Free Tip of the Day

Bank of America is hosting the Museums on Us® program once again. Head to the Museum of History & Industry, The Wing Luke Asian Museum, Northwest African American Museum or the Tacoma Art Museum this May 1st and 2nd and if you’re a Bank of America cardholder, you’ll get in for FREE!

This program is happening all over the US, every first full weekend of the month from now till September 5th. Bring the kids. Make a day of it. Have some arty fun!

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NFFTY 2010 opens Thursday night

The National Film Festival for Talented Youth – NFFTY for short – is kicking off this year’s festival of films made by young people on Thursday, April 29, with an opening night film presentation at Cinerama and an opening night party at EMP’s Sky Church. The opening night films are seven shorts by young filmmakers ranging from 13 years old to 21, from all over the USA.

The festival continues through May 2nd at SIFF, Cinerama, EMP/SFM, and the Seattle Center Pavilion with a series of panels, parties and programs, concluding with an awards ceremony to recognize exceptional films. Among the highlights are Sunday night’s Closing Night: Washington Scene program which highlights films from young Washingtonians. We don’t just love to see movies here, we love to make them, too, and there are some great up-and-coming young filmmakers putting their works on display: fiction, fantasy and fact-based films are included.

Washington’s not the only source of great youth filmmaking, though: films in the festival come from China, the UK, France, Denmark, Iran, Mexico, Canada, and more. There are documentaries on a wide variety of subjects, fiction films encompassing a wide variety of themes, animation, sports and music movies and more.

Obviously, NFFTY is a lot of fun for young people – there’s even a family film program with movies for the whole family, including the younger kids – but what makes NFFTY doubly-exciting is that these films are well worth watching even for audience members who have left their own youth behind. And, hey, you never know – one day you may be watching one of these teens or young adults picking up their first Oscar and be able to brag about how you saw their first film way back in the day.

Passes and tickets can be purchased in advance online. For a complete schedule, check the NFFTY site

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Remember Captain Phil Harris, celebrate Catch Fest

One of the most popular shows on TV is Discovery Channel‘s Deadliest Catch. Now on its sixth season, the show follows the real-life excitement and drama on board the ships that traverse the dangerous Bering Sea to bring back fresh seafood.

Over the years fans have become attached the captains and crews who put their lives on the line in the rough waters. Captain Phil Harris of the F/V Cornelia Marie passed away earlier this year, leaving a hole in the hearts of his family, friends, crew members and also his many fans. On Friday, April 30, starting at 6:30 pm, the first public memorial to Captain Harris takes place at the Smith Cove Cruise Terminal at Pier 91 in Seattle. On hand to remember Captain Harris will be his sons, Jake and Josh Harris, close friends, fellow fishermen, and Discovery Channel executives. Seating on hand will be limited to the first 2,000 people, but the memorial will also be available online for those unable to attend in person. Boats may watch from the water overlooking Pier 91.

On Saturday, May 1, Smith Cove Cruise Terminal pays host to CatchCon 2010, a fan festival to celebrate the show and the people whose lives it depicts. Fans will hear from the captains and crews, see the actual boats that head up to the Bering, and get a chance to take a sneak peek at the new season. Registration for the event is sold out but fans who missed the chance to sign up in advance can also check out the action online.

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Columbia City Farmers Market Opens Today

Farmers market season is upon us and today we have the first of the seasonal Farmers Markets opening in Columbia City.
The Columbia City Farmers Market runs from 3-7pm every Wednesday until October 20th.

Columbia City Farmers Market
Rainier Ave South and South Edmunds
3-7pm

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Zoo Tunes Line-up Announced

I admit, I was a little worried that Zoo Tunes would go the way of the Lake Union Fireworks show this year. After all, in past years they have been sponsored by the now defunct WaMu. But thanks to BECU, they are back again this year and the lineup was just announced last week.

