CLOUD CULT, SOUTHERLY, JEFF JOHNSON
(Fez, 316 SW 11th) See My, What a Busy Week!, pg. 17.
KAISER CHIEFS, THE WALKMEN, THE LITTLE ONES
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!, pg. 17.
KONONO NO. 1
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) See Music, pg. 20.
BLOOD BROTHERS, CELEBRATION, TRIUMPH OF LETHARGY SKINNED ALIVE TO DEATH
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) Unhappy about feeling too comfortable? Want change to come in the form of the music you listen to? Here's just the group to put some juice back into your step and get you scratching at your skin, you werewolf you. Seattle's Blood Brothers make the kind of blistering, experimental punk rock that sends trees full of crows swimming up through the sky, off of the safe limbs as if the hammer on a rifle had just struck its piece of thunder. It's as if they've sent that scalding sunburn into the eardrums, but in a way that actually doesn't feel, or sound, like hell. There's substance and poignancy to lead singer Jordan Blilie's howling, and that's more than can be said for those spooky crows. SEAN MOELLER
MONO, WORLD'S END GIRLFRIEND, THE DRIFT
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) The last time I saw Mono I thought I was losing my mind. They were so loud that the air from the speakers kept blowing my hair in all directions, and it's worth noting that I was in the back of the venue. It's amazing the amount of power and energy they can get out of their instruments—I don't think guitars are supposed to be able to get that loud. And while, yes, the past few albums have not lived up to their swan song Walking Cloud..., that doesn't mean they are to be missed live, because on stage they are really something fierce. My flapping hair can prove it. ROB SIMONSEN
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) You don't know my former neighbors. Hell, I barely knew them, but they offer an interesting insight when considering where Irishman Damien Rice—with fewer carefree-isms than the loveable Jack Johnson, but similar to the Curious George-workin' surfer when it comes to lady fawning—fits into the whole mess. Once, they were out of town and asked us to bring in their mail. We noticed some terribly boring home decorating magazines in the stack. This was who they were—a couple of students, who, even in their 20s, subscribed to Oprah's O. Another time, another "O," Rice's O could be heard coming from the neighbors' apartment. It was only then that I felt we had anything in common. You see, someone who reads The Believer won't generally be the same person reading Good Housekeeping, but those two people can come together and share a conversation—which we did—over a smart, mushy songwriter like Rice. SM
MUSEE MECANIQUE, PEOPLE NOISE, MODEL A
(Towne Lounge, 714 SW 20th Pl) People Noise hails from Louisville, Kentucky, but their fuzzful, soundscapey alt-rock sounds like the kind of solid opening band you'll often hear around town. To me they sound like Hum, if Hum was more precious, had a singer/songwriter for their vocalist, and were into U2. I guess I basically want them to have more bite—maybe that's what the live show is for. Headliners Musee Mechanique, on the other hand, fully embrace their softer side, featuring mellotron-like keyboards, tinkly bells, and subtle jazzy drumming. The results are beautiful, complex, thoughtful, memorable, and full of "everything right where it should be" decisions. It should make for a downright magical evening. JIM WITHINGTON
BLUE CRANES, MATT SHEEHY, SHOESHINE BLUE
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Nothing scares me more than a jazz group playing a rock club. When I see horns in a club setting, my first, and only, instinct is to flee. Blame ska. Granted, Holocene isn't your typical club, and Blue Cranes are far from your typical jazz quintet. Their abstract arrangements and bold decision to cover an Elliott Smith song make them a nice exception to the "no horns in the club" rule. Matt Sheehy is also a nice fit, a gifted songwriter with an impressive take on the stale singer/songwriting genre. EZRA ACE CARAEFF
SLOAN, THE 88
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!, pg. 17.
GRAILS, EVOLUTIONARY JASS BAND, PLANTS
(Someday Lounge, 125 NW 5th) See Music, pg. 19.
