THURSDAY MARCH 1

PORTLAND MERCURY CD RELEASE PARTY #1 STARRING LAST OF THE JUANITAS, THE PRIDS, HEART BEATS RED, PAN TOURISMOS, DINO

(Lola's at the Crystal) How many times have you said, "Oh, how I love the Mercury's ebullient and picayune music reviews... but technology does not afford me the opportunity to hear the bands they write about!" Well, kiss your heartbreak goodbye, because the Mercury has put out a compact disc with 16 of the bands we drone on and on about; FIVE of which will be playing tonight's FREE show! Seriously, this CD is kick-fuckin'-ASS, and you can buy it tonight for super-duper cheap. Ah! But now you're asking, "Why should I pay for your CD, when the show itself is free?" Well... I need a minute to think about that one. So read a couple of more reviews, and I'll sure I'll have a logical answer to that question within the preview for our SECOND free CD release party at the Meow Meow! (See March 4 preview, next page.) WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY

SO SADLY FUCKED, TROPHY WIFE, AWESOME

(Satyricon) Isn't it just the way. As far as shows go, it's been el-dead-o around here for the last two weeks. Then comes a whopper of an evening, such as tonight. With The Thrones, Rainer Maria, and of course, The Mercury's CD release party all going on within an athletically inclined person's walking distance, other shows might be a bit sparse. All the smart kids in town are nauseous with indecision. If for some reason you don't go to the aforementioned shows tonight, Satyricon is the place to be (I never thought I'd say that). So Sadly Fucked (ironic) will dazzle you with their honest indie-pop. You'll uncross your arms, wipe that begrudging look off your face, and bounce about blissfully, nearly forgetting about the other shows that you're missing. JOE FAUSTIN KELLY

THE NEED, THRONES, MR. GENEROSITY, THE LAST EMPIRE

(Berbati's) Those of us lucky enough to have seen The Need play last week with their new bassist, Joe Preston, were somehow changed (as is expected in the presence of brilliance). The following image is burned forever on our minds: Radio and Joe spilling quick notes from their guitars like liquid silver, with Rachel pounding her signature dumpster-can drums and singing canary-warbled high notes like Snow White--dangerous, thrilling, revolutionary. Equally incredible is Preston's own Thrones, a one-man foray that snips the thread between melody and hardcore and lets it fall elegantly (and loudly) into a mind-busting crashpile. I personally will be attending the Mercury's free CD release show tonight, with some of Portland's most brilliant bands, but if you attend this gig, I understand. I just ask that all attendees bootlegging with DATs record me a copy of the show, please. JULIANNE ESCOBEDO SHEPHERD

RAINER MARIA, MIKE KINSELLA, THE DIMES

(Meow Meow) What will former Cap'n Jazzer/ American Footballer Mike Kinsella surprise us with this evening? Hopefully a Three Sisters-style, sexy-construction-worker strip show, sans the foreskin piercings. With such a barrage of talents (bass, guitar, drums, singing, and ribbon dancing), I guarantee you won't be bored. Headliners Rainer Maria put on an exceedingly professional show, and unlike most indie rockers, spike their sublime girl-vocals with actual emotion. It's hard to recommend this show considering that the Mercury CD release party occurs simultaneously, but if you rent yourself a Jacuzzi limo, you can pretend you're Puff Daddy on the commute back and forth--that's pre-trial Puffy of course. KATHRYN GRACE SHIMER


FRIDAY MARCH 2

THE COUP

(Pine Street) A quote from the smartest man and rapper in the world, Boots Riley of the Oakland-based Coup, in a recent interview with The Onion: "You know, with things like strikes or work stoppages, we talk about social change, but most of the social policy is actually based on economics. Where the power lies is in the private sector, in the sector that exploits the people and forces them to work for five dollars an hour while their companies make millions and billions of dollars. So organizing needs to be done in the community to make smaller reforms. But these reforms have to be working toward an ultimate goal, which may or may not be achieved during our lifetime, which is to destroy the system that makes these inequities and makes this problem, and this system is capitalism." Word. ...Oh yeah, and his music is just as brilliant as his rhetoric. KATIA JO DUNN

MOJAVE 3, THE SID HILLMAN QUARTET

(Berbati's) Mojave 3 make the kind of records college girls talk about at parties. Put a few drinks in them, and they'll tell you how the band has changed their lives. This means that Mojave 3 is also the sort of band opportunistic lecherous old farts like me can pretend to like if they want to pick up on unsuspecting Reedies who've snuck into the club using their fake IDs. I suggest taking a false feminist pick-up line like, "Don't you find it sexist that Neil Halstead only gives Rachel Goswell the occasional scrap of a tune, when she clearly has a better voice?" Now, if you look like me, you can be as clever as you want and never get anywhere. But if you're slightly handsome, give it a try. It's gotta be a better diversion than Mojave 3's actual music, a watered-down attempt by a British band to sound like they come from rural America. No Depression U.K., a.k.a. Wilco Churchill. JAMIE S. RICH

