Seattle Rock City
(PERFORMANCE EXTRAVAGANZA) There's nothing like raising money for a good cause while having a complete fucking blast. That's what's happening tonight at Re-bar, where a variety of Northwest drag kings and queens will take to the stage to rock, rock, rock. Forget lame Whitney Houston lip-synchs--Seattle Rock City will dish up everything from ferocious punk to glammy hair-metal to stoopid buttrock. Best of all, proceeds from the show benefit Portland's Rock and Roll Camp for Girls, which teaches young girls how to be rock stars. DAVID SCHMADER
Re-bar, 1114 Howell St, 233-9873, 8 pm, $8 (or free with the donation of a working musical instrument).
Signed Stamped Dated
(FUNDRAISER) We give a lot of press to those three poetic vixens known as the Typing Explosion, and goddamn it, they deserve it. Not only have they made poetry a spectator sport, and not only do they create poetry without pretension or preciousness, but they do both of these things with a cheerful sense of style and flair. Plus, in their recent show Dear Diane, they paraded around in their pajamas. In an effort to raise money for a Typing Explosion documentary, these aspiring femme fatales will be joined by the jangly Brit-pop guitar sound and fluttery vocals of Aveo, as well as Sean Nelson and Aaron Huffman, who were in some popular band that, I have to admit, I've never listened to. But I hear they're great, too. Go, and you might win a dream date with the linguistic trio. That's why I'll be there. BRET FETZER
Baltic Room, 1207 Pine St, 625-4444, 9 pm, $10 donation suggested. NOTE: Both Rachel Kessler of the Typing Explosion and Sean Nelson are affiliated with The Stranger. That doesn't mean their other talents don't shine like beacons in the darkness.
(MUSIC) Jesus Christ it's LOUD. And NOISY. But goddamn if Zeni Geva doesn't put on one of the most invigorating--albeit ear-shattering--live shows to infrequently hit Seattle. In the past, this Japanese band has worked with Steve Albini, who taught the band a modicum of temperance when he produced its second album, Total Castration. But he left the snarl intact. Albini is back in the producer's chair again on Zeni Geva's latest record, 10,000 Light Years, and it's more of the same, but HEAVIER, if you can possibly imagine that. If you're angry or just want to get lost in sound, here's your show of shows. KATHLEEN WILSON
Graceland, 109 Eastlake Ave E, 381-3094, 9:30 pm, $8.
Seattle Mariners vs. New York Yankees
(BASEBALL) Yankee Stadium: You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. With the Seattle Mariners nipping at the heels of the Major League wins record (116 wins), a stop in the Bronx in the heart of August may seem like the most distasteful of tasks. After all, the Yankees are buyers--er, winners--of the last three World Series, and many sports writers (talk about scum and villainy!) have them pegged to win a fourth. Still, these are our 2001 Seattle Mariners, at a stunning 52 games over .500 (as of this writing), and in prime position to finally topple the ugly Yankees juggernaut. This three-game stint should offer a clue as to just how far our boys will go, and every single game is on TV (including a nationwide broadcast on Saturday). Take some time out of your busy weekend and find some friends at a bar to cheer for Ichiro, Edgar, Bret, et al. This is beyond baseball. It's about what's right, and what's wrong. BRADLEY STEINBACHER
Fri Aug 17 on KIRO at 4:05 pm, Sat Aug 18 on KCPQ at 1:05 pm, and Sun Aug 19 on the Fox Sports Network at 10:05 am.
(MUSIC) Isaac Brock is exasperatingly withholding when it comes to divulging exact information on his Modest Mouse side project Ugly Casanova. In bits and pieces I've gotten out of him that Conor Oberst, Julian Koster, Grandaddy, and other indie artists as well as local folks have collaborated on a recorded project. But the last time Brock swung through town as Ugly Casanova, it was strictly a solo affair. Just the other night I begged him to tell me if tonight would again be a solo event, but my dear, puzzling pal stood firm in his non-information-lending stance, choosing instead to talk to me about how Queen Anne's Lace got its name. That's what makes him such a genius, I guess. KATHLEEN WILSON
Graceland, 109 Eastlake Ave E, 381-3094, 9:15 pm, $8.
Seattle Music Fest at Alki Beach
(ANNUAL OUTDOOR FESTIVAL) Grab your beach blankets and a dancing partner. The Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation is proud to present this year's installment of the Seattle Music Fest at Alki Beach, an event it has been co-sponsoring for five years running. Planned for months in advance by the enthusiastic Parks department and the Alki Community Center and made possible in part by a $10,000 grant from the city, the frolicking beach party will feature Destiny's Child and the Roxy Music reunion tour. NANCY DREW
For showtimes, ticket prices, and stage locations, call Virginia Swanson, Parks and Recreation special-events coordinator, at 684-8017. For more details, see "Rock and Roll Beached," pg. 13.
The Wide, Blue Road
(FILM) This tragic 1957 tale by Gillo Pontecorvo (who would later make the watershed The Battle of Algiers) stars the bold and beautiful Yves Montand at the height of his virile splendor as Squarciò. This Italian peasant fisherman is doomed by circumstance to defy the law and fish with explosives (by throwing them in the water) in order to feed his family. The film, which represented a logical step forward from the neorealist school into a kind of superrealism (i.e., social conscience plus artful presentation), was considered too fervently leftist by American censors of its time and has never received a proper theatrical release on these shores--until now, with the aid of Jonathan Demme and Dustin Hoffman. SEAN NELSON
Egyptian, 805 E Pine St, 323-4978, Fri-Thurs Aug 17-23. See Movie Times for details.
