THURSDAY 3/20

THE VINES, THE MUSIC
(Roseland, NW 6th & Burnside)
2002 was a bad year for Kurt Cobain. Well... I guess every year is a bad year for him, being that he's dead... but regardless, it was a terrible 12 months. His ex-drummer grew a moustache, made a terrible record with the Foo Fighters, and then won a Grammy. His ex-wife soiled his name in a near-lawsuit with his former bandmates, then ruined his legacy a little more by publishing his private diaries. But what made last year particularly nightmarish for Cobain was the massive success of The Vines, a third-rate Australian grunge cover band who copy the howl and instrument-bashing of Nirvana, but without any of the songwriting talent, genuine angst, and soul that made the band so great. I'm sorry, Kurt. CARMELO MARTINEZ

THE REST IS SILENCE: BREDE RORSTAD
(Fir Acres Theatre, Lewis & Clark College, 0615 SW Palatine Hill Road, 8 pm, free)
Brede Rorstad contends that "electronics add a texture not found in academic music." So, for his senior recital at Lewis and Clark, he's foregoing the traditional fugue in favor of a piece ("like an opera, but not really") that includes harpsichord, flamenco percussion, accordion, a choir, video projections, and a laptop, manned by Rorstad for effecting sounds and triggering loops. His idea reflects two recent and necessary trends in music: first, a strong backlash against paying $15 to see someone just sitting at a computer and "performing" glitchy, technocratic pulses; and second, that those crunches and dark soundscapes that Bjork first brought to Sam Goody have been incorporated into increasingly disparate forms of music. ELLIOTT ADAMS

AMERICAN HI-FI, ALLISTER, THE EARLY NOVEMBER, TROUBLE IS
(Meow Meow, 520 SE Pine)
I always get American Hi-Fi confused with All-American Rejects--the latter of which have a glorious five seconds of ascending vocal scales on their hit "Swing Swing" while the rest of the record stinks like emo-tainted baby poop. American Hi-Fi, on the other hand, have no such luck. Yep, not even five stinkin' seconds. Their latest album, The Art of Losing, is irony-clogged alternative pop--the kind you stopped listening to back in '94. Look, their promos even come with a "HELLO I am a Loser" faux nametag! How '90s is that?! Wait. It gets better. Their singer was not only in Letters to Cleo, but also Veruca frickin' Salt! That shit's more '90s than Jared Leto! ADAM GNADE

ICONS OF FILTH, DEFIANCE, RIFFS
(Paris, 6 SW 3rd)
This is what gutter-fashion connoisseurs call a butt-flap show, an opportunity for crustier-than-thou hardcore enthusiasts to attach rough canvas imprints of their favorite bands' logos to their waists. One of the most popular models of this half-mast flag belongs to Icons of Filth, whose very name declares its devotion to the genre's unwashed aesthetic. ANDREW MILLER

MEGABABE
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd)
With their heavy rock riffs in the vein of Joan Jett, and high-pitched, candy-sprinkle harmonies, and lyrics like, "Bite me," Japanese trio Megababe's anomalous sound is an unexpected mix, but a pleasing one. JULIANNE SHEPHERD

FRIDAY 3/21

GOGOL BORDELLO, KULTUR SHOCK
(Berbati's)
Gogol Bordello's catalogue of songs is a toughened up, punk rock rendition of traditional Ukrainian music. Although they're currently based in New York, all but one of the band members immigrated to the States from Eastern Europe, so the style is close to their hearts--and they play it as such. Be there with plenty of bells on, as openers Kultur Shock are also banging out the punk/gypsy concoction. MARJORIE SKINNER

SUPERGRASS, THE CORAL
(Roseland)
Supergrass do the British upbeat, eccentric, psychedelic garage rock thing (complete with animal noises and whistling), and they do it as well as just about anybody, including Blur, Robyn Hitchcock, and the Beta Band. JUSTIN WESCOAT SANDERS

MOON PONY, THE AMIES, SHICKY GNAROWITZ & THE TRANSPARENT WINGS OF JOY, BUTTER(Disjecta) It's general knowledge that Stumptown Coffee employs Portland's hottest, but lesser known is that its employees are also often musically inclined. Tonight is an example of this musical inclination (Stumpy band The Thermals notwithstanding--they're too busy BLOWING THE EFF UP across America right now). You got your ambient rock, your poppy rock, your klezmer, and your Butter, about which I have no clue. JS

