Best Things To Do

The Top 32 Events in Seattle This Week: May 30–June 4, 2023

The National, Bagel Trot, and More Top Picks
May 30, 2023
The National is touring with their new album First Two Pages of Frankenstein. (The National via Facebook)
Wake up, bestie...a new batch of EverOut's top picks has dropped, with events from The National to The Cure and from Bagel Trot to Rosé Reunion: Calexico, Violet Chachki, and More.

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Jacqueline Novak: Get on Your Knees Past Event List
Jacqueline Novak's comedy show Get on Your Knees is about blowjobs. But if dozens of critics, and Novak's comedy peers are to be believed, that's just the tip... of the, uh, iceberg. The New York Times called Novak's one-woman performance "brilliant"; the New Yorker said, it's "a reminder that a woman’s humor can cut as deeply as her rage." Since 2019 Novak has performed the show for months on end at New York's off-Broadway Cherry Lane Theatre, she's toured it across the US multiple times, and she's even crossed the pond for runs in London and an appearance at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. As beloved as GoYK has become—Amy Sedaris, Miranda July, Natasha Lyonne, and Ilana Glazer are fans—the time has come for Novak to hang up the dick jokes. This US tour is her last before she records a performance of Get on Your Knees at the Town Hall in New York in June for a special to be released on Netflix next year. This is your last chance to see it live, Seattle. Don't miss out. STRANGER CULTURE EDITOR MEGAN SELING
(The Crocodile, Belltown)


Justine Chan presents Should You Lose All Reason(s) Past Event List
Chicago-born poet and former Zion National Park ranger Justine Chan will celebrate the release of her new tome, Should You Lose All Reason(s), which finds resonance with a Southern Paiute folktale to explore race, loneliness, landscape, and more. LC
(Third Place Books, Seward Park)



Life is a Feast: The Cinema of Federico Fellini Past Event List
Fellini's sensuous spirit, wry realism, and carnivalesque hallucinations all add up to a luscious cinematic universe you'll want to spend weeks basking in, which is why this spring screening series just makes sense. SIFF Cinema Uptown will continue waving in the season by showcasing the director's best films restored by the Fellini Foundation, Martin Scorsese, and Gucci. On May 31, they'll screen Juliet of the Spirits, which stars Fellini's real-life wife Giulietta Masina—bring a date you want to impress. LC
(SIFF Cinema Uptown, Uptown)

Nam June Paik: Moon Is the Oldest TV Past Event List
The father of video art, Nam June Paik, said many great things during his career, which first received recognition in New York City. One is this: "[Video] imitates not nature but time.” But my favorite is this: "Someday everybody will have his own TV channel." How right he was. Even I have several TV channels on the web devoted to just me. But long before social media, Nam June Paik was making art with a new technology developed primarily in Japan, the portable video recorder. The documentary Nam June Paik: Moon Is the Oldest TV provides an excellent introduction to a Korean American artist whose work entered the future in the late 1960s. STRANGER SENIOR WRITER CHARLES MUDEDE
(Northwest Film Forum, Capitol Hill)


Tinariwen Past Event List
Tinariwen is a collective of Tuareg singers, songwriters, and musicians that hail from the Sahara Desert. With their guitar-driven, hypnotic blend of traditional Tuareg, African, and Western rock music, the group is often hailed as pioneers of "desert blues." They will return to Seattle with material from their new album Amatssou, which they describe as "songs of struggle and resistance with oblique references to the recent desperate political upheavals in Mali and the increasing power of the Salafists." Don't miss an opening set from KEXP DJ Darek Mazzone. AV
(The Showbox, Downtown)


