Up & Coming 


THURSDAY 8/24

THE MELODY UNIT, THE HIGH VIOLETS

(Ohm) Pacific Northwest Trendwatch #127: The people who collected records by Slowdive and Lush in the '90s have grown up and become musicians, thus making gorgeous, atmospheric guitar melodies. It's the intelligent antithesis to the grody, limp metal the world once knew us for (some might recall it as "grunge"), and it's what the world will know us for next--that Portland/Seattle, moody rain sound. Here are two of the blissful forerunners: Seattle's splendid Melody Unit, surrounding us with their heartbreaking vocals, and Portland's High Violets, doing a little of the same, only larger and more static. JULIANNE SHEPHERD

MICHELLE SHOCKED

(Aladdin Theater) I have a secret passion for cheesy girl rock (as my ex-boyfriend used to call them, "vagina rockers"), but of all the V.R. out there, I'm least embarrassed to admit my allegiance to Michelle Shocked. A decade before Ani, Emily, Amy, and Tori, Michelle emerged as the nation's first V.R. She escaped from the east hills of Texas to the punk scene of San Francisco to sing a revolutionary folk-blues, one that invented a genre that no longer exists quite so cool: "folk underground." Today, though she's swayed a bit from her punk roots and even ventured occasionally into the "adult contemporary" category, she still holds a special place in my V.R. heart. KATIA DUNN

BUILT TO SPILL

(Crystal Ballroom) Three reasons to see Built to Spill: 1. They're a trio. Compact, stripped-back, volatile, controlled. Trios are always best (see also The Jam, Nirvana, Modest Mouse, Rush). Someone's always being lazy in a four-piece. 2. Rarely can such self-indulgent ROCK music be played with such sensitivity. Doug Martsch's guitar effortlessly captures that lurching, butterfly feeling in your stomach that occurs just before something wonderful happens. Few other musicians can. 3. You can. You lucky, lucky bastards. EVERETT TRUE

OZZFEST STARRING OZZY, PANTERA, GODSMACK, STATIC-X, INCUBUS, METHODS OF MAYHEM, P.O.D., QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE, SOULFLY, KITTIE, TAPROOT, PRIMER 55, PITCHSHIFTER, DISTURBED, THE DEAD LIGHTS, SHUVEL, BLACK LABEL SOCIETY, APARTMENT 26, SLAVES ON DOPE, REVEILLE, PUMPJACK

(Gorge Amphitheater) It's amazing to me that Ozzy can keep it up this long. You know, the whole metal, evil, destruction thing. I love that he can, however, because that gives me hope that when I get old I won't just sit around eating Cornflakes, watching Regis and loving it. It makes me happy that when I'm a raisin I'll still be disgusted enough with the world to write hate manifestos in my journal and make voodoo dolls of other retirees. I know; that's fucking sick, isn't it? I am extremely glad to see my new favorite hardcore band Kittie on tour with the Ozzmeister. It's refreshing to see women pulling off low, gravelly voices, metal guitar, and genuine anger that isn't about some fucking guy who didn't call or breaking a nail or some shit. It's also cool to see teenagers using their surplus of loathing and repulsion and funneling it into something worthwhile, instead of just complaining to their friends and excessively hating their parents. Let me tell you, the creative benefits of anger go on and on. KATIE SHIMER

HANK PLANK & THE 2X4S

(LaurelThirst) Hank Plank & the 2x4s' saucy lyrics are reminiscent of King Missile. They lament wayward penises ("looks like my dick's been cheatin' on my heart again") and provide a wry voice for the loser-geeks at the end of the bar who just want a little respect (and some lovin' from the girl behind the bar). The band's skilled fiddling and banjo-pickin', though, lend a heft to the otherwise gimmicky songs. Live, as an assembly of humble, gee-shucks, boy-next-door types, Hank Plank are both downright engaging and silly. PHIL BUSSE

NORFOLK & WESTERN, BELTLINE, MARK WYMAN, WOW & FLUTTER

(Medicine Hat) Norfolk & Western is gorgeous, desert country with effects; the kind that's timeless but that time didn't forget. Beltline (aka Rob Jones) is a doll, singing earnestly with his guitar; NYC's Mark Wyman is reputed to do the same. Wow & Flutter have been recording their improv lately, and it's flooring; beautiful atmosphere, an underlying guitar theme, stoic drums, and the right note plucked here and there to make you feel a little faint. JS See Music Bio Page 18


FRIDAY 8/25

RICK BAIN & THE GENIUS POSITION CD RELEASE PARTY

(Dante's) You know when you sometimes just want to hear a good band? You don't want to see some band you've never heard of performing their new "experimental electric-slide country rock," but you'll cry if you have to listen to yet another cover of Eric Clapton. You're not asking for great--maybe they're not saving the world or starting a music movement, but all you want is to count on them to be consistently entertaining. You just want to dance, drink, and smoke, without wincing once. Rick Bain and the Genius Position, fresh from a tour with beloved Dandy Warhols, will take you there--they're solid, mellowish pop rock, solid in their native-to-Portland, Brit vocals, solidly danceable and solidly drinkable. KD

PENCHANT FOR VIOLENCE TOUR STARRING CROWBAR, SIXTY-WATT SHAMAN, ZAKK WYLD'S BLACK LABEL SOCIETY

(Pine Street Theater) Penchant for Violence seems rather like the antithesis of Portland. Undoubtedly we have our rapist serial killers and our crazy head-smashers in the park, but besides that, we're a pretty mellow group (perhaps it's the cheeba). I say this because I recently went to RockFest (I got free tickets, OK) and saw fucking Slayer and Sepultura and plenty of other mosh-pit inducing metal bands. The weird thing about it was that everyone just stood around complacently like they were watching rhinoceri having sex on a nature show or something. What's up with that? Anyhow, I guess we'll see what happens when the hard-core mo-fos in Crowbar, Sixty Watt Shaman and Black Label Society tear down the house. I have to admit, I'm most psyched about Black Label, because they've got the most going on: driving, Ozzy-like vocals, heavy drums and intricate guitar solos. Crowbar has an awesome, slow head-banging sound, but the singing is strained and lacking bass. Sixty Watt suffers from a lead singer problem as well, with an excellent bass player (seemingly Clutch-influenced), and twinkling guitars, yet raspy and overbearing vocals. I say we pledge our allegiance to the hard-core gods, pull the sucky parties off stage and show 'em Portland can kick some ass. KS

HIT EXPLOSION!

(Crystal Ballroom) As we know all too well, the concept of "disco" lived, then died, and then lived again, and then died again. So after multiple deaths, why does disco continue to keep getting back up with the annoying regularity of Jason from Friday the 13th? Because, my friend, there is money to be made! And nobody in the disco reunion oeuvre pulls in the dough like Hit Explosion!--and with good reason. This nine-piece outfit blasts through disco favorites with alarming (and not completely interesting) accuracy. While your visiting parents will really get a kick out of it, you probably already know whether or not it's your cup of tea. WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY

NINETYNINE, TRIXIE'S UNDERSEA ADVENTURE, ERASE ERRATA, TRACY AND THE PLASTICS

(Robot Steakhouse) Excerpt from Everett True's Journal: "Wednesday, I find myself drinking cheap, industrial-strength red wine by the bottle on Brighton Beach with Jon...I'm boasting about how much I loathe this country with a crimson clarity...It seems that once more I'm living, once more I have glamour around me even if it is only the cheapest of cheap glamour, purchased for three quid in an all-night off-licence...Earlier, I saw Ninetynine, the Melbourne band who so deliciously reminded me of my cherished Northwest bands while I was in Australia...They sounded so brutally alive, the xylophone sparking sounds of fury and that boy with the crazy hair leaping up to sing in his ridiculous falsetto..." ET

NOISE BY NORTHWEST CD RELEASE PARTY STARRING SMEGMA, TRO-SHINK, TABLET

(Jasmine Tree) History lesson: Early to mid-1970's, the era of arena-rock dinosaurs and bland, corporate dreck--while beneath the culture radar some of the strangest, most unconventional music--was coming from an underground collective of musicians and bands known as the Los Angeles Free Music Society. From tape loops and other electronic experimentation to avant-rock improvised noise jams, the LAFMS artists eschewed any hope of commercial appeal for the raw, unpredictable, and creative. And of course, very few knew about it, though this scene presaged everything from lo-fi indie rock to electronica. One of those legendary LAFMS bands, Smegma, (who are better known in Japan than their home here in Portland), will give a rare appearance. As outsider as ever, the six-to eight-member group continues to churn out their wildly improvised noise experiments on standard and homemade instruments, turntables, theramin, with perhaps some spoken word thrown in. This show also celebrates the release of a CD compilation of live performances put on by the Aural Fixation people, who have kept the LAFMS spirit of improvised noise and electronic weirdness alive in Portland. ROLF SEMPREBON


