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4 May 11, 2016 THE STRANGER 





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THE STRANGER May 11, 2016 5 


(he Stranger 

Volume 25, Issue Number 37 
May 11-17, 2016 



COVER ART 


illustration by CALEB WALSH 
cargocollective.com/calebwalsh 


WE SAWYOU 

Stranger staffers saw you lifting rebar outside 
Re-bar, wearing American flags at a Trump 
Rally, and trying to get people to dance 
... page 7 

NEWS 

Why aren’t some Seattle workers making the 
right minimum wage?; local news roundup 
... page 9 

WEED 

What harvest looks like at a pot farm in Eastern 
Washington ... page 13 

FEATURE 

In the middle of the world’s Zika crisis, these 
researchers are studying what it means when 
mosquitoes are able to learn ... page 15 

SAVAGE LOVE 

Mating games ... page 23 

THINGS TO DO: 

ARTS & CULTURE 

The Stranger suggests Puny Humans at An¬ 
nex Theatre, Pierogi Fest at the Polish Home 
Association, The Crime of Dr. Crespi at Grand 
Illusion, and more ... page 25 

THINGS TO DO: MUSIC 

The Stranger suggests Modern English at Neu- 
mos, Bettye LaVette at Jazz Alley, the Who at 
KeyArena, Horse Lords at Hollow Earth Radio, 
and more ... page 31 

MUSIC 

Artists Benoit Pioulard and Mara at Debacle 
Fest; it’s a good week for local hiphop ... page 39 

ART 

Cornish College of the Arts may be losing its 
leaders ... page 43 

THEATER 

Racial drama onstage and racial tension back- 
stage at Seattle Rep ... page 45 

BOOKS 

Comics newspaper Intruder prepares to fold 
... page 47 

FILM 

Reviews of High-Rise and The Man 
Who Knew Infinity ... page 49 

FREE WILL ASTROLOGY 

The light shining from your eyes and the 
thoughts coalescing in your brain will be extra 
pure and bright... page 51 

CHOW 

Sampling the spring harvest at Vendemmia and 
East Anchor Seafood ... page 52 

PERSON OF INTEREST 

SassyBlack, musician ... page 54 


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THE STRANGER May 11, 2016 7 





WE SAW YOU 

STRANGER STAFFERS WERE THERE AS IT HAPPENED 


What Are You THINKIN’? 


by Mandy Patinkin 


THE STRANGER 

REBAR OUTSIDE RE-BAR Rats have likely been hurt in the making of that building. 


THE SCENE OUTSIDE RE-BAR 

No one knows what the bar and performance 
space Re-bar is made out of—cardboard and 
meringue?—but the building going up next 
to it is made of very heavy materials, some 
of which were being lifted into the air by a 
crane at 11:30 a.m. on Monday. Five con¬ 
struction workers stood in the street and 
watched. Uncountable rats huddled nearby. 
The only reason we suspect there were rats 
nearby is that at a recent nighttime per¬ 
formance of Dina Martina’s spring show at 

—CE553E5E3--- 


Re-bar, we stepped outside during intermis¬ 
sion and peered down the alley between Re¬ 
bar and that new building, intending to walk 
between the two structures to smoke some 
weed, but we stopped, horrified, at what ap¬ 
peared to be a deleted scene from The Secret 
of NIMH. There were enough rats scurrying 
back and forth through that alley, their backs 
reflected faintly in the darkness, their bel¬ 
lies doubtless filled with corned beef, that it 
looked like the asphalt was rippling. 

YOU CAN LEAD A HORSE TO WILDLIFE 

We saw you, a woman perhaps in your mid- 
30s, trying to pull person after person onto 
the dance floor at FRED Wildlife Refuge 
throughout last Thursday night. We saw you 
approach at least a dozen people and try to 
persuade them. You failed more than you suc¬ 
ceeded, but your tenacity and un-Seattle-like 
forthrightness were impressive. 

CHAGRINED IN LYNDEN 

We are not the type to make gross general¬ 
izations about our fellow human beings just 
because of where they live or how they dress 
or what they say, think, and do. However, you 
didn’t make it easy for us after we drove up 
1-5 to witness the Donald Trump rally/pro¬ 
test last weekend firsthand and discovered, to 
our eternal chagrin, that you were a bunch of 
small-minded, intolerant rubes with no sense 
of style and no capacity to even suspect that 
you are being duped by the most cynical politi¬ 
cal opportunist in modern history. We did ap¬ 
preciate your American flag two-piece romper 
outfit, however. Points for that. 


Y ep, it's me again. No, I can't believe 
it, either. Calm down. 

As you can well imagine, an 
international star of my magnitude doesn't 
get a lot of time to put his feet up and just 
chill with a Netflix or whatever you people 
are constantly braying about. My point be¬ 
ing: Mandy'stime is Mandy'stime. End of 
story. Simple, right? Anyone could under¬ 
stand it, right? 

Wrong. 

Now this young lady, who couldn't have 
been much older than 19, interrupted my 
afternoon macchiato at Au Bon Pain to in¬ 
form me that she "just downloaded season 
five of Homeland" and it means so much 
to her because she has bipolar disorder and is interested in international espionage 
and—I let her keep going for a minute or two (or was it six hours?) while I watched 
the foam dissolve in my cup before I raised my shushing hand. 

"Download?" I said. 

"Yeah, BitTorrent," she replied. "It's not on Netflix yet." 

I drank the rest of my now lukewarm coffee, waited a perfect beat, then snatched 
the Gruyere tartine off the small plate she was holding. Lightning speed. 

"The hell?" she asked. 

I explained that I could've given her the full lecture on the economic system she 
was helping to destroy by stealing my work—or I could do what an artist does, and 
show, not tell. The tartine was so hot that it burned my tongue, to tell you the truth, 
but it was worth it. 

It was one way of handling the situation. If I had it to do all over again, I suppose I 
could simply have asked her the question on everyone's lips: Hey, illegal downloader, 
WHAT ARE YOU THINKIN'? 


FIRST AVENUE DAYDREAMER FILLS 
US WITH DREAD 

It was a beautiful Thursday evening, and you 
were drinking outside at the Diller Room, 
overlooking the rush-hour traffic on First Av¬ 
enue. We couldn’t help but overhear your con¬ 
versation. “At age 22,” you announced to your 
friend with all the wisdom of every 22-year- 
old, “I know now that I need security.” You said 
you liked that famous people come through 
the exclusive downtown club where you work. 
You said one day some older gentlemen all got 
together in one of the club’s dining rooms— 
scientists, you thought. Their event was so 
private that they kicked out the servers. But 
the bartender got to stay for the talk, and af¬ 
terward she told you what they said. “There’s 
an earthquake coming,” you reported to your 
friend. Evidently you are a 22-year-old woman 
who has somehow heard nothing of the earth¬ 
quake that has been predicted for Seattle in 
every news story, book, and broadcast for the 
last, oh, forever. “It’s serious,” you said in a 
conspiring voice. “I’m not kidding. And then 
I heard they’re closing down a road. I think 
it’s 1-5. I think they know something.” Your 
friend, who must keep up with the news more 
than you do, responded that the road was not 
1-5 but the viaduct. It didn’t seem to matter 
to you. “I’m really scared,” you said. “Those 
guys were really smart.” Then you started 
talking about the yoga “community” you 
plan to open in Seattle, if you can stay at the 
club long enough to find a financial supporter 
among the men coming through. Though the 
viaduct is now open, we can’t stop thinking 
about how sad it is that the future vision of 
a person who was kicked out of a talk where 
she could have discovered things she should 


already have known is to find a sugar daddy 
and spread spiritual wisdom. 

A STARTLING PERSON ON LIGHT RAIL 

We were riding the light rail from Beacon 
Hill on Friday evening, and when the train 
stopped at Pioneer Square, you pounded 
the glass in front of your seat and shouted 
“SHIT!” with such volume and anger that 
you nearly gave everyone around you— 
mainly teens—a heart attack. Maybe you’d 
just realized you’d missed your stop? Maybe 
you had Tourette’s? After you exited the 
train with a scowl, your outburst was all 
anyone could talk about. 

ENTITLED MALE BOARDS BUS 

You rushed past the bus driver toward the 
middle of the bus as you boarded a 40 headed 
downtown on a Monday morning. Like you 
owned the place with your shiny black Pa¬ 
tagonia jacket and your Swiss Army back¬ 
pack and your white earbuds in your ear 
holes. “Hey,” the bus driver called. Nothing. 
“Hey!” he had to call again. “Jesus Christ,” 
you muttered. Why should anyone question 
you? You, who are clearly not homeless, who 
are clearly rich and white and male and le¬ 
gitimate? You shoved a transfer slip in front 
of the black male bus driver’s face. “That’s 
not the right one,” he said. “I’ve been doing 
this a long time.” “Jesus Christ,” you repeat¬ 
ed, as if you were being martyred by being 
asked to produce the same documentation 
as everyone else to be allowed on the bus. 
You riffled around and took out another slip 
and thrust that one at him. “Thank you,” he 
said. You said, “Jesus Christ,” and plopped 
into a seat. ■ 


To submit an unsigned confession or accusation, send an 
e-mail to ianonymous@thestranger.com. Please remember 
to change the names of the innocent and guilty. 



WEED VS. WHEEZE 

I know you love pot. Guys and gals come 
to Washington from all over because 
it's legal here. I voted for legalization to 
free up our justice and law-enforcement 
systems for more important things (like 
the meth house in my neighborhood). 

But I thought it would be regulated, like 
alcohol. You know, like not drinking while 
walking down the street or driving or 
even parked in front of a business. I get 
it—it's not as bad as drinking, right? Thing 

is. I'm asthmatic. It's hard enough avoiding 
tobacco smokers, but now pot smoke is 
everywhere, and I can't say a thing about 

it. I miss the days of people smoking at 
home or at a party. I used to partake in 
college before being diagnosed. Have 
your fun, but if I cough and wheeze and 
ask you to take it elsewhere, don't chew 
me out—just nod and move on. 

—Anonymous 
























8 May 11, 2016 THE STRANGER 





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THE STRANGER May 11, 2016 9 



NEWS 



Why Aren’t These West 
Seattle Workers Making the 
Right Minimum Wage? 

And Why Has It Taken the City So Long to Do Something About It? 

BY HEIDI GROOVER 


H ere’s how one employee of LSG 
Sky Chefs—a large subsidiary of 
the German airline Lufthansa— 
describes her minimum-wage job in West 
Seattle: She usually has to be at work by at 
least 4 a.m., but when things are particularly 
busy, she might have to come in at 3 a.m. or 
even midnight. When she arrives, she and her 
coworkers—mostly immigrants and refugees 
from Africa, Mexico, Peru, the Philippines, 
Vietnam, and China—work until 1 or 1:30 
p.m. assembling sandwiches and salads to be 
sold inside 7-Elevens and on Alaska Airlines 
flights. Some workers make the food, and oth¬ 
ers inspect it. All day, they’re working in a 
big walk-in cooler. “It’s cold all the time,” the 
worker says. 

Sometime last year, this employee, who 
asked me not to use her name or job title 
because she’s afraid of retaliation, found out 
that many of the coworkers standing beside 
her in the walk-in cooler weren’t being paid 
Seattle’s new minimum wage. Instead of the 
$11 minimum wage Seattle law required at 
large companies as of last April, some Sky 
Chefs employees were being paid just $9.47, 
the state minimum wage. Many of the work¬ 
ers first realized this when they heard what 
their friends at other minimum-wage jobs 
were earning. 

Unite Here Local 8, the union that rep¬ 
resents the employee I spoke to and her 
coworkers, went to the city last April. But 
now, more than a year later, the union does 
not know when the workers will get the 
money they’ve earned. A look at how long 
it’s taken to get here—and the closed-door 


process by which it happened—is a case study 
in just how meaningless progressive victories 
are in the absence of effective enforcement. 


L SG Sky Chefs refused to talk to me 
for this story, so it’s impossible to con¬ 
firm the wages reported by the union and the 
worker I spoke to, or to know why the com¬ 
pany is apparently failing to follow Seattle’s 
law. But let’s look at some of the excuses other 
companies have tried to use. 

Because the workers at Sky Chefs are 
unionized, their contracts are bargained 
alongside the thousands 
of Sky Chefs employees 
working in other cities. 

Because the rest of the 
country doesn’t require 
the wages Seattle does, 
those contracts allow for 
lower pay than Seattle’s 
minimum wage. But that 
doesn’t give the company 
an out, because the local 
law applies to all workers, unionized or not. 
Another one: Only about 55 people work at 
Sky Chefs’ West Seattle location. But Sky 
Chefs employs thousands of people, so it 
would be classified as a large employer, mean¬ 
ing they have to pay higher wages. Even 
for large employers, wages differ based on 
whether the company helps out with employ¬ 
ee health care. According to the union, Sky 
Chefs doesn’t. 

All of those factors put the company in 
the highest minimum-wage bracket under 


Seattle’s law. Employees at Sky Chefs should 
have started earning $11 an hour starting 
last April, and their wages should go up to 
$13 an hour this January. Instead, according 
to the union and the worker I spoke to, some 
employees last year earned just $9.47, the 
state minimum wage, while others in Seattle 
earned $11. This year, after union negotia¬ 
tions, they say most employees in Seattle are 
making $12.50. That’s still less than the $13 
they say the company should be paying—and 
workers are owed back wages from last year. 
(Remember, the union bargains for Sky Chefs 
workers all over the country, not just in Se¬ 
attle. So they agreed to 
a contract that includes 
wages lower than Seat¬ 
tle’s minimum wage, but 
the law says those work¬ 
ers inside Seattle are still 
entitled to Seattle’s mini¬ 
mum wage, regardless of 
the contract.) 

The union first took 
this case to the city’s Of¬ 
fice of Labor Standards (OLS) in early April 
2015, soon after the city’s new minimum-wage 
law took effect. That month, the city sent Sky 
Chefs a “compliance letter,” a warning that 
they may be violating the city’s minimum- 
wage law. Compliance letters are essentially 
toothless. A 2014 city auditor’s report found 
that during the first year of Seattle’s paid 
sick time ordinance, the city relied on simi¬ 
lar letters to inform businesses they weren’t 
following the law. During that time, employ¬ 
ers paid no fines, only some paid back pay to 


employees that hadn’t received sick time, and 
the city did little follow-up with businesses 
that didn’t respond to the letter. When the 
minimum wage took effect, the city wanted to 
offer businesses a “soft launch” for the first 
year, but promised to not rely only on compli¬ 
ance letters. 

But follow-up since the city sent Sky Chefs 
that compliance letter a year ago has been gla¬ 
cial. E-mail exchanges between the OLS and 
the union show repeated efforts by the union to 
find out the status of this investigation, only to 
be told, basically, “We’re still working on it.” At 
one point, the city wondered whether Sky Chefs 
might be exempt from the minimum-wage law 
because of federal regulations governing air¬ 
lines, but found that wasn’t the case. 

In February, it appeared that the city was 
siding with the union. An investigator told 
the union that they’d sent Sky Chefs a “re¬ 
quest for a pre-charge settlement,” which 
offers a business that’s violating a labor law 
the chance to quickly pay its workers what 
they’re owed and avoid extra fines from the 
city. Nearly three weeks later, and after the 
union had again asked for an update, the in¬ 
vestigator said the case had been handed over 
to Sky Chefs’ lawyers. The company’s law¬ 
yers, the investigator wrote in an e-mail to the 
union, were unable to review the city’s letter 
because of vacations and court dates. The city 
would give the company’s lawyer a week to 
respond, an investigator wrote in an e-mail to 
the union. But then the union heard nothing 
for another month. In mid-April, they asked 
again, “Where does this stand?” 

The next day, a full year after the union 
first brought this case to the city, the inves¬ 
tigator sent the union a cryptic e-mail. “The 
employer is still denying liability but willing 
to discuss settlement of the minimum wage 
allegations,” the April 19 e-mail read. That 
was the last the union heard from the OLS, 
according to Sarah Warren, staff director for 
Unite Here Local 8. 

“This is a multinational, billion dollar cor¬ 
poration just thumbing their nose at the law,” 
Warren says. 

Meanwhile, full-time workers who were 
earning $9.47 last year but should have been 
making $11 would be owed about $2,200 each 
for 2015. If those making $12.50 this year 
should indeed be making $13, they are owed 
$320 for the first four months 2016. 


T he OLS doesn’t comment on ongoing 
investigations, according to enforce¬ 
ment manager Cailin Dejillas. In an interview, 
Dejillas would say only that they were “in 
contact with” Sky Chefs. When pressed on 
the amount of time the investigation has 
taken, Dejillas said the case was filed when 
the office had only two investigators and it 
involved “a pretty complex issue” of special 
federal regulations for airlines, which most 
cases don’t involve. 

The problem for the OLS—and the low- 
wage workers counting on that office to make 
sure they get paid—is that the Sky Chefs case 
is not all that unusual. While a full year is an 
extraordinarily long time for a city labor in¬ 
vestigation, the number of investigations and 
the time those investigations take have only 
grown over the last year. 

According to the city, it now takes 188 days 
on average to complete an investigation of a 
company that may be violating a city labor 
law. That wait is even longer—212 days—for 
minimum-wage cases. Those numbers are ► 


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◄ up from 113 and 57 respectively in July 
2015, the first month OLS reports show min¬ 
imum-wage investigation timelines. Another 
high-profile case launched last fall, in which 
workers at Beecher’s Handmade Cheese in 
Pike Place Market said they’d been victims 
of wage theft and other labor law violations, 
has also not been resolved. (The company has 
denied the claims.) 

Over the last year, the OLS has gone from 
having two investigators to four full-time 
investigators plus one intake person. The 
full-time investigators are handling about 
38 cases each, Dejillas says. That’s simply 
not enough manpower for a city with several 
complex labor laws on the books and, as the 
city council considers new scheduling rules, 
more to come. 

“My feeling,” says Olga Chavarria, the Unite 
Here Local 8 organizer who works directly 
with the West Seattle Sky Chefs employees, “is 
that the city has made laws but they don’t have 
a really good way to enforce them.” 

In response, local unions are lobbying for 
a tax on businesses to pay for more worker 
education and investigators. The mayor has 


rejected the tax proposal but pledged to find 
money to double the OLS budget. 

Dejillas, from the OLS, blames the high 
number of investigations and the complexity 
of some of those cases for the long timelines 
and delays. Investigators are “very busy and 
they have a lot of work,” Dejillas says, “but 
they’re doing great job.” 

That may be true, Unite Here’s Sarah 
Warren says, but she also believes cases like 
Sky Chefs show the city is too sympathetic 
to business. 

“They’ve given Sky Chefs a lot of exten¬ 
sions and opportunity to delay,” Warren says. 
“If they don’t feel like you’re really coming 
after them, they’re not going to change.” 

The total amount in question—about $2,500 
in back pay per person—may not seem like 
much. But “we live paycheck by paycheck,” 
the Sky Chefs worker says. That money could 
pay for rent, bills, groceries, or car main¬ 
tenance—an increasingly common need as 
minimum-wage workers are pushed out to 
cheaper suburbs and forced to commute to Se¬ 
attle to earn a higher minimum wage. In that 
reality, $2,500 can make a big difference. ■ 


NEWS SHORTS 


TRUMP DRAWS CROWDS OF FANS AND 
PROTESTERS IN LYNDEN, WA Thousands 
of mostly mayonnaise-colored people 

turned out for a rally at the sunny Lynden 
fairgrounds—near the Canadian border— 
with Republican presidential nominee/ 
nutjob Donald Trump on May 7. Trump gave 
his usual rambling stump speech, mocking 
his detractors and promising to "build the 
wall." His supporters told us they were 
concerned about the impacts of illegal 
immigration on the economy, and they of¬ 
fered exceedingly charitable interpretations 
of Trump's past remarks about Mexicans. 
Washington State Patrol officers formed a 
buffer between Trump's overflow crowd and 
hundreds of anti-Trump protesters, including 
local middle and high schoolers who held 
signs saying "Make America Hate Again." 

A sixth grader we talked to said his parents 
warned him to stay home, but he came 
anyway. "He's a racist, a sexist... He's 
Donald Trump," he said. Meanwhile, down 
the road, three protesters were arrested 
after chaining their arms together to block 
a state highway leading toward the rally 
site. As police approached and angry drivers 
screamed at her, Neah Monteiro said, "If 
they want to take us out of here for block¬ 
ing bigotry, that's on them." ANSEL HERZ 
AND RICH SMITH 

ANTI-TRANS BALLOT 1-1515 COULD COST 
THE STATE $4.46 BILLION A YEAR Now 

that we know that the US Department of 
Justice is suing the state of North Carolina 
over its boneheaded House Bill 2 (and vice 
versa). Just Want Privacy's plan to make the 
state vote this November on repealing pro¬ 
tections for transgender people in bathrooms 
is looking riskier by the day. The initiative 
took another blow from a recent report by 
the Williams Institute at the University of 
California, Los Angeles estimating that the 
cost of passing the initiative could amount to 
$4.46 billion a year in lost federal fund¬ 
ing. Most of that loss would be to the state's 
public school system, which currently receives 
about 9 percent of its annual funding from 
the federal government. "If 1-1515 is passed, 
it would explicitly require that restrooms are 
gender segregated by biological sex, which is 
in direct contradiction with Title IX," Amira 
Hasenbush, one of the authors of the report, 
told The Stranger. In addition, the state could 
face billions of dollars in cuts to student-loan 


funding, higher education, workforce train¬ 
ing programs, federal contracts, and more. 

All that to make sure cis dudes don't pretend 
to be transgender women in order assault 
other women in restrooms? (Jesus, what a 
mouthful.) Yep. Because cis dudes definitely 
don't assault people all the time everywhere 
else. SYDNEY BROWNSTONE 

MAYOR WANTS MORE OF SEATTLE'S 
POOR TO GET DISCOUNTS ON THEIR 
ELECTRIC BILLS Not many people know that 
Seattle City Light will discount your electric¬ 
ity bill by up to 60 percent if your income 
doesn't meet a certain threshold. In 2014, 
just one in five eligible residents had signed 
up. This could finally begin to change. Mayor 
Ed Murray unveiled new legislation on May 
4 that would automatically enroll 10,000 
low-income families who live in public hous¬ 
ing in the discount program—amounting to 
$10 million in direct financial assistance for 
them, funded by an increase in utility charges 
for all customers by about a half of a percent. 
The program also halves water, garbage, 
and other Seattle Public Utilities bills. Any 
household with an income falling beneath 
70 percent of state median household in¬ 
come—$31,000 for single person, $60,000 for 
a family of four—is eligible for the program. 
Council Members Kshama Sawant and Lisa 
Herbold said they support the legislation and 
plan to expand access to the program even 
further. Sign up at seattle.gov/light/assistance 
or call 684-3417. ANSEL HERZ 

LUMMI NATION BLOCKS LARGEST COAL 
EXPORT TERMINAL IN NORTH AMERICA 

On May 9, the US Army Corps of Engineers 
rejected the permit for the proposed coal 
terminal, which would have shipped 54 
million tons of goods, most of it coal, out 
of Bellingham per year. If the Lummi Nation 
didn't have treaty-protected fishing rights 
off of Cherry Point, a sacred Lummi site, 
SSA Marine's proposal for an enormous coal 
export facility could very well have been 
built. The tribe, citing a Department of 
Ecology traffic report that showed ship¬ 
ping coal could cut into Lummi fishing 
by as much as 76 percent, appealed to the 
Army Corps last year. Eight more local tribes 
joined the effort to block the coal terminal 
and rallied together in Washington, DC, 
last November. The fight paid off. SYDNEY 
BROWNSTONE 


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WEED 


From Soup to Nugs 

What Harvest Looks Like at a Pot 
Farm in Eastern Washington 

BY TOBIAS COUGHLIN-BOGUE 


F or growers, harvest can be the most 
anticipated and the most dreaded time 
of the year. On one hand, it means they’ve 
successfully raised their crop despite mold, 
mildew, pests, and other hazards. On the oth¬ 
er hand, it’s one of the most labor-intensive 
parts of the growing process, involving weeks 
of drying, trimming, curing, and packaging. 

Last week, I drove out to Quincy Green in 
Eastern Washington to watch growers har¬ 
vest their crop of cannabis—towering pot 
plants that they lovingly refer to as “the la¬ 
dies” because, well, they’re all female. 

Female pot plants, when separated from 
male plants and subjected to the right con¬ 
ditions—most importantly, exposure to 
darkness for 12-hour stretches—do not pro¬ 
duce seeds but instead 
grow large resinous 
colas, or buds. That’s 
the part that gets 
smoked (or ingested). 

