The Weekend List: Luscious opera, THEESatisfaction's latest, free entry at SAM

By Florangela Davila, Nicole Capozziello & Joseph Sutton-Holcomb
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“Endless pleasure, endless love” from Seattle Opera’s new production of Semele. Photo by Avi Loud.

By Florangela Davila, Nicole Capozziello & Joseph Sutton-Holcomb

* Denotes events that are $15 or less

Semele

The music is Handel. The story is kind of a classic: girl falls in love with a guy who is totally out of her league (She's human; he's the god Jupiter). The performances are wonderful (mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe in particular). But the jaw-dropper of a marvel are the set design and the costumes. Both are equally spectacular. Stark architectural backdrops. Giant video projections of clouds and faces and Earth.

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Costumes that hug a body and shoot out lasers from the fingertips. Said costumes were designed by Vita Tzykun who has outfitted Lady Gaga.

In this opera, a first-ever production for Seattle Opera, Tzykun outfits Iris (Amanda Forsythe) in a red leathery jumpsuit and she's a cross between something in "The Matrix" and Judy Jetson. Loved it.

If you go: Semele, McCaw Hall, Through March 7 (Tickets start at $25) – F.D.

THEESatisfaction *

Three years after their debut album arrived on Earth, psychedelic futuristic electro-soul duo THEESatisfaction is back with their sophomore effort, EarthEE. The release show is at Neumos this week, and any human interested in the future of R&B, hip-hop and neosoul in Seattle is encouraged to attend.

THEESatisfaction is Stas and Cat, two Seattleites who came forth from the shadows of local rap group Shabazz Palaces’ acclaimed first record, Black Up. First came the tours with Shabazz, where they sang backup. Then Awe NaturalE, a critically lauded but too-often-ignored first effort. Its sound is avant-garde, and not always accessible. (It’s too busy expanding listeners’ minds and pushing musical boundaries.) But for many fans of the local hip-hop scene, this event has been a long time coming.

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBHjr-CdxYM[/embed]

If you go: THEESatisfaction, Neumos, Feb. 26 ($12). 21+ — J.S.H.

Seven Ways to Get There

ACTLab, the new works incubator of ACT Theatre, unveils this week a new work about

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7 men in group therapy. They, it would seem, have issues that need resolving. Helping the men find some resolution is a female therapist.

It’s billed as a comedy, based on a true story, written by the CEO of Aegis Living, the assisted-living company that has facilities throughout the Western U.S. Directed by John Langs.

If you go: Seven Ways to Get There, ACT’s Allen Theatre, Through March 15 (Tickets start at $60) – F.D.

Shredder Orpheus *

Ok, seriously, what’s not to love about a film with this title? And here’s how it’s billed: a skate rock opera, Seattle’s first and only (Aw, sigh, man). Robert McGinley, who helped found On The Boards, wrote, directed and starred (he shreds?!) in this 1989 film about a TV station that’s brainwashing the city of Seattle. McGinley will be in attendance at the screening.

Get there 30 minutes early for a performance by (OMG, another great name) the Subpoenaed Lemur Vocoder Orchestra featuring Korby Sears and others who can (apparently, if you believe their Facebook page) make music with a can of compressed air.

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qao7R8nWAI[/embed]

If you go: Shredder Orpheus, NWFF, 8 p.m. Feb. 27 ($11) – F.D.

Blood Squad: Slaycation *

I can think of few other ways I’d rather spend a weekend night, and no other theater show that I’d head out to at 10:30 p.m. Blood Squad approaches each new show with new energy, and in the two years I’ve been going, they’ve never made comedy horror improv feel tired.

They make me chuckle, snort, knee-slap, smirk knowingly at whoever I came with, profitably scrounge up a reference to 1994, gasp for breath, AND somehow always chill me. This show, inspired by European-travel-horror (think Hostel and the like), looks like great fodder for a fully improvised two-hour performance and I can’t wait to see what they’ll do.

If you go: Blood Squad: Slaycation, West of Lenin, Feb. 27 and 28 ($8 advance/ $10 at the door)- N.C.

2001: A Space Odyssey *

While it may not be new, 2001: A Space Odyssey feels like a new experience every time I watch it. I can’t always recall the order of the scenes, or sum up the plot with any finesse, but so many of the movie’s moments are burned into my memory.

The ultimate Stanley Kubrick film, this 1968 art piece transcends time, space, genre and plot. It’s a masterpiece, of course, best experienced on the big screen, where the soundtrack and the stunning cinematography can consume you, electrify you and haunt you as no other movie can. Head to SIFF on Saturday night, or Monday or Wednesday next week.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHjIqQBsPjk

If you go: 2001: A Space Odyssey, SIFF Cinema , Feb. 27 through March 5 ($12)- N.C.

Kawehi *

It was recently Kurt Cobain’s 48th birthday, so there were a lot of contemporary covers of Nirvana songs floating around the Internet and through the airwaves. The most interesting I discovered came from Kansas-based electronic innovator Kawehi. Her weapons of choice are a computer, a small midi keyboard and a sample pad. She uses these implements to layer loop sounds, often chopping and sampling her own voice for both melodic and percussive effects. The result sounds like a raw, organic brand of electronica that is also firmly rooted in lyrical content.

She’s most famous for her covers, videos for which are scattered hither thither and yon throughout YouTube. Her take on Nine Inch Nails' “Closer” is also well worth checking out. Kawehi plays with local chamber pop auteur Whitney Lyman at Barboza this week.

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=077UlBtrqWs[/embed]

If you go: Kawehi, Barboza, Feb. 27 ($12). 21+ — J.S.H.

Community Day Festival: Indigenous Beauty

To help inaugurate its newest special exhibition, Indigenous Beauty: Masterworks of American Indian Art from the Diker Collection, the Seattle Art Museum is throwing an all-day celebration, complete with hands-on craft opportunities, performances by Native artists and guided tours.

This new exhibit chronicles nearly 2,000 years of Native American history, featuring art from tribes across the country, and the art they’ve made during and after colonization. (The show was a Weekend List pick earlier this month). Get there early for this all-day festival — the first 500 attendees get into the galleries free.

If you go: Community Day Festival: Indigenous Beauty, Seattle Art Museum, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 28, All Ages (Free for the first 500 attendees; $19.50)  — N.C.

Caribou

The first thing I learned about musician Dan Smith (stage name Caribou) was that he had a PhD. He received his doctorate in mathematics in 2005 from London’s Imperial College. This tells one a great deal about his sound, or at least his approach to crafting music.

Both Caribou’s most recent LP, Our Love, and his previous 2010 release, Swim, explore club and house music with a pinpoint alacrity that only a star student of the hard sciences could bring to music. Smith puts the structure of a catchy hook under a microscope, retooling it and tweaking it on a (seemingly) subatomic level. The music on both these albums is both perfectly poppy and crisply nuanced, making them appealing when played through Friday night’s beefy sound system or Tuesday morning’s high quality headphones.

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMwgcRByA8Y[/embed]

If you go: Caribou, The Showbox, March 4 ($24). All ages. – J.S.H.

  

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