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DECEMBER 11-17, 2013 I VOLUME 38 I NUMBER 50

SEATTLEWEEKLY.COM I FREE

HOW THE MARINERS (REALLY ) LANDED ROBINSON CANO.

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Con-Ed

Ari Kohn’s mission to save our prisoners from themselves. BY ELLIS E. CONKLIN


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SEATTLE WEEKLY • DECEMBER 11 — 17, 2013


inside»   December 11–17, 2013 VOLUME 38 | NUMBER 50

» SEATTLEWEEKLY.COM

SEE THE ZOO BRIGHTER THAN EVER MORE LIGHTS, MORE ANIMALS, MORE FUN!

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news&comment 4

HUGHES’ BLUES

What will happen to an iconic art space’s mission when it loses city support? 5 | SEATTLELAND 7 | SPORTSBALL

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CONS TURNED PROS BY ELLIS E. CONKLIN | The tale of

Ari Kohn, the swaggering patron saint of ex-cons, and his push for prison education.

food&drink 39 TRAINING A CHEF

BY ANNA MOORE | How to survive the vagaries—and hard-to-please patrons— of dining-car cuisine. 39 | FOOD NEWS 39 | TEMPERATURE CHECK 41 | THE BAR CODE

arts&culture 43 THE JINGLE-BELL JUKEBOX

BY MARK BAUMGARTEN | Why do local musicians bother with Christmas rock?

43 ARTS

43 | THE PICK LIST 45 | OPENING NIGHTS | Jolly orphans

and angry elves. 46 | PERFORMANCE/EAR SUPPLY

OPENING THIS WEEK | Noam Chomsky,

The Hobbit Part II, and the origin story of Mary Poppins. 49 | FILM CALENDAR

51 MUSIC

The rapper who sings Coldplay, a shake-up for Midlake, and more. 51 | SEVEN NIGHTS 56 | ALBUM REVIEWS

odds&ends 17 | GIFT GUIDE #3 26 | BEER PAGES 57 | TOKE SIGNALS 58 | CLASSIFIEDS

»cover credits

PORTRAIT OF ARI KOHN BY JO ARLOW PHOTO OF ROBINSON CANO BY KEITH ALLISON

NOVEMBER 29 – JANUARY 4 5:30 – 8:30 P.M. NIGHTLY (closed Dec 24 & 25)

Editor-in-Chief Mark Baumgarten

Wild animals and wild places recreated in thousands of sparkling LED lights

EDITORIAL Managing Editor in Charge of News Daniel Person Senior Editor Nina Shapiro

Avoid lines – buy tickets online!

Food Editor Nicole Sprinkle Arts Editor Brian Miller

WWW.ZOO.ORG/WILDLIGHTS

Entertainment Editor Gwendolyn Elliott Editorial Operations Manager Gavin Borchert Staff Writers Ellis E. Conklin, Matt Driscoll, Kelton Sears Editorial Intern Alicia Price Contributing Writers Rick Anderson, Sean Axmaker, James Ballinger, Michael Berry, Sara Billups, Steve Elliott, Margaret Friedman, Zach Geballe, Dusty Henry, Megan Hill, Robert Horton, Patrick Hutchison, Sara D. Jones, Seth Kolloen, Sandra Kurtz, Dave Lake, John Longenbaugh, Beth Maxey, Jessie McKenna, Terra Clarke Olsen, Kevin Phinney, Keegan Prosser, Mark Rahner, Michael Stusser, Jacob Uitti PRODUCTION Production Manager Christopher Dollar Art Director Karen Steichen Graphic Designers Jennifer Lesinski, Sharon Adjiri ADVERTISING Advertising and Marketing Director Jen Larson Advertising Sales Manager, Arts Carol Cummins Senior Account Executives Terri Tinker, Krickette Wozniak Account Executives Peter Muller, Sam Borgen Classifieds Account Executive Matt Silvie DISTRIBUTION Distibution Manager Jay Kraus OPERATIONS Administrative Coordinator Amy Niedrich PUBLISHER Wendy Geldien COPYRIGHT © 2013 BY SOUND PUBLISHING, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. REPRODUCTION IN WHOLE OR IN PART WITHOUT PERMISSION IS PROHIBITED. ISSN 0898 0845 / USPS 306730 • SEATTLE WEEKLY IS PUBLI SHED WEEKLY BY SOUND PUBLISHING, INC., 307 THIRD AVE. S., SEATTLE, WA 98104 SEATTLE WEEKLY® IS A REGISTERED TRADEMARK. PERIODICALS POSTAGE PAID AT SEATTLE, WA POSTMASTER: SEND ADDRESS CHANGES TO SEATTLE WEEKLY, 307 THIRD AVE. S., SEATTLE, WA 98104 • FOUNDED 1976. MAIN SWITCHBOARD: 206-623-050 0 CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING: 206-623-6231 RETAIL AND ONLINE ADVERTISING: 206-467-4341

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news&comment Langston Hughes’ Next Act

the city government to play an active role in making a successful effort.”

How successful that effort is depends largely

The arts venue has fostered generations of black artists—but can it keep going without city tax dollars? BY VERNAL COLEMAN

L

cials have at various times over the past decade signaled that the city is no longer able, or perhaps willing, to continue picking up the full tab, which next year is expected to total more than $800,000. Several attempts have been made at a long-term plan for managing and funding the theater. Committees have been formed and reports commissioned. So far, none have been acted upon. Now, after multiple false starts, Seattle is proposing yet another plan: that management of Langston Hughes be assumed by an independent nonprofit organization. But it remains unclear whether that is the best option for ensuring the theater’s future, or simply the most financially expedient one. A draft copy of the proposal, obtained by Seattle Weekly, will be given its first public airing next Monday at a Seattle City Council briefing. Pending approval from the council, the city will continue as owner of the theater property, while responsibility for its programming and funding is handed to a nonprofit. “I think everyone knows that there is some risk involved, and that this isn’t necessarily going to be a slam-dunk,” says Councilman Nick Licata. “I think the key thing here is for

“I think everyone knows ...this isn’t necessarily going to be a slam dunk.” from the organization’s traditional mission of nurturing talented writers. Office of Arts and Culture Director Randy Engstrom says he expects the Institute will be able to do both. “I think there are a number of ways Langston can generate more revenue,” Engstrom says. “But we’re not just going to rent out the theater to the highest bidder at the exclusion of the community groups that have fewer resources and need the space. There has to be a balance between what a sustainable operating model looks like and how it can support and engage community.” Seattle is home to various theater companies

and organizations that focus on presenting African-American art. But Langston Hughes

» CONTINUED ON PAGE 6

THE WEEKLY BRIEFING | What’s going on at seattleweekly.com: Small business owners said talking about raising the mini-

a

The minimum-wage proposition in SeaTac survived a recount. Seahawks fans were boycotting headphones that mum wage is “scary.” dissed Seattle. A wife ran over her allegedly cheating husband at an office Christmas party. No word on whether it was the secretary or the intern.

SEATTLELAND

Paul has every reason to smile.

proceeds from stadium operation). As you might have heard, both teams are on a roll—with the Trailblazers off to their best start in decades and the Seahawks generating Super Bowl hopes. That would only further enrich the football franchise whose value has increased fivefold since Paul Allen bought it in 1997 for $200 million. But he didn’t become a $15-billionaire by losing bets, or failing to hedge them. He called himself the taxpayers’ “partner” in building Seattle’s new $600 million (with interest) football stadium, but was able to ante up his $130 million share using other people’s money—income from seat-licensing sales. As on the gridiron and the hoop courts, the siblings are on a roll in the law courts as well— victory Allen style, at least. When someone sues, flood the zone with attorneys; should they persist, pay them before the media gets curious. That happened to Paul Allen when he was accused of sexually assaulting a business partner some years back, and it happened to him and his sister more recently when they were accused of creating a hostile work environment that allegedly included sexual harassment. Unlike Paul Allen’s Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, who maintains a global profile, the Allens stay closer to the ground, wielding their moneyed power in corporate boardrooms, City Hall, and Olympia while their publicists polish the duo’s sports and charitable images.

SEATT LE W EEKLY • DECE MBER 11 — 17, 2013

ast month, Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center was the site of a pivotal work in a young playwright’s career. The play, The Purification Process, was local writer Malika Lee’s first, and was developed in conjunction with Langston Hughes. It’s exactly the type of event the Seattle institution is often lauded for—producing new work by talented but novice African-American writers. Shortly before the curtain parted for the play’s dry run, director Jacqueline Moscou appeared onstage in the theater’s main auditorium discuss how plays come to being. The making of a new stage production is a special process, explained Moscou, “and it is neverending.” The same could easily be said of the debate over the future of the arts center itself. Located in the heart of the Central District, the iconic building that houses Langston Hughes was acquired by the city in 1969 and converted to a theater and community center in 1973. Since then, its operations have largely been funded with public dollars, in part to ensure that Seattle’s black community has a place in the city’s theater scene. But while applauding that mission, city offi-

I

t’s a wonderful life, you have to admit: Sixty-year-old billionaire Paul Allen and his millionaire sister/business partner Jody Allen, 54, own Mercer Island mansions and homes in three countries, sail on more than 700 feet worth of yachts, and soar to far-off locales in their private jets, living what Jody’s ex once described in court papers as “the lifestyle of the rich and famous,” spending millions “with reckless abandon.” Much of it emanates BY RICK ANDERSON from Vulcan Inc., the powerful Seattle corporation founded by the Allens in 1986 to manage Paul Allen’s business, science, and charitable ventures. They of course include the Portland Trailblazers and the arena they play in, and the Seattle Seahawks and, effectively, the taxpayers’ stadium they play in (as master lease holder, a Vulcan subsidiary receives all

MILES HARRIS

KELTON SEARS

A stately theater, in a state of transition.

on how soon the proposed nonprofit can replace the city’s subsidy, which could be difficult. Midsize theater companies like Langston Hughes—those with annual budgets between $200,000 and $1.2 million—are typically the most difficult to fund, says Jim Kelly, executive director of King County arts agency 4Culture. “They’re the ones that are large enough to need contributed income, but don’t have that deep well of supporters that larger organizations like a Seattle Repertory Theater have.” According to the committee’s draft plan, the proposed nonprofit will be operational by the beginning of the fiscal year 2016 and ready to fully assume the theater’s financial obligations by 2018. That gives the city roughly four years to establish the organization’s nonprofit status and recruit a leadership board to help generate through fundraising what the theater cannot earn. And if previous earnings are any indication, the fundraising burden would be significant. Langston Hughes was closed for building upgrades for two years beginning in spring 2010. It did not reopen until May 2012, making a full accounting of its budget hard to come by. But according to budget figures obtained from the city, Langston Hughes brought in just $70,880 in ticket and rental fees during the 2012 fiscal year. That’s up from the $56,963 it earned in 2009, the year before the renovations. Compare those numbers to Langston Hughes’ operating costs: In fiscal year 2013, Langston Hughes was budgeted $745,698 by the city, the bulk of which was devoted to staff pay. The 2014 proposed budget bumps that total up to $809,180. Drawing bigger-ticket shows could ensure a healthier bottom line—but that might distract

Jody and Paul Allen’s Win Streak

» CONTINUED ON PAGE 6 5


news&comment»

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Langston Hughes » FROM PAGE 5

Jody and Paul Allen » FROM PAGE 5

remains the only one with a mission and a theater space dedicated exclusively to that purpose. To local arts patron Paul Toliver, a member of the action committee that drafted the plan to be considered by the city, that’s what makes the city’s subsidy essential. With it, the Institute can pursue its mission without worrying about it being altered, he says. “The history is that those who fund the arts support more European-centric art than African-centric,” Toliver says. “And if that plays out, and the focus is shifted to something more multicultural, it means there’s less art that reflects me as an African-American . . . Others on the committee may disagree—and they did—but this new plan puts the mission at risk.” Opinions vary, however. Langston Hughes’ particular mission is what could make it attractive to well-heeled funders, says 4Culture’s Kelly, who wasn’t on the committee. “Certainly funding organizations have woken up to the fact that there’s a lot more out there than just Western culture,” he says. “Because Langston Hughes is focused on a very particular audience and is creating a lot of new work, I think you’ll see the funding community show its support.” Predicting the future of Langston Hughes after the transition is difficult. Given the uniqueness of its mission, drawing conclusions based on comparisons to other midsize nonprofit theater companies is bound to be imperfect. But to get a glimpse, it’s worth examining the financial health of a near-analogue. Like Langston Hughes, the nonprofit Seattle Public Theater operates out of a building owned by the city: the Bathhouse Theater on the shores of Green Lake. Financial disclosures filed with the IRS in 2011 put SPT’s budget at just over $450,000, and it has operated at a slight deficit for the past three fiscal reporting periods. That’s not uncommon for a nonprofit of SPT’s size, says Kelly, and shows the importance for theaters of stashing away savings when times are good. But if SPT’s financial state represents the status quo for midsize regional theaters, the Intiman Theatre is the local performing-arts community’s cautionary tale. Once nationally renowned, the company has yet to recover from its 2011 financial implosion, when it shut its doors amid reports that its governing nonprofit had sunk into debt totaling $2.3 million. Intiman has since downsized its offerings from a full season to a summer festival, and ceded management of the Intiman Playhouse at Seattle Center to Cornish College of the Arts. Whether the city would consider bailing out Langston Hughes should it find itself in a similar financial situation is an open question. Reductions of the city’s subsidy to Langston Hughes, if any, will not occur until after 2015, says Randy Engstrom. But while the plan calls for the new nonprofit to be financially selfsufficient by 2017, it does not specify whether the city will continue to fund the organization if it fails to meet that benchmark or if future fundraising efforts fall short. “It’s not something that we plan for,” says Licata. “But I don’t think we can tell the folks who are in charge that they have to sink or swim.” E

As a result, they’ve mostly avoided widespread notoriety from tell-tale lawsuits. The latest were brought against them by ex-members of their Vulcan security team—former combat vets and Navy SEALs included. Ex-FBI agent Kathy Leodler says under oath that she left Vulcan “because I did not want to be an accessory to crimes, and would not continue to work for owners who violated the law.” Of 15 lawsuits, all but two have been recently settled outside the public court record for unrevealed amounts. Paul Allen employed a similar strategy in a lawsuit brought by his Hollywood associate Abbey Phillips. As I reported in 2006, she claimed Allen held her down and fondled her, then later let himself into the room where she slept and attempted to have sex with her. His sister forced her to resign, Phillips claimed, for refusing her brother’s advances. Allen’s attorneys called the claims meritless and news media mistakenly reported the lawsuit was dismissed. In fact, Allen paid Phillips a

news@seattleweekly.com

The Allens wield their moneyed power while publicists polish the duo’s sports and charitable images. mystery amount of money to go away. Levi Pulkkinen at SeattlePI.com did a long takeout in November on the current security-staff settlements, in which attorneys for Paul Allen denied claims that Jody Allen smuggled animal bones out of Africa and Antarctica, even though Vulcan ended up surrendering such remains to the government. My review of King County court records also shows that, in an ongoing case, exsecurity manager Jeff Benoit claims his staff was under constant attack for “trivial and inconsequential” lapses, such as failing to open Jody’s car door or not carrying Paul’s books from the house to the car. Benoit swears he was told to falsify team performance records, and that employees were “harassed and penalized because one of the members had refused Jody Allen’s sexual advances,” which she denies. If Benoit’s case goes to trial as scheduled next month, Jody Allen, and Paul too, could be asked to answer such accusations under oath. But will that happen? In one of the few times Jody has been on the court record, a 2009 divorce, her private life was glaringly exposed (though not reported until now). Brian Patton, her hubby of 21 years, complained she went on one-day “power-shopping” excursions to New York and L.A., with a limo following her down Rodeo Drive. So “compulsive” was her buying that she’d fill “the entire cargo hold on the [private] 737 with her purchases,” Patton said, and maintained a Tukwila warehouse filled with 450 boxes of clothing and valuables. Yet, though Jody Allen’s annual income was then $2 million and her husband’s $500,000, the court ordered him to pay support for their three children. To the record add, ho hum, another Allen victory. E

randerson@seattleweekly.com

Journalist and author Rick Anderson writes about crime, money, and politics, which tend to be the same thing.


news&comment»header Jay-Z and Cano’s Seattle Adventure

O

n Thursday, December 5, major league baseball’s most sought-after free agent, former New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano, arrived in Seattle alongside newly minted sports agent/hip-hop mogul Jay-Z to meet with the Mariners. This is what (we imagine) happened.

SPORTSBALL BY SETH KOLLOEN

Plumbing locked up, but I know a guy at RotoRooter!” 9:51 Jay-Z wonders if general manager Jack Zduriencik or manager Lloyd McClendon will be joining them. “No need,” says Lincoln. “We call the shots around here.” 10:15 Negotiations begin with Lincoln dismissing Jay-Z’s suggestion to rename Mariners the Seattle Hovas.

sportsball@seattleweekly.com

City of Seattle

SEATT LE W EEKLY • DECE MBER 11 — 17, 2013

Dinner conversation hits a wall when M’s President Chuck Armstrong asks Jay-Z if he’s married.

KEITH ALLISON

8:15 p.m. Jay-Z and Cano land at Sea-Tac; decide to stop for authentic African food at the “African Lounge” on Concourse A. 8:16 Jay-Z and Cano leave “African Lounge,” head to baggage claim. 8:30 Jay-Z and Cano wait in arrivals area for Mariners President Chuck Armstrong to pick them up in his blue two-door Tercel. 8:55 Armstrong apologizes for passing Jay-Z and Cano twice in arrivals area: “Thought you guys came in on Delta.” 9:05 Armstrong, Jay-Z, and Cano arrive for dinner at Sitka & Spruce with M’s CEO Howard Lincoln; the trendy restaurant is a recommendation from Raul Ibanez’ teenage granddaughter. 9:15 Jay-Z orders “salad of kales”; Cano goes for “kohlrabi slaw.” Lincoln: “D’ya have a menu in English?” 9:22 Dinner conversation hits a wall when Armstrong asks Jay-Z if he’s married. 9:37 Lincoln explains gold mine of Seattle endorsement opportunities for Cano: “Marshawn Lynch already has Beacon

10:22 Both sides decide to continue negotiations over drinks—their server recommends Montana Bar on Olive Way for their on-tap Moscow mules. 10:41 Over their first Moscow mules, Cano tries to explain The Grey Album to a confused Armstrong, who doesn’t know what The White Album is. 11:10 With everyone two Moscow mules in, the cute bartender suggests a house specialty: Picklebacks. After one shot of whiskey with a pickle-juice back, negotiations begin in earnest. 11:15 Negotiation Item #1: Jay-Z/ Cano/Lincoln bet Armstrong $500 he won’t tell bartender that they are the “Four Swordsmen of the Lovepocalypse.” 11:15:15 M’s/ Jay-Z/Cano kicked out of Montana, start walking arm-in-arm up Olive Way singing Armstrong-led sea shanties. 11:21 Jay-Z flags down a cab, demands to be taken to every location of Sir Mix-A-Lot’s “Posse on Broadway.” 11:33 Armstrong checks phone; has 35 “where u guys at” texts from General Manager Jack Zduriencik. Laughs, puts phone in pocket, makes mental note to move Zduriencik’s office to a small janitorial closet. 11:42 Though the vanilla Cano walks shakes are outstanding, away from Jay-Z discovers that Dick’s New York. is not “the place where the cool hang out, the swass like to play, and the rich flaunt clout,” as promised by Mix. Cano demands that the group “check out the club scene.” Lincoln “knows a cool place”; directs cabbie to 13 Coins. 11:52 Jay-Z and Cano, assuming 13 Coins is an elaborate performance-art piece, decide Seattle is hippest city in world. 12:01 a.m. Cano agrees to sign, on one condition: Lincoln and Armstrong must shout “C to the izz-A, N to the izz-O” from the pitching mound on Opening Day. 12:05 Lincoln, Armstrong, Jay-Z, and Cano profess to be “bros 4ever”; parties agree to 240year, $10 million deal. (Later amended to 10 years and $240 million.) 12:17 Jay-Z and Cano head to their hotel. Armstrong/Lincoln too drunk to drive, call Jay Buhner to come down and pick them up in his truck. E

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SEATTLE WEEKLY • DECEMBER 11 — 17, 2013

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Con-Ed BY ELLIS ELLIS E. E.KONKLIN CONKLIN BY

Ari Kohn’s long and tortured journey to save Washington’s prisoners from themselves

» CONTINUED ON PAGE 10

SEATT LE W EEKLY • DECE MBER 11 — 17, 2013

JO ARLOW

A

n outlaw wind races across these barren hills as the lateNovember sun glints off the curled wreaths of razor wire that embrace Coyote Ridge Corrections Center like a steel cocoon. The massive prison, opened two decades ago, lies on the outskirts of Connell, a dust speck of a town in southeast Washington, where in the late 1880s the Northern Pacific and Oregon Railroad joined at a place an old rail hand named Jacob Cornelius Connell called Palouse Junction.Today, a french-fry factory and the manufacture of agricultural chemicals keep the economy chugging in and around this Franklin County burb—those, and the welcome addition of the second largest penal institution in the state, trailing only the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla. At Coyote Ridge, by callous intent, the landscape is devoid of grass, plants, or trees. There are only asphalt, gravel, and 21 low-slung concrete boxes, windowless edifices sitting on a hundred parched acres where deer and skittering jackrabbits roam free. Here, 2,478 inmates are serving sentences ranging from five years to life, all of them penned in two-man cells, locked down seven days a week from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.

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Con-Ed » FROM PAGE 9

JO ARLOW

The monotonous hues of grays and white ensure that a prisoner’s emotional state is neutralized, corrections officials agree. The colorless environment—like the jarring groan of electronic doors, the toilets without walls, and the specter of solitary confinement if one strays beyond assigned boundaries—informs offenders that they have but one master now, the Washington State Department of Corrections. At night, when the tower lights shine down, Coyote Ridge resembles a sinister-looking jacket illustration for a Dennis Lehane novel. “Can you imagine doing 20 years here?” Ari Kohn mutters as he trudges toward the security checkpoint. As a cold gust flaps at his jeans, Kohn, with

are not meth heads or crack heads or incorrigible. I don’t like labels. They are children and fathers and mothers and sisters and brothers.” Kohn is a crusty 66-year-old salt with a scraggly beard, a sailor’s mouth, and Southern blood simmering with mischief and melodrama. “We call him ‘Papa Cranky Pants.’ He’s absolutely antagonistic, but that’s because he so much wants to make a difference,” observes Gina McConnell, the convicted forger who has accompanied Kohn to the Connell prison. He’s a complex stew, Kohn—a rebel with a cause. “I’m to the left of Che Guevara,” he says. “Compared to me, he’s a Tea Party Republican.” Like many of the ex-cons he struggles to put back in society’s stream, Kohn has been damaged. Tears come easily, and a fatalistic streak pervades. He frequently quotes from Iris DeMent’s protest song “Wasteland of the Free,” and from Chief Crazy Horse: “Today is a good day to die.” Kohn, once a longtime guest in assorted fedKohn speaks to prisoners at Stafford Creek Correctional Center in Aberdeen.

COURTESY ARI KOHN

SEATTLE WEEKLY • DECEMBER 11 — 17, 2013

From left: Ari Kohn, a child born in 1947 to quarrelsome parents; Kohn with his beloved Bonnie Las; Kohn with his second wife, Becky—”the only woman I ever loved.”

