Dark Meat
Doug Fir, 3/29

THURSDAY 3/26

FOUR TET, GULLS

(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See My, What a Busy Week!

HOLCOMBE WALLER

(Imago Theatre, 17 SE 8th) Thursday through Saturday. See My, What a Busy Week!

JARED MEES & THE GROWN CHILDREN, FRENCH MIAMI, AZEDA BOOTH, INSIDE VOICES

(Backspace, 115 NW 5th) See Music.

WINTERSLEEP, AN HORSE

(Lola's Room, 1332 W Burnside) The Australian duo of Kate Cooper and Damon Cox started playing songs in the record store where they worked, and soon An Horse was opening for the likes of Death Cab for Cutie and Tegan and Sara. Their quick rise is entirely understandable once you take a listen to their debut album Rearrange Beds. It's elementary, really: They're very good. Cooper's songs are both melodic and minimalist, and the interplay between her guitar and Cox's drums is tight, rollicking, and seemingly effortless. When Cooper and Cox sing together, it's a little reminiscent of Envelopes' Audrey Pic and Henrik Orrling, and An Horse is a fun, poppy, catchy ride. They open for ponderous Nova Scotian rockers Wintersleep, whose chilly songs are like icebergs drifting across a northern sea—at times they move gently and gracefully, at others, they collide into each other with violent, icy explosions. NED LANNAMANN

FRIDAY 3/27

AZEDA BOOTH

(Music Millennium, 3158 E Burnside) See Music

TRICKY, ANOMIE BELLE

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See Music.

BONNIE "PRINCE" BILLY, PILLARS AND TONGUES

(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) Veteran musician Will Oldham's latest release under his Bonnie "Prince" Billy moniker, Beware, is like Lie Down in the Light before it, a relatively lush and bright record (especially compared to Oldham's remarkably stark breakthrough, the haunted, minimalist Americana of I See a Darkness). Fourteen musicians are credited on the album, and they provide not only pedal steel, mandolin, organ, accordion, flute, and more instrumentation, but also a dim chorus of voices that fades in and out of Oldham's songs, reinforcing and then countering his singing voice, which has sounded weary yet steadfast for over 15 years. Videos from this tour show him performing backed by far fewer musicians, playing drums, stand-up bass, and violin; whatever the arrangements, though, Oldham's voice remains the powerful focus. ERIC GRANDY Also see My, What a Busy Week!

THE RAINY STATES, SOUTHERN BELLE, CHURCH , THE SHIVAS

(The Coop, 3535 N Lombard) Remember the Dead Milkmen? Though the Philly anti-rockers' legacy boils down to one immortal early MTV hit ("Punk Rock Girl"), the Milkmen's finest distinction lies in how their music pitted an anxious, nebbish voice against a garage band's high voltage—the essential component of much pre-grunge college rock. Portland's Southern Belle have picked this touted thread up and braided it with something more musically substantial. On "Oh Tokyo," they tie impossibly stupid lyrics ("Oh Tokyo/That's where I want to go/and see a fight like in a karate show") to a frayed string of funk; on "Sunnyside," they unfurl into a corner of angst-ridden noise. It's unlikely this quartet of post-adolescents will stay this un-self-conscious for long. So, before they move from id to ego, check them out at this release show celebrating the Rainy States' new 7-inch single. ANDREW STOUT

QUADRAPHONNES

(Jimmy Mak's, 221 NW 10th) Quadraphonnes are an all-female, all-saxophone quartet about to release their debut album, entitled Music to Watch Girls By—which isn't necessarily an instruction for listeners, but a song that they cover on the record (originally made famous by Bob Crewe and others). The Quadraphonnes get their horns all over Duke Ellington and Thelonious Monk, but they also tackle Philip Glass and Ástor Piazzolla, and they transcend their gimmick to make clever, inventive arrangements that showcase the range of the instrument. They're performing tonight with a rhythm section, but the Quadraphonnes are perfectly capable of playing without one, and they straddle the line between jazz, classical, and pop with a unique, inventive approach. NL

ALICE RUSSELL, RAGEN FYKES,

OHMEGA WATTS, DJ SANTO

(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) This decade has seen Great Britain produce a fair number of good-to-great white female soul singers: Joss Stone, Amy Winehouse, Duffy, Alice Russell, etc. While Russell won't be jostling Aretha Franklin off the throne as Queen of Soul, she does sport a striking tone redolent with sass and carnal knowledge. Her bandmates adhere to the soul tradition that's been winning hearts and minds for over 40 years. Don't expect novel twists on the old formula; do expect reverent replications of it executed with panache, as Russell & Co. support her new, fourth album, Pot of Gold. DAVE SEGAL

THURSDAY, FOUR YEAR STRONG,

BRING ME THE HORIZON, PIERCE THE VEIL, CANCER BATS

(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) It's been a lifetime since "Understanding in a Car Crash," the finest four-plus minutes of Thursday's career. What followed was a sloppy divorce from Victory Records, summers spent on the Warped Tour, and a novelty-sized check from a major label; all of these things were par for the emo course, circa the first few years of this decade, and none of it really helped the band break through to the masses. But while their peers seemed overanxious to cash out, Thursday vocalist Geoff Rickly swam against the stream, spending his major label days as a vocal outlet for basement shows and DIY culture. The band's latest, Common Existence, is a return to form, which means the band once again sounds like 2001's Full Collapse, complete with off-key singing, dense angular guitars, and dramatic arrangements. EZRA ACE CARAEFF

