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This Week's Music Previews

JOVANOTTI Aladdin Theater, 8/19

JOVANOTTI Aladdin Theater, 8/19

THURSDAY 8/16

STILL CAVES, PINKSLIME, PAINTED CANYONS
(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) Read our article on Still Caves.

DESCHUTES STREET FARE: FRUIT BATS, LEWI LONGMIRE AND THE LEFT COAST ROASTERS, SNEAKIN' OUT
(Deschutes Brewery and Public House, 210 NW 11th) The Deschutes Street Fare deposits a bunch of local food carts into the Pearl, resulting in a de facto block party to raise money for Loaves and Fishes, a nonprofit that brings meals to homebound seniors. This being a Deschutes affair, there are beer pairings for all of the food, and there's good live music, too; this year Fruit Bats headline. Over the years frontman Eric D. Johnson's bedroom pop has effortlessly evolved into gently sunburned West Coast folk-rock, making the Bats the perfect soundtrack to a summer's evening spent out of doors. NED LANNAMANN

WILD ONES, AND AND AND, ANIMAL EYES, ADVENTURES WITH MIGHT, NINJA TURTLE NINJA TIGER
(Rontoms, 600 E Burnside) Not to downplay the rest of the band's contributions, but Wild Ones singer Danielle Sullivan's voice is one of our city's local treasures. Half of Wild Ones earned their stripes as members of Eskimo and Sons (if you have never listened to them, figure out some way to acquire everything they've ever released as soon as you're done reading this). While Sullivan's pensive duets with sad-bastard co-vocalist/songwriter Dhani Rosa in that band were exquisite, her effervescent vocal stylings are honestly more suited to this sort of thing. The title track off the group's debut EP You're a Winner makes my entire body feel wonderful. I am thankful for this band's existence, and I can't wait to tell people I knew them when. (You can get into this show for free by going to rethinkpopmusic.com/showdeerrsvp and giving some info to a cigarette company.) MORGAN TROPER

KAY KAY AND HIS WEATHERED UNDERGROUND, HUSTLE AND DRONE, THE WE SHARED MILK
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) The We Shared Milk were taking a hiatus over the summer and now they're back! They open a night of eclecticism with heartfelt rock tracks, like "No Shit," which feels like a rough-around-the-edges modern version of Van Morrison's "And It Stoned Me," and some songs that sound like Alien Lanes-era Guided by Voices with shreddier guitar licks. They've got something beautiful going on. They then give the stage to Hustle and Drone, Ryan Neighbors' (ex-Portugal. The Man) insanely likeable new beat-based indie-pop project. They're followed by Seattle-based cabaret-pop ensemble Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground, who bring gentle melodies to elaborate buildups and surprises. It also doesn't hurt that their last project featured covers of some of my all-time favorite pop songs by Blackstreet, Hall and Oates, Nu Shooz, Teena Marie, and more. ROCHELLE HUNTER

JESUS FUCKING CHRIST, TRANSIENT, NIGHT NURSE, PLEASURE CROSS, DISAVOW
(Plan B, 1305 SE 8th) Smashing straight out of the Bay Area, Jesus Fucking Christ play pissed-off, chaotic hardcore punk rock. But don't be mistaken: This ain't no three-chord, sloppy garage-pop-punk outfit. These dudes know how to wail, throwing in face-melting crossover thrash riffs here and there, and dosing the songs with bass lines reminiscent of fellow Bay Area legends Nerve Agents and Rancid. Featuring a couple notable "former members of"— Jamie Morrison from Pitch Black, Dave Edwardson from Neurosis—these guys certainly have experience on their side, as is apparent on their killer, raw-as-fuck 2008 full-length, Life's Hateful Seed. KEVIN DIERS

HOT PANDA, REVEL SWITCH, SWEEPING EXITS, WHOREHOUNDS
(Ted's, 231 SW Ankeny) Canadian rock quartet Hot Panda sometimes sound like they're trying to be all things to all people. The band's third release, Go Outside, takes their proclivities for the synth-pop, punk, and indie rock of yore and hits the mark for a fuzzy good listen. It's easily their best and most cohesive work to date. Frontman Chris Connelly has pop smarts to go with his wry and occasionally venomous lyrics. They're a really good band whose only challenge in 2012 is to cut through the white noise of buzz bands and short-lived flavors of the month. Go Outside might be just the album to do it. MARK LORE

FRIDAY 8/17

PATAHA HISS, HELVETIA, FIELD TRIPS
(East End, 203 SE Grand) Read our article on Helvetia.

