Arts Picks




If Mel can do it, why can't they? Surely there are a few more dollars to be squeezed out of his crucified body. The Pythons were at Calvary first, and to much funnier effect, in their 1979 Bible romp, which concerns a poor schlub (Graham Chapman) born in the Nazareth stable next to you know who. (Oops! The three wise men have to take back their presents.) Naturally Brian gets mistaken for the Messiah, no matter how much he protests to the contrary. Then he gets involved with various squabbling, ineffectual anti-Roman factions—suicide attackers simply stab themselves—and consorts with the Virgin Mandy (director Terry Jones). Along the road to his parallel passion with Jesus, Brian encounters a lisping, less villainous Pilate (Michael Palin, pictured), who famously asks, "What's so funny about 'Biggus Dickus?'" I think even Mel knows the answer to that one. (R) Opens Fri., May 14. Neptune, Northeast 45th Street and Brooklyn Avenue Northeast, 206-781-5755. BRIAN MILLER




33 Fainting Spells specialize in non sequiturs, so this mix of Anton Chekov and NASA, 19th-century Russian angst and 20th-century American optimism, should yield the same intriguing results as past experiments. In one excerpt I saw of their latest piece, Sunbeam, Dayna Hanson, Gaelen Hanson, and guest Linas Phillips make a brief stop in the '70s, singing the woes of "Nick Ivanov" like a cover of Tony Orlando and Dawn, and finish by hovering on one leg, as if they were gliding over the earth. 8 p.m. Thurs., May 13–Sun., May 16. $22. On the Boards, 100 W. Roy St., 206-217-9888. SANDRA KURTZ




For every record that was celebrated in the mad scrambled hype of early '90s Seattle, many more were overlooked and unheard. With their 1993 sophomore release, Numb (A&M), Hammerbox landed in that unfortunate gray area. A breakup resulted, and singer Carrie Akre, one of the few women to front a band of the "grunge" persuasion, went on to form Goodness and lead a successful solo career. This show doesn't mark a new record or even a reissue; the band just got to feeling that they hung it up before it was dry, so hey, why not play another show? With all the talk of 10-year anniversaries, it's a wonder we're not seeing more reunions of this kind. 9 p.m. Fri., May 14. $13–$15, EMP Sky Church, 206-628-0888. LAURA CASSIDY




See what your hard-earned tax dollars are buying as the city government gallery shows off some of its 2003 purchases. Among the Seattle artists represented are Claudia Fitch, Brian Murphy, Katy Stone, Akio Takamori, and Daniel Mihalyo (whose Ramp #2, charcoal on paper, is above). A national panel chose these artists last year, and then local curator Beth Sellars selected a piece from each to buy for the city's collection. It was either that or another Monorail study. Opens Mon., May 17. 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Mon.–Fri. Artist reception: 5–7 p.m. Thurs., May 20. City Space, 701 Fifth Ave. (Bank of America tower), third floor, 206-749-9525. MARK D. FEFER




How soon is now? Two or three years ago, Morrissey's fan base had seemingly dwindled to leftover collegiate mopers. Then the early-'80s revival hit, the Cure and Public Image Ltd. were being imitated by every hipster band in New York, and suddenly it was "Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me" time again. Tonight, sweet and tender hooligans Aaron Sprinkle, the Lashes, Slender Means, the Jeunes, Robb Benson, Suffering and the Hideous Thieves, the Capillaries, Some by Sea, Black Nite Crash, and Saeta will pay tribute to it all. Strangeways, here we come. 9 p.m. Tues., May 18. $7. Crocodile Cafe, 2220 Second Ave., 206-441-5611. MICHAELANGELO MATOS

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