June is here, which means summer has (basically) arrived! Most of the things you normally do inside you can now do outside, from concert-going to movie-watching to late-night snacking. As we do every month, we've compiled the biggest events you need to know about in every genre, from the Seattle Pride Parade to the Fremont Solstice Fair, from the Vashon Sheepdog Classic to the Georgetown Carnival, and from Wicked to Wu-Tang Clan. Plus, you'll find ways to celebrate this month's major holidays, like Father's Day and Juneteenth. If all of that isn't enough, you can also look ahead to the rest of this year's big events, see our list of cheap & easy year-round events, or check out our complete Things To Do calendar.
- Ballard Jazz Festival 2019
- Don't Call It a Riot!
- Summer Solstice Beer Festival
- HONK! Fest West
- Bite of Greece 2019
At this free festival, stuff yourself with gyros, slow-roasted lamb sandwiches, grilled souvlaki, Greek salad, spanakopita, and other authentic Mediterranean delights prepared by the community of the Greek Orthodox Church of the Assumption. Pair your eats with a cold Mythos beer or Greek wine, and enjoy a marketplace, dancing, music, and special performances. Cap it all off with pastries like baklava with hot coffee or a Greek-style iced frappe. JULIANNE BELL
- Themes and Variations
- Pass Over
- Talk of the Town: Welcome Home
- Inscape Arts Bash
- Anna Banana Milk Fund Fundraiser
- Charles Smith's Third Annual Jet City Rosé Experience
- Brandi Carlile, Emmylou Harris, Neko Case
- Joe Russo's Almost Dead
- New Kids on the Block, Salt-N-Pepa, Tiffany, Debbie Gibson, Naughty by Nature
- Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard: Live!
- Annual San Juan Island Artists’ Studio Tour 2019
- Seattle Mariners 2019 Home Games
Seattle's MLB team's 2019 home season includes games this month against the Los Angeles Angels (June 1–2), Houston Astros (June 3–6), Kansas City Royals (June 17–19), and Baltimore Orioles (June 20–23).
- Look How Far We've Come: A Queer Art Show 902 Feet in the Air
- Jane Wong: After Preparing the Altar, the Ghosts Feast Feverishly
- Author Talk: Pok Pok Noodles by Andy Ricker
- Billie Eilish, Denzel Curry
- Big Backyard 5K
This annual 5K benefits all the public backyards (also known as parks) in King County. In honor of the event's 10th anniversary, there will also be a 10K option this year.
- Susan G. Komen More Than Pink Puget Sound Walk
- 'RuPaul's Drag Race' Season 11 Tour
- Neal Stephenson: Fall: or, Dodge in Hell
- Solmaz Sharif
- A R I Z O N A
- Imogen Heap
- Ronan Farrow
- Café Campagne’s 15th Annual Drink Pink!
- Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, RVG
- Vashon Sheepdog Classic
- Danses des Cygnes
- The Agitators
- Behold the Dreamers
- 'Dark Phoenix' Opening
- National Doughnut Day!
- Amanda Palmer
- Chromatics, Desire, In Mirrors
- Train, Goo Goo Dolls, Allen Stone
- Cherdonna's Hard Ca$h Cabaret
- Alice Smith
- Dead & Company
- Seaprog 2019
- Seattle International Dance Festival 2019
- RELISH Seattle
- 'War in Heaven' and 'The Waste Land'
- The Champagne Widow
- Legend of El Dorado
- Georgetown Carnival
- Lard Butt 1K Seattle
- Volunteer Park Pride Festival
- Brewshed Beer Fest
- Wynonna and The Big Noise
- Hannah Gadsby: Douglas
- St. Jude Rock 'n' Roll Seattle Marathon & 1/2 Marathon
- 'Book of Weirdo' Exhibition Featuring Peter Bagge
- Claire Partington: The Hunting Party
- 20/20: A 20th Anniversary Survey
- Angela Garbes: Like a Mother
- 2019 Furry 5K
- Seattle International Film Festival 2019
- Cowboy Junkies
- William Shatner
- Father John Misty, Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit, Jade Bird
- The Price Is Right Live
- Nick Murphy
- Rob Thomas, Abby Anderson
- NW New Works Festival 2019
- Victorian Radicals: From the Pre-Raphaelites to the Arts and Crafts Movement
- Theo Von: Dark Arts Tour
- 'Men in Black: International' Opening
- The Dead Don't Die
- Mudhoney, The Fucking Eagles, The Droves
- PNB NEXT STEP: Outside/In
- Eve Ensler: The Apology
- Robert Macfarlane: Underland
- Paradiso Festival
- 14th Annual Washington Brewers Festival
- Sweet Tooth Pop-Up
- Seattle Urban-X
- Patty Griffin
- RAIN: A Tribute to the Beatles
- Massive Monkees Day
- Elizabeth Gilbert: City of Girls
- Washington State Summer Con
- End of Day: American Oil Painting Around 1900
- Recent Acquisitions: Toyin Ojih Odutola
- Father's Day
- Atlas Obscura Society Seattle: An Insect Feast with The Bug Chef
- Duff McKagan, Shooter Jennings
- Indigo Girls, Sera Cahoone
- Kishi Bashi, Takenobu
- Lawrence Lessig: Fidelity and the American Constitution
- Summer Flavor Tasting
- Ludovico Einaudi
- Adam Gopnik: A Thousand Small Sanities
Juneteenth marks the anniversary of the abolition of slavery in the United States in 1865—the Emancipation Proclamation was signed into law in 1863, meaning some former Confederate states ignored Abe Lincoln’s executive order for more than two years—and as such, it’s a day to celebrate and learn about black culture in Seattle and around the world. See a full list of things to do—including the inaugural resource-sharing festival We Out Here—on our Juneteenth calendar.
- Aly & AJ, Armors, Jena Rose
- Larry June, Oranj Goodman
- Third Eye Blind, Jimmy Eat World, Ra Ra Riot
- James Ellroy: This Storm
- Author Talk: Every Day Is Saturday by Sarah Copeland
- Magnuson Park Night Market
- Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals, Earl Sweatshirt, Thundercat
- Ask Me Another
- Justin Vivian Bond: Summer Solstice Benefit Performance
- Ocean Vuong: On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous
- MagicFest Seattle
- Ted Chiang: Exhalation
- The Last World Octopus Wrestling Champion
- Chelsea Handler: Life Will Be the Death of Me...and You Too!
- 'Toy Story 4' Opening
- Judas Priest, Uriah Heep
- La Santa Cecilia
- Little River Band
- Wu-Tang Clan
- Ziggy Marley, Michael Franti & Spearhead
- Seattle Men's Chorus: Summer of '69
- Esther Povitsky
- Seattle Women's Pride 2019
- Seattle Outdoor Cinema
- Bill Callahan
- Coheed and Cambria, Mastodon, Every Time I Die
- Dave B, Jak Knight, U Moore
- David Gray
- Take Me Out
- Bacon Eggs & Kegs
- Fremont Fair
- Urban Craft Uprising 2019 Summer Show
- Lucinda Williams, Cass McCombs
- Sublime with Rome, SOJA, Common Kings
- Tiny Beautiful Things
- Seattle International Festival of Improv
- Cécile McLorin Salvant and Sullivan Fortner
- Jim James and Claypool Lennon Delirium
- Negroni Week
- Clarion West Presents: A Reading by Elizabeth Hand
- Mechanismus Festival
- The Allure of Matter: Material Art from China
- Jamila Woods
- Ed Levine: Serious Eater
- The Moth Seattle GrandSLAM
- Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back in Concert
- 'Yesterday' Opening
- Jeff Lynne's ELO, Dhani Harrison
- Lyle Lovett & His Large Band
- BeautyBoiz Queer AF
- Trans Pride Parade
Gather with UW Q to celebrate the Seattle trans community with a neighborhood march for family, friends, and allies, followed by a fair in Cal Anderson Park.
READINGS & TALKS
- Charles Fishman: One Giant Leap
- Eric Church
- ACE Comic Con Seattle 2019
- Queer/Bar's Queer/Pride Festival
- Seattle Cheese and Meat Festival
- Rebelution, Collie Buddz, Durand Jones & the Indications
- Santana, The Doobie Brothers
- Countess LuAnn and Friends
- PrideFest Capitol Hill
- Pride Is For Everyone 2019
- Seattle Sounders vs. Vancouver Whitecaps
Seattle's Major League Soccer team will play their only home season game this month against the team from our Canadian neighbor city.
- Artful Evening
- Arts in Nature Festival
- Dido, Ria Mae
- Greensky Bluegrass
- Seattle Pride Parade
MAY 29–JUNE 1FESTIVALS
The 17th Annual Ballard Jazz Festival, which highlights both the historic neighborhood and Seattle's vibrant jazz scene, is happening this year at locations including the Conor Byrne Pub and the Nordic Museum. Enjoy three days of live sets from local and national acts, a jazz walk down Ballard Avenue, and more.
