Hair Metal Mayhem

I definitely reached my musical peak some time in the early '90s. The reason: I loved listening to hair metal, buying hair metal albums, and watching hair metal on MTV. In fact, I don't think I will ever enjoy music again the way I once did--rocking out, jumping on the couch, and even bonding with my stupid brother over the latest G'N'R or Motley Crue tape. This weekend, however, promises to bring back the love, with three hair metal inspired activities for the rocking. Saturday, check tribute band Van Haygood (playing more than just Hagar era hits) and ironic hair metal troupe Courage at Conan's Pub. Or, head to the Twilight and catch a grab bag of buttrock enthusiast bands playing two songs each from groups like Twisted Sister, Crue, and Def Leppard (bands include Typhoon Killer, Vegan Killing Machine, the Del Toros, and many more). And while you're at it, make sure you pay close attention to their guitaring because on Sunday Kelly's Olympian is hosting an air guitar competition where you can win prizes and drink shitloads of beer. Wow, you're going to be one tired hair metal enthusiast come Monday. But remember, Percoset will soothe that sore neck. KATIE SHIMER

Van Haygood and Courage at Conan's Pub, 3862 SE Hawthorne, Saturday, 9 pm, $8; Hair Metal Tribute Grab Bag, Twilight, 1420 SE Powell, Saturday, 9 pm, free; Air Guitar Competition, Kelly's Olympian, Sunday, 9 pm, free

Street Festivals 2004

Summertime spells street fairs this week as thousands of Portland socialites take over your neighborhood with their community-oriented hi-jinks.

Milwaukie Riverfest: Come mingle by the riverside; the Milwaukie Riverfest offers two days of live music performances, rambunctious carnival rides, dragonboat races, and a colorful parade. Don't forget to visit the beer tent! The celebration culminates in a GIGANTIC fireworks display on Saturday. (Friday-Sunday, Milwaukie Riverfront)

Division/Clinton Street Fair: The 12th Annual moment you've all been waiting for: the Division/Clinton Street Fair! Portland loves a procession, and this weekend is no exception: the parade manifests at 16th and Division at 11 am and marches into the heart of the festival. The excitement includes a petting zoo, music, vendors, barbecue, and an ice cream social on Saturday at Pix Patisserie. One of Portland's most prized street fairs. (Saturday, July 22nd, 11 am-5 pm)

Oregon Brewers Festival: Waterfront Park overflows with steins of beer from 72 of the top breweries around the country. Tens of thousands of people attend the festival, eager to taste a plethora of finely crafted beers. Joining the breweries are industry exhibits, vendors, and live entertainment; however, the real pull of this event is thousands of people drinking in a grassy meadow by the Willamette. (Friday and Saturday, Tom McCall Waterfront Park, 12-9 pm) EVAN JAMES

Croquet: Blood Sport

Croquet is an elegant summer pastime. With all the white clothing and Mint Juleps, it's terribly debonair. Plus it's such a simple sport (gently whacking balls through little wire arches planted in the grass outside your manor in rural England), it seems like little more than an genteel excuse for idle chitchat.

However, when you actually play the game, you find it's not that easy. Plus, the rules are set up to reward you for spitefully throwing off your teammates' game. In short, croquet is the BEST. Like knowing which fork to use, croquet is one of the best-kept secrets of high society.

And, today you can play "Mondo Croquet"--an annual tradition of the Portland chapter of the Cacophony Society. It's a bit more complicated than the traditional rules, with the addition of stuffed animals stuck on the flag poles, bowling balls that are, like, five times the size of normal croquet balls, and sledgehammers for mallets. Other kooky variations include the rule that when you complete the course, you're not done! No, you get to come back as a "Zombie"! And when you're a Zombie, the whole point of the game is to kill the other players' balls! Mwahahahaha! YES! Must kill balls! MARJORIE SKINNER

North Park Block (the one in front of Powell's Technical Books), Sunday noon, BYO balls & sledgehammers (if you have them), plus "something cold" to drink and a zany outfit.

God of Cookery

At one time or another, all good people of this world have asked the same question: Where, pray tell, is a film that combines the excitement of kung fu with the delicacy of Chinese food preparation? Look no further than Stephen Chow's 1996 comedy God of Cookery, in which Chow's arrogant, self-professed "God of Cookery" monopolizes Hong Kong's culinary culture and exploits his rep as a heaven-sent chef in order to rake in cash from his millions of gastronome devotees. But when his assistant reveals him for the fraud he is, Chow must attempt a comeback. (Not to ruin anything, but it probably doesn't hurt that Chow knows not only kung fu, but also the recipe for a delicacy that roughly translates as "pissing beef balls.") A more than worthy precursor to Chow's awesome Shaolin Soccer, the hyper-stylized God of Cookery is hilarious--from its bombastic opening credits to its mind-blowing (and utterly unpredictable) finale. Shit, I hate everything to do with cooking, and even I was damn near standing up and cheering during the side-splitting climactic cook-off. ERIK HENRIKSEN

Blind Onion, 825 N Killingsworth, Mon, July 26, 8 pm, free