign policy may be escaping your daily life. But that news stays news in Solmaz Sharif's Look, a finalist for the 2016 National Book Award and one of the best books of contemporary poetry published in the 21st century. Look shows us how easy and seductive it is for people to see others as objects, enemies, or props to generate fear for the sole purpose of gaining a small bit of power. It shows us how governments use language to achieve those ends, and it offers a different kind of language that we might use to short-circuit that mechanism. Don't miss this Seattle Arts & Lectures event. RICH SMITH
62. Blackberry Smoke, Quaker City Night Hawks
Arena rockers Blackberry Smoke have spent years expanding the Southern music traditions in which their sound is steeped. They'll be in town on their Find A Light Tour.
63. The Delfonics with Greg Hill
I’ve always thought of the Delfonics as the easygoing alternative to the Temptations; they enjoyed their heydays around the same time (the 1960s and ’70s) and resided in the same general sonic realms (soul and R&B). But where the Temptations got psychedelic and rocking, the Delfonics got smoother and more loving. The Philly group had a resurgence when their music was featured in Jackie Brown, but you likely know them from famous covers and samples of their material, from NKOTB’s rendition of “Didn't I (Blow Your Mind This Time)” to “Ready or Not Here I Come (Can’t Hide from Love),” tapped numerous times but most notably by the Fugees in “Ready or Not” and Missy Elliott in “Sock It 2 Me.” This Delfonics lineup (there are three) is led by Greg Hill. LEILANI POLK
64. Jesse McCartney, Whitney Woerz
It seems that as soon as Aaron Carter left my life, Jesse McCartney entered it. They both had the blond-haired-mop, blue-eyed-pop market on lock. One apparently just replaced the other, but my 10-year-old self was in love regardless. That’s why I was a little distressed to remember that McCartney did not, in fact, star in an episode of Lizzie McGuire (that was Aaron) and also wasn’t in John Tucker Must Die (that was Jesse Metcalfe). Even though I got my early 2000s teen-pop hunks mixed up, McCartney’s new stuff is actually pretty catchy! He now leans to a decidedly more EDM/club sound, though there’s no doubt that the former teen heartthrob will play fan favorite “Beautiful Soul” on this night. JASMYNE KEIMIG
65. Johnny Mathis
Lush pop crafter and '50s-'60s chart mainstay Johnny Mathis is celebrating his 62nd year in the music industry. He'll share his sublime vocals with a Seattle audience.
66. The Nels Cline 4
A dexterous guitarist who excels in many rock and jazz contexts, Nels Cline is most famous for his 15-year stint with avant-Americana group Wilco. His versatility is such that he might be the only musician who’s played with Julius Hemphill and Mike Watt. Now in his 60s, Cline is still thrusting into interesting sonic territory with his newish quartet, as their 2018 album Currents, Constellations (on the still relevant Blue Note label) proves. Here, Cline unspools circuitous motifs of chords that sometimes glisten with intrigue and sometimes rustily fray nerves. Album highlight “Imperfect 10” sounds like Norwegian fusion deity Terje Rypdal getting oblongly funky with Tortoise. Tonight is going to be a cerebral joy. DAVE SEGAL
67. Jen Kirkman
You've seen Jen Kirkman on Chelsea Lately, @Midnight, Conan, The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and her Netflix specials I'm Gonna Die Alone and Just Keep Livin'?, but did you know she's also a writer on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel? She's also penned the bestselling books I Can Barely Take Care of Myself: Tales From a Happy Life Without Kids and I Know What I'm Doing — And Other Lies I Tell Myself. See her in the flesh!
68. 'Alita: Battle Angel' Opening
If you are like me, you are starved for a cyberpunk film. The world just does not make enough of them. Indeed, we are still waiting for an adaption of William Gibson’s Neuromancer, the founding novel of the science fiction genre. While we wait for that important work to be realized, we can watch Alita: Battle Angel, which is based on a manga of the same name by Yukito Kishiro. Expect Cartesian puzzles, confused cyborgs, thrills, and a big city with millions of humans and machines. CHARLES MUDEDE
69. Valentine's Day
You can thank (or curse) the flourish of courtly romance brought on by Chaucer and his 14th-century contemporaries for the insufferably gooey romantic connotations that have come to define Valentine's Day. Or, you can follow the lead of Leslie Knope and trade a date with your crush for a night with your best pals. Whatever you're feeling, you'll find tons of options on our complete Valentine's Day calendar, including a Robyn-inspired Dancing on My Own dance party, a Bilal and Parisalexa concert, the Atomic Bombshells in J'ADORE!: A Burlesque Valentine, and a Valentine's Day Insect Feast.
70. Aurora, Talos
Sprightly Scandinavian singer Aurora will haunt your evening with dark electronica-tinged pop music, and will be joined by Talos.
