ENTERTAINMENT FOR PEOPLE: FOUREVER YOUNG
FRANK BLACK, CARL WILSON
(Someday Lounge, 125 NW 5th) First off, let us clear up some possible misconceptions: Frank Black will not be performing music tonight and this Carl Wilson is not the dead guy from the Beach Boys. But just because you won't hear "Wave of Mutilation" or a zombiefied version of "Kokomo," that doesn't mean you should skip this event. Quite the opposite, in fact. Black and Wilson (a well known, very much alive music critic) will have a public discussion about music, moderated by University of Oregon English professor Tres Pyle. Given the work of Wilson and the always-entertaining Black, this unique event is surely worth your time, and it costs $495 less than the deluxe edition of the Pixies' Minotaur box set. (That means it's free). EZRA ACE CARAEFF
TAPEFEST: WHITE FANG, MATTRESS, HAMMER OF HATHOR, STRATEGY, PETE SWANSON, DJ HOSTILE TAPEOVER
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) The cassette portion of our music libraries is where our most shameful secrets lie. My personal collection of cassette tapes boasts such plums as Aerosmith's Pump, Madonna's True Blue, and Neil Diamond's His 12 Greatest Hits. But of course, they are filed alongside 2112, a dubbed Maxell copy of The Times They Are a-Changin', and a rickety old double cassette of the White Album, in which the track order is rearranged so that all sides are of equal length. Yes, tapes are where many music lovers got their start, and tonight's Tapefest celebrates the outdated medium with a new crop of tapemakers who are putting out music on good ol' cassette. Nowadays you can burn a CD in less than 60 seconds at a cost of, like, four cents, but tiny local labels like Gnar Tapes, UHU Tapes, and Eggy Records (among others) are keeping the analog torch alive. They'll be hawking their wares at Tapefest as bands like White Fang, Mattress, and Yellow Swans' Pete Swanson take the stage. Still rockin' the deck in your '91 Civic? Bring some cash and get some tapes for the ride home—in fact, bring some bills anyway; the show is free, but a $2 donation to the bands is warmly welcomed. NED LANNAMANN
GOODIE MOB, ANIMAL FARM, KENNY MACK, DIEZEL P
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) The Goodie Mob has long been one of Southern hiphop's standard bearers, bringing blunted jams to the masses for more than a decade. Alongside their contemporaries in Outkast, the Mob's blend of funky beats and drawl-laced lyrics helped pave the way for the explosive popularity of recent down-south rap stars like Lil Wayne. The key difference between these earlier purveyors of deep-fried bangers and the likes of Birdman and Weezy is talent. This disparity is best evident in the work of Cee-Lo Green, both with Goodie Mob and in the current millennium as half of Gnarls Barkley. Cee-Lo's cavorting cadences and amazing straight-out-of-Motown-circa-1965 voice are stupefying rare. Lil Wayne's million mixtapes, his recent "rock" album, and his croaking self-indulgence are bad enough to make any listener run to the Roseland to see real Dirty South dopeness on display. GRAHAM BAREY Also see My, What a Busy Week!
FOUR TET, NATHAN FAKE
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) So we can agree that "folktronica" isn't the right word to describe the music of Four Tet, AKA the Londoner named Kieran Hebden who chops and splices his sounds by folding them back on themselves, carving holes into some parts of his sonic fabric while seamlessly joining other fragments together. Perhaps the folktronic tag comes as a result of the pronounced delicacy of his work, which differs vastly from the hard, floor-bumping sound that other electro artists perpetuate. The latest Four Tet album, There Is Love in You, actually makes overtures to the dance floor; the long, trancelike "Love Cry" burns steadily as Hebden introduces interlocking patterns of repetition. But as with previous Four Tet albums, There Is Love in You still functions as a solidly inward-looking piece of music, eager to attach itself to the rhythms of our breath and heartbeats and eye blinks, rather than any external stimuli. NL
MONARQUES, WELCOME HOME WALKER
(East End, 203 SE Grand) Portland's Monarques churn out sunny bubblegum pop that would feel equally at home in a '50s sock hop as it would in a cramped basement show in 2010. What's most impressive is that Oh Captain, My Captain's Josh Spacek pulled the whole project together in just a matter of months. The seven-piece—which also includes a couple of female backing vocalists—takes the squeaky-clean elements of early rock and roll and sullies it up with a salty dollop of punk gruel. Monarques have been keeping busy with live shows, and released a self-titled EP filled with jangly guitars, piano, and harmonies that can make the sun shine in the deepest Portland basement. It's enough to make you shed your cynicism and take to heart what Danny and the Juniors proclaimed way back in 1958: "Rock and roll is here to stay." MARK LORE
FOREIGN BORN, FREE ENERGY, YEAH GREAT FINE
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Philadelphia-based band Free Energy are one of those signings that makes you wonder about the relationship between DFA Records and EMI—like, where does the honest enthusiasm of the tasteful, trend-setting dance-punk label end and the business plan of the corporate machine begin? I mean, sure, James Murphy's tastes are plenty eclectic (see the latter half of "Losing My Edge"), but it's hard to imagine him getting quite as excited about Free Energy's snoozy, bloozy, last-call-at-the-karaoke-pub sub-Strokes rock as he does about, say, the Sonics. Still, it's perfectly pleasant, persistently hooky stuff, if you know what you're getting into. ERIC GRANDY Also see My, What a Busy Week!
