The Stranger, Seattle's Only Newspaper: Slog: Visual Art - Seite 4

Homepage  Xml - Vorschau mit Bildern

Obsessed by Northwest
Oh, boy, is this corner of the country filled with weird little cinematic treasures. by Megan Seling To research his new book, Filmlandia: A Movie Lover’s Guide to the Films and Television of Seattle, Portland, and the Great Northwest (out on Sasquatch April 18), author and former Stranger columnist David Schmader watched a total of 187 movies and 15 television shows, all of which were at least partially filmed in the Pacific Northwest. “If it got a theatrical release, I would watch it,” he told me. “That meant, like, even a one-time screening at Seattle International Film Festival.” It wasn’t as easy as sitting on the couch and hitting play. Some films were close to impossible to track down—physical media mecca Scarecrow came to the rescue several times over—and to uncover the entertaining factoids peppered throughout the book, Schmader had to go back to the pre-streaming Dark Ages. “This feels like churning butter now, but I went back to Netflix discs in the mail because I wanted commentary tracks.”  The workload was a grind, but the final product is a dream. Filmlandia is a quick, joyful read that’s as much a love letter to local film and television icons such as Lynn Shelton, Megan Griffiths, and Irene from the Real World as it is to the Pacific Northwest’s (mostly) sparkling scenery. And oh, boy, is this corner of the country filled with weird little treasures. Did you know the gay porn series Seattle Bareback Boyz—where “young, hairless, and markedly thin guys have sex without condoms in and around Seattle,” writes Schmader—was immortalized on an episode of Chris Hansen’s To Catch a Predator? And the scene-stealing babysitter in Sleepless in Seattle was played by a local woman named Amanda Maher, who, Schmader writes, “was discovered waiting tables at the legendary health-food restaurant, Gravity Bar, and hired for what is still her one and only film credit.” Fun facts abound!  Ahead of Filmlandia’s release, Schmader (and his handsome dog, Pierre) hopped on a Zoom call to talk a bit about what he uncovered during his hundreds of hours of research.  You’re a big film buff; you reviewed tons of movies for The Stranger over the years. Did you discover any movies in the research process that you missed the first time around? I’m a film buff, but I spent the ’90s only watching movies where Björk got executed at the end so there’s this whole world of fun movies I never got to see! I never got to see Practical Magic, I had never seen Overboard. Who had time to watch Overboard? I was watching Seven Samurai! Now I’m over that. I’m like, “Life is short. If not now, when Overboard?” Say Anything—I didn’t know what a fucking beautiful movie that is. The supporting characters are so impressive, and it’s deeper than it has any right to be. That was a happy surprise. The one that really knocked me out was called Late Autumn. It’s this triple production from South Korea, the United States, and China. It’s about this woman who’s released from prison for a weekend to go to a family funeral and has, like, a Before Sunrise experience with a gigolo. They just have this dreamy 24-hour date that involves tons of the Seattle Center when they were dismantling the Fun Forest, so it has this spooky-ass feel. They make such beautiful use of it. It’s a movie I’d never heard of; I’ll never forget it. I hope everyone will see it. Now that you’ve seen literally every movie ever filmed in the Northwest, are there any local stories or experiences that haven’t been immortalized in film that absolutely deserve to be? Thank you for asking this question, Megan Seling, I have an answer for you. [Laughs] It was in 2006 when the New York Dolls released their triumphant reunion album, One Day It Will Please Us to Remember Even This, and they came and played El Corazon. In that tiny room, in the audience, were Mary Kay Letourneau and Vili Fualaau. I wasn’t there, and I want a movie of that entire experience. It seems like a Warhol installation. That’s amazing! How did you hear about that? It was a Last Days tip! I’m still not over it, as you