DJ BEYONDA, DJ ANJALI, MS. SU'AD,
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See My, What a Busy Week!.
THE FIX: ZEPH & AZEEM, DJ QUEST, APOSTLE, OHMEGA WATTS, REV. SHINES, DJ KEZ, DUN DIGGY
(Someday Lounge, 125 NW 5th) The turntablism movement of the mid-'90s brought a slew of Bay Area beat technicians up from the underground: Names like DJ Shadow, Mix Master Mike, and Qbert weren't exactly household, but they left a mark on hiphop and beyond. San Francisco's DJ Zeph represents the next generation. Changing trends ensured he never got the same shine as his predecessors, but he's more than worthy, showing the same voracious appetite for styles as Shadow, and an affinity for party-rocking hiphop similar to Mike's. His longtime cohort, Azeem, is another underrated San-Fran phenom, a vicious wordsmith whose immense intellect never gets in the way of his sinuous flow. Released this summer, Rise Up is a bangadocious survey of the pair's chops, one of those rare records that can raise consciousness while raising the roof. JONATHAN ZWICKEL
JON GARCIA, THE SMILE BRIGADE, JARED MEES, MINMAE
(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) There are plenty of high-drama moments on Jon Garcia's self-titled 2006 album, including falsetto vocals and complicated-because-we-can acoustic guitar work, yet the requisite eye rolling never seems to follow. "The Delaware Carousel" features the most references to the Diamond State since the Promise Ring's "Is This Thing On," closing with the similarly emo-inspired line of "I'm going to Delaware—'cause I wanted to!" There's a bit of overly earnest evangelizing on "Saturday Morning," but young bands eventually learn how to temper that, and Jon Garcia seems poised to be an act that folks around here will be testifying about for years to come. Openers Minmae are working on a new album—still jangly, still jittery, and still awesome. JIM WITHINGTON
DO MAKE SAY THINK, APOSTLE OF HUSTLE
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) As Broken Social Scene co-founder Kevin Drew pointed out at the Aladdin last Saturday, Portland venues are being hit—and hit hard—by a flurry of BSS offshoots. Along with Drew, we had Metric pass through in October, and now Feist and Stars have shows scheduled for later this month. While headliners Do Make Say Think drop bits of jazz and country into their epic instrumental post-rock, BSS guitarist Andrew Whiteman's Apostle of Hustle seasons the baroque indierock of the Scene with Cuban guitar and rhythm. Their last album, National Anthem of Nowhere, is as good as anything released on the Canadian Arts & Crafts label; songs like "My Sword Hand's Anger" and the title track (which originally appeared in Broken Social Scene's live set) are enough to make you wonder what they put in the water up there. NED LANNAMANN
BATTLES, PARTS & LABOR
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) See My, What a Busy Week!.
SIREN NATION: TEAM DRESCH, SWALLOWS, LIV WARFIELD, SUGAR SHORTWAVE, ALELA DIANE, MYSHKIN'S RUBY WARBLERS, BLÜBIRD
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) See Music Feature.
THE GOOD LIFE, JOHNATHAN RICE, ART IN MANILA
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See Music Feature.
RICHARD BUCKNER, DAVID DONDERO, MICHAEL DEAN DAMRON
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) Any mention of David Dondero usually elicits a reference to Bright Eyes. It's true Conor Oberst learned from Dondero everything he knows about bleating like a billy goat, but Dondero is able to do more with so much less. His melodies are unassuming and aren't adorned with much more than guitar, bass, and wispy drums. Meanwhile, his lyrics are as blunt as it gets: "When the Heart Breaks Deep" buries a pal's cheating ex in vitriol, and the heroine of "You Don't Love Anyone" is apparently made of silicone and carrot juice. While his songs can dwell on anger and resentment, he always leaves enough space to convey tenderness and real affection. His latest is titled Simple Love, but as his songs purport, love is anything but. NL
MERCY CORPS BENEFIT: AMELIA, STEPHANIE SCHNEIDERMAN BAND, RICHMOND FONTAINE, JOE MCMURRIAN QUARTET
(Mission Theater, 1624 NW Glisan) "Voices for Silent Disasters" is the fitting title for the Mercy Corps-organized humanitarian concert series that's taking over our city for the next few weeks. Some of our town's brightest and best will be teaming up to play shows that benefit community aid efforts in Northern Uganda, a worthy cause tragically lost in the shuffle during an age of war with Iraq and Afghanistan (and soon: Iran, Syria, North Korea, and, oh I don't know, let's say... Paraguay). From the MarchFourth Marching Band to Climber, the benefit boasts numerous stellar performers, especially the slow-burning waltz of Richmond Fontaine. Frontman Willy Vlautin recently adapted his gloriously bleak (and wonderful) sad-sack novel, The Motel Life, into a screenplay, which was then quickly snatched up by Guillermo Arriaga (writer of Babel and The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada). Look for it on the big screen sometime soon—perhaps it will open during the great troop quagmire of the Paraguayan War. EZRA ACE CARAEFF
CHUCK RAGAN, THE REVISIONS,
