SIREN NATION KICKOFF: FLESHTONE,
(Backspace, 115 NW 5th) See Siren Song
ANOMIE BELLE, SURROUNDED BY NINJAS, JATUN, SLEEPY EYES OF DEATH
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Volume, especially when stacked like a monolithic wall of ear-rupturing sound, can be both a blessing and a curse. You want the wonderful noise arch of an album like Loveless, but you also don't want to send your audience fleeing toward the exits with palms cupped over their wounded ears. Seattle's Sleepy Eyes of Death achieve a perfect level of volume extremes on their debut album, the textured Street Lights for a Ribcage, which sparkles with a wondrous array of keyboards, thumping drums, and enough atmospheric hum to channel Kevin Shields' most creative moments and M83's early shoegaze haunt. All that is missing here is drugs and earplugs, both highly recommended. EZRA ACE CARAEFF
MOKA ONLY, JOSH MARTINEZ,
ONRY OZZBORN, SAPIENT, ELEMENTS
(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) Northwest hiphop is unique among all other North American regional subsets in that its borders extend to Vancouver, BC, which is just as much a hub of high-gravity hiphop as its Bush-burdened (for not much longer) neighbors to the south. Moka Only (repping that Van City), Josh Martinez (PDX via Canada), Sapient (PDX), and Onry (SEA) are all genre-pushing, border-flouting emcee/producers that uphold individual homegrown standards of raw skill, sheer charisma, and unmistakable individuality. Now more than ever, it's time for our cities to collectively assert a calm, cool, and comprehensive vision of a Cascadian State of Mind. LARRY MIZELL JR.
THE 88, COURTNEY JONES, OH DARLING
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Los Angeles fosters a different breed of rock band, I guess. The 88's website has a comprehensive list of all of the paychecks the band has cashed, listed in the form of television shows their power pop has soundtracked, including The O.C., How I Met Your Mother, and—of course—Grey's Anatomy. They're the kind of band you've heard without realizing you've heard them, a sort of anonymous wallpaper with hooky melodies, mutable lyrics, and dramatic swells at all the right moments. In another time—or another city, perhaps—the finely honed songwriting chops of the 88 might have been used to birth a series of obscure, treasured 7-inches, or a classic pop album that only gets discovered by scruffy hipsters some 20 years after the band breaks up. As such, the 88 are more than adequately exposed, and with new album Not Only... But Also—their debut for Island Records, featuring production by Babyface—that list of paychecks is just going to get longer. NED LANNAMANN
FILMUSIK: THE SUPERMAN ORCHESTRA
(Hollywood Theatre, 4122 NE Sandy) See calendar.
CRYSTAL STILTS, CAUSE CO-MOTION, HORNET LEG, DJ JIMBO
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See Set in Motion.
SIREN NATION: THE TRUCKS, NORTHERN STATE, LISA PAPINEAU, NEW BLOODS, TAHOE JACKSON
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) See Siren Song.
MOTHER MOTHER, ANOTHER CYNTHIA, BRENT AMAKER & THE RODEO
(Slabtown, 1033 NW 16th) Mother Mother has more in common with the New Pornographers than just a shared hometown of Vancouver, BC. The appealingly skewed power pop of Mother Mother has dual male-female vocals, frighteningly catchy tunes, and more than a sprinkle of glam rock, and while they don't have that wild card element (AKA Dan Bejar), their music confidently balances the darkly poppy songwriting of Ryan Guldemond with the sweetly saccharine vocals of Molly Guldemond (Ryan's sister) and Debra-Jean Creelman. It's a big, familiar sound that's appealing but not lightweight. NL
DANZIG, DIMMU BORGIR, MOONSPELL, WINDS OF PLAGUE, SKELETONWITCH
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Unquestionably eclipsed by the dark shadows of his seminal horror-punk years in Misfits and Samhain, the pre-sludge blues-metal of Danzig's solo work has most often been resigned to the salad days of the re-issued live MTV hit "Mother '93." Following the commercial success of the Thrall: Demonsweatlive EP, the band dissolved into a web of lineup changes and legal battles with Rick Rubin, and somewhere in there Glenn Danzig was filmed being rocked by the swift fist of the singer of the North Side Kings (the result being a widely viewed YouTube clip of a fallen hero). Luckily, Danzig's a resilient guy, and aside from writing and directing films, he may have conjured the sprigs of a new album. If you're a Danzig fan, you know what to expect; if not, you may be wondering who let the grandfather of Hessians on stage. RYAN J. PRADO
SUBTLE, ZACH HILL & PEER PRESSURE,
HEAD LIKE A KITE
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) There Is Loud Laughter Everywhere is Head Like a Kite's first long-player, released on Los Angeles' Mush Records. HLAK sound at home right out of the gate with their effortlessly atom-smashing, good-to-go vocal diddy-bops, alongside rushing waves of indie rock guitar textures, dirty keyboards, and hyper-caffeinated, rap-reared drum programming. You can probably picture the scuttling feel of studio-born sleep deprivation topped with the unmistakable effects of copious amounts of that high-pro glow—just don't miss the real intense, ecstatic thing in the flesh (and the spirit). LM
THE KING KHAN & BBQ SHOW,
THE DUTCHESS & THE DUKE
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) See calendar.