71. Ella Mai, Kiana Lede, Lucky Daye
Smooth English singer-songwriter Ella Mai has been heard all over the world since her single "Boo'd Up" hit the airwaves this past summer. She'll travel back to the West Coast on her "Debut" tour this winter.
72. Nicola Gunn: Piece for Person and Ghetto Blaster
Experimental theater artist Nicola Gunn's piece examines the moral repercussions of an angry exchange she had with a man who was throwing rocks at a brooding duck. At the 2017 Melbourne run of this show, Paul Ransom in Dance Magazine wrote, "In the troubled world of 'dance with text,' this is the undisputed champion. Gunn and [choreographer Jo] Lloyd have sculpted a fizzing, hyper-intelligent physical rant."
73. Kremwerk Five Year Anniversary Weekend
Kremwerk, the downtown tri-venue compound boasting exceptional live music, dance, and drag events, will celebrate their fifth birthday this weekend with a plethora of events featuring — you guessed it — live music, dance, and drag.
FEBRUARY 14-MARCH 10PERFORMANCE
74. American Junkie
In his book American Junkie, Seattle memoirist Tom Hansen presented his no-bullshit, matter-of-fact account of heroin addiction, self-destruction, and eventual recovery in the 1990s. According to press materials, Jane Jones and Kevin McKeon's adaptation of his story for the stage will be "a tight, 90-minute ride through Seattle’s music scene during the grunge era." No doubt Hansen's story will also resonate with people living through the current ravages of the opioid crisis. RICH SMITH
75. A Bowie Celebration: The David Bowie Alumni Tour
Now that the winter is slowly passing, it’s time to revel in some palate-cleansing joy. Seattle Symphony has decided to host an evening of tributes worthy of glam rock god David Bowie with his friends, former bandmates, and acclaimed musicians including Mike Garson and other amazing Bowie band alumni. Feel free to zazz your face up with a lightning bolt and cry/dance in the corner with the rest of us.
76. Leyla McCalla
New Orleans-based Haitian American musician Leyla McCalla, who sings, plays the cello, tenor banjo, and guitar, will perform. Her music is influenced by traditional Creole, Cajun, and Haitian music, as well as by American jazz and folk.
77. TRL Total Request Live Night with *NSYNC's Chris Kirkpatrick
Relive the most intense boy band crushes of your youth with a night of Top 40 pop thanks to *NSYNC member Chris Kirkpatrick, Seattle’s only tribute boyband #ALL4DORAS, and DJs Pryme and Lo.
78. Chris D'Elia
Reasonably famous for his roles on Undateable and Whitney, Chris D’Elia is a handsome T-shirt- and jeans-wearing schlub whose comedic material’s common as hell, but his animated, on-point gestures, vocal inflections, and impressions amplify his humor into some genuine ROFL bits. He has a PhD in analyzing dude-bro behavior, and some high points of his stand-up include a brutal takedown of Drake, a breakdown of the best and worst laughers, and why Russians are always angry. His staunch stance on birthday parties: “Birthday parties are like penises—I like mine and that’s it.” D’Elia’s 2015 comedy special, Incorrigible, aptly summarizes his onstage persona—yet he’s totally endearing with it. DAVE SEGAL
79. Everett Film Festival
When it was created in 1997, the Everett Women’s Film Festival was dedicated to "highlighting the strength, humor, and creativity of women through provocative and entertaining films." Over the years, the festival has expanded its vision by presenting films not only made by women, but also those that shed light on the lives of women from various cultures, times, and experiences.
80. Noir City 2019
If you love cinema, then you must love film noir. And if you love film noir, then you must love the Noir City festival, which will feature a number of known and less known movies in this genre that has lots of spiderlike women, lots of long knives, lots of rooms with dark curtains, lots of faces of the fallen, and lots of existential twists and turns. This year's theme is "The Dark Side of Mid-Century America." CHARLES MUDEDE
FEBRUARY 15-JUNE 2VISUAL ART
81. Gretchen Frances Bennett: Air, the free or unconfined space above the surface of the earth
Cinematically tinged drawings, photographs, and video by Gretchen Frances Bennett combine influences in sources like Céline Sciamma's Tomboy, a French film about a gender-nonconforming child, and "screen grabs from online spiritual guides' video channels."
82. 25th Anniversary Party! Playfulness as Resistance
Put a spring in your rebellious step at this art party, featuring attractions by some of the most playful artists around: Colleen Louise Barry (curator of Mount Analogue) with her ball pit, Timothy Rysdyke (curator of the Factory) making drinks, and artist Claire Cowie with her temporary tattoos. Plus music by SassyBlack and Felisha Ledesma.
