THURSDAY AUGUST 30

PAN TOURISMOS, THE FORTY-FIRST, THE VESPERTINES

(Meow Meow) See Music pg 15

TRACKER, THE PLACES, DOLOREAN

(Blackbird) Somewhere in America, a real heat wave is occurring. The blistering sun rises and occupies the fullest length of the day, drying out eyes and minds and hearts, leaving only dust storms and reflections in mirage. While we may not be living in Texas, you can capture the gritty, dry warmth in the voice of Tracker's John Askew. There's just enough twang to keep them in the experimental outskirts of alt-country; a smidge of Howe Gelb here, a tiny dab of Grandaddy there. They will convey enough parched and beautiful longing to fill 100 desert days. JAMES SQUEAKY

WELLWATER CONSPIRACY

(Satyricon) With former members of Soundgarden, Matt Cameron (who currently drums for Pearl Jam) and Monster Magnet (John McBain), Wellwater Conspiracy draws upon upbeat psychedelia like that of the Who, Cream, and the Zombies. Though based in the golden old days of proud guitar-based rock, this sound proves inspiring in its own right. The band's current album on TVT, The Scroll and Its Combination, is a lesson on how to mine the past while providing inspiration for the future. KATHLEEN WILSON


FRIDAY AUGUST 31

DECAPOD CLAW CD RELEASE, PSYOP LABORATORIES, DISCOMA

(Blackbird) More great, noggin-scratching electronic music from Portland's own Outward Music Company. Decapod Claw walks, razor-thin, between a barrage of sound and the most futuristic, minimal melodies, sometimes making heavy marches of ominous white noise. Discoma, pardonnez-moi mon francais, is the motherfucking shit, turning beats into races and brain waves. With his music, you will find yourself contemplating the cosmic link between the cosmos and breakdancing, and building shrines to the funkiest of funky physicists, Stephen Hawking. And he's from Boise! JULIANNE SHEPHERD

SAY UNCLE

(Bacchus, 3200 SE 164, Vancouver) See Cribs pg 11

NO. 2, CHRIS MCFARLAND, THE STANDARD

(Dante's) Not only does Chris McFarland sing radio music, but it's also radio music about a decade too late. Though the press release on McFarland's site says that he is "able to combine the smarts of Elliot Smith and the boldness of The Replacements," the bands he reminds me of most are Hootie and the Blowfish and Live. But that said, here's a secret: I kind of like him anyway. That's because I'm a sucker. I think I even owned that Hootie and the Blowfish album. Do I think McFarland has longevity? No. Do I think he sings overly dramatic radio-grunge, good for daydreaming to? Yes. KATIA DUNN

NEW WAVE HOOKERS, 8 FOOT TENDER, THE HENTCHMEN, RIVIERAS

(Ash Street) Damn... THIS lineup is lookin' real nice for a Saturday evenin' of some casual drankin' and maybe even a little "dirty" dancin'? ... With Detroit's the Hentchmen... oh, they don't play the "heavy" Deeee-twat city-shitty bang-bang, but the more '60s hot garage heat... cool? MIKE NIPPER

EXODUS FLIP THE SCRIPT NIGHT STARRING DJS VITAMIN-D, MELLO C

(Seges) "From Michael Jackson to Sly and the Family Stone." Shit yeah. See My What a Busy Week pg 9

THE NATRONS, RUBY DOE, THE HUNCHES

(Berbati's) The bluesy, kick-'em-in-the-ass Natrons star Nate, who is the mysterious doppelganger of Frank Furter & the Hot Dogs. See Cribs pg 11


SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 1

BONFIRE MADIGAN, URBAN LEGENDS, EX-HUSTLERS

(Meow Meow) Bonfire Madigan, aka Madigan Shive, is one of my favorite musicians of all time. She clutches her cello like a life-raft, singing in gorgeous yelps and hums about death and other tribulations. She does this really great thing where, after she's sung a verse, she kind of nods her head to the side as she bows, as if she's a metronome. Last time she played (like fucking five months ago--far, far too long ago), she brought violinists and bassists, and it was a magical, temporary jaunt out of purgatory. This time, her full quartet is promised. FULL QUARTET. If you desire stringed instruments and impeccable songwriting, you will sell heirlooms to attend. JS

BLUEBIRD, ELDORAS, SEAN CROGHAN

(Blackbird) Bluebird (on Lovitt Records) has a lot going on. They go from sounding alterna-rock (barf-o-rama), to Blues Explosion, to guitar-pop, all in one song. But their vocalist is really loud, and sort of whiny, in a Violent Femmes way. That sort of manic talent alone is worth a live listen. And hey, they're not as bad as the drunk driver who smashed his truck through the Blackbird's kitchen last Monday, and that's saying something. KATIE SHIMER

ALTAMONT, WITCH MOUNTAIN, AUTOMATIC ANIMAL

(Satyricon) Witch Mountain sounds like Black Sabbath, with the dark, metally sound of their guitars and balls-out riffs, but their biggest difference (and flaw) is their vocals. They battle with the music and they're kind of scream-singy and grating, causing me to forget to listen to the awesome metal behind them--which there is a lot of. This could be a problem specific to CD-listening, or one that they just haven't nailed down yet, but for metal fans, the instrumentals are definitely worth the couple bucks. KS

GUIDED BY VOICES: Pro or Con?

