M. WARD, CALVIN JOHNSON
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) Local acoustic guitarist M. Ward is big and famous now for a reason. His smoky voice and soothing strumming make his songs sweet and sad without being sappy. Also, never ever miss a performance by opener Calvin Johnson, eccentric leader of the K Records family, who has a penchant for telling long-winded stories about his bizarre life between sonorous songs. SARAH MIRK
SCARED OF CHAKA, THE COCONUT COOLOUTS, PURE COUNTRY GOLD, SHARPENING MARKERS
(Ash Street Saloon, 225 SW Ash) See Beware the Tornado.
DEL THE FUNKY HOMOSAPIEN, THE COOL KIDS, COOL NUTZ, DJ FATBOY, ANIMAL FARM
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) See '88 'Til Inanity.
THE WHIGS, THE BLAKES, SLEEPERCAR, RICHMOND FONTAINE, IAN MOORE
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) After refining and expanding the post-hardcore sound with At the Drive-In, Jim Ward formed Sparta, but he's also found time to release West Texas with his country-influenced band Sleepercar. At times twanging and other times swinging for the fences, Sleepercar marries emo with heartland rock in a surprising and versatile mix, with Ward's passionate vocals and songwriting to the forefront. It feels like a night on the open range, with yearning starry horizons arching over the homey warmth of a campfire. Portland's own alt-country propagators Richmond Fontaine are also on hand, their spindly American narratives carving hope and humanity in the face of depression and loss. NED LANNAMANN
BOAT, WORLD'S GREATEST GHOSTS, ANDY COMBS & THE MOTH, THE OLD BELIEVERS
(Towne Lounge, 714 SW 20th Pl) BOAT may be from Seattle, but they sure as hell feel like local boys, if for no other reason than they make their home on Magic Marker Records, the consistently great Portland-based indie pop label. Their lo-fi pop is full of shambling vocals, handclaps, a kazoo solo or two, and tons of basement charm, which just fits in right with this town. BOAT's catchy songs are immediately memorable, their harmonies are sure to get lodged in your brain for weeks, and lyrically they are everything you would expect from, well, a Northwest-based lo-fi pop band. The band just released the "Topps" 7-inch, complete with baseball card renditions of themselves and a stick of (sure to be stale) pink gum, which will no doubt look mighty nice filed next to my Ozzie Canseco rookie card. That's still worth something, right? ROB SIMONSEN
NADA SURF, PSEUDOSIX, PORT O'BRIEN, LOVE AS LAUGHTER
(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) "Listen to the radio/Play 'Cowgirl in the Sand,'" Sam Jayne sings on Love as Laughter's "Cleaning Man." After over a decade and a discography that spans lo-fi indie rock and denser, noisier arrangements, Love as Laughter have settled in New York City and evolved a ragged, sprawling sound that owes something of a debt to Neil Young. Their new album, Holy, is their first for Isaac Brock's Glacial Pace imprint, and its guitar-driven songwriting spans a fair amount of territory, from the laidback, slow-burning "Coconut Flakes" to the roaring, urgent "Paul Revere." It's well-played rock with a selection of moments that flat-out shine. TOBIAS CARROLL
DEERHUNTER, STARFUCKER, BODIES OF WATER, OXFORD COLLAPSE, SILVER SUMMIT
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) It's hard to believe that Bodies of Water could have improved on their amazing debut, Ears Will Pop & Eyes Will Blink, but with this year's A Certain Feeling they did just that. It sticks to the same basic template that adds together their key elements—gospel, twee, a Talking Heads obsession, and your high school choir—making the highs on the new record ridiculously high. However, this is a more somber affair with the band slowing things down a bit, and sounding more confident and mature. RS
KBOO BLOCK PARTY: DJ BEYONDA, DJ GLOBALRUCKUS, DJ KING FADER & MORE
(SE 8th & Ankeny) Lordy, lordy... look who's 40! That's right: Local community radio stalwart KBOO is celebrating its 40th birthday—with an awesome party including DJ Beyonda, DJ Global Ruckus, Lana Rebel and the Broken Promises, and the Sprockettes mini-bike dance troupe. There'll be food, stilt walking, a cakewalk, and KBOO will broadcast the entire shebang live! WILLIAM STEVEN HUMPHREY
TV ON THE RADIO, JAGUAR LOVE, MILES BENJAMIN ANTHONY ROBINSON
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) If there was a shiny crown to bestow upon the greatest band in the rock 'n' roll stratosphere, and it wasn't already on the tiny dome of Thom Yorke, it would belong to Brooklyn's TV on the Radio. The band that once took you to Cookie Mountain is ready to drop Dear Science, a follow-up that is somehow more ambitious, inventive, and stylistic than its predecessor. EAC
CROOKED FINGERS, DEATH VESSEL, DOLOREAN, LAURA GIBSON, MICAH BLUE SMALDONE
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See A Voice of the Past and Future.
