THURSDAY 5/9

FLOGGING MOLLY, THE CASUALTIES, AVOID ONE THING

(Crystal) Flogging Molly has finally blown up enough to headline their own show, after years of playing dingy California bars, dorky Warped Tours, and touring under "bigger acts." Almost every time they play with another band, they wind up being the evening's sweethearts and shaming the friends of the headliners by pushing Irish-infused rock that is simultaneously Pogues-y and Dropkick Murphys-y, but still somehow winds up sounding more earnest and honest than either. There is something for everyone: a pro skater playing the accordion, a lovely Irish girl on the tin whistle, the cutest boy in LA playing bass and a lot of smiling, dancing, and drinking. Flogging Molly will probably be one of the best shows you go to this year. KATE MERCIER

FRENCH KICKS, COBRA HIGH, THE DIVORCE, THE FORMLESS

(Berbati's) Don't dismiss them as just another quartet of fancy lads; French Kicks swagger their way around Britpop and indie guitar swing, party music that doesn't take itself too seriously, nor is so frigging poppy you pass out from lack of oxygen. Cobra High is also a quartet--half-Portland, half-Seattle--with keyboards, rippin guitar solos, and a shitload of sharp edges. I wouldn't go so far as calling them the power-metal Genesis (that has been reserved for Blind Guardian), but maybe Genesis as filtered by keyboard punk ruffians with a beat to hit? Sure. JULIANNE SHEPHERD

GHOST TO FALCO, LITTLE WINGS, CASIOTONE FOR THE PAINFULLY ALONE

(Blackbird) Technology makes it possible for one person to have a solo band, with tons of different sounds and effects. Ghost to Falco is one such example, using such mysterious items as pedals and loopers to layer his really honest guitar experiments over each other, until it's just one big warm, enveloping ball of prettiness. Also, he sings a bit too, and it's really sweet; GTF, a mere 19 (or is it 20) years old, has a lot of heart and tons of potential. JS

DAISYCHAIN MUSIC FAIR

(Mt. Tabor) The yearly Daisychain Music Fair is a three-day extravaganza of lady pop, rock, and folk musicians, and all proceeds go to the Old Town Clinic's Women's Safe Passage & Respite Fund, which essentially helps women escape their violent relationships--a really positive affair for a good cause. JS

MIDNIGHT OIL, WILL HOGE

(Roseland) If U2 had a taller, balder lead singer, if Bono & Co. didn't repeatedly prostrate themselves before the MTV generation for a few lousy million dollars, if they had put their morals where their big fat mouths were and actually ran for political office under the Green Party--well, then, they'd be Australia's Midnight Oil. If you mix in a little bit of Fugazi's DIY mentality and a Mr. Clean lookalike--again, Midnight Oil. For over 25 years, this band has been fighting the good fight: releasing records on their own label, and attempting to shift the media focus from video airplay to grassroots causes. Midnight Oil's American hits might seem cheesy to Americans and, admittedly, after watching the Crocodile Hunter, Australia seems like a fairly cheesy country--I assure you that Midnight Oil is one of the least cheesy bands on the planet. KM


FRIDAY 5/10

MEDIOS ESPECTACULO IV

(North Star Ballroom, 635 N Killingsworth Ct.) Get over to the fourth Medios Espectaculo event this weekend--never mind whether you can pronounce it. The 2Gyrlz non-profit arts group has prepared two full evenings of performance, music, Butoh, stilt walkers, art, multimedia, fantabulous costuming, and, of course, alcoholic beverages. There's even a room full of mind-twisting Dream Machines to trip out on, and you're invited to dress fancy or in costume, should the mood strike. TIFFANY LEE BROWN

GODDAMN GENTLEMEN, SHAKE CITY, HIGH & MIGHTY, BIG WHISKEY

(Satyricon) Goddamn Gentleman play that classy, surf-ish guitar, but layer it with gentle punk lyrics and a lot of enthusiasm. Their songs are short and tight and occasionally screamy, and it seems like they're having a lot of fun doing what they're doing. KATIA DUNN

MOTHER MAY I, THE CHASE, MARISA & HALEY

(Red & Black) As a benefit for Bradley Angle House, a domestic violence center, Marisa (Dolly Ranchers) & Haley (Pom Pom Meltdown) kick it acoustically, and The Chase plays their sweet and smart political cello/bass/drums music. Mother May I, the youthful band consisting of girls ages 11-17, joins; they play some covers and girl-empowerment, sassy, punky pop songs. JS

