Figurative, Charming Images at SOIL; Sensual, Lurid, Harmonic Language; and I Heart Rummage

Visual Arts L.A. Stories If it takes two to make a thing go right, Seattleite Samantha Scherer and Los Angeleno Thomas Müller demonstrate that principle in their new artistic collaboration, "L.A. Stories." The pen and watercolor drawings of a police station, a car filling up on gas, or a group of famous Hollywood faces look slight and simple at first, though you might notice the faint text of "WATER METER" or other city insignia rubbed onto the paper, which is Müller's telltale mark. He began relating his experiences in L.A. to Scherer over the phone, and she'd sketch her interpretations of such surreal comedy as witnessing Nicolas Cage buying cheap gas at ARCO, or standing behind Bishop Don "Magic" Juan at the post office. Müller's embossments from the streets and sidewalks of his city are the final touches, giving each piece a "literal imprint" that meets Scherer's figurative, charming images. SOIL, 112 Third Ave. S., 264-8061, Gallery hours: Noon–5 p.m. Thurs.–Sun. Ends Feb. 25. RACHEL SHIMP ClassicalSimple Measures"Off Road," the title of the next concert in this recital series, could describe the usual venues—director Rajan Krishnaswami prefers coffeehouses to concert halls, less-formal spaces that are, he hopes, less forbidding to classical novices and enable the intimacy that chamber music, after all, was meant to offer. But it also describes Simple Measures' current program, devoted to composers who struck out on their own path. Six string players join cellist Krishnaswami for a concert that moves from the sensual, even lurid, harmonic language of the madrigals of Carlo Gesualdo (1560–1613) to Beethoven's last, gnomic string quartet to Schoenberg's luscious, moonlit Transfigured Night to American mavericks Charles Ives and John Cage: one a flinty transcendentalist who hurled two-fisted abuse at the tender-eared, the other a puckish Zen disciple who smilingly, serenely questioned the very nature of music. Rainier Chapter House, 800 E. Roy St., 283-6058. $10–$25. 7 p.m. (Other performances Fri., Sat., and Mon.; see for details.) GAVIN BORCHERTCrafts I Heart RummageSeattle is such a ridiculously crafty town that even our monorail has a cozy around one of its support beams. That's the work of the Austin-based Knitta crew, but there are plenty of knitters, clothing designers, poster artists, jewelers, and other crafters at work in the city every day. Each month they bring their wares to the Crocodile, where you can enjoy a kick-ass brunch before indulging in some retail therapy—or this month, a search for a truly unique Valentine's gift, be it organic soap, a reconstructed bangle clutch, an eight-armed Soctopus, or a screen-printed blazer with cozy hoodie attached. This stuff makes the rounds at other craft fairs, most recently the Christmas season's Urban Craft Uprising, but this is the monthly where the creativity began, and where it continues. Crocodile Cafe, 2200 Second Ave., 441-5611, Noon–4 p.m. RACHEL SHIMP

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