Archive for May, 2009

Readings, signings, and other events vaguely literary for Sunday, May 31, 2009

the-soloist

3:00 PM – Larry Matsuda, Tracy Lai, Kazuka Nakane, Alan Lau, & Stan Shikuma: A Celebration of Asian American History
Elliott Bay Book Co.
Poet and educator Larry Matsuda opens things with selections from his works in progress. Seattle Central Community College history professor Tracy Lai breaks important scholarly (and activist) ground in her first book, The Snake Dance of Asian American Activism: Community, Vision, and Power (Lexington Books), co-authored with Michael Liu and Kim Geron. Finally, Alan Lau, artist, poet, Uwajimaya produce worker, longtime editor of The Pacific Reader, and arts editor of The International Examiner, moderates a discussion about Japanese American farmers in the Pajaro Valley with Kazuko Nakane, author of Nothing Left in My Hands: The Issei of a Rural California Town, 1900 – 1942 (Heyday, in a new edition) and Stan Shikuma (also prominent locally as a taiko player).
[LINK]

7:30 PM – Steve Lopez: Soloist: A Lost Dream, an Unlikely Friendship and the Redemptive Power of Music
Town Hall Seattle, Great Hall
If you’ve seen The Soloist, you’re familiar with Steve Lopez’s story, if not his face. For more than four years, the Los Angeles Times columnist chronicled the struggles of a gifted musician struggling with homelessness. Those columns evolved into a book, The Soloist: A Lost Dream, an Unlikely Friendship and the Redemptive Power of Music, which in turn grew into a big-screen adaptation starring Robert Downey Jr. as Lopez, and Jamie Foxx as musician Nathaniel Anthony Ayers. Presented by United Way & Seattle Arts and Lectures.
[LINK]

Readings, signings, and other events vaguely literary for Saturday, May 30, 2009

single-woman

5:00 PM – Jane Ganahl w/ Diane Mapes & Anne Buelteman: Single Woman of a Certain Age: Romantic Escapades, Shifting Shapes, and Serene Independence
Elliott Bay Book Co.
Jane Ganahl assembles a chorus of sophisticated, edgy, and humorous voices who tackle the topic(s) of being female, unmarried, and in one’s prime. Joining Jane Ganahl will be Seattle contributors Diane Mapes (aka Single_Shot), author of How to Date in a Post-Dating World (Sasquatch Books), and stage actress Anne Buelteman, whose acting credits include Les Miserables.
[LINK]

8:00 PM – Anthony Bourdain & Mario Batali w/ Luke Burbank of KIRO Radio’s “Too Beautiful to Live”
Paramount Theatre
OMG! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGHHH! Tony! Tony, Tony, Tony! If there is one man I would kidnap and keep in a cage in my basement, it would be Anthony Bourdain. Not that I would do something like that. It’s a hypothetical, people. Er.
[LINK]

Archie McPhee moves to Wallingford

Mr. Bacon

Mr. Bacon

As of 5pm yesterday, Archie McPhee was no longer a Ballard business. Due to leasing issues (the owner of the Ballard buildings reportedly wouldn’t let them sign a new long-term lease, instead only offering a very short term deal), they had to find a new location.

The move was insane. According to an employee, they weren’t even sure they’d be able to remain in the Seattle proper area there for a while. They were looking north and south. Can you imagine Archie McPhee in Renton? I can’t.

Archie McPhee's Homemade Rocket Ship

Archie McPhee's Homemade Rocket Ship

Finally though, they found their new location on Stone Way and N 45th. They’ve taken over the old liquor store and they’ve turned it into their own. Gone is any semblance of a ‘normal’ paint job. The outside of the building is fire engine red with a screaming yellow awning. Inside, the paint job is just as bright.

The new space has a very quirky feel to it. There are twists and turns and walls and posts and merchandise literally EVERYWHERE! The Wallingford store is about the same size as the main building in Ballard, so they had to get rid of a few of their larger items. I asked them what one of their biggest regrets was regarding merchandise they needed to sell and their answer was the handmade rocket. But don’t fear. The rocket went to a very good cause – 826 Seattle! It fits in perfectly with their Greenwood Space Travel Supply Company.

Archie McPhee opens in their new location on Monday. So spend your weekend browsing their website or Flickr pool if you need your Archie McPhee fix. Here are a few photos of their new location.
archie2

Archie McPhee's Devil

Archie McPhee's Devil

Rat City Rollergirls Championship Bout

RCRG S5B3 - GD vs DLF - 22
Rat City Rollergirls – Bout 3

The Rat City Rollergirls will finish their fifth regular season with their championship bout tomorrow, May 30 at KeyArena. The championship bout will include all four teams with Derby Liberation Front vs. Sockit Wenches for the championship title and a grudge match between Grave Danger and Throttle Rockets.

