The Weekly Wire: The Week’s Recommended Events

WEDNESDAY 5/12Books: Bare-All Tell-AllAt 18, Jillian Lauren dropped out of NYU and entered the world of high-class prostitution. Her memoir Some Girls: My Life in a Harem (Plume, $15) details the year-plus she spent in a prince's palace in Brunei, navigating a haze of sex, parties, and expensive gifts. Admittedly, the good-girl-gone-bad-and-back memoir has been published countless times before. But Lauren steers clear of phony sentiment and redemption. She doesn't demonize or glamorize sex work. Instead, she writes like a journalist, making candid and often wry observations. ("Hookers in bare feet and evening gowns playing badminton is a sight to see.") Lauren, who has contributed to Vanity Fair, exudes that same frankness off the page as well. "To tell this story was frightening," she said by phone from Los Angeles, where she's now a married suburbanite. "It feels like my skirt is pulled up over my head; I don't have any secrets anymore." The hardest part about airing her controversial past? "Telling my neighbors! I throw block parties that their children attend! I wanted them to hear it from me before they read it in the book." Ravenna Third Place Books, 6504 20th Ave. N.E., 525-2347, Free. 7 p.m. ERIKA HOBARTFestivals: Fun While It LastsWith the looming demise of the Fun Forest, parents should take advantage of kid-friendly Seattle Center while it lasts. For the 24th year in a row, Giant Magnet, formerly the Seattle International Children's Festival, offers diverse international entertainment for the wee ones. Among a dozen-odd acts, most of which specialize in music and dance, German puppet masters Figurentheater Wilde & Vogel stand out. The duo take puppeteering to a new and somewhat dark level in staging J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit (today in German at 11:30 a.m.; other performances are in English). The production includes magic tricks, actors, music, and of course puppetry. Between performances on several Seattle Center stages, families can also enjoy free craft lessons, like kite making, and interactive activities, including hula-hooping with stuntman Dizzy Hips. (Through Sat.) Seattle Center, 684-7338, $10–$15. 10 a.m.–2 p.m. PARISA SADRZADEHTHURSDAY 5/13Music: Grunge EpitaphHole is back together (well, some part of it, assembled again by Courtney Love, or whatever she's calling herself these days). Krist Novoselic is a must-read blogger for this paper. A Nirvana box set may follow. And now SAM is joining the '90s revival with "Kurt" which celebrates the short life and incendiary musical career of Kurt Cobain, a suicide 16 years ago at age 27. The exhibit—to include photos, videos, and even paintings—opens today as a dark companion to SAM's big Andy Warhol show (see below). Pop Art and grunge belong to two different eras, one celebrating surfaces and the other authenticity. But Cobain, who famously posed on the cover of Rolling Stone wearing his "Corporate Magazines Still Suck" T-shirt, carefully cultivated his iconoclastic image. The 1991 breakthrough of "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and Nevermind was aided in no small part by the MTV video, a great album cover, and the marketing might of a major record label. There was huge money to be made from selling indie rock to the anti-corporate masses, and Cobain occupied the uncomfortable—and perhaps untenable—position of mocking that whole apparatus from the inside. (Heavier Than Heaven biographer Charlie Cross delivers a lecture on Cobain tomorrow at 7 p.m.; the exhibit runs through Sept. 6.) Seattle Art Museum, 1300 First Ave., 654-3121, $9–$15. 10 a.m.–9 p.m. BRIAN MILLERFashion: Gaga for GlamourWhen Isaiah Whitmore won the Student Designer Competition in April, he was the audience's clear favorite. Whitmore, an Art Institute of Seattle student, wowed the crowd with his monochromatic skinny pants, ruffled white halter tops, black lace details, and headscarves for men and women. But at tonight's Emerging & Independent Designers Runway Show, part of the ongoing Seattle Fashion Week (through Sat.), he'll have to share the spotlight with eight other newcomers. Among them, we also like Rana Ghezelayagh's silk trench-coat dresses and Andrea Voss' contemporary, eco-friendly jackets and dresses. But perhaps the most anticipated collection of the evening comes from Laotian immigrant Banchong Douangphrachanh. She recently designed a studded, sharp-shouldered cutoff top that was purchased and worn by the biggest music star in the world, Lady Gaga, in her "Poker Face" video. WaMu Theater, 800 Occidental Ave. S., 381-7555, $35–$200. 