(Hawthorne Theatre Balcony, 1507 SE 39th) Since the breakup of Hot Water Music, the band he fronted since 1993, Chuck Ragan has been releasing a fair amount of solo music, including 2006's EP collection The Blueprint Sessions and this year's Feast or Famine. While the shift from driving punk rock to largely acoustic, folk-influenced songs may seem striking, Hot Water Music was always a band rooted in that tradition, and some of their offshoots (Rumbleseat, anyone?) veered even closer. For his part, Ragan sounds deeply assured. He strums like a guy who cut his teeth on punk rock, and sings with the righteous anger of striking teamsters at a union rally. TOBIAS CARROLL
DAN MELCHIOR UND DAS MENACE, STARANTULA, THE LEADERS
(Slabtown, 1033 NW 16th) Starantula are a crack team of rock 'n' roll players that put equal emphasis on the "crack" and the "rock." Led by barrel-chested ringmaster/self-styled-sleaze-icon Seantos, these five old-school pros play it loud and proud. Clever folks from the Weaklings, Fireballs of Freedom, and Pure Decadence lend their veteran skills to ensure that the band runs on all five cylinders. Live, you can expect potty mouths, screaming guitars, and Deep Purple organ lines to spew in every direction. But this will be more than just a show, as it's a party for Starantula's new album, recorded at Portland's legendary Smegma Studio. And these guys sure know how to throw a good party. Beer will be spilled. Pants will be wet. Deformed babies will be conceived. NATHAN CARSON
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) The Hives are the kind of garage-rock band you only get from countries that routinely compete in, and famously win, the Eurovision Song Contest. Their matching black-and-white outfits are just a little bit sharper, their synchronized guitar windmills and jump kicks are just a little more choreographed, and their stage patter (even in non-native English) is just that much more witty and charming. That said, I couldn't tell you one song the band has recorded since I saw them opening for the (International) Noise Conspiracy on their first American tour. Their rock basics are catchy enough, though not too substantial, but their live shows are a well-rehearsed spectacle. ERIC GRANDY
GHOSTFACE KILLAH, RAKIM, BROTHER ALI, MIGHTY JUGGERNAUT, STARCHILE
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) See My, What a Busy Week!.
TUNNG, THE ESCAPISTS, MAP-MAP
(Someday Lounge, 125 NW 5th) See My, What a Busy Week!.
AQUEDUCT, SATURDAY LOOKS GOOD TO ME, THE ONLINE ROMANCE
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See Music Feature.
SIREN NATION: SWAN ISLAND, SIREN'S ECHO, MIRAH, TRACEY GRAMMER, MARISA ANDERSON, JAMIE STILLWAY, ASHLEIGH FLYNN, FLAT MOUNTAIN GIRLS
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) See Music Feature.
JACKPOT RECORDS ANNIVERSARY SHOWCASE: GRAILS, ECLIPSE, SATURDAY LOOKS GOOD TO ME, WE'RE FROM JAPAN, DARK SKIES, SEAN CROGHAN
(Lola's Room, 1332 W Burnside) See Once More with Feeling.
SUNN O))), JESU, ELUVIUM
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) Jesu's Conqueror is a relentlessly deafening album, but the force behind the crushing waves of guitar is as informed by delicacy and sensitivity as it is angst. The distortion and effects swirl, swallowing listeners in their warm embrace, an envelopment enhanced by the repetitive song structure. Songs drone and plod along, pulling the listener more into themselves and the world of sounds being presented. Live, the band punishes sound systems, with the setting giving the songs an added urgency despite the fact that the natural reaction is more to gently sway and stare at the floor than to bounce around. It's still rocking out, but you're doing it with your mind more than your body. DONTE PARKS
MIGHTY GHOSTS OF HEAVEN, WHISKEY PUPPY, CLAMPITT GADDIS & BUCK
(Alberta Street Public House, 1036 NE Alberta) Ladies of Hawthorne Boulevard, watch your back—Kati Claborn of the Mighty Ghosts of Heaven is coming for you. "I'm going to start a graveyard of my own/Those Hawthorne gals won't leave my man alone/I might toss her in the lonesome creek, she wouldn't turn up for a week." Granted, this song is projected via Claborn's harmless voice, one that fits nicely within the Ghosts' old-timey, haunted-bluegrass sound. When not threatening bodily harm upon those who flirt with her fellow, Claborn & Co. pay their respectful dues to the music of old, complete with an army of instruments at their side, some of which are to be expected (banjo, standup bass) while others are a bit exotic (ukuleles, mountain dulcimer). Tonight is the CD release for their fantastic new self-titled album. Pick one up at the show, but keep your grubby mitts off Claborn's man—you've been warned. EAC
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) 1990s singer/guitarist Jackie McKeown is a smart guy: "You Made Me Like It," the opener of their debut album, Cookies, abounds with wit and offbeat lyrical references, and the three-piece moves forward relentlessly. There's a good dose of swagger present in their sound that either balances or clashes with that verbosity, depending on where you stand. A refrain of "My cult status keeps me alive," runs through the song "Cult Status," but by the end McKeown has revamped that line into something a little cruder. (McKeown knows a thing or two about cult status—he spent much of the '90s in the Scottish pop band Yummy Fur). 1990s merge an all-encompassing pop sensibility with a gleeful, can-you-top-this attitude, and at its best it's both thrilling and catchy, cheeky yet passionate. TC
MERCY CORPS BENEFIT: MARCHFOURTH MARCHING BAND
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!.
