LUDICRA, BLACK ELK, RABBITS, THE BETTER TO SEE YOU WITH
(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) See My, What a Busy Week!, pg. 25.
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) It took me six years to finally get to see Ryan Adams play, only to end up catching a shortened set of all new songs performed (no kidding) in almost total darkness. What was a typical love-hate relationship wtih Adams—his music, and the hyperbolic character behind it—turned into all-out hate for a musician who totally played his audience. Thing is, I ran into him in the airport after that, and even given a show that had me swearing off Adams, I ended up talking to him for half an hour and was, of course, made a believer once again. Dude is a diva for sure, and notoriously unreliable, but he's also a master songwriter, with enough truly outstanding songs to justify the duds in between, if not the character behind them. I might have been played once already, but I'm ready to give Adams another chance, and the Aladdin seems the perfect place to do so. HANNAH CARLEN
POISON IDEA, RIOT COP, DEATHCHARGE, DEADLY ULTRA SOUND
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) Poison Idea are the oldest tattoo on the considerably inked sleeve that is Portland's hardcore scene. These prototypical punk warriors have long brought the appropriate volume, paired with tenacious intelligence that's required to make something. Though they'd played over the years without him on occasion, they now soldier on without the considerable talents of the late Tom "Pig Champion" Roberts. This is unlikely to water down the material that has made them legends. In almost any other circumstance, a continuation of something that had such a major contributing piece missing would be unthinkable—but with Poison Idea, only not playing out without Pig's substantial presence would be a term of defeat. Their swagger and menace has always been defiant and full of gritty truth. That hasn't changed. LANCE CHESS
MAC DRE THIZZ FEST: J. DIGGS, HOJI SPRINGER, BAVGATE, RYDA J. KLYDE, CREST KREEPAZ, DUNA, SYKO
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Bay Area legend Mac Dre was shot and killed while riding in a vehicle in Kansas City in late 2004. His legacy lives on, and not just in his older material—the man has had more posthumous releases than Biggie and 2Pac combined. Plus, now his name adorns the Thizz Fest—an event that features rappers from his Thizz Entertainment label. Add that to the fact that his aliases are growing in number (my favorites are Pill Clinton and Andre Macassi), and that the man now has his own line of bobble head dolls. Despite his tragic passing, Dre's legacy has continued to remain relevant in the music industry via an onslaught of new material, the bobbling heads of his collectibles, and of course, all of those who were influenced by the man. ROB SIMONSEN
3 LEG TORSO, VAGABOND OPERA, DJ DIMON
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) See My, What a Busy Week!, pg. 25.
BONE THUGS-N-HARMONY, COOL NUTZ, REBELLUS
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!, pg. 25.
THE CRIBS, SEAN NA NA, KISS HER FOR THE KID
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See Music, pg. 27.
THE LAST TOWN CHORUS (7 pm)
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) See Once More with Feeling, pg. 37.
BARTON CARROLL, BUOY LA RUE (10 pm)
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) With wearied, gritty vocals, Barton Carroll narrates a series of emotionally raw and hollow lives. Over stark, guitar-dominated arrangements, these songs draw you into a brutal world of lost prayers, wartime atrocities, and crushing heartbreak, with the austerity of his arrangements putting his voice and words in the forefront. His 2006 album comes with the thematically bold title Love and War, which contains songs about, well, love and war. His newer songs indicate that he's upping the tempo somewhat without losing the qualities that make his slower songs so memorable. Carroll may be best known for his involvement as a multi-instrumentalist in Crooked Fingers, but his solo work to date stands as copious evidence of his own abilities. TOBIAS CARROLL
HANK III, ASSJACK, BIG RED GOAD, POWER OF COUNTY
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) It only takes one listen to Assjack's churning, formulaic butt rock to realize that the deft combination of "ass" and "jack" is quite possibly the best thing about this band. Sounding like a combination of a second-rate Pantera, stripped of all daunting, fist-pumping energy, and the Reverend Horton Heat, bereft of the burdens of talent and style, Assjack plod along like the poster boys for the plague of unoriginality currently ravaging heavy metal. Even the shredding solos of the doubtlessly talented Hank Williams III can't bring an inkling of listening enjoyment to this muddy, testosterone-oozing mess. Only the so-stupid-its-funny moniker incites a chuckle—but in this case, we're laughing at Assjack, not with them. NOAH SANDERS
MY LIFE IN BLACK & WHITE, THE RUBBERNECKERS, FISTFUL OF CASH, SID & FANCY
(Tonic Lounge, 3100 NE Sandy) For whiskey-dipped bands like the Rubberneckers, the first thing they're going to miss on the road is their favorite watering hole. In bitsy Blue Lake, California, the semi-fossilized Logger Bar is the trough of choice. Complete with a chunk of old-growth poison ivy nailed over the door and (seriously) a clown school across the street, here artistic folk and locals tipple and tope. "It was built in 1899 and has 25 or 30 big ass saws hanging on the walls," says Rubberneckers frontman Clay Smith. "We all hang out there nightly. It's the only thing to do." Hardly drunky-tonk hoke: The Rubberneckers play brash, careening songs of heartbreak and addiction, while "Drinking Margaritas at the Mall," and "I Think I Only Like You When I'm Drunk" prove the 'Neckers wear their booze on their sleeve. They're driving to Portland Friday. They're going to be thirsty. JOHN DOOLEY
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!, pg. 25.
