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Caves, The Cops, the Girls
Chop Suey, $8, Friday, 9 p.m.
All of them clad in black and illuminated only by the dark, glowing crimson of the big “C” at the Comet Tavern a couple of years ago, Portland quartet Caves seemed the epitome of modern-rock cool, like the Northwest’s version of Interpol or something. Though there were elements of that band’s shivery, nocturnal post-punk in their own tunes, Caves also mixed in jumpy, angular guitar parts and dance-y rhythms a la Wire and Franz Ferdinand and the Killers that night, while front-dude Jacob Carey tapped into both his inner Joe Strummer and Billy Idol (not so much the angry snarl as that deep “I dried your tears of pain” warble) to deliver his gravelly, charismatic vocals. On their recently released Get On With It, Caves work plenty of dub and prog textures into their dramatic, sensual slink, so tonight could be even more of a hot fuss.
-- MICHAEL ALAN GOLDBERG
Voyager One (CD release), Head Like a Kite, the Upsidedown, the Kindness Kind
Tractor Tavern, $8. Saturday, 8 p.m.
Burbling, underwater guitars, reverberations that pierce the atmosphere and dive deep underground, slow and steady bass, and the chink of a tambourine, drawn out like the slowest bump and grind of a dancer's hips: that's "Give," from Voyager One's newest album Afterhours in the Afterlife, and it isn't even the best track. That'd be "Sine Waves," a multilayered daydream praised with expletives on the BBC, or opener "Here," which sets the album's narcotized tone perfectly. Did I mention how Peter Marchese's voice now seems to transmit all the sex of Black Celebration era Dave Gahan's, minus the gothic airs? It's no wonder that "Gun," from V1's Monster Zero made its way into the pants of a Suicide Girls soundtrack. If only the other bands knew how to do it so well. With Head Like a Kite, the Upsidedown and the Kindness Kind.
-- RACHEL SHIMP
Black Whales, Bird Language, Fences
Cha Cha Lounge, Sunday, 9 p.m.
Despite the fact that the South Eastern quadrant of Capitol Hill is now home to four of the cities best rock clubs, there’ve been a handful of quality bookings at some bars in between—namely the Wild Rose and Cha Cha Lounge. Wild Rose has played host to the likes of Dan Deacon and new Hardly Art-ists the Dutchess and the Duke, while long time Cha Cha employee Kerry Zettel holds it down in the new space by bringing in bands like Loving Thunder and Night Canopy, and tonight: Fences, Black Whales and Bird Language. Fences is a one man indie show as performed by Seattle’s Chris Mansfield, who’s vocals on The Ultimate Puke EP are at times eerily similar to Conor Oberst and at others, a mellower Rufus Wainwright, while his gentle acoustic melodies recall echoes of Elliot Smith. Black Whales is local rock culled from quality bands of the same brand who’ve gone before including the Catheters/Tallbirds, Tourist and Spacesuit; and openers Bird Language recall the urgency of punkers like Seven Seconds, with a slightly softer underbelly.
-- AJA PECKNOLD