Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at this year’s Seattle International Film Festival, C.O.G. adapts a David Sedaris essay—the first time the humorist has allowed his work onscreen—about his fish-out-of-water summer spent picking apples and exploring religion and sexuality on an Oregon farm. You know, the usual. Jonathan Groff (a Tony nominee for Spring Awakening and regular guest on Glee) stars as the author; veteran actor Denis O’Hare and Corey Stoll (House of Cards) join the quirky cast of characters. SIFF Cinema Uptown, $8–$11.
Fritz Lang Silents Restored
SIFF screens new restorations of some of the finest silent films by pioneering Austrian director Fritz Lang. In addition to Metropolis and a digital update of 1931 thriller M, the series also includes Die Nibelungen, Lang’s nearly five-hour version of Wagner’s Ring Cycle (still way shorter than Seattle Opera’s staging this August). SIFF Cinema Uptown, $8–$11.
Sept 19 & 20
Given the band’s mature sound, somber lyrics, and Matt Berninger’s deep baritone, the National’s music is often pegged (somewhat disparagingly) as “dad rock.” But like its previous records, the Brooklyn indie collective’s new album Trouble Will Find Me has received nearly universal praise. If that paternal label is accurate, then the dad in question must be Don Draper smooth. Paramount Theatre, $37.
Bushwick Book Club Seattle presents original music inspired by L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful World of Oz
Instead of sitting around analyzing plot and character, this book club of Seattle musicians often meets in a bar to perform original tunes inspired by a monthly reading assignment. In September, L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is on tap. The Crocodile, $10.
Sept 20 & 21
All month long, the Triple Door celebrates its 10th anniversary, but two nights of shows by R&B powerhouse Aaron Neville act as the venue’s big shindig. Once a collaborator with Allen Toussaint, Neville’s early R&B is straight out of New Orleans; but his latest album, My True Story, goes back to his childhood love of doo-wop, featuring the musician’s distinctive vibrato. The Triple Door, $70–$90.
Sept 20 & 21
“Ho. Hey.” That two-word hook, endlessly catchy and life affirming, catapulted the Denver folk-rockers to the top of Billboard this year, where the trio lingered alongside pop star Bruno Mars and Seattle’s own Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. The band earned two Grammy nominations—for best new artist and best Americana album—and two nights at Marymoor, just 15 miles from where they recorded their debut album. Marymoor Park, sold out.
Sept 21–Jan 5
The Photographs of Ray K. Metzker
A gifted American photographer out of Chicago's Institute of Design, Ray K. Metzker spent a half century living in light and shadow, manipulating the everyday of Chicago, Philadelphia, and a host of other U.S. and European cities through composites and multiple exposures. In this career study, on loan from Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Missouri, the ordinary is extraordinary. Henry Art Gallery, $10.
Thru Sept 22
Seattle Fringe Festival
Last year’s goal was to revive the Seattle Fringe Festival after a nine-year absence. Now, the emphasis is on survival, with an Indiegogo campaign helping to fuel the five-day festival of short plays, comedy, and genre-busting art—and keep tickets at $10 a pop. Theatre Puget Sound, $10; $150 all-fest pass.
El Año en Que Nací
This performance by Argentinian playwright Lola Arias (title translates to “the year I was born”) reconstructs an era of dictatorship—as told by the Chilean cast members, each born in the 1970s and ’80s during the reign of Pinochet. With photos, letters, wit, and sincerity, they reenact the lives of their mothers and fathers during that time. On the Boards, $25.
BOOKS & TALKS
The Edmonds-based travel magnate—author of some 50 European guidebooks and host of the public TV show Rick Steves’ Europe—once called his early travel priorities a “hierarchy of needs: eating and sleeping on a budget, staying healthy, not getting ripped off, catching the train.” This talk titled “Travel as a Spiritual Act” is a bit loftier; it’s also a fundraiser for a Habitat for Humanity project in Guatemala. Pantages Theater, Tacoma, $15–$75.
Sept 21 & 22
Caspar Babypants: Baby Beatles
Chris Ballew, the high-energy front man of the Presidents of the United States of America, has found a second calling as a kindie rocker (i.e., an indie rocker for kids). To celebrate his new album of family-friendly Beatles covers, Caspar Babypants plays four shows over two days, with a picnic at each day’s second concert. Town Hall, free for children 12 and under; $5 for adults with children; $25 for unaccompanied adults.