THURSDAY 8/22

LOST FILM FEST STARRING COLLAPSE, SLEETMUTE, PANTHER

(Disjecta, 116 NE Russell) The term "clusterfuck" seems pretty stupid until you actually come across something that warrants its use. The Battle of Stalingrad, probably, was a suitable event to call a "clusterfuck." And I am not embarrassed to admit that the band Sleetmute conjures the term "clusterfuck"; for Sleetmute may be one of the most subversive bands I've seen. In part, this is because of their totally mind-bending three-guitar/one-drum-kit onslaught of noise, which twitches around and hurls like a slightly more patient Ruins or hella-early Sonic Youth. And the fact that the singer throws her voice out into a modern screw-you bansheeism, and then tosses her body into the audience and twitches--and if a guitar string breaks, fuck it, cause they're totally "in the moment" without coming off like they're just trying to be crazy--I mean, you really believe they're actually kinda crazy. It is an utterly chaotic experience. Even if you hate their music--which is ear-damaging, to say the least--you should just go watch them freak out. Also worth admission price is Panther, who is one-man, performance-arty R&B, and the funniest thing ever. (Read the Mercury next week for a "probing" article about him.) JULIANNE SHEPHERD

DAMO SUZUKI'S NETWORK, HELIO SEQUENCE
(Berbati's, 231 SW Ankeny) At the risk of boring you all to tears with my self-important annotations on rock chronology, let me simply say that Can's former frontman Damo Suzuki serves as the voice of some of the most enduring European rock recordings of the 1970s. Perhaps the most important non-German in Krautrock's tortuously involved history, Japanese-born Suzuki joins the seemingly endless legions of "seminal" rock acts whose pale revivals just seem to keep draining my pockets as of late--based on little more than ancient achievements. Lord knows what Suzuki's been up to for the last 20 years, but word is that in recent years his backing band has been known to feature various former Canmates, a threat with enough weight to drain another 10 bucks from me. ZAC PENNINGTON

CARISSA'S WIERD, MENOMENA, 6-MINUTE HEARTSTOP
(Ash Street, 225 SW Ash) I have to say that Carissa's Wierd, despite the annoying on-purpose misspelling of the word "weird," is one of my all time favorite bands from the Northwest. Their last album, You Should be at Home Here, was a fantastic, tragic creation, made up of whispering acoustic music also informed by the more progressive, off kilter sounds of the electric guitar, accordion, and violin. I have high hopes for their new album as well, which they'll be debuting tonight. KATIA DUNN

FIVER, THE NAYSAYER, THE GHOSTS OF WOMEN WHO HAUNT CLIFFS
(Blackbird, 3728 NE Sandy) There's a lonely desert at sunset, a dusty wind curling around your feet, and, in the distance, a coyote frames itself against the moon, preparing to howl. These are stills from the film that should accompany Heaven, Hell, or Houston, the second country-tinged effort from the Naysayer. Songwriter Anna Padgett (along with Retsin's Cynthia Nelson and Tara Jane O'Neil) expresses solitude in all its forms, from the disconnect of a bad relationship to the quiet of a desert night. Her voice is almost too jagged at times, but still brings a comforting sense of solace and familiarity. This is a world that we all know, either consciously or unconsciously. The Naysayer just understands how to make it tangible. TIZZY ASHER


FRIDAY 8/23


M. GIRA, LAUREL CANYON, DJ SHAKES
(Blackbird) Those who occasionally wax nostalgic for the surgical amphitheater of the 1800s will undoubtedly find a macabre and voyeuristic thrill watching M. Gira play this rare acoustic set. The Angels of Light/Swans frontman spares no gruesome detail when he performs in a stripped-down setting, letting his personal revelations spurt out like pus and bad humor. Songs from last year's Solo Recordings at Home should sound particularly riveting, as they were designed to be exposed to scrutiny. TA

