Up & Coming 

SAVE THE POLE POSTER: There are some people in this city who think fliers on poles are an abomination and should be eradicated. The elimination of posters in Portland would hurt bands, businesses, and you. Write the "Coordinator for Graffiti Abatement" at hmcdowell@ci.portland.or.us, or call 503-823-5305 and tell him not to waste 12 grand of YOUR tax money to get rid of something that makes this town great. JS


THURSDAY MAY 3

PATSY, IKOBUKI

(Meow Meow) First off is Olympia's Ikobuki, a three-member cavalcade of single-note guitar banter and tight drumming. And when the ladies sing, they scream. The thing is, it's not like they are, "I AM SUCH A SERIOUS MUSICIAN AND YOU MUST EMBRACE MY POLITICS." They're having a good time, laughing at themselves occasionally, yet playing really neat riffs. Patsy is from Los Angeles, and they, too, throw out some rock that's more riff than chord. JULIANNE SHEPHERD

RED76 JOURNALS: FACT OR FICTION?

(Lola's Room) Here's the concept: the same group of writers, filmmakers, and musicians present work each month and we get to see how they've progressed. On one hand, the tracking of these artists could be really cool, like a sociological experiment in seeing how their work unfolds over time. On another hand, it could be a Vanity Project, like that Dave Eggers book where you're not sure if he's being touching and self-effacing or obnoxious and self-congratulatory. I guess we'll wait and see how it's presented. Either way, Project Perfect features members of Fontanelle and is scoring the films, and featured musician Colin Meloy's songs are always a treat. JS

THE PRAYER BOAT, THE OPERACYCLE, KAITLYN NI DONOVAN

(Roseland) Now that it's the '80s again, it's not surprising that every new band from the UK sounds like some derivation of The Smiths or Modern English. The Prayer Boat are currently the big thing in Britain, and though the fact that the Brits like boring-ass people like David Gray takes away a little credibility from that fact, they're pretty decent. With Smithsesque melodies (but with a voice more like Jeff Buckley), sweeping piano, an appropriate amount of blue-tinted sentiment, and aura galore, they are melancholy without being annoying. JS


FRIDAY MAY 4

GRANT HART, M. WARD

(Cobalt) When, a couple of days back, I gave my first listen to ex-Hüsker Dü drummer Grant Hart's most recent solo album, Good News for Modern Man (1999), I nearly broke down in tears. That voice! Like hearing at last from a lovable genius fuck-up of a long-lost friend. More so than Bob Mould--who's released a string of diverse, successful solo works since the appearance of Workbook in '89--Hart has held on to the essential spirit and ethos of Hüsker Dü. RICK LEVIN

JETS TO BRAZIL, THE LOVE SCENE, THE HIT

(Pine Street) Upon receiving Four Cornered Night, Jets to Brazil's most recent record, a friend of mine who had found himself at the messy end of a five-year relationship told me, "This will keep me in weeping for a good while." With Jets to Brazil comes a striking emotional access, perhaps because almost every song finds Blake Schwarzenbach addressing an intimate "her" or "you." It's as if he put to music a pile of his personal letters written to or about the love of his life. Some songs invite you into an excruciating ending, some, failed beginnings, others still the numbing quiet of being together but apart. Seeing him play is more like commiserating with an old friend than just watching some rock band. JOSH HOOTEN

BRAILLE STARS, COSMOS GROUP, ARCHANGLES

(Ash Street) The Cosmos Group: a motherfucking maelstrom of hot-as-hell rhythm, crazy jazz guitar, and you wonder if the players are going to burst from playing their instruments too hard (and too well). The Cosmos Group: playing their last show in awhile, because their bassist is moving to New York. Whatever! See it now--there's nothing else like them in Portland, and they get more and more badass-crazy every time they play. JS

OLD 97S, THE HONEYDOGS

(Roseland) Oh, poor little Old 97's frontman Rhett Miller! What girl could ever love a boy with a forked tongue and a perpetually broken heart as big as the plains? But his bad luck in romance is our good luck in rock because nobody cranks out the good-time-gone-oh-so-terribly-wrong songs like this rollicking Texas quartet. Though they've swerved from their twang origins to pick up more traditional pop along their long journey out West, you can be assured that there'll be two-stepping AND a mosh pit at this show. TAMARA PARIS


