THURSDAY 5/15

DAVY ROTHBART, JON LANGFORD, DR ZOMB OF STEREO OBSCURA
(Stumptown Downtown, 128 SW 3rd) A legend new... a legend old. Rothbart's been causing waves in the zine world with his beautiful little periodical, FOUND Magazine, in which the hilarious, sad, and downright disturbing discards of American citizens are printed for all to see. Langford's the lead vocalist of the venerable Mekons, a punk staple out of Chicago. Tonight, the duo regales us with quirky tales and plucky tunes in support of your favorite local bookstore, Reading Frenzy. JUSTIN WESCOAT SANDERS



THE PUNK GROUP, THE ORANGES BAND, BURNING IN WATER
(Blackbird, 3728 NE Sandy) Roman Kuebler has worked really damn hard--now give the guy some respect. Kuebler has played a variety of different roles for a whole slew of bands, including under-appreciated indierockers Roads to Space Travel, pop-punkers The Thumbs, the almighty Spoon, and now, finally, The Oranges Band. While he'll always be known as that one guy from Spoon who isn't Britt Daniel, Kuebler brings an unbridled energy to The Oranges Band--a kind of soulful, yet reckless mod-rock that is second only to that of labelmate Ted Leo. CARMELO MARTINEZ



SOPHIE DRINKER, SARA JAFFE, LES AUTRES
(Pacific Switchboard, 4637 N Albina) Erase Errata fans may be a little taken aback by guitarist Sara Jaffe's solo set. Trading her familiar dissonant shriek for unassuming, almost dainty finger picking, Jaffe performs sweet, modest pop songs--more twee pop than post... well, whatever they're being called these days. It's probably not what you're expecting from a member of the Bay Area's own "greatest band in the world," but based on the rough demos, you just might be pleasantly (heavy on the "pleasant") surprised. Sophie Drinker is the woozy solo project of Retsin's Cynthia Nelson, and Les Autres pairs Heather Larimer with her brother, Nicholas Larimer. ZAC PENNINGTON



THE WEATHER, AWOL-ONE, ANDRE AFRAM ASMAR
(Meow Meow, 520 SE Pine) See Music pg 25



FRIDAY 5/16

MODERNSTATE, TALKDEMONIC, IMMINENT MUSIC COMPANY, DJ TANT
(3729 SE Madison) Even though I'm most in awe of Sam Schauer when he's banging on the drums in the Dutch Flat, his solo project modernstate is a valiant effort. Using a drum machine, guitar, and polite vocals, Schauer creates melancholy songs that won't get you dancing, but might get you thinking. Tonight he performs his rock opera, "The Life and Death of John McGill." Oh, and hold your horses! That's not all. Try the solo electronic loops of talkdemonic, and the eerie vocal/guitar creations of the Imminent Music Company. All of these artists are solo, and obviously, quite lonely. KATIE SHIMER



LIVE WIRE
(Conan's, 3862 SE Hawthorne) Live Wire, Portland's only (and therefore best!!) Motley Crue cover band wows you with their pyrotechnics, alcohol-fueled rendition of "Kick Start My Heart," hard drum banging (just like Tommy's), and exact vocal impersonation of Vince Neil. KS



THE WHIP, ROBOTS IN DISGUISE, KING COBRA, MACHINE THAT FLASHES
(Blackbird) Reincarnate Olympia's Karp, add Thrones/ex-Melvins bassist Joe Preston, and you've got one of those Northwest supergroups. The Whip's heavy sludgy riff rock is worth smoking the rest of your sack for, not to mention paying the barkeep 50 cents for a pair of earplugs. Get there early for Machine that Flashes' spazzy hardcore rock implosion, and take note that King Cobra stars ex-Ibobuki guitarist Betsy Kwo, ex-Need drummer Rachel Carns, and bassist Tara Jane O'Neil. What a spectacular cacophony of local heroes. KS



AGAINST ME, FIFTH HOUR HERO, THESE ARMS ARE SNAKES
(Solid State, 7th & E Burnside) While you'll still be fanatical about the bike punks-turned-rock stars in Against Me, tonight, These Arms Are Snakes win the race for your heart. Borrowing from The Melvins (they even have a Joe Preston in the band, but it's not that Joe Preston) in the volume category, they still maintain the dorky avant-hardcore steez of their former acts, Botch and Kill Sadie, respectively. Their debut for the Motown of emo (Emotown?), Jade Tree Records, will be out by this fall. By that time you will already have their logo tattooed on your forearm. CM



