SPEAR--If there is a heaven and hell, Michael Franti of Spearhead is one of those people who is a sure bet on getting into heaven. Having been an activist, cultural critic, and innovative creator of a kind of music that's a cross between hiphop, R&B, and soul, he's one of those artists who has so much heart, he's practically a goddman saint. KD

Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside, 224-4400, 8 pm, $15-18


MUSIC--I'm warning you right now: All you boys and girls better don some chastity belts before this show, cause the fiery Hot Snakes are so rad, you'll... well... just wear a chastity belt. Tough as hell, melodic, smart, super-intense, and testosteroney in a good way, they're easily one of the best punk rock bands you'll ever see. JS

w/Beehive and the Barracudas, Last of the Juanitas; Berbati's, 231 SW Ankeny, 248-4579, 9 pm, $10

RAVE--What do fire dancers, a dozen DJs, and what organizers call "ecstatic rhythms" (a-hem) have to do with homeless street kids? Well, not much. But tonight is a fundraiser rave (at an undisclosed, outdoor location) for p:ear, an art and educational program for Portland's street youth. It doesn't make sense to us either. PB

Contact; advance tickets on sale at Chaos Existence, SE Hawthorne & 39th Ave, 9 pm, $10-15

MUSIC--Even though their new record, Murray Street, is not fantastic, it's pretty respectable, and it's amazing that Sonic Youth (+ Jim O'Rourke) have stayed fresh and experimental for over twenty frigging years. Besides, you'll get to see the awesome, dark Quix*o*tic, with cool minimalist harmonies made by the worship-worthy Billotte sisters and Orthrelm's Mick Barr. JS

Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside, 224-4400, 8 pm, $18


MUSIC--While Portland doesn't get its panties in much of a bunch for local rock celebrities, we do occasionally wet ourselves for the fuzzy rapture that is the Shins. KS

w/Helio Sequence, All Girl Summer Fun Band; Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside, 224-4400, 8 pm, $10-12

THEATER--Going to hell? Find out at Liminal's production of The Seven Deadly Sins, a musical of operatic proportions created by Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill. Plus, there's no better performance space to contemplate both creative genius and moral transgression than a downtown nightclub! MS

Panorama, 341 SW 10th, 890-2993, 8:30 pm, $16


FILM--If you like your true crime cinema straight-up pulpy and with a splash of humor, don't miss Nick Broomfield's investigative documentary, Biggie and Tupac. Taking a hard look at the unsolved murders of these two rappers, Broomfield postulates theories involving rogue members of the LAPD, the FBI, and candid interviews with family members, and even an incarcerated Suge Knight. WSH

Cinema 21, 616 NW 21st, 223-4515, Noon, 2:15, 4:30, 7, 9:15 pm, $6


GADGETS--Peter Vickery and Austin Whipple's vision of the future looks like mutiny at Radio Shack. "No More Man Made" exhibits mechanical characters in contained (for now) dioramic environments and futuristic landscapes, populated with reconfigured household appliances. You'll never feel safe with your blender again. MS

Cameron Showroom, 723 NW 18th, 248-6701, opening 7 pm, through Sept. 27, free


BOOK SIGNING AND SINGING--From slapdash scrawlings to glossy high art, Hello Cruel World gathers up more than a quarter-century of the Mekons' lyrics in an illustrated (limited edition) scrapbook. And, oh yeah, they're playing a show later today. PB

Powell's On Hawthorne, 3723 SE Hawthorne, 7:30 pm, free; Berbati's, 231 SW Ankeny, 9:30 pm, $12

MUSIC--Wilco is the best band in the world. No fooling, they are years ahead of their peers, churning out album after album of eclectic pop music. If you have a handful of pharmaceuticals (obtained legally, of course) then I recommend taking Valium along with 1996's Being There, Codeine for 1999's Summerteeth and just about anything for this year's masterful Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. Wilco, the only band that can make drugs seem better than they already are. CM

Roseland, 8 NW 6 th, 224-TIXX, 8 pm, $23


CROQUET--Like knitting, bocci ball, and "talking smack," the youth are taking back croquet from the upper crust. Represent for "the kids" at the four-day 6th Annual International Croquet Invitational, which features eight of the world's top croquet players, from six countries. Up next: polo, hang gliding, and ripping off your work without getting busted. JS

The Resort at the Mountains, 68010 E Fairway Ave, Welches (Mt. Hood), OR, 622-3101, 8 am-5 pm, free