SUPER PICKS

21 SAVAGE
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Though it's the birthplace of Young Thug, Gucci Mane, and OutKast, it seems like Atlanta is perpetually fighting to earn respect for its contributions to hip-hop. From “Player’s Ball” to “Bad and Boujee,” Atlanta hip-hop has long stood apart—musically and geographically—from contemporaries in New York and California, taking advantage of its relative isolation to come up with innovative new sounds. Admittedly, not everything that comes out of Atlanta is legendary. The same city that gave us André 3000 and Childish Gambino also gave us Bubba Sparxxx and CyHi the Prynce (where you at, CyHi?). Atlanta has gone through different waves of hip-hop, beginning in earnest with the Organized Noize/Dirty South era of the ’90s. But right now might be the city’s most exciting time yet, thanks to the freshman crew of eccentrics: Migos, Rich Homie Quan, Thugger, and 21 Savage. Despite representing the same area code, 21 Savage sounds like no other Atlanta rapper, past or present. His flow (if it can even be called that) is slow, murky, and vaguely sinister. After putting out a couple of decent but unremarkable mixtapes, 21 teamed up with go-to producer and fellow Atlantan Metro Boomin, and last year the duo released an EP, Savage Mode. This collab proved to be the perfect mix, as Metro’s dark and foreboding production provides the perfect backdrop for 21’s cough-syrupy vocals. With his icy stare and anti-club demeanor, 21 Savage may be an unlikely face of the new class of Atlanta hip-hop, but he goes to show that you can never know what to expect from the ATL. SANTI ELIJAH HOLLEY

JULIE BYRNE
(Revolution Hall, 1300 SE Stark #110) This past January, singer/songwriter Julie Byrne released her second full-length album, Not Even Happiness. Byrne currently lives in New York City, where she works seasonally as a Central Park ranger, but her new record dwells in many corners of America. Bookended by opener “Follow My Voice” and closing track “I Live Now as a Singer,” Not Even Happiness plays like an inward-facing travel diary, where Byrne reflects on the times “I have dragged my life across the country.” Though these are love songs, the love doesn’t seem to exist in the places where Byrne feels free: “To me, this city’s hell,” she sings. “But I know you call it home/I was made for the green/Made to be alone.” Not Even Happiness tallies all of these stops she makes, piecing together both warm and tense memories into a jagged stained glass window: birds calling across the prairie and “the warmest days of love” (“Morning Dove”), driving through the Southwest under pure blue skies and longing to feel moved (“Natural Blue”), dreaming of the wild evergreen forests of the “mystic West” when she feels lonely and trapped in her room (“Melting Grid”). It’s uncomplicated folk music—Byrne sings quietly with her acoustic guitar against the light touch of strings, flute, harmonica, and samples—and this simplicity isn’t for everyone. Not Even Happiness is starkly beautiful, the kind of album that’s comforting as it churns with internal conflict. CIARA DOLAN


WEDNESDAY 4/12

PLANNED PARENTHOOD BENEFIT: ROB SONIC, DJ ZONE, VYTELL, BLOOD MONEY & BILLY WHAT, ST FANTASY, MCF
(Kelly’s Olympian, 426 SW Washington) It’s always a good time to donate to Planned Parenthood (100 percent of tonight’s ticket proceeds will be donated to the organization), but the deal is made even sweeter given an opportunity to see one of Portland’s shiniest up-and-coming gems: Vytell. Vanessa Tello is a Mexican American emcee/singer from McMinnville and Los Angeles, and her breezy sound and sunshine-infused lyrics definitely reflect her roots. Nowadays the curly-haired artist is performing a bunch of new jams, and if you enjoy the super-chill sounds of Noname, or the flow of Eve, you’re probably going to vibe with Vytell. JENNI MOORE

WHITNEY, JULIE BYRNE
(Revolution Hall, 1300 SE Stark) Read our Julie Byrne super pick.

HONESTY: KUSH JONES, NEYBUU, MASSACOORAMAAN, SVENGALI
(The Liquor Store, 3341 SE Belmont) Los Angeles’ Juke Bounce Werk is taking the footwork sound worldwide with a crew of 12 like-minded producers. The sample-heavy and rhythmically complex genre was borne from ghetto house and incubated in Chicago clubs. It’s drawn attention for the epic dance battles it inspires as teenagers face off with lightning-fast legwork. This week Juke Bounce Werk member and seasoned producer Kush Jones makes his Oregon debut, bringing his meticulous DJ skills to the Liquor Store for a night rounded out by some of the West Coast’s own proponents of the movement. Known for pulling influences from around the world, Kush Jones is among the brightest of this quickly evolving and refreshing vein of artists. He’s joined by local synthesis virtuoso Neybuu (who makes experimental dance music informed by many years spent studying under a tabla master), prolific Fade to Mind producer Massacooramaan, and certified rave starter Svengali. DANIELA SERNA

