THURSDAY 9/5

MATES OF STATE, DEAR NORA

(Meow Meow, 520 SE Pine, 9 pm) Jason Hammel and Kori Gardner couldn't possibly be any more precious if they tried--an adorable singing keyboard virtuoso marries an adorable singing skins wizard? AND they weave some of the lushest harmonic vocal tapestries in independent pop, delivering their gems with the kind of fervor and enthusiasm usually reserved for lottery winners? Sign me up. Sign yourself up while you're at it, and do tie your jaw to your face before Mizz Gardner wows you with her ability to juggle 9,000 piano lines at once while simultaneously managing to make that Hammond's pitch rumble bellies. Delicious. DR. JOAN HILLER

TSUNAMI BOMB, DAYS AWAY, 800 OCTANE, REDLINE 6

(Meow Meow, 4 pm) Tsunami Bomb hails from Petaluma, CA. (MUSIC GEEK FACTOID ALERT: Petaluma is also the home of the Velvet Teen, whose drummer, Logan, also happens to be the brother of Tsunami Bomb's singer, Agent M. WEIRD.) They play pretty good, standard pop punk--as tight, poppy, and punky as standard pop punk can possibly get. Plus, Ms. M is a terrific singer, belting her lyrics in breathy punches, and occasionally breaking down to a surprisingly jazzy, warble-y croon whose torch song factor rivals that of Denali's Maura Davis. JULIANNE SHEPHERD

NO ELECTRICITY: JEN WOOD, SOUR GRAPES, TAMI HART

(Nicole's, 617 NE Fremont, 7 pm) Electricity is so lame, making all those crackling noises and shit, and letting "the man" rip us off. Screw electricity! That's what the ladies of this show say, as they shun electrical outlets and do more for acoustic guitars than a 37-bolt fusebox. Who needs it, when you've got so much beauty in your voice (Jen) or passion and sass (Tami and Sour, respectively)? Or all three? So, bring a candle and be prepared for a Luddite-audio rubdown from some fine singers. JS

SIGHTINGS, MONITOR BATS, NICE NICE

(Blackbird, 3728 NE Sandy) Electricity is so cool! I love electricity! And what those maniacal Sightings boys do with it is utter fucking mayhem. Guitar, drums, bass, and vocals blister into a steaming pile of melodic trainwreck, manifesting in what is one of the best American noise bands currently in existence. Essentially, it sounds like low-grade '70s horror movies where they amplify the crazed killer's brain--agitated and industrially psychedelic--or like when you take a handful of trucker's speed and you can feel your hair growing. Their self-titled record (on Load, home of Lightning Bolt, Pink & Brown, Scissor Girls, and other hole-boring futurists) is a real ass-shaker; reports from the road say that, live, the band is currently "getting free and whatnot, stretching out like Grand Funk after a long afternoon huffing a gas rag." FUCK YEAH! Eat your heart out, Darryl Hannah, cause the tough kids of chaos are forming a gang rumble TONIGHT! JS

DJ CHEB I SABBAH, DAVID J, DAHLIA

(Fez, 316 SW 11th) The incorporation of non-Western music legacies into club tunes had been a rocky road, paved with little more than derivation and exploitation. Cheb I Sabbah is, in the words of my spiritual advisor Snoop Dogg, "the real-deal Holyfield." As a lifelong world traveler, Sabbah infuses electronic music with what he knows best: primarily the many rich and varied musical traditions of India. So his DJ sets are not just a reliance on Bhangra, but incorporate all sorts of folk music that he painstakingly researched and crafted alongside electronic influences. In short, Sabbah's music is a beacon of originality and authenticity; if for nothing more than civic pride, I wish the same could be said for others on the bill. ELLIOTT ADAMS

JESSE DAYTON, BASTARD SONS OF JOHNNY CASH

(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) To evoke the name of Johnny Cash--and to do so claiming to be his wayward prodigy--takes either true sandpaper-rough grit, or Velveeta-smooth cheesiness. But the Bastard Sons are the real deal¨outlaw, country-western, mean-spirited, and heartfelt. The type of music that punches you in the gut right after patting you on the back¨and then vice versa. Hell, Johnny Cash, against the screams and hollers of his publicist, likes the band so much that he gave them permission to use his name. Willie Nelson even gave them a coveted invitation to his annual July 4th Picnic in Luchenbach, Texas. PHIL DOT BUSSE


