Department of Corrections
Panda mix-up! Last week we confused Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad (a "reggae sextet from upstate New York") with Giant Panda (a Los Angeles hiphop trio), our apologies. Just in case this happens again, preemptive apologies to the following bands: Avery Tare & Panda Bear, Panda, Panda Strike, Panda & Angel, plus the Panda Express restaurant chain.
ARTISTS W/O HEALTH INSURANCE BENEFIT: NW COUNTRY ALL-STARS,
JOE MCMURRIAN QUARTET, FERNANDO, LITTLE SUE, THE YELLERS W/DAVID
LIPKIND, FOGHORN STRINGBAND, JACKSTRAW, JOSH COLE
(Mission Theater, 1624 NW Glisan) See My, What a Busy Week!
LUCERO, BOBBY BARE JR., WHISKEY & CO.
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) See Music Feature.
JOHN VANDERSLICE, BISHOP ALLEN
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Over the course of a half-dozen albums released over the last seven years, John Vanderslice's muse has moved from critically acclaimed and narratively obscure cinema to the raw urgency of current events. The narrators of many of the songs heard on his latest, Emerald City, as well as 2005's Pixel Revolt, include lost journalists, soldiers under fire in Iraq, political outsiders, and a host of other voices, equally wounded and passionate. Emerald City boasts Vanderslice's clearest arrangements to date, though how that will translate to the live setting, given that Vanderslice blessedly views live shows as a place to reinterpret many of his songs, is anyone's guess. TOBIAS CARROLL
IAN MOORE, CHARMPARTICLES,
(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) Ian Moore is one of those daunting musical talents that make you wring your hands with despair at the unfairness of it all. A Texan guitar prodigy from nearly the age of training wheels, he could have made a fortune as a session musician, but those pesky things called songs kept pouring out of him. So he moved to Seattle and carved out a niche as one of the finest singer/songwriters around, developing a multi-octave voice of nearly Orbisonian proportions. Oh, and he produces his own impeccable and beautifully wrought albums, as well. His newest, To Be Loved, is an energetic blast of hand-clappin', pitch-perfect power pop—though I prefer 2004's Luminaria, an album of slowly swelling intimacy that wraps you in its comforting arms while it also devastates you. JUSTIN W. SANDERS
BENJAMIN BEAR, BRANTA,
(Towne Lounge, 714 SW 20th Pl) Does anyone remember when the idea of a two-person band was sort of novel? When you'd look onstage and see Jack and Meg White and be absolutely amazed that just two people could be making a racket of that magnitude? Of course the White Stripes got huge and the industry was deluged with every twosome that assumed they'd be the next big thing because they couldn't find a bass player. This left us, the music public, with an overflow of bands like Seattle-imports Benjamin Bear. A piano-percussion duo that stomps about on the fringes of indierock, they play low-key tunes that borrow too heavily from other bands' trash bins, softly bombarding the listener with a set list of forgettable tunes. Again, does anyone remember when the idea of a two-person band was sort of novel? Yeah, me neither. NOAH SANDERS
LEIGH MARBLE, CHRIS ROBLEY & THE FEAR OF HEIGHTS, JARED
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) At his very core, local troubadour Leigh Marble is a kind soul, despite what his bold vocal howls—which coat the walls of Red Tornado, the brand-new LP whose release is being celebrated tonight—might lead you to believe. While the singer/songwriter genre begs for soft and introspective, two roles Marble can play with ease, the best parts of Red Tornado are the moments when the drums come in, the organs soar, and the man gets a little reckless with the interplay of his guitar and voice. The highlight of this is "Lucky Bastards," a bluesy album opener complete with soaring guitar-heroics and the distorted refrain of "The American dream I had last night was a bad dream." It's a dark (if not ominous) way to start off a record, but these are desperate times, so you might as well go for the jugular within the first few notes. EZRA ACE CARAEFF
CRITICAL BILL, TRAGEDY, ROGUE SHOT, DOC OCULAR,
(Rock n Roll Pizza, 11140 SE Powell) It's very challenging to curtail the pretension when describing a new band that few have heard. The tendency to spew volcanic with molten metaphor gently cooling into hardened hyperbole is all too convenient. Around my neck hangs such an albatross. What would Clinton do? King George, that is. Sure, I could tell you that Doc Ocular is preternaturally destined to rise and destroy as the most funkified electro-seismic sex mongrel ever to shake your lusty foundations. I could tell you that the revelations come like Tantra when watching the explosive hypnosis that three dudes who are synchronized with the spirit of Bootsy Collins (plus Eddie Hazel and Ron Dunbar) are capable of creating. Dare to experience some serious snake-hipped groove allegiance alchemy that'll straight turn your timid ass into a cobra. JUSTIN PETERSON
(Memorial Coliseum, 300 Winning Way) See Music Feature.
