You find the essence of real American musician in the punk attitude that was, and still is, an American revolution. And this week, there is enough youthful attitude to set your fires of patriotism ablaze. Forget Mel Gibson, forget all you know about the dawn of our country; stand up and be a part of the sound. The real sound of American music is in our area this week, proud and loud. Check it out...

While the Monterey Rock and Art Festival this will be the best showcase for local bands in the area--not to mention a great place to see the infamous headliners Agent Orange in all their glory--it''s not the only gig in town.

In the local scene tonight at the Long Bar some boys out of the northwest are playing patriots to our local palate. PD EX, a punk-rock group, has received good name recognition around its hometown of Portland, Oregon, mainly due to the musicians'' stage presence during live performances. They will be playing with Munkafust, a modern rock band with a new record called Down for Days they are promoting for September. Headlining the evening is local rock group Foamscape with their elaborate and witty pop sound. The bands tonight are all hungry for recognition and so should put on a good performance.

Later in the week, the Long Bar will see the last performances for a while by the Bay Area group, Lisa Hayes & the Violets. Hayes and the Violets have played many gigs at the Long Bar, and if you missed her (and even if you didn''t) it may be a good time to see her on Tuesday. She has a female pop-rock voice that is reminiscent of both the lighter lyrical melodies of the ''90s female singers like Lisa Loeb, and the heavier timbre of the members of the Janis Joplin school of singing. Fractured Fairytales will play as well. It''s a free show and should provide enough entertainment for Tuesday evening.

PD EX, Munkafust, and Foamscape, tonight, 9pm, no cover. Lisa Hayes & the Violets, w/ Fractured Fairytales, Tuesday, Long Bar, 9pm, no cover. 372-2244

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Tonight another good show is taking place at the Blue Fin where reggae group Jonah and the Whalewatchers again take the floor by storm. Which presents a dilemma. Merely watching the Whalewatchers is a no-no--and dancing along is almost impossible because you can''t find any space on the dance floor.

Jonah and the Whalewatchers, tonight, Blue Fin, 8:30pm, no cover. 375-7000.

There are a couple things worth noting at Morgan''s this week. On Friday night, Big Sur poet Ric Masten presents a reading of his works. A longtime resident whose poetry is as earthy as it is poignant, humorous as it is philosophical, Masten performs his work sometimes accompanying himself on guitar. He''s a true local treasure, get out and see him.

Also at Morgan''s, singer/songwriter Mary Gauthier returns to the stone coffeehouse. She played to a packed house when she was here in May, and it''s likely the crowd will be even bigger this time (maybe Morgan will hang people from the rafters, seat ''em on the coffee counter). Gauthier''s a charming performer, she comes off a little shy at first, but when she warms up to the audience that just enhances the sense of intimacy as she sings stuff that she describes as "country noir." Her music is a sort of blend of Kris Kristofferson, Steve Earle, Tom Waits and Lucinda Williams.

Ric Masten & Friends, Friday, 7pm, $5; Mary Gauthier, Sunday, 8pm, $10. Morgan''s Coffee & Tea, 373-1479.

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