THURSDAY 10/28

ASYLUM ST. SPANKERS
(Fez, 316 SW 11th Ave) This Austin-based outfit has devoted entire albums to irking the easily offended. This completely acoustic (no microphones or amps) ensemble transcends the novelty-tune tag with its virtuosic instrumental experimentation. Using banjo, fiddle, and washboard, the Spankers can play potent moonshine country with hootenanny harmonies, but they're equally adept at blending torch-song backdrops and potty-mouth lyrics to create an entirely new relationship between "jazz" and "scat." ANDREW MILLER



LAMB OF GOD, FEAR FACTORY, CHILDREN OF BODOM, THROW DOWN
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) See Music Bio, Pg 41



MARTyN LEAPER, S. BROOKS, JACOB BALCOM, GRAIG MARKEL, PLEASURE HOLIDAY
(Meow Meow, 320 SE 2nd Ave) S. Brooks is Sean from Minmae doing Minmae songs acoustic and all twanged to countrified, hicky hell. His new solo CD, In Preparation for the Dance, takes old Min classics and turns them into Appalachian backwoods jams. It's sorta like Tom Waits plus the animatronic banjo player at the beginning of Pirates of the Caribbean (the ride). Tracks like "Let Boredom Have The Dance" shuffle, rise, and drunk waltz with new graveyard spook energy--country at its most rustic and haunted. ADAM GNADE



Q AND NOT U, EL GUAPO, KING COBRA
(Nocturnal, 1800 E Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week! Pg 27



UNITED STATES OF ELECTRONICA, STRENGTH, AQUEDUCT, SOMETHING FOR ROCKETS
(Tonic Lounge, 3100 NE Sandy Blvd) If you were in the hopping, backside-shakin' crowd at the Mercury's anniversary party in June, then you need little convincing of the positivity power of United States of Electronica. Armed with more energy than a kid hopped up on Mountain Dew and Pop Rocks, USE combines a powerhouse backbeat with vocoder and upbeat rhythms to bring on the party wild style. Grumpy pants need not apply! WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY



FRIDAY 10/29

BARR, BOBBY BIRDMAN, PANTHER, 1999
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) For the last year or so, BARR has been building a small cult out of the fickle journalists who write for those magazines with all of the full-page photos. Which isn't to say that he doesn't deserve the attention--it's just that dude's got a really perfect angle. His spoken word affirmations--borrowing MC conventions (in the Paul Barman sense) and marrying them to a John S. Hall stream of consciousness (in the King Missile sense)--radiate a knowing naivety; cute and clever, plain and unabashedly positive. It's fun and it's nice and it's warm and it's fuzzy. It's what you probably need more of in your life. ZAC PENNINGTON



DAN BERN, CHRIS CHANDLER
(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) With his new, eight-song EP, My Country II (on Messenger Records), folk singer Dan Bern delivers a rare specimen: A thoughtful, provocative disc designed with a short shelf life. The singer-songwriter felt that cuts like his Dubya-bashing "Tyranny" and the sing-along closer "Bush Must Be Defeated" needed to be out in the world ASAP, while they could still impact and inspire folks in the final weeks before Election Day. KURT B. REIGHLEY



PJ HARVEY, knife + fork
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) See Music, Pg 31



NORTH MISSISSIPPI ALL STARS, DIRTY DOZEN BRASS BAND, RISING STAR FIFE & DRUM BAND
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) If you're going to be two clean-cut white siblings who play hill-country-blues covers with a name like North Mississippi All Stars, you'd better be damn good. Fortunately, brothers Luther and Cody Dickinson, guitarist and drummer respectively, fit the bill and then some. This is no mere scavenged blues act. Forming North Mississippi All Stars in 1996 with bassist Chris Chew, the brothers Dickinson eschewed the sound of their former punk band, DDT, in favor of a roots-based sound they grew up listening to with their father, the legendary producer and musician Jim Dickinson. The brothers' call-and-response vocals and dense trance-like blues channel Othar Turner and Junior Kimbrough while casting a spell all their own. NATE LIPPENS



