JOHN WEINLAND, M. WILLIAM HELFRICH (Acme, 1305 SE 8th) Lower Hawthorne has been in desperate need of a decent bar for some time now, and though it's too soon to say if the brand new Acme will fit the bill, it is, at least, a large, comfortable space with cool lighting and no TVs. In other words, it's a great place to catch some music, and if you're planning to catch some music AND check out Acme, might as well complete the Triple Crown and come tonight, when John Weinland croons quirky acoustic ballads of love and loss, and M. William Helfrich wins your heart with nothing but a gravely voice and guitar. JUSTIN WESCOAT SANDERS
HOTHOUSE FLOWERS (Aladdin, 3017 SE Milwaukie) With St. Patrick's Day just two weeks away, it might seem like a brilliant time to brush up on Dublin-based debauchery and authentic jiggery with musicians named Fiachna O'Braonain and Peter O'Toole. However, as part of some unspoken exchange program, many actual Irish groups, the Hothouse Flowers included, emulate brassy American R&B ensembles while U.S. acts such as the Dropkick Murphys fetishize shamrocks and shenanigans. On the forefront of this trend, the Flowers released a sterling version of Johnny Nash's "I Can See Clearly Now" a year before 1991's The Commitments brought Irish soul covers to the cinematic masses. Bono dubbed his crooning countryman Liam O'Maonlai "the best white soul singer in the world," and while the category provides dubious competition (second place: Daryl Hall), the Flowers' frontman's gritty growls and delicate falsetto forays deserve accolades. ANDREW MILLER
FOLLIES BERGERE COCKTAIL CABARET (Crystal, 1332 W Burnside) See My, What A Busy Week Pg 17.
BOTTOM, STOVOKOR, SLOWHAWK (Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) It pains me to hype Bottom based on the fact that they're female stoner-rockers, but whatever, that's the way the world is, and if I didn't mention they were female, you'd assume they were men. Worry not though, these chicks dirge and drudge along with the likes of their male counterparts, although with exceedingly more accessible, understandable, and sexually appealing vocals. Along for the ride tonight will also be Portland's resident Klingon metal band, so to all you Star Trek/D&D nerds, start lacing up your black boots. KATIE SHIMER
CRACK SABBATH (BLACK SABBATH TRIBUTE) (Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside) Not just another gaggle of flailing theater nerds with a favorite band, Crack Sabbath has been active since the mid-'90s, infusing classic covers of Mingus and Coltrane, Ted Nugent and Mötorhead, or Nirvana and say, Alice In Chains, with a jazzy, soulful kind of love that's borne out of a garage project among friends, but that still draws a crowd 10 years later. MARJORIE SKINNER
BLOOD BROTHERS, CHINESE STARS, MEAN REDS (Loveland, 320 SE 2nd) Back in 2002, the Oops! Tour collapsed more than a couple lungs with a crush of art damaged hardcore and punk bands. The lineup's arsenal of rusty razor vocals, ice pick guitar stabs, and careening rhythms gutted typical, melodic rock and left its innards strewn scattershot around the club. This awesome show is like a mini-Oops! fest, with an impressive cast of characters. Riffing well off the Blood Brothers' panicked post-hardcore, the Mean Reds are a spastic underage collision of dance punk and rock, limbs flying everywhere as fistfights of synth riffs bruise crash-landing drum beats and "wuh-hoo" choruses. The Chinese Stars take the corpses of legendary acts Arab on Radar and Six Finger Satellite and perform nasty necrophilia on the stiffs--skidding synths, lyrics about discount DNA, and dance patterns that could dislodge objects from the throats of choking victims. JENNIFER MAERZ
SMYRC BENEFIT: T-REXXXA, POM POM MELTDOWN, CATHOLE (Nocturnal, 1800 E. Burnside) Wild, costumed, and burlesque-performing Leigh, Cort, and Zero have been blowing away audiences for years by inserting pop's most sublimated moments into raw punk anthems of positive pronoun usage, queer issues, trans issues, and anti-war choruses (they perform Taps!). T-Rexxxa, the Ghyest (pronounced "gayest") band in the universe, performs as part of a benefit for SMYRC's new music program. SMYRC is a queer and trans resource center that will soon be offering free classes for youth (under 23!) on how to use musical instruments, and they are still looking for donations of musical instruments, as well as volunteers to teach the classes. Pom Pom Meltdown and Cathole will dominate with heavy metal licks to train the ear to what Portland really listens to: music made by critical thinking, fun-making individuals who possess a talent for extraordinary entertainment. This show will be an incendiary blast of stylish hot awesomeness for the queer community and beyond. AMY VECCHIONE
LOVELY, SAFARI (Slabtown, 1033 NW 16th) In addition to the enthusiastic, tearin', pint-sized vocals Johnny Shitake brings to the stage during his band Lovely's dingy, greasy sets of rock n' roll bandana biker grit, look for familiar faces among the personnel of Safari. Looks like fans of ill-fated pop darlings Jackie might want to take a peek out from under their mourning veils. MARJORIE SKINNER
