Portland hip hop superstars the Lifesavas, who play Nectar tonight

Awesome, BOAT, Tullycraft, iji at the Crocodile, 8 p.m., $10

A showcase of awesome local


Weekend Show Suggestions

Portland hip hop superstars the Lifesavas, who play Nectar tonight

Awesome, BOAT, Tullycraft, iji at the Crocodile, 8 p.m., $10

A showcase of awesome local bouncy pop bands. Even the openers are good; I saw iji open for The Music Tapes at The Vera Project a lot and really liked their brassy pop songs.

One-time Seattle native band Solyoni celebrates the release of a folksy, lo-fi record called Kenesaw Mountain Landis tonight at the Mars Bar with The Globes and Bumtech. That starts at 9 p.m. and costs $6.

If you missed him at the Tractor last night, Gerald Collier is making a second appearance tonight at the Sunset Tavern with Amateur Radio Operator, See Me River, Widower and Zach Harjo. The Audioasis live broadcast starts at 6 p.m.; the evening show starts at 9:30 p.m., and all this costs a mere $8.

Lifesavas, Grayskul, Rudy & The Rhetoric, Mic Crenshaw at Nectar, 9 p.m., $12

Even though Portland hip hop group the Lifesavas has only released two albums in the past six years, those two records were good enough to cement these guys' status as some of the most innovative purveyors of rhyme, not just in the Pacific Northwest, but in the entire country. Like their labelmates Blackalicious, the Lifesavas--Vursatyl, Jumbo the Garbageman and DJ Shines-- combine sharp witted-rhymes spat in unusual cadences and musically diverse production that's sometimes unorthodox, but never, ever boring. In fact, it was Blackalicious' Chief Xcel who discovered the group and offered the Lifesavas their current record deal on Quannum. Unfortunately, if the gap between 2003's Spirit In Stone and 2007's Gutterfly is any indication, it may be a while before the Lifesavas release another record; that said, whenever that elusive third release does drop, it'll more than make up for a couple years' worth of lag time. SB

India.Arie, Laura Ibizor at the Paramount, 8 p.m., $29.50 - $59.50, all ages

When India.Arie first debuted her music to the world on her album, Acoustic Soul, from 2001, she was seen as a welcome change within the music industry. Existing slightly inside of the neo-soul box, but far away from the pillow-talk R&B at the time, Arie's songs spoke of black love and self love in a way that touched music consumers young and old. That album eventually went triple platinum, which obviously is a strong start to one's music career. The Denver native, who spent much or her adolescence in Atlanta, is a talented vocalist and guitar player and she also writes most of the songs on her album. Her latest disc, Testimony: Vol. 2, Love & Politics recently hit stores in February, and while it doesn't have a single on it as catchy as "Brown Skin" or "I Am Not My Hair," the song "Chocolate High" featuring Musiq Soulchild is a jazzy, modern soul hit. Other jams on Love & Politics include "Therapy" featuring Gramps of reggae group Morgan Heritage and "Better Way" which has a guest appearance from blues singer Keb Mo. It's a solid album and anyone that likes their R&B/soul music to be hard hitting without the cheesy, baby-come-hither lyrics should check her out. JC


Astronautalis, Cars & Trains, Bleubird at Nectar, 9 p.m., $7

Andy Bothell makes the kind of pseudo-hip hop that makes anticon followers drool and hipsters swoon. He rhymes as Astronautalis, wavering from a Sole-like drone to a hoarse growl that makes him sound like Tom Waits slinging rhymes. Bothell's a recent transplant to Seattle--he comes to us from Florida-- but his recent deal with Eyeball Records and the cross-country move aren't the only changes Bothell's made lately. On Pomegranate, Bothell's newest and most ambitious release, he weaves eerie tales of thieves and reinvents historical river crossings like hip hop's misfit bard. With each subsequent record, Bothell seems to progress further into the wild hybrid territory settled by the pioneers in anticon-- which is not a bad thing. But the best part of Bothell's shows is still all hip hop: when he asks the crowd to throw out a few words, which he'll then incorporate into a zany freestyle. SB

Dredg, Torche, Maps & Atlases at Neumos, 7 p.m., $15 adv, all ages

Last summer, when I interviewed guitarist Juan Montoya, co-founder of Florida underground-metal powerhouse Torche, he explained to me one of the differences between he and his bandmate (and friend of 15-plus years), singer-guitarist Steve Brooks: "Steve is the more realistic one in the band...and I'm the one that's always like, 'We're gonna be the best! We're gonna rock out! Let's go to Japan by the end of the year!' I make all these crazy goals and he's like, 'Dude, you're a daydreamer...'" Apparently, realism has won out, because Montoya was asked to leave the band in late 2008 due to vague-but-ever-popular "personal and professional" reasons, reducing Torche to a trio (they have no plans to replace Montoya). Part of what made last year's breakthrough album Meanderthal such an amazing, compelling listen was the collision of the pair's disparate styles and influences - Brooks was into death metal like Entombed and Deicide, while Montoya brought to the band a love of My Bloody Valentine, Jawbox, and Cocteau Twins; they found common ground in the Melvins, whom Torche occasionally resembled both on the disc and live. How the band moves forward with Brooks firmly in charge is anyone's guess, but tonight's show should provide at least some answers. MAG

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