QUASI, HERMAN JOLLY, OH CAPTAIN MY
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) See My, What a Busy Week!
M.I.A., THE COOL KIDS
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) See Music Feature.
STARS, MIRACLE FORTRESS
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) See Music Feature.
RTX, TWO TON BOA, TITANS OF OBLIVION,
(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) Looks like Thanksgiving's come early this year. Four courses of West Coast meat and potatoes dished up by some of the most beautiful people on the planet—and there's something for everyone. Sweet-as-pie Honey Owens brings the ambient soundscapes of Valet to the table, followed by succulent Sabbath-y riffs and homegrown hotness from Titans of Oblivion. Oly's Two Ton Boa cleanse the palate with some good ol' fashioned cabaret rock (whatever that is; people seem to like it). Then it's on to the main course: RTX, fronted by the drop-dead gorgeous Jennifer Herrema. Herrema's new outfit is gristle and sludge—primal rock that'll definitely lodge in your craw. Though Royal Trux it ain't, there's something about watching Herrema slither and contort and howl and growl that plumbs the viscera. And plumbin' the viscera's important. Everybody knows that. VIVA LAS VEGAS
THE WALKMEN, THE BUILDERS &
THE BUTCHERS, THE
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) The Walkmen's Bows + Arrows (2004) is an absolutely fucking magnificent album. Ten, 20, maybe even 50 years from now I'll still be poppin' that sucker in and cranking it up. Somehow it's equally good for rocking out, relaxing, and even having sex to. In 2006 the band dropped the comparatively disappointing A Hundred Miles Off, followed by the absolutely hideous Pussy Cats cover album (which contained one of the world's all-time worst Bob Dylan covers). It was an inside joke that never should've been let out. While on record the songs from A Hundred Miles didn't pack that heavy a punch, live—with drums pounding, guitars blaring, and singer Hamilton Leithauser wailing like a young Rod Stewart—they certainly do. Recently the band reported it has finished another album's worth of material, which will debut on this tour. And I can't wait. Here's hoping the Walkmen again reach the great heights of Bows + Arrows, because dammit, despite a few slips, they are still one hell of a band. ANDREW R. TONRY
THE ROCHES, LUCY WAINWRIGHT ROCHE
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) Before Moldy Peaches, before Ani DiFranco, there were the Roches, a trio of New Jersey sisters boasting fierce musical independence that spoke to both punks and folkies, ignited by those close, odd harmonies that siblings seem genetically predisposed to conjure from their pipes. Assisted by folks like Paul Simon and Robert Fripp, their herky-jerky "Nurds" and a cappella reduction of Handel's "Hallelujah Chorus" gave voice to outsiders in a way Madison Avenue could never co-opt. And they have endured with the tenacity of their namesake, recently regrouping after an 11-year hiatus. There have been some subtle evolutions in their sound—they played most of their own instruments on the new Moonswept—but when Maggie, Terre, and Suzzy lift their voices in harmony, this rotten world becomes a better place. KURT B. REIGHLEY
ISIS, WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM, 27
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) See Music Feature.
CHARLIE McALISTER, PWRFL POWER,
(Dunes, 1905 NE MLK) This one has the potential to be real interesting. It also might gouge out your eyes and ears with an old, rusty, out-of-tune guitar string. It's hard to say, really, because Charlie McAlister is kind of a fucking weirdo. The nearest musical jump-off is Daniel Johnston, as McAlister is a lo-fi, reclusive, prolific solo-pop artist. But where Johnston's madness is certifiable, McAlister's appears more constructed. Still, he has put together some dusty, pretty, atmospheric, oddball collages, and a few rousing bluesy romps. How it turns out live, though, is anyone's guess. McAlister seems to revel in provocative appearances, and at times they become more performance art than music. But if tonight he shows up to reconstruct the lost sounds captured on his four-track tapes, well, it could really be something. So, are you going to take the chance? ART
COLD WAR KIDS, RICHARD SWIFT
