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An Interview with John Early
On Valentine's Day, audiences will get to see a different side of comedian John Early. by Matt Baume You probably know John Early from his role as Elliott Goss on Search Party, as Logan from multiple Wet Hot American Summer adventures, or from any one of dozens of “Oh hey, look, it’s John Early” pop-ups on a dizzying array of talk shows, variety shows, cartoons, and comedy specials. John’s one of the hardest-working comedians on screen and stage, and his memorable characters tend to be volatile weirdos teetering on the brink of a breakdown. Often working with his brilliant comedy partner Kate Berlant, Early’s characters grin through agonies of their own creation, a sort of modern-day Nichols and May.  But at his upcoming live appearances—including a Valentine's Day performance at Neptune Theatre—audiences will get to see a different side to him: One that’s a bit more personal, honest, and, dare we say, wholesome, with a mixture of songs and stand-up that gets as close to the real John Early as you’ve ever seen him (though with any of Early’s performances, like Peter Sellers, there is always the lingering suspicion that reality is an illusion). I caught up with John for a phone interview ahead of his upcoming show. Our conversation’s been slightly edited for clarity, to the extent that clarity can ever truly exist. What can folks look forward to at the show? Since 2012, I’ve been doing a version of this show where I have a band with me and we do covers and stand-up. Often my hero, a comedy legend, Vicky with a V will drop in and do a surprise set. It’s very loose and wild. It’s a very sacred night for me that I’ve mostly been doing in New York for 10 or so years. I’ve always wanted to do some version of this in other cities because it feels like no one’s ever gotten to see it. I don’t have the full band on this tour because I absolutely could not afford that, but I am bringing my keyboardist Michael Hesslein who’s a real genius. He’s built out the tracks to make it feel as live and lush as possible. It should just be a really really fun night. For better or worse, I’m a song and dance man—my stand-up heroes are Bette Midler and Sandra Bernhard. I think of myself as an old-school vaudevillian. Some people probably think I’m strange. I’m just trying to get people to have fun. How do you choose which songs to do? I always choose songs that I will not embarrass myself singing. And mostly songs I just deeply love. I have to love them or I can’t sustain it, because there’s something humiliating about singing as a comedian and I have to love it enough for that self-consciousness to drop away. For this tour, I’m trying to do the hits. What memorable moments have you had from doing a version of the show for 10 years? My parents come to the shows a lot, and whenever they come I’ll focus a shaft of blinding white light on them, wherever they’re sitting, and I’ll torture them with this light cue whenever I feel like it. Usually at the show’s most sexually explicit moments. One of the most shocking stories from this show, I did it in Los Angeles maybe in 2018, and in part of the show I was showing slides from my old Toni Colette website that I had when I was in middle school … and she was there. I was singing "Take a Bow" by Madonna and vamping and going through the slides, and she danced her way down the aisle and started slow dancing with me. It was one of the most surreal and touching moments of my life.  When people come to your live show, do they sometimes assume you’ll be more like your characters? It’s very personal to me, this show—not like a confession where here we go with a big revelation, but it’s extremely silly, and I think there’s something very warm and sincere about trying to create an ecstatic atmosphere through music. I sometimes feel like people are crestfallen by the fact that I’m not just doing full Elliott from Search Party.  I do think people assume, based on the characters I play—this always happens with me and my comedy partner Kate Berlant—people interpret our stuff as mean. They’re not wrong, but we always feel like the characters we play are desperate baby birds who might be annoying or pretentious or desperate or cruel, but in our minds, they’re desperate little babies like we are. I think part of why doing this show is so sacred to me in New York is it is more who I am personally. It’s a little more warm. You seem to appear constantly in so many projects, do you do anything to relax or is there no such thing for you as not working? There’s so much not working. I am very busy in this moment, but there’s a lot of avoiding work and a lot of downtime. I’ve been watching Columbo. I’ve never seen Columbo and I’ve started watching it from the first season in the early '70s. I’m totally in love with Peter Falk. I feel like he’s my boyfriend right now. It really helps me relax, seeing a procedural TV show that’s so wise. They got such good actors and the scenes are so rehearsed and the takes are so long. That’s been comforting to me, watching older things where they take care of the viewer. That’s what keeps me relaxed, is just going older and older. Will these shows be your first time in the Pacific Northwest? To me, of course, Seattle is the home of the slap, with Irene on The Real World. It’s incredible. It was in the golden age of The Real World, when it was still a sincere experiment. That season is deeply imprinted on my being. But I’ve only traveled through Seattle. I have a really good friend in Seattle and went to her wedding there, and it was the most beautiful place in the world. I was stunned. I was really excited to go and I wish I had more time! I’m only in Seattle for one night. And on Valentine’s Day, no less. Are you going to work Valentine’s Day into the show? I’m just going to keep it real sexy for the couples in the audience. I want to be their aphrodisiac. John Early performs two shows at Neptune Theater Tues, Feb 14 at 7 and 9:30 pm, $27.

The Best Bites for Every Price: $25 and Under
The best food you can find in Seattle for $25 or less. by Ann Guo Salmon Sando Local Tide, $16 Sweet, sweet salmon. What can we say of her wonder? Songs have been written of this divine creature, as have poems, prayers, and spiritualisms. There is no question of the Indigenous cultures that have flourished in close friendship with salmon, and the marvel of frothing river tops in seasons of migration. From the Tulalip to the Chinook, the tribes along the Pacific Coast have over millennia echoed in resplendent communion with their natural collaborators. Cured, slow-poached, and dissected into filets by tracing the natural grain of the fish, the team at Local Tide approaches their salmon cuts almost like artisans approaching a virgin piece of uncarved wood. Topped with pickled onions, and placed in between toasted slices of brioche, there is simply nothing bad I could say about the Salmon Sando at the elevated Fremont fish counter. Salmon are amongst many species that face the detrimental impacts of climate change and pollution, which damage habitats and alter breeding patterns in populations. Perhaps the one lesson we can learn from Local Tide is this: treat a blessing well, and she will treat you in return. ANN GUO The Marie Antionette Polar Bar at Arctic Club Hotel, $17 Let me eat cake! Meg van Huygen The swanky-fabulous Polar Bar inside the historic Arctic Club Hotel just reopened last month, after several years spent closed, and I’m just delirious with joy about it. I wasted no time in testing out every single cocktail on the fresh menu, and there were quite a few that I liked, but the one that really made me feel a feeling is the Marie Antoinette. The cocktail itself is light and uncluttered—gin, elderflower liqueur, lemon, and bubbly, like a French 75 with a flourish of St. Germaine. Tres femme. But then! Extremely importantly!!!! It comes with a piece of cake as the garnish! It’s not small either. A nice big slab of pound cake, balanced on the lip of the glass, acting for all the world like a lime wheel. A big buttery vanilla walrus on the tightrope. A thrill to behold, and an immaculate delight to eat. I’m hella gonna get one on my birthday. MEG VAN HUYGEN Lao Sausage Taurus Ox, $17           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Taurus Ox (@taurusoxseattle) If you haven't yet had a chance to stop by Taurus Ox in the 3 years or so they've been open, now is the time to haul your ass over to this delicious spot. In fact, this Laotian restaurant got so popular, that they had to move out of their cozy Madison Street digs to a more spacious location on 19th Avenue. (Their old spot will be a new Laotian burger place. Sounds incredible.) Anyway, their signature Laos Sausage is a great way to acquaint yourself with Taurus Ox. The sausage is a balanced mix of spicy and savory, with punches of lemongrass coming through. It’s cut and served on a bed of rice (your choice of jasmine or sticky), alongside cold, steamed veggies (tomato jaew or jaew bong) that help cool your mouth from all the heat. If you’re looking for something else to satiate your hunger, my friend Brandi absolutely swears by Taurus Ox’s mango coconut rice and Lao burger. "They live in my head on a loop," she told me recently. You can't go wrong here. JAS KEIMIG Lamb Burger Island Soul, $19           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Island Soul (@islandsoulshack) It's easy to find a hamburger in this city. Some of these hamburgers are even good. Lamb burgers, on the other hand, are hard to find, and when found, are almost never good. But the one sold by Island Soul, a Columbia City restaurant that specializes in Caribbean dishes, always catches me by surprise. It has slices of tomato, onions, cucumber, tzatziki sauce, spinach, and a grilled lamb patty between brioche buns. Apparently, if these parts are combined right, you end up with what is at Island Soul, a near-perfect lamb burger. CHARLES MUDEDE 3 Ounces of Every Banchan Ohsun Banchan, $24           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by OHSUN Banchan Deli & Cafe (@ohsunbanchan) I am a fermentation true believer: give me your pickles, your misos, your krauts and kimchis, bubbling with live cultures and possibilities. In late 2022 a major new destination for banchan—the world of Korean side dishes—opened on First Avenue in Pioneer Square, on the same block as the iconic Central Saloon, where almost every PNW band (great or otherwise) has played at some point in the last hundred years. Ohsun’s remodel of the space at First and Main is bright and airy, an open kitchen making 100% gluten-free food with a focus on a kaleidoscopic offering of housemade banchan.  You can order a nice bibimbap or dubu jorim to eat onsite, each dish paired with an assortment of banchan, or you can do like I did recently and order every single currently available banchan to-go in a 3-ounce snacking size and take them home for a playdate. You’ll leave with a half-dozen or so little containers of onion jangajji, pickled mu radish, spicy squid, cucumber muchim, apple cucumber potato salad, and more, an ever-changing menu of banchan interacting with the seasons. Once home, your bevy pairs beautifully with whatever starch and protein combo you might be into: a simple bowl of rice and tofu, some nice mackerel or salmon collar (perhaps from Pike Place), or my favorite, an unsung cut of steak like hangar or London Broil (visit Beast & Cleaver for these, the best butcher shop in town). Good banchan such as what you’ll find at Ohsun is like the Best Supporting Actress of cuisine accompaniments: it can both steal the show and uplift every other performer in the picture. JORDAN MICHELMAN

