THURSDAY 6/7

BLACK OAK ARKANSAS, DESOLATION

(Mt. Tabor Pub) I was skeptical of this whole business until I found out that lead singer/washboard scratcher Jim Dandy would be involved. I can't remember how many times at The Rocket I'd get calls from sketchy promoters trying to convince me that some ancient band was back from the grave and touring despite 3/4 of the original members being dead or insane. Believe it or not, David Lee Roth derived much of his style from the horny, struttin' stage hijinks and boozy croak of B.O.A.'s Jim Dandy. While the band's southern-fried rock was a few notches short of the Allman Brothers or Lynyrd Skynyrd (I'd put 'em on an even par with Molly Hatchet), they lived the whiskey-soaked lifestyle and could boogie with the best. If drummer Tommy Aldredge is on board, yell for him to play "Up." If he isn't, yell it anyway. JOHN CHANDLER

RED HOUSE PAINTERS, RECLINERLAND

(Roseland) Whether or not you've allowed the romantic urges of springtime to seep through your core, it's always good to submit to a little reminder of what makes the idea of hooking up with someone so intriguing. The Red House Painters kick mellow ass with their lush ruminations on relationships and the world that surrounds us. Knowingly hopeful yet tempered with decent dashes of melancholy, Mark Kozelek's lyrics are delivered with a brilliant clarity that allows you to steep in their beauty. With the recent addition of a second guitarist, RHP's sound has richened, taking their sound beyond the spare darkness of their 4AD days, allowing for moments of fancy rock n' roll heaviness to shine through. So, take advantage of the last few days of springtime, and go trolling for a sweet and sensitive fling to the sounds of the Red House Painters. I know I will... Boys? A.J. ROSE

BILL BRUFORD'S EARTHWORKS

(Aladdin) Yes, it is true; Bill Bruford, drummer from not one but TWO of the best rock bands of all time (KING CRIMSON, YES), is bringing his jazz quartet to PDX. Unfortunately, they will play the kind of suburban jazz you can hear in the public restrooms of hotel lobbies. JULIANNE SHEPHERD

MOGWAI, BARDO POND

(Crystal) It is Mogwai. They are Scottish. They make loud guitar music with crescendo-decrescendo-crescendo dynamics. Their new record has more electronic stuff than ever; it seems slightly new wave. Bardo Pond, the band pitchforkmedia.com calls "Exclusively for the totally wasted," will open. You're probably already going to this show. JS


FRIDAY 6/8

MAN OF THE YEAR, SUGARBOOM, THE REMOVES

(Ash Street) Ladies and gentlemen, this could be your last chance to see Sugarboom!... Well, at least for awhile. Principal songwriters Michael Donhowe and Matthew Peterson are soon bound for Amsterdam and London, respectively. Their new CD, Liar's Circus, features an auspicious, five-section title cut and other ruminations on the ever-failing human condition. Who knew lying could cut so deep? Man of the Year open with their bright pop assault. Forget all the labels continually gunked upon them, Man of the Year is just good PORTLAND pop... a treasure in its own right. TED THIEMAN

BENEFIT FOR ROCK & ROLL CAMP FOR GIRLS
(Portland Robot Steakhouse, email robotsteakhouse@ ziplip.com, phone 288-6857, 7 pm sharp) This is a dream show for many, the diverse line-up including the wonderful Emergency, The Curse, All-Girl Summer Fun Band, and It's Rubella and guests. How often can you hear art punk, hardcore, sunny pop, and acoustic/piano rock, all on the same bill? But aside from that, all proceeds go towards this summer's Rock & Roll Camp for Girls (an event you'll want to support even if, like me, you are about 37 years too old to attend). It's a workshop for ladies from 12-17 that will teach them to play instruments, use a soundboard for engineering or in clubs, and a lot of other things I wish I had known when I was that young. Go, give them your money, and believe in the youth of today! JS

JUNO, THE BUILDING PRESS, GUESTS

(Meow Meow) "Put on your punk belt--and rock it for all the square-cools," wails Juno's Arlie Carstens, with a sarcastic glint in the eye you can't see, but can easily imagine. On "Covered With Hair"--track two of their new record, A Future Lived in Past Tense--Carstens goes on to vividly illustrate the state of "indie rock's dying soul" with its fashionable and myopic patrons. While "Covered With Hair" is an attack from the inside--Juno, themselves, are an indie rock band--they are not one fooled into believing the walls of the club are the edges of the earth. The aesthetic in which Juno operates is familiar, but the sentiment they bring to it is boundless. Don't miss them if you've ever wondered what indie rock could aspire to if it would shuck its self-imposed inertia. JOSH HOOTEN


