THE NEW TRUST, HOT VICTORY, THEMES
(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) See review.
CAJUN GEMS, ALL SMILES, INSIDE VOICES
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See review.
DAME DARCY, MAGICK DAGGERS,
(Slabtown, 1033 NW 16th) Graphic novelist and illustrator Dame Darcy may be best known for her ongoing comic series Meatcake, though she's been making music for as long as she's been applying pen to paper. Occasionally, that takes the form of clattering, semi-industrial soundscapes or her collaborative take on traditional music with the Black Strap Molasses Family. A traditional sound serves as the starting point for much of her work—solo and with the group Death by Doll—as the songs that emerge are mostly unsettling and uncanny: offbeat laments and askew sea shanties, oft-told stories newly reimagined, boldly suffused with unexpected traces of obsession and despair. TOBIAS CARROLL Also see , and books.
THE HONUS HUFFHINES, METROPOLITAN FARMS, THE WELFARE STATE
(Twilight Café and Bar, 1420 SE Powell) The Honus Huffhines' latest 7-inch contains four songs recorded at KPSU in all their lo-fi, live-to-tape glory, complete with DJ banter and interview snippets between songs. The record includes a CD copy of the complete six-song session and a miniature zine with all the lyrics, which is fortuitous since they are funny and can't really be deciphered otherwise. It sounds like the record's Elvis Costello-meets-Ween tunes were approximately 14.5 times more enjoyable to play than they are to actually listen to, but the excitement and exuberance and sheer goddamn fun of playing rock 'n' roll can't be contained in tiny, circular grooves. It's like hearing a group of pimply kids in their first band, playing just because it's Friday night, and they're too young to buy beer, and they don't know any girls, and what the hell else are they gonna do? That the Honus Huffhines are well beyond their teenage years makes their ability to conjure this merry mood without irony all the more impressive. NED LANNAMANN
LIVE WIRE!: BLUE GIANT, BLIND PILOT
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) See listing.
COPY, EXPLOSIVO, E*ROCK
(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) See listing
WONDERBALL: STORM LARGE & THE BALLS, LIONS OF BATUCADA, STEPHANIE SCHNEIDERMAN, CHINA FORBES, KLEVELAND, WILLY VLAUTIN
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) See listing
THE DAYS THE NIGHTS, LA COSA NOSTRA , SYSTEM AND STATION
(Ash Street Saloon, 225 SW Ash) It's entirely possible that you missed System and Station's last album, A Nation of Actors, upon its release earlier in the year. It's also possible that you're still unfamiliar with the band even though they've been part of the Northwest scene (originally Boise, now Portland) for close to a decade. What's not possible, however, is you being able to resist the hook-laden guitar rock that System and Station lays down; they're not afraid to be catchy while they rock, and their expertly honed songs frequently achieve an unpretentious but inspiring grandeur. In no uncertain terms, System and Station deserves to catch the ear of the same mainstream audience that listens to Modest Mouse, or Death Cab, or Built to Spill; in many ways, the band's skyscape anthems—with their fuzzy guitars and arching melodies—are perfectly engineered to be heard from the sloping field of the annual Sasquatch Festival. Music comes in so many different flavors that it's sometimes easy to forget how good the basics are, so listen to A Nation of Actors and stop worrying about the flavor of the month. Better yet, check out the show tonight. NL
THE PRESIDENTS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, THE MINT CHICKS
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) I'm not the only one who spent more time than is probably necessary fawning over the seminal pop-punk of Seattle oddities the Presidents of the United States of America in the mid-'90s. At least I hope I'm not. It's true that most ardent musicologists have relegated the band to the category of extinct dodo birds, of the elusive giant squid surfacing for a quick show (a one-hit wonder, as it were) only to dip down and hide again in its murky underworld. After going on hiatus in 1998 to pursue other avenues of songcraft, the band reformed with original members in 2000, releasing Freaked Out and Small, then briefly splintered again when original guit-bassist and vocalist Dave Dederer left the band. Now the band is actively touring again and has released two more albums on their own indie label, seeming to have resurfaced now for good. That's more than I can say for that fucking giant squid. RYAN J. PRADO