HAYDEN, CLAIRVOYANTS, FERNANDO

(Dante's) There's really something to be said for a singer who can sound like Neil Young, Leonard Cohen, and a young Tom Waits in the period of one song. Toronto's Hayden (first name only, folks) might just be the only guy around who has that kind of range, which is saying a lot because his earliest records were the sort of four-track nightmare I usually run screaming from. But his new record has enough emotional intensity to grab you by the back of your hair and toss you, headfirst, into a spiraling fit of depression. Yeah, it's that good. With a whispered growl and a humming falsetto, Hayden possesses the kind of voice that can extract emotion from even the coldest of persons. If any of those shiny-shirt pricks hitting on girls at the bar start talking over his set, they are going to get a swift punch to the kidneys courtesy of yours truly. CARMELO MARTINEZ


SATURDAY 5/11

MANOWAR, IMMORTAL, CATASTROPHIC, HAVOCHATE

(B Complex) In his book, The Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal, writer Martin Popoff tackles the eternal Manowar question with rare insight and eloquence. "Deeming this band a parody is a futile pursuit in infinite ironic layering," he writes, "for Manowar is a philosophy of interconnecting unbelievables that just disintegrates into mass ludicrousness under too serious scrutiny." And he's right: Mere logic is useless when you're dealing with what is possibly the ultimate over-the-top power-metal outfit ever. (Their 20-year career includes, among other triumphs, a Guinness Book of World Records entry for loudest band.) Second atop the bill are Norwegian black-metal veterans Immortal, who update Manowar's warrior-minded aesthetic with 300-mile-an-hour drumming, ice-cold guitar-riffing, and a ridiculous spikes-and-corpse-paint visual image that few other bands could get away with. WILL YORK

THE FARTZ, SPEDS, ALTAR BOYS, DISGRUNTLED

(Satyricon) Often, I question why it is that punk music is still popular. I understand that one reason is the underlying anger/fuck-it attitude, which I wholeheartedly subscribe to, but turn to a lot of metal that sounds the same in order to get it for myself. The Speds, though, are different. My complaint about punk is that it's grating and sloppy. I can't say that about The Speds. They play choppy punk, but they're calm and centered. They know where their songs are going, their vocalist is mellow and understandable, and you can hear their instruments separately. It's punk with a sense of sobriety. KATIE SHIMER

FRENCH KICKS, HOT HOT HEAT, GUESTS

(Meow Meow, 4 pm) See Music pg 15

THAIS PERKINS CD RELEASE

(Rabbit Hole) Folk singer Thais Perkins makes well crafted, intelligent music that resonates deeply within the wellspring of emotion. Singing all the time in a high, airy voice, she sticks to traditional folk themes--travel, love, sadness, politics, etc.--but adds excellent melodies and warmth with her guitar; you get the feeling Thais is being very honest with everything she writes. She's very talented, and best of all, she doesn't have Ani Difranco disease, which is pretty amazing in itself. JS

THE CRANES, THE SWORDS PROJECT, FOR STARS

(Dante's) See Music pg 15

SUCKA MCs, BUTTERY LORDS, COOL AS CUCUMBER

(Blackbird) While Sucka MCs' record left a bad taste in the mouth of nearly everybody in the Mercury office (see Terrance Scott's review on pg 15), Buttery Lords are able to use irony to good effect. See, they're sort of ironic about the white-boy hiphop, but rather than mocking rap and hiphop like the Sucka MCs, they are simply mocking themselves--and self-deprecation is always funnier than condescending attitudes (it's an age-old battle, like the nerds vs. the jocks). You can also tell the Buttery Lords actually like to rhyme, and they usually pull some pretty funny lyrics outta their asses. JS

NOSFERATU WITH ENSEMBLE SUB MASA

(Clinton Street Theater) So you've seen C Average's instrumetal score for the silent vampire film Nosferatu like 5000 times; but what if it was re-interpreted by a band playing bona fide Romanian, Hungarian, Jewish, and Turkish music, accompanying the pre-Anne Rice assumption that all vampires are from Southeastern Europe? That's what the Ensemble Sub Masa does--puts "Jewish party tunes" to the creepy, goth blood-suckage of Nosferatu, which is also one of the scariest movies ever. JS

PANDORA'S GARDEN

(Fez, 316 SW 11th) Portland is so into its multimedia festivals; here's another one. DJs (Prana and Manoj), food by Nicolas, interiors (whatthefuck?) by Sacred Space, and music by Dewey, Silencyo, and Illume, which consists of self-obsessed, yet competent girl vocals over electronic soundscapes. Sometimes Illume kind of sounds like Madonna's latest electronic stuff, which is fun. An evening of sensual pleasures; take your ponytail boyfriend. KATIE SHIMER


SUNDAY 5/12

TELEVISION EYE

(Union Jack's) Television Eye are a garage-y local band, who are in the "fancy lad" category, a group which I always enjoy watching, even if I don't like their music (which, in this case, does not apply). Moreover, the said fancy lads will be playing at Union Jacks, one of my favorite local strip clubs. So, in summary, there are three things to do at this event: watch fancy lads, watch strippers, and hear some good garage rock. Take your pick. KATIA DUNN

