ELYSE WEINBERG, THE PLACES, HUTCH HARRIS
(Medicine Hat) Not to get "Sanka" commercial on yo' ass, but I will now substitute an Up & Coming for a real life conversation with my friend Sara regarding The Places.
S: "Who is this?" (The Places' new CD, The Autopilot Knows You Best, is playing in the background)
J: "This is The Places."
S: "Wait, they're not from [Portland] are they?"
J: "Yeah, this is Amy Annelle's thing."
S: "Wow, she's like, so good."
J: "Yeah, no shit!"
Well, that's that! Our listeners are pleasantly surprised! Another Portland group in this town's never-ending pool of the best damn bands in America. JOE FAUSTIN KELLY See My, What a Busy Week! pg 11
SAUVIE ISLAND MOON ROCKET FACTORY CD RELEASE, THANKSGIVING
(Meow Meow) This is the celebration of the prolific Sauvie Island's first CD, which is actually an ambitious 3-CD box set (and the third release from Red76 Records). Also, it's the Meow Meow debut of Adrian Orange's new band, Thanksgiving. As one (unsigned) piece of hate mail so passionately reminds me: [paraphrased gist of letter] "Adrian Orange is not a hipster, but a very nice, quirky, and intelligent whole person who sometimes uses lots of distortion and electronics in his performances--and also, you fucking suck." Hee! However, when I've seen him play (unplugged, sans electronics), his voice scratches like a skipping Victrola, and his discordant acoustic guitar channels unmistakable angst with admirable honesty. Pretty awesome from this 14-year-old. JULIANNE SHEPHERD See CD Review pg 13
THE LAZY COWGIRLS, INVISIBLE MEN, THE VALENTINE KILLERS
(Satyricon) This is NOT a cute band alert; the Lazy Cowgirls from the great state of Indiana are old, bald, sweaty, and about as charming as a sack full of rattlesnakes. They have been stomping around for about 16 years in the same booze-fueled rage and they are absolutely indifferent to the whims of fame and fashion. Their specialty is dishing up howling loud rock anthems like "Goddamn Bottle" and "Can't You Do Anything Right," and on any given night they will send you home crying for mother like a schoolyard sissy. These are bad hombres, and you should proceed with caution. And for Pete's sake, avoid eye contact! The Invisible Men are a surly bunch of bandage-headed thugs who crank out a spirited assortment of surfy-garage trash while decked out in matching smoking jackets. The line starts behind me. JOHN CHANDLER
THARA MEMORY PRESENTS THE HISTORY OF BLACK MUSIC IN AMERICA
(Jimmy Mak's) When I was in the fifth grade, my friend Ayodele had a t-shirt printed with the slogan "Before there was history, there was black history." When Thara Memory was in the fifth grade, he was already a trumpet virtuoso, and later became the best fifth-grade bandleader ever! Besides being witness to this illustrious achievement, our city has seen Memory through 30 years of his artistic evolution, which has encompassed everything from jazz, to classical, to operatic composition. Now, Thara and The Superband undertake a major collaboration with the likes of Nancy King, Margaret Linn, the Bobby Torres ensemble, and a 12-piece string section. The performance will wander through variations of African music combined with a verbal context, thereby convincing us once and for all that before there was history, there was black history. MADELINE ffITCH
BASTINADO, WOKE UP FALLING, TRANSMARINE, JENNI ALPERT
(Medicine Hat) Bastinado is like of one of those Celtic design coloring books--you know, the ones they make for adults, with opaque paper so you can hang your creation in the window like stained glass? It's because each of their songs starts out with a quiet or catchy line--from bass, drums, or guitar--and then forms itself into an intricate structure, with points and curves and wavy tentacles. This is a very loud Celtic design, by the way, not one of those quiet, wussy, shined-to-perfection ones. It's the kind that belongs on coats-of-arms in blood-bathed battles. And for all their ear-blasting subtleties, Bastinado hardly misses a note. JS
DEAD MOON, TIGHT BROS FROM WAY BACK WHEN, THE NEED, SERUM GREYS
