PDX POP NOW!
(Refuge, 116 SE Yamhill) It's time for the funnest, rootin'-tootin'est all-ages music fest in town. PDX Pop Now! makes its annual sunny appearance with more than 40 Portland bands, like Radiation City, Youthbitch, and Sons of Huns, playing their hearts out for you for three straight days. For free! This is what Portland summers are all about. Now show your love. COURTNEY FERGUSON Also read our article on PDX Pop Now!
PORTLAND CELLO PROJECT'S EXTREME DANCE PARTY
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) The power of dance has been lurking inside the cello all along, just waiting for the right ensemble to unlock it. The Portland Cello Project IS THAT ENSEMBLE, and their annual Extreme Dance Party is a sweaty, delirious summer highlight. Genres collapse and musical boundaries dissolve, all for the purpose of getting your ass moving on the dance floor. ALISON HALLETT
ANTIKYTHERA, DRUNK DAD, PALO VERDE, AERIAL RUIN
(East End, 203 SE Grand) Read our article on Antikythera.
PARENTHETICAL GIRLS, EXTRA LIFE, COPY
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) For a band approaching a 10-year anniversary, Parenthetical Girls have maintained an impressive commitment to being weird. Or maybe it's a commitment to being impressively weird. For example, their fourth full-length album, Privilege, is being released in five vinyl-only increments of 12-inch EPs as they are completed. All but one have come out, each numbered in the, um, blood of the band member depicted on the cover. The extended unveiling left plenty of space for the band to release a handful of other EPs in the ensuing two years—including a Christmas EP and a free selection of wonderful Kate Bush covers on Bandcamp. What all of these have in common are sweetly pretty orchestrations and former Mercury Music Editor Zac Pennington's dramatic vocals. It's an aesthetic that makes me think of new wave as much as the Magnetic Fields, in all the best ways. REBECCA WILSON
JUNIOR MEMBAH, THE MEMORIES, MOPE GROOVES
(Plan B, 1305 SE 8th) It's sort of amazing that PDX DIY mogul Erik Gage has found the time to foster yet another full-time project, between operating his tape label Gnar Tapes and Shit and fronting the thoroughly established (and industrious) White Fang—but he has, and thank goodness for that. I'm referring, of course, to the Memories, Gage's excellent new pop band who have just released a great (if terse) LP on Underwater Peoples Records after dawdling creatively for a few years. And man, do they pillage from pop's greatest: "Softly," for example, contains a hook lifted directly from the semi-obscure Zombies cut "How We Were Before," and elsewhere the band steals from doo-wop all the way to mid-'00s Top-40 R&B. Like Picasso (and many other geniuses of equal merit) purportedly said, "Good artists borrow, but great artists steal." I'd drink to that if I drank. MORGAN TROPER
SHOESHINE BLUE, HUCK NOTARI, ST. EVEN
(The Secret Society, 116 NE Russell) For several years now, Michael Apinyakul has been delivering low-key, affectionate folk around town under the Shoeshine Blue moniker, and he's just finished a new EP of gentle twang with the help of some Portland compadres. Tell Yourself It's Only the Weather bundles together five of Apinyakul's early-morning melodies, which he recorded at home without much tracking or overdubbing. The homespun care is clearly evident, and a close listen on headphones puts you right in the room where the songs were laid down. Shoeshine Blue has been quietly, reliably providing amiable folk just beneath Portland's radar; with tonight's release of Tell Yourself It's Only the Weather, some much-deserved light will shine on an overlooked local talent. NED LANNAMANN