THE LILYS, HIGH VIOLETS, HUMAN TELEVISION
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Previously pegged as everything from late-to-the-party shoegazers to shameless Ray Davies disciples, Philadelphia's Lilys finally sound like a band truly becoming comfortable with their own identity (granted, it took 15 years, but who's counting?). Their latest effort, Everything Wrong Is Imaginary (Manifesto), capitalizes on their greatest psych-pop strengths, embellishing solid, sly songwriting with fractured keyboard lines, compelling, quirky beats, and deeply infectious bass grooves. Justifiably drawing comparisons to the Smiths (wry, Anglo-inspired lyrics) and the Wedding Present (for their lucid, lush guitar harmonics), newcomers Human Television show plenty of promise in the field of smart pop. HANNAH LEVIN
CATTLE DECAPITATION, JOB FOR A COWBOY, ANIMOSITY, MISERY INDEX, FROM A SECONDARY WINDOW
(Rock n Roll Pizza, 11140 SE Powell) Reviewers are fond of comparing Cattle Decapitation to Cannibal Corpse or Carcass. These people are obviously idiots; Cattle Decapitation doesn't sound a thing like either. I suspect this misreporting is a plot by the Republicans to win support for their newly launched "Global War on Grindcore," or GWOG. Or perhaps it was the black metal kids. Either way, Cattle Decapitation are coming at ya like Scared Straight, but instead of introducing you to a large prison inmate who would like to rape you, they soak your brain in lyrics about reverse animal cruelty, where humans get murdered by cow skeletons. It's vegan vindication. Think Old Testament cow worship, where they play polo with the heads of the losers. Cattle Decapitation is a solid and somewhat experimental grindcore band that savors blast beats and slaughterhouse gore. If you absolutely need someone to compare Cattle to another band to figure out if you like them, kill yourself; your fear of the unknown is holding back the species. THADDEUS CHRISTIAN
MISS ANNE THROPE, DIRTY LITTLE FINGERS, DEBRIS, TRI-POLAR
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) Ricky Wilkins, Drew Stensaas, Bryan Bennett, and Scott Warner make up Portland's Miss Anne Thrope, a band that fits somewhere between Ten-era Pearl Jam and Joni Mitchell (think about it.) It's definitely a '90s-ish sound, a style more alternative rock radio than the plush and cutesy indierock Portland's notorious for. In the words of the band, "For any Placebo fans that may be attending the show, we pulled a cover out of our wupmskuts last night and we're excited to play a cover tune from one of my personal favorite artists. Speaking of excitement, we're playing with freaking Tri-Polar! You know, the dude who played with that Art Alexakis character in that band Everclear. Ever heard of the Sweaty Nipples? Yeah, that guy's in it too." JASON PEARSON
FATLIP, OMNI, SANDPEOPLE
(Berbati's, 10 SW 3rd) See My, What a Busy Week!, pg. 15.
