THURSDAY 12/11

RUFUS WAINWRIGHT
(Aladdin, 3017 SE Milwaukie) My future husband Rufus Wainwright's first album suggested a chanteur, a minstrel not too far removed from Leonard Cohen (or Ru's own father Loudon). His second album, Poses, was hedonistic, resplendent with rich harmonies and fantastic lyrics which celebrated the excess of youth. Want One, Wainwright's new release (to be followed by Want Two early next year) features a fully orchestrated sample of Ravel and what might be the first non-sucky song to discuss the vibrate feature on a cell phone (and name-check Britney Spears!). That Wainwright can assimilate such diverse resources on one album only proves that his music is unlike any other out there. This is a guy to check out (but remember, he's all mine). STEVEN LANKENAU



MY GOLDFISH NED, THE DISLIKED, THE CIVIES, WOKE UP FALLING
(Ash Street, 225 SW Ash) Video games are cool. So cool, in fact, that the video game on Woke Up Falling's website (a defender-styled shooter) completely distracted me from their latest EP, It's Only Your Ghost. Though I remained fairly focused on saving WUF's precious cans of PBR from the onslaught of airplanes and Camaros, the overwrought vocals did give me the impression that most of these songs are about being dumped by your girlfriend because she doesn't want to date a thirtysomething who is still trying to write the next Mineral record. However, since I secretly like Mineral (and video games), I can sympathize with WUF's plight. KIP BERMAN



EQ COLLECTIVE: NOMADIC NOIZE, COMMUTE, BIG BAND, THE INCREDIBLE KID
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Nomadic Noize, so christened due to its perpetually traveling purveyors, is a treasure trove of futuro-dubby breakbeats, as comfortable with a laptop on echo as wielding a clay ocarina. Consisting of seven members and a combined travelogue of "every country on earth"--DJs, producers, musicians scouring the world for the funkest beats and coolest samples--they'll provide a soundclash and a culture mash. When was the last time a throat singer sounded funky, honestly? JULIANNE SHEPHERD



DAMIEN JURADO, ROSIE THOMAS, DOLOREAN
(Berbati's, 231 SE Ankeny) That Dolorean's debut album Not Exotic passed under your radar this year would seem a bit more permissible if you lived in oh, I don't know É Orlando. But for those of you who walk the same streets as lead songwriter/feet dragger Alex James, it's a damn shame you didn't pick up on his sullen and sad-eyed bar stool epiphanies before one of the snooty kid at the record store put it up on the dry-erase board as their favorite new project from one of the dudes in the Standard. Opening up for fellow Northwesterners Damien Jurado and Rosie Thomas should be a breeze then, as the headliners bring their Loretta Lynn and Conway Twitty for the Friendster generation-act to Berbati's this Thursday. Did I just use the word "headliners"? TREVOR KELLEY



FORREST AVERY, BACHELORS OF SCIENCE, SLOWBURN, MYG, GOLD, DIALEKT, Q
(Ohm, 31 NW 1st) Who said it was dead? There are some fellas tonight who'd beg to differ. The heart of d'n'b/jungle with a dubby stylee comes to life like a transplant or a pacemaker with local riddim surgeons such as Dialekt and SF d'n'b crew Bachelors of Science. JS



THE MAKERS, DIAMOND TUCK & THE PRIVATES, THE DTS
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) During the Tigers of the Night tour, the Makers played at Satyricon with a young band called the Vue. At the end of the night, a young woman cornered the Vue's singer, told him she loved his band, and demanded an autograph. As he smiled and dug in his pockets for a pen, she offered him CDs by both bands, explaining that she couldn't remember which one he had actually played in. The question is, if all those bands are so interchangable, how is it possible to actually have an opinion about one? The answer is: he signed both disks with false names. ETHAN SWAN



SARAH DOUGHER: THE HARPER'S ARROW
(Pacific Switchboard, 4637 N Albina) Usually, a non-classical concert based on an epic poem would raise some serious red flags. This could be a bombastic exercise in prog-rock excess--a spectacle that might make Spinal Tap's "Stonehenge" seem subtle--or, even worse, one of those godawful educational raps with a slobbering beatbox backdrop and some how-you-gonna-hop-when-you-ain't-hip librarians and teachers on the mic. But it's a natural fit for singer/songwriter Sarah Dougher, a classics scholar with a pHd in comparative literature. Dougher's The Harper's Arrow doesn't exactly echo its source material, Homer's Odyssey. Instead of retelling the plot, the compositions loosely shadow chapter breakdowns, expressing narrative patterns through melody. Dougher's subtle guitar-and-drums compositions are always compelling, and if you're currently enrolled in classes somewhere, you can totally turn this ticket stub into extra credit. ANDREW MILLER



