As we reach nearly a full year of quarantine, you'd be forgiven if you're running out of ideas for keeping boredom at bay. That's why we're starting this new column we're calling "Tell Us Something Good": We're asking some of our favorite local celebrities for their recommendations for things to do in Seattle.
This week, we talked to the Black Tones, the Seattle-based rock duo of twins Eva and Cedric Walker, in advance of Eva's appearance in the first episode of BAZZOOKA, an "afropunk apocalyptic web series set in the year 2022" set to have its virtual premiere and launch party through Northwest Film Forum this Thursday, January 21. Read on to find out where the twins have been getting takeout, the music that's been keeping them sane during quarantine, and more.
What are your favorite restaurants for takeout or outdoor dining right now?
Eva: Places I really like right now are The Gerald and the Stonehouse Cafe for breakfast (love their eggs Benedict and biscuit sandwich), Ramen Dambo, Din Tai Fung, and The Lemongrass in Renton. We have just been doing takeout from these places, it's so good!
What are your favorite local businesses or shops, aside from restaurants?
Eva: I really admire the Life Chronicles Publishing Company which released our coloring book a couple months ago. They are a small black-owned, South End business. Audrey's Holistic Skin Care here in Columbia City if you want the best facial of your life! Also record stores like Easy Street and Sonic Boom!
Cedric: T.brooks quality cuts, my barber's business. Also Audrey’s Holistic Skin Care, my wife’s business 😊
What movies or TV shows that you've seen recently would you recommend?
Eva: Even though they're Christmas movies, I highly recommend Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas (fell in love with that over the holiday) and the horror film Black Christmas. My favorite cartoons to watch are Batman the Animated Series and Space Ghost Coast to Coast. The Office (of course!) and [our Seattle Channel music video show] Video Bebop (gotta plug it!). Sitcoms I really enjoy are Family Matters (best show ever!!), Living Single, and Seinfeld. I also have to shout out the best YouTube channel ever, VSAUCE!
Cedric: The new Disney movie Soul - I love it.
What music or podcasts have you been listening to on repeat lately?
Eva: Right now, and for a couple years now, my favorite record is the 1965 release Whipped Cream & Other Delights by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. Every song is perfect! I also like a lot of 1970s music from around the world. The '70s was a great decade for music. My playlists include Kraftwerk, The Funkees, Funkadelic, and Zazou Bikaye. I also love ragtime piano tunes!
Cedric: I have been listening religiously to Cautious Clay.
What are the best books you've read in the last few months?
Eva: I am currently reading a book called The End Of Everything (Astrophysically Speaking), a book about how the universe might end. I love space, universe stuff, physics. I'm not, like, advanced at formulas or anything, but I try to keep up with what I can understand. I find this stuff really interesting. A lot of people think I'm a sci-fi nerd, but actually sci-fi doesn't interest me. I'm a Carl Sagan, true science nerd. So like, a "sci" without the "fi" nerd.
Cedric: Managing Oneself by Peter Drucker
What outdoor spots or activities have you enjoyed recently?
Eva: The most outdoorsy thing I did was shoot some hoops and that was a few months ago, ugh! And I'm really bad at every sport, however I'm an EXCELLENT trash talker. I like to take walks with my husband around our neighborhood, or if I'm visiting my mom taking a walk around the block with her. Otherwise, I don't get out as much as I should.
Cedric: I have enjoyed how some restaurants have created their outdoor dining experience. Definitely nice to see places learn how to adapt in such a tough time.
How else have you stayed entertained in Seattle during COVID? Anything else you'd recommend?
Eva: For me personally, I've still been really active at KEXP so the station has been something that's kept me busy and I love it! I also still teach music lessons and film the TV show Video Bebop. So, I'm staying busy and I love it!
Cedric: Driving around a lot. My family and I like to go on family drives together.
What are you most looking forward to doing in Seattle when COVID is over?
Eva: Large family gatherings and LIVE SHOWS! LIVE SHOWS! LIVE SHOWS! LIVE SHOWS! Support Keep Music Live and visit keepmusiclivewa.com.
Cedric: Playing our first show back on stage.
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Eva: Hang in there everybody, it's been a tough time but we can come out the other side of this and have the most epic story to tell our future grandchildren who will think we're making it up anyway. Stay strong!
The Black Tones' music can be found on Bandcamp, including their latest single, "My Name's Not Abraham Lincoln." The twins also host the Northwest music video show Video Bebop on the Seattle Channel, and they're on the board of Keep Music Live Washington, a relief fund that aims to raise money to save local music venues. Eva is also an on-air host of Audioasis on KEXP.
Read last week's "Tell Us Something Good" with Tomo Nakayama here.