Friday, Oct. 29
PJ Harvey, Roseland, 8 N.W. Sixth Ave., $27.50, all ages
Ms. Magnificent, PJ Harvey is finally making her way back to P-town after God-only-knows how long. Polly Jean’s career has transcended more than a decade of genre hopping, leaving behind angst and gothic posturing allowing her to emerge a bona fide rock star. Her new album leaves behind the glossy, safe arms of longtime collaborators and producers, instead opting for a more personal and unvarnished aesthetic. Sometimes she hits you with the raw anger of Kim Gordon, sometimes she seduces you into the dusty backwoods, but she will always kick your ass. –Choncy Jones
Dan Bern & Chris Chandler, Berbati’s Pan, 10 S.W. Third Ave., $15, 21+
If Woody Guthrie grew up in the ’80s and did lots and lots of cocaine, he would probably be hanging out with Dan Bern, drinking beer and bitching about the Bush administration.
With his 1996 debut, Dog Boy Van, Bern strummed his way onto the scene as a return to stripped down political and personal folk music with a punk sensibility. Songs such as “Talkin’ Alien Abduction Blues” are both hilarious and moving.
Bern’s lyrics often evoke the specters of Dylan and Ginsberg, but he is always firmly situated in the present. On his most recent album, My Country II, Bern sets his sights square on Bush and Co.
Where his early work is littered with bizarre characters and sprawling metaphors, his newest material is decidedly not, sticking largely to the target at hand.
Bern still has the frantic romantic in him from his days at Righteous Babe Records and, in the week to come, political songs are more engaging and necessary than ever. –Leathan Graves-Highsmith
Snuggle Ups’ record release party with The Thermals, Nocturnal, 1800 E. Burnside St., all ages
Cutesy rockers Snuggle Ups are warming your heart tonight, all excited about putting out a new album. Soon-to-be-superstar pals the Thermals are there to help. Call it “PDX pop city,” but only if you want a lot of dirty looks. –CJ
Saturday, Oct. 30
Big Show, featuring the Supersuckers, Bossanova, 722 E. Burnside St., $12, all ages
The country-rock superstars are hitting you with a one-two combo tonight. One is a straight up rock show Supersuckers style — spitting, kicking and fucking you up. The other is a strict country show, taking the band back to its roots, plain and simple. You really have to give up the props for this band. For having done what they’ve been doing since the mid ’90s, they still know how to keep it interesting. -CJ
Telephone, VHS or Beta, the Fever, Dante’s Inferno, 1 S.W. Third Ave. $8, 21+
Spooky, electro-disco-rock sophistication from a hand full of synth-heavy bands with none of the exhilaration screamo-core offers. You’ll enjoy it, my imported cigarette smoking, leather jacket and scarf wearing, half an hour in front of the mirror, hipster scum friend. –CJ
Sunday, Oct. 31
Berbati’s Pan Halloween, Berbati’s Pan, 10 S.W. Third Ave., 21+
Once I went as Prince to a Halloween party. I learned three valuable lessons: fat guys in purple pants are hilarious, drunk fat guys in purple pants and high heeled boots are even more hilarious and drunk fat guys in purple pants and high heeled boots trying to sing like Prince are the most hilarious of all. Word has it there is a kick-ass cover band doing the work I couldn’t: rocking like Prince. Go. Enjoy. –CJ
Trick or Vote with Art Alexakis & Friends, Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W. Burnside St., $10, all ages
Art Alexakis has friends? What’s this about voting? For what? Why haven’t there been 10 thousand fucking canvassers around to remind us to vote? Thank God Art Alexakis is here, or else we might have never known what to do. –CJ
Fright Night Freaknik at the Holocene Haunted Lodge with The Gossip, Dantronx, and DJ Fathead (of the Dandy Warhols), Holocene, 1001 S.E. Morrison St., $7, 21+
This is the shit I’m talking about. Get drunk, dance to corny-assed music and go home with some hipster in cat-eyed glasses. Don’t wear your “dead Elliot Smith” costume here though; some nerves are still raw from last year. –CJ
Monday, Nov. 1
Stay home; cook a nice dinner for your dog. He’s been good all week.
Tuesday, Nov. 2
Giant Sand, Handsome Family, Berbati’s Pan, 10 S.W. Third Ave., $12, 21+
Giant Sand’s Howie Gelb writes music from the desert, for the desert. The songs are stark, dry and surprisingly full of life. He is an underappreciated master and we’re lucky he’s here. The Handsome Family is creepy like a Faulkner novel, only easier to read. –CJ
Something else is happening tonight, but I just can’t seem to remember what.
Wednesday, Nov. 3
The Cramps, Roseland, 8 N.W. Sixth Ave., $16, all ages
Can’t… get… these… tight… shiny… leather… pants… on… over… my… saggy… middle-aged… ass. Still creepy after all these years. –CJ
Crooked Fingers, Dante’s Inferno, 1 S.W. Third Ave., $12, 21+
Who cares who they’re playing with? Ex-Archers Of Loaf front man Eric Bachman writes the most amazing and fucked up honest songs Neil Diamond never did. Crooked Fingers is the obvious successor to AOL, writing longing, apologetic and lost songs that perfectly exemplify the world we find ourselves when the haze of angst subsides. –CJ
Casiotone For the Painfully Alone, Papercuts, Ghost to Falco, Holocene, 1001 S.E. Morrison, 21+
Casiotone makes insipid pop with simple and silly sounds from antiquated equipment. I have no idea how anyone could find any attachment to this beyond its novelty, but people seem to love him. So go, put your hair in pigtails and act 13. I won’t stop you. –CJ
Thursday Nov. 4
Mickey Dread, Berbati’s Pan, 10 S.W. Third Ave., 21+
Mickey Dread is one of those artists that make you feel OK about liking reggae. Not frat-boy Bob Marley, Peter Tosh bullshit but good, smart and politically charged reggae. He recorded with The Clash and made some of the best dub of the late ’70s and early ’80s. I know for some of you this could be a reach, but the time has come to put away your Death Cab For Cutie records and expand those horizons. –CJ