LION FEVER, BELLMER DOLLS, GRAND ELEGANCE, A VERY DEAD HORSE
(Food Hole, 20 NW 3rd) Who made the rule that sex cheapens one's music? (If the Bellmer Dolls were selling actual sex, it would not be cheap—they were recently picked for Paper Magazine's Top Beautiful People list and featured on the cover page of the New York Times' fashion section.) They're more fun to look at than to listen to, but they're by no means bad. They're really good, in fact, and have proven it with their recent EP, The Big Cats Will Throw Themselves Over, the first clearly recorded material that flaunts Peter Mavrogeorgis' seductively heart-squeezing and irascible vocals, conjoined with moan-y guitars that end up sounding like Interpol (minus the asinine lyrics) meets Pulp Fiction meets Celebration meets a cheap cigarette dangling off pouty lips. The year spent on this EP and the pristine production by Jim Sclavunos (Sonic Youth, Nick Cave) is a sweet, dark, glam rock laurel for the Brooklyn goth assemblage to rest upon for some time to come. JENNA ROADMAN
WEST INDIAN GIRL, THE BRAKES, KIKI
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) See My, What a Busy Week!, pg. 15.
OZZFEST 2006 W/OZZY OSBOURNE, SYSTEM OF A DOWN, DISTURBED, HATEBREED, LACUNA COIL, ZAKK WYLDE, ATREYU, UNEARTH, BLEEDING THROUGH, NORMA JEAN, WALLS OF JERICHO, THE RED CHORD, A LIFE ONCE LOST, STRAPPING YOUNG LAD, ALL THAT REMAINS, FULL BLOWN CHAOS, BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME
(White River Amphitheater, 40601 Auburn Enumclaw Road, Auburn, WA) I've attended quite a few Ozzfests in my day, enjoying one of the last Pantera performances before their breakup, a superb Marilyn Manson set, and a handful of pleasant surprises on the second stage, but there isn't much incentive to subject myself to the sweaty, shirtless masses this year. This one has a lot more to offer the emocore and Christian kids, what with bloodless bands like Norma Jean and Lacuna Coil on the schedule. Even less appealing: sitting through Disturbed's new cover of Genesis' "Land of Confusion." Who the fuck gave the green light on that one? HANNAH LEVIN
IMAAD WASIF, PARENTHETICAL GIRLS
(Towne Lounge, 714 SW 20th Pl) See Music, pg. 17.
LICHENS, CLOUDLAND CANYON, WHITE RAINBOW, VALET, ACRE
(Towne Lounge, 714 SW 20th Pl) Cloudland Canyon took me unawares with their 2006 debut disc, Requiems Der Nature 2002–2004. Here was a duo (American Kip Uhlhorn and German Simon Wojan) recording for Tee Pee Records—mainly known for its middling stoner-rock fare—who conjured the soul-inflating drones, meditational fantasias, and synapse-tingling textures of the great American minimalist composers (Terry Riley, Steve Reich, David Behrman, Philip Glass, et al.) and '70s Kraut-rock psychonauts like Ash Ra Tempel and Embryo. Unusual, to say the least. Bolstered by Turing Machine/Juan Maclean drummer Jerry Fuchs, the Double vocalist Jacob Morris, and keyboardist Kelly Winkler, Cloudland Canyon tap into a deep mystical vein of sonic poetry and rare melodic beauty. They make most freak-folkies sound like fey daisy pickers. Along with Acre, White Rainbow, Valet, and equally transcendent drone/guitar/vocal savant Lichens (Robert Lowe), this tremendous bill provides a prime opportunity to get your brainticket punched. DAVE SEGAL See Music, pg. 18.
NEKO CASE, SONNY SMITH
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) See Music, pg. 18.
