Up & Coming 

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THURSDAY 4/8

EAT YR HEART OUT CULINARY MUSIC FEST: ST. FRANKIE LEE, WAMPIRE, DJ BROKENWINDOW

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

RETRIBUTION GOSPEL CHOIR, KINSKI

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See Music.

TEGAN AND SARA, STEEL TRAIN, HOLLY MIRANDA

(Keller Auditorium, 222 SW Clay) I'm not a big enough Tegan and Sara fan to be able to tell the two Canadian twins apart (Tegan's the one with the green knitted cap, right? Or is that Mike Nesmith?), but I can at least determine that their latest record Sainthood offers more of the power pop that's turned the pair into (surprisingly) huge stars. Portland's own Chris Walla produced Sainthood—his second time behind the boards for Tegan and Sara—and the record bounces back and forth between the two songwriters, playing not so much like a dialogue as a hit parade, where every song has a giant hook and flaunts it without shame. Tegan and Sara's concerts are similarly relentless—in a good way—with the sisters cheerfully bickering with one another. NED LANNAMANN

NORTHWEST PASSAGE: AN EVENING WITH FRED AND TOODY COLE

(The Waypost, 3120 N Williams) There's a finite number of musicians whose vibrant personalities trump their musical output—especially with back catalogs dating back a handful of decades—but this is definitely the case for Fred and Toody Cole. A living, loving, breathing, hearing-impaired argument for the freedom of DIY living, the Coles are the guests of honor for tonight's Northwest Passage lecture series. Tickets are limited, and your $12 cover includes a vegan meal served on a "bed of polenta," plus a rare chance to discover everything you have ever wanted to know about the Coles—and Dead Moon, the Rats, Pierced Arrows, etc.—but were always afraid to ask. EZRA ACE CARAEFF

ON THE STAIRS, EZZA ROSE, AUDIE DARLING

(The Woods, 6637 SE Milwaukie) Nate Clark's band On the Stairs takes a heaping portion of assistance from local musicians around town, and new album Beyond a Shadow of a Doubt features contributions from the likes of Leonard Mynx, Carcrashlander's Cory Gray, Autopilot Is for Lovers' Paul Seely, and Y la Bamba's Ben Meyercord. Still, despite this array of talent, Clark's songs are the focal point, where his deep voice sounds a little like Angels of Light's Michael Gira during a mellower moment. It's a folk-flecked record with loping melodies and graceful arrangements, and Clark's assured delivery splits the difference between world weariness and an optimistic confidence. Meanwhile, Audie Darling—who also appears on Beyond a Shadow of a Doubt—makes a welcome return to Portland after going out of town to record a new album. Darling excels at the kind of lost-in-time, bluegrassy ghost-folk that can't be faked. NL

BLUNT MECHANIC, LEE COREY OSWALD, AND I WAS LIKE WHAT

(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) The dramatics of Ben Barnett's music were never able to stay confined to his songs alone. Under the Kind of Like Spitting moniker, Barnett scorched the earth of Portland music for about a decade, leaving more than a few slighted detractors (and former bandmates) in his chaotic wake. So imagine everyone's surprise to find Barnett as a now stable Seattleite, a grounded adult who splits his time between schooling kids on the ways of rock and roll, and his latest musical endeavor, Blunt Mechanic. Their debut LP, World Record, will fittingly be released on April 20 (one can assume their title does not refer to a candid automobile expert) and is compiled of loose, full-band rock songs that work perfectly with Barnett's stream-of-consciousness delivery and talent with the pen. For Barnett, Blunt Mechanic isn't an act of redemption, just proof that there is musical life outside of your 20s. EAC

CAPTURED! BY ROBOTS, METAL SHAKESPEARE CO., THOR ARK

(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) Remember back in the late '80s when Chuck E. Cheese had that terrifying animatronic band—those robots in stuffed animal clothing—that would "sing" the happy birthday song for little kids? Ooh, and/or the competing animatronic band over at Showbiz Pizza, the Rock-afire Explosion? Captured! By Robots is essentially the same idea, only with the terrifying factor turned up by about 666 percent. C!BR is a robot band made up of two stuffed monkeys on cymbals, a severed doll's head on drums, a googly eyed robot on bass, three bloodied headless "hornsmen" on brass, and one actual human (covered in chains and his own intestines) on vocals. Part performance art, part experimental metal concert, C!BR is truly a sight to behold... and the stuff of nightmares. KELLY O

