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MARCH 13–19, 2013 I VOLUME 38 I NUMBER 11



T RIB A L K INGS In an arcane corner of law, tribes stand sovereign, and a band of former Sauk-Suiattle employees are storming the gates.


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charges that the Sauk-Suiattle tribe summarily dismissed employees because they were white. The case—tapping into allegations of rampant racism, corruption, and general dysfunction—must overcome a legal principle that prevents tribes from being sued.

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The man’s got a temper, which flares when n the bitter turf battle that has broken offended. He’s evidently offended now, after a out between City Attorney Pete Holmes six-page letter from the mayor’s legal counsel and Mayor Mike McGinn over federally charged Holmes with violating the state’s rules mandated police reforms, a lot of testosterof professional conduct for not abiding by SPD’s one’s flying around. The mayor, however, offered wishes in negotiations with police monitor Meran olive branch on the radio last week by sugrick Bobb and the Department of Justice. gesting a meeting with Holmes, who, while not A bigger surprise than his current behavior exactly turning him down, demanded that the is the role he has played since taking office in mayor retract accusations against him. 2009—specifically, he has not proved the force Eventually the two agreed to work together. for police transparency that he was as a citizen. But while McGinn largely backed down after His office has aggressively tried to stop the yet again being hailed as obstructionist, Holmes release of dash-cam videos, even suing an attorstood firm. ney who demanded such videos. (That attorney, Yet isn’t Holmes the guy who, dressed in jeans James Egan, threatened a lawsuit himself, which and speaking in his slight Southern drawl, could recently be seen stumping for marijuana legaliza- may well have tripped Holmes’ stubborn side.) Now, in taking a stance that veers from the tion? Shouldn’t he be a little, well, mellower? police department’s, Holmes is merely returnNo, actually. To understand Holmes, you have ing to form. His position is that he, as an elected to look back to his emergence on the public official, represents the city’s interests as a whole, scene in the early aughts, when the then–banknot just the SPD’s. ruptcy lawyer gained a seat on the citizens’ board The substance of this battle is more complibeing launched to review the police department’s cated than it looks. Holmes wants the city to Office of Professional Accountability. Some take a less-confrontational approach with Bobb, people thought that Holmes was too mild and who has submitted a conventional for the job. plan of action for police He proved anything but. reform that SPD doesn’t He waged a fierce PRINT IS GREAT, but if you like. One of the problems battle for transparency, want to see . . . why you should put down that can of for the police departand what really got him Spam, like, right now, check it out on ment, and also the mayor, going was the resistance The Daily Weekly. is that Bobb is moving he faced from then–City SEATTLEWEEKLY.COM/DAILYWEEKLY too slowly. Says the letter Attorney Tom Carr. The from the mayor’s counsel, battle between the two got which is posted on The ugly and personal—kind Seattle Times’ website and refers to the city’s of like the Holmes/McGinn fracas we’re seesettlement with the DOJ: ing now. As our current mayor has done, Carr “The Settlement Agreement requires the attacked Holmes, charging that the OPA review Monitor to complete his review of policies and board chair had overstepped his role. Holmes training materials within 45 days of receiving a reacted testily and dug in his heels, just as he is doing now. » CONTINUED ON PAGE 9




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news»The Daily Weekly The Daily Weekly » FROM PAGE 7 draft. Mr. Bobb’s plan indicates that he will delay approval of many policies and training curricula for 5 to 9 months, or more.” It’s hard to know who’s right here. Is quicker better, or is time needed for a more thorough job? But it’s easy to see how the SPD, which has become used to the city attorney taking its side, would think Holmes would do so now. Instead, Holmes seems to be at a turning point, perhaps prompted into soul-searching by this landmark process in the city’s history. Unwilling to be interviewed, he has not yet explained his thinking. NINA SHAPIRO

It Won’t Be Sims’ City

What’s Passing as a Gun Law These Days

In the wake of the Newtown, Conn., shootings, many hoped to see real gun-control legislation come from Olympia this session. Instead, the state Senate has given us a recommendation for the NRA’s Eddie Eagle. Eddie is the NRA’s gun-safety mascot, a character that helps teach kids about the dangers of guns and the responsible use of weaponry. Eddie’s advice to youngsters who encounter a gun includes, “Stop. Don’t touch. Leave the area. Tell an adult.” On Friday, by a vote on the Senate floor of 40–8, Senate Joint Memorial 8006 passed with flying colors, encouraging (but not requiring) the state’s schools to teach the Eddie Eagle gun-safety program. The eight votes against the measure, sponsored by Shoreline’s über-liberal Democrat Maralyn Chase, came from fellow Democrats who just couldn’t stomach the idea of signing off on purely symbolic legislation while nothing of substance was even being considered. And although she championed the bill, Chase—who also sponsored a bill that would

Sims was the race’s “800-pound gorilla . . . An 800-pound gorilla cut seven ways is still pretty light.” have required Eddie Eagle to enter the state’s classrooms—wasn’t wild about the lack of meaningful legislation either. According to a statement issued after the vote, Chase said she was “deeply disappointed” that committees controlled by the Republican majority had not allowed truly meaningful gun-violence prevention legislation to advance. “If we are serious about stopping gun violence and tragic accidents involving kids and guns, then we must advance legislation that requires universal background checks and address the issues within our mental-health system,” says Chase. “I had hoped that we would take a sensible approach to gun violence. There’s no good reason to not require universal background checks. There’s no good reason to allow violent people access to assault weapons.” Seattle’s Sen. Dave Frockt was one of the eight legislators who voted against the bill. Frockt told the Tacoma News Tribune, “While I acknowledge the benefits of this program . . . in my view, I think that we are missing the ball here a little bit with the overall picture. . . . I think we should be moving forward with other measures that are more important than this one. I think that we have an obligation to make a statement with our vote.” According to Senate Democrats Communications Specialist Aaron Wasser, Chase has “no illusion that [the Eddie Eagle legislation] is some sort of cure-all,” and she “understands why [the Democrats who voted against it] voted the way they did.” MATT DRISCOLL E

SE ATTLE WEEKLY • MARCH 13 — 19, 2013

After speaking with a slew of local political types over the past month, it became obvious that many in Seattle were waiting intently to hear whether former King County Executive Ron Sims would run for mayor this year. Now we have our answer. As he announced on KUOW on Monday, Sims—a mainstream Seattle liberal with Obama-administration credentials and instant name recognition—will not enter the mayoral fracas, despite a recent Survey USA poll indicating that he and incumbent Mike McGinn were early (very early) frontrunners. The question now becomes: What does this mean for McGinn and the rest of the crowded field of hopefuls? Local political movers and shakers all seem to agree that the race heading into August’s primary is wide open (and would have been even with Sims in the fray). But whom exactly a Simsfree race benefits most is up to interpretation. As longtime political consultant Cathy Allen, now working for Peter Steinbrueck’s campaign, puts it: Sims was the race’s “800-pound gorilla.” But, “An 800-pound gorilla cut seven ways is still pretty light.” The Survey USA poll indicated—albeit strangely and inconclusively—that McGinn picks up about three percentage points with Sims out of the mix, bumping the incumbent up to 18 or 19 percent support. In a crowded field with or without Sims, and with experts speculating it will take anywhere between 20 and 25 percent of the vote to advance in the primary, everyone seems to agree there’s a path for McGinn to move on. It will come down to who campaigns best. Luckily for the mayor, that’s one of his strong suits. “This is still a wide-open race,” says McGinn campaign consultant John Wyble. “We are excited to talk about the Mayor’s accomplishments. [Sims’ decision] did not change it in any real way.” Most observers agree that besides McGinn, the candidates whom Sims’ decision will most benefit are Steinbrueck and Bruce Harrell. While Steinbrueck, at least so far, has rarely been mentioned among big-name players like Ed Murray, Tim Burgess, and McGinn, many insiders tell Seattle Weekly there’s room for him to stake a claim, and Sims’ decision likely makes it a bit easier. The Survey USA poll indicates that Steinbrueck stands to pick up about 10 percent of Sims’ supporters. Insiders also suggest that Sims’ decision could benefit the race’s only other minority candidate, Harrell, the son of African-American and JapaneseAmerican parents. (Sims is African-American.) But that’s all still speculation. About all that

everyone seems to agree on is that, inching toward August’s primary, the race remains wide open. MATT DRISCOLL


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TRIBAL KINGS In an arcane corner of law, tribes stand sovereign, and a band of fired Sauk-Suiattle employees are storming the gates. BY NINA SHAPIRO


rom the start, the specially called meeting of the Sauk-Suiattle Tribal Council was rife with suspicion and conflict. Gathering in a small meeting space that doubled as a courtroom, located in one of the few public buildings on the tiny reservation in the shadow of the north Cascades’ Whitehorse Mountain, council members and observers even sparred over what they were there to talk about. Why hadn’t resolutions been circulated in advance? some wanted to know. The meeting took up the management, or possible mismanagement, of the tribal smoke shop and gas station, and dipped into a discussion of why some Sauk-Suiattle members had access to tribal cars to do their personal business.

And then the real agenda of the June 10, 2011, meeting became apparent. “I make a motion for the immediate termination of Ricke Wayne Armstrong as Sauk-Suiattle Tribe tribal attorney,” said council member Michael Hoffman. “On what grounds?” asked a former council member, John Pugh, the son of then–Tribal Chair Janice Mabee. “At will,” was Hoffman’s succinct response, according to a transcript of the meeting. “What’s the grounds, though?” Pugh persisted. “What’s the reason?” “At will,” Hoffman repeated. Hoffman quickly called for a vote, and the motion passed, with four members voting yes, two opposed, and Mabee, the chair, abstaining

according to the rules. If some of those present were disturbed at the sudden jettison of the tribe’s legal adviser, they became even more agitated when Hoffman brought forward his next resolution. “The immediate termination of Cabrini Artero,” Hoffman said, referring to the tribe’s mental-health counselor. Mabee laughed, presumably at the audacity of it all. “Excuse me,” said her son. “At will,” Hoffman repeated. Despite several objections that the resolution was illegal because it wasn’t on the agenda, the motion carried with the same people voting for and against. Hoffman, known on the reservation as a rather erratic personality, didn’t stop there. One after

another, he trotted out new names, all on his list of people to be axed. As his flustered opponents sputtered their dismay, Hoffman offered what he apparently thought was reassurance: “None of these people are Sauk-Suiattle, other Natives, spouses of Natives, you know, OK?” Pugh, a veteran of 25 years in the Army, serving as an equal-opportunity adviser for part of that time, was not reassured. “So you are discriminating against non-Natives?” he asked. Hoffman denied it. But neither he nor his supporters would offer any reasons for the firings. “Do you not have a shred of moral decency?” Pugh exploded after a handful of names had been put forward. “Have you lost any honor

SE ATTLE WEEKLY • MARCH 13 — 19, 2013

Judy Pendergrass (right) and Denise Baird claim they were fired from the Sauk-Suiattle Tribe because they are white.


he says. Hudson served as a lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserves, however. In 2010 he was called to active duty and deployed to Kuwait, where he ran a base that shipped equipment to Afghanistan and Iraq. And despite Hudson’s impressions that the tribe was ready to mend its internal rifts, he and others say his deployment lit a tinderbox that has now engulfed the Sauk-Suiattle in acrimony. From his base in the Middle East, Hudson could only watch as racial tension and family rivalry began to tear at the tribe’s core.

SEATTLE WEEKLY • MARCH 13 — 19, 2013




ou get to the Sauk-Suiattle reservation by driving northeast from Darrington, a hamlet on State Route 530 so small that residents can’t think of anyplace to take a visitor for lunch besides the local IGA. It’s a metropolis compared to the reservation, however, which is accessed


Tribal member John Pugh calls his tribe “the most racist culture I’ve ever been a part of.”

by a looping road off the highway called Chief Brown Lane. Actually, that road—only about a quarter-mile long—essentially is the reservation, aside from some woods and pasture land in the tribe’s domain. Chief Brown Lane is dotted with modest homes, about 20 in all; a longhouse; and a couple of administration buildings. In the mid-19th century, the tribe clustered in a nearby village alongside the confluence of the Sauk and Suiattle rivers that boasted eight cedar longhouses and 4,000 members. Like that of many tribes of the region, its life revolved around the water. Its members fished and plied the rivers in hand-built canoes. And also as with so many tribes, white settlers confiscated their land. The Sah-ku-mehu people, as they were then called, scattered, some fleeing to other tribes’ reservations. By 1924, the tribe could count only 18 members. In the 1970s, the federal government officially recognized the Sauk-Suiattle as a tribe and demarcated a small reservation. The tribe’s numbers have since grown, but not much: The population now stands at about 200, only a fraction of whom (roughly 70, according to one estimate) live on the reservation. Yet, considering its diminutive size, the tribe is flush with money—in part from the (up to) $6 million annually awarded in federal and state grants, according to Pugh, who currently works for the tribe on economic development. The tribe receives another $4 million to $6 million dollars a year through slot machines, Pugh says. The Sauk-Suiattle don’t run a casino, but, like other tribes, are entitled to a share in the proceeds from a certain number of gaming machines on other reservations.


that you have? These are real people’s lives. I am ashamed to call you tribal members.” By the end of the meeting, the council had summarily dismissed 11 staffers. Afterward, Pugh and some of the exasperated council members walked outside to the parking lot, where they ran into Judy Pendergrass, still shaking, as she remembers it now, after hearing that she had just lost her job as the tribe’s humanresources manager. “You guys need to get an attorney,” Pugh told Pendergrass. Eventually, she and seven other fired employees did. Their lawsuit, charging discrimination and wrongful termination, is now pending in SaukSuiattle’s tribal court, the forum where the law dictates such a claim must first be heard. But the suit faces a daunting obstacle. According to a legal principle known as “sovereign immunity,” Native American tribes cannot be sued—at least not unless a tribe specifically grants a waiver from such immunity. And most tribes grant no such thing, except for limited waivers pertaining to specific business contracts. In contrast, the federal government, states, counties, and cities have all granted broad waivers—so much so that lawsuits against these jurisdictions happen virtually every day, for discrimination, sexual harassment, negligence, all sorts of things. “I can give you a thousand examples,” says Jeffrey Needle, one of two Seattle lawyers representing eight of the dismissed Sauk-Suiattle employees. Needle further charges that sovereign immunity “is an anachronism. It originates with the idea that there’s a king, and the king can do no wrong.” A left-leaning lawyer who specializes in civil-rights cases, Needle says his natural sympathies lie with Native Americans, who have experienced “invidious” discrimination. Yet he says his eyes have been opened to the way tribes can use sovereign immunity to avoid even discussing alleged wrongs they committed. Their stance, he says: “Even if we did this, it doesn’t really matter.” Indeed, that’s the Sauk-Suiattle tribe’s position in court—making this case typical of the countless, usually futile lawsuits brought against tribes over everything from broken bones at tribal casinos to deaths at the hands of tribal police. Nevertheless, an early ruling in the Sauk-Suiattle case suggests tribal immunity isn’t completely ironclad. That undoubtedly comes as welcome news to yet two more ex-staffers, fired in the protracted battles that followed the 2011 meeting, who are now likely to bring additional suits. Tribes throughout the state are carefully watching the legal maneuvering, according to prominent Tulalip tribal member and state Rep. John McCoy, trying to “figure out what it means for them.” Even so, the court battle only hints at the drama that has been playing out among the SaukSuiattle. Alleged corruption, veiled and unveiled racism against tribal members and nonmembers alike, and family rivalries of Shakespearean proportions attest to the deep dysfunction many say is rife within the tiny tribe.

Along with Hampton Lumber Mills and the local school district, the tribe stands as one of the area’s biggest employers. At the time of the mass firing, the tribe maintained a staff of about 60, according to Pendergrass. They worked in departments devoted to, among other things, natural resources, cultural resources, health care, housing, and police. Retired Seattle homicide detective Steve O’Leary, who served as the tribe’s police chief from 2007 to 2012, says his four-person department kept busy in part by giving rides to kids who missed the school bus into Darrington. At least until recently, many of the tribe’s jobs went to whites—slightly more than half, according to Pendergrass’ records. It’s not unusual to see non-Indian faces on reservations, especially as more and more workers are brought in to man casinos and other businesses. Pendergrass says that while the Sauk-Suiattle maintained an Indian-preference hiring policy, she often would get few applications from Native Americans for skilled jobs. Herold Hudson is one of the whites who came to the tribe. With experience as an auditor for an accounting firm, he landed a job as the tribe’s chief financial officer in 2007. Two years later, the tribal council asked Hudson to take over as CEO. Hudson was well aware of the tribe’s history of infighting. Two dominant families—the Josephs and the Enicks—were at each other throats “like the Hatfields and the McCoys,” Hudson says. But at that moment, it seemed to Hudson that the families had come together in a shared vision for economic development and stability. The tribe wanted to build an amphitheater, and insisted upon signing a 10-year contract with Hudson,

im Thomas, who hails from the Tlingit people of Alaska and has served in various leadership positions in the region, including at the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians, seemed like a natural choice to oversee the tribe’s operations while Hudson was away. Arlington attorney Lowell Halverson, a vicepresident of the executive council overseeing the Tlingit and Haida tribes, says that Thomas is a “well-respected” figure in the Northwest. Halverson remembers being moved by an essay Thomas presented at an Affiliated Tribes meeting in Washington, D.C., a few years back that was “very passionate, almost statesman-like.” The essay dealt with the challenges facing Native Americans who want to preserve their culture. “In the beginning, he and I got along exceptionally well,” Pendergrass says of Thomas. She’s talking in her Darrington home on a rainy January day, a fire lit in the family room where she and Denise Baird, once a fellow employee of the Sauk-Suiattle tribe, sit overlooking Pendergrass’ sprawling backyard. In another room is Pendergrass’ husband, a member of the Blackfeet Nation in Montana. (In several cases, Hoffman was wrong in characterizing the people fired as being neither Native nor spouses of Natives.) But little by little, Pendergrass says, her relationship with Thomas became fraught. “Why are so many whites working here?” Pendergrass says he would ask her. She says she would respond: “If you don’t have Indians apply, you can’t hire them.” (Thomas declined to speak with Seattle Weekly, except to say that the firings came as a surprise to him.) Even before Thomas came along, some tribal members were hostile toward whites, according to Pendergrass and Baird, both 51, who have known each other since kindergarten in Darrington. In particular, they point to then–council member Norma Joseph, who has since become tribal chair. At one point, Baird says, Joseph asked her why she hadn’t properly introduced herself. “Isn’t that how you do it in your world?” Joseph asked, according to Baird. “I thought we were in the same world,” Baird says she replied. “Good morning, Norma,” Pendergrass says she would frequently say to Joseph, who worked in the cultural-resources department. “She’d look right through me.” (Reached by phone, Joseph declined to be interviewed and hung up.) These slights are minor, however, compared to what Pugh says he and his family have experienced. “This is the most racist culture I’ve ever been a part of,” says Pugh, who spent 11 years as a test-lab manager at Microsoft in addition to serving in the Army. “If you’re not Indian, then you’re not worth having here,” he says some people seem to feel. What’s more, “If you’re not full-blood Indian, then you’re not really Indian.” Pugh is a quarter-blood Indian, just meeting the tribe’s blood quantum. He says he grew up near the Canadian border in Blaine, and didn’t


“every single one of those employees.” One of the terminated employees, mentalhealth counselor Artero, was overbilling clients, he charges. (Artero counters that the tribe, not her, handled billing.) A second employee made racist remarks about Indians. Pendergrass, he claims, “would give the inside line” about job openings to her friends. (Pendergrass denies it.) Hoffman’s inner conflict was perhaps most pronounced last May, when he began to call some of the fired workers. Baird says she got the first call in May. Hoffman started by expressing an interest in attending Baird’s church, she says. Then, she says, he broached the firings. “He said, ‘What we did was wrong, and we’ll do whatever we can to fix it.’ ” He called Pendergrass next. “Talk about shock,” she says. “I just about fell over.” They had



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homas reportedly stirred up other tribal dynamics as well, namely the bitter family rivalries that just before his arrival had appeared to be dissipating. Aligning himself with the Josephs and alienating that family’s rivals, three of the seven tribal council members wanted to oust him, according to Pendergrass. She says he was therefore suspicious of anyone friendly with his opponents, including Pendergrass, whose office was frequented by Mabee. She says Thomas warned her that the relationship was threatening her status with the tribe. That was about a week before her firing. In fact, she was packing up her office on the morning of the fateful council meeting, which she felt certain would bring bad news one way or another. Not only did she feel her job was at risk, but there was a rumor that the council members sympathetic to Thomas were planning to try to remove Mabee as chair. Hence the tension prevalent at the meeting from the outset, and the presence of Mabee’s children, Pugh and Cindy Harris, a voluble woman who, according to Pendergrass, came running out afterward screaming to the just-dismissed employees: “You’ve just been fired because you’re white!” Was that what motivated Hoffman? Pendergrass and Baird say he hadn’t previously struck them as anti-white. “When he was running for council, we hoped he would get it,” Baird says. “He seemed very pleasant, respectful.” One theory is that while Hoffman himself wasn’t anti-white, Joseph and Thomas lavished him with raises for his tribal job, new clothes, and access to the tribal vehicle and credit card to get him to go along with the purge. “Basically, he was used as a pawn by the Josephs,” Hudson, the former CEO, says. He concedes that he can’t prove as much, but says he did see some key pieces of evidence when he returned from deployment, namely receipts from Hoffman’s use of the tribal credit card. Hoffman is certainly conflicted about the firings. Initially declining comment but then calling back a handful of times to talk, he paints himself as a victim. “I do feel extremely used,” he says, although he never really explains how. He denies he used the Sauk-Suiattle credit card improperly, but concedes that he commandeered a SaukSuiattle vehicle. “I was given authority to use a tribal car by Jim Thomas,” he says. He is insistent, however, that he was not part of any anti-white conspiracy. “My last name is Hoffman. I’m half Jewish and German,” he says. Instead, he says, he brought forward his explosive resolutions because there were “problems” with

The Sauk-Suiattle reservation consists of 20 homes, a longhouse, and a few administrative buildings. Yet the tribe employs about 60 people, making it one of the area’s largest employers.


think too much about his Native heritage until after high school. Stationed at Fort Lewis, he started exploring his roots and got hooked. When he left active duty in 2000, he moved his whole family, including four children, onto the SaukSuiattle reservation. His mother moved onto the reservation about the same time. But although he got elected to the council in 2001, serving one three-year term, and his mother later became chair, Pugh says his family members remained unpopular in certain quarters because they were not “FBI” (full-blooded Indian). “For the first seven years, my wife would drive up to the reservation and people would flip her off,” he says. His wife is white. His three teenage daughters were called “bitches and sluts”—by adults, not by other teenagers, he says. Invitations were not forthcoming to traditional events like naming and cleansing ceremonies. As Pugh tells it, the environment was ripe for someone to come in and play the race card— someone like Thomas.


TRIBAL KINGS » FROM PAGE 13 “multiple conversations” initiated by Hoffman, she says. “I asked him point-blank: Was [the mass firing] racially motivated? He said it was.” When he told Pendergrass that he wanted to make things right, she says she told him: “There is one thing you could do. You could waive your sovereign immunity.” She says Hoffman initially worried about how that would affect him. Pendergrass assured him that he wouldn’t have to pay any settlement—the tribe’s insurance would cover it. “He said he would be willing to do it as long as it doesn’t cost him personally,” Pendergrass says. Hoffman—who says that after the firings he experienced a backlash by opponents, including

having his young children targeted by paintballs in front of his house— concedes that he told Pendergrass and Baird that he’d had a change of heart. “It was a mistake for me to present any of those terminations,” he says. “I feel really bad about it.” Yet he still insists the firings were for cause, not racial reasons. “It was just the wrong way to do it,” he says, adding that the employees could have been spoken to privately about problems. He also presents a very different version of his sovereign-immunity conversation with Pendergrass. “She said you can waive sovereign immunity as an individual. I said, ‘Yeah, right.’ It was a sarcastic statement.”


he first legal strike came not from the fired employees, but from Pugh. He filed a suit in tribal court contesting the dismissals, and got none other

than the famed and flamboyant criminal-defense attorney John Henry Browne to represent him. Pugh says his mother knew Browne, who was once married to a Native American woman and has a son enrolled in the Tlingit tribe, the same one Thomas is from. (Browne nonetheless says he knows little about Thomas.) But Browne couldn’t help Pugh’s case. The tribal judge said Pugh didn’t have standing since he hadn’t been fired himself. Then in January 2012, eight of the dismissed employees, including Pendergrass and Baird, filed their own suit in tribal court, alleging racial discrimination. The tribe countered with a motion for summary judgment, arguing that due to sovereign immunity, the case should be thrown out. Tom Nedderman, the attorney for Travelers’ Insurance, which is representing the tribe, did not return repeated phone calls seeking comment.

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“People don’t realize what sovereignty means,” says Nelson Rose, a professor at Whittier Law School in Costa Mesa, Calif., who has studied the issue for years. “When you go to an Indian nation, it’s like going to Mexico.” That might seem a strange notion, not least because of the utter lack of marked borders and the dependence reservations have on federal and state dollars. Yet people are fooled, Rose says, into assuming that the same laws apply on reservations and in the rest of the United States. When he began looking into the matter 25 years ago, he says he was “astounded” to find that the U.S. Constitution doesn’t hold sway on reservations—including the Bill of Rights, guaranteeing things like free speech. The 14th Amendment, which prevents government from depriving people of life, liberty, and property without due process, also has no currency in Indian country. Nor does Title VII, the portion of the Civil Rights Act that prohibits employment discrimination. At the time he began researching tribal courts, he says, “Two tribes didn’t even allow women the right to vote.” He doesn’t know of any tribes, though, of whom that’s true now. And it’s not as if the law provides no protections in Indian country. In 1968, Congress passed the Indian Civil Rights Act, which offers some of the same protections as the Bill of Rights. Needle points out that the act prohibits tribes from denying “equal protection” to people within their jurisdiction, a provision he believes outlaws discrimination. “Once again, the issue comes down to sovereign immunity,” Needle says, however. If tribes can’t be sued, that can’t be enforced. Rose adds that few people cared about sovereign immunity when tribes were “poor and isolated.” He says the advent of Indian gaming has changed all that. “Now you have a lot of people coming onto [Indian] land, and tripping and sometimes dying.” Witness the case of Jeffrey Young. In 2007, Young, then 55, a psychologist who taught at online universities, wandered onto the Puyallup reservation and into the tribal clinic. Whether the tribe’s casino was his ultimate destination isn’t clear. His brother Chris says he suspects it was. In any case, Young was acting strangely, asking to see his patients and then calling two employees the “Antichrist.” Three tribal police officers arrived at the scene. According to court documents, the officers kicked Young’s feet out from under him, piled on top of him, Tasered him repeatedly, and cuffed him by his wrists and ankles. Young weighed approximately 300 pounds. By the time a fourth officer arrived, Young’s lips were blue and he had stopped breathing. Young was dead. The Pierce County Medical Examiner’s office ruled the cause of death “excited delirium.” A forensic pathologist hired by Young’s estate blamed a heart dysfunction caused by the weight of the officers pressing down on Young’s lungs and chest. “It’s the very definition of false arrest,” says Seattle lawyer Yale Lewis, who represents Young’s estate and points out that Young was never charged with any offense. The Puyallup tribe hasn’t justified its actions beyond a recitation of Young’s behavior, because it doesn’t have to. After Lewis filed a lawsuit in Puyallup’s tribal court alleging civil-rights violations, the judge ordered a hearing to discuss whether the case should be dismissed because of sovereign immunity. Lewis withdrew the case from tribal court and filed it in Pierce County Superior Court, where sovereign immunity again reared its head, resulting in a dismissal—the same treatment the suit later received in the state Court

of Appeals. Ann McCormick, one of several lawyers representing the tribal officers named in the suit, declines to comment. This past June, Lewis filed a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court asking it to review the case. In October, he received word that the court had asked the Solicitor General to weigh in on the case. “It’s very exciting,” Lewis says, noting that cases passed by the Solicitor General stand a much higher chance of being heard. “The tribes have no friend in the U.S. Supreme Court,” observes Rose, the Whittier law professor. The court expressed reservations about sovereign immunity in a landmark 1998 case, Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma v. Manufacturing Technologies, which involved that tribe’s default on a promissory note to buy hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of stock. On the one hand, the court reaffirmed that tribal sovereign immunity was virtually absolute. But on the other hand, Rose points out, the court questioned the wisdom of this doctrine and invited Congress to repeal it. Congress never did. Rose suggests that legislators lack a “political will” to take up sovereign

“People don’t realize what sovereignty means,” says professor Nelson Rose. “When you go to an Indian nation, it’s like going to Mexico.”


uling in October, Judge Randy Doucet, who comes from a pool of judicial officers supplied to tribes by the Northwest Intertribal Court

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SE ATTLE WEEKLY • MARCH 13 — 19, 2013

immunity, given the plethora of tribal campaign contributions that have flowed through the Capitol in recent years. Rose doubts the Supreme Court will ever overhaul sovereign immunity on its own, but muses that the justices are “looking for ways to cut back on it.” The “more progressive tribes” are cutting back on immunity of their own accord, according to McCoy, the state representative. “Tulalip does it all the time, for a specific project or a specific business deal.” Businesses like Home Depot and Walmart that have come onto the reservation, becoming part of a thriving economy sparked by the tribe’s casino, all have immunity waivers written into their contracts, McCoy says. Still, the Tulalip tribe has not enacted any broad-based waivers, and McCoy notes that “tribes are very protective of their sovereign immunity.” Historically, there’s been a good reason for that, argues Ron Whitener, executive director of the University of Washington’s Native American Law Center. Tribes simply haven’t had the money to pay out legal claims, in large part because they’re “extremely limited in their ability to tax,” Whitener says. With reservations comprising mostly “trust” land held for tribes by the federal government, tribes don’t have access to property taxes. Tribes do have their newfound gaming riches. But Ron Allen, longtime chair and CEO of the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe and treasurer of the National Congress of American Indians, asserts that “The majority of tribes don’t have casinos, and of those that do, only a handful are very successful.” He suggests that tribes have no choice but to hold onto sovereign immunity. The Sauk-Suiattle’s grip, however, proved not to be as firm as might have been expected.

System, rejected the tribe’s motion to dismiss the case. The plaintiff ’s success can be traced in part to Hoffman’s efforts to make amends. Needle and Mindenbergs argued that sovereign immunity shouldn’t hold because Hoffman expressed a desire, in conversations with Pendergrass and Baird, to waive it. The judge didn’t totally buy that argument. Hoffman was not empowered to waive immunity on behalf of the entire tribe. But he might be able to waive it on his own behalf. Doucet said the matter raised factual and legal questions that required further review. The judge also acknowledged that the council’s dismissals might have been outside the scope of its authority. That’s what the plaintiffs argued, because the tribe’s own employee handbook forbids discrimination. Without knowing whether the tribe acted legally, the judge said he couldn’t say whether it could use sovereign immunity as a shield. Such rulings are the picayune stuff of legal cases, yet given the ways in which suits against tribes have been stopped at the gate in the past, Susan Mindenbergs, who is working with Needle on the case, calls the victory “amazing.” “It is very difficult to succeed” given courts’ deference to sovereign immunity, says Needle, talking with his fellow counsel in their shared Pioneer Square offices. Having done little previous work in Indian country, he says they’ve dived into similar cases only to discover that most of the time, “you’re knocking your head against the wall” to sue a tribe. The tribe has appealed Doucet’s decision, and a hearing is scheduled for April 2 in tribal court. “Even if we lose in court, we’re not done,” Pendergrass vows. “We haven’t even started contacting the funding agencies” that dole out federal grants to the Sauk-Suiattle, she says— grants that are supposed to be conditional on the tribe’s adherence to basic federal laws, like those outlawing discrimination. She and her fellow plaintiffs will ask the agencies to enforce their rules. That may not be the only gauntlet ahead for the Sauk-Suiattle. Both Hudson and O’Leary, the former CEO and police chief, say they too are likely to sue the tribe. Both were caught up in the controversy over the mass firing and were subsequently fired themselves. The police job is still open—one of six open positions advertised on the tribe’s website, along with a clinic manager, a chemical-dependency counselor, and a medical assistant. It’s not hard to imagine that under the circumstances, the tribe might have a difficult time filling these positions. Some believe that the council eventually would have fired even more employees if there hadn’t been a backlash. In the tense days after the tumultuous 2011 meetings, Pugh recalls, the chair ordered that locks be put on the administration building to prevent further havoc. A year and a half later, Pendergrass and Baird still seem choked up by what happened. They say they loved their jobs, which offered good pay and benefits. Pendergrass says she was proud of making sure all the employment policies were followed on her watch. Baird says her varied court and police duties kept things interesting. “I even mopped when I had free time,” Baird says. “You just want to keep the place presentable,” she says. Neither has yet found a new job. Baird has taken to selling Cookie Lee jewelry at house parties. “It hurt,” she says of her abrupt dismissal. “It hurt real bad.” E


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Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us (Signal, $32.99), processed-food producers


More Money, More Problems

Pakistan can’t support it (not yet, and maybe never). And while the state or business rivals can’t steal your health and happiness, those personal assets are no less ephemeral. Capital sloshes across markets; one man’s rise means another’s fall; the riches you accumulate will eventually disappear, leaving only filth behind. (In a related side note, the film adaptation of Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist, directed by Mira Nair, is currently making the festival rounds and should arrive this spring—or at SIFF.) Elliott Bay Book Co., 1521 10th Ave., 624-6600, Free. 7 p.m. BRIAN MILLER

thurs/3/14 FILM

Late and Lamented

You worry about a guy who worshipped William S. Burroughs, and Steven Jesse Bernstein clearly made his friends worry long before he met his idol and preceded him onstage (at the Moore in 1988). Bernstein had mental troubles and substance-abuse issues most of his life. Following his 1991 suicide, the local poet was honored by a Sub Pop album and EMP exhibit, but the 2010 documentary I Am Secretly an Important Man is the tenderest tribute yet. The film is extremely well-sourced, with home movies and stills; director Peter Sillen had the luxury of picking through material compiled by others, including local curator Larry Reid. The doc sets Bernstein’s nasal verse to elegant streetscape montages of the city then and now. Friends and a few family members testify to Bernstein’s happy, conventional L.A. childhood and drug-impacted Seattle years. “Jesse was a true outsider,” says photographer Charles Peterson, who with other grunge scenesters—Kurt Cobain included—latched on to Bernstein’s raw words. “I’m not interested in making it in the literary world,” he claims; yet outside the punk-rock clubs, Bernstein was willing to do a reading in a storefront window at Nordstrom, to be interviewed—hilariously awkwardly—by Susan Hutchison on TV. Why he killed himself, and why he frequented the Elite after he married (and had two sons), is left unexplained. Straight biography isn’t the point here, and Bernstein’s contradictions, like Burroughs’, remain unresolved. Whether he’s a grunge footnote, a beatnik wannabe, or a beautiful, belated loser, the film allows you to decide. Grand Illusion, 1403 N.E. 50th St., 523-3935, grand $5–$8. 7 p.m. BRIAN MILLER


Garden Hate

Sam Lipsyte had his breakthrough novel with The Ask (2010), but he’s long been an accomplished short-story writer. In his new

Chita Rivera in West Side Story, part of Dance Cinema Quarterly (see page 18).

collection The Fun Parts (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $24), Lipsyte repeatedly touches upon themes of grievance and humiliation (often rooted in a chubby Jersey youth in the ’80s). From that bitter well is his characters’ resentment born. And from their resentment comes Lipsyte’s splattering font of angry, disgusted, and hilarious prose. In “The Wisdom of the Doulas,” for instance, a self-styled male doula increasingly alarms the family whose infant he’s tending. With a ninja fetish and faked credentials, Mitch the “doulo” (as he insists on being called) rejects the need for an official diploma. “Did a piece of paper educate you on newborn care?” he demands. “Did a piece of paper keep all the balls of nurturing in the air?” Mitch sees in the newborn’s unwrinkled perfection the obverse of his own fallen corporal state, “deep into cell degeneration or, worse, relocation.” Hair is moving from his head and sprouting between his shoulder blades. He’s broke, middle-aged, and estranged from his family, and he wants a fresh start. That’s what babies represent; and in his oafish, inappropriate way, Mitch does actually love babies and their mothers. What does he get in return? Abuse, rejection, throwing stars, 911 calls, and Tasers. Following tonight’s reading, Lipsyte will conduct a Q&A with local novelist Ryan Boudinot (Blueprints of the Afterlife). Expect New Jersey and the ’80s to come up, like bile. Richard Hugo House, 1634 11th Ave., 322-7030, hugohouse. org. $5. 7:30 p.m. BRIAN MILLER

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Fallen on Hard Times

It’s impossible to watch the Maysles brothers’ 1975 documentary Grey Gardens without wondering how its mother/daughter subjects ended up in their isolated, decrepit estate, full of cats and trash. How did these wellborn women become such bizarre, sometimes incomprehensible characters? Edith Bouvier Beale and her daughter Edith were, after all, cousins of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis, but the contrast between their lives couldn’t be more shocking. The Tony-winning 2006 musical Grey Gardens , jointly produced here by ACT and the 5th Avenue Theatre, takes some liberties with the backstory of Big Edie and Little Edie, adding songs to boot (music by Scott Frankel, lyrics by Michael Korie, book by Doug Wright). Under the direction of Kurt Beattie, recent SW cover girl Jessica Skerritt plays the young and beautiful Little Edie in Act 1; she dreams of showbiz stardom and is engaged to Joseph Kennedy ( JFK’s older brother). The songs she sings are flashy and snazzy, reflecting Little Edie’s gilded lifestyle. But the sea change occurs at the end of Act 1, when Big Edie (Patti Cohenour, who plays the decadesolder older Little Edie in Act 2) inadvertently ruins her daughter’s future. Act 2 is the story we know from the Maysles’ doc, set 30 years later in the crumbling household where Big Edie (now Suzy Hunt) and Little Edie share a strange co-dependency. Though Skerritt doesn’t appear in Act 2, she says the songs change and get sadder: “The music is more

SE ATTLE WEEKLY • MARCH 13 — 19, 2013


Hamid writes about rags and riches.


Let’s start with the title. Mohsin Hamid isn’t serious about How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia (Riverhead, $26.95) being a how-to guide. It’s actually a slim, streamlined little novel, told mainly in the second person, about an unnamed protagonist’s self-made success in Pakistan. It’s also an unsentimental love story and a parable of globalization, a Horatio Alger tale in a post–Slumdog Millionaire context. Only Hamid, educated at Princeton and Harvard, today residing in Lahore, constantly interrupts his tale with remarks to the reader. This makes his hero less of a character than a case study, an exemplar of how poverty, corruption, fundamentalism, truck bombs, global markets, U.S. drones, and consumer aspirations are shaping Pakistan (or pulling it apart). First selling bootlegged DVDs, then later bottled water that’s anything but pure, Hamid’s striver becomes part of “a hypertrophying middle class, bulging from the otherwise scrawny body of the population like a teenager’s overdeveloped bicep.” But his is a cautionary tale: The bulge can’t last.

are dedicated to stimulating every one of them. Given unprecedented access to the masterminds behind the $1 trillion processed-food industry, Moss was able to reconstruct how companies such as Kraft and Coca-Cola use brain scans, manipulated fats, and chemically altered sugars to methodically engineer addictive snacks. Eaters love the results: The average American now consumes 70 pounds of sugar a year, a figure that pains even some former food-company bigwigs. “I was amazed by how many people I found who had regrets,” Moss says. Still, 60,000 processed products aren’t about to disappear from grocery shelves (where most of them are strategically positioned at eye level.) “This is not a book about not eating processed food,” Moss says. “It’s about taking control of what you’re eating.” Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave.,


Weekly Wire » FROM PAGE 17


Bragging Rights and Wrongs

atmospheric and spooky . . . It reflects the changed aura of the place and the squalor they’re now surrounded by.” (Previews begin tonight. Opens Fri., March 21. Ends May 26.)

