THURSDAY 10/21

EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY, ELUVIUM, THE SWISS ARMY, TALKDEMONIC
(Meow Meow, 320 SE 2nd Ave) Explosions in the Sky is loud in the way Mogwai is loud--loud but intricate, layered, emotive and majestically articulated. Their big showpiece is the slow build, the climb from valleys of chime and mellow jazz chords to cascading peaks and waves of epic, instrumental triumphance. It is the sound of nature. Guitars go beyond post-rock to sound like thick, rushing creeks. Drums come on slow like winter thaw, dripping from icy banks to cut trickling rivulets in the snow, and then disgorge and gush in a fecund deluge of springtime life. Post-rock's version of Vivaldi's Four Seasons? Yeah, why not. ADAM GNADE



ARI HEST, ANNA NALICK
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) With his brawny baritone and stylish stubble, the Bronx-born Hest seems like someone who would stay up all night smoking and drinking whiskey instead of setting an alarm for an early-morning engagement. The ruggedly handsome Hest won't have much trouble packing clubs with female fans, but his bombastic backing band, which amplifies his acoustic folk with arena-rock volume, should keep dragged-along dates from being bored to sleep. ANDREW MILLER



HOT WATER MUSIC, ALEXISONFIRE, DON'T LOOK DOWN, MOMENTS IN GRACE
(Nocturnal, 1800 E Burnside) Hot Water Music's latest release The New What Next has is an evolution from the band's punk background into a solid, heavy rock sound. Songs still incorporate the addictively jumpy riffs and relentless energy, but their music is definitely spewing more mainstream appeal--which isn't always a bad thing. KS



MASON JENNINGS, HALEY BONAR
(Aladdin, 3017 SE Milwaukie) Beneath all of the adult-contempo sheen of The Size of Planets, the second album by Duluth, MN songstress Haley Bonar, is seething desperation--all whiskey-soaked and brow-beaten by nostalgia. Just narrowly 21, Bonar has the benefit of a high-profile benefactor in Chairkickers Union, the Duluth-based record label run by Alan Sparhawk, lead moper for slowcore stalwarts Low--a relationship that somehow helps to elevate the more Sarah McLachlan moments on the record enough to expose the powerful beauty underneath. Bonar is an undeniable talent that, with luck, will mature into something really incredible. ZAC PENNINGTON



POH-HOP 9: POTLUCK, TRASHHEAP, SP, DJ CHILL
(Music Millennium NW, 801 NW 23rd, 6 pm) Get your POH-Hop Party on early at this FREE warm-up shindig at ol' Music Millennium. Alas, "Potluck" does not refer to a literal potluck, at which guests each bring a food dish to share with everyone else, but rather a rap outfit fromÉ sighÉ Humboldt County. Get it? Humboldt County? Like, marijuana and shit? "Pot"luckÉ? Ah, forget it. JWS



SLEATER-KINNEY, THE GOSSIP, THE PLANET THE
(Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week! Pg 19



SOLEX, WORM IS GREEN, ON!AIR!LIBRARY!, OVIAN
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) See Music, Pg 23



SUN CITY GIRLS, SIX ORGANS OF ADMITTANCE
(Ash Street, 225 SW Ash) See My, What a Busy Week! Pg 19



FRIDAY 10/22

AVERY BELL, FELLS ACRES, THE RIFFBROKERS, MIDWESTERN
(Tonic) Avery Bell's expansive, cinematic rock songs are in no danger of being fenced in by traditional structures or instrumentation. At times manic, at others morose, their unique sound is largely indebted to the incorporation of violin, which adds a haunting Eastern European feel to their particular brand of indie rock. The sudden transformation from passages of heroic pursuit to moments of self-reflective solitude is the band's greatest strength. Coupled with intensely personal yet politically charged lyrics, Avery Bell's ability to dramatically shift gears helps convey a sense of individual struggle, culminating in brief moments of redemption that makes their music so rewarding. KIP BERMAN



DJIN TEETH (FANGS!), 2% MAJESTY, TRAUMA LE TRON
(4425 N Commercial) As the Djin dynasty comes to an unfortunate close, may we all take solace in this intimate gathering to show our respects. That's right, Djin Teeth (Fangs!) have called it quits, and this is the last shot you got at their Eastern-Euro punk brilliance. Get it while it's hot. ZP



DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS, CENTRO-MATIC
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) More William Faulkner than say Toby Keith, Alabama's Drive-By Truckers fly the flag of the South without ever getting bogged down in that dreaded Stars 'N Bars bullshit. With their latest full-length The Dirty South, the band covers such easily Southern topics of tornadoes, Walmart and Walking Tall hero Sheriff Buford Pusser. The catch is, they don't take the easy route with any of the above subjects, instead adding a level of intelligence and respect to the fabled region they call their home. As a live band, DBT is much more than the domestic beers littered upon the stage, as they stomp and swear their way through a clamorous set of feedback and classic-rock guitar heroics seldom found north of the Mason-Dixon line. EAC See Music, pg 23



ELECTRIC FRANKENSTEIN, NASTY ON, THE ALTARBOYS, BLACK EYED DOG
(Sabala's Mt. Tabor, 4811 SE Hawthorne Blvd) Electric Frankenstein are equal parts straight-up MC5-ish rock and snotty punk. One could argue that they are the perfect blend of both, or that the muddy mix makes them sound nowhere and generic, and both arguments are right. And, pretty much the same. They're fast and vital, and they're live show is probably pretty freaking fun, if there is a little whiff of unsung hero syndrome wafting o'er the cigarette clouds. MS



FEAR BEFORE THE MARCH OF FLAMES, SCARS OF TOMORROW, LENORE
(Davey Jones' Locker, 5925 SE Foster) Hard, loud, and fast, my favorite thing about FBTMOF is the pairing of two singers, one of which sounds piped in from a furnace, with a throat-shredding monster rasp that'd make any shock rock fan tip his hat. The other is a normal sounding guy who pipes in over the top, as though they are two characters in a Halloween slash opera, one above and one below. They seem to be trailing behind the Blood Brothers' shtick not just a little bit. Do we need more than one Blood Brothers? Hmm, well, it's too late to see the Bros in a small dive-y venue, and this promises to simulate the experience. MS



HELMET, INSTRUCTION, KING FADER
(Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside) Fair warning: Page Hamilton has taken up the reigns and is really pushing the new album, Size Matters. He has been quoted in interviews saying that he would be just fine playing all new material on this tour, but that his new bandmates, culled from White Zombie and Anthrax, begged him to play the hits. Despite the gayness of its name, the new record isn't the worst thing in the world, but it's hard to age gracefully in front of a tough crowd. MS



BEN LEE, PONY UP
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Breathing Tornadoes and Something to Remember Me By were my jams. My JAMS! Ben Lee, Australia's most powerful argument against Silverchair, has typically proved himself to be a solid, if plaintive, songwriter--his bedroom pop's sweet mellow perfectly foiled Angela Chase's so-called angst when the two went out, catapulting Lee to some sort of weird Hollywood indie stardom that's now become commonplace with, like, Febreeze and Barrymore or Mary Kate & Ashley's crush on the Postal Service. Unfortunately, whether Hollywood's the root cause of Lee's recent vacuous songwriting isn't the issue. The issue is that, lately, he's been spoiling his pristine hooks with bummer lyrics like, "Baby, catch my disease!" What happened to yer storytelling, like "Ketchum" or "Deep Talk from the Shallow End," buddy? JOAN HILLER



POH-HOP 9 FEATURING TRAUMA, SONNY BONOHO, SP, J-KRONIC, S-JAMES, AND MANY MORE
(Ash Street, 225 SW Ash) See Music, Pg 21; My, What a Busy Week! Pg 19



SLEATER-KINNEY
(Nocturnal, 1800 E Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week! Pg 19



ANDY SMITH
(Ohm, 21 NW 1st Ave) Smith, the mix-mastermind behind much of Portishead's success in the '90s, is one of the most eclectic DJs working, combining truly unique selections from his classic rock/soul library with cutting-edge hiphop beats. The opening track of his newest release Document II, tangents from Kate Bush's "The Man with the Child in his Eyes" into floor-shakin' booty rap. It's total music snobbery excess, but it's also kind of cool. JWS



