THURSDAY, January 23

POP--Been wondering about that itchy pain? If it's not crabs, it's a desire for the sublime pop and smooth lyrics of Neil Hannon and the Divine Comedy. Very British, and very soothing. JS
Dante's, 1 SW 3rd, 226-6630, $10, 9 pm

ALTERNATIVE RAP--If you're really interested in what's coming around the corner in rap, and not just becoming another 95.5 wannabe, drop in with "the new" at the Lyricist Lounge Club Series. This travelling show stars some of the best in rap, like tonight's guests Boot Camp Clik, featuring Buckshot and Cocoa Brovaz laying down the dirty smooth, and hitting it hard sinister-style. WSH
w/Das EFX and DJ Wicked; Berbati's, 10 SW 3rd, 248-4579, 8:30, $12 advance

FRIDAY, January 24

TEMPORARY RESIDENCE SHOWCASE--Electronics, samples, guitar virtuosity, and a blanket of otherworldly sounds--Howard Hello, a duo released by Temporary Residence, promises loads of pretty, magical atmosphere. And their label's home base is Portland now, you know. JS
w/Lazarus, Castanets; Blackbird, 3728 NE Sandy, 282-9949, 9:30 pm, $6

HIP, HOP, A-HIPPitY-HOP--The sweet, sultry Egyptian strains of N2Deep's "Back to the Hotel" is to this day one of the most recognizable hiphop beats around. Since then, N2Deep has consistently put out solid albums chock-full of ultra-catchy melodies. They may not be the best there is, but like any grizzled old veteran, they know what they're doing. JWS w/Ridah (of Mobfigaz), GOTM, Maniac Lok, Mr. D.O.G., Potluck, Hollywood & Noose, T-Macn, Dj Chill; Roseland, 6 NW 6th, 224-TIXX, 8 pm, $12

SATURDAY, January 25

MUSIC--Even squares have to admit that Hot Hot Heat's organ-tinged, highly energetic rock 'n' roll is some of the most inventive music available in this dismal world. PLUS! Anyone who buys a ticket for this show gets in FREE to the Intima show playing simultaneously at the Blackbird! JWS
w/The Walkmen, Joggers, Hint Hint; Hollywood Theatre, 4122 NE Sandy, 281-4215, 9:30 pm, $9

RUMMAGE SALE--Sure, these deejayed, drink-fueled rummage sales seem to be happening more and more frequently, but is anybody complaining? I'm sure as shit not, especially after a thorough perusal of 2003's winter clothing lines. At the Twilight Rummage Sale, peruse records, furniture, books, clothes, ashtrays, etc. gathered by 30 plus local compulsive collectors, and stick around for Jedidiah's Gender Bender Dance Party. KS
Eagle's Lodge, Rummage Sale, 4904 SE Hawthorne, 5-9 pm, free; Dance Party, 10 pm, $5

DEATH METAL--Instead of spending the rainy season thinking about death, try death metal. Trust me, it is far more productive to channel your energy into being angry at the world than it is to spend time being angry at yourself. Nile's intense speed and primordial growls should get you in the right frame of mind for another three months of some serious people hating. KS
Roseland, 8 NW 6th, 224-TIXX, 9 pm, $18

SUNDAY, January 26

RUSSIANS--I'm sick of America, where adding a Heche or Zeta-Jones counts as a fantastic horror movie. I'm defecting to Russia, where it's cold, I don't speak the language, and it'll be scary all the time. Meanwhile, VIY will suffice, about a priest getting trapped with a foxy corpse-witch who's out to seriously fuck with him. MS
Whitsell Auditorium, 1219 SW Park, 221-1156, 7 pm, $6.50

NON-PROFIT HOO HAH--To celebrate their recent attainment of non-profit 501(c)3 status, the wily Conduit Dance Studio is planning a benefit party! In addition to chow and libations, there will be a cabaret style performance with choreographer Mary Oslund, The Matt Wayne Band, MC Lyndee Mah, and the ever-popular More! The perfect opportunity to pull off Edie Sedgwick's leotard as evening wear. MS
Conduit, 918 SW Yamhill, Ste. 401, 221-5857, $25, $15 for working artists

MONDAY, January 27

MAKER OF SWEET MUSIC--The king of Lefty redneck populist complaint, Steve Earle, is back with a new album, Jerusalem, a political record that responds to 9/11 hoopla. One track, "John Walker's Blues," even takes on the voice of John Walker Lindh, discussing the teenager's Taliban allegiance from Lindh's point of view. Risks like these are what have made Earle one of the most enigmatic and fascinating activists around. That, and his continually fresh musical fusion of country, rock, and punk. JWS
w/The Dukes; Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside, 225-5555, ext. 8811, 9 pm, $24

TUESDAY, January 28

QUEER NIGHT--No kidding, a sexy queer gal I know actually shared the following sentence with me: "This is the only time I see a bunch of good-looking queer people in one place." Not only that, but the DJ plays dance cuts that might inspire you to snag your fishnets on your dance partner's zip fly. Tonight, instead of clouds of smoke, you'll be inhaling the sweet moisture of human sweat. KS
Blackbird, 3728 NE Sandy, 282-9949, 9 pm, free

WEDNESDAY, January 29

MUSIC--There are perhaps seven million bands in the Western half of the United States who write conflicted, emotive punk songs about life's foibles. Cursive, too--but they do it with a rare gut-wrenching gravity, grit, and truth. Also, they will rock you. JS
w/The Velvet Teen, Race for Titles; Meow Meow, 527 SE Pine, 230-2111, 9 pm, $7, all ages