HIP HOP--Face it. As innocent and sincere as hip hop started out, mainstream rap is now all about money and selling out. Thankfully, there's one earnest, underground rapper left on the planet, and he's called Scarab. And here's another perk: He's really good! KD

w/ DJ Reala, Ohm, 31 NW 1st Ave, 223-9919, 21 & over, 9:30 pm, $10


MUSIC--Musically, Momus is talented enough to reach the ranks of Morrissey and Merritt--he's got a grandiose, kitsch voice with Wilde-like wit and super electro-pop beats. But would the Magnetic Fields write a song about you for a thousand bucks like Momus? Mais non, chou chou... MAIS NON! JS

w/ Stars, Alchemy Jones, Pine Street Theatre, 215 SE 9th Ave, 224-TIXX, 8:30 pm, $8

STAGE-- Somewhere between chaos and the stiff upper-lip schtick is the English-German troupe, Gob Squad. Improv theater, a pending plane crash, and an amp-blowing rock concert all converge on stage for their latest knee-slapping farce, Safe--a high-brow version of Spinal Tap. PB

PICA presents Safe, Aladdin Theatre, 3017 SE Milwaukie, 233-1994, 8 pm, $16


BULL-RIDING--Rip-snorting cowboys and bareback cowgirls. Try to ride either for eight seconds and you're certain to get a swift kick to the head. Bud Light sponsors yet another in their string of cultural pearl series, a night of bull-riding, right here in this dagnabbin' city. PB

Rose Garden Arena, 1401 N Wheeler,224-4400, 8 pm, $13 - $79.50

POP--This show is billed as "indiepop heaven" night, and they AIN'T JUST WHISTLIN' DIXIE. Mates of State is one of the best pop bands in existence, with harmonies that could put even Quasi to shame. Get baptized in a wash of happiness! JS

Meow Meow, 527 SE Pine, 230-2111, 9 pm, $6


MUSIC--David L. of Portland writes: "I thought you were supposed to inform us of above average bands? Who the hell is the Operacycle, who the hell is their insanely amazing drummer and why haven't you told me when they are playing? I want to know about the Operacycle!" Alright! Alright! They're playing tonight, ok? Jesus Christ! (For even more Operacycle info, see pg 13) WSH

w/ Garmonbozia and The Holidays, Meow Meow,527 SE Pine,230-2111,9 pm, $5


CROONING--So when's the last time you swooned to the sounds of a solo male crooner? That long, huh? Well, don't miss these three great local singers in action. There's Colin Meloy (you know! From The Decemberists?), Joe Haege (That's right, from 31 Knots) and Jeff London (from... well, Jeff London! Oh yeah, and Boy Crazy, too!) Plus it's FREE, so there's no reason not to be swept away by these dreamboats' melodious musings. Sigh... I may just faint dead away! WSH

w/ Nicholas Dylan, Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside, 225-0047, 9 pm, free


FILM--Check out this melancholy, dreamy film, Before Night Falls, about the exile of Cuban writer Reinaldo Arenas, involving communism, homosexuality, Johnny Depp, Sean Penn, and the brilliant director Julian Schnabel. KD

Cinema 21, 616 NW 21st Ave, 223-4515, Jan 26 - Feb 1, 7 & 9:25 pm, $6, Sat & Sun, 1:30 & 4 pm, $3


CD RELEASE PARTY-- Wanna see the best stage presence you can imagine? The Gossip, a little band who learned to rock in Arkansas before they migrated to Olympia, will single-handedly kick your ass with their steely, gritty rock--not to mention the lovely Glass Candy. Wowzers! KD

Meow Meow, 527 SE Pine St, 230-2111, 9 pm, $6

READINGS--In need of some local sauce to liven up your Wednesday night? These writin' ladies have got plenty! Celebrate Ritah Parrish's new Heavy Flow Press, as she reads from Girl Juice (five funny stories about fucked up relationships) and Sarah Grace reads from Grosse Pointe Girl (about growing up awkward in the richest suburbs in America. JS

Powell's City of Books, 1005 W Burnside, 228-4651, 7:30 pm, free