REBIRTH BRASS BAND
(Lola's Room, 1332 W Burnside) Having grown up in Louisiana, there are a slew of things I don't like about my home state, but one of the coolest things to ever come out of it (besides me) is, without question, the Rebirth Brass Band. When I was coming up, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band were the torchbearers of New Orleans' brass scene, but as they aged they got all academic and jazzy and, well, boring. Hell, I think they even started playing sitting down. Rebirth, on the other hand, represents the new generation of musicians, raised on both hiphop and traditional New Orleans rhythms. Bass drum, tuba, snare, trombones, call-and-response vocals, rubber-band syncopations, and incredible showmanship—this band will make even the lamest, most uptight white boy (read: me) shake his narrow ass. And unlike many NPR-ready, exotic music strip-miners and assimilators (cough3LegTorsocough), the guys in Rebirth are the real deal, not some watered-down Putumayo crap. We're too young to have caught James Brown in his prime, but there's no excuse for growing old without seeing the floor-shaking Rebirth Brass Band. CHAS BOWIE
THE BLOW'S KHAELA MARICICH
(B Street Gallery, 202 NW 13th) When Khaela Maricich—whom we used to be able to call "the Blow," but is now referred to as "one half of the Blow"—plays Portland, you can almost always count on an awesome show. Her sweetly humble stage presence is supported by her clear, funky vocal stylings, which have been backed by Jona Bechtolt's huge IDM laptop beats for the past year or two. True, there are a lot of likeable singers with clear voices who sing over dope tracks, but Maricich has two secret weapons at her disposal—her left and right feet, which are blessed with the Power of Awesome Dance Moves. Tonight's show, which takes place in the middle of the First Thursday/Pearl District madness, is going to be a little different. It seems that, while working on a new album, Maricich constructed a Styrofoam igloo where she could retreat from the mean streets of Portland and work on beautiful new tunes. Tonight, she's bringing the igloo down to B Street Gallery and performing new songs from its sterile white womb. She's even rigged up a pulley system where you can send in requests—like requesting that she come out and bust a move or two, for instance. CB
See also, My What a Busy Week, pg. 17.
THE EXTRAORDINAIRES, LOOK ALIKE, LUX PERPETUA, NIRE
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See Once More with Feeling, pg. 31.
DEAD MOON, THE HUNCHES, CLOROX GIRLS
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) Local trio Clorox Girls' latest, This Dimension, is winning them favor with all the kids spoiled by punk with pop hooks, persnickety tastemakers, and the bricks 'n' mortar diehards (AKA people who still BUY and LISTEN TO seven-inches). Too blitzkrieg to sit well with the '77 tag they get stuck with, the album lasts for about as long as it takes to find parking in my neighborhood. Clang and drang and a touch of that goo-goo mush, crammed into minute-long doses; it's one of punk's most winning formulas. JESSICA HOPPER
THE HIGH VIOLETS, HYPATIA LAKE, BINARY DOLLS
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) I'm not going to decry the welcome presence of a chick in indierock's surprisingly monotonous swath, crammed as it is with mop-topped hordes of introspective skinny dudes, but Kaitlyn ni Donovan's voice/gender is pretty much the most noteworthy thing about the High Violets. Their new album, To Where You Are, there're some ethereal moments and a few stabs at a unique sound laying somewhere between sludge and pop, but ni Donovan's pipes are showcased in a way that feels a little too Lilith Fair-y, while the backing instruments and vocals do little to forge anything new. Then again, I'm tempted to give this show the benefit of the doubt: They're gonna be live, and they're local, and this is The Where You Are's release party, so maybe all that'll give 'em a kick in the trousers. ERIK HENRIKSEN
JUNIOR PRIVATE DETECTIVE, PRIME MERIDIAN, WHERE'S MOO
(Urban Grind, 2214 NE Oregon) Their last album had a song about playing Nintendo, and their newest one, Erase, starts off with a track called "Ctrl-Z" (as in the keyboard shortcut for "undo"), giving one the impression that Junior Private Detective are a bunch of nerds—despite having two pretty hot girls in the band. But the music is far from math-y geek rock; it's warm and poppy and a little bit on the lounge side at times. SCOTT MOORE
ELLIOTT SMITH TRIBUTE
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) See Music, pg. 19.
JEFF TWEEDY, GLENN KOTCHE
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) See Music, pg. 20.
