THE BLACK LIPS, THE HUNCHES,
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) There's an elephant in the room. I'm not looking at him, but I can still smell his shit and it's driving me crazy. To clear this up, what I want to do is have you come over and we'll sit on my floor, share drinks of Wild Turkey, and listen to the Black Lips. We'll turn up their raw, classic garage revivalist sounds, and when the neighbors tell us to turn it down we'll turn it up. We'll stomp our feet and clap our hands and shout over the buzz, "Shit, these kids are for real." ANDREW R. TONRY See My, What a Busy Week!, pg. 15.
PER SE, JUNKFACE, QUIET COUNTRIES
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Portland's own Junkface reminded me of a bunch of bands, but I couldn't for the life of me place any of them. Then it hit me—K-Tel put out a compilation in 1999 called Nowcore! The Punk Rock Evolution. Junkface sounds like that song by... who was it? Braid! No... Samiam! "She Found You!" No, that's not it. Damn it. In typical PDX style, JF shares members with a ton of bands (including Sexton Blake, the Newmans, and the Old Crips), and they sound like they should have been included on that K-Tel comp. That's not all bad—you get some sing-along vocals, solid rock backed by bloopy keyboards, and vocals that remind me of the Aluminum Group, or maybe a less precious Sea and Cake. Opener Quiet Countries makes this an interesting bill. JIM WITHINGTON
LADYSMITH BLACK MAMBAZO
(Corvallis High School, 836 NW 11th, Corvallis) When I was in junior high I used to make "political" videos with my parents' VHS camcorder and one of them was a "free Africa"-themed video for a Ladysmith Black Mambazo song off their Shaka Zulu record. I'm not ashamed of this. ADAM GNADE
TOM BROSSEAU, HORSE FEATHERS, WHIP
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See Music, pg. 17.
PLANES MISTAKEN FOR STARS, AKIMBO, LOCH BERLIN, EL CERDO
(Satyricon, 125 NW 6th) Planes Mistaken for Stars have traveled to Portland from Denver, on tour for probably the 80 billionth time in their decade-long career. My guess is this dark and screamy group of bearded metalmen isn't having much difficulty dealing with the cold spell currently causing Portland to reach for its heaviest North Face jacket and curse while the car defrosts. Denver has been covered in snow for a month, and highs in the teens are a blessing. Portland must seem balmy to PMFS—who list their influences as Black Sabbath, Black Flag, and the color black. Singer Gared O'Donnell should have no problem warming up the pipes well enough to deafen the whole room with anguished squalls, rising above his band's commanding metal undertone, and ripping through numbers like "Killed by Killers Who Kill Each Other." They may have been mistaken for stars, but they've never been mistaken for lighthearted. MATT DRISCOLL
THE UPSIDEDOWN, THE SUN THE SEA, THE ONLINE ROMANCE
(Towne Lounge, 714 SW 20th Pl) Okay, I gotta come clean—I have a super huge crush on the Online Romance. And what's not to fawn over? Their songs-in-paragraphs belie the storyteller in bandleader Jack Saturn. The deceptively simple acoustic arrangements of the early days have led to a four-piece lineup that still won't make you reach for your earplugs (in a good way), and the love in the room at their shows creates the scrappy-PDX-show version of the "he really loves us!" vibe of a Flaming Lips show. "I wish I had their energy/and their poise," Saturn sings in "Twitch." Seeing them in a living room setting like the Towne Lounge, the crush-blushing this crew inspires could make you wish the same. JW
EMILY HAINS & THE SOFT SKELETON, TALL FIRS
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See Music, pg. 19.
