O'DEATH, ROCK PLAZA CENTRAL, OH CAPTAIN, MY
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) See My, What a Busy Week!
AKIMBO, BLACK ELK
(Ground Kontrol, 511 NW Couch) At their very core, Seattle's Akimbo is a punk band, one that tours the country in a ratty van (the same van that they adorn with a Viking sail on the cover of their latest record, Navigating the Bronze), sleeps on strangers' floors, and bathes in the sinks of Flying J truck stops. They are pure as dirt, a workingman's punk band, lacking all ego or concern for image or popularity. But they are also a metal band, one that is unafraid to stack amps to the very heights of the heavens and deafen the masses with gritty sludge and moaning feedback. If you need reference, think Lords and other "Louisville Sound" bands who are unafraid to take the volume and darkness of metal and propel it along using the hustle and scrappy charm of a couple punk kids touring the country in some beat-up Dodge. EZRA ACE CARAEFF
MASERATI, WE'RE FROM JAPAN, THE DISTANCE FORMULA, THE
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) My theory on instrumental bands is that everyone likes one. Not two or a dozen, just one. You like Explosions in the Sky? Great, now don't bother with Tristeza or Mono. It's a frustrating thing, seeing as how a select few of the bands that shun the crutch of vocals can produce some really awe-inspiring music. One of these top-tier instrumental acts is Maserati, based out of Athens, Georgia, with members currently scattered in Corvallis and Brooklyn, as well. While their songs have a majestic flow to them—complete with restrained keys and shimmering guitars—Maserati is all about drummer Jerry Fuchs. In addition to his mesmerizing work here, Fuchs mans the kit for funksters !!!, as well as doing time in Juan MacLean and the math-rock icons Turing Machine. You know the clichéd rock move of the drummer tossing his sticks into the crowd at the end of the show? Well, if Fuchs does that tonight, heaven help the poor soul that gets between those Zildjians and me. Those sticks are mine! EAC
YO MAJESTY, ATOLE, CAPTAIN AHAB, FOOT VILLAGE, DJ
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See My, What a Busy Week!
QUI, LOZEN, MONKEY TRICK
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!
THOR, THE PUNK GROUP, DARK BLACK
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) The "Original Rock Warrior and Metal Legend," Thor returns from Valhalla to rock the pants off Portland. And I really do mean pants off. I've always put Thor in the same camp as Manowar, the type of chiseled and glistening-chested beefcake metal that is like a homoerotic wet dream set to a throbbing butt-metal soundtrack. His bio doesn't exactly counter this argument, as it states, "Thor is still an immensely powerful man in incredible shape and a dedicated performer. Blowing up hot water bottles, bending steel, and having cinder blocks broken over his chest are all in a night's work." So come to the show to watch the man bend some hard steel—just leave your girlfriend at home. EAC
THE QUAVERS, SHOESHINE BLUE, LAEL
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) "Darling promise me you'll kill me in my sleep if I'm still waiting tables here this time next year," sing the Quavers on "Snow Day." My first emotion after listening to Brooklyn's the Quavers was one of pure wall-punching anger and frustration. Where the holy hell has this band been all my life? How is it that I get bombarded by press releases all day for new albums by horrible bands (there is a new Korn album out now, just in case you were curious), but I've never heard a peep about the Quavers? All anger aside, the band utilizes sly electronics, softly strummed guitars, and soft vocals, making the duo (T. Griffin and Catherine McRae) a perfect fit for the cozy Mississippi Studio confines. EAC
LUCKY DRAGONS, FORTRESS OF AMPLITUDE,
(The Artistery, 4315 SE Division) The recorded works of Luke Fischbeck (AKA Lucky Dragons) abound with exuberant beatmaking, made from sounds taken from sources as disparate as anti-war demonstrations and acoustic stringed instruments. The recent Widows forges brittle-sounding strings and the occasional wordless vocals into something warm and, at its best, bliss inducing, while Hawks and Sparrows takes minute audio clips from protests to create a resonant sort of ambience. Live, Fischbeck manipulates an array of electronics, creating all-encompassing sound fields that at times feel surprisingly danceable. His ongoing performance, Make a Baby, incorporates the mood and composition of the audience through physical contact, as photographs and video on Lucky Dragons' website document crowds enthusiastically holding hands, clasping arms, and touching finger-to-finger—grins and smiles abound. TOBIAS CARROLL
VALIENT THORR, RIVERBOAT GAMBLERS, TOTOMOSHI, KANDI
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) I first heard about Valient Thorr last year from Scott Avett of the Avett Brothers. Avett's a huge fan of the garage-metal five-piece from Chapel Hill, North Carolina; the two bands have toured together in the past. Crunchy and aggressive, Valient Thorr sound something like a less hardcore Rollins Band, had Rollins' rants veered from street-corner politics into wacko eye-in-the-pyramid conspiracy theory. They've released a couple records, the last one on the Volcom label (who knew? Warped Tour, I guess, where there's a Volcom side stage that Valient Thorr have played coast-to-coast two years running), and are rumored to put on a guitar-tastic stage show. Also, they claim they're from Venus. JONATHAN ZWICKEL
