ANIMALS AND MEN, PSYCHIC FELINE, CAT FANCY
(Tonic Lounge, 3100 NE Sandy) You gotta hand it to Mississippi Records, which has been exposing conscientious music connoisseurs to an arsenal of great rare and unreleased 20th-century recordings for the last five years. When Mississippi released Never Bought Never Sold, a collection of singles and demos by the UK post-punk band Animals and Men, I was floored by the urgent rhythms, the arty new wave that peppered the punk strum and thud, and Susan Wells' persuasive demeanor and mechanically virtuous vocal inflections. They were in the throes of an evolving sound that bred and bled with new ideas, and they, along with other women of punk's wild west—like Essential Logic—created something that remains politically, socially, and sonically relevant nearly 30 years after their initial breakup.
JOZEF VAN WISSEM, DEREK MONYPENY, DJ YETI
(Alice Coltrane Memorial Coliseum, 5135 NE 42nd) The oud is a lute-like stringed instrument found in Arabic and Northern African music, and recent Portland transplant Derek Monypeny has released a vinyl record full of solo oud compositions. Don't Bring Me Down, Bruce is tantalizingly strange, like a heretofore-undiscovered folk music that developed without setting any roots down, drifting instead over whole continents like a tumbleweed. Side One is filled with sparse plucks and simple runs, resulting in minimal, fragmented melodies that contain plenty of open space. On Side Two, Monypeny's oud is buried under a number of effects, resulting in two lengthy, mournful compositions of experimental and abstract sounds that evaporate like clouds of smoke. Monypeny shares the bill with Dutch composer and lutist Jozef Van Wissem. NED LANNAMANN
THE RESERVATIONS, NIGHTMOVES, FOX AND THE LAW
(Rontoms, 600 E Burnside) If, like me, you missed the Reservations' release party last week and gave in to that dreadful tendency to "Sit at Home" (as chronicled in one of their excellent songs), do not despair. There is still time to become acquainted with the band's Gnar Tapes debut. A powerhouse of local talents—including Rex Marshall of Mattress, Chris Hoganson of Don Hellions, and "Leather" Tom Hoganson—the Reservations create mesmerizing, gutbucket music that combines rock and rhythm styles with a grimy sophistication. The eight-song self-titled recording thoroughly encapsulates their sound, from perfect lead track "Live Forever" to "Dogs in the Daytime," a modern man's lament marked by the pendulous swing in vocals from Marshall's deep baritone to Chris Hoganson's snarling chorus. MARANDA BISH
CHILDREN OF BODOM, DEVIN TOWNSEND, OBSCURA, SEPTICFLESH
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Death metal is kind of like the menu at an In-N-Out Burger. There are only a few options to choose from and they only vary slightly. Enter Obscura, the death metal band whose cornucopia of flavor choices is like a fully stocked Baskin-Robbins. With their new album Omnivium, Obscura hands out heaping tasting spoons of groove-based brutality, spacey melodic beauty, and slippery fretless bass. Every track is built on a criss-crossing waffle cone of blasting and jazzy polyrhythms. Since Obscura's music can somehow confound and enlighten, maybe they can help us all understand how anybody thought bubblegum and ice cream could go together. ARIS WALES