THE EPOXIES, THE PUNK GROUP, HELLO LOBSTER, ABSOLUTE RULERS
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) If you have not caught the Epoxies' brand of retro, synthy, punk-pop in a live setting then you really should go back to first grade and start all over again. Vocalist Roxy Epoxy is ever the contortionist, while synth-man F.M. Static will stare you down and then... accept you as one of his own. Then there's the guitarist with the laser coming out of his eye and the bassist whose birth name is Shock Diode (think about that for a while). I just hope the corner of 39th and Hawthorne is ready for this extravaganza, because also on the bill is the Devo-inspired Punk Group. They sing about overweight women on bikes as well as reaching for the Tiger's Milk Bar at 7-Eleven because it's so much healthier than the Chunky. Chunky. TIM HINELY
KITTY MIDWIFE, QKCOFSE, !GO-YO!,
RED ORCHESTRA, TECHNICOLOR YAWN, TRACES, DJGOATHORNS, DJ BIG TOP
(Someday, 125 NW 5th) If you are an experimental Northwest noisemaker with fewer than 100 friends on MySpace, you have probably already played a Cacophony. If not, curator Ogo Eion would like to meet and book you. After several years of placing the event in a revolving list of barely legal venues, Someday Lounge has raised the big house tent over Cacophony, providing an inviting home for the most "out" of outsider industrial folk in the area. This Friday's headliner blowupnihlist breaks the mold with over 4,500 online friends from around the country. His mantra "I will fuck up any room I can fit my PA into" is no joke. I've seen him do it time and again. NATE CARSON
DOOM FEST W/FACEPILOT,
ROANOKE, KILAUEA, SLAVE TRAITOR, HEZZAKYA, GUYVE
(Tonic Lounge, 3100 NE Sandy) Portland's most stalwart punk and metal dives (Tonic and Sabala's, respectively) are hosting a dozen up-and-coming stoner metal acts from the Northwest this weekend. It's great to see a community like this operating like an undertow, ignoring even the local mainstream tastes and making their own party. Vancouver, BC is represented by the four big "Z"s in Mendozza and Hezzakaya. Seattle offers biker metal from Slave Traitor, and Grey's female-fronted doom hits like the slow blanket of crib death. PDX represents with classic fuzz trio Kilauea debuting their new drummer and El Cerdo mixing slow hardcore and grind into their own flavor of metal. See the future of local doom, today. NC
DOOM FEST W/CAMBODIA, EL CERDO, MENDOZZA, GREY, DIESTO, PARANAUT
(Sabala's, 4811 SE Hawthorne) See Friday's Doom Fest Up and Coming.
THE HIGH VIOLETS, TRESPASSERS WILLIAM, ALELA DIANE, TRANSMISSIONARY SIX
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Something of a luminary in the current Portland neo-folk (of the non-"freak" variety) renaissance, Alela Diane's songs are lovely, languid things. She's just put out a limited edition vinyl EP, Songs Whistled Through White Teeth, on UK label Names Records. One hopes she'll play some of those new songs even if you can't buy them in the US—she sounds even more confident on it, in fuller voice, than on her excellent full-length, The Pirate's Gospel. Also, she really loves her cat, which is probably what the song "My Brambles" is about, but there's such a sense of down-home earnestness to her lilting voice that it could be about much more. JOEL HARTSE
STEPHEN MALKMUS & THE JICKS, ENTRANCE
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) See Music, pg. 19.
AVAIL, THE DRAFT, BROADWAY CALLS,
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) Remember the moment when you fell in love with punk rock? Rattled ribcage, crowd-as-one, screaming lyrics back at the band, every note jumbling your guts, aware that every breakdown drum hit made your soul sing? If you were a teenager in 1996, chances are Avail was the band that did it to you. Hardcore with melody enough to please fans of either side of the punk rock continuum, Avail will make you break through brick walls with bare fists—or hurt yourself trying. Jade Tree re-released their best albums last year, all fancy-style, and they've even got a "cheerleader" named Beau Beau. Don't miss the Richmond, VA band's first West Coast jaunt in a while—it'll make you believe. In everything. JW
DAMIEN JURADO, TENLONS FORT
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Damien Jurado could kick my ass. Flat out. He's built like a brick shithouse. With one swing of either of his meat hooks Jurado could have me down for the count and seeing stars. Luckily, Mr. Jurado isn't about inflicting pain, he's concerned with capturing emotion and finding a few chords that go along nicely. He can crush you, but he never leaves the microphone or his chair. Sometimes I'd rather be pummeled by his fists, which isn't to say Jurado isn't good at what he does, it's saying sometimes he's too good. Jurado, on more than one occasion, has carved the still beating heart out of my chest. It was good for me, don't get me wrong, but you kind of have to be in the mood for it. Jurado makes music for bad times, and while that's not always pretty, bad times are probably when we need music most. MD See My, What a Busy Week!, pg. 15.
