LIARS, GET HUSTLE, JANET PANTS
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) The shifting experiments of Liars have mutated over the years, with their most recent material deconstructing the fundamentals of indie, punk, noise, and rock. Tribal thumps and moaned voices meet trancelike anti-melodies that force you to accept them on their own terms. If you do, you won’t be sorry—Liars’ live show is fucking awesome. NED LANNAMANN
INTERNATIONAL POP OVERTHROW: DOMINIC CASTILLO & THE ROCK SAVANTS, WELCOME HOME WALKER, BLACKOUT 101, & MORE
(East End, 203 SE Grand) See Once More with Feeling
PINK WIDOWER, DOUBLEDUTCH, BREAKFAST MOUNTAIN, WHITE FANG
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Gungle Dungeon is the name of the studio operated by Eskimo and Sons' Dhani Rosa and Clayton Knapp, and Gungle Dungn is the name of the album just released by Rosa's Doubledutch project, which also features the talents of Typhoon's Jordan Bagnall. It's a weird, wonderful record, brimming with creative, unconventional sounds and desperately gorgeous vocals. "Sugar" is a laconically spiraling pop song and "Ghosties" sounds like a funeral organ taking a ride on a carousel, while "Overturned" is a slow swing number set against a backdrop of unearthly, too-close-for-comfort vocal humming. It's a defiantly spooky concoction, like wandering through a manse that's been long abandoned. Yet, as the listener navigates through musty smells, cracked and yellowed wallpaper, rotting furniture, and faded photographs, the charm and beauty of Doubledutch's music makes this creepy old house a place you'd actually like to stay for a while. NL
SKELETONWITCH, BURNING LEATHER, RIPPER, GOATSOLDIER
(Satyricon, 125 NW 6th) Being a black metal fan is by nature a lonely affair. The bands you love are either dead or in jail, and the second-tier acts they influence are often too ugly to leave the basement. Cut yourself if you must, but Swedish duo Avsky—with chestnuts like "Fuck Your Values, Fuck Your Beliefs" and "Cleanse the World"—will never play our fair Rose City. So why leave the bunker? You may find what you're looking for within the so-called thrash revival. Athens, Ohio's Skeletonwitch leads the horde with fist-pumping twin guitars and horseback speed. Within the triumphant shred of last year's Beyond the Permafrost beats the all-important icy world view: "To spread fear and hatred and human demise," retches burly frontman Chance Garnette at the album's onset. Rising to a blackened hiss, he throws his lyrics to the maggots. To borrow a phrase from At the Gates: "Nausea, oh sweet nausea." MIKE MEYER
(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) Listening to Boston's Pretty and Nice, the first things you hear may well be the clatter of drums and the buzz of a noise-friendly keyboard. Listen more closely, though, and this group's pop sensibilities come to the forefront: shimmering hooks and bolts of unabashed melody that recall the Jam and Squeeze. This year's Get Young, their second album, also throws some vocoder into the mix, albeit briefly. Over the course of two albums and a remix EP, their ability to fuse memorable choruses with taut, bristling fuzz poises them at the perfect place between noisy punk and neatly assembled pop. TOBIAS CARROLL
(Mississippi Pizza Pub, 3552 N Mississippi) Over the past two years, Tacoma duo Kusikia has further explored the areas of suspense and relief through shattering drum/guitar breakdowns. Once a whispering crooner, Nsayi Matingou has transformed into a malignant viper spitting out emotive confidence while bandmate Peter Ryan's effortless drums trip under fervent guitar work. Tonight, Kusikia will play songs off their upcoming sophomore album, Turtle Wars, which they will self-release in October. Compared to their self-titled debut, these songs are untamed experiments with free noise dabbling in unconventional song structure. While Kusikia often relies on melodic thrashing, they occasionally calm it down for moody ballads strung along with realist lyric work that could have been the result of an imaginary sonic team-up of Myra Lee-era Chan Marshall with the wall of sound instrumentation of Sonic Youth. EM BROWNLOWE
MONSTERS OF ACCORDION: JASON WEBLEY, MARK GROWDEN, AMY DENIO, DUCKMANDU, ERIC STERN
(Kennedy School, 5736 NE 33rd) Accordions aren't just for gypsies (or Weird Al) anymore. The Monsters of Accordion, who've played at such disparate venues as Carnegie Hall, Siberia, and the buses of Seattle, are on tour to prove just that. The most well-known player is Jason Webley, who, with his warbly voice and his penchant for passing out carrots to the audience, has been a favorite among the smellier portion of the Reed College student body. Meanwhile Duckmandu—who wears a hat that looks like a duck, naturally—is brazen enough to cover an entire Dead Kennedys album on the accordion. SAHAR BAHARLOO
