(Kennedy School, 5736 NE 33rd) See Music Feature.
MINMAE, HONEY WARS, PAN TOURISMOS
(East End, 203 SE Grand) Tonight, in the cramped basement of Southeast's newest rock haven, former Vespertine Craig Emmons unveils the debut EP of his new band, Honey Wars. The band's been poking around for a couple years under the moniker Matador of Shame, but according to Emmons, it's now been changed so they could "tell people our band name without getting embarrassed." Sweet, sweaty, and with the threat of a sting, Honey Wars describe themselves as "Tom Petty meets Fugazi," but I hear the clang of Big Star in the guitars, and both Mac McCaughan and Jeff Tweedy in Emmons' vocals. The City Made Me Do It is an accomplished, if occasionally sterile, five-song affair, with the standout track "Please Do Not Feed the Demon" displaying a gruff sincerity. NED LANNAMANN
GUI BORATTO, AROHAN, BRYAN ZENTZ
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Last year was a good one for Gui Boratto. The release of Chromophobia on premier techno label Kompakt, the wild success of the single "Beautiful Life," and commanding performances at DEMF, Mutek, and the rest of the celebrated international electronic music festivals solidified his status as one of the top minimal producers on the scene. Boratto is keeping the momentum going with a world tour in the first half of 2008 that kicked off in his native Brazil and will hit five continents by spring. There are just a few chances to see his style of pleasing minimal-meets-pop-meets-neotrance here in the States, where his only dates are on the West Coast. Portland might just have the most exciting lineup, with DJ support from international techno veteran Bryan Zentz (AKA stare5 of CMYK Music) and a live performance by dance party sparkplug Arohan. AVA HEGEDUS
NIGHTCLUBBING: WHITE WILLIAMS, HEALTH, LINGER & QUIET
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See My, What a Busy Week!.
(Edgefield, 2126 SW Halsey, Troutdale) See Music Feature.
THE CAVE SINGERS, TU FAWNING,
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) The last act to leave the fertile soil of the Hush Records farm was some group called the Decemberists, and lord only knows what happened to those jokers. Despite all that, Boston's Casey Daniel bid adieu to Hush, changed her performing name to White Hinterland, and signed with Dead Oceans, the much-hyped sister label of Secretly Canadian. But this tiger—actually more of a cooing kitten—can't change her stripes, and Daniel still sings in the same gorgeous, jazz-influenced chirp she always has. Meanwhile, Tu Fawning—Joe Haege and Corinna Repp—have literally doubled in size. Not from carboblasting, but from adding two new members to the fold. The new quartet just wrapped production on a six-song EP entitled Secession, which will be out in March. EZRA ACE CARAEFF
ONLY ONE, ILLMACULATE, GRAY MATTERS, ALPHABET STEW, CLOCKWERK
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) Illmaculate is not your favorite emcee's favorite emcee—he is your favorite emcee's worst nightmare. Although Illmaculate is now apparently retired from the battling circuit, he could still probably eat any rapper alive in a battle of putdowns, and if you haven't ever seen him or his contemporaries (the Sandpeople) live, I suggest you do so now. There's not much out there in the world of underground hiphop that is more skillful than what the performers on tonight's bill provide. If you like hiphop, or don't know what good local hiphop sounds like, get yourself to this show—it'll be fodder for a conversation 10 years from now: "I saw Illmaculate way back when...." GRAHAM BAREY
FEDERALE, GROWLER, HIGHWAY
(Kelly's Olympian, 426 SW Washington) Though perhaps they might seem like one, Federale are not a joke. Sure, they write musical scores for Western films that exist only in their minds, but the material is treated with a deadly seriousness and the results are spot on. Tonight, after three years together, the band celebrates the release of their first full-length, La Rayar: A Tale of Revenge. So you'll have to use your imagination, but that's a good thing. Close your eyes and let the whistled melodies, wooden flutes, rattling snare drums, twangy guitars, and trumpets pour in. It won't take long before you feel the blazing sun and the arid breeze whipping across the dry, dusty land as that tall shadow begins to grow. You'll notice the quiet stranger who owns this land doesn't belong here. You'll hear the pop and ping of his revolver. And you'll know just where you are: in trouble. Right in the middle of the goddamn Wild West. ANDREW R. TONRY
GREG ODEN'S B-DAY BASH W/DJ OG ONE, THE MIGHT JUGGERNAUT, STARCHILE
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) If I see the newly 20-year-old Greg Oden dancing on his gimpy knee tonight, I will drag his ass downstairs and feed him to the weird crackheads who linger around the bus stop outside the Roseland. Oh, and since we're celebrating the birthdays of inactive Trail Blazers, Darius Miles turns 27 in October. There will be a party for him, right? Right? EAC
NORFOLK & WESTERN, POINT JUNCTURE, WA, BARK HIDE & HORN
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!.
COOL NUTZ, MANIAC LOK, CANCER RISING, SYNDEL, LIVING PROOF, DJ CHILL
(Ash Street Saloon, 225 SW Ash) See Music Feature.