TOM BROSSEAU, SHELLEY SHORT, PLANTS, ALELA DIANE
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Tom Brosseau's spare Empty Houses Are Lonely is possibly the most conventional album released by England's boldly eclectic FatCat label. Nevertheless, the company's ear for talent wins out again, as Brosseau's a luminous—albeit straightforward—folk-tinged songwriter with a supple, honeyed voice that splits the difference between Jeff Buckley and Devendra Banhart. In other words, expect Brosseau to ascend to a gilded cult status any day now. DAVE SEGAL
THE BIRTHDAY SUITS, THE FLIP TOPS, THE SLIP-ITS, THE ONES
(Tonic Lounge, 3100 NE Sandy) It's always a rare joy when you throw on a CD by a band you've never heard of and instantly fall in love. Minneapolis duo Birthday Suits accomplished this for me within the first 60 seconds of their 2005 debut, Cherry Blue (Nice & Neat Records). Guitarist Hideo Takahashi and drummer Yuichiro Matthew Kazama (formerly of the much-lauded-but-overlooked garage punks Sweet J.A.P.) create a lean, powerful noise-rock clatter that conjures many of the greats (Melt-Banana, No Means No, Dead Kennedys), and exude the sort of punk magnetism that could change a young kid's life. I can't recommend this show enough. HL
THE MOTHER HIPS, DERBY, BACKYARD TIRE FIRE
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) I guess I'm, like, the biggest retard of all time because I thought the Mother Hips were this goofy grunge band with bad rock-dude hair and atrocious fashion sense and distorted guitar all Nirvana-ing out into the fuzz cosmos. Couldn't be wronger. Instead, this Frisco-based band does the same kind of stoner country as the Band, Wilco, Tom Petty, and Buffalo Springfield. It's very Eagles-y, Californ-i-a country with big ol' swingin' twangs of lap steel and lazy ol' drummers and nice, mellow ol' lyrics that are... er... a wee bit closer to the Grateful Dead than I'm comfortable with. Still, can't help but dig their shit! GRANT MORRIS
CLIMBER, BRYAN FREE, GOSLING, THE GREATER MIDWEST
(Berbati's, 10 SW 3rd) Man, I totally see Climber posters all over Portland, like every time I'm stuck at a stoplight, whaddya know, there's the Climber "escalator" logo staring me down. (I guess their poster campaign is working because I'm here blabbin' about it!) So, Climber weaves out some very "indierock" sounding indierock with some awesomely glitchy electronica backdrops. It could totally be one of those one-dude-with-a-Mac-notebook typa bands, but there's actually four guys kickin' out the laptoptastic jams. Go Portland! GM
ZS, TWIN, TERRORS, REALICIDE, IDX1274
(Food Hole, 20 NW 3rd) Combining Gabber (very fast techno often accompanied by sped-up music samples), harsh power electronics, and thrash/hardcore, Cincinnati's Realicide are an ambitious optimistic propaganda machine. Like Atari Teenage Riot meets Black Flag with a collage of blown-out breakbeats coalescing samples of car alarm sirens, sped-up music, and spoken samples with high blasts of screaming, Charles Bronson style (the band not the man). Their earnest message isn't as concerned with how the music they make fits into a genre, but how it infects the world with their raw blast of heartfelt and sometimes terrifying sincerity. JAMES SQUEAKY See Music, pg. 19.
PETE BERNHARD, MARISA ANDERSON
(Valentine's, 232 SW Ankeny) The publicity bio I received for Pete Bernhard claims him to be "road-worn without being bleak" and "hopeful without being naïve." Pretentious descriptions that forced me to think of a songster in terms of the balladeering crap of, say, solo Dave Matthews or something of that ilk. But Dave Matthews is music I played to seduce sorority girls in college, where Pete Bernhard's cigarette-smoked vocals and honk-tonk finger picking is music I would listen to as I walked into the glinting sunset, moments after I killed a man, six-shooter smoking, and the cold hand of remorse creeping into my dusty heart. The gentle twang of Pete Bernhard's subtle melodies would be playing in the background as I tipped my hat to a corseted lady of the night, feet kicked up, with a shot of whiskey burning in my gullet. Pete Bernhard needs to fire his publicist, and you need to get you and your cowboy boots to Valentine's to see this man perform. NOAH SANDERS
MAGIK MARKERS, LAMBSBREAD, SLUMS
(Towne Lounge, 714 SW 20th Pl) Recent Sonic Youth openers (lucky!) Magik Markers do somethin' along the (wacky and weird-ass) lines of no-wave Led Zeppelin trying to channel Throbbing Gristle. BUT, get this, there's totally a pop band somewhere beneath all the distortion, fuzz, and noise, though it almost seems like it's too shy for any decent public appearances. Like a shy baby bunny hop, hop, hopping down the bunny trail when suddenly WHAM a hunter comes and blows its furry arse to kingdom come with a b—wait, that has nothing to do with the metaphor I was going for. But exactly! Confusion! Confusion reigns high. Confusion sets the mood for the night. Confusion thy name is Magik Markers, and you are a sweet, rough, furious lover. Bring on the skronk! GM
SOCIAL DISTORTION, SUPERSUCKERS, NINE BLACK ALPS
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) I met Mike Ness last year. To realize how huge that is, you have to know that I've been in love with him since the age of 15. When a friend introduced me, I sorta wanted to pee my pants. But then it happened. Sadly, after I'd been pining for him for at least a decade, the magic was shattered when I looked down at my long-standing rock 'n' roll crush's feet and saw... slippers. Old-man slippers, to be precise. From far away, though, in the sweaty crowd at a sold-out Social D show, when "Sick Boys" is blasting through the room, Mike Ness is still one of the sexiest men in rock—if you can picture him without the slippers. MEGAN SELING Also playing Sun July 9.