General admission ticket price for tomorrow’s bout is $19.00 for adults and $12.00 for children from all Ticketmaster locations or at www.ticketmaster.com. I haven’t verified it, but you should also be able to pick up tickets at the Key Arena Box Office during their normal business hours or at the time of the bout.

There will be more bouts all summer long too! Check out the Rat City Rollergirls Website for schedule info.

SIFF — weekend 2 (29 – 31 May) considerations

32769l.jpg
the hurt locker; courtesy SIFF

SIFF enters its second weekend; so don’t let the weather keep you away from the cool air conditioned comforts of catching a film or five. In addition to second screenings from some of this week’s weekday recommendations [mb], there’s an embedded weekend festival of short films [siff], and a few more suggestions to keep you busy at the theaters. Let us know if you’ve run into any unmissables!

Shortsfest Opening Night [siff] : A weekend of shorts programs kicks off with a varied collection of short films ranging from the very serious to the very light-hearted; of particular “note” is a short about an office romance enabled by the very creative use of sticky notes. [zee] May 29, 7:00 pm (SIFF Cinema); June 2, 9:15 pm (Egyptian) [June 2 screening includes Jury Award-winning films]

Hansel & Gretel [siff] : If you’ve been following Media Babe‘s annual chronicle of extreme SIFF-ing, you’ll know that this one has gotten her most enthusiastic (OMG! SEE THIS MOVIE! SEE IT! SEE IT! SEE IT! ) endorsement for those who “like dark fantasy, seriously messed-up magic realism, surrealistic, creepytastic, visual whirlwind movies” [lj]. That kind of excitement makes me think that checking out this South Korean take on the familiar fable might be worth checking out. [josh] May 29, 3:30 pm (Egyptian); June 7, 9:30 (Admiral).

Miao Miao [siff] : Quiet Japanese exchange student Miao Miao doesn’t know anyone in Taipei until outgoing fellow student Ai befriends her on a whim. As the two grow closer and closer together, Ai starts developing feelings for her friend that are more than platonic even as she dutifully helps Miao Miao pursue her own crush on a CD store owner who hides his own romantic tragedy behind a blank face and headphones that play no music. All the while Ai fights with the father who only wants to be closer to her and Miao Miao takes calls from her elderly grandmother whose Alzheimer’s has her reliving her own first love as if it were hapening now. A sweet, warm-hearted, and thoughtful look at friendship, family, young love, heartbreak and hopefulness set against a lively urban backdrop. [zee] May 29, 4:30 pm (SIFF Cinema); June 2, 7:00 pm (Egyptian)

Pirate for the Sea [siff] : Pirates have gotten a lot less loveable since this spring’s Somali incidents. Luckily, this film features Paul Watson, whose plundering seeks to protect the environment and animals instead of commandeering oil or doubloons. Found too extreme by Greenpeace, this Friday Harbor-based captain’s efforts with Sea Shepherd Society were featured as part of 2007’s memorable Sharkwater (about another eccentric yet dedicated activist). This film follows his actions, trials, imprisonment in service of saving the endangered oceans. [josh] May 29, 6:45 pm (Egyptian); May 30, 11 am (Egyptian).

Food, Inc. [siff] : We all know that processed food is bad for you, but just HOW bad, many of us have no clue. Robert Kenner’s documentary about Big Food posits an industry that gets away with actual murder, putting profits before people, and engaging in unhealthy, unwholesome practices all with a nudge and wink from the very government agencies charged with protecting the consumer. May change your eating habits for good. [zee] May 30, 4:15 pm (Egyptian); May 31 7:00 pm (Egyptian)

City of Borders [siff] : A documentary set in a Jereusalem gay bar and the stories of the surprising characters who convene there. May 29, 4:30 pm (Egyptian); May 30, 1:30 pm (Egyptian) [josh]

The Hurt Locker [siff] : A second chance to catch this taught story of a bomb squad detail in Iraq and the nail-biting suspense entailed with the diffusion of the improvised explosive devices that have become the deadly threat of the ongoing war. [josh] May 30, 4 pm (Uptown)

Egon & Donci : [siff] : Amateur scientist Egon and his spirited, human-like cat Donci are created in broad comic strokes, but many of the visuals in this computer-animated cartoon from Hungary are so rich and finely-wrought that they appear to be images of real scenery. Eschewing dialogue (with the exception of a scattered handful of vocalizations), director Adam Magyar manages to convincingly portray Egon & Donci’s epic trip through space from their home planet to Earth inspired by their discovery of the wreckage of Voyager 3. Whimsical and entertaining though a few minutes shaved off its 75-minute running time might have kept a few scenes from dragging on a bit longer than necessary. [zee] May 31, 11:00 am (Pacific Place); June 5, 11:00 am (Pacific Place)

Cloud 9 [siff] : the main thing that you need to know about this is that it is definitely not the same film as Neill Blomkamp’s District 9, which is about aliens in South Africa, not horny old Germans. [josh] May 31, 11 am (Uptown); June 2, 7:00 pm (Uptown).