FRIDAY 4/9

MILES KUROSKY, PANCHO-SAN, EUX AUTRES

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Once upon a time in San Francisco, back when "indie" was short for "independent," a band called Beulah signaled what good was to come of music as the '90s slowly turned into the '00s. At the helm was Miles Kurosky–and after a six-year hiatus after Beulah's demise, and some crippling health problems, Kurosky has resurfaced joyfully with a skulking monster of a pop album, The Desert of Shallow Effects. His solo debut was self-produced and features more than two dozen musicians (some of whom are ex-Beulahs, hence that pawing familiarity you'll feel when you hear it). Kurosky is still a lyrical master, effortlessly spouting a phrase like "The slick missionary with a pension for stealing/and hypnotizing the/girls with boy's names and boys with girl's frames" in the ingeniously verbose song "Dead Language Blues." Do not miss this one. RAQUEL NASSER

DEATH SONGS, THE WOOLEN MEN, INSIDE VOICES

(The Artistery, 4315 SE Division) If the album recorded as Death Songs is any indication, the brothers Delffs must have had some fun growing up. Last year, Nick Delffs (of the Shaky Hands) and Nathan (of Portland/NYC project Forest Fire—look them up) released a collection of songs recorded at home over a two-year span between 2005-2007, compiled and laid down by hand on 20 tapes for sale on a Shaky Hands tour. Recently, local tape-based label UHU chipped in and helped the boys put together 40 more copies. The hymn-like tracks combine Nick's trademark warble with a variety of sounds—keys, guitar, and relentless hypnotic rhythms (there's xylophone in there somewhere, and plenty of handclaps). Tonight's show will likely be the album performed live, but there could very well be material that hasn't been heard before. They've had lifetimes to come up with this stuff, after all, so thanks for finally sharing. MARANDA BISH

RJD2, BUSDRIVER, HAPPY CHICHESTER

(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) In 2002, Busdriver's breakthrough single seemed like a fluke. With the Los Angeles emcee's lightning-fast rap over Bach and Paganini, "Imaginary Places" is a Ritalin-addled, dizzying song that was initially dismissed by many as a hiphop novelty. The fact that "Places" has served as a stepping stone for Busdriver, and not a stumbling block, only proves his status as a true rap original. With seven albums under his belt, the man known as Regan Farquhar has allowed his early experimentation to blossom into a jittery aesthetic that's all his own. Busdriver's songs are as weird as ever, but they don't sound like a fluke anymore. DAVE BOW

ROGUE WAVE, MAN/MIRACLE, JBM

(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) A few weeks back I made an epic plea to some similarly music-obsessed friends about the undeniable greatness of Okkervil River. Hyperbolic, heavy-handed, and possibly a little drunk, my grandstanding was met with a shrug of shoulder and casual "meh." No matter how deep an impact music makes with you, there will always be likeminded peers wildly indifferent to the music that saves your life. This is where Rogue Wave comes in. Indifferent is too kind of a word for my feelings about this Bay Area indie act, and while they run with a crowd of bands I enjoy—namely Death Cab for Cutie–and create music that should by all means appeal to me on every level... meh. EAC

SATURDAY 4/10

SUNBURN FEST: DAN DEACON, MC CHRIS, AKRON/FAMILY, EXPLODE INTO COLORS, HOSANNAS, OHIOAN, TVP, & MORE

(Lewis & Clark's Stamm Hall, 0615 SW Palatine Hill) See My, What a Busy Week!

BEACH HOUSE, BACHELORETTE

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See Music.

A WEATHER, IOA, THE ALIALUJAH CHOIR

(The Woods, 6637 SE Milwaukie) See Music.

CLOROX GIRLS, TRANZMITORS, WELCOME HOME WALKER, ROUGH KIDS, MIDNIGHT CALLERS

(Satyricon, 125 NW 6th) Through an odd confluence of events and editors, I wound up touring Europe with the Clorox Girls for two months in the winter of 2007 for a story that never got written—but god damn it was a good (and smelly and cold) time: the gruff meth-punks of Potsdam's squats; the elegant, absinthe-drinking rockers of Marseille; the totally bananas, cocaine-and-glue huffing greasers in Spain... sweet memories. And there's no band I would've preferred to watch play every night for two months in that vast spectrum of circumstances than the Clorox Girls. Their peppy, catchy, high-energy rock is a shot in the arm: a little bit Beach Boys, a little bit Buddy Holly, and a whole lot Ramones. You can't not dance to the Clorox Girls. (Dear God: Please, please, please let them play their cover of the 1979 French pop smash "Banana Split.") BRENDAN KILEY

