Literature

‘Short Stories Live’

This series of spoken literature by noted local actors returns to greet 2013 with selections by several famed 19th-century American authors. The bill includes Louisa May Alcott’s short story “Perilous Play” (about the effects of hashish!); Henry James’ “Europe,” which studies a pair of New England sisters longing for a European sojourn; and excerpts from works by Mark Twain (4 p.m., Feb. 3 at Town Hall, Seattle. Tickets: www.townhallseattle.org).

Misha Berson, Seattle Times arts writer

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Web

Seattle Noir

What would Raymond Chandler make of today’s Rain City ethos, with its locavore-ism, composting madness and double macchiattos in place of whiskey neat? The Seattle Noir twitter feed (@SeattleNoir) gives a good idea. Knowing and affectionate, the account is home to such gems as, “Said he had a little place in ‘North Ballard’ where I could lay low. He texted me the address. Shoreline. I should have known.” Or funnier still, “She’s my Pike!” “I said I wanted the truth!” SLAP “She’s my Pine!” “The truth!” SLAP “My Pike! My Pine! She’s my Pike AND my Pine!”

Brian Thomas Gallagher, Seattle Times assistant features editor

Music

A cappella

Maybe it’s the residual high from last year’s a-ca-awesome comedy “Pitch Perfect,” about college a cappella troupes, but it seems like the “organized nerd singing” label is gone. Suddenly a cappella covers are everywhere. And man, they’re impressive. Canadian indie band Walk off the Earth made it big on YouTube last year with five people on the same guitar in a Gotye cover. Now their a cappella cover of Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble” has gone viral, and it puts the original to shame. Find this, and other covers from the band, at youtube.com/user/walkofftheearth.

Paige Collins, Seattle Times desk editor