BUSDRIVER, 2MEX, SAND PEOPLE, INTELLECTUALLY SOUND, SANTOZIN (Conan's, 3862 SE Hawthorne) Los Angeles' underground mainstay and Visionaries member 2Mex subverts assumptions about Hispanic hiphoppers with bold verses animated by pathos and deft storytelling. The sensitivo MC also has the good sense to work with quality producers who mix old-school boom bap with indierock and Tex-Mex elements. Busdriver made bizarre waves with The Weather (with Daedelus and Radioinactive) for Mush Records. On Bus' solo joint, Fear of a Black Tangent, the quick-witted, mercurial-tongued maverick hones his cerebrum-knotting torrents of humorous esoterica and pop-cult minutiae to music as whimsical (including a dope sample of Can's "Turtles Have Short Legs") as his subject matter. DAVE SEGAL
JOHNNY HICKMAN, RADIO NATIONALS, BELLA FAYES (Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) Seattle's Radio Nationals serve up two sets; laying down some of their own material, the guys also play as backing band for their new super-best-friend Johnny Hickman (i.e. the other guy who founded Cracker), who is releasing a solo CD, Palmhenge, on April 19. KURT B REIGHLEY
HELIO SEQUENCE, THE PLANET THE, OVIAN (Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside) There is no news per se to report about Helio Sequence, the electronic pop duo behind Love and Distance, one of the prettiest, smartest, best electronicky pop records to come out last year (which was, of course, the year of electronic pop music). According to a publicist at their label, Sub Pop, they're building a studio in which to record the follow up to that gem, which is excellent news in a broad sense, but not really news. The band is amazing live, not least because of the way they transmute the richly textured sounds of their records to the stage with a minimum of fuss and personnel. SEAN NELSON
ROLLERBALL, YUMA NORA, PAINT & COPTER (Nocturnal, 1800 E Burnside) It seems like having a session, be it jam, recording, or at least rap, is or should be a required rite of passage for area bands in the post-anything, and at least somewhat experimentally friendly demographic. Born out of a more traditionally structured outfit, Rollerball's core members whore around musically with everyone from ex-local genius and Latin-cum-stoner songwriter Jorge Alvarez of Solo Dos En Tijuana to mover and shaker (and creator of the new free psyche showcase night on Sundays at Berbati's) Josh Blanchard of Point Line Plane. The result is a wildly eclectic smorgasbord that's at once playful and respectful of music's organic mutability. Definitely people you might want to see about meeting. MS
DEFIANCE (Paris, 6 SW 3rd) See My, What A Busy Week! Pg 17.
OAR, DONAVON FRANKENREITER, SOUTHLAND (Roseland, 8 NW 6th) As a public service announcement for those who care, O.A.R. will be headlining at the Roseland this evening, bringing their feel-good Dave Matthews/Samples-style jam rock along with. Enjoy O.A.R. fans, enjoy! KS
THE ACCIDENT EXPERIMENT, DEBRIS, KAPUDA, PATIENT (Sabala's Mt. Tabor, 4811 SE Hawthorne) Heads up, Portland, there be a demon in thy midst! Indeed, San Diego's The Accident Experiment is members of toothless stoner funk punks Sprung Monkey and posi-rapcore retards P.O.D. (Pathetic Old Dorks) in one supercharged, supercruddy supergroup of Tool-esque rock! It gets worse! Says MTV News," On any given night the same song can range from four to 15 minutes in length." Ye gods! The horror! Be thou forewarned of this show AND their new record, United We Fear, which is getting radio play all over the cultural Meccas of Florida and Southern California. Satanspawn! Devilborne! Avert thine eyes, children, it may change form! ADAM GNADE
BLACKOUT RADIO, AMADAN (Tonic, 3100 NE Sandy) Churning out just hard enough, bicep powered rock with a sleek, slightly grassy edge, Blackout Radio sets themselves apart form any other group on the crowded verge of punk with the addition of a standup bass anchoring the high energy songs. Satisfaction ratings tend to run high. MS
SOULS OF MISCHIEF, BUKUE ONE, LIBRETTO (Berbati's, 10 SW 3rd) See Music Pg 19
BEAR VS. SHARK, GATSBY'S AMERICAN DREAM, CIRCA SURVIVE, STILL LIFE PROJECTOR, CORRETTA SCOTT, FIVE MINUTE RIDE (Davey Jones' Locker, 5925 SE Foster) In Chris Bachelder's serrated satire Bear V. Shark, a computer-generated battle between the titular animals dominates American popular culture, surpassing the Super Bowl and Oscars as the media-saturated society's main event. Lacking such an all-encompassing spectacle, contemporary citizens must be content with lesser entertainment options, such as this concert by the Detroit-born group that swiped the novel's name. Bear Vs. Shark the band combines grizzly hardcore riffs and sharp-fanged lyrical content, making it much more ambitious than most of its terminally earnest emo peers. BVS writes slow-burning ballads that won't be mistaken for maudlin prom fodder, and even its most intense segments don't sacrifice melodic momentum for gratuitous noisiness. AM
ANTONY & THE JOHNSONS, COCOROSIE (Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside) See Music Pg 19.
