On a Residential Corner

By Chris Kissel November 13, 2009


1. Rahwa Habte, part owner of the Hidmo Eritrean restaurant in the Central District, is opening a new cafe called Witta's (pronounced Wee-tuh's) on 26th and Judkins. A cozy spot, on a residential corner a couple blocks off Rainier, it looks like a great place to head to for coffee (made Ethiopian-style) and homework.

Tonight is part neighborhood party, part art show, part business opening: Witta's is officially opening its doors with an art show by the Good Foot Arts Collective, a Seattle nonprofit that helps at-risk youth get into dance, music, and spoken word.

The show runs from 6 pm to 9 pm tonight, on the corner of 26th and Judkins.

2. The Diminished Men, Seattle's surfy instrumentalist rockers, are playing two gigs this weekend. The Diminished Men have been around for several years—I remember finding somebody's burned copy of their 2005 debut on the floor of my dorm room a few years ago. I only listened to it once. They sort of sounded like the Ventures, if the Ventures stopped pretending they were California beach hustlers and started playing like they were from the gloomy Northwest.

Now, the Diminished Men sound like they're surfing straight under the silhouette of doom, peeling off creaking metal riffs and borrowing heart-thump bass lines from Italian horror flicks. In other words, they're better now.

The Diminished Men are playing Saturday night at 10, at the Rendezvous in Belltown.

3. Peter Athans is a world-renowned mountaineer. He is also an accomplished filmmaker and cinematographer. His formula for shooting powerful footage: An eye for beauty combined with a sense of intrepidity (dude climbed Mt. Everest seven times).


Athans is giving a presentation tonight that will include some snippets from a documentary he made about Tibet, and the Buddhist art he saw on some of his expeditions. The documentary is called Secrets of Shangri-La.

7 pm at the Mountaineers building in Magnuson Park.

4. By 1936, Japanese filmmaker Kenji Mizoguchi had made something like fifty films. Then he made The Downfall of Osen—an exploration of women who love unconditionally despite the abuse they suffer in a society that degrades them. Mizoguchi spent most of the rest of his life exploring that theme.

Osen is one of the few films to survive from Mizoguchi's silent-film period and Seattle's Aono Jikken Ensemble has written a score they will perform live at Sunday's screening. (The only example of their music I could find was a calm, gamelan-like sketch, but by the looks of their website, they do this kind of thing quite often).

Sunday only, at 7 pm at SIFF Cinema.
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