THURSDAY 1/22


THE DECEMBERISTS, LOW FLYING OWLS, CORRINA REPP
(Crocodile Cafe) See Live Wire, page 29.

FRIDAY 1/23


FOURTHCITY LAPTOP BATTLE: PORTLAND VS. SEATTLE
(Chop Suey) See Data Breaker, page 41.

TED LEO & THE PHARMACISTS, THE FIERY FURNACES, THE FITNESS
(Graceland) See preview, page 31, and Underage, page 43.

TRAVIS
(Moore) See Stranger Suggests, page 21.

THE DIRTBOMBS, THE SIGHTS, THE BLACK PANTIES
(Crocodile) See Stranger Suggests, page 21.

KINSKI, THE LIGHTS, PURE JOY
(Hideaway) Could there be a more blissed-out lineup than this? Pure Joy inspires just that--frontman Rusty Willoughby has put the power in pop for more than two decades, and at this point, all other power-poppers are merely pretenders to his throne. The Lights are the perfect combination of brains and muscle, and perhaps the single band in this town whom I can describe as post-punk without turning inside out about the term being patently irrelevant in the year 2004, prevailing as its usage may be. Lemons and limes, and I'll cop to being the sourest pedant on the planet with this one. Headliners Kinski are another one of our perfect bands: perfectly heavy, perfectly rangy, perfectly narcotic, and perfectly escalating. KATHLEEN WILSON

IN PRAISE OF FOLLY, THE BLESSED LIGHT, THE CAPILLARIES, THE ROTTEN APPLES
(Old Fire House) Since recording a brand-new full-length last summer at the Hall of Justice with Joel Brown, local band In Praise of Folly have been playing the waiting game forever for the record to actually be released. Well, the good news is, Lujo Records (also home to Ambitious Career Woman and the Fall of Troy) has picked it up and will be releasing the band's latest on April 20. More good news, for those of you who are familiar with In Praise of Folly and are achin' for their warm, pretty pop sound: The band has made a four-song "preview" of the record that is free and available at all their shows, including tonight's gig at the Old Fire House. The Capillaries, who play their own brand of moody indie pop, are the perfect choice to accompany In Praise of Folly on a bill, and they too have a new record due out this spring. It's titled Overnight Lows and Daylight Savings and will be released on Water and Power Recordings. You can get a sneak peek by visiting their website at www.thecapillaries.com. MEGAN SELING

RADIO NATIONALS, THE RIFFBROKERS, THE SMALL CHANGE
(Sunset) Radio Nationals frontman Jared Clifton is lucky enough to possess one of those slightly rough-hewn voices that comes out strong and can convey a dozen different feelings within one track. His group's current KEXP hit, "Golden," keeps blossoming the longer it goes on, opening up into fiery Americana-flecked rock. The band members are masters of rural-minded rock and the moody, cathartic ballad, but always with that little hint of twang to bring you back to their roots--they've been compared to Wilco and the Replacements, two cornerstones of their rich sound. I've yet to hear their complete new album, Place You Call Home, but going on the strength of that first single, I'll bet it's a good one. JENNIFER MAERZ

THE LAWRENCE ARMS, THE GHOST, SCHOOLYARD HEROES, THE AMAZOMBIES
(Vera Project) The Amazombies have some good and bad news to share with you: They've lost their drummer. No, he didn't die and he's not somewhere in the Midwest unable to get home (thank goodness), but he has decided to leave the band to permanently drum for the Spits. His last couple of shows took place on January 9 and 10. But don't think this is the end of the 'Zombies, a local pop-punk outfit all about having fun. The band's producer, Chip Hannah (who also drums for One Man Army), has volunteered to fill the drummer void until a permanent replacement is found. They're in the studio now, doing pre-production work on a few new songs for a new album, and I assume Chip will also be behind the drum set come tonight's show at Vera. And like I even need to tell you about Schoolyard Heroes. By now you should have already taken my past advice to witness their screaming-zombie-influenced set. If not, though, here's an excellent chance to make good. MEGAN SELING

SATURDAY 1/24


SOURCE OF LABOR, MC SUPERNATURAL, DJ MASEO, GRAYSKUL
(Chop Suey) See preview, page 29.