10/29/79 reunion show featuring SMEGMA, JOHN SHIRLEY AND THE MONITORS, SADO-NATION, THE STIFFNOIDS, THE BOP ZOMBIES, THE CLEAVERS
(Sabala's Mt Tabor, 4811 SE Hawthorne) Apparently, along with the last gasp of the '70s, came a really awesome punk show. The definitively experimental, unpredictable and often trying noise of old-schoolers Smegma is punk in its rawest definition rounded out by more familiar territory mined by outfits like Sado-Nation (est. 1978). Even more exciting are the archives: footage of the original show will be played, and there will be a display of flyers and photographs from Portland's punk scene circa 1979. MS



SNUGGLE-UPS RECORD RELEASE SHOW WITH THE THERMALS, dj beyonda
(Nocturnal, 1800 E Burnside) See CD Review, Pg 29



SATURDAY 10/30

DEAD MOON, THE NIGHTMARES, THE NICE BOYS, PUNK GROUP
(Sabala's Mt Tabor, 4811 SE Hawthorne) Sure, Dead Moon's dirty, rootsy punk sound has been around for a thousand years and a hundred albums, but I still see people's faces light up when they hear they're playing. And since enthusiasm and happiness are in short supply these days, might as well go where the getting's good. Plus, this show includes monster wrestling mayhem and classic horror flicks put on by some of Portland's top Halloween enthusiasts. I say with great confidence, this is the place to be tonight! KS



THE FEVER, VHS OR BETA, TELEPHONE
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) At the heart of every good dance band is a great drummer (or a drum machine) delivering beats to keep motion-friendly crowds moving. In the case of the Fever, that essential organ is Achilles--a purposely erratic pulse-keeper who places an impatient heel on his pedals as a vital member of this hot-blooded system, keeping the adrenaline coursing through even the most ballad-like tracks his band has to offer. On both the Brooklyn group's EP, Pink on Pink, and on their more recent full-length, Red Bedroom, Achilles sets a swift pace off of which the rest of the members launch to shape a rock aesthetic that keeps fans on their toes. JENNIFER MAERZ



LANGUAGE OF MONSTERS FEATURING P.A.N., THE 300 FOOT ORCHESTRA, NOMMO OGO, NEQUAQUAM VACUUM, HOBBO GOBBELINS, TROGLODYTE JUG BAND OF THE UNSEEMLY COURT
(Slabtown, 1033 NW 16th) 2Gyrlz's Enteractive Language festival kicks off for a third year of challenging discourse--this week celebrating Devil's Night with a program entitled "the Language of Monsters." With an army of creeps invading from creep Mecca Oakland, CA (including the 300 Foot Orchestra, Nommo Ogo, and Hobo Gobbelins), how could the night possibly be any more terrifying? I'll tell you how, my friend--how about a little thing called Butoh dancing? Shit gives me chills just thinking about it. ZP



THE LEGENDARY SHACK SHAKERS, SLIM CESSNA'S AUTO CLUB, squaw creek ramblers
(Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside) J. D. Wilkes, the intoxicating vaudevillian instigator of the quarter-a-peek county-fairish sideshow that is the Legendary Shack Shakers is like Charlie Feathers-meets-Iggy Pop fronting the Jim Rose Circus. Wilkes hiccups and harps his way through a chaotic potion of country, rockabilly, blues, and punk on the band's new album Believe (Yep Roc). A night before All Hallows Eve there's no telling what havoc these unconventional, unpredictable, unrepentant, and rafters-shaking rockers will inflict. SCOTT HOLTER



PINK SCARE, THE OLD HAUNTS, THE DOORS OF PERCEPTION
(Disjecta, 116 NE Russell) Say hasta to Disjecta, one of Portland's most eclectic meccas of the arts--visual, musical, theatrical, and all things in between. The evening should be full of fright, with Pink Scare, a project involving members of Walk Walk Pink, the mind-fucking psychedelic outfit that's pro-dramatics and costumes, as well as the appropriately named Old Haunts. Very, very scary. Plus, don't miss riding the snake with the Doors of Perception, a Doors cover band. MARJORIE SKINNER



