QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE
(Graceland) See preview this issue.
FELIX DA HOUSECAT
(Baltic Room) See Speaker Freak, pg. TK.
TRACHTENBURG FAMILY SLIDESHOW PLAYERS, DANIEL G. HARMANN, THE PINKOS, THE GOTHIC CHEERLEADERS
(Chop Suey) The Pinkos are a self-described acoustic-punk duo. Can that possibly work? Sure. What you get is aggressive, self-assured, politically aware music with lyrics you can actually follow. They also mix in a bit of a folky, country sound. Members Vanessa Veselka (guitar, vox) and Steve Moriarty (drums) have clocked plenty of time in Bell and the Gits, respectively, and are capable of conquering a stage all by themselves, which just goes to show that it really is quality, not quantity, that counts. GENEVIEVE WILLIAMS
MICHAEL GONDRY & CHRIS CUNNINGHAM VIDEO RETROSPECTIVE w/JOHNNY KAWASAKI & THE DJ'S ON STRIKE, AUTOMATON, THE FITNESS, THE POPULAR SHAPES, NEW LUCK TOY, BOBBY KARATE
(Crocodile) Chris Cunningham is the skilled director behind the revered Aphex Twin videos "Windowlicker" and "Come to Daddy"--and that fact alone makes him a genius. For anyone who hasn't witnessed Cunningham's eerie talent in action, both videos feature Twin's (a.k.a. Richard James) wickedly grinning mug morphed onto every person present on the scene, from bikini-clad girls to scary little children. Tonight, a great selection of local musicians play tribute to both Cunningham and video director Michael Gondry (White Stripes, Chemical Brothers, Cibo Matto), covering songs by the artists they've worked with as their synced-up videos loom in the background. JENNIFER MAERZ
THE SWEET SCIENCE, THE BUILDING PRESS, SLACKJAW, AVENUE OF THE STRONGEST, THE INTIMA
(Paradox) By playing the wooziest Latin rhythms--rumbas and bossa novas--the Sweet Science mesmerizes audiences with its velvety, jazzy pop. Featuring members of Degenerate Art Ensemble, the talented trio (guitar, drums, and upright bass) melts hearts via plush tenor vocals and a cohesive sound that's delicate, but isn't afraid to show some balls. This is in fairly stark contrast to opener the Intima, a Portland/Olympia quartet of vagabond punks. With blocky, rhythmic intensity from bass, guitar, drums, and electric violin, the Intima's staccato-screamed vocals and incredible Eastern European-sounding melodies will evoke images of a band of Gypsies fleeing in the night--vaguely similar to the early work of the Ex. JULIANNE SHEPHERD
PROM NITE II: RETURN OF THE SUMMER OF ZOMBIES w/MILEMARKER, C.O.C.O., SELECTOR DUB NARCOTIC, DJ FRANKI CHAN, DJ RED LEATHER CHAPSTICK, GUESTS
(Graceland) Everyone has a prom horror story, e.g., "The DJ played wack-ass Bell Biv Devoe tracks from the '90s all night long." If you haven't gone to your prom yet, it's probably going to suck. That's why you should ditch it and attend the Vera Project's bitching Punk Rock Zombie Prom at Graceland, which is guaranteed to be way, waaay better than any crappy school event. First of all, you have your choice of donning proper prom attire, zombie costumes, or a combination of both. Second, they've got hot musical acts to get the kids' asses shaking--including Chicago's hottest keyboard-toting political punkers, Milemarker, who employ the energy of hardcore with the passion of Ella Fitzgerald, filtered through the detritus of the computer age. With DJs such as Selector Dub Narcotic (a.k.a. Calvin Johnson), Franki Chan, and Red Leather Chapstick, plus a puppet show by Roby Milemarker, there's no excuse not to go--unless, of course, you hate fun, in which case, have a great time at your stinky school prom. JULIANNE SHEPHERD
(I-Spy) Greyboy is a San Diego producer and turntablist who won the 1988 West Coast D.M.C. championship. In 1993, he made an acid-jazz CD called Freestylin', which was met with moderate success in Europe. His latest CD, Mastered the Art, has a hiphop sound and mood that brings to mind Nas' line, "the smooth shit that murderers move with." In fact, Main Flow, who raps on several tracks on the CD, is certainly influenced by early Nas; he has that hurt but meditative quality that runs though Nas' Illmatic. Though it uses real instruments--sitars, piano, melodica, electric guitars--Mastered the Art is a solid piece of 21st-century hiphop. CHARLES MUDEDE
MERCURY REV, THE SHINS
(Showbox) Though I've been a fan of Mercury Rev since its early, well, purchasable releases, it is last year's All Is Dream that has become my favorite--strangely enough, because I first heard it as I was sick with a fever. It was the perfect soundtrack to sweaty, whacked-out visions where you're not really sleeping and not really awake, either. The lyrics on All Is Dream feature ghostlike characters that float in and out of songs, and the guitar-driven psychedelia buzzes and swoons at an almost subdued pace compared to previous Mercury Rev albums, but it's the sound of refinement rather than depletion. The Shins (oh, the lovely sadness they make)--half of whose members are now officially Northwesterners--are set to release a new EP on Sub Pop later this year. KATHLEEN WILSON
