Crooked Fingers

Also: Major Dundee, Todd Oldham, Victor Navasky, and The Graduate.




Who'd have figured that when Eric Bachmann finally shed the Tom Waits–esque husk that had covered his formerly gawky squawk of a voice it would reveal . . . Neil Diamond? Bachmann has made each of Crooked Fingers' albums come closer to scoring the spaghetti Western that seems to be playing in his head, most recently with the solid Dignity and Shame (Merge, Bachmann's ear for the baroque continues to be matched by his eye for the macabre, as on the title track: "To be sure, there ain't no cure/He comes creeping back to beg you/As a thousand gargoyles crash into his head." Dolorean and Inara George open. 8 p.m. Sat., April 23. $10/$12. Crocodile Cafe, 2220 Second Ave., 206-441-5611. MICHAELANGELO MATOS




Not every director's cut is a good idea, but this 136-minute restoration of the 1965 CinemaScope Western does give you a good idea what Sam Peckinpah later intended with The Wild Bunch. Civil War officer Charlton Heston charges a motley patrol—including black Union soldiers and Confederate POWs led by Richard Harris—into Mexico. Their mission is to retrieve hostages from a marauding Navajo band, but that soon gets lost in the chaos of strong tequila, exotic women, and cathartic violence. Although there are the expected battles with the Indians and, weirdly, red-uniformed French troops then occupying Mexico, Peckinpah's heart really isn't in the bloodshed. Clenched and conflicted, Heston's searching for something within, as he and his men gradually shed their uniforms and go native. Their mission, the war, the old codes—none of them makes sense down south. (PG-13) Fri., April 22–Thurs., April 28. Varsity, 4329 University Way N.E., 206-781-5755. BRIAN MILLER




Real estate is the new porn, and home furnishings are at the top of the fetish list. Problem is, we can't all afford to satiate our lusts at Roche Bobois. Enter Oldham (pictured), the budget-minded MTV-savvy celebrity designer to the stars (Cindy Crawford, Elizabeth Hurley, Susan Sarandon, etc.). His Handmade Modern: Mid-Century Inspired Projects for Your Home (ReganBooks, $19.95) is all about DIY for those of us not quite so skilled with the Skilsaw as Bob Villa nor so rich as his A-list pals. The century in question is the last one (so curb your fears of Shaker chairs), and his design touchstones are modernists like Noguchi, Nakeshima, and Florence Knoll. His motto might well be—if you can't afford it, fake it, but with style. 7 p.m. Mon., April 25. Third Place Books, 17171 Bothell Way N.E., 206-366-3333. BRIAN MILLER




There are political movers and shakers, and then there's Victor Navasky. The publisher and co-owner of The Nation, one of America's premier left-wing intellectual magazines, has achieved his towering reputation through groundbreaking accomplishments as an author and educator. His best-known work is Naming Names, a study of McCarthyism and the Hollywood blacklist, and he currently heads Columbia University's George Delacorte Center for Magazine Journalism. Downstairs at Town Hall, he'll chat with outgoing director David Brewster about current affairs and his new memoir, A Matter of Opinion. 7:30 p.m. Mon., April 25. $5. Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave., 206-652-4255. NEAL SCHINDLER




You expect Hollywood to go over-the-top when adapting plays for the screen, but it's a sign of the financial times when Broadway goes gonzo with Tinseltown product. The stage adaptation of everybody's favorite postcollege angst film comedy has seen one pop culture vixen after another play the sly, seething, Jesus-loves- you-more-than-you-will-know Mrs. Robinson: Jeri Hall, Kathleen Turner, and now, in this touring version, Falcon Crest alum Morgan Fairchild (pictured). She's been an articulate AIDS and pro-choice activist, but it'll be interesting to see if Fairchild can make Nathan Corddry's Benjamin Braddock wonder if she's seducing him. Opens Tues., April 26. 7:30 p.m. Tues.–Thurs.; 8 p.m. Fri.–Sat.; 6:30 p.m. Sun.; 2 p.m. matinee Sat.; 1 p.m. matinee Sun. Ends Sun., May 1. $18–$54. Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine St., 206-292-ARTS. STEVE WIECKING

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