SWIM SWAM SWUM TONIC LOUNGE, 1/17

THURSDAY 1/11

SLEEP, UNIFIED THEORY, KEN KEEZY, KABLE ROCK, ROMULUS, DJ WELS

(Berbati's, 10 SW 3rd) I literally saw Seattle-based hiphop crew Old Dominion perform every weekend during high school. No matter who was performing, the emcee collective somehow weaseled their way into the opening slot, and I sadly remembered almost nothing from their shows. I only recall a fully camo-clad, bearded white guy and Sleep, a short speed-rapper that epileptically flailed his arms as he performed. In the years since my gap-stricken viewings, Sleep has transcended his opening-act days and matured into an experienced local headliner. The dark, moody flows of the wee-sized emcee are sure to entertain. NOAH SANDERS

WE QUIT, DRAGGING AN OX THROUGH WATER, CHIN UP MERIWETHER!

(Valentine's, 232 SW Ankeny) Brian Mumford is the auteur behind Dragging an Ox Through Water—an avant-noise, lo-fi, folky, buzzy excursion in electro-tinkering. Mumford, a Northwest boy who split for New York, returns to our rainy city with new material and the requisite stories of compartmentalization and subway vomit. Brian told us about his journeys: "I've written a good number of new songs since I've been here, but have only been recording really experimentally. I played a few really fun shows in NYC, and I also had the amazing opportunity to play around Denmark, Germany, France, Scotland, and England last month... I've also been getting more into building my own very primitive electrical instruments—mostly busted speakers and backward-wired transformers. I miss the living hell out of Portland. The plan all along was to live in New York for six months. I'm moving back. Time's just past up." Too bad for you New York, he's ours. ANDREW R. TONRY

NODDING TREE REMEDIES, SAUCE POLICY, THE SNIPPET BIRDS

(Ash Street Saloon, 225 SW Ash) Whether by chance or design, Salem's Nodding Tree Remedies have managed to brew up something entirely unique: free-form party rock that's as strange as it is accessible. The Trees throw everything into the mix—horns, tape loops, banjos, even white boy dancehall raps, and amazingly, it works! These juiced-up hooligans ricochet back and forth through space funk, garage rock, and dub, but eventually set down to earth as the unlikely Northwest heirs to the Happy Monday's throne. Quickly becoming infamous around these parts for their marathon live sets, the band sustains an odd kind of hive-mind synergy that's only possible with 10 people onstage and a buttload of drugs. Mark my words, Salem has a brimming music scene right now and Nodding Tree Remedies, if they play their cards right, will be the band to blow it up. JOSH BLANCHARD

BOBBY BARE JR., FERNANDO, TOM HEINL

(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) There is more energy and desperation in Bobby Bare Jr.'s music than in a hundred bands like the Blood Brothers and At the Drive-In. It's not that Bare pushes his voice to ridiculous limits by screaming—instead, he pushes it to just a millimeter before its breaking point, always retaining melody while just on the verge of breaking into a rasp or a cough or a sob. The music on his latest album, The Longest Meow, is that rare kind that feels endless and pure, like it's always been playing somewhere in the universe and somebody happened to hit record for a couple hours. Which is what happened, basically—Bare and his band recorded the album in one day, straight through. JOEL HARTSE

SOPHE LUX, BRIGHT RED PAPER, IRETSU

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) If you like gypsies, cellos, mustaches, pretty ladies, and frilly shirts, then this show might be your cup of tea. First up are Iretsu, a collective that boasts not one, but TWO glockenspiel players. Their post-rock/chamber-pop is melodic and propulsive at times, then lapses into dream states reminiscent of that time your parents were tripping in the woods and chasing each other around the birdbath. Naked. Next up are Bright Red Paper whose meandering compositions drift in and out of song structure. They bring the strings and the sad boy harmonies in equal dosage. Sophe Lux will seem more over the top than usual after this sleepy warm-up. Gwenny Haynes delivers her best Kate Bush impression over theatrical rock songs that jump and gyrate. It's wonderful to see such an elaborate presentation can be so obviously fun for a band to execute. I've seen miles of smiles at every Sophe Lux gig. NATHAN CARSON

FRIDAY 1/12

THE BUFFY SWAYZE, JPG, THE IAN FAYS

(Towne Lounge, 714 SW 20th Pl) See Music, pg. 19.

