Culture Dose: Things Helping Start the Year Off Right

Lone Bellow by Eric Ryan Anderson

These first months of the New Year bring some excitement to the city — from the opening of Summit, Seattle Convention Center’s new $2 billion expansion (hosting a public open house on January 27), to the Seattle debut of a downtown UNIQLO store (the perfect place to stock up on warm-weather gear). The Family Entertainment Center at Arena Sports Issaquah is now open, and the quirky, photo-ready FRIENDS Experience launches here on February 1.

Summit, Courtesy Adam Hunter / LMN Architects

On the arts front, we’re really excited about upcoming shows like The Lone Bellow coming to Neptune Theatre on February 8. A recent viewing of this talented group out east solidified what the group offers as one of our most memorable live performances in recent memory. Raw emotions, charming banter and mesmerizing three-part harmonies seem to mark this band’s repertoire, as they currently tour to showcase the brilliant new album “Love Songs for Losers.”

This latest project, recorded at the potentially haunted former home of the legendary Roy Orbison, is said to encompass “everything from arena-ready rock anthems to the gorgeously sprawling Americana tunes the band refers to as ‘little redneck symphonies.'” You can read more about The Lone Bellow and its enticing new album here.

Noah Kahan by  Patrick McCormack
Noah Kahan by Patrick McCormack

We’re also thrilled that a few summer concerts series have begun rolling out announcements that make sun-streaked days feel less far away. The sensational singer-songwriter Noah Kahan plays Marymoor Live August 15 in celebration of The Stick Season Tour. And Whiskey Myers helps open the summer season by taking over the Chatueau Ste. Michelle lawn on June 21.

And with mega-announcements like Stevie Nicks coming to Climate Pledge Arena March 15 and “Madonna: The Celebration Tour,” making a Seattle stop there on July 18 and 19, as part of its 35-city global extravaganza, we’re also keeping our eye on lineups at smaller venues like Tractor Tavern, Neumos and Crocodile, including this Larkin Poe show February 2. (In other music mentions, Greensky Bluegrass and Lake Street Dive, both currently touring out east, have been in rotation on our home speakers.)

Innovative musical platform Side Door is helping to get the word out for artists seeking February venues and hosts in Seattle. The platform allows artists to tour and book their own shows directly through its website, removing the middleman; it also allows anyone to host an artist in their space. “This makes getting the word out locally essential in connecting a community to an artist,” they explain. “The platform is also working to eliminate the financial uncertainty for touring artists through its grant program.”

Another heads up for local musicians: Submissions are open (until January 31) for those wanting to perform at Timber! or any Artist Home event in 2023.


Courtesy street eats

A bounty of restaurant openings are spicing up the season, too — including Sugo Hand Roll Bar in Pike Place Market and street eats, sister restaurant to mamnoon street, that’s opening in South Lake Union on February 6.

Over the holidays, we loved discovering surprisingly delicious offerings by plant-based dairy brand Spero, that happens to be launching a major retail expansion into Washington State. Their Original Sunflower Cream Cheese and delightful Herb Sunflower Cream Cheese now can be found in Kroger’s Fred Meyer stores across 128 locations. As the first plant-based cheese of its kind — without nut, soy, gluten, starch or canola ingredients or additives — these tasty spreads feature sunflower seeds that contain protein, vitamin E, selenium, magnesium and zinc. In further good news, we learned that sunflower cheese uses 96% less water than almonds, 97% less land than cashews and 99% less CO2 than dairy. Added bonus? They can be used in pasta accompaniments like a fettuccini Alfredo sauce or a creamy herb pesto sauce.

Those on the go will also appreciate an alluring new snack discovery, too — Safe Catch Elite Wild Tuna, allegedly the only brand to test every tuna for mercury. Packed full of nutrients, tuna is high in zinc, selenium and protein, and this brand’s easy, no-mess pouches allow for transportable yet healthy meals on the move.

We’ve also been loving Kunwar’s Himalayan Momos (chicken, beef and vegan), that can be delivered sraight to your home for an easy, cozy wintertime meal. These Nepalese dumplings contain 28 spices and are easy to prepare – steamed, air fried, pan-fried, even microwaved with minimal clean-up.