THE HIGH STRUNG, THE NICE BOYS, THE HUGS, THE FOXGLOVES
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) See My, What a Busy Week!, pg. 15.
DEVON SPROULE, MYSHKIN'S RUBY WARBLERS
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) See Once More with Feeling, pg. 31.
NICKY CLICK, DO N DUDES, MEGADOME, LACTACIOUS
(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) The desire to love Nicky Click outweighs the strength of her music. Her brand of solo-electro is nothing new; in fact, it's not even all that great. But what is lacking musically is more than made up for in message. Rapping and singing over simple, danceable beats, she throws some much-needed jabs at the boys' club that is the music industry. Feminism and queer identity are two major themes, merging the personal and the political into empowering statements. Releasing her first full-length on fellow Olympians Scream Club's record label (Crunk's Not Dead), she's managed to use the DIY ethos to her advantage, creating a solid community that is as interested in having fun as they are being smart. It doesn't matter that her music isn't fantastic—with Nicky Click, that's really not the point. ROB SIMONSEN
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) From the opening bass throb of Telephone's "Automatic," you know you've entered a world of droning synth rock. Each song on the band's debut EP, We Are Telephone, is a further slide into a Moog-y blur of synthetic beeps and boops. At times, the music bleeds from song to song, the stabs of guitar and bass drowning underneath a melancholy sea of bleak bass noise. Even the band's more upbeat numbers are hemmed in by a foggy electronic cloud, as singer Eric Hedford's rising vocals struggle not to fade beneath it. NOAH SANDERS
(HED) PE, AUTHORITY ZERO, MOWER, VILLEBILLIES, DANNY DIABLO
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) Making fun of (hed) PE, the "PE" standing for "Planet Earth," is really like making fun of Creed—it's just too easy to do. Imagine the worst nü-metal band you can think of (although they claim to be "rapcore," which gets them even more negative points for trying to make that distinction), give them all incredibly stupid names like Wesstyle or Chizad, and then put their skinny little asses in baggy clothes and bandanas while they pose for the camera's lens, trying to look as thugged out as possible. Even when you consider all of this, you've not even touched the tip of the iceberg as to the amount of douchebaggery in this band. Really, they're that bad. RS
DOLLY PARTON HOOT NIGHT: BETH DITTO, STEPHANIE SCHNEIDERMAN, TONY FURTADO & MORE
(Mission Theater, 1624 NW Glisan) See My, What a Busy Week!, pg. 15.
VOXTROT, SOUND TEAM, AU REVOIR SIMONE, EUX AUTRES
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See Music, pg. 19.
MODERNSTATE, THE BUILDERS & THE BUTCHERS, AU
(The Funky Church, 2456 SE Tamarack) See Our Town Could Be Your Life, pg. 25.
DAMIEN JURADO, DOLOREAN, ALELA DIANE
(The Artistery, 4315 SE Division) Remember when Jewel hit the scene and you couldn't read a review without hearing about how she once lived in her van? Christian indie artists face the same kind of labeling: You can't read a review without hearing about their spirituality first. Which is stupid, because Christian or not, Damien Jurado has been writing some amazingly sad, beautiful, and punch-you-in-the-face good songs for about a decade now. These are not songs the folks of the Bible Belt would approve of, nor are they hands in the air "Praise Him" hymns. So really, as long as the albums keep getting better, I say keep on loving on The Jesus. RS
JOHN MAYER, BEN FOLDS, ROCCO DELUCA & THE BURDEN
(Clark County Amphitheater, 17200 NE Delfel, Ridgefield, WA) "I'm just a huge Ben Folds fan, and Ben Folds Five was kind of a catalyst for me going from a guitar player to a songwriter." I blame you, Ben Folds. That above quote was from Captain Ass Clown himself, John Mayer. Damn you, Folds! Had "Brick," your weepy song about a terminated pregnancy, never gotten popular, Mayer's career might have been aborted, thus making the world a much better place. Again, damn you! Switching gears here, I just want to let our readers know that Folds' party cruise, the "Ben Folds Experience," leaves next February from the Port of Miami and will stop in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. Pack your water wings and set sail for dorky adventures on the high seas, you bed-wetting losers. EZRA ACE CARAEFF
MEWITHOUTYOU, PIEBALD, MANCHESTER ORCHESTRA, THE SNAKE THE CROSS THE CROWN
