THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS, OPPENHEIMER
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) See Music Feature.
BONDE DO ROLÊ, THE PUNK GROUP, JUICEBOXXX, DJ BEYONDA
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See Music Feature.
CHRISTIAN SCOTT, ELEVEN EYES
(Goodfoot, 2845 SE Stark) Just 24, with a Grammy-nominated debut, Rewind That, to boot, New Orleanian trumpeter Christian Scott is poised to be jazz music's next breakout star. Pretty and always impeccably styled, Scott, who appears in the forthcoming George Clooney film Leatherheads, is not without credibility, having long apprenticed with his uncle, alto saxophonist Donald Harrison Jr., and graduated from Boston's Berklee College of Music in 2004. His newest release, Anthem, marks the second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina with perceptive sonic commentary. Scott's downy tone and shrewd note choice convey post-disaster disquiet and determination with keen sensitivity—and with an ear tuned to R&B and rock, and a partly electric ensemble, the mourning is provocatively eclectic. JALYLAH BURRELL
EARLIMART, OFFICE, SOUTHERLY
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) The chicken or the egg question is mere pointless rhetoric when it comes to determining which came first: the band Office, or the sitcom The Office. It was the British version that laid claim to the "O" word first, not the Chicago-based band. The musical Office has a party in its dance pants, and in its hair as well, bringing fun as if they were OK Go, sans treadmills. Led by frontman Scott Masson, Office just released Night at the Ritz, a batch of songs that is all pop smarts and drink-happy nights on the town—it's definitely more fun than a barrel of Dwight Schrutes. SEAN MOELLER
DONNY HUE & THE COLORS, SLARAFFENLAND, OH CAPTAIN
(Towne Lounge, 714 SW 20th Pl) The drugged-out, Hello Kitty-ish artwork for Slaraffenland's latest album, Private Cinema—released on the always-impressive Home Tapes imprint—is misleading to say the least. Once past the cuddly cover, you'll find meat cleavers and a body of water with disturbed cartoons poking out from it. This is before the music has the floor or a chance to slither like a gust of menace into your home and to wrap around you like a boa constrictor. It's a disturbing sort of beauty, as if Deerhoof or Frog Eyes turned black-hearted, moved to Denmark, and got fucked up on Akron/Family, shrooms, and the gnarliest parts of Animal Collective. Slaraffenland forces you to stare into a big eyeball that never blinks, but just shines and sees everything you're doing. SM
DAYS OF THE NEW, FARCRY, DRUNK ON POWER
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) You might remember Days of the New for "Touch, Peel, and Stand," a shameless grunge hit that not just sounded like it was stolen directly from Superunknown, but featured a singer (Travis Meeks) who could have won the first place ribbon at the state fair's Chris Cornell Look-a-like Contest. In addition to that ribbon, their carbon copy Soundgarden aping pushed the band into platinum status, plus that single topped the alt-rock charts for over four months. But beware the perils of fame, as Meeks was recently featured on Intervention—an A&E program true to its name—for his inability to kick his pesky meth habit. Now as an unsigned band—yet with the same grungy sound—Days of the New are giving it another go. So, to recap: a poor man's methed-out Soundgarden clone with no label support and no real future. It still beats Audioslave! EZRA ACE CARAEFF
CLAP YOUR HANDS SAY YEAH,
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) See My, What a Busy Week!
ARTISTERY SIXTH ANNIVERSARY: EVOLUTIONARY JASS BAND, ANGELO SPENCER, BAPTIST ARMS, THE WATERY GRAVES
(The Artistery, 4315 SE Division) Let's all give the Artistery a big hearty pat on the backside for making it to the big six. No need to get all wet-eyed about it, but the venue/studio/all-around cool space's Aaron Shepherd weighs in on the past six years: "The relationships that have formed, along with the growth I've seen happen in people involved with the Artistery, has been the most satisfying thing that I've witnessed here." As for the future of the space, what does he think the next six years will be like? "Do you know anyone with a large building or a grip of cash they'd like to donate to a positive contributor to the community? I can see me delegating responsibilities while I sit back collecting the checks and eating cookies and ice cream." You hear that, Paul Allen? EAC
(Towne Lounge, 714 SW 20th Pl) We've already addressed the dilemma of sharing a band name with a television show (see Office), but one must assume the situation is much worse when the show isn't a witty, beloved program like The Office. San Francisco's Numbers lose the Google search results war to CBS' Numb3rs (Get it? It's so number-y that the "3" acts as a "e"! Genius!), which is a darn shame when you consider how the band is already overlooked as it is. Numbers' early days were spent experimenting with an art-punk sound, not entirely different from their cross-coast peers in the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. But while the YYY's glossed it up, Numbers tore it down, as their latest, Now You Are This (just released on local label—that still feels weird to write—Kill Rock Stars), is tense and minimal, yet jittery and very much alive. EAC
STUMPTOWN COMICFEST PARTY: TRACTOR OPERATOR, FOX HOLLOW, THE MORALS
(Tonic Lounge, 3100 NE Sandy) See Once More with Feeling.
