THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 21

MUSIC--Here is a fun game. Sing the name of this band to the tune of "Let it Be," by the Beatles. Matches perfectly! The Letter E are way better than those stupid Beatles, however. Instrumental and mellow, plus they feature Sean Meadows from June of '44. See. I knew that'd convince you. KD

Blackbird, 3728 NE Sandy Blvd, 282-9949, 9 pm, $7

FUNNY FILM--The normally stoic Swedes have never been so funny and touching: In The New Country, a raucous and illicit road trip, a middle-aged Iranian and a teenage Somalian romp around the Nordic backcountry. Along the way, they meet, of course, a former Miss Sweden, a motorcycle gang, and gain a strange sense of loyalty. PB

Broadway Cinemas, 1000 SW Broadway, 255-5555, 6 pm, $8


FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22

KINSELLA ALERT!--Mike Kinsella, guitarist for about 127,000 indie rock bands (OKAY FINE, only four--Cap'n Jazz, American Football, Joan of Arc, Owls), graces us with his solo act--morbidly sad and sincere, he's the ultimate come down. KS

w/ Damien Jurado and Gathered in Song, Kyle Fischer, Volta Do Mar; Meow Meow, 527 SE Pine, 230-2111, 9 pm, $7

MUSIC--Break out the tall boys! Time to slouch on over to hear the new offering from Richmond Fontaine, a local band that has helped perpetuate the "urban cowboy" phenomena with its surly blend of punkish attitude and country twang. MS

Blackbird, 3728 NE Sandy, 282-9949, 9 pm, $10


SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 23

MUSIC--Oh Dismemberment Plan, let me count the ways you please me. 1) Your latest album, Change, is on my list for top five best albums released in 2001 2) You write and sing extremely smart lyrics 3) Your intellectual pop is played with maniacal sophistication... Jesus, what will you do next, go down on me? KD

Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside, 8 pm, $12-14

HARDCORE--Even though the Dillinger Escape Plan foolishly titled their 1999 release Calculating Infinity, we should forgive their grave temporary lapse in judgment, because they play excellent hardcore; and God knows, there are about as many competent, touring hardcore bands as there are cute guys in Portland. (Um, none?) Traditional, guttural, hardcore vocals accompany metal guitar and super-fast drumming, making music that's refreshingly intense. KS

w/Botch, Darkest Hour, All Else Failed, and Playing Enemy; Meow Meow, 527 SE Pine St, 230-2111, $10

ELECTRONIC MADNESS--There are certain things even the stodgiest old curmudgeon can enjoy, such as summer, horses, and toaster ovens. With the sensibilities of a carnie and a future-tastic sampler, you may now add Oakland's Madame Blevin Blectum to that list, please. JS See Music pg 15

w/ Lesser, Electric Birds, Nudge; Blackbird, 3728 NE Sandy, 282-9949, 9 pm, $7


SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 24

FREAKASS POP--For the past 35 or so years, people haven't shut up about Brian Wilson and his stupid Pet Sounds. It's like he's the freaking Messiah. But have those people heard super drummer/producer Phil Elvrum and The Microphones, the glitchy pop music that glimmers with imperfection and takes basement recording to the highest art form? Huh? HUH? HOW YOU LIKE ME NOW!? JS

Meow Meow, 527 SE Pine, 230-2111, $6, all ages


MONDAY, FEBRUARY 25

DANCE--Philosophy meshes with Chinese water torture in Taps, as the coziest dance studio in Portland ponders questions of human existence through a spectacle of dance, color, music, and yes, relentless tapping. JWS

Lightbox Studio, 1331 NW Kearney, 231-0839 Fri-Sun 8 pm, $10

FILM--It's a slam-bang double-header tonight at Cinema 21! First is The Films of Jay Rosenblatt, featuring five of the director's best works, including "Human Remains," which makes use of archival footage of Hitler, Mao, Stalin, and Mussolini. Then stick around for Iron Ladies: the true story of a Thai gay and transvestite volleyball team that goes to the championships! It's like Revenge of the Nerds--except with Thai, gay, and transvestite volleyball players. WSH

Cinema 21, 616 NW 21st, 223-4515, Rosenblatt: 7 pm, Iron Ladies: 8:45 & 10:35, $6 each


TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 26

MUSIC--Sometimes we are better defined not by who we are, but who has rejected us. How fitting for the gentle and mournful Elbow to have been kicked around like a bad habit--first picked up and roundly dumped by Island Records and, then again, by EMI. Now with an independent British label, the band has put out their best yet--a laconic and beautiful tribute. PB

Berbati's, 231 SW Ankney, 248-4579, 9 pm, $10


WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 27

MUSIC--Curious about The Real Pills? Well, according to the truncated verbiage of our own Mike Nipper, "they '60s style garage rock" that stand above lame-ass "Dude, we like, LOVE, the Standells" of '80s garage, while avoiding "the very, VERY tired '90s 'Thunders' pretense." To sum up, "these RPs got songs that don't make you embarrassed to wiggle awhile wif 'em workin' on some rave ups. Bling, Bling." In other words, he likes them. WSH

CD Release w/ Dirt Bombs & The Go; Blackbird, 3728 NE Sandy, 282-9949, 9 pm, $8