Tickets go on sale on May 3rd, at all Metropolitan Market locations. Individual artists may have tickets on sale already through fan sites, so if you are worried about a particular date selling out, check the band’s site now. Great Big Sea (one of my personal favorites) for example, just had a pre-sale of tickets for fans last week. Lineup after the jump.
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Ducati All Stars Saturday in Seattle

The Ducati All Stars is a group consisting of legendary Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones, guitarist Billy Duffy from The Cult, guitarist and vocalist Billy Morrison (of Camp Freddy and Circus Diablo) and Scars on Broadway vocalist Franky Perez. Celebrating their mutual love of both music and motorcycles, the group set out from Santa Barbara, California for a tour of the West coast on their bikes that includes stops along the way to perform their music.

The tour wraps up Saturday night in Seattle at a free show at Ducati Seattle at 711 – 9th Ave N. The show kicks off at 8 pm. Audience members get a chance to enter a drawing for the Gibson JT45 Gold Top Acoustic guitar that Jones has been playing on the tour.

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Weekend Film Agenda April 23

As Patricia mentioned earlier in the week, SIFF Cinema is paying tribute to indie cinema hero Alan Rudolph with screenings of his films all weekend long. Friday’s double feature includes Remember My Name, a neo-noir starring Geraldine Chaplin, fresh out of prison and bent on causing problems for her ex-husband Anthony Perkins, and Choose Me, a moody suspense drama with Lesley Ann Warren, Geneviève Bujold, and Keith Carradine. Carradine returns in Trouble in Mind, Rudolph’s fantasy thriller set in an alterna-future Seattle and also starring Kris Kristofferson and Lori Singer. Trouble in Mind screens Saturday night with The Moderns with another leading turn by Carradine, this time as an ex-patriate American in Lost Generation Paris who gets ensnared in a forgery plot by Geraldine Chaplin. Sunday’s double feature begins with Julie Christie as a B-movie actor obsessed with her past in Afterglow and ends with Rudolph’s adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut’s classic novel Breakfast of Champions. Rudolph will be on hand for the Friday screening of Remember My Name for an audience Q&A.

NW Film Forum hosts Elia Kazan’s Wild River in honor of Earth Day and the film’s 50th anniversary. Montgomery Clift plays a Tennessee Valley Authority official in a struggle with the residents of a small town scheduled for flooding with the building of a dam on the Tennessee River and a love affair with the granddaughter of an elderly woman being evicted from her home.

Saturday and Sunday at NWFF discover a forgotten film genius in The Bug Trainer, a documentary about European pioneer of puppet animation Ladislas Starewitch.

The Grand Illlusion continues its tribute to the Swinging Sixties with The Knack…and How to Get It, director Richard Lester’s film about an awkward young man trying to learn how to be a hit with the chicks from his womanizing best friend. Features the film debuts of Jacqueline Bissette, Charlotte Rampling, and Jane Birkin.

Late night at the Grand Illusion: Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs in which mad scientist Vincent Price creates an army of sexy female robots programmed to explode on contact.

Central Cinema screens the inimitable Some Like It Hot, the classic comedy starring Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon, and Marilyn Monroe at their humorous (and in Monroe’s case, sexy) best.

Midnight at the Egyptian: Janeane Garofalo and David Hyde Pierce’s spoof of summer camp movies, Wet Hot American Summer.

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Flight to Mars and Sweet Water benefit at the Showbox tonight

The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of American (CCFA) provides education about and support to living with those chronic diseases and funding for research to find a cure. The CCFA Camp Oasis is a co-ed residential camp whose mission is to enrich the lives of kids living with those conditions. Advocacy for Patients is an organization that provides free information, advice, and advocacy services to any patient living with chronic disease in the US in areas of need like health and disability insurance, Social Security disability, employment discrimination, school-based accommodations, resource location.

All three groups do great work for the people they serve and are getting a boost tonight from the eighth annual Flight to Mars benefit concert at the Showbox at the Market.

Headliners Flight to Mars are a tribute to the great 70s and 80s rock band UFO formed by Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready who knows first hand what it’s like to live with Crohn’s and features friends and local musicians Tim DiJulio (guitar), Gary Westlake (bass), Kelly Van Camp (drums) and Paul Passereli (vocals). Opening the show are Seattle band Sweet Water.