ICE CUBE, MANIAC LOK, STARCHILE, DJ JUGGERNAUT
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) A master thespian who knows no peer, Ice Cube has delighted audiences the world over with flawless acting skills and devotion to cinematic craft. Unquestionably superior to Brando in his chiseled prime, Cube’s magnificent performances in xXx: State of the Union, and Are We Done Yet? have prepared the man for the role of a lifetime in the Fred Durst-directed The Longshots. Oscars are sure to follow. Oh, and evidently Ice Cube is some sort of musical performer as well. Who knew? EZRA ACE CARAEFF
INTERNATIONAL POP OVERTHROW: NICE BOYS, THE SODA POP KIDS, THROWBACK SUBURBIA & MORE
(East End, 203 SE Grand) See Once More with Feeling.
DJ RUPTURE, DJ E3, DJ MONKEYTEK
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) With his eclectic taste and experience, it's hard to know what to expect from DJ Rupture. He's a talented DJ in terms of technical skill—his triple turntable sets have landed him widespread praise and a spot with the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra—but his true talent is his ability to take the role of the DJ beyond music chooser to curator. His selection pool is so wide and international that it would seem he spends every minute of every day combing the globe for anything with a groove. Sets might include anonymous tracks from a bootleg African CD purchased on the street in Harlem, Croatian gangsta crunk, and a Kid606 breakcore remix of one of Rupture's own productions on the Tigerbeat6 label. His expansive music library and acute connection with his audience means he always delivers exactly what the people want, which in tonight's case is a bumpin' dance party. AVA HEGEDUS
INDIAN JEWELRY, PAINT & COPTER, BRAVE PRIEST
(Someday Lounge, 125 NW 5th) Experimental group Paint and Copter follow up last year's Damnatio Memoriae album with the new Semper en Obscurus EP, celebrating its release tonight, which continues the band's slow, textured, vaguely sinister explorations of sound. Jason Frank's lap steel guitar creates all kinds of unearthly noises while Andy Brown keeps momentum with simple drumbeats tapped out by bundle sticks. If it can sound a little lacking on record—and sometimes slogging through Paint and Copter's hypnotic miasma feels like helplessly flailing in a bowl of Jell-O—it achieves full fruition in the live setting with the addition of the band's ambient, trippy, mind-blot visuals. Indian Jewelry, meanwhile, makes nasty, droning experimental rock, coming from the place where whimsical psychedelia gives way to the void of utter, brain-burnt insanity. NL
DARK ANGELIC, PERSEVERENCE, I DISAGREE, BREAK AS WE FALL, GRIM RITUAL
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) Saying that local black metal upstarts Grim Ritual stole their May show at Rock N Roll Pizza from death metal veterans Drawn and Quartered would be true, though it wouldn't be saying much. The Seattle headliners didn't arrive until most of the all-ages crowd had to leave, and by the time the band hit the stage, the last bus of the night was arriving at dear old SE Powell and 111th in a horrifying 12 minutes. Seeing as how the vets couldn't manage to physically sell me a T-shirt at their merch table beforehand—with cash in hand—I assumed that the demented soloing for which they're lauded probably wouldn't be as sharp as on CD, and I fled. But Grim Ritual—with fresh, garage-spawned tumult and the most wretched vocals in Portland—had made the trek out to the end of civilization worthwhile. MM
HYENAS, DIVIDED BY, AT THE SPINE
(Red Room, 2530 NE 82nd) Their fourth album in five years, Vita is an impressive statement from Seattle alt-rock trio At the Spine. Penned during a tumultuous period overseas where frontman Mike Toschi fled to the UK—only to be jumped and beaten a few days into his trip—the album is lyrically peppered with flawed characters far and wide, and is structured around the impressive songwriting skills of Toschi, whose confident voice carries the band's solid, if a tad bit predictable, alt-rock sound. The highlight of Vita comes in the detail-heavy "Crumble," with lyrics like: "Crystal New Ager with a necklace of beads/Ted Nugent-type cowards who lie through their teeth." Making fun of the 'Nuge is not recommended for anyone not heavily armed at all times. If the members of At the Spine are mysteriously killed by a hunting bow and turned into delicious jerky, I think we'll all know who did it. EAC
OBSCURED BY CLOUDS, THE SLANTS, CHRIS TSEFALAS