Stunts, Blunts, and Hiphop at Hempfest
(FESTIVAL) While the politics that Hempfest promotes are righteous and necessary, instead of getting speakers to try to guilt lawmakers, or having bands that caricature the state of being stoned, Hempfest should focus on rap music. Herein lies a wide body of art that consistently talks about the simple and absolute pleasures of smoking weed, without hesitation. Rap lyrics don't even recognize marijuana's illegal status. This art form decriminalizes a society of weed smokers, not by active protest, but by denying the need for justification. In this respect, rap is just as subversive (if not more so) than the organized movements to legalize marijuana. Go to Hempfest and show your support, but I also recommend memorizing lines from Dr. Dre's The Chronic; Diamond D's solo record Stunts, Blunts, and Hiphop; Redman's song "How to Roll a Blunt" (see Diversions calendar); "Pack the Pipe" by the Pharcyde; or anything by Canibus. Chant them while rolling fat-ass blunts for effective political protest. BRIAN GOEDDE
Myrtle Edwards Park, Alaskan Way at Bay St, Sat-Sun Aug 18-19, 10 am-8 pm, free.
Eric's Trip Reunion Tour
(MUSIC) You heard right: Moncton's best beloved foursome of fuzzed-out indie rockers has gotten the band back together for a brief tour across its mother nation. Fortunately for us, Vancouver is only a couple of hours and a body-cavity search away. Eric's Trip was one of Sub Pop's finest in the early- to mid-'90s, delivering three excellent official LPs among a slew of cassettes, EPs, and one-offs that married the lo-fi, emotionally bruised mien (to cry to) to an effortless pop knack (to dance to). Since breaking up mid-tour in 1996, the members have found fruitful musical endeavors as Julie Doiron, Moonsocket, Elevator, Elevator Through, and Elevator to Hell, among others. But none of those worthy pursuits have yet matched the brilliant alchemy of Eric's Trip. This tour coincides with a posthumous live LP, released by Teenage USA. For more info, try www.ericstrip.com. SEAN NELSON
Starfish Room, 1055 Homer St, Vancouver, BC, 604-682-4171.
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
(FILM) Mike Nichols' debut as a film director still shines across the decades as a triumph of virulent human despair. Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor (could it have been anyone else?) play George and Martha, the dissolute, alcoholic, middle-aged married couple whose verbal cat-and-mouse tournament ensnares George Segal and Sandy Dennis, a naive young couple who have just moved onto the college campus over which George and Martha so ineffectually preside. The film is dense with bitter, complex emotion and cloaked in a bourbon haze. The black-and-white cinematography (by the great Haskell Wexler), the dialogue, and the actors--especially Taylor--are horrifyingly good. Woolf is the apt culmination of the Northwest Film Forum's Bitches in Heat series--no screen bitch was ever hotter, or more heartbreaking, than blowzy old Martha. SEAN NELSON
Grand Illusion, 1403 NE 50th St, 523-3935, Mon-Thurs Aug 20-23. See Movie Times for details.
(DRIVE-BY INSTALLATION) Someday, someone should make a critical study of how the road trip has drifted through American culture. When seen in film, literature, and commercials, does the road trip represent our restlessness? Our search for constant stimulation? Our need to see everything, television-style, through a windshield? Whatever the case may be, here's a multimedia installation in the storefront windows of 911 by filmmaker Stephanie Smith, who chronicled the journey of a couple zigzagging their way across the country. They asked random people the same 13 questions, and the responses are broadcast on a wall of media, a pattern of images and words that is the latest installment of a genre very close to artists' hearts. EMILY HALL
The storefront windows at 911 Media Arts Center, 117 Yale Ave N, 682-6552, from dusk until dawn, through Sept 23.
Mark C. Ross
(READING) I haven't done anything. Not a single, worthwhile, goddamn thing. This is how I feel after reading Mark C. Ross' amazing memoir, Dangerous Beauty: Life and Death in Africa (Talk/Miramax)--a story that should humble anyone who's ever complained about having a stressful job. As a safari guide, Ross has shouldered his share of responsibilities, leading eager clients on adventures along the Congo and through the jungles and plains of Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, and Uganda. With gorgeous detail, Ross writes about the kind of wildlife and raw beauty that most of us will never see. He also relives the horrible events of March 1, 1999, when, while tracking endangered gorillas, Ross and his clients (along with other tourists) were kidnapped by Rwandan rebels. When their cruel ordeal was over, eight people were brutally killed. "I cannot get that day and night in Uganda out of my mind, even for a few hours," Ross writes. "The faces of my murdered friends join me every night." Tonight's reading will be an inspiring display of Ross' strength and his stubborn passion for the magnificence that is Africa. MIN LIAO
Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park Town Center, 17171 Bothell Way NE, 366-3333, 7 pm, free. Also Thurs Aug 23 at Elliott Bay Books, 101 S Main St, 624-6600, 7:30 pm, free.