THURSDAY JULY 26

ADD (N) TO X, MOME RATHS, COBRA HIGH

(Meow Meow) Punk rock and electronic-based music finds a very nice nesting ground--not too hardcore, not too electro-dance-y--among the painstaking swaths of the band Add (N) to X. Counting our favorite deconstructionist horror-composers, Xenakis and Varese, among their influences, Add (N) to X traipse about their keyboards like a monstrosity set loose from a video game. Their music, while chaotically composed, is surprisingly accessible, although not ever dumbed-down. Add (N) to X's mission seems to be to cut through the platinum wedge between computers and people, letting a little of the each bleed into each other, and exploding in a nebulous mass of live beats, vocodors, and slinky rhythms. Cobra High has finally found a perfectly fitting billmate. JULIANNE SHEPHERD

THE REAL PILLS, EX-MODELS, THE STARVE

(Blackbird) While I can honestly say that I listen to my copy of Funhouse by The Stooges at least once a week, I can't relate to all the fourth-generation garage revivalism creeping up around Portland in the last couple years. On the plus side, its one of the very few musical points of intersection between the pale-skinned art femmes and the Pabst-swilling rawk dudes, which is certainly amusing. (Tonight's groups seem to lean more towards the former.) On the other side... well, the schtick seems to get old very quickly. While I realize that the point is more about squeezing into your tightest black pants and shaking your booty than making any grand statement, I can't help but wish that rock would look towards the future a little... or just keel over, before things get too embarrassing. SIMON GASKEN


FRIDAY JULY 27

EXODUS STARRING DJs APOLLO, VINROC, SHORTKUT

(Seges Art Bar) Shortkut is both a member of the Invisible Scratch Picklz and the Beat Junkies, and that should provide you with some idea of the caliber of turntablists that this event will showcase. Together on six turntables, Apollo, Vinroc, and Shortkut--the Triple Threat DJs--create deliriously shifting beats from quantized bits of other artists' recorded tracks: a splish of cymbal here, a quake of bass drum there. The formidable skills at their disposal harnessed towards freeing your mind and your derriere. There will no doubt be people there to watch hands, either the ones onstage or the ones blown up on video screens, but the Triple Threat DJs know that DJing (even world-championship level) begins with rockin' the house--and a party ain't a party unless the people shake they ass. STEPHEN STRAUSBAUGH

THE CANNANES, HONEYBUNCH, SCRABBLE

(Red & Black Cafe) For a band that's toured the States pretty regularly since 1984, Australia's Cannanes have still got it. (Or at least, they did when I saw them two years ago.) Knowing fully the beauty in simplicity, the Cannanes can take the sweetest guitar chords, add horns and organs, and melt your heart with moonlit symphonies more comforting than orchids and chenille. A large part of this pure beauty is thanks to the swoony voice and lyrics of Frances Gibson. With more grace than Kirsty MacColl and more wisdom than Harriet Wheeler, Gibson literally glides her way through faint-worthy songs, enunciating her consonants like the delicate flick noise a dandelion makes when you pluck it from the ground. It's the scent of wind, a subtle noise to simply die for, a softened message floating down from heartfelt heavens. Yes, my friends, I still hate Australia, but I will always love the Cannanes. JS

SPOON, JOHN VANDERSLICE, SUNSET VALLEY, THOSE PEABODYS

(Satyricon) What a battle of the bands this is going to be! Local boyscout superheroes Sunset Valley will rock the stage with their British-inspired Portland pop, followed by Spoon's old-school, indie-inspired Texas singalongs. The Austin band has a new album of gritty infectious songs out on Merge after some major label headaches nearly snuffed the band's fire (singer Britt Daniel chronicled this despairing period on 1999's The Agony of Laffitte EP). The new album, Girls Can Tell, is being called their best yet and word has it that they've added a keyboard player. Daniel is also rumored to be slashing away at a hollow-body electric now, instead of his old acoustic guitar. With nine years under their belts, Spoon is in their prime and I'm sure they'll be ready to show the Valley's Herman Jolly--and the rest of us--that you don't mess with Texas. KEVIN SAMPSELL

CAPTAIN KID CD RELEASE, PAN TOURISMOS

(Blackbird) Despite deceptive song titles like "Faith No More is Funky," Captain Kid isn't the sort of band that will drive you to the very brink of insanity with a barrage of irony or joke music. In fact, that self-same song is a laid-back little drive through simple keys, inter-gender harmonies, and no-frills pop songwriting, and actually has nothing to do with Faith No More! The rest of the record is a sweetly written pop album, with only one song--track four, the pop-punk one--that could churn the stomachs of sensitive listeners. Captain Kid's main drawback is their lady vocalist's somewhat abrasive, overly throaty vocal delivery. (When will people learn that Gwen Stefani is not a good singer?!) Generally, however, she's not too overpowering, and the nice, loping guitars make up for it. Captain Kid definitely won't change your life, but they will occasionally soothe you with some pretty melodies. To those over-21 pop kids who aren't already attending the Cannanes show, this is what you should be doing tonight. JS


