I woke up this morning and my house was on fire. From outside my window, looking over the arch of the first story, smoke rose up from the shingles, which were black and wet and shiny. But seconds later, as my brain re-formed into human tissue, I realized I was just hungover and bent up by sleep and that it was HOT outside and the smoke was actually steam. These are things that give me faith in Portland. That spring and summer really do come, no matter how shitty winter gets, and that in a vast sea of honky, vanilla indierock, METAL comes too. (Deicide, April 13! Morbid Angel, April 19!) Other items and issues of faith: Slayer is coming July 16. Dungen will be here April 25. TV on the Radio are here May 4. Cex is here June 17. This summer will come in like a lion and eat our fucking boredom, then shit out pure gold sludge.

Local music/animal news: Anton Hougardy from Sounds Like Fun writes to say his band is playing a benefit for the no-kill shelter House of Dreams out on NE 112th and Sandy. Says Hougardy, "It's a two-story house whose only full-time tenants are 50 or so crazy cats, who fill their days making death-defying leaps from windowsill to counter and from kitty gymnasium to staircase. I worked there myself for about two years." The show goes down April 7 at Acme and will also feature the Maybe Happening, Bazillionaire, and a limited-edition benefit comp CD with the Marmits, Dykeritz, Dat'r, Ferocious Eagle, and more. Check out kittydreams.com

If you were hoping to get your band on the new PDX Pop Now! compilation but couldn't pull your shit together, the deadline has been extended from March 31 to April 14. PDX Pop's Brent Bell reminds us that they're not accepting covers, but previously released material is okay. Go to pdxpopnow.com for submission guidelines.

Congratulations to the band Nire, who's signed to Ought Implies Can Records. The Indiana-based label will be releasing the My Father's Record Player EP in late June. Nire's Josh Hinton says the band will stick with minimal instrumentation for the EP but they recently scored a Casiotone 1000P, so that little fucker will be on there too. Nire's next show is May 11 at Doug Fir with Casey Dienel, Rose Melberg, and Tigersaw.

Send yr news: adam@portlandmercury.com