THURSDAY 8/15

JAY BENNET, EDWARD BURCH, WILL JOHNSON, JOHN VECHARELLI

(Berbati's, 231 SW Ankeny) For about seven years, Jay Bennett was Wilco's multi-instrumentalist and studio wizard--sort of the Alan Parsons to frontman Jeff Tweedy's Gram Parsons, if you will. Though he jumped ship after the notorious struggle to make and release that band's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot album, Bennett continues to craft roots-based music that's colored with eclectic, genre-defying textures and arrangements. Bennett's excellent solo debut, The Palace at 4 A.M., finds him teamed up with like-minded Chicago musician Edward Burch, with whom he'd been writing songs throughout his entire Wilco tenure. MICHAEL ALAN GOLDBERG

SOUL KITCHEN W/BLACK ANGEL

(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) A blow-out bash for the final Dante's performance of the extra-glamorous, downtown dueling-vocal soul bomb of Black Angel. JULIANNE SHEPHERD

TOUGH LOVE & THE BELLANASTI, THE BUCKSKINS

(I.C. Mummy, 332 NE San Rafael) With shirtless riffing and hella aplomb, Tough Love conjures buttloads of punchy rock. A band of sweaty boys and their lovely back-up singers, the Bellanasti, they like it sharp, raw, and full of Stones-y energy. It entertains in the raunchiest way possible. JS

THE LASHES, A NEW HOPE, DIVISION DAY, KEEPING ELLIS

(Meow Meow, 520 SE Pine) Division Day, a Los Angeles band, plays honestly emotive, piano-guitar-drums pop music that is subtle and mature (but not mature in the "I am too nice to say they sound washed-up" way; mature in the "wow, they sound so smart and responsible" way). What makes them extra-special is their wonderful vocalist, whose voice cracks and whirs with heartbreaking earnestness. Imagine that--an emo-influenced band that is actually sincere and emotional. JS

LESS THAN JAKE, SUGARCULT, YELLOWCARD, SLICK SHOES

(Roseland, NW 6th and Burnside) Oh power-pop, melodic punk rock, pop punk. I know it is not true, but by this point, it seems as if you were created merely to sell Hot Topic studded belts and Manic Panic hairdye, and make rebellion safe for suburban teens. And also, you are selflessly providing the backdrop for the scores of over-40 lesbians at my gym, doing pilates and sweating on cross-trainers to your upbeat and glorious three chords. So inter-generational. JS


FRIDAY 8/16

PEACE HARBOR, M WARD, AMY ANNELLE

(Disjecta, 116 NE Russell) Peace Harbor's metal-core will tear your eardrums into tiny pieces, causing blood to squirt out of the sides of your head like a fire hydrant. No, I am kidding. In reality: Imagine a music video where clouds float by. Slightly sad, patient, and instrumental, Zak Riles (a member of Operacycle and Laurel Canyon) plays guitar, slide, banjo, fiddle, and drums. Piano and vocals weave throughout and the music overall leaves you in a state of somber tranquility. Rather, bring your journal. KATIE SHIMER

KINGS OF CONVENIENCE, BART DAVENPORT

(Berbati's) If lately life has left you feeling like rehydrated cat food, and you have an extra few bucks in your sad, sad pockets, move on over to Berbati's and revel in the moodily melodic strummery of the Kings of Convenience, who are creeping across the country on their first-ever U.S. tour. Quiet Is the New Loud (2001), aside from winning my vote for dumbest album title of the year, is a disc bursting with Scandinavian charm and filled with '70s-era allure and catchy (if dour) melodies, as is the slightly faster remix album (Versus) from later that year. Sure, the songs all kinda sound the same, but then, heartbreak always does. KATE PREUSSER

MOUNTAIN, LESLIE WEST, CORKY LAINGE

(Aladdin) The ghost of Felix Pappalardi gazes on while lu bering survivors Leslie West and Corky Laing dig up Mountain's dinosaur bones once again. Before Tad, before Poison Idea, Mountain set the standard for heaviness through sheer physical mass, distorted guitars, and epic use of cowbell. Unlike most classic carcasses on the road these days, Mountain doesn't have such an embarrassing back catalog to sift through. "Mississippi Queen" may be the one you remember, but albums like Nantucket Sleighride are as thick as any Cream. This could be your only chance to see a band rock the Aladdin Theater that played Woodstock AND toured with Black Sabbath. NATHAN CARSON

