Black Sheep Thanksgiving
(MUSIC) I always spend Thanksgiving in Portland where I am welcomed by my family, so I will have no need to attend Black Sheep Thanksgiving, hosted by DJ Nasir. But a friend of mine went to it last Thanksgiving and this is what she had to say about the experience: "Some songs were danceable, others intelligent, others relaxing. It was one of the best Thanksgivings I have had. The show attracted a cooler crowd: cozy people, older people, wine drinkers who wanted to have a break from their families." CHARLES MUDEDE
Baltic Room, 1207 Pine St, 625-4444, 10 pm, $7.
(MUSIC) As one of the opening acts for Pinback when that band sold out the Crocodile recently, like-minded local act the Terror Sheets no doubt added many more fans to their fastly burgeoning, devoted following. If you haven't had the chance to check out this beautifully melancholic three-piece, fronted by the retiring, modest Joe Syverson, do so now. They've only been performing for a few months and it's been a while since a band as unpretentious as this has become so important so quickly. KATHLEEN WILSON
Graceland, 109 Eastlake Ave E, 381-3094, 9:30 pm, $8.
(ART) In the spirit of the holidays, Vital 5 Productions offers its by-now signature oblique take on stuff and its acquisition. Shopping includes work by Christian French, Dylan Neuwirth, and Jennifer McNeely, all three of whose work incorporates the double take, the huh?, the slippery wicket. Also featured are Rich American Brand, Christine Taylor, P.A.N.-Lab Industries, and not bad for a girl productions. Is this, as the announcement trumpets, a Christmas store (complete with 120% markup on opening day), or a cynical trashing of consumer holiday culture? Is it an injection in the arm of our suffering economy, or a pillow over its face? How far, exactly, is tongue in cheek? Guess you'll just have to show up to find out. EMILY HALL
Vital 5 Productions, 2200 Westlake Ave, 254-0475, opening reception 3 pm-midnight. Through Sun Dec 23.
What I Tell You in Darkness
(THEATER) Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker weren't born as oily, overly made-up faith peddlers; they were once as dewy and innocent as anyone else. Playwright Stuart Greenman began to imagine what sort of person would launch down the road to televangelism, and from his musings sprang What I Tell You in Darkness, the story of a handsome young preacher who wants to be a Christian JFK, and an older alcoholic preacher with some skeletons in his closet. Despite some tantalizingly lurid plot elements, Greenman's script is a sincere examination of faith. It will most likely reflect the unjudgmental spirit of his nationally acclaimed play Silence, Cunning, Exile, loosely based on the life of photographer Diane Arbus, who built a career on sympathetic portraits of society's outcasts. Greenman clearly shares her perspective. BRET FETZER
Golden Fish Theatre at Richard Hugo House, 1634 11th Ave, 528-0158. Thurs-Sat at 8 pm, Sun at 2 pm, $18. Through Dec 16.
(FILM) Chris Smith's legendary fake document of a hapless, hopeless wage slave spiraling downward into more and more demeaning work "opportunities" can't be rented on video. You can buy it (at www.americanmovie.com) if you want, and it's probably worth it, but this screening is the best chance we have to take the film for a test drive. I haven't seen it, but I have practically memorized Smith's follow-up, the unstoppably brilliant (and painfully real) American Movie, in which the lines of mockery, empathy, and bafflement are blurred to hilarious, heartbreaking effect. Smith's excellence rests in the air of captured accident that American Movie breathes so heartily; most of the time you can't believe how oblivious the subjects are, and you wonder if the filmmakers are laughing. Job offers the potential of a retroactive look inside Smith's intentions. SEAN NELSON
Grand Illusion, 1403 NE 50th St, 523-3935. See Movie Times.
Black to My Roots
(THEATER) From Dorothy Dandridge to Angela Davis to Lil' Kim, African American women have had issues with their hair. It's a minefield of meanings: Assimilation vs. black is beautiful! Political statement vs. personal expression! While it's easy to dismiss the politics of hair as superficial, consider how hideous and even shameful you feel when you get a bad haircut; hair resonates deep in our psyches, and the ways it delineates racial identity are subtly powerful: Caucasian women can dye their hair any color without anyone batting an eye, but a brown-skinned blonde draws a wealth of stares and glares. Subtitled African American Tales from the Head... and the Heart, this evening promises to be a boisterous mix of confessions about straighteners, Jheri curls, and the almighty Afro. BRET FETZER
Brownbox Theater at Rainier Valley Cultural Center, 3515 S Alaska St, 381-8708. Sat at 7:30 pm, Sun at 3:30 pm, $15 in advance, $20 at the door, $10 kids 12 and under. Through Dec 2.
