Best Things To Do

The Top 36 Events in Seattle This Week: November 8-14, 2021

Freakout Festival, Hasan Minhaj, SCOOP, and More Top Picks
November 8, 2021

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Electro-cumbia outfit Terror/Cactus are one of a slew of bands to perform at this year's Freakout Fest. (Melissa Kagerer)

Another rainy week lies ahead, but luckily there are some great events on deck to reverse your soggy, soggy doldrums. So many, in fact, that you might have trouble deciding how to spend your precious free time. We’re here with a new roundup of picks to help you fill out your schedule, from a queer hip-hop dance party with Ash Leon, Spekulate the Philosopher, and DoNormaal to a night out with comedian Hasan Minhaj, and from an evening with Pulitzer- and National Book Award-winning author Louise Erdrich to The Stranger's new mini-documentary festival SCOOP. Read about those and more below.

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Band of Horses
Back in 2016, Stranger contributor Ben Salmon wrote, "From 2006 to 2010, Band of Horses released three albums packed with shimmering indie rock, soaring soft pop, and reverberant twang, and each was glorious in its own way. But 2012’s Mirage Rock sounded like paint-by-numbers Band of Horses—flat and lifeless. It’s a welcome relief that the band’s new album Why Are You OK finds Ben Bridwell & Co. back in the easygoing, starlit-evening groove they lived in a decade ago. There are a few charging, chiming rockers (“Solemn Oath,” “Casual Party”), a handful of pillowy dream songs (“Barrel House,” “Lying Under Oak”), and a few tunes that filter Bridwell’s widescreen anthems through off-kilter production (“Hag,” “Throw My Mess”). With only an exception or two, the songs on Why Are You OK come together quite nicely—simply put, Band of Horses sounds like Band of Horses again, and that’s a very high compliment."
Paramount Theatre (Downtown)



Flores de Verano, Flamenco en Vivo Seattle
Flamenco dancer Savannah Fuentes will bring her fundraising and recovery tour to her hometown of Seattle, joined by Spanish singer and guitarist Diego Amador Jr.
Broadway Performance Hall (Capitol Hill)

Kolohe Kai
Hawaiian reggae group Kolohe Kai, whose 2019 album Summer To Winter won big at the Island Music Awards, will breeze through with their soothing tunes. 
Showbox Sodo (SoDo)


An Evening with Chelsea Clinton, Deborah Heiligman, Ruby Shamir, and Christine Day
Celebrate the release of three new books in the kids' chapter book series She Persisted, inspired by Chelsea Clinton's New York Times-bestselling book of the same name. The new books follow workers' rights advocate Clara Lemlich, America's first prima ballerina Maria Tallchief, and Margaret Chase Smith, the first woman to serve in both the House and the Senate. A limited supply of signed bookplates from Chelsea Clinton, Deborah Heiligman, Ruby Shamir, and Christine Day are also available to order.



Powwow Highway with the Chief Seattle Club
Join the Chief Seattle Club for a special screening of this comedy about Buddy Row, a Native man who, in the midst of struggling to keep finance his Montana reservation, takes an adventure-filled road trip to New Mexico to rescue his sister, who's been arrested under mysterious circumstances.
Central Cinema (Central District)


Gastro Obscura with Cecily Wong
Portland writer Cecily Wong will discuss her new book Gastro Obscura: A Food Adventurer's Guide, which delves into the many wonders, oddities, and curiosities of the food world, detailing everything from a beer made from fog in Chile to the 2000-year-old egg ovens of Egypt. 
Book Larder (Fremont)


Julien Baker
Memphis native Julien Baker discusses any and all things melancholy in her music, including substance abuse, questioning God, not being good enough... the list goes on. She pairs this with minimal piano or guitar chords that hit the sweet spot to get a tear rolling down your cheek. All sadness aside, Baker’s tracks are raw, mature, and breathtakingly beautiful—it’s almost as if she opens her diary to be read aloud. Baker’s music is refreshing in a time when many songwriters are recycling the same themes and concepts. ANNA KAPLAN
Moore Theatre (Belltown)

KNKX and Jazz 24 Celebrate Public Radio Music Day with the Thomas Marriott Quintet
It's Public Radio Music Day! Celebrate with KNKX and Jazz24's free show on Royal Room's virtual stage with jazz trumpeter Thomas Marriott, pianist Bill Anschell, bassist Jeff Johnson, drummer Stefan Schatz, and tenor saxophonist Darryl Yokley.


Fall Fete 2021
Stay in your cozy clothes and raise your paddle from home to help local contemporary dance company Whim W'Him raise $125,000 to fund their next season. 

The Most Fabulous Gala Ever
Help Intiman Theatre warm up their new home at Seattle Central College at a virtual watch party with live music, drag, and auctions.


