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FEBRUARY 26-MARCH 4, 2014 I VOLUME 39 I NUMBER 9

SEATTLEWEEKLY.COM I FREE

MCCONAUGHEY’S SLIM CHANCE AND THE REST OF OUR OSCAR FORECAST. PAGE 17 | CATALDO GOES HARD. PAGE 29

Death Penalty

Interrupted

BY NINA SHAPIRO AND ELLIS E. CONKLIN


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inside»   February 26–March 4, 2014 VOLUME 39 | NUMBER 9

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news&comment 5

CREDIT LIMIT

EDITORIAL

BY MATT DRISCOLL | Mayor Murray’s

Senior Editor Nina Shapiro

“new” bike-share program.

Food Editor Nicole Sprinkle

5 | SEATTLELAND 7 | SPORTSBALL

8

Editor-in-Chief Mark Baumgarten

NOT ON HIS WATCH

BY NINA SHAPIRO & ELLIS E. CONKLIN | The story behind Gov. Inslee’s

death-penalty moratorium—and its impact on one homicide victim’s family.

food&drink 15 ON THE ROAD

BY CHASON GORDON | Food trucks

let restaurants go mobile. 15 | FOOD NEWS/TEMP CHECK 16 | THE BAR CODE

arts&culture 17 OSCAR FEVER!

BY STEVE WIECKING & BRIAN MILLER | In which we bitch and rant

about the Academy Awards on Sunday. 19 | PICK LIST 21 | OPENING NIGHTS | A fresh

22 | THE FUSSY EYE 22 | PERFORMANCE

24 FILM

24 | THE SEATTLE JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL | Jewel thieves, Sid Caesar,

and more. 25 | OPENING THIS WEEK | Solo sailors, trouble in the West Bank, and a Native American drama. 26 | FILM CALENDAR

29 MUSIC

Eric Anderson’s new album for his band Cataldo is everything he wanted. 30 | SEVEN NIGHTS

odds&ends

28 | THE GEEKLY REPORT 34 | TOKE SIGNALS 35 | CLASSIFIEDS

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Frankenstein, oppressive opera, and a Sondheim revival.

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news&comment

Sharing Credit

The Riddle of Musab Masmari

The plan for Seattle’s bike-share program started years ago. So why does Ed Murray deserve props for it?

I

BY MATT DRISCOLL

F

SEATTLELAND

Before the end of 2014, bike-share stations like this will likely dot the city.

bike-share program, even though it’s been slated to debut in 2014 all along, should help to quiet those rumblings. “He wanted an early victory, and bike-share was kind of teed up,” says Tom Fucoloro of the Seattle Bike Blog. “It’s a chance for him to launch something that could have the potential to revolutionize the way people get around the city”—though Fucoloro admits that Murray’s maneuver was “not that hard of a thing to do” given the circumstances, and “kind of a nobrainer.” While Murray, in his State of the City address, all but promised a 2014 launch for Seattle’s bikeshare program, Houser takes a more cautious approach, telling Seattle Weekly she’s “pretty darn sure” it’s going to happen. The only potential hiccup now is getting the equipment, she says. In January, the company that was supposed to supply equipment for Seattle’s bike-share program filed for bankruptcy. Houser says Alta is currently “working very hard to put together a new supply chain” for Seattle. She’s optimistic, saying that in the end, going with a new company for equipment will likely mean putting “a superior product” on the street. “We’re all cued up and ready to go. We have everything we need on our side,” Houser says. Either way, when Seattle’s bike-share program does launch, it’s becoming clear who will claim credit: Ed Murray. E

mdriscoll@seattleweekly.com

THE WEEKLY BRIEFING | What’s going on at seattleweekly.com: Residents at Ballard’s Lockhaven Apartment Complex rallied

a

Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch against higher rents and pending evictions. But will the effort help them avoid getting the boot? pleaded guilty to reckless driving in his DUI case. His lawyer called it a “wet reckless.” That’s so #BeastMode. Good Jobs Seattle was at it again, picketing local fast-food burger joints as part of their “McPoverty” boycott aimed at bringing a $15/hour minimum wage to Seattle. We’re sure Taco Bell appreciated it. Finally, Mayor Ed Murray and interim Police Chief Harry Bailey had a really shitty week. Maybe you heard about it . . .

SEATTLE WE EKLY • FEBRUARY 26 — M ARCH 4, 2014

jockeying for a major chunk of the credit. But how much credit can Murray possibly take for something already years in the making? It comes down to money—and according to Houser and others, that’s where Murray deserves props. While former Mayor Mike McGinn will probably always be known as Seattle’s bike mayor—or Mayor McSchwinn, if you must— when it comes to taking charge and leveraging the city’s financial might to get a bike-share program rolling, it’s Murray who was willing to do the heavy lifting, according to Houser. She tells Seattle Weekly that in his two months in office, Murray has made securing the final chunk of private sponsorship funding for Seattle’s bikeshare program a priority. And apparently it’s worked. Houser says the mayor and Puget Sound Bike Share will announce in the coming weeks that private funding has been secured for the remainder of the $4.4 million needed for a 2014 phase-one launch. “Murray has been able to come in and basically pick up the phone and make that final push,” says Houser, adding that McGinn didn’t have the political relationships or desire to pull off “those big asks.” Houser says having the strong political support of the mayor has been essential. As a candidate, Murray’s dedication to biking in Seattle was often questioned—fairly or not—especially when compared to McGinn’s. Laying claim to Seattle’s soon-to-be-realized

SPD BLOTTER

DON DEBOLD

or those following Seattle’s march toward a bike-share program, the words out of our new mayor’s mouth during his State of the City address last week were both exciting and mystifying. “I will announce plans very soon with our friends at Puget Sound Bike Share to bring an exciting new bike-share program to Seattle—a program we are prepared to launch in 2014,” Ed Murray told the crowd. It was a peculiar declaration. While any bikeshare program would by definition be new to Seattle, plans for one definitely are not. The Seattle Department of Transportation, King County, and a group of other stakeholders—under the umbrella of the Bike Share Partnership—started studying back in 2011 what it would take to bring a bike-share program to Seattle, and things progressed from there. Led by the nonprofit Puget Sound Bike Share, Seattle has been actively working toward a 2014 launch since at least 2012, when the Washington State Department of Transportation awarded King County a $750,000 grant for the purchase and installation of bike-share stations in the U District. In April 2013, Puget Sound Bike Share selected Portland’s Alta Bicycle Share as the company that will operate the system and secure the bikes and stations—with a stated goal of having 500 bikes available for shortterm rental at 50 stations throughout the city by 2014. In September 2013, the City Council passed two pieces of legislation paving the way for bike-sharing to operate in Seattle. The City even maintains a bike-share website, last updated in December 2013, that states “The program is anticipated to launch in 2014.” All the while, money was being rounded up to get the program off the ground, in the form of grants and private sponsorships from the likes of Children’s Hospital of Seattle. At last check, Puget Sound Bike Share was over half of the way toward the $4.4 million it has said is needed to launch phase one. So what on earth is this new bike-share program Ed Murray will bring to Seattle? “Nothing has really changed,” Puget Sound Bike Share Executive Director Holly Houser tells Seattle Weekly. The goal is still 500 bikes at 50 stations. Puget Sound Bike Share will still be running the show. With a contract that’s all but finalized, Alta Bicycle Share will still be the operator. And the program still plans to debut in 2014. In other words, the bike-share program Seattle has been promised is the one Mayor Murray now says it will get, only with the new mayor

f prosecutors have it right, Musab Masmari intended to kill everyone in sight when he allegedly set a New Year’s Eve arson fire at Neighbours, the big dance club on Seattle’s Capitol Hill. It was an act in sharp contrast to the one earlier that afternoon, when police had found a shirtless, sweaty Masmari sitting in a tree, hacking off some of its branches. In his broken EngBY RICK ANDERSON lish, “He said he was doing this to save everyone,” recalls veteran Seattle Police Detective Kerry Hays. Falling limbs, bad. Burning limbs, good? Masmari is a jumble of enigmatic contradictions. The lean, 6´1˝, trimly bearded odd-jobber—most recently a pizza deliveryman and a gas-station attendant—also passes himself off as a “cultural ambassador” to Arabic-speaking visitors. On his Facebook page, his main interest is females, he says, professing a kinship with them. Yet he has been accused of harassing women and making lewd comments. One took out a protection order to keep him at bay. Masmari is supposedly the man seen in surveillance film holding the gas can used to splash fuel and start a fire at the gay Broadway nightclub while more than 750 people inside celebrated Who is this man? the New Year Does he even know? on December 31. Flames were quickly doused by two quick-thinking Army and Air Force service members who found an extinguisher. But the black smoke and fire set off sprinklers, soaking the celebration. According to a search warrant filed in the case, Masmari told a witness afterward that homosexuals should be “exterminated.” If so, how does that square with what he wrote on Facebook in 2011?: “Judgements [sic] and Racism, two words, different in meaning have immediate relation, they’re carrying Ugliness and Aggression, but they still exist inside us.” Officials are still putting a case together against the suspect, who has a tendency to spit on police officers and, said a judge, may need mental help. Twice while in custody at the East Precinct after arrests, he defecated in his pants in protest, according to court records. But uncertainties abound, starting with his name. In Superior Court, where he’s charged with felony arson, he is 30-year-old Musab Mohammad Musmari, with a “u,” born in California and raised in Benghazi, Libya. In Municipal Court, where

» CONTINUED ON PAGE 7 5


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news&comment» Mariners Caught Looking on Wilson

Musab Masmari » FROM PAGE 5

I

COURTESY OF

“So American, don’t tell me you know about the things I feel and see. I’m terrorized in my own land, and I’m the terrorist?”

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

sportsball@seattleweekly.com

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being passed out in his Mitsubishi convertible, and Masmari had been harassing him since: Just the day before, Masmari swung his car head-on into Matt’s traffic lane, forcing him to pull over abruptly, he said. Masmari was arrested and, in December, went to trial. His attorney asked the court to bar testimony about Masmari’s state of mind, prior convictions, or his “terrorizing the community or being banned from certain Capitol Hill establishments.” A jury convicted him of assault. About three weeks later, he allegedly tried to burn down Neighbours. On January 16, while cops were beginning to focus on him, Masmari was in Municipal Court being sentenced to 30 days in jail for the assault. A judge also thought he might need a mental-health checkup. Masmari wasn’t having it. He posted a $5,000 appeal bond, staying his sentence, and took the case to Superior Court. Two weeks later, headed for the airport and an overseas flight, he was arrested for arson. He’s now being held on $1 million bail. Masmari has pleaded not guilty, and his attorney says his client is innocent. Masmari has perhaps made his own statement in a Facebook post, a variation on a Palestinian poem called “Eye to Eye.” It begins, “You think you know all about terrorism, but you don’t know it the way I do.” It concludes: “So American, don’t tell me you know about the things I feel and see. I’m terrorized in my own land, and I’m the terrorist?” E randerson@seattleweekly.com

t’s the most Mariners thing ever. They commit $240 million to Robinson Cano and still don’t have Seattle’s most popular second baseman. That designation clearly belongs to Seattle Seahawk—and Texas Rangers spring-training invitee—Russell Wilson. Drafted in 2010 by the Colorado Rockies while still in college, Wilson played two minor league seasons—including 32 games for the Pasco-based Tri-City Dust DevBY SETH KOLLOEN ils. Then, before the 2012 NFL draft, Wilson told the Rockies he was committing full-time to football. Said a disappointed Rockies’ exec: “We thought his future would be better in baseball.” That should’ve been the end of Wilson’s baseball story. But Texas threw him a curve. I’ll trade you my They picked Wilson Russell Wilson for in December’s Rule V your Cano. draft, a sort-of rummage sale for minor leaguers, in which anyone left off their own organization’s “protected list” can be purchased for what amounts to pocket change. On March 3, a month and a day after winning Seattle a Super Bowl, Wilson will don Rangers’ red, white, and blue for a day of photo ops and pep talks. He’ll never play a competitive game for Texas, but he will reflect a little of his championship shine their way. The Mariners must be kicking themselves for not taking Wilson with their own Rule V pick, 14 spots ahead of Texas’, which they didn’t even use. Putting Wilson in a Seattle uniform would’ve cost only $12,000, or 5/100,000 what they’ll pay Cano. They could’ve made it back in an hour on jersey sales. Instead Wilson’s a PR opp for their division rival. It’s a mark of Wilson’s popularity that no Mariners fan I’ve talked to seems to care. Still, it brings up a question: What could Russell Wilson do to make Seattle fans not like him? Burn down a farmers market? Propose a ban on kombucha? Become a right-wing congressman? Steve Largent tried the latter, and he’s still one of the Seahawks’ most popular ex-players. As the quarterback who led the Seahawks to a world championship, Russell Wilson is substantially responsible for one of the happiest days of my life. Honestly, he could break into my apartment and take a dump on my couch every day for a month, and I’d clean it up daily with no complaints. Probably while watching Super Bowl highlights. The only wrong Wilson could do now would be to leave the Hawks and apply the same dedication to baseball that he has to football. I’d be devastated. I’m also sure he’d eventually turn himself into an All-Star. Heck, since MLB lets fans pick the All-Star team, he might be one this year if Texas put him on the ballot. He’d have my vote. Sorry, Robinson. E

SPORTSBALL

TOPPS

he appeared 16 times last year on misdemeanor charges from parking tickets and traffic violations to assault, property damage, obstructing an officer, and being drunk behind the wheel of his parked car, he is Musab M. Masmari, formerly of Capitol Hill, late of Bellevue, earlier of Kirkland. (He is also known as Musab Al Musmari, but insisted in one court filing that Masmari is the correct spelling). As Musab Musmari, he was arrested this month for the alleged torch job after having been effectively handed over to police by citizens. Many recognized him in suspect photos and videos and called in solid tips. It wasn’t the first time Masmari had spread fear on the Hill, nor the first time the public had helped apprehend him. Last July, a man named Matt was standing outside the Deluxe Bar & Grill when Masmari suddenly came at him with half a pool cue in hand, cursing and spitting. The two went to the pavement. Matt got hit on the head but wrestled away the cue. Masmari got loose, then ran—and the crowd tackled him. According to the victim, Masmari was mad at him because of earlier runins. Matt had talked to police about Masmari

7


Death Penalty Interrupted

This month Governor Jay Inslee announced that no death-row inmates would be executed on his watch. This is how he arrived at that momentous decision.

8

SNOHOMISH COUNTY

SEATTLE WEEKLY • FEBRUARY 26 — MARCH 4, 2014

BY NINA SHAPIRO

Gov. Jay Inslee

Last March, a young, Harvard-trained attorney named Nick Brown began settling into his job as general counsel for the state’s newly elected governor, Jay Inslee. Brown (whose unusual resume includes a stint on the reality TV show Survivor while in law school) had in the past focused on criminal work. He had most recently served as a prosecutor in U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan’s office, and before that had worked as an Army defense attorney in Iraq. So as he assessed his myriad new duties, he naturally took a keen interest in the criminal-justice matters facing the governor. n There was a big one, Brown recalled one day last week in his modest, windowless office in Olympia’s Capitol Building. Jonathan Gentry, who had been on death row since 1991 after being convicted of killing a 12-year-old girl, was nearing the end of his appeals. It was deemed likely that Gentry’s stay of execution would be lifted sometime in 2014. n If that were to happen, Inslee would join just a handful of Washington state governors in the modern era who have been directly faced with the death penalty and the many moral and political questions that surround it. In the past 50 years, there have been but five executions. n “Look you’re going to be faced with these issues,” Brown says he told Inslee. “All right, well, get me up to speed,” the general counsel remembers his boss instructing him. “It wasn’t like, ‘Hey, I want to get rid of the death penalty.’ ”. n If anything, Brown might have guessed that Inslee supported capital punishment. The only time Inslee voted on the matter was as a Congressman representing a district in eastern Washington in 1994. Faced with a bill that would have substituted life imprisonment for the death penalty, Inslee voted no. In a phone interview last week, the governor didn’t elaborate on his earlier views, saying only “I thought it was the right vote at the time.”. n A lot of people did. 1994 was the year that support for the death penalty was at an all-time high, according to Gallup pollsters. Eighty percent said they were in favor. Not coincidentally, Gallup recently observed, in that year “Americans consistently named crime as » CONTINUED ON PAGE 10 the most important problem facing the United States.”


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» FROM PAGE 8

10

Meanwhile, politicians had absorbed a key lesson from the 1988 presidential campaign of former Massachusetts governor Michael Dukakis, who dispassionately expressed his opposition to the death penalty when asked during a debate what his response would be were his wife to be raped and murdered. The lesson drawn from the widespread mocking of Dukakis that ensued and his ultimate loss to George H.W. Bush: You’re risking your political life by opposing capital punishment. “A lot has happened in the state since 1994,” Inslee says. Indeed, a lot has happened in the country, which has caused what state Rep. Reuven Carlyle, a Seattle Democrat, calls a “profound shift” in views on capital punishment. Last year, with a much lower crime rate than 1994’s, Gallup found 60 percent of Americans supported the death penalty—still a majority, but the lowest number in four decades. Even more strikingly, six states have abolished the death penalty since 2006, bringing the total to 18. Seven more have imposed moratoriums through either gubernatorial or court decisions. Washington, of course, is now one of them. On February 11, Inslee announced that he would issue a reprieve to any prisoner scheduled for execution during his term in office. His reasoning taps into growing concerns about the death penalty nationwide. At the same time, the governor’s decision came as a shock. Even several people who had met with him just the day before to discuss capital punishment had no idea a moratorium was on the table. “He’s a good poker player,” says Eldon Vail, a former state Department of Corrections secretary who was in on that meeting. As it happened, Inslee was at the very end of a process that he and Brown had been engaged in for months. “It really started to ramp up last fall,” Brown explains. In addition to researching current death-row cases and the larger issues surrounding capital punishment, the 36-year-old general counsel launched a series of meetings. He traveled to the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla, where all the state’s executions take place. He had the prison superintendent, Stephen Sinclair, walk him through every stage of an execution, from when an inmate leaves his cell to the moment that he either hangs or receives a lethal injection. Along the way, Brown learned, some 100 DOC staffers participate in the process: those who accompany the condemned out of his cell, those who stay with the families of the inmate and the victims, escorts for the media, the prison superintendent who watches the condemned man die. “To a T,” Brown says, everyone he spoke with about the process emphasized the often-deep emotional impact on those staffers—something the general counsel says is “an aspect of the death penalty so rarely talked about.” Later the governor took the same Walla Walla tour, following it with the early-February meeting that included Vail and another former DOC secretary, Joe Lehman, both of them opposed to capital punishment. Vail says he told the governor that, during a couple of executions, his staffers were so visibly distressed that the condemned men were moved to comfort those tasked with killing them.

