THURSDAY 7/21

THE BRIEFS, STREET DOGS, CLOROX GIRLS, THE GALLOWS (Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) See My, What a Busy Week! pg 17

THE MINUS 5, DERBY, JUNIOR PRIVATE DETECTIVE (Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside) The "pop collective" known as Minus 5 is really just an excuse for former Young Fresh Fellows frontman Scott McCaughey to jam with the likes of, respectively, Peter Buck, Jon Auer, and all four members of Wilco. That being said, none of those people will be appearing tonight, except for Buck, who makes up the core of the band with McCaughey. They don't seem to have anything new to share since 2004's At the Organ, but McCaughey's a prolific pop songwriter with a great sense of humor who just seems to love playing shows, whether it's to tens of thousands, or just a handful. So… yeah, the vibe should be good. JUSTIN WESCOAT SANDERS

PDX POP NOW! CD RELEASE FEATURING LKN, COPY, DAT'R, SUPER XX MAN, SLEEPYHEAD, DJ NIGHTSCHOOL (Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See CD Review, pg 19

THE STRHESS TOUR FEATURING BLEEDING THROUGH, ZAO, DARKEST HOUR, MISERY SIGNALS, FIGHT PARIS (Loveland, 320 SE 2nd) Musical malevolence can become monotonous, so shredders can either slice their records short (Reign In Blood's 28-minute runtime preserves its undiluted fury) or ration their savage segments. After several relentless releases, Darkest Hour now enhances the impact of their heaviest moments by offering compositional contrast. Their latest record Undoing Ruin buttresses their trademark thrash riffs and crust-punk vocals with dual-guitar harmonies, intricate solos, and acoustic atmospheric interludes. Undoing Ruin makes Darkest Hour the class of Strhess Tour, whose founder, hardcore-aesthetic-influenced artist Derek Hess, taps other acts for keyboard-coated screamo melodrama (Bleeding Through), brutal breakdowns (Zao), technically proficient prog-metal mayhem (Misery Signals), and sleazy rawk (Fight Paris). ANDREW MILLER

SUFJAN STEVENS (Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) See Music, pg 19

FRIDAY 7/22

CAESARS, THE SIGHTS, THE GOLDEN REPUBLIC (Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) It takes LOTS for me to love something in this contemporary age, but I LOVE the Sights. They're children of early '70s--"heavy, but not so heavy." It's the harmonies that give 'em away, and they keep clean any notions of pandering heaviness ironically. AMEN! Headliners the Caesars play '80s paisley pop routed through Britpop jangle to angle a "'60s inspired" tag--and thanks to a self-conscious breakbeat, they soundtracked an iPod commercial. Openers the Golden Republic play contemporary indie-informed rock--sounding like a faded third string band signed post "grunge" rush, from like 1995… which actually kinda works in the here and now as the then and gone has come and went. MIKE NIPPER

NICOLAI DUNGER, THE MINDERS, NICK JAINA (Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside) Will Oldham and Van Morrison are a strange combination, and yet those are the influences that seem to have forged Swedish singer-songwriter Nicolai Dunger. Capable of burbling with Oldham-esque hoarseness or be-bopping a la Morrison, Dunger's also a consummate musical arranger, alternating effortlessly between thrilling full-jazz-band booty-shakers and dreamy, quivering, mournful soundscapes. He's touring behind This Cloud is Learning, a hypnotic 1999 effort recently re-released by Chicago's Overcoat Recordings with bonus tracks. JWS

FUCK DEATH FEST DAY ONE FEATURING STRATEGY, L.A. FREE MUSIC SOCIETY, BOB BELLERUE, JOSEPH HAMMER, YUMA NORA, E*ROCK, DJ SEW WHAT (Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) If the name "Fuck Death Fest" scares you off then tonight's brain-frying bill of acts is probably not your cup of tea anyway. This is no amateur noise open mic though, as experimentalists Bob Bellerue and Joseph Hammer are old men on the mountain as it were, with 20 years' cred of outsider sonic-mangling, including time served with the well respected L.A. Free Music Society. Also, local boy Strategy used to be one of our most active improvisors before he began his campaign to become techno-overlord of Portland, so it's nice to still see him grazing in stranger pastures now and again. JOSH BLANCHARD

THE HUNCHES, THE BLOWTOPS, TRACTOR SEX FATALITY (Slabtown, 1033 NW 16th) The Blowtops' hyper screamy punk steez is largely distinguished from other hyper-screamy punk bands' steezes by the fact that it's interestingly tainted with a shot of psychobilly, like a roughed up, blacked out, less pristine version of the Cramps, if the Cramps had traded in their vinyl and red lipstick for Vans and spent a couple years knocking around on the wide streets of suburban central California circa '92. It's hard to squeeze a whole lot of original energy out of the old punk genre, and debatable whether or not it's even necessary, but yeah… as far as that dead horse goes, the Blowtops are beating it from a more than just garden-variety angle. Thanks! MARJORIE SKINNER

