sean na na Lola's Room, 10/19

THURSDAY 10/19

PHASE ONE: WORDS + MUSIC W/PARENTHETICAL GIRLS, LIDIA YUKNAVITCH, MATTRESS, TREVOR DODGE, PASH, MATTHEW KORFHAGE

(Someday Lounge, 125 NW 5th) At its new home in the Someday Lounge, sometime Mercury contributor Garett Strickland's monthly free night of literary and musical talent continues. Portland's version this month boasts local writer talents Matthew Korfhage, Trevor Dodge, and Lidia Yuknavitch doing readings, as well as music from Pash, Mattress, and the strange, beautiful Parenthetical Girls. (Need I mention again that the Parenthetical Girls are headed by former Mercury Music Editor Zac Pennington? Is it any surprise that writers of this paper would be plunged into the local culture that they document?) MARJORIE SKINNER

THE HOLD STEADY, SEAN NA NA

(Lola's Room, 1332 W Burnside) See Music, pg. 21.

TRONIX W/STRATEGY

(Ground Kontrol, 511 NW Couch) You're an avid video-gamer, house equipped with an Xbox 360 synched up with a 72-inch plasma television purchased with what should've been the last six months rent. You break dates, skip work, and watch your life derail for another chance to smoke alien invaders and ogle pixelated bikini babes. Well sir/madam, it is time for you to break those Xbox chains and get out there and get a life. I know, the thought of physical contact with living, breathing humans gets your stomach queasy and your sweat glands pumping, but fear not, Portland's purveyor of gaming nostalgia, Ground Kontrol has just the baby step for you. GK's weekly TRONix event mixes their astonishing collection of ancient arcade games with local DJs "laying down an electronically generated soundtrack for your game-playing pleasure," booze, and actual blood-pumping members of the opposite sex. It may sound scary, but put away the Power Glove, roll up the DDR mat, and shake out those Xbox DTs with beer, some bumping beats, and a healthy dose of Pac-Man. NOAH SANDERS

THE LASHES, CATFISH HAVEN

(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) I hate Southern rock. I hate Southerners. I hated the Civil War (I was there) and I hate the Black Crowes, Kings of Leon, drawling accents, mint juleps, Iron and Wine, fetishized "ruralness," and all things country. When alt-country came around I got so mad I assassinated the leaders of 14 Third World countries. When Saddle Creek bands started bringin' a little country into their sound, I fumed until my hate and negativity killed all the birds in all the trees in a 47-block radius. Which surprised me all that much more when I got into Catfish Haven's Southern-ish rock. Combining a little Otis Redding soul with their gumbo, CH makes their shit interesting and original. Put that in your corncob pipe and smoke it (then go shoot yourself, hillbilly). PETER DAVIS

FRIDAY 10/20

MADLIB, PEANUT BUTTER WOLF, J ROCC, PERCEE P, OH NO, DUDLEY PERKINS, ROC C, ALOE BLACC, GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW

(Berbati's, 10 SW 3rd) Thank you good Lord, sweet baby Jesus, holy Mother Mary, you have heard the agonized pleading, the clasped-hand begging, the preening whines of Portland hiphop heads rife with remorse over the lack of quality rap music gracing Bridge City. We prayed for progressive, exciting hiphop to wash away the stink of big-bass radio rap and you waved your magic fingers and POOF, this line-up appeared. As if the schizophrenic rhymes of Madlib weren't proof enough of your power, you bring us the legendary scratching of DJ Peanut Butter Wolf? You've brought tears to my sin-heavy eyes by conjuring up the combined lyrical force of Percee P and Oh No. God Bless America, hiphop lives in Portland again! Hail Mary! NS

