Up & Coming 



THURSDAY 1/15

COHEED AND CAMBRIA, VAUX, JAMISON PARKER, BEAR VS. SHARK
(Nocturnal, 1800 E Burnside) Certainly, you can draw parallels to Coheed and Cambria--whether it's the Mars Volta's attempt to reinvent themselves as Rush, or the weathered emo vets in the Fire Theft who did them one better by actually writing a friggin' Rush record--it's been a long, strange trip for one-time punks who've begun playing with prog rock's high-floating ideals. However, Coheed and Cambria is not a prog band. At least not by choice. It's hard to believe that lead geek Claudio Sanchez woke up one day with a nine-point program to getting laid that happened to include writing a three-part musical saga about creation and growing the nappiest afro in indierock. Touring behind their latest album In Keeping Secrets Of Silent Earth: 3--a bloated concept disc so ridiculous that it had no choice but to absolutely shred--the group comes to Nocturnal this week, black lights in tow. TREVOR KELLEY



SARAH DOUGHER, SUPER XX MAN CD RELEASE
(Mississippi Pizza, 3552 N Mississippi, 8 pm) See CD Review pg 17



LUCKY DRAGONS, YACHT, DJ HOT AIR BALLOON
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrisson) See Music pg 17



CASIOTONE FOR THE PAINFULLY ALONE, ARRANGED MARRIAGE, JONNY X & THE GROADIES, THE BETTER TO SEE YOU WITH
(Hotel, 503 W Burnside, 8 pm) Last Thursday at 8:45 pm, MTV showed a Dimmu Borgir video. I have no idea when black metal became prime-time material, but that surprise only came in retrospect. At the time I was caught up in their storytelling, the creation of a world both terrifying and tempting. I have felt that way one other time, and that was watching Jonny X and the Groadies. They create moments of beautiful clarity, like lifting your body high off the ground, and smash them with a barrage of blinding light and searing noise, laughing as you fall. If only the Groadies were on prime-time. ETHAN SWAN



COUNTRY TEASERS, THE HUNCHES, A-FRAMES
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) See Music pg 18



DIGGABONE, SHED INC., SOLOVOX
(Fez, 316 SW 11th) If you visit the "Digganet," you can find Diggabone's eponymous website and sign its "diggalist." Digga, please. When not pushing its prefix in front of unsuspecting nouns, Diggabone cranks out the type of groovy, jammy, mellow-out-man tunes you'd expect from a band that plays bongos in front of psychedelic backdrops. Diggabone bills this show as its holiday recovery party, and it invites concert-goers to strap masks to the back of their heads in honor of Janus, god of January. While the group might be far-out enough to worship Janus in earnest, fans should probably use the buddy system, preparing with a partner to prevent being that one double-faced freak in the crowd. ANDREW MILLER



FRIDAY 1/16

BETTIE FORD, GINA NOELL, EMANEHT
(Ash Street, 225 SW Ash) Wait, okay, so what you're telling me is that Gina Noëll has been kicking around the Portland music scene with bands like LoveNancySugar for years now, and this is the first I've ever heard of her? Have I been DEAD? Am I a ZOMBIE? Am I this very minute a flesh-eating walking corpse, brought back to life by the deep, whispering singings of Noëll on her new solo album Letting Go of Strings? Am I a sightless ghoul fueled by nothing but track after track of hot, steamy songwriting, impeccable production values, and a slew of all-star guest musicians like keyboardist James Beaton? God, I hope so. That would be so COOL! JUSTIN WESCOAT SANDERS



TALES FROM THE BIRDBATH, SEAN CROGHAN
(Billy Ray's) Tales From The Birdbath is a duo of Seattle-ites playing simple, pleasant pop songs. Catchy and sweet, they're probably not going to blow anyone's mind, but as far as free shows go, this is a bargain--at least you know you're going to get something easy to listen to instead of some teenager fiddling around with reverb. The lightheartedness seems to contrast the reemergence of a solo Sean Croghan, who was last seen answering too many questions about You Know Who, and singing in his rock band Note Notas. That aside, his easy, country- and folk-tinged light rock, topped with a voice that's like a higher-pitched Springsteen, is definitely more woeful and edgy. MARJORIE SKINNER



