THURSDAY 5/2

DEADBOLT, LORDS OF ALTAMONT, ANTI-WORLD, DIEJOBS

(Ash) The Lords of Altamont perpetuate a campy, badass-motherfuckers attitude, but luckily they've got plenty to show for that shtick. Last time they toured, singer Jake Cavaliere set his organ on fire, dipping the instrument almost to the ground as he pounded away on the keys. Drummer Max Eidson threw his kit around the stage, bringing pieces out into the audience to play while the remaining guitarists/bassist trio jabbed their tools around like they were generating multiple flesh wounds. The Lords' songs about getting girls, getting loaded, and getting mean (in that order) are the three basic food groups of garage rock, but fuck it, I love 'em anyway. JENNIFER MAERZ

X-ECUTIONERS, THE COUP, KENNY MUHAMMED

(Crystal) You may know the X-ecutioners as the X-Men, because they had to change their name for obvious copyright reasons. They call themselves "the overqualified but under-appreciated blue-collar superheroes of the new Hiphop." They're dedicated to keeping hiphop grounded in its underground roots, but still pushing the envelope with creative forms of beat juggling, body tricks, and of course, scratching. KATIA DUNN

THE PLACES, JUANITAS FAMILY

(Blackbird) The Places' Amy Annelle has a breathy, breezy voice and wilt-worthy songs that convey a real, honest vulnerability. She's called herself a Portlander in the past, but she's been wandering and touring for so long--with explosive jazz-nerd drummer Johnny Schier, also of Last of the Juanitas/Juanitas Family--at this point, you can only call her a wayward soul, and hope she comes back. But maybe that's how she likes it; in the six-or-so months that she's been away, she's lived in the South, toured the East Coast, and become the vagabond darling of New York, at least according to, like, every paper and magazine in the City. If you didn't know how to swoon from pretty sentiment before, Amy Annelle will teach you. JULIANNE SHEPHERD


FRIDAY 5/3

ANTICON: SOLE, PASSAGE, RESTIFORM BODIES, KEVIN BLECHDOM

(Blackbird) If you have a boner for "experimental hiphop," or even consider yourself a fan of the unconventional, please direct yourself to Oakland's Anticon Collective. The flow of their abstract emcees often feeds off swimmy, subconscious lyrics and ephemeral sampling--sometimes it feels more like an art project than a hiphop show. (Or, as another writer astutely put it, they're "like what doing whip-its sounds like.") This is not to discount the talent inherent in the crew; they're just unlike anyone else, rhyming with as much mischief and humor as artfulness. Tonight, MC Sole will perform from his upcoming solo EP, Salt on Everything, along with Restiform Bodies, a quartet of smarty-pantses who describe their music as "avant-psych R&B." JS See Music pg 19

POINT LINE PLANE, SLEETMUTE/NIGHTMUTE, DJIN'S TEETH

(2716 SE 21st Ave, 8 pm) From the deepest annals of Southeast Portland: Point Line Plane, a screaming, minimalist keyboard-drum duo that skews rhythm through a cool, back-alley darkness--half nihilistic dance band, half art student enthusiasm, like NYC in the early '80s. Joining them are an eclectic pair of new acts: Sleetmute/Nightmute, "Portland's only all-girl noize-wave band" (gender being completely relative, of course) and Djin's Teeth, an "acoustic psychedelic hippie jamfest." Boy, they really know how to impress the ladies! JS

AMOREE LOVELL, KAETLIN AND LUKE

(Mad Hatter) With her swanky stance at the piano and gutsy voice, Amoree Lovell is a special treat--pairing the gloom of Edward Gory and Danny Elfman with the panache of Kurt Weill and George Gershwin. She's a kitten on the keys with bite, an accomplished pianist with quirk and sass, a smoky piano bar chanteuse with a penchant for darkness. If there's any doubt in your mind that gothic ragtime is a good idea, Amoree will sway you to the dark side. JS

THE PROMISE RING, THE WEAKERTHANS, PINEHURST KIDS

(Roseland) It's ironic that in a genre bursting at the seams and about to (unfortunately) burst upon mainstream society, most long-term Emo bands are jumping ship. The Anniversary turned to classic rock, The Get Up Kids got fat and boring, The Gloria Record dropped the sweaters and picked up the keyboards (the only smart decision here), and our dear popsters The Promise Ring, they... well, they... I have no fucking idea what they did. I guess you can say that grew up, but when your forte is two-minute pop gems, why grow up? If the kids want the pop, give them the pop! But I guess the Promise Ring didn't want the pop; instead they wanted to be R.E.M., or Spiritualized, or an awkward combination of both. The end result is a horrific train wreck of good intentions and mismatched sounds, making The Promise Ring's new record, Woodwater, to be one of the most sad and embarrassing efforts I have ever heard. Sorry boys, but it's a long way down from here. CARMELO MARTINEZ


