PDX POP NOW!
(AudioCinema, 226 SE Madison) See All-Ages Action!


THE HOONS, DEAD REMEDY, THE LOVELY LOST, GUN FU
(Ash Street Saloon, 225 SW Ash) The Hoons based their latest batch of songs on stories from Radiolab, but you won't hear arty audio collages or documentary-style interview segments on the band's new self-titled album. Rather, the Hoons specialize in meaty, potato-ey rock, with two guitars and room-filling drums. The band moved to Portland from Anchorage, Alaska, in 2012 after having done time on Warped Tour, and there's a utilitarian sound to the record, as if the band knows how to get its message across without too much fuss. It works well on The Hoons, as the band moves from wiry indie riffs to Southern boogie to radio-ready choruses over the course of the record's 11 tracks. NED LANNAMANN


VINCE STAPLES, AUDIO PUSH, SKEME, J. SIRUS
(Alhambra Theatre, 4811 SE Hawthorne) Vince Staples first came to the attention of the hiphop world in 2010 via his association with the various threads of the Odd Future gang, nabbing guest verses on Earl Sweatshirt and Mike G's solo efforts. The young Californian has since catapulted beyond his peers, particularly this year with the release of his mixtape, Shyne Coldchain Vol. 2. With the help of producers No ID and Scoop DeVille, Staples is by turns sinister (the scrabbling, challenging "Shots"), ruminative ("Nate," where he explores his fractious relationship with his father), and boastful (the chest-pounding, Wu-Tang-inspired "Trunk Rattle"). He's joined by Audio Push, a duo of Golden Staters who are deeply tied in with the limber-limbed dance movement known as jerkin'. ROBERT HAM


CATHEDRAL PARK JAZZ FESTIVAL
(Cathedral Park, N Edison & Pittsburg) Maybe you love jazz! Maybe not! But it really doesn't matter as much you might think at the Cathedral Park Jazz Festival. It's still free and now in its 34th year, and it's one more chance to spend summer days and nights gazing up at this most iconic bridge, the St. Johns, and lazing about just feet from the Willamette River. DENIS C. THERIAULT


ISAAC PIERCE, THE HELIGOATS, JONAH LUKE
(The Waypost, 3120 N Williams) Isaac Pierce spent most of the last six years playing shows. Traveling around the country with sincere folk music that's neither pretentious nor cheesy, Pierce has played at electronic shows, punk shows, open mics, and even a Hyatt Regency, performing for kids who had just marched in Chicago's Thanksgiving parade. He's seemingly open to any and every opportunity to perform. His songs are purposefully wandering, image-heavy, chorusless beings that are influenced by both '60s and modern folk, but aren't exactly either. Watching him perform these songs is like having someone reminding you to keep going, keep trying. It's simple, hopeful, and powerful. JOSHUA JAMES AMBERSON


OPIO, FREE THE ROBOTS, PHILIP GRASS, CITYMOUTH
(Hawthorne Theatre Lounge, 1507 SE César E. Chávez) “Sci-Fidelity,” a cut off Free the Robots’ stunning Ctrl Alt Delete album for Alpha Pup, pretty much captures his music’s essence in one neat phrase. Sure, a lot of musicians take inspiration from science fiction and space-age/comic-book effluvia, but Free the Robots (AKA Chris Alfaro, Santa Ana, California’s finest producer) forges those familiar raw materials into potent laser beams of kitsch-free, bass-heavy productions that sound like a more fun-spirited Flying Lotus. Steeped in jazz, funk, hiphop, weird early electronic music, prog, and psych rock, Free the Robots disperses his eclectic influences into eventful, equilibrium-upending tracks that put him in the upper echelon of Low End Theory-affiliated artists. DAVE SEGAL


THE SHIVAS, BURNT ONES, JOLLAPIN JASPER, FINE PETS
(East End, 203 SE Grand) I first encountered the Shivas at the 2012 installment of the PDX Pop Now! festival, but it wasn't until I witnessed them again, late last year, that I became fully smitten. Sandwiched between Calvin Johnson and his band the Hive Dwellers, and Ian Svenonius' latest outfit, Chain and the Gang, the Shivas blasted through a ferocious mixture of melodic '60s garage-pop, surfy guitar riffs, and stunning vocal harmonies. They easily rivaled great sets from both the K Records' founder and the former Make-Up frontman. I left Lola's Room with Shivas tracks like "You Make Me Wanna Die" and "Gun in My Pocket" buzzing around my head for quite some time. Throw in the sun-drenched psychedelic pop of San Francisco's Burnt Ones, and this show becomes the perfect late-night detour, should you grow weary of the opening night festivities at this year's PDX Pop. CHIPP TERWILLIGER