DEAD MOON, POISON IDEA, P.R.O.B.L.E.M.S.
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) Local punk gods Poison Idea have been playing an awful lot for a band that broke up, technically, two decades ago. But who the fuck is complaining? This time, though, they're down the bill from Dead Moon—another raw, jangling, legendary beacon from the grimy old Portland that was. DENIS C. THERIAULT Also, read our article on Dead Moon.
THANKS, BROWNISH BLACK, DJ COOKY PARKER
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) I'm not the first to point out how six-piece Portland band Thanks incorporates soul into their decidedly black-hearted indie rock. You probably aren't going to mistake their new full-length Blood Sounds for Lady Soul or anything like that, so I suppose the soul connection is just easy shorthand for saying that Thanks' music is vital, gripping, and different. Indeed, Blood Sounds is an apt name for this terrific, fiery collection, as the music is bloody and bruised, forming tightly controlled tantrums of melody and rhythm, marshaled by Jimi Hendrix's commanding voice (yes, that is her name). What none of this conveys, though, is how the end result effectively becomes fun, bright pop of a very high caliber, with indestructible, earworm-y songs, and beats that implore you to move. Consider Thanks' Blood Sounds the first great Portland album of 2014. NED LANNAMANN
RED FANG AND SCHOOL OF ROCK PLAY RED FANG
(Star Theater, 13 NW 6th) Red Fang comes in two sizes tonight: The usual, adult-sized, ass-tearing-rock size, and the School of Rock's slightly smaller edition when they play the music of Red Fang, which may tear even more ass than the original, assuming those talented kids have been taking their probiotics and laying off the hooch, that is. MARJORIE SKINNER
BIKE THIEF, RARE MONK, SAMA DAMS
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Portland's Sama Dams have more than a few things going for them. Their moniker is topical, in a 2008 sort of way, seemingly referencing the mayoral run of Sam Adams (in fact, it's the jiggered name of the band's frontman, also named Sam Adams). Much more importantly, the band possesses the ability to harness severe, atmospheric, and expansive panoramas of sound that dip into and out of whirlpools of electronic psych, plaintive OK Computer-era Radiohead realms, and beyond. The trio's 2013 release, No Vengeance, is particularly indefinable; Adams' voice captains songs like the manic "Coyote Dreams in the City" through sonic twists and turns both beautifully calming and violently jarring. It's one of the more inspired releases to come out of Portland last year, and the band should garner further attention with their upcoming album, the funding of which recently made its $10,000 goal on Kickstarter with a mere 68 (presumably deep-pocketed) backers. RYAN J. PRADO