MAY 30–JUNE 23PERFORMANCE
Local playwright Amontaine Aurore's new work, Don't Call It A Riot!, takes audiences on a tour of black activism in Seattle—from the beginnings of the Black Panther Party up to the WTO protests—as seen through the eyes of a character named Reed. Reed has to figure out how to raise a kid, maintain a relationship with her new husband, and build a burgeoning movement, all while the culture at large conspires against her at every turn. RICH SMITH
MAY 31–JUNE 1FOOD & DRINK
Ring in the new season by choosing from over 25 local and regional craft beers, ciders, seltzers, and more on tap, plus over 175 makers selling handmade wares.
MAY 31–JUNE 2FESTIVALS
FOOD & DRINK
This family-oriented festival gets you in on the brass, percussion, and street band "global renaissance." Twenty-five or more bands will jam in streets and parks around Seattle as they celebrate this democratic and ebullient musical genre.
MAY 31–JUNE 9PERFORMANCE
See masterpieces by George Balanchine (Theme and Variations and Tarantella), Jose Limon (The Moor's Pavane), and Price Suddarth (Signature) at this Pacific Northwest Ballet production.
MAY 31–JUNE 23PERFORMANCE
Antoinette Nwandu's Pass Over combines Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot with the biblical story of Exodus, and sets the whole thing in a world where two black guys, Moses and Kitch, cannot hang out on a sidewalk without getting harassed by a white cop. Spike Lee liked the play so much that he filmed a performance and screened it at Sundance to great acclaim. Chicago Sun-Times critic Hedy Weiss had a different take, which led to an uproar in the theater world. She generally praised the acting but slammed Nwandu for her "simplistic, wholly generic characterization of a racist white cop (clearly meant to indict all white cops)." She then criticized Nwandu for ignoring "black-on-black" crime. The theater world rightly flipped, and Nwandu responded in American Theatre, saying Weiss's review "perpetuates a toxic discourse in which black lives do not matter and white lives remain unburdened by the necessary work of reckoning with white privilege and the centuries-long legacy of violence by which it is secured." You'll get the chance to see Pass Over in Seattle under Tim Bond's direction. RICH SMITH
The doors of Town Hall's historic original home are reopening at last, and to celebrate they'll throw a cocktail party with a killer lineup. Look forward to live entertainment from their very first Artist-in-Residence, comedian and musician Ahamefule Oluo; music from experimental folk artist Tomo Nakayama; and dinner by James Beard Award winner John Sundstrom.
FOOD & DRINK
Join Inscape—the former U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service building that was turned into artist studios—for a night of live music (with acts like Whitney Ballen, Ah God, Spesh, drama Bahama, and the Fabulous Downey Brothers), local beer on tap, and food trucks.
Molly Moon's Ice Cream founder and CEO Molly Moon Neitzel's younger sister Anna, who loved milk, passed away in 2009. In her memory, the local ice cream parlor chain created the Anna Banana Milk Fund in 2011 to provide milk and dairy to the FamilyWorks food bank. Now, the fund is becoming an official nonprofit and will support food banks in all six neighborhoods with a Molly Moon's location. To celebrate, they're throwing a "milk and cookies" party with ice cream, milk, and cookies from Hello Robin, Hood Famous Bakeshop, Trophy Cupcakes, Theo Chocolate, Sugar + Spoon, Nuflours, Dahlia Bakery, and Smith Brothers.
Taste varieties of pretty-in-pink wine from 25 different wineries, including Charles Smith's CasaSmith ViNO Rosé, K Vintners Rosé, and Charles & Charles Rosé, dance and thrash to tunes from vet psychobilly trio Reverend Horton Heat, soulful experimental performance artist/rocker Har Mar Superstar, and KEXP DJ Kid Hops, and enjoy noshes from five food trucks. JULIANNE BELL
The experience of listening to Brandi Carlile’s 2018 album By The Way, I Forgive You is similar to that of listening to Carole King’s Tapestry or Bob Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks; it’s a little bit country, a little bit rock and roll, and a lot of hard truths about the human race. Carlile’s talents lie in her tone, a dusky alto that swims around confessions of heartbreak and lifelong efforts to love and be loved with the deftness of a much more senior troubadour. Her star has only recently begun to rise, but it’s her obvious staying power that’s impressive. KIM SELLING
My friends can’t stop talking about Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, aka JRAD, which was supposed to be a one-off show featuring interpretations of Grateful Dead songs but turned into a full-time touring powerhouse selling out shows nationwide. Joe Russo was originally the drums-and-percussion half of Benevento Russo Duo with Marco Benevento—also a member of JRAD—and his post-Duo efforts include work with Gene Ween, Cass McCombs, and Furthur, a Dead spin-off featuring Bob Weir and Phil Lesh. JRAD was conceived in 2013 after Russo’s stint with Furthur ended, and in addition to Benevento on keys, its current incarnation features Ween bassist Dave Dreiwitz, and Scott Metzger and Tom Hamilton on vocals and guitars. By all accounts, they put on an epic, must-see show—recognizable as Grateful Dead music, but with its own heavier bend and heady persuasions. LEILANI POLK
I was a closet non-fan of New Kids on the Block when they came bursting into my adolescent life more than three decades ago. I wasn’t all that into their shtick, but all my friends were, and it was just easier to squeak along with them than admit I just didn’t get it. The early boy band’s Mixtape Tour is a 30th anniversary celebration of Hangin’ Tough with some guests of the era. Tiffany and Debbie Gibson make sense—vanilla pop stars of the era with saccharine hits that were fine. (I still get a little teary-eyed when I hear “Lost in Your Eyes,” and “Electric Youth” is a jam.) But Naughty by Nature and Salt-N-Pepa feel kinda like head-scratchers, both renowned for nasty, down-and-dirty hiphop jamz. (“Push It”? “O.P.P.”? “Shoop”?). This should be a night of people-watching gold. LEILANI POLK
At least one Stranger staffer totally thought Dax Shepard and Zach Braff were the same person, but they're not—one major difference between them is that, unlike Braff, Shepard (who played Crosby on NBC's Parenthood) hosts a podcast called Armchair Expert, wherein he explores "the messiness of being human." Join him in Seattle for a live taping.
JUNE 1–2VISUAL ART
Head out to the lovely islands and tour 22 local artist studios, home to more than 50 creators, as they sell etchings, kaleidoscopes, garments, glass, and more.
JUNE 1–23SPORTS & RECREATION
JUNE 1–30VISUAL ART
Photographer, curator, and Stranger contributor Timothy Rysdyke has chosen works of art by fellow talented queers to grace a gallery high over the city. Check out pieces by the celebrated Anthony White, Billy Bacacalii, Casey Curren, Clyde Peterson, Coco Spadoni, Frank Correa, Gordan Christenson, Julian Pena, Kade Marsili, Lamb, Loren Othon, Mary Ann Carter, Sequoia Day O’Connell, Ralph Houser, and Stephen Miller.
JUNE 1–SEPT 1VISUAL ART
In her latest show, Give It or Leave It (which riffs off the phrase “take it or leave it”), black feminist multimedia artist Cauleen Smith emphasizes generosity and selflessness. She weaves together films, banners, and site-specific light installations from four distinct historical universes: Alice Coltrane and her Californian ashram, Bill Ray’s 1966 photo at Simon Rodia’s Watts Towers, Noah Purifoy and his desert assemblages, and spiritualist Rebecca Cox Jackson and her Shaker community in Pennsylvania. To Smith, these spaces embody a “spirit of speculation, self-determination, and radical generosity between artist and community.”JASMYNE KEIMIG
I love how poets use space. I think it has something to do with the way their minds wrap around words, arranging them into something familiar yet strange, that lends itself well to curating spaces. This will be poet and artist Jane Wong’s first solo exhibition. Exploring the themes of hunger and waste and their meaning for immigrant families, Wong’s show will consist of altars, sculpture poems, and belongings alongside texts that evoke her childhood in New Jersey where her parents ran a Chinese American restaurant. JASMYNE KEIMIG
JUNE 2FOOD & DRINK
Portland- and Brooklyn-based chef (and Instagram cat whisperer) Andy Ricker—whose Thai restaurant Pok Pok was named the eighth most important American restaurant by Bon Appétit in 2013 and whose empire has since expanded to include drinking vinegars and charcoal logs—has earned a devoted fan following for his insightful voice. In his newest book, Pok Pok Noodles, he shares recipes for comforting, slurpable dishes like fried noodles, noodle soups, and khanom chin alongside beautiful photography from his travels. JULIANNE BELL
SPORTS & RECREATION
Her sultry, silky, dulcet vocals have an old-soul quality, and her songwriting feels catchier and more mature than her 17 years would suggest. Which is likely why LA pop maker Billie Eilish has jetted to the top of charts worldwide with five singles off her debut full-length, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, that preceded its release (it peaked at No. 1 in 20 countries, and debuted at the top of our own Billboard 200, with the third-largest streaming numbers for an album by a female artist ever). She’s like the American version of Lorde, but her music belongs more on the late-night spectrum with dark, moody, grooving and thumping production qualities. LEILANI POLK
Seattle will be one of 26 locations across the country participating in the new More Than Pink Walk, a new and improved version of the ever-popular Race for the Cure, which will champion the goal of reducing the number of breast cancer deaths by 50 percent.