THE D4, ELECRIC SIX, GODDAMN GENTLEMEN
(Dante's)
I would pay a pretty penny to see the irony train derail in a flaming ball of destruction, one that would stretch from here to all the way down to New Zealand, where The D4 hang their mesh hats after a hard day of irrelevant revival rock. What makes this particular band of garaged-up balls-to-the-wall rock any different from Dirty Deeds--the AC/DC cover band that used to play keggers back in high school--is beyond me? Better timing? Better publicist? At least with the cover band the beer was free--although come to think of it, they charged $2 for a plastic cup. CM

HUNCHES, DEADLY WEAPONS, THE HUSBANDS, THE MINDS
(Ash Street, 225 SW Ash)
Friday night, garage night! Y'all know the Hunches... but what about The Husbands, a new garage band starring The Lies' Sadie Shaw and Sarah Reed? In addition, Deadly Weapons include Larry Ricket of the Rickets, and members of the Trashwomen. Haven't heard 'em yet, but given their pedigree, all signs point to good rock. JS

THE MINDERS, ELECTRO GROUP, DURANGO PARK, JACKIE
(Blackbird, 3728 NE Sandy)
Jackie combines all the elements of what makes rock 'n' roll rock. They have style, they have attitude, and they believe. Besides being what the girl at the door of their recent Bush Gardens show called "the sexiest band in Portland," they are engaging performers. Travis' seizure-ridden vocal delivery, reminiscent of Pete Shelley and Elvis Costello, pairs well with Farfisa player Jen's "I'd rather be anywhere than here" nonchalance, making them at once in your face and coyly detached. Kip sounds more confident leaving vocal duties behind in favor of guitar cinching the whole package together, tight, edgy and hungry. All together they give life to songs new and familiar at once. The nervous rock of the Modern Lovers coupled with the nervous twitch of modern pharmaceuticals. CHAZZ MADRIGAL

SATURDAY 3/22

WOLF EYES, SMEGMA, DECLAWED YELLOW SWANS, USAISAMONSTER, SAMUS ARAN
(Nocturnal, 1800 W Burnside)
Wolf Eyes is the sound of growling discontent. On Bulb Records' Dread, they are--for however many minutes the album runs--the best band on the planet. Guitars, drums, and keyboards meld together into a frantic hellbroth of pulverizing, fist-in-the-air grind-violence juxtaposed against a deluge of beep/chirp electro wizardry. A total sonic moneyshot, every time. Even Hessian party guru Hajji Baba Andrew W.K. is on the bus. He produced their record Fortune Dove, which is about as far from "Party Hard" as George Dubya is from a warm, rational human being. AG

THIEVERY CORPORATION
(Fez, 316 SW 11th)
The masterminds behind the D.C.'s 18th Street Lounge, where only the hippest daughters of diplomats hang, are touring as DJs. Instead of the full Thievery production, normally including Rasta MCs, Sitar, and a literally every sultry vocalist that has graced their downtempo dubfests; prepare for a few hours of bass-heavy vinyl inspired by Jamaican reggae and other world sounds. The show is rumored to be long sold-out, so if you want tickets you'll probably have to barter away your Ipod. EA

IRON AND WINE, NORFOLK & WESTERN, JON RAY & THE RIVER
(Ozone Phase 3, 701 E Burnside, 4pm; Satyricon, 9pm)
Every once in awhile, we are allowed a peek into the intimacy of songs made without expectations or limits, songs never expecting to see the light of day, whirring through intensely personal subject matters. The music of Iron and Wine is the acutely focused simplicity of four-tracker Sam Beam, melodically mastering the equilibrium of acoustic guitar/banjo plucking with breathy vocal sincerity. His first record, The Creek Drank The Cradle, is a handpicked collection of 11 songs from his alleged bank of many. Memory-laden lyrics tempt the listener into a confessional-like setting, consciously soaking up the tragedy-tinged stories of pastoral Southern life. KEVIN O'CONNOR

TRUST COMPANY, 30 SECONDS TO MARS, PACIFIER, FINGERTIGHT
(Roseland)
So, this nu-metal band from WhoCaresville, Alabama, called something like Trust Fund Company or whatever is headlining this show, but WHAT'S IT MATTER 'CUZ JARED LETO'S BAND, 30 SECONDS TO MARS, IS PLAYING TOO! Yes! That's right, folks! Jordan Catalano from My So-Called Life! What's his band sound like? Doesn't matter but GET THIS: he may or may not still be dating THEE Cameron "blonde generic American actress" Diaz! Hot damn! Music, schmusic--once again--who cares?! Because even if the bands don't play, I'm sure Jared--or "Jay-Rad," as I call him--will be dressed super Hollywood fantastic glamoramic sexerific multi-trillionaire cool! Bring your autograph books, kids! Note: anybody that yells "Dogstar" mid-set will get a big, fat knuckle-sandwich from yours truly. Grrr. AG