SATURDAY 6/9

DEAR NORA, SLOW, THE DISAPPEARER

(Meow Meow) Just like their name says, The Disappearer like to play early and vanish, so arrive on time or you'll miss your first opportunity to see this magical band outside of the Portland basement show circuit (unless you caught their muffled appearance at last year's Mercury Holiday party). The Disappearer have convinced me of the existence of Plato's Forms--they are capable of unveiling loud pop songs, like "Insomnia" and "Bike Song," where every note is perfect and right the first time you hear them; the impression of this perfection only solidifies over repeat exposures. However, "pop" is only part of the equation, and they explore a number of guitar-bass-drums possibilities with manic energy and charm to spare. Truly special and one-of-a-kind. Don't miss them. STEPHEN STRAUSBAUGH

JEFF LONDON, ADAM SELZER, CORRINA REPP, LA CIRCA

(Goodfoot, SE 28 & Stark) Jeff London is one of those singers who's like, so, so adorable. Not annoying adorable, but sincere adorable, a musician who makes music so honestly and sweetly that even if it was bad, it would be good. Luckily, it's not bad at all. It's great, in fact--with Jeff's warbly tender voice and that lonesome guitar, one can't help but be won over by his songs, especially when he sings those crazy, melodic lows and highs, crashing down just when you think he's going to hit it even-keel, and then pulling it back up once you think he's down. Seeing him, I think, will be kind of like what I always imagined the term "Your mother's home cooking," is supposed to mean. KATIA DUNN

CASUAL, BOOM BAP, PROZ AND CONZ, GRASSROOTS

(House of Grooves) Made when he was 17, Casual's Fear Itself is an album of such creative braggadocio that in '94 it made many ears and eyes turn to Oakland for a new rap capitol. Along with Souls of Mischief, Pep Love, and Del Tha Funky Homosapien (among others), Casual is part of the Hieroglyphics crew, which never seems to blow America's lid off, but is definitely holding steady through the years. Word is, he's working on an album for Loud/Stimulated records, so you'll probably get a full dish of new cuts. BRIAN GOEDDE

KINSKI, HIGH VIOLETS, SOPHIES, ELDORAS

(Fez) Highly emotive and aggressive, Seattle's Kinski routinely stupefies audience members with its passion and overarching force. Showgoers love the band because Kinski is so energetically heightened--the kind of band you feel at the soles of your feet. At about 4:30 on track four of their new album, Be Gentle with the Warm Turtle, there's an epic moment where the guitar tracks climb and fall in dual octaves, leading into a vortex of feedback and jumbled notes that culminates in a breath of release--a moment of calm where the song gently lulls itself into completion. JEFF DeROCHE

PAUL SIMON, BRIAN WILSON

(Gorge) Okay, this raises a fundamental question: You have two artists, both way past their respective primes, who are touring together in what is very well a once-in-a-lifetime scenario, playing at a venue that is close to five hours by car from where you live. Do you go to the show, even though you know it's only because you have to, as the artists headlining the bill are (or were) geniuses of immeasurable talent 30 years ago? Or do you stay at home with your records (in this case, Bookends and Pet Sounds) and enjoy past glories without tainting your opinion of the artists in question with recent material that's dubious in nature? If you answer "yes," then you are in store for a treat of epic proportions. If you say "no," then put on your LPs and pretend you didn't see the ad in the paper, 'cause nothing will replace that sense of opportunity lost. It's all right, though--"Late in the Evening" and "Caroline, No" are perhaps best left to their original formats. MURRAY CIZON

METALFEST STARRING ENGORGED, IMPALED, RAITHEN, DEADBODIESEVERYWHERE, DRAWN AND QUARTERED

(Satyricon) I know it may be an unpleasant thought for some of our upstanding readers, but metal shows can prove to be a learning experience for all. For instance, take a group of your self-proclaimed "math rocker" friends to see a band like Engorged, and watch them soil their tight little pants. With such a frenetic display of ultra-intense hardcore, and more time changes than an indie rocker could ever dream of, it makes sense why you never see the Engorged fellows hanging out, or for that matter, playing shows, because they're too busy PRACTICING. JOE FAUSTIN KELLY


SUNDAY 6/10

HOWE GELB, TRACKER, CORRINA REPP

(Berbati's) Since about every three bands that releases a record these days can be described as "vast, indie-tinged country," it's easy to feel annoyed by the genre (especially when it's made by pretentious New Yorkers who've never been west of Pennsylvania, and/or ex-members of emo bands). But Howe Gelb, the man synonymous with Giant Sand, plays this sort of music with authority (he's from Tucson) and creativity (the recording quality on his new record, Confluence, is fantastic, as is its electronic flavor) so it doesn't sound like just another record by Will Oldham. Best of all, his lyrics are simple, with a working-man, downtrodden feel: "Oh conformity, saint conformity/ won't you come down here and clutter up her form for me/ if I live my life in routine/ would you make the meantime a little less mean?" He's been adding multimedia to some shows as of late, so it should be more of a performance than just your average singer dude onstage. JS