PAUL GREEN SCHOOL OF ROCK PERFORM PUNK ROCK 101, THE HATS, BLACKHEART WHITENOISE, MONKEY FUR
(Satyricon, 125 NW 6th) Fresh from a week of ringing "Hells Bells" and paying tribute to AC/DC, the youngsters from Paul Green School of Rock take on those damn punks. Since they are kids, does that mean they'll be covering Blink-182, Good Charlotte, and AFI? Oh, hell no. Someone did these kids right, as they will be performing tunes by the Clash, Blondie, the Damned, and more. Some punk songs can be PG-13, so if the kids ask you what "I Wanna Be Your Dog" is about, just lie and tell them it's about Iggy's Labradoodle. He loved that dog so much. EAC
ALL-AGES MATINEE: SODA POP KIDS, POP MACHINE, DJ MOONCHILD; 21+ LATE SHOW: THE PRIDS, SODA POP KIDS, POP MACHINE, DJ MOONCHILD
(Ground Kontrol, 511 NW Couch) Time travel at Ground Kontrol this Friday night! Seattle's Pop Machine kicks things off Shangri-Las style, with precious harmonies and bittersweet snarls. Up next are local darlings the Soda Pop Kids, whose high-octane set is like pounding 40 ounces of Jolt Cola. Dance your ass off as the ghost of Chuck Berry plays blistering leads among Spirit-of-'77 punks. Finally, cleanse your palate with the Prids' arsenal of heartbreakingly beautiful new wave hits, reminiscent of Joy Division and early Sonic Youth. And while this magic carpet ride could be like Quadrophenia, with mods and goths rumbling on the ripped-up bus mall, I predict more of a transporting love fest with dozens of T-shirts sold. VIVA LAS VEGAS
MINUS THE BEAR, THE HONORARY TITLE, CHIN UP CHIN UP
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) The cover of the Honorary Title's last record, Anything Else But the Truth, features an exaggerated panda bear sitting on its haunches, slathered in the blood of a child that it had just devoured. Another child—a little girl in a green dress—is standing in front of the bear silently asking, "Why?" One would think that the bear would say, "It's not because I didn't like your friend. I was just hungry. It's nature over mind." And that would be the truth that the girl probably wouldn't want to hear. So it is. The truth about this Brooklyn, NY, band is that they'll quickly get lumped into an emo genre because the band cut its teeth on that touring circuit, but there's much more than that passing/ignorable fad in these songs of life's little struggles that are more Cure than they are Dashboard. SM
ADULT., ERASE ERRATA, PARTS & LABOR,DJ COMMITTEE
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Sure, this bill boasts both Adult. and Erase Errata, but the real gem is the openers from Brooklyn—Parts & Labor. Much like label-mates Oneida, they have a penchant for turning noise into some beautiful pop music. First, you'll get caught by the drumming, which is so incredibly fast and cymbal-heavy that it seems almost impossible that one person could produce it. Second, you'll get hooked by the vocals, which are quite epic, yet seem to be coming from somewhere down the hall. Finally, the dentist drill keyboards will pummel your brain. As unappealing as this may sound, it is all based on pop melodies and hooks, which make Parts & Labor not only the friendliest, but also the most accessible, noise band around. RS
(Northstar Ballroom, 635 N Killingsworth) Thanks for nothing, Digital Knife. First you go and release the stellar, and tragically overlooked, Mini-van Nation, then you release a brand-new EP, International Incident, and BREAK-UP? WTF, seriously, dudes. It's not kosher to have your EP release show double as your final show. Regardless of this totally un-cool move, you should bid farewell to Digital Knife at their final performance, and be sure to pry open your wallets for the new EP while you're at it. EAC
SANDPEOPLE, GRAY MATTERS, ANIMAL FARM, DEBASER, THE ONE & ONLY, CLOCKWERK, BAD NEIGHBORS, ILLMACULATE
(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) See My, What a Busy Week!, pg. 17.
ELF POWER, CHARMPARTICLES, SCOTT McCAUGHEY
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) Can you be simultaneously hushed and huge? Life-affirming but secretly full of despair? On 2006's Back to the Web, Elf Power plays tense, minor-chord-laden tunes full of mystery and dread, menace and beauty that aren't dark, per se—they just give me that same unsettled feeling that bands like Low have mastered. Conjuring up images of nature and trees—not explicitly, but just from the feel of it all—these songs will slowly become a part of you until you can't help but be excited when, unexpectedly, one of them turns up on a mix CD or a jukebox. JW
(Towne Lounge, 714 SW 20th Pl) I've been getting into "the metal" lately, and Portland has not been disappointing with the supply line to the shred mines. This show promises a bullet train to the land of chalice drinking and centaur lords with the odyssey/fantasy that are the Portals. Mechanize the centaur, give it a shot of steroids in the ass, and you've got the muscular rawk that are Red Fang. Topping it off are Raleigh, NC's Birds of Avalon, who spin it "Planet Caravan"-style, rounding out the Saturday night trifecta of metallic escapism. LANCE CHESS
AQUEDUCT, WHAT MADE MILWAUKEE FAMOUS, THE DIMES
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!, pg. 17.
