Surfing for Life
(FILM) While we love to think of our elders as drooling, rambling bingo junkies, we often overlook those whose zest for life and still-youthful optimism should make us ashamed of our cynicism. Surfing for Life documents the life stories of a motley group of aging surfers--ranging from their 60s to their 90s(!)--still doing what they love: hanging out on the beach and surfing with their friends. Modern surfing owes everything to this crew of pioneers who did it for the love of the sport long before Mountain Dew decided to cash in on all that is "extreme." Surfing for Life is an inspiration for those who see youth as a state of mind, and a well-deserved wake-up call to all the wannabe landlubbers in their puka shells and aloha shirts. KRIS ADAMS
Little Theatre, 608 19th Ave E, 675-2055, $7.50. See Movie Times for details.
(THEATER) A free-associative whirlwind of words, ideas, and music; a two-man science-fiction theatrical romp; a cutting critique of commercial culture delivered with the same relentlessness of TV commercials themselves--none of these seem to wholly encapsulate Ballyhoo, the theatrical outlet of the musical/performance duo Player King. John Osebold and Michael McQuilken perform in other formats (Osebold is also part of comedy troupe the Habit, and both appeared in Open Circle's production of Poona the Fuckdog), but their collaborations result in an especially spicy flavor. As a bonus, opening night will mark the release of their second CD, also titled Ballyhoo. BRET FETZER
Open Circle Theater, 429 Boren Ave N, 325-6500, Thurs-Sat July 14-Aug 5, 8 pm, $12. Pay-what-you-can preview Thurs July 13.
(ART) Summer can be a sleepy time for art in Seattle; the cure for this is nothing less than a trip to Vancouver, BC to see Mirror's Edge at the Vancouver Art Gallery, an exhibition of international contemporary art put together by South African curator and publisher Okwui Enwezor. The theme, in name, is the relationship between image, fiction, and reality, but the real pleasure is in how international and new the work is. I was thrilled to discover Liisa Roberts--whose video installation of two screens showing women eating lunch was interrupted by the entrance and exit of viewers--and Ceal Floyer, whose sculpture laboriously re-creates everyday phenomena such as the sliver of light under a door. Some of the work fails, but it fails on a grand scale, which is something you rarely get to see around here. EMILY HALL
Vancouver Art Gallery, 750 Hornby St, Vancouver, BC, 604-662-4700. Open daily from 10 am-5:30 pm (9 pm on Thurs). Through Aug 13.
Destroy All Monsters
Destroy All Monsters
(ART) In the book of brilliant oddities produced by the city of Detroit in the decade between 1964 and 1974--a time span that extends from the peak of Motown to the peak of P-Funk, with the Stooges and the MC5 tossed into the middle--one of the littler-known chapters concerns Destroy All Monsters, a mindfuck rock band/art group that was the brainchild of some particularly inspired University of Michigan art-school students. Its members went on to high-profile art careers, particularly L.A. artists Mike Kelley and Jim Shaw, but they periodically get together to relive their '72-'74 glory (with bigger audiences), and to create new collaborative works. Tonight at CoCA, the band plays its own art opening; Sunday at 4:00 pm, Kelley, Shaw, and Cary Loren are grilled by UW Prof. Paul Remley on the subject of "Rust Belt Noise, Thrift Store Aesthetics, and the Globalization of Detroit Pop Culture." ERIC FREDERICKSEN
Center on Contemporary Art, 65 Cedar St, 728-1980. Opening 8 pm-midnight, $7. Sunday's panel discussion costs $4.
The Melody Unit, No. 2, Ruston Mire
(LIVE MUSIC) Three great bands on one bill makes for one of the most cost-effective entertainment options this week has to offer. The Melody Unit continue to hone their drone-influenced, Stereolab-esque pop to perfection and Portland's No. 2 features Elliott Smith's former Heatmiser co-conspirator Neil Gust, who's chosen to perpetuate his former band's less-mopey side. Then there's Ruston Mire, whose fabulous debut, Steady Jobs and Flying Cars, has provided a perpetual ray of new-wave sunshine since it was released earlier this year. BARBARA MITCHELL
Crocodile, 2200 Second Ave, 441-5611, 9 pm, $7.