MICHAEL MAYER, CARO, BAHB, DJ BRIAN FOOTE (Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See Music Pg 21.
THE CULPRITS, HELLSIDE STRANGLERS, MS 45 (Porky's, 835 N Lombard) Head out tonight for some dirty punk in North Portland. The Hellside Stranglers put on a tight, loud, frenzied live show, and the Culprits put on an even louder screamy hardcore punk show that will make you want to jump around and break shit--but don't. Just enjoy the music in all its debaucherous glory. KS
LAURA KEMP, STEVE SMITH (Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Eugene resident Laura Kemp has enjoyed a long and accomplished career in rugged granola folk. A staple at various Oregon music festivals, her vocals possess an unassuming sincerity that is immediately disarming. Her latest album May is a tender and lovely collection of outdoor odes, with well-placed banjos and fiddles that add an air of the rustic. JUSTIN WESCOAT SANDERS
METAL SUNDAY W/LAST DAY TO LIVE, FALLING CLOSER, ATYPICAL THEME, KUSTEM, ANTICX (Sabala's, 4811 SE Hawthorne) Love metal? Love Sabala's? Take an opportunity to see what the Portland metal scene has going on with this roundup of local metal bands prepared to share their wares. Last Day to Live describes themselves as screamo/post hardcore. Falling Closer are heavy and pretty radio friendly, but overall listenable. Atypical Theme are like a heavy metal Primus with a lot of yelling--but regardless of whether any or all of these bands blow your mind, it's a Sunday night metal smorgasbord, and that's pretty cool. KS
HOBO GOBBELINS, MOONPENNY OPERA, INTERNATIONAL MAGGOT THEATER, ONE MAN BANJO (Tribe, 403 NW 5th) "Troglodyte Jug Band" the Hobo Gobbelins hail from Oaktowne, CA, but they are fantasy-universes away from the duct-taped disco punk of many of their neighborhood brethren. Part of a vast underground cabal of semi-degenerate, drug & dumpster addled artists, including Orcish death metal villains Clan of the Bleeding Eye and shadow puppet cabaret International Maggot Theater, the Hobo Gobbelins spin their mischief with accordion and violin-led hoedowns of truly impish circuitry. Fun fact: lead Hobo Gobbelin Dylan McPuke is one of the nicest men alive and one of the only people in the world who has kissed PM music editor Zac Pennington on the mouth. SAM MICKENS
THE FUTUREHEADS, SHOUT OUT LOUDS, HIGH SPEED SCENE (Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside) On their third swing through Seattle in less than a year, Sunderland's Futureheads are towing with them Sweden's Shout Out Louds and LA's High Speed Scene for a sparkling collection of bright pop. The Futureheads' clipped, harmonic, angular punk edge makes them the sharpest of the three, but Weezer fans might find a new crush in the High Speed Scene and SOL give lovelorn pop fuzzy guitar warmth. JM
KING COBRA, DIE MONITR BATSS, THE PLANET THE (Towne Lounge, 714 SW 20th Pl.) It's a no wave beat down. Die Monitr Bats do a robotic jerk through claw-scratched guitars, saxophone skronk, and stuttered symbol hits, their monotone calls to destroy rats delivered with the anxiety level of recorded airport voices requesting you don't park in the white zone. Anchored by the Gossip's Nathan Pane and members of Sleepmute Nightmute, the band does the chop and paste art punk thing to the nines. JM
THE STANDARD, NELS ANDREWS (Berbati's, 10 SW 3rd) Local heroes The Standard have roughed up their sound a bit on the latest record Wire Post to Wire, and the ensuing guitar chug is a nice counterbalance to Tim Putnam's tremulous vocals. He sounds like a frightened old man caught out in a winter storm, but there's something sort of exhilarating about that. JWS
THE MUSIC, KASABIAN (Crystal, 1332 W Burnside) See Music Pg 21
PROJECT 86, HE IS LEGEND, CLASSIC CASE (Loveland, 320 SE 2nd) Art Alexakis explained He Is Legend perfectly when he sang, "you try to be everything to everyone!" On HIL's new record, I Am Hollywood, they bounce from screamo to nu-metal to Christian punk to hardcore to '90s alterna slime and that's just in the FIRST TWO EFFING SONGS! Consider it 10 (plus?) groups playing tag-team relay band. Like, it's Weezer with the intro, then (tag!) Switchfoot with the first verse then, (tag!) a big Korn chorus then, (tag!) a Blood Brothers bridge. And so on. What's the deal? Money, natch. They're trying to be everything to everyone's... wallet. Get used to it. In today's Byzantine music biz, this's the wave of the future. (I'm moving to the Moon.) AG