SATURDAY 10/23

THE BLOW, KANDA, YACHT, PARENTHETICAL GIRLS, DJ HOT AIR BALLOON, DJ WHITE RAINBOW
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Recent NYC imports Kanda join the States Rights Records crew in a celebration of the Blow's latest, Poor Aim: Love Songs. The electro-pop duo, formerly of the sadly defunct 555 Recordings, play saccharine-sweet twee-pop that'll rot the fillings right off your teeth--the kind of thing people usually describe with lengthy and convoluted masturbations about analogous artists (i.e. "If Pipas met They Go Boom! at a New Order gig and they all went off to listen to OMD's Enola Gay" or "The Pizzicato Five covering Hefner's 'The Fidelity Wars' armed only with a $5 keyboard,"--both quotes taken from their website) that just end up more confused than where they started. The real deal is this: Kanda is good on record, better live, and we should all be thankful that they're here. ZAC PENNINGTON



COUNTRY JOE MCDONALD, FLYING OTHER BROTHERS, DAVID GARZA
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi St, Garza at 4 pm) Country Joe McDonald is one of the surviving Bay Area psychedelic kingpins who, as a member of Country Joe and the Fish, created revolutionary SOUNDS while calling for cultural/political revolution. After CJ&tF split, McDonald went solo, and has been for 35 years, considering himself a singer/songwriter, (ahem) tho' he's really more a FOLKIE. And that's how we're gettin' him: solo. So, expect to hear a bit of his 40-odd years worth of a resume, and, by the way, his revolution is still relevant. He's still working on getting broke shit fixed. MIKE NIPPER



GOOD CHARLOTTE, SUM 41, HAZEN ST., LOLA RAY
(Salem Armory, 2320 NE 17th St., Salem) Sometimes in this life, a person is forced to choose between the lesser of two evils. It's under such duress that I hesitantly present my argument in support of Sum 41 as the healthy alternative to Good Charlotte. It's a difficult choice to make, but in a side by side comparison, I think that the answer is irrefutable: the Madden brothers of Good Charlotte--whiney and the fat one--are the quintessence of all that is wrong with contemporary pop punk: they're well-adjusted, happy little wieners that gleefully toe the boy band line with shit-eating grins on their faces all the while. Over half of the songs on their new record are ballads, they'll put fucking cellos on anything, and one of them is purportedly tapping Hilary Duff's 17-year-old ass. Conversely, Sum 41's music borders on metal, they're Canadian, and they roll with Avril Lavigne. I think the choice is evident, friends. ZP



IMMORTAL LEE COUNTY KILLERS, FIREBALLS OF FREEDOM, VOLUMES, DEATH DEFYING LIFE
(Sabala's Mt. Tabor, 4811 SE Hawthorne Blvd) It's hard to call a band "blues punk" if they're not the Immortal Lee County Killers. Jon Spencer's out-shticked himself and the Black Keys are blander than dry toast. ILCK, however, really punk out the Delta blues--they're a screaming, hollering, garagey two-piece who make every live show feel like their last ever. Meaning there are a lot of mental breakdown performances, howling at the moon, and treating the drum kit like a wild animal being beaten to death--which, when you're dealing with issues of torment, heartbreak, and burning yourself on the fryer, count as appropriate expressions of roller-coaster emotion in my book. JENNIFER MAERZ



POH-HOP 9 FEATURING SIREN'S ECHO, BLUE SCHOLARS, FOGATRON & MANIC D, SOUL PLASMA, AND MANY MORE
(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) See Music, Pg 21; My, What a Busy Week! Pg 19



RCMP, JOHN WEINLAND
(Billy Ray's, 2216 NE MLK) In the cozy confines of Billy Ray's, a true dive bar amidst dive bars, RCMP's banjo pluck will warm your whiskey-soaked heart. But be sure to come early, else miss John Weinland's sweet songs of regret, sung gently to the strains of a lilting guitar. JWS



TWILIGHT SINGERS
(Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside) Erstwhile sex symbol Greg Dulli and his Twilight Singers have produced one oddity of a record. She Loves You, which features a close-up of some stocking-clad thighs on the cover, is an eclectic selection of cover songs, running the gamut from Fleetwood Mac, John Coltrane, and Billy Holiday to Mary J. Blige and Bjork's "Hyperballad." (One of the most notable misses is the painful, wheezy rendition of "Summertime," but it doesn't even compare to the startlingly off-key desecration of "What Makes You Think You're the One.") It's a trip to hear these songs Dulli-fied, all blues and chain-smoking whiskey voice, and most of them are decent. Hardcore fans won't want to miss this rather curious tour, or go without the weird little album. MS



