SIERRA LEONE'S REFUGEE ALL STARS
Roseland, 5/20

THURSDAY 5/20

TOOTS AND THE MAYTALS, SIERRA LEONE'S REFUGEE ALL STARS, JUJUBA

(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) While the roots of Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars took hold in the wet muddy soil of a refugee camp in Guinea, the band's history extends from the turmoil of Freetown all the way to Portland. A teenage orphan-turned-emcee, Black Nature was taken in by the collaborative band in the mid-'90s and he eventually found his way to Portland a few years ago to attend school. Now back on the road—and touring in support of the mighty Toots Hibbert—the Refugee All Stars have a lovely new album entitled Rise and Shine, which builds upon their global pop debut Living Like a Refugee. EZRA ACE CARAEFF Also see My, What a Busy Week!

JARED MEES AND THE GROWN CHILDREN, FUTURE HISTORIANS, AND AND AND

(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) You say you haven't yet heard And And And's awesome first album, We'll Be Better off with the Plants? Hurry up! They have a second full-length coming out June 21, so you've only got a few short weeks to listen to Plants without further distraction. As to how that second album—titled A Fresh Summer with And And And—is already prepped, the Portland sextet likens their releases to Lil Wayne mixtapes, which gives them plenty of room to play around with different ideas and styles. The long-term goal is to record a proper album professionally in a studio, but until then the band states they "are just going to record a shit-ton of music and release it quickly and sell it all for very little if anything." If A Fresh Summer and subsequent "mixtapes" are anywhere near the high quality of the junky, exuberant We'll Be Better off with the Plants—it's one of the best debuts you'll hear this year—then the forthcoming glut of new AAA material is something to get very excited about. NED LANNAMANN

EVELYN EVELYN, SXIP SHIREY

(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) Evelyn Evelyn are two singing conjoined twins that have an uncanny resemblance to Amanda Palmer and Jason Webley. Their middling goth showtunes either delight or infuriate, all depending on your opinion of the two artists sharing a stage (and body) tonight. The faux-sideshow charm of Evelynx2 and their self-titled debut is short lived, since the majority of the songs feel like they were rescued from the Dresden Dolls scrapheap. This isn't to knock the dual personalities of Palmer and Webley—Palmer, especially, since she is a living, breathing LiveJournal entry, an emotionally gushing (and oversharing) personality that has demolished the invisible wall between performer and fan. But that charisma can't salvage Evelyn Evelyn's body of work. Time to sever these twins and move on. EAC

HOSANNAS, CARS AND TRAINS, BOOMSNAKE, OCEAN AGE

(Backspace, 115 NW 5th) In all the hand wringing over Portland's wounded all-ages club scene, we should take a moment to appreciate Backspace. Full of kids and beer—but never kids with beer—Backspace has easily taken over the reins as the finest local age-friendly room since Meow Meow packed up their ratty couches and called it a night (this is not to slight the Hawthorne Theatre, which is ideal for bigger-name touring acts). Tonight is no exception, with a bountiful lineup of Portland acts that showcase a wide swath of local sounds—from Hosannas' charmed pop to Cars and Trains' deconstructed bedroom hiphop—to music fans both over and under the legal age. Now if only Backspace would open up that treehouse that sits in the center of the room. I'd pay handsomely for the privilege to sit in that thing (and silently judge you all from above). EAC

MY LIFE WITH THE THRILL KILL KULT, PSYCHOTICA, RAILER, DISGUSTITRON

(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) Many will say that My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult's creative peak is well behind them, though it's a point of contention as to when that peak happened. Purists of the Chicago industrial scene from which the duo emerged point to pounding early albums like Kooler Than Jesus that name-checked Satan like he was a third band member. Others prefer TKK's 1991 celebration of seediness, Sexplosion!, most (in)famous for "Sex on Wheelz," its contribution to the Cool World soundtrack. But anyone who's stuck with the band long enough to consider going to tonight's show will probably tell you that's all beside the point. Thrill Kill has never been about peaks; they're a go-go sleaze-metal band that have made a career of wallowing in any gutter they find. After 13 years, maybe that's enough in itself. DAVE BOW

FRIDAY 5/21

PLANTS AND ANIMALS, LOST IN THE TREES

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

PEARLY GATE MUSIC, BLUE HORNS

(The Woods, 6637 SE Milwaukie) See Music.

NINJA, BUILT BY GIANTS, SHELTER RED

(Ash Street Saloon, 225 SW Ash) Schtick bands can be a touchy subject. They only work if the band is convincing enough to make the audience believe that they live the schtick—see any Def Leppard tribute band with the authenticity to employ a single-armed drummer—otherwise the gimmick falls flat. Naturally, Portland's Ninja dress like ninjas at their shows. The band appears out of the shadows fully shrouded in black with weapons attached to their backs and only their fierce, confrontational eyes exposed. They then take the stage and cut you down with spastic, experimental hardcore. Their vocalist, who goes by the name of Throat Rot, screams and flails about the stage—and audience—with little regard for his own personal safety. During Musicfest NW last year the band emerged on the sidewalk near Satyricon, played a quick six-minute set, then vanished into the night. ARIS WALES

SATURDAY 5/22

PORTLAND CELLO PROJECT, STORM LARGE, LAURA GIBSON, SALLIE FORD, STEPHEN MARC BEAUDOIN

(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) See My, What a Busy Week!

