TORRES, THE DOVE AND THE WOLF
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Torres (AKA Mackenzie Scott) says her new album, Three Futures, "is entirely about using the body that each of us has been given as a mechanism of joy." Its 10 tracks of deconstructed electro-pop don't sound very joyous, though—they swing wildly between all-consuming despair, rage, euphoria, and numbness. But the record's more about shining light on the fear and insecurity that leads to these states of being, and how knowing yourself can bring joy. Where the Brooklyn-via-Nashville musician's 2015 album Sprinter exploded in big guitar swells and moments of catharsis, Three Futures lingers in Scott's exposed subconscious, with melodies made of dark synth, mechanical drums, piercing guitar riffs, and the dull, electric hum of static. Scott's lyrics are intellectual and introspective, but throughout the record, mentions of peach cobbler, bergamot perfume, and intoxicating lust brings the focus back to the physical body. "Skim" begins as a confrontation with her unfaithful partner ("Did he hold your hips with authority?") and transforms into sober self-reflection ("I know every tense in which I cannot exist"). Standout "Helen in the Woods" sounds like it's meant to soundtrack a thriller, with throbbing synth and Scott's intense, guttural voice. The airy title track pauses at the crossroads of her "Three Futures," which she recently told NPR are "What do you want to happen? What do you think should happen? What will happen?" "To Be Given a Body" closes the record with a hymn, meditating on the hopeful idea that "to be given a body is the greatest gift." With her past work as Torres, Scott proved the power of her voice and songwriting. But Three Futures is something else—gorgeous, raw, and brutally emotional. CIARA DOLAN
THE WAR ON DRUGS, PHOEBE BRIDGERS
(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway) The War on Drugs can be frustratingly boring and infuriatingly good. Where you’ll fall on that spectrum depends on your fondness for studio trickery, tone, and songwriting over compositionally exciting work. That said, the band’s new album, A Deeper Understanding, is not without its moments of bombast. Singer/guitarist Adam Granduciel is an obvious studio rat—his cascades of layered guitar effects and gruff vocals are unabashed nods to ’80s standouts like Don Henley, Phil Collins, or even the Smiths. It’s a weirdly intoxicating mashup of subtle harmonics, but you’d be forgiven if you mistook them for some lost new wave crew. The War on Drugs has obviously ascended to new commercial heights, since they’re performing at the Schnitz. RYAN J. PRADO
CITY OF CATERPILLAR, THOU, DREAMDECAY
(Bossanova Ballroom, 722 E Burnside) Once upon a time, screamo seemed like hardcore’s unified, logical conclusion. Bands like City of Caterpillar—whose lone, self-titled debut remains one of the genre’s most essential LPs—proved that emotive punk could be technical and highly cerebral without forsaking its origins. Now, of course, screamo is a loaded word and bifurcated genre; it was assimilated into the Borg of vapid mall culture in the mid-’00s, and is still used today largely as a pejorative, even by otherwise knowledgeable music fans. (Some people would argue that it has always been a pejorative.) But in the underground, “authentic” screamo’s influence has never been stronger. A younger generation of groups like Touché Amoré and Pianos Become the Teeth have succeeded at imbuing the genre with a new credibility. In Portland especially, classic screamo has always been hot among those-who-know: Defunct bands the Sky Above and Earth Below, A Ghost’s Face Two Inches from Your Own Face, Duck. Little Brother, Duck!, and the inactive (but not conclusively broken-up) Kidcrash all portended its revival. The renewed interest in this style of music is likely what spurred City of Caterpillar out of their self-imposed retirement, but it doesn’t end there: The group’s new single and first release in 14 years, “Driving Spain Up a Wall”—which is actually the first official recording of an old, unreleased track—finds them firing on all cylinders. Tonight’s show is for the punks who have long championed this music in the face of ridicule. Everyone else, take note: Screamo is cool now. Very cool. MORGAN TROPER
(Revolution Hall, 1300 SE Stark) For better or worse, country music went through monumental changes in the early ’90s with the emergence of artists like Garth Brooks, Brooks and Dunn, and Shania Twain. To some, country music was the new rock ’n’ roll; to others, country had lost its way. The Mavericks—with their silky voiced, Cuban-rooted vocalist Raul Malo—released their debut in 1991, straddling the line between country and the music of Malo’s upbringing. It was traditional in the sense that the Mavericks weren’t trying to score hit singles with flashy videos, but you could hear a great band in the making in that debut. This solidified with 1994’s What a Crying Shame, and the band never really looked back. While Malo has taken a few solo detours, the Mavericks always seem to come back without missing a beat. Their new LP, Brand New Day, shows the band dabbling in multiple styles as they always have. It’s striking to hear a band born from such a specific era in country music still writing songs that are timeless and genuine. MARK LORE
BENEFIT FOR PUEBLO UNIDO PDX: INDIRA VALEY, SALLO, DJ MAMI MAMI
(Cider Riot, 807 NE Couch) See From Slacktivism to Activism.