When these colas 
are at their densest, 
they’re ready to be 
harvested. 

Quincy Green head 
grower Steffen Kight- 
linger showed me the 
farm’s state-of-the- 
art “SmartHouse,” 
a digitally controlled 
greenhouse that has all 
the tight environmental controls of an indoor 
grow but takes advantage of the free energy 
from the sun. The greenhouse is packed tightly 
with three rows of plants, representing a myri¬ 
ad of strains. The genetic diversity in the room 
is obvious even to a layperson—it’s a patch- 
work quilt of colors: many shades of green, rich 
ochre and reds, deep purples, and pale yellows. 

We selected a reddish NY Diesel plant, 
which was strung up like a marionette to 
keep its dense colas from drooping over and 
snapping their supporting stems. Mark Ol¬ 
son, the patriarch of the family-owned farm, 
took a heavy-duty garden lopper and sheared 
off the main stem. Kightlinger slung the 
bounty over his shoulder and deposited it in a 
waiting wagon, where it was hauled off to the 
processing building. 

Olson’s daughter, Annalise, acts as the 
farm’s production manager, and she walked 
me through the complicated process of dry¬ 
ing, curing, and trimming. First the plants 
must be weighed in order to log their “wet 
weight.” Then they’re hang-dried for about 
two weeks. When lightly bent branches snap 
instead of yield, they’re ready to be broken 
down, lightly manicured, and evenly depos¬ 
ited into separate tubs for curing—a process 
akin to barrel-aging for wine. 

Curing is an interesting and often over¬ 
looked part of the harvest process, and it 
can be what separates schwag from top-shelf 
product. Smoking uncured or improperly 
cured pot is not unlike drinking wine straight 
from the fermenter. As Cannabis.info ex¬ 
plains, “Quickly-dried bud can taste harsh 
and have low potency. We’ve all been there: 


You buy a bag of weed that smells good and 
feels dry on the outside, but when you break 
the bud open it is still moist on the inside. The 
smoke is harsh and can taste a little like cut 
grass; this taste is the chlorophyll still pres¬ 
ent in the cells of the plant.” Sadly, many 
growers rush their pot to market. 

Curing takes another week or two, but can 
also go on for years. Although curing meth¬ 
ods are hotly debated, it generally involves 
putting the pot into airtight Rubbermaid 
containers and periodically “burping” them 
to release moisture. 

After the plant is cured, the sections 
are weighed again to determine their “dry 
weight” in order to satisfy the state’s worry 
that nothing besides moisture content has 
disappeared. At this 
point, the plant gets 
its final trim. The 
trim is, like curing, 
something that elic¬ 
its plenty of debate. 
The idea is to remove 
protruding leaves 
and exposed stems, 
ensuring that nothing 
but the dense “nug” 
of flower remains. 
However, certain 
connoisseurs I spoke 
with suggested that 
trimmers are often 
overzealous. Jess Henson, a former buyer 
at Higher Leaf in Kirkland, warned against 
the “California buzz cut,” in which a bud is 
snipped barren. 

Kightlinger prefers a bushier trim, noting 
that the “sugar leaves”—the small fan leaves 
interspersed in the plant’s colas—have plenty 
of THC-laden trichomes on them, resembling 
a light dusting of sugar. Snip them, he says, 
and you’re losing out not just on the visual ap¬ 
peal of the end product but also a little bit of 
potency. My uncle, an old-school pot grower 
from Hawaii, put it a little more laconically: 
“Bushier is better.” 

Everyone I asked agreed that, while 
hand trimming is a painstaking process, it 
beats the heck out of machine trimming. 
Kightlinger and Olson said that, in their ex¬ 
perience, machine-trimmed pot was always 
either too leafy or too closely shorn. 

Once trimmed, Quincy Green’s bud is 
stored in nitrogen-sealed containers to await 
packaging. A four-gram sample is taken 
from each five-pound lot and sent to Steep 
Hill Labs, where it’s tested for THC, CBD, 
THCA (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid), and to¬ 
tal cannabinoids content. 

When the samples return, the pot is care¬ 
fully weighed again—packages must be 
within .01 gram of their labeled weight—put 
into Quincy Green’s signature compostable 
packaging, and labeled with the testing in¬ 
formation and bar code corresponding to its 
particular lot. After a 24-hour quarantine, it’s 
loaded on a truck and shipped off to a retailer, 
where the journey from pot to bowl can, at 
long last, be completed. ■ 



TOBIAS COUGHLIN-BOGUE 


HARVEST Steffen Kightlinger and Mark 
Olson en route to the cutting room. 



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THE STRANGER May 11, 2016 15 



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LEVI HASTINGS 



In the Middle of the World’s 
Zika Crisis, These Researchers 
Are Studying What It Means When 
Mosquitoes Are Able to Learn 

BY SYDNEY BROWNSTONE 


A n a third-floor University of Washington labora- 
| 1, tory hidden behind a fragrant row of cedar trees, 
Clement Vinauger and Chloe Lahondere are inter- 
V_^/ rogating mosquitoes. Because the mosquitoes can 
answer them only in a handful of ways—pricking their an¬ 
tennae, beating their wings—the researchers talk to the 
insects through a $2,000 machine called the Arena. 

Vinauger, a soft-spoken, 31-year-old French entomolo¬ 
gist, lifts the lid off a plastic case to show me 18 wriggling 
Aedes aegypti mosquitoes glued to what look like long 
needles by the back of their thoraxes. These are the same 
mosquitoes scientists believe are spreading the Zika virus 
throughout the Americas. The species, along with the fear, 
panic, and disease it carries throughout the hemisphere, is 
not native to Washington State. Vinauger and Lahondere’s 
lab is just one of two places in Seattle you can encounter 
them—the other is the Center for Infectious Disease Re¬ 
search in South Lake Union. ► 







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◄ “This one seems happy,” Vinauger says, 
using a pair of tweezers to pick up a particu¬ 
larly twitchy animal. Lahondere, another 
quiet 32-year-old entomologist with a small 
piercing below her lower lip, watches for 
several seconds as the mosquito’s antennae 
probe the air. 

Vinauger and Lahondere are married. 
They’ve known each other since their grad¬ 
uate-school days, when both had developed a 
fascination with insects that are potent vec¬ 
tors for the spread of disease and Lahondere 
began studying mosquitoes. Aedes aegypti , 
which also carries dengue, yellow fever, and 
chikungunya, was a natural choice for the 
pair to study. 

But the Aedes aegypti mosquito can do 
something special, the scientists tell me. It 
can do something that biologists for a long 
time could not prove. 

This mosquito can learn. 

A lot of research has been conducted on 
mosquitoes over the last century, but what 
researchers at the University of Washington 
are doing is breaking new ground. If mos¬ 
quitoes are capable of learning —just like 
Pavlov’s drooling canines learned to associate 
feedings with the ringing of a bell—they’re 
actually much more sophisticated, 
individually complex, and formi¬ 
dable than anyone imagined. 

Vinauger fixes the glued mos¬ 
quito to a position at the center 
of the Arena, a machine that 
resembles a green, blinking am¬ 
phitheater. It’s a mosquito flight 
simulator, he explains. The Arena’s 
sensors pick up the mosquito’s 
movements and feed that informa¬ 
tion to a computer. The computer 
then arranges green and black pat¬ 
terns on the inside of the Arena to 
match the mosquito’s movements. Vinauger 
and Lahondere believe that the mosquito, 
seeing these changing patterns, senses it is 
flying. 

“You can see now that the mosquito is 
actually controlling its visual environment,” 
Vinauger says. Holy shit, I think. 

Vinauger and Lahondere have a lot of 
questions for the mosquito. How do you find 
and track humans ? What makes you attract¬ 
ed to some humans but not others ? How do 
you even know what a human is? 

In 2016, these questions are more im¬ 
portant than ever. Four thousand miles 
southeast of Lahondere and Vinauger’s lab, 
women are giving birth to babies with small 
heads and underdeveloped brains. The new¬ 
borns can cry more often than babies without 
microcephaly, and sometimes they develop 
convulsions. The Zika virus, which can be 
carried by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, has 
been labeled a cause of the birth defects by 
a consensus of international health officials, 
and nine countries have discovered evidence 
that the virus has spread further by human- 
to-human (likely sexual) contact. More than 
a dozen countries are reporting an uptick 
in Guillain-Barre syndrome, another rare 
condition caused by Zika in which the body 
attacks its own peripheral nervous system. 

Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff is 
facing a corruption scandal, possible im¬ 
peachment, the international attention of the 
Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro—and 
nearly 5,000 microcephaly cases that could 
be linked to Zika, according to the Brazilian 
Health Ministry. In January, Rousseff de¬ 
clared “war” on Aedes aegypti through her 
Twitter account. A month later, she marched 
through Rio de Janeiro in a T-shirt printed 
with the hashtag #ZikaZero as 220,000 
troops visited homes across the country to 
instruct people on how to eradicate Aedes 


aegypti breeding grounds. A slogan on Rous¬ 
seff’s shirt read: “A mosquito is not stronger 
than an entire country.” 

But mosquitoes aren’t just threaten¬ 
ing one country. The virus has spread to 69 
countries and territories—44 countries since 
2015 alone, including the United States. Dr. 
Anthony Fauci, head of the United States 
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious 
Diseases, has called Zika “a pandemic in 
progress.” In early May, Zika was detected 
in a King County man who had recently trav¬ 
eled to Colombia. Experts believe it’s only 
a matter of time until Zika takes root in the 
Southeastern United States. 

Nevertheless, many Americans remain 
blissfully unaware of the virus. A recent As¬ 
sociated Press and University of Chicago 
survey estimated that 4 out of 10 Americans 
had never even heard of Zika, or if they had 
heard of it, they knew very little about it at all. 
The president of the United States has asked 
Congress for $1.9 billion to speed up Zika re¬ 
search, the development of vaccines, mosquito 
control, and international aid, but congressio¬ 
nal Republicans are stonewalling the effort. 
In the meantime, health officials in Latin 
American countries that restrict women’s ac¬ 


cess to reproductive health care are telling 
their female citizens not to get pregnant. 

Mosquitoes continue to hunt humans— 
and they’re constantly evolving to hunt us 
more efficiently. They’ve become specialists 
in exploiting human ignorance and cruelty 
toward our own species. 

“The relationship between the mosquito 
and the human host is central,” Lahondere 
tells me during a later Skype call. She rubs 
her temples. “How can we break this thing, 
this relationship between the host and the 
mosquito? How can we find a way to do that?” 

Back in the safety of the UW lab, where 
the Aedes aegypti lives but poses no threat, a 
mosquito squirms and beats its wings inside 
the Arena. Its surroundings shift from green, 
to black, to green again. 

his isn’t the first war humans have 
waged on mosquitoes. 

In the early 1900s, health of¬ 
ficials in Rio de Janeiro set out to 
kill as many Aedes aegypti mosquitoes as 
they possibly could. Scientists had recently 
discovered Aedes aegypti as the source of 
devastating yellow-fever outbreaks, and 
health officials went into battle well-armed. 
They used mineral oil and insect-eating fish 
to kill young mosquitoes that hatched in wa¬ 
ter, sealed cracks where mosquitoes might 
decide to breed, and fumigated to kill flying 
adult mosquitoes. In people’s backyards, 
“everything that could collect water was re¬ 
moved, buried, or destroyed,” according to 
a 1955 report by Brazil’s former chief of the 
National Yellow Fever Service, Octavio Pinto 
Severo. Thousands of men inspected houses. 

But health officials didn’t know much 
about mosquitoes, and these early efforts 
were haphazard. Still, by 1908, yellow-fever 
outbreaks subsided, and with most people 
thinking the virus had gone for good, the 


Mosquitoes are 
constantly evolving 
to hunt humans more 
efficiently. 
































THE STRANGER May 11, 2016 17 


fight against mosquitoes lapsed for 20 years. 

A 1928 outbreak of yellow fever in Rio 
de Janeiro woke everyone up. Health of¬ 
ficials made a second attempt at wiping out 
mosquitoes “with a certain amount of dis¬ 
organization and near panic,” according to 
Severo. Officials spent millions of dollars on 
fumigation, but the outbreak raged on for 
two years. In 1932, Brazil enlisted the help 
of the Rockefeller Foundation to try to elimi¬ 
nate the Aedes aegypti mosquito from the 
country altogether. 

Then a discovery made during the Sec¬ 
ond World War would change the war on 
mosquitoes forever: DDT—a chemical in¬ 
secticide used to kill lice living in soldiers’ 
clothing—was found to work particularly 
well on mosquitoes. 

After the war, American officials wielded 
DDT as an instrument of international diplo¬ 
macy. Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy 
endorsed a global fight against mosquitoes, 
and countries all over the world subscribed 
to USAID and World Health Organization- 
supported spraying campaigns. At Brazil’s 
request, the Pan American Sanitary Bureau 
authorized an international Aedes aegypti 
eradication program that included DDT 
spraying campaigns throughout the Americas. 
In 1958, Brazil was proclaimed mosquito-free. 
(Widespread use of DDT also had unintended 
consequences. In 1962, Rachel Carson pub¬ 
lished Silent Spring , a book that publicized 
DDT’s severe damage to bird populations and 
other animals that feed on mosquitoes. The 
United States banned DDT in 1972.) 

Curiously, the United States, which both 
acknowledged that the majority of its South¬ 
ern states were susceptible to yellow fever 
carried by mosquitoes and produced DDT, 
didn’t attempt to get rid of the Aedes aegypti 
until years after Brazil had already concluded 
its mosquito control program. And by that 
point it was too late; the countries that did get 
rid of the mosquito weren’t rid of it for long. 

Aedes aegypti came back with a vengeance 
in the early 1960s, reinfesting countries that 
had previously sprayed the mosquitoes into 
oblivion—and now the Aedes aegypti had de¬ 
veloped a resistance to DDT. Throughout the 
1970s and ’80s, new dengue outbreaks cropped 
up throughout the Americas, extending as far 
north as Texas. Dengue reached an epidemic 
level in Cuba by 1981, killing 158 people, most 
of them children. People in countries that had 
never dealt with dengue before were also 
getting sick—partly a consequence of inter¬ 
national trade and unprecedented quantities 
of trash that made for excellent mosquito 
breeding territory. In the first decade of the 
new millennium, dengue cases throughout the 
Americas spiked. A 2002 Pan-American out¬ 
break of dengue killed 255 people and made 
more than a million ill in Brazil, Honduras, 
Trinidad and Tobago, Costa Rica, El Salvador, 
Colombia, Venezuela, the Caribbean, Cuba, 
and the Dominican Republic. A 2010 outbreak 
in the same countries and Puerto Rico sick¬ 
ened 1.7 million people and killed 1,185. 

Halting the spread of mosquito-borne 
disease takes effort on many fronts, or what 
public health experts call “vector control.” This 
includes everything from draining mosquito 
breeding areas to improving water supply and 
sanitation systems. “The only control measure 
currently available is vector control, but this 
method has proven difficult to maintain over 
time,” authors of a paper on the history of den¬ 
gue outbreaks wrote in the American Journal 
of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene in 2012. 

Many of the problems that allow mosqui¬ 
toes to proliferate come down to issues of basic 
human rights and public health: a right to live 
in decent housing without standing water, a 
right to basic sanitary services like garbage 


collection, governments investing in draining 
mosquito breeding areas. But governments and 
corporations have often ignored pandemics’ 
socioeconomic factors in favor of technological 
and biomedical interventions, says Sonia Shah, 
author of the 2016 book Pandemic. 

“I think since the development of antibiot¬ 
ics and the rise of evidence-based medicine, 
there’s been this sense of ‘Oh, we don’t have 
to worry about the drivers of pandemics,”’ 
she says. That line of thinking continues: 
“We are the masters and we don’t have to 
think about how pathogens function, or ecol¬ 
ogy or biology, because if they start bugging 
us, we’ll start zapping them with some fancy 
drug or chemical.” 

And there’s a reason that human attempts 
at mosquito extinction have failed or back¬ 
fired, or both. “These are not creatures that 
we can easily squelch, and I think that’s a 
really important thing to understand,” Shah 
says. “We live on a planet with microbes, with 
insects. We can’t just eliminate them all.” 

/^Jahondere and Vinauger’s Arena, the 

1 7 mosquito flight simulator, isn’t the only 

I way to ask mosquitoes what they’re ca- 
3 ^ pa ble of learning and how that might 
impact disease transmission. The couple has 
also built a number of contraptions to use in 
mosquito experiments. 

One of the devices they use is a mosquito 
craniotomy machine. It looks like a micro¬ 
scope, mostly, with metal arms and wires 
sprouting from the sides. While a mosquito 
is still alive, Lahondere or Vinauger place its 
body beneath a metal plate with a tiny hole 
bored through the middle, allowing space for 
the mosquito’s head. The researchers can 
then remove part of the mosquito’s head to 
reveal two grape-shaped lumps behind the 
mosquito’s compound eyes. Those are an¬ 
tennal lobes, which are used for processing 
signals for smell and heat. The researchers 
can then hook up tiny electrical wires to pick 
up signals from the mosquito’s antennal lobes 
and the neurons connected to it. 

“And then if you follow the pathways of 
the neurons, they connect to higher centers 
of integration, where activities such as learn¬ 
ing take place,” Vinauger says. “That’s where 
mosquitoes are making decisions.” 

But it’s one thing to be a mosquito mak¬ 
ing decisions after two humans have pried 
open your head, and another to be a mosquito 
making decisions in the wild. That’s why La¬ 
hondere and Vinauger keep a wind tunnel 
in the basement of the University of Wash¬ 
ington’s biology building. The wind tunnel, a 
contraption about the size of a child’s coffin, 
is supposed to create conditions that more 
closely replicate a mosquito’s natural envi¬ 
ronment. There, the researchers can feed 
mosquitoes heat, smells, and changing visual 
patterns—and then film their responses. 

Still, one of the potential pitfalls of per¬ 
forming experiments the way Lahondere and 
Vinauger do is to assume mosquitoes in the 
lab behave similarly in complex human envi¬ 
ronments. A mosquito’s environment can be 
just as complex and dynamic as whatever’s 
happening inside a mosquito’s head, Nick Ruk- 
tanonchai, an infectious disease epidemiologist 
at the University of Southampton, tells me. 

“You have these studies looking at what 
mosquitoes are doing in response to certain 
stimuli,” Ruktanonchai explains. “What hap¬ 
pens when we translate that into this really 
complicated real-world setting of villages, 
rice paddies, seasonal rainfall, spraying cam¬ 
paigns, and all that? That’s the critical link I 
think is really fascinating and really exciting.” 

But the Zika virus could still be 
transmitted in places without the Aedes ae¬ 
gypti mosquito—or any mosquitoes at all. ► 



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KILEY RIFFELL PHOTOGRAPHY 


Chloe Lahondere and Clement Vinauger at the University of Washington study how mosquitoes make decisions. Lahondere wants to break the relationship 
between a mosquito and its human host —a relationship that’s central to the spread of viruses like Zika. 


◄ Another real-world complication of Zika is 
sex. In late April, Canada registered its first 
sexually transmitted case. 

he Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that 
Lahondere and Vinauger study in 
their University of Washington lab 
likely first came to the United States 
from Africa five centuries ago. 

They didn’t always feed on humans. The 
oldest mosquito fossil in the world goes back 
at least 90 million years, long before the 
200,000-year-old Homo sapiens came along. 
Before they began drinking human blood, Ae¬ 
des aegypti mosquitoes fed on other animals. 
They bred in tree holes or any other 
warm, wet, and dark cavity found in 
the natural world. 

When human populations 
started booming and settling 
permanently in places that had pre¬ 
viously been known only to wildlife, 
mosquitoes began to evolve side 
by side with humans. Two more 
developments in human history 
benefited mosquitoes significantly: 
the creation of trash and the trans¬ 
atlantic slave trade. 

When slave ships from West 
Africa carried millions of shack¬ 
led and suffocating humans to the 
Americas, they also carried wooden casks 
for water. After those casks were emptied, 
a small amount of water would remain at 
the bottom—a perfect mosquito breeding 
ground. The ships also provided ideal blood 
meals for insect travelers in the form of free 
whites and enslaved blacks. 

Mosquitoes carrying parasites from 
across the ocean unleashed havoc on Native 
Americans and white colonizers. Yellow-fever 
epidemics flared along the Atlantic Coast, kill¬ 
ing thousands. When Napoleon sent an army 
to try to suppress the Haitian slave rebellion 
led by Toussaint EOuverture in 1802, yellow 
fever ravaged his forces. The Aedes aegypti 
mosquito fought on the side of the Haitians: 
Fewer than 3,000 of the 20,000 French troops 


originally sent to Haiti survived. Two years 
after French soldiers arrived, the French 
would evacuate Haiti and the country would 
declare its independence. 

Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, 
populations set upon by sudden and devas¬ 
tating yellow-fever epidemics had no idea the 
disease was related to mosquitoes. Protes¬ 
tants thought that yellow fever was brought 
on by sin. Other theories—supported by the 
wrongheaded medical science of the time— 
reinforced preexisting racist ideas. 

Well into the late 19th century, Henry 
Rose Carter, the grandly mustachioed chief 
medical officer of the state of Mississippi, in¬ 


sisted that yellow fever was spread by black 
people. In their book Mosquito: The Story of 
Man’s Deadliest Foe , scientist Andrew Spiel- 
man and journalist Michael D’Antonio write 
that this kind of “shaky science” was used “to 
justify mob vengeance.” 

“The KKK set up roadblocks and quaran¬ 
tines to prevent the movement of blacks and 
immigrants,” Spielman and D’Antonio write. 
“In one of the few lynchings that was actually 
reported in local newspapers, five immigrant 
Italians in Louisiana, who were blamed for 
spreading yellow fever after socializing with 
blacks, were hunted down and then hanged 
by a mob.” 

In 1855, Philadelphia physician Rene La- 
Roche nonchalantly speculated that black 


people’s “susceptibility” to yellow fever was 
“inferior” to that of whites. He then quoted a 
colleague by the name of Dr. Ferguson: “The 
negro may also be said to be fever-proof; and 
the marshy savannas, which lie low and scat¬ 
tered and unventilated, prove to him the most 
healthful abode.” 

In the 19th century, public-health officials 
even advocated for racial segregation as a way 
to combat mosquito-borne illnesses. Eventu¬ 
ally, after germ theory was established in the 
1880s, scientists started linking mosquitoes 
and mosquito-borne illnesses together. Still, 
some doctors and health officials continued 
to support segregationist public-health poli¬ 
cies. Ronald Ross, the British Nobel 
Prize winner who discovered that 
the Anopheles mosquito carried 
malaria, recommended such tactics 
in colonial India. As late as 1908, 
Carter, the Mississippi medical 
chief, supported segregating white 
laborers on the Panama Canal from 
“the natives and colored laborers— 
a source of infection to the insects.” 

In the age of Zika, right-wing 
publications in the United States 
are now reliving racist history. At 
the National Review , conservative 
pundit Michelle Malkin pointed at 
immigrants—not mosquitoes or 
travelers or people having sex with other 
people—as the reason to fear Zika in the 
United States. Breitbart.com further noted 
that the 2013 appearance of the Aedes ae¬ 
gypti mosquito in California coincided with a 
year that saw a lot of undocumented border 
crossings—as if mosquitoes could be stopped 
by border control checkpoints. 

hree years ago, when Vinauger, La¬ 
hondere, and their University of 
Washington colleague Jeff Riffell 
started asking Aedes aegypti mos¬ 
quitoes if they could learn, the researchers 
weren’t concerned with Zika in particular. No 
one had heard of Zika-caused birth defects 
or neurological problems. The researchers 



Before they began drinking 
human blood, mosquitoes fed 
on other animals. When human 
populations started booming, 
mosquitoes began to evolve 
side by side with humans. 





























THE STRANGER May 11, 2016 19 


did know, however, that Aedes aegypti mos¬ 
quitoes spread illnesses like dengue and 
chikungunya. In the wild, mosquitoes have 
been observed with life spans as long as two 
years. If mosquitoes could learn, two years 
is plenty of time to acquire formative expe¬ 
riences with humans. The more researchers 
understood the mechanisms underlying 
mosquito behavior, the more that knowledge 
could be applied to fighting diseases. 

First, the researchers wanted to see if 
learning might affect mosquitoes’ natural 
aversion to DEET, perhaps the most popu¬ 
lar and effective mosquito repellent on the 
planet. According to the US Environmental 
Protection Agency, about a third of US citi¬ 
zens use products with DEET in them every 
year to guard themselves against mosquito 
bites and the diseases that can tag along. 
More than 100 insect repellents use DEET 
as their active ingredient. 

