HILLSTOMP, INKWELL RHYTHM MAKERS
(Alberta Street Public House, 1036 NE Alberta) Okay, so there are still a few wrinkles left in my time machine. Until I iron them out, a trip to the Alberta Street Pub tonight figures to be the next best thing. Complete with washtub bass, clanking rhythms, and howlin' harmonies, Eugene's Inkwell Rhythm Makers nail the thumpin' ragtime thing with soulful precision. And though Portland's own Hillstomp pay homage to a more raw and ragged blues tradition, they do it with equal skill and vigor. Both of tonight's acts are driven by music's purer values, neither requires a laptop or even an amp, but damn can they whip up a room. So check it out, and once I finish the time machine I'm headed back to the crossroads to see if Robert Johnson really made that deal with the devil. I'll let you know what I find out. ANDREW R TONRY
KEREN ANN, JASON HART, DAY OF LIONS
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) In the past, bewitching New York-based chanteuse Keren Ann Zeidel has been compared ad nauseum with the lovely but generally boring Norah Jones. The music parallels were there, so despite their differences, the tags mostly stuck. Fair enough. But with the release of her new self-titled album, Zeidel has poised herself as a singular talent whose considerable songwriting skills come with instrumental and production talents to match. Certainly Keren Ann has the same captivating vocal chords as ever—but, while always arresting, they're capable of chilling now, too. So forget the oft-discussed backstory of her travels between Tel Aviv, Paris, and New York, and indulge the impulse to ingest these pristine pieces of alternately majestic and melancholy piano balladry. Thoroughly and repeatedly. TRISTAN STADDON
AMADAN, RUM REBELLION, MDC UNPLUGGED, SID & FANCY
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) The Pogues never seem to get credit for not only their stellar (early) catalog of music, but also for creating an entire musical genre of blue-collar Irish folk/punk songs soaked in Guinness. Nowadays, while Shane MacGowan spends his time hiding from the dentist's drill, bands like Flogging Molly and the Dropkick Murphys have made careers of riding their drunken Irish coattails. Local lads Amadan are Portland's Pogues, as they balance hard-drinking tales of the down and out with references to La Luna and wasting your days away in local dives. It might not be the most genuine take on Irish living, but tonight your goal is not authenticity, it's to damage your liver and have a good time. EZRA ACE CARAEFF
ARCHITECTURE IN HELSINKI, YACHT
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) See Music, pg. 13.
JOHN DOE & HIS ROCKIN' BAND, DEAD ROCK WEST
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) "When you're young you're always thinking about the past or the future," John Doe once told me, as I nervously sat on the phone with one of the more influential figures of '80s alternative music. "The biggest change is I'm now able to enjoy the moment as it happens, truly experience it and feel it. That's important." Doe told me this five years ago, and for his sake I hope he's been able to maintain the same mindset. Doe released his seventh solo album, A Year in the Wilderness, last Tuesday, June 12. By all indications it's another venture down the path of "old punk finds roots rock." While many falter down this road, it's an approach that's worked for Doe before. While it's unlikely he'll ever match the work he did with X, that's in the past. John Doe lives in the moment. MATT DRISCOLL
(Tonic Lounge, 3100 NE Sandy) While "The Man" has sadly demoted the Portland Radio Authority from the airwaves to the interweb, the PRA is still a force to be reckoned with, and an undeniable pillar in our music community. You may ask of yourself, "The internet is free, why do they need to put on a benefit show?" Well, if you read last week's Mercury you'll remember that one of the icy arms of the aforementioned "Man," the Copyright Royalty Board, has been trying to drain cash out of independent internet broadcasters like the PRA. Besides, nothing in this world is truly free and you know it. Even the most anti-capitalist, grass roots organizations in the world need a little green to feed the machine. So come out and support the PRA—God knows they've been supporting you. JOSH BLANCHARD
JONATHA BROOKE, STEVE POLTZ
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) Steve Poltz is partly responsible for unleashing the soulless folk monster known as Jewel, so instead of taking the stage at Aladdin, he should be locked-up at The Hague, on trial for his role in this audio war crime. Sorry Mr. Poltz, but "just following orders," is not an excuse. Meanwhile, headliner Jonatha Brooke makes pleasant folk-pop for the ladies, which is just far too pedestrian for my tastes. The real thrill of her visit to town will come tomorrow evening, when Brooke takes on the tag-team duo of the Indigo Girls in a parking lot rumble for the Lesbian Folk Championship Belt. EAC
GANG GANG DANCE, ARIEL PINK, ORTHRELM, DJ COMMITTEE
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See My, What a Busy Week!, pg. 11.
JANA HUNTER, MICHAEL HURLEY, TARA JANE O'NEIL, M BILLY
(Someday Lounge, 125 NW 5th) See Music, pg. 15.
