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5/25/17: FORGING AHEAD?
May 24th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

Could the Black Dog Forge’s Belltown building, and the legendary band-practice basement space within, be rescued from redevelopment by a crowdfunding campaign? In other MISCmedia MAIL topics today: Why people don’t listen to facts; ambitious plans for the state’s schools; Starbucks’ employee-motivation program backfiring; and preparing for our new computer overlords.

5/23/17: POLICING THE POLICE
May 22nd, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

After more than four years, we’re close to a permanent police-oversight system. MISCmedia MAIL today also discusses the potential hypocrisy of taxing pop in Latte Land; rapid rehousing’s potential shortcomings; a Seahawk’s feud with a Seattle Times writer; and a word for Manchester (by the sea).

5/22/17: I SEE YOU’VE MET THE ‘TWIN’S
May 22nd, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

Twin Peaks is back. Or rather, something mostly new under that title and with several of the old show’s characters has arrived, and it’s a beaut.  Today’s MISCmedia MAIL also looks at more Chris Cornell reactions; the death of a major local lit n’ history figure; one person named Grant dissing another; and a major Belltown arts-creation space going away.

5/9/17: MAYOR MAY OR MAY NOT
May 8th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

In MISCmedia MAIL: We still don’t know for sure whether Ed Murray will end his re-election drive today; the feds try to stop a big local pro-immigrant legal group; KeyArena will have to be rebuilt with or without major pro sports; arrests at an anti-pipeline protest; and can the new Nordic Heritage Museum encourage America to become more like modern Scandinavia?

5/8/17: BLUE ON BLUE
May 7th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

In MISCmedia MAIL: Can there really be such a thing as a new color? Will Ed Murray drop his re-election bid? Can the arts relieve societal future shock? Will Yakima’s city government ever be responsive to its large Latinx population? Can we all move to France?

5/1/17: DO AS YOU ‘MAY’
Apr 30th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

Another month, another MISCmedia MAIL, and another set of May Day protests. Let’s make this one inclusive instead of destructive, ‘K? We also discuss the recent Punk Rock Flea Market; the Folklife Fest’s serious fiscal woes; one thing that could halt Amazon’s big growth; and a “salmon cannon.”

JE T’AIME, SEATTLE!
Apr 9th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

madamefigaro

Stereotypically, the French (with a few exceptions, such as Alexis de Tocqueville) hate America, or at least much of America (with a few exceptions, such as jazz music and old B movies).

You can now add something else American that the French like. It’s li’l ol’ us.

And not the standard tourist-cliché Seattle of fish-throwin’ and whale-watchin’, either.

It’s the arts scene.

Yes, the Seattle visual-art world some of us oldsters remember as an intimate milieu of four or five museums, a couple dozen private galleries, some warehouse studio spaces, and CoCA.

This scene has now grown to finally become, as so many Seattle institutions aspire to become, “world class.”

At least, that’s what writer Paola Genone says, in Madame Figaro, a weekly magazine section of the major Paris daily Le Figaro.

The online version of her article is titled “Seattle, la nouvelle escale (“stopover”) arty américaine.”

The article’s print title is even more portentious, proclaiming Seattle to be a “Tete (head) de l’art.” (It’s a phrase with multiple historic meanings, which I don’t have room here to delineate. But it basically means something aesthetically significant.)

The story begins with a quick intro. Yes, it skims past many of your standard Seattle tourist/media reference points—Hendrix, Nirvana, Twin Peaks, Boeing, Microsoft, Amazon, rain.

But Genone then quickly segues into her principal theme, Seattle as “a capital of artistic renewal that loves mixing genres” and as “the hub of a new contemporary art and music…. Cool, eco-friendly, rock and high-tech, Seattle is astonishing by its freedom and eclecticism.”

Genone’s verbal tour of the local scene starts with two legacies of “the great geek” Paul Allen, the Seattle Art Fair and the Museum of Popular Culture (née EMP).

But Genone doesn’t stay in the realm of billionaires for long. Instead, she next calls Seattle “the city of women,” for the female directors of so many local institutions (SAM, TAM, the Frye, the Henry).