SATURDAY MAY 5

J NEO MARVIN & THE CONTENT PROVIDERS

(Red & Black Café) J Neo Marvin has been an "indie rocker" longer than the term has existed. His San Francisco group X-tal toured and recorded fairly relentlessly in the '80s and early '90s, playing a roughly strummed mixture of dark, intimate pop, and sly social commentary. Also a noted rock journalist, Neo Marvin is back on the boards with a new album, Slowly I Turned, and a revolving-door band called the Content Providers. The new record is as good as anything from the X-tal catalog and features superb guest appearances from the Mekons' Rico Bell, Systemwide percussionist Tim Ennis, and Cathead bassist Alan Korn. Neo Marvin has retained his courage and his wit and this opportunity to see him in a low-key coffee house atmosphere should not be missed. JOHN CHANDLER

NICOLE CAMPBELL CD RELEASE

(Fez) What Portland songstress Nicole Campbell does with her voice on her new CD, Songs of the Red Room, has been compared to Sarah McLachlan--and sometimes, they have a similar timbre and vibrato. But she reminds me of the better end of contemporary country radio--the stuff that isn't too country, nor too pop. She's got a distinctly feminine sound, and you can picture her atop a mountain somewhere, wearing chiffon and affirming life. JS

THE BUGS RECORD RELEASE, THE JUANITA FAMILY

(Beulahland) Portland's best party band, plus Last of the Juanitas' country incarnation, represent for the people tonight. See Music pg 15

P.S. WHAT? AND ALPHABET DRESS PRESENT KING PONG TOURNAMENT STARRING IMMIGRANT KANE, THE UNSOUNDS, STARANTULA, AWESOME, BIRDY NUM NUM

(P.S. What?, 1968 SW 5th) Hold onto your seats, kids, as I explain what's happening (in three parts, so you can digest it all): Giant Pong. In a yard. With enormous joysticks constructed from bike parts. CAN I GET A WITNESS? This is easily the coolest event happening in Portland tonight, and perhaps ever. It's a first-come, first-serve tourney, and they'll only be accepting 32 players, so get there earlier than the 9 pm start time. Bands to provide the soundtrack to the cutthroat, giant arcade action include the nutty, nutty Unsounds (they're the ones in the bunny suits) and charming pop of Awesome. Plus, you can buy enormous, inexpensive art by Zefrey Throwell inside the premises. You've never experienced anything like this (unless, of course, you are Fred Savage--but even then you forfeit by advanced-technology default). JS

J MASCIS & THE FOG, LOVE AS LAUGHTER, WOLF COLONEL

(Crystal Ballroom) J. Mascis has always had the cache of Legend surrounding him, and as the owner of a guitar style that has launched a thousand imitators, a lot of expectation goes with any new project he delivers to the public. Live, however, the man just knows how to have a kick-ass time. I had a chance to see the Fog at SXSW this March. Surrounding himself with Mike Watt on bass and Dinosaur Jr. alum Greg Berz on drums, he launched into an ear-splitting set of raw classics. Although he placated his acolytes with early Dino Jr. and well-chosen solo tunes, what really ripped the asses off the capacity crowd were the totally re-animated covers of songs by the Stooges and Black Flag. But when original Stooges guitarist Ron Asheton jumped on stage and dished the opening notes of "I Wanna Be Your Dog," I became a happy girl. Dueling guitars, Watt on vocals and wah-wah til my head spun... it was truly amazing. Of course, it's doubtful that Asheton will be at the Portland show, but you'll still be able to see the godfathers of indie rock shredding to the oldies like only they know how. A.J. ROSE


SUNDAY MAY 6

BENEFIT FOR THE OPPRESSED STARRING SLOW

(Red & Black) I don't know who the oppressed are, or if Slow is just being funny, but we're not here to talk about that. We're here to talk about Slow. They're an extra-cute guitar/drum duo, and they play poppy acoustic punk. Their vocals range from sweet and crooning to growls and screams, and their very competent drummer sometimes raps a little theme song (and, of course, all great bands have theme songs). They'll charm you to no end, and if you go, you will be helping "the oppressed." JS

BEATLEMANIA

(Memorial Coliseum) If you're waiting for another of my vitriolic diatribes in which I accuse the Beatles of being the most overrated, overplayed hacks ever to make millions from ripping off a musical genre created by African Americans... well, I'm not going to do it. All I'll say is that the only thing conceivably worse than seeing a live concert with the "Fab Four" is a live concert with a bunch of mop-top, wig-wearing fakers playing shitty Beatles covers. Unless it was done with animatronic robots. That I would go see. WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY


MONDAY MAY 7

LIVING COLOUR, FLOATER

(Crystal Ballroom) Although they will always be associated with the anthemic "Cult of Personality," Living Colour were much more than heavy rock MTV darlings. The first truly successful African American hard-rock outfit, their combination of metal, punk, funk, and rap predated current trends by a good 10 years. Unlike the Bizkits of the world, however, Living Colour's lyrics reflected an intelligent and socially conscious worldview. Songs like "Funny Vibe" dealt with racism, and the pessimistic "Type" addressed political concerns with a melodic hook that's difficult to forget. Having broken up in 1995, Living Colour are reuniting (with bassist Doug Wimbish, not founding member Muzz Skillings) for a short tour beginning in Portland and ending a week later in California. This is a must-attend for fans, and for those of us who missed out the first time 'round, it's the perfect opportunity to enjoy one of the greatest hard rock bands of the past 20 years. MURRAY CIZON

OF MONTREAL, MARSHMALLOW COAST, THE MINDERS

(Meow Meow) Even if you think Elephant 6/'60s throwback music is the most annoying thing in the entire universe, and you'd just as soon kill yourself before seeing another Peter Max painting, you would be a fool not to see Of Montreal. They're quite possibly one of the most freaky-deaky, entertaining live shows I've ever seen, if only for the sheer effort they put into a performance. They've got painted sets and perform silly little skits. The fairy tales entwined in their music will excite psychedelically-enhanced adults more than whiny little kids, yet their innocence is undeniable. They play kazoos and crazy concept pop music. Go--it's an awfully good time. JS

THE FOLK IMPLOSION, ALASKA, LOU BARLOW

(Pine Street) This is definitely a night for college students and uptight smart kids who take music very seriously. Those who enjoy Lou Barlow's post-Dinosaur Jr. work--with Sebadoh, Folk Implosion, or solo--should have a terrific time standing dumb and rapt at the Pine Street within a hushed, densely packed audience, listening reverently to this man who, in my experience (having seen both Sebadoh and Barlow solo) is one of the least entertaining performers in rock and roll history. There's a charm to that, I imagine. I concede even that I might be willing to stand in similar rapt attention in just such an audience for, say, Will Oldham, or even Elliott Smith. But then, those are a couple of brilliant songwriters, and Barlow, a man who has made significant records and written a good handful of beautiful songs, is a chore to see live. JEFF DeROCHE


TUESDAY MAY 8

IRON CROSS, FORCED REALITY, NAKED VIOLENCE

(Satyricon) My friend Shawn owns virtually every vinyl record ever released on Dischord--even early, obscure seven-inches. So, when I saw that Iron Cross was being touted as an old-school Dischord band (but similarly noting that I'd never heard of them), I asked him what he knew. He said, "Iron Cross is playing? They haven't released anything since World War II," and went on to explain that the only thing they ever released on Dischord were a couple songs on an 11-band sampler, way back in the early '80s. He said they are hardcore, but they were old then, and expressed even more incredulity that any members of Iron Cross are actually still living. For the record, Shawn will be attending this show for curiosity's sake, but did express lament that it wasn't Government Issue instead of Iron Cross. So, should you go? Well, it's fucking Tuesday night, are you going to sit around watching TV or something? JS


WEDNESDAY MAY 9

DEAR NORA, MIRAH, PARK 19 APARTMENTS

(Red & Black) To what do we owe this honor? Two of the most endearing ladies in music, Katy Davidson (Dear Nora) and Mirah, playing together as one? Why, we've died and floated away on a dreamy cloud! Their lyrics are sweet, but it's their voices that are truly special, both of them frolicking lightly through soft heartache and smart-girl bliss. Your heart will melt, I promise you that. JS


GOING TO SEATTLE?

Thurs 5/3: Old 97's (Crocodile); Grant Hart (EMP)

Fri 5/4: ExbEstfriEnds, Swords Project, The Standard (Graceland); Tracy & the Plastics (Old Fire House)

Sat 5/5: Grant Hart, Jon Auer, S (Graceland); Slim Moon, XBXRX, Chromatics (Paradox)

Sun 5/6: Flock of Seagulls (Ballard); Folk Implosion, Alaska, Lou Barlow (Graceland)

Tues 5/8: Living Colour (Showbox)

Wed 5/9: Of Montreal (Graceland)

For more info, visit

www.thestranger.com


New Releases May 8
: A Girl Called Eddy, American Steel, Natacha Atlas, Burning Airlines, R.L. Burnside, David Byrne, Ben Davis, Deviates, Stephen Duffy, Enemies/Pitch Black (Split EP), Mark Eitzel*, Foetus, Ghosts and Vodka, HIM*, Hugo Largo, Khan, Millencolin, Mr. Wright, Multiple Cat, New & Used, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Juno, Mark Lanegan, Placebo, Re, REM, Shantel, Skinny Puppy, To Rococo Rot*, Woe

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