Architecture in Helsinki Doug Fir, 5/25

THURSDAY 5/25

WOLFMOTHER, DEADBOY AND

THE ELEPHANTMEN

(Berbati's, 10 SW 3rd) Hailing from Sydney's sun-drenched shores, power-trio Wolfmother rocks so hard that their super-saturated sound tears a hole in the fabric of space time, opening a passage to 1970. Oh yeah, it's retro, but in all the best ways: big meaty hooks, hyperactive tom bashing, cosmonaut keyboards, and love-era lyrics about witchcraft and freedom. Wolfmother's chunky blues-bash grooves thrust forward like an inter-dimensional love train. Touring behind their self-titled debut album, Wolfmother are out to prove to the US what the Aussies already know—it's time to bring back arena rock. Released in October in Australia, the album immediately went platinum there. The US and UK had to wait until May for the studio release, but you might've heard one of their tunes on an iPod commercial. Wolfmother are ascending the red carpet of rock stardom by playing it straight, no winks, no gimmicks, just solid anthems with street-riot force. THADDEUS CHRISTIAN

THE NEW AMSTERDAMS, THE LASHES, CAVES

(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) See My, What a Busy Week!, pg. 17.

ARCHITECTURE IN HELSINKI, TUSSLE,

CLUE TO KALO

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Three reasons to check out the ever-awesome Architecture in Helsinki: (1) Their superb name. Duh. (2) They're from Australia, where toilets swirl backward. (3) Some of the instruments used on their pretty great album, In Case We Die, include: vibraphone, tuba, marimba, bassoon, saw, sitar, harmonica, Wurlitzer, and power tools. CHAS BOWIE

CLOSET MONSTERS, SWEATER CLUB, TO THE WORLD, SPACESHIP POLYMERS,

DALLAS HALL JR

(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) Sweater Club is like a young Rod Stewart (or a hipper Sting) ripping off a ska band's primo as fuck brass section and co-opting it as indiepop. Their sound is hella vigorous, hella exciting, hella well composed, hella... hella everything! Horn-led post-emo? Orchestra confessional pop? I ain't got half an idea how to define this shit—but it's good! Check 'em out at myspace.com/sweaterclub and thank me later when you're all stoked and drooly about your new favorite band. GRANT MORRIS

THREAD, ALELA DIANE, BRYAN FREE, SHIPS TO ROAM

(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Roam no more. Tonight J. Blank from Ships to Roam sets anchor at the Holocene for the release party of his new record, Funeral Songs and Lullabies. Raised in rural Oregon, Blank spent time in such bands as Woke Up Falling, My Goldfish Ned, and Abatwar before deciding to go it alone. Unlike the relatively vanilla indierock of his past credits, Blank's solo music is a much darker, quieter, smarter affair. Funeral's tracks would fit well on a mix tape with like-minders such as Iron and Wine and Hayden—or Nick Drake, if you're not afraid of being made fun of. Don't miss this up-and-coming Portland talent. JASON PEARSON

MOGWAI, EARTH

(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) See Music, pg. 19.

PETRACOVICH, TESTFACE

(Mississippi Pizza, 3552 N Mississippi) Petracovich is cute, San Fran-based singer/songwriter Jessica Peters, who does the whispery soft vocal thing and the Edith Frost fuzzy ambient thing, but does it with more skill and precision than your average cute San-Fran singer/songwriter. Her recent album, We Are Wyoming, was featured in the Boston Globe's top 10 albums of 2005, so she's getting somewhere. Catch her now, while you can still sit and chill while you listen to her, drinking beer and eating pizza. JUSTIN W. SANDERS

