Up & Coming 

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THURSDAY 7/10

KIDS OF WIDNEY HIGH, PROBLEMS, RAINBOW & THE KITTENS

(Backspace, 115 NW 5th) Bands come and go, but there will never be another the Kids of Widney High. The band is made up of mentally disabled students from Widney High (a special education school in Los Angeles). Their inspiring live shows—they write and perform their own material—have been mesmerizing varied crowds since the late '80s. On their first-ever tour of the West Coast, the band comes to Portland with a show that will make you a believer. EZRA ACE CARAEFF

THE OLD BELIEVERS, LOVE MENU

(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) See Once More with Feeling.

RETRIBUTION GOSPEL CHOIR, OBITS, THE VALIANT ARMS

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Although I didn't necessarily dislike Rocket from the Crypt, I've always felt Jon Reis' guitar dexterity isn't fully utilized unless it's being deployed from a rock outfit that also involves Rick Froberg. And on a few cuts from the Night Marchers' recent album, See You in Magic, we can hear them try to re-create the magic exhibited by past Reis/Froberg collaborations like Hot Snakes and Drive Like Jehu. These moments come close, but they just don't have the same abandon. Obits, Froberg's new gaggle of cohorts, reign from NYC instead of San Diego—and while it's hard to judge from the few rough numbers on their MySpace account, I'm betting it's going to be as full-throttle as Froberg's work always has been, just different. GRANT BRISSEY Also see It Can't All Be Low.

MASTODON, MACHINE HEAD, BLACK TIDE

(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) 'Tis the season for the big metal festivals, and as usual with these sorts of things, Portland gets the shaft. (You haven't lived until you've tumbled down a hill during "Run to the Hills.") Tonight's show is an off-date miniaturization of the Mayhem Festival, a Warped Tour spin-off hoping to fill the void left by the currently non-touring Ozzfest. Headliners Mastodon, for all their manimal brusqueness, are trigonometric whizzes who delight in plopping instrumental zigzags between verse and chorus. On top of old Blood Mountain, they sound like Marnie Stern and Zach Hill making metal with session vocalist Bigfoot. Black Tide are a thrash-revival mistake: an Accept tribute band without Accept covers. Machine Head have played Portland at least 300 times in the last two years. Why not Slipknot? We'd at least see the new masks. MIKE MEYER

FOO FIGHTERS, SUPERGRASS, MINUS THE BEAR

(Rose Garden, 1 Center Ct) For their sixth album, Supergrass went to the Hansa studio in Berlin where Bowie and Eno did their groundbreaking work in the late '70s and where U2 reinvented themselves for Achtung Baby. So did Supergrass undergo a radical transformation and come forth with the best work of their career? Did they deconstruct their working methods, subvert the tried and true rock stereotypes, and come up with an entirely new approach to pop music? Um, no. Diamond Hoo Ha is about as inventive as its title: dumb, sparkly, kind of dirty, and entirely impractical. It sounds like it cost a lot, but who really wants one? This tour, they open for the most amicable guy in rock, Dave Grohl, who's become a master of the big dumb radio song; it's difficult to hate the Foo Fighters entirely, but it's also becoming harder and harder to think of their records as anything but disposable, by-the-numbers "bro" rock. NED LANNAMANN

FRIDAY 7/11

SAMBADA, SILA & THE AFROFUNK EXPERIENCE, DJ JEREMIAH

(Someday Lounge, 125 NW 5th) The fourth annual Afro-Funk Festival, featuring the Bay Area's Afro Brazilian-infused SambaDá and Sila and the AfroFunk Experience, an Afrobeat-meets-hiphop-and-soul project, will lurch you out of your usual dance-night rut—take a break from Brooklyn electronica, already! MARJORIE SKINNER

THE POLICE, ELVIS COSTELLO

(Clark County Amphitheater, 17200 NE Delfel, Ridgefield, WA) That the brilliant, badass Elvis Costello is the opening act for the goddamn Police is an insult to all that is good and fair in this world. On the upside, you can always leave as soon as Costello and his Imposters finish. Not a bad idea, actually; otherwise, you'll hear Sting tiredly belt out "Message in a Bottle" one more time. ERIK HENRIKSEN

GROUPER, OHIOAN, CHROME WINGS, SAUDAUDE

(Rererato, 5135 NE 42nd) See Our Town Could Be Your Life.

