Up & Coming 

THURSDAY 1/11

THE DECEMBERISTS, NATRON, SHELTERBELT, THE BLACK WATCH
(Medicine Hat) You know, I can't really get into a band unless they play emotional mind games with me. It's like men. There's no excitement if a guy sits you down on the first date and says, "Hey, I really like your personality, you're good looking, and your values seem much like my own--I really hope this turns into a marriage one day." The Black Watch are pleasantly like a mysterious lover. They take you on a spur-of-the-moment roadtrip, or whip out two tabs of mescaline on a boring Saturday night. The girl vocals remind me of MBV, while the guy vocals and fuzzy guitar are totally GBV--but maybe a little less heartwrenching. They've been playing together for 12 years now, so at the very least you can expect a professional delivery, and a night on the town that was actually worth it. KATIE SHIMER

RUMAH SAKIT, DILUTE, COSMOS GROUP
(Lola's at the Crystal) Tonight I want to be surprised. I want the suspense that can only be conjured by a band with no need to please. A band whose songs remain just as mysterious to them as they are to me. Will I end my night in disappointment, sobbing myself to sleep because of a cruel world which simply does not understand my desires? NO! I shall be saved from this pathetic fate by the charitable souls of Lola's Room, as they present The Cosmos Group in all their glory. Working from a slightly skewed blueprint of jazzy rhythms and off tempos, they build their metal machine music with the tools of guitar, bass, drums, and occasional vocal. The resulting structure is always complex and intriguing. Rumah Sakit are also playing, and theirs is the fantastic instrumental sound of a delicate balance of light and shadows, melody and discord, quiet beauty and screeching cacophony. RYAN TOBIAS

PINEHURST KIDS, THE MAROONS, SEAN CROGHAN, BRIAN BERG
(Berbati's Pan) Yes, the Maroons are still together. John Moen and the boys have resurfaced again on the wings of their dreamy pop songs a la Michael Penn if he had a Strat and a Big Muff distortion pedal. Bring a date and stop at 7-11 for a Slurpee beforehand to prep yourself for some wholesome, sugary fun provided by some of the nicest guys in Portland. Cheer loud enough and we might all be rewarded with a new album sometime this decade. This is a launch party for new Portland label, In Music We Trust Records, run by PR guy Alex Steininger. It's also his 21st birthday party. Lovely. RORY CARROLL


FRIDAY 1/12

BOO ART'S NIGHT OF THE LIVING TONGUE STARRING GADGETTO, THEE REVEREND RAFIK LEGBARA, CABBAGE, CHELSEA VAUGHN MEAT FACTORY, MORE
(PNCA) You know, it doesn't matter if one act during this KBOO event sucks, because something you like is bound to come along at some point. From the improv-electronica, guitars, and mixing of accomplished duo Office Products, to Bill Horist and Jean-Paul Jenkins performing highly intelligent, stream-of-composition guitar music that would make Gertrude Stein blush, to Rolf Semprebon DJ-ing the live version of his regular KBOO set (all esoterica and ambiance), to the sax power wackiness that is Starantula, plus dance from the ladies of Dark Porch Productions. Doesn't sound entertaining? Um, have you checked to see if you have a pulse lately? JULIANNE SHEPHERD

THE FARTZ, SADO-NATION, STYPHNOYDS, TORTURE COOKIES
(Satyricon) Whoa-lee-SHIT! Did I read that line-up correctly? Um, it seems to be includin' The Fartz? They...playin' again? Ah...BOO-YA...yep, the FARTZ who pounded some 'o the MOST absolutely fucked, outta control, sloppier'n yer first "French" smoochy poo, hateful muvvafuggin' hardcore this side 'o the Mighty Miss! And look...they ain't alone either...Sado-Nation, Styphnoyds, Torture Cookies, good Lord, can you believe this? Okay, now, all y'all aged punkers, who ain't turned into weak-assed "in by ten-ers," find a sitter, take yer Geritol, high blood pressure meds, or whatever keeps yer shit tickin', and make THIS mofo! MIKE NIPPER

THE PLACES CD RELEASE PARTY, LITTLE WINGS, THE OPERACYCLE, FILMS BY ZAK RILES
(Medicine Hat) Not to bring up Xanadu again, but remember that part where Olivia Newton-John first gets to rollerskate with her hunky beau (whose name I forget) and all those beautiful lights start to blaze from her because she's a daughter of Zeus? Well, neither the Places nor the Operacycle sound anything like ELO, but they both shimmer and shine with opalescent blue light, the music they make is so damned pretty. If you are looking for a night to fill your intelligent brain with gentle lyrics, soft atmosphere, and gorgeously written tunes that bounce off you like magenta and gold light, you will love this show. The Places might make you crybut you cried at the end of Xanadu, too. JS