RICHMOND FONTAINE, RADIO NATIONALS, GRAND CHAMPEEN
(Dante's) With the release of their eighth album, Post to Wire, Richmond Fontaine has firmly established themselves as Portland's most reliable band. They're just always going to be there for you, and that's all there is to it. Their balance between alt-country rock-outs and delicate soft stuff is as sure as ever, and lead singer Willy Vlautin's sweet, yearning lyrics seem to be actually trying to engage you in conversation. It's music like an old friend, slinging his arm over your shoulders as you guys walk down to the corner bar. JWS



KIESKAGATO, DESERT CITY SOUNDTRACK, BLITZEN TRAPPER, ODESSA CHEN
(Nocturnal) Blitzen Trapper sometimes packs their deft-fingered, ramblin' guitar rock under a soft-focus lens, but their melodies also make twangy allusions to the Flying Burrito Brothers, The Beatles, and, like, a muffler-free El Camino peeling out of the desert. With flipped-up male harmonies, they join a long line of Portland dudes--from Jicks to Joggers--who sing in a slack, lazy-lipped drawl. Kieskagato is local prog rock band Rm. 101, impenetrably renamed. Their vocalist still needs to seriously chill it out on the Thom Yorke panting-athon, but the instrumentation, with trumpets and the occasional salsa tinge, is pretty good. Singer/guitarist/breathy soprano Odessa Chen emotes in a bleak, opaque whisper; she sounds so frail you want to get her a glass of water. However, according to my housemate, testosterone-y men otherwise unable to express their emotions are highly attracted to the music of emotionally lilting, mother-figure women, as evidenced by his jocky brother-in-law's adoration for Sarah McLachlan. JULIANNE SHEPHERD



GEOFF BYRD, LEA KRUEGER, RED SECTOR
(Berbati's Pan) Like many talented musicians who haven't yet lured labels, Geoff Byrd finds unique ways to market himself. All of the familiar facets of the unsigned-artist approach appear on his website. Rave reviews from obscure sources, such as one of the dudes from Animotion? Check. Testimonials from internet pages, complete with over-compensatory disclaimers about how this site doesn't accept just anyone? Bingo. List of influences on which at least one is misspelled? For the love of G.E. Smith, it's Hall and Oates. Now, Byrd has a versatile voice, including a fine falsetto, and he crafts catchy choruses. However, unlike similarly styled singer/songwriters John Mayer and Jason Mraz, Byrd boasts neither a baby face nor whip appeal. So he can either keep writing hummable hooks and hoping quality wins out, or he can follow the path of one of his idols and hook up with a photogenic blond, blue-eyed soul crooner. ANDREW MILLER



WADE MCCOLLUM
(Portland Spirit) He stole our hearts as Bat Boy, with his fanged sneer and proper bloodthirstiness. Now, Wade McCollum takes us to the river, singing selections from the musicals he's graced (like Hedwig), and like, some other stuff he likes. Showtunes galore! JS



THE KRAYS, THE ESCAPED, MINDLESS REBELLION, THE CIVIES
(Solid State, 624 E Burnside) A fitting band for Solid State, the Krays are an underground punk group that's been playing for close to a decade. Their music is political, aggressive, '70s style street punk for fans of Minor Threat, Bad Religion, and general upheaval. Their latest release, on TKO Records, has everyone with their dirty panties in a bunch, so even if you haven't heard them, hardcore punk fans should go. If you enjoy being in a crowded, smelly room room listening to rampant political musings from a band who hasn't sold out; I don't think this show could be more right on. KATIE SHIMER



UNDISPUTED, THE CATHETERS, THE TRIGGERS, FEDERATION X
(Twilight, 1420 SE Powell) Federation X broke up--rumor has it, so the bassist could do a little thing called "go to school" back East. So this is a rare chance to catch the band before they disperse again soon. Fed X's last album for Estrus, X Patriot, was recorded by Steve Albini, so you knew it was gonna be loud and crazy. Speaking of recording, this show should be a good showcase for new Catheters material; the band is releasing a follow-up to Static Delusions and Stone Still Days on Sub Pop this May. And rounding out the bill will be the feel-good power pop from the gossip-columnists-loving Lashes. JENNIFER MAERZ



SATURDAY 1/17

ARROYO, WOKE UP FALLING, JUNIOR PRIVATE DETECTIVE, THE WANTEDS
(Tonic) I'm curious to see Junior Private Detective as I hear their music is skillful and eerie and imbued with a love for Elliott Smith. Although I hate to use words like "imbued" (to permeate or influence as if by dyeing), this sort of music warrants it, being not only dark, but a little sad. KS