New Comic: It's Me, Hi, I'm the Problem, It's Me
Wait, how did everyone find out about Artusi's sick-ass pasta night? by Natalie Dupille natalie dupille

The Top 75 Events in Seattle This Week: Feb 6-12, 2023
Steve Lacy, Into the Woods, and More Top Picks by EverOut Staff There's a number of great events on deck this week to keep you busy and entertained, and we've rounded them up here, from Steve Lacy: Give You The World Tour to Into the Woods and from Field To Table to Noir City. MONDAY FILM Radical Films: 15 Movies That Shook the WorldThis is not your standard-issue "radical films" class—you won't hear a peep from film bros about Citizen Kane or The Godfather. Instead, SIFF is taking a globetrotter's approach, with deep dives into Japanese horror, Mexican realism, Bollywood Westerns, and more. The series of hybrid talks at SIFF Film Center will be presented in conjunction with screenings of each film at SIFF Uptown, so do your homework by catching flicks like Enter the Dragon, La Haine, and City of God throughout the five-week series.(SIFF Film Center, Uptown)

Frontline Heath Care Workers Support I-135
Even resident doctors are having a hard time finding a place to live. by Kevin Steehler Nobody should worry about how they’re going to pay rent, much less frontline health care workers who are expected to respond immediately to medical emergencies. This is why Initiative 135, the social housing bill currently being considered in Seattle, is of paramount importance to resident doctors in the Resident and Fellow Physician Union (RFPU), recently affiliated with the Committee of Interns and Residents (CIR), at the University of Washington. RFPU/CIR’s membership consists of roughly 1,400 doctors who work at the VA, Seattle Children’s Hospital, UW Medical Center, Harborview, and a variety of other clinics. We are on the frontlines of the health care system, working up to 80 hours per week and often struggling to make ends meet. We are your doctors taking care of loved ones in the hospital, and we need to be available at a moment's notice for urgent patient care. This requires us to live in a centrally located area in Seattle with a high cost of living–a major burden for our residents, many of whom are already burdened with student loan debt from their medical education. I-135 aims to address this issue by increasing the amount of affordable housing in Seattle, as well as opening up affordability to more income levels. This would provide much-needed relief for resident doctors, who would no longer have to choose between paying for housing and paying off their student loans. Some of our members qualify for subsidized housing due to low pay; however, many of our members are just beyond the threshold of qualifying for subsidized housing, and rent absorbs a significant amount of our pay. The University of Washington has been reluctant to increase resident pay in a way that competes with increases in cost of living despite RFPU/CIR’s efforts to bargain in good faith. Other health care staff share in this struggle, including nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, pharmacists, technicians, and custodial staff, among others. Without the ability to strike, which is not a right that public employees have in Washington, it is highly unlikely that RFPU/CIR will achieve a significant increase in our pay–and yet the rent still increases in this city. We have recently negotiated increases in our housing stipend, formerly only $2,400 per year–but now $6,000 per year. This pales in comparison to the annual cost of rent in Seattle. Increasing the availability of affordable housing would help to attract and retain more doctors, which is particularly important in Seattle, where the population is growing rapidly and the demand for health care services is increasing. A lack of affordable housing options also poses a significant threat to the health of our patients, often putting them in life-threatening situations. More and more we see patients without housing or who must work several different jobs to afford their rent. We see patients who have to choose between housing and life-saving medications, which is an impossible situation. When people have access to affordable housing, they have the ability to achieve greater stability and security in their lives, which in turn improves their overall health and well-being. I-135 is not only important for the financial well-being of resident doctors, but also for the safety of the community as a whole. It's important for the city and community leaders to support this initiative, and for residents to advocate for it, to make sure that it becomes a reality.  Vote yes for I-135 to create social housing so that your city’s frontline health care workers can continue living near their workplaces and providing the best, most effective care possible. Dr. Kevin Steehler, MD, MPH is a third-year resident in internal medicine and the lead negotiator of RFPU/CIR.

