Pick List: David Byrne, UW Percussion Ensemble, ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic

The best ways to keep yourself artistically entertained this week.


It makes sense that the UW Percussion Ensemble, which on this concert is spotlighting music made with found objects (for example, John Cage’s … but what about the noise of crumpling paper and recent Pulitzer Prize winner Caroline Shaw’s Taxidermy, played on flowerpots, which can be surprisingly sweet-toned), shares a program with the UW Steelband: Steel pans themselves were originally found objects, oil drums transformed after African percussion was banned in Trinidad. The inventions that this necessity mothered now produce some of the world’s most irresistible music. Meany Studio Theater, UW campus, music.washington.edu. $10. 7:30 p.m. Fri., May 25.


The Faces of Zandra Rhodes • This look at Rhodes’ work as a set designer will be interesting, but the real fascination of this doc is that it follows her as she prepares Seattle Opera’s 2015 production of The Pearl Fishers. May 24 & 26 at Uptown

Love, Gilda • Just 42 when she died of ovarian cancer in 1989, Gilda Radner is remembered as probably Saturday Night Live’s most beloved cast member ever. Lisa D’Apolito’s doc is filled with comedians reminiscing about why, alongside home movies and diary excerpts read by, among others, Melissa McCarthy, Amy Poehler, and Maya Rudolph. May 24 at Egyptian, May 26 at Pacific Place

Sadie • Seattle director Megan Griffiths (SIFF prizewinner for Eden in 2012) returns with a study of an adolescent girl who plots an unorthodox solution to the long absences of her military father and the wavering fidelity of her mother (played by the great Melanie Lynskey, who’ll be in town as the recipient of a festival tribute this year, 2:30 p.m. Sun., May 27). ROBERT HORTON May 27 & June 6 at Egyptian


Find yourself a person who loves you as much as David Byrne still loves music. Even at 66, the man’s passion for making gorgeous songs (like those on his new album, American Utopia)—and gripping visuals to accompany them—never ceases. He’s the type of guy who can both command a stage and be happy blending into a dancing crowd (as was the case at the Seattle Rep premiere of his musical Here Lies Love in 2017). His live shows still dazzle as much as they did back in the Stop Making Sense days with Talking Heads, and missing Byrne and his untethered band perform at the Paramount (or at Sasquatch!) would be a dire mistake for any music lover. SS stgpresents.org. $41–$175 (might sell out). 8 p.m. Thurs., May 24.

This may come as a surprise for many casual listeners, but “Weird Al” Yankovic doesn’t only write masterful song parodies and polka medleys of pop hits. He also pens devilishly clever and hooky original comedic tunes, adored by only his most hardcore fans, which show off his musical skills beyond the context of others’ works. Yankovic’s new “The Ridiculously Self-Indulgent, Ill-Advised Vanity Tour” is for those crazies. While giant video screens and more costume changes than a Lady Gaga show has long been the weird one’s modus operandi, the new tour removes the production artifice for a stripped-down night of choice deep cuts like “One More Minute” and “Albuquerque.” It should make for a night of long-overdue bliss for musical comedy nerds. SETH SOMMERFELD The Moore, stgpresents.org. Sold out. 8 p.m. Tues., May 29.

More in Arts & Culture

Cat Power (aka Chan Marshall). Photo by Julien Bourgeois
Cat Power Powers Through

The acclaimed singer-songwriter chats about her stripped-down new album ‘Wanderer,’ motherhood, and when performance gets in the way of the song.

Sloucher displaying surprisingly decent posture. Photo by Eleanor Petry
Sloucher Is Not Posturing

The Seattle band doesn’t shy away from embracing ’90s guitar rock on ‘Be True.’

Rhino riggers protest outside of the Jay-Z and Beyonce show outside of Seattle’s CenturyLink Field on Oct. 4, 2018. Photo courtesy of IATSE
The Backstage Blues: Riggers Complain of Unfair Labor Practices

Theatrical stage employees come for the music and stay for the thrill. But at what price?

Viola Davis and Cynthia Erivo star in ‘Widows.’ Photo by Merrick Morton
Crime Doesn’t Pay Off in ‘Widows’

Steve McQueen’s feminist heist thriller stretches itself far too thin.

Tim Blake Nelson plays the titular Buster Scruggs. Photo courtesy Netflix
‘The Ballad of Buster Scruggs’ Is a Wagon Train of Dark Mischief

The Coen brothers’ new anthology seves as a glorious ode to Westerns’ dusty death.

City Arts Ceases Publication

The free local culture magazine shuts down operations after 12 years.

Greta Klein (center right) brings the soft indie pop Frankie Cosmos to The Neptune. Photo by Angel Ceballos
The Soft Comfort of Frankie Cosmos

Sub Pop’s tenderest band brings its indie pop to The Neptune.

French dance company Compagnie Käfig brings the lights of ‘Pixel’ to Meany Center. Photo by Laurent Philippe
Pick List: Compagnie Käfig, Brooklyn Rider, Pete Souza

The week’s best entertainment offerings.

Most Read