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THURSDAY 7/23

THE PAINS OF BEING PURE AT HEART, GIRLS, CHAMPAGNE SOCIALISTS

(Backspace, 115 NW 5th) See Music.

MICACHU AND THE SHAPES

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) The spiky, elusive pop songs of Mica Levi are an exhilarating marriage of convention and the unconventional; acoustic guitars strum and gentle drumbeats patter, but the arrangements soon go AWOL, melting into videogame glitch or disappearing down rabbit holes. Levi (AKA Micachu), whose vocals sound uncannily like a young Dave Davies, reportedly builds many of her own instruments, and the resultant sounds are deconstructions of familiar noises. Listening to Micachu and the Shapes' debut, Jewellery, is like sacrificing your favorite cassette to a Sony Walkman on its last legs—the battery's crapping out and the tape ribbon is being eaten alive by the gears, but what a thrill to hear music melting in front of your ears. NED LANNAMANN

IPRC BENEFIT: AH HOLLY FAM'LY, ARRINGTON DE DIONYSO, ALEX WREKK, DJ VIC ALFONZO, COLIN JONES

(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) The world of independent publishing has always been a rough one, and in these trying economic times, things have only gotten harder. In response to the difficulties being faced in the non-profit and small business sectors, there will be a benefit show for the Independent Publishing Resource Center, a unique nonprofit self-publishing center that offers aspiring creative types the resources they need to get their projects off the ground and running. Ah Holly Fam'ly and their signature mix of delicate folk and heartbreaking arrangements will be featured, along with a reading from zine queen Alex Wrekk, a performance from Old Time Relijun frontman Arrington de Dionyso and a '90s-themed dance party with DJs Vic Alfonzo and Colin Jones. THEODORA KARATZAS

AWOL ONE, IAME, ONRY OZZBORN, CESCHI RAMOS, JOSH MARTINEZ

(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) While IAMe's masterpiece is still yet to be produced, the just released I Am My Enemy brings him one step closer. A collaboration with Sandpeople crew-mate Sapient (who produces the album's beats and contributes vocals to several tracks), I Am My Enemy's dark lyrics and prophetic rhymes are nicely accompanied by Sapient's foreboding tracks. The album peaks on "Unlikely Candidate," a full-disclosure about the emcee's urban and suburban roots, and the uneasy straddling of those two worlds. The future holds great things for IAMe, and while probably not maximizing his full potential, I Am My Enemy holds some great things for listeners, as well. GRAHAM BAREY

FRIDAY 7/24

AGES, GOLDEN HOLY, GARRETT PIERCE

(The Woods, 6637 SE Milwaukie) See My, What a Busy Week!

PDX POP NOW!: THE MINUS 5, EXPLODE INTO COLORS, ANIMAL FARM, THE MINT CHICKS & MORE

(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) See Music.

NIGHTCLUBBING: HORSE MEAT DISCO, LINGER AND QUIET

(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Nightclubbing residents Linger and Quiet have shown excellent curatorial sense over the past few years and can be credited with bringing guests like Hercules and Love Affair, Simian Mobile Disco, Justice, and Tim Sweeney to Portland. In celebration of their two-year anniversary, they've invited two like-minded DJs from London to elevate the party—James Hillard and Jim Stanton. The pair started the popular London dance night Horse Meat Disco by drawing on the spirit of the 1970s NYC gay club era, while maintaining an ethos of inclusiveness that allows any and all curious dancers to imagine themselves in a discothèque of a different era. Known for presenting the very best of Italo disco and electropop sounds to crowds unconcerned with gay vs. straight divisions, Horse Meat Disco is all about the magic of a club experience where people enjoy music with the those around them, no matter what they're wearing, or who they're fucking. AVA HEGEDUS

