THURSDAY, January 29

BLIPS--Hey, it's Thursday. And what better way to be serenaded into the weekend than by the house turntabilism of Jammotron while you simultaneously tear shit up on Ground Kontrol's exhaustive selection of vintage video games? If you don't buy a soda you could finish the evening having spent only five bucks. KS
Ground Kontrol, 610 SW 12th, 796-9364, 8 pm, free

GIRLS--It's ladies' night, but that doesn't mean drink discounts that get you disproportionately wasted. No, it's all girls onstage at "Tough Love," featuring New Orleans' rock 'n' roll ladies the Hazard County Girls, along with local hard rocking ladies The Roulettes, Sugar Free, and the Jolenes. MS
Ash St, 225 SW Ash, 228-0430, 10 pm, $6

FRIDAY, January 30

MUSIC--Cuter than a cartoon bird singing a love song while perched on your shoulder, the cuddly-wuddly Mates of State are rolling back through town to give you an early Valentine gift, which is, of course, tons of wailing organ, thumping drums, and those kid-like vocal harmonies. Plus watch in awe/horror as the duo, a real-life couple, gives each other puppy dog eyes as they play. Love is in the air tonight. EAC
Nocturnal, 1800 E Burnside, 8 pm, $10, all ages

LIT PUNK--All hail the screeching, howling literary punk of Blöödhag! Making a special Portland appearance in honor of the Multnomah County Library's "Everybody Reads" program, this sci-fi inspired screamo band hurls paperback books at the audience while singing the praises of authors Ray Bradbury, Philip K. Dick, and Robert Heinlein. Learning has never hurt this good! WSH
Meow Meow, 320 SE 2nd, 9 pm, all ages, FREE

SATURDAY, January 31

FUNNY LADY--Watching House of Cunt veteran Amber Martin's one-woman show Hi is like watching a colorful carousel spin at extra-high RPMs--she sings, dances, and flawlessly changes gears from a truck-stop lounge singer to a TV evangelist. In short, she is pure talent incarnate! Catch her in the final weekend before she takes her show on the road. PB
Conduit Dance Space, 918 SW Yamhill, Suite 401, 224-8499, 8 pm, $13

MUSIC--So few bands offer performances that let you escape your humdrum time and location, without making you dress up like a pirate. Vagabond Opera's folky, klezmer stylings transport you to a Mad Max-ish rogue encampment, gold teeth and bells optional. MS
Nocturnal, 1800 E Burnside, 8 pm, $5-10, all ages

SUNDAY, February 1

FOOTBALL--Traditionally, the only thing I enjoy on Super Bowl Sunday is eating beef tartar. This year, however, I can enjoy a Scrabble party, a potluck, or a party hosted by Portland celebrity Elvis, who will be treating us to a rousing rendition of the national anthem prior to the big game. As always, distraction is key. KS
Scrabble Tourney @ Matador, 1967 W Burnside, 3 pm; Superbowl w/Bands Potluck @ Disjecta, 116 NE Russell; Elvis @ Ash Street, 225 SW Ash

SKIING--Now that Superbowl Sunday is nearly a national holiday, places like the ski slopes turn into virtual ghost towns. This year, while your friends fill their asses with beer and guacamole, why not take advantage of short lift lines and wide-open runs? PB
Mt Hood Meadows, take Hwy. 26 to Hwy. 35, $44 for lift tickets; Ski Bowl, off Hwy. 26, $32

MONDAY, February 2

MUSICAL RELEVANCE--Tonight's topic: "Are The Shins still relevant?" On one side, they've been playing together since 1997--which in indierock years makes them 174. However, their wizened years have turned them into masters of the smarty-pants pop music genre, and that, along with a sparkling, entertaining stage presence, makes The Shins well worth braving the bustling crowd. Resolved: Still relevant. WSH
Roseland, 8 NW 6th, 1-800-325-SEAT, 8 pm, all ages, $15 advance

TUESDAY, February 3

MUSIC--Not since Refused has a punk band turned the genre on its ear like The Plot to Blow Up the Eiffel Tower does with its free-jazz/hardcore. On record they are untouchable, one of the best new bands in years, but their live show is no slouch either. Look for sass-tacular vocals, horn solos, flailing limbs, and lots of dry humping. Lots and lots of dry humping. EAC
Meow Meow, 320 SE 2nd, 8 pm, $7, all ages

WEDNESDAY, February 4

HIPHOP--Rap doesn't get any more emo than emcee Slug in his ever-awesome project Atmosphere. His dope single "Trying to Find a Balance" is currently tearing up the charts, but we'll always remember the more poetic brokenhearted moments, like on "Fuck You Lucy," when he bemoans, "Hunger for the drama, hunger for the nurture/ Gonna take it further, the hurt feels like murder."
Roseland, 8 NW 6th, 1-800-325-SEAT, 8 pm, $17.50

PINBALL!--...Publishing that is! That's right, it's the very cool Pinball Publishing's two-year birthday, and they're celebrating with the release of the sixth issue of Eye-Rhyme, their gorgeous journal of experimental literature, AND a PAAARRRTTY with dance music from the always fun DJ Teenage, booze, and FREE PINBALL! Yes! JWS
Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison, 238-4514, 8 pm, FREE