THURSDAY 3/4


MATTHEW DEAR, LUSINE, JEFF SAMUEL, JACOB LONDON
(Chop Suey) See Data Breaker, page 43.

JOHN VANDERSLICE, PRESTON SCHOOL OF INDUSTRY, MENOMENA
(Crocodile) Spiral Stairs, AKA Scott Kannberg, was Pavement's co-guitarist/vocalist until the band split in 1999, and since then, he's moved on to running his label, Amazing Grease, and fronting the band Preston School of Industry. Although PSOI's debut met mixed reactions from the music media, the band's second, more solid release, Monsoon, shows the current Seattle resident on firmer ground. From the opening Pavement-y hooks of "The Furnace Sun" and the catchy quirks of "Line It Up" to the Wilco-accented "Get Your Crayons Out!" and the Replacements jangle of "Tone It Down," the album isn't as startlingly angular and attractive as those old Pavement records, but it is a pleasant enough collection of songs touched by a twangy, early-'90s college-rock sound. JENNIFER MAERZ

THE PRESIDENTS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, SMOOSH, SCHOOLYARD HEROES
(Showbox) A couple weeks back, when Chop Suey hosted a Dolour show to benefit YouthCare, all you wonderful people showed up with a bunch of hygiene items to donate. But don't think your job is over. The Presidents of the United States of America are playing two shows this week (tonight's bill is all ages, and Friday's show is 21 and over and features DEK and Mountain Con), both benefits for the very worthy YouthCare cause. Once again, YouthCare is asking all showgoers to bring new hygiene items, like socks, toothbrushes and toothpaste, deodorant, and washcloths. The items will be put to good use in shelters and passed out to homeless teens around the area. And the really cool thing is, if you bring three or more items, your name is entered in a raffle for autographed Presidents swag, like records, CDs, and T-shirts. MEGAN SELING

FRIDAY 3/5


MASSIVE MONKEES, THE SPITS, COBRA HIGH, IQU, THE LIGHTS, PLAN B, BOBBY KARATE,
(Neumo's) See Stranger Suggests, page 17.

THE PRESIDENTS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, MOUNTAIN CON, DEK
(Showbox) See Thursday's preview.

ELEFANT, THE PLEASED, AUTUMN POETRY
(Graceland) Ultimately it's about the music, but there's something that must be said about a charismatic frontman, and Elefant's Ivy League-educated, Argentinean-blooded singer Diego Garcia sure can work a stage. But back to the music: Boundlessly romantic, Elefant's full-length debut, Sunlight Makes Me Paranoid, glimmers with that pre-Bauhaus, Tones on Tail kind of drama. If this sounds like a trip down memory lane, it isn't and it is, sounding new and retro at the same time. KATHLEEN WILSON

THE BUSINESS MACHINES, TENNIS PRO, GUESTS
(Old Fire House) There's nothing new to the "down with the Man" lyrics spewed like venom by the Business Machines' frontman, Lucas Juarez, but something about his voice makes the delivery pretty damn sexy. His scratchy screaming makes all his lyrics sound defiant in that 10-bottles-to-the-wind-and-still-sharp way, while the band--which recorded its upcoming record with Steve Albini--plays a spiky hard rock/hardcore hybrid. JENNIFER MAERZ

BOB LOG III, THE DEMONS, THE GLORYHOLES
(Crocodile) The entertainment factor of this show starts high with Bog Log III's stage attire. The Arizona-based punk commands attention from inside a motorcycle helmet with some kind of telephone mic wired inside, so that all his words are filtered through a broken Kmart-intercom-type sound. And then there's the lightning Delta blooze he charms like a snake out of his guitar. The Demons are a Swedish band on the Gearhead label who stay true to their label by playing loud, fast, rules-style garage rock--not too different from our own Gloryholes. JENNIFER MAERZ

THE ABODOX, SCIENCE VICTIM, GIGANTUM, SUGAR SKULLS
(Rainbow) Putting the Abodox and Science Victim on the same bill was definitely a smart move. The former infuse heavy post-hardcore with free jazz on their latest (recommended) release, and Science Victim have some crazy Six Finger Satellite/Drive Like Jehu meets noisy electro punk thing going on that's equally intriguing. I've yet to hear Gigantum, but their music is self-proclaimed "trauma rock," which makes me think it's gonna make your ears bleed if you don't pad them right. JENNIFER MAERZ

SATURDAY 3/6


WAYNE "THE TRAIN" HANCOCK, KNUT BELL & THE BLUE COLLARS
(Tractor, late) See Drunk by Noon, page 37.