In order to teach the mosquitoes to ig¬ 
nore DEET, the researchers fed the insects 
cow’s blood and fanned them with DEET 
and a compound produced by humans—lac¬ 
tic acid. Then the researchers placed the 
mosquitoes in a Y-shaped maze. In one arm 
of the maze, they wafted the scents of DEET 
and lactic acid toward the mosquitoes. In the 
other, they wafted clean air. The mosquitoes 
that hadn’t received the DEET training pre¬ 
ferred flying into the arm with clean air. 

But the mosquitoes that had received 
the DEET training earlier did something 
strange. They didn’t care about getting a 
whiff of DEET in the direction of food. The 
mosquitoes with DEET training were just 
as happy to fly into the arm with the DEET 
scent as they were to fly into the arm of the 
maze without it. In other words, DEET had 
stopped working as a repellent—and after 
controlling for a number other explanations 
of the mosquitoes’ behavior, researchers 
concluded that the mosquitoes learned 
DEET was irrelevant. 

The study on mosquito learning was a 
breakthrough. This showed that they could 
learn, and subsequent experiments are now 
showing how they make decisions. 

“This is the first trial of getting deep 
into the brain of the mosquito as related to 
associative learning,” Jeff Tomberlin, the 
program director for forensic and investi¬ 
gative sciences at Texas A&M University, 
tells me. Tomberlin wasn’t involved with the 
University of Washington research, but he’s 
conducted experiments showing how mos¬ 
quitoes act after being reared in repellent 
water. The notion that mosquitoes can learn 
changes the way humans have viewed them 
for hundreds of years. “I think it’s an under- 
studied area of mosquito behavior that more 
emphasis should be placed on,” Tomberlin 
says. 

Claudio Lazzari, a leader in experimen¬ 
tal biology and a former instructor of the 
UW researchers, puts it another way: “The 
better you know your enemy, the closer you 
are to fighting it.” Once scientists fully un¬ 
derstand mosquito learning, they’ll better 
understand how it affects the transmission 
of disease. 

And maybe they’ll better understand 
how to fight disease through outsmarting 
mosquitoes. One way to fight a learning 
mosquito is to build clever traps that deceive 
them, or to implement behaviors that teach 
mosquitoes to prefer biting nonhumans. 

In South America, people do this with 
kissing bugs that transmit Chagas’ disease, 
an illness that can sometimes kill people or 
leave them with heart, digestive system, and 
nervous system problems for life. Kissing 
bugs’ ability to learn has been studied, too. 
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The Arena is a mosquito flight simulator. Lahondere and Vinauger believe that the Aedes aegypti mosquito senses it’s flying while attached at the center of the blinking green insect amphitheater. On the right, 
they’re gluing the mosquito by its thorax so it can go inside the Arena. 


◄ of your house, for example, creates some¬ 
thing of a kissing-bug decoy Rabbits, which 
are naturally pretty docile, and additionally 
restrained because of the cage, make an easy 
meal for kissing bugs. In this way, kissing 
bugs—which can also learn —learn to prefer 
feeding on the rabbit instead of humans. 

Another more controversial way of deal¬ 
ing with mosquitoes could be to one day 
genetically modify mosquitoes so that they’re 
incapable of learning—and maybe, just 
maybe, make them less of a threat toward 
humans in the process. “A lot of people are 
thinking about having mosquitoes that are 
sense-deprived so that they can’t smell,” 
Lahondere says. Entomologists have also 
speculated about using gene editing to make 
the female insects—the only sex that sucks 
blood—more rare in mosquito populations. 
Male mosquitoes eat nectar and don’t pose a 
threat to humans. 

But even if we do eventually figure out 
what mosquito learning means for human 
pandemics, that doesn’t change the fact that 
we’re in the middle of one. Nor does it change 
the fact that mosquitoes have evolved, specifi¬ 
cally, to prey on humans. “This is a formidable 
organism: sophisticated and highly refined, 
highly specialized,” Phillip McCall, an en¬ 
tomologist who has studied the Anopheles 
mosquito, says. “It’s not just a crazed, blood¬ 
sucking machine that’s out to get us.” 

ut are we actually the ones out to 
get us? 

All the ways humans have preyed 
on one another—through slav¬ 
ery, colonialism, economic inequality—have 
provided new opportunities for mosquitoes 
to prey on us. It is another cruel irony that 
Zika now disproportionately impacts people 
of color, even within the global south. Brazil 
has one of the highest measures of economic 
inequality in the world, and Afro-Brazilians 
are disproportionately represented among 
Brazil’s urban poor, often forced to live in 
cramped conditions and shoddy housing that 
allows for buildup of stagnant water. 


Globalized trade has also played a role in 
opening up the mosquito’s world. 

Once they evolved to hunt humans, mos¬ 
quitoes began to flourish in places that 
resembled tree holes but weren’t: human- 
made containers, trash, and tires. The Aedes 
albopictus, another suitable carrier of the 
Zika virus, came to the United States at the 
same time that the country started importing 
used tires from Japan and Taiwan. Between 
1978 and 1985, the United States imported 
7.6 million used tires from countries native 
to the Aedes albopictus, and exported some 
6.3 million. Houston, one of the centers of 
the tire importing and refurbishing business, 
experienced the first public Aedes albopictus 
infestation in the United States. Not long 
after, the mosquito conquered much of the 
southern portion of the United States. 

Burning fossil fuels—and packing the 
atmosphere with carbon—will also expand 
mosquitoes’ reach. 

Neither the Aedes albopictus nor the 
Aedes aegypti currently live in Washing¬ 
ton State—at least not outside of a lab. 

But that might not stay true forever. 
Human-caused climate change threatens 
to shift the natural limits on where mos¬ 
quitoes thrive. Some scientists predict 
that changing temperatures will affect 
the way mosquitoes migrate, pushing 
them—and the diseases they carry—fur¬ 
ther north. And once Zika erupts in the 
United States, some experts predict the 
virus would stay, erupting in periodic epi¬ 
demics. A vaccine, meanwhile, is at least 
several years away. 

Until a vaccine is developed, prevent¬ 
ing human contact with mosquitoes is the 
only option we have—and that hasn’t worked 
very well. In the United States, the National 
Institutes of Health anticipates that 200 mil¬ 
lion Americans, more than 60 percent of the 
population, could eventually be at risk of con¬ 
tracting Zika because they live in areas where 
mosquitoes bite in the summer. Nearly 23 
million Americans live in places where mos¬ 
quitoes bite all year long. The World Bank has 


estimated that the short-term costs of Zika in 
Latin America and the Caribbean will cost 
$3.5 billion, largely because of the tourism 
impacts—but it’s still unknown what the long¬ 
term costs will be, particularly when it comes 
to taking care of more children born with 
microcephaly. A vaccine could take a while to 
develop and implement, and Shah, the science 
journalist, predicts that human populations 
on earth could take a hit—not through deaths, 
but through prevented births. 

n the basement of the University 
of Washington’s biology building, 
Vinauger and Lahondere seem to 
exist in a world far away from a city 
preparing for the Summer Olympics while 
panicked health officials wage social-media 
wars on insects. Their focus isn’t Zika, even 
though their work has newfound relevance 
for the transmission of the virus. “It’s not 
the first disease,” Lahondere says. “Every 

Only female mosquitoes 
suck blood. Male 
mosquitoes eat nectar 
and don’t pose a threat 
to humans. 

day, people are dying. It’s just one more dis¬ 
ease that’s coming. It’s one more disease that 
means it’s urgent to know mosquitoes better 
in order to fight them efficiently.” 

When I ask Lahondere and Vinauger 
which insects they were studying when they 
fell in love, Lahondere doesn’t miss a beat: 
“Tsetse fly,” she says. Vinauger’s answer: 
“Kissing bug.” I gently correct them. I wasn’t 
asking what insects they were studying when 


they fell in love with entomology, but which 
bugs they were studying when they fell in 
love with each other. They both laugh. You 
can’t help but fall in love with the insects 
you’re studying, they say. 

Their laughter unsettles me. I don’t know 
if Lahondere and Vinauger ever get over¬ 
whelmed by the bigness of the world, by the 
complexity of something as tiny as the mos¬ 
quito learning. I don’t know how they keep so 
calm when everything seems to be going to 
shit. I don’t know if their “love” for a living 
thing that everyone else hates can help save 
us from ourselves, from the man-made suffer¬ 
ing that mosquitoes have capitalized on over 
the last several centuries, but I hope it can. 

I think about this on my way over to the 
University of Washington lab to hand La¬ 
hondere and Vinauger my socks. I’ve spent all 
day walking around with tiny glass beads in 
my shoes that are intended to soak up my foot 
sweat. In order to study why mosquitoes like 
to bite only certain humans, Lahondere 
and Vinauger are collecting samples of 
sweat that they can then use to stimulate 
their mosquitoes. 

Back in the lab, I empty my socks into 
a makeshift tinfoil container; Vinauger 
then transfers the tiny glass beads into 
a jar. Eventually, my sweat will be mixed 
with a solvent and analyzed by a gas 
chromatography machine. One day, these 
results could help scientists understand 
how mosquitoes identify which humans to 
bite—assuming scientists continue to re¬ 
ceive the funding to do such a thing. 

Later, Lahondere admits that some¬ 
times she does get overwhelmed. “Like 
every day,” she tells me. 

But it’s not anxiety that’s overwhelming 
her. It’s wonder. 

“It’s amazing how a thing that small could 
be able to not be killed by a predator, not be 
killed by a host, be able to take food, be able 
to lay eggs,” she says. 

Lahondere’s eyes go wide, but she doesn’t 
smile: “Every day, I’m like, ‘Wow. Those guys 
are amazing.’” ■ 

































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THE STRANGER May 11, 2016 2 3 



SAVAGE LOVE 

Mating Games by dan savage 


Straight male, 48, married lip years, three kids 
under age 10. Needless to say, life is busy at our 
house. My wife and I have stopped having sex. It 
was my decision. I get the obligation vibe com¬ 
bined with a vanilla sex life, and it just turns 
me off. We’ve had many conversations about it 
and we want to find a balance. But 
it always defaults back to infrequent 
and dull, making me frustrated and 
cranky. For the past two months, 

I’ve tried to just push sex out of my 
mind. We live mostly as parenting 
roommates. We used to be pretty 
kinky—dirty talk, foursomes, toys, 
porn, etc.—but all those things wear 
her out now, and her interest has 
disappeared. My guess is that she 
was just playing along with my 
kinks to keep me happy and is now over it. Is 
this just life as a lp8-year-old married father of 
three? Am I being selfish for wanting more in 
my sex life than my wife is willing to offer? 

Hard Up Husband 

Is sex wearing your wife out, HUH, or is rais¬ 
ing three kids wearing your wife out? I suspect 
it’s the latter. 

But in answer to your question: Infrequent 
and underwhelming sex, sometimes with 
an obligatory vibe, is not only the sex life a 
48-year-old married father of three can expect, 
it’s the sex life he signed up for. There’s noth¬ 
ing selfish about wanting more sex or wanting 
it to be more like it was. Kids, however, are a 
logistical impediment—but a temporarily one, 
provided you don’t go nuclear. A couple’s sex 
life can come roaring back so long as they don’t 
succumb to bitterness, recrimination, and sex¬ 
lessness. To avoid all three, HUH, it might help 
to ask yourself which is the likelier scenario: for 
years your wif e faked an interest in dirty talk, 
foursomes, toys, porn, etc., in order to trap you, 
or your wife is currently too exhausted to take 
an interest in dirty talk, foursomes, toys, porn, 
etc. Again, I suspect it’s the latter. 

My advice: masturbate more, masturbate 
together more, lower your expectations so you’ll 
be pleasantly surprised when a joint masturba¬ 
tion session blows up into something bigger and 
better, carve out enough time for quality sex 
(weekends away, if possible, with pot and wine 
and Viagra), discuss other accommodations/con¬ 
tingencies as needed, and take turns reminding 
each other that small kids aren’t small forever. 

I’m one of those hi guys. I had trouble dating 
girls in high school and at 18 found guys so 
much darn easier. And as sexual promiscuity 
in the gay world goes, I got around there eas¬ 
ily. Fast-forward a few years. I’m in college now 
and desiring women and stability more. But 
women find me weird and awkward—I admit 
I am—something I was never judged for in the 
gay world. This has been going on for a few years 
now, and it just gets worse when I’m supposed 
to be parading around presenting as a horny 
straight guy. I’d love to find a bisexual woman 
to start a family with who is up for mutually 
agreed upon swing-and-fun sessions with oth¬ 
ers. But from what I’ve experienced with girls 
so far—always on the watch for a “player,” zero 
understanding of male bisexuality—that seems 
far from possible. Lately I’ve just been sitting on 
my hands in social situations, afraid to even 
interact with women. Is this therapy worthy? 

Upset Pittsburgher In Troubling Times 

Therapy couldn’t hurt... unless you get a ter¬ 
rible therapist... in which case it could. Start 
your therapist hunt at the American Associa¬ 
tion of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and 
Therapists (aasect.org), and you’re likelier to 
find a good/sex-positive one. 

As for why your “weird and awkward” first 
impression seemed to be less of an impediment 
when you were sleeping with men: Men aren’t 
subjected to male sexual violence at the same 
rates that women are. Women have a lot more 


to fear than men do, UPITT, and a weird-and- 
awkward first impression is far likelier to turn 
off a woman into dudes than it is to turn off a 
man into dudes. The man you flirt with at a 
party might think, “Dude’s weird and awkward 
but he’s hot,” and jump into bed with you. But 
the woman you flirt with at a party 
is likely to think, “Dude’s weird and 
awkward and he’s hot, but he’s just 
too weird to risk it.” 

Something else that couldn’t 
hurt: getting on a site like OkCupid 
and approaching bisexual women 
there. You may have better luck 
with women if your initial interac¬ 
tions are over e-mail. 

And finally, UPITT, there are 
gay and bi men out there who desire 
stability, too—and stability and “promiscuity” 
aren’t mutually exclusive. 

About your answer to WHAT, the lady whose 
boyfriend “accidentally” ass-fucked her. I 
am a queer lady with a number of men in 
my sexual history, and I have many straight 
women friends who get around. “I didn’t mean 
to stick my dick in your ass” is a lie that men 
tell—men who are embarrassed to ask for anal, 
men who want it so bad they’re prepared to hurt 
their partner, or men who think their partner 
will say no if asked and just don’t care. In all 
cases, these are men who do not even begin to 
understand how anal sex works. As you say, 
it’s not an accident. But what you don’t say is 
that these men are telling lies in order to get out 
of taking responsibility for their desires and 
the fact that they’ve hurt their partners. Men 
who want to have anal sex need to talk that 
through with their partners and then either 
figure out how to do it safely and pleasurably, 
accept that it’s not happening, or break up if 
it’s a deal breaker. I have had way too many 
conversations with women friends about the 
pain and anger and sometimes shame that 
they’ve felt when male partners have just stuck 
it in abruptly, unlubricated, and without per¬ 
mission. It makes me really angry that this is 
something that men can describe as an “ acci¬ 
dent” without any pushback, and honestly it 
was kind of gross and disappointing when your 
answer was just jokes about butt plugs. 

Whatever Acronym Strongly 
Stresses Underlying Point 

I’m with you, WASSUP. I don’t think anal hap¬ 
pens by accident. Anal has always, in my vast 
experience, required lube, focus, precision, and 
deep breathing. But on the two occasions when 
I’ve urged straight female callers on the Savage 
Lovecast to dump boyfriends who “accidentally” 
penetrated them anally—the pushback from 
male and female listeners was overwhelming. 
Scores of people called in to insist that anal can 
and does happen by accident. 

WHAT’s boyfriend has accidentally pen¬ 
etrated her anally four times in a year. That 
raises a red flag. But WHAT was convinced 
it was an accident (all four times) and seemed 
to think her boyfriend felt genuinely terrible 
about it (all four times), and I deferred to a 
reader’s POV (just one time). And here’s a 
detail that was cut from WHAT’s letter for 
space: “People have suggested going slow, but I 
like it a little rough.” Perhaps I should’ve come 
down harder on WHAT’s boyfriend—okay, I 
should’ve come down harder—but it seemed 
possible, at least in WHAT’s case, that anal 
might’ve been an accident (all four times?!?). 

I still believe “accidental anal” is much more 
likely to be “intentional, nonconsensual anal,” 
aka not an accident at all. ■ 

On the Lovecast, Dan chats with writer 
Anna Pulley about all things lesbian: 
savagelovecast.com. 


mail@savagelove.net 
@fakedansavage on Twitter 



JOE NEWTON 


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THE STRANGER May 11, 2016 2 5 













All the Events The Stranger Suggests This Week 


Find the complete calendar of things to do in Seattle 
atstrangerthingstodo.com strangerTTD Stranger Things To Do 



JOHN LUCAS 


READINGS & TALKS 


Claudia Rankine 


DON'T MISS 


_| It's hard to overstate the im¬ 
pact of Claudia Rankine's work on American 
poetry over the course of the last five years 
or so. In 2011, she confronted fellow poet 
Tony Hoagland for writing a poem that 
contained racist sentiments, claiming that 
it was "for white people." That poem was 
called "The Change," and in many ways, 
their exchange reinvigorated—or at least 
brought national attention to—a conver¬ 
sation about race, poetry, and the lack of 
diversity in the literary world, a conversation 
that thankfully continues apace today. Citi¬ 
zen: An American Lyric, a collage of images 


and poems about microaggressions and the 
limitations of language and the experiences 
of POCs living in a white supremacist culture, 
was published in 2014 and won the National 
Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry. Since the 
book's release, the first thought that enters 
my head when I hear news of a police officer 
gunning down another (and another, and 
another) unarmed black man comes from 
this book. She writes: "Because white men 
can't police their imagination, black men are 
dying." (McCaw Hall, Fri May 13, 7:30 pm, 
$15 standby tickets) RICH SMITH 

We also recommend... 

Andi Zeisler with Amelia Bonow: Where 
Did All the Feminists Go?: Town Hall, Mon 
May 16, 7:30 pm, $5 

National Geographic Live: Ocean Wild: 


Benaroya Hall, May 15-17, $20-$40 
Salon of Shame #66: Theatre Off Jackson, 
Tues May 17, 8 pm, $15 

Complete listings at strangerthingstodo.com 


PERFORMANCE 


Puny Humans 


DON'T MISS 


_| Comic-cons are line-around-the- 

block consumerist parades. Superhero movies 
dominate the marketplace. Nerd culture has 
its own money now. They got their revenge. 
Pretending like nerds are still the bullied kids 
of popular culture will no longer fly. Puny 
Humans, written by Bret Fetzer and Keiko 
Green, delightfully addresses that curmud¬ 
geonly concern in the first few moments of 


the play. The critique comes from the perspec¬ 
tive of a comic-book vendor attending the 
fictional Queen City Comic-Con: "Products, 
products, products!" he shouts in amazement, 
after recalling the underground days in San 
Diego, where Ray Bradbury was considered a 
hero. From there, one of approximately eight 
intersecting narratives involving 13 charac¬ 
ters unfolds. They're all pretty compelling, 
and it's sort of like a stage version of Robert 
Altman's Nashville, but for nerds and not as 
weird. Bonus: The bar at Annex features sweet 
NES games that you can play during intermis¬ 
sion and before the show. Make an evening 
of it: Get there early and drop into eight-bit 
nostalgia bliss. (Annex Theatre, May 12-14, 

7:30 pm, $18) RICH SMITH 

Continued ► 












26 May 11, 2016 THE STRANGER 



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THINGS TO DO ARTS £ CULTURE 

We also recommend... 

Comedy Nest Open Mic: Anica Cihla: 

Rendezvous, Tues May 17, 8 pm, $5 
My Name Is Asher Lev: 12th Avenue Arts, 
Fri-Sun, $15-$40, through May 21 
A Rap on Race: Seattle Repertory Theatre, 
Thurs-Sun, $40, through May 22 

Complete listings at strangerthingstodo.com 


ART 


Vignettes 
Marquee: Portrait 
of the Artist as a 
Young Sad 


DON'T MISS 


| What you must do: Get a 
flask and fill it. (You like juice? Juice it is, 
then.) Drink your secret personal drink on 
the street outside El Capitan apartments 
and soak in writer/performer/artist/badass 
Kim "My Favorite Medium Is Sexting" Sell¬ 
ing's projected loop of photographs and 
writings regarding anxiety, depression, and 
other garden-variety buzzkills, called Por¬ 
trait of the Artist as a Young Sad. Do this at 
twilight, at the edge of downtown where 
El Capitan sits, and your world will feel 
more yours. (Before you go, visit Rachel 
Maxi's one-night-only show of paintings 
at Calypte, too. It's Capitol Hill Art Walk 
night! Oh yeah. Selling is the Stranger music 
calendar editor, so conflict-of-interest me 
all you want, but just see for yourself if I'm 
wrong.) (Vignettes , Thurs May 12, 8:45-10:45 
pm, free) JEN GRAVES 


We also recommend... 


Capitol Hill Art Walk: Capitol Hill, Thurs 
May 12, 5-8 pm, free 

Georgetown Art Attack: Various venues. 

Sat May 14, 6-9 pm, free 

Rachel Maxi: A Slice of Maxi Art In All 

Its Variations: Calypte Gallery, Thurs May 

12, 5:30-8:30 pm, free 

This Might Not Work: Rob Rhee: INCA, 

Sat May 14, 7 pm, free 


Beyond Aztlan: Mexican and Chicana/o 
Artists in the Pacific Northwest: Museum 
of Northwest Art, La Conner, daily, free, 
through Jun 12 

The Atomic Frontier: Black Life in 
Hanford, WA: Northwest African American 
Museum, Wed-Sun, $7, through May 22 
The Brink: Jason Hirata: Henry Art Gallery, 
Wed-Sun, $10, through Jun 26 
The Duchamp Effect: Seattle Art Museum, 
Wed-Sun, $20, through Aug 14 
Emblems of Encounter: Europe and Af¬ 
rica Over 500 Years: Seattle Art Museum, 
Wed-Sun, $20, ongoing 
James Turrell's Light Reign: Henry Art 
Gallery, Wed-Sun, $10 
Journey to Dunhuang: Buddhist Art of 
the Silk Road Caves: Asian Art Museum, 
Wed-Sun, $9, through Jun 12 
Martha Rosier: Below the Surface: 

Seattle Art Museum, Wed-Sun, $20, through 
July 4 

Mood Indigo: Textiles From Around the 
World: Asian Art Museum, Wed-Sun, $9, 
through Oct 9 

Northwest Art Now @ TAM: Tacoma Art 
Museum, Tues-Sun, $14, through Sept 4 
Paul McCarthy: White Snow, Wood 
Sculptures: Henry Art Gallery, Wed-Sun, 
$10, through Sept 11 


Posing Beauty in African American Cul¬ 
ture: Northwest African American Museum, 
Wed-Sun, $7, through Sept 4 
Victoria Haven: Blue Sun: Olympic Sculp¬ 
ture Park, free, through March 2017 
Young Blood: Frye Art Museum, Tues-Sun, 
free, through Jun 19 


GALLERIES 

Andrea Joyce Heimer & Justin Duf- 
fus: Linda Hodges Gallery, Tues-Sat, free, 
through May 28 

Brandon Aleson: New Work: Punch Gal¬ 
lery, Thurs-Sat, free, through May 28 
Christopher Shaw: Mending: Martyr 
Sauce, Mon-Sat by appointment, free, 
through May 22 

Cris Bruch and Anders Bergstrom: Greg 
Kucera Gallery, Tues-Sat, free, through May 
21 

Gala Bent: G. Gibson Gallery, Wed-Sat, free, 
through Jun 11 

Henrik Plenge Jakobsen: Deep Space 
Ornamentation: INCA, Wed-Sat, free, 
through May 14 

Homeless: The Street and Other Venues: 

The New Foundation Seattle, Thurs-Sat, 
free, through May 28 

Imagined Futures: Science Fiction, Art, 
and Artifacts from the Paul G. Allen 
Family Collection: Pivot Art + Culture, 
Tues-Sun, $5, through July 10 
Julie Alpert: Bridge Productions, opening 
reception Sat May 14, 6-9 pm, free, through 
Jun 4 

Kamrooz Aram: James Harris Gallery, free, 
through May 14 

Klara Glosova: Caddy Shack: Glass Box 
Gallery, Wed-Sat, free, through May 28 
Like Mother: Magnuson Park Gallery, 
Thurs-Sat, free, through May 28 
Matika Wilbur: Project 562: The Hibulb 
Cultural Center and Natural History Pre¬ 
serve, Tulalip, Tues-Sun, $10, through Jun 11 
Nathan DiPietro: Artificial Worlds: 
Woodside/Braseth Gallery, Tues-Sat, free, 
through May 31 

Orchids That Look Good in Bad Lighting: 

Interstitial, Sat, free, through May 22 

Patte Loper: From There to Here: Plat¬ 
form Gallery, Wed-Sat, free, through Jun 18 
Patti Warashina: Thinking Clearly: 

Abmeyer + Wood, Mon-Sat, free, through 
May 31 

Riffs: Photographic Center Northwest, Sat- 
Thurs, free, through Jun 15 
Unsettled-Resettled: Seattle's Hunt 
Hotel: Japanese Cultural and Community 
Center of Washington, Mon-Fri, free 
Women on the Brink: Vermillion, open¬ 
ing reception Thurs May 12, 6-9 pm, free, 
through Jun 4 

Xavier Toubes: PushMoon2: Figures 
with Shadows: James Harris Gallery, Wed- 
Sat, free, through May 14 
Yoona Lee: Run Race Ragged: Three 
Takes on Racial Politics in America: 

Ghost Gallery, Tues-Sun, free, through Jun 5 

Complete listings at strangerthingstodo.com 


FOOD & DRINK 


Pierogi Fest 


DON'T MISS 


| Every Friday night, the 
generous folks at Capitol Hill's Polish Home 
Association open their doors to all Seattle¬ 
ites and welcome us in to eat homemade 
cabbage rolls, pickle soup, pork chops, and 
pierogi. As if that weren't enough, for the 
last 10 years the Polish Home Association 
has also given us its annual Pierogi Fest, an 
all-day "dumpling extravaganza" where you 
can get a plate of pierogi (meat, potato, 
cheese, plum, and more) for just $10. (Kids' 
plates are available for $5.) Sit back, stuff 

Continued ► 




















































THE STRANGER May 11, 2016 27 


THINGS TO DO ARTS £ CULTURE 

yourself, and enjoy Polish folk perfor¬ 
mances, live music, and dessert. If you want 
to take the festivities home, bags of frozen 
pierogi will also be available. (Polish Home, 
aka Dom Polski, Sat May 14, 11:30 am-4 pm, 
free entry) ANGELA GARBES 

We also recommend... 