THE DANDY WARHOLS, THE UPSIDEDOWN
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) The great legacy of the Dandys—from the Tim Kerr days, Zia topless onstage, all those damn commercials, Dig!, Courtney Taylor and Courtney Taylor-Taylor—will always be overshadowed by the fact that the band is a business. Despite all odds, Taylor-Taylor has always managed to keep his high cheekbones above water, in an industry where his peers have been kicking off left and right. The key has been that while their pals were shooting their profits into their arms, the Dandys were shamelessly licensing their songs to the highest bidder. And while other bands invested their advances in bloated records and fancy videos, the Dandys used that money to buy property. The music business is just that—it's literally a business—and if you are going to take part in it, take some tips from Taylor-Taylor and tread wisely. While I wouldn't dare vouch for their last few records, I can't say enough kind words about the shrewd capitalistic impulses of the Dandy Warhols, LLC. EZRA ACE CARAEFF
INTRONAUT, BOOK OF BLACK EARTH, IAMTHETHORN, EALDATH
(Satyricon, 125 NW 6th) Los Angeles' Intronaut specialize in that very modern form of metal that takes cues of heaviness from Neurosis, and pages of math equations from Meshuggah. The music tap dances from jazz/psyche breakdowns to "all hell's breaking loose" ferocity, but the vocals remain in a very manly register the whole time, with little to no variation. Rounding out the bill are the exceptional post-Teen Cthulhu kids in Book of Black Earth, hailing from Seattle. Representing P-Town is the debut of new doom-oriented super band Ealdath, which features folks from Aldebaran and Fall of the Bastards. These all-ages shows start early, so show these guys some support before ordering your tallboys and tater tots, will ya? NATHAN CARSON
FERNANDO VICICONTE, JASMINE ASH, JONAH
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) On the underground/local level, a bit of harshness and scruff used to be seen as a charming, necessary flaw. In recent months it seems that the Great Rock Trend-ulum has been swinging back the other way. Both Jasmine Ash's album, Shine—full of sparkly, multi-tracked, Avril-esque choruses—and Jonah's full-length, Trust Everyone Before They Break Your Heart—with its crystal-clear Freddie Mercury vocals—employ condensed pop shimmer. Ash redeems herself a bit with album closer "Hole in the Sky," a summer single if I ever heard one, and Jonah shows promise the more they shoegaze and the less they calculate, but all in all, I'm left wondering what we'd get if we threw a four track and a 12 pack at either artist and let 'em rip. JIM WITHINGTON
(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) If someone had asked me in 1996 if I was interested in listening to a band that sounded like grunge-kings Alice in Chains, but with a Tori Amos-sounding, cello-strummin' banshee as the lead singer, I'd have gritted my teeth, shook my head, and politely said no. Nearly 10 years later, my cynical answer has been legitimized, thanks to Polly Panic. Ms. Panic (Jeanette Mackie to her friends), with her wailing vocals and droning cello-buzz, would've fit nicely in to the angst-ridden mid-'90s. In the midst of a music scene where exceedingly avant-garde, experimental music is the norm, though, Polly Panic's pained pining sounds, well, pretty played. NS
HILLSTOMP, BARK, HIDE, & HORN, GLASSELL PARK THREE
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) Self-proclaimed "junkbox blues duo" Hillstomp celebrates the release of their album After Two But Before Five, recorded live last year at two Mississippi Studios shows. Openers Glassell Park Three bring their own brand of stompy, noisy blues to the table. Bark, Hide, & Horn remain the meat of this musical sammich, however. Just when you think these boys only write beautifully subdued songs (sometimes involving lovesick snails), they release "Ham the Astrochimp," a barnstormer of a track that shows their range expanding and somehow improving on what was already a great sound. JW
TINY VIPERS, SHELLEY SHORT, 2% MAJESTY
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See Music, pg. 29.
