The first full week of October is off to a fine start, with a plethora of interesting activities beckoning you out of the house. This week, we recommend everything from the Seattle Fresh Hop Beer Festival 2021 to Bianca Del Rio: Unsanitized to Ben Gibbard with special guest David Bazan. See them all below, or, for more ways to kick off the festive and cozy season, check out our guides to pumpkin patches and our 20 favorite coffee shops in town.
Fresh off the release of his 13th studio album, Imaginary, "samurai guitarist" Miyavi is now on what press materials say is the "largest world tour any Japanese artist has ever pulled off," with 40 shows in 20 countries.
Neumos, Capitol Hill
FOOD & DRINK
Virtual Author Talk: Cannelle et Vanille Bakes Simple by Aran Goyoaga
Local food blogger, photographer, cook, food stylist, and two-time James Beard Award finalist Aran Goyoaga has earned scores of fans from all over the world for her gorgeous images of food and simple, elegant cooking. At this event, she'll chat with pastry chef and writer Claire Saffitz (known for her popular Bon Appétit series "Gourmet Makes" and her cookbook Dessert Person) about her new book, Cannelle et Vanille Bakes Simple, which contains gluten-free recipes for cozy baked goods like double melting chocolate cookies, honeyed apple pie, buttery shortbread, baguettes, brioche, and more.
Book Larder, Fremont
Bianca Del Rio: Unsanitized
Drag Race season six winner and fan fave Bianca Del Rio is "vaxxed, waxed, and has more attitude than ever," which should make for some rip-roaring laughs in her brand new comedy tour Unsanitized. Del Rio is the first drag queen ever to headline London's Wembley Stadium, so you know she knows how to put on a show.
Moore Theatre, Belltown
READINGS & TALKS
Seattle Reads presents The Vanishing Half author Brit Bennett with Jazmyn Scott
Each year, the Seattle Public Library invites the public to read and discuss a single book—this year, it's Brit Bennett's The Vanishing Half, about two twin sisters from the South who lead very different lives with different racial identities. Tonight, the author will discuss the book along with LANGSTON program manager Jazmyn Scott.
Silvia Moreno-Garcia — Velvet Was the Night
The author of Mexican Gothic and Gods of Jade and Shadow will speak about her new book, "an edgy, simmering historical novel for lovers of smoky noirs and anti-heroes."
Seattle Symphony: Rachmaninov Symphonic Dances
The Seattle Symphony, violinist Anne Akiko Meyers, and conductor Giancarlo Guerrero will take audiences through the stunning Symphonic Dances, which evoke "church bells and Russian Orthodox chants — the composer reminiscing about his homeland."
Benaroya Hall, Downtown
Social Justice Film Festival 2021
This film festival highlights fierce and powerful progressive movements around the world. As social justice provides the only throughline, many of the movies have little in common. But the selection skews toward limber, on-the-ground filmmaking in the midst of protests and conflicts. This edition's theme is "Activate Refuge" and will be presented entirely virtually. See documentaries about, among other topics, unemployment during the pandemic, indigenous people living with HIV, a pair of journalists' search for disappeared people in Mexico, and more. There will also be panel talks and a filmmaker happy hour.
READINGS & TALKS
Amor Towles with John Grisham
Internationally praised author Towles' second book, A Gentleman in Moscow, was once a semi-permanent fixture on the best-sellers shelf at Elliott Bay Book Company, so it's no surprise that they're the Seattle hosts for this virtual event, co-presented with other West Coast booksellers. Towles will be speaking about his new book, The Lincoln Highway, a coming-of-age story about a 1950s road trip, along with ever-popular legal thriller writer John Grisham.
FOOD & DRINK
Virtual Author Talk: Modernist Pizza by Francisco Migoya and Nathan Myhrvold
Chef Francisco Migoya and Nathan Myrhvold, co-authors of the James Beard Award-winning tome Modernist Bread, have applied their notoriously obsessive research methods and experimentation to a new topic: pizza. After spending four years researching, traveling thousands of miles, and sampling over 400 pizzas across the country, their 1,708-page treatise on the topic, which spans three volumes and a recipe manual, is finally here. Migoya will talk about the comprehensive new book and field questions on Crowdcast. By registering, you'll also be entered for a chance to win the $425 Modernist Pizza box set.
