Springtime Carnivore JULIA BROKAW

SUPERPICK

SPRINGTIME CARNIVORE
(w/ Fruit Bats, Jan 14, 8 pm, Revolution Hall, 1300 SE Stark #110) Waking up in the middle of the night can feel like an intrusion, as though you’re rudely interrupting the world’s few peaceful hours of deep, rich silence with your sudden consciousness. Greta Morgan’s latest under the Springtime Carnivore moniker, Midnight Room, dwells in the stillness of these witching hours. Its 10 indie-pop tracks center on the aftermath of a breakup, specifically the unexpected shock of waking and realizing you’re completely alone. They’re set against an overwhelming sense of unsettling quiet, where even the smallest noise registers as an avalanche of sound. The title track finds Morgan surveying the fallout of her fractured relationship as it’s reflected in the emptiness of her “Midnight Room” and hollowly lamenting, “I built my world around you.” The playful synth anthem “Raised by Wolves” is the album’s turning point, where Morgan begins to take solace in her newfound independence and protects it like a fortress, asking “Can I ever, ever, ever let you in?/Can I ever, ever, ever let you close to me?” “Nude Polaroids” deals in the placid reflection that comes with mixed pain and hope, while “Bad Dream Baby” sounds like Blondie fronting Beach House—it opens with spooky harpsichord sounds as Morgan recounts a bad dream where she’s falling from the sky, her voice cresting over the line “I fall for it every time.” Throughout Midnight Room, the cold discomfort of newfound solitude softens into into hip-swinging celebrations of being alone in the dark. CIARA DOLAN


WEDNESDAY 1/11

VOODOO GLOW SKULLS, BUCK-O-NINE, THE PORKERS, QUESTION TUESDAY
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) Voodoo Glow Skulls somehow survived beyond ska-punk’s salad days in the mid-’90s, and, unsurprisingly to those who hold the band’s horn-centric punk riots close to their hearts, they’re still good. Listening is like busting open a time capsule, but when the chips are down, the Riverside crew—led by the Casillas brothers, Frank, Eddie, and Jorge—still bring some of the sharpest, most diverse music to have emerged from SoCal’s Punk-O-Rama era. 1995’s Firme was their first album on the pioneering punk juggernaut Epitaph Records, and included staples like “Shoot the Moon,” which appeared in the movie Bio-Dome, and the bizarre ska-punk-freak track “El Coo Cooi.” During the band’s heyday, deft stylistic transitions and bilingual lyrics separated Voodoo Glow Skulls from their contemporaries. But things are slowing down after nearly 30 years; they surfaced most recently with their 2012 self-recorded LP Break the Spell. RYAN J. PRADO

THURSDAY 1/12

CAMBRIAN EXPLOSION, FOXY LEMON, QUEEN CHIEF
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) There’s something both primal and revolutionary about Queen Chief’s self-titled debut EP. Twenty-one-year-old frontman Justin Lien’s guitar-forward charge is rooted in both the psychedelic ooze of bands like Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats and the cosmic headspace of a David Lynch-penned ditty. The steady leads that snake through opener “North Dakota Spirit” nod to Lien’s half-Hidatsa Native American, half-Germanic/Nordic heritage and embrace a dynamism that fans of guitar wizards like Hendrix, Mascis, and Homme will enjoy. Queen Chief is an impressive artistic statement and a surprisingly effective slice of hook-heavy riff-rock. RYAN J. PRADO

FRIDAY 1/13

SUMMER CANNIBALS, GAZEBOS, HURRY UP
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) This Friday Summer Cannibals bid farewell to vocalist/guitarist Jessica Boudreaux, who’s moving to Los Angeles after recording a follow-up to 2016’s Kill Rock Stars-released LP Full of It with Hutch Harris of the Thermals (don’t worry, though—the band’s not breaking up anytime soon). Over the course of three full-length albums (including 2013’s No Makeup and 2015’s Show Us Your Mind), the Portland indie/post-grunge three-piece have refurbished the incendiary riffage of Pacific Northwest pop-oriented punk bands like Wipers and Sleater-Kinney. CAMERON CROWELL