can tell. I’m ready to go back. Where’s my time machine? Historically, Seattle hasn’t taken advantage of film programs as much as it could have—you write about this in the book, the Vancouver switcharoo. Movies are set in Seattle but filmed elsewhere, like Canada. The City did recently launch the new Film Commission, but that’s coming along while the local film community keeps taking hits. Cinerama’s still closed, the Grand Illusion announced their lease will soon be up. Can this course be corrected? What do you see happening? You know what gives me so much hope about “Can that be corrected? Will film ever come back?” We somehow have wound up listening to radio shows as our primary entertainment these days with podcasts. Somehow we reached a phase of history where we’re like, “I want the information, but I want to be able to do other things with my eyes.” So it might just take a certain period of time where we realize that going to a room with other people, watching a huge movie with a good sound system and not being allowed to push pause, not being allowed to look at your phone, like, that will become important again. That’s so true! I always thought podcasts killed radio, but really they just shifted its platform. So, along the same lines of the question about moments in Seattle history that need to be immortalized, I also have to ask: If somebody were to make a movie about your time in the Pacific Northwest, who would play you, and what are a few Seattle landmarks, past or present, that would be included? They would have to dig up Fred MacMurray and somehow rejuvenate his corpse and he would play me. Places? Ham grab [The Mezze plate at Barça’s happy hour that Stranger staffers would get after work and literally fight over], of course. There used to be this lovely museum of wang called Basic Plumbing—it’s now Lost Lake. Re-bar, that’s where I met my first boyfriend and did my first show. It’s where I met Dan Savage. It’s where I broke up with my first boyfriend. I can’t believe it’s a dueling piano bar now. One more is Bailey/Coy Books, the gay bookstore for everyone. I have way more alumnus feelings about that than I do about my college. Those are the people I learned how to be a grown-up with. See David Schmader at Third Place Books Seward Park May 4, Joketellers Union at Clock-Out Lounge May 10, and Town Hall May 17.

Slog AM: French President Raises Retirement Age Without Vote, US and Russia Square Up, and Seattle Owes Waterfront Property Owners $16 Million
The Stranger's morning news roundup. by Hannah Krieg France fucks workers: French President Emmanuel Macron gave a big "fuck you" to the French Parliament when he used a special constitutional power to pass his unpopular pension reform without a vote just minutes before the lower house was expected to reject the measure. The move comes after months of mass strike action to pressure the government to reject Macron's anti-worker pension proposal, which would raise the age of retirement by two years.  The hybrid model: New data says workers still don't want to go to the office five days a week. More than half of the 320,000 workers in the city center make the trip into work on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, but on Mondays and Fridays, most workers stay home. Find out more from the Seattle Times. Spring: The cherry blossoms at UW are expected to bloom early next month. I am fighting off literal tears as I write this. Daylight saving time, the impending 60-degree day, and now the promise of cherry blossoms. Spring hits like a party drug.  