TOO SHORT, STEADY THE BOSS, DJ CHILL
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Three decades later and 19 full-length albums, Too $hort is still dropping rhymes about all of his favorite things... and if you don't know what those things are, stop reading now. Even if 45-year-old Todd Shaw never shook his pimpin' ways, he's still managed to maintain the respect of rappers past and present (Tupac, the Notorious B.I.G., Jay-Z). Plus he was $tylizing his name with dollar signs long before Ke$ha and Gene $immon$. Too $hort has his 20th album coming out later this month called No Trespassing that includes song titles like "Playa fo Life" and "Respect the Pimpin'." Yes, Too $hort is a legend. And tonight's show is definitely one to see. Let's just hope he leans heavily on songs from Life Is... Too $hort and Short Dog's in the House, which are all you need. MARK LORE
SMALL SOULS, BARRY BRUSSEAU
(The Waypost, 3120 N Williams) Brian Rozendal, who's performed around town with his namesake band, and Bryan Daste, of Scotland Barr and the Slow Drags, have joined forces to form Small Souls, and tonight their debut EP, You Can Feel the Devil's Heart, celebrates its release. It's a gentle, acoustic, pedal-steel-laden affair for the most part, but as its title indicates, there's a certain storminess underneath these placid surfaces. Opener "What It Means" refrains from using any drums until its final seconds, when the song bursts apart; meanwhile, closing track "Lines Are Breaking" moves at a relatively loping gait until its rhythm section disappears entirely, the song's lyrics asking, "Will you come back for me?" Small Souls are already well on their way to being masterfully dramatic within the limited spaces of their unassuming songs.
DRUNKEN PRAYER, THE UKELADIES,
Secret Society, 116 NE Russell) Portland has become quite the sucker for Americana, whether it's the rowdy rabblerousing kind or the lonesome waltzing kind (both of which, incidentally, happen to be the binge-drinking kind). Cresting along this local wave of simple-thinking, whiskey-drinking troubadours is Morgan Christopher Geer—the man behind Drunken Prayer and also Warren Zevon's medium, showing him the world from the great beyond. However, while Drunken Prayer's self-titled debut erred more on the side of traditional alt-country, the new Into the Missionfield sets our honest human woes to a deeper, bluesier strut. From the simple ballad "Brazil" to the sly smile of the album's title track—where Geer sings, "Smile, you're entering the missionfield"—there is more than enough here to set Drunken Prayer apart from the masses. RAQUEL NASSER
MOTLEY CRUDE, THE LORDY LORDS, THRONES, IRON LORDS, BITCH SCHOOL
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) Watching live footage of MÖtley CrÜe at the zenith of their career can be an asphyxiating experience (right up there with accidentally locking yourself in a Honey Bucket and being buried alive). On the other hand, a band smothering its audience with that much excess is an exotic concept to people like me, who weren't around when hair metal was all the rage. So cheers to wicked cover bands like Motley Crude then, for attempting to set the record straight—and man, do they do a fine job of emulating their idols, for better or worse (a lot of the time, the impersonators are even more enthusiastic than the real thing). On with the show! MORGAN TROPER