SIR TALL SELECTOR

(Valentine's, 232 SW Ankeny) Spring is finally here in all its muddy, gray-green glory, and there's no finer spring break music than African psychedelia, township jive, and highlife, as spun by Sir Tall Selector every fourth Friday at Valentine's. Sir Tall Selector (AKA Matthew Yake) has deep crates of music you've never heard before, and his archivist's bent is understandable: He's a librarian for Multnomah County Library (he even writes for their fine blog). What you'll hear from Selector's turntables is joyous party music that's infectiously simple, but densely layered with complex polyrhythms and vibrant harmonies. A lot of what he plays is the horn-laden, shimmy-and-stagger Nigerian "highlife" music from the '60s and '70s. In fact, Yake decided to DJ entire nights of African music after a man from Mali came up while Yake was spinning a highlife track by Victor Olaiya; the man said he had just proposed to his girlfriend and the song was the ideal soundtrack. Now, I can't guarantee you'll walk out of Valentine's on Friday with a marriage proposal, but I can promise you'll hear some incredibly pleasurable music and have a damn good time. NL

SATURDAY 3/28

ROXY EPOXY & THE REBOUND, KLEVELAND, PITCHFORK MOTORWAY , THE ACTION DESIGN

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

PIGEON JOHN, ROOTBEER, WHO CARES, BUTTERMILK BABY MAKERS

(Someday Lounge, 125 NW 5th) Without the domination of gangsta rap, Los Angeles would not have one of the most fertile underground-hiphop scenes in America. Everything that defined gangsta rap (gun violence, unremitting misogyny, bling-bling) was rejected by the underground, which was loyal to hiphop's origins, staunchly opposed to black-on-black violence, obsessed with capturing the most ordinary details of life, and rarely (if ever) used the word "bitch." Pigeon John is a product of that reaction to gangsta rap. Since the early '90s, he's built a solid career on the stuff of everyday, working-class life. If gangsta rap is all about the spectacle of the drive-by shooting, then Pigeon John is all about the humor of sweeping the street in front of a grocery. But the biggest difference between Pigeon John and the gangsta rapper is that John doesn't take himself so seriously. CHARLES MUDEDE Also see My, What a Busy Week!, pg. 15.

VIVA VOCE, THE SHAKY HANDS, RAFTER

(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) In case your view of Viva Voce has been obscured as of late (perhaps by a Blue Giant), here's the latest on Anita and Kevin Robinson's ode to all things rock 'n' roll: The duo has doubled in size, adding noted solo artist and Tu Fawning member Corrina Repp, along with former Swords drummer Evan Railton. Sorry, no longer can you refer to them as a couple's band (unless you want to imply something really creepy). While your mind was in the gutter, the new-look Viva Voce was in their backyard studio perfecting Rose City, their latest full-length, out in May. Opening tonight's show will be the quirky pop stylings of Rafter, a San Diego musician who has released countless titles (solo, and in the duo known as Bunky) on the Asthmatic Kitty label, in addition to manning the helm of the music licensing firm Singing Serpent. This means he might be the first indie rocker ever without a negative balance in his checking account. EAC

THE BUILDERS AND THE BUTCHERS, RUN ON SENTENCE (7 PM); THE BUILDERS AND THE BUTCHERS, PORCHES (10 PM)

(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Pardon the dust, but the Builders and the Butchers are still a work in progress. Following the band's white-hot live show and universally adored self-titled debut, all signs pointed to great things for the local junkyard folk outfit, or at the very least, some much deserved attention for the band that wasn't exclusively from their hometown. They rolled tape on a new album with the Decemberists' Chris Funk, toured the States, and then... well, we're still waiting to finish this sentence. Their new album supposedly has a record label suitor, but the paperwork has yet to be signed, so for now we'll all just have to settle for another ridiculous live show from a band that makes up for their sluggish release schedule with an onstage (and occasionally offstage) performance that is second to none. EAC

SUNDAY 3/29

PELICAN, WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM, TOMBS

(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) See My, What a Busy Week! and Music.

