BOOK REFRAIN: A few months ago, The Stranger’s Paul Constant assigned five local songwriters a different book to read. Their task? Write and record songs inspired by their assignment. Tonight, all 25 songs written for the project will be performed by their authors in a hybrid salon slash show. But who are these literate adventurers and what books did they read, you ask? Ryan Barrett (The Pica Beats) tackled The Possibility of an Island by Michel Houellebecq; Alex Guy (Led to Sea) burned through Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov; Levi Fuller perused Maggie Nelson’s Bluets; Johanna Kunin ably Set This House in Order: A Romance of Souls by Matt Ruff; and Joshua Morrison fought The Last Samurai by Helen DeWit. They have all returned with stories melodic and methodical. Go and engage!
Friday 8:00 p.m. // Fremont Abbey // $15 (Concert attendees will receive a free CD with 15 of the songs)
GOT THE GREEN, GOT TO GO: Another August, another chance to fervently declare your advocacy for the legalization of hemp, insist on responsible government, and organize your efforts with like-minded patriots. Also: get terribly baked on medical-grade marijuana. What? Yes, we know it’s not on the schedule, but to pretend you won’t get a contact high just walking through the Hempfest crowd is gloriously naive. And yes, the Festival’s focus is on advocacy, political advancement, and (mostly) good grooves (Sorry we can’t get behind the Kotton Mouth Kings), but for us, Hempfest has always been about people watching, the eating of home-cooked wares, and slowly loosing track of the day. What’s more American than that?
Friday 12:00 to 8:00 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. // Centennial Park, Myrtle Edwards Park, and Olympic Sculpture Park // FREE
TEACH AND DO, DO AND TEACH: If you’re looking for inspiration, you simply cannot do better than Fremont this Saturday. Not the neighborhood itself (although its ley lines can often inflame the subconscious) but specifically the back-to-back awesomeness of Dorkbot‘s ThingOut! and the 15th iteration of Ignite Seattle. ThingOut! is devoted to builders, garage hackers, and DIYers with projects to share. Go roam among the ingenuity, then stick around for Ignite, where presenters have 5 minutes to teach a subject of their choice to the audience. Among the presenters slated are George Dyson, professional one-armed juggler and inspirational speaker Jason Quick, letterpresser Glenn Fleishman, aerialist Beverly Sobelman, Solstice security guru Shawn Murphy, hooper Amanda Shumack, record collector Jen Matson, and Scott Berkun, who will attempt to teach Seattle how to drive. Learn, play, leave exhilarated.
Saturday 4:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. // Fremont Outdoor Cinema // $5
DEEP VIBRATIONS: Or maybe you’d prefer to chill out, kick back, and enjoy the promised summer weather with some deep beats and lush textures. If so, then bus it up to Volunteer Park for Cairo‘s First annual VIBRATIONS Festival. With music by San Fran’s Grass Widow, Portland’s Purple & Green, Flexions, Metal Chocolates, Stephanie, Witch Gardens, Charles Leo Gebhardt IV, Seapony, DJ sets by Voodoo Reverb and Actual Pain, and visuals by Dumb Eyes, it might be well worth taking a quick run through the Sculpture Park before landing on the Hill for the rest of the day.
Saturday 2 – 11 p.m. // Volunteer Park // FREE
FIGHT FOR YOUR HONOR: It is one thing to declare your dominance, quite another to prove it among the horde. If you believe yourself up to the task, the time has come to gather your cardboard, construct your suit, and head to Cal Anderson Park for the annual Cardboard Tube Fight. Yes, this is real. Yes, you can still sign up. Hosted by the aptly named The World Is Fun, the Cardboard Tube Fight is open to participants of all ages, so the entire family can have a blast hitting a stranger with a flimsy stick.
Sunday 2:00 – 6:00 p.m. // Cal Anderson Park // FREE