MATMOS, NUDGE, MISE EN ABYME, ATOLE

(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Matmos' latest CD, The Rose Has Teeth in the Mouth of a Beast, remains one of the most fascinating and rewarding electronic albums of the year. The SF duo wrote 10 songs based on the lives of 10 people throughout history who fascinated them—William S. Burroughs, Valerie Solanis, Darby Crash—and did so with a mix of innovative musicianship and impressive thoroughness. For each of their songs, Matmos recreated an event from their subjects' lives, then used the audio from these reenactments as the basis for their songwriting. From shotgun blasts to people being burnt by cigarettes to an unusual collaboration with a snail, these recordings permeate the songs on the album, but never overwhelm the sheer listenability of the songs. Matmos approaches their music as pieces of art, to be dealt with rigorously on an intellectual level, but like the best conceptual artists, know that the audience won't come back if only their brains are getting worked out. There's got to be something for the soul in there, too, and The Rose Has Teeth is ample evidence that Matmos hasn't forgotten that. CHAS BOWIE

SHELLSHAG, FEDERATION X, BRAINHOLE

(Food Hole, 20 NW 3rd) Combing the convention-less riffage of guitarist Shellhead, heavy on the hooks and repetition, and the energy of standing drummer Jennifer Shagawat, known for noisemakers and body percussion of the wildest sort (not to mention never sitting down), Shellshag has created a niche all their own—offering up sex appeal, sweat, and destruction as crucial elements of their explosions on stage. Shellshag is what would happen if the Who, Phillip Roebuck, and MacGyver were trapped together after a horrible plane crash, resorted to cannibalism, and only two survived. It'd be messy, and ugly to watch, but fun to listen to, and entertaining as hell—just like Shellshag. MATT DRISCOLL

SATURDAY 10/21

JUANA MOLINA, ADEM, ALELA DIANE

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Good-bye summer and thank you global warming for the beautiful, few, warm weeks of autumn. I often dream of an endless summer—lying out in a busted-up chaise lounge by the pool, halter tops and flip flops, the singing frogs and plucking crickets. Winter will soon arrive and I'll have to screw in the "special light bulbs" and listen to Juana Molina. She is a marvelous Argentina-born songwriter whose music evokes sensations like the warmth of the sun or July walks in the city park. Once a television comedian, Molina broke away from the set and decided to focus on her first love—the guitar. With finger picking, strum, and loops, Molina creates a playful and mellow ambiance somewhat similar to bossa nova, but closer to a multi-layered Stereolab or Lali Puna. Her sense of humor is apparent—one of my favorite songs on the album Segundo is "El Perro" in which los perros sing backup with the most precious barking. Don't speak Spanish? It doesn't matter. Who doesn't understand the romantic splendor of summer? SALINA NUÑEZ

MSTRKRFT, COPY, DJ PHILIP SHERBURNE, DJ BRIAN FOOTE

(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) The folks over at Holocene got it right when they advertised that this one was going to be a BANGER (caps theirs). MSTRKRFT (that's master, not mister) is made up of Jesse Keeler of Death from Above 1979 and producer extraordinaire Al-P. Their music is thumping-ass hard techno with shades of Modeselektor-style danceability. Mix that in with the eight-bit dance beats of local hero Copy and a DJ set by IDM brainiac Philip Sherburne, and you've got the makings for the best night of dancing Saturday has to offer. CB

CURSIVE, THE THERMALS, CHIN UP CHIN UP

(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) See Prize Fight, pg. 61.

SUNDAY 10/22

ALLEN TOUSSAINT

(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) There are a lot of artists who could be said to have defined the New Orleans sound over the past 40 or so years: Professor Longhair, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, the Neville Brothers, Dr. John, the Meters, Ernie K-Doe, and Irma Thomas all come to mind. But those in the know (i.e., New Orleanians) know that this question always comes back to one man: Allen Toussaint. A true genius in the least hyperbolic sense, Toussaint has written and arranged some of the best R&B songs of the modern era. Since Hurricane Katrina, Toussaint has been getting a lot of attention and respect for his decades of work in defining and preserving the New Orleans aesthetic. Part of this high-profile hoopla includes a national tour, in which Toussaint will undoubtedly serve up some of that Big Sleazy flavor that we don't get to much of up here. Tonight we're going to party like it's New Orleans in the 1950s. Then we're going to do it like it's the '60s. Then the '70s. And we're just going to keep on doing it until we get to that point when a hurricane has destroyed our home and all we can do is transform the pain into a celebration of our musical heritage. It's just how we do it in Louisiana. CB

