THURSDAY 8/10

PONTICELLO, LOWCRAFT, NOUMENA, MARTYRS AND POETS

(Berbati's Pan) With every band there is potential, something they do well that could be capitalized on and made into something better. Unless you are really talented and versatile like Ween or, I don't know, someone else, you should just stick to what works. Like for example remember when my friends Metallica turned into slicked hair wanna-be-alternative-cheese-balls, when they were good at what? Metal. Ponticello is good at their lingering, mello sex music. Like song one on their album Dark Skies rocks, not in a rock way, but in a swooning, placated, simple way. That is what they're good at--not stinking country for christ sake. Kill Country. I think there might be a reason that song one is number one, and that reason is that someone made a wise decision and put the good shit first. If not for that, smarty Ponticello might have been just another nuisance in the CD stack. I say, approach this show with curiosity and caution, for Ponticello has the power to dazzle us or annoy. KATIE SHIMER

KALEID, ELECTRIC LIVING

(Ohm) On the Xanadu theme song, Olivia Newton-John's vocals seem to be recorded with an off-kilter blend of flange and echo, solidifying the impression that she's a shiny, sparkly glint of neon--or maybe it's just all the roller skating. At any rate, despite having an ill-chosen band name (pronounce it "cah-lide," like "kaleidoscope," only shortened--oy, I get the imagery, already) Kaleid's guitars sound almost like Olivia Newton-John's voice; polished, tip-toed atmosphere. With a contemplative, delicate sense of exhaustion, they've the good sense to keep it all understated. If Kaleid can pull it off live as well as they do on their CD, they just might end up being Portland's new favorite band. Electric Living (soon to be celebrating their new single--donate money!) write these really good pop songs with keyboards and strings that are always startlingly unpredictable. Seriously--it's pop, but they have all these elements that you wouldn't expect a band to strand together in the same song. JULIANNE SHEPHERD

POOLSIDE, WELCOME, THE UNSOUNDS

(Meow Meow) Poolside (nèe Sidecar) are a tightly packaged, playful, rock fizz. Seattle's Welcome is the kind of music that would have come from Chapel Hill in 1996; a tad of straight-up indie boy rock with a great drummer. (See My, What a Busy Week page 13) JS

BRITNEY SPEARS

(Rose Garden Arena) If someone had told me a couple of years back that one of America's Major Exports would be a pedophile's version of squeaky-clean Debbie Gibson, dressed in shiny PVC tops and schoolgirl underwear, I'd have laughed in their face. Loudly, and with a certain elan which would have been a joy to hear (doubtless). I mean, hell...I kinda enjoy surfin' the Internet for salacious pictures of Ms. Spears in various states of undress, but I have an excuse. I'm English and a sad lecherous retard. What's yours? EVERETT TRUE

THE DANDY WARHOLS, RICK BAIN & THE GENIUS POSITION, TELEVISION EYE, MY REGRETS, CAMERON & HIS HULA HOOP

(Roseland) Everyone says Dandy Warhols are massive in Europe. It's true. We think they're decadent, see. No one's ever dropped acid over here. Or snorted coke. Or sucker-punched a soap-dodging crusty on the sidewalk for that last hit of smack from a blood and semen-soaked tourniquet. We gave you Benny Hill. You gave us Dandys Superintendent Courtney Taylor. Sometimes life is just too cruel. ET


FRIDAY 8/11

MERCURY DATE WAR

(Cobalt Lounge) Did you know that the editor of this fine rag, Wm. Steven Humphrey, has a third nipple? Yep--you think you know a guy in print, and then you meet him and he's completely different! Come to get a date (see ad p 22), or come to yell, "Show us your tits!" KATIA DUNN

BOYCRAZY, KIRBY GRIPS, CHANTIGS, CHRISTINE DARLING

(Tonic) This night of music makes me think there is an alternate universe where everything is funny and food always tastes good and kittens never get run over by cars. I guess it's the sugary Lisa Loeb voice of Christine Darling, and her exuded notion that boys and love and bike riding are far more important than bills and career paths and cleaning up dog shit in the yard. Wouldn't it be nice if life was like movies and you could just jump on planes and stop fights with face-smashing kisses and sex was always awesome? Well, it ain't. Instead of getting depressed about it, however, we dream of the day when we win the lottery or our XT 4000 prototype (sorry, I can't have you stealing my ideas) is finally embraced by the masses and we spend the rest of our lives sunning ourselves on our private beaches in Greece. Cheers to that day and cheers to this music that lets us believe it might be possible. KS

WU TANG CLAN, METHOD MAN, MORE

(Roseland) Republican Vice Presidential Nominee Dick Cheney isn't the only Old Dirty Bastard making the headlines this summer. The original Old Dirty Bastard, the New York rapper, founded the Wu-Tang Clan with Genius way back in '93, but you better hide the rice wine, because they're on tour again. Don't miss out on the tag-team raps, the Wu Wear clothing line, and the nutty, Jin-Dynasty-meets-Staten-Island lyrics. As they say, "the Wu is the Way, the Tang is the Slang, the Clan is the Fam." NATHAN THORNBURGH