NORFOLK AND WESTERN, LOCH LOMOND, RAY'S VAST BASEMENT
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Hey, Norfolk and Western, where you been so long, baby? On tour, that's where. But a homecoming. A glorious, star-studded (Loch Lomond as Jennifer Aniston, Ray's Vast Basement as Anthony Hopkins) homecoming. Give us your sweetest Americana-cum-indierock. Give us some old-timey-ness, but not enough to make us be all, "COUGHretroCOUGH." Give us our Norfolk and Western and we'll eat it up like cupcakes. Who doesn't like cupcakes? Terrorists. And people who don't think Native Americans are magic. GM
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Nowadays when people talk about Yay Area hiphop, they yap about E-40, Keak Da Sneak, Turf Talk, getting stoopid, and doors open mang (DOORS OPEN MANG). But half a decade before 40 Water dropped In a Major Way, two rappers were holding down the Oakland scene. One made poofy pants famous and is on TV every time I flip past the Jesus Channel, and the other was the wayward Too $hort. He's been out of sight for a while, but back when Spud Webb was winning dunk contests, $hort Dog created some of the original pimp rhymes with the classic "Freaky Tales," "Invasion of the Flat Booty Bitches," "You Nasty," and "Shake that Monkey." Plus, $horty is the dude who came up with the term "Bee-yotch." How are you gonna fuck with that? That's right—you're not. Get in where you fit in. CHAS BOWIE
CATCH 22, VOODOO GLOW SKULLS, BIG D & THE KIDS TABLE, WESTBOUND TRAIN, SUBURBAN LEGENDS
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) This year's Warped lineup boasts several old-school attractions (Helmet, Buzzcocks, Joan Jett), but the festival's most compelling comeback story might be ska's revival, as evidenced by the manic crowd reactions to genre vets such as Catch 22. Last week, Catch 22 jumped from Warped to this ska-specific headlining tour. In a more surprising move, the New Jersey–based band just released a concept album based on the life of Bolshevik leader Leon Trotsky. On Permanent Revolution, the horn section's melodies become militant reveilles, and "keep the party going" refers to a political platform. Ryan Eldred's ghost-of-Brad-Nowell voice possesses the soulful gravity this subject matter demands, but the tunes remain catchy and quick paced (11 tracks, 33 minutes), because ska kids want no part of any revolution to which they can't dance. ANDREW MILLER
THE VONNEGUTS, THE LOVE DRUNKS, THE SHOTGUN
(Towne Lounge, 714 SW 20th Pl) Portland's the Shotgun beat their way through dark and nasty slide guitar blues. The vocals arrive under 10 tons of distortion, the drums are heavy Zeppelin trade, and the guitars are pure delta blues. Remember when you stopped listening to the White Stripes because they got too—uh—white? Come back to the fold, and saddle up the Shotgun, true purveyors of heavy, smart, woodsy blues. JP
IRON LUNG, THE BETTER TO SEE YOU WITH, SKIN CULTURE, SILENTIST
(Disjecta, 230 E Burnside) See The Scene Report, pg. 35.