AMERICAN IDOLS LIVE

(Rose Garden, 1 Center Ct) Not everyone watches American Idol—I get that. That's why I'm squirting out the following list of "Need-to-Know Factoids" about tonight's American Idols Live performance: (1) It's sponsored by Pop Tarts, which probably means there will be a Pop Tarts booth, which alone is worth the price of admission. (2) Of the top 10 finalists, Oregon's own Kristy Lee Cook will be in attendance, which is awesome because I hate her and want to throw Pop Tarts at her head—ninja style! (3) Grand prizewinner David Cook will be there along with second-place loser/Mormon David Archuleta. (4) Brooke White will be along to forget the song lyrics (that is, if she remembers to come at all). (5) Dreadlocked Jason Castro will be smoking a huge bowl, and may wander over if he smells Pop Tarts. (6) One word: CHIKEZE! And finally (7) Two words: POP TARTS! WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY

VALIENT THORR, EARLY MAN, KANDI CODED

(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) Valient Thorr sets sail from a distant world (Venus, I believe) toward upper Hawthorne tonight. These lads shred in a mighty way and have both astute irony and succinct wit wrapped around their skull-encrusted fingers. Early Man has sort of dropped off the radar lately, but when I skipped out on a post-holiday dinner karaoke session to see them at Doug Fir a couple of years back, it was so worth it. They're like a band made up of three actual cavemen who can play modern rock instruments completely un-ironically, which is, you know, refreshing. LANCE CHESS

PACIFIC UV, MY EDUCATION, LOGS

(Towne Lounge, 714 SW 20th Pl) Austin's My Education play a particularly ambitious strain of post-rock: Shimmering and sometimes led by the strands of a violin—the Dirty Three might make for an apt comparison in places—the breadth and scope of the sounds they create is impressive indeed. It's arguable, though, that the "rock" part might not be wholly accurate; a 12-inch released earlier in the year found the group recording Arvo Pärt's gorgeous, drifting "Spiegel im Spiegel" and collaborating with the avant-hiphop group Dälek. Their recent Bad Vibrations, on the other hand, heads into the opposite dynamic direction, adopting a louder approach with their characteristic density and wealth of sound. TOBIAS CARROLL

THE MOTHER HIPS, THE DIMES

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Now that summer is officially here, there is no better time to welcome the Mother Hips as they surf their way through town. Back last year from a half a decade "indefinite hiatus," the band sounds refreshed, if not overly confident, since their new material is breezy, sunny, and about as good as anything they've released to this point. For a band to survive the major label alt-rock '90s is impressive, but when that band only manages to get better with age? Well, that's damn near a miracle. Thankfully the Mother Hips kept plugging away, because their current brand of Big Star meets the Beach Boys pop is fantastic, and perfect for the sunny weather we've been having recently. ROB SIMONSEN

SATURDAY 7/12

BASTILLE DAY BLOCK PARTY: TALKDEMONIC, DAT'R, SANDPEOPLE, BOY EATS DRUM MACHINE & MORE

(Pix Pâtisserie, 3901 N Williams) 'Allo! Aujourd'hui, il y a une super-cool fête avec la musique, les jeux, et une grande cochon pour mangé.... Oh, fuck it. Today is Pix Patisserie's incredibly fun-sounding Bastille Day Block Party, featuring a pet parade, French bingo, the ever-popular waiter race, music from Talkdemonic, Sandpeople, Dat'r, and more—and yes, a big pig for eating. ALISON HALLETT

PORTLAND CELLO PROJECT, HORSE FEATHERS, SOPHE LUX, BLUE CRANES, POINT JUNCTURE WA, HYPATIA LAKE

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) The Portland Cello Project celebrates the release of a limited-edition EP, playing tonight with lush folk group Horse Feathers (who also appear on the EP). Indie rockers Point Juncture, WA and progressive jazz band Blue Cranes will also be on hand to collaborate, for an evening of sumptuous classical pop. NL

KING KHAN & THE SHRINES, JACUZZI BOYS

(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) See Rolling Thunder.

