THEATER--Any activist who has seen his beloved political cause belittled by mainstream indifference will empathize with Nick, the compassionate main character of Sowelu Theater's latest play. More about the trials and tribulations of activists, Some Explicit Polaroidswatches an AIDS activist bang his head against a deaf society. Amusing and heartbreaking. PB

Backdoor Theater, 4319 SE Hawthorne, 230-2090, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sun 4 pm $7-15

MUSIC--My music geek cohorts don't think Sean Na Na sounds like the Dismemberment Plan, but I find them quite similar in style and execution. Sean Na Na has semi-depressed vocals, yet poppy drums and guitar, and like DP, he's pretty goddamn good. KS

w/ the Natrons, Influents; Blackbird, 3728 NE Sandy, 282-9949, 9 pm, $7


MAGIC MARKER SHOWCASE--Our boys at Portland pop label Magic Marker have been working overtime to bring you some of the top in sophisticated pop music. Like Lunchbox, for instance, a catchy group full of buzz and sauce, and Tullycraft, seminal NW popsters who are so spastic, they're practically punk! The lovely Dear Nora and Kissing Book round out the bill. JS

Meow Meow, 520 SE Pine, 230-2111, 9 pm, $6

MUSIC--Not only has Clinic's music been described as a cross between punk and disco, but their gear is all really cool vintage stuff. Still eyeing the video store? Okay, so they also dress up like surgeons when they play. Get it, like a clinic? Good for you. MS

w/ Kingsbury Manx, the Forty-First; Berbati's Pan, 231 SW Ankeny, 224-4400, 9 pm, $10


U.S. MAPLE--I've never seen them live, and I won't be seeing them this time because I'll be at stupid Michiganfest, but everyone I know says they put on the best live show in the entire world. Punk-rockly alienating and engaging the audience with their tittering, fall-apart rock music and a low guitarist who tends to bark loudly, rest assured, you won't be disappointed. JS See Music pg 15

Blackbird, 3728 NE Sandy, 282-9949, 9 pm, $8; again on Sunday, March 24 at Meow Meow, 520 SE Pine, 230-2111, 9 pm, $6, all ages

GOSSIP--The Gossip not only rocks hard, they do it with a unique, insane energy that's as addictive as the crack rock. Heart Beats Red is a great, girly, shred-it-up compliment, and the proceeds go to the Rock and Roll Camp for Girls. Who can't love that? KD

Reed College Student Union, 3023 SE Woodstock, 8 pm, $5

BIKES--Cool bike kids are opening a non-profit bike shop in North Portland called... NPDX Bikeworks! As a benefit, they're having a superfun bicycle scavenger hunt; come early to get vegan treats and homemade soda. AND PRIZES! JS

Peninsula Park at N Ainsworth & Albina, teams must enter by 12:45 pm, $10 per team (2-3 people), call Kim at 247-7610 for info


THEATER--In Rashomon, truth and point of view become intertwined as we hear the same story from the perspective of different characters. And, while telling the same story with four different subtle variations and still keeping it entertaining is no easy feat, Ann Lund and her talented cast are more than up to the task. There's also sword fighting, love-making, and marital strife, AND it's all set in the 12th century. I think it's safe to say that this show has it all. JPS

Theatre Vertigo at the Russell Street Theater, 116 NE Russell, 306-0870, 4 pm, $14


DJ--Like your deejaying a little saucier and more unpredictable than the typical spin and fade? Check out Mystery Music Mayhem, making Mondays far more tolerable with a mix of wack-job selections from children's story records to Metallica to aerobics music to whatever. You never know what's going to happen, which always makes for an exciting evening. KS

Beulahland, 118 NE 28th, 235-2794, 10 pm, free

WALKMEN--Do not disregard this band because they are famous. Spin may have written about the Walkmen a time or two, but I swear to the Almighty God, they are still good. Lead singer Hamilton Leithauser has a voice that's full and loud, and the rest of the band fluidly sails behind his pop/tortured lyrics. KD

w/ Glass Candy, Mazarin
; Blackbird, 3728 NE Sandy, 282-9949, 9 pm, $7


BINGO & BANDS--Like channel surfing between episodes of Golden Girls and MTV, tonight the Blackbird sandwiches three bands between rounds of big-money bingo games. Music from the excitable Afrohomo, harmonious rockers Rallyboy, and Joshe Henry. PB

Blackbird, 3728 NE Sandy, 282-9949, 9 pm, $5 (plus 50ยข for bingo cards)


MUSIC--Pawn off the children and make Wednesdays date night from here on out. DJs Keane and DLYTE are spinning dancefloor soul, underground disco, and house every week. Chances of public dry-humping: high; chances of being pelted with mashed potatoes: low. MS

Stephano's Shadow Room, 1135 SW Washington, 243-2181, 9:30 pm, free