83. Carla Hall at Junebaby
For Black History Month, acclaimed JuneBaby chef Edouardo Jordan is enlisting some major talent, including the ebullient Nashville-born chef and TV personality Carla Hall, former co-host of ABC's The Chew and a former contestant and fan favorite on Bravo's Top Chef and Top Chef All-Stars. Hall, who spent years working as a runway model in Paris, Milan, and London in the '90s and ate her way through Europe, cooks Southern food inspired by her memories of her grandmother's Sunday suppers and espouses a philosophy of "cooking with love," insisting that the warmth and care will come through in the finished product. (It seems to check out: The inimitable Jacques Pépin once said he could "die happy" after tasting her fresh peas.) At this event, she'll bring her soul food stylings to JuneBaby's menu. JULIANNE BELL
84. Chef Collaborative Dinner at Marian Built Loft
Cook a multi-course meal from Julien Perry's Seattle Cooks: Signature Recipes from the City's Best Chefs & Bartenders, with acclaimed chefs Zoi Antonitsas (of Little Fish), Aaron Tekulve (of New American pop-up Surrell), and Perry himself.
85. Magnuson Winter Night Market
Bundle up and shop from over 100 pop-ups showcasing local "makers, finders, and foodies." Plus, enjoy a beer garden and live music.
Rhye is the project of Toronto-bred, LA-based musician and singer Michael Milosh, whose vocals are a delicate, honeyed, hushed caress, a kiss to the ears, so exquisite and captivating that the first time I heard him, on a Bonobo track (“Break Apart”), I literally wept. (I’ve described him as a melancholic Sade.) His music is soulful, down-tempo, alternative R&B that had its debut 2013, when he released the first Rhye album, Woman, as one-half of a duo. Now he fronts a collective whose subtly lovely instrumentals are a perfect complement to his gorgeous vocal stylings. LEILANI POLK
87. Live Wire Radio
Luke Burbank's Live Wire is an NPR-type variety program based in Portland, Oregon, featuring artists, writers, filmmakers, and musicians in conversation. See it live!
88. Marlon James: Black Leopard, Red Wolf
Man Booker Prize-winning postcolonial writer Marlon James (A Brief History of Seven Killings) will return to Seattle to read from his latest fiction, Black Leopard, Red Wolf, the first in a new fantasy trilogy that adapts elements of African lore and myth. In it, a hunter named Tracker and a band of allies try to find a boy who vanished three years earlier, encountering many strange and deadly beings along the way.
89. Chop Shop: Bodies of Work
This contemporary dance festival has presented performances from troupes and artists around the world, with the goal of reaching diverse audiences and connecting people of all abilities with dance instruction. The artists this year will be Lauren Horn//Subira vs. Movement Dance Company from Windsor, CT; Javier Padilla & the Movement Playground, Julia Antinozzi, and Margot Gelber & Dancers from New York; the Stone Dance Collective from Seattle and the Eastside; Lydia Relle from Phoenix and Seattle; natalya shoaf from San Francisco; and Julie Crothers from Oakland.
THROUGH FEBRUARY 16PERFORMANCE
This show looks like a fun mess. At the beginning of Branden Jacobs-Jenkins's Pulitzer-shortlisted revival of a 15th-century morality play, none of the actors know which role they're going to play. Actors playing the characters God and Death randomly select the roles for the other actors, and the show gets underway. Ben Brantley at the New York Times called the first run "self-consciously whimsical and repetitive," but he didn't seem to say it in a mean way. Strawberry Theatre Workshop's production features some actors who are good on their feet—Justin Huertas, Lamar Legend, MJ Sieber—and so I have every confidence that they'll be able to turn this "work in progress," to use Brantley's terms, into an exuberant romp about the inevitability of death. RICH SMITH
91. Maz Jobrani: The Still Touring Tour
After George W. Bush declared North Korea, Iran, and Iraq to be the "Axis of Evil," Tehran-born Maz Jobrani and other entertainers riposted with their Axis of Evil tour. And, as the title proclaims, Jobrani is still indeed around, drawing on the ever-streaming font of material that is Western prejudice against and misunderstanding of Middle Easterners. Now, Jobrani stars in Superior Donuts with Jermaine Fowler. He's performed at the White House, on Showtime, and in many films, such as Jimmy Vestvood: Amerikan Hero and Friday After Next, and is a Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me! panelist.
92. Alki Oyster Fest 2019
At the second annual Oyster Fest on Alki Beach, slurp fresh Hama Hama oysters alongside a glass of wine or craft beer from nearby Ampersand Café and West Seattle Brewing Company while listening to live music. Net proceeds benefit the Puget Sound Restoration Fund, whose mission is to "restore marine habitat, water quality, and native species in Puget Sound through tangible, on-the-ground projects."
93. J Boog, EarthKry, Eddy Dyno
Samoan reggae legend and native Compton son J Boog will return to Seattle on his 2019 Rock Da Boat tour, with his backing band. Jamaican reggae band EarthKry and pop artist Eddy Dyno will provide additional support.