FRIDAY 9/6

BASSISM STARRING J-BOOGIE

(Fez, 316 SW 11th) San Francisco's J-Boogie can put it down with the best of them. Last time I saw him spin, he was playing both rooms of a club in Missoula, alternating raw, bass-deep hiphop (what he's most known for in the Bay) and tropical, organic house. When he racks up those frequent flier miles this Friday, it'll be for the ninth installment of Portland's premier 2-step night, Bassism. 2-step can fall to either side of the R&B/rave divide--either too slick and polished, coming off as Top 40 fodder (literally; a recent *NSync single had an unabashedly 2-step beat), or reliant on cheesy samples and acidic basslines. Bassism's usual response to this quandary is reggae/dub-influenced 2-step, but what's interesting is to see what J will play. EA

LTJ BUKEM, MC CONRAD, MAKATO, SIAMESE

(Ohm) LTJ Bukem is one of the world's most famous drum 'n' bass DJs, and he's made this reputation almost exclusively by playing shows, rather than releasing albums. Despite the fact that he runs Good Looking Records, he's just one of those dudes who loves to play, and that makes him great. Informed by classical music, the combo of MC Conrad and Bukem is a compelling one--they imbue an overall surprisingly mellow sound, despite that fact that their music is so quick-paced and sounds as if it's been filtered through lots of electronic equipment. KATIA DUNN

SKERVY'S HOMO SMACKDOWN

(Billy Ray's, 2216 NE MLK) I'm not a homo myself, but I certainly will not avert my eyes from a group of sexy lesbos rolling around in their underwear. In fact, I might go so far as to light up a cigarette and watch... or I might go even further and stay at Billy Ray's homo smackdown all evening long, watching Badass Penelope Puddin Pants put a full nelson on La Concha Loca, or SnatchMaster perform a suplex on The Dirty SchoolBoy. All this eyecandy, plus DJs Puppet, Zanne, and Bang! spinning hiphop, buttrock, and girlpunk. KATIE SHIMER

STROMBELLI'S ISLAND OF DONKEYS AND DOLLS

(Meow Meow) Strombelli's Island of Donkeys is a collective of several, big-time spoken word artists (Michelle Tea, Becky Sinister, and Tara Jespen) who read their work alongside the group End of the World, who are a one-of-a-kind group of tranny hiphoppers! All are from San Francisco, and it should be very entertaining. KD See Books pg 24

PINEHURST KIDS, TRIPLESWIFT, DRAGONFLIES, MEL, WOKE UP FALLING

(Crystal Ballroom, 1334 W Burnside) It's a mixed bag night: Woke Up Falling's vocalist goes from David Byrne goofy to serious alterna-love singing, and while their music uncomplicatedly supports the singing, I don't mind it. Mel: ugh, cheese and crackers, in-your-face, radio bullshit. Barf. Dragonflies: robotic yet rock. Sort of a new take on dark, dismal, and spacey. Tripleswift: catchy rock/pop that wishes really hard it was Weezer. Catchy riffs. Plus, Portland's new Everclear, The Pinehurst Kids. KS

BASTINADO, 6 MINUTE HEARTSTOP, THE BOOTHS

(Blackbird) Oh, you poor, dear, sweet fans of 6 Minute Heartstop and Bastinado! I simply must warn you that if you are feeling at all light of heart or the idea of having a band rip you a new asshole sounds not even a little appealing, take your time in getting to the show tonight. The Booths' bombastic volumes weed out the frail, but if you can manage to listen closely, you'll notice that their music actually warrants blasting. By the time they're through, Bastinado and 6 Minute Heartstop's reliable, emotionally-charged howling and growling rock will sound like the freaking Monterey Folk Festival. MARJORIE SKINNER

BRONWYN, CHERCHEZ LA FEMME

(Mississippi, 3552 N Mississippi) Bronwyn is for the more sensitive listener. Sarah Wilmer's vocals play off those of Richel Martinez in a way that can't help but remind you of Brownies round-singing. The fuzzy guitar gives the music more depth, but still, too wholesome for the grumpy, jaded set. Also, Sarah Dougher redefines her daunting alto in her new band, Cherchez La Femme. KS


