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I Can Lick Any Sonofabitch in the House Cook Dante’s in Reunion

[Editor's Note: The below live "review" is most likely addled with hyperbole due to the author's unbridled passion for the subject of said "review."]

It’s probably a good thing I had been looking forward to last Friday’s reunion performance for country-punk rock pillagers I Can Lick Any Sonofabitch in the House for nearly three months. Countless hours were spent listening to their 2006 live album, Live at Dante’s - with its impending trail of dirty allegory and largely armchair-leftist musings vocalized up front by singer/guitarist Mike D’s greeting “How the fuck y’all doin’ tonight?” The palpable measures of excitement were all in place. The bar would be open. The band would be there. The instruments and PA would work, and they would use them to parlay their ruckus.

What I forgot was how goddamn popular this band is.

Before they were even a glimmer in the collective booze-soaked macula of the audience at Dante's March 5th, SOB had already commanded a fever-pitch of some parts nostalgia, some parts anticipation, some parts anxiety. Would they be as good as they were? Of course they would be. It’s not as if the band had severed ties with society altogether, punishing their instruments into isolated time-outs in the corners of their basement. But there were a shit-ton of people there to find out first hand anyway.

Mike D has performed consistently in varying incarnations (solo as Michael Dean Damron, as well as with Mike D and Thee Loyal Bastards), all beginning and ending with his no-holds-barred lyricism and Southern-speckled, neat Jack Daniels gruff. Throw in the energy and obvious onstage camaraderie of guitarist Handsome Jon, bassist Mole Harris, drummer Flapjack Texas, and harmonica-genie David Lipkind, and the evening’s dense brood of patrons was only more understandable.

Coincidentally, the band kicked the evening off with the opener from Live, “Gone,” a rock ‘n’ rollin’ blues revue that showcases pretty much all the facets of SOB’s arsenal, including D’s willingness to cross the threshold into outright pissiness (a blurry, shaky, feedback-bedecked video is available here of the first moments of the show...eerily the amateurishness of the footage sums up the ambiance of the show better than were it stationed center-back and filtered through the sound board). “Westboro Baptist Church” resonated just as angrily as it did on 2004’s Menace with a spirited sing-along and plenty of raised fists…which translated into lots of spilt beer.

Lots of things happen at live shows; and it’s rarely interesting to read the details of them – that frail marrow of fact, set list, vibe, smell. In testament to that, I stopped taking notes at a certain point, and decided to hash out what it was that people wanted to see so badly, in such numbers, on this night.

I think it had nothing to do with which songs they would play; whether or not the convergence of bull-riding dive bar owners, rockabilly-slick Dry County Crooks fans, and Joan Jett retro-lite revivalists on hand to see Kleveland would get along; or even whether Handsome Jon would use a Budweiser bottle as a slide (he did). I think people wanted to remind themselves that the things that make you happy, once absent, are not gone forever.

The proof was right in front of us, if only for one night.

- Ryan J. Prado


Spotlight: Reporter


Oft rocking Portland basements and warehouses, art spaces and rooftops, Reporter is a trio of cosmic groove makers, booty shakers, and bouncing rockers.

Crunchy electronics mesh with space-y smooth synths and Alberta Poon's airy, spectral vocals. Reporter is a hot, sweaty mess. Fervent dance parties roar, pony tails get mussed, and spandex gets stretched every time they pack Holocene or house venues.

The drums kick, the guitars swing and soar while the samples are triggered. Rumbling, reverb lows and glittering, starry highs make Reporter's rife, extended dance jams float endlessly into the nether universe and beyond.

Formerly the indie-punk Wet Confetti, the trio has spawned some amazing spin-offs including the dreary-dreamy May Ling (featuring singer Alberta Poon and Italian Stallion, beatmaster Dan Grazzini). But the most important thing you need to know about Reporter: Drummer Mike McKinnon is your Potato Champion

You can catch them on Friday, March 12th at Dance Class with Copy, Push-n-Play, and DJ Maxx Bass.

- Chris Young


Cheetah Finess TONIGHT at the Parlour


You know how there are some people when you are around them you suddenly feel underdressed and drab? That is how I feel around local singer/DJ Cheetah Finess.

She radiates style, confidence and a huge glowing smile. And if being gorgeous wasn’t enough, the girl has mad skillz. She single handedly does the synth/segmentor/samples/vocals and keys for her own one-woman show. A mix of hip-hop beats, experimental grooves, girlie vocals and a slew of electronics, makes Miss Finess more than a DJ and makes her music hella fun to dance to.

Her songs “Quit It” and “The Hue is You” make you want to slap on some leg warmers, a headband and work out some aggression on the dance floor. Reenact your own Flashdance scene tonight with Cheetah Fitness (I mean Finess) at 8 p.m. at The Parlour on 2628 SE Powell. $4.

My advice is to keep an eye on your man!

- Denna Uutela


Tunnels and Fake Drugs Tonight at Dunes!


There's a cool cheap show tonight at Dunes, one of Portland's void-of-sign hipster hideouts nestled in the industrial area of NE not far from the Wonder Ballroom.

Fake Drugs has two members from Pyramiddd (formerly Starfucker), Keil Corcoran and Shawn Glassford, as well as Ian Anderson of Guidance Counselor. The trio produce fuzzy and dark electro/disco jams that I can see fitting nicely into the dark corners of the stage at the venue.

Tunnels is fronted and ended by Nicholas Bindeman who produces and plays his own breed of dirty and electro-pop. I expect these two artists to complete the bill nicely.

Kick back a couple of cold ones, and don't be to surprised if after a couple more the head-nods evolve to dance-party status.

Check out the above live vid of Fake Drugs. The audio is tolerable, though not perfect, but you'll still get the idea. 

 - Joel Sommer



Bombs Into You Bombard Dunes March 6th


My friend turned me on to Bombs Into You a couple of years ago. I remember thinking at the time that this Portland band had a unique electro sound, and an enormous amount of potential; but as a music reviewer, it's easy to let bands slip from your mind as you move on to the next review. That is why I am so excited to cross paths with them once again and to see that they are not only living up to their potential, but that they have exceeded my expectations with their album Metaphorically Yours (Vol. 2).

There are some bands that you only have to hear once and you are in love. Bombs’ music gives me that same teenage crush feeling I got when I first heard The Cure. They make me nostalgic for the '80s new wave sound, but happy that they have brought that sound into the 21st century.

A combination of electro-savvy tunes on one track and raw, organic mixes and catchy upbeat chorus lines on another make these guys an explosive force, and my new favorite Portland band. As good as they sound blaring out of my laptop, Bombs’ music is best heard live. I picture them playing in a darkly lit club, where everyone would be smoking (if Portland didn’t have that fabulous no-smoking-in-bars law), and androgynous showgoers would be jumping around to Bombs’ mind-blowing beats.

A place, perhaps, like Dunes (1905 NE MLK Blvd.) on March 6th at 9 p.m. with Amber Voltaire and Post Harbor.

- Deanna Uutela


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