BURNING BRIDES, TRICLOPS!, NUDITY, BLACKMARKET
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) See My, What a Busy Week!, pg. 17.
THE GRAVES, THE POISON DART, JOHANNA KUNIN, BOGNOR
(The Artistery, 4315 SE Division) Slightly off-kilter, bright, and breezy, the Graves sparkle throughout their 2006 release Easy Not Easy. The clarity of their sound reminds me of Teenbeat's True Love Always, and Greg Olin's vocals are a bit like Nick Thorburn (of Islands) in their cleanliness. With new tracks appearing from two albums due out soon, they seem to be playing up a living room stomp vibe, tambourines and smooth-springy guitar solos in tow. British Columbia's the Poison Dart opens with similarly straight-up pop, but with more jangle-y rawness. JIM WITHINGTON
FALL OF SNOW, OH, ALEXIS GIDEON, DJ FLUFFYSTUFF/FUCKYOURSELF
(Towne Lounge, 714 SW 20th Pl) One of the more annoying things about music on Top 40 radio is the way that producers try to pretty-up songs and singers that aren't particularly good to begin with. That's why when you hear demo tracks from someone like Fall of Snow's Stephanie Casey, it makes you want to break things (out of frustration that she's the exception, and not the norm) and swear off radio forever (because, clearly, why waste your time with pitch-shifted crap when there's raw beauty like this on the interbot?). Her singing reminds me of the Cranes (without the nonsense words), and the fact that she just started playing guitar a few years ago might explain the wide-eyed simplicity she conveys. Don't miss your chance to say you knew her when. JW
MUDDY RIVER NIGHTMARE BAND, THE OH NO'S, THE OMENS, THE WOLFMAN FAIRIES
(Slabtown, 1033 NW 16th) The strengths and positive traits of the Muddy River Nightmare Band: punk rawk, yelling "yes!" followed by "no!" for a chorus, a Replacements cover, running themes of alcohol and monsters, song titles like "Standard & Poor" and "The Ass You Kiss May Be Your God," self-deprecation, well-placed pick grinds, and a pure love for "rockandfuckingroll." The downside? If you don't like swilling cheap beer and listening to loud music, you're going to feel left out—which means, THERE IS NO DOWNSIDE. JW
TALKDEMONIC, POINT JUNCTURE, WA
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) See My, What a Busy Week!, pg. 17.
KLAXONS, FIST FITE
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!, pg. 17, and Music, pg. 21.
BOAT, EUX AUTRES, AH HOLLY FAM'LY
(Towne Lounge, 714 SW 20th Pl) See Music, pg. 21.
EVOLUTIONARY JASS BAND, CARAVAN GOGH
(The Modern Age, Portland State University Smith Memorial Student Union, 1825 SW Broadway) See Our Town Could Be Your Life, pg. 27.
ALAN SINGLEY & PANTS MACHINE, ATTACHED HANDS, INVISIBLE AIRSHIP
(The Artistery, 4315 SE Division) The last time I saw Alan Singley, immediately before he belted out some Bacharach covers with BacharachAttack, was when he handed me a CD-R, nicely wrapped in a little newspaper sleeve (this paper, in fact) that resembled a pirate's ship. Origami skills aside, Singley is one of our town's most precious and offbeat performers, who—despite having a new record all but finished—has a wealth of newer material on the way. According to the man himself, "I look forward to the next record I haven't written yet more than anything else. I will probably be satisfied when I'm 60, then my music will be a novelty, and everyone will understand why I can't play late shows—because I am 60 and need to get in bed." EZRA ACE CARAEFF
SHUT UP & DANCE: NVR SAY NVR, DJ GREGARIOUS
(Fez Ballroom, 316 SW 11th) Ah, the life of a one-hit wonder. It's got to be tough to have a song that is insanely popular, only to have the rest of your career be a vain attempt at trying to recapture said popularity. People will stop caring, and next thing you know you'll be touring with Toni Basil on the state fair circuit. But you know what's worse than that? Debora Iyall, singer for Romeo Void, has created a new band called Nvr Say Nvr. Yes, you read that right. She has named her new band after the very song that made her popular in the first place. Suddenly the state fair circuit isn't looking so awful, is it? ROB SIMONSEN
SUPERSUCKERS, EDDIE SPAGHETTI, JORDAN SHAPIRO, MIKE D & THEE LOYAL BASTARDS, MOONSHINE HANGOVER
(Mt. Tabor Legacy, 4811 SE Hawthorne) It's been a couple years since I last saw the Supersuckers play, but here they are, still making boot-stomping countrified punk after almost 20 years. A lot has changed since they first got started; the punk is still there—and nobody could dare accuse the Supersuckers of selling out—but their whiskey-drinking rebellion has been somewhat replaced by an attitude of camaraderie, fan-appreciation, and yes, money-making. Their website, for example, is a fully loaded Supersuckers media center, complete with pictures of fans with their kids, stats on records sold, pitches for licensing, and pretty much every imaginable Supersuckers "selling point." The whole thing is so overwhelming, it makes one think, is this sad and washed-up? Or is this just a genius way to keep a country punk band alive and paid? HANNAH CARLEN
LEE SCRATCH PERRY, DUB IS A WEAPON
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) Listening to dub is tricky. I like it, I like the bands who have been inspired by it throughout the years, yet every time I cue it up, I feel like I'm two steps away from being a frat boy with an oversized Bob Marley poster (the "One Love" design, where he's smoking a big doob) in my living room. That being said, Lee "Scratch" Perry is still a pretty safe bet. Sure, he might be insane, and his music can often be hit or miss, but when he's on, the man is really on. And hell, the Clash once personally invited him to come produce some songs for them, which automatically makes him amazing. RS
