THE DUKE SPIRIT, THE UPSIDEDOWN
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!.
I'VE GOT A HOLE IN MY SOUL: DJ BEYONDA, LEROY TRENTON
(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) See My, What a Busy Week!.
UFO, ZERO DOWN
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) British hard rockers UFO are in the strange predicament of having outlived the paradigm shifts of punk, NWOBHM (New Wave of British Heavy Metal), and glam, with little to no recognition stateside. Their influence upon each style was unmistakable. Within UFO's bourgeois, bar-rock groove, punk found its true enemy, and in that same dirty pocket, metal found the base upon which to thrash (sometimes while wearing make-up). Blame classic-rock radio for forgetting; blame the Sex Pistols and Iron Maiden for turning the nostalgia circuit into a circus. Better yet, just come out and get rowdy. A fair amount of the band's classic lineup will be ready to rock, including founding vocalist Phil Mogg, guitarist/keyboardist Paul Raymond, and drummer Andy Parker. Tonight we're gonna party like it's 1979. MIKE MEYER
RIFF RANDELLS, COOTIE PLATOON,
(Slabtown, 1033 NW 16th) The prettiest ponies in the Dirtnap stable, Vancouver's Riff Randells follow in a long line of great Canadian pop-punk acts. Last year's Doublecross is a total blast of energetic teenage punk, capped by the bratty vocals and lip-gloss coo of singer Kathy Camaro. This isn't mindless revisionism of the Ford/Jett pinnacle of the Runaways, or something cheaper (Sahara Hotnights, anyone?)—the Randells are the real deal. Much like their foremothers before them—namely Ronnie Spector and the Shangri-Las—the Randells are keen on melody, and although their records might fall under the great umbrella of punk rock, their hearts, and hooks, belong firmly in the pop world. Tonight Vince Lombardi High School will burn to the fucking ground. EZRA ACE CARAEFF
IPRC'S 10TH BIRTHDAY BASH: BRANDON SUMMERS, LEIGH MARBLE, SAM COOMES, JEREMY WILSON
(Someday Lounge, 125 NW 5th) See My, What a Busy Week!.
(Backspace, 115 NW 5th) See My, What a Busy Week!.
COOL NUTZ BIRTHDAY BASH: MISTAH F.A.B., DEBASER, ILLMACULATE, 97211, VURSATYL
(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) See My, What a Busy Week!.
PORTLAND JAZZ COMPOSERS ENSEMBLE
(Hollywood Music Center, 4200 NE Sandy) See Our Town Could Be Your Life.
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Hey Lover tastes like a big bowl of ultra-sweetened breakfast cereal, with enough sugar to keep you amped 'til afternoon and enough weird chemicals to turn your milk a different color. Husband-and-wife team Justin Varga and Terah Beth Baltzer Varga thrash appropriately on guitar and drums, respectively, with both supplying the singing and shrieking. Their new split release with Cafeteria Dance Fever opens with the stop-and-start "Full Costume Bible Drama," which sounds like Quasi on a really fun meth bender [Is there any other kind?—Ed.], and continues with "She's the Girl for Me," a punky garage-pop gem. Their 7-inch also has Hey Lover teaming up with Cafeteria Dance Fever for a couple brief freakouts that don't sound like anything more than both bands clowning around in front of the microphone, but in general, Hey Lover's hooks are focused enough to keep their unbridled, contagious energy from veering off the rails. NED LANNAMANN
SUBTLE, EFTERKLANG, SLARAFFENLAND
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Over the course of three albums and multiple EPs and remix collections, Subtle has eked out a specific, dynamic musical corner to themselves. While rooted in hiphop, their sound wouldn't be what it is without the propulsive drumming and textured drones that recur throughout their discography. They've collaborated with musicians ranging from Why?'s Yoni Wolf to the German avant-pop group the Notwist, and their core sound is such that neither seems out of place. Their upcoming ExitingARM fuses densely delivered lyrics, overlapping melodies, and guitar lines that spark. It's an album whose intellectual ambitions are entirely in line with its pop sensibility, and the result is a collection of richly textured songs with an unrelenting backbeat. TOBIAS CARROLL
(Twilight Café and Bar, 1420 SE Powell) Hairspray Blues is a sonic hailstorm comprised of two star-studded lovers, Kyle and Leslie Stabile, destined for open sky and city lights. Legend has it that the pair met in a doughnut shop, fell in love, married, and then split to the backwoods of Pennsylvania for an affair with the Wild West. The duo puts on a fierce performance, combining retro-blues with black metal and thundering drums. Sitting high upon her throne, Leslie Stabile's ebony hair lashes around her face as she venomously strikes upon the percussive head of her prey. Meanwhile, Kyle Stabile creates a whirlwind of guitars around his bride while spitting out words like, "I've got a woman mean as she can be/Sometimes I think she's almost mean as me." A match made in hell. EM BROWNLOWE
COOL NUTZ, LUNI COLEONE, KENNY MACK, DJ CHILL, RAY RAY, CERTIFIED, PRICY, LIQUID ANTHRAX
(Ash Street Saloon, 225 SW Ash) See My, What a Busy Week!.
