WHITE RAINBOW, ETERNAL TAPESTRY, GHOSTING
(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) Superstition, I deny thee! Rotture sports a location many natives have considered to be "cursed" due to the sheer number of clubs that have tried and failed residing there (B Complex, Meow Meow, Mercury Room, etc.). The svelte décor and focused intimacy of this upstairs bar seems to be paying off this time around, as Rotture is hands down the best place to see local music anymore. With Ghosting in the house, however, the venue hardly matters as the their swelling, microtonal auras tend to transform any environment into a soft chamber of prismatic sound. JOSH BLANCHARD
SOUTHERLY, CHRIS TSEFALAS,
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Where artists branded as "folk" usually draw from broader cultural traditions, Southerly's Krist Krueger draws his influences from personal landscapes of life and loss. The pointed emotions of 2004's Best Dressed and Expressionless for example, serve as a musical therapy session where Krueger's remorse over loved ones who have passed on is stinging and tangible. Immaculately captured with ultra vivid production tricks, the songs found here, and on Southerly's other discs, manage to be both introspective and highly accessible. Who knew that you could make bitter pills go down so smoothly! JB
OLD TIME RELIJUN, EVOLUTIONARY JASS BAND, THE WATERY GRAVES
(The Artistery, 4315 SE Division) Much has already been said in the Mercury about these three great artists, but this triple threat of a bill demands some serious respect, damnit! The Watery Graves are essentially the Marriage Records house band—an instrumental trio that rides the line between old-time saloon music, meditative soundtrack musings, and hipster jazz. The Evolutionary Jass Band somehow manages to get better every time I catch them, as the now solidified five-piece lineup breathes and moves like a bebop gestalt. Old Time Relijun's Arrington de Dionysio deserves heaps of accolades for keeping his backwoods art-punk vehicle up and running for a good decade now. Good music, good people! JB
CASEY NEILL & THE NORWAY RATS, HERMAN JOLLY, ROGUE MOTEL
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Irish music is tied to the drink like no other. It roots down your spine and pushes you toward the bar. Golden ales splash over glasses, down throats, onto shirts, and warm the cold floor. Dance in it. Smell it. See it shine. Peer at the stage through glazed eyes and things become a bit brighter. Suddenly those sentimental stories have happened to you. Indeed, booze helps makes Irish music work. So maybe if you cut Casey Neill open he'll bleed Guinness, as the Brooklyn transplant certainly observes that Celtic musical heritage. And while there are hints of more American folk and punk in Neill's glass, make no mistake, 'tis some floor-stomping, bleeding-heart, Shane MacGowan-esque, traditional pub shit. ANDREW R. TONRY
HOLY MODAL ROUNDERS, FREAK MOUNTAIN RAMBLERS
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) If you turn to pg. 18 you'll see an interview I did with Peter Stampfel of the weirdo '60s folk act the Holy Modal Rounders. I said some nice things about him and his band and, if given more space, I'd probably say a lot more. That being said, Portland's Freak Mountain Ramblers are some of the worst, cutesy-est shit ever. For the love of all things decent and true, please make sure to show up late and miss Freak Mountain's set. Holy Modal will be a lot more fun. Just say "no" to groovin', aging hippies trying their hand at "humorous country music." I guess it's a fine line, then—that border between aging hippies making great weird music and aging hippies making terrible, wannabe weird music. Chances are you might hate both groups. Still, I'll leave you with a few words I overheard in a bar when a Freak Mountain Ramblers song came on the radio: "Bro, what is this music? I want to crash a plane into it." Tasteless, maybe, but I definitely share the sentiment. ADAM GNADE See Music, pg. 18.
THE TURN ONS, THE PINK SNOWFLAKES, GO FEVER, NOIR CITY
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) There's no denying that Portland has become a real hotbed of psychedelia in the last couple of years. There isn't a cookie cutter archetype for all these budding new artists but most can be divided into two distinct sub groups. "Trippers" and "Rockers." The Pink Snowflakes are rockers through and through. While their tripper brethren are content to sit cross legged and weave precious cocoons of sound, Pink Snowflakes would much rather plug in and punch a hole in the universe than become one with it. And when the band is at their best, with searing guitars swirling in and out of reality's reach, you almost believe they could do it. JB
SCHOOL OF ROCK W/THE SABBATEURS PERFORMING BLACK SABBATH
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) From 1971's "Children of the Grave" to 1976's "Back Street Kids," Ozzy and Co. knew that the youth were the best audience for their leaden riffs and bleak statements on society. Who could have guessed how important those messages and sounds would be in 2007? Good to know that here in Portland, there's Paul Green's School of Rock, which impresses the values of classic R&R on another generation of kids. Following the success of their Pink Floyd The Wall shows (performed entirely by young musicians ages 9 thru 17), this Saturday will prove what Armageddon and power chords the children of today can unleash. Proceeds of the show go right back into the school to offer tuition breaks to aspiring rocker kids with financial difficulties. Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi lost two fingertips in a mill accident in Birmingham before the band could get off the ground. Let's help these kids not have to risk the same fate. NATHAN CARSON
BAUMAN, FICKEN & SPARKS, ADAM GNADE & THE CONFEDERATE YANKEES, HELLO DAMASCUS
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See Music, pg. 18.
