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Up & Coming

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THURSDAY 8/6

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, THE FABULOUS STAINS SCREENING: BLACK HEART MOON

(Hotel deLuxe, 729 SW 15th) See My, What a Busy Week!

NURSES, INSIDE VOICES, THE SLAVES

(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See Music.

KELLI SCHAEFER, DREW GROW & THE PASTORS' WIVES, NO MORE TRAIN GHOSTS, TED

(The Artistery, 4315 SE Division) There is no other way to put this, so I will just come right out and say it: Kelli Schaefer is phenomenal. The singer/songwriter has one of those crystalline voices that you believe instantly, and she's already earned a few diehard local fans, including Aaron Shepherd of the Artistery and local musician Gavin Castleton, both of whom have namedropped Schaefer as their favorite new artist. It's easy to see why: One listen to her catchy, gripping songs and her assured, intoxicating voice, and you'll be converted. With a subdued acoustic demeanor that works its way up to a steady boil—witness the slow build of "Eyes in the Back of My Head"—her songs go from sunshiny country to cloudy folk with faint wisps of psychedelia. Not to get all gooey, but Kelli Schaefer is one of those rare discoveries that reminds you of why you listen to music in the first place. NED LANNAMANN

NEBULA, THE ENTRANCE BAND, SANDRIDER, MONGOLOID VILLAGE

(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) Nebula's new album on Tee Pee Records is titled Heavy Psych; such blatant forthrightness is rare (because it's not really a good idea), and the LA/London group keep their word. They bring a post-Black Sabbath/post-Kyuss dirge and surge that's as predictable as pot-leaf renderings on stoner-rock LP covers; they also shamelessly pay homage to Sabbath's "Sweet Leaf" on "Aphrodite." The Entrance Band—led by guitarist/vocalist Guy Blakeslee and featuring A Perfect Circle/Zwan bassist Paz Lenchantin and drummer Derek James—play tempestuous psych-blues songs that often tilt toward the epic. Their forthcoming self-titled album on Thurston Moore's Ecstatic Peace! label somehow evokes post-U2 stadium-soul rockers the Waterboys and rococo psych jammers Quicksilver Messenger Service. Blakeslee's serpentine riffing and fists-shaking-to-the-heavens vocals attest to rock's reputed redemptive power. DAVE SEGAL

SCOTT KELLY, DRAGGING AN OX THROUGH WATER, BIRD COSTUMES

(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Taking a breather from his influential crust-hardcore-metal-doom day job, Neurosis' Scott Kelly brings his latest acoustic opus, The Wake, to the intimate room at Mississippi Studios, allowing fans to get up close and personal. Kelly's solo work doesn't stray far from the droning chord shapes and growling melodies of Neurosis; mostly he's just playing quieter and using an acoustic palette. To describe the end result, musical comparisons could be made (Mark Lanegan, for one), but literary ones seem more apt: the Catholic guilt of James Joyce, the desolate worldview of Cormac McCarthy, and the dystopian worldview of Philip K. Dick. Despite the gentler format, Kelly's acoustic solo work is just as heavy-hitting as anything he's done with electricity. NL

AMON TOBIN, PITCH BLACK, SUB SWARA, TYLER TASTEMAKER

(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Aging like a cellar-kept bottle of the type of vino so few of us artistic types can ever afford when not dining with our parents, Amon Tobin marches forth with a career that improves with each turn of the calendar page. His reputation is bulletproof—even with a foray into scoring videogames (the soundtrack to something called Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory)—with a track record for quality recordings and sweat-soaked live shows that date back to late '90s IDM and will probably continue into whatever new trend anchors electronic music in the coming decade. EZRA ACE CARAEFF

FRIDAY 8/7

COLIN HAY BAND

(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) Visit endhits.portlandmercury.com for an interview with Colin Hay.

WATER & BODIES, PINEHURST KIDS,THE ANGRY ORTS

(Ash Street Saloon, 225 SW Ash) Even more than the two-toned ghost of ska bands past, few genres are harder to shake free than the dreaded emo tag. Just ask Water & Bodies. As Kaddisfly entered the extended slumber known as "hiatus" last winter, the group's members forged a new path under the name Water & Bodies. It's far more pristine and restrained than their previous endeavor, swapping teenage dramatics for an effortless and calculated cool. If you dare doubt my insistence that these musicians are attempting to reinvent themselves, please let this blog entry from the band sum up their newfound adulthood: "We've been demoing stuff in the basement and that's been a joy... the goal: sound as much like Steely Dan as possible. Recording wise. And I suppose song wise as well." Yeah, that'll do it. It might send the kids running for the exits, but once you stumble into the warm embrace of Becker and Fagen, there is no turning back. EAC