ALIEN CRIME SYNDICATE, POST STARDOM DEPRESSION, TREGENZA
(Sunset) How much do I love Post Stardom Depression for embracing the simple scuzziness that rock music is meant to be about? A whole fucking lot is how much. There's no haughtiness to PSD, just down-and-dirty songs about screwing, fighting, partying, and screwing. Oh, and cars, too. And if you're looking to get into a passionate, but hilarious, debate about rock history, the band's leader, Jefferson Angell, is the man you need to find. KATHLEEN WILSON

WILLIAM ELLIOTT WHITMORE, TOUCHDOWN EAGLE, MARY RYDER
(Beacon Pub) From a label (Southern) that has previously released material from bands as diverse as Rex and 90 Day Men comes another left turn into new territory--William Elliott Whitmore. The singer/songwriter has a delivery that sounds salted by decades of tears and then wrung bone dry by self-imposed isolation. To hear his throaty voice crack over ballads of love and death, you'd picture a visage as well traveled as Willie Nelson's and hair grayed by years of hard living. But Whitmore is a young, tattooed talent from the banks of the Mississippi, raised on a horse farm and adept at beautiful back-porch folk. His music is basic--on his latest CD, the aptly named Hymns for the Hopeless, he's backed by either acoustic guitar, mandolin, or banjo--but his plaintive vocals and stories of sin and redemption layer the music with more depth than a full symphony could express. JENNIFER MAERZ

THE DECEMBERISTS, CORRINA REPP, SOME BY SEA
(University of Puget Sound) Portland seems to have gotten the shaft when it comes to the big Northwest hype machine, but that's not to say that the city's bands have individually suffered from lack of press. Take the Decemberists, for example, a band that made a big blip on a national level, haunting critics across the country with their sweetly sung pop serenades. Frontman Colin Meloy's voice draws comparisons to Belle & Sebastian, and the Decemberists play similarly twee music--only, in my mind, with a little more punch. The band brings pedal steel, accordion, theremin, and what sounds like xylophone into the mix, making a soft sort of "chamber pop" further buoyed by occasional, ebullient harmonies. JENNIFER MAERZ

SUNDAY 1/25


DAVID BOWIE, MACY GRAY
(Paramount) See Stranger Suggests, page 21.

PSEUDOSIX, [THE] CASEWORKER, EYES OF AUTUMN, SLOMO RABBIT KICK
(Graceland) I could try to sell you Eyes of Autumn based on their age--they're like 18-20 years old--but these days, when anyone in the music community over 21 is considered grandfatherly, the age thing isn't all that impressive. So I should probably say more about their ballsy, experimental indie rock, huh? Yeah. Their layered and well-constructed mix of involved guitar parts, controlled drumming, flowing bass melodies, and vocal harmonies hasn't just impressed me, the band is already signed to 54*40' or Fight! (also home to The Planet The and 31 Knots). And while some young bands are still so in love with their influences, they sound exactly like them (which isn't bad--it's part of the process of discovering your own sound after all), EOA have skipped that whole step, and started taking chances from the get-go, sometimes using awkward song compositions that still strangely work. It takes guts for anyone to do that, let alone a young band. They're already ahead of the game; imagine where they'll be when they can legally drink. MEGAN SELING

MONDAY 1/26


POPULAR SHAPES, TRACTOR SEX FATALITY
(Graceland) Monday Fundays have (hopefully, check to see if the place is open yet) returned to Graceland, in a lounge area you don't have to shoehorn your way around. Tonight two spastic local acts take the floor, both of whom I've written a lot about in recent weeks, so I'll simply say if you're low on energy tonight, the noisy, confrontational punk collective Tractor Sex Fatality and the slightly cleaner, still off-kilter punk of Popular Shapes should shift you back into overdrive. JENNIFER MAERZ

TUESDAY 1/27


SOUTH, METRIC
(Chop Suey) See preview, page 32.

JAY FARRAR, CANYON
(Tractor) See Drunk by Noon, page 35, and Stranger Suggests, page 21.

WEDNESDAY 1/28


THE THRILLS, PATRICK PARK
(Crocodile) An Irish band moves to Southern California, loves the life by the sea in San Diego, returns to their drab Dublin surroundings, and writes an album that pines for the West Coast, from Santa Cruz on down the Sunshine State. Such is the story of the Thrills, whose beautiful 2003 album So Much for the City is warm, glittery pop that would almost sound cherubic if you didn't listen to the words. Within the lyrics are stories of the mishaps and downfalls of the people and places they visited, tucked inside the music with a touch of wistfulness on an otherwise heartfelt adoration of their travels. It's sweet, straightforward pop, perfect for living under the cover of darkness that seems to be sinkholing this city right now. JENNIFER MAERZ

VIC CHESNUTT, DANNY PEARSON
(Tractor) See Drunk by Noon, page 35.

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