8 p.m. ERIN K. THOMPSONVisual Arts: 15 Minutes and Counting"I'd like to be a machine" goes the quote often attributed to Andy Warhol (1928–1987), who scoffed at the notion of an artist's unique signature. He ran a studio to produce images (and movies) that frankly borrowed their imagery from other mass-produced sources (e.g., soup cans, Brillo boxes, Marilyn Monroe, Elvis). And the great thing about a machine is that it can go on producing forever. All you need to keep it running are oil, money, and culture consumers. So indeed, SAM's new monster show "love fear pleasure lust pain glamour death—Andy Warhol Media Works" proves that Warhol has, two decades after his death, cheated death. The Polaroids, prints, screen tests, and other art products on view here attest to the enduring value of his brand. Warhol got his start, after all, as a commercial artist in the '40s and '50s who created ads for department stores and clothiers long shuttered and forgotten. He's outlasted them all, with an inventory reaching forward into our new millennium. How many Fortune 500 companies can say the same? (A companion film series begins next Friday with Chelsea Girls; the exhibit runs through Sept. 6.) Seattle Art Museum, 1300 First Ave., 654-3121, $9–$15. 10 a.m.–9 p.m. BRIAN MILLERSATURDAY 5/15Classical: Once More From the Top, PleaseWho can tell how far avant-garde godfather Erik Satie (1866–1925) had his langue in his joue when he instructed performers of his Vexations, a wayward, two-line chorale, to repeat the piece 840 times? He has occasionally been taken at his word—performances have lasted 12 to 28 hours, depending on how Vexations' only tempo instruction, "Very slow," has been interpreted. In what is almost certainly the work's Seattle premiere, a relay of pianists will tackle it, including Robin Holcomb, Wayne Horvitz, Gust Burns, and Korby Sears. I'm still deciding whether I want to try to camp out overnight and hear the whole thing. Jack Straw Studios, 4261 Roosevelt Way N.E., Pay what you will. 4 p.m. onward. GAVIN BORCHERTFood: Taste the Goat!It's about to get stinky at the Market. But as any Limburger lover knows, the aroma will lure you into this weekend's Seattle Cheese Festival. Two dozen local and international vendors will provide hundreds of samples to satisfy any palate. Chefs will also demo some of their favorite recipes; there are seminars for pros and foodies alike; and a grilled-cheese contest will also be held. But where is a cheese newbie to begin? According to Pat McCarthy of DeLaurenti Food & Wine, "Start young and go to bleu." The fresher cheeses, at the beginning of the tasting line, will prepare your taste buds for the pungent, stronger, salty bleu cheeses, he explains. Among the fresher varieties, McCarthy says each slice holds a hint of its barnyard origins: "Goat cheeses can be tangy; milk cheeses can be nutty, for the most part. Nice spring cow-milk cheeses are really grassy; you can actually taste the grass. And you can taste a hint of flowers in the mountain cheeses." And of course there can't be cheese without wine, with five glasses available for $10 in the 21-and-over wine and beer garden. There, McCarthy advises you pair whites with most cheeses, and reds with the earthier truffles. (Through Sun.) Pike Place Market, 622-6198, $1 suggested. 10 a.m.–5 p.m. PARISA SADRZADEHTUESDAY 5/18Volcanology: The Big Three-OhEyjafjallajökull ain't all that. Shutting down European airspace? No big deal. As we in the Northwest know, May 18, 1980 is a special date, when Mt. St. Helens blew its top and released 520 tons of ash in a 15-mile-high mushroom cloud. More than 50 people died in the eruption; rivers were blocked with timber and mudslides; highways were closed and rerouted; ash fell in Spokane and beyond; and the resulting landscape looked like the moon. Yet as tonight's panel discussion will address, Mt. St. Helens and other prominent Cascade volcanoes are an active and ongoing part of our environment. Emergency evacuation measures are in place for sudden lahar flows, and the Mt. St. Helens National Volcanic Monument's landscape is today surprisingly green and full of resurgent life. Tonight, the cataclysm and its aftermath will be discussed by UW scientists Brittany Brand and Roger del Moral, the Burke's own Rod Crawford, and Scott Shane of the National Park Service. Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, UW campus, 543-5590, Free. 6 p.m. BRIAN MILLER

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