THE HEDONIST, LESBIAN, GRAYCEON, SIBERIA,
(Satyricon, 125 NW 6th) Despite the silly name, Seattle's Lesbian deliver a heavy melodic crunch that twists and bends classic prog-rock into something much more modern and metallic. The instrumentals they weave are grandiose, lurching caravans of twin guitar that stream across bleeding sunsets, which suddenly dilate like possessed Rubik's Cubes. Along for the ride are San Francisco's Grayceon, a heavy power trio that forsakes the guitar for Jackie Perez Gratz's formidable cello. Her back-up band mates are from the hesher/shredder group Walken. Prepare for a busy night, as these bands will unfurl an album's worth of riffs in each tune. And they make it look so goddamn easy. NATHAN CARSON
MEDESKI, SCOFIELD, MARTIN & WOOD
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Nearly 10 years ago, when Medeski, Martin, and Wood played the second-to-last set on the mainstage at Bumbershoot, I didn't think music, especially theirs, could get much better. A tight trio of immensely talented musicians, they skirted the very definition of what jazz was, imbuing it with eccentric bursts of sound more suited to a Phish-like jam band. Ten years later, enter John Scofield—the outrageously skilled guitarist seemingly fated to at some point join this oddball jazz get-up—and everything takes a great leap forward. All of a sudden, the occasionally sparse arrangements of MM&W are overlayed with the cracklin' snap of Scofield's classically trained be-bop riffs and now you've got an entirely different monster. The kind of monster that is so talented that you just want to lie down and let it wash over you until you're nothing but a few misplaced jazz chords floating in a puddle of body liquid. NOAH SANDERS
THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS, LAVENDER DIAMOND,
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) See Music Feature.
ANIMAL COLLECTIVE, WIZARD PRISON, ERIC
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) See Music Feature.
PLANES MISTAKEN FOR STARS, DRUNKEN BOAT, OLD GROWTH, KINGDOM
(Satyricon, 125 NW 6th) See Once More with Feeling.
REBECCA GATES, TU FAWNING, EUX AUTRES
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Rebecca Gates possesses one of the most intimate voices in the realm of indierock, and the evolution of the music she's made—from her work as one-half of the Spinanes in the mid-'90s, to the more atmospheric pop most recently heard on 2001's Ruby Series—has served to accentuate that more and more. Gates' website indicates that new music is being recorded, which comes as fine news, as live appearances in recent years have been sporadic, but included a tour with the Decemberists and a residency at New York City's Knitting Factory. Even stripped down to their barest components, voice and acoustic guitar, Gates' songs feel richer than a dozen horn-section-with-strings numbers. TC
THE CINEMATIC ORCHESTRA, GREY REVEREND
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) How one man can go from tragically naming his band Crabladder to picking the moniker the Cinematic Orchestra for his next project is beyond me. But such is the case for Jason Swinscoe, the driving force behind both acts. Thankfully, the Cinematic Orchestra live up to their amazing name, mixing jazz, down-tempo electronica, and hiphop beats with perfection, often even incorporating live experimentation in the mix, just to keep things fresh. Beat-oriented enough for the hiphop kids, technical enough for musicians, and smooth enough for the NPR set, the Cinematic Orchestra have found a great niche, far, far away from the ghost of Crabladder. ROB SIMONSEN
AMBER ASYLUM, RABBITS, WITCH MOUNTAIN, CICADAS, FLYING
(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) It used to be that if you wanted your child to grow up right, you got them violin lessons. You know who doesn't carjack you and force you to smoke crack at the barrel of a loaded gun? People who took violin lessons, that's who. And I'm sure the parents of Kris Force meant well when encouraging their daughter's interest in violin—but lo and behold, she took that talent and started hanging out with the wrong crowd: the metal kids. The result has been the always-intriguing Amber Asylum, a darkened trip through the usually predictable world of classical music. Force is known for her formidable talent onstage, and for her ability to round up collaborators, including members of Neurosis, plus former Man Is the Bastard (this band used to give me nightmares) bassist Eric Wood, who is now a fulltime member. All this, and tonight is the anniversary of Rotture. Seems like just yesterday that the space was Loveland. Or Meow Meow. Or B Complex. Regardless, Rotture celebrates its one-year anniversary, which is no easy feat in the rough and tumble world of music venues. Here's hoping for many more, plus some anniversary cake. Everyone loves cake. EAC
LOUDON WAINWRIGHT III, SHELLEY SHORT
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) See Music Feature.
TWO GALLANTS, BLITZEN TRAPPER, SONGS FOR
(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) See My, What a Busy Week!
