THURSDAY 9/22

NOUVELLE VAGUE, NUDGE, REBECCA PEARCY

(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) On their self-titled debut, Nouvelle Vague—Marc Collins and Olivier Libaux—cleverly decided to bossa-nova-ize 14 punk and new wave standards, using eight female vocalists to coyly coo the lyrics. For geezers like me, this gimmick tolls nostalgic bells. Some will think NV are defanging chestnuts like "Guns of Brixton," "Too Drunk to Fuck," and "Teenage Kicks"; however, I enjoy the sly irreverence and recontextualization of these too-familiar songs. DAVE SEGAL

PRIMES, CURSED, KAKIHARA

(Food Hole, 20 NW 3rd) When Radio Berlin drummer Josh Wells joined Black Mountain, it signaled the end for the Vancouver BC group, now on permanent hiatus. Luckily, the overactive Jack Duckworth (Radio Berlin's singer, et al.) has Primes to keep him busy. Leveraging greatly from his other previous project A Luna Red, Duckworth has excised all the industrial elements and most obvious '80s homages, settling for an electro beat and plaintive vocals to carry his modern goth vision into the 21st century. Smart synth beats alternate between dance/punk rhythms and subdued techno, but never sound completely retro. Primes' infusion of forward thinking and reverence for electronic pop-rock of the last 30 years sets them apart from their peers. NATE CARSON

TWO GALLANTS, GARRISON STARR, HOLY GHOST REVIVAL

(Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside) An admirably self-possessed band, Seattle's Holy Ghost Revival reside in an ivory tower of their own design; a singular niche seemingly unencumbered by the expectations of prospective fans or their musical peers. They combine the most mountainous extremities of glam rock (borderline fantasy lyrics, English folk covers, hyper-dramatic singing) with Nintendo-classical arpeggios and occasional bursts of raw power. Impressively, through all of the thickets of witch references and Christmas dreams, the Holy Ghost Revival's music never feels contrived; their songs feel as earnest and emotionally propulsive as any indie-rock band's. Their recently released full-length, Bleeding Light, is one of the most prodigious and fully realized debuts produced by a young band in years, and their live shows are similarly Herculean. SAM MICKENS

XIU XIU, YELLOW SWANS, OKAY

(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) See Music, pg 11

ZEPPARELLA, LOVELY, MORGAN GRACE, COOTIE PLATOON

(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) Okay, this is going to sound hokey, but Zepparella (with members of metal band Bottom) uses their cosmic connection to channel Led Zeppelin. Actually, I probably worded that wrong, but this four-piece girl band definitely is devoted to bringing the audience on a musical journey. And even though I'm not a fan of all their cosmic Earth mother stuff, I will say, Zepparella plays the songs righteously and is true to the originals, except for the vocals, which are unsurprisingly a lot more dramatic and operatic. KATIE SHIMER

FRIDAY 9/23

ARCHITECTURE IN HELSINKI, DR. DOG, NEW BUFFALO

(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) See My, What a Busy Week! pg 9

KARL DENSON'S TINY UNIVERSE, THE AFRICAN SHOWBOYZ

(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Warning: This show might KILL you. Karl Denson's Tiny Universe calls itself "An expression of the fourth dimension; time, making rhythm and emotions relative. KDTU is making sense out of this mass experience." (Which should raise a HUGE red flag.) Lead by Lenny Kravitz's (red flag!) former sax player Karl Denson, KDTU combines smooth jazz (red flag!) with Southern California-feelin' (red flag!), World beat (red flag!) addled funk (red flag!), and occasional spoken-word (RED FLAG!), vocals. But hey, you might totally dig this; KDTU is super popular with the over-40 weekend toker set. Ahem... red flag! Red flag! Shock and awe! Defcon fucking Four! ADAM GNADE

ERASE ERRATA, SICK BEES, HYACINTH

(Loveland, 320 SE 2nd) Can anybody tell me what the hell is going on with Erase Errata? Last news I heard (over a year ago) was that guitarist Sara Jaffe had bailed, after which Pitchfork Media reported (erroneously?) that the band was now fronted by Archie McKay—a dude—and that Jenny Hoyston was now playing guitar. No word of a new record for over two years—no word of any kind, really. Having missed their last Nocturnal show back in March (a fuck-up I've been kicking myself over ever since) and hearing nary a report on the matter, my questions just continue to mount: What's going on, Erase Errata? Don't you love us anymore? ZAC PENNINGTON

HILLSTOMP, MOONSHINE HANGOVER, LEWI LONGMIRE, PAT MACDONALD

(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) Portland's Hillstomp plays loose, rickety Delta blues that echoes and shakes and sounds like a miniaturized two-man band playing inside an old, faded soda can. It's percussive, everything feels percussive, the shout/talk vocals, the slide guitar riffs, and the drums beaten on a BBQ lid and buckets sound like a stray shopping cart clattering down the Burnside hill, about to hit a Volvo coming off the bridge. In a world where blues is white, safe, and bombastically technical, Hillstomp is damn refreshing. Their new record, The Woman that Ended the World (note: which may or may not be Condi Rice) will be out October 11 and throws down some nasty, snarly originals along with covers of people like Rainey Burnette, Fred McDowell, and ol' Muddy Waters himself. AG

