* Denotes events that are $15 or less
Keep On Keepin’ On *
I have SIFF to thank for bringing this to Seattle earlier this year and if you didn’t catch it at the film festival and if you’ve missed a screening this past week, here’s one more chance. This is a gem of a film, a feel-good, Wow, I didn’t know that documentary about the friendship between legendary jazz trumpeter Clark Terry and rising pianist Justin Kauflin, who was born blind. The intimacy captured by first-time filmmaker Alan Hicks is extraordinary. The music is great. But it’s the banter between both men that you’ll love. This is one of those films that you’ll be telling everyone you know to go see.
If you go: Keep On Keepin’ On, SIFF Cinema Egyptian, 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. screenings on Dec. 11 ($12) — F.D.
Jose Gonzales Trio plays “A Charlie Brown Christmas”
OK, seriously, what’s not to love about a live rendition of Vince Guaraldi’s holiday classic played by this local trio of jazz musicians? You can have a cocktail. You can tap along to the soundtrack you’ve cherished all these many years. You could even try replicating the moves of Snoopy atop Linus’ piano — or, perhaps, you’re more likely to emulate Lucy’s stylish grooves. To these ears, nothing sounds more Christmassy than this wonderfully joyous, soulful music.
The Cornish Playhouse event features a silent auction with proceeds going to Strawberry Theatre Workshop. There’s also a repeat performance on Dec. 20 on Vashon Island.
If you go: Jose Gonzales Trio plays “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” Cornish Playhouse at Seattle Center, Dec. 11 ($36). — F.D.
Now this sounds like something not to miss: a huge visual installation by Michelle de la Vega complemented by a Jovino Santos Neto soundtrack focused on the natural and urban environments of Seattle’s South Park neighborhood. There are sculptures that look like fishing nets; there is music that weaves in non-English voices reflecting the rich, diverse community. When I head to Georgetown it’s so often for coffee at All City and some impulse shopping at Fantagraphics. I forget about CoCA. I won’t be forgetting.
If you go: plex-us, Center on Contemporary Art, Now through Jan. 9 (Free) — F.D.
The Average White Band
At this point, The Average White Band (AWB) is more akin to a musical living trust than an original lineup on a reunion tour. The Scottish blue-eyed soul and funk group has only two original remaining members; luckily, the remaining duo are keystone singers and guitarists. So, although the rotating lineup of new musicians makes the modern-day AWB a sort of tribute band to themselves, their more recent live shows are not without authenticity and spirit. The band will stick around Seattle's Jazz Alley for a four-day mini-residency this week, so fitting some high-octane classic funk into your schedule should prove easy.
If you go: The Average White Band, Jazz Alley, Dec. 11 to 14 ($34.50). All ages — J.S.H.
Bazaar Collective Pop-up *
Perhaps you’ve seen Vif Wine and Coffee. Perched on the slope of Fremont Avenue, near the former Paseo, the shop dwells in an unassuming space with the look of a repurposed laundromat. But going inside, beyond the many windows, you are overtaken with the care that’s been put into this community-centered space, that carefully sources single-origin coffee and small wine producers, all with a focus on natural production. The special holiday pop-up will be an extension of its simple mission and will overtake the shop as well as the parking lot, with an outdoor coffee bar, homemade pastries, live music, and a raffle. Sea Wolf Bakery, local preserver V Smiley, terrarium crafter Sarah Getter, and many others will be there selling their crafts, which are bound to make the perfect gift (maybe for you!).
If you go: Bazaar Collective Pop-up, Vif Wine and Coffee, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 13, All Ages (Free) — N.C.
My favorite comedian Maria Bamford should be a household name. Recent guest starring roles — on Louie and season four of Arrested Development — along with starring in The Comedians of Comedy are starting to get the hardworking 44-year-old comedian and native Minnesotan the attention her brilliance warrants. Bamford can do an array of voices — from the late-night request radio host to Paula Deen to her mom — but more than that, she has the talent of entirely capturing the essence of everyone she undertakes. She’s also not afraid to talk about her own personal struggles with mental illness, as chronicled in a September article in the New York Times Magazine. Maria Bamford is unlike anyone else you’ve ever seen; strap in and enjoy.
If you go: Maria Bamford, The Neptune, Dec. 11 ($24.50) — N.C.
It’s always risky to confine a musical project to a single descriptor. But for the sake of expediency, let’s define the mercurial musings of Merril Garbus, aka tUnE-yArDs, with the term “zany.” Her voice and lyrics, the looped-live percussion, the baselines and backup singers are all just kind of ... out there. It's a bunch of idiosyncratic, even dissonant elements that somehow bond together, forming beautiful, freakish melodies. The Dirty Projectors are the closest sonic comparison, but tUnE-yArDs is far wilder and more influenced by funk.
If you go: tUnE-yArDs, The Moore Theatre, Dec. 13. ($23.50). All ages. — J.S.H.
Industrial music occupies a very interesting niche in the musical spectrum, falling in between euro-style EDM and hardcore and gothic music. It's certainly abrasive, but it puts aggression to good use. Bands like Nine Inch Nails and Skinny Puppy (who play Seattle this week) stare into the inky abyss and then return from that dark place with an endless supply of feverish energy. Both groups have a flair for the (melo)dramatic lyrically, but their unforgiving synth riffs and jagged percussion are so captivating one can easily overlook the occasional overwrought verse.
If you go: Skinny Puppy, Showbox SoDo, Dec. 15 ($32) All ages — J.S.H.
Crosscut's arts coverage is made possible through the generous support of the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation.