This Week's Day-by-Day Picks

THU 8 There's a fine line between selling outand maturing that many punk bands would like to ignore. Not that Blink 182 was ever really punk, but Christ, have you heard "I Miss You"? It sounds like the band was held hostage by P. Diddy -- quite a bit different from the newly refined sounds of Reel Big Fish. While the ska-punkers have grown past the tried-and-true formula of their genre, they're still recognizably the same band. On RBF's latest album, Cheer Up!, the band takes a few subtle detours into alt-rock territory but keeps both feet firmly planted where they've always been, not losing any of the humor. Songs like "Ban the Tube Top" balance out serious melodies with an upbeat tempo. Though the world could do without the unnecessary cock-rock parody, "Rock 'n' Roll is Bitchin'" (do we need a whole album track to remind us how lame rock was in the '80s?). Reel Big Fish swims over to Sound Advice Amphitheatre (601-7 Sansbury's Way, West Palm Beach) at 6:15 p.m. after RX Bandits, Lucky Boys Confusion, Catch 22, and Suburban Legends. Tickets cost $18.50. Call 561-793-0445.

FRI 9 Sometimes, boy meets girl and falls in love. Other times, boy meets boy. And yet other times, boy meets shrimp. The mainstream has Spider-Man and Shrek, but the underground has a seven-foot-tall crustacean who wears boxing gloves. In the independent British film Crust, a discontented pub owner buys a huge, mutant Mantis Shrimp -- built like a lobster but with clubs instead of claws. Inspired by the idea of kangaroo boxing, the man thinks he can take the creature on tour and turn a quick euro. But once he gets to know the sea-dweller, things get complicated, and exploitation kind of loses its appeal. The movie shows at 10 p.m. at Cinema Paradiso (503 SE Sixth St., Fort Lauderdale). Cost: $6. Call 954-523-3456.

SAT 10 South Florida's subtropical location makes it a prime spot to celebrate Caribbean culture. Though we're not geographically equipped to simulate the outdoor activities of most northern cultures -- you won't see IglooFest happening anytime soon -- our area's just right for events like KultureFest 2004. Organized by Broward Carnival Inc., the annual event keeps it Caribbean with live music by Deep Blue, Dimensionz, Riddim Na'shun, South Florida Best Steelbands, and Indastreet Boyz Camp. There's also a "Clash of the DJs," featuring So So and Marshall, Mikey Mike, House Arrest, and more. Plus, there's an abundance of games, arts and crafts, vendors, colorful costumes, and people covered in body paint. KultureFest runs from 2 to 11 p.m. at Pompano Park Racing (corner of Atlantic Avenue and Powerline Road, Pompano Beach). Here's the best part: It's all free. Call 954-344-6431.

SUN 11 It's theater for the ADD set! Summer Shorts 2004, after running in Miami for a month, finally hunkers down at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts (201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale). Because the festival features 21 short plays performed by nine actors pulling off 67 roles, the program had to be split in half. Program A takes place today at 3 p.m., and Program B at 5:30. Skits include DMV Tyrant, which dramatizes a nightmarish experience at the driver's license bureau (we can relate!) and Elephants and Coffee, about a neurotic woman (we can relate to that, too!) who falls in love with an elephant. Today is also "Family Day," meaning that folks from the Fort Lauderdale Children's Theatre will be on hand to entertain kids, and a picnic dinner will be served after the shows. Performances begin Thursday, July 8, and run through Sunday, July 18. Tickets cost $27 to $29. Call 954-462-0222.

MON 12 Sonar nightclub (2006 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood) is expanding. Expanding its offerings, that is. Starting tonight, Cinemondays will bring in thought-provoking cinema to match the club's mind-bending music and its beautiful clientele. Expect independent movies and student films -- like Carne y Vino by Juan Janzen, I Love Minnie by Edgar Flores, Retro-bution by Frank Duran, and 4-91011-4 by David Estrada -- all of which are on deck for this evening. Miami-Dade Community College professor Barry Gordon emcees, DJ Cyn Surreal spins trip-hop after the screenings, and Sonar's owner, Inbal Lankry, keeps the club "a haven for mature individuals seeking intelligent nightlife." Call 954-920-8777 or visit www.sonarniteclub.com.

TUE 13 Because conservatives are mostly in control of our tax dollars, local arts organizations are about as likely to receive funding as, well, Michael Moore. So for the arts to thrive -- and, in many instances, simply stay afloat -- it's up to individual patrons to show their support. Tonight's Open Mic Fundraiser for the Hollywood Playhouse (2640 Washington St., Hollywood) is a good opportunity to lend a hand, and not just for applause. The $15 admission not only gets you a night of stand-up comedy, music, and dance, but you'll also be helping the company with its plans to build a new theater on Harrison Street. Or, if you want to take the stage, $10 gets you a performance slot. "We're looking for anyone who's passionate about theater," says Eileen Posner, who sits on the board of directors. "We need support from the community to keep the theater alive." Show starts at 7:30 p.m. Audience members, call 954-922-0404; performers, call 786-787-0399.

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