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sandaled feet, is accompanied by several excons: a convicted forger, a onetime drug-addled car thief, and Robert Swindler, who’s barely 18 months removed from the slammer, having served 23 years for killing 87-year-old Ruth Glover during a robbery at her small dairy in Sequim in the late 1980s. Kohn often brings exprisoners with him to offer their own testimonials about what an education has done for them in beginning to rebuild their lives after prison. “The public is egregiously ignorant of who prisoners are,” says Kohn. He is grandly contemptuous of the nation’s criminal-justice system, which today supervises an incarcerated population of 3.3 million people—a number that has quintupled since 1970, according to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics. “They think they are all malicious people. But they [prisoners] have had their humanity denied,” Kohn declares, his voice hot as Tabasco. “They were born to poverty, so many of them, hooked on drugs by their parents. They’ve slept beside mothers who are prostituting themselves. Children of violent fathers, victims of fetal alcohol syndrome. Christ, 16 percent of them are seriously mentally ill. They were not parented. And so we fight like motherfuckers to combat the humanity denied.” Kohn goes on, “They broke the law, but they

eral hoosegows, has a past that haunts him still, this son of a cruel and overbearing mother and a weak, emasculated father, whom Kohn watched disintegrate from drink. He mopped that man’s blood, in fact, on Father’s Day 1975, when his dad raised a .38 pistol from the coffee table at their Central Florida estate, pressed it to his neck, and fired. “I can still see the puddles and his brains,” Kohn whispers during an interview last month at his office inside downtown’s Central Building, headquarters for his Post-Education Prison Program. “I begged my mother for months to take the gun away, but she’d just say, ‘I know your father better than you do. He won’t do this.’ Everyone was always wrong but her. If she had an argument with Jesus, Jesus would be wrong. My mother is a monster. She was like George Patton in a dress. She’s 93 now. I haven’t talked to her in years.” On this November afternoon, Kohn is on the

road doing the work that consumes him—traveling at least two weeks out of every month to one of Washington’s 12 state penitentiaries, warning prisoners that if they don’t get an education as soon as those doors swing open, they’ll be back. Count on it. Shortly after 1 p.m., electronic doors click

open and a group of nearly 100 khaki-clad inmates, murderers, rapists, robbers, and thieves gingerly shuffle into a conference room at Coyote Ridge. The guards call it the “Big Room.” No one says a word. Before them stands Kohn, who eight years ago created his nonprofit. Everyone in the Big Room knows who he is. His reputation is solid, hard-earned. Why, he’s the swaggering patron saint of ex-cons. As one inmate, with two years left on an 18-year manslaughter sentence, confides, “They all say he’ll work his ass off to keep you out, as long as you work your ass off for him. He’s really sort of a legend.” “I know I sound like a cop,” Kohn tells his captive audience, “but it really is about hard work, discipline, and focus. If you get an education, chances are good you won’t be coming back here.” He’s right. Each of the 17,400 state prison inmates locked up in Washington costs taxpayers $37,300 to house and feed per year. If trends hold, 43 percent of the nearly 8,000 inmates who go free in 2013 will reoffend within three years and return to their cages, says deputy prison director Earl Wright. According to a RAND Corporation study published in August, researchers found that inmates who participate in education pro-

grams have 43 percent lower odds of going back to prison than those who do not. Last month, at the behest of the state legislature, looking to find savings in the Department of Corrections’ operating budget, the Washington State Institute for Public Policy found that for every convict who receives post-secondary college education, the public saves almost $6,000 in incarceration costs and another $16,600 in indirect savings, such as crime compensation and significant reductions in repeat criminal behavior. The Department of Corrections currently runs a budget of almost $1.8 billion. Of that, a mere fraction, just $15 million, is earmarked for education—and that only goes toward providing inmates with a GED if they lack one, or some form of vocational training, notes Michael Paris, the DOC’s administrator of offender education. Since 1995, Washington has banned state funding for college education in prisons, despite unrefuted evidence showing that it is hugely successful in reducing recidivism. “There’s no doubt that if you have a college education, you’re

“They all say he’ll work his ass off to keep you out, as long as you work your ass off for him. He’s really sort of a legend.” a lot less likely to ever go to prison,” says deputy prison director Scott Frakes. “And if you get a college education while in prison, you’re far less likely to come back.” To date, Kohn’s post-prison program has worked closely with 250 inmates who are back in circulation. His rules are ironclad: They must go to school. Live like a monk, or close to it. Get help for their drug addictions, anger problems, and the like. In exchange, Kohn will take care of their tuition, rent, food, bus passes, and cell phone expenses. Beginning from the day of their release, he checks up on them constantly, calls them, e-mails them, counsels, badgers, nags, whatever it takes to keep the ex-cons on the straight and narrow. In those eight years, Kohn says, only three of the ex-prisoners he’s dealt with have reoffended.


Virtually all the funds for Kohn’s program come from individual donors and business contributions. For several years, his two biggest benefactors have been Google and the Sunshine Lady Foundation, founded by philanthropist Doris Buffett. “Ari may very well be unique. I don’t know anyone else anywhere in the country that is doing what he’s doing, and I’ve been in corrections for 35 years,” says Eldon Vail, who headed the Washington Department of Corrections from 2008 to 2011. “We’re just a little piddly-ass nonprofit, with a $300,000 budget last year,” Kohn says, “and we’re making a monkey’s ass of the state and the cowardly legislators who think educating prisoners will show that they’re somehow soft on crime.” Ginny Bromley remembers, as a little girl growing up in Tacoma, the day police came and hauled her father away. A coke and meth addict, as was her mother, he’d do 20 years for an armed robbery that ended with him shooting a woman

who long ago killed her boyfriend (the father of the oldest son) during a drug deal that went bad. They’re not together anymore. Too much rage, too many beatings. She met Kohn in January 2012 at the downtown office, a few months after getting out. When she enrolled at Shoreline Community College, Kohn paid for her classes and food, and picked up some child expenses as well. Slowly, things are getting better. She attends King County drug diversion court thrice weekly. On December 6, Bromley celebrated a year of being clean and sober. “Ari has always been there for me when my ass was falling off,” she says. He’s at the top of the pyramid of all the support I’ve gotten.” Grateful for what the prison education program has done for her, she works full-time at the office, counseling ex-cons and going with Kohn to speak at prisons. “There’s a lot of guilt and shame that has oppressed me,” Bromley told the prisoners last month at Coyote Ridge. “If I can do it, you can do it. Working with you guys has set me free.”

JO ARLOW

Ginny Bromley speaking at the Washington Corrections Center for Women in Gig Harbor.

Asked later, over a burger on Connell’s main street, what it’s like for an ex-con to go back into the prisons, Bromley replies matter-of-factly— “It is like a dog returning to his vomit.” Ari Kohn is like a character out of a Pat Conroy

novel. Prince of Tides comes closest—the dark odyssey of Tom Wingo (played by Nick Nolte in the movie) attempting to overcome the psychological damage inflicted by his dysfunctional childhood in South Carolina. Unlike Wingo, though, Kohn grew up rich— the grandson of an extremely wealthy architect, Harry A. Fulton, who gifted Kohn’s mother a lavish spread in Leesburg, Florida. It was a life of unadulterated privilege: yardmen tending to the citrus groves, a 13-acre horse pasture, cooks and maids, and Isabelle, who polished the silver for Sunday gatherings in the sunken dining room when neighbors and friends paid a call. His father, Grover Vance Heinbaugh, though, was reared in poverty by parents whose home was owned by the coal company in Pennsylvania that employed him. He met Barbara Fulton during World War II at a USO function. “Wealthy girl meets poor man and they marry,” Kohn recalls with a smile. (By court order, Kohn, looking to reconnect with his Jewish roots, changed his name to his grandmother’s maiden name in 2006.)

» CONTINUED ON PAGE 13

SEATT LE W EEKLY • DECE MBER 11 — 17, 2013

at a Pizza Hut. Ginny started using drugs at age 7, and by 12 was smoking meth with Mom. Years later, the two would serve time together—twice, in fact—at the women’s prison in Purdy. “My mother was violent toward me. We all had violence problems. We were rageaholics. We beat the shit out of people,” recounts the 41-yearold Bromley. Dark-haired, with a hard, worn face and tattoos on her forearms, she thanks God for Ari Kohn. “Ari is all blood, sweat, tears about this,” she says. “This is what his life consists of, nothing else. If it wasn’t for this program, I’d be in jail right now,” she says. Bromley shakes her head in disbelief at the tragic twists and turns she’s endured. “When I was 16, I was beaten and raped in front of a crowd of people. I was kidnapped at gunpoint and taken to a shooting range near Mount Rainier, so no one could hear me scream.” Hers has been a life of drugs, abusive relationships, and a string of arrests that led to 17 felony convictions for forgery, identity theft, and stealing cars. She served three prison terms, a total of six years. Bromley has three children; the eldest, a 22-year-old son, is doing 11 years at the Monroe Reformatory. Kohn, she says, looked out for him while she was finishing her last year at Purdy. She’s been married twice, the latter to a man

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Con-Ed » FROM PAGE 11

“He was emasculated by her. There were always screaming fights,” Kohn begins. “I will always remember the image till I die of my father whipping my brother with an electrical cord after he spilled coffee on the Oriental carpet. He was beaten by my mother’s instructions. My brother had welts everywhere. “Oh, there was so much of this. There was a time I had over some playmates and we were in the play yard, and I did something to piss her off, I guess. And my mother made me take off my clothes and she beat me in front of the other kids. That humiliation makes me dangerously mad to this day.” Kohn goes on: “Everyone hated my mother. No one could meet her standards. I came up with little self-esteem. Nothing could please her. I was on the swim team, I played clarinet in the band, I was the star of my junior class play, Hieronymus Merkin. It didn’t matter.” As a freshman at Furman University— “a spoiled kid, drinking Schlitz and playing

friend. He told my mother that he, my father, was thinking of killing himself, and then I remember Dad saying to me, ‘Don’t get me anything for Father’s Day.’ He was on nursing assistance by now, and said he had that .38 pistol for his own protection.” Tears running down his cheeks, Kohn continues: “And I saw him the day before [the suicide] and I said, ‘I’ll see you tomorrow,’ but he wouldn’t say anything back. And at 1 a.m. that night my brother calls to tell me Father had killed himself. I drove 110 miles an hour through Leesburg to get to the house. And then at 3 a.m., they took the body away, and my mother is saying to someone—I’ll never forget—‘Call Bill and tell him to come over and clean up the mess.’ “I went wild. ‘Call Bill’!? That bitch.” Kohn married the second of three wives, Becky, in 1976, a year after Grover’s suicide. “She was the only woman I ever loved. I caused the divorce two years later because I was acting like an asshole. And then I was completely out of control. I bought a beer and wine bar, and went womenchasing. And I was doing hash and Quaaludes and grass, and drinking Beck’s dark beer. I did enough cocaine to sink a ship. I stayed outta control until 1983.

T I C K E T S S E L L I N G FA S T !

“I was living in Boca Raton and I called a drinking buddy and told him to meet me at Harrington’s in Winter Park, and I told him that every night I dreamed of my father, and that in all those dreams he was always perfectly healthy.” Seeking to exorcise his demons, Kohn went to Asheville, North Carolina, and checked himself into Highland Hospital—where Zelda Fitzgerald, a psychiatric patient, died in a fire in 1948— and went through intensive counseling. “I had issues, and I’m not going to tell you what they were.” In 1984, he quit it all: the booze, the drugs, even coffee—and, hardest of all, the three daily packs of Marlboros. And with Melanie at his side, the woman he met at Highland and would later marry, he bought a 43.5-acre farm in the Blue Ridge Mountains and filled the grounds with dogs, Arabian horses, pet goats, sheep, and rabbits. On a horrible wintry day not long after they’d been on the farm, Melanie was struck head-on by a 16-year-old kid, and would endure seven surgeries over several years to make her orbital socket right again.

» CONTINUED ON PAGE 14

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bridge”—Kohn received a letter from his mother letting him know that his beloved childhood horse, Bonnie Las, had died and that they had buried her by a big tree near the barn. Later, Kohn learned that she had Bonnie, the horse he used to ride for hours through the citrus groves, transported to Green Cove Springs, Florida. That’s where Barbara Fulton sold Bonnie to a slaughterhouse. In 1972, Kohn left his job in Atlanta—where he was selling PVC conduit to AT&T “and making more money than God has angels”—and returned home. “I was just a rich, dumb country boy then, a Barry Goldwater Republican,” he reflects. “I thought guys like Humphrey and George McGovern were scary communists. I voted for Nixon, for Reagan.” He’d come back to Leesburg to care for Grover, who, dead drunk, had nearly killed himself in a car accident. “He woke up 18 months later, crippled. We took him to the country club for water therapy. My mother hired George Wallace’s neurosurgeon to treat him,” Kohn remembers. “We had a black man who worked for us named Bill Williams. He was my dad’s best

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In 1987, Kohn bought himself an Aerostar van and headed west on a lark. He rolled into Spokane six weeks later, thinking that Seattle was nearby. Melanie flew out shortly thereafter, and they camped at Mount Hood and Mount Rainier before coming up to the big city. One day, at a public golf course near the airport, Kohn met a man who would completely alter the trajectory of his life. The guy was pushing a penny stock for a firm that administered IRS benefit plans to companies. Said it was a growing industry and a lot of money could be had. Kohn called dear old Mom for advice, her being a board member at New York Life Insurance. She told him he’d be well-advised to buy a franchise. Kohn hammered out a deal in which he’d open a string of offices throughout the Southeast. Then he and Melanie returned home to their North Carolina farm. Turned out the company was a total scam, a corporate shell, but Kohn got himself into deep trouble when the government began to pursue complaints by one large corporate client that he’d defrauded them for thousands of dollars. “I’m driving my Porsche one day in ’95 when my mobile phone rang and this friend of mine, a real-estate lawyer, tells me I’ve been indicted by the feds,” recalls Kohn. A year later, Kohn went to prison for wire fraud. He says that before he left for his sentencing hearing in an Asheville courtroom, he went out and laid his hand on all the animals at his Blue Ridge Mountain farm, just to say goodbye. Melanie was no longer in the picture. After short stints in a county jail and the U.S. Penitentiary at Atlanta, he took a 14-hour bus trip to the Federal Correctional Institution at Fort Dix, N.J. “The bus drives into a cage, and I’m shackled like a son of a bitch, and I saw this guard drinking bottled water, and that’s when I remembered this inmate at Atlanta showing me an EPA report about how the water at Fort Dix was polluted,” says Kohn, referring to a 1960 nuclear accident in which leaking plutonium seeped into the aquifer. “That’s when I started a prison riot.” In the early fall of 1988, Seattle newspaper head-

lines crackled with the horrific news that Diane Ballasiotes, a 29-year-old advertising executive with curly auburn hair, had been raped and murdered in a parking garage at Third and Yesler, shortly after leaving her Pioneer Square office for the evening. The killer was Gene Raymond Kane, a convicted sex offender who’d walked away from work release. A group called Friends of Diane began staging rallies and circulating petitions, demanding a crackdown on repeat sex predators. When two more violent sexual assaults involving similar circumstances took place over the next few months, the state legislature began to consider a flurry of get-tough-on-crime measures. Ballasiotes’ mother, Ida, won a seat in the legislature in 1993. Two years later, as chair of the House Corrections Committee, the Mercer Island Republican became the principal architect of House Bill 2010, which cut prison staff, limited prisoner family visits, made inmates pay for their own hygiene supplies—and eliminated college-education programs. In urging passage of the bill, Rep. Ballasiotes, who retired from the legislature in 2002, summed

Former State Rep. Ida Ballasiotes.

up what a lot of people were thinking: “Society should not have to pay the price for crimes twice—one for criminal activities and again by feeding them and housing them, often in a fashion better than law-abiding working families in the community.” “Ida ran,” posits Kohn, “for no other reason but to pass that bill. I can understand it, even though it is not good public policy. I mean, her daughter was murdered. I don’t believe in the death penalty, but I’d’a killed him.” A reawakening is now underway inside the Capitol’s marble hallways. Rep. Larry Seaquist has introduced House Bill 1429, which authorizes the state to restore funding for prison college education. “It is perfectly obvious we need to do this. We need to do more than to give them a high-school diploma,” says the Gig Harbor Democrat, who chairs the Higher Education Committee. The bill, which has no dollar figure attached, is sitting in the Rules Committee; it is unclear whether it will clear Appropriations and come before the full House for consideration next session. “It’s a tough sell,” concedes deputy prison director Wright. “Dollars are already scarce in the budget, and a lot of people will say ‘We’re having trouble educating our own children, so why give it to offenders?’ ” “Ultimately,” argues Rep. Roger Goodman, “it is a better investment with our tax dollars to keep them out [of prison].” Adds the House Public Safety Committee chair, “I realize there’s this perception of being soft on crime, but how angry do you want them when they get out? It’s one thing to be tough on crime, but we need to be smarter on crime.” Many legislators are keenly aware of Kohn’s post-prison ed program and its successes. “Ari’s been trying to get some funding,” notes Goodman, “and we’ve tried in a lot of ways to do that, but it hasn’t worked so far.” That could change soon. Kohn, who has been twisting arms in Olympia for years—“whoring,” he calls it—says legislative efforts are underway to secure up to $900,000 in state funding for the program. That would be triple the amount of money Kohn is getting to bankroll his nonprofit. “We’re optimistic the legislature will come through,” says Kohn, who in July retained lobbyist Bob Cooper of Evergreen Public Affairs in Seattle. House Speaker Frank Chopp says he recently reviewed some basic information about the PostPrison Education Program, and in a statement issued to Seattle Weekly last week, wrote, “The State of Washington should consider involve-


ment in the program as a potential way to reduce recidivism.” After operating on a shoestring since the beginning—most of the expenses for the program and Kohn’s staff of six were secured with personal and family money that has since run dry—Kohn was thrilled to get the news a few months ago that as part of a class-action lawsuit settlement involving AT&T’s sky-high prison telephone rates, a King County judge awarded almost $22 million to local nonprofits and legalaid groups. Of that, Kohn will get $2.2 million, according to the preliminary ruling. “That really was unbelievable,” he says. “It looks like now we can really start to do something big.” Two days before Thanksgiving, Kohn reclines

in his 100-year-old craftsman perched high above Green Lake. He has a few hours to spare before hitting the highway to the Cedar Creek Correctional Center in Little Rock, Wash. Otto, his mangy orange cat, plays near a living-room table stacked with books. On top: a biography of Karl Marx. “I went to PAWS to get him,” he says of Otto. “He was older and no one was paying any attention to him, so I felt I needed to bring him home.”

“He tells me that I am a threat to the security and order of running this institution. And that was, and still is, the greatest compliment I have ever had.”

In the Big Room at Coyote Ridge, Gina McCon-

nell, 42, doesn’t need to rehash the 11 years she’s spent at Purdy for a long rash of drug-fueled crimes: 17 felonies, ID theft, fraud, forgery, possession of meth. She ran away from an abusive mother at 12 and never came back. To follow would be time spent in a Nevada brothel; the death of her son; years blurred or forgotten in a haze of shooting drugs, smoking drugs, and drinking to stay numb. The important thing now is that she’s turned it around, and that inmates here can see and hear that for themselves. Because of Kohn, McConnell spent two years at Seattle Central Community College, has a job at Goodwill Industries near her home in Longview, and will soon be taking classes at the UW campus in Vancouver. Gazing out upon the crowd of inmates, McConnell asks, “How many of you are parents?” Almost every man raises his hand. McConnell is taken back by the number of fathers here, locked up, missing out on their child’s lives. “It’s time you do the uncomfortable thing,” she tells them in a voice clear and confident. “Stop the excuses, get an education. Get hold of the Post-Education Program. Do it. Do it!” As a warm wash of applause ensues, Kohn greets McConnell near the podium. With tears in his eyes, he tells her how proud he is. Then, while Robert Swindler, the convicted murderer now attending classes at Peninsula Community College, renews acquaintances with some of his old prison mates, Ginny Bromley approaches Kohn. A tall woman, she smiles down on Ari, and she says to him, “I like it when you cry.” E econklin@seattleweekly.com

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Kohn clearly has a soft spot for life’s underdogs. His fractured upbringing and years behind bars are the primary forces that drove him to create a program that he believes offers a lifeline to society’s most broken people. “A lot of the people we deal with have no chance in life, especially the ones with serious mental problems and addiction problems,” he says. “They cannot make it without our help.” It’s this Quixotic sense of righteousness and outrage that prompted Kohn, while at Fort Dix, to file an FOI request to get the summary letter from the EPA about the polluted water, and then make 500 copies of it. The fellow cons he handed it to, he recalls, used toothpaste to stick it on prison walls. “So then the guys are standing in line at the pay phones and spreading the word about the bad water, and of course the calls are being monitored by these dumb-ass redneck cops. The riot starts when they shut the phones off. All hell breaks loose. Guards are running out of the place.” Summoned to the office, Kohn was asked whether he disseminated the letter. “I knew I was fucked, but I told them ‘If I was you I would be more concerned with the contents of the letter, rather than who passed it out’—and I walked out.” They made his life hell after that. “They wrote me up for minor infractions I didn’t commit, and once they planted scissors in my locker. One night, while I was filing grievances to help some other guys—which made me a hero—they burned my bed.” Exasperated, Fort Dix authorities shipped Kohn to a higher-security federal prison in Fairton, N.J., where he spent 60 days in the hole. “I called it diesel therapy, where they keep moving you.” Later he was shuffled off to federal pens in Lewisburg and Allenwood, both in Pennsylvania. “That’s where prisoners started pointing

me out and telling others, ‘He’s crazy, but fearless. He’ll help you out.’ Fuck, I didn’t know how not to fight. I’ve been fighting since I was a kid.” Petting Otto, who has jumped up into his chair, Kohn muses, “I learned at these places that prisoners are un-people, they are not human beings.” That lesson came to a harrowing head during his time at the Federal Correctional Institution at Ray Brook, N.Y. “We had an older inmate named Chicago. So Chicago is playing chess with this young kid, and he beats him three times in a row. The kid comes back with a shank and he cuts Chicago’s neck, and the old guy collapses. He’s bleeding to death, right in front of the guards. And he’s begging them, ‘Please don’t let me die.’ But they did. They just let him bleed to death.” His blue eyes flaring with fury now, Kohn goes on. “That same night they find the shank in another guy’s cell. Mike’s his name. The guy is a heart patient, and they’re leading him to the hole, and he’s screaming that he needs his nitro pills. They got him shackled, and he’s saying, ‘Just drop it in my shirt pocket.’ But they won’t do it. And so he dies that night in a shower stall.” Kohn continued writing grievances like there was no tomorrow, which infuriated the guards— to the point that he was dragged before the warden himself at Ray Brook. “He tells me that I am a threat to the security and order of running this institution. And that was, and still is, the greatest compliment I have ever had.” Kohn was 52 when he was released on June 28, 2000. He didn’t cut his hair once during those 55 months, and left prison, he says, an impish grin creasing his face, “looking like Charles Manson.” That fall he managed to get into some extension programs at the University of Washington, and later got a degree in political science, earning a 3.82 GPA. On his Central Building office door, Kohn still has the piece of paper with the admonishing words of that Ray Brook warden.

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This cozy, rustic restaurant on Capitol Hill may serve an exclusively vegan menu, but you needn’t be a vegan to thoroughly enjoy their offerings. Plum Bistro shatters any conception that vegan food is tasteless or boring – their richly complex recipes would have anyone, regardless of diet, coming back for more. Plum Bistro 1429 12th Ave, 206-838-5333 plumbistro.com gift cards available in any amount

This potent elixir is created using a recipe developed by Eve, a woman who grew up in Wenatchee Valley during the Depression and forged her way out of poverty by making Moonshine. The apple flavor laced into this tasty liquor lends itself nicely to the concoction of many a holiday beverage. Contact via phone or email below to order. Eve’s Apple Pie Moonshine eve@evesapplepiemoonshine.com, 888-433-6986 evesapplepiemoonshine.com $27.99

A CO-PRODUCTION BETWEEN

FOR TICKETS:

(206) 292-7676 WWW.ACTTHEATRE.ORG

KIMBERLY LOOMIS

5TH AVENUE’S 2013/14 SEASON SPONSORS

Photo by Jeff Carpenter

OFFICIAL AIRLINE

RESTAURANT SPONSOR

SEATT LE W EEKLY • DECE MBER 11 — 17, 2013

Apple Pie Moonshine

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ANNUAL CLEARANCE SALE ON NOW THROUGH DECEMBER 24!

