UP & COMING 

THURSDAY 8/14

BIRTHDAY SUITS, FIST FITE, THE CALDONIAS

(Slabtown, 1033 NW 16th) It's hard to fully grasp the frenzied keyboard chaos of Fist Fite, one of our town's most explosive live acts. The drums are a glorious mess, the guitars cut to the bone, the keyboards feel like a digital knife to the gut, and frontwoman Jonnie Monroe has far too much chaotic energy to be contained by any stage in town. EAC

HYPATIA LAKE, FERAL CHILDREN, PACIFIC UV

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Hypatia Lake have some high-concept shit going on. Apparently, all their songs describe the events of an imaginary town called Hypatia Lake, and the Seattle band's latest album, Angels and Demons, Space and Time, continues the stories of the town's inhabitants. It sounds a bit ponderous, like when Neil Young went Greendale, or when Sigur Rós made up their own language. It really doesn't matter, though, because the music of Hypatia Lake is dense and varied enough to weave its own sonic course through your imagination. Dark minor-key acoustic dirges sit alongside whirling shoegaze feedback epics, to convene at that heavenly place where prog and psych shake hands and exchange recipes. Music has the capability to create its own landscapes with color, shadow, perspective, and motion; it can convey beauty and foreboding in equal doses. Angels does all of these things—and it totally rips, too. NED LANNAMANN

VIXEN & AO, JAK & NATHAN DETROIT, GEORGE HOLLAND & LIL ROJ

(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) The DJs and producers of SubSensory Recordings take their techno seriously. Primarily Portland based, and averaging about a decade of experience each, members include Jak (who has been making a name for himself beyond the Northwest with recent releases on the SubSensory Digital label), George Holland (a veteran DJ who has played with an impressive list of techno dons over the years), and Nathan Detroit (who hosts Portland Radio Authority's popular Disco Biscuits radio show and is increasingly in demand as an opener for big-time electronic acts like Miss Kitten). Tonight these guys and the rest of the SubSensory crew all play together for the first time, pairing off for a series of tag sets that will showcase the range of techno styles that SubSensory has to offer. AVA HEGEDUS

SQUIRREL NUT ZIPPERS, THE STOLEN SWEETS

(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) Unfairly stuffed amongst the big band revival of the late '90s, Squirrel Nut Zippers enjoyed blistering success in spite of the gaffe, instituting a bewitching brew of '30s swing and gypsy jazz with a punk splint. Their single "Hell" found an exciting new scope for the homogenized swing resurgence and featured probably the coolest music video of all time, a sort of warped cabaret nightmare that cemented the group's rising star and landed them a gig at the inauguration for Bill Clinton's second presidency (irony injected at your discretion). Touring with the original lineup, including founders Jimbo Mathis and Katharine Whalen (who both have been prolific with solo albums and tours since the band's hiatus), SNZ ought to have the opportunity to engage a whole new generation of listeners—zoot suits thankfully not required. RYAN J. PRADO

FRIDAY 8/15

MOS DEF, LIFESAVAS, DJ GEN.ERIK, LILLA D'MONE

(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) He's half of the great Blackstar and an utterly legit solo hiphop artist, not to mention a solid actor in his own right. Tonight Mos Def swings through town&mdsah;and if that's not enough, Portland's favorite local hiphop crew, Lifesavas, are opening for him. EH

JOHNNY CASH TRIBUTE: CASH'D OUT, AURALUST

(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) Johnny Cash left us with a legacy of amazing songs about drinking, fighting, loving, and being named after a girl, so the folks of Cash'd Out have their work cut out for them as they pay tribute tonight. PAC

NICO MUHLY, DOVEMAN, SAM AMIDON

(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) See Notes on Collaboration.

NAPALM BEACH, MONSTROUS, ZIPTYE

(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) In January, when Portland proto-grunge act Napalm Beach played its first show in four years, there were no promises the reunion would continue, save for a cryptic message on the group's then-derelict MySpace page: "2008 has got to be the year of the bitch!" This was, of course, a reference to "My Master Calls," a dope-and-dirge standout from the band's out-of-print 1993 album, Curiosities. Dropping distorted, dyslexic "Louie Louie" chords, vocalist/guitarist Chris Newman belts, "I'd kill for my bitch, because I care." As it turns out, he still cares, extending the Napalm Beach reunion with tonight's show and a new live album, Kill for My Bitch. If it isn't the year of the bitch, it should at least be easier to find Napalm Beach in stores—now that's a bitch. MIKE MEYER

