The Weekend List: The Arts & Culture Guide to Seattle's Good Life

The Burke Museum hosts the inspiration for the original Seahawk, Frank Boyd dives into one-man jazz theater, bird out in suburbia with Seattle Arts and Lectures and more.
Crosscut archive image.

Frank Boyd plays jazz radio DJ Ray in his "The Holler Sessions" at Seattle's On the Boards

The Burke Museum hosts the inspiration for the original Seahawk, Frank Boyd dives into one-man jazz theater, bird out in suburbia with Seattle Arts and Lectures and more.

* Denotes events that are $15 or less

Here & Now |Native Artists Inspired *

So let’s say your Number 1 cultural event this weekend is to watch the Seahawks crush the Panthers on Saturday. And let’s say, well, you also want to get your museum fix. I call your attention, then, to the Burke Museum’s ongoing show that features 30 new works by contemporary Native artists. Among the artwork is the Kwakwaka’wakw transformation mask that inspired the Seahawks logo. Which seems like a “must” for any 12th man to go see.

If you go: Here & Now| Native Artists Inspired, Burke Museum, Through July 27 ($10) — F.D.

The Holler Sessions

Crosscut archive image.I still talk and rave about Book-It’s 2014 production of “Kavalier & Clay” to all of my theater-going friends.  What made it so memorable? A lot of that was due to the formidable, engrossing performance of Frank Boyd as the Czech comic book artist Joe Kavalier. Now he’s world premiering a one-man show about a genre of music he’s new to discover: jazz.

Boyd plays a DJ who looks scruffy; who sits in a scruffy, full-of-Post It notes, wood-paneled studio and who is highly opinionated and vocal about anyone who does not bow down to Duke, Billie, Fletcher or Louis. The show includes a jazz trivia portion that invites people to use their cell phones and call in. There are also interludes when the audience is invited to sit back, listen and absorb the music. Boyd wants newbie jazz listeners in the audience, but nothing would make him happier than if some serious jazz head came to give him a critique.

Above: Frank Boyd plays jazz radio DJ Ray in his "The Holler Sessions" at Seattle's On the Boards. Photo: John Ulman

If you go: The Holler Sessions, On The Boards, Jan. 8-11 and Jan. 15-18 ($23) — F.D.

Wage Slaves: Tales from the Grind *

This returning event makes its Hugo House debut on Thursday with hours of fun storytelling, accompanied by a cash bar and free donuts. Straight from their website: “At wage slaves, a new Seattle reading series, writers share stories and poems about the jobs they've loved, lost, hated, tolerated, and sometimes, quit in a frenzied rage.” Whether you’re in the midst of a terrible job, or now reminisce about your time cleaning park bathrooms, this will be a night of catharsis, cringing and lots of laughter. To get in the mood, read this truly hilarious, and heart-achy eulogy to Radio Shack.

If you go: Wage Slaves: Tales from the Grind, The Hugo House, 7 p.m. on Jan. 8 p.m. (FREE) — N.C.

Zola Jesus *

Zola Jesus exists at the crossroads between stark electro pop, dark wave, and nihilism. She was a philosophy major in college and confesses to reading Dostoyevsky and Nietzsche when she was a little too young. The vein of cerebral pessimism one expects from a fan of those authors runs through her music, but her tone nonetheless remains ironically catchy. It’s an intense, but pleasurable listen.

Nobody sings quite the way Zola Jesus does, and her music videos double as stunning art films. She’s already released five albums — impressive for a 25-year-old — but she may be best known for her double feature on M83’s megahit 2011 album “Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming.”

If you go: Zola Jesus, The Neptune, Jan. 8. ($15). All ages — J.S.H.

The Dip and Tangerine *

I haven’t been this excited about a Friday night in a long while. The funky sonic dynamite that constitutes The Dip is storming into Neumos this week with fellow local outfit Tangerine.

The comfort of seeing two lively Seattle groups in one of the city’s favorite venues is not one to pass up, and this concert is a great deal given the caliber of both groups. Tangerine crafts a brand of indie rock so sunny and soulful it begs comparison to both R&B and surf pop. This will be a wonderful night for dancing.

If you go: The Dip and Tangerine, Neumos, Jan. 8. ($10). 21+ — J.S.H.