The antagonism between the Seattle Sounders and the Portland Timbers, who clash tonight already in only our second MLS match of the season, involves a level of disdain more intense than that of most sports rivalries. It seems to stem from the peculiar arrogance of Timbers supporters: Their self-regard is through the roof; they can’t stop posturing as iconoclastic upstarts, yet they’re rigidly judgmental. They’re navel-gazingly obsessed with their own hipness and authenticity (their most damning insult for their rivals is “corporate”), and they’re ridiculously overproud of their occasional achievement, considering how often they whiff it . . . Huh. Rereading this, I realize I have just also described The Stranger. CenturyLink

ACT Theatre, 700 Union St., 292-7676, $55–$77. 8 p.m. ERIN K. THOMPSON

MARCH H O T T IC K E T S Thursday, March 14, at 7:30pm Saturday, March 16, at 8pm



It’s a Gift

Art collectors, like the Wrights or the Shirleys, tend to be rich and prominent. That does not describe Dorothy and Herbert Vogel, who began buying art in New York in the early ’60s. He was a postal clerk and she a librarian. They favored minimalist and conceptual works, which tended to be small and could fit in their apartment. When four decades later they approached the National Gallery about donating their collection, it had reached 5,000 pieces (!). Of that, the National Gallery accepted about 1,000, and thus The Dorothy

Field, 800 Occidental Ave. S., $29–$98. 5 p.m. GAVIN BORCHERT


and Herbert Vogel Collection: Fifty Works

Michael Francis, conductor Vadim Gluzman, violin


He Feels the Need to Knead

Hear why the The Washington Post calls Vadim Gluzman “one of today’s top violinists,” when he performs Bruch’s popular Violin Concerto No. 1. Thursday sponsored by

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One of the most popular works on the classical stage, the Fifth is also deeply embedded in our popular culture, from cellphone ringtones to an unforgettable disco adaptation in Saturday Night Fever. Gautier Capuçon

Gautier Capuçon’s performances generously underwritten by Jane and David R. Davis.


David Afkham, conductor Gautier Capuçon, cello

Edda Renouf’s Miniature Watercolor #4, part of the Vogel Collection at SAM.

SEATTLE WEEKLY • MARCH 13 — 19, 2013

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2008, SAM was designated this state’s beneficiary, and today those works are going on view. Artists include Stephen Antonakos, Sol LeWitt, Terry Winters, Cheryl Laemmle, Robert Mangold, and others. If these are not boldface names, they represent a postwar art scene that never blew up to Warhol or Pop Art proportions. The Vogels were careful, tasteful, modest collectors who befriended many New York artists, establishing careerlong bonds. And there weren’t as many categories and theoretical flavors to guide their acquisitions, Dorothy Vogel told The New York Times in 2008. “It was a lot easier in those days,” she said. “We just bought what we liked.” Sadly, Herbert Vogel died last year. The Vogels had no children, but they leave a large legacy. (Through June 30.) Seattle Art

Museum, 1300 First Ave., 654-3100, $12–$20. 10 a.m.– 9 p.m. BRIAN MILLER

Bread isn’t the first thing that comes to mind among the performing arts. Yet when the act of kneading dough is paired with what On the Boards’ Sean Ryan calls the “exuberant whistling of Vivaldi’s ‘Four Seasons,’ ” it becomes a portrait “of art within the physical body doing everyday things.” In the season’s third and final 12 Minutes Max, the long-running program will feature baker Campbell John Thibo performing his Bread, Water. Also on the bill: music from JR Rhodes, dance from Elia Mrak, and performances by Vanessa DeWolf, Zoe Wilson, Jeffrey Fracé, and Kelsey Wilk—the latter reinterpreting the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, no dough required. Washington Hall, 153 14th Ave., 622-6952, $8. 7 p.m. (Repeats Mon.) GWENDOLYN ELLIOTT


These Vagabond Shoes

All too often, dance films get compartmentalized—you’re either looking at a classic Hollywood musical or an experimental art film. Luckily, the smarty-pants directors at Velocity Dance Center and Northwest Film Forum are programming a combination of the two, pairing a mainstream feature with an alternative short for Dance Cinema Quarterly. Their first program matches two films about New York City as a community of immigrants: West Side Story, with Jerome Robbins’ astonishing choreography, and Meredith Monk’s contemplative Ellis Island. It’s not really likely that Monk modeled her opening sequence, a slow approach to the island ending in a ramshackle warehouse, on the breathtaking flyover of Manhattan that begins West Side Story, but without this match-up, we might not even have known to ask the question. Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave., 267-5380, $6–$10. 8 p.m. SANDRA KURTZ

SE ATTLE WEEKLY • MARCH 13 — 19, 2013


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arts»Visual Arts

Pints and Trophies

How the thirst for beer funded one of England’s most prestigious private art collections. BY BRIAN MILLER



All the Dutch are good ere in London, to my eye, and it’s worth there’s no place peering closely at the small better for a picnic series of Rembrandt etchand peek at the ings (a rare example of art than Kenwood House, a something the nascent midgrand old estate bequeathed to dle class could’ve afforded). the nation by the Earl of Iveagh Hals, Vermeer, and Van in 1927. Let’s pack a lunch of Dyck are worthy compancucumber sandwiches and tea ions, and their collective and take the Tube to the fashrestraint is a rebuke to the ionable Hampstead Heath area English bombast that folof North West London. Maybe lowed. With the supersized we’ll see someone posh, like Frans Hals’ Portrait of canvasses of Gainsborough Kate Middleton. Oh, wait— an Unknown Man. and Reynolds, it seems Kenwood House is closed for like they were being paid renovations until October? I by the inch. Their aristocratic original patrons guess we’ll have to see the traveling collection at demanded respect, of course, while the rich SAM, which is being presented as Rembrandt, Dutch merchants didn’t get the same heroic Van Dyck, Gainsborough: The Treasures of Kengloss from Rembrandt and company. wood House. There’s something impressive yet vulgar about Lord Iveagh was Edward Cecil Guinness Reynolds’ Mrs. Tollemache as “Miranda” (with the (1847–1927), an Irishman who built the family hideous Caliban cowering at her feet), the artist brewery into an empire, took it public, then sold and his subject gesturing back to Shakespeare most of his shares to retire and collect art. That (and her dress to the Greeks), another exercise in was in 1886; and by the time of his death (as the borrowed status. Far preferable, from the Seattle second richest man in Britain), he’d amassed one sidebar, is Hals’ Portrait of an Unknown Man, of those Old Master collections that signified painted about a century earlier—though it seems status, wealth, and quality. No Renoirs or Picasmore contemporary than the Reynolds. The sos or Van Goghs for him; an early Turner or unknown sitter’s suit is expensive, but he’s very two was as avant-garde as he got. Guinness colmuch a figure of his time—not aspiring to the lected the big names, who created big canvasses classical. What character he possesses is left to the that hung in big halls where you could impress artist to convey, and it does come through. Put the guests at big parties. Though Guinness was him in a Patagonia fleece jacket, Kindle in hand, certainly born rich (the brewery was founded in white earbuds dangling, and he could be someone 1759 by his great grandfather), he and his family sitting next to you on the bus. Not so with poor would always be Irish. Buying houses in London, then outfitting them with lavish furniture and art, embalmed Mrs. Tollemache. There’s one image of Lord Iveagh in the only added to his social prominence. He was also exhibit, plus some biographical information, but a noted philanthropist who built public housing, I wish SAM would start explaining more about funded medical research, and even backed an the provenance of its shows—what things origiexpedition to Antarctica, where you can today nally cost and why the collectors bought them. climb the 11,000-foot Mount Iveagh. Iveagh was no crass parvenu, but a politician and But we’re here to look at the art, which numphilanthropist. And beer is certainly a cleaner, less bers about 50 works, with Rembrandt’s 1665 destructive business than oil or railroad building self-portrait the centerpiece. (There’s also a com(though children of alcoholics may disagree). You panion exhibit, European Masters: The might not admire everything in his collection, but Treasures of Seattle, a smaller, somewhat ranhe gave it all away. And I’m sure it would look dom sampler from SAM and local collectors.) better—and more period-appropriate—at the Iveagh was basically in competition with the opulent Kenwood House than in SAM’s unclutother industrial/banking tycoons of his day—the tered galleries. A billionaire in today’s dollars, Rothschilds, Hearst, Morgan, Frick, etc.—to raid Iveagh would belong in the company of Gates the old treasures of Europe. What they bought and Allen, not Murdoch and the Koch brothers. had previously been commissioned, for the most Also, if you’re planning a trip to England this part, by the fading aristocracy. (It’s worth rememfall, I know just the place to visit. E bering that, during the 18th and 19th centuries, only the rich could pay for fine portraiture.) What Iveagh and company valued were tokens of genteel life from before the Industrial RevoluREMBRANDT, VAN DYCK, tion, as we see here: sailing ships and fatted cows, GAINSBOROUGH: THE TREASURES OF dimpled children in expensive frocks, mistresses KENWOOD HOUSE dressed up as goddesses and milkmaids, hunting Seattle Art Museum, 1300 First Ave., scenes and rural vistas without a smokestack in 654-3100, $12–$20. sight. All of which raises the opposing questions 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Tues.–Wed. & Sat.–Sun.; of Are they good? vs. Are they prestigious? 10 a.m.–9 p.m. Thurs.–Fri. Runs through May 19.

SE ATTLE WEEKLY • MARCH 13 — 19, 2013


arts»Visual Arts B Y G W E N D O LY N E L L I O T T

Art Openings & Events







CODY BLOMBERG Stop Bullying Me! examines that

issue through a series of multi-media installations framed around the bullying of LGBTQ youth. Opening reception 6-9 p.m. Thurs., March 14. Conversation with the artist 12 p.m. Sat., March 16. Gay City Health Project, 511 E. Pike St., 860-6969,, Opens March 14, Mon., Thurs.-Sat., 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Continues through March 18. EAFA’S OPEN ABSTRACT SHOW This juried group show features works ranging from digital photography to painting. Awards reception with juror June Sekiguchi: 5-9 p.m. Thurs., March 21. Also, Third Thursday reception 5-9 p.m. April 18,. Eastside Association of Fine Arts Gallery, 5701 Sixth Ave. S., Seattle, 425-898-7076,, Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through May 3. FACES With their portraits, artists in this group show attempt to capture the character and “expressive presence” of their subjects. Opening reception 2-4 p.m. Sat., March 16. Prographica, 3419 E. Denny Wy., 322-3851,, Opens March 16, Weds.-Sat., 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through April 20. HIDDEN HAZARDS IN THE ARTS Sponsored by King County’s Local Hazardous Waste Management Program, this free workshop addresses the chemical hazards of aerosol spray paint, oil, water, acrylic, and other media. Gallery4Culture, 101 Prefontaine Place S. (Tashiro Kaplan Building), 296-7580,, Thu., March 14, 6-8 p.m. INTRODUCTIONS Kimberly Clark, Jo Moniz, and a halfdozen other locals new to SAM GAllery show their work in this annual group show. Opening reception 5-7 p.m. Thurs., March 14. SAM Gallery, 1220 Third Ave.,

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TheFussyeye » by brian miller

Lighting the Way

A friend recently complained to me about the city’s new LED streetlights that had been installed on his block. They’re too bright, he said, as we stood in his driveway looking upward. “Are you crazy?” I asked. “I love those things.” Not only are LEDs more energyefficient than the old high-pressure sodium lamps, they’re more precise—casting their beams downward, not obscuring the stars. And the color is much better—cooler and crisper, not the old pissyellowy blast. The visual difference is like having cataracts taken out. Also, LEDs are considerably more flexible in their applications, and they come in different colors. So passing under the gloomy Alaskan Way Viaduct one night, I thought the city had commissioned a public art BRIAN MILLER


343-1101,, Opens March 14, Tues.-Sat., 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through April 13. ALDEN MASON MEMORIAL An event to celebrate the life and artwork of the late Northwest master painter (1919-2013). A major retrospective of his work will run at FWG from April 1-27. Foster/White Gallery, 220 Third Ave. S., 622-2833,, Sat., March 16, 2-4 p.m. THE NEW NEO-NATURALISTS In their artists’ statement, David Eisenhour, Lisa Gilley, and Sean Yearian portray themes of the natural world, biological forms, and strive “to connect and repair this splintered destructive world with our art.” Opening reception 5-9 p.m. Thurs., March 21,., Seattle Design Center, 5701 Sixth Ave. S., 762-1200,, Opens March 14, Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through April 12. TASHIRO KAPLAN ARTISTS SHOW Artists from the Pioneer Square enclave venture north with painting, mixed media sculpture, jewelry, cut paper, and more. Opening reception 6-9 p.m. Sat., March 16. Sugarcomb Salon, 780 N. 73rd St., 300-9866, Opens March 16, Tues.-Sun., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Continues through April 14. WHAT’S OLD IS NEW Twilight artists past and present show their work. Opening reception coincides with West Seattle Art Walk: 6-9 p.m. Thurs., March 14. Twilight Artist Collective, 4306 S.W. Alaska St., 9332444,, Weds.-Fri., 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sat., Sun., 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through April 6. A WIDER VIEW Finding inspiration within their diverse backgrounds and cultures, 21 artists of African descent present work in a variety of media. Opening reception 4-6 p.m. Thurs., April 4. Shoreline City Hall, 17500 Midvale Ave. N., 417-4645, Mon.-Fri., 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through April 30.



PHOTOGRAPHY OF ALDO AND MARIROSA BALLO From their Milan studio, Aldo and Marirosa

Toscani Ballo helped package and popularize Italian postwar design as it gained worldwide recognition (think Olivettis and Ferraris). Opening on Fri., March 15, this survey features their photographs, furniture pieces, and other artwork. Bellevue Arts Museum, 510 Bellevue Way N.E., Bellevue, 425-519-0770,, $7-10, Opens March 15, Tues.-Sun., 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; First Friday of every month, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Continues through June 16.

installation with purple and blue LEDs. Trees have been wrapped with a kind of glowing tape after you walk down the Harbor Steps. Then there’s an unexpected azure canopy above, giving the crumbling viaduct an unlikely if temporary grandeur (it comes down in three years, after the tunnel’s dug). It’s part of a state/city program to mitigate the loss of parking during waterfront construction, to make it easier and more inviting for pedestrians to traverse up or down from First or Western. This array was designed by SDOT lighting engineer Ahmed Darrat, and more may be installed. Beyond the waterfront, beyond 2016, I’d like to see more such colorful illumination on our dark hillside stairways, in some of our urban pocket parks, and in the city’s other inky, uninviting nooks. As anyone knows from shaving or putting on makeup in the morning, good lighting makes you look and feel better. The city benefits from the same effect. Alaskan Way & University Street,



Photograph by Manuel Harlan


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arts»Performance B Y G AV I N B O R C H E R T






EVENT S NEW SLETTER A weekly calendar of the city’s best offerings.


mystery. Odd Duck Studio, 1214 10th Ave., eclectictheater Opens March 14. 8 p.m. Thurs.–Sat., 2 p.m. Sun. Ends April 7. CAT PACK “Four swingin’ cats and one lovely kitten” celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in this improv cabaret. Unexpected Productions Market Theater, 1428 Post Alley, 587-2414, $10. 8:30 p.m. Sun., March 17. CEDAR & THE REDWOODS Copious Love Productions’ original play is set during a road trip through Northern California. Washington Hall, 153 14th Ave., 800-838-3006. $12–$15. Opens March 14. Runs 7 p.m. (most) Thurs.–Sat.; see for exact schedule. Ends April 6. DIAMONDS The Heavenly Spies call their 10th-anniversary show their most glamorous yet, with “20 girls, 40 pasties, and 1 big-ass band!” The Triple Door, 216 Union St., 8384333, $20–$30. 7 p.m. Thurs., March 14, 7 & 10 p.m. Fri., March 15–Sat., March 16. GOOD PEOPLE For a comedy rooted in the class politics of South Boston, Good People arrives with excellent Emerald City cred. Its award-winning 2011 Broadway run was directed by Daniel Sullivan, who formerly led the Rep, and the cast includes supporting performances from two of this city’s most deft character actresses, Marianne Owen and Cynthia Lauren Tewes. The play concerns struggling, middle-aged “Southie” Margie (Ellen McLaughlin, the original Angel in Angels in America), a single mother fired from her job at the dollar store. With encouragement from a couple of wisecracking sidekicks (Owen and Tewes), she decides to reach out in not-so-good ways to a “good” person, an old flame who managed to break the crippling grip of the ’hood to become a prosperous doctor (John Bolger). Trust that this will all register painfully true: Saint grew up in the Boston area, and playwright David LindsayAbaire is a Southie himself. STEVE WIECKING Seattle Repertory Theatre, Seattle Center, 443-2222. $12–$80. Opens March 13. Runs Wed.–Sun.; see for exact schedule. Ends March 31. GREY GARDENS SEE THE WIRE, PAGE 17.



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SEATTLE WEEKLY • MARCH 13 — 19, 2013

Satan is late to host his live late-night talk show . . . leaving his woefully inept co-host, Anna Nicole Smith, to start the show which features dead celebrity guests.” The Ballard Underground, 2220 N.W. Market St., ghostlight $5. Opens March 15. 10:30 p.m. Fri.–Sat. Ends March 23. LOVE’S LABOUR’S LOST Shakespeare’s comedy timetravels to the 1920s. Center House Theatre, Seattle Center, 733-8222. $22–$45. Previews March 12–14, opens March 15. Runs 7:30 p.m. Wed.–Sat. plus weekend matinees; see for exact schedule. Ends April 7. MARDI GRAS! Aerial acts, performance art, and dance in this Carnival-themed show. Emerald City Trapeze Arts, 2702 Sixth Ave. S., 800-838-3006, $35–$70. 9 p.m. Fri., March 15–Sat., March 16. MEASURE FOR MEASURE SPT’s Youth Program presents Shakespeare’s dramedy. Seattle Public Theater at the Bathhouse, 7312 W. Green Lake Ave. N., 524-1300, seattle Free. 7 p.m. Fri., March 15, 2 & 7 p.m. Sat., March 16, 2 p.m. Sun., March 17. NEXT FALL Adam and Luke fall in love in Geoffrey Nauffts’ 2010 play, but there’s one problem: Adam’s an atheist, Luke a believer. ArtsWest, 4711 California Ave. S.W., 9380339, $10–$34.50. Opens March 13. 7:30 p.m. Wed.–Sat., 3 p.m. Sun. Ends April 6. SHOWCASE SHOWDOWN Tamara the Trapeze Lady, Sailor St. Claire, and others star in this burlesque game show to benefit PAWS. Re-bar, 1114 Howell St., sailor $15–$20. 7:30 p.m. Thurs., March 14–Sat., March 16. SWEENEY TODD Recommended for ages 13 and up, Studio East cautions. Well, I would hope so. Studio East, 11730 118th Ave. N.E., #100, Kirkland, 425-820-1800, studio-east. org. $12–$14. Opens 6:30 p.m. Fri., March 15. 7:30 p.m. Fri.–Sat., 2:30 p.m. Sun. Ends March 24. TEATRO ZINZANNI: ST. PATTI’S LATE NIGHT Comedy duo Dos Fallopia hosts this naughty all-woman show starring Lily Verlaine, Inga Ingenue, the Seattle Irish Dance Company, and many others. Teatro ZinZanni, 222 Mercer St., 802-0015, $45–$55. 11:15 p.m. Sat., March 16. 12 MINUTES MAX SEE THE WIRE, PAGE 18.




operetta: The librettist and composer themselves become characters in a Victorian fantasy (or wherever the audience decides to send them). Wing-It Productions, 5510 University Way N.E., 781-3879, $12–$15. 8 p.m. Thurs.–Fri. Ends April 19.

in angustiis (”Mass for troubled times”—the epithet is his own) during one of Napoleon’s » by gavin borchert assaults on Austria. But after the French defeat that summer in the Battle of the Nile, the work acquired a contrasting second nickname: the “Lord Nelson” Mass, commemorating the British naval hero’s victory. Appropriately, the music continually shades between Haydn’s usual optimism and dark reality, between the uncertain If there were any artist (anything at all, really) present and the hopeful future. (The battle itself who could possibly persuade me to give Chrisseems to be foretold in the brutal, Beethovenian tianity a fling, it’d be fanfares that break in Haydn. There’s no more on the “Benedictus” personally attractive or movement.) We don’t inspiring manifestation hear any of these six of faith than the serene, masterpieces often luminous joy of the sexenough; this weekend’s tet of Masses he wrote Orchestra Seattle/ toward the end of his Seattle Chamber life. They were commisSingers performance sions from his patron, is a rare opportunity. Nikolaus II, to celebrate Clinton Smith also his wife’s name-day (it’s conducts Gluck, Bizet, a Catholic thing)—one and Copland. First Free Methodist Church, a year, more or less, 3200 Third Ave. W., from 1796 to 1802. But 800-838-3006, osscs. joy, of course, isn’t all org. $10–$25. 7:30 p.m. there is to them. Haydn Nelson: Hail the Sat., March 16. wrote the 1798 Missa conquering hero.

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SE ATTLE WEEKLY • MARCH 13 — 19, 2013

By William Shakespeare Directed by Jon Kretzu

Candace Walsh



SEATTLE WEEKLY • MARCH 13 — 19, 2013


The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection: Fifty Works for Fifty States opens March 16 Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Gainsborough: The Treasures of Kenwood House, London is organized by the American Federation of Arts and English Heritage. It is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities, with additional funding from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation. In-kind support is provided by Barbara and Richard S. Lane.