SUNDAY 10/24

BOMB HIPHOP TOUR FEATURIING DJ QUEST, AZEEM, DJ T-ROCK, NAC ONE, DJ DNA
(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) Beginning in the early '90s with an underground zine, Bomb Hiphop has developed into a influential label with over 60 releases. Tonight they present some of their stalwarts, including DJ Quest from the jazz/rap group Live Human, and MC Azeem, formerly of Spearhead fame. This evening will lean towards the avant garde, but it'll be good for you. JWS



INTERPOL, THE SECRET MACHINES, HAIL SOCIAL
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) See Music, Pg 23



ALAN SINGLEY, PLEASE STEP OUT OF THE VEHICLE, SPIGALO
(Meow Meow, 320 SE 2nd Ave) A fun lil' evening of quirky, tuneful pop. Alan Singley employs spaceship sounds and general cuteness to make music "to make crafts to." Joining him will be Portland newcomer Spigalo, an acoustic guitar rambler who sings songs that might be about other dimensions; oddly catchy, spooky yearns filled with Marshmallow Men and other creatures from places we cannot comprehend. JWS



MONDAY 10/25 Drop it like it's hot.



TUESDAY 10/26

METRIC, MIDNIGHT MOVIES
(Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside) Midnight Movies are straight up, the "it" band of LA right now, but thank God they haven't turned dumb from all the drooling attention. Often fairly compared to Broadcast, their psychedelic folk/rock's got propulsive, running build-ups stacked with creepy melodies--but it's all okay when you hear the husky nurturing croons of Gena Olivier. As original as they are, I think they stole the score from Halloween. JENNA ROADMAN



WEDNESDAY 10/27

BATS OF THE PYRAMID OF EGYPT, BRIAN KELLY FRESNO, THE DELTA DAWGS
(Conan's, 3862 SE Hawthorne) The Bats play hyper-cute, synth-y new wave dance jams that beg for geeking out. After all there is a slightly sci-fi vibe to the icy, galactic details of the music, as well as an unabashedly snuggly pop gleefulness. MS



HAR MAR SUPERSTAR, STORM AND THE BALLS, AUTOLUX
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) Autolux is renowned for being mysterious intellectual L.A. skulkers that--during interviews--blow me away with insightful comments about Hitler's paintings and musical craftsmanship. So I WOULD have said "this band is total played hackery; nostalgic '90s indie; like a soulless Sonic Youth--Autolux is perfect for late 20-somethings to play in a rented beater-Mustang reliving the Smashing Pumpkins' video '1979.'" But they clearly know what they are doing if they are so smarty-smart pants--maybe they are probably so far ahead of the game that I can't even comprehend it. JR



HOLLY GOLIGHTLY, MR AIRPLANE MAN, THE JOLENES
(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) A survivor of the bratty-chic Billy Childish project Thee Headcoatees, Holly Golightly has been producing solo records steadily for almost 10 years. Her latest, Slowly But Surely, continues in her trademark style of lazy, sparse bluesey rock over-layed with often creepy, sometimes feminist lyrics. The production has her voice pumped up a little awkwardly loud, emphasizing the fact that her voice is unusual, but not very pretty, best suited when it's riding the back of a guitar chord, or twanging all homely on a desperate, sarcastic, quasi-country folk ballad. Her sometimes slovenly stage presence and deadpan approach can be boring or mesmerizingly intimate. It's all about the attitude you bring. MS



SHEARWATER, DECIBULLY
(Disjecta, 116 NE Russell) With its third album Winged Life, the once-stark Shearwater crafts elaborate arrangements, decorating its tales of regret with organs, accordions, banjos and vibes. Opening with spare-piano-and-plucked-string backdrops that emphasize Meiburg's vulnerable vocals, songs such as "A Hush" and "My Good Deed" add accompaniment as they evolve, ending with enchanting instrumental passages. AM