Book Larder, Fremont
BOWIEVISION "8th Anniversary Show" with Jealous Dogs
BowieVision are a well-regarded local seven-piece of Bowie appreciators/musicians (led by singer Stefan Mitchell) who deliver note-perfect, showmanship-savvy selections spanning from earlier career cuts (“Space Oddity,” “The Man Who Sold the World”) to 1970s and ’80s era jams (“Young Americans,” “Fame,” “Ziggy Stardust,” “Modern Love,” “China Girl,” “Let's Dance”) to 1995’s “I’m Afraid of Americans” (which is so relatable). And there are, indeed, some deep cuts! "Beauty and the Beast," "Slow Burn," "Never Get Old," "New Killer Star," "Slip Away," and "Boys Keep Swinging" among them. They even tap a few tracks off Bowie's brilliant swan song, Blackstar ("I Can’t Give Everything Away" and "Lazarus"), and manager Jeff Mosier has assured me that both will be played at this birthday party. I'm duly impressed. Should be a grand old time. LEILANI POLK
The Front Bottoms
This New Jersey quartet make instantly appealing indie rock featuring a singer whose easily decipherable lyrics and world-weary, blunt delivery could lure in some Protomartyr fans—although the Front Bottoms’ music may be a bit too cheerful for those grumps. Whatever the case, the all-too-relatable social situations and punchy melodies of the Front Bottoms’ songs should get fists pumping this show. DAVE SEGAL
Neptune Theatre, University District
FOOD & DRINK
Seattle Fresh Hop Beer Festival 2021
This festival features an extensive selection of fresh hop beers from around the Northwest, in addition to food trucks, games, competitions, an awards ceremony, and even a dog costume contest.
Magnuson Park Hangar 30, Sand Point
Seattle Water Lantern Festival
Write a message or make a drawing on an LED lantern, then watch it drift across Green Lake in a sea (or in this case, lake) of lights. Before the launch, enjoy food trucks, live music, and family activities.
Seattle Public Theater, Green Lake
New Order, Pet Shop Boys
Writing about New Order at this point in musical history feels a bit superfluous: "Blue Monday" remains the biggest-selling 12-inch of all time, its inescapable melody familiar to everyone from the black eyeliner crowd to businessmen dozing off on their 11-hour flight to Hong Kong. Formed in the wake of Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis's suicide, New Order traded in that group's morose post-punk for a keyboard-and-drum-machine-based synth-pop sound, in the process inventing a whole new vocabulary for both dance music and pop. Suddenly you could be goth, romantic, mod, or glow-stick-wielding rave kid, and all get down to the same thing. Throughout it all, New Order have stuck to their guns, refusing to become a casino-gigging legacy act and remaining vital performers. Their importance to modern music can't be overstated, and if I need to tell you that, then you have some catching up to do. Consider this show remedial homework. KYLE FLECK
Gorge Amphitheatre, George
Seattle Pride: All Together Now
Seattle Pride is throwing a big party right before National Coming Out Day with several of our favorite local LGBTQIA+ performers, including Chong the Nomad and Betty Wetter. There will also be food trucks, drag queen bingo, an "alcohol garden," COVID vaccines, and more.
Volunteer Park, Capitol Hill
READINGS & TALKS
Bushwick Book Club: Nnedi Okorafor’s “Akata Witch”
The Bushwick Book Club brings literature to life through original music performed by local artists. This edition will focus on Nigerian American sci-fi author Nnedi Okorafor, whose work featured on The Stranger's prescient reading list for the end of the world in 2019—specifically, Akata Witch, sometimes referred to as "the Nigerian Harry Potter."
Town Hall, First Hill
Seattle Made Week 2021
Not only do local producers and manufacturers make cool stuff, but they also create jobs and allow our region to rely less on the global economy. Seattle Made’s annual celebration of local makers features a week of pop-ups, meet-the-maker events, workshops, and tours of places like the Theo Chocolate Factory, Glassybaby, and Oola Distillery. You can also purchase a curated Taste of Seattle box or a wellness kit.
Princess Nokia is the early-2000s cell-phone-inspired moniker of Destiny Frasqueri. After dabbling in some other projects in the early 2010s, Frasqueri settled on Princess Nokia in 2014, using it as an alter ego to channel the multidimensional aspects of herself. Princess Nokia raps about her experiences growing up in New York—she’s confrontational and totally unafraid to say how she’s feeling (see: “Tomboy” and “Brujas”).
