(SOLO PERFORMANCE) Most people would rather have bamboo slivers shoved under their fingernails than engage in an "audience interactive performance," yet everyone I know who's seen John Kaufmann's linger lights up in a delighted smile. The centerpiece of the show is the creation of a constellation of Kaufmann's life, using only a pager and an X-Y coordinate grid. But there are also songs, a time capsule created with the audience, and film and video segments, and before every show, Kaufmann takes on a different "physical challenge" to make sure he's in a unique physical state for that show. This is all designed to explore what it means to be "in the moment." Check out Kaufmann's website (, suggest a physical challenge or page him, and go see the results. BRET FETZER

Little Theatre, 608 19th Ave E, 675-2055. Thurs-Sun Sept 7-10, Thurs-Sun at 8, Fri-Sat at 10; $7.50-$10. ONE WEEK ONLY.


The Haint

(SOLO PERFORMANCE) Most solo performers, particularly comic ones, can't help exuding a hungry "Please, love me!" vibe. Troy Mink has not a hint of this desperation. In fact, Mink possesses an odd, off-putting gravity that makes his characters seem impervious to anyone's opinion--which, of course, makes them completely compelling and extremely funny. The Haint recounts the story of a brutal murder/suicide that leads to a ghost haunting the streets of Midway, Tennessee. The town's response is to capitalize on the ghost by building a hotel and haunted house for tourists, an idea that doesn't sit well with everyone and leads to unexpected results. The story unfolds documentary-style as Mink plays 10 characters, including Carlotta Philpott, Mink's much-beloved host of Carlotta's Wing Ding. Don't let ghosts or one-man shows scare you off--Mink will charm and entertain you with his off-kilter world. BRET FETZER

Union Garage, 1418 10th Ave, 720-1942. Fri-Sun at 8; $12, $10 students/seniors and Sunday performances. Through Oct 1.


No Depression Five-Year Anniversary

(LIVE MUSIC) Mercy! Time flies when you're drinking beer and chuckin' rocks at the neighbor's dog! Has it really been five years since y'all-ternative country rag No Depression launched their first issue? This spunky lil' Seattle phenomenon continues to quietly define a movement by championing traditional twang, swampy blues, yodeling, roots-rock, and all points in between betwixt their pulpy pages. The Original Harmony Ridge Creek Dippers (with ex-Jayhawks member Mark Olsen and Victoria Williams) and Ryan Adams (from the much-loved Whiskeytown) will be turning up for No Depression's two-day birthday hootenanny at the Tractor. You'd be a fool to miss this barnburner, pardner! TAMARA PARIS

Tractor Tavern, 5213 Ballard Ave NW, 789-3599, Sat-Sun Sept 9-10, 9 pm, $15.

The El Camino Effect

(ART) Project 416, Pioneer Square's finest alternative space, closed down when it lost its building to redevelopment. If you were going to guess where such a venture might be reincarnated, a smart bet would be Ballard--and that guess would be correct! Walter Wright and Co. re-emerge this month with a new space, dubbed Fuzzy Engine, on Market Street. It's as much high-concept art project as it is exhibition space: A group of artists will choose a theme for each show and produce work related to that theme. The inaugural edition takes its name from the ungainly yet somehow elegant working man's vehicle, the El Camino. What is that? A car? A truck? Hey, it's both! Examples of the hybridizing El Camino Effect include putting "peanut butter and jelly in the same jar, [and] the mullet." Attacking this theme is a group of veteran emerging artists (no, that's not the El Camino Effect, that's an oxymoron, silly) including Steve Veatch, Leslie Clague, Patrick Holderfield, and Blair Wilson. Check out this new space before Ballard--yes, it'll happen even in Ballard--gentrifies it out of existence. ERIC FREDERICKSEN

Fuzzy Engine, 2801 Market St, 779-1176,, 6 pm-midnight.


Yogi Tea's De Tox Tea

(REMEDY) This tea is great for hangovers. I could not sustain my drinking levels if it weren't for its amazing healing powers. It renews strength, lessens the headache, and makes you feel all warm inside. My sister--who lives in Manchester, U.K. and paid me a short visit two months ago--could not believe how much better she felt after drinking this tea. As always, she awoke with a horrible hangover caused by mixing too many drinks, so I recommended the tea. She skeptically drank one cup of the stuff, and in a matter of hours was in such a capital mood that we had a shot of Skyy vodka to celebrate her swift recovery and new discovery. The same thing happened when my father, who's also a heavy drinker, paid me a visit last month. Indeed, this tea is the best thing that has ever happened to the Mudede family. CHARLES MUDEDE

Available at stores such as PCC and Madison Market.

