2 CHAINZ, THE TRAP CHOIR, YOUNG DOLPH
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) It only took a few gallons of cotton candy-colored paint to transform an unassuming Atlanta bungalow into the Pink Trap House. Dreamt up by 2 Chainz (FKA Tity Boi), what started as an ingenious marketing tool soon became an empowering community haven. The Pink Trap House was born earlier this summer, in the days leading up to the release of 2 Chainz’s fourth studio album, Pretty Girls Like Trap Music. During its month-long lifespan, the space was much more than a prime setting for Instagram selfies. First serving as the site for an intimate listening party open to the public, the Pink Trap House later hosted church services, a gallery featuring the work of local artists, and a free HIV testing clinic. A nearby nail salon was similarly transformed with pink paint, and gave away free manicures. Unsurprisingly, 2 Chainz’s campaign set the internet ablaze, and critics are lauding Pretty Girls Like Trap Music as his best album yet. With splendidly nasty bass lines and lyrics tackling topics from death to addiction to the government, it’s an excellent homage to his trap roots. Though he’s been at the forefront of the genre since the late ’90s, 2 Chainz’s rise has been slow and steady. His 2011 divorce from his former moniker, Tity Boi, proved successful in his quest to appeal to wider audiences, and his recent work only furthers this exposure. Though the Pink Trap House was repainted and put back on the market, its legacy and impact on the community will endure. By honoring residents of Atlanta and the city’s musical traditions, 2 Chainz effectively proved trap is a valid art form worthy of celebration. Here’s hoping he continues to spark a movement as he eases into his role on top. EMILLY PRADO
GUANTANAMO BAYWATCH, HONEY BUCKET, MELT
(The Know, 3728 NE Sandy) For years, the hard-working, surf-rocking punks of Guantanamo Baywatch have been a major part of Portland's soundtrack—and tonight at the Know, they're celebrating the release of their latest album on Suicide Squeeze, Desert Center. Pulling speedy riffs from classic rock and surf while brimming with rambunctious attitude, it's a must-listen—and hearing its tracks live will be even better. ERIK HENRIKSEN Read our story on Guantanamo Baywatch.
SHABAZZ PALACES, PORTER RAY
(Star Theater, 13 NW 6th) With rap stars like Aminé and the Last Artful, Dodgr coming out of Portland, some might think we’re entering a Pacific Northwest hip-hop renaissance. But Seattle duo Shabazz Palaces have been pioneering the region’s new wave for years, starting with Black Up, released on Sub Pop in 2011. Ishmael Butler and Tendai Maraire bring unique influences to their work, Butler from his past with Digable Planets and Maraie from his background in traditional African music. Together they use unexpected samples to create melodies that range from catchy to ominous. Shabazz Palaces’ two new albums—Quazarz: Born on a Gangster Star and Quazarz vs. The Jealous Machines—lean into Afro-futurism, using space-aged sounds on songs like “Federalist Papers” and “Fine Ass Hairdresser.” With an array of cool collaborations, they’re consistent purveyors of incredibly compelling avant-garde hip-hop, and their latest ventures are no exception. EMMA BURKE
SYLVAN ESSO, FLOCK OF DIMES
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) The rise of electro-pop acts like Odesza, Tycho, Chvrches, Purity Ring, and Sylvan Esso as ticket-selling powerhouses is one of the more interesting recent trends in the music business. Not because these bands are connecting with throngs of people—it’s no surprise that young folks dig electronic sounds plus catchy tunes—but because they’re all so darn likeable. Sylvan Esso, for example, is a duo from Durham, North Carolina, that pairs Nick Sanborn’s glitchy, burbling sounds with Amelia Meath’s warm voice and lively vocal melodies. Plus they keep it low-key on the personality/spectacle front—it’s not that bands have to be boring to be enjoyable, I’m just saying there’s obviously a huge market for danceable electro-pop without all the whomp and glitter of the Electric Daisy Carnival. For this two-night stint, Sylvan Esso will fill the Crystal Ballroom with amiable sounds, preceded by like-minded Flock of Dimes, AKA Jenn Wasner of Wye Oak. BEN SALMON
TRACY BRYANT, THE LAVENDER FLU
