(Backspace, 115 NW 5th) I can't say if those scruffy youngsters in River City Extension have been taking careful notes on the Portland music scene from their home all the way across the country in Toms River, New Jersey. But they've got certain things dialed in perfectly: a dizzingly large, coed lineup; a sound that cheerfully and expertly swerves from delicate, plucky folk to soaring, anthemic chorale to shit-kicking twang; a name that could be cribbed from one of our city's lesser-used nicknames. How can this not be a Portland band? Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Your Anger (see, even that earnest title could've been devised right here) is the eight-piece's tremendously good second record, and it's got a secret bullet that many of the best Portland bands can't pull off: that swaying, midnight-drunk, hoarse, Springsteen-y passion that could come only from the Garden State. River City Extension is a terrific band, and the wonderful Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Your Anger is a record that deserves to be listened to for a long, long time. Portland—and the rest of the world—is going to love it. NED LANNAMANN

(Valentine's, 232 SW Ankeny) Once upon a time, I was dragged to Olympia by some friends for a Mount Eerie show, before I knew anything about Phil Elverum or his music. The venue, a visibly and fittingly eerie deteriorating log cabin in the outskirts of town, was condemned, and the show was consequently cancelled. I was disappointed. Pissed, even—only more so once I returned and actually sat down and listened to Elverum's recordings as the Microphones (his previous moniker) and Mount Eerie. What pensive and poignant art this guy creates, with a musical palette so startlingly diverse, from murmured, gently plucked acoustic numbers to snarling, faux black metal. The common thread is that it's always interesting, and a lot of the time catchy, too (as if the two were incompatible). Mount Eerie is atmospheric pop music that is—brace yourselves—quintessentially Pacific Northwest. MORGAN TROPER