94. Joan Osborne Sings the Songs of Bob Dylan with Brenda Xu
National treasure and legendary Grammy-nominated vocalist Joan Osborne will interpret classic tracks originally penned by Bob Dylan with local folk-influenced string musician Brenda Xu.
THROUGH FEBRUARY 17PERFORMANCE
95. Fire Season
A 12-year-old boy in a working-class community overdoses on OxyContin, and everyone in his life tries to pick up the pieces. The playwright is Aurin Squire, the first winner of the theater's Emerald Prize. Directed by Kelly Kitchens.
96. M. Butterfly
Not the Puccini opera Madame Butterfly but the fascinating David Henry Hwang play about exoticism and fetishization, in which a French diplomat becomes infatuated with a Chinese opera star, not realizing (or unable to admit to himself) that women are not allowed on the Beijing stage and the object of his fantasy is actually a man.
97. Uncle Vanya
For the last eight years, the Seagull Project has been working with ACTLab to stage all four of Anton Chekhov's major canonical works. The production of Uncle Vanya is the fourth and final installment, marking the end of a long and theatrically fruitful partnership. This is a big deal, and a real turning point for the group, and nobody is sure what they'll do next, but I'm real excited about their take on this hyper-melancholic doozy from the great Russian realist about unrequited love, adultery, boredom, and despair. (If you've been tuning in for the last several years, you'll know those are all common themes.) This show has three of my favorite actors in town—Alexandra Tavares, Peter Crook, and Kevin Lin—so there's no way it's not going to be good. RICH SMITH
98. Fred Armisen: Comedy for Musicians but Everyone is Welcome
Seth Meyers's bandleader, Peabody Award-winning Portlandia co-creator, and Saturday Night Live veteran Fred Armisen will draw on his musical chops for this comedy night.
99. Ja Rule & Ashanti
I hated the heyday of Murder Inc.—it was the official Western Family version of the Bad Boy era, the Hydrox Ruff Ryders, if you will—but it was a little unfair what happened to them. I mean, not only were the Feds after them, but 50 Cent (and later, Eminem and all their attendant demons) just turned their cash cow into dry-ass, late-night AM/PM burger meat faster than J.Lo could delete Diddy from her Motorola two-way contacts. There’s been no more complete decimation in the history of the genre. Luckily, the Inc.’s two biggest stars (including Ja Rule), beloved survivors, aided by the hyperactive millennial nostalgia engine, are able to sidestep the casino circuit. Expect Ja Rule and Ashanti to rapturize a crowd full of ostensibly grown folks who are reliving their middle-school peaks with a hit parade of treacly rap&B dance hits. LARRY MIZELL JR.
100. Haters Roast: The Shady Tour
Eight delightfully venomous queens from the VH1 reality show will wield their tongues against choice targets like politics, media, and each other.
101. Kacey Musgraves, Soccer Mommy
Texas troubadour Kacey Musgraves' third studio effort, Golden Hour, is among the year's best. It’s the kind of lovingly crafted work that feels like the warm embrace of a good friend, as she sings about sisterly love and fading romance. KATHY FENNESSY
102. The Bad Plus
A Minneapolis jazz trio of impeccable taste and talent that are inching towards two decades together. The Bad Plus have a dozen albums to their credit, their catalog heavy on avant-jazzy reimaginings of indie rock, pop, and electronic music. Go find their take on Aphex Twin’s “Flim” right now. Then, listen to their most recent outing, It’s Hard—“I Walk the Line” (Johnny Cash), “Maps” (the Yeah Yeah Yeahs), “The Robots” (Kraftwerk), and “The Beautiful Ones” (Prince) all get the Bad Plus treatment. LEILANI POLK
103. Chris Fleming
The web comedian, embodier of Gayle Waters-Waters in his own series Gayle, has been invading real life with his solo piece Showpig. Given that Huffington Post has called his work "the best thing on the internet," maybe you should go to his stand-up set.
104. Las Culturistas
Frequently cited on "Best-of" podcast rosters, Las Culturistas is the brainchild of Matt Rogers and Bowen Yang, who invite special guests to rail and riff on pop culture.
105. Fantastic.Z's Seventh Annual New Works Festival
The LGBTQ theater group Fantastic.Z will present Caroline Prugh's It's Only Kickball, Stupid, about a woman who returns to her hometown and reconnects with her sixth-grade crush and onetime kickball teammate. This main show will be accompanied by alternating short plays (aka "B-Sides"), including Joe Breen's Or Forever Hold Your Peace, J. Stephen Brantley's Shiny Pair of Complications, Suzanne Bailie's Mysterious Wonderland, Greg Lam's Interventions, and John Bavoso's Plus One.