Seattle Arts & Lectures Presents: Louise Erdrich
Pulitzer- and National Book Award-winning Louise Erdrich will discuss her new novel, The Sentence, which "explores how the burdens of history, and especially identity, appropriation, exploitation, and violence done to human beings in the name of justice, manifest in ordinary lives today." The timely plot follows an independent bookstore owner in Minneapolis from November 2019 to November 2020 and will also appeal to fans of mysteries and ghost stories. As we've said before about Erdrich, "Those who are already fans of Erdrich's writing about the American plains and modern Native American life are already excited for this one; if you haven't read her before, you're about to enter a world unlike anything else you've ever seen."


Día De Los Muertos at Seattle Art Museum
The Seattle Art Museum celebrates Día de los Muertos every year with a tapete (sand painting) created by Fulgencio Lazo and a group of local artists.
Seattle Art Museum (Downtown)



Ash Leon, Spekulate the Philosopher, DoNormaal, guests
This queer hip-hop lineup is the stuff of dreams, and the fact that it's happening on 11/11 might make the wishes of all attendees come true. Hosted by Seattle drag stars Kylie Mooncakes and Issa Man, the bill features Ash León, Spekulate the Philosopher, DoNormaal, Da Qween, and DJ Tremenda Diosa.
Kremwerk (Belltown)



Hasan Minhaj: The King's Jester
As Dave Segal once wrote for The Stranger, "America could do with more Muslim comics and their under-acknowledged observations, especially if they’re as sharp-witted as Hasan Minhaj. His charming demeanor belies a deceptively acerbic humor, honed during his trenchant appearances on The Daily Show. Minhaj truly rose to the occasion at the 2017 White House Correspondents’ Dinner, where he delivered hundreds of punishing left jabs at right-wing politicians. It was a roast for the ages, and if it made the president’s blood pressure rise to dangerous levels, Minhaj deserves a Nobel Prize. His Netflix special Homecoming King proved he could conceive exceptionally moving personal comedy, too." After the cancellation of his popular Netflix show, Patriot Act, he's returning to the stage with a new one-man show.
Paramount Theatre (Downtown)


Deep Sea Diver
Seattle-based singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Jessica Dobson (AKA Deep Sea Diver) will bring her doo-wop and pop-infused indie rock downtown in support of her latest album, Impossible Weight.
The Showbox (Downtown)

Devin the Dude: A 420 celebration
Originally scheduled for 4/20, Houston hip-hop artist Devin the Dude will take over the Fremont strip for a night of juicy beats. 
Nectar (Fremont)

Everclear, Wheatus
If you're a Gen X alt-rock fan still living with the ghost of '90s Portland hitmakers Everclear, don't miss out on their headlining tour stop with eternal teenage dirtbags Wheatus.
El Corazón (Eastlake)

Seattle Symphony: Brahms Untuxed
If you assumed you had to dress in your finest ball gown to hear the Seattle Symphony revive works by Johann Brahams, you would be wrong. This laid-back concert series, which demystifies the classical concert experience with intermission-free performances, will return with an evening of classics by the German Romantic master.
Benaroya Hall (Downtown)


Black Food with Bryant Terry
Black vegan eco-chef and food justice activist Bryant Terry will discuss his latest book, Black Food: Stories, Art, and Recipes from Across the African Diaspora, with Book Larder, along with TBA special guests.



34th Annual PNA Winter Beer Taste
Great Scott! It’s the 34th year of the PNA Winter Beer Taste! Keep the tradition alive and choose 10 tastes from about 20 breweries and cideries. To keep us safe, ticket sales will be limited, breweries will be spread out, windows will be open, and there will be an outdoor “hanging out” area. For a more chill experience, come to the VIP preview tasting starting at 6 pm for sliders and slaw. 
Phinney Neighborhood Association (Phinney Ridge)

The Northwest Chocolate Festival
This gathering of artisan chocolate makers actually extends beyond the Northwest to more than 20 countries around the globe. It's virtual this year, so you won't get to eat the samples, but you can still look forward to educational workshops, seminars, and cooking classes with cacao experts. 

Whiskies of the World
Nearly 30 distillers will cross ponds, oceans, and highways to hawk their finest spirits and share their knowledge of whisky with curious drinkers.
The Rainier Club (Downtown)


RESILIENCE! An AAPI 24-Hour Play Festival
Pushing back against the recent tide of anti-Asian hate, the model minority myth, stereotypes, and other challenges, Pork Filled Productions presents a 24-hour play festival. Channeling their energy and messaging into seven plays, a group of 40 AAPI writers, performers, directors, producers, and technicians will explore themes of resilience and representation in the AAPI community.