THURSDAY 4/13

HOMESHAKE, WAMPIRE
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Peter Sagar of Homeshake used to play guitar in Mac DeMarco’s band, which has inspired a deluge of lazy comparisons to the slacker prince of indie. Sure, Sagar’s got a similar scrappy, boyish charm, but his MO couldn’t differ more: While DeMarco’s still making fart noises or shadow puppets that look like his genitalia, Sagar has already lit candles, served you an expertly cooked plate of pasta carbonara, and put on your favorite episode of SpongeBob. Homeshake’s uncluttered yet beguiling bedroom R&B pairs Sagar’s undeniable goofiness with the slow-motion groove of songs that feel like someone pulled apart a Prince record and smoked one too many lavender spliffs before trying to put it back together. Sagar has slowly moved away from the live instrumentation of early Homeshake songs; this year’s Fresh Air finds his evolving minimalist production still offering plenty of breathing room. NATHAN TUCKER

FRIDAY 4/14

LITTLE STAR, OH ROSE, BLACKWATER(HOLYLIGHT)
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) The Pacific Northwest looks like was made for hiding secrets, with dense green forests, foggy valleys, and jagged mountaintops. Tucked away in Olympia, Oh Rose is making some of the region’s most captivating music. Listen to 2015’s Seven—the band’s primal folk reflects the surrounding landscape in guttural yowls, murky bass lines, and droning synth that hangs in that background of songs like something sinister lurking in the woods. CIARA DOLAN Read our review of Little Star’s new record.

ORA COGAN, JOHANNA WARREN, RED STEPPES
(Beacon Sound, 3636 N Mississippi) Vancouver, BC, psych-folk musician Ora Cogan has been releasing hauntingly beautiful albums since 2007, most recently last year’s Shadowland. Its 11 Americana tracks aren’t earth-shattering—they might slip between your fingers if not for Cogan’s bright voice, which cuts through the spacy, slow-burning instrumentals like sharp glass. She sounds kind of like Portland’s own Alela Diane, the way her seemingly simple songs unfold and expand. Last month Cogan debuted “The Light,” the first single from her forthcoming release Crickets. It’s notably more up-tempo than her previous work, with heavy synth and multi-layered percussion weaving complex melodies like a spider tending to its web. Last time I went to a show at the small-but-cozy Beacon Sound the audience sat on the floor, which will be the ideal setting to see Cogan perform. CIARA DOLAN

HOOP, BRIANA MARELA, BRUMES, CAVE CRICKET
(Mother Foucault’s, 523 SE Morrison) Over the next few years, we’re going to start hearing a lot of Northwest artists under the influence of the roughshod and tuneful indie pop of the ’90s born from labels like K, Yoyo Recordings, and Kill Rock Stars, itself a scene marked heavily by the post-punk sounds of the UK. That could result in music suffering from literal and figurative generation loss, but hopefully we’ll get more bands like Hoop. This Seattle-by-way-of-Anacortes quartet has steadily built momentum over the past three years when it began as the bedroom recording project of Caitlin Roberts. In that time, she has fleshed out the sound from its slight and shaky but absolutely compelling beginnings to a gently powerful expression of her oft-vulnerable emotional state, complete with icy-hot guitar tones and fragile vocals that express a multiplicity of ache and delight. ROBERT HAM

HORISONT, DIRTY STREETS, TIME RIFT, BEWITCHER
(Bossanova Ballroom, 722 E Burnside) Since Sweden’s Horisont formed in 2006, the band has released five excellent full-lengths that fall right in line with Scandinavia’s throwback heavy rock movement. We’re talking rough and tumble riffage, groovy dual guitar harmonies, tasteful organ and synth work, and flawless falsetto vocals. While some of their contemporaries like Graveyard, Witchcraft, and Ghost B.C. enlist darker themes and Sabbathesque doom and gloom vibes in their hard rock, Horisont leans more toward bands like Kansas or Thin Lizzy. Their most recent effort, About Time, would’ve been an album-oriented rock classic if it were released in 1979. It’s a catchy, accessible pop record that doubles as a hard-strutting foot-stomper that would keep the squares at bay. You’d think since other Scandinavian bands have found great success touring in the US that Horisont would’ve been around the horn a few times by now. But they didn’t set foot here until late 2016, and they skipped the Northwest. Now’s your chance to see them in action for the first time. ARIS HUNTER WALES

