THE ALBUM LEAF, ASPECTS OF PHYSICS, MANUOK, (Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) The Album Leaf (Jimmy LaValle and a rotating cast) had the distinction of releasing 2004's most soporic album, In a Safe Place. On that disc, the Album Leaf combined the most yawnsome qualities of indie rock with the dullest sort of electronic music--and mystifyingly earned good reviews. Bah. Album Leaf and Múm should tour together and get Sominex to sponsor it. San Diego's Aspects of Physics like to swaddle their beautifully languid microsound pop (what they call Marginalized Information Forms) in liner notes lousy with technical jargon, as if they're reporting to MIT electronics profs. It's a funny shtick--although they may be serious. DAVE SEGAL
DEERHOOF, WARBLER, LE TON MITE, PARENTHETICAL GIRLS (Loveland, 320 SE 2nd Ave) See "Music," Pg 21.
ACCEPTANCE, COPELAND, LOVEDRUG, EAGER SEAS (Loveland, 320 SE 2nd Ave) Though I can't defend their name, Lovedrug is a really good band that deserves to escape the emo ghetto they're bound to be caught up in. They might look the part, and putting out records on the Militia Group won't help, but these Ohio youngsters make strong, urgent, and (least eem of all) melodic "rock 'n' roll"--which happens to be the name of their best song. Also on the bill is local Christian hard-rock outfit Acceptance, whose major-label debut has been cooking for a long time, and is now coming out on Columbia Records. It sounds expensive. SEAN NELSON
BISHOP'S WEST COAST ROCK SHOW 2 FEATURING LOVELY, POST STARDOM
DEPRESSION, THE GAYS (Ash Street, 225 SW Ash) The second installment of Bishop's West Coast Rock Show features The Gays, whose merch table alone is better than most local bands' set. Look for 12" hand-made Gays action figures (complete with real body hair), leather cuffs, silk-screened guitars, backpacks, shirts, and a stack of their triumphant debut disc, Secret Society. In fact, they put so much time and energy into preparing an all around rock spectacle (lights, costumes, etc…) that it's a testament to the perverse lyrical genius of Gays' singer Roy Tinsel and the guitar heroics of Mo Sepatown that their brash theatrical rock never falls short of their lofty ideals. I'm pretty sure local glam heroes, Lovely, don't get their trashy haircuts at Bishop's, but that could change if the barbershop started offering complimentary lap dances, instead of Miller. KIP BERMAN
CHANNELS 3 AND 4, HUSTLER WHITE, BAKELITE, DJ LANDOID (Dunes, 1905 NE MLK) My one and only Channels 3 and 4 experience took place in a soggy-carpeted (and oppressively lit) living room of a low ceiling-ed basement apartment--and while I can't be completely sure, it seems in retrospect like the ideal environs for the ensemble. Maintaining the caustic Moog-driven punk vibe now seemingly abandoned by San Diego's most emaciated, the Vancouver B.C. three-piece play a minimal, charmingly janky strain--with drums, keyboard, and lady vocals. ZAC PENNINGTON
ELECTRIC SIX, VHS OR BETA (Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) Yet another band that makes me want to move to Detroit, where everyone seems to have a brawling yet laidback attitude, Electric Six play muscular rock 'n' roll, often with sexy lyrics. Hands slide up skirts, people want to take you to gay bars and put things in you, etc. Blessedly diverse, the songs go from classic Detroity garage to sassy-dancey to rugged acoustic. Plus they're pals with illustrious electroclash mama Peaches, and cover each other's songs. Oooh, cred… Plus the impossible to resist, hooky, and very Cure-esque dance/disco rock of VHS or Beta. I know, I know, dance/disco rock is, shall we say, controversial, but they sound somehow fresh and inspired in a way that doesn't deserve your snobbery. MARJORIE SKINNER
GEEK CHIC DISKO FEATURING GLASS CANDY, PANTHER, DANTRONIX, WORKOUT (Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See "My, What a Busy Week!" Pg 17.
JOHNNY X AND THE GROADIES, STOVOKOR, ZOMBI, REDBIRD (Reed College Ping Pong Room, 3203 SE Woodstock) The bands featured in tonight's Reed College show raise the bar on obsessive geekery--and I mean that in the best possible way. Chicago's Zombi is a drums and synthesizer wielding duo with a horror movie fetish and no shame of name-dropping Jean Michel Jarre as one of their prime influences. The band's album, Cosmos, on Relapse Records, is a stylized reworking of classic '70s electronic records with a heavier, contemporary approach. Immediately following them, Klingon metal gods Stovokor will preach their message of warrior's honor and human subjugation to all who dare to engage them in the arena of battle... uh, ping pong room. The alien quintet has continued to carve out its unique niche of late, with appearances in the Trekkies 2 documentary film and a recent gig at Seattle's new Science Fiction Museum. JOSH BLANCHARD
THE UPSIDEDOWN, THEE SHAMS, STARS OF TRACK AND FIELD (Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside) The tits on the cover may attract some attention, but Fat Possum artists Thee Shams need more than naked ladies to peddle their well-worn wares. Their moonshine-splashed Southern rock swaggers with the assuredness booze'll bring ya, but between laying the ladies and begging for some sympathy, there's little more than harmonica- and harmony-stacked barroom rock happening here--even with the emotional blues cruiser, "Come Down Again." On certain Friday nights, though, this kind of CCR-ordered, straight-up rock 'n' roll delivery can fit the bill better than a shot and a beer. JENNIFER MAERZ
WHY?, NEDELLE, FRED THOMAS, HURTBIRD (Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) See "Music," Pg 19.