READINGS & TALKS
Watch the Season 11 queens strut their stuff and show off their wildest looks.
It feels like Neal Stephenson has been around forever—or at least for as long as I’ve been reading science-fiction, cyberpunk, and speculative fiction. (My first intro was one of his early works, the coming-of-age intrigue of The Diamond Age: or, A Young Lady's Illustrated Primer.) He’s won numerous awards, made the New York Times best-seller list many times (for Seveneves, Anathem, Reamde, Cryptonomicon, and The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O.), and will be in town behind his latest, Fall: or, Dodge in Hell, a sci-fi thriller about an afterlife of sorts in which humans continue to exist as digital souls. LEILANI POLK
Unless you're getting your news from Democracy Now!, or you have family in the Middle East/Central America/Afghanistan, or you're detained in a tent at the border, the disastrous consequences of America's foreign policy may be escaping your daily life. But that news stays news in Solmaz Sharif's Look, a finalist for the 2016 National Book Award and one of the best books of contemporary poetry published in the 21st century. Look shows us how easy and seductive it is for people to see others as objects, enemies, or props to generate fear for the sole purpose of gaining a small bit of power. It shows us how governments use language to achieve those ends, and it offers a different kind of language that we might use to short-circuit that mechanism. Don't miss this Seattle Arts & Lectures event. RICH SMITH
Despite their name, the members of electro-dance-pop trio A R I Z O N A are in fact from New Jersey. They'll come to Seattle with their summery tunes.
READINGS & TALKS
She’s more than an early-aughts obsession! Over the past decade, Imogen Heap has written the soundtrack for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, helped produce Taylor Swift’s album 1989, and cofounded Live 4 X, an online charitable concert series. Her current tour serves to launch a project called Creative Passport, a music-sharing system designed to promote fairer pay and contract standards for artists. But the most enthralling part of this Moore Theatre performance will likely be the use of her high-tech Mi.Mu gloves, which turn hand gestures into music (and are currently on sale for a cool $2,800). AJ DENT
Somehow, in the middle of helping to redefine the way journalists report on sexual assault, Ronan Farrow finished up a book about the decades-long decline of American influence around the world. In War on Peace: The End of Diplomacy and the Decline of American Influence, Farrow, who worked for Barack Obama's State Department for several years, takes a look back at American diplomacy through the eyes of the weary and disaffected public servants who saw their dreams of working toward peace darken as administrations cut budgets and closed embassies. As he tracks America's turn toward isolationism following the end of the Cold War, Farrow shows how another world power—China—is filling the diplomatic gaps the United States is leaving open. RICH SMITH
JUNE 6FOOD & DRINK
The French rosé will be flowing while Chef Daisley Gordon serves up Provence-inspired street food.
Australian five-piece Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever have received recent acclaim thanks to their Sub Pop EP release, French Press. Glowing reviews from Spin, Stereogum, and Pitchfork have all praised their snappy riffs, clever wordplay, and precise instrumentals.
The only thing better than taking the ferry to Vashon Island is the promise of seeing athletic Border Collies chase adorable ruminant creatures around a field. In addition to the competition, this annual herding extravaganza—now in its 10th year—brings local fare, a spirit garden, a fiber arts village, bagpipe performances, shearing demos, and more to the charming island. Celebrity animal behaviorist Temple Grandin was the special guest a couple years back, but this time you can look forward to a visit from zoologist and author Patricia McConnell, who you may have heard doling out expert advice to dog and cat owners on her radio show Calling All Pets. If you need even more incentive to go, know that all proceeds from Thursdays pay-what-you-can tickets will benefit the Vashon Community Food Bank.
Natascha Greenwalt and Coriolis Dance's Danses des Cygnes has already been performed as a work-in-progress at the Seattle International Dance Festival. Now, you can see the finished production, a reversal of Swan Lake that emphasizes female power.
Concerns about the intersectionality of civil rights movements is not a new phenomenon, as Mat Smart's dramatization of the longtime friendship between Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass will attest. Anthony and Douglass hung out on weekends at a farm in Rochester, New York, for several decades. While both civil rights leaders supported voting rights for women and black men, they butted heads on timing. Anthony thought women should get the right to vote before black men. Douglass thought men would grant women suffrage, but only after black men got the vote. Considering the fact that America has clearly achieved universal suffrage, I'm sure the conversation between these two great thinkers won't at all resonate with current conversations about the best strategies for securing inalienable rights for all. But it's worth a go on the off-chance that it does. And, if not, watching Douglass (played by Reginald André Jackson, who's fresh off his incredible performance of Capulet in ACT's Romeo and Juliet) intellectually duke it out with Anthony (played by Carol Roscoe) under Valerie Curtis-Newton's direction will be worth the price of admission. RICH SMITH
A small Cameroonian family is trying to make it in America when the economy takes a dive. Imbolo Mbue's novel (which the author will read from on June 7) will be adapted for the stage by Myra Platt, who'll also direct.
FOOD & DRINK
Jean Grey (Sophie Turner) begins to turn into an insanely powerful and destructive being, and the other Marvel heroes have to weigh her life against the entire world's welfare.
National Doughnut Day was originally created to honor the Salvation Army volunteers who distributed doughnuts to soldiers during World War I. You can, and should, get your fill of glazed goods and yeasted treats at many spots around town today—including Top Pot, which will have the biggest doughnut-eating contest in the city.
Amanda Palmer, the cabaret punk star who is also known for writing bad poetry about the Boston Marathon bombings, will perform a night of new music from her first solo album in over six years, THERE WILL BE NO INTERMISSION.
Though I'm sure they'd be annoyed to hear me say it, Chromatics always felt like the closest I'd ever get to the amphetamine genius of the Fall's infancy. Like the Fall, they sounded like nothing at all--not in the sense that they were without parallels, but insomuch as their sound was that of an absence--a propellant, ominous nothing that relied more on what it lacked than what it held. A word like "minimalist" seems fitting in form, but it hardly does justice to their powerful, ghostly gestalt--like Mark E. Smith's bitter nothings--those impossible gaps that held such compelling respiration. ZAC PENNINGTON
Veterans of the Nashville scene, poppy folk duo Amanda Sudano and Abner Ramierez make waves as Johnnyswim. Their recent album, Georgica Pond, keeps the sweet melodies of hyped acts like the Lumineers, “millennial woo” and all, but never lose sight of the confessional songwriting core at the heart of the Americana tradition. JOSEPH SCHAFER
Nondescript radio rockers Train will share their posi alt vibes with a gorge full of '90s revivalists, as well as their tour partners, rock legends the Goo Goo Dolls and soul/R&B singer Allen Stone.
Help raise cash for Cherdonna Shinatra's DONNA troupe by getting boozy, eating snacks, and watching performances by the hosts plus Queen Shmooquan, Buttrock Suites, The Stranger's Christopher Frizzelle, and others.
Talented vocalist Alice Smith takes on jazz, blues, rock, pop, soul, and R&B in her sultry and intoxicating work.
SPORTS & RECREATION
For whatever reason, John Mayer catalyzed a folksy rebirth of American music in order to relive all of jam band extraordinaire the Grateful Dead's best moments. The whole crew will be present for two long nights in Central Washington.
In this 24-hour outdoor adventure race, teams of two to six earn points by submitting challenges (which range from watching a sunrise to mailing a postcard to a senator to catching a fish) to the Questival app. When it's over, prizes will be awarded to the top teams.