DANZIG, HORRORPOPS, GORGEOUS FRANKENSTEIN
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) This is more personal information than I generally choose to offer up in this paper, but I'm getting married today. And no matter how memorable this event will be, it won't be the same unless Glenn Danzig attends the ceremony, and maybe even gives me away. So Glenn, if you are reading this (and I know you are), please come to my wedding. You don't have to dress all formal (shirtless with leather pants—and maybe those demon wings—will be suitable attire), and if the look on my face when I see your dark presence gracing my wedding isn't enough, I can also offer you full access to our open bar, a buffet dinner, and all the cupcakes you can cram in that gorgeous mouth of yours. If there is one thing I know, Danzig loves him some cupcakes. I'm not going to ask you to sport the devil lock haircut, or serenade my mom with "Mother;" nor will I cut in when you sensuously slowdance with the bride. Just make an appearance, it's all I ask. EAC
THE HOLD STEADY, ART BRUT, THE BLOOD ARM
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!.
DAX RIGGS, BEATEN AWAKE
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Upon first listen, Dax Riggs comes across as the sort of cigarette-soaked blues musician you'd best keep your teenage daughters away from. Edgily romantic and endowed with the sort of grim attractiveness defined by a five-day beard growth and booze-stained pair of ripped jeans, Riggs seems the type to ride his gleaming Harley into the sunset, your daughter clinging tight to his waist. Then you start digging deeper, discovering that his first three early-'90s metal bands were called Golgotha, Corruption, and, sigh, Dry Pussy, while his first real taste of fame came a few years later in Louisiana death metal/psychedelic act Acid Bath. Suddenly, those gravel-voiced lyrics hang low with the stale reek of a washed-up metal head, and the fuzzy, wailing guitar solos wrack you with an unwanted nostalgia for the waning years of hair-tastic glam metal. You think to yourself, "Dry Pussy?" and realize that as long as your daughter has picked up even an ounce of your discerning music taste, she'll be just fine. NOAH SANDERS
(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway) See My, What a Busy Week!.
LITTLE BROTHER, AWAY TEAM, DUNDIGGY
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!.
JENS LEKMAN, THROW ME THE STATUE, VIKTOR SJOBERG
(Someday Lounge, 125 NW 5th) See Music Feature.
WILD SWEET ORANGE, THE WHIGS, THE WHEREWITHALS
(Roseland Grill, 8 NW 6th) At their Portland show last March, the Whigs played the Roseland Grill, bringing from Athens, GA, a comfortable, melodic brand of blowzy American rock. Frontman Parker Gispert howled his way to hoarseness while Julian Dorio's sticks pounded cheery furor. The group's phenomenal set reminded just how vital basic rock 'n' roll can be when you combine two simple elements—interesting, heartfelt songwriting and energetic, spirited playing. Trouble is, no one was there to witness it. Tonight they are playing the same weird venue again (it's the bar on the first floor of the Roseland; you may have ended up there on a smoke break during one of the big shows upstairs) and you should go. Really. NL
CHROME WINGS, MATTRESS, STARFUCKER, WE QUIT
(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) Starfucker shouldn't work. These two guys play two drum kits while facing each other, and somehow get a couple of keyboards going at the same time. These two are doing an awful lot of cool stuff with a small margin for error—and within reason, they're making it work really well. The songs are anthems that bubble with synth texture, nonstop crescendos, and syncopated drums, and in the end, they never quite fall apart. Watch them and openers Mattress turn Rotture from a black cavern into a gleaming golden hall. NC
ERIN McKEOWN, KRIS DELMHORST
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Folksy Virginian Erin McKeown suffers from mild musical ADD, flipping erratically between rollicking ragtime numbers, Judy Garland covers, and straightforward crunchy guitar pop. Her fitfulness, while interesting at first, grows tiring after a while—like feeling exhausted at Lloyd Center Mall even though all you've done is browse the clearance rack at Marshalls and stand in line for an Orange Julius. It's the over stimulation, see; your brain doesn't like having so many options and tricks your body into feeling weary so it can get out of there. Stylistic concerns aside, however, I hugely admire McKeown's talent. Her voice is both deep and breathy, giving it a smoky, timeless feel, and hundreds of concerts yearly have made her one of the most confident performers in the business. JUSTIN W. SANDERS