THE PACIFIC KINO GARDEN PRESENTS AUTHORITY PARTY SCREENING: DOUBLEDUTCH

(The Artistery, 4315 SE Division) Multimedia events like this are nightmares for the segregated sections of a paper such as this. Is it film? Art? Music? All three, in fact, as hometown filmmaker Asher Sandberg-Lewis presents a few of his short films, followed by a performance from local summer-pop band Doubledutch. Next week will see the release of Doubledutch's oddly-titled Gungle Dungn album, but for now the duo—made up of Dhani Rosa (Eskimo and Sons) and Jordan Bagnall (Typhoon)—seems primed for greater things with their bubbly assembly of sticky-sweet pop tunes. Catch them, and an up-and-coming filmmaker, in the cozy confines of the Artistery while you still can. EZRA ACE CARAEFF

SATURDAY 8/16

THE CURE VS. TALKING HEADS TRIBUTE: CAVES, XPLODING BOYS, BOY EATS DRUM MACHINE, DAT'R

(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) '80s music still has one unresolved question—the big hair or the big suit? Thank goodness for the Cure vs. Talking Heads tribute night, where bands like Boy Eats Drum Machine and Caves get to the bottom of this burning issue. Another question—who is going to beat them up after the show: the Slayer tribute band or the Iron Maiden tribute band? CN

BARK HIDE & HORN, HEY LOVER, DIRTY MITTENS

(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See For Melville, With Love

RX BANDITS, PORTUGAL. THE MAN, KAY KAY & HIS WEATHERED UNDERGROUND, NURSES

(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) Psych is on the rise, finding its way back into everything from folk to metal. Portugal. The Man are one more act playing a brand of rock that sounds as though it's composed by a bunch of strung-out weirdo art dudes. And that's a compliment. The recent Equal Vision signees play epic, dramatic tunes that are more haunting than openers Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground. They boast the same minor-key orchestra of strings, horns, and a handful of percussion, only, instead of being awash with optimism and flowers, they're the soundtrack for coming down from your high. While listening to Portugal. The Man, you'll be begging for night to come a little slower, because the dark is a really, really scary place full of buzzing guitars, Muppet vocals, and freakout high-pitched strings that sound like ear mites eating away your brain. It's the best worst trip ever. MEGAN SELING

THE PRIDS BENEFIT: WE'RE FROM JAPAN!, REVERSE DOTTY & THE CANDY CANE SHIVS, BUMTECH

(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) Last month the Prids experienced a band's worst nightmare when a tire on their tour van blew, causing them to lose control and flip several times. While all members of the band and their traveling companions escaped the tragic scene alive, they're still experiencing the devastating repercussions of the accident with severe injuries—including a disturbing list of broken bones, concussions, stitches, and staples to the head. Guitarist/vocalist David Frederickson had to be airlifted from the crash in what was not exactly a rock star's dream of a private plane. This benefit show is to help alleviate the Prids' mountain of uninsured medical bills. In addition to attending the show, you can help the Prids by going to theprids.com and donating via PayPal. EM BROWNLOWE

BOB LOG III, SCOTT H. BIRAM, LEFT LANE CRUISER

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) In retrospect, it seems like a tour that pairs Messrs. Biram and Log is perfectly natural. Stylistically, each takes folk and blues influences and the one-man band setup as far as it can go. Log performs while wearing a helmet and is fond of nipple-to-scotch contact, and while his music is suitably intense, there's an offhand playfulness present throughout. Biram's songs fall into a more primal space, rooted in folk and gospel traditions, transfiguring traditional music with the urgency of early '80s hardcore and the fury of speed metal. Live, it's a searing experience. TOBIAS CARROLL

THE MAGIC MIRRORS, BERMUDA TWINS, WAX FINGERS

(Slabtown, 1033 NW 16th) It takes about three-and-a-half minutes of local (mostly instrumental) quartet Wax Fingers to win you over. The song that will do it is entitled "Flood," and the first couple minutes seem to meander in that take-it-or-leave-it middle ground that so much post-rock seems to inhabit. But then the crescendo of swirling guitars kicks in and the band shows glimpses of that late '90s-era Temporary Residence sound, where bands could transform, build, and bend songs with carefree ease. The band's lone misstep comes when the mic is hot and speak/sung vocals are unnecessarily added to an already complete mix. With an instrumental foundation this good, who needs words? EAC

