Short and sweet at SIFF ShortsFest. "Diana of Dobson's": an early view of life as a 1 percenter. Plus, Tacoma Arts Museum, the 15th anniversary of Capitol Hill's HoneyHole and music by Zepparella.
* denotes events that are $15 or less
SIFF ShortsFest *
There’s a lot to love about SIFF, but as you look at the reviews, and the lines winding around the corner, and the sun shining overhead, it can get overwhelming. Here’s my two-cents on narrowing it down: Go to the Shortsfest this weekend! I see at least a handful of short film specials each year, and I still feel like there are so many stellar shorts being made that I can’t keep up. Starting Thursday night, SIFF will host a diverse array of shorts, from the family-friendly “3 Minute Masterpieces” to “American Refugees,” four animated films about homelessness in local families. Where you’ll find me? At “Animation4Adults” on Saturday night and “WTF” on Sunday, an eclectic mélange of shorts that wouldn’t fit into any other category, all with a surprise ending (often involving light bestiality).
Diana of Dobson’s
I’ve been meaning to get to Greenwood’s Taproot Theatre to see its new Kendall Center, which rose after an arson fire in 2009 and is a neighborhood symbol of the power that is art. And it looks like now’s the time what with its latest production that offers up a story on that most timely of subject: the haves and the have-nots. Diana is pissed about her economic reality (Oh, how relatable). She works long, she earns little, she’s old (by society’s standards). And then she unexpectedly inherits money and has to decide: Invest it wisely or blow it all on something grand? Here’s your opportunity to wonder about life as a 1 percenter, based on a story written in 1908.
If you go: Diana of Dobson’s, Taproot Theatre, Through June 14 ($15-$40). — F.D.
Marie Watt *
I’ve been curious about Marie Watt ever since the Tacoma Art Museum announced she’s creating a new monumental outdoor sculpture for display later this fall. (For the past few months, the museum has been asking for donations of 400 blankets for her bronze sculpture that will eventually stand outside its new wing ).
Watt is a Northwest artist who elevates the everyday object into something glorious. She pays tribute to the social connectivity of blankets and the value of these humble items, particularly within Native American culture. Watt is a member of the Seneca nation.
Now there’s a way to get to know Watt before that sculpture is on view; the Greg Kucera Gallery is presenting its third exhibition by the artist (including the arched column design for the museum commission). There are also blanket tapestries, stitched samplers and a piece crafted out of aromatic cedar that’s inspired by a hope chest. Watt will give an artist talk and host a community sewing circle on June 7.
Marie Watt's "GENEROUS ONES (BLUE SKY),"
Untitled (DREAM CATCHER)
If you go: Marie Watt, Greg Kucera Gallery, Through June 28 (Free). — F.D.
Transmissionary is a newer band with a heinously clever and meaningless name. They play with guitarist Tomas Hunter from the Afrobeat and heavy blues fusion group Wild Orchid Children, but Transmissionary moves in a very different direction. Founding members Michael Knight and Jacob James don’t dabble much in Afro percussion, pursuing instead what they describe as “DarkMath.” In practice, it’s hardcore rock that echoes and races along. Any song would be great as a chase scene soundtrack, maybe one involving a demented motorcycle gang. Transmissionary opens for Dust Moth and Hand of the Hills .
If you go: Transmissionary, Dust Moth and Hand of the Hills, Barboza, May 22 ($10). — J.S.H.
Tech N9ne and Freddie Gibbs
Freddie “Gangster” Gibbs is a hard man to write about. Some would argue he’s the last true street poet, and if he’s done half the things he claims to have in his music, even listening to it is a complex moral decision. But Gibbs’ newest release with producer Madlib “Pinata” is head and shoulders above any hip-hop I’ve heard this year. His raps sway from empathetic to sociopathic, telling stories about sweeping societal inequalities and a glorified hood lifestyle (“Life was like a movie, all I did was play my f***ing part”). Gibbs is the opening act for Tech N9ne.
If you go: Tech N9ne and Freddie Gibbs, Showbox SoDo, May 23 ($28.50) — J.S.H.
Honeyhole’s 15th Anniversary *
Here’s an event to show your appreciation for 15 years of the glory that is the Capitol Hill establishment Honeyhole. It takes heart and pizzazz to make a truly great sandwich: high-quality ingredients (including gluten-free bread options), inventive yet satisfying flavor combinations and ample portions. Here’s just one example of what Honeyhole creates: The Bandit, which pairs slow-smoked Painted Hills beef brisket with BBQ sauce, coleslaw and melted sharp cheddar on a baguette. With a side! Honeyhole offers up the food with a casual, anytime atmosphere, $3.50 daily microbrew pints, and a $4 daily cocktail (all of which I’ve tried; I’ve also ordered seconds). Throughout this special anniversary day, beers will be $3.50 and local band Country Lips will perform at 6 p.m.
Zepparella, the San Franciso-based all-female Zeppelin cover band, will be wailing away at the Tractor this week. Maybe the gender switch-up was a ploy to get people in the door initially, but it feels immaterial when watching them perform. The group’s interpretations are razor sharp, and hauntingly faithful to the originals. Lead singer Noelle Doughty’s voice doesn’t have the frayed-edge effect that made stars out of singers like Robert Plant and Janis Joplin, but her more melodic reworking is wonderful in its own right.
If you go: Zeparella, The Tractor Tavern, May 24 ($25). — J.S.H.
Crosscut's arts coverage is made possible through the generous support of the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation.