CHICHARONES, RAFAEL VIGILANTICS, EDDIE VALIANT, CLOUDY OCTOBER
(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) See My, What a Busy Week!
CROWDED HOUSE, LAWRENCE ARABIA
(Edgefield, 2126 SW Halsey, Troutdale) Read our interview with Crowded House's Neil Finn at portlandmercury.com.
ADRIAN ORANGE, ALI BABA
(The Artistery, 4315 SE Division) It's been a while since we heard from Adrian Orange, co-founder of Marriage Records and the wunderkind behind the Thanksgiving and Adrian Orange and Her Band monikers. Between popping up on a few bills sporadically over the past couple years, Orange's release schedule has been nearly bare since the high profile Adrian Orange and Her Band on K Records in 2007, especially since Orange's discography prior to that was crammed with releases. So it'll be interesting to see what he's got up his sleeve for this show—we're expecting some synthed-out, dubby experiments—but the real draw will be Malian performer Ali Baba, whose Return to Your Roots album is available through Marriage Records. The music of Ali Kamiya fits in the vein of the tight webs of clean guitar lines and bubbling rhythms of similar "desert blues" acts from Mali, with urgent pleas of global compassion in the lyrics, making for laments that are still danceable. NED LANNAMANN
NURSES, DRAGGING AN OX THROUGH WATER, OPERATIVE
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) While we Portlanders have exhausted Apple's Acre to the point that we're chomping at its core waiting for a new Nurses recording, the album still has some life to it. This time next week the Nurses crew will cross the pond for a slew of European dates and big-time festival appearances (sharing a stage with the likes of Modest Mouse, Wilco), as the band shares their Dead Oceans debut with a newfound audience. When not dodging exposed genitalia during their ChatRoulette live video or composing a one-time score for the cult Czech film Valerie and Her Week of Wonders, Nurses have had a busy year of staying active while not draining the life from Apple's Acre. EZRA ACE CARAEFF
NATASHA KMETO, NEO LANE, ROCK FRIENDS, CLEOPATRA
(Branx, 320 SE 2nd) Thanks to the internet we now have daily insights into the minds of our favorite artists—from Lady Gaga's constant dialogue with her fans to Kanye West melting down 140 characters at a time on Twitter. In this same light, online updates allow us to learn that local electro-R&B artist Natasha Kmeto had the best rehearsal of her life the other day. Kmeto's website gives a bird's-eye view to the evolution of her unique live set—which features powerful vocals, live synths, and an army of recorded clips and effects—and the creative process of her upcoming sophomore album, Expressor. These intimate details make for a greater understanding of, and appreciation for, the artist behind the slick and gorgeous compositions. MARANDA BISH
ROCK OUT TO WALK OUT: THE SHAKY HANDS, DJ ANJALI AND THE INCREDIBLE KID, THE BOP OUT TO WALK OUT JAZZ QUARTET, & MORE
(The Cleaners at the Ace Hotel, 403 SW 10th) See My, What a Busy Week!
THE GROWLERS, SHANNON AND THE CLAMS, LITTLE TEETH, AND AND AND
(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) See Music.
KEEP YOUR FORK THERE'S PIE,
THE LOWER 48
(The Woods, 6637 SE Milwaukie) Portland folk-poppers Keep Your Fork There's Pie very nearly caused a skirmish here at the Mercury office. Along with a copy of their brand new album Homespun, the band dropped off a delicious apple pie—presumably in order to ply the greedy bellies of the notoriously pie-loving Mercury music writing staff. However, said pie appeared on the day when all the males in the office were out on a date with one lucky winner of our annual charity auction. So when Mercury Music Editor Ezra Ace Caraeff and I returned to the office that afternoon, our female co-workers gloatingly informed us that all of the delicious pie had been gobbled down. But the joke's on them: Keep Your Fork There's Pie also left Homespun, an album as sweet and filling as any pie you could ever eat. It's a giddily infectious bit of Americana soul, like Sly and the Family Stone playing on the back porch. What's more, we found a generous wedge of pie hidden away by the thieving girls, and quickly made short work of it. NL
ANGRY SAMOANS, RUM REBELLION,
THE MEAN JEANS, DEFECT DEFECT
(Plan B, 1305 SE 8th) The Angry Samoans' "Lights Out" is the perfect proto-punk song. In a mere 53 seconds the song practically defines the genre: idiotic, disillusioned, nihilistic pithy shouts ("poke, poke, poke your eyes out!") over double-time redline drumming and stop-start breaks. It's just catchy as all hell. There's something beautiful about the turn-off-your-brain bop to the song. Perhaps a review from some long-lost punk rag put it best: "The Samoans were the garbage rock of Lester Bangs' depraved dreams, full of self-hatred and loathing that turned its insecurity and rage upon everyone and everything in the world 'cause it was just there to be hated." Indeed, that's the only Dumpster songs like "They Saved Hitler's Cock" and "STP Not LSD" could've ever crawled out from—that fine line where dumb turns smart. The band's Portland appearance is odd in that unlike, say, a night with the washed-up, croaked-out giblets masquerading as the New York Dolls, the Samoans might actually be worth checking out. ANDREW R TONRY
THE DOOBIE BROTHERS, LARA JOHNSTON
(Edgefield, 2126 SW Halsey, Troutdale) "The Doobie Brothers broke up?! Shit! When did that happen?!" mourns Jack Colton in 1984's Romancing the Stone. That quote—in addition to being a retroactive reminder of the Doobies' Methuselah-like ages—marks the moment I became a Doobie Brothers fan. (If soldier of fortune Jack Colton loved the Doobies, then 10-year-old me sure as hell did, too.) Thirty-year-old me agrees: It's tempting to write 'em off as hirsute purveyors of clichéd classic rock jams, but even if you characterize 'em as a mere singles factory ("Black Water," "What a Fool Believes," "Minute by Minute," "China Grove"), you've still got enough reason to get stoned and see 'em at Edgefield. Before takin' it to the Troutdale streets, YouTube their 1977 appearance on What's Happening!! (Long story short: The Doobies catch Rerun bootlegging a show, then mercilessly punish those responsible!) Jack Colton, Rerun, and I agree: See the Doobie Brothers. But for the love of god, leave your tape recorder at home. ERIK HENRIKSEN
OLD TOWN BLOCK PARTY: DEELAY CEELAY, THE JOGGERS, THE MEAN JEANS, LOVERS & MORE
(NW 4th & Couch) See My, What a Busy Week!
BOB DYLAN, JOHN MELLENCAMP, THE DOUGH ROLLERS
(Edgefield, 2126 SW Halsey, Troutdale) See Music.
SEAN FLINN AND THE ROYAL WE, MUSEE MECANIQUE, EZZA ROSE
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See Music.
PURE COUNTRY GOLD, OLD GROWTH,
DJ HWY 7
(Club 21, 2035 NE Glisan) Undoubtedly punk as all fuck, the unruly boys of Pure Country Gold are popping the tops of countless domestic beers tonight in celebration of their brand new album, Tough Tuesday. Bar bands come and go, but none can come close to the sloppy anthems and boozy rasp of frontman Petey Foss along with his drumkit-punishing partner in crime, Jake Welliver. PCG know what the ringing ears and bruised livers of its target audience crave, so the band initially stocked Tough Tuesday exclusively in the best dive bar jukeboxes Portland has to offer. Fittingly, tonight's show will be at the delightfully dumpy Club 21, where the PBR flows freely and the air is equal parts oxygen and tater-tot grease. EAC Also see My, What a Busy Week!