Progressive rock refuses to die! That’s right, folks: Dennis Rea and company’s Seaprog fest offers three days of all the key-change blizzards, tempo-shift typhoons, arcane meters, in-your-face-down-your-esophagus soloing, and hymns to the ethereal a solitary consciousness could possibly snork. Seaprog 2019 artists will include Yesod, Dust Mice, TROOT, Moon Letters, District 97, Trettioariga Kriget, and many more. ANDREW HAMLIN
For 16 days, dancers from around the world (and some local stars) will perform in indoor and outdoor venues, brought to you by this long-running festival organized by Khambatta Dance and Cornish College of the Arts. This year, the international guests will be Alessandra Corona Performing Works and Equilibrio Dinamico, Tchekpo Dance Company with Elisabeth Masé, Tara Brandel, and Sumeet Nagdev Dance Arts; they'll perform alongside Seattle dance troupes like HYPERNOVA and Arc as well as other American companies like ka●nei●see | collective (San Francisco) and Molissa Fenley and Company (NYC). Some events will be free and all-ages. The focus is on innovation and diversity—expect to be inspired and occasionally unnerved. RICH SMITH
JUNE 7–29VISUAL ART
Locally cherished artists like Anthony White, Electric Coffin, Brandon Vosika, Blake Blanco, Mary Coss, Drie Chapek, and many others are featured at this show presented by RELISH magazine. Buy their work and pick up a copy of RELISH, and head to the closing reception to meet the curator.
ACTLab and New City Theatre have teamed up to stage two short masterpieces, Sam Shepard's War in Heaven (about an innocent angel who crashes to Earth and witnesses societal turmoil) and T.S. Eliot's poem The Waste Land. New City's Mary Ewald plays both the angel and Eliot's myriad characters. Directed by John Kazanjian.
Opal Peachey and Annastasia Workman's brand-new musical, paired with a four-course meal by Erin Brindley and a champagne flight, should be a tasty summer treat. Peachey will star as the quintessential "Champagne Widow," introducing you to Veuve Clicquot, Veuve Pommery, Veuve Bollinger, and Veuve Laurent-Perrier and their indomitably bubbly spirits as they go into the champagne business.
JUNE 7–SEPT 29PERFORMANCE
Three women on a summer trip turn into sexy, fishnetted robbers on motorcycles in the cozy Can Can cabaret's latest production, featuring all-new choreography and a soundtrack with singing by Brent Amaker.
The wonderfully gritty and industrial backdrop of Seattle’s oldest neighborhood will get awash with color as carnival games, Hazard Factory’s power tool drag races, live music, beer gardens, arts and crafts, and vendors take over Airport Way South for the Georgetown Carnival, the annual bulked-up version of the monthly Georgetown Art Attack. Live acts this year include Spencer Moody and the Blind Seekers, Seattle Drum School, Girl Trouble, and Knights of Trash, just to name a few. While you’re there, be sure to check out the Recycled Arts Festival, which features a fashion show, a sculpture garden, a roundup of artsy cars, and an art market of rescued resources.
With the "below-average" athlete in mind, the Lard Butt 1K replaces boring water stations with doughnut stations every 250 meters along its 0.62-mile course. There's also a beer, cider, and mimosa garden at the finish line, and proceeds benefit the University District Food Bank.
FOOD & DRINK
For another year, a slew of local bands will set the tone for Pride month with a full day of live sets at Volunteer Park. This year's lineup is stacked, with acts like fierce speed queens Thunderpussy, singer-songwriter J GRGRY, alt-soul artist and former busker Whitney Mongé, neo-soul/funk hero Sassyblack, and many others lighting up the bill.
Tipple over 40 beers from local breweries and help out the Washington Wild environmental nonprofit, which helps establish permanent wilderness and wild and scenic river designations.
It’s been pretty dark lately, huh? Weeks (months, years…) of deeply impactful, negative news plastered everywhere you look can really drag a person down. I think we all deserve to feel lighter, more mobile, more buoyed by the season. Tacocat can raise you to that level. I’ve been attending their shows for a decade now, and I can attest to the health benefits of witnessing their neon-candy punk-pop explode through an ecstatic crowd. Join them for a wild night out, and don’t forget your party outfit—these bands will surely be decked out in some Technicolor fantasy looks. KIM SELLING
Nashville country singing legend, famous redhead, and musical force of nature Wynonna Judd will throw down all the classics and some tracks from her latest release with her backing troupe the Big Noise.
SPORTS & RECREATION
Stranger writer Katie Herzog has praised the Tasmanian comic Hannah Gadsby for her "strange, affecting, and exceedingly vulnerable" Netflix special Nanette. Now Gadsby is back with new material in a show called Douglas, so-called in honor of her dog.
Whether you choose to run a 5K, half marathon, or full marathon, you'll get to enjoy live bands, DJs, drum lines, and other musical entertainment to keep you going along the way. Plus, you'll be supporting St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
JUNE 8–JULY 10VISUAL ART
This exhibit at alternative comics bookstore and gallery Fantagraphics is held in honor of the release of The Book of Weirdo: A Retrospective of R. Crumb's Legendary Humor Comics Anthology. The book’s focus is Weirdo, the Robert Crumb-helmed comics anthology series that was published from the early ’80s to 1993, acted as a “low art” counterpoint to the modern higher-brow Raw, and tapped the talents of a wide swath of untraditional cartoonists. Among those was Peter Bagge, who was featured in Weirdo, then served as its editor for three years. (You know Bagge from memorable satires in exaggerated cartoon form, like his Pacific Northwestern-set Apocalypse Nerd, about two average dudes trying to survive in a world destroyed by nuclear fallout, or maybe Hate, one of the best-selling alternative comics of the 1990s, which featured antihero Buddy Bradley as the slacker hipster mouthpiece of Generation X.) Bagge is also among Book of Weirdo’s three editors, and works related to the anthology and book will presumably be on display alongside other Weirdo artists. LEILANI POLK
JUNE 8–JULY 27VISUAL ART
Fresh off the debut of her two-year installation Taking Tea in the Porcelain Room at the Seattle Art Museum, British ceramicist Claire Partington is back in Seattle showing new work. Instead of focusing on the tea trade, her Winston Wächter exhibit is a playful dissection and sendup of a European hunting party. Each figure in the group has a removable head that can be swapped with an animal one (bear, warthog, etc.). And the Roman goddess of the hunt, Diana, is depicted with gold hoops and pubes to match. Partington’s work is equal parts exquisite, fun, timeless, and modern. JASMYNE KEIMIG
JUNE 8–AUG 17VISUAL ART
Twenty artists—among them Viola Frey, Akio Takamori, Fay Jones, and Mary Anne Peters—who've participated extensively in the James Harris Gallery's 20-year history are celebrated in this anniversary exhibition.
JUNE 9READINGS & TALKS
SPORTS & RECREATION
One of the finest writers who ever worked at this newspaper, Angela Garbes (author of “The More I Learn About Breast Milk, the More Amazed I Am,” the 2015 story that broke our website’s traffic records) presents her first book, an investigative reflection on an aspect of childbirth that receives surprisingly little attention from the medical establishment or the baby book publishing industry: the mental and physical health of the mother. "Your OB will cautiously quote statistics, online sources will scare you with conflicting and often inaccurate information, and even the most trusted books will offer information with a heavy dose of judgment," Garbes writes. SEAN NELSON
You and your dog can help raise money for the Seattle Animal Shelter Foundation's Help the Animals fund at their annual Furry 5K fundraiser.
THROUGH JUNE 9FESTIVALS
The 45th annual Seattle International Film Festival is the largest film festival in the United States, with more than 400 films (spread over 25 days) watched by around 140,000 people at nine theaters across the city. It's impressively grand and one of the most exciting and widely attended arts events Seattle has to offer. Top films this month include Carmen & Lola, Halston, International Falls, Late Night, The Farewell on closing night, and many others.
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. Cowboy Junkies are now celebrating 30 years together as a band. Cheers to that. JASMYNE KEIMIG
JUNE 10READINGS & TALKS
Find out what William "Not-Really-James-T.-Kirk" Shatner has to say about his life and career in film, television, music, and publishing as well as, possibly, his allegedly bronyism. (Okay, he might not actually touch on that last one.)
Three things I’ll give Papa John: he’s got a voice like an aged oak barrel, spot-on cool uncle dance moves, and an excellent head of hair. Other than that, his swirling cult of personality is a bit much for me — as it stands in its current form of traveling-preacher-bard-probably-axed-from-the-Big-Fish-script. His 2017 effort, Pure Comedy, comes up against that classic thematic crossroads of utilizing memory versus instilling nostalgia — as expressive and plainspoken-poetic as Tillman’s work can be, it falls so heavily on the sword of nostalgia, it prevents itself from making anything memorable. The problem with too much nostalgia is that its very existence prevents newness and growth, and allows only for music to be made about what straight white people would refer to as “a simpler time.” He touches on that point in “Leaving LA” by invoking “another white guy, 2017 / who takes himself so seriously,” but then writes solely from that perspective for the entire album. Hopefully in his next piece, he can move from repeatedly mansplaining cultural irony to actual introspection. KIM SELLING
I'm recommending this show only for the opportunity to remind you that Bob Barker, at 95 years old, is still alive. The former host of The Price Is Right, a show where contestants spin a giant wheel and guess how much products cost so that television audiences essentially get hit with double the commercials, still walks this earth. In any event, comedian Drew Carey now hosts the show, and he's kind of funny for a libertarian—although the host for the touring iteration of Price is a TBA "celebrity guest" that apparently changes depending on the city. Go on there, guess $1 for everything, and try to win a jet ski. RICH SMITH
Nick Murphy has returned to his actual name after years of making swirling electro-soul under the name "Chet Faker." With a new album and an extensive tour, he'll continue to soundtrack elitist music festival after-parties the world over for years to come.
