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BOATS Holocene, 3/3

BOATS Holocene, 3/3

WEDNESDAY 2/27

SUN ANGLE, GRANDPARENTS, DEATH SONGS
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!

STRFKR, BLACKBIRD BLACKBIRD
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Read our article on STRFKR.

ALAMEDA, HOLIDAY FRIENDS, PHEASANT

(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Astoria, Oregon's Holiday Friends make the kind of happy-go-lucky sing-along folk and gently twinkly synth-pop that is burning up the charts and headlining outdoor musical festivals these days. Actually, Holiday Friends have quite a bit more personality than that comparison might suggest; in fact, there's something guilelessly charming about the band and their 2012 debut, Chicks. These are big, brash puppies of songs, wide-eyed and eager to please, and Holiday Friends recently holed up in Portland's Type Foundry Studio to ready a follow-up, tentatively scheduled for release in August. However, let it be known that drummer Brian Bovenizer—also of Astoria's Fort George Brewery—recently purchased the Ludwig Vistalite drum kit that I included in my section of the Mercury staff's holiday wish list ["WE WANT. GIVE IT TO US," Dec 5, 2012] and kept it for himself. Therefore, he and I are now mortal enemies. En garde, Bovenizer! NED LANNAMANN

DAVE ALVIN AND THE GUILTY ONES, MARSHALL CRENSHAW
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) Like all the best singer/songwriters, Dave Alvin appears in his songs only as an onlooker. He's a storyteller, so his words come together to form snapshots of characters. Alvin has been making music for over three decades now, which means that he has the experience to back up his tales of hookups and breakups and old friends. This is especially true on his most recent album, Eleven Eleven. He's also an astounding blues guitarist with an avuncular voice and a knack for putting together a mind-blowing band, currently called the Guilty Ones. Meanwhile opener Marshall Crenshaw's vocal cords have drunk from the Fountain of Youth. He's almost 60, but he sounds like he could be 27. The 2009 album Jaggedland is Crenshaw's 10th, and it also sounds like it could have been written by a much younger man. His songs are thematically timeless, but his guitar playing consistently powers past expectations. REBECCA WILSON

ULI JON ROTH, STONE SENATE, WITCH MOUNTAIN, HOLY GROVE
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE César E. Chávez) For those of you saying, "Who is Uli Jon Roth?" let me be the one to say you've done yourself a huge musical disservice. Roth is the German Jimi Hendrix. Best known for his stint in Scorpions from '74 to '78, Roth played on arguably the four best Scorpions full-lengths (and one double-live album). His Fender tone and bluesy-classical style injected feel and soul into the Scorp's heavy rock 'n' roll before they morphed into an anthemic arena-rock band. While Schenker & Co. have given up on their '70s era, Roth apparently still plays some of those classic tracks. If that weren't enough to sell you, he will also be playing his Sky guitar. Roth had the guitar built some time in the '80s to his specifications, with extra frets to get to those hard-to-reach high notes. It's easy to say someone has reinvented the guitar, but Uli Jon Roth literally did it. ARIS WALES

THURSDAY 2/28

TORO Y MOI, SINKANE, DOG BITE
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) Read our article on Toro y Moi.

RAKIM, COOL NUTZ, SLEEP, THE RUNDOWN
(Dante's, 350 W Burnside) Many have laid claim to the title "Greatest of All Time." It's been posthumously awarded to Biggie and LL Cool J had it tatted on his arm, but there is a large, vocal contingent that said the title has only ever belonged to one man, a man whose skills were so pure that he was simply called "God." Not a god—the God—the one true God of the mic Rakim Allah. By the time hiphop was even old enough to realize it had its own classics, Rakim had already written five of them. Tonight, accompanied by Portland Godfather of Hiphop Cool Nutz, the God takes the stage to demonstrate why any discussion of "the greatest" necessitates his inclusion. BOBBY ROBERTS