Inslee says these conversations made him more aware of the impact of executions on staffers, and noted in his press conference on the moratorium that all of the state’s retired DOC secretaries oppose the death penalty (including Chase Riveland, who preceded Vail and Lehman). Brown, and later the governor, also talked with family members of victims. Brown calls a conversation with four such family members “one of the most difficult and emotional things” he’s ever done as a lawyer. The conversation had been arranged by Lew Cox, head of a Tacoma group called Violent Crime Victim Services. Cox had told Brown that most family members start out wanting the death penalty, but many, after years of emotionally draining appeals, end up just wanting to get the case over with. Cox, as he later explained in an interview, lays blame not on capital punishment itself but on what many families believe is an excessively lengthy appeals process. But Brown says the conversation with Cox, himself the father of a murder victim, and the other family members “shone a light on the pain and frustration” felt in drawn-out death penalty cases. Brown was also struck by a story told by a murdered man’s daughter, who had visited the killer in prison. The woman had shown the killer a series of family pictures, showing him

General counsel Nick Brown brought the question of the death penalty to the attention of Governor Inslee.

most swayed by some of his research. He says he read a Washington State Bar Association report on the death penalty twice. That report, published in 2006, calls attention to the tremendous costs of death-penalty cases. Inslee says the figures in the report are not as definitive as he would have liked; estimates range from $125,000 to $2 million extra per case. But the point was made—and Inslee says he knows that some cases, like the Carnation

Everyone Nick Brown spoke with emphasized the emotional impact on staffers—something the general counsel says is “an aspect of the death penalty rarely talked about.” his victim surrounded by loved ones. And the killer, who had already expressed deep remorse, started to cry. At the end of the visit, the woman told Brown, she hugged the man. (Cox says the woman no longer supports the death penalty for that killer, although she does for a far less remorseful co-defendant.) Inslee says less about the family members he talked to, except that he learned that their views vary. Some fully support the death penalty. Others feel that a worse punishment would be to “spend the rest of your life in a small cell,” Inslee says. Frank Holden, the father of Gentry’s 12-year-old victim, whom Inslee called the night before he announced his moratorium, stands in the former camp. (See “Vengeance Denied,” opposite.) In early February, Inslee met with Russ Hauge, the prosecutor in Kitsap County, where the Gentry case was tried. Hauge says he told the governor that if he wanted to make a statement about the death penalty, this case was not the one to do it over. In decades of appeals, no doubt about the child-killer’s guilt, nor any mitigating circumstances, had emerged. Inslee, as he made his moratorium announcement, stressed that he does not doubt the guilt of any of the nine men on death row, nor would he give them “mercy.” He could have commuted all their sentences to life in prison, but chose not to. Whether the conversation with Hauge played into that decision is hard to say. Indeed, while Inslee mentions many of the conversations he and his staffers had during his lengthy deliberative process, one gets the sense that he was ultimately

murder of six that has racked up at least $7 million in expenses so far, cost far more. “What I learned is that the application [of the death penalty] is wildly disproportionate,” Inslee adds. Only a small number of counties that can afford to prosecute capital cases do so. As he talked to friends and families about the issue, someone said to him that whatever your moral position on the death penalty, it did not seem justifiable that two people would be prosecuted differently for the same crime depending on where they lived. “I thought this was one of the more interesting insights,” Inslee says. In fact, while the governor has generally avoided bringing morality into the discussion, he says he came to conclude that this inequitable prosecution was “an immoral act.” Finally, Inslee says he looked at the high number of death-penalty convictions that had been overturned: 19 of 32 imposed since our current death-penalty law was implemented in 1981—a reversal rate of 60 percent, he points out. So all those millions spent, all the inequitable prosecutions, were happening in a system that Inslee determined had to be “called into question.” Inslee resists discussing any particular cases.

But one doesn’t have to look far to find some that might have influenced him. Last year was a “remarkable” one for the Innocence Project Northwest, relates director Jacqueline McMurtrie. The Project saw five exonerations in cases it handled, including one that came down just this past December: Seattleite Brandon Olebar was released after 10 years in prison on convictions

of robbery and burglary. The Innocence Project tracked down three of the real assailants, who signed sworn statements saying Olebar was not involved. Also last year, Alan Northrup testified in the legislature about the 17 years he spent in prison for a Clark County rape. He was set free in 2010 after DNA evidence proved his innocence. Northrup’s testimony about the impact of spending so many years in prison for a crime he did not commit—delivered in favor of a wrongfulconviction compensation bill—“jolted the legislature to its core,” Carlyle recalls. Legislators passed the bill, which was then signed into law by Inslee in May. None of these cases involved capital punishment, but they highlighted the possibility of wrongful conviction that is so especially frightening in death-penalty cases. The country’s understanding of this issue crystallized in the 1990s as DNA testing came into its own, observes Richard Dieter, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center in Washington, D.C. In 2000 a Republican governor of Illinois, George Ryan, imposed the country’s first moratorium on executions after courts had overturned 13 deathpenalty convictions. In 2011, Illinois joined a wave of other states in permanently abolishing the death penalty. Will Washington now do the same? Carlyle, who has in the past introduced several bills that would substitute a sentence of life in prison for the death penalty, says Inslee’s action is a “gamechanger” for a bill he plans to introduce in 2015. Inslee has indicated he wants to jump-start a debate rather than be out in front crusading on the issue. But he says he will continue to talk to the public, which has already shown him “surprising” support. He maintains the responses he’s heard to the moratorium have run 4 to 1 in favor. Meanwhile, Dukakis, talking by phone from Los Angeles and still clearly irritated by the 1988 debate that he admits he bungled, notes that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced in late January that federal prosecutors will seek the death penalty for Boston Massacre defendant Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. What that means, Dukakis predicts, is that we’re going to have another national debate on the death penalty. If so, Inslee’s announcement seems perfectly timed. E

nshapiro@seattleweekly.com


ELLIS E.CONKLIN

The late winter sun has begun to retreat behind the snow-speckled Bannock Mountain Range on the outskirts of Pocatello, Idaho. Frank Holden shields his eyes from the glare that floods his office, located in an industrial strip a mile east of the massive Simplot fertilizer factory, where cement silos cough up smoke into ice-blue skies. As the rumble of another Union Pacific train bulging with coal sounds in the distance, Holden recounts a phone call he wishes he’d never received. It was February 10, just after 7 p.m. Holden was at his home on the south side of town, where juniper trees and sagebrush dominate the surroundings. And Gov. Jay Inslee was on the line. “He said, ‘Here’s what I’m going to do . . . ’ He said something about the cost of the death penalty and all its flaws, and whatever. It didn’t last long, maybe five minutes, a courtesy call, I guess. He says, ‘I’m sorry for your daughter.’ Then he says he couldn’t imagine what it must have been like to go through this. “And I told him, ‘I’m really disappointed. I’ve been waiting a long time for justice.’ ” Almost 26 years, in fact. “And after all that time, this governor walks in

Cassie Holden was 12 years old when she was murdered while picking wildflowers near a Bremerton golf course. Frank Holden still keeps a copy of the death warrant ordering Jonathan Lee Gentry’s execution.

and says he knows better.” Holden goes on. “Talk about cruel and unusual punishment: having your daughter murdered, going through the trial, getting the conviction, getting the death penalty, and going through all the appeals. “[ Jonathan Lee] Gentry knew he was done. He knew justice was coming, and I think this governor knew that, that this was going to come across his desk this year.” In June 1988, Cassie Holden had finished sev-

enth grade at Franklin Middle School in Pocatello. She was four months shy of her 13th birthday and

excited to take her first plane trip. On June 11, she flew by herself on a puddle-jumper to Boise and caught a small jet to Seattle. “She hadn’t seen her mother in six months,” Holden recalls. On the morning of June 12, Cassie, now reunited with her mother in Bremerton, called home to tell her dad all was well. “It was an open-ended ticket. I told her she could stay as long as she wanted that summer. We made plans that she would call me every day.” On June 13, which happened to be Holden’s first anniversary with his new wife, Diane, he got a call from Terry Holden, Cassie’s biological

mother: “She said Cassie was missing.” Cassie had gone for a walk near Bremerton’s Rolling Hills Golf Course, close to Terry’s house near the clubhouse, but failed to return for dinner. She was picking wildflowers. On June 15, while a panicked Frank and Diane were driving west, Cassie’s body was found in a wooded area near the golf course. On the Idaho-Oregon border, Holden received the news. “We pulled into a truck stop at Farewell Bend, and it was right up there on the TV screen,” Holden says, his voice crack-

Musi Music usic c Matters9

» CONTINUED ON PAGE 12

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» FROM PAGE 11 ing. “They had the news that Cassie was found, that she was dead. Then I called my father [in Pocatello] and he told me what had happened.” The autopsy revealed that the girl, Holden’s only child, had been struck in the head with a blunt object eight to 15 times. A 2.2-pound rock, the murder weapon, was found at the crime scene, according to police reports. Some of Cassie’s clothing was partially removed, but the autopsy did not conclusively show any evidence of sexual assault. At the time of the murder, Jonathan Lee Gentry, then 32, was free on bail, awaiting trial on a charge of first-degree rape.

SEATTLE WEEKLY • FEBRUARY 26 — MARCH 4, 2014

Frank Holden is 59 years old, a ruggedly hand-

12

some man with steel blue eyes and a thick mane of hair, flecked with gray, that he brushes back. He’s lived his whole life here and can’t imagine going anywhere else. Holden has made a nice living for himself as the owner of SnugFleece, where he and his six employees make wool mattress covers and blankets. The company started in 1988, just a few months before Cassie’s murder. An outdoorsman, Holden loves to fish and hunt, ride his mountain bike, or head up to Pebble Creek to hit the slopes of the Portneuf Range inside Caribou National Forest. “Cassie was a good little skier. She got that passion from me.” Quietly, he continues. He wants to talk about her. Even now, he confides, when a stranger asks in passing conversation whether he has any children, “I always say, ‘Yes, I do, a daughter.’ ” “She was an avid little reader and talked about having a large family. She wanted twins. I don’t know where she got that. She was a soccer player and rode horses. She wasn’t real outgoing, but she always stuck up for the underdog. “And like I said, she loved to pick flowers. She was picking them for her mother that day to bring home to her when they were going to have dinner. They found a small bouquet near where she was killed.” Holden had his daughter cremated in Port Orchard after the autopsy was completed, four days after his arrival. He brought her ashes back to Pocatello, put them in an urn, and placed it in her bedroom beside a picture of her. The urn and the picture remain there today. The church was packed for Cassie’s memorial. “There were so many friends and family. There are still some people who stay in touch, grown women now, Teresa and Tamberlie, who knew Cassie,” Holden says. “I see them from time to time. People here don’t talk about this much anymore. It’s been a long time ago. People forget. They especially forget about the victims.” Again, the tears flare. “You know, you never do recover. It’s always there. You’ll meet someone new, and if you get close to that person, it comes up. And you tell them, and then you feel bad when you tell them, because you know they’re feeling bad. The people who do get close to me say I got to let it go, but I can’t let it go.”

Jonathan Gentry was staying at his brother’s

house near the golf course. Witnesses told police that a man matching his description was on the same trail in that wooded area around the time Cassie was bludgeoned to death. In August 1988, Kitsap County prosecutors, armed with a search warrant, went to Gentry’s residence and found the most incriminating evidence of all: a pair of shoes that had been recently

cleaned, but with bloodstains on the laces. Over defense counsel’s objections, hair and blood samples from Cassie’s body were subjected to several tests, including DNA tests. Meanwhile, Gentry was tried and convicted on the pending rape charge and transferred from Kitsap County Jail to prison in Shelton. An inmate at the jail named Brian Dyste would later testify at Gentry’s murder trial that Gentry told him at some point, “They found my hair on the bitch,” and that he’d admitted to killing the girl. For the first time in Washington, DNA results were presented in a capital case, which made for complex and often tedious proceedings that dragged on for months. On June 26, 1991, Gentry was convicted of first-degree murder. A week later, he was sentenced to death. “I attended the trial—most of it, anyway,” remembers Holden. “I was advised not to be there for the gruesome testimony.” Asked what it was like to see his child’s executioner each day at the Port Orchard courthouse, Holden replies evenly, “This is not a person. This is not even an animal. He’s less than an animal. I was told to have no eye contact, and I don’t think we ever did.” After a long pause, Holden adds, “Yeah, there’s the thought of revenge. I thought about ways to kill him. You think about bringing in a gun. You think about a lot of ways to kill him.” Holden did get some satisfaction after that bloody pair of shoelaces sent Gentry to death row. But never did he imagine the death sentence meted in the summer of ’91 would never materialize. “They told me it would take five or six years with all the appeals, so you go through it, and you think someday you will put it behind you, but it’s not put behind you.” “It was tough on the marriage,” Holden reveals later in our visit. “We discussed having another child, and I said I couldn’t—that I couldn’t go through it again. That I couldn’t go through losing another child. I mean, children are supposed to bury their parents, not the other way around. She was totally supportive of that.” Frank and Diane divorced five years ago, after 22 years of marriage. “I don’t know where she is now,” he says. “I think she’s living in Boise. I don’t know for sure.” Terry Holden, Cassie’s mother, died last month, around the time Washington’s Supreme Court rejected a petition for the release of Gentry, the state’s longest-serving death-row inmate. It was that rejection, which followed a series of spurned appeals, that virtually sealed Gentry’s fate, making him likely to be Washington’s first execution since Cal Coburn Brown died by lethal injection in September 2010. As darkness falls, Holden walks to his desk and collects a copy of the death warrant he keeps sheathed so many years later in a clear plastic cover. It is dated November 2, 1995, and signed by Judge Leonard Costello, setting the date of Gentry’s execution for December 5, 1995. “I thought we were there, finally, and now with what your governor did, we may never be,” Holden says angrily. “This whole thing is something that may never end. And the thing is, there’s not a thing I can do about it. I am powerless.” Cassie Holden would be 38 today. “All I have now is memories,” Holden whispers. “She’ll always be my daughter.” Jonathan Lee Gentry remains on death row in Walla Walla. He’ll die there, Inslee has made clear—though not by execution, as long as the current governor is in office. E

econklin@seattleweekly.com


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food&drink Puttin’ It in Reverse

FoodNews

BY CHASON GORDON

The long wait for the arrival of Cassis in West Seattle is over. Owner Jef Fike opened his doors last Thursday after announcing last year he’d reopen the French bistro on Alki. Fike closed Cassis on Capitol Hill back in 2004.

BY MEGAN HILL

How a big restaurant becomes a tiny food truck.

T

BARKING FROG: JEFF CAVEN

Pastry chef extraordinaire Rachel Coyle and her pop-up Coyle Bakery are making a comeback at Book Larder in March after a three-month break, reports Eater. Coyle is searching for a brick-andmortar space, but in the meantime you can find her at the Fremont cookbook shop on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon beginning March 22. Seattle Weekly interviewed Coyle last summer and named her “Best Bakery” in our Best of Seattle issue.

The reverse transition means shedding and sacrifice, like choosing what to take with you during a fire. Bobby Moore of Barking Frog, above, in his “beast” of a truck.

JOSHUA HUSTON

Plum Bistro owner Makini Howell, right, has taken her vegan cuisine on the road.

It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for: The James Beard Foundation announced its list of semifinalists, which will be culled to an elite list of winners on March 18. Washington represents well, with familiar names like John Sundstrom, Renee Erickson, Jason Franey, Ethan Stowell, and Jason Stratton making appearances.

KYU HAN

nation, and I’ll beat everybody to it,’ ” she says, chuckling. “But I didn’t realize how hard it was going to be. “We did a Kickstarter fundraiser and got funded for the truck, but navigating labor and industry and the health department and getting the right items for the truck is really hard,” she says. “When you build a restaurant, just about every architect in town can help you, or an equipment salesman can help you with this or that—it’s not like that with a food truck. Everybody’s guessing.” Such food trucks are typically purchased at auction, at businesses like portlandfoodtrailers. com, and even on Craigslist (prices typically range from $20,000 for a basic used truck to upward of $120,000 for a new, souped-up vehicle). The ads highlight features completely foreign to brickand-mortar restaurants: 40-gallon wastewater tanks, multiple serving doors, and 5,500-watt generators that promise to be “very quiet.” A state-of-the-art, 22-foot freightliner, the Barking Frog Mobile Kitchen has plenty of room for all these bells and whistles. “We have two ovens,” says Moore, “a six-burner range, two commercial deep fryers, a 36-inch griddle, a

» CONTINUED ON PAGE 16

Miller’s Guild is expanding its hours with breakfast, brunch, bar/happy hour and grab-’n’-go offerings, which all launched last week. Menu highlights include corned & braised beef cheek with red wine shallot eggs and hash at breakfast/ brunch; Beecher’s cheddar cheese quiche with wild mushrooms and leeks at the grab-’n’-go counter; and cheesy pork skins with harissa at the Mondaythrough-Friday happy hour. Full menus are available at millersguild.com.

Temperature Check BY NICOLE SPRINKLE, FOOD & DRINK EDITOR AT SEATTLE WEEKLY

Good burgers in upscale restaurants.

Roasted cauliflower. It’s delicious, but I don’t want it to become as ubiquitous as kale is now.

Bourbon-flavored everything.

SEATTLE WE EKLY • FEBRUARY 26 — M ARCH 4, 2014

he rule of thumb has generally been that you start a food truck, then transition to a brick-and-mortar restaurant. But lately a handful of restaurants have defied the food gods by condensing their brick-and-mortar establishments into food-truck form, including Brass Tacks, Ezell’s, Plum Bistro, Barking Frog, and The Walrus and the Carpenter. It’s a far less natural process. Turning a food truck into a restaurant allows a kitchen to breathe, enabling new options and possibilities. The reverse transition means shedding and sacrifice, like choosing what to take with you during a fire—a really long-drawn-out fire. But it’s often an effective marketing decision. Taking a restaurant mobile creates a more visible brand and reaches new customers, often funneling them back to the brick-and-mortar, where they can actually grab a seat. “We’ve been a brick-and-mortar for 13 years,” says Bobby Moore of Barking Frog in Woodinville, who in May launched Barking Frog Mobile Kitchen, nicknamed Road Toad (the license plate reads RDTOAD). “We were bursting at the seams here. You can only generate so much revenue when you’ve been a brick-and-mortar for so long. We wanted to keep ourselves in front of people. I personally wanted to change with the times and not keep doing the same old thing.” While it would be fun if food trucks simply shot out of their home restaurants like escape pods, the process is much more complicated. “I like to have a hand in everything,” says Makini Howell of the vegan restaurant Plum Bistro and now the Plum Burgers food truck. “I was, like, ‘Oh, this might be a good idea. I’ll have the first all-burger, vegan food truck in the

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food&drink» 24-inch grill, a triple sink, two stand-up refrigerators, an under-counter freezer, a motorized awning, and tons of space in there to be able to plate up and whatnot . . . It’s a beast to drive, but it’s fun.” Adapting to a small, mobile kitchen presents its own struggles. “You have to shrink everything down,” says Howell, “and then convert it to a mobile unit.” Plum Burgers converted what had been a coffee truck; Ezell’s Express transformed a uniform truck; and Narwhal, the mobile extension of The Walrus and the Carpenter, is operating in an adorable converted 1960 Divco dairy van. Ezell’s Express faced a unique hurdle: The four fryers on board required plenty of propane. “We ran into a lot of challenges with propane and how much we can carry,” says Phylicia Davidson, co-owner of the truck with her cousin, Jennifer Stephens. “There was actually an issue where they thought it was a terrorist threat that we carry so much propane,” she says, laughing. Due to space and time constraints, restaurants often streamline their menu and/or offer new items when going mobile. The main challenge for Davidson is that Ezell’s regular chicken “takes about 20 minutes to cook, and in a food truck you’ve got to be fast, you’ve only got a few hours to serve lunch. And so that’s why we went with the wingettes versus the full-size chicken.” Plum Burgers’ transition was similar. “I didn’t want to take the bistro and put in a truck,” Howell says, “because that wouldn’t work. It’s a burger truck. You’re not going to get ravioli with brown butter sauce on the truck, because that doesn’t make sense. You should go to the restaurant to get that.” Plum Burgers focuses on vegan burgers and shakes, as well as its popular mac ’n’ yease, while Ezell’s Express pared its vast selection down to chicken strips, wingettes, fries, and rolls. Barking Frog Mobile Kitchen also serves a few home standbys, including truffle macaroni and cheese and braised short-rib sandwiches. Regulations prevent Narwhal from serving its beloved raw oysters (one day!), so obviously it fries them. Occasionally food trucks are used to test items for the brick-and-mortar menu, sort of like a farm team.

