At Town Hall this week, learn about just how smart octopi—like this clever one using a nut and clam shell for protection—really are.

The Top 15 Things to Do This Week

Learn about octopus intelligence, celebrate 40 years of Fantagraphics, attend our book club and more.

December 7, Wednesday

Reading Through It: A Post-Election Book Club Join Seattle Weekly and The Seattle Review of Books as we try to make sense of Donald Trump’s America in a new monthly book club. Tonight, we’ll discuss J.D. Vance’s memoir Hillbilly Elegy, and choose the book for our February club based on your recommendations. Third Place Books Seward Park, 5041 Wilson Ave. S., 474-2200, thirdplacebooks.com. Free. All ages. 7 p.m. PAUL CONSTANT

Femail San Francisco’s Camilla Carper and Seattle’s Janelle Abbot struck up an unusual collaborative art process by mailing garments back and forth, continually adding layers and detail to pieces that are “never truly finished.” Tonight the duo will showcase some of those wearable pieces, accompanied by performances by Neek, Raven Matthews, and Nordra. “After the show, all unclaimed garments will continue to be worked, getting more expensive, and probably uglier overtime,” the duo writes. “Please save this collection before its too late!” Brainfreeze (the old Lusty Lady), 1315 First Ave., megabrainfreeze.tumblr.com. Free. All ages. 9 p.m.–midnight. KELTON SEARS

The Dandy Warhols TBH, 99 percent of what I know about the Dandy Warhols comes from Dig!, the rock-doc in which they play the straight-man foil to the Brian Jonestown Massacre’s five-alarm heroin-fire. So I’ll say this about The Dandy Warhols: They write catchy songs, have a positive attitude, and are living proof that keeping drug-use in check is a good longterm life choice. The Showbox, 1426 1st Avenue, 628-3151, showboxpresents.com. $20. 21 and up. 8:30 pm. DANIEL PERSON

House of Dinah Named for legendary ‘50s jazz vocalist Dinah Washington, whose music soundtracks the proceedings, this new play from east coast playwright Jerome A. Parker and Intiman artistic director Andrew Russell tells the story of five black queens fighting to survive in the New York City ball culture. Expect a visual feast from choreographer Dani Tirrell and set designer Jennifer Zeyl. On the Boards, 100 W. Roy St., 217-9886, ontheboards.org. $25. 8 p.m. Ends Dec. 11 MARK BAUMGARTEN

December 8, Thursday

The Angel of History Reading

Rabih Alameddine is one of the preeminent Arab-American voices in fiction today. His newest novel is about a gay Yemeni-Lebanese expatriate living in America during the AIDS epidemic and the post-9/11 security state. It’s a heartbreaking story of memory, identity, history, and culture, which makes it about as American as it gets. Elliott Bay Book Company, 1521 10th Ave., 624-6600, elliottbaybook.com. Free. All ages. 7 p.m. PC

Octopus Intelligence Octopi have big-ass brains—the highest brain-to-body mass ratio of all invertebrates. Tonight, Peter Godfrey-Smith, author of Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness, will talk about new developments in our understanding of octopus intelligence, and “evidence that octopus and human minds, while dramatically different, may have evolved from a common place.” Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave., 652-4255, townhallseattle.com. $5. All ages. 6:30 p.m. KS

American Painting Today The old Value Village is beginning the end of its run as the V2 art space with an exhibition of contemporary Seattle-area painters that is comically ginormous—hovering somewhere around 90 artists right now. How it will compare to the hefty collection of bizarre paintings Value Village had while it was still open remains to be seen. V2, 1525 11th Ave., velocitydancecenter.org. Free. All ages. 5–8 p.m. KS

December 9, Friday

We Told You So: Comics as Art Panel To celebrate the release of a giant new book chronicling their first 40 years in the publishing business, Fantagraphics Books kicks off a weekend full of events by convening a star-studded panel of cartoonists (Los Bros Hernandez! Jim Woodring! Ellen Forney! Carol Tyler!) to discuss the high and low points of the greatest comics publisher in the United States. Folio: The Seattle Athenaeum, 324 Marion St., 402-4612, folioseattle.org. Free. 6 p.m. PC