FRIDAY 5/26

BIG JAPAN, BIG CITY ROCK, LANDON PIGG

(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) O, loyal Mercury readers and O.C. devotees, we tried—we tried and tried and tried and tried to get an interview with Big Japan's drummer, Adam Brody (meaning we sent one email, and never heard back, then forgot about it, until now, as I'm hastily writing this paragraph). Yes, the Adam Brody, he being the flesh and blood iteration of young Seth Cohen, the best character by a far, far margin on The O.C., he being the dude who, in real life, dates the ludicrously gorgeous and disconcertingly attractive chick who plays Summer, he being the dude who plays the drums (pretty well, actually) in this (pretty good, actually) band, this "Big Japan." So that's a pretty rad life, I'm thinking: You work on a sweet TV show, you're with a ludicrous and disconcerting girl, you're in a really quite decent, even good indierock band, etc. I'm pretty sure if I died and ended up in heaven, my (after)life would start looking a lot like Mr. Brody's, except I would make sure that whoever's answering emails on my band's website responds to interview requests. ERIK HENRIKSEN

KULTUR SHOCK, HEROES AND VILLAINS, COWBOY CURSE

(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) Locals Heroes and Villains are guaranteed to grab you by your ears and heart, shake you like a rag doll, and then bring you back softly with beautiful five-part harmonies. Potential believers and those already of faith take heart! I received an express telegram late last night from Messr. Adam Raitano of aforementioned band. "Dear Sir—stop. I must inform you of our breakthrough in the laboratory and the full-length album [that] will be out forthwith—stop. Experimental cooperation with scientists from MarchFourth and Taarka have genetically augmented aural pleasure—stop. New research into the maniacal and unknown has procured all new material for further experimentation—stop. A tentative date will be set in September for our unveiling to the public, and the event will not fail to shock and astonish those in attendance—stop. Rumor has it that it may or may not involve a calliope manned by little folk and a carrousel that ages you a year with each spin—stop." ELI JEMISON

SASQUATCH FEST DAY ONE

(The Gorge, 754 Silica Rd NW, George, WA) How 'bout Nine Inch Nails, Bauhaus, TV on the Radio, ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of the Dead, Wolfmother, Deadboy and the Elephantmen, and the Trucks? ADAM GNADE

JAMIE LIDELL, COPY, PANTHER, DJ P. DISCO

(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See My, What a Busy Week!, pg. 17.

THE GRAVES, THE ROBOT ATE ME, IF BEARS WERE BEES

(The Artistery, 4315 SE Division) Graves make folk pop that rides the avant garde express-line but doesn't get all bogged down with over artsy naked emperor-isms. The record is To Sur with Love. The label is Hush. The collaborators are everybody from Norfolk and Western's Adam Selzer to Dave Longstreth from Dirty Projectors. Good band. AG See also Music, pg. 21.

SATURDAY 5/27

THE THERMALS, NONSTOP CO-OP BAND, YES FATHER

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Once, in an Omaha basement show at Sokol Hall with Death Cab for Cutie headlining, I watched the Thermals tear down the ceiling. The drive there, I expected to hear pre-Transatlanticism Death Cab rock their early songs, but I didn't prepare myself for the Thermals. They were touring, supporting More Parts Per Million, a better, grittier album than their latest, Fuckin' A. Sweating, screaming, UNLEASHING their simple and precise punk anthems, lead singer Hutch Harris meant every word. We could actually see him losing weight on stage, and the dude is bones anyway. It was ear-shatteringly loud and chock-full of delirious energy in that small underground space. While the basement pillars splintered, I fell in love with the girl in the band, Kathy, hurt my neck from too-tense nodding, and over-used smile muscles I didn't know I had. It's a good thing the second band sucked, or I never would have made it through Death Cab. After the Thermals' short set, I was wrecked. BART SCHANEMAN

ODON SOTERIAS

(The Artistery, 4315 SE Division) Tonight's the record release and good-bye party for Odon Soterias, who make awesome Celtic/medieval music perfect for slaying dragons, banging hot lusty maidens in the hayloft, and burning the villages of rival clans. Could definitely see these guys soundtracking a decadent, drunken mead and roasted mutton party. Pass the elderberry punch, you bearded bastard. AG

SASQUATCH FESTIVAL DAY TWO

(The Gorge, 754 Silica Rd NW, George, WA) How 'bout Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals, the Flaming Lips, the Shins, the Tragically Hip, Neko Case, Iron and Wine, Sufjan Stevens, Gomez, Rogue Wave, Sam Roberts, Constantines, Architecture in Helsinki, Bedouin Soundclash, Band of Horses, Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks, Matt Costa, Tim Seely, Korby Lenker, Common Market, Slender Means, David Ford, Elvis Perkins, and Brett Dennen? AG See also Music, pg. 21.