WEEK LY

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The Hallmarks of Good Service

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et’s face it: Bad service is something of an epidemic in Seattle right now. Whether it’s the typical disaffected server on Capitol Hill, the wellmeaning but bumbling neophyte behind the bar who doesn’t know what a Rob Roy is, or the guy who looks like he’d been recreating the last 48 hours of Chris Farley’s life immediately before coming to work, the rapid growth of Seattle’s restaurant scene has left a lot of places so desperate for servers that they’ll throw an BY ZACH GEBALLE apron on just about anyone and let them take tables. Fortunately, it’s not all doom and gloom. There are also many talented and exceptional servers and bartenders all over the city. Talking to them and watching them work, it’s become clear that the core idea of quality service is honesty. So as a diner, how do you recognize honesty? Here are a few hallmarks of good, honest service. Does the server communicate clearly? I’m not only talking about speaking distinctly and loudly enough to be heard, though of course that matters. I mean, do they properly set and manage expectations? Let’s say you see a deliciouslooking cocktail on the drink list, and you decide to give it a try. Sure, you don’t know what Fernet Branca is, but the rest of the drink sounds great. A good server will tip you off that Fernet is an extremely bitter and medicinal-tasting liqueur, and unless you like that sort of thing, maybe you should try something else. Instead of putting you in the awkward position of either sending a drink back or choking down something you don’t like, they’ve anticipated the potential problem and sidestepped it. Here’s another little indicator that you’re receiving quality service: Does the server ever down-sell you? Upselling is rampant in the industry, but a server who recommends a lessexpensive bottle of wine or tells you that you really can share a salad instead of each getting one is a server who actually cares about your experience and not just their bottom line. Knowledge also matters. It’s not about memorizing every ingredient in every dish on the menu, it’s about being able to explain a dish to a guest—and, furthermore, knowing when to say “I don’t know.” It’s perfectly acceptable to ask the chef, sommelier, or bartender. It’s not OK to lie, bullshit, or try to muddle through. I mean, you should know what “confit” means if you’re a server in a decent restaurant, but stepping away from the table for confirmation is vastly preferable to making something up. Sometimes good service is engaged and present at a table throughout a meal, and sometimes it knows when to keep its distance. Above all, it requires the server to genuinely care about your dining experience. Getting to share in someone’s great meal (even if it’s just facilitating) is one of the things I love most about working in restaurants, and receiving that kind of service is what brings me back to many of my favorite restaurants. So be on the lookout for good, honest service, and appreciate it when it happens. E Had honest or dishonest service lately? Make your voice heard in the comments or e-mail thebarcode@ seattleweekly.com.

THEBARCODE

H A PPY H OU R

Since the ice-cream-truck method of driving around a neighborhood and blasting nursery rhymes isn’t a proper marketing strategy for these food trucks, they use other means. All four are busy on social media, cater social and corporate events, and can be found at various locations throughout the city, not just at Microsoft and Amazon. Barking Frog Mobile Kitchen will launch new menu items at the Velvet Underground Dining Experience on March 8. Like a catered mobile billboard, each vehicle spurs customers to try the expanded menu at the brick-and-mortar location, which you could probably find by following the food truck. There’s no telling whether more Seattle restaurants will transition to food trucks, though one can fantasize about places like Paseo and The Wandering Goose. In Kansas City, McDonald’s recently launched the one-and-only McDonald’s Fry Truck, just in case anyone hadn’t heard of McDonald’s. Applebee’s and Sizzler have one, too. How this affects the food-truck movement remains to be seen, but one thing is certain: Not so cool now, are you, food trucks? E

food@seattleweekly.com

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PR O

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arts&culture

Steve & Brian Kvetch About the Oscars And by Oscars, we mean the show, the spectacle, and maybe a few movies.

BY STEVE WIECKING AND BRIAN MILLER

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play a straight guy with AIDS. Whereas Tom Hanks went full homo, so to speak, and lost a lot of weight, way back in Philadelphia. Ejiofor doesn’t get to be so extreme; his role is more a case of repressed intelligence. SW Even Tom Hanks didn’t go full homo; get back to me if a deleted scene shows up in which he’s ankles-to-ears under Antonio Banderas. Those Brokeback Mountain boys were both robbed, I’m telling you. And I guess I’m in the minority, but I’d give the gold to Christian Bale for American Hustle. I don’t care how many Terminator techies he’s yelled at—this year he made me care about a loser with a gut and the world’s worst hairpiece. But you’re probably right about it being McConaughey’s award. Labor of love and loss of a six-pack are tough to beat. BRM Why are age and experience honored in Best Actress—Meryl Streep and Judi Dench, yawn—while in this category, Bruce Dern won’t win for Nebraska, and Robert Redford wasn’t even nominated for All Is Lost. SW Best Actor had too many contenders. Redford might’ve worked his way in there if he’d managed to deliver his one spoken line convincingly. But I guess “Fuuuuuck!” doesn’t come naturally to him.

his Sunday’s Academy Awards broadcast may not earn Super Bowl- or Olympics-size ratings, but so what? The TV audience has been shrinking since long before Ellen DeGeneres was announced as this year’s host. The show is still irresistible as a live, televised spectacle of validation and humiliation for the stars—it’s like the progenitor to American Idol, only with better hair and makeup. Longtime former SW theater critic Steve Wiecking is now our L.A.-based Oscarologist, and we chatted recently about what to expect at this orgy of self-congratulation (4 p.m. Sunday on ABC).

BRIAN TAYLOR

BRM For Best Picture, I think Academy voters will be torn. Everyone loves America’s Sweetheart™ Sandra Bullock in Gravity, but mustn’t we again affirm that slavery was very, very wrong? And that we Americans are still so deeply, sincerely sorry about that (even though we don’t need a bunch of Brits to remind us)? So 12 Years a Slave takes it? SW I thought 12 Years A Slave was astonishing—the story of people battling for control over their own souls. That said, I know an awful lot of voters down here who haven’t come anywhere near watching their 12 Years a Slave Academy

screeners because they’re afraid it’s going to feel like 12 Years of Buzzkill. I still think it’ll win, but Gravity isn’t a bad bet, either. BRM You know what the perfect solution would be? 12 Years a Slave in Space. SW Or The Gravity of Slavery. I enjoyed American Hustle the most this year, but there seems to be a backlash building. BRM No love for The Wolf of Wall Street? SW Wolf is the only Best Picture nominee I haven’t seen. Life is too precious to me. I already think Leo and everyone else involved with The Great Gatsby should get life without parole. That’s what it felt like watching it. BRM What’s the weakest film among the nine nominees? SW Philomena. There’s nothing I approve of more than an old nun getting shamed—except, of course, for an old priest punished for life as a

BEATLEMANIA THURSDAY | FEB 27 | 7PM FRIDAY | FEB 28 | 8PM SATURDAY | MAR 1 | 8PM

prison wife—but, please, that was a solid BBC TV movie, nothing more. I don’t even mean that in a bad way. BRM I kept waiting for Rob Brydon to show up—Steve Coogan’s buddy from The Trip. That would’ve helped. SW Which film do you want to win? BRM Her was on top of my 10 Best list, but it’s not the Academy demo. (“You damn kids and your cell phones get off my lawn!”) I’m rooting for Gravity on sheer technical merit. BRM Here’s what bugs me about Best Actor: I tip Dallas Buyers Club’s Matthew McConaughey, barely, over Chiwetel Ejiofor in 12 Years a Slave. Both play victims who refuse to be victimized. Everyone talks about McConaughey’s weight loss, but I feel the subtext is more the handsome straight star who dares to

BRM You know what’s a given? None of the 6,000 Academy voters have watched all the documentaries and foreign-language films. SW If they did, Sarah Polley’s Stories We Tell, one of my favorite films this year, would’ve been nominated. And I’ve only seen three of the foreign films. The Great Beauty lived up to its title. But what the hell happened to Blue Is the Warmest Color? I know nobody cares about what wins at Cannes, but that was one helluva three-hour French-lesbians-in-love film. BRM Great Beauty will win, deserves to win, and Blue just never convinced me of its heroine’s inner life. Also, too much sex for Academy voters. BRM What a mistake it was to add Best Animated Feature. The Croods? Seriously? Despicable Me 2 was fun, but so are coloring books.

» CONTINUED ON PAGE 18

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BRIAN R. MILLER First things first: I predict Cate Blanchett will win Best Actress for Blue Jasmine, but what kind of protest will Mia and her angry Farrows stage against Woody? STEVE WIECKING It’s anyone’s guess, but that woman has raised a small, terrifying army. So if I were Cate, I wouldn’t feel complacent. I know I don’t feel safe. I would, however, like to take this opportunity to tell Ronan to hit me up if he’s in town feeling bored and a little buzzed. I don’t think voters care about the Woody/Mia debacle, though. Please— they gave Polanski an Oscar, even though they knew he couldn’t show without getting arrested. Tricky acceptance speech for Cate, though, don’t you think? BRM She could accept the award on behalf of wronged women everywhere—like her character.

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a&c» The Oscars » FROM PAGE 17 SW Brian, the Rugrats have a star on the Walk of Fame, OK? Attention must be paid. “Paid” being the operative word here. BRM For Supporting Actress, I feel like Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave) is going to win for being whipped and raped onscreen, and because she’s a fresh-faced ingénue. Yet that category also feels really soft to me this year. SW Again, I’m a 12 Years fan, so she’s fine by me, even if I’m not sure it’s an Oscar-worthy turn. I don’t know that the term “Oscar-worthy” can be used with a straight face, anyway. Julia Roberts got a nomination for somehow not getting stuck between Streep’s teeth. Her slot should’ve gone to co-star Margo Martindale, who was excellent.

FEB 13 THROUGH

BRM Where is the category for Bale’s heroic comb-over in American Hustle? Or for Amy Adams’ cleavage, for that matter? SW God, are people still talking about Amy Adams’ side-boobery? It’s like everyone’s threatened by breasts. She gave a phenomenal performance. Do you think anyone from the Hustle cast has a chance, by the way? BRM Cast, no. Script, yes. But Adams has my vote over Blanchett.

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SEATTLE WEEKLY • FEBRUARY 26 — MARCH 4, 2014

BRM Best Original Song: Could you explain the popularity of that song from Frozen, “Let It Go”? SW I think we’re back to “Attention must be paid.” Is there a Pandora station you can choose that doesn’t sneak in deep-pockets Disney? Because the channel I was listening to on the stationary bike at the gym went from Madonna’s “Girl Gone Wild” to something off the Tangled soundtrack. I thought I’d pedaled onto the set of Glee, for chrissake. Can you name an Oscarwinning song you actually liked recently? BRM My God, that is a depressing Wikipedia page. I’d have to reach back to ’71, for Isaac Hayes’ “Theme From Shaft.”

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GET TICKETS AT VISITSAM.ORG/MIRO This exhibition is organized by the Seattle Art Museum and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía.

This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities. Major Sponsors Christie’s Seattle Art Museum Supporters (SAMS)

The Seattle presentation of this exhibition is made possible by donors to:

Image: Woman, Bird and Star (Homage to Picasso), February 15, 1966 / April 3-8, 1973, Joan Miró, Spanish, 1893-1983, oil on canvas, 96 7/16 x 66 15/16 in., Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía. © Successió Miró / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris 2014.

BRM Jared Leto will win Best Supporting Actor (see “full homo,” above) for Dallas Buyers Club. But what’s the L.A. take on this guy? Prima donna, asshole, short? SW I had never seen him act until now. And I’ve seen his movies. But his work in Dallas Buyers Club is something else altogether. He’s so convincing that when he shows up in a suit for that scene with his father, you immediately think, “What’s he doing in that?! He should be wearing something kicky and off-the-shoulder.” I don’t think his professional reputation is golden. I’ve heard he’s a pain. And that Golden Globes speech was tacky. But this brings us back to Woody and Mia: Do you think the majority of voters really care about anything more than the work itself, or even should? BRM Academy voters care most about upholding the prestige of the Academy, the club to which they’ve gained precious admittance. So they always vote for quality and probity and progressive ideals. I think Cate’s aura wins over Woody’s notoriety. BRM My final thought: More June Squibb.

Yours?

SW You just wanted to say “June Squibb.” E bmiller@seattleweekly.com


arts&culture»

“IN A WORD, DELICIOUS” —Broadway World

“THIS PRODUCTION COMPELS US TO KISS ITS STILETTO HEEL”—Seattle Weekly by

ThisWeek’s PickList WEDNESDAY, FEB. 26

Throwing Muses

216 Union St., 838-4333, thetripledoor.net. $30–$35. 7:30 p.m. DANIEL PERSON

AWP Conference 2014

I know what you’re thinking: What could possibly be more fun than this national gathering of the Association of Writers & Writing Programs? All these whining MFA types with massive student loans and without jobs or the ability to write something actually useful—like code, maybe? But still, these poets, essayists,

novelists, journalists, and crafters of verse will not be deterred. Perhaps their sheer stubbornness in the face of penury is worthy of our respect. And if not that, you could at least buy them a beer or three at some of the many offsite readings and gatherings that are open to us, the unlettered, unwashed, unpublished members of the general public (mere readers, in other words). Some of these AWP attendees are actually local writers we know and endorse, like Peter Mountford, author of the new novel The Dismal Science, who’ll read with friends at Chop Suey (8 p.m. Thurs.) And our former colleague, memoirist Domingo Martinez (The Boy Kings of Texas), will talk about the living hell that is a writers’ colony (The Alibi Room, 7 p.m. Thurs.), where sex and alcohol are all that those miserable, confined scribes have to avoid the actual business of writing. Other offsite literary topics include Bruce Lee, porn, comics, Denise Levertov, and Theodore Roethke, whose old watering hole, the Blue Moon, will host the AWP’s concluding verse-athon (5–9 p.m. Saturday). Official AWP panels and functions take place at the Washington State Convention Center (Wed.–Sat.) Various locations, awpwriter.org. BRIAN MILLER

THURSDAY, FEB. 27

Seattle Symphony

Mozart must have had some reason for dashing off three full-scale symphonies—his last and greatest, it turned out—in the summer of 1788, but no one’s since been able to prove what that was. (One of his letters mentions a concert series, from the proceeds of which he was planning to repay some loans.) He was never in the habit of composing for anything other than immediate practical need, and throughout his career had readily abandoned half-finished works when performance plans fell through. Even less likely

» CONTINUED ON PAGE 20

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Gillian Williams and Michael Tisdale in Venus in Fur, photo by Chris Bennion.

SEATTLE WE EKLY • FEBRUARY 26 — M ARCH 4, 2014

Since arriving on the scene in the 1980s, Throwing Muses has had a reputation as a highly literate rock band. So perhaps it’s no surprise that its latest album was released by a book publisher (It Books, an imprint of HarperCollins). Purgatory/ Paradise is in fact a book and an album, comprising what must be the longest liner notes in rock history: Each of the 32 songs is accompanied by an essay by Kristin Hersh explaining its inspiration. And while it could be easy to dismiss this as yet another value-added gambit contrived to get people to buy physical copies of music again, Hersh’s touching punk prose (no capital letters and ample use of the word “cuz”) is often as poetic as her lyrics. With its beautiful nature photography, the 64-page Purgatory/Paradise becomes a sort of riot grrrl coffee-table book, if riot grrrls have such things. The music itself, the band’s first new material in a decade, is vintage Throwing Muses, despite the absence of Tanya Donelly. And yes, it is available to stream on Spotify—no reading required. The Triple Door,

DINA DOUGLASS

Hersh has also authored a memoir, Rat Girl.

DAVID IVES directed by SHANA COOPER

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arts&culture» Pick List » FROM PAGE 19

Enter to win FREE ADMISSION to Sundance Cinema for a year! Join us for an inspiring Public Talk

Garchen Rinpoche

Friday, March 7 7:00 pm

University of Washington Campus Kane Hall, Room 210 wheelchair accessible NE 45th Street and 15th Ave NE, Seattle

SW FILE PHOTO

His Eminence

HE Garchen Rinpoche is a Tibetan Buddhist teacher in the Drikung Kagyu lineage. Imprisoned for 20 years, at the age of 22, he has dedicated his life to the benefit of all beings. Rinpoche is known for his vast realization, as well as for his great kindness.

Buy tickets: http://drikungseattle.bpt.me $15 Students/seniors, $20 General

Rinpoche’s full schedule in Seattle March 7-16: www.drikungseattle.com

Mozart was prolific to the end.

was he to revise works unless he had to, so the fact that the Symphony no. 40 exists in versions with and without clarinets suggests it got a hearing of some kind. (“Oh, we’ll have clarinets for the concert? Hang on a minute, I’ll add them.”) Still, we’ll probably never know just why these pieces—the lyrical and witty no. 39, the pulsatingly passionate no. 40, and the majestic and thrilling no. 41—came to be. And we’ll surely never unlock the mystery of Mozart’s preternatural compositional speed: The three works are dated June 26, July 25, and August 10. SSO conductor emeritus Gerard Schwarz leads the triptych tonight. (Also 8 p.m. Sat.) Benaroya Hall, 200 University St., 215-4747, seattlesymphony. org. $19–$76. 7:30 p.m. GAVIN BORCHERT FRIDAY, FEB. 28

SEATTLE WEEKLY • FEBRUARY 26 — MARCH 4, 2014

Sync Music Video Festival

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MTV used to be the only way for kids to watch music videos. Nowadays, thanks to the Internet, any jerk with a camera, a computer, and a song can upload his work to YouTube. Or, increasingly, we watch band videos in little boxes in our Facebook feeds. For musicians and video directors alike, the challenge is to keep our Twitter-addled minds focused for the whole four minutes of a song. Yet good work has been done, as you’ll see in this video showcase featuring the likes of Don’t Talk to the Cops, Sera Cahoone, Monogamy Party, Shelby Earl, Tennis Pro, Cumulus, Iska Dhaaf, Tea Cozies, and Hey Marseilles. You can also hear from the talented local directors behind the camera: Emily Denton, Jordan Albertsen, Ryan McMackin, and Stephan Gray will join our own Mark Baumgarten in a panel discussion about the changing form and reception of music videos. Additionally, a select jury of film- and music-industry professionals will grant a Best Director award, with the proceeds to fund the winner’s next project. SIFF Cinema Uptown,

City Health Project, and the party is always a fun time—like the Super Bowl for the LGBT community. (And now that the Winter Olympics’ ice-skating commentary of Johnny Wier is over, what else is there to watch?) Hosted by Robbie Turner, this ninth annual shindig will feature hors d’oeuvres, a no-host bar, an Oscar-ballot contest, and door prizes. But the real prizes always go to those with the quickest quips at the antics on screen. Categories will naturally include: Worst Dress, Most Flagrant Beard, Obvious Hairplugs, Secretly Gay, Glitter Patrol, Somebody Punch Ryan Seacrest, Clearly Stoned But Keeping It Together Nicely, Worst Speech, and He/She Did Not Really Just Say That, Did They? On TV, among ABC’s crew of red-carpet jackals, it’s worth paying attention only to what Tim Gunn has to say, so don’t be shy about sharing your opinions. Fred

Wildlife Refuge, 127 Boylston Ave., threedollar billcinema.org. $35–$400 (21 and over). 4–9 p.m. BRIAN MILLER

MONDAY, MARCH 3

Endangered Species Project

This periodic reading series is designed to showcase forgotten texts, plays that are too big, too baggy, too musty, or simply too weird for full stagings. Maxwell Anderson’s 1933 political satire Both Your Houses launched ESP three years ago, and this is an encore presentation of a Pulitzer winner that became dated very fast after FDR and World War II. Back in the day, Roosevelt had just come into office, the Great Depression was raging, and domestic politics had been dysfunctional—if not outright corrupt—since the collapse of the progressive movement. Anderson’s plot, about an idealistic young congressman trying to stop pork-barrel spending, shows some of the same impulses behind Frank Capra’s Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and Meet John Doe: a disgust with politics-as-usual and a plea for the interests of the average voter (or “the forgotten man,” as FDR would describe him). The central irony of Maxwell’s comedy is that Rep. McClean hopes to shame his pork-happy colleagues by encouraging ever more earmarks— roads, bridges, dams, something for everyone! But his Congress is incapable of shame, and its members gladly go along with McClean’s profligate plan. Today, of course, spending is a dirty word—if it benefits those who voted against you. Eight decades ago, political enemies were united in pork. Leslie Law and Kathryn Van Meter direct the staged reading, which features a dozen familiar faces from local theater companies. ACT Theatre, 700 Union St., 292-7676, acttheatre.org and endangeredspeciesproject. org. $10–$15. 7 p.m. BRIAN MILLER E

Anderson pictured in 1949.