HEAVY JOHNSON TRIO, DALEK, BAD WIZARD, BAST
(Ash Street) Things to expect from Bad Wizard frontman Curtis Brown: he douses headbangers with beer; he staggers, struts, and often rips off his (and sometimes his bandmates') shirts; and he taunts the audience with Bon Scott-era AC/DC songs like "Come On." The band's crowd-pleasers--"Lay Your Love on Me" and "Keep High/Stay Low"--combine blues-infused Sabbath and Blue Cheer guitar riffs with the energy of Tight Bros. from Way Back When at a volume that would make Christopher Guest of Spinal Tap proud. Watch out for Bad Wizard's follow-up to Free and Easy this October. LISA LEEKING

JERK WITH A BOMB, P:ANO, THE MOSQUITOS
(Fast Forward, 6616 NE MLK) For all intents and purposes, Vancouver's Jerk With A Bomb are punks who play country music--but before you drop your PBR 40oz and run away screaming, I can assure you they do it right. No ironic 80-dollar shirts with pearl snaps, no illegitimate Southern twang, no Old 97's fake sincerity--nope, Jerk With A Bomb keeps things real. Their sound is a rambling one; of Canadian plains and prairies, the suffocating winter and all the drinking the just comes with the territory of being young and sad. Just as noteworthy is that they are sharing the basement floor tonight with fellow Canucks P:ano, a band who performs a soft symphony of indie-influenced rural tunes. CARMELO MARTINEZ

THE STANDARD CD RELEASE, 31KNOTS, ELDORAS
(Berbati's) It's obvious by the title of their second album that The Standard is In It To Win It. The album, released by Touch & Go and called August, is coming out in the month of August, yes. But the very definition of the word itself indicates a higher ambition: "inspires awe, blah, blah, heirs to a lordly fortune." Lord knows that the recording itself certainly sounds like it must have cost a fortune--lush, crisp, layered--and the album is beautiful, intimidating, sweeping. I imagine that when people in the late '70s discussed the future of American rock music, between sips of Chianti and tokes of grass, they imagined a band like The Standard. Those people had Rush in between then and now, sure; but honestly, there are, in my opinion, a only a handful of modern indie bands who can and have recorded their musical aspirations as stately as this band has. KATE MERCIER

UNDER A DYING SUN, SCIENCE OF YABRA
(The Orphanage, 5303 NE 18th) Northern California's Under a Dying Sun is an awesome example of screamo-hardcore done right: dramatic boy-girl harmonies, brooding, angry guitars that are as smart as they are riffable, and socially aware/relevant lyrics. They make great use of dynamics, as well, and turn the standard requirements of a very cemented genre into something pretty riveting. Science of Yabra prepare you for the battering of rock, non? JS

O SISTER WHERE ART THOU
(Green Room, 2280 NW Thurman) In this show, local folk/acoustic type musicians will play a benefit for the Old Town Clinic's Women's Safe Passage Fund. Now, if that's not a cause worth dropping five bones on, I really have no idea what would be. Plus, if you're into the local bluegrass/folk scene, basically every single one of your favorite female-fronted acts will be playing here between two days, including Little Sue, Claire Bard & Little Joe, Flat Mountain Girls, Lisa Miller & The Trailer Park Honeys, and Spigot. KD

LEVITATE STARRING ODYSSEY, MICHAELANGELO, BERLIN, DJ JEFFE
(Ohm, 31 NW 1st) It's consistently difficult to write much about DJs because they spin styles, but let me say this: if you like the house, and the techno, and the trance (or tr-ahh-nce as we like to call it) Red Bull Vodkas, sweating, and grinding, go. If you like to play pool and listen to Steely Dan, don't. KATIE SHIMER

MR. MU MU AND BARRETT PAUL
(Level, 13 NW 6th) Level resident DJs Barrett Paul and Mr. Mu Mu agreed that Friday's techno and house is "progressive, tough, and tribal with a touch of poppiness." If you like dance music, it's also the best night to dance at the slick new club Level. Friday still brings the meat market of mainstream 20- and 30-somethings, which is inevitable at a big downtown club. The music does have a touch of mainstream but is mostly progressive fare ranging from diva-driven garage numbers to grittier tracks, featuring my favorite MC from UK's The Streets--brand spanking new stuff heard in those "big city" clubs everyone likes to say are so much better. The lights think for themselves, the chairs are soft, and the two medium-small dance floors fill with smoke! Woo-hoo, smoke! Cover and drinks are both five bucks. Dancing on a Friday to these two yahoos, and the other resident DJs, could be fun if you make it fun. Like Mu-Mu said, "elitism is in the eye of the beholder." AARON MILES


