Up & Coming 


THURSDAY 9/21

FIREBALLS OF FREEDOM, CHERRY VALENCE, MERCURY BIRDS, SUPERFIRE

(Medicine Hat) Sometimes I wish I had a soundproof room that I could use as my scream chamber after a long, annoying day of dealing with the human race. Occasionally I wish I were in a band for the same reason, so I could stand up on stage and yell at the top of my lungs, and then smash my guitar into some amps and shit. I see Fireballs of Freedom, and screechy, chaotic metal in general, as champions of my disgruntled cause, fellow pursed-face people-haters. I exaggerate, but hell, is any thought or story interesting without embellishment? Anyhew, before the show why don't you go to the DMV for your emissions test, then wait at home from six to eight for some solicitation calls, and then go stain some of your clothes in a rusty washer at the laundr-o-mat. I assure you you'll be in the perfect mood to thrash around and slam Oly Stubbies--just don't smash the stubbies. Stubbies are cool. KATIE SHIMER

RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS, STONE TEMPLE PILOTS, FISHBONE

(Memorial Coliseum) Towards the end of KUFO Rockfest 2000, Scott Weiland, sporting tight leather pants and a matching scarf 'n' gloves ensemble, announced his plans to seduce and anally rape a local, bothersome, male radio host. The cheers were hesitant, falling away to baffled tension as a few thousand meatheads considered the mechanics of the threat. For all the aggressive posturing of early '90s...what would the STP/Chili Peppers genre be called? Fratcore, I suppose. For all the avowed homophobia of their target audience, for all the pre-adolescent pout of the music, these bands seem so...gay. They play with the notion, sure; Weiland clinging to the ambisexual rock god character, Flea and the boys flaunting an ever-more-smug naughtiness, but the songs themselves don't suggest anything beyond an instinctual vision for drive-time supremacy. Weiland sings, if we should call it that, mawkish distortion ballads for the wine cooler set, and, whatever you think of the Chili Peppers, their best tendencies are something other than thoughtful. And has anyone ever seen them with their clothes on? And has any lapsed junkie ever sported a more defined torso? Gay, gay, gay. JAY HORTON

GOGOGO AIRHEART, TRISTEZA, THE ALBUM LEAF, REFRIGERATOR, FRANKLIN BRUNO, JENNY TOOMEY

(Meow Meow) Rumor has it this NXNW showcase is in the $15 ballpark. Look, I usually cap it at $10; I mean, there are very, very few acts for whom I would pay more to see (actually, the only band that comes to mind is Night Ranger...huh...). But goddammit, I think this show is worth it. You've got your Gogogo Airheart, the scrappy kids from SoCal, playing the frantic rock equivalent of Upski graffiti, without the crusties; you've got Tristeza, drilling up glassy oil from the land of the sparsely sound-scaped; you've got the ambient, soft-noise clatter of the Album Leaf; you've got the abstract tape-splicing of Refrigerator; you've got Franklin Bruno, a quiet brewing of intellectual pop warmth and twisted linguistics. And finally, you've got Jenny Toomey, charming, self-assured-voiced songstress, who not only started the Simple Machines record label (and had the good sense to call it quits when she knew it was getting tired); but who with Tsunami, wrote a song about David Foster Wallace, for god sakes. She is down with DFW! Really, Jenny Toomey is like the musical Katharine Hepburn of our generation; you can't even guess how many people she's influenced. Um, anyway. So yeah, this show is worth breaking the $10 rule for, if you've got one. See My, What a Busy Week pg 17. JULIANNE SHEPHERD


FRIDAY 9/22

JETS TO BRAZIL, J MAJESTY, THE GIMMICKS

(Pine Street Theater) Jawbreaker's major label swan song was a masterpiece of emotionally charged punk-pop--an intelligent, honest reaction to living in a fucked-up world. But Blake Schwarzenbach's post-Jawbreaker project feels like a pale imitation of his previous band. Jets' latest album, Four Cornered Night, is full of too many songs that try too hard to be clever and, as a songwriter, Schwarzenbach appears to have replaced emotional immediacy with occasionally kitschy new wave overtones. It's good, but it feels like coasting. BARBARA MITCHELL


SATURDAY 9/23

THE PRIDS, BEDS, HOLY SONS, DJ ANTHONY V, JOE HAEGE, JOSH BLANCHARD, ERIC MAST AND IAN LYNAM, MUMBLEBOY FLASH ANIMATION

(Medicine Hat) Recently, a native New Yorker and self-professed-hater of indie rock and indie rockers, (who is also, at times, a friend of mine) called me and said, "I'm trapped at this indie party! I don't know anyone, and everyone is wearing short brown pants and Freddy Krueger sweaters!" (Later, a friend of mine--probably the wearer of the brown pants--described the party as "one of the most delightful parties of the year.") Much to my revengeful glee, this New York friend has since been forced to admit that 31 Knots (whose lead singer, Joe Haege, will be performing), is a fucking great band. The short story is this: If you still need to be convinced that indie is worthwhile, come to this show. It's a line up of some of P-town's most fantastic musicians. So don your favorite Freddy threads and take note of the ironic use of pomade, and if you still don't like independent music when you walk out, well...you'll still have bad taste, but at least you'll be an informed critic. KATIA DUNN

