You might not have noticed, but Emancipator is playing one of the biggest local-band shows this week, headlining the Wonder Ballroom on the heels of the release of new album Dusk to Dawn. Knob-twiddler Doug Appling is indeed a Portland resident, and as Emancipator, he makes picturesque electronic music that's more trip-hop and folktronica than anything else. (Remember those things?) Actually, Dusk to Dawn is a graceful and pretty record, highlighted by gypsy violin from Ilya Goldberg, who'll be joining the live show as well. While the clicking beats and tastefully arranged synth programs are more hotel lobby than rock club, Emancipator is perfectly enjoyable breakfast-making or wallpaper-hanging music. Still, I can't help but wish the similar-sounding but far edgier Talkdemonic were headlining the Wonder instead. NED LANNAMANN
128 NE Russell, Portland, OR 97212
Hours: Ballroom open for events only, Cafe open: Tues-Sat 5 pm-"late"