Fri, May 23
Hugh Laurie with the Copper Bottom Band
Hugh Laurie exchanges the sounds of New Orleans coined in his massively successful first album Let Them Talk for the blues of the American heartland in his newest compilation Didn't It Rain. Catch the former House star at the Paramount in mid-May at the beginning of his major US tour. Paramount Theatre, $31–$61.
BOOKS & TALKS
Thur, May 22
An unrelenting knack for detail has helped Blake Bailey become one of the country’s premiere literary biographers. He earned the National Book Critics Award for 2009’s John Cheever bio, Cheever: A Life, and has been selected by novelist Phillip Roth to write his biography. For his latest work, The Splendid Things We Planned: A Family Portrait, he turns the focus inward and looks at his own troubled family life, specifically the destructive habits of his brother, Scott. Richard Hugo House, free.
Fri, May 23
Doug Loves Movies Podcast Taping
Doug Benson, the comic brains behind Super High Me and Last Comic Standing, leads a discussion about his first love: movies. At this taping of his popular podcast, he'll be his usual stoned riffing self and quiz guests (including Ken Jennings, Matt Mira, and Samm Levine) on movie trivia. Neptune Theatre, $19.
Northwest Folklife Festival
Seattle’s free arts spectacular turns its cultural focus to India in 2014. An emphasis will be placed on sharing Indian dance, film, music, visual art and discussing its history and impact on the Northwest. Spend part of Memorial Day weekend with the scores of other cultural dance and music acts, local artists like Star Anna, and the multitude of street performers scattered across Seattle center. Seattle Center, free (donation suggested).
Rain Fest 2014
If you're looking to stray away from Folklife and get into something more rowdy this Memorial Weekend, Seattle's annual Rain Fest is the perfect place. The three-day punk and hardcore shindig takes place at Neumos. With bands like Converge, 7 Seconds, and Modern Life is War on the bill, you're sure to get knocked over once or twice. Neumos, $30; festival pass $80.
Sasquatch! Music Festival 2014
Expansion plans went awry when lack of ticket sales led Sasquatch! Festival to cancel its new Fourth of July weekend, but the Memorial Day festivities should still be a blast. The summer kickoff features a reunited Outkast, the intelligent mope rock of the National, heaviness from Queens of the Stone Age, comedy from Hannibal Buress, and much more fun in the (fingers crossed) Central Washington sun. Gorge Amphitheatre, sold out.
Thru & Sat, May 22 & 24
SIFF 2014: A Brony Tale
Few subcultures have garnered as much pop cultural curiosity as bronies. For those unfamiliar, brony is the term for an adult male fan of the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic cartoon. They've grown into an extensive community with a strong online presence and their own conventions, while providing joke fodder for Stephen Colbert, Bob's Burgers, and more. A Brony Tale dives into the brony world through the perspective of Ashleigh Ball, one of the show's voice actors. While it looks to be a little light and fluffy (like it'll probably skirt around some of the darker sides of bronies that exist online), the doc should provide a colorful, fun, and varied sociological look at this atypical masculine contingent. SIFF Cinema Uptown, $12.
Thur, May 22
SIFF 2014: Fish and Cat
Let's get this out of the way: Fish and Cat isn't a good film, but its an undeniably interesting one. The main draw of the time-bending Iranian thriller is how it was created. The entire 134-minute film was all shot in one single take. And that camera moves, traveling all around a murky gray forest and seamlessly switching between characters. The cinematic choreography and the precision of the camera work (there's only one minor jerking mistake in over two hours) on display is staggering. Unfortunately, the surreal plot about a group of young campers, the creepy and potentially dangerous old men that live on the land, and one-armed twins feels muddled at best. If you're a hardcore cinephile who can appreciate the process as much (or more so than) the result, then Fish and Cat might be worth seeing. SIFF Cinema Uptown, $12.
Thur & Fri, May 22 & 23
SIFF 2014: Lucky Them
Seattle director Megan Griffiths makes the Seattle's music scene seem beautiful in her biggest film yet, Lucky Them. Toni Collette stars as Ellie, an ageing rock journalist who seems to be trying her hardest to lose her job while simultaneously sleeping her way through the scene (including a new singer-songwriter beau she discovered while he was busking). Things get more complicated for Ellie when her boss lays down an ultimatum: Either write a feature on Matthew Smith—an iconic singer-songwriter and Ellie's old flame who disappeared 10 years ago—or she'll be fired. Her attempted journey to track down what happened to Smith is aided by her weird rich friend Charlie (played by a consistently stilted, funny, and scene-stealing Thomas Haden Church), who agrees to help if he can shoot a documentary about the process. Renton IKEA Perfroming Arts Center and Egyptian Theatre, $12–$25.
Sat, May 24
Momstrology: Family Day
Enjoy a fun-filled day of shopping and activities on Pine Street between 13th and 14th Avenues in celebration of the AstroTwins’ new book Momstrology. Enjoy mini astrology readings, special beauty indulgences, exclusive shopping discounts on kids’ clothing and toys, fire truck and station tours for kids, hands-on photo activities, refreshments, and more. Pine St. Between 13th and 14th Ave, free.