(ART) Claire Johnson has a way with bodies. Somehow she makes the most familiar parts abstract, the oddest things plain. This new series of paintings is her most difficult and strange work so far: closely cropped images of breasts and backs and limbs marked by bruises, temporary piercings, and deliberate cuts. They're hard to look at, hard to look away from, the warm and pliant skin brutalized in the service of pleasure. Most S/M art uses standard references--black leather, tools of torture, submissive poses--but Johnson's paintings show us a different side: the tender, loving touch of pain. EMILY HALL
Oculus Gallery, 216 Alaskan Way S, 442-9365. Through March 31.
FRIDAY MARCH 9
(LIVE MUSIC) The deceptively youthful Steve Earle was part of the great first wave of alt-country singers to come out of Austin in the early '70s. After a slew of passable but very Nashville records, he hit the bottom of multiple addictions, cleaned up in jail, and recorded three magnificent albums: I Feel Alright (1996), El Corazon (1997), and The Mountain (1999). Backing bands the Pogues, the Supersuckers, and the Del McCoury Band have each in turn left traces on his style, a fusion of deep Americana and what we younger folks would call punk rock. Transcendental Blues is his weakest record in 10 years, but with another decade like the last, he could cast a shadow as long as that of the Man in Black himself. His audience, more Pierce County than pierced and tattooed, is rowdy. Don't miss this. GRANT COGSWELL
Showbox, 1426 First Ave, 628-3151, 8 pm, $22.50. Also Sat March 10, 6 pm.
SATURDAY MARCH 10
The Most Fertile Man in Ireland
(FILM) It's been a while since we had a film like this: A great, Swiftian burlesque with just enough bite to leave marks. Kris Marshall stars as Eamonn Manley, a nervous wreck of a man-child blessed with the highest sperm count in all of Ireland. With birth rates plummeting--and religious restrictions on artificial insemination still vicious--Manley soon finds his unique commodity very much in demand. Naturally, balancing his duties to religion and country with his love for the virginal Rosie (Kathy Kiera Clarke) leads to absurd conclusions. The John Waters-influenced design and manic script are matched perfectly with crisp camerawork and editing, and the film flies merrily along. Best of all, director Dudi Appelton will be on hand to answer questions, then get drunk at Fadó Irish Pub in honor of the closing night of Irish Reels. JAMIE HOOK
Seattle Art Museum, 100 University St, 654-3121, 8:15 pm, $8 ($45 festival pass available).
Shave and a Haircut
(THEATER) One World Theatre has been putting on this abundant theatrical buffet once or twice a year, and it's always been worth checking out. This time around features music from James Palmer, David Russel, and Victor Janusz, as well as theater and performance art from Scot "Sgt. Rigsby" Augustson, John "linger" Kaufmann, K. Brian "Iguana" Neel, and Bhama Roget, who once did a piece, accompanied by two cellos, about her grandmother's rectal ulcers; she's currently trying to start her own religion. If that isn't enough, there will be lots of beer--beer is mentioned something like 10 times in the press release--and Jodi-Paul Wooster, pictured, will be the official Shave and a Haircut Tonsorial and Barber, which I think means you can get your haircut for free... if you want your hair cut by a beer-guzzling actor. BRET FETZER
One World Theatre at Consolidated Works, 410 Terry Ave N, 264-1735, $10. Sat at 10:30 pm ONLY.
Sex & Single Girls
(READING) Sex & Single Girls: Straight and Queer Women on Sexuality is an anthology of personal essays about the activity variously known as bopping, flimping, getting the upshot, giving nature a fillip, going like a rat up a rhododendron, horizontalizing, spearing the bearded clam, sklooking, rogering, and working the dumb oracle (this list made possible by The Bald-Headed Hermit and the Artichoke: An Erotic Thesaurus). It is also, sometimes obliquely, about politics, via the unroutine route of memoir. Local contributors--among the more well known, Nomy Lamm, Chelsea Cain, and Mary Martone--read tonight. TRACI VOGEL
Elliott Bay Book Company, 101 S Main St, 624-6600, 7:30 pm, free advance tickets available.
Moments in Music
(FREE WORKSHOP) Some of you kids can't play guitar. You can't write a song, you can't keep a beat, and despite all your sweat-inducing effort, you'll never be able to do that dance all the white-belted kids can do. "I want to be part of the hip music scene too!" you cry. Well stop whining and grab your camera, 'cause here's your chance. If you're 16-20 years old and dying to be a rock photo god, you can sign up for the Experience Music Project's FREE "Moments in Music" rock photography workshop. For four Saturdays beginning March 10, the folks at the EMP will teach you the ins and outs of shooting a live show. To sign up, send an e-mail to email@example.com by Friday, March 9 with your name, number, and a quick explanation of your incessant need to capture music on film. Space is limited, so act quickly. MEGAN SELING
Call 770-2765 for details.
