HEAVY NOVA, DORIAN MACMILLAN
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) If you're going to be a Robert Palmer tribute band you'd better go all the way, and Heavy Nova does, complete with technical accuracy, mannerisms, and a phalanx of slick-haired, red-lipped dancers by their sides. They know it's best to save it up for those special times, and tonight is one of them. MARJORIE SKINNER
THE EX, DEATH SENTENCE: PANDA
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) The Ex have been dismantling and reassembling the very notion of punk rock for the length of their storied 32-year (!) existence. Much like Fugazi or Godspeed You! Black Emperor, there is a certain not-fucking-around mystique to this Dutch quartet, making them one of the few absolutely essential (and gimmick-free) live bands left. This is still the case, despite the exit of longtime staple G.W. Sok, who left the band previous to their recording of this year's Catch My Shoe. Sok's absence is striking, and replacement frontman Arnold de Boer doesn't quite have the same allure as his predecessor, but the Ex's jerking rhythms and rigid song structure remain the same. Unlike the unfortunate restructuring of Gang of Four—who ironically released their latest LP on the very same day as Catch My Shoe—this re-booted version of the Ex still remains true to the band's revolutionary roots. EZRA ACE CARAEFF
A complete listing of this week's shows can be viewed here.