PRETTY RICKY, MEAT 'N' BONES, BUTTER CREAM, 2XL
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) See My, What a Busy Week!, pg. 19.
LISTENER, THE BEAUTY, HOLY EYES
(The Artistery, 4315 SE Division) Good god, the Beauty sounds like Kid A got smooshed into Kid Icarus and created SuperKid Density (Density's Child?). Complicated and relentless, this duo is nothing like you'd expect, because it's hard to anticipate their mix of digital distort-crunch beats, near-Michael Jackson breathy beatbox yawps, and disturbing, unpredictable funkiness. This is the sound of Marvin Gaye getting himself a copy of GarageBand and bitsmashing the shit out of every drum loop. It makes sense that their MySpace page lists George Michael and Prince as influences; what's more of a head-scratcher is that, conceivably, someone reading this may not have yet pledged allegiance to the Beauty's funky flag. JIM WITHINGTON
COCOROSIE, BUSDRIVER, TEZ
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) Living in the mystical woods and sharing unicorn rides with Devendra Banhart does not help CocoRosie's cause. Their music, even their latest, The Adventures of Ghosthorse and Stillborn, is self-indulgent to the point of nausea. All of this coming from a band who somehow sells itself as being French Brooklynites with Cherokee upbringings and a complete pass on using the "n" word in song. Meanwhile, Busdriver seems lost on this bill, as he will out-talent the Coco sisters within seconds of kicking off his eccentric rapid-fire hiphop flow. Released early this year, his RoadKillOvercoat album is about as abstract as hiphop comes, yet it never sheds the lopsided fun of his early material. EZRA ACE CARAEFF
KINGS OF LEON
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) I fought it for a while, but the Kings of Leon got to me. Underneath a ridiculous story, style, and mush-mouthed vocals, there were a few tightly wound, well-constructed, lightly rocking pop songs. But when I finally got to the party, all the booze was gone. On the Kings' new album, two-minute sparse jabs turned into mid-tempo space sludge—they got grand. And to this, I say, nah brah. All we wanted was a barbeque with hot dogs and Billy Beer, but you took us to a restaurant and now we've got a cloth napkin in our lap, sparkling water, and our elbows off the table. Why did you do that? You pricks. ANDREW R. TONRY
REVEREND HORTON HEAT, MURDER BY DEATH
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) If history remembers the term "psychobilly" (possible, if not probable), Reverend Horton Heat will undoubtedly be the lone band associated with it. There could be worse legacies. Does that mean you should go see them, though? We-e-e-el-l-l, the only album they've released in three years is a collection of Christmas songs, so they're certainly not at the pinnacle of their creative life. However, frontman Jim Heath remains an awe-inspiringly smooth guitarist, and that "Eat Steak" song holds up. It really does. JUSTIN W. SANDERS
MANDO DIAO, POP LEVI, THE FILMS
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) Every now and then, when I need to remind myself how ridiculous and shallow the music industry is, I'll think back to SXSW 2003. Poor little Austin, TX, was taken over, as usual, but this year it was all about "important" Swedish garage bands. Not just any bands, these bands were all crowned with the task of "saving rock"—and for the most part, they were all fucking assholes. Tongue in cheek or not, the Hives were a bunch of dickbags, and their violent plunge off pop culture's radar couldn't have happened soon enough. Same with Sahara Hotnights, and tonight's headliners: Mando Diao. Granted, Diao have aged better than the clowns in the black and white suits, as they are more tied to bouncing pop music than aping the Stooges and making grand declarations of how great they are. Whatever Sweden, I am so over you. EAC
ROB SWIFT, WICKED, B-LIT
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Man, I am so glad Rob Swift is coming to Portland solo. I never was a big fan of the X-Ecutioners, and was happy he left for artistic reasons (too many gigs with Linkin Park, perhaps?). Swift jumped from that to the ego-tastic Peeping Tom, another in a long line of Mike Patton projects. Ugh. But now he's coming to town by himself, which should prove to be fantastic because more than any other turntablist, Swift fuses his science with soul. Whereas other pioneers in this genre have gone the purely technical route—creating music that is, albeit impressive, kind of boring—Swift has stuck true to his hiphop roots and created a style that is technically savvy and wholly listenable. So yeah, Rob, keep coming by yourself, you're much more exciting that way. ROB SIMONSEN
BOOMBOX FRIDAY: CAPTAIN AHAB, COPY
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See My, What a Busy Week!, pg. 19.
MASTODON, AGAINST ME!, CURSIVE, PLANES MISTAKEN FOR STARS
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) See Music, pg. 21.
EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY, ELUVIUM
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) See Music, pg. 21.