SATURDAY JULY 28

MATES OF STATE, THE MINDERS, DEAR NORA, BETTER HALF

(Meow Meow) They have no familial relations and were recently married, and they're cuter and less fashion-conscious than Jack and Meg White. Over the past year, we've written about them in the Mercury nearly as many times as we've written about Tim Kinsella(s). Their harmonies blend together like high shining bells, as their drums and organs pad out thick dance grooves and intricate chord progressions. Their catchy, gorgeous pop songs envelop you wholly, temporarily erasing the existence of all the jaded a-holes that try to keep you down. They're Mates of State, from California. They are awesome. JS

TRIPLE CD RELEASE SOIREE STARRING FONTANELLE, MOME RATHS, NICE NICE

(Blackbird) It's a whole show of hot, as three of Portland's premiere experimenters grace us with three new CDs to take home to our pets and housemates. Mome Raths' newest release is a very humid, linear entry into organic/electronic, with beats that are weighty with bass and scratchy with treble, trilling saxophone, samples like holodecks and fresh cut grass, and a juxtaposition of vocals that range from shivering and pleasing whimpers to muffled shouts of discontent. It is likely the release is at least partially improvised, as Mome Raths' leanings towards Freedom in their live show have been prevalent for some time. Nice Nice is a Portland duo that, unfortunately for us, hasn't performed much around town. Fleshing their sound with a guitar, drums, and what seem to be loads of effects boxes, they make an incredibly meditative racket. Their jarringly muted beats recall dub, experimental, and old-school distortion music, but goddamn if it doesn't REALLY sound like they're aiming space-age guns at a warehouse and recording it as it methodically implodes. Nice Nice is truly original and simultaneously badass. Fontanelle is very minimal, with extremely sparse electronic buzzes that converge together like a series of snapshots--their music is best described as "flashes of emotion and scenes," rather than traditional or even through-style composition. (Or, as my co-worker Katie put it, it's "Shoot up and sit around music.") JS Semi-related story on Music pg 13

BUELLTON, THE PLACES, NORFOLK & WESTERN

(Lola's) It's something in this music's fragile imagery--the lushness and humility--that reminds you of yourself, yes? Being in a similar vein as the Flaming Lips and Flaming Lips Jr. (Grandaddy), California's Buellton is an apt successor to both. There is a little Yo La Tengo and (Smog) action thrown in for good measure, as well. Buellton might even be a little more dignified than its predecessors, a little slower and sparer in parts, but still wholly lyrical and tender. The new album, Avenue of the Flags, is a lovely collection of songs that makes me wish I had a car, so I could drive through the middle of a frosty, mid-winter Oregon listening to Buellton. I just spaced out a second thinking about the swirling snow patterns and icy roads that come with that scenario, but my fantasy was abruptly halted when the heater in my imaginary car stopped working and started pouring black smoke. KATE MERCIER

JOE DAVIS CD RELEASE PARTY, JEREMY WILSON, SARAH DOUGHER

(Berbati's) See CD Review pg 13


SUNDAY JULY 29

LAST OF THE JUANITAS, TOURETTES LAUTREC, COBRA HIGH

(Berbati's) Berbati's turns over its normal thirtysomething meatmarket atmosphere tonight to a trio of bands that attempt to bridge the great divide between brain and brawn. Last of the Juanitas, Portland's great white math rock hope, churn out dizzying mastedon music you'll need a compass and squareruler to decipher. Last time I checked, San Diegans Tourettes Lautrec were channeling ancient carnival spirits with wirey abandon. I've heard rumors that they've toned down their three-ring circus in favor of a more punch-in-the-gut approach, though. Hopefully, these are just rumors. Haven't yet gotten to see locals Cobra High play live, but comparisons to groups like Chrome and Trans Am definitely perk up the ears a bit. SG

DEPECHE MODE

(Gorge Amphitheatre) I made the mistake of going to see Depeche Mode a few years back, and while this band has always been sort of obnoxious live (don't go shaking your sniveling little head at me now, art fag, facts are facts), seeing an aging David Gahan (I'm not even going to guess at his age, because after seeing him in those tight pants, I'm sure I'll guess too high) strutting and prancing around the stage, his voice ravaged, his belly and bum-bum drooping all about (no one could have told him he wasn't the sexiest man alive in that moment, either), it was all I could do to hold in my guts and make it through the entire show. Which is to say nothing about the music Depeche Mode has been making these years. Don't get me wrong, I'm not wholly irreverent--I grew up to this band, and I still own Depeche Mode records (albeit dusty ones), but you really must take my word on this: If you have DM tickets in your possession, don't be duped by nostalgia. SELL THEM. But you won't take my advice in the end, I know it. And you'll actually go see this train wreck. Ewww, you're going to be very, very sorry. JEFF DeROCHE