CHARMPARTICLES, DJ HIS N HERS
(Kelly's Olympian, 426 SW Washington) It's hard to believe that a local band as beloved as Charmparticles hasn't yet released a full-length album. That's about to change with the release of Alive in the Hot Spell on June 29. They've been a power trio for over a year now, and these new tracks breathe a bit more, feeling less wall-of-sound, more expressive, and more diverse. For a long time, Charmparticles has been the band that you convince your friends to see and then say, "I told you they were great!" This is the sound of a band that has calculated their next move, and we're lucky to hear it, one show at a time. JW
INDIGO GIRLS, BRANDI CARLILE
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) Brandi Carlile was in town just a few weeks ago, playing a weekend's worth of shows at this very same venue. But thanks to her incredible latest album, The Story—on which her alt-country vibe gets a little more raw, and her rock side begins to truly shine—tickets sold out fast (I, for one, wasn't on the ball, and missed out). Catch her while you can—this lady's ascending quickly, thanks to her incredible voice and soulful lyrics, and she won't be back in the Northwest until her national tour is over. (PS—She's opening for the Indigo Girls, but it really should be the other way around.) AMY J. RUIZ
EYE MYTHS, EVOLUTIONARY JASS BAND, EAT SKULL
(Dunes, 1905 NE MLK) It's nice to see that creative bands are still able to come up with tough-sounding rock names that are easy to spell and haven't been taken. Members of the Hospitals and Exiled Records folks recently formed the new post-garage/noise outfit Eat Skull—a name that really draws a line in the sand. I mean, even cannibals don't eat the skull. Folks who use drills to bore holes in their heads through trephination do not eat skull. Eating skull is fucked up. So is this band. NATHAN CARSON
HERMAN JOLLY, OH DARLING, HAZELWOOD MOTEL
(Towne Lounge, 714 SW 20th Pl) Opening bands have a few ways that they can win over an audience: play a surprising cover (easy, but often lame); have funny songs (still kinda lame); have a unique, or at least interesting, sound (getting better); or, my personal favorite—play good songs with conviction. Hazelwood Motel seems to fall squarely in that last category. When vocalist Ed Vierda quietly punches it, they've got a bit of an Arcade Fire thing, but when bandmate Megan Pickerel's Mazzy Star-esque breathy vocals join him, they've got enough goods to woo those early show-goers. So don't be late, chump, show the openers some love! JIM WITHINGTON
CALVIN JOHNSON, JULIE DOIRON, RECORDER
(The Artistery, 4315 SE Division) Julie Doiron first achieved prominence as a member of fuzz-pop quartet Eric's Trip in the mid-1990s. Since then, she's released a number of solo albums; I Woke Myself Up, her latest, finds a balance between quietly intimate acoustic numbers and humming, driven pop songs. Her voice—at once forceful, alluring, and heartbroken—narrates stories of home and family, late-night yearning, and coffee-fueled restlessness. Backing her on the album are many of her Eric's Trip cohorts, and live, she'll be joined by a pair of Constantines, who should be more than able to tackle the sonic and emotional contrasts that her recent songs so ably embody. TOBIAS CARROLL
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Listen, if you're one of those people (like me) who think you hate classical music (I do), you owe it to yourself to check out the Music Population Orchestra. This isn't stuffy suits and dead white guy tunes—this is chamber music written by local composers and played by a diverse group of talented musicians, and it's intense, moving, and beautiful. I so love me some low strings, and this orchestra makes great use of them. Even better, they are truly and successfully dedicated to making people reconsider all of the negative connotations "chamber music" might have. JW
DEATH WORTH LIVING, FLY! FLY! FLY! FLY! FLY!, ELFIN ELEPHANT
(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) Philosophy is how the great questions of our existence get pondered—yet most philosophy majors deliver pizza to pay the bills. Either that or they start a band, and use instrumentation and experimentation to further the mental track laps that keep them up at night. Death Worth Living is just such a philosophical band, based on the assertion that "If life and death are a continued process, then going toward death is the process of living" (according to their MySpace page). Sound uplifting? Philosophy rarely is. The music, however, isn't the kind of vibration that makes you want to slit your wrists. It's an out-there concoction of tones and moods, saxophones and electric clarinets, led by Sean Ongley on keys. Ongley is a constant, but DWL takes pride in a rotating lineup of musicians. Just what will you get from this show? You'll have to show up to find out. MD
(Tonic Lounge, 3100 NE Sandy) It's about bloody time these slags got over here. Larry & His Flask is a thrashing wildfire of high desert rock 'n' roll, spreading fast over the hill from the one-way desolation of Redmond. They're like '82-era Fear giving a tender fist to Pat Benatar in the van while a cackling Angus cracks open the second fifth of Old Crow out in the dust 'n' bones parking lot of a monster truck rally. With no "The's" preceding any names on this bill, and the unlikely odds of any asinine non-prescription glasses on stage, it looks like it will be a low-pretense density evening. And it's all happening (cue: Ultra-Mega-Mongo-Alpha voice) Sunday! Sunday!! SUNDAAYY!!! JUSTIN PETERSON
THE BOGGS, FLASPAR, DAT'R
(Someday Lounge, 125 NW 5th) See My, What a Busy Week!, pg. 11.