Spring pt 2: Okay, it's not quite spring weather yet, but it’s something. Today, Seattleites can expect partly cloudy skies and temperatures peaking in the low 50s. I’ll take it! Mount Rainier goes paperless: Starting May 26, visitors will have to pay with a card to enter or camp in Mount Rainier National Park. Doesn’t seem like the policy change will ruin too much family fun, as only 2% of visitors pay with cash anyway. Visitors can still buy a prepaid pass with cash before coming to the ticket kiosk. Twitter urbanists’ favorite project: According to the Seattle Times, the City of Seattle owes seven waterfront property owners $16 million because a King County judge ruled that the City did a crummy job appraising properties subject to the Local Improvement District tax. The City Council passed the 2019 tax to pay for the waterfront remodel, and the Mayor’s spokesperson said the City is now “evaluating” how the lost tax revenue may “impact City finances going forward.” Little guys: A new RentCafe report found that developers are building the smallest apartments in the country right here in Seattle. New builds in Seattle average about 659 square feet, or about 229 less square feet than the national average. But Seattle renters are used to it. Our new-build average is pretty much on par with the average of our entire housing stock, which RentCafe reported as 689 square feet. We’re only shrinking like 4.3% haha. CHILL: Last night, a road rage incident escalated to gunfire. Two cars were driving erratically, someone shot a driver in the face, and the driver crashed on I-5 in SeaTac, closing the northbound lane for an hour. KIRO7 does not know the condition of the gunshot victim. Socialism for the rich: The Silicon Valley Bank crash-and-bailout debacle is still in the news, so here’s senior staff writer Charles Mudede’s take, just in case you missed it on the blog last night: "If a bank can't do something as basic as secure deposits or be trusted to provide continual payroll services to businesses, then why do we have banks in the first place? Why don't we let the state just do this job?" Drink up: As Nathalie mentioned yesterday, a big ole rainfall hit SoCal yesterday, ending a drought and water restrictions for almost seven million people. But it's not all throwing caution to the wind and letting the sink run the entire day now. The state of California still has 27,000 residents under evacuation orders, and more extreme weather is on its way.  Maternal mortality: A new report from the CDC found that the rate of maternal death rose 40% in 2021. Black women still see the highest rates of maternal mortality at 70 deaths per 100,000 births. White women see about 27 deaths per 100,000 births. Why the surge in highly preventable deaths? The CDC said COVID-19 may have something to do with it. Pics or it didn’t happen: The US military released a video this morning that shows a Russian fighter jet engaging in an "unsafe/unprofessional intercept” of an American drone that was conducting surveillance flights over the Black Sea to the ire of Russia. According to NBC, the incident marks the first time since the start of the war in Ukraine that the US and Russia tussled directly.  BREAKING: U.S. military releases dramatic declassified video taken by MQ-9 Reaper drone that shows the moment that a Russian Su-27 fighter jet collided with it after attempting to spray the drone with jet fuel. — ABC News (@ABC) March 16, 2023 GOP candidates are bored: Former President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis both expressed boredom over the US's involvement in Russia’s attack on Ukraine. The GOP candidates' disinterest seems to have struck a nerve with Republicans in Congress, who, according to Politico, are now calling for a nominee that embraces a Ronald-Reagan-style approach to foreign policy and national security.  IDK why: I woke up with the Jimmy Neutron theme song stuck in my head, so I’m banishing it from my brain by forcing it upon you. 

Daylight Stupid Time
I have an idea. by Anonymous WHY oh WHY do we have to change our clocks two times a year? It is BAD for our physical health and BAD for our mental health.  My whole day feels thrown off. I'm hungry at different times. I'm sleepy at different times. The sun was not out for so long, and now suddenly the sun is out for a much longer time. Enough!!  Why can't our governments agree on something so simple as to resolve this silly clock-changing twice a year? I have the OBVIOUS answer: Change the clocks 30 minutes one time, and then never touch them again. You're welcome.  Do you need to get something off your chest? Submit an I, Anonymous and we'll illustrate it! Send your unsigned rant, love letter, confession, or accusation to Please remember to change the names of the innocent and the guilty.