NOD & SMILE, THE REVOLUTIONARY HYDRA, WIMBLEDON, A LUNA RED
(Paradox) As the name implies, new local band Nod & Smile is sweet and agreeable while almost concealing the underlying anger constantly simmering under the surface. The three-piece sounds like mid-'90s indie rock and heavy Brit pop all at once, and fans of current bands like Kingsbury Manx will love them too. KATHLEEN WILSON
ELECTRIC WIZARD, SONS OF OTIS, UNEARTHLY TRANCE
(Hell's Kitchen) Some of the heaviest bands in the world exist within the extremities of back-to-metal-basics realms. England's almighty Electric Wizard is currently the densest, most devastatingly mind-altering of them all. Right up there on the power-chord weight-scale with the Melvins, and often referred to as playing "cosmic doom," their epic riffery is tailor-made for all of you old-school rockers who still have a soft spot for Ozzy--but could give a rat's ass about all the cookie-cutter nu-metal crap to be found at Ozzfest. JAMES KIRCHMER
BOTCH, BLOOD BROTHERS, HARKONEN, PLAYING ENEMY
(Showbox) See preview this issue and Stranger Suggests.
UGLY CASANOVA, HOT HOT HEAT, THE LAZY DAVES
(Crocodile) See preview this issue.
SHAKE CITY, RIGHT ON
(Comet) Shake City has certainly, seemingly... finally settled down into somthin' sweet! Y'all, I mean they're locked, cocked, and presumably... LOADED, in a heavy GROOVE which is a little bit boogie and the rest solid ROCK 'n' ROLL. Oh, they even got a fella tinklin' on the keys!!! And lemme not forget other local stars on the bill... the fab-u-loose Right On, who're, well... right on (sorry) with ever-so-solid garage rock, which, dare I say, can cross into the P-U-N-K too without the fist-flying "devil sign," gear head/teddy boy cliché. MIKE NIPPER
://RELAPSE III w/MONSTER DEFIANCE HEADQUARTERS, AGGROKRAG, ORGUSS THE.FOE HAMMER, F.Y.E. (feat. Scott of Converter and KarlozM. of Manufactura)
(Second Avenue Pizza) In his continuing attempt at making your "ears bleed," Johnny Victory is having his third ://RELAPSE into the world of experimental noise/aggressive electronica. This series showcases some Northwest talent, such as Orguss The.Foe Hammer, an "audio assault" artist who has played at parties up and down the West Coast, promising that "everything from death metal to rap is ripped off and mutilated, sculpted and beat into utter mush." Good enough. JENNIFER MAERZ
(Lucky Eagle Casino) Will this man's songs ever go out of style? It's a purely rhetorical question, because of course the answer is no, and not just because I'm actually old enough to barely remember watching The Glen Campbell Good Time Hour on the old Zenith. "Wichita Lineman" and "Galveston" can still bring a tear to the eye, and "Rhinestone Cowboy," however ridiculous, is still poignant in its sense of faded bravado. Chehalis is a hell of a drive to see any show, but Campbell is well worth the gas and effort. KATHLEEN WILSON
PINEHURST KIDS, THE DROP, WOKE UP FALLING
(Sit & Spin) I can't for the life of me figure out why the Pinehurst Kids aren't huge. It's not one of those big questions (like why the Cure aren't bigger than Korn, or why Radiohead are "visionary" while Sky Cries Mary were "pretentious"), but it does perplex me. These Portlanders write eminently catchy, super crunchy, emotion-laden pop nuggets and yet the sales go to Everclear and the accolades to Jimmy Eat World. Is there no justice? Perhaps it's because the Pinehurst Kids are too noisy to be pure emo and not snide enough to really fit into the whole punk-pop scene. In my book, that's a plus. If you like your rock music served with melody, sincerity, and velocity, you could do much worse. BARBARA MITCHELL
BRATMOBILE, GLASS CANDY & THE SHATTERED THEATRE, TENNESSEE TWIN
(Graceland) Bratmobile is the perfect name for this bratty bunch of kick-ass girls. Their new album, Girls Get Busy, is a fun showcase of "girl power" in a very un-ironic, unforced sort of way. They're smart women making music simply to make music, not to "sell" products (or feminism) to an audience. And instead of coming off all preachy and in your face with their feminist attitudes, they approach it all in good fun. The last time I saw Bratmobile, their energy was kicked up a notch compared to recordings, and lead singer Allison Wolfe danced around like a happy cartoon character. MEGAN SELING
You should be in bed.
