THU 03-15


(Cornelius Pass Roadhouse) If you put a slingshot to my cranium and demanded to know who, in my lowly opinion, is the best songwriter in Portland, I'd have to give the nod to Willy Vlautin. There are certainly more gifted popsmiths to choose from, but if we're talking campfire/storytelling tradition, then it ain't even close. When you enter "Willyworld," you find yourself rubbing elbows with all kinds of drunks, drug-whiffing dumbbells and assorted human wreckage that are painted in vivid (usually blood-red) colors. Willy and his balls-out crew have not been idle lately, either. They have a new studio album due out soon called Somewhere Near, as well as a furious, self-produced live album entitled Whiskey, Painkillers and Speed. JOHN CHANDLER


(Satyricon) When I was at The Rocket, I could count on Brian Applegate (he who is Reload) dropping by every few weeks or so, with exciting news bulletins from the rock 'n' roll front. Besides turning out Reload music at a generous pace, Brian also produced a fine Gary Numan tribute record, contributed to a Kraftwerk tribute comp, occasionally schmoozed with members of Devo and still found the time to drive a "meat wagon" (he picked up stiffs to transport back to the morgue--eeewww!). Not sure what all this has to do with anything, but Brian is a vastly entertaining human being and his live shows are usually the same. Maybe if you ask him real nice, he'll bust out the late '60s "Sex Education" movie he showed at the Pinehurst Kids record release gig last year. It's a hoot! JC See CD Review pg 19


(Meow Meow) Upon hearing a vanity project like C.O.C.O., the rumor that K Records is experiencing financial trouble becomes less surprising. Though an undying army of underage K fans might describe C.O.C.O. as "fun," this band only leads me to wonder, "Who ARE these people, and why does Calvin Johnson owe them a favor?" But if a lackluster drums and bass combo, packed full of deflated, monotone, "da da dum" vocals is your niche, then, by all means, dance your ass off. C-Average, on the other hand, obviously has put a great deal of thought into their drums and bass combo. With their super-tight, high-speed Sabbath-y sound, the quality ratio of this show is likely to end up on the good side. JOE FAUSTIN KELLY


(Music Millennium) It's been a while since San Diego's Rocket From the Crypt's recorded material has measured up to the invigorating bombast of the band's live performances. RFTC's latest album, Group Sounds, is no exception to this trend, boasting mediocre supercharged rock that's heavy on the guitars as well as the attitude, but as far as shining moments go, there are none to be had. That's not what's important today however, as RFTC always puts on a raucous, testosterone-driven show that makes bands like Murder City Devils and (dare I say it?) At The Drive-In look tame by comparison. KATHLEEN WILSON

FRI 03-16


(Roseland) In the bygone age of X hats and "It's a Black Thing" T-shirts that forced whites like me into intricate analyses of whiteness, the Jungle Brothers were of the Native Tongues camp (see also Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, Black Sheep) that offered an alternative. They were explicitly Afrocentric, but in the form of songs like "Acknowledge Your Own History," as opposed to, say, Public Enemy's claim that whites had a "Fear of a Black Planet." In 2001, no rap makes me analyze my whiteness in any real way, and the palatability of the Jungle Brothers crossed the line into sheer fluff with last year's release, V.I.P. The album is dancy and cheery, more fit for 95.5's radio playlist than as a centerpiece of social dialogue. But this is the moralizing force of my own nostalgia; the truth is that they can put on a fantastic show, which is the greatest of all the hip hop virtues. They might not pack a wallop for your mind, but through all their stages they have become masters of their craft. BRIAN GOEDDE


(First Unitarian Church) His FBI file describes John Trudell as "extremely eloquent," and, as we all know, the Feds don't lie. The Santee Sioux activist was chairman of the American Indian Movement in the '70s, when heated reservation politics led to shootouts with the FBI. During that time his wife and children were killed in what was officially labeled an "accidental" fire. His latest release, Blue Indians, was named best album in last year's Native American Music Awards, and Trudell was named Best Artist. Trudell's compelling voice takes center stage, but his band Bad Dog holds its own with a sound that mixes all-nite café urban with sagebrush style. HELEN SILVIS


