(St. John's Pub) Though gruff acoustic prankster Dan Bern gained momentum in 1998 with his Ani DiFranco-produced album, Fifty Eggs, his music will please fans of They Might Be Giants more than those who worship the Goddess of Female Angst. Bern's froggy, nasally voice inspires something approaching hate and squeamishness. But, when paired with his file-sharp lyrics, the vocals become perfectly witty, in a Steve Martin way. Witness: matter-of-factly, from "Missing Link": "They looked for the missing link/There's no missing link... Aliens came down and fucked the monkey." From "Krautmeyer": "Charles Manson made a shitty album/ Not too long before he got a buncha people... To cut up a buncha rich people/Would they still have done it if they'd heard his shitty album?/ I kinda doubt it." Brilliant, huh? Like good stand-up comedy. JULIANNE SHEPHERD


(Meow Meow) If you haven't yet had a Boycrazy experience, tonight is a perfect opportunity to sample their ecstatically danceable music. And if you read Wm. Steven Humphrey's review of their new CD a few weeks ago in the Mercury, let me just tell you that it was entirely based in fact: whenever we put it in the stereo, our entire office (okay so only four of us, but two are people who don't normally spontaneously dance, mind you) would get up and start doing variations of the Bug, the Mashed Potato, the Running Man, and, of course, the Florida Booty Bomb. If you don't leave this show with a big ol' sloppy smile on your face, there's simply no hope left for you--cash in your chips and move to the top of St. Helens or something. JS


(Medicine Hat) Tonight will be a beautiful spectacle, what with Nudge's live electronic performance (and mass amounts of equipment) juxtaposing Distance Formula's one-man, jagged chords and found-object turntable performance. Abstract films are one hundred percent guaranteed. JS See My What a Busy Week pg 13



(Ash Street) Tonight, Freight Train Casanova releases their first album, Last Train/Harsh and Tender Mercies. It's a wacky, era-specific (approx. 1927-63) concept album, of sorts, with swooning Tom Waits-like dirges, car chase/detective anthems, theremin-spattered "havin' a Manhattan wid da ladies" tunes, and plenty of down-on-yr-luck saxophone. Surely these cats have seen more than one episode of Dragnet (the liner notes even thank "Rich's old room mate who robbed a bank on bicycle, got shot and brought the FBI down on us"). The album's sophisticated, yet has enough of a sense of humor that you're not going, "Is this my high school jazz band?" The Cow Trippers, too, have a jazz influence, but it's a bass-heavy one that doesn't ignore the rock, although the Fishbone influence can be a little annoying. Otherwise, this night of music is different enough to be refreshing and highly recommended. JS


(Ohm) CNSE = Central Nervous System Engineering, or CNSEngineering. Its core members, Jesse Gay and Mat Morgan, use their electronic equipment to accelerate the pace and raise the bar--adding a beat here or there that you wouldn't expect (mischievously throwing off your dancing, by the way) and dipping into a diverse pool of samples that are completely atypical. The backwards sound of a guy yelling, or a beat that's just a little tinnier and more trebly than normal. It keeps things interesting and unique. JS


(Meow Meow) Portland transplants The Minders are the Elephant 6 band for those of us who've gotten major tooth decay from the sugary sameness of Elephant 6 bands. The difference here is that The Minders owe just as much to American indie as they do The Kinks, and an apparent quality control ensures that their latest disc, Golden Street, isn't in the grab-bag hodge-podge style that's marred recent releases by compatriots like Olivia Tremor Control. All of this makes the fact that The Minders are throwing a party even better! We're celebrating the release of that selfsame disc, so break out the party hats, noisemakers, and confetti and get ready for some good time, ol' fashioned rock-and-roll (the kind Bob Segar warned your mama about). JAMIE S. RICH


