Sunday August 21

The Shades, Profcal, Your Rival, Kyle Morton @ Backspace (early show)

Earlier this year, while working at a magazine doing a database project, I listened to Profcal's EP on repeat on Bandcamp for the first hour of every day before switching to Dan Patrick. At present, the young group seems to be shifting away from the synthier-based side of things (as influenced by PDX mainstays like Starfucker) touched on that record and venturing into some harder territory, perhaps proved by this afternoon's Nirvana cover. Profcal has the right tastes on its sleeves to approach any future endeavors from any number of angles and succeed.

Tuesday August 23

Candysound, The Cat From Hue @ Backspace

Gawker recently described Seattle's music scene as "dwindling." Somebody want to get that writer a copy of recordings from any of the three bands I saw tonight? Or BOAT? Or the Globes? Or Beat Connection? Or U.S.F. ? Wait, why am I defending Seattle? Anyway, though Candysound is admittedly from the Emerald City's northern neighbor, Bellingham, they could easily end up in Seattle (or hopefully Portland?) sometime soon. Did you know Typhoon's Kyle Morton is a big fan of the Get Up Kids? If Typhoon actually sounded more like the Get Up Kids, it might end up sounding a lot like Candysound: a twangy walk on the wire twixt, almost alt country and straighter ahead pop punk. The Cat From Hue had a lot of great stuff to say, too: guitars twisting across a few different styles, noodly and jammy at times with a more of a classic rock swagger (like a straight forward take on the Flaming Lips).

Craft Spells @ Holocene

Made an expertly timed, Tri-Met-assisted journey over to Holocene to catch Seattle group Craft Spells, and when I got there, they were were already three songs in, having started early! When does that ever happen??! I was glad to have caught any of it at all—the group has the clean perfect chops to make some more noise, sounding something like the Pains Of Being Pure At Heart's take on the lighter side of '80s dark romantics Echo & the Bunnymen and the Cure.

Wednesday August 24

Edan & Paten Locke @ Someday Lounge

Absolutely unfuckwithable. Hands down one of the most start-to-finish, compelling, don't-take-your-eyes-off-the stage-or-you'll-miss-something shows I've ever seen. A short film called Echo Party preceded the performance, featuring footage matched up to the music from Edan's record of the same name. The 30 minute video was directed by Tom Fitzgerald and did what great art does: It moved people. Edan & Paten Locke's set, which followed, was a creative joyride too—theatrical, whimsical, thought provoking, a love letter to music and to life, featuring live instrumentation, live mixing and even a few costume changes. With respect to all the hip hop I have ever seen, after this show I felt like I had never seen hip hop before. This was Edan's first visit to Portland in 10 years. I hope he returns much sooner.

Thursday August 25

Daniel Johnston @ Wieden + Kennedy

Daniel Johnston descended the staircase at Wieden + Kennedy with a careful shuffle, was greeted with a hero's welcome, played three songs and then scurried back upstairs. After a brief attempt at coaxing him back, it was announced that was all for the evening. I've never been a big fan of Daniel Johnston, but this brief appearance was pretty much what you would expect whether you love him or not: sloppy, sweet, terribly well intentioned, Johnston's self deprecating lyrics delivered in that inimitable lisping rasp.

The Kingsmen, Pierced Arrows @ Oregon Historical Society

Aside from knowing that Fred and Toody Cole—the venerable power punk couple behind Pierced Arrows and, prior to that, Dead Moon—have always looked like they should be in a museum at some point, I had no idea what to expect for the opening night celebration of the Oregon Historical Society's new exhibit "Oregon Rocks," a brief history of music in Oregon. Didn't even know that the evening's bands would be on the patio of the building! But when we can be outside in Portland, we probably should be, and music outside is so much fun. The Kingsmen, a band my dad still raves about seeing in the Dalles with Paul Revere and the Raiders when both were in their heyday, were covering "Twist and Shout" as I walked up. The actual make up of the band is different than when my dad saw them, but the spirit is similar. "Ladies and gentlemen, our national anthem," quipped their singer, as way of introducing the group's final song of the night "Louie Louie"(of course), which was nearly as shambolic and slurred as the original recording. Later on, I spied the group sort of impishly sneaking an autographed picture into the case containing old Kingsmen and Raiders gear and costumes, prodding the photo along with a bass taped with "Fang," which the bassist had played tonight and had once belonged to Phil "Fang" Volk of the Raiders. History is right now. These are the days?

Speaker Minds @ Backspace

Speaker Minds felt like they might be one of the more underrated and under-appreciated acts playing out in town. The group's live instrumentation-based hip hop has a similar approach to the uplifting thoughtful practice of the Roots, with out all the awkward talk show whoring.

Sidestep, Bag Raiders @ Peter's Room

Bag Raiders, two dudes from Australia, had a rowdy Peter's roomful of kids jumpin' and thumpin' on a Thursday night. Not bad for their first visit to Portland. Cut Copy comparisons are unavoidable—both down under, peddle ebullient disco pop outfits with enough carpe diem to last several diems.