JOE PUG, HIP HATCHET
(Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside) Joe Pug’s third full-length, 2015’s Windfall, is an understated masterpiece and a worthy addition to the mega-talented folksinger’s oeuvre. We’re lucky it even exists—as Pug was recording brilliant albums like 2010’s Messenger and 2012’s The Great Despiser and touring the holy living heck out of ’em, he was also wearing himself down on all fronts. “My relationship was in shambles,” he’s quoted on his website, “and creatively I was at a dead end.” So Pug took a break, cleared his head, reconnected with real life, and refueled his artistic tank. The result is Windfall, a barebones singer/songwriter album that showcases the man’s seemingly bottomless supply of memorable melodies and hyper-literate lyrics. If you’re fond of fellas like Jason Isbell, Josh Ritter, and Ryan Adams but haven’t yet dug into Pug’s work, do so immediately. BEN SALMON

THE FLAT FIVE, THE JENNY CONLEE QUARTET
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) After 10 years of touring with acts like Iron and Wine, the Decemberists, Mavis Staples, and the New Pornographers, in October the Flat Five finally dropped It’s a World of Love and Hope. The Chicago pop-vocal supergroup consists of Kelly Hogan, Nora O’Connor, Scott Ligon, Casey McDonough, and Alex Hall, each in-demand musicians in their own right. Their full-length debut comes chock-full of saccharine harmonic pop vittles, replete with tongue-in-cheek fun and addictive melodic flourishes, as heard on the jazzy “You’re Still Joe.” The group’s diverse musicianship band touches on folk, Americana, ’60s pop, and more, with each shapeshift culminating in a new shade of hilarity, perhaps best exemplified by the funny but spiteful breakup track “I Could Fall in Love with You.” RJP

SATURDAY 1/14

GIRL FEST 2017: COCO COLUMBIA, KARMA RIVERA, NEKA & KAHLO, HALEY HEYNDERICKX, COURTNEY NOE, MY VOICE MUSIC, BLOSSOM
(Lola’s Room at the Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) Read our story on Girl Fest.

FRUIT BATS, SPRINGTIME CARNIVORE
(Revolution Hall, 1300 SE Stark) It’s good to have Fruit Bats back. Not that frontman Eric D. Johnson left or anything. But a couple of years ago he hit the pause button on the project he’s been fronting since 1997 to focus on soundtrack work and his synth-pop solo project, EDJ. Fortunately, the hiatus was temporary, and the Portland-based Johnson reopened the Fruit Bats umbrella last year with Absolute Loser, perhaps the coziest and most emotionally optimistic record he’s made. Finding new alcoves and crevasses in the well-mapped canyons of folk and pop, Johnson and his ever-rotating Fruit Bats crew deliver 10 genial, classic-sounding slices of American pop, delivered with twangy twinges, radio-hit harmonies, and the occasional nutzoid space-synth flourish. In his time away from the Fruit Bats name, Johnson needed to strip more and more away from himself in order to find true expression. With Absolute Loser, it’s clear he found out how to do that, and it’s a fantastic thing to hear. NED LANNAMANN

THE PINES OF ROME: OREGON SYMPHONY, CARLOS KALMAR, ALBAN GERHARDT
(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway) Here’s a tip for folks who want to hear some classical music, but might be overwhelmed by the choices out there: Any program with Franz Joseph Haydn is worth checking out. Lucky for you, Portland’s biggest unplugged band has an utterly delightful late symphony by Papa Haydn on tap tonight through Monday, and as if that weren’t enough, the orchestra pairs this 18th-century gem with A Whole Distant World, a cello concerto composed in 1970 by Henri Dutilleux. In an average lifetime, one’s chances to witness an enigmatic concerto inspired by alcohol, drugs, and sex are relatively few, and the fact that cellist Alban Gerhardt will be in the soloist spotlight and maestro Carlos Kalmar will be on the conductor’s podium pretty much seals the deal. BRIAN HORAY

