THURSDAY APRIL 19

SHIPPING NEWS, SUNSET VALLEY, THE STANDARD

(Pine Street) In the years between 1991 and 1994, Rodan (and their Louisville peers, Slint) changed indie rock music, forcing the genre to grow up from the whine and slack of the then-popular "Chapel Hill sound" to a more intellectual, artful, and technically capable form of expression. People called Rodan "math rock," because they emphasized a balance between thoughtful instrumentation and reactionary emotion. They raised the bar enough that now, to be considered a good independent rock band (at least in the Midwest), you must first do your homework, studying jazz and classical and showtunes and everything in between. And now, in 2001, while small-time bands everywhere still mimic the sound of Rodan (some, I think, without even knowing it), Rodan's guitarist and bassist Jeff Mueller and Jason Noble, along with ex-Metroschifter Kyle Crabtree, are churning the waters of beautiful and technical profundity in Shipping News, the band they formed in '96. Though their most recent release floats toward the softer and gentler, they still handle the most lacey and rocking songwriting with precision and valor. JULIANNE SHEPHERD See Music pg 11

AC/DC, WIDEMOUTH MASON

(Rose Garden) The Dorian Gray of butt rock, AC/DC never ages, and the music never changes. Somehow, long in the tooth as these Australian mainstays are, AC/DC has managed to sidestep the inadvertent self-parody or slick middle-aged gassiness of say, KISS. 2000's Stiff Upper Lip kicked rock 'n' roll ass just as hard as did Back in Black, and each bombastic tour provides fans with some of the most honest, ecstatic rock and roll ever to bless the arenas. KATHLEEN WILSON

BEATPUSHER, DERELICT, MILGRAM SHOCK

(Cobalt) Not to be confused with the SF/NY-based DJ collective, Beatpusher spins a pretty decent selection of light-stepping beats and trance-y sounds that bubble like rain on blacktop. Derelict spins a blend of house beats with jazz piano samples, spoken word, and the requisite sexy diva voice--and you won't be like, "Is this the Party Girl soundtrack?" JS


FRIDAY APRIL 20

NEUROSIS, BOTCH, AMBER ASYLUM

(Pine Street) Much more than a Woody Allen personality trait, or a malevolent moniker to be scratched onto bathroom walls, Neurosis isn't nearly as metallic or punk-minded as you'd think. Though the band has clearly been nursing at the teats of Black Sabbath and the Dead Milkmen, its cerebral, depressive dirge epics alternate between sounding like lost outtakes from Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music and reverent homages to the Swans or Joy Division. This bill finds Neurosis logically buttressed by Amber Asylum, the languorous, significantly more soft-spoken brainchild of violinist and avant-garde composer Kris Force, so don't count on being bored in the least. HANNAH LEVIN See Music pg 11

DIZZY ELMER, CRACK CITY ROCKERS

(Fez, above Ozone Records) When I was lugging books at Powell's for $.45 an hour, this group of ruffians would come in on weekend nights. Well, they weren't ruffians, exactly--more like drag-car racers from the '50s. There was a whole slew of them, tight blue-jeaned, white-shirted and pompadoured boys and girls wearing the cutest fringed cowpoke outfits that were definitely more Liz Taylor/National Velvet than Jon Bon Jovi/Blaze of Glory. I would always drop whatever I was doing to follow them around, fascinated by their seeming unawareness of the fact that 40 years had passed since James Dean stole our hearts. And lo and behold, some of the cats of whom I was enamored happen to be the same cats in Dizzy Elmer. Musically, they're as authentic as their '50s aura, with a dollop of upright bass and warbled harmonies that would make Buddy Holly host a sock-hop from his grave. They're not rockabilly, at least in the contemporary sense--they're just the best current '50s-type music I have heard. Bring your scarves to flag imaginary hot rods, cause Dizzy Elmer is the real thing. JS

DJ Z-TRIP

(Ohm) You've probably seen the name DJ Z-Trip plastered, scattered, or name-dropped around PDX by now. This Arizona mixmaster has been flown down here so frequently to spin that he was considering making Portland his home for awhile. I had the chance to see him a few weeks ago when he and DJ P rounded out the night at B Complex with a set of what they called "Uneasy Listening." I mean, who would have thought that mixing Pharcyde and Pat Benetar together simultaneously could bring a crowd to full tilt? Z-Trip's renown is for taking the ubiquitous (Michael Jackson, The Who, Pink Floyd, and god knows what else) and cutting it with vintage funk, hip hop and heavy break beats. Sure, he's a pop-culture referentialist--but there's nothing as genius as taking "Teenage Wasteland" to the dance floor. If you've always loved the idea of Negativland but wished they knew how to boogie, then get your ass out to OHM and embrace Arizona's Ozzy-lovin', math geek-turned-dance floor impresario--DJ Z-Trip. A.J. ROSE