(Bohemian) Black Uhuru's Guess Who's Coming to Dinner and Red are reggae masterpieces. Both LPs were released in the early '80s and featured Sly and Robbie. The members of Black Uhuru at the time were Michael Rose (whose vocal talents are surpassed only by Gregory Issacs), Sandra "Puma" Jones (who died in 1990), and Derrick "Duckie" Simpson. Rose and Puma left Black Uhuru in the mid-'80s and were replaced by Junior Reid (who is now famous for his hit with Cold Cut, "Stop This Crazy Thing"). Junior Reid left the group in the late '80s, and since then Black Uhuru has been kept barely alive by Duckie. The last significant thing to happen to the band occurred on Kruder & Dorfmeister's mix of Sin's "Where Shall I Turn" on The K&D Sessions. They open the mix with a beautiful, almost phantomlike sample of Michael Rose singing, "Shine-eyed gal is a trouble to a man." CHARLES MUDEDE
NINA NASTASIA & MARY TIMONY, MINES
(Crocodile) I fell for ex-Helium frontwoman Mary Timony when she was the scariest, sexiest, and most intellectually perverse indie-rock starlet making noise in the mid-'90s. The gorgeously abrasive sounds springing out of 1995's The Dirt of Luck were equal parts childlike tantrum, technical genius, and disturbing, macabre feminist manifesto--the kind of work that would make Steve Albini drop a Big Brown in his self-righteous pants. But when Helium began to splinter on their last record, Timony began exhibiting a bizarre Middle Earth fetish, singing about making love to unicorns, christening herself a "Lady of the Fire," and generally dorking out too much. Her first solo album continued in that vein, and though her latest release tones down the goofy Tolkien imagery, she's now decided it's cool to quote Doors lyrics in mid-song. Regardless of her hippie-Hobbit meanderings, I still hold her in such high regard that I hope she proves I'm the dork and goes on to become the Stevie Nicks of her generation. HANNAH LEVIN See preview this issue.
LIARS ACADEMY, BRANDSTON, FORSTELLA FORD, THE LACK
(Paradox) For those who need to keep the intensity going strong after the Botch/Blood Brothers show, GO SEE THE LACK, as they will definitely be in fully-cocked-to-explode mode at the Paradox. Not to be confused with an Ohio band of the same name, this Lack is a Danish screamcore act and they are ruthlessly brutal and beautifully insane. For fans of bands like the Blood Brothers and Teen Cthulhu, the Lack use punk as a pedestal to howl bloody murder, and their music isn't a simple hardcore hack job. Among the bludgeoning rhythms lurk inklings of midnight melodies, giving you a chance to digest the vocal ferocity on songs that flip the switch between Danish and English. JENNIFER MAERZ
TOOTS AND THE MAYTALS
(EMP) See Stranger Suggests.
THE PROM, HUTCH & KATHY
(Showbox Green Room) If you're feeling sinister--or cynical--you might want to avoid the Prom. If, on the other hand, you're feeling that nice warm glow of sentimentality, you couldn't ask for better company. This local trio (who've added a fourth member to duplicate the more lush yet still low-key orchestration of their forthcoming album) eschew the bash 'n' bop trend in favor of toe-tappingly great piano-based pop tunes that tug at your heart while they beckon you to drop your guard and waltz along. Like Ben Folds Five (to whom comparisons are inevitable) there's a disarmingly sweet, bashful quality to the music. Portlanders Hutch & Kathy (formerly of the Urban Legends) open the show--their eclectic take on "folk music" has knowing hipsters buzzing, so get there early. BARBARA MITCHELL
MARY J. BLIGE
(KeyArena) The one singer I can't stand is Lauryn Hill. She is a fraud from top to bottom, and the greatest mystery in the world is why so many believe she is a talented artist. Mary J. Blige is also not a great singer, but at least she is not high and mighty like Hill. Blige is down-to-earth, sticks to simple, silly pop songs ("I Love You," "I Can Love You," "Love Is All We Need," and so on), and never attempts to say or sing anything important because she knows that we know that she is incapable of doing so. We would only laugh if we saw Blige on a wooden stool, guitar in hand, singing songs of freedom with Tracy Chapman-like gestures of honesty and frailty. We would laugh until the very gas of our laughter choked us to death. CHARLES MUDEDE