Primus and the Chocolate Factory with the Fungi Ensemble; Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway
Call me masochistic, but I am constantly on the lookout for garbage to punish my poor ears with. Creed's Human Clay has been stuck in my car CD player for the past year, and I listen to it and giggle every morning on the way to work. I remain disturbingly unaffected by most musical stupidity these days, but Primus' latest effort, the unbelievably titled Primus and the Chocolate Factory with the Fungi Ensemble—a "reimagining" of the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory soundtrack—has made me feel alive again. Extraordinary lowlights include the group's nearly unidentifiable rendition of "Candy Man"—which sounds like it features Beetlejuice on lead vocals—and "Pure Imagination," a classic that Claypool & Co. have managed to transform into a pitiable Tom Waits rip-off, replete with Primus' signature bass shred (the dorkiest shred of all). But it's all worth a listen, assuming you're as bored and depressed as I am.
Dead Moon w/Long Knife, the Drawingboard; Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside
Portland punk luminaries Dead Moon began as something of a hobby project for husband-and-wife duo Fred and Toody Cole. An independent band in every sense of the term, Dead Moon's earliest material was self-financed, self-recorded, self-pressed, and self-released on Tombstone Records, a homemade imprint launched as an extension of the Coles' music shop. Penetrating Dead Moon's catalog might seem a daunting prospect to the uninitiated: They released 14 full-length records in their 25-year run, all of which vary in listenability, and the group's super iconic imagery—which arguably exceeds their music in ubiquity—can make any newcomer feel late to the party. The group's debut record, In the Graveyard, is probably still their best—a tough, trashy composite of garage rock, country, and punk, compounded by some seriously great songwriting. There's also Echoes of the Past, a two-disc compilation released by Sub Pop that covers a lot of ground. Either way, it's never too late to hop on the Dead Moon bandwagon, and tonight's rare reunion gig—perhaps a sequel to last January's awesome reunion show, when the Coles played with Dead Moon drummer Andrew Loomis for the first time since 2006—is the ideal opportunity.