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) The Snake the Cross the Crown are a band that decided to move to California some years ago to make music. They had a place in Santa Barbara that the members appropriately called the Snake House, and they wrote a record, Mander Sails, that got spectacular reviews but went largely ignored by the discerning music-buying public. The group got frustrated on the road and quit the life just so they could get back home to their shitty day jobs and the actual creation of music, like those pure artists who sacrifice for their art and do it all for personal pleasure, not gain. The songs that they've written since that time are now found on Cotton Teeth, and they are rich in valleys and hills and earth and sky. There are no tricks or gimmicks, just bouncy, moody, searching songs that sound as if they were made by a bunch of Dylan-loving jingleheimers. SEAN MOELLER
THE INTELLIGENCE, THE BUGS, PHANTOM LIGHTS
(Slabtown, 1033 NW 16th) As much I appreciate the newer wave of slick music venues in this town, many of us are still beer-swilling, chain-smoking proletariats who want to rock out without feeling like we're in an upscale clothing store. Thank the maker then for Slabtown, a venerable dive bar that's experienced a booking renaissance since the management switched over last year. Rousing garage rock and proto-punk disciples are the club's bread and butter, and Seattle's the Intelligence are a great example of everything a 21st-century punk band should be. Led by A Frames drummer Lars Finberg, the Intelligence are an eclectic bunch who tap into the spirit of seminal art punks like Swell Maps and the Pop Group, with fantastic results. JOSH BLANCHARD
THE CLIKS, THE PUNK GROUP
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) Toronto's the Cliks have made some waves in the press with their gender-smudging steez, as all four ladies dress like men and, um, oh wait, that's the gimmick. While their bio is quick to namedrop the Pretenders, the Cliks lack the spatial delivery of Chrissie Hynde and the classic guitar jangle of James Honeyman-Scott. Instead the Cliks are more "Come to My Window" Melissa Etheridge than they are "My City Was Gone" Hynde. It's a shame too, because behind the campaign of "oh my god, they're androgynous" (granted, that is their label's fault), the Cliks actually do hold their own, and it would be nice to see them marketed as something more than a way to pander to lesbian rock fans. EAC
TUSSLE, YACHT, HOOLIGANSHIP,JUICE TEAM DJS
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See My, What a Busy Week!, pg. 15.
CAPTURED BY ROBOTS, TEDDY BEAR ORCHESTRA, BLACK ELK, STOVOKOR
(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) See My, What a Busy Week!, pg. 15.
MARY TIMONY, THE JOGGERS, WELCOME
(Someday Lounge, 125 NW 5th) See Music, pg. 17.
FLASH HAWK PARLOR ENSEMBLE, HORSE FEATHERS, TOM HEINL
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Flash Hawk Parlor Ensemble includes Chris Funk of the Decemberists, but the band's background is way cooler than just a typical side project. Mr. Funk bought a house in the North Mississippi neighborhood a few years back, noticed many of his neighbors were musicians, and began inviting them to weekly living room jam sessions. Their music certainly has that "playing with my buds" feel—sometimes these instrumentals rollick along breezily, and other times they wander off. Still though, in much the same way as the Langley School's Music Project, Flash Hawk intrigues most when prying apart songs you thought you knew well (like Radiohead's "Amnesiac/Morning Bell") and expanding on those original ideas. JIM WITHINGTON
INDEPENDENT PUBLISHING RESOURCE CENTER BENEFIT: SEXY PANTS, CEMETERY LOVE CLUB, MASTER OF THE UNIVERSE, DJ TIGERSTRIPES
(Towne Lounge, 714 SW 20th Pl) I'd happily watch wallpaper curl for three hours if it was in support of the Independent Publishing Resource Center, the city's nexus for zines and beyond. Fortunately, I just have to listen to the smooth basement robo-grooves of Sexy Pants, whose MySpace rallying cry of "Funky Butt Loving!" holds true in the live setting. Cemetery Love Club don't quite seem to fit, with their utterly sincere vocals replete with echo effects and gently dreary keyboard beats (kind of the musical version of a rainy Portland day), but I'm sure they'll be a pleasant addition. JUSTIN W. SANDERS
LKN, J. DOROTHY JONES, STICKITIN
(Slabtown, 1033 NW 16th) For your sake, please do not let the petite frame of Laura K. Newman (also known as LKN to us local music folks) fool you. The woman is ferocious, a brazen singer/guitarist who seances the spirit of Zappa and Hendrix with her bold guitar heroics, yet never rests on her chops alone. The one "issue," if you will, with LKN is that her live show is so absolutely intense—she is well known as the one opening band you never want to follow—that her recorded output is doomed to disappoint. Tonight we celebrate the release of her new album, Postulate II, which is a bold step in the right direction, as Newman hones in the spastic swirl of Postulate I for a more condensed rock offering. EAC
BRAKESBRAKESBRAKES, PELA, ELECTRIC SOFT PARADE