PIERCED ARROWS, GHOSTWRITER, FREEDOM CLUB, DJ KEN DIRTNAP
(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) Pierced Arrows spent a good part of 2012 on the road—probably more than most bands half their age. Of course, anyone here in the Pacific Northwest knows that rock 'n' roll courses deep in Fred and Toody Cole's veins. It comes out through their records and live performances, either as Pierced Arrows or that band's predecessor, Dead Moon. But the decades of rock 'n' roll romanticism run even deeper than the music: Life, love, survival—they're all wrapped into Pierced Arrows' meat-and-potatoes anthems. Anyone who still thinks rock 'n' roll is strictly a young man's or woman's game hasn't experienced a Pierced Arrows set. Remaining true to what you do will keep you forever young. MARK LORE

BLUES CONTROL, PLANKTON WAT, FANG MOON, DJ OWEN STOKES
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) The deceptively named Blues Control—Coopersburg, Pennsylvania-based Lea Cho and Russ Waterhouse—have been refining their distinctively mutational take on rock, dub, and jazz over four albums. The murkily psychedelic excursions of Puff and Blues Control (both from 2007) have given way to more vividly hued recent full-lengths Local Flavor and Valley Tangents. What makes Blues Control's music stand out from their peers is Cho's gorgeous, expressive piano playing, which dances elegantly amid Waterhouse's often-discordant guitar riffs and dubwise abstractions. Blues Control blurs genres into a bitches' brew of transportational properties—even successfully moving into skewed new-age territory in collaboration with the legendary Laraaji on FRKWYS Vol. 8. DAVE SEGAL

FRIDAY 3/1

LAURA GIBSON, NICK JAINA, DANIEL HUNT
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) See My, What a Busy Week!

RAMONA FALLS, SOCIAL STUDIES, THE ECSTATICS
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!

SAPIENT, CHICHARONES, IAME, EVIL EBENEZER, CLOUDY OCTOBER, ILLMACULATE
(Branx, 320 SE 2nd) Read our article on Sapient.

CEREMONY OF SLUDGE: SIOUX, LAMPREY, BEARD OF BEES, HUNGERS
(The Alleyway, 2415 NE Alberta) For the second year, NE Alberta's Alleyway Bar becomes a haven of all things loud and stoned, as the second annual Ceremony of Sludge festival showcases metal bands from around the Pacific Northwest. Taking into account the thousands of different microgenres within metal, what you need to know is that these bands traffic in thickness and heaviness, where the almighty riff dominates all. It's put on by the folks at Captain Couch Records, and all attendees receive a free download of the Ceremony of Sludge Vol. 2 compilation, plus the shows will be recorded for the possibility of a future comp. Get loud, get heavy, get sludged for three days straight. NL

SAMA DAMS, WALTER MITTY AND HIS MAKESHIFT ORCHESTRA, TIANANMEN BEAR, AMENTA ABIOTO
(Backspace, 115 NW 5th) Sama Dams is a band who, despite your go-to thought, is not named after the former mayor of this city. A different guy named Sam Adams is the central singer and guitarist of the band, which started as a solo project and has evolved into a multi-faceted, highly textured, and intricate sound, reminiscent of Radiohead and Dirty Projectors. The addition of Lisa Adams (keys, vocals) and Chris Hermsen (drums), combined with Sam's cathartic vocals—which range from slight whispers to skewed, surprising tonal yelps—never cease to bring the audience to a moment of awe and appreciation of their experimental, ghostly compositions. RACHEL MILBAUER

SATURDAY 3/2

ALABAMA SHAKES, MICHAEL KIWANUKA, SAM DOORES AND RILEY DOWNING
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!

SUGAR TOWN'S LADIES OF CLASSIC SOUL
(The Spare Room, 4830 NE 42nd) See My, What a Busy Week!

CEREMONY OF SLUDGE: HEAVY VOODOO, ANCIENT WARLOCKS, HOLY GROVE, WITCHASAURUS HEX
(The Alleyway, 2415 NE Alberta) See Friday's listing.