MONDAY 6/11

BABY ROBOT, KARAOKE FROM HELL

(Dantes) Baby Robot sent us a press release that says, "A demo CD is not included because the music is actually shitty, and if you heard it, you would just give it a bad review." BUT the thing is, I HAVE heard Baby Robot! Mwah-hahaha! They're not as bad as they make themselves out to be. They cover songs by Portland electronic group A nat HEMA, but they do it with traditional instruments and two back-up singers, all wearing matching outfits. They have a USA Up All Night-type shtick that's made kookier by their bassist's handlebar moustache, and their anti-melodic, B-52s-like songs do have the phenomenal capacity to drive away a room full of people. However, I thoroughly enjoyed their panache when I saw them--They're pretty freaky, and it's catching. If you don't leave in horror during their set, there's a good possibility you'll be inclined do all sorts of dance moves you never thought you could pull off. JS

LADYBUG TRANSISTOR, AISLERS SET, LUCKSMITHS

(Meow Meow) Here's something inexplicably refreshing: Bald-faced borrowing. With their retro-sounding orchestral sound, New York City's Ladybug Transistor join bands such as the Shins, Of Montreal, and tonight's bill mates Aisler's Set as members of the indie rock fan club passionately dedicated to slickly-arranged, '60s-influenced, shimmering pop. None of these bands seem bent on re-inventing the wheel here, rather, each aims simply to play the kind of music they like to listen to the most. And that provides like-minded audiences with buoyant, memorable shows that are sure to put a smile on everyone's sunny face. What more could you ask for on a night such as this? KATHLEEN WILSON


TUESDAY 6/12

ALPHABET DRESS STARRING THE SWORDS PROJECT, THE DECEMBERISTS

(3914 N Michigan) I used to think that, at this point in history, straightforward rock-ensemble songwriting was a waste of time--something done so much since the inception of popular music that there was no way for it to progress anywhere. Then I heard The Decemberist's new record, 5 Songs, and realized I was being a big fucking snob. Taking elements from folk, pop, country, and the deepest canals of vocalist/guitarist Colin Meloy's heart, The Decemberists make beautiful, straightforward music. They don't sound derivative, they don't sound pretentious, they don't sound like they're making their music so they can get real big on commercial radio. They sound thoughtful, intelligent, and melancholy. And they have an accordion. JS


WEDNESDAY
6/13

THE HOLY GHOST, THE EXPOSITION OF LIGHT, SCORCHED EARTH ORCHESTRA, MORAL CRAYFISH

(It's a Beautiful Pizza) In tonight's benefit for A=1/f2 zine, publisher Dan Cohoon will make amped noise with his guitar on the floor in between bands. In addition, The Holy Ghost will play an electro-acoustic set, which involves a guitar, some pedals, and some complicated, futuristic-looking gadgets, and ends up being sort of ambient but also very pretty and way less boring to watch than just a dude and a laptop. The Exposition of Light is a multimedia performance that sounds intriguing, especially since it includes Improv Workshop organizers/mainstays JP Jenkins, Bryan Eubanks, Joseph Bradshaw, Josh Allen, Jakob Midas, and others. Scorched Earth Orchestra includes members of Celesteville and Minmae, and should be grandiose. This show will consist of creative people doing neat shit, and that's what it's all about, isn't it? JS

JESS KLEIN, THE PUSH STARS

(St. John's Pub) Boston's Push Stars had plenty of buzz around them in the mid '90s, but have since been relegated to the role of movie soundtrack regulars; their songs can be heard in Gun Shy, There's Something About Mary, and Me, Myself and Irene. Singer Chris Trapper pens lyrics that tell actual stories, augmenting the band's bright, melodic blend of rock, pop, country, and folk, which can be heard on Push Star's just-released CD, Opening Time, out on Wicked Disc/Burnside. KW


GOING TO SEATTLE?

Thurs 6/7: Howe Gelb (Crocodile); NOFX (Showbox)

Fri 6/8: Calexico (Crocodile); NOFX (DV8); Casual (Sit & Spin)

Sat 6/9: Red House Painters (Crocodile)

Sun 6/10: Doves (Showbox)

Wed 6/13: Ladybug Transistor (Graceland); M.O.P., Boom Bap, Tilson (Showbox); Blake Babies (Crocodile)

For more info, visit www.thestranger.com

New Releases June 12: Ashley Park, Asteroid No. 4, Beta Band*, Blink-182, Coldcut, ELO (reissues)*, Brian Eno & Peter Schwalm*, Esham, Euphoria, F Minus, Fall Silent, Fartz, Force Mass Motion, The Heads, Impossibles, Kid606*, Knightz of Bass*, Mayor MCCA, Alanis Morrisette, Neotropic, Old Time Relijun*, Pennywise, Phil Ranelin, Rufio, Sensational, SIANspheric, Stereo MCs, Super XX Man, Sebastian Tellier, Travis, Tricky Woo, John Vanderslice*