SUNDAY 8/17

GREY ANNE, BRITTAIN ASHFORD, LAEL ALDERMAN

(Someday Lounge, 125 NW 5th) Anne Adams was Per Se, or at least she used that moniker until realizing that it failed the Google test. Now she is Grey Anne; but with all that change, some things remain the same--her ethereal voice and penchant for spinning lovely tales within the context of quaint pop songs. EAC

PLAYGROUND OUTDOOR: MAZEGUIDER, JACARANDA, MANOJ, PHIDELITY, SKOI

(Cathedral Park, under the St. Johns Bridge) All summer long, local Playground DJs have been playing electronic music in parks around Portland. Today they provide ambience at Cathedral Park beneath the St. John's Bridge. With five DJs on hand—including Vancouver, BC's Mazeguider—expect a variety of downtempo, electro, experimental, and techno beats as the soundtrack to your grilling, Frisbee throwing, and lazing around in the sun. Savor the opportunity to hear some music on a good sound system outdoors, because a few orange and red leaves have already been spotted, and this will be the final installment of the Sunday Afternoon in the Park series. AVA

FULL MOON LUNAR ECLIPSE PARTY: ESKIMO & SONS, GUIDANCE COUNSELOR, 40 HUNDY THUNDY, DOUBLEDUTCH, LOVE MENU & MORE

(Exit Only, 1121 N Loring) Aren't full moon parties for hippies in fisherman pants dancing on the beach in Thailand? Or, perhaps, werewolves? Well, lunar love is no longer just for hideous, hairy monsters (I'm talking hippies here—werewolves are fine by me). Earlier this year local acts 40 Hundy Thundy and Guidance Counselor agreed to play a show every full moon for the entire summer, and tonight is their biggest event yet. In addition to howling at the moon, be sure to catch Eskimo and Sons, who are on the way to indefinite hiatusville [Booooo! – Ed.]. EAC

MICHAEL JODELL & THE DIM SUMS, EVE'S DILEMMA, PILAR FRENCH

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Portland's never been short of beaker-born concoctions that marry roots instrumentation with folk-pop aesthetics. Locals Eve's Dilemma saunter a vivid country-tinged gravel road—not with car wheels (though visions of a sun-weathered Lucinda Williams with the pedal to the metal comes to mind), but rather with dusty Chuck Taylors, scuffling violin pebbles over indie-folk tire tread. The band will be releasing their new album, The Beating of the Start, which reveals androgynous vocals, syrup-sweet harmonies and fluid arrangements. It's not necessarily mind-blowing material, but the band seems anchored by the steady weight of alt-country bombast and traditional pop; it's too easy to love to not like. RJP

THE SABBATH: ANON REMORA, ORDER OF THE GASH, SKIN HORSE, DJ NATE C

(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) Sunday nights at Rotture offer the city's best sampling of the United States' burgeoning heavy metal underground. More than that, these events are synonymous with lovable riffs and a welcoming environment, with a DJ who is as likely to play Rush as he is to play Kult. This week, the Bay Area's Skin Horse is certain to satiate Portland's big appetite for doom, though fans of Neurosis and handcrafted industrial should find crusty scraps on which to gnaw. The trio's three-song demo begins with an extended track recalling Malefic's tortured, coffin-confined collaboration with Sunn O))), flushing its vocals down Ministry plumbing and eventually bobbing in instrumental soup—not unlike the post-everything waters where Seattle's Lesbian swims. It's heavy metal. It covers most of the world. MM

DEATH SONGS, THE MUMLERS, PAINTED CAKES

(Valentine's, 232 SW Ankeny) It's not enough for the Delffs brothers to be in one good band, so in between Shaky Hands gigs, they do further excavation as Death Songs. Nick sings in the familiar warble, while Nathan batters hand drums (or guitar or whatever else is on hand), and with a solid rhythm section, a coterie of fine tunes, and happy vocal harmonies, it's a fully legitimate endeavor that never assumes the halfhearted trappings of "side project." The Shaky Hands' second record, Lunglight, is being released September 9, so expect the Hands machine to kick into overdrive soon. In the meantime, Death Songs do just as nicely, without any of the distracting hoopla—or the grim scariness you might expect from the name. NL

