Chris Cornell Double LP
Chris Cornell may no longer be with us, but the power of his voice is sure to reverberate throughout Seattle for generations. Put together by his widow Vicky, this recently released double LP serves as a career-spanning tribute to the rock icon, with standout tracks from Soundgarden, Temple of the Dog, Audioslave, and his solo work (including unreleased tracks and covers). People come and go, but music never dies. $39
By the Way, I Forgive You by Brandi Carlile
While we don’t place a ton of importance on the Grammys for their general popularity-contest feel, when people who aren’t red-carpet mainstays get showered with nominations, it’s a good indication to pay attention. By the Way, I Forgive You, the latest album from local Americana singer/songwriter Brandi Carlile, is up for six of the golden gramophones—including Album of the Year, Song of the Year (“The Joke”), and Record of the Year—because of the undeniable warmth in Carlile’s emotional songcraft. Gifting a vinyl copy is almost as safe a bet as Carlile taking home Best Americana Album. $25
Prairie Fire: The American Dream of Laura Ingalls Wilder by Caroline Fraser
Mercer Island’s own Caroline Fraser took home this year’s Pulitzer Prize for Biography for her rich chronicling of how the Little House on the Prairie author shaped the myths of America’s Western expansion and how her own life fed into the beloved book series. $22 paperback, $35 hardcover
As the best exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum this year, Figuring History brought together the figurative paintings of Robert Colescott, Kerry James Marshall, and Mickalene Thomas to challenge historical narratives and Anglo notions of artistic masters with vibrant images that pop off the canvases. SAM catalogued the exhibit’s images and supporting texts for the coffee-table book of the same name. It’s perfect to further soak in the paintings and continue the conversation the show sought to spark. $35
Dear Evan Hansen
The 2017 Tony winner for Best Musical—easily the most buzzed-about of post-Hamilton Broadway—Dear Evan Hansen makes its first stop in Seattle at The Paramount from Jan. 23–Feb. 2. The story follows Evan, a socially anxious kid who fabricates a relationship with a dead classmate in order to bond with the deceased’s family. You know, typical light Broadway fare. $170+
Long before she became the hottest comic star on the big screen, stand-up was Tiffany Haddish’s main gig. After releasing her first special, She Ready! From the Hood to Hollywood, in 2017, she’s now readying a new Netflix special for 2019. With fiery charisma to burn, her stop at The Paramount on March 21 should be a boisterous affair. $60–$350
The Rolling Stones
It’s easy to mock the age of the Rolling Stones, but seeing the legendary act live remains a thrill because the band still puts in the effort while jamming on hit after hit after hit. Plus, how many more times are they going to tour? They’re rocking CenturyLink Field on May 22. Do you really want to go through life having never seen the Stones? $90+
Seattle International Film Festival Pass
Do we know any of the movies playing at SIFF 2019 starting next May? No. Does that matter? Also no. Every year the massive film fest delivers more than enough high-quality entertainment, so we feel comfortable telling you to buy some tickets blind. Understandable if you don’t want to go for the high-end platinum pass ($1,500–$2,500), but picking up a six-pack ($60–$75) or 20-pack ($180–$240) of tickets at earliest-bird prices ensures cinematic golden days in your future.
Why just take in great art when you can make some of your own? Gifting an adult art class grants the receiver a tangible experience with an end product, something that seems ever rarer in our digital age. A host of wonderful outposts host classes around town: Pratt Fine Arts Center is a great one-stop shop for an array of media, but there are also plenty of specified spots for glass blowing (Seattle Glassblowing Studio, MoltenWorks, Rainier Glass Studio—which even has a blow-your-own-bong class), pottery (Sean’s Clay Corner, Saltstone Ceramics, Pottery Northwest, Rat City Studios), and even metallurgy (Lawless Forge). Give the gift of creation. Prices vary.