THURSDAY, January 22

COMEDY--And how! Tonight, TWO events get you gigglin'. The Famous Mysterious Actor Players present their strange talk show/short film hodgepodge at the Ash Street, with special guests Tres and Kenneth from Voodoo Doughnut, and the Mercury's own Wm. Steven Humphrey! MEANWHILE, Conan's features the semifinals of the Portland Comedy Competition, where YOU decide who moves on to the next round! JWS
Actor Players @ Ash St., 225 SW Ash, 9 pm, $6; Comedy Semis @ Conan's, 3862 SE Hawthorne, 8 pm, free

MUSIC--Ted Leo sounds like The Jam. The Fiery Furnaces sound like The White Stripes meet The White Album, but who frickin' cares!? Both bands are in top form, performing brilliantly crafted rock music that is as limitless as it is exciting. Ted Leo's spot-on cover of The Pogues' "Dirty Old Town" is so incredible it will make the ghost of Shane MacGowan jealous. Oh wait, he's not dead yet? He sure could have fooled me! Zing! EAC
Nocturnal, 1800 E. Burnside, 239-5900, 8 pm, $10

FRIDAY, January 23

NINA & SHANE--You don't have to pick between a show or a movie tonight, 'cuz you can do both with the Reel Music Festival's Nina Simone: Love Sorceress, a '76 performance in Paris. Then stick around for The Shane MacGowan Story--If I Should Fall From Grace. Grace, maybe. The stairs, definitely! MS
Guild Theatre, SW 9th & Taylor, Nina: 7 pm, Shane: 9 pm, $7 each

MUSIC--At their best, local electronic pop band Climber traverses the ground of melodic, minimal techno with emotive boy vocals, recalling folks from Sascha Funke to Notwist. Dizzystarhouse allows his beats to unfold dreamily, removing preciousness from gauzy textures with sub-bass. Everybody loves sub-bass. JS
Ohm, 31 NW 1st, 223-9919, 9 pm, $5

SATURDAY, January 24

MUSIC--During his reign on the airwaves, Reed alumni Dr. Demento has only ever featured two live guests: 1.) Weird Al and 2.) tonight's opening act, Logan Whitehurst & the Junior Science Club. He simply could not resist their fabulous, educational pop songs about famous pals, robot cats, and werewolves. JS
Vollum Hall at Reed College, 3203 SE Woodstock, 777-7755, 8 pm, $5

MUSIC--The Dirtbombs' double-bass, double-drums attack marries garage and soul with absolute howling energy. When the night finally screeches to a halt, you may well consider yourself "worked." LC
w/The Sights, Fireballs of Freedom; Dante's, 1 SW 3rd, 1-800-325-SEAT, 9:30 pm, $10

SUNDAY, January 25

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CRYSTAL!--One of Portland's fave musical establishments, the Crystal Ballroom, celebrates its 90th (WOW!) birthday with a FREE all-day party filled with music, fun, and liquor! Joining the festivities will be an Indierock Showcase (with Audio Learning Center, Note Notas, and Eux Autres), Rubberneck, Black Peppercorns, Marysville Marimba Band, butt-loads of DJing, and the grand finale, Southern Culture on the Skids. GodDAMN! Granny knows how to get down! WSH
Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside, noon to midnight, all ages (except in Lola's), FREE

MUSIC--Prog metal band Opeth make music epic again. With the songs on their new album, Damnation, breaking from their standard distortion and vocal growls, they explore the softer side of dark music; which, assuming they play their old stuff, should make for a show filled with peaks of death metal adrenaline, and valleys of respite. KS
w/Moonspell, Devildriver; Roseland, 8 NW 6th, 1-800-325-SEAT, 8 pm, $17

MONDAY, January 26

MUSIC--Canyon's rambling tumbleweed country music is about as authentic as a Spaghetti Western, but then again, who needs authenticity in a genre that is obsessed with the past? With desert-sky atmospheric slide-guitar and moaned vocals, the band's sincerity is never in question. Too bad they don't sell Peyote at the Aladdin snack bar, because tonight would be perfect for it. EAC
Aladdin, 3017 SE Powell, 233-1994, 8 pm, $15

TUESDAY, January 27

DINOSAURS--It is a 100 million-year-old mystery. Did the rip-snorting T-Rex kill a triceratops? To launch OMSI's new dinosaur exhibit, tonight Dr. Jack Horner, a world-renowned paleontologist and technical advisor for Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park films, uses fossils, facts and conjecture to lay out a criminal case against T-Rex. See also, T-Rex's giant skeleton on display! PB
OMSI, 1945 SE Water Ave, 7-9 pm, 797-OMSI, $10 for general public, $5 for members

WEDNESDAY, January 28

ROCK OUT--Hank Williams III has a big pair of boots to fill. The grandson of the doomed and gloomy country singer and the son of the honky tonk outlaw, Number 3 has layered his own style onto this heritage. Defiant and unpredictable, he's as likely to play swooning love songs as he is to break into screaming punk. PB
w/Scott Biram; Ash Street, 225 SW Ash, 8:30 pm, $15

DANCE--The Stephen Petronio Dance Company is known for its innovative and transgressive choreography. In tonight's performance, amidst set design by Cindy Sherman and music by Laurie Anderson and Lou Reed, they explore the motion of New York, a city searching for itself among ruins. JS
Schnitzer Hall, Broadway & SW Main, 224-4400, 7:30 pm, $18-39