NORAH JONES, CORY CHISEL AND THE WANDERING SONS
(Edgefield, 2126 SW Halsey, Troutdale) During the early 2000s, there was a law requiring all coffee shops to play Come Away with Me at least four times a day. As a 23-year-old, I somehow didn't relate to a peer who was singing torch songs for the golf-and-macchiato set. So when I gave up slinging coffee, I also gave up listening to Norah Jones. Right up until June, that is, when I saw her stunning turn in Ted—she plays the titular alcoholic teddy bear's ex. Maybe she doesn't take herself so seriously after all. Her latest, Little Broken Hearts, had been getting rave reviews, so I gave it a listen and found that, no, she's still awfully serious. Except that on this, her fifth album, Jones has made something dark and tragic and distorted and, finally, age appropriate. Her second collaboration with Danger Mouse (after last year's Rome) is a noir meditation on heartbreak, as stylish as it is sincere. REBECCA WILSON

EXPERIMENTAL NOISE FEST: DANIEL MENCHE, JOHN WIESE, THE RITA, BLACK AIR, BLUE SABBATH BLACK CHEER, KAKERLAK, RUSALKA, OKHA, SCARD
(Ella Street Social Club, 714 SW 20th Pl) "Can you please stop talking?" comes from my right, and I turn to find a girl my age smiling seriously as she walks away from me and my friend. We're drunk and stubborn in 2011, but when Daniel Menche takes the stage and the audience falls to crossed legs on the ground, we do shut up. After the performance washes over, talking is the one thing I can't do. It's no surprise: 20 years in the business of noise music have made the aural and visual fields of Menche's repertoire powerfully moving. In the Northwest, he's definitely one of the genre's chamberlains. Los Angeles' John Wiese is sure to be another highlight of the Experimental Noise Fest's first night—his sporadic factories of sound twist and breathe like an anti-melodic version of Venetian Snares, asking audiences that girl's same question through tense static. JONATHAN MAGDALENO

SEX WOUNDS, DUTY, GUSHER, HAUKSNESS
(Kenton Club, 2025 N Kilpatrick) If you've gone to shows at houses or dives during the past few years, you may have had the seemingly haphazard chance to catch a set by Hauksness. Although they've been playing intermittently, releasing music nonchalantly, and varying their lineup, the core of the project continues to burn brightly, and seems to be on the cusp of becoming a more steady presence. Some stellar recordings are available on their Bandcamp, including the Because Good Is Dumb EP released earlier this year, which features truly killer, deceivingly polished and instantly rapturing tracks like "Limey BP Fish Sticks," marked by raspy lyrical delivery that intermingles with twisting guitars and frenetic drumming. The But Thou Must EP from 2010 contains such under-two-minute punk perfection as the anthemic "Primitive Arithmetic." A third EP is upcoming—if it's more of the same, I can't wait to hear it. MARANDA BISH

SATURDAY 8/18

DENVER, BEAR AND MOOSE, BARNA HOWARD
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Read our article on Denver.

DIGITAL LEATHER, DENIZENZ, SICK SECRETS, GHOST POWER
(East End, 203 SE Grand) Denizenz, a gloriously noisy post-pop-punk band that has been gracing stages around town for the past couple years, has not established a strong internet presence. We're left with a few blurry videos, some old fuzzy recordings, and a trail of show dates reaching back into the previous decade, but from these artifacts one can get a sense of the band's essence: hysterical, howling vocals, garage-rock-style snarls of guitar, skittery keys, and steady drumbeats. One rad track titled "Ideas" commences with a shriek before the vocalist descends into a clever, scathing diatribe, stating, "I've got a light bulb like Thomas Edison," then demanding, "Give me ideas/I want your ideas!" I've got one for them, about getting their shit together online, but something tells me these guys may not give a fuck. MB