Doors are at 8 pm, tickets are $20 each with all proceeds going to the CCFA, Camp Oasis and Advocacy for Patients.

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Hop Scotch Beer and Scotch Festival Friday, Saturday

Photo by Arkadiusz Benedykt via Creative Commons

If you like beer, Scotch, wine, and/or tequila, the place for you to be Friday and Saturday is Fremont Studios for the Hop Scotch Spring Beer and Scotch Festival. An annual benefit for SIFF, Hop Scotch is a tasting experience offering guests a chance to sample over 80 beers, wines, and spirits and interact with experts to learn more about the beverages on offer.

General admission to the festival is $25 which includes a 5 oz commemorative tasting glass and five beer/wine tasting tokens. For a mere $5 more, upgrade to the Grand Admission and get ten beer/wine tasting tokens. Special add on features include $10 for a spirit sampler that includes a flight of five ounce Scotch or tequila tastes. The Scotch samplers includes Singleton 12, Oban 14, Lagavulin 16, Johnnie Walker Red, Johnnie Walker Black. The tequila sampler includes Don Julio 1942, Don Julio Anejo, Don Julio Blanco, Don Julio Reposado, Jose Cuervo Platino. Both samplers require advance purchase which you can do online or in person at a variety of ticket outlets around town.

SIFF programmers will be on hand from 8 to 9 pm both Friday and Saturday to give a sneak peek at films, events and programs taking place during SIFF 2010; the SIFF area offers fun film trivia and a chance to win tickets to the festival.

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K Records introduces the Singles Zip-Pak

Olympia’s K Records has been around since 1982 spreading DIY and truly indie music to the world – artists like Love as Laughter, Anna Oxygen, Girl Trouble, Built to Spill, Beat Happening, Steve Fisk, Thee Headcoats, Mirah, and Bikini Kill have released albums through K and that’s just the very short list – and now their using today’s advanced modern technology to further their mission by introducing the K Singles Zip-Pak.

It works just like music singles clubs of the past: subscribers pay a fee and get new songs delivered to them on a regular basis. As always, K represents established artists as well as new musicians you don’t yet know you love; the difference this time is that it’s all delivered electronically.

K Singles Zip-Pak subscribers can look forward to new songs by Mirah, Chain & the Gang, LAKE, Karl Blau and many others and get introduced to word by artists like City Center, Joey Casio, Rainbow Bridge and more. As a bonus, they’re offering credits towards other digital downloads, apps like photos, custom wallpapers, screensavers and behind the scenes images from their studio.

I’ve long since lost count of the huge number of musicians I’ve become a fan of via K; if you’re looking to expand your own musical horizons, the Zip-Pak’s actually a really good deal. The first Zip-Pak goes out July 1; an annual subscription gets you two songs a week for the next year. Even minus the two weeks they skip, that’s over a hundred songs for a mere $50. Better yet, save $5 by signing up by May 31 for $45. For more info or to subscribe, visit the K Singles Zip-Pak page.

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Partners in Preservation helps save Seattle-area history

Back in 2006, American Express partnered with the National Trust for Historic Preservation to create program called Partners in Preservation, aimed at providing much needed funds for historic places throughout the US. After distributing funds in Boston, New Orleans, Chicago and San Francisco, the program has come to Seattle to issue grants to historical sites in funds for preservation and protection.

Twenty-five nominees – including Chapel Car 5 in Snoqualmie, Spanish Steps in Tacoma, King Street Station here in Seattle, and the Point No Point Lighthouse in Hansville – have been selected as candidates for grants issued based on votes from the public. All 25 nominees were selected on the basis of their historical and cultural significance to the area; from the Ferry House at Ebey’s Landing in Coupeville, built back in 1859 and one of the oldest residential buildings in Washington state still standing, to the Mill Creek Canyon Earthworks, installed in 1982, all of the locations are important local landmarks and all of them are worth preserving.