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) Richard Swift's songs move from heartbroken to ecstatic, urban Atlantic to sprawling Pacific, and from religious icons to struggling novelists. Swift uses the studio to create pop universes in microcosm, and over the course of three albums to date, he's carved out a unique niche with songs that aren't timeless as much as they seem to defy an era-specific categorization altogether. (Alternately: If your record collection proudly includes Nilsson Sings Newman, you won't want to miss this one.) Dressed up for the Letdown, released earlier this year, is as concise a collection of his strengths as he's yet released. And live, Swift is a striking figure, ecstatic at the piano, leading his band through alternately rapturous and contemp-lative numbers. TOBIAS CARROLL
UH HUH HER, SEXTON BLAKE,
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) As I know from my brief lesbian phase in high school, Leisha Hailey is far more than just the cute girl from The L Word. She was also the cute girl from the riot grrrl coming-of-age drama All Over Me, not to mention a member of the cute indie duo the Murmurs. And I think she did some yogurt commercials. Here Hailey returns to her musical roots with the slightly higher-fi Uh Huh Her, named for the PJ Harvey album. ALISON HALLETT
HEAVY TRASH, POWERSOLO
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) A friend's band was touring with the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and this is what he saw: In an empty room during sound checks, Spencer would get up in front of the mic and warble out his deep-voiced, affected shouts of "BLUES!" And again, "Bub-bu-ba-BLUES! NEW YAWK'S GOT tha BLUES! HUH! BLUES EXPLOSION!" Then suddenly the tough guy drawl gave way to Spencer's regular, nerdy white-guy voice. "Uhh, can you turn me up in the monitor?" Then it was "Ba-ba-ba-ba-BLUES!" again, and back: "Ahhh, all right. Sounds good. Thanks guys." It gets me every time. And yeah, so Spencer's a bit of a goof, but dammit, he does know how to throw a pretty stompin' show. He's here tonight with Heavy Trash, which is basically the more rockabilly Blues Explosion—a little more "wop-bam-boom" than "ba-ba-ba-BLUES!" ART
ALEXIS GIDEON, SHELLEY SHORT,
(Someday Lounge, 125 NW 5th) Tonight marks the release of local ADD-case Alexis Gideon's second full-length, Flight of the Liophant. Over the course of the album's 11 tracks, there isn't much musical territory Gideon seems afraid to traverse. There's saccharine pop, white-boy raps, country slide-guitars, dance beats, noise bursts, Technicolor clouds, glitchy electronica, and god knows what else. And just like the pastiche of his music, Gideon's lyrics are mostly free-flowing wordplay of un-related images. "Sasquatch snapshot of you 'n' Peter Tosh with your shirts half off/jacked loft why have a band when you can have a laptop." And with that last line, I have no idea if he's joking. Let's hope so, right? ART
MADLIB, PEANUT BUTTER WOLF, PERCEE P, GUILTY SIMPSON,
(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) See Music Feature.
THE VELVET TEEN, SAY HI, THE A-SIDES
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See Music Feature.
THE NIGHT, THE AX, THE COPS,
(Tonic Lounge, 3100 NE Sandy) Free Electricity, the second album from Seattle's the Cops, suggests that this five-piece collectively have a fine record collection. Opener "It's Epidemic" recalls the ultra-tight post punk of Jawbox or Blue Tip, while the organ-driven "Cold Crushin'" may bring back memories of the Murder City Devils. The band recorded with Fastbacks founder Kurt Bloch, and that seems entirely appropriate; their music summons up both frenzied punk rock and memorable pop hooks, along with some classic stop-start dynamics and suitably enraged vocals. (Witness the myriad tempo changes in the winding "Islands.") While the band's lyrics can feel too stark at times, the visceral energy they summon up at their best—reminiscent of onetime tourmates the Constantines—more than compensates. TC
DAVID ALLEN COE, SHAWN HAWKINS &
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) I've never been to jail, I've never been in a motorcycle gang, I've never had Willie Nelson record one of my songs, I've never lived in a cave, I've never toured with Grand Funk Railroad. Nor have I ever, for that matter, engaged in any sort of rebellious behavior, so thank god David Allen Coe is around to pick up my slack. A cult hero and one of the most colorful country-music characters of all time, Coe has built a legacy of being a rebel and outlaw in the conservative country music scene. Unfortunately, that also means he has a bit of ingrained racism and misogyny, which I can't excuse. But if I could have, oh, 1/50th of that man's badassedness, I'd be pretty happy. ROB SIMONSEN
ALEJANDRO ESCOVEDO, CORY BRANAN
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) See My, What a Busy Week!