VANISHING KIDS, WET CONFETTI, ROBOTS IN DISGUSE
(Disjecta)
Our favorite goth-y, dark, noisy band, Vanishing Kids, have a new drummer. We haven't seen her yet, but according to rumor, she is like the Supergirl of drumming, swooping down from the sky to save all rhythm everywhere from the enemies of timing. JS

SAHARA HOTNIGHTS, IKARA COLT, THE WASHDOWN
(Dante's)
It was at SXSW in the middle of the day. It was Austin and it was hot, and I was outside at some industry party where all the fancy new popular maje-labe bands were playing. I had just suffered through 40 minutes of The D4, who not only robbed the Dillinger Four of their nickname, but played with a calculated enthusiasm, a predictable energy that just bored the shit out of me. Hand me another beer. How many times can we see the rock kick, really. Sahara Hotnights were next, but I didn't care who it was; was desperate for something, anything to get the grating non-melodies of the D4 out of my head. But the SH thoroughly rocked--four talented ladies playing good melodies and their hearts out. A simple equation--but as we have seen, one that's so hard to get right. Know who else gets it right? Ikara Colt, whose superb record, Chat and Business, places browned atonal guitars and spoken-word style vocal yelps (Lou Reed via Lee Ranaldo) into a spare, punky seascape of broken glass, cigarette butts, discarded phone numbers--littered, honest, and dirty music. JS

KING MISSILE III, BRADFORD REED, MASERATI
(Blackbird)
Thank the skies, this is not going to be a performance wherein ex-popular people try to milk that one "Detachable Penis" song out of every last potential dime. No way. Frontman John S. Hall is still whipping up deadpan lyrics and is targeting villains like Georgie Bush and Jennifer Love Hewitt these days. So if you thought you missed them, here's your bonus chance. Bradford Reed is a crafty gent who's invented and built himself a strange instrument called a "pencilina," which is pretty gosh darn amazing. MARJORIE SKINNER

SUNDAY 3/23

THE VELVET TEEN, CROSSTIDE, SORRY ABOUT DRESDEN, ASAHI
(Meow Meow, 7pm)
Unbeknownst to everyone on earth, Velvet Teen singer Judah Nagler just won the coveted First Annual Adam Gnade Good Rock Award for "Most Beautiful Voice." While accepting the statuette late last night, Judah not only paused to thank his mom and Jesus, but also went on a lengthy tirade about lazy rock critics who compare him to Radiohead's Thom Yorke. Judah, just for the record, your voice is WAY better than bitchy ol' Thom "my miiilk is tooo cold, warm it up for meee" Yorke. And, if you're super nice, I might give you the nod for next year's "Prettiest Ballad" award thanks to the icy, glass-spun first track on your last record, Out of Fierce Parade. That shit could give me chills in the hottest bowels of Hell. Or Arizona. They're pretty much interchangeable. AG

THEORY OF RUIN, FORM OF ROCKET, DIESTO, SCIENCE OF YABRA
(Ash Street)
Brit Alex Newport, formerly of Fudge Tunnel and Nailbomb (who also worked on records by At the Drive-In and Icarus Line), teamed up with David Link (Claymore, Give) and Ches Smith (Mr. Bungle) for the San Francisco-based Theory of Ruin. My knowledge of the band is limited to MP3s scoured from the Internet, but what I heard was bass-heavy math-metal goodness. They've been compared to everything from Pitchfork to Big Black, and the stuff I heard definitely piqued my interest in this show. JENNIFER MAERZ