THE BLACK LIPS, THE HUNCHES, THE DEAD IDOLS, DJ BLACKOUT (Slabtown, 1033 NW 16th) Live, the Black Lips are just your average band. Hailing from Atlanta, a typical show from them can include a variety of things: Guitar solos played with a penis, recrackers, onstage vomiting, or the coup de grace… lead singer Cole urinating into his own mouth and then spitting it into the crowd. While they easily distract the faint of heart, the Black Lips are without question one of the premier garage bands in America today. Drawing inspiration solely from the exquisite Back from the Grave compilations of the mid-'60s (non-hits by no-counts), theirs is a dirty, sloppy, fun-filled mess. Currently on the West Coast to record an album for In the Red Records at the Distillery in Costa Mesa, California, this show will either be loved or feared. BEN BLACKWELL
LAUREL BRAUNS, LAURA GIBSON, JOHN VECCHIARELLI (Red and Black Caf, 2138 SE Division) Indie-folkster Laurel Brauns seems to bless her former home of Portland with her presence about every half-year or so, usually playing a slew of smaller venues (Red & Black tonight, the White Eagle tomorrow). We've heard she's a much bigger draw out on the East Coast, where they must actually appreciate her eclectic brand of strings-laden pop. Her last album, 2003's Periphery, was produced by Larry Crane and is an impeccable collection of sweet ditties about heartbreak and the wandering spirit that continues to be a staple on my itunes player. This show may be in a dinky caf on Division, but with John Vecchiarelli on board, it's as worthy as anything else playing tonight, and the rest of the week for that matter. JUSTIN WESCOAT SANDERS
JOE SATRIANI (Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Like his brother in boss-shredding and sunglasses, Steve Vai, Satch has spent a nearly 20-year career idolizing, lusting after, and desiring the friendship of space aliens (he even shaved his head to look more like the Silver Surfer). From his 1986 debut, Not of This Earth, up to his most recent, 2004's Is There Love in Space? his records of super-hyped blues riffage and ethereal wash have had the indelible thematic stamp of the cosmos, sci-fi style. It's as though these guys are such incredible guitar heroes they can only properly relate to extraterrestrial beings. Intense. SAM MICKENS
TOMMY STINSON, ALIEN CRIME SYNDICATE, THE MONEYCHANGERS (Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) The tale of Tommy Stinson has been told a million times and in arduous detail--13-year-old bassist for punk rock's favorite fuck-ups turned Bash & Pop/Perfect founder turned Guns 'n' Roses contract player, et al--and until the Replacements cave and get back together, it's sure to be told every single time he's written up in one of these local rags. That's mainly because Stinson's name history is obviously the draw here--despite the fact that he recently released a fine (if ultra-safe) record, a solo debut called Village Gorilla Head. Still, with the vague possibility of a Replacements reunion in the distant horizon, Stinson's always gonna have a hard time getting the monkey off of his back--a monkey named Westerberg. Tommy Stinson also plays a free show at Jackpot Records today at 5 pm. ZP
STRAYLIGHT RUN, MINUS THE BEAR, GRATITUDE, THE HONORARY TITLE, SPITALFIELD (Loveland, 320 SE 2nd Ave) Former Far frontman Jonah Matranga killed his solo project, Onelinedrawing, last year. No worries, though, as he continues to make music. And while it's impossible to keep close track of the intrepid Matranga, he's currently resting in his newest project, Gratitude, a full-blown rock band with real live members (as opposed to tweaked out R2D2 toys). Gratitude is a little bit typical in sound, with the same epic choruses and sensitive guitar riffs, but Matranga's familiar warm and strong voice rings over it all, reaching moments of rock 'n' roll angst that went unheard during his solo years. But the highlight of this tour (cosponsored by Vans and AP Magazine) is local outfit Minus the Bear. Dave Knudson's stunning guitar work stands out in the cool indierock that sparkles with layers of electronic additives. MEGAN SELING
DOGS DIE IN HOT CARS, PHOENIX, JOY ZIPPER (Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside) See "Music," Pg 19.