AREA TWO: MOBY, DAVID BOWIE, BUSTA RHYMES, JOHN DIGWEED, AVALANCHES, MORE

(Gorge) The greatest export from Australia since Vegemite and AC/DC combined, The Avalanches made easily one of the finest records of 2001 with the epic Since I Left You. Seeing their explosive live show and turntable mastery might just be worth the long-ass drive to the Gorge and the possibility of seeing the glistening skull and epic ego of Moby. CARMELO MARTINEZ

THROW RAG, THE SURF TRIO, GUESTS

(Satyricon, 125 NW 6th) Like the Cramps before them, Throw Rag add an extra element of psycho to the psychobilly genre--although instead of creeping up from the Black Leather Lagoon, the band from the Salton Sea, California, swaggers from behind a bar stool to tell tales of cheatin' girlfriends, booze-addled mothers, and jealous boyfriends. The band creates a smarmy world where the devil's voice whispers from behind both shoulders and the only angel in sight got the D.T.'s long ago. With the addition of instruments like a washboard and a Jew's harp, Throw Rag make menacing music that gives the oldest warnings in the book, using tools you don't hear too often in this trade. JENNIFER MAERZ

THE WE EXPERIMENT STARRING ILLAJ AND DJ PROVE, D. PASCAL, DJ ONELOVE, LOVEJOY

(Wieden + Kennedy, 1200 NW Everett, 8 pm) To celebrate the inaugural issue of Born Magazine, an "experimental venue for art and literature collaboration on the web," its creators have gathered a smattering of DJs (trahnce, progressive house, ambient, druum und bahss), plus emcee Illaj and DJ Prove of the Blak Scienz Tribe doing some funky, jazzy hiphop. Also, realtime/interactive art, which sounds fun. This show definitely worth checking out, assuming you are okay with adhering to the "party attire, please" rule. JS


SATURDAY 8/17

HIPHOP TONIGHT

(Oregon Convention Center, 777 NE MLK, 1 pm-1 am) Hiphop Tonight represents the four elements in epic proportions, with MCs, DJs, B-Boys, and graf artists flying in from all over the U.S. to compete in the convention's well-paid competitions. Because of this, you get a lot of variety, with the dopest of underground freestylers mixed with diehard purveyors of la bling-bling. In last year's MC Battle, a five-foot-one, 15-year-old white kid from like, Lake Oswego or something, won the entire competition and the $1000 prize--much to the chagrin of more seasoned but less prodigious (and mostly dirty-figher) emcees. His name was iLLmacuLate, he was amazing, and hopefully he'll show for this one. Also, the B-Boy Battle is worth the admission price--Seattle's Circle of Fire and Massive Monkees crews will certainly show again, with their incredible styles and jaw-dropping feats of modern acrobatics. And if you went last time, you'll be glad to know that they have recently employed a set of bleachers, so everybody can see what's going on. It's 12 hours of SO MUCH FUN. JS

ESPERANZA EXTRAVAGANZA STARRING BLAK SCIENZ TRIBE, ROB SCHEP CORE-TET, TRIO ESPERANZA, MIDNIGHT SEVEN

(Disjecta) Esperanza Spalding is a smart, super cool and very talented upright bass player, who recently received a full-ride scholarship from Boston's Berklee College of Music, after they saw her perform only once. This is her all-ages send-off party, with four out of her five bands performing all stripes of jazz, funk and hiphop. I asked her what was up with that:

Me: Isn't it hard being in like eight million bands? How do you have time to practice?
Esperanza:
I don't know, it's weird. I screw up a lot, I'm always late to things, I have to devote such a big chunk of myself to all the things I'm doing so times always overlap. It's not a perfect strategy.
Me:
Don't you ever have finger meltdowns?
E:
Right now, I'm kind of disabled because Saturday night I played this electric funk stuff at Jimmy Mak's with Thara Memory. There was no music, so I had just to play constantly, and I busted the inside of my finger--but that's the first time it's happened. I remember when I first started playing, I really wanted to get calluses. I would get these huge blisters and keep playing on them. I had a grape-sized blister that was all white with pus, and then it turned into a huge callous. It's this gross process; you live through the pain, but suddenly you can hit things hard like metal.
Me:
Are you excited to go to college?
E:
It's not so much college--it's all the experiences. I'm excited about going to Boston; the music scene on the East Coast is so different. I'm gonna go there and check out all the players; I kinda hope to get my ass kicked and start from scratch. I feel like I've progressed here, and people think of me [as an anomaly because I'm a] minority and a girl, but there are ten-year-olds that do the shit that I do. I wanna be like, hey, here's my musicianship, let me learn it. I'd much rather be good for a bass player, than good for a 17-year-old girl. JS

