FLOGGING MOLLY, THE RUNAWAY BOYS
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) See Destination Fun.
CLIMBER, SIBERIAN, THE DIMES
IMMORTAL TECHNIQUE, POISON PEN, J. ARCH, THE CIRCLE, MIC CRENSHAW, 3/5 HUMAN, SANTOTZIN, USA
LADYSMITH BLACK MAMBAZO
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) Originally gaining worldwide exposure from their appearance on Paul Simon's Graceland, South African isicathamiya ensemble Ladysmith Black Mambazo has essentially been doing victory laps since the fall of apartheid in 1991—that is, if you count a Life Savers commercial as a victory lap, and who doesn't? Their soothing a capella choral music has some political charge to it, and unlike some other Paul Simon collaborators, they've managed to steer clear of repeatedly getting busted for weed (Garfunkel, I'm looking in your direction). This could be their last tour before founder/leader Joseph Shabalala retires and turns the brand name over to his sons, and since you probably decided long ago whether you're going to this show or not, let me leave you with this thought: Wouldn't Ladysmith Black Mambazo be a sweet name for a metal band? Just sayin'. NED LANNAMANN
DRATS!!!, ROLLERBALL, LICKITY
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) "Let's have a war/So you can all die." I know, it's gonna be hard, but try to forget that half of Portland duo LicKiTy played drums for art demoralizers Fear. Punk veteran Spit Stix went from being Lee Ving's spine to Dick Dale's live session drummer, and it seemed he was destined for footnotes and/or nostalgia-circuit servitude, but like all good ex-punks, he moved to Portland and started over. Before they were LicKiTy, Stix and Moog-armed Tom Potts (ex-Creepy Old Trucks, not to be confused with the similarly named mayor) were just two dudes jamming one night downtown, pitting Stix's electro/jungle leanings against Potts' disenfranchised analog warble. They sped it up, made it official, and released the Toy Bomb EP, seven tracks of sci-fi funk chasing tornadoes of drum 'n' bass muscle. Catch them live for an S&M-garbed whirlwind, or on CD for dumpster-choke vocals ("Wait") and synth-triggered woofer flatulence ("Brother"). Ah, much better. MIKE MEYER
LOOSE CONTROL, JOHN ROOT, GLASS CANDY, CHROMATICS, DJ BEYONDA
(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) See My, What a Busy Week!
THE PRESIDENTS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLEASEEASAUR, UNITED STATE OF ELECTRONICA
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) The title of the Presidents of the United States of America's new album, These Are the Good Times People, goes both ways. When you say it aloud, it seems to mean: Hey everyone, these are good times. (The cover of this New York Times right here begs to differ.) But study it and you realize there is no comma before the last word, no comma of direct address, which allows for a different meaning: These people have a talent for having fun. The album itself is pure PUSA, pure happiness—weird lyrics, not too many chords, goofy drums. But openers U.S.E could give the Presidents a run for their money in the Good Times People department. Whenever I see them perform I feel like someone's slipped ecstasy into my drink. CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE Also see My, What a Busy Week!
THE CROSSWALKS, DAN JONES & THE SQUIDS, SILVERHAWK
(Kelly's Olympian, 426 SW Washington) Local pop-rock trio the Crosswalks purvey a hook-heavy, sugar-rush brand of cheer. With simple garage band arrangements and melodies that climb all over you like little kittens, they're a reminder of why most people listen to music—because it's fun, damn it. Guitarist Brendan McCracken, bassist Emily Vidal, and drummer Dave Shur all swap lead vocal duties, so the band sounds like a genuine collaboration of three equals, as opposed to the traditional model of some dude and his ego slapping on a guitar while backed by patient, suffering, talented acquaintances. What's more, the Crosswalks' music couldn't be more inviting; it feels like a warm hug from that one friend who bakes you bread, and always remembers that you don't like it with raisins. And you can dance to it, too. So, go see the Crosswalks. They will scratch itches you didn't know you had. NL
GOLDEN: COPY, STARFUCKER, DJ LINOLEUM, DJ BJ
(Someday Lounge, 125 NW 5th)
LIVE WIRE!: MARCHFOURTH MARCHING BAND, AMELIA, RALPH HUNTLEY & THE MUTTON CHOPS
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) See My, What a Busy Week!
