DANAVA, SUBARACHNOID SPACE, DARKBLACK, TORN TO PIECES,
(Lola's Room, 1332 W Burnside) See Music Feature.
MONOTONIX, MUSTAPHAMOND, PALO VERDE, THE EMPTY
(Satyricon, 125 NW 6th) See Music Feature.
MEN, HEY WILLPOWER, GAYCATION DJS
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) One listen to Imperial Teen and it becomes clear that Will Schwartz has some serious pop tendencies. What's not clear, though, is that beneath all the hooks lies a sexual R&B megastar waiting to burst. Enter Schwartz's new group, Hey Willpower. Along with Tomo Yasuda of Tussle, Schwartz creates fiery, mid-tempo, Prince-inspired jams that are sure to light up any dance floor. Willpower performs with synchronized back-up dancers, which may not be much if you love, say, Fergie, but for a small indie show it's definitely something special. Now's your chance to memorize the routines so you're not the only one left out when the place breaks out in a high school prom movie-ending dance sequence. ROB SIMONSEN
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) See Music Feature.
SIERRA LEONE'S REFUGEE ALL STARS, UPRITE DUB
(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) See Once More with Feeling.
PORTLAND JAZZ FESTIVAL: JOSHUA REDMAN
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) With all the hype gravitating toward the older cats at this year's PDX Jazz Fest, it's important not to overlook saxophonist Joshua Redman. Now, at 39, he's no young buck, but compared to festival performers like Ornette Coleman (who once upon a time played with Redman's father) or Maceo Parker, Redman is the relative newcomer. It shows in his performances—there's a little more fire bursting forth from the quartet's collective belly than many of the other Jazz Fest performers (though Maceo, for his age, still cranks it up). Redman's sound is decidedly classic when compared to the free-jazz stylings of Coleman, but it still shucks and jives at high speed—traditional, swinging, rhythm-driven jazz. And while you could make the case that many of the Jazz Fest performers' best years are behind them, the same can't be said for Redman. This may well be the sleeper hit of the festival. ANDREW R. TONRY
BLACK COBRA, GORT, DJ NOCTURNUS
(East End, 203 SE Grand) One night last August, Black Cobra took the stage of Kelly's Olympian after a crowd of about 40 had already been roughed up by the screaming thrash rock of Saviours. It would take a little something extra to steal the thunder back from the openers. That something was Caligula, which Black Cobra projected behind them as the real assault began. The unsexy 1979 pseudo-porn flick coupled with Black Cobra's ear-splitting calculations washed over the crowd like some kind of zombie spell, summoning a scary mosh pit in the unlikeliest venue. Grown men were kicking, flailing, being whipped to the ground—all lit by the subtlest neon glow from the adjoining biker bar. The band's Feather and Stone CD reflects this live insanity with the relentless "Red Tide" and "Swords for Teeth," two standout tracks of Dazzling Killmen-style jazzcore as rushed through the twin towers of heavy frickin' metal. MIKE MEYER
(Kelly's Olympian, 426 SW Washington) The gentle stripped-down strum 'n' sing of the Rainy States worked to perfection on their demo EP. With a full-length album on the cusp of release, does their low-fi charm transfer over to a longer recording? Indeed, it does. Their long-player In Basement Air continues the local quartet's simple setup of bare minimalist indie rock that orbits around the tender voice of singer Betsy Johnson. Home-recorded, the album is warm in all the right places, an ideal soundtrack for late weekend mornings spent tangled in the sheets with someone you adore. EZRA ACE CARAEFF
(The Artistery, 4315 SE Division) See My, What a Busy Week!.