TILLY AND THE WALL, NOW IT'S OVERHEAD, JASON ANDERSON
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Tilly and the Wall's sophomore release, Bottoms of Barrels, is music as protest, with the Tilly kids singing their agonies just as good as any chain gang or shanty sailors. They yell, stomp, and clap their hands, then join their voices in glorious harmonies, driven by flamenco-style tap-dancing-as-percussion and joyous piano. Lyrics are tales of city-life America and trouble-making friends, documenting the indierock lifestyle better than Cometbus writes punk. The verse in the tender acoustic numbers is so personal it's like secret swapping under the covers, or hushing one another off to sleep. But for the most part, Tilly and the Wall are rowdy and sexy, bursting with youthful energy and passion, resistance and redemption. The Tilly live show is where it's at; their spirit and moxie even more contagious when you're ringside, the crowd and the band sweating and dancing their hearts out. Be sure to make it in time for Now It's Overhead; whose multi-layered synth-pop is so good it's mind blowing that they aren't more popular, though they would be a total buzz kill as headliners. Jason Anderson (Wolf Colonel) opens. JESSIE DUQUETTE
LEGENDARY PINK DOTS, PLANTS
(Berbati's, 10 SW 3rd) See Music, pg. 17.
BYRON HOUSE, NOUMENA, BLUE SHIFT, SEXUAL TOURIST, DEAD/BIRD, TOTAL PRISM
(Food Hole, 20 NW 3rd) There has been a serious shortage of wild and aggressive noise punk bands in Portland lately. Plenty of inventive and heavy noise, plenty of great punk, but we need more of the fist pumping, head thrusting matrimony of the two styles. Come meet your new punk teachers. Oakland's Sexual Tourist are loud guitar distortion squealing feedback with thump pummeling guitar tied together with spaz-out drums like Arab on Radar meets the Hospitals. Byron House will pummel you two ways under Tuesday with their caustic guitar, drums, and trumpet trash-thrash. JS
DANAVA, PARCHMAN FARM, SNOW FOXXES
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See Music, pg. 19.
MADE OUT OF BABIES
(Sabala's, 4811 SE Hawthorne) Made Out of Babies' ominous-sounding moniker boasts an innocent, kids-say-the-darndest-things origin: Drummer Matthew Egan heard a young boy hypothesizing that a sunscreen tube emblazoned with an infant's image contained liquefied toddlers. Eschewing prop fetuses, this Brooklyn-based quartet relies on Julie Christmas's spectrum-spanning voice to shock spectators. Christmas transitions from angelic to aggressive with a dramatic flair that recalls '80s eccentrics Nina Hagen and Lene Lovich. On the group's 2005 debut, Trophy, and their incendiary Steve Albini–produced follow-up, Coward, which hits stores in September, the charismatic Christmas fills the space between whispered verses and bellowed choruses with yelps, hiccups, pants, and screeches. The group's steady grooves, bolstered by sludgy wall-of-noise guitars and burbling bass lines, keep the tunes grounded in solid rock during Christmas's creative detours. ANDREW MILLER
PETER AND THE WOLF, BLITZEN TRAPPER
(Towne Lounge, 714 SW 20th Pl) Blitzen Trapper are totally sitting on the verge. Where exists this verge, sayeth you? It's the edge of something big, like, leaning over the front of a giant-ass, full-steam-ahead-ing, doomed cruise ship à la Leo DiCaprio, and stretching your arms out all wide and confident and yelling "I'm the king of the worrrrld." Were you to go forward, riding along with the momentum of the ship, great adventures or icy death might await. And just the same, if you were to plug your nose and dive into the big scary ol' abyss, who knows what strange danger could lie beneath? Fine-ass naked mermaids? Snappy jawed sharks? Hypothermia? The verge is an odd and esoteric place and that's where the BT is—like, one itsy, bitsy mini step away from being discovered by the international indie scene and becoming the next big who'sit. Or, perhaps, slipping back into local hero status and rocking us for years but not really doing much for the rest of the world. After watching their jammy, electro-fied folk rock evolve over the years, becoming more tight, eclectic, and groovy, I'm counting on the former. Hear that? Counting on. That implies faith. I have faith, yo. And you should too. This is one of Portland's bestest bands ever. Give them a bear hug. Give Peter and the Wolf one too. If'n you like spooky, creative, folk music. GM See Music, pg. 17.