TU FAWNING, AAN, BILLYGOAT
(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway) The Age of Adz—a spectacular departure from Sufjan Stevens' strummy, effervescent, and bookish Illinois—is a spiral of regret, confusion, and lost love, coated in a swirl of synths and glitchy electronica. Adz is a breakup record. Or, as Stevens told the New York Times, the sound of "my physical body, my feelings, touch, the nerves, anxiety, the chemistry of the brain and the spinal fluid." It appears as if, since the release of Illinois in 2005, Stevens came close to cracking up, both personally and creatively. The resulting Adz (pronounced "odds") is chilly, blunt, raw, and often devastating. It takes time to get used to. But by God, Adz is also brilliant, and establishes Stevens' artistic range as infinitely wider and more intriguing. Here's hoping it brings him the same catharsis as it does me. ANDREW R TONRY
THE PARSON RED HEADS, JAMES APOLLO, HUNTER PAYE
(The Woods, 6637 SE Milwaukie) While the band is so new to Portland that they probably still can't properly pronounce "Willamette," the Parson Red Heads are adjusting just fine. They've kept their ginger heads to the ground, working diligently on their as-of-yet untitled full-length, which was recorded in both Los Angeles with pedal steel player Raymond Richards (he's recorded Local Natives) and North Carolina with former Big Star collaborator Chris Stamey (he's recorded Whiskeytown). Place your future bets for 2011 pop dominance on the Red Heads. Until then, just enjoy this headlining show from the band. EZRA ACE CARAEFF
K'Naan, Cattle Decapitation, and Clorox Girls, as a well a link to the complete show listings, after the jump!
K'NAAN, PAPER TONGUES
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Even if your fleeting stint as a soccer supporter died when Clint Dempsey walked off the pitch, chances are you heard "Wavin' Flag" from K'Naan. (If you missed it, you are alone.) Thanks to the biggest sporting event on the planet, and the deep pockets of head sponsor Cola-Cola, the song went platinum in multiple countries—including going gold in India. Not bad for a Somali-born emcee who cut his teeth in the Canadian hiphop scene. Granted, that version of "Wavin' Flag" was defanged of its political slant, something K'Naan surely won't do tonight. While so much hiphop is limited to a few-block radius of neighborhood-centric rhymes, K'Naan will effortlessly crisscross the globe in the series of a few short verses. Bring a passport. EZRA ACE CARAEFF
CATTLE DECAPITATION, DEVOURMENT, KNIGHTS OF THE ABYSS, BURNING THE MASSES, SON OF AURELIUS, SLAUGHTERBOX, OCEAN OF MIRRORS
(Satyricon, 125 NW 6th) Cattle Decapitation is a death/grind metal band with an agenda that goes further than offensive noise and content. Sure, they have an indecipherable logo, schizophrenic riffs, and graphic album covers that are banned in several countries, but underneath all the band's violent misanthropy, there's a bunch of sweethearts who just wanna do good by the Earth and all its furry little creatures. In one of their previous visits to town, vocalist Travis Ryan spoke of the band's love for Portland because of its food, pot, and recycling system. Each member of the band is a vegetarian and their official website has links to Friends of Animals, Spay USA, and the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement ("May we live long and die out"). It's refreshing to hear a gore-obsessed band that wants to do more than just make you physically ill. ARIS WALES
CLOROX GIRLS, THE MEAN JEANS, CHEMICALS, BILL COLLECTORS, THERAPISTS
(Slabtown, 1033 NW 16th) There's no better time than Halloween weekend for the Clorox Girls to rise from the dead, dust off their denim, and headline an All Hallow's Eve throwdown. The one-time Portland garage-pop sensation—2007's J'aime Les Filles has aged surprisingly well—has been dormant for a couple years as frontman Justin Maurer strayed with side project dalliances under the moniker Suspect Parts. But tonight, they return. Joining them will be de facto party kings the Mean Jeans, who'll kick you in the nuts if you show up tonight without a costume. They'll likely do the same to those in costumes as well. EZRA ACE CARAEFF
The complete show listings can be viewed here.