WHITE LIGHTNING, HEADLESS PEZ, MOTÖRTHRONE
(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) If yet another slight against heavy metal in yet another manicured music festival has got you down, you could, as usual, drown your sorrows in cheap coldies while spinning Darkthrone ("If you don't understand what I mean/Fucking listen to Venom's 'Acid Queen'")—or you could take in Portland's live embodiment of tallboys and overseas brew rock: MotörThrone. For free. The only thing these local Motörhead/Darkthrone derivatives take more seriously than their scuzzy musical influences is their orthodox allegiance to Pabst Blue Ribbon beer. MIKE MEYER
BUILT TO SPILL, BRITT DANIEL
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) I'm done with Built to Spill. But unlike most listener/performer splits, I don't blame the band one bit. We've grown apart. I'm no longer a teenager hinging on every word that escapes Doug Martsch's mouth, and, to be honest, he's not making There's Nothing Wrong with Love anymore. There is no animosity here, so consider this a case of indie rock irreconcilable differences: I'll keep the early records and maybe get weekend visitations with Keep it Like a Secret, but they can keep Ancient Melodies of the Future and their live show guitar wankery. Kids, it's not that Built to Spill and I don't love you anymore, it's just that we've grown apart (and I secretly want to spent my time with younger, more exciting bands). Tonight the band will lipstick the pig and perform 1997's Perfect from Now On in its entirety while I stand in the front row, silently drowning in regret for what could have been. EZRA ACE CARAEFF
WITCHCRAFT, DANAVA, AKIMBO, GRAVEYARD, TK WEBB & THE VISIONS
(Ash Street Saloon, 225 SW Ash) Guitar rock isn't dead—it's just put on weight. TK Webb's new backing band the Visions adds acid-dipped mind-warp to Webb's bluesy rock. The new album, Ancestor, rocks and haunts in equal measures, bringing to mind the lumbering old legends whose names almost dare not be spoken in this day and age: [whispers] Zeppelin and Sabbath. Meanwhile, Graveyard plays soulful classic rock with hints of psychedelia and bleak depression, like Cream after a sunless Nordic winter. And they're not the only Swedes on the bill: Witchcraft closes out the evening in a state of starry-eyed, coughing bliss, bringing its meat 'n' potatoes retro stoner rock all the way from those northern climes... What's the Swedish equivalent of meat 'n' potatoes? Reindeer jerky and lingonberry jam? Whatever it is, it's hearty—after this feast of riffs and rumbles, you'll be full for a while. NL
(Pala, 105 NW 3rd) For not being the most recognizable names in dance music, Cates&dpL (Jonathan Cates and David P. Lind) have a surprisingly long discography and respectable list of affiliations. Just about everything they produce has a nice groove, with styles ranging from downtempo to bangin'. No doubt the focus tonight will be on the more dance floor-friendly techno and dirty electro-house side of their sound. With a successful remix of Magdalena, inclusion on last year's Global Underground Paris compilation and James Zabiela's DJ Magazine mix, plus an upcoming full-length album scheduled for release on big-time house label Om Records, you might want to get in on the dance party while these guys are still a local commodity. AVA HEGEDUS
VAMPIRE WEEKEND, JOHN VANDERSLICE, LACKTHEREOF
