THURSDAY 6/19

BECK, THE BLACK KEYS
(Keller Auditorium, 222 SW Clay) The only reason not to attend the Beck/Black Keys show--that heathen of mediocrity, Dashboard Confessional--has miraculously vanished from the bill, proving that God really exists. Live, The Keys play sexy junky blues and Beck is just plain sexy, hitting the jamz from the deck of his iPod. JULIANNE SHEPHERD



TRUBY TRIO
(New Medicine Hat, 1834 NE Alberta) Tonight Truby Trio's spin cuts from their new album, Elevator Music (which is filled with some worldly gems but doesn't flow as a cohesive long player) and more rare treats, many undoubtedly from their influential label Compost. Truby Trio's jazzy neo-disco and Afro-Latin flavored cuts are party music for sophisticated deesco dancing, and are interesting enough to actually listen to. All three of these guys also happen to be drummers, which means they're not only good lovers, but know how to bring the good deesco. AUGUST GRACE



THERMALS, APES, ALL GIRL SUMMER FUN BAND
(Blackbird, 3728 NE Sandy) The Thermals go straight to your head! The Thermals have sex in your bed! The Thermals make the sound of a squooshed-down Guided By Voices blended in a Cherry Icee machine before it's thrown out of your Motel 6 window onto an unsuspecting Ramones fan! Hookier than Grandpa Vilbry's tackle box and nine million times as cute, Kathy Foster (she does double time in AGSFB), Hutch Harris and Jordan Hudson have struck pop-punk gold with their crack-smokingly energetic witches' brew-ha-ha. JOAN HILLER



REELS OF STEEL
(Holocene, 1004 NE Morrison) See Destination Fun pg 17



BENEFIT FOR SAM SCHAUER STARRING PARTY TIME, THE JOGGERS, POINT LINE PLANE, BRONWYN, DJ TANT
(Berbati's, 231 SW Ankeny) As I was recently discussing with one of my unemployed, uninsured buddies, not having medical coverage is no big deal until you fall off a roof or get hit by a car. Then, you're screwed. $175,000 for a Lifeflight, $6,000 for a morphine drip, $122,000 for leg surgery, $900 for someone to empty your bedpan, and $96 per day for hospital food. Anyway, our old buddy Sam Schauer (my favorite drummer in Portland, from the Dutch Flat, and an all-around wonderful guy) got hit by a car. This benefit show is to help him pay $1,387,000,000 (rough estimate) in medical bills. So feel good about yourself for caring and because you're listening to Party Time's ejaculatory rock and the Joggers' undeniably fun pop. KATIE SHIMER



BLUR
(Roseland, NW 6th & Burnside) We love to see folks revitalizing their careers with genuine ingenuity, and guess what: the new Blur album, Think Tank, is intensely shit-hot and scorching. Featuring the loco punk shocker "We've Got a File on You" (initially released as a limited edition, one-sided, white-label seven-inch!), which begins on a note of anthemic punk juggernaut, searing together with bass and like, some sort of breathless Middle-Eastern diva screaming exuberantly--all in the span of 58 seconds. Blur is feeling pop history, channeling their messy rockers through the sterile shine of hiphop production (the idea of such, not the exact thing). Triumph! JS



FRIDAY 6/20

MENOMENA CD RELEASE, SISTA SOCIAL
(Berbati's) Menomena's viscerally riveting I Am The Fun Blame Monster (a clever anagram of "The first Menomena album") brings the funk. Combining a creative recording aesthetic with their signature, deeply rhythmic electronics, bass, and drums; melodic piano; emotional lyrics; and the occasional SAXOPHONE!, these three local boys explore the missing link between Sly and the Family Stone, Massive Attack, and the Microphones. Their record is fantastic, their live show equally so, and America's hottest TV star, Sista Social, will be on hand to emcee the festivities. Can you feel it? JS



