Seattle International Film Festival

(ANNUAL BIG-ASS FESTIVAL) In case you've been afraid to leave the house lately, we'd like to remind you that tonight is the Seattle International Film Festival's Opening Night Gala, at which the city's best and brightest jam themselves into rented finery and clamor for free champagne and canapés. The party is usually a claustrophobic drag, but this year's film, Igby Goes Down, is a peach. For details on it, and every other SIFF movie, I "suggest" you consult The Stranger's very own SIFF NOTES 2002, and be warned: The champagne is warm by the time you get to the front of the line. (SIFF runs in various theaters, with various prices. Consult our festival guide [i.e., this issue] for info.) SEAN NELSON



(BOOKS) Gregory Hischak is one of my favorite writers because of the way he can take the mundane (office supplies, maps, red meat) and make obsessing about uncovering their every last detail something beautiful. His amazingly prolific zine, Farm Pulp, intricately threads tangential stories about subjects like geography, flirting, and catalogs into humorous looks at human nature. Tonight Hischak performs with WordCore, a spoken-word performance troupe that's traveled around the U.S. (Odd Duck Studios, 10th & Union, 860-3568, 8 pm, $6.) JENNIFER MAERZ


Slender Means Society

(ART EXPLOSION) Slender Means Society has made quite a name for itself since its unveiling back in March. The buzz about this innovative monthly music and art series has gotten louder, more persistent, and, well, practically unavoidable. If you've been a bit out of the loop and have yet to discover Slender Means Society, never has there been a better time. The Typing Explosion, the Microphones, 33 Fainting Spells, Ellen Forney, the Blow, and so many more are filling this month's bill--a bill that is sure to shoot the Society into superstar status. (Secluded Alley Works, 113 12th Ave, 839-0880, 4-10 pm, $5, all ages.) MEGAN SELING


'70s Soul Jam

(MUSIC) Tonight the Stylistics, the Chi-Lites, the Delfonics, Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, and former frontman of the Main Ingredient, Cuba Gooding Sr., prove that America is the greatest nation on Earth. What civilization could compete with a society that can pack so much soul onto one stage? The Stylistics alone would have been enough, but to add the Delfonics? Curiously, the man who sang "Everybody Plays the Fool" failed to pass his soul skills to his son Cuba Gooding Jr. But that is another matter. (Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine St, 628-0088, $37.50 and $47.50.) CHARLES MUDEDE


Repeal the TDO

(PUBLIC HEARING) Tomorrow night, at city hall, Nick Licata and his city council committee will stay after hours to hear from YOU about repealing the wretched Teen Dance Ordinance and replacing it with the kid-tested, Stranger-approved All Ages Dance Ordinance (AADO). So tonight you should probably stay home and polish up your speech--everyone gets two minutes at the mic, and you've got to make it count. Licata's committee will vote on the AADO June 11. If they send it to the full council (where there are plenty of votes for it to pass), Seattle could have less-restricted teen dances by midsummer. So practice your speech, go to city hall tomorrow, and bring all your underage friends! (Tues May 28, 5:30 pm, at city hall, 600 Fourth Ave, 11th floor.) AMY JENNIGES


On My Soapbox

(PERFORMANCE) Stella Marrs, an Olympia artist worshipped by the original Riot Grrrls, is best known for her postcards--tiny billboards pointing out the big ironies, as well as the disgraces, injustices, and absurd lies of our time. Tonight at Hugo House, she presents the latest event in Emily White's "Save Yourself" series: a part-lecture, part-performance, part-chemistry class on our crappy toxic environment and all the insidious ways it gets under our skin. For real. With art, prizes, and Marrs' pointed but nevertheless graceful good humor. (Richard Hugo House, 1634 11th Ave, 322-7030, 7 pm, $6 general admission, $4 members.) EMILY HALL


Farmers Market

(HOMETOWN PRODUCE) Join neighborhood foodies and Mayor Greg Nickels for opening-day festivities at the Columbia City Farmers Market: Treats include clowns, kids' activities, and music from local rockabilly duo Miles & Karina. Along with the organic fruits and vegetables normally found at Seattle's farmers markets (early-summer greens, lettuces, and cabbages are currently in full splendor), you can also expect fresh-cut flowers, eggs, cheeses, honey, and local free-range poultry. Stock up on groceries and feel virtuous--you're supporting indie crops instead of monolithic factory farms. (Every Wed 3-7 pm until Oct 16, corner of Rainier Ave S and S Edmunds St, 632-5234.) MIN LIAO