MARY LOU LORD, GINGERSOL
(Tractor, early) If there is an optimal time to listen to Mary Lou Lord's new album, Baby Blue, objectively, I've yet to find it. Bright like the first day of sun after a month of rain--and you've lost your sunglasses--it makes irritation and bliss do battle and, in my mind at least, neither wins out. To be somewhat fair, Lord's voice is fine and pretty until the heavy-handed backing vocals drown her out. Her cover of Pete Ham's "Baby Blue" is just okay and, oh forget it. KATHLEEN WILSON

LOWER FORTY-EIGHT, THUGLIFE BALDWIN, GODS AMONG MEN, ME INFECTO
(2nd Avenue Pizza) If you're an AmRep label addict, San Francisco's Lower Forty-Eight should be right up your alley. Angular melodies heaped with lots of noise build an intensity that frontman Andrew Lund screams over. The complexity of their sound also recalls a less bombastic Trail of Dead, but they've been compared to Slint and Godspeed You! Black Emperor as well. JENNIFER MAERZ

ZEKE, THE JET CITY FIX, THE BLACK PANTIES
(Sunset) I just got my hands on an early copy of the upcoming Black Panties debut and I've got to say that fans of straight-up hard rock should mark the band's April release date on their calendars. The frontman growls like he's brawling with Lemmy and there's a heavy groove to their sound, which sharpens plenty of hooks on the way to spearing a Southern-rock-meets-metal sound. They should fit right in with Zeke fans, although the Panties' music is more dynamic without sacrificing any of the brass-knuckle knockouts. JENNIFER MAERZ

THE THERMALS, THE FITNESS, 31 KNOTS
(Vera Project) Although their members have played in cavity-sweet pop bands like the All-Girl Summer Fun Band and Hutch & Kathy, the Thermals' music is brash, snotty hyper-rock--the perfect musical backdrop for Hutch Harris' sometimes-too-nasally vocals--and there's nothing cuddly about these Sub Pop darlings. But for the pop faithful, be not alarmed: The band manages to maintain its bubbly sensibilities just enough to make the music, in all its noisy self-assertiveness, seem endearing. Also appearing tonight are fellow Portlanders 31Knots, a smartly melodic band that has been described to me, flatteringly, as "prog pop." A note to said proggers: Do a cover of Yes' "Roundabout" and I'm fucking yours. NICK KOCH

SUNDAY 3/7


AVEO (CD RELEASE), ESTER DRANG, THE PREONS
(Crocodile) See preview, page 29.

THE MELVINS, MUDHONEY
(Showbox) See Live Wire, page 33.

MONDAY 3/8


THE LASHES, THE HIGH STRUNG, THE CATCH, THE CARLSONICS, DJ MARGIE
(Chop Suey) Though they may sometimes doubt it, my love for the Lashes is firmly established. Who couldn't find a soft spot for a band that had the guts to write a song that actually said nice things about a rock critic rather than making petty complaints? I know from personal experience that it takes far less talent to go on a rant about things you hate than to choose words that build an argument for why you happen to like something or someone that others may not. The High Strung are nothing short of a kick in the pants, frantic, sloppy, and cute, and the Catch are my kind of ladies, reminiscent of the Go-Go's in their heart-on-sleeve sentimentality but with enough swagger to keep the cavities away. KATHLEEN WILSON

ELVIS COSTELLO
(Benaroya Hall) Released in 2003, North is Elvis Costello's devastatingly beautiful album that finds the singer crooning in moods only hinted at with his lovely version of "Shipbuilding" off 1983's Punch the Clock, and more realized on his 1998 collaboration with Burt Bacharach, Painted from Memory. The songs on North are perhaps Costello's most honest and earnest in years, a poignant description of his current stage in a life lived richly. Each is beautifully accompanied by piano, strings, and other orchestration, but it's Costello's distinctive vocals that burrow deep into the listener's heart. KATHLEEN WILSON

TUESDAY 3/9


the ponys, the intelligence, schlaze cubed
(Fun House) See preview, page 29.

