FLIGHT OF THE NAVIGATOR SCREENING: ESKIMO & SONS
(Hotel deLuxe, 729 SW 15th) Nothing goes better with a goofy kids' movie than gorgeously heartfelt chamber pop, so tonight, as part of NW Film Center's Top Down Rooftop Film Series, you'll see a live set by one of Portland's best bands (Eskimo and Sons) AND the Disney '80s sort-of-classic Flight of the Navigator! It's outdoors on a downtown rooftop, and there's a talking spaceship, so you know what to do. NED LANNAMANN
(Rose Garden, 1 Center Ct) See In Dolly We Trust.
SKREAM, DJ MONKEYTEK, RYAN ORGAN
(Crown Room, 205 NW 4th) If you know anything at all about dubstep, it's probably because of Skream (Ollie Jones). Just as UK garage was shedding some of its layers to make way for a more stripped-down bass sound, Skream's "Midnight Request Line" became an instant anthem, quickly crossing over genre lines and netting the attention of the mainstream who had to hear more. Jones was steeped in the culture of sub-bass before it went big, working at Big Apple Records in South London, the epicenter of the yet-to-be-discovered dubstep world. He made a quick transition to internationally known producer, DJ, remixer, collaborator, and radio show host on London's popular Rinse FM, all while still a teenager. Now just 21 years old, Skream is the number one name in dubstep. That he is playing in Portland goes to show the scene has exploded—not only across the UK, but here in the Northwest, too. AVA HEGEDUS
DEVIN THE DUDE, COOL NUTZ, JMAR, UNEXPECTED ARRIVAL, THE PARKER BROTHAZ, CRAZINESS, JAMAL ALI, SPORT N LIFE, MANIAC LOC, BOY R BANGERS
(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) You know how everybody has that one homeboy who smokes more weed than anyone you've ever met. Well, unsurprisingly, mine was also the guy who introduced me to Mr. Devin Copeland's highly sticky strain of Houston hiphop blues. (Thanks, dog.) For years, whenever the Dude came to town, promoting one of his string of meditative stoner-rap classics, my man somehow always missed it through a serious of amazing circumstances. Then one day—April 20, to be exact—my homie ran into the ever-mellow Devin posted nonchalantly outside the local cheesesteak spot. He later told me that smoking one on the corner with his all-time hero was one of the greatest moments of his young life. See there, that's just the kind of happiness Devin the Dude inspires. If you go to his show tonight, I swear to god you'll see nothing but smiles. LARRY MIZELL JR.
MICROPALOOZA: COVOX, SQUARE WAIL, TWO PLAYA GAME, STARPAUSE, TRASH 80, HARBOUR, WYATT GURP, FIGHTER X, KIDS GET HIT BY BUSES, DJ MOONCHILD
(Ground Kontrol, 511 NW Couch) Chiptune: It's like dance music for people who hate dancing. While that's not entirely accurate, it's close to describing this videogame-obsessed genre of electronic music. The allure of chiptune culture lies in the inspiring level of creativity and vision the artists use. To the untrained ear, and even to the trained ear, it might just sound like your Nintendo console went clubbing without you, but the two-day Micropalooza festival's headliner, Covox—who hails from Sweden, a mysterious land that is either a secret level in Legend of Zelda or possibly a Nordic country—adds a scorching layer of dance beats to his digital blip and blops. While it probably won't lead to a dancefloor of grinding gamers—thank god for that—there might be more than a few balled fists in the air. Granted, these fists will be wearing the NES Power Glove, but that's sort of the point here. EZRA ACE CARAEFF
BRAILLE, MACKLEMORE, DA'REL JUNIOR
(Backspace, 115 NW 5th) Macklemore is one of the Northwest's most charismatic and talented emcees—and not just for that technical shit that only other emcees seem to really care about, but for the time-honored art of reaching people through sincere, succinct expression. Not to say he's too goddamn emo to have fun; the Mack is likely to inspire you to dump your mutual bad habits with his soulful self-examination and in the next moment have your girl dancing far too recklessly while he freestyles over "Axel F" and costume-changes into a coonskin cap and fringed acid wash jacket. LM
NOMO, YEAR 5000
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Taking cues straight from the Fela Kuti handbook, Nomo create their own brand of modern Afrobeat that is stylistically all their own: one part Brazilian funk, one part avant-garde jazz, one part krautrock, and a whole hell of a lot of percussion signaling the way to both their remarkable albums and even more raucous live show. As a nine-piece, the band rips through their songs with a nearly unparalleled kinetic energy that is sure to whip even the most cynical hipster into a bottom-shaking frenzy. Not only that—your parents will probably love them, too, so now you can finally, without embarrassment, talk to your folks about funk music that isn't "Play That Funky Music." Hey, everybody wins! ROB SIMONSEN
