THURSDAY 11/6

B-BOY BATTLE: STARRING SICK MEDIKS, ILLAJ, EVIL HANDS
(Backspace, 115 NW 5th, 6 pm) Before Aesop Rock wrote "No Jumper Cables," his spectacular paean to NYC train-bombers, Sick Mediks were repping for "tips, rollers, paint, cans, let's blow up this concrete canvas" (or something approximating that but like, more rhyming--sars, my engine's running on pure memory). It's one of their best tracks, an appropriate homage for tonight's art opening, which includes giant canvas work from local graf artists Aden Catalani, Bret Frizelle, E.Montana and Ben VanOvereem. Amplified Techniques will provide the b-boy battle; shit is free. If that isn't enough? Illaj Da Soul Heala: hands-down one of Portland's best emcees. JULIANNE FROSTY TOUCH SHEPHERD



DANCE DISASTER MOVEMENT, EX-MODELS, A.S.T., SILVER PALM
(Million, 120 NE Russell) Screen this out: NYC's Ex-Models bring it so tightly, flow like a harpoon daily and nightly. Busted-up from panting, jacked-up guitar battles that sputter with manic voracity, their timing alone is a reason to see them--they glue together like shards of broken soda bottle, with barky vocals to match. Their latest record, Zoo Psychology (which, let it be known, clocks in at a breakneck 15 songs in 20 minutes), is a total fuckin' masterpiece, proving that discordance, chaos do indeed sound best when executed by capable players--they calculate order, then toss it into a bonfire. Possibly my favorite band (being descendents of post-structuralist theory/students of Baudrillard, I'm sure they'll understand if I'm unwilling to shoot for the absolutes). They wrote a song called "Hott 4 Discourse," for god's sakes. Nothing is better than discourse. OBVIOUSLY. JFTS



THE BLACK HALOS, THE WEAKLINGS, LOVELY, CHINATOWN
(Conan's, 3862 SE Hawthorne) Add some nails to your coffin and walk the tracks with The Black Halos. Think of them as Vancouver BC's answer to the Dead Boys. (A good answer.) If you arrive a little early, you may be lucky enough to catch the Weaklings. I once personally witnessed them play so hard, they remained blurry during their entire set. On second thought, that actually could've been my own handiwork, but I don't really remember. Don't forget to bring some cash and your eyeliner. LANCE CHESS



DOLOREAN, HOLY SONS, LOCH LOMOND
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) Dolorean belong in coffee shops and cozy bars, where they can play their sweet, Nick Drake-influenced ditties--released tonight on disc by Yep Roc--in peace. Well, you'll go anyway, because Dolorean will touch your heart regardless of where they're playing, and you like it when that happens. JUSTIN WESCOAT SANDERS



NYARTATHOTEP RISING
(DV8, 5021 SE Powell) Channeling the spirit of horror master H.P. Lovecraft (who wrote a story in 1920 called "Nyarlathotep," about an ancient Egyptian god who rises to haunt the earth), Nyartathotep Rising will haunt the earth... with METAL!! JWS



FRIDAY 11/7

THE DECEMBERISTS, PSEUDOSIX, RECLINERLAND
(Berbati's, 231 SW Ankeny) It's an evening of Portland's heartfelt power bands. The Decemberists are, of course, blowing the hell up, thanks to Colin Meloy's addictive swoony croon. And Pseudosix are not only out with a new CD, they're on the town with additional members--most notably Amy Annelle from The Places, whose powerful voice is undoubtedly the prettiest in Portland, and mixes like tonic with the hard living liquor of Tim Perry's howls. Those two voices plus sweet melodies and the vocal harmonizing of the other instrumentalists and you might spend the evening crying in your beer. KATIE SHIMER

SPIRITUALIZED, SOLEDAD BROTHERS

(Roseland, NW 6th & Burnside) With a new record supposedly influenced by the White Stripes and the keys to the Fun House dangling from the back pocket of his shiny pleather trousers, Jason Pierce won't exactly be taking you to a higher level this Friday, when he parks the Spiritualized tour bus in front of Roseland. These days, he's got friends in low places, where a bare-bones backing band has made the "gospel according to Mick" sound quite a bit more down and dirty than the last few Spiritualized records indicated. On his latest release, Amazing Grace, Pierce has opted to rock out instead of preach on, leaving the Stones-meets-a-symphony vibe that allotted 1997's Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space such widespread acclaim to drift away temporarily. So if you've come to stare at your shoes, well, shit, you can still do that--but only if it's because you're about to puke all over them. TREVOR KELLEY