Vanderpump Rules Viewing Party Past Event List
I've been dutifully watching Vanderpump Rules since 2014, so the recent influx of viewing parties is a little bittersweet—on the one hand, I'm thrilled that everyone's catching on to the good-as-gold content that Lisa Vanderpump's glam employees serve on a tequila-splattered platter, but on the other hand, the whole thing is going down because one of the Toms showed his ass for the thousandth time. (Lesson: men who shave their foreheads will never learn.) Anyway, if you want to watch Lala scream herself hoarse on a big screen (and why wouldn't you?!), head to the newly minted Comedy/Bar for the next two weeks of reunion episodes. You might even get to watch Raquel form a full sentence. LC
(Comedy/Bar, Capitol Hill)



Lori Goldston scores Dreyer's The Passion of Joan of Arc Past Event List
Presented in memory of Dennis Nyback, the late film archivist/historian legend and onetime operator of Seattle's Rosebud Movie Palace and Pike St. Cinema, this 16mm screening of Danish master Carl Theodor Dreyer's 1928 silent film The Passion of Joan of Arc will include a live score by cellist Lori Goldston. (She's performed with Earth, Nirvana, the Black Cat Orchestra, and others, developing an untamed alt-classical vision that's entirely her own.) Goldston describes her musical interpretation of the film as "transiting through the sonorities of experimental chamber music, alt-classical, minimalism, free-improv and ambient music with a special organic feel," which sounds just incredible enough to pay tribute to Joan of Arc's complex spiritual rapture in the hours before her death. The film itself is a bit of a miracle, too—thought to have been burned in a fire, it was found in perfect condition in 1981 in a Norwegian mental institution. LC
(Northwest Film Forum, Capitol Hill)


The Cure Past Event List
Despite the back-combed hair, dark makeup, and reputation as goth’s saddest boys, the Cure’s discography has always struck me as surprisingly upbeat and optimistic with its bubblegum pop hooks about being happily in love (frontman Robert Smith has been married to his mysterious muse Mary Poole for over 35 years—she’s one of my favorite internet rabbit holes!) Sing along to ‘80s favorites like “Boys Don’t Cry,” “Friday I’m In Love,” and “Lovesong” and hopefully some new material as well (they’ve been teasing a new album since last year). And, considering that band hasn’t stepped foot in the PNW since 2016 (that's approximately 50 years ago in COVID years), you should probably see them now. AV
(Climate Pledge Arena, Uptown)



I Think You Should Eat 2 Past Event List
Syd Suntha, the owner of the food truck Kottu and the mastermind between last September's over-the-top 36-course Wu Tang dinner, has now turned his attention to Saturday Night Live alum Tim Robinson's zany sketch comedy show I Think You Should Leave. Along with fellow chefs Demond Thomas, Cara Nado Bannwarth, and Nate Fieldson, he'll create a multi-course menu inspired by the surreal series' many wacky inside jokes, from the "Down the Hatch, Bon Appetit" (a rye bread wreath with smoked duck fat butter, truffle, and micro greens) to the "Sloppy Steak at Truffoni's" (flat iron steak, demi-glace, and a "big ol' glass of water"). The third course will be based on a sketch from the highly anticipated third season, which drops on May 30, just days before the dinner. Plus, Jessica Dobson of Deep Sea Diver will perform songs from the show, Deskins Tattoo will provide flash tattoos, and prizes will be awarded for a “Little Buff Boys” costume contest and “That’s a Chunky” trivia contest. JB
(Madame Lou's at the Crocodile, Belltown)


Garbage with Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds and Metric Past Event List
This bill is like one of my high school iPod playlists came to life. The ’90s alt-rock heavies Garbage, fronted by perennial cool girl Shirley Manson, will play alt-rock radio staples like “Only Happy When It Rains,” “Stupid Girl,” and “I Think I’m Paranoid.” This will be the first stop on tour with Oasis frontman Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds (yes, they will most likely play “Wonderwall”) and indie sleaze missionaries Metric. AV
(White River Amphitheatre, Auburn)

