THURSDAY 6/15

RICK BAIN & THE GENIUS POSITION, THE HIGH VIOLETS, ALL THE WAY DOWN

(Ohm) This is your last chance to see Rick Bain and the Genius Position before their US tour with the Dandy Warhols. When they return, their psychedelic pop may well have converted thousands, and you won't have the chance to say, "I liked them before everyone else did." While you're there, bliss out to the High Violets as they wrap you in a velvety curtain of fuzz and melody that, along with a bottle of Robitussin, will take you away to the elusive realm of '80s British psych. JON WILLETT


STEREO CRUSH, BARBARELLA, BICYCLE

(Paradigm) These local boys are high-minded enough to care about America's careless imperialism, and savvy enough to rock out while doing so. They're working on their third full-length album, while planning a frontal assault on the Portland music scene. The first order of business: pick a fight with Camaro Hair. Stereo Crush are primed for battle, with new super glue (in the form of drummer Daniel Vallejos) holding the rock machine together. And this ain't your brother's three drunk punk chords kind of rock either. Stereo Crush uses the latest in nuclear fission technology and outboard radar to synthesize their heady data bank of sounds. Singer/guitarist Johnny Crash and keyboard master Eric Stanfill martial the eclipsing zoings and bleeks (in non-new wave fashion, mind you). Bass player Matt Zimmerman keeps the matter solid with his angular, deep neck bass attack. Crash makes all the boys jealous with his lustrous vocal pipes, which float above the mix on cardinal's wings. You don't even have to understand the lyrics to know he's singing about topics deeper than chicks and muscle cars. Stereo Crush: because we all need higher fiber in our musical diet. TED THIEMAN



FRIDAY 6/16



ADEN, THE SOFTIES, TRUE LOVE ALWAYS, GALACTIC HEROES

(MeowMeow) Aden nearly ruined last summer for me. The D.C.-based threesome played such a thoughtful, subtle show (May '99, 17 Nautical Miles) with so much understated beauty that I couldn't listen to any other band for three whole months. I put songs from their Teen Beat-released Black Cow LP on every mix tape I made, until my friend J.G. made me give it back (meanie!). It's just that singer/guitarist Jeff Gramm's voice is so meltingly kind, and their melodies are marinated in such a perfect amount of simplicity, everything else sounded like a thrash remake of Meet Me in St. Louis. I've been waiting for a whole year to give them a piece of my mind. Only, what will probably end up happening is the next two months of the Mercury will read like this: "Dear Diary: Can't sleep. Aden pervades my dreams. Will I ever enjoy another band again?" etc. (see CD review p 21) JULIANNE SHEPHERD



PINEHURST KIDS, SIXTEEN DELUXE, ORANGER, WOLF COLONEL

(EJ's 10th Anniversary Weekend) It's a good thing Sixteen Deluxe left The Brothers Warner to return to the realm of independents. Their label-commissioned record, Emits Showers of Sparks, was excruciatingly boring, and Carrie Clark's vocals were so pedestrian and impersonal she teetered on the edge of pop wasteland. But the Texans persevered, and just released their third full-length, Vision Take Me...Never Forsake Me (Sugar Fix). While not exactly interesting, they're a solid band who'll probably make it to Teen Movie soundtrack rotation (they've already secured a spot on an upcoming Circle Jerks tribute album). Oranger is along for the bullride, recently picked up by San Francisco's Mtheory Records (Slackjaw, Alien Crime Syndicate, new employer of Suplex's Eric Howarth). I'll put my money on Wolf Colonel to deliver the show-saving performance, as they've got to be one of the wittiest bands in our humble village. Who else could open for Dick Dale with a straight face? CHANTELLE HYLTON


CALIFONE, ROLLERBALL, 31 KNOTS, PARAMORE

(Satyricon) 31 Knots, with their smart, angular approach to guitar work, is one of the most interesting, energetic bands in Portland. They have a fascinating Moore/Ranaldo respect for cacophony as their guitars fit together and grate; if you look closely, you can see the smooth edges where they've locked together. Their experimentation with alternate "harmonies" reflects a profound understanding of chaos; also, if you just want to rock out, they're pretty good for that, too. Rollerball, another local act who meander in that same realm, present a collage of sound that rides that precarious line between art and music. Master, prepare me; I am ready for the show fantastic. (see Music, p 21) JS


