TOM BROUSSEAU, HORSEFEATHERS, EL SALVADOR
(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) North Dakotan folkster Tom Brousseau is a sentimentalist. His songs are honest and unadorned odes to lost loves and simpler times, stripped down to the basics: a man and his guitar. More often than not, singer/songwriters are not my thing, painfully recalling many a cringe-inducing coffee shop open-mic experience. Brousseau, however, possesses crystalline finger-picking abilities and a creamy, androgynous tenor that often sounds like it's channeling the spirit of the late Jeff Buckley. In this musical day and age, where hype and wardrobe is deemed more important than skill, it's nice to see craftsmen like Tom Brousseau keeping it real for the rest of us. JOSH BLANCHARD
ECHO AND THE BUNNYMEN, INNAWAY
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) Crocodiles, Heaven Up Here, Porcupine, Ocean Rain: Few rock bands kick off their careers with as torrid a four-album spree as did Echo and the Bunnymen. From '79 to '84, these Liverpudlians put a poetic, post-punk spin on the Doors' Sturm und Dranged psychedelia. They should've split following the ornate masterpiece Ocean Rain, but the Bunnymen heedlessly soldiered on, dinging their legend with each new release while never truly trainwrecking. Let's hope McCulloch and Sergeant lean on that earlier era tonight. DAVE SEGAL
SHOOTER JENNINGS, ROCK 'N' ROLL SOLDIERS
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) For a brutal 10 minutes I had Shooter Jennings confused with Bo Bice—that phony Southern rock douche from American Idol. So I railed. I raved. Typed up his name and proceeded to click fireballs at it with my fingertips. Then, as my lunchtime food coma subsided, I did some actual research and realized Shooter Jennings is—in fact—NOT Bo Bice, and is actually a decently respectable buttrocker gone country AND the only son of country icons Jessi Colter and Waylon Jennings (who Shooter plays in the Johnny Cash bio-pic Walk the Line). His steez is kinda sorta one foot in rock-flavored pop country, the other in outlawland, with a wandering eye set on the gorgeous jiggly rack of indie Americana ADAM GNADE See also Music, pg 21.
THE MAKERS, THE DIVINING RODS, LOVELY, JACUZZI BROS.
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) There's a weird feeling one gets thinking about the Makers. These guys were flying the garage-rock flag back in 1992, way before anyone cared. Then, without much fanfare, they slowly started to look like the New York Dolls and write rock operas, totally missing the kudos that were lauded upon every "The" band circa the summer of 2001. It's like these guys were singing the Third Bardo's "I'm Five Years Ahead of My Time," not knowing they were actually predicting their future. Their new Jack Endino–produced disc, Everybody Rise, has been described as "Pet Sounds on a budget." Give 'em a chance. Maybe they'll be big in five years. BEN BLACKWELL
HIPHOP TOY DRIVE FEATURING SLEEP, COOL NUTZ, DJ CHILL, SIREN'S ECHO, BELLY, DESTRO, SYNDELL, MIC CRENSHAW, MADGESDIQ, SOUL PLASMA, MS. SU'AD, FOGATRON
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) To be perfectly honest, the proper name for this event is actually the Boys and Girls Club Toy Drive, but there's just something inexplicably funny to me about the phrase "hiphop toy drive." Other potentially humorous variations on this joke: hiphop ice cream social, hiphop Tupperware party, and hiphop fun run. All of this hilarity doesn't exonerate you from your humanitarian responsibilities, however—get the kids their toys. ZAC PENNINGTON
25: A LOOK INSIDE THE DREAM FORT
(Nocturnal, 1800 E Burnside) Like 18, 30, and 40, the 25th year birthday is a freaky one. A quarter century on this damn rock. The existential blues can come calling like a 50-foot bugbear. What better than to throw the best party ever and surround yourself with good friends, good noise, and good art? Jona Bechtolt (the Blow, YACHT) is celebrating his big two-fiver at Nocturnal with a full-on multi-media blowout, featuring art, video, DJs, and live performances. The lineup's pretty huge—and loosely structured, 'cuz hey it's an effing party—and includes folks like Adam Forkner, Phil Elverum, E*Rock, and Bobby Birdman. AG
!!!, FCS NORTH
(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) It's hard not to wonder who cares about !!! now that it's three years past the dance-punk revolution that never happened. On their 2004 dud Louden Up Now, !!! waved pretty much 10 replications of the same freak flag until it seemed like joining the party was actually far less interesting than staying at home. Pardon my apathy, but I'll pass. TREVOR KELLEY
AVENUE OF THE STRONGEST, SWAN ISLAND, TAKE THE BLAME, PLASMIC STALLION
(Food Hole, 20 NW 3rd) See It's Who You Know, pg 30.
