THE VERY BEST, WARPAINT, ZOLA JESUS
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) The days of Zola Jesus opening shows—as she is tonight for this fabulous triple bill—will soon be over. With a stunning voice and bountiful artistic expression, the enigmatic Zola (nÉe Nika Roza Danilova) has set the world aflame with her Stridulum EP and its forthcoming follow-up, Valusia. EZRA ACE CARAEFF Also read our article on The Very Best.
DREW GROW AND THE PASTORS' WIVES, FENCES, THE HEAD AND THE HEART
TENDER FOREVER, JOEY CASIO, SELECTOR DUB NARCOTIC
(Kennedy School, 5736 NE 33rd) Many Portlanders got their first earful and eyeful of Melanie Valera last week at PICA's Time Based Art festival, in which Valera—as Tender Forever—concocted a high-tech show with a huge array special effects including green screen, an iPad necklace, and a fake Skype chat with BeyoncÉ. It'll be interesting to see the France-born, Portland-residing Valera relatively stripped of these high-tech accoutrements. Tonight's show will put emphasis on Valera's comic onstage persona (a gag that makes biting fun of the typically over-inflated egos of pop stars) and Tender Forever's warmly melodic electro-pop songs, like those on the recent K Records release No Snare. K hosts tonight's "Zip-Pak Party," showcasing the label's new online MP3 subscription series, along with Joey Casio and Selector Dub Narcotic—the DJ alter ego of K Records founder Calvin Johnson. NED LANNAMANN
Chris Robley, The Melvins, Gray Matters and Audioelectronic after the jump!
You can also find our complete live music listings here.
CHRIS ROBLEY AND THE FEAR OF HEIGHTS, THE ALIALUJAH CHOIR
(Secret Society, 116 NE Russell) The knock on Chris Robley was always that he was more songwriter than singer. Robley's gift with the pen always seemed to overshadow his recorded output, which isn't necessarily a bad thing—most of his peers should be envious of such a gift—just confirmation of the man's prowess for creating effortless prose. This all changes with Ghosts' Menagerie, the most ambitious recording from Robley and his backing band, the Fear of Heights. Breezy opening number "The Charango Song" (named for the South American stringed instrument that highlights the track) lays a foundation that Robley continues to build upon with heavily structured rock songs ("Andalucian Pines"), swelling orchestral numbers ("Half Awake, Half Asleep"), plus the obligatory barren acoustic ballads ("Ghosts"). It took four recordings, but Ghosts' Menagerie is a glimpse at Robley at his very best. EZRA ACE CARAEFF
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Any music journalist who's locked horns (tangled hair?) with Buzz Osborne knows the Melvins frontman does not give a fuck about anything—you, me, he, she, it, or them. But he does care about his band. Perhaps it's why the Melvins are heading into their third decade, outlasting most of their peers and probably a few cockroaches as well. It doesn't hurt that King Buzzo and longtime crony/drummer Dale Crover keep reinventing the band, while staying true to the sludgy mess they made back in 1983(!). The Melvins steamroll through more psychedelic metal on their latest LP The Bride Screamed Murder with some help from the kids in Big Business, who brought some extra heavy mettle to their last two records. And as the Melvins get louder, and as Osborne's hair gets bigger and his disposition more cantankerous, there appears to be no end in sight. MARK LORE
GRAY MATTERS, TxE, NOTION, DIEZEL P, ATLAS
(Satyricon, 125 NW 6th) Gray Matters is a hiphop trio that features Portland battle rap vet The End (AKA Mr. Mr) and DJ Nykon, while Seattle emcee Introspective, whose baritone bark resembles a more grounded Aesop Rock, rounds out the squad. Their debut album, Intelligent Decline, dropped in 2008 and featured guest turns from local heavyweights including Illmaculate, Sapient, and Mo-B from the Sandpeople crew. Despite some intermittent live shows in the interim, Gray Matters have been quiet on the recording tip lately, and here's hoping tonight's show is a sign of more things to come on that front. Local trio TxE—featuring Tope, Epp, and producer G_Force—have been grinding hard this year and I know for a fact that they're currently hunkered down working on some new material. Peep this rare, all-ages, back-to-the-future insight of PDX hiphop. RYAN FEIGH
Audioelectronic - "Acid Love"
GOLD CODE, JON GILLHAM, MUTOR SOUNDSYSTEM, SERGIO GREGORI, AUDIOELECTRONIC , DJ Craig
(BC's, 2433 SE Powell) Portland is not exactly well known for its minimal tech-house scene. There are some talented local DJs who champion the deep and sexy sound, plus some occasional interest in touring acts, but that's the extent of it. That could all be changing with the launch of Nude Photo Music. With only a handful of releases, the newish Portland record label has curated an impressive stable of international talent and attracted support from prominent producers in Europe and beyond. The defining sound of the label is warm and melodic, regularly spiked with touches of dubby techno and electro as well. Tonight's showcase celebrates recent releases with a sampling of the label's top artists, including San Francisco's Gold Code, Miami's Sergio Gregori, and Portland's very own Audioelectronic (AKA Gustavo Lanzas, Nude Photo's founder). Not on the bill is the collection of skilled local producers who have contributed remixes and, combined with better-known remixers like Swayzak and John Selway, could just put Portland on the map as a source for soulful house music. AVA HEGEDUS