Pick List: ‘Library of Black Lies,’ ‘Cage Shuffle,’ Freakout Festival

The week’s best entertainment offerings.


How does a bill become a law? What’s the difference between an adjective and an adverb? What’s a good trick for multiplying by nine? If you’re over 35, you probably learned these things from Schoolhouse Rock, the fondly remembered animated shorts, with tunes so catchy you’ll take them to the grave, that ABC aired between cartoons on Saturday mornings from 1973–85. Here’s a revue based on the best. GAVIN BORCHERT 12th Avenue Arts, reacttheatre.org. $9–$30. 11 a.m. Thurs., Nov. 15, 2 & 8 p.m. Sat. Ends Nov. 17.

Kitten N’ Lou’s Cream A serves up “decadently sickening” burlesque/drag/cabaret revue starring Vivacious, The Luminous Pariah, and much more. GB The Triple Door, tripledoor.net. $30–$45. 7 and 10 p.m. Nov. 16, 17, 21; 7 p.m. Sun., Nov. 18; 7:30 p.m. Tues., Nov. 20.

John Cage’s performance piece Indeterminacy, first compiled in 1958, is a collection of 30 (later expanded to 90) brief anecdotes, to be read one per minute—exactly a minute, slowed or sped up depending on each story’s length. Many of them are funny; some reference the two years he lived in Seattle as a dance accompanist at Cornish College, which is where he met his eventual collaborator and life partner, dancer Merce Cunningham. So they’ll have a special resonance here when Paul Lazar recites them during his 50-minute dance-theater piece Cage Shuffle. Only happenstance will govern the combination of the stories and the choreography; see how they interact. GB Base Experimental Arts and Space, thisisbase.org. $18–$25. 8 p.m. Fri., Nov 16–Sat., Nov, 17.

Men on Boats — Jaclyn Backhaus’ account of an 1869 Colorado River expedition — stipulates that “the characters in Men on Boats were historically cisgender white males. The cast should be made up entirely of people who are not.” GB Raisbeck Hall, cornish.edu. $5–$17. 8 p.m. Nov. 15–17, 2 p.m. Nov. 17–18.


Philharmonia Northwest has an exemplary record of paying attention to our city’s composers, but this time they’re giving them an entire program. Julia Tai conducts the Seattle Slew Suite (subtitled “Three Dances in Forequarter Time”), William Bolcom’s ragtime tribute to the Triple Crown winner (1974–2002); a cello concerto by Ken Benshoof, played by Walter Gray; and the premiere of Sleeping in the Forest by Sarah Bassingthwaighte. GB St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, philharmonianw.org. $15–$25. 2:30 p.m. Sun., Nov. 18.


17 Resentment Court is the new crime novel from Seattle Weekly alumnus David “Uptight Seattleite” Stoesz. ”There will be booze, a theatrical presentation of excerpts from the book, live music, and other cool shit.” GB The Rendezvous/JewelBox Theater. 7 p.m. Thurs., Nov. 15.

Watch the Paradise Lost documentary trilogy if you want to know Damien Echols’s stunning backstory. He’s here to present his book High Magick: a Guide to the Spiritual Practices That Saved My Life on Death Row in conversation with Eddie Vedder. GB The Neptune, stgpresents.org. $33 (includes a copy of the book). 7 p.m., Mon., Nov. 19.


Barsuk Records’ own indie-pop soloist Steady Holiday (aka Dre Babinski) melds her violin and guitar playing into songs of cowardice that cut sharp but go down with a sophisticated, airy adult pop smoothness on the new album Nobody’s Watching. SETH SOMMERFELD Sunset Tavern, sunsettavern.com. $12. 8 p.m. Wed., Nov. 14.

Celebrate the release of Be True, the first LP from Seattle throwback alt-rock band Sloucher, a day early by catching the quartet play a free set at Sonic Boom. (For more on Sloucher, check out this week’s SW feature story on the band.) SS Sonic Boom Records, sonicboomrecords.com. Free. 7:30 p.m., Thur., Nov 15.

There have been a few attempts to put on a locally sourced music festival in Ballard, and none have stood the test of time. After moving from Capitol Hill to Ballard last year, Freakout Festival gives it another shot. This year’s lineup features Seattle standouts like Porter Ray, Lisa Prank, Monsterwatch, and OCNotes, plus noteworthy out-of-towners like All the Witches, Sneaks, and Death Valley Girls. SS the- freakout.com. $35–$60. Fri., Nov. 16–Sat., Nov. 17.

We hope Neil Finn is still planning at some point to tour his new album, Lightsleeper, released in August, and that his Saturday Tacoma Dome appearance with a little band called Fleetwood Mac won’t be the area’s only visit from him. GB Tacoma Dome, tacomadome.org. $99 and up. 8 p.m. Sat., Nov. 17.


Via a nondescript wooden, mirror-laden, labyrinthine library filled with stacks of books featuring misremembered covers (some unreadable due to a crust of crystalline sugar; “sugarcoating history” is here no longer merely a metaphor), Los Angeles artist Edgar Arceneaux questions the notion of an absolute truth of the black experience in his installation Library of Black Lies. SS Henry Art Gallery, UW campus. Artist conversation 3 p.m. Sat., Nov. 17, plus other opening-weekend events; see henryart.org. Ends June 2.


Voraciously curious violist Heather Bentley performs with a miscellany of colleagues: drums, video, electric harp, spoken word, and more. GB Chapel Performance Space, Good Shepherd Center, waywardmusic.org. $5–$15. 8 p.m. Thurs., Nov. 15.


From the folks behind the ever-popular Urban Craft Uprising, Gobble Up bring the same crafty spirit to the world of food. Find the perfect holiday gifts for the foodies in your life from the small scale artisans who pour their passion into making everything from vinegars and mustard to cheeses and preserves to food art and hand-crafted tablewares. SS Bell Harbor Conference Center, gobbleupseattle.com. Free. 10 a.m.–6 p.m., Sat. Nov. 17.