THURSDAY 9/15

ALASKA!, THE OUT CROWD, EMPIRE EXPAND, HELLO DAMASCUS

(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) Freak folk has ruined music. Not the bands themselves, just the aesthetic that freak-folk wannabes have co-opted—e.g., cowboys and indians and eagles trash/irony. Here we've got alaska! with a very fashionable "Nu Weird America" sounding nom de CD (Rescue Through Tomahawk) and song titles like "The Fury of Trees." BUT strange thing is, they sound nothing like dirty half-wit hippies. Their stuff's tight, dark-edged rock with clear, lucid lyrics, and guitars that punch holes in your wall. Excellent, fiery, original-sounding record. But why the "trippy" wrapping paper? Maybe they're totally innocent of fad hopping; I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt because their record rules so intensely. But the resta you, check yourself before you wreck yourself on the rocks of trend-crazy irrelevancy. There's only one Devendra, and you ain't him. ADAM GNADE

THE HOSPITALS, WIVES, NISENNEN MONDAI, BETTER TO SEE YOU WITH

(Food Hole, 20 NW 3rd) See Music, pg 19

LADIES OF THE LAKE FEATURING MIRAH, ANNA OXYGEN, KHAELA MARICICH, PASH, JENN KLIESE, AND MORE

(The Works, NW 18th & Northrup) See My, What a Busy Week! pg 15

ROY ROGERS & THE DELTA RHYTHM KINGS, SMOKIN' JOE KUBEK

(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) In addition to sharing a name with a country legend and the popular non-alcoholic beverage that preceded him, the northern California-based Roy Rogers is a blues musician specializing in slide guitar who once cut his teeth on the road with John Lee Hooker, among other stalwarts of the craft. If you don't like this kind of thing by now, you probably never will. JUSTIN WESCOAT SANDERS

ROYKSOPP, ANNIE

(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) See Music, pg 17

FRIDAY 9/16

ANTONY AND THE JOHNSONS

(The Works, NW 18th & Northup) See Music, pg 15

CROM, DOOMSDAY 1999, SURPRISE GRATEFUL DEAD JAM BAND

(Food Hole, 20 NW 3rd) Seattle's Doomsday 1999, featuring former members of that city's sci-fi metal super-group Teen Cthulhu, mix Pig Destroyer-style bare-bones metal and the performance value of early SST punk. What that means, for those unfamiliar with the alleged happenings at Doomsday 1999 shows, is a list of bizarre performance elements including (but not limited to): spray paint in the face, jumping out of windows, a Charlie Chaplin-esque mustache, rewriting the Bible, Southern "genteel" types complaining about the heat, and the "Drugbust 1989" proclamation that "cocaine isn't illegal in Washington State." Brilliant. SCOTT GOODWIN

ISOLEE, STRATEGY, DJ SUPPOZ, DJ SAPPHO

(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Not a peep out of Isolee, AKA Rajko Muller, in over five years—and after hearing We Are Monster, the prolonged recess is not only forgivable, but understandable. This album solidifies, rejuvenates, and reminds us what IDM stands for: intelligent dance music. There are not many opportunities for dance energy to fizzle when listening to Muller's new material—every moment offers finely crafted developments at a steady and intelligent pace, seemingly targeted at an intellectual listener. JENNA ROADMAN

MIRAH

(Foxes, 435 SE 3rd) For her final show before a self-imposed, year-long hiatus, the incomparable Mirah Yom Tov Zeitlyn plays a understated hurricane relief benefit at around one in the afternoon. On a Friday. At a venue that barely exists. That sounds about right. Anyway, for those of you not slaving your last few days of summer away under the harsh fluorescents of your office job, stop by and wish her a happy early birthday for me. ZAC PENNINGTON

MOUNT SIMS, EUROMOTION, NEIGHBORHOOD DJ

(Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside) Mount Sims is Milwaukee-bred Matt Sims plus sexy backup dancers. Sims is another one of those New Wave revivalists, but gets set apart for his comprehensive knowledge of classic funk and soul, his richly expressive voice, and because he actually has a sense of humor about himself. His set will sex you up, but in a tongue-in-cheek way. Then stick around for a special DJ set, during which he'll spin from his extremely impressive record collection. JWS

UNITED STATES OF ELECTRONICA, SCHOOLYARD HEROES, PORTLAND GENERAL ELECTRO, LACKTHEREOF

(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) See My, What a Busy Week! pg 15

SATURDAY 9/17

THE BLACK KEYS

(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) Though 60 years of hard luck isn't something youngsters can usually evoke with ease, the Black Keys—a couple of white dudes from Akron, Ohio, in their mid-20s—do a damn fine job of conjuring up "the blues." There's nothing corny about the dragged-through-the-shit-style grooves that these kids fire off. Having released three acclaimed albums, the band effortlessly delivers devilish riffs, keen melodies, and sleek solos. ADAM BREGMAN

