SMMR BMMR: THE INTELLIGENCE, GUANTANAMO BAYWATCH, THE MEAN JEANS & MORE (Plan B, 1305 SE 8th) Search all you like, odds are you won't find a band as criminally slept upon as the Intelligence. The band will be touring on the just-released Males, the first recording from the band that features frontman Lars Finberg letting go of the reins and allowing his rotating supporting cast (which includes members of Eat Skull, Mayyors, and more) to contribute to the excellent finished product. The nomadic band supposedly resides in as many cities (four) as they have members (five), but regardless of where they lay their heads at night, as long as the Intelligence continues this glorious run, we're fine with things being exactly the way they are.
VISQUEEN, REBECCA GATES AND THE CONSORTIUM, SCHOENBERG/SIELAFF (Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) After only a few minutes of talking with her on the phone, Rachel Flotard feels like a dear old friend. Perhaps it's because she is quite possibly the friendliest person on earth, chatting about her sister's baby due to be born any second, her iPhone ("I am kind of like a crack whore for it," she says without a trace of shame), and her excellent band, Visqueen, who released its third album, Message to Garcia, in September of 2009. It had been five years since Visqueen's previous album: "The way it works for me, I'm not the kind of person who wakes up every morning and sings and plays and whatever comes out comes out," Flotard says. "It usually just like explodes and a lot of songs come out at once. I'm a procrastinator on a lot of things so that's just kind of the way I think songs happen for me." During that period, Flotard had plenty to keep her busy—she acted as caregiver for her Seattle roommate, George, who was dying of cancer. George also happened to be Rachel's father.
THE ANGRY ORTS, THE ASCETIC JUNKIES, NUCULAR AMINALS (Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) While the Angry Orts had few peers that could match their onstage spunk, the band always seemed to be one good album away from solidifying themselves amongst the elite of Portland music. That album is here. Their new self-titled LP is everything you want of the Orts (tightly wound, bouncy, and with enough massive pop hooks to stretch across 13 songs), but without sacrificing their energetic onstage flair. Their bio might drop names like Sleater-Kinney and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, but this quartet also owes a bit to the sadly forgotten Discount (the pre-Kills and Dead Weather outfit of Alison Mosshart), as they smooth out the pop-punk edges to sculpt a wondrous sound devoted to the melodic voice of frontwoman Sara Hernandez. Look out Portland, the Angry Orts have arrived. EAC
Wavves, Temper Trap and Lara Mitchell after the jump!
As always, you can find our complete live show listings here.
THE COOL KIDS, WAVVES (Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) I respect the way Nathan Williams responded to his internet-fueled infamy—if you really don't know his deal, read every other review or article about the guy. The young, bedroom lo-fi wunderkind behind Wavves pretty much kept his head down and mouth shut amidst a sea of haters and dropped King of the Beach, a cleaned-up, Zubaz-colored shot back at the world. Too bad the album is just no good. An unfocused love letter to both Brian Wilson and Blink-182, King of the Beach just isn't as catchy, lovable, or hateable as either—it's not unlistenable, but it's far from unforgettable. Under normal circumstances, such a dud would normally turn his attempted triumph into a big whatever, but Pitchfork dug it—which means, like it or not, we'll all be hearing from this kid for at least a few more years. ETHAN JAYNE
THE TEMPER TRAP, BLUE GIANT, BUTTERFLY BONES (Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Aussie alt-rock behemoths the Temper Trap straddle that difficult middle ground of radio-friendly pop acts that don't deserve to be showered in pigeon feces (your Kings of Leon), yet are certainly not cut to claim their place in the upper echelons (Radiohead). Their Conditions LP is composed of two types of songs—those that are already hits, or those that will be hits six months from now once the airwaves cease being clogged by constant spins of "Sweet Disposition." This means the music of the Temper Trap is about to become pretty ubiquitous, but don't fight it. At worst they become another embarrassing landmark in your musical travels (like that three-week span when you swore David Gray was the greatest thing ever), and at best you get to hear "Sweet Disposition" a few thousand more times. EAC
LARA MICHELL, A SIMPLE COLONY, MICHAEL JODELL (The Woods, 6637 SE Milwaukie) My sympathies for Lara Michell's calendar. The local singer/songwriter splits time in the Stolen Sweets and Dirty Martini, yet tonight she releases a pair of albums not associated with either. The first is World Brand New, her new collaboration with Michael Dodson under the A Simple Colony moniker, which, following a set from Michael Jodell, will lead to her debut of solo album number four, Petals. A spacious and pristine recording, Petals shows no signs of its author's hectic schedule; instead it's hoisted by Michell's soft voice and introspective lyrics. Let's hope she sleeps in tomorrow. EAC