THE LONG WINTERS, THE BUILDERS AND THE BUTCHERS
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) Fronted by John Roderick, the Long Winters pair bluntly emotional lyrics with soaring melodies for power-pop that packs a punch. It's been a couple years since the Seattle band's last record, so they'll be road-testing some new material at tonight's show before committing it to tape later this year. NED LANNAMANN
NIGHTCLUBBING: RUNAWAY, CHROMATICS, LINGER & QUIET
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See music feature.
(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) As Binary Dolls gradually dissolved over the past couple years, songwriter Nick Jaina took the conversational folk elements with him to his solo work, while the rhythm section of Matt Dabrowiak and Paul Alcott absconded with the groove. The two have been blowing up parties and clubs alike as Dat'r, implanting the relentless sound of electronic music with hard-hitting percussion and a rock sensibility. They backed Danny Seim of Menomena as part of Seim's solo project, Lackthereof, at the Blue Giant show a couple weeks ago, but tonight it's all Dat'r, which means you'll get an earful of music that'll accelerate your heartbeat, raise your temperature, and get your muscles twitching. What's more, Dat'r's music has so much going on, and explores its musical territory with so much confident creativity, that it'll get those brain synapses firing, too. Talk about a full-body workout. NL
WHITE HINTERLAND, BAPTIST ARMS
(Towne Lounge, 714 SW 20th Pl) Casey Dienel is a former solo performer in the esteemed Hush Records stable who is now backed by a full band and goes under the White Hinterland moniker. While she might make the Massachusetts area her home, the voice of White Hinterland has never severed her Portland roots. Adam Selzer at Type Foundry recorded her gorgeous Phylactery Factory album locally, and Dienel herself has been lingering around town all summer long. Known primarily for her lovely voice and ambitious melodies, Dienel does a splendid job of carrying the Joni Mitchell piano-folk torch while never venturing too deep into the retro temptations of the past. And be kind to the gal, since White Hinterland's equipment was stolen this past February and—according to her blog, which documents both her tour adventures and forays into creative baking—she ruined her plum crostata. Life can be so cruel. EZRA ACE CARAEFF
LIBERTY BANG: THEM JEANS, PASE ROCK, DJ BEYONDA, NATHAN DETROIT
(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) Want your Fourth of July to have a little extra ker-pow? Then head down to Liberty Bang!, an off-the-patriotic-chain dance throwdown, headlined by Them Jeans, one of Los Angeles' biggest DJs, and featuring the local dream team of DJ Beyonda and DJ Nathan Detroit. Rotture's dance floor will surely be packed, as will the deck, which has a pretty stellar view of the fireworks over the river. Explosions and dancing-what else is there? EAC
JONNYX AND THE GROADIES, FIST FITE, EXPERIMENTAL DENTAL SCHOOL, SEI HEXE
(Worksound, 820 SE Alder) See Our Town Could Be Your Life.
