WE TAKE HOLOCENE IV: NORTHWEST V. EVERYBODY: RAZ SIMONE, GLENN WACO, DONTE THOMAS, ROBY
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) It’s time for another installment of We Take Holocene, Glenn Waco’s semi-frequent concert series showcasing some of the Pacific Northwest’s best and brightest hip-hop artists. Tonight’s headliner is Seattleite Raz Simone, whose raps flow over layers of textured symphonic instrumentals. Simone’s latest single “Missin Joogs” is inescapably catchy, with a horn section echoing his soft vocals. CIARA DOLAN
Also read our story on Raz Simone.
AUDACITY, VHS, MEAN JEANS
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) This past April, Fullerton punks Audacity released Hyper Vessels—one of the most rollicking, anthemic albums of 2016. The raucous “Baseball” is a middle finger to America’s pastime, while songs like “Not Like You” brim with pop hooks and gang vocals, resonating with communal intensity. Other tracks pass coy homage to Alice Cooper-isms, like the proto-punk “Umbrellas.” With the venerable Ty Segall at the boards, Hyper Vessels captures Audacity’s snotty songwriting more often than the ferocity of their buzzsaw aesthetic. But it’s where these two poles meet that makes Audacity worth keeping an eye on. Opening are Portland’s reigning feel-good punks Mean Jeans, whose new record Tight New Dimension is chock-full of punk-party bangers like the already-classic “Are There Beers in Heaven?” The answer to that question remains unknown, but Mississippi Studios definitely has beer. RYAN J. PRADO
PROJECT PABST: DIGABLE PLANETS, CAMP LO
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) Digable Planets dropped their first album, Reachin’ (A New Refutation of Time & Space), in 1993—the same year that saw the release of other hip-hop masterpieces like Midnight Marauders and Enter the Wu-Tang. But Digable Planets set themselves apart with ultra-laid-back flows, jazz-influenced production, and intelligent, Afrocentric lyrics. Digable Planets released only one more album, 1994’s Blowout Comb, before disbanding. Ten years passed before they began to perform and tour sporadically, before once again calling it quits in 2012. Despite only releasing two albums (plus an unnecessary compilation), their place in hip-hop history is assured. Butterfly, Ladybug Mecca, and Doodlebug came on the scene rapping about black consciousness and feminism during a time when gangsta rap, materialism, and chauvinism were just beginning to infiltrate hip-hop. Unfortunately, we still haven’t evolved beyond those tropes, which makes Digable Planets’ current reunion as vital as ever. SANTI ELIJAH HOLLEY
BANKS & STEELZ, WHITE SEA
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) A member of Interpol and a member of Wu-Tang Clan walk into a bar.... What has all the makings of a weird joke—a Paul Banks and RZA collaboration—is actually way less odd in practice. Due out this month, Banks and Steelz’ debut Anything but Words features the two seasoned musicians playing a game of aural toss, bringing their specific skill sets new life within the context of each other. Banks’ razor-sharp rock ’n’ roll sensibilities and RZA’s incomparable phrases and production meet in an unexpected sweet spot. If it’s not your new favorite album, fair enough, but I wouldn’t miss out on the opportunity to watch two powerhouses at the ultimate playdate. JENNA FLETCHER
CLAN OF XYMOX, BELGRADO, SOFT KILL, BODY OF LIGHT, CEMETERY, TOLLUND MEN, SPECTRES
(Star Theater, 13 NW 6th) Existing in various incarnations since 1981 (always featuring principal Ronny Moorings), Dutch darkwave legends Clan of Xymox make two of their four US stops in Portland. Once on the 4AD roster, Xymox make moody synth-pop representative of the ’80s post-punk scene that spawned acts like Dead Can Dance and the Chameleons. Aside from the pioneering romantic goths’ rare two-night appearance, each show features a stacked lineup of bands developing the darkwave sound. DANIELA SERNA
JOURNEY, THE DOOBIE BROTHERS, MASON