AT THE SPINE , SOLYONI, DONERAIL, GREENLADIES
(Slabtown, 1033 NW 16th) Led by songwriter Michael Toschi, At the Spine are a band fond of expanding their sound. Their recent Vita encompasses everything from blissed-out jangle-pop ("Primrose Hill") to driving, dense psychedelia ("Transylvania"). Vita's lyrics were written during a period when Toschi was residing in Europe, and there's a politically charged anger to them, whether examining the legacy of the Spanish Civil War, juxtaposing music-business stereotypes with black bloc anarchists, or contemplating an expatriate's isolation. It all works surprisingly well; the lyrics and Toschi's vocal delivery add an urgency to music that's notable for its restraint, and manage to sound intense without ever crossing a line into caricature. TC
THE VIRGINS, HOCKEY
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Who the fuck are the Virgins? Well, they're an "indie rock" band whose self-titled debut album is out on a major label (Warner/Atlantic). They're from New York City. They met at a Ryan McGinley photo shoot, and they look like the kind of guys who would meet at a photo shoot. Their putative breakout song is a lazy '80s white-boy funk number called "Rich Girls," which makes VHS or Beta sound like wild sonic originators and makes the Strokes read like high poetry. Said song is featured on an episode of the TV show Gossip Girl. They have another song called "She's Expensive." Bitches and money—amirite, fellas?! These guys are tools. Local band Hockey (also major label, Capitol) strike a similar though considerably less loathsome intersection between preening fashion-plate rock and pale funk. ERIC GRANDY
BLACK 'N' BLUE, KLEVELAND
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) See listing.
WONDERBALL: STORM LARGE & THE BALLS, MIC CRENSHAW, THOMAS LAUDERDALE, JENNIFER BATTEN, DARCELLE
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) See listing.
THE UPSIDEDOWN, THE HUGS , DEEPEST DARKEST
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) The Upsidedown polish their groove-oriented, post-dance rock by layering a tripped-out, redundant garage glob into the mix. Which is to say that though the six-piece collective deftly melds the fancies of two camps of sound that are often at odds, favoring one over the other was probably a stroke of pure brilliance. The jam quotient inherent in most of the tracks from their latest album, Human Destination, curbs an otherwise all-out synthed-up space-folk stomp to nearly masterful effect, balancing shoe- and star-gazing with equal aplomb. RJP
(The Hush, 14 NW 3rd) With a fresh EP, Life Is Glass, under their belts, the jittery electronic Guidance Counselor duo is gearing up for their initial castoff into the scary world of touring. But before they hit the highways next month, the band is raising some cash—sure to be blown on novelty belt buckles at the first Flying J truck stop they come across—with tonight's performance. Guidance Counselor's stuttering pop numbers give the air of looming disaster—as if these enjoyable little songs are teetering on the cusp of being swept away in a violent wave of crunchy electronics—and are the ideal fit for the cozy Hush showspace, which, when sweltering with a dance floor full of underage patrons, feels like the cooler younger brother to their downstairs neighbor Tube. EZRA ACE CARAEFF
CONOLEY OSPOVOT, solenoid,
PIPEDREAMS, TREVOR VICHAS
(Pi-Rem, 440 NW Glisan) I can think of two good reasons to check out the Conoley Ospovat show tonight. First, he lives in Tokyo, so this is a rare chance to see him perform his idiosyncratic dance music live in Portland. His influences are mostly rooted in the '80s new wave scene, and while a lot of that comes across in his production, his sound has a modern touch. Chopped-up vocal samples are looped over the tightest groove basslines, and a combination of underlying persistent 4/4 beats and meticulous high-end details keep the music driving toward a playful yet thoughtful end. Another factor that makes this show worthwhile: Local electronic music envoy and master of synthesized funk Solenoid will share the stage with Ospovat. AVA HEGEDUS
THE NICE BOYS, THE SODA POP KIDS,
THE EEGOS, THE MEAN JEANS, LAST TRAIN
