TARA JANE O'NEIL, THE LOVERS, THE GOLDEN BEARS
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Years ago, I knew a girl named Hope. She was beautiful and fierce. She could drink and curse, sail clipper ships on the open sea, cook fantastic meals with a handful of nothing, fire guns and hit the target, sing music on a Jew's harp, and sleep in the wilderness without being afraid. She and I were never great friends, but I always wished we could be. I think that I was too intimidated by her ability to live and do what I had only dreamt of. Fast forward about five years to Tara Jane O'Neil. Here is another woman who is uncompromising in her dedication to a creative life. She is a hard-working musician, a lyricist who pieces words together like blown glass and silk, a performer who never shirks her duty to be open with the audience. I love how her song structures can seem so fragile, and yet, never lose you in the sad, whiny way that has become popular with many singer/songwriters. She has a sense of humor that infuses its way into her songs. I think she is my new best girl friend! I'm not scared of radness anymore, I am ready! SALINA NUÑEZ
THE PHENOMENAUTS, RIVER CITY REBELS, TEENAGE HARLETS, EAT YOUR HEART OUT
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) San Francisco's Teenage Harlets [sic] can't spell, but everybody knows good grammar skills are for nerdy nerds, so let's roll: Hell yeah to straight up punk shout-alongs; hell yeah to über-basic lyrics like the cavemanly "I Said Yeah Yeah Yeah," a song comprised almost entirely of "yeah yeah yeah"s and "whoa whoa whoa"s. Hell yeah to a whole lotta things, including the fact that the Harlets are going to chew you up like beefy beef jerky and spit you back into the audience and you're gonna be like, "Hell yeah for playing Portland." GRANT MORRIS
SILVER CREAM, HAIKU AMBULANCE
(Food Hole, 20 NW 3rd) When I was a kid, me and my cousins from rural central California had this game where we'd sit around and list off all the weapons the guys from the A-Team had in their arsenal. Went something like Me: "The A-Team has missiles." Cousin Sarah: "The A-Team has rocket launchers." Cousin Shawd: "The A-Team has M-16s." And so on. That being said, I'd like to do this with Haiku Ambulance. So, Haiku Ambulance has tribal drum crescendos that start off obtuse and quiet then turn into punk drum circles. Haiku Ambulance has Mark Kaylor on guitar, vocals, and drums and Dottie Swain on drums and vocals. Haiku Ambulance has freeform whale noise singing and percussion that rustles like a fistful of baby snakes in a brown paper lunch bag. Haiku Ambulance has shrieks, jitters, and honking guitar noise. Your turn. ADAM GNADE
AWESOMEFEST 2006: THE ALTERBOYS, BLACK MARKET BABIES, MUDDY RIVER NIGHTMARE BAND, PISTOL WHIPPED PROPHETS, SECRET ARMY, THE WOBBLIES
(Satyricon, 125 NW 6th Ave) I recently contacted the organizers behind the Satyricon-hosted Awesomefest, seeking to better understand just what this "awesome fest" was all about. The response I received was this: "The whole philosophy behind Awesomefest is... to be Awesome!" Admittedly, this somewhat mundane description didn't exactly get my awesome-juices flowing. Thankfully, the true aim of this festival of awesomeness is quite awesome. In its third year, Awesomefest once again seeks to bring together an eclectic mix of the Northwest's up and coming musical acts, regardless of "genre or cool factor." The intended goal being to cram as many under-the-radar acts as possible into one explosive day in the hope that those who attend will be exposed to a variety of groups previously unheard. Sidle this benevolent goal with an entire lineup of bands bearing monikers like Black Market Babies and Keep it Like a Secret, and the event has the high possibility of being, shall we say, awesome? NOAH SANDERS
BOB LOG III, BLOWFLY
(Sabala's, 4811 SE Hawthorne) Legend has it that Blowfly (nee Clarence Reid) earned his stage name when his grandmother overheard him singing Chubby Checker's "Do the Twist" reworked as "Suck My Dick" and told the cheeky wee lad, "You is nastier than a blowfly." Even if this is made up, it does well to explain Reid's schtick—which, as schticks go, almost defines the word. Put simply, Reid reworks old beloved songs as hyper-sexual comedy tunes. His latest is Blowfly's Punk Rock Party, which shows the entertainer reworking punk classics Blowfly-style. ("Holiday in Cambodia" becomes "R. Kelly in Cambodia.") That out of the way, I'm astounded how uninterested I am in the Blowfly deal. It's an awfully unfunny act that gets old fast. Like, light speed fast. Like the Millennium Falcon jumping to hyperspace and leaving behind all those broke-ass Stormtroopers in the (celestial) dust. BRENT RICHARDSON
WHITE WHALE, THE ONLINE ROMANCE, THE PIANO WIRES
