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Yoyodyne, Kelly's Olympian, 4/25

Yoyodyne, Kelly's Olympian, 4/25

THURSDAY 4/23

ATMOSPHERE, P.O.S., ATTRACTED TO GODS

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

BURAKA SOM SISTEMA, DJ SEGA, DJ BEYONDA

(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) See Music.

ARRINGTON DE DIONYSO, SOME WEIRD SIN

(The Wail, 5135 NE 42nd) To try and decipher, let alone comprehend, Arrington de Dionyso would be an endeavor steeped in utter failure. Frantic voice for Old Time Relijun, fan of Tuvan throat singing, vibrant artist—basically, he's like our very own Don Van Vliet, sans a mask made out of fish—de Dionyso now presents his latest work, Aion Codex. A silk-screened, hand-bound book created while in residency in Marseille, France, Aion continues forth in de Dionyso's multi-platform artistic statement. Plus, there are only 200 copies of the book printed, so get buying while the buying is good. EZRA ACE CARAEFF

COLD WAR KIDS, CRYSTAL ANTLERS

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Los Angeles' Crystal Antlers followed up their promising EP with this year's Tentacles, a full-length that expands on their initial offering's 21st-century update of '60s Farfisa-led garage rock without offering any new vistas. It's pop music deliberately gussied up to look ravaged, with dead ends, noise experiments, and jagged punk textures all disguising the fact that these frontiers were discovered decades ago. Their beardo jams and organ freakouts are tedious more often than not—Crystal Antlers are at their best when they sound the most sober. Case in point: A song like "Andrew," which flirts with white-guy soul, is probably the reason the Antlers were picked to open for Cold War Kids, a band that's grown from blog buzzers to big-time pop act with big-time ticket prices to match (tonight's show is gonna run you 22 bones). NED LANNAMANN

AMANDA RICHARDS, AMBER RUBARTH, KARLI FAIRBANKS

(Backspace, 115 NW 5th) The problem with using a title like "You Will Love This Song," is that you have to actually follow through and write a fitting song worthy of such a lofty title. If not, you're in trouble. Thankfully for Amber Rubarth, it's hard not to love that song, and pretty much all the other material that spills from this Brooklynite's pen. Rubarth joyfully channels the sugary anti-folk sounds of the Moldy Peaches, along with the soft croon of Jolie Holland, and a little of that Devon Sproule rural charm as well. Combine all that with a level of intimacy that can only come from someone stuck in a miniscule Brooklyn studio apartment, and you have a singer whose voice we will be hearing about for quite some time. EAC

FRIDAY 4/24

DAN DEACON, FUTURE ISLANDS, TEETH MOUNTAIN

(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) See My, What a Busy Week!

BLACK LIPS, FLOWERS FOREVER, THE NICE BOYS

(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) So what if they pee into each other's mouths and make out onstage? Big deal that they got kicked out of India for "performing lewd acts" in a conservative Hindu nation. Beyond the hyped antics and crass bravado for which the Black Lips have come to be known, lies a band of American kids trying to live the dream. The road between their small label debut in 2003 (Black Lips!) and their recently released fifth album on Vice Records (200 Million Thousand) has been long and arduous, full of hard work. At the heart of their success is the fact that the Lips just keep on making the "flower punk" swamp-rock music they love, while constantly reaching out to fans in new places. Black Lips may not yet be the worldwide ambassadors of rock 'n' roll that they aspire to, but they're damn sure having fun along the way, and we're all invited to join in. MARANDA BISH

BLACK LIPS AFTERPARTY: DJ BLACK LIPS, THE INTELLIGENCE, THE BLIMP

(East End, 203 SE Grand) The Intelligence's fourth full-length, Fake Surfers, is something of a return to form for the prolific Seattle post-punk outfit (AKA Lars Finberg and whoever happens to be playing with him at the time). From the first seconds of the title track, Surfers recalls the otherworldly melodies and off-kilter rhythms of the band's debut full-length, 2004's Boredom and Terror—which is by no means a bad thing. Finberg has an uncanny knack for writing tremendously catchy material—often simple guitar/keyboard progressions that demonstrate how powerful simplicity and repetition can be when they're done right. Live, this all translates into one hell of a good reason to jump around and spill your beer all over the place; this reviewer has yet to see an Intelligence set that disappoints. GRANT BRISSEY Also the Black Lips will be DJing their favorite records at this free afterparty.

