The Weekend List: The arts and culture guide to Seattle's good life
* Denotes events that are $15 or less
CASCADE: Installation by Ian McMahon *
If you’re reading this and you haven’t yet seen this site-specific work — well, you’ve only got a few more days before it is magnificently destroyed. Two theater curtains made out of plaster have taken hold of the gallery, a pair of architectural sentinels extending floor to ceiling that you can examine ever so closely, every crinkle and fold. Ian McMahon’s sculptures address the notion of time and permanence — both of art and of space. The show closes Friday then, two days later, one of the curtains will come crashing down. The demolition event is open to Suyama Space Friends; in other words, make a donation to the gallery and witness something special. How special? Take a look at a previous demolition below.
If you go: CASCADE: Installation by Ian McMahon, Suyama Space, (Free). – F.D.
Life=Play: An Evening of Short Works and Rarities by Samuel Beckett
Seattle Shakespeare Company and Theater Puget Sound along with 15 — let me say that again — 15! organizations are celebrating the Irish multi-hyphenated Samuel Beckett — playwright-novelist-theater director-poet — over the next three months. Which means you can get your Beckett fix in myriad ways: radio plays, poetry readings, even European clown movement. The Seattle Beckett Fest kicks off with “Life=Play: An Evening of Short Works and Rarities,” which features some of my very favorite thespians (Carol Roscoe, Ray Tagavilla and Rachel Delmar). You can keep tabs on the entire festival by going here.
If you go: Life=Play: An Evening of Short Works and Rarities by Samuel Beckett, West of Lenin Theatre, through Aug. 24 ($20). The Seattle Beckett Fest continues at various venues in Seattle through November. — F.D.
Open Air Library Pop-up *
Seattle’s Public Library seems to be more visible than ever this year with its awesome Open Air Library pop-ups. Keep a lookout across the city for them, including at the KEXP Concerts at the Mural series on Friday nights and Cal Anderson this Sunday. At these stations, check out books and DVDs, or chat with staff about setting up your own library account, all while in the sun. Maybe, just maybe, you can even return your overdue books.
In an era where too many bands are comfortable locking themselves inside the boxes of well-established genres, bands with eclectic influences — that is to say, bands that blend genres in unusual and surprising ways — are especially appealing. Haim is one of these. They’ve received numerous comparisons to Fleetwood Mac, but generally the group’s appeal stems from its ability to blend the passion and soul of older Americana pop with the hip restraint of modern art rock and pop rock. I think much of the Fleetwood comparison is a reaction to lead singer Danielle Haim’s deep, emotive voice.
If you go: Haim, Paramount Theatre, Aug. 15 ($30). All ages — J.S.H.
The Murder City Devils
For those in the mood for something a little more raw (well, a lot more actually) Seattle-bred garage punk veterans The Murder City Devils are back in action at the Showbox this week. Their 2014 LP, “The White Ghost Has Blood on Its Hands Again,” is the band’s first in 13 years. The album finds the members up to their old noisy, maniacal tricks: Live wire lead singer Spencer Moody’s throat-ripping screams are still in full effect, and most songs sport dark monikers like “Cruelty Abounds” and “I Don’t Wanna Work for Scum Anymore.” Plus, their chaotic live shows are the stuff of legends, assuming they haven’t calmed down too much over these last few years.
If you go: The Murder City Devils, Showbox Market, Aug. 15 ($20). All ages — J.S.H.
9th Annual Seattle Bike-in *
No matter your home base, bike on over to Cal Anderson Park for a night of fun that celebrates bicycling. In a riff on the drive-in movies of yesteryear, Northwest Film Forum hosts a free night of bicycle-themed films, starting with shorts and concluding with the 2012 full-length Premium Rush. Starring the perfectly cast Joseph Gordon-Levitt, the tale of the under-glorified bicycle messenger has never been so thrilling or compelling. Bonus: traffic getting out will be a breeze!
If you go: 9th Annual Seattle Bike-in, Cal Anderson Park, Aug. 16. (Free) All ages — N.C.
If you can’t go to hear Haim bend genres together on Friday, another amalgamator, Beck, will be at Marymoor on Wednesday. He hardly needs any introduction with hit radio singles like “Loser” and “Devil’s Haircut” under his belt, but it’s worth mentioning the alacrity with which he has blended rock, folk, electronica and even hip-hop over the years. His vocal delivery is especially representative of this, moving from an almost rootsy croon to nihilistic, chilled-out rapping. Plus, at this stage in his career, he has hours of polished, memorable music to draw from. His albums haven’t all been masterpieces, but he’s consistently prolific and innovative. Opening is sultry neo-folk singer Jenny Lewis, an artist so easy on the ears it’s almost impossible to dislike her.
If you go: Beck, Marymoor Park, Aug. 20 ($20). All ages — J.S.H.