POWER OF COUNTY
(Delta Café, 4607 SE Woodstock) If you're anything like me, the word "bluegrass" instantly conjures to mind the image of Lewis & Clark graduates, sitting around with their eyes closed, and tapping their feet out of time with the music. That's why I don't understand why I like Power Of County so damn much. Maybe it's because the guitarist, Reeves, brings rawness over from his punky-rock group, The Goddamn Gentlemen. Or maybe it has to do with the authenticity that comes from three kids wailing about how shitty life is. Or maybe it's the drinking. So go to the Delta Cafe, drink a bunch of Lynchburg Lemonades, and listen to some great bluegrass. And who knows, if you buy Reeves a few, he might be talked into playing his acoustic version of "Anarchy in the U.K." MANU BERELLI



LEAVING THE SCENE, THE DISKORDS, BXF,

THE BOOTLEGGERS, LANCASTER
(Meow Meow) As we have been reminded by the newly reissued First Demo Tape by Minor Threat, we should hang on tight to our Diskords' albums now, cause we'll want 'em later. Comprised of three energetic 15-year-old dudes, The Diskords release a wily handful of punk that explodes like an ant under the burning eye of a magnifying glass. Their first EP was called Heart Full of Napalm, and they have a song called "Savage Love." Hopefully Dan won't sue them for using his column name, like Rosa Parks is suing Outkast. JULIANNE SHEPHERD



SWINGIN UTTERS, YOUTH BRIGADE, PISTOL GRIP
(Nocturnal, 1800 W Burnside) The Swinging Utters, along with Rancid and way too many other punk bands to mention, have been singing the praises of The Clash long before Strummer kicked off and made it cool to worship them again. While walking a fine line between retro-punk redundancy, and something exciting and new, the Utters do their part--most of the time. It would be nice to see them flex their creativity muscle every now and then, after all, punk is not new--and no matter how much you protest, it's no longer 1980. Speaking of 1980, that was the year Youth Brigade formed. Congratulations, guys, on 23 years of refusing to change your sound, for better or worse. Your band is now officially older than every kid in tonight's crowd. CM



SATURDAY 5/17

PREFUSE 73, RJD2, A GRAPE DOPE
(B Complex, 320 SE 2nd) See Music pg 23



PLEASURE FOREVER, COBRA HIGH, HINT HINT, THEORY OF RUIN
(Blackbird) So what if their singer sounds like low-rent Marilyn Manson? So what if they're not as hot as their previous incarnation, Slaves? Pleasure Forever is dark and surrealistic and exciting a la Rimbaud's A Season in Hell or anything by the Marquis de Sade. Haunted ghost-ship pianos collide with rock rave-ups. Songs take off like sped-up Black Heart Procession, then slow down into creepy, swelling funeral marches--New Orleans-style. Still, I can't help but feel like I'd dig this a whole lot more if I was still a Cure-obsessed junior high schooler. With new Jade Tree signees Hint Hint, and Portland expatriates Cobra High, who release their new record on Cold Crush (the label incarnation of Pretty Girls' Derek Fudesco and Dim Mak's Steve Aoki). ADAM GNADE



HOLY MODAL ROUNDERS, FREAK MOUNTAIN RAMBLERS
(Crystal, 1332 W Burnside) Holy Modal Rounders is one of the best band names in rock. See, I'm shallow. Give me an elegant beauty like Neon King Kong or Teenage Fanclub, and I'll pledge my undying allegiance, sight unseen--or, rather, unheard. But stinkers like, say, Hoobastank or Atomic Kitten will turn me off right quick before I've even heard the damn record. So, Holy Modal Rounders, wonderful, rolls off the tongue like a lubed-up marble. The music? Free-form, psych/folk-rock with wacko post-Beat lyrics and bent (albeit dated) humor. Just as good as--if not better than--their name. Oh, and they shared members with The Fugs, which makes 'em, like, 200 different shades of cool. AG