KINSKI, MASTER MUSICIANS OF BUKKAKE, DAVIS REDFORD TRIAD (Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) Honestly, until recently I had always found Kinski's brand of hand-me-down shoegazerisms to be a bit stiff. Seeing their recent Doug Fir show won me over though, as the years of rock-centric Seattle life seem to have gone to their heads in all the right ways. The band's instrumental riffs have grown some balls, pushing the stellar drive to 11 on their newest record on Sub Pop, Alpine Static. Unaffected by the same Washington rock 'n' roll bug are The Master Musicians of Bukkake, whose costumed tribal meltdowns are something that has to be seen to be understood (if even that is possible). The Master Musicians' set is as likely to slip into flute-laced fantasy soundscapes as break into devil-cult incantations that would make H.P. Lovecraft proud. Good stuff all round! JB

THE MERCURY'S 5TH ANNIVERSARY PARTY FEATURING PEDRO THE LION, CROSSTIDE, THE BLOW (Bossanova, 722 E Burnside) See Destination Fun, pg 15

MOUNT EERIE, THANKSGIVING, KARL BLAU (Orange Room, 10818 NW St. Helens Rd) Currently anticipating the August 16 release of No Flashlight, his first official studio album as Mount Eerie, former Microphone Phil Elverum makes another of his increasingly frequent visits to Portland. A return to form in some senses, No Flashlight largely reduces the dramatic bombast of the Microphones to a more hushed sensibility--though there's still enough room for a fucking majestic harmonized guitar lead now and again. Oh yeah, and the record cover is five-by-three and a half feet. No, really. ZAC PENNINGTON

THE THERMALS, THE KINGDOM, WET CONFETTI (Loveland, 320 SE 2nd) See My, What a Busy Week! pg 17

SATURDAY 7/23

ALKALINE TRIO, RISE AGAINST, DEATH BY STEREO (Roseland, 8 NW 6th) See CD Review, pg 19

BRENDAN BENSON, CRYSTAL SKULLS (Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside) Long, tall, and blindingly charismatic, Brendan Benson might not be familiar to you yet, but his music is for the ages. Classic pop with the nervous energy of romantic agony effortlessly crackling out of his ngertips, Benson's songs stick in your head for weeks, reminding you of a time when pop music, made by cool people with guitars, was all that mattered in the world. SEAN NELSON

FUCK DEATH FEST DAY TWO FEATURING DEAD/BIRD, THE SUNKEN, 20 FOOT MAN, HALFNORMAL, PULSE EMITTER, AND MORE (Liberty Hall, 311 N Ivy) See My, What a Busy Week! pg 17

GURU, RAMSEY BROTHERS, CLOCKWERK, DEFAULT, DJ WICKED (Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) See Music, pg 21

FOURTH ANNUAL AMERICAN MUSIC FESTIVAL FEATURING THE KNITTERS, FREAK MOUNTAIN RAMBLERS, DJANGO'S TIGERS, AND MORE (McMenamins Grand Lodge, 3505 Pacific Ave., Forest Grove, OR) The last couple of X reunions have been hit or miss, what with Exene caterwauling off-key, and Billy Zoom looking like a Baptist vampire. But the Knitters, the cow-punk side project featuring members of X and their L.A. colleagues the Blasters, are a different proposition. Two decades after their 1985 debut, the quintet has nally delivered a follow-up, and while The Modern Sounds of the Knitters may not be as stellar as the recent solo offerings from members John Doe and Dave Alvin, these mellower, country-rock arrangements of vintage X songs, oddball covers ("Born to Be Wild"), and new material atter John and Exene's hair-trigger harmonies nowadays better than the high-energy fare of X. KURT B. REIGHLEY

LACOSTE, HOTT BEAT, SEX WITH GIRLS, JONNY X & THE GROADIES, BILLY HOT CHOCOLATE (Food Hole, 20 NW 3rd) See Music, pg 19

SUNDAY 7/24

CHURCH OF PSYCHEDELIA FEATURING SILENTIST, DEEP SKIN, JASON FERRIS, DJ MORDECHAI (Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) Another astonishingly worthwhile exercise in spiritual excess, this edition of the free monthly series Church of Psychedelia features the startlingly talented mister M. Evan Burden--the man behind the heaving force known as Silentist--as well as the debut performance by Deep Skin, a new collective comprised of such familiar faces as E*Rock, Charlie Salas (Panther, The Planet The), and Dave H (The Planet The). You have no excuse. ZP

CLUTCH, EVERY DAY I DIE, THE MOS GENERATOR (Sabala's Mt Tabor, 4811 SE Hawthorne) See My, What a Busy Week! pg 17

A FAREWELL TO ANDREW OX FEATURING HOUSE OF CUNT, GARLAND RAY PROJECT, HOTT PINK, KOTO Y SOTO (Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See My, What a Busy Week! pg 17