FRIDAY 12/12

CALI AGENTS, JEAN GRAE, O.M.D., BUKUE ONE, MYG
(Ash Street) Jean Grae's mix of complex storytelling and wicked antagonism keeps even her most diehard fans wary. She's been accused of taking everything too far, but all her troublemaking has brilliant intentions, like the stomach-turning "Taco Day," a Columbine-inspired track where she narrates the unraveling of a suburban high-school girl. If you consider that the primary audience for rap is white kids looking for a thrill--the violence of "urban" neighborhoods they've never been to--then why not speak directly to them? It's like she's saying, "You want a story full of gunshots and callousness? Keep living like you are, suckers." Michael Moore should've thanked her at the Oscars. ETHAN SWAN



HINDI GUNS, THE OUT CROWD, MA FORD
(Berbati's) This is straight-up road music, pure and simple. The kind of tuneage you want blasting from your speakers as you leave that bastard in Memphis and head for the sweet Jersey shore to start a new life. The Hindi Guns mix in a Lucinda Williams twang with old school girl punk. The results are like a little wind devil: fast, furious, and more than a little dirty. JUSTIN WESCOAT SANDERS



IO, NATALIE, AND TROY; DJ FORREST ANDREWS, IN THE TREEJAY, SAFI, ELIAZAR
(Stumptown Downtown, 128 SW 3rd) Shayla Hason is a documentarian in all her endeavors--both as DJ Safi, and as photographer whose collection of Rock 'n' Roll Camp for Girls photos have landed her in venues far and wide, from Sound Collector to the smoking room/gallery at Holocene. This time, she hits Stumptown with images from RnRCfG 2003. Fittingly, Io (from RnRCfG attendee all-stars the Black Peppercorns), her friend Natalie, and her brother Troy, will perform covers at tonight's opening, and pre-pubescent DJs shall throw down their fave dub plates, which I would way rather hear than many of the Rolling Stone 500 old canonical albums of all time (Californication, people?!). To Io's credit, she does a killer version of "Brand New Key" by Melanie. JS



SLEATER-KINNEY, CAT POWER, THE MINDERS
(Crystal, 1332 W Burnside) HOT PICK OF THE WEEK! Sleater-Kinney exploded on the Olympia scene in 1994 with the growling pop hit "Don't Think You Wanna," but it wasn't until Northwest record magnate Donna Dresch agreed to release 1996's Call the Doctor on her independent rock label Chainsaw, that this vivacious trio went careening into international superstardom! The future is bright for this band of Portland rockers; keep an eye out! JS



VAGABOND OPERA CD RELEASE
(Mississippi Pizza, 3552 N Mississippi) To celebrate the release of their new CD, Vagabond Opera, Portland's premiere band of Klezmer, orchestral hooligans, are having a party. That's not exactly novel, but the boogie-ing, circus-like, gypsy jazz of their new material sure is. If it's been any amount of time since you waltzed with buckles in your shoes, this is your opportunity to rectify. Heavy on accordions, horns, and opera voices, they could charm snakes. At times they sound like part of the soundtrack to Fiddler on the Roof, which by the way is an under-appreciated cinematic masterpiece. They also include a cover of "Port of Amsterdam," a classic that was also performed by the grossly under-appreciated UK acoustic duo the Singing Loins. Expand your cultural capital! MARJORIE SKINNER



PLEASURE CLUB, ERIC MCFADDEN TRIO, GRUESOME GALORE
(Dante's) You have to admire Pleasure Club's James Hall for hanging in there despite not receiving the level of attention he deserves. A Geffen Records contract survivor, Hall saw his smashing 1996 debut for the label, Pleasure Club, gathering accolades from critics who found the album's bracing rock an unexpected, out-of-fashion treat, even if audiences didn't. Hall returned in 2002 with a new band called Pleasure Club and a self-released album that, while another great record of fiery rock, had to fight for attention and distinction among a huge crowd of fiery rock bands seeking the same attention and distinction. If for no other reason, you should see Hall play just to pay tribute to his gumption. You'll go home a fan, so what's to lose? KATHLEEN WILSON