THE SWORDS PROJECT, THE WESTERN CONFERENCE, GHOST TO FALCO
(Stumptown Downtown) Not to harp on it, but the new Stumptown is like stepping into another magical land... it's got great atmosphere and every show I've seen there so far has been excellent, plus you can get beer, plus Duane has an uncanny knack for hiring the hottest people in Portland. Gush, gush, gush. Tonight, you'll be further transported, with the musical rubdowns of the Western Conference, Ghost to Falco (very sweet one-man guitar loops/vox), and the orchestral rock seven-piece The Swords Project, who will re-release Entertainment is Over if You Want it this July on NYC's Arena Rock Recording Co. JS



NIHILIST, DIVINITY OF TRUTH, MAV COMAI, SUMARA
(Solid State) Tacoma's metal hardcore ensemble, Divinity of Truth, combine tightly wound, hammering riffage with ashen, croaking vocals. Dude's voice sounds like he's strung up on the rack. This is ironic and a little poignant when you learn he's singing words of absolution and calling out to "pacify the hate." JS



ERIK WOLLO, PAUL ELLIS, TIM GENNERT
(Nocturnal) Norweigan composer Erik Wollo heads up this evening of ambient electronic music. Wollo works in several different mediums but here he'll be culling from his new record/concept, The Polar Drones: icy, ambient "polar" music made from guitar and electronics. JS



SUNDAY 5/18

HIPHOP APPRECIATION WEEK KICK-OFF
(Billy Reed's, 2808 NE MLK, 2 pm) While the elusive KRS-ONE can't seem to play a show in Portland for the life of him, this gives him plenty more time to think about more all-encompassing topics such as... The Hiphop Nation and... Hiphop Appreciation Week, started by KRS, which kicks off TODAY. The primary objective of H.A.W. is to increase awareness of Hiphop's elements--MC, DJ, graffiti, b-boy/b-girl--and also bring its positive cultural effects to light, especially with its ongoing misunderstanding and demonization in the media. (Most recent offender: Barrett Kalellis' column in the Detroit News, in which he lambastes the NAACP for giving Russell Simmons a Lifetime Achievement Award, and calls rap "vulgarian drivel.") Today, a $10 brunch/press conference sponsored by Black Clan Records starts the Portland branch of this Nationwide celebration. For more info, visit KRS-ONE's website, templeofhiphop.org, or the excellent hiphop website daveyd.com. JS



ANTI-MATTER, VIRGIN BLACK, AGALLOCH
(Dante's) Gloomy folk-metalers Agalloch hail from Portland, but they sound more like sunlight-deprived Scandinavians. Considering their genre, that's a compliment. The trio's stately, effortless-sounding epics tip a hat to elite Nordic bands like Ulver and Katatonia (the early stuff, if you're keeping track), but, as their breakthrough 2002 release, The Mantle, showed, they've taken the style in their own direction. This show is part of their first tour, a traveling showcase put together by the band's Salt Lake City-based label, The End Records. Also representing the label are England's Antimatter, who feature an ex-member of the influential doom-metal band Anathema but sound like a post-metal Portishead or Massive Attack, and Australia's Virgin Black, whose gothic opera-metal theatrics may appeal to Cradle of Filth fans. WILL YORK



MONDAY 5/19

DANIEL JOHNSTON, PANTY LIONS, HOLY SONS
(Blackbird) See MWBW pg 19



VERBENA, AUDIO LEARNING CENTER,

MAN OF THE YEAR
(Berbati's) Verbena is a band that looks miiighty good on paper: formerly on supercalifragilisticexpialidocious record label, Merge; tons of good zine reviews early on in their career; mucho hype about them "staying true to their Southern lineage." However, on record, it's nothing more than diet Foo Fighters that delves into WORLD MUSIC. Yeah, world music. Behold, the Grunge Paul Simon! Good lawd. ADAM GNADE



RICHARD THOMPSON, CHRISTY MCWILSON
(Aladdin) Twenty-five records into one of the most impressive careers ever known to songwriterdom, Richard Thompson has done it again with The Old Kit Bag, a beautiful and sparse collection of songs played trio-style. Because Thompson has so much material to draw on, it's impossible to say what the show will be like, other than funny, pretty, and great. SEAN NELSON



