Up & Coming 

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THURSDAY 5/7

TENDER LOVING EMPIRE FIRST THURSDAY: CHURCH, FINN RIGGINS

(Tender Loving Empire Store, 1720 NW Lovejoy #109) See My, What a Busy Week!

IAN McLAGAN AND THE BUMP BAND,THE BEAUTIFUL TRAIN WRECKS

(White Eagle, 836 N Russell) Keyboardist Ian "Mac" McLagan is an absolute living legend. He's played with everyone from Dylan to Springsteen, but he's best known as one of the cornerstones of the classic English band Small Faces, who had their mod heyday in the '60s and turned into good-time party band—complete with frosted tips—the Faces in the '70s. McLagan now lives in Austin, Texas, and his wife Kim—former fashion model and ex-wife of Keith Moon—was killed in a car accident in 2006. He pays tribute to her on the fantastic Never Say Never, a heartfelt rock 'n' soul record that, despite having perhaps the worst album cover of all time, is miles better than anything that fellow Faces Rod Stewart or Ron Wood have done in the past couple decades. It's actually a little astonishing how good his songs are still, when virtually all of his surviving peers from the first wave of the British Invasion have turned soft, schmaltzy, or taken the easy way out. But McLagan refuses to rest on his towering stack of laurels—so don't miss your chance to see him play a small bar tonight, or his all-ages, in-store performance at Music Millennium this afternoon. NED LANNAMANN

DESTROYER, AZITA

(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) The sound of Destroyer has evolved to follow the whims of shape- shifting Vancouver, BC songwriter Dan Bejar, ranging from the Bowie-esque, glam of Streethawk: A Seduction to the stiff MIDI orchestrations of Your Blues. Bejar embraced his inner Van Morrison on 2006's swooning Destroyer's Rubies, and coagulated all these elements on last year's Trouble in Dreams, his most sober and well-rounded album. Bejar's most recent batch of songs appeared a couple months ago on supergroup Swan Lake's second album Enemy Mine, but instead of touring with that band, Bejar is doing a solo acoustic tour, which will clear the slate of all his accumulated guises, and should cut clean to the bone of his intense, mercurial, and often magnificent music. NL

FRIDAY 5/8

PDX FILM FEST KARAOKE THROWDOWN: RUSH-N-DISCO, HOOLIGANSHIP, DJ BJ

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

JIG A LIN, BLAP CLIQUE, FOGATRON, DJ VOID

(Crown Room, 205 NW 4th) See Music.

STEPHEN MALKMUS & THE JICKS

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) For Stephen Malkmus, life is more than just fantasy sports hustling (seriously, the guy is like the Fast Eddie Felson of rotisserie sports) and Pavement reunion gossip. It turns out, all this time he has a band called Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks, which has been releasing albums nearly as long as Pavement did. Who knew? Yet the Jicks are seemingly cursed, captured in the long shadow of Pavement's impeccable legacy and forever doomed to be the "new mom" of the Malkmus family tree, an outfit saddled with expectations they could never possibly live up to. So uncross your fingers and stop wishing for Spiral Stairs to come back around (or for Bob Nastanovich to give up the ponies), and just enjoy the Jicks for what they are. EZRA ACE CARAEFF

BASSNECTAR, GIFT OF GAB, KUSH ARORA, GRAINTABLE

(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) Seems like San Francisco DJ/producer Bassnectar (AKA Lorin Ashton) treats the Pacific Northwest as a second home these days. Six months after his last Portland gig, he returns to ripple your internal organs with his diverse palette of black-and-blue bass frequencies. Bassnectar's upful take on dubstep, breaks, hiphop, drum 'n' bass, IDM, and dancehall will get you—and possibly your bowels—moving. Blackalicious' Gift of Gab flexes some of the greatest double-jointed, contortionist lyrics in the history of rap; even if he mostly rhymes about how awesome a rhymer he is, Gab never fails to find ingenious ways to articulate that done-to-def subject. Thankfully, the productions supporting his flamboyant language—sometimes provided by Seattle's Vitamin D and Jake One, as they did on GOG's 4th Dimensional Rocketships Going Up—often match the emcee's verbal dazzle. DAVE SEGAL

SERA CAHOONE, BETSY OLSON, CELILO

(White Eagle, 836 N Russell) In addition to its famous indie rock, the Pacific Northwest lends itself to another kind of American music, a particular brand of country that's as rustic and authentic as anything from Tennessee. Perhaps it's the incessant drizzle west of the Cascades, lending itself to introspective, interior songwriting—or perhaps it's the lonesome starry horizons of the high desert on the other side of the mountains. Seattle's Sera Cahoone embodies both these elements, with gentle two-step songs that are graced by acoustic guitar and sweeping pedal steel. She's no stranger to the region's indie rock heritage—she was a member of seminal group Carissa's Wierd, drummed on the first Band of Horses album, and her solo records are out on the storied Sub Pop label—but her excellent songs are the product of a different history, one where cowboys are at home on the range, where a well-tended fire is the only way to stave off the damp, where a country song grows out of the wild landscape instead of a Nashville songwriter's office. NL