AMBER GENTRY BENEFIT: FOGATRON, THE CINDY YOUNG BAND, MICHAEL MANNING & THE CAROLINA PUMP STATION, MICHAEL SHORT, JEREMY WILSON & SAM DENSMORE
(Bossanova, 722 E Burnside) Nope, not a typo; the Bossanova marches on as a rental venue, and tonight it houses a benefit concert for Amber Gentry, a 15-year-old girl with Ewing's sarcoma, a rare cancer that has already eaten half of her pelvic bone and one of her ovaries. Chip in to provide some relief, and for your troubles you'll get performances from a diverse cross section, including headliner Fogatron, Portland's favorite beatbox artist, whose charismatic sets cure cancer... sort of. If you want to literally go the extra mile, participate in the Shamrock Run, which benefits Doernbecher Children's Hospital and get a discounted ticket to the show. MARJORIE SKINNER
THE FRIENDLY SKIES, THE WAGON, BOLDBIRD, THE ANGRY ORTS, POST HARBOR
(Kelly's Olympian, 426 SW Washington) When not avoiding calls from United Airlines' legal counsel, local instrumental duo the Friendly Skies like to spend some time in the recording studio. The results—a split 7-inch with showmates Post Harbor—will be released to you tonight, and to your record needle the very second you get home from the show. Both bands care not for the vocals; the Friendly Skies, with their thick slab of rolling bass and technical drumming, are purely instrumental, while Seattle's Post Harbor use vocals sparingly in their mix of quiet/loud indie rock, which sounds similar to the spacious builds and monumental crashes of Sharks Keep Moving. EZRA ACE CARAEFF
JONAH, CHRIS ROBLEY & THE FEAR OF HEIGHTS, RED JACKET MINE
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Led by singer/songwriter Lincoln Barr, Seattle's Red Jacket Mine plays thoughtful folk rock that's vaguely tinted by '60s British psychedelia. Rather than coming off as whimsical and baroque, though, their new album, Hello, Old Cloud, at times sounds ponderous and restrained. Barr's vocals are confident, but never fully gain purchase; he keeps to a gentle croon throughout, which sometimes sounds just too darn nice. There are some flavorful pedal steel licks by Patrick Porter, particularly on "22 Rose Petal Place" and "Philistine," and inventive organ and vibraphone parts skillfully interlock with subtle string arrangements. There's not a lot to sink one's teeth into, though, and one can only imagine that when the band takes the stage, they'll drop the studied cautiousness of the studio, throw back a few slugs of whiskey, and get down to the business of having fun. NL
SAY ANYTHING, MANCHESTER ORCHESTRA, BIFFY CLYRO, WEATHERBOX
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) Say Anything's lead singer, Max Bemis, is crazy. He's sung about it in songs, he's talked in interviews about his stay in a mental hospital, and now he's working with the Half of Us campaign and the Jed Foundation, which focus on preventing suicide and reducing emotional distress in college students. Billy Corgan recently joined Bemis, making public his struggle with depression and suicidal thoughts. The cause is a good one—fighting the stigmas associated with mental illness while supporting those who struggle with it. The music? Well, that's not so good. But props for the charity work, boys. MEGAN SELING
OLDEVOLS, PAN TOURISMOS, SEARCH PARTY
(Mt. Tabor Legacy, 4811 SE Hawthorne) The Pan Tourismos take the jangly Portland indie sound way, way, back—okay not that far, it's actually about seven years back—to a time when Vera was mayor, the concept of bombing Iraq seemed so '90s, and the band's hero, Joe Strummer, was still alive and kicking. The local trio ignore the raised-fist punk politics of the Clash, and instead focus keenly on Strummer's rigid delivery and ability to bend a sentence with a vibrant urgency. The Tourismos also share a pure appreciation for the lyrical spouting of the Minutemen's D. Boon, but I'd never dare consider the band to fit within the tattered leather jacket of the punk scene. Instead, their music is just reckless, inspiring, and important, but without those pesky genre restrictions to hold it down. EAC
LES CLAYPOOL, SECRET CHIEFS 3
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Les Claypool's fingers move so inhumanly fast when he plays his bass that he suffers from a rare form of carpal tunnel syndrome that he calls Magnum Cum Funnel Cake. He carries a lock with him and twists the combination constantly when he's not playing to keep his tendons warm. As a result, Claypool knows locks. He can pick them. Bandmate and sax lord Skerik says, "Les isn't a thief or anything, he just happens to be able to pick locks. Like some people can juggle." Also in the Claypool band are Critters Buggin's Mike Dillon, Paulo Baldi from Cake, and Eric McFadden. Skerik says, "We're playing some older Primus songs that haven't been played in 10 years. We're also playing Morphine's 'Honey White.'" TRENT MOORMAN
BENEFIT FOR BASIC RIGHTS OREGON
(Backspace, 115 NW 5th; Someday Lounge, 125 NW 5th; Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) As you may have heard, some narrow-minded bigots hate queers—and will stop at nothing to curtail their civil rights. That's why Basic Rights Oregon needs our help. Here's a great way to have fun while assisting this great cause: three funtastic events are happening around town tonight, and each of them benefit BRO! Here Comes a Big Black Cloud, Hey Lover, World's Greatest Ghosts, and others will deliver sonic blasts of poppy, punky, funky stuff at an all-ages show at Backspace, while next door Alan Singley and Pants Machine, Oh Captain, My Captain, Swim Swam Swum, and more are doing the right thing at the Someday Lounge. Meanwhile at the Fir, A Naughty Li'l Queer Cabaret features some of the nation's top queer burlesque dancers, vaudeville and drag performers, including the Eugene Drama Kings, Sahara Dunes, Do-n-Dudes, and tons more! WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY
YELLOW SWANS, EYE MYTHS, EX-COCAINE, RELIGIOUS KNIVES
(The Artistery, 4315 SE Division) Why people like the Yellow Swans boggles the mind. There's got to be a line somewhere, separating outsider avant art from flat-out garbage. Deciding where music stops, however, is such a difficult proposition. The boundaries are so fluid and loose (which is a good thing). But as I see it, the Yellow Swans are dangerously close to falling into the big, useless noise dumpster with so many other "circuit benders." Dudes, just because you broke your Speak & Spell and now it sounds like total shit doesn't mean it's an instrument. From the Swans, all I hear is pointy, pointless noise, and all I see are two dudes wantonly twisting away at knobs. Embracing something that is blaring, abrasive, or inaccessible doesn't necessarily endow it with any outward meaning. ANDREW R. TONRY
VINCENT BLACK SHADOW, NUDITY, DJ NATE C
(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) Led by Dave Harvey and John Quittner, formerly of Tight Bros from Way Back When, Nudity is the rock revisionist trio from Olympia that (thankfully) never lives up to their name—I have a strict no-naked-members-of-TBFWBW policy—but still delivers a vicious knockout punch of sweaty rock 'n' roll. Harvey's moaned vocals are deliberately sparse, as the Nudity boys take a few steps back from the mic and are most at home while unleashing a furious array of guitar wailing and aggressive psychedelic swirl. It's the MC5 on more drugs, or perhaps Sleep on less, but regardless, it's an impressive way to bend and distort the rigid foundation that rock is built upon. EAC
KMRIA, MY LIFE IN BLACK & WHITE
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) See Destination Fun.
BEACH HOUSE, PAPERCUTS, AU,
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See Music Feature.
DOLOREAN, DAY OF LIONS, ESKIMO & SONS
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!
SAUL WILLIAMS, DRAGONS OF ZYNTH
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) See Music Feature.
TRAVIS MORRISON, SYSTEM & STATION, THE RAINY STATES
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) As frontman of DC's Dismemberment Plan, Travis Morrison emerged as a chronicler of the world at its most sordid and most triumphant, all amid gloriously catchy post-punk songs. His recent All Y'All isn't exactly a return to form per se—the rhythmic explorations of his new backing group, Hellfighters, extend more deeply than those of his previous band (especially on "I'm Not Supposed to Like You (But)" and "Churchgoer")—and the Morrison of 2008 is both more cynical and more wide-eyed in his lyrics. After working with shifting instrumental configurations, Morrison seems to have found the proper balance to complement these songs. And live, his default mode remains unabashedly, almost sheepishly, charismatic. TOBIAS CARROLL
FY FAN, WARCRY, CRIMINAL DAMAGE
(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) I once complimented Crystal Fisher of Criminal Damage by telling her that her drumming reminded me of AC/DC's Phil Rudd. She took it as an insult. As for the rest of the band, they sound like a left-wing Blitz with Screeching Weasel guitar leads. They may take that as an insult as well, but I say it with great admiration. Criminal Damage is a lesson in Punk Rock 101, performed impeccably by sounding tough, yet catchy, angry, yet melodic—the kind of music that makes 16-year-olds jump around and 26-year-olds reminisce about being 16 and jumping around like they used to. They are sure to get people riled up for Sweden's Fy Fan, whose brand of furious hardcore falls somewhere between the blistering thrash of fellow Swedes DS-13 and the catchy punk of the Regulations. Unfortunately, the show is 21-plus, which is sure to have the kids quoting Warcry: "Bullshit, Bullshit, Fucking Bullshit!" ZACH BROOKS
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See Music Feature.
MARK PICKEREL & HIS PRAYING HANDS, STEVE TURNER, STERILIZE STEREO
(Slabtown, 1033 NW 16th) Who knew that behind the looming frame of Mark Lanegan hid such a talented, and equally sinful, songwriter? Mark Pickerel once used his praying hands to pound the kit for the Screaming Trees, but these days the Praying Hands back him up, as the Seattle-based singer has established himself as a skillful songwriter with a knack for spinning a tale of dark Americana tragedy. But it's not the pen that draws you to Pickerel, it's the voice. His bold baritone has never sounded better than it does on his latest release, Cody's Dream, and the man's backing band (or Hands, if you will) now features a pedigree of seminal Pacific Northwest acts, from the Young Fresh Fellows to the Fastbacks. Speaking of seminal and the Pacific Northwest, Steve Turner from Mudhoney opens the show. EAC
STEVE EARLE, ALLISON MOORER
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) It didn't take a move to Manhattan's Greenwich Village to make Steve Earle a songwriter. The man has been penning glorious tunes for a long time now. Earle has also been an activist, junkie, flannel-shirt fanatic, and one of the few respectable icons left in rock music. And while he might have gone all New York in locale and album title name (Washington Square Serenade), Earle is still the owner of the weathered, gruff voice responsible for so many memorable hard-luck tunes over the years. Serenade is a little overly ambitious at times (is that a flute solo in "City of Immigrants"?), but Earle means well, even if his once-raging vigor has been tamed over the years. Sort of like that city he now calls home. EAC