WEDNESDAY: MLK LABOR'S MAYORAL CANDIDATE FORUM
We're just days out from the filing deadline for candidates running in city races. The 2021 election season is on, baby! This Wednesday at 6 pm, you can watch the who's who of Seattle mayoral candidates duke it out in the MLK Labor Council candidate forum. Stream it for free on Facebook. This is a key part of MLK Labor's endorsement process and whoever wins the Labor vote will likely make it far in the race. Candidates include architect Andrew Grant Houston, former state Rep. Jessyn Farrell, former City Council President Bruce Harrell, executive director of Chief Seattle Club Colleen Echohawk, current deputy mayor Casey Sixkiller, and current City Council President Lorena Gonzalez. Gonzalez is participating despite losing her mother-in-law and her home in a house fire last Friday. According to her team, it's a tough time, but the forum is "important to her." Publicola's Erica Barnett is hosting. NATHALIE GRAHAM
Attention Seattle Voters!
Tomorrow is your chance to hear directly from mayoral candidates on how they would address our city's biggest challenges. The forum begins Wednesday at 6 p.m. and will be hosted by @ericacbarnett.
Watch on Facebook Live: https://t.co/hU6J6s1w3P pic.twitter.com/pY0o7d9OM2
— MLK Labor - Pass the #PROAct (@MLKLabor) May 18, 2021
WEDNESDAY: RED MAY SEATTLE: LISA ADKINS
In 2018, the Australian sociologist Lisa Adkins made a very important contribution to economic thought in the form of a book called The Time of Money. The book basically argues that the kind of speculation that occurs in financial markets (betting on the fluctuations of share prices) has been generalized. Because of increased dependency on debt (a financial instrument), ordinary people are forced to speculate on their health, on their sources of income, on their education.
Here is one of Adkin's many insights:
..[A]usterity should be understood not as a program of cuts provoked by the financial crisis but as a political strategy through which the economy of debt is being actively expanded and extended, further enrolling the productivity of populations in the generation of surplus value via the movements and flows of money.
Stability, which, in a capitalist economy, can only be achieved through social democratic policies like Social Security, is impossible under these austere circumstances. But speculative risk for the poor and middle-class is not the same as that for those on the top. CHARLES MUDEDE
This conversation—featuring Martijn Konings, Lisa Adkins, Steven Shaviro, and Philip Wohlstetter—streams live on Red May's YouTube channel this Wednesday at 5 pm. It will be available to rewatch once it's finished streaming. Click here for Red May's full programming.
THURSDAY: VIRTUALLY SPECTACULAR 2021
Take a moment and remember how much last May sucked. Everything was blooming but we were shut-ins, negotiating with fate about when the world could reopen. Maybe by Pride, I thought, or maybe by September at worst. Lol. But there was at least one bright spot last May, and it was in an unlikely format: a fundraiser for Seattle's premier contemporary performing arts organization, On the Boards. The pandemic forced the typically ritzier annual gala at OtB's literal space to launch into digital space. This tremendous change opened the event to everyone nationwide, for free—although donations were, of course, encouraged, and the venue surpassed its fundraising goal. The gala ultimately showcased a broad section of Seattle and the country's best creatives, coming together for an affirming night of artistic Zooming.
Since our current planet is still inhospitable to in-person galas, OtB will blast off to Mars for this year's virtual gala. The theme is "MARS | PERSEVERANCE" and former Stranger writer and author Angela Garbes is hosting (more on Garbes a few blurbs down), with performances from artists Erin Markey and Timothy White Eagle. Get in the spaceship, Seattle; we're going to Mars to gain some perspective! CHASE BURNS
On the Boards' biggest fundraiser of the year is available to stream live for free at live.ontheboards.org at 7 PM on Thursday. The pre-show happy hour (also free!) requires an advance RSVP.
FRIDAY AND SATURDAY: THE SEATTLE ART BOOK FAIR'S MAKEREADY
Seattle is a hotbed of eccentric publishing activity—if you have a weird idea for a zine or book, you can likely find someone who will help you make the vision a reality. The good people over at Seattle Art Book Fair know this and have organized Makeready, a three-week virtual event that brings together a bunch of big brains in the art, design, publishing, and printing industry to explore the process of making an art book from start to finish. During this second weekend of events, Makeready's programming centers around putting a book together: how type and layout affect a book's meaning, the importance of format and material, and the differences between a book, a zine, and a "book-like thing." On Friday, you can drop into a conversation between the people behind Mundane Fantasy Comix, Shelf Shelf, and Independent Publishing Resource Center. And on Saturday, you can slide through a bunch of studio visits (I recommend Cold Cube Press's) before taking a workshop on DIY Art Book Making with Ho Tam of Hotam Press. You can even pitch any of your art book-related questions to Michael Ellsworth of Civilization during office hours. A sweet deal—and all for FREE. JASMYNE KEIMIG
Seattle Art Book Fair's Makeready is a free, virtual event. Check out the full line and register here.
