L PRO
Mt. Tabor Theater Lounge

THURSDAY 3/10

SNACK ATTACK 2011: GUIDANCE COUNSELOR, FORBIDDEN FRIENDS, UNKLE FUNKLE, DJ SNAKKS

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

MORNING TELEPORTATION, YOURS, THE PINK SNOWFLAKES

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Read about Morning Teleportation.

DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS (4 PM)

(Music Millennium, 3158 E Burnside) Read about Drive By Truckers.

DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS, HEARTLESS BASTARDS

(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) Read about Drive By Truckers.

LIZ HARRIS, THE TENSES, JONNYX AND THE GROADIES, WHY I MUST BE CAREFUL, GHOST TO FALCO

(The Artistery, 4315 SE Division) The end is approaching swiftly for the Artistery, but there's still time to pay another visit to the sweltering basement—not to mention the solid, well-priced used vinyl store that's housed in the all-ages venue's ground floor. Tonight sees a wide-ranging bill of local experimental music-makers, from the pulverizing grindcore of JonnyX and the Groadies to the avanter-than-avant free jazz of Why I Must Be Careful. There's also the deconstructionist noise-folk of Ghost to Falco, which sometimes transmogrifies into stoner-stomp rock, and the ominously serene abstract hymns of Liz Harris, who usually performs as Grouper and has two new albums on the horizon. Among the many, many wonderful things the Artistery has done for the local music community—serving as a haven for all-ages shows not the least among them—is their fearless support of the city's experimental music scene. Tonight's a chance to celebrate the different, disparate fringes in one fell swoop. NED LANNAMANN

PUDDLETOWN SCHOOL BENEFIT: JAMES MERCER

(Bagdad Theater, 3702 SE Hawthorne) Those hoping for a pint of Hammerhead and a screening of Machete will be disappointed to see James Mercer onstage tonight (he is many things, but Danny Trejo is not one of them). Yet supporters of local education and fans of the Shins/Broken Bells frontman will be downright delighted by this rare solo performance from Mercer. His performance will raise funds for the Puddletown School, a cozy Montessori preschool and kindergarten located in Southeast Portland. If you didn't get your tickets, y ou'll probably end up watching a movie anyway, since this show is very sold out. EZRA ACE CARAEFF

THE SPITTIN' COBRAS, LOST CITY, DECORO, LUKE VALLEY

(Tonic Lounge, 3100 NE Sandy) Sixty-five-year-old Lemmy Kilmister still does speed and drinks a fifth of Jack a day. Why cut these habits out when they are still responsible for some of the most high-octane metal to ever roll in on two wheels named Harley? We doubt the Spittin' Cobras' intake is anywhere near that excessive, but their fire-under-your-ass punk metal seems intravenously connected to the forefathers of this ilk. While frontman Alx Karchevsky can at times echo Bon Scott (with the Cobras riffin' off the rails like Angus Young), the Seattle-based four-piece seems to live life like it's their last day on Earth, riding high on whiskey and adrenaline from their horns-up bro-down. TRAVIS RITTER

KAKI KING, WASHINGTON

(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) We used to make fun of the guy who played the Ovation guitar. You know, the Ovation: the pear-shaped, plastic-backed acoustic guitar that eschews a large, centered soundhole in favor of a bunch of little flowery ones up in the corner. The guitar was designed out of synthetic polymers rather than natural wood in order to minimize onstage feedback, but it did so at the cost of sounding like a snapped rubber band. The Ovation was the acoustic equivalent of the Steinberger electric guitar: If a guy played one, you wouldn't let him in your band. I've since discovered the benefits of the Ovation: notably, a cleaner, more precise sound that doesn't work so well with the standard acoustic folky strum, but works splendidly with the complex, mathy progressions of Kaki King. Her finger-tapping style has earned her the occasional plaudit as the best female shredder around (fully reserve your judgment until you see Marnie Stern play on Wednesday, March 16), and if her technical ability still slightly overshadows her songwriting chops, it's no less awe inspiring in the live setting. NL

SIMIAN MOBILE DISCO, THE JUAN MACLEAN, BLONDES, EVAN ALEXANDER

(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) English twosome Simian Mobile Disco makes "hands (and feet) in the air" dance music via mostly analog technology. Their club bangers have a rougher, rawer edge than most of their peers'. Check "Tits and Acid" (without which life would be unbearable) for ample proof. Simian Mobile Disco are touring behind Delicacies, a bold experimental-techno diversion. And don't sleep on the Juan MacLean; besides being one of DFA's key artists, he's an epicurean house and disco DJ. DAVE SEGAL

HUGH CORNWELL, LSD&D

(East End, 203 SE Grand) While the Stranglers still make the rounds, it's just not the same without original frontman Hugh Cornwell behind the mic—much like the soulless, and Paul Weller-less, From the Jam. Stranglers-free for over two decades now, Cornwell is a respected solo artist these days, currently touring on his recent Hooverdam recording alongside a backing band, including James White and the Blacks' bassist Steve Fishman, and Blondie's Clem Burke behind the kit. Cornwell will give you twice the bang for your buck tonight, performing a set of solo material and then playing the Stranglers' must-own debut album Rattus Norvegicus in its entirety. Lucky you. EAC

FRIDAY 3/11

LIVE AND DIRECT'S NOTORIOUS B.I.G. TRIBUTE: REV. SHINES, SLIMKID3, DJ NATURE, STARCHILE

(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) See My, What a Busy Week!

