READING--Henry Louis Gates Jr. is one of the only super-academic critics who writes stuff that's not only understandable, but also really interesting and illuminating. His latest book is the true story of the journey of Hannah Crafts, a young slave on a wealthy North Carolina plantation. KD

First Unitarian Church, 1011 SW 12th Avenue, 7:30 pm, free


ART--Run with your avant-garde fantasies--straight towards Medios Espectaculo IV, a presentation of mixed media, interactive and performance art. Getting dressed can be performative too, so don't show up to poke around without formalizing and costuming your ass. MS

North Star Ballroom, 635 N Killingsworth Ct., Fri-Sat 9 pm-12 am, $7-23 sliding scale

COMEDY STUFF--Former SNL writer and star Al Franken (the "Stuart Smalley" guy? You know, the funny one?) reads tonight from his new book Oh, the Things I Know, a self-help primer for those of you who are less successful than he. And believe me, there's a lot of you. Afterwards, walk over to the Matador and get drunk. WSH

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


HOT HOT HEAT--Like the name says, the screaming, jittery numbers unleashed by Hot Hot Heat will work you into a flurry of rosy cheeks and make your heart pound. Dancey, punky energy flies off them like the sweat on so many brows. All this, and they're from Canada, too! JS

w/French Kicks; Meow Meow, 520 SE Pine, 230-2111, 4 pm, $6, all ages

MUSIC--Oh Cranes, how I love thee. How many hours of my youth did I spend moping around to your gothy, drippy voices, your synthesized, moody sounds, your dark depression--when I really should have been doing homework? Probably about 100,000. And now, six years later, my affections for you are just as strong. Sigh. KD

Berbati's Pan, 231 SW Ankeny, 248-4579, 9 pm, $12.50

BIKE PARADE--If you're not enough of a joiner to actually don a costume or make your bike into an artistic float, head over to Alberta and enjoy the brainchild of the Alberta Street Art Hop and Community Cycling Center: the bike parade. Decorating supplies will be provided, but if you really want to show off your DIY art skills, you best get cracking on your bike costume immediately. KS

Community Cycling Center, 1700 NE Alberta Street, 1 pm, free


CRYPTOZOOLOGY--I guess it's true what they say about big feet: One of the oddest offshoots from the rather large and tight-knit group of Bigfoot enthusiasts is the cottage industry of Sasquatch romance novels and pornography. According to testimony and speculation, he is a surprising Casanova and jaw-droppingly well-hung! The annual conference of researchers, eyewitnesses, and marketers. PB

Washington County Fairgrounds, Hillsboro Exit off Hwy 26, Sat-Sun, 10 am-5 pm, $5

FILM--A Vietnamese girl is adopted into the South, where she was brought up on white bread, Kool-Aid, and forced to use aerosol hairspray despite its damaging effects on the ozone layer. Daughter From Danang follows her reunion with her birth mother and the fascinating cultural misfires that ensue. MS

Whitsell Auditorium, Portland Art Museum, 1219 SW Park, 221-1156, Sat. 7:30 pm, Sun 4:30 pm, $6.50


READING--Tommy guns. Pucker-lipped starlets. Smuggled art. Tough talk. David Grand's latest, The Disappearing Body, nails the props and simmering mood of 1930s noir. A sophisticated and subterranean jaunt in the gangster life of depression-era America. PB

Powell's, 3723 SE Hawthorne, 238-1668, 7:30 pm, free


DOGTOWN RULZ!!--The documentary Dogtown and Z-Boys is a butt-bustin' tribute to a mid-'70s neighborhood gang who turned skateboarding on its ear. Gorgeous, tanned skaters take out their natural aggressions on empty pools, and thanks to Skateboarder Magazine, become international superstars. An inspiration to anyone who likes giving the finger to the status quo! WSH

Cinema 21, 616 NW 21st, 223-4515, 7, 9 pm, $6

CABERNET CABARET--Okay... So what is better than getting drunk and watching drag queens do interpretive dance? Not much in my book. At this little performance, your $35 ticket price includes entertainment, snacks, and six glasses of wine. And the more you drink, the funnier the star, Miss Rhea Neati, becomes. Don't miss it! MLF

Crush Winebar, 1412 SE Morrison, 235-8150, Reservations Only, 7:30 pm, $35


RAWK--Every time I see Motorhead, I either get into a fistfight or have the best time I've ever had, up to that point, or both. There's something comforting about Lemmy K. cheating death and beating the devil at cards year after year. It's a self-fulfilling prophesy--you know you want some. LC

Roseland, 8 NW 6th Ave, 224-TIXX, 8:30 pm, $20