HOCKEY, THE CONSTELLATIONS, THE POSTELLES

(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) You can't please all the people all the time, which is a piece of advice no one bothered relaying to the boys of Hockey. Their rise from basement shows to topping pop charts (overseas, although it seems like America is not far behind) has been well documented, and the band's hook-heavy Mind Chaos debut LP still has legs even a couple years after its original self-release. There are still some unanswered questions about the band's follow-up, their ability to shake the one-hit wonder tag (are they our generation's Nu Shooz?), and if their music will evolve with them, but questions like this are b-o-r-i-n-g. The people just want to dance, and that's a request Hockey will be glad to deliver upon. EAC

AMON AMARTH, ELUVEITIE, HOLY GRAIL

(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) Amon Amarth albums are kind of like those "new" Jimi Hendrix albums that come out every five years or so. They have all the same songs you've heard a million times but they're just slightly different. That's not to say the new Amon Amarth album, Twilight of the Thunder God, is bad, it's just predictable, as the recording contains all the epic melodic viking death metal you already expect from this Swedish powerhouse. However, make sure you show up early tonight because the real treasure of this show is Holy Grail. Featuring ex-members of White Wizzard, Holy Grail delivers balls-out heavy metal that pulls influence from bands like Angelwitch and Coroner. Their Improper Burial EP will leave any patched-up-denim-vest-wearer salivating for a full-length. ARIS WALES

EXPERIMENTAL DENTAL SCHOOL, THE ROOFTOPS, AMERICAS, MATTRESS

(The Parlour, 2628 SE Powell) The year 2010 has brought many changes. First, universal health care, and now an altered lineup for the local duo we have all come to love as Experimental Dental School. The band will now be officially known by their common acronym XDS and signifying this shift, according to their blog, drummer Shoko Horikawa will be appearing live less frequently as guitar player Jesse Hall takes the helm of the project. Take a moment to grieve the loss of the duo's frenetic, electric live show, and now let us embrace change and the unknown as we see where Helms takes us. Oh, and if you haven't already, be sure to download their last album Forest Field from their blog (it's free). MB

SUNDAY 4/11

KING KHAN AND THE SHRINES, THE FRESH AND ONLYS

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

THE GROWLERS, NIGHT BEATS

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Costa Mesa, California's the Growlers were one of the few rock bands who made my brief stint in Orange County bearable. They started out playing a rough-hewn, good-time brand of rock that neatly combined drunken bonhomie and grim hangover within its confines, like a West Coast Man Man. Their new, more refined album, Are You in or Out, sounds like they should be opening for the Cave Singers or the Moondoggies on their next cross-country jaunts. Seattle's Night Beats are a couple young transplanted Texans who wrangle lean, raw rock that either bluesifies psychedelia or pyschedelicizes the blues. Whatever the case, you will be filled with fierce energy by their careening, blearing songs that eschew bullshit as they stir shit up. DAVE SEGAL 

DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN, DARKEST HOUR, ANIMALS AS LEADERS, PROVEN

(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) New Jersey math-metalers Dillinger Escape Plan have hit a fair share of speed bumps in their 14-year, ADD-fueled musical career. Constant injuries and changes of labels and lineups can break down even the most tight-knit band, but not Dillinger. Instead, on both 2007's Ire Works and their recently released Option Paralysis on Seasons of Mist (a label best known for releasing black metal), the band has only grown tighter, injecting Trent Reznor-like harmonies and huge, soaring choruses into their already well-crafted Converge-meets-Mr. Bungle audio assault. Onstage, Dillinger add to the wreckage with intricate light shows and they'll occasionally blow fire over the crowd. Go ahead, enjoy the show—just don't wear anything too flammable. KEVIN DIERS

MONDAY 4/12

LA ROUX, LOVERS

(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) See Music.

DEERHUNTER, MICACHU AND THE SHAPES

(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) Tonight's bands are opening for Spoon on their current tour, but Spoon have decided to skip frontman Britt Daniel's hometown for the time being, in order to play a show in Eugene tonight (with Portland's Explode into Colors filling the opening slot). This leaves both Deerhunter and Micachu and the Shapes with a night off to play Portland. Micachu (AKA Mica Levi) often constructs her own instruments—or makes music with household objects, like a vacuum cleaner—but her exploratory nature is grounded in a thorough musical education, having studied performance and education at the Purcell and Guildhall schools. Deerhunter frontman Bradford Cox, however, was a high school dropout and his music stems from a relentless, almost harrowing exploration of the troubled psyche. These two different backgrounds converge on each respective act's weird, outsider, deconstructionist approach to pop music, both of which are equally potent and equally valuable. NL