Slog AM: Turkey Quake Kills Thousands, Biden Pops Chinese Balloon, Seattle Considers School Closures in 2024
The Stranger's morning news roundup. by Rich Smith It's going to happen to us: A 7.8 magnitude earthquake shook Turkey and Syria, killing at least 2,300. The quake hit during a freezing winter's night, catching many asleep. Videos and photos from the Associated Press show rescue workers in puffy coats carrying people out of rubble. The Seattle Times has a list of places to send donations.  TV reporter runs as second quake hits Turkey while he's live on air.Latest updates: https://t.co/1RsQtzGLG2 pic.twitter.com/bcXhANk97B — NBC News (@NBCNews) February 6, 2023 Biden pops Chinese spy balloon: The aircraft floated at an altitude of 60,000 feet over the US mainland last week before American fighter jets shot it down over the Atlantic ocean this weekend. The Chinese government described it as a weather-tracking "civilian airship" that was blown off course, but US defense officials say this ominous balloon was "used for surveillance purposes." When the US military downed the balloon on Saturday, China called it an "overreaction," and the "indiscriminate use of military force" has damaged relations between the countries. Video captures the moment U.S. fighter jets shot down the suspected Chinese spy balloon off the Carolina coast on Saturday. The balloon had been hovering over the U.S. since Thursday. https://t.co/jtFYaViB18 pic.twitter.com/oHW4tUjbTT — CBS News (@CBSNews) February 4, 2023 New poll just dropped, and Democrats are NOT feeling Biden for another term. According to a poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs, only 37% of Democrats are down for four more years of Uncle Joe. Many respondents expressed concern over Biden being 80 years old and leading the country. "We could use someone younger in the office," said one Dem from North Carolina. She's not wrong! But do you think a little thing like public opinion will stop Joe THEE Biden? No way. The octogenarian centrist will appear before Congress tomorrow at 6 pm PDT to deliver the State of the Union address, wherein he will basically lay out his argument for a second term while attempting to project youthful vigor, according to NPR. Power is the purest drug.  The Grammys happened last night: And a lot of history was made! Viola Davis is officially an EGOT, Kim Petras became the first trans woman to win the Grammy for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, Brandi Carlile thanked Seattle, and Beyonce snagged three of those little trophies and set the record for the most wins in Grammy history. But, unbelievably, she lost Album of the Year to Harry Styles, lol. WHATEVER. Also, hip-hop is officially 50 years old, and some of the best in the game came out to the ceremony to pay tribute to the genre that changed the world. Beyoncé gives acceptance speech at the #Grammys for Renaissance: "I'd like to thank the queer community for your love and for inventing the genre." pic.twitter.com/t6t4Jk5r7x — philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) February 6, 2023 Booooo! AMC Theatres now wants to charge customers different prices based on seat location, like it's a music concert or sporting event, reports Variety. The change will start in a few select cities, but it will hit all AMCs by the year's end. Tomato, tomato, tomato! Seattle Public Schools talks of school closures in 2024: "At a recent workshop, senior staff discussed the need to 'consolidate into a system of well-resourced schools.' Staff layoffs could also be on the table," reports The Seattle Times. Interim Deputy Superintendent Fred Podesta thinks closing schools is "good strategy whether you have money problems or not." "Chemicals of concern": KING 5 reports on "antibiotics, antidepressants and even makeup—like lipstick and mascara" that winds up in the Puget Sound, where it gets into underwater flora and fauna and fucks up fish reproduction. Scientists and the county plan to study the problem and prioritize the worst chemicals. In the meantime, stop pouring old medications down drains and toilets.  Melt them: Federal Way hosted its "first ever" gun buyback day, and the event was so successful that the City ran out of its allotted $25,000 in gift cards early, reports KIRO 7. The idea aimed to get guns "off the street," but the people the TV news station interviewed said they found their weapons in piles of stuff their dead parents left behind and just kinda wanted to get it out of the house.  The new Frasier will be shot in Boston: No Roz, no Niles, no Daphne, and no Seattle, either, reports MyNorthwest. Snooooooze.  Who's fucking with the internet in Edmonds? The school district's internet remains shut down after officials noticed "suspicious activities" in its network last week, according to KOMO. While the web is down, students can't complete assignments and teachers can't grade work. The district plans to get stuff running again in the next "several days," but it isn't releasing any more info due to the "ongoing investigation."  No choice but to end AM with the song Bad Bunny didn't perform last night to open up the Grammys: 

Harold Hollingsworth’s Secret Stratums
Meet this week's Artist of the Week. by Corianton Hale Harold Hollingsworth creates rich surfaces and textures with layers of graphic forms and lyrical line work that evolves in an almost geological methodology. Working primarily in acrylic, his medium- to very large-scale paintings capture a sense of urban decay that is both celebratory and even playful. In our interview, we talk about his process, the Seattle history that inspires him, and the music that gets him painting. You’re totally old-school Seattle, and I know your history with punk rock, skateboarding, and scooter culture have all been represented in your art. What changes have you observed, and how have those changes shown up in your art? The rawness of the city has been removed as far as venues that one used to see bands and art events at. It surprises me on occasion, and I suppose I react in my work by maintaining a rawness, making things that take materials from the telephone poles and walls, like old and new flyers and collaging it in my work as surface. I want things to be raw and real, graphically speaking. Direct. Western Turns Harold Hollingsworth Could you tell me a bit about your actual process? How do these elaborate and multilayered pieces come together? I work in failure, push-pull I once heard it called, and accept that I don’t get results quickly. It’s a patience game on my end, being able to allow for it to develop in time. I look at it as a form of frosting on a visual cake, and history, the value of that surface, the seduction of it, the real richness that comes from building up things.  It certainly does show the history, layer by layer, as each painting journeys towards what it will become. Do you ever struggle with when to call it done, or ever miss some elements you’ve covered up? Consistently, yes. It’s one of the reasons a sander is as important in my practice as a brush or pencil. I scrape and sand stuff back, and, much like old billboard imagery on old brick walls in a city, I get these wonderful ghosts of ideas returning and resparking anew. A phoenix of sorts. I go through sadness at things I bury and then rejoice at seeing them aged or sanded and made raw and more relevant to my aesthetic. West 45 Harold Hollingsworth You just did a big wallpaper/mural project for CitizenM Hotel in Pioneer Square right? Yeah, that was through the King County Arts Commission, and since the hotel was going to be erected in a former parking lot adjacent to an old music venue and creative space, I played on the history of that very neighborhood and my musical and visual awaking in that very parking lot as a teen. I used old flyer graphics from the music made in that neighborhood and signage that always caught my eye and combined it all together to come up with a really personal work that represents the Pioneer Square neighborhood in a very specific way and pays homage to the neighborhood’s influence on art and music that still is in play. That’s so cool. So what music gets you going these days? I have been mixing it up, but in the last month, lots of old ska, and especially the Specials after hearing of Terry Hall’s passing. Mixing in lots of classic shoegazing music as well as garage sounds, so anything from Ride and the Jesus and Mary Chain to Black Lips and the Night Beats. Even going back to the sounds of when I was in Tullycraft, so bands I remember from tours and festivals, like Henry’s Dress and Sukpatch as well. Retrograde Reflective Form Harold Hollingsworth Good stuff. What are your favorite moments in a normal day? I paint best when others are getting ready for sleep. My mind clears and I don’t fret about missing something, knowing that I can focus on making things and get into my flow with little anxiety. I also enjoy mornings for bike rides. I got into cycling a few years ago to help lose some weight and get fitter after turning 50. The light, the quiet of it allows me a meditative space I find useful for painting later in the day. Next major creative goal for 2023? I would love to get some travel in, do a few select residencies in places like France or Iceland. I stopped after COVID hit and haven’t been out of town since 2019. I think it would be rejuvenating to meet some other creatives in a special location and see what creatively comes from that experience. I’d love to do another big project in some ways, like I did with CitizenM. I really enjoy collaborative conversations that spring visuals I don’t get on my own.  Anything you wanna plug? I’m in a group show currently at Traver Gallery here in Seattle, up through the month of February.  Radio Silence Harold Hollingsworth Find more of Harold Hollingsworth’s work at haroldhollingsworth.com and follow him on Instagram at @harold_hollingsworth.

This Week in Seattle Food News
Beth's Is Back, Full Tilt Ballard Says Goodbye, and A Vietnamese Spot Lands on Beacon Hill by EverOut Staff Here's some welcome good news to start off your weekend: The iconic diner Beth's Cafe made a triumphant return this week after its extended closure. Plus, Cloud Cafe brings pho to Beacon Hill, and Full Tilt Ice Cream bids farewell to its Ballard outpost. Read on for all of that and more updates (including which Seattle chefs were named James Beard Award semifinalists) below. For more ideas, check out our food and drink guide. NEW OPENINGS AND RETURNS Asian KitchenThis restaurant opened in the Broadview neighborhood in late January, serving up pan-Asian staples like kung pao chicken, honey walnut prawns, salt and pepper wings, chow mein, and more.BroadviewPickup, delivery, dine-in

