SNITCHES GET STITCHES, and I'm no stoolie, but I'm pretty confident I caught a glimpse of a notable Portland rock and roll frontman hurling a perfectly drinkable, and completely full, PBR tallboy at the Mean Jeans during last year's raucous Smmr Bmmr. He missed wide left. Yet despite such wanton misuse of fine malt and hops, what I witnessed was a gesture of loving respect, as the Smmr Bmmr—with 23-plus acts of garage, punk, and beyond—veers toward chaos at times, yet it still manages to hold down its claim as this city's most unpredictable, sweaty, and chaotic music festival. Now in its fourth year, Smmr Bmmr hijacks the sun-splashed patio and cozy indoor stage of Plan B for a seemingly endless parade of bands. For those in need of something to soak up that booze, the slice merchants of Sizzle Pie will be on hand, plus there will be free Emergen-C as well. Don't worry—if you mix it into your beer, all the negative health effects will be canceled out.
ROCK 'N' ROLL ADVENTURE KIDS
The Rock 'n' Roll Adventure Kids are a loosey-goosey duo from Berzerkeley, California that kicks out sloppy, backwoods tales of fried chicken and finding panties in your pocket. While the Bay Area is teeming these days with raucous and punchy psych rock, RNRAK are an entirely different animal. These kids go for the throat. They also go for Screamin' Jay Hawkins and perhaps a little Southern Culture on the Skids. There are melodies in nuggets like "Chuck Taylor Shakedown" and "Elvis Carborator [sic] Blues," but you'll have to sift through some truly wonderful chaos to find them. Happy hunting. MARK LORE
Blood Beach—who take their handle from the campy 1980 horror flick of the same name—have gone through somewhat of a metamorphosis since the release of their self-titled EP a year ago. At a recent performance at PDX Pop Now!, these un-poppy lads (and lass) put on a noise-rock clinic that was as sophisticated as it was primal. The band's new EP Return of the Curse of the Creature's Ghost is filled with spacey noise, extended passages, runaway Theremin, and an arsenal of guitars that straddle the line between post-punk and stoner metal. Live, Blood Beach is an unpredictable monster—a good thing—and a good indicator that the future is looking dark. In a good way, of course. ML
SHANNON AND THE CLAMS
The late-night lovers' lane vintage pop of Shannon and the Clams is part of that sound's most recent revival—charismatic frontwoman Shannon Shaw also doubles as a punkette for the similarly influenced Hunx and His Punx. Shannon and the Clams will act as the Bmmr's romantic interlude, a welcome respite from blistering garage punk and guitar-slingin' dudes as far as the eye can see. Sleep Talk, the latest from the Bay Area trio is an addicting dose of swaying pop from a bygone era, mixed with the boozy charm of Shaw's gentle vocal howl. If ever there was a soundtrack to a baby conceived in the backseat of a parked car, this is it. EAC
Seattle's the Trashies took a hungover hiatus in 2007, using that time to holistically reinvigorate themselves and purify themselves of their past misgivings. Or they just sat around, drank beer, and played in too many bands to mention here (the Unnatural Helpers, Tacocat, etc.). Now back at it, their latest, Space Jam (named after the cinematic masterpiece that starred Shawn Bradley and Marvin the Martian), picks up where the band left off, which is a drunken stumble through haphazard garage rock and unhinged punk rock. EAC