Up & Coming 

THURSDAY 5/16

NYARLATHOTEP, COMAVOID, YOB

(Ash Street, 225 SW Ash) Holy smokes. Dramatic horror movie piano playing, interspersed with spooky samples, like cymbal shimmers, howling, whispering, wind screams, and hollow-room echos. Nyarlathotep scored the Lovecraft film by the same name, and are amazingly talented. They surpass the darkness of Angelo Badalamenti's (Twin Peaks) compositions with their non-linear experimentalism, so if you're looking for something entirely different, this explores another dimension. KATIE SHIMER

THE RED LIGHT STING, SCIENCE OF YABRA, SLEETMUTE/NIGHTMUTE

(Fast Forward, 6616 NE MLK) Canada has been scoring points all over the place with their bands lately, perhaps making it slightly more tolerable that they are the only lucky country in North America that regularly imports Kinder Eggs. (Thank God for my black market Kinder Egg connection.) Next in line: The Red Light Sting, a sneery, distorted keys-n-guitar punk band with hottttt, screamed man/lady vocals and a toughass attitude that's closer to the passionate steam of Milemarker than the moist milk of the Faint. With GREAT, neat, creative melodies, their songs spark and pop with livewire energy--you can bet their live show will have you on the ground writhing. Also, Portland's Science of Yabra kicks major motherhumpin' ass. Très exciting! J'adore le Canada! JULIANNE SHEPHERD

NO. 13 BABY, SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY, AUTOMATON

(Berbati's, 231 SW Ankeny) Here is a dilemma: See the real Frank Black for $5 million, or see the Pixies cover band, No. 13 Baby, for very cheap; take a chance and hope that Frank's new stuff is interesting, or go to the show where you know all the songs by heart and will hear them played with near perfection; hear the real thing, or hear an imitation that will be better than the real thing. The choice is yours, but I can guarantee that if you choose No. 13 Baby, you won't be disappointed. MILKIA DUNN

BICYCLE, JOHN OSZAJCA, TRACHTENBERG FAMILY SLIDE SHOW PLAYERS, MORE

(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Basically, all of these bands are going on a big tour from show to show on their bikes. Portland's The Haggard has already done something like this, but they didn't end it all in a big razzle-dazzle party at the Roseland, with performance art and rock music. The main band, bicycle, is obviously obsessed with biking, so that was the impetus for the whole shebang. Their music goes both ways--some is really well-written, neat and smart pop music, and some of it is a distorted blend of poppy punk, strategically placed electro beats, and twangy vocals that's so accessible it's practically bent over for Clear Channel. But it's not terrible--you might end up liking it, if you hear it enough times. JS


FRIDAY 5/17

TRIGGERS, THE FLIP-TOPS DOUBLE RECORD RELEASE, THE GAYS, FM KNIVES

(Satyricon, 125 NW 6th) This show is jam-packed with record release action from the super, rough-and-tumble Triggers, whose vocalist channels Slits-style damage while the guitars and drums slap you into punk submission. They're a good time all right, catchy and tuff and full of the punk rock energy you know you love. JS

EAST COAST BOOGIEMEN, KEN CHRISTENSEN, JUAN ZAPATA, BEN & RAVI

(Ohm, 31 NW 1st) East Coast Boogiemen is a duo of geeky electronic kids that met in college in Virginia in 1996. Since then, they've gone from being a set of chill, college DJs, to playing a regular gig at a happening club in DC, to touring like crazy all over the US. Their sound is, like all electronic music, a mix of all different artists and references, so it's hard to pin them down. According to them, however, they're influenced by Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, the Fatback Band and Prince. Plus, they have an unusual setup: six turntables and two mixers. MOIST, MILKY DUNN

FACE TO FACE, MIDTOWN, THRICE, MOVIE LIFE

(Crystal, 1332 W Burnside) A few years back, I caught an in-store performance by Face to Face at a Southern California record store. In between songs, the band was constantly plugging their new record and asking, if not begging, the crowd to call the local Alternative radio station and request their new single which they needed to "push." The only thing that would have justified this awkward situation would be the band's A&R guy with a gun to singer Trevor Keith's head. But of course, that was not the case. In fact, Face to Face has been trying to sell out for years now--it's just that the kids still aren't really buying it. Good thing their label, Vagrant Records, just got bought out by Interscope--otherwise they'd be out of place with their tourmates: Midtown (MCA), Thrice (just signed to Island) and The Movie Life (Drive Through, owned by RCA). Hooray for corporate punk! CARMELO MARTINEZ

CHAIN REACTION TOUR STARRING TIKIMAN

(Blackbird, 3728 NE Sandy) According to Elliott, the organizer of this show, we are very lucky here in Portland, because this is one of the few stops Tikiman will be making on his West Coast Tour. Tiks started making music as a kid, under the supervision of Imperial Majesty Jah Rastafari, and incorporates Jamaican dub influences as well and jungle beats. Tikiman's cohort Scion adds delay and effects to his mellow vocal stylings. KATIE SHIMER

