(Medicine Hat) It's rare when a band can master true rock and roll caterwaul, that special pieced-together disquiet that keeps you on the edge of your seat like a crazy amusement park ride. This is because most bands that attempt that sound haven't the slightest inkling how to play their instruments, riding on the novelty of musical furor and calling it punk rock sensibility. That's not the case with Trumans Water, the underground legendaries who've been playing well-formed, intense chaos since 1992. Yes, it's really that Trumans Water, and they're playing tonight with three other of Portland's finest bands. Six Flags suddenly seems as exciting as a mid-week Catholic wedding; you simply do not want to miss out on this show. JULIANNE SHEPHERD


(Roseland) These bands are really, sincerely pissed off about something, and they're willing to sacrifice their vocal cords, onstage, to prove it to you. Cold, brought into the Interscope Records fold by fellow Jacksonville howler Fred Durst, named their newest album 13 Ways to Bleed Onstage, which makes you wonder if the songs really do make singer Scooter Ward start coughing up blood. The tunes show a bit of a dark new-wave influence, primarily as a ground from which the guitars and vocals build in intensity. (hed) Planet Earth, aside from being a copy editor's nightmare, are another rap-rock band from Southern California. WILL COMERFORD

FRIDAY 10/13


(Rose Garden Theater of the Clouds) The 10 worst artists from North America, in order: Toad the Wet Sprocket, Crash Test Dummies, Stone Temple Plagiarists, Joni Mitchell, Sunny Day Real Estate, Green Apple Quick Step, Red Hot Chili Peppers, BARENAKED LADIES, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, They Might Be Giants. Spot the connection? Yes. That's right. They all play comedy rock. EVERETT TRUE


(Mount Tabor) In every college town in America there is one band named "Free Beer." This is a really lame joke, so when you show up expecting booze for gratis, you'll get the shitty band instead, and no matter how good they are, you leave disgusted and sober. With The American Girls, you'll come expecting the sweet pop, but be prepared: there are no women playing in The American Girls! But you should stay for the short and peppy songs, and not be resentful. Plus, they'll probably be famous soon enough, so see them before you have to shell out $30 for a nosebleed seat at the Rose Garden. Joining them are Satellite Heroes, who play the catchy Atari-rock that you'd listen to while abusing a joystick and ruining your eyes following the 8-bit graphics on the TV. IAN SMITH


(Aladdin) It's been 25 years and untold albums for Leo in the music biz, so it's pretty safe to say you're never gonna hear any of his stuff on popular radio. Ever. He's never been known for his rock star excesses. Or an amazing voice. Or his rugged good looks. Or accessible lyrics. But he is known for his blazing acoustic guitar playing, one part gymnastics and one part science. Kottke's bizarre humor and stage presence comes across as intelligent and sincere, as the kind of guy who practices for 10 hours a day, every day. It is refreshing to find someone who can prove the edict of "practice makes perfect," even though it doesn't often lead to heavy rotation on NRK. Then again, there's always NPR. IS


(Medicine Hat) Beauty and optimism might just be made cool again if international appreciation of pop luminaries The Minders continues to swell. We're lucky to have them in Portland, since their sound sits halfway between Denver's Elephant 6 retrosity and the Beatles' Liverpool. That would place them somewhere off the coast of Nova Scotia, where they could only play a few songs off their new CD before succumbing to hypothermia and drowning--a cruel and tragic fate for such an upbeat bunch of swell musicians. Fortunately, they're instead throwing their CD release bash at the comparatively warm and dry Medicine Hat Gallery, with Urban Legends and Mothball opening. So if you are of the opinion that the Beatles should have made more records, or that the Kinks should have made fewer, then come hear the like-minded Minders unveil their new creation and perform snippets thereof. MYKLE HANSEN


(Tonic) UHF's new album, Lottery, conjures up something between Elvis Costello (in a very big way, vocally) and the Beatles, for a concept album my mom would enjoy quite a lot. It's straightforward rock-pop, with a proclivity for guitar hooks and mature, melodic vocals--while mi madre might dance to it, carefully nursing beers at some family gathering, I'd probably listen to it on a late summer day while doing the dishes. UHF doesn't push any musical envelope, but it's apparent they're playing what they love, and playing it well. They won't shove melancholy down your throat, nor will they stir you into a punk rock frenzy--they'll just present an evening of mellow, unpretentious rock and roll. JS



