Give thanks—or something. Maybe just drink yourself to sleep. Party time!
NEUROSIS, GRAILS, GREY DATURAS
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) Musician, zine dude, and all-around cool guy Al Burian once wrote about the "sweet victory part" of a song; it's the part where everything seems to come together and become more than the sum of its parts. If you're baked, this is the part where you start to feel all warm and tingly and start seeing things. Anyway, don't go see Grails if you are easily overwhelmed, because their insane free jazz instrumentals are basically made up of nothing but sweet victory parts. Started as a side project called Laurel Canyon in 1999, over the years they changed their moniker and added several members, including alums of Jackie-O Motherfucker and Holy Sons. With their latest record, a compilation of the Black Tar Prophecies EPs, the band proves that they are more than just a local version of Godspeed or Tortoise, and if recent East Coast shows are any indication, they've mastered the dark art of spooky drone. CORTNEY HARDING
DOCTOR MOSS, POLITE FICTION, TELOMERE REPAIR
(Red Room, 2530 NE 82nd) Proggy locals Polite Fiction feature one Mr. Adam Raitano of Heroes and Villains in their number and play self-described "ham-fisted math rock." It's tough/fun, loud/quiet stuff with guitars, bass, and vocals twisting around each other like garden vines. (Make sure to shout out a request for their Junior Private Detective tribute, "Little Dicks.") Fellow experimental rockers Doctor Moss open. This show is top-notch perfect for any and all King Crimson, Yes, and early Genesis fans. You know who you are. Stand tall, stand proud. JASON PEARSON
PINK REASON, NITE BRITE
(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) Pink Reason's "Sweet Sinister" is my favorite jam for this rainy, gray-ass fall. And by "jam" I mean sticky as hell, sweet pop perfection with nice handclaps and a sort of evil Voidoid/Leonard Cohen vibe. It's equal parts hella awesome roadhouse blues, sexy rock, and psyche boogie. A lot of their stuff is more experimental, but "Sweet Sinister" is really where it's at. If the Doors had a smarter Jim Morrison, super-deep industrial music backgrounds, and some really cheap instruments... then they still wouldn't be as rad as Pink Reason. GRANT MORRIS
ZAKK WYLDE'S BLACK LABEL SOCIETY, BLACK STONE CHERRY, PRIESTESS
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) In the massive scene of bands that combine Stooges with Sabbath, Montreal's Priestess are quite possibly the most derivative. As Iggy and Ozzy get older by the minute, young turks like Priestess are blowing up pretty big and no one seems to be stepping forward to call them on their unoriginal ways. So, here goes: Priestess, you're as fake as imitation crab. You're cheesy as Carrot Top's dirty sock drawer. You're weak as skim milk watered down with Crystal Lite. You're totally irrelevant and you should look deep into yourself and ask, "Hey self, why am I ripping people off instead of blazing my own trail?" Really, ask yourself. Right now. Also, know this: With Cannibal Corpse, Dying Fetus, and Necrophagist playing the same night as you, you have been totally metaled out. Sorry. Thanks. C-ya. Bye. PETER DAVIS
CANNIBAL CORPSE, DYING FETUS, NECROPHAGIST, UNMERCIFUL, BRIAN DRILL
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) The first time I heard Necrophagist, I nearly choked on my sandwich and died. See, as far as things like, y'know, technicality and perfection go, the Necs are in a class all their own. It's evisceratingly brutal, fast, and tight, with guitar and bass creating new rhythms that dance counter to the drums, but still stay on the same page. Behold the future of metal. JP See Music, pg. 21.
NINJA ROCK FEST W/14 NINJAS, NINJAS WITH SYRINGES, FIST OF DISHONOR, HAPPY TIME MELODY CONCERN
(Satyricon, 125 NW 6th) Tonight is all about ninja bands and their crazy, high-kicking, death-defying ways. A couple weeks ago the Mercury interviewed Fist of Dishonor drummer Zodiak Snow Wolf who filled us in on the ends and outs of rock ninjitsu. Funny fact: If you spell check "ninjitsu" it comes out as "tinnitus." True! GM See My, What a Busy Week!, pg. 19.