TUESDAY 5/20

DOLOREAN, HALEY BONAR, RIVULETS,

THE GRAVES
(Blackbird) Rivulets' music is so moody and delicate--a quiet wave of boy vocals, swelling guitars, electronic echoes--I pity its fate tonight at the Blackbird, where it's bound to get swallowed up in the mire of drunks. Note to sound guys: turn it up, cause you'll wanna hear them: it's something like being in a cathedral; or at least, its acoustics are as such, with their booming, prayer-like nature. The young Haley Bonar, Rivulets' labelmate on Chair Kickers Union (the label run by Low's Alan Sparhawk), has a stronger presence in the volume sense, at least, with her mushy-sweet way of singing country-ish pop, which I can't help associating with Sheryl Crow, but with eons more depth. That probably has less to do with Ms. Bonar, and more to do with the frustrating omnipresence of Sheryl Crow. Dolorean finishes up with a similarly country-tinged set, full of jangled and measured acoustic accoutrements. JS



FUNERAL DINER, TAKARU, LIFE AT THESE SPEEDS
(1036 N Shaver, 7 pm) Funeral Diner is totally worth your two bucks to the house fund, or the dollar for a PBR or whatever the hosts decide to do. They're classically tortured emo, but when they're not screaming, the music is a ravishing, guitar-driven symphony of hurt feelings and adolescent loneliness. Oh, and for those emo-core music-philes: one of the dudes from Funeral Diner used to be in Portraits of Past, the band which eventually became The Vue. KS



WEDNESDAY 5/21

BLACK EYES, CHROMATICS, SLEETMUTE
(Red & Black, 2138 SE Division) See Music pg 25



KAITLYN NI DONOVAN
(Conan's, 6 pm) Eskimos have scores of words for snow, for obvious reasons. Less clear is the connection between Alaska's cold conditions and its similarly synonym-minded singer/songwriters, who use a mass of metaphors to convey broken-hearted anguish. Juneau native and Portland resident Kaitlyn Ni Donovan hasn't yet scored a poetry publishing deal, but her puzzling prose (sympathetic as a car crash, a burn or a gun/removing life from its life's element to watch it die or sometimes laugh/some enchanted evening was the theme song for three days in a row) suggests she might be a Jewel in the rough. However, her music transcends comparisons with the yodeling Yoda. Donovan pens exotic jazz-tinged tunes, then heats them to a boil with a voice that could melt glaciers. AM



THE BAD PLUS
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) Rock bands shouldn't cover Nirvana. Re-contextualizing such deeply personalized lyrics--lines stained with blood and stomach-churned bile--destroys the soul of the songs, and no chord adjustment or tonal alteration, no matter how creative, can resuscitate them. Instrumental jazz trios, though, can feel free to give it a go. Bad Plus' "Smells Like Teen Spirit" pounds out the tune's familiar salvo in measured, ominous notes, then plinks out the melody on piano. Eventually, though, Bad Plus' rendition spirals into madness, becoming more anarchic and atonal than the original. It's easy to imagine an instrument-smashing live show, with a hefty stand-up bass smashing into a suddenly gap-toothed grand piano. ANDREW MILLER



HIPHOP APPRECIATION WEEK
(Various Venues) Day three of Hiphop Appreciation Week includes three events. First, from 4 pm to 6 pm at the Blazer Boys and Girls Club Art Department, "Your Own Tag" (a live graffiti event); at 7 pm, a freestyle emcee battle will converge at Roc's Bar and Grill; and from 10 pm on, the weekly hiphop night at East, "Phat China," commences. JS



THE NATRONS, THE HOOKY BOYS, HILL STOMP
(Blackbird) Git on down here for some down-home Southern cookin'. The Natrons'll serve up a piping hot dish of sweet rockabilly, while Hill Stomp brings it down a peg with some finger plucky chuck 'n' truck (that's how they say rock 'n' roll in the Delta... trust me). JWS



THE FROGS, CAUSTIC RESIN, DUTCH FLAT
(Berbati's) I first heard about The Frogs from Billy Corgan at a Smashing Pumpkins concert in Moline, IL, while I was tripping on mushrooms. I didn't really care then, and I don't really care now. Oh yeah, I actually think the Frogs might have played a couple songs 'cuz they were on tour with the Pumpkins, but that memory might be wrong. Anyway, the Frogs are wackjobs who wear giant wings and weird outfits and pretend to be gay and sing songs about being gay, but are really a big, gimmick who for some reason appeared on B-Sides for both Smashing Pumpkins and Pearl Jam. As is the case with GWAR, I don't get the obsession. KS