Settled places change over time. That change is natural, inevitable, and valuable, of course, but if we don’t hold on to our history, we lose is and there’s no amount of money that can make up for that loss. Besides serving as enduring symbols of our area’s fascinating history, the nominees (some of which are a century or more old) continue to provide service to our communities. For example, the Bowman Bay Kitchen Shelter in Deception Pass State Park on Fidalgo Island, was built back in the 1930s as part of the Civilian Conservation Corps projects around the Sound and remains today a popular and valued community gathering place. The Kirkland Arts Center is housed in a building built by Peter Kirk–the man who gave the town its name–back in 1892 and for nearly fifty years has been giving locals a chance to experience and take part in the arts.

Other nominees are the Port Townsend US Customs House and Post Office, the Schooner Adventuress, University Heights Community Center, Theodor Jacobsen Observatory, Tugboat Arthur Foss, Naval Reserve Armory-MOHAI, Horiuchi’s Seattle Mural, the 5th Avenue Theatre, Town Hall Seattle, Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle, Japanese Cultural & Community Center, Keewaydin Clubhouse, Skansie Brothers Net Shed, Titlow Park Lodge, Anderson Island Historical Society/Johnson Farm, and Orting Soldiers Home.

The Partners in Preservation will be giving away a total of $1 million for local preservation efforts. You can participate in this process by going to their site and casting a vote for the site(s) you care about the most. You can get an overview of all 25 nominees (and get linked to further information) on their grant nominees page. You can vote for one nominee per day through May 12. At the end of the voting process, the top vote getter is guaranteed a portion of the million bucks in funds. Your votes will also help the partnership and a locally-based advisory group decide how to distribute the rest of the funding.

Voting is easy and free and you get to learn about a lot of neat places around the area. Hopefully you’ll be inspired to check them out in person, too; and, if you can, please consider providing some direct support to any of these great organizations.

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Upcoming at SIFF – The Films of Alan Rudolph

It’s just about time for the Seattle International Film Festival where you can see nearly countless films over the course of three weeks. But did you know that SIFF Cinema offers unique film experiences throughout the year? Well, yes, you probably did, but hey, wasn’t that a semi-catchy intro?

This coming weekend, April 23-25th, SIFF Cinema is showing the films of Alan Rudolph, including the Seattle-filmed picture Trouble in Mind. Alan will be in Seattle to introduce the first film in the series personally. More details after the jump.
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This week in Seattle history: World’s Fair permanently alters landscape

Photo by Photo Coyote from our Flickr photo pool

The World’s Fair was a transitory event but it left a lasting mark on the city of Seattle, its host back in 1962. Back in April of 1961 – the 17th, to be precise–ground was broken for the building of the Space Needle. Construction crews worked around the clock to get it done and the very last elevator car was installed just one day before the fair opened on April 21, 1962. The Space Needle was such a popular attraction that nearly 200,000 people got in the elevators and rode to the top and the Needle remains today an immensely popular attraction for both tourists and locals. The Space Needle is a major landmark, recognized around the world as a symbol of Seattle and the Pacific Northwest. In recognition of this, the city’s Landmarks Preservation Board designated the Space Needle a historic landmark on April 19, 1999.

Also built for the World’s Fair was the Seattle Center Monorail. Did you know that at 45 mph, our monorail lays claim to being the fastest full-sized monorail in the country? The monorail is also popular with both tourists and locals, transporting a milllion and a half riders a year, and was designated a historical landmark on April 16, 2003.

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Imogen Heap with Geese

Want to see the Grammy nominated multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter who shines with electronic-style (and apparently likes hyphens)? Here’s your chance to see Imogen Heap with special guests, Geese, in the flesh.

With a year to write and produce her hit album, Speak For Yourself, she found a lot of her following over social media. Her folkie voice and soothing beats won over 350,000 friends on MySpace and more than 250,000 Twitter fans.

You can’t see her at the Paramount Theatre until June 14th, but you can get tickets tomorrow (Saturday, April 17th). To learn more, go to STG Presents.

