Tonight in Music: Typhoon, Baroness, Bonnie "Prince" Billy & More
TYPHOON, LIKE A VILLAIN
(The Old Church, 1422 SW 11th) You've seen Typhoon, right? Us too. But see them again at their two MusicfestNW sets, which will showcase the populous Portland outfit's brand-new White Lighter before they hit the road and bestow their sounds on the rest of the continent. Tonight they play with Like a Villain, and Neal Morgan is the opener on Friday. DIRK VANDERHART Also, read our article on Typhoon.
BARONESS, ROYAL THUNDER
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE César E. Chávez) Read our article on Baroness.
BONNIE "PRINCE" BILLY, MT. EERIE
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) That it falls under the banner of a music festival is startling enough, but tonight's pairing is truly extraordinary. Bonnie "Prince" Billy (Will Oldham), on his first solo tour since 2007, and Mount Eerie (Phil Elverum) are artists of the highest caliber—singular, iconoclastic, unspoiled, and, many years in, every bit inspired as they are inspiring. Each draws from the distinctive musical tradition of their respective homes, Oldham of the golden country-folk of the American South, and Elverum from the elemental indie rock of the Northwest. Each has built dedicated fanbases while largely eschewing commercial and corporate opportunity. Each employs wry senses of humor, yet cultivates tangible emotional connection with deceptively straight talk. Both too, are insatiable students of the craft, artists outside of music, and prolific collaborators. Speaking of collaborations, Elverum provided backing vocals on Bonnie "Prince" Billy's stirring "Go Folks Go," in 2010. Whether or not they'll share the stage tonight is anyone's guess. As Oldham relayed through his publicist, "Who knows about the collab possibilities?" ANDREW R TONRY Also see My, What a Busy Week!
YOUNG THE GIANT, YOUTH LAGOON, VANAPRASTA
(Pioneer Courthouse Square, 701 SW 6th) Nobody has ever voluntarily listened to the gaping mediocrity that is Young the Giant, including you. So why on earth are they headlining this thing? Weird fact: No actual humans were involved in Young the Giant's apparent rise to success. Rather, an unholy combination of radio airplay and product placement have put this conglomeration of old, disused parts from crappy Killers albums into the forefront of American popular music consciousness simply because we're all too tired to fight it anymore. Arrive early for Boise's Youth Lagoon, who have transformed the fragile, sulking bedroom synth-sketches of Trevor Powers into widescreen epics that will fill up the entire square. Then, get the hell out. NED LANNAMANN
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) While he's been around since the punk explosion, the aptly named Ian Rubbish is practically a parody of the genre. His razor-thin discography—try to find a record store in this town that carries any of his back catalog—could practically be filed in the novelty bin. His now-infamous Margaret Thatcher songs are just the tip of a tepid iceberg. Look at dreck like 1981's Flat Soda; or the regrettable dub-infused single he recorded in 1987 with bassist Jop Wibble, "Nice Time Innit?"; or even 1998's laughable Bacharach collaboration, It Were Like That When I Got 'Ere. Compared to the vitality of his class-of-'77 peers, it's apparent that Rubbish is a fraud, a veritable caricature of what punk rock stands for. STIV BOILS
THE MEN, BLEACHED, HAUSU, BRONCHO
(Dante's, 350 W Burnside) Amazingly, the Men's official website is the first hit in a Google search of "the men." That probably wasn't the case back in the early days of the Brooklyn band's existence, when they were releasing noisy cassettes of grimy punk and post-hardcore. But the one-two punch of Leave Home and Open Your Heart heightened the group's profile, infusing their racket with strands of krautrock, country, and surf. They got a little twangier on this year's New Moon, dropping some of the caterwauling in favor of something more akin to classic rock, but there are plenty of gritty-sounding cues to let you know that this is still the band that was once too underground for Google. MATTHEW W. SULLIVAN
BOB MOULD, JOHN VANDERSLICE, KRIS ORLOWSKI
