Up & Coming 

THURSDAY 3/9

DRAGGING AN OX THROUGH WATER, DEAD/BIRD, 2% MAJESTY, THE STEVEN LASOMBRAS, BIRD COSTUMES

(Food Hole, 20 NW 3rd) Tonight is the release party for Dragging an Ox's new 7", Rebukes. It's four tracks of the ricketiest, most noise-ruined folk I've heard in forever. Songs decay into shuddering free-folk junkfests, feedback and tape hiss zaps and buzzes along, drums beat out muffled as if coming through the floorboards. But despite all the effing around, it never sounds like effing around. Everything's contained and well composed and never jumbles up the core of the songs (i.e., the guy's killer, almost hicky voice and acoustic guitar.) Great thing is, unlike a lot of 7"s, this one isn't some disposable, forgettable single-plus-remix deal. Every centimeter of black vinyl is packed with song, and after the thing is over you feel like you've been through something, that you haven't just spent five minutes waiting to flip it to side B. But if that isn't enough payoff for you, the record comes with a CD version, so you can add it to your iTunes or whatever the hell people do with music nowadays. I'm sticking with the sevener; it's a good one. ADAM GNADE

THE ACADEMY IS... , PANIC! AT THE DISCO, ACCEPTANCE, HELLOGOODBYE

(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) Panic! At the Disco was hardly even a band when Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz "discovered" them and branded them a hit. The Las Vegas outfit had never even played a live show when Fueled by Ramen/Decaydance signed them and deemed them the Golden Children of rock 'n' roll. It wasn't the music that brought these young men success, it was their stupid haircuts, their boyish charm, and their willingness to do whatever the fuck Wentz told them to do. If Pete Wentz is the new Maurice Starr, Panic! At the Disco are the new New Kids on the Block. Hide your 12-year-old daughters. MEGAN SELING

VOXTROT, KISS ME DEADLY, WE ARE WOLVES

(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See Music, pg. 27.

THE OUT CROWD, THE NETHERS, MY CODE NAME IS BLUE

(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) When the Out Crowd ripped through their version of the Dylan song "Maggie's Farm" last summer, I floated a few inches off Dante's dirty floor. It was like Spaceman 3 doing Dylan... and, shit, if that doesn't get you high, nothing will. To do Dylan right you've got to have talent, respect, and a bit of luck... so it's really no surprise they pulled it off. Hearing the Out Crowd's set is like flipping through a Nuggets box-set. You get pop hooks, British accents, Technicolor guitars, and a blacked-out jam or two. So Thursday, drop acid and come see the Out Crowd. ANDREW R. TONRY

FRIDAY 3/10

SHOEHORN, ARTIS THE SPOONMAN

(Blue Monk, 3341 SE Belmont) Imagine spending your entire life becoming so skilled at hitting yourself with kitchen utensils that a popular grunge band writes a song about you, making you internationally renowned. Thanks to that one little Soundgarden song, you now are able to nurture a kind of career around hitting yourself with utensils, even as the actual band has faded into obscurity. And now imagine that tonight you are hitting yourself with utensils on the same stage as Shoehorn, a man who tap dances and plays saxophone... at the same time! If you can imagine all that, keep it all in your head without swooning, then you can imagine the life of Artis the Spoonman, and it is grand indeed. JUSTIN W. SANDERS

GIRLYMAN, KIMYA DAWSON

(Berbati's, 10 SW 3rd) See Music, pg. 27.

SPANKROCK DJ SET FEATURING ALEX XXXCHANGE

(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See Music, pg. 25.

SATURDAY 3/11

BLITZEN TRAPPER, WET CONFETTI, PSEUDOSIX

(Food Hole, 20 NW 3rd) And now for the news: Local guys Blitzen Trapper just got word they're appearing on a new folk music comp compiled by Radio One's Rob da Bank for the Sunday Best label. Disc one will feature all UK/European artists (including Vashti Bunyan and Mi and l'Au) and the second CD will be US artists, with bands like Espers, Animal Collective, and Vetiver weighing in. Blitzen will be contributing their track "40 Stripes." Request it loud enough tonight and they'll probably play it. Try it: "PLAY FUCKIN' '40 STRIPES,' YOU RAT BASTARDS!" Rolls off the tongue, don't it? The band will also be playing the Fader party next week at SXSW in Austin along with Beth Orton, Zutons, and a ton more. I'll bring back pictures if the Texas sun and Lone Star beer hasn't offed me by then. PS. Show up early for locals Pseudosix, who make some damn fine pop music. AG

CALVIN JOHNSON, KARL BLAU, A JOHN HENRY MEMORIAL, FAERIE TALK

(The Artistery, 4315 SE Division) See Music, pg. 25.

ENGELBERT HUMPERDINCK

(Chinook Winds Casino, 1777 NE 144th, Lincoln City) It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood—a beautiful day for going to some kick-ass, brain-busting shows. That said, Engelbert's got competition today. With Calvin Johnson, Psuedosix, Karl Blau, Napalm Death and so many more up against him, why would anybody drive 5,010 miles to fucking Lincoln City, pay $130,200 for tickets, and wait in retarded lines to see this ol' fossil? Star power. Plain and simple. The man has a fuckload of it and he wants to pop a big, gooey moneyshot of it in your grill. That doesn't mean I won't be happily watching Calvin Johnson instead, but it might get me out there next time he rolls through Chinook Winds. Sometimes you just wanna go look at somebody famous. AG

KREATOR, NAPALM DEATH, PERFECT MURDER, UNDYING

(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) Kreator are hell-bent on keeping metal in an early '90s stranglehold, writing uplifting anthems for German gluehead footballers, stroking flaccid power chords, and dry-humping decade-old riffs ad nauseam. So why isn't the mighty Napalm Death headlining?! As fathers of grindcore and genetic ancestors to all modern metal, they deserve more respect than to play warm-up for Kreator's solvent-sniffing Teutonic love songs. Join me in praying that Kreator are beset by a freak storm and reduced to cannibalism. May they be forced to feed on stringy flesh-gruel to atone for the slop they've been shoveling onto the metal market for years. Failing unforeseen weather, the responsibility will lie with us to take the stage and stomp the dogshit and bile out of the Kreator kinder. Refuse to stand idle while vomit merchants sling their wares in the name of metal, and make way for Napalm Death to grind out a politically conscious manifesto with persuasive brutality. THADDEUS CHRISTIAN

SHE WANTS REVENGE, CLIMBER

(Berbati's, 10 SW 3rd) Remember those "Joy Division is not a genre" T-shirts popular with the uber-hip a few years back? She Wants Revenge obviously doesn't. While modern rock radio bands usually don't make a blip on my personal radar, these guys musically grave rob the graverobber's graves so blatantly that it's hard for an educated music fan not to feel a bit violated. To Joy Division's credit, their corpse obviously holds up well enough for the occasional unearthing, but you must admit that Ian Curtis' mopey mumblings were as much a hindrance to the band's sound as a blessing. Why then would one mimic every nuance of a suicide victim's croaking, limited vocal talents? Would She Wants Revenge cut off the tips of their fingers so they could play guitar like Sabbath? If there was money involved, I'm sure they'd be making a beeline for the buzzsaw. JOSH BLANCHARD

SUNDAY 3/12

SHAWN MULLINS, CLAY COOK

(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) Shawn Mullins must have some intensely loving and faithful fans here in Portland, because it seems like he's been playing once a week lately. Not one to be deterred by the fallout after his one-hit wonder ("Lullaby") run was over, dude cut his long blond '90s hair off and has kept making vaguely country adult-contempo radio rock without regards to trends—or greater public interest. It's inspiring, and kind of heartwarming. Does that mean his music isn't lousy? No, it's pretty lousy. AG

MONDAY 3/13

ELECTRIC SIX, EVERY MOVE A PICTURE, ROCK KILLS KID

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Unlike (what seems like) most people these days, I'm not afraid to admit I dig garage rock. I know it's pretty 2003, but when music is good, it's good. Electric Six are a "garage rock band from Detroit" but there's not an ounce of what (historically) makes garage rock so righteous. (Like, y'know, passion, energy, spirit, disregard for mainstreamy gloss.) Rather, sometimes they sound like Eddie Vedder fronting a generic bar band, and sometimes they sound like William Shatner fronting Danzig—which could be SO good. Only it isn't. AG

