YOUR RIVAL, LEE COREY OSWALD, OUR FIRST BRAINS, SOFT SKILLS
(Anna Bannanas, 2403 NE Alberta) Let's get the tricky part out of the way first: Your Rival's Mo Troper is a frequent and valuable contributor to this section. You may have noticed that he really, really, really likes power pop and emo. These affections are plainly evident on the snap-and-crackle songs he's written for Here's to Me, the new full-length from his sometimes-solo-act, sometimes-a-band project Your Rival. Released on nascent local label Party Damage (home to Wild Ones), it crams a discography's worth of Big Star-spangled melody into its 31 brief minutes, with further echoes of Superchunk, Badfinger, and Teenage Fanclub happily gumming up the sidewalk. Interspersed are some tender, Ben Folds-y moments (opening track "Autobiography," the beginning of "Sydney") and one soaring mini-epic ("What I Look for in a Man"), all of which add to Here's to Me's air of splendid, full-volume melancholy. It's a flat-out great album, and while it deserves to send Troper to the next level of the pro-musicianship stratosphere (and all the tour dates and opportunities that come with it), I don't want too many of you to buy it—good music writers are hard to find. NED LANNAMANN


PHANTOGRAM, GIRAFFAGE
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter of Phantogram have a lock on nonchalantly cool rhythm and slightly druggy mystique. Their electronic music is well suited to similarly beat-driven pursuits like walking purposefully or swaying knowingly at one of their spacily transportive live performances. MARJORIE SKINNER


MELT-BANANA, KINSKI, NASALROD
(Dante's, 350 W Burnside) Tonight, Japanese noise-rock veterans Melt-Banana return to Portland for the first time in two years, touring off Fetch, their first studio album since 2007. This time, vocalist Yasuko "Yako" Onuki and guitarist Ichirou Agata are hitting the road as a duo, opting to flesh out their sugar-rush aural attack with computer-controlled synths and samples. Melt-Banana continue to create music that only they could make work. Over the years they've been adding more pop and experimental elements on top of the speedy, playful, half-minute grindcore bursts that they became known for two decades ago, and everything falls right into place on Fetch. "Candy Gun" opens the album with waves lapping up on the shore, and before long it's off to the races as Agata begins to scrape and scratch all over his palette, and Yako's trademark barks and chirps manage to keep pace with the workout. CHIPP TERWILLIGER


PDX-ANTICS: VINCE CLARKE, MARTIN REV, AUTHOR AND PUNISHER, & MORE
(Alhambra Theatre, 4811 SE Hawthorne) Ranging from industrial noise to electro-pop, the wide swathe of synthesized sounds at PDX-Antics covers many corners of electronic music. Headlining the mini-fest is Vince Clarke, best known as the mastermind behind Erasure and a former member of Depeche Mode. Also on the docket is Martin Rev, the synthesizing and beat-making half of the proto-punk legends Suicide. But be sure to show up early to catch Author and Punisher, the one-man industrial/drone-metal project of Tristan Shone and his array of custom-built noisemaking machinery. Imagine the soundtrack for a hostile robot takeover, and you've got a pretty good idea of what to expect. MATTHEW W. SULLIVAN


SAN FERMIN, US LIGHTS
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) The pedigree of Brooklyn outfit San Fermin sounds highbrow to the point of hoity-toityness: Yale graduate Ellis Ludwig-Leone composed what is described in the press materials as "a pastiche of post-rock, chamber-pop, and contemporary classical composition." Ludwig-Leone wrote San Fermin's self-titled album in six weeks in a cabin in the mountains of Canada, drawing inspiration from Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises. The result is an elegant, almost starched-stiff affair with strings, horns, and the album's various roles portrayed by a number of guest singers (including members of fellow Brooklyn band Lucius, who burned up Bunk Bar last week in their phenomenal Portland debut). Still, the sheer skill on display is impressive, and if the album occasionally sounds like a thesis for some history-of-musical-theater course that you would never take in a million years, more often it's a fascinating, involving record that effortlessly bounds over typical constraints of creativity. Fans of Dirty Projectors and those bereft by Sufjan Stevens' abandonment of his 50 states project will find much to cherish on San Fermin. NL