TOUGH LOVE, THE BELLANASTI, ROBOTS IN DISGUISE

(Billy Ray's, 2216 NE MLK) A newish band with a whole lotta rock inside, Tough Love may not be the tightest group out there, but they're one of the scrappiest. With energy and panache, they pound out the Stones-style dance tricks through hot guitar solos, a screaming, drop-to-your-knees vocalist, and sometimes, a trio of fancy ladies singing back-up harmonies. JS


SATURDAY 5/18

HELLA, EX-MODELS, THE SECONDS, THE FORMLESS

(Blackbird) Oh my! What do we have here? Hmm... Hella, the greatest guitar-drum duo in the entire universe... Ex-Models, the punk rock intelligentsia... The Seconds, who punch angles into the dancefloor... and The Formless, a newish Portland duo with a serious White Stripes thang going on!... Oh! Oh my! This show just bit me, and I liked it! JS See Music pg 19

SKIPTRACE, WONDERLICK

(Satyricon) Wonderlick is Jay Blumenfield and Tim Quirk of Too Much Joy, a band that's either gone or on hiatus, depending on who you ask. The duo's previous affiliation is worth mentioning because, for all their determination to have their new project judged on its own merits, their goofy jangle-pop roots are still showing--cheerfully punky, with their unaffected vocals threading through the music. GENEVIEVE WILLIAMS

ELVIS COSTELLO & THE IMPOSTERS

(Roseland) Naturally, if you don't already have a ticket for this show, you're crap out of luck, and this review isn't for you. It's for those who already have tickets. Hey, ticket holders! I've seen your glassy-eyed stares of adulation at Mr. Costello's earlier concerts, and while I'm sure you would have a great time if he simply walked onstage and crapped in a bucket, you might even have a better time if you dropped your expectations just a weeeeeeee bit. His latest disc shows a good bit more energy that previous efforts--he's no spring chicken anymore! So don't go expecting him to crash around the stage à la the "What's So Funny About Peace, Love and Understanding" video. What you can probably expect is a lot of low-key crooning and an audience comprised of fawning fans who appear to be looking upon the Messiah himself. WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY

PCC BATTLE OF THE BANDS

(Portland Meadows, 7 pm) Portland Community College's battle of the bands commences. Among them: the live hiphop of The Ill-Conceived with MC Gen.Erik and DJ Aero, who blend pretty good production and neat samples--nothing regurgitated at all, which is exciting--with Gen.Erik's honest and sometimes humorous lyrics. JS

RAY BROWN TRIO

(Multnomah Arts Center, 7688 SW Capitol Hwy) Bassist Ray Brown has played with Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald, Quincy Jones, Milt Jackson, and a bunch of other people. It would do your filthy mind some good to check him out, missy. JS

LAMPLIGHTER, THE SWEET SCIENCE, DECEPTION PASS, THE GETTER FLASH, THE DUTCH FLAT, BUILDING PRESS

(Jasmine Tree, 401 SW Harrison) Woodson Lateral Records is releasing this comp of Northwest bands (mostly to the North of us), and this is the release party. It's a pretty good one for sure, that comp (titled Mass Transit), packed with intelligent, mostly brooding, guitar-based indierock. Tonight, Portland's Dutch Flat represents for our town, while Seattle's awesome, prog-tastic Building Press, artfully dramatic, sensuous Sweet Science, the lush and pretty laptopians Lamplighter, plus a host of others, help celebrate. JS

THE KNITTERS

(Aladdin, SE Milwaukie & Powell) The Knitters features three-quarters of X, with John Doe, singer Exene Cervenka, and drummer D. J. Bonebrake, joined by Blasters guitarist Dave Alvin and Jonny Ray Bartel on upright bass. They copped the name the Knitters from folk group the Weavers, and put together a handful of covers and acoustic countrified versions of X songs played with loving irreverence. Part of the devotion and homage of Knitters' fans springs from the fact that the band introduced a lot of punks and indie types to hick music they probably never would have given a chance otherwise--and in many cases, showed them that rebellion has a history that goes deeper than the late '70s punk cul-de-sac: It stretches all the way back to the hills. NATE LIPPENS

IKNOWKUNGFU, CATHOLIC SCHOOL GIRLS, 800 OCTANE, THE HIGH & THE MIGHTY

(Ash Street) Relatively new to Portland, High & The Mighty are the poster band for "musicians wanted" classified ads. Recently transplanted from northern California, Patrick Foss responded to an ad for a guitarist for '60s classic garage rock and '70s punk. Although Foss has a laid-back stoner demeanor, his guitaring is Tex-Mexicali meanness--a slightly bawdy twang and rough-edge reverb. Loud, fun, and unabashedly quintessential garage rock. PHIL DOT BUSSE


