Culture News: Believe the Hype!, Poetry and Cake at Open Books, and More Sad Musician RIPs – Slog

The PNW-focused film fest Local Sightings starts September 22. NORTHWEST FILM FORUM

It’s the 20th Anniversary of Northwest Film Forum’s Local Sightings Film Festival: And they have quite a few excellent plans to celebrate: 17 features and 74 shorts, as well as VR events, workshops, and panels. Lots of cinematic goodies here, like No Man’s Land, a documentary about the Mahler occupation (“send snacks!”), and a collaboration between local choreography company zoe | juniper and virtual reality filmmaker Steven Schardt. And I am especially looking forward to the 20th anniversary screening of the doc Hype!, especially since the filmmaker will be in attendance to answer any questions you might have about the glory days of grunge (just please don’t ask if Courtney killed Kurt, okay?).

Open Books Celebrates One Year Of New Leadership With FREE CAKE: Billie Swift has been busy running one of the country’s few poetry-only bookstores. Since her tenure began last September, following the retirement of beloved bookseller-wizards (and tremendous poets) John W. Marshall and Christine Deavel, Swift has booked tons of fantastic readings, implemented some community-focused writing workshops and craft talks, and even hosted a few book arts exhibits.

The store is celebrating this marked increase in literary activity all weekend. On Friday, powerful lyric poets Carolina Ebeid (You Ask Me to Talk About the Interior) and Charif Shanahan (Into Each Room We Enter without Knowing) will read from their respective books, and on Saturday the new staff and volunteers who’ve helped transformed the space will be handing out poems and free cake. 

All the Art at the Asian Art Museum Is off the Walls:: Because the Seattle Art Museum will be renovating the space—restoring the art deco façade, upgrading infrastructure, and adding more gallery and educational space. The expansion is not without its controversy: for some background, read here and here. This weekend, SAM is planning a two-day community celebration in the “empty” museum space with live art installations by local artists L Romson Bustillo, Kalina Chung, Minh Nguyen, and Junko Yamamoto.

Read This Heartfelt Eulogy for Local Experimental Musician Matt Shoemaker : By musician Jim Haynes. Haynes’s record label Helen Scarsdale Agency will be making two of Shoemaker’s albums free for download (and physical delivery) to commemorate his life and experimental works (such as using modular synths and playing with electro-acoustics and resonances in a space), so they don’t fall under the radar after his passing.

Another Tragic Loss for the Music World Is Hüsker Dü Drummer/Vocalist Grant Hart:: who passed away from cancer last night at the age of 56. Though oft-overshadowed by Bob Mould, Hart was a gifted musician and songwriter in his own right. “His melodic chops were world-class, his ear for earworms unerring,” says Dave Segal, who wrote a tribute peppered with some memories of meeting Hart and seeing him live. What is up with so much great talent leaving the planet lately? As a friend and fellow music journalist put it on Facebook: “Just explained to someone that these days, I write ‘nearly entirely about dance music and dead people.’”

If You Are Under 21 and Looking for Fun Shows This Weekend: Our music intern and resident 20.5 year old Anna Kaplan has a few good recommends for shows “loaded with treats” this weekend: everything from Olympia surf rock to local Seattle punks and more.

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