(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway) First of all: It's SIR Tom Jones, bitches! Secondly: At roughly 68 years old, Sir Tom still has much of the same vocal power he exhibited back during his mid-'60s zenith. Thirdly: His hits ("It's Not Unusual," "What's New Pussycat?," "Delilah," "Thunderball," and more) transcend kitschy casino nostalgia and still send his audiences into deserved throes of ecstasy. Fourthly: Rather than sit on his ass, Sir Tom has continued to grow musically through the years, keeping his sound fresh with the Art of Noise, Teddy Riley, Wyclef Jean, and more. Fifthly: While the outboard motor in his booty may not produce the same wiggle, Sir Tom's shows can still can whip up a mosh pit of sexuality that can successfully make every demographic damp in the pants. Sixthly: See Sir Tom before you die. You won't regret it. WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY
RICHIE HAWTIN, MAGDA, HEARTTHROB
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Timed with the upcoming 10-year anniversary of M_nus Records, label owner Richie Hawtin recently declared "10 weeks of silence" during which not a single beep was heard from the M_nus crew. The break was mostly aimed at giving all involved a couple months off from hectic touring schedules, but also had the effect of highlighting the prolific output of the key techno label. Hawtin, who also founded the influential Plus 8 Records, has been on the leading edge of dance music since he started throwing raves in Detroit as a teenager. Fifteen years later, he has earned international prestige for changing the face of techno by pushing forward new concepts. Innovation through technology has been a constant theme, and he recently revamped his live set to be entirely digital. Labelmates and fellow innovators Magda and Heartthrob join Hawtin on the 10-year anniversary tour, guaranteeing an enlightening experience on the dance floor. AVA HEGEDUS
CANDLEMASS, DAYLIGHT DIES, DARK BLACK,
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) "Doom metal" now describes bands as diverse as drone-rumblers Sunn O))) and hard-rockers Danava, but what did it mean originally? Tonight's show is a journey to the center of this bleak music that more or less started with Black Sabbath (but trust me, you don't want to hear Ozzy anymore). Sweden's Candlemass formed in 1985 and have gone through many lineup and stylistic changes, but the dedication in the liner notes of their 1986 debut, Epicus Doomicus Metallicus, still applies: "To hatred, bitterness, pain, depression, and hangovers." Their new offering, King of the Grey Islands, with Solitude Aeturnus singer Robert Lowe, is a slow march into dead-air AOR. "Of Stars and Smoke" is this year's best 1987 single, evoking early Savatage strut over suffocating Sabbath/Trouble chording. Openers Daylight Dies, who honor both Swedish death/doom and American Southern rock (sparingly), are a real sight to be seen. MIKE MEYER
MR. GNOME, THE PHYSICS OF MEANING, THE WEATHER MACHINES,
(Towne Lounge, 714 SW 20th Pl) J. Ward—not to be confused with M. Ward—is a musician from South Dakota currently hiding out in this indie-mecca we call home. His project, the Weather Machines, is guitar-driven, feel-good pop-rock, not a million miles away from the Cars or Big Star, but with perhaps less polish. (This is a good thing; those refined sugars can kill you.) The Sound of Pseudoscience album has been around for a while, but it still sounds fresh—or more accurately, timeless. It's perfect music for the start of summer, either soundtracking a backyard barbeque or a meandering drive out of town with all the windows down. If it won't be enough to get you through summer, there's a new Weather Machines EP coming out soon called Bones and Brains. NED LANNAMANN
CHARIOTS OF RUBBER, THE FAMOUS MYSTERIOUS
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) See My, What a Busy Week!.