MADNESS, CHRIS MURRAY, DJ SIMMERDOWN

(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) While you probably had one, you are also probably over that pariah of musical thresholds: your SKA phase. There's an unwritten expiration rule that allows you to revisit those times with minimal reproach, through certain representative bands that are frequently regarded as classics: The Specials certainly, Op Ivy maybe, and also, many would agree, Madness. Not like you need permission. MARJORIE SKINNER

NUCLEAR ASSAULT, MENACER, DEATHSAW, WORLD OF LIES

(Sabala's Mt Tabor, 4811 SE Hawthorne) Like real-life fears about a bomb-fueled apocalypse, Nuclear Assault sat out the '90s before resurging recently. In 1985, former Anthrax members Danny Lilker and John Connelly fused their erstwhile group's thrash attack with New York hardcore. While not as politically incorrect as Lilker's other project, S.O.D., early-era Nuclear Assault had its incendiary moments, most notably "Hang the Pope." Nuclear Assault's Third World Genocide, released last month, proves the group's sense of humor remains as sharp as their speed-metal chops: The album devotes its final three tracks to a Johnny Cash cover, a goofily profane bluegrass tune, and an esoteric Celtic Frost parody. ANDREW MILLER

RICHMOND FONTAINE, NORFOLK & WESTERN, MIKE COYKENDALL BAND

(Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside) If Howe Gelb of Giant Sand recorded a cockeyed version of Springsteen's much-lauded Nebraska, dashing the sociopolitical bombast for observational sketches with existential underpinnings, it might come close to Richmond Fontaine's The Fitzgerald. The quartet has delivered its quietest album to date, but it resonates long after the songs finish. Frontman Willy Vlautin's characters suggest short stories by Raymond Carver and scenes from Sam Shepard plays, but it's his craggy delivery that makes the lyrics so haunting. NATE LIPPENS

RIVER CITY REBELS, BLACKOUT RADIO, BEDLAM BOYS, BLACK MARKET BABIES, 48 THRILLS

(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) Blackout Radio often jokes that east of 39th, there is no bigger band in Portland. And though the fearsome blue-collar punk three-piece may not choose to notice that its downtown draw is better than that of most knob twiddlin' local indie bands (or, for that matter, that "hipsters" haven't actually worn white belts for years), all walks of rock could learn a thing or two from the bullshit-proof conviction of singer/guitarist Lance Seaton. A Kodiak, AK, native, Seaton—along with bassist Courtney Kostrick and drummer Ty Peterson—unleashes a heroic dose of denim punk, with plenty of sing-along choruses that let fans, regardless of locale, join in on the fun. KIP BERMAN

SATURDAY 9/24

KATRINA BENEFIT FEATURING FLOORBOARD, BOOM BUST, HYDROZEEN, DARK CLOUD 9

(Rock & Roll Pizza, 11140 SE Powell) Washougal, WA's Hydrozeen have proclaimed themselves to be "Portland's Loudest Band" on the online music forum www.Stonerrock.com. They have also spammed the boards, lauding their "Texas Doom" style to such a degree that they quickly became universally loathed. These guys are completely unable to spell, but their delivery is so genuine and unabashed that they've won a quiet cheering section. There is even speculation that Hydrozeen just might be one of the most ambitious and hilarious fake band profiles in history. Now I'm pretty sure I recall some big farm boy-looking kid handing me a Hydrozeen demo at a show, but the memory is strangely hazy. Anyone who does a Google search for Hydrozeen, spins the three-chord demo "Live Free or Die," and reads their gossip column blog (featuring entries like, "I'm not some famous rock star but I really know what they go through with these 'celebrity stalkers'") and still wants to see them rock a pizza parlor at noon, be my guest. It is for a good cause after all. NC

NINE INCH NAILS, QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE, AUTOLUX

(Rose Garden, 1 Center Court) See Music, pg 13

PORTASTATIC, THE ROSEBUDS, DOLOREAN

(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) See CD Review, pg 11

WACO BROTHERS, SALLY TIMMS, JON LANGFORD, DOLLAR STORE

(Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside) While pervasive claims that the Waco Brothers are "country music's answer to the Clash" have a lot more to do with British front man Jon Langford's biting political lyrics (and his initial role as a purveyor of punk while he was fronting the Mekons) than their actual sound. But there's no denying the exceptional energy they bring to the stage when they're belting out their impassioned, technically proficient hybrid of honky-tonk and rockabilly. Tonight's line-up is one of Langford's typical all-in-the-family shows, with Bloodshot labelmates Sally Timms and Dollar Store appearing on the bill after an opening solo set by Langford—a treat worth showing up early for. HANNAH LEVIN

SUNDAY 9/25

BARBEZ, MIRUMIR

(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) New York's Barbez emerge from that city's more world-worn corners—absorbing continental Europe's ever-muddied sonic palate (Kurt Weill covers, anyone?), and pumping it back out via post-punked, American ears. The results are predictably and meticulously haunting (due in no small part to Russian-born vocalist Ksenia Vidyaykina's howl, a concert marimba, and theremin), but almost too familiar in this era of increasingly common Anglo-by-eastern-Euro-punk experiments. Still, if that's your thing, Barbez brings it in spades. ZP