THE QUICK AND EASY BOYS, LEWI LONGMIRE BAND, FREAK MOUNTAIN RAMBLERS

(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) See Music.

X, A FRAMES, THE ESTRANGED, BURNING YELLOWS, ARCTIC FLOWERS

(Slabtown, 1033 NW 16th) X is reuniting? Yes! But not the classic punks from Los Angeles; this is a totally different band from a totally different continent (Australia, to be exact). This X wrote 1979's X-Aspirations, a record that is without a doubt one of those lost, esoteric punk classics that deserves a place on every teenager's iPod. The hooks are catchy, the vocals are snotty, and the lyrics are clever and, at times, kind of strange. It still holds up very well, even today. While punk reunions can be rough—plus it remains to be seen if the X of today still has it—the part they did nail was booking shows with amazing bands in every town on their West Coast tour, some of which obviously owe a lot to these lost legends. For the first time in a long time Seattle's A Frames will play in their classic form (not as AFCGT). I know this might seem complicated, but don't worry, it'll be fine. MATTEY HUNTER

SPECTRUM, HAWKEYE, HAPPY PRESCRIPTIONS, WE MISS THE EARTH

(East End, 203 SE Grand) Spacemen 3's Pete Kember is better known as Sonic Boom, and under the name Spectrum he's amassed quite a lengthy string of simmering, spacey records. Spectrum softens the edges of harsher psychedelia to a gently churning, amoebic mass of music, with a genuine lysergic quality that could have only come from years of, quite literally, taking drugs to make music to take drugs to. Supposedly Spectrum is going to realize the long-awaited new album On the Wings of Mercury sometime this year, but it won't be Kember's highest-profile release of 2010. That honor goes to Congratulations, the decidedly hit-and-miss follow-up to MGMT's enormous breakthrough. It's clear why MGMT picked Kember to helm their second album—he's been focused on cultivating an expansive, trippy sound since day one, the kind of authentically psychedelic rock that MGMT has been striving for as they shake off the bubbly pop that made them stars. Also, he probably has really good drugs. NL

FRUIT OF THE LEGION OF LOOM, PURE COUNTRY GOLD

(Club 21, 2035 NE Glisan) I'll assume that you are already well versed in the glory that is Pure Country Gold, a two-man amalgamation of all the finest, footstompin'-est elements of rock and roll, country, and rhythm and blues our city has to offer. Tonight's lesson, then, is to get to know Club 21. A long-standing bastion of Northeast Portland dive culture, Club 21 served throughout the '90s as the unofficial lounge to neighboring punk rock/strip club EJ's, a source to get boozed up before/after shows. Alas, EJ's is long gone, but Club 21 remains—still so beloved by Portland musicians for its stiff drinks and unassuming atmosphere that a compilation CD was made in its honor (to which tonight's performers contributed). Experience the magic for yourselves tonight. MARANDA BISH

TIM GREEN, THE PERFECT CYN, EKIM

(Whiskey Bar, 31 NW 1st) Tim Green has a reputation to uphold in Portland. Last summer when the Cocoon/Dirtybird/Get Physical/Trapez artist played a private party at an undisclosed location, hundreds of people showed up and things got a little crazy. This time around it's open invite—Green plays at Whiskey Bar, the new incarnation of legendary dance club Ohm. Surely he'll bring the same combination of tried-and-true jackin' house sounds, plus the new breed of bouncy techno beats that got people so riled up last year. After the show in Portland, he's off to Mexico City, Detroit, Barcelona, Tokyo, Ibiza, Belfast, Zurich, and his home base of London, to play some well-deserved headlining spots on the summer festival circuit. AVA HEGEDUS

SUNDAY 5/23

FROG EYES, MT. ST. HELENS VIETNAM BAND, TYPHOON

(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See Music.

JANA OSTA, PALO VERDE, STAG BITTEN

(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) The brand new Palo Verde album History for the Rest of Eternity sees its release tonight, and it's a collection of four lengthy improvisations from guitarist Terrica Kleinknecht and drummer Lauren K. Newman, tracked at Type Foundry by Newman in the wee hours one night in September of last year. The heavy sludge that Palo Verde laid down at that late-night session explodes from the speakers in thunderous fidelity, with Kleinknecht's gutteral guitar groaning underneath LKN's crashing cymbals and tumbling toms. Only 100 copies of History for the Rest of Eternity have been made, and they're hand numbered, each with a unique insert and a bonus sound collage from LKN, released on the band's own imprint Drunken Beagle Records. NL

MONDAY 5/24

BROKEN BELLS, THE MORNING BENDERS

(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) I'll give you a dollar if you can hum a Broken Bells song for me right now. Go! See, you can't do it, can you? That's because this James Mercer of the Shins + Danger Mouse "super"-group have, on their debut album, failed to produce anything half as memorable as even Mercer's meekest moments with the Shins. The whole arrangement is kind of a baffling move—presumably, Mercer didn't want to just go it solo, and it would seem weird to just add Danger Mouse to the Shins (not that they don't have the lineup openings). It's weird and not a little disappointing to see Mercer make his major-label debut with a batch of songs this underdone, when his career shows he's clearly capable of so much more. ERIC GRANDY Also see My, What a Busy Week!