SUPERSUCKERS
(Bossanova, 722 E Burnside) 'Member when you saw the video for "Born With a Tail" on 120 Minutes? 'Member when you forgot to pay attention to the rest of the Supersuckers' career? Well, they're back (what do you mean "they never left"?) and they're totally pissed. Tonight they play two sets--one country, one punk--to remind you of what you probably never knew in the first place. ZP



WIVES, GET HUSTLE, JONNYX AND THE GROADIES, SEXY PRISON, HUSTLER WHITE, MIKA MIKO
(Smith Hall at PSU) See My, What a Busy Week! Pg 27



SUNDAY 10/31

COHEED AND CAMBRIA, UNDEROATH, 3
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) There are a million and one reasons to hate Coheed and Cambia--the main guy's weeping willow hair explosion, their exhumation of Rush impaled upon emo, the creepy Mountain Dew-fueled D&D cardroom vibe. BUT the main sin, the big loaded doom stroke is they've managed to get the chorus of their new single, "A Favor House Atlantic," stuck in my head. 24/7, I have spacey, heliumed strains of "are you in or are you ouuut?!" emoing through my brainpan. AND I have it on good authority that 76.9% of American male youths are in the same boat. This is not a good thing. AG



FREAK NIGHT FREAKNIK FEATURING THE GOSSIP, DANTRONIX, DJ FATHEAD
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See Destination Fun, Pg 21



GRAYSKUL, DJ SWAMP, DJ WICKED
(Ash Street, 225 SW Ash) It's a mixed blessing when Vanilla Ice immortalizes you in song. On "Too Cold," an "Ice Ice Baby" metal makeover on the alarmingly Korny 1998 album Hard to Swallow, Vanilla bellows Swamp plays on the fade, slice like a ninja/ cut like a razor blade/ so fast, other DJs say 'damn.' Damn, indeed. Swamp took home turntablism's top prize in 1996 as the DMC Champion, and he has collaborated with Beck, Bloodhound Gang, Kool Keith, and Crystal Method, among many others. He's also known for his own breakbeat records, which create a horror-movie vibe with their creepy keyboards, spooky sound bites, and jarring rhythmic assaults. On stage, Swamp is like half magician, half masochist. He juggles records and blows fire, injuring himself whenever either stunt goes awry. AM



HIGH ON FIRE, last empire, topsider, ditch liquor
(Sabala's Mt Tabor, 4811 SE Hawthorne) It's a holiday after all, so take a mini-thin and get your ass out the house. Indulge your adrenaline rush with Topsider's throaty rawk, then air guitar to High on Fire's heavy metal volume assault. Then go home and puke. Then get up in the morning and wish you were dead. KS



KINGDOM, TELEPHONE
(Portland Spirit, Intersection of Salmon & Naito Pkwy) One of the best scenes from the movie Sid and Nancy shows The Sex Pistols as they give a concert from a boat, floating down the Thames, harassed by cops. It's one of those concerts in rock history one wishes they were cool enough to be around to witness. While Telephone is no Sex Pistols, they will do their best to bring the rock on the Portland Spirit. Most likely, the boating PoPo will be sadly absent, but the ruckus should be fun anyhow. MANU BERELLI



VERMILLION.VIOLET, WANNABEEGEES, CLEVER COWBOY
(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) See My, What a Busy Week! Pg 27



MONDAY 11/1

MOVING UNITS, CHINESE STARS, KILL ME TOMORROW
(Meow Meow, 320 SE 2nd) Whatta lineup! Moving Units is LA's great hope to revitalize the decrepit dance-punk scene. Their big disco single, "Between Us and Them," is all over radio and looks to be video-bound sooner than later. Chinese Stars is the reborn zombie of Arab on Radar--just less lyrics about used tampons and more dirty-dancing hardcore riffs. But Kill Me Tomorrow is the glory-delivering thunderbolt of the three. Their revamped sound is dark, psycho dance music a la Devo rotting in a dumpster whilst being eaten by Trent Reznor in sewer rat form. Which makes no sense, but NEITHER DOES KMT! (In a good way.) AG



TUESDAY 11/2

GIANT SAND, THE HANDSOME FAMILY, THE DEAD SCIENCE
(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) With the Dead Science's recently released EP Bird Bones in the Bughouse, the band finally captures on record a sound that is worthy of their live performance--a dramatic and volatile sound full up on all that their previous Submariner frustratingly lacked. Tonight the band joins indie stalwarts Giant Sand, and beloved Southern Gothic duo the Handsome Family. ZP



