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Originally published May 5, 2014 at 8:03 PM | Page modified May 5, 2014 at 8:22 PM

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Musical stars to throw benefit concerts for Oso victims

Prominent local musicians play a couple of benefit concerts for Oso mudslide victims; the Inslees host a benefit for Fight the Fear; and “Nothing Against Life,” a moving film about suicide, screens at Cinerama.

Seattle Times staff columnist


Never let it be said that Seattle’s music community doesn’t rally when things get tough for people, near or far.

This week and next, local artists will take two Seattle stages and play for free to benefit the victims of the Oso mudslide.

On Friday, Duff McKagan, The Presidents of the United States of America, Mark Pickerel, Kim Virant & Gary Westlake, Alessandra Rose and others will play at “Acoustic for Oso” at the Triple Door. The event is being produced by the Seattle Theatre Group, Debra Heesch and the Triple Door.

All proceeds will be donated to United Way of Snohomish County. Tickets are $35 in advance, $40 the day of the show and $50 for the first two rows of seating. Go to

On Monday, The Monarch Review literary and arts magazine is hosting a benefit for the Oso community at the Tractor Tavern in Ballard. Performing will be Mary Lambert, Star Annaand La Luz, with Marco Collins as emcee.

Tickets are $25, with all proceeds — all of them — going to The Cascade Valley Hospital Foundation. For tickets, go to

Governor’s house

How’s the water pressure in the shower?

“Good!” Trudi Inslee told me. “Would you like to take one?”

You wonder about these things when you’re standing in the Governor’s Mansion in Olympia. And luckily, the first lady of Washington state has a sense of humor and a twinkle in her eye.

She’s also a big fan of Brandi Carlile, which is why she and her husband, Gov. Jay Inslee, were happy to host a $250-per-person fundraiser for the singer’s Fight the Fear Campaign, which teaches women self-defense — and, in the process, self-confidence.

Carlile, who signed a deal with ATO Records just the day before, will host self-defense classes in cities on her upcoming tour. She and her wife, Catherine Carlile, are expecting a baby girl in June, so they won’t hit the road before summer.

“Self-defense teaches women and men that they have the right to say no,” said Fight the Fear Executive Director Melinda Johnson. “This is our mission, this is what we want to go out and teach.”

Guests included Adam Zacks and Lynn Resnick; If Project founder and Seattle police Detective Kim Bogucki; Terra Plata restaurant owner Linda Morton; and Jennifer Hopper, who survived the 2009 South Park attack that killed her partner, Teresa Butz. Hopper is a partner in Fight the Fear.

“My sense of safety had been stolen from me that night,” Hopper told the crowd. “But the idea that others would have it lit up my world.”

Hopper, a gifted singer, joined Carlile for a goose-bumping performance of Patty Griffin’s “Mary.”

“Not a bad room, huh?” cracked Tim Hasenroth, who, with his brother, Phil Hasenroth, has been performing with Carlile for years.

Cellist Josh Neumann was excited to be spending the night in one of the bedrooms upstairs.

“I got the footies,” he joked. “This is my house now.”

Take plenty of showers.

Choosing life

Cinerama was swamped with movie types last Thursday when director Julio Ramirez premiered his Seattle-based, suicide-themed film, “Nothing Against Life.” The event benefited the Youth Suicide Prevention Program.

The cast includes Cynthia Geary, best known for her role as waitress Shelly Tambo on “Northern Exposure” — but let’s not forget that she once played mom to the Olsen twins on screen. She now lives in Bellevue with her family and is playing a newspaper editor in the Book-It production of Jim Lynch’s “Truth Like the Sun.” It all keeps her pretty busy.

“I came to take pictures and I’m not staying. I have to run out,” she said. “Way Hollywood.”

Don’t say that word too loudly around director Lynn Shelton, who was happy for Ramirez (she’d only seen the film on her laptop before the screening), but also to be out of the City of Angels and back home.

“I’ve been writing and developing,” she said, “and recovering from three months in L.A.”

In attendance were cast members Fernando Noriega and Hillary Pickles.

Noriega is a smoking soap star in his native Latin America who wasn’t complaining, “But at some point, you want to go for different stuff, more complex and satisfying.”

Pickles, a Seattleite who now lives in L.A., hopes the film opens people up.

“These are the most normal people,” she said of the characters, who all struggle to stay alive. “But they never talk about what goes on.”

“Nothing Against Life” doesn’t have a distributor, so it’s not clear where it will go. But Dorothy Bullitt, executive producer, trusts it will find a place in schools and universities as the spark for meaningful conversation. Why else would she send Ramirez money for 12 years to get the thing finished?

“I was riveted,” Bullitt said of the script, which she read while Ramirez was writing it. “The people jumped off the page and stuck with me.”

But the biggest star turn in the film may belong to Seattle.

“Even though they are sad people,” Bullitt said, “the city itself is gorgeous and bright.”

Nicole Brodeur’s column appears Tuesday and Sunday. Reach her at 206-464-2334 or

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About Nicole Brodeur's Names in Bold

On Tuesdays, I tell you about my travels through some of the week's social and philanthropic events — not just the ones for the swells, but those for work-a-day folks who care about making this region move and improve. 206-464-2334

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