AMPS FOR CHRIST, SIKHARA, ILIAS MALORUM, FAGGOT, A DICTIONARY OF BLOOD THEATER
(Someday Lounge, 125 NW 5th) Amps for Christ is Henry Barnes (Bastard Noise, Man Is the Bastard), coiner of the genre-rific title "folkcore." Just what is folkcore (or genre-rific for that matter) you might ask? Good question, yo. I gots no idea. Well, I do have one idear and that's the idea that noise plus another form of more, say, accessible music can produce some wild and wonderful sounds. My fave combination is noise plus pop, but Barnes and friends' noise plus electro plus folk is just as tasty. It's like experimental hillbillies with stolen laptops. That might sound kinda creepy, but it's not—it's so not. GM
(Acme, 1305 SE 8th) Shhh... yeah... please be quiet. Like, real quiet. Metal—the band, not the heavy music—is hella quiet. They're this one big ol' hush sound of drones and acoustic ambience and lo-fi whispers. Half the time I feel like they're trying to play super soft so's not to wake the baby—and man is it nice! Let that baby sleep! GM
DMONSTRATIONS, EX-PETS, ME CON
(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) I first heard about Dmonstrations leader Tetsunori Tawaraya through my friend Chris Woo, who told me about these intense, surreal comic books he was making—all hand packaged, painted, and wrapped in cardboard. I got a couple of his books, and then got into his band and have since loved everything the man does. A dual resident of Tokyo and San Diego, Tawaraya's art builds a universe for itself where the characters intermingle and live in slummy, violent dumps and nightmare space lands. His music is twitchy and wild, with lyrics more shrieked than sung and riffs lashed out by some kind of guitar/bass hybrid. (Tawaraya once reviewed his own album for Chris Woo's webzine, saying, "Chris Epolt was saying that every single vampires are whore. I must say, if there is possibility to say bonjour to people in Alaska, they totally hit your ass with frozen tuna head.") Don't miss this new, fucked-up, brilliant take on punk rock. ADAM GNADE
THE SILENT YEARS, A CAUTIONARY TALE, NICK DELFFS, THE WAR WAGON
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Nick Delffs is the frontman for recent Holocene Music signees the Shaky Hands. Alone onstage, Delffs shows us that folk music doesn't have to be a somber, mellow, dark affair. The guy hops around, dances, squats like an Indian, hoots, hollers, stomps, and basically blows the doors off anybody he's put on a bill with. You may have seen him rocking in front of Valentine's cozy windows, but tonight he's live and direct on Holocene's big ol' stage. JP
WHITE RAINBOW, ETHAN ROSE, ILYAS AHMED
(Towne Lounge, 714 SW 20th Pl) Dude! Portland Radio Authority hosts a night of tripppy as all get out psychedelia for its Lounge series. Deal is, the PRA folks record local kids' sets, interview them, and then make it available for podcast on the PRA site. If you haven't been to one of these hootenannies yet, White Rainbow, Ethan Rose (of Small Sails fame), and Ilyas Ahmed will make a great introduction. GM
THE COUP, MR. LIF, MIC CRENSHAW
(Berbati's, 10 SW 3rd) Attending a Coup concert is a learning experience. Emcee Boots Riley, and his funkafied backing band, joyously conduct a seminar on how ass-shakingly subversive rap music can be. Amid a torrent of certified rump-rousing cuts, Riley expounds on the evils of capitalism, organized religion, political corruption, and anything else unlucky enough to have raised his ire. Hips swaying and fingers pointing, Boots deftly guides his wide-eyed pupils through a near history of revolution immersed in throbbing funk bass and wailing Hendrix-esque guitar riffs. Each song a pointed expose on any number of startling, senseless acts of terror our own much-lambasted government has wreaked upon the world and its own citizenry. Don't let the dour subject matter turn your head; Professor Boots infuses each class period with enough humor to distract you from body-moving for just enough time to eek out a laugh. Screw college, send your tuition money to the Coup University, stat. NOAH SANDERS
LES GEORGES LENINGRAD, DUCHESS SAYS, ROMANCING, HELLO FEVER
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Gawdamn dude, the name "Romancing" is totally right on because I am so romancing this band's skronky, hooting, double-drum attack. That's right, two drum sets, which'll take you off to new lands of avant tribal percussion weirdness. Throw in a little looped noise and vocal loops and you've got an experience to behold. This show should be mega fun. GM See Music, pg. 23.
