SAMPHA Sun 4/23 Moda Center COURTESY OF THE ARTIST

SUPER PICK

SAMPHA
(Moda Center, 1 Center Court) Known largely for his collaborations with big time hip-hop artists like Solange and Drake, London-based producer/keyboardist/singer Sampha Sisay released his disarmingly beautiful debut LP, Process, earlier this year. This album will shred your heart. Through electro-tinged R&B, Sampha works through the death of his mother and the aftershocks of grief that still buckle him. Against a gorgeously wrought piano melody with fuzzy electronic samples and voiceovers that sound taken from an aircraft cockpit, opening track “Plastic 100°C” uses the sun as a metaphor for this overwhelming pain—he can’t yet look at it directly, but feels like plastic melting in its heat. Sampha’s voice sounds a little different in every song, warped by different manifestations of his sorrow. On the opener his vocals are taut, strained by the presence of a mysterious lump in his throat. He’s completely out of breath throughout “Blood on Me,” a track that courses with anxiety and adrenaline as he fears, “I swear they smell the blood on me/I hear them comin’ for me.” His voice is grounded and soulful on “(No One Knows Me) Like the Piano,” an ode to his nearly lifelong relationship with the piano, specifically the one he learned to play in his mother’s house. Song by song, the aptly named Process reflects Sampha’s struggle to endure through wild waves of pain. It’s an incredible record, both in its shimmering production and powerfully vulnerable lyrics. Few are able to do what Sampha does well, so let’s hope we’re just hearing the first notes of a long and prolific solo career. CIARA DOLAN

WEDNESDAY 4/19

TRAVIS SCOTT, FLYING LOTUS
(Memorial Coliseum, 300 N Winning Way) Travis Scott and Flying Lotus are a match made in electronic music heaven. This will be Scott’s first show in Portland since his 2015 Rodeo tour. Scott is at his best when collaborating with other musicians (Kanye, 2 Chainz, DJ Mustard, The Weeknd, to name a few), so this will surely be an entertaining show. CLARE HOLLEY Read our Soul’d Out Festival preview.

TOOTS AND THE MAYTALS, LEE FIELDS AND THE EXPRESSIONS
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Read our Soul’d Out Festival preview.

THURSDAY 4/20

STUMPFEST VI: DANAVA, MAMMATUS, WHITE MANNA, ACID WASH, MAXIMUM MAD
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) The sixth annual Stumpfest is upon us—three nights of gloriously heavy music formed in the cast-iron crucible where metal, psychedelia, stoner rock, sludge, prog, and the purest elemental riffage all converge and crack heads together. Featured acts included Richmond, Virginia’s doomy Windhand and Boston’s melodically stony Elder, with plenty of excellent local hands on deck like Danava, Lord Dying, and Norska. NED LANNAMANN

LIL DEBBIE, CEEZ MORALES, LORD LAWRENCE
(Bossanova Ballroom, 722 E Burnside) Lil Debbie, the Bay Area DJ-turned-rapper and former sidekick to Kreayshawn, is coming to town on every stoner’s favorite holiday. In 2015, she released an entire album dedicated to weed, and often raps about smoking and growing marijuana. I can’t think of anyone better to party with on 4/20. CLARE HOLLEY

BILAL, SHY GIRLS, LAURA IVANCIE
(Revolution Hall, 1300 SE Stark) Read our Soul’d Out Festival preview.

LUPE FIASCO
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Read our Soul’d Out Festival preview.

SHURA, WOMEN’S BEAT LEAGUE DJs
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Read our Soul’d Out Festival preview

FRIDAY 4/21

GIORGIO MORODER, DAM-FUNK
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Surveying today’s landscape of computer-dominated music, it’s tough to think of a figure more influential than Italian composer and producer Giorgio Moroder. A pioneer of Italo disco and almost singularly responsible for the enduringly icy-hot sound of ’80s synthpop, Moroder has in recent years followed trends rather than starting them, but seeing this living legend in the flesh is bound to be reward in itself. NED LANNAMANN

STUMPFEST VI: WINDHAND, BELL WITCH, LORD DYING, R.I.P., DARK CASTLE
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) See Thursday's preview.

