INTO THE WOODS QUARTERLY: FEELINGS, THE RESERVATIONS, PIGEONS, RADIATION CITY
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See My, What a Busy Week!
DIRTY MITTENS, BLACK WHALES, ORCA TEAM
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Read our article on Dirty Mittene
JOHN DOE, JILL SOBULE
(Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 NE Alberta) No stranger to sharing the microphone, John Doe recently teamed with tonight's billmate Jill Sobule for A Day at the Pass, a fan-funded collaboration captured to tape during a one-day studio session. It's a loose recording, unburdened by excessive overdubs or studio trickery, and is worth purchase solely for the pair's lovely version of the oft-covered "Never My Love." In addition, Doe's take on Big Star's "I'm in Love With a Girl" is barren and beautiful, while Sobule bafflingly tacks on a new recording of her ubiquitous "I Kissed a Girl" at the end of the album, as if to remind us once more that she experimented with the fairer gender long before Katy Perry said it was cool. EZRA ACE CARAEFF
THE WE SHARED MILK, YOUTH, PAPER BRAIN
(Ella Street Social Club, 714 SW 20th Place) A pair of transplanted Alaskans make up the We Shared Milk, the local band whose latest EP Jesuses sees a physical release at tonight's show. Those Alaskans are Eric Ambrosius, who drums for World's Greatest Ghosts, and Boone Howard, who does sound for fellow Alaskans Portugal. The Man. Zach Carothers and Ryan Neighbors of P.TM also turn up on Jesuses, which contains tumbling '90s guitars, durable melodies, appealingly unpredictable stylistic shifts (the disco lope of penultimate track "Butcher" is unexpected), and a loosely psychedelic vibe (shown to trippiest effect at the end of "I Picked Up the Axe"). Not a single one of the EP's 20 minutes are dull, and the band's even got a couple potential classics up their sleeves, like the speedy pop of "Drag" and the free-and-easy country waltz of "Cookie Jar." NED LANNAMANN
EDDIE VEDDER, GLEN HANSARD
(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway) Here's the theory: Eddie Vedder and his Pearl Jam pals have achieved a level of credible longevity not for their music, but for by being less embarrassing (and less dead) than the majority of their '90s brethren. Pearl Jam is the band you settle for; thanks to nostalgia, you speak highly of them, but it's not like you are going to actually listen to that one album with the avocado on the cover. Vedder is making the rounds in support of his second solo LP Ukulele Songs—which is exactly what its title suggests—but you won't see him because tonight's show is way sold out, via Ticketmaster. So Eddie and Ticketmaster are cool now? Huh, good to know. EAC
THE WHITE BUFFALO, SPANISH FOR 100
(The Woods, 6637 SE Milwaukie) A bearded, long-haired sonofabitch who looks as if he stumbled into folk music after being booted from a metal band (for beating up the devil), Jake Smith makes the rounds performing under the friendly moniker the White Buffalo. Smith is a man who has witnessed some hard times, and possibly served some as well, but on his forthcoming LP Once Upon a Time in the West he comes across as a weathered hero, a singer with a husky voice and a whiskey slur trying to right some wrongs along the way. He'll drink you under the table, then break a chair over your back, and you'll love every moment of it. EAC
JAIL WEDDINGS, HAWKEYE, 1776
(Slabtown, 1033 NW 16th) Read our article on Jail Weddings.
SPELLCASTER, SKELATOR, CEMETERY LUST, RAPTOR
(East End, 203 SE Grand) read our article on Spellcaster.
DAVID BAZAN, ROCKY VOTOLATO
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) David Bazan quit God and his band Pedro the Lion a few years back, alienating some followers in the process and winning over even more. What hasn't changed is his knack for writing hooks that take unexpected turns, delivered with a baritone that barely moves. Bazan goes it alone on his latest record Strange Negotiations—at least in name—but there is a backing band and plenty of rock to bring back good memories of Pedro, back when all was still well and godly. These days Bazan is lashing out at politicos and conglomerates, but it's when he goes introspective on us that things get interesting (and occasionally awkward). One thing you can always count on: Even when David Bazan is busy busting someone's balls (including his own), damn it if he doesn't make it sound pretty. MARK LORE Also see My, What a Busy Week!