SATURDAY 8/24

ERASE ERRATA, CHROMATICS, OLD TIME RELIJUN, POINT LINE PLANE
(Blackbird) A lot's happened since Erase Errata released their amazing full-length, Other Animals, last year. Two bands they toured with that helped them make a name for themselves, Emergency and The Need, have busted up. Dance beats have almost gotten to be a frigging requirement for punks. And a total assload of creepy cockrocking dudes have been touted as "the next big thang." For these reasons, Erase Errata is more important than ever--four ass-kicking ladies who challenge the premise of boredom just by being, and who turn their dissatisfaction with status quo into... further ass-kicking. Their new-ish, split 3" CD with Numbers proves as much, with the band refining their stomach-punching, lightning-bolt dance anthems and vocalist Jenny Hoyston's jittery, accusing lyrics. Erase Errata are one of the most important bands of this generation. Anyway; Chromatics were from Seattle but are moving to Oakland; they also rip it up in a dance-y, dark way. Old Time Relijun is a totally amazing spectacle live, and Portland boys Point Line Plane keep getting better as Josh Blanchard's scream gets more experienced. JS

CROSSTIDE, THE VELVET TEEN, END TRANSMISSION, DESERT CITY SOUNDTRACK
(Meow Meow) With a forthcoming music video and more rocking/supple hooks than Fishing with John, The Velvet Teen is set to blow up. This is good for me, because if I have company, I will feel less like a perverted, pedophilic grandma every time I swoon randily at the sensuous blend of tenors and literarily romantic lyrics that swathe themselves over their guitars. It's powerful rock music, and you'll be singing it for days afterwards. Headlining are Crosstide, who recently released 17 Nautical Miles on Rise Records. They, too, have a super-catchy rock sound, but more pop-punky and that overdriven guitar pedal thing going on. JS

FERNANDO, A.C. COTTON, LOS HALOS
(Ash Street) Los Halos exhibits the dichotomy between dreaming and being completely awake. They make music you could easily dream to, twinkling keyboards, cymbals, acoustic guitars, and low sung, unstressed vocals; music that is so pretty and concise. But once you're lost in your land of thinking about deep shit, they build the electric guitars and distortion into something explosive and rock and bring you back to an amazingly more positive reality. KS

BASTINADO, THE FIERY CUBIST, THE FAMOUS MYSTERIOUS ACTOR PLAYERS
(Bush Garden, 900 SW Morrison) Lots of muscular, smart rock music, and some comedy that is suitable for those who love the muscular, smart rock. JS See Theater

THE RIFFS, EXPLODING HEARTS
(Beulahland, 118 NE 28th) The Exploding Hearts play power pop rock 'n' roll so well, you'll be misty-eyed by the end of their set--but don't think for a second that this is a pop show only. TKO recording artists the Riffs will give you that angst-ridden kick in the ass, with their '77-type punk rock with plenty of catchy hooks. If you're a fan of early British punk and the guitar stylings of Johnny Thunders, then you should run out and buy their new album. This show will be worth squeezing yourself in to. JOEL JETT

SIDEWALK SYMPHONY
(Jamison Park, NW 10th & Johnson, noon-4 pm) As an ongoing art project, film and visual art will collide with computer and organic sound art, to make some sort of inexplicable musical score that I don't understand from the press release, but sounds like it will be neat to attend. JS

MARK GRANT
(Ohm) Chicago DJ Mark Grant is a lover of deep house. Judging from his latest CD, Sound Design Vol. 2, he's also intelligent, because the mix is full of smart sounding grooves, but very light on cliché, and is set up for a laidback night of good feelings. JS