KJ SAWKA, SOLOVOX, NOAH D
(Crown Room, 205 NW 4th) On the whole, electronic musicians are not known for their showmanship. I can't be the only one who sometimes wonders whether the dude onstage is playing music or checking his MySpace account. Seattle drum 'n' bass producer KJ Sawka sets a higher bar for live electronic performers. His infamous live show is a dizzying one-man-band concept with compelling, IDM-colored break beats (think Ninja Tune) played on a hybrid acoustic/electronic drum kit. As if executing his extremely complex, syncopated beats live isn't impressive enough, Sawka triggers all of the electronics (even the light show) manually, and the display of intricacy demonstrates just how much thought he puts into presenting an interesting performance. AVA
FUTURE ARTS FESTIVAL: CHROMATICS, MUTE ERA, FLESHTONE, DJ
COPY, DJ RAD, DJ GIRLFRIENDS, DEE JAY JACK
(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) Not to degrade the music of Fleshtone, but it has its highlights and lowlights, especially when listened to independently of their live performances. But damn, they do put on a good show. It's nearly impossible not to get caught up in the whole experience when Fleshtone's deranged cheerleading hits the stage, choreographed to the hilt with high kicks and floor humping. The dark, synth-heavy electronica is made all the more absurd with lyrics like "knock-knock-knocking on your uterine wall, scream-scream-screaming as I come down the hall." And "Feed us! Feed us! You ain't nothing but a fetus." You get the idea. All that filthy fun will be for a good cause, as tonight's Future Arts Festival is a benefit for PDJX, a DJ event taking place in Pioneer Courthouse Square in August. DREW GEMMER
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Portland retro-popsters Blue Skies for Black Hearts have just released their fourth record, Serenades and Hand Grenades, and tonight's the album release party. It's filled to the brim with mid-'60s pastiches of the highest order, running through obvious British touchstones like the Beatles and the Kinks, to less obvious ones like the Dave Clark Five and the Hollies. "Siouxsie Please Come Home" initially seems like a mannered pop tune, complete with polite Zombies-esque backing vocals, but there's a surprise in store when the band rudely shouts a chorus of "I wanna waste all of your time!" These moments make Serenades the band's best work to date—a confident, enjoyable record that, despite familiar influences, never feels like a retread. NL
DEATH ANGEL, GOD FORBID, SOILENT GREEN, LIGHT THIS
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) Heavy metal gets a lot of shit for its supposed lack of diversity, but consider tonight's all-ages melting pot as proof otherwise. San Francisco's female-fronted Light This City put an honest-to-hardcore stamp on melodic death metal, channeling Arch Enemy while eating Victory Records for breakfast. At an average age of 20, the kids are still growing. Their newest full-length, Facing the Thousand, introduces Maiden-esque twin-guitar harmonies without sounding saddled. Asian American thrash pioneers Death Angel, who tentatively reformed in 2001, confidently wave the '80s flag on their second reunion album, Killing Season. More Testament than Metallica, Death Angel prove that you don't need a band psychologist to get out there and blast: "Come with us/Gonna make you feel alive," as they invite on "Sonic Beatdown." Sounds better than "I'm madly in anger with you," right? Metal doesn't need Metallica, but it could use your support. MM
THE NICE BOYS, HOLY GHOST REVIVAL, SUSPECT PARTS, WELCOME
(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) Get to Berbati's early to catch brand-new all-star bands Suspect Parts—featuring members of the Clorox Girls and the Briefs—and Welcome Home Walker, starring Soda Pop Kids guitarist/tunesmith D, who never met a Chuck Berry riff he didn't like. His ability to pen danceable good-time rock 'n' roll hits with just the right amount of snarl is unparalleled, and he's got a rare facility for writing love song lyrics. D comes in a totally adorable package: The man's like a fresh-scrubbed, relatively drug-free Johnny Thunders, clearly born to break hipster chicklet hearts. It's another batch of catchy pop rock from the prolific heartthrob. Bonus: He's singin'! Swoon! VIVA LAS VEGAS
EXPERIMENTAL LIQUOR MUSEUM: EVAC, COMMA, BEN MILSTEIN,
BOLKUT, BOT23 VS. 214
(2410 N Mississippi) Experimental Liquor Museum has been pushing the experimental sound of big electro bass for over 10 years. Referencing the cutting-edge sounds of producers like Autechre and Drexia, the collective has a dark and futuristic character yet keeps the breakbeats dancefloor friendly. Tonight they have a sprawling lineup of top-quality bass-oriented artists, including headliner Evac, whose productions are some of the best in the genre. In proper style, the party goes until 5 am with a massive sound system to ensure an amazing listening experience. Several members of ELM recently relocated to Portland, giving a hefty boost to the local dance music scene. Be on the lookout for more of their big, bass-y events to come. AVA
THE QUARTER AFTER, THE ASTEROID FOUR, DJ BROTHER HOLLYWOOD,
REV. STRICKLAND, DJ GABRIEL
(East End, 203 SE Grand) Los Angeles psyche-rockers the Quarter After sound like the Byrds by way of the Stone Roses. It's paisley, floral print, denim, and fringe all at once... Okay, those would all look awful together, but the Quarter After's new record, Changes Near—out on Anton Newcombe's label, The Committee to Keep Music Evil—is a rockin', folkin', trippin' series of droning harmonies, kicking rhythms, circular 12-string riffs, and the occasional ghostly mellotron. "Early Morning Rider" plays like a track from The Notorious Byrd Brothers imported from a parallel dimension, whereas "She Revolves" transposes the bass riff from Pink Floyd's "Let There Be More Light" to a 12-string, with fiery lead guitar and foot-stomp backbeat. NL
THIRD ANNUAL DOLLY PARTON HOOT NIGHT (Mission Theater, 1624
NW Glisan) See My, What a Busy Week!.
STEVIE NICKS TRIBUTE
(LaurelThirst Public House, 2958 NE Glisan) See My, What a Busy Week!.
LADYHAWK, NEVA DINOVA, SOFT TAGS
(Towne Lounge, 714 SW 20th Pl) See My, What a Busy Week!.