LAST SHOW AT MILLION STARRING KING COBRA, GET HUSTLE, THE PLANET THE, WIKKID
(Million, 120 NE Russell) Say au revoir to a Portland DIY venue. It's not so sad, really; it's almost like city tradition for places like Million and Joy and the Robot Steakhaus and the X-Ray etc. to pop up and fizzle out, existing in short great bursts and usually shutting down for monetary reasons or noise complaints. It keeps things fresh, keeps things moving. This is a great farewell: the mighty King Cobra release their new CD of trudgy metal myths; and Get Hustle continue moving further away from cabaret, in the direction of the hot rock meets New Music, blasting beats, rigging tape loops, and razing the roof. Wikkid and The Planet The each bring their own brands of altering perception, in uncomfortable ways. Wikkid toughs it out with vocals like field sounds from a surgical theater, guitar landmines, in a manner of DC post-punks Meltdown if they'd grown up together. JS See Music pg 17



WEST COAST SYNTH SUMMIT: MOTH DRAKULA, PULSE EMITTER, JULIAN TULIP'S LICORICE
(Jasmine Tree, 401 SW Harrison) There are a lot of grand and passionate statements on the press release for this show; "Down With Pre-Sets, Up With the Bent Circuit!" is one of them. For their part, Moth Drakula embark on the self-christened "Death Before Disco-Punk" 2004 tour, slaying the genetic monsters of the dance band trend with meteor-like, ear-slicing noise, which cuts out occasionally just enough to remind you that your eardrums are bleeding. I imagine this is what it sounds like to end up in space without your astronaut suit, right before implosion. Pulse Emitter is a synth-builder (and, we're assuming, circuit-bender), making sounds and noises from his own creations and creepy '80s toys, like Speak-n-Spells. JS



NIGHT OWL RECORD SHOW STARRING DJS ASPIRIN, MR. JEIGH, DELAY, TWOPLY
(Eagle's Lodge) Trade your vinyl and marvel at rarities in this quarterly record freak-out hosted by Jump Jump. JS



YING YANG TWINS
(Berbati's) See Music pg 18



NEW WAVE HOOKERS, OBLIVION SEEKERS, TEXACUTIONERS, THE HAZMATS
(Ash, 225 SW Ash) The New Wave Hookers play the kind of sleazy, slippery, bar-fuck punk music that is perfect for banging around Portland's downtown at night with your pals and everyone's leather. Thanks jeebus all the other bands don't sound like watered down replicas of them. The Oblivion Seekers are more danceable, and hillbilly-ish, in case you ever wanted an excuse to throw down a hoe-down at the Ash. If that's not enough chaos, don't miss the two openers, who will gladly contribute to the ringing in your ears and the whimpering in your liver. MS



SUNDAY 1/18

TRADITIONAL RAP TOUR STARRING CAMP LO, GRAND AGENT, TAJAI, MARK SPITZ AKA SPAZTIK EMCEE, MAESTRO BLACK, DJ TEEKO, DJ TRUNKS, THE ADDICT MERCHANTS
(Aladdin, 3017 SE Milwaukie) Like the Lifesavas' monthly DJ night aims to emulate the Can Jams of yore--fun, goodvibe hiphop dance parties with a community spirit--the Bronx's great Camp Lo, Tajai (Hieroglyphics), and Grand Agent are going all out on this one. They're framing the show like a time machine blast through the last three decades of hiphop--Common did this once, too, but with more wigs. It's another example of hiphop heads driven to recapture what made hiphop great through the years, before it was sullied by gross commercialism and violence (or, at least, before it was overshadowed by those things). There's almost a desperation to preserve the culture (understandably so) in a generation of American heads that's old enough to remember the nuances of the last heyday (the late '80s/early '90s). Tonight, breakers, emcees, and DJs school us, from hiphop's birth in the Bronx to its current domination of the globe. JS



LIMBECK, THE PALE, ROCKY VOTOLATO, PAPER AIRLINES
(Meow Meow, 320 SE 2nd) The Pale's new record, Gravity Gets Things Done (Sidecho Records), is cleanly produced and sweet in tone, like a staple from the Barsuk Records catalog (Death Cab for Cutie, the Long Winters). Granted, they're not inventing a new sound, and they wear their musical inspirations on their sleeves (the record screams Death Cab, and even a little bit the Get Up Kids circa Something to Write Home About), but that doesn't take away from its charm. Listening to Gravity, especially the ebullient "Reason to Try," made me wish this season matched the warmth in their songs. MEGAN SELING