RICHARD BUCKNER, DOLOREAN

(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Surely you've heard Dolorean by now—but if you haven't, it's time to get your shit together. Dolorean's generous, flickering baroque folk songs are some of the finest music this town has to offer, with gracefully curving lines and warm tones that contain the fractured passion of mid-'70s Neil Young within the genius architecture of Brian Wilson's richest backdrops. Sound like hyperbole? Then you haven't heard Dolorean. Their last record, You Can't Win, contained some intensely affecting moments and spooky ambience around frontman Al James' mellow songs, and rumor is the band is working on a new album for release later this year. It almost seems like an empty compliment to refer to a band's music as beautiful, but Dolorean's music is precisely that: gentle, breathtaking, and impossible to resist. NL

JAMES McMURTRY, THE ATONEMENTS

(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) In advance of writing this blurb, I spent a good couple of hours with Just Us Kids, James McMurtry's 2008 release and an impeccable collection of songs. Over sharp, sturdy roots-rock music made by an ass-kicking band (give the drummer some, seriously), this Austin-based singer/songwriter weaves precise, intricate tales of American life with a literary skill that leaves even his most literate peers—Steve Earle, Todd Snider, Lucinda Williams—in the dust. Thirty seconds on Wikipedia provides clues to the source of this literary confidence and ambition: father Larry McMurtry, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Lonesome Dove and The Last Picture Show, who gave his son his first guitar when James was age seven. DAVID SCHMADER

SATURDAY 4/25

SMYRC BENEFIT: REPORTER, SLUTTY HEARTS, ADVISORY , THE CATCH, SISTER RAY GUN

(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) See My, What a Busy Week!

IDA MARIA, RUTH

(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) See My, What a Busy Week!

MISS MASSIVE SNOWFLAKE , LARRY YES, BOB CORN, COMANECI

(Kenton Club, 2025 N Kilpatrick) See Music.

COCO COBRA AND THE KILLERS

(Devil's Point, 5305 SE Foster) What kind of band has their LP release show at a strip club? Oh yeah, Coca Cobra and the Killers, that's who. Like a pornographic Fastbacks—if you are anything like me, that description is quite possibly the greatest thing ever—CC&K (led by occasional Merc freelancer Viva Las Vegas) are celebrating the release of Want You!, out on Holland's No Brains Records. Thanks to their progressive Dutch ways, the album's artwork is too risqué to be stocked in some uptight music retailers, but if you're at this show, sitting by the pole with a pile of ones, it's nothing you haven't seen before. Expect plenty of raw garage rock anthems and graphic nudity, not necessarily in that order. EAC

FRANZ NICOLAY, MONEYBROTHERS, TIGERHOUSE

(East End, 203 SE Grand) You may know Franz Nicolay as the mustachioed pianist for the Hold Steady. His perfectly groomed liphair is as iconic as Craig Finn's glasses (and dance moves). As a solo artist who's partnered up with folks like Demander and the Dresden Dolls, Nicolay tries on a few different hats. On his new record, Major General, he's got everything from anthemic blasts of rock 'n' roll to a quasi-lounge number replete with clarinet. The first single, "Jeff Penalty," is one part Hold Steady and one part Against Me! (with perhaps a tinge of Ted Leo). So of course I love it. Here's hoping the live show will be paired with the same raw enthusiasm that such an anthem deserves. MEGAN SELING

YOYODYNE, FUTURE HISTORIANS, DJ YARGLEFREP

(Kelly's Olympian, 426 SW Washington) It's not enough that Emily Vidal plays bass in one super-catchy local pop-rock trio in which all members contribute to the deliriously infectious songwriting. She plays in two: In addition to the Crosswalks, she plays in Yoyodyne, whose first full-length album Advice celebrates its release tonight. Yoyodyne also sees the songwriting smarts of guitarist Johnny Keener, who also writes songs for kids and therefore knows the surest way to get the attention of distracted ears is a pure, straight arrow of pop. And drummer Jason Greene contributes "Estrogen Pants," a rollicking shimmy that marries the dance-floor call of "Walking on Sunshine" with the gender-bending spit-swap of "Rebel Rebel." Advice is an undeniably fun record all the way through, with "Tallest Man in the World" matching the acceleration of REM's early days. NL

