SONNY AND THE SUNSETS, LOVE AS LAUGHTER, LONNIE WINN
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) Read our article on Sonny and the Sunsets.


CHARLES BRADLEY, SHUGGIE OTIS, MORNING RITUAL
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) Read our article on Charles Bradley.


THE HELIO SEQUENCE, 1939 ENSEMBLE
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) It's almost not even fair how infrequently the Helio Sequence play their hometown. And now that they are—and you've had a chance to settle into their latest release, Negotiations—it's high time for a neighborhood get-together of the most magnificent indie rock order. MARJORIE SKINNER


MARIACHI EL BRONX, TIBURONES
(Dr. Martens Store, 2 NW 10th) Though the roots of the Bronx's alter ego Mariachi el Bronx are in alt-punk, their minor-key mariachi music is legit, even if they still look like a rock band accidentally given a mariachi band's ticket in a hilarious dry cleaner mix-up. Mariachi el Bronx takes the fun, upbeat accordion stylings of mariachi music, and swirls it together with punkish beats and riffs, making for a highly unique, well-executed sound. Tiburones is a newer outfit; consisting of Luz Elena Mendoza of Y La Bamba and Nick Delffs of Death Songs, their three-piece band will captivate you with its lively tempo and beautiful harmonies. ROSE FINN


THE HEAD AND THE HEART, THAO AND THE GET DOWN STAY DOWN, DEEP SEA DIVER
(Pioneer Courthouse Square, 701 SW 6th) The huggy folk of the Head and the Heart never did anything for me. I've seen the Seattle group more than once, and walked away each time baffled by the rapturous response to their good-hearted but generally unsurprising clap-alongs. So I'm happy to say that their new song, "Shake," is actually pretty decent, easily the best thing I've heard from them. They've dispensed with the open-mic coffeehouse vibe in favor of something slightly less earnest, something with a bit more shadow and body to it. Their new album, Let's Be Still, doesn't come out until October 15, so it remains to be seen whether this MFNW set will be an exclusive, exciting preview of what's to come, or a warm-up show for them to relearn all their old songs before the national tour that will follow the album's release. NED LANNAMANN


GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR, EARTH
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Here are a couple bands making the most of their second acts. First, there's the reanimated Godspeed You! Black Emperor, whose celebrated reunion became even worthier of celebration with 'Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!, the venerable post-rock band's first album in 10 years that just so happens to be one of the best releases in their catalog. As for Earth, guitarist Dylan Carlson resurrected his long-dormant drone-doom project in 2005, but instead of just fine-tuning his previous approach à la Godspeed, he re-imagined Earth as something of a desert-scorched blues band that could easily soundtrack a spaghetti western. MATTHEW W. SULLIVAN


TEAM DRESCH, THE PYNNACLES, SAD HORSE
(Backspace, 115 NW 5th) It's taken two decades for most people to catch up to Team Dresch, the prickly political four-piece that were pivotal in the '90s queercore movement. That's not to say everything's been peachy-keen since the release of their impassioned and perfect 1994 debut LP, Personal Best. Far from it. Let's just say they got the ball... err, the massive boulder rolling as far as opening up the discussion on women's issues and what it is to be queer in a homophobic society. It would have been easy to beat it over people's heads with pure punk-rock rage, but there's always been an elegance to Team Dresch's music. After going on hiatus in the late '90s, the band reunited for Homo-a-Go-Go in 2004. Team Dresch is still performing, and showing that they're just as—if not more—important now as they were 20 years ago. MARK LORE


P.O.S, SHAD, THE CHICHARONES
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE César E. Chávez) Shad may be Canadian, but he ain't no puss. This Kenyan-born emcee's flow is smooth, while his DJ sets the tone for a sound similar in thoughtful tonality to Atmosphere and A Tribe Called Quest. What elevates his lyrics from the usual wealth-centric raps is his unabashed willingness to discuss consumerist culture, personal anxiety, and even genocide in Rwanda. Meanwhile, P.O.S (not to be confused with '90s band/nightmare P.O.D.) hails from Minneapolis, nexus of America's underground hiphop scene. P.O.S is the king of side projects, fronting to numerous punk-rock bands and playing in Building Better Bombs, and co-founding indie hiphop collective Doomtree. P.O.S' insightful lyrics and dynamic sound make him a force to be reckoned with. What better cherry on the hiphop sundae the Chicharones, a Portland hiphop duo, known for lively shows and a unique mix of hiphop, rock, and funk. ROSE FINN