BLUE CRANES, REBECCA GATES AND THE CONSORTIUM, JONATHAN SIELAFF
(Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 NE Alberta) Yes, Blue Cranes have a couple horns in their lineup, and sure, their instrumental pieces are largely improvised. But to pigeonhole them as "jazz" is not exactly accurate; the Portland five-piece makes use of Ji Tanzer's powerful drumming to pack its punchy swing full of gravity, and the chord progressions recall soul and R&B classics more than fake-book charts. On their third album, the brand new Observatories, Blue Cranes trade heavy math grooves with airy melodies, straying far from the scholarly museum pieces or schmaltzy elevator muzak that make up today's contemporary jazz. (Which raises the question, how did jazz end up there anyway?) If anything, Blue Cranes hearken back to jazz's exploratory days, when anything was fair game except for setting rules. And they do so without sounding at all retro—instead, the music of Blue Cranes is informed by a very vital, of-the-moment Northwest indie mentality. NL
FACTS MACHINE, NOTORIOUS BEN, NOAH23, THE CYCLOPS, YAMIO 263
(Bossanova, 722 E Burnside) Search all you want, but odds are you won't hear a recording more truthful than Polygraph. Facts Machine—the local emcee duo of Moodswing and Calmpleks—dispense the truth in heroic doses on their debut long-player, proof positive that the next generation of local hiphop has plenty to offer. The rhyming partners that make up Facts Machine are no mere tourists to hard living and their destructive upbringings are a constant theme on Polygraph. "Gitemout" is a perfect balance of bravado and well-constructed rhymes, a theme they continue with both "Liars Landscape" and the hazy "Grand Scheme." With the exception of the misguided party jam "Ego Trip," Polygraph is as strong of a Portland hiphop debut you'll find. EAC
JOGGER, BATHS, DJ OBE
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Los Angeles-based musician Will Wiesenfeld learned to play classical instruments after being exposed to Björk in his early teenage years. More recently, an invitation to play alongside beat luminary Daedelus inspired him to learn how to perform complicated electronic/acoustic compositions as a one-man show. Appropriately renamed Baths, the solo undertaking maintains the same floating, sentimental, dreamy aesthetic Wiesenfeld is known for. Cerulean, his first album under the Baths moniker, is a beautiful and intimate reflection of Wiesenfeld's romantic outlook. Skilled organic instrumentation conveys heaps of emotions while sound samples collected from Wiesenfeld's apartment give the listener a sense that they are personally involved in the music. As the dynamic album title suggests, songs range dramatically from washy shoegaze loops to upbeat almost-pop. What holds it all together is a firm grounding in the new sounds of LA's future beat scene. AVA HEGEDUS
SAPIENT, DEBASER, JOSH MARTINEZ
(Satyricon, 125 NW 6th) On his newest release, Barrels for Feathers, Portland producer/emcee/singer Sapient further spreads his wings to rise above the hiphop underground. Or possibly just away from it. The album marks the completion of his metamorphosis from strictly sample-based backpacker to slick keyboard composer, and though that transition may slightly sadden some of his older fans, his new music is no less banging or skillfully produced. Sapient acknowledges this movement on "Blissless Yield" by explaining, "My style will change but I'm still Sape." That self-aware statement is the truth, with his newer songs reminding the listener variously of Maroon 5, Gnarls Barkley, or Ratatat, if those groups featured a crisply talented Caucasian rapper. After Barrels for Feathers it's hard to predict where Sapient's flight will take him, but one thing is for sure—it'll be somewhere with hard-ass drums. GRAHAM BAREY
BOB DYLAN, JOHN MELLENCAMP,
THE DOUGH ROLLERS
(Edgefield, 2126 SW Halsey, Troutdale) See Music
LOWER DENS, RAYMOND BYRON AND THE WHITE FREIGHTER, DRAGGING AN OX THROUGH WATER, BA FRACTAL
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) See Music.
