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The Pop Realist's Weekend: November 18-21

The big decision facing the Pop Realist is, Which Built to Spill show to attend? As it often does, the excellent Boise-based band led by indie rock's six-string savior Doug Martsch will be playing a two night stand at Showbox Market, on both Friday and Saturday night to round out a nearly three-month long tour of these United States. If you need a reminder of how great this band is, check out the recently released, and incredibly sweet Bob Odenkirk-directed video for "Hindsight" from the band's latest There is No Enemy. Or pick up the latest volume of Live at KEXP and listen to that collection's astounding rendition of "Life is a Dream" — but don't listen to it around my girlfriend; I think she's thoroughly sick of it.

But, back to the task at hand. You can't go to both shows. I mean, you're probably unemployed, which means that you have the spare time, but not the scratch. So, here are the things that are competing for your attention on each night.

Friday

Concerts The main competition tonight comes from Margot & The Nuclear So & So's at the Crocodile, which is no small thing. A more cozy environment and a a more luxurious chamber pop sound might be just what the cold night calls for.

Arts This Mother Knows Best event at Hugo House that my man Corey Kahler wrote about yesterday looks pretty damned special. Definitely worth checking out for anyone with a mother.

T.V. The most awkward night of television starts out with Supernanny, where you can watch people being horrible to one another, and is followed up by What Would You Do?, a show that not only trains you to be your brother's keeper, but makes you feel horrible for being human at the same time. A new episode of Smallville will air, but given that it is now shamelessly aping X-Men with a very special storyline about the Vigilante Registration Act, which should make you think about the issues surrounding illegal immigrants (or not), you won't miss anything. Hoarders is on, but it's a repeat. Also, it is a horrible, frightening show. Never watch it.

Saturday

Concerts For those deep in the scene here in Seattle, the show of the night is most likely at the Josephine where U.S.F., Beat Connection, Ocean Age and, back on the scene, Pwrfl Power will play. Now, you will most likely be able to catch the bands found on this bill of local up-and-comers elsewhere in the next few months, but all together at once? Well, if it means something for you to experience the tropicalia beats of U.S.F. and PP's Kaz Nakamura sing about how you are okay, just the way you are, well then, this is where you should be.

Arts Tonight is the last night that you can catch The Full Monty at The Village Theatre. So, if you have been meaning to watch the grown men in this production prance around in their skivvies, you might want to consider this.

T.V. Okay, so, John Legend and the Roots are on Austin City Limits. That might be worth staying home for. And while America's Cutest Cats on the Animal Channel is a repeat, America's Cutest Dogs is brand spanking new! Also, Star Wars: The Clone Wars is on the Cartoon Network. That's a pretty good night of channel-surfing, folks.

The verdict: America's cute animals win. Friday it is.