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Gary Gygax's <i>Empire of Imagination</i>


Gary Gygax's Empire of Imagination

The History of Dungeons & Dragons—as Seen Through the Eyes of Gary Gygax (And Possibly a Beholder)

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Tonight in Music: Ear Candy, Pierced Arrows, Toxic Holocaust & More

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Thu, Oct 31, 2013 at 11:07 AM

(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Here to stuff your sack full of sweetness, it's the first-ever Ear Candy! Your pals at the Mercury and the good folks at Mississippi Studios have teamed up to bring you a series of free shows from terrific local bands, and tonight's inaugural Ear Candy kicks off with a Halloween theme and two aptly named bands: Spookies and Big Haunt! NED LANNAMANN

(Ash Street Saloon, 225 SW Ash) There are worse people to spend Halloween with than Fred and Toody Cole, the Portland legends who are the backbone of Pierced Arrows. Pretty much everyone, actually. This year, cut your sugar and alcohol intake with ecstatic, unadulterated ROCK at this 19th anniversary show for the Ash Street Saloon. DIRK VANDERHART

(White Owl Social Club, 1305 SE 8th) While there's no shortage of Halloween shows going down tonight, it's hard to argue there's a more fitting line-up than this. Portland's own thrash veterans Toxic Holocaust bring their apocalyptic onslaught of metal to the stage, just days after the release of their fifth studio album, Chemistry of Consciousness. On the record, guitarist/vocalist Joel Grind continues to conjure up the catchy, over-the-top riffs that the band has become loved for. Tonight, they share the stage with Klingon death-metal band Stovokor, who take their name from the Star Trek alien race's term for the afterlife. The Portland-based band pulls out all the stops for their live performances, donning full Klingon makeup and costumes, with lead singer, plnluH HoD, delivering all vocals in the Klingon language. Just be sure your costume is plenty loose around the neck, as head banging levels are guaranteed to be off the charts here. CHIPP TERWILLIGER

(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) Forget for one second that zombies are getting way played out, and just try to remember when appreciation for undead weirdoes was relegated to admirers of classic horror cinema and Jerry Only. Do this because a Zombie Ball actually sounds pretty fun, and appropriately ghoulish Northwest surf-rock legends Satan's Pilgrims are going to set that springy Crystal dance floor a-bouncin' with bloody, dead-eyed revelers in shredded clothes. The costume contest and special prize packages will hopefully dissuade any impromptu breakout of a ballroom-wide rendition of the choreography from "Thriller." But with the solid R&B instrumentals of the Satin Chaps and garage soul from Hong Kong Banana to slake your thirst for brain-blood, who knows what will happen. RYAN J. PRADO

(Ponderosa Lounge, 10350 N Vancouver) Like most folks that grace the stage of the Ponderosa Lounge—the bar and grill tucked inside the Jubitz Truck Stop in North Portland—Jon Pardi is a modern country up-and-comer. He's not so well known in Nashville circles to have an actual album out, but he's enough of a gamer to be willing to earn some stripes by playing for long-haul drivers and the ladies who love them. Pardi at least has the chops to win over some converts: The native Californian's two singles—"Up All Night" and "Missin' You Crazy"—have the right amount of shit-kickin' vigor to make for some good dancing, topped with a laidback romantic spirit à la Blake Shelton that would surely make a lot lizard weak at the knees. ROBERT HAM

(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) A sold-out AFI show at the Roseland in 2013 seems like an anachronism. Sure, the group in their heyday contributed a modicum of new ideas—namely, a Freddie Mercury-esque bluster that was later better adapted by My Chemical Romance—to what was, by the early '00s essentially an already stagnating genre (i.e., Warped Tour bullshit). And sure, those singles on the group's breakthrough record Sing the Sorrow ("Girl's Not Grey"; "The Leaving Song Pt. II") are undeniably catchy, minor-league pop. But the band seems aesthetically, if not entirely, confined to their time. So who the fuck is paying for this shit? Could their new record, Burials—which I admittedly have not and, although this probably makes me an irresponsible critic, will not listen to—be great? Or have we finally reached the point in time where middle-of-the-road, early '00s alternative rock is no longer a shameful regret in our collective musical memory? My fingers are tightly crossed for the former, though I'm not prepared to find out. MORGAN TROPER

(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) Rotture will be the hub for raved-out, costumed revelry tonight, as LA's Wedidit crew comes to town. Hailing from Venice Beach, Groundislava combines Balearic beats and airy synths to create a hazy yet energetic electronic experience, evoking Goa and trance if those two styles had been invented in Second Life. Songs like "Cool Party" are reverb-heavy and at times downtempo, flirting with new age before building toward progressive house and trap. Kaytranada employs a more reverential pop-culture sensibility in his mixes, nonetheless laden with non-sequiturs and '90s R&B nods. Jerome LOL belongs in the WTF category of Internet artists-turned musicians, with dance music that incorporates cheekily abrasive samples executed with post-ironic affiliation with the machine. If you are planning on hitting the dance floor, consider this the event to max out your serotonin levels with lots of candy. WYATT SCHAFFNER


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