NUGGETS TRIBUTE NIGHT: SCHOOL OF ROCK BAND, MIKE COYKENDALL, BLUE SKIES FOR BLACK HEARTS, THE FAMILY GUN, THE SUGARLUMPS, PINK SNOWFLAKES, GIANT BUG VILLAGE, BENJAMIN STARSHINE, THE STRANGE EFFECTS, THE BRILLIANT CHANNEL, PAPER CAMERAS, THE DREGS, THE WOLFMAN FAIRIES
(Slabtown, 1033 NW 16th) See My, What a Busy Week!.
CLOUD CULT, KID DAKOTA, THE LONELY FOREST
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) While not a novelty act, Cloud Cult is probably best known as that band that has artists making paintings during the live show. One could argue that it's (usually) more interesting to watch a band perform than it is to watch paint dry, but hey, now you don't have to choose. The music runs all over the stylistic board, with baroque pieces sitting alongside kitchen-sink indie pop. Led by Craig Minowa, Cloud Cult has been remarkably prolific, but it's been suggested this album and tour could be the last for a while. Kid Dakota shares a Minneapolis hometown with the headliners and makes irony-free dramatic pop that's sweepingly epic despite being sculpted by a simple duo of guitar and drums. "Stars" sees guitarist/vocalist Darren Jackson meditating over a deliberately unhurried beat, intoning, "At least we have the stars tonight," which is kind of clichéd, but to its credit, it swings for the fences. NL
THE PRIDS, REPORTER, TAR PLAINS, MAGIC JOHNSON
(Satyricon, 125 NW 6th) Reporter sure was quick out of the gate, with a solid self-released EP, plus a trek around the country supporting the Thermals. But over the past few months, we haven't heard a peep from the band, so we dropped a line to frontwoman Alberta Poon. "We just finished our record on Sunday, it's 10 songs and we're super excited about how it all turned out," she explains. The band is avoiding hitting the road for the time being (as Poon graphically explains with a quote that is frightening enough to keep anyone far away from the pumps: "No plans for tour, since gas will rape us"), but from what I have heard of this new album, it will be worth the wait. The sleepy-eyed "Dust and Stars," with its surprising slow tempo, just might be the best track this trio has ever penned, either as their previous incarnation Wet Confetti, or Slumber Chamber, their lesser-known Dream Theater tribute band. That last part was a total lie. EAC
(East End, 203 SE Grand) Naming themselves after a British tea insulator, Tea Cozies play frantic guitar-centric pop that reminds me of what Deerhoof would sound like if they popped a chill pill and started hanging out with the Rondelles. Hailing from Seattle, Tea Cozies transform the gray days of their city into a hologram of sunshine-soaked, jangly art-rock with sweet-as-a-lollipop girl-on-girl vocal harmonies. While their fingers are sticky from borrowing influence from Britpop and '60s-era American underground icons, Tea Cozies successfully transform their inspirations into arrangements that sound completely fresh and new. Post-post-modernism, anyone? EB
SHOESHINE BLUE, JUSTIN POWER, JOHN VECCHIARELLI
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) The songs of Michael Apinyakul are polite, bluesy folk tunes, but as performed by his group Shoeshine Blue, they're given sufficient shadow and grit to transcend the acoustic singer/songwriter stereotype. Upright bass and violin pull tight the threads of Apinyakul's guitar, adding a stately elegance to the smoky vocals of Apinyakul and Shawn McLain. Shoeshine Blue is augmenting their typical line-up with a few extra players tonight: Ali Wesley will be on hand to provide vocals, Nathan Clark is plugging in an electric guitar, and local songwriter and man-about-town John Vecchiarelli (who also opens) is taking over the drum throne. It'll be a taste of Shoeshine Blue's forthcoming second album, which comes out later this year, and should show a marked progression from their previous record, the emotive, bare-bones Talk Real Slow. NL
VANDERBUILTE, THE DISCIPLES OF ROCK 'N' ROLL, DJ HWY
(Kelly's Olympian, 426 SW Washington) You can take the boy out of West Virginia, but you can't take the West Virginia out of the boy, no matter how hard you try. Nathaniel Boggess might wear many a hipster hat in Portland—party turntablist (DJ Teenage), the co-creator of a theatrical tribute to Footloose, and even a former employee of this paper from way back when—but he's still an Appalachian boy at heart. So when Boggess picked up a guitar, he stayed close to his rural roots, and the result was the murky country rock of Vanderbuilte. The band's rowdy honky-tonk songs on Going Home (self-released late last year) go best when accompanied by a shot of something stiff, and they'd be right at home at some backroad juke joint while playing for drinks on a stage protected by a chicken wire fence. EAC
KATE NASH, TRACHTENBURG FAMILY SLIDESHOW PLAYERS
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) See Music Feature.
TENDER LOVING EMPIRE BIRTHDAY: BOY EATS DRUM MACHINE, FINN RIGGINS, JARED MEES & THE GROWN CHILDREN, SUPER XX MAN, SOUTHERN BELLE, NEWSPAPERS, NADINE MOONEY
(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) See Once More with Feeling.