BLACKALICIOUS, LYRICS BORN,
THE MIGHTY UNDERDOGS,
CROWN CITY ROCKERS
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!
OH, FALL OF SNOW, HIS NAME SHALL BREATHE, GHOST TO FALCO,
(Satyricon, 125 NW 6th) See Once More with Feeling.
(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) Hey look at the telephone pole! The little escalator ridin' dude, he's back! Yup, Climber's simplistic logo has returned to poles the city over to advertise tonight's CD release show for the band's latest digi-pop creation, I Dream in Autoplay. Three years in the making, Autoplay is everything you'd expect from the Climber gents. It's a massive beast of a record, with swelling synths, dramatic hooks and a whole lot more human warmth than their previous, more electronic, recordings. It's a welcome change, as in the past, Climber's albums couldn't hold their own when compared to their dynamic live shows, but now, thankfully, they have a record to be proud of. EAC
NORFOLK & WESTERN, JOHN WEINLAND
(Mission Theater, 1624 NW Glisan) Remember how amazing it felt to hear Norfolk & Western's The Unsung Colony last fall, just as the weather seemed to turn in stride with the album's release? And how you spent the winter bundled up listening to the film projection reel intro and dynamic drums of "The Longest Stare," thinking that this might be the perfect song for a Portland winter spent indoors huddled next to your speakers. Well, since that time, the N&W crew has kept their calendars full—especially drummer Rachel Blumberg, who has toured the globe behind the kit for the likes of Bright Eyes and M. Ward. Evidently the lady likes her passport full of funny-looking stamps, because a couple weeks after tonight's show, Norfolk & Western head over to Castellon, Spain, for the Tanned Tin Festival, where they will share a stage with Deerhunter, the Sea and Cake, and tons more. But wait, there's more, this time from the camp of John Weinland. The band just wrapped up recording a new record, Demersville, and in the process of doing so, has dropped part of their name (the "John" is no more, they are just "Weinland" now). But while they lost a name, they gained a record label: Badman Recording Co., which relocated to Portland from San Francisco last year. EAC
MATTHEW DEAR'S BIG HANDS,
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Earlier this year producer Matthew Dear (whose credits include remixes of the Postal Service and Hot Chip) released his second album, Asa Breed. Matthew Dear's Big Hands is the live ensemble tasked with translating that album to a live setting. Given that Asa Breed nicely splits the difference between layered, deeply catchy dance music and warmly textured pop, hearing Dear's work brought out of the studio environment should make for an interesting experience. Dear's occasional collaborators in Mobius Band join him for this tour. With a new album, Heaven, the Mobius boys come at the rock/dance fusion equation from the opposite side, with equally catchy results. TC
TOKYO POLICE CLUB, WHITE RABBITS, VIRGINS
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Drums, drums, drums, and more drums—they're all I can hear when listening to the hard-hitting pop of White Rabbits. Not surprising, either, as the band has added a second drummer on their newest album, Fort Nightly, and oh what a difference a second skin-pounder makes. All of a sudden it's a veritable smorgasbord of styles played out over what seems to be the largest drum set(s) ever. Salsa blocks, maracas, cowbells, triangles, high hats, splashes of all sizes—these two drummers seem to own pretty much every piece of percussive equipment known to man. From the opening bean-shake of "Kid on My Shoulders," to the hard-hitting crunch of album-ender "Tourist Trap," White Rabbits are a drum showcase loosely moonlighting as a full-band effort. NS
TWO TON BOA, MAGICK DAGGERS, GARLAND RAY
(Someday Lounge, 125 NW 5th) In their first performance since playing the adorable goth fest (Convergence) that hung over Portland like a black cloud of clove cigarette smoke, Two Ton Boa have temporary slimmed down into their "Duets" mode. Thankfully this has nothing to do with Duets, the ill-fated Huey Lewis karaoke movie. Instead, TTB's "Duets" is a duo made up of Scott Seckington (piano/synth) and the enigmatic Sherry Fraser (bass/vocals). The pair will be debuting some new TTB material, plus performing old favorites from '06's Parasiticide, as well. Once this is done, the band will double in size and tour the East Coast as a full lineup alongside the dramatic piano stylings of the Dresden Dolls. Hot damn! EAC
LIVE WIRE!: VIVA VOCE, LOCH LOMOND, RALPH HUNTLEY & THE
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) Since the unfuckwithable Viva Voce already have a double-necked guitar, a double record can't be that far away. In fact, it already (sort of) happened. The duo has just re-released The Heat Can Melt Your Brain (originally released in 2004) and Lovers, Lead the Way! (originally released in 2003) as one kickass double-disc package on their own Amore!Phonics label. If you just got into the band from seeing them open for the Shins or Jimmy Eat World, this is an excellent introduction to some of their best material. Plus you get a whopping eight bonus songs, including a remix from Tunng and some live radio performances as well. Speaking of live radio, tonight's performance is part of Live Wire!, the best radio talkie since Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar went off the air in '62. EAC
HALF-HANDED CLOUD, LAKE, THE BEAUTY, KELLI SCHAEFER,
(Urban Grind, 2214 NE Oregon) See Our Town Could Be Your Life.