JUNE 12–JULY 7PERFORMANCE
Anticipate another return of the megapopular musical that presents another perspective on The Wizard of Oz.
Relive the most earnest moments and deeply alt sounds of the '90s and '00s with slick Matchbox 20 frontman Rob Thomas and opener Abby Anderson on their Chip Tooth tour.
As Rich Smith has written, once a year, "On the Boards transforms into an open studio for the most gifted theater-makers, dancers, and performance artists in the region." For their 36th edition, over a single weekend, the invited artists—among them Au Collective, Stranger Genius Award-winning HATLO, Arson Nicki, and Body Home Fat Dance—will grapple with some of the changes disrupting the Pacific Northwest.
JUNE 13–SEPT 8VISUAL ART
You may have seen Pre-Raphaelite paintings, those opulently romantic depictions of medieval lords and ladies that evoke a dreamy Middle Ages without grime and shit. This exhibition, featuring 145 paintings, crafts, sculptures, and more, focuses on the small group of artists who rebelled against the aesthetics of industrialization and drew on the past: Dante Gabriel Rossetti, John Everett Millais, William Holman Hunt, Edward Burne-Jones, and William Morris.
The host of the comedy podcast This Past Weekend has recently come out with a Netflix special, No Offense. He was voted Guest of the Year on The Fighter and the Kid in 2017.
F. Gary Gray, director of The Fate of the Furious and Straight Outta Compton, steers this resurrected franchise about secret agents who fight alien baddies and keep the very existence of extraterrestrials out of the news. Tessa Thompson stars as a new hire who teams up with Chris Hemsworth to take on the Hive, a particularly sinister (and body snatcher-y) alien threat. The trailer makes it seem as though it's aimed at pre-teens, but should have charm enough for anyone who likes their blocks busted (cinematically speaking).
So...Jim Jarmusch has made a deadpan zombie comedy? With Bill Murray, Adam Driver, and Chloë Sevigny as three underwhelmed cops and Iggy Pop, Carol Kane, Steve Buscemi, Tom Waits, RZA, and oh my god we can't even list all the indie darlings rounding out the cast? Yeah, you don't want to miss this.
When I think about Mudhoney, I always think about Citizen Dick. Matt Dillon’s fictional band in the 1992 grunge rom-com Singles parodies the Mudhoney hit “Touch Me I’m Sick” with a song called “Touch Me I’m Dick.” There’s a reason Cameron Crowe chose that song to poke fun at: Mudhoney are Sub Pop’s flagship band, and that 1988 single remains a fiery, headbanging classic. And so does the band. While so many groups associated with that six-letter G word have gone the way of Dillon’s long locks, Mudhoney have continued to shred with sinister distortion, Mark Arm’s piercing vocal howl, and plenty of feedback that never diminishes with each new album. Unlike Crowe’s film, Mudhoney aren’t a charmingly dorky time capsule—they’re a band that’s remained effortlessly cool and still totally rocks. ROBIN EDWARDS
READINGS & TALKS
The Pacific Northwest Ballet's annual showcase of new dance works will spread outside onto Seattle Center's yards. Outdoor performances are free to view from 6-7:30 pm, while indoor dances afterward—choreographed by Nancy Casciano, Christopher D’Ariano, Steven Loch, Amanda Morgan, Sarah Pasch, and Calista Ruat— are $25. Purple Lemonade Collective and REACH! (featuring Spectrum) will join the PNB's company for these site-specific and onstage performances.
"My vagina is pissed off!" begins one memorable diatribe in Eve Ensler's 1996 feminist theater classic The Vagina Monologues. In Ensler's new book, she deals with a less localized but no less urgent anger: the fury of women waiting for overdue apologies from their abusers—in Ensler's case, her own father.
We live for a geologically insignificant amount of time, so how can we think on the scale of nature? Robert Macfarlane will read from his Underland: A Deep Time Journey, a journey into myth, literature, and science that ranges from "Arctic sea caves" to "Bronze Age burial chambers" and from Parisian catacombs to a deep subterranean nuclear waste dump.
Paradiso is the PNW's premier festival of WUB-WUB-WUB, colloquially known as brostep, also called EDM, which is short for "electronic dance music" (you're welcome, grandpa). Headliners include Benny Benassi, Alison Wonderland, Kaskade, Elephante, and Skrillex. Trust that glow sticks will be wielded, hearts broken, and vape pens smoked.
JUNE 14–16FOOD & DRINK
Maximizers who thrive when presented with a dizzying array of choices should enjoy this festival from the Washington Beer Commission, which will offer 500 beers from more than 100 Washington brewers. Besides beer, there’s also a specialty root-beer garden for designated drivers and the 21-and-younger crowd to enjoy, plus food vendors, a kids' playground, and music and entertainment all weekend.
Sate your bottomless need for sweets at this South Lake Union pop-up, which will provide a selection of confections, including cookies, ice cream, macarons, doughnuts, pastries, and other sucrose-laden treats, from a range of artisan vendors.
Explore the city scavenger-hunt style by crossing off various checkpoints from your list. At the finish line, you'll be rewarded with pizza, beer, and prizes.
Chances are you've already heard the music of Patty Griffin. Her songs have been recorded by Emmylou Harris, Willie Nelson, Dixie Chicks, even Bette Midler. But you haven't really, truly experienced Griffin until you hear her perform her own stellar originals. And her fifth album, Children Running Through, is a perfect place to start, showcasing a voice as strong and versatile as her compositional chops. Griffin waxes jazzy on the opening "You'll Remember," lets loose with a fiery blues/gospel number on "Up the Mountain (MLK Song)"—which no less a personage, the King of Rock 'n' Soul Solomon Burke, recently cut, too—and whips through the kiss-off ditty "Getting Ready" with hell-raising fervor. She's every bit as gifted as any of her A-list patrons, and deserves just as much public recognition. KURT B. REIGHLEY
RAIN - A Tribute to the Beatles is a celebration of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band's 51st anniversary. In addition to early Beatles tunes, the show will highlight all the songs from Sgt. Pepper in a psychedelic multimedia performance.
English rock-hiphop-punk musician Yungblud (aka Dominic Harrison) makes "genre-bending protest songs" for the suburban teen.
READINGS & TALKS
Massive Monkees Day is a true Seattle institution that is both entertaining and drenched in positivity. The focal point of this breakdancing holiday arranged by Seattle’s legendary B-boy/B-girl crew Massive Monkees is the Pro Breaking Tour–sanctioned battle royale, which this year has moved to the Showbox. The world-class dancers (who will be traveling from all over North America, Asia, and Europe to compete) and the DJs who accompany them create an impressive musical/athletic spectacle, and the familial vibe that has helped to keep the breaking community intact runs strong throughout. TODD HAMM
Gilbert's career has been defined by one book: Eat, Pray, Love, a runaway bestseller about self-discovery and meeting her now ex-husband—the man she would, years later, end up leaving for Rayya Elias. She was wildly open about this development in her life, announcing on Facebook in September 2016 that she'd fallen in love with her best friend, who'd been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. Gilbert was a successful magazine writer before Eat, Pray, Love and has now written 10 books, including City of Girls, which comes out in June. The book, which is largely set in the 1940s, follows a 19-year-old Vassar dropout who gets involved in a major scandal in the New York theater world. It's light and—in typical Gilbert fashion—funny, but Gilbert wrote it from the depths of her grief over Elias's illness and death. KATIE HERZOG
Here you can meet a lineup of comic book creators, shop from vendors, visit interactive exhibits, and play all sorts of video games (not to mention LEGOs). Cosplay is most welcome.
JUNE 15–SEPT 29VISUAL ART
Around the turn of last century, American artists who enjoyed new prospects for travel and education were inspired by European masters and contemporaries to depict natural landscapes in their own land. This exhibition captures a particular moment in American history, in which painters were poised on modernity and mass industrialization and longed to capture the comforts and beauties bucolic countryside.
JUNE 15–DEC 8VISUAL ART
In Toyin Ojih Odutola’s portraits, skin moves, glows, shines, and radiates. The way she renders black skin—at the beginning of her career in ballpoint pen—gives her 2D drawings a dimension that I’ve never quite seen before. Her work is dynamic, beautiful, and challenging. The Frye recently acquired a suit of prints by the Nigerian born, New York-based artist and plans to show them in the inaugural exhibition of Recent Acquisitions. Though Odutola’s practice has expanded beyond ballpoint pens and into painting and printmaking, all of her work is informed by a sense of the tactile, the topographical, the subversive. JASMYNE KEIMIG
FOOD & DRINK
If you know a loving dad, be it your own or someone else's, this is a good day to show him your appreciation. Check out a full list of ways to celebrate in Seattle on our complete Father's Day calendar, including the 14th Annual Washington Brewers Festival and the Bell Harbor Classic Weekend.
