Up & Coming 

THURSDAY 2/1

THE OPERACYCLE, BERING SEA, LAUREL CANYON

(Medicine Hat) Want some Tortoise-flavored indie rock? I know there are like eight trillion of you out there, and I know you're waiting patiently for their new CD, but it's time to get out there and experience the bands less traveled. Operacycle and Laurel Canyon both play that mellow brand of sleepy-time, body swaying, instrumental loveliness that we Portlanders seem to dig so much. The Operacycle induces the kind of placid waking coma I crave, where all of the irritations of daily life drift away and vacations and European men become main priorities. Laurel Canyon strums their guitar in similar tranquil nuances, blended with unpretentious violin and shimmery cymbals. Start thinking about something heavy before you leave for the show, like what you're going to do with your life or whether you love your girlfriend or not, I'm sure you'll have increased perspective upon leaving. Or on second thought, just give your mind a much-needed two-hour break. KATIE SHIMER

HOLIDAY MATINEE TOUR STARRING DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE, THE AND/ORS, THE JEALOUS SOUND

(Crystal) Indie darlings Death Cab For Cutie return once again to share some melodiously mild-mannered melancholia, masterfully modulated, miked and made magnificent for moonstruck mongers of motile mordents. Also playing are breathy-vocaled, anthemic, big-rock, alternapopsters The Jealous Sound, whose clean, stadium-caliber climaxes are likely to inspire some enthusiastic head-nodding and knee-bending. I can think of no more appropriate name for them (not just because it gets repeated in one of their songs, which is a bit of a faux pas if you ask me); this "Sound" probably could've had platinum potential back in '95 when this stuff was standard mainstream fodder for the lazy, angst-ridden mall-music-store shopper. The And/Ors will deliver some slightly grittier, harder-rockin, more "indie"-sounding numbers, catchy at times (though far more palatably so than JS,) and quite refreshingly noisy. You can never go wrong with Death Cab, and while The Jealous Sound may be of questionable merit, The And/Ors are definitely worth a look-see. HOWIE WYMAN

BLUE OYSTER CULT, WILD DOGS

(Roseland) The B.O.C.'s greatest hit, "(Don't Fear) The Reaper," was a masterpiece of modern music that displayed a band's proper use of psych guitar solos and ominous, lilting vocals. Some people also tout the lyrics as an important part of the song. Example of lyrics: "Romeo and Juliet/Living in Eternity/Don't fear the reaper." OOOOoooooh! We are riddled with profundity. The fact is, the Blue Oyster Cult is/was an incredible, and yes seminal band that could have sung "I have an assmonkey" to that tune and it still would have been gorgeous. And even though they are very, very old, and most of their other music was pretty awful, the Blue Oyster Cult is a band that should be remembered and revered for their sublime musical prowess. JULIANNE SHEPHERD


FRIDAY 2/2

JUNK GENIUS

(Community Music Center) Though Junk Genius isn't featured in Ken Burn's Jazz, the players here speak for themselves. Ben Goldberg (clarinet) is probably best known for his New Klezmer Trio. Trevor Dunn is the bassist for Mr. Bungle, Kenny Wollesen hits the traps for Sex Mob, and John Schott has been a guitarist/sideman for that eternally reoccurring figurehead of the younger jazz generation, John Zorn. Together as Junk Genius, they've sped up bebop tunes (as on their first, self-titled release), and, for their second album, researched both Harry Smith's Folkways anthology and Alan Lomax's field recordings of the South to produce a strangely hypnotizing, yet fertile synthesis of anger, greed, love, and joy. KREG HASEGAWA

SUPERSUCKERS COUNTRY HOO-HAW, THE CONDUCTOR, HANK PLANK & THE 2X4S

(Berbati's) Since the Supersuckers have peppered their career in rawk with songs about Satan, booze, and hard-livin', it's easy to look past the punk-metal posturing and see those down-home honky tonk roots (roots that are downright blatant in the band's collaboration with Steve Earle or 1997's stab at country, Must've Been High.) Tonight, Eddie Spaghetti and friends toss aside the heavy metal hand gestures in favor of cowboy boots and acoustic guitars, promising heart-breakin' renditions of tunes from Must've Been High as well as other twang-flavored classics that will make you nuzzle your sweetheart or guzzle your beer. Sounds like a swell way to steel yourself for Valentine's Day. BARBARA MITCHELL

