Gang of Four

Also: Gretchen Bennett, Rififi, Bach at Leipzig, and Al Franken.

FRIDAY

MUSIC

GANG OF FOUR

Every "angular" "post-punk" band that's been clogging alt-rock radio and dance floor time over the past five years—Franz Ferdinand, the Rapture, Mahjongg—owes its lifeblood to this bunch. Vocalist Jon King, bassist (and longtime Portland, Ore., resident) Dave Allen, guitarist Andy Gill, and drummer Hugo Burnham are responsible for two of the most electrifying albums of the past 30 years, 1979's Entertainment! (just reissued) and 1981's Solid Gold, reason enough to attend. Sure, it's wise to ignore later duds and reunion discs like 1995's Mall. But we're talking about one of the most legendarily tight live bands in history here, too. Portland's Menomena and hapless N.Y.C. Go4 imitators Radio 4 open. 8 p.m. Fri., May 6. $25–$28. Showbox, 1426 First Ave., 206-628-3151. MICHAELANGELO MATOS

THURSDAY

ART

GRETCHEN BENNETT

Stickers and buttons are usually the domain of "street" art: sly messages planted by graffiti taggers, peaceniks, and such. Bennett, however, takes the two media and adapts them for less persuasive aims. As part of the recent "Release and Capture" group show at Kirkland Arts Center, she created lush woodland scenes from cheap wood-grain stickers (some of which have also shown up in locations throughout the city). Now in "Landscape Flair," a solo show opening at Howard House on First Thursday, Bennett promises still more experiments in the form, including landscapes assembled from scores of photo-printed pins, and collages of sticker shards. Opening reception: 5–7 p.m. Thurs., May 5. 10:30 a.m.– 5 p.m. Tues.–Sat. Runs through June 11. Howard House, 604 Second Ave., 206-256-6399. ANDREW ENGELSON

THURSDAY

FILM

RIFIFI

A few tickets might remain for this classic 1955 French heist picture. Blacklisted U.S. director Jules Dassin earned a Cannes prize for his work on Rififi (in which he also appears as a dapper Italian safecracker), best remembered today for its brilliant centerpiece—a wordless, 30-minute jewel theft sequence. Dassin briskly and masterfully introduces his characters and their motivations, tensely stages the audacious heist, then unsparingly relates the inevitably tragic aftermath. Everyone's undone by their signal characteristics, while fatalistic ringleader Tony (Jean Servais)—who initially seems a misogynist brute—reveals his loyalty to "my friends" and a child caught in the fray. (NR) 7:30 p.m. Thurs., May 5. $6. Seattle Art Museum, 100 University St., 206-625-8900. BRIAN MILLER

THURSDAY

STAGE

BACH AT LEIPZIG

ACT's latest slate sounds awfully familiar: Tennessee Williams and Garson Kanin, as well as now-ubiquitous solo performers Charlayne Woodard and Mike Daisey. But the name that might generate the most buzz is playwright Itamar Moses, whose farce about a heated competition between wanna-be church organists in 17th-century Leipzig opens ACT's 41st season. Moses garnered praise for the energy of his Outrage in 2003 and—don't you hate this?—the guy is still only in his 20s. This could be the ideal opportunity to catch an artist on the rise. Opens Thurs., May 5. 7:30 p.m. Sun. and Tues.–Thurs.; 8 p.m. Fri.–Sat.; 2 p.m. select matinees. Ends Sun., May 29. $10–$54. ACT Theatre, 700 Union St., 206-292-7676. STEVE WIECKING

MONDAY

RADIO

AL FRANKEN

Get up early, pack some coffee, and blow off work for a few hours to watch this live broadcast of Air America's Al Franken Show (carried locally on AM 1090). The former SNL fixture, possible future Minnesota senatorial candidate, and author of Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right (Plume, $14) will weigh in on this week's news outrages and White House follies. From drilling in ANWR to the Bolton approval hearings to the "nuclear" option on Senate filibusters, you can be sure Franken (pictured) will have enough tart, funny opinions to fill three full hours of airtime (abetted by his co-host, Katherine Lanpher). 9 a.m. Mon., May 9. $25. Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave., 800-838-3006.BRIAN MILLER

 
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