(Portland Robot Steakhouse, 4-10 pm) The good fight against Measure 9 continues, this time including three of Portland's most heartbreaking acoustic singers (Steve Kramp, Roy Tinsel, and Cuspidor, who've got gorgeous voices like slippery butter); some fun pop acts (All Girl Summer Fun Band and newly formed, keyboard-enhanced trio The Dimes: "Apocalipstick!"); and some of the best in great sorta-emo songcraft (The Disappearer, Slow--although they're emo in entirely different ways). Plus much more, including food (the chocolate vegan cupcakes are addictive) and voter registration cards mailed for you postage-free. Even if you don't want to rock the vote, you should rock yer booty to the Steakhouse for some top-of-the-line, DIY tunage. JS


(Berbati's) Seattle's Supersuckers are back in the saddle after dabbling with country and surviving a long stretch without a label. Now they find themselves playing with two blistering rock bands whose live shows do their damnedest to combine the concepts of rocking out and booty shaking. L.A.'s Streetwalkin' Cheetahs show the influence of frequent collaborator Wayne Kramer in their jam-kicking, MC5 rock and roll, while Amazing Crowns play amped-up punk rockabilly, à la Reverend Horton Heat. WC


(Roseland) Irish darling Jack Lukeman has supposedly been compared to "Bryan Ferry, Morrissey, Jacques Brel, Bono, even Tom Jones." That sentence alone is enough to make me pee my pants, if only because his publicity people actually know who Jacques Brel is. Unfortunately, those are the only five people on earth who can actually get away with this level of self-important sentimentality. Jack Lukeman's voice is rich and extremely well trained, his production is over the top (string sections, super-metallic rock guitar, moving overtures), his lyrics are cheesily gender-bending ("I like girls/and I like boys/I like leather/I love your toys"--ooh, shocking!), and critics simply adore him. Whatever! At least Bono had years of playing with U2 and a few amazing albums under his belt before his head inflated to the size of the Lloyd Mall skating rink. Jack Lukeman, chill out on the pretense (which, admittedly, can be extremely hilarious) and critics, leave my Jacques Brel alone. JS

SUNDAY 10/15


(Crystal) It's unmistakable. That raspy, whiskey-soaked baritone can turn the heaviest rock song into a lullaby, and the truest love song into the saddest goodbye a broken heart could stand to hear. Mark Lanegan is blessed with the most full-bodied, aching voice in the Pacific Northwest, and if you've ever been in love and lived its hard lessons (only to forget them all in a second), you'd be a fool to dive in again without the former Screaming Trees frontman's solo CDs in your collection. KATHLEEN WILSON


(Ash Street) If you are extremely particular about your rock, and can't deal with any of the following aspects of a band: 1. Lack of charisma; 2. Blatant rip-offs; 3. Poor musicianship; 4. Posturing of any sort; 5. Idiocy, then I commend you. I would also like to point you in the direction of a band who, if their five-song demo is any indicator, will please even the most snotty rock connoisseur: Bastinado. Recorded, they're fucking great, ranging from thrashing, anthemic instrumentals with a drum and guitar sound that would dwarf the Hollywood Bowl, to interestingly timed, unpredictable bass and power guitar like lightning bolts. I'm really excited about this show (and I hope they're as good live as on their CD so I don't have to blow my whole paycheck getting drunk enough to tolerate the disappointment). JS


(Salem Armory) As incongruous as it might seem to call an alt-metal band "sophisticated," the Deftones are light-years beyond new-metal peers like Limp Bizkit and Korn. Sure, they can rage with the best of them, but (like Tool) the Deftones prove that beauty and terror can coexist, if not peacefully, than at least simultaneously. BARBARA MITCHELL

MONDAY 10/16


(Berbati's) I know a little about M. Doughty's main band, Soul Coughing. They're pretentious. They have a slaphead for a singer who likes to move his hands and pretend he's reading beatnik poetry while auditioning for R.E.M. They're from New York, and exhibit all that city's worst traits--smugness, an inability to laugh at oneself, smugness. Aside from that, I hear he's a very funny man. ET




(Pine Street Theater) Joan of Arc's music is like the state between dreaming and being awake. You're floating along through your dream life, surfing with ease next to a handsome Italian man who obviously worships you, listening to your Walkman and slurping red wine out of a water bottle. At the same time, however, you are acutely aware that none of this is real and that you can't really surf and that this Italian man is only a figment of your well-exercised imagination. You start to zone into their quiet guitars and transient electronica but are then snapped out of it by drum bangs and pleasantly strained vocals--like being woken up by your alarm and then realizing it's Saturday. KATIE SHIMER


