The Weekend List: SAM's Native American art cache, Cat Stevens sing-a-long & a 6-hr Moore music marathon

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Tunic and leggings, late
19th century
Tlingit, Chilkat, Klukwan,
Cedar bark, wool, metal
44 1/2 × 14 5/8 in.
Diker no. 795
Courtesy American
Federation of Arts

* Denotes items that are $15 or less

Seattle Asian American Film Festival *

I’ve been a fan of this festival for years. Back then, it had a different name and once screened a Canadian film by then no-name actor Sandra Oh. This year, a documentary on George Takei headlines. “To Be Takei” might arguably draw the biggest audiences (in Seattle, seriously, who does not love Takei?), but the festival line-up also includes other worthy documentaries.

“Documented” traces the story of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas, who outed himself as undocumented; “The Last Season” looks at seasonal workers hunting for mushrooms in Oregon; “Kumu Hina” chronicles the struggle of a transgender woman to maintain her Pacific Islander culture and “9-Man” is about a type of Chinese-American streetball. The festival also includes three free screenings of shorts (social justice, animated and horror and sci-fi, and films focusing on the theme “struggle.”).

If you go: Seattle Asian American Film Festival, Northwest Film Forum, Feb.12 to 15 ($11 per screening or $75 for a festival pass). — F.D.

Industrial Revelation, McTuff and Heatwarmer *

Industrial Revelation, McTuff, and Heatwarmer. These are the local titans of jazz fusion, and they share a Neumos bill this week. Expect a sonic journey through time and space. Imagine a mixture of Herbie Hancock, King Crimson, and 2001: A Space Odyssey.

The King Crimson reference here mostly concerns Heatwarmer, who possess an ironclad progressive rock sensibility. Their frontman and bassist, Luke Bergman, teaches at the UW School of Jazz. McTuff founder and centerpiece Joe Doria may be the best organist I’ve ever seen live. Industrial Revelation is perhaps the most traditional of the three, but that’s not saying much given the nature of the other two. Industrial Revelation keeps things tight and groovy, and brings head spinning crescendos to bear when the timing’s right.

If you go: Industrial Revelation, McTuff and Heatwarmer, Neumos, Feb. 12 ($12). 21+ — J.S.H.

Seattle Art Museum’s Indigenous Beauty 

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Qötsa Nata’askabr /

Valerie and Charles Diker were a New York couple way into modern and contemporary art when, on a trip to the Southwest in the 1970s, they came upon a basket woven by an American Indian. And that eventually triggered a 40-plus-year love affair with Native American art.

It didn’t matter, Valerie Diker said in an interview, that someone unknown made the art. It’s the aesthetic that has always drawn them. Here’s how she decides whether or not something is worth collecting: “You look at something and you say, ‘Oh.’ And then there’s work that makes you say ‘Oh, dear.’ And then there’s something that makes you say, ‘Oh, MY!’”

A total of 122 works from the Diker Collection, representing tribes and First Nations from across North America, are on display at SAM and it’s a stunning, mesmerizing show. The beading, the basketry, the weaving and the carving.

The show is presented alongside 60 Northwest Coast Native works from local private collections that includes something fabulous that I had never seen before: A Haida manga, a large watercolor by Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas, considered the godfather of this visual genre. The artwork, whose characters push beyond the traditional “white borders” of comics, was included in RED, a graphic novel about a pair of siblings and revenge. You will lose yourself in it — in a good way.

If you go: Indigenous Beauty, Seattle Art Museum, Now through May 17 ($19.50). — F.D.

Harold and Maude *

My favorite Valentine’s Day weekend tradition returns! Head to SIFF with a loved one to experience or re-experience the cult classic Harold and Maude. This dark romantic comedy, chronicling the escapades of a depressed young man (Bud Cort) and a whimsical 79-year-old woman (Ruth Gordon), has just the right amount of quirk, laughs and charm (owed in large part to the wonderful Cat Stevens soundtrack) to keep it alluring, even 44 years after its release. Head there early for a pre-show Cat Stevens sing-along, which sounds like the most life-affirming experience ever.

