ALLO DARLIN', THE WAVE PICTURES, ADVENTURE GALLEY (Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) The British quartet Allo Darlin' are poppy but not predictable, clever but not glib, twee but never cloying. Live, frontwoman Elizabeth Morris brings an antic punk-rock energy that transforms her lovelorn songs into something fierce and rare. Their last Portland show was cancelled when the band ran into visa troubles—tonight's show has been a long time coming. ALISON HALLETT Also, read our article on the Wave Pictures.
CRITICAL HIT, YEAH GREAT FINE, DECADES, GALLONS (Backspace, 115 NW 5th) The first time I saw Yeah Great Fine play, the band soundchecked with the first 20 seconds of the "Green Hill Zone" theme from Sonic the Hedgehog, and not at all in a kitschy way. I know from personal experience how sizable an undertaking learning how to play videogame music on a musical instrument is, and their note-for-note mastery of the 16-bit hit is testament to their technical virtuosity and dweeb roots. Yeah Great Fine make math rock loose, quirky, and relatable, which is a remarkable achievement considering how much of the genre is purely emotionless masturbation. MORGAN TROPER
THE DRUMS, CRAFT SPELLS, PART TIME (Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Not to put too fine a point on it, but Craft Spells represent a lot of what's "meh" about modern indie-pop music. Lackluster bored-guy vocals shrug over middling, milquetoasty guitar and synth that coagulate into vaguely melancholy melodies that leave only the faintest of impressions, and beats that prompt mild toe tapping. Craft Spells' Idle Labor and Gallery sound like fucking Naked Eyes outtakes. Move along, nothing to feel here. The Drums are yet another New Order/Smiths/Blancmange-humping Brooklyn band who exist solely to be heard at chic clothing shops frequented by twentysomething h*pst*rs. San Francisco's Part Time (David Speck) stands as the most interesting performer on the bill, by dint of sounding like a less quirky, more synth-oriented Ariel Pink. DAVE SEGAL
BLACK ELK, DOG SHREDDER, WHITE ORANGE, NORSKA (Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) It's in the life of all bands to end, but when a group parts ways only to come back together with more drive than ever, one stands to witness the crossing of a particularly powerful threshold. After a two-year hiatus due to creative difference and physical distance, Black Elk returned from the abyss armed with a re-dedication to their craft of creating spellbinding, convention-defying, post-punk music. All but one of the band's original members reunited this past winter, reapproaching their seminal work with fierceness while forging forward into new territory. Onstage at Branx in January, the band pummeled the audience with their characteristic primal energy and mesmerizing sonic pressure, while legendary vocalist Tom Glose sashayed, growled, and taunted the crowd as only a holy fool of hard rock can do. MARANDA BISH