It’s called Echo, a reference to the nymph from Greek mythology. But we’ll probably all be referring to it as The Giant Head. As in: I’ll meet you in the Sculpture Park over by The Giant Head. For weeks, the 46-foot sculpture has been carefully erected on the shoreline, its size insisting that we form an opinion. Personally, I can’t wait to introduce Echo to my dog Santana who likes to bark at anything vaguely human looking.
“We must offer beauty to our society,” says Echo’s creator, the Spanish artist Jaume Plensa, in this short film (below). The film chronicles the sculpture’s Manhattan appearance in 2011. A gift to the Seattle Art Museum from Barney A. Ebsworth, Echo will now float permanently in Seattle.
Plensa is scheduled to kick off a ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday morning at Pier 70. And in case you were wondering: the face is modeled on the 9-year-old daughter of a Chinese restaurant owner near the artist’s studio in Barcelona.
Echo, SAM’s Olympic Sculpture Park, On permanent display. (Free). – F.D.
Apparently, it is possible to take something as exquisitely lovely as the film Once and translate it to the stage. By several accounts, a big part of the magic that fuels the Tony Award-winning musical is that every member of the acting ensemble is actually a musician. The story about the power of music and its ability to bring an Irishman and a Czech girl together also showcases how music gets created. And yes, that achingly soulful and impeccable song, “Falling Slowly” is part of the performance. Prepare to swoon.
If you go: Once, The Paramount, Through June 8. ($25-$100). – F.D.
Fly Colt Fly: The Legend of the Barefoot Bandit
Even if you weren’t rooting for him (I totally was), there’s something compelling about Colton Harris-Moore, the Northwest’s very own Catch Me If You Can guy. After escaping from a group home at age 17, Harris-Moore lived as a survivalist on and near Camano Island for years, breaking into over a hundred homes in the Northwest, sometimes to steal and sometimes just to soak in the hot tub. He eluded police by boat, car and then, after teaching himself to fly, by plane too. After more than two years on the run, he was arrested in July 2010 in the Bahamas. His story is told through interviews, animated reenactments and security footage. It’s the U.S. premiere.
If you go: Fly Colt Fly: The Legend of the Barefoot Bandit, SIFF Cinema on May 29, Egyptian Theatre on May 31. ($12)- N.C.
The Faint and Reptar
These two very energetic, very heavy bands share the bill at The Neptune on Friday, and their respective sounds couldn’t be better matched. The Faints almost melodramatic post-punk is reminiscent of New Order — if New Order was imprisoned in a dark cave for a decade, stewing in its own gloom. The slightly lighter Reptar blends pop rock with an emotive, theatrical singing style somewhat akin to The Blood Brothers or TV on the Radio. I suspect that together these bands will create a nuclear meltdown of a rock show.
If you go: The Faint and Reptar, The Neptune Theater, May 30 ($23.50). – J.S.H.
Rachel Coyle’s pop-up bakeshop has returned in time for summer! Every Saturday at Fremont’s own lovely cookbook store The Book Larder, Coyle will be selling her inventive and impeccable pastries, including the famous cretzel, the marriage between a croissant and a pretzel that you never knew you needed until you taste one. In addition, last’s week’s spread included a coconut caramel layer cake, vanilla and candied kumquat macaroons, and cardamom cream cheese twists. Get excited by just looking at the temptations she posts to her Facebook page. Plan to stop by mid-bike ride, or mid-garage sale sleuthing or pre-brunch.
If you go: Coyle’s Bakeshop, The Book Larder, May 31. (Free) - N.C.
This May Be The Last Time
SIFF brings us a documentary about a subject that’s often overlooked: how song can help preserve an entire culture. Filmmaker Sterlin Harjo, a member of Oklahoma’s Seminole and Muscogee tribes, interweaves the unsolved 1962 case of his grandfather’s disappearance with an exploration of the folk songs sung by the would-be rescue parties. In doing so, he tells “a story of American music history that has never been told.” The songs were the same ones sung by Harjo’s ancestors on the Trail of Tears and they carry with them pain, love and myriad cultural influences from the last two centuries.
If you go: This May Be The Last Time, Egyptian Theatre on May 31, AMC Pacific Place 11 on June 1. ($12)- N.C.
The Throwing Muses
The Throwing Muses have been touring and changing the course of alt rock history since the early ’80s. Singer Kristin Hersh’s vocals are the band’s most obvious distinguishing factor. On the surface, she’s like other post-punk and art punk female singers (Patti Smith, PJ Harvey, Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon, etc.) But there’s something about the quaver in Hersh’s voice — the way she can swing a melodious note into a sort of vibrato yelp in the space of a few seconds — that’s captivating on a different level. The band doesn’t stray too far from the post punk sound either, but they like to mess around with traditional rock song structures, which just adds to their unique appeal.
If you go: The Throwing Muses, The Triple Door, June 1 ($35). – J.S.H.
For this zoologically named show, Cheatahs will open for Eagulls at The Crocodile. Misspelled animal names aside, this show is worth checking out simply because Cheatahs is on the bill. This UK-based band is the next installment in the monolithic shoegaze genre, popularized several decades earlier by another UK band: My Bloody Valentine. Cheatahs retains MBV’s intense, blurry wall-of-sound aesthetic, but amends the shoegaze genre with certain pop elements; namely, catchier standout guitar riffs and clearly audible vocals.
If you go: Eagulls and Cheatahs, The Crocodile, June 4 ($12). – J.S.H.