CRACK CITY ROCKERS, LOS PLACEMATS, LITTLE BEIRUT

(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) I consider myself pretty well rounded as far as my social network goes, but I do not know anyone—ANYONE—who has seen the legendary Replacements live. I do, however, hang out with a large group of people—from many walks of life—who are desperate Replacements fans. Obsessive. Dreamy eyed. Passionate. For tough, smart, bare bones American rock, you don't get much better than the often mourned 'Mats. And that goes for Uncle Tupelo (yawn), the Hold Steady (GIANT yawn), and all their ilk—no comparisons. That said, Los Placemats are looking out for you; if "looking out for you" means delivering one of the most note perfect, honest-to-god Replacements tributes around. Are there other Replacements cover bands? If there are, I'm not aware of them. And really, after a sweaty, beer-soaked Los Placemats show, not much else matters. PETER DAVIS

TALKDEMONIC, LETI ANGEL, DYKERITZ

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) I hate this fucking word but I'm going to use it: pedigree. Leti Angel has one hell of a pedigree. Charlie Salas-Humara is from Panther and Romancing, and is ex of The Planet The. Maggie Vail was in Bangs (no "the") and plays bass and sings in Romancing with Charlie. Joe Kelly was in 31Knots and now drums in Pseudosix. Together they do this basic, no-BS music that has enough prominent bass guitar to feel like dub and tight enough drums to be "dancy." Beyond that, it's all beyond comparison new-pop joy. Punk? Post-punk? New wave? I really don't care. I like Leti Angel a lot and that's good enough for me. ADAM GNADE See Music, pg. 17.

DEAD AIR FRESHENERS, CHILDHOOD FRIENDS, LA LUNGS

(The Artistery, 4315 SE Division) See Music, pg. 19.

SATURDAY 1/13

THE MISFATS, MOTORBREATH, THE HOLYSHITTERS

(Ash Street Saloon, 225 SW Ash) Some toss of weeks back I was aggressively enjoying my Kentucky 101 and several delicious wintry beers, often simultaneously; with some buds on the Eastside at some shack I'd never crawled into before. After a while I gently laid out some fresh game on a fiery-shaped English major who shared my reverence of Wolfe and Wilde. I was all ready to do the damn thing until some mongo, casting a dreadful shadow, descended over her with dull eyes that tried cutting the message into mine that I wasn't going to be the one. "The hell with it," I thought, "blood just follows blood anyway." So I told her I'd be around, turned over and started a ramble with some dude who turned out to be one of the writers for this paper. The subject eventually stirred and slurred toward a passionate (and loud) dialogue on metal. The names of choice musicians and bands began shooting out of our faces like mortar fire as if simply to lay perilous waste and decay to each other's power of opinion. Justifiably as it were, through matters almost scientific, an intellectually magnum discussion such as this will always lead to Metallica. And exactly what the infernal fuck happened to those assholes. As time falls I've cut away most of the thorns agitating my thoughts on their ironic mass decline. Everything they did after '93 and will continue to do (assuming they still thrive on sucking) will never betray the lockdown brilliance of those first five albums. American metal will further its spiraling cannibalism so long as compositions like "Disposable Heroes" and "Call of Ktulu" continue thrashing that haunted landscape. Nothing will ever, ever be created that defeats or competes with their best work. However, if you're worn out on Cliff 'Em All, or wish you could have been at the Stone in '83 stalking across acrid pools of Coors and cyclones of hair hearing "Anesthesia" played live for the first time, then Motorbreath's Metallica tribute deserves a slice off your weed money. Dying Time is right here. JUSTIN PETERSON

LUC, MARY HALVORSON & JESSICA PAVONE, GOOD FOR COWS

(Valentine's, 232 SW Ankeny) Tonight's Valentine's lineup is sweet. No, really, not even kidding: like a chocolate-covered liquor cherry, or some sort of rum nut ball. In a big heart-shaped box from Whitman's or See's. Licking-fingers-and-paper-wrappers good. What have we got? Hometown avant-folksters Luc begin the evening with Luke Wyland and friends creating beautiful melodies in the precious Portland vein that we have come to know and love with our tippy-toeses and frosty noses. Then, make room for special guests straight from the Brooklynshire, Mary Halvorson and Jessica Pavone, whose guitar and viola combo has been melting the cold hearts of the improv set for a few years now. With roots in classical performance and free jazz, Mary and Jess play intuitively, creating wonderous songs as complex as the night sky. To top off the luv fest, Good for Cows (made up of Devin Hoff and Ches Smith) bring down the house with their heart-pounding drum and bass. Tonight's show is chock-full of impressive and multi-talented instrumentalists, and the list of who these folks have played with or studied with would leave you speechless. Let me just say: This evening, the music speaks for itself. SALINA NUÑEZ

SUNDAY 1/14

THE SILVER GATE W/NICE NICE, DEAD AIR FRESHENERS, NEQUAQUAM VACCUUM, LA LUNGS, ME AND ME

(Someday Lounge, 125 NW 5th) At tonight's Silver Gate improv/jam/anything goes/fun sesh not only do we get the radical (and rad) experimental collective Dead Air Fresheners, we also get a li'l somethin' somethin' from Nice Nice. Did you see them at the Halleluwah Festival? I did, and brah it was hella good. It's sweet as sweet can be sweet to see misters Jason "Nice" Buehler and Mark "Nice" Shirazi evolve into one of PDX's best psyche/pop/electronic/groove/whatever acts. Evolution, yo, it's the key to furthering the species! GRANT MORRIS