RISE AGAINST, ALKALINE TRIO, THRICE,
THE GASLIGHT ANTHEM
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) See Standing in the Shadow of Bruce.
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See Women Problems.
SIREN NATION: AMELIA, LAURA VEIRS, LAURA GIBSON, SCOUT NIBLETT, FELINA'S ARROW
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) See Siren Song.
ATLAS: DJ ANJALI, DJ E3, THE INCREDIBLE KID
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) When they're not opening for an impressive list of international touring acts, the trio of Anjali, the Incredible Kid, and E3 host Atlas, one of Portland's most successful DJ nights. True to the name, their sound draws on more than a few continents for inspiration, consistently mixing Balkan beats with Bhangra, Asian hiphop with grime, reggaeton with Afrobeat, and just about any other style of global music—as long as it's edgy, up to the minute, and can keep a dance floor throbbing. This week's five-year anniversary edition of Atlas is a chance for long-time fans to celebrate what they know and love about the night, and for future devotees to see what all the noise is about. AVA HEGEDUS Also see calendar.
WOODS, METH TEETH , THE BLIMP, MOM,
(Twilight Café and Bar, 1420 SE Powell) Ominous and catchy, lo-fi and expansive, New York's Woods land firmly in the outsider school of indie rock. This is heady stuff, less concerned with the perfect hook—though their hooks can indeed be memorable—and more with constructing dense, obtuse sonic structures. (Or, the concise version: Remember when indie rock felt weird? This band does.) Experimental without heading into psychedelia, the band is equally comfortable making noisy pop and delving into tape-loop explorations. TOBIAS CARROLL
THE FAINT, NATALIE PORTMAN'S SHAVED HEAD
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) See calendar.
CROOKED FINGERS, PORT O'BRIEN,
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) It's been 14 years since those first few notes of "Web in Front" resonated across the indie rock landscape, and while that sloppy moment of jittery rock was truly a stars-aligning moment for Eric Bachmann (and the rest of Archers of Loaf), it was just one of many near misses from the enigmatic whiskey-voiced singer. What followed was a glorious parade of Archers recordings—well, except for 1998's misguided White Trash Heroes—and Bachmann's inspired solo work, both under his name and the Crooked Fingers moniker. Of course, none of these have netted the now-Seattle-based singer the massive following he so rightfully deserves, but perhaps his drunken sad-luck tales were meant to be appreciated by a smaller, more passionate crowd. Crooked Fingers' latest is the self-released Forfeit/Fortune, which continues the ambitious evolution of 2005's Dignity and Shame and features a gorgeous duet with Neko Case, which alone is worth the price of purchase. EAC
MASON JENNINGS, ZACH GILL
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) Mason Jennings was born in Hawaii and his latest, In the Ever, has been released on barefoot broseph Jack Johnson's label, but thankfully Jennings' effortless tunecraft never panders like the carefree weed-and-Corona, hammock-lazing soft rock that Johnson insists on inflicting upon the world. Jennings' songs are deceptively simple, with basic chord structures and straightforward melodies, but potent—and not always pretty—emotions lurk beneath the surface. Indeed, Jennings' voice contains the kind of honesty that Johnson continually deflects in favor of laidback feel-goodism, so it shouldn't have been a huge surprise that Jennings' contributions to the I'm Not There soundtrack were among the most authentic of those Dylan reworkings (Jennings is now based in Dylan's home state of Minnesota). In the Ever, meanwhile, is a deliberately sparse recording that keeps it real—something the escapist fantasies of Jack Johnson are too fearful to attempt. NL
SECRET SHINE, PACIFIC UV,
TEARS RUN RINGS
(Twilight Café and Bar, 1420 SE Powell) Pulling your band name from a Marc Almond song should be a sign that your music is flamboyantly dramatic. However, with Tears Run Rings, that couldn't be further from the case. With a sound steeped in the early '90s UK dream-pop and shoegaze community, their debut record Always, Sometimes, Seldom, Never could easily be filed somewhere between Slowdive's Souvlaki, Ride's Nowhere, and the Boo Radleys' Everything's Alright Forever. Dreamy male and female vocals seep through layers of hazy reverb while the guitars echo and jangle, and the end result is a noble update of the genres to which they pay homage. ROB SIMONSEN
SOLE & THE SKYRIDER BAND, DJ TAN'T
(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) See calendar.