NICK JAINA, FERNANDO, WARREN PASH
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Romanticize the open road all you want, but until you've rolled through the South in a sweltering Greyhound bus, you don't know the unforgiving blunt realities of living out of a suitcase. Roving troubadour Nick Jaina knows what awaits him on the road, as he is constantly selling his wares and songs on tour—he even once toured via Greyhound—and penning some magnificent journals (viewable on his MySpace page) along the way. Truly skilled with the pen, Jaina's gift for words is evident in his deep catalog of introspective folk gems that shine a light on the emotionally wounded, the forgotten, and the lost—all of which feel like tales from his travel excursions. The 7 Stations isn't new, but the 2006 album just got a proper release from the folks at Hush Records. Here's to many more records, and stories from the road. EAC
TH' LEGENDARY SHACK SHAKERS,
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) If ever there were a more outlandish, bristling, feverishly possessed group of characters parlaying Southern punk rock and a grab bag of other worldly influences, chances are Th' Legendary Shack Shakers have blown a snot rocket on them. By way of a demanding live show, which typically features vocalist Col. J.D. Wilkes—who has been called "the last great rock 'n' roll frontman" by Jello Biafra—shooting mucus out his nose and throwing bits of pubic tuft upon the unfortunate souls at the front of the stage (not to mention blowing a mean harp), the Shack Shakers blaze new trails, taking ample cues from such storied acts as Southern Culture on the Skids and DeVotchKa, only to skewer them up and make them their own. Last year's Swampblood, released on Yep Roc Records, crushingly hones the swamp blues/punk rock/Delta/rockabilly vibe, and saying any more would just distract from the simple fact that you need to go see this band and worship at its altar. RYAN J. PRADO
(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) After the fireworks are just a smoking ghost in the night sky, celebrate your rah-rah American freedom by peeping the verbal explosions of Illmaculate. No hyperbole here—the man is one of the planet's most skilled emcees (and he has the World Rap Championship ring to prove it), plus a team player as a member of the massive Sandpeople crew. But if that's not enough, the one and only Luckyiam (of Living Legends) will be throwing it down onstage, and there will be a freestyle street battle outside Berbati's at 10 pm. Don't think about jumping in, unless you want to get clowned in front of all those people in line outside of Voodoo Doughnut. EAC
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) If you're a goddamn grumpy Gus, and in serious need of joining the Cheer Up Club, then may I suggest the soothing, upbeat, fun-time music of Jonathan Richman. Sure, he's been around since the proto-punk days of yore, but his work with the Modern Lovers and beyond continue to be uplifting, guaranteed to put a sing-along smile on your face. So pay Jonathan a visit, and turn that frown upside down. WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY
MARIA TAYLOR, JOHNATHAN RICE,
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Synonymous with Omaha's Saddle Creek scene but actually from Alabama, Maria Taylor is a remarkably talented singer/songwriter who gracefully manages to avoid the pitfalls usually associated with the genre. One half of the defunct Azure Ray, Taylor's solo history is littered with impeccable releases, especially last year's Lynn Teeter Flower, a brand-new collaboration EP with Andy LeMaster (of Now It's Overhead), and her much anticipated full-length coming out later this year. It's about time we show this southern belle some Portland hospitality. EAC
SLEEPYTIME GORILLA MUSEUM, PROFESSOR GALL, MUTE SOCIALITE
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) In 2006, The End Records moved from Salt Lake City to East Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It was the culmination of the label's decision early that year to look outside the box of Scandinavia-style metal, its mail-order specialty. By releasing Sleepytime Gorilla Museum's In Glorious Times, The End has realized its vision. The band's "rock against rock" performance art uses decidedly non-metal instruments (glockenspiel, xylophone, violin) to mystify a twisted Mr. Bungle backbone. "Angle of Repose," named after an Oregon slope, is the Sugarcubes' "Birthday" laced with PCP and Raid. All five members can sing like angels, but it's the changing angles that make the album fly. Whether or not it will help pay the label's rent—double that of its Salt Lake City office—is another question. MIKE MEYER
VOYAGER ONE, THE PINK SNOWFLAKES, BIG SKY
(Slabtown, 1033 NW 16th) With sparse melodies and a shit-ton of production effects, Voyager One draws the line between British post-punk and late-model shoegazing drug rock. Instrumental lines are repeated to the point of trance, while Peter Marchese's vocals, when not dripping with echo, are reminiscent of early '80s New Romantic balladeers. It's clearly an affectation, though, since the two guys in Voyager One hail from Seattle, and the colossal sound of Afterhours in the Afterlife comes from the duo overdubbing the shit out each other. Live, they'll have a few extra hands on deck, and a projectionist as well, which should take some attention off the fact that Voyager One's default setting is to lock into a two-bar groove and repeat for five minutes. They've got some great production ideas, though, so if they could tone down the bombast and get more minimal and abstract, or if they muster up some stronger songs, this satellite could really take off. NL