106. Seattle Festival of Improv Theatre
Rejoice in the local, national, and even international improv scenes with potentially more than a hundred performers in a couple dozen groups, all of whom share a love for making up stories onstage.
107. Northwest Flower & Garden Festival
The theme of this year's Northwest Flower & Garden Festival is "Gardens of the World." Walk among 20 display gardens representing different parts of the globe, attend seminars, and find lots of plant treasures for your own garden.
FEBRUARY 21FOOD & DRINK
108. The Stranger’s Zymurgy Beer Series: Weird Fermentation
Beer has slowly become more and more industrialized and homogenized throughout its history. But a few local breweries are going in the opposite direction. During this first event in The Stranger’s new Zymurgy Beer Series, find out what happens when Washington’s most subversive brewers embrace the unpredictability of weird fermentation. Find out why Machine House Brewing’s Bill Arnott employs the historic open fermentation of English ales; how Fremont’s Adam Paysse of Floodland Brewing makes some of the country’s most expressive beer; and how Amber Watts and Ron Extract of Bellingham’s Garden Path Fermentation uses the wild yeast of Skagit Valley. A curated tasting and moderated panel discussion are included in ticket price. LESTER BLACK
109. An Evening with Drew & Ellie Holcomb
Husband and wife duo Drew & Ellie Holcomb will perform an intimate evening set of folksy love songs and Americana ballads.
110. Poppy, Kailee Morgue, Jaira Burns
Bizarro pop Barbie web artist Poppy has racked up hundreds of millions of views on YouTube for her many surreal Technicolor videos. She'll be performing tracks off of last October's debut album alongside openers Kailee Morgue and Jaira Burns.
111. Shea Couleé: Coulée with a 'C'
Third-place runner-up on RuPaul's Drag Race Season Nine has gone on to tour around the world and release her own EP, Coulée-D. She'll grace the Seattle stage for a fabulous latex-clad performance.
112. Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore: Sketchtasy
Sketchtasy is the latest offering from Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore, author of approximately one million essays and stories and books, including the Lambda Award-winning memoir, The End of San Francisco. Like that book, this novel features a radical queer character dealing with profound loss and isolation from community. Unlike that book, Sketchtasy is a work of fiction set on the opposite side of the country during the tail end of the AIDS crisis. And instead of reflecting on a failed dream of a queer utopia, the main character is living in a crumbling one, though not one divorced from the ecstasy of K-holes and coke binges. Alexander Chee praises the book as "bold, glittering, wise," while Sarah Schulman praises Sycamore's "complete command of craft." Expect formal innovation, expect drugs, expect lots of colors. RICH SMITH
113. Mark Morris Dance Group
Superb choreographer and Seattle native Mark Morris and company will perform works including Dancing Honeymoon, set to happy '30s and '40s music; Numerator, danced to Lou Harrison's "Varied Trio"; and The Trout, choreographed to Schubert's Trout Quintet.
114. Seattle Asian American Film Festival
Films by and about Asian Americans are showcased at this annual festival, which always includes diverse features and short films about the diverse and rich experiences of these populations, particularly in Seattle and the Northwest.
115. Seattle Wine and Food Experience
This annual extravaganza of all things edible and drinkable is a four-part ode to gluttony. First up is Comfort, a festival of “feel-good foods and crafty brews." Next, Pop! Bubbles and Seafood capitalizes on the felicitous pairing of bubbles and bivalves with a celebrity shucking contest and more than 30 sparkling wines from around the world. The next day, the Grand Tasting will showcase local and regional wines, beer, cider, spirits, and tastes from big-name Seattle chefs, with plenty of opportunities to watch demonstrations and meet artisan food producers. Wrap it all up with the Sunday Supper, an event new to this year with a multi-course dinner created by top Seattle chefs, followed by an after-party.
116. Wintergrass Festival
Bluegrass artists from near and far will gather to play their twangy, resonant music at this annual festival. The lineup features Billy Strings, Steep Canyon Rangers, Della Mae, Sideline, Bill & the Belles, and many others.
117. Kris Kristofferson & The Strangers
Country Music Hall of Famer and brilliant facial hair-cultivator Kris Kristofferson showcases a career of mature Americana pop and lilting country hits to an audience of light-rock-less-talk enthusiasts.
118. Saves the Day, Remo Drive, Mighty
New Jersey four-piece Saves the Day have been rocking since 1994. Writhe around to their hits after opening sets from Minnesota's Remo Drive and Georgia "post pop" band Mighty.