THEMSELVES, CARS & TRAINS, HOSTILE TAPEOVER

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Themselves is the Anticon superduo of shapeshifting battle rapper Doseone and dexterous producer Jel. Their new album/mixtape, The Free Houdini, their first as Themselves in six years, finds the team joined by a host of Anticon-aligned emcees, including Aesop Rock, Slug, Busdriver, and Why?'s Yoni Wolf. Even among such rarefied company, Doseone and Jel have no problem standing out. Jel's production is hyperactively arranged, equal parts bumping and baffling, with big, round bass hollowing out his digitally degraded beats. Doseone's rapping is typically breakneck and hairpin turning, his rupturing voice alternately a tuneful moan, a hiccupping high whine, and a snarling nasal sneer (when he boasts, "I'll wolf you," he sounds every bit an animal). ERIC GRANDY

SATURDAY 7/25

PDX POP NOW!: STRENGTH, PIERCED ARROWS, NICE NICE, LAURA GIBSON, DEELAY CEELAY & MORE

(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) See Music.

THE WEAKERTHANS, JASON COLLETT

(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) Many years ago John K. Samson utilized the springboard of Propagandhi to shine some light on his far mellower, introspective material with the Weakerthans. In the decade-plus that followed, the Weakerthans escaped the good ship pop-punk in exchange for steadier footing in rural Canadian prairie folk and country, and it's there that the band, and the writing of Samson, has flourished. You can write a song a day for the rest of your existence, and odds are none will touch the effortless beauty of "Night Windows," just one of many gems buried deep in 2007's Reunion Tour. As Portlanders, we all owe this band a sincere apology following their 2004 show at Bossanova, where nearly the entire sold-out crowd vacated the venue after a set from openers—yes, openers—the Arcade Fire. It was like someone pulled the fire alarm. EZRA ACE CARAEFF

MIKA MIKO, AUDACITY, PANTHER, DINNER AND THE MAIN COURSE

(Satyricon, 125 NW 6th) For each blurb praising Los Angeles punk band Mika Miko on their dance moves, their clothing, their shitty homemade microphone, and their involvement in nonprofit all-ages music space the Smell, there is a blurb overlooking their significant music. Mika Miko are a hurricane in the face of last-gasp rock: fast and inspired 4/4 imperfection, dual-hellion shout-along, a hint of surf guitar, and a heap of disjointed no-wave skronk. They're also too derivative. "Capricorinations" and "Business Cats," from the Kill Rock Stars full-length C.Y.S.L.A.B.F., are equal parts the Waitresses and Erase Errata—catchy and nostalgic, and ultimately disposable. Maybe that's the point. The latter's vocals, over Contortions-esque elasticity, answer one singer's "Turn up the volume!" with the other's "Get excited!" And why shouldn't we? MIKE MEYER

SATAN'S PILGRIMS, THE GHASTLY ONES, DJ T-1-11

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) When it comes to the Pacific Northwest's place in rock 'n' roll, folks can talk about grunge and indie rock all they want, but the region's first, and most lasting contribution—yes, even predating the Wipers—is the garage rock of bands like the Kingsmen and the Sonics. Longtime Portland instrumental band Satan's Pilgrims are steadfast practitioners of this vintage of garage rock, with a healthy dose of Ventures-style surf guitar. Psychsploitation, Satan's Pilgrims' newest record—and first of all-new material in 10 years—is an incredibly fun, note-perfect escape to the far-out '60s, complete with titles like "Psycle Pswami" and "Tracers (of Love)." The cape-costumed group'll play host to a raving dance party, so swallow a sugarcube and put on those go-go boots. NL

SUNDAY 7/26

PDX POP NOW!: MENOMENA, AU, LIGHTHEADED, THE SHAKY HANDS, THRONES, NURSES & MORE

(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) See My, What a Busy Week!, and Music.