SOLANGE, JAMIRE WILLIAMS
(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway) Last year, Solange released one of the most gorgeous and important records of all time, A Seat at the Table. Throughout its 21 radiant and complex R&B tracks, Solange demands respect (“Don’t Touch My Hair”), makes room for her anger (“Mad”), and remembers to love herself (“Borderline (An Ode to Self Care)”). Her Portland show will be nothing short of heavenly. CIARA DOLAN Read our Soul’d Out Festival preview.

BIG FREEDIA, TRIBE MARS
(Dante’s, 350 W Burnside) Read our interview with Big Freedia.

INAUGURADA LA PRIMAVERA: NIGHT 1
(Melody Ballroom, 615 SE Alder) Read our Soul’d Out Festival preview.

I LOVE THE ’90s TOUR: SALT N PEPA, VANILLA ICE, ALL 4 ONE, TONE LOC, ROB BASE, YOUNG MC
(Moda Center, 1 N Center Court) It goes without saying that the I Love the ’90s Tour lineup probably has both late ’80s/early ’90s hip-hop heads and millennial ironists squealing in their jammy jams. This type of exhibition exploits the unavoidable pockets of nostalgia brewing in the shadows of your grown-up sociopolitical austerity, and it’s possible that this could not come at a better time. While it’s strange for every generation to be re-marketed the decades of their youth in a “those were the days” package tour, the fact remains that in the history of modern hip-hop, pop, and even indie rock, the groups assembling at the Moda Center Friday night are legitimate royalty, with the exception of Vanilla Ice (sorry, guys). Salt N Pepa with Spinderella?! TONE LOC?! I don’t even wanna get into Young MC, Rob Base, or All 4 One right now, or I’m going to start cry-typing all over my MacBook. RYAN J. PRADO

MR. WRONG, SAD HORSE, BOBBY PERU, COOL FLOWERS
(Clinton Street Theater, 2522 SE Clinton) I dare you to listen to Mr. Wrong without having visions of Olympia, Kathleen Hanna circa 1992, and Bratmobile cassettes dance around in your head. Mr. Wrong’s throwback to riot grrrl punk might seem derivative to listeners who aren’t filled with perpetual anger and fear—which, if that’s a foreign concept to you in 2017, what the fuck—but with America’s current regime, the ever-glaring lack of intersectionality in liberalism, and you know, the state of the whole world right now, all I want to hear is music for femmes to scream to. Though Mr. Wrong’s songs could benefit from more instrumentation and maybe slightly crunchier production, listeners really get the impression that what they’re hearing is an impassioned, direct line between the band’s frustration and our headphones. I’m all for it. EMMA BURKE

SATURDAY 4/22

STUMPFEST VI: ELDER, INTRONAUT, MUSTARD GAS AND ROSES, NORSKA, SÓL
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) See Thursday's preview.

DEAD PREZ, MIC CRENSHAW, LIBRETTO, MAZE KOROMA, MAT RANDOL, RICH HUNTER
(Dante’s, 350 W Burnside) It’s a sign of how outrageously stacked this year’s Soul’d Out lineup is that the venerable duo Dead Prez is one of the more low-key imports. Also very odd: that Biketown, the city’s Nike-swoosh-festooned bike share system, was offering up free tickets on Twitter. DP wants nothing to do with Nike’s capitalist bullshit, they’re probably going to do push-ups (and maybe rep Rollerblading) on stage, and they’re the fucking best. DIRK VANDERHART Also read our interview with Rich Hunter.

OHIO PLAYERS, SHOCK FEATURING MARLON McCLAIN, ANDY STOKES
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Read our Soul’d Out Festival preview.

ROSE TRIBE INVITATIONAL: TYUS, CASSOW, JONNY COOL
(Star Theater, 13 NW 6th) Read our Soul’d Out Festival preview.

