CHUCK PROPHET AND THE MISSION EXPRESS, REDWOOD SON
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) You won't find a more versatile, yet underappreciated, musician and songwriter than Chuck Prophet (although those in the know know). Aside from a career that has seen him dabble in punk, country, and pop (his first band Green on Red was big in the mid-'80s Paisley Underground movement), Prophet is also a gifted storyteller whose solo work is just as enthralling. His latest album, Temple Beautiful, is a love letter of sorts to his longtime San Francisco home, offering up obscure references to Bay Area geography and history as well as dropping more familiar names like Harvey Milk, Bill Graham, and Willie Mays. Simple, workingman's rock can often go unnoticed, but you're far too savvy to miss this one. MARK LORE
PARENTHETICAL GIRLS, WAX FINGERS, HOSANNAS, PALMAS, AAN
(Rontoms, 600 E Burnside) Tender, the new EP from Portland prog trio Wax Fingers, burns brightly in all the right places, plotting smart, subdued weirdness that's swayable and deliciously psychedelic. Their follow-up to 2010's self-titled debut finds the band reeling in their considerable technical prowess, relying not on flashy time signatures or swelling symphonics alone. Tender guts the core of the group's mad science on the septic-dark opening track "Bauhaus" and the ebbing-flowing title track. But it's not all insular restraint; "I'm So Limber" allows a late-breaking volume-spike, while EP closer "Almost Always Sailing" pairs heavy synth soundscapes with frantic drumming and score-worthy instrumentation—provided the film chronicles the slow demise of a psychotropic-popping druggie. Beauty and brawn work in tandem here, producing a wonderfully diverse slice of outsider pop. This show is the official release for Tender, so bring money. RYAN J. PRADO
TEISHA HELGERSON TRIBUTE
(Kruger's Farm, 17100 NW Sauvie Island) Teisha Helgerson, the singer for Amelia, died last year from chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Her friends took her unfinished recordings and made Carry On, an album that intermingles Helgerson's sketches and lyrics with fleshed-out songs from all the contributors. It was a tricky operation, but the assorted Portland musicians on Carry On have not only made a tasteful, moving tribute to Helgerson, they've made a unified album that finds the joy in Helgerson's life story rather than getting bogged down in her illness and too-soon death. Tonight's release show benefits the Teisha's Place and Jeremy Wilson Foundation charities. Performers will include Jim Brunberg, Michael Jodell, Matt Brown, James Low, Mark Orton, Wendy Pate, Aaron Walker, Miss Tulie, Susannah Weaver, Scott Weddle, Rachel Taylor Brown, and Stephanie Schneiderman. Poet Scott Poole, and dancer Margarita Barragan will also be there, with Live Wire!'s Courtenay Hameister hosting. NED LANNAMANN
THE VERY BEST, SEYE, DJ JEFFREY JERUSALEM
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) The transcontinental pop scene has been dominated by the Very Best for a few years now, ever since Esau Mwamwaya, from Malawi, famously sold a bike to Etienne Tron, the French half of the hiphop production team Radioclit. But after one critically adored mixtape and an even more lauded debut LP (Warm Heart of Africa), Etienne had enough, leaving Johan Hugo Karlberg and Mwamwaya to forge on without him. MTMTMK, their second album, was recorded in Lilongwe, Malawi. Expectedly pleasurable, the album features lots of predictable guest stars—Baaba Maal, Amadou and Mariam—as well as bilingual vocals. The generous spirit that made the album possible seems to have spilled over into many of the songs, an impressive feat given that the production ranges from shiny to the slickly commercial. Fortunately, the Very Best radiate a warmth and authenticity that could find its way out of even the most elaborately designed packaging. REBECCA WILSON
DAVID ALLAN COE, HONKY TONK UNION, MICHAEL DEAN DAMRON
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) David Allan Coe is a mixed bag. On the one hand, he's responsible for penning the maudlin country classic "Would You Lay with Me (In a Field of Stone)" and "Take This Job and Shove It," which has Superchunk's "Slack Motherfucker" beat as the ultimate anti-employment anthem. But these accomplishments don't absolve him of subsequent foolishness, which there is quite a bit of. Much of Coe's recent work borders on self-parody (admittedly, it's sort of a disproportionate comparison, but think a hillbilly Weird Al). Even worse is the stuff that's unintentionally ridiculous, like Coe's collaboration with the late Dimebag Darrell, Rebel Meets Rebel, which remains perhaps my favorite party record of all time (why does everyone hate my parties?). I have no idea what he's playing tonight, but most of it is bound to be agonizing. MORGAN TROPER