THIRD AND FAILING, THE A-SET, HOLY SONS
(Meow Meow) Three cheers for eclectic shows! The A-Set (Albert Menduno, essentially) is truly the Chicago-based A-Set, here in town to record his new album at Ground Score Studios. His music is a pretty blend of organs and steppy basslines, navigable by vocals that smooth out the best parts of Axl Rose and Lou Barlow--along the same cerebral pop lines of his labelmates Pinback. He'll be playing solo, possibly with some help from a Holy Son or two (sorry, none of the Kinsellas will be appearing). Ground Score is run by Pat Kenneally, who also happens to be the guitarist/vocalist in Third and Failing, a powerfully fun punk band that swims in the merging stream of emotional pop and hardcore. Pat's screams are as big as T&F's bass sounds; aggressive, bang-yr-headable, and charming. The Holy Sons' recorded efforts are extremely pretty and creepy simultaneously--decadent, distinctly southern, and complex. Live, they're a little more straightforward, although when they are soft and playing the musical saw, you never felt your heart beat so hard. Three bands: all different, all quality. More line-ups like this, please. JS

SYSTEMWIDE, S-DUB
(Ohm) There are no greater ambassadors for Portland music than Systemwide. With their staggeringly great live shows and the ever-increasing profile of their own BSI record label, Systemwide show the rest of the world that Portland isn't the post-grunge wasteland gone arthritic with indie kewl that many would believe. This show is the precursor to a three-date journey through California, so it's likely that spirits will be high--a good sign for a band that generally performs as an improv unit rather than working a standard list of favorites. The more into it the boys are, the more likely the audience is to have its scalp taken completely off by the heavy bass of dangerous dub. Plus, Systemwide own Ohm like no other band (save maybe King Black Acid). Stick 'em in Dan Reed's room, and they just rip the shit out of it. Perhaps the folks who put Ohm together actually placed the stage over some portal that lets bands channel demonic, interplanetary grooves. Kind of like a radio transmitter version of the Hellmouth on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. If so, Systemwide are the top wizards at this Stonehenge. Just leave your pointy rave hats at home, okay? JAMIE S. RICH

BOTCH, CAVE-IN, THRONES
(Pine Street Theater) Spin magazine, on whom I rely as my source for all new music (especially that of the post-hardcore genre), calls Cave-In "emo metal Radiohead." While this might be part of Spin's plan to spearhead the word "emo" onto your family dinner table, it's safe to say they got the "metal" and "Radiohead" part right. You shouldn't be too disappointed if you like either. Botch, on the other hand, sounds like they've been playing hardcore since they were premature babies. For your glorious benefit, they have refined the screamy, chugga-chugga sound; the songs are super-tight and multi-parted, like you should expect from any well-versed metal band, without losing any of the nervous energy usually associated with hardcore. The Thrones will most likely have the built-in crowd that they have come to deserve in Portland. Bring earplugs, used (or new) cigarette butts, or wads of (unused) toilet paper. JOE FAUSTIN KELLY


SATURDAY 1/13

ZION I, MICRONAUTS, BOOM BAP, FOREIGN LEGION
(Berbati's) Bouncing between the clipped, staccato cadence of their hometown brethren Outkast and the more laconic delivery of their neighbors to the south, L.A.'s Pharcyde, Atlanta-born, Berkeley-based Zion I cover no new territory. However, their 2000 release, Mind Over Matter, is still a surprisingly solid hip hop package, anchored by well-chosen samples and vocal snippets, and the integration of drum 'n' bass tempos that, unlike similar efforts, sound phat, not forced. While other "conscientious" rappers rail endlessly against the dreaded bitches-and-Benzes bling bling lifestyle, Zion I cuts to the quick with a scratch-mastered selection of current hip hop and R&B chart-toppers, extolling the virtues of hard currency and material excess. In only a few short minutes they say far more than any self-righteous vocalist could hope to do in a whole playa-hatin' lifetime. LEAH GREENBLATT

MORAL CRAYFISH, MONIKER, [MINMAE], ALAN WATTS BAND
(It's a Beautiful Pizza) As every snotty trust fund kid in the freakin' universe starts a record label to rehash the boring, innocuous days of Nancy Sinatra and The Carpenters done '01-style, it's nice to run across a new label with some sense of musicality. I'm talking about Airborne Virus Records, smartly relocated to PDX from SF, and run by Sean Brooks (AKA [minmae]). This is their official party for the compilation CD 19 Ways to Avoid the Draft, featuring mostly good bands ranging from minimalist electro-wanking (and I mean that in the nicest way possible) to full-terror, textural pop. All right, only Moral Crayfish and [minmae] are on the CD, but the other bands keep the spirit (Alan Watts Band is Bryan from Beds, and Moniker is Dan from Moral Crayfish and his brother doing some purposefully unrehearsed crazy shit). JS