SATURDAY 5/4

MEDUSA & FELINE SCIENCE

(Ohm) You must experience Feline Science, a 12-piece soul band, and Medusa, who rose from L.A.'s Project Blowed to become the Queen of West Coast Underground Hiphop. JS See My What a Busy Week pg 17

THE DOLOMITES

(Bitter End) If you remember the Dolomites as a drinking, Pogues-style band, it's time for a check-up. Songs for loadies have been replaced by swashbuckling gypsy dirges, wonderful, klezmer soul, and they've apparently updated their performance to Broadway proportions. Truly awesome. JS

BURNING CINDYS, ME INFECTO, A NEW LAND OF ME

(Blackbird) Me Infecto is a bass and drum duo that sounds like Tom Waits vomiting blood after a tequila and crank binge. That's a recommendation, if you couldn't tell. DAN PAULUS

JUCIFER, BLOODHAG, WITCH MOUNTAIN

(Ash) Jucifer's a two-piece that combines three-dimensional, giant-slaying guitar parts and a vicious drum attack with wispy, breathy female vocals. Jucifer's female seductress, Amber Valentine, is such a stoner rock siren, she lures punk metal fans in with her sweetness, only to crush them into dust with the power of the next distorted guitar swarm or a sudden bloodcurdling scream. Dude... heavy. JM

SLEEPYTIME GORILLA MUSEUM, STARANTULA

(Dante's) Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, or "the barking band," as they are known around the Mercury office, play interestingly timed, unique music that is slightly tribal, and also a little less dangerous than they would have you believe. (Like the safe, mainstream version of Italian improvisers Ovo.) They are excellent musicians, however, with guitar, drums, violin, and a stage presence that verges on performance art. JS

DEGENERATE ART ENSEMBLE, BILL HORIST, ONUS BOTON, PROJEXORCISM, NEQUAQUAM VACUUM

(Jasmine Tree) Don't be fooled by the name: the Degenerate Art Ensemble isn't just for the arty-farty, clever-music crowd. Let classically tinged, experimental post-rock collide with gleeful, Knitting Factory noise, and you'll be close to what conductor/composer Joshua Kohl and his tribe of guitarists, drummers, and horn players are up to. The music tends toward the unusual, but also strikes familiar chords and hits rockin' grooves, so you don't get left in the dust by that insiders-only thing that makes many folks flee from anything resembling jazz. DAE's Unit Circle labelmate, Bill Horist, plays drones and waterfalls of prepared guitar that bring listeners to altered states of consciousness, and Portland's notorious scrap-metal-and-woodwinds improv, Nequaquam Vacuum, open. TIFFANY LEE BROWN

CASIOTONE FOR THE PAINFULLY ALONE, THE PAPERCUTS, THE BLAST ROCKS!

(Meow Meow) The Papercuts define a new word that has wormed itself into my vocabulary: "Faintolio." This is derived from a new, unfortunate habit I've developed of adding the suffixes "-olio" and "-ondo" to the end of all my words, such as, "That movie was très rètardondo" and "The Papercuts' music makes me faintolio." The Papercuts' music is faintolio-tastic because of their sort of ramshackle pop vocals and arrangements of guitar, drums, and four-track style production that is very charming, along with such sweet songwriting. Now, I realize that a four-tracker's faintolio factor is greatly reduced in a live setting, but I have been assured that The Papercuts' live show will include drums, cello, and a cache of adorable purveyors of the faint. (The act, not the band.) It makes my heart pound-ondo-dolio. JS

RUM DIARY, DESERT CITY SOUNTRACK, SCIENCE OF YABRA

(Viva la Revolution!) Few things in life are better than a free in-store rock show. This time around you get three diverse, yet excellent, rock bands to fill your palette. All the way from Cotati, California (home of Tom Waits), The Rum Diary bring their signature style of melodic stop/start indierock complete with not one, but two, drummers. Desert City Soundtrack only need one drummer as they bury you in sing/scream, keyboard-soaked rhythms that bring back fond memories of Three Mile Pilot. If that wasn't enough, the new kids in town, Science of Yabra, will send you stumbling into the used cassette rack with their buzzsaw guitars and Ebulliton-esque screamed vocals. CM


SUNDAY 5/5

BREAKFAST SHOW WITH NICOLOTTA LONGSTOCKING STARRING THE PAPERCUTS, THE BLAST ROCKS!, THE LOW CEILINGS, CUSPIDOR

(617 NE Fremont, 10 am, vegan Cinco de Mayo food, $4 or donation) Nicolotta Longstocking, the most gracious and lovely host in all of the land, loves Cinco de Mayo. In celebration, join her for some vegan breakfast burritos and lovely pop bands, such as the very charming Papercuts, who you can read about by looking at their Saturday listing. Go early, eat food, be merry--it's Cinco de Mayo, for chrissakes! JS