119. Teenage Fanclub
Though they’ve kept a low profile since the mid-1990s, the pop classicists of Teenage Fanclub never went away. The Scottish outfit simply took a longer break than usual (six years) between albums. It did them good, since Here ranks among their finest since 1991’s Bandwagonesque. In the interim, Teenage Fanclub have turned down the volume and burnished their melodies to a warm, coppery glow. KATHY FENNESSY
120. Company Wayne McGregor
The 25-year-old British dance company, headed by the world-renowned choreographer of the Royal Ballet, has new pieces, including Autobiography, that unveil "the body as archive." They reflect on selfhood, life, writing, the past, and the future.
FEBRUARY 22-MARCH 24PERFORMANCE
121. The Woman in Black
A young lawyer named Arthur Kipps discovers a ghastly supernatural mystery around the missing children of Crythin Gifford in the stage version of Susan Hill's gothic novel.
Jaunty Nashville pop group COIN, who have played with Walk the Moon, Passion Pit, Young the Giant, and Neon Trees, will keep you surfing that post-new-wave.
123. Sharon Van Etten, Nilüfer Yanya
After many years, singer-songwriter Sharon Van Etten will return to Seattle on her Remind Me Tomorrow Tour with up-and-coming pop artist Nilüfer Yanya in tow and the emotionally resonant folk-pop for which she's famous.
124. Waxahatchee, Bonny Doon
Waxahatchee is the project of Alabama singer-songwriter Katie Crutchfield, whose indie-rock style has a vaguely Liz Phair Exile in Guyville feel, while her lo-fi experimental-folk leanings are entirely of her own appeal. She and her band (which includes twin sister Allison on keys and percussion) are leaning harder into the former on their second Merge release and fourth overall, Out in the Storm, which has a more full-bodied sound than past efforts and added gritty-melodic 1990s guitar textures, and was produced by John Agnello (Dinosaur Jr., Sonic Youth). LEILANI POLK
125. Zomboy, BTSM, Badklaat, Gammer, Space Laces, Dirty Monkey b2b Subdocta, Luzcid
DUBSTEP, motherfuckers! Zomboy (British producer Joshua Mellody) brings that hyperkinetic, wacky-textured brand of it in the Skrillexicon of the day. When old electronic-music heads grumble about the music kids today listen to, Zomboy is the sort of thing they're referring to. I don't like his ham-fisted take on dubstep, but at least it's not dull. There is a helluva lot going on dynamically and tonally. DAVE SEGAL
126. A Black Tie Affair
Rev up for the Seattle Erotic Art Festival in April at this fundraiser and preview party, featuring sexy performances and interaction, art to pre-purchase, and fancy snacks. Dress formally, sluttily, or fetishistically.
FEBRUARY 23-MARCH 9PERFORMANCE
127. The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs
Contemporary opera probably isn't the most intuitive delivery system for the life story of the CEO of the world's largest tech company, but in some ways it kinda makes sense. Jobs was a major mythical figure for geeks, a reportedly tyrannical boss who basically wore a costume all the time, and a literary enthusiast! Regardless, the opera, which was written by Mason Bates and librettist Mark Campbell, has been getting great reviews since its premiere in Santa Fe last year, thanks largely to its state-of-the-art, "visually stunning" projection sequences. RICH SMITH
THROUGH FEBRUARY 23VISUAL ART
128. Fay Jones and Robert C. Jones: In Tandem
Fay Jones is known for her monumental Westlake Station mural, for her Joan Mitchell Grant in 2013, and for her evasion of overt symbolism in favor of playful figurative allusions. Her husband Robert C. Jones, who passed away on December 23, was another titan of the Seattle art scene: His colorful gestural abstractions are embedded with Matissean black lines, and are a pleasure to look at. This exhibition features the artists' collaborative work.
129. Rory Scovel
Actor and comedian Scovel was in I Feel Pretty, The House, and Those Who Can't. See him perform his weird, unfocused patter (as seen on his Netflix special, Rory Scovel Tries Stand-Up for the First Time) live.
130. 91st Academy Awards
The Academy Awards honor the best films of the year and all that went into making them, with 2019 nominees ranging from Alfonso Cuarón's Netflix-produced hit Roma to Adam McKay's Dick Cheney biopic Vice. Whether or not this year's show (and its as-yet-unannounced host) holds your full attention, there are always some great outfits to see at the pre-show schmooze fest on the red carpet. Check out our list of where to watch the nominees and the ceremony in Seattle.
131. Seattle Cake Con
Cake Con not only promises cake, but also chocolate, ice cream, macarons, doughnuts, and other sweets. In addition to tasting things, attendees can enter decorating competitions, see live demonstrations, and chat with experts across confectionary disciplines.
