SLØTFACE Thurs 12/8 Holocene Fabian Framdal Fjeldvik

WEDNESDAY 12/7

MATMOS, JEFF CAREY, BULLY FAE
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Experimental electronic musicians Drew Daniel and M.C. Schmidt—AKA Matmos—have incorporated everything from the amplified neural activity of crayfish to the snips and slices of plastic surgery into past releases. The duo’s latest album, Ultimate Care II, was constructed entirely out of sounds pulled from a Whirlpool washing machine of the same name, and yes, the machine will be accompanying Matmos tonight in their attempt to transfix an audience with the powers of a mundane household chore. CHIPP TERWILLIGER

WHEN THE FUTURE WAS NOW: ZOZMA, QUIET! WITH JOHN SHIRLEY, GALAXY RESEARCH
(Valentines, 232 SW Ankeny) For the month of November, Ron Gassaway (leader of freeform art rock ensemble Party Killer) curated a series called When the Future Was Now, which connected the worlds of sci-fi cinema and art with the local underground/experimental music scene. If you missed any of the shows last month, you’ll have a chance to rectify that tonight, since one of the events had to be rescheduled due to the anti-Trump protests. And, lucky you, it’s one of the best of the bunch, in part because it features an appearance by John Shirley, the sci-fi/horror author who helped usher in the cyberpunk revolution and penned lyrics for Blue Öyster Cult. He’ll be joined by trance-inducing psych rockers Galaxy Research and Zozma. ROBERT HAM


THURSDAY 12/8

My Body Jeremy Hernandez

PHANTOGRAM, MY BODY
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) Read our story on My Body.

COLIN MELOY, EDNA VAZQUEZ
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) When he’s not tweeting erotic fanfiction about the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge militia standoff or penning The Wildwood Chronicles, a series of fantasy novels for children, Colin Meloy spends his time fronting the Decemberists, one of Portland’s most successful and beloved indie rock bands. With his distinctive voice and knack for perfectly arranged folk songs, it’s Mr. Meloy if you’re melancholy. After last year’s sold-out pair of “V Is for Victory” benefit shows, Meloy is once again taking the stage solo to promote the Victory Academy, a school for kids on the autism spectrum. With the gorgeous Latin American-tinged tunes of Edna Vazquez opening the night, this show promises the sort of warmth that’ll make you feel like you just might survive this winter. JENNA FLETCHER

SLØTFACE, BLOWOUT
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) While Sløtface has yet to release a proper full-length, the young Norwegian four-piece has already made a mark in Scandinavia and the UK with a barrage of singles and EPs. Singer Haley Shea’s arresting voice and often politically charged lyrics are set against high-gain guitar-pop that borrows energy from guitarist Tor-Arne Vikingstad and drummer Halvard Skeie Wiencke’s history playing together in a hardcore band. It’s not necessarily a new formula in 2016, but still demands attention when well executed. Sløtface certainly places a premium on production value: Though the energy and subject matter often tend toward riot grrrl territory, the production is all pop shimmer. The hyper-compressed rhythm section sits thick in the mix, and the blown-out bombast isn’t far from the Swedish pop sheen of mega-producer Max Martin. It’s a style that serves the urgency of Shea’s lyrical preoccupations well, as evidenced by the recently released EP Empire Records. NATHAN TUCKER

YOUNG THUG
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Wildly polarizing within the hip-hop community for his gender fluidity and blessed with an oddly compelling rhyme style, Young Thug represents the experimental mystique that permeates the current generation of young hip-hop artists. Cascades of mixtapes and LPs featuring Afro-futuristic collaborations with elite producers have built an insatiable fanbase that’s sympathetic to a melodic sensibility unencumbered by intelligible words or rap traditions. Couple this eccentric genius with a tumultuous career riddled with enough corporate drama for a season of Empire, and you’ve got a bonafide superstar vanguard in the modern age, twisting and churning trends with every tweet and abstract verse. Most importantly, Young Thug makes music that’s cerebrally infectious and challenging in all of the best possible ways. That’s rare to find in music this popular, and judging by the many devotees currently emerging from the Atlanta underground, it’s highly influential, too. CHRIS SUTTON


FRIDAY 12/9

MIJO, ASSS, 2TABS
(S1, 4148 NE Hancock) Read our story on Mijo.