OCEANIA, SKELETONS WITH FLESH ON THEM, STENCIL, IMAGINARY FRIENDS

(Ash Street Saloon, 225 SW Ash) Despite a moniker that triggers thoughts of black T-shirts with unreadable logos, corpse paint, and artwork from Vince Locke, Skeletons with Flesh on Them are not—in fact—a metal band. Instead, this Seattle quartet are a quirky indie ensemble with a singer that bridges the (narrow) gap between the wordplay of Colin Meloy, the oozing sentimentalism of Ben Gibbard, and the goofiness of Gordon Gano. For a self-released debut, All the Other Animals sounds lovely, a sincere display of winding melodies and whipsmart lyrics that could challenge BOAT for the crown of best pop act in Seattle. EAC

MARTY MARQUIS, HALEY BONAR

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Haley Bonar's most recent record, Big Star, is stuffed full of inventive sounds and textures, which wouldn't matter so much if the songs weren't terrific. (They are.) Instead of plowing that familiar furrow of literate-minded singer/songwriter country-pop that NPR creams for, Bonar seeks a more lustrous, vital sound that's totally gripping and impossible to shake, with a voice that conveys as much empathy as it does mystery. How lucky for us, then, that she has made the move from Minnesota to our fair city. Now the chances have exponentially increased for her to pop up on local stages as a special guest (as she did during Andrew Bird's set at Edgefield last Saturday) or for us to catch her at a casual gig like today's free Sunday afternoon show on the Doug Fir patio. NL

MONDAY 7/27

PANTHER, CASY & BRIAN, TOTAL BROS, MAGIC JOHNSON, NU SENSAE

(Backspace, 115 NW 5th) See My, What a Busy Week!

WARPAINT

(Music Millennium, 3158 E Burnside) See today's listing.

WARPAINT, MOON RATS, MIKAH SYKES

(Valentine's, 232 SW Ankeny) Certain bands excel in particular spaces. For Warpaint, a breezy, tranquil, starry night at an intimate venue is ideal. There the group's ghostly vapors should float right on through the wispy curtains and off into the summertime sky. For the Los Angeles foursome—three girls and a boy—these grooves (as opposed to more shifting pop compositions, which they mostly avoid) run the risk of becoming trapped in a larger venue. At Valentine's, they should be safe. It's also a homecoming of sorts: Co-vocalists Emily Kokal and Theresa Wayman grew up in Eugene, where Kokal cut her teeth in a band with tonight's opener Mikah Sykes. Here's hoping the two rekindle the fabulous, effervescent and bittersweet folk single "I Would Not" during his set. Word is they might. ANDREW R TONRY

NOISETTES

(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) With sophomore album Wild Young Hearts, London's Noisettes are now following the trend instead of setting it. The warm, retro-soul trappings of current single "Never Forget You" sound aimed straight for the wallets of Amy Winehouse fans, and the disco beat of "Don't Upset the Rhythm" is comfortably ensconced in the dance-punk trend of a few years ago. So, familiarity aside, let it be said that lead singer Shingai Shoniwa is a much stronger and more inventive vocalist than Amy Winehouse can ever hope to be—and a much more likeable presence, to boot—and that the music of Noisettes is capable of making a lot of people have a lot of fun, even if it's nothing they haven't heard before. NL

TUESDAY 7/28

JAPANDROIDS, FLASPAR, WHITE FANG

(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See Music.

THURSTON MOORE (DJ SET)

(Jackpot Records, 203 SW 9th) See My, What a Busy Week!

SONIC YOUTH, AWESOME COLOR

(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) If I can whittle down an entire lifetime of rock obsession to one single memory, it would be Thurston Moore dry-humping an amp with his guitar in a swirling sea of feedback. Witnessing this scene has been a constant occurrence in my life—I have three shirts from the Dirty tour, all purchased on my 13th birthday, to prove it—and a staple of the Sonic Youth live experience. Even if this year's The Eternal is no Daydream Nation (or Rather Ripped, for that matter), and the mere act of peering at Thurston and Kim reminds you of your fragile mortality, Sonic Youth just might be the most important band of my lifetime. They survived New York in the '80s, the burst/bloom/collapse of the '90s alt-rock scene, and even an extended stay from Jim O'Rourke—thus proving that no matter what else happens in this world, Sonic Youth are forever. EAC Also, see My What a Busy Week!

