THURSDAY 2/15

THE GOURDS, KUNG PAO CHICKENS

(Roseland) This is sure to be a grand ole night of hollerin' and old-time instrumentation (accordions, ukes, steel gee-tar, cowbells, etc.) to please your inner Faulkner. Yes indeed, The Gourds make the term "shitkicker" come to life--each tune kicks the shit out of its blues and presents them raw and vividly alive for you, the spectator. Think of the tragic writings of Frank Stanford and Breece D'J Pancake: If those guys never committed suicide they'd be up there on stage kickin' it with Jimmy Smith and Kev "big daddy" Russell of these Texas renegades, getting their therapy the damn straight way. The Kung Pao Chickens are some local countrified hooligans led by Pete Krebs and are as sharp as a Ginsu knife. KEVIN SAMPSELL

THE VISIT, GARMONBOZIA, THE FASCINATION

(Tonic Lounge) The second impression I get from Garmonbozia (the first being the shameless Twin Peaks reference) is their acute appreciation for '70s rock. Appreciation may be a weak word, though. It seems more likely that these rockers are a byproduct of a time travel device, secretly perfected in 1974 and used to transport them to present day. And with the exception of the diehard member that can't seem to shake off the white-man's afro and the mustache, the rest of these early 20-somethings have settled into current attire. Though the songs seem influenced by "this new progressive rock" sound they have selflessly brought to us from 30 years ago, they lack the technical orchestration of the genre, settling for multiple patient and ambient sections of songs. They flow nicely though, leaving you with a pleasant '70s aftertaste. Much like a can of Tab. JOE FAUSTIN KELLY


FRIDAY 2/16

ROLLERROCK PARTY STARRING CULOTTES, SLOW, BUTTER

(Disjecta) [IMITATION OF CYNICAL YOUTH:] "Oh, look at me! I'm an overeducated hipster. I'm so bored and blasé about everything in this oppressive post-modern world... What? What's that, you say? Roller-skating? With extremely cool and fun Portland neo-punk rock bands? Fuck YEAH I'll go roller-skating! Oh, thank you! Thank you! I have a new lease on life!" [VOICE-OVER:] Well, there you have it, folks. Roller-skating, especially to live bands, has been known to change lives. Bring your own skates, and in keeping with the tradition of our youths, please, for the love of god, leave your creepy rollerblades (and accompanying spandex panty-shorts) at home. JULIANNE SHEPHERD

THE HIGH VIOLETS, VOYAGER ONE, TRICK SENSEI

(Ash Street) Voyager One have crafted a sound that reinterprets the loveliness of the Stone Roses and filters it through the kind of sexy haze the Verve used to try for. Since meeting up in Seattle three years ago, they've released two albums. The most recent, From the New Nation of Long Shadows (Loveless Records), is slow, haunting mood music that will likely get you thinking about your last bittersweet relationship. Voyager One's live show is renowned for its visual backdrop, provided by Projectorhead; cool things to look at complement their mesmerizing music nicely. SUSAN BEAL

BINARY STARRING DAN BELL, JOHN TEJADA, KIT CLAYTON AND SUE COSTABILE, JOHN

BELTRAN AND SOL SET, TEST:, RICHARD BOYCE, J BOOGIE, MORE

(Smith Ballroom, PSU) Sick of uninspired beats and lazy sampling? Then check out Binary, which includes three rooms of music and a cavalcade of innovative, creative DJs and musicians from all around the world. Dan Bell joins us from Berlin's Club Tresor and, having worked with Plastikman (as Cybersonik) and the Chemical Brothers, he's a main attraction. But there're tons more reasons to come. The smart, minimal, and artful sounds of Kit Clayton and Sue Costabile, for instance. Or the hip hop and d'n'b of Dubtronic master J Boogie. Not to mention live music and atmosphere from CNSE (from Portland's own Outward Music Company). And if you're one of those ADD kids, if you stick around for test:, you'll see some visuals, too: sixteen slide projectors, video, and a laptop! JS

CLUMSY LOVERS CD RELEASE, SUGAR BEATS

(Mt. Tabor) Too often the violin is a dainty instrument, with flights of fancy lightly decorating musical scores. Even as a fiddle, it is usually a side note, a silver-tonsilled caller, barking out jigs and choreographed square dance steps. But, joining a growing number of Celtic-punk bands, Clumsy Lovers has dropped the fiddle into the center of their shows as the combustion engine for high-spirited moshing. PHIL BUSSE

