RAILER, PUMA FRENZY, ANOTHER CYNTHIA (Ash St, 225 SW Ash) The last time I saw Puma Frenzy, a young man with sideburns and a white baseball cap came up to me and said, "these guys fuckin' rule." And while he may not have known Ric Ocasek from Rick James or Elvis Costello from Abbot and Costello, he was right. Puma Frenzy will never be darlings of the underground, but that's probably just fine with them. They're a better band for ignoring the very overrated issue of "cred" and, instead, writing melodic, hooky, 20-something pop songs that can be enjoyed by both nerds and jocks alike. Why isn't this on the radio yet? C'mon, 94/7, do you really think anyone wants to hear more STP? KIP BERMAN
GRIS GRIS, THE GOSSIP, THE HUNCHES (Dunes, 1905 NE MLK) See "Music," page 19.
RUMAH SAKIT, BY THE END OF TONIGHT, CHEVREUIL, TIC CODE (Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) As an instrumental act, Rumah Sakit must express its sharp sense of humor through song titles. Hence the Pink Floyd goof "Careful with that Fax Machine" (a play on "Careful with That Axe, Eugene") and the enjoyably trenchant "No One Likes A Grumpy Cripple." The group rocks without vox as well, building jagged riffs and asymmetrical signatures into cresting soundwaves like mid-'70s-era King Crimson. Live, its ebb-and-flow compositions can be entrancing, with serene segments that can lull listeners into waking dreams until its jarring fractal funk breaks the spell. ANDREW MILLER
THE GOOD LIFE, THE VELVET TEEN, BELLA LEA, CONSAFOS (Nocturnal, 1800 E Burnside) What a line-up: Omaha's Good Life, which dropped a dud of a record last year, but still rules the post-emo confessional pop roost. The Velvet Teen, who recently renounced guitars and gave us an album that sounds like it's made of ice crystals and glowing fiber-optic strands. Consafos, who are members of Bright Eyes and The Good Life, and make reverb-sopped night driving songs. (Bella Lea, I can't vouch for.) Only downer here is this is Nocturnal's last rock show. After tonight, they'll be hosting swing dance and breakdancing lessons and yoga classes. Which is cool and everything, but... yeah. Rock while you can. ADAM GNADE
THE KILLERS, TEGAN AND SARA (Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Hot Fuss, the Killers' immediately accessible 2004 debut, was attractive to those of us who clearly knew better because it could never be as conflicting as, say, a dense-selling Arcade Fire or Modest Mouse or Franz Ferdinand record might be. The Killers didn't accidentally crossover--they leapt--and Hot Fuss succeeded by both prediction and design. But if you really require any more proof that you just don't walk backwards into publicity like this, consider a turf war with a band that you share the same marketing department with (the Bravery) as all the evidence needed. By the way, you might actually like Tegan and Sara. TREVOR KELLEY
THE DRATS, PILLOWFIGHT, RONSTER (Ash St, 225 SW Ash) Pillowfight is the best band name I've heard in a long time (sorry Buttfrenchers… ). The word brings to mind the scene in Animal House where John Belushi watches the half-naked sorority sisters hit each other, in a PG-13 display of sexualized violence, with pillows. It's such a hetero male's clich fantasy, up there with catholic schoolgirls and threesomes (2F, 1M), that it seems impossible to think of a pillowfight that doesn't involve nubile young women and giggling--until now. Now, I think of a large, angry man in a tattered argyle sweater and glasses, singing/ranting like Henry Rollins, if Henry Rollins spent a lot less time in the gym and had a sense of humor. Yes, Pillowfight sounds like your usual kick-ass rawk'n'roll party band--but lead singer "LSD," with a highly sexualized violence all his own, makes that ass kicking all the more enjoyable. KIP BERMAN
POINT JUNCTURE WA, MORGAN GRACE, PLACE INTERSECT (Berbati's, 231 SW Ankeny) Tonight's the release of the second volume of the Failing Records Compilation. Like the first, you get two discs with over 40 local bands, all for the amazingly low price of $7. The idea of course, is to get exposure for local bands, though tonight's headliner might not need much. Point Juncture, WA is getting lots of praise and attention these days, most recently from the Pulitzer Prize-winning Willamette Week, which placed the band at #4 in their 10 Best New Bands issue--so any future success should come as no surprise. It also doesn't hurt that the band is following a tried and true formula originated mainly by Chicago bands. Take some vibes, dissonant guitar leads, kick-ass drums, heartfelt vocals and you've got yourself a hit. Point Juncture, WA set themselves apart with alternating male/female vocal leads, who also harmonize together beautifully. If they keep it up, they'll be #1 in no time. M. WILLIAM HELFRICH
LUCY KAPLANSKY, GREG GREENWAY (Clinton Street Theater, 2522 SE Clinton) It's rare that a Simpsons premise and a tear-jerking tune share thematic ground, but such is the case with Lucy Kaplansky's "The Red Thread." Kaplansky and her husband Richard Litvin document the emotionally exhausting process of adopting a child from China. Unlike Homer and Marge, Kaplansky and Litvin did not encounter scheming secret agents or howling hallucinogenic dragons. However, they did progress from trepidation to nervous panic to euphoria, an evolution that translates perfectly into a poignant acoustic arrangement. The rest of the record, including "Land of the Living," perhaps the most moving 9/11 musical memorial to date, is equally evocative. AM
PUFFY AMIYUMI (Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) Puffy Amiyumi is Yumi Yoshimura and Ami Onuki. (There's no Puffy in the band, and I won't start those Sean Combs collab rumors again. I wash my hands of that.) Yumi and Ami make indie pop so cute and perfect they've been given their own cute and perfect line of toys and shoes, and once hosted a cute and perfect Japanese TV show. Life's not cute and perfect, you say? There's a WAR going on, you say? You have a huge, new cluster of ZITS on your butt, you say? I get you. I do. Nowadays stuff like Ted Leo and Strike Anywhere DOES feel more relevant, but sometimes you gotta say "EFF IT, I'm gonna have some FUN and be a huge, wild, forget-it-all escapist for one night!" That's what you gotta do. AG
FOURTHCITY ANNUAL LAPTOP BATTLE (Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See "My, What a Busy Week!" Page 17.
