Cairo's EXPO 90, Tiny Knives
CAIRO'S EXPO 90FESTIVAL
Cairo's fifth annual EXPO Festival of art and music kicks off with a night of photography and performance art on Thursday evening and features music from the PNW on Friday and Saturday. In La Luz, ex–Curious Mystery members Shana Cleveland and Marian Li-Pino can be found playing '60s-girl-group/surf-rock-inspired pop songs that have already gotten a nudge from indie-pop godfather Calvin Johnson, who posted a track from their first release, the Damp Face EP, on the K Records blog. Prediction: big things for La Luz! Also a must-catch on Friday, Portland indie-pop band Hausu will win your bleeding heart with new songs. And on Saturday, don't miss the Numbs (Jeff Johnson, formerly of U) whose exotictronica sounds like it's being warped into a circus in an alternate reality. His first cassette, People (Couple Skate Records), buzzes and hums with off-kilter effervescence. Also playing Saturday, Baby Guns are a Seattle goth-pop trio producing dead-wave for the chilled-down fall. A visit to their Bandcamp page reveals some appropriately witchy band photographs by Frank Correa and songs like "‡‡BETAblocker‡‡," which puts the "sea" in "seapunk." With EXPO 90 (not sure what happened to the first 85), Cairo's curation of new and promising bands to well-loved favorites continues to impress. With USF, Dreamsalon, Witch Gardens, Hair and Space Museum, Stephanie, Brain Fruit, and FF. Cairo; Thurs 6 pm, free; Fri–Sat 7 pm, $7.
Tiny Knives are one of the most exciting bands to come out of the Northwest lately, and the grunge-dipped post-punk/hardcore three-piece careen from art punk to surf rock with blistering savagery. These Portland riot ladies cartwheel through wiry rhythms into the territories of their atonal foremothers, and from the Slits to PJ Harvey, they prod your senses raw. Aside from the occasional '90s-pop-friendly surf-rock jam ("Black Is Color"), Tiny Knives are ruthless brutalitarians of crafty punk. The band at times has a minimalist, foreboding sound similar to Grass Widow (minus the vocal harmonies) and even covers Paula Abdul's "Straight Up." PUNK. AS. FUCK. With two Bellingham-based singer-songwriters—Kristin Allen-Zito and Tyson Ballew—and standup comedy from Forrest Baum. Hollow Earth Radio, 8 pm, $5.