THURSDAY 10/5

LADY M

(Hollywood Theatre) Miss Murgatroid's avant rock opera Lady M, based loosely on Shakespeare's tragic Macbeth, premiered in NYC this summer. A fire-searing accordionist (and one of Portland's most original musicians), Miss Murgatroid created Lady M with dance/theater duo Jennifer Allen and Drew Pisarra. Miss Murgatroid's atmospheric, pressured accordion has always been classically gothic--in the sophisticated, macabre fairy-tale sense--without adhering to any structure demanded by either classical or gothic music. With the visual drama of Jen Mitas as Macbeth, it promises to be the sort of must-see, contemporary culture experience we get far too little of in Portland--high-quality, totally unique, and not at all part of the old-guard Schnitz fan club. It's a ROCK OPERA! JULIANNE SHEPHERD

CARISSA'S WIERD

(Jules Gallery) This is a reception for Don Frank's photography show, yes; but it's also one of your first chances to see the critically revered Carissa's Wierd locally (yeah, it's really spelled like that, so don't even start to front, yo). Newly relocated from Seattle, they're perfect for Portland: rainy, stomach-dropping melodies, urgent lyrics enunciated like whispers, occasional male/female vocals, songs about drinking, smoking, and one-night stands--straight-up heaven. It's quiet innovation in the same vein as Galaxie 500, but Carissa's Wierd's voices are a little less nasally. Be the first on your block to see them, and extend a sloppy kiss of welcome. JS

THE HURRICANE LAMPS, GABRIEL BLUE, THE DRAKES

(Satyricon) The music of Hurricane Lamps is like a very welcome, early '90s time capsule. They play super jangle-pop/indie rock, the way it was made for labels like Merge, Simple Machines, TeenBeat, or even Sub Pop's less rocker stuff back in '92. They've been compared to early Velocity Girl, and actually, that's a pretty accurate description--fuzzy guitars and great boy vocals, like a layer of static was added right before each song was completed. It's not new, but there's something simultaneously lo-fi and totally rockin' about it. You should go, and get nostalgic for Sassy magazine's "Cute Band Alert." JS

SEXUAL MINORITY YOUTH RESOURCE CENTER (SMYRC) BENEFIT DRAG SHOW

(Meow Meow) I could try to guilt you into going to this little event by explaining what a fantastic organization SMYRC is--like I could explain how they've created a free space that is both safe and fun for a population of youth that otherwise suffers from isolation and alienation. But actually, I don't really have to do that at all, since this is the best kind of benefit, one that is both entertaining and for a good cause, something you might want to go to even if it wasn't serving any cause other than your deviant desires. Drag performers of all ages will be there, and Meow Meow is perhaps one of the most wholesome drag venues in Portland; you won't have to smell like a bar or feel like you just watched your grandpa queen around to Britney Spears. KATIA DUNN


FRIDAY 10/6

CHARM BRACELET MUSIC AND VIDEO EXPO STARRING SUPERSPRITE, LAUREL CANYON, HOLY SONS, JOE HAEGE

(Meow Meow) There's a fine art to creating great shows; no matter how revolutionary the bands, one can't stray too far from one type of music or stay too similar. Imagine the increased challenge of finding bands to match an independent film festival--but not to worry, the Charm Bracelet's done us right. In order to punctuate the conglomeration of locally-made, sometimes amazing, sometimes not, film shorts, they've lined up a series of good, but never the same, bands. For starters, you've got jagged but acutely harmonious rocker Joe Haege, followed by indie-ish boy band Holy Sons (always a good time but a little too much like Pavement). Finishing off will be Supersprite, who feels like a slow-motion rocket ship wreck. Just when they're making you too carsick, their gentle, melodic alter ego Laurel Canyon swoops in to steady you. You can either watch the whole thing, or drift in and out, and you'll still be both engaged and pleased. KD

SYSTEMWIDE

(Ohm) Like coffee, dub comes in only two varieties: good and intolerable. It either gives you an amazing jolt, a kick to the body that's so strong it makes an endorphin rush seem like Pixie Stix; or it's so nauseatingly bad, you'd rather snort said Pixie Stix than have to endure such loathsome crap. Systemwide aren't the greatest dub band in the world, but when you see them live, their limitations cease to matter. The bass is deep and heavy, but not so much that it distracts from the subtleties elsewhere in the mix. And dub is all about subtleties. From effects-drenched percussion to chiming keyboards, Systemwide have obviously studied their forebears (and peers) and are taking what they like and making it their own. Echoes of Augustus Pablo and Lee Perry (natch) run alongside illbient artists like DJ Spooky and We. Call it Thinking Man's Dub, and leave your Rasta hat at the door. MURRAY CIZON

