Pick List: Kim Keever, Seattle Improvised Music Festival, Tanya Tagaq

The week’s best entertainment options.


While there’s a rich world of watercolor paintings, Kim Keever practices a more literal interpretation of the term: He dumps or drizzles paint into an aquarium, resulting in stunning images of colors floating, drifting, and dispersing in unpredictable patterns, offering a sense of natural flow and rich dimensionality. He then photographs these otherworldly clouds and plumes of pigment for posterity. Explore the depth of the image and our own mind with his latest collection, Three Dimensional Rorschach. SETH SOMMERFELD Winston Wächter, winstonwachter.com. Free. Opening artist reception, 6 p.m. Wed., Feb. 6. Ends March 16.

Piano Drop includes memorabilia—and what’s left of the instrument itself—from the actual (and intentional) dropping, 50 years ago, of a piano from a helicopter near Duvall, which an estimated 3,000 people turned out to see. A Feb. 23 concert will feature new works by 16 composers to be played on the remains.GAVIN BORCHERT Jack Straw New Media Gallery, jackstraw.org. Opening reception 7 p.m. Fri., Feb. 8.; Feb. 8–Mar. 15.


Violist Melia Watras presentes a CD-release recital for Schumann Resonances: chamber works by, and inspired by, Schumann, including music by Watras and UW faculty colleagues Cuong Vu and Richard Karpen. GB Brechemin Auditorium, School of Music, UW campus, music.washington.edu. Free. 7:30 p.m. Wed., Feb. 6.

The 34th Seattle Improvised Music Festival comprises eight shows in five venues (Feb. 6–10) by improvising musicians from across the country‚ including dance/music collaborations (3 p.m. Sat., Feb. 9) and a tribute to recently passed SIMF founder Paul Hoskin (5:30 p.m. Sat., Feb. 9). Plus community improv sessions open to all. GB See nseq.org for schedule and venues. $5–$20.

Paper Puppet Opera, a revival of last year’s shadow-puppet performance of Schubert’s somber song cycle Winterreise (“Winter Journey”), features 24 variations on bemoaning a lost love, with the gray and cold of the climate as a metaphor. Baritone David Hoffman and pianist Peter Nelson-King provide the music, Juliana Brandon the puppets. GB Trinity Parish Church, paperpuppetopera.com. $25. 7:30 p.m. Fri., Feb. 8 & Sat., Feb. 9.

UW is now the repository of the fantastical, Seussian musical instruments invented by composer Harry Partch (1901–74), and this concert by the Harry Partch Ensemble will show them off. GB Meany Studio Theater, music.washington.edu. $10. 7:30 p.m. Sat., Feb. 9.

On the Mostly Nordic concert series devoted to Scandinavian (and nearby) music, a very special event: a visit from preeminent Latvian composer Peteris Vasks. His music—including a new version of Vasks’ sonically austere but emotionally palpitating Plainscapes for instrumental soloists and choir—will be played by flutist Paul Taub, bassist Travis Gore, the Skyros Quartet, and the Mägi Ensemble chamber choir. GB Nordic Museum, nordicmuseum.org. $25–$30. 2 p.m. Sun., Feb. 10.

From all kinds of percussion—Western, African, found—percussionists Allen Otte and John Lane devised The Innocents, a musical/theatrical response to the Innocents Project, exonerating the unjustly imprisoned. Their Tuesday evening performance will be followed by a lecture-discussion at UW’s Brechemin Auditorium at 2 p.m. on Wed., Feb 13. GB Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, waywardmusic.com. $5–$15. 8 p.m. Tues., Feb. 12.


With it’s ultra-hooky electro-pop sensibilities, Now, Now’s Saved was one of the best albums of 2018 (for more check out SW’s feature on the band). The group returns to town for two nights to open for fellow Minnesotan indie pop outfit Hippo Campus. SS The Neptune, stgpresents.org. Sold out. 8 p.m., Wed & Thur., Feb. 6 & 7.

Arguably the most underrated hip-hop album of the past decade, P.O.S’s Never Better still crackles with a deft flow, measured ferocity, unvarnished authenticity, and razor sharp production. If you’re a fan, you won’t want to miss it. And if you’re unfamiliar, well, better late than never. SS The Crocodile, thecrocodile.com. $18

Sugary sweet alt-pop trio Tangerine has left Seattle for sunnier California pastures, but the group has continued making catchy guitar-based tunes, as evidenced on the new EP, White Dove. The band’s homecoming gig will feature pals Cumulus and Emma Lee Toyoda. SS Chop Suey, chopsuey.com. $10. 8 p.m., Thur., Feb. 7.

Tanya Tagaq continues to be an astonishing singer, combining her Inuk vocal traditions, punk and electronica idioms, and searing socially conscious lyrics. (She’ll also be reading from her memoir Split Tooth at UW Intellectual House on Feb. 6 at 5 p.m.) GB Meany Center, meanycenter.org. $29–$45. 8 p.m. Fri., Feb. 8.


Ronan Farrow’s New Yorker expose on Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein was a cultural game-changer, and he hasn’t slowed down breaking big stories. GB McCaw Hall, uniquelives.com. $50–$70. 7:30 p.m. Mon. Feb. 11.


April 22, 2011, saw one of the most heartstopping events in Seattle Sounders history, as a bad tackle snapped the tibia and fibula of popular winger Steve Zakuani. July 7, 2012, saw one of the most emotional, as he returned to play, to a thunderous ovation, after 500 days of recovery. This new doc Unbreakable tells this story, and that of his long road to soccer from his London upbringing. The screening is a benefit for Kingdom Hope. GB SIFF Cinema Egyptian, eventbrite.com. $20. Noon Sat., Feb. 9.

Seattle Weekly film critic Robert Horton hosts 1959: The Greatest Year in Film History, a series screenings from the peak of the Golden Age, second and fourth Saturdays through May 11. This Saturday features North by Northwest. Scarecrow Video, blog.scarecrow.com/scarecrowacademy. Free with RSVP. 1 p.m. Sat., Feb. 9.

If you’re seeing Stan & Ollie, why not also check out the real thing with Grand Illusion’s Laurel and Hardy Comedy Shorts? GB Grand Illusion, grandillusioncinema.org. $5–$9. 7 p.m. Tues., Feb. 12.


In the one-woman show 140 LBS, Susan Lieu wrestles with beauty, death, and her Vietnamese American upbringing in the wake of her mother’s death via plastic surgery malpractice. (For more, read our interview with Lieu.) SS Theatre Off Jackson, theatreoffjackson.org. $25. 7:30 p.m. Feb. 7–17; 2 p.m. Sun., Feb. 10 & 17.

Devin Bannon plays flamboyant NY-in-the-’80s performer Klaus Nomi in the bio-musical, Alien/Angel, with a four-pie menu designed by chef Cafe Nordo’s Erin Brindley. GB Nordo’s Culinarium, cafenordo.com. $79. 7:30 p.m. Wed.–Sat., 6 p.m. Sun. Feb. 8–24.

Actor Roger Guenveur Smith, featured in several Spike Lee films, brings his solo show, Frederick Douglass Now, based on the writings of the abolitionist leader. GB Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute, langstonseattle.org. $25. 7:30 p.m. Fri., Feb. 8 & Sat., Feb. 9; 2 p.m. Sun., Feb. 10.