THURSDAY 5/10

MONKEY TRICK, RED FANG, BURIED BLOOD, SHARPENED BONE

(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) See My, What a Busy Week!, pg. 11.

VEDERA, DEAR AND THE HEADLIGHTS, THE LIVES OF FAMOUS MEN, ASPHALT THIEVES, ASHER; THE MACHINE

(Satyricon, 125 NW 6th) Ian Metzger was previously in a Christian rock band that went nowhere. His new project, Dear and the Headlights, has Metzger now worshipping girls and dealing with the often-crummy situations they put him in. There's a predilection for lyrics about teeth and mouths, but the real overriding theme is for the band to stay sweet while getting all worked up—in a literary sense—about the numerous hardships they face and never completely solve. Metzger brews up the kind of lather that Will Sheff does when he's got his Okkervil River cap on, but there's less of the Richard Yates and Raymond Carver influence and more from wherever Snow Patrol and Mute Math pull their muse. SEAN MOELLER

MELISSA FERRICK, ERIN McKEOWN

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) My used-to-be-gay girlfriend claims that Melissa Ferrick is the one exception to the rule that all lesbian folk rock is bad. Which, to me, suspiciously sounds like saying Kenny G is the only good thing about smooth jazz. But hell, I suppose I'll take her word for it. So if you see a guy standing awkwardly while his partner swoons as Ferrick sings a song about having sex with the ladies, say hello. I'll need the distraction. ROB SIMONSEN

POP TOMORROW!: THE BUILDERS AND THE BUTCHERS, LEIGH MARBLE, CHORES, MY FAVORITE EVERYTHING, AUTOPILOT, QWONG

(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) As the Pop Tomorrow! site states, "six bands, two stages, one big party!" The Builders and the Butchers sing creepy country-esque songs about Spanish Influenza, while Autopilot's crunchy two-person girl-boy rock probably inspires tons of comparisons to the Kills. Qwong has the garage thing down and Chores play tuneful rock with gang vocal choruses. My Favorite Everything features yelpy and distracting female vocals, while Leigh Marble supplies the slight irony of playing a CD release show while having not released a new album since 2004. Like this review, these sorts of dual-stage shows can be a bit frantic, sweaty, and hit-or-miss. But this time, not only are you getting one band per dollar, you get a copy of the Pop Tomorrow! compilation as well. JIM WITHINGTON

BACKLINE BENEFIT: CALVIN JOHNSON, BIRDS OF PREY, DUMP TRUCK

(Mississippi Pizza Pub, 3552 N Mississippi) Olympia rock God Calvin Johnson rolls the 100 miles south for another Portland appearance, this time benefiting Backline. If you aren't in the know, Backline is a local pro-choice nonprofit that "promotes conversation, connection, and support around all aspects of pregnancy, parenting, abortion, and adoption." Calvin's latest album, Calvin Johnson and the Sons of the Soil, is a gift for decades of indierockers, as he covers his own material, ranging from Beat Happening to Dub Narcotic Sound System. EZRA ACE CARAEFF

FRIDAY 5/11

BLACK REBEL MOTORCYCLE CLUB, THE BLACK ANGELS, THE UPSIDEDOWN

(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) See Music, pg. 15.

DJ ANDY ROURKE, DJ NIGHTSCHOOL

(Dunes, 1905 NE MLK) See My, What a Busy Week!, pg. 11.

THE FINCHES, DIRTY MITTENS, THE RAINY STATES

(Towne Lounge, 714 SW 20th Pl) You know the day, after the end of summer, when it first rains? When it's still warm enough outside to be able to play in it, and when sitting and watching the water run down the window is exciting (as opposed to depressing, like in the winter)? San Francisco's the Finches are the musical equivalent of that day. Songs are sweet and heartwarming, with just enough naivety to make you think that maybe, just maybe, that first day of rain is not the onset of the freezing winter. Relying heavily on the inviting vocals of singer Carolyn Riggs, the Finches create better worlds, ones we could all benefit from getting lost in once in a while. RS

DEAR NORA, WHITE RAINBOW, ANDREW KAFFER

(The Artistery, 4315 SE Division) Wow, this show makes me feel like I just stepped out of a time machine and back into the Portland indie scene, circa 1999. Andrew Kaffer, once the principal mover behind great local pop group Kissing Book, disappeared for a spell into the wilds of the Oregon Coast, but recently reappeared as a solo artist. His newish Marriage Records release, Idle Idol, is an excellent fusion of bedroom balladry and computer-based textures. Former Portlanders Dear Nora have earned their long lifespan by keeping things interesting, twisting their twee pop origins into odd and colorful new shapes. JOSH BLANCHARD