511 Queen Anne Ave. N., 324-9996, siff.net. $10–$15. 7 p.m. KELTON SEARS

SUNDAY, MARCH 2

Three Dollar Bill Academy Awards Party

Ellen’s hosting, making tonight’s Oscar telecast all the gayer. This annual fundraiser benefits both Three Dollar Bill Cinema and the Gay

SW FILE PHOTO

SCAN TO ENTER!


arts&culture» Stage Toms’ scientist surveys his plans in Frankenstein.

CHRIS BENNION

Opening Nights PFrankenstein; Or,

The Modern Prometheus

CENTER HOUSE THEATRE (SEATTLE CENTER), 216-0833, BOOK-IT.ORG. $24–$38. 7:30 P.M. WED.–SAT., 2 P.M. SUN. ENDS MARCH 9.

ALYSSA DYKSTERHOUSE

MCCAW HALL, SEATTLE CENTER, 389-7676, SEATTLEOPERA.ORG. $25 AND UP. 7:30 P.M. WED., FRI., & SAT. ENDS MARCH 7.

“To admit prejudices can be helpful,” wrote critic Virgil Thomson in his autobiography as part of a primer of sorts for those in his profession. So I won’t pretend I’ve ever felt much affection for the work of Gian Carlo Menotti, America’s most active and popular mid-20thcentury opera composer. Still, I was startled to rediscover, after a couple decades away from his 1950 The Consul, what a false and exploitative piece it is. Not even Seattle Opera’s solid and handsome production, which opened Saturday, and not even the grandly committed performance of lead soprano Marcy Stonikas, could persuade me that Menotti meant a word of what he wrote in his tale of a woman—Magda Sorel, the wife of freedom fighter John—encountering police brutality and stonewalling bureaucracy in an unnamed Eastern Bloc-y nation. The Consul (the title refers to the ominously unseen figure to whom Magda applies for asylum) is less—far less—an opera about political oppression than an opera that uses political oppression for its own ends, which seem to be merely to make an audience twitch like a wired laboratory frog. Why is there a lush, Technicolor, end-credits orchestral entr’acte leading into our first view of the Consul’s gray office, a file-cabineted nightmare straight out of Brazil ? To establish the mood? Fail. Why the embarrassing attempts at comic relief (the Consul’s secretary flirting on the phone; an onstage magic act)? Because the subject warrants them? Fail. And why, for God’s sake, is there a baby who serves no dramatic function at all except to die in Act 2 and yank our chain? Because none of Menotti’s characters (he wrote the libretti as well as the music) are fully realized human beings. The paper-thin Magda is courageous and unhappy, but we learn nothing more about her, and no one else onstage gets even that much characterization; they’re types, symbols, plywood set pieces to be pushed around. The proof is in the final insult: After two hours of torment, Menotti cannot even grant Magda a dignified death, interrupting her suicide attempt with a ridiculous hallucinatory dream

PA Little Night Music SECONDSTORY REPERTORY, 16587 N.E. 74TH ST. (REDMOND), 425-881-6777, SECONDSTORYREP. ORG. $27. 8 P.M. THURS.–SAT. ENDS MARCH 9.

One thing that made me extra-cranky about The Consul (see above) was that the previous evening I’d seen SecondStory’s production of Stephen Sondheim’s 1973 A Little Night Music —superior in every conceivable way a work of art can be, but one Seattle Opera will never stage because, God forbid, it’s a “musical.” (If I’m ever proven wrong, my apology will be loud, eager, and grateful.) Affectionate warmth; wit instead of shtick; lyrics that are nonpareil in their sparkling erudition and intricacy; two dozen memorable tunes; emotion that’s earned rather than cattle-prodded out of you; and above all, a stage full of actual human beings: All this is what Sondheim (music and lyrics) and Hugh Wheeler (book) provided that Menotti couldn’t. Everyone in SecondStory’s winning cast finds in his or her role some inflection, some tilt that brings it to life: Becca Orts’ effervescent giggles as young bride Anne Egerman; Micheal O’Hara’s smooth urbanity as her older husband Fredrik; the crispness of Sharry O’Hare’s bons mots as ex-courtesan Leonora Armfeldt. At the top is Jennifer Littlefield as the latter’s actress daughter Desirée. Where Menotti gives his heroine a mid-suicide dance number, Sondheim gives his his greatest hit, “Send in the Clowns,” a lusciously affecting what-if elegy sung to Fredrik, her lover of years past. (My only casting quibble is that Josh Krupke seems awfully young for the belligerent Carl-Magnus, Desirée’s current amour, though he blusters gamely and amusingly nevertheless.) If the approach as a whole could be drier—this production’s a floral Asti rather than a snappy cava—it’s still got loads of charm deepened with bittersweet notes, fully in tune with Sondheim and Wheeler’s wry insights into the human heart and genuine regard for their characters. GAVIN BORCHERT E

stage@seattleweekly.com

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(2/26) Youth Drug Summit Keeping Kids Safe in Changing Times (2/27) ‘Slate’ presents The Audio Book Club LIVE ‘Slaughterhouse-Five’ (2/27) Nicholas Epley Understanding the Minds of Others (2/28) EMG presents Hesperion XXI (3/1) Hootenanny! A Tribute to Pete Seeger (3/1) PSSO presents A Winter Concert (3/2) Whitman College presents Whitman Orchestra Concert (3/3) danah boyd Technological Teens (3/4) Svante Paabo The Human-Neanderthal Connection (3/4)WorldAffairsCouncilpresents Local Citizens with Global Impact (3/5) Jenifer Ringer with Peter Boal A Ballerina’s Journey (3/8) Gustafer Yellowgold (3/9) Urban Poverty Forum The Sounds of Hope and Change (3/9) Book Larder presents Ferran Adria: Inside elBulli (3/10) University Bookstore: Sonia Sotomayor ‘My Beloved World’ *SOLD OUT/STANDBY ONLY* (3/11) Haroon Ullah ‘A Family’s Day of Reckoning in Lahore’ TOWN HALL

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SEATTLE WE EKLY • FEBRUARY 26 — M ARCH 4, 2014

Going into Book-It’s new staging of Mary Shelley’s monster tale, I expected it either to be sublime or subpar—and probably the latter. What more could possibly be done with the source material? Didn’t that new movie, I, Frankenstein, just bomb? Yet this production perches on perfection. From Scooby-Doo on down, pop culture has had its way with Shelley’s 1818 novel, which among other themes explores the notion of dualism—that people are neither inherently good nor evil, but possess a capacity for both. As director and adaptor, David Quicksall treats his two leads accordingly: Instead of being some arrogant mad scientist, Victor Frankenstein (Connor Toms) is sweetly suffering and scared stiff. Played by Jim Hamerlinck, Frankenstein’s creation—simply listed in the playbill as “?”—compels our compassion, even while cowing his creator. In other words, expect no stereotypes here. Quicksall also manages to preserve Shelley’s supporting characters—mostly ignored in the various movie versions—to delightful effect. From blocking to performance, his cast of 10 deftly elicits both humor and horror. (I’ll single out Ian Bond, playing Victor’s doomed friend Henry Clerval, for his balance between commanding a stage yet not stealing its focus.) The show’s design elements blend like chocolate and peanut butter. Supremely stylized yet stunningly simple, Andrew D. Smith’s lighting and Andrea Bryn Bush’s set effortlessly employ the Romantic motifs of light and dark, while Nathan Wade’s sound design agreeably accentuates that contrast. Though I still have a soft spot for 1985’s The Bride, with Sting creating Jennifer Beals as his perfect woman, this is the best adaptation of a familiar classic that I’ve seen in years.

The Consul

ballet in which her mother returns from the dead to announce she’s marrying John (WTF?); and the magician—a character completely gratuitous in terms of the opera’s larger theme—gets the last word. So it’s not enough that The Consul is an inchdeep trivialization of one of the most momentous and agonizing events of the modern era, Eastern Europe’s (ongoing) struggle against totalitarianism. (One can imagine Menotti in the late ’40s mulling his next project: What can I write about that’ll really pack ’em in? . . . I know! Human-rights violations! ) Menotti, astonishingly, managed to ratchet up the outrage even further: He wrote an opera ostensibly about the horrors of dehumanization in which the empty characters exist only to be manipulated for his ulterior motives. That’s one hell of a sick irony. As a composer, Menotti had a talent for building urgent and forward-driving ensembles; for ear-tickling orchestration; for opulent sonic wallows (it’s corn syrup, but it’s tasty). As a dramatist he was a hypocrite and a fraud—with, by the way, a streak of misogyny (recalling, among other examples, his libretto for Samuel Barber’s 1958 opera Vanessa; or, a Woman Without a Man Is Totally Worthless) that makes Puccini look like Oprah. As a stage work, The Consul is contemptible from top to bottom. GAVIN BORCHERT

(3/11) University Bookstore WWW.TOWNHALLSEATTLE.ORG 21 Dave Barry ‘You Can Date Boys When You’re Forty’


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

Stage OPENINGS & EVENTS

BOTH YOUR HOUSES SEE THE PICK LIST, PAGE 20. THE DANCERS/BLIND DATE Two one-acts by Horton

Foote, set in Harrison, Texas. Raisbeck Performance Hall, 2015 Boren Ave., 800-838-3006, cornish.edu. $5–$15. 8 p.m. Wed., Feb. 26–Sat., March 1, 2 p.m. Sun., March 2. THE EDGE The Island’s own improv troupe.Bainbridge Performing Arts, 200 Madison Ave. N., Bainbridge Island, 842-8569, bainbridgeperformingarts.org. $12–$16. 7:30 p.m. Sat., March 1. JIM JEFFERIES The FXX’s Legit star and creator is on a 31-city comedy tour, “Day Streaming.” The Moore, 1932 Second Ave., 877-784-4849, stgpresents.org. $35. 8 p.m. Thurs., Feb. 27. LISA LAMPANELLI Comedy’s “Queen of Mean” has received praise from both Jim Carrey and Howard Stern—which is good, right? The Moore, 1932 Second Ave., 877-784-4849, stgpresents.org. $40.25. 7 p.m. Fri., Feb. 28. MARCH IS CABARET MONTH All kinds of performers, each Saturday this month. See ballardjamhouse.com for full details. Egan’s Ballard Jam House, 1707 N.W. Market St., 789-1621. $15 + two-drink min. 7 & 9 p.m. Sat. Ends March 29. MARDI GRAS MADNESS Burlesque and music, New Orleans style, starring Diva le Déviant, Violet Tendencies, Karmen Sutra, and many others. Columbia City Theatre, 4916 Rainier Ave. S., 800-838-3006, brownpapertickets. com. $12–$15. 8 p.m. Tues., March 4. MARK RUSSELL The political humorist finds plenty to mock back in Washington, D.C. Kirkland Performance Center, 350 Kirkland Ave., Kirkland, 425-893-9900, kpcenter.org. $40. 2 p.m. Sun., March 2. A SALUTE TO THE ’60S & MOTOWN A revue showcasing some of that decade’s greatest pop. Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center, 104 17th Ave. S., 684-4757, langstoninstitute.org. $20–$25. 7 p.m. Fri., Feb. 28. SINNER SAINT BURLESQUE “Down to Brass Tacks” is their salute to the women in Seattle history. Brass Tacks, 6031 Airport Way S., 397-3821, georgetownbrass.com. Opens Feb. 27. 9 p.m. every fourth Thurs. Ends April 24. THE SLAM UP TOUR Cali Bulmash and Emily Lowinger’s comedy/music/spoken-word show about love in all flavors. West of Lenin, 203 N. 36th St., theslamuptour.tumblr. com. $10–$14. 10 p.m. Fri., Feb. 28. UPCLOSEPERSONAL Fantastic.Z’s new-works festival of LGBT-themed short plays includes seven premieres. Gay City Health Project, Calamus Auditorium, 517 E. Pike St., fantasticz.org. $15–$20. 7:30 p.m. Thurs., Feb. 27–Sat., March 1, 2 p.m. Sun., March 2. WAR HORSE Onscreen, the acclaimed production from Handspring Puppet Company and London’s National Theatre of this WWI tale. See fathomevents.com for participating theaters and showtimes, Thurs., Feb. 27. YTN alumnus Joel McHale—who has done pretty well for himself, we hear—returns to host this fundraiser. Mercer Island Community and Events Center, 8236 S.E. 24th St., Mercer Island, youththeatre.org. $85. 7 p.m. Sat., March 1.

CURRENT RUNS

THE ARABIAN NIGHTS The UW School of Drama mounts

Mary Zimmerman’s adaptation of the traditional fantasy tales. Jones Playhouse Theatre, 4045 University Way N.E., 543-4880, depts.washington.edu/uwdrama. $10–$20. 7:30 p.m. Wed.–Sat., 2 p.m. Sun. Ends March 9. BLACK LIKE US Local playwright Rachel Atkins’ new drama posits that for blacks who could “pass” for white, embracing one’s black heritage hinged on whether you might get a better offer. In 1958 Seattle, we meet sisters Florence (Chelsea Binta), a budding civil-rights activist, and Maxine (Dior Davenport), who can pass. Several decades later, Florence’s grandkids range from the hesitant Amy (McKenna Turner) to the more contemplative Michelle (Lindsay Evans) and the bull-in-a-china-shop Sandra (Alyson Scadron Branner). Their encounter is explosive, awkward, and funnily, scarily credible. Director Jose Amador has his hands full keeping Atkins’ often unwieldy go-cart of a play in steady forward motion. She favors raw emotion over finesse, when a more practiced playwright might accomplish both. KEVIN PHINNEY Annex Theatre, 1100 E. Pike St., 728-0933, annextheatre. org. $5–$20. 8 p.m. Thurs.–Sat. Ends March 1. Send events to stage@seattleweekly.com, dance@seattleweekly.com, or classical@seattleweekly.com See seattleweekly.com for full listings. = Recommended

22 •

playboy and his three stewardess girlfriends. Renton Civic Theater, 507 S. Third St., Renton, 425-226-5529, renton civictheater.org. $17–$21. 7:30 p.m. Thurs., 8 p.m. Fri.–Sat., 2 p.m. Sun. Ends March 1. DOUBT John Patrick Shanley’s 2004 masterpiece looks back to 1964, when pedophilia allegations were simply swept under the rug by the Catholic church and football programs. Sister Aloysius (Maureen Miko) becomes convinced that Father Flynn (Jaryl Draper) “interfered with” an altar boy. She encourages conflicted Sister James (Reagan Dickey) to align with her fight for his removal, a battle that culminates in a tearful meeting with the student’s mom (Eva Abram). Stone Soup’s show serves some stupendous performances, that said, director Maureen Hawkins might’ve turned down the volume a bit. Yet every time I see this play, thoughts fire at a rapid pace. In this thrifty production, Shanley’s script is the star. ALYSSA DYKSTERHOUSE Stone Soup Theatre, 4035 Stone Way N.E., 633-1883, stonesouptheatre.com. $14–$25. 8 p.m. Thurs.–Sat., 4 p.m. Sun. Ends March 1. THE FOREIGNER A waste of a reliably risible text and a capable cast. In Larry Shue’s 1984 comedy, meek Britisher Charlie pretends not to speak English while vacationing in Georgia, then wacky complications ensue among the red-staters. Brian Yorkey’s half-dozen players are directed at less-than-farcical speed; the prolonged, stagy silences are more suited to Pinter. ALYSSA DYKSTERHOUSE Village Theatre, 303 Front St. N., Issaquah, 425-392-2202, villagetheatre.org. $34–$65. 7:30 p.m. Wed.–Thurs. (plus some Tues.); 8 p.m. Fri.; 2 & 8 p.m. Sat.; 2 & 7 p.m. Sun. Ends March 2. (Plays in Everett March 7–30.)

