Tues, Jan 20
So-called heavy music doesn't have to pummel the listener with the tempo of an automatic rifle or summon some older evil with the screaming vocals of a Scandinavian. In fact, heavy music needn't any vocals at all. And as Russian Circles makes perfectly clear, it's possible to keep it heavy while also being hypnotic, elegant even. The band plays the sort of post-rock that churns and roars, like being out at sea during a storm. Neumos, $20.
Jan 22–Feb 7
Children's Film Festival Seattle
Much like some of the kids who participated in the first Children’s Film Festival Seattle, the fest is all grown up now. Celebrating its 10th birthday in 2015, the event has become a truly international showcase for the dazzling creativity of young filmmakers. The 2015 edition will feature more than 175 films from almost 50 countries. Northwest Film Forum, $11.
Jan 23–Feb 1
A sort of intersection between metalwork and Cirque du Soleil, ExperiMetal is exactly the sort of performance you'd expect to find in Fremont's West of Lenin. Performance troupe Lelavision's "hypotheses" are presented using elaborate contraptions made of metal and other materials. If it's been too long since you last witnessed an aluminum dinosaur pet in action, or if you're interested in bending space and time using an energized spring steel loop, go ahead and buy tickets now. West of Lenin, $20–$25.
Sat, Jan 24
W. Kamau Bell: Standup Album Recording
On his gone-but-not-forgotten TV show Totally Biased, W. Kamau Bell analyzed the WTFery of current events, breaking down the difference between Sikhs and sheiks, moderating a debate on the appropriateness of rape jokes, and taping a vox pop segment on stop and frisk that Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi cites as inspiration for his book The Divide. Bell—whose Oh, Everything tour stops in Seattle this January—is socially motivated. But his priority is comedy. Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center, $15–$35.
Jan 24–March 22
The Fabric of Our Lives
This year marks the 250th anniversary of the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery. Anastacia Tolbert marks the occasion with the exhibition The Fabric of Our Lives: Tales of Dirty Laundry, White Sheets, and Bodies—in Parts, which presents works that interpret the legislation’s lasting impact. From cotton laundry to tattered pieces of the 13th Amendment document, Tolbert celebrates the law’s importance and the historical struggle of African Americans that preceeded—and followed—it. Northwest African American Museum, $7.