THURSDAY 9/26PHARCYDE, HIGH & MIGHTY, AFU-RA, OPUS X

(Roseland) Despite my extreme disapproval of the name "High Times Tour," I admit that there may be some good music being played tonight. First, of course, there's Pharcyde, those timeless stoners who just keep turning out albums, and also Afu Ra and High and Mighty, of lesser fame but equal enthusiasm. Perhaps the sleeper hit here will be Opus X, the San Franciscan/Portlandian group who have just released an album called Climbing for Dollars, and Sleep, of the Oldominion Crew. KATIA DUNN

DUTCH FLAT, THE VOLUMEN, SCIENCE OF YABRA

(Berbati's) Things that are "wacky": Phyllis Diller, monkeys, the movie Better Off Dead, rickety spacemen. The Cure. Computers as big as a room. I know for fact (or fiction?) that Missoula's Volumen has been influenced by any or all of these things at one point or another, and you can bet they're wacky as shit. Unlike many "wacky" acts, however, Volumen is actually pretty damn good at writing music. On their latest record, Cries from Space (Wantage USA), they've toned down their overriding hee-larity of yesteryear and replaced it with subtlety (a well-placed devil laugh here, the perfectly ironic but not overtly cheesy keyboard line there). And hey! Amid their tight, guitar/synth-based rock songs infused with spaceman-worthy jigginess and unexpectedly melancholic emotion, there is an assload of pop factor. You'll be humming lines like, "Start serving me drinks till I say quit/Sexy astronaut/ When I black out, then I'll forget/ Sexy astronaut." So sad. So fun! So sad. JULIANNE SHEPHERD

HIGH VIOLETS, CERULEAN, UPSIDE DOWN

(Ash Street) Everything surrounding Cerulean's music cheeses me out--promo photos of all three members looking somber and in different directions, their album title, brigher/still (why the slash?), and their ridiculous attempts to seem famous; their PR materials are plastered with "as heard on Seattle 90.3 FM KEXP"--woo-hoo. Anyway, my point is, that despite the fact that I would never want to chill with the members of Cerulean, they are good. The dark intertwining of the bass and guitar, sweeping instrumentals, and passionate melodies might not be totally new, but they're pleasantly reminiscent of The Cure. KATIE SHIMER

JASON ANDERSON/WOLF COLONEL, THE BADGER KING, THE BLOW, LITTLE WINGS, CALVIN JOHNSON, THANKSGIVING, KARL BLAU

(Meow Meow) While it almost appears to be "K Records"-Fest 2002, this show is actually to celebrate the new record (on K) by Khaela M., aka The Blow. And what would a K Records fest be without a TALENT SHOW? That's right; in between the night's glorious explosions of pop music, folks will be exhibiting all sorts of talent, perhaps juggling fire or twirling batons or shooting popcorn out of their nostrils. If you have a talent you would like to perform, sign up in advance by emailing

khaelaiskhaela@hotmail.com. Otherwise, stick around for the hot-chocolate-close-to-my-heart style music of these mostly geetar-based crooners. JS

NEW BOMB TURKS, FIREBALLS OF FREEDOM, ROCK AND ROLL SOLDIERS, THE HUNCHES

(Satyricon) If you don't go see the New Bomb Turks tonight, you may NEVER be able to see them play live again. After 12 years, the Columbus, Ohio act announced that this is their last big swing through the U.S. Not to worry, though, the Turks are NOT breaking up. They just don't want to drag their asses across the country in a van anymore. Give 'em a proper farewell. JENNIFER MAERZ

HOMO A GOGO STARRING USA SEXUAL, FAGATRON, GOSSIP, SEXTIONAL, KATE BORNSTEIN, MORE

(Olympia, Wash.) So it's a two-hour drive to Olympia, but if you go to homoagogo.com, there are message boards where you can find a carpool. It's possibly the world's only non-boring/non-wonky, underground queer arts festival, straight out of the capital of non-boring arts festivals. JS