PEDRO THE LION, STARFLYER 59, URBAN LEGENDS

(Meow Meow) What Starflyer 59 excels at is creating texture. Over the past eight-odd years, Jason Martin has been taking in various guitar-oriented influences from My Bloody Valentine to the Smashing Pumpkins, processing them through his own suburban SoCal sensibilities, and turning out a series of nicely crafted, not-really-pop albums that have, for some inexplicable reason, gone mostly overlooked. With a new record soon out on Tooth and Nail, Martin and his band are back on the road. Don't miss them this time around. BARBARA KAY MITCHELL

NICHOLAS DYLAN

(Coffee Time) Ladies and Gentlemen, squelch your screams: Nicholas Dylan is not the guy from 90210. He's actually a youthful singer-songwriter who falls somewhere between Ani DiFranco, Mountain Goats, and Franklin Bruno, but with about 15 years' less insight. Live, his spoken word and shaky delivery betrays his newness, but he seems to have the drive that will make him great someday--lo-fi and indiepop kids will probably dig his basement aesthetic. And his music is much, much better than when Brian Austin Green's 90210 character did that shitty keyboard soul act (god, remember those baggy silk shirts he used to wear? ewww). After it's over, you can stay late at one of the annoyingly few Portland institutions that's open 24 hours. JES


SATURDAY MARCH 3

ROLLERBALL, VI FOOT SLOTH, ART OF FLYING

(Ethos) Recently, Miss Julianne and I were in a bit of a head-butting competition regarding the quality of VI Foot Sloth these days. While Julianne found them to be [insert opinion; I believe you said "boring"], I thought otherwise. They have left behind the Black Heart Procession comparisons for a particularly exciting, dark glam rock route. With the addition of Larry Yes on guitar and a refreshingly solid new drummer, I see smoke machines and success in their future. Rollerball will continue to impress those who dare to concentrate when watching a band. Though they're not anything that you'll be jammin' out at your spring break beach party, they do put on a good show. JFK

GIRLS SAY YES CD RELEASE, CRACK CITY ROCKERS, GIANT BUG VILLAGE, DJ CRUCIAL ANDY

(Medicine Hat) Remember when college radio was filled with the simple, bookish pop music of REM and The Replacements? Tonight is the night to remind yourself of why you liked that straightforward music so much. Girls Say Yes is the project of Jim Huie. He's apparently been working on this album for half a decade, recording at studios around the country and getting help from a veritable cornucopia of superstars (including but not limited to Mitch Easter and members of The Swirlies, True West, Suicide Commandos, and Blue West). Guided by Voices cover band Giant Bug Village, including the Mercury's own John Chandler, are quite possibly more enjoyable than the group to whom they're paying tribute these days. As someone said recently, "Giant Bug Village plays all the good songs that Robert Pollard won't play anymore." So go drop some science. JES

ENEMYMINE, BONFIRE MADIGAN, CAPTAIN VS. CREW

(Meow Meow) Yay! This is a show where you expect different things from each act, so you don't have to get all bored on a night of eight space rock bands or whatever. Enemymine is one drummer, two bassists, three pairs of white jeans and t-shirts, and around 60,000 watts (that's about 42 feet) of unfiltered, amplified, intricate hardcore. And they RULE... if you're ever going to feel a surge of adrenaline at a show, it's likely it will occur during Enemymine. Bonfire Madigan is, of course, my personal hero and muse. Formerly of Tattletale, Ms. Madigan Shive sings soulful (yet sometimes guttural) lullabies while lighting your heart aflame with her cello. Hopefully she will put out a new album soon, because I've already gone through two copies of her last one, 1999's Saddle the Bridge. JES


SUNDAY MARCH 4

PORTLAND MERCURY CD RELEASE PARTY #2 STARRING MADE FOR TV MOVIE, 31 KNOTS, THE INTIMA, THE OPERACYCLE, STEVE KRAMP

(Meow Meow, 7 pm) [Better read the preview for our first CD release party on March 1, or this won't make any sense.] Ah, HA! I've got it! The reason you should see this fantastic FREE show and buy a CD is because of the Nazi Robot Monkeys that sit on your face while you sleep and suck out all your memories. As we all know, Hitler devised a race of Nazi Robot Monkeys to steal the memories and crush the will of our fighting forces. And while Hitler may currently be getting a massage in Argentina, his robotic monkey minions are still doing his dirty work. Therefore, you don't want to wake up the morning after this awesome show with a nose that smells like monkey ass, and not remember a goddamn thing. Better buy the CD. And besides (as previously stated) it's CHEAP!! WSH