Yes, the SVB Bailout Is Socialism for the Rich
When will we give up backdoor socialism and finally have what is already right in front of our faces, front-door socialism? by Charles Mudede Yes, the fact that US government will, to use the words of Rich Smith, cover all depositors at Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) made it clear that the rich have no problem with socialism when their highly leveraged money is on fire. This sorry business of going on and on about how the bailout will ultimately benefit Joe the Plumber (he will get his paycheck!), is the oldest con in the book. One example of comments among many: It's not socialism for the rich to make sure companies that used SVB can make their payroll and pay their WORKERS. I'm flabbergasted that people are conflating insuring depositors who trusted a bank to keep their money safe with bailing out investments. A careful examination of this position will find it's not at all different from that made by the GOP when it comes to global warming: reducing America's dependence on fossil fuels will kill jobs and will hurt, in a word, WORKERS. But if a bank can't do something as basic as secure deposits or be trusted to provide continual payroll services to businesses, then why do we have privately owned and run banks in the first place? Why don't we let the state just do this job? Why not make banking a utility like a sewer system? USPS could provide stress-free accounts to small businesses and individuals. This is, in part, the inspiration for the Postal Banking Act introduced by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Sen. Bernie Sanders in 2020. There really is no need for the public to experience one headache after the next: deregulated banks taking huge and unrealistic risks that go bust, banks with minimal capital requirements, and banks that always end up too big to fail (TBTF). The banking sector is, in fact, already nationalized. It has been so since, at least, the collapse of Penn Square Bank in 1982. Indeed, TBTF is just another way of saying nationalized. Note: The heterodox economist Dean Baker makes pretty much the same point in his recent Real-World Economics Review post "The Answer to the Silicon Valley Bank Bailout: Federal Reserve Banking": The most obvious solution would be to have the Federal Reserve Board give every person and corporation in the country a digital bank account. The idea is that this would be a largely costless way for people to carry on their normal transactions. They could have their paychecks deposited there every two weeks or month. They could have their mortgage or rent, electric bill, credit card bill, and other bills paid directly from their accounts. When Donald Trump raised the threshold for yearly stress tests from $50 billion to $250 billion in 2018, he made it sound like mom-and-pop banks would be liberated from cumbersome regulations. It was not about the rich people; it was, once again (trickle-down economics, job creators, cheap fossil fuels), about the little people. CNN: ...The change from a standard $50 billion threshold [signed into law by Barack Obama in 2010] to a standard $250 billion threshold was widely described as a major victory for banks with assets below $250 billion. The list included SVB, whose chief executive officer, Greg Becker, had urged Congress to raise the threshold. Becker argued in 2015 congressional testimony that imposing the regulations when a bank hit the $50 billion level would “unnecessarily” burden SVB, which then had assets approaching $40 billion, and require the company to spend time and money complying with rules instead of providing loans to job-creators. He also argued that SVB, like other “mid-sized” banks, “does not present systemic risks.” SVB had $209 billion in assets when it collapsed last week. (And we can imagine the kind of satanic magic that transformed SVB from a bank with just a little under $40 billion in assets to one with nearly $210 billion assets in just seven years.) This "no systemic risks" business became the second-biggest bank failure in US history. Note: In his Vanity Fair post "This Bank Panic Should Not Exist," Zachary D. Carter, The Price of Peace: Money, Democracy and the Life of John Maynard Keynes (I reviewed it here), makes it clear that, one, the typical person who banked with SVB had little in common with the probitus moms and pops of this world (they were filthy rich); and, two, a good number of Democrats supported Trump's 2018 rollback of bank regulations. I think this is the best thing I've read on the SVB debacle. From @zachdcarter — Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) March 16, 2023   When will we give up backdoor socialism and finally have what is already right in front of our faces, front-door socialism? If our mainstream papers were down with the real, then this would be the only debate on the web and on TV. We do not live in a capitalist society; ours is, and has been since the collapse of welfare state capitalism in the early 1980s, state-backed capitalism. Approving a merger with Boston Private Bank & Trust in 2021, Powell insisted SVB would not pose significant risk to the financial system in the event of financial distress. 20 months later, Powell cites systemic risk to justify bailing out SVB. — David Fields (@ProfDavidFields) March 16, 2023 And so it is. Now that the rich are in deep shit again, will the Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell administer the pain (raise interest rates) that he openly and proudly targeted at the working classes? You know the answer already.  