That’s followed by short photo-profiles of six local art n’ music movers n’ shakers:

  • Martyr Space gallery owner Tariqa Waters (“La galeriste underground”). She creates self-portraits “with sharp colors, constantly transforming: aggressive, myserious, transgender, pop art.”
  • Tacocat singer Emily Nokes (“L’égérie (muse) pop punk”). She’s the “worthy heiress to the pop punk of Courtney Love,” fronting a band whose music combines the Beach Boys’ surf guitar with “the burning hymns of Bikini Kill.”
  • Collage artist Joe Rudko (“Le reveur aux ciseaux” (“the dreamer with scissors”)). His compositions, while “apparently abstract,” turn out to reveal “itineraries of thought, mysterious architectures, imaginary family albums,” and dreams of “an America open to diveristy and solidarity.”
  • Photographer and multimedia artist Jennifer Zwick (“La photographe de l’étrange’). Her images appear “comme le caustic The Stranger” and elsewhere; while her installations explore “a fantastic universe of children, books, and everyday objects hijacked: installations inspired as much by the writings of WIlliam Blake and Jorge Juis Borges as by the comics of ‘Calvin and Hobbes.'”
  • Hideout bar owner and Out of Sight festical curator Greg Lundgren (“Le Warhol de Seattle”). He’s called “a visionary at the head of utopian, committed, and large-scale projects,” which are all intended to support “galleries and artists of the city and to push them to flourish there. Successful bet.”
  • Frye Art Museum director Jo-Anne Birnie Danzker (“La directrice de musée qui ose…” (“who dares”)). She “gave a voice to the artists of Seattle and encouraged experimentation,” along with “a lively dialogue between creators of all disciplines bringing their vision to the stakes of the contemporary world. “

The article doesn’t mention the hyper-inflating rents currently driving many artists and small-scale galleries out of town. Nor does it discuss the local “new money” techies who aren’t collecting much art (yet); or the local “old money” collectors who, for the longest time, preferred to do their art buying out of town.

But face it: it’s hard to bring up the harsher realities of a place when you’re hyping it as a global Next Big Thing.

(Translations by Google. Cross-posted with City Living Seattle.)

MISCmedia MAIL FOR 3/31/17: TO SUFFER ‘FOOLS’ GLADLY
Mar 31st, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

We remember the April Fool’s editions of college newspapers, and the “funny fake news” industry they birthed (not to be confused with the “deadly-serious fake news” industry). We also examine a solemn anniversary on Bainbridge; Bill Nye as the least-cool co-chair of the March for Science; a save-the-salmon video game; and the usual cornucopia of weekend events.

MISCmedia MAIL FOR 3/22/17: THE ZINE SCENE, RE-SEEN
Mar 21st, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

The “ZAPP” archive of self-published zines, originally assembled by volunteers working out of Hugo House, has a new and safe home; though the ZAPP folks apparently had no say in it. As they say, it’s “complicated.” We also examine the need to re-re-clean-up Gas Works Park; Bill Gates vs. the proposed federal budget; a new “health scare of the week;” and national recognition to a great local artist.

MISCmedia MAIL FOR 3/20/17: TIME FOR SPRING I SAY!
Mar 19th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

As we wait, sometimes more patiently than others, for the ol’ change-O-seasons thang, we take note of particularly dreadful faux-native American kitsch; a serious allegation against a local celeb; another call for less bro-dominance in tech; and the Case of the Paltry Pint Glass.

MISCmedia MAIL FOR 3/2/17: LENT ME AN EAR
Mar 1st, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

For a big season O’ atonement, I’m not sure what we’re all supposed to atone for. But I do know, and relate, a little about municipal-income-tax proponents; Sound Transit opponents; a final victory for Alaskan Air baggage handlers; and an upside down, abstract rendering of Mt. Rainier.

MISCmedia MAIL FOR 2/9/17: GENERALLY STRIKING?
Feb 8th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

A hundred and two years back, Seattle had the nation’s first citywide general strike. Now some folks want to stage another one as the next big national protest. We speak as well of Chris Hansen’s latest arena-scheme revival; legal action against Five-Hour Energy; weird eyeglasses with built-in video cams; and Seattle’s last full-time newspaper art critic leaving.

MISCmedia MAIL FOR 2/2/17: A WORLD DISAPPEARED
Feb 1st, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

As a new exhibit about local Japanese-American life (before and during the WWII internments) shows, we’ve been down the path of ethnic demonizing before, with tragic results. We’ve also got the now-usual roundup of resistance news, plus a real police-reform bill at last; how the state Senate could get re-tied; and the death of a ceaseless advocate for urban trees and plants.

MISCmedia MAIL FOR 12/29/16: SKULL IN THE BOX
Dec 28th, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

Our Thursday e-roundup concerns a Mexican-born Seattle artist with a new twist on Day of the Dead iconography; a new phone area code for the region; a man who allegedly held his own family hostage with a bow and arrow (among other things); one more Amazon skyscraper site; and yet another iconic figure’s demise.

MISCmedia MAIL for 11/22/16: A HERO AGAIN
Nov 22nd, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

Did Seahawks star Doug Baldwin’s testimony bring the “winning edge” when a state task force voted to make police more liable in deadly-force cases? We’ll never know. But we do know about a City Council budget vote; the potential perils of a Canadian oil pipeline; and a quiet end to one of Seattle’s oldest restaurants.

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