Seattle Symphony performs ‘Doctor Atomic’: Very few things are more stressful than battling traffic after work on a Friday, which is why the Seattle Symphony is putting on an affordable “Rush Hour” performance to give you time to wait out the traffic and enjoy some good music. “Doctor Atomic,” however, is not exactly relaxing, but a tense and moody piece. The aptly named second part of the piece, “Panic,” features frantic violins that instill in the listener a sense of anxious uneasiness, much akin to the feeling one gets when merging on a busy highway. Frantic or not, the energy found in this symphony is much preferable to rush hour, and if you show up early, drinks and food will be provided to ease you into the mood.
If you go: Benaroya Hall, 200 University St, Jan. 6, 7pm, $15-79, more info
O(PA)PERA: The earthquakes and tsunamis that have been swarming the Pacific Rim add new meaning to Seattle Art Museum’s exhibit, Luminous: The Art of Asia, which otherwise is like any other collection of old objects — interesting, but usually not too evocative. But nature has taken its toll now, and this installation, which features a quartet, flashing lights, and art’s equivalent of an earthquake, seeks to find what these ancient artifacts mean in a world that has been distressed. The performance is meant to be immersive and is said to provide a “magical/musical/mystical experience.” More than that, it should be an emotional experience as well.
If you go: SAM Arnold Board Room, 1300 1st Ave, Jan. 6, 7-7:30pm, Free, more info
Shiro Kashiba sushi demo and reading: Shiro Kashiba is not only a local sushi legend, he is partly responsible for sushi in Seattle. Period. He founded the first full-service sushi bar in 1967, and has since watched and helped develop the city’s sushi scene. (No, he isn’t to blame for the Sushi Land in Lower Queen Anne.) Check out his new memoir, Shiro: Wit, Wisdom and Recipes from a Sushi Pioneer, and see him in person at Elliott Bay Book Company, where he will be reading from the book, performing a sushi demo, and detailing his journey from Kyoto, Japan to Seattle. If that isn’t enough, there will be a drawing to taste his sushi, which by itself is worth showing up for.
If you go: Elliot Bay Book Company, 1521 10th Ave, Jan. 7, 2pm, Free, more info
Modern Language Association Reading, 60 Writers: Ever feel like you aren't familiar with enough contemporary writers, or have no time to hunt them down and read them? Well, Seattle Town Hall has one solution for you: 60 writers, each performing in under three minutes, all crammed into an hour-and-a-half. Afterwards, you can put away those hardly read, yellowed Faulkner books and use your newfound knowledge to familiarize yourself with the fresh, new authors of today. This event is running in conjunction with the MLA Annual Convention, the premier event for professional book nerds.
If you go: Town Hall, 1119 8th Ave, Jan. 7, 7:30pm-9:00pm, Free, more info
Nordic Lights Film Festival: For those of you looking to get in touch with your inner-Nord, the Nordic Lights Film Festival should do the trick, no matter where in the Nordic region your ancestors might hail from. Highlights include the Swedish documentary The Regretters, the Icelandic Summerland, and the Norwegian King of Devil’s Island. Or, if you are looking for something more family-oriented, the animated Finnish film Moomins and the Comet Chase will be playing. What are the Moomins you ask? Purportedly a family of trolls, although they look like white hippos. Who knows.
If you go: SIFF Cinema Film Center, Northwest Rooms, Jan. 6-8, events throughout the weekend, $5-10, more info