SATURDAY 12/13

MARK LANEGAN BAND, ENEMY
(Dante's) Add the power of Mark Lanegan's frequently morose metaphors to his evocative, battle-scarred vocals and songs full of complicated characters, and you get something like the complex, aloof parts Nick Nolte would play--the gruff man with his vulnerability encased in ice who's lost his lover by the time the chill melts, or the fallen junkie so crippled for the fix that his world seesaws between apologies and addiction. Accompanied by the gentle acoustics of Mike Johnson's guitar on 1998's "Waiting on a Train," Lanegan sings about giving up on life and love for a slow chemical suicide: "It's time that I was leavin'/shoulda left me here long ago/you'd rather see me sorry/than knowin' what I knowÉ.

From the play of lights below/is that church bells ringin'/or my whistle blowin'/I don't care/I'm gone/shootin' up and down the tracks." You never know if the songs were written with an acute sense that any attempt at progress was jammed by inner demons, or if the songs came out as slight victories over the fuck-ups that are always creeping back in through the cracks. Either way, they're often coupled with a subtle, bone-dry sense of humor that makes Lanegan's work feel more honest than hopeless. JENNIFER MAERZ



THE ESCAPED, PIPEDOWN, MINDLESS REBELLION, RHYTHM OF 84
(Meow Meow) Curious to enjoy some of Portland's hardcore streetpunk. Then see The Escaped. Fast drums, chugging guitars, and those scream-core vocals make for some pretty decent music, plus, I'm sure you can expect a lot of jumping around. Wear your sneakers, and forget your glasses. KS



LYDIA LUNCH, GLASS CANDY
(Ash Street) See Music pg 23



HAIL SANTA II: CAPTAIN BOOTYBEARD, AMOREE LOVELL, MORGAN GRACE, GLAMOROUS PAT
(Jasmine Tree, 401 SW Harrison) See MWBW pg 19



STORM LARGE
(Wilf's Piano Bar, 800 NW 6th) Attention to the legion of Storm Large fans! She's gone solo, losing all those guys that are always lurking around her with guitars and stuff. That means this is your chance! Nobody is standing in the way--it's just Storm, with all her sexy, sleazy charm and the voice that launched a thousand ships. And she's in a proper lounge bar, too. Perhaps she'll clean up the language? Do a few covers from the musical theater genre? Who cares, really! You'd watch her brush her teeth and eat it up with a spoon. MS



BABY ANNE, AIZLYNN, MENA, SIDESTEP
(Level, 13 NW 6th) Practice your moves and headspins for tonight, when legendary Floridian DJ Baby Anne rocks the Level dancefloor with slamming breakbeats and Miami booty bass. Baby Anne has a knack for catering her sets to the crowd, and can't help but pack the house; so what I'm thinking is with all that tightly packed bumping, this might be a good night to find a new lover. KATIE SHIMER



SUNDAY 12/14

THE RED ELVISES
(Dante's) Siberian, accordion-tinged surf rock inspired by Elvis Presley. Does it get any better than that? Most likely, yes, but that doesn't change the fact that the Red Elvises put on a damn fun show. They feature crazy costumes, funny looking instruments, and enough energy to bring the King back from the dead. Be prepared to drink your face off. JWS



MONDAY 12/15

MELLO MONDAYS W/MELLO CEE
(Ringler's) If you feel the abrasion of conflict between your political side, your socially conscious side, the side that wants to do your little dance to some Timbaland and Magoo (aka MC Wad of Gum), and the side that loves Lil' Jon but wants to straight smack the Yin Yang Twinz for their misogynistic bull-craparoni, Raise Your Hand. What's a kid to do? How to reconcile the person inside who chanted "shut 'em down" at the last Lifesavas show and wholeheartedly believed every word of it, but still tunes in constantly to DJ Juggernaut's fantastic spot on 95.5 (to his credit, the man always slips a Kwame in with the Kelis)? When G Unit sells a jillion albums, and Lloyd Banks is clever as flint, but the whole record is summed up when Young Buck admits it's his "goal to fuck Trina by summer"? Even Jay-Z's coming with/turned around by the mixed messages, saying, "Truthfully, I wanna rhyme like Common Sense/ But I did five mil--I ain't been rhymin' like Common since." Neither you nor I will be thinking of these things while getting down to Mello Cee, an exceptionally talented DJ whose crates run deep and taste runs the gamut. But from the window to the wall, for my money, it's a complicated world out there. Discuss. JS