SATURDAY 8/26

THRONES, CROATAN, DESIDTO, WADSWORTH

(Satyricon) The Nikki McClure-designed cover of the new Thrones album, a woodcut depicting a small boat being destroyed by a surfacing whale while the crew is drowning all around, is a good metaphor for the music they play. Former Melvin Joe Preston dog-paddles furiously away at his bass that is thrashed by effect after effect. The sludgy symphony that emerges is held together by an erratic drum machine and Joe's epic tales of the anguish of bears. It's a brutal and bleak landscape that one enters when the Thrones are on stage where one man stands tall against the pulsing tide of low tones. All that, and a Rush cover. JON WILLETT

SUPERSONIC SOUL PIMPS REUNION SHOW, PHAT CIDY SMOKEHOUSE

(Berbati's Pan) Rare is the band whose name actually reflects their music. One will also appreciate the lengths this band goes to get an audience's ass shakin'. Sorting the wheat from the chaff of '70s funk, soul, and rock, the Super Sonic Soul Pimps steal only the finest ingredients from KISS, Hall & Oates, War, Edgar Winter, the Average White Band, Billy Preston and more to construct a burning fount of musical love. From squealing falsettos to soulful struts, the Pimps shake the room from floor to ceiling. Smarmy parody or loving homage? You be the judge! WSH


SUNDAY 8/27

HIPHOP IN THE PARK 2000

(Alberta Park, 1 pm) This is a pretty incredible thing, the kind that supports community by creating it, and having a cross-section of people with diverse interests, including graffiti artists, community organizers, poets, DJs and, of course, local hip-hop acts like Source of Labor, Undesirables, Emerge MCs, Earthtones, Life Savas, and more. Even if your poppin' and lockin' is looking a little rusty these days, it's still worth heading out to check out what's going on, meeting a few people, and at the very least, roasting a frank or two. JS


MONDAY 8/28

JEMIMA PRICE, KLEVELAND, NATRONS

(Berbati's Pan) "British Radio Star" Jemima Price is a bit of a European 2000 version of Debbie Boone; her voice and lyrics are very pretty, like an orchid and feathered hair. Her mid-tempo songs, complete with pianos and arpeggios, will lull you into a grassy complacency whether you like it or not. JS

BOYCRAZY, LA RUE, TONY MANGINI SHOW

(Lola's at the Crystal Ballroom) Boycrazy just returned from an East Coast tour, and from the sound of it, the Knitting Factory crowd loved them. You, too, will love their sweet autumn harmonies and ecstatic jangles. LA RUE's remix of the Sensualists' "Ginger" recently turned up on Darla Records' compilation Little Darla has a Treat for You v. 15. We all know that Darla Records has impeccable taste in music and style; that they chose a LA RUE remix really just solidifies that fact. Go and dance! Tony Mangini needs no introduction--Portland's biggest television star with the biggest hair and the silkiest chest hair--and he's got a voice that's sticky like Wesson Oil. JS


WEDNESDAY 8/30

SALON DES REFUSES WITH ROB SCHEPS

(Medicine Hat) OK, I'm a sucker for anything that sounds as glamorous as "Salon des Refuses;" at the same time, Rob Scheps is this sort of superman saxophonist, working overtime playing all sorts of brands of jazzy jams and alley-cat junkets. He plays regularly, all over town, collaborating with all sorts of musicians; sometimes he's traditional, but tonight he's doing an "avant-garde, chance-takin' thang." Intriguing. JS

KING'S X, PODUNK, 28 IF

(Berbati's Pan) Whether you love prog-rock or not, you must give the genre credit for producing some topnotch album titles. Witness the latest by King's X: Please Come Home...Mr. Bulbous. Perhaps wacky titles are an attempt to balance out the seriousness and complexity of the music itself. King's X have been steadily turning out albums of distinctively intricate prog-metal for almost 20 years, and when musicians of this caliber have been playing together for that long, you can be sure that, wacky or not, the live show is going to kick some serious butt. BARBARA MITCHELL


GOING TO SEATTLE?

Thurs 8/24: Colonel Les Claypools' Fearless Flying Frog Brigade (Showbox); Steve Turre (Jazz Alley)

Fri 8/25: Built to Spill (Stage2 at the Pier); DJ Sneak, Doc Martin (Showbox); Bloodhag, Croatan, Thrones (Breakroom); Fastball (Tractor Tavern)

Sat 8/26: Built to Spill (Crocodile); Bicycle, Blue Collar Love, Matchless (Central)

Sun 8/27: Further Festival (Gorge); Eric Apoe & They, Danny Godinez (Rainbow)

Tues 8/28: Buju Banton (Bohemian Backstage)

For more info, see www.thestranger.com

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