THURSDAY 3/23

TRAIN

(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) Hey IDIOTS, ASSHOLES, AND FOOLS OF THE WORLD: Stop coming up to me in airports and restaurants and asking me if I'm the singer from fucking Train. I look nothing like him. I dress nothing like him. He's older than me. Taller than me (I think). And he fucking drops lines like, "Can you imagine your first dance, freeze-dried romance, five-hour phone conversation/the best soy latte that you ever had in me." Who knows what the fuck that means and, anyway, I would NEVER sing about soy lattes. I'd rather cut my balls off, get a job at the Portland Monthly's in-office Starbucks kiosk, and move to the Pearl. ADAM GNADE

ART BRUT, GIL MANTERA'S PARTY DREAM

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See Music, pg. 21.

KIRK RUNDSTORM BENEFIT: THE DINGS, HILLSTOMP, MARK BROWN, KATE MANN

(Ash Street Saloon, 225 SW Ash) Kirk Rundstorm from the band Split Lip Rayfield was recently diagnosed with cancer and the homeboys (and homegirls) at Ash Street Saloon are throwing a dope-ass benefit with the Dings, Hillstomp, Mark Brown, and Kate Mann. Help a brotha out. GRANT MORRIS

SERENA MANEESH, THE KINGDOM, BLITZEN TRAPPER

(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Music writers have called Norway's great Serena Maneesh everything from gothic to psyche-rock to shoegaze, but what does that really mean? Nothing. Genre quantifiers aside, the band's last record, Honeymilk, has a damn HUGE sound. Guitars (I'm hearing, like, 16 different ones on their track "Sapphire Eyes") and drums and keyboards and soft, buried vocals build up a wall of sound that feels like six bands playing the same song (and three playing different ones) on one stage. If two of those were the Velvet Underground, four played free-jazz, and the other three were different versions of the Animal Collective, you'd be right on with SM's trip. AG

SCARY KIDS SCARING KIDS, BLEED THE DREAM, LOVEHATEHERO, DIVIDED DREAM

(Rock n Roll Pizza, 11140 SE Powell) Screamy emo group Scary Kids Scaring Kids could be the best band on Earth (they're not), but that name, that fucking retarded, awkward, silly name, murders any chance they have of being respectable, decent, and non-flash in the pan. What do they sound like? They're on a new comp with Buckethead and Mudvayne. They're campaigning (via MySpace) to get on the Warped Tour. They're... who cares. AG

BELLE & SEBASTIAN, THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS

(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) See Music, pg. 19.

FRIDAY 3/24

OLD GROWTH SHOW: BIRDS OF PREY, OLD GROWTH, MISE EN ABYME, DAN JONES

(Acme, 1305 SE 8th) Old Growth, which releases its new issue at this show, is a sassy, badassical local 'zine that's all about giving big ups to Pacific NW bands and artists and keeping it super positive. I scammed an advance copy of the latest issue in which there's sweet stuff about Little Wings, Mt. Eerie, Kickball, and gobs of local art and photography. Put on your hottest pants and come check this jazz out. Besides the music there will be an art installation sale by JunkTown, featuring the art skills of Brett and Whitney Superstar, Justin "Scrappers" Morrison, Amy Morrison, and more. Get cultured, yo. GM

MAZARIN, THE DOUBLE, TAPES 'N TAPES

(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) According to the lyrics from Mazarin's "Suicide Will Make You Happy," inconsistency makes you the same most of the time. If that were the case, Mazarin's 2001 A Tall Tale Storyline would be a monotonous bore. Not so. This diverse album is laced with trippy pop gems that are layered with discordant sounds and soothing crackles. The result is a lilting and cheery album that borders on psychedelic. It reminds me of a '60s road trip through Candyland—soft and catchy, with a sticky edge. Check out their newest album We're Already There, which is nearly as good as Tall Tale. COURTNEY FERGUSON

PLASTIC CONSTELLATIONS, WET CONFETTI, CAR SCARS, AT DUSK

(Food Hole, 20 NW 3rd) Minneapolis' the Plastic Constellations have the beats and geetars and perfectly spunky vocals that make a homey do the Humpty dance and be like, "indierock ain't all that boring, yo." They remind me of Les Savy Fav or Minus the Bear only with, like, uber-tight changes and a nerdiness that sounds way more for reals than, say, Weezer's groomed geek style. Get there early for Wet Confetti, who are local peeps that rock the socks off people that aren't even wearing socks. Which makes no sense. But still! GM

