ALL-AMERICAN REJECTS, LIMBECK, THE ACADEMY IS...
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) I just Googled "Tyson Ritter" and "blue eyes" and the 98,400 links that popped up totally crushed the paltry 288 results that came up when I combined "All-American Rejects" and "sophomore slump." Released quietly last July, Ritter's band's second disc, Move Along, has already gone gold on the strength of "Dirty Little Secret," a huge hit on Radio Disney, says my friend who is 26 and listens to Radio Disney. Openers the Academy Is... might currently be rivaling Panic! At the Disco for the prize of Most Irritating Use Of Punctuation In A Mall-Emo Band Name, but they also may end up as the voice of Generation Z far before their bass player is even old enough to drink legally. TREVOR KELLEY
WATUSI ZOMBIE, KING COBRA, BLACK ELK, CASY & BRIAN
(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) In King Cobra, permanently proactive Olympia-based musician/artist/designer Rachel Carns has slightly pared down the spectrum of her previous long-running unit, the Need, but retained a clobbering intensity. More overtly metallic than the high drama art-rock of her previous band, KC tramples a narrow but overarchingly heavy path. SAM MICKENS
THE HIGH VIOLETS, THE UPSIDEDOWN, QUIET COUNTRIES
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) See My, What a Busy Week! pg 31.
THE FLESHTONES, DIRT CLOD FIGHT, THE QUAGS
(Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside) Do you know anyone who really likes the Fleshtones? I don't, but maybe that's just me. My relationship with them is kind of self-conscious, too—in that I feel I should like them more than I actually do, seeing as how they're all elder statesmen and CBGB players and NYC rock pioneers and whatnot. But every time I listen to them, it's just like they're a lighter, more boring version of the Stones. Unfair, I know... disrespectful, too. Probably inaccurate to boot, at least to those Fleshtones fans out there (they must exist, somewhere), and I'll probably get some shit for this write-up. But still. ERIK HENRIKSEN
BLOWFLY, STARANTULA, PLEASEEASAUR, DJ BLACKMARKS
(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) Blowfly is reputedly "the world's original dirty rapper," so being largely unfamiliar with the man's work, I checked out his breakout hit, "Rap Dirty" (which also has the distinction of being the first banned rap tune). Y'know, even with the state of "shock value" being watered down to a virtually nonexistent cultural broth in the last 20 years, "Rap Dirty" is still one filthy, filthy song. The strange irony is that Blowfly (AKA Clarence Reid) is a bible-thumping Christian! "I never drink, never smoke and I never use drugs," confesses Reid. "I may go to hell but it won't be for those things." Don't worry Blowfly, I'm sure local trashmeisters Starantula would be happy to relieve you of those extra drink tickets. JOSH BLANCHARD See also Music, pg 35.
Los Straitjackets' CHRISTMAS PAGEANT, THE PONTANI SISTERS, LUSHY
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) While surf music still has yet to live down either its pseudo-rockabilly, cheesy '60s origins or its flash-in-the-pan, mid-'90s Pulp Fiction-inspired revival, you can't blame the boys behind Los Straitjackets. With their contagiously fun, high-energy surf rock and their totally-dorky-but-still-sort-of-funny trademark (every member wears a Mexican wrestling mask), Los Straitjackets will make damn sure you have a good time at their show, treating you to their fast, clever, highly competent surf tunes. And Mexican wrestling masks. Sure, it's goofy as fuck. That's kind of the point, dick. EH
THE (INTERNATIONAL) NOISE CONSPIRACY, THESE ARMS ARE SNAKES, NIGHTMARE OF YOU
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) Call it a night of punk rock second acts: Nightmare of You's Brandon Reilly used to play with Long Island scenesters the Movielife, but now he's a Smiths-worshiping frontman whose guitar jangles like Marr, but whose showmanship is about as tentative as Moz's hairline. Dennis Lyxzen was ahead of his time when he screamed for the Refused, but now fronting neo-garage rockers the (International) Noise Conspiracy, he sounds two years too late. If I were you I'd leave early and get there late, at which point These Arms are Snakes singer Steven Snere, the littlest, biggest rock star in post-punk, will be climbing on top of monitors and screaming about purple dragons while his bandmate and former Botch guitarist Brian Cook proves that an "ex-member" tag doesn't always mean ditching what you do best. TK
KANYE WEST, FANTASIA
(Memorial Coliseum, 300 Winning Way) See Music, pg 33.
