THURSDAY 3/21

CAT POWER, M. WARD, CORRINA REPP

(Berbati's, 231 SW Ankeny)

VS.

SEAN NA NA, THE NATRONS, THE INFLUENTS

(Blackbird, 3728 NE Sandy) Sean Tillman (aka Sean Na Na) is a fat, short, balding Minneapolis un-hipster who is playing at The Blackbird tonight. Chan Marshall (aka Cat Power) is a beautiful woman with to-die-for hair from New York, who will be playing at Berbati's Pan tonight. To compare the two would be insane, especially since they are polar opposites in every way possible. Marshall is very New York, with her fashionable looks and media-friendly nervous breakdowns, while Tillman resembles a frumpy Midwestern cousin of a young Woody Allen. It's safe to say that he (unlike Marshall) doesn't get too many photo spreads in fashion magazines. Marshall's music is a delicately slow mix of piano and strummed chords that encapsulate her powerful voice. Tillman's music is a rushed assembly of teenage hyperactivity, complete with ADD lyrics that cover topics as diverse as "track marks" and "ponies" in the same song. Since they couldn't be more different, it's hard to recommend one show over the other--they're both great, so what's a boy to do? I will say that the drinks are cheaper at Blackbird. CARMELO MARTINEZ

WANDA JACKSON, DJ JIM GOAD

(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) Wanda Jackson is the self-proclaimed "first lady of rockabilly," and she's been performing since 1956. She is said to have worked with Elvis Presley, and has very tall, permed hair. You may buy a personally autographed photograph of Wanda at www.wandajackson.com for $7, plus shipping and handling. KATIA DUNN


FRIDAY 3/22

THANKSGIVING, GLACIER PARK, THE DOMESTIC PARTNERS, PUNISHMENT FOR THE BAD

(Nicole's, 617 NE Fremont, 10 am) Breakfast shows at Nicole's: because every once in awhile, you really need a heart-shaped vegan pancake. This one features the sweetly soothing and morning-suited music of the crackly, earnest Thanksgiving, the slovenly strolls of Glacier Park, Punishment for the Bad, and the Domestic Partners, which includes Kissing Book's Andrew Kaffer. JULIANNE SHEPHERD

MARILYN CRISPELL

(First Christian Church, 1315 SW Broadway) In 1969, free jazz pianist Marilyn Crispell gave up music for a boy. It's easy to see how this could happen; 1969 was still fairly early in the feminist movement, and surely Crispell felt the pressure to get hitched and reproduce. Five years later, however, she ditched the husband after hearing John Coltrane, and took up piano once again. An inspiration to us all to hold onto our dreams, 30 years later, Marilyn Crispell is now considered one of the greatest improvising jazz pianists of our time, having recorded more than 34 albums. Tonight, she'll perform solo and knock off your socks. JS

CLINIC, KINGSBURY MANX, THE FORTY-FIRST

(Berbati's) See Music pg 15

LOPEZ CD RELEASE, BOTTLES & SKULLS, MILLHOUS, BURNING CINDYS

(Blackbird) Lopez will certainly not dazzle you with their inventive song constructions or poignant lyrics--but they are the balls-out guitar punk you're looking for, if you're looking for balls-out punk rock. Their live show bursts with fruit flavor... and hey, you can jump around and bang into people, especially during songs like "Stoopit," "Mother Fucker," or my favorite, "Ass Pennies." KATIE SHIMER

MAGIC MARKER SHOWCASE: DEAR NORA, KISSING BOOK, TULLYCRAFT, LUNCHBOX

(Meow Meow, 520 SE Pine) As far as I'm concerned, Lunchbox does everything right with their indiepop, playing music that you don't necessarily have to be a diehard indiepop fan--complete with Pikachu wristwatch and "Fuck Me, I'm Twee" badge (more on that later)--to enjoy. Lunchbox takes the essentials--super harmonies, catchy melodies, and a sweet energy--and filters them through pedals and weird samples, making an audible crunch for great music that transcends the genre. Seattle pop favorites Tullycraft, with their new album Beat, Surf, Fun, employ a more standard indiepop form: guitars that jingle and clink, Sean Tollefson's nasally yet strangely appealing, fake surfer accented vocals, and enough cute quirks to resurrect a horse. While I often find myself asking questions such as, "Do these people ever have sex?" or "Have they ever read a book by Sartre?" I do find much pleasure in Tullycraft's unflinching cheeriness amidst humanity's backdrop of certain doom. One can only imagine, Godfather-style, the image of terrorists exploding their hometown's Space Needle to the tune of "Cowgirls on Parade." PDX expatriate Dear Nora returns with her sweet voice, and Kissing Book plays the bossa nova like a clean-cut Casanova. JS


SATURDAY 3/23

THE GOSSIP, HEART BEATS RED, PINKY SWEAR, POLKADOT CHOKEALOT, NEW SHENANIGANS, HUNDREDS OF DISMEMBERED HANDBAGS

(Reed Student Union, 3203 SE Woodstock) As a benefit show for the awesome Rock and Roll Camp for Girls, at which ladies from ages 12-18 can learn how to run sound, play drums, etc., some of Portland's coolest lady-centric bands kick lots of ass tonight. Who can step to the engaging power of Beth Gossip, the tell-it-like-it-is chutzpah of the Polkadot Chokealot girls, or the stark pleas of Heart Beats Red? They all stand tall and rock hard, in one variation of "rocking" or another. JS