$10 Pizza Mondays: Cafe Lago, Mon May 
16, 5 pm 

Caviar Tasting: Seattle Caviar Company, 
Thurs May 12, 5-7 pm, $30 

Chocolate Happy Hour: Chocolopolis, 

Thurs May 12, 5-9 pm, free 

Food & Sh*t presents The Comfort 

Room: Kraken Congee, Mon May 16, 5-9 

pm 

Free Wine on 15th: European Vine Selec¬ 
tions, Sat May 14, 3-6 pm, free 
Free Wine Tasting at Champion Wine 
Cellars: Champion Wine Cellars, Sat May 

14, 12-5 pm, free 

Free Wine Tasting at DeLaurenti: DeLau- 
renti. Sat May 14, 2-4 pm, free 
Guest Chef Night: Brendan McGill: Fare- 
Start, Thurs May 12, 5:30-8 pm, $29.95 
Happy Hour at the Swedish Club: Swed¬ 
ish Cultural Center, Fri May 13, 5-10:30 pm, 
$5 beer and wine 

May is for Morels: Urbanata, Sat May 14, 
6:30-9:30 pm, $95 

Seattle Beer Week: Various locations. May 
12-22 

Sunday Pig Roast: Bell + Whete, Sun May 

15, 5 pm, $24 per person 

Taco Wednesdays: Roanoke Park Place 
Tavern, $1 each. Wed May 11, 4 pm-2 am 
Wine Wednesdays: LloydMartin, Wed May 
11, 5-10 pm 

Yalla Pop-Up: Marjorie, Mon May 16, $50, 
ongoing 

Complete listings at strangerthingstodo.com 


FILM 


The Crime of 
Dr. Crespi 


DON'T MISS 


| Dr. Andre Crespi is played by 
the great Erich von Stroheim. The plot of 
the film is just bizarre and is based on Edgar 
Allan Poe's short story "The Premature 
Burial." There is a doctor who hates another 
doctor. There is a doctor with a broken 
heart. There is a doctor who is buried alive. 
There is much, much more in this horror 
classic, which was released in 1935 and shot 
in the Bronx. And it is a part of the excel¬ 
lent UCLA Festival of Preservation. (Grand 
Illusion, Sat May 14, 9 pm, $9) CHARLES 
MUDEDE 


We also recommend... 

A Bigger Splash: Various locations 
Branded to Kill: Northwest Film Forum, 
Wed May 11, 7 pm, $11 

Captain America: Civil War: Various 
locations 

Elvis & Nixon: Guild 45th 
Everybody Wants Some!!: Various 
locations 

Eye in the Sky: Various locations 
Green Room: Various locations 

HUMP! Film Festival Tour with Dan Sav¬ 
age: SIFF Cinema Uptown, May 13-14, 7 and 


9:30 pm, $25, 21 + 

Julie Taymor's A Midsummer Night's 
Dream: SIFF Film Center, Mon May 16, 6:30 
pm, $15 

Men & Chicken: SIFF Cinema Uptown, May 
11-12, $12 

Midnight Special: SIFF Cinema Uptown 
Complete listings at strangerthingstodo.com 


QUEER 


Sherry Vine 
in Adult Content 


DON'T MISS 


| There's no telling what to 
expect when Sherry Vine takes the stage at 
Unicorn/Narwhal this Friday—but we can 
safely assume that her musical-comedy- 
cabaret act will hit her three reliable Ps: 
poop, penis, and prostitution. It's a night of 
naughty jokes, drag parody songs, and filthy 
stories that you'll never be able to repeat at 
work, unless you work in the box office of 
a porn theater. (And even then.) Expect to 
gasp multiple times throughout the night, 
to clasp your pearls and ask, "Did she just 
say that?" and to be told that she probably 
shouldn't have, but she did, and she'll do it 
again. (Unicorn/Narwhal, Fri May 13, 7:30 
pm, $251$35, 21+) MATT BAUME 


We also recommend... 

Bearaoke: Cuff, Tues May 17, 8 pm, free, 

21 + 

Cuff Country Fridays: Cuff, Fri May 13, 7 

pm, free, 21 + 

DJ Night: Cuff, May 13-14, free, 21 + 

I Hate Karaoke: Pony, Tues May 17, 9 pm, 
free, 21 + 

Junk Yard: Can Can, Thurs May 12, $30/$40, 
through Oct 28 

Mimosas with Mama: Narwhal, Sun May 
15, 1 pm, $25 

Robbie Turner's Playground: R Place, Wed 
May 11, midnight, free 
RuPaul's Drag Race Viewing Parties 
with Robbie Turner: R Place, Mon May 16, 
7 pm, free 

Translations: The Transgender Film 
Festival: Northwest Film Forum, May 12-15, 
$80 festival pass 

Wildrose Karaoke: Wildrose, Wed May 11, 
free, 21 + 

Complete listings at strangerthingstodo.com 


FESTIVALS 


Debacle Fest 


DON'T MISS 


| The odd juxtaposition of 
forward-thinking music filling an old venue 
is just one of many interesting facets to the 
ninth annual Debacle Fest. Featuring 26 
acts on two stages over two nights at the 
handsome, acoustically brilliant Columbia 
City Theater, Debacle Fest crams in more 
scintillating sounds per square foot than do 
most music events. Musicians such as Mara, 
DoNormaal, Newaxeyes, Brett Naucke, Ben¬ 
oit Pioulard, Spectrum Control, and DIAD 
offer unconventional twists on folk, rock, 
hiphop, psychedelia, electronic, ambient 
music, and more. In a world of increasingly 
commercialized and homogenous music 
festivals. Debacle stands out for its bold and 
idiosyncratic curation. (Columbia City The¬ 
ater, Fri May 13,7 pm, $30 weekend pass) 
DAVE SEGAL 

Complete listings at strangerthingstodo.com 



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Sat 5/14 - Blind Imperial IPA Tastings 
Tue 5/17 - Syttende Mai Ballaid 
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Fri 5/20 - Hlen’s 44th Birthday 
with The Bruery 
Sat 5/21 - 6th Annual Maui 
Brewing Luau Party 


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Thu 5/12 - 4th Annual Cascade Sour Night 
Fri 5/13 - 4th Annual Block 15 Block Party 
Sat 5/14 - 4th Annual Farmhouse Night 
Fri 5/20 - Ellen's 44th Birthday 
with Goose Island 
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5.12 Thursday (Electronic) 

THE JUAN MACLEAN (dj set) 

Pezzner, J-Justice 


5.13 Friday (Soul / Funk) 

KEXP New Home Benefit: 

STEVIE WONDER TRIBUTE 

Eldridge Gravy & The Court Supreme, 
Marmalade, Happy Orchestra, Funky 2 Death, 
Vaudeville Etiquette, The Fabulous Party Boys, 
Spencer Glenn Band, Breaks & Swells, 

General Mojo's, Home Sweet Home 

5.14 Saturday (Funk / Soul) 

TURKUAZ 

The Nth Power, Ayron Jones 

5.15 Sunday (Funk / World) 

EUFORQUESTRA 

plus Triplifried featuring Andy Coe, 
D'Vonne Lewis, Evan Flory-Barnes 

5.18 Wednesday (Hip Hop) 

WARREN G 

Grynch, King Leez, DJ Indica Jones 

5.19 Thursday (Band Competition) 

THE MELTDOWN 
SHOWDOWN 

Local bands compete for a set at 
Summer Meltdown 2016! feat. DBST, 
Home Sweet Home, Lions Ambition, 

Mr. Feelgood & the Firm Believers, 
Thunder Pawh, Swindler 

5.20 Friday (Dub/ Live Electronica) 

GAUDI 

plus ACORN PROJECT 

WillDaBeast 

5.21 Saturday (Hip-Hop) 

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5.22 GIFT OF GAB 

5.26 SPYN RESET 

5.27 POLECAT/ 

POOR MAN'S WHISKEY 

5.28 BOLLYWOOD EDM 

6.2 CHASTITY BELT 

6.3 GONDWANA 

6.4 NITE WAVE 

6.5 MEGA RAN 

6.10 POLYRHYTHMICS 

6.11 CLINTON FEARON 

& BOOGIE BROWN BAND 

6.12 HENHOUSE PROWLERS 

6.14 SNOW THA PRODUCT 

6.15 PETE ROCK & CL SMOOTH 

6.16 GRANT FARM 

6.19 NIGHTMARES ON WAX 
(DJ SET) 

6.21 ISRAEL VIBRATION 

6.22 TEN MAN BRASS BAND 

6.23 THE GLADIATORS + 
CLINTON FEARON 

6.24 TRL NIGHT 

6.25 HIT EXPLOSION 

6.26 CURRENSY 

6.30 NATASHA KMETO 

7.1 SNUG HARBOR 

7.2 JAI HO! 

7.6 SAMANTHA FISH 

7.7 LA INEDITA 

7.13 BOOGAT 

7.14 LAKOU MIZIK 

7.20 SHERWOOD 

7.28 JOHN BROWN'S BODY 

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8.23 RED BARAAT 
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THE STRANGER May 11, 2016 31 



strangerthingstodo.com @SEAshows 



WEDNESDAY 5/1 1 


Modern English, Underpass, Lunch 

(Neumos) While they may be best known for 
their new-wave pop hit "I Melt with You," 
1980s UK post-punk legends Modern English 
weren't always so radio-ready. In 1981, 
only a year before their brief commercial 
success, the considerably darker and more 
experimental Mesh & Lace LP was released 
alongside other classics from Bauhaus and 
the Birthday Party in the 4AD label's early 
days. With delay-ridden spoken-word vocals, 
buzzing synths, and samples of birds chirp¬ 
ing, Modern English created one of the most 
cohesively creepy post-punk albums ever. 
From the anthemic synth takeover of "Gath¬ 
ering Dust," to the spooky danceability of 
"Swans on Glass," and the icy, slow-burning 
punk of "Home," Mesh & Lace remains one 
of the greatest artifacts of an era of wildly 
inventive post punk, and this #rare chance 
to see it performed live should not be 
missed. BRITTNIE FULLER 

Open Mike Eagle, DoNormaal 

(Barboza) "Dang Is Invincible" is probably 
the most prototypical Open Mike Eagle 
song on Hella Personal Film Festival, Mike's 
excellent new collaborative album with UK 
producer Paul White. A heavy guitar loop 
builds to a drop that never comes—instead 
the intro gives way to a goofy lounge beat 
over which OME gives himself early-morning 


props for drunkenly remembering to charge 
his phone the night before and skating on a 
hangover ("That burrito worked!"). On this 
everyman, half-full-milk-carton version of 
"It Was a Good Day," Mike isn't basking in 
the climate of social apathy by not rapping 
about more important stuff, or parody¬ 
ing tough-rap culture; he's throwing out 
casual observations and relatable signifiers 
that allow you to triangulate his emotional 
location. Find happiness in the little things, 
but remember, the little things are just that: 
"I get to be the one for a nanosecond," he 
ends. Even when Mike is being a goofball, 
he's being insightful—and vice versa—and 
he's still one of the smartest in the game. 
TODD HAMM 

Dream Theater 

(Paramount, all ages) If music theory was 
one of your favorite classes in high school, 
if you get a little excited when you think 
about Steely Dan's use of mu-major chords, 
if you listen to a Metallica album and think, 
"Hmm, this is pretty good, but it could use 
even more soaring vocals, key modulations, 
and labyrinthine concepts," then Dream 
Theater are the band for you. Hell, if you 
don't know what any of that shit is. Dream 
Theater might still be the band for you. The 
New York progressive-metal outfit's been 
going strong since 1988, and even if they're 
a bit long in the tooth, they still put on a 
stellar live show. JOSEPH SCHAFER 


THURSDAY 5/12 


Rabit, as_dfs, the Esoterics 

(Kremwerk) Rabit (aka Houston's Eric Burton) 
is one of the few American producers to take 
inspiration from England's grime movement. 
But his 2015 debut album for Tri Angle, 
Communion, sounds much more interiorized 
and morbid—not exactly the get-the-crowd- 
hyped club jams one expects from a grime 
artist. Rather, Communion suggests a musi¬ 
cian whose sound derives from the dank, 
chthonic atmospheres of Goblin, Coil, and 
John Carpenter and the angular rhythms of 
Autechre, Demdike Stare, and Emptyset. The 
album opens a wormhole into a very fucked- 
up, dungeon-like dimension that's strewn 
with the wails of damned souls, rattled-chain 
percussion, advanced-calculus beats, and 
lung-tarring bass frequencies. That's my kind 
of fun. DAVE SEGAL 

Bettye LaVette, Walter 
“Wolfman” Washington 

(Jazz Alley, all ages. May 12-15, all ages) 

Ms. Bettye LaVette is one of the last of the 
original 1960s/'70s soul queens still "holding 
on." In fact, I don't think at any point in her 
career did she ever stop touring, recording, 
or remaining relevant. It's not surprising: 

Her records AND live shows are always spot- 
on, plus her voice is just as strong as it was 
back in 1962. Also performing tonight are 
New Orleans guitarist Walter "Wolfman" 


Washington and his group the Roadmasters, 
from what I can tell. Washington has a soul¬ 
ful pedigree two miles long: He was once in 
the house band at the Dew Drop Inn, he's 
nephew to blues/R&B greats Guitar Slim and 
Lightnin' Slim, toured with Lee Dorsey, and, 
uh, that's just for starters. MIKE NIPPER 


FRIDAY 5/13 


Debacle Fest: Mara, DoNormaal, 

Hive Mind, Newaxeyes, more 

(Columbia City Theater) The ninth edition of 
experimental-music smorgasbord Debacle 
Fest marks the first curated by PlayNetwork 
associate music director Hallie Sloan, and 
the lineup for both nights looks strong and 
diverse. Some of the flavors on offer: the 
astral-jazz, minimalist sax improv of KO Solo; 
the beatific psych folk of somesurprises; Pink 
Void's solo noise-guitar abstractions; hugely 
promising newcomer DoNormaal, who's many 
keen observers' favorite new left-field Seattle 
rapper and producer; Meridian Arc's malevo¬ 
lent sci-fi-film soundtrackage; Xua's gorgeous, 
electronic simulacra of Southeast Asian music; 
Newaxeyes' distortion-heavy psychedelicizing 
of rock and electronic tropes; Monika Khot 
of Zen Mother's doomsday electronica and 
ambient compositions; the spectral, choral 
folk of Mara (Mamiffer's Faith Coloccia); and 
Hive Mind's intense, eldritch noise drones. And 
yet more. That's a lot of strangeness for your 
unconventional head space. DAVE SEGAL 

Continued ► 











32 May 11, 2016 THE STRANGER 


TIGS TO DO MUSIC 

Cate Le Bon, Mega Bog 

(Barboza) Only a few years into her career, 
Cate Le Bon relocated from Cardiff, Wales, to 
Los Angeles. It could have marked the point 
at which this fiercely independent artist sold 
her soul to the highest bidder, but Le Bon 
remains the master of her musical domain. 
The only difference: collaborations with 
crafty coast-dwellers like Perfume Genius and 
White Fence's Tim Presley (with whom she 
made the loopy Hermits on Holiday under 
the name DRINKS). Across four solo record¬ 
ings, including this year's Crab Day, Le Bon 
has found the sweet spot between acid folk 
and post punk. She is, by turns, a scrappy Joni 
Mitchell, an electrified Vashti Bunyan, and a 
one-woman Incredible String Band. Through 
it all shines her past as a country kid who 
grew up with woodland creatures and Velvet 
Underground records. KATHY FENNESSY 

Benjamin Cissner and the 
Apologies, Plantation Band 

(Lo-Fi) Southern Gothic as a musical genre 
(sometimes also called "death country" and 
"gothic Americana") is a deeper, darker 
alternative to country/folk/rock. Much like 
Harry Crews, Flannery O'Connor, and other 
mysterious cousins of its literary namesake, 
the Nick Caves and the Bill Callahans in the 
genre use their work to examine a dark¬ 
ness of humanity. Benjamin Cissner does 
just that with his debut album. Birds in the 
Night. The former Seattleite, who some may 
remember from his long tenure at Jive Time 
Records and his guitar contributions on the 
first Tiny Vipers record, has a new endeavor 
loaded with a low-lit, swirling palette of 
shadowy colors and existential freak-outs. 


Themes of loss and abstract sadness are 
apparent throughout the record, while the 
sometimes complicated guitar and melody 
arrangements weave in beautifully with the 
contrast of sometimes calculated sparseness. 
(Cissner and the Apologies will also play an 
all-ages set at Capitol Hill record store Wall 
of Sound at 6 p.m.) BREE MCKENNA 

Pallbearer, Norska, Wounded 
Giant, Scriptures, Nox Velum 

(Highline) Any underground metal band 
that wins the accolades of the indie press 
is likely to get some flak from its original 
constituents. So it's hardly surprising that 
Arkansas doom group Pallbearer had a 
contingent of skeptics when their debut 
album received glowing praise from outlets 
like NPR and Pitchfork. And to be fair. Pall¬ 
bearer aren't as relentless heavy as Sleep or 
as sinister as My Dying Bride, but why even 
try to rival the masters? Instead, Pallbearer's 
focus falls on songwriting. Imagine a classic 
NWOBHM 45 being played at 33 rpm and 
you get an idea of the group's instrumental 
sophistication and penchant for minor-key 
hooks. While their peers try to out-doom 
each other by tuning lower, playing louder, 
and mistaking riff-writing for songwriting, 
Pallbearer carve out their own niche by sim¬ 
ply writing great songs. BRIAN COOK 

Sonic Evolution: This Is Indie! 

(Benaroya Hall, all ages) This is going to be 
an intense, gorgeous, multimedia musical 
spectacle. Act I is the world premiere of The 
Unchanging Sea, a collaboration between 
avant-garde film legend Bill Morrison and 
Bang on a Can cofounder Michael Gordon. 


Along with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, 
pianist Tomoko Mukaiyama will pound out 
Gordon's dense yet expansive rhythm-heavy 
composition beneath Morrison's short film, 
which is full of archival footage of old Seat¬ 
tle. Mukaiyama is one of the more fascinating 
pianists to watch—on YouTube you can see 
her play piano as 100 shoes rain down on 
her head. Following that, synth soloist Lorna 
Dune will play William Brittelle's Love Letter 
for Area, an homage to producer Alejandro 
Ghersi, who worked with Kanye on Yeezus 
and Bjork on Vulnicura. Fly Moon Royalty 
get Act II all to themselves. They'll perform 
their bluesy, electronic hiphop with a whole 
orchestra behind them. RICH SMITH 


SATURDAY 5/14 


Debacle Fest: Benoit Pioulard, Brett 
Naucke, DIAD, Ilyas Ahmed, more 

(Columbia City Theater) Night two of De¬ 
bacle might be even more stacked than the 
first one. Seattle transplant Benoit Pioulard 
(Thomas Meluch) has been creating some of 
the country's most beatific, glacial ambient 
music over the last couple of years, and he's 
also a David Sylvian-esque presence on the 
mic. Brett Naucke, who's coming all the way 
from Chicago, is a master of synth composi¬ 
tions that will enchant, confuse, and creep 
you the hell out. Portland duo Visible Cloaks 
engage in an oddly gorgeous mode of 
exotica that hints at Brian Eno and Haruomi 
Hosono's most sublime and disorienting 
works. Ilyas Ahmed finesses melancholy, 
slightlydelic folk with exquisite poise. DIAD 
(Chloe "Raica" Harris and Timm "Mood 
Organ" Mason) recently joined forces to har¬ 
ness their prodigious inventive synth skills 
into ganglia-tingling electronic adventures. 
Spectrum Control—the latest plaything of 
Portland guitarist Dewey Mahoo—promise 


interstellar psychedelia. Medina/Walsh find 
interesting ways to mesh plangent folk gui¬ 
tar meditations with electronic treatments. 
Local duo Bad Luck will likely make you 
reassess your stance on avant-garde jazz. 
Debacle's sterling track record over the last 
eight years means it's worth the risk, even 
if you're unfamiliar with the artists here. 
DAVE SEGAL 

Violent Femmes, Phoebe Bridgers 

(Showbox) Maybe Violent Femmes should 
have changed their name after the first 
album. Maybe they should change their 
name after every album. Because all people 
want to listen to and even talk about is the 
first album. So, okay, the drummer just quit, 
but the new one plays a charcoal grill—score! 
And they're catching flak for song doctors, 
but that's two or three songs out of 10 on the 
new album We Can Do Anything, and any¬ 
way, it has all that Femmes fodder you love 
so much like untrue true love, undead dead 
lovers, supernatural hauntings, songs to sing 
in the back of a battered red pickup truck 
while you're shirtless with a cracked guitar 
and slamming the tailgate for a backbeat and 
getting burned red as the pickup. In simpler 
terms, excelsior! ANDREW HAMLIN 

Whitey Morgan, Cody Jinks 

(Neumos) The time has come to officially 
conscript the phrase "I listen to anything 
except country" to only Tinder pages that 
you should really, really be swiping left on. 
Sure, the bro'd-out pop-inflected variety of 
the genre has only become more common 
and more putrid, but that stuff is the Natty 
Light of music, and there's quality micro¬ 
brews to be found if you look. Case in point, 
Flint, Michigan's Whitey Morgan, whose 
punk background and honky-tonk sound 
give his music the kick of a good IPA. Songs 


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THE STRANGER May 11, 2016 33 


TIGS TO DO MUSIC 

like "Ain't Gonna Take It Anymore" balance 
humor and self-destructive pathos with 
aplomb—they go down smooth but bite at 
the end. JOSEPH SCHAFER 


SUNDAY 5/15 


The Who, Slydigs 

(KeyArena, all ages) The granddads are 
alright! Or so we hope—vocalist Roger Dal- 
trey's viral meningitis led to this show being 
postponed till now. Daltrey, Pete Townshend, 
Pete's guitarist brother Simon Townshend, 
and Ringo's drummer son Zak Starkey will be 
grinding through one of the most inspi¬ 
rational, powerful, and catchy rock-band 
catalogs ever waxed, for the last time ever, 
probably. As you know, the Who's impact 
on mod, maximum R&B, hard rock, punk, 
and rock opera is vast, and their eclecticism 
is matched by their dramatic and passion¬ 
ate delivery. Bonus: They also excelled at 
psychedelia ("Instant Party," "Armenia City 
in the Sky") and created one of the most 
effective tributes to minimalist composer 
Terry Riley ("Baba O'Riley"). Part of The Who 
Hits 50! tour (they've actually been around 
since 1964, but hey), this concert should be 
an action-packed nostalgiafest on overdrive. 
Plus, there's also the suspense over whether 
Pete Townshend has the strength and/or will 
to smash his guitar anymore. DAVE SEGAL 

