Pho Bang

(VARIETY) The name is back (it's called Pho Bang again), presumably to reflect another change of venue: This time it's Re-bar, which should make better digs for Seattle's favorite (and only) vainglorious hipster-trash cabaret than Sit & Spin did. Re-bar is dingier and more open, and even offers a full liquor bar now. The sexy, multimedia Tracy + the Plastics will headline tonight's big event, while Ursula & the Androids and Jackie & the Control Tops will be doing their usual psychodramatic art/drag-rock damage. (Re-bar, 1114 Howell St, 233-9873, 10 pm, $6.) JEFF DeROCHE

Mala Noche

(FILM) Gus Van Sant's aesthetic concerns--male beauty and the longing that accompanies it; Portland's grimy glamour--were laid out perfectly in his low-budget black-and-white 1985 debut about a man's obsessive love for an indifferent drifter. Based on the bildungsroman à clef by Walt Curtis, PDX's degenerate poet laureate (he will attend the screening), Noche is its own work, but feels at times like a rough draft for Van Sant's masterpiece, My Own Private Idaho, right down to the lead actor's uncanny resemblance to River Phoenix in certain shots. (911 Media Arts, 1117 Yale Ave N, 682-6552, 8 pm, $6.) SEAN NELSON

The 42nd Floor/ Double Climax

(THEATER) Elastic solo performer K. Brian Neel twists his body into a wealth of contortions, sometimes playing multiple characters, sometimes capturing impossible events. In The 42nd Floor, Neel plays a man dreaming that he's falling from the top of a building; as he passes each floor, he sees things that suggest something is horribly awry in his waking life. Double Climax is a one-man film noir, flush with cheap sex and sudden violence. Neel performs more often at theater festivals around the U.S. and Canada (where he earns rave reviews) than in Seattle, so seize this rare opportunity to check him out. (The 42nd Floor plays Fri at 8 pm; Double Climax is Sat at 8 pm; Chamber Theatre, 915 E Pine, 4th floor, 706-4088, $10 suggested donation. Plus: Beer and food served after the show.) BRET FETZER

Neil Halstead

(MUSIC) When Mojave 3 played the Crocodile very close to this time last year, most who attended the show would refer to it months later as the most crystalline-sounding, romantic live music event of 2001. Mojave 3 singer Neil Halstead has a lovely voice, full of the kind of ache that makes a love song haunting but never cloying. His solo stint tonight should present the songs off his new album, Sleeping on Roads, in sparkling, devastating clarity. (Tractor Tavern, 5213 Ballard Ave NW, 789-3599, 9 pm, $10/$12.) KATHLEEN WILSON


(MUSIC) Desaparecidos is a new five-piece rock band fronted by Bright Eyes' Conor Oberst, and the project does indeed rock, via colorful power pop that's layered with keyboards and then shot through with Oberst's insistent, from-the-gut vocals. As with Bright Eyes, the songs are sprawling and urgent, but where Bright Eyes is a more intimate and self-referential outlet for the young songwriter, Desaparecidos aims at political observation (urban development, consumerism, etc.), which at times illuminates the singer's naiveté. Regardless, Oberst puts on an inordinately good live show; and within the context of a fired-up rock format, he will likely be heated and deeply invested in the spectacle. You'll want to see that. (Paradox Theater, 5510 University Way NE, 8 pm, $8.) JEFF DeROCHE

Nega Mezlekia

(READING) Regrettably, this reading happens during Black History Month. Firstly, Black History Month is a cold month; secondly, black history doesn't need a designated month. So, Ethiopian Canadian author Nega Mezlekia's reading of his new book, The God Who Begat a Jackal, is fascinating for reasons other than its useless connection to the shortest and coldest month of the year. Mezlekia's novel is set in sunny 17th-century Ethiopia--a world ordered by black aristocrats, priests, and peasants. Mezlekia's writing is solid, and his book provides a rare and enchanting vision of pre-colonial Africa. (Elliott Bay Book Company, 101 S Main St, 624-6600, 7:30 pm, free.) CHARLES MUDEDE

'Populi' and other David Russo films

(FILM) As any regular reader of this paper can tell you, I don't know much about art. But I know I like the experimental art cinema of David Russo--not so much for the abstract, subjective ideas expressed in the works (interesting though they are), but because of the relentless kinetic energy of those ideas. Eggs and Soup and Ode To Crude are longtime faves, but Populi, which will apparently be shown at the new football stadium before games, is an order-of-magnitude jump for the artist. It may even be enough to make you want to root for the Seahawks. (The Little Theatre, 610 19th Ave E, 675-2055, 8 pm, $7.) SEAN NELSON