MUSIC--Some call the Magnetic Fields' lovably cranky Stephin Merritt a conceptual genius and others say albums like 69 Love Songs (exactly what the title suggests) and i (in which every song title begins with "i"; ZOING!) are gimmicks, true and true. But few can argue the quality of the songs themselves, which are almost unfailingly elegant, catchy, and riveting. JWS
Aladdin, 3017 SE Milwaukie, 233-1994, 8 pm, $20-22

MUSIC--All hail Wilco, the indierock lords who beat down the alt-country stereotypes to create albums like Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and Being There. Their newest, A Ghost Is Born, ain't the stylistic shocker y'all maybe hoped for, but it's still tryin' to break your heart. MS
w/Carla Bozulich; Roseland, 8 NW 6th, 224-2038, 8 pm, $26


MUSIC--Whether Vice Magazine's multi-platform empire turns your ironically coked-out crank or makes you cringe for humanity, you've gotta admit, they've put out some pretty alright records. Tonight's package features current Vice crop The Panthers and the lesser-known, pleasantly Spacemen 3-derivative signees Vietnam. Bring your own smug self-importance. ZP
Dante's, 1 SW 3rd, 1-800-992-8499, 9 pm, $8

COMEDY--Comedian Wanda Sykes' sharp, deadpan, smart-assyness has made her a favorite on the stand-up circuit. Then there's her hilarious appearances on The Chris Rock Show, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and her new Comedy Central show Wanda Does It--where she uses her intense smart-ass skills to screw up other people's jobs. (But in a funny way!) WSH
Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside, 224-4400, 7:30 pm, $32.50, all ages


WRESTLER--The endlessly versatile one-time wrestling world champion, Rowdy Roddy Piper, blows through town this weekend to PREMIERE a new one-man show on his life and experiences in the ring. First 20 through the door get a free piledriver, or at least that's how it SHOULD be. JWS
Harvey's, 436 NW 6th, 1-800-992-8499, 6:30 & 9 pm, $25

MUSIC--What better way to take your mind off of recent current events than to spend an evening with those raucous dandies, The Makers? Decked in skin-tight pants and feather boas, Mike Maker & company will crank the shimmy shake until you start shakin' your shimmy. Let the Makers make it all go away. LC
w/Goodtime Gil and the Champagne Cowboys; Dante's, 1 SW 3rd, 10 pm, $6


MUSIC--Yesterday someone suggested there be a duel between Wolf Eyes, Frog Eyes, and Bright Eyes. Clearly the final round would come down between Wolf and Frog, with Wolf's electro ghetto banshee screams puttin' up some mighty dukes. MS
w/Comets on Fire, Rubber O Cement, Smegma; Meow Meow, 320 SE 2nd, 9 pm, $10

MOPEY FUN-- … sums up Blonde Redhead, who meld dense beats, overwhelming keyboard melodies, and weirdly calming, high-pitched vocals. I've heard their music compared to everything from recent Radiohead to early Sonic Youth, but to me it feels kind of like being in Lost in Translation--but just a little bit happier. EH
w/Helio Sequence; Aladdin, 3017 SE Milwaukie, 233-1994, 8 pm, $17.50


FILM--Pedro Almodovar movies combine humor, perversion, and poignancy in perfect measurements. Live Flesh is perhaps the best example of this masterful balance, telling the story of a young guy who becomes obsessed with a bitchy drug addict, then goes to jail, then stalks the woman again once he gets out of the can. Hot. KS
Progressive Fall Film Fest, PSU Smith Memorial Union, 1825 SW Broadway, Rm. 225, 6 pm, free


MUSIC--If you've never seen Guided By Voices here's your last chance to see one of their epic sets--cuz after this tour they're calling it quits. The GBV-influenced Thermals are opening, so enjoy an evening of comparing and contrasting, not to mention dancing feverishly. KS
Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd, 1-800-992-8499, 10 pm, $16; also playing Monday


MUSIC--Scout Niblett plays the drums like a third-seat percussionist in 7th grade jazz ensemble--but it's this diminutive Brit who might just save the floundering ovarian-angst genre. In short: Scout Niblett is poised to be one of independent rock's most important cult personas-- and if you didn't know, you do now. ZP
Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd, 9:30 pm, $10-$12

MUSIC--Pegged with the all-too-obvious tag of "the next Franz Ferdinand," former F.F. tourmates the Futureheads have the smarts to skip past most of the painfully saturated post-punk reference points--instead choosing to ape the fuck out of a much more forgivable historical influence, the genius of early XTC. Bravo to branching out, British buzz band! BRAVO! ZP
Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside, 1-800-992-8499, 9 pm, $7

Support The Portland Mercury

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