(Satyricon) The Internal/External album is electronically based, and consists of Paul Schuster (P.E.Z., The KG, Some Velvet Sidewalk, etc.) with the help of a lot of Olympia-related star-people, including Carrie "The Spells" Brownstein, Rachel "The Need" Carns, Lois "Lois" Maffeo, and Kathleen "Le Tigre" Hanna. It's all kind of neat and weird in its range. There's experimental sound stuff, and then there's this R&B thing, mostly electronic with sprinklings of theremin and melodica. Since it would be a pain in the ass for all the musicians who played on the album to tour with him, Schuster is bringing along your friend and mine, Rebecca "super-seamstress, super-singer" Pearcy, to croon and play extra instruments. I don't really know what to expect from this live showing of a high-concept album, except that it will certainly not be boring. JS


(Borders Books & Music, 5 pm) Never mind her 1995 hit (you know, the ones with the painfully insipid lyrics: "Johnny, Angry Johnny/This is Jezebel in hell... I'm gonna blow you [sultry, yet angry, extended pause] away."). Singer-songwriter Poe has been known to put on an excellent show, sometimes appearing with only an eerie cello and her strong, dipping voice. She's appearing in support of her new album, Haunted, with her brother, House of Leaves author Mark Z. Danielewski. They're supposed to be doing slides and multi-media stuff, alternating between music and reading. And, you know, if it ends up being sucky, it's F-R-E-E. JS



(Rose Garden) Dear Christina, I'm so glad to hear you're coming to Portland, because you and I need to sit down, young lady, and talk about your future. I'm very concerned about you. What with Britney, Mandy, Jessica, and the others competing for the same place on the charts, the real race has begun--the race to see who will still be here in ten years. I wanna put my money on you. You have the best pipes, you seem to have the best personality (though Mandy sure is sweet), and you're cute as cute can be. But I'm worried you may be going more Mariah than Madonna, and that's not good. Sure, Mariah has the track record when it comes to #1s, but let's be serious: That's more luck and repetition than artistry. Her innuendo has always been more thinly veiled than even "Genie in a Bottle," and she's never had the abandon of your latest, "Come On Over Baby." No, think Madonna. Your commitment to more urban soul on the next disc is a good start, but don't stop there! Immerse yourself in music and let it all in. I'm serious. If you want to talk more, I'll be in section 114, row R, seat 16. I have lots of ideas. Kisses, JAMIE S. RICH


(Crystal Ballroom) This show, consisting of what you might call an "electro-jam band," spawned an internal debate: Where do you draw the line between good musicianship and a critic's taste? While listening to their CD, Mercury Editorial Assistant Katia Dunn proclaimed Disco Biscuits a good band, musically, but she's really not into their music. She handed me the headphones with a hesitant smirk. I then concluded that yes, they're good musicians, but I, too, am not into their music. Then we recalled a message from the upper echelons of our office, a direct order from Tim Keck, the President of the Company: "You guys are going too easy on the hippies." (Paraphrase.) So, in concordance with our boss, we proudly announce Disco Biscuits to be a jam band who knows what it's doing and how to play its instruments, but any way you look at it, it's still a bunch of dog-havin', patchouli-guzzlin', stick-jugglin' hippies. JS


Thurs 10/12: Love as Laughter, Stagger Lee, Pleaseeasaur (Sit & Spin); Hana, Elaine DeFalco's Fabric, Lost Dog (OK Hotel); The Prom, Light Heavyweight (Showbox)

Fri 10/13: Mark Lanegan (EMP); Supersuckers, Amazing Crowns, Streetwalkin' Cheetahs (Crocodile); Valentine Killers, The Gloryholes, Recordbreakers (Gibson's)

Sat 10/14: The Minus 5, The Strychnines (Crocodile); 78 rpm, Jackstraw, Marc Graham & Orville Johnson (Tractor Tavern); Talvin Singh, Tubla Set (Seattle Art Museum)

Sun 10/15: The Gimmicks, The Catheters (Breakroom);

Mon 10/16: Pinback, Welcome (Crocodile)

Wed 10/18: Joan of Arc, Oval, Sunday (Graceland)

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