A Sneak Peek at Interstitial Volume
Henry Jackson-Spieker’s in-progress show at Madart explores the knotty tension of being a body. by Jas Keimig I'm convinced that MadArt Studio's practice of allowing visitors to check out the art fabrication process during their Open Studio time has made my brain, like, 20 times bigger. Because the gallery challenges each artist to make an installation specific to their space, there's a beauty in seeing an established artist translate their interests and modes of expression to fit the concrete site. Currently, Seattle-based artist Henry Jackson-Spieker is tinkering away at Interstitial Volume, an exhibition that "explores visitors’ physical and philosophical perceptions of space" via three installations. In an interview, Jackson-Spieker said he's specifically curious about the interplay between "tension, perception, and environment." The show officially opens on Thursday, February 9, but visitors have a chance to take a gander now.  When I visited MadArt last week, I nearly walked into one of Jackson-Spieker's pieces. In the front half of the gallery, he and his crew installed an intricate sculpture composed of tensed string suspended from the ceiling and anchored into parabolic wooden slats on the floor. Though the string is black, it's virtually invisible, blending into its surroundings. I suddenly became deeply aware of how my body and movements figured into the space. And to Jackson-Spieker, that sense of tension is kinda the whole point.  "I want people to be very hyper-aware of their surroundings," he told me. "In part, that comes from me being a person of color. When I enter spaces, there's this hyper-sensitivity of my body in relation to my environment. But, in general, [I'm exploring] how aware people are in their day-to-day lives of the space they are moving through." That sense of hyper-awareness comes through in the second installation in the gallery space, which sits underneath MadArt's mezzanine. From the ceiling hang thick strips of colorful, vibrant microfilm. Secured to the floor, when viewed from one angle on their wide side, the strips are profoundly reflective, changing colors in the light. But viewed from another perspective—one that focuses just on their razor-thin edge—the strips disappear. Walking through it's like traversing a funky-looking forest, and Jackson-Spieker said he was inspired by the disorienting nature of apple orchards.            View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by MadArt (@madartseattle) During my visit, Jackson-Spieker was in the beginning stages of finishing the third installation in the back part of the gallery. MadArt has two giant skylights that flood the space with light, which Jackson-Spieker plans to transform into a piece exploring depth. Using curved inserts, neon lights, and black paint, the third installation will turn the windows into bottomless voids, playing with visitors' eyesight and perception.  Interstitial Volume is all about consciously dictating the environment visitors make their way through and the tension that comes with it. Sometimes that tension is material—like how the string and microfilm demand certain methods of moving through it—and in the case of the final installation, the tension is more perceptive. What am I looking at? Where does the art end and the world begin? It's a potent investigation of the ways that race, culture, and environment can clash together and inform how our bodies move through public spheres.  "My goal is to have people want to interact with the space and want to come in," said Jackson-Spieker. "But—at the same time—have the work be a little off-balancing."  Henry Jackson-Spieker's Interstitial Volume opens on Thursday, February 9 at 5:30 at MadArt. Open Studio hours are Tuesday-Friday, 12-5 pm. 

This Week in Worker Conquests
The Stranger's labor news roundup. by Conor Kelley Folks, a sincere and hearty Happy Black History Month to you. I’ve got a ton this week to catch you up on, from more layoffs to strikes to some factory workers coming into serious cash. Let’s get into it. Layoffs will continue until worker morale improves: Let’s get it over with. REI, the Washington-based outfitter, reported $3.7 billion in revenue and $97.7 million in profits in 2021 (the most recent year available), but they laid off 167 workers from their Seattle, Issaquah, and Sumner offices. According to WARN data, Compass in Redmond laid off 110 workers, Bittrex laid off 83, and NC Interactive laid off 23. Highspot laid off 100 workers as well. Boy, these companies must be doing pretty badly: Or maybe they spent too much money on lobbying and stock buybacks. Short on money? Punt some workers to the curb! On the market? Washington Labor and Industries is looking for some new investigators and inspectors and such to keep workers safe around here. 600 Portland, OR workers strike: City of Portland Workers that deal with waste water, parks, and roads are on strike! Portland DSA members are happy to join the picket lines 24/7 whenever workers decide to unite. You can join these heroes too there are pickets active 24/7 https://t.co/GQlk34MID3 pic.twitter.com/OZ61k1PldV — Portland DSA (@PortlandDSA) February 2, 2023 Bold Hat Productions interns get $30,000 back: Name and Shame time, baby! The Seattle Office of Labor Standards announced Wednesday that Bold Hat Productions, an event production and marketing company, is paying $29,773.10 back to two people as part of a settlement agreement. The bosses classified the two as unpaid interns but allegedly treated them as workers. Are you also unsure of the difference? The DOL basically says if the person isn’t receiving an educational benefit—like academic credit or training—then that’s not an intern, that’s a worker. 26,000 Seattle workers were allegedly stiffed $7 million in 2022: Speaking of OLS, the agency just released its 2022 Year in Review. In settlements with companies, OLS facilitated the return of $7,700,778 to 26,583 Seattle workers last year, with nearly half of that money ($3.33 million) going from Uber Eats to the 10,467 gig workers they allegedly stiffed. @OLS_SEA 2022: Year in ReviewMore than $7 million in back wages returned to workers and many more accomplishments thanks to the hard work of our staff, Community & Business Outreach & Education Fund partners, & support from the Seattle community. https://t.co/GS5Xj71X4O pic.twitter.com/bNb0aFsLkP — Seattle Office of Labor Standards (@OLS_SEA) February 1, 2023 Lawsuits fly over faulty payroll systems: Kroger workers across the country are suing the company in class-action lawsuits after a new time clock/payroll system, MyTime, shorted their paychecks. The company didn’t fix the problem for months. AFSCME is suing the state of Oregon over a laundry list of problems following its implementation of a similar system, Workday, on January 3. Unfortunately, as CBS reported a few days ago, it usually takes a while for workers who suffer wage theft like this to get their money back, if they do at all. United Auto Workers at GM get $12,000 profit-sharing check: See this? Workers and bosses can get along. In GM’s agreement with the United Auto Workers union, for every $1 billion GM makes in North America, the employees all get $1,000. This month, workers will get up to $12,750. Companies: You don’t have to steal our money, bust our unions, and lay us all off every time you think you’ll miss profit margins. You can be decent like this. (Oh, who the fuck am I kidding?) Welcome to the resistance, union buster spawn: A fantastic read here by Julia Rock at Lever News, reporting from a meeting of the Restaurant Law Center, which is part of the National Restaurant Association. TL;DR: the business reps call young people the “trophy generation” for wanting dignity at work, their kids are embarrassed to bring them to Career Day at their schools, and they know customers are paying attention to who is busting unions.  Pressure by REI workers pays off: BREAKING: OUR UNION ELECTION WILL MOVE AHEAD ON MARCH 3, 2023 WITH ALL NLRA ELIGIBLE WORKERS!!! OUR STRIKE MOVED THE COMPANY TO AN ELECTION AGREEMENT MINUTES BEFORE THE NLRB HEARING AND TO A COMPLETE REVERSAL OF THEIR POSITION. SOLIDARITY WORKS! #letREIvote #1U pic.twitter.com/jgbEKFG1RQ — REI Union Cleveland (@reiunioncle) February 3, 2023 YouTube workers refuse to return to office: After being ordered back into the Austin, TX, YouTube office on Monday, workers at Cognizant, which contracts with the company, went on strike today. Most of them were hired during the pandemic and have always worked remotely. The pandemic isn’t close to over, and the roughly 25% who live elsewhere say their pay—which starts at $19/hr—isn’t close to covering the cost of relocating to Austin. I’ll keep an eye on this one for ya. Starbucks paid top union-buster $11.7 million: Let’s get into the high-priced world of union-busting. According to a legal disclosure, Starbucks paid its top legal counsel, Rachel Gonzalez, nearly $11.7 million to head its union-busting efforts instead of, you know, paying its workers a little bit more. Starbucks threatened workers at Capitol Hill Roastery: On Wednesday, the National Labor Relations Board found that Starbucks violated federal law during the union drive at the Capitol Hill Roastery by promising to withhold benefits if they unionized. Amazon paid a union-buster $371,000 to break the law, NLRB says: This week, the NLRB found that Amazon violated the law three times in trying to persuade workers to vote “no” in union elections in 2021 and 2022. One of the company’s consultants, Katie Lev, said workers would miss out on benefits while they tried to bargain a contract, which is against the law. Disclosure forms show that Amazon paid her $371,000 in 2021.  NLRB also finds Apple violated federal law: After a yearlong investigation, the NLRB has found Apple’s culture of secrecy infringed on workers’ federal right to organize. CEO Tim Cook sent some threatening messages to employees, too, calling people who shared information about their wages and hours “leakers” who “do not belong.” The parties of the 2021 suit now have to settle, or the NLRB will issue a ruling. Speaking of Big Tech, Google workers organized yesterday in NYC: And after authorizing a strike, HuffPost Union has scored a last-minute deal! We want to thank all our members and allies who sent letters and tweeted on behalf of the @HuffPostUnion. Your solidarity had a real impact at the bargaining table, and we can’t thank you enough. #1u #solidarityforever pic.twitter.com/8kzresLDAn — Writers Guild of America, East (@WGAEast) February 1, 2023 What else?! As a pilot, I am shocked by this. Almost 3,500 people died from COVID this week and we might be entering a recession, but, sure, let’s end pandemic food stamps. Starbucks Workers United can meme. Work in cannabis? The Seattle OLS wants to hear from you. JetBlue ground workers rejected a union—and their bosses are rejoicing. Noncompete agreements are screwing people over. The CEO of Medieval Times sued his workers’ union and got them banned from TikTok. More words on the upcoming UPS/Teamsters negotiations. Workers at Disney World are voting on a new offer for a measly $1 per hour raise.  And last but not least: NLRB filings this week came from workers at a Starbucks in Hillsboro, Trulife Engineered Solutions in Bellingham, Community Health Center of Snohomish County in Everett, Penske Logistics in Benton City, and PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center in Vancouver. A song for you: The band Who Is She? used their platform this week as the Kraken’s house band to take a jab at Jeffrey Bezos, who did in fact shut down all the bookstores and who does not in fact work. Then the thin-skinned little twerp apparently got them fired. Long live Who is She?! Here’s their song “Seattle Freeze.” There you go! Have a great weekend.