Keeping Seattle rolling since 1994. We specialize in used and reconditioned bicycles + sell new bikes and a full array of both new and used bicycle parts and accessories! Check out our partnership with Village Bicycle Project.

Give the Gift of COMFORT!

GREAT SELECTION AT BOTH LOCATIONS!

Bike Rentals • Buy • Sell • Trade • Consign

1007 NE Boat Street • (206) 547-4491 1109 N 35th Street • (206) 397-4286

“Seattle’s Used Bike Shop”

4303 University Wy NE Seattle 98105 • 206-632-3254 And remember we always validate parking for all UDPA parking lots

recycledcycles.com

Capitol Hill

• Eat • Shop • Play

612 19th Ave E, Seattle, WA 98112 (206) 726-0767

hours m-f, 9-5 Moonjar.com Free shipping for November

SEATTLE WEEKLY • DECEMBER 11 — 17, 2013

1212 E Jefferson St Seattle 98122

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‘Tis the season to find things that make you feel good. clothing • gifts • jewelery 905 E Pike St • Seattle • 206-324-4092 www.indeedretailtherapy.com

425-270-8743 Tues-Sat 11am-9pm Sun 4pm-9pm

The best Jamaican food in Seattle PARTY & Banquet rooms COCKTAILS - 17 Beers on Tap FREE DELIVERY

GIFT Gift CERTIFICATES cards available for the holidays!

1401 E Madison St.

Since 1982

206.322.9411

piecoras.com


THE PERFECT HOLIDAY GIFT!

Montana’s Pickle Juice The sharp, salty punch of Montana’s homemade pickle juice is the secret behind their to-die-for whiskey picklebacks. Even a shot of super crummy whiskey goes down smooth when chased with this acerbic, dill-tinged brine. Pickleback fans can enjoy this juice at home, since Montana sells the stuff by the bottle. ERNIE SHAPIRO

Montana 1506 E Olive Way, 206-422-4647 montanainseattle.com $6

Cookbooks & Classes Book Larder is a one-stop shop for culinary masterminds. Stacked with an envious collection of cookbooks, many of which are vintage and signed collectibles, Book Larder also offers cooking classes and hosts book signings and demonstrations with top chefs from around the world.

ance m r o f per ed by ad d ar l popu d! n a de m , 7 pm Jan 3 1:30 pm , Jan 4 4, 7 pm Jan :30 pm ,1 Jan 5

LARA HAMILTON

Book Larder 4252 Fremont Ave N, 206-397-4271 booklarder.com $12 and up

Amaro No. 5 Committed to a quality product and farm-to-bottle ethics, BroVo’s line of liqueurs come in daring varieties such as Douglas Fir and Rose Geranium. The Amaro No. 5 is a distinctive delicacy; the result of a happy little accident involving rhubarb liqueur. Any of their products would be a welcome surprise under the tree. BroVo Spirits 18808 142nd Ave NE, #3B W’ville 206-496-2613 brovospirits.com $29.99 and up

“ONE OF THE

Compiling a massive collection of recipes that incorporate ingredients from shops and vendors all over the Pike Place Market, Jess Thompson has written the definitive food guide for this iconic landmark, while tossing in a few recipes from restaurants in the area. Give this cookbook to someone who adores Northwest fare. Also available at Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park. Third Place Books 6504 20th Ave NE, 206-525-2347 thirdplacebooks.com $23.95

EVENINGS OF MY LIFE!”

-THE INDEPENDENT (206) 625-1900 WWW.5THAVENUE.ORG GROUPS OF 10 OR MORE CALL 1-888-625-1418 2013/14 SEASON SPONSORS

PHOTO: MUSICAL THEATRE WEST

ON 5TH AVENUE IN DOWNTOWN SEATTLE OFFICIAL AIRLINE

SEATT LE W EEKLY • DECE MBER 11 — 17, 2013

Pike Place Market Recipes

FUNNIEST & MOST EXTRAORDINARY

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THIS HOLIDAY SEASON, GIVE YOUR LOVED ONES EXPERIENCES AT ECA! Purchase tickets to 2013–2014 ECA Performances or ECA Gift Certificates through the ECA Box Office! 2012 Riesling: “Best Buy” - Wine Enthusiast Top 20 Washington Wines under $25 - Sean Sullivan www.forasongwine.com

info@forasongwine.com

• Delicious artisan chocolate • Chocolate lotions and lip balms • Gift sets 425-243-2089

indichocolate.com

Find us down under in Pike Place Market

Pike Place Market

SEATTLE WEEKLY • DECEMBER 11 — 17, 2013

EAT. SHOP. PLAY.

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Call 425.275.9595 or stop by 410 Fourth Avenue North, Edmonds. ec4arts.org | 425.275.9595 410FOURTHAVENUENORTH EDMONDSWA98020

1902 Post Alley (in the Pike Place Market) • 206.634.0580


Because we love your pet as much as you do! The Mushroom Hunters Following the lives of a gang of rough and tumble foragers on the hunt for these elusive (and expensive) morsels, The Mushroom Hunters, by Langdon Cook is a crash course in the culinary history of this most coveted of ingredients. Grounded by its central characters, this book is as informative as it is entertaining.

114 North 36th Street Seattle, WA 98103

University Bookstore 4326 University Ave, 206-634-3400 bookstore.washington.edu $26

206.632.4567 M-F 10am - 9pm Sat 10am - 8pm Sun 11am - 6pm

The Quartetto from Salumi Satiate ravenous carnivores with this gifting program through local artisanal meat company, Salumi. It’s the gift that keeps on giving; Salumi starts the program by sending a t-shirt and gift card to the recipient right away as a promise of heavenly salami to come. Gift shipments will arrive in time for Easter, Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day in 2014. Salumi 309 3rd Ave S, 206-621-8772 salumicuredmeats.com $140

High Tea at the Fairmont

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If you’re looking for something posh for the person on your list that relishes the finer things in life, send them to the Fairmont’s Georgian Afternoon Tea. Held in an airy dining room and serving a selection of loose leafed teas alongside sandwiches, scones, and savories, high tea is a reprieve from the humdrum of daily life.

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Fairmont Olympic Hotel 411 University Street, 206-621-1700 fairmont.com gift cards available in any amount

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18 Jewish Deli at Home Written by Nick Zukin, a food blogger and by Michael C. Zusman, a state court judge / amateur baker from Portland, this book is chock full of easy to follow instruction for Jewish deli classics, as well as some newfangled ideas for old recipes. Give this to someone who dreams about fresh baked bagels or craves Babka French toast all year long. Wide World Books & Maps 4411 Wallingford Ave N 888-534-3453 wideworldtravelstore.com $27.99

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ADVENT Starting 12/1 Collect 12 stamps of the 24 offered & receive a $50 gift card for the New Year! Collect all 24 and receive a $100 gift card!

Calendar!

2332 2nd Ave Seattle, WA 98121 206.956.8423 @robroyseattle

SEATT LE W EEKLY • DECE MBER 11 — 17, 2013

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15 14

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Buy, Sell & Barter Records,

NOW HIRING!! FOR NEW LOCATION IN ISAAQUAH, WA

Guitars & Vintage Stereo

op, Fair prices.

sh Good selection, Fun

We pay more for your vinyl Lots of punk, wave and alt Closed Monday • Tue-Fri 1-8 • Sat 11-8 • Sun 11-7 9632 16th Ave SW, White Center, WA

In beautiful downtown White Center

(206) 432-9537

follow our facebook for New Arrival Updates!

Nationally known and award winning pioneer of the explosive Cinema-Eatery concept has openings for: • MANAGERS • KITCHEN SUPERVISORS • SERVERS • RUNNERS • TICKETS • BARTENDERS • LINE COOKS Benefits include: • Competitive wages • Free movies • Free meals • Upward mobility opportunities. Cinebarre LLC. is an equal opportunity employer

1490 11th Ave NW Issaquah, WA 98027 Or Email: jeff@cinebarre.com

Come on over to check out the new location and apply to be a part of our team from the very beginning!

The giftin’ is good in

PHINNEYWOOD A-1 PIANO

SALES RENTALS MOVING

Our rental rates start as low as

25

$ SEATTLE WEEKLY • DECEMBER 11 — 17, 2013

a month

24

COME IN TODAY

to see how easy it is to have a piano in your home Showroom: 7020 Greenwood Ave. N. 206.783.7055

Piano Moving/Storage: 7000 Greenwood Ave. N. 206.782.4592

A-1PIANOS.COM Email: Info@a-1pianos.com

Join us on

Spinets • Consoles • Studios • Uprights • Grand Pianos

FUN, EDUCATIONAL & CREATIVE Seattle Weekly winner for Best Toy Store TOPTENTOYS.COM Greenwood: 124 N 85th St (206) 782-0098 •Downtown @ Pacific Place (206) 623-1370


Onion Goggles For the chef that has everything, give her a pair of these bright and futuristic protective glasses. These goggles will shield vulnerable eyes from the dreaded gasses released when chopping of an onion, preventing burning eyes and tears while working in the kitchen. Cookin’ 4224 E Madison St 206-328-2665 $19.95

Crush Owned and operated by chef Jason Wilson, utilizing a Modern American approach infused with French Technique, Crush’s mouth-watering menu is a tantalizing feat of cuisine. Menu selections change with the season, but are constantly divine. For a refined dining experience, give them the gift of Crush.

ELD IMAGES

Crush 2319 E Madison St, 206-302-7874 chefjasonwilson.com gift cards available in any amount

Bimbo’s Hot Sauce

HANDCRAFTED IN SEATTLE

The green jalapeno pepper sauce at every table in Bimbos is super scrumptious. With a strong kick that won’t burn your face off, this hot sauce can be purchased in house, and the packaging is small enough to be a stocking stuffer for anyone who lives for that spicy taste sensation.

Downtown Seattle • Ballard • Bellevue Square

Bimbo’s Cantina 1013 E Pike St, 206-322-9950 bimboscantina.com $3

The Hedgebrook Cookbook At Hedgebrook’s retreat for female writers, dinner is a communal experience involving a home cooked meal, ingredients straight off the land, and sharing of the day’s writing work. Written by Denise Barr and featuring recipes from famous feminists such as Gloria Steinem and Dorothy Allison, this is not your run-of-the-mill cookbook. Queen Anne Book Company 1811 Queen Anne Ave N 206-284-2427 qabookco.com $24.95

www.KuKuRuZa.com

SEATT LE W EEKLY • DECE MBER 11 — 17, 2013

Try tr u ffle from age porcini w ith a loca l craf t beer!

25


r e e B Local ay d i l o H & ! r e e Ch BEER TOURS

We provide brewery tours that are a fun and unique way to experience craft brew in Seattle and throughout Puget Sound. Drink the best beer in the region, meet the brewers, and develop a true appreciation for the art of craft beer. Contact us at info@pugetsoundbrewerytours.com or call 206-384-3637

Tours Include: Craft Beer at each Brewery • Transportation to Breweries Puget Sound Brewery Tours Growler • Puget Sound Brewery Tours T-Shirt

PugetSoundBreweryTours.com

70 taps, 24 rotating, every bowl game.

find your

winter SEATTLE WEEKLY • DECEMBER 11 — 17, 2013

brew at

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Enjoy a pint with us. Dick’s Brewing Company is one of the Pacific Northwest’s premiere craft breweries that appeals to an ever-growing audience who enjoys the distinctive fullbodied taste of regional beers.

Located in Centralia, Washington, Dick’s Brew Crew invite you to take a look at this unique northwestern favorite. Join us for a tour and tasting of our variety of beers.

odge L The

Sp ort s Gril le

TheLodgeSportsGrille.com | 166 S. King St. | 206.538.0000

Tours & Tasting

every Friday & 3rd Saturday of the month 3-7pm.

(360) 736-1603

3516 Galvin Road, Centralia WA 98531

www.DicksBeer.com friend us today!


SEATT LE W EEKLY • DECE MBER 11 — 17, 2013

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r Local Beaey & Holid ! Cheer

The Northwest’s Homebrewing Headquarters!

SEATTLE WEEKLY • DECEMBER 11 — 17, 2013

–––––––– Starter Kits as low as $89.99 –––––––––

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“We wish you a Malty Christmas and a Hoppy New Year, A pocket full of money and a cellar full of Beer!”

Mon thru Fri 10a - 7p Saturday 10a - 5p Sunday 11a - 4p

Mountain

Homebrew & Wine Supply

Xmas Eve: Closing Early Xmas Day: Closed New Year’s Eve: Closing Early

425-803-3996 • mountainhomebrew.com • 8530 122nd Ave, Suite B2, Kirkland


Rachel’s Ginger Beer Inspired by British ginger brews encountered by the owners while travelling abroad, Rachel’s Ginger beer is refreshing and tasty and comes in a slew of offbeat flavors.They brew locally with a flagship store in the Pike Place Market. Pick up a variety 4-pack for the bon vivant on your list. 32 oz per growler. KYLE JOHNSON

Rachel’s Ginger Beer 1530 Post Alley, 206-467-4924 rachelsgingerbeer.com $66 and up for a four-pack

EVERY GROWLER SHOULD HAVE A RIDE AS FINE AS THE BEER INSIDE.

Extreme Beers The first craft beer publication of its kind, The Brewtal Truth Guide to Extreme Beers by former editor of The Rocket magazine, Adem Tepedelen, not only profiles over one hundred insane, extreme, and outrageous brews but also dives into the world of the people who love and make them. Each beer receives an “extreme” rating, tasting notes, and a musical pairing by the author. Highly entertaining, this book can serve as a reference guide for connoisseurs, or simply as an enjoyable read. Amazon amazon.com $15.67

WWW.GROWLERCRATE.COM

Uncle D’s BBQ Sauce Don and Joe’s Meats, a family run butcher shop, is inviting and easy-going. In addition to supreme cuts of raw meat, you can pick up a bottle of Uncle D’s BBQ Sauce. This sweet and tangy marinade is made using an exceptional secret recipe and makes a mouthwatering gift for your favorite grill master.

Craft Beer Themed Cruise

GLEN PETRIE

This seven-day Explore! Olympic Wilderness & San Juan Islands cruise on April 19 would be a dream gift for outdoorsy types, even without the added bonus of special guests and craft beer experts Kendall Jones and Kim Sharpe Jones in attendance. Between kayaking, hiking, and exploring the Olympic wilderness, guests can learn about (and taste) all kinds of beers made right here in the PNW. Un-Cruise Adventures 888-862-8881 un-cruise.com $1595 and up

AHOY! Have a Diamond Knot lover on your list? Diamondknot.com has all they could ever want! Growlers, Hats, iPhone Cases, T’s, V’s, Hoodies, Glasses and more. Don’t forget! Gift Cards make great stocking stuffers.

SEATT LE W EEKLY • DECE MBER 11 — 17, 2013

ERIC RIVERA

Don & Joe’s Meats 85 Pike St, 206-682-7670 donandjoesmeats.com $6.50

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all across the land, there was plenty of celebrating with Diamond Knot beer in hand. The growlers were all stuffed under the tree with fine care, in hopes that the morning would soon be ‘nere.

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GOOD BOOKSTORES A Gift Giver’s Guide

SPOTLIGHT ON

SPOTLIGHT ON

Eco Elements

University Book Store

I Am Malala

by Malala Yousafzai

A DA’S

Inspiring Books to Gift from Eco Elements

LARGEST SELECTION OF METAPHYSICAL BOOKS IN DOWNTOWN SEATTLE

SEATTLE WEEKLY • DECEMBER 11 — 17, 2013

MIND • BODY • SPIRIT • EARTH

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Books • Tarot • Goddess Magic • Astrology • Tibetan Statues Sage • Crystals Candles • Incense Oils Aromatherapy • Hemp Global Exchange • Fair-Trade & much, much more!!

BEST PSYCHIC READINGS DAILY!

1530 FIRST AVE (1st & Pine) 206.467.7745

Humans of New York

facebook.com/seattleweekly

"This gorgeous book, filled with glimpses of everyday humanity, will change the way you interact with people you pass on the street."

• Hair Weaving • Extensions • 100% Virgin Human Hair • All hair types are welcome • Styling, braids and locks

by Brandon Stanton

At the age of 11, Malala Yousafzai, while coming home from school, was shot in the head by the Taliban. After her miraculous recovery, she has fought for the right of girls' education in a country that prizes sons. Her peaceful protest has taken her from Northern Pakistan to the United Nations, becoming the youngest nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize. This is a remarkable story that encompasses Malala and her parents' tale of love and bravery and will surely make you believe that one person can be the change and make a difference in the world.

Letting Everything Become Your Teacher by Jon Cabat-Zinn Assertiveness for Earth Angels by Doreen Virtue Five Levels of Attachment ~ Toltic Wisdom for the Modern World by D. Miguel Ruin Jr. Dali Lama's Cat & The Art of Purring by David Michie Inspired and Unstoppable by Tama Kieves

16,500 FANS AND COUNTING

TECHNICAL

BOOKS

425 15th Ave E Seattle, WA 98112 (206)322-1058

www.adasbooks.com

We’ve Moved!

Ada’s carries new, used, & rare books on Computers, Electronics, Physics, Math, and Science as well as hand-picked inspirational and leisure reading, puzzles, brain teasers, gadgets, and gifts.

Additional Staff Picks at University Bookstore

253-431-2121 2052 Rainier, Seattle

Sheila “Ms. Denight” Triplett Your Personal Hair Stylist

College student discounts

HairbySheilaTriplett.com

Maps by Alexa Mizielinska The Book of Jezebel by Anna Holmes The Monocle Guide to Better Living Published by Gestalten Pok Pok by Andy Ricker Beatrix Potter's Gardening Life by Marta McDowell

THE ELLIOTT BAY BOOK COMPANY CELEBRATING 40 YEARS Shop from 250,000 titles

VEGETARIAN

www.elliottbaybook.com

HAZELNUT CRANBERRY ROAST

1521 Tenth Avenue · Seattle · 206-624-6600

MEET THE AUTHOR

· En Croute ·

Tami Parr Pacific Northwest Cheese: A History (Oregon State University Press) Friday, December 13 at 6:30pm

206.634.3400 • ubookstore.com • 1.800.335.READ

Made exclusively for the holidays - a rich, hazelnut-infused vegetarian grain meat stuffed with Field Roast sausages, crystallized ginger, cranberries and apples - wrapped in a savory puff pastry. Our Hazelnut Cranberry Roast HAZELNUT CRANBERRY ROAST 60115En Croute is the centerpiece to any holiday meal. Made in Seattle, est. 1997 Retail Box

ITEM NO.

Seattle’s Travel Store Since 1976

WIDE WORLD BOOKS

&

MAPS

Travel Guides • Gifts Literature • Accessories Maps • Luggage • Atlases In-Store Events • Globes Journals • World Music

www.wideworldtravelstore.com

4411 Wallingford Ave N • 206.634-3453 Mon-Sat 10-7• Sun 10-6

In this rich and engaging history, Tami Parr shows how regional cheese making found its way back to the farm. It's a lively story that begins with the first fur traders in the Pacific Northwest and ends with modern-day small farmers in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. 17171 Bothell Way NE Lake Forest Park www.thirdplace.com

Made ex for

Holi

Available in select grocery freezers where Field Roast products are sold

800.311.9497 WWW.FIELDROAST.COM

HAZELNUT CRANBERRY ROAST EN CROUTE

Made exclusively for the holidays - a rich, hazelnut-infused vegetarian grain meat s sausages, crystallized ginger, cranberries and apples - wrapped in a savory puff pa


Ivar’s Cookbook A Northwest icon for over 75 years, Ivar’s certainly knows a thing or two about exemplary seafood. In their first ever cookbook, Ivar’s Seafood Cookbook, the wildly successful restaurant shares trade secrets with 60 recipes straight off of their menu, as well as anecdotal history giving an insider’s peek into the Ivar’s brand. Ivar’s 1001 Alaskan Way, 206-624-6852 ivars.com $25

Row House Cafe Breakfast, lunch, or dinner, Row House Cafe is always a safe bet for a bite any time of day. Tucked away into South Lake Union, the warm ambience in this restaurant built out of a converted house is comfortable and inviting, and their food is fairly priced and fantastic. Row House Cafe 1170 Republican St, 206-682-7632 rowhousecafe.com gift cards available in any amount

Electric Salt & Pepper Mills Designed for use with just one hand, the blades on these gorgeous electric mills start to whir as soon as when you flip them upside down. The sleek stainless steel and viewing window are a great design, making for a fetching and useful gift. Store locations also in University Village and Bellevue Square.

Westland Distillery's first ever release is a limited edition bottling of just 5,000 bottles of American Single Malt Whiskey. Available while supplies last.

Rob Roy On the map for their enticing cocktails, Rob Roy’s atmospheric, dimly lit lounge lends itself to deep talks and romantic dinners. A prime destination for happy hour or late night, send someone special (or better yet, join them) out for a few drinks at this dark and sexy joint located in the heart of Belltown. Rob Roy 2332 2nd Ave, 206-956-8423 robroyseattle.com gift cards available in any amount

TASTING ROOM OPEN Monday through Sunday 11am —6pm

WESTL AND DISTILLERY 2931 First Avenue South | Seattle, Washington 98134 Office: (206) 767–7250 Online: www.westlanddistillery.com

SEATT LE W EEKLY • DECE MBER 11 — 17, 2013

Williams-Sonoma 600 Pine St, 206-624-1422 williams-sonoma.com $39.95 each

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for sushi and delicious Polynesian drinks – especially on a Monday or Tuesday when happy hour goes all night long.

MERRY HAPPY HOURS

Up on Capitol Hill, you can find the recently opened Witness on Broadway. Stop by Via Tribinali, Lost Lake, or Unicorn if you’re shopping around Pike Street, and Liberty on 15th Ave has some of the best sushi around. Vito’s on First Hill offers the ultimate in relaxation--the live piano in the dimly lit lounge will help ease the holiday stress.

There’s an element of fun in a good holiday shopping spree, but man, can sprint shopping really take it out of you. A solid way to wind down after a strenuous day of dropping dollars is to grab some grub and a nice stiff drink. Thankfully, Seattle’s shopping districts come well-equipped with spots to set your bags down and take a load off – and, if you get the timing right, you can hit up a happy hour for eats on the cheap.

In Ballard, King’s Hardware is a great pit stop, and a few minutes spent on their skeeball tables will have you refreshed and ready to rock. Also in Ballard (or West Seattle where they have another location), hit The Matador, where the Tex-Mex yum yums will warm you right up. Be sure to hit Nine Million in Fremont for their incredibly delicious happy hour menu (who can say no to truffle fries!?).

