PBR PRESENTS THE 1980s
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Travel with us back in time to the awesomest, most tubular decade ever when PBR Presents the 1980s! Some of Portland's funnest bands—including Casey Neill, the Eastsiders, the My Oh Mys, Jim Brunberg, and many more—cover your '80s faves in this FREE show! (And if there's no Kajagoogoo? I'll jump onstage and do it myself!!) WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY
KING TUFF, THE SUICIDE NOTES, GUANTANAMO BAYWATCH, STILL CAVES
(East End, 203 SE Grand) Most dudes are lucky to be in one great band; Kyle Thomas of Brattleboro, Vermont, has been in at least four. You've heard of Witch—that's the metal band J Mascis plays drums for—and you might have heard of Happy Birthday, who released an overlooked record on Sub Pop last year. You also might have heard of Feathers, the freak-folk collective that released a far-out debut on Devendra Banhart's label in 2006 and then floated into the ether. But the name you need to concern yourself with right now is Tuff—King Tuff, that is, Thomas' alter-ego of scuzzily sweet garage and flower-power psych. There's a fucking phenomenal full-length released by Tee Pee in 2008 called King Tuff Was Dead, and a recent split 7-inch with the Hex Dispensers, plus a bunch of tracks littered over the internet. They all have one thing in common: the potential to be your next favorite song. With groovy jangle, indestructible power-pop structure, fuzz-mop guitars, and Thomas' dopey, grinning voice, King Tuff's shag rock is almost too easy to love. NED LANNAMANN
KATHRYN CALDER, LIKE A VILLAIN
(Backspace, 115 NW 5th) Kathryn Calder wrote her first solo album, Are You My Mother?, while her own mom was dying from ALS. The album's not a downer, but it's not what you'd call upbeat, with pleasant, self-soothing melodies and sparse instrumentation. Sixteen months later, Calder has released a follow-up album of thick, layered... synthpop. A lot of people are jumping on that bus these days, but Calder's credentials precede current trends: Bright and Vivid hearkens back to her pre-New Pornographers career with the Immaculate Machine—guitar-and-synth hooks, beats, loops, Calder's church-choir voice distorted and mixed low on the best songs (see: "One, Two, Three," like a shoegaze anthem from 1992). Bright and Vivid is interesting and easy to like, but sophisticated enough not to give it all up at first listen. What's brand new is Calder's confidence as a musician and songwriter. REBECCA WILSON
p>UNKNOWN PLEASURES, THE BAND WHO FELL TO EARTH, THE MAGIC PUMPKIN
(Tonic Lounge, 3100 NE Sandy) The list of film directors who compose their own music is short and all over the map (Satyajit Ray, yes; Charlie Chaplin, okay; Clint Eastwood? What the...), but at the top of that odd list is creepmeister John Carpenter. His repetitive scores practically created the horror-soundtrack shorthand that's been used to convey eerie unease in virtually every movie since 1978's Halloween. Taking his cues from American minimalists, German krautrockers, and the tightly wound music-box prog of Italy's Goblin—not to mention a liberal heaping from Englishman Mike Oldfield's "Tubular Bells," which was put to memorable use in The Exorcist—Carpenter's music has become synonymous with slowly ratcheting tension. Portland horror-movie aficionado Willy Greer has arranged a suite of six of Carpenter's scores, and it will be performed by the Magic Pumpkin ensemble—a band named for Halloween weekend if there ever was one—complete with "strobing visuals." Joy Division and David Bowie covers round out the night. NL
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