THE CHROMATICS, MIXEL PIXEL, SINGLE FRAME
(Towne Lounge, 714 SW 20th Pl.) The Chromatics are a critically lauded Seattle band on the Gold Standard Labs label who expend a hell of a lot of energy and talent creating a sloppy, murky, dreary, drudge aesthetic. Listening to their dour, slurred-sung latest record, Plaster Hounds, is like drinking a fifth of scotch, putting on a pair of heavy jeans and a parka, then jumping in a lake and trying to swim. There are people who like this sort of thing, but if you are a happy person, you are not one of them. JUSTIN WESCOAT SANDERS
CURT KIRKWOOD, PETE KREBS
(White Eagle, 836 NE Russell) It's been a long time since Curt Kirkwood sat onstage with Nirvana for the Unplugged album, performing three of his best Meat Puppets songs with bandmate and brother, Cris. The Meat Puppets got more attention after that, and even had a big hit with "Backwater" in 1994. The band eventually fell apart because of Cris' drug problems. The Meat Puppets are largely ignored when talking about bands that first infused country structures with punk energy. But their second album, Meat Puppets II, released in 1983 on SST, with "Lake of Fire" and "Plateau," is a creepy and unsettling amalgamation of punk and country. Twenty-five years later, Kirkwood's new music might not have the immediacy and energy of the early albums, but it's a solid continuation of the sound they pioneered. It's a great chance to see an indierock legend in the intimate setting of the White Eagle. M. WILLIAM HELFRICH
POINT JUNCTURE, WA, KIND OF LIKE SPITTING, NORFOLK & WESTERN
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) Between playing with M. Ward and Laura Veirs, cameoing in the Iron and Wine/Calexico supergroup a few months back, opening for bands like the Long Winters and showing work at art shows (etchings, acrylics, oils), it's amazing that local lady Rachel Blumberg has time to eat or sleep or even change her ukulele strings. This is not to mention my favorite Blumberg project, Norfolk & Western, the awesomely creaky, rickety, old-timey-meets-experimental folk thing she does with Adam Selzer. Rachel tells me they have a new EP in works that will be released this spring on the Film Guerrero label. Point Juncture, WA, is taking advantage of this show to celebrate the release of their great new record, Mama Auto Boss. Ain't no party like a CD-release party! ADAM GNADE See also It's Who You Know, pg 43
DITCHLIQUOR, BLOODHAG, FLYING FORTRESS, JOHN RAMBO
(Ash Street, 225 SW Ash) Stop moving your lips while you read this. While I'm sure Seattle's Lords of Nerd-Metal are happy to see you reading anything that didn't come out of a fortune cookie, it's going to take a little Bradbury, Asimov, or Lovecraft in your backpack to convince Bloodhag that you're not just another Pabst-swilling brat that never got past Goosebumps. Did I mention that these guys play short death-metal songs about science fiction authors, throw books at the crowd, get talked up on NPR, and are about to sign to a venerable indie label started by a punk icon that does a lot of spoken word? Ditchliquor is a power trio of local veteran rockers that play a heavy brand of metal-tinged space rock. Imagine Motörhead's gallop, lightly frosted with psychedelic effects. Their no-nonsense delivery is effectively balanced by current Poison Idea guitarist Jim Taylor's shredding guitar leads. Ditchliquor is clearly having more fun than their pseudo-political name would imply. NATHAN CARSON
CRACK PRESS ANNIVERSARY: LACKTHEREOF, ROLLERBALL, THE DOORS OF PERCEPTION
(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) Wow, what a weirdass lineup! Local screen printing/design studio, Crack Press, celebrates their 10-year anniversary with this prismatic clambake of musical acts. Crack Press owner Pete McCracken is something of a Jim Morrison doppelganger, so it's most fitting that fills the shoes of the "American Poet" in the, Doors tribute band the Doors of Perception. Rollerball could undoubtedly pull off a raunchy, horn-drenched rendition of "The End," but more likely will cull moody jams from one of their 2,000 or so releases. Lackthereof is a Menomena side project, so if you're in need of a little Christian indie-tronica to round out your night, you're in luck! JB
I CAN LICK ANY SOB IN THE HOUSE, KLEVELAND, THE PUNK GROUP, MORGAN GRACE
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) See My, What a Busy Week! pg 31.