TERA MELOS, FACING NEW YORK, BY THE END OF TONIGHT, TRAGEDY ANDY, THE JEZEBEL SPIRIT
(Satyricon, 125 NW 6th) See Once More with Feeling, pg. 32.
BONANZA CITY, ROLLERBALL, HEAVY LIDS, DJ NATE C
(Tube, 18 NW 3rd) Awesome new band alert! One of the members of Bonanza City slipped me a CD-R about a year ago, after which point I drank about 10 greyhounds and immediately misplaced the disc, as well as all other memories of that mysterious evening. Well, I clearly did them a disservice, as this blessed-out instrumental trio really knows their shit. The band's gaseous guitar nebulas and linear drum pulses display a keen reverence for their space rock forefathers without sacrificing their own identities in the process. Rounding out this exceptional bill are art rock demigods Rollerball, and the psychic six-string reverberations of Heavy Lids. JB
THE BANNER, ACROSS FIVE APRILS, PHANTOM COMMUNIQUE, BELA KISS, MORA TAU
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) Be forewarned, this gets complicated fast. The Banner was a Misfits-obsessed hardcore band that rocked grindhouse-appropriate lyricism in lieu of actual, y'know, ruminations on anything. They kicked the bucket last August. When that got boring (death stinks when it catches your band, huh, dudes?), they turned their "final" show into a "comeback" performance and now plan to rage on indefinitely. Tour pals Across Five Aprils, currently on their third singer-screamer, are used to false exits, too. Their original voc-yoke left them in 2003 to, uh, become their manager. Then he re-joined... and left again in 2005. Right. Openers Bela Kiss is named after a serial killer who pickled women. Phew, at least one of these bands is normal. TS
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) See Music, pg. 15.
NECROPHAGIST, DECAPITATED, CEPHALIC CARNAGE, CATTLE DECAPITATION, THE FACELESS, AS BLOOD RUNS BLACK, ARSIS, ION DISSONANCE, BENEATH THE MASSACRE
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) Well my friends, it does not get any more evil than this. Germany's Necrophagist is so sinister, they have a corpse in their band logo. It's just hanging out there, right between the "p" and "h." Man, that is so evil! Meanwhile, the vegan death metal of San Diego's Cattle Decapitation (don't make the rookie mistake and confuse them with Decapitated, who are also playing) is every animal's best friend, and the nightmare of butchers the world over. If there is not a seething crowd of angry Christian parents outside on Hawthorne protesting this show, than I lose all faith in their shrill ability to condemn others and censor music. EAC
JOHNNY AND THE MOON, THE MAYBE HAPPENING, RUN ON SENTENCE
(Towne Lounge, 714 SW 20th Pl) Listening to Johnny and the Moon's dreamlike take on traditional songwriting, you could be forgiven for being surprised that frontman Dante DeCaro also plays guitar in Wolf Parade (and, until 2005, in Hot Hot Heat). The best of the 11 songs on their self-titled debut fuse rootsy, banjo- and guitar-driven elements with an almost hallucinatory atmosphere; for a reference point, imagine acoustic lullabies and traditional ballads woven through Folk Implosion's soundtrack from Kids. DeCaro's throaty delivery enables him to pull off lines like "I am a mountain man/from the high jagged land," though his lyrics are not without the occasional awkward metaphor; however, the manic strumming and clatter of percussion, especially on the effervescent stomp of "The Ballad of Scarlet Town," help this group reach occasionally ecstatic heights. TC
(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) See My, What a Busy Week!, pg. 11.
CANADA, NEIGHBORHOOD CHOIR, FOREVER STOKED
(Towne Lounge, 714 SW 20th Pl) See Music, pg. 13.
(((IN MONO))), BREAK CHARACTER, SPIRIT ANIMAL, G.U.L.L.S
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) The trick in honestly discovering the nature of one's spirit animal is that someone else really needs to choose it for you, otherwise we'd all end up as lions, eagles, and gazelles. Judging from their peculiar sense of kitsch, Portland's sample-riffic Spirit Animal would undoubtedly claim the Fraggle as their own spirit animal heritage. That's not a real animal, you say? Well, with that kind of narrow attitude you're probably a newt or a mayfly anyway, so you'd best keep quiet. I digress though, as I had initially meant to sing the praises of G.U.L.L.S. Despite the confusing pseudo-acronym, the crunchy electro dirges and chiming synth jams of G.U.L.L.S. make them the act to check out at this latest installment of the Holofree series. JB