Ten Pacific Northwest Picks for Bandcamp Friday February 2023
New releases, reissues, dance tracks, and wordless scores from Portland and Seattle. by Megan Seling The Bandcamp Fridays of 2023 are looking selective; there are only nine of them: Feb 3, March 3, April 7, May 5, Aug 4, Sept 1, Oct 6, Nov 3, and Dec 1. And while Bandcamp HQ is always pretty quick to point out that the celebrated day—where the audio platform waives its revenue share so more money goes to the musicians—only adds a little more scrill to your favorite artists' bank statements, Bandcamp Friday is still an occasion. In that spirit, the Mercury and The Stranger teamed up to recommend some picks today. Maybe they released something recently, maybe they're playing Portland or Seattle soon. In the grand tradition of Portland and Seattle pretending we're the only cities in the Pacific Northwest, we give you TEN picks for Bandcamp Friday: Karma Rivera, "You So Nasty" Gotta start the list with a banger. And February calls for some "I’m singing to the pussy, not rappin," rhythms. Portland-based emcee Karma Rivera fluidly describes her objects of desire to flexing beats that playfully smack in your ear. Perpetually prolific, the November 2022 "You So Nasty" isn't even Rivera's latest release. Earlier, this month, Mercury music columnist Jenni Moore noted the release of “To Rico”—Rivera's collaboration with another local, DJ Lapaushi. You can catch them both at Lollipop Shoppe on March 4. <a href="https://karmarivera.bandcamp.com/track/you-so-nasty">You So Nasty by KARMA RIVERA</a> Say Hi, Elocution Prattle This isn’t the Say Hi you’ve heard before. On previous Say Hi records, songwriter Eric Elbogen has used his lyrics to paint vivid pictures of fascinating worlds and characters—he sorts through relatable emotions and life experiences with indie pop songs about vampires, werewolves, and ghosts. (And yes, sometimes just plain ol’ humans.) However, when writing his new album, Elocution Prattle (out February 3), the lyrics never came. In an interview with The Stranger he explained: “It kind of came from depression, to be honest with you. When I say depression, I don’t know how much of that is clinical depression and how much of that is just the collective depression that we all felt in the height of the pandemic, but the way that sadness often manifests with me is silence. I just don’t really want to speak.” So song lyrics never made it onto the album, but his keen knack for melodies did. The result is a double-LP, 20-track instrumental sonic experience. It’s wordless, but even still, Elbogen manages to capture ~vibes~ that are as relatable as any song about a vampire. Here’s to shutting up. (Say Hi hosts an online Elocution Prattle listening party Fri, Feb 3 at 7 pm) <a href="https://sayhi.bandcamp.com/album/elocution-prattle">Elocution Prattle by Say Hi</a> Spencer Doran,  Season: A Letter to the Future (original soundtrack) This vinyl drop won't actually deliver until May, but it's worth noting if: you're a fan of Spencer Doran's other music as one half of Portland ambient duo Visible Cloaks, you're intrigued by the concept of the "meditative exploration" video game Doran wrote this for, "in which the main character must save memories of a civilization on the verge of collapse," or you simply like video game scores 🙋. Montreal developers Scavengers Studio just released Season via Steam, on January 31, so it's also possible to listen to all or most of Doran's deft compositions through the medium for which it was intended: play-through. <a href="https://visiblecloaks.bandcamp.com/album/season-a-letter-to-the-future-original-soundtrack">SEASON: A letter to the future (Original Soundtrack) by Spencer Doran</a> Lori Goldston and Greg Kelley, All Points Leaning In Lori Goldston and Greg Kelley’s new album All Points Leaning In sits on the opposite end of the instrumental spectrum from Say Hi's venture. The duo recorded the record live at Steve Fisk’s home studio, and it’s mostly improvised. There are no melodies, there are no beats. Goldston doesn’t simply “play” the cello, she draws with it, filling your mind with rough line sketches of deep woods, dark caverns, and thick fog dotted with shadows that move slowly, menacingly. Kelley’s trumpeting is just as abstract—it wails like a siren, churns like the ocean, howls like ghosts. At times it brings light to Goldston’s shadows—in the title track there is a moment when the noises Kelley makes are grounding and familiar—but it doesn’t last long. They hold your imagination captive and overrule any attempt to find comfort. I dare you to listen to it in the dark. <a href="https://lorigoldston.bandcamp.com/album/all-points-leaning-in">All Points Leaning In by Lori Goldston</a> Woolen Men, "Forgotten 45" There was a sizable stretch without any installments in "the Woolen Men singles club," which the basement rock trio (but it's a tidy basement) began releasing in May 2020. However, with the surf-flirting "Why Do Parties Have To End?" strolling in through the garage door, back in September 2022, it looks like we may hear from Portland's most-reliable indie rockers more often. "Forgotten 45" is a great little nostalgic track that moves forward with rhythm reminiscent of the New York New Wave—and the ways those bands synthesized feelings of emergency, and grounded them in sturdy, unshakable beats. <a href="https://woolenmen.bandcamp.com/track/forgotten-45">Forgotten 45 by Woolen Men</a> Taylar Elizza Beth, UNDERCOVER LOVERGIRL Taylar Elizza Beth released her fantastic and ass-shaking dance record UNDERCOVER LOVERGIRL on January 17. In an interview last month she told Jas Keimig the record is for anyone who has "gotten hurt and had really gotten hard against love in a lot of ways, but knows deep down that love exists and love is real because they’re full of it.” Dance it out, lovers! <a href="https://taylarelizzabeth.bandcamp.com/album/undercover-lovergirl">UNDERCOVER LOVERGIRL by Taylar Elizza Beth, WD4D</a> Neil S. Kvern, Doctor Dancing Mask: Pianoisms On January 27 Freedom to Spend reissued an album, Doctor Dancing Mask: Pianoisms, by experimental Seattle musician Neil S. Kvern. The label’s co-owner Jed Bindeman (of Portland’s Eternal Tapestry) discovered Kvern’s work while digging through an old collection of cassettes in Portland. Dave Segal wrote more about it here. <a href="https://freedomtospend.bandcamp.com/album/doctor-dancing-mask-pianoisms">Doctor Dancing Mask: Pianoisms by Neil S. Kvern</a> Tourist Activities, Wrong Side / Oh For One Impossible-to-Google Seattle band Tourist Activities released a stellar two-song single on Den Tapes on January 19. It’s bright, explosive pop with Sonic-Youthy fuzzed-out guitars that wrap around your brain like a weighted blanket. Just $2! <a href="https://dentapes.bandcamp.com/album/wrong-side-oh-for-one">Wrong Side / Oh For One by Tourist Activities</a> Death Cab for Cutie, Asphalt Meadows (Acoustic) This week Death Cab for Cutie announced they’ll release an acoustic version of last year’s Asphalt Meadows in March. The first single, “Pepper” is out now. Even more notable is the release of their cover of “The Plan” by Low, in memory of Mimi Parker, who died of ovarian cancer in November. Just listening to it on loop, sobbing at my desk. It’s fine.  <a href="https://deathcabforcutie.bandcamp.com/album/asphalt-meadows-acoustic">Asphalt Meadows (Acoustic) by Death Cab for Cutie</a> Kimya Dawson, Remember That I Love You Finally, if you stayed up until midnight last night, you may have seen Kimya Dawson’s exciting announcement: She’s reissuing her coveted 2006 album Remember That I Love You on vinyl this year. The record has been remastered and this time around it’s being pressed on 180 gram red vinyl. Beautiful. The Bandcamp campaign was fully funded within in a couple of hours, but you still have 30 days left to order. Not into analog? The digital version is available for just $10. <a href="https://kimyadawson1.bandcamp.com/album/remember-that-i-love-you">Remember That I Love You by Kimya Dawson</a>