TUESDAY 12/16

PETTY BOOKA
(Alberta Street Pub) See Music pg 21



DOUGHNUT CHURCH W/SURPRISE GUEST
(Voodoo Doughnut, 22 SW 3rd) Because nothing the Voodoo Doughnut does is subtle, they gave the following gapingly gigantic clues as to who the secret surprise guest is: a VERY FAMOUS drummer lady who plays in some VERY FAMOUS local bands. You get a guess! If you miss, I'm making you eat a laxative doughnut. JS



LIGHTHEADED, QUIVAH, VILLAGE IDIOTS
(Mt. Tabor, 4811 SE Hawthorne) Don't miss Portland hiphop crew Lightheaded--Braille, Muneshine, Ohmega Watts, Othello--whose gleaming, soulful style of production and squeaky-clean, unwaveringly positive lyricism is just the ticket you need out of winter doldrums. No kidding--they're bright like a full-spectrum lamp! With Village Idiots and Quivah, who has a new live DVD and album, about which we will write more at length in next week's issue. (For the long-running Portland Hiphop fest Poh-Hop, Dec 18 & 19 at the Ash--mark your calendars!) JS



MOTEL XMAS SOIREE: DJS E*ROCK, PUFFIN
(Holocene) The holidays are a good time for a fancy party because, thanks to social convention and seasonal nihilism, folks feel less weird about getting all dressed up. Tonight is one such fancy party, done P-town style: handmade, and with door prizes. DJ E*Rock in a suit, maybe. And it's free! JS



WEDNESDAY 12/17

KINKY
(Aladdin) Being known as Mexico's foremost electronic band used to be about as prestigious as being Yemen's premier figure skater. But in the wake of the Nortec Collective and Murcof, Mexico ain't no joke in beat-centric circles. High-energy quintet Kinky represent our south-of-the-border friends with a party-sparking big beat attack that embraces sooty rock guitars as much as it does hiphop, house, and, of course, Latin rhythms. Imagine Jesus Jones if they were actually good, or Underworld with a Hispanic accent, and you're getting close to Kinky's accessible, mongrelized punch. DAVE SEGAL



SPIT UP ANGELS, YELLOW SWANS
(Berbati's) The first time I heard the Intima, I was so stricken by their brilliance that I assumed their sound would soon be copied by hundreds of bands. Maybe I was idealistic or maybe no one was able to pull it off, but for years they remained the only band able to update the Dog Faced Hermans without abandoning their rhythm or politics. Until Spit Up Angels. And I felt vindicated until I discovered that Spit Up Angels is members of the Intima, and now I realize their genius may be one of those once-in-a-generation things. ES



PARTY TIME, LION FEVER, DJ MAXAMILLION
(Grand Central Bowl) Let not Party Time's silly name fool you, nor the fact that they are playing in a bowling alley tonight. There is depth to this heavy band's sped-up rock sessions, and from those depths come fingers reaching, grabbing, and pulling in even those who don't normally like this kind of music--like me. Having seen Party Time twice now, and been utterly mesmerized each time, I can safely say I am an official convert to the Church of Party Time's Party Rock. The secret behind their broad-reaching appeal is slightly elusive, but certainly has something to do with their rare combination of impressive musicianship, incredible stage presence, and just fuckin' ripping shit up. JWS



PORTLAND ALL-AREA LAPTOP BATTLE
(Holocene) See Music pg 21



YELTSIN, ALMOST MILWAUKIE, SURVIVING DESIRE, GINGER LOVELY
(Conan's) Yeltsin's music is catchy, skillfully executed and satisfying, even though it may not be mind blowing in it's innovation. Stylistically the Eugene three-piece reminds me of the Pixies, which never sucks, and their dramatic guitar parts are right on. KS