MONDAY 1/15

MATTRESS, YOUR DRUGS MY MONEY, BIRD COSTUMES

(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) I'm not in a band, but if I was, I would HATE it if some evildoing music critic wrote a review about my work and blatantly compared it to someone else's. Hell, I'm not perfect, maybe I've done it before. Okay, I'll bet you 10 bucks and an Americano I've done it before. But not this time, no way. This time, I'm going to tell you that I really dig Mattress' latest release on Belowpdx and I am especially enamored with the track "Eldorado," whose sultry Quaalude blues and glassy dance synth totally turn me on. I'm going to tell you that harmonicas, when properly played without any hint of cliche, can add a dose of grainy originality. This happens here, alongside a few interesting twists and turns—you'll start catching the synth wave, only to be led into a slightly sweaty, uncomfortable moment—aha! Back to a few neo-pop dance breaks, and then, there you are, floating along the Mississippi in an inner tube down home. Like I said, I'm pretty into what all is going on here and I promise not to lead you astray. Mattress will be a fabulous brain break from the cerebral sounds of Los Angeles' noisemakers Your Drugs My Money, and Portland's Bird Costumes. Now, here's your Americano—let's call it even. SN

PRIZE COUNTRY, THE MAKAI, DJ NATE C

(Tube, 18 NW 3rd) Trip out on the internet. Seriously, how cool is it that you can search for anything or anyone in cyberspace, and find more than a shit-ton of information on almost anything. Tonight's searches included the Rothchilds, Balinese Gamelan, Freemasonry, and the Makai. Thanks to the wild world web, I found out that Makai is a form of anime hell in which demons straight kick it. I wonder if Nate Carson knows this as well, because from what I know, he's invited the Makai to play at Tube tonight.  He's going to be spinning a few dark world classics, and introducing the Makai and Prize Country to play a whole mess of guitar grind until our gums are bleeding and our limbs are numb. This will be an easy feat, because the Makai play some gnarly otherworldly metal (check out "Lady of the Lake" on their MySpace site) and will bring the noise in a thunder. SN

THE APPRENTICE, MOLLY D, THE AVIATION MUSEUM, NORMAN

(Ash Street Saloon, 225 SW Ash) I have to admit it—I came close to writing this one as "Donald Trump" and telling this band, the Apprentice, that they're "fired" and then making a joke about hair and being done with it. That, of course, would've been nothing but lazy, and sweet Jesus I am happy I decided to do this up proper. The Apprentice (band) is a three-piece from Ashland, Kentucky and their music is a beautiful conglom of folk-rock, '90s-style indierock (a little emo, but not much), some Gin Blossoms/Wallflowers/Ryan Adams radio pop, and a bit of good, catchy, blue-collar Americana. If this isn't on the radio by late summertime, then radio is in worse shape than I imagined. Be like me: Go to Google, search "myspace" and "the Apprentice" and start with the top song in their player, "Life Will Pass You By." It's actually pretty easy. No more laziness, Portland! Make it your New Year's Resolution, k? PD

TUESDAY 1/16

TRAVELIN SOLS, BLAME THE SEA,

CENTERLINE TRAGEDY

(Ash Street Saloon, 225 SW Ash) Dude, Seattle's Blame the Sea are playing a free show tonight and I'm stoked over the moon. (And the moon is pretty far away!) The bros in BTS do this warbly, bassy, post-rock groove that'll go super well with Ash Street's dark interior and frothy brews. Check this one out and watch their drummer get all sub-Hella, jazz-crazy, spanky-spanky on us. P.S. These homeboys can actually play their instruments. Like, guitar shreds, locked-in bass-lines. Bands actually practice these days?! Who knew! GM

WEDNESDAY 1/17

JAMES BROWN: LIVE IN MONTREUX

CONCERT FILM

(Clinton Street Theater, 2522 SE Clinton) I'm not even going to say "Hardest Working Man in Show Business." But what I will tell you is that on Christmas morning, just a few weeks ago, we lost one of the most influential and powerful American entertainers of all time. And I don't mean President Gerald Ford. Most of us are too young to have ever been able to watch James Brown do the mashed potato on live television or in concert.  But the archives have inspired and thrilled generations: Michael Jackson, Prince, Nation of Ulysses, to name a few.  This concert footage of James Brown, taken from a 1981 performance in Montreux, will be a total kick in the pants. To watch the "Godfather of Soul" run the stage and take charge of "It's a Man's Man's Man's World" or the classic "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag" (which never ever gets played out, never), you can't help but walk away with a smile on your face and a funky spring in your step. SN

SWIM SWAM SWUM, THE SHOTGUN, SHILOE, THE HERMANS

(Tonic Lounge, 3100 NE Sandy) Swim Swam Swum's indierock will not blow you away. It will remind you of much of the indierock the late '90s and early part of this century has offered. But that doesn't mean this Portland band is not good, nor even mediocre. I just need to be honest here—the band doesn't break any new ground. Still, you won't have to pay 10-plus dollars nor stand in a crowded Crystal Ballroom to experience their fun and melodic off-kilter rock sound—which is as good, if not better, as many indierock bands ask you to pay double-digit prices and crowd into doubly packed venues nowadays. While they don't shock, they offer a certain something special that makes an intimate night with their jangling, tinny tunes in a small joint, well, something special. JENNY TATONE