HANDEL’S MESSIAH: PORTLAND BAROQUE ORCHESTRA
(First Baptist Church, 909 SW 11th) Call me a Grinch, but the worst part of the holidays is modern holiday music. The last half-century has given us a cornucopia of reindeer- and snowflake-themed sap that’s nauseating enough to make you reenact the Virgin Mary’s immaculate morning sickness. If you prefer festive listening that’d never be played at the Gap, why not double down with classical? The Portland Baroque Orchestra can help—its annual performances of Handel’s Messiah are something of a local holiday tradition, and deservedly so. Messiah is among the most beloved choral works in Western music, a gorgeous and frequently thrilling piece. PBO performs using period instruments, which means that this version is about as close as possible to what Handel would have witnessed himself. And if your attention span doesn’t exceed the length of a Netflix holiday special, the final performance is abridged—just the highlights. NT

HALEY BONAR, NIGHT MOVES, MARTY MARQUIS
(Analog Café, 720 SE Hawthorne) How long can one be under-appreciated? For more than a decade, wickedly talented singer/songwriter Haley Bonar (rhymes with “honor”) has been cranking out top-shelf folk-rock from her home base of Minnesota, first in Duluth (where she was discovered at an open mic by Low’s Alan Sparhawk) and then in St. Paul. She lived in Portland briefly, too. Don’t misunderstand: She has consistently earned positive reviews, and her profile has risen over the years. But Bonar’s two most recent solo albums—2014’s Last War and this year’s Impossible Dream—fully deliver on her considerable promise by stepping up the pace and adding more distortion to the guitars. The result: Two near-perfect pop-rock records that neatly pair toe-tapping tunes and lyrics that grapple with, well, life in general. It’s beautifully bittersweet stuff from a woman who knows what she’s doing, and who does it better than most. BEN SALMON

XASTHUR, JOHANNA WARREN, NEST, VRADIAZEI
(High Water Mark, 6800 NE MLK) “It reminds me of death. I like it.” That’s what one user commented on the Bandcamp page for Xasthur’s best album, 2006’s Subliminal Genocide. For 15 years, Scott “Malefic” Conner’s one-man black metal band was one of the most creative and prolific in the underground, dispersing his immersive collision of hellish howls and melodic guitars across a torrent of LPs and split releases with like-minded bands. Then in 2010, Conner shelved Xasthur to focus on dark acoustic music under the name Nocturnal Poisoning, and went on to release three albums (including one instructively titled Doomgrass). But last year Conner announced that he’d revive Xasthur, play live under the name for the first time, and release a new album called Subject to Change. It’s not a return to black metal, though—“There’s no need to rehash old Xasthur songs,” he wrote. “The acoustic ones are plenty dark, and sometimes they’re not.” Fair enough, Scott! BS


SATURDAY 12/10

PARTY BOYZ DECEMBER TO FORGET: SUN ANGLE, WIMPS
(The Liquor Store, 3341 SE Belmont) The one good thing about this miserable time of year is: parties galore. And tonight the podcasters/impresarios of Party Boyz celebrate winter cheer with their semi-annual December to Forget (DTF) bash. Enjoy loud punk rock from Seattle’s Wimps and freaky trop-psych from Portland’s Sun Angle. Dance. Wear an ugly sweater. Bring a donation. Drink. Party your face off and forget how cold, wet, and dark it is out there. NED LANNAMANN

JUMP JACK SOUND MACHINE
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Mississippi Studios’ monthly queer dance party Jump Jack Sound Machine was founded a few months ago by Portland musicians Natasha Kmeto and Chanticleer Tru of Chanti Darling. Its ongoing theme is getting sweaty, so come prepared to shake your body without inhibition and cleanse yourself of this year’s bullshit. CIARA DOLAN

HANDEL’S MESSIAH: PORTLAND BAROQUE ORCHESTRA
(First Baptist Church, 909 SW 11th) See Friday’s preview.