EIGHT BELLS, THE BODY, SEDAN, USNEA
(Backspace, 115 NW 5th) SubArachnoid Space's Melynda Jackson and Christopher Van Huffel have teamed up with bassist Haley Westeiner to form Eight Bells, and their debut album The Captain's Daughter has just been unleashed by Seventh Rule. Tonight the Portland experimental metal trio performs an all-ages record release show, bringing the tangled, cinematic sounds of the album into the third dimension. Pummeling, heavy passages of metallic fury interlock with misty psychedelia and lockstep prog; The Captain's Daughter's four lengthy tracks explore terrain with an almost reckless sense of adventure. NL

HEY MARSEILLES, DEEP SEA DIVER
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) The Decemberists-shaped hole in our collective heart is about to be filled, kind of, by Hey Marseilles' second LP, Lines We Trace. With his conversationally mournful manner of singing, Matt Bishop still sounds an awful lot like Colin Meloy, but this album is darker and more somber than To Travels and Trunks. The exhilarating sense of discovery has been replaced by an earnest staring-into-the-eyeballs of the moments that make your heart swell, punctuated by those lovely strings. Most of the band's seven members write songs in various combinations and permutations, which means that there's a welcome range of styles, though the album sounds of a piece. The music is self-serious, but that's not a negative, nor is the absence of a drum machine and loops. RW

PSYCHIC ILLS, KINSKI, FOLLAKZOID
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) New York's Psychic Ills use their many influences for the sole purpose of spacing out. Over the past decade, core members Tres Warren and Elizabeth Hart have dabbled in electronic psychedelia, improvised raga, and, more recently, jangly garage rock. Their latest, One Track Mind, is probably Psychic Ills' most straightforward record, while still retaining some of the band's out-there sounds. Also on the bill is Kinski, who recently made the jump from Sub Pop to Kill Rock Stars. The longtime Seattle noisies' upcoming LP, Cosy Moments, shows the band using their firepower for simpler songs that lean more toward the garage than an armed fortress. ML

B.B. KING, CURTIS SALGADO
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) I saw B.B. King almost 15 years ago at a free show at Nashville's Riverfront Park on the shores of the Cumberland River. He was old then, and he's older now. Catching that show was more or less luck; I hadn't made any great plans to go out of my way to see B.B. King, but there he was, a living legend in the flesh. That show was outstanding, and King was riveting; I remember he stood for a good part of the show but had to sit down for some of it. I'm guessing he sits down even more now. I always recall that evening when I think about passing up the countless opportunities to see musical legends in person. It's a show I'm truly thankful to have seen, and while B.B. King is 87 years old and still going strong, it's unlikely there will be too many more chances to see one of the great original bluesmen in the flesh. If you've never seen him, seriously, what are you waiting for? NL

DEKE DICKERSON, TWO MAN GENTLEMEN BAND
(Duff's Garage, 1635 SE 7th) The joke with Andy Bean and the Councilman—otherwise known as the Two Man Gentlemen Band—is that though their general dispositions earn their gentlemanly moniker, their music is a tongue-in-cheek exposition of adolescent revelry. Their most recent album, Two at a Time, for instance, relishes such immature subject matter as cheese and crackers ("Cheese and Crackers"), peeping girls in their bathing suits during a pool party ("Pool Party"), and girls that taste like pork chops ("Pork Chops"). But set against the duo's jazz-swing foundation, every one of their songs makes me want to cut the nearest rug to shreds. The band's set at Pickathon 2012 was well received, and the band has been busier than ever bringing their juke-joint revival to clubs all over the country. Duff's Garage is almost too perfect a venue for this duo; they're also playing Miz Kitty's Parlor at the Mission earlier this evening, and Sunday afternoon at the Secret Society as part of the Portland Lindy Exchange. RYAN J. PRADO

RVIVR, DEFECT DEFECT, 48 THRILLS
(Katie O'Brien's, 2809 NE Sandy) I have a complicated love/hate relationship with Rvivr: On one hand, the Olympia band has produced some of the best post-power-pop this side of Superchunk's first two records. On the other hand, however, they're generally—and perhaps ironically—oppressive personalities. As the group's popularity has increased, its focus an the music appears to have ebbed considerably, to the point where the group's sets are laughably scant and equally (if not primarily) devoted to delivering its anti-almost-everything animus. And ultimately they're right about a lot of issues, but any message the band attempts to communicate is more or less obfuscated by the sort of righteous indignation that skirts dangerously close to swaggering condescension. I love the group's self-titled record and probably always will. But sometimes it's hard to get behind a band whose members would probably hate you. MORGAN TROPER

