NO AGE, SOILED MATTRESS AND THE SPRINGS, BURRITO PILLOW, CORPSEKISSER
(Food Hole, 20 NW 3rd) Randy Randall and Dean Spunt should be no stranger to fans of the loud aggressor steez emerging from the singularly fecund Smell-Ay scene. These two were the guts and spine of Wives, a band personally dear to my heart and a good kick in the tight pants of the rockist establishment. Upon the disbanding of Wives last year, these two bandmates and housemates took a different route with their latest project. I just came home from seeing No Age for the first of what I assume will be many times. Take all the harsh pummel of their past output and service it to an excessive pop sense, an even more "posi" stance, and lo-fidelity glory crunch. It's a subtler pleasure, but perhaps a deeper one. Their DVD Get Hurt intersperses live footage of the duo with stuttering landscape patterns, malleable gymnasts, and a color-drenched homage to their sunny stomping grounds. GEORGE CHEN
FOOT FOOT, PARENTHETICAL GIRLS
(Dunes, 1905 NE MLK) Admit it, yo. You tooootally like getting freaked out and disturbed and uneasy. It's the reason you go to so many horror movies, and it's why you rented all those Faces of Death videos forever ago, and it's that same weird part of you that will be super into Parenthetical Girls. Maybe you're down with the PG already. If so, skip thyself on down to the next write-up. If not, Parenthetical Girls rocks the same kinda trip as their buddies Xiu Xiu. It's dark, confessional baroque pop about the kinds of squeamish topics nobody really brings up in casual conversation. Hit that shit. GRANT MORRIS
LUDICRA, MIDDIAN, ALDEBARAN
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) See Music, pg. 33.
HACIENDA BROTHERS, LISA AND HER KIN
(Duff's Garage, 1635 SE 7th) The Haciendas' sophomore full-length, What's Wrong with Right, is one of my favorite records of 2006. The Tucson, Arizona quintet marries the best of country and old-school soul, with able assistance from producer Dan Penn (who authored such classics as "Do Right Woman" and "Dark End of the Street," as well as the Box Tops' "Cry Like a Baby," which the guys give a good going-over live), propelled by the complementary rough and smooth vocals of Dave Gonzalez and Chris Gaffney, plus the liveliest accordion this side of prime-era Los Lobos. If you miss this show, you better have a doctor's note ready. KURT B. REIGHLEY Also playing at Duff's on Friday.
ELVIS COSTELLO APPRECIATION NIGHT W/NICK JAINA, AMELIA, CROSSTIDE, MARY KADDERLY, JOHN WEINLAND, SEAN CROGHAN, MCKINLEY, BLUE SKIES FOR BLACK HEARTS
(Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!, pg. 31.
DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE, MATES OF STATE
(Secret House Vineyards, 88324 Vineyard, Veneta) A lotta silly, lazy rock writers compare happy pop bands to prescription anti-depressants so I'm not going to go there. (Seriously, dudes, come up with something new.) Instead, let's say Mates of State's organ/drums pop is like seeing fireworks and finally realizing that you're old enough to be innocent again and enjoy 'em. Like, that you're not so jaded as to not sit back and be all "ooooh" and "ahhhh" and smile while the big lights spot. GM
FINAL FANTASY, BOB WISEMAN, THE CURTAINS
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See Music, pg. 33.
THESE DAYS, THE DRAG, ILLUSTRATED MAN
(The Artistery, 4315 SE Division) See My, What a Busy Week!, pg. 31.