THE SLEEPY JACKSON, ROBBERS ON HIGH STREET, ON THE SPEAKERS
(Chop Suey) Most people outside the Bay Area probably don't remember Ian Sefchick's late-'90s San Francisco outfit Creeper Lagoon--but those who do will recall that the band stirred up a national buzz with the hope they'd make a mark on the indie rock scene on a large scale. Since then, Creeper's swapped members and folded into various side projects, but it's Sefchick whose post-Lagoon work is most interesting: The slightly glammy (in the vocals), richly melodic pop on Los Angeles-based On the Speakers' eponymous debut courses at its highest points (the record is a little uneven) with a similar dynamic energy as his previous band's, so that even if the new project isn't exactly an evolution, it's strong enough to interest both fans of his old band and draw in new listeners who've yet to hear Sefchick's pouty croon. JENNIFER MAERZ

CASSANDRA WILSON
(Benaroya Hall) The beautiful jazz singer Cassandra Wilson has yet to achieve the commercial success that many of her lessers (Norah Jones, Diana Krall) have achieved. In part this is her fault; she has made some bad artistic moves, such as her vapid pop venture Jumpworld (1990), which was drained of all the intelligence, erudition, and refinement that characterizes her jazz work. With the exception of the angelic humming she offered the Roots on "Swept Away" (Do You Want More?!!!??!, 1995), Wilson is only great when she is singing great jazz and blues songs. For example, she was the best thing on Wynton Marsalis' massive and rather messy jazz opera Blood on the Fields, and her performance of Robert Johnson's "Come on in My Kitchen" (Blue Light Til Dawn, 1993) has no equal. In sum: Wilson is disappointing when she is trying to be popular and amazing when challenged to make a great work of jazz art. CHARLES MUDEDE

WEDNESDAY 3/10


OLD 97's, MINIBAR
(Showbox) See Drunk by Noon, page 37.

INFOMATIK, SUFFERING AND THE HIDEOUS THIEVES, TENNIS PRO, DJ FUCKING IN THE STREETS
(Chop Suey) After seeing one of their recent live performances, a friend of mine, apparently off-put by lead vocalist Jeff Suffering's epileptic stage antics, described Suffering and the Hideous Thieves as "a good band whose singer sounds like he's suffered some kind of serious abuse in his life," which, true or not, describes somewhat accurately the tone of the band's often dark, pensive songs. At first listen, the Thieves' plush orchestration seems unevenly yoked with Suffering's hoarse, unbeautiful howls, but it is exactly this raw/refined dichotomy that makes the Thieves' music so good, imparting a sort of crude punk aesthetic (Suffering used to front long-defunct punk titans Ninety Pound Wuss) to the band's otherwise gorgeous sound. If their 2001 release, Real Panic Formed, didn't win you over, their excellent forthcoming CD, Rats in Heaven, very surely will. NICK KOCH

LISA LOEB & DWEEZIL ZAPPA
(Crocodile) The Crocodile has some of the weirdest fucking shows. First Gina Gershon's "band" plays there to help promote that crap movie Prey for Rock & Roll, and now this: Lisa Loeb and her boyfriend, Dweezil Zappa, in town to promote Dweezil & Lisa. And no, that isn't another Carmen & Dave/Nick & Jessica reality show, it's a very well-behaved cooking program where, as far as I can tell from the screener they sent me, the wildest thing that happens is someone carving a Frank Zappa out of vegetables. Crazy! But then again, Dweezil & Lisa airs on the Food Network, not MTV. The rest of the program was spent explaining how much Loeb loves Austin, showing the couple learning to make gingerbread pancakes, and giving Zappa a few moments to "rock out" on electric guitar. The pair's performance here is part of a tour to promote their cooking show, but instead of pancakes, I think they're gonna make music together. JENNIFER MAERZ

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