If you find yourself near Pike Place Market – Marche, Pink Door, Maximilien, Kells and Zig Zag Cafe are all nearby, giving you lots of options for beer, wine and meticulously crafted cocktails. A bit further south, Pioneer Square Saloon has an amazing selection of beers on draft and foosball tables for blowing off a little steam. No hard liquor here, though--this place is a proper tavern. If shopping Downtown or Belltown, Tom Douglas has you covered whether you’re looking for pizza and a beer (Serious Pie), a burger and some whiskey (Palace Kitchen), a hummus plate and a glass of wine (Lola), or oysters and a martini (Dahlia Lounge). Outside of the Douglas Empire, try GameWorks for a little fun with your food. Or try Ohana

As tempting as all of these happy hour locations may be, just be sure to make merry after you shop--a belly full of booze and grub does not for a pre-funk steroidal shopping trip make. Trust me, “happy” becomes much more merry after a day of holiday shopping success. >> Brookly Benjestorf

BOOK YOUR HOLIDAY PARTY! INCLUDES

PRIVATE LOFT LOUNGE BAR

SMALL OR LARGE PARTIES WELCOME

Requests : info@ballardloft.com Additional Detail at www.ballardloft.com

SEATTLE WEEKLY • DECEMBER 11 — 17, 2013

Get Busy Livin’

32

5419 Ballard Ave nW seattle, WA 98107 206.783.0060

EVERYTHING FOR A NORDIC YULETIDE! GREAT GIFTS AND DECORATIONS PLUS GOURMET CUISINE

206-784-7020 // ScanSpecialties.com // 6719 15th Ave. NW

OLD-FASHIONED LUMBERYARD WITH OLD FASHIONED SERVICE SINCE 1930

2600 NW Market St • Seattle, WA 98107

(206) 782 3487


Rub With Love The distinctive dry rubs made by renowned restaurateur, Tom Douglas, come in about a zillion varieties and are excellent supplies to keep around the kitchen to instantly turn any meal into gourmet cuisine. Gift packs are available online, and are terrific presents for culinary cognoscenti. SARAH FLOTARD

Tom Douglas Restaurants 2030 5th Ave, 206-448-2001 tomdouglas.com $18 and up

Dry Fly Wheat Whiskey Superbly crafted using only the finest locally sourced ingredients, the spirits distilled by Dry Fly in Spokane are some of the absolute best on the market. Inspired by fly-fishing and the majestic scenery of the Northwest wild, these award-winning alcohols will warm a cold winter’s night. Dry Fly Distilling Visit website for locations dryflydistilling.com $29.99 and up

The Vegan Stoner Cookbook Don’t get it twisted--the title of this clever cookbook by Sarah Conrique, may lead one to believe that this is a collection of weed recipes for vegans. It’s not. It’s a book that aims to prove that delicious vegan cooking can be so simple, even someone stonedout-of-his-or-her-gourd could do it. Elliot Bay Book Company 1521 10th Ave, 206-624-6600 elliottbaybook.com $16.99

Structured as a party-planning how-to guide, give this book to the events coordinator on your list for a fresh set of ideas. Complete with recipes for every occasion, Trophy Cupcakes founder, Jennifer Shea, has packed in every detail for creating the perfect party, from piping frosting to DIY-streamers. Locations also in Pacific Place, University Village and Bellevue. Trophy Cupcakes 1815 N 45th St, 206-632-7020 trophycupcakes.com $24.95

SEATT LE W EEKLY • DECE MBER 11 — 17, 2013

Cupcakes and Parties

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Thank you for Turning This panTry back inTo a garbage can. Because of your donations and volunteering, 1,100 people are no longer homeless. You have given them a kitchen of their own, a door to lock and the chance to move forward with their lives. For everyone you have helped—thank you.

Your help creates homes.

Help end homelessness at Plymouthhousing.org

1023183 None 9.83” x 5.54” None None 1:1 None None

SEATTLE WEEKLY • DECEMBER 11 — 17, 2013

None

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10-29-2013 11:23 AM

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clementines.com None None for

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Dec. 1st! Peter West None None

4447 California Ave SW • Seattle, WA 98116 Plymouth None

206.935.9400

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Seattly Weekly

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2-Stage Knife Sharpener Super easy to use, this compact knife sharpener from Wüsthof has two sides – a carbide side for sharpening and a ceramic side for finishing. Leaving your knives sharp enough to split a hair, the smart ergonomics of the design will do half the work for you and protect defenseless digits from harm. Store location also in Bellevue. Crate&Barrel 2680 NE 49th St, 206-937-9939 www.crateandbarrel.com $19.95

Cutting Board Marked with measurements all over the board, this beechwood cutting board from The Obsessive Chef, is a little on the small size at 9x12”, but it’s excellent for perfecting uniform portions. With its attractive and conversation-starting design, this gift is great for anyone who spends time in the kitchen. Amazon amazon.com $25.95

Gear Up Here for

Christmas!

DIY Cheese Making Kit Based out of Portland, OR, Urban Cheesecraft has developed a line of at-home cheese making kits for “urbanites with country appetites”. You supply a gallon of milk and an hour of your time, and the kits will have you whipping up a block of feta, paneer, mascarpone, and many other delicious varieties. UrbanCheesecraft etsy.com/au/shop urbancheesecraft.com $10 and up

REGULAR HOURS

Coffee & Equipment Caffe Vita’s coffee is so freaking good that it’s known and craved around the world. Their exquisite range of blends are made from beans found on farms in more than eleven countries where Vita has fostered long-lasting, mutually beneficial relationships, effectively pioneering the Farm Direct Movement.

RICK FRIEL

Caffe Vita 1005 E Pike St, 206-709-4440 caffevita.com $12.95 and up

MON-FRI 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM SAT 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM SUN 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM

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35


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SEATTLE WEEKLY • DECEMBER 11 — 17, 2013

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TOWN HALL

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SEATT LE W EEKLY • DECE MBER 11 — 17, 2013

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food&drink Restaurant on the Rails

FoodNews

The strange world of train chefs.

BY SARA BILLUPS

BY ANNA MOORE

Serving my first meal, I look and feel drunk. I

dare anyone to pass a sobriety test—let alone serve scalding stew—while a train goes 80 mph. Now add antique china, spill-friendly red wine, and unlit candles, and you have rail dining. As

diners try their best to cut braised duck delicately during a constant state of earthquake, I catch glimpses of misty Cascade pines out the kitchen window. Before I’m finished clearing lunch dishes, Gerry shuffles into the 8´ x 6´ kitchen to start dinner. Between sips of Jack and Coke, he slips into his Southern Baptist alter ego, talking about other rail chefs. “Some of them think they can hop off the train in the middle of nowhere, North Dakota, and find flour in the 15 minutes the train’s stopped,” he tells me. “You see them running down the tracks.” Rule #1 of rail cheffing: Don’t miss the train. Living by Murphy’s Law, rail chefs need to always be prepared for a kitchen apocalypse. Such as the time the train came to a screeching sudden stop to avoid hitting a truck on the tracks. “It looked like a bomb went off in the car,” Gerry remembers. Every glass was shattered, one woman broke her arm, and a man was left bleeding from the forehead. And in a very lavish, first-world setting, rail chefs will also encounter very third-world problems, like running out of water. The average rail car can store only about 300 gallons at a time. Despite the burns and bruises that come with the territory, Gerry would never go back to a conventional restaurant kitchen. The everchanging backdrop of window scenery and the challenges of cooking at high speeds provide the drama he craves. Propping his head against the microwave for balance, he beats eggs for cheddar-grits soufflé (yesterday’s leftovers reincarnated). Add a sprig of parsley and they’ll never know. During the Golden Age of rail, roughly 1900– 1950, cars like mine entertained the likes of Bing Crosby and FDR, but today most passengers are retired rail fans, late into their years of rock-

» CONTINUED ON PAGE 41

Temperature Check

FROM IVAN SZILAK,

EXECUTIVE CHEF OF COLLECTIONS CAFÉ AT CHIHULY GARDEN AND GLASS

Israeli couscous, bloody marys, and Manhattans.

Organic. Seems to be an overused term. Unless you know the farmer you’re getting products from, it’s hard to see the truth in it.

I hear some people saying pork belly is out, but in my opinion, pork is never out! For me, it’s ranch dressing and any boxed food items. We can do so much better!

SEATT LE W EEKLY • DECE MBER 11 — 17, 2013

Abraham Lincoln. This is the ex-Broadway/nownightclub piano performer’s 107th stint as a chef aboard a moving train. He tells me straight up, “Rails ain’t no restaurant.” Before I get any more nuggets of wisdom, we have shopping to do in Seattle before our 10-day excursion to Los Angeles. I assume we’ll hit up Pike Place Market for Herculean salmon steaks and ripe grapes, but no. Instead we go to low-lit restaurant suppliers and Costco. “Not getting enough is the biggest mistake rail chefs can make,” Gerry says. After hours of filling oversized flatbed carts with cans of Cheez-Whiz, 12-pound bags of meatballs, and enough Bisquick to make Aunt Jemima run and hide, we have a grocery bill of over $1,100. Gerry and I load our rental car to the ceiling and drive a mile past Seattle’s ornate King Street Station to the rail yard—which, no matter what city you’re in, is guaranteed to be sketchy as hell. Hiking across loose gravel, we clumsily cross active railroad tracks with armloads of food for our 16 passengers, who are forking out the big bucks (roughly $8,500) to travel back to the romantic rail era. Passenger-train popularity may have been killed by Route 66 and America’s auto obsession, but a few privately owned, expensively refurbished yachts on rails survive, chartered through the American Association of Private Railroad Car Owners. Some owners run their cars out of Seattle on regularly scheduled Amtrak trains. Delivering the glamour of days gone by, these rail charters come complete with chefs, porters, and a silver-spoon serving of nostalgia.

ANNA MOORE

T

here’s a spot for me at the dinner table, but I have nothing to say. We have nothing in common. I’m not married, I don’t like trains, and I can still touch my toes. It’s my first night aboard the rail car, and the only reason I’m sitting here is because I don’t yet know how to properly set the table. I just wish there were more greens. A month working on a train eating refined flour and store-bought cream pies is sure to leave me as anemic-looking as my current company. Some of them don’t eat vegetables. The tracks are so rickety that I take my wobbling red-wine glass and squeeze it between my thighs. I don’t want to know how much this tablecloth would cost to clean, and I’m still unsure how much I get paid or what private rail porters actually do. This “luxury train” thing is way out of my postgrad element. Sweaty, stressful trips on the NYC Metro and a few jaunts around Germany with a massive backpack have been my only train experiences. I was eager to end my unemployment slump with any job, just to be able to answer the annoying question, “So what are you doing with your life now?” This temporary train gig is my ticket to see this country in a way that most 20-somethings will never know. A porter-ology crash course informs me that I’m not only serving meals, but also making 1930s pop-out-ofthe-wall beds and getting up close and personal with the insides of toilets. After the meal, I awkwardly ask if I can help with the dishes. From that moment, I never stop doing dishes. No longer do I have a place at the table. I’m relieved. My place is now in the kitchen with chef Gerry. “If you don’t like bodily fluids, you won’t like this job”: a strange thing to come out of a chef ’s mouth, but that’s my first morsel of advice from Gerry Lemmons, 61, who looks strikingly like

Chef Gerry Lemmons craves high-speed cooking.

Thierry Rautureau’s (Luc, formerly Rovers) new restaurant, Loulay Kitchen & Bar, launched downtown in a space adjacent to the Sheraton on Sixth Avenue and Union Street. Named for Rautureau’s French hometown, Saint-Hilaire-de-Loulay, the restaurant highlights the influence of his upbringing and the freshness of local and seasonal ingredients. Loulay includes four dining areas: a six-seat Chef’s Counter, a main dining room, balcony seating, and bar seating. Kaisho opened its doors in the former Boom Noodle location in downtown Bellevue. The “modern-day izakaya” spot’s menu draws on global influences— think moo shu tacos, sushi-rice risotto with chanterelles, and Thai fried chicken and kimchee waffles. Japanese whiskies, Japanese beers, and local libations round out the drink list. Hours are 11:30 a.m.–10 p.m. Sun.–Thurs. and 11:30 a.m.–11 p.m. Fri.–Sat. From now through New Year’s Eve, Fonté Coffee Roaster is donating the net proceeds from its holiday blend to help underwrite the 2014 meal program at Pike Market Child Care and Preschool, which feeds more than 35,000 snacks and meals to kids each year. Fonté’s holiday blend is available for $18 a pound online or at its downtown cafe on First Avenue. The Baltic Room will host a Bauhaus pop-up while the cafe’s East Pine Street location gets ready to open. Coffee, baked goods, and gifts are available 7 a.m.–2 p.m. Mon.–Fri. and 8 a.m.–3 p.m. Sat.–Sun. Percy’s on Ballard Avenue just launched weekend brunch. Classic eggs Benedict with house-cured Canadian bacon, sunchoke soup with shaved sunchoke salad, and more are served 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Sat.–Sun. E food@seattleweekly.com

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W W W. S E AT T L E W E E K LY. C O M / S I G N U P

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A Refuge foR the holidAys,

THEBARCODE

SEATT LE W EEKLY • DECE MBER 11 — 17, 2013

from car to car, depending on what chef is hired and the size of their food budget. Some cars steam full lobsters, toss the leftovers, and spend $5,000 on dishwashers that boast three-minute cycles. Not us. “This is Southern cooking. We save everything,” Gerry says. With our no-waste mentality, we perform miracles with a single rump roast, serving it roasted with au jus, on sandwiches, and in stew. Nevertheless, our guests (all at least 35 years my senior) seem to be enjoying themselves. They care more about the original railroad china from the 1930s than the meal being served on it. As they take countless photos of apple farms and vintage rail depots, I realize that this trip isn’t about the food. It’s about riding a train with an open bar, seeing historic landmarks, and hanging out with fellow rail buffs. If they have a full belly and a window seat, they’re happy. As long as I stick to clearing dessert dishes and avoid talking to passengers about politics or marijuana legalization, we get along swell. Instead, I spend my time in the kitchen with Gerry, learning how to properly twist napkins and bridging our generation gap with a shared love of Sinatra. My life on the rails is simple: Eat. Clean. Relax. Repeat. While the train crosses into Oregon, passengers clink wine glasses in the lounge. I sit on my new dinner table (a beer cooler in the corner) eating leftover bananas Foster. Later, Gerry teaches me how to foxtrot in the kitchen—and suddenly I dance back to an age when men wore hats and women waved hankies out of train windows. Even when I’m elbow-deep in dirty dishes, the magic of the rails is inescapable. Before one last cigarette break, Gerry tells me that, much like the era of rail, “I’d rather be a has-been than a never-was.” E

206-402-3784 | 4520 California Ave SW | Pizzeriacredo.com

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Rail passengers’ dining experience varies vastly

S

ometimes I wonder if Seattle really needs more breweries. It’s not as if we lack for great beer options. From the longstanding stalwarts at Hale’s, Pike, Georgetown, and Maritime Pacific (among others) to more recent standouts like Two Beers, Epic Ales, and Hilliard’s (again, BY ZACH GEBALLE among others), the scene is crowded. Yet Seattleites seem to have a nearly unslakable thirst for suds, and Fremont Brewing is doing all the right things to hook them. The draw starts with their storefront, pitched as an urban beer garden that functions as a hybrid bar/filling station/picnic locale. Extending outside in more clement weather, it offers a chance to hang out with fellow beer lovers, sample some of Fremont’s more exotic offerings, and bask in the sunshine. In this colder weather, the space feels a bit airy, but the abundance of taps, cans, and growlers at the ready means you can easily find a way to warm up. Of course, to stand out in an incredibly crowded market, you’ve got to have a few unique offerings. To my taste buds, the best and most interesting beer Fremont offers is their barrel-aged Abominable Ale. After aging beers for a year or two in used bourbon casks, they blend them to create a rich, flavorful ale that hints at sweetness without being overly cloying. That’s a winning flavor for me this time of year: I appreciate a rich winter warmer, but too much chocolate or caramel tends to ruin the experience for me. Fremont hits that sweet spot just right. Similarly, their other seasonal offering, Bonfire Ale, seems to hew closely to the idea that a winter beer can be flavorful without being overly saccharine. Falling somewhere between an amber and a more classic winter ale, it reminds me of the chestnut soup my aunt makes (the recipe of which she’ll never reveal to me). That isn’t to say that all Fremont Brewing can handle are holiday beers. The beers they have available year-round are more than just your standard pilsner/amber/IPA/porter lineup. (Though naturally they have an IPA; this is Seattle.) But they also produce an oatmeal stout and an unfiltered wheat beer. Still, the stars of the show are the small-scale seasonal beers and the special projects. Whether that barrel-aged Abominable Ale or a batch so small that it only gets poured at the storefront, Fremont is helping push the frontiers for beer. That dynamic, inventive spirit is very Seattle— and something we should expect from the local brewing, distilling, and winemaking community. We spent decades drinking mass-produced, imagination-free booze, and I never want to go back to those days. E

AX FX Study .FlaxFX.info 6-667-4353

ing white sneakers and dad jeans—and let’s not forget a few eccentrics, like the token “foamer” (a rail fan who foams at the mouth at the sight of trains and is always equipped with a radio tuned to train-conductor jargon), or the gentleman on my car who insisted on having a sippy-cup of ice-cold Diet Coke at all times. When it comes to feeding the baby boomers and beyond, most folks just want what their mommas used to make and their wives don’t. Our biggest culinary triumph is S.O.S., or “shit on a shingle”— a WWII treat of dried chippedbeef gravy over biscuits. Crab Imperial doesn’t go over as well, and the concept of purple potatoes is just too exotic. On some cars, it’s not uncommon for the salad course to be interrupted by someone having to reglue his or her dentures. “I wish we could do the fun stuff,” Gerry says as we stand in the kitchen listening to big-band music. Some seared scallops or a nice Niçoise salad would be “fun,” but most of our passengers would rather eat hot dogs and off-brand Chips Ahoy. Attempts to broaden our passengers’ palates are futile. Nearly all of the avocado tomato salad with a bright cilantro-citrus dressing (my idea) comes back to the kitchen, untouched. When meals flop, Gerry looks at me with tired eyes. “Time to face the music,” he says before shuffling into the dining room to chitchat with guests who simply don’t do avocado.

Fremont Brewing Pushes the Boundaries of Beer

AX FX Study .FlaxFX.info 6-667-4353

Railroad Food » FROM PAGE 39

Wood fired pizza with quality, fresh ingredients


TOWN HALL

CIVICS

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ARTS & CULTURE

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(12/11) Reclaiming Prosperity Jared Bernstein & Heather McGhee Patchwork Politics or Prosperity? (12/12) Gun Violence Keeping Children Safe (12/13) Seattle Radio Theatre It’s a Wonderful Life (12/14) Seattle Girls’ Choir 31st Annual Holiday Concert (12/14) Magical Strings 35th Annual Seattle Celtic Yuletide Concert (12/15) Christmas with The Salvation Army Brass Band & Breath of Aire Choir (12/21) Hempfest presents Medical Marijuana A Rally for Patient Rights TOWN HALL

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SEATTLE WEEKLY • DECEMBER 11 — 17, 2013

JAN 10 / 11 2014

42

HEY MARSEILLES / THE MOONDOGGIES TELEKINESIS / RADIATION CITY THE LONELY FOREST / YOU ME AND APOLLO CATALDO / BATTLEME HANNALEE / BARNA HOWARD

T I M B E R M U S I C F E S T. C O M


arts&culture Christmas Goes Pop

ThisWeek’s PickList

Each December, Seattle musicians add to the abundance of jingle-bell rock. Why?

BY MARK BAUMGARTEN nable Thanksgiving–to–New Year’s marathon, the holiday/familial crush during the shortest days of the year. Writing a peppermint holiday tune, however personal, can be a way to ward off cold and

David Bazan is Seattle’s most consistent

Rawstock: Klausterfokken

This periodic package of short films is given a Yuletide name, if not theme, with about a dozen titles, including the locally made comedy/crime serial Every Day Is a Journey. Sorting through about half the program, there’s some impressive use of computer effects and animation in two of the student efforts—as when an astronaut plummets to an eerie planet in Grounded, there to be confronted by doubles and then multiples of himself. Christian Palmer’s Nightvisions was shot in the wee hours on Capitol Hill with a greenish hue, apparently using no lighting save the street lamps, as we follow a young Rainier-swilling couple on a possible hook-up. There’s a ragged Cassavetes-like energy to their cavorting, arguing, and wavering commitment to sex. A regular at Rawstocks past, the very deadpan New York artist and filmmaker Mitch Magee has contributed several webisodes of Plants & Disco. Wearing a satin ’70s jacket, our very serious record producer (Magee) explains how houseplants can inspire great dance music. “I think we could learn a lot from the wax-leaf privet,” he solemnly instructs two feuding dancers (the whole corps wears pastel leotards out of A Chorus Line). Privets aren’t for hedges that exclude, says Magee; “The privet wants to keep people in, so we can all stay safe and warm and love each other.” Then, of course, the music swells, and they dance, dance, dance. Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave., rawstockmedia.com. $10–$15. 8 p.m.

BRIAN MILLER

Miss Indigo Blue returns to Land of the Sweets.

Despite his Irish Catholic upbringing—and his

depression. “I think that one of the reasons for these songs is to bring a little happiness,” says cowboy songwriter Brent Amaker. “The thing about Christmas is that it could be the most commercially exploited religious holiday in history. Even an atheist can get into the Christmas spirit.” Amaker made good on that sentiment last year with the charming and bizarre “A Very Brent Amaker Christmas,” a song that sprang from his good-natured challenge to Jewish producer Jeff Saltzman, who had never recorded a Christmas song. Together they created a tune that buzzes with analog synthesizers, robotic voices, and familiar good tidings. “Most Christmas songs are just chock-full

Christlike initials—Cox says his contributions to the Christmas playlist are derived from an appreciation of pop that combines Elvis’ “Blue Christmas” and John Denver and the Muppets: A Christmas Together. Thinking back to his first Christmas song, 2002’s “The Truth About Christmas,” he remembers the song as an attempt to make sense of his birthdate. “I wanted to tell the story of being born on Christmas and what it was like to get a huge stack of presents for my birthday, and then a huge stack of presents for Christmas, and how that was sort of an amazing thing. But as you get older, you realize that that isn’t how the rest of your life is going to play out,” Cox says now, a decade later. “The story is that you have to give to get.” E

mbaumgarten@seattleweekly.com

THURSDAY, DEC. 12

Land of the Sweets: The Burlesque Nutracker

As in their past stagings of the show, Lily Verlaine and Jasper McCann offer two versions of holiday entertainment. The early show allows kids, meaning things are a bit less risqué. Then

SEATT LE W EEKLY • DECE MBER 11 — 17, 2013

Christmas pop singer. Formerly with his indierock band Pedro the Lion and more recently as a solo artist, he has made a habit of recording cover versions of traditional carols—even while expressing doubts about his Christian faith in his own songs. But many artists in town are adding originals to the Christmas canon. These songs crop up each December, presenting visions of hearth and home and peace on Earth in more modern soundscapes. So why do local bands feel the need to contribute to the jingle-bell jukebox? “Christmas is going to come with music, that’s going to happen,” says Kyle Zantos, who’s produced and arranged past Christmas songs with psychfolk songwriter Damien Jurado. This year, his third Christmas project—an online-only EP with folk singer Bryan John Appleby—features an original song (“Santa’s Slay”) and covers of three songs from Jim Henson’s Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas. Says Zantos, “I don’t really need to hear another version of ‘Hark the Herald Angels Sing.’ I’ve heard 97 versions, and I am sure there are 8,000 more that I haven’t heard and I don’t need to. It would be nice to . . . have more songs that are new and fresh and aren’t the same old thing covered again and again and again.” A survey of area artists who’ve dabbled in yuletide music places religion low on their list of songwriting rationales. Instead, many regard their songs as an opportunity to reflect on the year gone by, or to collaborate. Most cite the intermi-

of clichés,” says Amaker, who was raised in a big Catholic family and cites David Bowie and Bing Crosby’s “Little Drummer Boy” as his favorite Christmas song. “I think it’s fun to write a song where it’s not inappropriate to slather the clichés as much as you want. And it’s nice to have a song you can come back to every year. Almost everything that you write becomes dated in some way. But a Christmas song—every year you get another shot at it, and it lives forever.” Every year around this time Benjamin Verdoes receives praise from fans old and new for his Christmas song “Inuit,” written a few years ago while on tour with Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band. It was autumn, but he could feel the season coming. Though raised in a Christian household, Verdoes wasn’t inclined to write about the birth of Jesus. Instead he penned a sweet ballad pleading for his lover to ditch her family and spend Christmas alone with him. “I think that there is a melding of secular culture with religious culture in my life,” says Verdoes. “Hearing Paul McCartney singing about Christmas on the radio and then going to church . . . it wasn’t very neatly sorted out for me. And when I was an adult with my own thoughts, I didn’t feel like I needed to sort it out.”

