THURSDAY 6/13 ELECTRIC WIZARD, SONS OF OTIS, UNEARTHLY TRANCE, YOB (Satyricon) Electric Wizard drags itself back to Portland like a brontosaurus with two broken legs, and one of the most lauded extreme metal tours returns with a whole roster of minds bent on creating the slowest, heaviest music imaginable. Ten years ago, Birmingham, England birthed another dirty sprat with hate in its belly and Lovecraft tales in its rotten brain. Electric Wizard defines doom metal in the purest sense, avoiding that good-time stoner feel to concentrate on epic catastrophe molded into mighty riffs and mournful screams. Canadian psych/groove stompers, Sons of Otis, play with enough bounce for the less devout to bang their heads to. Unearthly Trance yawn forth some quality doom/death, and openers Yob prove that you can be the heaviest band from Oregon EVER, and still be the sweetest three guys you could hope to meet. NATHAN CARSON SEXTIONAL, CRACK: WAR, DIK YELLOW SWANS, MILLIONS OF DISMEMBERED HANDBAGS (Fast Forward, 6616 NE MLK) If you haven't noticed, the demise of the dotcom has done wonders for the art and music coming out of the SF Bay Area. And, like the oppressive regime that fosters so much scary improv in Italy, the SF artists have felt enough fascist pressure that rocking the noise/exploding electro dance parties come the easiest--like putting mics on the neuroses of an entire abandoned city--and the line between electronics and punk rock have been permanently abolished. One of the Bay Area's newest cultural innovators is a cold disco group called Crack: We Are Rock (Crack:WAR)--discordant, detached punk electro w/vocals that will cause minimalist circuit jams. With the Tami Hart/Emily Haggard/Nikki Rotophone brooding sex rock trio, Sextional. JULIANNE SHEPHERD THE THERMALS, FINESSE (Fresh Pot on Mississippi, 8 pm) Fans of two of Portland's most wonderful, effacing, blanket-furry pop bands--Slower Than and Tennis--brace yourselves: Finesse is rumored to be Tennis redux. Remember the wonderfully slow boy harmonies that were as nonsensical as Tennis' disbanding? The lush guitar melodies and ice-crushing drumming? You love it. Accompanying them: newbies The Thermals, featuring Hutch & Kathy, Jordan Operacycle, and Ben KoLS playing simple, close-to-the-wire smartpunk that sounds like it's from early '80s Australia. JS BRATMOBILE, THE BADGER KING, GLASS CANDY (Meow Meow) Bratmobile's new album, Girls Get Busy, is a fun showcase of "girl power" in a very un-ironic, unforced way. They're smart women making music simply to make music, not to "sell" products (or feminism) to an audience. And instead of coming off all preachy with their feminist attitudes, they approach it all in good fun. The last time I saw Bratmobile, their energy was kicked up a notch compared to recordings, and lead singer Allison Wolfe danced around like a happy cartoon character. MEGAN SELING HEROES & VILLAINS BAND (Guild Theatre) A configuration of Heroes and Villains films made by the Tiny Picture Club, as scored by Kyle Little Wings, Jona & Ritchey Badger King, and maybe Adam Yume Bitsu, and some other people. JS See Film FRIDAY 6/14 POISON IDEA, FREAKSHOW RODEO, NEW WAVE HOOKERS, THE SPEDS (Satyricon) Long standing Portland punks, Poison Idea, headline this evening's show with attitude, blood, and hard-hitting riffs, while New York Dolls impersonators The New Wave Hookers will leave you postulating about the early rock scene in the Big Apple. The Speds represent Portland's younger generation of punk rockers with their fiery energy and singalong choruses. JOEL JETT SYSTEMWIDE CD RELEASE, HEAVYWEIGHT DUB CHAMPION, GREENSTAR, MIKE STEVENS (Ohm) Systemwide is a Portland favorite who seems to have been around these parts forever, but still produces solid dub consistently. They're a lot of mixed-up bass and dub, and reference Jamaican, jazz, and hiphop, and have a new CD called Pure and Applied. KATIA DUNN BLAK SCIENZ TRIBE, MADGESDIQ, KIEW-NIKON, MIC CRENSHAW, MORE (Meow Meow) See Music SUMERLAND, THE SWEET SCIENCE, BRAINWARMER (Jasmine Tree) Brainwarmer is a strange local band, whose latest album in no way actually includes Elliott Smith, but is called Elliot Smith's Guitar. It's a random medley of super-poppy pop, trippy instrumental samples, and melodic, crooning girl voices who sings, "I love you, but I think you're kind of an asshole." KD DOLOMITES, VAGABOND OPERA, GIN GANG (Blackbird) Put simply, if you want to get dirty at the Three Penny Opera, stay at home and watch some Monty Python videos. But if you wanna live your life like a handlebar-mustachioed con man or a swindling, slutty French maid, you will attend the elaborate vaudevillian gypsy performance of Dolomites, with their new side project, Gin Gang. JS E*ROCK, NICEDISC (Madame Butterfly) …And, speaking