SUNDAY 12/11

BIG DADDY KANE, VURSATYL, GRAND ROYALE
(Star Theater, 13 NW 6th) Big Daddy Kane stepped back from the spotlight many years back, but his shadow of influence still looms large over the many scenes of today’s diverse hip-hop culture. And for good reason: Kane is one of the greatest MCs to ever put voice to mic, so the chance to see this legend in the flesh should absolutely not be missed. Long live the Kane. NED LANNAMANN

HANDEL’S MESSIAH: PORTLAND BAROQUE ORCHESTRA
(First Baptist Church, 909 SW 11th) See Friday’s preview.


MONDAY 12/12

HANDEL’S MESSIAH: PORTLAND BAROQUE ORCHESTRA
(First Baptist Church, 909 SW 11th) See Friday’s preview.

THE ALBUM LEAF, RITUALS OF MINE
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Upon an examination of the Album Leaf’s sprawling discography, you’ll find a career devoted to maximizing the potential of pastoral orchestration. It seems as though multi-instrumentalist Jimmy Lavalle’s spiritual calling is to fuse as much flesh-and-bone humanity as he can into the coldest and most distant electronic spheres. Primarily centered on deftly meditative keyboard or guitar motifs, Album Leaf compositions slowly build and expand on the idea of melancholic vibration while testing the parameters of studio technology and deploying a wide palette of stylistic sources (break beats, electronica, indie rock). When these sounds are paired with impressionistic films or expressive lighting, the resulting ambience can reach the sublime. These artistic philosophies shine beautifully on Between Waves, their newest release on the highly respected metal label Relapse, just the latest legendary imprint to believe in this amazing band. CS

THE PRETENDERS
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) The modern qualifiers of what it means to be a “bad bitch” may flaunt money, ass, and physical fleekness all over social media, but just a couple of decades ago, the sheer confidence and strength of being an independent femme was all it took. Chrissie Hynde, frontwoman of the Pretenders and one of the original four-piece’s two living members, is the ultimate bad bitch. As far as anyone’s concerned, there’s no Pretenders without Hynde, something she broaches within the lyrics of Alone, the group’s latest. Some of the tracks definitely imply that she prefers to fly solo, but that doesn’t mean she turned an icy shoulder to collaborator and fellow Ohioan Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys, who lent his bluesy ears to the LP’s production. CERVANTE POPE


TUESDAY 12/13

Pylon Reenactment Society Courtesy of the artist

PYLON REENACTMENT SOCIETY, HURRY UP
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Read our story on Pylon.

TOH KAY
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) Perhaps it should be embarrassing to admit that the music I’ve cried to most often is from Streetlight Manifesto lead singer Tomas Kalnoky’s solo project, Toh Kay. To say I was obsessed would be an understatement—Streetlight was the first concert I attended alone my freshman year of high school, and I had prepared a month prior by studying the lyrics of the band’s entire discography. Toh Kay’s tender and intricate acoustic demos album, Streetlight Lullabies, was what Freud would have deemed a “transitional object.” It’s music that makes the frantic, angsty, existential crises of late-adolescents sound soothing. For hours I’d hole up in my room listening to the musings of “Somewhere in the Between” and “A Better Place, a Better Time,” reading Kalnoky’s liner notes about moving from the Czech Republic to New Jersey, and humming in the missing horn sections. And crying. CAMERON CROWELL

ROBERT GLASPER EXPERIMENT
(Revolution Hall, 1300 SE Stark) Robert Glasper might be better known for his collaborations than his solo output, but that’s not meant as a knock. He’s worked with Erykah Badu, Maxwell, Anderson .Paak, Norah Jones, Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West, and just about everyone else in contemporary hip-hop, jazz, and R&B. An accomplished piano player, composer, and producer, Glasper provides the bridge between hip-hop and jazz—not always an easy feat (sorry, but Jazzmatazz wasn’t quite a game-changer). His group, the Grammy-winning Robert Glasper Experiment, melds jazz with hip-hop in the same way Glasper’s idol, Miles Davis, melded hip-hop and rock. It doesn’t always work, but when it does the results can be profound, as is the case with their latest album, ArtScience. Without any of the usual high-profile collabs, it allows the four-piece to demonstrate their technical proficiency and innovation without being overshadowed by a more famous guest. Glasper is unapologetically unconfined to genre, which he states midway through the album’s opening track: “My people have given the world so many styles of music, you know? So many styles. So why should I confine myself to one? We want to explore them all.” SANTI ELIJAH HOLLEY