Lovin’ & Listenin’

Thursday, May 4

Cinco de Mayo Bomb: Bow Wow, Ne-Yo, Twista, E-40, Rhianna, T-Pain, Chamillionaire, Ray J, Bubba Sparxx, Dem Franchise, Boyz, Lil’ Rob and Paul Wall
Rose Garden, 7:30 p.m., $15-55, all ages

Why a concert in honor of Cinco de Mayo a day before the holiday? Regardless, here are five reasons to go to this show:

  • E-40.
  • Bitter enemies Chamillionaire and Paul Wall sharing a stage.
  • For guys: Rhianna’s ab muscles.
  • For ladies: Bow Wow’s buffness.
  • Sixty percent of the hipsters in this town like to pretend whatever is played on Z100 is far cooler than any indie act, so here’s a chance to see if they put their money where their mouths are.

Soul Position, One Be Lo, Cleveland Steamers, DJ Wicked
Berbati’s Pan, 9:30 p.m., $13 adv., $15 DOS, 21+

Though I much prefer RJD2 as a solo artist, everybody I know loves Soul Position, the duo of RJ and rapper Blueprint. If you like funky soul samples and nimble MC-ing, you’ll love Soul Position. Furthermore, if you’ve never heard of Soul Position, but like Gang Starr, Jurassic 5 or Black Star, go to this show and become an SP convert.

Friday, May 5

Rainer Maria, Ambulette, John Weinland
Doug Fir, 9 p.m., $8 adv., $10 DOS, 21+

In this Feist/Emily Haines/Jenny Lewis age, have we forgotten Caithlin De Marrais? She is one hot indie babe, with a seriously sexy name to boot. Sadly, this hotness doesn’t translate to Rainer Maria’s current output. Since A Better Version of Me, the band has increasingly abandoned any of the quirks that singled them out from standard emo fare.

Saturday, May 6

Blood On The Wall, Psychic Ills, Swan Island
Holocene, 9:30 p.m., $7, 21+

I expected big things from Blood On the Wall, but they’re basically an empty Sonic Youth rip-off. Psychic Ills, however, play legitimately druggy psychedelic music for the stoner faithful, i.e., me. Swan Island play punky new-wave music and have a really hot frontwoman, which begs the question: since when are bands from Portland fronted by models? That’s not OK, people; we’re more San Francisco than New York, remember?

Let’s keep it that way.

Sunday, May 7

Aloha; Point Juncture, WA; Animal Beard
Holocene, 9:30 p.m., $6 adv., $7 DOS, 21+

Indie-rock bands have to walk the thin line that separates them from emo, and Aloha walks that line. One false step and you’ll find yourself sounding like The Promise Ring; thankfully, Aloha sound more like The Shins, with bubbly keyboards, new-wave guitar lines and hooks galore.

Monday, May 8

Islands, Busdriver, Cadence Weapon
Loveland, 8 p.m., $10 adv., $12 DOS, all ages

Indie pop and indie hop, who’d a thunk it? Islands are ex-members of The Unicorns, a band I can’t stand, so let’s move on to Busdriver and Cadence Weapon. Loosely connected to Freestyle Fellowship, Busdriver sounds like David Alan Grier and raps about the fact that only people in Europe buy his records. Cadence Weapon is Rollie Pemberton, who runs the kickass MP3 blog Razorblade Runner, which features everything from The Knife to David Banner to The Fiery Furnaces. And any rapper who can admit to a crush on Eleanor Friedberger deserves your love.