ILWU LOCAL 5 FUNDRAISER

(ILWU Local 8 Hall, 7 pm) In a spirit of celebration, reconciliation and near-destitution, the Powell's employees' union, ILWU Local 5, is throwing a victory shindig and fundraiser. Come shake it for a living wage with the Incredible Kid and the Local 5 DJ Destroyers, and the music of the General Strike Band. Attractive Local 5 members will staff a kissing kiosk, and a raffle of artwork and historical union memorabilia will be held. Proceeds will pay legal fees and office expenses for the 420-person party machine that is ILWU 5. Party for your right to fight! MYKLE HANSEN

WAYNE HORVITZ, ZONY MASH

(Roseland) Should it be surprising that one of the best live acts in the Pacific Northwest remains relatively unheard of? Well, tonight you can go see Zony Mash, those funkified gods who have brought fire down from the heavens, and brought jazz down from the ivory tower for the masses to enjoy. Their hard funk, R&B, and country riffs hook you from note one, and slam you relentlessly. KREG HASEGAWA


SATURDAY 10/7

NO ON 9 CABARET STARRING THE GOSSIP, DEAR NORA, THE PRIDS, SARAH DOUGHER, REBECCA PEARCY, SLOW, NOMY LAMM, DRAG PERFORMERS

(Reed College) All right, music fans. This is something to pay attention to: If passed, Measure 9, an initiative sponsored by the Oregon Citizens Alliance (OCA), would censor discussion about gay and lesbian issues in high schools and state colleges. It makes it illegal to "promote homosexual or bisexual behaviors in public schools." Yep, sounds like fucked-up, small-minded homophobia to me. So let's fight it! (and be entertained in the process), with the rumbling, sauna-hot blues of The Gossip; the deep, Joy Division-redux of The Prids; Dear Nora's simple pop harmonies; smart and savvy songstress Sarah Dougher; Rebecca Pearcy, sweet singer and creator of the most incredible vinyl record handbags; Slow's yearning acousti-punk; the spoken word of legendary/visionary/revolutionary Nomy Lamm (i'm so fucking beautiful zine, The Transfused rock opera); and the hottest drag performers around. It's a super-explosive show with a lot of diversity; just like life, right? So let's keep it that way. While you're there, register to vote and give yourself the power to say "Fuck no on 9!"JS

DAMO SUZUKI, HOCHENKEIT

(Satyricon) During their heyday at the beginning of the '70s, Damo Suzuki was the vocalist for legendary Krautrock visionaries Can. His style is a unique, freeform, stream-of-conscious scat that uses English, German and Japanese to create a new language. In recent live gigs, he has not lost any of the shamanistic intensity with which he often performed with Can. His more recent groups come slightly closer to conventional rock music than Can's looped mantra grooves, though they still let loose with long improvised experimental jams. This is as close to the spirit of Can as anything that will hit Portland any time soon, so don't miss out. ROLF SEMPREBON

FEAR, UK SUBS, BEERZONE, RUNNING RIOT, THE VIGILANTES

(Cobalt Lounge) Fear is like the Dick Clark of punk--even as the rest of the world ages, they seem to show only the most minor wear and tear. Twenty years ago, Fear played a defining moment in my life. My parents were out for the night, and my sister and I plied our babysitter to let us watch Saturday Night Live. The musical guest was the overly rambunctious Fear. The singer kept jumping into the audience, and it seemed as if their instruments were leaping out of their control, inhabited with a life force of their own. The act both scared and exhilarated me, as the most dangerous performance I'd seen by that point in my life was the Bee Gee's "Stayin' Alive" tour. Remarkably, Fear is still at it and they haven't slowed down a single hiccup from their rapid-fire shouting and guitar pounding. PHIL BUSSE

VI FOOT SLOTH, ROLLERBALL, BERING SEA

(Meow Meow) This show has the new PDX soundscape action going, with Bering Sea's shimmery swells (egads--please excuse ocean imagery) of dynamic guitars and drums that are controlled, yet volcanic. Rollerball are creepy in that experimental film-collage way; there's something they're inferring with their guitar static and eerie vocal increase, but it's an unknown, left up to your own nasty and scary subconscious. JS