CHILDREN OF THE REVOLUTION FESTIVAL W/GHOST TO FALCO, ARGUMENTIX, SHOW ME THE PINK, SIBERIA, ME CON, TBA (DRUGS OR BLACK ELK), SHAKY HANDS, YELLOW SWANS, MUSTAPHAMOND, SCOUT NIBLETT, OLD HAUNTS, WET CONFETTI, RABBITS, THE BETTER TO SEE YOU WITH, DANAVA, 31KNOTS, FLESHTONE
(AudioCinema, 226 SE Madison) This is definitely one of those, "if you go to one show this year, let it be this one" events. And I say this as somebody whose band is playing the same night. Fuck yes to 31Knots headlining. Fuck yes to pop bands like Shaky Hands up against crazy avant-punk like the Better to See You With and smart noise like Yellow Swans. Fuck yes to Rabbits. Fuck yes to SCOUT NIBLETT. Fuck yes to these Children and their Revolution, 'cause it's your revolution too. Tonight the Southeast boils over with hot wonderfulness. AG See the Scene Report, pg. 25.
FRIENDS OF ROCK 'N' ROLL
(Red & Black Café, 2138 SE Division) 2006 was many things to many people. It was the year of the Avatar, the year of online video, the year that B. Spears gave the heave-ho to both K-Fed and underwear, the year the Godfather of Soul passed away. But 2007 will stand resolutely as the year the Friends of Rock 'n' Roll broke through with their sunny, easy-going Kinks-ish grab bag of pop, country, and rock nuggets. The local trio has everything going for it: a creaky orange van, arty concert flyers, a '70s vibe that is reflected in their long, lanky hair and vintage corduroys, simple songs about chasing girls, and a sidesplitting profile on MySpace that deftly parodies the very notion of a band biography. To be sure, these dudes are strip mining the past for creative inspiration and stylistic cues, but they're still savvy enough to reinvent themselves as self-contained rock stars in the process (at least, on their website). Nothing new there, I admit, not in this town. That said, though, these handsome and mysterious fellas have made real moves in the last year to separate themselves from the proverbial pack, recording an eponymous five-song EP in LA, touring stateside as far east as NYC and performing around town, whenever afforded the opportunity, at hot spots like Dunes, the Tiger Bar, and, now, tonight's venue, the Red & Black Café. If you haven't yet witnessed the sweaty, high energy FORR spectacle in the flesh, come out to tonight's show and befriend the band for yourself. TRAVIS GREENWOOD
IMPLIED VIOLENCE, THE TRULY ME CLUB
(Someday Lounge, 125 NW 5th) A small, intensely bonded collective of attractive and/or intelligent young artists presently stationed in Seattle, Implied Violence make internal-logic-driven pieces with a rigorous work ethic and squinty-eyed attention to detail. They make use of a variety of mediums and disciplines with careful (click, click) abandon-biomechanical movement, modern dance, refracted text, oblique sound design, jokes, and harrowing dark vibes all bustle and clutter in the clockwork of their inventions. They present here, for one night only, their latest piece, The Air Is Peopled with Cruel and Fearsome Birds, in a rapidly restaged version made specially for this Someday Lounge engagement. It is about a sad woman, a city full of cartoon animals, and the most tender and corrosive zones of human relationships. SAM MICKENS
INCUBUS, ALBERT HAMMOND JR.
