UNNATURAL HELPERS, East End, 5/13

THURSDAY 5/13

NORTHWEST PASSAGE: CALVIN JOHNSON, COOL NUTZ, VANESSA RENWICK

(The Waypost, 3120 N Williams) See My, What a Busy Week!

SALLIE FORD AND THE SOUND OUTSIDE, SEAN FLINN

(Kennedy School, 5736 NE 33rd) See My, What a Busy Week!

PURE COUNTRY GOLD, UNNATURAL HELPERS, BURNING YELLOWS, VIRGIN BLOOD

(East End, 203 SE Grand) Drummer Dean Whitmore is the lone constant member of Unnatural Helpers, so it's a good thing that he's the singer and the chief songwriter of the band—a rarity among drummers, but one that perfectly matches Unnatural Helpers' bashed-out, rhythm-driven garage rock. The Seattle band's lineup has included, among many others, the Dutchess and the Duke's Kimberly Morrison and Kinski's—not Coldplay's—Chris Martin; the Helpers' great new album Cracked Love and Other Drugs whooshes by in 25 short minutes, with potent, nuggety punk songs stacked up precariously on each other. Whitmore at times sounds a little like David Lee Roth, but this actually works in the music's favor, carving a shortcut to the high-octane fever that gives Unnatural Helpers' super-short songs a poppy, over-the-top edge, elevating them high above run-of-the-mill garage punk. NED LANNAMANN

FIN DE CINEMA'S DAISIES: AU, DRAGGING AN OX THROUGH WATER, CLOAKS

(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) The latest installment of Holocene's Fin de Cinema project combines the artistic wonders of Portland's most visionary band, Au (performing for the first time ever with members of Why I Must Be Careful), with the vivid cinematic work of female Czech director Vra Chytilová. In addition to this rare local musical collaboration, there will be sets from Operative side project Cloaks, plus Dragging an Ox Through Water as well. All three, or four, bands will perform a customized score for Chytilová's 1966 masterwork, Daisies (or Sedmikrásky, for all our readers in Prague). That's all well and good, but let's ask the tough questions here: When will Fin de Cinema step up and tackle a real auteur, namely Uwe Boll or Michael Bay? EZRA ACE CARAEFF

FUCK BUTTONS, WHITE RAINBOW

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) A knob-twiddling electronic band has to pull off something pretty incredible in order to be interesting live, and Bristol, UK's Fuck Buttons do far more than necessary, making some stunningly wonderful music along the way. The duo of Andrew Hung and Benjamin John Power face off onstage, hunched over their laptops and processors, coaxing out and manipulating complex circuitry into music that is either mind-warpingly weird or exquisitely joyous. Case in point: new single "Olympians," a slow-building but tireless track from 2009's Tarot Sport, which over the course of 11 minutes turns from sparkly drone to hard-hitting workout beat to soaring, "Also sprach Zarathustra"-type melody. Forget the three-and-a-half minute "Radio Edit" that also appears on the single; it's virtually pointless when the full-length track contains so much drama. NL

THE FIX: MADLIB, REV. SHINES, DJ KEZ, DUNDIGGY

(Someday Lounge, 125 NW 5th) Madlib—known to the IRS and his mom as Otis Jackson Jr.—has been one of the most sought-out hiphop producers of the last decade. The Los Angeles DJ's production skills have proven adept in fitting with a diverse array of artists that includes socio-political emcee Talib Kweli as well as the surreal, cartoon-influenced flows of MF Doom. Add Madlib's collaborations with the late beat-maestro J Dilla, alongside projects with organic neo-soul singer Erykah Badu and grimy street spitter Guilty Simpson, and it's clear that the man is an artist that refuses to be painted into any musical corner. Madlib's DJ sets exemplify and expand upon this theme, bringing so many genres into the mix that it's a disservice to label it as strictly hiphop. RYAN FEIGH Also see My, What a Busy Week!

JÓHANN JÓHANNSSON, GOLDMUND

(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) When the volcano Eyjafjallajökull erupted recently, it wreaked havoc the flight paths of every plane in Europe, not to mention the damage it did to the terrain of Iceland. But the still photographs of the eruption were unexpectedly, weirdly gorgeous: black smoke, gray ash, and luminous blue ice—even crackles of red-hot lightning—transposed to make otherworldly images of serene and powerful beauty. The work of Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson is similarly eerie, with placid overtones concealing an uneasy current of elemental strength. There's nothing even remotely toe-tapping on Jóhannsson's most recent release, And in the Endless Pause There Came the Sound of Bees, which is the orchestral soundtrack to an animated film called Varmints, but it shivers with a slow, glacial beauty. On this tour, Jóhannsson is accompanied by a six-piece band, performing with a trademark mixture of classical and electronic instrumentation. NL

THE PUNK GROUP

(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) The Punk Group is dead. Sorta. Last month's show was billed as the final ever from the self-proclaimed "greatest band this town has ever seen." It wasn't. But since posters never lie, let us all take the band's word that tonight is really their final night of snarky, Mothersbaugh-approved pop with lyrical jabs at everything from Sleater-Kinney to the B-52's Fred Schneider. Even if they hang up the shades for good, the Punk Group's legacy will continue on record store shelves with an LP entitled Pink Foam on the way, plus a greatest hits collection slated for release later this year. See you on the other side, the Punk Group. That is, unless you have another "final show" next month. EAC

FRIDAY 5/14

CONVERGE, COALESCE, GAZA, BLACK BREATH, LEWD ACTS

(Satyricon, 125 NW 6th) See Music.