(Pine Street) I bet if you polled the disenfranchised 11th-graders at Grant High School, maybe one or two of them have heard of Dead Moon, but most of them have probably heard of The Need. So, aside from what De' Moon have done for music in the past, I would encourage you all to pay attention to The Need, right now. They are currently one of the most important bands in the world, making better and more interesting music with their powerful thought-metal in their five-year existence than most bands do in a lifetime. And now--holy fuck!--they have an official third member: THE RADDEST MAN ON EARTH, JOE PRESTON (aka, The Thrones). Can someone say "über-group"? Can someone say, "Every other rock/metal/hardcore/new wave band has just become obsolete and/or very, very weak-looking?" Thank you. JS
THE SWORDS PROJECT, KINGSBURY MANX, CARISSA'S WIERD
(Medicine Hat) If nobody has yet paid a visit to your cave and clued you into the fact that the Swords are damn good, you haven't an excuse left. They are on an instrumental mission to put every last Godspeed, Mogwai, and Trail of Dead head to rest. These seasoned vets definitely did not have any conscious intention of drawing from this genre, but hey, people want an easy description. And if you haven't heard those bands, screw 'em. We have the Swords. And they're sporting two God-Freakin' Drummers! From what I understand, Kingsbury Manx' music doesn't fit too easily on the fantastic Thrill Jockey records, but are accomplished musicians as well. And Carissa's Wierd? Well, unless you get to the show early, my child, you might not only miss Carissa's heartbreaking and delicate beauty (with tattoos to boot), but you may not even get in the door! Run! JFK
THE MICROPHONES, WOLF COLONEL, BASAI
(Meow Meow) Say what you want about some of the recent K Records roster, and I'll probably agree with you, but The Microphones and Wolf Colonel are exceptions rather than rule. Eschewing stereotypical Olympian party antics or bizarre high-water infantilism, these musicians are unique, thoughtful, and sometimes profound. The Microphones are a dichotomy of dark and light, both abrasive and as listenable as candy. Portland's Wolf Colonel (Jason Anderson) is often misunderstood like Andy Kaufman, and to be sure, his live performance is more enjoyable than his albums. The best part is watching him creep out the youthful, pink-sweatered K fanatics as he strums and sings about dragons, then launches into 20-minute speeches about oppressed Chileans. Is he mischievous? Is he serious? No one knows. He'll either get under your skin or make you laugh your ass off. JS
2 LIVE CREW, KENNY MACK, WET T-SHIRT CONTEST HOSTED BY DJ CHILL
(Pine Street) Check it out! The 2 Live Crew are having a wet misogynist contest, where Luther Campbell and friends will be dousing water on all the misogynists in the crowd. The audience then gets to vote on whom is the most misogynist. Finalists will receive glamorous prizes, which include: 3RD PLACE: an issue of Ms. Magazine, autographed by Rebecca Walker; 2ND PLACE: Every book ever written by Naomi Wolf; and GRAND PRIZE: A romantic weekend getaway... to fabulous Northampton, Massachusetts... with none other than rough-and-tumble, sexy lesbian theorist Camille Paglia! It will be so cool, that no one will even give a flying fuck if 2 Live Crew raps or not! JS
KIRBY GRIPS, DEATH RAY, THE JOLENES, CHRISTINE DARLING
(Tonic Lounge) As far as girly pop bands go, SF's Kirby Grips are a hard-working, engaging trio who've toured relentlessly and improved a great deal since their fumbling, what-chord-is-this early days. They've managed to get their song "Mod Boy" significant airplay on the "Rodney on the ROQ" show and landed a contract with Sympathy for the Record Industry. But you know what's really cool? Singer/guitarist China Tamblyn is the daughter of actor Russ Tamblyn. What? Who's Russ Tamblyn? Try Twin Peaks, West Side Story, The Haunting, Satan's Sadists, Cabin Boy... Death Ray is a frenetic Cali-pop band that includes some guy who used to be in Cake. (Where are they now?) Locals The Jolenes address themselves admirably to non-hokey country culture while solo singin' Christine Darling remains perhaps the sassiest lass in town. JC
The Portland Mercury's first-ever CD release parties are coming Thurs March 1 and Sun March 4. You should spend today mentally resting, because they're going to blow your freakin' mind. Bands playing include Last of the Juanitas, The Prids, Heart Beats Red, Pan Tourismos, Dino, Made for TV Movie, 31 Knots, The Intima, The Operacycle, and Steve Kramp, and both shows are ABSOLUTELY FREE! (More info in next week's Mercury.)
