THE WOOLEN MEN, LANDLINES, THE SAN ONOFRE LIZARDS
(East End, 203 SE Grand) Portland basement-pop trio Landlines play a release show for their outstanding Loserly cassette EP tonight. The tape offers a healthy dose of lo-fi rock fresh off the Tascam four-track. These songs are destined to get stuck on repeat, whether it be on the stereo or running through the back of your head. Opening track "New Kids (The Conversation)" kicks things off with cutting jangle-pop that's every bit as cool as it is catchy, while "Hangovers in Airport Bars" slows things down to allow a bit of breathing room for some razor-sharp wordplay before bursting into an all-out shambolic explosion. The San Onofre Lizards—a new band featuring members of Olympia's Family Stoned—get things started, and the Woolen Men are sure to keep those fuzz-pop gems rolling late into the night. CHIPP TERWILLIGER Also see My, What a Busy Week!
THE TONY STARLIGHT CHRISTMAS SHOW
(Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 NE Alberta) Portland's favorite Neil Diamond impersonator, Tony Starlight, loves Christmas. With his holiday show, he's taking the production from his supper club on NE Sandy to the larger confines of the Alberta Rose for a variety show filled with holiday music galore, skits, and Vegas-style shenanigans. COURTNEY FERGUSON
PORTUGAL. THE MAN, WAMPIRE
(East End, 1332 W Burnside) Portugal. The Man's origins are the musical equivalent of embarrassing high-school yearbook photos. The group's creative nucleus—Zach Carothers and John Gourley—once played in Anatomy of a Ghost, one of the silliest emo bands to have ever existed. P.TM's contentious debut, Waiter: "You Vultures!" is similarly representational of early-'00s post-hardcore and barely resembles anything that came after. The theatrical, more-is-more leanings that informed the group's early output survive in the form of sometimes asphyxiating melodic stuffiness—there is never a dull moment on the group's latest, the Danger Mouse-produced Evil Friends. That's not always a great thing; seldom do the record's best hooks receive adequate breathing room. But this is still a more-than-adequate band, and cuts like the title track and featherweight rocker "Creep in a T-Shirt" may single-handedly absolve the record of its occasional incoherence. The group plays an all-ages afternoon show to benefit the Oregon Music Hall of Fame's Music in Schools program, in addition to the sold-out evening performance. MORGAN TROPER
FEDERATION X, NORSKA, DRUNK DAD
(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) No one exemplifies Pacific Northwest sludge like Bellingham's Federation X. For the past 15 years, the trio have held high the tradition of bands like the Melvins and Karp, bashing out memorable, heavy riffs as if they grew on trees. Federation X quietly released their latest noisemaker, We Do What We Must, in August, and it's arguably their best. The standout cuts are not those whose riffs threaten to raze city blocks, but the ones that breathe a little, like the amazing and moody "So Tired" and "Anna Mist." We Do What We Must has been slept on, but as temperatures dip into the teens it might be time for this beast to awaken. MARK LORE