LUMINOUS CRAFT, WORLD HISTORY, J. DOROTHY
(Valentine's, 232 SW Ankeny) Luminous Craft—consisting of Dominick Campbell "and friends"—tumbles in on tour from New Mexico with intimately designed tunes incorporating just a wee bit of twang. Campbell backs his fingerpicked guitar with sustained keyboard chords and violin, and even though he does have some instrumental tracks, his whispered vocals add a much-needed sense of atmosphere and mystery. Tourmate Neil Campau's "art project," World History, lives up to its name by writing songs about explorers and proclaiming a love for history's losers. The fact that he sings like Silkworm's Tim Midgett means that even repeating the line "thank god for 1841" over and over doesn't feel like a misstep. JIM WITHINGTON
WILLIAM ELLIOT WHITMORE, TIM BARRY, JOSH SMALL, HIS NAME
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) See My, What a Busy Week!
SILVER APPLES, THE MOON UPSTAIRS, ETERNAL TAPESTRY, DJ
(Someday Lounge, 125 NW 5th) The Silver Apples formed in 1967 in New York and are comprised of percussionist Danny Taylor and vocalist Simeon. The duo only released two proper albums together (well, not counting the third one that was lost in an attic for 30 years), but those recordings are often considered modern classics. Prompting pretentious record store clerks to proclaim "How can you not own these records?!," the Apples lie in the Beefheart-vein of music geekdom. Their music is really incredible—influencing countless bands in the decades following their demise—but unless you're diehard about it, chances are they won't be getting too many plays around the house. Regardless, this show should prove to be something worth seeing, record nerd or not. RS
HORSE FEATHERS, ORA COGAN, AEROSOL CONSTELLATIONS, BIRD
(Valentine's, 232 SW Ankeny) You've probably already heard that no one in Portland puts on a better show than Horse Feathers these days. Opening one-man band Bird Costumes (Daniel Osborne) plays noisy avant material with just enough structure to make it tastily accessible. For this show, Osborne will be collaborating with like-minded friends Aerosol Constellations to make what he calls "atmospheric, pretty, droney, sleepy music." Finally, Ora Cogan's voice perfectly matches her song titles like "My Sweetie Went Away," and "My Belle"—she's got that old-time folky/jazz thing that will instantly make converts of the Casey Dienel or Laura Gibson fans out there. JW
DIPLO, SWITCH, DJ BEYONDA
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See My, What a Busy Week!
THE FLAMING LIPS, BLACK MOTH SUPER
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) See Music Feature.
THE MELVINS, BIG BUSINESS
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) The first time I saw the Melvins, they were literally booed off the stage. Since then, they have become one of the more prolific and enviable rock bands in history. Their catalog fluctuates like Zappa's, and their fans similarly slaver in total submission to the band. The artistic whims of guitarist Buzz Osborne and drummer Dale Crover seem to turn every bead of sweat into an album, DVD, or document of some sort. With a straight face, I can say that John Bonham and Keith Moon did not live long enough to become the drummer that Crover is today. Now with the added rhythm section of Big Business, the Melvins are an even heavier monstrosity. As much as Nirvana, Atlantic Records, Tool, and Ozzfest are questionable entities, we should thank the corporate powers that be for helping Melvins gain a following so fervent to allow them to indulge themselves for the foreseeable future. NATHAN CARSON
STRANGERS DIE EVERY DAY, LISA PAPINEAU,
(Towne Lounge, 714 SW 20th Pl) The more complicated the music of Lisa Papineau, the better it gets. Case in point: the basic, stripped-down version of "Diamonds and Pearls," from her 2006 full-length Night Moves, which falls a bit flat with lyrics like "Who gave you diamonds/Who gave you pearls?/Who sends you treasure/All around the world?" The "Chachi Jones" remix for the song adds some voices, ups the tempo, and fits in much better as a dance-pop number that recalls a bit of Frou Frou, but with dreamier, more open lyrics. When a jazz combo kicks off the remix for "Power and Glory Part 1," you know you're hearing an artist looking to find something more than ordinary. JW
TUMBLEDOWN, THE ONLY CHILDREN, ACADIA & THE
(Tonic Lounge, 3100 NE Sandy) There was a time when you couldn't toss a balled-up sweater in the city of Lawrence, Kansas, without hitting a member of the Get Up Kids, or their entourage of up-and-coming bands. In the late '90s, Lawrence was the emo capital of the USA, the place A&R folks rushed to find the latest and greatest Midwest band of boys (with a token girl on keyboard) to make them all rich—which helped project the Anniversary into the limelight. Their sugary pop filled the void left by the Rentals (who dropped off the face of the planet around that time), plus their touring partners read like a who's who of the hot new emo bands du jour. But it was all too much, too fast, and the band shit the bed, suddenly and unexpectingly trading emo for limp revisionist classic rock. It was a horrible decision, as the change in sound felt forced (Bellbottoms? Really?), and sensing their mistake, the band folded in 2004. The Only Children was started by a trio of Anniversarites, but only singer/guitarist Josh Berwanger remains. Musically, they have a shaggy-haired Kings of Leon sound, a band unafraid to incorporate some Cheap Trick riffs here and there, all the while ignoring the rattling emo bones hidden in their closet. EAC