THU 04/05

THE BUTTERY LORDS, THE HOUSE OF CUNT

(Medicine Hat) See Music pg 15

SOFT BOYS, YOUNG FRESH FELLOWS

(Pine Street Theater) Hey you! If you claim to be a pop music aficionado and you do not yet own a copy of the Soft Boys' Underwater Moonlight album, then you are a rube, a boob, and a yahoo. There's no debate necessary--this is a must-have record. From the screaming opening cut, "I Wanna Destroy You," to the Beefheart rumble-tumble of "Old Pervert," to the sublime and elegant "Queen of Eyes," there's nary a missed note in sight. Bandleader Robyn Hitchcock has had a successful solo career for 20-odd years, but it's guitarist Kimberly Rew who made the biggest chart splash, by penning the Katrina & the Waves happy-time hit, "Walking on Sunshine." Buy your ticket, bub. You can thank me later. JOHN CHANDLER


FRI 04/06

MERCURY/HORMEL CHILI ALL-ADULT SPELLING BEE STARRING THE DROVE

(Conan's Pub) The time has come! After weeks of weeding through hundreds of entries, we have chosen 20 of the city's best spellers to compete in the Mercury/Hormel Chili All-Adult Spelling Bee. You'll flip your flippin' wig as brainiac orthographers pit their large craniums against one another to win a host of fabulous prizes! But that's not all! Warming up and cooling down the audience will be musical guests, The Drove; a rockin' sockin' freaky-deeky four-piece that gets the booty knockin' with a poppy sound reminiscent of early Kinks mixed up with foot-stompin' garage. An evening of hilarious fun, and it's only three bucks? What's that? You're saying it's FREE with a filled-out Mercury personal? Well, slap my fanny and call me "Beatrice,"--I AM THERE! WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY

FONDA, CORRINA REPP, CHRISTINE DARLING

(Meow Meow) When you realize that Fonda's Emily Cook moved to LA from GB to work on movies, it's not surprising that they have a song on the Spy Kids soundtrack. Nor is it that surprising that their music is partly based on Jacques Demy's The Umbrellas of Cherbourg: They have a slight flavor of that Côte d'Azure, bikini feel that is so favored within pop music. But most of all, they remind me that I listened to the Darling Buds' Erotica about 597 times in 1994, and I have some sort of nostalgia for it. If you don't, this is probably not the show for you. It IS a night of great lady voices, however; from Cook to Portland's maturely weighted alto, Corrina Repp, to that coy and candy indiepopper, Christine Darling. JULIANNE SHEPHERD

AL C. & BLACK DUCK, DJ CHILL, POOR URBAN SOULS, CLEAVER ENDEAVOR, DJ CJ, SKILL KILLA, 3.5THS, WHITE PAIN

(X The Fallout Shelter X, in the basement of the Columbia Arts Center) Al C. and Black Duck put on a hell of a good hip hop show, rhyming steady and reliable, while still coming across sophisticated and earnest. DJ Chill is also definitely worth catching, as he is one of the only DJs in town who seems to understand the importance of balance between beats and melody. KATIA DUNN

BETHANY CURVE, LISA DEWEY, THE HIGH VIOLETS

(Medicine Hat) Long for the spacey days of the late '80s when 4AD ruled the alternative roost? Have I got just the show for you! Driving up special from San Jose, CA, to headline the evening, Bethany Curve have snap and crunch like Pop Rocks and Pepsi. Pounding their drums, crunching their guitars, they get wayyyyy out there, man, and prove there's plenty of trippy shit going on down the California way. Hailing from the same coastal town they forgot to close down, Lisa Dewey is a bit of a car crash of ethereal cool. Her voice is deep and heavy, the guitars sound like tumbling stars, and when I hear the music, it makes me think of flowers growing on Neptune's surface. Finally, Portland's finest, The High Violets, set the night swirling with some local psychedelia. It's time to climb in the Wayback Machine, Sherman, and dance like a stoned monkey. JAMIE S. RICH