Light It PUP
PUP and Joyce Manor play the Showbox March 15-16. by Melissa Locker PUP’s guitarist Steve Sladkowski is in a hotel room in Medford, OR trying to plan his honeymoon. His wedding is in three weeks and he has limited time to make arrangements. He’s at the tail end of a months-long tour and has just enough time off to get hitched and enjoy a small honeymoon before heading back out on the road for PUP’s next European tour. Despite the logistical nightmare of it all—and the fact that he’s “tired, it’s raining, and it’s the end of the tour”—Sladkowski is feeling very, very lucky, and not just because of his impending nuptials.  “This week is the three-year anniversary of basically touring shutting down for us,” he says, recounting being in Eugene, OR in 2020 when the pandemic went from a blip to A Thing. “We're aware of the fact that we could want this to go on forever, and something outside of our power could take that away—for years. It’s strange. I think we're just not taking anything for granted.” Luckily that sense of gratitude appears to extend to tolerating pesky journalists interrupting honeymoon planning. As the band wraps up their US tour with two nights at the Showbox—March 15 and 16—before heading for the final stop in Portland, Sladkowski will be forgiven for feeling a little reflective. After all, since founding PUP in 2010, he and his bandmates Stefan Babcock (vocals, rhythm guitar), Nestor Chumak (bass, keyboard), and Zack Mykula (percussion) have been on the road for a long, long time. They played 400 shows to support their 2014 self-titled release. Touring that long and that hard for 13 years (minus a pandemic) is quite the feat for any band, but particularly for the band who wrote the song, “If This Tour doesn't Kill You, I Will,” way back in 2016.  Over their many years together and on albums like 2022’s The Unraveling of PUPTheBand, PUP have established themselves as the thinking man’s punk (sorry, Bad Religion). Their energetic, hooky, speedball singalong songs offer a refreshing transparency about topics ranging from mental health to band drama, breakups, youthful ennui-turned-adult ennui, and the tension of being a punk band in a corporate world (see, for example, “PUPTHEBAND Inc. Is Filing For Bankruptcy”). They just put it all out there, both in their songs and their combustible live shows. Although, according to Sladkowski, the live shows aren’t as combustible as he wishes they could be. “I wish pyro[technics] were cheaper, we'd be all about it,” he says, laughing. “I wish that was a joke, but no, like, I think pyro is ridiculous. And any time you find something ridiculous, in this band, we try to take that and run with it.” Thinking about a show's production value is new ground for Sladkowski, who put in his dues as a working musician playing in a wedding band and providing the background jazz in coffee shops before PUP took off. “One of the great joys is that this is my full-time job now, and that was something I never expected to happen. Now our shows and our audience have grown in such a way that we had to think more about production and lighting and how to actually stage the show.”  While pyrotechnics may not be on hand this tour, the band does have some surprises in store [spoiler alert?]. “We kind of consciously took it upon ourselves to dust off some old songs and some sort of deeper cuts we haven't played in a few years for this tour,” says Sladkowski. “We've been playing some deeper cuts off of like The Dream Is Over and Morbid Stuff. We've been playing “Closure” and “Old Wounds” a lot ... Last night during one of the kind of slow moments of the song “Scorpion Hill”—we're in Santa Cruz—and there was like a circle pit during like a slow ballad part so I think people are just starting to kind of revel in doing absurd things.” In true self-effacing PUP style, Sladkowski wants people to know that they don’t have to come to the show to see PUP. “For people who maybe might be on the fence or have seen us before, it’s such a strong bill,” he says. “Joyce Manor, every night we look at each other and we're like, how have we not done this before? How have we never played shows together before? And I think Pool Kids you're going to hear more and more about.”  While a packed touring schedule is a great way to connect with fans, particularly after the forced hiatus of the pandemic, it does make it hard to write new music. Luckily, PUP may have found some time in their busy touring schedule to write some new tunes. “The end of this year is a little less busy than it has kind of tended to be in years past. Rather than trying to fill those dates, like a bunch of lunatics, we are going to try to start writing,” says Sladkowski. “But you know, I don't think it's something that we try and rush. We just want to get together and write music and start working. It is a bit of a self-fulfilling thing. Once we start working it becomes easier to work. And as it gets easier to work. More work kind of happens and we're workaholics so you know we'll be working on music and stuff this year, and then who knows when a new record will come out. We would like to take our time.” We’ll see if PUP fans can wait that long. <a href="">THE UNRAVELING OF PUPTHEBAND by PUP</a> PUP and Joyce Manor play the Showbox March 15-16, 8 pm, $35-$40, all ages.

1 2 3 4