• 

• FRANKENSTEIN; OR, THE MODERN PROMETHEUS SEE REVIEW, PAGE 21. A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC SEE REVIEW, PAGE 21. •  LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD Stan Gill and Cindy Bright’s

musical adaptation. Second Story Repertory Theatre, 16587 N.E. 74th St., Redmond, 425-881-6777, secondstory rep.org. $10. 1 & 3 p.m. Sat.–Sun. Ends March 2. MR. PIM PASSES BY In this 1919 drawing-room comedy by A.A. Milne, Dinah (Allie Pratt) wants to marry Brian (Daniel Stoltenberg) but cannot without the approval of her uncle and guardian, George (Ryan Childers), though they have the approval of her aunt Olivia (April Poland). This is complicated further when befuddled Mr. Pim (Chris Ensweiler) enters, creating confusion and mayhem with his questions about true love. All this happens under the critical eye of Lady Marden (Kim Morris). These stock characters do teeter on the brink of absurd typicality; fortunately, the cast finds the balance to make them completely believable. As the ingénue, Pratt brings just enough flair for annoying teenage self-expression to avoid caricature. While Olivia could descend into conniving and emasculation (a perforated line is all that separates her from shrewishness), Poland adds love and playfulness to the part. Director Karen Lund’s awkward single-plane blocking forces much unmotivated movement; it’s like watching my cat and dog play—a mishmash of motion with no reason behind it. ALYSSA DYKSTERHOUSE Taproot Theatre, 204 N. 85th St., 7819707, taproottheatre.org. $20–$40. 7:30 p.m. Wed.–Thurs., 8 p.m. Fri., 2 & 8 p.m. Sat. Ends March 1. NOISES OFF In Michael Frayn’s comedy, we see a touring theater troupe from two points of view—first at rehearsal, then from backstage during a performance. Burien Little Theater, 242-5180, burienlittletheatre.org. N.B.: performed at 14907 Fourth Ave. S.W. in Burien. $7–$20. 8 p.m. Fri.– Sat., 2 p.m. Sun. Ends March 23. ODYSSEO The dancing horse show from traveling circus troupe Cavalia performs under a giant tent. Marymoor Park, 6046 W. Lake Sammamish Parkway N.E., Redmond. $34.50–$149.50 ($154.50–$229.50 w/dinner). Runs Tues.– Sun.; see cavalia.net for exact schedule. Ends March 9. SPAMALOT The 2005 musical’s verbatim lifts from the Monty Python source film are hilarious; the heaps of surrounding material are tirelessly razzmatazzy but scattershot. (The “Knights of the Round Table” number, for example, loses more than it gains from being expanded from the perfect, immortal 90 seconds of the film into a full-dress Vegas sendup.) The show’s problems, minor but nagging, are the usual screen-to-stage conversion issues (cf. Young Frankenstein): Jokes that work when underplayed onscreen don’t necessarily when overplayed onstage, and one-liners can’t always sustain entire production numbers. Most remarkable among a cast that is just about the best local musical theater has to offer are Laura Griffith as the Lady of the Lake, who gets to show off an immense range, both vocally and comedically, and Dane Stokinger, an absolutely protean performer who disappears into each of a sizable list of character parts. GAVIN BORCHERT 5th Avenue Theatre, 1308 Fifth Ave., 625-1900. $39 and up. Runs Tues.–Sun.; see 5thavenue.org for exact schedule. Ends March 2. STORY & SONG Bret Fetzer’s fairy tales get choral backing. Annex Theatre, 1100 E. Pike St., 728-0933, annex theatre.org. $5–$10. 8 p.m. Tues.–Wed. Ends Feb. 26.

TEATRO ZINZANNI: ON THE AIR Their new radio-themed

show features the return of emcee Kevin Kent. Teatro ZinZanni, 222 Mercer St., 802-0015. $108 and up. Runs Wed.–Sun.; see dreams.zinzanni.org for exact schedule. Ends June 1. TEN DAYS TO HAPPINESS Donna Rae Davidson’s solo show about her experiences at a Buddhist meditation retreat. Amazing Grace Spiritual Center, 2007 N.W. 61st St., 10daystohappiness.com. $15–$20. 8 p.m. Fri.–Sat., plus 2 p.m. Sat., March 8 & 15. Ends March 15. VENUS IN FUR Playwright Thomas, one of two characters in David Ives’ ingeniously twisty 2011 comedy, has adapted Leopold von Sacher-Masoch’s 1870 novel Venus in Fur about the dominance/submission dynamic in relationships. But Thomas can find no actress woman-y enough to play the reluctant dominatrix Vanda. Enter the scampish bimbo caricature Vanda (yes, the same name as the role she is reading for), wearing a leather S&M suit. In the spellbinding 100 minutes that follow, Thomas (Michael Tisdale) and his unexpectedly promising leading lady (Gillian Williams) tread through the minefields of Thomas’ earnest adaptation, exploding cultural gender bombs left and right. Who’s really in control here: the dominator or the subjugated? Chaser or chased? Hammer or anvil? Visiting director Shana Cooper seems to favor a high quotient of ambiguity here—a reasonable choice, given the play’s suspenseful withholding and subsequent revelations. This worthy production, replete with smart performances, sadistic lighting by Geoff Korf, and sexy costuming by Harmony Arnold, compels us to kiss its stiletto heel. MARGARET FRIEDMAN Seattle Repertory Theatre, Seattle Center, 443-2222. $12–$80. 7:30 p.m. Wed.–Sun. plus 2 p.m. some Wed., Sat., & Sun.; see seattlerep.org for exact schedule. Ends March 9.

• 

Dance

TRILOGY DANCE COMPANY An omnibus of new and

repertory work. Meydenbauer Center, 11100 N.E. Sixth St., Bellevue, 360-668-8732, turningpointedancecentre.com. 2:30 p.m. Sun., March 2. SEATTLE EARLY DANCE Renaissance and baroque dance and music, directed by Anna Mansbridge. Trinity Episcopal Church, 609 Eighth Ave., 325-7066, earlymusic guild.org. $10–$25. 7:30 p.m. Tues., March 4.

Classical, Etc. SEATTLE OPERA SEE REVIEW, PAGE 21. UW PERCUSSION ENSEMBLE Cage, Stockhausen, and

much more. Meany Hall, UW campus, 543-4880, music. washington.edu. $10–$15. 7:30 p.m. Wed., Feb. 26. SEATTLE SYMPHONY SEE THE PICK LIST, PAGE 19. UW BANDS Music by Ralph Vaughan Williams, William Grant Still, and some composers with only two names. Meany Hall, UW campus, 543-4880, music.washington. edu. $10–$15. 7:30 p.m. Thurs., Feb. 27. HESPERION XXI Spanish and South American music from the renaissance. Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave., 325-7066, earlymusicguild.org. $20–$42. 8 p.m. Fri., Feb. 28. GREAT MUSIC FOR GREAT CATHEDRALS Music by Britten and others in St. James’ multimedia spectacle. St. James Cathedral, 804 Ninth Ave., 382-4874, stjamescathedral.org. $30. 8 p.m. Fri., Feb. 28–Sat., March 1. METROPOLITAN OPERA AT THE MOVIES You know the fragrant “Polovtsian Dances”; now hear the rest of Borodin’s rarely staged Prince Igor. See metopera.org for participating theaters. 9 a.m. Sat., March 1. PUGET SOUND SYMPHONY Alan Shen conducts music by Copland, Elgar, and Kevin Tao. Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave., psso.org. $5–$11. 7:30 p.m. Sat., March 1. UW MEN’S GLEE CLUB The University of Oregon’s On the Rocks are the guests. Meany Hall, UW campus, 543-4880, music.washington.edu. $10–$15. 7:30 p.m. Sat., March 1. TOM BAKER Three chamber-music premieres by this Seattle composer. Chapel Performance Space, 4649 Sunnyside Ave. N., waywardmusic.blogspot.com, tom bakercomposer.blogspot.com. $5–$15. 8 p.m. Sat., March 1. PACIFIC MUSICWORKS Bach’s vividly dramatic St. John Passion. Benaroya Recital Hall, Third Ave. and Union St., 215-4747, pacificmusicworks.org. $20–$40. 8 p.m. Sat., March 1, 2 p.m. Sun., March 2. AUBURN SYMPHONY Telling the tale of “The Bremen Town Musicians” in this family concert. St. Matthew Episcopal Church, 123 L St. N.E., Auburn, 253-887-7777, auburnsymphony.org. $10–$17. 2 p.m. Sun., March 2. SEATTLE SYMPHONY On their “Beyond the Score” series, an in-depth look at Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. Benaroya Hall, 200 University St., 215-4747, seattlesymphony.org. $19 and up. 2 p.m. Sun., March 2.

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• 

All Dried Up Some people roam the city looking for stray animals to shelter and adopt. My mission is to find public artworks BY BRIAN MILLER that are ignored, neglected, or forgotten. For that reason, I’m on intimate terms with George Tsutakawa (1910–1997), who created so many fountains and other sculptures around Seattle. His golden era was probably the ’60s and ’70s, helped by our city’s one-percent-for-art program. But Seattle has grown and changed since then; buildings get torn down, and new property owners don’t look so kindly on the sellers’ tastes. Tsutakawa fountains have been preserved at our Central Library and Northgate (the latter moving to Northwest Hospital), and now there’s a restoration effort underway at Seattle Central Community College, where Tsutakawa donated a fountain in 1973. Water hasn’t been flowing through the bronze structure for some time; there’s graffiti inside; and now SCCC has a goal to raise $40,000 for its rehabilitation. Thursday’s concert—in the auditorium of the former Broadway High School, which Tsutakawa attended—will benefit the restoration, with classical music from Garfield string quartet the Bach Street Boyz, reggae from Kore Ionz, and jazz from the Deems Tsutakawa Trio (Deems is one of the artist’s sons). Before the show, certainly a worthy cause, walk north a block to the atrium within SCCC’s red-brick brutalist 1970s main building. Filled with students, it’s a

THEFUSSYEYE

BRIAN MILLER

SEATTLE WEEKLY • FEBRUARY 26 — MARCH 4, 2014

YOUTH THEATRE NORTHWEST’S RED CARPET GALA

BOEING, BOEING Marc Camoletti’s jet-age farce about a

loud, bustling, energetic place—part food court, part social space. The dry fountain has a certain lotus/eye aspect, like a half-opened flower; it’s easy to imagine water again spilling out the top and into the pool below. But is it worth it? It would take a huge, floor-to-ceiling water installation to compete with the atrium’s clamor, all scraping chairs and sociable chatter. This is a happy place, full of young people intent not on art but their food, textbooks, and cell phones (though not in that order, of course). The fountain isn’t even in the middle of the atrium, but down next to a crowded walkway—a place to pass, not linger. So if SCCC wants to restore it, great, but to actually rescue the fountain might entail relocating it to a quieter, more contemplative place. Concert: Broadway Performance Hall, 1625 Broadway, 934-3800, seattlecentral.edu. $25. 7:30 p.m. Thurs., Feb. 27.


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arts&culture» Film

More Borscht

Sampling the menu at the Seattle Jewish Film Festival.

YOUR TICKET TO THE ULTIMATE MOVIE & DINING EXPERIENCE.

SEATTLE WEEKLY • FEBRUARY 26 — MARCH 4, 2014

www.cinebarre.com

24

BY BRIAN MILLER

I

Fedja van Huêt and f you make a Thomas Simon as coming-of-age father and son in film that includes The Zigzag Kid. a bar mitzvah, we can expect to see certain things—reading from the Torah, proud parents, the gifts, the dancing. But in The Zigzag Kid, which opens the Seattle Jewish Film Festival on Saturday, what about jewel thieves, a railway hijacking, and Isabella Rossellini as a sultry cabaret singer? Based on the Israeli novel by David Grossman and reset in ’70s by the ’70s, no matter how much pleasure it gives Europe, this frisky caper comedy does eventumy fingers to type those names. ally plumb some family secrets, yet its tone is Since too many of those funnymen (and anything but serious. Motherless young Nono -women) have passed, most of the interviews are feels ignored by his father, a no-nonsense Dutch canned—including Caesar’s. The doc has a timecop. Rescue comes in the form of a kidnapcapsule quality, like watching a ghostly reunion ping—or call it a criminal mentorship—by a of guests from the Carson-era Tonight Show. The dapper master thief in a white suit. Played with a famous resorts, like Kutsher’s and Grossinger’s, Claude Rains twinkle by German actor Burghart have mostly closed; and this period of American Klaussner, Felix has more than mischief on his humor now seems closer to Ellis Island than mind. He leads Nono on a kind of treasure hunt Comedy Central. What I wish the film explored of memories, picking up clues about the kid’s more was the sense of striving here—both for mother en route to Nice, where they meet Rosthe performers, their names so often Americansellini’s chanteuse, Lola. (The dialogue alternates ized, trying to make it to Hollywood; and for the among at least four European languages.). guests, some also interviewed, who were so intent Director Vincent Bal gives this genealogy on becoming middle-class. And once they did, adventure a nostalgic, playful glow; it’s like once they could afford air conditioners, television Wes Anderson meets Columbo as Nono keeps sets, and flights to Miami, the Borscht Belt was uncovering secrets, false names, and hidden doomed. abilities (his among them). Though this charmLess familiar to me are the 19th-century ing picaresque is well-suited to kids, the 7:30 musicians we meet in Wagner’s Jews (12:30 p.m. screening at Pacific Place is preceded by a p.m. Sun., March 9, Stroum Jewish Community happy hour (at 6:30 p.m.) and followed by a Tom Center on Mercer Island). That Wagner was a Douglas dessert reception. So you can always notorious anti-Semite is well known, yet in a Netflix it for them later. (The fest includes two pre-Holocaust era where racism was commondozen films over nine days.) place yet relatively nonviolent, some amazingly talented Jewish pianists, violinists, conductors, and concert promoters were willing to help the Then there are the docs. Perhaps the most cranky, egotistical composer. What’s more, he familiar among them is When Comedy Went to depended on them and—according to biograSchool (Pacific Place, 9:30 a.m. Sunday brunch phers and music historians interviewed here— followed by 11 a.m. screening). The film was had conflicted feelings about them. No less an seen here last August, but gains sad new resoauthority than Leon Botstein insists you can’t nance by so prominently featuring Sid Caesar, draw a straight line from Wagner to Hitler. And who died just this month. Caesar was one of the he further argues that talented Jews were drawn most successful graduates of the Borscht Belt to Wagner—even while holding their noses— circuit of summer resorts up in the Catskills because his operas were so dramatically new. north of New York City. This was where, from (He even compares them to video games!) Look the ’30s through the ’60s, so many Jews went to at Lohengrin, says Botstein: What European escape the summer heat. Before air conditioning Jew couldn’t identify with an outsider hero of and TV became common, it was also a breeduncertain parentage who saves the entire society ing ground for a uniquely new American style he hopes to join? (Note: Seattle Opera’s Speight of comedy, evolving from vaudeville to shtick Jenkins will give a talk following the screening, and ethnic humor to personality-driven standwhich ought to be fascinating.) E up. And in clips and interviews, we see that pantheon evolve: Milton Berle, George Burns, bmiller@seattleweekly.com Danny Kaye, Jerry Lewis, Buddy Hackett, Mort Sahl, Lenny Bruce, Alan King, Don Rickles, SEATTLE JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL Jerry Stiller, Joan Rivers, Rodney Dangerfield, Sat., March 1–Sun., March 9 at Pacific Place, Jackie Mason, Woody Allen, Robert Klein SIFF Cinema Uptown, and Stroum Jewish (also the movie’s host and narrator), Jerry SeinCommunity Center. Most tickets $9–$12. feld . . . and then the parade basically peters out 324-9996, seattlejewishfilmfestival.org. DINAND VAN DER WAL/MENEMSHA FILMS

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FEBRUARY 28TH UPTOWN CINEMA

Opening ThisWeek

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Maidentrip RUNS FRI., FEB. 28–THURS., MARCH 6 AT SIFF FILM CENTER. NOT RATED. 75 MINUTES.

Omar RUNS FRI., FEB. 28–THURS., MARCH 6 AT SUNDANCE CINEMAS. NOT RATED. 96 MINUTES.

Palestinian filmmaker Hany Abu-Assad pulled off a tricky balancing act with his 2005 Paradise Now. In profiling the everyday lives of a couple of would-be suicide bombers, the movie created an eerie sense of authenticity (and occasional

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Dekker on her solo voyage.

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the mute co-star of the movie, and its sheer presence is more troubling than the standard-issue melodrama that boils around it. ROBERT HORTON

absurdity) while not grinding a heavy political ax. It picked up an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign-Language Film in the process. Abu-Assad’s new film, also Oscar-nominated, tries something similar: to humanize people stuck in the cycle of violence in the Palestinian community of the occupied West Bank. The central figure here is a none-too-bright young man, Omar (Adam Bakri), who’s a kind of budding revolutionary. He’s not affiliated with a known terrorist group; it’s more like he’s hanging out with friends who’ve gradually become more radical of late. Led by the serious Tarek (Eyad Hourani), these amateurs will end up murdering an Israeli soldier one night, an act that brings them to the attention of an Israeli investigator (Waleed Zuaiter, a deft actor). As though to emphasize Omar’s hapless miscasting as a freedom fighter/terrorist, his actions are guided largely by his crush on Tarek’s sister Nadia (Leem Lubany) and his own jealous mind. You can see the Oscar appeal here: global issue, human approach, dramatic punch. AbuAssad is a skilled filmmaker, but Omar is significantly less daring than Paradise Now—really just a middlebrow treatment of an automatically invigorating subject. The final action is a “shocker” meant to be open-ended and thoughtprovoking, but it leaves behind a faint taste of smugness. (The absence of The Past, Gloria, and especially Wadjda—all officially submitted by their countries—among the nominees is particularly galling in the light of Omar getting a nod. The film does have one powerful image: the wall, meant to contain and separate Palestinians from Israelis. Omar begins with the wall, as our protagonist scales it with a rope. This is the first of many such ascents and descents, travels that are a part of Omar’s life but which—so commonplace has the presence of the wall become—are never remarked upon. This gray, graffitied boundary is

PWinter in the Blood RUNS THURS., FEB. 27–THURS., MARCH 6 AT NORTHWEST FILM FORUM. NOT RATED. 98 MINUTES.

Love without barriers? Omar (Bakri) and Nadia (Lubany).

