WORDS—Studies show Aesop Rock has the largest vocabulary in hiphop. The Bay Area emcee's lyrics are an intricately pretzeled mish-mash of cultural reference and is best experienced through headphones (density like that takes absorption). Rock dropped new material for the first time in a while, and he's in town, so this is an easy call. DIRK VANDERHART
w/Rob Sonic, DJ Abilities, and more; Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE César E. Chávez, 8 pm, $20, all ages

COMEDY—Host of the brilliant, short-lived talk show Totally Biased, W. Kamau Bell is one of those rare comedians who manages to be both hilarious and wise, like a friend you can always count on for insight when you're having a hard time (or all of America is). If you like comedy with a political edge, don't miss it. MEGAN BURBANK
w/Zach Sherwin, Sean Jordan; Hollywood Theatre, 4122 NE Sandy, 8 pm, $15


READING—When it comes to being an all-around artist, nobody beats Miranda July. Filmmaker, performance artist, and app developer (!!), July is also a writer of the highest order, and her debut novel, The First Bad Man, is already the talk of the literary world. The story revolves around a woman who gives birth to a baby created solely from sexual fantasies and past experiences. Weird, touching, and funny—everything you expect from July. WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY
Powell's City of Books, 1005 W Burnside, 7:30 pm, FREE

THEATER—It's the first day of Fertile Ground, Portland's annual festival of new theatrical works, which means you'll be able to find plays, performance art, and dance all over town. For a mere $50, you can see as much new work as you can handle, running the gamut from world premieres at big-name theaters to performances in tiny art galleries. Fertile Ground is many things, but boring it ain't. MEGAN BURBANK
At various theaters and venues, starts Thurs, through Feb 1, fest pass $50 (tickets for individual shows also available),


COMEDY—Portland's comedy explosion continues radiating outward and upward with the inclusion of Curious Comedy's new monthly show, Minority Retort. Throwing the spotlight on funny folks of color (both local and national), this month's comedy showcase debut features Katie Nguyen, Anthony Lopez, headliner Nathan Brannon, and more! WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY
Curious Comedy Theater, 5225 NE MLK, 9:30 pm, $7

MUSIC—Not that we're getting tired of Summer Cannibals' great 2013 album, No Makeup, but we're ready for more from the Portland four-piece. Good thing they have a new record to ring in spring. Hopefully, the new songs on Show Us Your Mind, due out on March 3, will be just as catchy and packed with punchy fuzz as their debut. Guess we'll see tonight, when we'll get a preview earful. COURTNEY FERGUSON
w/Hustle and Drone, Edna Vazquez and No Passengers; Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Missisippi, 9 pm, $10


GO-GO DANCE—Hope you've been polishing up your Batusi since last year's swinging '60s Batman-themed dance night Gotham a Go-Go. At the very least, you should be versed in the Batdance. Dress campy mod or as your favorite Catwoman (dibs on Julie Newmar!), watch the go-go dancers, and dance the night away to DJ Gregarious, the Hauer Things, and Batmania. Biff bang pow! COURTNEY FERGUSON
White Owl Social Club, 1305 SE 8th, 10 pm, $5

STORYTELLING—Back Fence PDX is having another one of its excellent "Russian Roulette" throwdowns—with returning quick-witted favorites, like the genius editor of the Mercury, Wm. Steven Humphrey (conflict? what conflict?), battling newcomers like comedian Bri Pruett and Blitzen Trapper drummer Brian Koch. Pick the winner! And win prizes! DENIS C. THERIAULT
Disjecta, 8371 N Interstate, 8 pm, $15


MUSIC—If the incredibly charming Vaselines were good enough for Nirvana's Kurt Cobain, back during their halcyon days in the late 1980s, then the Scottish garage pop duo's expanded, grownup incarnation ought to be good enough for you, too. Especially in a cozier venue like the Doug Fir. DENIS C. THERIAULT
w/Loch Lomond; Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside, 9 pm, $18-20

CATS!—There is a new breed of house cat known as the Lykoi that has an unpleasant, wiry-looking gray coat and bald, patchy sections on its legs. It's known colloquially as a "werewolf cat," but for my money it most resembles a chupacabra, that mythical goat slaughterer of Southern climes. What nightmares does the Lykoi call to mind for you? Find out at this weekend's International Cat Show. DIRK VANDERHART
Holiday Inn Portland Airport , 8439 NE Columbia, Fri 3-10 pm, Sat-Sun 9 am-6 pm, $8 ($6 w/two cans of food), 12 and under FREE


MUSIC—Former Scorpions guitarist Uli Jon Roth makes Clapton sound like a ham-fisted hack. The German technical master pretty much invented neo-classical metal, and he's got a double-disc of Scorpions reworkings on deck for later this year, so expect to hear some old favorites, drastically reinvented to match Roth's dactyl prowess—with Ginger Baker's son, Kofi, on drums, no less. NED LANNAMANN
w/Vinnie Moore, Craig Goldy, Black Knights Rising; Tonic Lounge, 3100 NE Sandy, 9 pm, $25

FILM—People talk a lot of shit about Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom—Willie Scott just screams, Short Round is annoying, etc.—but goddamn is it way more fun, exciting, and just plain weird than its boring Sunday afternoon sitcom follow-up Last Crusade. Revisit this mean-spirited Looney Tunes adventure and (snake) surprise yourself. BOBBY ROBERTS
Academy Theater, 7818 SE Stark, see Movie Times on pg. 43, $3-4


FILM—When it comes to action auteurs, there's a godfather looming above all others: John Woo, whose hyper-kinetic Hong Kong action epics still stand as masterpieces. Tonight, the Hollywood's showing a double feature of Woo's two best movies, both starring the 100 percent badass Chow Yun-Fat: 1989's noir-tinged The Killer and 1992's ludicrously goofy Hard Boiled. ERIK HENRIKSEN
Hollywood Theatre, 4122 NE Sandy, The Killer at 7:30 pm, Hard Boiled at 9:30 pm, $8 for both movies

LOUD MUSIC—Somehow words like "metal" and "hardcore" fail to convey the relentless, gargantuan sound of Sloths. The local band makes sheer sonic cataclysms, played with precision and power. They're joined tonight at their tour kickoff by fellow noise-prog experimentalists and tourmates U Sco, whose excursions into powervolume are nothing short of volcanic. NED LANNAMANN
w/TOIM; The Know, 2026 NE Alberta, 8 pm, $6