Smokey Brights Past Event List
On their new album, Levitator, Seattle-based rock band Smokey Brights gives more of a punch than ever before with wailing vocals and '70s arena-rock instrumentation. They will celebrate the release of the album alongside indie folk singer-songwriter Sera Cahoone and dreamy indie rock band La Fonda. AV
(The Showbox, Downtown)


Conversion—Jos Charles, Sequoia Nagamatsu, Putsata Reang, Lucia Flores-Wiseman Past Event List
If you're anything like me, after the last few years, the idea of "rebirth" sounds pretty appealing. Hugo House seems to agree—this season's Hugo Literary Series draws on rebirth as a conceptual theme, inviting writers of all stripes to reflect on revival and resurgence through prose, poetry, and songs. In this session, novelist Sequoia Nagamatsu, local journalist Putsata Reang, singer-songwriter Lucia Flores-Wiseman, and trans poet and Pulitzer Prize finalist Jos Charles (a personal favorite of mine—just read this wild poem) will chat all things conversion, sharing new works based on the juicy sub-theme of changing and shape-shifting. LC
(Hugo House, Capitol Hill)


Summer Exhibitions Opening Party Past Event List
Contemporary aesthetes Museum of Museums will re-open to the public with this party-slash-show-preview, unveiling their exhibitions and installations à la mode. Head to the shindig for live tunes and a full bar while checking out Emily Counts' mystical ceramic world, plus Lilia Deering's slime monster, an "algorithmic botany exhibit" by Sabin Timalsena, and more. Attendees can also scope out six short films on love and loneliness in the Mudede Theater, plus sound experiments and curated poetry installed throughout the space. LC
(Museum of Museums, First Hill)



18th Annual Science Fiction Fantasy and Short Film Festival Past Event List
Now in its 18th year, the fun-to-pronounce film festival SFFSFF will hit SIFF Cinema Egyptian's orbit again with the best in innovative sci-fi and fantasy cinema from around the world, plus live Q&A sessions with jurors and filmmakers. The lineup is always solid—previous SFFSFF films have gone on to receive Academy Award nods and wide distribution deals—and the fest tends to pack the house, selling out for the last decade with film fans eager for fresh space stories and tales from other worlds. We're stoked for ape-centric space mission flick Ham and eerie, masturbatory body horror Vibrator Girl; the youth film section, especially the jangly ghost story Poltergeist Punk, also looks like a blast. LC
(SIFF Cinema Egyptian, Capitol Hill)


Bagel Trot Past Event List
Getting your daily steps in is a snap when you know that delicious bagels and coffee await you at various checkpoints. This leisurely self-guided walking tour will take you from Recovery Cafe to Zylberschtein's Delicatessen & Cafe, with stops at Grand Central Cafe & Bakery, Victrola Coffee, Hubuh House, Westman's Bagels, Ten Thousand Villages, Broadcast Coffee, and Local Yokels along the seven-mile route. (If you're ambitious, you're also welcome to choose your own adventure by adding your own destinations.) At the start, you'll be greeted with Rubinstein bagels, Frank's Quality Produce fruit, and Caffe Vita coffee to fuel your journey. Along the way, you'll enjoy samples or discounts at participating businesses, hear music from a New Orleans-style brass band, and receive a Bagel Trot T-shirt designed by a Recovery Café member. Proceeds benefit Recovery Café, a refuge for those impacted by homelessness, addiction, and other mental health challenges. JB
(Recovery Cafe, Belltown)


Tony Molina, The Softies, All Girl Summer Fun Band, and Mo Troper Past Event List
I shrieked when I saw this lineup! The Softies are one of the best, most underrated bands of the '90s. The duo consisting of Rose Melberg (Tiger Trap, Gaze, Go Sailor) and Jen Sbragia started their delightfully saccharine indie pop project back in 1994 with a handful of records on Olympia's K Records and Oakland's Slumberland Records. Their debut album It's Love is pure pop perfection with gentle jangly guitars, breathy harmonies, and diary entry-esque lyrics. Trust me, I listened to a lot of twee pop as a teenager and none of it holds up for me the way that the Softies do. The pair disbanded in 2000, but luckily for us, they’re reuniting for a PNW tour with fellow twee poppers All-Girl Summer Fun Band, indie-rock artist Tony Molina, and singer-songwriter Mo Troper. AV
(Sunset Tavern, Ballard)


