THURSDAY 1/26

THE FRICTION BROTHERS, BRANDEN DANIELS AND FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS, DAN JONES AND THE SQUIDS, OPIE

(Ash St. Saloon, 225 SW Ash) Tonight's CD release party for the Friction Brothers' The Summer of Friction, pulls together "Americaness" from every corner of the 50 Nifty: bits of Springsteen and John Cougar, little shards of Ted Leo, a couple strands from Southern rock's gorgeous mane and Nashville's fringe vest, crumbling stucco from the walls of the Walkmen's practice space, some Thin Lizzy (who aren't American but who's counting?). The band's great, driving, countryish (just "ish") song "Don't Leave Me Alone Tonight" was a featured MP3 on Pitchfork and PopMatters. You can also hear it at myspace.com/frictionbrothers. Good song. Good band. One more goal scored for Portland. ADAM GNADE

VE

VELABONZ, LOVELY, WESTERN AERIAL, DIRTY LITTLE FINGERS

(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) See My, What a Busy Week, pg. 13.

MINMAE, AUDRYE SESSIONS, ALELA DIANE

(Towne Lounge, 714 SW 20th Pl.) I could use this space to talk up Minmae, a band so awesome that I could justify filling up the entire page with a love letter to their chameleon-like noisiness. But you either (a) already love them, or (b) are a tasteless, tone-deaf dope who wouldn't know a great band if it scalded you while serving your Stumptown latte. Instead, I'll just reveal the real reason to check out this show: Recent Portland transplant Alela Diane, who trekked here all the way from Nevada City, just so you could hear her honeyed voice and folk stylings. SCOTT MOORE

IMOGEN HEAP

(Music Millennium NW, 801 NW 23rd) See Saturday's Up & Coming.

FRIDAY 1/27

TONY YAYO, SPIDER LOC

(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) You've got to love G-Unit's Tony Yayo. In 2003, he served just over a year in prison on a weapons charge, during which time, G-Unit's Beg For Mercy hit the streets. On his second day of freedom after incarceration, Yayo got busted with a forged passport and went back to prison for six months, which may be the most retarded way to spend 18 months I've ever heard. But Yayo's back on the streets—on Burnside tonight, to be more specific, hyping his so-so new album, Thoughts of a Predicate Felon. CHAS BOWIE

HAROLD VON KILLIAN'S NO-RING SIDESHOW & TRAVELING SPECTACULAR: HEROES AND VILLAINS, MYSHKIN'S RUBY WARBLERS, NEW MEXICAN REVOLUTION

(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) A few days ago, the Mercury office was visited by several of the most spectacularly, ridiculously dressed individuals, wandering around yelling out the name of our music editor, Adam Gnade. "Who are these fabulous people?" I wondered aloud. Turns out, it was members of Heroes and Villains. Gnade had set up a photo shoot with them, and then left town without telling anybody. It all worked out just fine, but they handled the "mix up" with such costumed grace that I decided to make them my newest favorite band ever. Lucky for me, they're incredibly entertaining, perhaps especially when they're organizing circus-like vaudeville shindigs like this one. SM See also Music, pg. 15.

CROSSTIDE, ESTER DRANG, CLIMBER

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) I remember Crosstide as an emo-core band; one I stumbled upon a few years ago and loved totally. Today, they've evolved from the harder edge they started with in the late '90s as high school kids, to a sweeping pop band that's more sensitive than pissed off. Admittedly, I was a fan of the injured and angry incarnation of Crosstide, but people and bands change, and I've learned to love the new Crosstide, too. I asked lead singer/guitarist Bret Vogel why Crosstide's music went softer, and he explained: "Well, we were punk rock kids, but we all secretly liked Smashing Pumpkins. In our scene, though, it was only cool to like Texas Is the Reason. As we got older we cared less and less about being cool, and realized that we actually liked bands like Counting Crows and the Beach Boys. So we decided to put some of that in our music." Of course when a band's sound changes rapidly there can be a backlash... for example, the Metallica Load debacle of 1996. And while Crosstide haven't cut their hair and started making shitty music, I did ask Vogel whether their fan base had changed as a result of the musical shift. He said, "Even though we were in the punk and hardcore scene, it was never the tough guys who really liked our band. It was more the kids who dressed like Morrissey... so not really." Likewise, their airplay on alternative radio's 94.7 KNRK hasn't taken them too far from their roots. When I inquired whether the band now has groupies Vogel responded, "No. There are now younger kids who want me to sign a CD, but I don't think there's anybody who wants to date us." KATIE SHIMER

