READING--There's really no way to guarantee a writer is going to be a good reader, because good writing doesn't necessarily make for good reading. So all I can say about this reading, is that the book The Story of Steve is good. It's the story of a bored-with-life hypochondriac, and the writing borders on Vonnegut-style psychosis. KD

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

QUALITY--If your post-WTC manifesto reads, "Life is too short and pointless to waste it listening to shitty music," please direct your attention to the sublime Xiu Xiu. Harmonium, accordion and a voice that can wail faster than wind through treetops--you will be submerged in pure and subtle ends. JS

w/Wow & Flutter, Kinski Berbati's Pan, 231 SW Ankeny, 248-4579, 9 pm, $5


RAWK--Man, the oldies are coming at us from every direction these days. Not that I mind, it gives me a chance to see all the bands my parents were too mean to take me to. And Motörhead, they're scratchy vocals and driving rock are fawking classic. KS
w/ Mudhoney and the Catheters, Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside, 224-4400, 9 pm, $20-25

CHANTEUSE--You should slap yourself right in the face if you miss Joey Arias' brilliant show, Strange Fruit; a loving homage to Billie Holiday. Did I say "homage?" Correction. Arias "channels" Holiday, performing her classics and talking between songs in a voice and manner UNCANNILY mirroring that of the tragic chanteuse. ML

Dante's, 1 SW 3rd, 226-6630, 9 pm, $10

MUSIC--In the grand tradition of Billy Joel, Rick Astley, and Jeff Mangum, John Vanderslice writes erudite lyrics and smirky pop ditties for piano and accompaniment. Add a smidgen of video game detritus, and you've got yourself the everyguy of the early 21st Century! JS
w/ Arlo, New End Original, and the Standard, Blackbird, 3728 NE Sandy, 282-9949, 9 pm, $7


MUSIC--eX-Girl is totally not the same old shit. These wacky Japanese ladies sing in English--sometimes going all operatic on our asses--and play heavy guitar and wild drums, while giving a nod to '80s girl rock with their hyper style and explosive effects. KS
w/ the Dirt Mitts, Wow & Flutter, and Dignen, Meow Meow, 527 SE Pine, 230-2111, 9 pm, $7

METAL--An evening of legends in the making-- Lachrymator, the best mathy instru-metal band in the world, Party Time, consisting of all-star members of the Juanitas, Mecury Birds, and Owners, and Blood Party, who blow into Portland with as much hype as Benicio--and no one knows why. If you miss this show, you must not like to rock.

Blackbird, 3728 NE Sandy, 282-9949, 9 pm, $5


FROG WOMAN--A play about a quirkily vain Hollywood actress who surgically transforms herself into a frog?! Starstruck fans cutting their own hamstrings? Come find out what all this trans-special wackiness is about. MS

Stark Raving Theater, 2257 NW Raleigh, 232-7072, Thurs-Sat 8 pm (plus Sat 2 pm), Sun 7 pm, thru Oct 6, $20

MUSIC--Heart Beats Red is a collection of some of the most adorable people in the world. And, conveniently, they also play awesome, dirty pop, which will make you fall deeper and deeper in love with them. KD
w/ Scared of Chaka, Made for TV Movie, Turn Me Loose, Berbati's Pan, 231 SW Ankeny, 248-4579, 9 pm, $5


FILM--The Adventures of Felix is the kind of film that improves your perspective on life. Gayboy Felix travels across Europe in search of his father and ends up showing a good time to a bunch of people that are just as confused as he is. KD

Cinema 21, 616 NW 21st, 223-4515, 7 & 9:10, $6


READING--Mona Simpson is a great writer, mostly because she writes about really horrible things, like getting molested by her father or being anorexic at the age of 12. Pretty horrible, isn't it? You're gonna love it. KD

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

HELL YEAH!--The sparse art garage of Glass Candy, with Ida No's glamorous screams and taunts, burns loud and with the rumble of fires. Alternately, Casiotone for the Painfully Alone takes a matter-of-fact, lo-fi outlook on life, and sometimes throws his keyboards. They will both kick your ass. JS
w/ the Rapture, Blackbird, 3728 NE Sandy, 282-9949, 9 pm, $7


BETTING--You never know when the animal rights folks will shut down the dog track. Oregon remains one of the few states that still allows greyhound racing, and this is one of the final evenings before the sleek and elegant dogs head to Florida for the winter. PB

Multnomah Greyhound Park, 944 NE 223rd Ave (near NE Glisan), 667-7700, Wed-Sat 7 pm, minimum $2 bet