LOWCRAFT, RED SECTER

(Dante's) Hey Britpop fans: Lowcraft just might be the band you've been waiting for. Except for the singer's ever-so-slight, fakey London accent (and equally slight vocal resemblance to T--- Y----), they play what we like to call the "Manchester Swing" in impeccable, super-platinum, hit-like fashion. They even sort of look like limeys, with shoes shined to glistening perfection, and they've got the bass player from Marigold. Even non-Britpop fans (of which I am one) will find that Lowcraft's hooks transcend the typical, stuffy chord-and-solo formula that plagues the genre. Reservedly glamorous, and exceptionally catchy. Julianne Shepherd

FILMguerrero SHOWCASE STARRING NORFOLK & WESTERN, TRACKER, BUELLTON

(Meow Meow) I once drove the whole length of Highway 50 in Nevada, appropriately called "The Loneliest Highway in America," in one night. A recording of this FILMguerrero showcase would have been the most perfect soundtrack for the drive. Norfolk & Western would have taken me through the golden sunset outside of Reno, over dusty hills and through rusty towns, with gorgeous, quiet vocals and threads of nostalgic lap steel and harmonica. Tracker would have scored the pensive part of the drive, through the Shoshone Mountains and over Little Antelope Summit, with a similar mood (both bands share members) and a simple honesty deep as the desert sky. And Buellton, the seemingly younger and more mischievous of the three, would have kept me awake through the last long stretch of the Snake Range into Utah, reminding me of the night I'd just spent realizing that road trips are the best medicine and that life is good. CHANTELLE HYLTON


SATURDAY 2/3

LIVING LEGENDS STARRING MYSTIK JOURNEYMEN, GROUCH, ELIGH, MURS, BICASSO, AESOP, SCARAB, THE CUF, KIRBY, DOMINANT, BOOM BAP PROJECT, DJ BLES

(Pine Street/Medicine Hat after hours) If you want to see some truly underground shit, check out this show with Living Legends. They're an L.A./San Francisco based group that's been together for six years, mixing quick, snazzy rhymes with melodic, glassy beats, and producing a totally polished sound that even the most seasoned hip hop junkie will find unique. This is a one-time-only experience, as Living Legends play and travel the old-fashioned way--for fun, not money. So they won't be stopping back around Portland next week on their way back from Vancouver, and you can't just catch them when you're visiting your parents in Boston. Luckily, tonight you'll have two chances to see them, first when they play at Pine Street and then, once everyone's all warmed up and jonesing for just a little more, they'll be playing an afterhours show at Medicine Hat. (It might even make up for Scarab's cancellation last week.) KATIA DUNN

TREY GUNN

(Cobalt Lounge) Trey Gunn is yet another ex-member of prog rock gods King Crimson, although he's one of the latecomers, joining them for their 1995 reunion. And he's played with enough musical geniuses to make even the most jaded prog rocker cream his/her little panties, including David Sylvian, Robert Fripp, and Adrian Belew (of course), and California Guitar Trio. Unlike his wanky ex-bandmate Tony Levin, however, Trey Gunn hasn't gone entirely in the cheesy, new age ambient whale noise direction (even with hippie song titles like "Rune Song--the Origin of Water"). He does some crazy shit, getting a little funky and screwing around with time signatures. It'll be an awesome show for guitar tech-heads, but if you don't understand/ enjoy the beauty of prog, stay at home and listen to your stinking Death Cab albums. JS

BLACK HEART PROCESSION, LOVE AS LAUGHTER, SOUL JUNK

(Berbati's Pan) Black Heart Procession play Portland like every five minutes, but they are worth seeing every time. Incorporating a literate gloom with delicate musicianship, their songs bring to mind the dusty fragrance of a dungeon and a velvet-suited balladeer playing cabaret to candlelight. BHP has been called "indie goth," which I think is somewhat of a misnomer, if not actually offensive. They're just dramatic and gorgeous and classy. It's odd that Love as Laughter--a scummy rock band long on energy but, live, short on anything that might provoke original thought (don't let their albums fool you!)--is opening. I suppose you have to get the blood pumping somehow, before BHP chills your heart deliciously cold. JS