Leon Russell, Jefferson Grizzard 

(Neptune, all ages) Tho' now his records 
are mostly dollar-bin staples, Leon Russell 
ascended to something like godhead status 
in the early 1970s as a producer, songwriter, 
and good-time rock and roller. He became 


legend and prolly sold just shy of one and 
a half billion records. Lucky for him, his 
massive success allowed him to eventually 
do whatever he wanted—and as the pop 
tastes changed, he smartly slipped into his 
own thing. As for tonight. I'm not totally 
sure of his current set list, but his catalog is 
sizable and he will undoubtedly play a stew 
of blues, R&B, country rock, and pop. He's 74 
now, still has his voice, and is still wearing his 
signature white cowboy hat and white beard 
and playing a white piano. MIKE NIPPER 

Sean Watkins, 

Petra Haden, Jesse Harris 

(Tractor) For those tuning in late, Petra 
Haden—one of the famous Haden triplets— 
transmogrified "Don't Stop Believin'" into 
a multitracked a cappella affirmation of 
everything right with the world, and threw 
in a video for same depicting a love story 
between a pocket calculator and a fried 
egg. She's recorded an a cappella cover of 
the entire The Who Sell Out LP and a similar 
album of classic movie themes. Here she'll gig 
with singer-songwriter Jesse Harris (himself 
a twin), and Sean Watkins from Nickel Creek 
(no relation to Nickelback!). YouTube samples 
seem to promise haunted-space excursions 
into eerie psyches, summoned by Haden's vio¬ 
lin. Hie thee thither! But don't expect to rub 
shoulders with the pocket calculator or even 
a fried egg. ANDREW HAMLIN 

Soulfly, Suffocation, Battlecross, 
Abnormality, Lody Kong, After 
the Fallout, Disciples of Dissent 

(Studio Seven, all ages) In 1991, a group 
of longhairs from Long Island wrote the 


blueprint for all brutal technical-death-metal 
bands to come. With the release of their 
Human Waste EP, and later that year, the 
critically acclaimed "Effigy of the Forgot¬ 
ten," Suffocation slammed harder than any 
death-metal band before them. Soulfly are 
the main attraction for many, as it's Sepultura 
mastermind Max Cavalera's brainchild. If you 
only know Soulfly from their Back to the 
Primitive-era nil-metal sound, they're worth 
giving another try. In the past five years, 
Soulfly have dosed their grooves with much 
more death-metal influence, creating a sound 
reminiscent of early Sepultura. KEVIN DIERS 


MONDAY 5/16 


Horse Lords, Bad Luck, 

Nordra, Don Gero 

(Hollow Earth Radio, all ages) Baltimore 
quartet Horse Lords are what happens when 
Glenn Branca and Rhys Chatham aficionados 
get turned on by the African trance rock 
of Group Doueh and Tinariwen and 20th- 
century minimalism. That's not a confluence 
of elements you normally hear in the 21st 
century. Thankfully, Horse Lords infuse these 
influences with a powerful life force, so 
rather than seeming like connect-the-dots 
record-collector pastiche, their music packs 
a rare hybridized zing. Horse Lords' new al¬ 
bum on Northern Spy, Interventions, flaunts 
more intricate rhythm matrices and engages 
in some purely ambient explorations, add¬ 
ing more diversity to their approach. When 
they opened for Matmos at Neumos in 2013, 
Horse Lords blew us away with their mono- 
maniacal drive and potently hypnotic clamor. 
Looking forward to that happening again. 
DAVE SEGAL 

Wireheads, No Grave, Zebra Hunt 

(Funhouse) It would be convenient to say 


that Australia's Wireheads sound like a cross 
between brainy British post punks Wire and 
cerebral American funk-rock freaks Talking 
Heads, but inaccurate. Rather, Wireheads 
evoke the fascinating bleakness and noncha¬ 
lantly brilliant tunefulness of New Zealand 
semi-legends like the Gordons and post-punk 
mavericks like Afflicted Man and 39 Clocks. 

If you want local flavor, Wireheads cut their 
excellent 2015 album Big Issues at Olympia's 
Dub Narcotic Studio, with Calvin Johnson 
serving as engineer. There's something 
slightly off-center and alienated about the 
songs here, something that makes you want 
to listen repeatedly to their odd, anomic 
atmospheres and intriguing air of disaffec¬ 
tion—and, not least of all, the ultra-cool 
guitar tones. It's rare for rock to sound this 
vitally dismal in 2016. DAVE SEGAL 


TUESDAY 5/17 


Amon Amarth, Entombed 
A.D., Exmortus 

(Showbox, all ages) The AC/DC of me¬ 
lodic Swedish Viking death metal sans 
the paunchy, cake-fed replacement singer 
with Loki-like 'tude, Amon Amarth swill 
brew from rams' horns and remain forever 
drunk on Norse mythology. This hirsute 
bunch chases a Cal Ripken-like consistency: 
Their hooky, Thor's-hammer-heavy jams 
have evolved little from album to album in 
recent years, but that's only because they've 
arguably perfected the catchy yet concus- 
sive crunch that propels their latest record, 
Jomsviking, like a longship crashing through 
ocean waves en route to foreign shores. Un¬ 
like their rapacious forebears, though, these 
dudes are a decidedly more fun-lovin' crew. 
No need to lock up any daughters and wives, 
then—though the same doesn't apply to 
liquor cabinets. JASON BRACELIN 



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34 May 11, 2016 THE STRANGER 



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THE STRANGER May 11, 2016 35 


THIN T DO MUSIC 


All the Shows Happening This Week 

strangerthingstodo.com $0 @SEAshows 
★ = Recommended ©= All Ages 


WED 5/1 1 


★ BARBOZA Open Mike 
Eagle with Guests, 8 pm, 

$10 

BLUE MOON TAVERN Open 
Mic With Linda Lee, 8 pm 
© CHOP SUEYYuna, 

BOSCO, Jarell Perry, 8 pm, 
$20 

© CROCODILE Blaqk 
Audio, Night Riots, 
Charming Liars, 8 pm, $20 
EGAN’S JAM HOUSE Vocal 
Showcase and Jam, 7 pm, 
$10 

© EL CORAZON Aaron 
Carter with Guests, 7 pm, 

$15-$70 

© FIX COFFEEHOUSE Open 
Mic: Guests, 7 pm, free 
THE FUNHOUSE Black 
Sabbitch with Piston Ready, 
8 pm, $ 10/$ 12 
HIGHLINE Arab rot, Insect 
Ark, Helen Money, 9 pm, 

$ 12 /$ 14 

HIGHWAY 99 James Howard 
Band, 8 pm, $7 
J&M CAFE The Lonnie 
Williams Band, 8 pm, free 
KELLS Liam Gallagher 
LITTLE RED HEN Karaoke 
with DJ Forrest Gump, 9 pm 
LO-FI Blondi's Salvation, 
Hotel Vignette, Gabriel 
Mintz, 8 pm, $8 
NECTAR Westbound 
Reunion with Guests, 8 pm, 
$7/$ 10 

© NEPTUNE THEATRE 

Lucius with Margaret 
Glaspy, 8 pm, $16.50-$18.50 

★ NEUMOS Modern English, 
Underpass, Lunch, 8 pm, 

$15 

OHANA Live Island Music: 
Guests, 9:30 pm 
OWL N’THISTLE Justin and 
Guests, 9 pm, free 
PARAGON Two Buck Chuck, 
8 pm, free 

★ PARAMOUNT THEATRE 

Dream Theater, 7:30 pm, 

$31.25-$70.75 
SKYLARK CAFE & CLUB 
Open Mic, 8:30 pm, free 
SOUND CHECK BAR & 
GRILL Open Mic, 8 pm 
SUBSTATION Yada Yada 
Blues Band, 8 pm 
SUNSET TAVERN Wa 11 of 
Ears, Amy Viking, Jack 
Shriner, 8 pm, $8 
TRACTOR TAVERN Givers 
with Anna Wise, 9 pm, $15 
© VERA PROJECT Cross 
Record, Nightspace, 

Pleather, 7:30 pm, $8/$10 

fl\kA 

CONOR BYRNE Happy 
Orchestra, 9 pm 

★ © JAZZ ALLEY Cyrus 
Chestnut Trio, 7:30 pm, 
$27.50 

THE ROYAL ROOM Overton 
Berry/Bruce Phares Duo, 

7:30 pm, $12/$ 15 
SARAJEVO LOUNGE Gypsy 
Jazz Music, 8 pm 
TULA’S Jim Sisko's Bellevue 
College Jazz Orchestra, 7:30 
pm, $10 

© VARIOUS LOCATIONS 

Ballard Jazz Festival 2016, 

$ 12 -$ 110 

★ VERMILLION Tables 
& Chairs Presents, 8 pm, 
donation 

ED 

BALTIC ROOM Bollocks 
CONTOUR NuDe 
Wednesdays, 9 pm, free 
HAVANA COOLIN: DJ Night 
with Stasia Mehschel and 
Larry Mizell, Jr., 10 pm, $3 


LOVECITYLOVE 

LOVECITYLOVE X 
WEDNESDAYS, 8-11 pm, 

$ 5/$10 

MERCURY Rezonance: DJ 
Chadeau and Guests, 9 
pm, $3 

NEIGHBOURS Exposed: DJ 
Trent Von and DJ Dirty Bit 
★ REVOLVER BAR Top of 
the Pops: DJ Kurt Bloch, 9 
pm, DJ Jimi C, 10 pm 
STUDIO SEVEN Electric 
Wednesday: Guests 


CLASSICAL 


© CENTRAL LIBRARY 

Ladies Musical Club Free 
Public Concert: LMC 125th 
Anniversary Show Series, 
Wed, May 11, noon 


THURS 5/12 


BARBOZA Aaron Cohen 
with Guests, 8 pm, $8 
CENTRAL SALOON Skelator, 
Hexengeist, Blame the 
Wizards, 9 pm, $5/$8 
© CROCODILE Louis Futon, 
Tony Goods, Tom Kha Soup, 
8 pm, $13 

© DOWNPOUR BREWING 

Open Mic Night, 5 pm, free 
© FREMONT ABBEY Rob 
Ickes and Trey Hensley, 8 
pm, $ 10/$ 12 
© THE FUNHOUSE So 
Hideous, Bosse-de-Nage, 

Lo There Do You See My 
Brother, A God Or An Other, 
Orchards, 7 pm, $ 10/$ 12 
GHOSTFISH BREWING 
George Grissom, 6 pm 
HIGH DIVE Heart Shaped 
Boxes, Spinster, The Ram 
Rams, 7 pm, $6/$8 
HIGHLINE Tan Sedan, Sir 
Coyler and His Asthmatic 
Band, Gold Fronts, Knights 
of Trash, 9:30 pm, $7 
HIGHWAY 99 Kevin Andrew 
Sutton and the Northwest 
All-Stars, 8 pm, $7 
J&M CAFE True Romans, 8 
pm, free 

KELLS Liam Gallagher 
LITTLE RED HEN The 
Buckaroosters, 9 pm, $3 
LO-FI Charlie and the Rays, 
Harrison B, 9 pm, $8 
© NEPTUNE THEATRE 
Damien Jurado and the 
Heavy Light with Ben 
Abraham, 8 pm, $17/$18.50 
© NEUMOS The Thermals, 
Wimps, Dude York, 8 pm, 
$15 

© THE ROYAL ROOM 

April Showers Bring Grave 
Flowers: A Tribute to Tom 
Waits, with The Bleeding 
Romeos, 8 pm, $12/$ 15 
SCRATCH DELI Music Open 
Mic, 7:30 pm, Free 
SEAMONSTER Marmalade, 
10 pm 

© STONE WAY CAFE Open 
Mic: Guests, 7:30 pm 
STUDIO SEVEN Traci Gunns, 
6:30 pm, $13/$ 15 
SUBSTATION Rhine, Balsa, 
Sons of Donovan, and Jugs 
of Blood, 8 pm, $8 
TRACTOR TAVERN Quiet 
Life, Ole Tinder, and 
Edmund Wayne, 9 pm, $10 
VERMILLION Way 
Elsewhere: Words and 
Music, 6:30 pm 
VITO’S RESTAURANT & 
LOUNGE Casey MacGill, 

5:30 pm 

IfW 

★ BARCA Jazz at Barca: Phil 
Sparks Trio, Adam Kessler, 
and Guests, 9 pm, free 

★ © JAZZ ALLEY Bettye 


Lavette and Walter "the 
Wolfman" Washington, 
$33.50 

PINK DOOR Bric-a-Brac, 

8 pm 

© SHUGA JAZZ BISTRO 

Chris James Quartet, 7 pm 
© TRIPLE DOOR Christian 
McBride Trio, May 12-14, 8 
pm, $25-$28 

TULA’S Nelda Swiggett's 
Megabopolis, 7:30 pm, $12 
© VARIOUS LOCATIONS 
Ballard Jazz Festival 2016, 

$ 12 -$ 110 

ED 

BALLROOM Throwback 
Thursdays, 9 pm 
BALTIC ROOM Sugar 
Beat, $3 

CONTOUR Jaded: Guests 

★ HAVANA Sophisticated 
Mama, free 

JAZZBONES College Night, 

9 pm 

★ KREMWERK Elevator 
Presents: Rabit, as_dfs, The 
Esoterics, 9 pm, $10/$ 15 
NECTAR Juan MacLean, 
Pezzner, and J-Justice, 8 
pm, $13 

NEIGHBOURS Revolution 
OHANA '80s Ladies Night 
Q NIGHTCLUB Studio 4/4: 
Sasha, 9 pm, $15/$17/$20 
R PLACE Thirsty Thursdays 
SUNSET TAVERN Denim 80s 
Dance Party, 9 pm 
THERAPY LOUNGE Therapy 
Sessions, 10 pm 
TRINITY Beer Pong 
Thursdays 


FRI 5/13 


★ BARBOZA Cate Le Bon 
with Mega Bog, 7 pm, $13 
© BENAROYA HALL 
Sonic Evolution: This is 
Indie!: Seattle Symphony, 
Michael Gordon, Tomoko 
Mukaiyama, and Fly Moon 
Royalty, 8 pm, $25-$52 
BLUE MOON TAVERN Way 
and Co. Presents: Pale 
Noise, Great Spiders, Scott 
Yoder, and Sloucher, 8 pm 
CENTRAL SALOON Alina 
Bea with PHNK and Guests, 
9 pm, $5/$8 

CHINA HARBOR Orquesta 
la Solucion, 9:30 pm, $15 
CHOP SUEY GO FUCK 
YOURSELF 2016: A Tribute 
to the Fallen Music Idols of 
2016, 8 pm, $8/$ 10 

★ © COLUMBIA CITY 
THEATER Debacle Fest 
2016, 7 pm, $25/$30 
CROCODILE Rishloo, 10 
Miles Wide, Megafauna, 8 
pm, $15 

CYPRESS WINE BAR 

Tessarossa Band, 7-10 pm 
EL CORAZON Toarn's Music 
Video Shoot with Live 
Performances, 7 pm, $8/$ 10 
HIGH DIVE Memphis vs 
Nashville: Baby Cakes with 
Guests, 9 pm, $10/$ 12 

★ HIGHLINE Pallbearer, 
Norska, Wounded Giant, 
Scriptures, Nox Velum, 8 
pm, $ 10/$ 12 
HIGHWAY 99 Chris Eger 
Band CD Release Party, 8 
pm, $15 

© KEYARENA Selena 
Gomez with DNCE, 7:30 pm, 
$33.50-$126 

★ LO-FI Benjamin Cissner 
and the Apologies, 
Plantation Band, 9 pm, $8 
LUCKY LIQUOR The 
Problem, The Finger 
Guns, Bonneville Power, 
Radioshark, 9 pm, $8 


NECTAR KEXP New Home 
Benefit: Stevie Wonder 
Tribute, 7 pm, $15 
RE-BAR Quiver: Guests 
THE ROYAL ROOM The 
Bushwick Book Club Seattle: 
Kim Gordon's Girl in a Band, 

8 pm, $10 

SEAMONSTER Live Funk, 

10 pm 

SKYLARK CAFE & CLUB Big 

Little Lion, SunSets West, 
Dixie Jade, 9 pm, $7 
SLIM’S LAST CHANCE 
Spectre, Villains of 
Yesterday, See By Sound, 

9 pm, $5 

STUDIO SEVEN Andre 
Nickatina with Guests, 8 
pm, $25 

SUNSET TAVERN Danny 
Newcomb and the 
Sugarmakers, Strong Suit, 
and the Garth Reeves Band, 
9 pm, $8 

TIM NOAH’S THUMBNAIL 
THEATER Friday Night 
Open Mic, 6:30 pm, $3-$5 
TIM’S TAVERN Pacific 
Echoes, The Hasslers, 
Gumshen, Moose Light 
Kingdom, 8 pm, $8 
TRACTOR TAVERN The 
Travelin McCourys, 9 pm, 

$15 

© WASHINGTON CENTER 
FOR THE PERFORMING 
ARTS John Mueller's Winter 
Dance Party, 7:30 pm, 
$13-$45 

WFfr+4 

★ © EDMONDS CENTER 
FOR THE ARTS Poncho 
Sanchez Latin Jazz Band, 
7:30 pm, $29-$39 

★ © JAZZ ALLEY Bettye 
Lavette and Walter "the 
Wolfman" Washington, 
$33.50 

LATONAPUB Phil Sparks 
Trio, 5 pm 

© TRIPLE DOOR Christian 
McBride Trio, Through May 
14, 8 pm, $25-$28 
TULA’S Stephanie Porter 
Quintet, 7:30 pm, $16 
© VARIOUS LOCATIONS 
Ballard Jazz Festival 2016, 

$ 12 -$ 110 

ED 

ASTON MANOR Cabaret 
Fridays 

BALLROOM Rendezvous 
Friday, 9 pm 

BALMARTop 40, 9:30 pm, 
free 

BARBOZA Jet: Dance Party 
DJ Set, 10:30 pm 

★ CUFF DJs, 10 pm-3 am 
HAVANA Viva Havana, 9 
pm, $11 

JAZZBONES Filthy Fridays, 

11 pm, $10 

MERCURY Goth Prom VII 
— The Prom You Always 
Wanted, 9 pm-3 am, $5 
NEIGHBOURS Absolut 
Fridays, 9 pm 
NEUMOS Bootie Seattle: 

Boy Bands vs Girl Groups, 9 
pm, $5/$ 10 

OHANA DJs, 10 pm, free 
OZZIE’S DJs, 9 pm, free 
PONY Shenanigans 
R PLACE Swollen Fridays, 

9 pm 

STOUT DJ ePop, 9 pm 
SUBSTATION Deeper Roots 
Anniversary Party: Sage 
Armstrong and Guests, 10 
pm-3 am 

THERAPY LOUNGE Under 
Pressure, 9:30 pm, $3 after 
10:30 p.m. 

TRINITY Power Fridays, 
$ 0-$10 

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and aMadman, free 
WILDROSE Heavy Flow: 
Dance Night with DJ Tony 
Burns, 9 pm, $3 


CLASSICAL 


© BENAROYA HALL 

Northwest Sinfonietta: 
Ravel & Strauss, 7:30 pm, 
$20-$40 

© BLESSED SACRAMENT 
CHURCH New Mystics 
from East & West: Capella 
Romana, 7:30 pm, $10-$44 


SAT 5/14 


© BALLARD HOMESTEAD 

Lily and Madeleine, with 
Shannon Hayden and 
Brenda Xu, 7:30 pm, $15 
BARBOZA Bear Mountain 
and Young Empires, 7 
pm, $10 

© BENAROYA HALL Jason 
Vieaux: A Seattle Classic 
Guitar Society Presentation, 
7:30 pm, $28-$38 
CAPP’S CLUB Sophie B. 
Hawkins with Michael Kroll, 
7:30 pm, $30/$35 
CLUB HOLLYWOOD 
CASINO Johnny and the 
Bad Boys and DJ Becka 
Page, 9 pm, $5 

★ © COLUMBIA CITY 
THEATER Debacle Fest 
2016, $25/$30 

© CROCODILE Andy Hull 
and Kevin Devine, 8 pm, 
$16.50 

© EL CORAZON FMLYBND, 
Olivverthe Kid, Dark 
Waves, 7 pm, $12/$ 15 
© THE FUNHOUSE A 
War Within, Pure Earth, 
Divisions, 3 pm, $10/$ 12 
HALE’S PALLADIUM Erik 
and Rob's Fourth Annual 
Bluegrass and Beer Festival, 
6-10 pm, $25 

HIGHLINE Highline Six Year 
Anniversary Party, 9 pm, 

$ 10/$ 12 

HIGHWAY 99 Lisa Mann and 
Her Really Good Band CD 
Release Party, 8 pm, $17 
NECTAR Turkuaz, Nth 
Power, and Ayron Jones, 8 
pm, $13 

© NEPTUNE THEATRE Little 
Big Show #15: Santigold 
and DoNormaal, 8 pm, $25; 
Caspar Babypants, 10 am, 
$4.50 

★ NEUMOS Whitey Morgan 
and Cody Jinks, May 14-15, 

8 pm, $25-$125 
PANTAGES THEATER 
Carmina Burana, 7:30 pm, 

$15-$80 

RENDEZVOUS Shit Ghost 
with Gabriel Wolfchild and 
the Northern Light, Emma 
Lee Toyoda, and Charlie 
and the Rays, 8 pm, $6/$8 
THE ROYAL ROOM Marley's 
Ghost, 6 pm, $12/$ 15 

★ THE SHOWBOX Violent 
Femmes, 8 pm, $35 
SKYLARK CAFE & CLUB Taji 
and Fragile Lung, 9 pm, $7 
SLIM’S LAST CHANCE Slim's 

8 Year Anniversary Party 
with Bob Wayne and the 
Outlaw Carnies and Dead 
Man, 9 pm 

SUBSTATION The Heels, 
Twink the Wonderkid, and 
Whorechata, 5-9 pm, $6 
SUNSET TAVERN The Minus 
5 and Richmond Fontaine, 

9 pm, $15 

© TACOMA DOME Second 
Annual Tacoma Guitar 
Festival, $15-$25 
© TOWN HALL Frances 
England, 11 am, free for 
kids/$5 for adults 
TRACTOR TAVERN Country 
Lips, WILD POWWERS, The 
Spinning Whips, 8 pm, $10 
© VERA PROJECT Karl Blau, 
Swooning, Lavender And'Er 
Butch Blinders, Jordan 
O'Jordan, 7:30 pm, $8/$ 10 
WATERSHED PUB & 
KITCHEN Live at the Shed: 
Guests, 9 pm, donations 

★ © JAZZ ALLEY Bettye 
Lavette and Walter "the 
Wolfman" Washington, 
$33.50 


© TRIPLE DOOR Christian 
McBride Trio, 8 pm, $25-$28 
TULA’S Susan Pascal 
Quartet, 7:30 pm, $18 
© VARIOUS LOCATIONS 
Ballard Jazz Festival 2016, 

$ 12-$ 110 

VITO’S RESTAURANT & 
LOUNGE Jerry Zimmerman, 
6 pm 

EH 

95 SLIDE Good Saturdays, 
9:30 pm, $10 
ASTON MANOR NRG 
Saturdays 

BALLARD LOFT Hiphop 
Saturdays, 10 pm 
BALLROOM Sinful 
Saturdays, 9 pm 
BALMARTop 40 Night, 9:30 
pm, free 

BALTIC ROOM Crave 
Saturdays, 10 pm 
BARBOZA Inferno, 10:30 
pm, $5 before midnight/$10 
after 

BUCKLEY’S IN BELLTOWN 

'90s Dance Party, 9 pm 
CHOP SUEY Dance Yourself 
Clean, 9 pm, $5 
CORBU LOUNGE Saturday 
Night Live 