SONIC YOUTH, AWESOME COLOR
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) The first time I saw Sonic Youth, it was the Goo tour (I went because it was also the Bleach tour). For a lot of folks, it was the end of an era. SY were on Geffen Records; the cover of Spin awaited. Nobody back in '91 could have projected how successfully Thurston Moore and Co. have been able to maintain a respectable career while turning out limitless side-projects with even more vim. By now though, the band has started and ended so many eras that it's hard to keep track: from the best no-wave exploitation artists ever, to American indierock icons, to corporate pop artists, and on through their various flirtations with their own back catalog. Their latest disc, Rather Ripped, is the first unapologetic pop record they've made; shedding Jim O'Rourke as well as Lee Ranaldo's haphazard poetry. These four people have certainly earned the right to be adult contemporary noise rockers. It's safe to say this is one more pleasant phase in a shockingly long career. And it feels a hell of a lot more valid than Steel Wheels. NATHAN CARSON
BENEFIT FOR THE ARTISTERY W/MODERNSTATE, OWL DUDES, WHITE FANG
(The Artistery, 4315 SE Division) Modernstate goes under two names (Modernstate and Humans), which can be confusing, but its music is nothing of the sort. It is sure, rudder-like, balanced, and moves forward with honest human emotion. It's folk, but it's also punk, experimental, lo-fi rock, and blends all of this into some sort of mutant confessional pop. ADAM GNADE See also this week's edition of Adam Gnade's podcast, Best Show/Worst Show, at portlandmercury.com/podcasts
FIONA APPLE, DAMIEN RICE
(Les Schwab Amphitheater, 344 Shevlin-Hixon, Bend) It's nice to see Fiona Apple taking a second lap in support of last year's long-awaited Extraordinary Machine, given all the hurdles involved in getting it released. The question on the first leg of the tour was what sort of band she would bring on the road. The answer was, unfortunately, not a full orchestra or even a band with a string section, but a slick, compact rock outfit with two keyboardists, a semi-funky drummer, and a head-bobbing bassist. Even so, the show is worth the price of admission, not only to see Fiona belt out the album's standouts like "Not About Love" and "Oh Well," but also to see the borderline-religious fan response. WILLIAM YORK
STARS OF TRACK AND FIELD, BINARY DOLLS, JONAH MATRANGA
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Stars of Track and Field return home in support of their recently released Centuries Before Love and War, a second stab at infusing a glittering, shimmering wash of electronic ticks into their standard sound. If you're worried that the addition of sterile drum loops and dour subject matter (the album's protagonist dies on the first track) will create a mind-numbingly dull live show, think again. SOTAF's refined, even subtle use of electric noise lends well to the swelling guitar crescendos many of the album's space-rock ballads are built upon. These guys mash noodling guitar licks with futuristic stadium rock, and the outcome makes for an intelligently entertaining performance. NOAH SANDERS
HAUNTED CASTLE, GHOSTING, SHITTY VIBE SMASHER, BURRITO PILLOW
(Dunes, 1905 NE MLK) From deep in the concrete soil of Detroit, Haunted Castle slowly grinds brick sounds under steamrollers. Thick distorted tape-hiss samples of nature slammed without sentiment through a grip of pedals while scratching, scraping, bleeping, and thrashing on contact-mic'd cymbals, synths, and unrecognizable guitar. As their name suggests, the band may as well be providing the soundtrack to a gruesome cement cellar torture scene. Creepy lurching beats struggling with synthetic hallucinations of terror shivers, 'Nam flashbacks, and memories of childhood abandonment. Also up is the increasingly tight improv noise trio Shitty Vibe Smasher. JAMES SQUEAKY
BOOKS TO PRISONERS BENEFIT W/OPEN-MINDEAD THERAPISTS, CHILDREN BORN OF WATER, ERIK BEATS, ALL OUT MASSACRE
(Red and Black Café, 2138 SE Division) Having a pen pal is hella sweet, and it's even sweeter when it's a jailbird. Why? Because (a) They're in jail, so they've got stories galore, and said stories are probably crazier than your, like, "Today I saw the weeeeirdest bumper sticker downtown!" stuff. (b) They're in jail, so they've got tons of time on their hands, often resulting in some decent, lengthy verbiage. (In the words of Hunter S. Thompson, "Many fine books have been written in prison.") (c) They're in jail, so the letters won't be all about the weather. (d) They're in... okay, you get it. ALSO a good many of them are unjustly accused ("political prisoners," says the Red and Black folks) and victims of a racist and corrupt system. So you writing them and saying, like, "chin up, soldier" or whatevs is totally noble. This is an info event, a birthday card-writing workshop, a film screening (USA INCarcerated, Google it), and a show with Open-Mindead Therapists, Children Born of Water, Erik Beats, and All Out Massacre laying down beats and flows. Well-rounded entertainment! GRANT MORRIS
ROUGE WAVE, DYKERITZ
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!, pg. 15.
