THURSDAY AUGUST 24

SKERIK'S SYNCOPATED TAINT SEPTET
What makes this jazz-funk outfit fun? Slinky soul-jazz beats indebted to legendary drummer Clyde Stubblefield, the occasional spacey (replete with echo echo echo) interlude, and a raucous front line of horns featuring Skerik, baritone saxophonist/clarinetist Craig Flory, trumpeter Dave Carter, and alto saxophonist/flutist Hans Teuber. Keep your ears open for the voluptuous Hammond B-3 organ comping of Joe Doria. Tractor Tavern, 5213 Ballard Ave NW, 789-3599, 9 pm, $12.

Sponsored
FREE event on 10/22 – Gov. Locke & GOP strategist Rick Wilson discuss midterms

STEVE RODEN
The appearance of this L.A.-based visual and sound artist at On the Boards last fall ranked among the best performances of 2005. Roden, who coined the term "lowercase" to describe the defiantly hushed electronic music of the 1990s, delights the ears with tantalizingly delicate tones. This opening night gig inaugurates a pair of Roden compositions, "day ring" and "night ring," designed to accompany James Turrell's Skyspace installation at the Henry. Henry Art Gallery, UW Campus, 15th Ave NE and NE 41st St, 543-2280, 7 pm, $6—$10.

SATURDAY AUGUST 26

ARTS IN NATURE FESTIVAL
For a family-oriented event, this rustic weekend festival in West Seattle sports a slew of avant performers including Eyvind Kang, Susie Kozawa, and the Seattle Harmonic Voices. Also Sun Aug 27. Visit www.naturec.org for a full schedule and locations. Camp Long, 5200 35th Ave SW, and Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, 4408 Delridge Way SW, 923-0853, 11 am—9 pm, $5 suggested donation.

ACCADEMIA D'AMORE
Student and faculty singers wrap up a 10-day Baroque opera workshop with two evenings of semistaged (some costumes, a prop or two, perhaps a bit of shrubbery) excerpts. On the docket: scenes from Monteverdi's Coronation of Poppea and settings of the "Song of Songs" by Monteverdi, Schütz, and d'India. Also Sun Aug 27 with different scenes, including Caccini's Ruggiero, Luigi Rossi's Orfeo, Purcell's Dido and Aeneas, and Lully's Psyche. EE Bach Theatre, McKinley Hall at Seattle Pacific University, 3307 Third Ave W, 325-7066, 7:30 pm, $10/$15.

THE ESOTERICS
Before traveling to Finland in September for a choral competition, this a cappella ensemble sings a benefit concert. Count on music by Finnish composers Olli Kortekangas and Jaakko Mäntyjärvi along with works by Carlos Chávez and Dominick Argento. Avid performers of Seattle composers, the Esoterics also serve up short pieces by John Muehleisen, Donald Skirvin, and Lorri Froggét. The admission is "pay what you can," but flying to Finland isn't cheap, so consider throwing in a sawbuck or two. Holy Rosary Church, 4200 SW Genesee St, 935-7779, 8 pm, $20 suggested donation.

MARK BARTH
Barth, guitarist of the now-defunct noise group Monster Defiance Headquarters, teams up with improvising drummer Jimmy Bennington. Beacon Pub, 3057 Beacon Ave S, 726-0238, 9 pm, free.

SUNDAY AUGUST 27

SPLINTER SQUID FESTIVAL #2
An all-day potluck BBQ of noise (Sparkle Girl and Penetration Camp), improvised music (Mindless Thuggs), "power violence" (Iron Lung), "folky polkas," and more. 414 House, 414 42nd St, 2—8 pm, free.