SATURDAY 3/25

DEADBOY & THE ELEPHANTMEN, THE HEAVENLY STATES

(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) Guy/girl duo Deadboy and the Elephantmen are oft compared to the White Stripes because, y'know, they're a guy and a girl, and they're a duo and... yeah. The band actually has a lot more range than you might imagine a "blues duo" having. The two most prevalent ones: Sometimes they sound like sweet, mellow, delta blues sung by two people who are desperately in love, and sometimes they sound like a dogshitty New York dance-pop band (the Bravery, maybe) trying to be rootsy and not really knowing what "rootsy" means. The quality divide is huge and a little confusing when you hear both styles back to back. Go take a piss or have a cigarette for the latter. Get front and center for the former. AG

RHETT MILLER, NICOLAI DUNGER

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) The Texas-born Rhett Miller is best known as the guy from the Old 97's, but a few years ago he went solo with singer/songwr—WHAMMM BRRASK GRSKSKS JKKJKJ CRASHSSS! THUD. Oh, sorry. I fell asleep at the wheel and crashed my car into a tree and died. Thanks, Rhett. You're boring, y'know that? AG

VETIVER

(Jackpot Records, 203 SW 9th) See Music, pg. 19

VETIVER, MICHAEL HURLEY, CURRITUCK CO.

(Towne Lounge, 714 SW 20th Pl) See Music, pg. 19.

SUNDAY 3/26

THE REPUTATION, MS. LED

(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) Lookout! Records recently lost big-time when Green Day pulled its back catalog. With most all of the steam (and money) knocked out of them, some of its artists jumped ship for better labels (e.g., Ted Leo), and a lot of the smaller ones are kinda floating along, trying desperately to keep their careers above water without the mighty Lookout!'s once-mighty dollars. One of those is the Reputation (Elizabeth Elmore, ex-Sarge), which plays a sort of Replacements gone Weezer-style power-pop. It's nothing I care for all that much, but that doesn't mean I don't feel for them. Go to this show. Give Elizabeth your money. Consider it your good deed for the day. AG

MONDAY 3/27

ARAB STRAP, HIS NAME IS ALIVE, A WHISPER IN THE NOISE

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) For years I only knew Arab Strap as "those Scottish guys with the great band name," but today I know them as those Scottish guys who make the best fucking soundtrack for a lifestyle I am only too well acquainted with. You know the feeling. Guzzling 10 or 20 pints of lager, maybe a shot or two of well whiskey that some jackass drunk bought you at the bar, wanking off while you're crying yourself to sleep over a stupid memory of an ex-girlfriend who is NEVER coming back. Which is not to say they make mope music. In fact that's really the selling point of Arab Strap: They make music to viciously make fun of yourself over when you wake the next day, post-mope, post-lager, post-whiskey, with your limp climax-free cock still in your hand. Their message seems to be, "Your feeble attempts at human relations are horrific, hilarious, and ultimately doomed, so why not rock out to it all?" Yes, you crooning Scottish bastards, give it to me. Every goddamn night. The week never starts around here. JAMEY BAINER

JANA HUNTER, CASTANETS, ALELA DIANE

(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Castanets, the nomadic music project of Raymond Raposa, is one of those few bands that resist the too-common trend of stringing together genres (termdashtermdashterm) in an effort to approximate their sound. The elements at work, however, in achieving their transcendence seem nearly as mysterious as the music itself. The multi-instrumentation and eerie, rattling percussion twinned with Raposa's echoing vocals often evoke a kind of rural dreamscape, the songs sounding as though played inside some lost, darkness-drenched cavern tucked away in backwoods hill-and-holler. Much is due to Raposa's gifts as a writer, his lyrics at once obtuse, rich in imagery, and fiercely literate, their finest quality being the seeming ease with which they unfold. Inside these songs, you're likely to become as lost as the wandering narrators that dwell therein—the kind of lost you never mind revisiting. GARETT STRICKLAND See also Music, pg. 21.

