REMOVAL, CZAR, 127
(Towne Lounge, 714 SW 20th Pl) See My, What a Busy Week!.
SHE WANTS REVENGE, BE YOUR OWN PET, THE VIRGINS, SWITCHES
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) See music feature.
FRIGHTENED RABBIT, OXFORD COLLAPSE, RAVENS & CHIMES
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) While we have already spilled plenty of ink on the pouting Scots in Frightened Rabbit—and rightfully so—there needs to be something said, no matter how small, for openers Ravens & Chimes. The New York sextet perfectly captures the urgency and panic of the early days of Arcade Fire and march it through a glorious Gay Parade of Elephant Six instrumental indulgences. (Glockenspiel! Flute! Mandolin! Harmonium!) Their new long-player, Reichenbach Falls, is a romantic affair that orbits around the grandiose nature of the band's arrangements and the dramatic songwriting of singer Asher Lack. I'm not usually one to use threats of tears as a method of influencing a band's set list, but—so help me god—if Ravens & Chimes does not play their splendid cover of Leonard Cohen's "So Long, Marianne," there just might be some crying from the back of the room. Please don't let it come to that. EZRA ACE CARAEFF Also see music feature.
SCHOOL OF ROCK PLAYS THE RISE AND FALL OF ZIGGY STARDUST AND THE SPIDERS FROM MARS
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) See My, What a Busy Week!.
SNOOP DOGG, WARREN G, THA DOGG POUND, WESTURN UNION, WARZONE, MISTAH F.A.B., DOMINO
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) See My, What a Busy Week!.
BLUE GIANT, THE SHAKY HANDS, LACKTHEREOF
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) See music feature.
TREES, AMBER ASYLUM, LAIR OF THE MINOTAUR, DJ NATE C
(East End, 203 SE Grand) Earplugs are no match against vacuum aspiration, and Trees really want that soul you've been hiding. The local drone/doom quartet's two-track debut CD, Lights Bane, is an internal, cyclonic invasion—rumbling guitars, malformed shrieks, unsettling beats—that wastes little time in reaching a deep, dark goal. Unlike contemporaries Sunn O))) and Nadja, who meander to a fault, Trees have their eye on the clock. Polyrhythmic drummer Billy Holloway, also of the Better to See You With, solemnly maintains the effort's methodical ambience. It's all over in 30 minutes, but you may need a good cry afterward. MIKE MEYER
SANTOTZIN, KRAZY KRACE, QWEL, DIRTY DIGITAL, SLEEP, DJ ATM, DJ SPARK
(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) Oh shit. Qwel's coming to town? Seemingly buried in the middle of this bill, this backpacker-approved emcee is primarily known for not being known, an overlooked sensation whose excellence comes in both his rapid-fire flow and his ability to cram so many lyrical gems in the frame of a single song. While his hyper flow has the pace to veer slightly toward the territory of fellow Chicagoan Twista, Qwel utilizes plenty of restraint in reeling in the tempo and focusing on content and delivery. "Saved," from 2006's Freezerburner, is a perfect example of that, a delicate beat capped by some sprawling guitar and the emcee's passionate—if not emotive—flow. He's just dropped a new album alongside Kip Killagain entitled The New Wine, and while I have yet to come across a copy, if the past is any indication, I expect greatness. EAC
MON MARIE, THE CROSSWALKS,
THE RAINY STATES
(Towne Lounge, 714 SW 20th Pl) Mon Marie migrated from Michigan to Washington, bringing with them swooning, melodramatic love songs whose wussiness is undermined by the off-kilter elements in their symphonic lo-fi production. Fuzz bass, mysterious whispery vocals, and generous dollops of echo make their swinging-for-the-fences emo melodicism sound invitingly weird rather than embarrassingly cheesy. Let's hope they continue to write tunes that would make Brian Wilson jealous, and let's hope they never see the inside of a real studio. Meanwhile, unlike Mon Marie, the Crosswalks could probably never make the Grey's Anatomy soundtrack even if they tried; instead they play simple, upbeat pop 'n' roll that greets you with a big smile, slaps you on the back, and hands you a beer fresh out of the cooler. NED LANNAMANN
PALMS OUT SOUNDS: BOODY B, DJ JOEEIRWIN, OK DAVE
(Tube, 18 NW 3rd) See My, What a Busy Week!.
