PDX POP NOW! BENEFIT: LAURA VEIRS, ERIC EARLEY, LAURA GIBSON, ISRAEL NEBEKER, DJ JEREMY PETERSON (The Cleaners at Ace Hotel Portland, 403 SW 10th) Summer concert season is just around the bend, which means it's time for year number three of the intimate Make it Pop! benefit. Big names in Portland music—Laura Veirs, Eric Earley (Blitzen Trapper), Laura Gibson, Israel Nebeker (Blind Pilot)—come together in order to raise some cash for noble nonprofit PDX Pop Now! EZRA ACE CARAEFF
tUnE-yArDs, BUKE AND GASS, WHITE HINTERLAND (Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) The two members of Buke and Gass are not actually named Buke and Gass—improbably, they have practically the same first name: Aron Sanchez plays the "gass," which is a guitar/bass hybrid, while Arone Dyer plays the "buke," a baritone ukulele. Their unconventional instrumentation is reason enough to draw your ear, but the Brooklyn duo also bash on percussion with their feet, and the result is a fully fleshed-out clatter, with footstomps on the downbeats and strange stringed sounds coming from the buke and gass. Sanchez designs and constructs instruments for Blue Man Group—he made the gass, along with the band's amps—and Dyer, whose vocal lines swoop around the songs like springtime birds, works as a bike mechanic. Their hands-on abilities are reflected in their music as ideas are presented, toyed with, and tested right down to the framework, resulting in noise that is as futuristic as it is homemade. NED LANNAMANN Also, read our article on tUnE-yArDs.
STARFUCKER, GUIDANCE COUNSELOR, DJ BRKFST SNDWCH (Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Starfucker (and all variations of their contentious name) might just be the bellwether for the next generation of Portland music. From their modest house-show roots to the recent string of sold-out dates across the country, Starfucker have assembled a respectable empire on their own terms. The quartet's bouncy sound is unlike anything typically associated with the Pacific Northwest, yet at the same time it's a unique snapshot of modern-day Portland. (In many ways, to not like, or "get," Starfucker is to not like modern-day Portland.) There is little denying that with their breakthrough Reptilians, Josh Hodges & Co. have created an accessible, simplistically precise sound that resonates with kids far beyond this little bubble we call home. If you need more proof of Starfucker's broad and well-deserved appeal, then catch them on any one of their three local release shows for Reptilians, each at a different venue, and each with a different selection of up-and-coming support bands. First they paved the future of Portland music, and now they are cultivating it. EAC
ARCHERS, SONS OF HUNS, SUPPORT FORCE, YOUTH (East End, 203 SE Grand) What's better than seeing a great local band for free? Try seeing four great local bands for free. We've said plenty of nice things about the explosive Archers in the past, so hopefully you know about their spectacular 7-inch and forthcoming full-length. And Sons of Huns are cataclysmically good, an explosive collision of metal, punk, and psychedelic rock that hits like a landslide—and not the Fleetwood Mac kind. But the band you might be most excited about is Support Force, a trio who build pop songs out of surprising pieces, changing direction mid-song and stacking different parts together into precarious patterns. Their balance of catchiness and experimentalism results in vividly listenable music that's full of surprises. Support Force has a 7-inch due in the summer; in the meantime, expect to be hearing their name plenty. NL
TERROR, STICK TO YOUR GUNS, TRAPPED UNDER ICE, CLOSE YOUR EYES, YOUR DEMISE (Branx, 320 SE 2nd) Given that Terror are a blistering hardcore band who have been delivering bass-heavy anthems for nearly 10 years, one could think their reputation would rest on their music. But no. Instead, Terror are known more for their “Vogelisms,” the accidentally hilarious quips the band’s lead singer, Scott Vogel, shouts out between songs. Examples: “Maximum output! Activate the pit!” “I want to see exactly 17 stage dives during this song. No more, no less.” “If you’re a little dude, get a bunch of other little dudes and take a big motherfucker down.” Go to vogelisms.com for more, and to waste a good 30 minutes of your day. MEGAN SELING
JAMAICA, THE CHAIN GANG OF 1974, WILD ONES (Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) The Chain Gang of 1974 is the handiwork of Denver’s Kamtin Mohager on record, with a full backing band for the live show. Mohager’s unabashed love for Anglo pop music creeps up all over the band’s forthcoming album Wayward Fire—particularly the familiar synth-gloss of the same ’80s tunes that every other band is ripping off these days. The obvious conclusion is that the Chain Gang of 1974’s moniker is off by about a decade. They open for Jamaica, who are also deceitfully named: The electropop duo is not from Jamaica, nor do they play ska or dancehall or anything you’d expect to come from that island. Instead, Jamaica performs slick haircut music with a teensy twinge of Strokes-y paint-by-numbers rock ’n’ roll—kind of like their fellow Frenchmen in Phoenix, who don’t come from Phoenix, nor do they play… uh, what kind of music comes from Phoenix? Jordin Sparks? NL