DARKEST HOUR, CURLUPANDDIE, TAKEN, MINUS, SUMARA, RADIATION 4
(Meow Meow) Plenty of American bands become obsessed with Swedish death metal, but only a few actually convert their unhealthy affections into collaborations. For its new disc, Hidden Hands of a Sadist Nation, Washington DC's Darkest Hour flew to Gothenburg, Sweden to record with Cradle of Filth/Dimmu Borgir producer Fredrick Nordstrom, the Midas of the evil-music world. It also recruited members of At the Gates, the Haunted and other scary-sounding native acts to chug riffs and empty chocolate-clotted lungs like only Swedes can. But lest the overseas influence seem too overwhelming, Sadist Nation offers plenty to which Americans can easily relate, such as lyrics about blind patriotism, military arrogance, and an out-of-control gun culture. ANDREW MILLER



ABSTRACT TRIBE UNIQUE, C.V.E., HIP HOP KCLAN, CYPHER 7, ONRY OZZBORN, SLEEP, RUMBLE PACK
(Ash Street, 225 SW Ash) LA's Afterlife Records crew encompasses the Chillen Villain Empire (CVE), Hip Hop Kclan, Cypher 7, Of Mexican Descent, Busdriver, and more. This is the "Black Market" Tour, to promote their forthcoming Black Market comp. I had a few words with Afterlife's Tray Loc about it:

Being an underground hiphop label, how instrumental is your website (

www.curbserver.com ) to your success?

"It's major...we don't deal with too many distributors, so having Curbserver is a true outlet to our fans and to the people. And you know, it's not just focused on Afterlife; it's a general hiphop site, as well."

Lyrically, what's most important to you to communicate?

"Within the different groups like Hip Hop Kclan and Rumble Pack and Reckless from CVE--they bring across their whole persona which is street, and they're more on the gangsta in your face type rap, and they say what they feel and that's it. As opposed to myself--I'm pretty much about women. Women and sex. [laughs]" JS



PLEASEEASAUR, FRANK FURTER, LARRY YES
(Blackbird) Much like polishing off an entire box of nitrous cartridges with a handful of your chums, Pleaseeasaur is extremely fun/ny the first time, but perhaps not the most commendable habit. If you can't find your favorite purple inhalant balloon, give yourself a stiff whack with a hammer and get ready for stupid. Tonight, stupid is an outrageously costumed one-man show of Casio-style musicianship and half-spoken lyrics about weighty topics like Silver Spoons. Lately, the 'saur's been getting a little rockerish and he's releasing a brand new record for all those who see genius in his nonsense. Get ready for goofy all night long, because human hotdog and blues crooner Frank Furter ain't taking it up on notch on the dignity scale either. But next to those two, Larry Yes's country folk heehaws are downright subtle. MARJORIE SKINNER



TOBY MARKS DJ SET, DJ PRANA, B.DUB
(Medicine Hat) Now that all the excitement about blending different musical forms from around the world (hiphop, classical, traditional Indian songs and forms, techno, so on and so forth) has cooled, we can enjoy bands like Banco de Gaia (aka Toby Marks) at the level of artistry rather than gimmickry. Gaia makes the kind of Eastern-inflected global music that Moby made famous in the '90s. Moby's music, however, was a bit more accessible--which is why it often accompanied TV commercials that advertised things like cellular phones and Internet services--whereas Gaia's music is a bit too heavy and messy to promote elegant electronic consumer products and color-bright WWW gimmicks. CHARLES MUDEDE



CALVIN JOHNSON & THE SONS OF SOIL, REBECCA PEARCY
(Nocturnal) It's an indie-darling orgasmathon at Nocturnal tonight with Calvin's new group the Sons of Soil. And this may be their ONLY tour, so if you ever want to see this band that you haven't ever heard before, that's fronted by none other than Calvin Johnson, see them tonight. Backing up Calvin will be Kyle the Little Wings guy doing bass and vocals, Adam the Yume Bitsu dude doing guitar, drums, trumpet, keyboards, and Jason, a person from Wolf Colonel on guitar keyboards and drums. It sounds like there will be a lot going on, even though we are not quite sure what. KS



GUILTY: ADJ, DJ BROKENWINDOW, SUPPOZ
(Holocene) He comes from London but you'd never know it from the font of SICK electro hotness which spills forth from ADJ (Andy D. Jaggers to his mama, and purveyor of Pyramid Transmissions Recordings). Miami? To Brooklyn? The Detroit Zoo, perhaps? ADJ's tracks don't bump the bass so much as lick it with a nasty electric tongue, combining fonky sub rhythms with sharp and clicky percussion, mysterious counter-melodies which allow room for contemplation on the dance floor. As a producer, ADJ masters the art of massaging some smart into his sauce. As a DJ, well--he's obviously an intelligent fellow, so he'll surely come up the same. JS



