Best Things To Do

The Top 46 Events in Seattle This Week: Nov 15-21, 2021

Anita Hill, Imogen Cunningham at SAM, and More Top Picks
November 12, 2021

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The legendary attorney and activist Anita Hill will appear on Elliott Bay's virtual stage Thursday to talk about her new book on gender violence. (Bettmann Archive/Getty Images)

You might call this week the calm before the holiday storm, so why not take the opportunity to hit up all the best events around town before your energy depletes? We've rounded up our picks, from an Imogen Cunningham retrospective at the Seattle Art Museum to Parisalexa at Neumos, and from the hometown-star-studded Smash Benefit: Songs of Hope to the United Indians Native Art Market.

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Buck Meek (of Big Thief) with guests
Buck Meek, whom you probably know as the guitarist for folk-rock outfit Big Thief and/or as the man with an arsenal of enviable Western shirts, will take the stage on his own with support from LA's Kidi Band. 
Tractor Tavern (Ballard)

X Ambassadors
Considering their Top 40 radio ubiquity, it's been basically impossible to not recognize the Jeep commercial-ready stadium party rock sound of X Ambassadors. They'll return to Seattle on their Beautiful Liar tour with Scarypoolparty and Taylor Janzen.
The Showbox (Downtown)



The Neptune Centennial
When STG's University District theater first opened on November 16, 1921 as a cinema, The Seattle Times called it the “newest photoplay palace and the finest suburban theatre in this part of the country.” Now, 100 years later, you know it as the newly renovated venue where big-name rap and rock acts from across the country have played for the last 10 years. Celebrate that history at this free community celebration which will include a video presentation, drinks and snacks, and the "honoring of an art installation by indigenous artist Joseph H. (wahalatsu?) Seymour signifying the acknowledgment of the land once inhabited where the Neptune Theatre stands." Afterward, stick around for live music from Billy Joe & The Dusty 45s, Ron Artis II & The Truths, and more.
Neptune Theatre (University District)


Charley Crockett
A cross between bluesy and country Western, Charley Crockett has just released the 10th album in his six-year career. He'll head out to Sodo for a night of twang with Joshua Ray Walker. 
Showbox Sodo

Silverstein: 20 Year Anniversary Tour
Their youth may be behind them, but emo/punk outfit Silverstein is still keeping it hardcore 20 years in. Join them for their anniversary tour. 
The Showbox (Downtown)


Neal Stephenson with Andy Weir — Termination Shock
Join the Hugo Award-winning author of The Diamond Age and Cryptonomicon for the anticipated release of his new novel, Termination Shock, which he'll discuss alongside Project Hail Mary author Andy Weir.

Seattle Arts & Lectures presents: Peter Wohlleben in Conversation with Deborah Madison
Around the time scientists discovered a vast underground network of fungi connecting trees of different species—an arboreal Internet or “wood wide web”—renowned forester and New York Times bestselling author Peter Wohlleben began to notice bizarre root shapes and strange growth patterns in the forests he tended in Western Germany. He'll talk about his discoveries with food writer Deborah Madison. 
Online via Seattle Arts & Lectures

Taste Makers with Mayukh Sen
Award-winning author Mayukh Sen will chat about his new book Taste Makers: Seven Immigrant Women Who Revolutionized Food in America, which delves into the lives of seven influential immigrant women who made their mark on the food world, in conversation with local writer Angela Garbes.
Online via Book Larder



KNKX PRESENTS: Piano Starts Here: Marc Seales
Wayne Horvitz and Alex Guilbert's popular series highlights the work of prolific piano virtuosos on Royal Room's Steinway B grand piano. This time honors local post-bop great Marc Seales. 
The Royal Room (Columbia City)


Red Sky Performance: Trace
Inspired by Indigenous sky and star stories, this Dora Mavor Moore Award-winning kinetic contemporary dance work attempts to "[offer] a glimpse into our origin as well as our future evolution."
Moore Theatre (Belltown)