GOATWHORE, CEREMONIAL CASTINGS, ONLY ZUUL, GOATSOLDIERS, SPEAR INDUCED CARNAGE

(Satyricon, 125 NW 6th) From Down and Eyehategod to Acid Bath and Soilent Green, New Orleans has an incredibly fertile and incestuous metal community, whose members frequently spread themselves thin with side projects and side projects of side projects. God-bashing band Goatwhore formed from the ashes of lead vocalist and guitarist Sammy Duet's former band, Acid Bath, in 1997. Since then, they've become known for their beastly brand of blackened thrash. For their most recent effort, 2009's Carving out the Eyes of God, Duet and company plumb the dark side once again, as "a machine for the will of Satan/whose tongues bless in a diabolic spite," provoking uptight audiences everywhere. KEVIN DIERS

TUESDAY 5/25

KEY LOSERS, THE FINCHES, NERVOUS AND THE KID

(Valentine's, 232 SW Ankeny) See My, What a Busy Week!

JACUZZI BOYS, TOTAL BROS, NUCULAR AMINALS, ORCA TEAM

(East End, 203 SE Grand) Apart from death metallers Deicide, the Jacuzzi Boys are the best thing to ever come crawling out of the swampy armpit that is the state of Florida (sorry, Skynyrd). But the trio has less to do with little round pools of massaging water jets and more to do with making raw, garage-psych black magic. Not kidding—their first LP, No Seasons, is straight-up haunted. I came home from work once, and it was playing itself on the stereo—a stereo I know I turned off when I left. Then, last October, I took pictures of the band as they were playing "Smells Dead" and every single photo was blurry—and one had a weird colored orb floating around in it. See? Haunted. There's just no other possible explanation. KELLY O

COBRA STARSHIP, 3OH!3, TRAVIE MCCOY, I FIGHT DRAGONS

(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) For gearheads a generation ago, the 303 was the mighty Roland bass synth box responsible for acid house's indelible squelch; to younger Guitar Center shoppers, it might just refer to their favorite make of Dr. Sample. Neither machine deserves the dishonor of having its name besmirched by the aurally syphilitic Boulder, Colorado, "crunkcore" duo known as 3OH!3. The band's music and videos look and sound like Axe Body Spray commercials, only more crass and crudely misogynistic. They rap like cavemen, they sing like androids, and their over-glossed music basically drugs and date rapes the dumbest sonic specimens of the electronic-pop spectrum (with sincere apologies to guest vocalists Katy Perry and Ke$ha). If history remembers Cobra Starship, it will be as "that band that had that song on the Snakes on a Plane soundtrack." EG

WEDNESDAY 5/26

CARIBOU, TORO Y MOI

(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) See My, What a Busy Week! and Music.

BOBBY BARE JR., KELLY BLAIR BAUMAN

(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Like many country music offspring (Shooter Jennings, Hank III), Bobby Bare Jr. takes the essence of his father's music and mangles and molds it into something different. However, instead of taking the easy route and simply fleshing out the country skeleton with loud guitars and over-the-top punk aesthetics, Bare isn't afraid to experiment a little—plus his songs are actually good. BBJR and his father have been collaborating since he was a tyke, and are soon set to release a tribute to author and songwriter Shel Silverstein featuring everyone from Black Francis to Kris Kristofferson. Bare Jr. also leads the revolving band Young Criminals' Starvation League, and even coughed up a covers EP dedicated to '70s soft rockers America and Bread. But don't let that scare you—his live performance will kill. MARK LORE

FUTURE ISLANDS, FAKE DRUGS, LOWER DENS

(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) Baltimore synth-poppers Future Islands have just released a tremendous album that's goofy and dramatic in all the right ways. In Evening Air glistens and wavers like a soap opera coming through a veil of gently fuzzy static, with clunky synths, warbling tones, and robotic beats elevating the canned dialogue and plot contrivances. Singer Samuel Herring over-emotes like daytime TV's finest, going from grumble to exclamation to Billy Idol bleach-punk sneer, while a maxed-out distorted bass anchors the melody to a simplistic drum program. Unlike the disposable nature of a soap opera, however, the music of Future Islands is hauntingly, invaluably moving, not to be immediately forgotten as soon as the credits roll. NL