POISON THE WELL, NORMA JEAN, TERROR, THROWDOWN, HIMSA, THIRTY 3 (Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) Heavy music super lineup! All for 13 bucks! (The fact that I accidentally typed "fardcore" shows how excited I am.) We got Poison the Well who just recorded an album in a BARN in SWEDEN. There's the Christian metallic hardcore band Norma Jean who nevertheless sound WMD-grade Satanic. Terror and Throwdown sound exactly like their names, and Himsa is Seattlelite kill-core that wants you dead! Dead! Dead! ADAM GNADE

MONDAY 7/25

GLASS CANDY, DANAVA (Dunes, 1905 NE MLK) The glossy glitter triplets everyone loves to love are about to embark on a six-week U.S. jaunt in support of (surprise!) absolutely nothing new (unless you count the recent Brittle Women repress, which I totally don't). But of course you know by now, that's not the point. With former Walk Walk Pink-sters Danava. ZP

HOUSEWARMING FEATURING YUMA NORA, NUT BROWN, I AM THE ARM, PER SE (Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) See My, What a Busy Week! pg 17

TEAM SLEEP, IDIOT PILOT, SCENE INDEX (Loveland, 320 SE 2nd) In the realm of mindless, testosterone-soaked modern rock of the late '90s, Deftones singer Chino Moreno seemed to represent a welcomed alternative to the sheer masculine stupidity of most of the his Nü-Metal brethren--riffing wiener-friendly influences like the Cure, Depeche Mode, and PJ Harvey as he jammed alongside the likes of Korn. With Team Sleep, Moreno indulges his wiener side, bringing along with him (on record, at least) such indie stalwarts as Mary Timony, Pinback's Rob Crow, and Hella drummer Zach Hill (the record also features spots by Mike Patton and Melissa Auf Der Mar). The result? The great Nü-Metal hope shits out a tepid, unequivocal mess of a record too weak to appeal to his fans, and too boring to hit with anybody else. Just goes to show you, context is everything. ZP

TUESDAY 7/26

PARADISE ISLAND, DADA SWING, SIX FOOT SLOTH (The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) See Music, pg 21

THE PEPPERMINTS, MARFA, NE, THE CELLS (Dunes, 1905 NE MLK) Duuude, Animal Collective's gotten some shit lately for signing San Diego's Peppermints! After AC's Paw Tracks label dropped Ariel Pink's stuff and Panda Bear solo, people figured their taste was impeccable, that whatever they released from here to eternity would top Pitchfork's Best Of lists. So, then comes Peps' Jesus Chyrst, a non-arty trash punk record. So, the indie masses revolt! They cry "Judas!" They take to the streets with torches to burn down mad Dr. Panda Bearenstein's castle and drive the damn monster out for good! But all the while, they're missing out on a great piece of creative, fun, humorous, raggedy music. (RIYL: Suckdog. Seriously.) So, hipsters, shelve thy bias, comb down thy fauxhawk, and listen without prejudice--you might just find yourself waltzing through the junkyard with your new favorite band. AG

HARRY & THE POTTERS (In Other Words, 3734 SE Hawthorne Blvd) Alright, asshole. Yeah, you--the one who was all too-cool-for-school when the latest Harry Potter book came out last week. Yeah--you're a dick. Harry Potter books rule, and ruling only slightly less are Harry and the Potters, two brothers who sing catchy, guitar-strummed accounts of Harry's adventures at Hogwarts. ("I got a mysterious gift from my dead dad/It was an invisibility cloak, how rad/Oh oh oh oh oh we'll spend our Christmas being invisible/Oh oh oh oh oh we'll be invisible this Christmas.") It's good, it's witty, and it's fun. So go, and stop being a dick. ERIK HENRIKSEN

HIEROGLYPHICS FEATURING DEL THA FUNKEE HOMOSAPIEN, SOULS OF MISCHIEF, PEP LOVE & CASUAL, NON PHIXION, O.C., BOOM BAP PROJECT (Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Boom Bap Project has three members (Karim, Destro, DJ Scene) who are connected with the society of producers, rappers, and DJs called Oldominion. Boom Bap Project's latest CD, Reprogram, is great because Karim and Destro only work with the best of the West (Lifesavas, Gift of Gab, the Dilated Peoples' Rakaa Iriscience). Reprogram was released by Rhymesayers, and has several outstanding tracks (the bulk of which were produced by Jake One). If you want to know where local hiphop stands at the moment, and also where it must go, Boom Bap Project's record is indispensable. CHARLES MUDEDE

WEDNESDAY 7/27

FLESHTONE (Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Now that Miranda July is a big movie star, don't you wish you had gone to see her when she performed (approximately) every other week in Portland? Well, it seems Portlanders won't be duped twice, because local heroine Fleshtone, who puts the "perv" in performance art, is such a sensation that her last monthly appearance at Holocene sold out. If you were one of the unfortunate many who were standing in line, unable to witness the half-naked, fully inspired mayhem within, then you should definitely come extra early to insure a good look at the fully realized twat rock opera that is Fleshtone. Complete with elaborate wardrobes, choreographed booty dancing, and lyrical triumphs ("spread my legs, free range eggs"), Fischerspooner is going to be holding a going-out-of-business sale in no time. KIP BERMAN