THE LEMONHEADS, VIETNAM, HYMNS
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) What's with all these bands adopting stupid names? Are we so "through being cool" (as said Devo) that no one cares about making a serious statement and—for fuck's sake—trying? Are we over being earnest? How far can trash culture go? Sometimes it seems as if the American music scene is in a vast rush to see who can be the dumbest—y'know, a mission to find out who can have the dumbest band name, the dumbest mustache, the dumbest lyrics. Irony is an important thing to have in your quiver. Without it, you're going to be confused and left out a whole lot. But delve too deep into it, embrace it so wholeheartedly and what are you? You become a joke, a big colorful walking joke where nothing you do ages well and everything is tossed at the wall without an ounce of serious, intelligent, thought-out consideration. VietNam (yes the "n" is capitalized) are four mustached/bearded hippies from Brooklyn who sound like generic '70s stoner folk rock. Only, as lame as a lot of it was, the '70s stoner set actually knew how to play their instruments and had good riffs, lyrics, and ideas. This is just a bunch of apes crapping in their hands and throwing it at each other. Who wants that? I sure as shit don't. PD See Music, pg. 21.
ILL EASE, ROLLERBALL, DJ NATE C
(Tube, 18 NW 3rd) Ill Ease's Elizabeth Sharp is one weird-ass lady—and more power to her. Half outsider self-recording nutcase, half weed-damaged dance musician, Sharp's steez is so lo-fi sometimes her shit sounds like it was recorded inside of a desk drawer, then mastered by a school of sleepy grouper on the bottom of the sea. Which is to say, it's rad as rad can be. And, even better than rad, it's original. Speaking of original, I have one word for you: ROLLERFUCKINBALL. GM
HANS GRUSEL, SEJAYNO, SOUP PURSE, ANIMAL WRITES
(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) It pays to be skeptical. I heard from various sources that Hans Grusel is a notorious German experimentalist who was once written up in the (first version of) Creem magazine and who has collaborated with none other than the goddamn SCORPIONS. Not true, though, I learned. In fact Hans and Co. are from SF and the "German" thing is just kitsch. Which doesn't make it bad—not by any means. In fact this is some of the most interesting musique concrète to come out of the US in recent years. Combining creepy Euro aesthetic, industrial samples, and squelchy beats, HG might just be the future of weirdo dance music. JP
APE SHAPE, THE ONLINE ROMANCE
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) See My, What a Busy Week!, pg. 19.
ZOE KEATING, ILYAS AHMED, GROUPER, MUGWORT
(Someday Lounge, 125 NW 5th) Ilyas Ahmed really gets around these days, sliding his gorgeous folk drones onto all sorts of show bills, great and small. Full of haunting strums and picking, Ahmed's music is something to get lost in. I don't want to advocate anything illegal here, but if you're so inclined, get stoned out of your fucking SKULL before going to this show. You won't regret it. JP
DANAVA, PEARLS AND BRASS, THRONES
(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) I recently bought a bag of weed for the first time in ages, and perhaps it's no coincidence that I also flipped on Danava's self-titled record for the first time in almost as many months. Not to say that one needs to herb out to get that Danava is carrying something of a Sabbath torch, mixing dark metal with psychedelic tangents and torture chamber vocals. The sound reminds me of the era when '70s flower power hotties were first getting into angel dust, and the GTOs' Miss Mercy's eye make-up got bigger and blacker than Cleopatra's as she slipped further into a permanently inscrutable relationship to normalcy. Joining them are the significantly brighter eyed, if equally and accurately retro Pearls and Brass from Philadelphia. MARJORIE SKINNER
GLACIER PARK, COLE MILLER
(Valentine's, 232 SW Ankeny) Glacier Park's Jessie Slavich used to be in the popular (but far underappreciated) Kindercore Records' band Gritty Kitty. That was ages ago and now Slavich the Georgian is Slavich the Portlander. Her music as Glacier Park is a one-woman shoegaze extravaganza, with smart and heartfelt lyrics over slow droning piano/drums/guitar scapes. JP