(Towne Lounge, 714 SW 20th Pl) Hailing from the indierock prairie wonderland of Lawrence, Kansas, White Whale reminds me of '80s radio rock without owing much to new-wave, pop, or the Cure. This is more like the Church's "Under the Milky Way," Peter Murphy's "Cuts You Up," and maybe Berlin's lovemakin' classic "Take My Breath Away." When trafficking in these kinds of influences the resulting music can get real cheesy real fast, but White Whale eschews kitsch for sincerity. And it works. Well. BR
A FRAGILE SHADE, TIM AND MATT, THESE DAYS
(The Artistery, 4315 SE Division) Eric Roser is a killer writer. Performing and recording as These Days, his lyrics are this super tangled-up, dense, elaborate web of wordplay, "why didn't I think of that?" rhymes/flows, and flashes of literary sweetness. But where a lotta bands rock the same kinda writer-as-rocker steez (coughDestroyercough) and come out affected, faux-poetic, precious, and—gulp—clever, Roser's lyrics feel and sound natural and totally honest in their conception. Don't be a chump, get thyself this show early and show your respect for up and coming Portland talent. GM
ZAIKA, GROUPER, GHOSTING
(Dunes, 1905 NE MLK) Oakland seems like the noise promised land some days. The Oakland duo Zaika weaves improv magic spells and E-Bow-made blossoms of trippy beauty. (Most of this is done LOUD.) Zaika band-mates Marcia Bassett and Tom Carter have played with people like Inca Ore, Yellow Swans, Pete Nolan (Magick Markers) and Matthew Bower (Skullflower), and tonight they're playing for YOU along with Grouper and the wonderful Ghosting. AG
57 OCTAVES BELOW, CATERPILLARHUSHHUSH
(Towne Lounge, 714 SW 20th Pl) Recent Portland transplants (by way of Baltimore) 57 Octaves Below have a lot of arrows in their quiver. I'm talkin' the brooding, moody ambient arrow, the gothy piano-led dirge arrow, the outsider folk arrow, and—my personal favorite—the late-night-feeling, reverb-drenched quiet minimalism arrow. What this means is they have what it takes to bring down just about any dragon before said dragon breathes hellfire upon the village. AG
MISSION OF BURMA, 50 FOOT WAVE
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See Music, pg. 35.
RATATAT, ENVELOPES, PANTHER, E*ROCK
(Berbati's, 10 SW 3rd) See Music, pg. 33.
(Satyricon, 125 NW 6th) See Friday's Awesomefest Up & Coming.
ROTTURE GRAND OPENING WEEKEND W/OLD TIME RELIJUN, CREEPING NOBODIES, GHOST TO FALCO, BIRDS BURROW IN BRICK
(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) The Creeping Nobodies are more like a collective than a band. Based in Toronto, the band is about to celebrate their fifth anniversary. After two tumultuous first years, the five current members finally came together and have been creating disharmonious noise in harmony ever since. Not bad for a group whose first gig was a Fall tribute show. "I guess the tribute show was ostensibly the first Creeping Nobodies show," says head Creep Derek Westerholm, "although at the time we all thought it was a one-off. But we enjoyed playing together and eventually started to make our own music." Westerholm continues, "If I had to pick one band that really informs our sound, I'd say it was the Ex. Each band member brings their own set of influences, and I've always been into a whole wide range of things. My main goal is for things not to stay static, and to keep changing our sound a little with every record and tour." Sound of Joy, the latest effort from the band, was released in May on Toronto's Blocks Recording Club label. Wharton Tiers, who has also controlled the consoles for Sonic Youth and Theoretical Girls, among other post-punk notables, produced the record. His influence is clear right from the first track, which starts off with the sound of Westerholm gasping before letting loose with a rapid-fire repetition of the word "intent." The song then turns angular and frenetic, with a Westerholm chanting incantations over and over, all while propelled along by a strong drumbeat. It feels almost tribal and would have been right at home on Sonic Youth's classic Sister. Westerholm isn't the only voice on the album; he is aided by Valerie Uher and Sarah Richardson, both of whom deliver their back-up lines in monotone voices that evoke the bratty, tossed-off rants of Kathleen Hanna's early days. Live, the girls look cool and feign boredom, while Westerholm bounces off his band mates and, occasionally, the audience. "My goal is to make music that is energetic and gets a message out," says Westerholm. And if he happens to deliver that message while lying on top of you on a beer-soaked floor, so be it. CORTNEY HARDING See also The Scene Report, pg. 41.
BARK, HIDE AND HORN, SEAN HAYASHI, SOUNDS LIKE FUN
(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) 'Sup, Sounds Like Fun? Where you been? Feels like eons since I've peeped your crazy-fun indiepop live show. Tonight celebrates the grand opening weekend of the Rotture club and the super rad Sounds Like Fun are opening. P.S. Bark, Hide and Horn is holy-shit good. GM
AWESOMEFEST 2006: AMERICAN ME, CROSSTIDE, THE DIVORCE, FEROCIOUS EAGLE, HIS NAME SHALL BREATHE, INKED IN BLOOD, I QUIT, ROBOT EYES
(Satyricon, 125 NW 6th) See Friday's Awesomefest Up & Coming.
