KITCHEN'S FLOOR, FAT HISTORY MONTH, PACIFIC CITY NIGHTLIFE VISION BAND, FUZZY CLOAKS
(East End, 203 SE Grand) Your fridge is empty and leaking, causing the linoleum to curl at the seams of the walls. But you don't have the cash or the willpower to do anything about it. It reeks, and it's depressing, so you wander aimlessly until you pass by Fred Meyer and decide to steal some Mars bars for lunch. They bust you and lock you up for a few, but at least they're feeding you and it doesn't smell like shit. Kitchen's Floor—all the way from Brisbane, Australia—finds a form of justified pleasure in the outcome of every careless mistake. Failure is the point here, but it's not actually bad news; their apathetic downer-pop impressively bridges the distance between loveable indie heroics (Guided by Voices) and hopeless no-wave folk (Pink Reason). And with something inherently relatable in every tuneful misadventure, this is one show you don't want to miss. CHRIS CANTINO


AMY LAVERE, NOAH GUNDERSON
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Amy LaVere's music has steadily divested itself of Nashville's Americana glam and acquired more of the haunting, bluesy desolation of the meaner streets of Memphis. This year's Stranger Me—the result of a four-year whirlwind of loss, including her longtime producer Jim Dickinson—finds the mischievously sweet singer/songwriter/actress mired in recovery from some dark, rambling times. With the help of Arcade Fire's Craig Silvey, the album's soundscape follows suit, and songs like "Red Banks"—wrought with a muffled sax and slide guitar that sound as if they were just unearthed from the Mississippi clay—provide a decent exposure of the album's underbelly. Though, you would almost never know that track was a murder ballad until LaVere coyly sings, "No, I didn't push him in, Lord/He'd a killed me if I did."
RAQUEL NASSER


MITTEN, MNEMONIC SOUNDS, NIGHT SURGEON
(Someday Lounge, 125 NW 5th) The synth can be the coldest of instruments. It's for those brooding musicians content with erecting a wall between themselves and their respective listeners. Yet for Mitten, there is great warmth in their ambitious synth-heavy sound. The Brooklyn-based pop act debuted See You Bye earlier this year, and while the EP captures a band in its infancy, there is a great deal of texture and personality to this six-song offering. Much like shamefully forgotten New York pop act My Favorite, there is a natural ease to these songs, as the collaborative duo of Joanna Katcher and Maia Macdonald (along with touring member Ryan Fitch) channels the best of synth's storied past (think New Order) with hook-heavy arrangements (think Metric) that will please the kiddies. If See You Bye is any indication, this isn't the last we've heard of Mitten.
EZRA ACE CARAEFF