MONDAY 1/19

SCARTH LOCKE, SCOTT PEMBERTON
(Three Friends Coffeehouse, 201 SE 12th) Scarth Locke hits his low-fi countrified folk funk (yes, that's the best way I could think of to describe it) with precision and confidence, his dry, deep voice akin to Cake's John McCrea. It's interesting stuff that should fit in nicely with the elegant quirkiness of Three Friends. JWS



ROCK & ROLL BINGO W/DJ MARANTIC
(Slabtown, 1033 NW 6th) There seem to be two types of bingo people. Those who experience(d) bingo as a crucial and formative element of their identity, and those who've played it a couple timesÉ we think. But, if you toss out the whole boring factor and toss in some rock 'n' roll, well you've just widened your demographic to a nice fat size. And, instead of listening to old ladies shift their toes, you get DJ Marantic! You can keep it real with the chain-smoking bingo junkie image, too, and you don't even have to deal with the fluorescent lights of a rec hall. MS



TUESDAY 1/20

EVER WE FALL, THE BEFORE PICTURE, THE VACANT, CONSUMING THIS EVENING
(Meow Meow) Oh, to be young again. To forget the hassles of kids, Botox appointments, and erectile dysfunction, and to scream wildly about the sweet burdens of youth. Teenage locals Ever We Fall are objects of my envy, creating beautifully cathartic walls of guitar and piano enhanced by the wails of souls not yet beaten by the world. KS



WEDNESDAY 1/21

THE KLEZMATICS
(Aladdin) The Klezmatics are considered one of the best groups in the traditional klezmer movement working today. Like gypsy music in its inchoate form, pieces of cultures are melded together for a unique and heretofore unheard sound--they have bilingual (Yiddish/English) klezmer takes on Latin, jazz, Celtic, even African musics--gypsy at its most definitive: the tunes of diaspora and displacement. JS



GHOST PARADE, TWINKLELINGUS, JULIAN TULIP'S LICORICE, DJ ATTENUATED EUPHORIA
(Conan's) Darkness, darkness, darkness--and some electronic beats--and more darkness. Julian Tulip's Licorice affects theatrical breathiness atop brooding electronic pop, gothy IDM, songs of love lost and unhad for the doomier sorts. Ghost Parade has a similar take on things, with a more defined techno feel. The main difference between these groups and others of their ilk is that each walks the line between melodrama and self-indulgent hoke expertly--Julian Tulip might namedrop "electroclash" about his music, but fashion-slave nu-goths they are not. Here, it's not the sound that fits like a cultural glove--after all, the time is overripe for drum-machine goth retro rehashing--it's the songwriting. Word to the macabre homies. JS



MUSHROOMHEAD, DOPE, 40 BELOW SUMMER, TWISTED METHOD
(Roseland) Few times in my life have I let loose of all inhibition and put every fiber of my being into championing a band. This was the case a year or so back, when I defied indie convention and lost it by endorsing masked-metal band Mushroomhead. Without ever hearing the band, I declared they were as cool as Slayer, as important as the Beatles, and their masks could kick Slipknot's any day. Then I attended their show and my life--and all its tender hopes and dreams--came crumbling to the ground. Although I expected the band to be a terrible trainwreck of heavy-handed synths, bad nu-metal rap/singing--they were--the biggest disappointment came when I realized that Mushroomhead is not scary. Not even kind of scary. I was crushed. Emotionally defeated, I slinked over to the merch table, dropped $64 on a Mushroomhead windbreaker, and cried all the way home. EZRA ACE CARAEFF



THE OBSERVERS, RONSON FAMILY SWITCHBLADE, THE EVAPORATORS
(Twilight Café) HEEEYYYYY!!! For a good time, call Nardwuar the Human Serviette, 1-800-EVAPORATORS. The Vancouver quartet's oppressively wacky, but usually catchy guitar pop is fun, but also over-labors for its humor (c.f. "I've Got Icicles on My Testicles"). They're better off when they're not trying so hard, as on "I Feel Like a Fat Frustrated Fuck," which has all the sticky jingle of a Saturday morning cartoon theme song, and is also sort of funny, with good harmonies. JS

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