Up & Coming 

THURSDAY 8/20

PISSED JEANS, PRIZE COUNTRY

(Satyricon, 125 NW 6th) See Music.

THE FLAMING LIPS, BUILT TO SPILL, STARDEATH AND WHITE DWARFS

(Edgefield, 2126 SW Halsey, Troutdale) Not to get all truck commercial (remember those?), but Built to Spill is like a rock. Doug Martsch & Co. have been long-play jammin' for nearly two decades, with a new release, There Is No Enemy, set to make an appearance in October. Their last album, You in Reverse, was decidedly underappreciated with its back-to-basics production, Martsch's characteristically clever lyrics, and a rediscovered driving enthusiasm. It's pretty much the perfect bill, with the guitar-tastic BTS and the spastic fun of the Flaming Lips playing new songs, all while lolling around on Edgefield's expansive lawn: I have to admit my mythological hemi is all aquiver for this show. I'll be making a fool of myself and dancing like a moron, but then again... so will everyone else. COURTNEY FERGUSON Also, see My, What a Busy Week!

HORSE FEATHERS, SEAN FLINN, MBILLY

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Perched inside my ivory tower—or, behind a used office desk purchased from City Liquid-ators—it's easy for me to demand new albums from bands whenever there is even the slightest lull between recordings. This has been the case with Horse Feathers, who graced us with the lovely House with No Home last year, which (sadly) is an eternity in this internet-age society we live in. Sure, they released one of the best albums of 2008, but what have they done in 2009? The answer to that is tour, and the rustic folk outfit has traversed the country, including some dates with terribly underrated troubadour Joe Pug. Let us be thankful that Justin Ringle & Co. refuse to cater to demands of instant gratification, instead moving Horse Feathers along at a caring and deliberate pace, meaning that the payoff—whenever it does come—will definitely be worth the wait. EZRA ACE CARAEFF

ARANYA, THE ATOMIC BOMB AUDITION, NORTHERN SWORDS, MICROTIA

(Plan B, 1305 SE 8th) A friend recently complained to me how today's doom metal—with its common characteristics of punishing low end, monotony, and harsh vocals—makes him feel "this small." He described it in ways I might describe power electronics or brass-knuckle industrial music: unrelenting, unnerving, impossible to enjoy. I don't share the feeling, but his impression has been hard to shake. Good, then, that local female-fronted heathen metal band Aranya is a clear deviation from what could be considered the grating status quo in Doomtown. Multi-instrumentalist frontwoman Uta Plotkin locks into vocal trances more reminiscent of mid-'90s Sky Cries Mary than Portland's caricature-worthy Southern Lord worshippers. Her tribal wail soars outside the proper metallic grit of a band that bravely tries Tomahawk-like American Indian music and European folk metal as well. Listening to Aranya, it is impossible to feel small. MIKE MEYER

MOODRING, MARMITS, SPIRIT DUPLICATOR

(Ella Street Social Club, 714 SW 20th Pl) One of the true mysteries of the Portland music scene—in all its majestic glories and flawed imperfections—is Italy's downright obsession with local act Rollerball. While they might fly—or roll—under the radar in their own backyard (and domestically), the band is Berlusconi-big and absolutely adored in the boot-shaped country. Same could probably be said for Moodring, the auxiliary project of Rollerballers Mae Starr and Monte Allen. Releasing the desolate Scared of Ferret tonight, Moodring takes the artistic leanings of their other project and expands on them, creating a moody and droning collection of material that is fleshed out with the help of members of Plants and Momeraths. Tonight, see what Italians have been loving, and what you have been missing, for so many years. EAC

MATTRESS, NUCULAR AMINALS, HAMMER OF HATHOR, THE WOOLEN MEN

(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) If you haven't checked out the spooky, electronic mess that is Mattress yet, you'd best get on it soon. The group is about to embark on a national tour and won't be returning to Portland until October, when they'll also be releasing a new album. The music of Nucular Aminals is rife with melodic guitars and off-kilter keyboard notes that sound like they belong in a carnival's big top. The Aminals' vocals are a little deadpan sometimes, but it all balances out nicely with their upbeat instrumentation. THEODORA KARATZAS

FRIDAY 8/21

THE MANOR OF ART: CLIMBER, BOY IN STATIC, CHORES, BRYAN FREE AND THE DOXYHAUNTS

(Milepost 5, 900 NE 81st) See My, What a Busy Week!

