MUSICFESTNW: CHARLES BRADLEY, DENNIS COFFEY, MONARQUES

(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) Read our article on Charles Bradley.


MUSICFESTNW: ARCHERS OF LOAF, SEBADOH, VIVA VOCE

(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) Read our article on Archers of Loaf.


SLAID CLEAVES, MARY GAUTHIER

(Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 NE Alberta) Sorrow and Smoke is the latest from singer/songwriter Slaid Cleaves, and it's a double disc recorded live at the Horseshoe Lounge, a seedy bar in his adopted hometown of Austin, Texas. The record's stripped-down versions of tunes from Cleaves' already stripped-down repertoire expose the honesty at the center of Cleaves' work. And with chatter and clinks coming from the live audience, it adds a welcome casualness that effectively loosens up Cleaves' polite, expertly written songs. Originally from Maine, Cleaves' music can sometimes be austere, even wintry, but with two decades of Texas under his belt, the Northerner has found the sunny, easygoing pace of the South to be a good match. NED LANNAMANN


MUSICFESTNW: PHANTOGRAM, WHITE ARROWS, PURITY RING, BRAINSTORM

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Phantogram have been behaving more like phantoms than mere optical illusions as of late. And as they should. Since duo Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter—the true pride of Saratoga Springs, New York—graced us with their glorious debut last year, it's been difficult to ignore the pawing for more. But Eyelid Movies has more than sufficed for the wait, with its stirring compendium of tinny hiphop beats, fragrant synths, and astral walls of sound, all perfectly combining beneath the rising steam of Barthel's lithe vocals. There has been no official fanfare yet, but the band has cast out plenty of internet allusions to work on a sophomore release, and hopefully this show will contain some of the new gems birthed out in the barn (which, of course, refers to their Harmony Lodge studio, a rickety old thing teeming with musical machinery further upstate). RAQUEL NASSER


MUSICFESTNW: EMA, TWIN SISTER, BLOUSE, SUN ANGLE

(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) On her debut album/personal crisis Past Life Martyred Saints, local spitfire Erika M. Anderson (EMA) eclipses the primal intimacy of her prior bands, Gowns and Amps for Christ, thanks to some bottom-of-the-spiral lyrics that rival the anxiety saturating her purgative noise-rock. With refreshingly candid lyrics and the kind of callous you can't fake, Anderson sings, "I'm just 22/I don't mind dying," and it seems that she actually believes it. The record's explicitness is its most endearing quality, forcing listeners to wonder what wrought her gush of confessionalism. That's what EMA does best. She sucks you into her world. This is vicarious and visceral music, intended for the damaged and fearless. CHRIS CANTINO


MUSICFESTNW: HANDSOME FURS, TALKDEMONIC, SUUNS, BREAKFAST MOUNTAIN

(Branx, 320 SE 2nd) It seems that the reports of Talkdemonic's death were greatly exaggerated. Following the release of 2008's Eyes at Half Mast the duo of Kevin O'Connor and Lisa Molinaro went silent, parted ways with their booking agent and record label, and seemed to be headed directly to splitsville. Momentum is everything for a small band and they let theirs slip away. Then the strangest thing happened: Talkdemonic returned, better in every way, with a bigger label, bigger booking agent, and bigger sound—the stellar Ruins (which won't be out until October 4). Billmates Handsome Furs don't need to dramatically come back from anything; the highly boneable couple of Dan Boeckner and Alexei Perry are on a run of three consecutive albums of wonderfully damaged electro-pop, their latest of which is Sound Kapital, whose X-rated cover photo was snapped in the sexiest of Portland locales, under a freeway bridge. EZRA ACE CARAEFF