SPINDRIFT, FEDERALE

(East End, 203 SE Grand) This is how I picture tonight going: A member of Spindrift will accidentally spill a sarsaparilla onto the fringed leather vest of someone in Federale. Words will be exchanged, and the bands will take 20 paces in opposite directions, turn around, and shoot it out. No telling who will win—or if East End's floor will be littered with bloody ponchos, bullet bandoliers, and six-shooters by the end of the night—but both bands are forces to be reckoned with. Local horse thieves Federale can add a lonesome whistle solo to almost anything to get a blood-chilling, clay-dirt shoot-'em-up that would make Ennio Morricone proud. Meanwhile, Los Angeles' Spindrift are just as dangerous, but their Western bravado is filtered through a wondrous psychedelic haze, which is still not enough to keep the ambitious band from releasing their film, The Legend of God's Gun, a "grindhouse rock 'n' roll spaghetti Western" that screens on July 17 at the Hollywood Theatre. EZRA ACE CARAEFF

MISSISSIPPI AVENUE STREET FAIR: LIFESAVAS, THE SHAKY HANDS, THE DIMES, TARA JANE O'NEIL & MORE

(N Mississippi, between Skidmore & Fremont) Underneath the luminous construction cranes that have sprouted up on the margins, the Mississippi Avenue Street Fair does a fine job of celebrating the diversity—sound, race, and generational—of this booming Portland neighborhood. Prepare for the whip-smart hiphop of Lifesavas, the radio rock of the Dimes, whateverthefuck Tara Jane O'Neil has planned, and after taking in a set of the Shaky Hands' stoner summertime pop, you'll be staring blankly, jaw agape, into the awesome display window of Sunlan Lighting for hours on end. EAC

SUNDAY 7/13

THE SODA POP KIDS, THEE MAKEOUT PARTY, THE LUXURY SWEETS, AVENUE ROSE

(Satyricon, 125 NW 6th) The Soda Pop Kids are like the prom band from Back to the Future if Marty McFly had been a punk. Recalling the New York Dolls as much as the Exploding Hearts, the Kids live up to the sweetness in their name with R&B rock sped up enough to keep them slim in their skinny jeans. MS

TALL FIRS, THE COAL AGE, ALEXANDRA

(Towne Lounge, 714 SW 20th Pl) It took Tall Firs 16 years to release their first record. The duo, consisting of David Mies and Andrew Mullan, formed in 1990 but didn't put out their self-titled debut until 2006, which pretty much puts Chinese Democracy to shame. However, unlike GNR, Tall Firs were well worth the wait. A slice of early '90s slowcore goodness, the album took nicely from bands like Bedhead, Codeine, Low, and Slint, with songs hinging more on folk haziness than crescendo explosions. On their latest, Too Old to Die Young, the band added drummer Ryan Sawyer, which has switched the mix up a bit. The songs are a little faster, the guitars a little louder—like a mellow Dinosaur Jr., or a tepid Sonic Youth, but actually way better than that sounds. RS

MONDAY 7/14

ED HARCOURT, JEFF KLEIN

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Ed Harcourt's new album. The Beautiful Lie, just came out here in the States, but it's already been out for two years in his native UK. It's overstuffed with piano pop, baroque arrangements, and old-time balladry. "Revolution in the Heart" has a bit of grit, but collapses on itself with an extra "sha na na" sing-along. Meanwhile, "Rain on the Pretty Ones" is overwrought sentiment, dripping with strings, and "Visit from the Dead Dog" sounds like sunny AM pop, but somehow devoid of joy. Much like the work of LA producer Jon Brion, it's all beautiful and inventive, but ultimately comes off as bloodless. NL

WHALEBONES, THE WINEBIRDS, DJ MAGIC BEANS

(Dunes, 1905 NE MLK) The members of Seattle's Whalebones have been making memorable music for quite a while now, whether solo or in bands like the ripe-for-rediscovery Kentucky Pistol. The songs on their recently reissued EP Morning Man abound with sludgy, majestic guitars, wave upon wave of organ washes, and the occasional soothing harmony. It's music that rushes along on its own energy, too focused to match the expectations called up by a psyche-rock tag, but resolutely expansive nonetheless. That they've toured with Oakley Hall should also suggest their sensibility—retro enough for the denim jacket, but possessing a freneticism that's absolutely contemporary. TC

THE REAL TUESDAY WELD, A CAUTIONARY TALE, BUOY LA RUE

(Someday Lounge, 125 NW 5th) "For [the Real Tuesday Weld's frontman Stephen] Coates, the breakthrough in his professional journey came in the form of a pair of surreal dreams in which he was visited by the legendary English music hall singer Al Bowlly and the late actress Tuesday Weld." So reads the band's press bio, but while that's all well and good, the last time I checked, Tuesday Weld is still alive and kicking. Well, maybe not kicking, but she is breathing, so while she might appreciate the band name in her honor, the "late actress" tag (unless it has to do with punctuality) must hurt. Regardless, Coates' band is still at it, creating loose-knit jazzy little numbers that boldly flip through a global assortment of genres and influences. His latest is The London Book of the Dead, a decadent song cycle of cabaret-heavy tunes. EAC