WORLD SERIES HIPHOP TOUR: X-KID, ALPHA P, THE PIRATE SIGNAL, HOLLYWOOD KILL, CLEVELAND STEAMERS, THE ELEFADERS, NASIM, AUZRIEL
(Ash St. Saloon, 225 SW Ash) Packed to the gills with talent, the Word Series Hiphop Tour assembles a solid array of underground beat merchants and emcees placed together to create one mighty night of entertainment. Expect some neck exercises from X-Kid (Los Angeles), Alpha P (Seattle), local delights Cleveland Steamers, and tons more. One of the lesser known acts is Hollywood Kill, a confident—if not arrogant—duo whose history illustrates all the hurdles inspiring artists must overcome not to make it big, but just to get a record out. Anonimous and Kgee suffered from labels falling into legal limbo and the death of their manager before they decided to pull up the bootstraps and do it themselves. The result is a smooth and sexy dose of self-described "cinematic hiphop" that glances over the road to fame and just focuses on all the thrills and excesses of fine living. Basically, it's a lot like that city they share a name with. EAC
LITTLE SUE, ALLEN HUNTER
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) "I woke up drunk again this morning," Little Sue sings in the opening track to her 2004 album Shine, "already hadn't done a thing all day." That sense of longing breathes an extended sigh throughout this album, and the resignation in Sue's voice adds bite to her otherwise clear, sometimes even delicate vocals. Some of the guitar wandering reminds me a bit of the softer moments of Wilco's latest, but this free patio show won't set you back 40 bucks. "You're mine to mine/A diamond to find in the rough," Sue sings, another clever turn of phrase on an album full of such gems. JW
GWAR, SHADOWS FALL, CHIMAIRA, EVERY TIME I DIE, NECRO, & MORE
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) See My, What a Busy Week!, pg. 25.
TITAN, DANAVA, XOM
(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) Titan might not be the best among the newer Lightning-Bolt-Boris-Comets-on-Fire type bands, but their mix of noise, mathed-out Don Caballero guitar riffs, and sludgy echoes brings them pretty damn close. Anyone claiming, as they do, to "save stoner-rock from itself," is setting the bar needlessly high—but given the strength of their most recent record, A Raining Sun of Light and Love, For You and You and You, that isn't totally out of reach as a long-term goal. Danava, meanwhile, are like a guitar-driven Ratatat run through a Led Zeppelin grinder—melodic and even quirky, but never to the detriment of rockingthefuckout, which Danava does in pretty spectacular fashion. Xom (AKA Adam Cantwell of the Fucking Champs) takes on the spazzier side of the instrumental rock out, trading the Champs' top-notch rock 'n' roll for something not unlike what happens when a metal fan takes too many music theory classes. HC
RUFUS WAINWRIGHT, SEAN LENNON, A FINE FRENZY
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) See Music, pg. 27.
SCOTLAND BARR & THE SLOW DRAGS, MISSION 5, DIRKEMER
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Scotland Barr and the Slow Drags walk a dangerous line. On one side, the generic dregs of what has been referred to as "twang rock," and on the other, the lingering remains of a folk renaissance that is quickly becoming stale. A trip to see the five-man band may plunge you into the type of nauseating bar rock one would find themselves comfortably dippin' their lady to, while spittin' out a man-sized glob of Redman chewing tobacco. Yet if one can sit through this terribly named "road music," on occasion Mr. Barr and his Slow Drags will dip their toes into a pure, down-to-earth type of guitar-based folk rock, punctuated by sunny lyrics and the occasional blast of unfiltered harmonica the likes of which we rarely get to hear anymore. NS
IGNITE, STICK TO YOUR GUNS, HAVE HEART, SINKING SHIPS, RISE & FALL, TRASH TALK
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) The gun-control debate rages in the hardcore arena, as Ignite, authors of the anti-weapon rallying cry "Bullets Included, No Thought" ("Put down your gun, punk, put up your dukes, son, why can't you be a man?"), share the stage with Stick to Your Guns. The California-based bands also operate on opposite ends of the genre's sonic spectrum, with the veteran outfit Ignite playing fast, melodic tunes with clean vocals and STYG opting for guttural roars, plodding breakdowns, and inspirational chants ("With a heart that's pure/we'll be victorious"). Despite their differences, both groups join forces on Team Positivity, railing collectively against racism, sexism in the scene, war, poverty, and every other imaginable evil. Ignite even step into U2's messianic slippers to cover "Sunday Bloody Sunday." ANDREW MILLER
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) New York City's Pterodactyl has released music on labels run by Oneida and Parts & Labor; not bad at all, as far as kindred spirits are concerned. Pterodactyl's self-titled album, released earlier this year following a series of EPs, meshes disjointed tempos and quick jets of noise with extended, blissed-out passages. It's from the tension between these two aspects of their sound that much of what makes them fascinating arises. "Esses," which closes the album, sustains and explores that very tone for nearly six minutes. Putting things into a less abstract realm, this is, at its core, visceral, intelligent music—while your inner theorist may be mesmerized, you'll likely find yourself in motion at the same time. TC
ROCK 'N' ROLL CAMP FOR GIRLS BENEFIT: THE GOSSIP, THE REVENANTS, FIST OF DISHONOR
(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) See My, What a Busy Week!, pg. 25.
ST. VINCENT, DEATH VESSEL
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See Music, pg. 29.