(Jackpot Records, 203 SW 9th) Read our article on the Skabbs.
RHETT MILLER AND THE SERIAL LADY KILLERS, THE SPRING STANDARDS
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Read our article on Rhett Miller.
JONATHAN COULTON, JOHN RODERICK
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) Give one listen to the funny, sad, sweet, geeky songs of Jonathan Coulton and you'll understand why he became an internet phenomenon. Attend just one of his live shows and you'll... well, I am not sure, exactly, other than have an excellent time, which everyone does at them, because they are great. ERIK HENRIKSEN
CARLTON MELTON, GLITTER WIZARD, BISON BISON, WHITE MANNA
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) If there is such a thing as a St. Johns sound, Bison Bison could be accused of embodying it. The trio evokes the North Peninsula with solid tracks of sludgy, crushing rock, rife with a sense of Northwest gothic—and one that is informed by a particularly potent fusion of hard rock elements with melodic, funky rhythms and riffs. On tracks that delve into minutes-long territory, Grant Miller delivers classically ripping guitar solos, interspersed with plaintive vocals that remind me of the fierce veneer and rough twang of the Gun Club's Jeffrey Lee Pierce. Eric Johnson provides bombastic foundation on drums, while Dylan Reilly rounds out the sound on bass, creating scorching tracks to which you can both bang your head and blissfully jam. MARANDA BISH
SIX FEET UNDER, DYING FETUS, REVOCATION, ON ENEMY SOIL, NEMESIS
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) The smorgasbord of treats and company at this show is like a metal cocktail party. There's Revocation, an eclectic, tasty bowl of mixed nuts resting on the coffee table. Their brimming, salty bowl is filled with meaty melodic death metal, complex progressive thrash, and a little hardcore barking here and there, which leaves something to be desired. Don't worry, you can just pick around those vocals like walnuts. Dying Fetus is the obnoxious party guest on uppers that corners you talking a mile a minute about things you don't understand. Their death metal has some time signature experimentation and arpeggio sweeps that fascinate at first, but after a while you'll need to slip away and freshen your drink. Finally, Six Feet Under is the awkward couple that couldn't find a babysitter, so they brought their precocious six-year-old—let's call him Chris Barnes. You could care less about the parents, but the scathing, classic death-metal vocals that come out of that kid make him the center of attention. Party on! ARIS WALES
LEAVES RUSSELL, dKOTA, ROLLIE FINGERS
(Star Theater, 13 NW 6th) It is intriguing to listen to an album and consider that what you hear is a band's closest effort to enscapsulate their truth, to convey their experiences and inner worlds via instrumentation. The anchor of local project dKOTA, Dustin Johnsen, provides tangible insight into this process with an online video charting his journey in creating new album The Self-Dyssimilar. A montage of atmospheric meandering accompanies dKOTA's music, giving images of the album's creation: sped-up footage of the familiar sights of biking around Portland, there's the I-84 overpass, Big Pink in the distance—followed by extended scenes of band members experimenting with sounds in an expansive room draped with Persian rugs and guitars, working thoughtfully at articulating their expression for an as-of-yet unknown audience. MB
ECID, GRAVES 33, HALF MAN HALF, SARX, GREG AND JEROME
(Ted's, 231 SW Ankeny) Twin Cities MC/producer Jason "Ecid" McKenzie's new album, Werewolf Hologram, is a sprawling, inventive onslaught of lyrical incisiveness and freewheeling, sampladelic funk (anyone looping Vangelis's "The Dragon" and what sounds like Tim Rose's version of "Morning Dew" deserves respect). The album harks back to the Mush and Anticon labels' early-'00s heyday of maverick hiphop cultivation. Ecid raps with Sage Francis-like acuity and gruff, world-weary delivery over tracks embellished with a serious crate-digger's array of sound bites. Werewolf Hologram offers a rich tapestry of verbal and sonic unconventionality. DAVE SEGAL
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