SOUND TRIBE SECTOR 9 (Roseland, 8 NW 6th) San Francisco's Sound Tribe Sector 9 simulates drum 'n' bass, house, and other electronically enhanced genres with a psychedelic rock band's instrumental arsenal. Unlike industrial music, which re-creates bleak factory-floor settings, STS9 generates warm organic grooves, bringing a human touch to its robotic raves. The jamtronica quintet echoes techno's throbbing pulse without succumbing to its punishingly repetitive percussive schemes. Instead, it improvises with jazzy pizzazz, guiding its robust rhythms down unpredictable paths. AM
BIBLE OF THE DEVIL, THE LAST VEGAS (Sabala's, 4811 SE Hawthorne) In a concerted effort to nationally spread their collective filth, two of Chicago's finest road weary axe warriors roll into Portland tonight on their "Delegates of Deth" tour. Bible of the Devil's duel guitar attack and manly Bon Scott swagger will make you proud to rock your cowbell, their alternating frenetic/majestic fingerboard work leaving you with an insatiable thirst for spandex and Jack Daniels. The Last Vegas harkens the proto sound dipping into the well of the Sweet, Blue Cheer, and Thin Lizzy. They hammer it out all big and fuzzy and garnish the resulting slab with a timeless "well alright!" C'mon Portland, show us your tits! LANCE CHESS
DEBRIS INC., ALDEBARAN, PARALLAX, ROANOAK (Ash Street, 225 SW Ash) Cult doom guitarist Dave Chandler has finally crawled from the crypt to unleash a new band upon his small legion of worshippers. His infamy came from being one of the earliest to faithfully rehash the Black Sabbath sound in Saint Vitus. At his side is an equal or better in bassist Ron Holzer of Trouble. You either know these bands and are salivating at the prospect of this unholy union of doom godfathers, or you have already moved along to read about something far more hip penned by a scribe with a better sense of irony. Word on the street is that Debris Inc. are less a doom metal superband than they are treading a more drunk, punk Black Flag territory (played by dudes that are really fucking old). Local doom metal up-and-comers Aldebaran play crushing repetitive riffs beneath inspired veteran screams. I fully expect them to steal the show. If there is life between YOB shows in Portland, Aldebaran provide it. NATHAN CARSON
FILTHY COCKTAIL PARTY: MONKEY FUR, FILTHY WHITE TRASH, TROJAN HEARSE (Conan's, 3862 SE Hawthorne) See "My, What a Busy Week!" page 17.
THE WAILERS, DESOL (Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) Bob Marley was a Wailer. He's dead. Peter Tosh was a Wailer. He's dead. Carlton Barrett was a Wailer. He's dead. But Junior Murvin, whose "Police and Thieves" was covered by The Clash, is a Wailer and he's alive! So is reggae legend Family Man Barrett. All's not lost. (Silver linings, lemons into lemonade, etc.) The Wailers have had it rough, but they've managed to keep moving, battling a rapidly changing line-up and some weapons-grade legal tribulations. ("Tribulations" is Rasta talk for "fucked up shit.") Through it all, they've managed to tour a lot, play the occasional reggae fest, and release an album every couple years. That's what happens when Jah is your co-pilot. AG
LIVING LEGENDS, JEDI MIND TRICKS, PIGEON JOHN (Roseland, 8 NW 6th) See "My, What a Busy Week!" page 17.