MINMAE, THE MOUSE THAT ROARED,

THE TUFTEES
(Disjecta, 119 N Russell) For fans of this local outfit, Minmae's got a new record titled, Microcassette Quatrains. It combines their classic, slow-building somber guitar with noisy robotics. And hey, this is your last chance to see them before they leave for tour. KS



THE PHENOMENAUTS, DEFLOWER, 58 FURY
(Conan's) Bay Area natives The Phenomenauts have a hook. Can you guess? "Naut..." That's right, outer space! Their songs are all about spacey things like time travel, and they perform in galactic-inspired costumes. Beyond that boyish playfulness is some pretty solid music. Slick, hooky rockabilly is the order of the day, done with classy proficiency that makes you want to cuff your jeans and grease your pompadour. This space thing could be stupid or fun, but at least they're making an effort to put a show for you people that's anything but a cheap cover-up for musical mediocrity. Plus, it's a handy way of differentiating them from all the other super-snappy rockabilly pop bands. MS



SATURDAY 6/21

SWORDS PROJECT, FOG, DOSH, KILOWATTHOURS
(Blackbird) Nothing better than some good pretty music to get you through a hard night of drinking and carousing. And with gentle, haunting guitars and crooning vocals, Kilowatthours is as pretty as they come. Now featuring Dimes/Portland expatriate Liza Stillhard! JUSTIN WESCOAT SANDERS



THE PATTERN, EXPLODING HEARTS,

LIFE IN BRAILLE
(Meow Meow) The Pattern play rock 'n' roll with an R&B kick that swaggers, struts, squeals, and slaps itself crazy. But while other garage rockers often pull the sleazy, greasy, latter-day Jim Morrison theatrics, the Oakland band's frontman, Chris Appelgren, is more like a downed live wire, flipping all over the stage and shooting sparks in his wake--and the less seriously he seems to take his outbursts, the more fun they become. JENNIFER MAERZ



SUNDAY 6/22

MURS, PSC, BROTHER ALI, BK1, OMNI
(Meow Meow) Shadows on the Sun is Rhymesayer Brother Ali's new record; along with the Lifesavas' soon-to-be-released Spirit in Stone and, presumably, the new ones from Gang Starr and Dizzee Rascal, it's the best hiphop album so far this year. Then again, we're still riding high on Murs' latest for Def Jux, The End of the Beginning, which is both skilled and hilarious with a smattering of commentary, as usual. JS



THE DIVORCE

(Music Millennium, 801 NW 23rd; also, Mon 6/23 at Nocturnal) Initially, The Divorce sound like a typical, Face to Face-inspired, dated punk band. But as their new album, There Will Be Blood Tonight, progresses it becomes apparent there's something a little different about these guys. Underneath the speedy distorted chords are some beautiful melodies, and some exhilaratingly disjointed lyrics, like on the excellent "Redcoat": "Instead you said that one thing/ that thing you said/ that I forgot/ was kind of odd/ that would have been good." Inspired lunacy or just lunacy? Either way it's a Hell of a lot of fun to listen to. JWS



MONDAY 6/23

OCTOPUS PROJECT, GROCERIES, THE TURNCOATS
(Blackbird) Pretty sure I can never take a band named "Groceries" seriously. But "Octopus Project"--now THAT's a name I can connect with. But Groceries? Please. Octopus Project, though: pretty good. Kind of generic chuggy guitar pop, but well played and pleasing to the ear. JWS



THE FALL, GREEN CIRCLES
(Berbati's) Despite visa problems, fistfights, bass-player dismissals, international incidents, and the fact that any currently hyped-up group, good or otherwise, ought to pay them their first round of royalties, the Fall continue to exist as a creatively unbloodied, unbowed force. The newest record, Country on the Click, will be their third since 2000, and you can't walk five feet without Sanctuary reissuing some sort of essential collection or a limited-edition repressing of their 17th album plus live cuts taped in the Congo, or so it seems. You can even go rent 24 Hour Party People at Blockbuster and see Mark E. Smith in the privacy of your own home. What this means is that Fall penetration is in full force (as it was, as it will always be), and anyone worth his or her weight in bitter cynicism and/or white belts better be there, front and center. JON PRUETT