ANTHONY GREEN, PERSON L, GOOD OLD WAR

(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) There aren't many bands to emerge in the past few years who've jumped out to quicker cult and quasi-mainstream notoriety like Circa Survive. Whether you dig on the sparse sonic interplay in the soundscape, or simply gape at the glass-shattering vocal aptitude of vocalist Anthony Green, it seems the crew touches a nerve in listeners in all the best ways. Having embarked on a solo endeavor for the better part of this year, Green's melodic ingenuity and brisk lyrical palate has yielded Avalon, a collection of wounded troubadour missives and rigid pop explosions that hint at the genius within, while kicking away the crutch of being "that guy from that band who sings really high." RJP

MONDAY 8/18

THE OCTOPUS PROJECT

(Satyricon, 125 NW 6th) The Octopus Project fall under the umbrella of "experimental pop," but their cheery, harmonious sounds strongly tend toward the listenable end of experimentation. The Austin band's buzz is starting to boil, so this show's your chance to "see them when." MS

TUESDAY 8/19

THE FRENCH SEMESTER, THE WEATHER MACHINES, THE REDDMEN

(Towne Lounge, 714 SW 20th Pl) It's an evening of power pop delight, with Portland's the Weather Machines spreading their infectious brand of giddiness, with catchy songs from their upcoming Bones and Brains EP. Meanwhile, the French Semester visits from LA, with laconic, loose-lipped rock tunes that'll make you feel like ditching last period for a smoke in the bathroom. NL

TOM HEINL, DJ AIRICK, GREGORY MILES HARRIS, RAINBOW & THE KITTENS, MATT GILLIGAN, DJ MARY

(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) Tom Heinl has a deep bass voice like a cartoon bullfrog, and his deadpan delivery injects his breezy country songs with sincere humanity. Take, for example, "Peein' in an Empty," where he sings about pouring the bottle out the car window only to watch its contents fly back in. "This is my favorite T-shirt," he observes. Or take the workingman's celebration of "Half Day Vacation," in which he optimistically makes the most of what's around: "One last beer, I put some ketchup in there. That's a poor man's bloody mary." I've been there, brother. These are universal sentiments, as tried and true as any country music cliché, but instead of wallowing in heartbreak and misery, Heinl turns these day-to-day struggles into absolute hilarity—no joke. Tonight, whimsy fully takes over as Heinl takes part in Buzzy Marley's "Pan-Galactic and Superhero" birthday party; wear a costume, get in for free. NL

WEDNESDAY 8/20

INTERNATIONAL POP OVERTHROW: BLUE SKIES FOR BLACK HEARTS, SUGARCANE MUTINY & MORE

(East End, 203 SE Grand) The International Pop Overthrow is sort of a misnomer. The first-ever Portland installment of the festival, which begins today and lasts through Saturday, hosts only one "international" group—and they're from Vancouver, BC. But don't let that deter you; there'll be a ton of great bands, even if they took a bus to the venue instead of a plane. SB

JACK JOHNSON, ROGUE WAVE, CULVER CITY DUB COLLECTIVE

(Columbia Meadows, 63701 Columbia River Hwy) See A Celebration of Mediocrity.

SYSTEM & STATION, PRIZE COUNTRY, DOCTOR MOSS, LEY LINES

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) You may not have even noticed, but after 10 years and seven records, System and Station have emerged as one of the very finest bands in Portland. Their newest full-length, A Nation of Actors, is a fantastic rock record, flooded with melody, flowing with equal parts propulsion and subtlety, breathing like a living thing. "Too Late Too Soon" rides a circular bluesy riff to unpredictable destinations, and "Dumb Luck" happily revisits early '90s alterna-rock, while "Rainy Days in Future Cities" shimmers like droplets gliding down a windowpane. System and Station, as much as any band right now, epitomizes Northwest indie guitar rock, and it's high time you started paying attention. NL

KARL BLAU, YOUR HEART BREAKS, MADELINE, THE COWBOYS FROM SWEDEN

(The Artistery, 4315 SE Division) Besides his solo work, Karl Blau is a former member of D+ and occasionally works with Phil Elverum. In 2007, Blau released Dance Positive, a collection of covers of songs written by his D+ colleague Bret Lunsford. It veered in and out of a standard pop template, incorporating a booming dub influence which, given the title, seemed apropos. His upcoming Nature's Got Away brings Blau into a more naturalistic place, crooning like an amalgamation of British genre-spanner Labi Siffre and Lambchop's Kurt Wagner, slowing things to a (mostly) introspective pace. While jarring at times, the album's overall sensibility is one of contemplative, intelligent pop—never a bad thing. TC

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