SATELLITE HEROES, DRIVE, CRAVING THEO

(Meow Meow) Yeah, you know the Satellite Heroes: you've seen their stickers on bus stops and bathroom walls all over town. Their new album, .com, seems to be yet another devious tactic in their want for world domination...or, at the very least, a notice by some greasy A&R guy during NXNW. Which is a valiant effort and all, only, um, musically? The world already has one more No Doubt than we know what to do with. The last thing we need is another Gwen Stefani clone tae bo-ing her way to the top of the trash heap via Betty Boop warbles and saccharine pseudo-feminism; especially one from Portland. JS

CARRIE AKRE, SEAN CROGHAN, SAM DENSMORE

(Medicine Hat) For those pining for the days when singer/songwriters could actually sing and songwrite, check out the vocal wizardry of Ms. Carrie Akre, formerly of Hammerbox and Goodness. (To learn more on the subject of Carrie Akre, consult the Library of Congress, or this week's CD reviews, page 15.) WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY

KITTY DIGGINS' STRANGE FRUIT OF SUMMER

(Berbati's Pan) There are some people out there who think they can front on the performance circuit...they get all dolled up in their blue eyeshadow and afro wigs and '70s negligees and ad lib for a half hour and think people are going to be entertained. Those poseurs should take their cues from this show tonight. It's the real deal, scripted, rehearsed, and perfected professionally for your decadent consumption. Included is The Tony Mangini Show. Not just a fabulous performance complete with storyline, they're fantastic musicians as well, a guitar-organ-drum-bass group offset by three beautiful back-up dancers and the visionary Tony Mangini, himself. Hopefully he'll do his Showgirls lap dance, but if not, there are still plenty of hypnotic dancers to go around. JS


SATURDAY 8/12

ORGAN GRINDER BALLET CABARET WITH BUDDY PANTS, TEEN SLEUTH, MATTHEW HATTIE HEIN, DJ E-ROCK, PETE FICHT, MORE!

(Medicine Hat) Three of my favorite things (Organ Grinders, Ballet, and Cabaret) pair up with three of my favorite words (Matthew, Hattie, and Hein) and a group of other Portland musicians to jostle a multi-talented, multi-instrumental extravaganza that has the potential to make the Rockettes look like soused, bruised chorus girls. (If there's not actually any interpretive dance, I'll volunteer my services, free of charge.) JS

CLUMSY LOVERS, HIGHER GROUND

(Mount Tabor Theater) Technically, a bluegrass band that covers AC/DC and the Violent Femmes cannot be hippies. More ironic than a frat band and much, much more skilled than a drumming circle, the Clumsy Lovers have spent the summer playing almost non-stop throughout West Coast, medium-sized clubs. The combustion engine for each of the Clumsy Lovers' songs is a hot-blooded fiddle that fuels their sets with the yee-haw and knee-slapping spunk of a square dance. Angus Young never sounded so happy. PHIL BUSSE

D'ANGELO WITH DILATED PEOPLES AND COOL DJ MELLO C

(Schnitzer) Oooh, D'Angelo. Smooth, smooth D'Angelo. God, when was the last time the Schnitzer got this steamy? During the production of Fosse? I think not. (See My What a Busy Week page 13) JS


SUNDAY 8/13

CEE KNOWLEDGE AND THE COSMIC FUNK ARKESTRA, FLESH FEST III

(Berbati's) Aside from the fact that Cee Knowledge and the Arkestra's yet-unreleased album is another venture into the astral realm where jazz and hip-hop make babies, this will be a very interesting show. It's Flesh Fest! Cee and Cosmic Funk are playing their cerebral massage music amid sweaty, scantily-clad body-mongers. How fantastic is it that intellectualism will be paired with exhibitionism? The two aren't necessarily separate, you know...Now go read some Camille Paglia and shimmy shimmy shake it. JS

EARTH, WIND & FIRE

(Portland Meadows) If you're anything like me, you LOVE the sweet, sticky sound of '70s soul. And while the occasional reunion band rolls into town now and again, the result is usually a decimated shell of the group's former glory. Not so with one of the greatest groups of that decade, Earth, Wind & Fire. These grampys have a great stage show (with hotsy-totsy dancers), lead singer Philip Bailey's voice (which soars as high as ever), and a virtual tsunami of hits (September, Shining Star, Boogie Wonderland). EW&F still have more than enough power to make anyone--young or old--shake the dust off their sweet and juicy. Like it? You'll love it. WSH