TUESDAY 6/24

AND YOU WILL KNOW US BY THE TRAIL OF DEAD, SWORDS PROJECT, KINSKI, NICE NICE
(Dante's) I went into my boss' office a while back and saw a CD sitting on her desk. "Is that the new Trail of Dead?," I asked in disbelief. She handed it to me, and sure enough it was. This led me to a moral dilemma--were the indie darlings simply not hip anymore, or was my boss some secret arbiter of style? I quickly decided that since my boss works some 60+ hours a week, she hardly has the time to be hip; she's too busy kicking ass and taking names. So with some sadness that I have to say, that band with the inconceivably long name is not hip. All the kids still wanting to appear hip should show up early to see Seattle's Kinski then leave disgusted when the Trail of Dads appears. CHAZZ MADRIGAL



BABYLAND, DISMANTLED, ZONEWIRE
(Paris) The discomfortingly named Babyland will eat your babies with their dark, psychedelic, industrial vibe. JWS



GET GET GO, ARCHEOPTERYX
(Red & Black) Get Get Go are brutal screamo hardcore, and I love them cause the singer sounds like hyped-up sixth grade cheerleaders shrieking for the team to WIN!!!--girlishly high with a strange, desperately exuberant twinge--but in actuality he's singing about bloody shit. When paired with slightly out-of-tune guitar twang and thrashy drums, they're one of the more unique bands working the Fresh Coast HC circuit. JS



WEDNESDAY 6/25

CESARIA EVORA
(Aladdin, 3016 SE Milwaukie) Steamy romance piques in Portland summers, and here is the pique of the pique: Cesaria Evora, the grand Cape Verdean chanteuse with a coffee-rich voice in a breezy-beautiful West African, Brazilian, and Portuguese blend. JS



KIND OF LIKE SPITTING, TRANSISTOR TRANSISTOR, LIGHT THE FUSE AND RUN, SCIENCE OF YABRA, ENGINEERS OF HAPPY LAND
(5043 NE 12th, 5:30 pm) Transistor Transistor play high speed emocore that you might actually be able to make out the lyrics to. And they sweat a lot. And they're really good. And they're another band I can add to my list of bands that repeat words in their titles. KS



COBRA VERDE, FIREBALLS OF FREEDOM
(Blackbird) Since 1994, Cleveland's Cobra Verde have released five excellent albums of expert glam rockery. What started out as a studio-concocted, theremin-fed art-stomp has come around to the Cheap Trick-tinged art-swagger of their latest, Easy Listening (MuscleTone). Endless critical kudos and a stint backing up Bob Pollard in one of Guided by Voices' incarnations haven't translated into enough national attention, perhaps due to the usual indie label non-support and frequent lineup changes that have hindered steady touring. But singer John Petkovic has persevered, and this time 'round he's got J Mascis on lead-guitar duty, a perfect fit for their increasingly catchy but still twisted blast. ERIC DAVIDSON



DECAPOD CLAW CD RELEASE, AINU, YARD, MR. PURPLE

(Holocene) As a label, Toast and Jam is a revelation, seeing fit to release cassettes (such as the recent DJ mix by E3, of which only 33 copies exist)--and, well... I like it cause it's run like the independent labels of yore; it exists more out of a utilitarian desire to spread the sounds they love, rather than operating on this whole network of recoupables and licensing people and lawyers and whatever else it takes just to run a goddamn independent record label these days. I mean, they dubbed 33 cassettes of an album: an act that can only be born of sincere dedication. Tonight, however, is the release of Decapod Claw's long-awaited CD, full of exploratory laptop jams in a linear, melodic nature, but still blossoming with the delicacy of some ambience. Nice. Ainu, aka Ted & Carlo from xoxmag.com, rock it out in preparation for their featured night at Holocene (Thurs 6/26). JS