(Roseland)
PRO: Our favorite high-kickin', Bud-swillin' sweeties have returned for another marathon classic rock revival, leading the legions of Blowfish faithful through (I hope) such GBV gemstones as "Metal Mothers," "Shocker in Gloomtown," and "Blatant Doom Trip." Commander Pollard has been a busy little bee lately, mustering up the band's latest Isolation Drills; an album by Robert Pollard, and the Soft Rock Renegades titled Choreographed Man of War; and a full-length record with ex-GBV fieldhand Tobin Sprout, under the moniker The Airport Five. Coming soon, we can look forward to a 7" called "Tropic of Nipples"--a collaboration with Portland literary poobah Richard Meltzer. In his spare time, Pollard collects antique snuff boxes and rodeo memorabilia. His name has also been bandied about as a possible senatorial candidate "who can talk to the young." Hmmm... JOHN CHANDLER

CON: "Nostalgic Music for Lost Soul Wannabe Frat Boys" will be the name of the set list this evening, folks. It cannot be denied that GBV created some wonderfully catchy and exciting music in the mid-'90s; the reckless, lo-fi style and spontaneity of those early recordings continue to serve and delight. However, GBV shows are extremely crowded affairs filled with people who relate to a 30-something-year-old drunk whose glory days are far behind him. Expect to deal with a lot of strong body odors and beer being spilled on you. And remember: Every time Dayton, OH's best-paid alcoholic's babbled lyrics are called "genius," the little baby Jesus cries. SQUEAKY

RL BURNSIDE, DANIEL JOHNSTON

(Crystal Ballroom) What a fucking oddball bill this show is. Hack copy: one man isolated by the North Mississippi hill country, the other by his own mind. You've no doubt read about how great RL Burnside is and thought, "Yeah, but it will just be some boring old Blues shit." Well, you'd be wrong, and I was wrong, and RL rocks harder sitting on his grizzled hind quarters than a pogoing army of garage revival bullshit boys. He plays the grind-trance guitar lines while his big-ass grandson, Cedric, pounds the fuck out of the drum kit. Straight-ahead house rockers are the order of the day, and lo, will the crowd pack in and get sweaty. Let's hope Mr. Johnston will be able to open them up to his uniquely-bent and highly eccentric musical universe. STEPHEN STRAUSBAUGH See Cover, pg 1

MARSHALL CRENSHAW

(Roseland Grill, 6 pm) As important an artist as any that emerged from the early '80s pop 'n' roll movement, Marshall Crenshaw probably holds the world record for "Number of References Involving the Word 'Underrated' in Music Journalism." Occasionally, these types of tags hold water, and in Crenshaw's case, it's a tragic reality. The author of such pop classics as "Someday, Someway," "You're My Favorite Waste of Time," and "Little Wild One (No. 5)," should be a household name, but the fact that he isn't is a double-edged sword. Frankly, if the rest of the world knew what they were missing, audiences would be lucky to catch his act at a mid-sized venue, let alone the small space that is the Roseland Grill. If you like good pop music, show up--and take notes. MURRAY CIZON


SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 2


CAT POWER

(Satyricon) She is Chan Marshall, and she is gifted and tragic and beautiful and fucked up, and she probably won't even be able to finish a whole song. If she brushed her hair from her face to look at the audience, underneath there might be tears or spite, or tears of spite. With anyone else, there would be no excuse for her on-stage behavior--if you're going to put yourself out there, you have to be able to fucking deal with being in front of people--but she is the archetype of the woman Lars von Trier casts in all his movies. Plus, she might be insane. JS

LAST CHANCE SUMMER DANCE STARRING MANY FINE ARTISTS AND THE SEXIEST MAN ON EARTH, TYRESE

(Waterfront Park) See Music pg 15

THE U-SOUND INSTALLATION

(Blackbird) Called a "sound archive" and curated by Jackie-O Motherfucker's Tom Greenwood, this is an uninterrupted, two-hour improv piece featuring many fine, local, improv-loving musicians (including members of Jackie-O, Swords Project, Smegma, and Hochenkeit). This is the first in a series of four (every Sunday in Sept.). JS