Ernest Cline — Ready Player Two
The author of Ready Player One and Armada will appear in conversation with Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore's Matt Berger in celebration of the paperback release of his latest sci-fi book, Ready Player Two.
Online via Third Place Books



Lupe Fiasco Presents Food & Liquor
Before I actually listened to the lyrics, I thought “Kick, Push” (the first single off Lupe Fiasco’s 2006 debut full-length, Food & Liquor) was about climbing and striving to get to the top, then relaxing and coasting as your hard work pays off. In reality, it’s about skateboarding, a love story between two misfits on wheels—and goddamn is it ever an earworm, built on the sweeping symphonics from Celeste Legaspi’s 1982 song “Bolero Medley,” with an added bumpin’ beat and Lupe’s raps gliding over the top. “Daydreamin’” is that album’s other single, a Grammy winner and an obvious jam that taps “Daydream in Blue” by I Monster and features Jill Scott belting the chorus. These tracks will be performed amid the entirety of Food & Liquor for the socially conscious rapper’s Seattle stop. According to press materials, his fans were asking for it and the “time finally felt right” for a full album presentation, although it feels a bit like creative procrastination—his not-so-unconscious way of putting off finishing Skulls, the eighth album that he’s claimed will herald his retirement. LEILANI POLK
Showbox Sodo

The Pacific Northwest isn’t exactly known for being a hotbed for R&B, pop, or hip-hop, but that could change someday with the career trajectory of artists like Seattle singer/songwriter/producer Parisalexa. She first nabbed my attention (and my heart TBH) when she sang “Cashitis” in the semifinals of Sound Off! 2016, an annual music competition at the Museum of Pop Culture (formerly known as the Experience Music Project) in Seattle. She gave a pitch-perfect vocal, wielded it perfectly, and showed an obvious knack for creating organic, intuitive song structures. To this day, I still get chills. JENNI MOORE
Neumos (Capitol Hill)

Seattle Symphony: Beach Gaelic Symphony
Amy Beach's lush and cinematic Gaelic Symphony comes to the Seattle stage courtesy of director Thomas Dausgaard, also conducting a rare double-harp concerto by Hannah Lash.
Benaroya Hall (Downtown)


This pinnacle of rowdy, uncategorizable drag nights will return with a DJ dance party with local star Arson Nicki, followed by a slew of performances hosted by the glamorous Betty Wetter, with support from Angel Baby Kill Kill Kill, Miss Texas 1988, Beau Degas, and special guests Bosco and Isis.
Clock-Out Lounge (Beacon Hill)

Lowbrow Opera Presents DIARY OF A MADMAN
The madman in question in Nikolai Gogol's diary-form novel is Aksentiy Ivanovich Poprischin, a low-ranking Russian official in 1835 St. Petersberg. See the story performed on stage as part of 18th & Union's accessible opera series.
18th & Union (Central District)


Anita Hill: Believing
The legendary attorney and activist Anita Hill, who famously testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in 1991 accusing Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas of sexual assault (a case that was echoed in 2018 between Christine Blasey Ford and Brett Kavanaugh), is out with a new book that grapples with gender violence and its relationship to sex, race, age, and power. Press materials sum it up as "a call to action that offers guidance based on what this brave, committed fighter has learned from a lifetime of advocacy and her search for solutions to a problem that is still tearing America apart." Don't miss the chance to see Hill in conversation with Angela Jones (of the Black Future Co-op Fund) on Elliott Bay's virtual stage. 
Online via Elliott Bay Book Company

KCLS Online Program: Author Voices with Robin Wall Kimmerer
Author Robin Wall Kimmerer, who writes about plants and botany through Native American traditions and Western scientific traditions in Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants, will give a talk on building a sustainable future.
Online via King County Library

The Modern Larder with Michelle McKenzie
Professional cook, culinary instructor, food writer, food stylist, and recipe developer Michelle McKenzie will chat about her new book The Modern Larder, which leverages pantry ingredients that are often overlooked, with local writer Ashley Rodriguez of Not Without Salt.
Online via Book Larder

