THURSDAY, july 15

MUSIC--After a lil' slump, Sonic Youth's new album is doing something right. Their live show is also quite fantastic, with none of the posturing or BS that plagues both their predecessors and followers. They're sophisticated, collected, and noising the eff out the driveway. JS
Crystal, 1332 W Burnside, 224-4400, 8 pm, $20-25

POP GENIUS--It may have a dumb title, but Chuck Klosterman's essay collection Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs is a philosophical manifesto for our jaded pop culture. It's also funny as hell, intertwining reflections on Billy Joel, porn, and Saved By the Bell with knife-sharp insights on human nature in a post-modern world. Entertainment does not get any more edifying than this. JWS
Powell's City of Books, 1005 W Burnside, 7:30 pm, free

FRIDAY, july 16

ROCK THE DOUGHNUT--Hate Bush, but love doughnuts? Then don't miss this Rock the Vote concert at Berbati's. Along with musical entertainment from Digital Knife, Davis Redford Triad and The Drats, Darkhorse Comics will be on hand along with a doughnut-eating contest with doughy treats provided by Voodoo Doughnuts! Politics never tasted so good! WSH
Berbati's, 231 SW Ankeny, 9 pm, $2 if you promise to vote, $8 if ya don't

SHE'S SO UNUSUAL--I may not be a girl, but I still just wanna have FUN. And who better than pixieish '80s diva Cyndi Lauper to show me the way? Tonight Cyndi performs all the hits, and her voice is as clear and bright as ever. Plus she'll do classic tunes by Edith Piaf, Burt Bacharach, Etta James and more! Worth the trip to Eugene! WSH
Hult Center for the Performing Arts, University of Oregon, Eugene, (541) 682-5000, 7:30 pm, $24-42

SATURDAY, july 17

LA LA LA--Californian quintet Call and Response blends electronic pop with sunny '60s throwback rock. Their luminous male/female vocal harmonies soothe the soul. Succumb to the summer and partake in this airy groove-parade. EJ
Berbati's, 231 SW Ankeny, 9:30 pm, $6

HIGHLAND GAMES--Why Scottish men and women insist on throwing heavy objects is a mystery. But it is sure fun to watch. Take the Stone Throw, for instance, where competitors launch a 96-pound stone as far as they can. And don't forget the Tabor Toss, at which the same thing happens with a 120-pound spruce log. Plus, haggis, kilts, and bagpipes galore! PB
Scottish Highland Games, Mt. Hood Community College, NE Kane & 17th in Gresham,

www.phga.org , 8:30 am-8 pm, $12

SUNDAY, july 18

PLAY--At Portland Center Stage's annual Just Add Water (JAW) festival, great actors and directors converge from around the country to produce excellent staged readings of emerging playwrights. Today catch Eisa Davis' Bulrusher, and Carlos Murillo's study of the painful writing process, Mimesophobia. Stay after and give feedback to the artists! Help make live theater happen! JWS
Winningstad Theatre, 1111 SW Broadway at Main, 274-6588, 4 pm & 8 pm Sat-Sun, $8-11 per play

DANCE--You might think the Blue Monk is just a blues/jazz club, but that just ain't the case. Sunday nights they burn up the basement room with rotating hiphop DJs, who aren't afraid to turn it up loud and play the hits. Most notable about this DJ night is the throng of hotties shaking it on the dancefloor. KS
Blue Monk, 3341 SE Belmont, 595-0575, 10 pm, free

MONDAY, july 19

FILMS O' FOOD--Feeling lonely on your dingy couch with a six-pack and an overdue rental? Christ, get out of the house! You don't have to sacrifice your Monday night traditions either--the Blind Onion offers weekly films about cannibalism, yummy pizza, and $1 PBR. Tonight's flick: Delicatessen! MS
Blind Onion, 825 N Killingsworth, 445-4457, 8 pm, free

TUESDAY, july 20

EXPLODING HEARTS TRIBUTE--Just one short year ago, a van accident claimed all but one of the lives of the Exploding Hearts' members. Tonight, friends and fans alike come together in their memory, to celebrate their lives and the music they left us with. MS
Dante's, 1 SW 3rd, 226-6630, 10 pm, free

WEDNESDAY, july 21

READING & SINGING--Jonathan Ames, one of the most brilliant, hilarious, self-deprecating writers producing today reads from his book Wake Up, Sir, about a drunk and his faithful butler. Plus, enjoy the gypsy music of the band One Ring Zero, who've solicited the likes of Margaret Atwood, Rick Moody, and Denis Johnson to write their songs. This is the opposite of boring. KS
Powell's City of Books, 1005 W Burnside, 7:30 pm, free

BIKE SWAP--The city's grittiest bike-nuts converge tonight to hawk the fruits of their labors. Expect tables full of whole bikes, parts, and plenty of related merchandise, not to mention a full bar and DJs spinning tunes for you to barter to. JWS
Eagle's Lodge, 4904 SE Hawthorne, 231-3759, 6-10 pm, $1 to get in, $10 if you want a table, call first