KILL ME TOMORROW, NUMBERS, POINT LINE PLANE, COACHWHIPS

(Blackbird) Like the Gories before them, the Coachwhips peel the fleshy layers off of rock 'n' roll and expose noise in its leanest wild-animal state. This San Francisco trio traces its genesis back to when drummer John Harlow pulled pieces of a kit from the weed patch in his yard last year and decided to learn how to play, and keyboardist Mary Ann McNamara keeps cryptic notes to track a musical language she makes up as she goes along. At the 'Whips' frontline is Pink & Brown's John Dwyer (Pink), a skilled guitar player who revels in making his recordings sound like he's stroking an instrument that's been rusting on the porch for the past quarter-century. Slam them all together and you've got a band that shakes its way through rattled garage soul as Dwyer makes mic-distorted commands like, "Look into my eyes when I come." Dirty rock sounds best when it's this fucking naked. JM

TIMO MAAS, STARECASE, JASON AZRA

(Cobalt) DJ Timo Maas comes from Düsseldorf, Germany, which is noted for its powerful banks and industrial sector--the city produces steel, chemicals, glass, and textiles. The industrial side of this mid-sized city is captured in DJ Maas' aggressive electro-remixes and original songs. Though a little too heavy and kinetic for my tastes, there is one fascinating track on his new CD, Loud. It's called "Help Me" and it features the arousing vocals of Kelis. The song is funky, high-tech, and contains a spooky sample of Bernard Herrmann's The Day the Earth Stood Still. "Help Me" exists in a vaporous place--somewhere between Donna Summer's "I Feel Love" and Portishead's "Humming"--and no amount of listening can break its firm spell. CHARLES MUDEDE


MONDAY 5/6

SATOKO FUJII QUARTET

(Old Church) One of the biggest problems with some modern jazz--Thirsty Ear-style nu-jazz--is that it has no edge. Sure, there's great playing, alive and vibrant and innovative in context, but no angry dissonance that those of us who grew up listening to punk have come to crave. (At least, unless it's filtered through modern classical composition.) One exception is Satoko Fujii, an amazing pianist from Japan, who can sound like she is hacking apart her piano with a pick-axe, while still managing to be jazzy. She'll give you sweat and blood like you like it. JS


TUESDAY 5/7

BUFFALO DAUGHTER

(Berbati's) Japanese sonic collagists Buffalo Daughter know how to recontextualize old sound samples and turn them into something totally new and strange. On their latest, I, guitarist SuGar Yoshinoga and bassist Yumiko Ohno share processed vocals that are compiled over turntablist Moog Yamamato's beats, blips, and samples. The album picks up where New Rock left off, taking a playful, odd go-round with generous swaths of bossa nova, metal, Krautrock, and chorales. The band quick-cuts Kraftwerk, the Slits, and the Raincoats, and pastes them over a hopped-up pop background for a sound that is both avant-garde and approachable. NATE LIPPENS

SPARTA, THE CATHETERS, AIRPLANES ARE BETTER, RIVAL SCHOOLS

(Meow Meow) Sparta are spawn of recent blowing-up-in-your-facers At the Drive In, and play a similar melodic, slightly heavy indie sound with the inclusion of electronics, and vocals. Their new EP, Austere, is out on Dreamworks, so if you were into the Drive In boys, I'd go see Sparta before they're all over the radio, too. KATIE SHIMER


WEDNESDAY 5/8

JUS FAMILY RECORDS 10-YEAR ANNIVERSARY STARRING COOL NUTZ, BOSKO, MANIAC LOK, RAY RAY, BOOM BAP PROJECT, MORE

(Berbati's) Jus Family Records is Portland's own rap label and home of Cool Nutz. They've been around for 10 years now, and in order to celebrate, Mr. Nutz has brought out the big guns, straight from the Cali scene. Among others, this showcase will feature Ray Ray of G-Ism, Mystik Journeymen, and Sunspot Jonz & LuckyIam/PSC of The Living Legends. With this many names on the bill, it's bound to be an all-night affair, so bring a lot of bottled water and granola bars, otherwise you may not be ready for the five-hour play time. KD

SHINER, HOUSTON, QUARRY TO THE WAR

(Blackbird) Shiner capitalizes on a sound that is quite popular these days--rock with a sense of depression or having been beaten down. The vocalist pulls it off, however, with a real sense of sincerity, instead of phoning in some mock sense of turmoil like a million other bands. The distorted rock guitar is intricately played instead of relying on sweeping riffs, and the drummer--well, he's some crazy badass--which gives them a hard orchestral sound which would even be compelling without the singer. Shiner is for those of us who actually admit to having liked Nirvana and Alice in Chains and would like to see a grunge/alt evolution that is actually an evolution. KS

GOING TO SEATTLE?

Thurs 5/2: Anticon, Kevy B (Graceland)
Sat 5/4:
Kill Me Tomorrow, Numbers, Coachwhips (Paradox)
Wed 5/8:
Buffalo Daughter (I-Spy)

For more info, visit www.thestranger.com


New Releases May 7: Crooked Fingers*, Enon, The Gossip*, Naughty By Nature, Radar Brothers,
* = may actually turn out okay