(White Owl Social Club, 1305 SE 8th) Since SoCal surf/garage label Burger Records’ inception less than a decade ago, it’s released more than 700 albums, usually from psychedelic bands with an affinity for reverb and vintage gear. Corners was one of those groups, and their 2014 album Maxed Out on Distractions was one of the best and most distinctive in the label’s catalog. Tracy Bryant robotically shouted lyrics in his Ian Curtis-like voice over airy synth, slithering bass lines, and sinister guitar riffs that never seemed to follow consistent chord progressions. Though they never released another album, Corners’ members have continued on with promising solo careers—multi-instrumentalist/producer Billy Changer has put out some stellar and completely bizarre albums, and last year Bryant released his lo-fi pop record Subterranean. Tonight Bryant performs a solo show. CAMERON CROWELL
KID KOALA, DJ O.G. ONE, SURVIVAL SKILLS
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Kid Koala’s known for performing in a furry koala costume (a teddy bear version of DeadMau5, I suppose), but he’s also a highly skilled DJ who remixes and scratches blues and jazz from the 1920s. His 2000 album Carpal Tunnel Syndrome nods to this—he might not be orchestrating the heaviest dance beats, but his old-school techniques breathe new life into classics. Kid Koala’s new album, Music to Draw to: Satellite, is pure, ambient pop, and he’s also getting attention for the song he contributed to the Baby Driver soundtrack, “Was He Slow?” EB
BJ THE CHICAGO KID, EPP, BLOSSOM
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Chicago exports, man. We don’t appreciate them enough. The City of Broad Shoulders gave us the innovation of celery on hot dogs, and the best kind of pizza to make fun of. You’ve had Malört, right? It’s disgusting in all the right ways. Sure, sure: R. Kelly. But Chicago’s marketing R&B singers these days that aren’t complete creeps! BJ the Chicago Kid puts out soulful, timeless tracks. More importantly, the man can sing. DIRK VANDERHART
UMII, HOSANNAS, BROWN CALCULUS
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Portland R&B singer Reva Devito and Los Angeles-based producer B. Bravo recently joined forces as Umii, and tonight they’re celebrating the release of their shimmering debut EP, This Time. Between Devito’s sultry vocals and Bravo’s slo-mo grooves, these electro-funk tracks are ideal for both the bedroom and the dance floor. CIARA DOLAN Read our story on Umii.
SYLVAN ESSO, FLOCK OF DIMES
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) See Wednesday’s preview.
(Bossanova Ballroom, 722 E Burnside) As heavy metal has splintered into subgenres over the past few decades, many bands have responded by leaning into the extremes: faster, louder, sludgier, nastier, slower, folksier, stonier, blacker. Sometimes it seems like playing straightforward metal, free of adjectives, is a lost art. So it’s worth taking a moment to recognize Pallbearer, a thoughtful quartet out of Little Rock, Arkansas. They’re generally tagged as doom metal, but the band’s entire career has been a gradual evolution away from that term. Pallbearer came out of the gate a fully formed beast with 2012’s Sorrow and Extinction, and solidified itself as an important new force in heavy music with 2014’s Foundations of Burden. The group’s third album, 2017’s Heartless, finds them continuing to push upward and outward, exploring slow-to-mid-paced metal with an exceptional combination of heaviness, incredible grace, and melodic know-how. BS
LITTLE STAR, BLOOD ORPHANS, FIRST BOYFRIEND, FLOATING ROOM
(Black Water Bar, 835 NE Broadway) Earlier this month, Olympia’s Blood Orphans (fronted by Matt Summers) finally released their long-awaited album You’re Dead, which flawlessly blends lo-fi synth-pop with the fleshed-out sounds of a full backing band. Summers creates soundscapes that are both well-defined and atmospheric, with each song seemingly existing in its own contained but expansive universe. They’ll be joined by fellow Olympians First Boyfriend, along with Portland’s Floating Room and Little Star. Prepare for an evening of top-quality Pacific Northwest indie pop. DELANEY MOTTER
JEFF’S PLASMA BLAST 2.0: MEAN JEANS, WALTER TV, SKELEVISION, & MORE
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE César E. Chávez) It’s the second annual Jeff’s Plasma Blast, a festival founded by psych-punk trio Skelevision (FKA Thong) and inspired by the one and only Jeff Goldblum. This year’s lineup is almost entirely local, excluding Seattle’s Fabulous Downey Brothers and Walter TV of Vancouver, BC. If you’re not afraid to dive into the plasma pool, this all-ages show is a must. CERVANTE POPE
WASHED OUT, DEGA
