Saturday, January 19, 2019

Culture Dose: Fall Music, Football, Theater & Global Gatherings

Broaden your horizons at these performances, plays + beyond.

With the disheartening state of the news cycle and a collective unease we can’t help but deeply feel, we’re looking to be uplifted by positive people doing inspiring things. Namely, we’re diving into a season of celebrating the arts—on stages, screens and shelves around town. (Sports feel like a good escape right now, too!)

Courtesy St. Lucia (credit Shervin Lainez)

Brooklyn based indie-pop group St. Lucia released their third album Hyperion in late September via Columbia Records. To celebrate, the band kicks off their headline tour with a concert at The Showbox this Wednesday, October 10, and we couldn’t be more excited to groove along to their infectious rhythms.

Also at The Showbox (on Tuesday, October 23): Christine and the Queens! Earlier this month Christine and The Queens released her sophomore album Chris —available in English and French language versions and featuring standout singles “Girlfriend (ft. Dâm-Funk)” and “5 dollars.” The project has already received praise from Noisey, Billboard, GQ, Pitchfork and others, including PAPER who called it “a wonderful sonic evolution.”

Courtesy Christine and the Queens

Chris was written, arranged and performed by Christine and the Queens, as the follow-up to her debut record Chaleur Humaine, “released to near-universal acclaim in France in 2014 and the UK in 2016, and selling more than 1.3 million copies to date.” “Chaleur Humaine was about teenage years, most of it,” says Christine. “Loneliness, really true feelings, and there is a softness in the way I wrote as well, because I was properly introducing myself.” This time, Chris explains, “It gets to be a bit more exhilarating, because I get to say, okay, I’ve been introduced now. I get to be more confident, and it matches what happened in my life as a woman.”

For more music magic, get in the global groove on October 20 at King’s Hall. On this vibrant evening, Yeleen Production hosts Northwest World Fest (sponsored by KEXP), which brings the sounds and art of Africa to Seattle’s Beacon Hill. Enjoy music by balafon master Mamadou Diabate and African guitar legend Alpha Yaya Diallo, both of whom bring along full bands. Also savor Zimbabwean music from local Mahonyera Mbira Ensemble, in addition to traditional West African food, drink and vendors.

Pop loyalists flock to Paramount Theater on November 7 to hear an amazing young artist, Carlie Hanson, who opens for Troye Sivan during his “Bloom Tour.” Carlie racked up more than 50 million streams before even having released a full album.

Courtesy “A Thousand Splendid Suns”

This season, stages around town open the curtain on powerful performances. Based on the internationally best-selling novel, “A Thousand Splendid Suns” comes to Seattle Repertory Theatre’s Bagley Wright Theatre (in Seattle Center) from October 5 through November 10. This poignant tale follows the unlikely connection that blossoms between two Afghan women in war-torn Kabul, and “secrets, lies and pacts are made in this harrowing yet ultimately beautiful piece about the true cost of sacrifice.”

Another provoking, emotive production sweeps through our city—Come From Away, and we’re thrilled to bask in its glow. From October 9 through November 4, 5th Avenue Theatre launches the North American tour of this sell-out sensation. According to the website, “The Tony Award®-, Drama Desk Award- and Outer Critics Circle Award-winner takes you into the heart of the remarkable story of 7,000 stranded airline passengers and the small town in Newfoundland that embraced them. On 9/11, the world stopped. On 9/12, their stories moved us all. This is a musical that changes you, heals old wounds and lifts the spirit.”

Courtesy Vök/Taste of Iceland

Cultural exchange has rarely felt more crucial than it does in this moment, and Seattleites are fortunate to find countless ways of connecting (locally!) with folks from around the globe. From October 11 through 14, Taste of Iceland returns to our city. In conjunction with Icelanders celebrating 100 years of independence, this multi-day festival offers a sampling of the country’s top cultural exports, including food, music, art, design, science and literature. Event highlights: Culinary take-over of Tom Douglas’ Italian eatery Cuoco; Reykjavik Calling – a free 21+ concert at KEXP; Shortfish, an Icelandic film festival; presentations and discussions of Icelandic architecture and design; a panel and networking event centered around innovative and sustainable energy; internationally-celebrated Icelandic author at Elliott Bay Book Company; and a day-long celebration marking Iceland’s 100 years of independence.

Seattleites wanting to celebrate German-American friendship should keep their eyes peeled for Wunderbar Together events happening in our own city. The year-long initiative, launched in early October by the Goethe-Institut, activates more than 200 partners across all 50 states to host 1,000-plus events and exhibits. As one of the chosen PopUp locations for those not normally exposed to German culture and language, Seattle can’t wait to experience this intriguing program firsthand.

Photo by Mat Hayward / Getty Images for American Express

Calling all Seahawks fans! There’s a new Pioneer Square pit-stop you’ll want to make before stadium action—the American Express Experience and its pre-game activations (165 South Jackson Street). Free to all American Express Card Members and all Seahawks fans, this bright venue offers fun photo ops (picture yourself on a “Hawks Throne” made of helmets and footballs or posing against a “Wings Of Their Own” mural inspired by local Seattle artist Angelina Villalobos). You’ll also find special appearances by local legends (like Steve Largent, on a recent Sunday), as well as a retail shop, complimentary bites by a featured Seattle-area merchant and CLEAR sign-up stations for fans wanting to test CLEAR’s innovative “Sports Membership” program.

Looking ahead to November 19, critically-acclaimed singer/songwriter Michael Franti will grace the Moore Theatre with his presence during a showing of his self-directed documentary film “Stay Human.” The screening features an introduction by and Q&A with Franti, as well as an acoustic performance by him accompanied by Carl Young (bass, vocals) and Victoria Canal (keys, vocals).

Here’s hoping that all these good vibes help uplift you this season, too.

About Corinne Whiting

Corinne, an east coast native who relocated here from the other Washington in 2011, was bit by the travel bug early on. She lived in Strasbourg, France (during her junior year at Georgetown University) and in Edinburgh, Scotland, where she got a masters degree in Cultural Studies. She feels very grateful to have explored incredible spots on our globe ranging from Bolivia and Egypt to Turkey and China, but there are passport pages yet to fill (and travel tales yet to be written!). After serving as associate editor at Where magazine in D.C. for five years, Corinne has embarked on a new adventure here in the PNW as a freelance writer and photographer, contributing to publications like National Geographic Traveler, the Alaska Airlines in-flight magazine, Amtrak's OnTrak, 1889 Washington, 1859 Oregon, Visit Seattle and so on. She loves exploring this incredible corner of the country while debunking the rain myths, upping her coffee quotient, hearing heaps of live music and finding her Zen near the water as often as possible.
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