WARPAINT Wed 9/21 Wonder Ballroom Courtesy of Sacks and Co.

WEDNESDAY 9/21

WARPAINT, FACIAL, GOLDENSUNS
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) Tonight’s Warpaint show comes just two days before the LA outfit releases their third full-length, Heads Up. 2014’s Warpaint was a haze of expansive indie rock, but the forthcoming record’s first single, “New Song,” turns a new leaf with four minutes of dynamic dance pop. CIARA DOLAN

WL, JOHANNA WARREN, ILYAS AHMED AND JONATHAN SIELAFF, KYA BLISS, DJ JEN O
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Read our story on Johanna Warren.

HAKEN, THANK YOU SCIENTIST, THE MERCURY TREE
(Ash Street Saloon, 225 SW Ash) For decades, prog (short for progressive rock) has been relegated to dusty LP bins and hyphen-happy genre descriptors for acts with an interest in weird rhythms. There aren’t too many bands who proudly play prog anymore, and those that do tend to be regarded as retro-minded curiosities. Rest assured: Haken is no goof. Over the past few years the London six-piece has become one of the big names in modern prog, thanks to their hooky and ambitious brand of synthy space-rock. Haken’s April release, Affinity, is the band’s most accomplished yet, blending sky scraping melodies, metallic shredding, 21st century electro-pop, and a distinctly vintage vibe into something big, beautiful, and unabashedly flamboyant. BEN SALMON

THE SPECIALS, THE FAR EAST
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) In the late ’70s, as punk was slowly spreading from the British Isles to the United States, a gang of seven Coventry youths quietly set the Kingdom ablaze with their volatile mix of stolen Jamaican rhythms, mod styling, and working-class consciousness. The Clash only scored one British Top 10 hit—the Specials had eight. Popular memory favors the UK’s more famous musical exports, but for a point in time the Specials were the sound of young Britain. Their epochal “Ghost Town,” arguably as much about inner-band tensions as British unemployment, soared up the charts in 1981. Ska’s ebbing popularity has perhaps kneecapped the band in modern sentiment, but the Specials created pop music for a social milieu incredibly similar to 2016. At a time when the National Front encroached on British politics, plastering seven black and white men on your record cover made a statement. MAC POGUE

GUERILLA TOSS, DON GERO, CONSUMER
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) Guerilla Toss has long been enamored with the danceable strains of no wave and post-punk, taking inspiration from the whacked out disco-skronk visions of James Chance and the sweat-stained grooves of ESG. Listening to the New York outfit’s earliest cassette releases, you could hear them straining to burst out of the boundaries of both the lo-fi recording process and their limitations as players and songwriters. The promise of Guerilla Toss has been more than fulfilled on their most recent album (and first for DFA Records), Eraser Stargazer. The band’s sound benefits from having a clear path to tape—these songs are pulsating and multi-layered, with plenty of slow-burning bass lines and the driving force of agogo bells. ROBERT HAM

SIGUR RÓS
(Keller Auditorium, 222 SW Clay) When Sigur Rós broke into the global consciousness with their ghostly, angelic sophomore album Agaetis Bryjun, critics were quick to include the group in the post-rock contingent occupied by Radiohead and Explosions in the Sky. Soon after, however, their Aurora Borealis-tinged sound pastiches elevated the group beyond the average indie darling and—much like fellow Icelander Bjork—helped cement their status as icons of the aural avant-garde. At the epicenter of Sigur Rós’ sprawling din is Jonsi Birgisson, whose crystalline falsetto breezes around his bowed guitar experiments like twin mentholated streams of glue that hold everything in stasis. They’ll sometimes incorporate pop sounds, but Sigur Rós’ artistic integrity always remains a career imperative, recently proven by “Route One,” a 24-hour video voyage around their humble island home with beautiful cinematography and ultimate sonic bliss. CHRIS SUTTON

THURSDAY 9/22

NORTHWEST HESH FEST: RED FANG, AMERICAN SHARKS, WITCH MOUNTAIN
(Dante’s, 350 W Burnside) Believe it or not, our trip around the sun has already brought us to another Northwest Hesh Fest. The first night features local kingpins Red Fang three weeks before the release of their new record, Only Ghosts. If you’re a fan and impatience is a quality you possess, it’s highly probable you’ll get a live preview of some new heavy-riffing earworms. If you fancy your rock ’n’ roll from the circus, or from the dankest, darkest alleys, Friday is for you. This night features a splendid combination of the uncanny mind-whirlwind that is Danava, followed by the sedative, murderous groove of England’s Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats. The final night gets gritty with Texas’ the Blood Royale—their snarling, high-octane metal-meets-punk sounds like High On Fire getting their asses kicked by Zeke while Carnivore plays in the background. ARIS HUNTER WALES

