YOUR RIVAL, DEATH SONGS, AND AND AND
(Slim's, 8635 N Lombard) The inaugural Underbelly Bender stretches from now 'til New Year's, with seven ripping good rock shows at dive bars scattered throughout town. It kicks off tonight in St. Johns with a trio of great local acts: the indelibly tuneful Your Rival, the moody yet upbeat songs of Nick Delffs' Death Songs, and the majestic frenzy of Underbelly's hosts, And And And. NED LANNAMANN
ANIMAL EYES, SLOW TRUCKS, PONY VILLAGE
(The Woods, 6637 SE Milwaukie) There are two surprising things about Animal Eyes, neither of which relate to their music: All four of them are from a tiny town in Alaska and they are, like, 20. Those long winter nights must be conducive to practicing, because these guys have come a long way in a short time and not just geographically: On November 9, they released Found in the Forest, their first album, and one of sunny, good-time folk rock steeped in a hodgepodge of youthful enthusiasm. The album is easy to like, but it isn't exactly a grower—something a little like the more recent Dr. Dog albums, with accordion riffs and Irish drinking songs thrown in for good measure. Their exuberant personalities will come in handy for this show, when they follow two straight-up rock bands, Slow Trucks and Pony Village. REBECCA WILSON
(Tony Starlight's, 3728 NE Sandy) In the late '90s, the lounge/swing revival led to more than a few regrettable things: Cherry Poppin' Daddies. Grown men wearing bowling shirts in public. Vince Vaughn. But before the shit hit the fan, a few bands commanded an appealing blend of old-time cocktail music with more modern, aggressive sounds. Seattle's Nightcaps released a single on Sub Pop and a couple solid albums, 1997's Split and 2000's Get On, before calling it a day. The quintet recently reunited for a Seattle show and are now repeating the trick for Portland, hometown of singer Theresa Hannam and drummer Dan Cunneen. Nightcaps have also just released a new compilation, In the Live Room, which rounds up their singles, plus a 2001 live session for KEXP. NL
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