RAINBOW ARABIA, SPOEK MATHAMBO, ATOLE, DJ LIFEPARTNER

(Branx, 320 SE 2nd) Read about Rainbow Arabia.

ETERNAL TAPESTRY, MOUNT EERIE, WHITE FANG, Ô PAON, PETE SWANSON

(The Artistery, 4315 SE Division) Read about Eternal Tapestry.

BALMORHEA, BENOIT PIOULARD, HELIOS

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Those logs at Doug Fir sure look pretty when blissfully intoned music floods the room, but as you look at them, try to imagine them in their natural-born state, standing free and flowing in a forest of green. Austin's melancholic, classically adept instrumentalists Balmorhea (a name I still immediately think of as something brown), and our Portland's own Benoit Pioulard give a sense of new life, of something that grows instead of dies. Balmorhea is definitely more dramatic, with metered orchestrations that swell in whispering gusts. Benoit Pioulard strums more internally, invoking the at-peace feeling you get on a calm, still day, where sunlight can be chased forever. Come early to claim your seat, and strap in for Back to the Bliss: The Ride. TR

LEONARD MYNX, ST. EVEN, PETOSKEY

(The Woods, 6637 SE Milwaukie) Leonard Mynx has plenty of material to choose from, so it's no surprise the prolific songwriter's new record Son of the Famous So and So plays like the cream of the crop—the Portland singer/songwriter recorded close to 30 songs at Type Foundry Studio some months back, and his brand-new So and So is home to 11 of those highlights. With a gentle, conversational voice that's somewhere in between Paul Simon and Bob Dylan, Mynx helms a sterling collection of folk ballads, containing plenty of harmonica chuffing, acoustic fingerpicking, and swelling organ chords. Mynx never strains for a second, comfortably inhabiting songs that hit well-established sweet spots. "Ball of Fire" in particular is a striking work, Mynx's road-weary tune augmented by a rising plume of slide guitar and strings. NL

WIZARD RIFLE, RABBITS, WOE,

VALKYRIE RODEO

(Plan B, 1305 SE 8th) Portland's Wizard Rifle doesn't rely on sludgy riffs to get their point across (although there is some of that); instead this oft-shirtless two-piece serves up herky-jerky guitar squall and mind-bending time signatures, captured most succinctly on the menacing "The Organ Donor Song." It sure makes Wizard Rifle difficult for bumbling music critics to categorize—which is exactly the point, right? The band kicks off its first tour tonight with the not-so-cuddly Rabbits, who do rely on the type of riffs that rattle your organs. Even if you don't fancy yourself a metalhead, there's plenty to enjoy here. For you, a little pre-show checklist from the Metal 101 Handbook: whiskey, earplugs, diaper, severed goat head. Enjoy! MARK LORE

SATURDAY 3/12

LITTLE WINGS, WHITE RAINBOW, THE HIVE DWELLERS, ROB WALMART

(The Artistery, 4315 SE Division) See My, What a Busy Week! and read about Little Wings.

THE VELVET TEEN, THEMES, SYMMETRY/SYMMETRY, DUCK LITTLE BROTHER DUCK

(Backspace, 115 NW 5th) It's been awhile since we heard new music from the Velvet Teen, but coming up on nearly five years after their last full-length Cum Laude!, the Santa Rosa band returned last November with a four-song EP entitled No Star. It was the band's first recording since expanding to a quartet, and the dueling guitars of Matthew Izen and Judah Nagler are now an unquestioned hallmark of the Velvet Teen's sound. The ghosts of emo past no longer encumber No Star; instead the EP happily delves into the infinite walls of guitar of Siamese Dream, with Nagler singing the octave-straddling melodies with remarkable elasticity. NL

DAN MANGAN, SEAN FLINN AND THE ROYAL WE, GOLDFINCH

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) For those keeping track at home, it takes all of 22 seconds of "Road Regrets" to fall head over heels for Dan Mangan. The opening number from Nice, Nice, Very Nice—his truly inspiring 2009 sophomore recording—is a bleary-eyed road trip through a litany of battered emotions, a call-to-action folk number that urges you to hit the open road and bury your past in the rearview. Already a household name in his Vancouver (the real one) homeland, Mangan combines the clever wordplay of Okkervil River with a staunch and earnest delivery, reminding the listener of the earliest days of Billy Bragg—but with less songs about unions, and more songs about new brunettes. EAC