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With Sherman Alexie among its producers (and its cast, in a small role), this Montana-set ’70s drama shows nothing but fidelity to its source novel. The late Native American writer James Welch published Winter in the Blood in 1974, and it can’t have been easy to adapt to the screen. Filmmakers Andrew and Alex Smith have given a name to Welch’s protagonist—Virgil, played by Chaske Spencer—that suggests his quest, though his voyage is mostly internal. A vision of his long-dead father, drunk in the snow, jars Virgil into a somewhat surreal bender, interlaced with flashbacks to his youth. Figures from memory (or fantasy) are presented as plausible characters to us; though they also have a cockeyed trickster gleam. David Morse shows up as the rowdy, free-spending “Airplane Man,” who’d be right at home in a Hunter S. Thompson novel. Virgil helps him, doesn’t trust him, and may in fact have invented him—but such distinctions swiftly fall away during this picaresque vision quest. Alcoholism and broken families being among its themes, this movie might’ve been one of those grim, miserable Sundance studies of life on the rez. But as in Alexie’s best work (I haven’t read Welch), there’s instead a comic aversion to selfpity. Virgil gets beaten and knocked down, but he’s a resilient sort of fatalist—rubbery, no wooden Indian. “My dream always ends badly,” says our self-aware hero. “I don’t know what it means, but it has something to do with pain.” The Smiths are from Montana, like Welch, and shows. This is a movie lovingly shot on location in that state’s Hi-Line region, with authentic textures and faces that greatly enhance the slim, lyrical story. The cast is mostly Native, and you may recognize Spencer from the Twilight movies (he was Sam, one of the werewolf clan). Also true to the novel is a dreamy-poetic collapsing of time, though the film is a little too foggy on the particulars of Virgil’s present-day family. But sometimes clarity is overrated. If Virgil may fret that he’s traveling in “a four-day circle,” Winter in the Blood finally lands him in a place that feels exactly right. (Note: Alexie and the Smiths will introduce Thursday’s screening, with the Smiths also attending Friday and Saturday.) BRIAN MILLER E

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Sailing solo around the world is a pursuit for loners and obsessives, most of them men. Yet there’s a subset of such mariners: those trying to set records not for speed but youth. Dutch teenager Laura Dekker gained fame for her attempt at circumnavigation before she even left port; family-court hearings were held, to great European interest, to determine if she had the right—even with the permission of her divorced parents—to undertake such a risky voyage. American director Jillian Schlesinger skips most of the hoopla and courtroom proceedings, and her documentary mainly relies on Dekker’s own video footage. The effect is like a 75-minute-long selfie, as Dekker cheerfully narrates her voyage in diary form, showing us ravioli mishaps, resting birds, visiting dolphins, and new hairstyles. (Her soliloquies are half English, half subtitled.) Yet never do we see any dangerous storms or menacing sharks; the hazards here are entirely downplayed. For viewers with a sailing background, Maindentrip is the like the anti-All Is Lost: Everything that can go right does go right. Schlesinger is vague about the sponsors of Dekker’s adventure, though her 40-foot ketch is festooned with various corporate logos. Also, Dekker’s obsessiveseeming father, who raised her on the water, clearly has some control issues with his daughter; one also has to wonder if he had some commercial interests at stake. Should you take your daughters to see the movie? Sure—Dekker emerges as a thoroughly likable and self-reliant young woman (age 16 at journey’s end in 2012). She covets her independence, telling us “I don’t like it when people tell me what to do.” In Schlesinger’s careful editing, we see the preternaturally poised young Dekker grow into herself and her autonomy. I don’t think many parents would send their girls out to sea to follow her, but she seems an excellent role model in all other respects. Except for the ravioli. BRIAN MILLER

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arts&culture» Film BY BRIAN MILLER

Opening ANCHORMAN 2: SUPER-SIZED Ron Burgundy and his

’80s TV pals are now free to curse like sailors in this recut of the 2013 comedy, playing for one week only. (R) SIFF Cinema Uptown, Pacific Place, Alderwood 16, others GENERATION WAR Made for German television, this mini-series is being presented in two blocks totaling over four and one-half hours in length. It follows five characters from the rise of Hitler through the collapse of the Third Reich. (NR) Seven Gables, 911 N.E. 50th St., 632-8821, landmarktheatres.com, $8-$10.50, Feb. 28-March 6. NON-STOP Liam Neeson wields his AARP card as a deadly weapon. Do we care about the plot? He’s on a plane, he’s Liam Neeson, and that’s all you need to know. (PG-13) Pacific Place, SIFF Cinema Uptown, Alderwood 16, others SON OF GOD From the folks who brought you The Bible on the History Channel last year, this new production returns Portuguese actor Diogo Morgado to the role of Jesus. (PG-13) Pacific Place, Lincoln Square, Oak Tree, others

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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. His radio and electronics are flooded, so he calmly and methodically goes about patching his boat while storm clouds gather in the distance. This is fundamentally a process drama: Character is revealed through action, not words. For non-sailors, there is a lot of line-pulling, fiberglass repair, water-distilling, and sail-trimming; this can be tedious to watch, but the film shows how survival is often a matter of enduring tedium and loneliness. Here is a small man adrift, stripped of technology, surviving by his wits. Here, too, is Redford without any Hollywood trappings—no chance to smile or charm. 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 SIFF Film Center (Seattle Center), 324-9996, siff.net, $6-$11, 7:30 p.m. Mon., March 3. BOOP! The Sprocket Society presents a selection of naughty 1930s cartoons featuring Betty Boop. (NR) Grand Illusion, 1403 N.E. 50th St., 523-3935, grandillusioncinema.org, $5-$8, Thu., Feb. 27, 8 p.m. BUILDING CHARACTER Local film gadfly Warren Etheredge will lead discussions after each title in this five-night series. Titles include Smashed, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, and Mud. West of Lenin, 203 N. 36th St., 352-1777, thewarrenreport.com, $7-$10 ($25-$35 series), Through March 1, 7 p.m. CAN’T HARDLY WAIT This 1998 teen-com features Jennifer Love Hewitt and a host of other TV faces, all playing high-schoolers contemplating the great beyond. Note: no show on Oscar Sunday. (PG-13) Central Cinema, 1411 21st Ave., 686-6684, centralcinema.com, $6-$8, Feb. 28-March 5, 9:30 p.m. CASABLANCA We all know the story of this 1942 Michael Curtiz favorite: a classic love triangle set against the tensions of war. True to its stage origins, the film sets up neat oppositions between selfishness and sacrifice, patriotism and exile, love and duty. Humphrey Bogart gained iconic status as Rick, who balances his lingering attachment to Ingrid Bergman’s Ilsa against his long-suppressed sense of idealism. Casablanca is about a lot of things, but one strong theme is forgiveness: Two former lovers must somehow reconcile themselves with the past, mutually absolving each other to clear the way for the future. Their relationship has its parallel as Bogie and Claude Rains also forgive and forget, then famously stride forward together to battle. The movie is being presented by Turner Classic Movies to celebrate that cable channel’s 20th anniversary; free tickets are available through tcm.com/20. (PG) B.R.M. Pacific Place, 600 Pine St., Tue., March 4, 7:30 p.m.

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CINEMA Federico • THE GOLDEN AGE8½OFisITALIAN partly a self-portrait of

Fellini’s 1963 classic the frustrated filmmaker, but it’s equally a fantasy picture. Marcello Mastroianni plays the blocked director juggling two beauties (Anouk Aimée and Sandra Milo—good dilemma to have), bereft of ideas for his next picture (some kind of sci-fi extravaganza), and hounded by press and producers. In response, Guido retreats into memory and fantasy, where yet another woman awaits (Claudia Cardinale, some dream). From the very first scene—Guido trapped in the traffic jam, then flying aloft—8½ conveys claustrophobia and desperation. All these people, asking what he’ll do next! All these women, asking if he loves them! Guido’s fanciful escapes and reveries are the stories that come easily to him (unlike his dreaded next movie project); they’re snippets of the movie running his head that he could never commit to film (or not a narrative film). My favorite scene is the flashback to Guido’s youth, he and his boyhood pals dancing on the beach with the lusty prostitute Saraghina (Eddra Gale). It’s a burst of surreal neorealism, a collision of Italian genres, like some broken remnant from an ancient ruin. All of 8½ is like that—precious fragments that won’t be made whole. (NR) B.R.M. Seattle Art Museum, 1300 First Ave., 654-3100, seattleartmuseum.org, $63-$68 (series), Thursdays, 7:30 p.m. Through March 13. NORTH BY NORTHWEST Alfred Hitchcock’s wonderful 1959 chase movie is one of his absolute best, an espionage romp for the ages. Criss-crossing the country from cornfield to Mount Rushmore, Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint embody every sly, sexy nuance of Ernest Lehman’s excellent script. Sample dialogue exchange: Grant: “When I was a little boy, I wouldn’t even let my mother undress me.” Saint: “Well, you’re a big boy now.” So cool. So hot. Then there’s the priceless final train shot, still guaranteed to raise a hoot. (NR) B.R.M. Central Cinema, $6-$8, Feb. 28-March 1, 7 p.m.; Sat., March 1, 3 p.m.; March 3-5, 7 p.m. SEATTLE JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL SEE PAGE 24.

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•  THE SPROCKET SOCIETY’S SATURDAY SECRET MATINEES The 1949 serial Batman & Robin will be

screened in weekly installments. February’s surprise features will have a monster theme. (NR) Grand Illusion, $5-$8 individual, $35-$56 pass, Saturdays, 2 p.m. Through March 29. TAKE BACK YOUR POWER Director Josh del Sol will be on hand to share his concerns about utilities monitoring your power use. (NR) Keystone Congregational Church, 5019 Keystone Place N., 632-6021, keystoneseattle.org, Free, Fri., Feb. 28, 7 p.m. THE TELEPHONE BOOK In this 1971 porno, a hippie chick falls in love (or something) with an obscene phone caller. So naturally she tries to find him; various sex-capades ensue. (NR) Grand Illusion, $5-$8, Fri.Sat, 10 p.m. Through March 1. ULTIMATE ‘80S MUSIC VIDEO SING ALONG Don’t pretend you don’t know the words. Bands featured will include Prince, A Flock of Seagulls, and The Go-Gos. SIFF Cinema Uptown, 511 Queen Anne Ave. N., 3249996, siff.net, $6-$11, Fri., Feb. 28, 10 p.m. WOODY ALLEN IN THE ‘80S Running FridaySunday, 1985’s Broadway Danny Rose has Allen immersing himself in the kind of desperate, unhip showbiz milieu he once mocked as a stand-up comic. Mia Farrow is downright unrecognizable as the mobster’s moll who complicates Rose’s life. Playing Sunday-Wednesday, Radio Days (1987) is a fonder sort of period piece, a kind of anthology film set during the ’40s of Allen’s own boyhood in Queens. See grandillusioncinema.org for showtimes. (PG-13) Grand Illusion, $5–$8, Through March 5.

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Ongoing

• AMERICAN HUSTLE The latest concoction from

David O. Russell is full of big roundhouse swings and juicy performances: It’s a fictionalized take on the Abscam scandal of the late 1970s, in which the FBI teamed with a second-rate con man (here called Irving Rosenfeld, played by Christian Bale) in a wacko sting operation involving a bogus Arab sheik and bribes to U.S. congressmen. Along with the FBI coercing him into its scheme, Irving is caught between his hottie moll Sydney (Amy Adams) and neglected wife Rosalyn (Jennifer Lawrence). Even more complicated for Irving is that one of the targets of the undercover operation, a genially corrupt yet idealistic Jersey politico (Jeremy Renner), turns out to be a soulmate. Equally unhappy is the presiding FBI agent (Bradley Cooper, his permed hair and his sexual urge equally curled in maddening knots), who’s developed a crush on Sydney that is driving him insane. Russell encourages his actors to go for it, and man, do they go for it. (R) ROBERT HORTON iPic Theaters, Lincoln Square, Sundance, Thornton Place, others


filtering the best of

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DALLAS BUYERS CLUB Making a straight white

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film is inspired by true accounts of a parental nightmare: Two couples learn that their 6-year-old sons, born on the same day in the same country hospital, were switched at birth. Brought together by the news, the mortified parents must now work out what to do about a very complicated future. The focus is on Ryota (Japanese singer/actor Masaharu Fukuyama), a hard-driving architect whose long workday leaves him little time with his wife Midori (Machiko Ono) or their beloved son Keita. The other couple gets less screen time, as their cheerfully messy, mildly trashy smalltown existence is contrasted—a little too neatly—with the sterile high-rise apartment of their Tokyo counterparts. We generally see the boys through their parents’ perspectives, the opposite of the approach Kore-eda took in his 2004 masterpiece, Nobody Knows (about abandoned kids left to fend for themselves). Like Father, Like Son feels unbalanced, because you can’t help but wonder what’s going on when the boys are on their own, traveling between houses as the families get to know each other. (NR) R.H. 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. If the locals mistakenly gush over Woody’s good fortune, and if his own ridiculous family, the Grants, come begging for riches, he enjoys the acclaim. Also visiting Lincoln is Woody’s wife, the movie’s salty truth-teller. Kate (June Squibb, a hoot) cheerfully defames the dead, ridicules Woody’s lottery dreams, and gives zero fucks about offending anyone. Written by local screenwriter Bob Nelson, Nebraska is enormously rewarding in the end, one of the year’s best films. (R) B.R.M. Guild 45th, Oak Tree, Lincoln Square, Meridian, Vashon, others PHILOMENA Based on actual events, our film begins with journalist Martin Sixsmith (Steve Coogan), a brittle Oxbridge type, newly out of a job and lowering himself to write a human-interest story. That’s how he meets Philomena (Judi Dench), an Irish lady with the kinds of questions that perhaps only a reporter could answer. As a teenager in the 1950s, Philomena got pregnant, was sent to a Catholic convent to hide her sin, and gave birth there. She remained at the convent as unpaid labor, and her little boy was taken at age 3, never to be seen or heard from again. The pair’s discoveries are a matter of record now, but we’ll hold off on the revelations . . . except to say that there are some doozies. Maybe it’s Coogan’s acerbic personality (he scripted, with Jeff Pope), or director Stephen Frears’ unpretentious take on the material, but Philomena generally succeeds in distinguishing itself from the average weepie. The calm roll-out is effective; Coogan’s performance is shrewd; and anytime the camera gets near the convent, the Irish chill is almost palpable. (PG-13) R.H. Guild 45th, Ark Lodge, Meridian, others 7 BOXES This is the story of a seemingly unremarkable teen named Victor (Celso Franco) who wants to rise above his station in life, which happens to be as a delivery boy in a Paraguayan market. The first step toward fame and fortune, he believes, is acquiring an expensive camera-phone so he can make movies. The only problem is that Victor is poor—then circumstance puts a $100 payday within his reach. All he has to do is wheel the titular cargo around the marketplace. It is, of course, not that simple. Victor soon finds himself fleeing angry thugs and avoiding capture by the police. He proves elusive, inventive, and, to the film’s benefit, quite likable. Comparisons to Slumdog Millionaire are unavoidable, but 7 Boxes is much more gritty and believable than Danny Boyle’s tale of class jumping in India. The chase scenes are sometimes more gripping, too—even though most involve a wheelbarrow. Directors Juan Carlos Maneglia and Tana Schémbori succeed in creating a thriller that doesn’t need a big budget or Hollywood flash. (NR) MARK BAUMGARTEN SIFF Cinema Uptown 12 YEARS A SLAVE Made by English director Steve McQueen, this 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. Solomon passes through the possession of a series of Southern plantation owners. One sensitive slave

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SEATTLE WE EKLY • FEBRUARY 26 — M ARCH 4, 2014

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, his allies and adversaries do read like fictional composites (played by Griffin Dunne, Jennifer Garner, Denis O’Hare, and Steve Zahn). Best among them is the transvestite Rayon, who becomes Ron’s right-hand woman (Jared Leto). They’re both fellow gamblers who delight in beating the house. (R) B.R.M. Sundance, iPic Theaters, Meridian, others GLORIA In this Chilean character study, Paulina García—a veteran of Chilean television—plays the title role, and she builds a small masterpiece out of Gloria’s behavioral tics. García understands this woman from the heels up. She’s divorced, nearing 60, with grown kids who are kind but aloof. Gloria has a couple of purely sexual encounters during the film (the movie is admirably nonchalant about suggesting that people over 50 might enjoy a fling or two, and unembarrassed about depicting such flings), but her main romantic interest is a recently divorced ex-Navy retiree, Rodolfo (Sergio Hernández). Director Sebastián Lelio fills Gloria with colorful detail, to the point of occasional pushiness. But he and García have created a character so richly imperfect and fully inhabited that her trajectory remains engaging despite the occasional overstatement. (R) R.H. Sundance 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. He’s been coasting on the success of his first and only novel, 40 years prior, content with his goal to be king of Rome’s high life. Jep is a dandy with thinning hair brushed back and a girdle beneath his silk shirt. False appearances are all that count, but it takes intelligence to deceive. Disgust—and then perhaps self-disgust—begins to color his perception of the whole “debauched country.” In one of the year’s best movies, Servillo’s wry glances are both mocking and wincing, appropriate for a movie that’s simultaneously bursting with life and regret. (NR) B.R.M. Crest HER Spike Jonze’s unlikely romance is set in a smooth, efficient near-future Los Angeles. There are no poor people, no upsetting stories on the news. Technology works perfectly. Everyone ought to be happy, and that’s the problem for mopey Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix). Gradually it emerges that he’ separated from his wife (Rooney Mara), but won’t sign the divorce papers. Impulsively deciding to upgrade his phone and home PC, Theodore opts for the new OS1 ( “It’s not just an operating system, it’s a consciousness”). He chooses a female voice (Scarlett Johansson’s) called Samantha, which soon takes over his life. Before long they’re going on dates together—and more. When Theodore finally spills his secret, his friend Amy (Amy Adams) treats it like no big news—everyone’s falling in love with an OS, she tells him. In this ingenious and unexpectedly touching story, both humans and programs worry about being alone. And both yearn to connect across the digital divide between sentience and software. (R) B.R.M. Sundance, Harvard Exit, others INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS While there are funny bits in this simple story of a struggling folk musician in 1961 Greenwich Village, the situation for Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) is fairly dire. He has no money, no apartment, and no real prospects in the music industry—apart from an album that isn’t selling. He’s the wrong guy at the right moment, as the movie’s poignant final scenes make clear. The Coen brothers aren’t really making a comedy here, and you should temper your expectations to appreciate the movie’s minor-key rewards. Isaac can really sing and play guitar; the sterling soundtrack, by T Bone Burnett, is built around live music performances; and the catchiest tune is a knowingly cornball novelty song. As a man, Llewyn is a self-described asshole offstage; he’s only at his best onstage. If music can’t save him or provide a career, it’s also his only succor against life’s crushing disappointments. (R) B.R.M. Sundance

LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON Hirokazu Kore-eda’s latest

14-0209

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owner (Benedict Cumberbatch) gives Solomon—a musician by trade—a fiddle. Then he’s sold to the cruel cotton farmer Edwin Epps (Michael Fassbender), who also owns the furiously hard-working Patsey (Lupita Nyong’o). Patsey, like Solomon, is caught inside the terror of not knowing how to play this hand. Do they keep their heads down and try to survive, or do they resist? 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. Along the way, McQueen includes idyllic nature shots of Louisiana, as though to contrast that unspoiled world with what men have done in it. The contrast is lacerating. (R) R.H. Guild 45th, Ark Lodge, others

INVITES YOU AND A GUEST TO AN ADVANCE SCREENING OF

2014 OSCAR NOMINATED DOCUMENTARY SHORTS Among the five titles included here, four

MONDAY, MARCH 3 AT 7:00PM

PLEASE VISIT WWW.GOFOBO.COM/RSVP AND ENTER THE CODE SWEEKJ3PZ TO DOWNLOAD YOUR COMPLIMENTARY TICKETS! THIS FILM IS RATED R FOR STRONG, SUSTAINED SEQUENCES OF STYLIZED BLOODY VIOLENCE THROUGHOUT, A SEX SCENE, NUDITY AND SOME LANGUAGE. Please note: Passes are limited and will be distributed on a first come, first served basis while supplies last. No phone calls, please. Limit two passes per person. Each pass admits one. Seating is not guaranteed. Arrive early. Theater is not responsible for overbooking. This screening will be monitored for unauthorized recording. By attending, you agree not to bring any audio or video recording device into the theater (audio recording devices for credentialed press excepted) and consent to a physical search of your belongings and person. Any attempted use of recording devices will result in immediate removal from the theater, forfeiture, and may subject you to criminal and civil liability. Please allow additional time for heightened security. You can assist us by leaving all nonessential bags at home or in your vehicle.