ROCKY VOTOLATO, IRVING, KIND OF LIKE SPITTING
(Nocturnal, 1800 E Burnside) Irving's album Good Morning Beautiful was so goddamned sweet, it gave my cavities a stomachache. Even my friends who slobber all over Of Montreal couldn't deny it--a glut of bouncy, sparkling songs is hard to ingest in one sitting. Irving's current tour supports a more readily digestible EP, I Hope You're Feeling Better Now. The stand-out opening song, "The Curious Thing About Leather," still has nothing to do with tanning hides or BDSM, even after subsequent listens, but it deviates far enough from Irving's previous pop fare that I picked up the jewel case to make sure it was the same band. Irving: still clever and sweet enough to put you into a diabetic coma, but a slightly more complex carb. With Kind of Like Spitting (in town after back-to-back tours) playing the same bill, this show should be the perfect mixture of sweet and tart. KATE MERCIER



PEANUT BUTTER WOLF, WILDCHILD, DUDLEY PERKINS, DJ ROMES; AFTERPARTY: DJ ANDY SMITH, SCOTT HENDY
(Ohm, 31 NW 1st) It's rare to hear a DJ who mixes multiple styles and plays the whole song--and that's a damn shame. In lieu of cutting and sampling to his own ends, Andy Smith--live DJ and sample provider for Portishead--wisely selects fun, funky hits and rarities across the spectrum, mixing smoothly, and keeping the flash to a minimum. His second mix CD, The Document 2, continues on with some hiphop gems, old pop, classic soul, and more. The track lists alone are must-reads for music freaks. AARON MILES See Music pg 17



MENOMENA, GRAVITY AND HENRY, WATER KILL THE SUN
(Meow Meow, 527 SE Pine) As far as I'm concerned, Menomena is the best band in Portland. Their latest CD, i am the fun blame monster, proves it, sauntering in and out of styles, morphing constantly, pushing through chameleon-like songs. It is an album that sounds impossible to perform with only three members, but these multi-tasking men do three things at once, utilizing foot Moogs, saxophones, and occasionally singing as one. When Menomena performs, they give you the feeling that they are about to explode. KEVIN O'CONNOR



SATURDAY 11/8

SKRATCH 2003: Q-BERT, X-ECUTIONERS, ROC RAIDA, JAZZY JAY, Z-TRIP, DJ WICKED
(Roseland) See Destination Fun pg 13



THORN CITY IMPROV ANNIVERSARY
(Ash Street, 225 SW Ash) For a year now, Portland's far-reaching Oldominion crew has been holding it down at the Ash Street, exposing local and national hiphop talent in a free-form, posi style. Tonight, celebrate not only the night's continued existence, but its diversity, with guest emcees and DJs all over the map, from the more mainstream sensibilities of Cool Nutz to the contemplative nature of Siren's Echo to Sleep's breakneck rhythms and The Chosen's live instrumentation. Hosted by Cali emcee/writer Bukue One. As they say, "this is Portland hiphop!" JFTS



3 LEG TORSO CD RELEASE
(Aladdin, 3017 SE Milwaukie) The epitome of Bohemian elegance, 3 Leg Torso has been playing a sophisticated hybrid of arch chamber music and potatoes 'n porridge Eastern European folk tradition since '96. Tonight is the release of their latest CD, Astor In Paris, 11 instrumentals that are begging to be enjoyed in front of a fireplace with a bottle of Bordeaux and cableknit sweaters. Live, it's the kind of performance that leaves your eyes a little dewy and your thoughts soothed, narcotized, and disoriented, a euphoria that is unfortunately--but rarely--jarred by the quicker, jauntier moments. MARJORIE SKINNER



KILLING JOKE, AMEN
(Berbati's) Anyone tired of Dave Grohl's goofy appearances on SNL and Late Show with David Letterman or the Foo Fighters' spiral into rock mediocrity should immediately pick up Killing Joke's latest, eponymous release. The former Nirvana drummer redeems himself by beating the unholy crap out of the skins for the band who, in my mind, were the first to fuse the alienation and anger of punk with the insatiable energy of metal back in the late '70s, more than a decade before Rage Against the Machine and Faith No More took the formula primetime. Singer Jaz Coleman assembles the original cast (Geordie Walker, Paul Raven, Youth), along with Grohl, to crank out the group's best album since 1990's Extremities, Dirt and Various Repressed Emotions. It's full of the same apocalyptic paranoia and political fury KJ became famous for 20 years ago. And I have no doubt that fans of Amen, hardcore's newest heroes, will embrace the legendary punk-metal pioneers. DAVID SLATTON



