THURSDAY 1/22

LAWRENCE ARMS, THE GHOST
(Disjecta, 120 NE Russell) If you're at a pop-punk show in January, and you're not wearing a hooded sweatshirt emblazoned with an image of your favorite group, you might as well be naked outside the venue, loudly lamenting your ill-adorned existence. Fortunately, the Lawrence Arms hears your cries. Not only are they stocking brand new zip-up hoodies on this tour, but also, the Chicago-based trio is launching its Lawrence Army street team, which provides buttons, armbands and whatnot. Raspy-voiced singer Brendan Kelly was one of the few frontmen to successfully reinvent himself after the skacore implosion, rising from Slapstick's ashes to create a crew whose merciful lack of a horn section makes up for its slower tempos. ANDREW MILLER



SMUT STARRING DJS MESTIZO, MR. MUMU, SLEAZe-bot, GO-GO KITTENS
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) Seems like every time I go to one of the semi-regular, multimedia nights at Dante's, I get swatted on the ass by a porn actor and/or see someone eat a light bulb. The latest, subtly titled "Smut," looks to be another stepping stone on the club's determined quest to live up to its namesake. The DJs are cool, and will most likely tend towards the hiphop and electro. Which sounds like a really fun, but not necessarily smutty show! Which brings us to the Go-Go Kittens. I don't think they eat light bulbs. Meow, hiss. MS MARJORIE SKINNER



THUMP W/AFROBOT
(Ground Kontrol, 610 SW 12th, 8pm) Portland's premiere "retrocade," Ground Kontrol, is the kind of place you don't want to go with 1. Luddites or 2. wet hair. It's like a portal to the future, celebrating the dawn of the technological age, with all its cartoony optimism and/or strategic doom. For two hours every Thursday, local DJs will spin free sets to serenade your game-playing, drowning out the converging soundtracks of Pac Man and Centipede before you're thrust into insanity. JULIANNE SHEPHERD



TWISTED THURSDAY B-BOY BATTLE STARRING SICK MEDIKS, KABLE ROC, MYG, ROMULOUS, SHIP WRECK, EVIL HANDS, SIDWAYS SPEECH, UNSED
(Ohm, 31 NW 1st) It's a big ol' local bboy free-for-all, with just about every breakdancing fool in town throwin' down. Meanwhile, it looks like just about every local hiphop artist in town is also throwin' down. If you are a fan of all that is dope in Portland, you will come tonight. JUSTIN WESCOAT SANDERS



TUFTEES, ROSS & THE HELLPETS, EMPTY SET
(White Eagle, 836 N Russell) The Tuftees have the sweet charm of a teen movie pop band; like the band that actually plays in the garage during the movie and receives the attention of all the girlies. Their operation isn't exactly shipshape, but the dominating lull of the guitar, the simple lyrics, and straightforward vocals show potential and a refreshing lack of pretension. Plus, their sensibilities are good, and they won't overwhelm you with cheer. KATIE SHIMER



FRIDAY 1/23

NEW BOMB TURKS, FITZ OF DEPRESSION, THE WEDNESDAYS
(Dante's) The New Bomb Turks are so CUTE and CHEEKY, like they are fully a CAMP band. Uh, so much so you'd think they were gay FAGS. But, DAMN if they don't play such tough, riff driven PUNK. In fact, they've raised the BAR for the kids, for reals--there ain't too many bands have reached their status of "FUCK ART LET'S ROCK" KICK ASS... and they put on a MOTHERFUCKER OF A SHOW, too, so dig it! MIKE NIPPER



THE COUP, SIREN'S ECHO, KENNETH JAMES
(Berbati's, 231 SW Ankeny) Since the 2001 release of the great album Party Music (and a couple of tours we don't want to talk about later, i.e. SoBe Adrenaline debacle), The Coup's been fairly quiet, coming up to Portland for mini-tours every fourth month or so, and increasingly progressing in the direction of a straight funk band. Their next release, perhaps strangely, is a live record on Dim Mak Records (primarily a home to guitar/noise/dancepunk bands like Die Monitrr Bats, Dance Disaster Movement, Tokyo Sex Destruction--and the new record from gifted Portland emcee Libretto, of Misfit Massive Crew). There's nothing more funk-band than releasing a live record. Meanwhile on the label front, Siren's Echo have their own brew brewing--a purported Syndel-and-Toni Hill-run independent label--and Kenneth James, who runs Aesthetics Records, will open a small storefront. JS



