Seattle's getting ready for a rollback, so we're paying extra attention this week to some good digital events, like a Q&A with poet Natalie Diaz and the kick-off for Red May. As always, please remember to follow all health guidelines and get vaccinated as soon as you can. (There are plenty of open spots!)
PREMIERING THURSDAY: TOUR AROUND TOWN: MUSIC SCENE FUNDRAISER
At this point in the pandemic, we're no stranger to venue fundraisers. While many fundraisers have spotlighted the big venues in town, this new set of recorded performances takes us around Seattle venues you might've overlooked, like the nearly two-decade-old Lo-Fi Gallery, which is just shy of reaching a $25,000 GoFundMe goal. The grassroots fundraiser—presented by local recording artist Bovian, disco-pop duo Bijoux, and performer Yawa—also takes us to Cafe Nordo, which has recently pivoted to slinging immersive storytelling boxes to all 50 states. Another stop on the tour is The Jewelbox Theater at The Rendezvous, which has been a home for some of the best indie burlesque and drag performers in Seattle. Tour Around Town offers exactly what its name suggests: a tour around some of Seattle's favorite small venues, with some of its favorite performers (Adé!), for a sliding scale that supports all of the above. CHASE BURNS
Tour Around Town premieres this Thursday at 7:30 PM, then is available on-demand until May 16. Reserve your sliding scale tickets here. No one will be turned away for a lack of funds.
PREMIERING FRIDAY: SAL PRESENTS: NATALIE DIAZ
Seattle loves Natalie Diaz, and Natalie Diaz must love Seattle, given the number of times she's swung by town with her latest book, Postcolonial Love Poem. In much of that work, Diaz blurs the artificial lines that separate humans from the deserts and canyons and rivers surrounding us, blending it all into one long blazon without borders. Her descriptive powers are way off the charts throughout the book, and I particularly appreciate the way her rich images give way basically to upscale dirty talk and/or poignant commentary on the endless violence our political systems administer unto us while we lie around trying to engage in upscale dirty talk. I might be alone in that bit of analysis, but we'll see what poet Laura Da’ has to say during her interview and Q&A with Diaz in this pre-taped performance from Seattle Arts and Lectures. Pay-what-you-can tickets here. RICH SMITH
The streaming event goes live on Friday, April 30 at 7:30 PM, and it will also be available for a week afterward.
FRIDAY: WET'S SIX PACK SERIES
My favorite variety show in town is back! Due to recent events, the venue and the hosts have changed, but the premise remains the same. Six staggeringly talented local artists will create six performances based on a theme. The theme this time? "The things that plague us." Local performers Leah Crosby, Marquis Julian Hill, Carol Lee, Moonyeka, Amanda Rae, and the duo Sophie Marie & Symone Sanz will move, tell stories, create "audio experiences," rap, sermonize, and confess their myriad of sicknesses before you, their digital crowd. Though Washington Ensemble Theatre will present pre-recorded versions those performances, hosts Minna Lee and Brian Dang will do the show live, and they'll encourage at-home audiences to unmute and "engage and rage against the one-sided-talk-to-a-void type of experience." You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll feel mildly indifferent or surprisingly thrilled, but you will feel for maybe the first time this year. Pick up your tickets here. RICH SMITH
The latest installment of the Six Pack series kicks off on April 30 at 7:30 p.m.
STARTING SATURDAY: RED MAY
Red May, a "month-long spree of red arts, red theory, and red politics," enters its fifth year on Saturday, May 1 (the International Workers' Day), with an online event called "New Marxist Approaches to Literature and Art." Is that even possible? A new form of Marxist art? I do not know about such things; but what I do know for sure is Red May, which has local intellectual and artist Philip Wohlstetter as its founder, has become one of the most important radical left festivals in the US.
Here, for example, are some of the big names participating in 2021: Naomi Klein, Lisa Adkins, Warren Montag, Asad Haider, Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi, and Michael Heinrich. Everyone knows Klein, but do you know Heinrich? He is probably the most brilliant Marxist scholar of our times, and he is a member of a movement that captured my own political/philosophical imagination five or so years ago: the Neue Marx-Lektüre or "NML" ("New Marx Reading"). Hopefully, the festival will return to the real world even bigger and better in 2022. CHARLES MUDEDE
Red May invites you to "take a break from capitalism" the entire month of May. Check out their schedule for a list of events.