MASERATI, HOT VICTORY, GRAPEFRUIT
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Athens, Georgia's Maserati make some of the most aerodynamically cool driving music in America. A strictly instrumental quartet, they concoct a spacey prog-rock/stoic-disco fusion that fosters efficient, linear motion. Fans of Goblin, Zombi, and Trans Am should buckle themselves in for a heroic, epic joyride. DS

SUNDAY 3/3

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

MARCH FOURTH MARCHING BAND
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!

CEREMONY OF SLUDGE: DOOMSOWER, DISENCHANTER, SOLAR ADEPT
(The Alleyway, 2415 NE Alberta) See Friday's listing.

PORTLAND LINDY EXCHANGE: TWO MAN GENTLEMAN BAND
(Secret Society, 116 NE Russell) See Saturday's listing.

BOATS, WL, GREAT WILDERNESS
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Winnipeg, Manitoba's Boats—not to be confused with Sacramento's Boats! or the much beloved BOAT from Seattle—have a new album out on Kill Rock Stars. A Fairway Full of Miners, their third effort, is a giddy, goofy treat, full of catchy tunes that might play dumb but are smarter than they look. Songs like "Great Skulls" work as manic party jams, but betray hidden depths. Not that this fun-loving bunch could ever sound melancholy. They actually could share a bill with the Seattle band BOAT—these Canucks have a similar sense of goofiness and balls-out fun in the face of everyday reality. Considering that BOAT is one of my all-time favorite bands, that's saying a lot. NL

DARWIN DEEZ, CAGED ANIMALS, FANNO CREEK
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Look, Darwin Deez's first album annoyed the shit out of me. At the time of his 2010 self-titled debut, I also lived in Brooklyn, and he seemed like just one more headbanded dude with a pervy 'stache capitalizing on his ability to write irritating hooks, epitomized by the song "Constellations." People who liked it called it whimsical. But as much as it hurts me to say it, this second album has won me over. This, despite the fact that its title is Songs for Imaginative People. Deez (AKA Darwin Smith) has traded Brooklyn for Asheville, North Carolina, and cutesy for an authentically bizarre aesthetic. It sure helps that he knows how to play a guitar, but the main thing is his outré songwriting, which has rightfully given rise to comparisons with Prince and Beck. From the strange, hookless opener "(800) Human" to the vaguely loungey vibe of the final song, "Chelsea's Hotel," I was captured. RW

MONDAY 3/4

DIVERS, BRONCHO, THE BLANK TAPES, JARET FERRATUSCO
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!

MARCH FOURTH MARCHING BAND, GAMELAN X, DJ GLOBALRUCKUS
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!

TUESDAY 3/5

WHITE LUNG, ARCTIC FLOWERS
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) See My, What a Busy Week!

THAO AND THE GET DOWN STAY DOWN, ALBATROSS
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Read our article on Thao and the Get Down Stay Down.

COTTON JONES, MISSION SPOTLIGHT
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) The musical journey Cotton Jones has taken since their 2009 LP, Paranoid Cocoon, is a surprising artistic evolution. The heavy-lidded psych-lite of that album seemed to set the table for a multi-course meal of similarly subtle vittles. With the release of 2010's Tall Hours in the Glowstream their penchant for repetition remained, but their tunes were boosted by Whitney McGraw's enchanting vocal presence and a peppy '60s rock 'n' roll mélange. Main vocalist/guitarist (as well as McGraw's husband) Michael Nau has found his voice further with the release of the 2011 EP, Sit Beside Your Vegetables, a volleying collection of downright catchy psych-pop. Perennial road dogs, the band's successful opening slot for 2012's Dr. Dog tour has likely served their live set nicely. So dig in, and leave the earplugs at home. RJP

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