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Weekend Film Agenda April 16

If you’ve ever looked at one of those “Free Tibet” bumperstickers and wondered what that was all about, filmmakers Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam have some answers for you in The Sun Behind the Clouds: Tibet’s Struggle for Freedom, playing at SIFF Cinema. Fifty years ago, China took over Tibet. The Dalai Lama, Tibet’s spiritual leader, has spent most of his life in exile from Tibet and has been trying to find a peaceful method to restore Tibet’s autonomy if not its freedom. Many young Tibetans now question his strategy, seeking a more active solution, one that calls for true independence. The filmmakers followed the Dalai Lama for a year to examine these issues up close, presenting a variety of experiences including protests, marches, the Olympics in Beijing and the breakdown of talks with the Chinese government. Sarin and Sonam will be on hand for discussion after screenings on the 16th, 17th and 18th.

NW Film Forum carries over Werner Herzog’s My Son, My Son, What Have You Done?, based on a real life case of a man who took an acting role way too far by murdering his mother and presents the Seattle premiere of Barking Water, a film by Native American filmmaker Sterlin Harjo in which Frankie and Irene visit the history of their long years together as they travel down Oklahoma roads to reveal their relationship in all of its important ways. An official Sundance selection in 2009, Barking Water also won the Worldfest Bronze Remi Award for Creative Excellence.

Also at NWFF:

April 17 see the first US screening in 20 years of Madchen in Uniform, the 1958 film in which the incomparable Romy Schneider plays a boarding school teenager who falls for her teacher (Lilli Palmer), touching off a passionate affair that leads to tragedy. 7:00 pm

Also on April 17: The DVD release of The Mountain Goats: Life of the World to Come, a documentary about Mountain Goats frontman John Darnielle’s return to Pomona College to perform selections from his concept album as a solo artist and a part of a duet. To celebrate <a href="http://www.recordstoreday.com"World Record Store Day, the DVD will be for sale on April 17 only. As a bonus, door prizes being raffled off at the screening include a poster and a copy of the DVD, both signed by John Darnielle. 9:30 pm

April 18: The Sunday Masters series at NWFF continues with Meeting Andrei Tarkovsky: a documentary about the enduring influence and importance of Tarkovsky’s contributions to the medium of film. Director Dmitry Trakovsky will be in attendance for further discussion.

The Grand Illusion continues their tribute to the Swinging Sixties with Michaelangelo Antonioni’s Blow Up, a spectacular suspense in which David Hemmings plays a photographer named Thomas who encounters a mysterious woman named Jane (Vanessa Redgrave) in a park. Later as he is developing his photos from the park, he sees what looks like a murder taking place in the background of his shots. As he blows up the negatives, he discovers more and more pieces of the puzzle. Called a “Mod masterpiece” by critic Andrew Sarris, Blow Up stands on its own merits as a movie but has some extra appeal to trivia buffs: The Yardbirds (with both Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page) perform “Stroll On” in one scene and Michael Palin of Monty Python can be spotted in a nightclub scene.

Central Cinema presents a FREE SCREENING (limited to the first 120 people only, so even though the film starts at 10:00 you’ll want to be there when doors open at 9:30) of Animal House, still as funny as ever and with live R&B music by The Witness.

Saturday at Central Cinema: Demolition Man the amazingly entertaining (for a film that doesn’t really make sense) movie starring Sylvester Stallone, Wesley Snipes, and Sandra Bullock. Enliven your evening by discussing with your friends whether this is the worst movie choice these actors each made or if their other films are even worse. 7:00 pm.

At 10 pm on Saturday (and at 9:30 on, uh, 4/20), see the comic duo’s first joint film in a quarter of a century: Cheech and Chong’s Hey Watch This.

Midnight at the Egyptian: Oldboy, winner of 5 South Korean Academy Awards and the 2004 Cannes Film Festival Grand Prize. A man is released after 15 years of imprisonment to discover his wife has been murdered and the police are searching for him. As if that’s not enough, he also gets a call from a mysterious stranger who demands that he determine the stranger’s identity or be killed.

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