* Denotes items that are $15 or less
SAM’s Pop Departures
I happen to love art that’s relatable, that seems to “get” me and my world, even those parts of the world that includes millennials filming themselves singing Frank Sinatra and posting it on YouTube. The Seattle Art Museum’s “Pop Departures” show is so relatable and so enjoyable, it sucks you in and before you’re even half-way through, you’re already calculating when you’ll be returning and who you’ll be dragging along.
It’s all wonderfully here: Roy Lichtenstein’s comic strip oils; Andy Warhol’s screenprinted Marilyn Monroe, Elvis and Jackie O; Jeff Koons’ porcelain Pink Panther and a wall-sized, sparkly homage to an unidentified African American woman. The last piece, by Mickalene Thomas, will give a lecture at the museum on Nov. 12. Oh, and did I happen to point out the handstitched yellow vinyl VW Bug (look at that dashboard!) by Mexico's Margarita Cabrera (above), her statement on the global economy and the value of labor. The last Beetle manufacturing was in Mexico.
If you go: Pop Departures, Seattle Art Museum, Now Through Jan. 11. ($19.50) — F.D.
Since you’ll be at SAM (see above), and you’ll be in a happy mood (that’s what staring at an oversized, inflating-and-deflating Claes Oldenburg sculptural ice bag will do to you), you owe it to yourself to stop by SAM's other show: City Dwellers. It’s just as colorful, inviting, absorbing and provocative, a mix of photographs and sculptures by 12 artists revealing contemporary life in India. If you’re looking for art to send you to your happy place, then spend some time staring at a shiny red sculptural Gandhi walking, stick and all, with an iPod (by Debanjan Roy). Or, Valay Shende’s scooter which is made entirely of gold buttons? Or, Nandini Valli Muthiah’s photos of a man painted and dressed like the blue God Krishna? Hands down stunning.
If you go: City Dwellers, Seattle Art Museum, Now Through Feb. 16. ($19.50) — F.D.
In a sense, the Drums are a product of two musical eras. The group’s sound is unabashedly poppy to the point of melodrama and whimsy. It clearly takes some queues from the polished, post-punk revival sounds of early 2000s groups such as The Strokes and Franz Ferdinand. But front man Jonathan Pierce’s lyrics and delivery delve even farther back in time, to the those melancholy, reverb-happy Brit bands (The Cure, The Smiths, etc.) so many of us know and love. In fact, Pitchfork.com drew attention to what it called the band’s “ ‘80s mope-pop” inspirations in its review of The Drums’ debut album. Thankfully with The Drums, the emphasis is on the pop, not the mope.
If you go: The Drums, Neumos, Oct 9. ($16) All ages — J.S.H
Depressed Cake Shop *
A pop-up bake shop with a purpose! Billed as “sweet sad treats for mental health,” this annual (and international) event raises money for NAMI Greater Seattle, a non-profit that advocates for mental health needs. On Friday, enjoy delectable baked goods from local bakeries and talented bakers alike. All the treats are drab or gray on the outside, with wondrous explosions of color within. Rumor has it the inventory sold out within two hours last year, so don't dawdle. Stop by ASAP, support this great cause (and treat yourself after a long week.)
If you go: Depressed Cake Shop, The Coterie Room, Oct. 10 from 4 to 9 p.m. (Prices vary) All Ages — N.C.
Mammoth Mania *
Lulu the Mammoth’s tusk is about to be taken off display for conservation purposes. But for this Mammoth Mania weekend let’s party like it’s still the Pleistocene. In case you missed it, the 8 ½ foot Columbian Mammoth tusk was discovered during construction in South Lake Union last February. It’s been part of the Burke’s Imagine That exhibit since April. Kick off your tusk farewel with Tusk after Dusk (a mammoth happy hour!) on Friday night. It inlcudes themed cocktails, music by The Local Strangers and a chance to sign Lulu’s cast. The events continue on through the weekend, with the museum’s trove of special mammoth specimens starring.
If you go: Mammoth Mania, Burke Museum, Oct. 10 through Oct. 12. ($10) All ages — N.C.
Whistling, crunchy synths, trumpet, sexy basslines, facepaint and a giant fake face with inflatable hair. These are just a few of the awesome surprises in the music video for Rubblebucket’s single “Came Out of a Lady.” The amazing thing, however, is that the video showcases only one side of the manic alt-dance pop group from Brooklyn. A newer single, “Carousel Ride” puts heavy guitar out front and features lead singer Kalima Traver delivering darker, more personal lyrics. Rubblebucket definitely has a strong vein of vintage electropop that unites their sound, however, as well as a sensitive indie aesthetic in Traver’s vocals.
If you go: Rubblebucket, Chop Suey, Oct 10. ($13). 21+ — J.S.H.
A couple years ago at Bumbershoot, Joey Bada$$ played right before Kendrick Lamar at Key Arena. It was a big deal because Kendrick dissed Joey Bada$$ in his verse on the Big Sean track “Control,” which had just been released. Both shows were charged with energy as each artist strained to give the crowd his A+ game. The results revealed how different East Coast and West Coast hip hop can be after decades of rivalry. Where Kendrick is cerebral, Joey is clever. Where Kendrick is sensitive, Joey is swagged out. Where Kendrick looks to the past and future, Joey revels in the moment. Joey’s stuff is heavy, streetwise and aggressively catchy. This will be an excellent show, so long as you keep an eye out for rowdy fans.
If you go: Joey Bada$$, Showbox Market, Oct 10. ($25). All ages. — J.S.H.
Mark Bittman with Steve Scher: Cooking Quickly in a Fast-Paced World *
New York Times Food writer and cookbook author Mark Bittman comes to Seattle to talk about his new book How to Cook Everything Fast: A Better Way to Cook Great Food, in which he’ll empower us to cook even more (and do it simply). His seminal How to Cook Everything has been inspiring cooks for years, especially because Bittman includes infinite variations and excellent frameworks for cooks at all levels of experience. Moreover, to hear Bittman talk cooking is to hear him draw on his immensely knowledgeable perspective on food issues and politics in the U.S.. He is ever thought-provoking and inspiring. In the meantime, here’s one of my favorite Mark Bittman recipes.
If you go: Mark Bittman, Town Hall, Oct. 14. At 7:30 p.m. ($5) All ages — N.C.
Photo of Margarita Carbrera's Vocho courtesy of Sayaka Ito. Photo of Ghandi sculpture courtesy of Seattle Art Museum.