(THEATER) Racism is complicated. Take the "geechies." Now, the "geechies" hate the "yellows"--but not the clean laundry 'n' Kung Pao Chicken "yellows" you're thinking of. We're talking about the "yellows" that are also sometimes known as "reds," but not the tomahawk 'n' wampum "reds" you're thinking of. Confused? You bet you are. But not to worry, ACT's compelling new drama, Yellowman--penned by Ms. Dael Orlandersmith, a runner-up for the goddamn Pulitzer Prize for her stellar efforts--explains it all (and tosses in a love story to boot!). Go see it. (ACT Theatre, 700 Union St, 292-7676. $32.50-$44. Sun-Thurs at 7:30 pm, Fri-Sat at 8 pm, Sun at 2 pm. Through Aug 4.) ADRIAN RYAN


The Black Keys

(MUSIC) Two-man blues has taken off, from the Soledad Brothers and the White Stripes to the Immortal Lee County Killers. Add to that talented list the Black Keys, two young men from Akron, OH, who strip the blues, funk, and soul down nekkid with one guitar and one set of drums. Frontman Dan Auerbach really propels this act, though--with his deep, weathered, Hendrix-influenced vocals, this little white boy could go up against the Dirtbombs' Mick Collins any day and almost win. Either way, the Keys have a pure blues aesthetic that shoots sparks in its simplicity. (Chop Suey, 1325 E Madison St, 324-8000, 9 pm, $6.) JENNIFER MAERZ


Modesty Blaise

(FILM) In addition to providing the stylistic template (and thus, the only cool element) of the poopy-diaper Austin Powers films, Modesty Blaise is the name of the book John Travolta is reading when he gets shot in Pulp Fiction. Additionally, this 1966 ur-pop gem (unavailable on video) offers the sight of a horny Monica Vitti tramping around Europe with the likes of Terence Stamp and Dirk Bogarde. Better than Barbarella, in league with Danger: Diabolik and The Tenth Victim. In short: mandatory. (Fri-Sat July 26-27, Grand Illusion Cinema, 1403 NE 50th St, 523-3935, 11 pm.) SEAN NELSON

Adrian Tomine

(COMICS) More a collator than a legitimate storyteller, young Optic Nerve creator Adrian Tomine siphons the visions of his day-to-day life into beautifully illustrated, sequential art that mirrors the beauty of comic great Dan Clowes. Today finds Tomine visiting from the Bay Area in support of Summer Blonde (Drawn & Quarterly), his third hard-bound collection, compiling Optic Nerve issues five through eight. (Elliott Bay Book Company, 101 S Main St, 624-6600, 3 pm, free.) ZAC PENNINGTON


ÖDE in America

(ART) In this, the unlikeliest of pairings, a nice Bellevue couple opens their home to a slightly nutty Canadian artist and her weapons. The artist is Sarah Beck, and her ÖDE project abides by the honest and democratic principle of making weapons--made of environmentally friendly materials--available to everyone. She comes to the Eastside (via former BAM curator Brian Wallace) to show her ÖDE tank, a 25-foot-long sparkling white creation, not entirely unlike all the SUVs you'll see on the way there. (Fri-Sun July 26-28; viewing hours 10 am-7 pm; opening reception Sat July 27, 2-4 pm, 8530 NE 26th St, Clyde Hill, for information and directions go to EMILY HALL


The Freedom from Summer Tour

(NOISE) This is one of those shows that could be really fucking cool or really fucking annoying--but either way, it's not gonna be your typical lineup of three-chord punk. Mammal, Hair Police, and Neon Hunk fit into the experimental-noise world that includes bands like the Sightings and Wolf Eyes, acts that tweak and torture their tools until they emit otherworldly noises. Definitely a lot of arty pretensions involved in the concept, but the execution doesn't come off too highbrow, as write-ups on this tour have touted the entertainment value of watching these three very different acts make the kinda racket usually reserved for collapsing toy factories and semi pileups. (Graceland, 109 Eastlake Ave E, 262-0482, 9:30 pm, $4.) JENNIFER MAERZ


The Cockettes

(FILM) A funny, well-constructed video documentary about a troupe of revolutionary, socialist, hippie, drag-queen midnight-movie cabaret performers in San Francisco in the--surprise!--late '60s. They took a lot of drugs, broke a lot of rules, and sucked a lot of cocks, and everyone loved them. But once they took their show to New York, they discovered that hipster and hippie do not match. Features interviews with survivors and witnesses (including John Waters), and opens a window into one of the most unusual cultural miscegenations in semi-recent history. Also: genitals! (Fri-Thurs July 26-Aug 1, Varsity Theater, 4329 University Way NE, 632-3131.) SEAN NELSON


Nick McDonell

(BOOKS) As an African who spent his teen years in a colonial education system that enthusiastically administered corporal punishment (two lashes if you were caught with your socks down), it's hard for me to feel sympathy for American teens and their high-school woes. So why am I recommending this reading by a teen, Nick McDonell, who recently published a 244-page novel, Twelve, that's stuffed with the kind of high-school troubles (drugs, sex, nihilism) I'm so indifferent to? Because American teens are the most beautiful teens in the world. (Zeitgeist, 171 S Jackson, 583-0497, 7:30 pm, free.) CHARLES MUDEDE