Rosé Reunion: Calexico, Violet Chachki, and More Past Event List
House of Smith Jet City Winery, a winery owned by Charles Smith and housed in a remodeled Dr. Pepper bottling plant in Georgetown, will host a killer lineup, featuring Grammy-nominated Tex-Mex rockers Calexico, RuPaul's Drag Race winner and fashionista Violet Chachki (who just got booked for an upcoming Cardi B video), garage rock trio Naked Giants, and saucy burlesque performances from the Atomic Bombshells. While you enjoy the entertainment, take advantage of food truck nosh, a beer garden with Georgetown Brewing beverages, a selection of award-winning wines by the glass, and over 100 wines by the bottle. You'll also be greeted with a glass of rosé, included in the price of your ticket. JB
(Charles Smith Wines Jet City, Georgetown)



FREE THE NOSE: An Alternative Perfume Gathering Past Event List
Whether or not you consider yourself a perfume aficionado, this "olfactory discovery event" will give you something to sniff about—FREE THE NOSE centers creators, artists, and historians who work in the realm of "olfactive art" and perfume, creating space for scent-inhaling free from corporate influence. We like smelling nice stuff as much as the next person, so this is a cause we can get behind. The group's first event will invite perfume historians Barbara Herman (author of Scent & Subversion: Decoding a Century of Provocative Perfume) and JT Siems (founder and potion master at Immortal Perfumes and host of the Storical podcast) to chat fragrance. Attendees can experience 32 of the "most iconic and influential perfumes of the modern era" and partake in a perfume swap; perhaps most importantly, you'll also leave with a groovy tote bag and hand-printed perfume zine. Everyone loves a freebie. LC
(The Woods, Capitol Hill)


Washington Mead Festival at Skål Beer Hall Past Event List
Channel your inner Viking and sip the nectar of Valhalla at this celebration of Washington mead. Eight local meaderies, including Artivem, Hierophant, Contrivance, Oppegaard, Sky River, Æsir, Odin's Alchemy, and Thunderland, will pour some early summer offerings at Skål's covered outdoor street cafe. You'll receive six tokens to be redeemed for two-ounce samples and can also purchase pølse, pretzels, and other foods for snacking. Chat with the producers and purchase bottles to take home with you if you find a favorite. JB
(Skål Beer Hall, Ballard)


Ringo Starr and His All Starr Band Past Event List
Here's your chance to see a real-life Beatle live! Legendary drummer Ringo Starr will treat Washingtonians to a well-rounded set of Beatles songs, original solo tunes, and crowd-pleasing covers. He will welcome endless amounts of peace and love, but please, for the love of god, don't give him any fan mail. AV
(Chateau Ste. Michelle, Woodinville)

The National Past Event List
Brooklyn-born indie rock stalwarts the National (or as Swifties know them, co-producers on folklore and evermore) have announced their first album in four years, First Two Pages of Frankenstein, with a tracklist featuring A-list pals like Phoebe Bridgers, Sufjan Stevens, and, yes, Taylor Swift. They will support the new album after an opening set from Nashville-bred indie rock project Soccer Mommy.
(Marymoor Park, Redmond)


Celebrating Pacific Northwest Artists: 25 Years of the Neddy Awards Past Event List
Curated by acclaimed writer, public speaker, and contemporary art interlocutrice Negarra A. Kudumu, this exhibition celebrates a quarter century of Cornish College's prestigious Neddy Awards, which were created in honor of Ned Behnke (1948-1989), a stellar deaf Seattle artist and teacher of hearing-impaired students. The show will spotlight Washington State contemporary art talent with a curated selection of pieces created by past grand prize award recipients; head to MOHAI for a comprehensive look at some of the most significant Northwest artists of the last 25 years, including Wa Na Wari co-founder Inye Wokoma and interdisciplinary storyteller Priscilla Dobler Dzul. LC
(MOHAI, South Lake Union; opening)