FRIDAY 9/27SLEATER-KINNEY, SHANNON WRIGHT,

THE QUAILS

(Crystal Ballroom) I'm not gonna be really obnox and give you my dissertation on the new Sleater-Kinney album just for the sake of doing it, but you should know that the new one has the magical fire of the early stuff, which is so fucking exciting. Speaking of fire... Shannon Wright, a "singer/songwriter" in the literal sense only, drops bombs of emotion in her brilliant guitar music. Her voice is a raw channel for all the pain you can't express. SF's The Quails, on the other hand, pair tight drumming and good bass lines with a bunch of party-y, pop-punky fun. Their record is out on Sara Erase Errata's label, get it and support a shitload of rad ladies. JS

THE MOONEY SUZUKI, SAHARA HOTNIGHTS, IMMORTAL LEE COUNTY KILLERS, THE MODEY LEMON, DAN MELCHOIR'S BROKE REVUE

(Berbati's) Fact: The guitarist of Mooney Suzuki nearly beheaded a crowd member during a Houston show with his L6S, after mustard was intentionally spilled on his distortion pedal. Following the at-show violence, all the ladies at Rudyard's wanted to make out with the band; most failed. Fact: After a night of raucous drinking, The Modey Lemon drummer totally made out with my best friend in exchange for a striped sweatband (which she scammed off the club's bartender after making out with him first). Fact: Give Sahara Hotnights a month or two, and they'll be as deservedly overexposed as the White Stripes--they won't make out with you now, and they really won't make out with you after the Scandinavian rawk beauties grace the cover of The Face. Hot nights indeed! If this pure, unadulterated R&R show don't bring out your throw-down, I just can't say what will. DR. JOAN HILLER

THE FRAMES, WAXWINGS, YOUNG & SEXY, VICTORY AT SEA

(Blackbird) Named in honor of the obtrusive clutter that resulted from one band member's childhood habit of fixing every bicycle in his neighborhood, The Frames have subtly won us over since this year's release on Overcoat. More rocking chair than rock-tha-party, this is where Sunday morning kitchen music gets warm and fuzzy--luscious strings crochet and whip-stitch around acoustic picking to make some of the most comfortable pop around. Don't assume that low-key tonality makes for a shushed dynamic, though. The Frames' downhome arrangements and clean-toned leanings involve enough endearingly intricate interplay to make anyone want to curl up next to the fire with the lot of 'em. DR. HILLER

PIRATES & BUNNIES DANCE PARTY

(Eagle's Lodge) The people who organize these things seem like they take a lot of acid. When I asked this show's organizer, Jedediah, "So, you're supposed to dress up as a pirate or a bunny?" He said, "Yeah, finally, we're bringing the two together, so they can live in harmony." He also mentioned that DJ Stormy will be spinning '80s metal/dance, etc., for your spazming pleasure, and that they will be raffling off a Dirty Little Secrets gift certificate for a perm. You can't trade it in for a haircut, you have to get a perm. See what I mean? KS

SATURDAY 9/28D.I., GUESTS

(Satyricon) I saw D.I. back in 1986 at the Fender Ballroom in Long Beach, California. They played with The Dickies, TSOL, and a couple other bands I can't remember. To actually get to go to the show, I had to lie to my mom and tell her I was spending the night at a friend's house because I was only 16 and Long Beach was 60 miles from my house. But now I don't have lie to revisit my teenage years; I can head to Satyricon and watch some of my punk rock heroes belt out their hits. I just wish they were playing with Shattered Faith or Uniform Choice, too. CHRIS REID

MIDTOWN, RECOVER, TAKING BACK SUNDAY

(Meow Meow) There is nothing worse than generic, overproduced, psuedo-emo music being performed by a bunch of rich white kids from the suburbs. Really... there is nothing worse. Skacore, New Age, the didgeridoo--all of these things are terrible, yet at the same time, better than the music of Taking Back Sunday. A tidal wave of CDs crosses my desk on a daily basis, but Tell All Your Friends, the debut CD by Taking Back Sunday, is hands-down the single worst record I have heard all year. If things couldn't get any worse, this "indie" band is unashamed to advertise on their website their sponsors, which includes Pepsi's EXTREME energy drink Amp. So this is a message for all the kids that just might contemplate seeing this show--don't. These bands are not on your side; they might as well be 'NSync, with their corporate ties, fashionable hair, and overpolished music. Ugh, when will people stop listening to this crap? CARMELO MARTINEZ

