(HEARING) Don't let your city council get away with it! Tonight, Margaret Pageler et al. have the temerity to mull over whether they should fund or gut the Elevated Transportation Company (ETC)--created by you, the voters, in 1997 to come up with a monorail plan. Council Members Nick Licata and Judy Nicastro are forwarding proposals to set aside $4 million so the ETC can do its work; Council Member Heidi "Whitey" Wills has a plan that would fold the ETC into a larger body studying transportation issues. There will also be discussion of a new ballot initiative, I-53, which would fund the ETC with $6 million and reserve up to $200 million if the voters eventually approved a monorail plan. Tonight's issue isn't simply about funding transportation--it's about democracy. JOSH FEIT

Council Chambers, Municipal Building, 11th Floor, 600 Fourth Ave (use Fifth Ave entrance), sign-up begins at 6 pm.

Mae West Fest

(THEATER) For four years now the Mae West Fest has presented works written and directed by women. It's troubling that such a festival is still necessary to give the abundance of female theater artists an outlet, but it's to Theater Babylon's credit that they devote their time and energy to this smorgasbord of art with ovaries. Included are solo works, staged readings, and fully mounted plays; the artists range from new writers like Heather Braaten and Roxanne Ray to confident professionals like Mary Lathrop; themes range all over the map, though a number of pieces focus on sex and marriage. The Mae West Fest runs for three days, but some individual performances may only appear once. BRET FETZER

Union Garage, 1418 10th Ave, 720-1942. Full festival passes are $40; individual events vary. Thurs-Sun July 27-30, call for times of specific events.

Independent Exposure

(FILM) Lengthiness, pretentiousness, condescension toward the audience (and even worse, the characters)--this installment of Independent Exposure has them all. But even this weaker collection spotlights at least a few directors who know there's only one way to make a good short film: finding a style that matches what you want to say about something that matters to you. That is why Sarah Abbott's Why I Hate Bees is so beautiful, even though it looks like spliced-together home movie footage (the change of a filter when a young couple kiss is magical); and the animation in Helen Hill's Mouseholes, though crude, is a touching complement to this affectionate salute to a late, beloved grandfather. For that matter, Anne-Marie Hess' The Speed of Light makes every mistake mentioned earlier, but still contains some lovely moments that suggest Hill's eye might be one worth following in the future. BRUCE REID

Speakeasy, 2304 Second Ave, 971-5100, 7:30 pm, $4.


Strictly Seattle

(DANCE) There's no two ways about it: Seattle's dance scene is superb. This program from Velocity Dance Studio focuses on Seattle artists, and while it's merely a sliver of the choreographic talent out there, it's a nice sampling of consistent veterans and rising faces: Brian Dawbin, Karn Junkinsmith, Wade Madsen, Paul Mosley, K. T. Niehoff, and Deborah Wolf. The performances are the culmination of a three-week intensive with over 100 participants; it's reflective of the kind of hands-on development and community interaction that has given the local dance scene such zest, variety, and vitality. BRET FETZER

Broadway Performance Hall, 1625 Broadway, 325-6500. Fri-Sat July 28-29, 8 pm; $12 advance, $14 at the door.

Obsessive Becoming

(FILM) Video art is still an evolving form, which accounts for both its intense pleasures and its not-occasional pains. Obsessive Becoming is a work of video art, and it roundly shines through the whole spectrum: Surely some will find it tediously reliant on Adobe AfterEffects trickery and video filters, but for those who are interested in both what is technically possible and what is emotionally possible with a new form, the work is a fluid and dazzling display. Elliptically telling a tale of family abuse, the film uses an encyclopedic profusion of restless imagery to create a hypnotic, eye-crushing collage over which are woven both narratives and monologues. It may drive you insane, it may bore you, or it may be the best work you'll see all month--certainly, it won't live up to your expectations, as you can have none. JAMIE HOOK

911 Media Arts, 117 Yale Ave N, 682-6552, 8 pm, $5.


Carrie Akre

(LIVE MUSIC) Maybe the lesson this week is that you've gotta watch out for those Goodness folks. Anyone expecting that band's former frontwoman to reprise her roll as powerhouse rock goddess is in for one hell of a shock. On her stellar solo debut, Home (out now on the label she runs with former bandmate Garth Reeves), Carrie Akre has reinvented herself as a true rock diva, reigning supreme over a spine-tinglingly eclectic batch of material that showcases a more sophisticated side of her personality. These shows celebrate the record's release, so you never know which of the local luminaries who added their talents might show up. BARBARA MITCHELL

Sit & Spin, 2219 Fourth Ave, 441-9484, 3 pm (all ages, $7) and 9 pm (21+, $8).