132. Bone Thugs-N-Harmony
Perhaps Cleveland, Ohio's chief contribution to the history of hiphop, the melodic rap stylings of Bone Thugs now seem almost prophetic, with more rappers singing these days than actually rapping. The Eazy-E-signed quintet has undergone many changes and bumps along the way since their smash single "Crossroads," releasing the album New Waves in 2017 with just Krayzie and Bizzy Bone. Expect to see the original lineup in full force, combining old-school lyricism and forward-thinking harmonies that will get any crowd going. NICK ZURKO
FEBRUARY 24-26READINGS & TALKS
133. National Geographic Live — Untamed
Come face-to-face with snakes, lions, jaguars, whales, hawk moths, and other magnificent creatures as Filipe DeAndrade (of National Geographic's online series Untamed) treats you to amazing photos and tells stories of nature and the purpose-filled life.
134. Sinne Eeg
Popular Danish jazz vocalist Sinne Eeg is known for her distinctive tone and artistic live performances, for which she has been awarded the Danish Music Award for Best Jazz Vocal CD, the Ben Webster Prize, and the Prix du Jazz, awarded by France’s Academie du Jazz.
FEBRUARY 26READINGS & TALKS
135. How #MeToo is Changing Culture, Politics, and Journalism: A Conversation with KUOW’s Sydney Brownstone
How should journalists approach pressing issues of sexual assault? What should they do when victims ask them for help? What clichés do they need to be aware of? And how can they take care of themselves while covering such upsetting topics? Sydney Brownstone, a Stranger alum and current KUOW journalist who has broken several stories dealing with sexual abuse and assault, will converse with Sonora Jha about this pressing issue. After the talk, which is sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences and KUOW, stay on for a resource fair with relevant organizations.
136. Michael Ondaatje: Warlight
Former Stranger staffer Paul Constant on this Canadian author: "Michael Ondaatje has seduced the world one reader at a time with his heartbreaking narratives and beautiful, crystalline prose (four words: The English Patient, motherfucker)." Ondaatje will read from his latest novel, Warlight, about two children abandoned by their parents in the wake of World War II and raised by a strange person known as "the Moth."
FEBRUARY 27FOOD & DRINK
137. Restaurant After Hours 2019
Over 25 Seattle restaurants will convene under one roof for the Seattle Metro Chamber's annual local food extravaganza. Taste offerings from Fremont Brewing, Cakes by Frosted, Homegrown, Ivar's Restaurants, Nutty Squirrel Gelato, Pike Brewing Company, and more.
138. Beirut, Helado Negro
Many Beirut albums sound like letters from Zach Condon telling you how much he’s enjoying his study abroad program. His soft-serve orkestar arrangements don’t inspire confidence in the depth of his study, and his lazy vibrato is a transparent attempt to make up for his low expressive range. FINE. But somebody has to keep the troubadourin’ Eurostar dream alive! And what Condon lacks in lyrical and musical depth he makes up for in breadth. Across several albums he’s incorporated brass from Mexican folk and the Balkans, as well as fuzzy, poppy synth. The recent album, No No No, lays maudlin vocals over bright horns, mixes memory and desire, and reminds me of cobblestoned streets I never walked. RICH SMITH
139. Peaches Christ's 'Mean Gays'
Demented drag legend Peaches Christ is the perfect queen to head this queer parody of Mean Girls, which co-stars Kim Chi as Kimmy, William as Regina, and Laganja Estranja as Karen. Christ herself plays Gretchen, of course.
140. Andrea Gibson
Hear poet and feminist Andrea Gibson, the first winner of the Women's World Poetry Slam, slam about queer struggles in the patriarchy and white supremacy.
141. Seattle Arts & Lectures: A Conversation with Zadie Smith
Zadie Smith has been a major worldwide literary figure her entire adult life—since White Teeth was published in her early 20s. If you have somehow never read White Teeth, that’s the novel to start with. That said, her nonfiction is truly exceptional. Find her essay collection, Changing My Mind, and flip straight to “Dead Man Laughing,” about growing up in a family of comedy fans. Or find her most recent essay collection Feel Free, and flip straight to “Joy.” She’s also a fantastic art critic, political commentator, theater enthusiast, and satirist. On the side, she’s raising a few children. There is literally nothing she can’t do. CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE
142. The Coathangers, SADGIRL
Atlanta psycho-pop trio the Coathangers are three bands in one, which sounds like hyperbole until you dig into their discography, including 2016's swell Nosebleed Weekend on Seattle’s Suicide Squeeze. On stage, the self-described crazy-ass ladies trade instruments and lead vocals, much like Beat Happening before them. Guitarist Julia Kugel brings salty-sweet riot-grrrl attitude, drummer Stephanie Luke brings metal power and fury, and bassist Meredith Franco brings no-wave-meets-new-wave spirit. It’s as if Bikini Kill–era Kathleen Hanna joined forces with members of the Shangri-Las and Girlschool. To add to the party vibes, the Coathangers go by goofy nicknames (Crook Kid, Minnie, Rusty), sprinkle their lyrics with brand names (Nestlé, Adderall), and wear matching girl-gang outfits (white T-shirts, black leather jackets) when the mood strikes. KATHY FENNESSY
143. Habib Koité and Bassekou Kouyate
Two of Africa’s biggest musical stars breeze into town to liven up the elegant Triple Door. Senegal-born Malian guitarist Habib Koité and his band Bamada’s 2014 album Soô (translation: “Home”) weaves delicately gorgeous male/female vocal harmonies, vibrant hand percussion, and spangly guitar motifs into spare, folky songs of deep pathos. It’s the kind of aural warmth you’ll crave in late February. Fellow Malian musician Bassekou Kouyaté & Ngoni Ba—who released their Grammy-nominated I Speak Fula album for Sub Pop subsidiary Next Ambiance—traffic in more uptempo, undulant songwriting that skillfully balances euphoria and bluesiness while keeping your hips swaying. Listen in awe as Kouyaté flaunts a Hendrixian mastery of the African string instrument, ngoni. DAVE SEGAL
144. Joe Jackson
Multi-talented Joe Jackson (of "Is She Really Going Out with Him?" fame) will return to Seattle with his backing band on their latest world tour playing 40 years' worth of material, which will draw on five classic Jackson albums: Look Sharp (1979), Night And Day (1982), Laughter And Lust (1991), Rain (2008), and Fool (2019).