HANGAR 18, GLUE, JUNK SCIENCE, DUNDIGGY
(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) Makes for an arduous follow-up when you hang the title The Multi-Platinum Debut Album on your debut record, but NYC's Hangar 18—MCs Windnbreeze (Ian McMullin) and Alaska (Tim Baker), plus producer Paul "DJ Pawl" Iannacchino—have pulled it off with Sweep the Leg (on hiphop haven Definitive Jux). Named for the Megadeth song of the early '90s, Hangar 18's sweeping, urban sounds are indubitably danceable, their lyrics predictably hackneyed, as the rapid-fire twosome spew their maniacal manifestos in near-perfect wordplay. How will murkier tracks like "Jump Muthafuh" and "Feet to Feet" play in a live setting, alongside shack-shaker "Bakin' Soda" and the staggeringly contagious "The West Wing"? And will hiphop visionaries and devotees Windnbreeze and Alaska leave in their wake an audience with minimal potency for any act that follows? SCOTT HOLTER
BABY DOLLARS, RIO EN MEDIO, LARRY YES
(Valentine's, 232 SW Ankeny) I don't know about you, but I like my Sunday shows real peaceful. Other nights I want to get up and dance around like some dumb, shameless, headless rooster. But on Sundays I want to smoke pot and curl up somewhere warm where nobody cares if I'm wearing pants or not. So the soft, sweet, sprightly folk of Rio en Medio fits the bill nicely. Her airy tunes float down like sheets being fluffed. And lately, Rio's compositions have become a pretty hot commodity, as she's been picked to tour with Grizzly Bear, CocoRosie, and Brightblack Morning Light. Oh, and even though she's come all the way from Brooklyn, tonight's show is free. Not bad... not bad at all. ART
EVANESCENCE, SICK PUPPIES, JULIEN-K
(Rose Garden, 1 Center Ct) So here's something that a friend of mine doesn't make a big deal out of: He loves Evanescence. The reason he keeps that quiet? Evanescence are widely acknowledged by everyone—you, that dude who works at Plaid Pantry, and sure, why not, probably more than a few shame-faced members of Evanescence itself—to be absofuckinglutely terrible. There are a couple of reasons for their terribleness: (A) Their whole "Enya-meets-nü metal" thing, which'd be bad enough, even if it weren't for (B) the fact that they TOTALLY LOVE JESUS. (Okay, so maybe it's "not tolerant" to dislike a band just because they play songs about how much they want to give God blowjobs, but whatever: Show me one Christian group that isn't jugular-slashingly bad, and I'll stop.) So anyway: After discovering Evanescence on this friend's iPod, many laughs were had at his expense, even as he pleaded ignorance, insisting he "didn't know" they were Christian. "That's not true!" he cried, his face reddening. "No... it can't... but... I got the song from the Daredevil soundtrack!" (Oh, and yes. More laughs here.) But when confronted with the lyrics from "Bring Me to Life," he had no response: "Breathe into me and make me real/bring me to life/wake me up/wake me up inside/I can't wake up/wake me up inside/SAVE ME!"... Well, suffice to say that this friend is mocked still, daily, intensely, gleefully. Also, twist ending: That "friend" is actually me, Erik Henriksen! (Or, as he is known around the office—and now to you—Mr. Erik Henriksen, Who Can't Get Enough Evanescence. My shame knows no bounds.) ERIK HENRIKSEN
ALASDAIR ROBERTS, CHARALAMBIDES, ETHAN ROSE, ILYAS
(Someday Lounge, 125 NW 5th) It's easy to think of the British Isles as the oldest place in the world: Stonehenge, King Arthur, castles, murky brown ale, fucking Braveheart, right? But in the grand scope of European history, with incessant passages of Romans, Moors, Norsemen, and Goths, the isolated islands are relative noobs. Scottish folksinger Alasdair Roberts ably hoists the tradition, but it's not like these songs were bandied about for generations like a family jewel or lover's ribbon. No, British musical history has been, for the most part, quite ghastly: Purcell, Elgar, bagpipes, music hall, skiffle, fucking Lionel Bart's Oliver! It took '60s revivalists like Fairport Convention and Martin Carthy (and '70s torchbearers such as Pentangle and June Tabor) to excavate and reinvent the haunting, spectral ballads and reels to which we are so accustomed. After all that it will be interesting to see Roberts at the Someday Lounge, a venue that, for all its arty aspirations, resembles nothing so much as a rowdy beer hall, complete with minstrel's gallery. NED LANNAMANN
ENSLAVED, THE FACELESS, ARSIS,
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) See Music Feature.
THE KING KHAN & BBQ SHOW, PURE COUNTRY GOLD, THE
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) The King Khan & BBQ Show's first record just got re-released on In the Red, but in the meantime, there's plenty of new music to go around. Earlier this year, King Khan and his German backing group the Shrines released What Is?!, an alternately rude and graceful rock 'n' soul masterpiece. Not to be outdone on the solo tip, Mark Sultan (AKA BBQ) put out The Sultanic Verses, drenching feel-good '60s pop songs in mentholated fuzz, to exhilarating effect. Tonight, the two French Canadian wackjobs team up for an evening of nuggety garage rock, velvet doo-wop, punk shrieks, popcorn soul, and pantslessness. Expect a damn good time, with a few brief, stabbing moments of feeling completely uncomfortable. NL
SIX ORGANS OF ADMITTANCE
(Jackpot Records, 203 SW 9th) Six Organs of Admittance (AKA Ben Chasny) is only appearing in Portland once, to play a free in-store at Jackpot Records in the early evening. My first assumption upon realizing he wasn't playing anywhere later that night was that he couldn't book a show, which I really hope isn't the case. So Ben, if you're reading this and actually want to play but weren't able to find anywhere, I hereby invite you to use my apartment. Sure, my neighbors hate noise, my landlord would probably evict me, and my place is nowhere near as nice as Jackpot, but the thought of you not being able to find a show (which I realize is probably ludicrous) disturbs me, and offering up my place, in exchange for getting to see you play twice, is the least I can do. RS
BAND OF HORSES, THE DRONES,
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!
WHITE MAGIC, PLANTS, WHITE RAINBOW
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See My, What a Busy Week!