JOE LALLY, THE GOLDEN BEARS, GREY ANNE

(Someday Lounge, 125 NW 5th) A lot of old punk rock dudes from the '90s have grown up to do the same thing—pick up the acoustic guitar and write gritty alt-country songs. Chuck Ragan from Hot Water Music; Tim Barry of Avail; even Seattle's Rocky Votolato had hard-rock history before focusing full-time on his gorgeous solo material. Fugazi bassist Joe Lally breaks that mold... slightly. While his solo material isn't as explosive or ferocious as anything in Fugazi's catalog, he's not exactly sitting on top of a barstool with a six-string, either. Lally's songs are carefully structured pieces of art—feedbacking guitars, buzzing bass, and animalistic beats offset Lally's eerily calm voice. There's something to be said for a great, self-deprecating ballad, but what Lally delivers is more interesting. MS

SUNDAY 4/26

NIGHTCLUBBING: THOMAS FEHLMANN, GUDRUN, LINGER AND QUIET

(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Thomas Fehlmann, best known for his relaxed dubby house productions with the Orb, is one of the most influential figures in modern electronic music. His mile-long discography dates back 20 years, and includes early work with ambient/IDM pioneers Sun Electric and a towering stack of prominent solo releases on Kompakt Records, Mute, and Monika Enterprise, to just name a few. Fehlmann's excellent taste and encyclopedic knowledge of music can be heard on Ocean Club, the weekly radio show he co-hosts with longtime partner Gudron Gut (who also joins him on tour). Fehlmann is nothing short of a legend, and he routinely plays for huge crowds around the globe, so enjoy tonight's rare chance to see him in such an intimate setting. AVA HEGEDUS

MONDAY 4/27

CHRIS ROBLEY & THE FEAR OF HEIGHTS, WYE OAK, POMEGRANATES

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!

KREATOR, EXODUS, BELPHEGOR, WARBRINGER, EPICUREAN

(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) See Music.

TUESDAY 4/28

COMANECI, BOB CORN, LARRY YES, GEOFF SOULE

(Valentine's, 232 SW Ankeny) See Music.

VIVIAN GIRLS, ABE VIGODA, EXPLODE INTO COLORS

(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Your enjoyment of tonight's program will likely be inversely proportional to how many times per day you say the word "hipster." In other words, if you find yourself cursing those "damned hipsters" as you sourly spit into your morning coffee, or if you lament aloud to no one in particular about "pretentious hipster bullshit" as you glower from the back seat of the bus, tonight's show is not for you. Lo-fi garage queens Vivian Girls are the toast of both the music blogs and the much-maligned Pitchfork, as is the splendid African-influenced music of Abe Vigoda; meanwhile, Explode into Colors have quickly leapfrogged from house party upstarts to Portland's hottest buzz band. So if you cheerfully make it through the day refraining from referring to anyone or anything with the bankrupt, meaningless insult "hipster"—as you rightly should, since the word has at this point become a term used only by timid chickenshits to describe anything that makes them uncomfortable, or anybody younger than they are—you will have a blast at tonight's phenomenal, "hipster"-friendly, jam-packed triple bill. Squares, stay home. NL

WEDNESDAY 4/29

MARIA TAYLOR, WHISPERTOWN 2000, MATT SHEEHY

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!

CASTANETS, MICHAEL HURLEY, THE OLD BELIEVERS

(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See Music.

THE THING, NAKED FUTURE

(Backspace, 115 NW 5th) Proof that there is more to Swedish music than cuddly pop and corpse-painted metal bands—yet never a combination of the two—the Thing are the free-jazz leaning trio of Mats Gustafsson, Ingebrigt Håker Flaten, and Paal Nilssen-Love. Sax player Gustafsson is a kind of a big deal, just ask Thurston Moore. I'll wait. Okay, see? I told you. The Thing's repertoire runs the gamut from avant-garde compositions, plenty of Don Cherry influence, and just about anything else in between. This is the most exciting thing to happen to this block since Ground Kontrol fixed NBA Jam. EAC

CHRIS CORNELL, THE CRASH KINGS

(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) I like Soundgarden as much as the next person raised on Led Zeppelin, but never cared enough to develop expectations of their individual members. Not so with the Soundgarden faithful, many of whom have greeted Chris Cornell's aiming-for-the-mainstream solo career with disdain, which was upgraded to outright mockery upon the release of this year's Timbaland-produced Scream. Over radio-ready beats that could've been made for Nelly Furtado, Cornell belts out lyrics about love and bitches, and it's perfectly harmless, and completely unnecessary. Once upon a time Cornell wanted to be Robert Plant; now he seems to be aiming for Power Station-era Robert Palmer. DS

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