By the time you read this, I'll no longer be at the Mercury and Ezra Ace Caraeff will be handling all things music. If you want to get in touch with Ezroar, email him at or send your bands' records to 605 NE 21st, #200, Portland, Oregon, 97232. For my last column I thought maybe I'd give some weepy goodbye, but fuck that. This is still a local music news column, if only for the next few days.

Lots of great shows this week and a ton of them didn't find space elsewhere in the paper. Make sure you check out the following: On Saturday LKN is at the great In Other Words bookstore; We Quit is at Rotture; and Ape Shape plays a free show at Valentine's. Agents of the Future is at the Artistery on Sunday. Tractor Operator is at Pix (North) on Tuesday. And finally, GAZA with blowupnihilist will be at Rotture on Wednesday.

Another good show that can't get enough press goes down this Thursday at Towne Lounge. The Kingdom plays an acoustic set along with Point Juncture, WA, the Watery Graves, and Privacy. The Kingdom is one of my favorite bands in Portland, and their last record K1 is without a doubt my favorite Portland record that came out last year. (Though I missed their set at the record release party because I got mindlessly drunk and blacked out most everything. I'm told it was pretty great. Their show. Not me being drunk.) Privacy, too, is damn fine. Privacy is Laurel Knapp and her next record is a one-sided LP of the fantastic Without Mercy CD that came out on the equally fantastic Marriage Records last year. Laurel's music is haunting, just stripped right down to vocal and guitar and full of good lyric writing. Check out Mercury contributor Jim Withington's write up in our Up & Coming section on pg. 21

Make sure to keep your eyes out for Ilyas Ahmed's next LP, Vertigo of Dawn, on the Time-Lag label soon (no street date is set yet). Says Ilyas, "The Time-Lag record is kind of [a] culmination I think of all the things I do; spent an intense two weeks alone in a huge old house in Minnesota in the dead of winter recording it, while listening to nothing but Islamic folk music and obsessively reading the reports on the war, and spending quality time alone with Jack Daniels and my dog." Ilyas plays on the 24th at Valentine's in a new band featuring Tara Jane ONeil.

That's it. If you want to email me for whatever reason, try but I plan to be away from the computer as much as possible. Don't forget to send love letters to Ezra. He loves love. And I love you.