THE SEDITIONISTS, GO MOTION, THE QUINTESSENTIALS, KILL THE DRIVE
(Red Room, 2530 NE 82nd) On their MySpace page, Go Motion uniquely evades the ubiquitous "influences" query, listing New York and London instead of other acts. While the Omaha-based band's throbbing new-wave tunes certainly boast a cosmopolitan discotheque feel, it's possible to find a reasonable facsimile of their sonic arsenal (the Faint) without leaving their hometown. On their debut disc, Kill the Love, Go Motion maintain a brisk rhythmic pulse, with lush new-romantic ballads providing respite from the dance-party vibe. Albert Kurniawan's exotically accented vocals, the clearest manifestation of the quartet's Anglophilia, infuse these synthesizer-driven songs with dramatic passion. Live, Go Motion crank their grooves to club-DJ volume: The group recently became one of the few rock acts to headline Chicago's popular Dark Wave Disco night. ANDREW MILLER
THE POLYPHONIC SPREE, JESCA HOOP
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) See My, What a Busy Week!, pg. 17.
(Pix Patisserie, 3901 N Williams) See My, What a Busy Week!, pg. 17.
CARY BROTHERS, CARINA ROUND, MOTHER MOTHER
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) There's much to admire about Vancouver's Mother Mother: their pinpoint control, their integration of rootsier elements into what could best be classified as post-punk, and their sense of humor. The band's understanding and use of harmonies, though—best showcased in the title track of their album Touch Up—is what makes them stand out the most. At times, their lyrical swings at the over-stylized feel like the satirical equivalent of shooting fish in a barrel; on the other hand, there are worse targets. And given that their "Dirty Town" runs through a dozen small movements, conjuring up ominous emotions and country hoedowns at a breakneck pace, the musical ability contained in this band is pretty staggering. TOBIAS CARROLL
THE NICE BOYS, GO FEVER, BENJAMIN STARSHINE, HIGHWAY
(Mt. Tabor Legacy, 4811 SE Hawthorne) Aw, the new rock club smell—is there anything better? Fresh paint, clean bathrooms, and none of those lingering odors from stale cigarettes and sweaty dudes onstage. Tonight is a perfect night to take a whiff of the new Mt. Tabor Legacy, especially seeing as local sensations the Nice Boys will be providing the entertainment. No word on how the band smells—although I bet they all smell like cinnamon and lilacs—but since one of the Boys, Gabe Lageson, books the venue, it looks like tonight will be the start of many great power-pop nights at the Legacy. EAC
CHUCK RAGAN, MY LIFE IN BLACK AND WHITE, BURN FIRE BURN
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) Everyone's a singer/songwriter. And it's almost becoming a trend to leave your band and start making music yourself. Chuck Ragan was once the frontman for Hot Water Music, and just like many of his rock 'n' roll brothers, he quit the band (or the band quit him, it isn't completely clear) and has since started up a solo project. The thing that separates him from all the other broken-hearted dudes with an acoustic guitar is his voice—worked, aching, and honest. He released an album earlier this year, Los Feliz, on SideOneDummy (where stars go to burn out), and it's an okay effort. But I really want him to stop playing by the singer/songwriter's rules (ditch the harmonica, bro) and just fucking scream. I can tell you still want to. MEGAN SELING
BENNI HEMM HEMM, ELLUL, THE ESCAPISTS
(Towne Lounge, 714 SW 20th Pl) Benedikt H. Hermannsson, joined by about a dozen musicians, is Benni Hemm Hemm, an Icelandic songwriter fond of arrangements heavy on brass and designed for a wide audience. Their first album boasted an abundance of melancholy and rolling chords, not unlike the emotional highs and lows of a long night at the bar. Their latest, Kajak, taps into an even more timeless sound, smoothing out the bumps of its predecessor into something that flows, alternating between triumphant horns and Hermannsson's sonorous voice. And, every so often, the group surrenders to the impulse to be a full-on rock band, with deeply compelling results. TC
PISTOLERA, CAGUAMA, ET3
(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) When did inventing outlandish genres for every musical type suddenly become the thing to do? Take Pistolera, a group of stunning Latinas who play a very classic take on Latin American music. But, throw the title "Latin-Alt Folklorico" on them (as their MySpace page wisely does) and all of sudden hipsters looking for the next big thing start sniffing around. Sadly, the fact that the lovely ladies of Pistolera are mired in the swamps of world-music mediocrity just doesn't matter when a term like Latin-Alt Folklorico starts getting bandied around. All of a sudden Pistolera shed their distinctly bland sound, and become something new and fresh that Portland's new-music opportunists can hang their hats on. Seriously, wouldn't you like to impress your friends with tickets to their first Latin-Alt Folklorico concert? NOAH SANDERS
ADAM FRANKLIN, THE HIGH VIOLETS, HEAD LIKE A KITE
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See Music, pg. 19.
