The Must List: Balanchine's The Nutcracker, 24th Annual Gingerbread Village and Can't-Miss Local Retail Events

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Must Watch
Balanchine's The Nutcracker
(11/25-12/28, times vary) It's one of Seattle's favorite holiday traditions, and this year marks the sophomore season for Pacific Northwest Ballet's revamped and redesigned version of The Nutcracker as choreographed by George Balanchine. The two-act ballet promises ballet fans—especially young ones—visions of sugar plums dancing.

Must Wonder
Sheraton Seattle’s 24th Annual Gingerbread Village
(Through January 1, 2017, 24 hours a day) Since 1992, the Sheraton has presented this good-enough-to-eat gingerbread village, a free and open to the public event with all donations benefitting the JDRF Northwest Chapter, a charity committed to curing Type 1 diabetes. The hotel's culinary team donates thousands of hours, an equivalent amount of sugar, candy and dough and partners with local architects—this year featuring Ankrom Moisan, MBAKS & Gelotte Hommas, MG2, Bailly & Bailly, CallisonRTKL & Hargis and 4D Architects—to assemble these confectionery creations that organizers say "keeps more than 150,000 visitors coming back year after year."

Must Mingle
Light in the Attic's Opening Party at KEXP
(11/25, 9 a.m.-8 p.m.) When one door closes, another opens: So it has been for independent record label Light in the Attic, an imprint that recently closed its tiny retail shop in Ballard but shortly after announced it would relocate to KEXP’s gathering space. The label, known for releasing obscure and out-of-print records, celebrates its new—albeit temporary; the pop-up runs through March—home this Saturday with 10% all regular stock, special Black Friday titles and free records with every purchase.

Must Make Merry

Macy's Holiday Parade, Westlake Holiday Tree Lighting and Santaland
(11/25, times vary) Love it or leave it, there’s no denying Westlake is Seattle’s Christmas capitol. There’s the 26th annual Macy’s Holiday Parade (that starts at 9 a.m. at 7th and Pine), the department store’s beloved Santaland meet-and-greet (beginning at 11 a.m.) and the Westlake Holiday Tree Lighting Celebration, which kicks off at 5 p.m. (at Pine Street between 4th and 5th avenues) and includes the lighting of the Macy’s Shining Star. In tune with the excesses of the season, post-celebration fireworks follow, weather permitting.

Must Shop Local
Local Retail Event Round Up
(11/25) Forget Black Friday! Save yourself the mania and the mayhem with our round up of local retail events online (OK, there are some really good brick and mortar options here). Click Your Local Gift-Giving Guide and avoid the Black Friday nightmare by shopping on Seattle's smaller scale at shops like Momo, Clementines, E. Smith Mercantile, Babeland and more. (Hint: Download the Little Boxes app and you’ll save money and be entered in a raffle, too.)

Bruce Pavitt's New App, 8Stem, Makes You the DJ

Bruce Pavitt's New App, 8Stem, Makes You the DJ

Sub Pop's Bruce Pavitt has a new app that puts anyone in the producer's seat
8Stem creative director Bruce Pavitt (foreground) and CEO Adam Farish in their Capitol Hill office: Sub Pop’s 25 million record sales were just a start

Sub Pop cofounder Bruce Pavitt knows times have changed since he launched Seattle’s billion-dollar music revolution in the ’80s. Today’s kids prefer gizmos to guitars, and technology gives them easy ways to do it all, from making music to producing it. Pavitt’s new company, 8Stem, offers music fans a free, easy-as-Instagram iPhone app by that name. It turns everyone into a producer, able to delete and add new tracks on existing recordings: lead, bass, drums, instruments, synthesized vocals, beats. Kids addicted to gaming and tech can now listen interactively, erasing part of a tune by Soundgarden’s Kim Thayil—one of 40 artists who license music to 8Stem—and recording their own sounds over Thayil’s, and then sharing it with the touch of a button, so others can remix it at will. “We live in a remix culture,” says Pavitt. “If you go to YouTube, type in any pop song, then add ‘remix,’ the remixes are going to exceed the listeners of the original song.” Pavitt and his tech-exec partner Adam Farish designed 8Stem to cash in on that trend. 

Artists whose music is part of the remix benefit financially thanks to Dubset, a new “fingerprint” technology that scans remixes and detects music owned by any of the 14,000 labels and publishers it has deals with, then makes sure the various owners of the rights are paid. “We just inked a deal with Dubset,” says Pavitt, “and our first track was on Spotify, ‘Sleep In’ by Telekinesis.” 8Stem user Anomie Belle, a noted Seattle musician, added her vocals to the song and put the new version on Spotify; Telekinesis, 8Stem and remixer Belle all get a slice of the profit—and you can, too.

About 30 of 8Stem’s 40 artists are from Seattle, though a few are from London, Argentina and New York City. “We’re trying to reignite the local culture so it’s an energy source for new music and fresh ideas that can go anywhere,” says Pavitt, who used that very technique to conquer the world at Sub Pop. 

Need to Know

1. As a student at The Evergreen State College, Pavitt used $50 and a crayon to create Sub Pop as a fanzine for credit in 1979, made it a record company, and then sold 49 percent of it to Warner Music Group for $20 million in 1995. 

2. Pavitt’s spirited teen pals in his hometown of Park Forest, Illinois, included Kim Thayil and Hiro Yamamoto, who followed him to Seattle and started Soundgarden, and Tom Zutaut, who discovered Enya, Motley Crue and Guns N’ Roses, featuring Seattle’s Duff McKagan.

3. Pavitt predicts that streaming music, including songs remixed on his new 8Stem app, will jump from a $4 billion market today to $16 billion in 2020.  

4. Farish (above, right) cofounded SmartAmerica Home Automation, owns Orcas Island’s Outlook Inn, made two albums and toured America as an electronic dance music DJ.