* denotes items that are $15 or less
Mr.'s Stationed at the Convenience Store, 2013. @2013 Mr. /Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
Live On: Mr’s Japanese Neo-Pop *
Here’s the show you take your anime/manga-crazed teen to. Or, if you’re a fan of ponytailed girl ninjas with bunny sidekicks, put this at the top of your list. The artist is Japanese. His name? Mr. – yes, simply “mister”. (He was a fan of the Yomiuri Giants’ Shigeo Nagashima, AKA “Mister Giants.”) Anyway, Mr. is a protégé of Takashi Murakami, thus his playful, cutesy, colorful assembly of work. But, like any work worth a look, there are layers and layers of meaning here: the longing for youth; the rebellion against The Man; the fascination with the West. The harrowing, massive installation that opens the exhibit is a pile of garbage Mr. collected in Tokyo. Filling an entire gallery, it’s a statement about the debris that blanketed parts of Japan in the wake of the March 2011 tsunami.
If You Go: Live On: Mr’s Japanese Neo-Pop, Seattle Asian Art Museum, Now through April 5. ($9) — F.D.
PNB's Stowell/Sendak Nutcracker
The advertising slogan for this show is: “Love it again for the last time.” Because after a 30-year run, the curtain will fall for the final time on this beloved Maurice Sendak/Kent Stowell production. It's the Nutcracker with all the magical touches: the ginormous Christmas tree, the baby mice, the giant rat tail and that snowfall scene in the forest. Oh, and the dolphins. We'll miss those dolphins.
If you go: PNB's Stowell/Sendak Nutcracker, McCaw Hall, Nov. 28 through Dec. 28. (Tickets start at $35). — F.D.
Fly Moon Royalty *
Black Friday brings a trifecta of Seattle’s most flavorful R&B to the Crocodile. Headlining is the feisty rap/soul/funk/dance explosion Fly Moon Royalty. This duo, producer and rapper Action Jackson and singer Adra Boo, can turn any audience member’s amp to 11. They frequently bring astonishingly good dancers along as well. Rapper Dave B has a playful air to his delivery that feels sensitive (in a swag way, of course). Otieno Terry fuses rock and soul, relying on a pretty enormous band to do so. The instrumentation makes a bold statement, but Terry has the kind of voice that refuses to be drowned out.
If you go: Fly Moon Royalty, The Crocodile, Nov. 28. ($13). All ages. — J.S.H.
The Young Evils *
When I first heard The Young Evils, I found their hooks so appealing, so sublimely raw-yet-palatable, it was almost suspicious. It all made more sense when a little more reading revealed that Troy Nelson, one half of the core band — they add musicians to play their music live — is the same Troy Nelson that frequently DJs on KEXP. Singer Mackenzie Mercer is the other Evil. The two are also dating, channeling the same kind of musical chemistry that propelled groups such as The White Stripes and Handsome Furs to rock and roll success. This is the dance-y brand of rock, where the lyrics are not only catchy-sounding but also easy to understand, remember and sing along to.
If you go: The Young Evils, The Tractor Tavern, Nov. 29. ($8). All ages. — J.S.H.
Holiday Trunk Show *
Small Business Saturday, a response to the capitalist stress ball that is Black Friday, has been going on since 2010 and gets better every year. Walk around your neighborhood and check loved ones off your Christmas list with thoughtful, well-made gifts. Definitely make a point to stop by the Holiday Trunk Show at Melrose Market, where local artists KnuckleKiss and Such Sweet Tierney will bring their ogle-worthy Etsy shops to real life with the added perks of mimosas and give-aways. Take home some of Knuckle Kiss’s geometric brass hoop earrings or buy an armful of Such Sweet Tierney’s screen-printed canvas and waxed canvas bags, functional for any occasion or as a piece of walking art.
If you go: Holiday Trunk Show, Butter Home at Melrose Market, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Nov. 29 (Free) — N.C.
Indies First *
Local writer-hero Sherman Alexie took Small Business Saturday to the next level last year when he entreated writers across the country to work behind the counter at their favorite local bookstores. The national event, called Indies First, encourages people to return to the place of solitude, discovery and simple pleasure that is the local bookstore, a rare bird in this age of Amazon and e-books. Wherever you live, remember to support your local bookstore this holiday season — and stop by Elliott Bay on Saturday to see Sherman Alexie, Maria Semple and Garth Stein, among others. Who doesn’t want to talk books at the checkout with another book lover?
If you go: Indies First, Bookstores everywhere, Nov. 29, All Ages (Free) — N.C.
NO DUH! 90s-ish Dance Party! *
Yeah, there are boy bands with their hits but there’s also Salt’ n’ Pepa’s “What A Man,” Lisa Loeb belting “Stay,” “Bittersweet Symphony” by the Verve, and so many other songs from the 90s-ish (they’re going into the early 2000s). Believe it or not, you’ve got the memory, stamina and probably cathartic need to belt out every word of these songs all night. Slap on the acid wash or flannel you can’t bear to get rid of (God knows I’ve got a bucket hat), or just stop by modern-day Urban Outfitters for some stirrup leggings, gel shoes and a mood ring and warm up all night at Chop Suey. You should probably get ready with this Lauryn Hill video right now.
If you go: NO DUH! 90s-ish Dance Party! Chop Suey, Nov. 29 ($5 after 10:30 p.m., free before) — N.C.
Thee Oh Sees *
At Capitol Hill Block Party 2012, Thee Oh Sees put on the second rowdiest show I’ve attended in my entire life. There was that mosh pit the size of Pluto for the Mastodon show at Showbox SoDo last year, but even though Mastodon did it bigger, they won by a very narrow margin. Thee Oh Sees have a maniacal psychedelic energy that makes crowds go wild. It’s a spectacle that one must see to believe. The group has been blowing up venues since 1997, and has released God only knows how much music under a variety of lineups and names. Seriously, their output defies quantification; well over 10 studio albums and at least as many EPs, and there’s a lot more floating around out there in the ether for those curious enough to dig them up. These guys are ultra-prolific DIY rock legends.
If you go: Thee Oh Sees, The Crocodile, Dec. 1. ($15). All ages — J.S.H.