WILDING, DJ TANT, POINDEXTA P, DJ HONEYDRIPPER, DJ COPY
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) It's a d-d-double CD release party, yo! DJ Tant releases his Notes of Abrasion and Wilding drops Sleeping in Trees. Wilding (AKA local homeboy Gus Elg of Laserhawk and Aporia "fame") busts out some maple-syrup sweeeet electronica sizzlescapes with post-Postal Service keyboards steaming all bubble-bath warm and guitars all processed and electro-fied to Album Leaf-ish bliss. GRANT MORRIS
WHAT THE HECK FEST
(Anacortes, WA) See Music, pg. 25.
PDX POP NOW! CD RELEASE PARTY W/DJ DAVE ALLEN, THE SNUGGLE UPS, ANTLERAND, PER SE
(Berbati's, 10 SW 3rd) See My, What a Busy Week!, pg. 21.
DENISON WITMER, SAXON SHORE, WE'RE FROM JAPAN!
(Towne Lounge, 714 SW 20th Pl) With help from folks like Sufjan Stevens and the Innocence Mission, Denison Witmer makes beautiful, spacious pop full of ample Americana instrumentation and a dark, clean tone not unlike Suf's Illinois. This show is the place to be this week for folkheads. JASON PEARSON
RAW POWER, SKULLSPLITTER, DEAD FRIENDS
(Sabala's, 4811 SE Hawthorne) What passes as contemporary hardcore is a pathetic, sad-faced parody of a THING which was once heavy with MEANING and honest INTENTION. Luckily, a few of the originals stuck around! Raw Power, an Italian '80s hardcore band probably best known for their song "Fuck Authority," never went away, and, though by '87, they had crossed over to more "metallic" sounds, they never let silly trends or commercialism co-opt the band. MIKE NIPPER
THE GABE DIXON BAND, MAGGIE'S CHOICE, JAIME WYATT
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) Dude, it's amazing how young piano man Ben Folds was when he had his son, Gabe. Kids these days, squirting out juicy little babies before they're even in puberty! So, Ben (in a move like Arnold Schwarzenegger's man-preggers flick Junior) pops baby Gabey out and, like, instantly the little brat grabs hold of the ebonies and ivories and starts making music just like daddy. Fast forward a few years and Gabe is totally encroaching on his dad's career. As Ben gets boring-er and boring-er, his son edges in on the mellow, nice guy formula he laid. Which is exactly what Ben did to his dad, Paul McCartney. So, poetic justice and all. GM
BLOODHAG, THIS SONG IS A MESS BUT SO AM I, ARGUMENTIX
(Food Hole, 20 NW 3rd) Freddy Ruppert from This Song is a Mess But So Am I is from a town called Lawndale, California. Lawndale. What a beautifully American-sounding name. Situated smack dab in the middle of soulless Disney/LA/Knott's Berry Farm hell, it's just the sort of place to spawn music like this—weird confessional electronica that treads water somewhere between Nine Inch Nails and Bright Eyes, though actually pledging allegiance to experimental post-punk. (Ruppert's released splits with both BARR and Xiu Xiu, which are good reference points.) This show will prove that "dark and fun" isn't necessarily an adversarial combination; sometimes it's just what you need. ADAM GNADE
THE MINDERS, BOAT
(Towne Lounge, 714 SW 20th Pl) Wowie, wowie, wow... "Boat" is the lamest band name of all time. I know it's cool these days to title your band with un-band-name-sounding names—silly stuff, ironic fantasy and forest stuff, and intentionally awkward word combinations. But Boat?! Come on now. Thankfully for everyone on planet Earth (heard of it?), Boat's music is rad as hell. Their avant-pop is some fun, exciting, hand-clappy, maraca-y magic. Which makes sense, since they're on the Magic Marker label, which released their Songs That You Might Not Like CD. Oh yeah, they're being modest: YOU WILL TOTALLY LOVE THIS. I promise. You can hit me with an oar if you don't. GM
BARK, HIDE AND HORN, MODERNSTATE, RUN CHICO RUN, SOUNDS LIKE FUN