MIDLAKE, MARIA TAYLOR
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Three years ago, during the garage-rock-revival revival, nobody could've predicted that the smooth sounds of Fleetwood Mac would be the next cool-kids appropriation. But here we are amid a mostly irony-free 1970s soft-rock love fest in full bloom, with the Texas quintet Midlake making (a very well-mellowed) noise on the national level. Last year's The Trials of Van Occupanther is a wool sweater of a record, gentle three-part harmonies coasting alongside Vicodin-ed acoustic guitar, regal piano, and juicy, flutey synths. It's stark and beautiful—cold weather music, waiting to be taken to a log cabin in the woods and warmed by a cast-iron stove. JONATHAN ZWICKEL
THE A'Z, MISTAH F.A.B., THE JACKA
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Those dudes from the Bay don't like to ghostride solo: It's time again for yet another big bill of Oakland talent at the Roseland. Mistah F.A.B. has gotten endless love in this publication, and will continue to do so until something drastic happens, but since he was just here a few weeks ago with Turf Talk, we'll chill with the hyperbole and just remain grateful that the Yellow Bus Rydah is back in town. The Jacka comes with grittier rhymes than most of his Bay Area contemporaries, writing about Oakland's drug- and crime-infested streets, and the A'z sing more than they rap, doing a sort of New Jack/T-Pain thing that sounds pretty great over thumping beats. Definitely the least "hyphy" Bay Area showcase in recent memory, this lineup looks to illustrate the multifaceted sounds coming from the soil where other rappers are still getting their lingo from. CHAS BOWIE
A WEATHER, MATT SHEEHY, GINGERBREAD PATRIOTS
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) While Cassadaga is one hell of a record, the best thing Conor Oberst has done this past year has been inking a deal with local bedroom whisperers A Weather. Oberst's Team Love label released their sleepy-eyed 7-inch debut early in the year, and now the band is prepping a full-length for the New York-based label. What will this new record be like? Since Oberst is currently buried beneath a large pile of supermodels and money, it's best to ask A Weather's Aaron Gerber. "Well, the recording is finished. We recorded with Adam Selzer throughout the summer. The basic tracks were done on the two hottest days of July and Type Foundry's air conditioning was conveniently broken at that time." Besides sweating it out for their art, Gerber explains, "The main difference that I see between the record and our previous 7-inch is a broader dynamic range." He adds, "There are more crescendos and the drums play a much more prominent role in the songs, as do electric piano and electric guitar." Okay, Conor, your move, get this record out, now! EAC
THE BLACK CROWES, BUFFALO KILLERS
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) Remember that Black Crowes album cover? I'm not sure what it was called, but you know, the one with the girl wearing the American Flag bikini with her big hairy bush hanging out? Man, that was a fucking rad cover. It's like the biggest Vice DO of all time. Fuck, if it were up to me I wouldn't write anything here and we'd just have a picture of that cover. I tried to do an ASCII art version but it wasn't capturing its true panache. And that's pretty much all I know about that Black Crowes. Oh, and that song that goes "Hey little thing let me light your candle cause momma you know I'm a hunnananaamessaround." ANDREW R. TONRY
DENELIAN, GUNSHOT WHISKEY, THE HAND THAT BLEEDS
(Red Room, 2530 NE 82nd) Denelian are not the first band to sound like Joy Division (ask Carlos D about this), but this youthful Seattle quartet do an excellent job of taking the best of Ian Curtis' rigidity and applying it to the swirling keyboard pop of new new wave. Frontman Kelly Dale has the perfect voice for the role—powerful, yet mundane—and the group's bouncy tunes are sharp as they come. Openers the Hand That Bleeds push the limit of how much fun a single band can have onstage at any given moment. But if you were playing concise little punk tunes and sounding like the spastic younger siblings of X, you'd do the same. EAC
ETHAN ROSE, CONCERT SILENCE, MBILLY
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See My, What a Busy Week!