(LIVE MUSIC) It took a prolonged wave of lip-synching boy bands to do it, but I actually miss Hanson. That is, we need to come to terms with the fact that fat allowances across the nation have turned 13-year-olds into the dominant consumer force, so it's just a matter of figuring out which teenyboppers are more palatable than others. And despite all of Hanson's goofiness, they don't wear silver jumpsuits and they do play their own instruments. That's enough right there to make me cry huge adult tears of gratitude. NATHAN THORNBURGH

Moore Theatre, 1932 Second Ave, 443-1744, 7:30 pm, $25.


Institute of Official Cheer

(WEBSITE) Dedicated to "helping tomorrow feel superior by scoffing at yesterday," Minneapolis writer James Lileks' knee-slappin' website exposes the most god-awful pop culture images of the 1930s-1960s to our, um, modern sensibilities. The Gallery of Regrettable Food showcases some truly disturbing food shapes and colors, while the Dorcus Menswear Collection proves that women's fashions have never had a monopoly on stupidity. Check out the Grooviest Motel in Wisconsin for its shockingly butt-ugly '60s architecture and interior design. Bad Publicity features photos that certain celebs wish did not exist, including "I'm Orson Welles, and I'm Hung Over" and "Bob Hope's Secret Gay Past." Best of all is the Art of Art Frahm: A Study of the Effects of Celery on Loose Elastic. Frahm, an illustrator of '50s pin-up girl calendars, had a strange fascination with women whose underwear mysteriously falls to their ankles--almost always accompanied by the sinister presence of celery in a grocery bag. MELODY MOSS

Become a "trained and certified Irony Eradicator" at


Acoustic Posies

(LIVE MUSIC) Let's take Seattle's most idiosyncratic singer-songwriters and throw them all on one bill at the Showbox! It will be, at the very least, artistically INTENSE, as the extremely talented and puzzlingly eccentric Ken Stringfellow and Jon Auer, John Wesley Harding, Sean Nelson, and John Roderick take the stage for a night that boasts the potential for the wittiest between-song banter of the year. Watch them battle it out for the most obscure literary reference; keep score of their arch turns of phrase; and enjoy some of the best, most intelligent pop Seattle can muster. ERIN FRANZMAN

Showbox, 1426 First Ave, 628-3151, 8 pm, $8.



(DANCE) Enough already. Enough with the "jazz hands," enough with the snickering, the eye-rolling. If you can't appreciate the TOTAL FUCKING GENIUS of dancer/choreographer/director Bob Fosse, you need to check yourself for a pulse. Not only did Fosse enlighten musical theater audiences with his sexy modern dance style, energetic productions, and phenomenal protégés (Liza Minnelli!), he gave dancers who didn't have "perfect bodies" a chance to shine: Too chesty and overweight for Swan Lake? Fosse loved voluptuous dancers with hips to swivel and cleavage to heave. Don't have flawless ballet posture? No problem--Fosse was all about the slouch, the slink, the bend, the lean. It would be safe to say that besides giving us Broadway gems like Cabaret, Chicago, and Sweet Charity, Fosse saved an entire generation of dancers from anorexia and oblivion. And you know what? I'll be really, really mad if Fosse--the current revue of his life's work--is reduced by "theater critics" to mere Broadway cheese. MIN LIAO

Paramount Theatre, 911 E Pine St, 682-1414, Tues-Sat at 8, Sun at 7:30, Sat-Sun matinees at 2, $21-$52. Through Aug 6.