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10 things to do in Seattle

Seattle Symphony Orchestra musicians demonstrate the Octave 9 space

Seattle Symphony Orchestra musicians demonstrate the high-tech Octave 9 space. (Photo by James Holt)

Roma, Blackkklansman and Vice film posters
Cinerama is rescreening these Oscar contenders.

Oscar runners-up and a Local Sightings winner

You watched the show, you swooned at the outfits (Billy Porter’s tuxedo gown!), you agreed or disagreed with the winners. Now it’s time to actually watch all those Oscar nominees you feel so strongly about. Cinerama has you covered, with screenings of Roma, Black Panther, Vice and Blackkklansman — all of which are best seen on Seattle’s one-of-a-kind giant screen with spectacular sound. And for those who prefer their movie awards to be truly indie, Northwest Film Forum presents an encore screening of Chronic Means Forever, which won Best Feature at the Local Sightings Film Festival last fall. This visceral, poetic documentary by Spanaway’s Kadazia Allen-Perry tells the story of her struggle with cystic fibrosis and her feelings about being a self-described alien. –B.D.

If you go: Cinerama, Feb. 27-March 6. (Times and prices vary) Northwest Film Forum, March 3 at 4 p.m. (Free)

 

Wolf Parade
Montreal-based band Wolf Parade. (Photo courtesy of Facebook)

Wolf Parade

Musicologically speaking, we’re transitioning from Generation Hip-Hop into the New Golden Age of Pop. But there’s always room for anachronism, which is why we occasionally embrace the Self-Important Rock Band with Something to Say. For example: Wolf Parade. Two years ago the Montreal-based band released its fourth album for Sub Pop, Cry Cry Cry, a collection of jittery, dramatic anthems about postmodern love and anxiety. The music is grandiose and urgent and compulsively listenable, buoyed by Spencer Krug’s prophetic yawp and embellished by electronic flourish; spending time with it is like exercise or good sex, simultaneously fulfilling and exhausting. Tonight the band performs at the Northwest’s coolest new concert venue. –J.Z.

If you go: Alma Mater (in Tacoma), Feb. 28 at 8 p.m. ($22; 21 and older)


Reignwolf

Spanning at least the last eight years, the saga of Reignwolf traversed points high and low before finally arriving at the band’s long-awaited debut album. It begins with a ferociously talented guitarist from Saskatoon, Canada — Jordan Cook, the high-wire shredder who was once the sole proprietor of the Reignwolf title, who arrived in Seattle around 2011, intent on going supernova into grunge-god status. It includes an impromptu performance on top of the Sasquatch Festival merch booth in 2012, an abandoned recording project with Soundgarden bassist Ben Shepherd and Pearl Jam drummer Matt Cameron, countless live shows featuring Cook’s blistering guitar solos and, truth be told, very few memorable Reignwolf songs. Hear Me Out, set for self-release on March 1, changes that last bit: The album crystalizes Reignwolf’s scuzzy industrial-blues sound as the band, now a far-ranging trio, unleashes one full-blown hard-rock banger after another, all aggressively catchy and instantly lovable. This is the Reignwolf we’ve been waiting for. —J.Z.

If you go: Sunset Tavern, March 1 at 8:30 p.m. ($27.50; 21 and older)


Nordic Lights Film Festival

A middle-aged woman takes on the local aluminum industry. Children of divorce trying to make the best of things. Three troubled strangers whose lives are changed after a chance meeting. These are just a few of the stories gracing the screen during the Nordic Lights Film Festival. Now in its 10th year, the festival honors the long-standing Scandinavian film tradition (Ingmar Bergman, Carl Theodor Dreyer, Lasse Halström) by showcasing new work from the region. With shorts, feature films and documentaries from Iceland, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and the tiny Faroe Islands (where the film industry is surprisingly robust), the lineup reveals the perspectives, preoccupations and humor of the Nordic people. (Watch a clip from opening night film Woman at War, above.) –B.D.

If you go: Nordic Lights Film Festival, March 1-3 at SIFF Cinema Uptown. ($75 series pass; prices vary per individual screenings)


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DAWN

Dawn Richard launched her music career in the most mainstream way possible, on the 2005 season of MTV’s reality show Making the Band, which springboarded her to lead singer of the Diddy-produced girl group Danity Kane. Since then, she’s become more and more unconventional in her music and overall aesthetic until arriving earlier this year with her most boundary-pushing work yet. New Breed finds Richard, who now goes by the mononym DAWN, shattering traditional R&B and hip-hop structures and reassembling them into shifty dance-floor instigations — fragmented, minimalist and reverby — suffused in weird grooves and interspersed with field recordings from the streets of her New Orleans home. Tonight she opens for the reunited (and far less interesting) Danity Kane. –J.Z.