Y LA BAMBA, ODAWAS, SABERTOOTH

(Backspace, 115 NW 5th) Like many others, I have been entranced by Y la Bamba's rich and airy voice since the first time I heard her sparse, playful whisperings on the track "Fasting in San Francisco," from 2008's PDX Pop Now! compilation. Since debuting last year during the open mic nights she hosted, Luz Elena Mendoza has fleshed out her project to include a six-piece band, released an album, and wowed audiences down at SXSW. The band continues to build up steam, maintaining its core strength in the voice and posturing of Mendoza. Her vocal lines swim out from a haze of guitars and dreamy percussion, often looping back into a cacophony that is eerie in effect but still somehow comforting, like the song that comes floating through in a fairy tale when the children are lost in the woods and just about to despair. MARANDA BISH

SATURDAY 5/9

FAILING RECORDS COMPILATION RELEASE PARTY: PALO VERDE, METAL SHAKESPEARE CO., SOUTHERN BELLE, BARK HIDE & HORN

(Backspace, 115 NW 5th) See My, What a Busy Week!

VAGABOND OPERA, 3 LEG TORSO,PORTLAND CELLO PROJECT

(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Vagabond Opera present The Zeitgeist Beckons with a devilish streak of mischief and mayhem, like a mustache-twirling villain, fresh from tying yet another damsel to Union Pacific's tracks. If over-the-top vaudevillain is not your thing, run for the hills, since this local sextet are far from subtle in their onslaught of bouncy klezmer, steampunking gypsy waltzes, and enough carnival music to set the midway aflame. "Kabarista Farewell" feels like a castaway (or a cutout) from the early days of the Decemberists, and their Tom Waits' cover ("Tango 'til They're Sore") works as a loose jazzy number, and if you can look past its goofiness, "Welcome to the Opera" feels like cabaret music as interpreted by clown school dropouts. All that's missing from this circus is the bigtop. EAC

SCOUT NIBLETT, HOT VICTORY,SILVER INTERIOR, DJ LINOLEUM

(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) For her latest release on Drag City, Scout Niblett dug out the old four-track recorder, but despite these limited means she's achieved a sprawling, epic sound on both sides of the 7-inch. "It's Time" builds slowly and steadily to a climax of supersonic, Robert Fripp-esque guitars scaling vast heights; meanwhile, the guitar on flipside "My Beloved" sounds like a klaxon on the offbeats, with Niblett's yearning howl possessing all the menacing intent of a hungry wolf. It's a wallop of a single, spiking the unbalanced tenderness of 2007's This Fool Can Die Now with a fierce, intoxicating self-assurance. She has a full-length album coming out later this year, and if this pair of tunes from the British songwriter (and Portland inhabitant) is any indication, it'll be among the year's best, wooziest, most infatuating releases. NL

THE DAYS THE NIGHTS, THE MEDIAM,>DIAMOND LIARS

(Ash Street Saloon, 225 SW Ash) Sorry, Mötley Crüe (and T-Pain), you are not the only musicians to write a song about a stripper. It would seem that the mighty rock assault of Radical Sabbatical—the surprising new full-length from the normally off-my-radar band, the Days the Nights—begins with "Her Name Is Alice," an ode to a dancer "up to no good." While you are not supposed to fall in love with a clothing removal technician (that's the scientific term), I suppose there's no rule against penning a song in their honor. Doing their best to emerge from the murky depths of the sorry genre known as "hard rock," the Days the Nights were raised on a steady diet of Queens of the Stone Age (circa their Rated R days), plus a hefty dose of domestic hardcore as well, given their penchant for screaming backing vocals. It works to perfection on "Greenlight," a song that practically begs for some FM airwave love, yet this formula grows a little stale as the album trudges on. But much like the subject of Sabbatical's opening number, if you can suspend your sense of belief long enough, you'll enjoy your time at the rack with the Days the Nights. Just be sure to tip. EAC

PAUL WILLIAMS BENEFIT: LOOKBOOK, SOFT TAGS, NAMING NAMES, DEAR ETHER

(Someday Lounge, 125 NW 5th) In 1966, Swarthmore college student Paul Williams started Crawdaddy!, a self-produced magazine dedicated to the new, serious "rock" music spearheaded by the likes of Dylan and the Beatles. Shelved alongside teeny-bopper rags like 16, Williams' magazine made it clear that there was room in the world for legitimate criticism of popular music that went beyond glossy pinups and breathless fan-fueled copy. Publishers like Jann Wenner stole the Crawdaddy! model and turned it into big business, but Williams has labored in relative obscurity as one of the sharpest critics of rock music, penning dozens of vital books over the years. Now based in San Diego, Williams is struggling with a vicious case of Alzheimer's disease. An assortment of local bands has assembled to play this benefit show to assist with his medical care, and it's a particularly inspiring and worthwhile cause—without Williams, we'd all still be reading Tiger Beat. NL