THE MISS, WOKE UP FALLING, ANDI CAMP
(Lola's at the Crystal) Who are these bands? Well, my friends, I do not know; I haven't seen them yet. But they are local, and this show is free, and as a strong advocate of all New Band Nights, I beseech you to attend. See, the general rule is that, at all free shows, there will be at least one really good band. Granted the chances that the other two fucking blow are very great, but hey! It's free! So let's all go, and maybe we'll get lucky--maybe all three bands will be awesome! Oh, life; so full of exciting gambles. JS
WESLEY WILLIS, COUNTRY TEASERS, CHUCK VENN
(Meow Meow) Wesley Willis, Chicago's favorite 300-something pound, formerly homeless, schizophrenic, head-butting, lo-fi troubadour has a catalog of more than 400 songs and has recorded at least 20 albums in less than a decade. Impressive, even after you take into consideration that about 390 of those are more or less the same song with different lyrics about various celebrities. You'll have to judge for yourself whether exploiting Willis' "talents" is sick and twisted or a great example of taking life's lemons and making lemonade--but there's no doubt, in watching the giant, childlike grin on his face when he performs, that Willis having a grand time. Rock over London! Rock on Chicago! Rock on, Wesley. BARBARA MITCHELL
(Lotus)"Wild Thing" Doin' a little show at the local discotheque/ This fine young chick was on my jack so I say what the heck/ She want to come on stage and do her little dance/ So I said chill for now but maybe later you'll get your chance/ So when the show was finished I took her around the way/ And what do you know she was good to go without a word to say/ We was all alone and she said "Tone let me tell you one thing/ I need $50 to make you holler/ I get paid to do the wild thing." 1989 Tone Loc and BMG Music
IMPROVISED MUSIC WORKSHOP STARRING TRAVIS MCALISTER, JOHN CROUSBAUER, PEYTO YELLIN, MOME RATHS
(It's a Beautiful Pizza) Organized by Jean-Paul Jenkins (JaJa) and Bryan Eubanks (Beds), this bi-weekly workshop is a little treat for Portland's growing community of Out and Improvised music. As someone once said in a movie, "The only rule: There are no rules." Just the tapping of whatever on-the-spot creativity you got in there (hopefully accompanied by considerable musical prowess, of course... and the good thing about Portland's dedicated improv scene is that many of them are talented). Tonight's ad hoc group includes Travis McAlister on trombone and reed instruments, John Crosbauer on guitar, and Peyto Yellin doing some CD mixing and other electronic sprinklings. Mome Raths consists of bass, some vocals, electronics, homemade instruments, flute, and more, including "prepared percussion," which means "drum machine," maybe? As John Zorn once said (and I'm pretty sure about this one), this isn't jazz music, this is improv. JS
BRIGHT EYES, CROOKED FINGERS, AZURE RAY
(Meow Meow) On his latest release, Bring on the Snakes, former Archers of Loaf frontman Eric Bachmann wallows in alcoholic misery to lovely effect. The female-fronted Azure Ray steps lightly and beautifully through elements of folk and country, and headliner Bright Eyes' Conor Oberst calls them a favorite. Bachmann plays swoony lap steel on Azure Ray's self-titled debut, so expect to see him sitting in during their set. KATHLEEN WILSON See Music pg 13
BOYCRAZY, BLANKET MUSIC, DOUG SHEPHERD
(Lola's) See Music pg 13
DJ DMP, THE CHOSEN, THE CUF
(Tonic) "Quit actin like a smiatch" is one of The CUF's many "philosophies to live by," as is "Me and you are basically the same, except you suck, and I don't." They're a Sacramento-based group that not only has sweet tracks of passion-driven hip hop, but they also, obviously, have a sense of humor about it; their latest single is called Cuf Daddy, not to mention their last albums, Cufilation and Cufbaby. But really, their humor is all up front. Couched in their accessible appearance is a sincere commitment to music and hip hop. They're part of a bigger network of groups that are committed to self-releasing and self-creating, despite any label offers they've had over the years. In a recent interview, they cited their musical influences as being all over the board; it's reflected in their music for sure, as their vocal-driven hip hop echoes both hardcore and R&B at times. It's totally unique, and totally hot. KATIA DUNN
GOING TO SEATTLE?
Thurs 2/22: Mark Eitzel (EMP); The Need, S, Exbestfriends (Graceland); Brian Berg (EMP);
Fri 2/23: Carissa's Wierd, Kinsbury Manx, Swords Project (Crocodile); NomeansNo, Removal, Automaton (Graceland); Sean Lennon, Carrie Akre, Damien Jurado, Timo Ellis (EMP); Berlin (Ballard Firehouse)
Sun 2/25: Seattle Chambers Players & John Zorn (Benaroya Hall); Deathray (Crocodile)
Tues 2/27: Bright Eyes, Crooked Fingers, Azure Ray, Suffering & The Hideous Thieves (Paradox);
For more info, visit www.thestranger.com