THURSDAY 8/1

THE THERMALS, THE PENTACOSTAL HOTELS
(Stumptown on Division, 9 pm) Rock gossip that's been disproved lately: Tara Jane O'Neil isn't moving here now (apparently, somebody offered her a place to live for free in Louisville; can you blame her?). However, you will pee your lil' patooties when you hear that The Thermals--the super, punky new/old quartet starring Hutch and Kathy of Hutch and Kathy, Ben of Kind of Like Spitting, and Jordan of the Operacycle--are placed firmly in the crosshairs of one Sub Pop Records, and that, allegedly, they've done everything but sign on the dotted line. Best of luck to this hardworking and talented band. And as for you, do you really wanna miss the spastically tight and fun barrage of Down Under-sounding punkiness (I'm talking like The Clean here, maybe) intensified by Jordan Hudson's death-defying drumming? No, you do not. JULIANNE SHEPHERD

CHER, CYNDI LAUPER
(Rose Garden) Though she fell off the radar of the mainstream after a handful of hits, Cyndi Lauper's been releasing well written and heartfelt records for around 25 years. Her new EP, Shine, is sweet and subdued--stuff you're not embarrassed to listen to with your family--plus has a couple of punky numbers that showcase how diverse Ms. Lauper's gritty, sassy vocal delivery is. Plus, as someone pointed out, Cyndi Lauper is practically 50 years old, and she is still fuckin' HOT. If the thought of even being in the same stadium as Cher makes you cringe, Cyndi's doing a special lunchtime in-store at Music Millennium at 12:30, further proving that she's, like, the coolest lady ever. JS

PEACE HARBOR, HALIFAX PIER, THE DRIFT
(Berbati's) The words "chamber pop" put together are sort of barfy, and suck the beauty out of ensembles like Halifax Pier. Hailing from all different parts of the U.S. and possessing the most gut-wrenching violin player on earth, plus a cello, great drumming, two guitars, bass, and a swoony voice, Halifax Pier slices through silence with precision and determination--staccato violin melodies bantering with driving rhythms, but not afraid to leave space where it's supposed to be. This is not the kind of slow, vast music you need amphetamines to stay awake through (hello Radar Bros.); this is some incredible songwriting, paired with a solid knowledge of modern experimentalists, and exactly the quality you'd expect from the label that gave us stellar albums from Howard Hello, Fridge, Explosions in the Sky, and Cerberus Shoal. JS

MEAT PURVEYORS, MUDDY RIVER NIGHTMARE BAND, TROPHY WIFE
(Blackbird) The Meat Purveyors, from Austin TX, generally fall under some sort of tweaked urban bluegrass. Not traditional bluegrass. If you're going to get all anal that way, this isn't the show for you. They are punk-influenced, dangerous, driving, and irreverent. They have a great unpredictable frontwoman, a stand-up bass gal who harmonizes, guitar, mandolin, and fiddle. No banjo. They are ruthlessly skilled pickers, but they don't take it too seriously. Even the sweet slow waltzes have a wicked sense of humor. Their originals stand up, but perhaps most revealing is this partial list of musicians they've covered: Ralph Stanley, Bill Monroe, Ratt, Abba, and Daniel Johnston. No strangers themselves to the purveyance of meat, our own Muddy River Nightmare Band will be field-testing their new drummer this night and straddling the old-skool/new-skool fence their own special way. ROLAND COUTURE

FRANK JORDAN
(Duff's Garage) Not a dude but a band, Frank Jordan's rock music is tough without punching you in the face; pretty without being soft; complex without losing hooks--essentially, excellent rock music with an edge. At first, their singer's soaring vocals and vibratos were a little too over the top for me--a step over the line drawn by Jeff Buckley or Judah Nagler--but now I sorta see it as a balance; F.J.'s smart chords, melodic basslines, and satin-rough songwriting needs somebody with some flexible vocal cords to match the velocity with which they deliver. For this reason, Frank Jordan is highly recommended. JS


FRIDAY 8/2

MUNECA CHUECA, COUNTERFEIT MONSTERS, LANDBRIDGE, VOX OCTAGON, ANNA O2
(SE 27th and Clinton) An ensemble of fun punkiness from Olympia in a house, naturally. You may know Anna Oxygen from the warbling vocals, keyboards, and cute-funny stories she does (did?) in her band Space Ballerinas. JS