SO MANY DYNAMOS

(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) So Many Dynamos sound like Death Cab for Cutie covering Q and Not U, but with the fellas in Dismemberment Plan manning the boards. Seriously. Innovative and spastic, poppy and electric—it's fierce, it's explosive... goddamnit, have I written enough adjectives yet? Pick up their latest release, Flashlights, on Skrocki Records, if only to hear "Progress." It'll make you wanna do the robot. Then you can backtrack to their debut record, When I Explode (also on Skrocki), which is the perfect album to listen to while you wave your hands in the air and jump around like the rock 'n' roll–loving fool you are. MEGAN SELING

CUT CHEMIST, LYRICS BORN

(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) For the life of me, I can't figure out why Lyrics Born isn't fucking huge. I mean, I just don't know. Backpackers like him, I guess, which is maybe his problem when it comes to his street cred or whatever, but just listen to "Hello Remix" (featuring Portland's own Lifesavas) off of Same !@#$ Different Day, or, off that same album, Stereo MC's Rattlesnake Mix of "I Changed My Mind," and... fuck, man. On that "Hello" remix he spits rhymes and rhythm out in what I'd classify as a "moderately to insanely impressive" fashion. On "I Changed My Mind," there's a hook so catchy that every time I hear it, it ricochets between my ears for weeks, that hook accompanied by Lyrics Born's vocals, his voice sounding like a bag of concrete when you first mix the water in with a shovel—rough and grindy but malleable. And it can stretch out into some pretty solid singing, as it does here, combining with the beat to take some soul and funk and hiphop and collide it all together to create something pretty goddamn great. Those two tracks aren't it, either; that's not even taking into account Later that Day, an album that tells the story of one of Lyrics Born's days, starting with the annoying half-conscious gray noise of a clock radio, hitting a whole bunch of great beats/tracks revolving around everyday minutiae, and then fading out into the bewildering chaos that just proceeds terminal drowsiness. It's a really good album, with a tone of both brains and fun and vérité malaise. This guy should be huge. I wish someone would explain to me why he's not. Because I just don't get it. Please, someone. Tell me. ERIK HENRIKSEN

JOHN VECCHIARELLI BENEFIT W/SUPER XX MAN, DERBY, JOHN WEINLAND, LAURA GIBSON, PETE KREBS, ALI WESLEY, NICK JAINA, RUN ON SENTENCE, JUSTIN POWER, HORSE FEATHERS, LITTLE SUE, ALI IPPOLITO, CHRIS ROBLEY, NICOLE CAMPBELL, RACHEL TAYLOR BROWN

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) All this silly, useless talk beaming in from the rest of the country about that cabaret act that writes songs about crane wives, or how the Portland "scene" is now in the gutter ever since the Sleaters called it a day, is just plain wrong. And boring. So screw 'em! We have Horse Feathers. I'll take Horse Feathers over a mountain of bullshit any day. Hell, I'll take Horse Feathers over a mountain of bullshit and an army of sea shanties and I'll spot you the talk of a dead scene. I mean, have you looked around lately? Good bands grow like kudzu in this neck of the woods. And Horse Feathers is better than kudzu! They sound like the music that goes on in my head when I'm watching season two of Deadwood for the fourth time. Swearengen's tryin' to get his shit together. Bullock's stressing out. Wolcott's gone mad. Man, it's a great, great sound! BRIAN T. SMITH

