Sept. 1

Father of electricity

by: COURTESY OF BBGUN PRESS - Brit Gary Numan, of the electronica and industrial rock genre and hit 'Cars,' now lives in sunny Los Angeles. He'll play the Wonder Ballroom, Sept. 1.Once the pale-faced, British harbinger of icy electronica and in-your-face industrial rock, Gary Numan is now a happily married father who lives in sunny Los Angeles. So the writer of such synthesizer-heavy hits as “Cars” and “Are ‘Friends’ Electric?” now composes warm paeans to familial bliss, right?

“If anything, it’s given me a reason to be more paranoid,” he says of fatherhood.

That’s right, although he’s quite happy now, Numan says he’s a little nervous about the dystopian world his music often reflects because it’s one his daughters will grow up to inhabit.

“If I have a really good day I’m not going to write a song about it,” he adds with a slight chuckle. “Whatever it is that triggers my brain to write a song, it generally seems to be a dark thing.”

Despite being known to the general public for his few hits, Numan has put out numerous albums since he broke big in 1979 and has influenced countless artists. He’s best buds with Trent Reznor from Nine Inch Nails, with whom he’s collaborated, and he’s also promoted UK electro rockers Officers intensely. In other words, despite occasional breaks from music-making, Numan’s never completely unplugged his cords, and he’s promoting his next release “Splinter (Songs from a Broken Mind).”

The man who first decided to run his keyboard through guitar effects pedals, thus creating a whole new sound, will pretty much stick to singing on this tour, he says, although he will pull out the keys for “Cars.”

“The vocal is all over in the first minute,” he says, adding with a laugh. “I’m not gonna stand there and look vaguely interesting for the next three minutes.”

Gary Numan, Cold Cave, 8:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 1, Wonder Ballroom, 128 N.E. Russell St. $25 in advance, $28 at the door. All ages. Info: 503-284-8686,

‘Round town

• Portland punk-ska-hardcore-folk rockers Faithless Saints actually wrote a song called “Negotiating the Contract for the Sale of My Soul to the Devil.” You can learn the terms they won when they play an all-ages rock ‘n’ roll show with MDC, Dirty Kid Discount and Hammered Grunts at 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 30, at Slabtown, 1033 N.W. 16th Ave. $10. All ages. Info: 971-229-1455,

• NW Hip Hop Fest 3 features a slew of deejays, rappers, soul-stirrers and funkmeisters, and runs from Thursday through Saturday, Sept. 5-7, at Ash St. Saloon, 225 S.W. Ash St. Shows start at 8 p.m. $10. Info: 503-226-0430,,

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