SAT MAR 5
Animal Collective w/Ratking; Roseland, 8 NW 6th
Animal Collective has undeniably produced some of the best and most original pop music since the turn of the millennium. They've introduced a whole new generation of bro-intellectual stoners to the aberrant pop sensibilities of mid-era XTC or Brian Wilson at the height of his LSD-dropping, sandbox-dwelling delirium (see Animal Collective's 2004 breakthrough Sung Tongs and its superb 2005 follow-up, Feels).
The group's latest record, Painting With, sees the band continuing in the synth-heavy, dance-pop direction set by 2009's Merriweather Post Pavilion and 2012's Centipede Hz. The result is one of the most straightforward records in the band's canon. Songs like opener "FloriDada" and "Golden Gal" find the group definitively ditch the meandering, faux-trippy tint of their earlier efforts in favor of conventional, saccharine songcraft that has more in common with Top 40 bands like Fun.
Anti-Flag w/Leftover Crack, War on Women, Blackbird Raum, the Homeless Gospel Choir; Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE César E. Chávez
When I was a freshman in high school, Anti-Flag—particularly their 2006 album For Blood and Empire—seemed like the ultimate totem of a vague "fuck Bush" antiauthoritarianism. For an album so topical, it's actually held up pretty well. Even more surprising is the fact that the group released two records last year, American Spring and the Cease Fires compilation, both of which are pretty great, though occasionally overwrought. They're full of songs that harken back to a day when pop-punk actually meant something, dude.
TUES MAR 8
Edhochuli, Beach Party w/Strangeweather, Said Goner; Black Water Bar, 835 NE Broadway
In a city that boasts a glut of bands shamelessly aping the '90s, Beach Party remains shockingly under-discussed. They've been at it since late 2011, when they released a self-titled demo on cassette, a superb callback to classic emo's bouncier, poppier, and... well, less "emo" hemisphere (think more Cap'n Jazz than American Football).
The group's latest, their 2015 full-length Broken Machine, sees that formula refined, and the result is a record just as good as its influences. Pennsylvania's mathy, hardcore heavyweights Edhochuli headline this extremely weird bill, the first show of their two-night Portland "residency" (they also play March 9 at High Water Mark with Hang the Old Year, U Sco, Humours, and Backbiter).