PAPER UPPER CUTS, OREGON ARTIFICIAL LIMB CO., TWO TON SLOTH, DJ KEVVITUP, GULLS, MODERNSTATE, & more
(AudioCinema, 226 SE Madison) See Once More with Feeling.
THE SPITS, THE LEADERS, DJ RAMBLIN' JOHN
(East End, 203 SE Grand) The Spits come off like a nightmare version of the Ramones. Singsong hooks are hammered home, anchored by the Wood brothers' baritone harmonies. The Spits have spent their career honing the delivery of the perfect two-minute punk blast, to great effect, and their shows are full of the necessary ingredients for a well-spent Saturday night. Thinly veiled threats of violence skip hand-in-hand with pop sensibilities, joining a one-two punch of irony and consummate showmanship. Like a filthy, mustachioed, obscenely older boyfriend, the Spits are present to lead you astray into a land of spiked soda pop and newly discovered pubic hair. If they promise to get you home by 11 pm, plan on dawn. LANCE CHESS
THE PERCEPTIONISTS, MR. LIF,
OHMEGA WATTS, ALPHABET STEW, DJ WELS
(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) I've noticed an alarming trend lately—conscious hiphop is driving me fucking crazy. It shouldn't be, but it is, and for the life of me I can't figure out why. Maybe it's all the Lil' Wayne mix tapes I've been listening to, or maybe because positivity pales in cinematic comparison to the drama of sex, drugs, and violence. I can't say for sure, but I do know that when flunky poets tell me how I ought to live my life, I tune the fuck out. Preaching does no good, but quality stories, insight, and example—now that's where it's at. And that's exactly what Mr. Lif has to offer. Few tracks are more powerful and sticky than his 2002 indie hit "New Man Theme," which I still bump regularly. And where so many other good studio rappers fail—on stage—Lif & Co. spin a tight, energetic, well-constructed live set. ART
RABBITS, DANAVA, DJ WROID WRAGE
(Kelly's Olympian, 426 SW Washington) Portland's finest practitioners of acid-blues-metal grace us with a hometown show tonight, before they set off for a mammoth tour with Acid Mothers Temple later this year. Seriously, Danava makes Black Sabbath sound like a bunch of tea-drinking pussies. Their new album, bearing the inscrutable title UnonoU (which isn't even a palindrome), comes out in February on New York stoner-metal label Kemado Records. If advance single "Where Beauty and Terror Dance" is any indication, it's going to be the perfect soundtrack for those parties thrown in the middle of the woods, where you get ripped on grain alcohol and cheap weed before falling face first into the bonfire. In short, the best damn party all year. NL
TWO TON BOA, DRAGGING AN OX THROUGH WATER
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Please pardon Two Ton Boa if they expect you to have your swaying lighters at the ready, since the Olympia/Portland band just got off a mega tour supporting the Dresden Dolls. There, they played their cold black cabaret hearts out to seas of adoring fans, but tonight, you get to experience a stripped-down version of their sinister death waltzes in the most intimate of environments. While the rest of the band gently floats in the Dresden Dolls hot tub, "TTBoa Duets" take the stage, featuring longtime members Sherry Fraser and Scott Seckington. Also, the band will be slinging their brand-new 12-inch single tonight as well. Hey, you, in the rockstar hot tub, no splashing! EAC
GALLOWS, THIS IS HELL, CANCER BATS, VULTURES UNITED
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) The cover of Gallows' Orchestra of Wolves is a stylized illustration of, well, some sharp-toothed wolves, looking fierce, covered in darkness. It's not terribly complex, but it is more than a little frightful, and the same could be said for the songs on the album. Frank Carter's vocals are brutally clear, yet perpetually engaged in the process of fraying, recalling classic East Coast hardcore of the late-'90s. Gallows' bass-heavy, anthem-packed music is light on its feet, evoking something similar to the Murder City Devils—particularly on "Rolling with the Punches." Through their music, they make the case that furious hardcore can sound as gripping, and relevant, as ever. TOBIAS CARROLL
CRYSTAL BALLROOM 94TH BIRTHDAY: THE LONG WINTERS, BOBBY BARE JR., LANGHORNE SLIM, THE BUILDERS & THE BUTCHERS, RENEGADE SAINTS, & MORE
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!.
AVANT DANCE BOMB: JAMES PANTS,
DJ NEALIE NEAL, DJ ERIK BEATS
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See My, What a Busy Week!.
VELELLA VELELLA, TEAM EVIL, WYE OAK
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) For only having two people, Baltimore's Wye Oak (formerly known as Monarch) sure do make a hell of a lot of noise. The duo present an awe-inspiring twee-and-jangle-pop influenced take on shoegazing music, using layers and layers of feedback-driven guitar, pop melodies, and sweetly delivered vocals to create a gorgeous cacophony. Oh, and did I mention that they do all that with only two people? The band will release their debut album, If Children, on April 8 via Merge Records, and I can guarantee this is far from the last time you will be hearing their name in the near future. ROB SIMONSEN
LIARS, NO AGE, NORDIC
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) See My, What a Busy Week!.