If you go: Harold and Maude, SIFF Cinema Uptown, 6:45 p.m. Feb. 13 – 15 ($12) — N.C.

Valentine’s Day Out On The Town

Maybe it’s because Valentine’s Day falls on a Saturday this year, but there seem to be more Valentine’s Day dinners out there than ever. I’ll frontload this with a few options for those not into Valentine’s Day: proceed like it’s any other day OR head to Linda’s or King’s to drink and send a loved one a shot-o-gram (a shot with a Valentine attached to someone across the bar). Lovers of Valentine’s Day, read on.

If you’re willing to spend about $65 a person, you have a great many options, from my favorite standby The Gastropod to Maria Hines’ Agrodolce — which is offering both dinner AND brunch — to inspired French-Korean Joule in Wallingford. At a price notch below, you can head to Skillet in Ballard or Capitol Hill for a three-course prix fixe dinner at only $36 a head. If you want to keep it really simple, I recommend a home-cooked meal of something special, preceded by Volunteer Park Conservatory's wine and cocktail hour. You’ll be beneath a glass rooftop, surrounded by plants, imbibing in the creations of Hoodsport, WA Hardware Distillery. Best of all, your loved one will be delightfully surprised.

If you go: Valentine’s Day Wine and Cocktail Hour, Volunteer Park Conservatory, Three different tasting times on Feb. 14th ($25) — N.C.

Cursive *

These days, the word emo has a reputation. Like communist during the McCarthy Era or the word Voldemort among wizarding folk, emo’s negative connotation is so towering, so pernicious that invoking it strikes terror and paranoia in the hearts of young hipsters. So let’s call Cursive a rock band consistently grappling with the existential dilemmas that plague the human condition.

Cursive’s baroque, almost orchestral arrangements (often featuring horns and cello) transcend the clumsy thrashing partially responsible for emo’s bad rap. Their lyrics are equally complex; as a sample of their tone, consider a line in “From the Hips.” It goes: “We’re all just trying to play our roles / in a play that runs ad nauseum / I hate this damn enlightenment / we were better off as animals.” It can be read as a bit mopey, but it’s smart and cutting as well, with hints of Darwinian Nihilism. This is a far cry from My Chemical Romance.

If you go: Cursive, Neumos, Feb. 14 ($17). All ages — J.S.H.

Bang on a Can Marathon

This is a 6-hour genre-bending live music concert. As Vanity Fair has described it: “Imagine Lollapalooza advised by the ghost of John Cage.” Billed as a “new music phenomenon,” the performers include musicians from across the country as well as some of our very own including Eyvind Kang and Jessika Kenney, Morgan Henderson and Shabazz Palaces. The marathon opens with the Seattle premiere of Steve Reich's landmark work Music for 18 Musicians and will also include an arrangement of Brian Eno’s Music for Airports.

If you go: Bang on a Can Marathon, Moore Theatre, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Feb. 15 ($45; students w/ID $22.50). — F.D.

Body Language *

These days, half of the electronic music emanating from music festival stages sounds like it was beamed into the speakers from some remote star system. While this sonic expansion is often awe-inspiring, it runs the risk of alienating its audiences because it lacks soul. Too often, Electronica sounds hollow; the spirit gets lost in the computers.

Not so with Body Language, a group from Brooklyn with a down-to-earth name that befits the humanity present in their sound. You’ll hear a sparkly, R&B tint to their optimistic, clubby EDM somewhat reminiscent of the combination that garnered local duo Odesza so much acclaim. The group has a free EP — “Infinite Sunshine” — posted on their bandcamp page. What better way to get a taste of the performance to come?

If you go: Body Language, Barboza, Feb. 17 ($13). 21+ — J.S.H.


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