BETH ORTON, WILLY MASON

(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) Dear Mr. and Mrs. Orton: Thank you for taking our letter. The fact is we are very concerned about young Beth's creative development. Her latest album, Comfort of Strangers, confirms what we have suspected for many years: Your daughter had a surplus of potential and talent, but has consistently failed to capitalize on it. We accepted your daughter based on the strength of her song "Stolen Car," but in the seven ensuing years, she has given us nothing but boring post-Lilith Fair songs that make it sound, frankly, as if she has written them expressly to be played at the local Starbucks. As you can well understand, this is unacceptable to our institution, and as such, we must ask that Beth not return until she has demonstrated that she is willing and able to live up to the potential that made us like her in the first place. Sincerely, Portland Mercury. CHAS BOWIE

TUESDAY 3/28

GOGOL BORDELLO, KULTUR SHOCK, ZOX

(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) An early wannabe Oscar contender way back in '05 was Everything is Illuminated, the Liev Schreiber-directed adaptation of Jonathan Safran Foer's pretty amazing novel. The film, aside from some stunning visuals, sucked; the one upside to it all was one Eugene Hutz, who stole the whole movie from underneath the furry feet of Elijah Wood. Hutz—who's also the frontman for gypsy punk band Gogol Bordello—imbued his character with a manic sense of humor, an off-putting sense of theatrical volatility, and no small amount of charm. Point is, shortly after I saw the film I found myself in a record store in Brooklyn and—despite an amazing Mingus selection and no small amount of Brooklyn-grown hiphop—Gogol Bordello's Gypsy Punks was my first, unquestioned purchase. Shamefully, even though they come through Portland like every two weeks, I have yet to see them live—and it's commonly acknowledged that this is the way to listen to them—but Gypsy Punks is a blast; fast and fun and weird and unpredictable, filled out with twisted European quirks, and tapping into a breathless, heretofore extinct sort of punk glee. My point: I have limited experience with Gogol Bordello, but based on it, I'm pretty damn sure you'll have a blast at this show. ERIK HENRIKSEN

THE SUBWAYS, THE SHYS

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Can you believe all the stuff that's happened since the Subways rocked the Bait Shop? I know! Me neither! All right, so Ryan's finally dumped that stupid, whiny Marissa (good riddance!) and has his eyes on that hot brunette—not sure who she is, exactly, but she's hot. Seth and Summer seem to be doing all right, but why aren't they doing it? If I was going out with Summer, you can be damn sure that doing it—like, all the time—would be at the top of my list of priorities. Instead, Seth's all like, "Ooh, we've got to throw Ryan a birthday party," and Summer's all like, "Ooh, my puffy dad's going out with Newport's biggest slut, who also happens to be the mother of my best friend, Marissa." Shut up and do it already! Meanwhile, what the hell's going on with Sandy? He used to be like this rad surfer/lawyer/dad/moral center of Newport, but now he's going all skeezy and slick just so he can get some business deal and build some stupid hospital? C'mon, Sandy! Wake up! Oh, and then that pussy who wouldn't even fight Ryan? (I don't know his name, but man, what a dick—remember that one time he tried to fight Ryan down on the beach, but then Ryan grabbed a broken bottle, and totally stepped up, and was all like "All right, let's do this, bitch!" and then that other dude just got all scared and ran away? That was awesome!) Well, that dude's all hitting on/stalking Marissa, and he's totally sketchy, and is just dumb/insecure enough to kill somebody if given the chance or sufficiently angered, so I guess I should be concerned for Marissa's safety, but actually, I'm hoping it works out so he kills her, because (a) she's really annoying, and (b) then maybe there'd be enough time for Seth and Summer to do it already. EH

WEDNESDAY 3/29

JASON COLLETT, BAND OF HORSES

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Broken Social Scene's Jason Collett has been making solo music since way before he joined the band, and Idols of Exile is homey's latest. But it's not what you might expect. Instead of a pared-down singer/songwriter acoustic thing, it's a muy busy, muy bueno, muy extravagant thing where Mr. Collett invites all his friends (Stars, Leslie Feist, Apostle of Hustle, Metric, Do Make Say) for a funkified indie-pop jamfest. It's guests galore. Think Bob Dylan's Rolling Thunder tour sans Allen Ginsberg. Only problem comes when Toronto guy Collett sings in a fake Southern accent. Like, bro, you're Canadian... sound like it. That's my only gripe, though. Besides that, it's sweet as heck. GM

AN ALBATROSS, ARGUMENTIX, WE QUIT, MOTO PHOTOS, MACAW

(Loveland, 320 SE 2nd) See It's Who You Know, pg. 27.

THE DEAD SCIENCE, THE OCTOPUS PROJECT, TRULY ME CLUB

(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Bro, I have never wanted to be the Dead Science more than I do right this minute! Woo! They get to play with (and hang out with, and drink with, I'm guessing) the wondrous, cooltastic the Octopus Project, purveyors of the most fun, dope-beat-having, indie electronica pop this side of IDM circa 2002. Woo! Their 2005 release One Ten Hundred Thousand Million is so phat it's about to die of a massive heart attack and leave a giant, McDonald's French fry-scented corpse. Woo! That's a legacy, folks! Woo! GM