DAY RATE CESSNA, AWESOME, PENCA, BUTTERY LORDS

(Medicine Hat) Kreskin, don't fail me now: The Buttery Lords is the wacky, scrappy side project of members of So Sadly Fucked. They're white hiphoppers (as you might be able to tell by the name of their crew) and though I've not yet seen them, my telepathic sources tell me they'll be fun as hell, if not effective. The stars tell me Penca is "tight indie art rock," and I'm hoping they're right, because you know how I love the art punk (see: The Intima). Awesome is New/No Bad Thing Luke Hollywood, and spirits from the netherworlds convey that his new CD is lo-fi fantastic, although I wouldn't know personally, because (as the spirits say) advance copies of those things are going like hotcakes. And I don't need no friggin' crystal ball to tell you that Day Rate Cessna really does sound so much like Modest Mouse (minus fan base) you could almost call them a cover band. (At their last show, they even copped riffs from the NEWEST Modest Mouse album--that's like eating a cake before it's fully baked!) This show's a mixed bag, but four out of five phantoms agree: it'll be fun for the whole family! JS


SUNDAY 2/4

JEFF LONDON PRESENTS HOT COCOA NIGHT IN THE GLITTER BOX STARRING BEN BARNETT, PLASTIC ISLE, THE BILL PULLMANS

(Meow Meow) Got the sniffles? Though the title of this show sounds slightly lurid (what, exactly, is a "Glitter Box," and do I have one?), lechers and creepy perverts should stay at home. Jeff London is not a pimp: he's that scholarly dreamboat who croons tearfully through the aura of his breath like a broken-winged nightingale. The Glitter Box is the gloriously pink room in Meow Meow where you can get hot cocoa, appropriately (or, if you order a "Jeff London," you'll get a sweet and sour, lemon-grape squishee). Plastic Isle is the soft and lonely side project of Bryce from Boycrazy, and The Bill Pullmans include Alan Harris, also from Boycrazy. Ben Barnett is, for all intents and purposes, Kind of Like Spitting, and sings about Portland, alienation, and other very depressing subjects. Go check him out, because he is taking an extended hiatus after this show. This night is guaranteed to be the comfort food of Sunday evenings, and from what we hear, that cutie pimp-ass Jeff London is going to host a whole series of them. Purrrrrr. JS


MONDAY 2/5

NEBULA, DESPOILER, LAST EMPIRE

(Pine Street) Let's see if I can get through this without saying "stoner rock." Nebula involves some members of Fu Manchu, a band that I consider one of the finest... um... 70's-Sabbathy-rock bands. I suppose my ears aren't completely tuned for... uh... this kind of heavy rock, but Nebula sounds a lot like Fu Manchu with more effects pedals. Though this would have been a great EJ's show, alas, our fair lady is gone and Pine Street will be just fine for a... um... show like this. Put it this way... I have found that a lot of people who like to... take the occasional "puff"... will enjoy this kind of rock show. You should go, dude! JOE FAUSTIN KELLY

TUESDAY 2/6

JEB LOY NICHOLS

(Music Millennium) Jeb Loy Nichols is the kind of artist my uncle Trey would try to get me into. You know like ex-Dead Head, Allman Brothers, Jimmy Buffet, James Taylor fans who are looking for something a little jazzier and a little more now. He does the talk/sing thing over some keyboards and drum taps and has a fairly good voice, but as you may have guessed, just isn't my bag. Sadly enough, it seems that his sound is an attempt at melding country and reggae music (pardon me I'm retching), to create something new yet rootsy. I don't think I need to explain any further--you should have an idea if this is your schtick. And you probably already own the Good Will Hunting soundtrack, which he is on. KS


WEDNESDAY 2/7

BLUE FLOYD

(Crystal Ballroom) Why do we have to be the guinea pigs every time some band gets a wild hair up its ass to "re-interpret" the songs of a band that stopped making albums eight hundred years ago? This band incorporates the main guitarist from the Black Crowes and some dudes from Gov't Mule doing Pink Floyd songs in a Muddy Waters-like tradition. ??? OK, it's a blues-improv cover band. I think that speaks for itself. JS


GOING TO SEATTLE?

Thurs 2/1: Jason Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players (OK Hotel)

Fri 2/2: Black Heart Procession, Soul Junk, Love as Laughter (Crocodile); Post Stardom Depression, SP Unlimited (Sit & Spin); DJ Sara, DJ Moses, Jalee, Miss Funk, DJ Wasabi, Julie Herrera, DJ Giselle (I-Spy)

Sat 2/3: Supersuckers Country Hoo-Haw (Crocodile); Death Cab for Cutie (Showbox); A Perfect Circle, Snake River Conspiracy (Mercer Arena); Rockin' Teenage Combo (Elysian); 78 RPM, Jo Miller & Her Burly Roughnecks (Tractor Tavern)

Sun 2/4: Junk Genius (Sunset Tavern)

Tues 2/6: Clutch, Corrosion of Conformity (Showbox)

For more info, visit www.thestranger.com

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