We Like the Sky, the Sky that Goes Boom

So, we're not going to have any mass insurrections or coups or anything this Fourth of July, right? I mean, if we were, someone would probably have let me know right? I'm just going to assume that everyone will be eating "not dogs" and wearing bug spray as usual, and put forward a few suggestions for patriot-positive, terror-less activities this Fourth.


h Jonny X and the Groadies Seven Year Anniversary Party--Seven years dedicated to playing only all ages shows, and crisscrossing the land of the free almost entirely via basements. Celebrate the Groady reign of glory along with some of their associates, like spastic, cheercorey K.I.T. and their very short songs, for instance. Goofy punks. w/Punishment for the Bad, The SnuggleUps, Nocturnal, 1800 E Burnside, 239-5900, 7 pm, $5, all ages

h The Great American Freakout--This mini music festival rounds up a mess of local performers, giving a well-rounded salute to American styles from folky to jazzy. I don't know if "freakout" is quite the word, but what have you.

w/Buds of May, The Uprite Dub Orchestra, Jigsaw Jones, Tympanic, The High Men, Motherball, Herschel Patch, & The Big Shindig, Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside, 224-4400, 2:30 pm, $16, all ages

h 4th of July Super Jam: In the day, independence meant you got to run around with a musket. In these totally killer modern times, it's a little more staid. Get the adrenaline by mixing fight with fun, and dance your free body to St. Louis, MO's Mike 2600 King, who's spinning only independent releases from the US of A. w/DJ Magneto, Goodfoot, 2845 SE Stark, 9:30 pm


h Fort Vancouver (750 Anderson St., Vancouver, WA): The claim is that Fort 'Couv boasts the baddest-ass fireworks display this side of the Mississippi. Sample the arts and crafts of these strange neighbors, and witness local performers. Then let 'em prove it.

h The Waterfront Blues Festival (SW Naito Parkway from Clay to NW Glisan): The United States Congress has decreed 2003 the "Year of the Blues." Do what you will with this rather curious information. One thing you could do is kick back by the river and check out this year's lineup, including headliners Taj Mahal, Susan Tedeschi, and Etta James. The music only stops when the sky starts to go boom.

h Oaks Park Fourth of July (SE Spokane, at the east end of the Sellwood Bridge, $1-2, rides separate): Thrill-seeking independents should head south for their fireworks. Pass the daytime hours cavorting on the historic Oaks Park Amusement Park rides. "Historic" might seem like a sketchy adjective for a rollercoaster, but that's why they call it "home of the brave," not "home of the common sense." MARJORIE SKINNER

Battle Royale

A war's about to go down over at NW 6th and Burnside, but the only bombing is coming from the graffiti artists. In its sixth year, DJ ZigZag's gigantic, eight-hour HipHop Tonight extravaganza at the Roseland pits b-boys, emcees, and deejays in a battle to the death or at least, a battle for the thousand-dollar prize in each category. Heads come from all over the world to compete, so the quality is usually out of control; it's way, way better than the stupid fake battle scene in 8 Mile. (Unfortunately, however, the sex scenes cannot compare.)

This year, they're holding a silent graff art auction in which people can bid on and buy original pieces on canvas or black books (a graff battle was nixed by the Roseland, who are wary about having paint inside their venue). For the beatboxers and poppers who want to compete, there's a hundred bucks up for grabs.

And if you think you're sweeter on the mike than Scottie Pippen, you can battle, too. Sign up now at hiphoptonight.com (or post in the forum, where the shit talking has already commenced). JULIANNE SHEPHERD HipHop Tonight VI, Roseland Theater, 8 NW 6th & Burnside, 224-TIXX, $12-15, Saturday, July 5, 4 pm, all ages

Kick 'Em in the Balls!

The referee should have red-carded the entire cheering section at a recent Portland Timbers soccer game. For five incessant minutes, he was heckled by 100 or so fans. "He's bald, he's shit, his head looks like a tit," they chanted with a mix of merriment and belligerence.

Ever since the Timbers reestablished Portland as their home base three years ago, a spirited group of fans has been roasting players and refs in Section 107 for every home game. Think hooligans without all the bloody gate-crashing violence of England. Known as "The Shed," the section sometimes swells to 150 fans, most of whom remain standing (or swaggering) for all 90 minutes of regulation game play.

"The more you drink, the better the team plays," explains Shed founder Steven Nevets. On Thirsty Thursdays, beers are poured at PGE Park for only $2 a pop. Add in pre- and post-game carousing at The Bitter End Pub across the street [1981 W Burnside], and the team plays real well.

Shed fans are (drunkenly) adamant that their PGE Park niche isn't an exclusive club. They insist that even if you are unaware that the use of the hands in soccer is illegal, you're still welcome. Just as long as you're able to yell and go nuts after a goal--or rant at bad calls. DAVID BARKER

Thursday, July 3, versus Vancouver Whitecaps, PGE Park, 1844 SW Morrison, 224-4400, 7 pm, $8