TAYLOR HICKS

(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) I've never been a big fan of the American Idol name, because none of them are actually, you know, idols. But in fairness, Kelly Clarkson and Clay Aiken have something close to respectable careers in the adult and pre-teen markets. Then there are the "whatever happened to" idols, such as Ruben Studdard, Fantasia Barrino, and surely the most disappointing of the lot, Taylor Hicks. The winner of season five, Hicks has nothing to offer a record-buying public, unless you like middling renditions of Otis Redding, Percy Sledge, and Ray Charles, a task that's already being tediously performed by Rod Stewart. But maybe you're a member of Hicks' famed "Soul Patrol," in which case you should put on your pleated Dockers, tasseled loafers, pop the collar on your knit Perry Ellis polo shirt, and go. Your expectations should be satisfied. WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY

COOL NUTZ, BOSKO, MANIAC LOK, SYNDEL, DJ ATM

(Ash St. Saloon, 225 SW Ash) You tend to forget—since he plays almost daily here in town—that Cool Nutz really is a hiphop legend. When not opening for bigger artists (Ludacris, Cube, E-40), he's holding it down himself, with his slick flow and party jams. Tonight, come celebrate Sir Nutz's birthday with a solid bill of local talent. So now the question is, what do you give a man named Cool Nutz for his birthday? The answer: ice cream cake. I'd recommend the Fudgie the Whale design from Carvel, complete with icing dedication of "For a whale of an emcee. Happy Birthday, Cool Nutz." Mmm, that is one delicious cake. EAC

ACID MOTHERS TEMPLE, MAMMATUS

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Chances are, if you're considering going to this show you're already familiar with Acid Mothers' hoary psyche detonations. That being the case, make sure you show up early to check out Santa Cruz's Mammatus, who are quickly rising to the top of California's stoner rock crop. The quartet's tasty brand of interstellar boogie and Knotty prog riffage follows the golden path forged by Hendrix, Amon Düül, and Sleep. Often, bands of this ilk choose the way of "The Cookie Monster" or "Yarl," when it comes to vocals, but thankfully the singing here comes in short doses of translucent melody—a perfect counterpoint to the volcanic rock maelstrom below. JB

VELELLA VELELLA, POINT JUNCTURE, WA, DJ 4 STAR

(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) With the exception of the local electro spazz of Dat'r, there definitely exists a Hush Records sound: mid-tempo, introspective, and mostly quiet. Hush has made quite the name for themselves by giving people what they want, even if it's exactly what they expect. Velella Velella, the latest band to sign to the local label, is definitely not a typical Hush band. The sexed-up Seattle quartet blast out stylistic digi-funk jams, like a more streamlined !!!, but sans the hipster irony. Music like this will always rule the dancefloor and shimmer in a live setting, but their debut, The Bay of Biscay (out May 15), is an astonishing album that bumps with a toned intensity on even the most wimpy of computer speakers. EAC

CALIFONE, E.J.

(Mission Theater, 1624 NW Glisan) Describing a band like Califone can frustrate anyone. I can bandy about the ideas constantly applied to them, like "alt-country" or "leaning toward blues-rock," but that's the lazy way out. Perhaps it's in these cases that the term "indiepop" stops feeling dismissive and really describes what a band like Califone brings to the table: a catalog that shows the remarkable depth and breadth that occurs when four multi-instrumentalists write songs together for years. When you finally get into Califone, you'll wish, like I do, that you'd noticed them sooner. JW

PORTLAND PUBLIC SCHOOLS BENEFIT: THE THERMALS, MENOMENA, THE BUSTLING TOWNSHIPS

(Cleveland High School, 3400 SE 26th) This benefit for music education in Portland's financially strapped public education system features student band the Bustling Townships, plus two of this town's premier local bands, the Thermals and Menomena, all for a great cause. Do I need to say any more? What? You already bought your $15 advance tickets, $10 for students, and are ready to do your part supporting the future of Portland's youth? Oh, okay, super. EAC

SATURDAY 5/12

GYPSY CARAVAN, KREBSIC ORKESTAR, 3 LEG TORSO

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Let's see, 3 Leg Torso... strange name that sounds vaguely like some sort of innuendo? Check. Odd YouTube video documentary with a member interviewed while taking a bubble bath, an NPR interview, and a song named "Divertissements for Performing Bears?" Check, check, and check! They've also got accordion and violin, a decidedly "this music has been around for a long time" flair, and a whole lot of energy. With a belly dancing group and a gypsy marching band sharing the bill, this will fulfill your European old-timey quota for the week. JW

DEATH OF A PARTY, THE PINK SNOWFLAKES, THE RAMJAC

(Towne Lounge, 714 SW 20th Pl) Remember the Hal Al Shedad? Pre-internet, bands like them came and went like ghosts, randomly appearing, hijacking your stereo, and then disappearing just as suddenly, like a spirit through your bedroom wall. Well, Death of a Party sound a lot like the Hal Al Shedad, which is totally fine, when you consider that the statute of limitations for an obscure post-punk band is only a couple years, tops. Death of a Party are a new breed of kids who did their homework, as they pin their punk hopes not to the standard clichés, but instead to the more dangerous and sexy foundation of fashionable Gravity Records-era bands, who could deconstruct the very notion of punk in less time than you could come up with another joke about their white belts and black hair. EAC