GHOSTLAND OBSERVATORY
(Roseland Theater, 10 NW 6th) You should see Ghostland Observatory live, even if you’ve never heard a single record. Why, you ask? One word: lasers. Plus, they play some funky music that’s sure to get you, as kids say nowadays, “lit.” Coming to us straight from the other city that’s keeping it weird, GLO is sure to bring a bit of that Austin charm to Portland with sing-alongs like “Sad Sad City” and “Give Me the Beat.” The group’s danceable, mostly electronic tunes are the perfect way to close out that Mercury Retrograde. If you’re still not sold, how could you miss a band that used to describe their music on Myspace as “a robot making love to a tree”? GUADALUPE TRIANA

FRIDAY 9/23

NORTHWEST HESH FEST: UNCLE ACID AND THE DEADBEATS, THE SHRINE, DANAVA
(Dante’s, 350 W Burnside) See Thursday's preview.

MEAN JEANS, GOOCH PALMS, LADYWOLF
(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) Australia transplants the Gooch Palms have soaked up Southern California’s beach-punk rays with their first album as expatriates, the charming Introverted Extroverts. Tonight the two-piece is joined by Portland’s ambassadors of pizza-party punk rock, the Mean Jeans, so tonight’s M.O. is simple: Bop ’til you drop. NED LANNAMANN

CHROME SPARKS, ROLAND TINGS, LEO ISLO
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Chrome Sparks describes his energetic body of work as “emotional bass music.” Following the vibrant, thumping breakout track “Marijuana” from his 2013 EP Sparks, the Brooklyn producer has proven his ability to guide listeners through an emotional rollercoaster of warm, hypnotic beats. Last year’s Parallelism EP steered away from the down-tempo vibe of his earlier work with three heady, climactic tracks created from nothing more than analog synthesizers, vocal samples, and tambourine. With his indie-electro side project Promises Ltd. with Charlie Brand of Miniature Tigers, and the very danceable new track “All or Nothing” featuring Angelica Bess, Chrome Sparks’ upcoming Portland stop promises an engaging performance that will sway both body and mind. JENÉ ETHERIDGE

KHRUANGBIN, LUZ ELENA MENDOZA
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) With all the relentless political noise, sometimes you need a wordless getaway. East Texas trio Khruangbin (which means “airplane” in Thai) more than fulfills that request with largely instrumental tunes reveal ing new, colorful dimensions like a twisting kaleidoscope. On their dreamy 2015 debut, The Universe Smiles Upon You, Khruangbin relies on the classic combination of guitar, bass, drums, and sparse vocal touches to create gorgeous atmospherics ranging from hazy surf, to meditative soul, to vintage Thai-funk—the obscure genre that originally brought the members together. From the space-jazz of opener “Mr. White” to the gorgeous, celestial heights of closer “Zionsville,” The Universe Smiles Upon You is a collection that speaks in rhythms and melodies. Performed live, it may easily be one of the best round-trip flights you’ll take this year. KEVIN SMITH

STEVE GUNN AND THE OUTLINERS Sat 9/24 Mississippi Studios Shawn Brackbill

SATURDAY 9/24

NORTHWEST HESH FEST: DEAFHEAVEN, THE BLOOD ROYALE, DIESTO, GREENBEARD, BANQUET
(Dante’s, 350 W Burnside) See Thursday's preview.

HUUN HUUR TU
(Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 NE Alberta) When we assign artists the honorific “traditional,” it often comes across as hollow, or worse, patronizing, as though any culture other than ours should be considered by a different set of standards. Even if intended as a compliment, “traditional,” whether applied to music or food, denotes something ethnic, therefore exceptional, and as a result we end up making excuses for a lot of shitty food and music. But no excuse needs to be made for Huun Huur Tu, from the obscure, Central Asian nation of Tuva. For over two decades, the band has been instrumental in bringing Tuvan throat singing to the West. By employing circular breathing and manipulating muscles in the throat, chest, and belly, the singer produces multiple harmonics simultaneously, creating an array of beautiful and haunting tones. Throat singing, like operatic singing, requires years and years of training and development to master, which is why dismissing it as “traditional music” does not begin to do it justice. SANTI ELIJAH HOLLEY