Camlann Medieval Faire
(FESTIVAL) Forget those fairs pushing "medieval" cotton candy in paved parking lots. The Camlann Medieval Faire runs for a full six weeks, has an isolated forest setting, and is run by a nonprofit educational organization. Yes, you'll still find plenty of medieval capitalists proffering herbs, candles, pottery, books, swords, and costumes--but you can also enjoy minstrels and medieval instruments, knights in combat, puppetry, manor court hearings, craft demonstrations, and food and beverages from the highly recommended Bors Hede Restaurant. MELODY MOSS
Camlann Medieval Faire, 10320 Kelly Rd NE, Carnation (45 min. east of Seattle). Sat-Sun only, July 15-Aug 27, 11:30 am-6 pm, $0-$9; 425-788-8624 or www.camlann.com.
(CD) Maybe you knew enough to pay attention to this record when it came out last autumn. I didn't, but what I missed out on last fall is kicking my ass this summer. Kathleen Hanna's latest project (also featuring revered indie film artist Sadie Benning) blends nearly every brand of rock rebellion of the last 50 years--girl groups, punk, plinky new wave, industrial noise--into a whole so inspired it feels seamless, and entirely new. Hanna's a Very Smart Woman, which means these songs are loaded with socio-political commentary, feminist name-dropping, and artsy cultural reference points. She's also an artist, and a rock star, and every bit of Le Tigre's intellectual ambition is perfectly encased in gorgeous, shiny pop noise. It's like candy that makes you smarter, and you should go buy it. DAVID SCHMADER
Available at such fine record stores as Orpheum, 618 Broadway E, 322-6370, or directly from the label at www.mrlady.com.
(FILM) If Birth of a Nation is American cinema's Great Shame--brilliant and appalling in equal measure--then D. W. Griffith's follow-up, Intolerance, should count as our Great Apologia. Self-consciously grand, the film is never quite morally complex enough to live up to its ingenious structure. But as a Hollywood epic, passing along half-thought-out ideals about brotherhood along with jaw dropping, eye-popping sets and battle scenes, Intolerance excels--perhaps more than any other film has ever since. There's a stubborn sincerity to Griffith's moralizing that's hard to imagine from any film these days. It may be overlong, self-important, and hypocritical as all get-out, but all that only makes it more perfect as an American classic. Shown as part of the Silent Movie Mondays series. BRUCE REID
Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine St, 682-1414, 7 pm, $10.
Weary, Harvester, Tiny Kings
(LIVE MUSIC) This is what you come to the Tractor for: country rock as weathered and comfortable as a big old leather chair. Kevin Aichler's songs are not yet striking enough to make you frantic for more, but what Weary does best is generate an atmosphere. This is moody drinking music, lively enough to keep things moving and sad enough to sympathize with why you're getting toasted in the first place. GRANT COGSWELL
Tractor Tavern, 5213 Ballard Ave NW, 789-3599, 9:30 pm, $4.
(TV) "Everyone has a summer they'll never forget...." And so begins the WB's new hour-long summer series/guilty pleasure that beckons irresistibly to those of us who, instead of facing up to our boring adolescent realities, considered Pretty in Pink, Some Kind of Wonderful, and Say Anything as The Way the World Oughta Be. Young Americans joins that world with its endearingly familiar rich-prepsters-mixing-with-kids-from-the-wrong-side-of-the-tracks premise. Flawlessly beautiful teenagers with dewy skin and perfect hair, a summer session at a prestigious New England boarding school, unlikely friendships that ignore class lines, wardrobe and lighting that rivals Friends, and a VERY VISIBLE sponsorship from Coca-Cola... what else do you need to appeal to America's youth? MIN LIAO
Wednesdays at 9 on the WB, Channel 10.
Keb' Mo', Catie Curtis
(LIVE MUSIC) Racism and zoos are inextricably connected: Among the most popular exhibits in the first zoos were anthropological displays of live Pygmies, Eskimos, and other aboriginal humans. Early zoo curators hoped that by displaying Pygmies, they could prove their pseudo-Darwinistic point that Africans and African Americans would have been evolutionarily disadvantaged to compete against Caucasians if paternalistic institutions (like slavery) hadn't been there to shield them. That is why you can't underestimate the revolutionary potential of the blues, evident even at the Woodland Park Zoo and under the affable guidance of Keb' Mo'. Listen closely, and the blues will tell you that African Americans have thrived in spite of, not because of, their coexistence with Whitey. NATHAN THORNBURGH
Woodland Park Zoo, 5500 Phinney Ave N, 615-0076, 6 pm, $18.