THE SABIANS, TOTIMOSHI, DIESTO
(Satyricon) Sometimes I get excited about bands--let's say, once a week. But only every once in a long while do I get as excited about a band as I presently am about Diesto. A cross between Sabbath-y metal and slow, sludgy hardcore, Diesto rides the line between my two favorite music genres--and executes with serious balls. The vocals go from charmingly blasé to raging--they explore the ID. KATIE SHIMER

KIND OF LIKE SPITTING CD RELEASE, GUESTS
(Meow Meow) See CD Review pg 15

KINSKI, THE VISIT, MENOMENA
(Berbati's) Menomena is a local band that is certainly worth seeing for their sincerity and determination, and also for their skill. Their sound is simple, skeletal, and echoey, but it's obviously really complicated. It borders on pop at times, but then is also steeped in some kind of sad, sweet electronic sound, which is complemented by the mournful vocals of Brent Knopf. Playing with them tonight will be The Visit, who are similarly spacey and electronic, but also smack a lot of David Bowie, or someone else like that. KATIA DUNN

WANG, INC., SIGNALDRIFT, NUDGE, WOBBLYHEAD DJS
(Blackbird) See MWBW pg 13


SATURDAY 8/3

OOPS! THE MOTHERFUCKING TOUR, STARRING THE LOCUST, LIGHTNING BOLT, ARAB ON RADAR, BLOOD BROTHERS, GET HUSTLE
(Meow Meow) See the frigging Music pg 15

BASSISM 8 STARRING DJ RASTA CUE TIP
(Fez) The Bassism monthly, hosted by the local BSI Records crew, offers a fusion of fresh dance rhythms and Jamaican influences, complete with a brand new name. That's right, thanks to the press, the Bassism staple sounds belong to a new electronic sub-sub genre: Dubstep. The rolling basslines, upbeat drum 'n' bass-type breakbeats, and melodic hooks of UK garage (aka 2-Step) converge with tripped out dubwise sonics and classic, Jamaican-style MC toasting to make up this "new" genre. DJ Rasta Cue Tip, while having a cheesy moniker, has been laying down a variety of progressive sets and producing independent hiphop in the bay area, will no doubt throw down his latest dubstep, garage, and classic breaks alongside the Bassism regulars who mix it up as well. Classifications aside, this will be a damn fine night of dancing. AARON MILES

THE VINES, OK GO
(Dante's) I so want to hate The Vines. I want to hate that they're yet another overhyped "The [insert plural noun here]" neo-garage-mod-punk-slop outfit. I want to hate them for wholly nicking Nirvana's angsty shrieks and frenzied riffs (even if they're not the first band--hell, not even the first Australian band--to do that in the past decade). I want to hate their occasional reinterpretation of the Smashing Pumpkins' reinterpretation of Jane's Addiction's reinterpretation of psychedelic rock. And I want to hate frontman Craig Nicholls for looking sorta like freakazoid MTV-scrap-heap dweller Jesse Camp, albeit shorter and probably a tad less scuzzy. Unfortunately, I have to admit that "Get Free" fuckin' rocks, and this could be one of those loud, raw, fiery, energetic, crazy-good gigs you remember for a long time. Dammit...MICHAEL ALAN GOLDBERG

DE LA SOUL, THE LAB, DJ OG1
(Crystal) No more skills, too old, and sold out are favorite criticisms of hiphop pioneers De La Soul. But the fact is, De La still kick solid rhymes and drop knowledge over funky beats. Their age and years in the game has brought whole new sets of issues like fatherhood and fidelity to the forefront on their latest disc, AOI Bionix. Conscious, uplifting cuts like "Held Down," and a roller-skating jam, "Simply," that bites the melody to Paul McCartney's "Wonderful Christmas Time," prove De La still has mad soul. Marketing gimmicks and transparent ploys to please a mainstream crowd are present, but easily dismissed by the next track or verse. If you've ever been into De La and respect their contribution to the genre, leave the hater-aide at the burnt-out rock show and support. AM

THE WARLOCKS, HIGH VIOLETS, SPYGLASS
(Blackbird) Like their spiritual brethren, the Brian Jonestown Massacre, L.A.'s Warlocks dwell in hazy, laid-back, substance-laden and drone-drenched territory, ever in search of the perfect groove. This eight-piece outfit boasts no less than four guitars, two drummers, and a huge debt to the Velvet Underground. Which isn't to say that they're necessarily derivative--in fact, they weave those elements into something that's utterly transcendent (and amazingly minimal and cohesive, given the sheer numbers and potential volume involved). BARBARA MITCHELL