STEVE GUNN AND THE OUTLINERS, NAP EYES
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Steve Gunn’s June release on Matador Records, Eyes on the Line, is a whorl of ‘verbed-out guitars-on-guitars, keys, briskly shuffling drums, and Gunn’s plainspoken poetics. Aside from the audible nods to folk rock forebears like the Dead and Michael Chapman (who guest stars in the music video for EotL’s “Ancient Jules”), Gunn’s ability to synesthetically evoke the freedom of cruising wide-open spaces on the empty highway gives his music an irresistible and timeless familiarity. The record feels like an eager and optimistic response to “the age-old call of a worn-out truck” that he sings about on “Full Moon Tide.” This joy in aimless locomotion is reflected in the buoyant grooviness that propels his songs forward. SAM BOVARNICK

NAO Sun 9/25 Holocene Courtesy of Sony Music

SUNDAY 9/25

ECHO AND THE BUNNYMEN, ESTER DRANG
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) Although they hail from Great Britain, for me Echo and the Bunnymen will always embody sunny beaches. Growing up in Los Angeles meant going to the ocean whenever my mom got time off work, blasting the legendary post-punk band the entire drive. Cruising down Pacific Coast Highway meant lush pianos, moody guitar riffs, and the rich full-bodied vocals of Ian McCulloch. As we pulled up to the beach, we’d pass a green-trimmed ranch style building that was constantly going out of business, but my mom insisted this place was once the Strand, the only cool venue around, Torrance’s equivalent of the Bronze from Buffy the Vampire Slayer in the ’80s. It was there that she saw her favorite band, Echo and the Bunnymen, five times. It was where she swore she jumped onstage and danced next to Ian McCulloch. On those overcast mornings I’d taste the salty air as we passed the forgotten structure, and my mom would smile as McCulloch’s voice echoed during “Lips Like Sugar.” I could see it: smoky eye shadow, marquee lights, bright tutus and all. CAMERON CROWELL

NAO, KWEKU COLLINS
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) British singer-songwriter NAO’s voice is really quite unique, but sometimes its resemblance to singers like Brandy and Aluna (of AlunaGeorge) is uncanny. She brings a fresh yet retro vibe to the alternative R&B scene, with distinct and soulful vocals fluttering above electronic production, ’90s-style beats, and tracks that dance between pop, funk, and future soul. Last year NAO showed versatility as a guest vocalist on “Firefly” by Mura Masa and Disclosure’s “Superego,” which she wrote. In July she dropped her highly anticipated full-length, For All We Know, and luckily her new album meets the bar she set with repeatable lead single “Bad Blood.” Other dope tracks from the project that we’ll hopefully hear live include the tender and sensual “Intro (Like Velvet),” “Fool to Love,” “Girlfriend,” and “Happy.” JENNI MOORE 

MONDAY 9/26

A very happy birthday to Olivia Newton-John! Let’s do our best to forget about that god-awful Christmas album you made with John Travolta. Maybe you guys should’ve stuck to summer nights.

TUESDAY 9/27

CASS MCCOMBS BAND, HUSH ARBORS
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Read our story on Cass McCombs.

LAURA MARLING
(Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 NE Alberta) Laura Marling is quite the compelling figure. She speaks in allusions and metaphors, using characters and mythology as vehicles to pick apart and expand on topics that are so painfully human: fear of death, the search for “happiness,” alienation from other people and from oneself. The remarkable thing about Marling is how expertly she navigates these topics at such a young age—her first album was recorded when she was just 17. Her grace and authenticity has withstood the pressure of being a young woman in the music industry, and over the years the boldness that was always present in her voice has become louder and sharper. Her transition from acoustic to electric guitar in her latest album, 2015’s Short Movie, reflects this growth: Marling is rawer and more brazen than ever before. FIONA GABRIELLE WOODMAN

MODERN BASEBALL, CHRIS FARREN, WALTER ETC., JANK
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE César E. Chávez) Whatever you think of “emo” as a descriptor, you can’t deny the irony that one of the genre’s fastest-rising bands is known for being funny. Humor in music is a delicate line to toe, but Philadelphia upstarts Jank seem happy to trample it: weed references abound throughout their catalog, recent EP Versace Summer features an absurdly earnest ode to a barely functioning bicycle, and their debut, Awkward Pop Songs, includes the not inaccurate lyric, “This is a rip-off of a Title Fight song.” Even the instrumentation hints at (perhaps unintentional) satire, as the technical, open-tuning guitar noodling fetishized by a niche subset of music fans is exaggerated nearly to the point of caricature. Sure, Jank’s appeal might be largely tied to the listener feeling included in inside jokes, but sometimes the best parties are the ones where only your closest friends show up. NATHAN TUCKER