* Denotes events that are $15 or less
Allen Stone: Evolution of an Artist
There’s something unique about singers that grew up in church. Aretha Franklin, CeeLo, Whitney Houston and innumerable others all honed their craft on hymns and gospel music. Washington State native and preacher’s son Allen Stone did too, and the voice forged by his religious upbringing reliably lifts the spirits of anyone willing to listen. Not that his music is religious — it just reverberates with evangelical zeal. Known for killer covers of both classic and contemporary pop songs, Stone excels in hitting the higher registers and he’s a master of the vibrato. This week, he's playing The Triple Door, Nectar Lounge, Neumos, The Neptune and The Paramount as part of his “Evolution of an Artist” series. The Triple Door and Nectar Lounge shows are already sold out, but the rest are up for grabs. (Opening acts change with each performance.)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDlmpBiSSt4[/embed] If you go: , Various venues, April 13-18 (prices vary). All ages. — J.S.H. Allen Stone
Monica Bill Barnes and Co.
Two reasons you should go see New York-based Monica Bill Barnes and Anna Bass: 1) They’re performing at the intimate Velocity Dance Center and Velocity knows dance.
Monica Bill Barnes and Anna Bass. Credit: Christopher Duggan.
2) The dancers just performed in Seattle alongside Ira Glass. (You know, Mr.
This American Life.) If you think he’s cool and he thinks they’re cool then you will probably think they’re cool too. And Ira thinks they're really cool. “I just saw Happy Hour," he told me earlier this month. "They both play men for an entire hour. They’re men who don’t get along with one another and the story is so totally wonderful and it moves them somewhere between dance and vaudeville and an old I Love Lucy sketch.” Sold! If you go: Velocity Dance Center, April 16 ($20) — F.D. Monica Bill Barnes and Co. Indigenous Showcase: Maria Tallchief *
She was Native American and she was a groundbreaker: The first U.S. prima ballerina
and the first star when George Balanchine formed his New York City Ballet company. This 2007, locally made documentary profiles the life of Maria Tallchief, from her childhood in Oklahoma to her dancing with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. Tallchief died in 2013. Seattle filmmaker Sandy Osawa, a member of the Makah tribe, will be on hand.
If you go: Northwest Film Forum, 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. screenings on April 17 ($11) — F.D. Maria Tallchief, Pacific Northwest Ballet's Swan Lake
If you love story ballets, rows of dancers moving in unison, and luscious,
sweeping scores, then this PNB production is a sure bet. Even I, a huge fan of contemporary abstract work, find myself getting swept up in all the emotion that unfolds on stage. (Plus, I’m a sucker for sets with gorgeous full moons.) If you can, hit the Saturday matinee: Carla Körbes is dancing; one of the last times you’ll get to see her before she retires in a couple of months.
If you go: McCaw Hall, Through April 19 (Tickets start at $35) — F.D. Swan Lake, Jeffrey Ochsner: Shaping Seattle Architecture *
This annual event is one of my favorites — AND totally essential to Seattleites, whether new in town, lifelong residents or somewhere in between. Dynamic and insanely knowledgeable UW professor Jeffrey Ochsner delves into the history of Seattle architecture, illuminating the story of our city’s landscape and planning and providing details on the buildings surrounding us. He will be lecturing on
Regionalism and Modernism in Seattle Architecture, 1930s-1970s. See the city in a whole new light. I am still talking about what I learned at this lecture four years ago. If you go: Jeffrey Ochsner Microsoft Auditorium at Seattle's Central Library, 1- 3 p.m., Saturday, April 25. All ages (Free). — N.C. , Daniel Clowes *
The fingerprints of Daniel Clowes are everywhere: the memorable poster for the movie
Happiness, the graphic novel (and its film adaptation) Ghost World, frequent New Yorker covers. Even a comics' novice like me can't help noticing. Clowes is an artist unafraid to dabble. He’s also versed in capturing both the bizarre and relatable in American life to more acclaim than most comics can dream of. This Saturday, he comes to Fantagraphics to talk about and sign copies of the 25th anniversary release of his comics series, The Complete Eightball. His appearance comes at the tail end of Record Store Day, the only annual holiday for audiophiles. Be sure to grab some vinyl at Georgetown Records while you’re there. If you go: Fantagraphics , 6 p.m. April 18 (Free) — N.C. Daniel Clowes, Two Gallants *
The name conjures those sinister men in long black coats that other country musicians sing about in murder ballads. The San Francisco duo does make country and roots blues music, but theirs has a raw-boned aggression that revolutionizes country — akin to what Bob Dylan did to folk music back in the day — and it’s explosive. True to their finger-picking forebears, Two Gallants compose thoughtful, thematic tunes that tend to favor long verses over repetitive choruses. Plus, if The Black Keys and White Stripes have taught us anything, it’s that electric blues duos have undeniable chemistry.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XhaSDS24mEA[/embed] If you go: Tractor Tavern, April 18 Two Gallants, Tractor Tavern ($15). All ages. – J.S.H. Kraken Congee Opening Night
Congee is, at its most simple, a kind of rice porridge popular throughout southeast Asia. It’s comforting and delicious on its own. When used as a canvas for fresh, local fresh ingredients and adventurous, carefully prepared additions (whether Chinese five spice, duck confit or curried pumpkin), it becomes a revelation. For the last two years, Kraken Congee has been a labor of love for Shane Robinson and Garret Doherty, who’ve been at the wheel as their mobile Congee emporium has popped up around Seattle, always to acclaim, and always with new, tantalizing flavor combos. Visit their brick-and-mortar (with bar) store — another excellent addition to Pioneer Square — anytime after Monday! Meantime, stare in wonder at the pictures they’ve posted.
https://vimeo.com/91833297 If you go: 88 Yesler Way in Seattle, April 20— N.C. Kraken Congee Opening Night, Reptar *
If you're one of those people who likes watching bands bend genres in funny ways, go see Reptar this week. Their music, like David Byrne’s work, has a manic Funk/New Wave fusion that brings guitars and keyboards together. But their percussion has flavors of Caribbean and American rock drumming, and the lead singer sounds like Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend talking baby talk. Vampire Weekend and Paul Simon’s Graceland project are perhaps the most apt sonic comparisons, but Reptar lyrics have that slightly bored, nihilistic tone that disaffected millennial rock musicians own, albeit with a wry sense of humor woven throughout. The group hails from the musically inclined Athens, GA, which has brought us such acts as Danger Mouse, Neutral Milk Hotel and R.E.M. — to name a few.
If you go: Tractor Tavern, April 21 ($12). 21+ — J.S.H. Reptar,