(Cobalt) Tonight's bill brings out some veterans of psychedelic rock. Boise's Caustic Resin play swirling, guitar-driven rock, not unlike Panhandle State neighbors Built to Spill (with just a touch more bite). With former Butthole Surfers bassist Jeff Pinkus on board, the three Southern gentlemen known collectively as Honky promise a night of early ZZ Top-inspired rock and roll, while Gary Floyd (ex-Dicks, Sister Double Happiness) and his new outfit Black Kali Ma take a rocking "basic-roots" approach to its tunes ala The Fluid, early Urge Overkill, and perhaps a smidgen of AC/DC. This is an opportunity to see a few old hands at work. NATE LEVIN


(Dante's) Danzine, Portland's nonprofit dancer/model/ working girl collective, is poised to put out the 18th issue of danzine--their first-ever Boy Issue. To celebrate their first issue in a year (while helping pay for it), they're putting on a show at Dante's. Two bands of dedicated Danziners, Omnimom and Sugar Pussy, contribute live 'sexy rock & roll' and special guests will also liven up the evening. Bring a can of food (which goes directly to Women's Innercommunity AIDS Resource) and the whole extravaganza costs only $3. Kick ass. SUZETTE LALANE


(Satyricon) While Cobra High's theatrical guitars, keyboards, and vocodor-esque effects remind us distinctly of a few certain Brits (GEN-E-SIS! GEN-E-SIS!), goddamn, they're fun to geek out to. Just admit it; when noodling isn't self-important, it's just so great to pretend you're in some sort of intense DNA-replicator space machine, all buttons and lights. And while Cobra High might not blow you away with originality, they will remind you that all of us, someplace inside, are huge freaking nerds. You better believe that's a cleansing realization. JS



(Groundswell Café) See Music Section or pg 15 of the paper.


(Ohm) See My What a Busy Week or pg 13 in paper.


(Crystal) Lee Scratch Perry is still an enigma, to say the least. And witnessing a performance is nothing if not surreal, making Wesley Willis look like the hardest-working man in showbiz. While Perry prances about the stage honking a bicycle horn or spending the length of a song explaining how he is "president of de world," the Mad Professor Band chugs along in the background. His stage antics could have been expected since, more than an accomplished musician, he found fame and notoriety as a groundbreaking producer/engineer (not to mention his, ahem, distinct distance from reality). As one of the pioneers in the Jamaican dub sound, his work has done as much to influence modern music (namely electronic/post-rock) as it did reggae in the '70s. Which is exactly why seeing this show is important: to realize that although he's eligible for a senior discount on his Super-Size Value Meal in Kingston, his music is still fresh and relevant. ELLIOTT ADAMS


(Good Foot) Southeast Portland's newest hangout, the Good Foot (used to be that gay bar, Choices, you know? But they painted over the rainbows) gets off on the right one with smart party band Pan Tourismos and the confounding Holy Sons. JS


(Berbati's Pan) You know, I could give you my opinion on Steve Malkmus and the Jicks, but what the hell would it matter? Elle, Vanity Fair, Spin, CMJ, Rolling Stone, The Oregonian... everyone else's glowing opinion of the ex-Pavement frontman/"bastard son of indie rock" has been slammed down your throats for months--you're going to attend the show no matter what I say. So, instead, I will give you a foolproof recipe for curing a cold, bestowed upon me by my grandmother, Guadalupe Escobedo, may god rest her soul. Bring one quart water and three lemons to a boil. Add honey to taste. Drink slowly, inhale steam, and think good thoughts. Soon, your chest will be cleared, your nasal passages drained, and your vitamin C replenished. It's a miracle, I swear. JS



(Berbati's Pan) It's a rock trifecta on a Sunday night. Proceedings begin with P-Town's own Kleveland, a trio of kick-ass local heroes lead by guitarist/singer Stephanie Smith, the sort of girl Iggy Pop wishes he was--spastic, unpredictable, completely given over to the noise. Closing the place down is Brassy, a Manchester act fronted by Muffin Spencer, who, yes, is Jon's sister. While not as sexy in the cheekbones as big bro', she is proof that there is something in the Spencer genes that makes them loud and obnoxious. A mixed bag of hiphop and talkin' 'bout the blues, Brassy could still stand some polish. Finally, sat squarely in the middle, is the best of the night. Scottish quartet Idlewild's spiky, melodic punk is a little bit Orange Juice, professional, and smart, Idlewild is on the precipice of being a band everyone talks about. Just keep your mouth shut while they're on. JSR