LANDOFTHESWEETS.COM

J

ay Cox was destined to write Christmas songs. “I was born on Christmas,” says the leader of Seattle band The Sea Navy. “My initials are J.C. I came home in a stocking. If I’m not writing Christmas songs, then what else am I writing about?” Obviously it’s not a requirement to be born on December 25 to pen songs about Santa Claus, reindeer, and the original J.C. Department-store PAs saturate us with Christmas songs, most performed by pop heavyweights: classics from Elvis Presley, Ella Fitzgerald, Bing Crosby, and the Beach Boys, plus compilations from Death Row Records, Jimmy Iovine, and Motown. Then there are more recent entries from Sufjan Stevens, Bob Dylan, She & Him . . . the list goes on. The cynical view is that Christmas singles and albums are the gifts that keep giving to record companies and oldies acts, but there’s more to it than that. Many local artists here in secular Seattle write new Christmas songs each season, with seemingly little regard for iTunes sales.

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 11

» CONTINUED ON PAGE 44 43


LATOYA RUBY FRAZIER

Starring Jerick Hoffer aka Jinkx Monsoon

arts&culture» Pick List

Frazier’s aerial view of her polluted old hometown.

» FROM PAGE 43 the late show is 21-and-over, for a boozier crowd that wants to see a little more skin (or at least hear more jokes about Yule logs and who’s been naughty or naughtier). If you’ve been to see or are planning to see Nutcracker at PNB this season, Land of the Sweets makes for a nice tonic. It’s a loose riff on the same E.T.A. Hoffmann source material, mostly using Duke Ellington’s jazz version of Tchaikovsky’s score. The format is kind of like an old ’60s talk show (we’ll just say Merv Griffin’s), with Verlaine and McCann as hosts to an array of drop-by guests. Some are hoofers, some are trapeze artists, and some are ecdysiasts. Supporting talent will include Miss Indigo Blue, Waxie Moon, Babette La Fave, and plenty of familiar faces—well, familiar legs—from Spectrum Dance Theater and Ballet Bellevue. (Through Dec. 28.) The Triple Door, 216 Union St., 838-4333, thetripledoor.net and landofthe sweets.com. $33–$58. 7 & 10 p.m. T. BOND

SEATTLE WEEKLY • DECEMBER 11 — 17, 2013

Auntie Mame

44

“Hoffer stru ts and stom ps effortlessly in Hedwig’s high-heeled b oots...The gu y was BORN to wear the w ig.” –City Arts

Directed by Ian Bell I Music directed by David Russell Starring Jerick Hoffer & Erin Stewart Music and Lyrics by STEPHEN TRASK I Book by JOHN CAMERON MITCHELL

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Assuring readers it wasn’t a memoir, Patrick Dennis nevertheless wrote a character named “Patrick Dennis” into his 1955 novel Auntie Mame, creating a camp archetype out of the flamboyant free spirit charged with raising her orphaned nephew. The smash novel became a play, a 1958 movie, a musical, and a movie musical, the first two starring Rosalind Russell in all her bangle-braceleted, cigarette-holder glory. Betty Comden and Adolph Green’s wisecracking screenplay has Mame enrolling young Patrick in a “progressive” school (meaning the students run around naked and play “Fish Family”) and later doing her best to save grown-up Patrick from marrying lockjawed prep princess Gloria Upson (raised on an estate named Upson Downs) and vanishing into the black hole of gray-flannel suburban Connecticut—while providing countless little gay boys ever since with lessons in fabulousness. (This is the annual fundraiser and holiday party for Three Dollar Bill Cinema; get there early to meet and mingle, shopping bags in hand.) Pacific Place, 600 Pine St., threedollarbill cinema.org. $10–$12.50. Mixer at 6 p.m., movie at 7:30 p.m. GAVIN BORCHERT

LaToya Ruby Frazier

The latest recipient of SAM’s biannual Gwendolyn Knight and Jacob Lawrence Fellowship, Frazier is a young photographer who grew up in the declining steel town of Braddock, Penn. (coincidentally where the new Christian Bale

movie Out of the Furnace is set). Her new show, which she’ll discuss tonight, is called Born by a River—meaning the environmentally blighted Monongahela River, into which industrial waste was poured for over a century. Until recently, Frazier was known as a documentary photographer in the tradition of Jacob Riis or Dorothea Lange, showing us what it’s like to be poor and black in the Rust Belt. These folks were her neighbors in “The Bottom,” a neighborhood prone to flooding like New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward. And when the Monongahela floods, it carries a toxic sludge that fills basements and brings disease. Adding to her black-and-white portraits (often of herself and family), Frazier recently hired a helicopter to frame overhead color views of Braddock, which has shrunk to 10 percent of its peak population when the mills were booming. Lots are being scraped, rusty mills are being scrapped (or parted out to China), empty houses are demolished, and railway freight cars sit idle. Yards are filled with neat rows of huge white haz-waste bags, filled with contaminated soil. Like Detroit, Braddock is charged with managing its own sad decline. (Show opens tomorrow and runs through June 22.) Seattle Art Museum, 1300 First Ave., 654-3121, seattleartmuseum. org. $12.50–$19.50. 7 p.m. BRIAN MILLER

FRIDAY, DEC. 13

It’s a Wonderful Life

First, of course, we are obliged to note that the Grand Illusion is playing Frank Capra’s 1946 movie tonight through January 2, its 43rd annual screening of the holiday favorite. Of course you should see that. But tonight also offers the chance to experience a live stage version of the same tale, performed by Seattle Radio Theatre. (Now in its 14th year, this show is also becoming a holiday tradition.) Who’s playing the Jimmy Stewart role—meaning suicidal banker George Bailey? None other than popular TV host John Curley, who radiates the same wholesome, decent vibe. As his guardian angel, radio talker Dave Ross will bring some of his liberal spark to the part of Clarence, a pointed contrast to Mr. Potter, the Mitt Romney of his day. (If there were a guy during the 1940s with a car elevator and offshore trusts in the Cayman Islands, it would be Mr. Potter.) Other cast members include Jim Dever, Tracey Conway, Lee Callahan, John Maynard, Dolores Rogers, and Chris Topping. Rob Jones directs the show, with live music and sound effects, all to be broadcast in real time on KIROFM. Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave., 652-4255,

townhallseattle.org and seattleradiotheatre. org. $5–$15. 8 p.m. T. BOND E


arts&culture» Stage

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Andrew McGinn and Darragh Kennan in The Hound of the Baskervilles. Photo by Chris Bennion.

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PAUL BESTOCK

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MUST FINAL WEEK CLOSE DEC. 15

water tale, owing much of its humor to Sedaris’ clear disgust at his self-inflicted predicament. It’s difficult to picture the humorist as a goofy elf; but when you do, laughs follow. The striped tights just don’t fit. Achieving that dissonance is a herculean task for Patrick Lennon, who dons the striped tights and green smock for the hour-long monologue. Taken on its own, Lennon’s performance is a pleasure. He carries the one-man show with a mix of whimsy and dread, never missing a beat or a berating. The production, directed by Kelly Kitchens, stays true to its sardonic source material, with Lennon endlessly mocking his customers and co-workers. Lennon is good at acting miserable, but also expert at exuberance when dashing about the set and delivering Sedaris’ cynical lines with panache. But Lennon’s Crumpet isn’t Sedaris’ Crumpet. Some bits from the original fall flat here, like Sedaris’ famously deadon impression of Billie Holiday singing “Away in a Manger,” which crumbles in Lennon’s hands. Yet others hit with unexpected humor in Lennon’s childlike telling; this Crumpet really gets to show his mischievous side when impersonating his customers. Those accustomed to Sedaris’ patented irony might think Lennon is doing it all wrong. But if you can set aside the NPR reruns and grant him some artistic license, this Santaland will leave you delighted. MARK BAUMGARTEN E

stage@seattleweekly.com

seattle repertory Jazz orchestra and northwest Chamber Chorus w/ Special Guests Vocalists Everett Greene & Nichol Eskridge and Tap Dancer Alex Dugdale

Duke ellington’s

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SEATT LE W EEKLY • DECE MBER 11 — 17, 2013

Consider yourself amused. This handsome, high-stepping production is perfectly suited to the holidays. Mind you, this is no Dickensian manifesto about orphans and income inequality; Oliver! is an entertainment focused on flooding the streets with throngs of happy patrons humming its tunes and recommending it to friends and relatives. It’s been 23 years since the 5th last mounted Oliver!, and while Dickens’ template of street urchins making their way through Victorian England remains intact, director David Armstrong makes certain that his star-crossed ragamuffin is depicted as an indomitable underdog whose ultimate triumph is never more than a production number away. Accordingly, this is an ebullient Oliver!, done up in bright yuletide colors, wearing heart on sleeve, where a sturdy melody can overcome any adversity. Composer/playwright Lionel Bart would certainly have approved, since it was he who in 1960 excised the grimy, unsavory aspects of child labor during the Industrial Revolution and replaced them with such sing-alongs as the beer-chugging “Oom Pah-Pah” and the showstopper “Consider Yourself.” Armstrong’s light touch is everywhere here, from his winning Oliver (played alternately by Jack Fleischmann and Mark Jeffrey James Weber) to his feel-good Fagin (David Pinchette), whom the Jewish Bart mostly stripped of Dickens’ anti-Semitic stereotypes. This Fagin is less a villainous predator than some sort of chipper headmaster of a benign boys’ dormitory. Darker elements are leavened either by songs or performers, as the Artful Dodger (Grayson J. Smith) steals one scene after another. As Nancy, Merideth Kaye Clark belts every ballad to the balcony. Even malevolent highwayman Bill Sikes (Hans Altwies) gets a makeover that renders him more rakish than dangerous—he’s a romancenovel cover boy with a mean streak. The costumes, by Sarah Nash Gates, make great eye candy; Tom Sturge’s lights and sets work in dazzling synchronicity; and, leading the live orchestra, Joel Fram highlights every nuance he can uncover in Bart’s score. Purists will find this Oliver! has little of Oliver Twist ’s outrage about avarice and poverty. But we can leave that for the next election. For now, as a confection of songcraft, performance, and production, Oliver! is practically irresistible. KEVIN PHINNEY

be particularly cruel in this regard. Revisited again and again, year after year, yuletide perennials tend to sear a particular portrayal into our consciousness. Jimmy Stewart is George Bailey, Peter Billingsley is Ralphie Parker, Will Ferrell is Buddy the Elf. The most difficult role to repeat in the modern Christmas canon, though, has got to be David Sedaris in his The Santaland Diaries. Originally a short story, Santaland was made famous by the author’s wry radio recitation, first aired in 1992 and replayed seemingly every year on NPR, like a modern It’s a Wonderful Life. What makes Santaland so difficult to stage is the remove with which Sedaris tells his story, recalling how he, a struggling artist in New York, worked as an elf at Macy’s. It’s a fish-out-of-

45


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

Stage OPENINGS & EVENTS

ARNALDO! With musical director Victor Janusz, this drag

chanteuse’s cabaret benefits Typhoon Haiyan relief. Egan’s Ballard Jam House, 1707 N.W. Market St., 800-8383006, brownpapertickets.com. $25. 7:30 p.m. Fri., Dec. 13. HANDS ON—ONE NOTE AT A TIME Opera, theater, drag, and burlesque performers band together for a concert for Typhoon Haiyan relief. Filipino Community Center, 5740 Martin Luther King Jr Way S., 800-838-3006, brownpaper tickets.com. $10. 4 p.m. Sun., Dec. 15. HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH Jerick Hoffer reprises his acclaimed take on the (more or less) transgender glam-rocker. The Moore, 1932 Second Ave., 1-877-7844849, balagantheatre.org, stgpresents.org. 7:30 p.m. Tues., Dec. 17–Thurs., Dec. 19; 7:30 & 10 p.m. Fri., Dec. 20–Sat., Dec. 21; 2 & 7 p.m Sun., Dec. 22. HOMO FOR THE HOLIDAYS Make your Yuletide gay with this queer cabaret. Oddfellows Hall, 915 E. Pike St., strangertickets.com. $25–$30. 8 p.m. Thurs., Dec. 12; 7 & 10 p.m. Fri., Dec. 13–Sat., Dec. 14; 8 p.m. Wed., Dec. 18– Thurs., Dec. 19; 7 & 10 p.m. Fri., Dec. 20–Tues., Dec. 24. IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE In Theater Anonymous’ take on Capra, no one in the cast (they all rehearse individually) knows who else is in the cast until performance time. Cornish Playhouse at Seattle Center, the1448projects.org/ anonymous. $20–$25. 8 p.m. Sat., Dec. 14. IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE SEE PICK LIST, PAGE 44.

•  JINKX MONSOON & MAJOR SCALES:

UNWRAPPED: A “boozy,” “bitter,” and likely hilarious

holiday cabaret from this drag superstar (and workaholic—Jerick Hoffer also opens in Hedwig and the Angry Inch on Tuesday) and her intrepid accompanist. Cornish

Send events to stage@seattleweekly.com, dance@seattleweekly.com, or classical@seattleweekly.com See seattleweekly.com for full listings. = Recommended

Playhouse at Seattle Center, cornish.edu. $25–$45. 2 & 7 p.m. Sun., Dec. 15. LAND OF THE SWEETS SEE PICK LIST, PAGE 43. LELAVISION: HEAVY METAL DEVICES A new show from inventor/sculptor Ela Lamblin and his troupe. The Moore, 1932 Second Ave., 877-784-4849, stgpresents.org. $15–$20. 8 p.m. Sat., Dec. 14, 4 p.m. Sun., Dec. 15. MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET: THE MUSICAL

SHOWTUNES Theatre Company’s concert version of Meredith Willson’s show. Benaroya Recital Hall, Third Ave. and Union St., 215-4747, showtunestheatre.org. $21–$46. 8 p.m. Sat., Dec. 14, 2 p.m. Sun., Dec. 15. PRIVATE LIVES A performance from London’s Gielgud Theatre. See fathomevents.com for participating theaters. 7 p.m. Wed., Dec. 11. THE VILLAGE OF YELM Curran Foster’s musical is “the second installment in a stoner fairy rock musical trilogy . . . about a young artist suffering from the harsh pangs of existentialism, until a witch’s brew blasts him into a psychedelic state.” Annex Theatre, 1100 E. Pike St., 728-0933, annextheatre.org. $5. Opens Dec. 13. 7:30 p.m. Fri.–Sun. Ends Dec. 22.

CURRENT RUNS

THE BEST CHRISTMAS PAGEANT EVER The horrible

Herdmans return in SPT’s annual favorite. Seattle Public Theater at the Bathhouse, 7312 W. Green Lake Ave. N., 524-1300. $15–$32. Runs Fri.–Sun. plus Dec. 23 & 24; see seattlepublictheater.org for exact schedule. Ends Dec. 24.

A CHILD’S CHRISTMAS IN WALES/THE LONG CHRISTMAS DINNER Stone Soup’s holiday double

bill. Stone Soup Theatre, 4035 Stone Way N.E., 633-1883. $20–$25. Runs Fri.–Sun. plus Dec. 23 & 24; see stonesoup theatre.org for exact schedule. Ends Dec. 24. A CHRISTMAS CAROL Haters gonna hate. Honestly, why does Ebenezer Scrooge gets such a bad rap in this holiday perennial? (This is ACT’s 38th staging of the cash cow.) The man is an entrepreneur. Why should he share his wealth with the less fortunate, like Bob Cratchit and his family of moochers? That sounds like socialism to me! T. BOND (John Langs directs; Kurt Beattie and Peter Crook trade the role of Scrooge.) ACT Theatre, 700 Union St., 292-7676. $27 and up. Runs Tues.–Sun.; see acttheatre. org for exact schedule. Ends Dec. 29.

A CHRISTMAS CAROL Mark Chenovick’s musical adapta-

tion. Seattle Musical Theatre, 7400 Sand Point Way N.E. # 101N, 800-838-3006. $30–$40. Runs Thurs.–Sun.; see seattlemusicaltheatre.org for exact schedule. Ends Dec. 22. DICK WHITTINGTON AND HIS CAT Picaresque fairy tale + audience participation = traditional British pantomime. Hale’s Palladium, 4301 Leary Way N.W., 800-838-3006, brownpapertickets.com. $7–$13. 4 & 7:30 p.m. Sat., 1 & 4 p.m. Sun. Ends Jan. 5. THE DINA MARTINA CHRISTMAS SHOW “The Best of the Best!” includes the incomparable, indescribable entertaineress’s greatest hits from her 14 holiday shows. With stalwart accompanist Chris Jeffries. Re-bar, 1114 Howell St., 800-838-3006. $20–$25. Runs Fri.–Sun., then daily starting Dec. 18; see brownpapertickets.com for exact schedule. Ends Dec. 31. HAM FOR THE HOLIDAYS Peggy Platt and Lisa Koch bring back the Spudds, the Sequim Gay Men’s Chorus, and more in their annual musical sketch show. ACT Theatre, 700 Union St., 292-7676. $15–$33. Runs Wed.–Sun.; see acttheatre.org for exact schedule. Ends Dec. 22. THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES Newly written by local actors David Pichette and R. Hamilton Wright, this is Holmes 2.0. In adapting the classic tale of a hellhound stalking the English moors, they’ve invented scenes and dialogue that hew much more closely to the spirit of the material than Hollywood’s recent fumblings. Darragh Kennan and Andrew McGinn don’t so much chew the scenery as make a delectable meal of it, and the supporting cast is uniformly sublime. KEVIN PHINNEY Seattle Repertory Theatre, Seattle Center, 443-2222. $12–$80. 7:30 p.m. Wed.–Sun., plus some 2 p.m. matinees Wed., Sat., Sun.; see seattlerep.org for exact schedule. Ends Dec. 15. A(N IMPROVISED) CHRISTMAS CAROL Who says Tiny Tim has to be tiny, or even a child? Why can’t Bob Cratchit be an asshole? Or Scrooge could be gay? Audience members get to toss out cues for how the story ought to proceed. T. BOND Unexpected Productions Market Theater, 1428 Post Alley, 587-2414, unexpectedproductions.org. $12–$15. 8:30 p.m. Thurs.–Sat., 7 p.m. Sun. Ends Dec. 29. LE CLUB NOEL Candace and Sam Vance’s new holiday play is set in a 1930s cabaret in Paris. Taproot Theatre, 204 N. 85th St., 781-9707, taproottheatre.org. $20–$40. 7:30 p.m. Wed.–Thurs., 8 p.m. Fri., 2 & 8 p.m. Sat. Ends Dec. 28.

• 

LITTLE WOMEN All four March sisters are still onstage,

yet this 2005 musical adaptation (by Allan Knee, Jason Howland, and Mindi Dickstein) is all about Jo, the rebellious sister modeled on author Louisa May Alcott herself. EmilyRose Frasca attacks the role with an almost ferocious energy. In comparison, the rest of the cast—with the exception of Patricia Haines-Ainsworth’s delightfully snooty Aunt March—is anemic and too often off-key. MARK BAUMGARTEN ArtsWest, 4711 California Ave. S.W., 938-0339, artswest.org. $17–$36.50. 7:30 p.m. Wed.– Sat., 3 p.m. Sun., plus 3 p.m. Sat., Dec. 14 & 21. ME VS. MY SUBCONSCIOUS Rebecca Goldberg’s new solo show. TPS Theatre 4, Seattle Center, Center House, 4th floor, 800-838-3006, blankstagetheatre.org. $12–$15. 8 p.m. Thurs.–Sat. Ends Dec. 14. MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET A radio-play version of the classic film. Kenyon Hall, 7904 35th Ave. S.W., 800-8383006, brownpapertickets.com. $12–$15. 7:30 p.m. Fri.–Sat., 3 p.m. Sun. Ends Dec. 15. LES MISÉRABLES You’re not likely to see the 1985 smash musical done this well—or so intimately—ever again. As in Victor Hugo’s 1862 novel, French parolee Jean Valjean (Greg Stone) is pursued by inspector Javert (Eric Polani Jensen) while seeking to regain the good name he lost after stealing bread to feed a starving child. KEVIN PHINNEY Village Theatre, 303 Front St. N., Issaquah, 425-392-2202. $33–$68. Runs in Issaquah through Jan. 5, then at the Everett Performing Arts Center Jan. 10–Feb. 2; see villagetheatre.org for exact schedule. OLIVER! SEE REVIEW, PAGE 45. THE SALESMAN IS DEAD AND GONE Paul Budraitis’ dialogue-free play imagines Willy Loman in the afterlife. Richard Hugo House, 1634 11th Ave., strangertickets.com. $15. 8 p.m. Thurs.–Sat. plus Mon., Dec. 16. Ends Dec. 21. THE SANTALAND DIARIES SEE REVIEW, PAGE 45. STRANGE SNOW Seattle Immersive Theatre presents Stephen Metcalfe’s drama in a house; you’ll find out where when you buy your tickets. 800-838-3006, seattleimmersive theatre.com. $25. 7:30 p.m. Fri.–Sat. Ends Dec. 21. THANKSKILLING Jeff Thomson and Jordan Mann turn the 2009 horror-camp movie about a vengeful turkey into a musical. Presented by Balagan Theatre. Cornish Playhouse at Seattle Center, balagantheatre.org. 8 p.m. Thurs., 8 & 10 p.m. Fri.–Sat. Ends Dec. 14.

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SEATTLE WEEKLY • DECEMBER 11 — 17, 2013

TWO

46

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UNCLE MIKE RUINS CHRISTMAS Your family holiday

nightmares become improv theater. Wing-It Productions, 5510 University Way N.E., jetcityimprov.com. $10. Midnight:30 on Saturday nights. Ends Dec. 21. For many more Current Runs, see seattleweekly.com.

Dance

INTERNATIONAL BALLET THEATRE: NUTCRACKER

With choreography by Artistic Director Vera Altunina. Meydenbauer Center, 11100 N.E. Sixth St., Bellevue, 800838-3006, intballetacademy.org. $25–$42. Opens Dec. 13. 7:30 p.m. Thurs.–Fri., 2 & 7:30 p.m. Sat., 2 p.m. Sun., plus 2 p.m. Mon., Dec. 23. Ends Dec. 23. PACIFIC NORTHWEST BALLET: NUTCRACKER Kent Stowell’s beloved production, with decor by Maurice Sendak. McCaw Hall, Seattle Center, 441-2424. $22–$140. Runs Fri.–Sun. to start, then practically daily starting Dec. 18; see pnb.org for exact schedule. Ends Dec. 29. NEXT FEST NW Spotlighting the latest in our dance scene. Velocity Dance Center, 1621 12th Ave., velocitydance center.org. $12–$18. 8 p.m. Fri., Dec. 13–Sun., Dec. 15. DANCE FREMONT The Steadfast Tin Soldier is also about an anthropomorphized toy-man. Shorecrest PAC, 15343 25th Ave. N.E., 800-838-3006, dancefremont.com. $15–$18. 2 & 7:30 p.m. Sat., Dec. 14, 2 p.m. Sun., Dec. 15. DASSDANCE: MINI-NUTCRACKER A bit of Nutcracker, a breakfast, a visit from Santa, and more! Washington Hall, 153 14th Ave., 800-838-3006, dassdance.org. $15–$20. 11 a.m. Sat., Dec. 14, Sun., Dec. 15, Sat., Dec. 21. ROYAL OPERA HOUSE: NUTCRACKER Peter Wright’s production from Covent Garden. See fathomevents.com for participating theaters. 7 p.m. Tues., Dec. 17.

