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FLICKR PHOTO/Avarty Photos (CC BY-SA 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/ffNvCc

You're living in a region with tons of good, new, local music. Too much to take it all in, so Bill Radke speaks with Jonathan Zwickel, who writes a City Arts Magazine column called Attractive Singles. Zwickel has picked out three local artists for you to get to know.

The first book of the Harry Potter series went on sale in the U.K. 20 years ago today. It offers a convenient excuse to reacquaint yourself with a world before anyone on this side of the Atlantic had heard of muggles, horcruxes or pensieves, before tourists would crowd into London's Kings Cross railway station simply to peer wistfully at the space between Platforms Nine and Ten.

Here's the first story NPR ever aired about Harry Potter — a wonderful piece by the late Margot Adler, from All Things Considered in 1998.

Some gems, from that bygone era:

The Slants
Courtesy of The Slants

Bill Radke speaks with Simon Tam of Portland band The Slants and Robert Chang, professor of law at the Seattle University School of Law, about the Supreme Court decision that allowed Tam's Asian-American band to trademark their name, which some argued was too offensive for the designation.

Tam explains how he feels this decision allows people to empower themselves against slurs and thinks this is a huge win for social justice.

Professor Chang disagrees with the SCOTUS decision, claiming that this could open the doors to discriminatory  trademarks that slip past civil rights laws. He also argues that trademarking names may in fact harm future social justice movements. 

Members of the Asian-American rock band The Slants have the right to call themselves by a disparaging name, the Supreme Court says, in a ruling that could have broad impact on how the First Amendment is applied in other trademark cases.

The Slants' frontman, Simon Tam, filed a lawsuit after the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office kept the band from registering its name and rejected its appeal, citing the Lanham Act, which prohibits any trademark that could "disparage ... or bring ... into contemp[t] or disrepute" any "persons, living or dead," as the court states.

Courtesy of Joe Iano

If you love radio theatre you may find yourself seeking out the classics — online, on AM radio, or at your local library. There’s something about how those stories were told that still fascinates. They draw folks  into a reverie of imagination, suspense, drama and humor.

Brian Weiss

Six years ago Seattle poet Tara Hardy was blindsided by a mysterious chronic illness. It nearly killed her. She talks with KUOW's Elizabeth Austen about what it was like to live with that mystery, what changed once the disease had a name, and why she believes we're all living with a diagnosis of "human frailty."

Author and filmmaker Sherman Alexie waits with dancers backstage for his turn on stage as the keynote speaker at a celebration of Indigenous Peoples’ Day Monday, Oct. 10, 2016, at Seattle's City Hall.
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

In Sherman Alexie’s deeply personal memoir, “You Don't Have to Say You Love Me,” he tells the story of growing up as the son of Lillian Alexie on the Spokane Indian Reservation.

A noted art collector and philanthropist has sold a major painting for an eye-popping $165 million to raise money for criminal justice reform.

Agnes Gund sold Roy Lichtenstein's 1962 work Masterpiece, reportedly to billionaire hedge fund manager and art collector Steve Cohen. The sale apparently took place months ago; an art industry newsletter reported on the transaction in January, but Gund would not confirm it.

Seven Gabels Theatre in Seattle's University District
Flickr Photo/ javacolleen (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)/ https://flic.kr/p/31fDJf

Bill Radke talks to KUOW arts reporter Marcie Sillman and Sean Nelson, arts and music editor at The Stranger, about the closing of two Landmark movie theaters in Seattle, Guild 45th and Seven Gables Theatre.  

Eastern Indian troupe Sapphire Dance Creations Company is one of the performers at 2017's Seattle International Dance Festival.
Courtesy of Seattle International Dance Festival

Organizers of the Seattle International Dance Festival said it’s more challenging to get visas for artists in 2017 than before.


Courtesy of Libby Lewis Photography

The idea of getting up on stage may terrify most of us, but actor Jeffrey Tambor knew from a very young age that was exactly what he wanted to do.

As long as he can recall, he’s wanted to give people his autograph.

Screenshot of Fred Beckey from 'Dirtbag,' directed by Dave O'Leske.
YouTube

Fred Beckey, 94, is a Northwest mountaineering legend. From his teen years he has monomaniacally devoted himself to climbing mountains and documenting those ascents in guidebooks.

But he’s never achieved the same levels of fame and wealth as other pioneering mountaineers of his generation. That may be changing. There’s a a new documentary film his life called "Dirtbag." Ross Reynolds speaks to its director, Dave O'Leske.

Courtesy of Mitchell Overton

If you’re a musician in Seattle who wants strings on a recording, your path will lead to Andrew Joslyn. He has orchestrated for the likes of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis and Mark Lanegan, made soundtracks for movies and podcasts, and performed with the Bushwick Book Club and Seattle Rock Orchestra. Now Joslyn is stepping into the spotlight himself. Ross Reynolds talks with Joslyn about his career and how his older brother, comedian Chris Kattan, affected his musical tastes.

