Jennifer Zwick’s “Cylinders and Tulips” at Winston Wächter.

Books & Talks

Nell Irvin Painter

July 9 After lauded Princeton historian Nell Irvin Painter retired from academia, she went into, well, academia—this time as a student. Her new memoir, Old in Art School, charts her journey through the Rhode Island School of Design and becomes a meditation on gender, race, age, identity, and the meaning of art. Northwest African American Museum

Paul French

July 9 In his new true-crime book, City of Devils, Paul French tears through the 1930s and 1940s Shanghai underworld, charting with thrillerlike vigor the rise and fall of Lucky Jack and Dapper Joe, who ruled the city’s slots and nightclubs and left a trail of ruin. Elliott Bay Book Company

Ottessa Moshfegh

July 13 In her new novel, My Year of Rest and Relaxation, Ottessa Moshfegh follows a privileged but ennui-ridden young New Yorker as she attempts to hibernate for a year under the misguided direction of a bad psychiatrist and his battery of pharmaceuticals. The results are sharp, psychotropic, and funny. Elliott Bay Book Company

Classical & More

Brahms V. Radiohead

July 11 At first glance conductor Steve Hackman fusing Radiohead’s paranoid monolith OK Computer with Johannes Brahms’s First Symphony looks weird. But Johnny Greenwood has been infusing a classical streak into Radiohead’s music for years. Anyway, Hackman pulled off Bartok V. Björk—what could be weirder than that? Benaroya Hall

Chamber Music in the Park

July 28 Each year the Seattle Chamber Music Society plucks classics—currently string quartets from Anton Arensky and Johannes Brahms—from the vaunting acoustics of concert halls and plops them in a city park’s grassy sweep, complete with food truck. It shall be literally, radiantly unstuffy. Volunteer Park

Film

Star Wars: A New Hope in Concert

July 13–15 John Williams’s score to Star Wars: A New Hope, more than any other movie theme, has seeped so deeply into our culture’s collective unconscious that it’s easy to take for granted. Hear it anew, in all its mythic grandeur, when Seattle Symphony screens the film and scores it live. Benaroya Hall

Food & Drink

Seattle International Beer Fest

July 6–8 With so much local beer gushing from taps, it’s easy to get geographically myopic. The Seattle International Beer Festival culls over 200 beers from pretty much anywhere people brew artfully—meaning you can compare an Italian lambrusco-spiked wild ale with a limited offering from Holy Mountain, all without leaving the Fisher Pavilion and South Fountain Lawn. Seattle Center

Bite of Seattle

July 20–22 Now in its 37th year, the Bite of Seattle rounds up restaurants to unleash tastes as varied as alligator on a stick, piroshky, tacos, and pad thai alongside a smorgasbord of attractions. Lauded local chefs, like Adana’s Shota Nakajima (who was a semifinalist for this year’s James Beard Awards), will also demo their culinary know-how. Seattle Center

Special Events

Timber! Outdoor Music Festival

July 12–14 Two years have passed since Will Toledo’s Car Seat Headrest stormed the indie world with Teens of Denial, causing Seattle fans to shout, He lives here! Now he headlines Timber!, one of the mellower outdoor festivals in Washington, which aside from bringing solid local bands, offers nature-worshipping activities: kayaking, stargazing, and a wilderness-awareness plant walk. Tolt Macdonald Park

West Seattle Summer Fest

July 13–15 For a free festival, West Seattle Summer Fest draws an impressive musical lineup each year. Early-aughts skate punks the Briefs kick things off Friday, and alt-darlings Dude York and Shannon and the Clams both bring the party on Saturday, but that party runs all weekend long and welcomes all ages. Don’t worry: There’s still a beer garden. West Seattle Junction

Alaska Airlines Seafair Torchlight Parade

July 28 Our sprawling nautical celebration reaches its pinnacle when over 100 groups stream through Fourth Ave’s summer twilight. Classic corvettes, light-swaddled floats, dance troupes, a choir, pirates, cheerleaders (and surprisingly few torches)—all contribute to the sight of a city coming together. Westlake Park

Sweet Land’s songs soar.

Theater

Sweet Land

July 11–Aug 18 Based on the 2005 indie film of the same name, this musical centers on Inge, a young German who immigrates to Minnesota in the wake of World War I to marry a man she’s never met—an ideal setting for affecting song. Taproot Theater

Lauren Weedman Doesn't Live Here Anymore

July 20–Aug 12 Comedian and star of HBO’s Looking, Lauren Weedman now brings a country-tinged musical comedy show—which includes a band, an alter ego named Tami Lisa, a head of hair to make Dolly Parton proud—and digs into betrayal, divorce, and self-discovery. ACT Theater

Visual Art

Muse: Mickalene Thomas Photographs and Tête-à-Tête

July 14–Sept 30 Most known as a painter of intricate canvases, Mickalene Thomas also takes photos. At Muse, she displays shots that draw influence from 1970s Black Is Beautiful images and posed studio portraiture. She combines them with Tête-à-Tête: a selection of images that have inspired her and that extend the show’s concept of community. Henry Art Gallery

Summer Dreams

Thru Aug 22 Four Northwest artists transform Winston Wächter with trippy installations. Jennifer Zwick, Peter Gronquist, and the collective Electric Coffin offer complex takes on immersion and recursion, while Neon Saltwater splashes rooms with such color and light you’ll feel like you stepped into the title sequence of a florid ’80s film. Winston Wächter Fine Art

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