Culture Dose: Inspiring Happenings to Pencil In

Photo by J Faatz/Courtesy Big Hassle Media

Spotlighting concerts, a play + unique ways to take political action.

Bring it on, November; we have high hopes of this being a good one. We’ve rounded up a few ways to get immersed in music, theatre and election momentum.

  • Billy Strings, deemed the “Bluegrass Shredder” by Rolling Stone Country, wows Ballard crowds at Tractor Tavern this Wednesday, October 31. Known to play so fast and intensely that he often breaks multiple strings per song, the beloved young bluegrass guitarist bases his works “on the hard lives he grew up around in the abandoned rural communities of America. His new album, Turmoil & Tinfoil, taps into a deep vein of psychedelia in Americana, referencing everything from the Dead to Sturgill Simpson, but all underlaid by Billy’s undeniable virtuosity and his knowledge of the roots of American music.” His front porch in East Nashville often fills with the town’s best roots musicians pickin’ up a storm; we can’t wait to welcome him to our Seattle home later this week.
Photo by J Faatz/Courtesy Big Hassle Media
  • Other shows currently on our radar include two taking place on November 11: Lucero playing the Showbox in support of its new album Among The Ghosts and indie pop quartet Deal Casino kicking off its North American tour at El Corazon. Neptune offers a great late-November lineup with The Tallest Man on Earth (November 24), “An Intimate Evening of Solo Songs & Stories with Ryan Bingham” (November 25) and an Old 97’s Holiday Extravaganza (November 28).
Tim Gouran (Jim Burden) and Nabilah S. Ahmed (Ántonia Shimerda). Photo by John Ulman.
  • A powerful, pertinent and timely story about immigration arrives later next month in “My Ántonia,” by Willa Cather, and adapted and directed by Annie Lareau. From November 29 through December 30, Book-It Repertory Theatre continues its 29th season with this enchanting work. The childhood memories of narrator Jim Burden in Blackhawk, Nebraska, are woven together with the struggles of his beloved neighbor, a newly-arrived immigrant girl from Bohemia, Ántonia Shimerda. The story of their friendship outlines the determination, hardship and resilience of Great Plains life at the turn of the 20th century in this tribute to the human spirit … Following O Pioneers! and The Song of the Lark, My Ántonia completes the trilogy of Cather’s best-known Nebraska novels and is considered her best work. First published in 1918, My Ántonia is currently celebrating its centennial through the Willa Cather Foundation.”
“No romantic novel ever written in America, by man or woman, is one half so beautiful as My Ántonia.” —H. L. Mencken
  • The Cloud Room, a coworking and cultural venue located above Chophouse Row in Capitol Hill, is turning three and has announced a jam-packed lineup of events to celebrate local talent in upcoming months. Among these cultural, culinary, musical and philanthropic gatherings, there’s  “DRUNK DIAL CONGRESS: A Ladybar Pop Up” on November 1 from 5 to 10 p.m. Ladybar is a new welcoming, inclusive, feminist cocktail bar coming soon to Seattle; until then, it can be found featured on occasion in the Cloud Room lounge. On this particular pre-election November evening, guests can hold representatives accountable for their actions by calling or writing a postcard (and they’ll get a free shot in return)! There will be scripts, phone numbers and addresses all ready to go. Look out for other feel-good, do-good gatherings sweeping through this fall and winter as well!
Cloud Room Bar/Ryan Cory