MARITIME, PARKS AND RECREATION, DOLLY DOLLY
(Towne Lounge, 714 SW 20th Pl) Hipsters are a buncha silly-ass milk-babies and I'm gonna let y'all know why. Aesthetic, yo. Fake, forced, affected, phony baloney aesthetics. Case in point: all the folkies and psyche bands that name themselves after nature, animals, and woodsy stuff when in fact they're really a buncha urban city kids who don't give a crap about the wilderness. To them, eagle, deer, wolf, bear, etc., imagery is just a fun, campy thing and it makes their music appear disingenuous and ephemeral. Same goes for sportin' shirts with "mystical" Indians on them or neo-hippie clothes or animal masks. Same goes for Dungeons & Dragons chic—and same goes for nautical-themed bands. Like, how many of these nautical-named bands have actually been on a boat? How many of them have actually been out in the ocean? Not a whole lot, I'm guessing. Makes me think America's independent music scene has a collective case of arrested development, that they're forever childish and will never make anything worthy or permanent or interesting. Irony abounds! Honesty dies and rots like a roadkill cat. Hi, Maritime, I'm talking to you. I'm guessing if we put your ass in the water, you would sink like a fucking metal school desk. I loved your last band, the Promise Ring, and they totally fit with their name. Emo kids give each other promise rings. Emo kids aren't ancient mariners and brave sea captains. Grow up, indierock: You're starting to make hiphop look even more enticing and fresh. Oh yeah, please please go to this show for the superb Parks and Recreation, one of PDX's best poppy indie bands. You'll dig 'em. I promise. If you don't, I'll let you punch me in the brain. Ouch! GM
NINA NASTASIA, LOCH LOMOND, LAURA GIBSON
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Ritchie Young from Portland's Loch Lomond has a very high, feminine voice. For the longest time I thought dude was a lady, but then I saw Loch Lomond live, and the fools suddenly became one of my favorite bands on planet Earth. Below Young's quavering, soaring vocals (think: Now It's Overhead or a nice Bowie falsetto), the band busts out banjo, country geetars, mandolin, and accordion—basically a dream orchestra of Americana goodness. GM
JACKPOT RECORDS PRESENTS BAD BRAINS LIVE AT CBGBs SCREENING
(Bagdad Theater, 3702 SE Hawthorne) Goddamn! How impressive is it that this Bad Brains footage is over 30 years old, and yet still has the ability to blow your mind? This is H.R. and Dr. Know at their peak—before the accusations of homophobia and drug addiction would destroy their reputation, and hundreds of copycats would steal their fire. If you know your history, you know that Bad Brains is one of the most influential punk rock bands of all time, and for good reason. These guys weren't just kids with good intentions, thrashing it out onstage—they were trained prog/jazz musicians who fell in love with the transforming energy and power of punk rock. Bad Brains crashed the all-white punk party and infused its sound with black pride in a way that had never been seen before. Take the Bagdad Theater time machine back to New York City, 1982 and witness these inspiring (and always controversial) performances for FREE! FREE! FREE! Thank you Jackpot Records for being such an awesome resource—you rule! SN
SERENA MANEESH, WOVENHAND, EVANGELCALS, THE SUN THE SEA
(Berbati's, 10 SW 3rd) Serena Maneesh is not what you think. First of all, it's not one person, it's 10 of the most handsome people you've ever laid your mortal eyes upon, and they are a band. Secondly, they are from Norway. How's that for street cred? And finally, they are friends with all sorts of notable people like Sufjan Stevens, Steve Albini, and our hometown heroes, the Dandy Warhols. So, you ask, what about their music? Ahhh, yes. Well, they meld together all of the sounds that you are in love with (swarming bees, moving trains, and blondes riding bareback through deep forests), and with the finesse of beautiful alchemists, make some solid gold rock 'n' roll. Without even noticing what is going on, your head will be doing the nod, your left foot tapping in time, and you will be blissfully enveloped in their My Bloody Valentine wall of sound. I've experienced this firsthand while listening to their 2005 self-titled album—especially the track "Selina's Melodie Fountain." And the single, "Drain Cosmetics"? Sexy as all get out. SN
TWO GALLANTS, LANGHORNE SLIM, TRAINWRECK RIDERS
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See Music, pg. 33.
BASTA!, ASPHALT THIEVES, THE BUILDERS AND THE BUTCHERS, RYAN DOLLIVER
(Satyricon, 125 NW 6th) The Builders and the Butchers is a merry buncha homies that ramble all over Portland playing their Americana for whoever will listen. This happens in clubs and bars, but it also—a lotta the time—goes down on street corners, at bus stops, and sometimes begins in a club or a bar, but leaves the stage (they play un-mic'd) member by member until the whole group is outside and then they make their way down the street playing their ever-lovin' hearts out. Nice. GM
MUTE MATH, SHINY TOY GUNS, JONEZETTA
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) The last time Mute Math brought their smooth yet intense electro-rock to Portland, they were without a label, touring on their own, and selling their record at shows without the help of a label or distribution, proving that if bands work hard enough, they can get by with a little help from their friends (and dedicated fans and the internet). Mute Math's efforts paid off. Not long after that tour, the New Orleans outfit inked a deal with Warner Bros., and now they're headlining bigger venues across the nation and officially reissuing their self-titled album with three extra tracks and a limited-edition bonus disc that features live footage. MEGAN SELING