THE INTIMA

(Hawthorne Block Party, 9 pm) While the slow, muted roar of NXNW floats upwards from downtown like a cloud of perfume and smog, across the river there's a little racket. You can hear it if you pay rapt attention; the commanding voice of a quick and mewling violin, working at opposite staccatos from its dissonant guitar compatriots. If you listen a little closer, you can hear a constant roll of drums, smart rhythms of tight authority, and the occasional, imploring/seething voice. From downtown, it sounds like a beautiful, pure wave of atmosphere, but as you approach it, it shudders and divides into chaos, like the eye of an art tornado patched together with found steel and scraps of wafer-thin paper. It is not a secret. It is The Intima, and they're really, really fucking amazing. JS

AUDITORY SCULPTURE

(Tiger Bar) I so enjoy when I can go to a bar, drink a raspberry Stoli gimlet on the rocks, lean against a smushy pillow, and talk to my friends--without screaming. Auditory Sculpture, while having an overly dramatic name, is the perfect weekday/weekend break from the blaring music, claustrophobia, and sweat-filled humidity of a rock show. The music is transient and floaty, well-constructed, and never boring. The DJ mixes electronica in a style reminiscent of the great Moby, but also plays the didgeridoo (much research went into that spelling), making you feel like you're in some other-planetary dark bar. A supreme retreat from the mania of NXNW. KATIE SHIMER

ANTI-NXNW FEST STARRING SHOUT IT OUT LOUD, WAR STARS

(Paris Theater) Don't get me wrong: I, too, enjoyed Nirvana. The moaning self-pity of Seattle grunge was an important turning point, breaking from the glamour of MTV's first generation of bands. It is almost endearing how War Stars tries to be Nirvana. With their woeful, on-stage muttering and attitudes over-reaching their talents, War Stars is a lot like a scrawny--but spirited!--high-school football player who struts and brags about being the next Michael Irving. (War Stars has gone as far as posting on their own website a claim to be "the next big thing!") Using amateur tricks like changing noise levels and/or tempo as an attempt to switch the mood of the music, War Stars sounds more like a beginning garage band than the next big thing; but then again, half of the battle towards being a rock star is the attitude. Along that same vein, War Stars is joined by Shout Out Loud, a Kiss tribute band. PHIL BUSSE

PORTLAND WRESTLING

(Roseland Theater) In Barton Fink, John Turturro's character is to write a screenplay about wrestling for some slightly scary studio bigwigs. At one point, his sweating, good-natured oaf of a neighbor (played by sweating, good-natured oaf John Goodman) pins him to the ground in a half-second, all the while wearing a tie, and then apologizes. Now, I am all for wrestling in Portland, probably as much as I am a proponent of kickboxing in Portland, but I think we should take a cue from John Goodman and re-integrate manners into the sport. Wouldn't it be great if, after Triple H took The Rock down in a raging body slam, he apologized and shook his hand? What's that you say? It goes against the rules of wrestling and testosterone? Well then get on out there, Portland wrestlers, and fuck shit up. If you're a bookie, by the way, you may contact me via the Mercury. I've got $20 on the sweaty oaf. JS


SUNDAY 9/24

BARFLY'S FUCK BY FUCK OFF EXTRAVAGANZA STARRING SEANTOS Y ARACHNA, THE REAL PILLS, LODESTAR, HOLY SONS, THE NEARLY DEADS, THE STAN MCMAHON BAND, WASABI

(Ash Street Saloon) Although there are many variables in life, you can always count on Barfly entrepreneuress/experienced booze researcher Jen Lane to execute her events with a certain blend of grace, panache, and balls-out chutzpah. Hence "Fuck by Fuck Off," the event whose name we all wish we'd thought of ourselves, featuring bands who were very much not a part of [censored], the annual music festival that occurred over the weekend. From the B-Movie soundtrack, smoky-bar Moog serenades of Seantos y Arachna and el puro garage-o, go-go scum of the Real Pills; to the first-ever Barfly awards, this show will surely make no qualms about exposing what that other music event is really about: getting drooling fucking pissed on overpriced Pabst. What a way to give [censored] the big "fuck you." JS