KEIKO MATSUI & BOB JAMES

(Hollywood Theater) The show is billed as "Four Hands, One Piano." Its premise is simple: back in the 19th century, pieces were often rearranged to be played by two people on one keyboard, because there were no recordings and orchestras weren't plentiful. This style allowed people to hear more complex compositions that they might otherwise have not been able to hear were there just one player in town. In the case of this tour, the thinking is that two of the world's piano greats, Japanese artist Keiko Matsui and American Bob James, can play around in an old style while showcasing material from their new albums. Sure, it ain't got that hipster cool like Tortoise or something equally scruffy, but maybe it's time we all took a step outside of our niches for a little bit, put on our nice clothes, and experienced a little class. Lord knows I could use some. JSR

THE HAGGARD, THE INTIMA, SHELTERBELT, GLACIER PARK

(Red & Black Café) The Red and Black Café is a neat collective where you can go and get YUMMY vegan pastries and stuff, plus they make pretty good coffee. For this benefit show, The Haggard's playing their amazing hardcore, with polar vocals that alternate between gutsy, scratchy, guttural, and swimmingly operatic. Shelterbelt is apparently influenced by soft and vast countryscapes, but they just moved here from Montana so I have not seen them yet. Glacier Park is sweet Jessie and her airy, note-heavy guitarwork, and The Intima are the raison d'ĂȘtre. JS

ALTER ECHO, EXPERIMENTAL LIQUOR MUSEUM

(Ohm) The DJs of Experimental Liquor Museum are not for the electro-novice. Their complicated, scrappy sounds can be kind of off-putting if you're looking for convention in music (like melody and hooks and stuff). But, if you're down with all that shit, then this group could very well be the DJ collective for you. They in the group vary quite a bit (there are four) but all told, they use layering and echoing to play funk, soul, and trippy electronic, new-agey sounds. KD


SAT 04/07

THE STORY OF GAVINA ORICHO: A THREE-ACT PLAY IN MUSIC

(The Space, 1307 SW 1st, 7:30 and 9:30) This is the brainchild of Cheralee Dillon, a dreamlike guitarist who will be accompanied by a violinist. Gavina Oricho is a "conceptual piece which focuses on the Transcendence and Suffering of 16 Historical Characters... innocent beings in a world of hate, persecuted for being love." Okay, if you can overlook the hippie shit, this show has great potential, with presumably dramatic musical storytelling of the likes of Joan of Arc, the inimitable Don Quixote, Gertrude Stein, Esther and Daniel, Anne Frank, and more. And if it's bad, you can't be THAT pissed, because A. you never knew who Xo was before this and B. a portion of proceeds go to good causes, including the Sofly Sofly Foundation, an orphan advocacy group. JS

UHF, CALEB KLAUDER BAND, THE DECEMBERISTS, CARRIE AKRE

(Lola's) Tonight is a good time to reflect on what the winter has taught you, and take in the sounds of these performers. Armed with an intense affinity for straight-up songwriting, UHF and Caleb Klauder will help you recall what is earnest and pure in your life. The Decemberists and Carrie Akre, alternately, will remind you of the ever-swirling, mucky profundity that you must examine on a regular basis. Luckily, it is likely you will feel LESS neurotic afterwards--clarity through music, right? JS

ROLLERBALL, KINSKI, CANOOFLE, WEIGH BROWN

(Ash Street) With the phenomenally adept, wall-of-sound Kinski's new album, Be Gentle with the Warm Turtle, out now, and the insanely anticipated Rollerball's new album, Trail of the Butter Yeti, coming in May, you can bet these cats have some new material to show off tonight. As with all shows they play, it will be emotionally intense; in one way, with the kind of beautiful, vice-like pressure distortion puts on your heart (Kinski)--the other, with the kind of bug-eyed rush you get from looking off the edge of a cliff (Rollerball). Canoofle will give you that extra push, with constantly changing, sax-and-guitar improv. You'll leave the Ash feeling like you've been to some sort of avant-church. JS


SUN 04/08

THE LOCUST, BLOOD BROTHERS, TOURETTES LAUTREC

(Meow Meow) The nuts-4-noize, ape-swaddled Locust may be speeding towards underground punk legendry, and the Blood Brothers may be the first hardcore band ever to sign to Virgin Records (as of last week), but it's San Diego's Tourettes Lautrec that will make you cream your little panties tonight. With a lady vocalist who utilizes elements of the best PJ Harvey while making the high notes and sweeping, sultry scoops all her own, they practically don't even have to have instruments. But, lucky for us, they do: crazy guitars that roll about like a post-punk carnival and steadily mad drums. You're going to hear a lot from them. JS