STATE OF MIND, YOUNG MILC, GRAY MATTERS
(Satyricon, 125 NW 6th) See Our Town Could Be Your Life.
BUOY LARUE, LITTLE SUE, JIM BRUNBERG
(Mission Theater, 1624 NW Glisan) See Once More with Feeling.
END.USER, AMPHETAMINE VIRUS, RYAN ORGAN, THE H8RS, MIKE JEDLICKA, PENPOINTRED
(The Station, 2410 N Mississippi) Breakcore is not known to have a subtle or airy sound, but San Francisco's End.User has crafted an unlikely version of the typically jarring music that is some of the more listenable in the genre. Not to say his beats aren't fierce and menacing—there is definitely no shortage of crushing noise here—but it's not noise just for the sake of noise. End.User is somewhere between jungle and downtempo, where evil mania coexists with alluring melodies, and wickedness is a counterpoint to ethereal delicacy. The hybrid works quite nicely, providing accessibility to the often inaccessible world of breakcore, while also appealing to the hardcore fans. AVA HEGEDUS
BLIND PILOT, HOCKEY, ANDY COMBS AND THE MOTH
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) There's nothing unfamiliar about Blind Pilot: Acoustic guitars are evenly strummed; drums are tapped lightly with brushes; and thoughtful nice-guy lyrics are sung with confidence but not overt brashness. So it is a genuine surprise to be completely hooked, again and again, by the songs of Blind Pilot's Israel Nebeker over the course of their debut, 3 Rounds and a Sound. At times the duo sounds like the Dodos, but rather than a dark Grizzly Bear psychedelic twist, they instead draw on the country soul of Gram Parsons, the lighthearted breeziness of Jonathan Richman, and the patient, no-nonsense tunesmithing of Calexico. 3 Rounds is clear-eyed, catchy, nourishing music that fits into the established Portland chamber-folk scene, but neatly sidesteps much of that music's preciousness and pretentiousness. Blind Pilot is one of Portland's best new bands; whether or not you attend the CD release show tonight, it's likely you will be hearing their music soon. NL
RTX, VALET, IMAAD WASIF, GALACTIC CORE
(East End, 203 SE Grand) When David Berman wrapped up Silver Jews' Bright Flight album by singing "I wish I was the Royal Trux," it's doubtful he meant that he aspired to their breed of experimental garage rock. Rather, he probably recognized Neil Michael Hagerty and Jennifer Herrema as preeminent badass motherfuckers. They defined cool by straddling both high art and pure rock trash. The Trux are long gone, but Herrema carries the torch under the banner of RTX. The music has a bit more of a cock-rock feel than some of her past work, but it's still deliciously bent and demented. You can't be the Royal Trux, but it's strongly advised that you attend this show—maybe some of that coolness will rub off on you. BRIAN COOK
GIRL TROUBLE, THE SNAKEBITES, HAIRSPRAY BLUES
(Slabtown, 1033 NW 16th) The Snakebites' main man, Skky Phoenix, restlessly fled his dreary Northwest home on a one-way ticket to New Mexico. If old-fashioned luck, charm, and good looks pay off, he'll soon be pursuing a lucrative musical career performing AM oldies at weddings and casinos. Yet apparently this endeavor can't keep him from the Northwest's shy sun for too long. Less than a year after his departure, his old band is already playing their first handful of reunion shows. For old time's sake, the rest of the Snakebites will slither down from Seattle to join Skky and rock 'n' rattle your eardrums with their playful garage rock sound. Of course, I can totally see the whole casino gig shining bright in Skky's future—that is, if a few Elvis numbers were thrown into the mix as well. EM BROWNLOWE
ST. JOHNS NO.FEST: EVOLUTIONARY JASS BAND, WHITE RAINBOW, ETERNAL TAPESTRY, 20 FOOT MAN, DR. ID & MORE