INTERNATIONAL POP OVERTHROW: THE ECSTATICS, RAMUNE ROCKET 3, BLUE SKIES FOR BLACK HEARTS, THE CRY, THROWBACK SUBURBIA, QUEUED UP
(Mt. Tabor Theater, 4811 SE Hawthorne) The International Pop Overthrow festival—which, I should mention, takes its name from Material Issue's excellent debut LP—began in 1998 as a means of showcasing up-and-coming Los Angeles-based power-pop artists. Over the years it has gradually expanded to multiple other big(gish) cities, including Portland. And while it's an overlooked facet of this city's music scene (why wouldn't it be?), PDX definitely has its fair share of stellar Beatles-influenced pop acts. Saturday night's lineup looks particularly killer: there are PDX pure pop mainstays Blue Skies for Black Hearts, whose most recent LP Embracing the Modern Age was one of the most significant contributions to the genre in recent memory, the irresistibly retro Queued Up, and Exploding Hearts holograms the Cry. Prepare to meet a lot of weirdoes who claim the best band to ever come out of Portland was the Hudson Brothers. (Elliott Who?) MT

JEL, DJ ABILITIES, TOPE, CLOUDY OCTOBER, STEWART VILLAIN, VOID PEDAL, ZAVALA, CRUSHCON7
(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) DJ Abilities and Jel are two prominent hiphop producers (of Rhymesayers and Anticon, respectively) who emphasize performance and live production. These button-pushing, sample-scratching, fader-flapping geniuses come together again—after their short-lived Deep Puddle Dynamics stint—to tour together doing solo and collaborative sets. Get there early enough for great local emcees Tope and Cloudy October, and a beat set by Stewart Villain. This guy has a beautiful style, especially the ambient, laidback beats on his instrumental album Leftovers. RH

KAYO DOT, THRONES, HANG THE OLD YEAR
(Slabtown, 1033 NW 16th) Kayo Dot is a band of multi-instrumentalists led by accomplished experimental musician Toby Driver. The ever-changing Brooklyn-based band has evolved over the last decade to release six studio albums, and while band members have come and gone, the progressive aesthetic that underlies the band's philosophy has always been present. Self-described as "dark, cinematic, and dream-like," their style gives the listener ample opportunity to fall into a kaleidoscopic world of sound that, via reinterpretation, ends up quite far from where it began. CHRISTINA BROUSSARD

POLIÇA, SUPREME CUTS
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) Poliça make grooving downtempo tunes with singer Channy Leaneagh's woozy Auto-Tuned vocals as the central focus. Like Leaneagh and band co-founder Ryan Olson's previous stuff with Minneapolis slowdance "supergroup"/collective Gayngs, it's formulaic and at times repetitive, but executed well enough to be mostly enjoyable. Openers Supreme Cuts get the edge here, though, for their moody, chopped-sample beats that constantly shift tempos and textures. Though their recent debut LP Whispers in the Dark is getting most of the (deserved) attention, the Chicago duo's previous Trouble 10-inch, remixes, and forays into rap production—see their upcoming collaborative album with Barbadian rapper Haleek Maul, Chrome Lips—show that their sound goes even deeper than that. MIKE RAMOS

SUNDAY 8/19

KISS, MÖTLEY CRÜE
(Sleep Country Amphitheater, 17200 NE Delfel, Ridgefield, WA) There aren't many bands in the world more divisive than KISS. Those who love the band do so with religious zealotry; those on the other side look at the band with the same derision as Nickelback. But almost 40 years in, KISS' place in American music (and pop culture) is secure. They're consummate underdogs, businessmen, and survivors. And despite what you think, they're also a rock and roll b®and. Get past Gene Simmons' massive ego/codpiece. Pass up "Beth" and "Rock and Roll All Nite" for the deep cuts. Know that—with all the makeup and schlock and bombs—these are just four guys from New York that were reared on the best British bands from the '60s. Simmons and his longtime partner Paul Stanley are all that remain of the original lineup, but there's still not a better/louder show in town. And they still champion rock 'n' roll like it's 1975. It's big, dumb fun—just like their no-brainer choice for co-headliners, Mötley Crüe. ML Also see My, What a Busy Week!