GIRLS VS. BOYS, ACTIONSLACKS, THE OWNERS

(Pine Street) This is a kick-ass double bill. New York City's Girls Against Boys rule the low end of the alternative rock spectrum, pounding out devilishly groovy, bass-heavy tunes with gleeful abandon. The Bay Area's Actionslacks take a headier but no less rocking approach. Their brand new album, The Scene's out of Sight (Self-Starter Foundation), is smart, sensitive, and sassy (think late-period Jawbreaker). While both bands are responsible for some great records, they tend to up the ante onstage--and since neither have been touring much, you don't want to miss this opportunity. BKM

BENEFIT FOR SCHOOL IN NORTH IRELAND RAVAGED BY FIRE

(Kells) Hey Kells... wanna help the less fortunate? Look down the freakin' street. JES


MONDAY MARCH 5

SPOON, THE GOOD LIFE, JOHN VANDERSLICE

(Meow Meow) Spoon's 1998 CD, A Series of Sneaks, made my short list of the best rock albums of the '90s. Taut, melodic and triumphant, Sneaks is the epitome of what good independent rock should be. Irony of ironies, it was released by a major label who dropped the band less than half a year after the record came out. Fortunately, time has provided Spoon with a new label and a brilliant new album, Girls Can Tell. Whether it is the classic that its predecessor was remains to be seen, but Girls is a fantastic and melancholy release that trades Sneaks' beer-bottle-in-the-air vibe for a more glass-of-scotch-on-top-of-a-bar mood. Last time they were in town, before the whole post-Sneaks debacle, Spoon played with a sincerity and honesty that only truly great rock bands seem to have. MURRAY JOSEPH CIZON

JEFF TWEEDY, SCOTT MCCAUGHEY

(Aladdin) If you don't recognize his name, you're certainly aware of his influence. Jeff Tweedy's been leading the alt-country revolution for over a decade now--first with Uncle Tupelo and more recently with Wilco. There's a charming down-to-earthiness and genuine sense of likability to Tweedy--not to mention a catalog of some truly outstanding material. BKM


TUESDAY MARCH 6

Ten years ago, Vanilla Ice's To the Extreme was No. 1 on the Billboard Charts. The Simpsons' The Simpsons Sing the Blues was No. 8. Does anyone sense an injustice here?


WEDNESDAY MARCH 7

MICROTONIC: STEVE LOBDELL, SUSHIMATT, DAVEBOT

(Berbati's Pan) Although Portland's newest techno import DJ Slip (from New York) is currently touring Germany, playing the platters that matter to the Krauts, his Microtonic series lives on. This sporadic Wednesday night at Berbati's has all the necessary elements of a big city night-out: poetry slam, followed by weird/arty live music, and capped off with DJ's playing sublime rump-shakers. Steve Lobdell fills the weird/arty void by using homemade electronics, a drum machine, a drummer, feedback loops, and his own six-string virtuosity to rattle your fillings. SushiMatt and Davebot then step to the wheels of steel, giving the speakers at the Pan a bass workout. Expect to clutter your table with empty glasses while being enveloped in the sound of two DJ's continually trying to find a record that's deeper, quirkier, and less what you expected than the previous. ELLIOTT JEFFREY ADAMS

KRISTIN HERSH

(Borders downtown, 7 pm) You'll recognize Throwing Muses founder and wonderful solo artist Kristin Hersh by her crackly voice that sounds like suede rubbed against the grain, and her sharp-eyed lyrics that reflect the various personal tragedies she's faced throughout her career. Why is she performing at corporate Borders, and for free? Who knows, and who the hell cares. Just go--she'd be amazing on the street corner with a kazoo and gum in her hair. JES


GOING TO SEATTLE?

Thurs 3/1: Mojave 3 (Crocodile);

Fri 3/2: Rainer Maria (Paradox); Enemymine (Sit & Spin); Kinski, Mars Accelerator (Monkey Pub)

Sat 3/3: Lydia Lunch, The Need, Inga Muscio (I-Spy); Dilated Peoples

Mon 3/5: Girls Vs. Boys, Actionslacks (Crocodile)

Tues 3/6: Roni Size Reprazent (Showbox)

For more info, visit www.thestranger.com