THURSDAY, December 4

HIPHOP--You'd be hard-pressed to be a Portlander without seeing the fresh-flowin' Lifesavas by now. But for all you cave dwellers who haven't, tonight is the night, as they take the stage alongside Boom Bap Project, Libretto, and DJ Kez! And if you already have seen 'em, why are you even still reading this? You should be in line. JWS
Berbati's, 231 SW Ankeny, 248-4579, 9:30 pm, $8-10

FRIDAY, December 5

FREESTYLE--The topic of today's meditation is "breaking down barriers." Take the hand of the person next to you, and walk them to this interactive, stageless (no person stands above another), potpourri performance of everything from hiphop to punk and stand-up, featuring shy violets like The Vigilantes, Manic D, and you. MS
Nocturnal, 1800 E Burnside, 239-5900, 10 pm, free

BATTLE ARTS--Ever wonder how urban artists make perfect lines and depth with merely a can of paint and a couple awkward nozzles? Watch world-renowned artists Bigfoot (SF) and The London Police (Amsterdam) paint 4x8 panels live, and uncover the mystery. Breaks provided by international superstars DJs Wicked and Evil One, plus booze and gift bags. Way cooler than dumb Christmas! JS
NAC, 328 SE Morrison, 294-0445, 8 pm, gift bags to first 200 people through door, free

MUSIC--Since about 1994 Steve Malkmus has been making me hot. His latest band, The Jicks, may not be Pavement, but they still rock. In fact, #3 off their album Pig Lib is one of my favorite songs, and their live show is still worth every pennyÉ if Steve doesn't spend 45 minutes tuning his goddamn guitar. Not cool, Malkmus! KS
Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside, 224-4400, 9 pm, $13-15

SATURDAY, December 6

MUSIC--Okay, so if you're not hardcore enough to be seeing Cradle of Filth, get over to Million for the first night of the famed Portland Artxx Fest. Tonight you'll be wooed by the black metal of Terrific, plus KRMTX (a downsized version of the Chromatics), plus Fresh Meat, etc. And don't miss Sunday with Silentist, and new PDX lady outfit AST, not to mention Monday where you'll drool over proggers The Planet The. KS
Million, 120 N Russell, 288-8848, Sat-Mon 8 pm, $6 nightly

COLLEGE HOOPS--Last year, the University of Oregon men's basketball team barnstormed through the Pac-10, ultimately winning the division. Sure, they're good again this year. But the women? Holy cow! Ranked 24th and deserving even better, they are led by a wily point guard, Corrie Mizusawa. Tonight, it's two games for one at the beloved Pape' Jam, when UO men and women play back to back.
Rose Garden, 1401 N. Wheeler, 877-678-5263, women at 3:30 pm, men at 6 pm, $8-31

SUNDAY, December 7

MUSIC--What up, Portastatic fans? Have an unusually strong desire to see your favorite Mac McCaughan-led side project play live? Could that be, oh maybe, because Portastatic has always avoided our fair city? They'll finally play Portland tonight, on the strength of their new album, Autumn Was a Lark, which has not one, but TWO Bruce Springsteen covers. JWS
w/Blues Goblins; Dante's, 1 SW 3rd, 1-800-325-SEAT, 8 pm, $8

MONDAY, December 8

MUSIC--Eric Bachmann's solo project Crooked Fingers really hit a groove this year with the album Red Devil Dawn, a gorgeous, whispery blend of folky Americana rock that demonstrated a huge growth spurt for the former Archers of Loaf frontman. But then that's what we should expect from awesome musicians: progress. JWS
w/Azure Ray, Dave Dondero; Berbati's, 231 SW Ankeny, 1-800-325-SEAT, 8:30 pm, $10

TUESDAY, December 9

PUNKS--The cutest thing I ever saw was Tim Armstrong teetering on the edge of a stage, scowling in intense concentration as he completely mangled a simple guitar part. Go see Rancid without having to buy a pair of sneakers--along with little brothers AFI--or be reeeeeejected! MS
Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside, 224-4400, 8 pm $25, all ages

WEDNESDAY, December 10

SIGNING--When does he find the time? Between peanut farming, saving the world and, oh yeah, winning the Nobel Peace Prize, Jimmy Carter has managed to pen 17 books! That's right. The greatest ex-president EVER will be in town to promote his first fictional novel, The Hornet's Nest, an American revolutionary-era drama, which, my stars, includes a sex scene. PB
Border's Downtown, 708 SW 3rd, 7 pm, free, tickets are available at the store 1 pm Sunday

BAZOOKA TOOTH--Injecting Byzantine lyricism (like Nas) and stylistic diversity (like Jay-Z) with his own nasally Long Island twang, extra-smart rap futurist Aesop Rock gives the BK borough a manic pinch, and stuffs a carton of cigarettes in its pocket. One of the best. JS
Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie, 233-1994, 7 pm, $16-18