★ CUFF DJs, 10 pm-3 am 
HAVANA Havana Social, 9 
pm, $15 

KREMWERK Work: Worthy, 
10 pm, $10 

★ LO-FI Emerald City Soul 
Club, 9 pm, $10 
MERCURY Machineries of 
Joy, $5 

MONKEY LOFT Drop, 10 pm 
NEIGHBOURS Powermix 
OHANADJs, 10 pm, free 
OZZIE’S DJs, 9 pm, free 
PONY Glitoris 
R PLACE Therapy Saturday 
SARAJEVO LOUNGE 
European/Balkan/Greek 
Night 

STOUT DJ ePop, 9 pm 
THERAPY LOUNGE This 
Modern Love 

TRINITY Reload Saturdays, 
$15 

© VERMILLION Big Dig 

Record Show, 3-8 pm, 

$3/$ 10 


CLASSICAL 


© BENAROYA HALL 

Giving the Gift of Music to 
Children, 7 pm, $42-$120 
© CHRIST EPISCOPAL 
CHURCH Versailles, 7:30 
pm, donation 

TACOMA RIALTO THEATER 

Ravel & Strauss, 7:30 pm, 
$20-$60 


SUN 5/15 


© BARBOZA Javier Colon, 
6:30 pm, $17.50 
© CAFE RACER Racer 
Sessions, 7:30-11 pm 
© crocodile Playboi 
Carti and Lil Uzi Vert: The 
Left Right Tour, 7 pm, $20; 
The Pizza Pulpit: Crossbows 
and Catapults, Nuptials, 

6:30 pm, free 

EL CORAZON In The Whale, 
Shawn James and the 
Shapeshifters, 8 pm, $8/$ 10 

★ © THE FUNHOUSE Jeff 
Rosenstock with Upset, 7 
pm, $ 13/$ 15 
HIGHLINE Oddball, 
Aimlows, Fighting Maniacs, 
9:30 pm, $7 

KELLS Liam Gallagher 

★ © KEYARENA The Who 
with Slydigs, 7:30 pm, 

$35.50-$135.50 

LITTLE RED HEN Open Mic 
Acoustic Jam, 4 pm 
LO-FI The Celestials with 
Dark Hip Falls, 8 pm, $8 
NECTAR EUFORQUESTRA 
with Triplifried, 8 pm, 

$7/$ 10 

★ 0 NEPTUNE THEATRE 

Leon Russell with Jefferson 
Grizzard, 8 pm, $33.50 

★ NEUMOS Whitey Morgan 
and Cody Jinks, Through 
May 15, 8 pm, $25-$125 
PANTAGES THEATER 
Carmina Burana, 3 pm, 

$15-$80 


★ © STUDIO SEVEN Soulfly, 
Suffocation, and Guests, 5 
pm, $24/$27 

SUBSTATION Coyote, Willie 
and the Whips, Michael 
Wohl, 7 pm, $6 
© TACOMA DOME Second 
Annual Tacoma Guitar 
Festival, $15-$25 
TIM’S TAVERN Seattle 
Songwriter Showcase 

★ TRACTOR TAVERN Sean 
Watkins with Petra Haden 
and Jesse Harris, 8 pm, $15 
© TRIPLE DOOR Sawyer 
Fredericks with Mia Z, 7:30 
pm, $20/$25 

© VERA PROJECT 
EmiSunshine, 7:30 pm, 

$ 12/$ 15 

WASHINGTON CENTER 
FOR THE PERFORMING 
ARTS SOGO Spring 2016, 4 
pm, $9-$15 

© XFINITY ARENA Calibre 
50 and Gerardo Ortiz, 8 pm, 
$52-$102 

I 

THE ANGRY BEAVER The 

Beaver Sessions, free 
DARRELL’S TAVERN Sunday 
Night Jazz Jam, 8 pm, free 
© HARISSA Sunday Bossa 
Nova: Dina Blade, 6 pm 

★ © JAZZ ALLEY Bettye 
Lavette and Walter "the 
Wolfman" Washington, 
$33.50 

SHUGA JAZZ BISTRO Shuga 
Sundays, 7:30 pm 

★ © TULA’S Jim Cutler Jazz 
Orchestra, 7:30 pm, $8 

★ VITO’S RESTAURANT & 
LOUNGE Ruby Bishop, 6 
pm; The Ron Weinstein Trio, 
9:30 pm 

ED 

BALTIC ROOM Resurrection 
Sundays, 10 pm 
CONTOUR Broken Grooves, 
free 

CORBU LOUNGE Salsa 
Sundays, 9 pm 
NEIGHBOURS Noche Latina 
PONYTeaDance, 4 pm 
R PLACE Homo Hop 

★ RE-BAR Flammable, 9 
pm, $10 

★ REVOLVER BAR No Exit 


CLASSICAL 


© BENAROYA HALL Byron 
Schenkman and Friends: 
Beethoven & Schubert, 7 
pm, $10-$42 
© BRECHEMIN 
AUDITORIUM Daana 
Quartet, 4:30 pm 
© MIRABELLA 
RETIREMENT CENTER 
Ladies Musical Club Free 
Public Concert: LMC 125th 
Anniversary Show Series, 

3 pm 

★ © ST. MARK’S 
CATHEDRAL Compline 
Choir, 9:30 pm, free 


MON 5/16 


CAPITOL CIDER 

EntreMundos, 9:30 pm 
CONOR BYRNE Bluegrass 
Jam, 8:30 pm, free 
crocodile Detective 
Agency and Golden Idols, 
6:30 pm 

★ THE FUNHOUSE 

Wireheads, No Grave, Zebra 
Hunt, 8:30 pm, $6/$8 
HIGHLINE Night Demon, 
Ghost Witch, Xoth, 

Diaspora, 9 pm, $ 10/$ 12 

★ © HOLLOW EARTH 
RADIO Horse Lords, Bad 
Luck, Nordra, 8 pm, $5-$7 
KELLS Liam Gallagher 
LITTLE RED HEN Karaoke 
with DJ Forrest Gump, 9 pm 
LUCKY LIQUOR Sid Law 

© PARAMOUNT THEATRE 
Tori Kelly with Thirdstory, 
7:30 pm, $25-125 

★ RE-BAR Monster Planet, 9 
pm-midnight, free 
STUDIO SEVEN Skold, 
Murder Weapons, This Soul 
Is Diseased, Pill Brigade, 7 
pm, $ 12/$ 15 
SUBSTATION Turtle 

T, Cosmos the Band, 
DoNormaal, and Raven 


Matthews, 8 pm, $6 
TRACTOR TAVERN Alberta 
Cross, Sky White Tiger, 
Grand Canyon, 8 pm, $10 
© TRIPLE DOOR Paa Kow 
with Syrinx Effect, 7:30 
pm, $15 
TRIPLE DOOR 
MUSICQUARIUM LOUNGE 
Crossrhythm Sessions, 9 
pm, free 

P 1X+A 

© JAZZ ALLEY Ballard High 
School Jazz Band, 7:30 
pm, $25 

TULA’S The PH Factor Big 
Band, 7:30 pm, $8 

ED 

BALTIC ROOM Jam Jam, 

9 pm 

★ BAR SUE Motown on 
Mondays, 10 pm, free 

★ THE HIDEOUT Industry 
Standard, free 

★ MOE BAR Moe Bar 
Monday, 10 pm, free 


TUE 5/17 


★ BARBOZA SassyBlack 
Album Release Show, 8 
pm, $10 

CAFE RACER Jacobs Posse 
CHOP SUEY The Rocket 
Summer, 8 pm, $16-$21 

★ COLUMBIA CITY 
THEATER The Best Open 
Mic Ever, 7:30 pm, free 

© crocodile Wild Belle 
with James Supercave, 8 
pm, $16 

EL CORAZON Verb Slingers, 
3 pm 

FREMONT ABBEY Open 
Arts Mic, 7 pm 
HIGHLINE Destroy Judas, 
Dirty Kid Discount, Wilt, 9 
pm, $ 10/$ 12 

J&M CAFE All-Star Acoustic 
Tuesdays, 9 pm, free 
KELLS Liam Gallagher 
© NEPTUNE THEATRE 
Tanya Tagaq Presents 
Nanook of the North, 8 pm, 
$33.50 

PARAGON You Play Tuesday, 
8 pm, free 

PARLIAMENT TAVERN Billy 
Joe and the RCs, 8 pm 
SEAMONSTER McTuff Trio, 

11 pm, free 

★ © THE SHOWBOX Amon 
Amarth, 8 pm, $28/$30 

★ SKYLARK CAFE & CLUB 

Baby Ketten Karaoke, 9 
pm-1:30 am 

STUDIO SEVEN Pentagram, 
Wax Idols, King Woman, 
and Guests, 7 pm, $20/$25 
SUNSET TAVERN Roy 
Rodgers, Thousands, 
Dentura No Tsuba, 8 pm, $8 
TIM’S TAVERN Open Mic: 
Linda Lee, 8 pm 
TRACTOR TAVERN A 
Tribute to Merle Haggard 
with Country Dave 
Harmonson and the 
Familiar Strangers, 8:30 
pm, $15 

© TRIPLE DOOR Grant-Lee 
Phillips, 7:30 pm, $15/$20 

i 1X+A 

© JAZZ ALLEY Selwyn 
Birchwood Band, 7:30 pm, 
$27.50 

OWL N’THISTLE Jazz with 
Eric Verlinde, 10 pm, free 

★ THE ROYAL ROOM 
Delvon Lamarr, 10 pm, 
donation 

TULA’S The Lineup with 
Mark Taylor and Dawn 
Clement, 7:30 pm, $12 

ED 

BALTIC ROOM Drum & Bass 
Tuesdays, 10 pm 

★ BLUE MOON TAVERN 
Blue Moon Vinyl Revival 
Tuesdays, 8 pm, free 
CONTOUR Burn, 9 pm, free 
CORBU LOUNGE Club NYX 
Wave & Goth, 10 pm, $5 

★ HAVANA Real Love 
'90s, $3 

MERCURY Die, $5 
NEIGHBOURS Pump It Up: 
Vogue 

ROB ROY Analog Tuesdays, 
free 




































THE STRANGER May 11, 2016 37 



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THE STRANGER May 11, 2016 39 



MUSIC 




BENOIT PIOULARD The world sings to him and he sings back. 

Beauty and 
Debacle (Fest) 

Benoit Pioulard and Mara’s Quest 
for Musical Transcendence 

BY DAVE SEGAL 

B eauty, tranquility, and poise aren’t the first descriptors that come to mind 
when you think about Debacle Fest, Seattle’s foremost experimental- 
music event. Now in its ninth year, Debacle typically generates images of sinister 


synth expositions, grim noise assaults, wild 
rock spasms, feral jazz workouts, and severe 
drone opuses. But if you pay close attention, 
you can discern pulchritudinous sounds, too. 
In 2016, this element comes 
to the fore more than ever 
with Mara (Vashon Island 
vocalist/keyboardist Faith 
Coloccia, who’s also in Mam- 
iffer with husband Aaron Turner) and Benoit 
Pioulard (transplanted Seattle troubadour/ 
ambient soundscaper Thomas Meluch). Both 
are among the biggest draws of Debacle’s 26 
acts; their approaches are more about the 
hush than the harsh. 

Mara and Benoit Pioulard’s music op¬ 
erates at the intersection of beauty and 
sadness. On releases like the former’s 
Surfacing and the latter’s Noyaux, they 
maximize the allure of melancholy moods ex¬ 
pressed with exquisite gentleness, shaking 
you to your core with a thoughtful caress. 
The shock of the new often comes adorned 
with abrasive, jagged contours. These two 
musicians opt for a deceptive smoothness, for 
shimmering layers of aural mystique. They 


lull you into blissful states, but their music 
still requires an active imagination to appre¬ 
hend the timbral and lyrical complexities. 
Residual traces of folk music, drone metal, 
European art song, and the 
oneiric ambience of Brian 
Eno and William Basinski 
filter into Mara and Benoit 
Pioulard’s recordings, but 
they’re emulsified into a beauteous blend of 
elements that sounds archetypal. 

When asked to reflect on this perceived 
conjunction of beauty and sadness, Coloccia 
and Meluch respond with great thoughtful¬ 
ness. “There are these fleeting moments of 
clarity, usually during sadness/loss, where 
time seems to stop, and light becomes crys¬ 
tal clear,” Coloccia says. “There is a sense of 
beauty maybe spirituality I try to re-create 
this, and usually during these moments I 
hear music, often repetitive. I find beauty in 
this way very subversive. Beauty fragility 
vulnerability in music are easily overlooked 
or passed over. People sometimes have a pre¬ 
conceived notion of prettiness or beauty as 
being simpleminded, or weak, submissive, 


childlike—unless these ideas are presented 
in a ‘normal,’ commodified way I see beauty 
as harsh and powerful when paired with the 
guts of vulnerability If I can find beauty/ 
spirit in sadness or trauma, loss, etc., then 
I can make something out of nothing. If you 
can find spirit in horror, then there is hope of 
living and empowerment/liberation.” 

Meluch observes, “I read a pretty strik¬ 
ing quote recently that said something along 
the lines of ‘Beauty is finding the god in 
anything,’ which to me is a way of getting 
at that profound level we’re programmed to 
stay just outside of most of the time. So then 
when you have those occasional moments of 
transcendence, you can really lock into the 
core we all share. Not to get all new-agey 
on you, or avoid the question, but it seems 
that the degree to which you’re aware of the 
inevitable passing of all things entails the 
level of sadness you’ll feel, kind of like the 
Portuguese saudade idea, feeling a nostalgia 
for something that has not yet passed, but 
will. The things I make are almost entirely 
of their moment, as in the outcome of a par¬ 
ticular project or session is guided largely 
by the circumstances of the phase of my life 
I’m in—so it’s always seemed vital to capture 
those mercurial things in order to feel some 
sense of narrative or continuity in life.” 

As vocalists, Coloc¬ 
cia and Meluch favor 
understatement and 
a kind of glacial cool. 

Coloccia says she’s 
only recently really 
begun to sing and van¬ 
quish stage fright. “I 
was always afraid to 
have a voice, be no¬ 
ticed, attract attention. 

I wished to be invis¬ 
ible, hide behind ideas, 
people, art, thinking, and instrumental music. 
There came a point in my life where I felt in 
order to survive and grow I must ‘write my¬ 
self into the world’ and find/have a voice, be 
my own witness. I have had people in my life 
make fun of my voice, say I could not sing. I 
have found that with singing, I have found my 
body and occupy it, I have found a sense of 
self among opinions and now I give space to 
voice and feel confidence. I rely on intuition, 
and what I feel needs to happen for singing. 

“There are feelings I have about singing 
that correspond to my thoughts about fetal 
memory/matrilineal egg memory and inher¬ 
ited memory” she continues. “When I sing, I 
feel like I am giving my mother a voice, I am 
giving my grandmother a voice, generations 
of quiet women are now singing through me, 
all the way back to my great-grandmother, 
who probably sang by herself while doing 
dishes and raising babies; maybe I am giving 
my future child a voice.” 

Meluch says that his vocalizing began 
as a way to express the copious amount of 
words and “sarcastic poems I wrote in my 
notebooks as a teenager, and was too self- 
conscious to start a band with a singer who 
might have to sing them him- or herself. 
Other than that, I’ve spent the last 15 or so 
years essentially ripping off [late Broadcast 
vocalist] Trish Keenan and her delivery and 
harmony styles, because I have no other 
training.” 

Adventurous musicians typically face the 
conundrum of either rebelling against musical 
convention or working within familiar tropes, 
but Coloccia says she wants “to challenge and 


question the musical traditions that exclude 
difference and welcome ‘sameness.’ I would 
like to challenge hierarchal ideas of musical 
superiority boys’ clubs, intellectualization 
and exotification of musicians and artists, 
obsessions with fame, ‘power,’ youthfulness/ 
newness, and artists as commodity I would 
like to challenge music that assumes that 
there is only so much room available for a 
select number of women, skin colors, and 
difference, music that fosters competition 
between friends, and music that thinks it has 
to speak in the language of the dominant hi¬ 
erarchy in order to be noticed, understood, 
and heard. I would like to challenge those 
ideas and values, while also creating what I 
perceive to be great and interesting sounds. 
I am interested in new ways of hearing, com¬ 
municating, and making.” 

Meluch isn’t so much concerned about dis¬ 
pensing with convention as he is with creating 
what he considers great-sounding music. “I 
have always tried to document sounds that I 
haven’t heard before, or at least to combine 
familiar sounds in unexpectedly harmonious 
ways,” he says. “Everything I’ve done—some 
commissions aside—feels like it comes from 
a totally honest place that I remain really ex¬ 
cited about, which is more than I expected out 
of myself at this point, say 10 years ago.” 

What is the im¬ 
portance of nature to 
Coloccia and Meluch’s 
music-making process? 
“Living close with and 
in ‘nature’ on Vashon 
is important for hav¬ 
ing time/space/silence 
to create, although it 
is not a requirement,” 
Coloccia says. 

“I am also very 
inspired by other en¬ 
vironments such as cities, industrial areas, 
abandoned towns, etc. I am beginning to see 
notions of civilization, humanity technology 
and destruction of the world, as actually 
being part of the pattern of nature—like pos¬ 
sibly Styrofoam is nature the same way a 
tree is or a human breathing is. There are 
rocks that have formed out of plastic, sedi¬ 
ment, and old fishing line in the ocean and 
they are now being classified as true rock 
formations. There are single-cell organisms 
adapting, living in nuclear materials. I am 
inspired by this aspect of nature, the abil¬ 
ity to adapt and endure, the ability to utilize 
materials at hand and what is available in 
the environment. I practice this in making 
music and art. Many of the piano recordings 
for Mara were made on hand-held battery- 
operated cassette recorders during power 
outages, so in that way nature did dictate 
part of my music-making process.” 

Meluch says, “It’s the guiding force, you 
know, this great mystery? My favorite mak¬ 
er of anything is Terrence Malick, simply for 
his ability to contain—sometimes in a single 
image or turn of phrase—the immense glory 
fragility doom, and hope of simply being a 
creature on this planet. It’s a real privilege, 
and I try my best not to take it for granted, 
you know, the world sings to me and I sing 
back.” 

Listen to Mara at sigerecords.bandcamp. 
com/album/surfacing, and to Benoit Pioulard 
at pioulard.bandcamp.com. ■ 


Full Debacle Fest listings at 

0 THESTRANGER.COM 


Debacle Fest 

Fri-Sat May 13-14, Columbia City 
Theater, $30 weekend pass, 21 + 


“I would like to 
challenge music that 
assumes that there is 
only so much room 
available for a select 
number of women, skin 
colors, and difference.” 











40 May 11, 2016 THE STRANGER 


COME AND GET ‘EM 



BEYONCE 

Lemonade 

$16.95-cd/dvd 

Beyonce delivers on this epic release that 
includes a dvd “visual album.” Tracks feature 
Jack White, The Weeknd, James Blake and 
Kendrick Lamar. 


ANOHNI 

Hopelessness 
$12.95-cd/$18.95-Ip 

ANOHNI (formerly Antony Hegarty of Antony & The 
Johnosns) releases Hopelessness with Oneohtrix 
Point Never and Hudson Mohawke addressing major 
global issues like drones, war and the environment. 

' r ; > - % 

W 




MARY CHAPIN-CARPENTER 

The Things That We Are Made Of 

$11.95-cd 

Chapin-Carpenter’s new album features 11 new 
songs produced by Dave Cobb (Sturgill Simpson, 

Jason Isbell) and finds the songwriter both 
thoughful and whimsical. 

Sale prices good thru 5/18/16 I 





OPEN MIKE EAGLE The natural one-man band plays Thursday, May 11, atBarboza. 


All Through the 
Sound and Back 

BY LARRY MIZELL, JR. 


usic don’t stop, thank god. 

James Blake, Kaytranada, may¬ 
be even still Drake all got you nips-deep in 
your feelings, which are feeling some kinda 
way. Anyway, there’s plenty to get lost in 
round your way, and maybe just outside 
it, too: Tacoma’s still the future as far as 
I’m concerned (well, them and Portland). 
Blakk Soul reportedly packed out the New 
Frontier Lounge for his smooth brand of 
soul; Jarv Dee put me up on West Village 
Records’ Ta7j, whose 
“My City” video is 
a nighttime dream; 
ILLFIGHTYOU/ 

Sandlot affiliates Peas¬ 
ant Boys just dropped 
their Ghost Town El? 
all produced by (ha-ha) 

KReam Team. 

Speaking of, ris¬ 
ing Tacomans :30 and 
Shawn Parker back up 
that postponed all-ages 
Lil Uzi Vert/Playboi 
Carti bill at the Croco¬ 
dile on Sunday, May 15, so there’s that. But 
let me back up a sec. 

Mackned’s latest collaboration with the 
Flavr Blue, “G-Funk,” lightly taps that 1995- 
96 sweet spot of synthy mobb shit you mighta 
got out the Young Black Brotha label, just with 
Ned’s post-Based pimp toasting. In a rare low- 
key local show (21+ , kids), the Thraxxfather 
plays Pioneer Square’s Central Saloon for 
an intimate yet turnt soiree on Wednesday, 
May 11, presented by the Bad Dad collective 
(are they affiliated with the locally infamous 
“Spring Break” guy? I don’t ask). Opening 
up is Tacoma duo Sleep Steady (consisting of 
Perry Porter—who you might recall from last 
year’s Durag Diaries —and CDVSHZ, pre¬ 
sumably pronounced like Hot Topic’s favorite 
bassist) and Seattle rapper Wolftone. 

If you lean away from the lean, and more 
toward the cerebral, though, you won’t find 


a better show that night than Open Mike 
Eagle (at Barboza on May 11 with DoNor- 
maal), one of the sharpest, most natural 
one-man bands you’ll see on the indie cir¬ 
cuit. No rapper out wields wit better without 
tripping over clown shoes. 

Shout-out to the music collectives curating 
shows these days, as opposed to them being 
driven by promoters, bookers, and other such 
invertebrates. Fish Tank Friends is another 
such school, and their Certain Vibes is an all¬ 
ages monthly at the 
Crocodile Back Bar, this 
Thursday, May 12, fea¬ 
turing Dil Withers, one 
of the area’s best pur¬ 
veyors of beats dusty and 
nod-inducing enough to 
put fentanyl outta busi¬ 
ness—and that’s saying 
a lot, because we have 
quite a vibey lil scene 
of beatsmiths out here. 
For just starters, check 
the rest of the bill, who 
range wide: Sendai Mike 
(the producerial half of Sendai Era), Nice Nate 
(who last year made a whole suite of tunes in 
tribute to Charles Mingus), producer Jamie 
Blake (not to be confused with James Blake— 
but still pretty dope), Olympia/St. Paul-based 
Crockett King, and Tacoma’s Mr.Shn. 

Also this Thursday: Seward Park native, 
Queens resident Aaron Cohen, repping “Jew¬ 
ish kids on drugs, on ’Gram,” hits up Barboza 
with languid-yet-purposeful flows, letting all 
know in his latest video that he’s not “The 
One.” To date, Cohen has stayed on a low-key 
circuit, keeping to his Inner City Kids crew 
back in NYC, but earlier this year he spun 
through France and Brussels with Smoke 
DZA. Show the kid some love, and save you 
some for home. ■ 


All the Mizell you need at 

0 THESTRANGER.COM/MUSIC 



Shout-out to the music 
collectives curating 
shows these days, 
as opposed to them 
being driven by 
promoters, bookers, 
and other such 
invertebrates. 


























THE STRANGER May 11, 2016 41 



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THE STRANGER May 11, 2016 43 



ART 



CORNISH COMMONS The century-old school is fighting to find its identity. 

Cornish May Be Losing 
Its Leaders—It Will Need 
More Effective Ones 

BY JEN GRAVES 

B oth people who have led the charge for radical changes 
at Cornish College of the Arts may be leaving their jobs. Cornish’s 
provost, Moira Scott Payne, was in Portland this week interviewing for 


the presidency of Pacific Northwest College 
of Art. (She declined to comment about it.) If 
she gets the job, work will begin August 1, ac¬ 
cording to the PNCA website. 

Scott Payne’s boss is definitely leaving. 
Nancy Uscher announced at the end of last 
year that she’s not interested in staying on as 
Cornish’s president beyond her original five- 
year contract. She’s out as of July. 

I actually don’t know whether a double de¬ 
parture would bring more disarray or less to 
Cornish. 

The century-old school is still fighting to 
balance its budget, attract students, update 
its long-languishing curriculum, and find its 
identity in a world where small private arts 
colleges increasingly go up in smoke if they 
don’t justify their existence. Last month, 
Cornish’s high-level staff were notified they’ll 
need to take mandatory furlough days be¬ 
tween now and August so that the school can 
make ends meet this year. 