MÖTLEY CRÜE, GODSMACK, THEORY OF A DEADMAN, DROWNING POOL, CHARM CITY DEVILS

(Clark County Amphitheater, 17200 NE Delfel, Ridgefield, WA) Look, we can all agree that The Dirt makes for a pretty good read, right? And that a drum kit that spins upside-down in midair over the crowd is fucking siiiiiiick? And that Vince Neil and his infighting harem of skanks is the orangest thing on reality TV? But do we really need Mötley Crüe playing a reunion tour in 2009? The devil has been shouted at, Dr. Feelgood's medical license has long since been revoked—it's over. Do not go anywhere near this show. (The first six rows will get hepatitis!) EG

GHOSTIES, EL COME HOME, SUPPORT FORCE

(Ella Street Social Club, 714 SW 20th Pl) Devin Gallagher is a hardworking dude. The co-founder/owner/everyman of Portland's offbeat indie label Boy Gorilla (and High Scores and Records), Gallagher is releasing the ninth record from his Ghosties solo project since 2006. Cuffs Off is Gallagher's first foray into pseudo-rapping, which (a) surprisingly works and (b) sounds distinctively Ghosties. Lo-fi cracks and muffled vocals lend the EP a hand, especially on name-dropping "Pine Trees" ("We'll drive your car out to Sauvie Island/And we'll sing Kickball all the way") as a typewriter carriage constantly resets over a warm splash of guitar. Cuffs Off is about the love for summer and friends, and, according to Gallagher, "It's the most fearless shit I've done, and the closest thing to pure self-expression that I've made." Coming from the guy that's already writing his 10th album, that says a lot. PHILIP GAUDETTE

CLUTCH, BARONESS, LIONIZE

(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) There's a scene in Ghost World in which Enid and Seymour go see one of Seymour's favorite blues musicians. ("Technically, what he was mostly playing would more accurately be classified in the ragtime idiom," Seymour clarifies.) Turns out the legend merely opens for the great white Blueshammer, a Buckcherry of a (fake) band whose "Pickin' Cotton Blues" offends the (one, maybe two) purists while delighting the sports-bar regulars with a crunchy, contemporary slave-song strut. Clutch's new Strange Cousins from the West CD brings to mind Blueshammer more than the menacingly heavy crush of its mid-'90s work (defined eternally by the Pantera-strength "Binge and Purge" single). Disregarding reported good intentions, the Southern band today sounds genuinely oxymoronic. MM

GOMEZ, THE MOTHER HIPS

(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) Back in the early '90s the Mother Hips went from Chico, California, bar band to the next big thing in what seemed like overnight, signing with Rick Rubin's American Recordings and playing with Wilco and even Johnny Cash. The label dropped them after only two releases, finding it difficult to market a group associated with the dreaded words "jam band." Silly labels and their silly ways. The Mother Hips aren't a jam band, but a band that has found a comfy place somewhere between the early pop of the brothers Gibb and the countrified ways of Gene Clark. It's a band that has gotten better with age for sure, although when they're on, the Mother Hips still rip onstage like young kids with a lot to prove. MARK LORE

WEDNESDAY 7/29

NUCULAR AMINALS, FOREVER

(Berbati's Pan, 19 SW 2nd) See Our Town Could Be Your Life.

QUINTRON & MISS PUSSYCAT, SOPHE LUX , PLANTS , JONATHAN TOUBIN

(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) A present-day incarnation of the fabled musical spirit of New Orleans can be found in the performers who call themselves Mr. Quintron and Miss Pussycat. Under these alter egos, the duo create, inhabit, and share a truly freaky world, based year-round from their venue (the Spellcaster Lodge) and brought to the world via a one-of-a-kind live performance. This consists of the following: Mr. Quintron on a custom organ installed in the body of an old muscle car, accompanied by his patented synth machine ("Drum Buddy"), while Miss Pussycat contributes sets, props, and puppetry that complements Quintron's musical fervor and tripped-out revelry. MARANDA BISH

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