Up & Coming 

Super-special note to all persons still holding tickets for the postponed Elliott Smith show: Your tickets will not be honored at the next show (still yet to be rescheduled); you must refund them and purchase tickets again once the new date is set. Sorry for the confusion, and break a leg!

 

THURSDAY 12/21

AMY ANNELLE, MATTHEW HATTIE HEIN, COLIN MELOY, FRANK FURTER AND THE HOT DOGS

(Berbati's Pan) Sometimes I like to imagine the world run by the music industry. Presidential choices would no doubt be more colorful ("Don't blame me--I voted for Calvin Johnson!"), and my fifth grade fantasy that music be played over the intercoms at school would be realized. In this fantasy, local singer/songwriter Colin Meloy is the voice of the revolution, the folk hero. Armed with perfect pitch, brilliant lyrics, and a creepy honesty, his hopeful melancholy is strong enough to move the discouraged masses to overthrow a country owned by Warner Brothers and misguided teenage girls. Mr. Meloy might well keep Portland from impending doom brought on by major label brainwashing and Top 40 Party mind control. Besides, Tres Shannon would make a super-duper mayor. CHANTELLE HYLTON

SILKWORM, KINSKI, ...THEN POLAND

(Satyricon) The best word to use when describing Kinski is "phenomenal." Just off a pretty extended tour with Hovercraft, Seattle's densest, spaciest rock band puts on an electrifying live show--the kind that will make your whole body feel like it's being pricked with aural pins and needles; the kind that makes you think matter can only be defined by sound waves. Seriously. Silkworm, though not the best offering from Touch & Go Records, is still nothing to shake a stick at. Led by desert-voiced Joel R.L. Phelps, they're a quirky rock band with a droplet of country. A little more tame than they used to be way back in the '90s, Silkworm is still a quality band with an acceptable level of originality. JULIANNE SHEPHERD


FRIDAY 12/22

SARAH DOUGHER, THE PLACES, SUPER XX MAN, ANDI CAMP

(Medicine Hat) Multifaceted scholar-author, feminist and rocker Sarah Dougher (Cadallaca, the Crabs) and her melodic, contemplative songs headline this extravaganza. The wonderful Places, featuring the exceptionally talented Ryan of the Swords/Project and Tennis as well as lovely-voiced Amy, provide warm-up duties. The release of Super XX Man's new split CD (with Eric Metronome) will be celebrated as well. SXXM, alias Scott Garred of Silver Scooter, blends well-crafted soft music with endearing, honest lyrics, and is an accomplished live musician. Make sure you get there early enough to catch the whole lineup, and bring someone to make out with. SUSAN BEAL

MOODSWINGS, THE DOLEMITES, FONDA FIVE-O

(Ash Street Saloon) Moodswings are a fairly new guitar-drum duo, and in parts, you can tell. Every one of their songs starts out with one or two good ideas--an interesting, prettily cacophonous chord, an angry, screaming chorus, a tight little fill--but often doesn't really go anywhere. The thing is, the groundwork is already sturdy, and given a few months, the Moodswings will be one of the major players in the currently flourishing Portland music scene. They're worth seeing now, if just to bear witness to the tightly wound rage/passion in their vocalist's delivery. Plus, if you are feeling betrayed by (or just fucking sick of) lady bands that are based more on their cute/sexy factor than their musical ability, you will love seeing lady Moodswing just rock the fuck out without worrying if her Rickenbacker matches her shoes. Thank you. JS

DIZZYFISH, ACACIA

(Tonic Lounge) Dizzyfish isn't the most unique band you'll ever hear, they're good. Really good. Henry Curl, the vocalist, has a pearly sweet voice that's both strong and hollow. He uses it, mostly, to lead the rest of the act in their silky pop melodies, which are mostly a blur of simple Casios, and loud, glittery guitar. Chris Hayes occasionally steps in and pulls it all together again with his quivering mandolin, which is when they're best. Despite all these great things, you'll still be reminded of a few other bands, namely Thom Yorke, U2, and well, every British band that ever existed. Still, you'll like them in spite of yourself. KATIA DUNN