Kikagaku Moyo
From their humble beginnings busking on the streets of Tokyo, Kikagaku Moyo is now touring the world with their folk-inflected psychedelic space jams.
The Crocodile (Belltown)

The Big Dig Record Show
After a two-year hiatus, Northwest record dealers will once again peddle their eclectic wares (some of which will only be a buck) to adoring vinyl hounds at this annual pop-up sale.
Vermillion (Capitol Hill) 



Music for Movement: An Evening Curated by Ahamefule J. Oluo
We've never known an evening of music with hometown hero Ahamefule J. Oluo to be anything but delightful, so we have high hopes for his curated bill with three ensembles (MAJI, Talaya and Don Grey, and Aham himself) wherein the musician and filmmaker will attempt to get an entire crowd of Seattleites to dance. 
The Royal Room (Rainier Valley)

Playboi Carti: Narcissist
Former Stranger contributor Larry Mizell Jr. once wrote, "In a genre where all but the avant fringes utilize the exact same type of beats, flows, and worldview, grown people who still enjoy the hypnotizing, war-chant quality of contemporary rap have to find what they like along the spectrum (a term popularly swiped from the mental-health world and appropriately appropriated here). Maybe you can’t fuck with most SoundCloud bottom-feeders and their lo-fi, mainstream trap reenactment society. Or maybe you, like me, can’t really stand Uzi but find that 'South Atlanta goon.' Playboi Carti more smoothly deploys that effort-free 'ooh-yah' filler-flow, without the artificial sweeteners. As a far better MC once said: 'So we internalize that, but then we customize that..'" Catch the artist as he rolls through town on his Narcissist Tour.
Angel of the Winds Arena (Everett)



Seattle International Comedy Competition
For nearly all of November, a lengthy last-comic-standing battle rages. Thirty-two comedians (split into two batches, each of which performs every night for one week) start the contest, and one will finish a champion. Celebrity judges and audience reactions determine who passes the preliminaries and who becomes a finalist.
Various locations (Thursday-Sunday)


Cinema Italian Style
Now in its 13th year, SIFF's annual homage to contemporary Italian cinema will be a mix of virtual and in-person screenings, opening with Emma Dante's The Macaluso Sisters (which sees the bond between five siblings grow stronger after an unexpected tragedy) and ending with Paolo Sorrentino's The Hand of God, in which the legendary director excavates the formative experiences of his Neapolitan youth. 
SIFF Egyptian, Capitol Hill (Monday-Thursday)

The strangest little documentary festival in town is ready to show you what's up! SCOOP is a new mini-doc fest brought to you by The Stranger, the Portland Mercury, and the producers behind HUMP!, SLAY, and SPLIFF Film Festivals. Earlier this year, our sister sites asked readers to go out into our chaotic world and send in their best scoops on the issues they care about the most. After combing through hundreds of submissions, a fresh and international lineup of 11 documentary shorts has been curated, including reports on everything from trippy plants in Hong Kong to the fight to save historic community spaces in Seattle. There are enough scoops to satisfy everyone's tastes, and there's plenty of Pacific Northwest representation. 
Online (Friday-Sunday)


Perfume Genius
Queer pop dignitary (and excellent Tweeter) Perfume Genius will play two hometown gigs in support of their latest album, 2020's Set My Heart on Fire Immediately. 
The Showbox, Downtown (Saturday-Sunday)

Emerald City Soul Club 15th/16th* Annual Rare Soul Weekender
From 1973 to 1981, English youth boogied down to American soul music at a club called the Wigan Casino. Out of this industrial town near Manchester came the northern soul movement—essentially, a fetishizing of all things rare soul, not the Motown hits you might hear on oldies stations. With Eastlake's LoFi as a stand-in, the obsessive crate diggers behind the Emerald City Soul Club will do their best to re-create the 1970s vibe during their annual Rare Soul Weekender, when the most passionate soul collectors from across the Pacific Northwest will converge for four days and nights of nothing but soul.
LoFi, Eastlake (Friday-Sunday)

Freakout Festival
Ballard gets an extra jolt of sonic excitement and diversity with Freakout Festival, a four-night affair returning after a COVID-related hiatus. There will be shows at the Tractor, Sunset, Eagles Club, and Conor Byrne.
Various locations (Thursday-Sunday)


The Hip Hop Nutcracker featuring Kurtis Blow
This reinterpretation of the beloved ballet swaps out imperial Russia for 1980s Brooklyn as little Maria-Clara travels back in time to her parents' first meeting at a nightclub. It's acted out by a dozen hip-hop dancers, a DJ, Kurtis Blow (who opens the evening with a short set), and an onstage violinist.
Paramount Theatre, Downtown (Saturday-Sunday)


Portraits and Identity: Photographs from The Collection of Robert E. Jackson
Inspired by the age of selfies, these mostly vintage photographs collected by Seattle's Robert E. Jackson show how cameras have been manipulating not only appearances but also identities since long before iPhones were invented. 
Photographic Center Northwest, Capitol Hill (Thursday & Sunday); opening


WildLanterns presented by BECU
The Woodland Park Zoo is taking a more realistic approach to its beloved annual holiday light display by lining its paths with glowing lanterns in the likeness of tigers, snow leopards, aquatic creatures, zebras, and other exotic animals.
Woodland Park Zoo, Phinney Ridge (Friday-Sunday)