URBAN ASSASSINS/LAUNCH DRUM 'N' BASS PARTY

(Tiger Bar) Sometimes, even though a musician might be really good, a show will suck just because it's organized so badly, and the poor musician will be, like, singing in the way back in a moldy corner of a room with no mic while everyone else talks. This event, on the other hand, is the opposite. Just about every drum n' bass DJ in town will be spinning (King Fader, Drunken Monkey, Boo, Armando and many others). PLUS, the promoters have lined up Thai food in the kitchen, and free bananas and water on the table. Free bananas! KD

ME'SHELL N'DEGEOCELLO

(Aladdin) Perhaps a broken heart--in this case, an absolutely demolished and abandoned heart--is the best thing that can happen to an artist. In the early '90s, Me'Shell thundered onto the R&B scene as the type of angry bitch that you wouldn't want to meet in a back alley; her lyrics were aggressive, poking their finger in the listener's chest and then, for good measure, giving a swift hiphop kick to the shins. It was elegant, intimidating, mean, and sexy. But her follow-up albums and tours lacked those same compelling personal narratives and angry focus. She has since been demoralized in a relationship and, as the anger has subsided (a bit), it has exposed a bedrock of jazz and blues influences as well as a certain headstrong maturity. PHIL BUSSE


MONDAY SEPTEMBER 3

AMERICAN ANALOG SET, HER SPACE HOLIDAY, NORFOLK & WESTERN

(Blackbird) The middle of a small-town night comes to mind when listening to American Analog Set. Their hushed guitars recall bare streets, their light-with-gravity organs summon up desolate green spaces, and their whispered vocals wind through sleeping houses. And though all seems still, there is movement below, in the basements of these houses, where kids are singing songs: about their adventures on these slow, windy lanes, about young love and a bottle of Nyquil, about the mysteries of moon-lit backyards. Live, AAS transports you to this quiet, intense place. Theirs is great music for the end of summer. Her Space Holiday, who sing pretty lullabies in the Spiritualized vein, open the show. MICHAEL SHILLING

WOLF COLONEL, ALL GIRL SUMMER FUN BAND, BOBBY BIRDMAN

(Meow Meow) The return of the Wolf Colonel's grandiose arena pop, which we haven't seen in town in awhile. Will he be solo? Will he stand in the audience? Will he sing about dwarves and unicorns? Hopefully so. JS


TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 4

REACH THE SKY, RISE AGAINST, AT A GLANCE, NIHILIST

(Paris) Lovers of AFI and the darker side of skate-punk will find hopeful delight in Rise Against. Formed around the demise of 88 Fingers Louie, they marry melodic hardcore and pop-punk, and it almost works the way it should. Surely Dag Nasty is turning in their shallow graves over Reach The Sky, as they offer a unique opportunity for tough white-boys in tank tops to express their inner emotional angst. The best reason to attend will be Vancouver, WA's sincere, metal-heavy, young hardcore band, Nihilist and their scrappy, take-on-the-world approach. SQUEAKY


WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 5

PROGRESSION SESSIONS: LTJ BUKEM, NOOKIE, MC CONRAD, DJ JUSTIN BROWNING

(Ohm) LTJ Bukem has made a career of producing and promoting deep and atmospheric drum 'n' bass, be it his own output or a product of the legions he has influenced. He tends to use samples of traditional instruments and exotic percussion which, on their own, might sound like a stopover in Yanniville, and juxtaposes them with rolling, bass-heavy grooves that clock in at close to 200 BPM. Rather than a frenzied, percussive barrage, it mimics the spokes of a wheel: everything is so sped up that it collectively can sound inert. In a club setting, this works to tremendous effect, satiating both the observers and dancers with equal tempered portions of accelerated ambience, and sub-bass that punches you in the stomach. ELLIOTT ADAMS

IMPROV MUSIC WORKSHOP STARRING RICH HALLEY, DAVE STORRS, JOSH ALLEN, MATTHEW CARMICHAEL, GUESTS

(It's a Beautiful Pizza) See Music pg 17


GOING TO SEATTLE?

Sun 9/2: New Pornographers (Crocodile); Old 97s, The Posies, Pansy Division (Showbox)

Mon 9/3: Nashville Pussy (Crocodile)

Wed 9/5: American Analog Set, Her Space Holiday (Graceland)

For more info, visit www.thestranger.com

New Releases Sept 4: American Analog Set, Apes, Bows, Chessie, Clinic*, Dirtmitts, Fatboy Slim, Clive Holden, Hot Little Rocket, Mayor McCA, Mazarin, Ming & FS*, Orbital, Michael Sheehy, Sianspheric, Stereolab, Susumu Yokota*
*=potentially neat