SMMR BMMR: THEE OH SEES, BOX ELDERS, SIC ALPS, METH TEETH, & MORE

(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) See Music.

CROCODILES, GRAFFITI ISLAND, PENS

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Crocodiles have found themselves caught in a raging dispute between blogs and bloggers—the former, namely Pitchfork, called the band a rip-off of acts like Wavves (who ironically formed after Crocodiles) and marked them down for trying everything rather than focusing on a specific genre, while the latter are defending a band that doesn't deserve the high and mighty misdirected hammer of the P-fork. Well, bad publicity is good publicity, I suppose. The Echo and the Bunnymen-inspired group have enough psychedelia and distortion to sound like a bad Hendrix trip, but their melodies, especially the slower numbers, tend to have enough intricate and fuzzy noise to warrant repeated listening. The "cater to everyone" road might be over-traveled, but, if you let them, Crocodiles will wriggle into your head and curl up. PHILIP GAUDETTE

ATRIARCH, SUBROSA, FEEDLING

(East End, 203 SE Grand) It's probably safe to assume that Subrosa's electric-violin-infused melodic stoner metal isn't the sound of your average Salt Lake City band. Vocalist/guitarist (and practicing Mormon) Rebecca Vernon writes haunting chapel-basement doom dirges, with big, fat Goatsnake (or L7, c'mon) riffs and creep-out lyrics that peer into secret societies with lingering, dilated pupils. The female quartet's Strega full-length—named after a form of Italian witchcraft—came out on Sweden's I Hate Records, home of black-kvlt siblings Nifelheim, so you know it can hardly be more metal. MM

REPORTER, DOUBLE PLUS GOOD, BREAKFAST MOUNTAIN

(Backspace, 115 NW 5th) What was originally thought to be a simple name change has finally evolved into a brilliant new sound. Wet Confetti became Reporter in 2007, and it seems that now, with the release of Dust and Stars under their belt, the band has embarked on a musical odyssey, bidding adieu to their previous incarnation (and even adopting a third with May Ling, their newest endeavor that includes two-thirds of Reporter, minus drummer and Potato Champion owner Mike McKinnon). Get there early for Breakfast Mountain; Zack Osterlund may play two shows a week but it's for good reason—his mix of laptop funk and live band has been creating quite a stir on the homestead and beyond. PG

SATURDAY 8/22

THE MANOR OF ART: BLUE SKIES FOR BLACK HEARTS, DIRTY MITTENS, JARED MEES AND THE GROWN CHILDREN, & MORE

(Milepost 5, 900 NE 81st) See My, What a Busy Week!.

SMMR BMMR: MAD MACKA, THE PITY FUCKS, & MORE

(BC's American Saloon, 2433 SE Powell) See Music.

SMMR BMMR: PURE COUNTRY GOLD, WHITE FANG, FERGUS & GERONIMO, TEENAGE COOL KIDS, & MORE

(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) See Music.

NORFOLK & WESTERN, JOLIE HOLLAND AND THE HUNTING PARTY, STEFAN JECUSCO

(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) If you think you're seeing double, you can stop squinting. Jolie Holland's backing band, the Hunting Party, shares a rhythm section with Portland's Norfolk & Western—specifically, drummer Rachel Blumberg and bassist Dave Depper, each of whom are pulling double duty at tonight's show. The gig is sort of a one-off for both bands: Norfolk & Western are in the midst of finishing their latest studio opus, and Holland is still riding high off last year's excellent The Living and the Dead. So without any particular agendas or brand-new records to promote, both ensembles should be in a relaxed, rambling mode, and Jolie's supple, romantic songwriting will be expertly paired with Norfolk's stately psyched-out folk. NED LANNAMANN