FINCH, MOTH, THE START, DAYTON

(Paris, 6 SW 3rd) Finch is music for the Hot Topic set; their records are released by Drive-Thru Records, which poses as an indie label, but is actually owned by RCA. It's exactly what you'd expect: generic, glossy pop punk, complete with frosted hair on Southern California, Aryan boys. CM

PANTHERS, OTHER MEN MY AGE, SCIENCE OF YABRA

(Nicole's, 7:30 pm) Kip Uhlhorn, the awesome guitarist/vocalist from The Red Scare, fronts Panthers, along with Jayson, Geoff, and Jeff of Orchid, and Justin from Turing Machine/ Pitchblende, and they claim to reference the Dadaists and Weather Underground. Based entirely on the band's pedigree alone, I can only emit the following words: Holy... Christ. Sprouting from the ashes of A Great Divide (Frenetic), Portland-via-Santa Cruz band Science of Yabra will also astonish with their coarsely wound energy, crushing melodies, and breathless screaming. Other Men My Age also boasts members of Harriet the Spy/"New" Terror Class, who moved here from Ohio fairly recently. Portland is becoming quite the destination--new and future residents include Pleasure Forever and V for Vendetta--and if every new resident is as talented and exciting as these bands, I say, let's open the goddamn gates! JS

U.S. MAPLE, AVEO, THE PLANET THE, BOTTLED OG

(Blackbird) Judging from the crowd's brilliant reaction to The Planet The's opening spot for Stephen Malkmus at the Crystal Ballroom last weekend, they may be Portland's very own U.S. Maple (see: Pavement's last tour), at least in panache and ability to confuse unsuspecting onlookers. Request their cover of Bruce Springsteen's "I'm on Fire"--it's a hoot, and you will feel like you've been molested! JS

THURSDAY, THE MOVIELIFE, OPEN HAND

(Meow Meow, 4 pm) Thursday is immensely popular, and you can understand why: they're emo, they're hardcore, they're cute, they freak out on stage, they're at the major labels' doorstep--essentially filling the void that At the Drive-In left, except it didn't necessarily need to be filled. CM

KNIFE IN THE WATER, THE MENDOZA LINE, SUPER XX MAN

(Meow Meow, later) If you're looking for three musical acts with lethargic song structure, quiet, dark harmonies, and vocalists who sing slightly off-key on their records (presumably to convey their lethargy and depression, at least, one hopes as much), this show is for you. Knife in the Water and the Mendoza Line both write music that makes you feel like you're drowning, with tambourines, harmonies, and lots of indie-kid gloom. Not unlike the poets I lived with in 1995. JS

COOKIE, THE OBLIVION SEEKERS, THE NIGHTMARES, HELLFIRE CHOIR

(Ash Street, 225 SW Ash) Oblivion: The condition or quality of being completely forgotten. Oblivion Seekers, I ask you, how can oblivion be sought? ...Despite the stupid name, O.S. churn out quality classic rock/rawkabilly fusion with booming, ironic, Frank Black-type vocals that are foot-tapping, line-dancing, and beer slam-arrifc. Cookie do gimmicky rock with the scratchy, smoker, I'm-so-sad-and-sexy-vocals of "Sabrina Rockarena" (give me a fucking break!). The guitar player has some talented wailing solos, but they just don't "rock the boat," to quote the late Aaliyah. KS

DEATHRAY, KNEIVEL, MAN OF THE YEAR

(Cobalt) If you've been craving pop that's intelligent, well-crafted, and downright beautiful, pick up a copy of Knievel's Name Rings a Bell that Drowns Out Your Voice. The members of this Sydney, Australia band may have graduated a couple years ahead of the Bright Eyes bunch, but their curriculum was much more thorough and the resulting musical output is both mesmerizing and mature. Like Luna, Knievel shows that it's possible to massage the heart, the mind and the ears at the same time. BARBARA MITCHELL

EPOXIES, PHANTOM LIMBS, POINT LINE PLANE

(Satyricon, 125 NW 6th) The Epoxies are so '80s, but in a good way. Though the lead singer manages to sing really, really fast, she maintains a flat, I'm-so-bored sound to her voice, which is an attractive dynamic, and a lot of synthesized, Pretty in Pink sounds back her up. With the dark Phantom Limbs and Point Line Plane--a great show. KD


SUNDAY 3/24

U.S. MAPLE, MONITOR BATS, POINT LINE PLANE

(Meow Meow) See Music pg 15

THE DECEMBERISTS, THE SCOOTERS, HARVESTER

(Blackbird) I get hysterical every time I say "Scooters," for no good reason. I can't say anything about this band without first likening their sentiment to the Oasis song "Champagne Supernova," or Oasis in general. If you're into the Britpop with the sweeping spacey backdrop, with a little somber Britty (okay, Australian) singer/songwriter stuff (the audible accent will make you swoon), you can see the Scooters for cheap. They're just as competent and far less cheesy than Coldplay or Oasis. KS