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Classical, Etc. • 

COMPOSER SPOTLIGHT Inventor/composers Jason

Staczek and Ela Lamblin present music for their one-ofa-kind instruments. Jack Straw Studios, 4261 Roosevelt Way N.E., jackstraw.org. Free. 7:30 p.m. Wed., Dec. 11. ROYAL OPERA HOUSE Verdi’s blood-and-thunder Sicilian Vespers. Guild 45th, 2115 N. 45th St., landmarktheatres. com. $15. 7 p.m. Thurs., Dec. 12, 11 a.m. Sun., Dec. 15. SEATTLE MEN’S CHORUS For many, the holidays would be bleak and sere without this annual sparklefest. (All shows at Benaroya Hall except Dec. 12 in Tacoma and Dec. 14 in Everett; see flyinghouse.org for full info.) 3881400. $28–$78. 8 p.m. Thurs., Dec. 12 & Sat., Dec. 14; 7:30 p.m. Sun., Dec. 15, Mon., Dec. 16, & Sun., Dec. 22. INVERSE OPERA A theatrical,intimate take on Messiah. Taproot Theatre, 204 N. 85th St., 781-9707, taproottheatre. org. $15–$25. Opens Dec. 13. 8 p.m. Fri.-Sat. Ends Dec. 21.

• 

A World in an A

EARSUPPLY

conducts in Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons.” Benaroya Hall, 200 University St., 215-4747, seattlesymphony.org. $17 and up. 7 p.m. Fri., Dec. 13, 8 p.m. Sat., Dec. 14. CHORAL ARTS Their holiday concert includes guitar interludes. At Trinity Episcopal Church, 609 Eighth Ave., 7:30 p.m. Sat., Dec. 14, and St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, 732 18th Ave. E., 7:30 p.m. Sun., Dec. 15. choral-arts.org. SEATTLE CHORAL COMPANY “An Irish Christmas.” Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral, 1245 Tenth Ave. E., 800838-3006, seattlechoralcompany.org. $25. 8 p.m. Fri., Dec. 13–Sat., Dec. 14. THE MET: LIVE IN HD Conductor James Levine returns with a new production of Verdi’s ebullient Falstaff. See metopera.org for participating theaters. 10 a.m. Sat., Dec. 14; encored 6:30 p.m. Wed., Dec. 18. NORTHWEST YOUTH HARP ENSEMBLE Carols and other holiday music. Seattle Central Library, 1000 Fourth Ave., spl.org. Free. 2 p.m. Sat., Dec. 14. SEATTLE PRO MUSICA A Ceremony of Carols and other choral works by Benjamin Britten. Bastyr University Chapel, 14500 Juanita Drive N.E., Kenmore, seattlepro musica.org. 3 & 7:30 p.m. Sat., Dec. 14. NORTHWEST CHORALE Their Messiah will benefit local food banks. University Christian Church, N.E. 50th St. & 15th Ave. N.E., 522-9853, nwchorale.org. Donation. 6:30 p.m. Sat., Dec. 14. MARKET STREET SINGERS Holiday music of all kinds. First Lutheran Church Ballard, 2006 N.W. 65th St., market streetsingers.org. Donation. 7:30 p.m. Sat., Dec. 14. NORTHWEST CHAMBER CHORUS Holiday music in “Winter’s Warmth.” Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church, 7500 Greenwood Ave. N., 523-1196, northwestchamberchorus. org. $12–$22. 7:30 p.m. Sat., Dec. 14. NEAL KOSALY-MEYER SEE EAR SUPPLY BELOW. OPUS 7 John Muehleisen’s Consolation, a piece commemorating the first anniversary of the Newtown shootings. St. James Cathedral, 804 Ninth Ave., 782-2899, opus7.org. $18–$20. 8 p.m. Sat., Dec. 14. NORTHWEST GIRLCHOIR “Holiday Countdown!” Meany Hall, UW campus, 527-2900, northwestgirlchoir.org. $8–$23. 3 p.m. Sun., Dec. 15.

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• 

•  • 

ORCHESTRA SEATTLE/SEATTLE CHAMBER SINGERS

Messiah. First Free Methodist Church, 3200 Third Ave. W., 800-838-3006, osscs.org. $10–$25. 3 p.m. Sun., Dec. 15. SEATTLE JEWISH CHORALE Music for Hanukkah. Seattle Jewish Community School, 12351 Eighth Ave. N.E., 800-8383006, seattlejewishchorale.org. $5–$12. 3 p.m. Sun., Dec. 15. SEATTLE MANDOLIN ORCHESTRA Messiah like you’ve never heard it. Green Lake United Methodist Church, 6415 First Ave. N.E., 595-7206, seattlemandolin. org. $12–$15. 7 p.m. Sun., Dec. 15.

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Some of the A’s he plays are muffled, some choked off; some are bell-like or gong-like; some, struck particularly harshly, sound like a hammer hitting a wooden table. The decay of each note also varies widely, from a spacey drone to a grinding, metallic sort of buzzshimmer, with infinite further color changes while dissipating like smoke. When he adds the E to the A, the mix of the two notes seems opulent, even intoxicating; all eight A’s are exponentially more so, like fireworks for the ear. Kosaly-Meyer has dubbed this performance series/long-term conceptualart project Gradus: For Fux, Tesla, and Milo the Wrestler, in homage to the 18th-century music theorist, the inventor and engineer, and the athlete of ancient Greece—for him, “heroes of patient, systematic persistence.” He launched Gradus 12 years ago, and gives one or two performances a year in various venues. (Next year, he’s adding C-sharps!) His ability to draw fascination from the most circumscribed source material stands as an object lesson for all musicians. Suddenly, pieces that use more than this bare handful of notes seem wasteful—and, frankly, a crutch for the unimaginative. Chapel Performance Space, 4649 Sunnyside Ave. N. $5–$15. 8 p.m. Sat., Dec. 14.

SEATT LE W EEKLY • DECE MBER 11 — 17, 2013

Before a rehearsal for the next installment of his ongoing piano improvisation series, Neal Kosaly-Meyer explains what he’ll be doing: 20 minutes on the keyboard’s lowest A; seven minutes on an A and an E; 13 minutes on all eight A’s. It’s a condensed BY GAVIN BORCHERT version of this Saturday’s performance at the Chapel Performance Space, where the same three-stage improvisation will last 60, 20, and 40 minutes. Using such radically stripped-down ingredients (yes, he’ll be playing one piano key for the first hour) naturally leads him to explore other aspects of the instrument’s sound world. Under KosalyMeyer’s hands, varieties of loudness, pedaling, and attack and release all have a strikingly large effect on the resulting sound—once you’re accustomed to hearing these details. A long silence near the start of his improvisation is what really resets my listening habits. When he begins playing again, I find my attention refocused, searching out the mini-rainbow of nuances in each note; in essence, this is a piece that teaches you how to listen to it.

SEATTLE SYMPHONY Violinist Emma McGrath solos and

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arts&culture» Film a shame Hanson couldn’t find a cinematic form for the language she speaks so fluently onstage. GWENDOLYN ELLIOTT

Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy? OPENS FRI., DEC. 13 AT SUNDANCE CINEMAS. NOT RATED. 89 MINUTES.

Opening ThisWeek The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

SEATTLE WEEKLY • DECEMBER 11 — 17, 2013

OPENS FRI., DEC. 13 AT CINERAMA AND OTHER THEATERS. RATED PG-13. 156 MINUTES.

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As holiday movie titles go, The Desolation of Smaug is a less-than-catchy handle for an evening’s buoyant entertainment. But only to the uninitiated. To the throbbing fan base of The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien’s fun and relatively compact fantasy novel, those words portend sheer fire-breathing awesomeness. By now you know that The Hobbit has been elongated into three hefty movies by Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson. Smaug is the middle one, and it improves on last year’s rambling An Unexpected Journey by sticking to a clean, headlong storyline and jettisoning much of Part 1’s juvenile humor. Our hero, Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), is traveling with his crowd of bumptious dwarfs, intent on finding a magical stone inside a mountain crammed with treasure. Wee wrinkle: The mountain is home to a dragon named Smaug (voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch), who likes to emerge periodically from his lair and burn down neighboring Laketown. This is really the only plot. Wizard leader Gandalf (Ian McKellen) breaks off from the travelers for his own jaunt; elfin archer Legolas (Orlando Bloom) returns to the fray from his LOTR stint; and a new elf character named Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly) provides woman-warrior action. Jackson once again wrote the (rather overly talky) script with Fran Walsh, Phillippa Boyens, and Guillermo del Toro, and they’ve dialed back on the funhouse action just a bit— though one zany escape, involving dwarfs riding barrels down a rushing river, is a glorious blend of Chuck Jones–style cartoony gags and Steven Spielberg’s dream of a Wild Waves park. The tightened storytelling (even at 156 minutes!) is welcome, and the movie looks cool. From the opening scene of Gandalf conspiring with the presumptive dwarf king Thorin (Richard Armitage) in a grungy pub to the wonder-

MARK POKORNY/WARNER BROS./MGM

Freeman as Bilbo (with John Callen the hirsute figure behind).

fully tumbledown design of Laketown, Jackson’s eye for epic locations (New Zealand–shot, natch) is right on. I saw the film in conventional 3-D, although in some theaters it’s available in the bizarre high-frame-rate version deployed in An Unexpected Journey. One serious caveat: Jackson misplaces Bilbo Baggins. In the bustle and the rapid-fire close-ups of the dwarfs (you still won’t be able to tell them apart), good old Bilbo is relegated to member-of-the-gang status—but this really is his journey, isn’t it? We miss his solid center, amid all the breathless archery and scarfaced Orcs. There’s a final bold move by Jackson: the ending. The LOTR episodes and other such multipart franchises generally round off each chapter with some combination of resolution and “What happens next?” Smaug is pure cliffhanger, to be revolved next Christmas. The faithful are unlikely to complain. ROBERT HORTON

Improvement Club RUNS FRI., DEC. 13–THURS., DEC. 19 AT NORTHWEST FILM FORUM. NOT RATED. 98 MINUTES.

Local choreographer Dayna Hanson’s 2010 production Gloria’s Cause was an interpretive vision of the American Revolution. Now it’s the inspiration for her film, but the original show’s notions of American identity and modern art are fairly inaccessible here. In a garbled fashion, Improvement Club retells the origins of Gloria’s Cause from the ensemble’s point of view. The plot loosely hangs on Hanson’s promise to the group that the show will run in New York. Already struggling with difficult material, the avant-garde performers—also playing themselves—grapple with whether or not to carry on when the deal falls through. Scenes unfold through snippets of rehearsals, performances, and after-parties, which are slightly interesting in a peripatetic, Linklateresque way. But the more the film lurchingly attempts to weave a narrative out of its many layers, the more confounding it becomes. For all her talents, the multi-hyphenate Hanson exhibits few of them within her tale. She leaves the bulk of the action to her cast members, awkwardly confined to caricatures of themselves. In such a deliberately crafted vessel with so much heart, it’s

Which honor is more likely to make you the star of a movie: being voted People’s “Sexiest Man Alive” or Foreign Policy’s “Leading Global Intellectual”? For perhaps the only time in screen history, this documentary opts for the latter, choosing 2005’s top vote-getter, Noam Chomsky, as its subject. A lot of this probably had to do with the perpetually whimsical filmmaker involved. French director Michel Gondry is also a designer, animator, inventor, and all-purpose enthusiast; he seems to be curious about just about anything that exists in the world. His resume easily accommodates the melancholy of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, the zaniness of Be Kind Rewind, and the countless visually ingenious music videos he’s concocted over the years. His latest film consists of a conversation with Chomsky, almost entirely animated with Gondry’s line drawings and collages. Chomsky is famed as a pioneering linguist and far-left political critic; Gondry engages all that with his crayoned doodads and oddly haunting cut-out pictures illustrating some of Chomsky’s basic ideas. Gondry also asks Chomsky about his childhood and his personal life. The question “What makes you happy?” seems to throw Chomsky for a while, until he lands upon examples of political heroism among oppressed people as a source of satisfaction. Chomsky suggests that his belief in questioning everything was likely rooted in childhood: “It probably started with not wanting to eat my oatmeal.” A skeptic might note that for someone who espouses the importance of doubting and questioning, Chomsky’s responses to Gondry’s questions tend to be sweeping and peremptory, cutting off their interlocutor when he offers some resistance. And that’s too bad, because one of the intriguing things about the movie is Gondry’s presence: a warm, inquisitive, thickly accented personality that seems to bring out some intriguing admissions from Chomsky. The movie could use more of that. Just looking at this visually clever film becomes a key part of its appeal, as Gondry’s busy imagination runs a race with Chomsky’s brainiac talk. You end up not really knowing enough about either man for the film to be counted a success, but its existence leaves open one amusing possibility: Could this thing actually compete with Despicable Me 2 and Frozen in the Oscars’ best animated film category? ROBERT HORTON

Saving Mr. Banks OPENS FRI., DEC. 13 AT PACIFIC PLACE. RATED PG-13. 125 MINUTES.

Most critics hated last year’s Hitchcock for its irreverent treatment of the iconic director (portrayed by Anthony Hopkins). How dare you tarnish this giant of world cinema!?! But consider the alternative: Here we have congenial Tom Hanks as Walt Disney, another Hollywood legend, who’s wooing prickly author P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson) to authorize his studio’s planned

musical Mary Poppins. Written by Sue Smith and Kelly Marcel, the script for Saving Mr. Banks was long-coveted in development. Then Disney bought it—possibly, some whispered, to kill a project potentially unflattering to Uncle Walt and his empire. None should’ve worried about that. Disney is depicted as a schemer and cajoler, a goodnatured man with an iron will, but he wears his despotism lightly. “Call me Walt,” he keeps insisting—yet another irritant to Travers, sulkily visiting L.A. to approve the project (or not, as she continually threatens). A self-made woman who bolted Australia to refashion herself as a starchy, acerbic Englishwoman, Mrs. Travers—as she imperiously commands informal Americans call her—both needs the cash and despises her need. Her Mary Poppins books sold well during the ’30s and ’40s, but she’s blocked and broke by 1961. She turned down Disney’s offer 20 years before and is humiliated to be considering it now. There’s enough conflict here for a good comedy of manners during the sunset of the studio system, a fish-out-of-water industry satire with a bossy spinster beginning to question her spinsterhood in hedonistic, sunny L.A. However, the script—competently directed by John Lee Hancock—is too timid to take many liberties in 1961, preferring instead to intercut the parallel story of Travers’ difficult girlhood in 1906 Australia. Little “Ginty,” so in thrall to the confabulations of her charismatic father (a charming yet vulnerable Colin Farrell), must inevitably be wounded in childhood. Just as inevitably, 50 years later, that wound must be healed—with music, laughter, and a generous heaping of Disney stardust. As Walt and company sweetened and simplified several Poppins books into one hit movie, Travers’ rocky biography has been ironed out here. “She doesn’t sugarcoat the darkness of the world,” Travers says of her heroine, and there are glimpses of that darkness back in Australia (alcoholism, tuberculosis, marital strife, etc.). The original Mary Poppins novels were set during the Great Depression, with the alarming prospect of downward mobility for the Banks family (led by an unhappy banker, as was Travers’ father). Disney’s film pushed the story back to safer pre-WWI days, and Saving Mr. Banks similarly seems somewhat unmoored from its Mad Men, pre-Beatles era. When Travers longingly eyes the hotel bar, we wonder what she wants: booze, men, women, or simply companionship? Disney is equally sexless and square; he seems to exist only at his studio and theme park. (Coincidentally, the Coen brothers’ new Inside Llewyn Davis is also set in ’61, though the distance between the two films feels like a century.) Hanks and Thompson bring considerable craft and goodwill to their roles, and we can laugh at their clash with the foreknowledge that Disney will prevail. (Mary Poppins was released in ’64 and won five Oscars.) Travers is on the wrong side of history and industry, so it’s mainly a question of how and when she’ll be figuratively seduced. In this very self-validating Hollywood product, the system will prevail over the genius. “We instill hope,” says Disney. Travers is too cowed to correct him: Hollywood sells hope. And happy endings. BRIAN MILLER E film@seattleweekly.com


BY BRIAN MILLER

Local & Repertory MAME SEE THE PICK LIST, PAGE 44. • AUNTIE • EDWARD SCISSORHANDS Johnny Depp made the

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action adaptation of the old Japanese anime TV series Star Blazers, again set in a futuristic, post-apocalyptic world, again featuring the same plucky band trying to save Earth with their flying battleship. (NR) Grand Illusion, $5-$8, Sun., Dec. 15, 3 p.m.; Mon., Dec. 16, 7:30 p.m. VHSXMAS III Scarecrow Video presents a holidaythemed program of oddities from the VHS era. (NR) Grand Illusion, $5-$8, Sat., Dec. 14, 8 p.m. WILLY WONKA & THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY The 1971 adaptation of Roald Dahl’s novel stars Gene Wilder as the flamboyant candy-preneur. Something of an artifact of its time, the movie packs in a lot of trippy period humor and visuals. And it still beats the dreadful Tim Burton remake with Johnny Depp. Everyone hiss Veruca Salt! SIFF claims to be presenting the film in Smell-O-Vision, so be warned. (G) SIFF Film Center, $6-$11, Fri., Dec. 13, 5 p.m.; Dec. 14-24.

Ongoing

• ALL IS LOST Playing an unnamed solo yachts-

man shipwrecked in the Indian Ocean, the 77-yearold Robert Redford is truly like The Old Man and the Sea—a taciturn, uncomplaining hero in the Hemingway mold. Writer/director J.C. Chandor (Margin Call) withholds any personal information about our near-wordless hero, whose sloop is damaged by an errant floating shipping container full of shoes, somehow lost during its journey from China to the U.S. His radio and electronics are flooded, so he calmly and methodically goes about patching his boat while storm clouds gather in the distance. Like Gravity and Captain Phillips, this is fundamentally a process drama: Character is revealed through action, not words. Here is Redford without any Hollywood trappings. And it’s a great performance, possibly his best. All Is Lost pushes backward to the primitive: from GPS technology to sextant to drifting raft. It’s a simple story, but so in a way was that of Odysseus: epic, stoic, and specific. (PG-13) BRIAN MILLER Sundance, Oak Tree THE ARMSTRONG LIE Just as Lance Armstrong once pumped too much EPO into his veins, too much Lance Armstrong has been pumped into media annals to make Alex Gibney’s long-delayed documentary very newsworthy. He started out as a fan when following the 2009 comeback bid at the Tour de France, where Armstrong triumphed seven times from 1999 to 2005. That return was Armstrong’s downfall, though he couldn’t have known it when he granted Gibney backstage access to make some sort of cancer-awareness/ human-interest hagiography film. Bicyclists and disappointed fans already know the story, and Armstrong is contrite only to a point. He’s too disciplined, like most elite athletes, to spill his guts on camera. He’s most interesting when Gibney (and other journalists) here provoke his anger and peevishness, his self-justification. (R) B.R.M. Sundance BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR In Abdellatif Kechiche’s three-hour Cannes prize-winner, our main character is Adèle, played by the splendid Adèle Exarchopoulos. She begins as a high-school student and grows up during a half-dozen years, mostly involving her relationship with Emma (Léa Seydoux). Emma is a dashing figure, artsy and experienced, with upper-class parents and intellectual friends. It’s a lot to handle for Adèle, who comes from humbler origins and really just wants to teach grade-school kids. As the bedroom scenes suggest, there is a strong physical connection here, but the movie is about much more than that—why any given love affair might thrive and/ or founder. (NC-17) ROBERT HORTON Sundance, Harvard Exit BLUE JASMINE There’s nothing comic about the downfall of Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire, the inspiration for Woody Allen’s miscalculated seriocom. Grafted onto the story of delusional trophy wife Jasmine (Cate Blanchett) is a Madoff-like fable of the recent financial crisis. In flashback, we see her husband (Alec Baldwin) buying her consent with luxury while he swindles the Montauk set. In the present timeframe, Jasmine is broke and living with her sister Ginger (Sally Hawkins) in a shabby San Francisco apartment. Jasmine is a snob who needs to be brought low, a task relished by Ginger, her boyfriend (Bobby Cannavale), and her ex (a surprisingly sympathetic Andrew Dice Clay). You sense that Allen wants to say something about our present culture of inequality and fraud, but he only dabbles, never probes. (PG-13) B.R.M. Crest, Sundance THE BOOK THIEF Based on Australian writer Markus Zusak’s 2005 novel, this WWII movie is also meant for children, and parents can safely drop them off for a matinee, candy money in hand, since there are no gas chambers or mass graves to give them nightmares.

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most of the opportunity given him by Tim Burton in the dark suburban fairy tale Edward Scissorhands. In their first collaboration, Depp plays a gentle, misunderstood monster literally stitched together by mad scientist Vincent Price, whom Burton revered and here gives a lovely career coda. Diane Wiest is the woman who rescues Edward, and Winona Ryder the girl who loves him. The 1990 film represents Burton’s first fully realized personal and grown-up feature. Preceding the film at 7 p.m. is Joe Dante’s enjoyable 1983 critter flick Gremlins. (PG-13) BRIAN MILLER Central Cinema, 1411 21st Ave., 686-6684, central-cinema.com, $6-$8, Dec. 13-18, 9:30 p.m. IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE Times are tough in Frank Capra’s 1946 It’s a Wonderful Life. Banks are failing. People are losing their homes. Veterans are returning from a bloody war abroad. Families are falling apart. And all these stresses converge during the holidays, when there may not even be enough money in the household to buy any presents. Sound familiar? In the GI’s 43rd-annual screening of this seasonal classic, the distressed town of Bedford Falls could today be Anytown, USA. And beleaguered banker James Stewart could be any small businessman struggling to remain solvent amid our current financial crisis. If It’s a Wonderful Life is arguably the best Christmas movie ever made, that’s because it’s certainly one of the most depressing Christmas movies ever made. Before the inevitable tear-swelling plot reversal, the movie is 100 percent grim. Yet amazingly, 67 years later, it preserves the power to inspire hope for better days ahead. (No shows Dec. 16 & 31; see grandillusioncinema.org regarding Christmas Eve and Christmas Day screenings.) BRIAN MILLER Grand Illusion, 1403 N.E. 50th St., 523-3935, $5-$8, Dec. 14-Jan. 2. THE LAST OCEAN Here’s a pristine ecosystem. Here’s something destroying it. Here’s how you’re destroying it! And here’s how to stop it. Formula firmly in hand, Peter Young’s eco-doc brings us to the Antarctic Ross Sea, which is being despoiled by commercial fishermen going after something called a tooth fish (rechristened Chilean sea bass for high-end American consumers). Cookie-cutter as The Last Ocean is, it benefits from outstanding photography; these stunning shots of wilderness and seas help enliven what’s ultimately a well-told but weighty story of international politics and fishery mismanagement. And while there are a million valid reasons to protect every parcel of unspoiled nature, Young makes a convincing case that the Ross Sea is “the most pristine marine ecosystem on Earth.” There’s even a Pike Place Market shot here, literally bringing the issue home to us local seafood consumers. (NR) DANIEL PERSON Keystone Congregational Church, 5019 Keystone Place N., 632-6021, keystoneseattle.org, Free, Fri., Dec. 13, 7 p.m. MS. 45 From 1981, Abel Ferrara’s gynocentric revenge flick lacks much taste or subtlety, but it’s a weird, violent snapshot of New York City during the grungy Taxi Driver era. (R) Grand Illusion, $5-$8, Fri., Dec. 13, 10 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 14. THE PRINCESS BRIDE QUOTE-ALONG Bring the kids, or not, to test your knowledge of the William Goldman children’s tale, memorably filmed by Rob Reiner in 1987. Among the cast, as if you didn’t know, are Cary Elwes, Mandy Patinkin, Robin Wright, Wallace Shawn, Peter Falk, Carol Kane, and André the Giant. (PG) SIFF Film Center (Seattle Center), 324-9996, siff. net, $6-$11, Fri., Dec. 13, 7:30 p.m.; Dec. 14-24. RAWSTOCK: KLAUSTERFOKKEN SEE THE PICK LIST, PAGE 43. SCHINDLER’S LIST: Local film appreciation group The 20/20 Society presents Steven Spielberg’s 1993 multiple Oscar winner. You know the holiday season has begun when the Holocaust movies start playing again. (R) Grand Illusion, $5-$8, Sat., Dec. 14, 1 p.m. SCREEN STYLE The fashion world is celebrated with a weekend program of repertory titles including Joseph von Sternberg’s The Devil Is a Woman, Hal Ashby’s Shampoo, and the recent English coming-of-age drama An Education, with Carey Mulligan. See website for full schedule and details. (NR) Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave., 829-7863, nwfilmforum.org, $6-$10 ($35-$40 pass), Dec. 13-15.