(Duff's Garage, 1635 SE 7th) One of the no-brainer arguments I've frequently made in these hallowed pages is that white guys + the blues = a sticky wicket indeed. Still, I am glad to see an exception of that rule with local junkbox blues twosome, Hillstomp. Still riding the wave of hype from their recently released album, The Woman That Ended the World, Hillstomp keeps things mean and lean, successfully fortifying their bare-bones approach with the tastiest elements of punkabilly and Appalachian mountain music. JB
OREGON FOOD BANK CONCERT: SHAWN MULLINS, THE FRAY, AQUALUNG, AUGUSTANA
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) When I was a young 'un back on the farm in Grant's Pass, my mama used to tell me, "Son, even ridiculous-sounding has-beens can be good people. Don't be so quick to sip the Haterade." I know Shawn Mullins' big '90s hit "Lullaby" ("Ever-eeee-thing's gonna be all right, rockabye!") was some of the clichédest LA-romanticizing dog poop of all time. I know his cheese-ball cover of Kris Kristofferson's "Sunday Morning Coming Down" was the dead-on polar opposite of Johnny Cash's postcard-from-the-big-ache version. I know you don't care about the dude's new records—I don't either. But, c'mon, this is a benefit. If nothing else, throw down some cashola for this one because proceeds go to help the superheroic, hunger-fightin' Oregon Food Bank. AG
CRYSTAL SKULLS, RICHARD SWIFT
(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) See Music, pg 35.
CALVIN JOHNSON, TENDER FOREVER
(Food Hole, 20 NW 3rd) It's been fucking forever since Calvin Johnson (Halo Benders, Dub Narcotic Sound System) gave us any new solo stuff. His last CD, the big baritone rumbler What Was Me, came out back in July, 2002. Released, of course, by Cal's K Records, What Was Me took the ol' chisel to folk-rock and chipped it down to the basics of the basics. Voice. Guitar. Sometimes just voice—like on the old-as-the-hills-sounding "The Past Comes Back to Haunt Me." Calvin's new one is Before the Dream Faded. Less shivery and rustic than What Was Me, this time Calvin's got a band helping him out, and the result is huge and alive-feeling and totally righteous. AG See My, What a Busy Week! pg 31.
THE BRAVERY, MORNINGWOOD
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) See Music, pg 33.
DANDY WARHOLS, THE OUT CROWD, DANTRONIX
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) See Wednesday's listing; also My, What A Busy Week! pg 31.
DOKKEN, DEALER, ONE MOMENT
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Is anybody under the age of 59 going to this show because they actually like this band? Is irony finally played out? Is irony so played out it's time to play with it again? Is going to this show dressed as a buttrocker a lame thing to do? Is actually knowing Dokken songs a badge of honor or extreme, weapon-grade dorkiness? Is anyone actually reading this, or did y'all just see the word "Dokken," and think "Ha, Dokken rhymes with rockin'," then mosey on down to Trevor's Dandy Warhols write-up? AG See also My, What a Busy Week! pg 31.
DANDY WARHOLS, PENTECOST HOTEL, BLITZEN TRAPPER
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) Courtney Taylor-Taylor must be pretty sick of looking like Goliath after the 2004 documentary Dig! cast Antone Newcombe of the Brian Jonestown Massacre against him as a music industry David-figure who never got his. But here's what people get backward about their longstanding, totally effed-up relationship: Newcombe's idea of pop music only complicated his simple rock songs, while Taylor's simple rock songs were a lot more complicated than most of his snotty-ass peers would ever admit. The Dandy's latest, Odditorium or Warlords of Mars, is admittedly a bit iffy, but when he's on, very few songwriters can create ear candy about the drinks we drink, the lives we lead, and the jobs we hate as perfectly as Taylor-Taylor does. TK See also My, What Busy Week! pg 31.
IMMORTAL LEE COUNTY KILLERS,PRETTY MONSTER, DARK SKIES
(Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside) Hailing from Lee County, Alabama, the Immortal Lee County Killers have blues running through their veins like red-clay-tinted water trickling down a tributary. Chetley Weise and Toko the Drifter infuse punk energy into their shuffles without tinkering with traditional chords. New member Jeff Goodwin's organ tones add fresh dimensions to these raw cuts, lending a hymn-like feel to some tunes and enhancing the garage-rock seediness of others. Live, drummer Toko the Drifter belts out an astounding a cappella version of the gospel number "No More My Lord," and a mysterious moonlighter named Pork Chop, who recalls gargantuan-era John Popper in both stature and harmonica virtuosity, saunters onstage for a few searing blues harp solos. ANDREW MILLER
CASY & BRIAN, IKEBANA, ME CON, YUMA NORA
(Towne Lounge, 714 SW 20th Pl.) With a band name inspired by the tranquil art of floral arrangement you might expect Ikebana to be thoughtful and sophisticated, but you'd be wrong, wrong, wrong! Ikebana hearken back to the not-so-distant past when epileptic skronk-punk ruled the basements of Portland. What they lack in cohesion or discernible talent they make up for with their glue-sniffing, adolescent energy. Yuma Nora's Amy Vecchione has reputedly spirited off to Idaho to shack up with the Monster Dudes family, so this a rare chance to see her band in all their quirky, oscillating glory. JB