SLEATER-KINNEY'S SECOND TO FINAL SHOW
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) Yikes! It's the second to last Sleater-Kinney show! (That is, until the inevitable reunion in '09. Just saying.) Not that any of this really matters. This shit has been sold out since August of 1871. Either you've got your tix already or you're bummin'. GM
ROBERT STILLMAN, LUKE TEMPLE, FLYING
(White Eagle, 836 N Russell) Robert Stillman's Horses captures the Portland, Maine native's intimate, graceful take on cool jazz tempered by a wistful Americana undercurrent. The saxophonist/pianist/drummer recorded and produced his album at Seattle's Avast Recording Company with help from engineer Troy Tietjen, mixer Mel Detmer, and five sensitive musicians, including bill-mate Luke Temple on guitar. Understatement and dignified melodies prevail in this charmingly meditative album. Temple is a heartfelt singer/songwriter who makes soothing, morning-after music filigreed with subtle textural quirks and frail, Paul Simon–oid vocals. One Ben Gibbard says, Luke has "one of the prettiest voices in all of indierock." DAVE SEGAL
RED HOT SILLY PEPPERS, MARS VOLTA
(Rose Garden, 1 Center Court) Postmortem offspring of the spirit of Led Zeppelin, the Mars Volta are opening for the 26 dates of the Red Hot Chili Peppers' Stadium Arcadium tour. Supporting their new album, Amputechture, the Volta face huge expectations after the landmark De-Loused in the Comatorium and its little sister Frances the Mute. I don't know what the boundaries of space-addict-Latin-rock are, but I'm betting the Volta has the fuel to get there. I know that you, like me, crave music that bucks convention, which thumbs its nose at the Man and his corporate sponsors. Speaking of which, some of the tour dates include Taco Bell Arena, Delta Center, Pepsi Center, iPay One Center, General Motors Place, Pengrowth Saddledome, Rexall Place, Saskatchewan Credit Union Centre, Air Canada Centre, Pepsi Coliseum, Continental Airlines Arena, Banknorth Garden, Pepsi Arena, Wachovia Center, Nationwide Arena, Quicken Loans Arena, and Xcel Energy Center. Gluttonous corporate advertising kinda takes the fun out of arena rock, doesn't it? THADDEUS CHRISTIAN
WORLD PARTY, ELVIS PERKINS
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) World Party's Karl Wallinger has never been a prolific songwriter, but I'll gladly sacrifice quantity for quality, which Wallinger delivers in spades. A meticulous songwriter with a superb intellect, he manages to distill a comprehensive knowledge of music, a master's degree's worth of heady subjects, and a lifetime's worth of triumphs and disappointments into supremely beautiful, timeless pop. BARBARA MITCHELL
LAST SLICE OF BUTTER, LIFEBOAT, ATOMIC BOMB AUDITION, BLOWUPNIHILIST
(Food Hole, 20 NW 3rd) Vancouver, you're stoked that blowupnihilist calls you home. That is, if you're into twitch-crazy speed burnouts, and scream operas disguised as "punk." I'm guessing you're not, though, which is a damn shame. These grindcore annihilators are about to embark on a US tour that'll take them out 'til the end of September. Come to this show and say "bon voyage." If you see me there you can break a bottle of champagne on my hull. I promise. ADAM GNADE
RICHMOND FONTAINE, GRAND CHAMPEEN, LAKE SOCIETY
(Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside) It's hard to believe that anyone could make songs about kidnapping sound so gosh-darned genial, but Richmond Fontaine's Willy Vlautin has an absolute knack for turning noir-ish stories into lovely twang-inflected pop. Vlautin's characters are beautiful losers, victims of their own poor decisions and circumstances. There aren't a lot of happy endings, but there's plenty of great music to cushion the blow and ease the pain. Desperation rarely sounds this good, this catchy, and—at the end of the day—this full of hope. BM
SLEATER-KINNEY'S FINAL SHOW
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) The end!
JUNE MADRONA, O'DEATH, SKELETONBREATH
(The Artistery, 4315 SE Division) See Music, pg. 35.
NEW THRILL PARADE, YOUR DRUGS MY MONEY, ETERNAL TAPESTRY
(Food Hole, 20 NW 3rd) Oms-B Records label-heads Justin and Philip make up the core members of Los Angeles-based Your Drugs My Money. An experimental improv-noise jam band that can happily perform for multiple consecutive hours, they have stacked the risk factor for themselves with their constant lineup changes. Look for guest musicians and general chaos in addition to reel-to-reel tape machine loops, quirky homemade electronics, a Moog, a contact throat mic, a ferocious overdriven guitar, and a heck of a lot of delay pedals. Truly anything goes and the only thing that is certain is that it will be exceedingly loud and deliciously messy. JAMES SQUEAKY See also The Scene Report, pg. 41.