David George Gordon (also known as the "Bug Chef") will whip up a creepy crawly feast of farm-raised mealworms, grasshoppers, and seasoned crickets, including insect-topped pizza and insect-based cocktails.
Ex-Guns N' Roses bassist and beloved PNW resident Duff McKagan will hit the stage with his backing band alongside a support set by Shooter Jennings.
Amy Ray and Emily Saliers are still Indigo Girls (the band's approaching 34!) and still folk-rockin'.
Multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter Kishi Bashi will perform music from his latest album Omoiyari, in which he reckons with the mass incarceration of Japanese Americans during WWII.
JUNE 17READINGS & TALKS
Famed legal scholar Lessig will present his new book Fidelity and Constraint, which is about the complex process of "translating," or interpreting, the very old, arguably outdated Constitution. Hopefully, you'll come away with an understanding of “fidelity to role”—" a practice by which judges determine if old ways of interpreting the Constitution have become illegitimate because they do not match up with the judge’s perceived role"—and other issues of constitutional limitations.
JUNE 18FOOD & DRINK
Be the first to try Molly Moon's upcoming flavors for summer, including pink lemonade, vegan "bumberberry," s'mores, lemon blueberry custard, peaches and cream, honey and cornbread, and more. Plus, the chain's head chef will demonstrate how to make their strawberry shortcake flavor.
READINGS & TALKS
Iconic Italian composer and pianist Ludovico Einaudi has topped the classical charts in 42 countries and recently released an album called Elements, which accompanied a video of him playing piano on an Arctic glacier. Before embarking on this North American tour, Einaudi additionally released a new seven-part album called Seven Days Walking (Decca Records/Universal).
Criticize him if you must, but Adam Gopnik, staff writer for the New Yorker, is a talented essayist, and he’s also a talented speaker. I saw him give a talk for Town Hall a year or two ago that was phenomenally arranged and presented, seemingly off-hand, undoubtedly practiced, edifying, funny, etc. (By the way, if you do decide to criticize Gopnik—for being an apologist of bourgeois culture or whatever your argument is—you should know Renata Adler beat you to it. She wrote a stirring, almost convincing takedown of his work in her stirring, almost convincing attempted takedown of the New Yorker itself, a strange and fascinating book called Gone.) Anyway, Gopnik. He’s good. CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE
Aly and AJ Michalka are a sisterly duo who were a part of the early '00s Disney Channel pantheon of smiling blondes in recurring cheerleader-girl-squad-escapade movie and TV roles who pursue a music career for no reason other than that they can. They're back on the scene under their original "Aly & AJ" moniker to celebrate the release of last year's EP, Ten Years.
Thraxxhouse-affiliated rapper and Bay Area maverick Larry June has appeared on notable Mackned releases and a seven-part mixtape series of his own, and excels in locating a bombastic Atlanta-hewn sound that promotes individuality above all else.
READINGS & TALKS
Led by Stephan Jenkins, '90s pop-alt rockers Third Eye Blind (or 3EB if you're a real fan) achieved wide success during a bizarre time in the post-grunge music scene. They performed at the 2016 Bumbershoot, and will return to Seattle again for a night of classic singles with early '00s pop-punk-emo-rock hybrid group Jimmy Eat World and mid-'00s college radio favorite Ra Ra Riot.
The best blurb for crime fiction patriarch James Ellroy's new novel probably comes from the man himself: "This Storm is chock-full of my trippingly trenchant crime shit, political shit, racial shit, cop shit, sex shit, and passionate men and women in love shit!!! It’s gonna bite the boogaloos of worldwide readers, en masse!!!!!" It's set in 1942 and concerns a corpse, a crooked vice cop, a Japanese forensics genius threatened by internment, a disgraced female Navy lieutenant, and a fascist officer who clash in Los Angeles in 1942.
JUNE 20FOOD & DRINK
Award-winning cookbook author and former Real Simple magazine food director Sarah Copeland will discuss her new book Every Day is Saturday, which provides inspiration on how to bring laidback weekend energy to your weeknight cooking, in conversation with local author and photographer Aran Goyoaga.
This evening market brings food truck fare and goods for sale from vendors.
Rapper, singer, producer, and instrumentalist Anderson .Paak infuses his style of hiphop with varied strains of '70s soul, gritty Americana, and lively funk for a whole new sound. He'll be joined by Earl Sweatshirt and Thundercat for this tour stop promoting his last two albums.
Experience NPR/WNYC's radio game show live with host Ophira Eisenberg, satirical musician Jonathan Coulton, and special VIP Nicole Byer of Nailed It and The Good Place.
READINGS & TALKS
One of the most critically acclaimed and awarded cabaret stars today, Justin Vivian Bond, will fill the evening with song, snark, and "real glamour."
When he toured with his recent collection of poetry, Night Sky With Exit Wounds, Ocean Vuong's powerful readings would turn roomfuls of cynical adults into crying children. His use of cinematic imagery in poetry was enthralling. The gentle intensity of his reading style was mesmerizing. And though he was writing about all the old subjects—loneliness, family, pain—every poem seemed fresh and alive. Expect similar results with his first foray into fiction, On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous, which centers on a son writing a letter to his illiterate mother. The book seems like a fictional extension of the incredible personal essay he published in the New Yorker, "A Letter To My Mother That She Will Never Read." Vuong's mother couldn't read, but he expresses himself best through writing. The piece explores the ways in which language shapes our identities and limits (or enhances) our ability to communicate. "I am writing because they told me to never start a sentence with because. But I wasn’t trying to make a sentence—I was trying to break free," he writes. RICH SMITH
Attention, Magic the Gathering players: Don't miss your chance to geek out over your favorite card game with a whole weekend of tournaments.
JUNE 20 & 25-26READINGS & TALKS
The lauded recent sci-fi film Arrival was based on Ted Chiang's short fiction "Story of Your Life," which combined a gorgeously nerdy and profound examination of alien grammar with a sad and equally profound exploration of love and fate. Which is to say, Ted Chiang is a genius, and "Story of Your Life" should be viewed as a gateway to his body of literature, not a companion to Denis Villeneuve's (admittedly pretty cool) movie. Better yet, catch up with the author at this reading of his new collection, Exhalation. JOULE ZELMAN
JUNE 20–JULY 28PERFORMANCE
Gregory Award-winning local playwright Justin Huertas (Howl's Moving Castle) penned a play inspired by Puget Sound stories and myths, about a high school girl who discovers her mother's secret and very unusual sports trophy and must cope with new revelations about herself and her family.
There seem to be two schools of people when it comes to comedian, TV producer/host, writer, and activist Chelsea Handler: those of us who love her sarcastic, acerbic wit and brash outspokenness on topics ranging from sex to parenthood to politics; and those who find her abrasive as fuck. She’s definitely become far angrier and more vocal about her discontent with American politics following the election of Donald Trump, and she explores this and various other self-involved subjects in her sixth book of memoir-style nonfiction, sold as the “funny, sad, super-honest, all-true story of Chelsea Handler’s year of self-discovery,” and which includes but is not limited to the content of her therapy sessions with neuropsychiatrist Dan Siegel, and her (not-so) newfound relationship with edibles. Every Handler book reads like she talks, and I imagine this one will be no different. Tickets to this “Sit-Down Comedy Tour” include a copy of the book. LEILANI POLK
Woody, Buzz, and the gang welcome a newcomer, a rather crude and fragile plastic assemblage named Forky, and go on a road trip. As usual, the animation will be superb, your heartstrings will be twanged, and you will love it. Will Toy Story 4 also address the single-use plastic crisis?
Picture this: rural Northern California in the mid-1990s. A passel of children tangled together in the back seat of a minivan, slowly cruising up a wooded interstate. They’re on their way to a church youth camp; it’s been an overly hot and dusty summer, and restlessness reigns. Each child is screaming at the top of their tiny lungs. Are they, perhaps, possessed by the majesty of the Holy Spirit? Nope—they’re gang-shrieking the lyrics to Judas Priest’s “Breaking the Law.” The reach and influence of the British band, widely claimed to have originated heavy metal itself (alongside Black Sabbath, of course), is such that it hits even the hearts of doe-eyed youngsters, and it hits hard. Almost 50 years into their career, Judas Priest can still wrangle a fiendish, otherworldly energy from even the most unexpected of listeners, like 10-year-old me and my young covenant group. KIM SELLING
LA-based Mexican American band La Santa Cecilia play a sunny blend of cumbia, bossa nova, and boleros. Catch them on this Seattle tour stop.