TUESDAY 7/15

WOLF PARADE, THE LISTENING PARTY

(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) Everyone's favorite pack of Canadians, Wolf Parade is back to support their much-anticipated sophomore album, At Mount Zoomer. Unlike their previous work, it's less Isaac Brock and more progressive rock, but even if they're playing "Ring around the Rosie," their live show is worth any egregious Ticketmaster convenience charge. SAHAR BAHARLOO

WEDNESDAY 7/16

ALL GIRL SUMMER FUN BAND, DIRTY MITTENS

(Portland Center for the Performing Arts, SW Main between Broadway & Park) Don't sit in downtown traffic like a grade-A sucker when you could be enjoying the sweet bubblegum pop stylings of the All Girl Summer Fun Band, who are playing a free show as part of PCPA's Music on Main Street concert series. Each Wednesday through August 27, PCPA will shut down Main Street between Broadway and Park for a couple hours in the name of great local music. God, I love this town. EAC

RYAN DOLLIVER, MATT SHEEHY, ALEXIS GIDEON, DJ HONEYDRIPPER

(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Ryan Dolliver gets around—playing jazz shows, turntabling, acting as sideman for other musicians—but tonight the spotlight's on him and it's all about sticky, funky soul music. His new record, Get Down to Get Up, is a short, eight-song affair, with solid playing by some excellent local musicians, including drummer Drew Shoals and keyboardist Ben Darwish, and, apparently, it was recorded in a single day at Jackpot Studios. It sounds like it was meticulously crafted over a much longer period, though, with every beat confident and every note assured, heralding the arrival of the latest loverman in the 503. The show's free, or you can pay $5 and get a copy of the CD. You'll also probably want to seriously consider picking up a copy of Matt Sheehy's new record, Tigerphobia, at the show tonight as well: It's one of the best local releases this year, brimming with gravity, passion, and beautiful melodies. NL

FACTS ABOUT FUNERALS, KYLE ANDREWS, RYAN AUFFENBERG

(Towne Lounge, 714 SW 20th Pl) Facts About Funerals are at the forefront of something unique: a hazy, slow-burning atmospheric rock band with a penchant for creating grandiose and overly nostalgic alt-country songs. It's a lot to cram into a three-minute tune (perhaps this is why the Seattle band tends to let their songs breathe a bit more, minutes be damned), but singer Rob Sharp conveys a similar breathy '70s AM radio delivery with each of his lines, the majority of which orbit around heartbreak and loss. It's a sad affair, but given the band's ambitious reach—at any given moment they sound similar to the alt-rock migration of late-era Sunny Day Real Estate, or the druggy confusion of any-era Sparklehorse—it works quite well. EAC

ADAM HURST

(Siam Society, 2703 NE Alberta) Local cellist Adam Hurst is a tough one to pin down. At times, his songs are ethereal and dramatic, perfectly suited for a movie soundtrack or the backdrop to a rainy day. Other times, he incorporates drones that are reminiscent of the late '70s New York avant-garde scene. Mix those two with some world influences (gypsy and Middle Eastern, primarily), plus some serious chops, and there's no telling what Hurst can do with a cello. His latest offering, Ruins, finds him throwing some piano into the mix, which gives the songs a ridiculously somber and melancholy tone. But then again, with songs like "Death Waltz," "Alone," and "Face in the Rain," would you expect anything different? RS

JIMMY EAT WORLD, DEAR & THE HEADLIGHTS

(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) I got drunk for the first time ever at a house party with the members of Jimmy Eat World—and while I was not of legal age, I can say that in no way does Jimmy Eat World LLC., their parent record label, or management support underage drinking of any kind—years ago when the band was wrapping up touring on Static Prevails ("Best record ever." – Me, age 18). For so many shaggy-headed emo boys of that era, Jimmy Eat World were the gleaming beacon of hope that this small music scene with its terrible name that we so passionately believed in, could be something real someday. They were on Capitol Records, they were accessible, and if people would just take a moment to listen, they'd understand what we already knew. And they did. But these past few records—namely last year's Chase the Light—represent the band at a difficult crossroad: Can modern emo's elder statesman grow old in a young man's game? Do kids care about the emotional lyrics of a band pushing their mid-30s? Plus, years ago at that party, what the hell was I drinking? Amaretto and orange juice? God, I am such a pussy. EAC

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