(Sunlight Supply Amphitheater, 17200 NE Delfel, Ridgefield, WA) Here are the two facts you need to know about tonight’s skinny-dip in the boomer nostalgia Jacuzzi: Journey will perform without Steve Perry, and the Doobie Brothers are without Michael McDonald. Those two unmistakable, charismatic voices will be sorely missed, because otherwise both of these San Francisco-originated bands are—sshh, don’t tell Dad—pretty awful. Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” has had a surprisingly lengthy and annoyingly inescapable half-life as fodder for TV commercials and blackout-drunk karaoke nights, but the rest of their catalog is soft, stinky cheese. And while the Doobies racked up several ’70s hits before taking the velvet-voiced McDonald on board, they’re all garbage. “Long Train Runnin’” is super-lame white-dude chunka-chunka funk, and “Black Water” has the worst a cappella breakdown this side of Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? Tonight’s sole saving grace might be the opening act: While Dave Mason was overshadowed by the myriad talents of his bandmate Steve Winwood, he nevertheless was an integral part of Traffic for their excellent first two albums, responsible for kaleidoscope-psych gems like “Vagabond Virgin” and “Hole in My Shoe.” His folkier 1970 solo debut, Alone Together, isn’t too shabby, either. NED LANNAMANN
STAY WILD EXPO: THE MATTSON, DENVER, BITCH’N
(World Forestry Center and Museum, 4033 SW Canyon) If you love the outdoors, adventure, and wild living, you need to check out the first annual Stay Wild Expo and Adventure Festival! Based on his wholly excellent adventure magazine Stay Wild, creator and organizer Justin “Scrappers” Morrison (the Merc’s former art director) has put together a three-day-long expo of seminars, field trips, vendor booths, and wild-ass partying. You’ll learn how to cliff jump, basket weave, shape a surfboard, throw a knife, write adventure stories, build and shoot a bow and arrow, as well as do yoga in the woods, go on a group motorcycle ride, attend an Oregon coast surfing festival, and watch music from local awesome bands such as Cat Hoch, Bitch’n, Denver, and more! And best of all? IT’S FREE. Stop pretending to have fun, go to this expo, and get WILD. WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY
Y LA BAMBA, ORQUESTRA PACIFICO TROPICAL, HALEY HEYNDERICKX
(Revolution Hall, 1300 SE Stark) Ojos Del Sol is the newest release from Portland’s Y La Bamba, and it’s shockingly beautiful. The record’s opener and title track centers on slow, honeyed harmonies, while standout “Nos Veremos” radiates power in chanted gang vocals. Tonight celebrates the record’s release with local staples Orquestra Pacifico Tropical and Haley Heynderickx. CIARA DOLAN Also read our story on Y La Bamba.
CLAN OF XYMOX, ALL YOUR SISTERS, BELLICOSE MINDS, ARCTIC FLOWERS, VICE DEVICE, SPIRIT HOST
(Star Theater, 13 NW 6th) See Thursday’s preview.
PROJECT PABST: REAL ESTATE, POTTY MOUTH, DIVERS
(Lola’s Room, 1332 W Burnside) At grandmas’ houses and dentists’ offices across this great nation exist hundreds, maybe thousands, of framed pastel-hued seascapes—a sailboat moving towards the sunset, a seagull mid-flight set against some pinkish clouds. That’s Real Estate’s aesthetic: breezy, inoffensive guitar-pop that will move you about as much as a light breeze (so, not a whole lot). While the New Jersey band’s beigecore certainly doesn’t excite, it’s not bad, either. “Kinder Blumen” off 2011’s Days is a sublime instrumental with an exquisite guitar hook that pretty much just repeats itself for four minutes. There are even some good moments on their most recent record, 2014’s Atlas, by far their moodiest/least beige effort to date. But at their best, Real Estate’s music is a stoned daydream—probably not the most exciting vibe for a live show. CIARA DOLAN
RIFF RAFF, TRILL SAMMY AND DICE SOHO, DOLLABILLGATES
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) In the world of popular hip-hop, there’s probably no artist more polarizing than Riff Raff. Like other white rappers such as Iggy Azalea or Macklemore, old school purists argue furiously over Riff’s supposed authenticity—oftentimes directly to his face—yet he remains bulletproof amid the hate storm, and actually seems to get more flamboyant with criticism. It becomes clearer with every swag-drenched verse and over-the-top video that the flashy jewelry, ridiculous clothes, and audacious subject matter might just be facets of his true personality, one that carries such an intangible allure that even James Franco couldn’t resist the opportunity to cinematically borrow from his pimptastic lifestyle. Riff’s newest release Peach Panther vibrates with the signature boom and bling fans have come to rabidly love, adding yet another chapter to an already prolific legacy of shock and awesome. CHRIS SUTTON
STAY WILD EXPO: LITTLE WINGS, OZARKS, CAT HOCH
(World Forestry Center and Museum, 4033 SW Canyon) See Thursday’s preview.