THE KELLEY AND JASON SHOW, DJ TEENAGE
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See Feature, pg. 13.
MINDLESS SELF INDULGENCE, KILL HANNAH, SCHOOLYARD HEROES
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) While touring in support of 2000's Frankenstein Girls Will Seem Strangely Sexy, Mindless Self Indulgence actively incensed System of a Down fans and Insane Clown Posse's Juggalos with their hiphop swagger, hard-pulsing disco beats, fluttering falsetto vocals, and sexually ambiguous stage presence. The follow-up album finally arrived, boiled in bile, last April. On the title track of You'll Rebel to Anything, MSI harangue the Hot Topic hordes for their allegiance to corporate co-opted countercultural affectations. When they play this song at headlining gigs, their followers shout along, many obliviously wearing mall-bought T-shirts. When there isn't a hostile audience to antagonize, receptive-yet-clueless crowds will suffice. ANDREW MILLER
REALICIDE, GLAMOROUS PAT
(Valentine's, 232 SW Ankeny) The Realicide collective can sound like plodding, brooding, impending doom, all slow and swampy trudging death-march rock parts that slow-build into electro beat grindcore that has one foot in the grave and the other glistening with swarms of fire ants. It can get Throbbing Gristle noisy, but it can also go speed gabber nuts just as nimbly. Turntable'd samples bust into industrial/rave beats, stabs of noise lash out anxious and brutally like a giant squid stuck in a sea chest. It's vicious, smart, funny shit. A good mix. As says one of their samples, "Well, I definitely wouldn't call it punk." AG
NUTBROWN, MOSSYROCK, POLLY PANIC, BARK, HIDE AND HORN
(Ash Street Saloon, 225 SW Ash) Sharing the name of my favorite kind of ale, Portland's Nutbrown spits out some nas-tay experimental jazz rock. David Holt (drums), Captain John (bass), Bryan MacClarence (keyboard, guitar), and Brian Davis (tenor sax, guitar) bump and grind through carnivalistic jazzy jazz instrumentals, but then—when you're grooving along—stuff gets wonky and suddenly we're being smacked around by serious metal. Then, whoa, it's the big jazz show down again. The bros really keep it interesting and—more so—keep us guessing. From Mingus to circus, from Bungle to beautiful psychedelia, these dudes are fun with a capital F-U-N. Brainy, naturalist-core folksters Bark, Hide and Horn open. GM
MISS MASSIVE SNOWFLAKE, BILL HORIST
(Tube, 18 NW 3rd) Miss Massive Snowflake (AKA Shane, singer/trumpet/keyboard player in Rollerball) is promising a night of awkward multimedia entertainment. Finally debuting his mysterious solo project persona to a venue audience through acoustic guitar-based pop songs, comedy, magic, interactive video, rap, and even spoken word. Even better, Miss Massive will be painting a canvas live as accompaniment to Bill Horist's prepared guitar compositions. Horist shoves and wiggles various metal objects including kitchen utensils, clips, and cymbals through his guitar strings. Looping together beautiful melodies and striking the strings like a percussion instrument for lush and surprising sounds. JS
SET IT STRAIGHT, LIFE AND LIMB, ROBOT EYES, COUNTING THE DAYS, BROADWAY CALLS
(Liberty Hall, 311 NW Ivy) Rainer, Oregon's Broadway Calls are some kinda wonderful street punk folk-pop. It sounds like that squatter kid that's always out on Broadway strumming an acoustic guitar and stinkin' up a storm. Only, in this case, the music's actually good, with Jawbreaker quality vocals and scruffy Against Me! aesthetic. Go to this show, dudes. Listen to the lyrics, friends. Get into this. GM
BAND OF HORSES, MT. EGYPT, SERA CAHOONE
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) I first met Mt. Egypt (AKA Travis Graves) in Hollywood. We were back by the pool drinking when Travis returned from tour. I obliged when he asked for some of my Wild Turkey, but became edgy as he stepped from the kitchen carrying a pint glass and ice filled to the brim with my 101. Fuck him, I thought; I don't care if he does live in a tent. About an hour later, Travis was one of my best friends. He could have all my booze, anytime. You see, Travis gives too. Over the course of that warm night by the pool, Travis shared intimate experiences and sage, Zen-like advice. His songs are no different. And if the Elliot-Dylan-Young amalgamation in 3/4 time feels strange at first, breathe deep, relax, and you'll be lifted away to breezy, sunny, sandy beach... where a little salt water helps you see the bigger picture. ANDREW R TONRY See Music, pg. 17.
