ROOTS FESTIVAL: LIFESAVAS, COPACRESCENT & MORE
ONE BE LO, BLUE, MACKLEMORE,
(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) Indie rapper One Be Lo's two solo albums counter Hillary Clinton's "hard-working Americans" as "white Americans" slip of the tongue with rapid-fire narratives about life in the racially mixed auto industry town of Pontiac, Michigan. Grown, but armed with the voice of a teenager, One Be Lo (formerly of defunct duo Binary Star) narrates his city's detritus and downtrodden with a hometown boy's empathy and ire. Levity is something you won't find in his music, but he's a favorite of the cognoscenti and a self-conscious performer with an aim to please. JALYLAH BURRELL
THE PRESETS, WALTER MEEGO,
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Australian duo the Presets may be the most perplexing of Modular's stable of new-wave revivalists. While labelmates Cut Copy crank out dopey electro-pop jams, the Presets aim for more profound insights and sing about love and relationships with pithy intellect. Unfortunately, their new album, Apocalypso, doesn't live up to its great title, and doesn't have as many musical ideas as Cut Copy's wonderfully goofy In Ghost Colours. But let's focus on the positive: The Presets know how to play the synth arpeggio and 4/4 gimmicks that typify this rapidly gentrifying genre. MOSI REEVES
SHELLEY SHORT, JOHANNA KUNIN
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Unlike Joanna Newsom—honestly, its been almost two years and Ys still has yet to grow on me—Johanna Kunin balances the wonders of the forest (she sings about fireflies in a way that will make you want to ditch your possessions and live in an old growth tree) with the realities of the urban landscape. On 2006's Clouds Electric, Kunin channels the whimsical without losing track of the push-and-pull of the human condition. She has recently been in Portland mixing a new album, which will most likely put her name on the tongues of those seeking a new mysterious singer/songwriter to place on the altar. EZRA ACE CARAEFF
KATHLEEN EDWARDS, THE LAST TOWN CHORUS
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) The Last Town Chorus build their songs around Megan Hickey's lap steel playing and mournful vocals, creating quiet sketches of scenes and spaces—both urban and rural—and lives fulfilled and restless. That aforementioned lap steel yields a far greater range of sounds than one might expect: shimmering, ambient landscapes that seem descended from a country tradition but could just as easily pique the interest of shoegaze devotees in the crowd. 2007's Wire Waltz pulls nimbler moments from the lap steel, as on "Wintering in Brooklyn," accentuating the songs with arrangements that lend them a greater sweep. TOBIAS CARROLL
APPARAT, TRUCKASAURAS, DJ BJ
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) I don't truck with no techno, but I fucks with Seattle's Truckasauras. Their pumping, gutter-slap beats and their lowbrow sense of humor make them compelling as hell to watch; last time I saw them, they performed the Airwolf theme as images of Jan-Michael Vincent danced on their screen. I almost punched the dude next to me, I was so happy. They have an album about to drop called Tea Parties, Guns & Valor that you'd be well advised to get. Just picture the Ultimate Warrior going shithouse on a ring full of old-school keyboards—what's fuckin' with that? LARRY MIZELL JR.
SLUTTY HEARTS, HAZELWOOD,
(East End, 203 SE Grand) With the slew of heterosexual band members copulating beyond their indie rock relationships, it is refreshing to hear a guy and girl making music together without pulling at each other's heartstrings. Slutty Hearts take such emotional hot topics and infuse them into ghostly anti-folk ballads that are reminiscent of the charming unisex vocal melodies of the Moldy Peaches or the enchanting moodiness of Mazzy Star. Plus, they both play the drums while they gently strum the guitar, sing, or pound upon a keyboard. If such admirable extension of talent doesn't make you want to do something slutty, you probably have a heart that reeks of moldy prunes. EM BROWNLOWE
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) See My, What a Busy Week!.
M83, THE BERG SANS NIPPLE,
THE FAST COMPUTERS
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!.
DESTROYER, DEVON WIlLIAMS
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) See Music Fetaure.