WESTERN AERIAL, SINNERGY, RED HOT PISTOL, DJ SEXARCANA
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) There is a demographic for Western Aerial. I'm just not in it. Summer Crush, the band's new EP set for release tonight, features the band's slick straight-ahead rock which falls somewhere between the mild alt-jams of Everclear and a localized version of Buckcherry. It's everything you expect from a modern hard rock act, complete with vocals pushed to the very front of the recording and a guitar solo that will either delight or frighten—depending on your taste for a wailing mid-song shred session. While their press materials contain the statement, "We've really grown over the last couple years as musicians and songwriters," this is undermined by dumbed-down lines like "You can't turn a whore into a housewife" (from opener "Whores and Housewives"). But then again, music like this isn't aimed at me. It's primarily for KUFO fans, and those who can name a single song from Velvet Revolver. That's just not me. EAC
PORTLAND CELLO PROJECT
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) See Stringed Along.
10-4 BACKDOOR, THE PITY FUCKS, BUNKER, LOUIE & TERRY
(Slabtown, 1033 NW 16th) See Bayou Death March.
MICROPALOOZA: 8 BIT WEAPON, COMPUTEHER, LEENI, AIR FORTRESS, MC FIREDRILL, OPERATION MISSION, SPAMTRON, DJ MOONCHILD
(Ground Kontrol, 511 NW Couch) See Thursday's listing.
WEINLAND, SON AMBULANCE, A WEATHER
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Joe Knapp's eclectic project Son Ambulance bounces around a multitude of genres, never settling into one style but maintaining Knapp's distinctive, nostalgic songwriting voice. In that way, the new Someone Else's Déjà Vu resembles Simon and Garfunkel's Bridge Over Troubled Water album, which stretched that duo's folk-rock trappings over a series of experiments with ska, bossa nova, and gospel; the Son Ambulance record flirts with Latin and psychedelic music, and I guess you could call it a folk-rock record if you really had to, but Son Ambulance's adventurous, melodic songs work best outside of a strict format. If all that genre hopping proves disorienting, local bands Weinland and A Weather will keep you grounded with careful, meditative folk—and rock, and folk-rock, and all those wonderfully grey areas in between. NED LANNAMANN
RENA JONES, PHIDELITY, SENOR FRIO, GREG SKIDMORE, 214 VS. b0t23, BOLKUT
(The Station, 2410 N Mississippi) Rena Jones has been become an international name since the release of her third solo album, Driftwood, an audio meditation on the life cycle of a tree. Jones is a classically trained cellist and violinist, and she mixes organic string compositions with electronic beats and laptop production. Despite being lauded by the New Age Reporter, Jones' sound is not ethereal Enya-style chillout, but, as she describes it, downtempo from another dimension. Her songs are both delicate and weighty with a somber tone, and can easily fit in a playlist between Múm and Boards of Canada. She headlines a night of downtempo, electro, and experimental beats. AVA
FIREBALLS OF FREEDOM, THE DARLINS, THE JINXES, KING LOUIE ONE MAN BAND
(Slabtown, 1033 NW 16th) See Bayou Death March
REPORTER, EXPERIMENTAL DENTAL SCHOOL, TEEATH
(The Coop, 3535 N Lombard) See Once More With Feeling
CATCH THAT BEAT #4: YACHT, THANKSGIVING, FLESHTONE, VALET, ROB WALMART, GROUPER, WHITE RAINBOW & MORE
(Shively Park, Astoria) Curated by the captain of YACHT, the enigmatic Jona Bechtolt, Catch That Beat is a musical caravan where a hand-selected lineup of Portland's finest forward-thinking performers head west with a final destination of Astoria. Once there, the festival (now in its fourth year) takes over Shively Park for an event that is just as much coastal vacation as it is a glorious exercise of artistic expression. Lord only knows what the locals will think of the positive ambient jams of White Rainbow, or the spandex-clad electro sex thrusting of Fleshtone, but at the end of the day Portland music will win them over. Then, after the show, everyone will find the Goonies house and go on a wonderful adventure together where they find hidden treasure, foil the bad guys, and kiss Josh Brolin on his pretty mouth. EAC
DRAG THE RIVER, MIKE D & THEE LOYAL BASTARDS, POWER OF COUNTY, S.G.F.Y.