(PS What? 1968 SW 5th Ave) Awesome sounds like they invented the genre of indiepop--and, in a way, they did, considering the band has two or three original members of the New Bad Things. Not any of that weakass indiepop, either--theirs is the kind of welcoming guitar music that is so imperfect, it is perfect, with harmonies (sometimes off-key), open chords (sometimes garbled), a ringing dance party of drums and tambourines. They cover "When You Sleep" by My Bloody Valentine, for god's sake, and they whistle the main guitar part in the chorus. That is just so cool. JULIANNE SHEPHERD


(Robot Steakhouse; for directions) I know. We've been talking about The Intima a lot lately. But fucking christ, have you seen them? Their intense guitars, violin, drums--they make your heart drop and stomach flutter at the sound of them. It's the most beautiful, punk fucking rock experience--I am rendered speechless every time they play. The eloquent Steve Kramp finally debuts his new full band tonight, and Try and Step on Her continue on their path to distort the rock. There's a full zine display, as well, and proceeds go towards an excellent cause. You should go! Everyone is welcome, and it will be well worth your time. JS


(Pine Street) Local guitar man Sean Croghan releases his new CD, a very mainstream-accessible album with a full band including members of the Minders and No. 2. It's also the debut release of new Portland label In Music We Trust. While I do not know him personally, from afar Sean Croghan seems like a very nice man, so I will give the following criticism as constructively as possible: the songs on the album sound a little like they would be at home between Lisa Loeb and The Posies on the Reality Bites soundtrack. But, while Reality Bites was a horrible movie, it starred Janeane Garofalo, and she is one of the baddest-assest ladies around. Also, that soundtrack resurrected one of the only good post-Joshua Tree U2 songs, "All I Want is You." The moral of this story: there's something good in everything. JS


(Red & Black Café) Dear Nora is filled with pretty harmonies, sweet sentiment, and no-nonsense pop. When they received their latest release on Magic Marker, We'll Have a Time, it was mistakenly labeled by the distribution company as We'll Have Fun. Funny, yet strangely appropriate; tons of fun is what you can expect from Dear Nora. If you come to dance (which you had better do), make sure there are no holes in your socks, because their '60s get-down is sure to make you kick off your shoes in glee. JS

SAT 03-17


(Satyricon) Cover bands are good things. If more bands would just become cover bands, instead of just ripping off the bass line of, say The Pixies' "Where is My Mind," there would be far less drivel for us to trudge through to find the gems. Live Wire is one such cover band, paying tribute to those slutty, androgynous butt rockers, Mötley Crüe. They're totally honest in their worship of the Crüe (aren't we all?), instead of all that passive-aggressive, faux worship shit. You can revel in such ethereal hits as "Talk Dirty to Me," "Shout at the Devil," and "I Won't Forget You," so spray wings into your hair and rip holes in the ass of your jeans in homage. It's going to be one crazy evening. JS


(Medicine Hat) See Music Section


(Roseland) Wes Borland (the talented member of Limp Bizkit) has a Ween fetish. This shouldn't come as much of a surprise to anyone. Borland is, after all, the guy in Peter Gabriel "Shock the Monkey" make-up who can play "Break Stuff" with maybe a hint of irony. Unfortunately he's such a fan of Dean and Gene that Big Dumb Face comes across as more of a tribute group anything else. Call it "Side Project Syndrome," but one hopes that Borland will learn to not just ape his idols and influences, but be inspired by their example and create something unique instead (you can call that the "Oasis Syndrome"). Until then, Big Dumb Face will be little more than an excuse to get away from Fred Durst for a while. But then, that's as good of a reason as any to exist, wouldn't you say? MC

