Ten months after she left a curatorial position at EMP to become Blender magazine's senior critic, rock-writing vet Ann Powers is leaving Seattle to become senior music critic for the Los Angeles Times. Powers moves with husband Eric Weisbard on May 1—one day after the finish of the fifth (and presumably last) Weisbard-curated Pop Music Studies Conference. MICHAELANGELO MATOS


Noted harpsichordist Byron Schenkman has been gradually reclaiming the piano in solo and chamber recitals. Last week, he took a decisive plunge, announcing his retirement from Seattle Baroque, the group he co-founded in 1994 with violinist Ingrid Matthews, in favor of "venturing into later repertoire as well as exploring different ways of performing 18th-century music." In a 2001 interview in these pages, Schenkman explained, "I've worked pretty single-mindedly and with a lot of conviction at building a career as an early keyboard player. And 10 years out, I've realized I've basically achieved that goal—I am, I think it's safe to say, one of the best harpsichordists in the world, and I get the recognition I would want for that. So I'm ready for the next challenge." If his splendid September 2004 recital of 20th-century French music with clarinetist Laura DeLuca was any indication, early music's loss is contemporary music's gain. GAVIN BORCHERT


Craigslist has connected people with the sublets and beater cars of their dreams, but high rollers scanning the "office/commercial" section of these online classifieds last week noticed two poular Seattle clubs for sale. A listing posted Feb. 28 says $850,000 gets you ownership of "Seattle's Hot Spot," which in a photo looked a lot like the former Polly Esther's, near EMP. Two days later, that identifying image had been removed, and a second familiar-looking Seattle lounge—going for $650,000—had been posted. Club managers couldn't be reached for comment. Craigslist founder Craig Newmark and his publicist, Susan Best, agreed it was odd but not surprising to find high-priced real estate on the board. "I've had a lot of requests recently for us to set up a for-sale business section," said Best. "It's a low-hassle option for the business owner." RACHEL SHIMP


Two Seattle-linked plays, Amy Freed's Restoration Comedy and August Wilson's Radio Golf, were nominated with four other finalists for the American Theatre Critics Association's prestigious annual New Play Award. The former premiered at the Seattle Repertory Theatre last December, and the latter closed mid-February at the same venue. The winner, to be announced April 1 at the Humana Festival in Louisville, Ky., will bag a whopping $25,000, the largest national playwriting prize. KELLIE HWANG

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