FRUIT BATS, JOHNNY AND THE MOON, PANTY LIONS

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) You might fear that lead Fruit Bat Eric D. Johnson's been so busy playing sideman to the Shins and Vetiver that he might not have much left to put into his main gig. Worry not: Fruit Bats' new album, The Ruminant Band, shuffles and strides as easily as any folk rock this year, and the tunes are uniformly winning as well. Johnson's singing by himself now that co-vocalist Gillian Lisee has departed, but his nasal croon sounds invigorated, and so do songs like "My Unusual Friend," "The Ruminant Band," and the album-closing "Flamingo," which dips into olde-timey sonics (faint vinyl hiss, tip-tap drums, cockeyed Optigan) without sounding merely cute about it. MICHAELANGELO MATOS

GABE ROZZELL & THE DECENCY, THE MIGHTY GHOSTS, THREADS

(Kenton Club, 2025 N Kilpatrick) The husky-voiced Gabe Rozzell is the sort of intimating figure that would be at home during the outlaw era of country music—a myth-ical character that can melt hearts with his songs, uproot trees with his bare arms, and probably makes his own jerky as well. Basically, he's the greatest human on this planet. Backed by the trusty Decency, his self-titled debut (out tonight) is a welcome surprise of tempered roots music—vintage pearl-snap country, dustbowl folk—done to perfection. It might seem dry at first listen, but that's what the whiskey is for. One drink in and you'll be erecting your very own Gabe Rozzell statue next to the Paul Bunyan monument in North Portland, only bigger. EAC

SUNDAY 8/23

SMMR BMMR: REPTILIAN CIVILIAN, LAST REGIMENT OF SYNCOPATED DRUMMERS, & MORE

(BC's American Saloon, 2433 SE Powell) See Music.

SMMR BMMR: PIERCED ARROWS, PERSONAL AND THE PIZZAS, THE INTELLIGENCE, THE MEAN JEANS, & MORE

(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) See Music.

EYEDEA AND ABILITIES, KRISTOFF KRANE, ONRY OZZBORN, SAPIENT, LIVING PROOF

(Satyricon, 125 NW 6th) Yet another act has abandoned hiphop for rock, for live music—the antithesis of hiphop. After a five-year break, Minneapolis' Eyedea and Abilities have returned with By the Throat, an album packed with rock and punk. The previous albums (First Born and E&A) by this talented duo contained hiphop in an experimental and intellectual state. These works also contained a lot of promise—the rapper, Eyedea, and the DJ, Abilities, were preparing to push hiphop to its limits. That promise is now broken. What we have, instead of hiphop at its border of lyrical and turntablist meaning, is diluted punk and rock. Why do so many acts make this mistake? Rock will not save hiphop. To turn to rock is to turn to the past and try to bridge a rupture that will forever separate the two forms. Do not look backward; look forward. CHARLES MUDEDE

DREW GROW AND THE PASTORS' WIVES, BIRDS & BATTERIES, BRYAN FREE

(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Tonight's show celebrates the release of Drew Grow and the Pastors' Wives' brand-new single, "Bootstraps," but there's more to it than that: It's the launch of new label Amigo/Amiga, run by Pastors' Wives drummer Jeremiah Hayden and gathered from the ashes of NAT'L Recordings, Hayden's previous label. Grow and the Wives are planning a series of 7-inch singles (sold for a mere $2—cheap!) over the coming months, and they're starting strongly with "Bootstraps," a catchy bootstomper with rattling acoustic guitars and wide-open mass backing vocals. But the real cherry is the Richard Manuel-esque B-side "Friendly Fire," a deliberately plodding country gospel number that's absolutely breathtaking, as Grow's voice urgently raises a vaulted ceiling of harmonies before tumbling back down to earth. NL