Melbourne rockers Little River Band achieved modest success in their home country of Australia, steadily gigging since 1975. Now they're back to tour the United States with a renewed sense of vigor.
Don't miss your chance to see Ghostface Killah, Method Man, RZA, and other original members of Staten Island legends Wu-Tang Clan as they come through Seattle on their 36 Chambers 25th Anniversary Celebration Tour.
If we’re talking surface-level critique, LANY’s name alone (which stands for, you guessed it, Los Angeles New York) made me melon-ball my own eyes out of their sockets and throw them into the ocean. One level below that, their softboi charm extends further, to some malleable electro pop almost entirely cookie-guttered into oblivion. Tethered to some mythically dense assumption of what early-20s sentiments should sound like in song, each track on their record kinda reeks of exactly that: an entrenched effort to seem attainably cool, as relevant and earnestly mature as possible but with wide post-teenage eyes backlit by summer fireworks. Real talk, is this like a Noxzema commercial or what? KIM SELLING
The honest, upbeat rhythms and lyrics of Ziggy Marley are more on-point than ever with his last album, Rebellion Rises. With a list of tracks dedicated to the struggle, strife, and salvation of social justice (and the world at large) in 2018, such as “See Dem Fake Leaders” and “I Am a Human,” Marley’s harmonic voice carries through with powerful vulnerability. However, these songs are not all about what Marley thinks—he wants you to be a part of this too, offering songs that invite the listener to push back against the status quo. With a menagerie of musical textures supporting each message of resistance, you’ll sway and dance along to a shared truth with Ziggy. SOPHIA STEPHENS
Look, I didn’t live through 1969, but I’ve sure heard about that year my entire life. There was Woodstock. Vietnam. And, as you’ll be hearing about all Pride month this year, there was Stonewall. It’s now been 50 years since the Stonewall uprising that is often credited as launching the modern gay movement. The Seattle Men’s Chorus will celebrate the anniversary by singing through all that rebellion and change, featuring the year's top charts and also introducing new musical theater work about the Stonewall riots. CHASE BURNS
Esther Povitsky’s Twitter bio sums her up in three words: “Cute but gross.” It’s doubtful anyone in stand-up is more adorable and petite than Povitsky, who appears to be about half of her 31 years. Intractable biases may lead you to underestimate her, but Povitsky’s sharply funny, working her looks and Jewishness into many jokes, including one that’s relatable to this lapsed Jew: “My dad is so Jewish I didn’t go to Hebrew school because he didn’t want to pay the dues to belong to a temple.” With popular roles on the sitcoms Crazy Ex Girlfriend and Alone Together (which she also co-created), Povitsky is on the ascent. DAVE SEGAL
Pride month in Seattle wouldn't be complete without the Seattle Lesbian's womxn-focused event, which this year includes an award ceremony honoring community members, a comedy show with Monisa Brown, Tambre Massman, Val Nigro, and more fun.
First Tech Federal Credit Union's outdoor movie series will also feature a night market, yard games, and beer, and proceeds go to charity. You have to be over 21 to partake.
During his multidecade tenure under the name of Smog, Bill Callahan perfected the art of disquieting and uncomfortable folk music. His lo-fi recording process and stone-faced delivery of dissociative, introspective lyrics felt intensely voyeuristic, like stumbling across someone's stash of private Polaroids. By the end of Smog's run, Callahan had moved away from the dirty and murky implications of his chosen moniker and on to smoother recording techniques. Now operating under his own name, he's gravitated even further from his early entry-level four-track production and cheap-second-hand-gear aesthetic. One would think this sonic refinement would make his stoic tales of doubt and forlornness all the more naked, but instead it highlights his capacity for deceptively sophisticated melodies, deadpan cleverness, and seductively unusual arrangements. He's a man with nothing to hide. BRIAN COOK
Move over Rush—Coheed and Cambria could very well be the nerdiest band on the planet. How else would you describe a progressive-rock band that writes concept albums based on a science-fiction story line? The albums are but a gateway to the “Amory Wars” tales that lead vocalist/guitarist Claudio Sanchez portrays in both comic- and full-length book form. Sanchez’s distinctive high-pitched voice is a unique characteristic of Coheed and Cambria, especially when partnered with their often huge, Zeppelin-like riffs. Regardless of how much commercial success C&C attain, their die-hard fans will keep this wonderfully quirky band going as long as the story line permits. KEVIN DIERS
Seattle MC Dave B will be joined by Jak Knight and U Moore for a night of excellent local hiphop and showing off exactly how he rose from Sound Off to the Showbox.
Although he's released several critically acclaimed records and is an immensely talented and downright charming performer, British singer-songwriter David Gray seemed destined for "huge in Ireland, invisible in America" status -- until Dave Matthews stepped in. Gray's album, White Ladder, wa released on Matthews' label, According to Our Records. One of those rare artists who is more engaging live than on record, this is Gray's first visit in forever -- so don't miss it. BARBARA MITCHELL
Beluga-entrancing, rape-culture-hating, ukulele-ing Raffi upholds his many decades of creating foundational children's music for his 42nd anniversary on the road.
THROUGH JUNE 22PERFORMANCE
A star outfielder for the "New York Empires" (more Yankees than Mets in appearance) named Darren Lemming comes out of the closet—or, I guess, the locker—in this Tony-winning comedy from Richard Greenberg, put on by Strawberry Theatre Workshop. His straight teammates have a lot to say about it, and they mostly do so while barely covered in towels, a sartorial situation where homophobia and hypocrisy are so often laid bare. Lamar Legend, who has been great in everything I've seen him in, especially in Intiman's production of Barbecue and most recently in Strawshop's production of Everybody, plays Lemming. In addition to being a hilarious exploration of masculinity, the play also offers an opportunity for the audience to take part in a drinking game based on ball puns. How you could pass that up, I do not know. RICH SMITH
This festival revolving around the combination of savory, gut-busting breakfast foods and heady booze promises concoctions like fried chicken waffle nuggets, cornbread bacon Benedict, biscuits with bacon-fat gravy, and beer-battered pancakes. Day drinking is encouraged with more than 80 brews from 40 breweries and cideries, plus mimosas, boozy root-beer floats, Irish coffee, and a 30-foot Bloody Mary bar with dozens upon dozens of toppings (including tater tots, mozzarella sticks, jalapeño poppers, veggies, herbs, pickles, puffed Cheetos, bacon, and pork rinds). You’re probably going to want to clear your schedule for that requisite post-brunch nap.
Fremont loves its weird celebrations, and this two-day outdoor urban festival is arguably its biggest event of the year. From its gigantic parade composed of costumed participants to its craft market and live music events, the tradition has something for hippies, families, foodies, and artists alike.
Urban Craft Uprising bills itself as "Seattle's largest indie craft show," and it ain't lying. Now in its 15th year, the two-day event boasts a wide variety of handcrafted goods from local vendors, from jewelry to clothing to housewares to food.
“You wait in the car / On the side of the road,” Lucinda Williams sang, and we all agreed that she had a voice like rusty velvet. “Let me go and stand a while / I want to know you’re there / But I wanna be alone.” And another friend said how apropos, how important, that she wanted her own space. She promised to return. But “don’t go and try to find me.” Then another friend quit returning phone calls. He quit returning e-mails. When his child was born, he took the mother home but refused to hold his baby. I know he’s alive, but we had to quit trying to find him. On the new album, Williams sounds drunk. But I can’t tell if she drinks to find someone, or to refuse. ANDREW HAMLIN
Put on your baja and longboard down to Redmond for a Sublime reunion show (R.I.P. Bradley), with Rome, SOJA, and Common Kings.
THROUGH JUNE 23PERFORMANCE
Nia Vardalos (My Big Fat Greek Wedding) has adapted Cheryl Strayed's story of writing an advice column under the pseudonym Sugar, yielding a play about empathy, healing, tough love, and kindness.
Improvisors from Canada, Finland, Germany, Italy, Japan, Sweden and the USA will come to Seattle to participate in the 23rd annual Seattle International Festival of Improv, which lasts for a week. The theme this year will be "maps": landscape maps, road maps, life maps, and more.
In 2016, Cécile McLorin Salvant won the Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album for her record For One To Love. She is celebrated for her ability to bring together the connections between jazz, vaudeville, blues, and folk music with her strong tone.