THE DAMNED

(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) While rock ’n’ roll history has yet to vindicate the Damned’s massive contributions, longtime fans will recognize them as one of the most important bands of all time. In fact, they’re one of the rare acts that can say that they pioneered two completely different genres. Their incendiary 1976 debut single “New Rose” is often cited as one of the very first examples of UK punk pressed to wax, while garishly named characters like Captain Sensible and Rat Scabies provided ample aesthetic influence to antiestablishment escapists the world over. Meanwhile, goth aficionados will claim that singer Dave Vanian’s ghostly face makeup, vampiric demeanor, and melancholy wordplay are the major foundations of their beloved dark medium as well. Whatever your ilk, when presented with the hellfire energy of classic sing-alongs like “Neat Neat Neat,” the Damned’s iconic status will not be up for debate. CHRIS SUTTON

THURSDAY, TOUCHÉ AMORÉ, BASEMENT, CITIES AVIV

(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) This is a seriously stacked bill, with noise-rap cool dude Cities Aviv sitting alongside melodic screamo faves Touché Amoré, and the post-hardcore pioneers of Thursday headlining. But don’t sleep on Basement, the excellent pop-rock band wedged into the middle of the night. Last year, the English quintet returned from a two-year hiatus with Promise Everything, an album packed with mega-catchy melodies and buzzy electric guitars worthy of pop-meets-emo’s glorious heyday. Yes, Basement sounds like a less pensive Sunny Day Real Estate, or Braid with actual hooks, or the Deftones with somewhere to be, or... well, Jimmy Eat World. They sound a lot like Jimmy Eat World! Some reviews of Promise Everything took Basement to task for being too derivative, but it’s 2017—just about all new music is derivative of something. If you’re going to sound like another band, best pick a good one. BEN SALMON

SATURDAY 4/15

A TRIBUTE TO BILLIE HOLIDAY: AMENTA ABIOTO, MOOREA MASA, CRISTINA CANO, & MORE
(Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 NE Alberta) The 11th annual tribute show for Lady Day is named after Sidney J. Furie’s 1972 film, Lady Sings the Blues, and will see 14 artists from various genres take the stage to honor the jazz singer’s legacy. Among them is charismatic vocalist/melodic looper Amenta Abioto, and soulful folk singer Moorea Masa. Proceeds from the event will benefit the 2017 Siren Nation Festival. JENNI MOORE

21 SAVAGE, YOUNG M.A., TEE GRIZZLEY, YOUNG NUDY
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Read our 21 Savage super pick.

EL PUEBLO UNIDO: SUCULIMA, CILANTRO, PURA VIDA ORQUESTA, SAVILA, OLEADA, TITO AMAYA
(Portland Mercado, 7238 SE Foster) Read our story on El Pueblo Unido.

STOLAS, MYLETS, ICARUS THE OWL, FIGHTING CASPER, CASCADIA
(Analog Café, 720 SE Hawthorne) Mylets is the solo recording project of looping pedal savant Henry Kohen. The preternaturally gifted Indiana native makes blistering, industrial-leaning rock, his dizzying guitar parts interlocking with the sort of precision that comes from both rigorous practice and a life of constant touring since he signed with Sargent House at just 17 years old. Fans of metal, math rock, the noodlier side of emo—really any technically driven guitar music—will find something to love about Arizona, his most recent full-length, but there’s a pop melodic sensibility to the best Mylets songs that sets them apart. If you’ve ever thought there might be an alternate universe in which Linkin Park is actually kind of great (and if you haven’t, fair enough), you’ll find something instantly gripping about leadoff track “Trembling Hands.” I saw Mylets last year at Los Angeles’ now-defunct venue Pehrspace, and like everyone else, I spent the whole set trying not to blink in case I missed something. NT

LAURA GIBSON, LENORE.

(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Laura Gibson’s 2016 record Empire Builder is named after the Amtrak train that helped her move from Portland to New York City in 2014. Its 10 folk-pop songs reflect the strangeness of hurtling through time and space while watching the scenery change outside the train’s windows. She’s performing solo, and will be joined by Lenore, the brand-new collaboration between local musicians Joy Pearson (the High Water Jazz Band) and Rebecca Marie Miller (the Mynabirds). So far they’ve only got two acoustic songs online, “Dig” and “Pull the Reins,” both released last January as Living Room Sessions. Pearson and Miller’s voices seem like shadows of each other—they fit together perfectly, but remain distinct even as they meld. CD

SUNDAY 4/16

BANKS
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) The cover of her latest album The Altar presents Banks unadorned by the trappings of the typical pop diva. It’s this starkness that permeates her complex, emotional songcraft, with startlingly raw concepts that push and embrace the incredibly intelligent production into a genius elixir of technology and human drama. Her mastery of poetic openness draws the listener inside modernist beats by sprinkling trembling ribbons of libido over every emboldened chorus. The resulting magic is both addictively accessible and introspectively enlightening. Some critics may try to tag her sound as “alternative R&B” because of her white skin, but this label is just an extremely glib interpretation of what Banks’ music represents—it’s an exciting expression of electronic soul injected with a warrior’s wisdom that breathes with an essential quality that is achingly absent from most mainstream avenues. CHRIS SUTTON