WIZ KHALIFA, FASHAWN, JASMINE SOLANO, DUBBLE 00

(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Here we have two of XXL magazine's newest Freshmen 10, Wiz Khalifa and Fashawn; the latter is a talented emcee from Fresno, the newest Califas rapper to benefit from Exile's classic production (the last one being the underground prince Blu). Khalifa, however, is one of rap's new-style stars—happy to be indie (he used to be on the Warner Bros. plantation), with a couple official albums, a gang of free mixtapes, and a boatload of internet savvy. He can sell out all-ages shows in cities he's never even been to, with kids climbing over themselves to claim his clique (Taylor Gang) and clamoring for his supremely stoned brand of fly (I very much appreciate his rejection of blunts in favor of the less carcinogenic classic, rolling papers). His latest tape, Kush & OJ, might just end up being his So Far Gone, even if he doesn't have the same mass-market appeal of Drake—either way, it's clear his flight is just taxiing for takeoff. LARRY MIZELL JR.

PORTLAND FRUIT TREE PROJECT BENEFIT: WHITE RAINBOW, WHITE FANG, ROB WALMART

(The Woods, 6637 SE Milwaukie) No hippie jam bands for these tree huggers. In what has got to be the most glaring of contrasts, the Portland Fruit Tree Project is holding a benefit with the hyper-glitchy antics of Rob Walmart, plus White Fang and White Rainbow as well. Walmart just released Everybody Hurts, a three-disc album littered with abstract, weirdo songs dedicated to "Buttfuckin'," "Busstop Fucking," and a "Weenie Roast on Buttfuck Island." Marriage Records labelmates White Rainbow and White Fang don't have any songs with a titular "fuck," but the latter does have a song with the emphatic chorus "Portland sucks." All for a good cause. MARK LORE

STANTON WARRIORS, LOKI, SIR KUTZ, JAMES STEELE

(Whiskey Bar, 31 NW 1st) England's Stanton Warriors (DJs/producers Dominic Butler and Mark Yardley) play the sort of breakbeat-intensive tracks that have become as common as dirt and BO at outdoor festivals. However, they infuse enough infectious energy, off-kilter funk, and straight-up good musical taste into their sets to make this threadbare genre come to vibrant life. Their 2006 and 2008 mixes for the esteemed UK label Fabric, FabricLive.30 and Sessions Volume III, reflect their keen instincts for tracks that keep parties throbbing with excitement. Stanton Warriors' selections explore a rich seam of dance music that splits the difference between mid-'90s big beat and late '00s UK Funky. Bonus: Their remix of the Beach Boys' "Good Vibrations" is extremely ballsy and bassy. DAVE SEGAL

SATURDAY 5/15

RAMONA FALLS, WORLD'S GREATEST GHOSTS, JOHANNA KUNIN

(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) See My, What a Busy Week!

KAKI KING, AN HORSE

(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) See Music.

NUGGETS NIGHT IV: WELCOME HOME WALKER, THE WELFARE STATE, MR. HOWL, DRUGSTORE COWBOYS, THE SATIN CHAPS, BEYOND VERONICA, & MORE

(Slabtown, 1033 NW 16th) In a city full of nobly intentioned charities, few are as inspiring as the fine Artist Mentorship Project. The beneficiaries of tonight's Nuggets coverfest, AMP offers homeless and at-risk youth a safe haven of artistic expression, providing these kids with a chance to play music, take lessons, and even form bands alongside their peers. In addition to keeping these idle hands occupied with musical instruments, they do it with an all-volunteer staff. I'm sure Lenny Kaye would declare AMP to be equally as "punk rock" as he did the original Nuggets collection, most of which you will hear covered during tonight's show. EAC

NASHVILLE PUSSY, GREEN JELLY, PSYCHOSTICK

(Peter's Room at the Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Here are the things you need to know about Psychostick: They call themselves "humorcore." They sound like a cross between "Weird Al" Yankovic and Korn. Their most popular song is called "This Is Not a Song, It's a Sandwich!" Their lead singer is named Rawrb—he wears a jester hat onstage. They are opening for Green Jelly opening for Nashville Pussy. They list among their influences Sevendust, Blink-182, and the Bloodhound Gang. Their mascot is an MS Paint stick with googly eyes and a tongue. They're actually kind of good musicians, which makes them harder to tune out. They're called fucking Psychostick. DAVE BOW