JOVANOTTI
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) The words "Italian pop star" bring to mind a terrifying vision of an Il Divo-like belter, emitting sweat and schmaltzy dreck for the pleasure of enthusiastic, possibly horny crowds of elderly women. What a surprise it is, then, to listen to Jovanotti's new Italia 1988-2012 compilation album, which remixes and re-contextualizes some of the Italian pop star's recordings over his near-25-year career. He started off heavily influenced by the Beastie Boys, then embraced global pop and collaborated with acts like Sérgio Mendes, TV on the Radio, and Luciano Pavarotti. I don't understand his lyrics, of course, but Jovanotti's music sounds subtle, diverse, and classy. He recently moved to New York and is trying his hand at the American market, and though I can't imagine him becoming the kind of sensation he is in Italy, fans of smart pop (who don't mind lyrics not sung in English) will definitely get something out of Jovanotti. NL

MONDAY 8/20

THE CULT, MURDER OF CROWS
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) See My, What a Busy Week!

TENEMENT, BIG EYES, CRYPTIES, DJ J-ONE ILL
(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) Seattle trio Big Eyes play with the sort of sincerity typically lacking from most '77 punk-influenced bands these days. Their debut LP Hard Life, released last summer, contains 12 tracks of exquisite, jagged Jam-esque powerpop (standout cuts are the hit-worthy "Pretend to Care" and far-too-relatable closer "Tired All the Time"), and their latest 7-inch "Back from the Moon" sounds like a lost Muffs classic. It's the band stepping even further in the right direction and branching out stylistically (lead vocalist Kate Eldridge is starting to really "push it" to great effect). This is like a badass Best Coast. MT

TUESDAY 8/21

THREE MILE PILOT, DRAMADY
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) It's surprising to see Three Mile Pilot back on the touring circuit, but any activity at all is surprising after a decade or so of immobility. I'm pretty damn confident that old listeners love the familiar sound of their 2010 release The Inevitable Past Is the Future Forgotten, but that observation always kinda begs the question: Did the group's inactivity foster an acceptance of a single rooted sound, or did it only marinate them in the character of their 1997 full-length Another Desert, Another Ocean? Fuck it. They're a great rock band through and through, with a genealogy that deserves nods from anyone who remembers the pre-mainstream era of indie rock. JM

WEDNESDAY 8/22

LOVE SONGS FOR LAMPS: CALVIN JOHNSON, BROKEN WATER, THE SHIVAS, THE MEMORIES, WHITE RAINBOW & MORE
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!

INCREDIBLE YACHT CONTROL, PIGEONS, CHARTS, SLEEPY VILLAIN
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Read our article on Incredible Yacht Control.

ZZ TOP, NASHVILLE PUSSY
(Edgefield, 2126 SW Halsey, Troutdale) ZZ Top has always been a slave to the production value and pop sensibility of the time. In the '70s, it was beer-drenched, bitchin' Southern rock 'n' roll and livestock on stage. In the '80s, it was over-production and music videos with furry guitars and leggy chicks. The '90s, well... let's skip that period. Thankfully, the recent trend for resurfacing rockers is a return to form. Top's Texicali EP, the band's first release since 2003, has four good, old-fashioned American cruising cuts that could probably make your sideburns grow faster. It's no Fandango!, but it's stacked with swagger and stomp-ability. Also, to display their ever-present savviness, the EP was released digitally only. Even though they're at the end of the alphabet, ZZ Top knows how to, well, stay on top. ARIS WALES Also see My, What a Busy Week!

THE LOWER 48, OH DARLING, SEAN SPELLMAN
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Who knows when the Lower 48 will exhaust their penchant for geography, but let's hope it carries them through another album at least. Like a good map, the Portland-by-way-of-Minnesota trio brims with possibility, even at their most utilitarian. With only an EP and an album—last fall's Where All Maps End—in their knapsacks, they have reached a maturity, a gravitas, that coexists surprisingly well with their warmth. A lot of this is the product of Sarah Parson, whose singular voice comes from deep within her throat, providing aural texture to cling to, even when the band is at their most mellow. Parson's voice is in direct contrast to that of Jasmine Ash, the ethereal lady who fronts LA-based Oh Darling. Her voice is so sweet that, no joke, a chocolate company used one of her solo songs in an international advertising campaign. Classic rocker Sean Spellman of Quiet Life will open the eccentric lineup. RW

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