THURSDAY 8/7

CLARITY PROCESS, THE CINEMA, BLUE TURNS WHITE, SUMARA, ADAINE, LIGHT UP ATLANTA
(Meow Meow, 527 SE Pine) Clarity Process, who this summer released Fluid on emotastic locals Rise Records, may not be winning prizes for originality--though their screamy boy vocals, chugga guitars, and general purveyance of all things malcontent are appropriately dramatic, heartfelt, and boy-y. However, they could win a prize for the epic nature of their songs; every track is like nine-and-a-half minutes long, setting a record for the longest emo songs ever written. It's pretty amazing. JULIANNE SHEPHERD



MISS TEEN IDAHO, SOPHE LUX, RALF YOUTZ
(Nocturnal, 1800 W Burnside) Both Ralf Youtz's first and last name could be used as synonyms for the act of vomiting. For example, one might say, "George Bush makes me want to Ralf," or "I drank too much and totally Youtzed on my girlfriend." That observation made, Ralf Youtz is great. A member of the No-No's, R.Y.'s resume also includes stints with Built to Spill & the Halo Benders. On his own, Ralf mouths poppy songs that are simple and easy to like. And it's a benefit for the PDX Soapbox Derby documentary, which we all know we want to see. STEVE LANNING



JOE HAEGE, BRANDON BARNHILL, THE KINGDOM, MIKE JOHNSON, MK.LOGAN
(Modern Zoo, 6635 N Baltimore) A group of songwriters--including members of 31Knots, Miami Dolphins, and Reclinerland--on guitar and piano to lend ambiance to the Modern Zoo's art opening (as if jet boat rides and 25 million local artists weren't enough). If we are lucky, Monsieur Johnson will give us a sneak preview of his forthcoming Rodgers & Hammerstein-influenced, showtunesy record. If we are unlucky, he will not. JS



THE HIGH AND THE MIGHTY, JUSTIFIED ANGER, FREELANCE TERRORISTS
(Twilight, 1420 SE Powell) The High and the Mighty offers a little rock sampler platter--a little punk, a little rockabilly, and drumming and guitar licks so fast that you shouldn't dance drunk, The High and the Mighty go all out to entertain. The vocals are typically cigarette-addled punk and filled with energy, so save the Vicodin for another night. KATIE SHIMER



LASERHAWK, DUTCH FLAT, THE FORTH, THE GODLINGS, DJ TANT
(Fez, 316 SW 11th) In the past year I've seen the wings of the Laserhawk spread out across an eclectic mixture of venues and minds. Their pre-funk smoke cloud evokes a funked-out procession of tight jams and swelling dynamics, best witnessed with a shake of the ass. They're breaking up, though, and this is your final chance to see the flight. The ever-momentous Dutch Flat also brings the fury of their first disc Ghosts, a vigil to the power of a finely crafted rock opus; The Forth will crush your rhythm brain with the mindcryme of drummer Adam Forth. And boys, watch your girlfriends closely; the allure of DJ Tant is incredibly strong. KEVIN O'CONNOR



THE TYDE, PARTY OF ONE, COSMIC SALVATION BAND
(Blackbird, 3728 NE Sandy) One in the incestuous ring of LA neo-psych bands that Beachwood Sparks and Further first christened for themselves, The Tyde are similarly groovy, but thankfully, they don't compromise melody in their jams. They hone warbling lyrics against Rhodes wails and hand-claps like the best of 'em, and oddly enough come off sounding pseudo-1960s Britpop at times, but these four dudes--and one sexy keyboard-playin' lady--are just as free-lovin' as their grooves suggest. They make me miss sunny SoCal, even though I was born there 20 years too late to appreciate their influences anyhow. LAUREN VIERA



FRIDAY 8/8

NERVOUS & THE KID, GHOST COAST, SHICKY GNAROWITZ
(Stumptown Downtown, 128 SW 3rd) Nervous & the Kid lend an easy pop swagger to their slow-going country steez, and they harmonize like they're the featured family band at a pancake breakfast in 1975. There are no stringed instruments here--just guitars and tambourines and drums and pretty triangle tingles--but you can imagine the fiddler's probably driving behind them on the county road in the VW bus. Neither too referential nor explicitly retro, the local quartet just makes smooth, excellent folkie tracks with vaguely twangy lady-man harmonies and the aforementioned preponderance of tambourines, which are the sound of freedom. JS