ANDREW BIRD, APOSTLE OF HUSTLE
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) See Music, pg. 23.
DRAGGING AN OX THROUGH WATER, AT DUSK, TEAM EVIL
(The Artistery, 4315 SE Division) Dragging an ox through water: It isn't particularly easy. An ox is a big animal, and if they don't feel like moving, there's not much you can do about it. But, in the blink of an eye and a thud of your heart, that ox can take off and be dragging you. This is the nature of dragging an ox. With enough bong hits, it also becomes a pretty solid analogy for Brian Mumford's music. It can exhaust you one moment, and be carrying you the next. Mumford is Dragging an Ox Through Water, and his band is kind of a big deal. Of course, when I say "band" I really just mean Mumford and a looping acoustic, some electrical popping and fizzing, a hint of drone and a splash of noise, but you get the point. "Band" is just another classification Dragging an Ox Through Water redefines. MATT DRISCOLL
TAPES 'N TAPES, LADYHAWK, HARLEM SHAKES
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) With more hair, beards, and beer guts than you can shake a stick at, Ladyhawk are descending upon Portland once again. There's the chubby guy who likes metal, the funny mustached man, the dude who probably really wishes he was just in the Dead, and the out of place "normal" indierocker—together, Ladyhawk is the island of misfit toys. Comprised of a member of Black Mountain, and owing an awful lot to Neil Young, the last two times Ladyhawk have made it through Portland they've been opening up for someone else, but trust me, these guys are no scrubs. Songs that feel sluggish on their self-titled LP come off as epic, stoner blues jams live, making them an opener to not be missed. RS
JOSEPH ARTHUR & THE LONELY ASTRONAUTS, STARS OF TRACK & FIELD
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Ninety percent of the time, "singer/songwriter" is just a more acceptable way of saying "white dude with guitar." Joseph Arthur did indeed write the songs he sings, and these songs will surely make your significant other all swoony and snuggley. More importantly, Arthur has a deep catalog full of gems, and he currently collaborates and tours with a full band (awesomely called the Lonely Astronauts) that will sound great when given the Doug Fir treatment. Local drum-machine-and-guitar rockers Stars of Track and Field join him on this tour and seem to be looking to make a radio-friendly career out of it. Let's hope they don't turn into Keane. JW
YACHT, ADRIAN ORANGE & THE CHILD SLAVE REBELLION, DJ BEYONDA
(Disjecta, 230 E Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!, pg. 19.
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) I feel as if we, as a paper, didn't really share enough love for Loch Lomond and their fantastic Lament for Children EP. Fitting nicely on the Hush Records team, where intelligent pop with a fair slice of whimsy and wonder is the norm, Loch Lomond are able to utilize a large lineup (usually about a half-dozen members) without sounding over-indulgent. Also, the band deserves some major credit for being flexible enough to play anywhere, at any time. Their two shows previous to tonight will be at a winery and a "sports center" in Yakima. That's range, people. EAC
PAUL GREEN SCHOOL OF ROCK PERFORM THE BEATLES
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) The real-life School of Rock stars not Jack Black, but an even surlier-looking fellow named Paul Green, whose Pennsylvania music school for youth has become a national franchise. A 2006 movie about the school (not the Linklater film, but an actual documentary) portrays Green screaming and cursing at children, but he also gets results. That's sweet and all, but I wouldn't pay money to see professionals cover Beatles songs, let alone a bunch of 10-year-old amateurs. JWS
ELIOT LIPP, ARISAWKADORIA, PHIDELITY, PROPHET NOISE
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) I've been to Tacoma, and trust me, it's nothing to write home about. Eliot Lipp, though, disagrees. His 2006 album Tacoma Mockingbird is 13 tracks that were inspired by his Washington hometown, and, surprisingly, it doesn't suck. In fact, it was easily one of the best electronic albums of last year. Like a more hiphop influenced Prefuse 73 or Boom Bip, Lipp uses simple beats and synth lines in the most refreshing and technical way possible. His grooves are infectious and familiar, enough so that I think I might need to visit Tacoma again, because clearly there was something I was missing. RS
(Someday Lounge, 125 NW 5th) For two years, Cacophony's curator, Ogo Eion, has set an admirable precedent, rounding up the harshest and headiest of our local fringe music netherworlds under one house rule: "Put your soul into your arrangement." In an age where the noise scene is often the last refuge for those rich in pretense but poor in talent, one couldn't ask for a better sentiment. Tonight's 13-act menagerie ranges from the creepy (Argumentix) to the downright terrifying (Behalf), but most importantly, it features the presence of Northwest experimental patriarchs, Smegma, the ultimate stamp of approval for any Portland noise event. If you don't walk away from this one with at least a hint of psychic damage, then you are surely not a creature of flesh and blood. JOSH BLANCHARD