HORSE FEATHERS, ANGEL OLSEN
(The Old Church, 1422 SW 11th) If you've never listened to Angel Olsen, the possessed quality of her vocals can be jarring. Operating somewhere in between the monotone flatline of Nico and the spatial dreaminess of Mazzy Star, Olsen champions a hypnotic contingent to her songs that implores repeated listens. After you hear the lo-fi warble of "Lonely Universe" from her most recent LP Half Way Home—and one of the most melancholy songs penned in the last five years—it's clear that Olsen's knack for isolating despair and putting it through the wringer is eerily spot-on. With Portland folksters Horse Feathers on the bill, this showcase is guaranteed to yield emotive ebb and flow. RYAN J. PRADO


THE DODOS, BLEEDING RAINBOW, QUEEN KWONG
(Star Theater, 13 NW 6th) I became hooked on San Francisco band the Dodos after catching them at a festival in the summer of 2008. It was shortly after the release of their second album, Visiter, which I stuck on repeat long after hearing the band live. I watched in the hot Coney Island sun as Meric Long finger-picked acoustic guitars alongside Logan Kroeber's mind-blowingly technical syncopated drumbeats, and the pair managed to deliver a captivating set that soared above the rattling tracks and screams of Cyclone riders off to the side of the stage. The Star Theater should be a much better fit for the MFNW alums, who return to Portland the week after the release of their fifth album, Carrier. The album follows their outstanding 2011 release, No Color, and finds the group expanding their established folk roots with more electric guitar, offering plenty of moments sure to rival those Visiter-era favorites in the live setting. CHIPP TERWILLIGER


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


SPOOKIES, YOUR RIVAL
(Floating World Comics, 400 NW Couch) In celebration of MusicfestNW and the release of the Live from the Banana Stand Vol. 2 compilation CD, Floating World Comics are transforming their excellently curated comic and record store into an all-ages matinee pre-party. Wristband or not, stopping by this free show will earn you a copy of the aforementioned compilation of live takes from some of Portland's best, as well as a chance to catch two local pop powerhouses before the sun sets. Spookies play extremely catchy, lo-fi rock 'n' roll. Their recently released VCR EP is nearly perfect, with five tracks of pop-garage goodness that are instantly enjoyable and over way too soon. Luckily, Your Rival picks up right where Spookies leave off. Their melodic and vigorous pop-rock would have fit in perfectly alongside Superchunk at the Crystal Ballroom the night before. (Full disclosure/not-so-eerie coincidence: Your Rival's Morgan Troper wrote about Superchunk in this week's issue.) CHIPP TERWILLIGER


THE WIMPS, FINE PETS, THERAPISTS
(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) All you need to know about the Wimps is that their upcoming EP is called Party at the Wrong Time and the cover features a skateboarding hot dog wearing sunglasses. With that release coming in October via Seattle upstart label Help Yourself records, the Wimps are increasingly staking their claim as the Northwest's premiere no-wave connoisseurs. A party band without ever adopting the whip-it parlance of notable local acts, their stage presence destroys all notions of rock pretense with raucous howls and grooving bass lines. Tonight promises to be a rowdy introduction to a crass yet genuine band who loves to move a crowd. WYATT SCHAFFNER


SHELTER RED, BEARCUBBIN', GLDWNG
(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) Four years ago, Portland's very own Mike Byrne was selected as longtime drummer Jimmy Chamberlin's replacement in the Smashing Pumpkins, one of the best bands of the '90s and one of the worst bands of the '00s. Byrne's local reputation as precocious drummer extraordinaire actually precedes him joining the Pumpkins. For years now, Byrne has played in the math-rock band Bearcubbin', whose latest EP, 2011's Get Your Heavies Out, sounds approximately like New Found Glory aping Fragile-era Yes. Amazingly, he still finds time to foster the project, regularly playing shows with the group around town in spite of his busy schedule. It's the perfect vehicle for an incredible drummer who doesn't always have much room to show off in his other band. MORGAN TROPER


CLOSELY WATCHED TRAINS, JACOB MILLER AND THE BRIDGE CITY CROONERS, ALDER STREET ALLSTARS
(Tonic Lounge, 3100 NE Sandy) Fare thee well, Closely Watched Trains. The Portland honky-tonk outfit is playing their final show before shuffling off into the sweet by-and-by. They've got a brand-new 7-inch to mark the bittersweet occasion, too. Bundling together sheaves of country, gospel, bluegrass, old-time folk, Cajun music, and more, Closely Watched Trains' sound puts fun and frolic in front of just about everything else that songwriterly music tends to contain (we are looking at you, sad feelings about girls and/or boys). The result is a perfectly strummy, guilt-free soundtrack to downing a few boilermakers. Do it with them one last time, before Closely Watched Trains leaves the station for good. NED LANNAMANN