METATRON, SUPERSPRITE, THE APPROACHABLES

(Medicine Hat) Goddamn. Can OMCO do anything better? Servicing the smart kids and electronic enthusiasts city-wide, they're busting out Metatron, aka Elton Lawson, who's devoted to making electronic reggae and dub but lays down enough bass lines so you can shake the Florida Booty Bomb if you so desire. Supersprite (non-OMCO, but still extra-special) bursts with hot pink beats and the pop and circumstance of abstract melody. The Approachables are a brand-new group fronted by Momeraths' Joel Cherney, and will possibly be joined by aforementioned Momeraths. JS


SATURDAY APRIL 21

SARAH VOWELL

(Roseland) Sarah Vowell won't be singing or playing music tonight, as far as we know, but she is important enough to music to include her no-doubt dry, funny, and enlightening Portland appearance with these listings. Why? Because while people across America drool over the exciting-and-wonderful-but-very-dead Lester Bangs or the pompous, boring institutions that are Greil Marcus and Richard Meltzer, Sarah Vowell remains one of the only female rock critics to have reached a level of national recognition. She's one of my idols (even though she likes Soundgarden), and will be one of yours, too, when you read her insightful, intelligent, and badass interview on page 19. JS

CORRINA REPP CD RELEASE, FIREFLY PRESS POSTER SHOW, NORFOLK & WESTERN, DOUG SHEPHERD

(Medicine Hat) In addition to the talented Ms. Repp (see CD Review pg 11), whose latest release will be celebrated at this hoe-down, this night has two more ensembles on its bill. Norfolk & Western combine Northside indie with--you guessed it--western stylings. It's not the most original mix, as most indie bands discover Hank Williams at some point (if not Palace Bros., at least), but it's tasty enough as an appetizer. Doug Shepherd wears his lo-fi leanings even more proudly. He also has a pleasant musicianship and melody to his work that's more akin to the refinement of Smog than the smugness of Pavement. And while Shepherd could work to hit the notes a bit better, his piano tinkling and soft strumming win out in the end. JAMIE S. RICH

HAZEL, QUASI, HARVEY DANGER

(Pine Street) So you've just returned from getting clubbed and pepper-sprayed at the FTAA protest in Pioneer Square and you need reminding of the beauty and unconventionality that only Portland is capable of birthing. Hazel (reuniting for tonight's show), along with Sone, the New Bad Things, Bugskull, and the Spinanes, were one of the bands playing Portland in the early '90s who were truly capable of magic. They wrote great songs, had charm to spare, and showcased a dancer as likely to drop a concrete block on you as wear a tutu. The exhilarating rattiness of their sound (never successfully recorded) was as capable of inducing the X-Ray Shimmy as it was a thousand-person mosh pit at La Luna. Their reputation for fucking up live only serves as further evidence that tightness will never equal soul. STEPHEN STRAUSBAUGH

THE PLAN THE, COBRA HIGH

(Beulahland) See My What a Busy Week pg 9


SUNDAY APRIL 22

HOT COCOA NIGHT WITH JEFF LONDON, HUTCH HARRIS, HONEYBUNCH, MORE

(Meow Meow) Hot Cocoa Nights with Jeff London are intimate experiences: everyone sits on the floor of the Glitter Box (the Atari room at the Meow Meow) and spends Sundays with Jeff alternately crooning and pontificating. If the temperature goes above 60 degrees, however, Jeff says he'll substitute the cocoa with milkshakes. Either way, his music is warm and sweet, like, well, a mom's bosom. Hutch Harris is from Urban Legends, and one of my favorites--his voice is buoyant like a helium balloon. It's a mellow time for lovers of folk, pop, and artificial, chocolate-flavored beverages. JS

LEGAL BENEFIT DEFENSE FUND STARRING THIRD AND FAILING, THE TRIGGERS, THE PUSSYWHIPS, THE HATCHLINGS

(Chez What?) Who doesn't love a bake sale for justice? See rad rock/punk bands and buy a baked good to help those punk kids who got harassed, pepper-sprayed, and are now facing hard jail time for allegedly "kidnapping a police officer," which of course is the most ridiculous thing ever. I mean, what would a punk want with a police officer? Would he keep it like a pet? Make it do tricks? Talk into its walkie-talkie? Oh, maybe that's it--the magnetic draw of walkie-talkies is strong. JS