Seattle presentation is supported by Presenting Sponsor

Supporting Sponsors Seattle Art Museum Supporters (SAMS) Washington State Arts Commission/ National Endowment for the Arts Media Sponsor

Major Sponsor Sotheby’s Supporting Sponsors Melbourne Tower Perkins Coie LLP

Official Hotel Partner Grand Hyatt Seattle

Image credit: Portrait of the Artist (detail), ca. 1665, Rembrandt van Rijn, Dutch, 1606-1669, oil on canvas, 45 3/4 x 38 1/4 in., Kenwood House, English Heritage; Iveagh Bequest (88028836), Photo courtesy American Federation of Arts.

arts»Performance CIRQUE DU SOLEIL Inspired by The Tempest, this tour-



Their mixed bill • PACIFIC NORTHWEST BALLET Concerto Barocco, George

“Modern Masterpieces” sits Balanchine’s neoclassical analysis of J.S. Bach, next to Twyla Tharp’s postmodern endurance test In the Upper Room and Ulysses Dove’s contemporary Dancing on the Front Porch of Heaven. Add to those a premiere by company ballet master Paul Gibson, who doesn’t get a chance to make new work very often, so this should be a rare treat. SANDRA KURTZ McCaw Hall, Seattle Center, 441-2424. $28–$173. Opens March 15. Runs Thurs.–Sun; see for exact schedule. Ends March 24.


was adapted for their Alice in Wonderland., Meydenbauer Center, 11100 N.E. Sixth St., Bellevue, 800-838-3006, ibt $25–$50. 2 p.m. Sat., March 16–March 17. PACIFIC NORTHWEST BALLET Their narrated, hour-long Hansel and Gretel, starring PNB School students, is an excellent intro to ballet for kids. McCaw Hall, Seattle Center, 441-2424, $22–$67. Noon & 3:30 p.m. Sun., March 17, 3:30 p.m. Sat., March 23. DANCE CINEMA QUARTERLY SEE THE WIRE, PAGE 18.


Classical, Etc.

• COMPOSER SPOTLIGHT Composer Rinus van

Alebeek’s presents “I have been awake long enough, it is time to dream.” Jack Straw Studios, 4261 Roosevelt Way N.E., Free 7:30 p.m. Wed., March 13. QUASAR SAXOPHONE QUARTET Music by Seattle composer Donald Stewart and much more from this Montreal-based group. Part of the Washington Composers Forum’s “Transport” series. Chapel Performance Space, 4649 Sunnyside Ave. N., washington $5–$15. 8 p.m. Wed., March 13. SEATTLE SYMPHONY Romantic faves by Bruch and Elgar, plus Michael Tippett’s Ritual Dances. Benaroya Hall, 200 University St., 215-4747, $19–$112. 7:30 p.m. Thurs., March 14, 8 p.m. Sat., March 16. BALKAN NIGHT NORTHWEST Three nights of folk music, including the “face-melting blasts of brass band music.” Russian Community Center, 704 19th Ave. E., Runs March 15–17; see for exact schedule. SEAN OSBORN A CD-release party/performance for this clarinetist’s latest (Messiaen, Stravinsky, his own works, and more). Jack Straw Studios, 4261 Roosevelt Way N.E., Free. 7 p.m. Fri., March 15. NORTHWEST SINFONIETTA Charlie Chaplin wrote his own score for his The Gold Rush; the NS plays it live during a screening. Benaroya Recital Hall, Third Ave. and Union St., 866-833-4747, $19–$49. 7:30 p.m. Fri., March 15. UW SYMPHONY Always good to hear Beethoven’s Ninth, but I’m declaring a moratorium on using it in commercials. Meany Hall, UW campus. 543-4880, music. $10–$15. 7:30 p.m. Fri., March 15. METROPOLITAN OPERA AT THE MOVIES 10 a.m. Sat., March 16: a luscious oddity from Riccardo Zandonai, Francesca da Rimini. (Encored April 3.) 6:30 p.m. Wed., March 20: Wagner’s mystical ritual/opera, Parsifal. See for participating theaters. $24. UGANDAN ORPHANS’ CHOIR Traditional music, dance, drumming, and storytelling. Shoreline Community College, 16101 Greenwood Ave. N., 417-4645, $8. 11 a.m. Sat., March 16. SALISH SEA EARLY MUSIC FESTIVAL Early-baroque chamber music for a “broken consort,” instruments of different families—here flute, violin, viola, and harpsichord. Christ Episcopal Church, 4548 Brooklyn Ave., 633-1611, $5–$20. 7:30 p.m. Sat., March 16. SEATTLE CHORAL COMPANY Italian religious music by Verdi (his odd “Ave maria”) and others. Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral, 1245 Tenth Ave. E., 800-838-3006, $10–$27. 8 p.m. Sat., March 16. CASCADIAN CHORALE New music by local composer Greg Bartholomew, plus Tallis’ 40-voice “Spem in alium.” At St. Thomas Episcopal Church, 8398 N.E. 12th St., Medina, 7 p.m. Sat., March 16, and Lake Washington United Methodist Church, 7525 132nd Ave. N.E., Kirkland, 3 p.m. Sun., March 17. LYRIC OPERA NORTHWEST Stephanie Rodousakis takes the title role in Bizet’s throbbing Carmen. The Moore, 1932 Second Ave., $30–$37. 4 p.m. Sat., March 16–Sun., March 17. GALLERY CONCERTS Flamboyant vocal and chamber music from the Italian baroque. Queen Anne Christian Church, 1316 Third Ave. W., 726-6088, $15–$30. 7:30 p.m. Sat., March 16, 3 p.m. Sun., March 17. A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM The Early Music Guild presents an abridged family version, with lots of period music. Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave., 325-7066, earlymusic $5–$10. 1 p.m. Sun., March 17.


•  •  •  • 

•  • 



JOHN GREW This McGill University organist plays Gibbons,

Buxtehude, and more. Kane Hall, UW campus, 685-8384, $15. 3 p.m. Sun., March 17. NORTHWEST CHAMBER CHORUS Faure’s Requiem is quiet and consoling—none of that Last Judgment arglebargle. At Plymouth Congregational Church, 1217 Sixth Ave., 3 p.m. Sun., March 17, and Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church, 7500 Greenwood Ave. N., 7:30 p.m. Sat., March 23. $12–$22. 523-1196, SEATTLE PHILHARMONIC Schumann’s “Rhenish” Symphony: like one of those Viking River Cruises, but without the motion sickness. Meany Hall, UW campus, $10–$18. 3 p.m. Sun., March 17.

SE ATTLE WEEKLY • MARCH 13 — 19, 2013

ing show isn’t heavy on plot. Kids will appreciate the acrobats, juggling, and costumes, and the traveling Grand Chapiteau—a climate-controlled, 2,600-seat tent—adds to the spectacle. GWENDOLYN ELLIOTT Marymoor Park, 6046 W. Lake Sammamish Pkwy. N.E., Redmond, 800-4501480. $43.50 and up. See for exact schedule. Ends March 24. CLIFFHOUSE Macha Monkey presents Allison Gregory’s rather Hitchcockian-sounding play. Richard Hugo House, 1634 11th Ave., 800-838-3006, 8 p.m. Fri.–Sat. Ends March 30. CROSSING DELANCEY Seattle Jewish Theater Company presents staged readings of Susan Sandler’s play of Manhattan romance. Eight performances through March 30; see for full info. DISTRACTED Lisa Loomer’s dramedy looks at a 9-year-old who may or may not have ADD. Bainbridge Performing Arts, 200 Madison Ave. N., Bainbridge Island, 842-8569, $19–$27. 7:30 p.m. Fri.–Sat., 3 p.m. Sun. Ends March 24. FIVE WOMEN WEARING THE SAME DRESS Rogue Theatrics stages Alan (Six Feet Under) Ball’s comedy set at a Tennessee wedding reception. Theatre Puget Sound, Armory, Seattle Center, $15–$20. 7 p.m. Thurs.–Sat., 2 p.m. Sun. Ends March 17. JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR An all-female production seems a little out-there for Burien, but good for them. Burien Little Theater, S.W. 146th St. and Fourth Ave. S.W., Des Moines, 242-5180, $7–$20. 8 p.m. Fri.–Sat., 2 p.m. Sun. Ends March 24. PAPER BULLETS John E. Ellis resets Much Ado About Nothing in tabloid journalism. Ballard Underground, 2220 N.W. Market St., 395-5458, $12–$15. 7:30 p.m,. Thurs.–Sat. plus 7:30 p.m. Mon., March 18 and 2 p.m. Sun., March 24. Ends March 24. PUSS IN BOOTS The classic French tale. Youth Theatre Northwest, 8805 S.E. 40th St., Mercer Island, 232-4145 x109, $10. 7:30 p.m. Thurs.–Fri., 2:30 p.m. Sat.–Sun. Ends March 17. REWILDING Presented by the Satori Group, Martyna Majok’s play has the loftiest of ambitions: to provoke as well as entertain. This is not an adventure for those who demand the comforts of relatable characters or a narrative roadmap. Random strangers drift together in a forest and embark on a social experiment, rejecting the tenets of the world they’ve left behind. Satori has transformed its new space in the former INS Building into a 360-degree environment in which the audience is strategically placed as voyeurs or participants in the events around them. It’s the kind of fully realized alternate reality that, even when the plot lags, is simply an intoxicating place to spend time. Squatters come and go, and if there’s anything that resembles a plot here, it’s in seeing how newcomers behave when Agnes (Greta Wilson) introduces Edith (LoraBeth Barr) into the enclave. Caitlin Sullivan knows how to stage a scene for maximum dramatic effect, and her cast is ferociously talented, but her reluctance to stifle creativity leaves too many loose ends and too little focus. What’s left is a mesmerizing, elliptical presentation of a world that seems to exist simultaneously as a real place and in a parallel universe. It’s inconclusive, perhaps willfully so, but what an amazing trip. KEVIN PHINNEY Inscape, 815 Seattle Blvd. S., 800-838-3006, satori-group. com. $10–$15. 8 p.m. Thurs.–Sun. Ends March 17. SPF VII It stands for Solo Performance Festival. Solo performers include Jennifer Jasper, Peggy Platt, Lisa Koch, and others; see for complete lineup and schedule. Theater Off Jackson, 409 Seventh Ave. S. $15, Ends March 23. TEATRO ZINZANNI: DINNER AT WOTAN’S It’s Ragnarok eve, aka the final battle of good vs. evil, and Wotan and the rest of the Wagnerian pantheon are ready to par-tay! Geoff Hoyle plays “Dinner at Wotan’s” host; soprano Kristin Clayton plays Brünnhilde; PNB alumna Ariana Lallone adds statuesque beauty with her dance routines; and the “Vertical Tango” team of Sam Payne and Sandra Feusi return from TZ’s previous show to earn the evening’s wildest applause. Teatro ZinZanni, 222 Mercer St., 802-0015. $106 and up. Runs Thurs.–Sun.; see for exact schedule. Ends May 12.


film»This Week’s Attractions The Gatekeepers

SEATTLE WEEKLY • MARCH 13 — 19, 2013


This Oscar-nominated documentary is certainly important if you live in Israel, the West Bank, or the Gaza Strip, but making the case for The Gatekeepers here is a different matter. Director Dror Moreh says he was directly inspired by Errol Morris’ 2003 The Fog of War, which drew lessons from the Vietnam War that applied to Iraq and Afghanistan. But those were our wars, our bloody mistakes, political bungling, and costly occupations. Israel’s Occupied Territories, acquired after 1967’s Six-Day War, are a different matter. So too is its secretive Shin Bet security agency, which conducts counterterrorism operations in those Palestinian regions, including drone strikes and targeted assassinations. What’s most newsworthy here is that Moreh convinced six former Shin Bet leaders to go on record before the camera, where he treats them gently but not deferentially. (No outside opinions are heard.) These men are retired and can presumably speak their minds, though their mindset has been formed by decades of covert warfare with the PLO, Hamas, Hezbollah, and rock-throwing intifadistas. Unlike former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara in The Fog of War, these guys aren’t willing to reverse prior opinions or question their government careers. (Most have pensions, one assumes, and friends still working for Shin Bet.) They are, however, surprisingly skeptical about Israeli policies for controlling the Occupied Territories. And while there’s no consensus view, if Moreh asked for a vote, it seems they’d go back to pre-1967 borders. That would almost be like our giving Texas and Arizona back to Mexico. Each former Shin Bet leader is identified only once at the outset of their studio interviews (conducted separately). After that, between the subtitles and Moreh’s computer graphics (often simulating real events), their identities blur together—bald buy, glasses guy, suspenders guy, blue-shirt guy, guy with darker blue shirt with a Nordstrom logo, etc. This may be more intentional than sloppy on the director’s part, since the six-man chorus speaks with a kind of unified, oracular authority. Mistakes were made, they say. We killed prisoners. We became too brutal. We tortured. We failed to protect Yitzhak Rabin from assassination by a right-wing Jew. We’ve only managed the problem of Palestinian violence, not solved it. Basically, though no one wants to come out and say it, the Six-Day War was a Pyrrhic victory, the acquisition of a demographic time bomb compounded by Israel’s settlement policies. Moreh turns the best quotes into damning chapter headings (“Forget About Morality,” etc.), adding his own editorial guidance to the chorus. There’s little doubt he himself is a Haaretz-reading man of the left, but Moreh is hardly twisting arms here. He’s planning a longer TV version of The Gatekeepers for Israel, where it ought to have the greatest impact, though one suspects viewership will conform to existing political leanings. Will it be seen in the Occupied Territories? Whatever the market or wherever the viewer, one statement rings universal, and ex–Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin puts it in English for global emphasis: “One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.” BRIAN MILLER



Kidman as susceptible widow Evelyn in Stoker.

Like Someone in Love

The Matchmaker



A kindly old professor is reinvigorated by befriending a vulnerable young call girl. If that story sounds familiar, Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami is also aware he’s working with stock elements in his latest mini-metadrama. The twist is that the widowed professor (Tadashi Okuno) and the girl (Rin Takanashi) are Japanese, and Kiarostami, a fixture of European art-house cinema, doesn’t speak the language. He also shot his prior Certified Copy outside Iran, and that two-hander gradually morphed from a Juliette Binoche rom-com into something larger and more ruminative—like origami unfolded. By contrast, Like Someone in Love feels smaller, a strict exercise in story and character constraint. As they talk—there is no sex—and drive around Tokyo in a Volvo station wagon, the professor and the girl don’t change, and Kiarostami (Taste of Cherry, ABC Africa) hardly seems interested in change. There’s just a shifting of mood and nuance as the girl shares her troubles and the professor frets about them; it’s like watching the vapors from a cooling cup of tea. Shy Akiko (Takanashi) isn’t very good at her job, a part-time escort gig to help her through university. Introduced in a crowded bar scene, she’s the least dynamic part of the tableau, a sad young flower already gone to wilt. Dispatched by her pimp to the suburban fringe, she’s bathed in cold neon through the car windows. Waiting for her, old Takashi (Okuno) wants to make soup, not bukkake. Their meeting is mainly a contrivance—and Kiarostami their pimp?— for a dialogue on jealousy and possession. Akiko has a way-too-controlling boyfriend Noriaki (Ryo Kase) who also appears during the 24-hour drama, mistaking Takashi for her grandfather; her moonlighting comes as an ugly surprise to this volatile young garage owner. “When you know you may be lied to, it’s best not to ask questions,” says Takashi to hotheaded Noriaki. Even as he tries to mediate between these two doomed lovers, you know it’s a fool’s errand. Kiarostami is old enough, at 72, to identify with the professor’s soothing words, cardigan sweaters, and musty tastes (old stereo, vintage LPs, Broadway ballads). He knows that grandfatherly advice will be ignored by youth. For both the filmmaker and the professor, Akiko may seem like a fallen woman of 19thcentury literature, but modern-day Tokyo isn’t so romantic. The movie puts an abrupt end to such bookish sentimentality, like the final page ripped from a short story we’ll never finish.

In Avi Nesher’s Israeli coming-of-age drama, the Summer of Love is also making waves in 1968 Haifa. There its impact complicates the work of matchmaker Yankele (Adir Miller, a ringer for Vincent D’Onofrio), a Holocaust survivor who lives in Haifa’s red-light district. Yankele’s lovelorn clients in the Lower City include Sylvia (Bat-el Papura), a beautiful dwarf who operates the local cinema. The setting may sound Felliniesque, but it makes a grave and lasting impression on teenage Arik (Tuval Shafir), who becomes Yankele’s protégé that fateful summer. (The story, based on a novel by Amir Gutfreund, is framed by Arik’s return visit nearly four decades later.) Yet The Matchmaker is also grounded in historical details—like the family of dwarfs who actually survived Dr. Mengele’s experiments and established a successful movie theater in Israel. Also genuine is the difficult, sometimes impossible challenge of resuming life after years in the camps. That’s why Yankele lives down by the harbor, says Arik’s father, a survivor himself: “They want to be near the ships, in case of another disaster.” When Arik meets Tamara (Neta Porat), the sassy cousin of a friend, he begins the inevitable, bittersweet journey to manhood. From there, The Matchmaker essentially hews to formula. Arik looks back on a pivotal summer with an adult’s perspective, contemplating the mystery of why Yankele can never be with his beloved fellow camp survivor Clara (Maya Dagan). Writer/director Nesher wisely avoids the trap of explaining too much about these characters and their histories, allowing the story’s nuances to come through naturally. Yankele wears a deep, jagged scar across his face, which remains a mystery. You just know it’s there, and can never go away. GWENDOLYN ELLIOTT



French cartoonist Joann Sfar published a U.S. collection of his The Rabbi’s Cat stories, set mostly in prewar Algiers, in 2005, but he’s an artist who’s worked in several media and graphic styles. He directed the 2010 live-action movie Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life, based on his prior comic about the pop singer; he’s illustrated a version of SaintExupéry’s The Little Prince; and his other subjects have included child vampires and Marc Chagall. Co-directed with Antoine Delesvaux, Sfar’s The Rabbi’s Cat combines several stories following widowed Rabbi Sfar and his talking cat (gifted with speech after devouring the family parrot).