MORNING TELEPORTATION, DED PIDGEONS

(Rontoms, 600 E Burnside) Portland transplants by way of Kentucky and Austin—and rumored signees to Isaac Brock's Glacial Pace imprint—Morning Teleportation have injected a sprawling, ambient quality into the otherwise tired genre of indie rock. With plenty to keep you on your toes, Morning Teleportation can get a tiny bit jam band-ish, but despite this, they stay the course through each song and manage to work some surprising sounds into their music as well. Whether they're crafting unique banjo bits that sound a little like they belong in an old western film or steadily upping the ante on a creeping drumbeat, we end up with something a little psychedelic, but still very coherent. TK

MONDAY 8/24

RAINSTICK COWBELL, KEYBOARD

(Mississippi Pizza Pub, 3552 N Mississippi) Armed with only an acoustic guitar and more than an empty guitar case's worth of vitriol, Rainstick Cowbell makes searing music that's intensely personal. Rainstick Cowbell (actually one Scott Arbogast) released the Fireants album earlier this year, and it goes from intense, clear-eyed rants to unhinged exorcisms. On the final track, a screed called "A Self-Indulgent Song, I Know, but I Want My Family to Hear This," Arbogast calmly intones lines like, "So useless to you/Son of someone else... Where are you?/You should've died." It's exhilarating to hear music this raw, and by keeping close to the source, Arbogast makes a kind of folk music that's incredibly heavy even as it sticks to the delicate acoustic-guitar-and-voice template. NL

TUESDAY 8/25

BENEFIT FOR KRIS JENSEN: YACHT, AU, COPY, MAY LING

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

PRETENDERS, CAT POWER, JULIETTE LEWIS

(Edgefield, 2126 SW Halsey) See My, What a Busy Week!, and visit portlandmercury.com for an interview with the Pretenders' Martin Chambers.

JAY REATARD

(Jackpot Records, 203 SW 9th) Jay Reatard's umpteenth release, Watch Me Fall, is marked by his West Coast tour of fine record emporiums. This is good news: These shows are both free and all ages, so young and/or impoverished fans get a chance to see him up close and personal. Watch Me Fall further refines Reatard's pop sensibilities, with his urgent and catchy melodies given a chance to bloom over a less agitated backdrop—acoustic guitars are often employed, and Reatard frequently sings the song all the way through to the end without screaming. With a tinge of glam and just a mild helping of punk, it's becoming clearer and clearer that Reatard's oeuvre is fully in the pop camp—and he's become one of the best, most prolific pop songwriters around. NL

PINK WIDOWER, THE GLOSSINES, THE BUGS

(East End, 203 SE Grand) "This ain't rocket science, this is rock 'n' roll," declare the Bugs as both a lyrical proclamation and a band mantra. The duo operate under this formula to a great level of success, having churned out multiple albums of no frills, straight ahead rock 'n' roll throughout the past decade—most recently on Hovercraft Records, but formerly on Tombstone, the label fronted by Fred and Toody Cole of Dead Moon. Tonight does not herald the release of their latest, Barbaric! Mystical! Bored!, which for some reason will be celebrated next month with a show at a sandwich shop, but expect plenty of the band's trademark rock 'n' roll spirit. MARANDA BISH

WEDNESDAY 8/26

JOE PERNICE, JOHN CUNNINGHAM

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See Music.

ALEXIS GIDEON

(Fontanelle Gallery, 205 SW Pine) Please do not be alarmed by the term "multimedia hiphopera." Alexis Gideon has made one, and its release on his new DVD, Video Musics, is being celebrated tonight at, appropriately, an art gallery rather than a rock club. Gideon accompanies himself with crude but immaculately detailed animation that's hypnotic and wryly comical. His low voice raps over glitchy beats, and he occasionally rips a Prince-worthy guitar solo, all while spinning a bizarre yarn, based on Hungarian folk tales and populated by heroes and beasts and magic. It's weird, arty, and impossible to encapsulate, and if you think it sounds too strange, or stupid, or pretentious for you to take, think again—there is some genius craft at work in Gideon's madness. And to prove it, he's joining fellow madcap Dan Deacon on a high-profile tour later this year. NL

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