KRISTIN HERSH, MBILLY
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) I've loved Kristin Hersh ever since I heard Throwing Muses' "Call Me" on a mixtape. Hersh was a 20-year-old baby then, with a distinctive, angry bray like some sort of punk-rock lamb. With that staccato "Summer's gone/summer's over/somebody here's too smart," Hersh foretold her musical output a remarkable 26 years later. She's now a solo artist (and wrapping up new work from Throwing Muses), writer, mother, and co-founder of the nonprofit musician-aiding project CASH Music. Her latest album, 2010's Crooked, is a collaboration for which 20 demos were remixed by fans and polished up by Hersh into 10 album tracks and two auxiliary EPs. It's very much an autumn record—too heavy and introspective for these hot August days—but it'll feel as good as your favorite wool shirt once the days darken. Hersh's bruised-peach voice still sounds as fantastic and rich as ever on Crooked's folky, grown-up collection. Let her be the lovely voiced harbinger of the upcoming leaf change. COURTNEY FERGUSON
CANNIBAL CORPSE, PERIPHERY, VEILOT MAYA, JOB FOR A COWBOY, GOATWHORE, EXHUMED & MORE
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Cannibal Corpse is kinda like the Metallica of death metal. At their inceptions, both were special, groundbreaking bands that changed the game, widening a few eyes in the process. Just like Metallica, Corpse had four perfect records before it all started going to pot. For Metallica, the initial slip into blaring mediocrity and failed experimentation can be traced to the moment they lopped off their luscious locks. For Cannibal Corpse, the entrance of George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher replacing Chris Barnes on vocals was the beginning of the slide. In the subsequent years, original members Alex Webster (bass) and Paul Mazurkiewicz (drums) have done a good job of keeping the gore-drenched, chummified riffs and album covers alive, but good ol' Fishgrinder has done nothing except make all the new records boring. Death metal vocalists don't necessarily have range, but they should have flair, and personal style that stands apart from the countless other gurgling frontmen in the sub-genre. Unfortunately, Fishgrinder's got nothing. Thanks for dragging a good band down, dick. ARIS WALES
THE BUGS, LAME DRIVERS, WOOLEN MEN
(Record Room, 8 NE Killingsworth) Portland weather is on the fritz, which means summer-fun music is about to head into hibernation, making room for serious things. But these three bands are serious about keeping music fun. Portland garage-punk two-piece the Bugs keep a pretty low profile for being a band that's been playing in Portland for 14 years. Their uptempo, catchy hooks like "Maybe you and I should just get stupid" are probably smart satire, but since the songs only last a minute and a half, it's hard to figure out before you're already stomping your feet to something like "Fuckin' A Right" on the next song. Portland favorites the Woolen Men and Brooklyn's 10-year-young band Lame Drivers make a stop on the West Coast segment of their two-part summer tour to make this lineup super nice. ROCHELLE HUNTER
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) Yes, you read correctly: Nashville Pussy is still around. With their fire-breathing stage antics and sexed-up lyrics about Southern livin', these Georgians are KISS-meets-Skynyrd. This will probably sound awful to many, but over the past 15 years or so, Nashville Pussy have amassed a (largely European) cult following, which is the best kind of following. Husband-wife duo Blaine Cartwright and Ruyter Suys are the only mainstays from the early days, but the new material is almost indistinguishable from their debut, Let Them Eat Pussy. Evolution in rock 'n' roll is overrated anyway. Nashville Pussy are the embodiment of "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." ML
PINK SLIP, OBJECTS IN SPACE, THE GOOD SONS
(Plan B, 1305 SE 8th) Sometimes even the most well-balanced pessimists become enraged and need to blow off steam. For that, we have Pink Slip. They like to keep things very loud and very raw, a charming contrast to their apparently jolly personalities. The three members share vocals, but you're going to want to keep an eye on Claire Daemon (actually Nelson), the guitar player. She's an outstanding singer, with a voice that chimes from deep within, like she learned to sing in a church choir of mohawks and leather vests. With Mike Blackburn on drums and Kim Rowan on bass, they have nailed the the thing that made Bikini Kill and the Gits (Pink Slip's favorite band) so compelling back when the radio was saturated with the Spice Girls. Now Pink Slip have taken up the DIY mantle, bringing punk to the cheerfully incensed masses. RW
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