Up & Coming 

THURSDAY 12/6

LOSCIL, STRATEGY, PROJECT PERFECT, LOCATE

(Blackbird) Loscil's newest record, Triple Point, is "based on the concepts of thermodynamics, the physical science which investigates the conversion of heat into mechanical force or energy and vice versa." The titles of the songs essentially describe what the music sounds like; "Pressure," for instance, sounds exactly like a group of beakers bubbling with condensation, or fissures in the earth breathing out vapor. And it's all done with a sampler and synths! Loscil interprets science through electronics, which makes him pretty brilliant, and the result is actually interesting, even though it's mostly slow and silent. To fully appreciate it, however, you must pretend you are attending a show at the planetarium instead of a bar. It'll be really cool--we can all stare at the ceiling of the club and pretend we're looking at the stars! Isn't science grand? JULIANNE SHEPHERD

(INTERNATIONAL) NOISE CONSPIRACY, RIVAL SCHOOLS, THE HIVES, ONE TIME ANGELS

(Meow Meow) I'm going to suggest that my aerobics teacher start using (International) Noise Conspiracy songs on her Cardio-Combat mixer tapes. They're just so gosh darn peppy and in your face, they make me want to shake all around and do triple-knee repeaters and crap. My esteemed colleague Ms. Shepherd aptly described them, saying, "It's like listening to the Partridge Family tell me about revolution, but with more distortion." One Time Angel is good time, mellow rock with the occasional screaming guitar (points for that) and an adept, low-voiced, nonchalant singer. See OTA, they're better. KATIE SHIMER


VINNY GOLIA QUINTET

(Old Church) Vinny Golia, who will be playing nine separate woodwinds tonight, has been improvising for over 20 years, and you can tell: His compositions are all about free form, but have the coherence of songs that are painstakingly written. Golia's well-versed in avant-jazz, but his music tends toward the upbeat and bombastic, keeping you at the edge of your seat rather than slumped over and snoozing from his pretense. And, as if he needed another dimension of coolness, he contributed a composition to the music video Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation! His quintet tonight consists of the trés incroyable Nels Cline (guitar), Michael Vlatkovich (trombone), Scott Walton (bass), and Alex Clive (drums). JS

THE MERMEN

(Satyricon) The joy of surfing is in the balance between order and the absolute chaos of a wipe-out; balancing lightly on a board that is carefully balancing between the rise and crash of the ocean. While the surf music pioneers used songs as dim-witted narratives about the "lifestyle," neo-surf music, at its best, has been able to bottle this delicate balance--and the Mermen are neo-surf music at its best. A swirl of effervescent high-note guitar picking and big-bottomed bass lines, their songs move between slow, meandering psychedelia and fast, pounding dance beats. PHIL BUSSE


FRIDAY 12/7

VNV NATION

(Paris) VNV Nation are rave soundtrackers. They blend orchestral, techno-electronic sounds with industrial beats, creating a full noise explosion that is optimistic enough for any drug trip or dance party. It's not inaccessible to the electronic beginner either; they're univerally appealing, much like Madonna's Ray of Light--but not all lame and overproduced. I dare say that VNV is the sleeper hit of this Friday, especially for the all-agers. KS

ANGELS OF LIGHT, VIRGIL SHAW, CARISSA'S WIERD

(Berbati's) See Feature pg 11

THE ATARIS, ALL, DIESELBOY

(Roseland) Hopefully you were young enough during the Descendents' heyday to have fully related to the fact that most of their lyrics could have been taken straight out of the notes passed around in school. Since then, they have sort of morphed into All, which is almost the same and almost as good. As far as live music goes, it's one of the few punk bands that still laughs at fart jokes and boogers, and that (probably) wouldn't cut off your hands if they saw you even looking at a Pottery Barn. Still, the All experience mostly makes you want to go home and jump up and down on the bed with headphones on, listening to the Descendents mix tape a boyfriend made you 10 years ago. MS

ROOTS OF ORCHIS, EVEN JOHANSEN, THE VELVET TEEN

(Blackbird) Go early for the Velvet Teen's Casio beats, textural guitars and GREAT, sincere, un-strained falsetto boy vocals. There's a little pop and a little Britain in there, too. You will fall in love with them (or to them), I swear. JS See Music pg 14

AVEO, CHEVRON, MINE THIRTY-SEVEN, EX-BESTFRIENDS

(Meow Meow) Mine Thirty-Seven is a pop band, but a pop band with a unique, fast sophistication. There are no boring riffs or one dimensional fills here, just a lot of really talented, melodic stuff that flirts a little with punk, and will absolutely not bore you. Chevron is also good, but in a different way--harder, fuzzier guitar, lyrics that are sparse, but screaming and abrasive when they are there. KD