SENSE FIELD, THE STARTING LINE, FINCH, BRAND NEW, AUTOPILOT OFF

(B Complex) If you think the Warped Tour is a wicked good time, you should attend this show of mainstream-clean pop punkers (the only difference between the Starting Line and *NSync are hair and radio format). Also, Sense Field, an old emo band who's been inching towards the mainstream since something like 1990. They haven't changed their music that much, but for some reason they keep getting more and more Christian-sounding. JS

LAST OF THE JUANITAS CD RELEASE, THE TRIGGERS, SPOOKY DANCE BAND, THE CONSTANTINES

(Blackbird) Now that Last of the Juanitas' Johnny Schier is back from his jazz nerd drum school in NYC, the rock can commence, and the band that released one of my favorite records so far this year can finally play another show. Along for the ride: Canada's the Constantines--a far subtler band, whose interesting, pretty-sounding indierock with scraggly vocals somehow takes a dead type of music and rejuvenates it with energy and interesting ideas. Spooky Dance Band apparently contains members of Bellingham's infamous Reeks & the Wrecks, and The Triggers will punk rock you into an energetic oblivion. If you like excitement, you really should attend. JS

SILVER SURFER, CAPTAIN VS. CREW, JET BY DAY, THE MYRIAD

(Ash Street) What Hotlanta Georgia is to hiphop, its cousin to the East, Athens, is to indierock. Athens has been the home to everyone from REM to Neutral Milk Hotel, so you just can imagine the pressure that must loom over every local band's head. So, it's with much surprise that Athens is the city that Jet by Day calls home. This four-piece, who look not a day over 19, have that sort of brash confidence that you can only get by being either really young, or terribly drunk. Smart money is on their age, not level of inebriation, as they belt out the post-punk tunes with much bravado. Plus, they posses the sort of onstage intensity that brings to mind Cursive or local boys Slackjaw. Be sure to show up early, who knows when Mom will let them borrow the van again. CM


MONDAY 5/13

ROB SCHEPS 14-PIECE BIG BAND

(Disjecta) Ohmigod. What other time in Portland does one get to see a 14-piece band playing in an awesome underground venue? In the Rob Scheps 14-piece band, there are four saxophones, one piano, one bass, one set of drums, three trombones, four trumpets, and one singer. The group sites their sources as Duke Ellington, James Brown, Coltrane, and Strayhorn, and promise to "lose their heads but not their cool." Whoa. KATIA DUNN


TUESDAY 5/14

MONEY & LOVIN, THE UPRITE DUB ARKESTRA, THE ALKEMYSTS

(Mt. Tabor) Here is a lovely night of jazz/hiphop/reggae fusion. There are a lot of acts playing a lot of different kinds of music, so even though I'm sure they won't all be great, statistics would indicate that at least one of the acts will be enjoyable. I'm placing my money on The Uprite Dub Arkestra, because they've got a three part horn section. What other band in Portland can offer that? KATIA DUNN


WEDNESDAY 5/15

MOTÖRHEAD, MORBID ANGEL, TODAY IS THE DAY, BRAND NEW SIN

(Roseland) Motörhead just released Hammered, by my count their 21st album. My rudimentary math skills calculate 234,563 as the number of songs that must mean they've written. I would put the number of shows they've played at around 2,453,201. I've seen Motörhead practically every chance I've had in the last 15 years, on the premise that they can't tour forever and this may be my last chance to see them. While seeing that they are coming around AGAIN (with the painfully dark Today is the Day, no less) excites me just like it has for the past decade and a half, I've abandoned any thought that this may be my last chance to take in their live show. My kids (as yet unborn) will be going to see Motorhead as will their kids and their kids and their kids. Luckily for my great great grandchildren, Motörhead always delivers. JOSH HOOTEN

WOLFGANG FUCHS, DAMON SMITH, JEROME BRYERTON

(First Christian Church) German improvising mastermind Wolfgang Fuchs experiments on woodwinds and clarinets, along with a soprano saxophone; a pretty, funnel-like instrument which, when standing upright, resembles an arty vacuum cleaner. He is joined by fellow improvisers Damon Smith (on bass) and Jerome Bryerton (drums), and they've all worked with a bunch of fancy jazz names, but who really cares, because all that matters is that seeing classy improv artists in the middle of a church is an extremely fun experience. JS

THE GLORIA RECORD, THE VELVET TEEN, GUESTS

(Meow Meow) See Music pg 15


GOING TO SEATTLE?

Fri 5/10: The Gossip, Chromatics (Sit & Spin); Super Furry Animals (Graceland);
Sat 5/11:
Daniel Menche (Second Avenue Pizza)
Tues 5/14:
Motörhead (Catwalk); Melvins (Showbox);

For more info, visit www.thestranger.com