145. Jill Abramson: Merchants of Truth
The former editor of the New York Times, who was sacked in 2014, has a new book coming out on the past decade's upheaval in the news media. It's called Merchants of Truth, and in addition to drawing on Abramson's own time at the Grey Lady, it describes the trajectories of the Washington Post, BuzzFeed, and VICE.
FEBRUARY 28-MARCH 1MUSIC
Expect to get all'a your dancing done this weekend, ’cause the good-timin’ and get-downin' group Antibalas will be landing just north of the cut and have promised to get our shit LIT! Uh, Antibalas is one of the many killer groups from Daptone label’s stable of funky funk makers. And they’re always guaranteed to get you sweaty from their funky Afrobeat HEAT. The group/collective draw from all the best world rhythmic traditions to find the deepest of grooves. MIKE NIPPER
FEBRUARY 28-MARCH 2MUSIC
147. Billy Bragg
To hear Billy Bragg extol the practical value of socialist principles—which is to say, collective provision as a necessary function of any democratic government worthy of the name—is invigorating. Songs may not change the world, but they can grease the gears. And unlike so many people making noise about this subject right now, Bragg (armed with an unimprovable East London accent) makes it sound not only like common sense, but like it’s right around the corner if we only pull together. There’s no greater asset in an age that invites cynicism. His certitude—powered by 30 years of experience—really helps ease the disorienting sense that you’re the only sane person left in the fucking world. Which is also what the best pop music has always done. Though you can’t really separate the message from the messenger, it’s also worth mentioning that Bragg is one of the most charismatic, entertaining, and hilarious performers on the circuit. It’s not like there’s ever been a bad time to see a Billy Bragg show. But at the moment, it feels like there’s never been a better one. SEAN NELSON
FEBRUARY 28-MARCH 3MUSIC
148. Joey Alexander Trio
In my review of Don Cheadle's biopic of Miles Davis, Miles Ahead, I complained that it was very disappointing to see one of the most brilliant American musicians "characterized as a gangster and not an intellectual." My point is that the mastery of jazz takes years upon years (what I call aristocratic time), which is why the 15-year-old jazz pianist Joey Alexander is so freaky. How did he pack into himself so much information in such a short amount of time? But one of the things that jazz does is transform musicians into intellectuals. An intellectual is simply someone who has absorbed a large body of knowledge—such a body is jazz. CHARLES MUDEDE
FEBRUARY 28-MAY 12VISUAL ART
149. Jeffrey Gibson: Like a Hammer
In his first major museum exhibition, artist Jeffrey Gibson combines traditional elements of Native American art and materials with contemporary pop culture references and images. This leads to objects displaying an interesting juxtaposition of cultures—like a wooden panel traditionally beaded with “I WANNA BE ADORED”—a lyric from the classic 1991 Stone Roses song—blazed across it. Or a punching bag beautifully adorned with beaded geometric patterns. The exhibit will bring together 65 different pieces of Gibson’s work from the past eight years. JASMYNE KEIMIG
THROUGH FEBRUARY 28VISUAL ART
150. Danny Giles: The Practice and Science of Drawing a Sharp White Background
Chicago-based artist Danny Giles is interested in a lot of things—namely, how to address “the dilemmas of representing and performing identity and interrogate histories of oppression and creative resistance.” Using sculpture, video, and live performance, Giles’s work doesn’t necessarily give answers but pushes us to ask questions about police surveillance, understandings of race and identity, and the relationship between state power and anti-black violence. JASMYNE KEIMIG