DIRT NASTY, ANDRE LEGACY, MY-G, SAUCY YODA

(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) It's too bad that actor-turned-rapper Simon Rex is buoyed by his inflated alter ego Dirt Nasty. His goal, it would seem, is to hand feed the MySpace generation with the generic Vice protocol: X-rated lyrics and tales of drug consumption. Rex's appeal is lost in the nostalgia for the drug haven that was the 1980s—a theme that I'd assumed wasn't quite relevant anymore (perhaps 20 years ago?). Still, you can't quite hate the guy. His smug grin and faded appearance is sort of charming, in that you know he's glowing with money, and his songs, at least for the first few listens, aren't entirely bad. Ultimately, Dirt Nasty is a clever shtick that birthed the video/song "1980" and an album full of funny rap songs that would make "Weird Al" Yankovic slightly envious. Without Dirt Nasty, Rex would probably be acting in more Scary Movie sequels. Which would you prefer? PHILIP GAUDETTE

PLANES INTERSECT, THE VERY MOST, A SEASONAL DISGUISE

(Mississippi Pizza Pub, 3552 N Mississippi) Start your weekend early with a 6 pm show at Mississippi Pizza, featuring two incredibly likeable bands from Boise, Idaho. The Very Most write the kind of Beach Boys-flecked perfect pop nuggets that soundtrack your happiest, summery-iest, most innocent dreams. "You're in Love with the Sun," from their new Summer EP, is based around a delightful descending and ascending electric piano figure, but instruments and voices are added one by one, turning something merely joyous into a damn near rhapsodic symphony. Fans of LAKE and Belle and Sebastian: You have a new crush. Meanwhile, A Seasonal Disguise operates under the long, crooked shadow of Neil Young, but the resultant music has a fractured pop sensibility, with gentle arrangements and frayed vocals providing a very precise perspective, with remarkable attention to detail and shading. Taken together, these two Idaho bands—alongside Portland stalwarts Planes Intersect, who are no strangers to perfect pop melodies themselves—make for an absolutely irresistible bill. NL

SATURDAY 8/8

PORTLAND CELLO PROJECT, JARED MEES AND THE GROWN CHILDREN

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See My What a Busy Week!

SHELLSHAG, THE HEADLINERS, SCREAMING FEMALES, HARLEM

(East End, 203 SE Grand) See Music.

LEBENDEN TOTEN, NERVESKADE, RIPPER, SOCIETY NURSE

(Satyricon, 125 NW 6th) See Music.

BOAT, NEW CENTURY SCHOOLBOOK , PEACOCK & LABEAU

(Backspace, 115 NW 5th) Normally I only care for trailers if they involve Wes Anderson—less than 100 days until The Fantastic Mr. Fox!—but that didn't stop me from watching the homemade video preview for Setting the Paces, the new album (out in October on local label Magic Marker) from the pop-masters of BOAT. Twice. The Seattle band is undeniably sincere, crafting sugary and overtly—yet completely unashamedly—dorky pop that divides people into two separate camps: those who love the band with every single ounce of their very being, and the soulless monsters who do not. Choose wisely. EAC Also see My What a Busy Week!

SUPERNATURE: BOBBY BIRDMAN, DEELAY CEELAY, DJ COPY, DJ BJ, E*ROCK

(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) One part Jens Lekman-esque quirky singer/songwriter, the other part clever, subtle synth wrangler in the pattern of cohorts YACHT, Bobby Birdman is yet another West Coast performer riding the bright trends of neon, geometric shapes, and ironic inanity. His songs are charming enough—the one-man show/beatmaker/party-bringer is admirable (think Dan Deacon)—I'm just a little weary of all the hype, pep, and, well, non-music related trappings that surround Birdman (blog posts, Twitterpatter, etc.). But that's just sort of lame of me. Maybe I just need to listen to more of his jams and let the songs speak for themselves. MARANDA BISH

PELICAN OSSMAN, RICKSHAW, AGES, RUSH-N-DISCO

(Worksound, 820 SE Alder) There is something like Grant Wood's "American Gothic" in the way the two members of Pelican Ossman peer out, unsmiling, from the front cover of their latest vinyl record. I don't know if that reference is deliberate, but their music has a similar hard-work, no-nonsense ethos, with songs that are coiled tightly around their meanings, protecting them fiercely from bloat or misinterpretation. From drowsy whispered acoustic shamblings to blizzardy noise freakouts, Pelican Ossman make that old, weird America brand of folk music, the kind that cannot be appropriated or imitated, sounding almost lost outside of time. Their 12-inch celebrates its release tonight, and the show will have instants of terror punctuating long, throbbing moments of hard-earned beauty. NL

