MARIEE SIOUX, SALT MINDS, DENVER, ALINA HARDIN
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) The haunting music of Mariee Sioux comes from Nevada City, California—hometown of Joanna Newsom and Alela Diane—and while her sound is just as delicate and elemental as theirs, it holds even more ghosts inside it. Sioux's 2007 album Faces in the Rocks is driven by whispering acoustic guitar and mandolin, and ornamented by the shivering Native American flute of Gentle Thunder, sounding as ancient as a canyon wind. Coupled with some unconventional production effects and Sioux's complex vocal arrangements—the standard voice-and-guitar album this is not—it has the cumulative effect of the sensation of being able to view a broad landscape over the course of thousands of years. Also on the bill is Alina Hardin, a fellow Nevada City native who, when she's not singing with Alela Diane, performs duskily gorgeous songs that prove she's an exceptional singer/songwriter in her own right. NED LANNAMANN
HEXEN, RATTLEHEAD, SPELLCASTER, EXCRUCIATOR, CEMETERY LUST, EXTRACTOR
(Satyricon, 125 NW 6th) This show is a six-sided Rubik's Cube of thrash, but instead of twisting your mind and frustrating you, it will twist your neck and pulverize you. Each of the half-dozen bands on the bill represents a different side of the ripping subgenre. Extractor are the warmongers of the group; their militarized lyrics and intricate riffs would fit right into a sweaty Rambo montage. Alongside them are the necromancers of Cemetery Lust. These local ghouls deliver highly offensive death-thrash that would make the Mentors squeamish. Let us not forget another one of Portland's gems, Spellcaster—these boys (only one of them clocks in over 21) bring epic-power thrash to the cube. The band recently found itself signed to Heavy Artillery Records, thus making this 29-year-old feel very pitiful and unaccomplished. ARIS WALES
QUITZOW, SETTING SUN, JEN MOON
(The Woods, 6637 SE Milwaukie) Erica Quitzow's solo music under the name Quitzow is club-ready, electric dance-pop that stands markedly away from her work as a classical violinist and cellist. She's also a member of Setting Sun, the musical project of fellow upstate New Yorker Gary Levitt, which is polished and produced studio pop with plenty of overdubs and a sound that's not too far away from the more overly cooked of Elliott Smith's later studio concoctions, albeit noticeably cheerier. Both Setting Sun and Quitzow have new records out on Young Love Records, and it's admirable how stylistically different they are despite sharing band members, even if both records sound a little sterile in their own carefully prepared ways—something that should hopefully not be the case in the live setting. NL
THE WATSON TWINS, FERRABY LIONHEART
(Lola's Room, 1332 W Burnside) I liked the Watson Twins back when they were just a regular ol' country act. There was something sincere and charming about a sister act playing stripped-down country music. But in their new album, Talking to You, Talking to Me, the twins are branching out into sounds that never before appeared in their music—"Modern Man" and "U-N-Me" have folk touches, but there are some vocal flourishes that sound more like '80s ballads, a kind of Hall and Oates harmony. It's not always pretty when roots acts try to spiff up their repertoire—Gillian Welch, to me, died the day she came out with Time (the Revelator)—but the '80s touches work on Talking to You, partly because they meld that artificiality together with the Twins' early sincerity (while avoiding synthesizers) to make something that doesn't betray their roots. PAUL CONSTANT
PICKATHON: DR. DOG, BREATHE OWL BREATHE, MEGAFAUN, WEINLAND, & MORE
(Pendarvis Farm, 16581 SE Hagen, Happy Valley) See Feature, and My, What a Busy Week!
GREAT IDEA FEST: TYPHOON, REPORTER, WAMPIRE, SKELETRON, & MORE
(Enchanted Forest, 8462 Enchanted Way SE, Turner) See My, What a Busy Week!
JOANNA NEWSOM, ROBIN PECKNOLD
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) See Music.