CASEY NEILL & THE NORWAY RATS, BONFIRE MADIGAN

(Mission Theater, 1624 NW Glisan) Casey Neill's CD release show at the Mission Theater, for Brooklyn Bridge, will be a culmination on a couple levels. It will mark the end of a tour that has put Neill & Co. on the road since mid-April, dropping them in Missoula, Montana, and letting them wind their way home to Portland. The show will also celebrate the release of an album that took Neill nearly six years to finish. When it began in '01, Brooklyn Bridge was a mix-matched collection of all-across-the-board sounds and influences, much like the man making it. Now finished, Neill has refined Brooklyn Bridge into a cohesive display of all his finer qualities. There are plenty. Saturday's show will be a culmination worth celebrating. MATT DRISCOLL

NUGGETS TRIBUTE/? BENEFIT: CRACK CITY ROCKERS, THE NEW BALL LOONS, THE QUAGS & MORE

(Slabtown, 1033 NW 16th) Enigmatic garage rock legend ? (of ? and the Mysterians) cried at least 96 tears earlier this year when his home burnt to the ground. To make matters worse, he doesn't have insurance (gaze into your future, young rockers of today), so a hoard of gracious Portland musicians have pulled together a benefit show for the distressed singer. The icing on the cake here is that all of tonight's bands will be busting out their renditions of '60s proto punk and psyche cuts from the classic Nuggets compilations. JB

DIMMU BORGIR, UNEARTH, DEVILDRIVER, KATAKLYSM

(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Okay, someone here needs a hug. I'm looking in the general direction of you, Shagrath. Sure, your outer shell is that of the tough lead singer for Dimmu Borgir, but deep down you're just a Norwegian band geek in face make-up. Naming yourself after a demon Orc from Lord of the Rings isn't all that tough, but then again, at least you don't go by "Merry" or "Pippin." No need to burn a church or go all Varg Vikernes on us, but maybe scale back the cheesy symphonic metal just a little bit. Turn that frown upside down, slugger. It's not all doom and gloom out there. EAC

SUNDAY 5/13

VIENNA TENG, JENNY OWEN YOUNGS

(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) The one wish I have for piano balladeer Vienna Teng is that she would take a few chances from time to time. Her music is safe to the point of being mind-numbingly boring, which is shameful when you consider her skills on the ivories and her pitch-perfect voice. Jenny Owen Youngs is classic WB teen drama rock, a perfect fit for the early days of Felicity (OMG! She totes cut her hair!) and Dawson's Creek. Except of course, it's been a long time since Joey climbed through Dawson's window, and years since you cared. EAC

MONDAY 5/14

AQUALUNG, SARA BAREILLES

(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) See My, What a Busy Week!, pg. 11.

PETER BJORN & JOHN, FUJIYA & MIYAGI, ILL EASE

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See Music, pg. 13.

TUESDAY 5/15

KRISTIN HERSH, DOLOREAN, THE McCARRICKS

(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) See My, What a Busy Week!, pg. 11.

PINK MARTINI, HARVEY ROSENCRANTZ ORCHESTRA, MARCHFOURTH MARCHING BAND, DAVID YORK ENSEMBLE

(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway) Pink Martini is the ultimate indie success story. They run their own record label, handle their own affairs, and sell a staggering amount of records (1.3 million worldwide at last count), at a time when music industry sales are hemorrhaging at a violent rate. While their latest, Hey Eugene!, is not for me (it sounds like Disney on Ice, sorry), it will surely forever cement their legacy in the pop/lounge music scene. EAC

A WEATHER, KAPIANO, LAMB

(Tonic Lounge, 3100 NE Sandy) A Weather. The name's been on your lips a while. We know. And though the band still has a handful of Portland dates scattered across the month, their show at the Tonic is one of your last chances to catch Conor Oberst's latest crushes before they begin recording their debut full-length this summer with Norfolk and Western troubadour Adam Selzer (the Decemberists, M. Ward). The uninitiated can expect plenty of humble, hushed poetry from emerging bedroom bard Aaron Gerber and his female foil Sarah Winchester. TRISTAN STADDON

THE BRAVERY, TEST YOUR REFLEX, PHOTO ATLAS

(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) There are so many things I could write here about how bad the Bravery actually are, but all it takes to nullify their career is three simple words: Skabba the Hut. Before starting the derivative, faux-Brit, dance-punk champs the Bravery, lead singer Sam Endicott was in a ska band called Skabba the Hut. No really. He had baby dreads and everything. One more time: SKABBA THE HUT! RS

WEDNESDAY 5/16

EL-P, DJ MR. DIBBS, HANGAR 18, YAK BALLZ, SLOW SUICIDE STIMULUS

(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) See My, What a Busy Week!, pg. 11.

THE SEA & CAKE, THE ZINCS

(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) See Music, pg. 13.

BLUE SCHOLARS, COMMON MARKET, GABRIEL TEODROS

(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) See Music, pg. 15.

PINK MARTINI, HARVEY ROSENCRANTZ ORCHESTRA, MARCHFOURTH MARCHING BAND, DAVID YORK ENSEMBLE

(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway) See Tuesday's listing.