The Razorbabes

(LIVE MUSIC) At their shows, the Razorbabes play an actual voice-mail recording of a disgruntled woman who called to tell them that they are a joke--that people aren't interested in them as artists, but as a bunch of freaks who are there to be laughed at. One supposes that her commentary is directed at Magenta, the band's powerful vocalist--a very large woman with pink hair and lots of tattoos. I don't think she's a freak, though. I think she's badass. But I will confess that the Razorbabes are a joke to me as well, as is every post-grunge, butt-metal band I've ever seen. A joke, as in, "Oh my god, I can't believe people are still doing this, but I'm really happy about it because I'm drunk and they're sooooo BALLSY." It's like seeing Hog Molly. You laugh because it's dumb, fun, and really overwhelming. And, like Hog Molly, the Razorbabes are good at what they do, which is very smart, and something to take seriously. JEFF DeROCHE

Sit & Spin, 2219 Fourth Ave, 441-9484, 9:30 pm, $6.

FRIDAY 11/17

Gulliver's Travels

(THEATER/DANCE) Satire often has a short shelf life, as it's often aimed at some topical target. But the epic work of Jonathan Swift, which assaults nothing less than the breadth of human nature, has held up for 300 years. The newest take on Gulliver's Travels takes four of its episodes and hands them off to a clutch of local interpreters: Jennifer Jasper (of lesbian camp-noir troupe Pulp Vixens) turns Lilliput into a high school where body image and gender politics run rampant; Scot "Sgt. Rigsby" Augustson presents a shadow-puppet Brobdingnag that... as he puts it, is "all about tits. Big, really big tits"; choreographer Juliet Waller interprets the floating island of Laputa through dance; and One World Theater's Sean Belyea has a science fiction take on the land of the Houyhnhnms, where noble horses ride bestial men. An ambitious and tempting project. BRET FETZER

Consolidated Works, 410 Terry Ave N, 860-5245. Thurs-Sun at 8, runs through Dec 15 (no performance on Thurs Nov 23); $14 general, $12 members.

Randy Newman

(LIVE MUSIC) Say what you want about Randy Newman, but he was the funniest and least pretentious of all the singer-songwriters that came up in the '70s. Satirical songs like "Short People" and "Rednecks" got him started in the late '70s, and in 1983 he ripped yuppies in "I Love L.A." Particularly with the last song, though, people often didn't get the satire, and he inadvertently bore the cross of having his song become the anthem of dirty, greedy L.A. in the '80s. Now, almost 20 years later, Newman has switched labels, released a new album on Dreamworks, and started touring again. He's always operated on brainpower, so expect his pop-addled wit to be as sharp as ever. But you still shouldn't go if you're a short redneck yuppie. NATHAN THORNBURGH

Paramount Theatre, Ninth and Pine, 628-0888, 8 pm, $18.50-$38.50.

Thomas Frank

(READING) The Baffler is one of those flat-spined journals you see stacked on top of comic books on your favorite girlfriend's coffee table. It's political, but it's hip. People who read The Baffler are the type who have a lot to talk about over their cheap drinks, including the price breakdown of alcohol distribution. Now, Baffler co-founder Thomas Frank has produced a volume that's downright market-sized, with a banner title, One Market Under God: Extreme Capitalism, Market Populism, and the End of Economic Democracy, articulating the now-shocking idea that markets and democracy are not one and the same. McSweeney's editor Dave Eggers claims he threw this book across the room 11 times, but has to conclude, "Tom Frank is a brilliant pain in the ass." TRACI VOGEL

University of Washington, Kane Hall, Walker Ames Room, 634-3400, 7 pm, free ticket required (available at University Bookstore).

Noche Flamenco

(DANCE) Flamenco sprang from a mixture of Gypsy, Andalusian, Arabic, and Spanish-Jewish music and dance styles and was shaped by the oppression of the 15th-century Spanish Inquisition. Is it any wonder it simmers and burns with barely contained rage and desire? Its propulsive, pounding rhythms evoke warriors marching to an erotic song, their smooth, controlled appearance only heightening the fiery chaos in their hearts and souls. Noche Flamenco of Madrid aspires to present the dance and music of flamenco with a minimum of frippery, focusing on the essential elements--dance and music. That should be all it takes to offer a sizzling night of twisting arms, syncopated feet, and serpentine guitar riffs. BRET FETZER

UW World Series, Meany Hall, 543-4880. Thurs-Sat Nov 16-18, 8 pm; $32.