SATURDAY 12/8

HANDMADE BAZAAR STARRING STEVE KRAMP, ROY TINSEL, RAKI, MORE

(PS What?, 1968 SW 5th, noon-6 pm) Shopping malls pump tin-canned Muzak, or Mannheim Steamroller Christmas, through their sound systems so your neurotransmitters will be stimulated to buy at all times. We are all aware of this phenomena, and yet it's easy to fall victim to it. Seriously--how many times have you heard "White Christmas" and, as a result, wanted to buy a pair of earmuffs? But at the Handmade Bazaar, not only will you be able to purchase locally-made gifts for your loved ones during this blessed holiday season, you can hear the live acoustic music of Steve Kramp, Roy Tinsel, Raki, and others! Hey, even if it's a ploy to stimulate your buying power, at least you'll be contributing to the local economy rather than the one that sustains the pocketbooks of all those tyrannical assholes in Washington. And thank god, you won't have to hear "Jingle Bell Rock" at all! JS

WOLF EYES, SMEGMA, OFFICE PRODUCTS

(Disjecta) For some, part of Wolf Eyes' draw is certainly the fact that the music they make is so totally marginal, only a small handful of people will ever like it. And it's really more performance art than music, at least in the definitive sense of the word--or social commentary, at the very least. Wolf Eyes, who have obviously been scarred in some way from living in Detroit, find a bunch of junky pedals, keyboards, and drum machines to make noises and screeches that sound like malfunctioning technology. It's corrupt, it's noisy, they scream a lot, and it might make you totally uncomfortable--which is exactly why you should go. It's okay if you hate it, because there's certainly a lot to hate. (I personally hate it, yet I am going, because I am totally curious as to how it will be interpreted live.) Office Products--two of Portland's more interesting noise surgeons--and Smegma open. JS

DISTRACTED CD RELEASE

(Billy Ray) Even though they may not be the most original band in the world, I have an affinity for Distracted because of their heavy, fuzzy, rock guitar and crash drums. Their rock songs build to climax with the help of pronounced, top-of-the-lungs vocals that, while good, could actually stand to be turned down a bit so you can hear more of the clipped punk riffs and spacey, plucked bass. Plus, they're playing at Billy Ray's, so Northeasterners like myself can enjoy an evening of stumbling home drunk. KS

ROCK*A*TEENS, THE MINDERS, PARAMORE

(Blackbird) Paramore, with their simple melodies and pared-down guitars, is one of those bands you'll like to bop your head to. There's nothing spectacular about their sound, and nothing new; they're just happy pop music that's without any guise of pretense or false cuteness. Their vocalist, Stuart Valentine, sings totally innocent lyrics like "you amaze me," always a little flat, and it ends up being sort of endearing. The Rock*a*Teens, from Cabbagetown, GA, play midtempo pop with sweet organs and great vocals belted out in the tradition of the dudes from James and Kitchens of Distinction. If Paramore doesn't make you forget the world sucks for a minute, hold on to the bar bumper, cause the Rock*a*Teens are pretty fantastic. JS

THE INVISIBLE DOCTORS

(Goodfoot) The following is a letter received by the Mercury events email on Nov. 28, 2001: "Hello. I'm writing in regards to the Invisible Doctors. We have an upcoming show at the Goodfoot Lounge on 12/8. We'd really appreciate a small write-up in the 'Up & Coming' section of your paper. We are a local Hammond Organ-fronted jazz/rock quartet. Now before you stop reading and delete this message, we have attempted to contact you about this several times. We've gone to the front desk, gave you several posters and CDs as well. I know you are typically an alt-rock oriented magazine, but the focus is local for most other facets in town, but local music seems to get a back seat. The Invisible Doctors are ready and willing to work with a magazine like yours to get the very disjointed music scene going again. The days of Calobo and Five Fingers are now seemingly no longer. The new wave (pardon the expression) must begin. We've sent CDs to Julianne Sheppard [sic] and Katia Dunn as well as a couple of others. If you are not willing to give us a spot in U&C, please e-mail me the name of the person you are going to send to the show for a review for upcoming shows. Again, we'd appreciate your support in this. We enjoy your magazine and would like a solid alliance with your writing staff. Thanks. The Invisible Doctors"

LIQUID STARRING GIANNI, KUMA, MISS MUVA

(Fez) I have a videotape of Osaka's DJ Kuma at this warehouse party a couple years ago, spinning really precise, super-fast techno, and I watch it when I'm feeling lazy, because Kuma is an inspiration. The man uses three turntables, and hits every beat like it's his very bloodline, flipping records all around like a lunatic but still managing to do the obligatory cute DJ face whenever he throws in a surprise beat. At that party, I spent a lot of time trying to dance, but eventually gave up and joined the crowd around the surely caffeine-powered Kuma; his personality and speed-of-light record swapping was far too intriguing to ignore. JS

