Midlake had the unenviable task of following up their 2006 breakthrough, The Trials of Van Occupanther, and its splendid single "Roscoe," which turned out to be one of the best songs of the decade. They followed it up with The Courage of Others, an album that the almighty Pitchfork panned, and fair-weather listeners were subsequently quick to denounce. But The Courage of Others is a slow-growing and majestic pleasure, and if nothing is as immediately striking as "Roscoe," its best songs are deeper and more involved, wonderfully evoking '70s folk-rock at its spookiest and spindliest. The baroque "Rulers, Ruling All Things" sounds like a coked-out king on his way to a bloody downfall, and the song's proggy, folky backdrop begins with subtle shades that grow to a powerful end. Midlake have perhaps let down some of their new fans, but in doing so have created a record whose appeal is undeniable to those receptive to it. NED LANNAMANN
128 NE Russell, Portland, OR 97212
Hours: Ballroom open for events only, Cafe open: Tues-Sat 5 pm-"late"