THE LONG BLONDES, CAVES, SHARPENING
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) The Long Blondes' 2006 Someone to Drive You Home opened with the sound of feedback and moved quickly to rising vocals and clattering drums. This year's "Couples" is rung in by the icier keyboards of "Century," Kate Jackson's voice accompanied by waves of harmonies. Whether raggedly pushing guitars to their limits or gradually adding layer after layer of synthesizers, the group's pop sensibility is never really in doubt: The new album's "Guilt" and "Erin O'Connor" are among the catchiest songs they've written. And the group's pinpoint lyrical focus remains in place, surveying a spectrum of human emotions and broken relationships through multiple permutations. TOBIAS CARROLL
(Amphitheater at Clark County, 17200 NE Delfel, Ridgefield, WA) See My, What a Busy Week!.
MORGAN GRACE, OH DARLING, LONDON AND THE
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Remember your first band crush? You know, the one you would listen to over and over until the CD scratched, the cassette tape ripped, or the record skipped? Or the first time you had an intense emotional connection to someone's music and felt they were channeling a special message just for you? No, you weren't an obsessive freak. You were just in love. For all the Morgan Grace "super fans" who fell captive to her creative prowess, Ms. Grace will release a collection of demos entitled Valentine. To a super fan, demos are some of the most precious recordings an artist can give. The songs have a raw urgency, allowing us to join Ms. Grace on her journey through an intimate world of creation. She delivers an alternate version of "Drive Past Your House," proving a haunting piano is more emotionally resonate than the juicy power-pop original found on The Rules of Dating. EM BROWNLOWE
LOS CAMPESINOS!, PARENTHETICAL GIRLS
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See Music Feature.
TUB RING, THE DAYS THE NIGHTS, FAST PACE SLOW
(Satyricon, 125 NW 6th) Tub Ring are the product of Chicago's Fireside Bowl era, when emo-punk bands like Cap'n Jazz and Sidekick Kato were friends—or at least coworkers—with extreme no-wavers like Azita Youssefi of the Scissor Girls. (This explains the Azita cameo in the bonus demo on Alkaline Trio's newly remastered Goddamnit.) But unlike many of their peers, Tub Ring sonically combine both sides of the Fireside. No cameo needed. Their back catalog veers from keyboard squelch to anthemic, emo-leaning pop—sometimes in the same song. They even put out albums on industrial label Invisible Records, home of Pigface. Now they're on metal label The End Records, previous home of Agalloch, which makes perfect sense for Tub Ring. Last year's The Great Filter plays in a world in which the words "My Chemical Romance" weren't dirty (really, now, what's wrong with a modern-day Queen?) and kids cared about John Zorn. In short, bombastic. MM
JOAN OF ARC, 31KNOTS, FIST FITE
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See Music Feature.
KANYE WEST, N.E.R.D., LUPE FIASCO,
(Rose Garden, 1 Center Ct) "There is a new yardstick for the size of the universe," Jon Pareles recently wrote in the New York Times. "It is approximately equal to the size of Kanye West's ego." Hah! Not bad—and after you hear what Mr. West is up to on the "Glow in the Dark" tour, you can't help but laugh. It's a ludicrous sci-fi spectacle. Kanye is an explorer whose ship goes down on an unknown planet. (The ship talks, by the way.) There are all kinds of crazy video and lights and "cosmic eruptions." Kanye converses with shooting stars and humps the stage. It's all triumph, all the time. No one else onstage—or, should I say, in the world. Fucking insane, right? Could you imagine if someone pelted him with a soda in the middle of one of these deep ego explorations? (Not that I'd encourage it, but my god—the entire universe would probably implode.) Still, despite all the fantastic narcissism, the show sounds intriguing, no? ANDREW R TONRY Also see My, What a Busy Week!.
DILATED PEOPLES, THE ALCHEMIST, ACEYALONE, 88
(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) Assured Los Angeles trio Dilated Peoples never fails hiphop purists but aren't too unwieldy for casual listeners. DJ Babu is as freakishly good as he is judicious, while mouthpiece Rakaa Iriscience lands distilled insights, and plainspoken foil Evidence cleans up the rear. It's a masterful combination that fashioned the low-frequency anthem "Worst Comes to Worst" and the Kanye West-assisted triumph "This Way," among other gems in their four-album catalog. This headlining performance of the "Fresh Rhymes and Videotape" tour will be interspersed with a fair amount of visuals, as will those of their formidable openers, producers 88 Key and the Alchemist, and veteran tongue twister Aceyalone. JALYLAH BURRELL
CASIOTONE FOR THE PAINFULLY ALONE, FOOT FOOT,
(The Artistery, 4315 SE Division) At first glance, tourmates Casiotone for the Painfully Alone and Foot Foot might seem oddly matched; the former leans toward pop songwriting laced with programmed beats and moody synthesizer tones, while the latter seem descended from a long Californian line of offbeat rock bands tapping into a strong and sprawling country influence. What unites them is less sonic than presentational: the hushed intimacy heard in the delivery of both Casiotone's Owen Ashworth and Foot Foot's Robin Brown. While their preferred methods of musical execution may differ, the songs of each play out like quiet, minutely observed sketches of a series of disparate lives. TC
FIREWATER, LITTLE PIECES
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See Music Feature.
FROG EYES, THE BOTTICELLIS
(Backspace, 115 NW 5th) See My, What a Busy Week!.