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SPA NOIR
Jan 31st, 2004 by Clark Humphrey

IF TOMORROW, “Super Sunday,” is America’s biggest day for macho horseplay, last Friday night was Seattle’s night to celebrate beauty.

First, there was the lavish opening party for Spa Noir, a new posh pampering palace in the former Confounded Books space at Second and Bell. Above, owner Jessica Norton receives a bouquet of flowers and a socket wrench to celebrate having finally gotten the space ready.

Spa Noir offers all the favorite day spa services (facials, massages, manicures, etc.), but offers them until 10 p.m. Appointments can be made for even later at night, so bar and nightclub workers will have something to go to after closing time besides the suburban casinos.

Just a block away, the Rendezvous hosted the Nerd Rock Fashion Show A Go-Go, a sprightly little fashion show featuring local designers and benefitting the fledgling DIY arts orgalization Hometown Gravy.

Then, down by Terry and Mercer at Consolidated Works,, came the lavisher-than-lavish opening night gala for the second Seattle Erotic Arts Festival. You’ve got to get there this weekend. It fills Conworks’ cavernous exhibition space with hundreds upon hundreds of paintings, drawings, sculptures, Etch-A-Sketches, installation pieces, and more. They mostly are figure studies of lone females and males in provocative poses. There are also many fetish action scenes, some gay action and lesbian action scenes, and even three or four images of heterosexual coitus (the one category noticeably missing at last year’s festival in Town Hall).

It was often hard to see the beautiful art because of all the beautiful people in the way. Hundreds, maybe thousands, of flirty gals and dashing guys swarmed the joint, reveling in their fabulosity.

The festival organizers didn’t let me take pictures last night. (Hey, some of ’em are BDSM people, so you have to expect they’ll love to make rules.) I did, however, persuade a finely-coiffed party attendee named Alisha to pose outside the building. (Her outfit was designed by print MISC contributor Jen Velasco.)

As Seattle’s winter overcasts continue their reign of darkness, something like Beauty Night should be an annual ritual.

MIXING IT UP
Jan 30th, 2004 by Clark Humphrey

WHEN mix CDs are outlawed, only outlaws will thump 160 bpm.

DIVE LOVE
Jan 30th, 2004 by Clark Humphrey

MORE KUDOS are due-dos to Seattle Weekly, for Rick Anderson’s just-plain-lovely ode to that dying institution, the dive tavern.

A GREAT MOVIE doesn't have…
Jan 29th, 2004 by Clark Humphrey

…to have a great main-title screen, but it helps. I’m talking about great typography, great composition, and even a little razzle-dazzle (“First National Pictures, Inc. Presents Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Stupendous Story of Adventure and Romance–THE LOST WORLD”).

Also note the “busy-ness” of Golden Age main titles. The Thin Man‘s title screen includes not just the name of the movie but five of its stars, the director, the producer, the MGM name and logo, a copyright notice, and MGM’s old “Controlled by Loew’s Incorporated” bug. And in the background you can see a mockup cover of the original novel, with author Dashiell Hammett’s name clearly visible. And it’s elegant, not cluttered-looking at all. These days, a studio will commission graphic-design specialists to create snazzy logos for a film’s print advertising, and even give these designers screen credit in the film, but only use a plain, small-print typeface for the on-screen title itself.

When you see a beautiful title screen, you know the filmmakers have at least made an attempt at classic showmanship. If you just see the movie’s name in some common desktop-publishing font, why bother watching the rest?

I WANNA LIKE JOHN KERRY
Jan 28th, 2004 by Clark Humphrey

I really do. But he voted for the Iraq war resolution, for the Patriot Act, and for the zillionaires’ tax cuts. And, scarier, he’s an alum of the Skull and Bones Society, the same top-secret elite Yale club Bush was in!

I LOVE the Seattle Erotic Art Festival,…
Jan 27th, 2004 by Clark Humphrey

…coming this weekend to Consolidated Works. But the video promo for the event, which asks the question “What Is Erotic?”, isn’t erotic. But, natch, the promo was meant to be non-erotic. It was made by a bigtime ad agency and aimed at the same target audience everything in Seattle seems to be aimed at (squarer-than-square baby boomers).

FIRST MICK JAGGER,…
Jan 26th, 2004 by Clark Humphrey

…now knighthood for Bill Gates. Liz II’s standards seem to be lowering in her dotage.

"ARE GUYS…
Jan 26th, 2004 by Clark Humphrey

the new girls?”

BOWLING AND WIFI
Jan 25th, 2004 by Clark Humphrey

BOWLING, BOOZE, and free WiFi–the three great tastes that taste great together! And they can all be found, perhaps exclusively in the world, at the lovely Leilani Lanes in north Greenwood.

That’s where I and over two dozen others were on Wednesday night, for a webloggers’ bowling party.

Pictured above, none other than our Confounded Books pal Brad Beshaw. He wasn’t in our group, but just happened to be at the alley the same night.

Besides knockin’ the ol’ pins down, many of us played the Dance Dance Revolution game. Pictured above, “TYD” and Anita Rowland.

OOPS!
Jan 25th, 2004 by Clark Humphrey

Guess I, and everybody reading this on Sunday, has missed “Internet Free Day.”

NEOCON ECONOMIX
Jan 25th, 2004 by Clark Humphrey

IT’S NOT that the disappearance of high-paying jobs is an unfortunate byproduct of Bush policies. This disappearance is deliberate, part of a grand scheme to make all of America more like the Third World (or more like certain counties in Texas populated only by rich farm owners and poor farm workers).

MISCmedia IS DEDICATED TODAY…
Jan 24th, 2004 by Clark Humphrey

…to fashion photographer Helmut Newton, the king of opulant sleaze, and to Bob “Captain Kangaroo” Keeshan, the king of wholesome salesmanship.

During Keeshan’s heyday, some Seattle-area viewers occasinally wrote in to the daily papers complaining that KIRO-TV showed only the second half-hour of Kangaroo so it could run the more local, and more light-entertainment oriented, J.P. Patches (see the right-hand side of this page). I’m personally glad both hosts got to be seen, because each had his own set of messages and each cared about us young’uns in his different way.

PEANUTS BOOKS
Jan 23rd, 2004 by Clark Humphrey

ONE OF MY FAVORITE ex-employers, Lake City’s own Fantagraphics, has announced what may just be its crowning achievement (at least in the repackaging department): The Complete Peanuts! All fifty years of Charles Schulz’s masterwork, in twenty-five deluxe volumes to be issued over the next twelve and a half years; including many early episodes never before anthologized. And yes, it’s already on my Amazon.com wish list.

BUSH SPEECH PARSED
Jan 23rd, 2004 by Clark Humphrey

A QUICK GUIDE to what was, and wasn’t, in Bush’s speech.

WE MAY HAVE DAYLIGHT as late…
Jan 22nd, 2004 by Clark Humphrey

…as five p.m. these days, but many of us could still use some Seasonal Affective Disorder tips.

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