(Slabtown, 1033 NW 16th) Rumor on the street is that the Hunches are about to hang the chaos up, and call it a career. No way, amigo. At least, I hope that is not the case. So instead of filling that piñata with Vicodin and cans of High Life in honor of Cinco de Mayo, head down to Slabtown and catch a drunken glimpse of this town's most reckless live band. Plus, I'm sure they have nachos at the bar. ¡Viva la Hunches! EAC
HIJK, GINGERBREAD PATRIOTS, LOVE IS CHEMICALS
(Towne Lounge, 714 SW 20th Pl) Mmm-mmm, this show tastes GOOD! Gingerbread Patriots will cute you all the way to Grintown, and HIJK's clever lyrics, funky basslines, and tight drumming make for a strong headliner. San Francisco's Love Is Chemicals plays shimmer-pop that pushes forward with all the "oo's," "ahs," and "las" of a great summer single—you really get that feeling of a backyard barbecue with fireflies glowing and all your friends around. "Let me come down," they sing over and over in the song of the same name, as bassist Courtney Grover's backing harmonies add to the lead vocals of Nate Grover, the band's guitarist and her husband. Those summer parties always mean more than we knew at the time, don't they? JW
OZMA, NEW YEARS DAY, KADDISFLY, PEACHCAKE
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) OMG! Ozma is coming! I was like, super super sad in '04 when they broke up. It was, like, the worst year of my life. But then they got back together! Yay! And they didn't have their original drummer, which is good, because the new one is, like, way more cute. My mom took me to see them when they opened for both Weezer and the Rentals, which are easily my two favorite concerts ever. She said this time I was old enough to go by myself, though! I made a sign that says "Ozmawesome," and hopefully I'll meet their keyboardist, Star Wick, because she's like the coolest person. This is so going to be the BNE: Best Night Ever. RS
MINILUWAH: AU, AMEN AGAIN AMEN, VALET, SMOKE & MIRRORS
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) The softening vibes of the monthly Miniluwah series are always a great way to cap off a laidback Sunday evening. Tonight's headliners, Au, have been getting a lot of lip service in certain circles lately, and rightly so. The acoustic group has a fine grasp on both delicate minimalism and dense, Elysian soundscapes, settling down somewhere in the zoological canon between Animal Collective and the Penguin Café Orchestra. Smoke and Mirrors is a new collaboration between Paul Dickow (Strategy, Nudge, Emergency, etc.) and his beau Rhenne Miles. The results are vampy and sensual, like having a long make-out session on Quaaludes. JB
ANATHALLO, CAVES, ANTLERAND
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) Much like Page France, Anathallo make junkyard orchestras, fragmented pop songs assembled by an array of musicians (seven at last count) and equipment. No detail is overlooked, as the band squeaks and soars, often in the same song, always with the same bottled-up passion. I pity the touring van that must haul so many members and an instrument list that includes horns, guitars, drums, piano, bells, and even unusual objects like stomp boxes, chains, and Velcro strips. Huh? Velcro? Like that sweet pair of Roos I used to rock as a kid? Lunch money in the zipper pocket, I was the playground king of PS 40 Elementary in those things. EAC
YARD DOGS ROAD SHOW, MARCHFOURTH MARCHING BAND
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) See My, What a Busy Week!, pg. 19.
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) English prog/pop group Porcupine Tree prove the notion that friends helping friends still works. Founder Steven Wilson was enlisted to produce several albums for Swedish death metal act Opeth, who benefited greatly from his collaboration with increased sonic clarity—and album sales. In turn Porcupine Tree has infused their Floydian psych and Radiohead-isms with some much heavier dynamics. On their newest major label effort, Fear of a Blank Planet, PT straddle somewhere between Tool and Mars Volta, doing their best to keep from alienating their old fans, while sucking more sensitive long-sleeve-wearing metal dudes into the fold. It's quirky and not all of it works. But their best moments will sound glorious in the Aladdin Theater. NATHAN CARSON
INSANE CLOWN POSSE, TWIZTID, X-CLAN
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Oh sweet clowns. The sun has set on the ICP legacy, as non-Juggalos like you and I have long since clocked-out on their wacky frat-rap shtick. But who cares about us? Fueled by Faygo, the ICP world still spins, as the band runs its own label, recording studio, and about a bazillion other enterprises. Evidentially a fanbase that enjoys a nice paper bag huff and backyard-wrestling chair to the back also has money to burn. Their sly capitalistic ways remind me of that other cheesy, make-up-wearing metal band. Clowns, Gene Simmons would be proud. EAC