THE BROKEN WEST, BATTLE HYMNS
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Cincinnati's Heartless Bastards are the type of band that make you wonder what real bands sounded like before the spoils of fad-dom sunk their vapid fangs into everything truly artistic. With roots in the kind of marmalade-saunter of the garage-rock realm (that problematic shackle often applied to purveyors of music with even the minutest levels of reverb), vocalist Erika Wennerstrom howls like a diminutive Joplin and swirls her music with a warm hum of oddly dark pop. Their 2006 album All This Time is likely one of the best albums of this decade, spiraling dashes of Grace Slick-ian brilliance into three-minute rock songs instead of acid-speckled exhibition. The band is said to be working on their third studio album with yet another new lineup, Wennerstrom being the only consistent member; if consistency's any indication so far, we're in for something stunning. RJP Also see calendar.
CONIFER, DJ NATE C
(Tube, 18 NW 3rd) Make no mistake: Conifer doesn't play the knob-twiddling variety of post-whatever that fights "rockism" more than it actually rocks. Nor does it vaguely remember Iron Maiden while constructing some wobbly aluminum stairway to Valhalla. No, Conifer is the real thing: A band of serious rock 'n' roll instrumentalists with the rare ability to bring interstellar wormholes down to Earth for humans to enjoy. This fall's Crown Fire is steeped in the lush, loud traditions of Mogwai and Pelican, smartly extracting the latter's Hum influence without sounding too much like a Cadillac commercial. "Surface Fire" and "Cruciform Empennage" form a 15-minute rollercoaster ride, with gravity-defying loops and seatbelts of melodic bass. It has to be the most carbon-neutral ride of the year. MIKE MEYER
UH HUH HER, THE FASHION
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) Tonight, the queer folk of Portland will receive a post-Halloween treat from The L Word cast member Leisha Hailey, showing off the musical side of her celebrity coin with Uh Huh Her. UHH's musical partnership is shared with lead vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Camila Grey, who has collaborated with a diverse demographic ranging from film composer Hans Zimmer to Busta Rhymes. Rather than taking a gritty influence from the carnal PJ Harvey record of the same title, Uh Huh Her can be equated to a sultry blended Goldfrappuccino: sickly sweet yet possessing the ability to energize a dance floor. The Los Angeles band combines minimal organic sounds muddled with overtly mainstream studio production to churn out glittery pop gems suitable for The L Word soundtrack itself. Regardless, I'll bet you that an L Word fanatic will yell out "I love you, Alice!" without thinking twice. EM BROWNLOWE
THE LITTLE ONES, WHAT MADE MILWAUKEE FAMOUS, THE OTHER LIVES
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See Once More with Feeling.
EL TEN ELEVEN, MISS MASSIVE SNOWFLAKE , THE ESCAPISTS
(Someday Lounge, 125 NW 5th) El Ten Eleven are the duo of drummer Tim Fogarty and guitarist/bassist Kristian Dunn who incorporate mathy elements and post-rock soaring into their instrumental workouts. Some of their Lite-Brite guitar hues will appeal to fans of Ratatat, and their robotic, jerky disco groove wouldn't sound out of place on the dance floor, with steady basslines and plenty of twinkling harmonics. Be warned, though, that their new record, a short eight-song affair called These Promises Are Being Videotaped, contains a completely unnecessary cover of "Paranoid Android," condensing the familiar Radiohead epic to two irrelevant minutes. "Android" is the "Stairway to Heaven" of the 1990s; it doesn't need to be covered by anyone, anywhere, anytime. NL
GANG GANG DANCE, MARNIE STERN,
DJ DOG DAZE
(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) See calendar.
THE BREEDERS, PELICAN OSSMAN,
PAPER UPPER CUTS
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) Remember "Cannonball"? Well, it—and its creators—are back after a landslide of member changes, outside projects, and false starts. Kim and Kelley Deal join Mando Lopez and (Portland resident) José Medeles in the latest incarnation of the Breeders, back at it with a new album out earlier this year. Granted, they've been through a lot, but the band sounds remarkably fresh. With venue-filling songs like "Overglazed" and "Bang On," the Breeders stir even the quiet skeptic or the jaded hipster to move their limbs. Compiled of seasoned musicians who truly know how to rock, the Breeders are versatile and substantial, and still find a way to be relevant. KAITLIN JOHNSON
DANIELSON, CRYPTACIZE, BART DAVENPORT
(Backspace, 115 NW 5th) The land of the Danielson Family is, to say the least, an interesting one. As the brainchild of Daniel Smith, the Family (which is literally littered with his siblings) is nothing if not notorious—whether it be for the matching nurse costumes, or the giant tree outfit Smith sometimes dons onstage, or the band's love of Jesus, or its origin as a thesis project, or its role as launch pad for indie hero Sufjan Stevens. Antics, costumes, and reputation are one thing, though, and luckily Danielson have the chops to back it all up, creating soaring indie rock that is one part outsider music and one part, well, more outsider music, mostly due in part to Daniel's insane falsetto and interesting arrangements. The music will either make you run away screaming or turn you into a total convert, but either option means that Danielson is doing something absolutely right. RS