ALKALINE TRIO, SMOKING POPES, DEAD COUNTRY
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) A dual bill of Alkaline Trio and their influential elders in Smoking Popes is a sentimental tug on the heartstrings of us well-aged emo kids of yore. There was a time in the mid-to-late '90s where both of these bands were absolutely untouchable, a period that unceremoniously fizzled out when the Smoking Popes disintegrated and Alkaline Trio became a sad parody of themselves. The latter has rebounded quite well, however, as Alkaline Trio's 2010 release This Addiction was a welcome return to form, even if their latest disc—an acoustic reinterpretation of older material—is the musical equivalent of giving up and cashing in. The Smoking Popes, meanwhile, just delivered This Is Only a Test, a concept album about high school, which would be acceptable if lead singer Josh Caterer was not 39 years old. Creepy. EAC
SEXY WATER SPIDERS, THE SHIVAS, THE BLACKLIGHTS, STANKBOT TYRANNY
(Backspace, 115 NW 5th) Here is a brief list of some of the things the Shivas—formed in 2006 by then-high schoolers Jared Wait-Molyneux and Eric Shanafelt, and currently joined by Rob Mannering and Kristin Leonard—have accomplished despite not yet being of legal drinking age: 1) They have performed over 300 shows throughout the West Coast. 2) They have released two albums with a third currently in the works. 3) They just completed a soon-to-be-viral music video. All these would be feats for any young band, but the Shivas are responsible for some of the most mesmerizing and interesting music in this town. With love for classic rock and roll, the Shivas' impressively polished tracks purposefully derail themselves from pop perfection with subtle, skewed nuances, making songs like "Gun in My Pocket" playful and thrilling. MARANDA BISH
PORCHES, OLD AGE, SISTERS OF THE MIDNIGHT
(Someday Lounge, 125 NW 5th) The Bleeding Tree, the first album from Porches, makes its appearance at tonight's release show after over two years in the making. The Portland quintet has crafted a dense, dark record that goes from the funeral parade of "Aftershow" to the languid prayer of "Give Me Something to Sing About" to epic guitar rock of "Seven Sisters"—each song colored in rich, dusky hues that totally encompass the listener. Counting among its ranks Paul Seely of Autopilot Is for Lovers (and a former original member of the Builders and the Butchers), the band has reign over an impressive assortment of styles, from the jaunty mandolins that fleck "Ocean Unlimited" to the ghostly choir of "Eucalyptus and Night." Porches take their shifting styles in full stride, and the happy result is that The Bleeding Tree sounds terrific from start to finish. NL
ARCHEOLOGY, HURTBIRD, WATER AND BODIES, BOY EATS DRUM MACHINE
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) After spending much of June making their way down the California coast and back, Hurtbird celebrate their homecoming tonight as Portland's resident (only?) indie-rap-rock outfit. Deftly overstepping any allegiance to genre, the band shares qualities with many of the groups with which they've shared stages: the experimental underpinnings of Menomena, and the unabashed genre mash-up of Why? Last year's Nature vs. City is rife with both raw human elements and samples, and instrumentation both acoustic and electronic—from hand drums to drum machine. The centerpiece of Hurtbird is Ryan Hayes' explosive, almost acrobatic verbiage, one that he increases in intensity during live performance. Tonight's show is also a benefit for KZME, the independent radio station that is in the business of promoting and supporting local musical endeavors and operates under the slogan "Music Where You Live." MB
PIX PATISSERIE BASTILLE DAY BLOCK PARTY: DEELAY CEELAY, COOL NUTZ & DJ FATBOY, GUIDANCE COUNSELOR, CLOUDY OCTOBER, PIGEONS, YEAH GREAT FINE, SAM HUMANS & THE LIGHT
(N Failing between Williams & Vancouver) See My, What a Busy Week!
LANGHORNE SLIM, WEINLAND
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!
SICK BROADS, ATOMIC BRIDE, BOO FROG, MUSICIANERS
(Slabtown, 1033 NW 16th) The more things change, the more they stay the same: Portland trio Boo Frog is a relatively new band, but one with a lengthy pedigree (guitarist/singer Chris Newman played for many years in the seminal Napalm Beach) and one that found its origins in remembering those who've departed. The band first came together as a one-off at a tribute for the Cramps' Lux Interior, but it soon became an ongoing concern. "Sky Is High," the opening track on their latest LP, Better Than the Rest—which celebrates its vinyl release at tonight's show—is a tribute to Newman's musical hero Sky Saxon of the Seeds. Heavy distortion and punkabilly stomp make up Better Than the Rest, and it's a grimy, trashy, good-time record that knows that sometimes the best way to honor the past is to rock into oblivion. NL
J-LIVE, RAASHAN AHMAD, TXE, THE LOVE LOUNGERS
(Crown Room, 205 NW 4th) Like Biggie, Common, and Mobb Deep before him, J-Live entered the music industry after being featured in the "Unsigned Hype" column of The Source. Label and distribution problems indefinitely shelved his debut LP, The Best Part, immediately after promos were released to press and radio, which subsequently led to the record being one of the most heavily bootlegged in hiphop history. It wasn't until 2001 that an official release came out from J-Live's own label, Triple Threat Productions, allowing him to quit his day job as a middle-school English teacher in Brooklyn. Last fall's Undivided Attention EP was issued as a taste of what to expect from the much anticipated full-length S.P.T.A., which finally drops next month. Portland's own triple threat TxE opens, an act that is steadily becoming one of our region's most respected and in-demand. RYAN FEIGH
THE DEAR HUNTER, KAY KAY & HIS WEATHERED UNDERGROUND, O'BROTHER, NAIVE THIEVES
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground's well-filled carnivalesque soundscapes reflect the fact that, while they're officially a three-person gig, up to 11 other musicians have been known to join the Seattle band onstage. Cutesy ragtime piano-playing lies beneath ever-progressing layers of violin, percussion, and even tuba. Lead vocalist/guitarist Kirk Huffman employs a guitar that artfully treads the line between overwhelmingly sexy and vaguely poppy, recalling—dare I say it—the Beatles, among other '60s flower-power projects. Gracing Kay Kay on stage will be progressive rock act the Dear Hunter, the blood, mind, and soul-child of Casey Crescenzo, former member of the Receiving End of Sirens. Taking a break from his psychologically epic six-part concept album, Crescenzo recently released The Color Spectrum, an overwhelming nine-EP anthology, with each EP meditating on a particular color. CECILIA D'ANASTASIO
PARENTHETICAL GIRLS, VICE DEVICE, EXTRA LIFE, SAM MICKENS
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See My, What a Busy Week!