During the 1920s, the Casbah is a multicultural idyll full of Jews, Muslims, French colonial overlords, and wacky Russian exiles. (The rabbi even has a friendly Muslim cousin, also named Sfar.) As in his graphic novels, Sfar renders the frescos, tiled floors, and stepped, Mediterranean architecture with bold colors and squiggly, irregular lines. Everything looks jittery, exaggerated for comic effect (including some Semitic noses), and that tendency extends to the storytelling. The Rabbi’s Cat is essentially a collection of chatty vignettes and anecdotes, some philosophical, some silly, and one too violent for small children (who wouldn’t want to read all the subtitles anyway). The cat demands a bar mitzvah from his startled owner, but that episode doesn’t get beyond the theology debates. Do cats have souls? Can cats be Jewish? Never mind, here comes cousin Malka, who keeps a lion as a pet. The rabbi’s ripe daughter Zlabya seems to be bursting into womanhood (the unnamed tomcat ecstatically burrows between her breasts), but she never exchanges more than chaste glances with a blue-eyed painter who arrives comatose in a box, having escaped the Cossacks back in Russia. Sfar employs different animation styles for that past pogrom and various fantasy scenes (in one, the Rabbi becomes a cat, too), which gives the film an antic quality—as if the impatient author keeps flipping the pages ahead before you’ve had time to appreciate his lovely drawings. Thus the movie becomes a colorful picaresque—diverting, not deep. During a transAfrican expedition to find a lost tribe of Ethiopian Jews, the rabbi and company even encounter a Tintin-like reporter in the jungle. It’s a nod to the comic books of Sfar’s youth, where religious and political conflicts could be gently resolved in pulpy pages. In this way, The Rabbi’s Cat plays like a charmingly erratic series of postcards from a time and place that never really existed. BRIAN MILLER


Eighteen-year-old India Stoker is a sensual, feral sort of girl. Park Chan-wook’s tantalizing Stoker opens with her scampering barefoot around her family’s sprawling Connecticut mansion, stoically stabbing a needle through a blister on her finger, allowing a spider to crawl up her stockinged leg. As played by Mia Wasikowska, India is pale, scowling, perpetually in shadow. And she’s done something mysterious, something that needs explaining. That much is obvious from her whispery opening monologue: “Just as a flower does not choose its color, we are not responsible for what we come to be. Only once you realize this do you become free.” It’s an eloquent way of putting a common teenage lament: It’s not my fault. India certainly didn’t choose her crumbling family situation. After her beloved father is killed in a car accident, her mother Evelyn (Nicole Kidman) goes into a wilting, unstable state. Kidman and Wasikowska, Australians who share dark, straight brows and opalescent skin, are reduced to wan ghosts, avoiding each other in the large mansion. Evelyn sparks to life when her late husband’s brother Charles (a brilliantly snaky Matthew Goode) arrives from Europe for a prolonged visit. India never knew she had an Uncle Charlie—first seen as an apparition at her father’s funeral—and she resents his intrusion, particularly after sees the

5030 ROOSEVELT WAY NE SEATTLE, WA 98105 (206) 524-8554 SUN.-THURS. 11am-10pm FRI. & SAT. 11am-11pm lustful looks he exchanges with her mother. India fairly smolders as she spies on them dancing to the torrid heat of Lee Hazlewood and Nancy Sinatra’s “Summer Wine.” Park, known for his violent thrillers in South Korea (Oldboy, Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance), here makes his English-language debut. He builds India’s fear of her uncle by imparting each scene with an air of momentousness. A metronome atop a piano tocks like the staccato of heavy boots on a floor; India’s pencil scratches urgently in her art class; a basement ceiling lamp swings and creaks; a freezer rumbles like a shifting bogeyman. But these are just tense hints. The movie begins so delicately that its sudden shift to brutality comes as a surprise. The first startling moment occurs when India’s aunt (a trembling Jacki Weaver) appears too petrified to give Charlie her address. From there, violence spills out, along with frightening family histories, and India is magnetized by the dark new presence in her life. Stoker retains a sense of creepy quiescence— India sharpens the bloody tip of a pencil into clotted red shavings; the camera follows a dried streak of blood on a hardwood floor—but the script (by actor Wentworth Miller) leaves too many gaps for Park to fill. The reason for Charlie’s obsession with India remains a blank. But the masterly performances of the three leads, and Park’s subtle layering of suspense, offset the heavy-handed violence. “Charlie, who in the world are you?” Evelyn marvels early in the film. All too savagely soon, she’ll find out. ERIN K. THOMPSON



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We have a strong and unusual regional link to the West Memphis Three, the Arkansas teens wrongly imprisoned for almost two decades, blamed for killing three children in 1993. Among other celebrities, Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder became a passionate defender of the trio, one of whom, Jason Baldwin, now lives in Seattle. Interest in the case was raised mostly by the three acclaimed Paradise Lost documentaries directed by Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky between 1996 and 2011. After the first one, Vedder, Johnny Depp, and others rallied to the cause, drawn in particular to the charismatic, music-loving Damien Echols (now a bestselling memoirist). Once branded as Satanic cult killers, the West Memphis Three were finally freed in the summer of 2011, an event that received international media attention. So why do we need another doc on the subject, two years later? That is the question for producers Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh, who put their Lord of the Rings money to a good cause—offering both legal support and the funds for West of Memphis (directed by Amy Berg, Deliver Us From Evil). Unfortunately, their film never makes the case for its belated arrival. (It was released in other markets last year but didn’t make the Oscar cut.) Back in the early ’90s, it was hard to get information out of Arkansas; more recently, entire websites have been devoted to the West Memphis Three. Books have been written, and more movies are planned. Baldwin even has a hand in the coming fall dramatization Devil’s Knot, starring Reese Witherspoon and Colin Firth. Against all that awareness, the Jackson/Walsh film creates a phony dramatic tension, starting at the beginning of the crime saga, pretending we don’t know the outcome. Echols is treated as the main protagonist (he and his wife are credited as producers), Baldwin barely appears, and Jessie Misskelley Jr. (the slow one) is more of a prop. Vedder, Depp, Henry Rollins, and Patti Smith offer testimonials, and Jackson and Walsh even become interview subjects, too. The only news here is hardly new, dating to 2007: DNA found at the crime scene matches that of the stepfather of one of the slain boys, Terry Hobbs, but it’s unclear if that evidence would be admissible in court. And if Hobbs or anyone is ever charged and convicted of the crime, it seems unlikely that Berlinger, Sinofsky, Jackson, or Walsh will be back to film it. A poor, forgotten corner of Arkansas will be forgotten once more. BRIAN MILLER E

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Seeing the horrors of war through the eyes of a child is nothing new to the movies, and there are plenty of films about lost innocence and survival during wartime. The Oscar nominee War Witch, made in the Democratic Republic of the Congo by French-Canadian filmmaker Kim Nguyen, is about innocence robbed, abused, and preyed upon. Komona (Rachel Mwanza) is a child soldier in an unidentified sub-Saharan African nation. Narrating her story to her unborn child, the 14-year-old recalls the time, two years earlier, that her village was massacred by rebels and she was forced by their commander to shoot her mother and father. Abducted by the rebels, she’s saved from even worse abuse after her visions mark her as a witch, a living totem for the warlord known as the Great Tiger (Mizinga Mwinga), who commands by force of personality and perceived power. Later, another rebel will claim Komona for his concubine. Yet between her travails she finds tenderness from an albino boy, a fellow soldier who becomes her champion, and from his uncle, a village butcher who embraces her like a daughter. The material world merges with magic and superstition through Komona’s perspective, which Nguyen treats matter-of-factly. The ghosts of her parents and other war dead are not movie special effects, but actors caked in white mud and makeup, as in ritual theater. These nearly human figures are the most evocative suggestion of guilt and fear and horror experienced by Komona. Nguyen skillfully reminds us of the child beneath the soldier, with a mix of innocence and survival instinct. By not identifying the war, he makes her story strictly a matter of power, not

politics. These kids aren’t fighting for a particular cause or ideological leader. But in his determination not to exploit or sensationalize, Nguyen leaves Komona more symbol than person and her story a half-remembered nightmare. He shies away from the deep emotional scars carved into their hearts and minds of these child soldiers, and he avoids showing them as violent sociopaths. And I can’t blame him—I don’t know if I could endure seeing a direct portrait of their ordeal. Nguyen’s compassion and commitment to the issue is admirable, and at its best, War Witch is devastating. Yet it’s also impressionistic and reflective where it ought to be angry and outraged. SEAN AXMAKER


film» SHOWTIMES March 15 - 21


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series continues with 1967’s mediocre Japan-set Only Live Twice, running Friday-Sunday and starring Sean Connery. Far better and sadder is the underrated 1969 On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (Sun.-Thurs.) with George Lazenby. Today a 007 footnote, he bridged the Connery and Roger Moore eras in his single turn as James Bond. Not the greatest actor in the series (which isn’t saying much), he robustly inhabits the role in a picture that is, ironically, one of the best and most tender of the pre-Daniel Craig franchise. Diana Rigg is here a very equal co-star, no mere Bond girl, as the woman who wins 007’s heart. Telly Savalas plays the bald, evil nemesis holed up in the Swiss Alps, where a ski chase, snowy car chase, and a memorable toboggan-run fist fight make this a genuinely exciting spy movie wrapped around a plausible love story. See the GI’s website for complicated schedule. (PG) BRIAN MILLER Grand Illusion, $5-$8, Through March 28. CITIZEN HEARST Directed by Leslie Iwerks and narrated by William H. Macy, this new doc examines the life and legacy of newspaper baron William Randolph Hearst (1863–1951), whom you may remember, in fictional form, in a little movie called Citizen Kane. (NR) Crest, Thu., March 14, 7 p.m. I AM SECRETLY AN IMPORTANT MAN SEE THE WIRE, PAGE 17. L.A. REBELLION Originating at UCLA, this traveling retrospective honors African-American filmmakers who, after the Watts riots, brought street politics into their indie films. Weekend highlights include Larry Clark’s 1977 music drama Passing Through (8 p.m. Fri.), Alile Sharon Larkin’s 1979 Your Children Come Back to You (8 p.m. Sat.), and Jamaa Fanaka’s 1976 romance Emma Mae (8 p.m. Sun.). See for full schedule and details. (NR) Northwest Film Forum, Fri.Sun., Through March 24. THE LONG KISS GOODNIGHT From 1996, Renny Harlin directs his wife, Geena Davis, in a failed action flick that actually points the way to the Angelina Jolie era. Perhaps she should be paying Davis royalties? (R) Central Cinema, $6-$8, Wed., March 13, 7 & 9:30 p.m. MIDNIGHT HORROR Call the tavern, or just drop by, to see what random gore flicks are playing in this ongoing series. Plus drink specials! (NR) Comet Tavern, 922 E. Pike St., 322-9272,, Free, Thurs.-Sun. MOVIE NIGHT DJs Jon Francois and Nik Gilmore set music to silent movies. Tonight they tackle the 1931 Polynesian-set romance Tabu, by F.W. Murnau and Robert J. Flaherty. (NR) Northwest Film Forum, $5, Thu., March 14, 8 p.m. THE NIGHT OF THE HUNTER Charles Laughton’s 1955 drama is the movie freak’s definitive love machine: maligned when first released, hopelessly out of synch with American postwar sensibilities, so aberrant and singular it may properly be called the first Hollywood cult movie. It’s an arch, Kabuki-like morality play set in a Saturday Evening Post mid-country and populated by shrieking archetypes. The affect is mega-noir, of course, mated with scripter James Agee’s gushingly folkloric voice, Stanley Cortez’s Teutonic cinematography, and twisted around the hot core of Presbyterian outrage. As the notorious blackjack preacher (“LOVE” and “HATE” tattooed on his knuckles) stalking a pair of little children in possession of a loot-stuffed doll, Robert Mitchum manifested unscrupulous evil so shocking that Laughton (according to Mitchum) upped the film’s fairy-tale ante in post-production as countercharge. The issues are elemental, the morality biblical, the trials Homeric. In terms of cinematic texture, it’s a hound from hell. (NR) MICHAEL ATKINSON. Central Cinema, $6-$8, Fri., March 15, 7 p.m.; Sat., March 16, 7 p.m.; Mon., March 18, 7 p.m.; Tue., March 19, 7 p.m. THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster won Oscars for this overrated serial-killer flick from 1991. (R) Egyptian, $8.25, Fri., March 15, 11:59 p.m.; Sat., March 16, 11:59 p.m. SILENT MOVIE MONDAYS Joan Crawford stars in Our Dancing Daughters (1928), in its day a scandalous look at the flapper generation. Performance by Seattle Dance Collective precedes the show, possibly including the Charleston. Organist Jim Riggs provides live accompaniment. (NR) The Paramount, 911 Pine St., Seattle, 877-784-4849,, $10, Mondays, 7 p.m. Through March 25.

•  • 


SEATTLE WEEKLY • MARCH 13 — 19, 2013



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for various short films being screened. Ongoing is the 1939 adventure serial Zorro’s Fighting Legion. Total program length is about two hours. (NR) Grand Illusion, $5-$8, Saturdays, 2 p.m. Continues through March 23. UPSTREAM COLOR Director Shane Carruth (Primer) will introduce his latest, scheduled to open next month. In it, he plays a guy drawn into some kind of identitymorphing sci-fi romance with a mysterious woman (Amy Seimetz). (NR) SIFF Cinema Uptown, $6-$11, Thu., March 14, 7 p.m. Y TU MAMÁ TAMBIÉN Directed by Alfonso Cuarón, this 2002 film became a box-office sensation in Mexico. It’s both populist—lowbrow, even—and sophisticated. Base urges and serious aspirations mix untidily together. Our 17-year-old protagonists, Tenoch and Julio, are typical teens, caring only for marijuana, music, and—most of all—sex. (Prepare for an amusing if “Eeew!”-inducing diving-board masturbation contest.) With girlfriends away, their mission to get laid leads to a fuller adult understanding of life via an unlikely tutor, Tenoch’s married Spanish cousin-in-law Luisa, a beautiful 28-year-old who improbably accepts their invitation to road-trip to a phantom beach. Certainly she’s no victim; the horndogs test her with their frank, raunchy banter, and she responds in kind. Meanwhile, an unidentified Goddardian narrator intermittently comments upon the tale, lending unexpected sub-textual depth to Mamá’s picaresque high jinks. It’s a funny, raunchy, and ultimately poignant trip. (R) BRIAN MILLER Central Cinema, $6-$8, Fri., March 15, 9:30 p.m.; Sat., March 16, 9:30 p.m.; Mon., March 18, 9:30 p.m.; Tue., March 19, 9:30 p.m.; Wed., March 20, 9:30 p.m.



AMOUR Hollywood generally treats aging as an

ennobling process, a time of gauzy reflection or an opportunity to transmit sage wisdom to tow-headed grandkids. This is not a view shared by Austrian director Michael Haneke (Funny Games, Caché), who has specialized in an impeccably crafted cinema of cruelty, repressed passion, and dread. So it’s something of a shock for Amour to begin as a loving portrait of a marriage between retired music teachers Georges and Anne (Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva), who remain independent in their 80s. Amour’s story is nothing if not logical and familiar: the medical crisis, doctors, the daughter’s visit, nurses, rehab, moments of resiliency and love, the “never take me back to the hospital” demand, setbacks, adult diapers, despair. Haneke renders Georges and Anne’s dilemma with dispassionate, clinical observation. Amour often plays like a Frederick Wiseman documentary. For Haneke, life itself is cruel. There is no consolation, only an end. (PG-13) Brian Miller Kirkland Parkplace ARGO Ben Affleck’s Oscar winner begins with the November 4, 1979, attack on the U.S. embassy in Tehran. While 52 Americans are held hostage, six embassy workers manage to escape, ultimately hiding out at the home of Canadian ambassador (Victor Garber). Determined to smuggle the houseguests out of Iran by disguising them as a film crew on a location scout, CIA exfiltration expert Tony Mendez (Affleck) enlists the help of John Chambers (John Goodman), a movie makeup artist, and Lester Siegel (Alan Arkin), an old-school producer. Between hokey wisecracks ribbing industry idiocy, the trio seizes on a dusty script for a Star Wars rip-off called Argo. Affleck’s movie doesn’t reflect who we are now so much as it argues for what Hollywood can be. It’s a love letter from Affleck to the industry that made him, shunned him, and loves nothing more than to be loved. (R) Karina Longworth Varsity, Factoria Cinemas, Oak Tree, Lincoln Square, Meridian, others EMPEROR Based on a Japanese historical account set in postwar Tokyo, Emperor is mostly narrated through the figure of young Gen. Bonner Fellers (Matthew Fox), an actual assistant to the smugly regal Gen. Douglas MacArthur (Tommy Lee Jones), supreme commander of defeated Japan. Fellers is charged with deciding whether the weak, reclusive Emperor Hirohito should be charged as a war criminal? And would such a shocking trial cause the people to revolt, as several Japanese characters tell Fellers, and possibly turn the country Communist? Complicating matters—and here’s your historical embellishment—is Fellers’ lost Japanese love from college, a former exchange student named Aya (Eriko Hatsune), whom he’s trying to find in the rubble. Most of Emperor’s scenes are stilted and didactic, as Fellers is lectured about the U.S. fuel embargo that preceded Pearl Harbor, our own shameful colonial history, and the innocents killed in






Solitanos of his hugely appealing new Silver Linings Playbook. Instead of Boston Irish and boxing, we have Philadelphia Italian and the Eagles. The family patriarch (a fine, restrained Robert De Niro) is an OCD bookie bound by strange rituals to the team; his wideeyed wife (Jacki Weaver) is the nervous family conciliator/enabler; and their volatile son Pat (Bradley Cooper, wired) is fresh out of the nuthouse with a restraining order from his ex. But Pat is looking for those silver linings through self-improvement: reading, running, losing weight, scheming to win back his wife. Russell’s pell-mell approach perfectly suits the story of Pat’s mania and wrong-footed romance with young widow Tiffany (the Oscar-winning Jennifer Lawrence), who’s even more titanic in her instability than Pat. (R) Brian Miller Seven Gables, Oak Tree, Kirkland Parkplace, Lincoln Square, Majestic Bay, Cinebarre, Pacific Place, others ZERO DARK THIRTY Director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal dramatize the manhunt for Osama bin Laden. From the major details to the small-


est ones, the reporting is so good you scarcely question a beat. Jessica Chastain gives a sensational performances as Maya, a young CIA officer obsessed with bin Laden. Waterboarding and starvation are depicted, without any of the moral outrage some might expect from a Hollywood treatment of this subject. Rather, Bigelow and Boal come not to judge but to show, leaving the rest up to us. This is superb journalism and even better filmmaking, culminating in an electrifying re-enactment of the raid on bin Laden’s Pakistan hideout. But what impresses most about Zero Dark Thirty is the long time it spends in the middle distance, immersing us in the workaday lives of agents and analysts who sacrifice much in the name of something bigger than themselves. (R) Scott Foundas Lincoln Square, Admiral, Crest, others THEATERS: Admiral, 2343 California Ave. SW, 9383456; Ark Lodge Cinemas, 4816 Rainier Ave. S, 721-3156; Big Picture, 2505 First Ave., 256-0566; Big Picture Redmond, 7411 166th Ave. NE, 425-556-0566; Central Cinema, 1411 21st Ave., 686-6684; Cinebarre,

6009 SW 244th St. (Mountlake Terrace)., 425-6727501; Cinerama, 2100 Fourth Ave., 448-6680; Crest, 16505 Fifth Ave. NE, 781-5755; Egyptian, 801 E. Pine St., 781-5755; Grand Illusion, 1403 NE 50th St., 5233935; Guild 45, 2115 N. 45th St., 781-5755; Harvard Exit, 807 E. Roy St., 781-5755; iPic Theaters, 16451 N.E. 74th St. (Redmond), 425-636-5601; Kirkland Parkplace, 404 Park Place, 425-827-9000; Lincoln Square, 700 Bellevue Way N, 425-454-7400; Majestic Bay, 2044 NW Market St., 781-2229; Meridian, 1501 Seventh Ave., 223-9600; Metro, 4500 Ninth Ave. NE, 781-5755; Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave., 267-5380; Oak Tree, 10006 Aurora Ave. N, 527-1748; Pacific Place, 600 Pine St., 888-262-4386; Seven Gables, 911 NE 50th St., 781-5755; SIFF Cinema Uptown, 511 Queen Anne Ave. N., 324-9996; SIFF Film Center, 305 Harrison St. (Seattle Center), 3249996; Sundance Cinemas, 4500 Ninth Ave NE, 6330059; Thornton Place, 301 NE 103rd St., 517-9953; Varsity, 4329 University Way NE, 781-5755.