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) DragonForce might be the fastest band, which is strange for a group that plays such wonderfully melodic music. The speed test is best left for the Guitar Hero franchise, but in real life, DragonForce's competition comes from the depths of man-bark hell, where vocals seem gurgled by reanimated mummies and 14th-century-plague corpses. Nile or Anaal Nathrakh could probably dethrone DragonForce—if anyone could understand them enough to care. But no one understands them, not even online, where part of an Anaal Nathrakh song is transcribed as "lots of screaming." And that's the chorus. With DragonForce, we know what's going on: We're fighting darkness, we're crossing valleys, we're flying beyond horizons. It's fast and it's stirring. In the grand tradition of Helloween and Gamma Ray, we're in this battle together, breaking hearts as needed, and crushing evil once and for all. Tonight, we sing along. MM
LUKE SOLOMON, MATT E STARR, EKIM
(Pala, 105 NW 3rd) Luke Solomon has spent most of his career in house music working in pairs. As one half of Classic Records, he helped spread the music of A-list producers like Isolée, Tiefschwarz, and Derrick Carter (founding partner of the record label). In the late '90s, he started making tracks with Justin Harris as Freaks, and the two formed the Music for Freaks record label to release their brand of funky British house, defined by their well-recognized cut "The Creeps," which was inescapable for a time. Solomon's first solo full-length album, the recently released The Difference Engine, proves that he can stand on his own. Drawing on the various elements of house in Solomon's repertoire (tech-house, jazz, etc.), the record is presented as a continuous DJ mix and should be a good indicator of what to expect from the Londoner's first DJ set in Portland. AVA HEGEDUS
MODEY LEMON, ETERNAL TAPESTRY, BODHI
(Someday Lounge, 125 NW 5th) Pittsburgh's Modey Lemon are the sort of act that kick off a song in what might for other bands be high gear—raging guitars, blown-out vocals, frenzied drums—and then increase the tempo from there. Then they throw in brutal washes of keyboards, and bring the vocals up a notch. They share with Oneida and Comets on Fire a willingness to fuse a Krautrock-inspired technical prowess with an all-encompassing lack of restraint (meant in the best way possible). Paul Quattrone's drumming shifts from raging to minimally precise, while Phil Boyd's vocals veer from garage-rock detachment to heavy metal wailing. Finding the balance between technical prowess and unabated energy isn't easy, but Modey Lemon seem to have it down. TOBIAS CARROLL
LKN, MINERVA, ROSE CITY SIRENS
(Egyptian Club, 3701 SE Division) America's birthday isn't the only one worth celebrating this week. Tonight, Portland's own guitar legend, Lauren Kathryn Newman, will rock into the third decade of her life. Similar to Fourth of July fireworks, LKN performances are loud, explosive, and mesmerizing to watch. Whipping long black hair through a cyclone of convoluted guitar work atop the thunderous mountain of her committed rhythm section (who learn their parts based on recordings in which Newman herself plays all the instruments), LKN is one of the fiercest bands in town. To help celebrate, Minerva will be mixing up an intoxicating potion combining Lilith Fair-esque folk melodies with intricate instrumentation that is both moody and dissonant, while the Rose City Sirens will present a sweltering burlesque performance that is sure to work you into a fever. EM BROWNLOWE
TILLY & THE WALL, SOUTHERN BELLE, WORLD'S GREATEST GHOSTS
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) Tilly and the Wall is that band from Omaha whose percussionist isn't a drummer, but a tap dancer. Their songs are sweet, with a bit of residual angst (they are on Conor Oberst's record label after all), and lend themselves to simultaneous moping and booty-shaking. Also, everyone in the band is ridiculously attractive, which is enough of a reason to drag yourself out on a Sunday night. SAHAR BAHARLOO
BIG BUSINESS, RED FANG, THE BUGS
(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) The Bugs will fool you, burrowing deep into your mind with cynical stripped-down punk disguised as hand-clapping party pop. You will carry the Bugs' music with you like the human papillomavirus. Then, Red Fang will lure you in like sirens (hairy, 200-pound sirens) urging sailors to their deaths with their amped-up Blue Cheerfulness. This will be accomplished by hurling songs at your wall of doubt as if by a 15th-century trebuchet. Finally, you will be aggressively escorted out of your mind by Big Business (now a three-piece) who are always like fierce ancient titans at play in a hapless fishing village. Bring a shield. LANCE CHESS
"I don't like Mondays. I wanna shoo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oot the whole day down."