(Revolution Hall, 1300 SE Stark) Maybe it’s been more than 20 years since you thought about Belly. But dust off those warm forgotten memories of the raspy, adorable, reunited ’90s band with bona fides a mile long (ahem, Throwing Muses, the Breeders, L7). With just two (great) albums under their belt and new music in tow, Tanya Donelly’s lovely, dreamy voice will evoke long summers spent hanging out in the sun with your Doc Martens-sporting best friends. COURTNEY FERGUSON
CRATE DIGGERS PDX RECORD FAIR AND AFTERPARTY: DANNY KRIVIT, RON TRENT, ZERNELL GILLIE, REVSHINES, KEZ, DJ SURESHOT, BOBBY D, GRAINTABLE, JON AD, FOOD STAMP, AARON J
(White Owl Social Club, 1305 SE 8th) Vinyl nuts rejoice, for the indispensable crowd-sourced music database site Discogs is hosting their fantastic Crate Diggers annual event once again. Browse obscurities and classics during the daytime record fair, then stick around for a bumpin’ afterparty with cuts from the likes of expert DJs like Danny Krivit, Ron Trent, and Zernell Gillie. You’re gonna wanna hit the ATM before this one. NED LANNAMANN
PROJECT PABST: DURAN DURAN, ICE CUBE, NATHANIEL RATELIFF & THE NIGHT SWEATS, STRFKR, A$AP FERG, ANDREW W.K., LIV WARFIELD, THE COATHANGERS, KYLE CRAFT
(Tom McCall Waterfront Park, 1020 SW Naito Pkwy) Read our column on this weekend’s festival doubleheader of Project Pabst and Festicide.
LATINO METAL NIGHT: EXCRUCIATOR, WARPFIRE, MANIAK, DJ KATON W. DE PENA
(Black Water Bar, 835 NE Broadway) Read our story on Latino Metal Night.
PROJECT PABST: GUIDED BY VOICES, SUMMER CANNIBALS
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) With 23 full-length albums and 17 EPs, getting into Guided by Voices can be daunting. The band’s devout following of power-pop and lo-fi worshipers doesn’t help matters—they can seem like evangelists, dropping references and debating GBV scripture, like which version of “Game of Pricks” is superior: The one on the Tigerbomb EP or the Alien Lanes LP? This exhaustive conversation can seem exclusive to true nerds, but GBV is the Star Wars of power pop—they make music that’s meant to be enjoyed by the casual listener. Take their 1999 major label debut Do the Collapse, an album that’s considered (at least critically) one of their worst. (It’s their Phantom Menace.) Through cheesy over-produced weirdness the album begins with deflated synth, a bright guitar riff, and Robert Pollard wondering why he acts like a fool whenever he’s around his crush. This sweet, timelessly relatable sentiment about the awkward and borderline self-destructive beginnings of love makes “Teenage FBI” one of the best pure pop songs of the ’90s. CAMERON CROWELL
PROJECT PABST: DAVID BAZAN, MICHAEL NAU
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) In the late ’90s, imagining Pedro the Lion frontman David Bazan making an electronic album would’ve been laughable. Bazan’s sparse arrangements were, for many, the antidote to the overproduced, electronics-driven music that was just beginning to repopulate college radio airwaves. Hearing the grace with which Bazan makes the transition into beats and synths on 2016’s Blanco years later is a bit surreal. Compiled from a monthly 7-inch series, the record’s synth-driven soundscapes are such a natural fit with his voice and songwriting that it’s easy to forget what he sounded like without the gear; it might even make you want his whole catalog remixed to sound like Blanco. Acoustic guitars sneak their way into the songs, as do allusions to religion—both of which work just fine. But the album’s best moments are when he ditches these old crutches and makes something that sounds like he’s leaving his faith-questioning, guy-with-acoustic-guitar self firmly in the past. JOSHUA JAMES AMBERSON
PROJECT PABST: TAME IMPALA, WEEN, DRIVE LIKE JEHU, UNKNOWN MORTAL ORCHESTRA, PARQUET COURTS, SHEER MAG, HOP ALONG, DIARRHEA PLANET, TENEMENT
(Tom McCall Waterfront Park, 1020 SW Naito Pkwy.) Project Pabst and MFNW have joined forces to bring you one combined superfest! Australian psych-rock juggernauts Tame Impala and a reunited Ween cap off a terrific Sunday lineup, but be sure to watch out for the Rocky-esque one-two punch from two of Philly’s finest in Hop Along and Sheer Mag, two early-round underdogs who are more than capable of leaving you on the ropes. CHIPP TERWILLIGER Also read our column on this weekend’s festival doubleheader of Project Pabst and Festicide.