NUMBERS, HUSTLER WHITE, SILENTIST, SLUMS
(Towne Lounge, 714 SW 20th Pl) The Mercury once wrote up Hustler White as a band that only plays basement shows, which was great, but it's nice to see them out in public—albeit, the very cozy, dark, candle-lit public of the Towne Lounge. Most shows I've been to at Towne Lounge have been as intimate as the venue itself: weird folksingers, hushy quiet experimental stuff, loud rock bands playing stripped down. Hustler White is nothing if not unquiet. Their music is a brazen, deformed, primitive squalor of call-and-response shouts, honking guitar noise, and drums that sound like they're being played by the Incredible Hulk or Animal from the Muppet Show. (That's a good thing in case you were wondering.) Still, just because you don't play acoustic and whisper into the mic doesn't mean you can't be intimate, and the basement-bred HW prove this verily with audience-friendly energy, heaping spoonfuls of passion, and a live show that will have you climbing up on stage losing your mind as the band walks across the ceiling like spiders and barfs out riffs that are half Suckdog, half poison gas. ADAM GNADE
(Dunes, 1909 MLK) Texas isn't known for its wealth of electronic musicians, making Austin's Ghostland Observatory something of a synth-y anomaly. Last year, consummate frontman/singer/stage-thrasher Aaron Behrens cited Prince and At the Drive-In as primary influences, which is usually a retardo way to describe your music, but in the case of Ghostland, it's fairly apt. The music is super fucking high energy—parts Zeppelin, Le Tigre (sans lesbians), and (more than anything else) the Rapture. If it were the early '90s, I have no doubt that Ghostland Observatory would make awesome music to mosh to. But since we're more than a decade down the road, they make awesome music to spazz and jerk about the dancefloor to. I have a feeling that the Dunes is going to get sweaty, cramped, and bumping for this one. CB
THANKSGIVING, GHOST TO FALCO, ADAM GNADE
(Reed Chapel, 3203 SE Woodstock) The relentless Adrian Orange (Thanksgiving)—after a year oppressively packed with releases (2005 alone saw three new EPs and an equal number of full-lengths, including a self-titled triple LP)—seems to be giving us a brief chance to catch up in the new year: already a month into 2006, and so far we've yet to see a new Thanksgiving record on the horizon. Dude's getting slow in his old age. Ghost to Falco, on the other hand, appear to be about to break their two-year recording silence with the news of a springtime release date of their first full-band opus, entitled Like This Forever—and it's about damn time. ZAC PENNINGTON
EMBERGHOST, SCHOOLYARD HEROES, STU'S SHOES, BLUE EMBER
(Rock 'n' Roll Pizza, 11140 SE Powell) Seattle's Schoolyard Heroes shriek like the ugly bird-baby in Eraserhead and trip out all epic proggy á la Mars Volta, but hold everything together with the clearheaded perspective of a seasoned, career-minded pop band (which, I'm sure, has nothing to do with them being career-minded, but still.) Their newish record, Fantastic Wounds, is a witchy, evil, twisted stomp that totally works for anybody that digs the Blood Brothers or the Yeah Yeah Yeahs but wishes they'd write more singles. AG
MILL RACE, DOLLY DOLLY, THE MORIARTYS, ARISTERIA
(Ash Street Saloon, 225 SW Ash) The great new Salem band, Mill Race, have, as far as I'm aware of, already penned their own genre: sci-fi country. It's not nearly as heavy-handed as it sounds, as their bubbling synths are very tasty, seasoning the already syrupy pedal steel and mandolin arrangements. The band's debut album, Westerns, is solidly anchored on Julian Snow's pleasing vocals and whether they're playing standards or cryptically titled originals like "Sub-Ballad of the Chain-Link Halo," the results are always spot on. JOSH BLANCHARD
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) Born in Tunica, Mississippi in 1935, James Cotton worked under mentor Sonny Boy Williamson and then "inherited" the man's backing band at the age of 15. After that he played with Howlin' Wolf, toured and recorded (Chess sessions, beeitch) with Muddy Waters, opened for the Dead (barf), the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, and Janis Joplin. Like opening for the Dead, he's had his share of missteps—such as playing harp on Jenny—I mean Kenny—Wayne Shepherd's records. Still, he's what? 70 years old? Show me somebody who's lived to 70 who hasn't made PLENTY of mistakes and I'll show you a boring fucking loser. AG
(Tube, 18 NW 3rd) K Records' Nudity is a big, droning war hammer of acid-fried death rock. The band's new record is loud, hypnotic, and filled with howling, shouting, brooding sound that could skeletonize a hippie in 15.2 seconds. (Which would be fine if members Dave Harvey, Chris Sutton, Josh Haynes, and Eryn Ross weren't kinda sorta hippies themselves.) They're from Olympia, though they claim to be from "musical lands beyond," and feature members of Tight Bros From Way Back When, C.O.C.O., and Dub Narcotic Sound System. AG