PASSION PIT, MAYER HAWTHORNE & THE COUNTY, BEAR HANDS

(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) One often wonders about the fate of those featured in pop songs—from Jenny and her ubiquitous phone number to "Darling Nikki"—but what about the muse behind an entire band itself? Not that long ago, the girlfriend of Passion Pit singer Michael Angelakos was the recipient of a Valentine's Day gift of music, which soon leaked out and found a receptive audience far larger than the couple could have ever imagined. Passion Pit the band was formed, an EP quickly released, and shortly after their Manners LP hit the internet, it was a hit. Now Angelakos's music stands on the forefront of dance pop, packing in mammoth crowds while never straying from their humble bedroom roots. After discovering Passion Pit's romantic origins, no girlfriend anywhere will accept a Valentine's Day gift of mere chocolate or flowers ever again. Thanks for ruining it for everyone, dude. EAC

LITTLE DRAGON, VV BROWN

(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Late pass me, but I didn't really pay much mind to Little Dragon until lead singer Yukimi Nagano's voice hit me on the excellent new Gorillaz album Plastic Beach, where it provides a crystalline, insect-small, and ultimately hopeful counterpoint to the album's engrossing world of sad synthetic flotsam and junky (not junkie) jams. She's hardly the only bright spot there, but she is one of the brightest. Revisiting the Swedish band's 2009 album, Machine Dreams, finds Nagano fronting a band that ably alternates between propulsive electro rock and understated, unconventional R&B, her vocals achieving an alluring balance between icy malaise and intimate coo. It's chart-topping pop from an alternate universe, far more alien than anything inhabited by other Northern European pop outsiders like Robyn or Annie. ERIC GRANDY

RX BANDITS, THE BUILDERS AND THE BUTCHERS, ZECHS MARQUISE

(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) I'm a little puzzled by the pairing of Portland's finest funeral junk-band with the skankalicious groove of the OC's RX Bandits, who sound like spring break 1997 all over again. I guess that's slightly more contemporary than the Builders and the Butchers' approximation of Autumn Harvest 1897, but there's no question that Ryan Sollee's chilling, creaking songs can run rings around the Warped Tour stylings of the Bandits. It'll be nice to have the Butcher boys home even if it's just for a single night, as they're in the midst of an exhausting nationwide tour—complete with the requisite van breakdown—that sees them trekking down the West Coast for a couple more dates after tonight's show. NL

TUESDAY 4/13

HORSE FEATHERS, JUSTIN POWER, DAN MANGAN

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Join local string-slingers Horse Feathers in celebrating the release of their newest record, Thistled Spring, along with the impressive two-month tour scheduled to shop it around the country. With a spot on the historical Newport Folk Festival's bill, plus plenty of love across the pond, it's no secret that the band has captured hearts less waterlogged than ours in the Pacific Northwest, and it's likely that their reach will only extend further once the world gets its hands on Thistled Spring. Justin Ringle's voice is as haunting as ever, the arrangements have matured exponentially (with a welcome banjo thrown into the mix), and while House with No Home huddled under the weight of an approaching winter, Thistled Spring peeks out of hibernation feeling revived. In fact, the season is best heard in the song "The Drought," with its impossibly bright mandolin and instrumental fluctuations, teasing us just as the sun likes to do this time of year. RN Also see My, What a Busy Week!

JÓNSI, DEATH VESSEL

(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) As the lead singer of Sigur Rós, Jón Þór Birgisson mewls epics in a made-up elfin language (called, with impossible preciousness, Hope landic) over glacially moving orchestral passages and rock rendered as ambient whalesong. For his solo project Jónsi, Birgisson often ups the tempos and even tasks his tongue with singing in English, and the results are surprising and immensely satisfying, whatever your attachment to his main gig. "Animal Arithmetic" is a thrilling charge, percussion thundering like a stampeding herd, Birgisson running down a litany of vivid sensations, concluding, "We should all be (oh!) alive!" Elsewhere, his debut album Go approaches the grander sweep and slower pace of Sigur Rós, but it's fair to say this is his "pop" record, and it's an absolutely outstanding one. EG

WEDNESDAY 4/14

THE XX, JJ, NOSAJ THING

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

MIIKE SNOW, DELOREAN

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

THE SOFT PACK, MALE BONDING

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) If you go to this show—and any self-respecting fan of bands like Mika Miko, Vivian Girls, No Age, Strange Boys, and Dum Dum Girls really should—be sure to look for Male Bonding's tour CD-R on the merch table. It's only available at shows, and it features the UK noise-poppers covering songs by Flipper, Mission of Burma, Blur, and GG Allin. Male Bonding are a pretty newish band, and this is the kind of rare stuff that you really need to start collecting now before it goes all Action Comics No. 1 on your ass. Plus, the CD-R will hopefully tide you over until the band's debut full-length, Nothing Hurts, is released on Sub Pop next month—fans of the aforementioned bands should prepare to fall in love with the album and enjoy an exciting new bromance. KO

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