The Best Bites for Every Price: $15 and Under
The best food you can find in Seattle for $15 or less. by Ann Guo Rock Cod and Pumpkin Congee Mike’s Noodle and Congee House, $13 Vats of spitting rice porridge steam furiously in the back kitchen window of Mike’s Noodle House on Maynard Avenue in Chinatown-International District. The women behind the straightforward operation speed about in sensible black shoes and aprons fastened at the waist.  “We are cash only,” they say again and again to customers, with no excess affect nor sentimentality. Nowadays, it’s rare that the Chinatown-International District has spaces that legitimately feel in touch with its heritage of immigrant labor, when single men across diasporas occupied one-room hotel accommodations and found sustenance in the ingredients of their motherlands, which gave them access to memory. In Chinese, the idea of a hometown is encapsulated in the term, “家乡,” (jia xiang)—a homonym for the second character is “想,” or “to think, remember, to miss.” As in Western culture the motif of “daily bread” resounds, and so does that of rice in many Asian American and Pacific Islander diasporas, in which a treasured portion of the simple starch was fuel for the grueling daily work of populations who often faced incredible poverty and the traumas of war. So here is an honorific ode to the grounding cord of congee, which emerges through iterations across many cultures and nationalities, but nevertheless represents something more hardy and resistant in the people that it has fed so generously. ANN GUO Mr. Breakfast Mr. West, $14           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Alex | Seattle Foodie (@mrfoodyee) Two boiled eggs that are soft inside. Slices of thick and smoky bacon. Two thick slices of toasted bread. A fan of avocado slices. Chunks of light-brown roasted potatoes. Bring all of this together and you basically have everything a breakfast could mean to me. It's that simple, but breakfasts of this kind are, for reasons that I have to properly understand, hard to find in Seattle. (The same cannot be said about Portland, OR—and, by the way, Renton has an underappreciated breakfast joint, Uncle Mo's Bar and Grill.) Mr. West has three locations in Seattle. The one I visit to enjoy a cup of coffee and breakfast, which is served all day, is at the border between downtown and South Lake Union. CHARLES MUDEDE Elote Dog Cycle Dogs, $11           View this post on Instagram                       A post shared by Cycle Dogs (@cycledogs) The vegan food scene in Seattle is under attack. We lost Fremont’s Galaxy Rune, home to the best non-dairy milkshake I’ve ever had the pleasure of tasting. We lost Wayward Vegan for months and now that it's back, I’m sorry, but I miss the tofu scramble. Now, Cycle Dogs, the place to be for fast-casual vegan comfort food and fancy cocktails in Ballard and the city as a whole, is on the chopping block. So this is not a suggestion, it is a call to arms. March your ass to Cycle Dogs right now. If it's brunch, you’re eating the French Tourist and you’re gonna like it. Imagine, a hot, sloppy sandwich with juicy vegan sausage patties, perfectly seasoned tofu scramble, onions grilled golden, a combination of cheese and mayo that you won’t believe will spare you IBS symptoms, all on a buttery brioche bun. If you go for dinner, you’re getting the Elote Dog. There have been times I eat this hot dog twice in one week. I do not live in Ballard and I do not drive. It’s that fucking good. Basically, it's a Field Roast hot dog between a bun with a crisp outside and soft inside. But wait, there’s more. The cooks cover that dog in a pile of street corn, a drizzle of mayo, a sprinkle of cayenne and green onions. If you’re feeling fancy, add pickled jalapenos and Tapatío. The dog is so loaded, I recommend eating it with a fork and knife like a filet mignon at a Michelin-star restaurant. That’s the respect it deserves, after all. HANNAH KRIEG Curry Poutine Angry Beaver, $13 Fries. Cheese curds. Curry gravy. Fuck yes. Steve Mahler Few plates of food can fill the belly the way a big ol' plate of poutine can. At the Angry Beaver in Greenwood, the Canadian classic comes six ways, with a pile of fries and squeaky cheese curds smothered in your choice of beef gravy, country gravy with sausage, andouille sausage and jalapeno gravy, beer cheese, vegetarian yellow curry, or vegan mushroom gravy. I always go for the curry. It's still flavorful and stick-to-your-ribs hearty, but something remarkable happens when that flavorful mix of spices—turmeric, coriander, cumin, ginger, cardamom—dance with the greasy starch of the fries. Add in melty, chewy cheese curds and you got yourself a pinky's out kind of junk food, a messy meal that feels at once refined and utterly, delightfully ridiculous. Can't decide on the gravy that's right for you? The Angry Beaver understands. They also offer a poutine flight, where you can choose three of the six toppings for $20. MEGAN SELING Vegan Momos Kathmandu MomoCha, $14.95 Kathmandu Momocha's vegan momos. Weniee Thapa Originally a food truck that haunted the breweries and farmers markets of North Seattle, Kathmandu Momocha recently moved into a brick-n-mort in the Amazon Village. The menu has some noodle and rice dishes, but their momos—filled purse-like dumplings that are popular in the Himalayan countries—are the point here. Perhaps one catches oneself being sneery about vegan food sometimes, demanding more flavor and more fat, and it’s tempting when reading the simple description of the vegan momos. But a non-vegan friend swore up and down that these grass-green dumplings are by far the winners of this whole menu, and I had to hard-agree. Inside the swirly little pouches, a loose mash of potato, carrot, garbanzo, and cabbage is accented with ginger, turmeric, garlic, and probably other stuff that I didn’t notice because I faced my half of the order in about 90 seconds. These plump little fatties are actually quite filling as well, but that doesn’t mean you won’t wish you’d gotten a whole order to yourself. You will. MEG VAN HUYGEN Saint-Géron Mineral Water Penelope & the Beauty Bar at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel, $14 If it’s been a little while since you set foot inside the Fairmont Olympic, there’s been a fairly massive update to the hotel’s lobby bar and restaurant offering. Some of it is quite good; almost none of it is achievable for the $15 range. But hiding out downstairs on the hotel’s arcade floor, tucked away behind a glass refrigerator door within Penelope & the Beauty Bar (the Fairmont’s luxe spa situation), there is, quelle surprise, the city’s best selection of imported mineral water.  I know, I know, mineral water gets a bougie rap in America, something that flies in the face of the more egalitarian perception this stuff has abroad. But it’s some of the most delicious liquid you can drink—culinary, textural, surprising, undeniably healthy—and for less than the cost of an espresso martini, you’ll be armed with a generous bottle to enjoy upstairs among the fashion show madness and sophisticated rush of the Fairmont lobby. The spa stocks bottles from hard-to-find brands like Vichy Catalan (Spain), Saratoga (Upstate NY), Saint Geron (France), and Gerolsteiner (Germany), each with its own unique mineral composition and subtle expression of place. You can drink it from the bottle, pour it into a wine glass, or enjoy it over ice in a nice lowball. I am aware that people look at me like I’m fucking crazy when I say it, but water is not just water, not all waters are created equal, and site-specific mineral water can be every bit as nuanced and delicious and impactful to drink as a glass of wine or a nice cocktail (and in fact, it can *amplify* the pleasures of many such drinks when enjoyed alongside them). You need no appointment to shop for water from Penelope & the Beauty Bar, and the spa is open until 9 pm seven nights a week. This is someone’s idea of a perfect night: a really nice bottle of mineral water and some fancy hotel people watching from atop the mezzanine. (That someone is me.) JORDAN MICHELMAN