(Crystal) With his most recent album, Transcendental Blues, Steve Earle has come close to making the first hillbilly version of Revolver. From the raga rock of the title track to the so-catchy-it-hurts melodicism of "Steve's Last Ramble," the record is as cohesive and (yes) transcendent as roots music can be. And it will rock... hard... when it's performed live. The Dukes, Earle's band since back in the day, play blistering rock 'n' roll. There aren't going to be any introspective moments at the piano during this show. Any quiet interludes will be packed with tension and honesty with lyrics that never use the self-pity that serves as a crutch for so many singer/songwriters today. MURRAY CIZON


(Ohm) Don't believe all the hype. Doves are being heralded as some kind of return to the Manchester UK sound of the late '80s and early '90s, but if you're expecting to get anything like The Stone Roses, Happy Mondays, or even SubSub (the rave outfit Doves used to wear), expect something else. In fact, the subtle charm and dark beauty of Doves' first record, Lost Souls (Astralwerks), has more in common with those other rainy day Manchester bands, Joy Division and The Smiths. It's a deceptive record that at first might be a little too mellow and ambient for its own good. Were you to quickly sample it in a store, you might put it back; however, spend some time alone with it in a darkened room, and Lost Souls becomes an aural metaphor for a boat adrift at sea, a walk through a storm, or, more directly, a Friday night alone with the lights out. JSR



(Roseland) Who's that guy--the one who beat both the Beatles and la Lopez on this February's Billboard charts to hit at #1? Oh, just a Jamaican-born, Brooklyn-raised Desert Storm vet with a seven-month-old dancehall record, a dirty mouth, and a cheatin' heart. Shaggy's "It Wasn't Me" has managed to make a huge hit out of a song about a guy who gets caught doing the horizontal hokey-pokey with his neighbor, on camera no less, and still has the balls to tell his beleaguered lady love, "It wasn't me." Many may remember Shaggy for his distinct "dog-a-muffin" style--his gruff, heavily accented voice, paired with a jazzy, R&B-inflected reggae sound--as well as his two previous big hits, "Boombastic" and a reworking of the classic, "Oh Carolina." Clever Shaggs has been smart enough to spread the hits out at about one per album, thus ensuring a career that is now nearing the decade mark. Bad boyfriend, savvy artist. LEAH GREENBLATT



(Roseland) If Richard Thompson's only achievement was co-founding the Fairport Convention, his legacy as one of folk-rock's innovators would be assured. However, in the 30 years since his departure from the group, Thompson has become one of the most distinctive, innovative, and underappreciated guitarists in the idiom. Portland is fortunate to have a very strong Richard Thompson fan base, which allows him to venture here frequently on tour, because there's really no better way to experience his music than in a live setting. For example, I wasn't much of a fan until I had the opportunity to see and hear him perform at the Aladdin last year. Since then, I've become nuts for his music--an intricate blend of rock, country and traditional British folk. And if you have the slightest interest in Richard Thomspon, check out this show--it may make a convert out of you. MC


Better rest... next week's going to be a freakin' doozie.


Thurs 3/8: Aveo, Arlo, (Graceland); Exbestfriends, S, Watery Graves (Showbox)

Fri 3/9: Stephen Malkmus, The Swords Project (Graceland); The Fastbacks (Sit & Spin)

Sat 3/10: The Gossip, The Vogue, The Roulettes (Local 46); Idlewild, Brassy, Poseur (Graceland)

Sun 3/11: Doc Severinson (Benaroya Hall)

Tues 3/13: B.B. King, Corey Harris (Paramount)

Wed 3/14: Rocket from the Crypt, The Bangs (Crocodile)

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