WHATEVER LOUNGE GRAND OPENING STARRING DOUBLE BARRELLED SOUL, KING LOUIE, CANDY & JUSTIN TRIGGER, MORE

(Whatever Lounge, 2203 NE Alberta) Being a dedicated partier requires lots of excuses and reasons to party. Examples: I clipped my toenails; I cleaned the kitty litter; I got a draw on my check; I want to wear my new shoes; Ouch, I scraped my arm on that nail. Yes, of course, there are a million more, and Chez What? comes up with a good one every time they want an excuse to party--this time, they've extended their hours to 2:30 am (which is in all actuality, quite a miracle considering the OLCC's extreme prejudice against Northeast bars). So lap it up, fellow party folk, and enjoy the soul spinnings of Double Barrelled Soul, the performance rockabilly of King Louie, Beau Van Hinklywinke's films at 10 pm, and--what's this? Ah yes, DJ Shithammer, an excuse to party all by himself. KS

JAMES PENNINGTON, TWONZ, DLYTE, MICHAEL

(Fez, 316 SW 11th) James Pennington is the DJ also known as the Suburban Knight, and has made quite a name for himself coming out of Detroit. Playing solo as well as with the famous crew Underground Resistance since the '80s, he's been all over the world kicking out revolutionary techno, techno that built the foundation for so much music today. They've also kept militantly opposed to selling out to big labels and chosen instead to live lean and low-profile in Detroit. Nice. KD

HAPPY SUPPLY, THE ALARM CLOCKS

(2817 NE Oregon) From Chicago, Happy Supply utilizes synths, drum machine, guitar, and totally cute new-wave pop vocals for a dreamy sound that will thrill fans of Figurine/Dntel. Not just resting on their adorably-hairdo'd laurels, the duo knows that a healthy dollop of cuteness doesn't have to mean retarded, and add neat, spacious sounds and good beats to their catchy, tiny dance-athon music. It's really just super. JS

EPOXIES, WOLFS, THE FLIP-TOPS CD RELEASE

(Satyricon) See CD Review pg 19

GOLDEN, RYE COALITION, PARTY TIME

(Blackbird) It seemed like only yesterday when the husky lil' lads of New Jersey's Rye Coalition where nothing but a kiddie version of Jesus Lizard. Full of youthful bravado and sass talk, Rye Coalition's finest moment came when Jesus Lizard lost their relevance and died a quiet death in the major-label wastelands. Now with their Baby Jesus Lizard days behind them, Rye Coalition seemed to have moved on and discovered two of the finer things life has to offer: weed and Led Zeppelin records. Now the band is an angry stoner's wet dream, full of half-assed playful rage and enough pounding drums to make the ghost of John Bonham re-choke on his vomit. CM


SUNDAY 8/18

PANTY LIONS, IRVING, FINESSE, SEAN CROGHAN

(Blackbird) If the five singer/songwriters in Irving all jockeyed for the Top Dog slot at the same time, this band would be impossible to listen to, and probably implode. But they give each other's whims and styles plenty of room on their forthcoming CD, Good Morning Beautiful, and the result is good ol' fashioned pop music. Kind of like The New Pornographers, Irving's general vibe is of the rollicking, upbeat persuasion, which means their scattered influences come together in a full, fluid, sing-a-long musical extravaganza. Their standout track is "L-O-V-E," which could easily have been a song by The Creation, or at least one of the Elephant 6 retro revivalists. KATE MERCIER


MONDAY 8/19

BARBARA MANNING, THE CULOTTES, ADAM SELZER

(Eagerwally Gallery, 630 SE 3rd, 8 pm) Barbara Manning is something like the Grand Dame of intelligently written pop music. Or, to get really over the top, she's sort of an indie, American Edith Piaf. Barbara's been playing solo and in bands like SF Seals and the Go-Luckys since the late '80s, her pretty, alto voice swelling over the romantic and melancholic melodies of her guitar. It's really a very elegant sight, and since she hasn't played in Portland for two years and her shows here are always packed, you should go early to ensure your place in her presence. JS