MONDAY 3/25

GLASS CANDY & THE SHATTERED THEATRE, THE WALKMEN, MAZARIN

(Blackbird) The Walkmen fully ensconce the gloom of Joy Division and the light step of Young Marble Giants with a comely serenity. Their vocalist manages to be both maudlin and sexy; he gracefully walks a proscenium of softly rickety guitar, swank piano and organ, and clattering, minimalist drums--so minimalist, in fact, you'll marvel that five guys could make such a quiet clamor. Part of their sound is certainly due to their interesting recording techniques, full of warmth and immediacy. A heart-fluttering sheen drenches their forthcoming record, Everyone Who Pretended to Like Me is Gone (on StarTime, also home to French Kicks). Zowie... I'm in love. This show also marks the first Glass Candy release on Troubleman Records--a split 7" with SF's awesome Subtonix--and a full-length will follow. JS

PRETTY GIRLS MAKE GRAVES, MADE FOR TV MOVIE, YOUR ENEMIES FRIEND

(Satyricon) While I was originally a Pretty Girls Make Graves naysayer, their newest record converted me. Their huge blasts of guitar, anthemic male/female vocals, great, unexpected samples, and tight musicianship are certainly coaxing, but their sheer amount of vigor supercedes everything else. With a contagious urgency, their sing/screaming will have you shaking your fist in agreement, passion, anger, etc. It's punk rock, but rather than copping punk's formula, PGMG have captured punk's combustible energy. JS


TUESDAY 3/26

CHAPEL OF SKILLS, PHILOSOFLOETRY, WONE, MIC CRENSHAW, MORE

(Billy Reed's, 2808 NE MLK) See, there's this really rad, free workshop at this place called the Youth Opportunity Center, where young kids get to learn about the political impact of hiphop and also, rap with one of the best, Mic Crenshaw, a member of the local group Hungry Mob. In order to show off all this young talent, they're having a showcase. Show your appreciation for great community efforts like this one, and see some kids who will probably be famous someday. KD

LESS THAN JAKE, HOT WATER MUSIC

(Crystal Ballroom) Hot Water Music is an emo band, certainly, but one that is emo mostly in their words, rather than just sound. They're too complex and lean too much towards rock to be slated away in the emo box, plus the I'm-a-smoker voice of Chuck Ragan is awesome. KD

BANDS & BINGO: RALLY BOY, AFROHOMO, JOSHE HENRY

(Blackbird) See My What a Busy Week pg 13


WEDNESDAY 3/27

BEACHWOOD SPARKS, THE SADIES, THE CAPITOL YEARS

(Blackbird) Executed with the utmost of professionalism, The Sadies play music that's all over the map, but is generally based in rootsy rock, with an element of soul, like Rolling Stones with a lap steel. I find it sort of boring, but if you like straightforward rock, The Sadies are excellent in talent and implementation. JS

JOHN WIESE, HERR K, D. YELLOW SWANS, THE TIGERS

(Fast Forward, 6616 NE MLK) From Los Angeles, John Wiese has made a trade in eardrum-busting, abrasive noise in the groups Bastard Noise and Sissy Spacek. Tonight, he'll be entirely solo, surely subverting basements and small dogs within hearing radius (pugs will be particularly affected). Along for the ride are John's pals, Herr K, who are described as "weird, explosive hardcore." Our own noise-a-licious D. Yellow Swans and San Diego's The Tigers join. JS

LAND CAMERA MICRO ORCHESTRA

(Green Room, 2280 NW Thurman) Hey, multimedia improv--what more could you ask for on a Wednesday? Not all squeaks and squawks, the Wow & Flutter boys incorporate drum machines, samples, and keyboards with saxophone, trumpet, and guitar--scoring digital video, film, and slides. Take this opportunity to check out the Green Room and hottie guitar player Donnie Mashado. KS

SIN IN SPACE, SHINY THINGS, NOUMENA

(Satyricon) Sin in Space's distorted guitar pop explodes into lovely dueling guitars underscored by modest bass. The male vocalist dicks around all over the place, making noises, screaming, sing-talking, and cheesily serenading... which, with the competent back-up, prevents him from sounding like a self-important asshole. Sin in Space are a good time, for sure; intense, but not too serious--kind of like jerking off. KS


GOING TO SEATTLE?

Fri 3/22: U.S. Maple, Sean Na Na (Graceland)

Sat 3/23: Clinic (I-Spy); Cat Power (Showbox)

Tues 3/26: The Walkmen, Mazarin (Graceland)

Wed 3/27: Bonnie Prince Billy (Graceland); Doug Martsch (Tractor Tavern)

For more info, visit www.thestranger.com

New Releases March 26: East River Pipe*, Eazy-E, Elf Power*, Funkmaster Flex*, Gerardo, Iron Maiden*, Jay-Z & R. Kelly*, Knife in the Water, Marumari*, Nels Cline Singers*, Pan American*, Psychic TV*, Secret Machines, Tiger Saw

* = may actually turn out okay