RATATAT, E*ROCK, DJ HOT AIR BALLOON
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See music feature.
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See music feature.
WE ARE SCIENTISTS, CUT OFF YOUR HANDS, THE MORNING BENDERS
(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) The first words heard on We Are Scientists' new album Brain Thrust Mastery are "We all recognize that I'm the problem here." Between that and the accompanying photos of Keith Murray and Chris Cain cavorting with socialites and champagne, a certain feeling of tongue-in-cheek world-weariness is born. The group's earlier With Love and Squalor boasted a dozen songs of pristine, literate pop, pairing memorable hooks with a self-aware lyrical sensibility. Their newer songs have opted for more than a few changes of pace, such as the slow-burning "Ghouls," from which the aforementioned lyric is taken. That expanded palette has taken the range of their live show from gloriously unabashed pop to something that encompasses that, but also retains a sense of the contemplative. TC Also see music feature.
NEW BLOODS, SOFT BOILED EGGIES, EXPERIMENTAL DENTAL SCHOOL
(Valentine's, 232 SW Ankeny) Experimental Dental School are a radical skronk two-piece who somehow manage to sound much bigger than all that. Part of this thickness has to do with guitarist/singer Jesse Hall's cleverly designed, custom-built guitar rig. The signal is split into highs and lows, each coming from its own amp, and from a single guitar that blasts both honest, low bass tones and bright, jagged highs. His thumpy rhythms, finger-picking, shreds, and dives all mix once again in a sharp vocal tug-of-war. Then there's drummer/keyboardist/singer Shoko Horikawa, who is just simply phenomenal. Mashing the kit with jilted, explosive aplomb, Horikawa simultaneously adds keyboards and voice to the mix as well. Together the two thrash, crash, bounce, and occasionally glide like they've done it for years. But it hasn't always been this way. Before moving to Portland from Oakland, Experimental Dental School were a three-piece. When the drummer couldn't make the move, Horikawa (the keyboardist at the time) took on the work of two. And my god, she's holding it down and then some. Perhaps it's the way things were always meant to be. ANDREW R TONRY
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) Their new album, Supreme Balloon, actually uses instruments this time-it's constructed entirely with synthesizers-but Matmos still makes music that's unlike anything you've heard before. The experimental duo's songs click, whir, drone, and fizz, sounding like Danny Elfman and a dot matrix printer getting freaky on the dance floor in slow motion. NL
LYNYRD SKYNYRD, STEVE RICHARDS
(Edgefield, 2126 SW Halsey) Want to yell "Free Bird"? Now's your chance, asshole.
KODE9, MONKEYTEK, RYAN ORGAN
(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) Kode9 (Steve Goodman) is considered by many to be the founder of the South London dubstep sound. His original productions and collaborations with Spaceape serve as reference point in the genre, and his record label, Hyperdub, is a meeting place for top-tier dubstep producers. An innovator in bass music, Goodman is responsible for redefining and popularizing dubstep to acclaim, mostly, and some chagrin from purists in the scene. He has extended the boundaries of the genre, remixing unlikely artists like Junior Boys, and recognizing talent in Burial, giving him his first chance with a groundbreaking release on Hyperdub. Goodman's insight and unorthodox approach are no doubt a major motivating factor in the elevation of the dubstep sound worldwide. AVA
PHANTOM PLANET, AURALUST, DERBY
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) Sure, sure. Phantom Planet's popularity was probably made possible via the involvement of one Jason Schwartzman on drums during its inception. And fine, vocalist/guitarist Alex Greenwald is also an actor and may have been a Gap model at one time. And granted, the song "California" may have been featured on the ultra-mega Fox TV series The O.C. But underneath that teeming layer of detritus lies one of the more talented rock bands toiling away in the muck of the new millennium. There's a self-deprecation inherent in Greenwald's celebrity that makes you forget he's probably loaded, and his voice alongside the spot-on musicianship of the rest of the band floats in and out of brilliance with the whim of a sassy toddler. Pigeonholing would serve best to kick rocks after a few listens to this year's Raise the Dead, and even with slight reasons for derision popping up here and there, the band refuses to become a total mockery. Bold. RJP