GENERATIONALS, GARDENS AND VILLA
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) New Orleans duo Generationals make speedy, shuffling pop that has its roots all over the place, from '60s AM sunshine pop to early-'80s new wave to the most recent Phoenix album. With an expanded live lineup, the band should boast a batch of fine songs from its contagiously good new record, Actor-Caster. They're joined on the bill by Santa Barbara's Gardens and Villa, whose self-titled debut was recorded in Cottage Grove, Oregon, with Richard Swift (who's quickly becoming one of the top producers in the Northwest and is opening up shop in Portland). The record, just released on Secretly Canadian, has blocky synths doing the work of fuzz guitars, with melodies meandering around a sparse electronic landscape like a pixilated ball bouncing around the Pong screen. NL
OWL CITY, MAT KEARNEY, UNWED SAILOR
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Much like Serpentor, Owl City's Adam Young was created in a lab using extracted DNA from the remains of Attila the Hun, Ivan the Terrible, Vlad the Impaler, and, um, Ben "the Sensitive" Gibbard. This soulless Postal Service karaoke act is responsible for the fluffiest of Jesus-approved pop ballads, "Fireflies" and "Vanilla Twilight" (the latter's title says it all), both of which are inescapable nuggets of disposable pop music with all the staying power, yet none of the irony, of LFO's "Summer Girls." Young's latest is All Things Bright and Beautiful, a dramatic departure from his synth-pop roots that's loaded with creative arrangements and originality. Naw, just kidding, it's the same old crap. Unless you are taking a road trip to Cornerstone in your mom's Taurus, there is no way anyone should be listening to Owl City of Ga'Hoole. EAC
LITURGY, TECUMSEH, WILDERNESS
(Branx, 320 SE 2nd) Read our article on Liturgy.
ACRASSICAUDA, NETHER REGIONS, LORD DYING, THE GUILD, DJ NATE C
(East End">East End, 203 SE Grand) Bands like Sodom and Bolt Thrower have made names for themselves by churning out albums that rely on war themes. They figured out that the aggressive attack of metal music, coupled with lyrics about the chaos and devastation that come with combat, go together like bread and butter (or blood and oil). For Acrassicauda, arguably the only metal band to emerge from Iraq and the subject of a documentary film called Heavy Metal in Baghdad, war was a lifestyle. Since their inception in 2000, bombs have destroyed their practice space, they've received death threats for being Satan worshippers, skirted head-banging restrictions, and lived in fear in order to pursue their passion for metal. Acrassicauda have since relocated to the States and in 2010 they released an EP entitled Only the Dead See the End of the War. The EP borrows heavily from ...And Justice for All-era Metallica, with a sharp, progressive, and melodic metal sound that has the occasional bursts of speed and hardcore chugs. War is hell, but in the case of Acrassicauda, it has definitely inspired some badass tunes. ARIS WALES Also see My, What a Busy Week!
TIM ROBBINS AND THE ROGUES GALLERY
(Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 NE Alberta) See My, What a Busy Week!
MUSIC ON MAIN ST: MIKE COYKENDALL, MICHAEL JODELL
(SW Main between Broadway & Park) See My, What a Busy Week!
MEMORY TAPES, SLEEP OVER
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!
THE HAGUE, SYSTEM AND STATION, LAND OF PINES
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) It is time to put And I Was Like, What? behind us. That unwieldy (but somehow loveable) moniker is no more, as the band has newly reinvented themselves with a slightly more comprehensible but slightly less Google-able name: the Hague. It's a rebirth of sorts after what sounds like a tough year; following a hardscrabble tour last summer, singer/guitarist Shawn Steven had to be hospitalized with a near-fatal illness, and violinist/keyboardist Travis Chapman suffered a very serious bike accident on New Years Eve. But the good news is that the quintet has bounced back fully intact, all members recovered and healthy, and have a great new EP to share with the world. The Hague's Stark House EP isn't a million miles from what they were doing as And I Was Like, What? before, but its good-natured, limber Northwest rock is imbued with heartfelt, uplifting emotions that may be the by-product of their coming out of the fire, damaged but not beaten. NL