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) Where should we stand with the Blasters? Should we care about a band that's not changed a friggin' bit since LA punk's first blurting squirt? A band that rests hardcore on its laurels, and keeps rollin' sans founding guitarist/secret weapon Dave Alvin? Should we give a ratfink about a band that's actually pretty diverse (country, R&B, swing, Chuck Berryisms) but STILL hangs onto/capitalizes on rockabilly's circa-1997 comeback? (First line in their bio reads, "The Blasters stink of rockabilly." Gross. Take a bath.) This much I know is true: They've got killer singles ("American Music," "Marie Marie") that I still hum all by my lonesome, whilst bar jukeboxes play crap I don't wanna drink to; their live show is pretty decent for a buncha granddads. So, what's the score? Should we care? Fuck, man. I'm divided. AG
THE DWARVES, THE ALTARBOYS, ASG
(Sabala's Mt. Tabor, 4811 SE Hawthorne) Playing compare and contrast with the Dwarves' oeuvre was easily the most depressing thing I've done all day. Revisiting their 1998 release, Blood Guts & Pussy, was pure punk ecstasy, with songs like "Fuck You Up" and "Get High and Let's Fuck" reminding me of everything pure and exhilarating about being a teenager. On the flipside, new tracks like "Salt Lake City" hammer home everything that sucks about getting old and sucking. The Dwarves now sound like they're writing for some mysterious audience that appreciates both Weezer and the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, and the results are none too pretty. Tonight's show has the potential to be bad as fuck—but only if the band gives the audience what they really want, namely "Astroboy" and "Back Seat of My Car." CHAS BOWIE
HEAVYWEIGHT DUB CHAMPION, DR. ISRAEL & THE DREADTONES
(New American Casuals, 326 SE Morrison) In terms of DJing (or toasting—the Jamaican form of rapping), Brooklyn's Dr. Israel sticks with tradition. He wants equal justice for all; he calls for the fall of Babylon; he believes that the youths of the ghetto are ready for what Willie Williams famously called "Armagideon Time." Musically, however, Dr. Israel breaks with the Jamaican tradition. In his records, the lines between jungle, rock, techno, hiphop, dub, and soul dissolve, and what is left is a wonderful mess of bass and beats. CHARLES MUDEDE
THE LASHES, THE DIVORCE
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) Presenting: Two bands from Seattle comprised of skinny boys strutting garage rock muscle, and doing it exceedingly well. The Lashes, à la the Ramones, are a six-piece punk-pop major-label outfit whose every member sports the last name "Lashes." It's a pretty painful retro-rock wink 'n' nudge—but at least they're a hell of a lot of fun to listen to. The Divorce, meanwhile, hide behind no silly names, but sit back and straight thrash as slinky frontman Shane Berry throws himself around the stage and vamps like the lovechild of David Bowie and Steven Tyler. It's an entertaining spectacle to be sure, though the band's gritty power-glam holds up equally well on their latest record, The Gifted Program. JUSTIN WESCOAT SANDERS
FEAR FACTORY, SOILWORK, STRAPPING YOUNG LAD, DARKANE
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Strapping Young Lad's Devin Townsend rocks a skullet, his shoulder-length hair starting at a point on his cranial circumference roughly parallel to his eyebrows. His facial features contort into an array of elastic expressions. His appearance brings to mind a traveling carnival—not the caged freak but the seedy barker announcing the attraction. Townsend's stage banter ranges from antagonistic to anatomically improbable ("I got a male vasectomy, and my pee comes out in a fine mist"). The band's darkness-imprisoned riffs and shooting-gallery percussion provide headbanging thrills, but it's Townsend's uniquely charismatic presence that makes Strapping Young Lad an unforgettable live act. ANDREW MILLER
PRINCESS SUPERSTAR, STRENGTH, BOY EATS DRUM MACHINE, DANTRONIX
(Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week! pg 19.
RJD2, MADGESDIQ, DJ MAGNETO, JUGOE
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See Music, pg 23.
RASPUTINA, ABERDEEN CITY
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) See My, What a Busy Week! pg 19.
FREAKWATER, THE ZINCS, JUANITA FAMILY, MICHAEL DEAN DAMRON
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week! pg 19.
JUMBO'S KILLCRANE, WEEDEATER, BLACK ELK, DIESTO
(Sabala's Mt. Tabor, 4811 SE Hawthorne) What an ugly bunch of noise! And I'm not talking about trendy "I've got all my effects pedals running through an octavator" noise. This is the sludgy bestial rock that once made labels like Amphetamine Reptile, Touch and Go, Sub Pop, and Man's Ruin tick. But now it's 2005 and the ante has been upped, the guitars tuned down, and the ugliness is even uglier. Jumbo's Killcrane bring back their slamming rage from the heartland of Lawrence, Kansas. Weedeater are their kissing cousins from the South, stomping out leaden grooves that make Pantera look like the simpering sissies they are. If you like painful volumes, 10-ton riffs, and beer in your hair, your nostrils, and between your toes—this is one Sunday, Sunday, Sunday showdown you shouldn't miss. NATHAN CARSON
MOMMY AND DADDY, BANG! BANG!, BLACK HORSE
(Towne Lounge, 714 SW 20th Pl.) See Music, pg 23.