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Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and the Tokyo firebombing raids. It’s as if the entire cast, Japanese and American, is reading from cue cards. Fox does little more than listen (or look moony in awkward college flashbacks); much of the Japanese characters’ English sounds phonetic (subtitles are random); and Jones has too little screen time to paint his khaki prima donna. (PG-13) Brian Miller Varsity, Lincoln Square, others 56 UP In Michael Apted’s ongoing documentary series, well-off barrister Andrew declares, “There is still a class system, but it’s based on financial success. It’s been ever thus, and I don’t think it’s ever going to change.” Echoing him is Lynn, a working-class East Ender who’s been made redundant. The Labor Party has failed, she says, and others from her circle share that view, criticizing Thatcher and David Cameron for weakening the welfare state. 56 Up’s subjects seem rather pessimistic, if not quite bitter, about the UK’s enduring inequalities. Apted is a sympathetic, off-camera presence, yet he resists any overview or analysis. Each individual story subsumes the issue of class. Apted is more interested in coping than social advancement, how his subjects—rich and poor—adapt to their circumstances. He and his subjects are all on a friendly first-name basis by now. In a real sense, they’re our friends, too. And what do we do when reuniting with old friends—fill out questionnaires and filter the results in a computer? No, we trade stories. (NR) Brian Miller SIFF Film Center LINCOLN Our 16th president becomes an almost 4-D character made flesh by Daniel Day-Lewis, arguably the best actor of his generation. The challenge for director Steven Spielberg is to square the Georgia white marble of the Lincoln Memorial with the flesh-and-blood reality we can never really know—evoking the man without diminishing the leader. His other challenges include relating the complications and subtleties of political maneuvering, and the inherent suckiness of the biopic form. Spielberg solves that by lensing the portrait through a single event: the fight to pass the 13th Amendment. The film is studied and often somber, but it is also hugely entertaining, a bitchingly fun story of political gamesmanship, influence trading, patronage, cronyism, and outright bribery. This Lincoln is quietly ironic, an indulgent storyteller, a hugely charismatic leader. Day-Lewis deservedly won an Oscar for the role. (PG-13) Chris Packham Admiral, Crest, others LORE As World War II ends badly for the Nazis, fresh-faced teenager Lore (Saskia Rosendahl) sees her SS officer father hurriedly burn the evidence of his war crimes, while her mother barks bitter reprisals. Both prepare for their inevitable capture by the Allies. Neighbors want nothing to do with the five kids. The children duck Allied patrols and fellow refugees en route to Grandmother’s house. And they find the unlikeliest of protectors in a young concentration-camp survivor, Thomas (Kai Malina), with a startlingly clear-headed survival instinct and an instant grasp of the complicated new politics of postwar Germany. Lore and her four younger siblings trek through an ever-present now, a series of negotiations and confrontations for a 14-year-old growing up fast. She’s no innocent Riefenstahl mountain girl standing tall against evil; she’s not even particularly likable. Lore is alternately scared, angry, frustrated, and torn—especially about the Jewish “inferior” who time and again saves these children. The misty landscape of forests and fields and rivers is lovely, but Lore’s real odyssey is through a dead, deluded culture holding tight to its bigotry, nationalism, and grief for the fallen Führer. (NR) Sean Axmaker Harvard Exit, Lincoln Square SIDE EFFECTS Steven Soderbergh is a total filmmaker who handles his own camera, but is only as good as his script. And this big pharma/crime tale by Scott Z. Burns is not a great script. Yet it starts out smartly enough, as Emily (Rooney Mara) waits for her husband Martin (Channing Tatum) to be released from jail after a fouryear term for insider trading. Understandably, Emily is depressed, and she’s on a lot of pills. Her new shrink, Dr. Banks (Jude Law), provides suicidal Emily with modest meds and a sympathetic ear. Then he enrolls her in a clinical trial that will, conveniently, provide him some much-needed extra income. Disaster follows. As Side Effects becomes a medical-legal procedural, with lawyers, courtroom testimony, and flashbacks, you could imagine a different set of actors—perhaps Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck—in an older, blackand-white version of the same script, with the same enjoyable plot twists. Side Effects ultimately feels like a remake. And if that’s the way Soderbergh chooses to end his career, fine. Side Effects embodies the pleasures of the familiar, if not the discoveries of his past. (R) Brian Miller Cinebarre, Pacific Place, Ark Lodge, Majestic Bay, others SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK If you took the fighting out of The Fighter, David O. Russell’s previous movie, you’d be left with a close, fractious family like the


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The Sweet Old Things

Agrodolce is an en vogue throwback in Fremont. BY HANNA RASKIN


organic by Oregon Tilth is a tiny note at the bottom of the menu indicating that the two dozen underlined items haven’t passed official muster. And lest that sounds like too many exceptions, it’s worth noting the outliers are local mussels and foraged mushrooms, not pork wings and powdered cheese. So curmudgeons should probably book a table (in another concession to convenience, Agrodolce accepts reservations and keeps long hours), knowing they’ll be properly coddled by kindly servers who don’t cast cheating glances at diners’ menus when quizzed about an appetizer or cringe when asked for wine-pairing suggestions. The confident service contributes to the urbane feel of the handsome room, fronted by white casement windows which reach to the ceiling. A similarly patterned interior wall separates the dining area from the bar Chef Maria Hines has and a loungy area partially concealed by long red drapes. In the From the vantage point of a table set with drinks and a few slices of rustic housemade focaccia, it seems thoughtfully eliminated room’s main section, the lightimpossible for the evening to go awry. Top left: house-cured pork loin. Bottom left: cauliflower soup. ing’s dim enough for romance or the modern nuisances that frank conversation—Agrodolce’s a ringer for the would probably play better at a Minnesota of tiny white controne beans and lacinato kale perennially surface on lists backdrop restaurants in movies that chronicle the underlying a beautifully medium-rare slab of potluck. There’s also a regrettable fried chicken failing marriages of inexplicably wealthy artists or tuna was also hopelessly salty, as was a side dish breast, although the menu’s coy about it. Listed of eating-out peeves. college profs—but not so dark that a solo diner as “chicken breast, winter caponata, mozzarella, of seared broccoli beribboned with a tonguecan’t bring a book. bread crumb,” the entrée is the same parmigiana tingly anchovy vinaigrette. That’s a fine thing, since Agrodolce may be a you’ve been served at countless hotel banquets. Fortunately for diners who get thirsty, gendishes make scientific sense, the best of them are restaurant best enjoyed without much company. The menu further misleads in the section eral manager Aaron Robinson has assembled likable and bright. I loved Agrodolce when I ate there alone; liked it labeled “pasta made with house milled flour.” an excellent cocktail list, populated with drinks Yet the restaurant’s greatest strength is not slightly less when I returned with a companion; Of the four pastas listed, only the spaghetti and which don’t attempt to overpower the food. The its frightfully current pantry but its wonderfully and found myself repeatedly apologizing when tagliarini are made with semolina stone-ground Curveball, made with bourbon, rum, amaro, and oldfangled service. A James Beard Foundation I dragged three friends there. I suspect that’s from durum wheat berries. All the pastas are lemon pink-peppercorn bitters, is a sophisticated darling who was recently named a semifinalist because the food isn’t engineered to wow on first and alluringly viscous alternative to a Manhattan, made in-house, though, including a pleasant for the prestigious Outstanding Chef award, bite, so the pass-and-play style of eating falls flat. ricotta ravioli garnished with black-truffle butwhile the Old Aquaintance—built on a base of Hines has the industry’s implicit permission to Most of the dishes are fairly elemental, which is ter. Among the sauces, the standouts are a nippy scotch and Averna—has an Old World warmth. buck trends if she chooses. And at Agrodolce, rough on diners looking for culinary conversationcream of lemons and dandelion greens and a beef The mostly Italian wine list is a boon for by-theher small acts of subversion reveal how much she starters, but ideal if you’re bolognese tweaked with Mama Lil’s peppers. glass drinkers, with more than two-thirds of the cares about her customers. wanting to string together a From there, the meal might move on to a wines offered in single or double portions. coherent four-course order folksy cacciatora with strands of roasted rabFrom the vantage point of a table set with ines has thought» PRICE GUIDE FOCACCIA ..................................... $3 with drinks to match. bit or a grilled hunk of lamb paired with bitter drinks and a few slices of rustic housemade fully eliminated CAULIFLOWER SOUP ...............$6 radicchio and orange marmalade. But it should focaccia, yeasty and more wholesome-tasting the modern PORK LOIN ....................................$8 RAVIOLI ............................... $13/$19 surely end with the rice-pudding fritters, which than the typical dense focaccia, it seems imposnuisances that he simplicity of RABBIT .........................................$22 magically combine the brilliance of pudding and sible for the evening to go awry. To prolong that perennially surface on lists of executive chef FRITTERS ......................................$6 doughnuts. Painted with citrus honey, the dessert sensation, order the rich house-cured pork loin, eating-out peeves. The highJason Brzois even more persuasive than Spanish scientists in its fattiness cut by chili-flecked olive oil and age backed mocha-leather chairs zowy’s cooking making the case for eating more rice. E offset by twirls of fresh fennel. A spunky arugula are comfortable. The bare wooden tables, splayed makes it difficult to obscure flaws, which nearly salad dressed with blood-orange segments and in rows across the room, are spaced appropriately, always involve too much salt. A cauliflower soup, ricotta salata should also keep spirits up. with each assigned to just one party at a time. scribbled with a brawny black-olive vinaigrette, But best to avoid the fried savories—particuCoat hooks are plentiful. The menu is arranged was thicker than its vegan profile would sugAGRODOLCE larly a greasy chickpea cake that recalls a trial in courses, which aren’t designed to be shared or gest. But like a gangster pummeling a rival who 709 N. 35th St., 547-9707, batch of latkes, and the arancini. Big as miniature delivered according to the kitchen’s whim. refuses to give up information, the kitchen had golf balls, they look pretty perched atop vivid Perhaps best of all, nobody lectures diners smacked the soup with so much salt in hopes of 11 a.m.–10 p.m. Mon.–Thurs.; green smears of parsley pesto, but there’s no about the restaurant’s concept: The only hint extracting flavor that it ultimately incapacitated 11 a.m.–11:30 p.m. Fri.; call for the beef mixed into the rice: The snacks that Agrodolce, like its predecessors, is certified the vulnerable vegetable. A well-oiled muddle 10 a.m.–11:30 p.m. Sat.; 10 a.m.–10 p.m. Sun. 33


SE ATTLE WEEKLY • MARCH 13 — 19, 2013



utritionists are still bickering over whether the results of a study published last month in the New England Journal of Medicine really mean we ought to plan all our meals around sardines, walnuts and Greek wine. Skeptics of the Mediterranean Diet miracle point out that the subject group’s rates of fatal heart disease may have tumbled because its fattest members dropped out of the study before researchers starting counting dead bodies, or because the participants’ pre-existing cardiovascular risk was so outrageously high that just denying them a few potato chips should have produced the same results. These are matters to consider, perhaps over a lentil salad and a loaf of bread with olive oil. Because even unswayed dietary experts agree no harm can come from eating fewer french fries and more beans, less cream and more nuts, less red meat and more rabbit. The avenue to good health is almost certainly paved with tomatoes and garlic. In a fortuitous stroke of timeliness, Maria Hines last year wrote the menu for her third restaurant, Agrodolce, firmly in the Mediterranean mold. The three-month-old Fremont restaurant presents an arsenal of flavors wrung from citrus fruits, olives, and onions. Whether or not the

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food&drink»Featured Eats $ = $25 or less per person; $$ = $25–$40; $$$ = $40 and up. These capsule reviews are written by editorial staff and have nothing to do with advertising. For hundreds more reviews, searchable by neighborhood and type of cuisine, go to

City of Seattle BEACON HILL

EL DELICIOSO 2500 Beacon Ave. S., 322-1307. The coun-

ter in the southern end of the ABC Market, Beacon Hill’s Chinese-Mexican grocery store, advertises tacos, empanadas, and tortas. Most customers are eating pupusas, the cornmeal cakes stuffed with your choice of fillings, patted out and fried to order. Each costs less than $2, and they come with a hefty dose of oreganospiked, tart cabbage slaw. The only downside is that you have to cut them apart with plastic knives and sporks. $


around the corner from the crowded dim sum powerhouse Jade Garden, Duk Li Dim Sum stands on its own as a quick, inexpensive, and satisfying dumpling haven. Though the menu selection might be limited, Duk Li Dim Sum still has all the dim sum favorites like shu mai, Chinese broccoli and steamed dumplings. The fast and attentive service—and low prices—makes this tiny restaurant even better. $ FUJI BAKERY 526 S. King St. (between South Fifth Avenue & South Sixth Avenue), 623-4050. The classics are all here at Fuji Bakery—flaky croissants, griottes with shiny, brandied cherries, and gleaming lemon-infused cakebreads. Specialties include the cube-shaped brioche Japon with red beans and raspberry puree and the green-tea danish. There’s even a savory nod to the Northwest—a wild salmon brioche. Everything is sized for the ladies but nothing skimps on the ingredients—many organic—or the flavor. Most elegant of all is the organic sweet red-bean bun.

esday Wedn ecial: p HH S z PBR! 0o $3 4

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Burnished to a lovely copper color, it appears to have just spent a few days basking on the Côtes d’Azur. A splash of black sesame tops the bun on the outside and muddled, subtly sweet red beans fill the inside. It’s no wonder that Fuji Bakery presents their wares like treasures. $ GYRO HOUSE 212 Fifth Ave. S., 624-7266. Most of America’s gyros meat comes from Chicago, so telling most local gyro shops apart simply entails finding out which Midwestern firm supplies them. That said, this friendly cafe on the edge of the ID sets itself apart by doing the most it can with a standardized product: swaddling the strips of beef-lamb (blam?) in thick, soft pita; tenderly piling on fresh lettuce and tomato; and drizzling on tangy yogurt. If you’re a fan of more local fare, the chicken and lamb shawarma are juicy and justly seasoned, and the flaky-gooey baklava varieties are worth a splurge; figure out which of the trays has come out of the oven the most recently, and order that one. $ SAIGON DELI 1237 S. Jackson St., 322-3700. Not to be confused with the Saigon Vietnam deli, the New Saigon Deli, or the Seattle Deli—all within two blocks, all selling the same mix of sandwiches and prepared foods—Saigon Deli scores points for its clean interior, which is big enough to host a dozen customers; its ultra-fast service; its warm, crisp rolls; and its tofu and meatball Vietnamese sandwiches. $ SZECHUAN NOODLE BOWL 420 Eighth Ave. S., 6234198. An ID staple, tiny Szechuan Noodle Bowl specializes in . . . wait for it . . . bowls of spicy noodle soup. There’s a subtle anise-tinged sweetness to the broth of the beef noodle soup, and it softens you up so the chile kick hurts all the more deliciously; the bowl is topped with beef stewed so long it can barely remember to hold its shape. Forget the cold sesame noodles and stick to the soups and SNB’s two cult dishes: the dumplings and the fried green-onion pancake. $


NAAM THAI 1404 34th Ave., 568-6226. If all of the Thai

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Baker’s Mark


SEATTLE WEEKLY • MARCH 13 — 19, 2013

Sunday-Thursday in March. See our website for details!

grin, but his graying hair reveals he may not be as young as he seems. And Baker is indeed a veteran of the restaurant business—he’s been »Sarah ElSon waiting tables and pulling pints at a host of places for 20 years. But he says Ballroom, where he’s worked for two years, is his favorite because he likes the balance between “neighborhood bar The Watering Hole: Ballroom, 456 N. 36th and crazy nightclub.” Baker must be young at St., 634-2575, FREMONT heart, because he says he likes working SaturThe Atmosphere: Ballroom is one of the day nights just as much, if not more, than keeping best-known bars in Fremont, and its popularity tabs on a quiet Monday evening. The Drink: Baker’s is partly due to its split go-to is a classic: Makpersonality. Equal parts er’s Mark on the rocks pool hall and nightclub, and a Stella Artois. He it attracts all kinds of likes sipping the combo customers, dependafter work because it’s ing on the night of the straightforward, satisfyweek. On Fridays, when ing, and something he Fremont turns into can sit with all evening. “Fratmont,” Ballroom The Verdict: I’ll be becomes the prime spot honest: Prior to this for hammered college visit, I’d only been to kids to hang out and Ballroom on weekends, dance. But during the when the line outside week, bros are nowhere seems to sway and to be found and the No matter the night, Tim is in. inside I have to fight dance floor—featuring through packs of people a cage and a pole— to get a drink. So I was seems to shrink into the pleasantly surprised by the chill Monday-night background. Instead, the rows of red pool tables atmosphere. It’s rare to find a bar that can transilining the back of the bar and the booths that hug tion comfortably between hectic club and neighthe interior wall are scattered with customers borhood watering hole, but Ballroom has got it kicking back with beer and pizza after work. The Barkeep: It’s Monday night and Tim perfected. E Baker is tending bar. He has a charming, boyish

Juicy BBQ and all the sweet and savory fixins! Brisket, Jerk Chicken, Baby Back Ribs, Hot Links, Mac & Cheese, Collard Greens, Willie’s Beans, Yams, Cornbread, Pies and Cakes Also featuring daily Soul Food specials: Catfish, Oxtail, Porkchops, Chitlins and more!

3427 Rainier Ave S. • Seattle WA 98144 •(206) 722-3229


food&drink»Featured Eats one on top, Naam Thai just barely grazes the edge of the lunar surface. That’s how fucking badass it is. I’ve eaten Pad See Iew many, many, many times, and without a doubt Naam Thai fucking nailed it. Silky wide rice noodles, like welcome mats for your taste buds, were piled high on a platter with lightly sautéed broccoli and soft supple slices of beef in a sweet and smoky sauce. The sauce in Total Green Beans was so tasty I would drink it from an elephant’s butt. Panang Curry was the best. Rich creamy pink curry sauce, thick with coconut milk, embraced tender chunks of chicken breast, sliced red and green bell peppers, and was topped with ground peanuts and a fine dusting of red pepper.



441-3669. A respite from the hustle and bustle of Pike Place Market, Le Panier allows you watch passers-by amidst the aromas of pain du chocolate and espresso. The croissants are perfectly respectable and the coffee is from top-notch local roaster Caffè Umbria. Grab a seat at the window counter—if you can snag one— and watch the foot traffic go by. If there are none, grab a baguette or savory croissant to take home. $ THE PIKE PUB AND BREWERY 1415 First Ave., 6226044. Owners Charles and Rose Ann Finkel helped catalyze the craft-beer movement in the late 1970s, and they’ve still got the passion. Their friendly, rambling pub, located in the lower levels of the market, attracts beer geeks of both the local and tourist species. For bar food, try the killer burger (it’s grass-fed and local) with your pint of Kilt Lifter or Naughty Nellie. For dessert, another cult favorite: the XXXXX Stout float. $-$$ SISTERS EUROPEAN SNACKS 1530 Post Alley, 6236723. It has changed hands since the original Sisters ran it, but this little deli (just across from Seattle’s Best Coffee, on the stretch of Post Alley that turns diagonal) is still one of the Market’s very best places for a fresh-made sandwich. The Santa Barbara—with turkey, avocado, and cheese, on focaccia—is the daily special seemingly every day. And why not? It’s a great meal, especially with the salad that accompanies each of the sandwiches. The counter with stools is a perfect perch in the summertime to watch the Market parade and enjoy a nearby busker while keeping a comfortable distance from the tourist craziness. $

ALittLeRAskin » by hanna raskin

Bright IDea

THREE GIRLS BAKERY 1514 Pike Place, Ste. 1, 622-

1045. Nothing says “you’re in the Market now” like pulling up a stool at this beloved Pike Place lunch counter. The sandwiches are overstuffed, the service is friendly, and your fellow travelers are always entertaining. It’s a cozy spot to while away the lunch hour, but don’t dawdle, because there’s always someone hovering just outside waiting to take your spot. If you’re just passing through, stop at the Girls’ takeout window, where there’s an array of tempting (and reasonably priced) breads and pastries wooing the throngs of Market visitors. $


LA PALMA RESTAURANT 3456 15th Ave. W. WA, 284-

1001. Interbay has one thing going for it: La Palma, one of the city’s most durable family-owned greasy-Mex restaurants. The entire restaurant feels like a hole-inthe-wall cantina. There’s an upper-deck area where customers can gaze at sports on a wall-embedded TV (or into the kitchen, where they can watch their food being prepped), and an employee-only utility bar adjacent to the kitchen where jumbo margaritas are mixed. As for the food, it ranges from merely OK to pretty good. The Steak La Palma was tough but generously apportioned, the beef taco was too juicy for its shell, and the cheese enchilada and tostada were solid. Service is cheerful and attentive, the perfect end-ofday pick-me-up for the Interbay grinder. $ LAREDOS GRILL 555 Aloha St. #100, 218-1040. This Queen Anne sports bar—sorry, “Northern Mexican” restaurant—serves Tex-Mex food similar to Peso’s, but not as carefully made: mediocre cocktails, limp salads (with chips in them), lackluster salsas, and a bizarre chicken breast drowned in sour cream. There are two bright spots, however, for you to nosh on at Laredos while you watch the flat-screen TVs: the warm, light, salty tortilla chips (which the servers replenish continually) and the tacos al pastor. Rubbed with chiles and cooked on the spit, the pork—a Lebanese-Mexican variation on shawarma—is sliced off in tender chunks and wrapped between freshly made corn tortillas with tiny chunks of charred pineapple. $-$$ NIELSEN’S PASTRIES 520 Second Ave. W., 282-3004. Charmingly sleepy and old-fashioned, Nielsen’s serves up its fabulously comforting creations from the sub-

which is why two weekends ago I gathered every takeout menu in the neighborhood and posted them online at I don’t pretend to know anything about web design, so I’m sure there’s plenty on the site to make the tech-savvy scoff. As you’ll see, it’s pretty skeletal (although I’m not sure what more can be expected of a site assembled during the Oscars’ pregame show). But if you can pardon the amateurishness, you’ll find pdfs of menus from more than three dozen restaurants. And the site looks pretty good on a mobile phone, too, should you decide to make an ID stop on your way home from somewhere else. Honestly, I have no idea whether folks will find the site handy. But knowing I’ll be able to feast on 663 Bistro’s pork stomach with XO sauce, Fu-Lin’s vegetarian goose, or Fortune Garden’s pea vines with dried scallops while my husband’s enjoying his Kau Kau roast pork makes the project feel worthwhile. (And who knew Hong Kong Bistro sold borscht?) Enjoy. E



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SE ATTLE WEEKLY • MARCH 13 — 19, 2013