THE GOSSIP, PARADISE ISLAND, SLEETMUTE NIGHTMUTE
(Nocturnal) Sassy can have so many meanings. Even the publication that bore that name endured an identity crisis, devolving from a hip almost-zine that put Digable Planets on the cover to typical teen trash. Sassy can mean classy, like Sarah Vaughan, the jazz giant who earned that nickname, or it can mean outlandishly tacky, like Jackée on 227. The Gossip dwells somewhere in the middle of all the definitions. At its brazen, lusty stage shows, singer Beth Ditto purrs and growls as if she's on the prowl. However, she also belts it out with the best of them, placing her feisty tone, remarkable range, and impressive breath control in a gritty garage-soul context. ANDREW MILLER



PROFESSOR STONE, JEFF NIBLER, CHIP MCCLURE
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Zion's Gate may have relocated to Bend, but Prof. Stone is still here to school us in the dub house. In fact, it's house all around for Holocene's semi-weekly theme night. Housequake. Shut up, already. Damn. JS



RECANT, RAPED, NEQUAQUAM VACUUM
(Jasmine Tree, 401 SW Harrison) San Diego's Recant splices together films and sound samples that range from fairly common--i.e. manual typewriter--to straight-up unsettling--i.e. older man's voice going, "yes, yes, good girl" in what is probably the creepiest orgasm I have ever overheard. It's really interesting/challenging, like a sonic Karen Finley. Ex-Nuclear Death singer Lori Bravo fronts feminist death metallists Raped. JS



MADGESDIQ, MC JONAH, ALTON SPENCER GROUP, GOLDIE
(Fez) Don't be fooled, you won't be seeing "the" Goldie, but some other Goldie who can't seem to think up an original name. Don't boycott though, Madgesdiq puts on a great mellow emcee show. Far better than that of Snoop Dogg, who blew so hard at the Keller last week that I was forced to rethink my teen-hood worshipping. It seems some emcees need producers like they need air, and others can hold up just fine on their own. Madgesdiq is fortunately one of the latter. KS



JARBOE, LARSEN, MUDDMAKR
(Blackbird) Fans of Swans will attend this show no matter what, so this is a quick bit for those of you who've lived oblivious to goth rock's debatable beauty. Swans co-frontperson Jarboe shines on Dissected, a collection of remixes that combines hypnotic triphop backbeats, experimental electronic manipulation, and Jarboe's captivating lyrics and powerful voice. Larsen is a group of Italian experimentalists who insisted Gira produce their songs (Gira knew of them only through the odd packages they had sent), going so far as to send him a round-trip plane ticket to Italy along with payment before he'd even spoken with the band. When he arrived, Gira learned he'd be recording Larsen without even seeing them, as the members played behind a screen and communicated only through a translator. Rever was the result, and it's not nearly as weird as one might expect, given the circumstances. The songs on Rever are pleasantly puzzling and soothing at the same time: droning one moment, bright the next. KATHLEEN WILSON



SIREN MUSIC CO. FIVE-YEAR ANNIVERSARY STARRING FOGHORN STRINGBAND, EVANGELINE, RICHMOND FONTAINE
(Alberta Street Pub, 2315 NE Alberta) A locally-based, nationally successful music management firm celebrates its own existence. If you haven't heard the Foghorn Stringband by now, it's time to pull those Q-Tips out of your ears and start living a little. JUSTIN WESCOAT SANDERS



SWORDS PROJECT, NORDIC, PSEUDO SIX
(Berbati's, 231 SW Ankeny) If you've tired of loud rock and lame parties and see no other option than to dive earplugs-first into a mid-August slump of showgoing abstinence, wait 'til Saturday. Not that this local septet is boring, or even mellow--they're not, and they've got two drummers, for chrissakes. However, the pace at which their über-orchestrated songs is delivered fosters more introspective nights than most are accustomed to experiencing this time of year, and their ambiance is thicker than molasses. Take a hint from Stephen Malkmus, who carried the Swords on his last tour (or the Arena Rock Recording Co., who are re-releasing the Swords' Entertainment is Over if You Want It tonight): this band is worth your while. LV