JONNY X AND THE GROADIES, K.I.T., ABIKU, SOUR GRAPES
(Food Hole, 20 NW 3rd) Happy Birthday, Jonny X and the Groadies—may you survive to see a second decade of decadence with your laser party-animal black metal drum-machine Dance Dance Revolution thump fest. This year, Food Hole hosts the annual event including Oakland's goof spaz punk ecstatic cheerleaders, K.I.T. with Steve and Chris from XBXRX and the eternally enthusiastic Kristy and George Chen. The party will be jumping up and down, pumping fists in the air, booty shaking, and root-beer guzzling. Be ready for short, fast songs that blurt bad words at grownups and run away screaming nanny-nanny boo-boo. JS
S. BROOKS, EVERYTHING NOW!, DEEP NORTH
(Ash Street Saloon, 225 SW Ash) See The Scene Report, pg. 25.
REALICIDE, IDX1274, DOG SHIT TACO
(Excommunicate House, 3316 Grand, Vancouver) See Monday's U&C for Realicide's Valentine's show and Wednesday's U&C for Dog Shit Taco at Food Hole.
DOG SHIT TACO, THE VONNEGUTTS, DEAD/BIRD
(Food Hole, 20 NW 3rd) Now that extreme noise is a popular genre, it's getting harder and harder to find that distilled sound that will still put a hot ice pick through audiences' collective dead nerves. LA's Dog Shit Taco assault on multiple levels, starting with the obvious—a disgust-inducing name. Visually, they're taking comedic cues from black metal, with liberal amounts of corpse-paint and a Halloweenie fashion sense. Sonically, they deliver crunching metal guitar over lo-fi industrial noise rhythms. The icing on their ice pick, though, is the straight-up opera attack of their lead singer. Her thoroughly trained croon stabs across the top of accomplice/band leader Stane Hubert's compositions. The results sound like a professional DJ making a cracked-out mix of Italian opera, Throbbing Gristle, and early Slayer. According to their bio, they hope to bring a real taco stand on the road with them to help pay for gas. Would you buy a taco from them? NC
CASTANETS, CJ BOYD SEXXXTET, MODERNSTATE
(Towne Lounge, 714 SW 20th Pl) Behind the house is a graveyard, a forest of white crosses stretching down to the river. On the wooden back porch of the Civil War-era house sits a man, long-bearded. He looks up to say, "Aren't we deep and dangerous wells?" and the cellar door laughs sinister. The Castanets are not the ghosts in the attic, the angels in the moonlight, or the devils under the floorboards; the Castanets are this man, this Ray Raposa, and these apparitions float in his songs. There are others, of course, that help Raposa move the strings of his puppets, but the backwoods figures are his, the scene from his brush, the foundations of the house rotted out and creaking under his footsteps. In the field to the south, the orchestra conducted with an ancient voice of time, backed by the dissonance of a hundred instrumented vagrants. Some shake their teeth in copper cups, some writhe in the soil with purple swirls in their eyes, and there, now at the head of this decaying transcendence, is Raposa, arms raised, mouth open, eyes rolled back to the whites. BART SCHANEMAN