My Mic Sounds Nice: Hip-Hop Feminism in History Past Event List
Queen Latifah, Lil' Kim, Salt-N-Pepa, MC Lyte—even casual hip-hop fans can agree that women have played an integral role in hip-hop's history. My Mic Sounds Nice: Hip-Hop Feminism in History, curated by Adeerya Johnson, is a new and small but mighty collection of photos, fliers, costumes, and music that shines a light on the Black women who are too often forgotten or overlooked when considering hip-hop's deep roots. Angie B, Symbolic Three, Sha Rock, and Nikki D, the first woman to sign with Def Jam. They've been shaking shit up since at least the early '80s, rapping about their sexuality and misogyny in the scene, and taking down their male counterparts with diss tracks before Drake and Meek Mill were born. (Check out Symbolic Three's "No Show," a response to Doug E. Fresh's hit "The Show"—"Sorry, Doug E., but your shoes are through!") Your ticket gets you into other MoPop exhibits including Contact High: A Visual History of Hip-Hop, which was recently extended through the end of the year. STRANGER CULTURE EDITOR MEGAN SELING
(MoPOP, Uptown, Tuesday, Thursday-Sunday)

We Are Puget Sound Remind List
If you call the Puget Sound region home, it's worth it to learn more about the wildlife and cultures that also reside in and around the Salish Sea, from Southern resident orcas and Chinook salmon to community gardeners and Coast Salish tribes. The Burke Museum's new exhibition We Are Puget Sound "explores the marvel of our area" with canoe models, clam baskets, and specimens from its fish, plant, and fossil collections, plus photos and profiles of Salish Sea protectors. This is fascinating stuff, people! (The exhibition is based on the book We Are Puget Sound: Discovering and Recovering the Salish Sea, published by Braided River in partnership with Washington Conservation Action; you can snag a copy from Elliott Bay before you see the exhibit.) LC
(Burke Museum, University District, Saturday-Sunday; opening)


Showing Up Past Event List
Kelly Reichardt, deft creator of Oregon misfit characters and "master of the non-event," returns withShowing Up, which was partially shot at the tragically shuttered Oregon College of Art and Craft. The unabashedly arty flick, which serves as a quiet ode to Portland's creative community, features work by brilliant sculptor Cynthia Lahti and stars heavy hitters Michelle Williams, Hong Chau, and Andre 3000. LC (Grand Illusion, University District, Tuesday-Wednesday)

Unstreamable – Liquid Sky Past Event List
Your internet besties (former Stranger staff writer Jas Keimig and former editor Chase Burns) will present another flick that you can’t find anywhere online (legally, at least) as part of their ongoing project Unstreamable, which has blossomed from a column on Scarecrow Video's blog into a live screening series. Burns and Keimig, who've written "more than 350 (!) blurbs and reviews about offbeat, forgotten, and otherwise unobtainable pieces of cinematic history" (Matt Baume), will share their exhaustive knowledge of lost media on the big screen. If you're into aliens, New Wave nihilism, '80s-era punk aesthetics, and lots and lots of heroin, Slava Tsukerman’s Liquid Sky should do the trick. LC
(Northwest Film Forum, Capitol Hill, Friday-Sunday)


Karen's Diner on Tour - Seattle/Bellevue Past Event List
With their swoopy Kate Gosselin-like haircuts and entitled attitudes, "Karens" have decidedly complained their way into the cultural zeitgeist, as any unlucky service industry worker who's ever found themselves on the receiving end of these middle-aged white women's wrath can attest. Not for the faint of heart, this wacky viral pop-up restaurant originating in Sydney, Australia flips the script—the staff are not just allowed to be rude to the customers, but actually instructed to do so. Where else can you eat classic American diner food (burgers, fries, milkshakes, etc.) while an apron-clad server roasts you? Just don't ask to speak to the manager. JB
(Khushi, Bellevue, Friday-Sunday)