SPACE BATTLESHIP YAMATO This is apparently a live-

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THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG IN 3D / 2D THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE DALLAS BUYERS CLUB IS THE MAN WHO IS TALL HAPPY? THE BOOK THIEF OUT OF THE FURNACE GRAVITY IN 3D BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR BLUE JASMINE

H A P P Y HO UR

then perhaps self-disgust—begins to color his perception of a Botox party, the food obsessions of a prominent cardinal, and the whole “debauched country.” In one of the year’s best movies, Servillo makes Jep both suave and somber. His wry glances are both mocking and wincing, appropriate for a movie that’s simultaneously bursting with life and regret. (NR) B.R.M. Varsity NEBRASKA Whether delusional, demented, or duped by a sweepstakes letter promising him $1 million, it really doesn’t matter about the motivations of Woody (the excellent and subdued Bruce Dern). What counts is the willpower of this cotton-haired, ex-alcoholic Montana geezer. His son David (Will Forte, surprisingly tender) becomes the enabler/Sancho Panza figure on their trek to Nebraska, where Woody expects to get his prize. There is a lifetime of regret and bad parenting to reveal in Alexander Payne’s black-white-movie, which makes it sound more bleak than it is. There’s both comedy and pathos as Woody makes his triumphant return to Hawthorne, en route to the sweepstakes office in Lincoln, Nebraska. With its mix of delusion, decency, and dunces, Nebraska is a little slow for my taste but enormously rewarding in the end, one of the year’s best films. (R) B.R.M. Guild 45th, Oak Tree OUT OF THE FURNACE You’ll soon see the fat, bald, Jewish con-man Christian Bale in the forthcoming American Hustle; for now we have the hardened, saddened, Pennsylvania steelworker Christian Bale in this rather leaden, predictable revenge flick. Director Scott Cooper did better with Crazy Heart, but he also had Jeff Bridges to provide some warmth. However technically accomplished, which is to say very, Bale has an unfortunate default mode as an actor—perhaps reinforced by those Batman movies—of cold, self-directed intensity, like an imploded sun. He shows the same kind of quiet seething and pain after Russell causes a fatal car wreck, loses his girlfriend (Zoë Saldana) and father, then watches his errant younger brother (Casey Affleck) get involved with bare-knuckle fighting and dangerous meth dealers (cue Woody Harrelson, all mumbles and menace). Without the A-list cast, this would just be another vengeance vehicle for Jason Statham. Or Charles Bronson, back in the day. (R) B.R.M. Sundance, Oak Tree, Kirkland Parkplace, Lincoln Square, Cinebarre, Pacific Place, Bainbridge, others 12 YEARS A SLAVE Steve McQueen’s harrowing historical drama is based on a memoir by Solomon Northup (here played by Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free man from Saratoga, New York, who was kidnapped and sold into slavery in 1841. This is no Amistad or Schindler’s List, tackling the big story, but a personal tale. Instead of taking on the history of the “peculiar institution,” the film narrows itself to a single story, Solomon’s daily routine, his few possessions. The film’s and-then-thishappened quality is appropriate for a memoir written in the stunned aftermath of a nightmare. (R) R.H. Alderwood 16, SIFF Cinema Uptown, Ark Lodge, Guild 45th Theatre, Lincoln Square, Meridian, Thornton Place, Bainbridge, others

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Our orphaned German heroine is Liesel (Sophie Nélisse), aged 11 when sent to live with a childless couple—kindly Hans (Geoffrey Rush) and sour Rosa (Emily Watson). It’s 1938, and you know what follows: the Nuremberg Rally, Jesse Owens at the Olympics, Kristallnacht, the roundup of the Jews, the Anschluss, and the Allied bombing raids that kill German civilians and combatants alike. Liesel is illiterate, but Hans helps teach her to read, as does a handsome Jewish lad hiding in their basement (Ben Schnetzer). Liesel’s adventures are tame; the entire movie is so tame, in fact, that I’d strip the 13 off the PG. (PG-13) B.R.M. SIFF Cinema Uptown, Sundance, Kirkland Parkplace, Lincoln Square, Meridian, Thornton Place, Lynwood (Bainbridge), Oak Tree, others DALLAS BUYERS CLUB Making a straight white Texas homophobe the hero of a film about the ’80s AIDS crisis doesn’t seem right. It’s inappropriate, exceptional, possibly even crass. All those qualities are reflected in Matthew McConaughey’s ornery, emaciated portrayal of Ron Woodroof, a rodeo rider and rough liver who contracted HIV in 1985. Fond of strippers, regularly swigging from his pocket flask, doing lines of coke when he can afford them, betting on the bulls he rides, Ron has tons of Texas-sized character. Directed by Jean-Marc Vallée, the unruly Dallas Buyers Club goes easy on the sinner-to-saint conversion story. McConaughey and the filmmakers know that once Ron gets religion, so to speak, their tale risks tedium. As Ron desperately bribes and steals a path to off-label meds, then drives to Mexico to smuggle them from a sympathetic hippie doctor, Dallas Buyers Club is ultimately more a caper movie than an AIDS story. There are better, more accurate films about the latter subject, but those are called documentaries. (R) B.R.M. Alderwood 16, Sundance, Harvard Exit, Lincoln Square, Thornton Place GRAVITY George Clooney and Sandra Bullock are stranded in orbit, menaced by regular bombardments of space debris. The oxygen is running out and there’s no prospect of rescue from Earth. Their dilemma is established in an astonishing 12-minute opening sequence, seamlessly rendered via CGI by director Alfonso Cuarón (Children of Men, Y Tu Mamá También). The camera occupies no fixed position. There is no up or down in the frame as it pushes and swoops among the wreckage and flailing astronauts. (Here let’s note that the 3-D version is essential; don’t even consider seeing the conventional rendering.) Dr. Stone (Bullock) at first can’t get her bearings; and the rest of the film consists of her navigating from one problem to the next. (PG-13) B.R.M. Lincoln Square, iPic, Thornton Place, Sundance, Cinebarre, Meridian, others THE GREAT BEAUTY Paolo Sorrentino’s fantastic account of an aging playboy journalist in Rome casts its eye back to La Dolce Vita (also about a playboy journalist in Rome). Yet this movie looks even further back, from the capsized Costa Concordia to the ruins and reproachful marble statues of antiquity. “I feel old,” says Jep (the sublime Toni Servillo) soon after the debauch of his 65th birthday party. Yet disgust—and

WILLY WONKA IN SMELL-O-VISION WITH FREE GOODIE BAGS

DECEMBER 13-16 | UPTOWN DECEMBER 17-24 | FILM CENTER

Sat & Sun | Royal Shakespeare Company David Tennant as

RICHARD II Tue | Double feature

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ANCHORMAN 2 Opens Thu Dec 19 David O. Russell's

AMERICAN HUSTLE

SIFF CINEMA UPTOWN | 511 Queen Anne Ave N SIFF FILM CENTER | Seattle Center


arts&culture» Music

The Experimentalist

SevenNights

Singing Coldplay, covering Kanye, and refusing to sell his music, Chicago MC Chance the Rapper is the unlikeliest star of 2013.

Nashville’s WILL HOGE straddles the line between country and rock like an expert tightrope walker. On one hand, he’s written about a guy who will let you borrow his truck at the drop of a hat (“Strong”). On the other, he’s a big fan of alt-rock guitar riffs (“Favorite Waste of Time”). All in all, it’s not a bad combination. With Red Wanting Blue. Barboza, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9951, thebarboza.com. 7:30 p.m. $15 adv. 21 and over. AZARIA C. PODPLESKY Making a somewhat rare appearance in its hometown, THE FAMILY CURSE is known for being “electrofilth-rock.” The description is accurate: Megan Tweed’s crazed vocals fit perfectly alongside riffs that bare comparison to Godflesh and the electro-noise of Big Black. Currently the band is prepping to record a 7-inch in January, part of Fainting Room Records’ Triple-Six 7-inch project. With Constant Lovers, Bali Girls. Chop Suey, 1325 E. Madison St., 324-8005, chop suey.com. 8 p.m. $7. JAMES BALLINGER Bay Area producer PHUTUREPRIMITIVE could easily get looped in with the current dubstep and EDM boom. It’s his patience, however, that sets him apart. Instead of launching everything up to a massive drop and wild breakdown, Phutureprimitive lets songs keep a consistent, thoughtful build. Perfect for emotional, sweaty dancing. With HZ Donut, Sonny Chiba vs. Bizzara. Nectar Lounge, 412 N. 36th St., 632-2020, nectarlounge.com. 8 p.m. $12. 21 and over. DUSTY HENRY JACKIE EVANCHO has accomplished quite a lot in the past three years. Since her 2010 appearances on America’s Got Talent, she’s released four studio albums (most recently Songs from the Silver Screen), toured the world, starred in two PBS specials, and broken into acting. And she’s only 13. The Paramount, 911 Pine St., 682-1414, stgpresents.org/ paramount. 7:30 p.m. $45–$125. MICHAEL F. BERRY

BY DUSTY HENRY

I

Thursday, Dec. 12

Friday, Dec. 13

ERIN MCKEOWN’S ANTI-HOLIDAY SPECTACULAR

DAN ALLEN

It’s that time of year again: capitalism’s annual reminder that the only way to really show your friends and family how much you care is to spend, spend, spend. Indie-folk musician Erin McKeown has studied the phenomenon to such a degree that she sees through the pumpkin spice–flavored, “salepriced” BS corporations shove down our throats earlier and earlier each year. To combat such manufactured (and expensive) holiday cheer, tonight she’ll reprise her 2011 F*ck That!: Erin McKeown’s Anti-Holiday Album, billed as “the world’s first anti-capitalist, pro-queer, suspicious-of-Christmasas-patriotism, sex-positive, not-safe-for-work, multiethnic, radical leftist anti-holiday record.” With such

Chance also stands out for his material disregard in a hip-hop year largely concerned with affluence. Jay-Z compares himself to entrepreneur Tom Ford; Kanye West isn’t satisfied with his service at “French-ass restaurants”; and Drake started from the bottom (but now he’s here, so it’s all good). Chance doesn’t constantly name-drop his favorite designers or brag about how much his

Rashad and Spinn. Showbox SoDo, 1700 First Ave. S., 652-0444, showboxonline.com. $20 adv./$25 DOS. 8 p.m. Sun., Dec. 15. E music@seattleweekly.com

Send events to music@seattleweekly.com. See seattleweekly.com for full listings.

Pickwick

KYLE JOHNSON

The Chicago MC’s voice takes some getting used to. He doesn’t come across menacing or especially smooth, sounding more like Gilbert Gottfried than Gucci Mane.

jewelry is worth. That’s not where he comes from. The 20-year-old raps about what he knows. “Raps just made me anxious, and acid made me crazy,” he says in the first verse of Acid Rap’s “Good Ass Intro.” As the mixtape’s title implies, Chance’s life swirls with drug use. It’s a theme he carries through every track to reveal bits and pieces of his autobiography—sometimes in lines like “Put Visine in my eyes so my grandma would fucking hug me” on “Coco Butter Kisses,” other times in drawn-out narratives. On “Acid Rain,” he drops acid and takes a nostalgic walk in the rain, asking “God to show his face.” This boundary-testing extends beyond the pharmaceutical for the artist whose Social Experiment Tour arrives in Seattle this week. Chance is just as unpredictable in his live sets. Lately he’s taken to covering Coldplay’s hit “Fix You,” singing the entire song. He’s even broken out Kanye’s The College Dropout single “All Falls Down” on occasion. Chance is still a growing artist. Part of his appeal is that his music feels wild, unhinged, and awesomely reckless. Time will tell if the rapper is at his creative peak, or if all that experimentation will lead to further ascent. Either way, it’s probably a good idea to catch him now. With DJ

A TRIBUTE TO HARRY SMITH’S ANTHOLOGY OF AMERICAN FOLK MUSIC “Harry was revered

for his Anthology . . . and everyone from the most obscure guitar player to Bob Dylan was influenced by it,” writes Patti Smith in her memoir, Just Kids. She befriended the American music archivist while she was living at the Chelsea Hotel. (The two are not related, though she writes that after she recited some of Brecht’s “Pirate Jenny” to him, it “sealed the deal between us.”) Harry, who exhumed and popularized the work of groups and artists like The Carter Family and Mississippi John Hurt, is now widely celebrated as the leading figure who ignited the folk revival of the ’60s. With Frank Fairfield, Vikesh Kapoor, Hannalee, Fox and the Law, Br’er Rabbit, Pepper Proud, AP Dugas, Yucca Mountain, Levi Fuller and The Library, JD Hobson. Hosted by Greg Vandy of KEXP. Columbia City Theater, 4916 Rainier Ave. S., 722-3009, columbiacitytheater.com. 8 p.m. $10 adv./$12 DOS. GWENDOLYN ELLIOTT PICKWICK The local soul-infused rock act, who’ve been playing fairly coy in the local scene as of late, return with a double header this week, and it can be assumed much sweat and dancing will occur. Expect lots of cuts from the group’s full-length, Can’t Talk Medicine, as well as favorites from their previous EPs. With Prism Tats. Crocodile, 2200 Second Ave., 441-4618, thecrocodile.com. SOLD OUT. All ages/bar with ID. KP METALACHI The words “mariachi” and “marriage” share a similar root, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that the genre is open to interpretation. Metalachi performs heavy-metal covers using traditional mariachi instrumentation (violin, trumpet, and guitar). The result is an acoustic set that nonetheless multiplies the energies of both styles. El Corazon, 109 Eastlake Ave. E., 262-0482, elcorazonseattle.com. 9 p.m. $12 adv./$15 DOS. MFB THE GUNDERSEN FAMILY brings much-needed serenity to the holiday season with four-part harmonies the likes of which can only be found in voices that share blood and a siblings’ bond. These talented youngsters are a breath of fresh air in a world of bubblegum pop, glitz, and glam. With Le Wrens. Fremont Abbey, 4272 Fremont Ave. N., 414-8325, fremontabbey.org. 8 p.m. SOLD OUT. JESSIE MCKENNA GAYTHEIST is one of the most exciting bands coming out of Portland these days, and its latest record, Hold Me . . . But Not So Tight, is full of all the great

SEATT LE W EEKLY • DECE MBER 11 — 17, 2013

n July, Chance the Rapper made it on to the Billboard Top 100 chart, a big accomplishment for any young artist. But it was the last thing the 20-year-old Chicagoan wanted. One of the year’s most exciting, groundbreaking hip-hop releases, Chance’s Acid Rap mixtape was meant to be free. Not “free if you have a Samsung Galaxy S III.” or even “pay what you want.” Chance has fought fiercely to keep Acid Rap available free online—accruing none of the sales figures that Billboard tracks—but it ended up at #63 anyway via bootleg sales on iTunes and Amazon before it was taken down. Chance doesn’t need the charts with the volume of hype he’s garnered, receiving rapper-of-the-year honors from Spin and album-ofthe-year nods from Rolling Stone, Stereogum, and countless indie blogs—as well as a request to feature on a Justin Bieber track. The Chicago MC’s voice takes some getting used to. He doesn’t come across menacing or especially smooth, sounding more like Gilbert Gottfried than Gucci Mane. But Chance plays this as a strength. The brash, nasal tones make his off-kilter flow sound even more jarring. When Chance shows up on a track, there’s no mistaking his voice for anyone else’s.

E D I T E D B Y G W E N D O LY N E L L I O T T

catchy jingles as “Santa Is an Asshole,” “It’s a Very Queer Christmas,” and “Christmas (Love It or Leave It),” McKeown puts real spirit back into the holidays. Come early and listen as she plays songs from earlier albums, then end your night with the culminating “Anti-Holiday” performance, featuring a chorus of “Cranky Carolers.” Barboza. 7 p.m. $10 adv. 21 and over. ACP GEMS’ gloomy electro sound brings the synth-pop genre a certain grit. The Seattle band consists of two synth players and two drummers, a combo that manufactures an organic feel while it buzzes with otherworldly hums and takes on instrumental electronica jams with punk-rock tenacity. It’s rare to see the two styles work together so well. With Ponyhomie, Lazer Kitty. Blue Moon Tavern, 712 N.E. 45th St., 675-9116, bluemoonseattle.wordpress.com. 9:30 p.m. $6. 21 and over. DH

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SEATTLE WEEKLY • DECEMBER 11 — 17, 2013


arts&culture» Music punk-influenced songs the group is known for. Live, the trio is one of the tightest bands around, and equally impressive to watch. With Glose, Cougar, Blood Drugs. Sunset Tavern, 5433 Ballard Ave. N.W., 784-4880, sunsettavern.com. 8:30 p.m. $8. JB ZEPPERELLA The best female Led Zeppelin tribute act this side of—well, anything, this fearsome foursome is here to rock out like it’s 1972. Beyond the surface gimmickry, Zepperella is one of the best cover bands out there today, and even earned a thumbs-up from Zeppelin’s own Jimmy Page. Tractor Tavern, 5213 Ballard Ave. N.W., 684-7200, tractortavern.com. 7:30 & 11 p.m. $15 ($25 for both shows). CORBIN REIFF

Saturday, Dec. 14

Looking at 19-year-old KING KRULE, aka Archy Marshall, it’s hard to imagine that deep, accent-heavy voice coming from the rail-thin British musician. Truth be told, his vocals, plus the loose-lipped way he handles syllables, reminds me of singer/songwriter Randy Newman. After a series of EPs, Marshall released his debut album, the jazz-rock 6 Feet Beneath the Moon, in August. With Willis Earl Beale. Barboza. 8 p.m. $12 adv. 21 and over. ACP THE BUSHWICK BOOK CLUB is not your mother’s book club. Taking inspiration from a variety of novels (past muses include Pride and Prejudice, A Wrinkle in Time, and Slaughterhouse-Five), the group writes and performs original songs that provide listeners with a new perspective on each book. This time, David Byrne’s How Music Works is getting the treatment. With Tamara Power Drutis, Wayne Horvitz, Nate Bogopolsky, Beth Fleenor, Alex Guy, Aaron Shay, Jason Goesel, Kimo Muraki. Columbia City Theater. 9 p.m. $8 adv./$12 DOS. 21 and over. ACP

Midlake

Thursday, December 12

K

honky-tonker (and former member of Calobo) never fails to entertain with his old-timey country tunes, whether a Hank Williams Sr. or Dolly Parton cover or one of his many fine originals. His country band is an exceptionally on-beat bunch that makes the music all the more danceable. With Sugar Cane, Home Sweet Home. Nectar Lounge. 8 p.m. $10 adv ./$12 DOS. GE THE MOONDOGGIES & THE MALDIVES are band “brothers” from another mother, so it’s fitting they host an annual “Family Christmas Show.” Fresh off a West Coast tour promoting the former’s latest record, Adiós I’m a Ghost, these esteemed Seattle alt-country boys (and girl—the Maldives’ pulse-keeping powerhouse, Faustine Hudson) are spreading holiday cheer in fine Americana form. With Denver. Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9442, neumos.com. 8 p.m. $15 adv. JM SECOND ANNUAL SMOOCH BENEFIT How in the heck do you get a bunch of awesome Seattle musicians to play together on a random night in December? Well, you tell them it’s for a good cause. Following the success of last year’s inaugural Seattle Musicians for Children’s Hospital (SMooCH) benefit, KEXP and Sub Pop partner again to raise funds for patients and their families with a badass concert that will include music from Allen Stone, The Helio Sequence, The Lonely Forest, and Shelby Earl. (In the words of Billy Joel, “Oh, what a night!”) But it gets better. In addition to showcasing some killer jams, the event—hosted by KEXP morning-show host and producer John Richards—will also offer a silent auction. Like last year, 100 percent of proceeds will benefit Seattle Children’s Hospital. Two words: Party time. Showbox at the Market, 1426 First Ave., 628-3151, showboxonline.com/market. 6 p.m. $60–$200. 21 and over. KP

With the rebirth, Midlake also landed a new record deal with Dave Matthews’ ATO Records, which validated all the hard work it put in on Antiphon. The title literally means “opposite voice,” and is generally used to describe a chanted response from a choir. But Pulido thought the word nicely summed up the spirit of the album, a response to what they had gone through. “I think it’s the plight of men,” says Pulido. “You’re defined by how you respond to things, not what the things are that have happened to you.”

www.elcorazonseattle.com

109 Eastlake Ave East • Seattle, WA 98109 Booking and Info: 206.262.0482

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 13 El Corazon Presents:

METALACHI (THE WORLD’S FIRST AND ONLY HEAVY METAL MARIACHI BAND) with Hair Nation and Stay Tuned Doors at 8 / Show at 9PM 21+. $12 ADV / $15 DOS

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 13

TOMMY & THE HIGH PILOTS with Rare Monk, American Island and True Holland Lounge Show. Doors at 7 / Show at 7:30PM ALL AGES/BAR W/ID. $8 ADV / $10 DOS

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 14 Take Warning Presents:

AMERICAN NIGHTMARE

(GIVE UP THE GHOST) with Heiress, Young Turks and Crutches Doors at 7 / Show at 8PM ALL AGES/BAR W/ID. $20 ADV / $25 DOS

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 15

MOURNING MARKET Doors at 12:00pm. Market Closes at 5:00pm ALL AGES/BAR W/ID. $1

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 15

WALTER & THE CONQUEROR, plus guests

Lounge Show. Doors at 8 / Show at 8:30PM ALL AGES/BAR W/ID. $8 ADV / $10 DOS

MONDAY, DECEMBER 16

PROMETHEAN EULOGY

with The Ludovico Treatment, The Fallen Among Us, plus guests Lounge Show. Doors at 7 / Show at 7:30PM ALL AGES/BAR W/ID. $8 ADV / $10 DOS

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 18 KEXP 90.3 FM & El Corazon Present:

CAPSULA with Special Explosion,

The Way We Were in 1989 and Winnebago Lounge Show. Doors at 8 / Show at 9PM 21+. $8 ADV / $10 DOS

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 19

I LIKE SCIENCE with Out On The Streets and Not From Brooklyn Lounge Show. Doors at 8 / Show at 8:30PM 21+. $5 ADV / $7 DOS

JUST ANNOUNCED 2/13 REHAB (FAREWELL TOUR) 3/7 RICHIE RAMONE 3/9 SUNNY LEDFURD 3/19 THE WONDER YEARS

UP & COMING 12/20 & 12/21 X / THE BLASTERS 12/22 BEST OF FRIENDS 12/26 LOUNGE TRANSCENDENCE 12/27 ALL CITY SHOWDOWN 12/28 MONSTERS SCARE YOU 12/29 UNHAILOED 12/30 JUMPING FENCES 12/31 LEFTOVER CRACK 1/1 LOUNGE BUSINESS SHARKS 1/3 LOUNGE NUMBER STATION 1/4 & 1/5 COLOSSAL FEST 1/6 LOUNGE THE HORSE I RODE

The EL CORAZON VIP PROGRAM: see details at www.elcorazon.com/vip.html and for an application email us at info@elcorazonseattle.com

SEATT LE W EEKLY • DECE MBER 11 — 17, 2013

Though heading out on the road without its former singer has been challenging, Midlake has found strength in its fans, who have embraced the new lineup and have been enjoying a set that contains several older songs the band hasn’t played in a while. All things considered, Pulido says, there have been remarkably few hiccups in moving forward re-formed. “I was actually the one talking the most of the time, even when Tim was in the band,” he says. “So that hasn’t really changed.” With Sarah Jaffe, James Anaya. The Crocodile, 2200 Second Ave., 441-4618, thecrocodile.com. 8 p.m. $12. DAVE LAKE

El Corazon

Tickets now available at cascadetickets.com - No per order fees for online purchases. Our on-site Box Office is open 1pm-5pm weekdays in our office and all nights we are open in the club - $2 service charge per ticket Charge by Phone at 1.800.514.3849. Online at www.cascadetickets.com - Tickets are subject to service charge

COURTESY OF THE ARTIST

udos to Denton, Texas’ Midlake for doing what few bands have been able to do: make a record that retains a sense of identity despite the departure of its primary songwriter. “It was no secret that Tim [Smith] struggled being content with where things were at musically and artistically,” says Eric Pulido about Midlake’s former guitarist and frontman. Pulido, who also plays guitar in the band, stepped in to lead the sextet as its driving force on its latest release, Antiphon. Pulido says the band briefly contemplated getting a new singer, but ultimately decided that would be a bigger change than forging on by themselves. The shift allowed Midlake to experiment with its sound, though without straying too far from its roots, namely melodic ’70s rock like Fleetwood Mac, Pink Floyd, and Genesis—a template that also remained intact after a major lineup change. “There really wasn’t a lot of time for us to sit and self-doubt and worry about fears and inhibitions,” says Pulido, who quickly gave the band the confidence they needed to get back to work. “I’m not prolific, so it was quite an undertaking, but any idea that I had, the guys made it better.”