STEAL THIS FESTIVAL W/MARK RUDD, THESE ARMS ARE SNAKES, PARALLAX, JAY BOSS RUBIN

(Loveland, 320 SE 2nd) See Music, pg. 19.

MINISTRY, REVOLTING COCKS, PITBULL DAYCARE

(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Ministry was the shit to us in 10th grade. We had transitioned from metal to "alternative" a few years before, but Ministry's double-heavy dose of industrialism allowed us unleash our inner metal heads without looking like total mallrats. My pal Sam was so inspired by the song "Stigmata" that he dug into his left palm with his overgrown thumbnail until something resembling a real stigmata—a nasty purple blob—appeared on his hand and stayed there for a few days. Later that year, when Sam and I saw ZZ Top play the Cajundome, his Mormon faith kept him from checking out the laser projections of big-tittied dancers on the ceiling. In fact, I'm pretty sure he used his stigmata hand to shield his eyes. I wonder whatever happened to old Sam. CHAS BOWIE

RABBITS, UNDERMOUNTAINS, THE BETTER TO SEE YOU WITH

(Towne Lounge, 714 SW 20th Pl) Let's start from the back row. The Better to See You With pull lightning from the sky, run it into a keyboard setting, and rattle the elements with heavy, LOUD, beautiful storm noise. Mighty locals Undermountains grind out doomy metal that's slow as cold chocolate syrup pouring on a winter day and heavy as tank treads crushing the corpses of the battlefield slain. Rabbits are all gloriously sludgy, long-winding build-ups, and menacing heaviness. The latter two are releasing a 12-inch tonight that belongs in your collection, filed under "fucking awesome." AG

VIEW, CONURE, JOSH HYDEMAN, SLEEPING WITH THE EARTH, GLAMOROUS PAT, THE SUNKEN, ROBOTIC DALY, CRITICAL THEATER

(Weapons of Mass Compassion, 323 NW 6th) Local guy Josh Hydeman makes some righteously noisy, intensely painful experimental boogie. If his music were a bird, it would be shitting on your favorite jacket at this very minute. If it were a plane, it would be crashing nose-down onto your house, just because. Josh Hydeman, I salute you. You do good things, sir. AG

TEAM DRESCH, SWAN ISLAND, LIBBER

(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) See My, What a Busy Week!, pg. 17.

SUNDAY 5/28

THE STEVEN SEAGAL BLUES BAND, JJ GILMORE

(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) Film Editor Erik Henriksen and I were sitting around last week watching Seagal's latest direct-to-DVD, Mercenary for Justice, when he (Erik, not Seagal) suddenly exclaimed, "I can't think of anyone better to devote an entire issue to than Seagal." And he was right—the Oscar-caliber action films, the weird faux Asian wardrobe, the shady mafia and CIA ties, the obsession with "the real cats" (see "Kick Ass: The Steven Seagal Interview", pg. 11), he's just a man for all seasons. Seagal's new record is called Mojo Priest. It's Chicago blues—kind of like BB King, if BB was white, pony-tailed, and able to snap your spine like a carrot stick. AG

SASQUATCH FESTIVAL DAY THREE

(The Gorge, 754 Silica Rd NW, George, WA) How 'bout Beck, Death Cab for Cutie, Queens of the Stone Age, Matisyahu, the Decemberists, Nada Surf, Arctic Monkeys, Pretty Girls Make Graves, Blue Scholars, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, We Are Scientists, Chad Vangaalen, the Heavenly States, Damien Jurado, Jamie Lidell, Ben Lee, Rocky Votolato, Laura Veirs, Mercir, the Village Green, Headphones, Big Japan, and Big City Rock? AG