JEFF HANSON, KAITLYN NI DONOVAN, DANIEL G. HARMANN, MATT SHEEHY, TENLONS FORT, JOE DAVIS, LOARA

(Tonic Lounge, 3100 NE Sandy) Elliott Smith has left an indelible mark on numerous musicians—from Earlimart to your average indie singer-songwriter. Jeff Hanson may hail from the Midwest, but his soft falsetto and the intimate acoustics on his solo records have an eerie resemblance to the late Northwest idol. If you appreciated the featherweight touch to Smith's earlier recordings, Hanson's heart-in-a-sling approach similarly matches bittersweet sentiments with delicately buoyant melodies. JENNIFER MAERZ

HURRICANE BENEFIT FEATURING JUMBO, VURSATYL, COOL NUTZ, MANIAC LOK, MIKE CRENSHAW, SIREN'S ECHO, SOUL PLASMA, TURIYA AUTRY, DJ OG ONE, STARCHILE, DJ CHILL

(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Overwhelmed with the magnitude of it all? Wondering how you can help? Well start by helping yourself—go peep PDX's very best and brightest put it down at the Roseland, and technically for FREE, AKA the single most loved word in the English language. That should be enough to free you up to give 'til it hurts—so bring a donation. LARRY MIZELL JR.

NEW PORNOGRAPHERS, DESTROYER, IMMACULATE MACHINE

(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) See Music, pg 11

MONDAY 9/26

What am I, chopped liver?

TUESDAY 9/27

AUDIOSLAVE, SEETHER, 30 SECONDS TO MARS

(Rose Garden, 1 Center Court) Audioslave—the combo of Soundgarden's lead singer Chris Cornell and the backing band of Rage Against the Machine—sucks. And this is coming from a gal who creams her pants over a Tool menage-a-trois on 101.1 FM, still counts Alice in Chains as one of her favorite bands, and is totally psyched to see Nine Inch Nails on Saturday. That person should love Audioslave, which says something significant about their level of suckitude. Plus: Jordan Catalano's band, 30 Seconds to Mars. KS

EVERY TIME I DIE, HIGH ON FIRE, THE RED CHORD, THE ESOTERIC

(Loveland, 320 SE 2nd) A lot of bitching and moaning about this bill. How could heavy metal heroes High on Fire tour with such crappy bands? Well, it's a pretty simple answer. Since Matt Pike's days in Sleep, and for the last five years or so, he's had the opportunity to turn on just about every burnout in existence to his patented band of raging sludge. Any metalhead that could possibly like HOF, and hasn't heard them yet, is probably locked in a trailer and consuming Skoal by the crate. Since Pike, drummer Des Kensel, and new bassist Joe "Thrones" Preston tour six to nine months a year, there is good reason to think that they'd like their audience to grow. And playing with these bands, who'll bring out hordes of Hot Topic-clad booger-eating children, might actually gain the band some new fans, that we all know could use a good steamroller of rock like High on Fire to straighten them out a bit. NC

THE JOGGERS, THE PLANET THE, PSEUDOSIX, DJ DANTRONIX

(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) See CD Reviews, pg 11

LOCAL H, THE GIRAFFES, THE SIGHTS

(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) You put the classic rock in my indierock! No, you put the indierock in my classic rock! While such an alchemy of eras might work out nicely here and there (think Dead Meadow) Local H are not such an example. While the guitar and drums duo have spit out seven albums since they crawled out of the grunge bargain bins a decade ago, they still don't seem to have found their stride. Equally yawn-inducing, Brooklyn's Giraffes rock the creepy hipster mustache look harder than they do their Nugent inspired stompfests. Maybe I'm lacking imagination but the mental image of a giraffe isn't very rock-inducing either. An elephant or even a caribou might do it, but not a giraffe. JOSH BLANCHARD

ROBERT PLANT, THE STRANGE SENSATION

(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway) You want this to be a Zeppelin show, and maybe Ro still has enough fairy dust left in his old bones to deliver a semblance of the psychedelic state of sublimity that his master project elicited in so many. Many others didn't give two shits, and still a great many more don't even realize that Plant now has a solo career. But you take what you can get in life. MS

WEDNESDAY 9/28

RODNEY CROWELL & THE OUTSIDERS, WILL KIMBROUGH, JEDD HUGHES

(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) Crowell's a kinda country, kinda rock musician who got really successful writing songs for other artists about 30 years ago, then released some well-received albums of his own. His new album, The Outsider, is packed with studio-glossed blues riffs and counter-culture rhymes for the adult contemporary set. This is the kind of show the Aladdin puts on to give people like my dad a reason to get out of the house. But it's at Berbati's. Weird. JUSTIN WESCOAT SANDERS

GREEN DAY, JIMMY EAT WORLD

(Memorial Coliseum, 300 Winning Way) See My, What a Busy Week! pg 9