Courtesy of the Seattle Art Museum and Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo/Singapore; Victoria Miro, London; David Zwirner, New York, © YAYOI KUSAMA, Photo: Cathy Carver

Bill Radke talks to KUOW arts reporter Marcie Sillman and Crosscut managing editor Florangela Davila  about two Seattle art events that change the way you experience art. Seattle Art Museum will host the popular Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors exhibit in June and the Seattle Repertory Theatre's production of "Here Lies Love" has been extended another three weeks. 

photo by Naomi Ishisaka, courtesy Intiman Theatre

Seattle’s Intiman Theatre has a simple mission: To present work that is relevant to our times and as diverse as the community itself.

Intiman recently hired a Broadway producer to help them achieve that goal.

Updated at 3:12 p.m. ET

Denis Johnson, the author behind the seminal collection Jesus' Son, has died at the age of 67. A protean stylist who made a career of defying readers' expectations, he crafted fiction, poetry and reportage that was often as unsparing as it was unconventional.

Khu.eex'
Russell Johnson

What do you get when you cross tribal music with jazz and funk? Khu.eex'

That’s the name of a Seattle band performing at this weekend’s Folklife festival in Seattle.

Snoqualmie Falls is waterfall on the Snoqualmie River between Snoqualmie and Fall City, Washington, USA. As featured in the opening credits of Twin Peaks.
Flickr Photo/Tjflex2 (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/TK9yay

Bill Radke talks to David Schmader, Seattle writer and author of the book "Weed: A User's Guide," and Leah Baltus, editor in chief of City Arts magazine, about the return of Twin Peaks, the show's impact on TV and culture, and how the new season lives up to the past two so far. 

[It should be obvious, but there are loads of spoilers below from the first four episodes of Twin Peaks: The Return.]

In a year that has brought us some pretty trippy TV so far, Showtime's Twin Peaks revival has managed to uncork the weirdest, wildest, most unfathomable four hours of television I have seen this year on a major media outlet.

And for David Lynch fans, that's probably going to sound like heaven.

Remembering Chris Cornell: 'It's so devastating'

May 18, 2017
Chris Cornell performing in 2011.
Flickr Photo/Sebastian R. (CC BY NC 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/cC1AXE

Bill Radke speaks with Charles R. Cross about the sudden, shocking suicide of Chris Cornell. Cross knew the Soundgarden and Audioslave frontman for decades, and he reflects on the massive impact Cornell had on Seattle and the world. He also discusses the circumstances surrounding Cornell's death and how fans and friends may be able to cope with the tragedy. 

Of course it's a story about death and Seattle music.

I woke up this morning after bad dreams last night, only to find the real nightmare — that Chris Cornell of Soundgarden was dead. As with all these losses it seems surreal, untrue, unimaginable. But there it is.

Updated at 2:25 p.m. ET

Chris Cornell, the unmistakable voice and frontman of the bands Soundgarden and Audioslave, died overnight in Detroit at the age of 52. He was discovered just past midnight at the MGM Grand Detroit, according to police.

The office of the Wayne County Medical Examiner on Thursday determined the cause of his death to be suicide by hanging, noting that a full autopsy has yet to be completed.

Courtesy of Libby Lewis Photography

Yes, poetry month is over. But how about some more poetry anyway?

We’ve collected readings from the Seattle Arts & Lectures poetry series over the last two months. You’ll hear the work of poets Ellen Bass, Ross Gay and Alice Notley. Each spoke at Seattle’s McCaw Hall.

Journalist Alex Tizon carried a secret his whole life.

"She lived with my family for 56 years. She raised me and my siblings, and cooked and cleaned from dawn to dark — always without pay," Tizon writes in an upcoming cover story in The Atlantic. "I was 11, a typical American kid, before I realized she was my family's slave."

Poet Jane Wong
Courtesy of Helene Christensen

Bill Radke and KUOW poetry correspondent Elizabeth Austen discuss an excerpt of "Pastoral Power," a sprawling, image-driven poem by local poet Jane Wong. The poem is rooted in a trip Wong took as a teenager to the rural village in southern China where her mother grew up. 

A conceptual rending of what the Upstream Music Fest will look like.
Courtesy of Upstream Music Fest

A new kind of music festival will come to Seattle’s Pioneer Square this week.  

It's called Upstream.

A conceptual rending of what the Upstream Music Fest will look like.
Courtesy of Upstream Music Fest

Bill Radke speaks with Rock and Roll Hall of Fame DJ Marco Collins about the Upstream Music Festival. The three day festival in Pioneer Square is the brain child of Microsoft's Paul Allen. This is his way of bringing together local technology and local music. Collins is curating his own stage at the festival and shares some of the music he is excited for this weekend. 

Twenty-five years ago Tuesday, a career-defining single was born — and with it, endless sitcom jokes and rap homages. It was referenced in Sing, the 2016 animated children's movie, and in Shrek years before that. But when it debuted in 1992, there were those who took it to heart as an anthem of body positivity.

KUOW Photo/Sonya Harris

Author Thomas Frank made his mark on the book world by taking Republicans to task for the state of the nation. Last year, well before Donald Trump’s presidential win, Frank shifted his gaze to the Democrats. He didn’t like what he saw there, either.

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