(The Artistery, 4315 SE Division) Run Chico Run's new CD, Slow Action, sounds like the Mars Volta if they decided to chill out a little and not smash out prog disaster noise. Electronic, laidback, folky without sounding like Americana, the keyboards and guitar are tricky little modern new wave traffic jams, while the vocals trill out in Geddy Lee pitch-perfect tones. JP
THE SWORD, SAVIOURS, AKIMBO, RED FANG
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) Back in '93 when Sleep's now-legendary sophomore album, Holy Mountain, came out on Earache, my friends bought it because up to that point, all the early grindcore on that label (e.g., Carcass, Bolt Thrower, Napalm Death) had been pretty unstoppable. So Sleep arrives in the mail, and here are these regurgitated Black Sabbath riffs. It literally took me years to realize that Sleep's heavy update was a valid and indeed epic affair. Metal is a traditional form after all that begs to progress, but not at the expense of losing a connection with its own history. Fast forward to 2006 and we have the Sword who are trying their armored hands at updating Sleep riffs. So again we have history repeating itself with a backlash. Making matters worse, the (indie) press has lavished these relative newcomers with a lot of attention and photo spreads. If you're looking for a reinvention of the wheel, move along. But if you want to hear well-conceived stoner/metal with excellent production and nonstop hooks, the Sword will soon be sending you to the chiropractor. NATHAN CARSON
THE PRIDS, WET CONFETTI, SLEEPY PEOPLE
(Doug Fir, 800 E Burnside) Fresh off a couple shows with Built to Spill and kicking off a fairly massive national tour tonight with the release of their new album Until the World is Beautiful (on New York's five03 Records), it would appear that Portland's Prids might be all set to bust things wide open. The new record is all Morrissey-tinged new wave reflection on empty lives and painful love, but it has this urgency behind it—in the churning keys, in the insistent vocals from frontal duo David Frederickson and Mistina Keith—that I'm pretty sure you have to check out live to fully understand. So check the Prids live already, before they pop all over everything, and don't come late, because then you'll miss the Sleepy People, an upstart synth band in command of addictively crisp melodies that will make you want to rub your ass against your date. JUSTIN W. SANDERS
AWOL-ONE, 2MEX & LIFE REXALL AS $MARTYR, SIREN'S ECHO, LD & ARIANO, SANTOTZIN, BELLY
(Berbati's, 10 SW 3rd) While big-budget gangstas argue about whether LA ever fell off, those in the know have long been fuckin' with that independent hiphop from Cali, such as the ShapeShifters crew. AWOL is one of the most prolific cats out of the Shapes (which is saying a lot), and his new War of Art further showcases his signature singsong delivery and hapless-observer point of view. LARRY MIZELL JR.
DOLOREAN, THE STARES, RIVULETS
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Dolorean's second album, Violence in the Snowy Fields, is the kind of record that creeps up on you, crawls under your skin, and then totally breaks your heart—in the best possible way. From the upbeat "The Search," through more desolate and desperate territory, it begs for repeat listenings and keeps revealing new treasures. BARBARA MITCHELL
THE RAKES, EVERY MOVE A PICTURE, TO LIVE AND DIE IN LA
(Berbati's, 10 SW 3rd) London's the Rakes are one of those catchy, tight, intelligent bands that co-op something so simple as garage rock and turn it into pure gold. Alan Donohoe (vocals), Matthew Swinnerton (guitars), Jamie Hornsmith (bass), and Lasse Petersen (drums) take garage's basic, stripped-bare formula and inject all sorts of pop music genius, turning it into something like a more British-sounding Blur. JP
SLAYER, LAMB OF GOD, CHILDREN OF BODOM, MASTODON, THINE EYES BLEED
(Salem Armory, 2320 17th NE, Salem) See Music, pg. 23.