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) As recent as a year and a half ago, I would have argued that Bob Mould jumped the shark. A punk legend, no doubt, but his recent solo records up to that point had been weird and consistently boring, at the very most proof that creative brilliance is finite. And then Silver Age came out last summer, and it fucking ripped out of nowhere. A year later, it's still a record I bump constantly (and I'm still pissed I wasn't able to see Mould play it and Sugar's Copper Blue back-to-back in their entirety last year). Its best songs sound like lost Sugar cuts, and "The Descent" in particular ranks among Mould's very finest. Silver Age has completely absolved Mould of prior artistic transgressions—hopefully he stops making music before he loses it again. MORGAN TROPER
THE JOY FORMIDABLE, ON AN ON, LOST LANDER
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Give In, the debut album from On an On, remains a terrific listen eight months after its January release. The dramatic, inventive collection of heart-swollen, astral pop sounds mere inches away from becoming the biggest thing going. Perhaps it's the wonderfully ragged edges that the Chicago/Minneapolis group leaves showing, or their clever, deconstructionist inversion of pop-music clichés that has kept them from exploding into the stratosphere. Or maybe it's just a matter of time. Arrive in time for the always-outstanding Lost Lander, who have a batch new songs in their arsenal. NED LANNAMANN
TOBACCO, MAGIC FADES, PORTIA, BRUXA
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Over the past decade, the musician known as Tobacco—AKA Tom Fec, AKA the camera-shy oddball behind oozey electro-psych band Black Moth Super Rainbow—has carved out one of the most distinctive catalogs in underground music. The syrupy synths. The wheezing, vintage organs. The breathy vocals, vocodered to infinity. The analog sheen smeared across every square inch of sound. From his classic work with Black Moth (2007's Dandelion Gum is the immersive peak) to his more drip-hoppy solo albums to his recent Demon Queen collaboration with Arizona alt-rapper Zackey Force Fun, Tobacco's tracks are unmistakable. When you hear a Tobacco joint, you know it's a Tobacco joint. BEN SALMON
AUSTRA, DIANA, VICE DEVICE
(Star Theater, 13 NW 6th) The sensuous sound of Toronto's Diana stands atop a lush mountain of dreamy melodics pulsating with the easy rhythm of vintage pop. A rare synergy is created as the meticulous instrumentation attends to the alluring voice of Carmen Elle. Touring in support of their debut full-length Perpetual Surrender, out on Jagjaguwar Records and greeted with growing high praise, Diana is one to keep an eye on. Powerhouse stunners Austra on the heels of their sophomore release, Olympia, and Portland new-wave favorites Vice Device are also on the bill, making for an intriguing evening of magnificently edgy interpretations of synth pop. CHRISTINA BROUSSARD
THE LOVE LANGUAGE, HOUNDSTOOTH, PRISM TATS
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) The Love Language's latest, Ruby Red, is an explosive pop record that culls from everything that is great about rock music—British Invasion, '60s garage, Byrds-eye country, all wrapped in a warm Spector blanky. It's a far cry from frontman Stuart McLamb's earlier TLL recordings, whose charms were indebted to his ramshackle approach. Some of that innocence may be lost, but this more fully formed version of the Love Language is just as fun. Maybe more. With McLamb, you can be pretty sure the songs will always be strong; now it's just a matter of which form they'll take on. If Ruby Red is any indication, the Love Language is moving in the right direction. MARK LORE
NW HIP HOP FEST
(Ash Street Saloon, 225 SW Ash; Kelly's Olympian, 426 SW Washington) It may seem counterintuitive to schedule a music festival the same week as MusicfestNW. Yet NW Hip Hop Fest, now in its third year, does exactly that. This year, the festival takes place at both Kelly's Olympian and the Ash Street Saloon over three nights, featuring densely packed bills of talent at both venues. While most performers are Portland-based, acts from Salem, Spokane, Seattle, and beyond are represented. Highlights include Thursday's Proper Knocks Showcase at the Ash Street featuring Big Bang, Lucas Dix, Soopah Eype, and more. Friday night's We Out Here showcase features Cassow, Load B, and Stewart Villain at Kelly's Olympian, prefaced by Hungry Hungry Hip-Hop standouts Theory Hazit, Zoo, and others. Saturday's closing night at Ash Street might be the highlight, with Portland favorites Chill Crew and the Resistance as a prelude to Northwest supergroup Oldominion. RYAN FEIGH