HARLEM, THE RAINY STATES
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) There's something ballsy (and galling, too) about a group of indie rock white boys from Austin calling itself Harlem. The universe needs to regain balance with a black R&B troupe that goes by Reykjavik or something. Dodgy nomenclature aside, Harlem play peppy, jangly rock that would fit comfortably on a Homestead Records comp from 1985. They're facile with the catchy melodies and sing-along choruses and exude a youthful shagginess to which kids who buy their clothes in second-hand shops should gravitate. Harlem appear to love Black Lips and the Kiwi-pop geniuses of the Clean, and they have a song called "Psychedelic Tits," so it's hard not to be charmed by them, even though their album, Hippies (out April 6 on Matador), will inevitably garner them major blog buzz. DAVE SEGAL
CALVIN JOHNSON, ATTICA! ATTICA!, MARK TWAIN INDIANS, FUCK YOU, DAD!
(Laughing Horse Books, 12 NE 10th) With a simple statement of "We believe that non-human animals value their lives as much as we value our own and deserve to live free of exploitation and cruelty," the mission of Estacada's Out to Pasture Sanctuary is abundantly clear: for animals to overthrow the human race and enslave us all. Help them achieve this noble mission, plus raise some much-needed cash for Cleo the Peacock (her leg and her peacock mate were crushed by the unforgiving wheels of a car). Headlined by a performance from sympathetic human Calvin Johnson, this benefit will help Out to Pasture with some electrical and insurance work. Sure, that's what they say, but we all know it's to raise a cache of weapons for the justified animal uprising. I can't argue; we humans have screwed everything up. I hereby renounce my species and pledge my undying allegiance to my new adorable animal overlords. I'd kill for you, Cleo. EAC
THE GOOD LIFE: DRUMCELL, DJ BRAD, BRYAN ZENTZ, & MORE
(Bossanova, 722 E Burnside) With his intensely dark, twisted sound and a pervasive headshot that looks like it was taken right after some sort of demented killing frenzy, you might not guess that Drumcell is based in sunny Los Angeles. For almost a decade, he's been adding a sinister edge to his hometown with his Droid Recordings and accompanying promotions arm Droid Behavior—a joint venture with the guys from Acid Circus that is responsible for funneling the majority of impressive international techno talent through Southern California. Recent collaborations with fellow Droid producer Audio Injection have taken Drumcell into an even blacker hellhole of evil beat construction. Top billing at some of last year's most important techno events suggests that discerning fans approve of the vile direction of his music. AVA HEGEDUS
THE METAL SHAKESPEARE COMPANY, ELECTRIC OPERA COMPANY
(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) Many people would probably be surprised by how influenced heavy metal is by classical literature. From Iron Maiden to Metallica, and from Nightwish to Iced Earth, lyrics based on literature are commonplace (not surprisingly, J.R.R. Tolkien books are a particular favorite). Yet few have taken their book smarts to the level of the Shakespeare Metal Company, who retell works by the Bard with Dragonforce-style shredding. Though the merry men's technical musical ability can occasionally be blinded by the bulges peeking through their tights and their hilarious Elizabethan stage banter, these hard-hitting bookworms make the Portland metal scene that much more intelligent. KURT PRUTSMAN
BRUTAL TRUTH, AMONG THE DECAYED, TRANSIENT, STREETWALKER, RITUAL NECROMANCY
(Satyricon, 125 NW 6th) Watching OG New York City grindcore band Brutal Truth tear it up live is like attending a speed trial: They already hold the world record for shortest music video (just over two seconds), so it's only a matter of milliseconds before they dethrone whichever band (Agoraphobic Nosebleed? Anal Cunt?) holds the bragging rights for "shortest song." After a seven-year hiatus, they reformed in 2006, and last April released Evolution through Revolution, a 20-song blast of uncompromising grind. It's nice to see one of the true genre-defining bands show up the new blood, not just keep up with them. KEVIN DIERS
JONATHAN COULTON, PAUL & STORM
DAMIEN JURADO, THE ROBINSONS, JOHN VECCHIARELLI
BOY EATS DRUM MACHINE, FINN RIGGINS, BROTHERS YOUNG
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Jazz and funk—and jazz-funk—bands from New Orleans have a daunting burden to bear. The city's precedent for world-class musicians can intimidate unconfident players. But Galactic have risen to the challenge presented by NOLA's heavy legacy; if they're not quite yet up to the level of the Meters, Eddie Bo, Dr. John, et al., they are super-competent torch carriers for the Crescent City's humid funk and celebratory jazz. Galactic's new album, Ya-Ka-May, corrals old and young N'awlins artists to conjure a bold, extroverted record that respectfully updates the city's funk and jazz extravagances so they're more fit for street parties than museum retrospectives. DS