Seattle Salsa Contest 2000

(¡SALSA!) Confession: I loved Dirty Dancing. OKAY? And also The Mambo Kings, and even that terrible Vanessa Williams vehicle Dance with Me. I can't help it, there's just something about "the salsa dance"--mambo, merengue, cha cha, tango, all of it--that makes me positively giddy. If you've also got the FEVER, get those hips over to the Seattle Salsa Contest 2000, where sultry amateurs and professionals alike will be dancing for prizes and cash to the music of Cambalache, DJ Manny, and "Seattle's top salsa DJs." For those of you with no rhythm or pelvic sass whatsoever, Los Tumbadores Dance Co. will be on hand for FREE beginner lessons--so you've got no excuses! Just knock back a tall Cuba libre, grab someone muy caliente, and bailar, baby, bailar! MIN LIAO

Showbox, 1426 First Ave, 628-3151, doors at 8 pm, lessons at 9 pm; call Seattle Salsa at 663-7929 or visit (highly recommended!) for registration and ticket details.


A film for the Marxists

(FILM) Near the middle of this delirious documentary, the hardcore rapper Memphis Bleek states that he is happy he came from the projects, because if he came from the suburbs, he would never have tried to become rich; he would, instead, have spent his life looking for a regular job. There was a time in America when no hiphop artist would have made such a crazy claim, but now that hiphop is going through a tremendous sales boom and more of the profits are falling into black pockets, rap stars are saying the most bizarre things. Backstage exposes and celebrates the cash-saturated lifestyle of the big-time rap star, who, when he's not on stage boasting about his riches, is staying in posh hotel rooms drinking champagne, smoking weed, getting teenage girls to strip, flying in private jets, and cruising glittering strips in stretch limos. You must watch this film to see what unfettered capitalism does to normal people, the mass-madness it induces. Indeed it's a world where, as Marx once said, "everything solid melts into air." CHARLES MUDEDE

Opens Fri Sept 8; see movie times for details.



(FILM) We all know this film is brilliant; that it is the definitive, heartfelt, and graceful exit of film noir; that its themes--the perversity of power, the limits of the imagined self, the vulnerability of the West--are perfectly balanced by its Byzantine plot structure. We know all this many times over, so the reasons to see this film again are simply put: It is a new print, which means that the absolutely stellar imagery--the lush, somber ochres and yellow that hover around Jack Nicholson, the visible heat that suspends John Huston, the reds and indigos of Chinatown itself--will all be tangible again. And that is just lovely stuff. JAMIE HOOK

Grand Illusion, 1403 NE 50th St, 523-3935. Opens Fri Sept 8; see Movie Times for details.


William T. Vollmann

(READING) This is the first unmissable literary event here since the '98 double-whammy of Adrienne Rich and Don DeLillo. Vollmann is the most ambitious writer in English this century: The three books so far in his Seven Dreams series seek to explain the impact of European civilization on this continent from a catholic (small "c") and long-range humanistic perspective. His new novel, The Royal Family (Knopf), blends fiction with Vollmann's trademark near-suicidal feats of firsthand journalism, finally expanding on the material so brilliantly explored in The Butterfly Stories and Whores for Gloria: the night world of prostitutes and addicts in San Francisco's Tenderloin. His vignette style, personal photographs, crude drawings, and valedictory curses owe a debt to Kathy Acker, but he has the intelligence and daring to take this approach to literature's highest level. GRANT COGSWELL

Elliott Bay Book Company, 101 S Main, 624-6600, 7:30 pm, free tickets available at store. They WILL go fast.

Tom Verlaine

(FILM/MUSIC) "Tom plays guitar like a thousand bluebirds screaming."--Patti Smith. You might remember Tom Verlaine from the seminal proto-punk band Television, which, along with Patti Smith and Talking Heads, helped define an entire era of music! He will play live compositions to a series of surreal and experimental shorts from such directors as Man Ray and Ferdinand Leger to kick off EMP's fall film series, MUSIC + FILM. JAMIE HOOK

EMP, Seattle Center, 367-5483, 7 and 9:15 pm, $7.50.

Man or Astro-Man?

(LIVE MUSIC) Art rock theatrics of the kitschy and subdued variety will be on display at Graceland for this show. Retro-futurists Man or Astro-Man? headline with their sci-fi surf sound and plenty of visuals to complement their extraterrestrial vaudeville. The high lonesome weirdness of the musical saw is not often heard on the stages of rock venues, but then, neither is the kind of haunted music that San Diego's Black Heart Procession play. Singers/songwriters Tobias Nathaniel and Pall A. Jenkings create dark songs of heartbreak steeped in the sentiment of the Brothers Nick (Cave and Drake), full of urgent longing and elusive loss. NATE LIPPENS

Graceland, 109 Eastlake Ave E, 381-3094, 9 pm, $10