STEVE MILLER BAND
(Edgefield, 2126 SW Halsey, Troutdale) There comes a time in many iconic musicians’ lives when, after selling boatloads of records and making boatloads of money, they approach the twilight of their career and feel compelled to say whatever the fuck they want. Steve Miller ruffled a lot of feathers last year during his induction speech at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, then continued his tirade during a post-ceremony interview. A musician who’s been in the business as long as Miller might understandably have a few things he’d like to get off his chest about the corporatization of the music industry. Whether he’s righteously using his position to speak truth to power or just another arrogant, entitled, washed-up rocker is not to be decided here. Besides, his diehard fans are clearly willing to stick by his side—just look at tonight’s sold-out show. SEH
PROJECT PABST AFTERPARTY: SHY GIRLS, THE LAST ARTFUL, DODGR, MY BODY
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) If the term “PBR&B” doesn’t mean anything to you, congratulations. This descriptor pokes fun at how hipsters (i.e., Portlanders) love to wash down their R&B with Pabst Blue Ribbon. It’s alternative, emotive, and provocative, the perfect music to get faded to—think the sauced- and sexed-up sounds of the Weeknd, Miguel, or in this case Portland’s Shy Girls. Solo singer/producer Dan Vidmar’s high tenor is set against a vast electronic sound, stacked keyboards, and nostalgic beats. One listen to “Still Not Falling” from his debut EP Timeshare and you’ll see why he was an ideal opener for neo-soul pioneer Maxwell and other big acts like Haim and Little Dragon. Openers include My Body and the Last Artful, Dodgr, one of the EYRST label’s most promising emcees. JENNI MOORE
PETER BJORN AND JOHN, BAYONNE, JAY SOM
(Revolution Hall, 1300 SE Stark) If you missed San Francisco’s Melina Duterte with Mitski and Japanese Breakfast last month at the Analog, now’s your chance to catch her again, but this time opening for (oddly enough) Peter Bjorn and John. Duterte—who performs under the moniker Jay Som—builds songs around hummingbird guitar riffs that dart from chord to chord with spontaneous precision. Last November she took to her already prolific Bandcamp page to drunkenly self-release Turn Into, a collection of what she calls “finished and unfinished songs.” Then came the opening slot on Mitski’s national tour, followed by a fantastic 7-inch released on Fat Possum Records earlier this summer. Now Duterte’s signed to San Francisco label Polyvinyl, who re-released Turn Into last month. It’s a well-deserved come-up for such a talented musician—after seeing what she did with better production on 7-inch tracks “I Think You’re Alright” and “Rush,” her forthcoming official full-length debut is reason enough to look forward to 2017. CD
HAPPY DIVING, LUBEC, THE WILD BODY, BROODMARE
(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) Happy Diving is the kind of band you throw on when you want to thrash, to squeeze the last drop out of that youthful feeling. With fuzzy, rollicking riffs and hooks all over the place, they’re pretty much the perfect embodiment of ’90s revivalism. But the Oakland band’s raucousness isn’t just replication—on their new album, Electric Soul Unity, satisfyingly droning vocals and crisp production help define their distinct sound. Tonight Happy Diving’s US tour brings them to Portland to play with local bands Lubec, the Wild Body, and Broodmare. This show should yield some real fine thrashing. FIONA WOODMAN
VIOLENT SOHO, MEAT WAVE, SNOW ROLLER
(Analog Café, 720 SE Hawthorne) Blink-182’s new release has left both journalists and fans nostalgic for ’90s-era pop-punk, inspiring a sort of revival of the genre. Chicago’s Meat Wave could fit into this resurgence—last year’s Delusion Moon is riddled with catchy melodies, relentless up-tempos, and vocalist Chris Sutter’s snotty, geographically untraceable punk accent. But stop there and you’re selling Meat Wave short: While pop-punk’s roots lie in the skate park, Delusion Moon also recalls classic college rock bands like Guided by Voices and Pavement. Tracks like “Network” even reference the dry and confrontational style of legendary Chicago musician and producer Steve Albini, while the heavy riffs that propel tracks like “I Was Wrong” tiptoe toward post-hardcore. Delusion Moon’s most accessible elements end up submerged in an abrasive and exhilarating static, resulting in a sound that’s both startling and comfortingly familiar. WILLIAM KENNEDY