WAMPIRE, REPORTER, JONNYX & THE GROADIES, FAKE DRUGS, DJ BEYONDA, E*ROCK
(Worksound, 820 SE Alder) According to the flyer, this show is beach party themed: There will be volleyball, a photobooth, and attendees are urged to wear swimsuits. If that is the case, someone better call the lifeguard, because there's a shark in the water named JonnyX and the Groadies. The shoegazey-indie-electro-dance tunes of Wampire, Reporter, and Fake Drugs don't stand a chance against JXATG. This long-standing local foursome (they turned 14 last July 4) builds a wall of equipment and flashing lights, dons multi-colored spandex and various warrior accoutrements, pumps fog into the room, and then proceeds to tear into a frenzy of ripping, fierce electronic-tinged black metal. Not only are they loud, they've also been known to kill the power at various shows. Those looking to do the beach blanket boogie all night might want to bring their floaties, because JXATG will leave you dead in the water. ARIS WALES
WHITE FANG, SHAKES, FUCK MOUNTAIN, GUANTANAMO BAYWATCH
(Ducketts Public House, 825 N Killingsworth) I wish I knew what the White Fang boys were singing about on one of their latest tracks, "Portland Sucks." Unfortunately, the lyrics of these homegrown lads are indeterminably muffled among the mess of distorted guitar and frantic cymbal crashes. Well, that's just how they do it. With their excellent sophomore album Whatever, White Fang once again proves that satisfying chord progressions and adolescent angst are a killer combo. Joining them tonight are local upstarts Guantanamo Baywatch, who play a truly strange and wonderful brand of surf-thrash R&B, complete with a singer who sounds like the warbling tropical love child of Hank Williams and Lux Interior. MARANDA BISH
EL PERRO DEL MAR, TAKEN BY TREES
PORTLAND JAZZ FEST: PHAROAH SANDERS
THRONES, WILDILDLIFE, TECUMSEH, DANIEL MENCHE
(Branx, 320 SE 2nd) It's a beautiful brew that Wildildlife create, an anarchic sense of fun alongside pop harmonies lost in a sea of sludgy noise. Clearly influenced by the riff-heavy attacks of older metal acts like Black Sabbath and Blue Öyster Cult (they do a truly zonked version of BÖC's "Godzilla"), this San Francisco outfit distorts and freshens the familiar just enough to make their wall of sound worth checking out. They fit neatly on this bill with Thrones, Joe Preston's iconic metal band that tries the patience with the abusive spirit of the Melvins (his old band) at their most experimental. Drugs may be a necessity for this show; just make sure they're the right ones. DAVE BOW
Happy birthday, Roger Daltrey. I hope you get old before you die.
EVAN DANDO, HEADLIGHTS, MILO JONES
ROCKY VOTOLATO, BLUNT MECHANIC, MICHAEL DEAN DAMRON
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Damn, Rocky. Once again, you slice open our hearts—this time with True Devotion, a record with the emotional precision of a surgeon's scalpel. Apparently it wasn't an easy album to make: After his previous album, 2007's The Brag and Cuss, Votolato found himself confronted by a serious bout of anxiety and depression that prevented him from writing and performing. Thankfully, he was able to put that period behind him, and True Devotion is the happy result, a life-affirming album stripped of pretense and attitude, where melodies are curved like a lover's arm, and lyrics resonate with unvarnished honesty. NL
FIN DE CINEMA—THE KENNETH ANGER EDITION: PURPLE RHINESTONE EAGLE, ETERNAL TAPESTRY, WILDERNESS, DJ NATE C
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See My, What a Busy Week!
WE WERE PROMISED JETPACKS, BEAR HANDS, THE LONELY FOREST
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Terrible name, but a trustworthy friend told me I might really like Scottish band We Were Promised Jetpacks, given my taste for such simultaneously mopey/manic UK stuff as Los Campesinos! Well, We Were Promised Jetpacks are a far cry more straightforward than that band. WWPJ's one trick seems to be stretching out moaning balladeer vocals over agitated dance-rock rhythms with not a ton of variation in pace or dynamics save for that occasional part where everything drops out except a steadfast marching kick-drum pulse (or a guitar line) and the vocals. If anything, this approach faintly recalls early U2, especially as WWPJ's singer is given to elongating random syllables out into big, emotive "whoa-oh-ohhhhh"s. EG Also see Music.