SATURDAY 8/9

LIVEWIRE, PARADISE CITY, WINDOWPANE
(Conan's, 3862 SE Hawthorne) Livewire is Portland's own Mötley Crüe cover band, and they're good; I saw their Vince out a couple of nights ago and almost creamed my suddenly-in-fifth-grade-again jeans. Paradise City, on the other hand, is Ohio's own Guns N' Roses cover band, recently made famous by an essay in SPIN writer Chuck Klosterman's hilarious book Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs, in which Chuck details his mini-tour with Paradise City. Judging by the amount those dudes partied, they're just as good as the real thing--maybe better, because their Axl is still a functioning member of society. JS



MAGIC MAGICIANS, AUDIO LEARNING CENTER, TERROR SHEETS
(Blackbird) Q: What do you get when you cross an ex-HERO with a Black Hearted man? A: An indie supergroup called the Magic Magicians. John Atkins (764-HERO) and Joe Plummer (Black Heart Procession) are the Magic Magicians, but the Magic Magicians are not the sum of their parts. The group's members bring rock experience to the table, but together create new sounds and new songs that differ from their previous projects. Specifically, the band creates distorted pop, which rocks rougher than either 764-HERO or the B.H.P. SL



BILE, NOCTURNE, MARTIN ATKINS, PSYCLON_NINE
(Ash Street, 225 SW Ash) In a time when music is loaded with categorizations like avant-post-punk, emo-core, prog--that really say nothing if you don't know what they mean, Bile describes themselves as Demonic Electronic. So simple. So accurate. So mind-blowing. Machines and instruments create industrial, heavy guitar-stoked demonica, with computer-altered vocals that sound like they're straight from the bowels of hell. I have a great idea. Buy yourself a Bile CD, then grab your CD Walkman, wait until one of your friends is sleeping, slip it on their head and play the Bile CD really goddamn loud. Oh, the laughs you'll have. Anyway, this shit is real, so see this show. KS



ROBERT RICH, DWELLER AT THE THRESHOLD
(Nocturnal) Robert Rich, a prolific, post-industrial sound sculptor and pioneer of dark ambience and trance, rarely performs. I saw him last year, and he played with an actual Holodeck of equipment--an enormous mixing board, lap steel, pedals, laptop, glowing lighted tubing, and what appeared to be no less than three didgeridoos--and spun layered, hard glitch beats with a metallic selection of noise, sub-bass, and ambient samples, which eventually melted into shearing beats. Dude has appeared on over 35 records; combine the spectacle of his rig with his incredible mastery of his craft, and you'll be bummed if you miss it. JS



MUSIC MILLENNIUM CUSTOMER APPRECIATION DAY
(Music Millennium, 11 am-6 pm) Music Millennium wants to appreciate YOU on this very special day, with free food, games, prizes, and live music all day from bands like the Carolines, Harmonic Convergence, and Welsh Rabbit. JWS



KIND OF LIKE SPITTING, KISSING TIGERS, PINK HAND GRENADE
(Million, 126 NE Russell) The singer for Kissing Tigers is undoubtedly Mr. Cutesy, but he takes it so far that I sort of love it. Paired with powerful keyboards, reminiscent of '80s pop, Kissing Tigers could quite easily find themselves on some teen angst movie soundtrack. The guitar is heavy enough, though, and with plenty of crazy background noises (including dramatic screaming), Kissing Tigers doesn't pigeonhole themselves into strictly angst movie music, instead managing to be fashionable, cute, skillful, and pleasantly obnoxious. KS



ATREYU, GOD FORBID, DARKEST HOUR, UNDER OATH
(Meow Meow) You can be on tough-guy label Victory Records, pose like teenage thugs in your promo pictures, and scream all you want, but in the end the only thing that matters is that your silly band is named after a character in The NeverEnding Story. Or, as the movie's tagline puts it: "A boy who needs a friend finds a world that needs a hero in a land beyond imagination!" Oh my! A magical book, princesses, horsies, sword fights, and a flying dog! CM



SUNDAY 8/10

TRIPLESWIFT
(Montavilla Pool, 8219 NE Glisan) It's too bad that my kid sister isn't in town anymore, because the weekly Sunday Portland Pool Party joined with Tripleswift's cute guitar pop would make any young teenager pee their pants with glee. When I say pee, though, I don't mean in the pool. It's recently come to my attention that 2/5 people think it's fine to pee in public pools because of the chlorine. But guess what? It's not. KS