of abolishing the line between punk and electro… Brooklyn's Nicedisc pairs abstract video images with low-budge, Gameboy sampling and total noise--like taking your Coleco and burning it to pieces--the pretty sound of digital pain. JS BONNIE RAITT (Schnitzer) Hot Mercury gossip: Bonnie Raitt almost became my mommy. About ten years back or so, my (divorced) father was in Hawaii, where he ran into Ms. Raitt at some sort of fundraiser or something. Let me remind you that this entire story is based upon what my dad once told me, so the details might be either slightly exaggerated, totally false, or a combination of the two. My father is quite the looker (it skips a generation in the Martinez clan), and allegedly Bonnie Raitt was really putting the moves on him. Dad let her down lightly--red-headed blues guitarists ain't his thing--but I'd like to think my Dad and Bonnie Raitt where a couple margaritas away from hooking up, falling in love, and getting married. The end. CARMELO MARTINEZ SATURDAY 6/15 WADSWORTH, C AVERAGE, BURNING CINDYS (Blackbird) I'm serious this time; if you haven't seen Wadsworth yet, do. They are one of Portland's metal gems, and their playing just keeps getting tighter. Two-piece former metalheads C Average need to come back to the hard rocking days in order to win themselves back into my heart (they're too tame these days), but I will see them regardless in hopes that the shift is in the mail. And the hard-rocking Burning Cindys add some energetic singing so we don't all spin into an instrumetal mind spiral. KS SPACE-AGE MUTANT HAYRIDE STARRING THAT 1 GUY, SILENCEO, SPACEFERRY, MORE (B Complex) This is a multimedia attempt to combine the Wild West with the Final Frontier… thank God someone has finally gone and done it. Ambiance will include an illuminated cactus garden, blacklight lunar interactive mural project, and flying saucer crash site photo kiosk. That One Guy trips out on a giant pipe conglomeration which borders on… dare I say it… Burning Man entertainment. An alien fashion show dazzles with cosmic cowboy duds, and with flaming hoola-hoops, El Circo the fire performance troupe sets the room ablaze. I don't know what to make of this event, but my instincts say it might be a little bit hippie. KS WITCH MOUNTAIN, MEN OF PORN, ARGONAUT (Ash Street) I used to have some disdain for Portland's Witch Mountain, probably because they had a picture of a giant breast as a mountain on their last album cover, which is tack-o-rama. Listening to their new shit, though, I have to say their low sludgy guitars are right on, and their ripping guitar solos are ridiculously good. The vocalist makes them lean towards stoner rock with a bit of whiny discord, but the shredding metal makes up for it. KS SIAMESE, GRAYAREA (Goodfoot) Siamese is live drum-n-bass from Seattle, and their music is trippy, frantic, and strange, but still manages to captivate. Plus, the band has an earnest, interesting mission statement: "This band further exemplifies the human's ability to reverse engineer their most favored dance musics and create a newform sound," which basically means they draw and reference a lot from other people, but still end up doing something unique. Smart enough for you? KD SUNDAY 6/16 ROCK N SHOP: THE FLIP-TOPS, ELECTRIC EYE, CAPTAIN VS. CREW, KING LOUIE, RALLY BOY, CALVIN JOHNSON, DUSTIN HAMMAN, SHOE SHINE BLUE, THE DECEMBERISTS, LUTHER RUSSELL, A.C. COTTON, SLIMMOONSOLO (Billy Ray's, 2-10 pm) The Northwest is really a hotbed for independent record labels, especially now that labels elsewhere have either already sold, or are rumored to be selling, to bigger, corporate labels (more on that later). Today, you get to peruse a bunch of independent labels' wares and watch their artists play bitchin' shows. Representing labels: K, Johnny Cat, Cavity Search, Extra Ball, Dirtnap, Jealous Butcher, Vinyl Warning, Magic Marker, Corn Whiskey, FilmGUERRERO, Little Brother, Dragnet, In Music We Trust, Hush, KNW-YR-OWN. HOLY CANNOLI! Also selling stuff is my personal favorite label, 5 Rue Christine, and while you're there you should buy the new Deerhoof record from them, cause it's like the most brilliant thing I have heard in a million years. So yeah. Represent, for entry is free. JS A LUNA RED, POINT LINE PLANE, BOXSTEP, AUTOMATON (Blackbird) The sexy-as-fuck Vancouver quartet, A Luna Red, will unquestionably be letting loose tonight with their arsenal of keyboards, doomed vocals and drum machines. Featuring a member of the completely underrated Radio Berlin, A Luna Red are like a top-shelf mixture of European fashion, Nietzsche and Dead Can Dance. Something must be in the steady heroin flow that passes through Vancouver, because between A Luna Red, Radio Berlin, and the newest Sub Poppers Hot Hot Heat, the