BASTINADO, THEBEFOREPICTURE, WOKE UP FALLING, DANIEL G. HARMANN
(Ash, 225 SW Ash) Bastinado, spawn of one of my all-time favorite bands, Thirty Ought Six, retain the dirty cathartic energy of their predecessors. Their new CD has a loud, harsh, mathy element, complete with a bunch of dramatic yelling, guitar crescendos, hella bass, and enough changes that you'll be sucked in without being confused. If you're looking for a Portland band to love, check this. KS



BLANK ITS, THE NEINS, THE MINDS
(Twilight, 1420 SE Powell) The Neins are a super fun band, and if you've never seen them and enjoy busting ass to rock music, you won't want to miss the chance. They're total beach boogie surf music, but with a healthy dose of rockabilly and equally potent punk garage influence. The whiskey-voiced vocalist's lazy, speak-sing style is pretty hot, too. The Minds are poppy punks who rock a keyboard, and they'll appeal to those who cream their pants every time they hear a Cheap Trick song and never miss an Epoxies show. MS



DJ ICEY, BABY ANNE, THE DON WON SHOW
(Level, 13 NW 6th) Why are house DJs inevitably plump and ball-capped while techno jocks are thin and shorthaired or bald? It's something to ponder while you get busy on the dancefloor to these popular Orlando, Florida-based artists. Icey leveraged the "funky breaks" movement into a franchise in the '90s, and later broadened his repertoire to include big-room trance, house, techno, and electro, as his 2000 Essential Mix CD demonstrates (props to anyone who can maneuver from DJ Godfather to Orbital). Icey's female counterpart in the nu-breaks stakes, Baby Anne, will make you think more about self-administered whacks than wax, but she's got skills to back her "lord have mercy" looks, as her 2002 mix disc on Moonshine, I'm About to Break, proves. DAVE SEGAL



THE DECEMBERISTS, CORRINA REPP
(Nocturnal) Singing about Turkish prostitutes and pantaloons for years in Portland dives has paid off well for Colin Meloy. Both Decemberists full-lengths were released on Kill Rock Stars last year, and ended up on a slough of criticsâ year-end lists. And if that wasn't enough, Meloy and his merry music makers recently finished working with Death Cab for Cutie's Chris Walla on a five-part, vinyl-only concept EP called The Tain. Supposedly, it has something to do with Celtic mythology and is only one long track, but if they could pull off a rip-roarin' hootenany about a "chimbley sweep," there's no reason why this couldn't work either. JEFF TERICH



OZOMATLI
(Roseland, NW 6th & Burnside) Ozomatli's latest record, Coming Up, is just a sampling of their hybrid jams, blending Latin rhythms with hiphop beats, political activism with largely Spanish-sung lyrics. With the style of hybrid jams they forged becoming increasingly normal/expected in the broader spectrum of popular music (i.e. Timbaland w/desi samples, Sean Paul with hiphop/r&b, Carlos Santana with everyone), and bands like Kinky and Café Tacuba getting more recognition in the broader American pop charts, they'll certainly sound familiar. Their live show will inspire beads of sweat and cumbian rhythms to eke out your hips. JS



SATURDAY 1/24

SICK BAY: JAMMOTRON, NICK FURY, MACK RICE, VENOM 33.3, SEOUL BROTHER #1
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrisson) Hailed as Portland's best DJ crew, the Clan of the Cave Macks have expanded to encompass new DJs--bigger and better!-- flipped the moniker into Sick Bay, and will indeed be getting sick with it by mixing a number of styles, from bass to house, hiphop to techno, turntablism to plain old, straight-up record-slinging in the smoothest way imaginable. Murk Visuals provides the eye candy. The phrase "off the chain" comes to mind. JS



WAYNE HORVITZ & THE NEW ELECTRIC QUARTET, BOBBY PREVITE
(Fez) Keyboard mastermind Wayne Horvitz unveils the New Electric Quartet. For this new project, Horvitz has enlisted old NYC compadre Bobby Previte on drums, ebullient guitar crony Timothy Young, and bassist Kaveh Rastegar. CHRISTOPHER DeLAURENTI