MONDAY 8/11

FRIENDS FOR HEROES, OMA YANG, 01 [POP MUSIC], SATURNA
(Blackbird) With the Postal Service purportedly nearing Gold Record status (sorta), and bands like The Notwist, Hood, Styrofoam, and the entire Audio Dregs roster enjoying greater stateside popularity, it looks like America is finally ready for this jelly: emotional pop music with a non-peripheral hankering for electronics. Well all right then. Here's Seattle's Friends for Heroes, a duo combining Ben Gibbardesque lyricism (stark imagery, emotive, guy-next-door delivery) with sometimes glitchy, sometimes hiphoppy, usually interesting electronics and occasional live instrumentation. Their record on Blackhouse, Years in a Costume, contains some yummy gems, such as "Offers," a track of bliss-out ambiance with a sample of said vocalist singing the phrase "don't shoot me" repeatedly and breathlessly. Portland's 01 [Pop Music] has similar sensibilities; sometimes with full band, sometimes with just flute/sampler/laptop/etc., it's all about pretty, ambient poptronica. San Diego's Oma Yang plays instrumental, elaborate, complex guitar music, which sounds like Don Cab on paper, but in practice is actually quite excellent. JS



SKELETON COAST, LIFE AT THESE SPEEDS, HUMBLE ARY, STEVE KRAMP
(Nocturnal) It's heavy screamo quintet Skeleton Coast's one-year anniversary--and what better gift than Steve Kramp? The expatriate Portland musician is rumored to have been moonlighting in poetry grad-school, so his byzantine songwriting skills are sure to be even more high-falootin' than ever. JS



TUESDAY 8/12

ARIGON STARR, BLACK FIRE, SPIDER MOCCASIN
(Mississippi Rising Ballroom, 833 N Shaver) There couldn't be a better cause to support than the Native American Youth Association, for which this is a benefit--but what about the music? Well... it's, ah... eclectic? Each one of these bands imbues stylistic hodgepodge that I can truly say, at the very least, I haven't heard before. Black Fire is a Native American metal band, replete with Native American chants chiming in behind the grinding guitar licks. Arigon Starr has somehow managed to mix classic rock and '80s power chords with a Shania Twain sort of county-fair croon. KBOO fixture Spider Moccasin seems to use grungy rock music as a backdrop for spoken-word performances. What all this adds up to is utterly unique, to say the least, which, along with the cause, is more than enough reason to catch the show. JWS



THANKSGIVING, A JOHN HENRY MEMORIAL, ITHACA, THE COLOR TURNING
(Meow Meow) If you like sometimes-lush, melodramatic guitar rock, The Color Turning is your thing. Meanwhile, A John Henry Memorial generally plays the guttural improvised drums and minimal, trash-can folk, which is sometimes astonishing in its instinctive greatness. JS



WEDNESDAY 8/13

JOEL R.L. PHELPS & THE DOWNER TRIO, TREASURE STATE, THE MINES
(Tonic, 3100 NE Sandy) Much to the joy of his fans, Joel R.L. Phelps will release his first record in nearly four years in late 2003. The ex-Silkworm singer/songwriter enjoys a cult following nearly as rabid as Joe Pernice, and like the Pernice Brothers, he comes from the same school of highly literate, orchestrated pop music with believable, everyman crackles permeating his voice. JS



DOLPHINFEST: YUME BITSU, [[VVRRSSNN]], CHERRY BLOSSOMS, YACHT, MORE
(Holocene) I spent some time talking to Franz Prichard--the man behind Atlantean Waves and Yume Bitsu--about Dolphinfest, and here is some of what he had to say: "We will celebrate so deeply that a momentary space of infinite lazer positivity will release us into limitless human togetherness. The music and videos [including a film by Alex Hubbard] will hopefully take us to the mythic past, on a collective journey to embody the union that brought forth our spiritual being. At the end of this shared journey, we will all return to the present with renewed myth-making creative energy, and a totally dolphin ability to play and enjoy the zone that is the contemporary." So basically, it's part musical performance, part film screening, and part "happening" in which a certain, non-specific type of audience interactivity is encouraged, and which is ironically non-ironically based on new age of the '70s and the actual mythology of the dolphin throughout history. Possibly the uniquest event of the summer. JS