Author: Sam Chapman

Björk, Yaeji, and the Aesthetic Concept of Ma

I am a deeply impractical person, and formerly a chubby, manga-obsessed middle-schooler, which means I’ve long been obsessed with the Japanese art of ikebana, or flower arrangement. It fascinates me for a variety of reasons (its position as an ideal pursuit for generals and accomplished warriors, its spiritual components, its dense, specific visual vocabulary, the fact that I’m a swishy brat who loves flowers) but the aspect of the practice that I’m most fascinated with is its adherence to the aesthetic concept of ma.

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Totally Unofficial Queer Guide to Bumbershoot 2017

Here we are. Bumbershoot. Seattle’s flagship festival (much like every other festival these days) seems to inspire a range of reactions amongst observers: annoyance, excitement, confusion, a sudden desire to be intoxicated. But whether you like it or not, Bumbershoot is here, and this year’s festival is packed to the gills, yet again, with all the music AEG’s money could buy.

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Folding Fans and Canned Chardonnay: CHBP 2017

You’re welcome, readers. You’re so welcome. While you spent the weekend tucked in bed reading Roxane Gay’s new book (or whatever), I was out in the streets, clocking in three full days of Capitol Hill Block Party so I could report back to you. It was long and hot and full of people not-so-subtly doing drugs. Ok, to be fair, it wasn’t all bad, and I did get drink tickets, but still! It was a lot of work, ok?!

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Hardly Boys “Middle School” Jetspace Premiere

My encounter with Hardly Boys begins with a bang. At six-thirty (our appointed meeting time), I sit in Little Oddfellows (our appointed meeting place) and finish the last of my yogurt (not appointed, but satisfying). I watch from my seat across the room as the band walks in, looks around, and then, before I can say anything, sits down with a person who is definitely not me.

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Taming of the Tension: A Conversation with Coco Peru

Miss Coco Peru has been there and done that – all in a shoulder-length, red flip hairdo, naturally. Unlike most drag performers, Ms. Peru forewent lip-synching and dancing and instead made a name for herself as a monologist and creator of one-woman shows. A period of successful performances in New York’s cabaret circuit eventually led to stints in film and television.

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Charli XCX Turns The Party

There’s a profound difficulty in locating any of Charli XCX’s music historically, or even within the continuum of her own output, because she’s never made the same thing twice. As a fan this is thrilling, but as a critic it’s deeply puzzling.

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Mykki Blanco Gives You Hope

To this list of historical blowouts, I’d submit this date for inclusion: Monday, February 27, 2017. Monday night, in the belly of the newly renovated Neumos, Cakes da Killa, Mykki Blanco, and a host of local performers threw Seattle an enormous, kaleidoscopically diverse party. It was the kind of thing we need more now than ever.

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Hazel English And The Power Of Ambiguity

Sunday night, Hazel English took the stage wearing a delicately checked blue and yellow sweater, acid wash jeans (relaxed fit), and pink vans. Fittingly for the Vera Project, the crowd was mixed in age and seemed subdued to the point of drowsiness. Most of us sat placidly along the walls through the two openers, but stood and drifted towards the middle of the stage as she and her band began playing.

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