Too many Cornish faculty feel disrespect¬ 
ed, disregarded, and set adrift with no rigor¬ 
ously articulated sense of what’s happening 
at this school stretched partway between 
the old-fashioned conservatory model and... 
whatever will attract students now. Just last 


month, the Faculty Senate Executive Com¬ 
mittee repeated a confidential survey for 
the second year in a row. Using phrases like 
“chaos and confusion” and “atmosphere of 
fear and favor,” most of the 70 respondents 
expressed distrust of the current leadership’s 
competence and vision. 

I’ve talked to dozens of people in the last 
two years about all of this, from Cornish board 
chair Linda Brown to staffers to students. I’ve 
also watched the goings-on at Cornish first¬ 
hand, trying to understand whether the sac¬ 
rifices are worthwhile, whether students are 
truly getting a more vital, dynamic education. 

I’m excited that the acclaimed Kronos 
Quartet this February began what the outgo¬ 
ing president said will be a five-year series of 
workshops and performances with students 
at Cornish. 

I’m excited that DJ Spooky premiered 
a new work here, that Cornish has started 
supporting risk-taking work with the new 
Institute of Emergent Technology + Inter¬ 
media and Cornish Playhouse Arts Incubator 
Residency, and that a member of the Martha 
Graham Dance Company was recently here 
to work with students for a celebration of the 
100th anniversary of the dance department— 


whose new chair, Victoria Watts, Pm excited 
about, too. 

Pm excited Scott Payne created a film and 
media department. Cornish needed one al¬ 
ready. Absolutely. Thank you. 

But Scott Payne lost the department’s in¬ 
augural director within a year of hiring her 
and had to hire someone else. Another no¬ 
table Seattle media scholar set to work with 
the new department pulled out, declaring 
Cornish “a sinking ship.” 

On the plus side, the renovated cafe at the 
main campus center on Lenora Street looks 
great. The improvements, whether substan¬ 
tial or superficial, are lures. 

Small private liberal-arts colleges are suf¬ 
fering. They don’t have 
huge endowments with 
which to make lavish schol¬ 
arships. Enrollment is way 
down. Parents and students 
balk at undertaking ob¬ 
scene debts, because grads 
emerge from college into an 
economy where jobs outside 
of the corporate sector are 
even more scarce than they were a generation 
ago. It’s a nightmare scenario for all kinds of 
small private colleges. It’s a special nightmare 
for arts schools. 

Last year, an entire class of MFA students 
dropped out of the prestigious program at 
the University of Southern California’s Roski 
School of Art and Design. They charged that 
the administration had made promises about 
their funding, faculty, and curriculum, and 
then changed course after the students had 
arrived. Prestigious faculty members spoke 
out and stepped down, too. 

It all happened under a new dean who’s 
also founding executive director of the sepa¬ 
rate USC Iovine and Young Academy for Arts, 
Technology, and the Business of Innovation. 

Not only did the Roski students find the 
new administration unreliable, they found 
it intellectually dishonest, chasing trendy 
marketing, sidling up to tech and corporate 
money, and fostering an environment that’s 
“hostile to critique and dissent.” 

On Artnet, Sean J. Patrick Carney roughly 
summed up the situation: “Please stop saying 
The arts,’ you tech-humping poseurs. It’s my 
opinion that any administrator comfortable 
with having job titles that include Professor 
of Art and Founding Executive Director of 
anything with ‘innovation’ in the title needs to 
take a day off, have a cheeseburger, and do a 
little ‘me’ work.” 

He added that the Roski situation is “de- 
pressingly familiar” in his experience in multi¬ 
ple postsecondary art schools, including Pacific 
Northwest College of Art, the school where 
Scott Payne is applying to be president. 

According to a 2015 report in Time maga¬ 
zine, the US Census Bureau predicts a decline 
in the number of college-age Americans be¬ 
tween now and 2020, and the median income 
for American families is down. 

“The result, according to a December 2014 
Moody’s analysis of the financial situation 
facing colleges, is a widening winner-take-all 
divide,” Time reports, “in which wealthy in¬ 
stitutions with global reputations that can at¬ 
tract high-paying international students will 
continue to thrive. Schools that aren’t attrac¬ 
tive to a national or international market and 
don’t have a ‘demonstrated return on invest¬ 
ment... will face increased competition from 
cheaper public higher education as well as 
distance learning options,’ Moody’s warned.” 


It’s the story of the 1 percent, college edi¬ 
tion. Small schools are grasping to make their 
Fords look like Jaguars. 

At Cornish, the design department has 
been rearranged into categories including 
interior architecture and user experience, 
which I’m all for, so long as it doesn’t end up 
meaning that Cornish sends more corporate 
lackeys into the world. (Aren’t there enough?) 

Do I sound paranoid? Cornish’s campus 
center is located in the heart of South Lake 
Union. It’s ground zero for Amazon, biotech, 
Whole Foods, and unaffordable housing. In 
September, Cornish opened a 20-story dormi¬ 
tory that’s an obvious attempt to attract stu¬ 
dents. It’s a tower that looks like every other 
shiny edifice there. It’s not 
Cornish’s building; Cornish 
has a lease-to-own deal on 
it with Capstone Develop¬ 
ment Partners out of Ala¬ 
bama, which has dozens of 
these lease-to-own deals 
with small colleges. 

The press release for 
this year’s graduating ex¬ 
hibitions was disproportionately devoted to 
describing a project funded by a grant from 
Microsoft, where students in dance, theater, 
and design presented Through the HoloLens, 
holographic videos produced specifically for 
viewing on the Microsoft HoloLens, “the 
world’s first fully untethered, self-contained 
holographic computer running Windows 10.” 
I didn’t see the work, don’t mean to disparage 
it, and don’t believe that corporate-funded 
work is by definition illegitimate. My fear is 
that Cornish may not be in a position to be 
discerning about what projects it takes on to 
get grants. 

Even through a “fully untethered, self- 
contained holographic computer running 
Windows 10,” shiny new buildings and new 
brandings only paper over other identity cri¬ 
ses that have to be addressed. 

Why go to an expensive art school when 
you can get an audience in the millions on 
YouTube? How could a school that separates 
performance, music, and visual art support 
the next Beyonce? 

Also, should a school want to create the 
next Beyonce? 

Look, I’ve given this team of leaders 
time, observation, hope, and the benefit of 
the doubt. Cornish needed change; I said so 
publicly after my experience working there 
before Uscher and Scott Payne arrived. 

Uscher and Scott Payne were supposed to 
be the better leadership that Cornish so obvi¬ 
ously needs. 

It’s maddening to watch, and to admit, 
that Cornish’s biggest remaining problems 
are at the top. After all the scrutiny the rest 
of Cornish’s people and programs have been 
subject to, leadership must come under scru¬ 
tiny, too: Payne’s top-down (“hostile to cri¬ 
tique and dissent”) management, Uscher’s 
inability or unwillingness to manage her 
into a better leader, poor long-term financial 
planning (start by looking to longtime chief 
financial officer Jeff Riddell), and a poten¬ 
tially dangerous excess of patience on the 
part of Cornish’s board of trustees. 

“We have the same challenges that just 
about every institution of higher education in 
our niche has,” board president Linda Brown 
told me. 

She meant it as an excuse. But it could eas¬ 
ily be a declaration of why Cornish can ill af¬ 
ford another era of ineffective leadership. ■ 


Too many Cornish 
faculty feel 
disrespected, 
disregarded, 
and set adrift. 











44 May 11, 2016 THE STRANGER 



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THE STRANGER May 11, 2016 45 



The question was about that pause. 

“I was talking to some other crew mem¬ 
bers about that moment and that pause, which 
I hadn’t noticed before,” the stagehand ex¬ 
plained via e-mail. “It’s kind of confusing, but 
I was really trying to figure out a few things: 
If the pause represented the word I thought 
it did, if the pause is intended to leave the 
audience wondering if she was implying that 
she was saying the n-word without saying it, 
and also if the line had been further censored 
for this show because it was a performance 
for students. Did she normally actually use 
the n-word and I hadn’t noticed it? 

“Unfortunately, in talking with the crew 
about it, I said ‘She’s not saying [n-word], 
right? That’s the word she’s not saying?’ But 
I said the actual word. I know it doesn’t make 
sense, but I really was just trying to clarify 
what was happening and understand the 
show.” 

The moment the stagehand may have 
been referring to was the opening monologue 
of the character Lena, Tray’s grandmother, 
the woman who raised him. She begins the 
play by trying to describe for the audience 
the grief she feels at the loss of her grandson 
and the resentment she feels for a public who 
might reduce Tray’s death to a few lines in 
the newspaper: 

Same Old Story so you gon feel bad 
and move on 

Cuz he just another 

Ain’t he 

To you. 

When the incident took place, the auditori¬ 
um’s intercom system—which feeds into the 
dressing rooms so the actors can listen for 
their cues—happened to be on. As a result, 
a member of the all nonwhite cast overheard 
the n-word being spoken aloud by a stage¬ 
hand. That cast member was moved to report 
the incident to the theater’s human resources 
department. 

According to Simone Hamilton, the Rep’s 
artistic engagement coordinator, the initial 
response by the Rep’s human resources de¬ 
partment was to facilitate a meeting between 
the stagehand and the cast members, at 
which the stagehand would apologize. The 
stagehand’s apology did not satisfy the ac¬ 
tors, so they asked the theater to report the 
incident to the whole staff. Though none of 
the individual actors agreed to speak on the 
record about what happened, the cast as a 
whole sent the following written statement to 
The Stranger. 

You have been informed correctly. There 
was a racially charged incident that took 
place during the run of Brownsville Song. 

It was initially mishandled, however, it 
is our belief as a cast that the theatre is 
moving in the right direction. The steps 
needed to correct the situation are be¬ 
ing taken by SRT. They are promising 
to implement any and all procedures and 
policies that were not in place to safe¬ 
guard against the likelihood of such an 
incident recurring. 

This issue is much larger than SRT. We 
believe this is an opportunity for SRT to 
learn and grow, putting them on the fore¬ 
front of a conversation that is happening, 
or needs to be happening, all across the 
country. 

The THEATRE is changing. The sto¬ 
ries being told are changing and we must 
challenge our institutions to be flexible 
and adapt with these changes. 

We commend SRT for taking those 
first steps. 

But if the actors in the show, most of whom 
live outside of Seattle, were eventually satis¬ 
fied with how the Rep is changing, more ► 


TINO TRAN 

A RAP ON RACE Dancing the deep, uninhibited conversation. 


Racial Drama Onstage 
and Racial Tension 
Backstage at Seattle Rep 

BY RICH SMITH 


I n 1970, James Baldwin (one of the best 
writers America has ever produced) and 
anthropologist Margaret Mead (the only 
anthropologist America has ever heard of) 
recorded a passionate and prescient seven- 
and-a-half-hour conversation, which was later 
turned into the book A Rap on Race. 

In a show with the same title now running 
at Seattle Rep, Tony Award-nominated local 
choreographer Donald Byrd and MacArthur 
genius playwright/performer Anna Deavere 
Smith reproduced sections of Baldwin and 
Mead’s long-form, heady, booze-buoyed dis¬ 
cussion and cut it with spurts of drunk-jazz 
dance numbers. 

“My hope,” Byrd said in an interview pub¬ 
lished in the show’s program, “is that in some 
ways their conversation is a model and might 
give us permission to have deep uninhibited 
conversations around race.” 

Baldwin (played by Byrd) and Mead (played 
by Julie Briskman) carry out their argument 
on a platform suspended high above the stage. 
After certain dramatic moments, dancers rush 
the boards and perform a dance that embodies 
the argument the audience just heard. 


The dances included lots of white-dancer/ 
black-dancer mirroring and graceful perfor¬ 
mances of instability. If I had to reduce the 
entire show to a single movement, I’d point 
to a moment when Alexis “Tilly” Evans- 
Krueger, whose versatility and strength blew 
me away (as much as her ability to rock a 
Padawan braid), bent at her waist and rest¬ 
ed all her weight on her 
wrists. She looked like 
a mountain held up by a 
toothpick. 

In the script, Mead 
freely admits she inherits 
the benefits of whiteness, 
and her idea is to repay 
the debts of that inheri¬ 
tance with futures. These 
futures, for her, are the 
hope that subsequent gen¬ 
erations will solve the many layers of racial 
oppression that compose the foundation of 
America’s ideology and policies. Baldwin 
can’t afford to believe in those futures, be¬ 
cause doing so would require acquiescence 
to the daily psychic and physical pain he 


endures as an exile in his own country. He 
knows such an acceptance would kill him. 

At the climax of the show, Baldwin summa¬ 
rizes the conflict with perfect clarity: “We’ve 
got to make some connection between what 
you believe and what I’ve endured,” he says. 
Like so much of Baldwin, the resonance 
of that line spreads off the stage and into 
present-day, real-life tensions. Ironically, the 
most immediate illustration could be found 
in a racially charged incident that played out 
three weeks ago onstage in the very audi¬ 
torium at the Rep where A Rap on Race is 
running. 

THE STORIES ARE CHANGING 

Last week, I reported that a cast member for 
brownsville song (b-side for tray) overheard 
a union stagehand work¬ 
ing for the Rep using the 
n-word backstage. 

It happened April 7, 
between a matinee for 
schoolchildren and the 
evening performance of 
the play, which is about 
the life of a young black 
man named Tray who was 
gunned down in Brooklyn. 
According to the stage¬ 
hand, who would only discuss the incident 
under the condition of anonymity, the incident 
began with the stagehand’s confusion over a 
line of dialogue in which one character “says 
something like ‘Tray is just another [pause] 
to you.’” 


“People of color 
don’t get second 
chances like this. 
We don’t get paid 
administrative leave. 
We get fired.” 







46 May 11, 2016 THE STRANGER 



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◄ than one person who had to stick around 
and actually work at the theater was not so 
sure. 

RENT OR CONSCIENCE? 

Hamilton told me the information regard¬ 
ing HR arbitration was communicated to 
her at an all-staff meeting on April 21, which 
included the brownsville cast and members 
of IATSE, the union to which the stagehand 
belongs. 

At the meeting, Rep artistic director 
Braden Abraham and managing director 
Jeffrey Herrmann described the incident 
and told the staff the stagehand was being 
put on paid administrative leave through 
the summer, but would be invited back in 
the fall—with the caveat that a course of 
sensitivity training must be completed. 
(The Rep plans to hire a racial-sensitivity 
consultant to work with the theater “on an 
ongoing basis,” so everyone at the Rep will 
have to go through some kind of sensitivity 
training.) 

Hearing this, Ham¬ 
ilton says she stood up 
and addressed her col¬ 
leagues. “People of color 
don’t get second chances 
like this,” she said. “We 
don’t get paid admin¬ 
istrative leave. We get 
fired.” 

She says she went on to say that the Rep’s 
zero tolerance policy for hate speech didn’t 
track with their handling of this incident. 

Hamilton says she likes her job at the 
Rep, which is to “build relationships with dis¬ 
enfranchised communities and organizations 
that service disenfranchised people.” But she 
also says she doesn’t feel comfortable bring¬ 
ing such people into a space where behavior 
like the stagehand’s receives only a slap on 
the wrist. 

“I’m faced with this black-and-white deci¬ 
sion,” she told me she said at the meeting. “Do 
I pay my rent or do I keep my conscience?” 

According to Hamilton and one other 
staff member who wishes to remain anony¬ 
mous, another employee who works for the 
Rep stood up at the staff meeting and said 
he’d dealt with other racially charged issues 
at three other Seattle theaters, and that it 
distressed him to see this pattern continue at 
the Rep. 

Others at the meeting stood up to defend 
the stagehand, calling for forgiveness and 
mentioning the fact that black people use the 
n-word, too, and so what’s the big deal? 

Hamilton and other employees at the Rep 
think the stagehand should be fired. That’s 
not the Rep’s plan. In an e-mail following the 
all-staff meeting, Abraham and Herrmann 
wrote: 

We know there was sentiment voiced by 
some at the all-staff meeting last week 
that the employee in question should be 
terminated. But our original decision 
to place the employee on administra¬ 
tive leave until sensitivity training can 
be completed stands. We believe this is 
the right way forward in this particular 
circumstance, a position that has been af¬ 
firmed by outside legal counsel and that 
aligns with our company policies as well 
as the collective bargaining agreement 
with our union partners. 

Hamilton was disappointed by the deci¬ 
sion for several reasons, not least of which 
was that she believes this incident was not 
isolated. 

“People make mistakes, I get that,” she 
said, referring to the stagehand. “But that’s 
not what this is.” 

Hamilton told me she witnessed the 


stagehand in question raising their voice at 
a group of students from Washington Middle 
School, who were predominantly but not all 
people of color. During a talkback after the 
first student matinee of brownsville song — 
which was being supervised by someone 
from the school who had a bullhorn, Ham¬ 
ilton, and SRT’s education director—the 
stagehand was talking to the students about 
life backstage. 

The kids were very vocal and excited, 
and they applauded after every response 
the stagehand gave. It’d take the kids a lit¬ 
tle while to settle down, and in response to 
this, the stagehand raised their voice and 
demanded that the students be more respect¬ 
ful. Hamilton and the other supervisors felt 
uncomfortable enough with the stagehand’s 
tone to report the incident to HR. 

From Hamilton’s perspective, the situa¬ 
tion is clear: A stagehand who had already 
yelled at several students of color for be¬ 
ing insufficiently respectful felt comfortable 
enough with the n-word to speak it aloud in a 
work environment where other people could 
hear and take offense. 
This person then failed 
to apologize in a way that 
satisfied the people who 
were offended, and got 
punished with a four- 
month paid vacation. 
“Personally,” the 
stagehand wrote via e-mail, “I believe my 
action does not warrant termination as I 
wasn’t calling names and I wasn’t trying to 
hurt people, I was trying to understand the 
script. I know there is work to be done to 
make the Rep feel like a safe space for all 
to work, and I hope I will be participating 
in that work.” 

It’s worth noting that although several 
people were willing to give me information 
and perspectives for this story, practically no 
one was willing to do so on the record, or by 
name. And in all cases, it’s easy to see why. 

Actors from brownsville song did not 
reply to follow-up questions—but then, pro¬ 
fessional actors have a strong interest in not 
alienating potential employers. 

Abraham and Herrmann would not go 
on the record about details concerning the 
incident with the stagehand, nor concern¬ 
ing their conversations with the union—but 
then, they are in charge of a huge institu¬ 
tion. The last thing they need is trouble 
with a union, or the perception that one 
of Seattle’s best known arts organizations 
is harboring a racially insensitive work 
environment. 

Two Rep employees who spoke at the 
meeting did not respond when asked for 
comment. Three employees who did respond 
did so on the condition of anonymity. People 
would confirm that certain events took 
place, but they didn’t want to be the ones 
who told me that those events happened 
in the first place. To be sure, some of this 
is simply the price of doing business when 
reporting on something thorny. Also, this 
is Seattle, where uncomfortable conversa¬ 
tions in the arts community—from critical 
opinions about work to ad hominem slurs to 
substantive accusations about professional 
behavior—tend to happen behind people’s 
backs. 

But as I watched the opening-night per¬ 
formance of A Rap on Race, I couldn’t help 
but note the disjunction between the goal 
Donald Byrd has for the show, namely that it 
“might give us permission to have deep unin¬ 
hibited conversations around race,” and what 
I encountered: the deep inhibition of several 
arts workers to discuss something “around 
race” in their own backyard. ■ 


Craving drama? Why not try... 

0 THESTRANGER.COM/THEATER 


“Personally, I believe 
my action does not 
warrant termination.” 












































THE STRANGER May 11, 2016 47 



Intruder Folds 

The Comics-Only Paper Played a 
Role in Seattle’s Booming Scene 

BY RICH SMITH 




CCXJMTLfSS 5'Vft^ES., 
cxplosions, atJo MttTeo 
HAiF GALLONS of Cftf AH 



ML UiTtffSStD ON P|H£ ST. 4-JT +* 31VH 


M-CL0TfELT£/i ^ 


W alking into Push/Pull Gal¬ 
lery in Ballard felt like en¬ 
tering your cool high-school 
friend’s basement. Framed comic book-ish 
art was scattered across the venue’s bright 
teal walls. On the snack table: Flamin’ Hot 
Cheetos, Dinamita Chile Limon Doritos, a 
bowl of frosted animal crackers. I think there 
was a pinball machine there? Cans of Rainier 
issued from some endless 18-pack. A handle 
of Jim Beam floated around. A few artists 
stood behind tables, pushing one-off zines, 
pins, and prints. 

All were gathered for the 
release of the penultimate 
issue of Intruder, a comics- 
only newspaper published 
quarterly and distributed for 
free in local cafes, comic book 
shops, and record stores. 

Many in attendance sorta 
looked like comic-book char¬ 
acters of themselves. This 
was especially true of the 
Intruder contributing illus¬ 
trators. There was the guy 
with tattoos crawling up his 
neck, the guy with the comi¬ 
cally long sideburns and an 
oversize T-shirt, the guy who 
was three-quarters shaggy 
beard and one-quarter baseball cap, the guy 
with a handlebar mustache, the nerdy guy 
with 70s hair and glasses who was wearing 
carpet-colored clothing—all outcasts from 
different eras. 

The people who showed up represented a 
sizable portion of the Seattle comics commu¬ 
nity, which seems to have picked up steam 
in the last five years. Short Run, an annual 
comics festival, started back in 2010 and has 
grown every year since. Intruder started 
publishing in 2012. Dune , an egalitarian 
comics drawing collective that meets once a 
month at Cafe Racer, has been going strong 
for four years and just released its 41st is¬ 
sue. Cold Cube Press—a local press that 
publishes comics, other visual art, and lit¬ 
erature using a Risograph—started in 2015. 

James the Stanton, the guy with the comi¬ 
cally long sideburns, has been publishing his 
Gnartoons series since 2005. At the Intruder 
party, he told me he moved to Seattle from 
the Bay Area in 2012 because the scene here 
seemed more active. He said people in the 
Bay Area seemed snobbish, and the scene 
in Portland felt too established. But then he 
visited Seattle, met the Intruder crew, and 
sensed that a lot of people were working on 
new stuff. 

Local comics artist Mita Mahato felt simi¬ 
larly after seeing the first issue of Intruder 
come out. “I remember being excited by the 
format to the point where I was scanning 
pages and sending them to friends and say¬ 
ing, ‘Look at what’s happening in Seattle!”’ 
she said to me in an e-mail. “The Intruder 
was doing something different—or maybe it 
was a throwback? Not mini-comics. Not per¬ 


sonal zines. But a FREE collaborative comics 
newspaper.” 

After the next issue, the paper’s 20th, 
Intruder is closing up shop. “It’s not fun to 
make anymore,” said editor Marc Palm (han¬ 
dlebar mustache guy) at the party. It takes a 
lot of work to gather all the pieces, and it’s 
a little costly. Partly because of Intruder’s 
relative success, the regular contributors are 
getting really busy and so are even harder to 
wrangle. James the Stanton has a new book 
coming out. Palm has got a book coming out. 
Tom Van Deusen (70s hair and glasses guy) 
is writing a regular strip for 
Vice. Aidan Fitzgerald is 
running the aforementioned 
Cold Cube Press. People got 
demanding art jobs. 

“There’s this idea that 
you have to get bigger, get 
glossy, to grow,” Palm told 
me. “Can’t this thing just 
stay one thing, and can’t 
everyone just admire it for 
that?” he said of the paper. 
This ethos is reflected in 
the paper’s consistent style. 
Every issue looks the same: 
two-color covers (black and 
one other color), ink on pa¬ 
per, 12 to 20 pages, just the 

comics, thanks. 

The idea for the paper started in Van 
Deusen’s apartment. “There was a little col¬ 
lective of us sitting around drawing and play¬ 
ing records and stuff,” Palm said. “Someone 
had a copy of Smoke Signal [a comics-only 
paper based in New York]. We loved the 
newspaper feel, so we thought, ‘Why don’t 
we just make a comics newspaper in Seat¬ 
tle?’ In the last 30 years, there’d been only 
two: the Seattle Star (in the mid-to-late ’80s, 
which often featured Peter Bagge) and one 
other.” Palm told the 11 artists gathered 
around that he’d handle the logistics. In ad¬ 
dition to contributing a piece, he’d collect all 
the work, lay it out, and communicate with 
the printer. “The big push was just to make 
things and get things done,” he said. 