If you go: Nectar, March 2 at 9 p.m. ($30-$50; 21 and older)


Seattle Symphony’s new space: Octave 9

Seattle is budding with new cultural venues this spring, including the Seattle Symphony’s futuristic new space, Octave 9 (aka Raisbeck Music Center). Housed in the former Soundbridge educational center at Benaroya Hall, Octave 9 uses virtuosic technology to achieve a remarkable feat: the ability to make the room sound intimate, medium-sized or cathedral-like at the click of a button. It’s achieved via 62 speakers, 10 subwoofers and 30 microphones arrayed in a low-slung, honeycomb ceiling. At a demo earlier this week, audio gurus from Meyer Sound revealed how the system allows performers to audibly “raise the roof” up to 65 feet, while curved video screens surround viewers with artful visions. Attend free grand opening events in the space in the next week (see details below), and start banking shut-eye now so you’ll be ready for the 24-hour Contemporary Music Marathon, with multiple musicians and composers playing literally all night long. –B.D.

If you go: Octave 9 (in Benaroya Hall, entrance at Second and Union). Free open house events March 3 and March 7 (RSVP required here). Contemporary Music Marathon, March 23-24 ($75-$200)


NYC band Crumb
New York-based Crumb embodies the neo-jam band. (Photo courtesy of Facebook)

Crumb

We’re 20 years past the heyday of the jam-band ethos, which means we’re also in the midst of the inevitable generational recycling of the jam-band ethos. Thankfully, this new cohort brings new voices and new perspectives beyond the original’s interminable noodlings and goofy-hatted-white-guy sensibility. New York quartet Crumb occupies a genuinely exploratory mode, shuffling from bossa-novaesque groove to whammy-barred guitar flights to skronky saxophone freakouts, but singer Lila Ramani’s cool, syrupy vocals keep the band’s peripatetic voyages leashed to compact compositions. The two EPs they’ve released since 2016 bristle with the compelling tension between big ideas and tasteful concision. –J.Z.

If you go: The Crocodile, March 4 at 7 p.m. ($16-$18; all ages)


Giants of Journalism: Dean Baquet and Marty Baron

Dean Baquet and Marty Baron, respectively the executive editors of The New York Times and The Washington Post, are engaged in one of the most thrilling — and nationally urgent — contests of their distinguished lives. Their task? To oversee the production of a daily report that captures, with accuracy, poise and speed, the pulse of the nation. These days, that pulse can quicken to a feverish rate at the drop of an early morning tweet from the White House, or at the invocation of a national emergency, real or imagined. The story of Donald Trump’s presidency and the shock waves it has sent through the United States and the world is a story for the ages, and one these papers have told well. Be it insider reports from intelligence and national security agencies or deep dives into the possible connections between Donald Trump’s election campaign and Russia, both publications have provided a vital public service. This story is far from over, and Seattle has a chance next week to hear what it’s like to tell it from the inside. –Mason Bryan

If you go: Seattle Arts and Lectures at Benaroya Hall, March 5 at 7:30 p.m. ($10-$45)


Taiji Miyasaka’s installation Circum-Ambience
An “inhabitable” sphere, part of Taiji Miyasaka’s installation ‘Circum-Ambience’ at Mad Art. (Photo courtesy Mad Art Studio)

Taiji Miyasaka: Circum-Ambience

To walk into Mad Art Studio’s current show is to enter a solar system of sorts. The newly completed installation by Washington State University professor Taiji Miyasaka, Circum-Ambience, features three spherical objects, each custom-built for the large-windowed, industrial space in South Lake Union. One is a bright yellow ball of wound wire, one looks like something a tornado rolled up, and the largest is a 13-foot-tall “inhabitable” pod made of clay plaster. This last earned the most attention at the opening last weekend, where people crept inside the dark sphere to sit on the floor and look up at the slim circle of natural light above. Reminiscent of James Turrell’s Sky Space at the Henry Art Gallery, Miyasaka’s sphere is more intimate, more earthy and more acoustically resonant. Inside, it feels like you could easily bob along the ocean, or maybe even through our own galaxy. –B.D.

If you go: Mad Art Studio, through March 23. (Free) Artist talk at UW’s Architecture Hall, Room 147, March 6 at 6 p.m. (Free)


Pete Buttigieg

Peter Buttigieg in conversation

An Ivy League-educated millennial sees purpose in returning home to struggling South Bend, Indiana — and govern as mayor. Equal parts optimistic, practical and bold, Pete Buttigieg shares his atypical journey from a high schooler writing about the "edgy" politics of Bernie Sanders to Harvard, then Oxford, then the ultimately unsatisfying demands of management consulting, enlisting in the Navy and eventually earning a distinction as one of the youngest people ever to win a mayoral race: he was 29. Now 37, the two-term mayor is on a book tour for his memoir, Shortest Way Home, talking Rust Belt politics while also answering questions about his bigger Presidential ambitions (the rising star Democrat launched an exploratory campaign in January). I'm looking forward to asking him about balancing ambitions with values and what it might be like to be an openly gay married man in the White House. —Florangela Davila 

If you go: Pete Buttigieg: Shortest Way Home (in conversation with Crosscut's Florangela Davila), 7 p.m. Feb. 28, Seattle Central library (free). 

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10 things to do in Seattle

About the Authors & Contributors

Brangien Davis

Brangien Davis is a reporter at Crosscut focused on arts and culture.