SUNDAY: SEATTLE SOUNDERS VS. LA GALAXY
Nothing says spring like soccer and we've got some soccer heading our way this week. The Seattle Sounders play their second home game of the season at Lumen Field on Sunday against the Los Angeles Galaxy. Seven thousand fans can watch in-person—but that's a Phase 3 stipulation that will probably change when King County inevitably dips back to Phase 2 a few days after this game. So all you fully vaccinated fans, get it in while you can, I guess.
Luckily, for those of us who aren't Sounders season ticket holders, or who are wary of our county's increasing infection and hospitalization rate, there are loads of ways to watch at home.
And this should be a pretty interesting game since the Galaxy and the Sounders are the first and second teams in their conference right now. I asked my unofficial MLS correspondent and notorious Timbers fan, Cole Jackson, his thoughts on this game.
"The only things I know are that LA's main player scored only two goals last season," Jackson texted me, "and now he's scored a bunch in their first few games." Galaxy star Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez has scored five goals in just two games, making him the second player in MLS history to do so. So, Sunday could be a sexy, high-scoring soccer game and I think we've all earned that.
"One last thing," Jackson texted, "Brad Smith for the Sounders went completely bald this year. He had a little hair last year, but he's like super bald now." Like I said: Sexy. NATHALIE GRAHAM
Seattle Sounders FC go up against LA Galaxy on Sunday at 6 PM. There are various cable and live stream options.
SUNDAY: HOOP JAM!
When aliens arrive and demand an explanation for various human behaviors, we’re going to have a hell of a time explaining hula hooping. You just … make it spin? That’s it? And it produces feelings of pleasure? Yes, for some reason, yes it does. It’s hard to say exactly why it’s so satisfying to get a good hooping going, but once you slip into the rhythm and get your hips swiveling around just right, it’s like popping bubble wrap or watching videos of spaghetti getting extruded. Relatively unproductive; completely satisfying.
Hoop enthusiasts will be delighted to join the new (free) Hoop Jam! event that occurs every non-rainy Sunday in Downtown Bellevue Park, run by dance/movement therapist Nadia Rachel with guests from the Seattle Flow Arts Collective. With sessions staggered by age group, it’s fun for young humans as well as adults; you can even support a local maker by purchasing a hoop from Marysville’s LiviJoyHoops. Making a circle float in the air for several minutes at a time may not seem like the most urgent of activities, but sometimes the least urgent are the most important. MATT BAUME
Hoop Jam! meets every non-rainy Sunday in Downtown Bellevue Park. Here's the breakdown by ages: 1-1:30 PM (ages 3.5-6), 1:45-2:30 PM (ages 7-12), and 2:45-3:30 PM (ages 13+).
SUNDAY: A "SPEED FRIENDING" EVENT TO KICK OFF TRANSLATIONS FILM FEST
Seattle is plumped with great film fests, and Three Dollar Bill Cinema's Translations Film Festival ranks high among them. The fest is back for its 16th year this May, bringing its second digital fest full of trans filmmakers and films to Seattle. The fest officially kicks off next weekend and runs through May 9, but it's hosting a special screening of Theatre Battery's web series, Lego Harry Potter and the Transgender Witch, this weekend, on Sunday afternoon. The interactive screening is billed as a "speed friending" event, which the fest describes as an "easy, no-pressure opportunity to meet folks in the community and make new friends," as well as a chance to learn more about this year's festival.
When the pandemic hit, the Kent-based Theatre Battery pivoted to creating YouTube short films. (The Stranger's Rich Smith highlighted some of them in this theatre round-up last winter.) The shorts are great, and the company hit its stride with this fun and unfortunately topical Lego Harry Potter and the Transgender Witch series. It's exciting to see Theatre Battery and Translations linking up here, in an event co-presented by UTOPIA Washington. Make some friends, learn about one of Seattle's best fests, and queer Legos/Harry Potter while you're at it. Win win win! CHASE BURNS
This speed friending event kicks off on Sunday at 3 PM. Register in advance @ tinyurl.com/speedyfriends.