The group’s aesthetics ranged from in- 
your-face hairy/gloopy/crosshatched stuff to 
clean-line story-driven stuff, but all of the 
artists share a similar temperament: dark 
humor, dread, misanthropy. Many of the 
pages feature huge illustrations that are so 
densely drawn, you feel the urge to look for 
Waldo. In terms of content, the comics match 
the concerns of many young people work¬ 
ing for not very much money in the city. The 
politics are often broadly anticapitalist and 
paranoid. Lots of romantic troubles. Lots of 
depression. Lots of parodies of masculinity. 
The general lesson seems to be that humans 
are shitty, terrible, gross monsters doomed to 
a life of failure and unhappiness, and many 
of the comics offer nuanced permutations of 
that idea. 

A good example can be found in Max 
Clotfelter’s contribution to Issue 10, called 


“Rough Things I’ve Seen on My Daily Walk 
to Work.” It’s a nine-panel grid of gnarly ob¬ 
jects Clotfelter found on the streets of Capitol 
Hill. Lots of blood. A handmade dildo outside 
of Club Z. A quart-sized bottle of orange juice 
filled with vomit. And, “worst of all,” the de¬ 
struction of the neighborhood by corporate 
developers. Seth Goodkind’s strangely af¬ 
fecting page in the latest issue is a parody of 
John Mellencamp’s song “Small Town” and 
features a suicidal small-town clown. 

Not all the drawings are gross and gloopy, 
but many are. I asked Palm what gives. He 
said he was influenced by the underground 
comics of the 1960s, which didn’t fit into the 
comic-book world of superheroes. “We wanna 
draw sex, drugs, and rock ’n’ roll,” he said. 
Plus, the style is fun for him. “It’s like you’re 
a mad scientist.” 

But he hastened to add that the attention 
to grossness, dread, and ugliness also works 
against the impulse so many have to try to 
escape reality. “You need to look at the gross 
stuff,” he said. It’s true that much of life comes 
at us filtered, glossed up, and prepackaged. 
Grossness, decay, chaos—these characteris¬ 
tics often indicate problems in systems, and 
the refusal to examine those problems means 
they won’t ever get fixed. Training yourself to 
not only regard but to closely examine images 


that initially repulse you can serve as good 
citizen training. 

Though Intruder is bowing out after the 
next issue, the paper has already made an im¬ 
pact on the local comics community. Palm said 
a comics-only paper up in Bellingham called 
Emergence and another one in Portland called 
Vision Quest cite Intruder as their inspira¬ 
tion. 

Kelly Froh, author and codirector of Short 
Run festival, said that Intruder got a lot of 
comic artists and comic enthusiasts to see the 
fun again, “When you can pick up free com¬ 
ics at your record store, or at a block party 
on Summit Avenue, that’s making comics as 
accessible as they should be,” she said. 

“Cartoonists like to complain a lot about 
how making comics is lonely and isolating,” 
said Colleen Frakes, author of Prison Island. 
“Intruder and other collaborative publica¬ 
tions make it feel less lonely.” 

Palm told me that he’s happy to teach any¬ 
one who is interested how to make a paper like 
Intruder, but he’s got no plans to hand off the 
name to anyone else. His hope is that younger 
comics artists read the paper and then get in¬ 
spired to do their own thing. ■ 


Intruder, you will be missed! 

0 THESTRANGER.COM/BOOKS 




































































































48 May 11, 2016 THE STRANGER 



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THE STRANGER May 11, 2016 49 



FILM 


Everything Falls 
Apart in High-Rise 

Brace Yourself for Ben Wheatley’s Latest 

BY ERIK HENRIKSEN 


V iewers will find much that’s familiar 
in High-Rise, the latest from Ben 
Wheatley—whose Kill List, Sightseers, and 
A Field in England heralded the arrival of 
a major filmmaking talent. Adapted from 
J.G. Ballard’s 1975 novel, High-Rise fits 
right into Wheatley’s challenging, comedic, 
confrontational filmog¬ 
raphy: It’s pitch-black in 
tone yet boasts laugh-out- 
loud moments; it’s about 
capitalism’s inherent cor¬ 
ruption yet finds beauty 
in expensively designed 
trappings. 

Or maybe “expen¬ 
sively designed traps” 
is more fitting. Set in a 
brutalist skyscraper in 
an unspecified year—ev¬ 
erything here looks like 
how people in the 1970s 
imagined the future— High-Rise charts the 
Lord of the Flies-e sque decay of the build¬ 
ing’s society. Early on, the lounging rich live 
up high and the working class below, their 
caste system as confining as iron bars. Then 
the tower’s society falls apart. There are 
beatings. There is suicide. There is rape. 
Tom Hiddleston pats a dog on the head, and 
then turns it on a spit. 

If you’ve got triggers, consider them 


warned: Wheatley and writer Amy Jump dive 
into blood and squalor, with the Kubrickian 
backdrop of the high-rise getting more claus¬ 
trophobic with each scene. Hiddleston—along 
with Luke Evans, Sienna Miller, Elisabeth 
Moss, and Jeremy Irons—is game for the film’s 
mash-up of allegory and horror. No director 
better straddles the line 
between grind house and 
art house than Wheatley, 
and the surreal High-Rise 
offers him a perfect fit. 

Ending, as it does, 
with an ominous quote 
from Margaret Thatch¬ 
er (“There is only one 
economic system in the 
world, and that is capi¬ 
talism”), High-Rise is 
intensely British—this is 
the sort of film in which 
every character clearly 
represents something, and whether you can 
figure out what will depend on your familiar¬ 
ity with economic theory and recent British 
history. But High-Rise also grinds along on 
a surface level, with a cruel gaze that cap¬ 
tures the socioeconomic realities of 2016. 
Sure, the plot might get hazy—but as long 
as you take it as a given that greed fuels all 
and that humans are rotten to their core, it 
all checks out. ■ 



High-Rise 

dir. Ben Wheatley 


You Already Know The 
Man Who Knew Infinity 

A Math Biopic, by the Numbers 

BY NED LANNAMANN 


I ’m not sure how we got to this particular 
moment in cinematic history—a moment 
in which a biopic about an unconventional 
mathematician seems nothing short of a rote 
cliche. But here we are. In 
the footsteps of A Beauti¬ 
ful Mind and The Imitation 
Game comes The Man Who 
Knew Infinity, an utterly fa¬ 
miliar film that explores the 
life of Indian mathematician 
Srinivasa Ramanujan. 

Ramanujan’s story is 
pretty fascinating: Self- 
taught, he left Madras 
at age 26 for Cambridge, 
where he collaborated with 
G.H. Hardy to get his pio¬ 
neering work published. 

Ramanujan’s breakthroughs in the study 
of math (or, as the English call it, “maths”) 
changed the field. But he arrived in England 
right before World War I erupted, and he 
had difficulty adjusting to the country’s cli¬ 
mate and diet. He died six years later, after 
returning to India. 


Unfortunately, the perspective of The 
Man Who Knew Infinity is a wholly Eng¬ 
lish one, with Hardy (Jeremy Irons) a much 
more interesting character than Ramanujan 
(Dev Patel). The Man Who 
Knew Infinity’s, disinterest 
in the British Empire’s oc¬ 
cupation of India—and its 
downplaying of the harsh¬ 
ness of life for those under 
its imperial hand—isn’t 
likely to play well here. 
What’s worse is how the 
movie treats Ramanu¬ 
jan like a mystic savant 
from a faraway land, an 
unknowable genius with 
mathe-magic powers. 

Even taking all that into 
account, the film’s greatest offense is its in¬ 
offensiveness. Perhaps smartly, it downplays 
the math (apart from a few scenes explain¬ 
ing partition theory). But while Ramanujan 
was a fascinating figure in real life, his movie 
representation is opaque and uninteresting. 
It doesn’t add up. ■ 



The Man Who 
Knew Infinity 

dir. Matthew Brown 



__i_X 

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50 May 11, 2016 THE STRANGER 


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...continued online 


FREE WILL ASTROLOGY 

BY ROB BREZSNY 


For the Week of May 11 

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Russian writer Anton Chekhov was 
renowned for the crisp, succinct style of his short stories and plays. As 
he evolved, his pithiness grew. "I now have a mania for shortness," 
he wrote. "Whatever I read—my own work, or other people's—it all 
seems to me not short enough." I propose that we make Chekhov 
your patron saint for a while. According to my analysis of the astro¬ 
logical omens, you are in a phase when your personal power feeds 
on terse efficiency. You thrive on being vigorously concise and deftly 
focused and cheerfully devoted to the crux of every matter. 

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): "Creativity is intelligence having fun." 
Approximately 30,000 sites on the internet attribute that quote to 
iconic genius Albert Einstein. But my research strongly suggests that 
he did not actually say that. Who did? It doesn't matter. For the 
purposes of this horoscope, there are just two essential points to 
concentrate on. First, for the foreseeable future, your supreme law of 
life should be "Creativity is intelligence having fun." Second, it's not 
enough to cavort and play and improvise, and it's not enough to be 
discerning and shrewd and observant. Be all those things. 

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): In Western culture, the peacock is a symbol 
of vanity. When we see the bird display its stunning array of iridescent 
feathers, we might think it's lovely, but may also mutter, "What a show- 
off." But other traditions have treated the peacock as a more purely 
positive emblem: an embodiment of hard-won and triumphant radiance. 
In Tibetan Buddhist myths, for example, its glorious plumage is said to be 
derived from its transmutation of the poisons it absorbs when it devours 
dangerous serpents. This version of the peacock is your power animal 
for now, Gemini. Take full advantage of your ability to convert noxious 
situations and fractious emotions into beautiful assets. 

CANCER (June 21-July 22): "Clear moments are so short," opines poet 
Adam Zagajewski. "There is much more darkness. More ocean than terra 
firma. More shadow than form." Here's what I have to say about that: 
Even if it does indeed describe the course of ordinary life for most people, 
it does not currently apply to you. On the contrary. You're in a phase that 
will bring an unusually high percentage of lucidity. The light shining from 
your eyes and the thoughts coalescing in your brain will be extra pure 
and bright. In the world around you, there may be occasional patches of 
chaos and confusion, but your luminosity will guide you through them. 

LEO (July 23-Aug 22): "Dear Smart Operator: My name is Captain 
Jonathan Orances. I presently serve in the United Nations Assistance Mis¬ 
sion in Afghanistan. I am asking for your help with the safekeeping of 
a trunk containing funds in the amount of $7.9 million, which I secured 
during our team's raid of a poppy farmer in Kandahar Province. The 
plan is to ship this box to Luxembourg, and from there a diplomat will 
deliver it to your designated location. When I return home on leave, I will 
take possession of the trunk. You will be rewarded handsomely for your 
assistance. If you can be trusted, send me your details. Best regards, Cap¬ 
tain Jonathan Orances." You may receive a tempting but risky offer like 
this in the near future, Leo. I suggest you turn it down. If you do, I bet 
a somewhat less interesting but far less risky offer will come your way. 

VIRGO (Aug 23-Sept 22): "Some things need to be fixed, others 
to be left broken," writes poet James Richardson. The coming weeks 
will be an ideal time for you to make final decisions about which 
are which in your own life. Are there relationships and dreams and 
structures that are either too damaged to salvage or undeserving of 


your hard labor? Consider the possibility that you will abandon them 
for good. Are there relationships and dreams and structures that are 
cracked, but possible to repair and worthy of your diligent love? 
Make a plan to revive or reinvent them. 

LIBRA (Sept 23-Oct 22): Once every year, it is healthy and wise to make 
an ultimate confession—to express everything you regret and bemoan 
in one cathartic swoop, and then be free of its subliminal nagging for 
another year. The coming days will be a perfect time to do this. For in¬ 
spiration, read an excerpt from Jeanann Vernee's "Genetics of Regret": 
"I'm sorry I lied. Sorry I drew the picture of the dead cat. I'm sorry about 
the stolen tampons and the nest of mice in the stove. I'm sorry about the 
slashed window screens. I'm sorry it took 36 years to say this. Sorry that all 
I can do is worry what happens next. Sorry for the weevils and the dead 
grass. Sorry I vomited in the wash drain. Sorry I left. Sorry I came back. 
I'm sorry it comes like this. Flood and undertow." 

SCORPIO (Oct 23-Nov 21): According to the British podcast series 
No Such Thing as a Fish, there were only a few satisfying connubial 
relationships in late 18th-century England. One publication at that 
time declared that of the country's 872,564 married couples, just nine 
were truly happy. I wonder if the percentage is higher for modern 
twosomes. Whether it is or not, I have good news: My reading of the 
astrological omens suggests that you Scorpios will have an unusually 
good chance of cultivating vibrant intimacy in the coming weeks. 
Take advantage of this grace period, please! 

SAGITTARIUS (Nov 22-Dec 21): "Some days I feel like playing it 
smooth," says a character in Raymond Chandler's short story "Trouble 
Is My Business," "and some days I feel like playing it like a waffle 
iron." I suspect that you Sagittarians will be in the latter phase until 
at least May 24. It won't be prime time for silky strategies and glossy 
gambits and velvety victories. You'll be better able to take advantage 
of fate's fabulous farces if you're geared up for edgy lessons and 
checkered challenges and intricate motifs. 

CAPRICORN (Dec 22-Jan 19): Author Rebecca Solnit says that when 
she pictures herself as she was at age 15, "I see flames shooting up, see 
myself falling off the edge of the world, and am amazed I survived not 
the outside world but the inside one." Let that serve as an inspiration, 
Capricorn. Now is an excellent time for you to celebrate the heroic, 
messy, improbable victories of your past. You are ready and ripe to 
honor the crazy intelligence and dumb luck that guided you as you 
fought to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles. You have a 
right and a duty to congratulate yourself for the suffering you have 
escaped and inner demons you have vanquished. 

AQUARIUS (Jan 20-Feb 18): "To regain patience, learn to love the sour, 
the bitter, the salty, the clear." The poet James Richardson wrote that 
wry advice, and now I'm passing it on to you. Why now? Because if you 
enhance your appreciation for the sour, the bitter, the salty, and the clear, 
you will not only regain patience, but also generate unexpected oppor¬ 
tunities. You will tonify your mood, beautify your attitude, and deepen 
your gravitas. So I hope you will invite and welcome the lumpy and the 
dappled, my dear. I hope you'll seek out the tangy, the smoldering, the 
soggy, the spunky, the chirpy, the gritty, and an array of other experiences 
you may have previously kept at a distance. 

PISCES (Feb 19-March 20): "A thousand half-loves must be forsaken 
to take one whole heart home." That's from a Coleman Barks's transla¬ 
tion of a poem by the 13th-century Islamic scholar and mystic known 
as Rumi. I regard this epigram as a key theme for you during the next 
12 months. You will be invited to shed a host of wishy-washy wishes 
so as to become strong and smart enough to go in quest of a very few 
burning, churning yearnings. Are you ready to sacrifice the mediocre in 
service to the sublime? ■ 








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KELLY 0 


VENDEMMIA Chef Brian Clevenger named his restaurant after the Italian word for “ harvest . ” 


Sampling the Spring 
Harvest at Vendemmia 

It takes no risks, and its rewards are small—but tasty. Its 
owner also runs East Anchor Seafood next door. 


F or chefs, spring is an exhilarating time. 

Vegetables such as asparagus, nettles, 
ramps, green garlic, English peas, and fava 
beans signal that, after months of potatoes 
and parsnips, we are moving toward the sum¬ 
mer growing season, toward 
the sweetness of zucchini, to¬ 
matoes, and corn. But spring’s 
ingredients—green, grassy, 

tender, fleeting—are delicious 
in their own right. 

Every April, I begin scour¬ 
ing restaurant menus and their social-media 
sites for spring dishes. A few weeks ago, I 
came across a lascivious photo of ramps and 
morel mushrooms lying atop each other on 
the Facebook page of the restaurant Ven¬ 
demmia, which opened just under a year ago 
in Madrona. I’d been meaning to return to 
Vendemmia since I first visited last Novem¬ 
ber, back when it was frigid and dark every 
night at 5 p.m. 

In winter, chef and owner Brian Cleveng¬ 
er’s menu held items like ravioli with chicken 
and root vegetables, as well as steak with wild 
mushrooms, bacon, and potato. House-made 
paccheri ($18), which look like comically 
oversized rigatoni that, unable to hold a tube 
shape, collapse flaccidly onto themselves, 


BY ANGELA GARBES 

was a brothy and satisfying dish. The dark, 
oceanic seafood stock filling the bowl was 
brightened with delicate wild prawns and a 
sofrito of fennel and celery. 

Cavatelli ($16), which resemble miniature 
hot dog buns, were pleas¬ 
antly firm and simply dressed 
with butter, black pepper, 
and wide swaths of salty 
pecorino cheese. As it melted, 
the cheese formed a gooey, 
gluey blanket on top of the 
pasta. Wresting the noodles out from under 
its weight was as difficult as pulling yourself 
out from under a down comforter on a cold 
winter morning. 

I meant to go back to Vendemmia and 
write a review the next month, but looking 
over my notes later that week, I saw that 
I had written down the word “restrained” 
three times. At the time, I thought the food 
was good but perhaps a little boring. Noth¬ 
ing I ate, and nothing I saw on the menu, 
surprised or captivated me. 

Clevenger, who previously worked at 
Ethan Stowell’s Italian restaurants Tavo- 
lata and Staple & Fancy, named Vendemmia 
after the Italian word for “harvest.” Look¬ 
ing at a photo of those racy ramps and 


morels again last month, I decided to re¬ 
visit Vendemmia when the world—and the 
restaurant’s menu—was exploding with life 
and spring dishes such as ravioli with aspar¬ 
agus and green garlic, and mozzarella with 
spring onion. 

A Dungeness crab salad ($13) was as 
good as I remembered: creamy, briny, and 
sweet, but still light and ethereal. Creme 
fraiche, enhanced with lemon, gave rich¬ 
ness, but also a distinct tanginess. Snap peas 
added a delightful crunch. (The vegetable 
is, apparently, in season all year round at 
Vendemmia.) A bowl of shaved green beans 
($7)—blistered on the grill and kissed with 
just olive oil and sea salt—were stunning in 
their simplicity. 

Tagliatelle ($21) came entangled with 
two of the season’s finest ingredients, mo¬ 
rel mushrooms and English peas. The 
peas exploded like tiny bombs of sugar on 
the tongue, but the earthy, anisey flavor of 
the morels were muted by an overwhelm¬ 
ing amount of butter and pecorino cheese. 
Grilled New York steak—a generous 
portion that at $43 still feels very, very 
expensive—was cooked to a perfect rosy- 
centered medium rare and served atop a 
beautiful spread of spring’s greatest hits: 


Vendemmia 

11 26 34th Ave, 466-2533 

East Anchor Seafood 

11 26 34th Ave, 708-6669 





















THE STRANGER May 11, 2016 53 


creamed nettles, morels, and fava beans. 
Unfortunately, the morels were dry and 
overcooked. Oily bread crumbs cooked in 
brown butter were unnecessary, especially 
since the creamed nettles tasted almost 
entirely of cream, with barely any of the 
wild plant’s peppery green notes coming 
through. A few pea vines and leaves scat¬ 
tered underneath were a salvation, adding 
freshness and crunch. 

The most memorable dish of the meal 
was one not tied to any particular season. 
Beef tartare ($13) arrived on the table 
looking not unlike a gorgeous brain: pink, 
squishy, unmistakably and unapologetically 
meaty. The tartare had been chopped so 
fine and packed so densely that it was diffi¬ 
cult to distinguish individual elements such 
as shallots and mustard, though they were 
there. Each element had been fully and 
masterfully integrated, imbuing the tartare 
with a sort of delicious mystery. 

Next door to Vendemmia is a small sea¬ 
food market and oyster bar that Clevenger 
just opened in March called East Anchor 
Seafood, where classic, straightforward 
dishes also shine. 

Ahi poke ($14), made from a loin of tuna 
that’s foisted straight out of the cooler case 
and cut in front of you, tasted, first and fore¬ 
most, like clean, fresh fish. Sesame seeds, 


Beef tartare arrived 
on the table looking not 
unlike a gorgeous brain. 


seaweed, and soy sauce merely enhanced 
the ahi. Smoked-salmon crostini ($9), 
topped with pickled shallots and served on 
warm grilled bread, was knockout good. 
Later, our server informed us that it was 
made not just with smoked salmon but a 
little black cod, too. 

“So much of that good richness,” she 
said, grinning, before disappearing to 
shuck oysters. (If you go to East Anchor, be 
prepared to wait. The shop is understaffed, 
and staffers here are also selling seafood 
and shucking oysters for Vendemmia, so 
they are doing their harried, multitasking 
best.) 

At East Anchor, friends drop in to split 
a bottle of chilled rose, couples meet up to 
slurp dozens of oysters, and families stop in 
after soccer games to buy pounds of mus¬ 
sels to take home and make for dinner. It 
seems to be just what the neighborhood 
needs. 

Thinking about my meals at Vendem¬ 
mia, which are distinguished more by 
classicism and meticulousness than cre¬ 
ativity, it’s clear that part of Clevenger’s 
talent is pleasing and comforting diners. 
He gives them exactly what they want, but 
doesn’t invite them out of their comfort 
zones. 

Vendemmia takes no risks, even with 
its decor, which is all gray concrete, white 
paint, and minimalist fixtures. None of the 
art on the walls will stir or provoke you, 
because there is no art on the walls. Staff, 
both front and back of house, wear all black 
and move with such professional efficiency 
that they almost become indistinguishable 
from one another. No one in the packed din¬ 
ing room seems to notice. 

Two months ago, Clevenger announced 
his next project: Raccolto, a fresh pasta 
and seafood restaurant in West Seattle 
that will open this summer, perhaps just 
in time for our short but glorious tomato 
season. ■ 


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54 May 11, 2016 THE STRANGER 



TOWN-HALL 


TOWN HALL CIVICS SCIENCE ARTS & CULTURE COMMUNITY 


(5/11) Odd Bedfellows 

How Changing Zoning 
Leads to Affordability 


(5/11) Sophie Egan with Tim Egan 
Are We What We Eat?" 

(5/12) UW Science Now: 

William Chen with Roxanne Carini 

Preserving Freshwater Fish, 
Rivers, and Dams; Breaking 
Waves, the Coastal Environment 

(5/12) NW Conservation Leaders: 

An Evening on the Elwha River 

(5/12) Eric Jay Dolin 

An Illuminating 
History of Lighthouses 

(5/13) Chris Anderson 

An Expert Guide to 
TED-style Public Speaking 

(5/14) Saturday Family Concerts 

Frances England 

(5/14) UW School of Environmental! 
and Forest Sciences: 

UW Climate Change 
Video Awards 

with Yoram Bauman and guests 

(5/16) Louise Endrich LaRose,'A Novel 


(5/16) AndiZeisler 
with Amelia Bonow 

Where Did All the Feminists Go? 

(5/17) Amy Herman 

'Visual Intelligence: Sharpen Your 
Perception, Change Your Life' 

(5/17) Michael Kinsley 
with David Brewster 

‘Old Age: A Beginner's Guide’ 

(5/18) UW Science Now: 

Chris Baldwin 

Unpacking Molecular Competition 

(5/18) KPLU presents 

‘Sound Effect’ Live: 

A Friend in Need 
with Tom Robbins and guests 

(5/18) Chris Guillebeau 

'Find the Work You're Meant For' 

(5/19) Angela Duckworth 

Unlocking the Secret to Perserverance 

(5/20) UW Science Now: 

Heather Fowler with John Trochta 

Safely Managing Backyard 
Chickens; Herring, By the Numbers 

(5/20) Mosaic Multicultural 
Foundation presents 

An Evening with Michael Meade 

(5/20) Joe Wilson A Guide 
to North America's Bees’ 


TOWN HALL CIVICS SCIENCE ARTS & CULTURE COMMUNITY 


WWW.TOWNHALLSEATTLE.ORG 


TOWN HALL CIVICS SCIENCE ARTS & CULTURE COMMUNITY 



SassyBlack 

Musician 

SassyBlack is Catherine Harris-White, half of Black Constellation's 
THEESatisfaction and cofounder of the popular Black Weirdo par¬ 
ties and movement. 

Her new solo album. No More Weak Dates, is a spare, 


post-Afrofuturist, hiphop-soul-funk opus that glows and grows in 
the same universe as Mike Ladd's Welcome to the Afterfuture and 
Anti-Pop Consortium's Tragic Epilogue. Her voices, modes, and beats 
are best captured by forming in your mind the image of lovers 
(bubble helmets and red, gold, and green space suits) walking hand 
in hand on the scintillating rings of Saturn. You will dig this work. 

SassyBlack's album-release show, with guests J'Von, ZELLi, and 
DJ Toy a B, is Tuesday, May 17, at Barboza. 



















































































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