FEDERATION X, DMBQ, FIREBALLS OF FREEDOM, DARK SKIES (Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) What a motherfucker of a rock and roll show. When local rawk blowout kings the Fireballs of Freedom are opening, you know there's some six-string Armageddon about to be thrown down. But the real story here is DMBQ. These guys (and girl) are bringing the rock over from Japan and shoving it down our throats in Spinal Tap proportions. Imagine a long-haired Japanese guy in flared spandex literally standing on the shoulders of the crowd, spitting loogies in the air that he then catches in the crotch of his own pants, while playing a shredding solo through enough effects to challenge a 747 crash-landing in a shopping mall on Memorial Day weekend. China (the aforementioned girl) is wailing away on the drums with more power and finesse than any guy you've seen this year, in any country. Really, if you've seen the scene in the Beavis and Butthead movie where they eat peyote and all the Rob Zombie animation starts happening this is like that. Only the music is much, much better. NATHAN CARSON
TOOTS & THE MAYTALS, WISDOM, DJ CANSAMAN (Roseland, 8 NW 6th) See "My, What a Busy Week!" Pg 17.
OSLO, JONAH, JASMINE ASH (Ash Street, 225 SW Ash) Interpol wore Joy Division like an albatross on their debut, but Los Angeles trio Oslo have a much bigger bird to bear--in places they sound like faded copier productions of Coldplay. Frontman Mattia Borrani occasionally drops into the lower Interpol octaves, but mostly his voice crests like only the lovelorn (and Chris Martin) can into brooding, billowing rock that unfolds around him with dagger-through-the-heart drama. With the theatrics cranked this high, though, the music is anything but static, especially when the scene is set with such rich instrumental tapestry pulled from the storehouses of shoegazing rock and Brit pop. By the end of their recently released debut, though, the band becomes such a broad pastiche of past acts they obscure the fact that they draw from any one source, focusing more on keeping the mood sullen and even sorta sexy. JENNIFER MAERZ
Q AND NOT U, SHY CHILD, FOOD FOR ANIMALS, MANHUNTER (Loveland, 320 SE 2nd Ave) See "Music," Pg 21.
CROOKED FINGERS, DOLOREAN, RECLINERLAND (Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) See "Music," Pg 19.
BLACK MOUNTAIN, FROG EYES, WORLD (Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) See "My, What a Busy Week!" Pg 17.
KREATOR, VADER, DEATH ANGEL, IF HOPE DIES (Roseland, 8 NW 6th) German thrash legends Kreator spent the latter half of the '80s defining how aggressively progressive European metal music should be played. In the '90s, they successfully reinvented themselves using pages from the hardcore handbook. Lately though, they've been wavering on which era to plunder in search of a real rebirth. Luckily the set list includes songs from their earliest EP Flag of Hate, which still stands the test of time (if you can ignore or embrace the crude fantasy cover art). Vader from Poland plays main support and are one of the more consistent death metal bands in the world. Though they haven't made an album that truly challenges Morbid Angel's dominion over the genre since their perfect 1992 debut The Ultimate Incantation, neither have they put out any truly sub par records. And the only place in the world that spews out metal as harsh as the Polish is Brazil. Serious business. NC
PDX FILM FEST OPENING PARTY W/JACKIE O MOTHERFUCKER (Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Kick off this rad series of documentaries and experimental films with two sound and visual collaborative performances. The first is Slow Dance Recyttal, which combines digital animation with "inflatable glowing objects," sonically accompanied by clarinet and electronic sounds. Second, the psychedelic, jazz and hiphop infusing, expanding and retracting collective of a project, Jackie O Motherfucker, lay down their tunes to the multi-projector visual art of Detroit's David Dinnell. Should be quite the party. (Oh and hey there! Free Pabst!) MS
SPLIT LIP RAYFIELD (Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) When writing about Split Lip Rayfield, one must first mention that the bass player uses a homemade stand-up bass built out of a car's gas tank. After that, one can talk about the four-piece's ability to move between musical genres, touching on punk, jazz, and rock, while rooting firmly in bluegrass. The writer can talk about how the four acoustic instruments sound totally electric in the hands of these musicians. S/he would be wise to avoid coining some kind of insipid genre name, such as "Slamgrass" or "grass-core" in reference to the band. Instead, just mention the lyrics, funny and ironic, in line with classic country songwriting. Feel free to mention that they tour constantly and are under-recognized. Throw in something about their most recent album, Should Have Seen It Coming, which just came out last September on Bloodshot, and the rest should take care of itself. M. WILLIAM HELFRICH
THE WONDER STUFF, AS FAST AS (Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside) With so many terribly successful reunion tours cashing in on the thinning-haired Gen-X nostalgia demographic these days, time must have seemed ripe for Miles Hunt and the rest of the boys in the Wonder Stuff to make their storybook return to the spotlight. I mean, don't you remember all of those summers you spent driving around in your beat-up old Ford Escort sucking slurpees and listening to The Eight Legged Groove Machine? Or the time you made out with Elizabeth Lowenstein to the sweet sounds of "The Size of a Cow"? No? Oh, right--that's 'cuz nobody ever gave a shit about the Wonder Stuff in America. And no amount of forced nostalgia is ever going to change that. ZP