BARKFEST FEATURING CICADA OMEGA, JOHN WEINLAND, DJ ANJALI, THE INCREDIBLE KID

(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Bark's (save the trees!) annual fundraiser is a real doozy this year, with psychedelic Kentucky blues twang from Cicada Omega, the folky saunter of smooth-throated John Weinland, and the contrastingly bumpin' spins of DJ Anjali. Plus, bid on sweet shit like three months of freshly baked bread delivered to your door, art, a weekend retreat, massages, and more. All the proceeds go to the preservation of Mount Hood National Forest, so don't be shy now. MARJORIE SKINNER

NEIL DIAMOND

(Rose Garden, 1 Center Court) See My, What a Busy Week! pg 15

NUDITY, DARK SKIES, DANAVA

(Slabtown, 1033 NW 16th) Check out the new project out of Olympia featuring members of the Tight Bros From Way Back When and Dub Narcotic Sound System: Nudity Joining them are Dark Skies, a punky three-piece with merely shroomy leanings compared to the Jesus acid experience of Danava, a noisy, steely glam rock unicorn of a band that sounds a whole lot like Black Sabbath but with a degree in latter 20th century experimentalism. Love them or hate them, but you will be left with a strong impression. And just having come off of tour, it's highly likely they've thought up some new tricks on you. MS

LYRICS BORN, PIGEON JOHN, LIGHTHEADED, DJ WICKED

(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) With more puzzling, cerebral, and uncomfortably personal lyrics than others in the positive hiphop scene, Pigeon John dispenses highbrow rap for the awkward, geeky, please-don't-touch-me set. Songs on his latest record, Sings the Blues!, amble along at a lazy pace, while his unusual, soft, nasal voice benefits both his rapping and his cool, relaxed singing style. Husky-voiced, Asian rapper and producer Lyrics Born uses comparatively fresh funk samples and sometimes thoughtful, sometimes goofball rhymes to craft compelling, high-concept tunage. AB

MILK, ATOLE, G9

(Towne Lounge, 714 SW 20th Pl) Milk is a new folk rock venture by Portland golden-ager, Arturo Diaz. While Diaz has made more of a recent mark howling and pounding with the now defunct Secret Puppets, Milk's stripped down melodicism is more analogous to his '90s duo Tennis (Remember them, Grandpa?). Mexican hearthrob Manny Reyes (AKA Atole) throws cut-up psychedelia, fractured beats, and impassioned falsetto crooning into his unpredictable live sets. JOSH BLANCHARD

OREGON SYMPHONY PRESENTS LORD OF THE RINGS

(Arlene Schnitzer, 1037 SW Broadway) Y'know, I'm getting sick of how every time there's anything even remotely geeky, everyone at the Mercury assumes I'm automatically an expert on it: comic books, videogames, Star Wars/Trek/Gate, fantasy novels, Lord of the Rings. I mean, I have other interests too, you know? Did you know I read actual literary fiction? Or that I like arthouse dramas as much as overblown sci-fi spectacles? Or that I listen to actual music by actual bands, and not just the soundtrack to the musical episode of Buffy? It's really limiting, you know? That said, this concert—in which the Symphony will perform Howard Shore's music from Peter Jackson's LOTR trilogy—will likely rock harder than if an angry balrog used Andúril, the sword that the Elvish smiths of Rivendell reforged from Narsil, to single-handedly destroy the mighty mountain of Caradhras while fighting off a slew of stampeding mûmakil and bloodthirsty wargs. ERIK HENRIKSEN

OVERKILL, LAST EMPIRE, MENACER

(Sabala's Mt Tabor, 4811 SE Hawthorne) After 20 years of pounding out thrash metal, you learn a thing or two—most notably, how to persevere. New Yorkers Overkill recently put out a new album, Relixiv, which travels the same loud, chugging territory they've traversed before, but no complaints. A band who has surfed the loyal underground for this long can't go all short, slick-haired Metallica on us (and as we well know, Metallica shouldn't have tried that shit either). Metal veterans, return to the old school. KATIE SHIMER

SUNDAY 9/18

DOUG FIR BBQ SUNDAYS FEATURING CLAMPITT, GADDIS & BUCK, TOM HEINL

(Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week! pg 15

STELLASTARR*, EVERY MOVE A PICTURE

(Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside) Sometimes I feel like I'm the only one on earth who still likes NYC's Stellastarr*. What compounds my sense of commercial, if not critical, injustice is that the decidedly craptastic Bravery seem to have legions of loyal devotees, a Clear Channel radio hit, and even a ridiculous "feud" with the Killers. Why not Stellastarr*? Brimming with pout and pathos, chorus-saturated guitars, and the ubiquitous danceable drums that, though an easy target in our "disco still sucks" cultural moment, serve as a welcome counterbalance to the "sky is falling, my heart is breaking" histrionics of singer Shawn Christensen. You could do a lot worse than these future gems of the used bin. KIP BERMAN