4TH ANNUAL PICKATHON

(Horning's Hideout) Tucked away in a small canyon adjacent to a pond and overrun by peacocks, Horning's Hideout is probably the best outdoor venue this side of the Gorge. That's right. It's that time of year again. KBOO's annual Pick-a-Thon. Oh, don't roll your eyes. It really isn't all twirling hippies, patchouli wafting in the air and drum circles. Well, maybe a little. But it is also a day full of some of the best bluegrass from the Northwest, as well as mean-spitting, hard-edged country music. And, oh yeah, the Circus Contraption offer a zest to the day. With accordions, fiddles, and face-paint, they are a peculiar vaudevillian act, as if Cirque du Soliel had been raised by a pack of hillbillies. Take exit 57 off Hwy 26. PHIL DOT BUSSE

MING & FS, REID SPEED, DJ SUSPENCE

(Ohm) On their most recent release, Human Condition, Ming and FS once again explore their self-described "junkyard" sound--an amalgamation of all beats raw and funky with a predominantly jungle/hiphop style. That's good and all, but the live format is where the duo's skills are fully represented. With shows featuring DJs who produce their own music, much of the excitement comes from hearing which records are thrown into the mix. Regardless of what is packed into their crates this time around, Ming and FS will unleash fury on the dance floor like a junkyard dog. NICOLAE WHITE

JAPANTHER, JONNY X & THE GROADIES, DEAD WEATHER RADAR, DUTCH FLAT

(Fast Forward, 6616 NE MLK, 8 pm) With merely a bass and a guy screaming his ass off, it's a little mystery how Brooklyn's Japanther rocks it so loud and maniacal. Maybe it's cause they've been on three full tours (with Lightning Bolt/Pink & Brown) and released like 90,000 CD-Rs since their inception in 2001. Or maybe it's just cause their singer, Ian, was part of the Yakima posse that spawned such venerable acts as Harm's Arms? I don't know, but Jonny X & the Groadies probably do. WTF, my friends. WTF. JS

KREATOR, DESTRUCTION, CEPHALIC CARNAGE, DECEMBER

(Ash Street) Nobody does heavy metal like the Germans. Maybe it has to do with an inferiority complex bred from losing several major wars, or perhaps it's just that industrious nature bred from living in the shadow of the wall. Regardless, this double bill of classic thrashers Kreator and Destruction can traces its roots way back to the prime speed-metal years of the mid-'80s. What's even better news is that both bands have gotten over their pitiful attempts at trying to do anything other than what they do best, which means new albums of severe intensity, weathered screams, and Mozart-on-a-Tesla-coil guitar solos. Modern-day virtuoso death/math-metal thrashers Cephalic Carnage hitch a ride because they're on Relapse, and will be bringing the weed. NATHAN CARSON

CROSSTIDE, ONE LAST THING, OLIVER, THE ANTI-LISTEN

(Blackbird) While it seems that just about everyone these days is taking their diary entries and turning them into emoting rock songs, the local lads of Crosstide have been taking the lyrical high road. Sure, they might just get filed under the dreaded "e-m-o" category, but the band is focused far more on the bigger picture. With a massive stage performance complete with crunchy guitars and vocals that dabble in falsetto, you can't help but sense a looming since of maturity seldom found in local bands. CM

SUNDAY 9/29TRIBE 8, GUESTS

See My What a Busy Week pg 19

MICHAEL AND SARAH'S WEDDING RECEPTION

(Disjecta, 116 NE Russell) See My What a Busy Week pg 19

MONDAY 9/30CINERAMA, VHS OR BETA?, BALLBOY

(Blackbird) Between those namby-pamby boremeisters in Coldplay, the shoegazer-lite of Doves, and the walking irrelevance that is Oasis, the crappy music currently emanating from across ye olde pond is enough to make John Lennon spin in his grave like a rotisserie chicken (OK, he was cremated, but you get the point). Cinerama, however, are on that very short list of British bands that do not suck. Frontman Dave Gedge--the lyrical and melodic genius who piloted The Wedding Present to British acclaim and American disregard from 1985 to 1997--helms the combo's dapper mix of indie guitar-pop and grand, filmic arrangements, spinning romantic yarns that actually induce smiles instead of the involuntary purge of one's stomach contents. MICHAEL ALAN GOLDBERG