GUIDANCE COUNSELOR, TUNNELS, JEFFREY JERUSALEM

(The Artistery, 4315 SE Division) After hitting a pretty nasty technical snag on the road to releasing their forthcoming album, Flesh and Blood and Blood and Guts, Guidance Counselor will now be touring in support of a single new song "Life Is Tyte," kicking things off tonight with Tunnels and Jeffrey Jerusalem. With obvious influences from former tourmates and pals Starfucker, this new gem is rife with poppy electronics and frontman Ian Anderson's signature new wave vocals. It just might be the best song this trio has ever released. THEODORA KARATZAS

SUNDAY 8/9

PICKIN' ON SUNDAY: ADAM SHEARER, JUSTIN POWER

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See My What a Busy Week!

WHITE HINTERLAND, NEAL MORGAN, CASUAL FOG

(The Wail, 5135 NE 42nd) Combining her lilting vocals with lush orchestration and beautiful arrangements, Casey Dienel (who records under the moniker White Hinterland) strikes a balance between airy jazz and rich pop-folk. Dienel's singing is almost childlike in its cuteness and she succeeds in complementing this with a backdrop of mature harmonization and solid instrumentation. Joining her will be Neal Morgan, an experimental drum and voice performer (coincidentally, Drum and Voice Record is the title of his forthcoming album) and Casual Fog, who hail from the hometown of Alela Diane, Nevada City, California. TK

MONDAY 8/10

SEA CAVES, PEP ASSEMBLY

(Valentine's, 232 SW Ankeny) Sea Caves exude a cool, polished pop sound perfect for these hot Portland days. Sharing the smart energy of bands like Point Juncture, WA and Pinback, Sea Caves have become a unique beast dressed in beautiful garb, with enough wit and playfulness in their music to keep you coming back for more. Overlapping vocals and carefully orchestrated guitar melodies are the name of the game, as the quartet weaves tunes driven by heavy piano, horns, and bass. The song "Shades of Grey" sounds like a lost Destroyer B-side, with enough diversity and progression to question why this band still remains under the radar. Hopefully Sea Caves won't be hidden for long; this is pure post-rock candy, if you ask me. PG

TUESDAY 8/11

PETER BJORN & JOHN, ALELA DIANE

(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) See My What a Busy Week!

WEDNESDAY 8/12

A FEWOF MY FAVORITE THINGS: SALT ORCHARD, OPERATIVE, DRAGGING AN OX THROUGH WATER

(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See My What a Busy Week!

MUSIC ON MAIN STREET: THE OLD BELIEVERS, AUTOPILOT IS FOR LOVERS

(Portland Center for the Performing Arts, 1111 SW Broadway) See My What a Busy Week!

WISHYUNU, CAMPING PARTY, LEE COREY OSWALD

(Someday Lounge, 125 NW 5th) Wishyunu's new cassette—the latest in a rash of recent releases that revive that nostalgic medium—comes without title or track listing or any info, save that it was recorded live in July 2009 in Portland, Oregon. Which means that it's an almost instant snapshot of where the band is now, with improvised synth-and-drum duets that spiral inward and outward. The spontaneity of the new release, which I will henceforth call Wishyunu 4 (their Zoso, if you will), is part of its charm; jams fade in and fade out, patterns are discovered, repeated, and extrapolated. But every now and then a riff is repeated just a little too long, or an idea seems just a wee too half-baked. Still, the band is capable of concise, thought-out pop songs, evidenced on their previous releases, and a cassette of their toss-offs is still a fun thing to slide into the car stereo. Tonight's show is part of Pabst's "Recession Proof Wednesdays," a totally free weekly showcase of local bands. NL

DOWN, THE MELVINS, WEEDEATER, DANAVA

(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Before the hard life destroyed them, Pantera were the quintessential American metal band. Phil Anselmo's Toho-monster roar fed on Rex Brown's giant beefsteak groove, while guitarist Dimebag Darrell (R.I.P.) was a Gulf War battle tank among men. But Pantera were overplayed, and their sound—with all due respect—belongs to 1992. Side-project-turned-survivors Down, conversely, are classic doom metal's great revivalist underdogs. Sounding more like 1984 Trouble than Pantera during last November's Rose Garden outing with Metallica, Down felt the need to mention the "Pan-fucking-tera" connection of Anselmo (with hair) and Brown. It helped. "N.O.D." elicited magnificent all-out headbanging from more than a couple front-row bangers. The outfit will be less Brown this time (the bassist is reportedly sidelined due to personal issues), but a full slate of timeless openers (including local hard rockers Danava, who are simply on fire this summer) justifies the ticket for metal historians and school's-out partiers alike. MIKE MEYER

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