COSMOS GROUP, HOCHENKEIT, SUNSHIP

(Satyricon) Hochenkeit is like the David Lynch of music. Of course, they're the David Lynch that created Twin Peaks, and not the dipshit David that made that stupid-ass movie Lost Highway. Hochenkeit, however, has a distinct advantage over the early '90s Lynch I know and love--and that, my friends, is that for some reason people understand them. Why people enjoy this noisy, almost inexplicably out-of-control band is completely beyond me. I mean they're awesome, but Twin Peaks was awesome in the same dark, abstract, other-worldly manner, and the show got cancelled because it was too fucked up for everyone. Are we smarter now? Are people bored with mainstream horseshit? Is it time to bring Coop back to destroy possession by Bob, and solve more mysteries with Harry S. Truman? God I hope so. Hochenkeit would undoubtedly be the perfect Angelo Badalamenti-esque soundtrack to this long awaited conclusion. KATIE SHIMER


SATURDAY 12/23

BIG STAR, THE POSIES, BIRDY NUM NUM

(Crystal Ballroom) Alex Chilton's come a long way to get to the Crystal Ballroom this week. A bona fide rock star at 17, his 1967 worldwide number one hit with the Box Tops, "The Letter," made his raspy voice famous. Burned out after a couple years of assembly-line rock and relentless touring, Chilton quit and formed Big Star in 1971 with Chris Bell, creating a spectacular, immaculate sound and a shimmeringly beautiful album, # 1 Record. Although it was (and still very much is) the darling of critics and cool kids everywhere, commercial sales of the album were disappointing. Sadly, Big Star's ethereal harmonies grounded to earth by rockin' guitars never caught on with a mainstream America too busy buying Jackson 5 singles and David Cassidy records. As their label refused to release their third album, the band fragmented, and Chilton took a hiatus from music to drink and forget. Bell's tragic death in 1978 added yet another chapter to the sad history of Big Star. A sober Chilton and drummer Jody Stephens created a new touring band with Posies Ken Stringfellow and John Auer in 1993. That's what we're getting as an early Christmas present this year--and the angel on top of the tree would be an encore of "Don't Lie to Me." Join the cult following! SB

THE VISIT CD RELEASE PARTY, ALL THE WAY DOWN, GARMON BOZIA

(Satyricon) One of the great things about The Visit is their ability to play different sounds. One minute, they're all frenzied piano and guitar, choppy vocals that fade loudly in and out of chiming bells. And then the next they're weepy violins, melodic voices, and sad pianos. They maintain a distinct sound through it all, so it's not like they are just flailing around and sampling from all different kinds of music. The only problem is, it's a distinct sound that was pretty much coined by someone else, like 20 years ago. (Hello, Queen.) KD

JEFF LONDON, KIM NORLEN

(Meow Meow) Jeff London's raspy voice and soooo heartbreaking, poignant lyrics will make you melt. He's just so honest! Evidence: "I'm so sick of the pain/so sick of the restlessness of youth." On paper, a bit dramatic, sure. But the way he sings them, they sound like the fucking saddest things you have ever heard. God! Everyone in Portland is so depressed! You guys, cheer up, I love you! JS


MONDAY 12/25

JUS-FAMILY RECORDS ANNIVERSARY PARTY

(Berbati's) Jus-Family Records are a random, independent Portland label that produces hip hop and distributes weird, unreleased recordings of Tupac, who Jus-Family worships and believes is the world's greatest hip hop musician. Their most treasured artist is Cool Nutz, a Portlander who produces pretty boring, mediocre hip hop: His love of Tupac is definitely evident in his music, because he sounds a lot like him, except way worse. Other notable performers will be G-ism--much better than Cool Nutz, it should be noted--who raps smooth and sweet, smacking occasionally of R&B. He's good for what he is, but that's not a lot. KD


TUESDAY 12/26

THIRD AND FAILING, PAN TURISMOS

(Medicine Hat) There's something magical about ex-Chicago people Third and Failing. Is it their catchy angst? Their buzzing dynamics? Their perfectly punk rock stage presence? Or, perhaps, those mystical goggles the drummer always wears? No one knows for sure, but you'll certainly be antsy in yer pantsies to get a tough-ass groove going. Pan Turismos is, seriously, the best fucking band never to have played a show. Their recorded music is complex and so amazingly executed. They sound like the lost tapes of a late '70s cult band that was only ever heard by the Gang of Four, the Modern Lovers, or the Minutemen. I know it sounds gross, but I'm creaming in my pants to see them, and I wish it were RIGHT NOW! ARGH! JS