TALKDEMONIC, JOGGERS, DAT'R
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Ahhh, these listless summer evenings... they make Portland seem like the right place to be. Have a barbeque, or maybe just a few beers on the porch. Hopefully go swimming. And as the long evening begins to set, there's no better nightcap than a couple of good, loud bands. But so far, summer's schedule has been slow, too often leaving us high and dry. Tonight though, we're in luck as Stumptown junior heavyweights Talkdemonic and the Joggers share the bill. The pairing is an indiepop wet dream. The Joggers are the jangly, lanky, casual, sweet-silly makeout on the floor at dawn, while Talkdemonic is the more heartfelt, lust-filled, honeymoon session on a California king. And as summer goes, it's best to have a bit of both. You'll hit the pillow happy, exhausted, and content. ANDREW R TONRY
LOWLIGHTS, CAMPO BRAVO, PRAYERS FROM A MAKESHIFT MORGUE
(Towne Lounge, 714 SW 20th Pl) Lowlights' road songs are dark, little gothic folk cruisers full of banjo, mournful pedal steel, and controlled, dead-serious harmonies. Remember when Calexico used to be moody and evocative of deathly desert landscapes? How 'bout that Handsome Family song that talks about eating at a diner and watching a car being pulled from a frozen lake? The Lowlights are in that same extended network. Only they're the lonelier cousins—the ones that don't come around all that much, and when they do they sort of creep everybody out. AG
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) Every Gram Rabbit song I've ever heard sounds like this: 15 percent "YMCA," 15 percent schoolyard tease-chant, 30 percent novelty record done by Paris Hilton, 60 percent all the bad music-makin' ideas you get when you've done so much coke you can't control your eyes, which just roll around all loony in your head while you're like, "Okay! Spaghetti western soundtrack plus... Moby! Okay! Cartoon girl voices, lyrics about rock-killed bunnies, and Jock Jams-style instrumentation! More guitars! More drums! More keyboards! More! More! More! Somebody find a No Doubt CD and let's sample 'I'm Just a Girl'!" GM
(Food Hole, 20 NW 3rd) Archaeopteryx—a bass, drums, and even more drums trio—are clearly fans of brutal underground prog/punk à la Hella and Orthrelm. I recommend a stiff drink and some Scotchguard in the parking lot for this one. You'll see god(s). NC
RICHARD RAMIREZ, PETE SWANSON W/PULSE EMITTER, SUBTERRANE, WARNING BROKEN MACHINE VS. IDX1274
(Dunes, 1905 NE MLK) Blistering harsh soundscapes from a putrefying pit of human suffering (Houston), Richard Ramirez has been thrusting bursts of terrifying feedback drone at increasingly rare public appearances for 15 years. Not to be confused with the AC/DC rockin' faux-Satanist serial killer of the mid '80s, Ramirez is a precise surgeon of slathering cerebral dense static layers of face-numbing power electronics. Somewhat controversial as openly gay in a traditionally macho scene, Ramirez has redefined the extreme violence and sex aesthetic with gay porn cover art and emotionally draining performances. JAMES SQUEAKY
AFTERNOON BBQ ON THE PATIO W/TOM HEINL, CLAMPITT FAMILY
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See Music, pg. 25.
CENTIPEDE E'EST, LIFE COACH, ETERNAL TAPESTRY, DJ NATE C
(Tube, 18 NW 3rd) Pittsburgh's Centipede E'est make punchy little psyche rock jams that twist around like a Rubik's Cube, sticking all kinds of pop-locking rhythms and fuzzy dueling guitars atop drums and bass that are as tight as a pitbull's death grip. They can do this as a semi-pop song, or a weird, time-signature busting noise grind. Both work well. Both show the band confident, dark, and deadly. Locals Eternal Tapestry (members of Jackie-O Motherfucker and Dark Yoga) open. AG
QUINTRON & MISS PUSSYCAT, THE GET HUSTLE, HARRY MERRY
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) In the latter days of the last millennium, I was stationed in Houston, TX, where the novelty song "Free Guitar Lessons for Animals" was as unavoidable as smog and obese Republicans. The track was recorded by Flossie & the Unicorns, a side project of Quintron & Miss Pussycat. Incredibly, unbeatably cute, the song follows a group of puppet animals trying to assemble a rock band in the forest ("Hello, little tiger! Do you want to learn to play the guitar? Just scratch the strings. This is a chord."), and it found its way onto the first 10 or so mix CDs (how novel) I ever made. You can only listen to puppet songs so many times before cuteness becomes a liability, but "Free Guitar Lessons" will always have a place in my heart. So when I popped in the DVD that accompanies Quintron & Miss Pussycat's new CD, Swamp Tech, an enormous wave of irritation hit me when a new puppet song and video appeared (something about Cajun sno-cones) with the exact same puppet voices and novelty gimmick as "Guitar Lessons." Novelty songs, as a rule, don't age well, but novelty-song writers, apparently, fare even worse. CHAS BOWIE See Music, pg. 23.