MON 03-19


(Satyricon) From Lawrence, Kansas comes Jumbo's Killcrane (not to be confused with the better Lawrence band, Kill Creek), a group that won't blow you away with originality, but is sure to fix your Monday night heavy rock jones. Possessed by the devil's looming guitar, Jumbo's Killcrane can be placed in the Shellac-influenced, slightly complex post-rock fad that is sweeping the nation and this town alike. Thank Slint, but mother of god, at least it ain't more of that innocuous Sunny Day shit. JS

TUES 03-20


(Meow Meow) Cursive performs with a stupefying immediacy. The band has a pummeling rhythm section and violent guitar melodies, all of which are played out with fierce, mathematical precision. As vocalist Tim Kasher's face goes the blood-red of suffering, one feels unable to separate from the apparent depth of his investment. It seems masochistic to write, record, and then perform the intimate, life-changing revelations contained in their latest release, last year's Cursive's Domestica. JEFF DeROCHE


(Pine Street) Buzz. Whir. Zip. Crackle. These are the sounds of Pansonic: custom-made synthesizers and laptops churning out desolate tapestries of ear candy. This Finnish duo's intention is to blur the distinctions that separate the gap between musicality and noise; with abstract rhythms that float between minimal syncopation and chaos, in an attempt to satiate the needs of both the head and feet. They earned their stripes collaborating on multimedia installations all over the Western world, and will be bringing their techno know-how to our fair city in support of their new album, Aaltopiiri. Playing alongside OMCO's Nudge, this is a rare chance to bear witness to an evening of innovative electronics. ELLIOTT ADAMS

WED 03-21


(It's a Beautiful Pizza) The zine is Amplitude Equals One Over Frequency Squared, and in a way it's like The Tentacle, only more artful and less frequently published. The series is a special showcasing of music, hopefully monthly. The bands are Minmae (purveyors of crackling, pretty rock and super vocals), Celesteville (like a basement project with layers of Casio beats and shivery guitars), Moral Crayfish (beautiful, non-linear, cloudy sounds like Hal Hartley film scores), and Jason and Matthew from Hochenkeit doing who-knows-what-but-it'll-probably-be-cool. The verdict: you should go, especially if you like neat shows that traverse different genres and challenge how you think about music. JS


(Lola's at the Crystal) A cellist of unparalleled talent, Erik Friedlander has performed with everyone from John Zorn to Alanis Morissette. As a member of Dave Douglas' string quintet, his playing evokes Gypsy traditions and a postmodern penchant for noise and improvisation. But Friedlander really shines in his own group, Topaz. Their explorations of funk and Middle Eastern sounds (along with the occasional foray into Afro-pop, bebop, and whatever else catches their fancy) are nothing short of incredible. Haunting and brilliant, with an ear for improv that is masterful, Friedlander's cello could be at home with both Shostakovich and Mingus. This is a must-attend for anyone who appreciates adventurous music played well. MC


(Berbati's Pan) David Lindley is best known as that shy-looking, multi-instrumental fellow off to the side of the stage when backing some bloke named Jackson Browne. But his own musical explorations are esoteric, energetic and fun, fun, fun. His previous band, El Rayo-X, was a mighty conglomeration of world-music excellence and irreverent rock craftsmanship; he was a member of Kaleidoscope, a '60s freakout band that still sound pretty righteous, and he is also a noted collector of bizarre instruments found anywhere from here to Tasmania and points beyond. A true road scholar, Lindley is stylistically liable to throw most anything at one of his audiences. I suggest you find out for yourself. JC


Thurs 3/15: Amon Tobin (Baltic Room)

Sun 3/18: Tahiti 80 (Crocodile)

Mon 3/19: Cursive (Graceland)

Tues 3/20: The Jungle Brothers (Showbox)

Wed 3/21: Mogwai (Showbox)

For more info, visit

ALERT: A LOT of equipment was stolen from a space around SE 26th and Holgate, including an Eden Traveller Bass Amp, Fernandez guitar (tobacco sunburst Telecaster copy), and a Rickenbacker 4003 bass (1981, black with white trim). If you have any info leading to the perpetrators of this extremely lame crime, email