KARL BLAU

(Jackpot, 203 SW 9th) Microphones/Laura Viers contributor Karl Blau's solo stuff is light and mellow and recalls things like sleeping on the beach on warm, breezy afternoons, or driving up the coast highway en route to nothin' but kick-back days, cheap wine in big, sloshing jugs, and easy-going love. Like K Records label-mates Little Wings, Karl soothes, grooves, veers close to reggae (but never takes the final dooming, damning step—thank god), and always keeps it nice and stately, with big elegant layers of guitars, brass, and drums. This show's free; Karl will be playing stuff off his new K release Beneath Waves. AG

SATURDAY 1/28

IMOGEN HEAP, ZOE KEATING

(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) Imogen Heap—you probably know her as the vocal half of the duo Frou Frou, which lent the song "Let Go" to the immensely popular Garden State soundtrack—also has a solo career. Her latest album, Speak for Yourself, melts the British singer/songwriter's voice with piano and electronica beats. If hipsters and indierockers had their own religious denomination, Heap, with her breathy, sometimes electronically mangled, haunting voice, would be the musical director of transcendental Sunday services. AMY JENNIGES

AUDIOCINEMA GRAND OPENING: FIREBALLS OF FREEDOM, NICE BOYS, DARK SKIES

(AudioCinema, 226 SE Madison) See Music, pg. 15.

PORTUGAL. THE MAN

(Music Millennium NW, 801 NW 23rd) See Once More with Feeling, pg. 31.

SUNDAY 1/29

DESTROCTOTRON, ENCHANTED 4ST, THE SLEEPY PEOPLE, AIR FORTRESS

(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) Nerds! Nerds, I tell you! Nerds have been sneaking past the rock 'n' roll borders since Buddy Holly, but the synthesizer calisthenics and science-fantasy flashpoints of tonight's four-band bill constitute a damned invasion. Enchanted 4ST, a homage to Oregon's charmingly ghetto amusement park, live in the unlikely space between the Cars and King Crimson. Destructotron are Jonny X and the Groadies disciples, and actually share their name with a Eugene grindcore band (c'mon, Destructotron vs. Destructotron! Let's make it happen!). Finally, Air Fortress' geeky one-man operation kneels at the twin altars of Bob Moog and Kid Icarus, while Sleepy People (not to be confused with San Diego's "Sleeping People") mine for more familiar new wave treasures. JOSH BLANCHARD

JORMA KAUKONEN, BARRY MITTERHOFF

(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) Man, I rem­ember... back the last time I saw Kaukonen. He was playing the Barn in Scott's Valley with the Airplane [Editor's Note: Jefferson Airplane] and me, Carl... Carl's wife Denise, Peter... no Peter wasn't there... it was all them and my friend Hobbit Dave and we were all on... we... oh yeah, we were all really stoned and it was... '67 or '68 or no '67. Wait, it was '68. Shit man, '69? Couldn't have been '70. '68 I guess. No, wait that wasn't Kaukonen... it was Big Brother. Big Brother and the Holding Company at the Barn in '66! Great show! They really connected, y'know? We were in the same headspace. We were in there. ADAM GNADE'S WORTHLESS HIPPIE UNCLE "RAINSTICK CHARLES" GNADE

MONDAY 1/30

IN FLAMES, TRIVIUM, DEVILDRIVER, ZAO

(Roseland Theater, 8 NW 6th) After a lengthy career with bubblegum goths Fear Factory, vocalist Dez Fafara trimmed his hair into a devil lock and hit underground pay dirt with the surprisingly authentic speed metal band DevilDriver. In early 2005, I interviewed Fafara while he was in a tiny horse town in Texas and we talked about imported wine and his increasing interest in being a father; not exactly the sort of light conversation you'd expect to have with someone who was once rumored to be a member of the Church of Satan. Trivium, just young enough to still remember when Fear Factory were played beside Orgy on TRL, are a group of teenage Floridians who make technical thrash records that are more emo than most of its fans know. What do I think is the best line on their debut Ascendancy? It's got to be when 18-year-old Matt Heafy wails, "You ask me, 'Oh God why?' Because I'm God, that's fucking why." I mean, what else can you say? Yeah, dude, you kind of are. TREVOR KELLEY

