(BENEFIT) It's so satisfying to party for a good cause, no? The AEON Gallery is hosting their fourth annual Fall Equinox celebration, SYNERGY -- a benefit for the FRIENDS FOR LIFE SOCIETY. Festivities include a vegetarian potluck, a collective art show, DJs, live bands, drag performances, and spoken word. Bring a veggie dish (optional), get dolled up, and have a blast! Friends for Life Society provides free assistance and empowerment to those suffering from life-challenging diseases. -- MIN LIAO

The AEON Gallery, 1510 12th Ave (at Pike), Suite #2, 323-8896, $5 donation, BYOB.


Doomed Planet

(FILM) Don't be frightened by the super-high-tech, slightly intimidating, completely independent DOOMED PLANET. Shot on digital video and edited on a Macintosh G3, this "millennium exploitation satire" -- produced and directed by all-around GENIUS Alex R. Mayer -- promises to be a thrilling Armageddon comedy. How can you argue with a film about the rivalry between the evil Doomed Planet Cult and peaceful CULT of Eternal Consciousness? Besides, you can say you "knew him when" once Mayer dominates the blooming world of digital and Internet film. -- MIN LIAO

Sit & Spin, 2219 Fourth Ave, 9 pm, $6; Pleaseeasaur will also perform.

Forbidden Barbie

(FILM) This mini-anthology of films either about or featuring BARBIE DOLLS has treats like Susan Stern's documentary, Barbie Nation, and local filmmaker Rachel Lord's erotic Barbie Super-8 short, but the real reason to go is the inclusion of the NOTORIOUS, long suppressed film (shown here on video) which uses Barbie dolls to movingly tell the story of the life and tragic early death of everyone's favorite anorexic singing drummer. If you don't know what I'm talking about, check for more info. -- ERIC FREDERICKSEN

Thurs-Sun Sept 23-26 at 5:30, 7:30, 9:30, at the Little Theatre, 608 19th Ave E, 675-2055.


Texas Chainsaw Pumpkin Carving

(FESTIVAL) The Fremont Oktoberfest is a celebration of microbrews, arts, crafts, polka, Latin funk, blues, rock and roll, and PUMPKIN RAGE. A popular event, the pumpkin carving is done on stage with REAL CHAINSAWS. It would be illegal to use human heads, but the first three rows of audience members get covered in SPRAYING PUMPKIN GUTS, so it's not a total loss. Wear a costume you don't mind soiling. -- JEFF DeROCHE

Fremont's Solstice Plaza, Sat & Sun, Pumpkin Carving Contest from 2-3 pm both days, free.


(NATURE) September is rutting season, the time when all good ELK bulls strut, push, issue bugle-like MATING calls, and occasionally fight each other over the right to doink multiple female elk. Nature's own frat-boys hold their ongoing butch realness competition all month. You thought the 1 am scene at Belltown Billiards was rough? Voyeuristic hiker types are encouraged to visit Northwest Trek Wildlife Park on weekend mornings to see some Class A, first-hand rutting action. -- Eric Fredericksen

Sat-Sun Sept 25-26 and Oct 2-3, 8-10 am, Northwest Trek Wildlife Park, 1-800-433-TREK,

33 Fainting Spells

(DANCE) You may think you know modern dance, but if you haven't seen 33 FAINTING SPELLS, you're in for a whole shock of delight. Working with quirky props and narrative, co-directors Dayna Hanson and Gaelen Hanson combine technical dance movement and emotive expression: a cake becomes a hat becomes a symbol of the doubt about getting older. Their newest evening-length dance piece -- their fourth -- SEPTEMBER SEPTEMBER, was created in collaboration with dancer Peggy Piacenza, John Dixon, composers Kyle Hanson and Joseph Zajonc from the Black Cat Orchestra, with costume design by painter Anne Siems. Keep yer cake -- er, yer hat on, and come on down to this free preview; stick around for the evening VELOCITY STUDIO BENEFIT GALA and you can catch talented Seattle performers from KT/Dance, d-9 Dance Collective, LeGendre Performance, Karn Junksmith, and more. -- TRACI VOGEL

Velocity Studio III, Third Floor of Oddfellow's Hall, 10th & Pine on Capitol Hill, 325-8773, 33 Fainting Spells Preview at 3 pm (free), Benefit Gala at 8 pm (call for reservations), $10-$20 donation.


Susan Powter Seminar

(WORKSHOP) Women, you are powerful. If you don't believe me, maybe you'll believe SUSAN POWTER. She seems like the type that could convince you of anything; and for $30, she'll try for two hours. Her message? "WOMEN, IGNITE YOUR POWER!" I would advise flame-retardant clothing. -- TRACI VOGEL

Century Ballroom, 915 E Pine, 547-1008, 7-9 pm, $30.