Khambatta Dance Company Cyrus Khambatta is best known here as the producer of the Seattle International Dance Festival, where local artists share a stage with dancers from around the world. Some of those dances are Khambatta’s own, but usually you’re more likely to see his work in India, Eastern Europe, or one of the other places his company has toured. So it’s an unusual pleasure to see them in Seattle, in an evening all on their own, where Khambatta’s silky, contact improvisation-influenced style can step forward. Broadway Performance Hall, 1625 Broadway Ave., khambattadance.org. $18–$25. 8 p.m. Fri., Dec. 9–Sat., Dec. 10. SANDRA KURTZ

December 10, Saturday

Very Legal Holiday Party Stash Pot Shop is throwing a dank holiday party at the Tractor featuring a top-notch local hip-hop line-up. Top of the bill is Dave B, coming off his celebrated new record with Sango Tomorrow, followed by the Top 40-aspiring stylings of EMI; the dusky jazz-rap of Sub Pop’s Porter Ray; Isabella Du Graf’s sultry, polished R&B; and Jamie Blake’s slick electronic productions. Tractor Tavern, 5213 Ballard Ave. N.W., 789-3599, tractortavern.com. $15. 21 and over. 8 p.m. KS

Velocity NEXT Festival This showcase of the “next new thing” in local dance has a habit of outgrowing its boundaries. In the past it’s opened a home for the New Dance Cinema program and sprouted residency and support projects, and now this year is fostering an additional week featuring an installation by Nancy Stark Smith, one of the founding parents of Contact Improvisation. Local artists in the showcase this week include Ethan Folk and Ty Wardwell, Quinn Hallenbeck, Sabina Moe, Alisa Popova, Hayley Shannon, and Syniva Whitney of Gender Tender. And then there’s a bonus farewell party for the V2 pop-up space—it’s a big blast for Velocity. Velocity Dance Center, 1621 12th Ave., 325-8773, velocity dancecenter.org. Fest $18–$25. 7:30 p.m. Fri., Dec. 9–Sun., Dec. 11; V2 Farewell 9:30 p.m. Sat., Dec. 10.; Nancy Stark Smith 5 p.m. Fri., Dec. 16–Sat., Dec. 17. SK

December 11, Sunday

The Journey of Our Names Seattle poet Aaron Counts teaches a free writing class on the importance of names, from family names to nicknames to adopted names. Every name is a story, and Counts will teach you how to plumb the meaning behind yours for a whole new level of understanding. Beacon Hill Public Library, 2821 Beacon Ave. S., 684-4711, spl.org. 2 p.m. PC

December 12, Monday

Countdown to Pearl Harbor Reading This month marks 75 years since the attack on Pearl Harbor. If your only understanding of the event Harbor begins and ends with that awful Ben Affleck movie, you owe it to yourself to attend this reading from Steve Twomey’s new book, which charts the path to America’s involvement in World War II. Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave., 652-4255, townhallseattle.org. $5. All ages. 7:30 p.m. PC

December 13, Tuesday

Tar Sands Valve Turners On Oct. 11, five climate activists, three of them from Seattle, fanned out across the country to simultaneously crank the emergency shutoff valves on the major pipelines that bring Canadian tar sands oil into the U.S. The event cut the country’s oil imports by 15 percent for nearly a day. Many of them face enormous criminal charges and decades in prison for their actions. Head to Capitol Hill Monday to hear them speak about why they did it—and to help raise funds for their legal defense. Sole Repair Shop, 1001 E. Pike St., 226-2010. $20 suggested donation; no one turned away for lack of funds. All ages. 6:30 p.m. SARA BERNARD

Why Do We Vote the Way We Do? It’s not just because Americans collectively hate ourselves (though recent events also give credence to that hypothesis). Join Seattlish cofounder Hanna Brooks Olson for a discussion of the role that news, social media, community spaces, and other ideological echo chambers play in political choices. Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave., 652-4255, townhallseattle.org. Free. All ages. 7:30 p.m. CASEY JAYWORK

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