SATURDAY: HELLO KITTY CAFE TRUCK @ MARKETPLACE AT FACTORIA
Bellevue is being honored with a visit from THEEEEEE Hello Kitty Cafe Truck this Saturday—those lucky bastards. The Sanrio-approved store and cafe-mobile will park at the Marketplace at Factoria and, for nine whole hours, it will spread Hello Kitty cheer all over that sad suburban mall strip. A garden of extremely adorable and collectible delights await those lucky enough to order from the cute-ass pink cafe truck: sprinkle mugs, rainbow stainless steel water bottles, enamel pin sets, totes, t-shirts, and plushies—all featuring everyone's favorite bad-ass kitty. There will be edible items too. You can nab minicake, macaron, cookie, and madeleine sets that come in Hello Kitty packaging or a giant chef cookie of her precious face. Lines are likely to be long, so be sure to get there early and bring your card as they don't accept cash. Show up in your Hello Kitty best. JASMYNE KEIMIG
The Hello Kitty Cafe Truck will station itself in the parking lot between Nordstrom Rack and Chase Bank at Marketplace at Factoria from 10 am-7 pm on May 22. They ask customers to wear masks, maintain a distance of six feet from others, and stay home if they are feeling sick.
SATURDAY: SUNSET HILL'S GARAGE SALE
In the post-pandemic, my philosophy is going to be the opposite of Marie Kondo's. I want to bury myself in things. The Sunset Hill Neighborhood is hosting a neighborhood-wide garage sale this weekend. If you live in the area, you can register your address to sell your own junk. But if you've never heard of Sunset Hill (it's northwest of Greenwood), you can still drop in to poke through and snatch up other people's wares. NATHALIE GRAHAM
This sale runs from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Saturday. More info here.
SATURDAY: BUSHWICK BOOK CLUB: LIKE A MOTHER BY ANGELA GARBES
In Like a Mother, former Stranger writer Angela Garbes used the latest science on pregnancy and childbirth and spoke frankly about her own experience to shred a stuffy, old, cisgender and white-dominated genre to pieces. The book liberated pregnant and postpartum bodies of all kinds from the often misogynist and judgey world of people telling other people what to expect when they're expecting, and that ruled. For this service, and for the pleasure of reading her warm and friendly and funny prose, the musicians over at the Bushwick Book Club have seen fit to immortalize her work in song. These events can feel a little gimmicky at first, but the experience of seeing one piece of art inspire a handful of other pieces of art in real-time is enough to restore your belief in the whole enterprise again. Also, I have no advanced knowledge of the setlist, but I have to assume someone wrote a song about the glories of the placenta. That possibility alone feels worth the suggested price of admission. RICH SMITH
The digital event starts Saturday, May 22 at 7:30 p.m. on the Bushwick Book Club's YouTube channel.
SATURDAY: TOUR DE DONUT 2021
Bikes and donuts: two of my favorite objects that involve roundness, if you don’t count the head of beloved McDonald's mascot Mayor McCheese. This weekend they come together at last! (The bikes and donuts, I mean, not Mayor McCheese. He’s not invited and he knows why.) It’s time for the annual Mighty-O Tour de Donut, an inclusive bike tour with proceeds going to benefit the youth bicycling nonprofit Bike Works. It’s a fine cause, the weather is looking mighty cheerful, and at each stop on the tour they’re giving away coffee and donuts to participants so for heaven’s sake what are you waiting for. The festivities begin Saturday morning (and I do mean MORNING, with the first group gathering at 8 am and other departures scheduled through 9:30). Bring helmets and sunscreen. Organizers say the route will take you from Ballard to Capitol Hill to Greenlake which … sounds like it might be a little out of order, but hey maybe they’re sending you on the scenic version of the tour. Anyway, it’ll be hilly! Good thing you have all those carbs waiting to fuel you. MATT BAUME
The Mighty-O Tour De Donut kicks off this Saturday from 8 AM to 2 PM. More details here.
ONGOING: PICK UP EVER RAP RECORDS
Local hiphop journalist Ben Camp has started a record series that is in essence an archaeology of '80s and early '90s Seattle hiphop. The series is called Ever Rap. And the area it covers is virtually unknown for two reasons: one, the brilliance of Sir Mix-a-Lot's fame; two, it's not connected with the post-Mix-a-Lot underground movement that began in the mid-90s, flourished in the '00s, and concluded with Macklemore's rise to stardom. Ever Rap brings back to the light of day an album by Chilly Upton, who Camp describes as "the Kool Keith of Seattle rap." And there's an album by Nerdy B & Chelly Chell. ("Chelly Chell," explains Camp, "was the first woman rapper in Seattle to record a full album, which is huge.") And one by Brothers Of The Same Mind, a group that "synthesized a hybrid New York sound way out here in Washington State." These are just three of the many record stores where you can cop these works on wax: Sonic Boom, Wall Of Sound, and Georgetown Records. As Chell put it, "listen to the sound on the wheel of steel." CHARLES MUDEDE