DARK MEAT, LONG LEGGED WOMAN, GRAMPALL JOOKABOX

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) A psyched-out hippie cooperative based out of Athens, Georgia, Dark Meat boasts ties to both that city's revered Elephant 6 collective and to NYC's decidedly less quaint Vice Records. If the former affiliation gives you some idea of what to expect from the band's face-painted freak scene, the latter suggests the band's ambitious scale—anywhere from a dozen to over 20 people, on instruments ranging from standard guitar and drums to horns and strings to a confetti cannon (it's totally an instrument). Together, they make one awesome hallucinogenic racket—trainwrecking rock 'n' roll, primal rhythmic pulse, woozy brass-band excess, and deranged howling—and a fairly mind-blowing freedom-ritual spectacle. EG

BEEP BEEP, THE SHOW IS THE RAINBOW, MEGA CHURCH, HOT PANDA

(Someday Lounge, 125 NW 5th) The Show Is the Rainbow (Lincoln, Nebraska's Darren Keen) purveys electronic pop that can be as cutesy as his moniker, but with unexpected spazzy dynamic shifts and quirky vocal arrangements. His new album, Wet Fist, follows in the footsteps of early Beck and Eels: DIY bedroom auteurs whose winsome weirdness will attract misfits from all over. Omaha band Beep Beep's Enchanted Islands (Saddle Creek) is more conventionally pretty than Wet Fist, but it also bears some jaggedly angled tunes and frayed guitar textures that suggest they hold Captain Beefheart's Magic Band close to their bosom. Beep Beep, therefore, are Saddle Creek's most interesting artist. DS

MONDAY 3/30

RATATAT, DESPOT, THINK ABOUT LIFE, ATOLE

(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!

BOBBY BARE JR., MIMICKING BIRDS

(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Bobby Bare Jr. holds the winning ticket of the genetic lottery: His pop—that would be Bobby Bare—is a solid gold icon of the Nashville sound, a musician who has worked alongside everyone from Waylon Jennings to Shel Silverstein. Junior inherited pop's gift for songwriting, but sans the emotional baggage that usually comes with following the same musical path as your folks. Imagine Hank III, but with much better music and fewer daddy issues. Bare Jr. might respectfully don the pearl snaps, but his music isn't afraid to cross the Mason-Dixon line and incorporate influences far beyond those of his hometown or his namesake's legacy. EAC

TUESDAY 3/31

THE LIVES OF FAMOUS MEN, WEATHERBOX, MANSIONS, SNUFFALUFFAGUS

(Backspace, 115 NW 5th) With all respect to law-abiding olive oil distributor Michael Corleone, I'm going to have to borrow his "just when I thought I was out... they pull me back in" line to describe my relationship with Weatherbox. There is no way a mortgage-paying man in his third decade should be so enthusiastic about this San Diego band's unabashed dude rock, which weighs heavy with guitar lines straight from No Knife alongside the gnashed teeth snark of Say Anything (the band, not Cameron Crowe's pro-kickboxing/Cusack propaganda film). Yet here I am, singing their praises once again. 2007's American Art is just short of flawless, and the most honest of any recent recording to fall within the genre—turned marketing demographic—of emo. And Godfather, sorry for using your words to better relate to my wussy musical tastes. EAC

OLD GROWTH, TUBERS, ORGANIZED SPORTS

(Slabtown, 1033 NW 16th) Tonight's lineup resembles a Rorschach test: If you read it and think "trees, potatoes, and football," we might have a problem. Instead, Old Growth wear the torn rags of being this town's premier working man's rock 'n' roll outfit; a mighty trio that somehow herds the loose-knit openness of Crazy Horse toward punk rock's rigid efficiency. Tubers are not just root vegetables, but also a Florida band whose good taste in music ranges from the old (they sound like Dag Nasty with a Gainesville punk rock pedigree), to the new (they run Bakery Outlet Records, which releases titles from the aforementioned Old Growth). And finally, Organized Sports are the bratty local act that might be the only band to pen a song in honor of the pride of 82nd Avenue—no, not the Unicorn Inn Motel—the almighty Fubonn Supermarket. EAC

WEDNESDAY 4/1

CATTLE DECAPITATION, BLOOD FREAK,

HEATHEN SHRINE

(Satyricon, 125 NW 6th) It can't be easy being Cattle Decapitation in the era of Whitechapel, Despised Icon, and See You Next Tuesday. "Mixing technical death metal and grindcore" used to be a verbose way of describing the band's ambitious tumult, but now it looks too much like "deathcore," so I dare not write it (oh, wait). Well, make no mistake, the mighty Cattle Decap have nothing to do with the mall-borne virus that infected so many just-go-away metalcore bands with a proud sense of MTV2 nü brutality. The Harvest Floor, Cattle Decap's latest meditation on suffering, runs fast along the edges of genre, Locust-like, finding cracked slaughterhouse windows for guest vocalists as varied as Ross Sewage (Impaled/Ludicra) and Jarboe (Swans). Deathcore may have its pig squeals, but Cattle Decap can juxtapose them with beefy shit-bellows and ethereal magick spells—and give you some hot runs with which to choke it all down and out. MIKE MEYER

BEAT OFF

(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) The Beat Off beat battle returns as part of its yearlong quest to crown Portland's premier beat-smith and make him/her $500 richer. In each event (which is held semi-monthly) a group of producers are given the same set of sounds to concoct a song and an hour to make it happen. The end result is sometimes dope—or, on occasion, not so dope—and always interesting to watch come together. While the efforts of beat-makers usually occur behind closed doors in bedrooms or studios (and the occasional bedroom studio), Beat Off is pushing these artists into the spotlight. A caller to last month's OPB Think Out Loud radio show on the subject of Portland hiphop commented that "Portland doesn't have very many good beat producers." To him the Beat Off says, "Open your eyes, dumbass. Open your eyes." GRAHAM BAREY