SATURDAY 9/7

MECCA NORMAL, NIKKI MCCLURE

(Pacific Switchboard, SE 25th & Clinton above Clinton Street Video) See Music pg 17

OLDOMINION VS. SYSTEMWIDE, MIC CRENSHAW, DJ KOLA

(Berbati's, 231 SW Ankeny) Oldominon, where some of the Northwest's finest (and funniest, least assuming, most real) emcees hang their caps, links up with Portland's most famous live dub explosion, Systemwide, for what will surely be a superb performance. If you haven't seen either yet, it's imperative you see both. JS See Aurora CD Review pg 17

MEG LEE CHIN, CHRIS CONNELLY

(Satyricon, 125 NW 6th) For some reason, any artist who's even dabbled in the industrial scene tends to get painted into a very monochromatic (i.e., dark) corner. So clear the cobwebs from your mind and open your ears--because although he's considered one of industrial music's leading figures thanks to work in outfits like Ministry, Pigface, and the Revolting Cocks, singer Chris Connelly is far from one-dimensional. Or loud. Or scary. In fact, Connelly's solo work is elegant and stately, sounding more like Bowie's more mannered moments, the gorgeously dark pop of Scott Walker, or the more subtle work of Nick Cave than the bombastic temper tantrums of Trent Reznor and co. BARBARA MITCHELL


SPARTA, CROSSTIDE

(Meow Meow) Omar Rodriguez, one-time bandmate with Sparta founder Jim Ward in At the Drive-In, has a huge penis! I mean, allegedly has a huge penis. Rodriguez' "package" is a long-running legend in the indie world, and word has it that his "massive wang" just might have led the demise of their previous band. One most wonder what it must have been like for Ward and the two other members of Sparta--who all did time in ATDI--to have shared a stage with a man who was (allegedly) so "incredibly well-hung." This is not to say that the handsome boys of Sparta do not run "large in the pants," but their bio doesn't mention it and my numerous calls to their PR people surprisingly went unanswered. CARMELO MARTINEZ

QUIVAH

(Music Millennium NW) Quivah is on the verge of releasing a new CD, and though this is not The CD release party (that's happening on the 20th at Fez), my guess is that they'll be playing stuff off their new album, Understatements. Drawing from a lot of jazz, they still hit it hard by showcasing the steady, mellow MC, but augmenting with some sax and piano. I predict great things for this group. See them now, before they blow up. KD

DECEMBERISTS, THE PLACES, OPERACYCLE

(Blackbird) According to music history, there was a time before popular dissonance, when one of the most important aspects of composing was making it sound pretty and agreeable. This show is an opportunity to hearken back to that era, fidgety and black-clad as we may now be. Operacycle and The Places will lull you into a sort of musical day spa, where you will be soothed, relaxed, but probably not overtly exfoliated. The real gem of the evening is The Decemberists' performance, which always seems to make total stuck-up strangers more likely to say, "excuse me," and smile quietly at each other. Even if you're freaked out by words like "folk" or "quiet," it's difficult not to appreciate what is simply beautiful, talented songwriting. MS


SUNDAY 9/8

VEGETARIAN/VEGAN BBQ STARRING LIAR BIRD, AMY ANNELLE, SARAH DOUGHER

(Rip City, 27th & Clinton, 6 pm) If it is still a mystery to you why this barbecue is vegetarian only, please read the book Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser. Now that we got that out of the way, it's time to pony up for some sweet, endless-summer entertainment. Smooth-as-a-salve vocalist/guitarists Sarah Dougher and Amy Annelle (of the Places) open up with their conscientious, melodic takes on person, place and thing. And the country-tinged, Olympia quartet Liar Bird, starring Kanako, the Intima's Nora and Themba, and Heather Dunn, will delight you throughout the evening. Now slap on a tofu pup and ride into the sunset. JS