Bring the Noise
Excellent local bands making a ruckus. by Kevin Diers The Northwest has a strong track record of producing game-changing heavy music. From polished but potent heavy metal acts like Metal Church and Queensrÿche that made their mark in the early '80s to the more abrasive underground artists like the Accüsed, the Melvins, and, later, Botch and the Blood Brothers, this region has a rich history of inspiring many influential riff masters. But don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a nostalgia piece. There are a dozen or so books, podcasts, and documentaries dissecting the value and significance of the Seattle scene through the past few decades, most of which focus their attention on the G word. Instead, let's shine a spotlight on the noise being made right now by artists who are meeting the challenge of shuttering venues and skyrocketing rent. Every week it seems like a new demo from an upstart Northwest hardcore, punk, or metal band pops up on my Bandcamp feed. It would be damn near impossible to highlight every single excellent local band making a ruckus, so, for now, here are just a few to get you started down your path of ear-drum destruction. Fake Hands FAKE HANDS · FAKE HANDS Judging by the comfort these noise rock newcomers display during their wildly self-destructive and unhinged live shows, you would never know that prior to 2021, the members of Fake Hands had never even met. In a recent radio interview, guitarist Aaron Wilson broke down the origin story to me. In an effort to release some of that all-too-familiar pandemic anger and frustration into a new abrasive music project, Wilson placed ads on Craigslist and Facebook. Fast forward a little under a year and this random assembly of newfound friends came together to release a six-song EP full of swagger and a whole lot of fun. Heads up: if you take the opportunity to catch them in person, make sure you stay out of the way of flailing limbs and projectile guitars. For fans of: Metz, Refused, Idles Excrescence <a href="https://newstandardelite.bandcamp.com/album/excrescence-inescapable-anatomical-deterioration">Excrescence | Inescapable Anatomical Deterioration by New Standard Elite</a> To the untrained ear, the ten tracks on Excrescence’s debut full-length album Inescapable Anatomical Deterioration likely sound like straight-up audio diarrhea. Unrelenting blasts of full-throttle drums accompany bludgeoning guitar riffs and vocals that could be mistaken as the voice of Satan himself. Forget the old standby comparison of “cookie monster” vocals, these are full-on toilet bowl vocals—gurgling, full-throated, and raw. The inside CD booklet reads “no fucking vocal effects were used on this recording.” Lead singer Matt Bailey went full-on Exorcist mode on this and it’s the perfect layer on top of a soundscape of pure unfiltered brutality. I caught Excrescence opening for long-time death metal veterans Internal Bleeding and Jungle Rot last year and they stole the entire show, hands down. Their live energy matches the precision and technicality of the music, acting as a potent shot of pure adrenaline. Don’t go into this expecting much nuance. This is pure and simple slamming death metal. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. For fans of: Deeds of Flesh, Dying Fetus, Nile Cult Sickness <a href="https://cultsickness.bandcamp.com/album/brief-peaks-and-self-loathing">Brief Peaks and Self-Loathing by Cult Sickness</a> Seattle’s premiere three-day heavy music fest, Northwest Terror Fest, is just a few months away, so you have plenty of time to get acquainted with the rock 'n' roll-tinged hardcore pounding from the amps of Cult Sickness. I was a big fan of guitarist Billy Hamilton’s prior project, the fantastic post-hardcore band Post/Boredom, so I knew I had to check out what he was up to now. With just a year under their belt, this band has released a killer five-song EP Brief Peaks and Self-Loathing, and are in the process of writing a full-length album. I’m excited to hear what they come up with next, as vocalist Lauren Shepherd has a uniquely powerful voice, and the band's ferocious short and to-the-point approach of packing as much fury into two minutes keeps me wanting more. For now, though, I’ll be playing these five songs on repeat at full volume. For fans of: Cursed, American Nightmare, Napalm Death Re-Buried <a href="https://re-buried.bandcamp.com/album/repulsive-nature">Repulsive Nature by Re-Buried</a> The cover art for Re-Buried’s recently released debut full-length album Repulsive Nature portrays a close-up of a bloody ripped-open face. This is the perfect visual representation of everything this band embodies. Re-Buried has delivered 10 songs that pack a familiar old-school groove-centered death metal punch and drift into filthy dirges of crust-caked doom. Vocalist Chris Pinto spews deep, gut-churning growls while guitarists Eddie Bingaman and Paul Richards bring forth nasty riffs with just enough melody to make this album stand out from the pack. My favorite song from the album is the two-minute crusher “Planetary Obliteration,” with the immediate standout track “Smoldering Remnants” coming in as a close second. There are a handful of amazing Northwest death metal bands making waves right now: Fetid, Noroth, Cerebral Rot, and Mortiferum just to name a few. You would be a fool not to throw Re-Buried into that mix from now on.  For fans of: Entombed, Bolt Thrower, Carcass Re-Buried play the Funhouse Sat Feb 4, 8:30 pm, $10. Rainbow Coalition Death Cult <a href="https://rainbowcoalitiondeathcult.bandcamp.com/album/united-states-of-amnesia">United States of Amnesia by Rainbow Coalition Death Cult</a> Having no idea what to expect from this band, I was absolutely blown away by their raging live performance at Freakout Fest 2022. This is raw, uncompromising, and politically charged hardcore punk through and through. From the band name, which is a nod to the anti-racist Rainbow Coalition group founded by Fred Hampton, to the unapologetically direct album title United States of Amnesia, there’s no watering down their message. When this band gets going, their speed borders on straight-up power violence. One thing I love about this is their complete disregard of genre barriers, as Black Ends guitarist Nicolle Swim adds the occasional catchy rock guitar flourish to their thrashy assault. Aside from a couple live videos on YouTube and their album posted on Bandcamp, there’s not much out there on this band. All I can say is if my brief but immediately rewarding step into to the world of Rainbow Coalition Death Cult is any indication, there are a whole lot of circle pits to be formed in their future.  For fans of: Scowl, Infest, Dead Kennedy’s

The Best Bang for Your Buck Events in Seattle This Weekend: Feb 3-5, 2023
National Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast Day, Lunar New Year Celebration - Year of the Rabbit, and More Cheap & Easy Events Under $15 by EverOut Staff There's nothing better to welcome the weekend with than cheap and cheerful events, and we've got plenty of suggestions, from Lunar New Year Celebration - Year of the Rabbit to National Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast Day and from Pon De Riri: Rave to Rihanna to the 2023 Grave Plot Film Fest. For more ideas, check out our top picks of the week. FRIDAY COMEDY Mad ScienceAt this evening of surprisingly scholarly laughs, you'll first learn a few factoids from a selection of STEM smarties, then hear from a wacko cast of improv comics who twist scientific research into something hilarious.(Here-After at the Crocodile, Belltown, $15)

