Do this tonight:
Peter Hessler has been living in China for the last decade or so, sending out dispatches via the New Yorker and writing a couple of books detailing the progress of China's giant stride out of forced pre-industrialism and into its new role as the fastest-growing economy in the world.

His narratives take the form of travelogues—in his new book, Country Driving: A Journey Through China From Farm to Factory, he exchanges stories with the teenage hitchhikers he picks up as they make their way out of rural villages and toward burgeoning factory towns, and has roadside conversations with the elderly relatives they leave behind to take care of small children.



In all, he travels 7,000 miles across the country for the book—from Beijing's roaring streets to the growing silence of the rural provinces. His thesis, I think, has something to do with the tenacity of Chinese, compared to the Americans, as China transitions fully into the world economy.

Tonight at 7 pm, at Elliott Bay Book Co. (101 S Main Street). Free.

Also worth considering:

1. Tonight, the fine folks at the Washington Bus are holding their first-ever Olympia in a Can awards at Grey Gallery, where they'll be recognizing state legislators who've pushed progressive bills during "this most Hobbesian of legislative sessions."

Tonight from 6 to 8 pm, at Grey Gallery and Lounge, (1512 11th Ave). Free.

2. As Jonathan noted earlier in his exclusive interview, Atlanta rap legends Goodie Mob are reunited and will be playing at Neumos tonight—their first show in Seattle in more than a decade.

Tonight at 8 pm, at Neumos (925 East Pike St.), $20.

Do this:
1. THEESatisfaction can do no wrong right now. Not one local blog missed the "THEESatisfaction Loves The Sa​-​Ra Creative Partners" EP they put out day before yesterday, and they're getting critical exposure right now from national tastemakers like Spin and MTV. But the first thing they did perfectly, in my book, was their collab with Champagne Champagne, Magnetic Blackness. It was the song of 2009, hands down, all pulse and buzzing nerves, electric with the sound of a scene coming fully to life.

Now it's poised to go two-for-two in 2010, because, as Jonathan already reported, the two groups are putting out the song on a 7-inch, with the help of party promoters Members Only. It's a whole party just for one song.



THEESatisfaction and Champagne Chamagne, with State of the Artist and Swerveone. Tomorrow night at 8pm, at the Can Can (94 Pike Street). $5.

2. Beacon Hill is hosting the third annual Black History Month Community Forum tomorrow, with the theme of "surviving and thriving in a down economy." The event is organized by the local chapter of Blacks in Government, a group that promotes education and dialogue on issues that effect African-American communities across the country.

Speakers include City Council members Bruce Harrell and Sally Clark, Langston Hughes Executive Director Royal Alley-Barnes, and Kitsap County Auditor Walt Washington.

Tomorrow at the Jefferson Community Center (3801 Beacon Ave. S), from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm.

Also of interest:
1. As usual, the City's Office of Film + Music is doing their monthly Happy Hour at the Spitfire Lounge tomorrow night. The office is responsible for managing city contracts with filmmakers who shoot in the city, as well as working to maintain local music and film scenes. Their happy hour is meant to be an opportunity to get people networking and ideas flowing.

They're hosting the meetup along with WashingtonFilmWorks, the Pacific Northwest Chapter of the Recording Academy, and Washington Interactive Network.

Tomorrow evening at the Spitfire Lounge (2219 4th Avenue) in Belltown. Free.

2. Tomorrow morning, at a Downtown Seattle Association-sponsored forum on public safety, council member Tim Burgess will roll out a new proposal to deal with "street disorder" that some advocates for the homeless worry will include a ban on aggressive panhandling downtown.

Tomorrow morning, 8 am, at the Market Theatre (1428 Post Alley) in Pike Place Market.