TUESDAY 10/1EL-P, MR. LIF, RJD2, CAGE, COPYWRITE, SOUL POSITION, DJ WICKED

(Crystal Ballroom) See Music pg 23

HER FLYAWAY MANNER, THE THERMALS, TOUGH LOVE & THE BELLANASTI

(Blackbird) See Music pg 20

PETE KREBS, MICHAEL JODELL, MIKE JOHNSON

(Aladdin) While Pete Krebs, with his scratchy, weary voice and pretty guitars (not to mention handsome mug), is my secret old-school Portland crush, I do think it is rather gauche that everyone made such a brouhaha of his moving to France, and all he did was come back three months later. We didn't even have time to miss him! Anyway, he's playing the Aladdin tonight, presumably to push his new record with the Gossamer Wings, I Know it By Heart. It's great in a Tom Petty way--strong melodies, kinda feel-good, American rock 'n' roll. Heartfelt and unpretentious. JS

MIRAH, SHEMO, GUESTS

(Meow Meow) If you don't already own the newest record by wayward songwriter Mirah, Advisory Committee, please go buy it right now, because it's a terribly wonderful offering of clever lyricism, heartfelt emotion, catchy melodies, the clearest singing voice ever, and kickass production. Live, Mirah furthers her career as a heartbreaker--quietly singing and playing guitar, using hands and fingers as rhythm section, and thoroughly charming through her encouragement of audience participation. I'd say she was a genius if this wasn't already so frigging gushy. JS

WEDNESDAY 10/2OF MONTREAL, MARSHMALLOW COAST, THE MINDERS

(Blackbird) This show should be chock-full of bands who are too cute for school. In fact, I daresay that it's hard to pinpoint who exactly will play the most adorable music tonight. Will it be the tireless Of Montreal (actually of Athens, GA), who have just released Aldhil's Arboretum, more of a pure pop-injection than the band has ever created before? Will it be Portland's The Minders, who have also just released another album of '60s-influenced pop? They've got a Brit, and Brits are always super adorable. Personally, I'm pulling for the Marshmallow Coast, the lesser-known member of the Elephant 6 collective. Or maybe the most adorable act tonight will be you, the adorable listener, with your faced turned up in cherubic adoration. KD

DOVES, MY MORNING JACKET

(Crystal) The Doves are popular I guess, but I think they're a boring Radiohead ripoff band. Some of their songs sound like they're played under water, others sound like straight-up jumpy pop songs, fronted by confident and pleasantly whiney singer Jimi Goodwin (I do like him). If you might want to go though, here's some incentive--the guitarist and drummer are twins. My Morning Jacket's classic lonesome cowboy sound is a compelling compliment. KS

XIU XIU, OLD TIME RELIJUN, GHOST TO FALCO, THE GHOSTS OF WOMEN WHO HAUNT CLIFFS

(Nicole's, 617 NE Fremont, 7 pm) Xiu Xiu's frontman, Jamie Stewart, appears to be an opera singer gone horribly awry. His voice trembles, murmurs, trickles, and thunders--and that's only in the first four measures. The band (which, in this incarnation, includes members of Sweet Science) looks normal enough upon first glance--a collection of young people who might be kindergarten teachers or laboratory assistants during the day, playing musical chairs with a huddled collection of almost unidentifiable instruments. Upon closer inspection, you'll notice that there is a manic intensity to how the members touch their (now visibly unorthodox) instruments, and how they interact with the crowd. It's disquieting and enthralling--and a little like watching your favorite uncle come unglued after someone dosed the holiday eggnog. KATE MERCIER

New Releases Oct 1: Cerberus Shoal, The Blow, Dennis Driscoll, Dub Narcotic Sound System, Echoboy, Karate, Landing, Rilo Kiley, Squarepusher, Thievery Corporation