PRIZE COUNTRY, TRAINDODGE, FRONT TOWARD ENEMY

(Slabtown, 1033 NW 16th) Traindodge are not your common, run-of-the-post-punk-mill touring outfit. With a minimal amount of fanfare this Oklahoma City trio has been traversing the interstates of this great land to the tune of 500-plus shows in their career, a seemingly nonstop touring machine that respectfully subscribes to the Mike Watt philosophy of just getting in the goddamn van and doing everything for yourself. Well, not everything, since Ascetic Records has just released I Am Forever, full-length album number four for this band. There's less throwback emo than their previous releases, yet the J. Robbins influence still rings true with songs that center on rigid guitar lines and barked choruses. And if you wonder how they are as a live act, rest assured any band that has lived in a touring vehicle this long will not be pulling any punches while on stage. EAC

SUNDAY 5/10

LEP HIGH SCHOOL BENEFIT: ALEC OUNSWORTH, STEPHEN MALKMUS, REBECCA GATES, STEVE BERLIN, STORM LARGE, THE MINUS 5, THE DIMES, LINDA HORNBUCKLE

(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) See Music

PONYTAIL, KATY DAVIDSON, TESTS

(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See Music.

CLOUD CULT, SAY HI, ICE PALACE

(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) Led by Craig Minowa, Minneapolis septet Cloud Cult mongrelize scrappy indie rock, underground hiphop, and orchestral pop with whimsical glee. Winsome melodies and dramatic song structures conspire to make Cloud Cult's deft, patchwork compositions a warm-hearted delight; this music embraces you with sincerity, and only the most ornery curmudgeon would push it away. On their second album, Wonder Subtly Crushing Us, fellow Minnesotans Ice Palace create knotty, rustic rock that bears a Midwestern toughness, which comes from enduring soul-destroyingly cold weather for nearly half the year. Seattle's Say Hi (Eric Elbogen) pens literate, understated pop—especially that one with eight "Oh"s in its title from the newish Oohs & Aahs. DS Also see My, What a Busy Week!

MONDAY 5/11

ALL RAMONES DANCE PARTY:DRUNKEN BOAT, RINGERS

(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) See My, What a Busy Week!

TUESDAY 5/12

OPETH, ENSLAVED

(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) A few years ago at the 24 Hour Church of Scandinavian Metal, the Norse gods had constructed two different altars at which to worship. At one end was Norway's Enslaved with their album Ruun, a textbook example of blackened neo-prog—Rush-referencing song structures, hard rock riffs, psychedelic pedal work, and torn-apart vocals. This was the rocky path to Valhalla. At the other end there was Sweden's Opeth and its Ghost Reveries—a heaping dose of rich, melodic death metal produced for the masses and, yes, quite addictive. This was the more immediate option. Now it seems the bands have crossed paths. Enslaved's Vertebrae is the mainstream pick (midtempo, commercially minded), while Opeth's Watershed is the Rush 'n' roll concept album (internally complex, organically aggressive). It's only fitting the two will share a stage tonight. MIKE MEYER

STEVE EARLE

(Music Millennium, 3158 E Burnside) Much like Dylan had Woody, Steve Earle had Townes Van Zandt. The tumultuous career of Earle—five marriages, so much drugs, so much more denim—isn't too far from the struggles of Van Zandt, except Earle was somehow able to live through it all. His latest, Townes, is another homage to his icon (Earle previously paid his dues with a stark cover of "Tecumseh Valley" on '95's Train a Comin') with 15 covers and guest spots from Allison Moorer, Tom Morello, and even his own flesh and blood, Justin Townes Earle. See? He even named his kid after Van Zandt. Anyway, you'll need to pre-order Townes and the kind Music Millennium folks will get you a wristband that guarantees entry to this sure-to-be-packed performance. Maybe if you ask him real nice-like, Earle will do his AA monologue from The Wire. EAC

WEDNESDAY 5/13

THE VASELINES, THE DUTCHESS & THE DUKE

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

HOT TUNA, LOUDON WAINWRIGHT III

(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) There's Loudon Wainwright III the father, spawning a bounty of ridiculously talented offspring (Rufus, Martha, Lucy). There's Loudon Wainwright III the thespian, coming to a big screen near you soon in the CGI guinea pig flick G-Force. And there's Loudon Wainwright III the singer, the same man that made my wife cry while opening for Leo Kottke last October at the Aladdin. I don't take kindly to those that drive my better half to tears, but instead of challenging LWIII to a spirited round of fisticuffs, I'll give the man his just due. While his legacy might be cemented as the clown prince of folk singers (after all, he did write the kiddie sing-along "Dead Skunk"), his abundant catalog is equally full of heartbreakingly sad songs ("Hitting You," "Hank and Fred," anything off Last Man on Earth). Tonight he opens for Hot Tuna, a band that consists of members of Jefferson Airplane, yet somehow is not Jefferson Starship. So no requesting "Sara," okay? EAC

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