WET CONFETTI, LETI ANGEL, GHOST TO FALCO, KICKBALL
(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) If this show's got nothing for you, just get back in your car, roll up the windows, crank up Jammin' 95.5, pop the collar on your club shirt and get the fuck back to Beaverton. Tonight's lineup is like New Seasons' samples on a Sunday—you can have a goddamn meal if you're ready for it, filling up on little tastes of everything. You get the bat-shit experimental, breathy-to-heavy jams of Ghost to Falco (new kind of vegan faux meat something or other), indiepop supergroup Leti Angel (sausage on a toothpick), the angular, atonal, post-punk, we-just-recorded-an-album-with-Dave-Allen-from -Gang-of-Four-and-now-we're-everywhere dance beats of Wet Confetti (bleu cheese with a bite), and the intimate, loud, raving geeky loveliness of Kickball (sharp, bubbly champagne)—some of the best Portland (and Olympia) has to offer. What else could you ask for? Some coffee? Fuck off. ART
TALL BIRDS, UNNATURAL HELPERS
(Towne Lounge, 714 SW 20th Pl) The Tall Birds rumble sort of like the Stooges if they were nice boys that grew up in the easygoing, slow motion Northwest instead of the hellhole, broke down, piss-poor, class violence of 1970s Detroit. Or maybe an MC5 more obsessed with girls than Black Panther politics. Perhaps like the Exploding Hearts if they were older, tougher, and more jaded. I suppose you could say that, but however you want to get there, Seattle's Tall Birds are a talented, ripping garage band who kick out jams that are every bit as rocking as they are catchy. ART
NEIL HAMBURGER, PLEASEEASAUR
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) The first question for the painfully awkward routine of standup comic Neil Hamburger (a character played by DIY gadabout Gregg Turkington) is: "Is this supposed to be funny?" The answer to that is no. The second question—"so is this not being funny supposed to be funny?" to which the answer is yes—begins to put things in perspective. However, there's a third question: "But is that actually funny, then?" Well, no. Not at all. Presumably, the only people laughing at Hamburger's "I'm a really TERRIBLE comedian, GET IT?!" schtick are the ones who are trying to prove how "in on the joke" they are. It's hard to imagine anything more tiring and less fulfilling than an evening of pretending that a guy pretending to be a bad comedian is funny. JH
THE RODNEY GRAHAM BAND, BOOK OF LISTS, VERY STEREO, DAVIS HOOKER
(Disjecta, 230 E Burnside) Rodney Graham is one of Canada's most important contemporary visual artists, combining a fervent intellectualism with loopy, irreverent humor in his photos and videos. The 2001 video "Photokinetoscope" found the artist (b. 1947) pedaling a bicycle around Berlin while tripping on LSD, and for the 2006 Whitney Biennial, he collaborated with Brooklyn noise rockers Japanther and video wizard Tony Oursler on an enormous, psychedelic puppet show that became one of the most buzzed-about pieces of the whole show. These days, Graham is playing a small handful of rock shows with his imaginatively monikered punk quartet. Is the music any good? Who the hell knows. Am I terribly curious to find out? You bet your sweet ass. CHAS BOWIE
MICKEY AVALON, DYSLEXIC SPEEDREADERS, FINGER BANG CITY
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) Mickey Avalon is a punk/rapper who glamorizes the "seedy" player/junkie life of getting laid and paid on Hollywood Boulevard with weak-sauce-drenched sub-Eminem party raps. Dude is so frickin' annoying I'm ending this RIGHT HERE. GRANT MORRIS
METAL MELTDOWN W/TRUCULENCE, WORLD OF LIES, LUCIKA, ALTAR OF THROND
(Satyricon, 125 NW 6th) Man, oh man, I love me some metal and I love it all that much more when it's played by local dudes and ladies. The awesome Altar of Thrond is from Salem, so I'm counting them as local. Their bullet-paced screamcore is brutal as the bug alien things from Starship Troopers and the band pulls it off with zero wankiness, shreddiness, or meatheadic attitude. Metal Meltdown, whut whut! GM
WORLD OF WARCRAFT EXPANSION RELEASE CELEBRATION W/THE PUNK GROUP, GRADUAL MELTDOWN