DAVID BAZAN, MICAH P. HINSON
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) David Bazan's Pedro the Lion, the band Christians and critics loved to hate (for different reasons), ran out of steam on its last record, and disbanding it was a smart move. On his first recording under his own name, an EP called Fewer Moving Parts, Bazan sounds reinvigorated—if one can use such an adjective to describe a singer notorious for weariness and defiant morbidity. Bazan is at his best when he allows himself to be both poppy and honest, and when he sings, "I love to let my friends down" on a song about going solo, the music feels more free and easy (if sad) than anything recorded under the Pedro name. JOEL HARTSE
QUASI, THE MINDERS
(City Hall, 1221 SW 4th) Yes sir, you read right! City hall! City hall?! An unlikely place for a bunch of indierock bands, but a... brave idea nonetheless. Action begins at 5:30 pm and goes for three hours. Prediction: Vibe at this one will be somewhere between "Goin' through the motions" and "Let's hope the cops don't look inside our 7-11 cups." JP
HARRY & THE POTTERS, DRACO & MALFOYS, SOUR GRAPES
(Acme, 1305 SE 8th) See My, What a Busy Week!, pg. 21.
NIGHT WOUNDS, HOT GIRLS COOL GUYS, ARCHAEOPTERYX, IKEBANA
(Food Hole, 20 NW 3rd) Carefully considering the most interesting and immediately gratifying elements of underground music over the last 20 years, Los Angeles' (by way of Maine) Night Wounds have carefully studied the masters. Night Wounds is an ever-evolving caveman free-noise style art punk band with clobbering bass lines, thunderous guitar lunging and killer sax attacks. Their caustic noise is a joyful celebration of youth's exuberance with a hyper drive to cram as many explosions of chunky dissonance thorough a huge stack of amplifiers before disappearing in a puff of anxious smoke catharsis. JS
SHAIMUS FROM THE GUITAR HERO VIDEOGAME, KINDERSCALE, JOSEPH KONTY
(Berbati's, 10 SW 3rd) This one time one of my girlfriends—her name was Trish, and she had a rack out to here, man—she was all, "Listen, you've got to choose between me or your videogames! I'm sick of you playing Final Fantasy until six in the morning and then sleeping all day! Why won't you get a job? You just play your guitar and your PlayStation and you won't even look for a job and you can't even play guitar and...." Anyway, that's when I knew we weren't meant to be. Plus, she was wrong: You know I can thrash that axe, dude! Also, sorry, babe—if it's between you and a PlayStation, I think you know what I'm choosin', am I right? I'm right, dude. Anyway, most games when I play 'em I turn the sound way down and crank some Satch or some Zep—get in the groove—but there's this one game? Guitar Hero? Sooooooooooo sweeeeeeet. See, the controller's this guitar, right? Like a life-size guitar! And you play the songs, so when there's a solo you're jammin' on those buttons like "twwweeeeedeeeee dllllleeee fewwwwww tweee-deell-de-dwooo!" FILM EDITOR ERIK HENRIKSEN'S COLLEGE ROOMMATE, STONER GUITARIST EXTRAORDINAIRE SETH, AS TOLD TO ADAM GNADE