(St. Johns neighborhood) A lot of noise-themed festivals can boast of bigger marquee headliners than the St. Johns No.Fest, but how many of those festivals take place in a gelato shop? Exactly. Portland's most charming tribute to all things improvised and noise, the No.Fest will stretch from noon to 10 pm today with 24 performances in four locations (Historic Towne Square, Proper Eats, St. Johns Booksellers, and, of course, the Legong Gelato Shoppe) tucked away in that little neighborhood beneath the bridge. The free event will open with "Free Jam and Toast" and be capped by our town's best free-thinking musical minds, especially the unpredictable Evolutionary Jass Band. EAC
DIRTY MITTENS, HORNET LEG, GRASS WIDOW, PLAY/START
(Valentine's, 232 SW Ankeny) Now that the Gossip have bid adieu to their power trio status and recruited Hornet Leg's Chris Sutton on bass duties, your opportunities to see the Leg on a regular basis are limited. So if you have yet to experience the sparse classic-rock-gone-horribly-awry sound of Sutton & Co., now is your chance. The band will be flanked on the tiny Valentine's floor by the charming summertime pop of Dirty Mittens, who are led by the enigmatic Chelsea Morrisey and her bird-like vocal chirp. While the band's original demos seemed a bit too raw, if you have caught Dirty Mittens in the past few months, you too have noticed their tremendous growth in both songwriting and onstage confidence, both of which should be evident on their upcoming EP, Time Forgiver, due out sometime this summer. EAC
THE MAGIC MIRRORS, NEW YORK RIFLES
(East End, 203 SE Grand) Somehow the scruffy-looking gents in the Magic Mirrors are able to make the sleepy confines of their hometown of Moscow, Idaho, seem damn exciting to this Portlander. Makes sense, I guess, seeing how their brand of expansive classic rock—they tag the Allman Brothers as an influence, and these rural boys are definitely not being ironic about that—is the reckless last-second defibrillator blast to the dying genre. The boys have a new EP entitled Karma Thief (which, I assume, is what the "Karma Police" were after all along), which showcases their heavy leanings on the almighty power of the guitar and all that comes with it. All right, that's it. I'm moving. EAC
HAYDEN, HALEY BONAR
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) See My, What a Busy Week!.
THE BLAKES, THE BROKEN WEST
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Following a hasty name change (they were originally the Brokedown) and a high-profile Merge Records debut, the Broken West established themselves as the latest purveyors of the sunny California sound, with pleasing pop kernels like "Down in the Valley" and "Hale Sunrise" drawing from classic rock's past while staking out a tiny claim of new territory. Their second album, Now or Heaven, comes out on Merge in September, and I haven't heard a note of it. So, I shall make a completely unfair and groundless judgment based solely on its song titles and the band's most recent press photo, in which they are wearing coats and neckties: It will NOT be a prog-concept opus. It will NOT contain experimental forays into electronica. Lil Wayne will NOT make a guest appearance. Instead, it'll be much like their first record, maybe slicker, more accessible, less gritty, less spontaneous, generally unsurprising, intermittently great, and wholly tuneful. NL
RZA, STONE MECCA, ANIMAL FARM,
THE HARD KNOX
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) When Wu-Tang Clan dropped 8 Diagrams last year, there was a lot of grumbling from members that it was way "too weird," and that it was all the handiwork of RZA; on the ensuing tour, the Abbott was nowhere to be found, and not a single Diagrams song was performed. I don't know what that's all about—Diagrams was brilliant, the most true to form they'd sounded in years.... See, Wu-Tang was always weird, and RZA always understood that. So if you wanna see the true, bugged-out soul of the Wu, here's your chance to "keep it digi." Bong-bong, baby! LARRY MIZELL JR.