(ART) A year ago in Los Angeles, I met Sean Duffy at the opening of an exhibition of his work (his fuzzy "paintings" and clever fuzzy video-game furniture) that also happened to be the closing show at the excellent George's Gallery. He told me he had another show in Irvine, an hour and a half away, so I blackmailed my hosts into driving me down there, through typical California traffic, to a bleak suburban wasteland where all the landmarks were malls. The show was worth it, though, and not at all inappropriate to its suburban setting, being art and furniture that take on mod culture, consumerism, and retro-poaching: stools with the seats carved to resemble Benzedrine pills; reconstructed Breuer chairs, impossible to sit in; paintings overlaid with target images. Now, Billy Howard has put up a super-sized version of that show, in both his gallery and the furniture store that houses it, and all you have to do to see it is find parking in Belltown. EMILY HALL
Howard House, 2017 Second Ave, 256-6392. Through March 31.
SUNDAY MARCH 11
Run 'Em Down!
(REBUTTAL) Jamie Hook's impassioned call to arms extolling a ruder form of jaywalking was dreadfully incomplete. Yes, Seattleites are too polite. Yes, flipping the bird is a useful means of calling people on their shit. But roads were made for cars. Otherwise they'd be narrower and called paths. It's the car drivers who should be more generous with their bird-flipping. Better yet, replace that anemic car horn of yours with something more beefy--say, an air horn. The next time some slow-moving hipster heedlessly swaggers across the street without looking and pulls that I'm-too-cool-to-acknowledge-your-existence crap, glide up behind him nice and quietlike and when you're an inch away, hit your horn. Hard. See how badass Mr. Cool looks with pee running down his leg. SCOTT McGEATH
Name Some Parks
(INPUT) Friday is the deadline to help Seattle Parks and Recreation name three new parks. Please join us in suggesting the new "art park" at 6400 S Corson (possibly the new site of the Georgetown Hat and Boots) be named for the great painter of the Harlem Renaissance Jacob Lawrence, who spent his last 30 years in Seattle. For the former pumphouse site that's now an overlook on Lower Queen Anne at Fourth and Ward, I suggest the name of the leader of the 1919 Seattle General Strike, Anna Louise Strong. I'd like to see the open space verging on the Burke Gilman Trail between 25th and 27th Ave NE named for Seattle's great and tragic dead congressman Marion Anthony Zioncheck. If you've got some better ideas, your candidate has to have been dead for at least two years. GRANT COGSWELL
Mail your ideas to Park Naming Committee, 100 Dexter Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; fax to 233-7023; or visit www.cityofseattle.net/parks
TUESDAY MARCH 13
Claudia Rankine & Matthew Rohrer
(READING) The plushly funded Seattle Arts & Lectures has, in the past, been criticized for not bringing younger, up-and-coming authors to town; tonight, its critics will have to find some other target, because SAL presents two inventive pre-middle-aged poets. Rankine is the author of the collection PLOT, remarkable for its sensually careening evocation of pregnancy and birth. Born in Jamaica, she shoves language all over the page, so that associations emerge unhindered. Rohrer, poetry editor for Fence magazine (which is a hotbed of talent right now), writes poetry with titles like "Homage to My Waitress," and "Midget's Lament Sung from a Rooftop." TRACI VOGEL
ACT Theatre, 700 Union, 292-7676, 7:30 pm, $14/$8 students
WEDNESDAY MARCH 14
(THEATER) For convenience, the lazy-minded will refer to this show as "Intiman's production of Cymbeline"--but "Intiman Theatre" didn't do anything; "Intiman Theatre" (like "Seattle Repertory Theatre" or "Theater Schmeater") is a corporate structure and a building. It has no mind and no voice. It is also composed of people, and those people choose, produce, design, act in, and direct plays. Cymbeline was chosen and directed by Intiman's newest artistic director, Bartlett Sher, and is, in fact, his first production in Seattle. Sher seems like a pretty smart guy; anyone who wants to get a taste of his sensibilities and what direction he may take one of Seattle's biggest theaters should go see this twisty tale of tested virtue, cross-dressing, and a headless body wearing someone else's clothes. BRET FETZER