IAN SWEET, POST LIFE
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Ever since Boston’s Krill broke up, there’s been a vacancy of excellent, jagged-sounding guitar music that exists on the fringes of pop. But New York three-piece Ian Sweet is here to fill the Krill-sized hole in the hearts of modern indie rock fans with Jilian Medford’s shimmering lo-fi vocals and swelling psych-rock jams. (See “Slime Time Live.”) Last year Ian Sweet released a debut LP, Shapeshifter, on Sub Pop imprint Hardly Art. On tracks like “All Skaters Go to Heaven,” cataclysmic drumming expands and contracts like any good loud-quiet-loud Pixies song. Shapeshifter is a meditation on distraction, loneliness, contradictions, and parsing through it all to find pockets of youthful joy. CAMERON CROWELL

THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS, WAXAHATCHEE
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) I first heard Waxahatchee a few years ago, when a friend covered “Grass Stain” at an open mic. Upon hearing her sing Katie Crutchfield’s simple but cutting lyrics about an ill-fated relationship, I misattributed Crutchfield’s writing to my dear pal, and lashed out after the show thinking she’d written the song after observing my love life. Waxahatchee remains my contemporaneous noise-rock ally. The New Pornographers, who have been in my life much longer, always supplied me with realistic visions of the future. The feelings evoked by their album Mass Romantic—that trials and tribulations never cease, but maturing means learning to cope—still resonate. EMMA BURKE

MONDAY 4/17

MOUNT EERIE, LORI GOLDSTON
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Read our interview with Phil Elverum of Mount Eerie.

GUIDED BY VOICES
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Guided by Voices make a lot of promises they don’t keep, whether that’s teasing new albums that never release or an impending breakup. What is for certain is that Robert Pollard, the last original member guiding these newbie band member voices, has reached his own iconic marker. Not only has he spearheaded a first in Guided by Voices history with the release of the band’s first double album, the forthcoming August by Cake, but this dual album is also Pollard’s 100th studio release since 1986. Not even the most ancient of musicians still kicking it can add that to their Wikipedia page, so consider Pollard a rock legend who will hopefully put out at least 50 more before actually calling it quits. CERVANTE POPE

RÓISÍN MURPHY
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) Irish singer/songwriter Róisín Murphy arrived on the international music scene in the ’90s under that loose rubric known as “trip-hop.” Under the name Moloko, she and Mark Brydon recorded a quartet of cheeky-yet-emotional albums that used the ups and downs of their romantic relationship as source material, matching it with music that was by turns danceable and introspective. The key was Murphy’s pliable voice, which could go disco diva and Tin Pan Alley as needed. That versatility comes across even stronger in her solo material. With the support of futuristic producers like Matthew Herbert and Eddie Stevens, Murphy has taken her career into Grace Jones territory. Her most recent albums—2015’s Hairless Toys and 2016’s Take Her Up to Monto—are toe-curling affairs, all hairpin musical turns and devilish thrills that challenge and embrace dance music conventions in equal measure. RH

TUESDAY 4/18

JULIA JACKLIN, GOLD STAR
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Last year Australian country singer Julia Jacklin released her debut LP, Don’t Let the Kids Win. Jacklin’s warbling voice and guitar tones sound a whole lot like Angel Olsen, who’s one of her major inspirations, but with glossier pop melodies and simple lyrics that make her music easily relatable. She spends songs thinking about getting old, marveling at the passage of time, and fantasizing about having Zach Braff as her dad (can’t relate to that one). Sometimes Jacklin seems to hang out in worn country tropes like they’re a comfortable old pair of overalls—she calls people “darlin’” a lot—but Don’t Let the Kids Win is a pretty and playfully ruminative introduction. CD

GUCCI MANE, PLAYBOI CARTI
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) Gucci Mane should be happy. In the past year he got his first Billboard #1 with his feature on Rae Sremmurd’s truly magnificent track “Black Beatles.” His very public romantic relationship is truly heartwarming, definitely the cutest thing on my Instagram feed. After years of Gucci’s codeine-fueled Twitter beefs, the industry seems to be on his good side. His presence in various factions of pop culture (he’s appeared in a Harmony Korine film, recorded with Marilyn Manson, and maintained his deep trap music connections) makes him a great example of mainstream media’s relationship to rap music, rap culture, and how we appreciate rappers. His music is fun, but his ever-growing prominence in mainstream culture seems to have more to do with his over-the-top persona. EB