SOFT METALS, AROHAN, JOEY CASIO, MIRACLES CLUB
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) In the opening minutes of Soft Metals' The Cold World Melts EP, frontwoman Patricia Hall earnestly inquires, "Is this love or just music?" Turns out it's both. In forming synth pop duo Soft Metals, Hall and Ian Hicks expanded their musical partnership to a romantic one—just as we've all secretly hoped Hall & Oates would do someday. Over the course of five songs, The Cold World Melts shuffles to the same pulsating electronic beat as Chromatics and (the duo's upcoming tourmates) Jewels of the Nile. While those who actually survived the '80s might be suspicious of this calculated pop revisionism, the cold keyboard lines and soft coo of Hall make for a pretty irresistible combination. EAC
BRAIN DRILL, HEATHEN SHRINE, TRUCULENCE, HALO OF GUNFIRE, FLESH CONSUMED, ARKAIK
(Red Room, 2530 NE 82nd) Brain Drill is in the same tech-death metal league as acts like Origin and Necrophagist. They're hellbent on liquefying your mind by redefining the limits of speed, creating strange new time signatures, and pushing the potential of their instruments. The band's newest release, Quantum Catastrophe, is an eight-track lesson in controlled chaos as both Dylan Ruskin (guitar) and Ivan Munguia (bass) play like they were born with an extra digit on each hand. Chasing their riffs and spotting when each one ends and the next begins takes patience and lots of ibuprofen. Somehow, Ron Casey (drums) manages to bludgeon his set right alongside them. It's probably because he has four arms and three legs. Listen to Brain Drill, attend their show, count their appendages, then try and understand. ARIS WALES
BEACH BUNNIES GET BENT: DUM DUM GIRLS (DJ SET), GUANTANAMO BAYWATCH, ORCA TEAM, THE RESERVATIONS
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See My, What a Busy Week!
NEUTRAL UKE HOTEL, ME AND UKE AND EVERYONE WE KNOW
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Jeff Mangum, wherever you are hiding (a cave on Avery Island?), I hope you're paying attention. This is what happens when our obsession with Neutral Milk Hotel goes unattended for a dozen years: all-ukulele cover bands. Since there isn't much to say about Neutral Uke Hotel that you can't guess from their name, here are our lazy suggestions for other instrument-specific cover bands: Flootie & the Blowfish (an all-flute tribute to Hootie & the Blowfish), Karpsichord (an all-harpsichord tribute to Karp), Oboe Ono (an all-oboe tribute to the woman who broke up the Beatles), and Céline AccorDion (ugh, never mind). EAC
VAMPIRE WEEKEND, BEACH HOUSE,
DUM DUM GIRLS
(Edgefield, 2126 SW Halsey, Troutdale) See My, What a Busy Week!
CYNDI LAUPER, CHARLIE MUSSELWHITE
(Oregon Zoo, 4001 SW Canyon) See My, What a Busy Week!
STEREO TOTAL, ALLISTER IZENBERG
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Stereo Total is like a Berlitz-language-school version of They Might Be Giants. They sing their comic lyrics in a cornucopia of different tongues—English, German, French, Spanish—and grace them with herky-jerky, new-wave-influenced arrangements and a '60s mod-pop mentality. Actually, Stereo Total covers quite a broad stylistic array of pop music, much like TMBG, and although they do so with tongues gouging holes through cheeks, it's never at the detriment of melody. Based in Berlin, the French/German duo of Françoise Cactus (French) and Brezel Göring (German) have just released their eighth American full-length, Baby Ouh!, on Kill Rock Stars. NL
BLACK SUMMER VIDEO ART SHOW: MATTRESS, THICKET, STAG HARE, ACTUAL MAGIK, DJ NIGHTSCHOOL
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) The music of Rex Marshall—AKA Mattress—goes much deeper than a sea of electronic bleeps and whooshes. In fact, the first thing you'll notice is Marshall's voice—a deep, almost sinister croon that has the power to both soothe and jolt. The vocals are high in the mix (as they should be), backed by the low whir of synthesizers, jagged shards of guitar, and occasional loose and clangy drums. Mattress' sophomore recording Low Blows defies categorization; it's definitely one of the most intriguing local releases of the past year. Marshall writes weirdo songs that sound like Devo's Freedom of Choice being tossed into a meat grinder with Ministry's The Land of Rape and Honey, which can be taken as a selling point or a scare tactic. MARK LORE