WEDNESDAY 12/27

PSU JAZZ NIGHT

(Blue Note) Twenty years from now, after punk rock dies and is resurrected and dies again; when people collect their music from some obscenely efficient porthole in the tip of their pinkies; and while kids are trading SUVs for old Vanilla Ice bootlegs, underpaid jazz geniuses will still play Ellington and Davis tunes to too-loud crowds in hotel lobbies and smoky nightclubs. Generation after generation, old jazz musicians pass the torch to young ones, and through fads and phases and pop music depression and upheaval, jazz holds its ground. Through Fall term's PSU Jazz Studies Program, a handful of jazz combos of all levels get to let loose at the Blue Note Lounge to play their young hearts out. What better alternative to droning lecturers and mulitple-choice wastelands? At a university where the humanities have been completely sucked of their lifeblood to make way for departments funded by Intel and PGE, students of jazz keep the institutional heart beating. CH

PLAID SHEEP, THE HOLIDAYS, RED LINE 6

(Ash Street) The Plaid Sheep confuse me. The drummer's kit is about the size of EurAsia, with approximately 55 cymbals and toms and snares and a kick with a big, ogling photo of David Letterman on it. Her drum kit is so big, she's got a wrought-iron mini-fence around it! You'd think with such an intimidating, enormous instrument, the guitarist and bassist would be playing through amplifiers that are little louder than Crates, but no. As a band, the 'Sheep laboriously churn out sludgy, Soundgarden/Alice in Chains sort of music without any sense of irony whatsoever. Still, there is apparently a substantial market for that, as when I saw them, there were approximately 12 long-haired fans SCREAMING THEIR HEADS OFF. Honestly, I didn't know what to think, except that covering Michael Jackson's "Human Nature" was a good idea. Otherwise, I couldn't endure them for longer than 10 minutes. See Music pg 17 JS


THURSDAY 12/28

THE MISSING LINK END OF YEAR PIMPS AND HOS PARTY STARRING DJ RECKLESS, DJ WICKED, DJ IZM

(Ohm) This line-up showcases some of the best local spinsters around. Izm and Wicked are some of the only people interested in spinning true underground hip hop, while Uni T spins a lot of good house--they're great because they have a presence that will be more than a bunch of guys geeking out to some vinyl. You'll want to really listen to them, rather than talk over them. KD

THE WEAKLINGS, POISON HEARTS, NEARLY DEADS

(Satyricon) This night of music is like the all-you-can-eat BBQ buffet of rock. The Poison Hearts are pretty much straight-up rock, The Nearly Deads are bluesy rock, and the Weaklings are good old driving punk rock. Sort of like a plate of pork ribs, mashed potatoes, and BBQ beef. All the bands are in the same general category, so you're less likely to overfill, and by the end of the night you will be left perfectly satisfied by complementary flavors of music. KS


FRIDAY 12/29

MODEST MOUSE, DUB NARCOTIC SOUND SYSTEM

(Crystal Ballroom) "MAXIMUM NARCOLEPSY/TRIPWIRE/TRIPWIRE" Those are the lyrics that come to mind when conjuring the spastic, chocolate voice of Calvin Johnson. Keep them in your memory, because the new album the Sound System has in the works is purported to use MINIMUM vocals, and Mr. Johnson actually plays guitar. For many, this is a blessing from the heavens. Either way, it'll be interesting to see what the Dub Narcotic sounds like without the bizarrely phonetic ramblings of Papa K. Will his guitar work be funky? And how will he play it and still gyrate his hips? Thousands of newsgroups and emailing lists will debate these and other important questions until the album's release. JS

VINYL ALL NIGHT STARRING OFFICE PARTY, JENNI JAMESON

(Meow Meow) After a nice evening of live music from Office Party and Jenni Jameson, we can stay up all night long listening to actual vinyl records from our own collections! So, what are you going to bring in? Yeah... yeah... that's really interesting, but here's what I will be bringing: The Carpenters (The Singles), Peter Pan (The Original Soundtrack), Kiss (Love Gun), Thomas Dolby (Golden Age of Wireless), and Earth, Wind & Fire (That's the Way of the World). And who knows, since the party's going all night, they may even have time to play your records, too! WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY

THE NATRONS, THE REAL PILLS, THE NINES

(Satyricon) As we get further and further away from the '60s, the number of garage/blues/surf-type punk bands in Portland seems to grow exponentially. I suppose I can see why--enjoying that type of music doesn't involve a lot of thought, it just requires a steamy desire for fast cars, cheap beer, and motor oil dribbled gently across the cleavage of your lover. The Natrons' classy scum is some of the best in town; it's rock washed clean with a tint of the blues. Crazy, crazy Natron. You've gotta love him. The Real Pills keep it real on the garage end, and The Nines play mostly tolerable surf-a-billy that you'll really love if you're into that kind of stuff, and you'll really hate if you're not. JS

WALLY SHOUP, REUBEN RADDING, BEDS, Z DROGI

(Medicine Hat) Wally Shoup, a free-jazz saxophonist who has worked with the likes of Thurston Moore and Toshi Makihara,has the kind of piercing tone that makes Archie Shepp fans quiver with delight. A Seattle resident who recently curated that city's Improvised Music Festival, Shoup reminds us that there is relevant jazz being made right under our noses here in the Northwest. Joining him is bassist Reuben Radding, whose explorations of Sun Ra's catalog with the group Myth Science (featuring Sex Mob's Briggan Krauss and organist Anthony Coleman) have opened up the spaceways to Saturn in exciting new directions to both fans and neophytes alike. I don't know what these guys will be playing, but you can guarantee that it'll be mind-blowing at the very least. Coming the day after Kenny G defiles the Rose Garden, Shoup and Radding will exorcise any demons the Curly-Haired Imp of Satan may have left with him in StumpTown. MURRAY CIZON


SATURDAY 12/30

BENEFIT FOR EJ's STARRING NAKED VIOLENCE, NEURON DESPOILER, GASOLINE KINGS, THE HIGH AND THE MIGHTY, MORE

(Ash Street Saloon) This show will benefit the dearly departed EJ's, so donate lots of money because that place turned you from a sniveling little pasty-faced geek into a full-on Pabst patch-wearing punk rocker. Why we're donating money is unclear, but perhaps it's to help pay those stupid tickets the city allegedly gave EJ's for noise violations or whatever. Or maybe to put those rafters back in. Whatever the reason, it's for a good cause. And if not, well, you still get to see a lot of razor-sharp punk rock. JS

LOWCRAFT, AS WE ORBIT, BEN & RAVI (AFTERHOURS DJs)

(Ohm) Remember a couple of years ago when local radio stations in Portland and Seattle broke Harvey Danger and got all full of themselves? Not content to leave well-enough alone, they glommed onto a new outfit called Absinthe and started heavy-rotating their inappropriately named song, "Happy In My Pants." Of course, since Absinthe were actually a quality band, the song went nowhere (and don't let the name fool you, as it's a tune of elegiac glam beauty). Shortly after, the band changed their name to Lowcraft, signed with a UK label, headed to London, and were never heard from again. Well, they actually released an album and several EPs over there, before being dropped in a mass purging of British indies. Now, Lowcraft are apparently back in town. Their songs have a soaring grace and a tyrannosaurus-rex rock sensibility--all rare delights we rarely taste around here. JAMIE S. RICH

BONFIRE MADIGAN, BABY ROBOT, FILMS BY VERONICA HUNTER

(Meow Meow) I will never shut up about the sublime Madigan until you've seen her at least once. She's passion with a cello--she doesn't like the guitar as an instrument, so much. Her music is so true and inspired, it doesn't fall in any genre, though it's classically influenced. You can dance or cry to it, but I guarantee your gut will be twisting into a thousand different shapes of wrenched as she plays. She's a singular artistic renaissance, a lady of fully concentrated power. JS


NEW YEAR'S EVE

THE INCREDIBLE KID AND THE HOUSE PARTY DJ POSSE STARRING DJ ANJALI, DJ PEREGRINE, AND MORE

(Medicine Hat) YES! This just in: The Incredible Kid, known to host some of the most elaborately kickin' house parties in North Portland, gets his own New Year's night! A man whose record collection rivals that of only one or two select Everyday Music employees, he'll bust out a spizzity-spin of breakbeats, then throw on some obscure Latin record (his specialty), and maybe a couple Seana Carmody-era Swirlies tunes to get the blood pumpin'. The majority of New Year's options were looking pretty pathetic 'til now, but now you've got reason to brave the streets, SO HELP ME JESUS! The Incredible Kid and his entourage of sexy-ass DJs are just the mambo-licious booty tickler you need to make 2001 a rump-shakin' success. JS