(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) Every punk needs to learn a little history. Music didn't start in 1977. That rebellious breed of outsider musical art can be traced back to the early 20th century. And it seems that more and more disenfranchised folks are taking note. They're looking back to America's roots. They're embracing that Woody Guthrie creed: All you need is two chords, and the rest is just showing off. Drag the River, like any respectable ragged Americana act, understands that lineage. Yes, the world is a fucked-up place, but rather than lashing out through distortion and Marshall full stacks, unplug that guitar and lay those sentiments bare. Every bitter young ruffian should take note: There's no better vehicle for your ire than a folk song. BRIAN COOK
ZS, EAT SKULL, THE VANISHING KIDS
(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) Brooklyn experimental band Zs have taken on many shapes and forms; this time around, it's a trio of drums, sax and guitar—not that you'll discern any recognizable sounds on their new record, The Hard EP. It's aptly named: "Hard," as in solid, unbreakable billy clubs of sound that thwack and attack from all sides. "Hard," as in difficult, complex problems with no single correct answer. "Hard," as in "this music is hard to listen to with a hangover." Take it from me: it hurts. But sometimes we need to look uneasily into the abyss, and Zs offer challenging, brain-expanding music that's both destructive and instructive. NL
MÖTLEY CRÜE, BUCKCHERRY, PAPA ROACH, SIXX: AM, TRAPT
(Rose Garden, 1 Center Ct) I remember being about six when I first heard "Shout at the Devil." My brother was playing it real loud, and, being the good little god-fearing Catholic youth that I was, I got freaked out about the song mentioning the devil. I asked my brother—in likely the most timid voice ever—if Mötley Crüe were evil. He responded, "Hell yes, they're evil. Stop being such a fag about it." Then he punched me. Hard. Sadly, I think that pretty much sums up the band and their fanbase. So unless you're into hair rock has-beens who look like they belong on menwholooklikeoldlesbians.blogspot.com, I'd probably steer clear of this trainwreck. Unless Tommy Lee rocks that floating, spinning drum kit thing. Evil or not, man, that thing was sweet. RS
MIMICKING BIRDS, MR. FREDERICK
(Towne Lounge, 714 SW 20th Pl) Mimicking Birds is yet another Portland treasure that seems to have fallen from the sky. Brainchilded by Nate Lacey, Mimicking Birds is not unlike a lot of today's singermen—Justin Vernon of Bon Iver, Robin Pecknold of Fleet Foxes—but Lacey's voice is both ethereal and squarely human, sounding actually more like a male Cat Power alongside some touches of The Moon and Antarctica-era Isaac Brock as well. The Birds' songs are as beautiful as you'd imagine them to be, so you'd do well to see them now before they play MusicFestNW and you're stuck 400 people deep, craning to hear the banjo plucks and whispers over the din of the Crystal Ballroom. HANNAH CARLEN
X RAY PRESS, HARSH SUNSHINE, THE WINEBIRDS
(Dunes, 1909 NE MLK) The Winebirds are a new band that have been popping up on bills all around Portland, sharing the stage with the likes of lounge-popsters Dirty Mittens, psychedelic lumberjacks Whalebones, and radio-friendly gloss-rockers Little Beirut. That's a pretty diverse amalgam, and the Winebirds share elements with each. Male-female vocals sit atop a confident, keyboard-driven backdrop, creating a heady blend that's reminiscent of no particular band, although it brings to mind an odd juxtaposition of Stevie Nicks' vamping groove, the loose-limbed coffeehouse froth of Juliana Hatfield, and the warm-sweatered communal family of Belle and Sebastian. And there's that one tune where the dude sings like Dr. John. At any rate, the Winebirds have enough members for their shows to seem like a party on stage, and after a few tunes and a couple drinks, you'll be celebrating along. NL
Happy birthday, Joe Jackson! And you too, Hulk Hogan.