SUNDAY 5/16

SHOUT OUT LOUDS, FREELANCE WHALES, THE FRANKS

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Stockholm pop purveyors Shout Out Louds have previously tapped into the same addictive, sugary pop vein that ABBA and countless other Swedish bands have mined, with a more convincing 1980s sense-memory than any band this side of M83. So it's a little jarring to hear their latest effort, Work, which was recorded in Seattle with workingman indie rock producer Phil Ek. Gone is the dizzy adolescent yearning; gone are the sticky-sweet synths; gone is the Cure-y and Smiths-y, frustrated, boyish pop sensibility. In their stead are some matter-of-fact pop-rock songs with hooks that are certainly hooky enough, but not nearly as compulsively emotional. Still, when Shout Out Louds launch into a melody as catchy as "1999"—which bears little resemblance to the Prince jam—it hardly seems to matter. NL

MONDAY 5/17

SALLIE FORD AND THE SOUND OUTSIDE, SEAN FLINN

(Lola's Room, 1332 W Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!

FRIGHTENED RABBIT, MAPS AND ATLASES, OUR BROTHER THE NATIVE

(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) See Music.

TUESDAY 5/18

CLEM SNIDE, THE HELIGOATS, CELILO

(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) For all of the times I've stepped in a record store and come out with something I knew nothing about, Clem Snide's 2005 release End of Love remains the only success I've had with such whimsical record purchases. And while I had admittedly lost track of the band for a few years, The Meat of Life is possibly the best reintroduction one could have to Eef Barzelay's weird society, wrought with comedic irony and warm guitar tones. For instance, I was not at all surprised to hear a song whose tagline is "I got high with a Sufjan Stevens fan" collapse in a brass fit, similar to those heard on Stevens' albums. Though it's not all snarky narrative and wordplay: Barzelay's songs have matured immensely, both lyrically and musically, and this very tour is showcasing their best work to date. RAQUEL NASSER

PORTAL, ALDEBARAN, RITUAL NECROMANCY, WORMS OUROBOROS

(Satyricon, 125 NW 6th) It this really happening? Portal is coming to our—soon to be doomed—city, all the way from Australia, and they are making the trip via a tear in the space/time continuum, where the band moves freely about the universe using only old taped episodes of Nova, an eight string guitar, and guillotine oil. Their rituals (AKA their shows) are visually stunning and surgically precise, as Portal punishes us with an ominous technical wizardry that may have spawned an entirely new genre of metal. That is, if inside-out-execution-super-sci-tech-physics can be considered a genre. This rare Portal performance will be a spectacle not to be missed if you are into technically gifted and grave metal dudes that take what they are doing very seriously. JAY WILLIAMS

WEDNESDAY 5/19

NICE NICE, ASSS, ROMANCING, GOLDEN RETRIEVER, DJ NEW MOON PONCHO, DJ TROPICAL DEPRESSION

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

BOX ELDERS, THE BRICKERS, HEADLESS PEZ, HEPSI

(East End, 203 SE Grand) Box Elders are a noisy, lo-fi, self-described "hippie punk" band from Omaha, Nebraska. Their first album, Alice and Friends, on Goner Records, got a mess of mixed reviews—the main critique being that the trio's Nuggets-lovin' vintage leanings make them a wee bit derivative. That said, the Midwest young'uns (the band was born in 2005, the musical baby-child of 16-year-old Clayton and his younger brother Jeremiah) have a sound that, however rooted in tradition, is still raw and irrefutable. And it's worth seeing live, because, as is so often true with messy, poppy-proto-punk bands, the live show is where the music really shines. KELLY O

CAMPING PARTY, WHITE FANG, STOAKLAND, FUCK MOUNTAIN
(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) I hope Fuck Mountain doesn't pull a Starfucker and change their name to something forgettable like SPHINX or Sphinxxx, only to return to what felt so right in the first place—because Fuck Mountain is fucking brilliant. The four-piece is just getting its bearings, cranking out loud, angular punk rock that only occasionally bothers to carry a tune. It would be a shame if these blokes ever cleaned up their acts. Then again, songs like "Nazi Made of Bees" and "Fag-o-tron" are good indicators that the name Fuck Mountain is probably secure. Also on the bill is Camping Party, which may sound innocent, but actually resembles what you might expect at a camping party on Fuck Mountain (located, perhaps, on Buttfuck Island). ML

GRIDE, PLF, WHATSHAME, CAPTAIN CLEANOFF

(Satyricon, 125 NW 6th) With bands like the Czech Republic's Gride and PLF (from the less foreign locale of Houston, Texas) coming to town, it's becoming obvious that people are starting to notice Portland isn't just about punk and crust anymore. After years of being passed up on tour routes, a steady stream of solid hardcore/grindcore shows are passing this way. This is one of those shows. Gride remain true to their motto of "Speed Wins!," with an intense mix of hardcore and grind. That combined with PLF's punishing and aggressive brand of Texas grind—which features ex-Insect Warfare—will surely leave you feeling like you took an ankle-twisting mile-long tumble down a rocky hillside. But in that good way. Also preparing to rip your face off is the straightforward, slug-in-the-gut grind of Australia's Captain Cleanoff. JW