POISON, DOKKEN, CINDERELLA, SLAUGHTER

(Gorge) In junior high, my friend Ashley taught me how to smoke cigarettes and pick fights. When teachers asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up, she said she wanted to be a backup dancer for Poison. You can imagine the kind of girl whose only life aspiration was to be one of the peroxide hussies who shook their leather-clad tits against pyrotechnics in the videos. After I got busted for drinking, smoking clove cigarettes, and sneaking out of the house one too many times, I was eventually forced to abandon Ashley as my friend. She, in turn, ended up getting pregnant and abandoning her dreams of being a Poison back-up singer, much like the majority of the free world will hopefully abandon their ironic affinities for butt rock. JS

PULSE PROGRAMMING, MOME RATHS, KNOCKOUT DROPS, STRATEGY

(Medicine Hat) Recently, the undaunted combination of traditional rock instruments (guitar, bass, drum kit) with new, electronic instruments (sequencers, drum machines, effects processors) has been more prevalent around this town. Whether you like it or not (I do), this is the way things are going--I mean, did you know local music stores are beginning to sell only digital mixers? (That part, I don't like...but there's always the pawn shop.) Both Chicago's Pulse Programming and Portland's Mome Raths (who I'm not going to stop writing about until you go see them, goddammit...oh sure, you say you love them, but where were you at their last three shows?) create amniotic atmosphere with a whirlpool of hyper-colored sound. JS


MONDAY 8/14

AVAIL, LEATHERFACE, DILLINGER FOUR

(Meow Meow) Often I miss my punk rock days. I loved old school punk--banging around to songs that were so seductively quick and dirty, never washing my dready green hair, eating Wonder Bread and 40-ouncers for breakfast. Avail brings me back to those days, not completely, but mostly: fast songs, crunchy music, and dirt, dirt, dirt. Whether you're a current punk rocker, or a former, Avail will do the same for you. KD

THE PRIDES, MORTAL CLAY, TRY AND STEP ON HER

(Satyricon) You know what? This is new band night at Satyricon. Wanna know something else? Even though I go out five, sometimes six nights a week, I have never seen any of these three bands. I know they've had other shows, I recognize their names, but I don't know what any of them sound like. They might all suck, and they might be amazing, but I can't tell you either way. That's why I'm going to go to this show tonight, and why you should, too; because today's new band is tomorrow's future. Get off your couch, quit reminiscing about the days of Crackerbash and Heatmiser for two seconds, and Take a Chance! (Sing to tune of "I Hope I Get It" from A Chorus Line.) JS


TUESDAY 8/15

RELAPSE RECORDS CONTAMINATION TOUR WITH CEPHALIC CARNAGE, EXHUMED, ENGORGED, BENUMB

(Satyricon) The best thing about deathcore bands is their use of language; they always have song titles like "Conspiracy to Destroy," or "Hypocrisy of Bureaucracy," or "Death of Many, Retribution of Few," that imply a higher message within their music. I made those up, but here are a couple real ones by socially conscious Bay Area outfit Benumb: "Epileptic," "Ascend from Persecution," and my favorite, "Synopsis of Ignorance within the Society at Large." The problem is, with many of these bands, you can never really understand what they're saying, since the lyrics are belched in the toady, guttural fashion so popular among today's youth. But after the show is over, the Ibanez seven-strings are unplugged, and the last vocal chord is blown out, maybe someone, somewhere, will have learned a little something new about the oppressive society in which we live. JS


WEDNESDAY 8/16

WOLF COLONEL, MICROPHONES, MIRAH

(EJs) Wolf Colonel play arena rock in the tiniest venues and singer Jason Anderson does the best Huey Lewis impression I've ever seen (complete with rolled-up shirtsleeves). Mirah is adorable, in that oh-so-precious, well-educated K Records way. The Microphones are effing great, though. The baby of master producer Phil Elvrum, they, too, have a sort of Olympia "the water is totally drinkable--and we do" sound. Only it's just a little better than average: Phil's voice is clearer, slipperier, more plush; the guitar arrangements are augmented unexpectedly by the blinky slurps of tape loops. It's kind of soft and nurturing, like soggy crackers and cola after a bath. JS


GOING TO SEATTLE?

THURS 8/10: Bob Log III (Crocodile); Doodlebug & the Cosmic Funk Arkestra (Bohemian); Wu-Tang Clan (Moore Theatre)

FRI 8/11: Earth, Wind, & Fire (Pier 62/63); Thee Heathen, Lower 48 (Rainbow); Britney Spears (Gorge)

SAT 8/12: Gruntruck (Graceland); Three Day Stubble, Very Special Forces, Kato Hideki (Rainbow)

SUN 8/13: Beware of Clevo, The Planet The, Bottledog (Graceland); Pierre Dorge & the New Jungle Orchestra (Tractor Tavern)

WED 8/16: Gipsy Kings (Pier 62/63); Nanci Griffith (Woodland Park Zoo)