THE DENIM DEMONS, THE OWNERS, F-OPTION

(Satyricon) Amid a slew of bluegrass bands and Arthur C. Clarke-themed nights, this New Year's show is going to rip the shit apart like a New Year's show SHOULD. Amateurs are advised to stay at home. First, you get F-Option, which will probably be no less than aggressive as it features ex-members of Gern Blanston and the hallowed Atomic 61 (If anyone out there actually still remembers Atomic 61's live gigs, you'll know that they rarely left a venue undamaged). Then you've got The Owners, who, when they are sober, rock with the quick distortion of a limitless autobahn. And when they are drunk, they're still pretty goddamn tight. Finally, The Denim Demons raise the New Year with a whole lotta hell. Yes, they're a Turbonegro cover band. Why not? What could be better or more glamorous than Norwegian butt-metal? Nothing, I say. This show is guaranteed to fuck you up, both alcohol-wise and possibly physically. JS

PINEHURST KIDS, CAMARO HAIR

(Tonic) This is the New Year's show for those who are over 21, yet still maintain a certain level of innocence. Of course you know the Pinehurst Kids, that stereotypically fresh-faced, perky, by-the-book punk rock band. But do you know Camaro Hair? A good name, but a bit of a misnomer--when I think Camaro Hair, I think of my step-brother blasting Bon Jovi through the stereo of his white muscle car back in '85. (I also think of the creepy, red caterpillar moustache he had back then--eww!) In actuality, Camaro Hair's '80s-influenced sound is more new wave-meets-U2, and they're awfully lovable. Have a couple drinks, and keep your legs crossed. JS

A 2001 SPACE ODYSSEY STARRING LAVA DEMURE

(Ash Street Saloon) You know that weird air-brushed mural at the Ash Street? The one that encompasses the whole wall to the left of the stage? That mural has my vote for number one cheesiest thing in Portland, and for that reason, I adore it with repulsed fascination. I am similarly drawn to their 2001 Space Odyssey. There's champagne, hors d'oeuvres (maybe even Viennese sausages!), costumes, bubbles, lights, Lava DeMure, and a DJ. You are expected to come dressed as a "cosmic creature." It has such awesome camp potential--glamour and cheese and humor all together as one. AND THE MURAL! JS

CHERRY POPPIN' DADDIES, RICK BAIN AND THE GENIUS POSITION, LOS MEX PISTOLS DEL NORTE

(Roseland) To some, the term "bandito" is a compliment. With a chorus of tequila-sniffing percussionists, guitar pickers and yodelers, Los Mex Pistols are like Menudo with a five-day growth and a jalapeno pepper shoved up their collective asses. The last time I saw them, I got so hyped on tequila and their triple-timed, hard-knocking salsa music that I danced on a table and made out with a woman nearly a decade my junior. Not recommended for those hoping to ring in the New Year with an evening of contemplation and good tidings to all. Joined by Cherry Popping Daddies who, even after scoring national radio play two years ago, are still out pimping hard their brand of pretty boy, happy-go-lucky music. PHIL BUSSE


WEDNESDAY 1/3

NATIONAL ANTHEM, MOTHBALL

(Laurelthirst) Attention, ladies!! Do you get all weepy-eyed at the sound of an airy, twangy boy voice? Does an acoustic guitar make the bottom of your stomach twitter and flitter, like butterflies? YOU MUST SEE MOTHBALL. Fronted by the melancholy dreamy Jovie M., and complimented by the swoon-inducing sways of a violin, Mothball will traipse across the land of Hank, tiptoe through Palace forest, and land gracefully in the meadow of your heart. Sounds cheesy, I know, but it's a whole new year now, and you deserve to fall in love with something. JS


GOING TO SEATTLE?

Sun 12/31 NEW YEAR'S EVE: The Crust Brothers, Robbie Fulks, Fred Armisen (Crocodile); 70 Proof (Rocksport); The Paladins, Shinola (Tractor Tavern) 764-HERO, Carissa's Wierd, Aveo (Sit & Spin); Dudley Manlove Quartet (I-Spy); Hell's Belles, Gun St. Girls (Graceland)

For more information, visit www.thestranger.com

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