Patrick Laurie with Nick Offerman — Galloway: Life In a Vanishing Landscape
Journalist Patrick Laurie and actor Nick Offerman (of Parks & Rec fame) will join together to talk about their respective new nature-related books, Galloway: Life In a Vanishing Landscape and Where the Deer and the Antelope Play: The Pastoral Observations of One Ignorant American Who Loves to Walk Outside. 
Online via Third Place Books



Cathedrals: SYML
Musician/producer Brian Fennell, aka SYML, of Seattle's gentle indie-rock group Barcelona, has now gone an ambient direction, mixing elements of dream pop, synth rock, and alt-folk to great effect. His full band will play tracks from their brand-new EP live from the acoustically gifted cathedral. 
Saint Mark's Cathedral (Capitol Hill)

Cowboy Junkies
The first time I ever heard Cowboy Junkies was on a dirty, beer-stained couch at the radio station I used to help run in college. My friend and I were supposed to be studying, but we ended up just lying around listening to music. She put on their cover of Velvet Underground’s “Sweet Jane,” which seemed to fit every mood I could ever have at 21—melancholy, meditative, cautious, ready to yield to the good things in life. Like the rest of the band’s work. JAS KEIMIG
Moore Theatre (Belltown) 

Fleetmac Wood presents Wild Heart Disco
Wrap yourself in feathers and dance your wild heart out at this Stevie Nicks-themed party. 
Nectar (Fremont)

La Luz
"I will never cease to extol the immeasurable brilliance of La Luz," wrote former Portland Mercury writer Ciara Dolan, "The now-LA-based four-piece's doo-wop harmonies are beguilingly sweet, hypnotizing listeners until guitarist/singer Shana Cleveland's agile shredding solos strike with unmerciful venom."
Neptune Theatre (University District)

Two white brothers from Florida with the last name White, Tonstartssbandht can sound as brilliant and as baffling as their compound name. Ostensibly a psych-rock group, they squirm stylistically from the Grateful Dead’s pastoral/astral extrapolations to Faust’s form-busting abstractions to Pärson Sound’s stark trance rock. Random dips into their canon reveal a group conversant with experimental weirdness and beautiful melodies. Tonstartssbandht exist in their own world, immune to modern music-biz trends, eccentric to their core. DAVE SEGAL
Barboza (Capitol Hill)


Dances in the Sky: Orchestra and Circus
The Seattle Metropolitan Chamber Orchestra will join forces with Emerald City Trapeze Arts for a musical aerial spectacular.
Emerald City Trapeze Arts (Georgetown)

Seattle Butoh Festival 2021: FemAlchemy
Discover the art of butoh, a contemporary form of Japanese performance inspired by ghosts and the grotesque, from NYC's DAIPANbutoh Collective.
Yaw Theater (Chinatown-Industrial District)



Gobble Up
Just in time for Thanksgiving (and the subsequent holidays), Urban Craft Uprising will host this specialty food show for the fifth year in a row, promising over 75 local vendors slinging everything from caramels to small-batch pickles to nut butters.
Magnuson Park Hangar 30 (Sand Point)

Kokoson Seattle
The next event in Taku owner and Top Chef fan favorite Shota Nakajima's "Cooking with Friends" pop-up series is inspired by Kokoson, the winning Asian and Latin-American kaiseki restaurant concept that Shota helped devise during Top Chef's "Restaurant Wars" challenge. The dinner will feature an amuse-bouche prepared by Top Chef season 15 and 17 contestant Joe Sasto (formerly of Lazy Bear in San Francisco), followed by seven courses by the original Kokoson team—chef Jamie Tran of Black Sheep in Las Vegas, James Beard semi-finalist Maria Mazon of BOCA Tacos in Tucson, chef Byron Gomez of 7908 Aspen in Aspen, and of course, Nakajima himself. In tribute to the Northwest and to Nakajima's foraging hobby, each course will incorporate locally foraged mushrooms.
Cortina (Downtown)

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. 