BOO ART STARRING WOOD PANELING, JENNIFER ROBIN, THE MAGIC DOORKNOB TUBE SOCK TRASH KIT, TONE GENERATOR, MORE
(PNCA) Yow, again! Five hours of heartbreaking, gender-bending, genre-transgressing fun from KBOO, people who know what the fuck's up with diversity. Tonight's highlights include the demon-exorcising, sell-your-soul dinge music of Old Time Relijun, the glamorous destruction of Glass Candy (featuring Ida No's comely vocal delivery), and the legendary Noggin with the best instrument on earth, the electric violin. Bring a dirty journal and make sure it stinks like whiskey, baby, cause this is pure decadence of the soul. JS


SUNDAY 1/14

POISON IDEA, THE LEWD, SADO-NATION, THE STYPHNOYDS, THE RIFFS, RELIGIOUS WAR
(Meow Meow) Dig, evidently the idea of seein' the (still!) reignin' Kings of Punk, Poison Idea, ain't enuff 'cause we gettin' treated to the LEWD too (yes, it's them, they recently outta "retirement")! Uh-huh,.. that buncha '70's Seattle punkers who moved to So Cal and became "Posh Boy" bad arses! And that ain't all, we get Sado-Nation, Styphnoyds, the Riffs, and Religious Wars playin' too. Damn, I 'member these shows, Matinees they were...there'd be at least five bands, and always five bucks too. Ewww, I almost hadda (sniff) "I miss High School" moment... hmmm, which reminds me where'd I last leave my Stalag 13 shirt? Anyways, all you grandpas make sure NOT to take yer damn walkin' canes or dentures into the "pit". I've seen it happen, and it ain't "punk," dude. MN


MONDAY 1/15

DAVE DOUGLAS' CHARMS OF THE NIGHT SKY
(The Old Church) Hands-down one of the best trumpeters of his generation, Dave Douglas is also tragically underappreciated in the Marsalis-dominated jazz world. Whether he's playing with John Zorn's Masada or leading one of his own groups, Douglas brings a quality of musicianship to the proceeding that is completely original and amazing. His performance at the Old Church is with one of his most popular ensembles, Charms of the Night Sky. A quartet comprised of accordion (Guy Klucevsek), violin (Mark Feldman), bass (Greg Cohen), and trumpet, Charms' music can only be described as "chamber jazz." Haunting, yet warm--it would make a perfect soundtrack for a foggy day in mid-November. Elements of tangos, klezmer, French café sounds, and (yes) chamber music make up Charms of the Night Sky's sound. However, this group is definitely greater than the sum of its parts. If you enjoy local favorites 3 Leg Torso, or just unparalleled musicianship that oozes emotion and skill, you can't miss this performance. MURRAY CIZON


TUESDAY 1/16

31 KNOTS, THE SWORDS/PROJECT, COBRA HIGH
(Pine Street Theater) Need more proof that the best music scene in America is right here in Portland? Check this shit out. Using double drum sets, keyboards, guitars and strings, The Swords/Project jampacks the stage with awesome musicianship, constructing songs dripping with moody, driving force. But trust me, this isn't one of those stupid "space jam" bands, because I hate those motherfuckers, and I'd rather eat a sack full of nails than recommend one. Along for the ride is 31 Knots, who also know a thing or two about playing their instruments, and deliver technically complex, nasty-ass rock-out songs that, in Madonna's verbiage, "bring the bourgeoisie and the rebel together." Cobra High? Haven't seen them, but I hear from very reliable sources that they play the "proggiest" of "prog" and make the original Genesis look like a big pile of Limey wankers...which I guess they were. But who cares? With a lineup like this, it's a win-win-win-win situation! WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY


WEDNESDAY 1/17

THE JAYHAWKS, NEKO CASE AND HER BOYFRIENDS
(Crystal Ballroom) There are a lot of phonies in the y'allternative world, but Neko Case isn't one of them. How can I tell? Well, for one thing, there isn't an ounce of irony in her music. But the main proof I have of Case's sincerity is her voice. A cross between Lucinda Williams and Patsy Cline, it has confidence, power, and a world-weariness that is difficult to fake. If she was angry or merely tragic, I'd probably not be as impressed, but the pain that she exudes on her latest album is such that I think Neko Case is the Real Deal. And I'm not the only one. Legendary BBC DJ John Peel (you know, of "Peel Session" fame) gave Case's song "Twist the Knife" the number-one spot on his year-end Festive Fifty singles countdown. So if you can't take my word for it, take John's. Or better yet, check Neko out for yourself. If you're not blown away, I suggest Always, Patsy Cline at Sylvia's Class Act Dinner Theatre. MC


GOING TO SEATTLE?

Fri 1/12: E-Dawg, Dolemite, C.A.V.E., Sir Mix-A-Lot, DJ Funkdaddy (OK Hotel); Zion I, Micranots (I-Spy)

Sat 1/13: The Magic Magicians, S, Sam Jayne (Graceland); Diamond Fist Werny, The Helio Sequence (Sit & Spin)

For more info, visit www.thestranger.com

Comments

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