HENRY ROLLINS

(Aladdin) Henry Rollins is clearly in a midlife crisis: His last spoken word album plays like standard standup comedy punctuated by the occasional gonadal rampage. One moment he's decrying long lines at the airport, the next he's doing a sketch on a hick who lost his house in a flood. "Why? Why'd they take my house away?" he crows in a lame Southern accent, answering himself in pure, steroidal Rollinsese: "'Cause you're a dumb motherfucker. You should just live in a canoe. Here's a rowboat. Call it a trailer home. Go fuck your sister. Get the fuck out of here." The slathering crowd on the record goes wild, but I'm left with an empty feeling. I've always admired the man for his punk rock credentials, but at an age where he should be cleverer and more righteous, Henry Rollins just sounds more and more like Sam Kinison. NATHAN THORNBURGH

BAD KARMA FOR DIRTY THIEVES BENEFIT SHOW STARRING SURFACE CREEPER, HIGH VIOLETS, J. HELL, CHARLIE BRADSHAW, MENTAT DE MALDUIT, JEREMY SERWER

(Berbati's) Yes, there is a thieving asshole out there somewhere, who stole a very large lot of musical equipment from Surface Creeper, Smart AV, and Dan Lomax. This person (or persons), of course, is bound to suffer fire, damnation, and self-doubt for the rest of eternity. But no mind. Now you, the honest people of Portland, can help out the victims of the robbery merely by attending this show. It's that easy. You don't have to march in a parade, send letters, or jumprope for heart. Just go to the show, listen to five hours of swell music, have a beer, and stone cold chill with your homeys. That's all, and you'll have done a good deed, which will, of course, come back to you. JS


TUES 04/10

TRACY & THE PLASTICS, SPACE BALLERINAS

(Meow Meow) See Music pg 15

MOTHER SUPERIOR, THE JANIS FIGURE, BASTINADO

(Satyricon) Mother Superior (aka Henry Rollins' backing band) runs the gamut of rock, from music that sounds like it came from ZZ Top, to Black Sabbath outtakes, to those heavy, bluesy yet distinctly ROCK AND ROLL ballads that can only come out of Los Angeles. It'll be a dream come true for those who like beer, cheese, and the music of the mainstream 1970s. JS


WED 04/11

AMM

(The Old Church) For all you avant-lovers who spend your free time postulating on the minimalist techniques of Phil Glass, shut yer trap for a sec and go see AMM. Playing with the tools of avant-garde improv since 1965, Eddie Prevost (drums), John Tilbury (piano), and Keith Rowe (guitar) are both peers of old Glass and influences on many of today's important figures, like Jim O'Rourke and Experimental Audio Research. At times, they can contort their instruments to sound like a submarine slowly imploding; at others, they build up, as if they're erecting a building. I'm guessing this is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to check them out, unless you're one of those lucky people who traipses around Europe ingesting music, so you should definitely go. JS

VINICUS CANTUATIA

(Music Millennium NW) One of the most dynamic and innovative Brazilian singer/songwriter/instrumentalists around, Vinicius Cantuatia fuses smooth bossa nova with innovative sounds and lyrical concepts. It should come as no surprise, then, that his most recent work (Vinicius, on Herbie Hancock's Transparent Music) features performances by the likes of Marc Ribot, Arto Lindsay, Bill Frisell, Caetano Veloso, and David Byrne. It's an enchanting record, combining bossa nova with an almost cinematic layer of samples, effects, and soft melodies. Cantuatia's baritone is beautifully expressive--perfect for the music it accompanies. MURRAY CIZON


GOING TO SEATTLE?

Thurs 4/5: John Wesley Harding (Tractor Tavern)

Fri 4/6: Black Cat Orchestra, Aiko Shimada (Tractor Tavern); Carissa's Wierd, Aveo, Automaton, 31 Knots (Graceland); Steve Fisk (EMP)

Sun 4/8: Shane MacGowan & the Popes, The Murder City Devils, Watery Graves (Showbox)

Mon 4/9: The Locust, Blood Brothers, Tourettes Lautrec, Akimbo, The Red Light Sting (Graceland)

Tues 4/10: LTJ Bukem (Showbox)

Wed 4/12: Fuck (Crocodile)

For more info, visit

www.thestranger.com

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