IN THEATERS MARCH 7 300THEMOVIE.COM

SEATTLE WEEKLY WED: 02/26/14 BLACK & WHITE 4.83” x 2.69” ALL.300-P.0226.SW

RM

of which I’ve seen, most deal with emphatically Big Topics: prison reform, the Holocaust, the Arab Spring, and queer bashing. (The fifth, an outlier, is about an eccentric New Mexico artist.) The Lady in Number 6 is a polished English profile of a 109-year-old pianist and Holocaust survivor; sadly, she just died. Karama Has No Walls, filmed by two extraordinarily brave young cameramen while government forces were shooting at them and fellow protestors, is a bloody news dispatch from Yemen, close cousin to the Oscar-nominated Tahrir Square doc The Square. Cavedigger, the outlier, is a sad/amusing portrait of a guy who creates cathedral-like sandstone caves. The film I predict will take home the Oscar is Jason Cohen’s Facing Fear. In 1981 Los Angeles, a 15-year-old street hustler and a 17-year-old skinhead meet in the parking lot of a hot-dog stand. It’s an angry mob against one, and the scared gay teen—cast out by his fundamentalist mother—is kicked and beaten unconscious on the pavement. Tim Zaal and Matthew Boger are going to meet again, some 25 years later, and I’ll leave the particulars there. How do you forgive your would-be killer? And how can that violent felon ever atone for his assault? Those are the questions considered by Facing Fear. (NR) B.R.M. Sundance

SEATTLE WEEKLY • FEBRUARY 26 — MARCH 4, 2014

WALKING THE CAMINO: SIX WAYS TO SANTIAGO

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In Lydia Smith’s cheerful, international, uplifting documentary, a few priests explain the history of the pilgrimage paths to Santiago, Spain, where St. James is supposedly buried. At 500 miles from southwestern France, the Camino is a strenuous walk on both paved roads and pastoral trails, a trek that takes a month for most walkers. Not all of these half-dozen trekkers are strictly religious. For one young Portuguese businessman, the Camino is a personal challenge. A cheerful, sturdy Danish woman wants the time alone—then falls in step with a handsome Canadian. Then there’s the British-accented Samantha, a brash Brazilian who says she’s lost her job, boyfriend, and apartment back in London. She stops for regular smoking breaks, flirts shamelessly, and would be a far better heroine than Julia Roberts in the Eat Pray Love/Under the Tuscan Sun memoir category. The fellowship among these travelers is enormously appealing. (NR) B.R.M. SIFF Cinema Uptown THE WIND RISES Beloved animator Hayao Miyazaki has announced this as his final feature, which means the Oscar-nominated The Wind Rises ought to be arriving on a parade float of acclaim, buoyed by pastel clouds and pulled by a collection of amazing imaginary creatures. On the one hand, a biographical study of engineer and airplane designer Jiro Horikoshi sounds like a great match for Miyazaki’s wistful style: It allows for beautiful flying sequences and perhaps some selfportraiture in its study of a detail-minded dreamer who assembles his creations from a combination of mathbased design and pure imagination. The problem? Horikoshi’s masterpiece was the Zero, Japan’s lethally efficient World War II fighter plane. There’s something head-in-the-clouds about this movie’s soft treatment of its central character. (PG-13) R.H. Cinerama, Majestic Bay, others THE WOLF OF WALL STREET Hugely, rudely entertaining, Martin Scorsese’s three-hour tale of rogue stock traders during the early ‘90s stars a ferociously funny Leonardo DiCaprio as Jordan Belfort, upon whose jailhouse memoir the movie is based. Wolf almost seems like a remake of Scorsese’s Goodfellas. The crucial difference, however, is the absence of mobsters and violence; this film is a greed-com, and the clowns include Jonah Hill, Rob Reiner, Matthew McConaughey, Jean Dujardin, and Spike Jonze. In a way, this is the movie Brian De Palma tried and failed to make out of Tom Wolfe’s The Bonfire of the Vanities. Belfort is a guy programmed to sell, fuck, steal, and get high, only fun to watch while engaged in those core activities. In the film’s coda, Belfort finally recognizes as much: The only thing worse than being poor is being bored. Fortunately for us, Scorsese’s Wolf is the opposite of boring. (R) B.R.M. Lincoln Square,

• 

EXCLUSIVE ENGAGEMENTS NOW PLAYING CHECK LOCAL LISTINGS FOR THEATRES AND SHOWTIMES IN THEATRES EVERYWHERE FEBRUARY 28 NEWSPAPER: SEATTLE WEEKLY

SORRY, NO PASSES

Marveling at Ms. Marvel

A

weird schedule kept me from Arcane Comics for a full week after the release date of Ms. Marvel. Once I finally grabbed it (OK, fine, I bought two copies), life got in the way. I wanted to wait until I had the time to absorb one of the most radical works by a mainstream comic vendor in my lifetime, so there it sat, begging to be read. Finally things BY TERRA CLARKE OLSEN slowed a bit. and I had a chance to dive in. In Adrian Alphona’s vibrant artwork and the story by Seattle’s own G. Willow Wilson, I found what I’ve been waiting for in comics: something new. The hero is a 16-year-old Pakistani-American Muslim girl named Kamala Khan. That much I knew already. What I didn’t know is how Wilson, herself a Muslim woman, would handle these biographical details. As I read the first pages, I was heartened to find they were not just casually mentioned. Rather, the characteristics that make Khan unique in the world of superheroes are an important part of the story and character development. From page one, the reader understands that Kahn lives a religious life, and that such a life comes with certain tribulations. The struggles of a teenage Muslim living in the United States are conveyed deftly and with humor: In one panel Kahn smells bacon while her friends tease her for torturing herself; in another, her friend, wearing a headscarf, politely explains to a popular blonde girl that no, no one is forcing her to wear it. Wilson’s directness in dealing with these issues is refreshing and, to this reader, not in the least alienating. Teenage years are awkward and sometimes downright miserable; everyone is contradictorily concerned with fitting in and with finding their voice. Kahn is no different, and thus is immensely relatable. She is confident and true to her principles, but wants to fit in. In disagreements with her parents and trying to talk with the “cool kids,” you feel for her. She is struggling to find her place. We’ve all been there. Complicating matters is the fact that, like a real human being, Khan is more than her ethno-religious profile. She is a nerd. A huge nerd, and I love it. She writes Avengers fan fiction and obsesses over superheroes. The flash of publicity that preceded the publication of Ms. Marvel is likely what sent it to #1 in digital sales, but if it’s going to stay on top, it’s Khan’s nerdy characteristics and relatability that will keep it there. Comic-book creators respond to numbers, so I hope they will figure out that, yes, characters who are female, people of color, and decidedly non-Christian can bring in readers. Just follow Wilson’s lead and do it well. E

GEEKLYREPORT

geeklyreport@seattleweekly.com


arts&culture» Music

It’s His Thing

Songwriter Eric Anderson casts off his folk-pop trappings and delivers songs that boom with bravado. BY MARK BAUMGARTEN

E

HAYLEY YOUNG

ric Anderson had written a handful of songs for the fourth album from his ongoing pop outfit Cataldo when he needed some advice. As fresh ideas for melodies and lyrics fermented in his mind, he sat down with his roommate Mike, a sound artist with an appreciation of Top-40 pop that had earned him Anderson’s trust. The problem was that the recording process for Anderson’s third album, Prison Boxing, had left the 27-year-old songwriter wanting. That album was a step forward for Anderson, casting his melodic hooks and poetic couplets in a more refined folk-pop landscape, building on the acoustic-guitar parts, odd banjo run, and chorus of voices found on the songwriter’s earlier work. But Anderson felt that the process had slipped from his tight grasp. He told Mike that he wanted to retain more control while working within the modest budget that his day job at an icecream shop afforded him. “I knew there was this barn that I could get free studio time at,” he says now, sitting in the back of a Capitol Hill coffee shop. “I thought I would just show up and engineer all the stuff just like my past records. It would be cheap—I was so strapped for money—and it would be easy.” Then Mike said something that radically altered the album’s trajectory. “That makes a lot of sense,” Anderson recalls his roommate saying. “It’s very sensible, but what do you want to do?” Anderson was struck by a question he says he had never really considered. After some hemming and hawing, he answered, and an unlikely litany of wants followed: “Well, if money was no object, I guess the drums would be compositionally similar to hip-hop or R&B or modern pop drums, which is all boom and bap, kick drum and snare. And it would be cool to have horns, but, like, horns, a sensual cool horn arrangement, and I want to sing in a more conversational manner. And I wouldn’t play guitar; I’m kind of bored with that.” Mike replied, “Well, why don’t you do that?” It took some time, but eventually Anderson took his roommate’s advice. The resulting album, Gilded Oldies, is everything that Anderson said he wanted, and very different from anything he’s done before. Gone is the strumming rhythm of Anderson’s past; in its place is a booming kick drum, undergirding simple piano parts and sophisticated, moving horn arrangements that replace the sometimes-precious folk instrumentation of Cataldo’s previous releases. The album is a transformation for the artist, who managed to get what he wanted by squirreling away $500 to record those drum parts in a studio, and by swallowing his pride and asking phenomenal horn

player Ahamefule Oluo, an artist he respected but didn’t know, to arrange the horns. “It took more time, took more money,” Anderson says, “but I went into this project with the attitude of ‘I’m not fucking around,’ and everyone else followed.” That confidence has spread into every part of Anderson’s art. Along with the new sound has come a new stage show that features the formerly frumpy 6´6˝ singer—slimmed, shaven, and suited—as a light-footed frontman, untethered from his guitar, leading a serious band laying down music that crackles with emotion and exuding a bravado that mimics hip-hop as much as those drums do. “You don’t get to drink from my cup,” Anderson sings on the album’s most aggressive track, “The Beast.” “The things that touch my lips are going to shred you up.” These are bold moves for an artist from Seattle’s folk-pop scene, where humility in song and an acoustic instrument in hand have begun to look more pathological than paramount. Anderson’s peers should take heed. If the band’s last album was a step forward, Gilded Oldies is a bounding leap for Cataldo, a sign of true artistic growth. Anderson knows it. “The impediment between doing this album the way I wanted and not doing it that way was so small when I said it out loud,” Anderson says. “I think that the fact that this [album] is better is because I decided to just do it. And not just do it because I knew a guy who could do it for free, but to find the guy I wanted to do it and just do it.” E

mbaumgarten@seattleweekly.com


arts&culture» Music

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

mainstage

dinner & show

WED/FEBRUARY 26 • 7:30PM

throwing muses THU/FEBRUARY 27 • 7:30PM

mason jennings w/ rebecca pidgeon FRI/FEBRUARY 28 • 8PM

the united states of football (film)

MON/MARCH 3 • 7:30PM

korby lenker w/ carrie clark TUE/MARCH 4 • 7:30PM

benjamin verdoes with special guest orchestra and melodie knight and john van duesen (the lonely forest) THU/MARCH 6 • 7:30PM

sea wolf w/ kevin long

Wednesday, Feb. 26

Thursday, Feb. 27

The kings of melodic death metal, CHILDREN OF BODOM are one of the biggest bands in their native Finland, and their new album, Halo of Blood, is their most accessible to date. They’re touring alongside American thrash legends Death Angel, who also have a blood-related new album, The Dream Calls for Blood. With TYR, Kill Closet. El Corazon, 109 Eastlake Ave. E., 262-0482, elcorazon.com. 8 p.m. $23 adv./$25 DOS. DAVE LAKE 15 years ago, TOM BROSSEAU was new to the San Diego coffee-shop circuit and had a regular gig at a place called Twiggs. Those were the days before hipsterdom co-opted the “ol’ time band” aesthetic, Frank Fairfield was likely playing bass in a garage band, and vocals like Brosseau’s—clean, delicate, a little weary—were still captivating in their novelty. Since his cafe days, his wavering tenor has remained the perfect vehicle for his songwriting: sparse, prose-addled songs of love, land, and loss (the latter acutely captured on 2007’s Grand Forks, about that town’s devastating 1997 flood), and he’s since toured with John C. Reilly (as John C. Reilly & Friends). His latest, Grass Punks, was recorded with Nickel Creek’s Sean Watkins. With Shelby Earl, Jon Sands. Fremont Abbey, 4272 Fremont Ave N., 414-8325, fremontabbey.org. 8 p.m. $7–$14. GWENDOLYN ELLIOTT Catching NEW POLITICS live is like watching a band on a sugar high. The minute the Danish/American dancerock trio takes the stage, its members are bouncing from one end to the other, with break-dancing singer David Boyd busting out his signature headstand freeze, all while performing songs from 2013’s A Bad Girl in Harlem. It’s enough to give the audience a rush of its own. With Magic Man. Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., 7099442, neumos.com. 8 p.m. $15 adv. All ages. AZARIA C. PODPLESKY ROAST THE KEBLAS James Keblas, departing Director of the Mayor’s Office of Film and Music, will be roasted tonight at this top-secret showcase that promises special guests and live musical performances including “someone very cool, a favorite of James’s. Not to be missed,” organizers say. Last time I saw Keblas at the

The current incarnation of EN VOGUE, one of the most successful R&B groups of the ’90s, contains just half of the original foursome, but we hope that won’t tarnish your desire for a nostalgic romp through the group’s many hits, like “Hold On,” “My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It),” and “Free Your Mind.” Jazz Alley, 2033 Sixth Ave., 441-9729, jazzalley.com. 7:30 p.m. tonight and Sun.; 7:30 & 9:30 p.m. Fri.–Sat. $46.50. DL If you enjoy Valentine’s Day and wish its lovey-doveyness could last forever, then you will probably be able to find a place in your heart for Always Been, the latest from singer/songwriter MASON JENNINGS. On a scale of one to 10, the Warm Fuzziness of this record rates a 12. With Rebecca Pidgeon. The Triple Door, 216 Union St., 838-4333, thetripledoor.net. 7:30 p.m. $27 adv./$30 DOS. All ages. BRIAN PALMER

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

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next • 3/9 tayla lynn w/ jessica lynne • 3/12 - 3/16 house of thee unholy • 3/18 nils frahm w/ douglas dare • 3/19 paula cole • 3/20 soundtrack for the future benefit • 3/21 massy ferguson w/ sassparilla • 3/23 carrie rodriguez w/ honey noble • 3/25 wanting w/ dawen wang • 3/26 trace bundy with special guest sungha jung • 3/27 cahalen and eli w/ john reischman and greg spatz • 3/28 ian mcferon w/ mozo • 3/29 pat rothfuss and paul & storm • 3/30 zucchero • 3/31 meklit hadero

happy hour every day • 2/26 danny godinez • 2/27 lisa dank and man with gun • 2/28 money jungle • 3/1 closed for a private event • 3/2 closed for a private event until 6pm • 3/3 crossrhythm session • 3/4 singer-songwriter showcase featuring: adam foley, lana mcmullen and sammy witness • 3/5 jargon DOORS OPEN 1.5 HOURS PRIOR TO FIRST SHOW · ALL-AGES (BEFORE 9:30PM)

thetripledoor.net

216 UNION STREET, SEATTLE · 206.838.4333

NORTHWEST UNDERGROUND HIP-HOP BLOWOUT

“Underground” can mean a lot of things: independent, socially conscious, outside the mainstream, underappreciated; some might say the term’s lost its meaning. Draw your own conclusions as these slept-on artists work to redefine hip-hop in the Pacific Northwest. With Ill Writers Guild, Shua, Cellar Door Productions, Hood Known Records, Grim Mortality, Deadly Poets, Goozebumpz, JT Funny Money, Red Head Steve, Devin Deloney. Studio Seven, 110 S. Horton St., 286-1312, studioseven.us. 8 p.m. $8 adv./$10 DOS. All ages. MICHAEL F. BERRY

Friday, Feb. 28

After overcoming a childhood speech impairment that prevented him from communicating verbally, Tim Perry, lead singer of Portland-based choral-pop septet AGES AND AGES, voluntarily entered a nonverbal state during a 10-day silent retreat. He wasn’t allowed to speak or write, but left with the bones of the band’s sophomore album, Divisionary, in place. The album’s emotion-driven lyrics are balanced by the uplifting instrumentation and congregation-like backing vocals. Must have been some retreat. With Arkomo. Barboza, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9951, thebarboza.com. 7 p.m. $10 adv. 21 and over. ACP Co-hosted with KEXP DJ Hannah Levin and doubling as a benefit for Redmond’s Motley Zoo Animal Rescue, this TRIBUTE TO SWAMI RECORDS will feature songs from the San Diego punk label’s roster (Hot Snakes,

Cibo Matto

john gorka w/ antje duvekot

COURTESY OF THE ARTIST

SEATTLE WEEKLY • FEBRUARY 26 — MARCH 4, 2014

SAT/MARCH 8 • 8PM

TO ENSURE THE BEST EXPERIENCE · PLEASE ARRIVE EARLY

Showbox, he was presenting the Seattle City of Music Awards, and the lineup featured the Maldives, Tea Cozies, Zach Tillman, and others. It’s safe to say this one’s going to be a banger. The Showbox, 1426 First Ave., 628-3151, showboxonline.com. 7 p.m. Free. GE


1303 NE 45TH ST

Nicki Bluhm & the Gramblers Saturday, March 1

S

Join us in the Trophy Room for Happy Hour: Thursday Bartender Special 8-Close Fridays: 5-8pm

COURTESY OF THE ARTIST

RESERVE THE TROPHY ROOM FOR YOUR NEXT EVENT!

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album a full year before it dropped. Nicki Bluhm & the Gramblers includes heavy doses of thick, ’70s-era AM-radio rock and roll, and tracks like the first single, “Little Too Late,” deliver Bluhm’s alternately gravelly and honey-sweet vocals just as the Herald describes. For a group with such incurable wanderlust, finally releasing the album, Bluhm says, “was nice because then we could reveal the rest of the songs.” With Carly Ritter. Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9467, neumos.com. 8 p.m. $16. 21 and over. BRIAN PALMER

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8 SECOND RIDE 9PM - $3 COVER

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Pitchfork, Drive Like Jehu, Rocket From the Crypt) by a mix of admirers and members of some of Seattle’s best bands: Minus the Bear, Helms Alee, Sandrider, Grenades, Police Teeth, These Arms Are Snakes, and more. Chop Suey, 1325 E. Madison St., 324-8005, chopsuey.com. 9 p.m. $7 adv./$10 DOS. 21 and over. JAMES BALLINGER The indie-rock anthems of Scotland’s GLASVEGAS are well suited for the beautiful and intimate Columbia City Theater—especially the soaring sounds of its latest, Later . . . When the TV Turns to Static, for which singer James Allen had a vision from top to bottom, serving as singer, songwriter, producer, and even album-package designer. With the Ceremonies. Columbia City Theater, 4916 Rainier Ave., 722-3009, columbiacitytheater.com. 9 p.m. $15. 21 and over. DL NICOLE ATKINS is anything but predictable. Her songs have dived headlong into everything from relationships to awful hangovers, and in her three albums she’s embraced a sound equal parts Stevie Nicks, Led Zeppelin, and Roy Orbison. Her new album, Slow Phaser, dropped earlier this month. With Arc Iris. Nectar Lounge, 412 N. 36th St., 632-2020, nectarlounge. com. 8 p.m. $12 adv./$15 DOS. 21 and over. BP

Saturday, March 1

Seattle-based quartet TANGERINE released its latest EP, Radical Blossom, last year; its sugary-sweet melodies and lo-fi production will sound swell on this intimate

stage. The perfect soundtrack for a day of Frisbee at the beach, the songs are also sweet listening for kissing these rainy days goodbye (at least for tonight). With Smokey Brights, Tomten. Columbia City Theater. 9 p.m. $8 adv./$10 DOS. 21 and over. KEEGAN PROSSER It’s been 15 years since CIBO MATTO released its sophomore album, Stereo Type A. Since then, the trip-hop alt-rockers (best known for the quirky “Know Your Chicken” back in the ’90s) disbanded and established solo careers: vocalist Miho Hatori worked with Gorillaz and others; keyboardist Yuka Honda collaborated with Sean Lennon, the Boredoms, Plastic Ono Band, and Martha Wainwright. Hatori and Honda reunited in 2011 and dropped their third release, Hotel Valentine, earlier this month. With Salt Cathedral. Crocodile, 2200 Second Ave., 441-4618, thecrocodile.com. 8 p.m. SOLD OUT. GE EMP SOUND OFF! FINALS Now in its 13th year, Seattle’s biggest battle of underage bands culminates in this showdown, with semifinalists Laser Fox, Thee Samedi, Otieno Terry, and the wild-card winner, Fauna Shade. Sky Church at EMP, 325 Fifth Ave., 770-2702, empmuseum.org. 8 p.m. $8–$12. GE THE PURRS hum and jangle blissfully somewhere between dream pop and punk. If the Pixies carried on the direction of “Here Comes Your Man” but took influence from the rougher parts of Slowdive’s discography, it might sound something like this band. With track names like “So Fucking Beautiful,” it’s safe to say the Purrs are also hopeless romantics. With Rick Bain & The Genius Position, Hypatia Lake, Vibragun. High Dive,