A Smash Benefit: Songs of Hope Live
This annual benefit for Seattle Musicians Access to Sustainable Healthcare (aka SMASH) will return with an evening of live music by the likes of Dave Matthews, Duff McKagan, Sera Cahoone, Tomo Nakayama, Shaina Shepherd, Stephanie Anne Johnson, Naked Giants, Zan Fiskum, Alec Shaw, and many others. 
Moore Theatre (Belltown)

High Pulp, All Star Opera, Shaina Shepherd, Ariana DeBoo
Seattle's High Pulp will bring their funk and jazz fusion to Capitol Hill. Multi-piece hip-hop ensemble All Star Opera, BEARAXE frontwoman Shaina Shepherd, and singer-songwriter Ariana DeBoo fill out the bill.
Neumos (Capitol Hill)

Seattle’s Kuinka plays heart-bursting, jangly, all-together-now folk-pop that’ll have you stomping your feet and singing along. Don’t be surprised if you hear them in a cutesy movie or car commercial soon. But first, they're in town to help you beat your early-winter haze.
Nectar (Fremont)

Critically acclaimed rapper, singer, and record producer JPEGMAFIA will bring his experimental hip-hop to Seattle. The rapper released a pair of EPs in 2020 and 2021.
Neptune Theatre (University District)


Hung Up: A Drag Tribute to Madonna
Embrace your inner material girl for this WEIRD drag tribute to the queen of pop, starring Londyn Bradshaw, Cookie Couture, Issa Man, Mercury Divine, Rowan Ruthless, and Cannoli.
Kremwerk (Belltown)



Nick Waterhouse with McKinley James
With Ty Segall, Leon Bridges, and Allah-Las collaborations under his belt, LA singer-songwriter Nick Waterhouse is ready to treat you to an evening of his soulful stylings.
Triple Door (Downtown)


Mimosas Cabaret: A Boob Job For The Holi-Gays
Isabella Extynn, Ruby Bouché, and the rest of Mimosas Cabaret's usual suspects will get in the holiday spirit with a raucous brunch show set in Hooterville, where the Green Bitch is out to ruin Christmas for the Holi-Gays.
Unicorn (Capitol Hill)



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 (Wednesday-Saturday)


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 (all week)

Warren Miller's Winter Starts Now
As another snowy season on the mountain approaches, skiers and snowboarders can get stoked with this celebration of Warren Miller's 72nd film.
McCaw Hall, Queen Anne (Friday-Saturday)


Mean Girls
A fish-out-of-water teenage nerd is tempted by a cruel high school clique in this musical based on the Tina Fey movie, with music by Jeff Richmond (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), lyrics by Nell Benjamin (Legally Blonde), and direction by Casey Nicholaw (The Book of Mormon).
Paramount Theatre, Downtown (Tuesday-Sunday)

Seattle Dance Collective: HERE & NOW
Seattle Dance Collective presents three new films created during the company's month-long residency on Vashon this past summer, which features new work by Robyn Mineko Williams, FLOCK, and Juliano Nunes. 
Online (all week)


United Indians Native Art Market
Discover clothing, jewelry, drums, and art from local Native makers, and watch Native performances.
Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center, Magnolia (Saturday-Sunday)


Imogen Cunningham: A Retrospective
The first major US retrospective of photographer Imogen Cunningham's work is coming to the Seattle Art Museum. It will feature 200 works from PNW-raised Cunningham's seven decade-long career including "portraits of artists, musicians, and Hollywood stars; elegant flower and plant studies; poignant street pictures; and groundbreaking nudes," says a press release from the museum. I flipped through the exhibition catalog and the show will be gorgeous. JAS KEIMIG
Seattle Art Museum, Downtown (Thursday-Sunday); opening


Julefest: a Nordic Christmas Celebration
The Nordic Museum has long hosted this winter celebration of the Yuletide (this will be the 44th year, in fact), but this will be the first Julefest in their new and improved space. Adults over 21 can enjoy a fully stocked Scandinavian bar, while the kids can enjoy arts, crafts, and a visit from Santa. Scoop up some Nordic prizes in the raffle or the silent auction.
National Nordic Museum, Ballard (Saturday-Sunday)

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 (all week)