Arts Picks




Sure they're cute. Sure they grew up moneyed. Sure you've heard songs like theirs before. But nobody's ever been able to put their finger on exactly where you heard those songs before. (Wire's too weird, the Velvet Underground weren't groomed enough—which is no insult—the Cars were too waxed, the Jam too spit-shone, Television not staticky enough. Blondie, maybe?) And once both 2001's Is This It and last year's Room on Fire work their way into your skin like liniment, it's over—sure, you've heard songs like these before, but not these songs, not exactly this way, and it doesn't really matter since you want to hear them again. Live, they're always tight, with occasional forays into rafter-shaking great. 8 p.m. Mon., April 12. $25/$30. Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine St., 206-628-0888. MICHAELANGELO MATOS




You would forgive Julio Bocca (above) if his company were just a showcase for himself. After capturing the Gold Medal at the International Ballet Competition in 1985, he became a star with the American Ballet Theater, and his career has accelerated from there. Although these performances will be full of the kind of classical heat he generates in works like the pas de deux from Le Corsaire, his fellow dancers from his home in Argentina are right behind him, tearing through more movement. 8 p.m. Thurs., April 8–Sat., April 10. $40. Meany Theater, University of Washington, 206-543-4880. SANDRA KURTZ




Richard Elfman's 1980 weirdfest offers the best in trash cinema. When ingénue Frenchy Hercules (Marie-Pascale Elfman, the director's wife) ventures by accident into the Sixth Dimension, her twisted kin attempt to save her, leading to a series of lively song-and-dance numbers by Richard's brother, Danny (composer for The Simpsons among much else), that range in style from Yiddish cabaret to Rocky Horror–esque camp rock. Keep an eye out for the human chandelier (and observe his poignant fate), then revel in Danny's performance as Satan channeling Cab Calloway. Zone is almost certainly the only film you'll ever see in which a giant tuxedoed frog boffs a bored-looking nurse. Midnight Fri., April 9–Sat., April 10. Egyp­tian Theater, 805 E. Pine St., 206-781-5755. NEAL SCHINDLER




With a confessed fondness for Thoreau, Glenn Murcutt is an evangelist for simplicity. His mantra, "touch the earth lightly," has led him to design buildings so modest and airy they almost resist being called shelters. In 2002, he was awarded his profession's highest honor, the Pritzker Prize, though he only takes commissions for private homes and other small-scale works. (The photo shows a Murcutt home on the coast of New South Wales.) In an era of big-ego corporate architects, Murcutt, who's teaching at the UW this spring, is a genuine breath of fresh air. 7 p.m. Mon., April 12. $12. Kane Hall, Room 130, UW campus, 206-543-7679. ANDREW ENGELSON




Our Tim Appelo called Ozeki's All Over Creation (new in paper) "the best book I've ever read about potatoes," and other critics seem to agree—her novel of love amid the genetically engineered crops in Idaho turned up on several Best of '03 lists. (And the audiobook version is one of five finalists for the 2004 Audie awards, Unabridged Fiction cate­gory!) The sometime British Columbia resident and former documentary filmmaker has taken some heat for her book's didactic, anti- agrobiz tone, but she disavows the views put forward by her characters. And anyway, it's basically just a fun French fry read. 6 p.m. Fri., April 9. Third Place Books, 17171 Bothell Way N.E., 206-366-3333. 7:30 p.m. Tues., April 12. Elliott Bay Book Company, 101 S. Main St., 206-624-6600. MARK D. FEFER

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