THURSDAY, august 21

VARIETY SHOW--Not only will you be treated to magical masters of illusion, you'll be dazzled by the trapeze thrills of the Flying Loreleis, and as a finale, your mouth will drop open in amazement when you experience the 12-piece soulful rock orchestra The Red Venus Love Army. With a heavy dose of bass, horns, Hendrix-style guitar solos, and vocals with enough attitude to rival punk hero Ian Svenonius, you will not be bored. You will be astounded... and all this for only $5! KS

Echo Theater, 1515 SE 37th, 8 pm, $5

DANCE PARTY--Hey, hey, hey, it's another booty shakedown from your favorite homegrown label, Toast and Jam Records! Tonight you'll toast and jam to the spins and grins of up and coming DJs Yard, Polar, and Stay in School! You'll be staying in school all night... stayin' like a fool! JWS

Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison, 239-7639, 8 pm-3 am (!!), $3

FRIDAY, august 22

FILM + TECHNOLOGY--Humans living harmoniously with anything is practically impossible, but humans living harmoniously with technology is straight up Sisyphusian. Ten lady filmmakers (including amazing Portland artist Melody Owen) explore these relationships, neither fetishizing nor eschewing robots/computers/ Playstation2/etc. JS

The Know, 2022 NE Alberta, 8:30 pm, $5

HOT, HOT, HOT--End your summer sticky sweet with the Portland Tropix music festival! This three-day event clearly beats the ass of other fests and includes such indie darlings as Friends Forever, Curse of the Birthmark, Alarmist, and Unsounds. But tonight! It's the opening night dance party and CD release bash for Anna Oxygen. This is gonna be a "Heatwave Party" with "REAL HEAT," so dress appropriately, sexy people! WSH

Anna Oxygen at Million, 120 NE Russell, 9 pm, donation at door. Saturday's events at Modern Zoo, 6635 N. Baltimore

SATURDAY, august 23

COMEDY--Neil Hamburger's uncomfortable stage presence, pitiful material, and antagonistic interaction with the audience make up his kind of post-modern deconstruction of comedy. Sure, it's not that academic, but let's face it, making malaise funny takes serious skill. Hamburger has brilliant non-timing, and plays off all the heckling with hilarious self-deprecation. MWH

w/Pleaseeasaur, Dr. El Suavo; Blackbird, 3728 NE Sandy, 282-9949, 9:30 pm, $7

MUSIC--Why the ever-so talented Pam the Funkstress, from The Coup, is opening for the bad-flow train wreck that is Northern State is a mystery on me. Be sure to show up early and watch Pam do some damage on the turntables and then run for the hills as the Long Island yuppies take the mic and bring the unlikable novelty rap that nobody asked for. CM

w/The Cleveland Steamers; Nocturnal, 1800 E Burnside, 239-5900, 8 pm, $10

SUNDAY, august 24

COMEDY--Chock full of raving, yet relentlessly articulate rants about everything from pop culture to third-world countries, Auggie Smith is one of Portland's finest stand-up comedians. This guy is the real deal; a gut-bustingly funny comic primed to explode any day now. See him while you can, before he's lost to Los Angeles, mired in the depths of mediocre sitcoms. JWS

Harvey's Comedy Club, 436 NW 6th, 241-0338, 8 pm, $10

MONDAY, august 25

ANTI-AMERICAN PUNKS--Obviously, lots of people outside the USA really, really hate the USA. Fuck Me USA, a Canadian band whose name roughly symbolizes how some folks just, like, bend over for US money, is one of them. And they write good, political, keyboard-heavy punk songs about it. Step out of your culturally imperialist bubble, kind of. JS

w/Channels 3 & 4; Blackbird, 3728 NE Sandy, 282-9949, 9:30 pm, $5

TUESDAY, august 26

MUSIC--Don't miss the opportunity to see the masterful doom of San Francisco's High on Fire in such an intimate venue--after their Andrew WK support tour, they might really be onto happier hunting grounds, and lamer audiences. That's just what happens when you're a legend in the making. NC

w/C Average, Heavy Johnson Trio; Dante's, 1 SW 3rd, 226-6630, 9:30 pm, $10

MUSIC--You'd think Hot Water Music would be given a ticker-tape parade through downtown Punkville for being one of the few hardcore bands to play loud/fast/tough and not come off as macho. They are about as far from the tough-guy image as you can get. In fact, I plan on climbing aboard their tour bus after the show for some intense cuddling and spooning. Too bad those beards totally scratch up my baby-smooth skin. CM

w/These Arms Are Snakes, Anna Oxygen; Meow Meow, 527 SE Pine, 224-8499, 8 pm, $10

WEDNESDAY, august 27

MUSIC--The dainty tears that crest down your face while listening to the precious beats and synths of Mum are colder and clearer than the glaciers in Iceland. It's all about pure, uncontrived, artful electronics, and stringed instruments, sometimes broadcast from the depths of a swimming pool... and sometimes broadcast from the depths OF YOUR HEART. Deep. JS

w/The Animal Collective; Berbati's, 10 SW 3rd, 248-4579, 8:30 pm, $12

PUPPET SHOW--There's a gothic circus band with puppets around every corner, but shadow puppets have not yet become trendy. Be ahead of your time, and check out shadow-puppeted political satire from Jar of Mold/Fire Scar Productions! Weird! MS

Gallery 1914, 1914 E Burnside, 577-6703, 9 pm, $3 donation