JOHN PAUL WHITE, THE KERNAL
(Dante’s, 350 W Burnside) John Paul White will forever be associated with the Civil Wars, the country-folk duo he and singer Joy Williams formed in 2008. Together they’re known for transcendent harmonies, four Grammy Awards, and their abrupt, public, and acrimonious split. But as a songwriter, White’s among the best, and his career began well before the birth of the Civil Wars. With the August release of his latest solo album, Beulah, on his own Single Lock Records, he’s returning to his roots as a songwriter’s songwriter. It’s his first solo record since the breakup of the Civil Wars, and the music is in many ways familiar, though suffused with more Southern gothic darkness and damnation. Titles like “Make You Cry” and “I’ll Get Even” make it difficult not to think of these songs as coded references to his falling out with Williams, and especially “Black Leaf” with lyrics like “So bitter, in my heart and in my mouth/She’s a quitter, but I guess we’re both quitting now.” The Civil Wars may have officially ended in 2014, but White is only now beginning his period of reconstruction. SANTI ELIJAH HOLLEY

MARCHING CHURCH, BERNARDINO FEMMINIELLI, PUBLIC EYE
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Like David Bowie on shrooms or a drunk Win Butler, Danish musician Elias Bender Rønnenfelt’s bellowing croon is impossible to get around, whether he’s fronting Iceage or his solo project turned full-blown band, Marching Church. 2016’s Telling It Like It Is finds Rønnenfelt pushing further into ’80s avant-garde dance, particularly on songs like “Up for Days,” which could be an outtake from Scary Monsters-era Bowie or Public Image Ltd in its Metal Box period. The decadent hot pulse of Iggy Pop surges through “Information,” and “Heart of Life” echoes Bruce Springsteen—that is, if the Boss were from the cold, frozen North. Throughout Telling It Like It Is, there’s something about Rønnenfelt’s anti-singing that strikes a balance between unlistenable and inspired. WILLIAM KENNEDY

SUNDAY 1/15

DRAGGING AN OX THROUGH WATER, DEAR NORA, STEPHEN STEINBRINK
(Turn! Turn! Turn!, 8 NE Killingsworth) Read our story on Dear Nora.

THE PINES OF ROME: OREGON SYMPHONY, CARLOS KALMAR, ALBAN GERHARDT
(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway) See Saturday’s preview.

CHROME, SORIAH, DEATH OF THE WEST
(Star Theater, 13 NW 6th) Chrome was one of the most terrifying acts to emerge from the post-punk era. Formed in 1975 by the beautifully named duo of Damon Edge and Helios Creed, the group boiled together the dark side of psychedelia, the fury of punk, and the strange delights of analog synthesizers and tape music. The resulting soup, as heard on albums like 1977’s Alien Soundtracks and 1980’s Red Exposure, was black, viscous, and hallucinogenic. Chrome has since gone through various permutations, with Edge leading the charge through the ’80s and ’90s, up until his death in 1995. The mantle was quickly assumed by Creed, who has kept the spirit of the band alive through his solo work and new Chrome recordings, including the sexy beast that is 2014’s Feel It Like a Scientist, which sounds as sinister and intoxicating as ever. ROBERT HAM

MONDAY 1/16

THE PINES OF ROME: OREGON SYMPHONY, CARLOS KALMAR, ALBAN GERHARDT
(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway) See Saturday’s preview.

TUESDAY 1/17

A very happy 24th Birthday to Awsten Knight, lead singer for Houston pop-punk band Waterparks! At last, we can throw off the oppressive shackles of the boringly-ass spelled name “Austin”! Revolution! Revolution! AWSTEN!!