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) While the much ballyhooed Vampire Weekend may be the marquee attraction, it's John Vanderslice, one of mood-rock's most mildly unsung heroes, who stands to markedly dent the shell. Nothing against Vampire Weekend: They're interesting in the way that stopping to watch little kids burn ants with a magnifying glass is interesting, but you can only stomach the "Best New Band" hype for so long without wanting to burn yourself with a magnifying glass. Vanderslice's 2007 release Emerald City spun sentimental tales of longing alongside sadistically scrappy electro-folk ballads, earning a whole new batch of admirers on top of the critical acclaim of his various other solo endeavors, and cementing his status as something of an indie rock elder statesman. The vinegar-and-oil pairing of these two artists is passable only in hazy festival logic, akin to having Dylan open for the Bee Gees (I hope that didn't ever really happen). RYAN J. PRADO
THE NIGHT MARCHERS, THESE ARMS ARE SNAKES, COLOUR REVOLT, THE MUSLIMS, RAPIDS
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) It's a fist-pumping ball of action-packed rock 'n' roll, with Jon Reis' newest band, the Night Marchers, picking up where Rocket from the Crypt and Hot Snakes left off. Meanwhile, the grandly fantastic Colour Revolt comes all the way from Oxford, Mississippi, and their hard-edged, passionate Plunder, Beg and Curse album doesn't have a single weak moment or strike a single false chord. It's equal parts art and aggression, with tangled guitar lines and cracking drums, a soulful adrenaline rush that gets better with repeated listenings. To get you warmed up, San Diego's the Muslims make powerful poppy punk that's exploding with enthusiasm and excitement. Their tunes are catchy enough to get you humming and peppy enough to get your blood racing. NL
MONOTONIX, OLD TIME RELIJUN, EAT SKULL, TRIUMPH OF LETHARGY SKINNED ALIVE TO DEATH, WHITE FANG, COLT VISTA
(Satyricon, 125 NW 6th) Eschewing the humdrum, been-there-done-that avenues of touring in clubs, halls or theaters, Monotonix—the pride of Tel Aviv—has instead festooned the innards of pizza joints, art galleries and living rooms with gallons of beer, sweat, and probably their fair share of charred crash cymbals. The trio parlays a deep-strut groove rock, not unlike Paranoid-era Sabbath, but even that cookie-cutter resemblance doesn't do the band's blustery jams justice. Theirs is a goddamned nightmarish libation of fire, moustaches, sweaty chest hair, too-close-for-comfort sing-alongs, and unifying, pure-grade rock 'n' roll abandon; it's easily the closest antidote the underground has for the ills of what passes for punk rock these days. RJP
RATATAT, LES SAVY FAV
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) There are few frontmen as captivating as Les Savy Fav's Tim Harrington, whose band moves from catchy indie pop to fearsome post-punk without batting an eye. Ratatat are also on hand with their fractal, guitar-based electronica; a MusicfestNW wristband will get you in the door, or you can head over to Jackpot Records (203 SW 9th or 3736 SE Hawthorne) on the day of the show to get a free pass to all the action. NL
THAO & THE GET DOWN STAY DOWN, THE SHAKY HANDS, PANTHER, HORSE FEATHERS
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See Stable Ground.
HOT WATER MUSIC, BOUNCING SOULS, BITCHIN' SUMMER
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) See No Gainesville, No Glory.
CHICHARONES, ESKIMO & SONS, ATOLE, PAPER/UPPER/CUTS
(Towne Lounge, 714 SW 20th Pl) See Our Town Could Be Your Life.
(Someday Lounge, 125 NW 5th) See Once More With Feeling.