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Thanks to “Feel It All Around” being the theme song of the controversial TV series Portlandia, there’ll always be an association between Portland and Washed Out (AKA Ernest Greene). But Greene’s much more than that overplayed single—this summer he released Mister Mellow, his shortest, sweetest, and most sample-driven album yet. It’s saturated with the grooves of genres like disco, funk, house, and pop, all in a bite-sized, easily digestible package. DM
CHANTI DARLING, MAARQUII, BRYSON CONE, SURFER ROSIE
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) This month’s Mercury-sponsored Sound + Vision show will move out of the quaint room at Mississippi Studios’ and opt instead for a day party on the much-warmer Bar Bar patio. A spectacular lineup will grace the ears of those strolling down Mississippi avenue: rock from Surfer Rosie, synth pop from Bryson Cone, post-trap from rapper/singer Maarquii, and disco-dancey R&B from headliner Chanti Darling. This is great opportunity to see excellent local acts for free while simultaneously enjoying the hot weather and a cold drink, so do it while you still can. JENNI MOORE
ALIBI’S 70TH ANNIVERSARY LUAU: DON AND THE QUIXOTES, THE APOLLO FOUR
(Alibi Restaurant and Lounge, 4024 N Interstate) The Alibi is beloved for everything it is—super old, super kitschy, and a reliable redoubt of karaoke in inner North Portland—but also for everything it’s not: overly clean, overly friendly, overly cheap. So you’ll truck down to the bar’s day-long 70th Anniversary Luau today to celebrate all of that. But you’ll also go to see Don & the Quixotes’ absurdly fun and debauched surf rock. Oh, and to sing. DIRK VANDERHART
2 CHAINZ, THE TRAP CHOIR, YOUNG DOLPH
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Read our 2 Chainz super pick.
BRYSON TILLER, H.E.R., METRO BOOMIN
(Moda Center, 1 N Center Ct) Last time singer/rapper Bryson Tiller came to Portland it was to kickoff his tour in support of his certified platinum album Trapsoul, and it was so glorious. His drool-worthy studio debut put him on the map, and now his new album True to Self has prompted another excursion: the Set it Off tour. Tiller is a great talent on his own, but the tour is made even more irresistible by featuring remarkable opening acts like R&B singer H.E.R., as well as producer/DJ Metro Boomin. JENNI MOORE
MATTHEW SWEET, TOMMY KEANE
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) In 2009, A.V. Club named Matthew Sweet’s 1991 record Girlfriend the best power pop album of the ’90s, but even that feels like an understatement. In retrospect, Girlfriend—which was sandwiched in between the releases of Nevermind and Teenage Fanclub’s Bandwagonesque—is one of the most secretly influential rock albums of the modern era, having foreshadowed everything from Flying Burrito Brothers-style alt-country to the Elephant 6 Collective’s askew Anglophilia. But it’s also exceptional due to Sweet’s lyrics, unusual for a landmark power pop album. Though firmly couched in love song tradition, Girlfriend tackles the ugly stuff—jealousy, desperation, separation—with so much maturity and perspective, it makes “The Concept” seem like a backhanded apology. As if to shrug off his hour-long therapy session with the listener, Sweet closes Girlfriend with “Nothing Lasts”—one of the cruelest, most self-aware endings to any rock album. MORGAN TROPER
MARGARET GLASPY, LIZA ANNE
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Last year, New York singer/songwriter Margaret Glaspy released her debut LP, Emotions and Math—12 well-crafted pop songs that range from bubbly to downtrodden to boisterous. Glaspy’s got powerhouse, classically trained vocals, skilled songwriting chops, and confidence that’s likely inspired by the success of musicians who paved her way (namely Liz Phair). Though the record doesn’t sound groundbreaking, it’s openhearted, vulnerable, and unpretentious. That kind of music feels particularly valuable right now—life’s already complicated enough. She’ll be joined by Nashville folksinger Liza Anne, who writes songs that’re extremely twee, but very pretty. CIARA DOLAN
ECLIPSE! Here’s what you should really do to celebrate this rare solar event: grab your nearest boombox, stand on your roof holding said boombox over your head, and blast “Total Eclipse of the Heart” while basking in the path of near-totality, baby.
KEVIN MORBY, SHANNON LAY
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) With his new album, City Music, Los Angeles singer/songwriter Kevin Morby sounds like a wayfaring Lou Reed—his metropolitan love songs capture the electric feeling of being dwarfed, surrounded by life, and high on the communal energy that only exists in cities. Morby will be joined by rising folksinger Shannon Lay (guitarist for the punk band Feels), who’s releasing her stunning new record Living Water next month. CIARA DOLAN