SOUTH, THE SILVER STATE, KI:THEORY, JOHNNY LLOYD
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Here in the States, South—or "sOuth" as their grammar-hating press materials put it—have always drifted aimlessly in the shadow of Coldplay. In the past they have been a bit too daring to settle for the Brit soft-rock thing, instead creating more expansive and heavily electronic rock songs. But those days are done, because with You Are Here, South are cashing (or, since style guides are now our common enemy, sOuth r ca$hing) in their chips and going for it. The record lacks punch, but it makes up for that with hit after hit, a selection of songs ripe for the Grey's Anatomy soundtrack set, or those just waiting for Chris Martin to stop making babies and start making records again. EAC
NOFX, NO USE FOR A NAME, AMERICAN STEEL
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) NOFX are the masters of dishing out leftist politics with a side of brainless humor. Or is it the other way around? On their recent live album, They've Actually Gotten Worse Live!, the pop-punk veterans make some of the strongest point-blank statements against President Bush and his minions ever recorded—all craftily hidden in fill-in-the-blank crowd participation, yuks, and overstatements that smuggle the vitriol ("If you do believe in God, you're wrong"). Years ago, the band championed LGBT rights ("Liza & Louise") and combated racial stereotypes ("Don't Call Me White"). Now they're pushing for a total overthrow of the US government: "If you think that punk rock doesn't mix with politics/Totally wrong." MM
ATMOSPHERE, ABSTRACT RUDE,
DJ RARE GROOVE
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) It seemed like the ship sailed on Atmosphere long ago. The onetime king of the backpackers, Slug ruled the roost as an emcee that could emote with even the gentlest of emo bedwetters, and then flip it around and pound his chest with a Suicide Girl-obsessed misogynistic thump. His live show became as predictable as his sound, with a bevy of white-capped frat boys eager to show that they "got" hiphop. So what the hell happened with his latest album, the ridiculously titled When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Shit Gold? It's fantastic. Gone is the focus on his personal hang-ups, soiled relationships, and tales of on-tour sexual heroics. Instead the record is seen through the eyes of a series of interesting protagonists. The walk-of-shame drunken regret of "Your Glass House" ("How'd ya get from the bar to this mattress?") is anchored by a mighty synth line and vocals by TV on the Radio's Tunde Adebimpe, and the upbeat "You" is clearly his finest work in years. The record is a grand departure from his previous style—which has grown stale in the shadow of forward-thinking labelmates Brother Ali and MF Doom—and has a whole lot more live-band rock to it than just a soft foundation of simplified beats. EAC Also see My, What a Busy Week!.
AU, MODERNSTATE, GEOFF SOULE
(Valentine's, 232 SW Ankeny) Au makes experimental folk-pop that's known for its unconventional instrumentation and elusively stark beauty. Their forthcoming second album, Verbs (out June 26), is an expansive, communal record, opening with "All My Friends/Are Animals," a massed incantation that turns into a street carnival, with voices and handclaps clearing the way for fantastical, oversized floats. It then travels through Sufjan Stevens' pep rally and the avant-garde minimalism of Ligeti before exploding for "RR vs. D," in which Becky Dawson of Ah Holly Fam'ly provides sumptuous, angelic vocals atop joyous flamenco hand-claps. It's a graceful, generous record, and it sounds like bandleader/multi-instrumentalist Luke Wyland decided to relinquish the spotlight to many of Portland's best musicians. But the cohesion and focus of Verbs is undeniable, as is the sheer gorgeousness of the songs. Live, Au are a potent and exciting trio, with Mark Kaylor's muted cymbals splashing all over Jonathan Sielaff's clarinet and Wyland's accordion. NL
THE LITTLE ONES, RA RA RIOT, PEP ASSEMBLY
(Towne Lounge, 714 SW 20th Pl) See Music Feature.
(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) See Music Feature.
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) At a time when most ambient sounds are in the realm of electronic music, it must be a bit of a challenge to create ambient psychedelia centered around the guitar. The High Violets give it a try with guitars and drums, and the result is classic shoegaze, although nowadays it's nü-gaze, though nobody knows what the hell that actually means. Kaitlyn ni Donovan purrs along as lead singer, sounding like a toned-down Jem—the singer, not the cartoon—at times. Her relaxed style doesn't always match the flurry of noises in the background, but it's certainly a sound that's all the Violets' own. DREW GEMMER
THE DIRTBOMBS, DAN SARTAIN,
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) See Music Feature.
FERN KNIGHT, EX REVERIE, IN GOWAN RING, AH HOLLY FAM'LY
(Someday Lounge, 125 NW 5th) Led by singer/guitarist Margaret Wienk, Philadelphia's Fern Knight make disjointed, stark, largely acoustic music, with a sensibility rooted in centuries-old folk and classical traditions. Contemporaries of Marissa Nadler and Espers (whose Greg Weeks recorded their recent self-titled album, the group's third), Fern Knight's music eschews psychedelia for a more introverted, baroque sensibility. Wienk's vocals can shift into a haunting register, and the band's restraint can turn quickly into something piercing and furious. This is a group capable of lulling you into a reverent pastoral mode, and just as quickly jolting you to attention via a few well-placed electric notes. TC