PORTLAND MUSIC AWARDS
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) This is not necessary. Portland's music scene needs all sorts of things—better all-ages shows, living wages for performers, etc.—but a suspect award show is not on that list. The lack of clarity when it comes to who decides the winners, the baffling categories (the 1,300-plus capacity Roseland nominated for best "mid-size music venue"), and the high door price don't help things. But whatever, if your involvement in local music needs to be justified by a shiny little trophy from a "Grammy-style" awards show, then congratulations, your wish just came true. EAC
(Satyricon, 125 NW 6th) Researching the band name Jezebel Spirit, I find a 1981 Brian Eno/David Byrne song of the same name, as well as a female Biblical figure considered nowadays to be a demon of sexual immorality. The name Giraffes? Giraffes! appears to be a blatant rip-off of an eclectic faux children's encyclopedia-type book that McSweeney's put out in 2004, while Pagasus just appears to be a typo. Witheyesabstract is... ugh, I don't have the strength for that one. And I have no idea what a Facepilot is, though it sounds dirty. Can you tell I'm procrastinating on actually writing about the music here? Oh, fine: The music from these acts ranges as wildly as their monikers, touching on sludgy screamo (Facepilot), rapid-fire repetitive guitar riffage (Witheyesabstract), and intermittently spacey and explosive prog-thrash (Giraffes). What unites them all is an unflinching defiance of melody and a general avoidance of discernible lyrics, when lyrics are used at all. JUSTIN W. SANDERS
MANCAMPUS: LESBIAN, THE HARPETH TRACE, DJ JOE PRESTON
(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) Seamlessly gliding from soft, arpeggiated post-rock to full-bore heavy metal is a difficult, even controversial technique to master. It works surprisingly well for Chicago instrumentalists Pelican and Russian Circles, but those outside the unlikely Windy City clique risk a fair amount of scorn from either side if lines are crossed. Post-rock is one thing, but metal is another. Seattle's Lesbian take a few good hard shots at breaking into the space normally inhabited by those aforementioned Chicagoans. They're brave dudes—especially with that name—and they push "instru-metal" further, adding black-hiss vocals (in parts) and jam-band psychedelia (at heart). Last year's Power Hör was an ambitious slab, stumbling from atonal swamps to Maiden-aped trot, bridged by what sounded like an Unwed Sailor influence. Tonight's gig might yield more detours and, hopefully, some refinement. MIKE MEYER
MGMT, YEASAYER, THE NEWSPAPERS
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See My, What a Busy Week!.
TIM FINN, MIRANDA LEE RICHARDS
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Listening now to Miranda Lee Richards' The Herethereafter, it's clear my obsession with it had more to do with her ethereal beauty gracing the CD case's cover than with the breezy, cutesy music held therein. Richards' strange, un-prolific career—which includes singing gigs with such beautiful train wrecks as the Brian Jonestown Massacre and recently, the Jesus and Mary Chain—belies her extremely accessible, radio-friendly pop charms. She's beautiful, she writes catchy hooks, and lord knows why we've heard nothing new from her for seven years. That'll change this spring, however, when she releases her second album, Light of X. On the songs I've heard off it, she flexes a smokier, richer voice than she had seven years ago, as well as a slow-burning piano-fueled style heavily influenced by Aimee Mann. JWS
JASON ISBELL & THE 400 UNIT,
WILL HOGE, JEREMY FISHER
(Mission Theater, 1624 NW Glisan) Sure, he might not have the voice of Patterson Hood (really though, who does?), but former Drive-By Truckers guitarist Jason Isbell sure does know how to write a damn good song. His first solo outing since leaving the Truckers, Sirens of the Ditch, was recorded while he was still with the band, and, well, the similarities show. Full of serious riffage, bluesy punk, a few ballads, and some serious Southern swagger, it's everything fans hoped it would be. Another album this good, and it's not going to be necessary to preface his name with "former guitarist of" anymore. RS
POISON THE WELL, THE LOCUST,
DANCE GAVIN DANCE, A GIRL A GUN A GHOST
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) The Locust have never had the benefit of a beloved, well-known genre tag aiding their flight. But somehow they've chewed a bloody niche in the tract between punk and prog, sustaining themselves for over a decade on 30-second shock/horror songwriting and sly button-pushing. Behind laser-zap synth, insectoid uniforms, and an ironic merch table—hawking fake coke mirrors and vomit-colored vinyl—they've avoided becoming hardcore, metalcore, or metal, despite playing within each scene. No easy feat. The San Diego act's latest CD, New Erections, is their longest effort to date, clearing 23 difficult minutes with 11 technical songs. "AOTKPTA" starts the album like a helicopter crash, with blades dicing bodies and time signatures, packing music into a fistful of sludge and wounded vocals (a sluggishness reprised on "Scavenger, Invader"). Of course, the Locust are unidentifiable flying objects, and overall, there is just no keeping up. MM