Klavier Nonette

(SOUND ART) My musical education was limited to impromptu mixing on my Fisher Price record player and the atonal toy piano in my cousin's basement. Perhaps it's this nostalgia, or maybe it's the hot-knife-through-butter timbre, but I melt at the immaculate tone of those clanky little boxes. Apparently I'm not alone in my affections: Jack Straw is presenting Klavier Nonette, an installation of nine antique toy pianos souped up with electromechanics and programmed with compositions commissioned specifically for the exhibition. Bring a quarter for their jukebox-coaxed mechanisms, and immerse yourself in clang. (Jack Straw Productions, 4261 Roosevelt Way NE, 634-0919, 25¢. Opening reception Thurs Jan 16, 7-9 pm. Through Feb 28.) ZAC PENNINGTON


Joseph Arthur

(MUSIC) "Babe, you were the night, but now you are the dark." Makes you wince with recognition, doesn't it? Singer-songwriter Joseph Arthur can sling lines like that all night, so bring a Kleenex or two and maybe slip a faded photo of someone you let go of way too soon inside your breast pocket. You'll be in good company, because it takes a battle-bruised soul--kicked by addiction, abandonment, and the consequences of knowing better but not doing better--to truly absorb Arthur's deeply introspective songs. His 2002 release Redemption's Son has gained him a larger audience, but his earlier albums are coveted by the sardonically weary--especially the 2000 salute to self-destruction Come to Where I'm From. (Crocodile, 2200 Second Ave, 441-5611, 9:30 pm, $10 adv.) KATHLEEN WILSON


Del tha Funkee Homosapien

(HIPHOP) Del tha Funkee Homosapien is a consistently inventive rapper; his work on side project Deltron 3030 is equal in ambition and imagination to that on Mike Ladd's Welcome to the Afterfuture and Cannibal Ox's Cold Vein. As with these other postapocalyptic masterworks, Del's raps form a massive edifice of pop concepts, critical theories, and urban fantasies. Del is also responsible for one of the greatest opening lines in all of hiphop: "Finally, someone let me out of my cage" (from "Clint Eastwood"). (Showbox, 1426 First Ave, 628-3151, 8 pm, all ages, $15.) CHARLES MUDEDE


Spike Lee's Good Movies

(FILM) It's no secret that Spike Lee has been slipping. His last few movies all had moments (except Get on the Bus, that is), but were ultimately lame enough to make you forget that he was once the most visually dynamic and incendiary filmmaker around. But you shouldn't forget. To that end, I suggest you rent and watch the following films, in order: Do the Right Thing, She's Gotta Have It, Malcolm X, Mo' Better Blues, Clockers, Crooklyn, School Daze, and Girl 6. As you watch them, note the progressions and regressions, the bullshit and the brilliance of a director who spills over with style, conviction, and contradiction. And that's the triple truth, Ruth. SEAN NELSON


727 Pine

(HAPPY HOUR) Remember the flashy hotel that opened a couple of years ago on Pine Street? The one built for Seattle's "new" wealthy? You remember them, don't you? The dot-com gajillionaires? Well, they're long gone--but the hotel built for them is still sitting there, mostly empty. And in that hotel there's a restaurant--a really nice restaurant. To keep its four-star rating, the Grand Hyatt Seattle has to keep its really nice restaurant up and running. Almost always empty, the Grand Hyatt's 727 Pine restaurant is a nice place to go slumming. Since they're pretty desperate for business, they'll serve just about anyone. Add to that an amazingly inexpensive happy hour menu packed with absolutely killer chow (you must have the fries), and 727 Pine is definitely the place to slam back a few after work. (727 Pine, 727 Pine St, 774-6400, open daily.) DAN SAVAGE


Richard Price

(READING) Somewhere along the line, novelist/screenwriter Richard Price made the switch from autobiographical fiction to hard-boiled ghetto copper potboilers like Clockers, Freedomland, and his latest, Samaritan. A golden ear for conversational rhythm and an internal compass for plot construction have carried him through this shift, and onward to fame and glory. Though I secretly, selfishly want him to return to the subject matter of his first four books, there's no denying that Price has found his groove and is riding it into a very impressive sunset as one of America's finest living writers. (Elliott Bay Book Company, 101 S Main St, 624-6600, 7:30 pm, free.) SEAN NELSON


The Thermals

(MUSIC) You know how most music is mediocre and how life is an eternal cycle of despair, hate, and jubilation? Well, I for one am on the ups again (finally) thanks in no small part to the Thermals' new CD, More Parts Per Million (Sub Pop), the album that confirms the megawatt star power of Hutch Harris and Kathy Foster (Hutch and Kathy, All Girl Summer Fun Band) and cements the punk versatility of Ben Barnett (Kind of Like Spitting). The Thermals take misery, throw it down on the floor, then mount and dry-hump it like it's a giant stuffed animal with its stuffings scattered all over the basement. Million is one of those records that makes the worst spells of depression instantly seem like hazy, nonsensical memories and fills you with gushing desire and lust for life. (Crocodile, 2200 Second Ave, 441-5611, $7.) SEAN NELSON