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) I have no problem with a band trying to sound like Pink Floyd. The Syd Barrett era is undeniably fertile ground, and the albums, from A Saucerful of Secrets to Dark Side of the Moon, resulted in some truly majestic, magnificent music. But when a band sounds more like late-era Momentary Lapse of Reason/Division Bell Floyd, I can't really get on board. Obscured by Clouds—the name comes from a Floyd album, of course—make no apologies for their love of the Pink, but rather than creating truly expansive, post-psychedelic music, it often sounds like overproduced, undernourished rock. It's easy to forget in light of Floyd's gargantuan mainstream popularity, but their music originally came from truly weird, avant-garde origins. Obscured by Clouds, however, instead seems inspired by slick arena bombast. Fortunately, the band is at its most interesting when they drop the Floyd homage and play straightforward, propulsive rock, like "Cast Close the Gate," or the Cult-like "Faith's Soul," both from their new album, Psycheclectic, which celebrates its release tonight. NL
PIERCED ARROWS, THE SHAKY HANDS, AUTISTIC YOUTH, SILENT MAJORITY
(Backspace, 115 NW 5th) The old guard meets the new guard, as garage punkers Pierced Arrows—which features Fred and Toody from the legendary Dead Moon—share the bill with one of Portland’s most exciting new bands, indie folk stompers the Shaky Hands. What? You haven’t seen either of them before? How long have you lived in Portland? NL
THE PRIDS BENEFIT: SOFT TAGS,THE MINT CHICKS, THE OBLIK
(Someday Lounge, 125 NW 5th) See Music.
INTERNATIONAL POP OVERTHROW: TRUE WEST, PALE BLUE SKY, THE WELFARE STATE & MORE
(East End, 203 SE Grand) See Once More with Feeling.
TO GET HER TOGETHER, GLASS ELEVATOR, DATURA BLUES
(Towne Lounge, 714 SW 20th Pl) There is an artistic communication gap that is lost in the musical translation from Datura Blues to the mere casual listener. Fleeting exposure to this experimental—in the purest sense of this word—local band will just leave you with a confused look on your face or a pulsating headache, or possibly both. But hurling yourself headlong into their new album, Is it as it Is, Brother?, will lead you to a better understanding, if not downright acceptance, of the band's droning vocals, free-jazz skronk sessions, and commitment to improvised noise, rhythm, and controlled chaos. Then again, perhaps the best approach to the artistic upheaval of Datura Blues is to not wrestle with comprehending the band, but rather just appreciate their dizzying form of expression. EAC
IRCO BENEFIT: APOLINARIO ANCHETA, TAYLOR QUINN, BEN EDWARDS, -XX
(Pi-Rem, 433 NW 4th) The nice thing about benefit shows is you can make a difference without actually sacrificing any of your time or disrupting your regular social routine. Tonight the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization brings you quality techno beats from local DJs Apolinario Ancheta, Taylor Quinn, and Ben Edwards. You were going to go out dancing this weekend anyways, right? For five bucks at the door, you can assist IRCO's mission to promote the integration of refugees, immigrants and the community at large into a self-sufficient, healthy, and inclusive multi-ethnic society. You can't really argue with that—or with drinking and dancing all night. Why can't all activism work this way? AVA
GYM CLASS HEROES, DEAR WHOEVER
(Satyricon, 125 NW 6th) Riding on the pint-sized back of Pete Wentz, Gym Class Heroes has made a shiny mint by delivering hiphop to those who don't necessarily care for hiphop. If you like to point fingers, then blame Gym Class Heroes for all the kids with emo bangs who think they can freestyle, for the Flobots and the second wave of emo-hop (ugh), and for pretty much anything else that is wrong with this world. Their new album, The Quilt, was produced by the tubby guy from Fall Out Boy and features merciless cameos by both Busta Rhymes and Daryl Hall, the latter of whom Gym Class Heroes' frontman Travis McCoy has tattooed on his hand. Let me be perfectly clear here—since McCoy might not be aware that tattoos are forever and don't rub off—getting two huge Hall and Oates tats on both of your hands is a very bad idea. Irony is now permanent. EAC
THE AVETT BROTHERS, SHAWN MULLINS
(Oregon Zoo, 4001 SW Canyon) The punchy songs of North Carolina’s Avett Brothers sit somewhere between classic country and upbeat pop rock, with just enough of a melancholic tinge to make it all resonate. They are, in other words, very definitely worth checking out, and I can think of no better time to do so than outside on a summer night, just a few steps away from elephants and sloths and chimpanzees. ERIK HENRIKSEN
THESE UNITED STATES, POINT JUNCTURE WA, GREAT AMERICAN
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See Music.