BIKES TO RWANDA BENEFIT: JATUN, LIFE AT THESE SPEEDS, SCIENCE OF YABRA
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) I'll get the music out of the way right quick. Jatun: Swirling soundscapes of shoegazer bliss and electro pop, they're great. Life at These Speeds and Science of Yabra: Two of Portland's finest post-punk bands, they're also great, but you already knew that. The real reason you should pony up your hard-earned cash at this show is to benefit Bikes to Rwanda. The Portland-based nonprofit provides cargo bicycles to Rwandan co-op coffee farmers. Before you go and support this great cause, check out their site, bikestorwanda.com, which has more information on their noble cause, and some stunning photos from Rwanda's coffee fields as well. EAC
MEMPHIS, THE POSTMARKS
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) The word "twee" started as a derogatory term, and hell, many people probably still have negative connotations with it. Thank god the indiepopsters of yesteryear had a sense of humor about it, using slogans like "twee as fuck" to prove how unconcerned they were about being juvenile. The Postmarks are an updated, more adult, version of the c86 twee sound—melodic, smooth, sophisticated pop—full of songs about rainy days, heartbreak, and unrequited love (sung by a female chanteuse named Tim). Along with their Bacharach-esque cinematic orchestration, the Postmarks have created one of the finest indiepop albums in recent memory with this year's self-titled debut—twee or otherwise. RS
WITCH MOUNTAIN, PARANAUT, DJ NATE C,
(Tube, 18 NW 3rd) It's odd how Black Sabbath can polarize, and unite, metal with such ease. It never seemed intentional, but each individual member of Sabbath was able to influence decade upon decade of heavy metal in different ways. Mainstream metal—and eventually, MTV—got their paws on Ozzy, and the poor fellow hasn't been the same since. Tony Iommi's guitar riffs have been co-opted by just about every kid with long hair and a Gibson SG. But the real surprise is that of drummer Bill Ward: His ability to drum alongside the heavy riffs of the band, plus those epic drum rolls, is practically the foundation of all stoner/doom metal. The trio of Witch Mountain (which features Mercury contributor Nathan Carson) does an impeccable job of utilizing Ward's Sabbath chops without aping the poor fellow. EAC
JOHNETTE NAPOLITANO, NOAH STONE
(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) Johnette Napolitano is the raspy frontwoman for Concrete Blonde, a band who—despite the best efforts of Liquid Jesus—will forever be known to me as the highlight of the Pump up the Volume soundtrack. Their cover of Leonard Cohen's "Everybody Knows" was a perfect fit to the film's post-Reagan rebellious freakout via the free airwaves of pirate radio. Much like Napolitano's solo work, the material feels a little dated to modern ears, but the meaningful intention is still there. Plus, it sure beats the Don Henley version of that song, which is a crime upon all humanity. EAC
BRIGHT EYES, OAKLEY HALL,MCCARTHY TRENCHING
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!, pg. 17.
ARCTIC MONKEYS, BE YOUR OWN PET
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) See My, What a Busy Week!, pg. 17.
THE KOOKS, ILLINOIS, THE HUGS
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See Music, pg. 19.
FROG EYES, ALEX DELIVERY, EUX AUTRES
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See Music, pg. 20.
!!!, MR. TUBE & THE FLYING OBJECTS, TELEPATHY, DJ BJ
(Someday Lounge, 125 NW 5th) It seemed that for a short, glorious time, you couldn't board a Brooklyn-bound "L" train without sharing a handrail with one of the (approximately) 48 members of !!!. While the band was birthed in Sacramento, Brooklyn is where they caught flame, peaking at a time where it was totally cool—if not mandatory—for all bands in the five boroughs to sound as similar to Gang of Four as possible. Granted, !!! were more about the white disco, and in 2004 they were party gods, the namedropped band du jour for hipsters the world over. But in all that kicked-up dust cloud of hype, we all forget one thing: !!! aren't particularly good. Sure, they're adequate when you're hitting the dancefloor, and making frequent expensive group trips to the bathroom (gee, that was subtle), but on record, they leave so much to be desired. Also, it's not 2004 anymore, and !!!'s stock has fallen off quite a bit. Live by the hype, die by the hype, I suppose. EAC
HALEY BONAR, DAY OF LIONS,ESKIMO SONS
(Towne Lounge, 714 SW 20th Pl) Living outside easy genre classification is dark territory. Take, for example, Minnesota's Haley Bonar. She's too rock 'n' roll to fall under either folk, blues, or country, yet she's nowhere near being considered a rock act. It's a shame, too, because her Badlands-influenced balladry is easily on par with that of Neko Case, Gillian Welch, or Aimee Mann. Throw in some poppy Rhodes keyboards to top it all off, and she becomes destined to miss any specific fanbase. Hopefully the indie scene will be forgiving to Bonar, because two albums in and she's already proven her worth as an unmistakable young talent, genre be damned. RS
MXPX, HAWK NELSON, THE CLASSIC CRIME, THE FOLD, SULLIVAN
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) MXPX is back on Tooth & Nail and headlining the label's annual spring tour. Wild, right? MXPX is still a band? Judging by the label reunion, the taking-under-wings of other righteous youngbloods and the continued creation of music that's roughly as fresh as February's croutons, it's true. Just like old times! Except someone either stretched their forehead back or has a hairline that's retreating like whoa. But we digress. Like the headliners, both Sullivan and the Fold have new records due soon, each featuring variations on the emo jingle-jangle the kids allegedly crave these days/weeks/months. Maybe they'll trigger some memories from the headliners. Like, y'know, what it's like to be relevant to young people. TRISTAN STADDON