NASHVILLE PUSSY, PETER PAN SPEEDROCK, BLACKOUT RADIO
(Dante's) While hard rock rolls in and out of the mainstream press' attention span, bands like Nashville Pussy and Peter Pan Speedrock drag out the ballroom-brawler soundtracks for Hessians who refuse to cross over into anything that doesn't involve excess guitar solos, songs about mounting women and motorcycles, and a general appreciation for a Hells Angels way of getting shit done. JENNIFER MAERZ



EMERY, BLUE SKY MILE, SCHOOL PLAY, BELIEVING IN JUNE, KAT JONES, BLUE MOUSE THEATER
(Meow Meow) I am head over heels in love with Blue Sky Mile--a band that doesn't necessarily do anything new, but relies on enough onstage recklessness and livewire energy to make it all work. Sounding like an indiepop séance to resurrect the ghosts of late-'90s Midwestern emo (early Promise Ring, Christie Front Drive, The Get Up Kids, when they were still kids), Blue Sky Mile is as youthful as they are charming, performing songs with such frenzy that it's amazing their instruments don't crumble from the pressure. Sure, their band name is about as emotional as a teenage poetry reading (although they are out-emo'd in namesake by openers Believing In June), but all is forgiven when the charming vocals kick in and melt your cynicism away. EZRA ACE CARAEFF



SARAH DOUGHER: HARPER'S ARROW
(Reed Chapel) Like Joel and Ethan Coen before her, Sarah Dougher's got it bad for Homeric verse. Thanks to some cash-money helpings from the Regional Arts and Culture Council, her latest project is a 24-song retelling of The Odyssey--one song per chapter exploring the themes of the text using guitar, organ, and Sarah's lyrics. And Sarah knows her shit--she's a mythology professor. Smart rockstars are the best rockstars. ADAM GNADE



SUNDAY 11/9

STEVE VON TILL, GRAILS
(PS What?, 1968 SW 5th) This is one of the fellows in Neurosis who also has this side project of some solo work. I would describe this music as "Dark Folk"--a genre of music that is a cross between hippie, acoustic folk crap and heavy, sad and slow melodies. Really, it's like a slowed-down and quiet version of Neurosis; this music makes me happy, but I know if you were semi-suicidal, this music probably would put that pill in your mouth or that gun to your head. It makes me want to grow flowers and keep them watered so they wont die in the summer months. CHRIS REED See Music pg 17



NORTH MISSISSIPPI ALLSTARS
(Berbat's) Roots rock continues to thrive, thanks largely to groups like the North Mississippi Allstars, who exhibit a captivating blend of guitar rock and, and, well, the sounds of North Mississippi, which include soul and Southern blues. JWS



TART: DJS DOAN NGUYEN, ANJALI, HARMONY
(Holocene) See Destination Fun pg 13



MONDAY 11/10

LILYS, THE GRAVES, ALASKA
(Berbati's) American bands that ape the Brits are rarely as cheese-deficient as the Lilys. And as far as the new shoegazer trend goes, these guys have been incorporating My Bloody Valentine and the Kinks into their sound since 1999. The newest disc, Precollection, is splashy, jangly, and shimmering with lush pop, sounding almost Doors-ish at times. But you can rest assured that all of the songs sound fresh as today's music can be. KATHLEEN WILSON



STRAYLIGHT RUN, THE NEW AMSTERDAMS, MURDER BY NUMBERS, JAMISON PARKER
(Meow Meow) If you ever need proof that emo rock is just a boys club (closer in kin to nu-metal than you might think), take the case of Taking Back Sunday. Sitting on top of the indie world with huge success from their debut album, Tell All Your Friends, the band quickly crumbled when the singer of the band allegedly started boning the guitarist's sister. Bad move, bro. The guitarist (John Nolan) quickly spilt, along with bassist Shaun Cooper, and joined up with some dude from Breaking Pangaea and Nolan's sister (not sure if she was the one who was humping their ex-singer or not, or if he has other available sisters--their bio was surprisingly quiet on this info). While Straylight Run's music is a welcomed departure from the tired emo chest-beating of Taking Back Sunday, it's still too raw and directionless to warrant headlining tours, especially since they haven't even released a CD yet. No releases yet, but they do sell hoodies. Thank God for that. EAC