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) From Wikipedia.org with Mercury comments in all caps: "UGLY Albert Hammond, Jr. is a QUOTE UNQUOTE musician and member (HAHA, "MEMBER" IS RIGHT!) of the rock band the UGLY BUT RICH Strokes. He plays lead and rhythm guitar (LIKE THE HIGH SCHOOL BAND CAMP NERD THAT HE IS!). The son of songwriter Albert Hammond (PROBABLY A NERD TOO), Albert Jr. was sent to the NERDY elite boarding school (FOR NERDS) Institut Le Rosey in THE ÜBER NERDY COUNTRY OF Switzerland at the age of 13. While there, he met UGLY Julian Casablancas, who would go on to be a fellow band member. In 1998, Hammond met up with Casablancas in New York City and together they formed the Strokes with Casablancas's former schoolmates NERDY Nick Valensi, UGLY Nikolai Fraiture, and UGLY AND NERDY Fabrizio Moretti. Hammond is currently engaged to Catherine Pierce (RUN AWAY, CATH! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!), one half of the folk singing group the Pierces. His trademark is wearing NERDY formal UGLY three-piece suits, and has been said to be the most NERDY, UGLY, AND influential "MEMBER" of the band's style. His solos tend to focus largely on more emotional, 'bluesy' (COUGHSOULLESSWHITEHONKYCOUGH)-type melodical (NOT A WORD) work, and the guitar tends to have a cleaner, softer (GAYER) tone in comparison to Valensi's. He often holds his NERDY guitar in a NERDY-LOOKING high horizontal position, similar to THE KING OF ALL NERDS Buddy Holly, which he says is so that he can dance better. P.S. HE'S WRONG." As far as Incubus goes, as says my friends the African Americans, we ain't gonna go there! GRANT MORRIS
ETHAN ROSE, STRATEGY, ELUVIUM
(Towne Lounge, 714 SW 20th Pl) Paul Dickow (AKA Strategy) makes the rest of us look like a bunch of layabouts. Not content with being one of the kings of Northwest techno, the longtime Portland scene-weaver is a highly regarded DJ, runs the Community Library record label, and plays regularly with Nudge. Further proof of Dickow's diverse reach can be found in his upcoming Kranky Records album Future Rock, a fine electronic séance that manages to simultaneously channel the spirits of Arthur Russell and Iannis Xenakis. Unfortunately, you'll have to wait until the spring to get the disc in your grubby little hands, so come out tonight for an increasingly rare live opportunity to see Strategy large and in charge. JB
TEAMAWESOME, OH DARLING
(Mississippi Pizza, 3552 N Mississippi) We children of the '90s are bent, it seems, on reifying that decade as quickly as possible: recreating its music, commodifying its slang. Boulder, Colorado's TeamAwesome (not even close to being the only TeamAwesome, by the way) is guilty of swiping the '90s' most popular adjective, but their music is pure, sloppy, fun '00s bedroom pop. "I'm just saying we probably have some pretty good fort-building skills between you and I," from "Fort," is not an atypical lyric. Cue the gang vocals, cutesy, almost juvenile melodies, and lonely Rhodes pianos, and you've pretty much got the awesomest team ever. JOEL HARTSE
(Rose Garden, One Center Court) First off, I am not gay (okay?!) and second off, I do not look a thing like that troll of a man Barry Manilow. And I especially don't look like that sea hag shot of his face on that billboard by the freeway. (You know that one, right? FugLY!) Clay Aiken is his own man and Clay Aiken doesn't take kindly to being compared to that two-bit bitch Manilow. I mean, come on, work with me people! Now please go out and buy my brand-new Christmas CD, Now We Don Our Gay Apparel: The Best of Clay Aiken's Holiday Classics. Thanks a bundle! Kisses! CLAY AIKEN
DUCHESSES, WEEKEND WARRIOR, MATTRESS, DJ NATE C
(Tube, 18 NW 3rd) Duchesses is San Diego greaseball death noise. Which is to say, my favorite shit ever. It grinds and spits and is full of all kinds of shouty, crashing, creative ideas. Weekend Warrior comes from Portland and is pure melody and pretty experimentation, a total polar opposite to Duchesses' rangy smashers, which makes for some solid variety (which makes for some solid good times.) Mattress, you may know already. Primo robo-pop that's catchier than pretty much anything in town. All around righteous lineup. Don't miss this one. AG
MY MORNING JACKET, ELVIS PERKINS
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) I know you're tired of folk and all the raw acoustics and weepy emotions that come with it. I know. It's old hat, a dead horse, so very tired and passé by now. What with the ridiculous overplay of freak folk, nü folk, and coffee-shop folk, too many untalented folks spoiled the lot, killed the appeal. But does it matter what category it falls in when it's really, really good? Not really. Elvis Perkins' music could be called folk. But it's more important to just call it good—no, great. While dozens of other folk musicians bore us with lazy, slow strums and lousy, empty singing, Perkins is powered by real emotion, genuine thought, and outstanding musicianship. And accompanied by intricate jazz guitar that recalls Django Reinhardt and other '40s era jazz guitarists, Perkins' songs are so wonderfully original and moving, you'll want to catch them live before they rise out of reach. JENNY TATONE See Music, pg. 19.
(Aladdin, 3017 SE Milkwaukie) See Music, pg. 19.