MONDAY 10/23

VICE SQUAD, ANTIWORLD, DBD, SO UNLOVED

(Satyricon, 125 NW 6th) Okay, we're going to play a game called "Looking into the Future." You are a punk rock band from England called Vice Squad. It's 1980s-ish and you've got a hot lead singer who goes by the name of Beki Bondage. She's got a decent voice and looks a bit like Debbie Harry, so she's making a name for herself. You've got a British oi sort of sound and most of the kids in leather jackets and mohawks think you're cool. All right, now this is where we look into the future 20 some years....whoa, I don't know if you want to look at this. It's pretty brutal, are you sure? Okay, well, in the future, you see Beki Bondage squeezing a middle-aged body into latex mini-skirts and studded belts. You see none of the original band members. You see mullets. You see pencil mustaches. You see desperation. This game isn't fun anymore, is it? The lesson: Learn to quit while you're ahead. Now, let's play some Scrabble. SN

TWODEADSLUTS ONEGOODFUCK, OCCASIONAL DETRIOT, BEHALF, DJ VIBE COP

(Tube, 18 NW 3rd) When the dorks at the Onion put together their list of worst band names of 2006, Boston's Twodeadsluts Onegoodfuck was right up there with Maggot Twat, Here Comes Old Vodka Tits, and Said the Sun to the Girl. Their actual category was "Best/Worst Band Names"—which included the Internet and Laser in the Jungle—which, I guess, implies a certain consciousness of its lameness. (Unlike the probably serious Papa Grows Funk and Battle of the Saxes.) But this is neither here nor there when you actually hear the hefty sounds Twodeadsluts produces. We're talkin' pure brutal noise squelch with pulverizing moments of black metal and dentist drill electronics. If you, like me, enjoy your music with a little spirited acidity, this show will move you to beat your neighbor to pieces with a sampler. PD

TUESDAY 10/24

LITTLE TEETH

(Valentine's, 232 SW Ankeny) Little Teeth, a three piece based out of San Francisco, could easily pass for Oly folk, although I bet they shower. The gem of this group is Dannie Murrie, whose voice, endearing like a three-legged puppy but often buried under two tons of instrumental abstraction, is enough to preoccupy even the most discerning listener. Combine Murrie's pipes with the folk tendencies of Andy Tisdall, the group's only dude, with the Neutral Milk-esque, lesbionic appeal of Ammo Eisu, and you've got what the band calls a "spastic circus rock musical." What you've got is Little Teeth. MATT DRISCOLL

DANAVA, WITCHCRAFT

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See Music, pg. 21

WEDNESDAY 10/25

SUSANA BACA

(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) Susana Baca became something of an overnight sensation just over 10 years ago when David Byrne included her on a compilation of Afro-Peruvian musicians. Baca was a small sensation in Peru, but had never recorded a commercial album before. But when her strong, seductive version of the guitar-driven standard "Maria Lando" kicked off The Soul of Black Peru, she stole the whole album from the other 13 artists who appeared on it. Afro-Peruvian music combines elements of Spanish instrumentation and language with distinctly African rhythms that began to commingle during Peru's slave trade 500 years ago. It's only become popularized (both in and outside the country) during our lifetime, and in this era, there's one woman who sings it better than anyone else: Susana Baca. CB

REGINA SPEKTOR, ONLY SON

(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) I'm a bit of a snob, truth be told. When friends pass along burned discs of some great music that has really turned their heads, these discs usually sit in a pile on my stereo and collect dust until I clean house and toss them out. I know, I know—I'm such a jerk. Well, about a month ago, my homegirl SLeimert hooked me up with a copy of Regina Spektor's album, Soviet Kitsch. And I love it. It reminds me of Rufus Wainwright, Patti Smith, and Joanna Newsom with hints of Joni Mitchell wearing a New York accent. Her clever lyrics are the spit and vinegar of a Manhattan cab driver and her vocal range is as cheeky as it is impressive. Usually, I have very little patience for female vocalists who play the violin or the piano, but this ain't no Lilith Fair. Spektor is a multi-talented songwriter whose playful creativity and New York-by-way-of-Moscow style is a welcome surprise. That'll teach me, won't it? SN