THANKS FOR GIVING FEATURING FAMOUS MYSTERIOUS ACTOR, CLAMPITT, GADIS & BUCK
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See My, What a Busy Week! pg 19.
2% MAJESTY, TINY VIPERS, JOHANNA KUNIN, BARK, HIDE AND HORN
(Towne Lounge, 714 SW 20th Pl.) Newish live music hotspot Towne Lounge is still something of a stylistic blank slate. The genres represented at the emerald watering hole range from bar rock to bedroom electronics, but I think the space works best when the mood's kept cozy and personal, like tonight's bill of sleepy Northwestern folk. Seattleite Johanna Kunin's got a great set of pipes on her, and the fairy-tale production touches of collaborator Karl Blau sets her material apart from more standard solo acoustic fair. Local indie-folkies, 2% Majesty have been gigging like fiends lately and if their new fantasy-tinged tunes are an indicator, it's paid off for them nicely. JB
EARLIES, THE LIKE, GIANT DRAG
(Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside) See CD Reviews, pg 24.
MORCHEEBA, GABBY LA LA
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) During triphop's mid-'90s heyday, Morcheeba were among the genre's ruling class—and they ruled with class. The British ensemble debuted auspiciously with 1996's Who Can You Trust?, featuring Skye Edwards's heavy-lidded, creamy croon. Subsequent albums found the group deviating from their strengths, but not completely losing the plot; at their best they sound like a straight-laced Beck in folky-funk mode. However, Morcheeba did lose Edwards after 2002's Charango. Her replacement, ex-Noonday Underground vocalist Daisy Martey, belts like a feisty Nancy Wilson/Shirley Bassey combo on Morcheeba's fifth album, The Antidote, while the Godfreys guide the act into ever more pedestrian folk-rock terrain with mild psychedelic touches. Undoubtedly, Morcheeba's original magic's faded, and Edwards is sorely missed. DS
NICKEL CREEK, ANDREW BIRD
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) See My, What a Busy Week! pg 19.
DOOMRIDERS, CAVE IN, LORENE DRIVE
(Loveland, 320 SE 2nd) Given that Nate Newton is a self-described "hardcore kid at heart," becoming the bassist in Converge—one of the most essential bands to merge metal and hardcore—would seem like the ultimate fulfilled wish. But while he's enjoyed that gig since 1998, he's living out his real rock dreams as the frontman of his side project, Doomriders. For example, Converge album covers feature singer Jacob Bannon's hauntingly oblique artwork: a disembodied hand, a faded female face. By contrast, Doomriders' debut disc, Black Thunder, depicts a red-eyed reaper brandishing a multi-pronged lightning bolt while straddling a winged demonic steed. Green flames ominously border his hooded skull, like an eerily luminous anti-halo. The packaging couldn't get much more heavy-metal parking lot unless the group sealed each disc inside a miniature van airbrush-emblazoned with this image. AM
NICKEL CREEK, ANDREW BIRD
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) See My, What a Busy Week! pg 19.
NO-NECK BLUES BAND, THE PUNKS
(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) See Music, pg 21.
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) My buddy Bart calls from Omaha. It's late. He's drunk. ("Me and David Dondero just drank a bunch of whiskey.") Spoon's about to take the stage. And the man's over the moon. "Adam! I gotta call you back. It's starting. Right now." Little later, a voicemail pops up on my phone—four minutes of warbly, fading in-and-out submarine noise that's probably a band playing (and probably Spoon, or maybe, maybe Bright Eyes, who headlined.) It's a mess, but I can hear the joy in the background, cheers, big whooping "yeahs" and can imagine, somewhere in the murky stew of it all, the dull thhhwap of high fives delivered between fans. And because I've heard the new record, the Bowie-esque Gimme Fiction, I know some weird, spindly magic was going down. Ignore the fucktarded spooky-guy-in-red-cowl album art and check this one out. Then go to this show. Then drunk-dial me with a song. I promise I'll listen to the whole damn thing. AG
TRACY + THE PLASTICS, SWAN ISLAND, MASHA QRELLA, 01 (POP MUSIC)
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Masha Qrella fooled me into buying her 2003 release, Luck, from Ozone by making me think it was electronic disco. Although it is a healthy exercise to buy albums strictly based on cover art (there was a photo of the back of her head glistening with what I thought was disco-floor sweat), this particular instance pissed me off because it was total sleepy-time pop. The CD napped in my glove compartment until I finally decided that my judgment was hastily unfair—she has the right to use a shine product on her hair and have people give a tabula rasa listen to her debut. Within weeks Luck became one of my favorite in-car jams with her softly plucked guitar, angelic German whispery vocals and pure sequenced drum loops. Her new release, Unsolved Remained, is more of the same pop goodness—including her signature major to minor key leaps. But seriously, I don't know what prankster booked her with Tracy + the Plastics... Weird. JENNA ROADMAN