LIFESAVAS, OLDOMINION (SYNDEL, TONI HILL, SMOKE, NYQUILL, SNAFU, ONRY OZZBORN), DJ WICKED, CHILDREN OF THE THORN W/NICK V

(Lewis & Clark College) The students at Lewis & Clark have recently started a Student Hiphop Coalition, through which they intend to incorporate all four elements of hiphop into their daily lives, and spread the word that social change and hiphop are intrinsically linked. This is the first show they've put on, and it's a goodie--Portland's Lifesavas, DJ Wicked, the Bay Area's Children of the Thorn. Don't forget Oldominion, which not only includes a whole shitload of guys who rhyme in unison, but also features Syndel, who is one of the tightest emcees in the Northwest and one of the few lady emcees in Northwest underground hiphop with any recognition. (Props also to the ONE lady out of 62 contestants who entered the Freestyle Battle at the Hiphop Tonight event a couple weeks ago.) Female emcees, where are you?! JS


SUNDAY 12/9

PIGFACE, GRAVITY KILLS, GODHEAD

(Roseland) Pigface often resembles a slo-mo train wreck, a whirlwind of musical chaos too confusing and mesmerizing to turn away from, even when the carnage approaches an unnatural dimension. This Chicago-based industrial collective celebrates a decade this year, and its ringleader, former Killing Joke and PiL drummer Martin Atkins, has assembled another all-star cast of underground heroes to experiment with his multi-headed monster. Starring singer Meg Lee Chin, Thrill Kill Kult bassist Charles Levi, and former Ministry and RevCo vocalist Chris Connelly, this show promises to be completely unpredictable. DAVID SLATTON

FRUIT BATS, LAUREL CANYON, LITTLE WINGS

(Blackbird) I usually like to stay far, far away from terms like "jazz pop" or "new wave punk," or other dumb combo terms that just reference each other. However, I can think of no better way to describe the Fruit Bats other than "folk pop." It's like they invented the term or something. Happy, spastic vocals accompany the standard folk guitar. This seems like an appropriate match for Laurel Canyon, who are the saddest, most mellow band in Portland, with their lullaby vocals and guitar picked so sadly, you'd think they were on their deathbeds. KD


MONDAY 12/10

DOWNWAY, JETLAG, GUESTS

(Meow Meow) My worst nightmare: opening my door to a truckload of Pennywise CDs--20,000 Pennywise CDs, just dumped on my front porch. That actually happened to this record label once, after a series of circumstances too convoluted to be illuminated here, at least according to Ezra "I know everything about music" Ace. I bring this up because Downway's melodic pop punk is so standard it might as well be easy listening. JS

ALPHABET DRESS STARRING BIG YEAH, MARQUIS DE SUAVE, ART BY SYDNEY LYTLE

(Oak St. Bldg, 425 SE Oak, 6 pm) It's Alphabet Dress time again, the roving gallery that throws the parties, puts the unappreciated art on the walls, and invites great musical acts to pull it all together and keep it from feeling like a big old snobby art gallery. Tonight, abstract art by Sydney Lytle is musically represented by the super soul of Big Yeah, and the drunk-ass country-punk of the million people in Marquis de Suave. JS


TUESDAY 12/11

THE SANTA ANA DRAGS

(Ash Street) Portland's Santa Ana Drags have that sloppy guitar sound and straightforward rock-pop songwriting that made the Gin Blossoms so popular back in the '90s. It's all right if you don't have FM radio and are beginning to feel nostalgic for that sound because hey! You're almost 35 and that's what typical Americans do--they get nostalgic for their youth--right? If you feel that way, definitely see the Santa Ana Drags, because they're pretty good for what they do, and they're not misogynists (which, for bands in the bar-band genre, is one of the highest compliments). JS


WEDNESDAY 12/12

LISA LOEB, PHIL CODY

(Roseland) I know! I know! "Why in the world would I want to see Lisa Loeb? I'm SO over her." Well, consider this: Don't you think it's freaky that arts editrix Julianne Shepherd and Lisa Loeb look EXACTLY alike? (Both may deny it, but since both also live in constant states of denial, why should we trust them?) Not only do they look EXACTLY alike, but they also sound exactly alike. And I know this because I've heard Julianne do a karaoke version of "Stay" and when she sings "You say/ I only hear what I want to/ I don't listen hard, don't pay attention to the distance that you're running/ To anyone, anywhere/ I don't understand if you really care/ I'm only hearing negative: no, No, NO, NO!!!"--well, it's really creepy. So that's why you should see this show, if only to prove to yourself that everyone has an evil doppelganger. And for Lisa Loeb, it's Julianne. WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY


GOING TO SEATTLE?

Thurs 12/6: P. Diddy (Showbox)

Sat 12/8: DJ Food & DK, Bonobo, Four Tet (I-Spy)

For more info, visit www.thestranger.com

New Releases
Dec. 11: Richard Devine, Dntel*


*=may actually turn out okay

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