SUNDAY 10/8

RED76 MOBILE VOTER TOUR STARRING BEDS, THE NO-NO'S, SEANTOS Y ARACHNA, BIG SPIDER TRIBE, OPERACYCLE

(All around town and, later, Medicine Hat) This is a Portland tour of U-Hauls containing installation art and voter registration cards. It wraps up with a democratic bang at the Medicine Hat with music, and a portion of the cover charge goes to Community Alliance of Tenants (CAT). Now, I'm about to make huge, layperson's blanket statements, but just bear with me here. Okay, so my demographic (I suppose that would be the 18-25, working poor) doesn't vote all that much, right? Only it's often the issues that affect us directly that are tinkered with by people who do vote regularly. You know, stuff like freedom of speech and religion and press and shit. So why the hell aren't we voting? Apathy, while widely accepted in Portland for some idiotic reason, is just not fucking cool. Also, there are some really great bands playing. Beds represent the freedom factor of the vote, with their riveting guitar/drums improv and fantastic electronic constructs. Indie rock sassmasters The No-No's, crazy wrestling aficionados Seantos y Arachna, dark and twangy Big Spider Tribe, and bedroom-ethereast Opera Cycle are all probably voting, too, you know? By the way: hooray for RU-486! JS

AL GREEN

(Chiles Center) Let me guess. As much as you've relied on his early stuff to get you through heartache and loneliness, you've probably chucked old Al into the "sell-outs trying to make a comeback," category, right in there with Johnny Rotten, Patti Smith, and The Beatles. But before you close the door on Al forever, consider this: at this very moment, Al Green is enjoying the most evolved and perfected moments of his career. Unlike all those other sell-outs, he never stopped singing or started sucking; he just went gospel for awhile. But for the past few years, he's returned to his soul roots, and he's never before been at a point where the two sides of Al Green are more harmonious or successful together. Don't believe me? Have a listen to his new album, Take Me To The River, which came out last month. And then thank god that in your lifetime you have a chance to see one of the most legendary soul singers that ever lived. KD


MONDAY 10/9

FREE FLOW WITH DJ HYPOTHESIS

(Cobalt Lounge) Mondays are a traditionally chill time for show-goers and weekend spinsters, and there's not really anyplace better to sip your hair-of-the-dog than at this free DJ night. The music's usually down-tempo hip hop and low-key acid jazz and the crowd's mostly a lot of people talking about their favorite records. It's neo-beat cool, and DJ Hypothesis enchants. JS


TUESDAY 10/10

OREGON SYMPHONY GALA STARRING TONY BENNETT AND JAMES DEPRIEST

(Rose Garden) Smartly dressed hipsters and creeping colostomy-bag wearers will both want to flock to see the aging crooner Tony Bennett in action. While a favorite performer of the bilious "cocktail culture" for the past few years, Bennett doesn't have a ironic bone in his body and almost starved to death in the mid-'70s by refusing to sing anything other than what he loved--pop and jazz standards. Called "the best singer in the business" by Sinatra himself, expect to hear the old favorites performed in a croaky yet warm style that could melt the pants off Satan. WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY


WEDNESDAY 10/11

SOUL STEW PRESENTS MOD VS. ROCKERS NIGHT STARRING RICK BAIN & THE GENIUS POSITION VS. DJ AQUAMAN, MR. FUNKY, BRIAN MARTIN

(Ohm) This sure ain't Brighton, and most of y'all dress like shit, so I have a feeling we're going to see a lot more rockers out at this than mods. But for those of you with Italian-cut suits, slick shoes, and well-groomed hair, now's the time to haul the Vespa out of the garage and hit the town to represent! I have to admit, our contingent might be slightly handicapped since we don't have a live band on our side, hero-worship being a big part of the rock scene and everything. And Rick Bain sure knows how to throw out a rock star pose (oh, those pouty lips!) and make love to his axe like it was Clapton bent over the sink, but I seriously doubt the Genius Position's setlist of trad' originals are going to hold any sort of candle to DJ Aquaman's awesome rekkid collection. And if you're an absolute beginner when it comes to all that mod entails, then now is the time to get educated. Old school soul, maximum r&b, anything with well-oiled style and a superior attitude. All the Faces will be there, so don't be caught amongst the low numbers. JAMIE S. RICH


GOING TO SEATTLE

Thurs 10/5: Carrie Akre, Matchless, Lesli Wood (Crocodile); Stumblebum, The Now, Prom Kings (Central Saloon)

Fri 10/7: Cookie, Witchthrottlegush, The Ruby Doe, Vandemonium (Breakroom); Fear, Portrait of Poverty, Hog Molly, Flamethrower (Graceland); Pedro the Lion, Joel R.L. Phelps & the Downer Trio, Velour 100 (Tractor Tavern); Thrones, C Average, Lords of Lightspeed (Capitol Theater, Olympia)

Sat 10/7: Al Green (Paramount); Action Slacks, Kinski (I-Spy); 16 Horsepower (Showbox)

Sun 10/8: Merl Saunders & His Funky Friends (Ballard Firehouse); Damo Suzuki, DJ Masa (Crocodile)

Mon 10/9: Rollerball, Ghidra, Intoning Silence (I-Spy)

For more info, visit www.thestranger.com