Seattle Weekender: talk radio, Shakers, and anarchy

Seattle Rock Orchestra Credit: Chelsea Nesvig

Seattle Rock Orchestra Presents: Arcade Fire – Funeral and Neon Bible

The very first show the Seattle Rock Orchestra performed was a rethinking of Arcade Fire's top hits. This was in 2009. Since then the orchestra has evolved into a group of talented musicians renown throughout the Northwest. They've recomposed music by some of the world's biggest bands including Muse, Led Zeppelin, Radiohead, and The Beatles.

Now SRO is returning to their roots with a reprise of their classic Arcade Fire concert  — albeit in a much larger venue. To help cover vocal, the ensemble has enlisted Chris Cunningham of The Ravenna Woods, Benjamin Verdoes from Mt. St. Helen's Vietnam Band, Ian Williams of The Thoughts, Kaylee Cole, and Shenandoah Davis. So expect stunning duets from some of Seattle's finest singers.

If you go: the Neptune Theater, Aug. 25, 9 p.m., $19

Radiolab live

If you knows everything about 18th century botanist Carl von Linné, or what a brain looks like when someone is in love, or even what water fountains and pendulums have in common, then you are either a very well-educated individual, probably with a PhD from an esteemed institution (congrats!) or you listen to Radiolab's podcast.

Since 2007 Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich have hosted Radiolab on radio stations across the country as a platform for fostering curiosity. The show's subject matter is as diverse as it is interesting for one of the key beliefs at Radiolab is to blur the lines between science and philosophy, between theories and human experience, and between sound and ideas.

Now they're taking the show on the road and Seattle gets a special treat as Jad and Robert team up with Kids in the Hall legend Dave Foley. In addition to all the science and comedy, Thao Nguyen will be playing music and dance troupe Pilobolus will show how to properly dance to the radio. Whoever said TV killed the radio star anyways?

If you go: The Paramount Theatre, Aug. 24 & 25, 8 p.m., $36 – 46 

Seattle Anarchist Book Fair

Federal prosecutors created quite a buzz recently when they attempted to use "anarchist literature" as evidence to bring a grand jury toward possible indictments of suspected organizers of the Occupy movement. FBI agents were handed federal subpoenas to raid homes in Seattle and Olympia to specifically look for anti-government or leftist paperwork. 

None of this is going to stop the 4th Annual Seattle Anarchist Book Fair from happening this weekend. In fact, they're planning to hold an informational workshop and Q&A concerning the grand jury. Besides panels and open forums, there will also be free food supplied by Food Not Bombs and a craft area for children so they can play while their parents discuss … overthrowing the government?

If you are planning to do anything illegal and would like to collect dissident material that can be used against you, head over to the fair this weekend and pick up some silk-screened posters.

If you go: The Vera Project, Aug 25 – 26, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Tibet Fest

If you've ever seen Bertolucci's film Little Buddha you might recognize the inside of Greenwood's Sakya Monastery. In the movie, a group of Tibetan Buddhist monks come to Seattle in search of a boy in whom the soul of their friend is reborn. The movie is great but it highlights something about Seattle that many people only noticed when the Dalai Lama came 2008: We have a strong Tibetan community. 

This will also be apparent during the 17th Annual Tibet Fest at the Seattle Center this weekend. Explore Tibet's vivid history and culture through live performances, visual arts, and activities. There will be a market place where you can find pieces of Tibetan heritage to take home with you and food so you can taste the crossroads of the world right here in Seattle.

If you go: Armory/Center House, Aug 25 – 26, Free

Gathering Up the Fragments: The Andrews Shakers Collection

In the 18th century the United Society of Believers in Christ's Second Appearing (aka Shakers) emigrated to upstate New York to escape religious persecution in England. The sect was fairly young, having only been formally organized in 1747, and was unique in that they were led by female preachers.

Along with the model of equality among the sexes, they also brought their belief in communal living and spirituality through work to America. The basis of Shaker faith is that a connection with God will come through labor and hard work; thus Shakers have always kept themselves busy making things.

All this during an era when Romanticism and decadence were popular among the mainstream and pushed Shaker art out among the fringes, where it has remained ever since. 

Unlike Modernist artists, the Shakers have always practiced the philosophy of function over form. Their work is simple but practical. They were minimalists before minimalism was a thing. The Bellevue Arts Museum is curating a collection from one of the Shakers finest admirers, Edward Deming Andrews, where you can get see the intricate craftwork in over 200 Shaker made items.

If you go: Bellevue Arts Museum, July 11 – Oct. 28, Tues. – Sun., 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., $10

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