JUSTIN RINGLE, RYAN SOLLEE, JUSTIN POWER, NICK
(Towne Lounge, 714 SW 20th Pl) For a moment, let go of all the swampy feelings you may harbor when someone says "singer/songwriter." Tonight's show is an intimate little treat with dudes who just happen to both sing and write. We're not talking about diaries and coffee-shop open mic night flakes—these folks are proven. You know their bands. You got Ryan Sollee, bombastic frontman of the forward-marching the Builders and the Butchers; Justin Ringle, the crisp singer and guitarist from Horse Feathers; and the raspy Nick Delffs of the Shaky Hands. And while Horse Feathers is a prettier, subdued thing, the chance to catch Sollee sans band is an interesting opportunity. Without the caterwauling Butchers behind him, Sollee's Neil Young-esque timbre shall be set free to twist in the wind all by its lonesome, and there's little telling where it might end up. ART
GOLDEN: TRUCKASAURAS, ATOLE,
DJ LINOLEUM, DJ
(Someday Lounge, 125 NW 5th) When people think of dance music in the United States, Seattle isn't the first city that comes to mind. And while Chicago and Detroit may own the roots, Seattle is on the cutting edge with record labels like Orac and Fourthcity and the now renowned Decibel Festival, where local acts like Truckasauras are just as impressive as the international talent. It was said by more than a few attendees of last year's festival that, even though they were in the opening timeslot, Truckasauras stole the show. Their sound avoids the hammering monotony of the ever-popular nü-rave realm, exhibiting a welcome thoughtfulness. An ample array of hardware—including an 808 and a Gameboy—provides character and intricacy, while fun-yet-pointed pop culture imagery adds a pensiveness and sense of detachment that lends an unexpected and refreshing dimension to the party beats. AVA HEGEDUS
MARK PICKEREL & HIS PRAYING HANDS, CLAMPITT
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Mark Pickerel spent much of the '90s making music as a member of Screaming Trees and Truly. Since then, he's focused on work as a solo artist, releasing two albums as the Dark Fantastic. 2006 brought Snake in the Radio, the debut from Mark Pickerel and His Praying Hands, a stark rock album anchored by Pickerel's reassuring, deadpan voice (arguably the missing link between M. Ward and Nick Cave). Languorous guitar lines, atmospheric organ, and subtle drums run through most of his songs, which are at their best when Pickerel's narratives opt for a more subtle set of imagery. TOBIAS CARROLL
WORTHY, CHRISTIAN MARTIN
(Pala, 105 NW 3rd) Christian Martin and Worthy are at the top of their game. The fact that they are both associated with Dirtybird Records, the San Francisco house label that can do no wrong, should be enough to get any dance music fan excited about this shared bill in Portland. But the two have ties that go beyond the SF tech-house scene. Worthy recently started his own forward-thinking dance label, Katabatic Records, and has releases on Om Records and Matt Tolfrey's Leftroom Records. Christian Martin is one half of the Martin Brothers (with his brother Justin) and he was a featured DJ on the XLR8R podcast last year. Martin and Worthy share a knack for making quirky, funky music that appeals to just about anybody on a given dance floor. Combine that with an upward trajectory in the international techno scene and you've got yourself a show that should not be missed. AH
EXODUS, GOATWHORE, ARSIS, WARBRINGER, AMONGST
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) Ignoring for a moment the swampy, new-American black metal of Goatwhore, tonight's show is a thrash showcase decades in the making. Bay Area titans Exodus are still pushing the circle-pit stuff peers like Metallica (with Exodus alumnus Kirk Hammett) couldn't stomach past 1990. If anything, Exodus have gotten a bit harder through the years, dipping into death metal to match a shifting lineup and fanbase. Now that popular metal has shifted back to thrash—aided by the mainstream success of Trivium and an underground documented by Earache's excellent Thrashing Like a Maniac compilation—Exodus can enjoy themselves again. Openers Warbringer turn Slayer into a ridiculous cyclone of G.I. Joe toys and goofy stagediving. The pre-'90 surge of "Total War" appeals to nostalgic headbangers and wartime kiddies alike. Good times, but as Megadeth's Dave Mustaine once sang, "If there's a new way, I'll be the first in line." MM
(Twilight Café and Bar, 1420 SE Powell) Wherever you are, just start clapping. I don't care if you're at church, work, on the toilet or whatever—give a hand to Portland musicians who give a damn. When people have been in need, time after time Stumptown's players have stepped up. They did it for Ethos; they did it for the Rock 'n' Roll Camp for Girls. For hospital and legal bills, for vans full of stolen instruments. And they did it for Shane Asbery when he was diagnosed with Hodgkins lymphoma. Sadly, Asbery, bass player with My Favorite Everything, passed away last year at the age of 30. But his memory, and the spirit of giving that he inspired, live on. Tonight, seven bands come together to honor Shane and raise money in his name. All proceeds from tonight's free show (no skimping!) will be given to Providence Medical Center. So give 'em a hand, people—you know, by giving some cash. ART
PORTLAND JAZZ FESTIVAL: MACEO PARKER
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!.
WNTR WRKS: E*ROCK, HOOLIGANSHIP, GAY DECEIVERS, NOLLIFUR, DJ
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See My, What a Busy Week!.