GRUFF RHYS, HER SPACE HOLIDAY, XOXO, PANDA
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Gruff Rhys—you may know him as the singer and guitarist of Super Furry Animals—has released two albums since 2005. Both his solo work and SFA feature bold, stylized, brightly colored cover artwork, which makes perfect sense the minute you hear his voice. It is almost preternaturally soothing, half impassioned folksinger, half melancholy cartoon crooner. His most recent album, Candylion, meshes looped beats, earnest narratives, and lyrics (as well as liner notes) in both Welsh and English, veering from the sprawling "Skylion!" to the earnest, downtempo "Beacon in the Darkness," and to the blurred beats of "Cycle of Violence." And, as you might expect if you're familiar with SFA, it's all insidiously catchy. TOBIAS CARROLL
THE SHAKY HANDS, NARWHAL VS. NARWHAL, SHELLEY SHORT, ALAN SINGLEY & PANTS MACHINE
(Someday Lounge, 125 NW 5th) The Shaky Hands are a symbol of want, a drunk waking in the morning, racked by the need for booze. A child, fingers outstretched, seeking a mother's comfort. Palsied knuckles wrapped around the flickering ember of a finished cigarette, already needing another. Holocene Music's quietly gorgeous foursome evokes similar feelings with their chameleonesque sound, deftly moving, always touching on the edges of familiar moods and genres. "Summer's Life," a track of the band's self-titled LP, begins with the boot-stomping handclaps of a rowdy country music dance hall, and then slowly pulls away, embracing a slow, gauzy beauty highlighted by the soft hum of a harmonica. Leaving the listener curious, wondering, hands outreached for what could've been in those opening moments. With these Shaky Hands, though, we pine for what we thought we needed, but realize how content we are with what we're given. NOAH SANDERS
BRYAN ADAMS, GEORGE THOROGOOD
(Rose Garden, 1 Center Ct) 1991: Summer pool party at Devon Robinson's house. After an afternoon of cannonballs and square Hawaiian Punch juice boxes, the party turned to the usual Top-40 radio DJ'd evening of awkward teenage dancing and painful games of Spin the Bottle, Truth or Dare, or whatever predictable parents-out-of-town game we were all expected to play. Slowdancing to the soft-rock stylings of Bryan Adams' "(Everything I Do) I Do it for You" (fresh from the Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves soundtrack) near the edge of the glistening pool, I leaned in for my first kiss. Forgetting the poor girl's name (Elizabeth? Ellen?) over time is the least of my offenses, as the clumsy momentum of this nervous act of teenage romance was interrupted by the bill of my baseball cap slamming into her forehead. Mumbling an apology, I flipped the cap backward—a move cheesier than even the worst Adams' pop ballad—and went in for a second try at a first kiss. George Thorogood, on the other hand, is for people who kiss with passion and use tongue—little did I know that is something I wasn't going to do for years to come. EAC
BLACK FRANCIS, EASTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONS
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See Music Feature.
THE NATIONAL, ST. VINCENT
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) See Music Feature.
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) The third Down album finds former Pantera tough guy Phil Anselmo fronting a super group of New Orleans' finest. Members of Eyehategod, Corrosion of Conformity, and Crowbar throw in their two cents of swinging riffs. As a gateway to better music, Down could be a very good thing. Kids who hit Down's MySpace page and make it past the giant Target ad at the top just might get turned on to Black Sabbath and "the mighty marijuana plant" that are cited as influences. I hate to slight any major label rock band that actually sounds like a live act instead of another "brought to you by the good folks at Pro-Tools" deal. Unfortunately, Down sounds most like a group of guys who could use a cash infusion; the only truly successful band from their pedigree won't have the stomach to replace their dead guitarist until they really do go broke once and for all. NATHAN CARSON
ULRICH SCHNAUSS, THE TURN-ONS, THE HIGH VIOLETS, DJ BJ
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See My, What a Busy Week!
BLACK FRANCIS, EASTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONS
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See Music Feature.
MODERN LIFE IS WAR, TRASH TALK, TRAP THEM, NO SECRETS BETWEEN SAILORS, BRAINEATER
(Satyricon, 125 NW 6th) Trap Them's debut record, Sleepwell Deconstructor, was totally brutal. Recorded with Converge guitarist and engineer Kurt Ballou, it earned high marks from virtually every metal rag around for being undeniably, awesomely tough. Their blaring grindcore fit perfectly in Ballou's engineering pocket, and the band was immediately snatched up by Converge-owned label Deathwish. Seance Prime, their forthcoming EP, also recorded with Ballou, will be out next month. Here's hoping these boys pulverize live as much as they do on record. JEFF KIRBY
THE ALIENS, AUGIE MARCH, KATE JOHNSON
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!
(Towne Lounge, 714 SW 20th Pl) Picture an Ice Age cobra: 200 hundred feet of sinewy, corded, possibly furred, deadly reptile. Cold snaky eyes staring down over a two-story mouth agape in a silent hiss, fangs glistening with thousands of years of lethal venom. Its mammoth length framed by glittering pink and orange bursts of pyrotechnics and a wall of computerized slashes of pixilated lightning. In the distance, reverberating off sheets of million-year-old ice, the echoing blast of bone-rattling kick-drums and a deep swampy bass. Picture this, my friends, compressed down into the forms of three erstwhile musicians, armed with wailing vocals and the distorted guitars of a bygone era, picture that and then you have—ICEAGE COBRA! NS