(Satyricon, 125 NW 6th) As an upstanding citizen—one who rarely parties, thinks that beer is for sipping, and glue is definitely not for sniffing—I can't necessarily explain why I adore the Mean Jeans so much. Their dose of lowbrow, bratty punk comes short and sweet, skirting the sacred ground once stomped upon by Chuck Taylors in the earliest days of the Ramones. Freshly signed to the Dirtnap label, and with the ridiculously catchy Stoned 2 the Bone 7-inch currently on store shelves, their goofy party anthems are hardly anything new, but they are absolutely perfect—proof that even if it hurts the morning after, there's no excuse to miss a killer party. And tonight will be a killer fucking party. EAC
DR. HELICOPTER, SKY PARADE, MERE MORTALS, THE PINK SNOWFLAKES
(East End, 203 SE Grand) If it weren't for one of the longest stage setup rituals of all time, I might have been less abrasive with my approach toward the Pink Snowflakes' set at East End earlier this fall. But what they didn't excite with their lumbering light show spectacle and psychedelic onstage trickery, they quickly made up for with a sticky web of washed-out garage-glam. When they're not absorbing every corner of their mash-up with heavy reverb, the band transforms into experimental noise study, employing twitchy pinches of feedback and roiling guitar squalls to drive home their anomalous existence in local rock. Lengthy stage setup or not, the Pink Snowflakes are worth the wait. RJP
THE FAST TAKERS , TROGLODYTES
(Slabtown, 1033 NW 16th) My friend once brilliantly described Thee Headliners as a garage band who should have performed at the Lobo Lounge—the fictional small-town dive bar from the hit '90s sitcom Roseanne. Imagine Thee Headliners' star rising amid a sea of blow-dried bangs, handlebar mustaches, plenty of flannel, and only two types of domestic beer in brown bottles. However, from a musical standpoint, such an association between Roseanne's theme song and Thee Headliners has probably been heavily influenced by member Hamburger Chubs' unruly use of a harmonica. Meanwhile, Holly Morgan and Jeremy Terry sound like a whiskey bar waltz between Johnny Cash and June Carter as they double-fist their vice of heartache while crooning lines like: "You gotta be shit-faced/When you tell me you love me." EM BROWNLOWE
THE FLIGHT AND THE FALL: ROOT BEER AND FRENCH FRY, SMALL FIRES
(Valentine's, 232 SW Ankeny) See listing.
YOYODYNE, KILLED BY BEARS, THE ENVELOPE PEASANT
(Kelly's Olympian, 426 SW Washington) You might remember the jaunty tunes of Portland band Dearest, Crown as they plied their craft with fiddles, mandolins, and other string-a-ma-jigs. But that band broke up in 2005 and songwriter Sean Harrasser relocated to Chico. Since then, Dearest, Crown-er Ryan Martin has taken the reins for Killed by Bears, which puts down the genteel instruments in favor of plugged-in power pop goodness. Sure, a couple of twangs and plucks rear their heads every now and then, but you're more likely to hear the blissed-out, head-nodding wave of Teenage Fanclub, or the spiky garage jangle of early Old 97s in their fine, airtight pop songs. What's more, this bill reunites them with Harrasser, whose project the Envelope Peasant has a similar pop mentality, but mines its inspiration from about a 100 years ago. NL
TOYS IN THE HOOD: TRAGEDY 503, COOL NUTZ
(Roseland Grill, 8 NW 6th) The throne bearer of local hiphop, Cool Nutz has a new album on deck—The Miracle, set to fall from the heavens next month—and is now prepared to give back to those who need it the most: wack emcees... No, actually those in greater need: underprivileged kids, since tonight's show is free if you show up with an unwrapped toy. So, hiphop heads—or juggalos and juggalettes, if you prefer co-headliners Tragedy 503—considering how many horrible things you have done over the past 12 months, heading to the Roseland with toy in hand is the very least you can do. EAC
DEATH TO MING!!!, CAUGHT IN MOTION
(White Eagle, 836 N Russell) The original impetus of Death to Ming!!! was to write and record a song or two every night, and then heap them all—currently numbering 50 and counting—online for all to hear. Recently the duo of Liam Flanagan and Nick Closson have opened the doors to outside contributors, including former Swords Project member Joey Ficken, but new blood hasn't ceased their assembly line mentality. Death to Ming's enjoyable material falls apart before ever receiving time to properly form; like the best of the Robert Pollard songbook, theirs is a haphazard collection of partial ideas, few of which are ever actually completed. EAC
NEIL DIAMOND TRIBUTE
(Tony Starlight's Supper Club, 3728 NE Sandy) See listing.
BROKEN ARROW (NEIL YOUNG TRIBUTE), MATT BONEY & STAMPEDE
(White Eagle, 836 N Russell) See listing.
BRITTAIN ASHFORD, LOVE MENU , DAVID KYLE AND THE INVISIBLES
(Valentine's, 232 SW Ankeny) See listing.
Jesus' birthday is tomorrow. Stay inside tonight and bake a cake.