THURSDAY OCTOBER 18

TRACK STAR, TRUE LOVE ALWAYS, DOUG SHEPHERD

(Meow Meow) Track Star puts on one of the best shows, playing indierock that doesn't follow formulas but also doesn't alienate your average music consumer with its artistry. However, though it straddles this line, the band incorporates enough great guitar melodies and utterly spastic drumming to make even the most cautious music skeptic (yours truly) jump around in her snotty little sockies. True Love Always is dreamy, with puffs of light-on-your-toes guitars and heart-in-the-clouds vocals that best characterize their label, Teen Beat. Last time they played, I'm pretty sure I swooned and had to be revived by medicinal chalk. Doug Shepherd (no relation) used to live in Portland, but apparently moved to the Bay Area, and the rumor is, he's actually a member of Track Star now. Funny how that works. JULIANNE SHEPHERD

RICHARD BUCKNER, FERNANDO, LUTHER RUSSELL

(Berbati's) For fans of the country/folk warble, indie-style, Richard Buckner is very pleasing. He's so warbly and tortured, I think he probably even talks in a sloppy, out-of-tune, I'm-about-to-kill-myself drawl. As far as this particular kind of music goes, Buckner's pretty much where it's at. KATIA DUNN

DOLOREAN, DENISON WITMER, NOISE FOR PRETEND

(Blackbird) Portland's Dolorean almost falls into the category of "too patient, country-tinged singer-songwriter-with-band" bands, with painfully earnest lyrics and a bass note that comes once a minute. What keeps their slow-as-poppies sound from inducing the audience into eternal sleep is the addition of textural melodies, courtesy a saloon-style Wurlitzer organ, to fill in the spaces. It turns a band that could have been typical as hell into one with subtleties that are actually interesting. Denison Witmer is a singer-songwriter from Pennsylvania, and sings simply and honestly. There's no allegory in this show; all the bands have their hearts gingerly on their sleeves. JS


FRIDAY OCTOBER 19

THE PORCH GHOULS, VESPERTINES, THE 9S, TRANTULATUS

(Satyricon) Fans of the Grifters, '68 Comeback, and the Oblivians will be happy to note that while these band have been silent far too long, the Porch Ghouls out of Memphis features Slim Electro and Jeffrey Evans, as well as suitcase-bangin' drummer Duke Baltimore. Porch Ghouls plays "ruckus," a lo-fi musical style taken from a 1920s slang term for the Memphis jug bands. KATHLEEN WILSON

DISJUNKT

(Tugboat) Disjunkt meshes free jazz with drums and loops in a soft wrapping of guitar-and-sax-generated atmosphere. It can be cohesive and melodic, and at points it is so interesting it is actually sort of startling, because it is so subtle and pretty at the same time. JS

METALLENNIUM STARRING 6 FEET UNDER, CANDIRIA, LAMB OF GOD, GOD FORBID, DARKEST HOUR

(Roseland) Metal is a bit of an understatement when it comes to this line-up of bands. All of them have bloody throated, hardcore vocals and the head-banging, bass-heavy riffs that make mosh pits completely inevitable. Six Feet Under actually sounds like they have some kind of hell-hound for a singer, and Lamb of God plays their shit super-fast, which is awesome. Sometimes I fear these shows, 'cause all the boys drink too much beer, get all testosterone enraged, and try to get laid--but if you're a girl, just wear sunglasses so they can't make eye contact and bring some pepper spray, just in case. KATIE SHIMER

SQUARE DANCE W/FOGHORN LEGHORN, BILL MARTIN

(Disjecta, 116 NE Russell) At my freshman orientation, they threw us--400, wide-eyed 18-year-olds--into a barn for a square dance. The idea was that nobody knew how to square dance; it put everyone on equal footing as complete retards. As a jaded teen, I begrudgingly attended (probably drunk off my ass from shots of tequila). The amazing realization: After three hours of square dancing, dosey-do'ing, and swinging my many partners, I was transformed! (And, no, it really had nothing to do with the Jose Cuervo). Square dancing is unabashed, frenetic fun. There is no shame because--unless you are deep in the Appalachians--no one else really knows what to do, either. As the evening's fiddlers and callers, Foghorn Leghorn pulls in talent from Calobo and local bluegrass talent, Jackstraw. PHIL BUSSE

BARFLY TOASTS TRIBUTARY, THE MISS U'S, CHERRY BOMB, GIANT BUG VILLAGE

(Dante's) Fans of the awesome flick So Wrong They're Right (all about 8-track fanatics) should hitch up yer saddle for tonight's showing of Tributary, director Russ Forster's homage to the cover band. And what better to play alongside a movie about cover bands, than...ohhh, I don't know... cover bands! Displaying an advanced degree of mimicry will be The Miss U's (the Rolling Stones cover band), Cherry Bomb (the Runaways cover band), Giant Bug Village (the Guided By Voices cover band), as well as hosts Jen Lane and director Russ Forster (who, thankfully, will be playing themselves). WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY

BLACKALICIOUS

(Crystal) The song seems gimmicky, but I continue to be stunned by "A to G" from last year's scintillating Blackalicious album, Nia. In it, a recorded female voice announces a letter, and MC Gift of Gab rattles off a verse that alliterates with that letter (to paraphrase: The analog arsonist analyzes...). Blackalicious has been praised for being a truly sophisticated, "socially conscious" rap group, and other tracks on Nia support this praise, but I am most grateful for "A to G" because it demonstrates how Gift of Gab simply loves to rap. While Blackalicious may want to change the world with its music, its top priority is excellent wordplay. Good art, not just good messages, changes the world, which is why Blackalicious rises to the top of the socially conscious rap heap. BRIAN GOEDDE

THE BEANS, BASTINADO, SLACKJAW, SO SADLY FUCKED

(Blackbird) The first time I saw the Beans, from Vancouver BC, was the same time I first saw their Zum Records labelmates the Intima, in my friend's basement. Perhaps there was something in the air, or maybe I was just feeling lucky, but it seemed as if something changed that night--like the moon shifted and the clouds thickened. Certainly it had something to do with The Beans' huge sound filling up the tiny basement so gracefully, with guitars, sound effects, accordion, piano, and a patiently accomplished drummer. They were careful about hitting the dynamics just right, piecing together sounds slowly and softly to make one big parachute of noise. If you like layers, the Beans got layers, and an unflinching, nightlit sound to go with them. JS


SATURDAY OCTOBER 20

STYLES OF BEYOND, LEXICON, 4-ZONE, DJ CHEAPSHOT, DJ EVIL ONE

(B Complex) Styles of Beyond are underground, West Coast hiphop, and they're all about lots of jazzy horns and other fun, acoustic sounds, which adorn very serious, minimalist lyrics. The combo is killer. It's kind of like when someone who's really into dressing hardcore puts on a few fun glam purple boas--something you might normally think of as annoying or cheesy comes across as so classy and well-chosen. KD

QUASI, MAGIC MAGICIANS, TED LEO & THE PHARMACISTS

(Crystal) Does anyone really know what the hell Ted Leo is singing about? JS See My What a Busy Week pg 13

METROPOLITAN, PEACOCK MASK, GRATITUDE

(Joy, 3286 NE Killingsworth) Gratitude is the band of the two owners of Joy, the new, all-ages art space. The band is charming on CD--a little rough around the edges, but with a lot of heart, a proclivity for X-style harmonies, and an energy that is generated from musicians who only play music because it's fun as hell, rather than wish/ego fulfillment or money/fame/sex/drugs. JS

WOKE UP FALLING CD RELEASE, DIGNEN, STARTER KIT

(Blackbird) Even though all their press releases laughably compare Woke Up Falling's sound to vintage Cure (sure, if you consider Wild Mood Swings vintage--or, if you consider The Verve Pipe vintage Cure), their new record, Dividing Blue from Blue, is all right. It showcases their washes of distorted guitars and super-pained, emo vocals. While you won't spend hours contemplating their composition, it is good music to 1. Listen to while showering; 2. Harmonize with while driving. JS


SUNDAY OCTOBER 21

JENNY TOOMEY, BLACK SCIENZ TRIBE, AMOREE LOVELL, BELTLINE

(Blackbird) Black Scienz Tribe is one of the best hiphop groups in Portland, combining two sweet, loose, low-key MCs with a mellow, jazzy backdrop of drums, saxophone, upright bass, and piano. Amoree Lovell starts this awesome show with a melange of Tim Burton-oriented ragtime hits and an omnipresent cigarette, and Beltline (aka Rob Jones) sings earnestly with an acoustic guitar. This is one of the most diverse lineups in awhile. JS See Music pg 15


MONDAY OCTOBER 22

WILLIAM HOOKER, JACKIE-O MOTHERFUCKER, SEANTOS

(Satyricon) Percussionist William Hooker was a mainstay in the NYC loft scene of the mid-'70s. His first album, Is Eternal Life, featured the likes of David Murray and David S. Ware. In the past decade, Hooker has made a transition, tapping into the post-rock/indie scene, playing with such figureheads as Thurston Moore and his cohort Lee Ranaldo, Christian Marclay, and DJ Olive. This rock-meets-jazz crossover has been much attempted in recent years (e.g., Chicago Underground Duo), and Hooker is one of the most successful at it. KREG HASEGAWA