Louisville, Kentucky, mountain man Jim James (aka Yim Yames) has an unassailable transcendentalism about him. He's rootsy and Zen, and he has a resonant, yodel-throated mine shaft of a singing voice. With James's first solo full-length, Regions of Light and Sound of God, the My Morning Jacket frontman has become a bit of a Southern mystic. His songs swim through expansively altered folk and gospel, each possessing its own calm, rich, tidal sensation. TRENT MOORMAN
JUNE 24–30FOOD & DRINK
The refreshingly bitter, glowing-crimson aperitif, made with equal parts gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth and garnished with an orange peel, is so beloved, it now has its own week. Bars all over Seattle will be shaking up their own variations of the ruby-red cocktail to benefit charitable organizations. If the concept of gulping Negronis to combat the world’s ills sounds too good to be true, you’re probably right: As Stranger food writer Angela Garbes wrote in 2016, “Started in 2013 by Campari and Imbibe magazine, Negroni Week is most definitely a marketing ploy benefitting a global corporation. Feel free to plot the overthrow of our corporate power regime as you throw back another Negroni.”
JUNE 25READINGS & TALKS
Elizabeth Hand has been granted scads of horror, sci-fi, and speculative fiction prizes, including such prestigious accolades as the World Fantasy Award (four times!), the Nebula Award, the Shirley Jackson Award, and more. The sci-fi/fantasy writing program Clarion West will invite her to read, and if you love genre fiction, you should go.
JUNE 25–JULY 1MUSIC
Put on by the city’s preeminent industrial concert promotion organ, the four-day Mechanismus Festival is the first festival of its type in the city, set to occupy the Highline, where Mechanismus produces most of its gloomy synthesizer-and-laptop onslaughts. While the genre hasn’t had a commercial peak in some time, or had the kind of indie-publication-sanctioned revival that many of its adjacent genres have, industrial is thriving thanks to the proliferation of production software and the general drop in equipment costs, meaning the city’s digital musical resistance has more surprises in store than the Metropolis Records sampler you got in Hot Topic a decade ago. JOSEPH SCHAFER
JUNE 25–SEPT 13VISUAL ART
A curatorial team of Wu Hung, distinguished professor and adjunct curator of the University of Chicago's Smart Museum, and Orianna Cacchione, Smart Museum Curator of Global Contemporary Art, has assembled this collection of Chinese contemporary art. Spanning four decades, it focuses on these artists' uses of diverse material, "from plastic, water, and wood, to hair, gunpowder, and Coca-Cola." The Allure of Matter has already been shown at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Smart Museum, and it will go on to the Peabody Essex Museum.
READINGS & TALKS
This “Blk Girl Soldier” spins anthems of resilience for the melanin-blessed—Jamila Woods’s work in social justice and her beliefs take a stand in her music with tender but informed songs like “VRY BLK” (featuring Noname) and “LSD” (featuring Chance the Rapper) that don’t shy away from the hard topics. Woods’s mastery of R&B, hiphop, and soul will have festivalgoers hooked, while doses of acoustic-folk and pop sounds are sure to top off the party. SOPHIA STEPHENS
The founder of the popular blog Serious Eats will chat with Kenji Lopez Alt about creating a publication about "the best of everything edible."
JUNE 27READINGS & TALKS
Listeners of The Moth know the deal: each storyslammer has a short period of time to tell a compelling story, whether poignant, funny, tragic, or edifying. This night's raconteurs are the top slammers from the previous 10 months, so they're sure to be unmissable.
If you do not know who John Williams is, do not bother reading what I have to say about him in this blurb. John Williams’s greatest achievement as a film composer is his love theme “Han Solo and the Princess” for Han and Leia in The Empire Strikes Back. (You, the pop-culture ignoramus, are still reading! Yes, Williams composed the music for the Star Wars series, and also Jaws, Indiana Jones, and so on, and so on.) This love theme has all of the sensitivity and cheap beauty that made “Spartacus: Love Theme” a jazz standard. If the great jazz pianist Bill Evans were alive today (why don’t some people live forever?), he would have made pure magic out of Williams’s “Love Theme.” CHARLES MUDEDE
A down-on-his-luck musician wakes up one morning to find out he's the only person on Earth who remembers the Beatles existed in the latest crowd-pleaser by Danny Boyle.
Nimble pop producer and songwriter Jeff Lynne is the genius behind expansive '70s and '80s pop/rock outfit Electric Light Orchestra. The current iteration of ELO will be led by Lynne on their 20-date summer 2019 tour.
Remember when Julia Roberts and Lyle Lovett were married? That was weird. Anyway, here's prolific country crooner Lyle and his massive band. They'll be playing a full set, with charm enough that's sure to please even the most cynical of old school country music enthusiasts.
Live large with a gaggle of queer talent and see aerial, burlesque, and drag performances by the likes of Thadayus, Kimber Shade, LüChi, Karmen Korbel, Beau Degas, Angela Visalia, Cody James, Faggedy Randy, Gunner Field, and Brandon Lentz.
If you enjoyed the thrilling documentary Apollo 11, you should attend this talk by the author of One Giant Leap: The Impossible Mission That Flew Us to the Moon, which goes over more of the story—namely the technology behind the space program flight and the people who worked on it.
With no support act on his tour (aptly titled the Double Down Tour), 2016 CMA Album of the Year winner Eric Church (and the Eric Church Band) will play two full and unique sets, with an intermission in between if you need a break from all that country-rockin'.
If you missed the Emerald City Comic Con this year, here's another chance to meet all your favorite on-screen superheroes (like Chris Evans, Lee Pace, Zoe Saldana, Josh Brolin, Jeremy Renner, and Don Cheadle), plus over 60 comic creators and over 100 vendors and exhibitors.
A bedrock of Capitol Hill Pride weekend is the Queer/Pride Festival, a three-day affair with nightly performances from RuPaul's Drag Race-famous queens like Vanessa "Vanjie" Mateo (aka "Miss Vaaaaaaanjie") and Miz Cracker (repping Seattle), plus musical performances from hometown heroes like DoNormaal.
Seattle's Chinatown-International District plays host to the annual Dragonfest, a day filled with cultural performances, dragon and lion dances, Korean drumming, martial arts demonstrations, and chances to taste local bites at the $3 food walk.
The world is your cheese plate at this celebration of all things cured meat and fromage. At the door, you’ll be greeted with a tasting glass and charcuterie board, and then left to your own devices to wander around curating the platter of your dreams with samples from vendors. Then pair your picks with wine, cider, beer, spirits, or kombucha. There will also be seminars on cheese, chocolate, and beer and the farm-to-table and slow food movements.
Old-school Californian reggae boys Rebelution bring their dawn patrol vibes to the only sometimes sunny Redmond area on their Good Vibes Summer Tour with additional special guests Collie Buddz and Durand Jones & The Indications.
Guitarist Carlos Santana—who's featured in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame—will come to Seattle with his band on his Supernatural Now Tour. They'll be joined by "roots-based, harmony-laden, guitar-driven rock and roll" band the Doobie Brothers.
Catch up with Luann de Lesseps of Real Housewives of New York, whom TV Guide apparently recently named "the #1 Housewife by TV Guide, topping all 46 housewives across all franchised cities." It looks like she'll be touring with a musical cabaret show about her experiences on TV.
The sixth year of PrideFest Capitol Hill and the 50th anniversary of Stonewall will collide on this merry occasion. Spend all day skipping across the rainbow crosswalks in the company of fellow LGBTQ+ Seattleites and allies, stopping along the way for drag shows, family activities, karaoke, and so much more.
Go mad with love for the LGBTQ+ universe and its limitless expressions at this 28-hour bash brought to us by Bottom Forty and produced by NARK magazine. Nathan Micay, Bottom Forty, Wesley Holmes, Sean Majors, and others will queer the consoles and dancers will keep the movement going all night long.
Seattle Dyke March
For the 25th year, this Pride event will celebrate all identities, with a special focus on queer womxn. Start by rallying in Capitol Hill with speakers and performers before being led in a march by the Seattle Dykes on Bikes.
Fill yourself up with food and booze at this art party, but not so much that you'll be too drunk to look at (and bid on!) paintings and other pieces to raise money for Bellevue Arts Museum.
The Arts in Nature Festival presents a series of acoustic, unplugged performances by musicians, dancers, actors, and other performers across several stages, plus participatory art happenings set against the most beautiful backdrop: Mother Nature. Also come for artsy hikes, food, and a beer garden.
Electronic pop chanteuse and gentle soul Dido has returned with her first new album in five years, Still On My Mind. She'll play tracks from this new collection, which is reportedly full of emotional dance music, on this tour stop.
Rowdy bluegrass group Greensky Bluegrass have been seen in venues across town and headlining Summer Meltdown in Darrington many times. They're known for their comingling of traditional instruments with original sounds that showcase '70s musical touches with current genre trends.
The month of June plays host to many great PrideFest events throughout the city, all of which culminate in the gigantic procession that is the Seattle Pride Parade, which trails from Fourth Avenue to Seattle Center, where a fun party ensues. Years past have seen scantily clad Batmen, drag queens, people in assless chaps, leather daddies, and families in matching hats.