JUNE MADRONA, DAME SATAN, BARK, HIDE & HORN
(Towne Lounge, 714 SW 20th Pl) Portland's Bark, Hide and Horn deconstruct American music (blues, folk, R&B, etc.) into a delicious, fattening, pink and blue birthday cake. Brian Garvey and Andy Furgeson juggle everything from mandolin to kitchen pots to synth, making something akin to Beck before he turned into a Scientologist douchebag and cut off his own balls with the three steely blades of fame, cash, and celebrity hangouts. AG
SIXES, GERRIT, 2673, JASON ZEH, DEAD/BIRD
(Food Hole, 20 NW 3rd) Makin' righteous noise for going on 15 years, the Bay Area's Sixes have roots in early versions of Physics and Crash Worship, and play something along the lines of experimental death thrash and white noise pain and hardcore-gone-tribal. If you love crazy bastards like Throbbing Gristle, DNA or the Seconds, this show'll love you right back. Like Tony! Toni! Toné!, it feels good. AG
THE LIVING JARBOE, THE PRIDS, SNAKES
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) The first time I saw Jarboe (billed here as "the Living Jarboe") perform, she was amid a late-career rebirth, backed by Neurosis, which was scarier than anything she ever did with Swans—mostly because she did not have to compete with the Michael Gira-stormnoise-fury, and could just be full bore. I do not imagine that Jarboe really does it any other way. She sounded like PJ Harvey after 15 years in a locked ward at Bellevue. Torchy and uncontainable, defiant and masterful. She is touring behind her latest album, which is simply titled The Men Album. JH
(Rose Garden, 1 Center Court) Ever wonder why the most rapturous music comes from places that us fat Americans would consider Hell on Earth? Like, only the military dictatorship of Nigeria could have produced Fela Kuti, and only the emerging Islamist state of Pakistan could have produced Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. And only war-ravaged Colombia could have birthed Juanes. The singer has some sad—real sad—stories, and yet his output is largely celebratory, as though he uses music as a way to cling to the few good things in life and as a buffer against the horrors of civil war. What's maybe most awesome about Juanes is that, unlike virtually every other moderately successful Central or South American artist from the last decade, he's had no need to put out a "crossover" English language album. Take that, dumb gringo. SM
JAMES MCMURTRY, TAARKA
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) James McMurtry's father is novelist/screenwriter Larry McMurtry (Lonesome Dove, Terms of Endearment), but this isn't the retarded celeb-connected suckfest you might imagine. Despite a terrrrible record cover (dude looks like Kenny G or a nerdy John Lennon), McMurtry's Childish Things is solid, respectable country that's pop-ish without being poppy. "I'll grow up big if I eat all my roast/I'll still believe in heaven/but I won't believe in ghosts," McMurtry mumble-sings on the title track, sitting comfortably between Brothers in Arms-era Dire Straits and the Wallflowers—if Jakob Dylan didn't suck 98 percent of the time. AG
THE SHOW IS THE RAINBOW, BIG DIGITS, CASEY + BRIAN, ARGUMENTIX
(Food Hole, 20 NW 3rd) The Show is the Rainbow cites people like Todd Rundgren and Frank Zappa as influences, but most everything I've heard of theirs is more like a new wave, post-electro version of battle rapping. It's taunting, funny, shit-talky stuff with beats bouncing like kickballs and jerky guitar noise blasting between each bass thump and drum bap. You'll have a good time at this show. If you don't, you're boring; reach behind you and pull the stick outta your ass. AG
AKRON/FAMILY, SIR RICHARD BISHOP, PLANTS
(Towne Lounge, 714 SW 20th Pl) On their split CD with Michael Gira's Angels of Light, Brooklyn four-piece Akron/Family deliver seven pieces of the hottest, raddest, prettiest headphones music I've heard in forever: choral voices swell like the end suite from Abbey Road; Pink Floyd minor chord heaviness seeps in like a fog machine; noise comes outta nowhere and jackhammers manically while squealy metal guitars pop wheelies on the dirt bike tracks of rock 'n' roll heaven. Sure it's ADD, but it's ADD-genius not ADD-too-weird; it's scattered and wild and contained. That's rare. Just as rare is a band this sweet doing a free in-store. (See below). AG See Music, pg. 19. And My, What a Busy Week!, pg. 17.
(Jackpot Records, 203 SW 9th) See Music, pg. 19, and My, What a Busy Week!, pg. 17.
KARL BLAU, NORFOLK AND WESTERN, PALEO
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Norfolk and Western have a new record coming out soon and it's fucking good, good, GOOD. A Gilded Age, which will be released by the Hush label on April 11, is sublime, elegant, indie pop that old times itself up with banjos, pump organ (á la Black Heart Procession), and pedal steel but never feels retro or phony or like something we've all seen before. DJ this between the Handsome Family and Phosphorescence and you'll get an A for the day. AG