If Seattle parents were asked to describe the most impossibly perfect springtime activity for their children, they might use some of these words: outside, safe, active, fun, affordable. Well, throw in “educational” and Spokespeople, a local organization with a knack for urban bicycling and sustainability, has got just the thing.
Seattle-based retail giant Amazon.com just launched a national ad for its Kindle Paperwhite. The star of the ad isn't the new e-reader, though. It's the subtle notion presented that gay marriage is a totally benign and normal aspect of life. Oh, and any thinking that defaults to heterosexuality as a norm. Well, that's sort of old hat. The future is all about equality (and reading on screens, indoors and out). Cheers to that (except the screen part; I'm not totally sold on that idea).
Jordan Teicher at Slate raises a very interesting question about Seattle breakout stars Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ involvement in a new promo for NBA All-Star week: why is the track “Wing$” being used to score a love-letter advertisement for the NBA?
I love to eat and hate to exercise. That’s about it. That’s also why, suddenly at 40, I’m in dire need of a major attitude adjustment. So when I was approached by the promotions team at the magazine to train for our upcoming Earth Day 5K (April 20th, registration is open), and blog about the process, I jumped at it. The threat of public humiliation was the motivational tool I’d been missing! I’m committed to this now. It’s out there. You’ll know if I slack off. This is really happening.
Newcomers to Seattle love the variety of neighborhoods. We’re a counterpane of livable places with modest and grand homes often tucked together in a green and pleasant landscape. It’s a residential smorgasbord of cultures, home styles and enclaves, from houseboats to high-rises, bungalows to classic boxes. But that excitement of choice wasn’t always there for everyone. For most of the 20th century, the city was restricted and segregated, if not literally gated.
Arts and culture editor Brangien Davis picks the top shows coming to Seattle this spring. Get recommendations for shows, performances, readings and more, featuring rebooted classics, empowered leading ladies and inventive new takes on old favorites. Follow the links for detailed listings in each of the following categories:
Editor's PicksAbsolute must-sees in a variety of genres.
New MusicLocal bands put forth new albums.
It’s rumored that Danish poet and paper-cutting artist Hans Christian Andersen always kept a small pair of scissors on his person, just in case he was suddenly struck by the urge to snip out a scene.
Called psaligraphy, the art of paper cutting has long been a tradition in Denmark, where every spring, sweethearts exchange gaekkebrev—cards with a cut-paper snowflake inside.
Saying Joyce Carol Oates has a new novel out (Daddy Love, a riveting story of child abduction) is like saying a Kardashian made the cover of People magazine. She’s phenomenally prolific, but Oates also happens to be tremendously skilled at crafting compelling stories. Ask her how she excels at both quantity and quality during this appearance (3/12; Seattle Public Library, 1000 Fourth Ave.; 206.386.4636; spl.org).
LA Rebellion: Creating a New Black Cinema
Starting in the late 1960s, amid tremendous social unrest, black Americans entered the UCLA film program in unprecedented numbers and began developing a new “black cinema.” These unheralded films—experimental, narrative, documentary—reveal uniquely artful attention to issues of class, history and culture. 3/1–3/24. Times and prices vary. Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave.; 206.329.2629; nwfilmforum.org
You could say Seattle is heading into a season of self-reflection. Come this spring, two new gigantic outdoor video screens positioned in prominent locations will project likenesses of our city—its weather, its landscape, its people and culture—via a stream of moving images.
Dateline: Paris, 1913. Russian composer Igor Stravinsky debuts his orchestral ballet The Rite of Spring (with choreography by Vaslav Nijinsky) to a packed and eagerly awaiting house at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées. But the audience is reportedly so confused and infuriated by the dissonant chords, unusual time signatures and freaky tonal structures that it begins to riot, rendering the music nearly inaudible. Such is the curse of being ahead of your time—since then, the piece has become revered as one of the most influential of all time.
Hey MarseillesLines We TraceSound: Charming alt-folk chamber popOf note: Album release party at Showbox at the Market (3/1)Online: heymarseilles.com
BoatPretend to Be BraveSound: Irresistible indie-pop rockOf note: Album release party at Barboza (3/2)Online: boat.ohnodisaster.com