GEOGRAPHER, ON AN ON (Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Judging by Give In, the forthcoming debut album from new Minneapolis band On an On, a crisis can lead to great things. Made up of three members of the band Scattered Trees, the group formed sort of accidentally, when the three—Nate Eiesland, Alissa Ricci, and Ryne Estwing—decided to carry on after that band fell to pieces. Using leftover studio time that was already booked, the trio worked with Broken Social Scene producer Dave Newfeld and reinvented themselves on the fly as a more or less entirely new band. None of it would matter if Give In weren't the beautiful record that it is. Boasting songs that alternately tremble in delicacy and explode with bombast, it's melodramatic pop, rendered in smart and wholly appealing colors. NED LANNAMANN
RJD2, MANIC FOCUS, MEDIUM TROY (Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Best known for building the theme song for Mad Men, RJD2 (real name Ramble John Krohn) also constructs sampled soundtracks for commercials, movies, and if you so wish, your life. Creating moody soundscapes layered atop hiphop beats, RJD2's artistry starts on the dance floor and quickly turns into head-nodding think pieces. WM.™ STEVEN HUMPHREY
BIG ASS BOOMBOX: CHARTS, FATHER FIGURE, NEW YORK RIFLES, SOUVENIR DRIVER, BUBBLE CATS, THE FASTERS (Kelly's Olympian, 426 SW Washington) On Souvenir Driver's debut full-length, Lifts the Curse, the pop conglomerate fashions an ambitious soundscape of sleepy-eyed, fuzzy guitar-rock. The Portland quartet somehow pulls off pairing psychedelic sex-punk tunes like "Philosophy" with more grandiose, Brit-pop-oriented epics like "Futures" or the noodle-y ballad "Trust," while sustaining a common thread of powerful, emotive songcraft. Repetition plays a big role in the Souvenir Driver oeuvre, and songs tend to dawdle on past the five-minute mark; but the reward for patience is a wonderfully moody panorama of reverb-y dream-pop that ought to fit in nicely with tonight's installment of Big Ass Boombox, spread out over four downtown venues. For extra fun tonight, try to guess in advance the course that Charts bassist Andrew Clyde's nomadic antics will take, before he inevitably climbs onto a bass amp, an audience member, or a bar table to perform. RYAN J. PRADO Also see My, What a Busy Week!
BEETHOVEN'SEMPERORCONCERTO: ANDRÉ WATTS, CHRISTOPH KÖNIG, OREGON SYMPHONY (Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway) What would it be like to have a living legend jam with your favorite local band? One's daydreaming could lead to pants-wetting images of Neil Young strumming with Weinland, or BjÖrk yodeling with Menomena. Luckily, I ain't some poor sap forced to settle for mere flights of fancy—because I already scored tickets for the Oregon Symphony's next concert, featuring piano god AndrÉ Watts. Listen the fuck up: Most Oregon Symphony concerts feature an international virtuoso that teams up with Portland's big band, but Mr. Watts is this season's only soloist to carry legendary status with him onto the Schnitzer stage. Introduced by Leonard Bernstein on national TV in the early '60s when he was a 16-year-old black kid, the wunderkind instantly rocketed to stardom and has been playing to packed houses ever since. The sweet, sweet fact that Watts is in PDX to knock out Ludwig van Beethoven's Fifth (and final) Piano Concerto makes this program the very first do-not-miss performance of 2013. Why not be absolutely crazy and resolve to catch at least one show in the new year that doesn't feature ironic facial hair? ANGRY SYMPHONY GUY
GOTHAM A GO GO: BATARANG, DJ GREGARIOUS (White Owl Social Club, 1305 SE 8th) Why so serious, Batman? At Gotham a Go-Go, get back to campy bat-basics with some go-go dancing, trippy tunes from DJ Gregarious, and two sets from the Batmaniest band in town, Batarang. Practice your Batusi and channel your inner Julie Newmar—you're about to shake a bat feather, all at the new White Owl Social Club (formerly the digs of Plan B). COURTNEY FERGUSON
RUSSIAN OLD NEW YEAR: CHERVONA, THE FLYING BALALAIKA BROTHERS, LEONID NOSOV, DJ CHKALOV (Star Theater, 13 NW 6th) According to the Eastern Orthodox Church and its undying devotion to the Julian calendar, 2013 starts this weekend—and NOT on January 1 like all you heretics might believe. As such, Russian party band Chervona is gathering some friends at the Star Theater tonight for a proper, dance-filled (and religiously accurate) sendoff to 2012. DENIS C. THERIAULT