THE DIRTBOMBS, THE SIGHTS, FIREBALLS OF FREEDOM
(Dante's) So, lately, the Dirtbombs have been a bit over-hyped and it's nice and all but with the new LP they SOUND like they are hoping to cash in, BUT... the Sights... WELL FUCK ME!!! They come as close to BADFINGER AS BADFINGER TRIED TO BADFINGER THE BEATLES... seriously, they got the awesome EARLY '70s power pop. To tell you the truth, when I first heard them, they sat me the FUCK DOWN... and at my advanced age THERE AIN'T MUCH THAT CAN SIT MY FUCKING ASS DOWN. Right, and lastly the Fireballs... what ought I say... LOUD AND FAST... not so short tho'. MIKE NIPPER



SUNDAY 1/25

DUB B
(Red Sea, 318 SW 3rd) See CD Review pg 15



OPETH, MOONSPELL, DEVILDRIVER
(Roseland) Every bit as stunning in its genre as OutKast's Speakerboxxx/Love Below was in hiphop, Opeth's recent releases Deliverance and Damnation (sold separately) depict radically different facets of the Swedish metal outfit's personality. Deliverance delves out savage riffs and robust rhythmic backdrops, tempering the fury with eerily calm eye-of-the-storm instrumental passages. Damnation, an impressive acoustic departure, bares Mikael Akerfeldt's tunefully damaged voice and profoundly depressed lyrics. As the group's upcoming live DVD Lamentations, which includes a performance of Damnation in its entirety, proves, Akerfeldt glides easily between shattered singer/songwriter and snarling rabid-lion modes during Opeth sets. ANDREW MILLER



THE PALADINS, TOO SLIM & THE TAILDRAGGERS, THE STRANGETONES, more
(Bitter End, 1981 W Burnside) Reverend Horton Heat isn't doing much these days, but the Rockabilly Revival presses on. Tonight a buttload of fast-movin', groovin', twang-punky rockers will jump around, drink heavily, and try not to hit you with their upright bass. JWS



CRYSTAL BALLROOM'S 90th BIRTHDAY
(Crystal) The best kinds of parties are the free kinds, and the (ancient) Crystal Ballroom's b-day extravaganza is not only that, but it's 12 hours long. Packed into that are performances from rockabilly freakos Southern Culture On The Skids, funky Rubberneck, Low Flying Owls, Bart Ferguson, half pints the Black Peppercorns and the Marysville Marimba BandÉ PLUS indie bands Audio Learning Center, Note Notas, and Eux AutresÉ ALSO DJs Devrox and Gabriel. That's just the music. There are tours, historical lectures, and children's theater planned as well. And (drumroll) the unveiling of the Crystal Ballroom's Brand New Dance Floor (still bouncy). MS



IQU, THE LOVEMAKERS, SEKSU ROBA
(Dante's) Seattle's Asian-American/male-female duo IQU has a doppelg...nger--L.A.'s Seksu Roba. Both twosomes feature theremin and purvey the skin-tingling, retro-futurist electro-pop that places tongues in chic. Seksu Roba's trump card, though, is Erector, a dancing robot with a gyrating penis. (We're not gonna touch that one with a 10-foot pole.) DS



MONDAY 1/26

JAY FARRAR, CANYON
(Aladdin, 3017 SE Milwaukie) Imagine dream-pop soaking in alt-country, where twang leaves trails of effects, and wistful sentiments echo for miles. That's the landscape of Canyon's music, a sound informed as much by the spacious slowcore genre as it is by cornerstones like Neil Young. Their desert psychedelia is dusty and lush, accented over the years by lap steel, harmonica, and harmonium, which help muddy their standing in any one genre over another. Tonight you have a chance to see Canyon twice--once as openers for Jay Farrar and then again as his backing band. JENNIFER MAERZ



LIVING LEGENDS: MYSTIK JOURNEYMEN, GROUCH, ELIGH, MURS, SCARAB, AESOP, BICASSO, LUCKYIAM, PSC, SUNSPOT JONZ, THE PROCUSSIONS, LA SYMPHONY
(Roseland) Living Legends is a big-ass crew primarily from L.A. and Oakland and loaded with talent. But those guys have been kicking it for a while; keep your eye on the Procussions, whose frenetically tough beats and energetic flows may just steal the show. JWS