Yes, I Can See Dead People: [siff] : this midnight adrenaline entry looks kind of like the action adventure version of Miles’s (from Lost) life. Luckily, those seeking Asian horror ghostbusting can catch more school-night friendly screenings next week. But screaming just seems to make more sense in the dead of night with other wannabe insomniacs. [josh] May 30, Midnight (Egyptian); June 2, 2009 9:30 PM (Uptown); June 5, 9:45 (Admiral).

tickets: clues, see mount eerie & aqueduct, too. [monday]

clues_3442.jpg
look behind the masks on monday; photo courtesy clues. [constellation]

After a relatively quiet period former Unicorn Alden Penner has teamed up with onetime Arcade Fire-er Brendan Reed and a handful of other Montreal pop luminaries to create a Google-challenging new band called CLUES, which seems poised to live up to the promise of its legacy. Although they played a bit last year, they’ve buckled down, recorded and released an album, and are hitting the North American tour circuit in 2009. On Monday, they’ll be here in Seattle headlining a show with the likes of Aqueduct and Mount Eerie, whom I will do my best to recommend at every possible opportunity. His last show at the Fremont Abbey was quiet and funny and beautiful, and it will be interesting to see how this one, at a more conventional, rockish venue shapes up.

One of you lucky adventurers and a pal will have the chance to check out all of this for the low cost of free. Drop an e-mail to seattle.metblogs at gmail.com with your full name and I’ll pick a winner on Sunday morning. Inclusion of fun facts about Quebecois dietary habits might improve your chances of winning. If you’re not willing to try your luck, click over to Neumo’s and get yourself a ticket for $12.

Clues, Aqueduct, Mount Eerie; 1 June; $12, 8pm. [neumos]

Readings, signings, and other events vaguely literary for Friday, May 29, 2009

free-range-chickens

7:00 PM – Jack Straw 2009 Writers Program Reading Series
Jack Straw Productions
Lana Ayers, Anna Balint, Rachel Dilworth, Alma Garcia, Laura Hirschfield, Kim-An Lieberman, Priscilla Long, Michael Magee, Angela Martinez Dy, Madeline Ostrander, Kevin Simmonds, Storme Webber
[LINK]

7:30 PM – Simon Rich: Free-Range Chickens
Elliott Bay Book Co.
“a satirical salmagundi that bites back … Imaginative premises abound … As unpredictable as YouTube, as in your face as MySpace.” – Publishers Weekly
I have no idea what any of the above means, but Rich is an SNL writer, so fans of the show might enjoy his books.
[LINK]

ra ra riot, built to spill tempt you to leave early : free show at UW today

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=asY08yquddo[/youtube]
ra ra riot are likely to be warmer, but no less charming, this afternoon.

On a day that Steve Pool opens his forecast with “Break out the bangles and the leg warmers (OK, maybe not the leg warmers) but we might be getting our first taste of the 80s this year.” [komo], you know that it might be difficult to remain cooped up under the oppressive drone of building-wide climate control while the PEMCO clock just outside your office [newly?] reports that the roof is generating 147kw of solar power.

What more perfect afternoon diversion than a biggish name rock show for free on the still green grassy lawn of the University of Washington? From 3 until 7 pm, the HUB lawn will be home a stellar summer lineup starring Built to Spill and Ra Ra Riot. Both the former’s tendency for shimmery guitar jams and the latter’s buoyant orchestral pop seem perfect for the sunny afternoon. It’s all the sunburn potential of a music festival without the trek to the desert and the occasional inspired rocker rant!

It’s free to faculty, staff, and students, who are due for a study and frisbee break, but I can easily imagine that those of you without Husky cards would have too much trouble sneaking a thorough listen. [rainydawgradio]

SIFF spotlight: Deadgirl

The thing you need to know first and foremost about Deadgirl, playing this weekend at SIFF is that it is a film about the limits of loyalty and the struggle to do right when you’re not even sure what that means told via a story in which a group of teenaged boys repeatedly rape a zombie woman chained to a table. It’s a hard idea to process and even the movie’s own makers understand if you decide to pass–they know that their film’s not for everyone. It’s definitely not for the squeamish: there’s a minimal amount of gore, but what is shown is pretty extreme. More importantly, though, Deadgirl is simply a very disturbing movie which would be no less disturbing if not a single drop of blood were shed. It’s definitely one of the more disturbing films I’ve ever seen.
(more…)

The End of an Era…

The Ballard location of Archie McPhee will be closing forever at 5pm today. We’ll have a tour of their new Wallingford location later this evening, but in the meantime, get down to Ballard before 5 for one last look at the now mostly empty store. (Word is there’s free stuff outside the Ballard store too.)

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