THURSDAY, may 20

HIPHOP--Underground hiphop legend RJD2 blends all manner of samples, beats, and emceeing, producing a surprising level of emotion in his music. His crates run deep, and his live Djing is friggin' bananas, so wear your breakin' shoes. Oh, and bring some dough, RJD2's got a new album called Since We Last Spoke, and you'll want to own it. KS
Berbati's, 231 SW Ankeny, 248-4579, 9 pm, $12

PARTY--XLR8R, America's best (and most fun) electronic music magazine, is 11 years old--and they're throwing a party for us. Altruism never gets old. Celebrate with the fantabulous electronic libations of quirky and talented Daedelus, plus the local Players and DJ Kenneth James. JS
Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison, 9 pm, $5

FRIDAY, may 21

VOTE!--Nebraska's Cursive comes to town with some advice: Vote, and conveniently, you can register at the show. Oh yeah, it's safe to assume Cursive would also advise you listen to their music. A blend of complex, distinctly indierock guitar sounds, and the powerful, heartfelt vocals/lyrics of Tim Kasher, you're bound to be inspired in some way; if not to political action, then at least to make out with some chick. KS
Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside, 224-4400, $12

BOYS--Disguising their gender via band name, the Sun City Girls are one of the more interesting outfits traveling the country with the gift of music. Constantly evolving, their sound is eclectic and never boring. And that's our job: to make sure you're not bored. MS
w/Cerberus Shoal, Fields of Gaffney; Berbati's, 231 SW Ankeny, 9:30 pm, $12-14

SATURDAY, may 22

ROCK--We all know the legend of The Shins, with their post-pop stylings and their melodic musings on the human condition. BUT! Don't be a dope and miss this great show's opening acts, in particular, The Fiery Furnaces. This brother-sister duo puts the punch back in performance with bluesy foot-stompin' rock, bizarro lyrics, and glass-shattering vocals. They're joined by the tripped-out psychedelipop of Elf Power. WSH
Roseland, 8 NW 6th, 1-800-325-SEAT, 9 pm, $15

BLOCK PARTY--It's official! Summer's here! The city's greatest neighborhood, North Mississippi, kicks off the first block party of the year with a contest for the city's best ribs, a basketball shoot-out, a skateboarding demo, a bug zoo, and bands! In the last year three new restaurants have opened on Mississippi and a new brewery. Check it out. PB
Mississippi Block Party, N. Mississippi from Fremont to Skidmore, 10 am-7 pm, free

ROCK--One of the best rock bands still above ground, US Maple is crazy and creative. And the singer performs like he still has his hospital bracelet on from busting out of the psych ward. It is so on. MS
w/The Planet The, Nice Nice; Dante's, 1 SW 3rd, 226-6630, 8:30 pm, $10

SUNDAY, may 23

PUGS--Holy crap, it's Pug Crawl 2004!!! Come celebrate the splendor that is the snort and lick of nature's finest domesticated animal, The Pug. Watch in awe/horror, as seemingly normal people slide down the slippery slope of insanity and dress their curly-tailed dogs in cute costumes. Plus, don't miss the trick contest and the pug-kissing booth. Other kinds of dogs welcome, too! EAC
Portland Brewing, 2730 NW 31st, 1-4 pm, $10 donation

MUSICAL GARBAGE--The first instruments were made from scraps of wood, bone, and rocks. Hillbillies have been doing it for years: Making music with whatever junk is lying around--wash boards, broom handles, hubcaps. Now, finally, at this workshop sponsored by the good folks at Scrap, you can learn the secrets to transform your own trash into instruments of beautiful melody. PB
Scrap, 3901 N Williams, 238-6973, 1-3:30 pm, $5

MONDAY, may 24

SONG--The Mountain Goats' fiery guitarist/ singer/songwriter Chris Darnielle is an unending fountain of literate lyrics, creating glorious beds of shimmering metaphor for his jangly acoustic rock to reside in. Their latest album, We Shall All Be Healed, is all about people Darnielle met while living in Portland. JWS
Berbati's, 231 SW Ankeny, $10-12

OCEAN OUTLAWS--There's a whole movement of old-school, Captain Hook-style pirates in Portland, but what about the modern-day crime and corruption happening at sea right now? Tonight one of the best investigative journalists alive, William Langewiesche, shares from his new book The Outlaw Sea, a gripping account of the seedy and dangerous conduct of big business ocean vessels. JWS
Powell's City of Books, 1005 W Burnside, 7:30 pm, free

Support The Portland Mercury

TUESDAY, may 25

CELLO MUSIC--Bring a cello darkly: Rasputina hath mastered the creepy gothy melodies for string and voice. Macabre and beguiling, breathy vibrato inspires black lace veils and knowing sneers. JS
w/Audio Learning Center; Dante's, 1 SW 3rd, 226-6630, 9 pm, $12


MUSIC--One of the only group that started out an indie band and became a respected cultural icon, Yo La Tengo is always worth the admission price. They run the gamut from jazzy art rock to sweeping film scores, leaving your mouth agape. Thank God they ditched those jangly guitars and became something mature and beautiful. KS
w/Antietam; Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside, 225-5555 ex. 8811, 8 pm, $15

SLAY Film Fest
In person at the Clinton St. Theater 10/29 & 10/30