IT'S AUGUST. It's hot. The summertime festivals have let up, making way for the lazy dog days of summer. Last year, Jon Barron—who instigated the notorious Slabtown Bender—teamed up with booker Zach King to bring the first SMMR BMMR to SE Powell, a full day of rock, punk, and garage that began in the afternoon at BC's American Saloon and ended in the wee hours down the street at the Twilight Café. Barron and King hosted DMMR BMMR, a winter version of the fest, at East End this past January, and now the SMMR BMMR returns over a triumphant three days, with free afternoon matinee shows at BC's and $12 evening shows at Rotture (or a $28 weekend pass; see smmrbmmr.com for full schedule).
Some of the country's finest garage acts are coming to Portland to play the BMMR, including San Francisco's Thee Oh Sees (who, by many accounts, stole the show from Jay Reatard at Dante's in June), and Omaha's Box Elders, whose excellent debut album, Alice and Friends, was just released by Goner Records. The BMMR also showcases hometown favorites like the legendary Pierced Arrows, along with relative newcomers like Meth Teeth, whose catchy, twin-guitar nuggets grace their long-awaited debut full-length, Everything Went Wrong, the release of which is being celebrated at their BMMR show. Here are some of our additional picks for the weekend.
Personal and the Pizzas
Personal and the Pizzas are a joyfully sleazy Jersey trio that bash out raw garage pop and punk—yet not necessarily pop-punk—with a similar goofy flair to our very own the Mean Jeans. Their finest song, "Tearjerker," sounds like Joey Ramone had his wish for a teenage lobotomy come true; a mumbled yet catchy number that would do the finest band from Forest Hills, Queens, proud. Forget DDT; Personal and the Pizzas will keep you happy tonight. (Rotture, Sun Aug 23, 10:40 pm)
Although they've spent time on a pair of "It" labels—Siltbreeze, Slumberland—Sic Alps went with another noble suitor, Drag City, for the re-release of their double LP A Long Way Around to a Shortcut (out this week). Long Way captures the California duo's lower-than-lo-fi sound masterfully, while tossing in a few covers of some obvious influences (Strapping Fieldhands) and some less than obvious ones as well (Throbbing Gristle). With Sic Alps you'll hear the stoned strut of Royal Trux, the fuzzy pop flair of early GBV, plus some mild psychedelic leanings, but beneath all that are some wonderfully crafted songs that are uniquely their own. (Rotture, Fri Aug 21, 9:20 pm)
Fergus and Geronimo
Arguably one the finest gems in the SMMR BMMR goldmine, Denton, Texas' Fergus & Geronimo do not create "faux soul indie faggotry" (despite what their MySpace description proclaims). Instead they are a lively lot of pop enthusiasts that borrow just enough from bubbly twee and vintage garage rock. Steeped in wondrous harmonies and a subtle Motown influence—hence the "soul" mention in their self-deprecating tag—their Harder Than it's Ever Been 7-inch is definitely worth a monetary exchange at the merch table. Also, their Andrew Savage does time in Teenage Cool Kids, who are playing earlier in the day. Someone buy that man a drink for pulling double duty. (Rotture, Sat Aug 22, 10:40 pm)