There are always a lot of great shows in Portland, but the truth is, I don’t have enough money to attend many events. Money is unkind to me, or I am unkind to money. Anyway, here are the ones I’m dying to see at the moment. Feel free to give me all your money so I can attend these shows (except the one I don’t want to attend). I will even tell you what a great time I had.
January 15th — INTRO5SPECT @ Plan B
I heard Intro5pect for the first time on a discount compilation I got in Laguna Beach, California when I was fourteen. That compilation also exposed me to Reagan Youth, Christ on a Crutch, and many other great bands. It was a great record store too. On the same trip, I found several Misfits bootlegs, including Cough/Cool, Halloween, and Return of the Fly, in addition to a rare Sisters of Mercy 7″. Nothing beats a good punk show, and I heard MDC is playing as well.
February 4th — DO MAKE SAY THINK @ Mississippi Studios
Do Make Say Think is a “post-rock” band in the vein of Godspeed You Black Emperor and Explosions in the Sky. At times, they sound kind of like a jazz band playing low-fi garage rock. At their best, they’re at least as good as Godspeed You Black Emperor. I saw them in Hollywood a few years ago, and they put on a phenomenal show. One of the best bands I’ve seen live, they also feature an incredible (albeit slightly underused) horns section. Mississippi Studios is only a few miles from the Bizarro Bunker, so I’ll probably have to attend this no matter what.
February 18th — CHRISTIAN DEATH @ Berbati’s Pan
Actually, this is the show I least want to attend. It’s been said before, but let me say it now: Fuck Valor. Christian Death, helmed by Rozz Williams, began as one of the seminal death rock bands in Los Angeles. Rozz Williams was nineteen when Christian Death’s first album, Only Theatre of Pain, was released. That album featured Rikk Agnew, formerly of The Adolescents, on guitar. It’s still a seminal punk/death rock album. The band quickly disseminated and later reformed with a new lineup. Rozz Williams was still on vocals, but now Valor Kand played guitar. For their second album (Catastrophe Ballet, 1984), Christian Death incorporated new influences — above all, European surrealism — into their shock tendencies and L.A. punk roots. Valor deserves a lot of credit for Catastrophe Ballet, perhaps Christian Death’s best album. When Rozz Williams — the only remaining original member — left the band in 1985, the band decided to keep playing, under what became known as Valor’s Christian Death. Rozz Williams later released a few other Christian Death albums, most notably The Path of Sorrows, which features an interesting cover of Velvet Underground’s Venus in Furs. Although Valor has attempted to revive the band at various points, he essentially sucks at understanding or executing what works about shock rock (think Alice Cooper’s Dead Babies, a song Rozz Williams later covered with a difference project). He made it fucking lame, although it’s kind of amusing to see he’s still around.
At this point, I have to stop talking about Christian Death. I’ll do a full write-up on Rozz Williams and the history of his various projects at some point.
March 26th — ACID MOTHERS TEMPLE @ Mississippi Studios
A double serving of crazy fucking Japanese freak-out psychedelia with a dose of heavy metal on the side? Fuck yeah! Acid Mothers Temple is very high on my list of must-see bands. I’m glad they’re playing close to me. At Mississippi Studios, I can at least sit in the bar and not pay for the show and still hear the music. They’ve put out more albums than I can keep track of, and they’ve switched up their name a lot (Acid Mothers Temple & the Pink Ladies Blues, Acid Mothers Temple & the Incredible Strange Band, Acid Mothers Temple & the Melting Paraiso U.F.O., etc.), but they seem to be consistently awesome.
On most days, I would place RJD2′s Deadringers above DJ Shadow’s Entroducing…, so I’m excited to see that RJD2 is coming to town, especially to a good small-ish venue like Dante’s. Of the shows I actually want to attend, this is the one I’m most likely to miss. In fact, I can tell you now that I won’t go. I want to go, but Intro5pect, Do Make Say Think, Acid Mothers Temple, and Jandek take precedence over nearly all hip hop. Sorry, Forrest.
April 29th — JANDEK and THURSTON MOORE @ Hollywood Theatre
Jandek with Thurston Moore? Shit. And it’s a one-time only show. With the exception of Current 93′s show(s) in New York in the spring, I can’t imagine a show I would want to see more in 2010. Hopefully I can get a ticket.