MATES OF STATE
(Music Millennium, 3158 E Burnside) Mates of State's Jason Hammel and Kori Gardner are a real-life couple whose rollicking live sets are joyfully punctuated by the two eyeing each other longingly from their respective instruments (drums for the boy, organ for the gal) as the brokenhearted audience wistfully stares at them, wishing for a love so pure. This cutesy format worked well for about eight years, before it became a bit like listening to someone else's pet names ("I wuv you too, Pokey Bear"). With their latest, Re-Arrange Us, the duo drop the sugary aspects of their sound (after all, they are parents now, so one can assume that they—like most breeders—are dead inside, having traded that intense passion for Thomas the Tank Engine DVDs and playdates with the neighbors) in favor of a fleshed-out recording that is far more ambitious than their previous albums. But while they gain some studio trickery, they never lose sight of what made us love them so much: their knack for generating small pop songs that explode with wonderful hooks, making love seem like something more than just an exercise in disappointment. EAC
DANAVA, BRAVE PRIEST, VINYL RITCHIE
(East End, 203 SE Grand) Danava's UnonoU is three months old and has officially settled in. The video for "Where Beauty & Terror Dance" premiered on Headbangers Ball two weeks ago, sandwiched between cuts by Ministry and Exodus. Despite the video's creepy Argento- isms, its obviously staged Rotture gig, and the hilarious shot of the band rising from the Pacific Ocean like a phoenix, the record actually makes sense now. Its prog-rock synth and epic production are just as bizarre as they were on day one, but Danava really does play as straight-ahead as frontman Dusty Sparkles insisted in February. "That's where we're at," he explained, offering the title track and "Spinning Temple Shifting" as evidence. "We're more of a rawer, bluesier, heavy sound." He stopped short of using the word "righteous." MIKE MEYER
CEREMONY, PAINT IT BLACK, LIFE LONG TRAGEDY, SABERTOOTH ZOMBIE, COWER, PRF
(Satyricon, 125 NW 6th) Paint it Black's third album, New Lexicon, contains a barrage of contradictions: focused, frenetic hardcore juxtaposed with ambient interludes, harshly delivered political exhortations interspersed with anthemic "whoa whoa whoas." Paint it Black remains the hardest-edged project to date from vocalist Dan Yemin (also known for his guitar work in Lifetime and Kid Dynamite), and his lyrics here fuse an analytical approach to mass culture with a critical look at everything from protest songs to genetic testing. Smart punk rock is never a bad thing, especially when it's pulled off as well as this. TC
SASQUATCH! FEST: R.E.M., MODEST MOUSE, M.I.A., THE BREEDERS, THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS, THE NATIONAL, DESTROYER, BEIRUT & MORE
(Gorge Amphitheatre, 754 Silica Rd NW, George, WA) See Feature.
PARENTHETICAL GIRLS, AU, PWRFL POWER
(Backspace, 115 NW 5th) See My, What a Busy Week!.
(Twilight Café and Bar, 1420 SE Powell) Last June, my friend Shane Asbery died of complications from Hodgkin's lymphoma. I'd love to tell you what a fantastic guy he was: gregariously friendly, upbeat even when he wasn't feeling well, always the funniest guy in the room.... But instead, I'll just mention he was a badass bass player. His band, My Favorite Everything, consisted of his wife Maggie Brown on vocals and Jonathan Kreitler on drums, and tonight the two play the last-ever My Favorite Everything show in honor of Shane. They'll be accompanied by Jason Belknap of the Bad Trees and Dane Bradford from Blare. It's a benefit for Providence Medical Center, who aided Shane and his family immensely, as well as countless other cancer victims. A ton of other good bands are playing, too, so go down, rock out, celebrate life, and support a truly great cause. Oh, and fuck Hodgkin's lymphoma. NED LANNAMANN
WHITE RABBITS, STARFUCKER, MILES BENJAMIN ANTHONY ROBINSON
(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) Former Oregonian Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson's self-titled debut was produced by Grizzly Bear's Chris Taylor and includes guest appearances from members of said band, as well as TV on the Radio's Kyp Malone. Robinson's own music sounds little like either of those groups, however, hewing closer to Bon Iver's Justin Vernon in its world-weary vocals, concise arrangements, and brief glimpses of musical ecstasy. On "The Debtor," Robinson sings of rain falling in hell, while on "Mountaineer'd" he tentatively describes emotional exhaustion in the midst of nature. At his best, his songs are affecting trips through worlds physical and imagined, haunting and awe-inspiring in equal measure. TC
TECHNOPOLIS: GEORGE HOLLAND
(2410 N Mississippi) Technopolis may just be as epic as the name suggests. The event goes for a full eight hours and features a massive sound system, elaborate visuals, and even an "atmosphere designer." The lineup is a long list of solid local DJs who know their techno, including headliner George Holland of Subsensory Recordings, who fortunately just returned to the tables after taking a few years off. Holland has played with the likes of John Acquaviva, Frankie Bones, and Terry Mullan, so you know he can move people on the dance floor. If eight hours of dancing aren't enough for you, After Dark immediately follows Technopolis at 3 am and keeps the party going with house music until 8 am. AVA HEGEDUS
THRICE, CIRCA SURVIVE, PELICAN, AUSHUA
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Pelican's latest DVD, After the Ceiling Cracked, features live clips of the Chicago instru-metallers from around the globe, including a version of "GW" from a 2005 gig at Sabala's (now Mt. Tabor Legacy). Had they brought cameras to last August's show at Satyricon, they might have titled the DVD After the Air Conditioner Broke. Pelican's pure-energy sound defies gravity and logic, they mix the volume and density of heavy metal with the fragility and expansiveness of post-rock. This might conjure visions of Joe Satriani fronting Tortoise (wait a couple years and you might be right), but Pelican are nothing if not visionary. Couple this vision with extreme heat, a packed crowd, and a monstrous version of "City of Echoes," and something positively hallucinatory happened that night in August. Here's hoping for a similar malfunction this time too. MM
SASQUATCH! FEST: THE CURE, DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE, STEPHEN MALKMUS & THE JICKS, THE KOOKS, THE MORNING BENDERS & MORE
(Gorge Amphitheater, 754 Silica Rd NW, George, WA) See Feature.
