Experience Art Project

First Paul Allen wanted to show you his cool guitars, and then his nifty sci-fi memorabilia. Now he's inviting you over to see his etchings—or, rather, his paintings. Next spring and summer, Experience Music Project will host "DoubleTake: Monet to Lichtenstein," which pairs impressionist and postimpressionist works with thematically related modern paintings, all from Allen's private collection. Among the artists represented will be Monet, Renoir, Degas, van Gogh, Picasso, Lichtenstein, Jasper Johns, and de Kooning, nearly 30 canvases in all. EMP spokesperson Christian Quilici calls the museum's foray into fine art an "experiment," adding, "The show's unique juxtapositions, its size, theme, and intended audience all indicated that EMP was a great venue for Seattle." No word yet on when we get to see Allen's stamp collection. LYNN JACOBSON

GAME ON

Microsoft's release last week of the new Xbox 360 gaming device was greeted by Xtreme media attention, nationally and locally. (The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, for instance, which last week drew the ire of the arts community for redeploying classical-music critic R.M. Campbell, devoted about 100 column inches to the system on Nov. 19. No wonder space in the paper for chamber-music reviews is dwindling.) Early Xbox 360 reviews have generally praised the graphics lavishly but bemoaned the clunkiness of the adapter. The Village Voice, in a review that misspelled the name of Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, pronounced it "the shit," while Wired's assessment was more measured: "The $400 system promises a whole new level of graphics quality and a greatly refined interface. . . . If you already have an HDTV and want something to show it off, the 360 certainly does the trick." Others pointed to the Xbox's potential as a one-stop integration point for all digital media, from music to instant messaging, hinting at Microsoft's ambitions toward establishing Windows-like domination of the market. Says Lockergnome.com, "This is the future of your living room." GAVIN BORCHERT

OLD MONEY

Town & Country, "America's premier lifestyle magazine for the affluent," devoted an entire page in the November issue to PONCHO's 2005 gala. Among the Beautiful People pictured were big-time Seattle philanthropists Susan and Jeff Brotman; former music exec Michael Malone and his wife, Barbara; PONCHO board President Kay Baxter; and Executive Director Gordon Hamilton. The benefit, held at the downtown Sheraton, raised more than $850,000 for the arts. It's not exactly news, since the event took place seven months ago. But when you're as old (160 years in 2006) and rich as Town & Country, you can saunter. LYNN JACOBSON

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