PORTLAND CELLO PROJECT
(Music Millennium, 3158 E Burnside) One of the more interesting acts around town is the Portland Cello Project—a gang o' cellists that play both classical numbers and covers of songs from the likes of Johnny Cash and Britney Spears (their version of "Toxic" kicks ass). Tonight they play an intimate set for FREE to promote their new CD, so it's a perfect time to fall in love with the cello all over again! WILLIAM STEVEN HUMPHREY
SAD HORSE, HARSH SUNSHINE, PROBLEMS
(Valentine's, 232 SW Ankeny) If it is unjust to judge a book by its cover, is it equally unfair to judge a band by their name? Solely based on the name Sad Horse, I assumed their set would entail sullen downer music. However, after a bit of research and investigation, I realized Sad Horse makes anything but the sad bastard music I anticipated from their moniker. In fact, rather than being gloomy, the local band seems downright pissed off as they trot along with hammering garage punk that is both guttural and rebellious. This month, the duo will release a 7-inch featuring six short-lived, crazed anthems on Mississippi Records as part of their Music from North Portland series. EM BROWNLOWE
MATT PRYOR, CHRIS CONLEY, BRYAN FREE
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) Yes, the cruel hand of time catches up with even the youngest of emo kids. Case in point: Matt Pryor. The former baby-faced frontman of the Get Up Kids and the New Amsterdams is now a grown-ass man, trading bellowing emo-pop sing-alongs for something stripped down and mature. EAC
BALMORHEA, TINY VIPERS, GROUPER, BEXAR BEXAR
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Grouper's latest, Dragging a Dead Deer Up a Hill, is an immediate album full of late night lo-fi indie folk, watery vocals, ambient loops, and amazing harmonies. As lush and as dreamy as the thing is, it's also haunting in its simplicity: Liz Harris' vocals fade in and out like someone friendly whispering a secret to you, all while her guitar gently glides the song along like waves slowly rolling up on the beach. The ambient droning loops in the background add layers, diligently hiding Grouper's ultimate secret weapon: Behind the loops, behind harmonies, and behind the chilly atmosphere, Harris has some serious pop song sensibilities, lodging the album in your head for days on end. RS Also, see Music, pg. 21.
MIGHTY GHOSTS OF HEAVEN, PINE HILL HAINTS
(LaurelThirst Public House, 2958 NE Glisan) No matter how much I climb atop my soapbox and hoot 'n' holler about the haunted junkyard stomp of 'Bama's Pine Hill Haints, it probably won't make much of a difference. The band—which this music section has proudly been championing for about a half-decade now—is meant to forever lurk deep within the underground of pop music. And, I suppose, that's how it should be. Off the radar is an ideal locale for the Haints' loose rumbling amalgamation of punk rock, swampy blues, and whatever else they've unearthed from the Pine Hill Cemetery—the isolated locale where frontman Jamie Barrier first learned to play guitar. Bands that play washtub bass and look like they are fixin' to take the next boxcar out of town will never break through to the masses, which is just fine for fans of this Alabama ghost country band. The way I see it, that's just more Haints for the rest of us. EAC