NEIL HALSTEAD, ADAM SHEARER
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) My fandom for Neil Halstead is a bit off. Like reading a novel from the middle to the front, then skipping ahead to the cliffhanger ending, I discovered Halstead on the brilliant Mojave 3 album of 2000, Excuses for Travellers, already halfway through his lengthy career. If there was a moment—my personal "oh fuck" listener epiphany—it was on "Return to Sender," when a sullen Halstead sings: "I went looking for a priest/I said say something please/I don't wanna live my life all alone/He said god will take care/of those that help themselves/but you look pretty screwed." Having gone from staring at his shoes while fronting Slowdive to staring at his country and western belt buckle in the hazy sprawl of Mojave 3, Halstead has hit his songwriting stride with his second solo effort, the recently released Oh! Mighty Engine. Plus, give the bearded fellow some credit: His current tour ranges from playing Red Rocks with Jack Johnson to performing in the living room of some guy named Craig in Durham, North Carolina. I'll take the living room any day. EAC
GZA, ILLMACULATE, COOL NUTZ, MIC CRENSHAW
(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) See Music.
Nothing happens today.
RICHIE HAWTIN, BRYAN ZENTZ, GEORGE HOLLAND, 31AVAS
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) An absolute titan on the techno scene, Richie Hawtin founded both Minus Records and Plus 8 Records, so you’re bound to have moved your ass to something he’s done. He’s been throwing raves since he was a teenager in Detroit, and tonight’s show makes up for a cancelled appearance back in May. NL
MAN MAN, MT. ST. HELENS VIETNAM BAND, MIMICKING BIRDS
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) See Music.
THE WALKMEN, RICHARD SWIFT, THE DEAD TREES
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) New York City's the Walkmen have, over the course of five albums—one a song-for-song cover of Harry Nilsson's Pussy Cats—developed a distinctive sound built around slow-building melodies and Hamilton Leithauser's smoky, ragged vocals. Their latest, You & Me, hones their style even more concisely, and their choice of covers (the aforementioned Nilsson album as well as a Daytrotter session of Leonard Cohen songs) indicates a fondness for bleak, understated poetry. Tourmate Richard Swift has a similar fondness for timeless pop; his take on it borrows a century's worth of techniques and throws in literary references, skewed arrangements, and jubilant choruses. TC
HOWLIN RAIN, NICE BOYS, DARK SKIES, DJ PAUL MONTONE
(East End, 203 SE Grand) Ethan Miller of Comets on Fire fully embraces the sound of '70s boogie with his Howlin Rain project, whose entire oeuvre is one of psychedelically swirling time warp, right down to the gorgeous, color-saturated album artwork. It's nothing you haven't heard before, like Molly Hatchet doffing a Foghat while carving a slice of Humble Pie. On Howlin Rain's second album, Magnificent Fiend, the chooglin' jams are a bit too focused and coherent, and it becomes evident that the backbones of the grooves—i.e., the songs—actually aren't very good. But at the live show, with the aid of a few drinks and lord knows what else, this shouldn't matter. NL