HOUSE OF STYLE
(2022 SE 42nd, 11 am) The local clothing designers seem to be embarking on something of a heyday. Fourteen of them will be hawking clothes, accessories, and jewelry at a trunk show. Not only is this a golden opportunity to get your mitts on some style, it's also an excuse to have wine and dessert in the middle of the afternoon. The cherry on top is that it features a live house DJ spinning hip-ass, mellow shopping tunes. MARJORIE SKINNER


SUNDAY 8/25

THE PRIDS TOUR KICKOFF, SWEET SCIENCE, THE WINDOWS, DJ OPHELIA
(Blackbird) A person I know recently said that The Prids were "out of style," which is no lie, because they're the most gothy '80s out-of-style group around, but are nonetheless great. And the Windows entertain with a dark minimalism that just might refresh your psyche. KS


MONDAY 8/26

ROCKETS RED GLARE, AVENUE OF THE STRONGEST, SYSTEM & STATION

(Blackbird) Part of the reason that indierock is dying out is because so many of its purveyors glom onto ground that's already been broken by more famous and long-lasting groups--bands such as Karate, Modest Mouse, Slint, ummm... Fugazi. Let us all just take a moment to diversify. Okay. So the CD-R sent to me by one Rockets Red Glare, while clearly being exceptionally talented musicians (drumming, in particular), is a little too heavy on the angles, and the angry-boy factor; I mean it's good music and everything, and mostly well composed although dudes need to learn how to get outta the minor key. But while listening to it, I feel I must pinch myself to make sure it's not 1998. If you don't care about that, though, Rockets Red Glare play well, so check 'em out. JS

BATTLE OF THE (WO)MANDS STARRING DEAD WESTERN, ANDY CIGARETTES, HALO ALTERA, GHOST TO FALCO
(Nicole's, 617 NE Fremont, 7 pm) Single-person acts, represent! Today, we have: Dead Western, starring the "Couch" from Ni-Fi Nifefite; local torch singer Andy Cigarettes; Halo Altera, aka rad guitar noodler Haley from Pom Pom Meltdown; and the extra-charming, multimedia performer, Ghost to Falco. JS


TUESDAY 8/27

HUSH RECORDS SHOWCASE
(Blackbird) See Music

LA SONIC ARTS ONION, TINY ROBOTS, SUPER UNITY DUO
(Polyp + Fury, 3967 N Mississippi) Los Angeles' famous LA Sonic Arts Onion shall perform solos and collaborations on such elusive instruments as tape, electronics, CD, guitar, bass, and percussion (heavy on the electronics). Tiny Robots includes guitar and... electronics! And for the spice of life, the Super Unity Duo shall shock and amaze with their blending of guitar, clarinet, and saxophone. JS


WEDNESDAY 8/28


STRATEGY, ATHALIA
(Blackbird) Consisting of ex-members of the criminally underrated Eno-Core band Strictly Ballroom, it's no surprise that LA's Athalia maintains its former band's style of atmospheric sounds and musical structure. Well-versed and remarkably patient, the music of Athalia builds slowly upon hissing wave after hissing wave of guitar, until the sounds climax in a tsunami of feedback and screams--only to return to their previous drone in a matter of seconds. The music of Athalia is miles beyond the generic quiet/loud aesthetic of their peers; instead, they choose to brazenly walk the fine line beyond calm and chaos with a layered sound and a jaw-dropping feeling of serenity. Bands come through Portland all the time, but seldom are they ever this good. CM

HATEBREED, MUSHROOM HEAD, GLASSJAW, DEAD UNKNOWN
(Crystal, 1332 W Burnside) If you ever feel slighted by hardcore bands because blood doesn't spray out of their mouths from screaming, than see Hatebreed. I can't guarantee bloodspray, but I the last time I remember hearing someone scream so hard, it was when I saw that guy drowning and decided not to save him. Mushroomhead's speedcore, on the other hand, as reported by a couple friends who had a live viewing, isn't even ironically entertaining. KS


New Releases Aug 27:
Bellini*, Babalu, Bigger Lovers, Franklin Bruno*, Coldplay, DJ/Rupture*, Jimmy Fallon, Gordon Gano, gusgus, Queens of the Stone Age*, Spock's Beard
* = has change-your-life potential