THE VANDALS, BIGWIG

(Paradigm) In AD 406, the Germanic Vandals crossed the Rhine and invaded the Holy Roman Empire. By 428 they had looted and pillaged Gaul and Spain, and begun to infiltrate North Africa. The tribes quickly gained control of the region, and continued their bloody rampage until 455, when they reached the gates of Rome itself. They sacked the weak city, and ran amuck until 533, when Justinian destroyed their forces and reclaimed Rome. Gelimer, the last king of the Vandals, is said to have murmured as he grovelled at Justinian's feet, "Vanity of vanities, all is vanity." The Vandals have come a long way since their days as ruthless barbarians. They tour the US in a van and put out punk rock records. They have been quoted thusly, "America stands for freedom/ But if you think you're free/ Try walking into a deli/ and urinating on the cheese/ Anarchy burger/ Hold the government!" JUAN-CARLOS RODRIGUEZ



SATURDAY 6/17



PINEHURST KIDS, WEDNESDAYS,RECLINERLAND

(MeowMeow) Reclinerland is a very real place. It's most romantic when explored alone. It is one, big, beautiful moment, absolutely removed from this ridiculous era of Pink Martini Lexus commercials and pop star clones. I visit Reclinerland on off-days to remind myself the world is not entirely poisoned. Mike Johnson (Reclinerland himself) created his first solo album at Portland's now-extinct Oak Street Arts Center, painting a complete, emotional landscape with shy, urgent, idealistic strokes of singer/songwriter genius. His generous, unassuming vocals and rich acoustic compositions are seasoned with classical string arrangements and sweet, nostalgic melodies. Perhaps his audience at the cozy MeowMeow will again be inclined to drape themselves across the stage as they did at his last show in Portland (an emotionally-charged Hush Records reunion). As always, he'll leave us, this time to tour in support of a new record and return to The Big City. Yet parting is sweeter sorrow when we know there's more to come. CH


THE FLAPJACKS, WHITE STRIPES,THE PILLS, PRIME EVILS

(EJ's) The White Stripes' vocalist, Jack White, possesses a frightening, maniacal wail that can incite riots; it can also fall to a dim stuttering moan. His guitar stalks his voice with stripped-down, blues-filtered riffs that sound like they come out at night to walk the streets of the Motor City. Meg White provides a slow and heavy backdrop of crashing drums that create the barest framework for her brother's desperate proclamations. Their songs speak of being alone and staring out at the hostile world with nothing but rock for protection...and, well, in one song, a screwdriver. Together with the other bands on this bill, protection from the punk & roll onslaught might not be a bad idea. JW



FLOPHOUSE PALACE, ROBERT RUDE, BURNOUT

(Tonic Lounge) Some nights you want to go out to a club and find the future of all recorded music. You seek to find that one sound made by the one guy who has a quarter-inch plug surgically implanted in his head, so he can jack in and release the music that will free us all. And then some nights you wanna drink yer beer and you wanna hear yer rock. And there's nothing wrong with that. Robert Rude has been workin' at it a long time, keeping the torch of Rock n' Pop alight. There is a classic rock ghost or two in the closet, but at least they are tasteful ghosts. Flophouse Palace, from the lovely city of McMinnville, prefer less of the classic, and more of the indie rock. IAN SMITH


FESTIVAL DE PIRATAS!

(Snake & Weasel) If this were a perfect world, people would really appreciate pirates more. After all, what's not to love about hooks, parrots, and, especially, the much under-appreciated eye patch? Finally, someone agreed with me about this and decided to do something about it. Captain Bogg & Salty celebrate their new CD, Bedtime Stories for Pirates ("Songs & Stories for Buccaneers of All Ages"--couldn't you just die!?) with Fire Juggling Keelhaul-Kileen, The Selkies, Botielus & Cybele, Pirate Jenny Trio, and MC Union Jack (I'd bet my entire stash of doubloons there's no relation to the strip bar of the same name, by the way). Argh! JS