BECK
(Aladdin) When people ask me to list off my top five favorite Scientologists, it used to be a pretty easy task. I'd say, "Sure man, that's easy. Tom 'Not Gay' Cruise, John 'Vinnie Barbarino' Travolta, Isaac 'Shaft' Hayes, Nancy 'Bart Simpson' Cartwright and Chick 'Jazz Fusion' Corea." But, according to that beacon of truth, the internet, Beck is now a card-carrying member of L. Ron Hubbard's posse. This is terrible news, because that means Chick Corea has to go. Beck my man, you're now number five on my list. CARMELO MARTINEZ

GAS HUFFER
(Satyricon) Seattle's Gas Huffer has been around since 1989. Can you believe it, a punk band that's been around since 1989 and hasn't shot each other or been dragged off to rehab. I know, god, that is such stereotyping, but I don't give a shit. Gas Huffer has, after all this time, gotten their full, energetic sound down to a science, and with the help of their sexy singing and screaming vocalist and some shredding guitar riffs, they're a four-star event. KS


SUNDAY 8/4

CABAL, TOTIMOSHI, LACHRYMATOR, BRICK BATH
(Ash Street) Brick Bath is definitely mosh pit metal. Think super-driven, early Metallica with vocals that are a tad more deep and gravelly. The guitar solos alone make them worth seeing and you can be assured that their music rocks because of song construction and not just volume. They are ultra high energy, fast, and totally charged, so beware. You will definitely be in a room filled with testosterone and perspiration. Settle down afterwards with the Bay Area stoner rock of Totimoshi. JS

THE HIGH AND THE MIGHTY, QUARRY TO THE WAR, SOLID DONKEY
(Blackbird) Rock the loudness tonight, with the spastic, sassy, punky rock of The High and the Mighty and the heavy intensity of Quarry to the War. Solid Donkey, a trio from Tuscon, AZ, claim they are "equally influenced by Celtic Frost and the Carter Family." Zowie! JS


MONDAY 8/5

BRAND NEW, TAKING BACK SUNDAY, RUFIO
(Meow Meow) Here are some lyrics from "Jude Law and a Semester Abroad," the first "single" from Brand New's debut album: "I hope the next boy that you kiss has something terribly contagious on his lips." Now I'm doing a mental checklist of all the "terribly contagious" things once can have on their lips but, sadly, the worst thing that comes to mind is these trite lyrics and the fact that they actually came from someone's lips. Hailing from upper-class New Jersey, Brand New exist in a sad world where the only two bands ever to produce music were Blink-182 and Papa Roach. So the end result is an insipid blend of these two musical wrongs that go nowhere near making a right. Personally, I'll be surprised if these spoiled suburban kids can even find Portland on a map. CM

NATURAL HISTORY, LANDING, SOLTERO, NORDIC
(Blackbird, free) Lately it seems all a young boy needs to achieve rock 'n' roll success is a shaggy haircut, a jangly rock EP, and a New York City zip code. The Natural History are fortunate enough to have all three. Like their better-known Gotham brethren, this trio's well connected: Their debut EP is on Brooklyn's Startime International label, home of the French Kicks and Radio 4, and was recorded at the Walkmen's studio in Harlem. But the band's dynamic--brittle guitars, loud flat drums, and vocalist Max Tepper's nasal growl--is as stripped bare as the limit of quality songcraft allows. Recalling early Elvis Costello, the Kinks, and Wire, they recorded their first songs a mere two weeks after the band's inception--their expediency a product of brothers Max and Julian Tepper's musical upbringing. JONATHAN DURBIN


TUESDAY 8/6

ECLECTIC ELECTRIC STARRING SURROUNDED BY NINJAS, MORE
(Goodfoot) The Goodfoot seems to very rapidly be securing its position as THE place to dance in this God-forsaken no-dancing town, so it's only appropriate that 4th Rail, a recently founded electronic/psychedelic production company which specializes in making people dance, is hosting here. Self-described as promoters of "newly emerging, dynamic art forms and artists that stimulate consciousness and promote community," 4th Rail will be promoting the band Nettwerk: Electric this evening. They are jazz-fusion and spacey, jungly-electronic, and they'll be playing that funky shit that everyone loves to dance to. KD