BEIRUT, THE BRUNETTES, JAMES DEAN KINDLE
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) See Music Feature.
SPICE 1, DJ CHILL, TWISTED INSANE,
YOUNG TAE, HYBRID, PDS, BIGO
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) Last year some mark-ass buster shot West Coast legend Spice 1 in a robbery attempt that coulda been straight out of "Nigga Gots No Heart" (off that Menace II Society soundtrack), and for a minute, cats thought we were gonna lose another soldier. I'm happy to say that not only is Spice still kickin', he's still kickin' ass with his iconic ragga-gangsta flow and his stressed-out hood narratives. Not only that, the homie is a NW resident (he stays in Lynnwood, WA) and is currently working on new material. Since his heyday on Jive Records during their gangstafied '90s run, Spice has remained as prolific as he is revered for his widescreen depictions of soul-dead street anxiety. Show your love, but remember: "Ain't no love, bitch!" LM
SASQUATCH! FEST: THE FLAMING LIPS, THE MARS VOLTA, FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS, GHOSTLAND OBSERVATORY, JAMIE LIDELL & MORE
(Gorge Amphitheater, 754 Silica Rd NW, George, WA) See Feature.
THE KOOKS, THE MORNING BENDERS
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) Based in the Bay Area, the Morning Benders have been likened to early Beatles, but I'd say they are closer to mid-'60s Kinks, with shuffled beats and sneering but heartfelt vocals. Acoustic and electric guitars are given equal room, with the occasional twinkling piano or gospel organ for good measure. Oh, and the melodies! Yeah, the Benders have got 'em—in spades. They're opening for the surprisingly popular, and similarly Kinks-influenced Kooks (who are more authentically, if not nearly as winningly, British). The show at the Wonder Ballroom is sold out, but the Morning Benders will open Sunday's festivities on the Wookie Stage at the Sasquatch! Music Festival, so if you're headed up there for the weekend, you're in for a treat. NL
JAMIE LIDELL, JAMES PANTS
(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) See My, What a Busy Week!.
SWERVEDRIVER, FILM SCHOOL
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) See Music Feature.
UNWED SAILOR, SYBRIS, ODYSKA
(Someday Lounge, 125 NW 5th) Chicago's Sybris may sound like they're stuck in the early '90s, but that ain't necessarily a bad thing. With rich female vocals layered on top of post-punk guitars, they sound like the hipster version (by way of Yeah Yeah Yeahs) of shoegazey alterna-rock stalwarts like Lush and Velocity Girl. Quasi-danceable, quasi-emo, and quasi-jangly, their main focus is vocalist Angela Mullenhour, whose powerful delivery is the epicenter and anchor to the band's rich melodies, which quite often start as an afterthought but build into euphoric white noise crescendos. ROB SIMONSEN
GAY DECEIVERS, PASH, JOHN ROOT
(Valentine's, 232 SW Ankeny) As an "andro-fagette," I am all about supporting "gay deceiving" ladies who boldly redefine the rainbow-colored spectrum of gender expression and sexual orientation. The ladies of art-pop duo Gay Deceivers make especially queer music in the original dictionary definition of the term: "Strange or odd from a conventional viewpoint." Thus, if you are a person who prefers Yoko Ono to the Beatles, you will surely snap your headband to the peculiar pop rendering of Gay Deceivers. EB
FOALS, MAPS & ATLASES, THE UPSIDEDOWN
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!.
JAPANTHER, REPORTER, THE PHARMACY, HERE COMES A BIG BLACK CLOUD
(Exit Only, 1121 N Loring) Chances are you've already watched Japanther turn at least one shitty, leaking-drainpipes basement into the hottest shit punk rock dance party ever. Dudes know how to bring it, mixing in everything from hardcore punk to broken electronics along the way. Tonight could easily turn into our very own rendition of Groundhog's Day (with Japanther playing Punxsutawney Phil, natch): If you see more than 50 bikes locked up outside, it will officially be the start of summer, but if it is under 50, we're set for a few more weeks of spring. RS
DARK TRANQUILITY, DIVINE HERESY, FIREWIND, BEDLAM MASSACRE
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) Two months, six Scandinavian metal bands. Thank you, Norse pagan gods. (Candlemass tomorrow makes it seven, which is the same number of worlds made with Ymir's flesh, so we must be lucky!) The latest to visit the land of Wheat Thins (Opeth's favorite US snack, reportedly) is Dark Tranquility, of Gothenburg's melodic death metal scene. But the real story for us spoiled Oregonians is Divine Heresy, the newest embattled project of guitarist Dino Cazares (Asesino, ex-Brujeria, ex-Fear Factory). Divine Heresy just lost its vocalist from last year's mixed bag of deathcore, Bleed the Fifth, but that didn't stop the band from touring. Picking up on the newest trend of "touring session lead singers" (thanks, Epica!), Cazares selected a guy from Maryland to grunt over his riffs. He should have just scratched Divine Heresy for Asesino, but bassist/vocalist Tony Campos is too busy playing with Ministry on Al Jourgensen's victory lap. We can't have everything, right, gods? MM