Monthly Archives: October 2009

POSTPONED: Elton John and Billy Joel at KeyArena (Gene Stout)

 From former P-I pop music critic Gene Stout’s self-titled blog:

A serious case of e-coli infection combined with the flu has caused Elton John to postpone his Face 2 Face concerts Nov. 4 and 7 with Billy Joel at KeyArena.

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Mariners complete 2010 staff with 3B coach Brumley

    Mike Brumley, a longtime minor league utility infielder who spent the 1990 season with Seattle, is the Mariners’ new third base coach.

    Brumley, 45, replaces Bruce Hines, who was let go last week. Brumley joins six returning coaches, Ty Van Burkleo (bench), Rick Adair (pitching), Alan Cockrell (batting), Lee Tinsley (first base), John Wetteland (bullpen) and Steve Hecht (performance).

    Brumley and Mariner manager Don Wakamatsu have known each other since their collegiate days, but they bonded when both were working for the Diamondbacks in the late 1990s and then again for the Angels from 2001 to 2004.

    The Mariners will have Brumley work with the infielders in addition to his third base duties.

    “I’ve obviously known him for a long time, and he’s a very astute baseball guy,” Wakamatsu said from his home outside Dallas. “He’s got a lot of experiencing managing and coaching, and he brings a lot to the table.

    “Obviously, I know how his mind works, and there are a lot of similarities in the way our minds work in the way we see the game. I think that’s an important part of being part of the staff.”

    Most recently Brumley spent the 2009 season as the Dodgers’ minor league field coordinator. He’s been a minor league manager, a field coordinator and coach dating back to the mid-1990s.

    “We talked to candidates inside and outside the organization,” general manager Jack Zduriencik said in a statement, “and Mike will be a great fit for us. He’s had experience as a major league shortstop, a minor league manager and third base coach and as a minor league field coordinator.”

    As a player, Brumley was both an infielder and outfielder with the Cubs (1987), the Tigers (1988), the Mariners (1990), the Red Sox (1991-92), Astros (1993 and 1994) and Athletics (1994). He has followed a family tradition; his father, Mike, played parts of three seasons with the Washington Senators from 1965 to 1966.

Publicola: Questions about Constantine ad

The local politics site, Publicola, has a couple of particularily interesting posts today.

One is about that anti-Susan Hutchison ad being run by her opponent in the King County Executive’s race, Dow Constantine. Publicola reports that:

Greg Lane, head of the state public-affairs cable station TVW, released a statement today complaining that the Dow Constantine campaign violated the station’s copyright policy by using its footage in an anti-Susan Hutchison commercial. The footage showed Hutchison praising the Washington Policy Center, a conservative think tank, at its annual dinner; the commercial has also sparked claims by the WPC (eviscerated pretty thoroughly by The Seattle Times) that the Constantine camp was misrepresenting their positions on climate change, light rail, class sizes, and green jobs.

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Also, the site reports that Seattle mayoral candidate Mike McGinn’s internal poll shows his race against Joe Mallahan to be neck-to-neck. That’s a departure from other polls.

McGinn is planning a series of town hall meetings this weekend to reach out to undeccided voters.

Art: Jack Daws’ counterfeit penny surfaces (Regina Hackett)

From former P-I art critic Regina Hackett’s blog, Another Bouncing Ball:


(Jack Daws)

In 2007, Jack Daws fabricated 10 pennies, each copper-plated, 18-Karat gold, heavier than the usual and slightly smaller. His gallery offered nine for sale for $1,000 each. The 10th Daws dropped into circulation at the Los Angeles International Airport.


What are the chances he’d ever hear from that 10th penny again? Read more




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In the neighborhoods: July crime stats: Big increase in vehicle thefts (Eastlake)

From the Eastlake Ave neighborhood blog:

The July crime statistics have been released by the Seattle Police Department. Vehicle thefts were up dramatically — 140% — in the two precincts Eastlake is a part of.

As I’ve explained before, it’s difficult to see Eastlake’s exact numbers in these statistics. We’re included in two larger police beats (Capitol Hill and the Cascade neighborhoods). To make it even more difficult, North of E. Lynn, you live in the East Precinct; south of Lynn, you’re in the West Precinct (check the attached precinct map to make sense of this).

