THURSDAY, december 26

HIPHOP--The live band, the smooth deep rhymes of Mic Crenshaw, and the powerful diva-esque singing of Toni Hill make Hungry Mob the local hiphop act to see. Along with the Ohm's dim atmosphere and an icy cocktail, they'll calm your rattled nerves and snap you out of your holiday depression with some much needed shout outs. KS

Ohm, 31 NW 1st, 223-9919, 9 pm

LIGHTS--What are all those twinkling lights just off I-5? (You know, the thousands of Christmas lights that nearly made you swerve off the road.) Why, it's the Thriftway annual Winter Wonderland! In addition to their traditional leaping reindeers and a ski-jumping Santa, Thriftway has this year added a dinosaur display with flying pterosaurs! Take that, Speilberg! PB

Portland International Raceway, 1940 N Victory Blvd, 5-10 pm, $12 per vehicle

FRIDAY, december 27

HO, HO, HELL--The Blackbird is keeping the festive spirit of the holidays hopping with their annual Ho-Ho-Holiday Party, this year hosted by the psychologically thrilling Psychological Thrillers. And while the rest of the lineup remains a mystery, don't be surprised it they shoot off indoor fireworks, and offer free back waxings to the first 50 customers. WSH

Blackbird, 3728 NE Sandy, 282-9949, 9 pm, free

HOMOEROTIC JOCKS VS. THRASH METAL--"Testament is pretty fuckin' metal," says the Mercury's metal expert, Aaron Beam, who was born and bred in the Midwest. "We used to listen to it in the locker room before football games and snap towels at each other's butts. And I wasn't even on the team." JS

W/Violence, Exhumed, Vehemence; Roseland, NW 6th and Burnside, 224-TIXX, 9 pm, $20, all ages

MARCH--Take them to a protest, and this raggy tag marching band will shepherd thousands through downtown. Take them to a party at your house, and they'll have everyone trampling the vegetables in your yard. The Vagabond Opera's contagious marching band funk compels movement, so put on your comfortable shoes. MS

Mt. Tabor Acoustic Room, 4811 SE Hawthorne, 238-1646, 9:30 pm, $5

SATURDAY, december 28

PRETTY--Much like the animal of their namesake, Six Foot Sloth takes their time. The band meanders slowly from tune to tune, filling in long, drawn-out guitar pluck riffs with spacey sound effects and pretty chimes. There's also a piano or two. Tonight they celebrate the release of their new CD, and you should buy it, if only to put in the stereo later for your drunk ass to fall asleep to. JWS

Blackbird, 3728 NE Sandy, 282-9949, 9:30 pm, $6

NOT ELTON JOHN--But he oughtta be! Fans of the early pre-bloated EJ should not miss Captain Fantastic (aka Joel Mason) who is known worldwide for his hilarious, dead-on impersonation of the flamboyant one. Feathery costumes, platform shoes, and less than half the price of a real Elton John concert! What more could one want? WSH

w/Visible Men, Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside, 224-4400, 8 pm, $15

SUNDAY, december 29

HOT DANCEPUNK--Live electro, yet not electroclash, the scorching duo that is Dance Disaster Movement hurls insane, live-drum breakbeats onto an inferno of spaztastic yet diverse punk vocals, sputtering-hot keybs, and tons of sex appeal that's more natural than the funk emanating from your jittering bod. JS

Blackbird, 3728 NE Sandy, 282-9949, 9:30 pm, $5

MONDAY, december 30

FLICK--Once upon a time, chicks could be shocking just by wearing britches. Nowadays it practically requires minor surgery to look weird. Children of the Century conveys the juicy affair between writers George Sand (who rattled 19th Century squares with cross-dressing and radical feminism) and Alfred de Musset. Mad drama. MS

Hollywood Theatre, 4122 NE Sandy Blvd, 281-4215, Call for details, $3 on Monday only!

TUESDAY, december 31

CROSS-DRESSING--See some of the city's finest male legs don skirts and pantyhose for the New Year. The sexy boys at Crush will show off their hams and assets in an activity they call "Drag racing." And across town, Darcelle XV hosts a high-end end-of-year party with an all-night cross- dressing floor show led by the big diva herself, Darcelle. PB

Crush, 1412 SE Morrison, 235-8150, 8-midnight, $15; Darcelle XV, 208 NW Third, 222-5338, 9-midnight, $60 for dinner & show; $35 for floor show only

DANCE/DRINK--There are two ways I get every New Year's Eve: Nostalgic and Emotional (possible reasons: too many drinks, no one to kiss, a burning sense of hope and ambition). This year I can indulge the nostalgia with the '80s dance/new wave of DJs retrograde and retrovirus (the world's cutest couple), and the emotion with the emo hardcore of 800 Octane, Thirty3, Countdown to Life, and the Runaway Boys. KS

Nocturnal, 1800 E Burnside, 239-5900, 9 pm, $6

WEDNESDAY, january 1

SEXY FLICK--After seeing her pudgy, benign turn in Bridget Jones' Diary, it's slightly jaw-dropping to witness Renee Zellweger's stunning transformation into the wiry, corsett-clad, devious Roxie Hart of Chicago fame. The rest of the movie is just as stunning. Director Rob Marshall wisely sticks to the basics and lays on thick all the over-the-top steaminess from the original musical. If you love musicals, you'll love this, and if you hate musicals, well, you're sadly, sadly repressed. JWS

See Film Times pg 35