(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) Terrance "Cool Nutz" Scott has been a pillar of the Portland hiphop scene for so long that if you don't already know who he is, you must be going out of your way to stay ignorant. In 1992 he and Bosco "Bosko" Kante created Jus Family Records and they've been grinding hard ever since. Diversifying his hustle far beyond his role as a musical artist, Scott helped found the POH-Hop Festival and hosts the weekly Northwest Breakout Show as a way to showcase up-and-coming cats in the burgeoning regional scene. Tonight is a release show for his latest recording, Incredible, which boasts blazing, head-nod, radio-ready production from criminally slept-on producer Terminill. And for the younger heads, it's all ages, so this is a perfect opportunity to get wrecked with wisdom by someone who has been living and breathing hiphop longer than you've been alive. RYAN FEIGH
SMILE BRIGADE, PONY VILLAGE
(The Knife Shop at Kelly's Olympian, 426 SW Washington) Seattle band Smile Brigade's new album, Do You Come Here Often?, could offer a cure for those sleepless nights when an overactive brain leaves you lying awake for hours on end. Songs like "Mother's Day Song," "Gold in Them Hills," and "Postscript" float through the air with quiet piano, gentle jingle bells, and softly sung lyrics about fireflies and falling in love and such. Before you know it, your eyelids will grow heavy, the tension in your shoulders will start to melt away, and your head will sink a little lower into the pillow. Hopefully for tonight's Portland CD release party, though, they stick to more upbeat, slightly psychedelic-inspired songs like "Killjoy Switch" and "Walking Wind." Otherwise, everyone in the room will be sleeping like babies. MEGAN SELING
THE PRIDS, MISTER LOVELESS, MAGICK DAGGERS
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) The influences Mister Loveless draws upon are shared by multiple bands of the moment from the past decade. The easiest parallel to draw would be the Killers, who share Rob Miller's dispassionate vocal drawl and reluctant no-wave march-step. What has kept Mister Loveless afloat while the '80s revival crested and died has been an ear for hooks that transcend the morose pop they traffic in. There's nothing about this San Francisco quartet that's completely new, but it's nice to hear a shopworn sound honed once again into songs you wouldn't mind hearing over and over again on the radio. DAVID BOW
SLEAZEFEST 2010: THE MENTORS, WE ARE 86'ED, TRUCULENCE, MEAGAN'S LAW, CLACKAMAS BABY KILLERS, KRIX, ALCOHOLOCOST
(Red Room, 2530 NE 82nd) El Duce's not in the Mentors anymore. Remember El Duce, Eldon Hoke? That fat, hairy, drunken motherfucker who, back in the late '80s/early '90s, was always popping up on Jerry Springer, had Tipper Gore and the PMRC's panties in a bunch, and was rumored to have murdered—or, at the very least, been offered $50,000 by Courtney Love to murder—Kurt Cobain?! Nope, El Duce got hit by a train in '97. He's off smashing beer bottles on his own face somewhere with GG Allin now. What the Mentors do have is original guitarists Sickie Wifebeater and Dr. Heathen Scum. They also still have those black executioner hoods that they've been wearing since '77, when they formed at Seattle's Roosevelt High School. I'm not sure if the Mentors' beyond-sexist, über-perverted "rape rock" still has the power to offend or shock anyone in 2010, but something tells me it probably does. KELLY O
PICKATHON: HEARTLESS BASTARDS, FRUIT BATS, ROADSIDE GRAVES, COTTON JONES, & MORE
(Pendarvis Farm, 16581 SE Hagen, Happy Valley) See Feature.
LEMNISCATE COUPLESKATE FESTIVAL: WOOLLY MAMMOTH COMES TO DINNER, WHY I MUST BE CAREFUL, & MORE
(Worksound, 820 SE Alder) See My, What a Busy Week!
(Sleep Country Amphitheater, 17200 NE Delfel, Ridgefield, WA) See Music.
JOANNA NEWSOM, ROBIN PECKNOLD
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) See Music.
PICKATHON: BONNIE 'PRINCE' BILLY, LANGHORNE SLIM, THE CAVE SINGERS, SAM QUINN, & MORE
(Pendarvis Farm, 16581 SE Hagen, Happy Valley) See Feature.
SEU JORGE AND ALMAZ
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) See Music.
LEVON HELM BAND, JOE PUG
(Oregon Zoo, 4001 SW Canyon) Take a load off and spend a nice August evening on the grass with this fascinating pairing of folk singers. As you should already be well aware, Levon Helm was the drummer and memorable voice of "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down," "The Weight," and plenty of other landmark songs for the Band. His pair of Dirt recordings (2007's Dirt Farmer and last year's Electric Dirt) are a welcome return to form, each of which won him a Grammy. It might not be long before Joe Pug clears off some mantel space for such hardware: His debut LP Messenger is a wonderfully raw and textured roots recording crowned by his wounded twang. If you want a little Pickathon without the drive east, this is it. EZRA ACE CARAEFF
PUFFY AREOLAS, ETERNAL TAPESTRY, MEERCAZ
(East End, 203 SE Grand) Puffy Areolas are scary. The Ohio band has been releasing CD-Rs for a few years now, and has finally dropped a proper LP called In the Army 1981. Like their fellow Siltbreeze brethren, Puffy Areolas have found the tinny, no-fi sounds that spawned the shitgaze movement to their liking. The band brings to mind the spacey vibes of Hawkwind, but it's when they conjure the directed rage of Black Flag that things really come unhinged. Essentially, you'll feel like you're being shoved and browbeaten for the record's 36-minute duration—I can only imagine what a half-hour in the same room will do to your nervous system. MARK LORE
DAVID DONDERO, SHOESHINE BLUE, JOHN VECCHIARELLI
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) David Dondero named his new record #Zero with a Bullet, a clear indication that the Minnesota-born songwriter's not harboring any illusions of still climbing to the top of the pops. And nearly all of Dondero's songs similarly deal with the absence of illusions—of coping with frustration and unhappiness and the encroaching insanity of always being on the road. If anything, #Zero sounds even more bummed out than 2007's astonishingly great Simple Love. But Dondero's got a direct line on honesty, which gives his music a weird kind of optimism in that the good things, when they finally come along, are deservedly earned, not invented or concocted. He is—no debate—one of this country's absolute best songwriters, with a waver in his voice that taught Conor Oberst everything he knows; Dondero's songs are ruthless, unforgettable, and almost blinding in their truth telling. NL
VIOLET ISLE, HUTSON, SEACATS
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Tonight marks the release of I Am Ivy, the debut long-player from local quintet Violet Isle. It's a well-intentioned recording brimming with radio-friendly alternative rock songs—there is no shortage of hooks here—capped by the inviting voice of frontman Sean Garcia. That's the good news. The bad news is that I Am Ivy's songs labor with awkward time signature changes and a few lyrical missteps along the way. For Violet Isle it's a respectable start, but there's no denying that the band still has plenty of room to grow. EAC
YELLOWFEVER, ORCA TEAM
(East End, 203 SE Grand) See My, What a Busy Week!