EIGHTEEN VISIONS, EVERY TIME I DIE, HOPESFALL, NORMA JEAN

(Meow Meow) Eighteen Visions have some pretty killer metal riffs lodged in the flesh of their rhythmic hardcore, and the voice of their throat-puker (singer) has the desired consistency of shattered glass. These are all good things. Only... why are all their lyrics about ladies? I mean, I am a huge fan of "love" and everything, but when you direct this sort of anger solely towards your ex-girlfriends, rather than things that actually deserve your outrage (like the prison industrial complex, or umm... our president)--and milk the "girl who scorned me" theme in like every frigging song--you just come off as a teensy bit MISOGYNIST. (Not to mention the sample from River's Edge: "Why did you kill her?" "She was talkin' shit." Hokay!) I'm not even going to get into their fancy-lad ensembles, which look like they raided the closet of The Makers. Ladies, don't support artists who glorify violence towards women. In lieu of attending this show, I would advise you to stay home and form your own hardcore bands. JS

SWEARING AT MOTORISTS, SCOUT NIBLETT, JASON TRAEGER

(Blackbird) Dave Doughman is a total fucking dirtbag, and I love him for it. Doughman is the singer/guitarist of Swearing at Motorists, a two-piece band who dawdle and loaf their way into your heart with off-kilter pop songs that usually involve both drinking and getting high. Dressed like a scary hitchhiker you wouldn't dare slowdown for, Doughman represents the long-lost music troubadour of old. The kind of down on his luck drifter who, despite good intentions, keeps getting kicked in the nuts by this cruel world we live in. He likes to drink, probably knows how to fashion a bong out of just about anything, and if he crashes on your couch tonight--he's not leaving. CM


MONDAY 9/9

EARTH, WIND AND FIRE

(Rose Garden) The editor of the Mercury, Wm. Steven Humphrey, is in love with Earth, Wind and Fire. In fact, he would marry them, if he hadn't just gotten married on Saturday, to a quite lovely and asskicking female. (Probably the only woman on earth who could handle him--and damn, is she fucking HOT!) I don't really know much about Earth, Wind and Fire, other than that my boss would have written about them if he hadn't gone to get married. But this is what he did say: "EARTH WIND AND FIRE IS COMING? Oh, shoot, I can't go, that's when I'm getting married!" And then he went off to sulk. JS

HER SPACE HOLIDAY, AZURE RAY, BROKEN SPINDLES, NOW IT'S OVERHEAD

(Meow Meow) Her Space Holiday's peacefully erratic brand of electronica is as heartwarming as it is heartwrenching--engaging and melancholy pop that'll replace Waylon Jennings as the soundtrack to your whiskey-drenched nights. HSH has toured relentlessly this year (first supporting Sir Bob Mould, and then with American Analog Set), and the layered technique with which the duo builds its melodica has only grown more breathtaking. This year's Manic Expressive (TigerStyle) hits like a slow-motion punch in the face, and the show will be as well. JOAN HILLER


TUESDAY 9/10

STARANTULA, THE SPIDERS, WADSWORTH

(Blackbird) Texans The Spiders traverse '70s rock, punk, and metal, their strengths being slamming, drumming, wailing guitar and the mass appeal of era-throwback gimmick rock from Sabbath to Cheap Trick. Wadsworth, as always, will inspire with their tight metal teardown. KS


WEDNESDAY 9/11

NORFOLK & WESTERN, TRACKER, AMOR, TRANSMISSIONARY SIX, THE GRAVES

(Blackbird) Transmission Six melds piano, organ, field recordings, banjo, guitar, and subdued Cowboy Junkies- style vocals, which makes me think of some barren New Mexico landscape with tumbleweeds rolling around. Even though their songs aren't country, they capture that slow-motion sentiment when the badass cowboy walks into the saloon, or kisses his girl goodbye and rides off on his stallion. Slow, but sultry and dangerous. Similarly, Gabriel "Naim" Amor's music conjures distinct visual images, his of estranged black and white lovers staring longingly at bodies of water. The clean subdued guitar, cello, and drum sounds from afar on his album Soundtracks, quite obviously have the old cinema in mind. KS


New Releases Sept 10:
Bangs, Broken Spindles, Detachment Kit, Gourds, ill lit, Ivy, Layo & Bushwacka!, Doug Martsch, The Pattern, Speech, Too $hort, Tre', Trans Am, Vandermark 5