Want to gauge an artist’s greatness? Ask his peers. Singer-songwriters swoon over the poetry of Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” “Famous Blue Raincoat,” and “Chelsea Hotel #2” with endless covers; but at age 78, Cohen continues to one-up the imitators with new musings on desire, regret, God, and death. KeyArena, $40–$280.
Seattle Rock Orchestra Performs Led Zeppelin
It’s time to get the Led out. Seattle Rock Orchestra and “some kick-ass guest vocalists” take on the hard-rocking catalog of Led Zeppelin. With a large string and brass section, “Kashmir” is sure to be epic. Moore Theatre, $18.
Slack Key Festival
This year’s Hawaiian music festival pays tribute to the Academy Award–winning film The Descendants, with an all-day bash featuring songs from the film’s soundtrack played by featured artists Dennis Kamakahi, Jeff Peterson, and more. Hula your heart out. Town Hall, $35–$120.
BOOKS & TALKS
If a typical night of lectures is like a leisurely romantic dinner, then Ignite Seattle! is like speed dating. Speakers only have five minutes and 20 slides to make their point, with past topics ranging from Internet censorship to sociopathic board gaming. Town Hall, $5.
Shortly before turning 30, Seattle cartoonist Ellen Forney was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. In her new graphic memoir Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me, the Stranger Genius Award winner delves into her struggle to find mental soundness without sacrificing her creative edge. Seattle Public Library, Central Library, free.
CLASSICAL & MORE
John Adams Conducts Beethoven's "Emperor" Concerto
One of the great composers of our time, a man who can switch neatly from minimalism to opera (Nixon in China, Doctor Atomic), Adams conducts his own 1985 work Harmonielehre, a modern three-movement work with shades of Romanticism, and Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto featuring pianist Jonathan Biss. Benaroya Hall, $19–$112.
John Cage Festival
On the centennial of the birth of American composer John Cage, Seattle Modern Orchestra goes all out with a multimedia presentation and concert featuring six of Cage’s works—including Trio, Living Room Music, and Concerto for Prepared Piano and Chamber Orchestra—with pianist Stephen Drury and the Seattle Percussion Collective accompanying. Good Shepherd Center, $10–$18.
Affordable Art Fair
In 1999 Will Ramsay launched his first Affordable Art Fair in London; three continents and 14 cities later, it makes its Northwest debut. Fifty galleries will sell their wares at Seattle Center’s Exhibition Hall, with prices ranging from $100 to $10,000. Trust funds not required. Seattle Center, $10–$12.
Seattle Art Museum stays open past midnight for its quarterly art party, an evening of music, drinks, dancing, poetry, performances, and “highly opinionated” tours of the galleries. The latest edition showcases the new all-female modern and contemporary art exhibit, Elles: Women Artists from the Centre Pompidou, Paris. First 50 people wearing polka dots get in free. Seattle Art Museum, $12–$25.
EAT & DRINK
Boat Street Cafe's 4th Annual Normandy Dinner
Oysters are in the air and on the patio at the French café along with rye bread, butter, hard cider, and Muscadet. Once the appetizers are finished, join fellow pseudo-Normands inside for the main attraction; mussels, scallops, pork, cheese, cabbage, dessert, to only name a few. Arrive at 6 with your jackets on. Boat Street Cafe, $95.
Thank you, Couch Fest Films, for getting us out of our comfort zones and into strangers' homes to watch short films. The popular one-day festival returns for its fifth year. Visit website for locations, free.
If you're somehow still unsatisfied... Skyfall and Lincoln are in theaters November 9.