My culinary birthright wasn’t a box of yellowing recipe cards or a firm opinion about the best way to make deviled eggs. What I inherited from my parents was a Chinese food-on-Sundays habit, a tradition my husband and I uphold on an almost-weekly basis. Since my husband and I have very different food tastes, we typically get takeout from the International District, where we don’t have to agree on a restaurant. But our trips are always complicated by my not calling in an order beforehand, because—as I’ve many times explained to my Kau Kau–loyal husband—it’s impossible to know what I’ll want until I look at a menu. Since many of the restaurants in the ID have little to no web presence, that usually means I can’t order until I’m physically at a restaurant. Even though the city’s now eliminated evening parking fees in the ID, I’d still much rather peruse a menu at home and swoop in for pickup than stand around while my order’s prepared. My hunch is that many other eaters feel the same,





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ground floor of a residential building on a Queen Anne side street. If you don’t know it’s there, you’ll likely drive right by. But that would be a mistake. Because then you couldn’t debate with your friends which of the wonderful Danish treats—the giant Kringle, the Napoleon hat, the snitter—is the one you’ll be ravenously returning for tomorrow. $ SAM’S SUSHI 521 Queen Anne Ave. N., 282-4612. Not exactly one of the city’s top sushi destinations by a long shot, Sam’s is a solid option when you’re in the neighborhood and looking for some basic Japanese done well, without a lot of fuss or attitude. Sam’s has so little street presence you can easily walk by it a dozen times without noticing it, but that can be to your advantage when there’s a concert at KeyArena and you want to get some quick miso and sushi. $-$$ UPTOWN CHINA 200 Queen Anne Ave. N., 285-7710. Drop by for perennial palate-stimulating favorites such as General Tsao’s chicken, Mongolian beef, and mu shoo pork. Service is always efficient and deft, and the fare here is ideal for beer-drinking, so beware the Key Arena pre- and post-event crowds. $ UPTOWN ESPRESSO 525 Queen Anne Ave. N., 2853757. Well before the “third wave” of roasters turned Seattle coffee shops into temples of fussy hipness, there were the comfy bohemian neighborhood joints like the Uptown, a haven for readers, first-daters, and post-movie confab-ers for decades now. (The tables out front are instantly occupied in nice weather, and by smokers year-round.) Coffee, available from two serving stations in the bifurcated room, is always right on target, and the baristas are some of the sweetest, least supercilious, in town. $


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SEATTLE WEEKLY • MARCH 13 — 19, 2013



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Ste 107 723-2384. Olympic Express is fully committed to making every bite you take totally scrumptious. The banh mi is served on bread so greasy it’s almost a pastry with mayonnaise inside. The egg roll soaks through the bag and the Thai coffee doesn’t skimp on the sweetened-condensed milk. Fried food is delicious regardless of what country it comes from. Olympic Express is no exception. $$ TAQUERIA COSTA ALEGRE 9000 Rainier Ave. S., 7250300. Parked across from Rainier Beach High, Costa Alegre outclasses all of Seattle’s rickety converted school buses. This converted city bus has cowboyprint curtains on the windows, cushions on the seats, a drinks fridge, and a working space heater. Compared to the other buses, though, the menu’s a bit minimal: the $1.25 tacos only come in chicken (OK), steak (fine), tongue (good), and adobada (great), the latter served with pineapples as well as onions and cilantro. Costa Alegre’s other specialty is something called alambres: onions, peppers, beef, and bacon sauteed together and smothered in melted cheese. You can order the alambres as a plate of tasty mess, to be scooped up with tortillas, or as a sandwich which spurts out avalanches of peppers and bacon on every third bite. $



N.E., 526-1188. This low-lit bistro has the fancy-casual thing down pat: blood-red walls, a pan-Euro menu, and a knack for attracting couples. Entertainment comes in the form of live jazz and acoustic folk four nights a week. Just off Green Lake, the lounge couples upscale Mediterranean fare with a handful of fresh-and-local signature cocktails, a half-dozen taps and an extensive wine list. The pork loin saltimbocca is popular, and Mona’s molten chocolate cake is one of the best in town. $ ORANGE KING 1411 N.W. 42nd St., 632-1331. Judging from the name, you’d think this longtime U-District lunch spot would be like Orange Julius, but it’s not. Rather, it’s part of the region’s burgeoning teriyaki/ burger genre, and its French Fries—ringers for Mickey D’s pencil-thin pleasures—are salty and delicious. $


PIATTI RISTORANTE & BAR 2695 N.E. University

Village Lane, 524-9088. The ample appetizer platter of fried calamari is a command performance, and succulent to the last crispy nugget. Then there are the house-made desserts, though you may find yourself replete too soon to appreciate them fully; still, that panna cotta with saba and mandarin syrup sauce looks awfully attractive . . . $$ SHULTZY’S SAUSAGE 4114 University Way N.E., 5489461. Serving up sausages and char-grilled burgers in the University District, Shultzy’s menu reaches mouthwatering when it hits cheesesteak territory. The Tim’s Steak, loaded with cheddar cheese, bacon, grilled onions, and barbecue sauce, is a standout

despite being far from the most Bavarian option at this German-themed eatery. Entrées are accompanied by the so-called “World’s Best Shoestring Fries,” and they live up to their ambitiously golden-brown expectations. From the nine taps flow a varied and constantly rotating selection of beers that are almost exclusively imported from Germany and Belgium or sourced from the Northwest. But the college link wouldn’t be complete without an education: Enroll in their “beer school” and learn exactly what you’ve been missing. Shultzy’s links were also finalists in Seattle Weekly’s best hot dog competition. $ VARLAMOS PIZZERIA 3617 N.E. 45th St., 522-8515. It’s only been around for 15 years, but this family-run joint has the feel of a neighborhood institution that’s been there forever. For a kid-friendly night out, it’s become a big hit among the Laurelhurst crowd. Undergrads in purple are also usually to be found filling up the lively dining room. Fun and unpretentious, Valarmos serves up solid, thick-crust pies and great salads. You needn’t be a member of the Gates family to be treated well. $


SEA THAI 2313 N. 45th St., 547-1961. Along Wallingford’s

power axis of takeout food, Sea Tai is known for its bustling delivery business and small dining area. Half the fun in eating there is watching the takeout traffic. Local families often park their dogs and kids on the sidewalk while dashing in for orders of Ginger Chicken, Tom Yum Talay, and Yum Neau. If it were legal to park cars on the sidewalk, customers would do that, too. The food is good and cheap, an everyday treat when you’re too tired to cook. You can order online at, but the delivery zone is bounded by 20th Ave NE and 1st Ave NW, the Ship Canal to NE 65th St. Or you can move to Wallingford. $


PROST! 3407 California Ave. S.W., 420-7174. Though

smaller than its brethren, Prost West follows the same Teutonic-loft template as Chris Navarra’s other German bars: walls painted burgundy, heavy wooden tables that look like they could survive a swordfight, and bar shelves stocked with hundreds of branded glasses, including some steins that offer a binge with a handle. Navarra’s approach to the food is to buy the best Germanic ingredients he can—bratwurst and bockwurst from Bavarian Meat, pretzels from Morning Star Bakery, pickles from Germany—and simply to prepare them right. For those of you who like your pork pink and big, the kassler rippchen is a smoked pork chop as big as a CD case. It’s the best thing on the menu, too. $


TAQUERIA EL RINCON S.W. 112th and 16th Ave. S.W.,

Seattle. Of all the converted school buses in White Center, we like this one the best. You can sit inside if you’d like (the benches have been taken out; a few stools have replaced them), or in nice weather, park yourself at one of the picnic benches. Or, take your order to go. Just be sure to order the carnitas tacos; the cumin-spiced slow-cooked pork is incredible. The $3 tortas (Mexican sandwiches, gringo) are also delicious, and don’t forget an order of homemade flan before you head home. $


OMA BAP 120 Bellevue Way N.E., 425-467-7000. Oma Bap

doesn’t serve Korean food. The two-month old Bellevue eatery serves Korean-inspired food, which is all the more interesting. Oma Bap is structured like a Korean Chipotle: staffers assemble dishes from a steam table stocked with brown and white rice, bulgogi, chicken, tofu, and spicy pork. It’s up to customers to add their own chili pepper paste, which Oma Bap has had to revise for neophytes’ tastes. The bibimbap has mushrooms and zucchini, purple cabbage, carrots, and lots of lettuce but the dish takes on a salad texture without a runny egg and extra sesame oil to bring the vegetable together. Like Subway, Oma Bap offers healthy food at an affordable price. $


NOODLE BOAT 700 N.W. Gilman Blvd. Ste E104B

(between North Seventh Avenue & Maple Street), Ste E104B, 425-391-8096. The kao soi dish at Noodle Boat is bathed in a yellow coconut curry that is at once lime-tart and turmeric-fragrant. The dish is fleshed out with just enough fish sauce and the perfect amount of coconut sweetness. Kao soi at Noodle Boat is a musttry meal! $$

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And You Will Know Us by Our Trail of Beats Kingdom Crumbs follows a path left by Shabazz, OutKast, and systemic inequality. BY TODD HAMM

A little bit naughty, a little bit nice... a whole lotta fun. Call or Scan QR Code for reservations!


North Seattle’s Friendliest Pub and Newest Entertainment Venue!

SEATTLE WEEKLY • MARCH 13 — 19, 2013

We have the best House-smoked Ribs and Pulled Pork sandwiches around!


Beard and Stache karaoke fundraiser for Treehouse. Wed., 3-13 9 pm. Vote for your favorite hairy-faced gent. Drink Specials. $1 off drinks for mustachioed gents Benjie Howard Band Saturday, 3/16, 9 pm ST. PATTY’S DAY BASH! Live Bands rotating thru all day! Sunday, 3/17, Starts at Noon Silky Sam w/ Buffalo Stage Coach Saturday, 3/23, 9 pm

MON - TRIVIA TUES - OPEN MIC WED THRU FRIDAY - KARAOKE 2ND SUN - LIVE JAZZ 7PM - 9PM 602 N 105th Seattle, WA 98133 206-789-9005 •


315 2nd Ave Seattle 206.839.1300 “For this project, it’s just that first . . . gut feeling, that initial idea—just go.”


xperimental South Seattle hip-hop quartet Kingdom Crumbs records in the basement of a comfortable home, a 10-minute walk from the nearest Route 106 bus stop up a severe hill in a Skyway cul-de-sac. It suits them well: a quiet room on a quiet street removed from the pulsing light-railstitched arterials nearby; a calm chamber where their ideas can surface and float unbothered between the walls, collecting thought particles until they solidify mid-expansion like blownglass clouds. The group, which comprises long-time friends/collaborators Jarv Dee, Jerm D, Mikey Nice, and Tay Sean, creates exploratory Northwest avant-rap—a style that’s become increasingly identifiable with mesmerizing entries from mainstays Shabazz Palaces, THEESatisfaction, and OCnotes. Naturally, Crumbs will share a stage on Friday with the latter two acts. Last August, Crumbs released their selftitled debut long-play—their only group release to date. Its 13 panchromatic songs capture the various moods in the room at the time they were written: Wobbly West Coast funk-rap dovetails with spacious electro-folk and R&B interludes, and group members surface and recede with the natural ebb and flow of the music—which effectively pre-empts a common misstep of many group rap albums, trying to cram everyone onto every single song. Kingdom Crumbs’ opener “Evoking Spirits . . .” style-checks Shabazz Palaces (specifi-

cally, SP’s “Are You . . . Can You . . . Were You? (Felt)”), but ends up being a beautiful statement in its own right. The four brush up against Parliament Funkadelic-as-sampled-by-Snoop Dogg-style funk on the smoker’s interlude “Light It Up.” On “Ridinonthestrength,” they rap over a beat that would make Cali-swag legend B-Legit feel at home. The Mikey Nice–produced “The Infinite” hints at the neo-soul of Andre 3000 (circa The Love Below). Alternately, they push the fence back in left field with loping psychedelic detour “Much Ado About Nothing,” the short keyboard ballad “Very Nice,” and the moonlit blunt session “Pick Both Sides of My Brain.” At all times, though, the Crumbs formula is an intensely organic one. “For this project, it’s just that first . . . gut feeling, that initial idea—just go,” explains MC Mikey Nice. “Not necessarily the weirder the better, but don’t give yourself time to critique that initial thought that probably came from the heart, and probably came from a true place.” They speak about the preservation of their unfiltered musical inklings with such importance that when Jerm D’s 14-month-old daughter, Phoenix, starts tapping on the studio drum set mid-interview, you half expect one of them to grab a mike to record the burst of spontaneous energy. The group—or rather its extended 10-plusmember art collective–turned–record label, Cloud Nice—has occupied a number of rooms like their south-end space since founding mem-

bers Tay Sean and Mikey Nice assembled their first home studio six years ago. They’ve recorded projects piece by piece as they moved, filling in solo records and sub-group albums (which include projects by Helladope, B.A.Y.B., and Nacho Picasso). Over time, the four would-be members grew closer, and formed Kingdom Crumbs as their rare balance of personality came into focus. As the group’s primary producer, Tay Sean is the group’s glue; vocally, his sharp voice balances Mikey Nice’s smooth alto. On the low end, Jerm D plays cool aloe to lit-fuse lyricist Jarv Dee’s vocal burn. Their lyrics are introspective and slyly socially conscious, poetic and rhythmically advanced. Though addressed abstractly, the issues are real-world and proletariat—a duality that Tay Sean says is reflected in the group’s very name. “What we were trying to capture with it is some feeling of a kingdom or something regal, something royal, but also made from crumbs,” says Tay Sean. “Or perhaps the other interpretation could be: pieces of a kingdom that once was. But I think the ‘crumbs’ aspect of it is kind of about the inequity that exists in the world today.” E

KINGDOM CRUMBS With THEESatisfaction, OCnotes. Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9467, $12 adv. 21 and over. 8 p.m. Fri., March 22.


UPCOMING EVENTS: 3/29 - Cannabis Comedy w/Ngaio Bealum - 8:30pm $15 100 S 9th Street


*THE PAST IMPENDING, The Past Impending EP

3/31 - Cannabis Comedy w/Ngaio Bealum - 8:30pm $15 109 S Washington Street

(out now, self-released, Their Facebook page says, “Sounds like The Head and the Heart, Fleet Foxes, Mumford and Sons, The Builders and the Butchers, and Cave Singers,” but that’s just not true—their five-song EP is more accurately a blend of Mark Lanegan, DeVotchKa, and David Gray. Folky it is, rich with mandolin, guitar, and cello, but there are also djembe beats, twinkling piano, and gypsy rhythms. Led by EJ Christopher’s dusky vocals, the instrumentation is carefully played, the melodies sharply crafted, and the lyrics, as in “Let Me Be,” are sweetly, unapologetically delivered: “Life will keep hanging on for some little grace/People they will come and go, but I will stay.” For all the indie-folk influences they cite, The Past Impending is more concerned with making music they like than following anything that “sounds like.” GWENDOLYN ELLIOTT



Kung Foo Grip, Growing Up in the Future

(out now, self-released, kungfoogripbbj. Eastside cloud-rap production with well-delivered lyrics. Far more hits than misses. TODD HAMM

Death Mountain Rotor Cloud, Death Mountain

Rotor Cloud (out now, self-released, death Sporting a gritty, classic-rock feel, this is a solid-enough release, but besides “Lantern,” which brings a lighter acoustic feel, overall it’s bland and forgettable. JOE WILLIAMS

“America,” for example, hits hard with an emotional, climactic chorus that feels like shouting off the edge of a cliff. JW Ducky Loves Two Women, Poquet Music (out now, self-released, “Ambient Fantasy Duck Calls” delivers exactly as advertised. The five-minute track sounds literally like a rubber duck being squeezed repeatedly in the distance next to a wind chime. “Experimental” is a word, but so is “pointless.” JW Air Bacha, “Lady Mary (Nonnon’s Ouioui

Remix)” (out now, Automation Records, This collaboration between French hip-hop duo Air Bacha and producer Nonnon pairs the former’s languid raps with a throbbing, industrial beat. It stands as another example of Automation Records doing what it does best: culling the strangest detritus from the fringes of electronic music.


105 Mercer St, Seattle 206.284.4618

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Ozzie’s excellent all day Irish Menu will include Irish Stew plus Cornbeef and Cabbage, and plenty of Guinness.

Ozzie’s is your St. Patty’s Day Dash Headquarters with ALL 7 BARS OPEN upstairs and downstairs! Join us on Facebook for great deals!


(out now, Hardly Art, This hairy-legged bikini pop is gonna fit right in on Hardly Art, which will release the full album, Dreams of the Rat House, on May 21.


Telekinesis, “Ghosts and Creatures” (out now, Merge, Michael Lerner sets this quiet banger to a tempo built for endurance, but also versatility. You can hear this working just as well in the club as in the cubicle. “Ghosts” ’ vessel, Dormarion—Lerner’s third Telekinesis LP—drops April 2. CK

Lucky Girl, “America”/“Demo” (out now, self-

Wimps, “Stop Having Fun” (out now, selfreleased, A little less conversation, a little more hi-hat. CK (Saturday, Kings Hall)

*Yeah, every release


Shannon & the Clams, “Rip Van Winkle”

FineMaltLyrics, FineMaltLyrics EP, (out now, self-released, album/finemaltlyrics-ep): The production is not bad here, but the tracks drag on too long, and you’re zoned out by the time a decent punch line comes along. Some potential, some room for improvement. TH

released, Lucky Girl’s two new singles are impressively crafted windows into the heart of vocalist Kathy Moore.


5/11 Cannabis Freedom March Prohibition Funeral Procession Volunteer Park - 11:00am FREE

It is our intention to review every release issued by Seattle bands and local labels. We try to run reviews as close to release dates as possible. If your LP, EP, single, or mixtape has slipped through the cracks—or you wish to alert us to an upcoming release—please e-mail

SE ATTLE WEEKLY • MARCH 13 — 19, 2013

Like Lions, All Be Fine (self-released, 3/14, This lushly produced debut has mainstream pop-rock appeal, or at least wouldn’t be out of place on adult alternative radio. The core of the band is a duo, but layers of production, from glockenspiel to French horn, fill out the songs. DAVE LAKE (Thursday, Barboza)


Travis Hartnett Trio, In the Fall (out now, selfreleased, Melodic twists and turns in Hartnett’s fretwork, from the dreamy noodling on “Path to 270” to the frantic syncopation of “La Nina,” are coupled with tight rhythms and smooth bass lines, creating seamless sounds.


4/20 - 420Fest New Location! Herbivores, Space Owl, Stay Grounded The Big Building - $15 3600 E Marginal Way




dinner & show


diamonds - heavenly spies 10th anniversary gala SUN/MARCH 17 • 7:30PM

merita halili & the raif hyseni orchestra WED/MARCH 20 • 7:30PM - 91.3 KBCS WELCOMES

anais mitchell and jefferson hamer w/ frank fairfield THU/MARCH 21 • 8PM - 90.3 KEXP PRESENTS

sera cahoone w/ gregory paul FRI/MARCH 22 • 8PM

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SEATTLE WEEKLY • MARCH 13 — 19, 2013

the kinsey sicks


next • 3/27 kings: a boylesque extravaganza • 3/28 cahalen and eli w/ brittany haas • 3/29 gimme shelter: the dusty 45s, star anna, shane tutmarc • 3/30 the english beat • 3/31 mycle wastman w/ nyoka • 4/2 battlefield band • 4/4 my goodness w/ the comettes • 4/5 steep canyon rangers • 4/6 janis ian w/ diana jones • 4/7 crystal bowersox • 4/11 eddie jobson “four decades” • 4/12 super jam plays squeeze • 4/13 massy ferguson w/ the bgp • 4/14 portland cello project • 4/16 zach fleury w/ courtney marie andrews

happy hour every day • 3/13 istvan and farko / black river blues • 3/14 joe doria / brad gibson duo / the schwa • 3/15 lonesome shack / wes weddell band • 3/16 the blackberry bushes stringband • 3/17 daniel rapport • 3/18 free funk union w/ rotating hosts: d’vonne lewis and adam kessler • 3/19 singer-songwriter showcase with thomas starks, whitney monge and xolie morra • 3/20 the bayous / afrocop TO ENSURE THE BEST EXPERIENCE · PLEASE ARRIVE EARLY DOORS OPEN 1.5 HOURS PRIOR TO FIRST SHOW · ALL-AGES (BEFORE 9:30PM)

216 UNION STREET, SEATTLE · 206.838.4333

Editor’s Note: Readers were not shy about expressing their opinions about John Roderick’s March 6 cover story, “Punk Rock Is Bullshit.” Here’s a quick snapshot of some of the hundreds of comments, tweets, letters, and e-mails:

Who Needs a Rule Book?