COSMIC SKRONK #1: HUSTLER WHITE, SCUFFLE & DUSTCOUGH, DANAVA (Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) Pop spiritual and punk hallelujah as seen by curator Dewey Mahood, Cosmic Skronk will cloud-nine all keenly tuned ears of independent music, in a "fight for your right to party" sort of way. Recently popularized in a Muse interview, skronk was labeled as insane punk from art galleries, but Mahood takes it back to the people by presenting provocative, chaotic Hustler White with their sexy, dancey chant hits, Danava's Beefheart presence, and the incredible Scuffle & Dustcough. An outstanding line-up like this will cement Cosmic Skronk as the most looked forward to monthly event in Portland. AMY VECCIONE
STEVE VAI, ERIC SARDINAS (Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Steve Vai's Secret Jewel Box comes with three discs in a frame built for 10. The other records, as-yet unreleased, will be sold separately, with the complete collection forming some clandestine message along the arranged albums' spines. It's an innovative, if unnecessary, merchandising gimmick, as Vai already has enough material to fill an elephant crate. In addition to issuing several solo efforts, the prolific guitar virtuoso has collaborated with Alice Cooper, Joe Jackson, Public Image LTD, Whitesnake, David Lee Roth and Frank Zappa, among many others. He even aided and abetted bassist Randy Coven on the terrifying track "Funk Me Tender." With this sort of discography, selecting a set list can be as tough as choosing compilation fodder, but Vai confines his concerts to one-evening exhibitions instead of stringing his shows along in annual installments. AM
FANTOMAS, THE LOCUST, TREVOR DUNN'S TRIO CONVULSANT (Roseland, 8 NW 6th) See "Music" page 19.
JUANITA FAMILY (Alberta St. Pub, 1036 NE Alberta) After rubbing elbows with country royalty down Austin's way and generally adhering to the legend of leisurely Southern lifestyle (busking and playing out at crawfish boils) the Juanita Family are home at last. Ready to begin writing new material and record, they left the fair weather to go to work on a new album and bring the "down home" home. Join Lana Rebel and friends as they set you to cryin' under the cryin' spring skies. LC
THE ANGELS OF LIGHT, AKRON/FAMILY, DEAD SCIENCE (Berbati's, 10 SW 3rd) Akron/Family are not from Akron, and they're not a family, but they do make great music. Bearded like Rip Van Winkle, possessing a wild sense of inventive, innovative creativity, the boys of Akron/Family do things like scrape wooden chairs on the floor to "play solos" and beat their chests like mountain gorillas to make percussion. It's childlike, kinda hippie, and totally gripping in its unpredictability. Besides playing a set of their own nature-boy folk, they'll also be Michael Gira of Angels of Light's backing band. Go to this show. Get there early. Don't miss a thing. And tug on those beards. Make sure they're real. Because that'd be the one thing that would ruin this for me. Vote "No"on Fake Beards in indierock. AG
NEW FOUND GLORY, REGGIE AND THE FULL EFFECT, EISLEY (Roseland, 8 NW 6th) A "back to basics" tour for any genuine punk band would seem like a complete oxymoron if Simple Plan weren't as close to Black Flag as the '00s get and Good Charlotte weren't essentially the Ramones and if, well, all of this didn't make sense the more and more you think about it. But for pop-poseurs New Found Glory it just means there have been a lot of returns at the gates. Handpicked openers Eisley, all skinny frames and mature "orchestration," make absolutely no sense here and it seems like the only reason to show up at all is erstwhile Get Up Kid James Dewees, strangely wedged in the middle. Moonlighting on the keyboard with the night's headliners, Dewees is better on display disarranging genres with Reggie And The Full Effect who, after releasing a record as bitter and brilliantly titled as Songs Not To Get Married To earlier in the year, may eventually get around to writing the songs that match it. TK
POLYPLUSH CATS, THE GENERAL, MS. 45 (Ash St, 225 SW Ash) Ten years ago, the Washington, D.C.-based Polyplush Cats made it their mission to bring sleazy, serrated rock back to America's clubs. During this decade, many other garage-spawned acts joined the crusade, converting so many crowds that the Cats' quest now seems quaint. But while many groups share this trio's sound, few display its flair. Every song ends with a final-encore flourish, with dynamic drum rolls and dramatic closing codas. The group's male members sport long manes and unbuttoned shirts, and singer Catherine Terranova unleashes her hot-and-bothered howl with persuasive passion. AM
OUTRAGEOUS CHERRY, THE FRIENDS OF ROCK 'N' ROLL, SUGARBOOM (Berbati's, 10 SW 3rd) Detroit pop masterminds Outrageous Cherry broke through in 2001 with their dark concept album The Book of Spectral projections. This work sounded as if it had been penned by Syd Barrett, and spun tales of clouds shaped like scorpions. Since then, the band has abandoned the concept and darkness, replacing them with larger orchestral backgrounds and sunshine choruses. 2003's Supernatural Equinox focuses on themes like love and girls, and bounces vibrantly along a path that is more beach than beat, and more best side of the Monkees than dark side of the moon. NC
M83, ULRICH SCHNAUSS, TALKDEMONIC, DJ DANTRONIX (Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See "Music," page 20.