'Gaea Girls'
(FILM) Very few documentaries achieve the sheer dramatic and narrative velocity of Gaea Girls, which is about a group of Japanese women wrestlers. Directed by Kim Longinotto and Jano Williams, the documentary describes with stunning objectivity the stormy relationship between a wrestling teacher and her young pupils, who want to become what she is: a famous professional wrestler. The girls are big and violent, and the training they have to endure under their teacher is brutal. The teacher hits her students when they fail, and at every opportunity roars at their errors. Indeed, this is the ideal condition under which all learning should take place--if you fuck up, get lazy, or lose points, you get socked or body-slammed by a muscular Japanese woman. (Little Theatre, 608 19th Ave E, 675-2055, Thurs-Sun Sept 18-21, 9 pm, $7.50. ) CHARLES MUDEDE

Teen Cthulhu
(GRAND FINALE) Just as I finally learned how to spell their name, our city's five horsemen of the auditory apocalypse decide to call it quits--and are offering us all one final opportunity to die at their hands. The last year has seen the Teen Cthulhu cult spread all the way across the Atlantic (due in no small part to the support of iconic BBC 1 DJ John Peel), and though seemingly inches away from global conquest, our darlings have decided to walk away, after five blissless years, in grand form--and they're bringing you with them. Ready the guillotine. (Vera Project, 1916 Fourth Ave, 956-VERA, 8 pm, $7, all ages. ) ZAC PENNINGTON

(THEATER) I ain't seen this shit yet, but any show canny enough to cast John Kaufmann, Josh List, and Shelley Reynolds as sexually confused pro wrestlers is worth suggesting. Penned by acclaimed Canadians Wes Borg and Darrin Hagen and produced by local comedy gurus Bald Faced Lie, PileDriver! promises smackdown thrills and sexed-up comedy--a perfect combo for a booze-drenched Re-bar evening. (Bald Faced Lie at Re-bar, 1114 Howell St, 323-0388. $12. Thurs-Sat at 8 pm, with additional performances Sept 21 and 28 at 8 pm. through Oct 11.) DAVID SCHMADER

Molly Ivins & Al Franken
(HUMOR) "Political humor" has become a bit of an oxymoron lately, particularly for the left. Being shrill and defensive is more the fashion, especially in humorless "Impeach George Bush" Seattle. Thank God for Molly Ivins, the Fort Worth, Texas-based columnist (author of such fun, fluffy essay collections as You Got to Dance with Them What Brung You, about the Clinton years) whose warm, folksy humor is always peppered with a liberal dose of nasty, acerbic wit. Al Franken, a former Saturday Night Live comedian and author of the recent Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right, joins Ivins onstage. (McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer St, 628-0888, 7:30 pm, $35-$75. ) ERICA C. BARNETT

Jonathan Lethem
(READING) Flannery O'Connor once said something about how childhood equips any writer with enough material for the rest of his or her life, which may be true, but in the last 10 years there hasn't been a novel about childhood nearly as brilliant and absorbing as The Fortress of Solitude. Lethem's sentences are fantastic, packed with color and weight: "The day after Halloween the pavement outside school was stained with egg, bombs that had missed their targets, streaks of browning yolk studded with grains of shell, so distended by velocity they seemed to speak of the Earth's rotation on its axis, as though not gravity but centrifugal force had smeared them lengthwise across the planet." (Elliott Bay Book Company, 101 S Main St, 624-6600, 7:30 pm, free.) CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE

The Sisterhood of Convoluted Thinkers
(MUSIC) File (with affection) under: Quirky. The Sisterhood of Convoluted Thinkers, composed of Rob Christiansen (Grenadine, Eggs) and his wife, Jeannine Durfee, undertake their first West Coast tour in support of their third record, the gleeful Teenbeat release Better Days, Coming Now. Sonically, the Sisterhood is sort of like a twee-pop Deerhoof (if that's plausible)--with tangled boy-girl vocals, saccharine melodies, and hopelessly erratic song structures. Coupled live with skits and elaborate theatrics, the band's precious eccentricities couldn't possibly cloud the infectious delight of craft. (Sonic Boom Capitol Hill, 514 15th Ave E, 568-2666, 7 pm, free, all ages. ) ZAC PENNINGTON

The Sounds
(MUSIC) Smack-dab in the middle of an '80s "retro-lution," I saw Swedish band the Sounds perform on Last Call with Carson Daly and thought to myself, "That's a band who's doing it right." If the Sounds had been around when I was into Blondie, I'd have been crazy for them, too. Happily, I was correct in my assessment that they were no packaged deal. Read singer Maja's feelings on all that this week in Some Candy Talking, on page 76. (Studio Seven, 110 S Horton, 286-1312, 5:30 pm, $12. ) KATHLEEN WILSON