KT TUNSTALL, WILLY MASON

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) NEWS FLASH!!! Resident Oasis asshole Noel Gallagher recently complained that Scottish pop sensation KT Tunstall's lyrics were "boring and bland" after losing out to her for Britain's prestigious Q Award for track of the year. THEN!!! After sticking his foot right in his curdled, sneering little mouth, he pulled it right back out again, stating, in an interview with XFM Scotland, "I don't really mind her music and she is a really sweet girl... I apologise [stupid limey spellings]... because I know that she is really cool." What a right-o, dapper chap! BUT!!!!!!!!!!Could it be, just possibly, that the notoriously petty, coldhearted Gallagher was just being NICE (!!!!), and that Tunstall's lyrics REALLY ARE "boring and bland?" YOU BE THE JUDGE, with this sampling from "Other Side of the World," off her newest album, Eye to the Telescope: "Then the fire fades away/But most of everyday/is full of tired excuses/But it's too hard to say/I wish it were simple/But we give up easily/You're close enough to see that/You're.... the other side of the world/to me." JUSTIN WESCOAT SANDERS

TUESDAY 1/31

MAD PROFESSOR, HURT BIRD

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) One can debate whether Mad Professor's role in the evolution of dub is something to celebrate, but he has pushed the music in new directions, including its marriage to electronic music in the '90s. The one thing that cannot be debated, though, is that his website is one of the single most visually painful efforts ever forced onto the World Wide Web. Peep it here: madprofessor.com and try to argue that I'm wrong. SM

THE VERONICAS, OCTOBER FALL, JONAS BROTHERS

(Roseland Grill, 10 NW 6th) The Veronicas are a twin sister duo named Jessica and Lisa Origliasso who have taken everything the last Ashlee Simpson single took from the first Franz Ferdinand record and re-imagined it as a potential tween pop goldmine. Their first single, "4 Ever," begins with a swiped dance-punk riff and hits a Matrix-style chorus about the eternal Friday night teens and temp workers will always long for in equal proportions. I don't know. I really used to hate pop records that sounded as manufactured as their still-unreleased debut; now I appreciate their dedication. October Fall, signed to Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz new imprint Decaydance, make accessible after-school piano rock that goes out of its way to be at variance with the bands they came up with in the Chicago hardcore scene. Their forthcoming LP, A Season In Hell, isn't exactly "punk" the way most of us define it, but tonight they'll look like Fugazi to a bunch of 14-year-olds. TK

WEDNESDAY 2/1

DAMIEN JURADO, TARA JANE O'NEIL

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Damien Jurado's put out six amazing full-lengths since 1997 and plenty of side stuff, and even went to my high school (Shorewood, represent!), and yet I had never heard even one track by the Seattle singer/songwriter until last year. Now, I'm frantically devouring his entire body of work to make up for lost time, consuming so fast I fear indigestion. His albums (the latest is On My Way to Absence) tend to feature stripped-down rockers side by side with delicate tracks of quiet introspection. Filtered through Jurado's sublimely hang-dog vocals, none of it is bad, though his more tender songs, with their beautifully told stories of Raymond Carver types trying to catch a break and sweet, lilting melodies, are almost overwhelmingly powerful, especially in the live setting. If his set seems to be ending tonight, and he still hasn't played "Medication," will somebody please shout it out? There's pretty much nothing better in all of contemporary music. JWS

GAYCATION

(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Get this: a queer dance night at Holocene. I know! Crazy, huh? Brand new, hotshit monthly event Gaycation will kick off its existence with DJs Automaton, Hotpants, and Snowtiger. And get this: It's totally free! Every first Wednesday from here to eternity. SM

OF MONTREAL, DJ JESTER THE FILIPINO FIST, GRAND BUFFET, MGMT

(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) Raised in the muggy suburbs of Houston, DJ Jester (AKA the Filipino Fist, AKA Mike Pendon) grew up on the standard '80s diet of television and Top-40 radio before discovering punk rock and skateboarding. Years later, in sleepy San Antonio, he began spinning records with the Underdog Turntablists, at whose parties he started sneaking songs like "The Yellow Rose of Texas" into the mix. The crowd would stop and glare at the DJ booth—until Jester dropped a hiphop beat on top of it, and suddenly, the whole place would be dancing to Gene Autry. His style took off from there. Mashing up incongruities like Richard Simmons workout tapes, Sir Mix-A-Lot a cappellas, Aerosmith, and Willie Nelson, River Walk Riots remains one of the most criminally unknown masterpieces of musical collage. Despite all the fun and games, a theme of loneliness permeates Jester's mixes. From looped samples of Mike D. singing "all by myself without nobody," to Foreigner's "Waiting for a Girl Like You," you could make the case that Jester's body-moving party CDs are really the tears of a clown. "I always say the DJ's the loneliest guy in the club," Jester says. "He's the one who's working while everyone is making out in the corner." CB