STEW OF THE NEGRO PROBLEM, CAMARO HAIR, SATELLITE HEROES, BETTY ALREADY

(Satyricon) Stew of "The Negro Problem," (a band about whom we would have completely forgotten if it wasn't for their questionably controversial name) is currently reaping the benefits of shock value and above-average music with his solo jaunt. Comparisons range from Brian Wilson to Nick Drake to early Elvis Costello (I say Randy Newman on Sesame Street). Tom Sinclair of Entertainment Weekly calls his new solo album, Guest Host, the number one album of the year, further reminding us how vastly insignificant the pop music machine is. Charming, perhaps, but a great album it is not. Openers The Satellite Heroes' album is titled .com. If you can't see what's wrong with that, I encourage you and the rest of your elderly friends to have a great time at this show. JFK


SATURDAY 2/17

THE COSMOS GROUP, TOPIARY KINGS, BEDS, KIRBY STREET ORCHESTRA

(Medicine Hat) My boy Johnny of the Cosmos Group is one hell of a drummer. I'm not sure if this rings true for most onlookers of said Cosmos Group, but I like to watch him most. The rollicking, tongue-in-cheek jazziness that could only come from three (excuse the phrase) indie rockers is sure to confuse anyone familiar with the fellows' past and present projects (Elephant Factory, Last of the Juanitas, the Kung Fu's). The result definitely comes off as more than just "noodling around." You'll be entertained AND be able to tell your parents that you went to an improv jazz show! JFK

THE HAGGARD, TAMI HART, SLOW

(Meow Meow) In our times, many deeply annoying, whiny old white guys have both asserted and sustained a very stable place in the music market. So when a lady-run, lesbo-riffic label like Mr. Lady Records comes out with such fantastic artists as The Butchies, Le Tigre, and The Moves, it's like scoring 50 points in an air hockey death match against Rupert Murdoch. Tonight showcases two of that label's best artists: toughass Portlanders The Haggard (See Music pg 15) and devastatingly talented gem Tami Hart. Ms. Hart is not just any old guitar-wielding chanteuse. Her voice is sludgy like warm honey, with thick wisdom more characteristic of an ancient, sea-swept demigoddess than the 19-year-old punk rock wunderkind that she actually is. Also playing is Portland's own Slow. They're a cutie-pie, acoustic guitar-drum duo whose dissonance is equal to their catchiness. And the drummer raps! JS

OHM'S TWO-YEAR ANNIVERSARY STARRING CIRCLE OF FIRE, DAHLIA, RAVI

(Ohm) Ohm: The most sanitized club in town, home of afterhours DJ nights, fun hip hop, stylish bands, and anorexic chicks making suspiciously frequent trips to the bathroom. For two years now, Ohm has provided a hangout for a mixed crowd, from Portland's art-yuppie "hipster" 20-somethings to scrappy rave kids who can barely afford the cover charge. Dahlia and Ravi, Ohm's regular Tuesday night acts, are fitting performers to help celebrate. The incredible Dahlia will tantalize you with deeply exotic beats and sophisticated, sultry vocals. And though Ravi sometimes totes an unfortunate didgeridoo player, you won't feel Australian or too much like a hippie--he's highly danceable, although his mixes are somewhat typical. JS


SUNDAY 2/18

SCRATCH & DICE RAW, SLUM VILLAGE, SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT

(Roseland) You'd be forgiven for thinking that Dice Raw, the MC, would be the real draw for this evening. The reason for excitement, however, is Scratch, representing for the art of the human beat box (the long-neglected fifth element of hip hop). Many Roots fans' first impressions of Scratch suffer from comparisons to Rahzel ("The Godfather of Noize"). But Scratch's 15-minute solo turn at the last Roots' appearance was the synapse-twitching highlight, a bravura tour de force of mind-creasing vocal percussion techniques. Rahzel maybe needs to head back to the woodshed, or perhaps a favorite video game, and come up with the often-invoked but highly elusive "next level." Maybe Rahzel and Scratch could go head-to-head, or better yet, hook up with Kenny Muhammad "The Human Orchestra" and form a Zakir Hussain- styled "Masters of Human Percussion" tour. STEPHEN STRAUSBAUGH

GHIDRA, ROLLERBALL, DANG HEAD

(It's a Beautiful Pizza) Seattle's Ghidra includes NW free scene figureheads Wally Shoup and Bill Horist, whose collaborator list reads like 15 years' worth of Knitting Factory acts. Don't be afraid of the free jazz, kids--while you may want to hang yourself before seeing yet another Portland, jazz-leaning (yet ambient!) improv group, when it's done well, it's mind-blowing. And once you see the BITCHIN' bass grooves, free-flowing sax and piano, and the creepy/amazing exorcism that is the vocals of Shane DeLeon, you will understand why Portland's own Rollerball is coming up on Top Ten lists all across America's underground music zine landscape. JS See Music pg 15

THE DONNAS, BRATMOBILE, TUULI

(Pine Street) I'm happy to report that on the just-released The Donnas Turn 21, the Donnas have not gone and gotten all smartypants with age. The band still makes the kind of KISS and AC/DC-influenced rock that cries out for drunken mayhem and steamy back seat makeout sessions. KATHLEEN WILSON


TUESDAY 2/20

The water in your pregnant head wants to burst. Tonight, instead of consuming, you must release by creating art of your own.