L PRO

(Mt. Tabor Theater Lounge, 4811 SE Hawthorne) Equilibrium, the new EP from local emcee LeMont Boyd (AKA L Pro) and native producer 5th Sequence, is a tasty sample of what to expect from their upcoming full-length Vertigo. Older heads may remember L Pro as L Profound, his teenage pseudonym as a member of the duo Grassrootz, along with beatmaker D-Wyze. Their 1998 debut, Uncharted Regions, garnered positive national attention, yet they soon disbanded due to D-Wyze relocating to California. Meanwhile Boyd's subsequent setbacks—including a divorce and being stabbed in the face—kept him away from music for some time. His collaboration with Soul Plasma on 2003's Simply Soul marked a determined return to form that has continued ever since. If Equilibrium is any indication, L Pro and 5th Sequence are primed to resurrect the template of Pete Rock and CL Smooth, combining thought-provoking lyrics over jazzy samples and raw head-nod beats. RYAN FEIGH

SUNDAY 3/13

PIGEONS, JOSEPH GIANT, WILD ONES

(Rontoms, 600 E Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!

LITTLE WINGS, MICHAEL HURLEY, WHITE RAINBOW

(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Read about Little Wings.

TRAIN WHISTLE FEST: ON THE STAIRS, KELLY BLAIR BAUMAN, SEA BELL, HUCK NOTARI, JARAD MILES, BRIAN KUNKEL, JON WILLIAMS

(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) The Train Whistle Test is a fine Portland-based podcast focused not on the sounds of the rails, but on this city's bevy of talented (and underappreciated) singer/songwriters. Past guests have included everyone from Leonard Mynx to Lana Rebel, and tonight they'll lasso up a half-dozen of Portland's finest songwriters for an evening split between acoustic sets (Jon Gary Williams with Brian Kunkel, Jarad Miles, Huck Notari, Sea Bell) and full band performances from Kelly Blair Bauman and On the Stairs, the latter of which is fronted by Nate Clark, who recently released A Muted Dawn, a bold and brass-heavy sophomore recording that deserves your attention. EAC

MONDAY 3/14

Happy birthday, Walter Parazaider, saxophonist for Chicago! You're the inspiration.

TUESDAY 3/15

HEAVY NOVA, DORIAN MACMILLAN

(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) See My, What a Busy Week!

THE EX, DEATH SENTENCE: PANDA

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) The Ex have been dismantling and reassembling the very notion of punk rock for the length of their storied 32-year (!) existence. Much like Fugazi or Godspeed You! Black Emperor, there is a certain not-fucking-around mystique to this Dutch quartet, making them one of the few absolutely essential (and gimmick-free) live bands left. This is still the case, despite the exit of longtime staple G.W. Sok, who left the band previous to their recording of this year's Catch My Shoe. Sok's absence is striking, and replacement frontman Arnold de Boer doesn't quite have the same allure as his predecessor, but the Ex's jerking rhythms and rigid song structure remain the same. Unlike the unfortunate restructuring of Gang of Four—who ironically released their latest LP on the very same day as Catch My Shoe—this re-booted version of the Ex still remains true to the band's revolutionary roots. EAC

WEDNESDAY 3/16

DEVO

(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) Devo-lution isn't a theory; it's a reality. As the end of the world looms, who could have guessed that Akron, Ohio's favorite spuds would remain as vital now as when they were acerbic goofballs making weird, punky synth-pop 35 years ago? After reuniting in the late '00s, the now-graying band unleashed live front-to-back interpretations of both Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo and Duty Now for the Future; last year the band released Something for Everybody, their first album of new material in almost two decades. While it's unmistakably Devo, the album wears the strange early-'80s electronic interpolations of Yello's Claro Que Si and Sparks' In Outer Space on the removable sleeves of their yellow suits. This time, the band will literally give something for everybody, pulling both from new material and the fun-da-mental classics. TR Also see My, What a Busy Week!

MARNIE STERN, TERA MELOS, DUCK LITTLE BROTHER DUCK

(Branx, 320 SE 2nd) "Female Guitar Players Are the New Black," says the title of track five on Marnie Stern's most recent album, her 2010 self-titled record on Kill Rock Stars. Very few exceptions notwithstanding, female guitarists haven't exactly hit that level of ubiquity, but that's kind of Stern's point: An ace ax-wielder with lady parts still remains a novelty for certain people, and a good portion of the attention Stern has earned thus far in her three-album career comes from the fact that she's a reasonably glamorous-looking female in the hoary, neck-bearded world of progressive rock. With frenetically fast guitar tapping and packed-to-the-gills arrangements, her songs are both claustrophobic and exhilarating, with the whirling beats and guitar runs leaving just enough room for Stern's effervescent sweetness, sparkling modestly in the corners. She's joined on this tour by Sacramento's Tera Melos, who have (very slightly) mellowed the warp-speed weirdness of their previous efforts with their latest EP, Zoo Weather, which features a spoken-word appearance by Mike Watt. NL