MONDAY JULY 30

TRACY & THE PLASTICS, RADIO VAGO, GUESTS

(Meow Meow) If you can't make it to Ladyfest Midwest this year to see the best New York art/dance punkers in the world, E.S.G., fret not. Los Angeles has its own cool-ass dance punkers: Radio Vago, a gang of seven ladies putting the sparse beats where their mouths are and encompassing the depressed, metallicky minimalism that characterized the '80s. Now, if you are wondering what all the brouhaha about new wave is these days--wouldn't it be better to just listen to Nina Hagen or Bauhaus, rather than all this revivalist stuff?--here is the answer: most of the people who are excited about new wave revival are too young to remember when new wave happened the first time. It's the same with breakdancing. You must consider that those turning 21 this year were born in 1980--much too young to have even really experienced Duran Duran, much less X-Ray Spex. And it's cool to see so many kids shaking their asses. And if you don't already know how I feel about the nouveau video, aerobicide drama-beats of the sweat-band innovators that are the totally brilliant Tracy & the motherloving Plastics, let me reiterate: I LOVE THEM. A LOT. JS


TUESDAY JULY 31

THE BUSINESS, AGNOSTIC FRONT, NERVE AGENTS, F MINUS

(Roseland) When two bands, The Business and Agnostic Front, have been around as long as they have, you can bet they've outlived several subcultures and the majority of their constituents. Both of these bands have been around for 20 years, which makes their first EP/album older than a good chunk of the people who are buying them on eBay today. Although their music isn't all that similar, the Business and Agnostic Front might as well be each other's continental counterparts--in England, the angry youth had the Business and Oi!, and in America, the kids had Agnostic Front and the Hardcore scene. Of course, in the waning of both subcultures, there has been a lot of crossover. Damn the Information Superhighway, bonding a bunch of bald boys over boots and beer. This show will be a good opportunity to see a few of a dying breed of genres get together--punk, street punk, oi, hardcore, straightedge, skinhead--and watch them beat the hell out each other. You should maybe bring a helmet. KM


WEDNESDAY AUGUST 1

THE ROOTS, LIFESAVAS, DJ B-MELLO

(Roseland) Portland hiphop, plus these other people calling themselves "The Roots." Perhaps you've heard of them? See Music pg 13

VISION OF DISORDER, NOTHINGFACE, SP UNLIMITED

(Pine Street) As metal bandwagons hit the road this summer, there's a landfill of shit to separate from the shinola. Luckily for metalheads hungry for action this week, New York's Vision of Disorder is a cut above the rest. The band obviously studied hard when Alice in Chains was on the modern-rock curriculum, as Vision of Disorder frontman Tim Williams does a damn fine Layne Staley impersonation. To his credit, Williams can also scream like he possesses the winds of Satan in his lungs, unleashing focused aggression one moment and slipping back through the band's sludgy Sabbath riffs the next. With Vision of Disorder, prepare for the modern metal shinola to the hit the fan, for once. JENNIFER MAERZ


GOING TO SEATTLE?

Thurs 7/26: Mates of State, The Minders (Crocodile); Billy Bragg (EMP)

Fri 7/27: Mates of State, The Minders, Space Ballerinas, Casiotone for the Painfully Alone (Arrowspace, Olympia); Sir Mix-A-Lot (Showbox)

Sat 7/28: Warren Zevon (King Cat); David Byrne (Pier 62/63); Spoon (Crocodile, Paradox)

Tues 7/31: Jonathan Richman (Crocodile)

Wed 8/1: Thomas Mapfumo (Bohemian); Green Day (Paramount)

For more info, visit www.thestranger.com


In Stores July 31: Aden*, Alex Cline Ensemble, Apex Theory, Crystal Method, Deicide, Fluke, Ghosts and Vodka*, Judas Priest, Fela Kuti, Bill Laswell, Steuart Liebig, Lycia, Mad Capsule Markets, Brad Mehldau Trio, Mm, Owls*, Peter Murphy*, Sam Phillips, Rival Schools, Swing Out Sister*, Tha Dogg Pound 2002, Tight Bros from Way Back When, Utah Saints, Varnaline, Luke Vibert, Gillian Welch, Thalia Zedek*

*=we like