FENWAY PARK, GOODBYE, BLUE MONDAY, DANCE OF THE 7 VEILS

(Blackbird) As part of the Blackbird's ensuing "free Monday" show series: San Diego's Goodbye, Blue Monday; the Berkeley-based, Ramones-y power-pop group Fenway Park; and Dance of the 7 Veils, who maybe will tempt and taunt? It's free, so whatever. JS


TUESDAY 8/20

QUEER NIGHT

(Blackbird) A complaint I hear a lot from the queer kids is that there are no good places to go date-shopping in Portland, and the places that do exist are filled with gross, creepy people. (Who am I kidding, I hear this complaint from myself and every other person I know, too.) So creepy people, stay right where you are. Fun, good-looking, fashionable Portland queers, start planning your outfits. The Blackbird's Queer Night is packed with the best looking people in town, dressed to the nines, dancing their asses off to a mix of '80s classics and fast dance mixes. The deejaying is awesome, the Maestros (a drink) are fabulous, and I guarantee, you will want to make eye contact with at least one person--but more likely, eight. KS

TAMI HART, LUSTER, GUESTS

(Meow Meow) Tami Hart is one of my very favorite Portland musicians, and I'm happy to say that since she's moved here a years or so ago, she's been kicking a lot of ass. Her sound is progressive, fresh, and really inspired. She'll be opening tonight for Luster, a San-Fran based trio of loud, guitar-y, rock which, though it's all dressed up in fancy guitars, is essentially based on poppy melodies. They are about to release their full-length in the fall. KD

JUDAS PRIEST, POINT DEFIANCE

(Roseland) Despite what Hollywood would have us believe, Rob Halford was actually the one who left Priest because he was tired of out-metalling his geriatric partners night after night. So now we get the not-so-recently drafted stand-in, Tim "Ripper" Owens, screaming for vengeance like Rob's little goateed, leather nephew. Even with the wrong man on the hog, Glen Tipton and K.K. Downing will be present and proving that the team that drew the blueprint for the dual guitar metal attack has at least two or three hours of classic hits and truly sick harmonized guitar solos to lay on a lucky Tuesday night crowd. Or you could start saving now for tickets to the reunion gig in 2004. NC

MACHINE THAT FLASHES, DEAD BY DAWN, HALF ROUNDED BASTARD FILE

(Ash Street) Machine That Flashes is Portland's foremost, long-running creator of very excellent, smart, mixed-style hardcore (a little mathy, a little gothy, a lot of intensity), featuring two awesome screaming fellows who, onstage, are so scary and aggressive, but in reality are two of the nicest boys you will ever come across. Isn't that often the way? JS


WEDNESDAY 8/21

ROCK HUNKS & CUTIES DANCE STARRING THE KIBOSH, PINK CHIHUAHUA, THE MUTTS

(Blackbird) On the Mutts' upcoming album, Mutts for Breakfast, they play melodic, lo-fi pop/rock that is dreamy, melancholy, and sweet. Their listed influences are, appropriately, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, and Hank Williams. The Mutts' piano style and harmonies are distinctly (late-era) Beatlesesque. Balancing the prominent harmonies, Dylan's influence appears in both rhythm and tone quality. Most importantly, perhaps, Hank's folky directness counters "poet-Bob" or "guru-George Harrison" tendencies toward obscurity. The results are not too bad, considering The Mutts' project of iconic rock-god juggling. TAMARA LARSON

MISFITS 25TH ANNIVERSARY

(Roseland) It would be easy to write off the current incarnation of the Misfits as just another group of backing-band hacks trying to soldier on without their primary songwriter/frontman, and, to an extent, this wouldn't be entirely incorrect. The "new" Misfits material has never recaptured the effortlessly catchy horror-rock anthems of Walk Among Us, and no frontman could ever match the Elvis-meets-Lugosi swagger of Glenn Danzig in his heyday. However, Danzig isn't exactly writing quality material these days either and has violently severed any connection with his first (and best) band, so I say bully for bassist Jerry Only to carry on. The current Misfits incarnation is Only, Marky Ramone, and Dez Cadena ( the best of all of Black Flag's frontmen), playing a mix of classic songs from all of their previous bands. WILLIAM BULLOCK

NEW Releases Aug 20: Eric Bachmann*, Seana Carmody, Dntel*, Dino Felipe, Les Hommes, Interpol*, Mecca Normal*, Mekons*, Monica, Mudhoney, Nightmares On Wax, Sleater-Kinney*, Victory at Sea
*=really fucking good