VOZ HISPANA CAMBIO COMMUNITARIO BENEFIT: GILLIAN FRANCES, QUONE, TWO MOONS, ARBOR DAZE, BEING AWONE
(SMART Collective, 6923 SE Foster) An all-star sampler of Portland punk and indie rock comes together Saturday night to play Smart Collective, which might be Portland’s best youth-oriented DIY space. Multi-instrumentalist Gillian Frances headlines with dreamy folk music layering sparse guitar and piano melodies for an effect that will probably make you involuntarily cry. The bleeding-heart pop-punk of Quone has all five members contributing vocals (sometimes during the same song) like an intersectional, leftist Los Campesinos! Two Moons, the intricate three-piece who released one of my favorite EPs of the year, Strings, is the breathy guitar-pop songwriting project of Aaron Liu. Arbor Daze follows the sinister and haunting lineage of outlaw country, while Being Awone plays pretty odes to mundane childhood memories and adult anxieties. All of the donations collected at the door will go to Voz Hispana Cambio Communitario, a fantastic Woodburn-based nonprofit focused on developing community organizations in marginalized communities that offers aid to all immigrants, regardless of status. CAMERON CROWELL

DEBUSSY’S LA MER: SIMONE LAMSMA, OREGON SYMPHONY
(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway) Saturday through Monday, the Oregon Symphony delivers its most seaworthy program of the season, kicking off the show with The Hebrides from Felix Mendelssohn and wrapping things up with Claude Debussy’s beautifully impressionistic La Mer—perhaps one of the most transporting orchestral pieces ever created. The setlist also features Circulating Ocean, a darkly mysterious 2005 composition from Toshio Hosokawa that plumbs the currents of imagination and showcases sounds you simply won’t hear anywhere else. As if all this wasn’t already worth the price of admission, Rip City’s sickest unplugged band will be joined by virtuosic Dutch fiddler Simone Lamsma to perform Benjamin Britten’s one and only violin concerto. Written in response to the dread of 20th-century war, Britten’s sonic wonder is a technical and emotional challenge for the soloist, and a relentlessly intriguing work for the listener. BRIAN HORAY

THE COOL WHIPS, THE STRANGE EFFECTS, THE SELLWOODS
(Twilight Café and Bar, 1420 SE Powell) By now, power-pop has become something of a folk tradition. While musicians operating in other genres balk at imitation, power-pop artists shamelessly emulate their heroes, from the mop tops and Bomp! pins down to the Rickenbackers and Chelsea boots. It could be said that Eric Ramon of Portland stalwarts the Cool Whips is really just emulating himself—he played guitar in the obscure ’70s power-pop band Continental Miniatures, who scored a minor hit with a cover of Dusty Springfield’s “Stay Awhile.” Because the style of music is inherently formulaic, the line between “good” and “bad” power-pop is often imperceptible. It all comes down to hooks and guts. Baddies, the Cool Whips’ latest LP, has both in spades: First track “My Old Man Is a Drag”—which, yes, is a song written by adult men about how much they dislike their dad(s)—sounds like Rubber Soul-era George Harrison teaming up with ? and the Mysterians. Dewy-eyed reverie “Liberace’s Lamp” highlights the Cool Whips’ flair for imaginative lyricism, an uncommon trait among modern power-pop bands, and highlight “Inside Outsider” sounds like the band put their favorite ’60s songs in a blender, with an intro more than a little reminiscent of “Last Train to Clarksville” and a chorus that could’ve been lifted from a Hollies song Graham Nash never completed. Baddies is everything a great power-pop record should be—let’s just hope the rest of the world is listening. MORGAN TROPER

SUNDAY 4/23

THE xx, SAMPHA
(Moda Center, 1 N Center Court) English band the xx plays the kind of angsty, minimalist electro-pop that probably makes arena venues feel like fishbowls full of black glitter and emotion. Earlier this year the band released a new album called I See You, which moves beyond make-out music with polished production and club-ready tracks like “Dangerous.” CIARA DOLAN

DEBUSSY’S LA MER: SIMONE LAMSMA, OREGON SYMPHONY
(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway) See Saturday’s preview.

THE ZOMBIES
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) Seeing bands you love perform songs you love almost 50 years after their initial release is often a fool’s game. You know you’re buying tickets to what could be a total dismantling of any positive associations you have with the music, potentially ruined by seeing musicians who were once on the cutting edge of cool now wearing Tommy Bahama. When I saw the Zombies perform 1968’s beautiful baroque-pop album Odessey and Oracle all the way through in 2015, I was expecting the disappointing scenario outlined above. Instead, the band delivered in full. They were charming, self-aware, and sounded just like the recordings. The Zombies’ set delved beyond psych-rock hits like “Time of the Season,” showcasing the band’s Kinksesque literary songwriting and beautiful harmonies. I can’t recommend seeing them perform Odessey and Oracle highly enough. EMMA BURKE