Hell, American Style

(FILM) The holiday season can be a repugnant, sour time, when the joy of being an American is prodded to a dizzying, bilious, mordantly consumptive frenzy. Fortunately, the perfect antidote is at hand in this great selection of vintage American trash, curated by obsessive schlock collector Johnnie Legend. From the absolutely classic Sonny Bono film Marijuana (in opposition to the weed, he inadvertently became one of its most powerful advocates) to an extremely rare banned episode of Ozzie's Girls (in which David and Ricky Nelson are replaced with hip college chicks, one black and one white), this program should remind you happily: We live in Hell! JAMIE HOOK

Grand Illusion, 1403 NE 50th St, 523-3935. Fri-Sat at midnight, $7.50.

Look Both Ways

(ART) I remember seeing a trailer for a horror movie about dogs when I was about eight, and my already-too-jaded reaction was: "Great. Here's something else I've got to be afraid of." Certainly since then the list of things to fear grows yearly by leaps and bounds, and the most accurate measurement of how paranoid we've become are the items we've designed to protect ourselves against dangers real and perceived. This topic has been taken on (assaulted?) by the Fuzzy Engine artists who explore issues of safety and danger in works and ideas that poke hard, even as they poke fun: a loaded gun "safely" embedded in cement; the chilling brush-with-death experience of a product recall; and toilet paper that doesn't necessarily have your best interests in mind. Pack a bottle of filtered water, strap on your seat belt, and obey all traffic laws on your way to Ballard for the second of this gallery's culture-critical shows. EMILY HALL

Fuzzy Engine, 2801 NW Market St, Thurs-Sat 10 am-6 pm. Through Jan 8.

SUNDAY 11/19

It's a Whole New Day

(BENEFIT) After AIDS, hate crimes, and bad print journalism, alcohol and drug abuse is the most serious problem facing the gay community today. For nearly 30 years, Stonewall Recovery Services has been fighting the good fight for drunk and high homosexuals who no longer want to be drunk or high, but want to remain homosexuals, preferably happy ones. It's a Whole New Day is your chance to support Stonewall's efforts, while basking in the talents of a number of talented local entertainers (from the Seattle Lesbian and Gay Chorus to the gonzo music-makers Player King) and cruising a room full of clean and sober queers. With so many beautiful young homos mindlessly ruining their looks and their lives with crystal-n-cocktails, Stonewall's work is needed more than ever. So go. DAVID SCHMADER

Meany Hall, UW Campus, 217-9886 ext. 1025, 7 pm, $55 donation per person (or $75 for two).

MONDAY 11/20

Circle of Fire

(BREAKIN') Unfortunately, of hiphop's famous four elements (the DJ, MC, graffiti artist, and breakdancer), only the DJ and MC are flourishing, while graffiti is outlawed and breakdancing is just plain underappreciated. Many cheers to Nation, then, for providing a space for the marvelous art performed by Circle of Fire, hands down the most excellent breakdancing crew I've ever seen perform--totally confident, inventive, and possessed of astounding skill. Their acrobatics make me pine for the days when "breakdancer" meant the dance entertainment during the breaks of all hiphop concerts. BRIAN GOEDDE

Nation, 1921 Fifth Ave, 374-9492, 10 pm, free.



(MAGAZINE) Sometimes a magazine, like an exhibition for the visual arts, can announce a turning point in a country's literature. But the clearest views of something usually come from outside, and that is why the summer issue of Metre: A Magazine of International Poetry feels so important. Edited in Prague, Dublin, and Hull (England), their "American Special Issue" is far above your average lit mag speaking to no wider an audience than its current and possible contributors. And a little bit of history is made, I think, with UW Assistant Prof. David Copeland Morris' "Inhumanism, Environmental Crisis and the Canon of American Literature," a brilliant, useful, and farseeing piece of criticism that pushes the boundaries of poetic and ecological consciousness to a new frontier. All in all, Metre presents the kind of definitive and exciting portrait of American poetry not attempted for many, many years. Anyone the least concerned with issues of the direction and commodification of our literature must read it. GRANT COGSWELL

$12, available where those little literary magazines are sold.



(WEBSITE) Amid the vulgar, endless debacle of Indecision 2000, the brutally funny parodies on JibJab are especially refreshing, reminding us that even as we fret and wring our hands over our petty mess of a presidential election, in the end, both candidates are relative morons. Of course, JibJab has the good sense to accomplish this parody through the sublime medium of rap, as it presents emcees Gore and Bush stone cold lamping. One vision of Gore rapping "Keeping it real; gave Bradley the hook-shot; Kicking dope rhymes in the style of a ro-bot," and all the stupidity of the election just fades away. BONUS: Don't miss Hillary Clinton as a rapping Godzilla, and Bill Clinton "baking" some special brownies. JAMIE HOOK