FUCKED UP, ARCHERS, BLOOD BEACH (Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) Toronto's Fucked Up have always been on the cutting edge of hardcore punk, but their stunning new record David Comes to Life raises the bar to heroic heights. Told in four exhilarating parts, it's a concept album (or rock opera—but don't worry, it's no American Idiot) unlike anything you have ever heard before. EZRA ACE CARAEFF
PDX POP NOW!: NURSES, WITCH MOUNTAIN, PURPLE & GREEN, DUSU MALI, BLOUSE, E*ROCK, MONARQUES & MORE (Refuge, 116 SE Yamhill) The eighth incarnation of PDX Pop Now! turns up at a brand-new location. It's still in the Southeast industrial neighborhood, and it's still all local, all ages, and all FREE, so don't miss Portland's best summertime party with 44 rad local bands. SUZETTE SMITH Also see our article on PDX Pop Now!.
THURSTON MOORE, KURT VILE AND THE VIOLATORS, HUSH ARBORS (Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) Just because Thurston Moore got all strummy and added strings on his latest solo effort Demolished Thoughts doesn't mean he's gone soft on us. It does, however, verify your suspicions that it's far less interesting than anything he's done with Sonic Youth. But, hey, this is Thurston Moore—you know goddamn well that he's going to deliver the goods live. Even with the dry, relatively effects-free guitars he's sure to employ tonight, there will be noise. Also playing is Kurt Vile, who can make strummy acoustic music sound interesting as... well... it's no small coincidence that these two are on the same bill. MARK LORE
SCOTLAND BARR MEMORIAL SHOW: THE SLOW DRAGS, I CAN LICK ANY SONOFABITCH IN THE HOUSE, STEVE WILKINSON (Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) When pancreatic cancer took Scott Moritz from us in 2009, it left a life unfinished. The 43-year-old Portlander might be most fondly remembered at every meal, as he was the founder of the addictive crack-in-a-bottle hot sauce known as Secret Aardvark, but he also had another side to him as well. Under the alias of Scotland Barr and backed by the Slow Drags, Moritz was a wonderfully prolific musician whose Americana tunes were an essential piece of Portland music. Years in the making, his delicate rasp returns in We Will Be Forgotten, an ambitious double-disc release that includes posthumous tracks with Moritz on vocals in addition to songs where his friends (Chris Robley, Morgan Geer from Drunken Prayer, and others) step in and sing with the band. Not only is We Will Be Forgotten a heartwarming collection of songs from an artist who was taken from us far too soon, it's a celebration of one man's life and art. EAC
PORTUGAL. THE MAN (Music Millennium, 3158 E Burnside) Yes, Portugal. The Man is championing modern musicianship. Absolutely refusing to sacrifice their boyish I'd-rather-be-fishing charm, the Portland-based band has unfailingly released a veritably inspired album every year since 2006 while logging over 800 shows. They're more than the best thing to come out of Wasilla, Alaska; P.TM wraps sound around the idea of the authentic life. Tales of dog sledding, brotherly love, and, well, trudging through the woods contemplating reincarnation inspire the lyrics behind lead guitarist/vocalist John Gourley's sprawling musical kaleidoscope. Zach Carothers' intricate, melodic bass lines add gravity to Gourley's weightless guitar-playing, as P.TM campaigns through genres, gathering elements of experimental rock, funk, prog rock, blues, pop, and occasionally folk into their mesmerizing anthems. Their newest album, In the Mountain In the Clouds is their first for Atlantic Records, marking their sound entry into large-scale prominence. CECILIA D'ANASTASIO
CASSINGLE AND LOVING IT RELEASE SHOW: THE HAPPENING (Record Room, 8 NE Killingsworth) Budding label Cassingle and Loving It Records unveils their very first release this evening—and while it's not technically a cassingle (the Happening's Piranha runs eight songs long) it is most certainly a cassette. The latest local label to embrace those magnetic ribbons of tape that spooled through (and, every now and then, got stuck in) Walkmans and car decks during the '80s and '90s, C.A.L.I. is brought to you by the good folks who run the Record Room, the Portland bar/record store that sits right on the border of North and Northeast Portland and boasts plenty of cassettes alongside the racks of vinyl. The Happening is a trio fronted by C.A.L.I.'s Em Brownlowe (formerly of Swallows) along with bassist Shannon Wade and drummer Adrianne Sharrock, and their music is a perfect fit for the throwback medium: '90s-vintage indie rock with flecks of folk, grunge, riot grrrl, and plenty of old-fashioned guitar crunch for good measure. NED LANNAMANN
NERVOUS & THE KID, DRAMADY, ROY TINSEL (LaurelThirst Public House, 2958 NE Glisan) Most people retreat to the Oregon Coast to relax, risk death by tsunami, or line the deep pockets of the lucrative seashell artwork industry. The folksters in Nervous and the Kid did none of those things; instead they headed west to record GoodMorning Giantess in a rented coastal beach house. Their second full-length of wholesome folk music, the album opens with the title track, a warm slice of vocal-heavy harmonies that sets the pace for what is to come. Giantess works best when the Nervous and the Kid stray from the quirk and stick to the coaxing co-ed harmonies they do best. Case in point: the excellent "To Fetch a Glass of Water," as the band drops their instruments at the midway point and breaks into a wondrous sing-along that will give you chills. EAC
LUMERIANS, BILLIONS AND BILLIONS, WITCH MOUNTAIN (Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) For many of us who suffer from existential dread but are too poor for therapy or fancy drugs, solace can be found in the universe-spanning ponderings of super genius Carl Sagan and in heavy doses of bone-rattling rock and roll. Portland group Billions and Billions offer both in beautiful, sludgy fashion, giving ode to Sagan in name and in exploratory orientation. On songs of epic length with titles as awesome as "Lunar Blue Balls," the band embarks on auditory odysseys with splitting guitar licks from Justin Acevedo. Tempos race as wildly as a heartbeat in a mind-bending high with Adam Bulgasem on drums, and with space-traveling sounds from Neal Munson on bass and Andrew Grosse on keys, Billions and Billions are the anecdote you need for when all other signs point to freaking the fuck out. MARANDA BISH