MONDAY 9/19

JOHN WILKES BOOZE, A VERY DEAD HORSE, MOTO PHOTOS, CELESTEVILLE

(Food Hole, 20 NW 3rd) Pimpin' their new disc on KRS, Telescopic Eyes Glance The Future Sick, sleaze 'n' booze enthusiasts John Wilkes Booze visit us from Indiana. The squeaky falsetto, Robert Plant-huffing-helium vocals and rump-thumping rhythm is like a wacky still-drunk morning stumble down to buy cigarettes wearing last night's party clothes, at least one item of which is leather. That either sounds cool to you or reminds you of headaches. MS

NEW MODEL ARMY, CASEY NEILL

(Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside) In an era where Gang of Four and Public Image Ltd. have become strangely synonymous with genre, it might be a little misleading to bill New Model Army as "legendary post-punkers"—in spite of the fact that it may not be technically inaccurate. The 25-year-old band—who for the record, never actually broke up or anything—may have possessed the same sort of political passion as the early punks, but by today's standards New Model Army sound like little more than another college rock relic. Not that it stopped them from making a politically charged, surprisingly un-embarrassing record in 2005's Carnival—but just don't expect them to be dubbing it out dancefloor style. ZP

TUESDAY 9/20

ARCADE FIRE, WOLF PARADE, BELL ORCHESTRE

(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week! pg 19

MATISYAHU, MOBIUS BAND

(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) Ghostly International rarely falters, but it has a dud with Mobius Band. The Massachusetts trio make mawkish indietronica that's the missing link between Postal Service and Interpol, as evidenced on the new The Loving Sounds of Static. A gold record beckons... DAVE SEGAL

A PARTICULARLY VICIOUS RUMOR, KID TWIST, GINGERBREAD PATRIOTS, THE RED CHANNELS

(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) This is almost assuredly going to be one of the most timely/powerful shows you will have the opportunity to see (actually you have three consecutive opportunities to see in the coming week). Kid Twist and Miss O of A Particularly Vicious Rumor are (were?) from New Orleans, their tour coinciding with the devastating hurricane and floods. The majestic piano- and-drums swan songs like "Undertow," not to mention the tendency toward artwork containing themes of water and its devastating power—well talk about convergence. You know they're going to be playing it like they mean it, and Jesus, give them your ear. MS

PETRACOVICH, TRACKER

(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) San Francisco warbler Jessica Peters is the brainchild behind Petracovich, a dreamy blending of synth stuff and organic piano, guitars, and what-all. Peters' voice is smoky and sweet, her languid songs like little dream clouds floating above your gently snoozing face. One thing is: The design of her new album, We Are Wyoming, has a bird thing going on. Birds are cute and all, but they're SO March 2005. Birds are over, people! It's time to move on, else you be like EVERY OTHER hipster musician/artist/clothing designer currently working. Our prediction for the 2005 fall season? Why, our little backward-swimming friend the otter, of course. Now THAT's some cuteness right there. Start planning your album covers accordingly. JWS

WEDNESDAY 9/21

THE MOGGS, AVERY BELL, FEROCIOUS EAGLE

(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) San Fran's Moggs is sort of an evil death-disco version of the White Stripes. Guy on guitar. Girl on drums. Analog purists. Big press hype. Only this time Meg sings a whole lot nicer, and Jack doesn't give a rat's ass about the Ghost of Americana Past. It's simple but heavy, Blonde Redheaded when it needs to be, and gets noisy and dance mad at just the right time when you're like standin' to the side of the stage thinking, "I wish they would just freak the EFF out right now." And they do. Thunder bolts of Swans fury. Searing guitar squalls. Riffs like chopping Ginsu blades. Only questionable thing here is the title of their new CD, The White Belt is Not Enough. Gayest album title EVER. You with me here? AG

MONO, BELLINI, LKN

(Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside) Although their music is wordless, Japan's Mono speak volumes. Their latest release, Walking Cloud and Deep Red Sky, Flag Fluttered and the Sun Shined (if you wondered where the lyrics went, the title says it all), was produced by Steve Albini. It's more of the same—the band wandering through foggy planes of sonic surrealism also traveled at times by Mogwai, Explosions in the Sky, Kinski, and Pelican (with whom they're releasing a split EP next month). As they build and break layers of instruments, effects cascade, conquer, and collapse around you or pool at your feet with somber, solitary melodies trickling off into the distance. This is head music, the kind that sweeps open the doors of perception and carries you in a somnolent state from one song to the next. And in their blissed-out state, Mono keep the nightmares at bay, offering instead a more heavenly hypnotism. JENNIFER MAERZ

ASHLEE SIMPSON, BAREFOOT

(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) See Music, pg 17

SWIMMERS, CHARMING SNAKES

(Towne Lounge, 714 SW 20th Pl) Seattle's Dirtnap darlings the Charming Snakes thoughtfully clean out the musty confines of their label's standard garage revisionism—exchanging the lowbrow for more high-minded avenues of influence. All of which just basically means that they're mixing a touch of the Fall's brainy garage rock high road in with the party—though never enough to fuck with your buzz. What more could you ask for? ZP