(Someday, 125 NW 5th) The words "Burning Legion" mean squat to me. What's a dark portal? Who exactly cares? Well... reportedly 8,000,000 inhabitants of earth, at last count, according to the number of people subscribed to the online game World of Warcraft. Since its 2004 release, WoW has kept legions of gamers pale, malnourished, and stained with Mountain Dew. As if enough pupils weren't transfixed on widescreen monitors around the world, a WoW expansion pack, "Burning Crusade," was released this week. "Burning Crusade" boasts two new playable races—Blood Elves and Draenei—and a new continent. Feel the excitement? Someday Lounge does, and when the Punk Group take over to electro rock the release of a video game expansion pack, and they unleash their cheese-dick '80s irreverence, couches everywhere will feel the void. The Punk Group's keyboard and drum machine schtick is poking fun at the silly shit our culture thrives on, like MySpace, Toby Keith, and ironically, videogames. MATT DRISCOLL
W/SUBARACHNOID SPACE, DUB MARRONICS, MOODRING, DJ NATE C
(Ground Kontrol, 511 NW Couch) I was thumbing through my trusty encyclopedia set last night when I came upon an entry for one of my favorite local bands, SubArachnoid Space. Instead of words, explanations, or figures, though, I was presented with a series of strange alien script, crude psychedelic drawings, and a slash of color across the whole thing that appeared to be painted in blood. What could it mean? This has occupied my abnormally large brain over the past few hours. I have come to one hard and fast hypothesis: SubArachnoid Space's "space rock" is so unruly in its quest for change, creation, and evolution that they have thereby transcended earthly musics and become an indescribable force of deep space noise. Here before pigeonholed as "metal," "psyche," a "jam band," or "the new Hawkwind," they are now heads and tails beyond all comparison. I must meditate on this today and begin my research yet again. There is much work to be done before nightfall. ENCYCLOPEDIA BROWN
SILENTIST, TIMES OF DESPERATION,
DJ NATE C
(Tube, 18 NW 3rd) See Music, pg. 17.
THE LASHES, ROCKET, ALEX NACKMAN
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) Ben Clark was the tallest kid at my eighth birthday party, which was around the time he started wanting to be a rock star and I started wanting to be a smartass writer. Almost 20 years later, it seems like we both got our wishes. The Lashes skipped that whole indie thing, graduating from a handful of Seattle shows to a deal with Columbia, and national tours sponsored by the beer/energy drink Sparks. But their blatantly commercial aspirations (to say nothing of their genuinely good pop songs) are their great strength; no hook cannot be exploited, no keyboard line made more catchy, no chorus can go un-re-repeated. The Lashes play new-capitalist powerpop and the kids are buying it. Mission accomplished. JH
BLUE CRANES, BRIGHT RED PAPER, ROLLERBALL
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) For the last 10 years, Shane de Leon has been vocalist and multi-instrumentalist in Portland's best and most underappreciated band. Shane recently left Rollerball to concentrate on real life and his solo project, Miss Massive Snowflake. His often unpredictable contributions regularly pushed the group into uncomfortable places where only certain factions of the audience dared tread. I saw him carve open his arm with a broken pint glass at the much missed club EJ's back in the late '90s in front of a crowd of 20. More recently, his voice has created blissful harmonies with Rollerball's other lead vocalist Mae Starr. I wish I could say that I'll miss Shane, but really, he's still here. His tenure was very well documented on album after album and show after show. Bereft of his occasional "nails on chalkboard" lapses into freestyle humor, the group will be more streamlined then ever. There's no question that Mae's voice alone could carry any band, anywhere. This is not an ending so much as Chapter 1, Book 7. I'm pretty sure in this book, Rollerball graduates from Wizard School and destroys the fucking universe. NC
WHAT'S GOING ON WEDNESDAYS
(Satyricon, 125 NW 6th) See My, What a Busy Week!, pg. 15.