PHASE ONE: WORDS AND MUSIC

(Towne Lounge, 714 SW 20th Pl) Mercury freelancer Garrett Strickland is on the verge of becoming a player in Portland's indie literature scene. Reason being, Strickland knows what keeps people interested and thusly turns a normal prose/poetry reading night into a half reading, half musical performance type of thing that interweaves the two disciplines until they're all just one big happy family. Tonight Strickland brings out the talents of Robert Louis Medina, Deborah Woodard, Corrina Wycoff, Tiffany Lee Brown, and Stacey Levine. Find out what everybody's talking about tonight at the Towne Lounge. JP

MONDAY 5/29

ARCTIC MONKEYS, WE ARE SCIENTISTS

(Roseland, 18 NW 6th) See My, What a Busy Week; pg. 17

SIBERIA, ORDER OF THE GASH, DJ NATE C

(Tube, 8 NW 3rd) Originally called Violet, the dudes from Siberia moved here from Fresno about six years ago. They gigged around a while—mostly house parties—back then under the name Morse Code Heartbeat, before morphing into Siberia a year ago. Info that I got says they're getting set to release a triple set of 6-inch records, which is so evil-sounding it makes me want to split in two and fight myself. Until then, you can check 'em out at Tube as they alchemize hardcore, metal, and grindcore into savage, thrashing joy. You like joy, right? Joy to the world, motherfuckers. AG

TUESDAY 5/30

ELEFANT, VOXTROT, SILVERSUN PICKUPS

(Berbati's, 10 SW 3rd) Since they got their start at the same time and place as the Strokes, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Interpol, Elefant sometimes get lumped in with the rest of their stylized post-punk peers. But their poppier, less jagged and swankier vibe owes more to the dreamy darkness of the Psychedelic Furs and Echo and the Bunnymen (and even Suede) than it does to Joy Division and Siouxsie. Like She Wants Revenge (but less juvenile and more glamorous), Elefant inhabit a world where romance is a dangerous proposition offered over and between broken promises and empty bottles, and heartbreak looks good in eyeliner. BARBARA MITCHELL

WEDNESDAY 5/31

JAN JELINEK, NUDGE, UNRECOGNIZABLE NOW

(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Yay, Nudge! These local favorites' ringleader, Brian Foote, left us to work for Kranky Records in Chicago, so to see the band grace us with a live performance is a rare and welcome treat. Spread throughout their three excellent albums, Nudge has explored impressionist dub tapestries, micro-electric house numbers, and swelling space-rock nebulas all with equal aplomb. Berlin's Jan Jelinek is certainly no slouch either, in fact he's considered by many to be one of the world's foremost laptop magicians. This is not a show to shrug off. Be there and be stoned! JOSH BLANCHARD

SMEGMA, ANNIEMENTAL, EAR VENOM, GLAMOROUS PAT

(Food Hole, 20 NW 3rd) Seattleite noise project Ear Venom has a ton of venom en route to your ears, bucko! According to their site, there's Tarhumara Peyote Rites of 1936, a new limited-edition tape (20 hand-numbered); the Breeds Lava EP, out on the Wall of Sound label; and a spot on Ong Ong Zine's upcoming CDR compilation. Rare record collectors, get out there and collect! GM

DANIELSON, FAUN FABLES W/DAWN McCARTHY, NILS FRYKDAHL

(Loveland, 320 SE 2nd) Danielson, born Daniel Smith, helped young Sufjan Stevens get a leg up in showbiz by inviting the lad to tour the world with his nurse's-uniform-wearing, joyful-cacophony-making band the Danielson Family. Danielson's Ships, the latest effort by Smith and his many, many friends and relations, is the alpha and omega of his 10-plus-year musical odyssey thus far, and a brilliant point of entry for the uninitiated. KURT B. REIGHLEY