Yasujiro Ozu

(FILM) Tucked behind Akira Kurosawa's long shadow, Yasujiro Ozu has become the forgotten JAPANESE fiLMMAKER, mainly appreciated by only critics and film students. But the Seattle Asian Art Museum and experimental band Aono Jikken want to change that by giving you a chance to watch Ozu's 1934 classic, A Story of Floating Weeds, complete with a brand new score. Ozu's style may never have been as flashy as Kurosawa's (all his films were shot from four feet off the ground, or the kneeling position), but his perceptive eye and feel for pacing always made his films as exciting and watchable as any SAMURAI EPIC. -- BRADLEY STEINBACHER

The Seattle Asian Art Museum, 14th Ave E & E Prospect St in Volunteer Park, Sunday at 3 pm.


(LIVE MUSIC) Once again the Galway Arms stumps us. This most mysterious and unexplained Irish Pub, the X-Files of local music venues, tonight offers the last chance to see OLIVER. Perhaps Galway Arms is just toying with us, perhaps this Oliver is yet another pawn in the eternal chess match between GALWAY ARMS and the Stranger Calendar (in which the crafty pub is Bobby Fisher, poised to checkmate the feeble-minded calendar) but perhaps, yes just perhaps, this is to be a night of renditions of traditional Irish songs from everyone's favorite Dickens musical, Oliver. "Please, sir,I want some more." The truth is out there. -- ERIN FRANZMAN

Galway Arms, 5257 University Way NE, 527-9868, 8 pm, free.


Sky Cries Mary CD Release

(LIVE MUSIC) This promises to be the most INTENSE BAND APPEARANCE Tower Records has ever seen. Sky Cries Mary fans have been waiting almost two and a half years for the band to release something new, and you know what Sky Cries Mary fans are like. Intense. The EP is called Seeds and is a CD-I with a video track. Seeds is not officially out 'til Tuesday 9/28, so Sky Cries Mary will play a short set around 11:00 followed by sales at midnight. It's just like the night before you turn 21, when you go out just so that you can use your ID at the stroke of midnight. -- ERIN FRANZMAN

Tower Records, 500 Mercer St, 283-4456, 11 pm, free.


Side Man

(THEATER) Warren Leight's Side Man took home the 1999 Tony Award for Best Play over some stiff competition and gained much-needed good press for lead actor CHRISTIAN SLATER. Though ACT's regional theater premiere of this moving music-and-memory play is Slater-less, it should be worth a look and... hey! Wait a minute! Isn't that LOVE BOAT cruise director Julie McCoy in the cast? Right on! -- STEVE WIECKING

A Contemporary Theatre, 700 Union Street, 292-7676, runs Sept 23-Oct 17, Tues-Thurs at 7:30 pm, Fri-Sat at 8 pm, Sun at 7 pm, select matinees at 2 pm, $10-40.

Indie Boy Showcase

(READINGS) Like pillow talk, poetry promises secrets exposed, sensual energy, and sometimes really entertaining pageant. The Rendezvous curators present an evening of all this and more with SLIM MOON from Kill Rock Stars, RICH JENSEN from Up Records, JASON TALLEY from Red Stars Theory, and surprise guests reading their best literary stuff. Get out the good sheets cuz you'll be staying the night. (Silkscreened pillowcases will be sold.) -- LATANGI GARGI

The Little Theatre, 610 19th Ave E, 323-5410, 7:30 pm, $5.


(LIVE MUSIC) I've heard Low called "essentialist," "minimalist," and "post-rock" by more PRETENTIOUS GEEKS than I can shake a paintbrush at. Maybe they're all those things, but above that, LOW are right on. The last time I saw one of their "post-rock" shows, post-audience members were sprawled out on the floor and sitting in back against the wall. Did Low complain? Hell no, they lulled us with sweet post-melody, and warmed us over with just a few essential notes that strung themselves together into post-phrases, for post-songs that were POST-BEAUTIFUL. -- JEFF DeROCHE

Tractor Tavern, 5213 Ballard Ave NW, 789-3599, 9:30 pm, $7.


Build a Chicken Coop

(HOME IMPROVEMENT) It's your privilege to keep three CHICKENS within Seattle city limits. They provide fresh eggs, they make good eating, and their feathers make wonderful additions to dreamcatchers and headbands. Collect pieces of scrap wood (old fences work great!) by foraging around demolition sites. To keep out varmints and rain, lay boards on the ground. Build the walls around this floor. Use corrugated fiberglass for the roof. Lay lots of HAY down. Create nighttime roosts by NAILING thin, not-too-smooth boards (I used last year's Christmas tree carcass) along the back of the coop. Organize spots for nests, away from the roosts (chickens poop while they sleep). Decorate with OLD LICENSE PLATES, hubcaps, and wooden signs. -- NOVELLA CARPENTER

Your back yard, before winter, free.