city is proving far more valuable than that delicious Tylenol with Codeine they sell over-the-counter. If you wear black on the outside because black is how you feel on the inside, this show is for you. CM THE BADGER KING, THE CULOTTES, CASIOTONE FOR THE PAINFULLY ALONE, CARL VS. CARL (Nicole's, 617 NE Fremont, 10 am) For those of you who like breakfast and music, there is a 100 percent chance these musicians will NOT be as annoying or banal as the 95.5 Morning Playhouse. In fact, they will be quite charming. And vegan. JS MONDAY 6/17 NINA NASTASIA, CARISSA'S WIERD, BOXSTEP (Dante's) See Music TUESDAY 6/18 HUTCH & KATHY RECORD RELEASE PARTY (Meow Meow) Hutch & Kathy used to be the Urban Legends, but changed their name to Hutch & Kathy, which are their actual given names. Their new record, eponymous as it were, lends a charming rattle to the realms of indiepop and acoustic, guitar-drum cheeriness, and the happiest harmonies, plus a harmonica! You will, like, pass out with joy. JS FRANK GRATOWSKI QUARTET (Community Music Center) Frank Gratowski is one of the world's greatest woodwind performers; he will be entertaining/improvising on altosax, clarinet, bass clarinet, contrabassclarinet and flute, while also subsequently blowing minds and pushing boundaries. Mention the Frank Gratowski Quartet in a room full of jazz musicians, and what do you get? A room full of jazz musicians salivating. It's true. JS ADAM SELZER, JOE HAEGE, JESSICA SLAVIC, MARK BURDEN, BRANDON BARNHILL, ZAK RILES, ERIC MAST (Disjecta) Whether the singer should depart from the band is debatable; we all saw what happened to Ryan Adams when he left Whiskeytown. (Drunken yelling, harassment, narcissism, and his music wasn't that good, besides.) Then again, Mary Timony (WOOO!!!!) ditched Helium and became more refined and better. Several locals search for an answer, or maybe just sing some frigging songs outside their band context, in this solo show of boys (and girl) from some of PDX's favorites: Norfolk & Western, 31knots, Glacier Park, Get Hustle, The Forty-First, Peace Harbor, and Supersprite, respectively. Do they stand on their own? Will they use pedals? Will someone fulfill my dream and just do an interpretive dance, already? JS DIESTO, THE MASS (Ash Street) The Bay Area's The Mass is a pretty rad hard rock band with gripping, ominous minor-chord guitars, tense solos, and off-kilter timing. They also have a saxophone, but unlike Sweep's seamless gypsy blending, The Mass does more of a skronky thing, plus traditional jazz transitioning, which is definitely atypical and an interesting idea, but doesn't quite work on disc. They are probably really great live, though. JS WEDNESDAY 6/19 MARY TIMONY, THE INTIMA, THE STANDARD (Blackbird) See Music BLACKALICIOUS, ONRY OZZBORN, DJ ZEPH (Crystal) This is to make up for the show Blackalicious cancelled last month, suspiciously replacing Cannibal Ox on the Crystal's calendar. (Can Ox cancelled their whole tour.) See Onry Ozzborn, too; he's a force. JS LIARS ACADEMY, BRANDSTON, GUESTS (Meow Meow) Nothing annoys me more than a vocalist that sings with mock sincerity or pain. This makes up about 98 percent of the bands on alterna-radio, and Brandtson follows the trend. Their guitars whine away with similar theatrics, but are actually quite tolerable because the noise is intriguingly soaring and biting. The cheesy vocals make my eyes roll back into my head, though, so I can't recommend them. Liars Academy, on the other hand, play pretty good guitar rock--occasionally poppy, passionate, and spruced up by the help of two gut-singing vocalists. KS ROCKET 350, HUSSY, DIEJOBS (Satyricon) For more than any other incarnation of musician, the average life expectancy for a true-grit rockabilly is frighteningly short. Hank Williams? Eddie Cochran! Perhaps it is a curse, or maybe just the lifestyle led by the muscle-car, rockabilly celebs; if so, then the three outstanding members of Rocket 350 should make certain that their business affairs are in order! Rocket 350 is arguably the best rockabilly band currently touring. (And I'm sure that they will be willing to argue with you, if you care, and knock your damn teeth down the back of your throat!) The only difference from their rockabilly idols is that, with guitars and bass drums hammering like pistons in overdrive, Rocket 350 makes that old-time music seem like it's in the slow lane. PHIL DOT BUSSE GOING TO SEATTLE? Fri 6/14: Punk Rock Prom w/Milemarker (Graceland) Sat 6/15: BOTCH'S LAST SHOW (Showbox) Wed 6/19: Mary J. Blige (KeyArena) For more info, visit New Releases June 18: Atom and His Package*, The Casket Lottery, Chumbawamba, Coldplay, The Cripples*, Da Outfit, Fury, Go Go Go Airheart*, Gore Gore Girls*,Guided by Voices, Hot Snakes*, Pere Ubu* * = hotlanta