ALELA DIANE, LAURA GIBSON, KELE GOODWIN
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Oh Alela Diane, how can we miss you if you won't ever leave? Seems like the local folkstress has been bailing on PDX for months now, threatening to trade our progressive burg for the woods of a hobbit shire in Nevada City. But this is the real deal, no more Diane in Portland, she is moving far away and not coming back. Unless you count the Pickathon show next month. Anyway, show up prompt to catch the lesser-known Kele Goodwin, a local (via Alaska) singer/songwriter whose voice is a like a ragged take on Nick Drake. Dude better name his debut album Punk Moon, and then thank me on it. This shit is genius! EAC
RASPUTINA, JANA HUNTER
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) See My, What a Busy Week!, pg. 17, and Music, pg. 19.
PINK REASON, HUE BLANC'S JOYLESS ONES, TALL BIRDS, ARGUMENTIX
(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) Tourmates Pink Reason and Hue Blanc's Joyless One arrive in Portland for a night of lo-fi, fuzzed-out, ear-smacking extremes. Headliners Pink Reason combine retro-rock with sludgy muttering and the occasional '60s-inflected pop beat to hold all the noise together. Hue Blanc's Joyless Ones have some similar tunes, but take a stronger cue from the Modern Lovers at times, with talk-along vocals set against thick, riffy guitars. Hue Blanc's Joyless Ones seem the more promising of the two acts, with songs like "Cry" offering rich organ tones and an actual hook-laden beat. Tall Birds and Argumentix bring more singular versions of the touring bands' all-over-the-place vibes, with Tall Birds making more proper rock 'n' roll, and local faves Argumentix holding down all things spacey, droney, and weird. HC
THE NIGHTWATCHMAN, IKE REILLY
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!, pg. 17.
MICROTIA, XUR, MONGOLOID VILLAGE, 9 WORLDS
(Tonic Lounge, 3100 NE Sandy) Whether you call it "earth metal" or "beard-core" or any other silly subgenrific name, there is a trend unfolding in the metal underground that draws heavily from Neurosis and their modern protégés Isis. The best bands in this style channel the weight of the world into melodic, melancholic, metal-derived hardcore music. Others go through their testosterone-driven motions and bring nothing new to the table. Salt Lake City's XUR don't shirk on the heartfelt emotional depth. I can't say the world needs any more of this music, but I can say that XUR are pulling it off with style and more than a few pleasantly original twists. NATHAN CARSON
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) Long before Puffy made the band, or the train wreck that was Rockstar Supernova, there was Flickerstick. The original reality television band, Flickerstick won VH1's Bands on the Run competition, thus allowing them to go all Brewster's Millions with Epic Records' checkbook for a while. Shockingly, the major label money tree dried up and now the band is experiencing a sobering fall from grace, one that can't be avoided when the end product is just another limp dose of alt rock. Chin up, Flickerstickers, it could be worse—you could be fellow reality contestants Harlow, a band whose music will forever be eclipsed by a drunken David Cross bit on his Shut Up You Fucking Baby! album, one that forever engraved the line, "Wait a second. I hate Harlow" into our all of our brains. EAC
PICA BIRTHDAY PARTY: PLASTIC LITTLE, PANTHER, DJ COPY
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See My, What a Busy Week!, pg. 17.