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) Brighton's Electric Soft Parade are at the forefront of a movement of modern British bands that feed from an endless array of local influences. They can flare up with a New Order blast of keyboards, channel the swirling noise of Swervedriver, or share the biting tempo of Bloc Party. It's an admirable skill set, and one they pull off with the greatest of ease. Meanwhile Brakesx3 (or just "Brakes" in the UK) features an ex-sailor from British Sea Power, and the band pogos between twitchy Brit-punk and, oddly enough, Nashville country. Yee-haw, mates! EAC
UNSANE, 400 BLOWS, MOUTH OF THE ARCHITECT, PRIZE COUNTRY
(Satyricon, 125 NW 6th) Excepting a hiatus earlier in the decade, Unsane have been making ultra-dense noise rock for nearly 20 years. They spent time on Amphetamine Reptile and Relapse before signing to Ipecac for this year's Visqueen, an album that finds the trio preternaturally focused, frontman Chris Spencer summoning ominous, head-twisting riffs from his guitar. At their best, they evoke a classic strain of urban paranoia, whether through the bloodied infrastructure on the cover of 1998's Occupational Hazard, the field recordings looming throughout Visqueen closer "East Broadway," or Spencer's wild-eyed vocals. Tourmates 400 Blows bring a different kind of dynamic control to the forefront, precise exhortations surging into cathartic screams over fuzzed-out guitars. TOBIAS CARROLL
MINILUWAH: EVOLUTIONARY JASS BAND, NUDGE, MIKE TAMBURO
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Out of all the new musical technologies to have sprung into widespread use over the last few years, the looping pedal manages to be both the most exciting and the most obnoxious. A dubious tool for the lazy or untalented, this little box of wonders can also inspire new creative heights. Such is the case with Pittsburgh's Mike Tamburo, who can dream up cosmic American symphonies at the drop of a hat. Far from a one-trick pony, though, Tamburo's a multi -instrumentalist of the highest order with a ridiculously fertile discography under his belt. His newest, Language of the Birds and Other Fantasies, is a seven-disc box set (!) that also includes a DVD with 11 of the man's films and a 72-page book. Thanks, Mike. Way to make the rest of us look like a bunch of slackers! JB
THE RAVEONETTES, MIDNIGHT MOVIES
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See Music, pg. 17.
THE OHSEES, DRAGGING AN OX THROUGH WATER, PANTHER, DJ NATE C
(Tube, 18 NW 3rd) See Music, pg. 19.
MASON JENNINGS, FERRABY LIONHEART
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) See My, What a Busy Week!, pg. 15.
THE JOGGERS, DOLOREAN, GRAILS
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Get your care packages ready (be sure to include some Stumptown, since New York coffee has nothing on ours), as Chantelle Hylton of Blackbird Presents hightails it to Manhattan for good. Before she trades Puddletown for the Big Apple, Hylton is throwing herself a little bon voyage get-together, and everyone is invited. Jeez, even her last-minute good-bye shows are balanced lineups of local talent. When I leave this town, I'll be lucky to get an Everclear cassingle and good-bye dinner at the Sizzler on 82nd. EAC Also, see Our Town Could Be Your Life, pg. 25.
MATT & KIM, SHOW ME THE PINK, HERE COMES A BIG BLACK CLOUD
(Satyricon, 125 NW 6th) "I might grow old someday, but I won't turn pale and gray." If you were going to pick one emblematic lyric from Matt & Kim's 2006 debut, this one (from "Someday") would be my choice. This duo—Kim with her drums, Matt with his keyboards—enthusiastically delivers pop hooks equally suited for tiny DIY spaces and more formal venues. If "Silver Tiles," one of their first recordings together, is any indication, this ability was there from the start. Their debut delivers 10 more high-energy anthems, including "5K," "No More Long Years," and "Yea Yeah," designed to get feet moving and fists pumping. TC
SPARTA, STRAYLIGHT RUN, LOVEDRUG
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) Sparta will forever be known as that one ex-At the Drive-In band without the afros. It's not fair by any means, and one could argue that the band is far more listenable than the guitarsturbation noodling of their former bandmates in Mars Volta. While they might lack the spastic pep of Volta, Sparta just spends their days perfecting the quiet-to-loud booming chorus thing, sounding like U2 had Bono spend his childhood in the Jersey suburbs instead of the tumultuous streets of Dublin. Co-headliners Straylight Run are the tepid evolution of a former Taking Back Sunday-er gone astray, trading mall emo for mall piano rock. Pick your poison, kids. Either way, you lose. EAC
PRETTY GIRLS MAKE GRAVES, MOONRATS, PLEASE STEP OUT OF THE VEHICLE
(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) See My, What a Busy Week!, pg. 15.