BINGO AND BANDS STARRING SYSTEM AND STATION, MILK PLUS, ERIS
(Blackbird) Bingo and Bands is now on its third evening, and it is just what it sounds like: a night of bands, and bingo. If you're wondering how this works, it's very simple. The Blackbird people call a round of Bingo, and then a band plays some songs. Lots of local businesses have donated cool prizes, and said prizes are values collectively at over $500. The feature presentation this evening is System and Station, a local band imported from Madison, who specialize in melodic post-punk. KD

A JOHN HENRY MEMORIAL, EXPERIMENTAL DENTAL SCHOOL, GUESTS
(Meow Meow) Experimental Dental School, who rise from the ashes of SF's carnivalistically punk rock band, Meow, is an equally carnivalistic trio of dissonant ruffians gone demented with the prospect of a marching band. It's creepy and highly conceptual, musically coming off like Eastern European pranksters. In addition, A John Henry Memorial's music is very neat; with yearning, totally raw vocals and instrumentals that may or may not be improvised, the band excels at working with what they have, subsequently turning stripped-down tunes for the train tracks into a burning glory of minimal racket. JS


WEDNESDAY 8/7

DILLINGER FOUR, LAWRENCE ARMS, TOYS THAT KILL, THE ARRIVALS
(Meow Meow) With the embarrassing "emo explosion" and the denim-coated "NY rock-revival," it's not the best time to wave the banner of punk rock. It's not that punk is dead; it's just that it's seen better days. Blame Hot Topic clothes, Sum 41, or just about any upper-class white kid with frosted spiked hair--but whatever you do, do not blame Dillinger Four. In the world of these piss-drunk Minnesota boys, punk rock runs a close second to PBR, and if you combine the two, you perfectly describe their sound. How can you not love a band who are not ashamed to describe their music as "Screeching Weasel with nuts as big as grapefruit, you know?" CM

ARCHER PREWITT, STRATFORD 4, THE PROM
(Blackbird) Archer Prewitt is the dreamiest member of the Sea and Cake, for the following reasons: 1. He doesn't come off as bored or snotty onstage; 2. He draws a really great comic called Sof'Boy, in which this mushy, pliable marshmallow guy gets his head cut off, gets run over by cars, and other sadistic antics. It's actually one of the better humor-oriented/Sunday cartoon-style comics around, partially because it's just so fucking sick, but you feel this real empathy for Sof'Boy's optimistic outlook and sweet naivete, even when he's got somebody else's head on his body. Ummm. Anyway, Archer Prewitt is also dreamy because of his voice and solo songwriting abilities--poppy and glossy and weirdly British and triumphant. It is for these reasons that it will be possible to sit through the relatively unexciting sets of Stratford 4 (all overdriven guitars and MBV) and The Prom (fairly mediocre piano pop). JS

NAKED & SHAMELESS
(Dante's) If you like drinking music, Naked and Shameless are professionals. With an album full of songs with titles like "Drinking Song #4" and "Are You Drinking With Me Jesus," they're a lot like Irish folk songs, with extremely proficient, fervent acoustic guitar, and serious but jokey storytelling vocals. And even though the songs are about topics like whiskey dick, cocaine, and hookers, they're quite beautiful. I know, hard to believe. One of their most interesting songs is a church choir song that rivals "Silver Bells," but instead just says the word beer in a round. Ironic and wholly entertaining. KS

EMINEM, PAPA ROACH, LUDACRIS, X-HIBIT, X-ECUTIONERS
(Gorge) It's a given that teenagers at this show, disposable income dripping out their pierced ears, are angry. What might not be so apparent is the anger bubbling up from each performer at this mass-marketed, arena-sized entertainment meal. These famous angry people aren't merely marketed as angst-ridden to make their labels millions; they have real anger, just like you and me! The best group, X-Ecutioners, are angry because Marvel comics won't let them be the X-Men anymore and their management people keep booking them on extreme sport's marketing marathons and cheesy festivals. X-hibit is angry because his trademark "angry" rhymes have gone from real to contrived. Papa Roach are angry because their style is unoriginal and their one-trick "Angry at My Dad" pony went tits up. Eminem, like so many of us, loves trailer park girls but will feel better when they stop running around so damn much. AM

New Releases Aug 6: Autechre*, Blind Society, Dntel*, Hope and Suicide, Meshuggah*, McLusky, Microphones*= can you handle this?