HIGHWAY 9 9PM - $5 COVER

SUN MARCH 2ND

TWISTED DIXIE

9PM - $3 COVER 4PM OPEN MIC ACOUSTIC JAM W/ BODACIOUS BILLY TUES MARCH 4TH

JERKELS 9PM

MONDAY AND WEDNESDAY

KARAOKE WITH DJ FORREST GUMP 9:00PM • NO COVER

FREE COUNTRY DANCE LESSONS WITH OUR HOST MARY ANN AT 8PM; SUN, MON, TUES

HAPPY HOUR 9AM-NOON & 4-7 PM • MON-FRI

WELL DRINKS & DOMESTIC BOTTLED BEER $2 DINNER: 5-10PM EVERYDAY BREAKFAST & LUNCH: SAT 8AM-2PM / SUN 9AM-2PM 7115 WOODLAWN AVENUE NE 522-1168

SEATTLE WE EKLY • FEBRUARY 26 — M ARCH 4, 2014

inger/songwriter Nicki Bluhm makes no bones about the fact that the life of a touring musician can be hard, but is not without its joys. “You’re with each other all the time, and the road can be a very rough place,” she says. “It’s not always comfortable. Like today, we’re doing a 20-hour drive. That wears on you. But the commonality is that you all love what you’re doing and believe in the music you’re making. You become better musical partners, collaborators, friends, and communicators because of it.” If you know how to amuse yourself, as Bluhm’s found on the road with her San Francisco–based Americana rock group, traveling can be pretty entertaining. To keep things interesting, the band has filmed itself playing a handful of covers while Nicki drives the van. When there’s time, the videos get posted to the band’s site, and some have gone viral. One in particular—a groovy cover of Hall and Oates’ “I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do)”—has over two million hits. “It started very organically,” Bluhm says of the vids. “We were touring, bored, and didn’t have a radio, so we started singing songs in the van, and it was our bass player’s idea to start recording them. It’s a good way to pass the time.” Formed in 2007 when Nicki’s bandmate and now-husband—the Mother Hips’ Tim Bluhm—

first heard her sing a bluesy number at a house party, the Gramblers have become incessant road warriors; a recent Sunset story reported that its 117-stop 2013 tour logged 57,000 miles. But as the years and miles accumulate, so do the fans. The Gramblers have garnered press far and wide for its rambling ways (reportedly clocking about 250 miles a day)—not to mention Bluhm’s pipes, which the Boston Herald says are “sexy and soulful” and show a bit of “Janis, Etta, and Amy.” So many dates gave the group ample opportunity to play some of the songs from its 2013 debut

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arts&culture» Music 513 N. 36th St., 632-0212, highdiveseattle.com. 9 p.m. $8. 21 and over. DUSTY HENRY It took six years for Seattle’s KINSKI to release 2013’s Cosy Moments, an album that continued the band’s evolution toward straight-ahead rock, leaving most of the space-rock leanings behind. It was worth the wait. Tonight’s gig is one of just five dates on a West Coast run with Bottomless Pit, so catch them now before they go into hibernation for another half decade. Sunset Tavern, 5433 Ballard Ave. N.W., 784-4880, sunsettavern. com. 10 p.m. SOLD OUT. 21 and over. DL

Before MIDDAY VEIL takes its crunchy, visceral psych-rock to SXSW, the band will get an appropriate send-off here tonight. Midday Veil’s knack for sweeping, Western epics already feels like a desert fever dream, as evidenced on its latest LP, The Current. It’s a suitable sound for a pilgrimage to Austin. With NightTrain, Airport. Chop Suey. $8. 8 p.m. 21 and over. DH Spitting smooth rhymes with perfectly paired bassheavy beats, it’s no surprise West Coast rapper DOM KENNEDY has risen as far as the third and fourth spots on Billboard’s Top Rap and Hip-Hop/R&B Album charts, respectively. Not to mention acquiring a loyal fan base while receiving praise from Rick Ross and Forbes. What is surprising, however, is that the 29-year-old California native has achieved such success while unsigned to any major label. Kennedy is currently on his Get Home Safely tour, named after his October 2013 release. With Skeme. The Showbox. 8 p.m. $22 adv./$25 DOS. All ages. MARGERY CERCADO

PAT METHENY UNITY GROUP Few jazz guitarists can

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 26 El Corazon & Mike Thrasher Present:

SEATTLE WEEKLY • FEBRUARY 26 — MARCH 4, 2014

CHILDREN OF BODOM

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with Death Angel, TYR and Kill Closet Doors at 7 / Show at 8PM ALL AGES/BAR W/ID. $23 ADV / $25 DOS

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 27

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 28

WE BUTTER THE BREAD WITH BUTTER with Lions Lions, Honour Crest and Autumn Tragedy Lounge Show. Doors at 6 / Show at 6:30PM ALL AGES/BAR W/ID. $10 ADV / $12 DOS

SATURDAY, MARCH 1

Mike Thrasher Presents:

KISW (99.9 FM) Metal Shop, El Corazon, Iron Lung and Inimical Present:

Doors at 7 / Show at 8PM ALL AGES/BAR W/ID. $15 ADV / $18 DOS

Doors at 7 / Show at 8PM ALL AGES/BAR W/ID. $18 ADV / $20 DOS

T. MILLS with Blackbear and XPerience THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 27

SAUL

with Verdant Mile, Stone Tyler, Victims Of Eternity and Stain Lounge Show. Doors at 7 / Show at 7:30PM ALL AGES/BAR W/ID. $8 ADV / $10 DOS

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 28 Take Warning Presents:

T.J. MILLER with Nick Vatterott

and Emmett Montgomery Doors at 9:30 / Show at 10PM 21+. $15 ADV / $18 DOS

INFEST with Gehenna, Iron Lung, Gag, Plus Special Guests SATURDAY, MARCH 1 The Infest After Party Featuring Live Music From:

LB.! (POUND)

Music Begins immediately after the conclusion of the Infest show in the main showroom.

21+. Lounge Show. FREE

SUNDAY, MARCH 2

MIDDLE CLASS RUT

with Dinosaur Pile Up, Brick + Mortar, Girl On Fire and The Nixon Rodeo Doors at 7 / Show at 7:30PM ALL AGES/BAR W/ID. $13 ADV / $15 DOS

JUST ANNOUNCED 4/5 LOUNGE MOTION 4/20 LOUNGE GLOOMSDAY 4/30 MILLIONAIRES 4/30 LOUNGE GREGORY ATTONITO (BOUNCING SOULS) & SHANTI WINTERGATE 5/5 LOUNGE SURVAY SAYS! 5/9 PAGAN FEST V FEAT. KORPIKLAANI 5/13 ONE WAY SYSTEM 5/19 LOUNGE THE FRONT 6/4 THE GODDAMN GALLOWS UP & COMING 3/3 LOUNGE FINGERS CROSSED 3/5 LOUNGE DOGSTRUM 3/6 LOUNGE THE HOTELIER 3/7 RICHIE RAMONE / GO LIKE HELL 3/8 WE ARE THE IN CROWD 3/8 LOUNGE SOLE 3/9 SUNNY LEDFURD 3/11 NYPC 3/12 THE SKINS 3/14 BAYSIDE 3/15 MONSTERS SCARE YOU (FINAL SHOW) 3/19 THE WONDER YEARS

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

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

W

hen Vancouver, B.C., electro-industrial pioneers Skinny Puppy “heard through a reliable grapevine that our music was being used in Guantanamo Bay prison camps to musically stun or torture people,” keyboardist cEvin Key (a copy editor’s worst nightmare) told Phoenix New Times, the news inspired the band’s new album, Weapon. In response, the trio reportedly invoiced the government for $666,000, a sum the band calls a “random evil figure.” But it was all a ruse, a clever publicity stunt timed to the release of Weapon, the band’s 12th LP. “The album cover is the invoice,” Key says, which depicts a spider built from guns, blades, and bombs. Though different in sound from the band’s early material, the new album fits in lockstep with Skinny Puppy’s boundary-pushing philosophy, blending politics with a roulette wheel of genres—segueing from ambient to cacophonous, electronic to organic, an evolution of its sound over three decades together. Though the band never hit the commercial highs of those they influenced, most notably Trent Reznor’s Nine

match Metheny in sheer talent and ability; fewer still in influence. With his newest Unity Group, he continues to do what he’s done his whole career—push the sonic envelope further than anyone thought possible. The Moore. 7:30 p.m. $45–$62.50. CR JANIVA MAGNESS set the blues, soul, and R&B worlds aflame in 2012 with the release of Stronger for It. The 2009 B.B. King Entertainer of the Year (one of only two women to hold that distinction) and her powerhouse vocals garnered more awards in 2013: two Blues Music Awards for Song of the Year (“I Won’t Cry”) and Contemporary Blues Female Artist of the Year. Jazz Alley. Through Wed., March 5. 7:30 & 9:30 p.m. $24.50. All ages. BP Blending atmospheric, moody melodies with pummeling heavy riffs, RUSSIAN CIRCLES pretty much has the instrumental post-rock genre in a lock. Its fifth record, Memorial, closes with the eerie title track, featuring guest vocalist Chelsea Wolfe—a song that begs for repeat listens. With Helms Alee, Ken Mode. Neumos. 8 p.m. $15 adv. 21 and over. JB

Inch Nails (who admitted his song “Down in It” is a direct rip-off of Puppy’s “Dig It”), the band has certainly had lots of critical encouragement while retaining a core following. Weapon is no exception. AllMusic.com calls it “an electro-industrial winner released when few were asking for one,” while Canadian indie rag Exclaim! says the album is “a testament to one

COURTESY OF THE ARTIST

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served as the tireless de facto ambassador of the blues, maintaining a punishing touring schedule taking him around the world—at age 88, to boot. As one of the last living links to the wellsprings of that storied genre, a B.B. King show is more than just another concert; it’s a precious glimpse into a disappearing past. The Moore, 1932 Second Ave., 682-1414, stgpresents.org/ moore. 7:30 p.m. $52.50 and up. CORBIN REIFF

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of the few reformed bands still striving to push, not just themselves, but an entire bygone genre forward.” If the records are powerful statements on their own, Skinny Puppy’s live shows are all-sensory assaults. The band puts an equal amount of thought into the concert experience; expect projections, elaborate lighting, masks, costume changes, and visual stimulations that match the aural ones. With Baal. The Showbox, 1426 First Ave., 628-3151, showboxonline.com. 9 p.m. SOLD OUT. 21 and over. DAVE LAKE


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LocaLReLeases Death Vessel, Island Intervals (out now, Sub

Pop, subpop.com) It’s been six years since Death Vessel’s Joel Thibodeau released his last album, 2008’s Nothing Is Precious Enough for Us, and this third release indicates he’s sticking to a formula that worked well the first two times. For Island Intervals, however, the Rhode Island native went international, trading familiar locales for the icy terrain of Reykjavík, where he worked alongside Sigur Rós singer Jónsi and producer Alex Somers. After three months together, the result is an album both mysterious and beautiful. Led by Thibodeau’s waify, androgynous vocals, Intervals begins in a much darker place than one might expect, opening with a sad coo on “Ejecta” that sets the tone for a moody, emotive collection a la The Tallest Man on Earth. Using a variety of unconventional instrumentation (like wind chimes and tribal-infused percussion) the tension builds, hitting an emotional and sonic high just shy of four minutes in. As the album progresses, the mood lightens, shifting completely four songs in with the bouncy, pop-friendly “Mercury Dime.” Album closer “Loom” marks an abrupt 180 spin in Intervals’ emotive direction—a conclusion that sends shivers down your spine, like the first time that special someone grabs your hand. The whole boomeranging vibe of the album (just eight tracks long) conjures the feeling of what it’s like to be on the shores of Rhode Island—or Reykjavík—in the midst of spring, consumed by a love that’s romantic and messy. KEEGAN PROSSER

KELTON SEARS

Bill Patton, A New Kind of Man (out now, Versi-

color Records, versicolor.limitedrun.com) On his debut record, the guitar man for the likes of Fleet Foxes, Low Hums, Poor Moon, Gold Leaves, J. Tillman, and others exercises a certain Midas touch. Only thing is, everything he touches turns into bleak despair. The Beatles’ seminal “I Want to Hold Your Hand” becomes a Western slow-burner steeped in irony and self-loathing. Jennifer Lopez’s “Jenny From the Block” is reinterpreted to fit a smoky cabaret instead of the dance floor. Given the right somber mood, A New Kind of Man can be cathartic. Patton doesn’t console his listeners, he empathizes, taking cues from his collaborators, like the self-awareness of Father John Misty and the desolate arrangements of that artist when he was known as J. Tillman. The music wallows and mopes. His voice rarely rises above a baritone drawl. Patton is in the shit. The opener, “Alchemy,” moves around a progression similar to John Lennon’s “Imagine,” though tinged with alt-country sensibilities. On the second chorus, he bellows, “If I make it to the fountain of youth/I will come home ridiculous and bearing syphilis.” There’s just no silver lining anywhere here, and while the album isn’t exactly a good time, that’s not to say it isn’t good. Patton writes with poignancy. He opts to be transparent and self-deprecating instead of running rampant with nostalgia or feel-good pop. “Om” and “The Color of the Moon” find Patton at his best, working with dragged- and fuzzed-out guitars and pounding drums; the thundering instrumentals give his music a very welcome extra texture. Man closes with two testaments to love: a cover of Lennon’s “Oh Yoko” and Patton’s own “If I Had a Home.” “If I had a home/ You’d be so nice to come home to,” he sings. “And if I had a heart, I would hold you and you would just smile.” For Patton, becoming a “new kind of man” means trawling through gloom and doom. The future is uncertain, but despite the sarcasm and loathing, he wants love like anyone else. Pretty touching stuff for a sad bastard. DUSTY HENRY

Send your upcoming release to

reverbreviews@seattleweekly.com

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The Notwist, Close to the Glass (out now, Sub Pop) Last November, Sub Pop teased fans by announcing it had signed a mystery band, releasing a 15-second snippet of a new song and the hint that the band was “an artist that we’ve been HUGE fans of for years—artists with an established fan base who would be welcome at any record label that they please.” The snippet, a glitched-out, kraut-rocking mess of tabla drum samples and airy falsetto cooing, led 90 percent of online musical sleuths to guess something along the lines of Radiohead. The label’s mystery band turned out to be German indie rockers The Notwist—but to be fair, Close to the Glass, the band’s first release in five years, does sound a lot like Radiohead; frontman Markus Acher’s vocal stylings and penchant for dread-filled lyricism are dead ringers for Thom Yorke’s apocalypse-obsessed whimpers. The fact of the matter is, however, that The Notwist has been doing the broken-computer-music thing since 1998, two years before Radiohead krauted-out Kid A ’s buggy dystopian tunes. If anything, it can be argued that Radiohead sounds like The Notwist, not the opposite. Yet both bands have their sleepy moments, and Glass has its share,

but for the most part there are lots of interesting ideas here. The tabla-driven glitch of the eponymous single is hyper-rhythmic in the best way—your brain will want to move around as much as your body does. “Run Run Run” is a complete reworking of what was originally “a simple blues song,” according to the band; the end result, the product of each member “manipulating each other’s performance,” is a skittering, bleeping tune that sounds like a dialup modem hanging out at a goth club (dressed all in black, natch). But luckily for older fans, Glass isn’t without some classic early-Notwist guitar rock—“7-Hour-Drive” is a shoegazing tunnel of blissful, warping feedback that hearkens back to the band’s ’90s roots while incorporating its newer plinkerpop tendencies.

33


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The bill would reduce the amount of marijuana that patients can grow and possess for themselves, from the current 15 plants and 24 ounces to just six plants (three of which may be flowering) and three ounces. Even then, home cultivation won’t be safe; the bill instructs the Department of Health, along with the Liquor Control Board (which is in charge of implementing legalization) to perform a study, due by November 15, 2019, on whether it is “appropriate” to continue allowing home cultivation. Cody’s bill would set up a “patient recognition” system requiring a state registry that would allow cardholders to buy up to three ounces at a time (members of the general public are limited to

Olympia, where medical marijuana goes to die.

saries will help maximize tax revenue from the state-licensed pot stores soon to be established by recreational legalization measure I-502, approved by voters in November 2012. All but three of the 29 votes opposing Cody’s bill came from House Republicans. “Right now, you’re taking everything away from them—you can’t give it back,” said Rep. Cary Condotta (R-East Wenatchee) during the floor debate. “I’m a little concerned we’re moving a little too quickly without a program to integrate.” HB 2149 would repeal the provision of Washington’s medical-marijuana law allowing collective gardens, effective May 1, 2015, thus bringing a thriving industry to an unceremonious end. It is estimated that around 300 dispensaries operate in the state, employing thousands of often otherwise unemployable workers and having positive economic effects on surrounding communities.

one ounce at a time) and avoid paying sales taxes, a privilege addressed in a separate bill. Patients would be required to either register with the state or lose their affirmative defense. Claims by the Liquor Control Board that patients can rely on the recreational system of cannabis distribution are looking more and more unlikely. After Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s recent ruling that local municipalities can ban marijuana stores in their jurisdictions, large portions of the state are likely to be entirely without cannabis stores under I-502. “The entire 502 implementation plan has been a failure to date,” Rep. Chris Reykdal (D-Snohomish) wrote to a constituent. “I supported the initiative, but nobody believed they were voting to harm medical patients . . . The biggest failure comes from the fact that we all wanted to reduce law-enforcement costs, but now the massive regulatory scheme is making it worse.” E

BLOG ON » POT xTOKESIGNALS.COM

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

tokesignals@seattleweekly.com


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UPHOLSTERY SHOP Closed. Everything On Sale! Sewing Machine, Tools, Fabric, Air Compressor and More. $4,500 Takes All! 206660-7770 Garage/Moving Sales King County

Steve Elliott

Do you have PTSD and alcohol problems?

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EVENT S

HAPPY HOUR

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.

FILL OUT OUR ONLINE APPLICATION AT: WWW.TLC4HOMESNW.COM

OR EMAIL RESUME TO RECRUITING@TLC4HOMESNW.COM CORPORATE RECRUITING DEPT. FOR SNOHOMISH, KING, PIERCE, KITSAP & THURSTON COUNTY 855-720-3102 EXT. 3304 OR 3308

AR T S AND ENTER TAINMENT 10338 Aurora Ave N, Seattle

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HAPPY HOUR MONDAY p ½ OFF DOOR 11PM-4PM 2,4,1 TUESDAY p2 FOR THE PRICE OF 1 @ THE DOOR BOEING RECOGNITION WEDNESDAY p½ OFF DOOR* MICROSOFT RECOGNITION THURSDAY p ½ OFF DOOR* MILITARY FRIDAY p½ OFF DOOR* *I.D. Required American Liberty Adult Store

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.

www.seadancingbare.com OPEN MON-SAT: 11AM - 2:30AM & SUN 2PM - 2:30AM

Seattle Weekly, February 26, 2014  

February 26, 2014 edition of the Seattle Weekly

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