The YIMBY vs PHIMBY Battle in Seattle
NIMBY, YIMBY, PHIMBY. None of these words are in the Bible. by Hannah Krieg With socialist Matthew Mitnick and urbanist Ron Davis in the race to replace outgoing Council Member Alex Pedersen as the representative from Seattle's District 4—which covers the U-District, Wallingford, Windermere, and Sand Point—voters will have an opportunity to increase the pro-density power on the council ahead of next year’s critical vote on the comprehensive plan, a document that guides the city’s growth for the next decade.  Of course, District 4 homeowners will likely find an anti-density champion or two to run on preserving the property values of their Laurelhurst bungalows, housing crisis be damned. The man behind the failure of the Legislature’s “missing middle” housing abundance bill, Rep. Gerry Pollet, is considering a run. The NIMBY who Seattle City Council Member Teresa Mosqueda crushed in 2021, Kenneth Wilson, is already in. But the strong housing advocates who might face-off against the protectors of landed wealth bring slightly different flavors of “In My Back Yard” housing politics to the council. One leans more YIMBY ("Yes In My Back Yard"). One leans more PHIMBY ("Public Housing In My Back Yard"). Both reject NIMBYs ("Not In My Back Yard"). Though it's way early in the campaign, you'll need to know a little about all these acronyms to make a choice in this race. What's the Difference? The strictest YIMBYs diagnose the housing crisis as a supply issue and argue that building more apartments, condos, and townhomes in areas currently reserved for single-family houses would solve the problem. Some Republicans and progressive city-dwellers find common cause here, from conservative developer lobbyist Roger Valdez to Sierra Club members to “in some cases, academics who have too much time on their hands,” said Share The Cities Founder Laura Loe. (She said she’s got a foot in both the YIMBY and PHIMBY camps, so she can make fun of them. Chill out.)  The strictest PHIMBYs reject the notion that governments can solve market problems with market solutions, and they emphasize affordability, public housing, and renters’ rights. They are more wary of corporate developers, even to the detriment of market-rate growth, and they tend to argue that the market will never produce housing needed for the poorest residents and would never build itself out of an affordability crisis anyway. Loe characterized Seattle PHIMBYs as a mix of on-the-ground housing justice advocates and “virtue-signaling, lefty blowhards.” YIMBY and PHIMBY are loose terms that sit on a spectrum. In other parts of the country, like in San Francisco, YIMBYs and PHIMBYs are bitterly divided. But in Seattle, these “-IMBYs” find a lot of common ground, agreeing that a supply problem and an affordability problem drive the housing crisis.  But a core question shows the subtle difference between YIMBYs and PHIMBYs: Do you think adding any kind of multifamily housing is a net good? In a phone interview with The Stranger, Davis didn’t go full YIMBY. He acknowledged that the housing crisis is not just a supply issue. But, he also said, as a general rule, adding any housing–market-rate, affordable, or social–is a net good. He hedged his statement, saying there may be some edge-case exceptions. Mitnick’s answer leaned more PHIMBY, arguing that adding any kind of multifamily housing everywhere wouldn't be a net good. For example, he said adding luxury apartments in the U-District would not be good because it would not help make communities more affordable. "I don't believe that housing markets operate on these laws of supply and demand that YIMBYs keep pushing forth," he said. To support his point, he cited the number of vacant units in Seattle and he called for the City to levy "a very high fee" on landlords who "allow rentals to sit vacant." According to one estimate, Seattle had approximately 33,100 vacant units in 2021. Around 70% of those units were vacant for six months or fewer, and the rest sat empty for more than six months. Darrell Owens, the California YIMBY policy analyst who collected that census data, reads the numbers this way: "Beyond popular theories that these homes are vacant due to rent control dodging landlords, derelict and uninhabitable conditions, or real estate speculators laundering money, more realistic possibilities include the common duplex or backyard granny unit simply out of use by the current occupants." Ultimately, Mitnick thinks the profit motive that drives developers and landlords will never lead them to deliver enough housing for all. However, like Davis, Mitnick didn’t advocate for the furthest extreme of his relative “-IMBY” ideology, saying he sees merit in some supply-side arguments.  YIMBY vs PHIMBY Nitty Gritty While neither candidate came out swinging as a die-hard YIMBY or PHIMBY, Loe said Seattle’s pro-density left divides at the granular level over how high to set the Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) requirements.  In 2019, the MHA set rules in more than two dozen newly zoned “urban villages” requiring developers to set aside a certain number of affordable units in their new housing projects or else pay a fee the City would use to fund affordable housing on a different site. The requirements vary throughout the city, but, as it stands, developers have to include between 2% and 11% affordable units, or pay a fee of between $5 to $39 per square foot. Most developers pay the fee.  Both candidates want to increase the share of affordable housing the MHA mandates and also increase the cost of the fees, but they want to do so to different degrees and with different levels of confidence. Neither candidate gave a firm number on fee increases, but Mitnick said he wants to force developers to make “well over 50%” of their new units affordable or else stomach the fee. He also specified that these units should be accessible for tenants with disabilities. Davis did not give a hard number for MHA, but he threw out 25%, which New York City requires in its own version of MHA. He would consider an increase to that level if the “numbers people” convince him the requirements wouldn't scare off developers altogether. “We need to get the public benefit from developers, but we need to not get so aggressive that the benefit never gets created,” he said.  But Mitnick said he’s not worried about scaring away developers. And if the policy did scare them away, then he’d see an opportunity to pivot to social housing and community land trusts.  Bloodbath or BFFs? Given their similarities, these progressive candidates will have to pitch themselves to largely the same demographic: renters. In the 2019 primary, NIMBY Pedersen won over Laurelhurst, Windermere, and other neighborhoods dominated by house-owners. The left-leaning candidates split the denser, more renter-heavy areas of the district. Former chair of the 43rd Legislative District Democrats and current board member of the 46th LD Democrats, Scott Alspach, feels confident about only one of these progressives making it through the primary, and he urges voters to pick someone who can beat a strong NIMBY with high name recognition.  Alspach argued that Davis was the right guy for the job. “[Davis] is a candidate who understands we need an all-of-the-above approach to our housing crisis,” Alspach said in a phone interview. “I think he has done the work in the community and among neighborhood groups and associations to win and get that done.” Loe said that organizers at Share The Cities will likely be split directly down the middle–half knocking doors for the socialist and half knocking doors for the urbanist. She’ll be supporting Mitnick because he’s an “on-the-ground fighter against power structures.”  “[Mitnick] shows up in very deep ways—and not for neoliberal change but deep, transformative change,” she said.  Mitnick also receives support for his run from the Seattle chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America, the UW chapter for Students for a Democratic Society, the UW chapter for Institutional Climate Action, community organizer Violet Lavatai, and Washington State Director and Trade Justice organizer Julie Bouanna.  It’s not unheard of for two progressive housing advocates to both advance to the general. It happened in 2017 when Teresa Mosqueda faced off against the more PHIMBY Jon Grant for a citywide seat. Before that, pro-housing candidates Rob Johnson and Michael Maddux competed in the 2015 general in D4. Those candidates even approached “BFF” status, according to KUOW. Loe hopes Mitnick and Davis will emulate that camaraderie. “We should all take the bus together before the forums,” she said.  “Just imagine two candidates on stage in front of the Laurelhurst Community Club, and they’re debating different flavors of ending exclusionary zoning or rent control or social housing,” Loe said. “As a housing movement, we have the opportunity for a really substantive debate. I don’t want to see it get petty.”


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