TUESDAY 11/11

360 VINYL FIFTH ANNIVERSARY SOIREE STARRING DJ P
(360 Vinyl, 214 NW COUCH, 6-9 pm) For five years now, the 360 dudes--nearly all of them local DJs-- have been recommending great music (NO SCRATCHING) for the turntable hogs. Today, they are fully stoked on giving away free shit to customers--Zion I tix, CDs, etc. --including a semi-rare appearance by Portland b-boy DJ P (as himself), who just got off a tour with G Love and Special Sauce but is far better than that spot implies. Later, join everybody at the Thorn City Improv night at the Ash Street with Zion I, Madgesdiq, and Crown City Rockers. Happy Birthday! NO SCRATCHING! JFTS



THEMSELVES, CLUE TO KALO, TALKDEMONIC
(Berbati's) Themselves emcee Doseone battled Eminem at Cincinnati's annual Scribble Jam in 1997, before both rappers had made their marks. While we all know Em's story (and the mythologized Hollywood version portrayed in 8 Mile), Doseone has lit up the underground with a unique aesthetic flame. Their respective trajectories illustrate the old debate over the merits of mainstream and underground artists. While Marshall Mathers has foisted on the public mediocrities like 50 Cent and D12 and three decreasingly interesting albums, Dose has helped to foster the boundary-eroding Anticon and Mush labels, and authored boatloads of head-spinning verses in Themselves, Deep Puddle Dynamics, and cLOUDDEAD. If anyone in hiphop embodies the cryptic-symbol-generating brilliance of '60s Bob Dylan, it's Dose (especially on his 2000 disc with Boom Bip, Circle). DAVE SEGAL



ELEFANT, THE JOGGERS, RECALL-SEVEN
(Dante's) Elefant's romantic rock songs are poppy and a bit addled, somewhere between the VU and Interpol. The whole situation reeks of NYC gossip column items, partying with models, and tight blazers. Yet, they kind of dork out in a sincere, charming way. The singer is a swarthy Argentinian pretty boy who's splashed all over the glossy mags, and a million girls are probably going to go just to see how tall he is in real life. The Joggers are one of Portland's most endearing live acts, with bouncy, harmonized, ska-influenced music. They can barely keep the grins off their faces while performing. MS



WEDNESDAY 11/12

THE RAPTURE, OUT HUD, BEANS, DJ JEFRODESIAC
(Berbati's) Backlash be damned--I still hold a very warm spot in my heart for the Rapture. And though I've grown as wary of the DFA's (already) static production sensibility as the next hypocritical dissenter, I have to admit my legitimate excitement at the notion of Echoes, the Rapture's second full-length, finally dropping last month. So, how is it? No, not as good as they say it is--and not as bad, either. It is alternatingly exactly what you'd expect (Hello? Happy Mondays?), and nothing at all like it (Hello? Chamber pop?). Sure, a bit of a letdown--but at least it doesn't sound like a Daft Punk record. Not all of it, anyway. ZAC PENNINGTON



FIREWATER, THE HOLY GHOST, THE OUT CROWD
(Crystal) Firewater's six-piece instrumentation creates spooky, dark circus music performed with enough skill that it never devolves into an intolerable mess. Similar to klezmer, this music shouldn't be too strange to Portlanders, and is always fun to get wasted to. I wish they'd been playing this music last week when I was lost for a half-hour in the 13th Door Haunted House. I would have undoubtedly crapped my pants. KS



MACHINE DRUM, DECEPTIKON, PLAYERS
(Holocene) An alternate definition of Southern fresh 'n' clean: the slicey glitch-hop of Orlando, Florida's Machine Drum (21-year-old Travis Stewart), who generally slices deeper and funkier on the tape-splice (less squishy, more concise) than his more northerly counterpart, Atlanta-born Prefuse 73. Stewart, for all intents and purposes, made a companion record to One Word Extinguisher in the form of Half the Battle (Merck), but like, a year before OWE came out. I ain't hatin', I'm just sayin'. His labelmate, Eugene-based beat manipulator Deceptikon, is also in the business of making hiphop-influenced rhythms, in a more linear manner. JFTS