WILLIAM ELLIOTT WHITMORE, DUCK DUCK GRAY DUCK, TRAUMA LE TRON
(Red & Black, 2138 SE Division) From a label (Southern) that has previously released material from bands as diverse as Rex and 90 Day Men comes another left turn into new territory--William Elliott Whitmore. The singer/songwriter has a delivery that sounds salted by decades of tears and then wrung bone dry by self-imposed isolation. To hear his throaty voice crack over ballads of love and death, you'd picture a visage as well traveled as Willie Nelson's and hair grayed by years of hard living. But Whitmore is a young, tattooed talent from the banks of the Mississippi, raised on a horse farm and adept at beautiful back-porch folk. His music is basic--on his latest CD, the aptly named Hymns for the Hopeless, he's backed by either acoustic guitar, mandolin, or banjo--but his plaintive vocals and stories of sin and redemption layer the music with more depth than a full symphony could express. JM



TUESDAY 1/27

THE THRILLS, PATRICK PARK
(Dante's) Of all the endless monosyllabic "rock" bands hyped by the NME, The Thrills are the only ones worth seeing. There aren't many bells and whistles and they're certainly not treading uncharted territory, but they're extremely good at what they do. Thir debut album, So Much for the City married Neil Young-like songwriting with Beach Boys harmonies, making us all forget, momentarily, that they're from Ireland. But most importantly, they sound like they're actually having a good time, which is an essential, though often overlooked element in rock music these days. JT



VIC CHESNUTT, DANNY PEARSON
(Aladdin) Last year, Vic made the album many of his fans had been hoping for with Silver Lake; named for the hipster Los Angeles neighborhood, the record is his rootsiest affair since his earliest Texas Hotel recordings. Chesnutt is paralyzed and performs from his wheelchair, which could have turned him into an exemplar of the Reader's Digest perspective where adversity is to be overcome and the sun shines brightly up everyone's ass. Instead, Chesnutt is real, letting hardship and ambivalence carry the day, and shooting them through with dark humor, wordplay, and a cockeyed worldview. And it's sung in a voice that suggests the love child of Phil Ochs and Ernest Tubb fueled by whiskey and Flannery O'Connor stories. NATE LIPPENS



GRAND BUFFET
(Meow Meow, 320 SE 2nd) There's a photo of eight dorky white guys adorning the inner flap of Grand Buffet's new album, The Pittsburgh Hearts Band, allegedly representing the subject of the title. The guys and their subsequent band, as far as I can tell, have nothing to do with Buffet themselves, who are actually just two guys, Jarrod Brandon Weeks and Jackson O'Connell-Barlow. But it's nice of the duo to throw a shout-out to a random cast of dweebs. It's also nice to hear some music out of Pittsburgh--I can't remember the last time I heard that--and it's cool music at that; a sort of strange amalgamation of chintzy synth beats and early '90s-style rapping, but with bigger words. JWS



WEDNESDAY 1/28

SKELETON COAST, DAYTON, CLARITY PROCESS, GENTRY
(Meow Meow) Soon, the Bouncing Souls and Hot Water Music will embark on a tour they've unfortunately dubbed "True Bromance." This punk/hardcore show, by contrast, offers superior music, far more intelligent lyrics and an invigorating shot of hometown pride, all without cheesing up one of the finest films of the past decade in the process. Skeleton Coast distributed its co-ed dual vocals generously, until they cover every inch of its obliquely melodic songs like the tattoo ink decorating some of its members. Clarity Process pushes the volume into the red zone while remaining tethered to earnest emotion. And Gentry establishes that dark-wave dance tunes with titles such as "Sexual Salvation" are truly timeless. ANDREW MILLER



HANK WILLIAMS III, ASSJACK, SCOTT BIRAM
(Ash Street) First off, Hanks Williams III should totally hook up with Drew Barrymore. Not only do they understand what it's like for the whole world to have been able to predict their careers and drinking habits, but she makes a smokin' trailer girl, as was demonstrated when she was jocking Guess jeans. As for "Three," he has one foot in country, and a voice that's spookily similar to Grampy's. On the other hand, he's a total punk rocker, sometimes causing brawls if he switches these hats in front of the wrong honky-tonk crowd. MS



THE HANDSOME FAMILY, BUTTLESS CHAPS
(Dante's) The Handsome Family play a swaggery, "why don't we get drunk and screw" sort of country music, which, instead of appealing to old people and hicks, for some reason appeals to you and me. Listening to their music doesn't exactly put me in the mood to throw on my 10-gallon and jump on a mechanical bull. Instead, when, I hear them I'm reminded that wallowing in whiskey and depression actually has a seductive appeal. KS