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Theater Review: “August: Osage County” Offers a Delightful Chill

Of all the horrifying things that get said in “August: Osage County” – and there are a great many within this grieving family – the most monstrous may be the most simple, when matriarch Violet proclaims, “I’m just telling the truth.”

Honesty is a bludgeon in Tracy Letts’ Pulitzer and Tony-winning play, whose tour runs at The Paramount (in partnership with Seattle Repertory Theater).  The most brutal facts, that Violet is addicted to an indiscriminate array of painkillers and her missing husband Beverly anesthetizes himself with drink, aren’t in dispute. It’s the lies told to keep the peace that become instruments of an attrition war.

That may sound bleak, and at times it can be. But this phenomenal cast, led by Estelle Parsons but without a single weak link, keeps us watching, even as (or especially as) tidy dinner table conversation descends into a blood sport.

 We get our first glimpse of the dynamic from Beverly, as he explains the rules to the new housekeeper. It’s a brief, but plum appearance for Jon DeVries, who shows steel through the bloodshot soul of the once-great poet. Whether her pills led to his whiskey, or the other way around, is lost to the resulting haze, he growls. It’s only later that we comprehend what this interview portends.

His disappearance is what brings the daughters back home to Oklahoma’s summer heat, in a temporary unity of purpose, but with each cloaking their own secrets. Barbara, the eldest (an extraordinary Shannon Cochran), pulls errant husband Bill (Jeff Still) in tow with their sulky teenager Jean (Emily Kinney), their marital distress thinly papered over. The youngest, Karen (Amy Warren) is a flibbertigibbet swooning over her engagement to Steve (Laurence Lau), who soon proves himself a scoundrel. And Ivy (Angelica Torn), the dutiful girl who has remained to suffer her mother’s abuse, harbors her own scandalous romance.


None of this gets past Violet, who can see through their masks even in her narcotic-addled state and exploits it as a predator selects the weak of the herd. Parsons, who also played the role on Broadway (replacing the Tony-winning Deanna Dunagan), masterfully lends her own dithery qualities to the dangerously underestimated Violet.

Letts, who has amply demonstrated his devotion to dread and decay in plays like “Killer Joe” and “Bug,” measures the inherent conflict between generations, pitting parental sacrifice against filial duty. The battle ultimately comes down to a struggle for control between Violet and Beverly, one that both must lose by winning.

This is certainly Letts’ most overtly personal play – Letts hails from Tulsa, has two brothers and his father, the actor/poet Dennis Letts, played Beverly at Chicago’s  Steppenwolf (where Letts has been a member for over a decade) and in New York.

Yet for all of the play’s bile and doom, Steppenwolf director Anna D. Shapiro manages to keep this disintegrated family rooted in the hope of some restoration, or at least truce. It’s that desire for unity, even as it proves impossible, that keeps us pegged to the events and makes them real.

It’s precisely that truth-telling that makes this must-see production so superb.

“August: Osage County” runs through Nov. 1 at the Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine St. Tickets: $20-$60; (206) 292-ARTS (2787) or

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Art: Gary Hill: I’ll show you the life of the mind (Regina Hackett)

Regina Hackett’s blog, Another Bouncing Ball:

As he slammed himself into a wall, Gary Hill stuttered through his discourse on being and nothingness. After finishing Wall Piece in 2000, he was covered in bruises and could barely walk. His interest in theory he roots in sensation. Central for him is the idea of rupture. His focus is the seams and dislocations between sound, image, time and motion, between the real and the surreal.

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Gary Hill

Art: Spike Mafford’s Days of the Dead (Regina Hackett)

From former P-I at critic

(Spike Mafford )

Regina Hackett’s blog, Another Bouncing Ball:

Born in Mexico City to painters Elizabeth Sandvig and Michael Spafford, Seattle photographer Spike Mafford has spent two decades documenting Dia de los Muertos in the country of his orgin.

What distinguishes these photos is not just his innate elegance but his intimacy. He knows the people in the costumes and some in the graves, has stayed up all night with them to drink, scatter marigolds and dance.

We dress up:



The church outside:

(Spike Mafford )
















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