Showbox Sodo, SoDo
Seattle Latino Film Festival
This 13th annual Seattle festival of Chicanx and Latinx cinema will feature both in-person and online screenings of films from almost 20 countries. Highlights include the documentary LA Quinceañera, Brazilian thriller The Fall, and Mexican rom-com Modern Love. Don't miss opening night at the Seattle Asian Art Museum, where the Uruguayan comedy The Broken Glass Theory will premiere and Honduran-American actor Dennis Mencia (Jane the Virgin, Infiltrators) will MC.
Ark Lodge Cinemas, Columbia City (Friday–Sunday)
Thin Skin, the newest brainchild of The Stranger's resident filmmaker/philosopher Charles Mudede, is a "music-infused, darkly comedic true story about keeping it together when you’re falling apart." It stars co-writer Ahamefule J. Oluo (a frequent Mudede collaborator and lauded jazz musician and storyteller) as a corporate underling on the heels of a broken marriage who finds solace in late-night sets at a jazz club. Friday's screening will feature a pre-show solo performance from Oluo and a post-show Q&A, so don't miss it.
SIFF Cinema Egyptian, Capitol Hill (Friday–Sunday)
The Seattle International Film Festival’s inaugural DocFest is celebrating all things documentary with the grand reopening of the SIFF Cinema Egyptian. With a combination of virtual and in-person screenings, it’s a wonderful way to welcome back one of the city's greatest theaters.
SIFF Cinema Egyptian, Capitol Hill (Monday–Thursday)
20th Annual Dungeness Crab & Seafood Festival
Port Angeles's nationally recognized crab extravaganza, which boasts the claim to fame of having been featured in a question on Jeopardy!, offers copious crustaceans, as well as specials from local restaurants, a Dungeness crab dinner, a chowder cook-off, cooking demonstrations, local beer and wine, craft vendors, live music, arts and crafts, a 5K fun run, and more.
Port Angeles (Friday–Sunday)
Leavenworth Oktoberfest Markt
Leavenworth is switching up the format of its annual Oktoberfest extravaganza in favor of a festive "street fair vibe," with 100 local artists, vendors, and artisans for the first three weekends in October. In addition, you can expect classic German food, souvenirs, and a "kinderplatz" area for kids.
A Nightmare on Wall Street
As a spooky-season tradition, Belltown’s award-winning tiki bar Navy Strength temporarily transforms into a “fully immersive haunting experience" each October, with libations inspired by classic and modern horror flicks. Staff will dress up in costumes, and there will be a different theme this week if you want to join in. Frightening horror-film soundtracks contribute to the spine-chilling milieu. This year's lineup includes cocktails inspired by Sleepaway Camp, It, Carrie, The Babadook, Nightmare on Elm Street, Jaws, and more, available for both takeout and dine-in.
Navy Strength, Belltown (Daily)
Jesus Christ Superstar
It's the 50th anniversary of Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical, perhaps his very best, about the pressures of divinity amongst humanity. This traveling Broadway production won the 2017 Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival.
Paramount Theatre, Downtown (Tuesday–Sunday)
Benjamin Gibbard with special guest David Bazan
If you spent the first few weeks of Seattle's initial lockdown tuning in to Death Cab for Cutie frontman Ben Gibbard's daily livestreamed performances, you'll be happy to learn that he'll be churning out soft indie gems on a live stage soon. Pedro the Lion's David Bazan will warm up the crowd.
The Showbox, Downtown (Saturday–Sunday)
Booker T Jones
This show should be mandatory for the entire PacNW, ’cause Mr. Booker T. Jones is a bona-fide heavy! He was THE understated, always cool, conservative, and concise Hammond organ player for the Stax house band Booker T. & the M.G.’s. Y’all might recognize their classic “Green Onions”—a song that, in less than three minutes, perfectly distills the moment when rock and roll and R&B met. Jones’s musical reach can’t be overstated. Anyway, I bet he’ll play “Green Onions” along with his many well-loved Stax tracks and cuts off his most recent outing, 2019’s Note by Note—so yeah, you should be there! MIKE NIPPER
Triple Door, Downtown (Friday–Saturday)
Come on In | Faye Driscoll
As part of this truly one-of-a-kind "experiential exhibition"—which includes a space "awash with ambient sound, plush carpet, and pulsating light"—you'll be asked to take off your shoes and lie down on provided beds. You'll then "enter a state of repose and listen to individual soundtracks of Driscoll’s voice that guide [your] experience through a series of prompts and subtle directives." The goal is to reflect on "power and presence, yearning and absence, and... to reconceive our body and its limits."
On the Boards, Queen Anne (Friday–Sunday)