AU, PARENTHETICAL GIRLS, AH HOLLY FAM'LY
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See music feature.
THE DODOS, THEE OH SEES, PLANTS & ANIMALS
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) The Dodos are a wicked guitar/drums duo from San Francisco, but it's not that simple. We're not talking trite blues riffs, or electric guitars and crashing cymbals, and although the Dodos use mostly acoustic instrumentation, this most certainly ain't sleepy stuff. It's banging, thrashing, meta-folk. Meric Long is an accomplished fingerpicker with sometimes-literary lyrics and a knack for melody. Although his techniques are often grounded in folk and blues traditions, Long's melodies—both guitar and vocal—are fresh and unique. Drummer Logan Kroeber is some kind of a wild animal all his own, a flaming jackal of sorts on his nonstandard kit (which includes tambourine shoes). Perhaps Long begins with a lovelorn pace and melody, Kroeber then enters, altering that tempo drastically as the song becomes bouncy somehow. ANDREW R TONRY Also see My, What a Busy Week!.
DYSRHYTHMIA, THE BETTER TO SEE YOU WITH, THE ABODOX
(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) Chances are good that the three members of Dysrhythmia are better musicians than you, and they'll spend the entirety of their set drilling that notion into your skull with their energized prog-metal instrumental compositions. For some folks, that kind of showmanship is completely satisfying. Others might find it engaging for about 45 seconds and then simply grating for the remainder of the performance. Nothing wrong with falling into either camp, but for those unfamiliar with the band, you can probably figure out where you stand based on whether you prefer hyper-musicianship or subtlety. Fans of the latter: Consider yourselves warned. BC
FRANKIE-PALOOZA: THEE LOYAL BASTARDS, THE NICE BOYS, KLEVELAND & MORE
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) See My, What a Busy Week!.
TEA FOR JULIE, CROSSTIDE, THE TURN ONS
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See Once More with Feeling.
ROLLERBALL, VIALKA, POWERNAP
(Someday Lounge, 125 NW 5th) Attention, musicians of Portland: Rollerball has been here longer than you. The prolific collective has been transgressing boundaries and stomping all over musical genres long before you ever dreamed of packing the Subaru and hitting the Oregon trail. And as willfully weird as you think your alt-freak-skronk-noise project is, Rollerball has already done it, with results that range from conventional songcraft to free-jazz pinwheeling to outer-wind motorik spacewalking. Ahura, their 14th record—that's right, 14th—celebrates its release tonight, with confident explorations and a warped, enveloping production that makes you feel like you're trapped inside the snare drum. "Cesena Sweat Pants" assembles a looping piano figure with wandering airpipe sax, while the tense, red-heat "Towel Boy Tent" features gargles and creepy babbling, sounding like something from a Dario Argento flick. NL
NUDGE, EXTRA GOLDEN, COPACRESCENT, DJ ANJALI, THE INCREDIBLE KID, DJ E3
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Extra Golden were born from a three-hour international jam session in Nairobi between native musicians Otieno Jagwasi and Onyango Wuod Omari and American indie rockers Ian Eagleson—in Kenya to research a doctoral thesis on the country's popular benga music—and Alex Minoff, both of the DC band Golden (Minoff also played in the Make-Up, Weird War, and Six Finger Satellite). The group released the results of that jam, Ok-Oyot System, shortly after Jagwasi's death. The band recruited new members for live performances and to record follow-up album Hera Ma Nono but had difficulty getting the Kenyan musicians into the US (a difficulty that was ultimately resolved with an assist from Barack Obama, leading to perhaps the first non-embarrassing song bearing the presidential candidate's name, Hera Ma Nono's "Obama"). More than just a corrective to all the critical hand-wringing about Vampire Weekend's alleged musical colonialism, Extra Golden are benga translated with little more interference than some English-language lyrics and the arrangement of visas. ERIC GRANDY