MINMAE, THE EVENING EPISODE,
(Ash Street Saloon, 225 SW Ash) The Evening Episode have gone through quite a few changes lately, so much so that they're almost like a collective of constantly rotating members à la Menudo. Don't let that deter you from checking them out, though, because the band is a strong as ever. Anchored by drummer Ira Skinner, the Episode still manage to do what they do best: mix indie rock and electronics, much in the same vein as the Notwist and Radiohead, all topped off with lush female vocals. And hey, there's no Ricky Martin, and that's got to be worth something, right? RS
YOAV, SEAN HAYES, GARTH STEEL KLIPPERT
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) What the hell is going on here? And when is it going to stop? It's time to separate the album and the performance—because, as Bob Dylan said, "it's about entertainment, people!" And may I say, watching some floppy dork like Yoav onstage playing nothing but his acoustic guitar as big beats and crazy synths blast out of his Macbook Pro is anything but entertaining. It's like Guitar Hero except no one's letting you play! So look to your left, then to your right, cock the ol' brow, shake your head, and say to your neighbor, "No more! Playing with computers sucks!" Laptops are no substitute for a band and they never will be (even when the band stinks). For Christ's sake, spontaneity and elasticity count! Dancing around and jamming with your computer is just about as fun and cool as giving the little bastard a back rub, then hoping for something in return. And yet, that's exactly what we're doing! WHAT THE FUCK!? ART
THE MOUNTAIN GOATS,
JEFFREY LEWIS & THE
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See Music Feature.
CALABI YAU, ALEXIS GIDEON, NIGHT WOUNDS
(Someday Lounge, 125 NW 5th) Noise has become a lot friendlier over the last decade, as any one of a million Yellow Swans CDs could explain. Artists born from the scourge of Merzbow and Smegma are now just as likely to sound upbeat as Dan Deacon. And it's probably for the best. Calabi Yau attempt a jarring struggle between U.S. Maple and Ocrilim, but on a bill with rap-electro goof Alexis Gideon, we can expect a smile or two. (This would never happen at an old, dirty Whitehouse show.) Openers Night Wounds have coupled with no-wavers AIDS Wolf on a recent guitar-wrecked split. Their "Total Void" is a breath of rank air—not a happy person in sight. "I am nothing," they sing, sounding a little disappointed at what's become of their mess. MM
DRAGGING AN OX THROUGH WATER, ANNI ROSSI, BIRD
(Valentine's, 232 SW Ankeny) A one-man show can be a tricky proposition, but Brian Mumford's Dragging an Ox Through Water finds enough twists, turns, and aural experiments to damn well bring one of the best shows in town. A little bit noise, a little bit soul, a little bit freak-folk and a lot in between, Dragging an Ox can get a touch too noised-out at times, but the more stripped down tunes are damn near perfect—imagine Xiu Xiu on the safe side of the self-indulgence meter and you're on the right track. Rounding out this show are Chicago's Anni Rossi, carrying the sweet side, and relative newcomer Bird Costumes and his pocketful of noise. HANNAH CARLEN
THE MOUNTAIN GOATS,
JEFFREY LEWIS & THE
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See Music Feature.
CASTANETS, DEATH SONGS
(Valentine's, 232 SW Ankeny) The music of Ray Raposa's Castanets has many times been referred to as "moody," but this doesn't sit quite right. "Moody" implies frequent changes of mood, or bouncing back and forth, changing directions, going from ups to downs. With one listen to the slow-burning In the Vines, and Raposa's unhurried murmur weaving throughout, it becomes evident there is but one direction here, and it ain't up. And though it's spooky and dim, and though its natural acoustic textures are filtered through trippy effects, the record manages to stay on an even keel. Regardless, Raposa picks a feeling and stokes it carefully over the course of a verse, a song, an album, an evening. Even when the gentle nylon-string lament "Rain Will Come" evolves into a metallic wail, it's simply an extension of the mood Raposa has laid down so carefully—the first part of the song being kindling, arranged just so, for the latter's ignition. NED LANNAMANN
MSTRKRFT, LA RIOTS, LAZARO CASANOVA
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) See My, What a Busy Week!.
LANDMARKS: ETHAN ROSE, YELLOW SWANS, UNRECOGNIZABLE NOW,
VERY STEREO, LINGER & QUIET
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See My, What a Busy Week!.
HOLY FUCK, A PLACE TO BURY STRANGERS, THE
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Hang on. Didn't Holy Fuck just play the Doug Fir a couple weeks ago when they opened for Super Furry Animals? Did you miss 'em? Can't get enough? Lucky for you, the Toronto group is back, for another round of violent, live-instrument reinterpretation of electro nic music before our blood has had time to cool down. Sure, the name is kind of a stunt, but Holy Fuck have more than kept their end of the bargain with a fantastic, earth-rattling full-length. The self-titled album stirs together heavy-rhythm dance music, motorik propulsion, whipcracking drums, and a curtain of psychedelic moonglow, and—all kidding aside—it really is enough to make you say... well, you know. NL