TUESDAY OCTOBER 23

SWEEP THE LEG JOHNNY, A JOHN HENRY MEMORIAL, MENOMENA

(Blackbird) All of my friends say, "Ooh, the last (Smog) show was the best show I've ever seen!" And old Parentheses Callahan is playing tonight, too. But for those of you who intend to miss Sweep the Leg Johnny to see (Smog), I would invite you to step into the Wussymobile and be whisked away to Boring Wussy Land, because Sweep the Leg Johnny's live show is tough as shit and not to be missed. Sweep are possibly the only band in America that can make a saxophone sound like it belongs in the middle of intimidating post-punk guitars and apocalyptic vocals. But Steven M. Sostak blows that fuckin' horn like he's made of pure lung, and the band shreds a violent, beautiful mess of guitars and drums. Their music is exquisitely evil and physically distressing--the kind of life-altering art that rattles around so much in your brain, afterwards you will have to sit in a dark room with a cold compress and a mint julep just to settle down. JS

SMOG, NEIL MICHAEL HAGERTY

(Berbati's) See Music pg 15

AMERICAN HI-FI, PHANTOM PLANET

(B Complex) While it's true that neither American Hi-Fi nor Phantom Planet are breaking a tremendous amount of new ground with their peppy power-pop, you could certainly do a lot worse in terms of live entertainment value. It'd be easy to dismiss Phantom Planet as That Band With the Guy From Rushmore, or American Hi-Fi as The Band with the Heavy Metal Parking Lot Video and the Guy Who Used to Be in Veruca Salt, but the truth of the matter is that both of these bands are actually pretty good. And besides, while the Strokes got all the hype at this year's Reading Festival, it was actually American Hi-Fi who worked the crowd into a moshing, pogo-ing frenzy. If you want something that tickles your brain cells, stay home and listen to Sigur Ros. If you want to see a show that makes you feel good to be alive, B Complex would be an excellent place to be tonight. BARBARA MITCHELL


WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 24

VENDETTA RED, THE JIMMIES, THE HUNCHES

(Berbati's) Vendetta Red are just plain cute, especially when they play their meticulous guitar solos, sing their hard-thought lyrics, or all five of them blow up together into a lovely rock explosion. Plus, it says on their press release that hot teenage girls follow them everywhere (not hard to believe when you hear their music) so boys, you in this town of 1.5 single people, especially have a reason to go. KS

STEREOLAB, FUGU, CHRIS LEE & CHRISTINA ROSENVINGE

(Crystal Ballroom) Perhaps it is due to my Wyoming-raised, middle-class upbringing (or perhaps because, in the last six years, the shtick has been beaten to death), but the '60s pop revival is just no longer fun to me. Unfortunately, it increasingly reminds me of the K-Marts of my youth, and being forced to listen to MIDI flute muzak; or perhaps the touchy-feely gelatin photography of Summer's Eve douche commercials in the '80s. (Hey, it's not my fault--branding works.) Fugu is a very good French band with harmonies, flutes, and interesting orchestration that would be a lot more stomachable if it didn't make me think of Jacquelyn Smith polyester training bras. Christina Rosenvinge has a gorgeous, breathy voice, but it is best when she is performing creepy doll lullabies instead of--yep--'60s-style pop. It's not as if I dislike this music across the board, at all; it's just that so many musicians have glommed onto it in this decade, my throat has been sufficiently crammed. JS

LUKE JANELA

(Red & Black, 6 pm) Luke Janela, who's got a residency at the Red & Black's Wednesday happy hours, plays the cello and guitar. His backdrop of drum machine beats patter quietly against his torn but earnest voice. If you are interested in beautiful music rendered pure by its simplicity, I would encourage you to attend, because Luke is top-notch. JS


GOING TO SEATTLE?

Thurs 10/18: Starlight Mints, Actual Tigers (Graceland)

Fri 10/19: Track Star (Crocodile)

Sat 10/20: Richard Buckner (Crocodile); Blackalicious (I-Spy); William Hooker (Rainbow); Jenny Toomey (Sit & Spin); Chocolate Genius, Spearhead (Sky Church)

Wed 10/24: (Smog), Neil Michael Hagerty, Dave Bazan (Crocodile); American Hi-Fi, Phantom Planet (Graceland)

For more info, visit www.thestranger.com

New Releases 10/23: Appleseed Cast, Low Level Owl, Beatless, Beresford & Honsinger, Billy Mahonie, Breeders*, Col. Parker, Bobby Conn*, Cranberries, Dilated Peoples, DMX*, Dismemberment Plan*, Einstürzende Neubauten*, Elk City, Fireballs of Freedom, Frames, Fu Manchu, Peter Jefferies, Juliana Theory, Klaatu, Anita Lane*, Last Hard Men, Lefty's Deceiver, Millencolin, Mogwai, Mr. Len, Mushroom, Nectarine No. 9, New Wet Kojak*, Orange Alabaster Mushroom, Pan American, Papa M, Petey Pablo, Pilote, Pinback*, Ras Kass, Hope Sandoval*, Erick Sermon, Shiner, Sorry About Dresden, Stinking Lizaveta, Sunroof, Timbaland & Magoo*, Too $hort, Trans Am & Fucking Champs*, Trembling Blue Stars*, Tricolor

* = may actually turn out okay