KILL ME TOMORROW, THE VANISHING, THE STARVATIONS, CHROMATICS
(Blackbird)
San Diego record label of hipster choice, Gold Standard Labs, turns ten this year, releasing a commemorative compilation CD in tandem with their birthday. With some exceptions, it's an example of how GSL churns the melting pot of stylistic nouveau wave and manages to come up with 14 bands which all sound the same... but different... like trying to discern from varying brands of clove cigarettes. Tonight, though, the 14 bands are pared down to four, and the selection, a bit more savory--Kill Me Tomorrow's defiant dark melodies, and a live show that's never been done justice on tape; Chromatics' kicking, monotone dancebeats; The Starvations' plaintive vocalist and his whimpering, Mick-Jagger-in-ballad-mode melodrama. And The Vanishing, whose style of choice involves the horking fog of preteen goth home movies: drum machines, vampiric bass lines, staccato witch vocals from divine ex-Subtonix vocalist Jessie. It works. JS

MONDAY 3/24

THE CIRCUIT SIDE, SQUAB, HALF-SEAS-OVER
(Meow Meow)
Radio Sloan doesn't need much introduction in Portland. She shredded for The Need and with lots of other NW luminaries long enough to make any PDX appearance a good excuse to throw up the old devil horns in salute. Her latest incarnation, The Circuit Side, is a quartet that boasts an indie metal aesthetic that looks like Karp, sounds like the Fucking Champs, and carries The Need's sci-fi metal vision into a war-torn future rife with double bass, medieval interludes, casiotones, and understated melodic vox. Main support Squab are four ladies from L.A. that use synths and a double drummer attack to make you dance so hard that you won't have time to scratch your head and wonder how an original sound came from such a homogenous environment. Kentucky heroines Half-Seas-Over do the wav-o party thing over beats Devo wore out well before Whip It. NATHAN CARSON

SPOOKY DANCE BAND, VI FOOT SLOTH, THE REPUTATION, ANDALUSIA
(Blackbird)
Like Velocity Girl when they still liked to party (way before Sarah Shannon went all Jesus-crazy), The Reputation is a delicate-sweet blend of softy girl-vocals, wrapped tightly in a mess of crunchy guitars and pop hooks. Just when you think it's going to get all twee-pop on yer ass, they toss in some bite and line about humping in an alley to mess you up a little bit. Both the Spooky Dance Band and Six Foot Sloth are two of Stumptown's finest, especially when it comes to gleeful macabre music that goes sounds great on both the dancefloor or the far corner of the bar as you drink the pain away. CM

TUESDAY 3/25

KING CRIMSON
(Roseland)
I don't get King Crimson. Nowadays, it seems like whenever you read an interview with whatever hot indie band of the moment, they're spoutin' crap like, "We're really influenced by early King Crimson. Like, Lizard-era." Dudes! Pals! Have you actually HEARD King Crimson?! It's cheeseball buttrock and the singer sounds like he has a can of Office Depot Compressed Air blasting up his arse! Their latest record, The Power to Believe, is a great/horrible example of what I like to call "dumb rock"--bulky, uninspired hard rock devoid of hooks and heavy on the proggy inorganic geetarbation fantasies. I dunno, maybe these poor deluded indie fugs were thinkin' Carole King or Crimson Curse. THAT would make sense. But referencing King Crimson... fools must be eatin' paint. ADAM GNADE

WEDNESDAY 3/26

LONG WINTERS, CARISSA'S WIERD, STARS OF TRACK & FIELD, THE PROM
(Berbati's)
One can't help taking a look at the Long Winters onstage, and thinking the band is way too smart to be playing indierock. Everyone knows it's usually a dead-end profession that ends up in drinking problems, extreme jadedness, and careers as either baristas or, even worse, record store clerks. The Long Winters need to be teaching Quantum Physics to inner-city kids, or inventing hybrid cars--anything but making addictive, countrified, Pernice Brothers pop. Since their debut record, The Worse You Can Do Is Harm, is undeniably great, I'll cut them some slack--but once they start slipping, I want to see them hang up the denim coats for lab coats or those jackets with tweed patches on them. CM

TARA JANE O'NEIL, KING COBRA, HALF-SEAS-OVER, SQUAB
(Blackbird)
With Ani DiFranco and Tori Amos touring with bands, it's becoming more difficult to discover established singer/songwriters who preserve the sounds of solitude. While recording her 2000 album Peregrine, Tara Jane O'Neil isolated herself in her New York apartment, allowing a few friends to help--if they agreed to play their parts without any knowledge of how their contributions would fit into the overall song structure. O'Neil plays everything from banjo to thumb-piano on her discs, but on tour she focuses solely on the guitar and her striking yet delicate vocals, letting a rotating rhythm section fill in the blanks. And behold! She's also playing bass now in King Cobra with Rachel Carns and Betsy Kwo. Whatta woman. AM