SUNDAY 5/19

20 MINUTE LOOP, THE VESPERTINES, STATESIDE

(Satyricon) The noisy pop of 20 Minute Loop is extremely polished, with exactly the right amount of distortion, keyboards, drums, dynamics, harmonies, etc. It's very perfectly done, with the pretty voice of Kelly Atkins sweeping gaily across the top. It's wonderful, although one may find oneself searching for an edge, and at certain points it's a little too much like a really, really, really good Partridge Family. But live, they execute the songs with the same gloss and professionalism as on their records, and so if you love pop, you should go. Also, Stateside are about to become The Joggers (more on that later), so check them out for the last time in their current incarnation. JS

AHN TRIO

(Reed College, 3203 SE Woodstock) The Ahn Trio's press release, which talks about the young sisters' already fruitful career at Julliard, casually, embarrassedly mentions that, "okay, [they're] beautiful!" Look, people, let's not beat around the bush: The Ahn Trio is probably some of the hottest classical musicians that ever lived. That, and they're playing modern music by Kenji Bunch, Michael Nyman, and Astor Piazzolla, furthering their hotness. JS


MONDAY 5/20

JACK WRIGHT/BOB MARSH, BILL HORIST/JEAN-PAUL JENKINS, DOUG THERIAULT, SUPER-UNITY 10-TETETTE

(Disjecta, 116 NE Russell) Compellingly, Jack Wright, aka "The Johnny Appleseed of Improv," will be planting his saxophone's seed in Portland, along with cellist Bob Marsh. Also playing: guitarists Bill Horist, Jean Paul Jenkins, and Doug Theriault, presumably ripping a hole in the fabric of time with their guitars. The Super-Unity 10-Tetette celebrates a release on Rasbliutto Recordings and their last performance in awhile, as some of their members are moving. With a cache of saxophones, drums, other woodwinds, and a sensibility John Cage could be proud of, Super-Unity humps minimal chaos on the free improv. Freaky. JS


TUESDAY 5/21

GET HUSTLE, JONNY X & THE GROADIES, ORTHRELM, DUDE, YELLOW SWANS

(Disjecta) The superb hurt inflicted by Washington, DC free metal duo Orthrelm is rarely felt: a cold incision of jazz-mad noodlers that will leave you reeling like a fucking gopher at the county fair. Metal guitar skronk like a punch in the face that has to be seen to be believed. At press time, we heard that Jonny X & the Groadies are going to win the Battle of the Bands contest. No--they're going to slaughter it. Also slaughtering PDX are the noise-tastic duo of Dude, Yellow Swans, and the always-beckoning, goth-punk cabaret/piano extravaganze of the sensuous and tense Get Hustle. JS


WEDNESDAY 5/22

POISON THE WELL, GLASSJAW, VEX RED

(Meow Meow, 520 SE Pine) Poison the Well's newest record, Tear from the Red, is full of totally explosive, battering hardcore that is pretty sophisticated in that it's melodic and unpredictable, but still maintains the blood-curdling throat-puking that is important to all hardcore vocals. But wait! There's singing, too... little interludes in between songs in which their throat-puker, Jeff, carries a really pretty melody. It literally sounds like a battle of the bands between Sense Field and Botch, with the Botch side winning. HOWEVER, even though on paper that sounds pretty weird and awful, it's actually amazing and refreshing, especially when paired with the Well's ability to put advanced melody into their hardcore without losing any of the toughness. Most of their songs are about relationships, and they just signed with Atlantic, so if you don't go now, you'll probably be forced to catch them on some lame, product-oriented tour, so. Go. JS

SWORDS PROJECT, FCS NORTH, AXOLOTL

(Blackbird) Beautiful instrumental music descends like angels from the heavens: local kings and queens of emotional atmosphere, Swords Project, delicately nestled against the electronic fusion of pretty FCS North. Axolotl, who has intriguingly been called punk-jazz, snacks their cross-section of guitars and drums into an experimental, rhythmic h'ors d'oeuvres. MMmmmm, you will want to eat it up, like a morsel of chocolate! JS

FRANK BLACK & THE CATHOLICS

(Berbati's) During the Cult of Ray tour, I went to see Frank Black. I was a young, tortured teen and I was wearing some shoes purchased at the Goodwill, which were about two sizes too big. While drunkenly dancing, one shoe fell off. The show was packed; I couldn't find it anywhere. I had to spend the entire show balancing on one foot, so the other didn't get smashed. When the show was over, my shoe was gone, and I had to go the rest of the cold night shoeless. The point of this story is to illustrate the undying love I share with hundreds of other Frank Black fans. Even though we haven't really liked anything he's done for the past six years, we pathetically cling to a scrap of hope that the next thing he does will parallel the greatness of the Pixies. Maybe, during this show, that hope will be realized. NINE-LADIES-MILKING DUNN


GOING TO SEATTLE?

Thurs 5/16: Orange Goblin (Crocodile)

For more info, visit www.thestranger.com

New Releases May 21: Laurie Anderson, Breeders, Cordelia's Dad, Deadsy*, Bryan Ferry, Peter Murphy, Spitfires, Mary Timony, Tram, Trammps, Vomitory, Ugly Casanova

* = may actually be dating Drew Barrymore

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