WEDNESDAY 2/21

THERAPY?, ZEN GUERILLA, BLACK HALOS

(Satyricon) No, you're not rapidly going insane... those Irish-accented voices you're constantly hearing are real. Andrew Cairns and his quizzical band of mates, Therapy?, are in the Northwest to record an album at Seattle's illustrious Bob Lang Studio with the equally illustrious Jack Endino. And they've graciously agreed to give us a sneak preview of what that forthcoming album will offer. Expect plenty of pummeling rock tempered with the kind of winking humor cute Irish boys are known for. KATHLEEN WILSON

WOW AND FLUTTER CD RELEASE PARTY, NORFOLK & WESTERN, PAN TOURISMOS

(Lola's at the Crystal) You know what I like about Wow and Flutter? They actually deliver. So often, I go to shows and end up watching a bunch of self-righteous morons jerk off on their instruments--which may be fun for them, but makes me want to puke. With W & F, the only complaint one might have is that they try too hard, which in an age of too-cool-for-school indie rockers, isn't really a complaint at all. Their unique brand of crescendo-y, slightly-somber-soul-purging is every bit worth your five spot, and wait... you get the delicate intricacies of the Pan Tourismos too. I think the sun and moon may be lining up in such a way that a selfless harmony has overtaken the earth. KATIE SHIMER

ADR/MGRN SUPERSTARS

(Disjecta, at the Charm Bracelet) Like some of the best parts of microcinema collective The Charm Bracelet, this act incorporates both film and music. But this ain't just any old film and music. This is Ian Lynam (mastermind behind Mumbleboy Flash Animation), Eric Mast (mastermind behind so many excellent electronic-based projects, not to mention cool art, intelligent zines, and friendly customer service), and Eric's brother, Evan Mast (Wait--he has a brother?!). ADR/MGRN Superstars are electronically scoring Lynam's new Flash project, which is purportedly ambient this time (as opposed to his charming Japanese-influenced tube sock men and animated plaid). Mast's projects are always worth experiencing, and now that we know he's got someone out there with similar musical genes, there's no telling what will occur. JS

THIN LIZZY

(Pine Street) Somehow Thin Lizzy has made a four-decade career out of mirrored sunglasses and insidious lyrics. When I heard that they were coming to town, an image from Dazed & Confused popped immediately into my head. In it, an older lecherous swinger is leaning against his muscle car and watching a group of nubile teenagers. He turns to his friend and, nodding with a perverse sense of self-satisfaction, says, "I keep getting older, but the girls stay the same age." Not dead yet (well, one or two of them are), the boys are back in town! PHIL BUSSE

EMERGENCY, IT'S RUBELLA, IS THIS OK?, TITLE LUST

(Robot Steakhouse) It's "Funny Band Name" night at the Steakhouse, featuring Title Lust (Funny), It's Rubella (Funny!), Is This OK? (Very Funny!) and Emergency (which isn't so funny, but since they are the #1 must-see band in Portland right now, we'll cut them some latitude on this one point). It's Rubella features melodic acoustic punk with a discordant edge (and quite possibly a clarinet). Emergency rarely plays out with the exception of house parties and Reed shows, but always brings down the house, and has really cool t-shirts. Is This OK? stars the Mercury's own Julianne Shepherd, who plays deceptively quiet discordia--and I say deceptively because in the office she stomps around like a goddam pack of rhinos. Seriously, sometimes you wanna just shake and shake and shake her and scream, "Shut the fuck UP!" But trust me, tonight you'll wanna listen to every word. WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY


GOING TO SEATTLE?

Thurs 2/15: Moc Moc, Solto, Colin Spring (Breakroom); Onionz, Joeski (Last Supper Club)

Fri 2/16: Slum Village (I-Spy); Kinski, The Cripples, Welcome (Crocodile); Hovercraft, Bloodhag (EMP)

Sat 2/17: The Donnas, Bratmobile, Tuuli (Graceland); Alien Crime Syndicate, Pinehurst Kids (Sit & Spin); IQU, DJ Masa, C.O.C.O. (Baltic Room); Dead Moon, (Breakroom)

Tues 2/20: Therapy? (Graceland)

Wed 2/21: Tracy & the Plastics (Graceland)

For more info, visit www.thestranger.com