HEAVENLY STATES, FREEZEPOP
(Meow Meow, 320 SE 2nd Ave) The Heavenly States recently released "Monument," a protest song that lands with seismic emotional impact. This performance-art piece incorporates the names of all American, British, and Iraqi soldiers and civilians who have died in the ongoing war, starting with a solitary voice and evolving into a massive moniker-chanting choir. The States might not have the means to recreate "Monument" on stage, but its live show should still be memorable. This San Francisco-based guitar-drums-and-violin trio alternates between hard-driving rock and placid Pet Sounds pop, stretching the spectrum in concert by exaggerating the extremes. AM



"KERRY WINS! KERRY WINS!" ELECTION PARTY
(Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside) The Mercury is all about putting the fun back in the election process, which is why you do NOT want to miss our "Kerry Wins! Kerry Wins!" Election Celebration Party. On the docket is spinning from DJ Gregarious, singing from the cast of W--The Musical!, comedy from Kick the Squirrel, cheering from The Radical Cheerleaders, watching election results on the big screen, and on the off-chance that Kerry loses? FREE CANADIAN CITIZENSHIP. That's democracy in action. WSH



NANCY SINATRA
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) See Music, Pg 29



WEDNESDAY 11/3

CASIOTONE FOR THE PAINFULLY ALONE, PAPERCUTS, GHOST TO FALCO
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See Music, Pg 31



THE CRAMPS, THE GORE GORE GIRLS, THE DEADBILLYS
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Such is the Big Bang of the Cramps' sleazy garageabilly bop that they aren't just "precursors," but have become a genre of their own. And it could be further argued that their embrace of all things lowbrow and post-war (B-flix, horror comics, S&M, the Stooges both Iggy and Shemp, etc.), all thrift-store bought and wrapped in leopard print, is the lifestyle template most bohemians spend their tip money trying to attain. It's weird to think that there is a direct lineage from a teen Lux Interior salivating over a leg lamp at a junk store in 1971 to "shabby chic" In Style articles today. So the Cramps' latest release, How to Make a Monster (Vengeance), a two-CD compilation of early demos and live sets, comes as a good reminder of the band's true trashy roots. ERIC DAVIDSON



DELGADOS, CROOKED FINGERS
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) See Music, Pg 29



NEIL INNES
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) As a member of the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, the Rutles, and as a songwriter for Monty Python's Flying Circus, Neil Innes resoundingly proves that, contrary to many, comedy does belong in music. The 59-year-old British cult figure is probably best known for his fabulously clever parodies of Beatles songs that he perpetrated with the Rutles. Besides cultivating a cult following among geeks who appreciate sly humor and brilliant pop tunes, Innes starred as Ron Nasty (a faux John Lennon) in Eric Idle's 1978 mockumentary All You Need Is Cash, which again lovingly spoofed the Beatles. Prepare for a not-so-serious abdominal workout tonight. DAVE SEGAL



JIMMY EAT WORLD, RECOVER, A THORN FOR EVERY HEART
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) While in your face post punk makes me want to muffle my ears with pillows, Jimmy Eat World do know how to play the songs that the Warped Tour generation loves--peppy, power chordy, and chock full of feelings. Take your kid sister and a gaggle of her friends, and they'll worship you forever. KS



LOST SOUNDS, WARCRY, THE FORMLESS
(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) Jay Reatard and company continue on with their latest Lost Sounds album of futuristic noise and despair. Not nearly as exciting as their first record, Memphis Is Dead (Big Neck), Future Touch (In the Red) tries to employ all the bleeps and blips of a noise rock band, but the results sound more like the soundtrack to a bad Halloween party. The band is at its best when they keep it poppy; this was true of Jay's former band the Reatards as well. It's not surprising that the best track on the record is the cover song "Black Flowers"--mixing cello with synthesizers is a step in the right direction, but if you're going to put out a record that nobody is gonna buy anyway, why not make it a little more interesting overall? JED MAHEU