JAMES, ED HARCOURT
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) Best known for their '90s Stateside hit "Laid," Mancunian band James is no one-hit wonder, boasting a long string of impressive albums and smart UK hits to their credit. On the back of the new The Night Before/The Morning After pair of mini-albums, James plays their first Portland show since 1997. NED LANNAMANN
EELS, JESCA HOOP, STEVE TAYLOR
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) A happy Mark Everett still sounds pretty bummed out. The latest album from Everett's Eels project, Tomorrow Morning, is the third in a series of records that began with last year's Hombre Loco and continued with End Times earlier this year. Tomorrow Morning is meant to be the (relatively) uplifting conclusion to the intensely personal trilogy, which dealt with death and Everett's divorce. It's a record of collagist meta-pop, and it can't help but feel a little fabricated, especially coming after the devastating, folky End Times, one of the bleakest, most depressing albums in recent memory. If Everett feels like he's trying to escape the darkness on Tomorrow Morning, one can't really blame him, even if the music's not nearly as gorgeously sorrowful. NED LANNAMANN
AIDS WOLF, CHILD ABUSE, TERRAFORM, HOT FACE
(Backspace, 115 NW 5th) Depending on how you feel about blown eardrums, it's either good or bad news that, despite transitioning from quartet to trio, the scorched-earth experimental-punk maelstrom that is Montreal's AIDS Wolf has not lost any volume, intensity, or will to make you suffer. Last year, the then-four-piece band recorded an excellent full-length, March to the Sea, with Godspeed! You Black Emperor's David Bryant, then lost guitarist Myles Broscoe soon afterward. The record was released, but the band had already thrown out March's songs and began working on a new set. The rhythms pummel and rupture, demon guitar and vocals writhe and wail, effects heavy beyond recognition. AIDS Wolf's attack is as precise and antagonistic as ever—joyously uneasy listening, a noise malevolently carving their name into the consciousness of anyone who will submit. ETHAN JAYNE
Valient Thorr, and a link to the complete show listings, after the jump!
VALIENT THORR, RED FANG, WITCHBURN
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) Valient Himself—that's the lead singer of Valient Thorr—has been leading his merry band of aliens through Earth's trenches for the past decade. As the story goes, the band came here from Venus in a time machine to save rock 'n' roll. I'll buy that. These bearded Venusians who call Chapel Hill home have been churning out some of the dirtiest, heaviest rock out there—like if AC/DC had an alien love child with Judas Priest. Valient Thorr's new platter Stranger continues the band's penchant for barbed riffs, political barbs, fear of barbers, and an undying desire to rock. If you think that sounds intense, wait until you see them live—you haven't lived until you've been sweated on by Valient Himself. MARK LORE
You can view the complete show listings here.