HONK! Fest West Past Event List
This free family-oriented festival gets you in on the brass, percussion, and street band "global renaissance." Dozens of bands across various musical styles (including punk rock marching bands, European Klezmer groups, Maracatu sounds, and more!) will take to streets and parks around Seattle as they jam out in celebration of this democratic and ebullient musical genre. 
(Various locations, Friday-Sunday)


Les Misérables Past Event List
This fresh staging of Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg’s Tony-winning testament to love and survival was described as “a reborn dream of a production” by The Daily Telegraph. Former theater kids shouldn't miss the musical adaptation of Victor Hugo's 1862 novel Les Misérables, which is set against the tumultuous backdrop of 19th-century France.
(The 5th Avenue Theatre, Downtown, Tuesday-Sunday)

Lydia and the Troll Past Event List
Playwright Justin Huertas blends fantasy and folklore elements with real Seattle landmarks to create pure Pacific Northwest magic in Lydia and the Troll. ("Never turn your back on a Justin Huertas song," says The Seattle Times.) The production follows a singer-songwriter whose writer's block—and life circumstances—have her feeling stuck, but a chance encounter with a strange figure may lead to untold sacrifices.LC (Seattle Repertory Theatre, Uptown, Wednesday-Sunday)


Orcas Island Lit Fest Past Event List
Frankly, I'm not sure there's a cuter or more magical spot than Orcas Island to find creative inspiration. While you're there, you can pretend you're in a Nancy Meyers flick, penning your memoirs in linen slacks while you gaze out at the Sound. (Or maybe that's just my fantasy, I dunno.) Anyway, the Orcas Island Lit Fest will return this year to bring together award-winning and emerging regional authors in one very special spot for two days of panels, readings, and children's events. Featured word lovers include Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, Gilbert King, Garth Stein, Kirstin Valdez Quade, and Ibi Zoboi; you can also catch a set by indie queen Haley Heynderickx. LC
(Various locations, Orcas Island, Friday-Saturday)


A Living Legacy: Recent Acquisitions in Contemporary Art Past Event List
The Frye Art Museum has always been one of my favorites, and not just because it's totally free—the curation is consistently on point, blending thoughtful nods to historical movements with the most contemporary work on the scene at any given moment. Marking their 70th anniversary, A Living Legacy will bring together eight recently acquired artworks by art stars Amoako Boafo, Sky Hopinka, Gisela McDaniel, Bony Ramirez, Tschabalala Self, Ann Leda Shapiro, and Sadie Wechsler, each of whom responds to or complicates "[narratives around] landscape and portraiture traditionally associated with the Frye’s founding collection of nineteenth- and twentieth-century European and American art." Artistic production and acquisition is an evolving, imperfect process—head to this exhibition to see what the artists themselves have to say about it. LC
(Frye Art Museum, First Hill, Saturday-Sunday; opening)

Sea of Vapors: An immersive installation by Emily Counts Past Event List
Emily Counts' ceramic style is always a little (okay, more than a little) mystical, reflecting on nature and the fragility of life through surreal sculptural busts and curious wall pieces that are sometimes lit from within. In her new immersive installation Sea of Vapors, Counts continues to cast her gaze toward growth, decomposition, aging, and transformation, exploring a story of seafaring travelers through imagery of wilting flowers, rotting fruit, and other sensory oddities. Her works tell the tale of a series of women "traveling by boat through a dream space to meet their venerated queen," and each sculpture is peppered with nostalgic features—think woven sweaters and accessories—in a nod to portraiture past and present. LC
(Museum of Museums, First Hill, Friday-Sunday; opening)

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