HOLZ FÜR EUROPA, JACKIE-O MOTHERFUCKER, ROLLERBALL

(Fez) Portland's vital improvisation scene will connect with Europe's again this month with Holz Für Europa (FMP Records). Although the group consists of a pan-European membership, saxophones and clarinets are the trio's common ground. Peter van Bergen (Holland), Hans Koch (Switzerland), and Wolfgang Fuchs (Germany) communicate at a highly advanced level (read: near-psychic) and, not reliant on frenetic skronk, the group explores tonal, abstract, and contemplative territories often overlooked in the free-improv idiom. Joining Holz Für Europa will be two of Portland's most dedicated and adventurous groups, Rollerball and Jackie-O Motherfucker (Roadcone), whose performances always contain surprises, wild spin-outs, and playful explorations. PAUL DICKOW


MONDAY APRIL 23

CHICKS ON SPEED, IQU

(Crystal Ballroom) Munich-based art rockers Chicks on Speed bring their musical melange to Portland tonight--a heady blend of sonic collage, cooler-than-thou Euro house, dirty guitars, and new wave-y robotic vocals all glued together with the block-rockin' party vibe of the Beastie Boys. Rumor says the visceral energy of their recordings is surpassed by their live shows, in which punk energy, fashion runway sass, and video projections create an elegant sonic chaos. Openers IQU stick to the Chicks' party line with their own eclectic electro-pop. Pop, punk, and electronic have recently been hurtling toward a fusion that's bound to be the yet-unnamed genre of the future, and this might be the show that heralds its arrival. MARK PINKOS

ATOM & HIS PACKAGE, HAR MAR SUPERSTAR

(Robot Steakhouse) Okay, so last month when I--errr, "Ronnie, Bobby, Ricky and Mike"--wrote about Har Mar Superstar, I fucked up the date. It wasn't 3/23. It was 4/23. Sorry about that. But this time, he's actually here and he brought his goofy friend Atom & His Package, a guy with a guitar and some sequencers who writes songs about going on tour with Sean Na Na (Har Mar Superstar?), riding across the US on a bike, stereotyping Americans, and other pressing issues of the day. JS


TUESDAY APRIL 24

AMY RAY, BUTCHIES, SARAH DOUGHER

(Crystal) See CD Review pg 11


WEDNESDAY APRIL 25

TOADIES, ENON, DIFFUSER, POCKET FOR CORDUROY

(Crystal) The Toadies, along with a handful of other alternative rock bands, gained popularity in the '90s by releasing a Wire ripoff as their hit single (go ahead and compare Wire's song "Strange" with the Toadies' "Do you wanna die" song and tell me if this is a false accusation). No matter though--you're not there to see the Toadies anyway, because Enon is playing for gods' sakes! Members of Braniac, Blond Redhead's original bassist and that rippin' drummer from Skeleton Key get together to bring you, well, I guess NOW Wave is the first category that comes to mind. With active samples, keyboards, live instruments, and a lead singer that makes me question my sexuality, Enon is the band to see tonight. JOE FAUSTIN KELLY

JULIANA THEORY, SQUAD 5-0, CROSSTIDE

(Pine Street) Lots of people are excited about Tooth And Nail's the Juliana Theory, so, in deference to that fact and for fear of sounding negative, I've decided to give you three reasons why you should attend this evening's Juliana Theory show. (If they sound more like reasons not to attend the show, so be it.) 1. The band has buttons that say, "Girls Love the Juliana Theory." 2. Their most recent record, Emotion is Dead, shimmers and echoes with lots and lots of production, lending the band a sound I would describe as "hardcore-ish Bush." 3. The band has a song lyric that goes, "Here's a thought, if you're willing to listen. I only tell the truth of the feelings I'm given. Can you hear me now? Listen. Whispers in the rain..." JEFF DeROCHE


GOING TO SEATTLE?

Thurs 4/19: The Need, Kill Sadie, V4V (Graceland)

Fri 4/20: Arab Strap, Shipping News, Kinski (Graceland); Paul Revere and the Raiders, The Kingsmen (EMP); Atom and His Package, Har Mar Superstar, Tales from the Birdbath (Old Firehouse)

Sat 4/21: Neurosis, Botch, Thrones (Graceland)

Mon 4/23: Amy Ray, Butchies, S. Dougher (Showbox)

Wed 4/25: Chicks on Speed, IQU, C.O.C.O. (Crocodile)

For more info, visit www.thestranger.com

New Releases April 24: Aaliyah!, Alkaline Trio!, Altamont, Backbiter/Elope, Clouddead, Bardo Pond!, Paul Burch, The Church, The Clientele!, Nels Cline!, Cousteau, Dark Fantastic, Destroyer, Ani Difranco, The Ex!, Gasoline, Ghostface Killah, Girls Against Boys, Gorillaz, Green Pajamas, Imitation Electric Piano, Int'l Noise Conspiracy, Kammerflimmer Kollektief!, Keoki, Kirsty MacColl, National Skyline, Mogwai!, System of a Down, Terminal 4, US Maple!, T.W. Walsh, X-ecutioners