Short response: If I remember my MRRS correctly, doesn’t the saying go that anyone who defines what punk rock is is not punk rock ? Long response: I was first exposed to punk in the early ‘80s in Alaska. While I liked it, as a youth I ascribed to Groucho Marx’s saying “Any group that would have me as a member is not worth joining,” so I never wanted to wear the uniform. Plus, I was a bit of a metalhead, into stuff like MÖtorhead and Metallica. So while I liked the Dead Kennedys and HÜsker DÜ and Repo Man (and even briefly played drums in a crappy punk band in ’85), I just did my own thing. After moving to Seattle in the late ’80s, [I was] able to see more live music, plus there were tons of great zines out. So, yeah, I did get really influenced by the DIY idea. This led me to doing pirate radio, booking shows, DJing for real, and even owning my own club. I remember an argument I had once with someone who thought fighting at shows was punk rock. I told him if punk rock was violence, then I’m not punk rock. People can make their own mind. Me, I ain’t gonna argue it because it’s a dead end. In my eyes, punk rock is not just one thing. In my life, I’ve always seen joiners, people who need some kind of rule book to live by, be it religion, or politics or sports, D&D, or, yes, music scenes. Some people have little imagination. I’ve also seen people take inspiration and make up their own shit from whatever culture they were exposed to, something to prime the pump, jump-start their own creations. As to this whole article: Feel free to think punk is whatever you want. I’m sorry punk didn’t do everything you wanted it be, but I always thought culture was supposed to inspire, not just provide a user’s manual.

Brian Foss, owner of the now-defunct Funhouse

Yay, Capitalism!

To Mr. Roderick: I appreciated your honesty and wit in the “Punk Rock Is Bullshit” article. Numerous times, I have shared many of the feelings you expressed in the piece. I especially felt that way when I played drums for a punk/grindcore band. I got tired of hearing about people dumpster-diving, robbing cars, avoiding showers, and hopping trains while subsisting on a vegan diet. In my opinion it seemed highly superfluous to live that way, especially in the

post-modern world. I wanted to share a funny story. I remember this one time, a guy tried to sell me a patch that said “capitalism” on it. Above it was a stick figure pointing a gun at another stick figure. I mean, look, the funny thing is that if I had bought the patch, we both would have been engaging in capitalism. Which ties into to the whole “DIY” ethic. I think you’re spot-on about that. I mean, I like Black Flag as much as the next guy, but Henry Rollins didn’t invent “DIY” at a Baskin Robbins in 1978, you know?

I’m sure that you have and will get a lot of flack for this article, but you should keep at it. And keep at it not just because I think so, but because there needs to be more practicality and shrewdness in journalism. And you’ve got it. And I’m saying this because most music journalists seem like a bunch of self-righteous pricks, but you must be one of the good ones.

Many regards, James

Punk Never Asked to Be Liked

John: Punk rock was the necessary enema much needed to cleanse the world of big-hair bands and disco. It was refreshing, necessary, and not a blemish on the music scene. Your manifesto is mildly entertaining, but having been born in 1962 and listened to many forms of music along the way, punk rock was no more than a gag reflex to the scene at the time. It never asked to be liked, and it would be the first to agree with you. You’ve called a spade a spade, but the spade knows it.


LOVED THIS PIECE! So many good lines.

Ken Jennings

Yeah. I’m mostly pissed I won’t get the 20 minutes it took to read his pitiful article back.

Janet Weiss E

Reverb»The Short List to skim venue web pages for silly names. Yes, I gave myself that job, MOVING ON. With that on the table, I’d like to say that IP is Rose Melberg and Jon Manning from Vancouver, B.C., and their latest self-titled EP is DEFCONlevel-four cute. Picture the Young Evils handing Witch Gardens a teddy bear that’s holding a daisy with a smiley face painted on it. You don’t want to know what DEFCON-level-five cuteness is. Come get your smile right. With Slim

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Martha Wainwright brings her bloody motherfucking show to the Tractor on Wednesday.

Martha Wainwright WEDNESDAY, MARCH 13

When you title your first EP Bloody Motherfucking Asshole, it’s pretty clear you don’t give a damn what his work—lugging this behemoth to and fro is anyone else thinks. Such has been the practice of like schlepping around Kubrick’s monolith night folk-rocker Martha Wainwright, whose big voice after night. The man’s heart and soul is matched and bigger confessions have been stopping listenonly by the funky sounds of the many musical ers in their tracks for a decade. Known for her projects that feature him explosive vocals—an obvious tinkling those humming genetic benefit—Wainkeys, which include colwright’s edgy, confessional Tune in to 97.3 KIRO FM laborations with Michael songs are refreshing in a every Sunday at 5 p.m. to hear music editor Chris Kornelis Shrieve and Skerik. Mind “This isn’t conventional folk on Seattle Sounds. his gear haul (and your but it’s absolutely lovely” toes) when he arrives for his kind of way. She’s snarky and Tuesday-night gigs at the tiny Seamonster with eccentric—while still allowing her regal voice to McTuff. Tonight at the Sunset you’ll have more shine. Tonight, expect to hear plenty of the raw room to groove, but who knows how he’ll get instrumental wanderings from her third LP, 2012’s that thing onstage. With Cliff Colon and Brian Come Home to Mama. With Shenandoah Davis.


Kirk. Sunset Tavern, 5433 Ballard Ave. N.W., 784-4880. 10 p.m. $8. GWENDOLYN ELLIOTT

The Joe Doria Trio

Imaginary Pants



When Joe Doria plays around town—which he does nearly every night—his enormous Hammond organ comes with him. If you’ve ever seen this thing, you know the man has a passion for

Rarely does a band pique my interest so immediately with two words: imaginary pants. It’s the best band name I’ve heard in weeks—which is saying something, because it’s basically my job


R. Kelly Trapped in the Closet Sing Along

lites. Crocodile, 2200 Second Ave., 441-4618. 8 p.m. $15. All ages. TODD HAMM

I Can Lick Any Sonofabitch in the House SUNDAY, MARCH 17

Seeing Portland’s barn-burning alt-countrypunk act is a perfectly acceptable way to spend your St. Patty’s Day. They may not play jigs, but the band will provide the perfect accompaniment to your boozy escapes, with their equal love of Crazy Horse and Black Flag. Tourmates Drag the River play a similar blend of punkinfluenced Americana, though their formula is flipped—alt-country with punk roots, as opposed to I Can Lick Any SOB’s brand of punk rock with a twang. Sunset Tavern, 5433

Ballard Ave. N.W., 784-4880. 8:30 p.m. $8. 21 and over. DAVE LAKE





R. Kelly’s audacious, absurd, painfully literal, pornographically explicit, operatic-in-the-worst-way, soap-operatic-in-the-best-way, politicallyincorrect-in-every-way Trapped in the Closet TV series still awaits its fate in the court of tastemaker opinion. Back-catalog sideshow? A troubled master’s magnum opus? An enduring piece of cultural kitsch? Advocates of the latter host a Trapped in the Closet sing-along tonight, where audience members plied with lyrics (and hopefully booze) will join Kelly to sing the woeful tale of a group of beautiful and heavily armed people who can’t help but fuck each other. The overt sexuality and horrendous writing make it a natural fit to become the 2000s version of Rocky Horror, so bring on the toast. SIFF CinemaUptown, 511 Queen Anne Ave. N. 7 p.m.

SE ATTLE WEEKLY • MARCH 13 — 19, 2013

Tractor Tavern, 5213 Ballard Ave. N.W., 7893599. 9 p.m. $15. KEEGAN PROSSER

A very relatable MC from the deeply talented Bay-to-L.A. Living Legends crew, Murs has been laying down conversational, storytelling verses since the ’90s. His everyman subject matter occasionally dips into the mundane (see his tiring stream of relationship songs), but his catalog has remained at a reasonably high level over the years, thanks in large part to his partnership with exquisite North Carolina producer 9th Wonder. Although he’s recently parted ways (professionally) with his Living Legends family, his friendly skateboard/love/life rhymes have pushed forward with new collaborators like bill-mate Fashawn. And speaking of collabs, will opener Prof pull local guy Type on stage for their LOL-fest track “My Backpack”? With Fashawn, the Break-


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An Evening with

Brian McKnight

Grammy-nominated, multi-platinum selling multiinstrumentalist debuts at Jazz Alley!

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March 25 Efterklang plays Neumos on Friday night.

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Wednesday, March 13 CIRCUIT VINE Though this trio refers to itself (perhaps

facetiously) as chillwave, its sound relies more on jagged synth textures than on catatonic ’80s nostalgia. With Urban Jellyfish, Three for T, Letters From Traffic. The Crocodile, 2200 Second Ave., 441-7416, the 7 p.m. $5 DOS. All ages. DEATH SPIRAL This cover band comprising MBA students from the UW’s Foster School of Business has partnered with several charity organizations, including the Special Olympics, to organize this benefit show. Rendezvous, 2322 Second Ave., 441-5823, jewelbox 9 p.m. $10 adv./$15 DOS. THE FABULOUS DOWNEY BROTHERS This Olympia/ Seattle group deals in elaborate costumed performances and hyperactive pop songs. With Not From Brooklyn, Yevtushenko, Sad Little Men. Comet Tavern, 922 E. Pike St., 322-9272, 9 p.m. $6.

Atkins. Barboza, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9951, thebarboza. com. 8 p.m. $10 adv. PONYHOMIE Not to be confused with similarly named garage rockers Pony Time, this three-piece has a completely different sound (raw-sounding dance rock) and a new album, January’s Remable. With Import/Export, Starry-Eyed Samurai. Chop Suey, 1325 E. Madison St., 324-8005, 8 p.m. $7. THEORETICS This show features two of the city’s best hip-hop/funk hybrids: the headliners, whose full-band theatrics earned them a spot at Sasquatch! in May, and Sportn’ Life Records mainstays Fly Moon Royalty. With Irukandji Physics of Fusion, Speakerminds. Nectar Lounge, 412 N. 36th St., 632-2020, 8 p.m. $8 adv./$10 DOS. UMPHREY’S MCGEE Not atypical for festival-circuit jam bands, Umphrey’s gets by on technical chops and a loyal fan base that eats up their freewheeling improvisations. With Bright Light Social Hour. The Neptune, 1303 N.E. 45th St., 784-4849, 8 p.m. $22.50 adv./$25 DOS. All ages.

Friday, March 15


David Jacobs-Strain plays the Sunset on Wednesday. DAVID JACOBS-STRAIN A Jewish kid from Oregon

who loves Delta blues as much as traditional folk, Jacobs-Strain has always been tricky to classify but easy to enjoy, especially for guitar players, who will respect his versatility. Sunset Tavern, 5433 Ballard Ave. N.W., 784-4880. 9 p.m. $12. 21 and over. 

Thursday, March 14 LIKE LIONS Patrick O’Neill and Ben Kersten began this

indie-folk project in 2009. This month they’ll finally release their debut All Be Fine, which bears Kersten’s touch as an audio engineer. With Kevin Long, John

Send events to See for full listings = Recommended, NC = no charge, AA = all ages.


SEATTLE WEEKLY • MARCH 13 — 19, 2013

EFTERKLANG Quick: Name a band who’s signed to

4AD, has a husky-voiced lead singer, and plays dour chamber rock. You’re forgiven if you guessed The National (though not really, since the answer’s in bold at the beginning of this paragraph), but this Danish group, touring behind last year’s icy Piramida, is plenty compelling in its own right. With Nightlands, Jherek Bischoff. Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9442, neumos. com. 8 p.m. $12 adv. GIZA This instrumental sludge-metal group headlines an ultra-heavy lineup. With Skies Below, Princess. Rendezvous. 10 p.m. $7 DOS. LATIGO LACE Active since 1997, this local cover band plays all the country classics—and rock and R&B, too. Little Red Hen, 7115 Woodlawn Ave. N.E., 522-1168, 9 p.m. $5.

Gracious, Ten Thousand Tigers, Autococoon, Harvey Sid Fisher. Hollow Earth Radio, 2018 E. Union St., 9051250. 5 p.m. TBA. All ages. THE WAGES OF SIN plays a raucous blend of various styles of roots music (Celtic, bluegrass, Appalachian folk), making them a logical choice to lead this “St. Pat’s Blackout” at Neumos. With Rum Rebellion, Bakelite 78. 8 p.m. $10 adv.

Sunday, March 17 BLUE SKY BLACK DEATH Best known as the pur-

veyors of dark, synth-saturated beats for rappers like Nacho Picasso, this production duo’s instrumentals will tonight get to shine (for lack of a better word) on their own merits. With Keyboard Kid, Child Actor. Chop Suey. 8 p.m. $12 adv.


Vocalist Halili and husband/bandleader/accordionist Hyseni bring traditional Albanian folk music to American audiences. Triple Door, 216 Union St., 838-4333, 7:30 p.m. $25. All ages. SHIFTLESS LAYABOUT It’s more than a little counterintuitive to spend St. Patrick’s Day listening to funk music, but this hard-grooving quintet will provide an appropriate soundtrack for drunken revelry. With Soul Senate, A Little Burlesque. Nectar Lounge. 7:30 p.m. $5 adv./$8 DOS.

Monday, March 18 KELLY JOHNSON is a graceful vocalist, instructor, and

local-jazz-scene fixture whose most recent album is Home. Tula’s, 2214 Second Ave., 443-4221, 7:30. $10. SINDIOS This three-piece plays fast, technically unimpeachable death metal. With Golgothan Sunrise, Guns of Barisal. 2 Bit Saloon, 4818 17th Ave. N.W., 708-6917, Time TK. $5.

Saturday, March 16

Tuesday, March 19

DURGE FEST “Durge” is a term coined by local music

DJANGO DJANGO There are a lot of similarities

blog NadaMucho to describe “caffeinated funeral songs,” which fits the melancholic but upbeat pop-rock of the bands on this bill. With Pilot to Bombardier, the Whoopsie Daisies, Full Life Crisis. Barboza. 7 p.m. $8 adv. HOBOSEXUAL Ben Harwood and Jeff Silva make up one of Seattle’s best-named rock acts, and they also put on a ferocious live show. With Black Wolf Men’s Club, Dirty Church Ladies. Blue Moon, 712 N.E. 45th St., 675-9116, 9:30 p.m. $6. MOON JOE This portion of the early show (which is part of online radio station Hollow Earth’s Magma Festival) will reportedly feature a 2-year-old banging on some empty water-cooler jugs with guitar-dad accompaniment. With RC Love & The Goodness

between contemporaries Django Django and Alt-J, two of England’s most-hyped recent musical exports: Namely, both groups spastically blend disparate sounds—synth squiggles, Afrobeat guitar, off-beat samples, and chanted vocals—into something that could still reasonably be described as “indie rock.” Django seems like they’re having more fun, and their morass of influences is reminiscent of another group of Brits—Hot Chip—who did OK for themselves. With Night Moves. The Neptune. 8 p.m. $17 adv./$20 DOS. All ages. KYLE EASTWOOD BAND A prolific and versatile bassist, Eastwood (son of Clint) leads a five-piece jazz combo. Jazz Alley, 2033 Sixth Ave., 441-9729, jazzalley. com. 7:30 p.m. $22.50.

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dategirl»By Judy McGuire bitchface is particularly unflattering when paired with a long white gown.

Yet Another Asshole Bride Dear Dategirl, My fiance and I are in the midst of wedding planning and have come across something of a problem: We both adore my sister’s exhusband. Their divorce was ugly—he cheated—but she was not blameless. We would like to invite him, but when I tried to discuss it with my sister, she hung up on me. Then our mother called and screamed at me too. My honey and he are still golf buddies, so it even seems a little rude to exclude him from our special day. How can I get my sister to come around? I love her, but she’s not always rational. —Bummed-Out Bride

SEATTLE WEEKLY • MARCH 13 — 19, 2013

You are approximately the 210,455th person—OK, woman—I’ve heard from over the life of this column who has let a one-day party turn her into a complete fuckface. In case my profanity wasn’t clear enough: No, you do NOT invite your sister’s philandering ex-husband to your wedding, unless you want your sister to stay home and your parents to spend the entire ceremony wondering where they went wrong with you. If it makes you feel any better, I’m betting this jackass doesn’t even want to come, because, news flash, most weddings—including yours, cupcake—are boring. They’re dull, last too long, and require expensive gifts given while wearing uncomfortable clothing. Your wedding is one day of your life. You can choose to make it a fun occasion, or you can use it to make your sister miserable. Your call, but





Dear Dategirl, I’d been seeing someone for a few weeks when he vanished—no returned phone calls, and only after I said I was worried did he e-mail back, saying it wasn’t going to work. It had been several lonely years, so this devastated me. I’m deeply embarrassed by the way I behaved in the aftermath. I made a point to “run into him” at his favorite bar, where I tried to berate him into kissing me. I even put his hand on my cock. (I was drunk.) I am pretty certain I left him a few messages, but I can’t check because I lost my phone that night. I want to apologize, but I also want to curl up and die of embarrassment. Coincidentally, I got a great job in L.A., so it wouldn’t have worked out anyway. What is the protocol: Do I call, text, or e-mail him an apology? This all happened last month, btw. —Regret-Filled Romeo

Step away from the phone, lock up the computer. If you get in touch with this guy while you’re still living in the same city, he’s just going to think he’s in for more of the same. Instead, wait until you get settled into your new apartment, then buy one of those postcards with palm trees or the Hollywood sign on front. Write him a quick, humble note apologizing for your idiotic behavior and stick it in the mailbox. Do not ask him to forgive you, and do not wait for a reply, because one won’t be forthcoming. Then rip out those pages from your diary and toss them in the trash. Forgive yourself for being a lunatic, because, as the song goes, “Everybody plays the fool . . . sometime.” Just don’t do it again. E

Want more? Listen to Judy on The Mike & Judy Show, follow her tweets @HitOrMiss Judy, or buy her new book, The Official Book of Sex, Drugs, and Rock ’n’ Roll Lists.

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column»Toke Signals Adventures in Weed Reviewing: The First Two Years


wo years deep into my gig as medical-marijuana/dispensary reviewer, this gig still has excitement and adventure written all over it. I love the mom-and-pop nature of the medicinal-cannabis business in Washington, and I love and enjoy the degree of variation among access points. A few folks may be looking forward to the gray standardization of marijuana sales that will probably come with the implementation of general legalization at the end of this year, but in my mind, the variety of patient experiences available—and the ability to customize your experiences, to find your own comfort zone and your own favorite shops—are valuable assets which we shouldn’t take for granted. This is especially true now that state-licensed retail pot stores are on the way. Talk as they may about how I-502 isn’t supposed to impact the medical-marijuana scene (and proponents did plenty of that), it seems inevitable that the standardization which will accompany legal sales to all adults will impact the way things are done at dispensaries. What I hope doesn’t happen is a “Which strain gets you highest?” dumbing-down of the medical-marijuana scene; the imposition of I-502’s tax structure on the medical-marijuana community could be equally disastrous. From the perspective of two years’ experience, I sometimes wonder just how different a review some of the early access points would have gotten had I a few more shops under my



belt before visiting. For instance, Conscious Care Cooperative’s since-closed outlet in Lake Forest Park is damn lucky they were the first dispensary I ever visited as a paid reviewer. I didn’t realize just how badly out of line were CCC’s $20-a-gram prices until I visited a few more shops. That they forgot to give me a free gram for being a new patient irked me, but I went a little easier on them back in February 2011 than I would now. The same goes for my 30-minute wait in their reception area; I’d have more to say about that these days. As for those per-gram prices, one thing I see much oftener now than I did two years ago is across-the-board $10/gram donations. The opportunity to buy top-shelf cannabis for $10 a gram is not something our fellow patients in California or Colorado get to enjoy very often, and the level of healthy competition among Puget Sound– area shops is one big reason that’s true. There have far more high points (in every sense of the word) than low in this two-year adventure, but when I hit a low point—such as at the G.A.M.E. in White Center—shops were called to task. Patients need to know when a place has horrible, even hostile, “customer service.” And when one unfortunate shop (Purple Cross, since out of business) couldn’t come up with even a crumb of weed the day I visited, that got written up too. But such experiences are very much the exception, not the rule. The good, solid shops that quietly meet patients’ needs every day are the real heroes. I don’t think that will change with legalization. E



Steve Elliott edits Toke Signals (, an irreverent, independent blog of cannabis news, views, and information.



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Seattle Weekly, March 13, 2013  

March 13, 2013 edition of the Seattle Weekly

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