Welcome to Subirdia: Sharing Our Neighborhoods with Wrens, Robins, Woodpeckers, and Other Wildlife

Seattle Arts and Lectures is killing it this year: Patton Oswalt, Sherman Alexie and Cheryl Strayed are all still to come (and that’s just in the next two months). This year, they have also added a new series called Thinking Animals: Species, Power, and the Politics of Care in the World, to be presented in conjunction with Ann Hamilton’s museum-wide, awe-inspiring Henry exhibit the common S E N S E

At this talk, join UW Professor of Wildlife Science John Marzluff to discuss the birds and creatures dwelling all around us and learn ten specific strategies we can use “to make human environments friendlier for our natural neighbors.” So, come bird out!

If you go: Welcome to Subirdia: Sharing Our Neighborhoods with Wrens, Robins, Woodpeckers, and Other Wildlife, Henry Art Gallery at the UW, 7 p.m. on Jan. 9 ($20) — N.C.

Seahawks Game Day Brunch

If you’re like me, pretty much everyone seems to be following the Seahawks more closely than you (including your family across the country). This is a classic “If you can’t beat ‘em, reluctantly join them and overcompensate” scenario. So, for all the less-than-super-fans out there, a Seahawks primer to help you confidently hang at bars and join in other celebrations: The Hawks (12-4) have made it into the playoffs, challenging the Carolina Panthers (record of 8-8-1) on Saturday at 5:15 p.m. in our beloved home city.  You can wag your foam finger in joy at any bar with a TV. Or, you could head to a pump-up brunch at places like the Gastropod.

Saturday’s menu has yet to be announced, but this Sodo gem is within a stone’s throw of the stadium, and consistently makes food that is sustainable, creative and delicious. On the current menu: baked oysters with squid ink aioli and Nachos Picasso with romanesco, delicata squash, cotija, shishito pepper, avocado crema, sweet chili sauce and cilantro. So throw on some blue and green and get on board, and don’t tell anyone about this conversation.

If you go: Seahawks Game Day Brunch, Gastropod, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 10 — N.C.

Seapony *

I remember attending my first concert in college at The Vera Project. (One of the bands that played, Black Whales, is playing the Sunset Tavern on Saturday and I still have that concert poster on my wall.) It’s a reminder that all ages shows inspire young people to care about music. These days, it sometimes feels like newer venues like Neumos and The Neptune are stealing some of The Vera Project's thunder. Both are excellent venues, but they fall in that fickle "occasionally all ages” category that has caused many a loyal high school or college-age fan to miss shows they love.

Anyway, Seapony is an amazing, uplifting dream pop group from right here in Seattle and they’re headlining a show at Vera this week. Aside from having a very humorous and adorable presence on Facebook, this group has been a respected facet of the local rock scene since 2010 with two great albums, 2011’s “Go With Me” and 2012’s “Falling.” They released the second on local label Hardly Art, which also represents Chastity Belt, Dude York, and other worthy Northwest groups. You can hear tracks from “Falling” here.

If you go: Seapony, The Vera Project, Jan. 10. ($6). All ages. — J.S.H.

OSSCS’ Chamber Music Concert

Crosscut archive image.Orchestra Seattle Seattle Chamber Singers is in its 45th year as a Seattle organization. Since last October, they’ve been featuring programs with simple but sweeping titles: “Moments of Inspiration,” “Daybreak of Freedom” and the one I’m really looking forward to in May called  “1954 in America.”

On Sunday, the singers and musicians present “Chamber Music,” featuring music by Mozart as well as someone I have never heard of: Heitor Villa-Lobos, who’s been described as the most significant creative figure in 20th Century Brazilian music. Clinton Smith conducts.

Above: OSSCS musicians Virginia Knight, flute, Theodora Letz, alto, and Stephen Provine, co-concertmaster, are among more than 80 members of Orchestra Seattle and the Seattle Chamber Singers. Photo: John Cornicello

If you go: OSSCS’ Chamber Music Concert, First Free Methodist Church, 3 p.m. on Jan. 11 ($25) — F.D.

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About the Authors & Contributors

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Joseph Sutton-Holcomb

Joseph is a full-time landscaper, part-time journalist and full time culture junkie discovering the hidden joys of life as a UW graduate in Seattle. When not taking care of plants or writing, he spends his time in the company of good friends enjoying film, music and the great outdoors.