ETHAN ROSE, UNRECOGNIZABLE NOW

(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Tonight Holocene is all big, blooming projection films and ambient music with Ethan Rose, who's celebrating the vinyl release of his Ceiling Songs record. Even though I'm listening to Ceiling Songs right now, I can't tell what the fuck's going on. But it's not a confused WTF or a too-artsy WTF. It's more a wow-this-is-way-too-original-sounding-to-pin-down-in-150 words WTF. Ceiling Song's three tracks (two of which are almost 20 minutes) chime along with gentle scraping sounds, insectoid clicks, and something that sounds like a piece of thick cellophane being slowly uncrinkled. Of course there's a lot of stuff that makes clear sense: muffled voices, delayed guitar, purring electronic piano, and these are the buoys and anchor that keep the boat on course. Did I mention Ethan's in the band Small Sails? Hence the nautical metaphor. Did I mention he's Axl Rose's son? No, and if I did I'd be lying. Ethan Rose (soft) and Axl Rose (grating) could be seen as two warring polarities—move them too close together and the electrical reaction would fry us all like a pan full of lake trout. AG

OPEN STAGE: MARRIAGE RECORDS SHOWCASE

(Towne Lounge, 714 SW 20th Pl) For this, the kickoff of Towne Lounge's monthly Marriage Records showcase, the folks in charge are looking to make it a special fucking night. Says Marriage's Curtis Knapp, "We are going to invite as many Marriage Records artists as we can for a sort of love fest kickoff... We will all bring our gear and set up and play freedom style, taking turns doing specific numbers maybe, all playing together, making an evening of original sound!" Acts so far on the bill include World, Y.A.C.H.T, ...worms, Privacy, Rob Walmart, Thanksgiving, Mise en Abyme, White Rainbow, the Watery Graves, and Grand Junction Grand Therapy. The two-hour improvisational set starts promptly at 9:30 pm. AG

TUESDAY 3/14

THE CLICK FIVE, SUMMER OBSESSION

(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) Two days before they play Portland, Boston power-pop group the Click Five are slated to perform their cover of Tiffany's (cover of) "I Think We're Alone Now" at the Tacoma Mall. No doubt many mothers will take their teen daughters to see the event and experience massive space/time confusion as they realize, 20 years ago, they stood in the exact same spot, heard the exact same song, and drank lemonade from the exact same Hot Dog on a Stick. We have it a little easier in the Rose City: If you have to take your little sister, at least you'll be in the relative comfort of the Aladdin Theater. And truth be told, aside from the cover, their B-grade Beach Boys stylings aren't all that horrible, either. COURTNEY HARDING

WEDNESDAY 3/15

UNWRITTEN LAW, FENIX TX, AS FAST AS

(Berbati's, 10 SW 3rd) If you've ever been to any southern California town's beach boardwalk, you've no doubt seen carbon copies of the dudes from Unwritten Law chilling like only their breed can. These kindsa Budweiser soaked/bud-fried, sandal and boardshort clad, sunbaked burnouts exist in infinite numbers. In their land, they cover the seafronts like Biblical plagues—only Biblical plagues that just, like, sit around, smoke dirt weed, and talk about the old days (1994, man!) It's a gross and boring mass, a blight on the landscape for reals. But at least they don't make watered-down, neutered, emo pop-punk like their B-level gods, Unwritten Law, do. (There are some good side effects of laziness.) Fenix TX used to be called Riverfenix, blah blah blah. This whole bill's as stale and rotten as my roommate's cat's sandbox. AG

THE WATERY GRAVES, A JOHN HENRY MEMORIAL, PRIVACY, THANKSGIVING

(The Artistery, 4303 SE Division) Tonight's the tour kick-off for these bands and all of 'em are hot and interesting and worthy of press so... let's roll the 20-sided die and pick one. Okay. The Watery Graves. Good. That's the one I wanted to write about anyway. The Watery Graves (AKA the Watery Graves of Portland) are Curtis Knapp (piano), Thanksgiving's Adrian Orange (drums), and David Lee Hooker (upright bass) making instrumental music that's half minimalist movie soundtrack, half Nordstrom's piano player dosed on Quaaludes and not giving a FUCK about your mom's tip money. It's beautiful, moody stuff that's freeform in an old jazz way but nowhere near unstructured or loose. The band has an album out on Marriage Records called Caracas and I'm listening to it right now, thinking of drowsy late afternoons and cooking dinner for myself barefoot and driving through SE after a good summer rain. The lack of vocals lets you roll with it, lets you fill in the gaps and wander off into your head. I suggest this (the record, and wandering off in your head) to everyone. And I suggest this show. AG

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