AKRON/FAMILY, THE DODOS,
THE SHEE BEE
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) "Experimental" can be a terrifying, and oft times deceptive, term. A shifty word, which if used improperly can allow for layers of praise to be smothered over glorified hodge-podges of collected noise. Thus, imagine this reviewer's surprise when he not only liked, but thoroughly enjoyed, the decidedly "experimental" sound of New York quartet Akron/Family. The foursome plays with the idea of collected sounds (a creaking rocking chair, a couple booming thunderclaps), but in a more foundational sense. Used as a layer of frangible sound, the creaks and groans of real life become a tool to build atop. Akron/Family diffuse the more inharmonious aspects of "experimental" rock by cushioning them with soaring voices and gentle yet incisive acoustic riffs that firmly roots them in the freakier side of freak-folk. NS
THE FALL OF TROY, PROTEST THE HERO, SCHOOLYARD HEROES, MADE
(Satyricon, 125 NW 6th) See My, What a Busy Week!
DJ KRUSH, DJ BEYONDA, DJ KEZ
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Whenever I'm at a smashing yacht party with my stockbroker friends from the Hamptons and the subject of Japanese hiphop arises in conversation (as it often does), I never fail to mention DJ Krush. As I take a sip from my snifter of brandy and look out over the seas, I'll say, without fail, "Krush's instrumental masterpieces are not only deeply complex catalysts for thought and motion, but they are also wholly original in style and embody the essence of Japanese culture and music on a very deep, basic level." My compatriots often chide me for my single-minded devotion to the man and his music, but I continue, "Krush's contemplative—dare I say, Zen-like—compositions differentiate him from the other masters of his genre and his live sets are like a hiphop version of sitting in on a Buddhist ceremony, but in a cool way." They all laugh and tighten the sweaters draped over their shoulders while I rhapsodize endlessly about Krush's virtuosity on turntable and MPC. Oh, I know I do tend to go on, but if you don't believe me, put on a fresh pair of Dockers and join me for tonight's show. I'll be the one in the front row with the dreamy look in his eyes. GRAHAM BAREY
SUNSET RUBDOWN, MAGIC WEAPON, JOHNNY & THE
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) See Music Feature.
FINAL FANTASY, CADENCE WEAPON, DRAGGING AN OX THROUGH
(Someday Lounge, 125 NW 5th) See Music, pg. 37.
DIGITALISM, THE BEAUTY, DJ JOEEIRWIN
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) While Justice and crew soak up the spotlight for their brand of rock-infused techno, Digitalism are busy blowing out speakers and overheating synths in the dark. Their remixes and originals are instantly gratifying, full of clipped beats, mangled synths, and robotic grooves. Their debut, Idealism, is one of the year's criminally overlooked dance albums. If they only had Pedro Winter's Rolodex and sample-clearance budget, they'd no doubt be rave-rocking stadiums. But Digitalism's relative obscurity is your gain, as their live show should be every bit as damaged and deafening as Justice's, but with probably more room to get down. ERIC GRANDY
PHOSPHORESCENT, AU, BIG SKY
(Towne Lounge, 714 SW 20th Pl) Along with his occasional tourmate and collaborator Ray Raposa of Castanets, Matthew Houck makes sprawling yet keenly intense music, drawing from an outsider folk tradition and suffused with metaphysical imagery. Phosphorescent's new album, Pride (Houck's fourth overall), attains a slow-burning majesty early on and never loses sight of it. Atop contorted guitars and pulled strings come ecstatic moans, shouts, and transubstantiated cries. "Wolves" balances an overpowering sense of dread with a spacious majesty, while "My Dove, My Lamb" languorously invokes sacred imagery, as Houck's voice is heartbreakingly balanced by a six-member choir. The end result is one of the year's most striking, moving albums. TC
PINBACK, FRIGHTENED RABBIT
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) See My, What a Busy Week!
WHETHER, A CAUTIONARY TALE,
(Towne Lounge, 714 SW 20th Pl) House of Badger are an arty band that seem to have a lot of fun, which is a refreshing twist. Their songs have the grinding, confrontational guitar riffs reminiscent of prog rock, but the presence of ethereal female vocals and goofy cosmic sound blasts alleviates the tension. Granted, their talk of providing a "multimedia experience" via abstract video projections means little to me. I'm tired of the multimedia experience movement in music. I need good, muscular tuneage—nothing more, nothing less. HOB can, and will, provide that. Everything else is secondary. JWS