DAVID MEAD, GARRISON STARR, PETER BRADLEY ADAMS
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) Nashville singer/songwriter David Mead falls somewhere in between the supercharged sugar rush of Fountains of Wayne and Ed Harcourt's swooning chamber pop—effortlessly tossing off near-perfect pop songs. It's a mystery why intelligent, heartfelt, superbly crafted pop remains a tougher sell than lo-fi indierock or lowbrow emo; in a parallel universe, Mead would be bigger than Coldplay (and John Kerry would've won the last election). BM
MENTORS, FILTHY WHITE TRASH, BUTT TRUMPET, ETHER CIRCUS
(Sabala's, 48ll SE Hawthorne) All you really need to know about the Mentors is that their singer El Duce claimed he was paid cash money to murder Kurt Cobain and was later found run over by a train in Riverside. The band has a new singer. They're still nasty and metal as fuck. Are you? GM
GET HIM EAT HIM, EVANGELICALS, RECALL SEVEN
(Towne Lounge, 714 NW 20th Pl) Evangelicals' new Misra release, So Gone, has some of the fuzz bomb crash and bang of Neutral Milk Hotel, but does it glam—like T. Rex produced by what's his face who did Pet Sounds with Brian Wilson. It's psychedelic (intensely so at times) and full of weird changes, barking odd guitar sounds and keyboards, and enough audience awareness to keep everything short and catchy. You won't get lost in this record like a lot of psychedelia, but you will be able to drive across the country with it, blasting out like an orchestra of angels and farm animals. Remember, it's called So Gone. Write that down on your arm. AG
BLACK SUNDAY W/LUDICRA, ORDER OF THE VULTURE, SIBERIA, DJ NATE C
(Ground Kontrol, 511 NW Couch) It's rare to see gender-integrated metal bands, let alone ones that don't tout the "hot chick" angle to fuel their promotional machines. Such is not the case with Ludicra, one of the best "extreme" bands existing today. Singer Christy Cather's guttural presence is anything but feminine, her cracking howls and epic valkyrie hails are likely to make even the most bearish metal dude feel awed and inadequate. The band's sophomore full-length, the almost cruelly titled Another Great Love Song, seamlessly creeps from anthemic, black-metal storm fronts to eerie chamber-folk recesses, often within the same song. Ludicra's personal manifesto to "crush eardrums and destroy petty boundaries" is well demonstrated. JOSH BLANCHARD See also Music, pg. 33.
THE SNUGGLE UPS, TRIANGLE FOREST, NEIGHBORHOOD DJ, REVERSE DOTTY AND THE CANDY CANE SHIVS
(Disjecta, 230 E Burnside) I gotta drop some love on the Disjecta space for a hot second here. They are totally, totally, TOTALLY booking some interesting nights. We had the Yarnlazer summer BBQ a few months back. There was the Tom Greenwood-curated deal with the kickass Yellow Swans. (Not to mention the killer-as-killer-gets Halleluwah Festival coming up September 1-2.) Tonight they're throwing a sexy dance party, but unlike most sexy dance parties, they've booked a whole roster of sweeeeet dance-friendly bands. Snuggle up to that. GM
GARY JULES, JIM BIANCO
(Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside) Dude, I loved that frickin' Gary Jules song from the Donnie Darko soundtrack when the radio first started playing it. I can still hear it now. Sing it with me, like, "it seems a little funny/it seems a little sad/that the dreams in which I'm dying/remind me of my dad"—actually I guess I don't remember the words all that well. Was the song about dude's dad? Probably not. Whatever, though, because the radio killed that perfect little tune. Over-played, over-played, over-PLAYED. Hey radio, go drown in a pond of vomit. I hate you. GM
ALOG, WHITE RAINBOW, E*ROCK
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Alog comes from Norway and brings their warm, luscious, experimental space-rock to Holocene. White Rainbow comes from Portland and drops ambient ear massages and soundscapes some awesomely pristine, damaged, post-post-rock. E*Rock comes from Portland, too, and will be blowin' up some savagely trippy audio/visual action. He also set this whole thing up and deserves all the love in your precious little heart. You've got so much to give, I know. Give it at this show, players. GM
NUDITY, BURIED BLOOD, BLOOD MERIDIAN
(Dunes, 1905 NE MLK) Fans of '70s space travelers like Amon Düül II and Hawkwind can find a good excuse to fire up the bong with Olympia's Nudity. Featuring members of heavyweights like Tight Bros. from Way Back When and Growing, Nudity put on a live show that's a full-throttle odyssey through rock's cosmic fringes, complete with sitars, congas, flutes, and seizure-inducing lights. The five-piece boasts not only dueling lead guitarists, but also two drummers who bypass jam-band wankery to double up the foundation for this interstellar monolith. On a much mellower tip are Canadians Blood Meridian, who marry classic country-rock licks with indie flair, not unlike Stephen Malkmus fronting Exile on Main Street–era Rolling Stones. JB
MERLE HAGGARD AND THE STRANGERS
(Les Schwab Amphitheater, 344 SW Shevlin-Hixon, Bend) Here are a couple rules for enjoying Wednesday's appearance by outlaw country superstar Merle Haggard. (1) If you don't normally wear cowboy boots, don't buy them just for this show. You will get your ass stomped by rednecks. (2) If you don't normally wear a cowboy hat, don't buy one just for this show. You will get your ass stomped by rednecks. (3) If you're not from the South, Texas, or somewhere super rural (Clackamas and Gresham don't count) do not yell "yeehaw" after Merle and his Strangers finish a song. You will get your ass stomped by the gods of good taste. (4) Merle's name may rhyme with "girl" but never say anything out loud about this. You will get your ass stomped by me, Merle, Merle's backing band (the tight as all get out Strangers), and all the rednecks in Oregon. BRENT RICHARDSON