MILANESE, NOAH D
(Crown Room, 205 NW 4th) As a general rule, musicians who describe their own sound by referencing an extended list of somewhat related genres should be avoided. The inability to concisely categorize usually means the music is derivative and unfocused. UK-based Milanese—who calls his music "jungle, ragga, garage, house, techno," and has also been defined as breakbeat, grime, hardcore, drum 'n' bass, and hyper-glitch, among many other electro-descriptors—makes himself an exception to this rule by dissolving all these styles into something unique while confining the influences enough to keep the sound cohesive. The common factor is bass—the big, wobbly kind that people can't get enough of right now—and his uneasy, choppy aesthetic make his tracks right at home on Planet Mu and Warp Records. An already unique concept is sharpened by the use of rare electronic instruments created or modified by Milanese himself. AVA
SEAWEED, SUPERNOVA, FIREBALLS OF FREEDOM, THE FUCKING EAGLES, LOOKER
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) Cursed by bad timing, a contract with the devil himself (actually, Hollywood Records—so technically speaking, it was worse), and a sound that never really found a home in any particular scene (too punk for the indie kids, too indie for the punk kids, and too Tacoma for just about everyone else), Seaweed never became the band they should have been. We didn't know what we had until it was gone, and when the band faded away in 2000 the world became a cold, dark place. The only light that guides us through our dismal existence are their trio of Sub Pop releases and Spanaway (especially "Start With"). Even that Fleetwood Mac cover ("Go Your Own Way"), which once seemed like pop music pandering, sounds fantastic now. Seaweed, please don't ever leave us again, okay? EAC
CENTRO-MATIC, BOBBY BARE JR., FERNANDO, LOCH LOMOND, WEINLAND, MATT SHEEHY
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Bobby Bare Jr. has forged a quirky musical milieu by way of incorporating the inherent talents utilized by his famous father, and a seething sense of individualism that few have been able to touch. With roots deep in country, punk, Americana and straight-ahead rock, Bare Jr. has been afforded the luxury of avoiding any niche, allowing him to experiment in intriguing ways. 2006's The Longest Meow found Bare and his current band, the Young Criminals Starvation League, recording 11 songs in 11 hours with the likes of Jim James of My Morning Jacket and friends popping in for the marathon rush. Bare's flag-bearing for sonic garage rock and sassy honky-tonk ballads is infectious, and you should rightly lose your proverbial shit. RJP
TBA FEST: PARENTHETICAL GIRLS
(Leftbank, 240 N Broadway) See Our Town Could Be Your Life.
THE SABBATH: THE PASSIVE AGGRESSIVES, HELLHUNTER, MOTORTHRONE, DJ NATE C
(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) See Friday's listing.
TBA FEST: AU, ETHAN ROSE
(Leftbank, 240 N Broadway) If you though Verbs, the staggering pop deconstruction offering from Au, was great when it dropped a few months back, just take a listen now. With time on its side—and too many repeat listens to fathom—the album shimmers in awe-inspiring ways it never did before. A record this textural, ambitious, and just downright visionary swells with newfound purpose as the calendar pages turn. Case in point: the closing number, "Sleep." On first listen the song seemed to sink in its own atmospheric drone, but now, after a few months to let it in burrow under my skin, it's a gorgeous and haunting farewell to an album that lacks flaws. If Verbs is this good now, it's hard to imagine how it will sound a few more months down the road. EAC
THE ROSEWOOD THIEVES, THE DEAD TREES, SLOW FIRES
(Towne Lounge, 714 SW 20th Pl) The Dead Trees are recent transplants to Portland who play rock 'n' pop that, at first, is jangly, catchy, and comforting... and then the band lets rip a few guitar solos, and the room suddenly gets hotter, and the crowd starts moving a little faster. NL
FINNTROLL, WARBRINGER, EALDATH
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) The so-called thrash revival banks heavily on the innocence of young bands like Warbringer, and often in the contrived hoopla, we forget to look beyond the marketing. The power brokers would have you believe these California teenagers are the second coming of Slayer, but Slayer weren't influenced by NOFX. Armed with a campy song about a shark ("Beneath the Waves"), Warbringer subversively carve out their own niche on the solid War Without End debut full-length. Unrelenting speed, cord-torn vocals, period production, and campy violence sell the largely nostalgic effort ("Total War" and "Combat Shock" are convincing enough), but what seals the deal is that natural, punkish force swimming just below the surface. MM
NIGHTWISH, SONATA ARCTICA
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Finland's Nightwish are perhaps the world's catchiest female-fronted power metal band, especially with the soaring, radio-friendly choruses that new vocalist Anette Olzon can't help but belt out. Last year's Dark Passion Play, the band's seventh album since forming in 1996, begs for the airtime that Evanescence and Lacuna Coil receive without pandering to the symphonic power metal sub-standard that Wal-Mart has defined with Amy Lee's crossover Christian antics. As the album title indicates, Nightwish's play is a gloomy yet steamy deal, utilizing choirs, orchestras—yes, plural!—and classic, palm-muted metal guitars to defeat (what else?) evil. Lee and her cast of characters will never totally embrace the genre in this way; they'll never defeat the enemy. Nightwish, at least, stand a chance. MM