CALEB KLAUDER COUNTRY BAND This Portland

53


arts&culture» Music Nearly a decade after his single “Collide” appeared on nearly every prime-time drama imaginable, pop-rock singer/songwriter HOWIE DAY is still at it. None of his recent singles have made as big an impact, but that hasn’t stopped him from maintaining a solid fan base through a series of well-received EPs and full-lengths, with album #4 in the works. With Tyler Hilton, Anna Rose. Tractor Tavern. 9 p.m. $17. 21 and over. ACP

Sunday, Dec. 15

On its forthcoming album Departure, SOFT HILLS turns toward the dark side, exploring the problems of capitalism and the emptiness of contemporary popular culture. Inspired by Nietzsche and Hesse, the band is moving away from its Americana roots toward a more purely psychedelic sound. With Fen Wik Ren, Special Guest. Sunset Tavern. 8 p.m. $6. 21 and over. MFB

Monday, Dec. 16

On his latest mixtape, No ConCept, Seattle MC MEGA EVERS goes hard over trap-influenced beats on every

Anna Von Hausswolff

Friday, December 13

A

54

COURTESY OF THE ARTIST

SEATTLE WEEKLY • DECEMBER 11 — 17, 2013

nna Von Hausswolff is a small Swedish woman who sings blackened songs about death. “I’ll bury all my children/I’ll carry them to death,” she howls like a woeful, pallbearing specter in “Funeral for My Future Children” on her latest album, Ceremony. It’s actually a pretty upbeat pop tune—one of the few glimpses of light on the immense, shadow-cloaked record, which feels like an ancient candlelit wake. (It was, in fact, dedicated to her recently deceased grandfather.) Hausswolff is an artist who eschews precedent. Critics are quick to compare her voice’s expressive quaver to Kate Bush’s, but Bush surely didn’t listen to quite as much drone metal as Hausswolff has. A self-professed fan of Earth, Swans, and Burzum, Hausswolff reinterprets metal’s emotional heft and dynamic long-form song structure into some pretty interesting, exciting pop. To capture the primordial, gut-wrenching expansiveness that her metal muses eke out, Hausswolff gets legitimately medieval. Her songs don’t feature big Hiwatt amps, down-

track. It seems the stakes are always high for him; each track, fierce and inspirational, details how he has kids to protect, a mother to make proud, and ambitions to be at the top of the rap game. With Fatal Lucciauno, NottusTre, Gifted Gab. Barboza. 8 p.m. $10 adv. 21 and over. DH Last year’s four-song EP What’s Weak This Week is a short-tempered, well-captured portrait of what DON PEYOTE is capable of. With song titles like the Mr. Show–referencing “My Shoes Hurt,” there’s an obvious sense of humor beneath the sludgy thrash this group bangs out. With Blood Drugs, Sashay. Chop Suey. 8 p.m. $6. JB

Tuesday, Dec. 17

Just a few months after releasing her dreamy Wanderlust EP, local singer/songwriter SUSY SUN will play one of her biggest shows yet opening for Yuna, who recently signed to Verve Records. Like Yuna’s, Sun’s music is chock-full of stories about love, loss, and—of course— getting back up again. With Yuna, Jus Moni. Crocodile. 8 p.m. $15 adv. All ages/bar with ID. KP

tuned guitars, or blast beats. Rather, Ceremony was written entirely on a church organ. Towering 32-foot pipes bellow bass notes that rumble deeper than any Sunn amp can. The instrument makes Hausswolff’s imagined funeral processions sound like actual proceedings—gothic songs of reverence written long, long ago. The beauty in Hausswolff’s music lies in her ability to transport you to this timeworn setting. Taking great care to craft a distinct environment, the songwriter doesn’t even begin singing until 10 minutes into the album. Opening track “Epitaph of Theodor” is an instrumental organ dirge straight from the Middle Ages that bleeds seamlessly into the doom-laden crescendos of “Deathbed.” After plunging us deep into the darkness, the track builds until finally at its zenith, Hausswolff’s voice appears like a single ray of light. If this all sounds too heavy and plodding, don’t be mistaken. These are hooky requiems. “Mountains Crave,”Ceremony ’s single, is one of the year’s best pop songs. An 808-inspired hip-hop beat clicked out on a cavernoussounding tom is cleverly twisted into a fluttering, organ-driven sing-along for knights and nature spirits. With Noveller. The Vera Project, Warren Ave. N., 956-8372, thevera project.com. 7:30 p.m. $11 ($10 w/club card). All ages. KELTON SEARS


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Grammy-nominated new age pianist celebrates 25th anniversary of Cristofori’s Dream and the release of his brand new CD Movement of the Heart

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MARLIN JAMES BAND 9PM - $5 COVER

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next • 1/9 - 1/11 elvis alive w/ vince mira & guests • 1/12 school of rock performs the beatles • 1/14 emily asher’s garden party • 1/16 kelly joe phelps • 1/17 & 1/18 los lobos • 1/22 george kahumoku jr and led kaapana • 1/24 the big gig: 6 speeds, lo to hi • 1/25 kim virant and gerald collier • 1/28 chieli minucci & special efx • 2/5 patty larkin • 2/6 habib koite • 2/10 duncan sheik • 2/12 - 2/15 the atomic bombshells :: j’adore! a burlesque valentine • 2/16 the presidents of the united states of america • 2/17 an evening with greg laswell • 2/18 & 2/19 sweet honey in the rock • 2/20 hot tuna (acoustic) w/ david lindley

happy hour every day • 12/11 the bayous • 12/12 tekla waterfield w/ tofte • 12/13 gypsy swing happy hour: the djangomatics / shady bottom • 12/14 theoretics • 12/15 tba • 12/16 crossrhythm session • 12/17 singer-songwriter showcase featuring: jeffrey martin, laura meyer and erin jordan • 12/18 quinn TO ENSURE THE BEST EXPERIENCE · PLEASE ARRIVE EARLY DOORS OPEN 1 HOUR PRIOR TO FIRST SHOW · ALL-AGES (BEFORE 9:30PM)

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SEATT LE W EEKLY • DECE MBER 11 — 17, 2013

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arts&culture» Music S.A.M. COLLECTIVE S.A.M. COLLECTIVE

LocaLReLeases

I Will Keep Your Ghost, It’s Natural EP (Dec. 17, self-released, soundcloud.com/i-will-keepyour-ghost) In 2009, Bryan Bradley and Aaron Coughlin started jamming in a garage in Everett. Four years later, the duo is proving that all that jamming has done them some good. It’s fair to say this five-track EP is a lot like the otherworldly, feelings-filled stuff you’re hearing on alternative radio (part Foals, part Alt-J, with a little bit of weird). Yet it’s unlike anything else being released in the Northwest, New Hours: M-F 12:00 – 7:00 which is what makes it shine. An eclectic mix Saturday 10:00 – 5:00 of spacey synths, fuzzy guitar, and hushed Sunday 12:00 – 5:00 vocals, It’s Natural lays down a sound all its Bring this ad for an extra 10% off own. As a whole, the collection is a bit dark, For weekly specials, follow us on Facebook but it’s also got nice glam-inspired retro-pop moments. You’ll hear the latter on “Nothing,” 4023 Aurora Ave. N. Seattle, WA 98103 an unexpectedly upbeat number that finds www.samcollective.org Bradley and Coughlin experimenting with (206) 632-4023 sounds you might associate more closely with A non-profit organization in accordance with chapter RCW 69.51A Thom Yorke or Trent Reznor (another sign RMMCconsulting.com For weekly specials, follow us on Facebook I Will Keep Your Ghost isn’t trying to be (206) 395-8280 the Northwest’s next big folk band). Album 4023 Aurora Seattle, WAboth 98103 • I-502 application assistance Ave. N.highlights include the opener and the • Location research and zoning by jurisdiction closer—aptly named “Lost” and “Found.” It’s www.samcollective.org • MMJ migration to I 502 businesses here you really get a good listen to what the • Marketing strategies duo is trying to accomplish: a full-fledged • Operating Plans / Business Plans / Floor Plans sensory experience laced in meaty electronic • Seed to sale implementation beats. Built a Bowie-esque ’80s blueprint, A non-profit organization in accordance with on chapter RCW 69.51A the result feels nostalgic and futuristic at the same time. (Sat, Dec. 14, Kroaker’s, Everett)

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Mary Lambert, Welcome to the Age of My Body (Dec. 17, Capitol Records, marylambertsings. com) When we last heard from Lambert, she’d just released “She Keeps Me Warm,” a spinoff of her now-world-famous solo on Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ “Same Love.” Countless shows supporting Mack and Ryan and one deal with Capitol Records later, the chanteuse has released her second EP, the first since her signing with Capitol. Opener “Body Love

Send your upcoming release to

reverbreviews@seattleweekly.com

Part 1” finds the 24-year-old Cornish grad returning to her poetry roots with a poignant spoken-word piece about the crazy things women do because of their not-always-positive relationships with their body (expensive makeup, diet pills, self-harm). “When do we draw the line?” she asks, before proclaiming it’s time for women to take back their bodies (the lush, driving backbeat here has a bopping Ani Difranco vibe, which is interesting to note). The four-track collection also includes “She Keeps Me Warm” and “Sarasavati,” in which Lambert shows her incredible range over a piano backdrop. The album closes with “Body Love Part 2,” its most emotional song. Continuing where “Part 1” left off, Lambert acts as a guidance counselor, offering more advice on the topic of body image, an everpresent theme in her life and work: “You are worth more than who you fuck/You are worth more than a waistline,” she sings, the emotion building until you can hear her voice breaking. With Body, Lambert deftly tackles important issues so often swept under the rug by urging listeners to confront the part they play in the big picture. By doing so, she proves she’s a compelling voice of her generation. If we see more from her in this vein, she may be this for years to come, too. (Sat., Feb. 1, Showbox at the Market) AZARIA C. PODPLESKY Low/Shearwater, Stay/Novacane split 7” (out

now, Sub Pop, subpop.com): The split, originally issued on Black Friday and limited to 3,500 copies, reveals a very different side to these two very indie groups. For starters, both are covering R&B tracks (by Rihanna and Frank Ocean, respectively). Yet each band approaches its song differently. Rihanna’s “Stay” is a polished, piano-driven pop ballad and Low maintains that structure but strips it down to its bare essence with lots of pretty keys (and, arguably, more sincerity). Shearwater, on the other hand, really reinterprets “Novacane,” musically and lyrically. For example, while Ocean sings about a “model broad” with a “stripper booty and a rack like wow,” Shearwater praises the “summer girl” who has “skinny legs and eyes like wow.” And while Ocean comes right out and says his “model broad” is doing porn to pay for tuition, Shearwater is intentionally vague, saying simply she’s doing “something” (hipster girl working at a bookstore?). Shearwater also slowed down the tempo, excluded the vocals from the outro, and reworked the R&B-inspired beat into a languid guitar riff, turning “Novacane” into a stark, haunting tune that really matches the song’s theme of feeling numb. Odd on paper, Stay/Novacane is surprisingly well done split that shows the ceaseless eccentricity of Sub Pop and its roster. Oh, and if the opportunity to support a local label isn’t reason enough, all proceeds from the single will be divided between charities Rock for Kids and the Southern Poverty Law Center. (Shearwater, Sat. Feb. 15, Crocodile) ACP


arts&culture»

Hope Dealers

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infused Goldfish, peanut brittle, and brownies, all for $6 each. New patients get a free medible on their first visit. Concentrates, including prefilled cartridges for vape pens, are also available. E

tokesignals@seattleweekly.com

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

HOPE ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE 9576 Ridgetop Blvd., Suite L-103, Silverdale, 360-516-6750. 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Mon.–Thurs., 10 a.m.–7 p.m. Fri., 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Sat.

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second medical-marijuana access point; until then, Greenthumb Silverdale had been the only dispensary in town. Hope Alternative has a warm and homey feel to it, and on my visit, proprietors Scott and Kim (a married couple) BY STEVE ELLIOTT had gone to the trouble to make the tastefully decorated reception area exude holiday cheer, so I was already in a good mood even while they were verifying my paperwork. This shop had somehow slipped under my radar for the first four and a half months of its existence. It’s not in a place you’d notice unless you were actually looking for it (behind the State Farm office, on the ground floor). But by using the handy dispensary-locating resource THCFinder.com, I was pleased to note a second marker showing up on the Silverdale map on my computer screen. Hope Alternative, conscious of being the second shop in town, aims at a somewhat more mature and calmer clientele than Greenthumb Silverdale’s, according to Scott, who said he wants to give older and more infirm patients a place where they’ll feel more at home. “I’m not saying they’re doing it wrong,” Scott said. “I just wanted to open a place where people like me would feel more comfortable getting their medicine.” The shop has an across-the-board $11 per gram pricing scheme—in other words, fair but not fantastic. But if paying a buck or two more per gram means getting quality meds, that’s an acceptable trade-off, and based on the two strains I tried (Funk Skunk, a sativa dominant, and Block Head, an indica), you get true top-shelf quality for your 11 bucks. Funk Skunk had just a little more moisture in the flowers than is conducive to even burning in a joint, so pipes or vaporizers are recommended. The strain’s energetic sativa zing provides welcome pain and nausea relief without sleepiness,

making it a good choice for daytime medication. Its sugary, calyx-heavy flowers are almost scentless, with just a hint of sweetness. Block Head’s phat, dense, dark-green nugs don’t have an overwhelming smell, either—just hints of a smooth, musky earthiness. But its indica wallop is satisfying and unmistakable after three or four tokes. The taste has a bit more sweetness than is suggested by the bouquet, and the buzz is immediate, heavy and profound, with a noticeable body component to the high, followed by typical indica sleepiness with continued toking. (Yes, I’m suggesting this is a good evening or bedtime strain.) Hope Alternative offers a small but tasty selection of medibles, including Cocoa Pebbles treats,

STEVE ELLIOTT

A

bout five months ago, Hope Alternative Medicine became Silverdale’s

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Toke Signals with Steve Elliott Your source for uncut, uncensored, no-holds-barred, non-corporatecontrolled cannabis news.

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Auto Events/ Auctions

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Cellco Partnership and its controlled affiliates doing business as Verizon Wireless is proposing to perform antenna modifications on the rooftop of a building located at 2315 Western Avenue, Seattle, WA 98121. The overall height of the building including antennas is 59-feet. Public comments regarding potential effects from this site on historic properties may be submitted within 30-days from the date of this publication to: Paul Bean, Tetra Tech, Inc., 19803 North Creek Parkway, Bothell, WA 98011, 425-482-7811, paul.bean@tetratech.com. Cellco Partnership and its controlled affiliates doing business as Verizon Wireless is proposing to perform antenna modifications on the rooftop of a building located at 116 Stewart Street, Seattle, WA 98101. The overall height of the building including antennas is 102-feet. Public comments regarding potential effects from this site on historic properties may be submitted within 30-days from the date of this publication to: Paul Bean, Tetra Tech, Inc., 19803 North Creek Parkway, Bothell, WA 98011 425-482-7811 paul.bean@tetratech.com.

Employment Computer/Technology Cypress Semiconductor Corporation, leading provider of highperformance, mixed-signal, programmable solutions, has openings in Lynnwood, WA for Product Engineer Senior (PE08): Bring new silicon design into production; CAD Engineer Sr. Staff (CADE02): Support the site infrastructure hardware and services and perform preventive and corrective maintenance; and Product Engineer Sr. Staff (PE09): Plan, schedule, and execute hardware and software development for automated testing of complex microcontroller and mixed signal semiconductor devices. If interested, mail resume (must reference job code) to: Cypress Semiconductor Corp., Attn: AMMO, 198 Champion Court, M.S. 6.1, San Jose, CA 95134.

NVIDIA Corporation, market leader in graphics and digital media processors, has engineering opportunities in Redmond, WA: Field Test Engr (TE09), validate and test Voice and Data platform for NVIDIA’s reference design (may require up to 40% domestic travel); Systems Software Engr (SSWE246), work with CUDA Developer Tools teams to develop, enhance and help bring new applications to the GPU; and Test Engr (TE10 & TE11), conduct platform testing for NVIDIA’s mobile devices (may require 20% to 30% domestic travel). If interested, ref job code and send to: NVIDIA Corporation. Attn: MS04 (L.Lashgari). 2701 San Tomas Expressway, Santa Clara, CA 95050. Please no phone calls, emails or faxes.

Enterprise Storage Engineer, Level II sought by Providence Health & Svcs in Renton, WA. Mng, maint & supprt storage environ. Reqs BS in CS, Engrng, Tech Mgt, rltd, + 5 yrs srvr admin exp. In the alt, emplyr accepts MS in CS, Engrng, Tech Mgt, rltd, + 3 yrs servr admin exp. Wrk exp must incl 2 yrs indstry exp supprtng a 24/7 backup environ. Must be exprt in mnging, maint, & supprt storage environ incl storage area netwrks (SAN), netwrk attchd storage (NAS), content addresble storage (CAS), & supprtng mgt s/w; comprhnsv know of storage & all supprtng s/w & infrastructr & workng know of O/Ss incl AIX, HP-UX, Windows & Linux; undrstnd intrnals of storage hrdwr incl drive configs, cache configs, & workng know of s/w reqd to mng; exp connectng SAN storage to SAN switch, assign ports, zone storage, perf LUN masking tasks, & make new storage visble to the srvr its provisnd to. Reqs occsnl trvl to othr office locs; reqd to be on-call 24x7. Emplyr accepts any suitble combo of ed, trnng, &/or exp. Must hav perm US wrk auth. Apply online at www.jobpostingtoday.com ref 1784

Employment General HELP WANTED!! Make up to $1000 A Week Mailing Brochures From Home! Helping home workers since 2001! Genuine Opportunity! No experience required. Start Immediately! www.needmailers.com MARKETING COORDINATOR The Daily Herald, Snohomish County’s source for outstanding local news and community information for more than 100 years and a division of Sound Publishing, Inc. is seeking a Marketing Coordinator to assist with multi-platform advertising and marketing solutions of print, web, mobile, e-newsletters, daily deals, event sponsorships and special publications as well as the daily operations of the Marketing department. Responsibilities include but are not limited to the coordination, updating and creation of marketing materials across a range of delivery channels, social media, contesting, events, house marketing, newsletters and working closely with the Sr. Marketing Manager to develop strategies and implement the marketing plan. The right individual will be a highly organized, responsible, self-motivated, customer-comes-first proven problem-solver who thrives in a fast-paced, deadline-driven environment with the ability to think ahead of the curve. We offer a competitive salary and benefits package including health insurance, paid time off (vacation, sick, and holidays), and 401K (currently with an employer match.) If you meet the above qualifications and are seeking an opportunity to be part of a venerable media company, email us your resume and cover letter to hreast@soundpublishing.com No phone calls please. Sound Publishing is an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE) and strongly supports diversity in the workplace. Check out our website to find out more about us! www.soundpublishing.com

WE ARE SCHEDULING INTERVIEWS FOR DIRECT MARKETING REPS

Help us Keep Trees Safe & Beautiful! The Tree Industry can provide you steady year round work. As a Marketing Rep for TLC4Homes Northwest Inc. you will help Generate Leads for Arborists employed by Evergreen Tree Care Inc. Our Arborists Provide Home Owners Free Estimates and Free Safety & Health Inspections for Tree & Shrub Trimming, Pruning & Removal Services. We Provide Paid Orientation, Marketing Materials, Areas to Work and Company Apparel.

Reps AVERAGE $30,000-$60,000/ YEAR Generating Leads for Tree Work. Work Outdoors- Year Round Work. Set your own schedule- Work Part time or Full time. Travel, Cell Phone, Medical Allowance Available. We do require a Vehicle, Driver’s License, Cell Phone & Internet Access in order to be considered for our Position.

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Call Employment Professional DIRECTV is currently recruiting for the following position in Lynnwood: Regional Service Manager If you are not able to access our website, DIRECTV.com, mail your resume and salary requirements to: DIRECTV, Attn: Talent Acquisition, 161 Inverness Drive West, Englewood, CO 80112. To apply online, visit: www.directv.com/careers. EOE.

Employment Social Services VISITING ANGELS Certified Caregivers needed. Minimum 3 years experience. Must live in Seattle area. Weekend & live-in positions available. Call 206-439-2458 • 877-271-2601

Health Care Employment

Caregivers

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(206)440-5500 Employment Career Services THE OCEAN Corp. 10840 Rockley Road, Houston, Texas 77099. Train for a new career. *Underwater Welder. Commercial Diver. *NDT/Weld Inspector. Job Placement Assistance. Financial Aid avail for those who qualify 1.800.321.0298

Real Estate for Sale King County

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HUD HOMES For Sale Save $$$! Renton: 3 BR, 2.5 BA, 3,120 SF, $523,000, ext. 315. Seattle: 2 BR, 1.5 BA, 1,027 SF, $311,000, ext. 507. Issaquah: 3 BR, 1.5 BA, 1,593 SF, $350,000, ext. 508. Chris Cross, KWR 800-711-9189, enter ext for 24-hr Rec Msg. www.WA-REO.com Statewide HUD auction in WA December 2013

Greenlake/WestSeattle $400 & up Utilities included! busline, some with private bathrooms • Please call Anna between 10am & 8pm • 206-790-5342

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DO YOU WANT TO STOP USING ALCOHOL? The UW and the Seattle VA are looking for people ages 18 and over who use alcohol frequently, have problems with it, and want to stop using it. Non-veterans are welcome! Study is evaluating whether an investigational medication is effective at reducing alcohol craving and use. Study takes 16 weeks. Volunteers will be compensated. Call Ian at 206-277-4872.

SEATT LE W EEKLY • DECE MBER 11 — 17, 2013

Professional Services Music Lessons

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COUPLE SEEKING TO ADOPT Loving couple seeking to ADOPT an infant. We can offer your baby a lifetime of opportunity, humor, adventure and financial security. We will provide a happy home, sharing our interests in the outdoors, travel, music, and sports. Let us help support you with your adoption plan. Contact us at direct at 206-920-1376, toll-free at 877-290-0543 or email AndrewCorley@outlook.com You can also contact our attorney at 206-728-5858, ask for Joan file #0376.

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Select from a variety of DVDs, Mags, and Toys. Buy, Sell, Trade!!!! Ask Clerk for details about how you can save $$$ on your next purchase.

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Choice. Flexibility. Economy. Superior Protection. For your car, home, and business. Northwest Insurance Group has it all for you in one place - from our office in Seattle, Washington we serve the insurance needs of individuals, families and businesses all over Washington and throughout the Pacific Northwest.

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6055 California Ave SW Seattle, WA 98136 • (206) 932-2500 www.nwinsgroup.com

Seattle Weekly, December 11, 2013  

December 11, 2013 edition of the Seattle Weekly

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