Happy birthday, Ronnie Spector. We'll still be your baby.
THE BUILDERS AND THE BUTCHERS, PANCAKE BREAKFAST
(Edgefield, 2126 SW Halsey, Troutdale) See My, What a Busy Week!
LESLIE STEVENS AND THE BADGERS, CHARLIE WADHAMS, EINAR STOKKA
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) It's been awhile since Jenny Lewis made her worst career move to date with Rilo Kiley's terribly misguided Under the Blacklight (close second: her role in Troop Beverly Hills), and in that band's extended absence there is now a void for sweet-voiced, country-tinged Los Angeles pop acts. That being the case, let us climb atop our soapbox and hereby nominate Leslie and the Badgers as heir apparent to the Rilo crown. Led by the charming Leslie Stevens, Roomful of Smoke has been in constant rotation since it first appeared on our desk a while back, and now our obsession will be shared by countless others as the recording is being re-released by Nashville label Thirty Tigers. You'll fall for the entire album, but good luck getting its opening lyrics ("Oh yes, Los Angeles, so many nights in bars like this/Enchantment can be found, but not quite this") out of your head any time soon. EAC
VIEUX FARKA TOURÉ
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) Malian singer/guitarist Vieux Farka Touré carries on the vaunted legacy of his guitar-playing and singing father Ali, nimbly picking out distinctly cyclical African blues notes and chords that spellbind with their deceptively simple beauty. Vieux is coming off a little gig he did at the World Cup in Johannesburg before about a billion people, so forgive him if he seems a bit cocky on the Aladdin stage. He's supporting a live album on Six Degrees Records titled, um, Live, which chimes, rambles, and emotes with an easygoing demeanor while still communicating the time-immemorial melancholy of the blues. It's that old uplift-through-downtrodden-ness trope into which many of history's best musicians tap. Yes, it's an old trick, but it rarely gets old, and VFT is a master at it. DAVE SEGAL
BLACK WHALES, RAVISHERS, NUCULAR AMINALS
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) No matter where you find yourself in the seven songs of Black Whales' debut EP Origins, you'll be getting a rock music history lesson of sorts. With jangly guitars and a simplistic setup, the Seattle quintet treads a well-worn path of previous pop artists—in their most rigid of moments they'll remind you of the Kinks or the Shins, or when they loosen up, it's 13th Floor Elevators or Love—but they do so in respectful odes to both their iconic influences and modern contemporaries alike. The band is currently hunkered down working on their first proper full-length, a recording that will likely act as both a rock primer and push the band to the forefront of upcoming Pacific Northwest acts. EAC
HAIRSPRAY BLUES, THE PRIMITIVE IDOLS, JUNIOR'S GANG
(Someday Lounge, 125 NW 5th) Following up their Sick Little Package album, Hairspray Blues offers the world Lost Negatives, a new EP and the very first vinyl release from the band. The drums-and-guitar duo of Leslie and Kyle Stabile have never sounded beefier, in large part due to Justin Higgins, who recorded the tracks this past February at Old Standard Sound. The band also has a broader, darker sound than before, with their garage and punk riffage embracing metal more noticeably, and enveloping an even deeper sense of old, weird, pre-rock 'n' roll America. There's a CD version of Lost Negatives that ups the track count from three to five, but something about Hairspray Blues' amalgam of vintage sounds seems ideally matched for seven spinning inches of vinyl. NL