(CINEMATIC TREAT) There are plenty of reasons to catch Richard Linklater's deep-thinking, bio-animated feature Waking Life on the big screen. But one of the coolest rewards for catching the film in theaters has nothing to do with the movie itself. Wedged between the theater's coming attractions and Linklater's opening credits is a beautiful new music video by everyone's favorite pixie freak, Björk. Taken from her newest and loveliest record, Vespertine, "Pagan Poetry" finds our Icelandic imp professing an overwhelming love for an unidentified "him." One look at the video suggests that "he" is none other than Matthew Barney, the art-world wonderboy and Björk's new beau, whose body-modulating aesthetic is employed to great effect. From the watery, psychedelic intro to the final pierce of flesh, "Pagan Poetry" is three and a half minutes of grade-A cinematic art that deserves its place on the silver screen. Plus, you get to see Björk's real live boobs! DAVID SCHMADER
See Movie Times for Waking Life.
(MUSIC) Olympia's C.O.C.O. sneaked up on me recently when the group's eponymous CD was being played over the sound system of a local bar. It was booty-licious: What I had initially tapped my toes to and then dismissed as a fun, somewhat silly two-piece (drums, bass, pretty pop/soul/R&B vocals) suddenly sounded like a truly inspired work of art. I went home and put my own copy on. I couldn't stop dancing. I decided while dancing that C.O.C.O. is one of the sweetest, baddest motherfuckers to happen in the Northwest in a long time: Olivia Ness' bass lines are stellar, hook-laden, and inordinately danceable; Dub Narcotic Sound System's Chris Sutton plays his kit like he's tied to Ness but still loose and inspired; and both of the members' vocals, while they appear too infrequently, are money each and every time. Bring your propensity for smiling brightly and having much fun. JEFF DeROCHE
Graceland, 109 Eastlake Ave E, 262-0482, 9:30 pm, $3.
(BOOK) This week The New York Review of Books releases a new translation of Cesare Pavese's short novels called The Selected Works of Cesare Pavese. There are four stories in all, and each is a dark and precious jewel. Cesare Pavese--a melancholy Italian who committed suicide just over 50 years ago--is considered by many to be the best fiction writer 20th-century Italy produced. He is not warm like Italo Calvino, or mad like Tommaso Landolfi, or elegant like Italo Svevo, but light and thin. By thin I mean he seems to capture what Vladmir Nabokov once described as the transparency of things. His language rustles, swirls, falls, and gathers like dry leaves on a mildly perturbed day. His best stories never lead readers to the center of a hard truth, but keep them reading on and on like the men walking through the wine-warm night in his story The Beach. Buy and enjoy this book. CHARLES MUDEDE
Available at Bailey/Coy Books, 414 Broadway E, 323-8842, $16.95.
(ART) This two-day show features lots and lots of prints by really very good artists such as (let the name-dropping begin!) Terry Winters, Kiki Smith, Bridget Riley, Agnes Martin (we LOVE her), Jean Dubuffet, and others. This private showing is courtesy of Pace Prints, a branch of the big old Pace/Wildenstein Gallery in New York. We are encouraged to think of this event as a "high-end Tupperware party for art collectors." I'll take two of everything. EMILY HALL
Greg Kucera Gallery, 212 Third Ave S, 624-0770, Wed-Thurs Nov 28-29, noon-5 pm.
More Ass 'n' Titties
(MUSIC) This is too much. Disco D was just here, and now here comes Detroit Grand Pubahs with DJ Assault. Does Seattle even have enough booty left to shake?! Both the Pubahs and Assault have new albums out, but screw those. It's the live sets you have to see to believe. Oh, but please, don't go if you're offended by any of the following: (A) people on the dance floor rubbing their asses on you, (B) the sight of Paris the Black Fu wearing only a wig and a thong while spinning records, or (C) obnoxiously sexist lyrics like, "Girl don't cry when I nut in your eye." Do, however, go if you want to hear the freshest new mix of electro, house, hiphop, and techno straight from the heart of Detroit. KELLY O.
Nation, 1921 Fifth Ave, 374-9492, 10 pm, $10.