SUNDAY 6/18



CONGRESS FOR URBAN SURREALISM

(Viscount Ballroom) To all the fly honeys out there, it's time to slow down this groove for a little word on the serious tip. The Rarified Institute for Growing Gigantic Anomalies (R.I.G.G.A., the people responsible for the artistic rescuing of the Lovejoy Ramp Columns), are concerned with the presence of art in urban renewal. In response to the Congress for the New Urbanism (who gather to address the planning and legislation of sprawl), R.I.G.G.A. and other community artist-activists formed the Congress for Urban Surrealism (C.U.S). The goal of the C.U.S. is to "ensure that our cities nurture their artists, outsiders, oddballs, village idiots, and other persons of colorfulness," and, essentially, ensure our community is creative and active in city planning. Joining them in their efforts this evening are Topiary Kings, the sharp and illustrious Miss Murgatroid, Papillion, Dr. Malbon and Diogenes, Ghost Ship Auction, LARUE, and more. Now don yourself in some scrap metal and rhinestones and show them your support. You don't want to live in a visually homogenous Portland, do you? JS


FATHER'S DAY FETISH NITE

(Berbati's) All right, you may not know that your dad watches the hardcore, but I know. Do you want to know how? Because I watch with him. Yep, me and your dad, lying in bed at the Marriot, rolling around wildly on a plastic sheet covered in chocolate sauce, your dad begging for the strap-on. I'm sorry you had to hear about it in this exceedingly public manner, but it being Father's Day, I thought you were entitled to the truth. So now that you know, it's time to put the despicable visions behind you and explore those suppressed desires of your own. It is time, my friend, to ask yourself the question "Who is my daddy?" And what better place to find out than Berbati's Father's Day Fetish Nite. Explore the world of dildo harnesses, fur-verts, and medieval torture and hell, don't feel guilty 'cause it's Father's Day. KATIE SHIMER


NEW WET KOJAK, DISTORTION FELIX, THE OWNERS

(Satyricon) "New Wet Kojak"--fitting name. Their muffled teetering of a sound is just that: a squishy, wet-textured squashing of dark bass and soft samples. And if Kojak was a verb that meant "smoky, jazzy, and dirgy," they'd be just that, too. Distortion Felix also has an effects-heavy, sexy sound--like being under a really plush, grey fur tent. This is the show to take a date if you have dishonorable intentions. JS


BOB DYLAN, PHIL LESH, STRING CHEESE INCIDENT

(The Gorge) Chugga-chugga chugga-chugga...choo-choo! The post-Garcia gravy train rolls on. But why is Bob Dylan on board? JASON PAGANO





MONDAY 6/19



CASIOTONE FOR THE PAINFULLY ALONE, SPIKE & PRINCESS, BLACK SCIENCE, ROY TINSEL

(Robot Steakhouse) Toy instruments are so underrated. For a mere two bucks at the thrift store (and sometimes less), anybody can buy a bizarrely marketed kid's piano or guitarette that makes laser-inspired, treble sounds. And some people are still spending eighty bucks on DanElectro pedals! Mwahahaha!!! Um, the thing is, toy instruments force their users to be more creative so they don't sound like toddlers messing around with chopsticks and a damned Fisher Price Xylophone (which, admittedly, does have a sort of nice ding to it--wait; why haven't I tried that yet?). Minimalism is key. Enter San Francisco's Casiotone for the Painfully Alone, and rejoice that there are people out there who know you don't need a guitar to be a great modern musician. Spike & Princess, another Bay Area band, pull their keyboards towards the side of sentimentality. Break it down. JS


LITTLE SUE, LYNN CONOVER

(McMenamins White Eagle) It was a cold, cold night in January when I ambled into the White Eagle. Needless to say, Little Sue and Lynn Conover warmed me up right quick in a hurry. Their ready smiles and unrehearsed stage banter pull you in and suddenly you're just an old friend stopping by to visit. Whether they're rolling out salty, dog-eared originals or a sublime version of "I'll Be Your Mirror," these ladies wear years of hard earned stage time on their worn flannel sleeves. This is simply what they were put here to do: knock you back with sweet and sorrowful harmonies, transfix you with a down home moan and make you feel not so alone for the yearning and burning that flutters beneath their simpatico voices. They're pretty much here every Monday and for me the night with the lowest expectations always turns up the nicest surprises. TT




TUESDAY 6/20



SIX FOOT SLOTH, LARRY YES, GRAVITY AND HENRY

(EJ's) This is pretty glamorous for a Tuesday. Plus, it's free! JS




WEDNESDAY 6/21



OF MONTREAL, THE MINDERS, MARSHMALLOW COAST, GALACTIC HEROES

(Satyricon) Holy Shite and Sweet Mother Mary. Did someone say "POP PARADISE?"(See Music p 21) JS