THE CACTUS BLOSSOMS, JACK KLATT
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) The Cactus Blossoms’ 2016 album You’re Dreaming is one of the best easy-like-Sunday-morning records around. It’s gentle and warm, but not at all sleepy, the perfect thing to ease you into a day of recharging and relaxation. Brothers Jack Torrey and Page Burkum wield harmonies that rival the Everlys and Louvins for sheer symbiosis, traversing the ghost radio waves of America’s past, when AM broadcasts would spread country tones and folksong storytelling to broad swaths of the nation, reaching big city apartments and faraway farms in tiny hamlets alike. So put on the Cactus Blossoms this Sunday morning and greet your week with a fresh sense of purpose—and when evening falls, head on down to the Doug Fir to catch the Minnesota outfit in person. NED LANNAMANN

SANCTUARY SUNDAY: ANT’LRD, KYLE LANDSTRA, PULSE EMITTER
(Leaven Community Center, 5431 NE 20th) For nearly four years, Coco Madrid’s ambient experimental monthly series Sanctuary Sunday has taken over different venues around Portland. These shows feature musicians from varying electronic subgenres, from glitch to IDM to drone to experimental soundscape. This month celebrates the event’s first tape compilation released by Portland’s Ewe of Now Recordings, and three featured artists will perform. Ant’lrd (AKA Colin Blanton) makes music for riding swirls through interplanetary drone-scapes—like something out of a science fiction novel, it will immerse you in otherworldly illusions. The shimmering electric sound of Kyle Landstra glistens in a faraway dimension of splendor. The epic and multi-faceted work of Pulse Emitter (AKA Daryl Groetsch) is a haze of bliss covered in metallic dreams of lost worlds. CHRISTINA BROUSSARD

NE-HI
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) NE-HI is a four-piece guitar-rock band with all the right guitar-rock band influences. Take a spin through their new album Offers and you’ll hear some sweet New Zealand jangle, some urgent post-punk snarl, some prickly indie-rock guitars, and a hint of shoegaze haze. Birthed in the DIY/basement scene on Chicago’s Northwest side, the band first gained traction thanks to hometown music critic Greg Kot’s Best of 2014 list, which led to more touring, more attention, and a desire among NE-HI’s members to write better songs. The result is Offers, which shimmers, shakes, and splinters in a consistently satisfying way. NE-HI does things you’ve heard before, but they do them well. If you’re an “indie rock is dead” type, there are probably better options for you in town. But if NE-HI’s thing is your thing, get thee to Mississippi Studios. BEN SALMON

MONDAY 4/24

DEBUSSY’S LA MER: SIMONE LAMSMA, OREGON SYMPHONY
(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway) See Saturday’s preview.

SPIRAL STAIRS, BLESST CHEST
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) From 1989 to 1999, Scott “Spiral Stairs” Kannberg played a couple of key roles in Pavement. He was the legendary indie rock band’s punk rock backbone, famously no-showing on an early interview with Rolling Stone. He was undeniably the second songwriter, usually contributing a modest tune or two per album to contrast Stephen Malkmus’ distinctive sound. Kannberg’s post-Pavement career has been sporadically productive, but he’s back now with his second solo record, Doris and the Daggers, and it’s a charming reminder that Kannberg’s Pavement songs were usually highlights of those albums. The guy just has a natural knack for writing low-key earworms built on deceptively addictive guitar parts. Guests on the album include Kelley Stoltz, Broken Social Scene’s Justin Peroff and Kevin Drew, and the National’s Matt Berninger—a testament to Kannberg’s massive influence on an entire generation of indie-rockers. BEN SALMON

TUESDAY 4/25

TAYLOR BENNETT, BRIAN FRESCO, MELO MAKES MUSIC
(Peter’s Room in the Roseland, 8 NW 6th) The Taylor Bennett Show is coming to Portland and you should check out the 21-year-old, Chicago-based socially conscious musician as he makes his way up the rap ranks. Hop on Spotify, listen to Bennett’s Broad Shoulders from 2015, and then this year’s Restoration of an American Idol with the great song “Grown Up Fairy Tales” featuring Chance the Rapper, who, ya know, also happens to be his older brother. DOUG BROWN