MIGHTY MIGHTY BOSSTONES, FLOGGING MOLLY

(Crystal Ballroom) KATIA DUNN on the MIGHTY MIGHTY BOSSTONES: It's true that as the Mighty Mighty Bosstones have grown up, they've also grown a little soft. At one time (like six years ago) they were on the cutting edge of ska-pop, swaying a bit more to the punk side than any others, and generally producing amazing music. But even though their music is extra-easy pop as of late, they're still one of the most boisterous, spirited, and enthusiastic bands around, one that still has energy to perform a show guaranteed to be unpretentious, alive, and just plain fucking fun. PHIL BUSSE on FLOGGING MOLLY: What is enchanting about Flogging Molly is that they often dress on stage in starched shirts and crisp black suits. It is an old stage trick: In the mid-Sixties, worried about being criticized for the heavy-duty sexual vibes of their music, Motown tried to present the tunes from bawdy and suggestive black musicians as quaint doo-wop bands. They dressed up their singers in long debutante gloves and taught them simple, sweet, synchronized stage steps. Flogging Molly is not quite so polite on stage, especially after picking up another round of bad attitude on this summer's Warped Tour. But, like the Motown bands, the eight members of Flogging Molly have well-attended table manners and a gee-shucks, boy-next-door demur that belies the fighting spirit of their brand of punk; that is, Flogging Molly looks sweet but belts out some pretty fucking mean Irish music. Flogging Molly has been kicking around the LA scene for years and, since the recent release of their first studio album, slowly has been gaining a wider audience. Dave King's coarse voice and Bridget Regan's triple-time fiddling gives their songs a strong Irish attitude, while the crashing chords and drumming from the rest of the band provides a classic punk background.


MONDAY 9/25

TENNIS, WASABI, URBAN LEGENDS

(Lola's at the Crystal Ballroom) Tennis (which includes our very own writer-about-town, Arturo Diaz) is a sometimes-soft guitar/drums group tenderized by bicycle basket-worthy melodies. Their lyrics often consist only of long strings of jovial "Bah-bah-bahs," which evokes musical empathy and implies a sense of humor--it's not the false eyelash-batting of contrived charm; it's more like, "Hey! These consonants sound pretty cool." It's really sweet, hand-holding/frolicking/full-on-making-out music. Urban Legends' precocious pop clean-up is good poolside fun, and will sound full and crisp in Lola's (which, coincidentally, has one of the best sound systems in town). JS


TUESDAY 9/26

CALAMITY JONES, RICHARD HEDDERS, BROTHER SPUD

(Ash Street Saloon) Hillsboro's Richard Hedders play ska-influenced, melodic punk rock that is unoriginal in its musical structure, delivery, and immature, sometimes violent, misogynistic words that betray twisted Freudian issues within their lyricist. That's really all I am going to say about that. JS


WEDNESDAY 9/27

OPEN MIC ACOUSTIC NIGHT

(Star E Rose) Yes, every venue in town hosts an open mic night. But how many of them A. Are within walking distance of one of the coolest punk rock record stores around (Discourage) and B. have some of the cutest baristas on earth? Even if you don't play an acoustic instrument, you might enjoy just checking out the hot lad with the fire-red hair. STEVEN LANKENAU

THE DECEMBERISTS

(Laurelthirst) OK, normally if you say the word "folk," I'm running so fast that I'm tripping over my wanna-be-trendy, fat-soled shoes, falling down in the street and doubling as a jump ramp for a speeding Vespa. Alright, that only happened once, and I was drunk and in a fight with my b-fri, and the folk band only compounded my plethora of severe problems...but I digress. In the case of dreamy-voiced, smart-guy folkster Colin Meloy, I might just saunter on into the Laurelthirst for a cold one or two. He has the charm and sincerity of Neil Young, as well as the endearing nasal qualities. I have yet to hear him with his new band, The Decemberists, but doesn't that just make the show that much more exciting? KS


GOING TO SEATTLE?

Thurs 9/21: Trans Am (I-Spy); Ruston Mire, Great Lakes NW, The Prom (Crocodile); Mose Allison Trio (Jazz Alley)

Fri 9/22: St. Etienne (I-Spy); Blood Brothers, Catheters, Akimbo, Recursers (Old Fire House); New Digs, Gun & Doll Show, Tut; Jurassic 5, Dilated Peoples, Beat Junkies (Showbox)

Sat 9/23: Jets to Brazil, Pedro the Lion, J Majesty (Graceland); Paul Humphrey's OMD Revisited, The Cinematics (Breakroom)

Sun 9/24: John Vanderslice, the No-No's, Bluebottle Kiss (Graceland)

Mon 9/25: Laika (Crocodile); Victoria Williams, Mark Olson (Century Ballroom)

Tues 9/26: Fiver, Earlimart, Experimental Aircraft (Crocodile); Botch, Playing Enemy (Paradox)

Wed 9/27: Pete Escovedo Latin Jazz Orchestra w/Sheila E (Jazz Alley)

For more info, visit www.thestranger.com

Comments (0)

Subscribe to this thread:

Comments are closed.

From the Archives

Staff Pick Events

Most Commented On

Top Viewed Stories

All contents © Index Newspapers, LLC

115 SW Ash St. Suite 600
Portland, OR 97204

Contact Info | Privacy Policy | Production Guidelines | Terms of Use | Takedown Policy