PALEHOUND, HOOP, BED.
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Palehound’s 2015 album Dry Food was a promising debut that showcased singer/songwriter Ellen Kempner’s natural knack for delivering tuneful indie rock in a way that’s warm and welcoming. But her follow-up, A Place I’ll Always Go—released in June by Polyvinyl—is an absolutely stunning step forward. Where Dry Food felt like a collection of songs written and recorded (because it was), A Place I’ll Always Go tells a story of love, loss, and life with startling intimacy. Influenced heavily by the death of a close friend and the start of a new romantic relationship, Kempner’s songs are highly relatable slices of life imbued with the kind of emotional weight and attention to detail that separates songwriters from great songwriters. Musically, Palehound’s combo of prominent bass, fuzzy guitars, and imperfect (but engaging) vocals will tickle the fancy of any fan of ’90s indie rock. The highs totally soar, the lows are a punch to the gut, and A Place I’ll Always Go is one of the best rock albums of 2017. BEN SALMON
CAULDRON, AMULET, R.I.P., MAGNABOLT
(Tonic Lounge, 3100 NE Sandy) Friday the 13th is typically associated with the grisly murder of oversexed coeds by an evil marauder wearing a hockey mask, or superstitious types who consider the day to be unlucky and full of nefariousness. If exploiting the unholiness of this dark day is something you enjoy, local lurkers R.I.P. are providing your soundtrack with the release of their second full-length, Street Reaper. R.I.P.’s “street doom” finds itself somewhere between the heavy cruisin’ vibe of Fu Manchu, proto-metal like Pentagram, and the campy, beady-eyed creepiness of Vincent Price. The 10 tracks of Street Reaper are brimming with fuzzy, quivering, overdriven riffs that will vibrate the shag carpet in the back of your boogie van just as much as they’ll send a tingle up your spine. Mid-tempo songs like “Unmarked Grave” and “Mother Road” are perfectly constructed for driving five miles under the speed limit while looking for the right crypt to pull over and party inside. ARIS HUNTER WALES
BOO BOMB IV: CHINGY, BONE THUGS-N-HARMONY, LLOYD, WARREN G, YING YANG TWINS, MONTELL JORDAN, TOO SHORT
(Moda Center, 1 N Center Ct) For JAM’N 107.5, the Halloween season is all about bringing back the artists of yesteryear. The local radio station’s spookily themed Boo Bomb concert boasts bills that are like walking through a mausoleum of every hit single from the past couple of decades. For its fourth installment, Boo Bomb resurrects relics from the ’90s and early ’00s. Warren G, Too Short, and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony represent an older school of hip-hop and flow, while Lloyd and the Ying Yang Twins hold it down for the more millennial crowd. Quickly becoming a Halloween tradition, Boo Bomb is a way to relive middle school while getting turnt. CERVANTE POPE
PORTLAND HIP-HOP DAY: RASHEED JAMAL, WYNNE, BROOKFIELD DUECE, FOUNTAINE
(City Hall, 1221 SW 4th) Last year’s Portland Hip-Hop Day got rained out and moved from City Hall to the Skype Live Studio, where attendees celebrated the veterans of Portland hip-hop. I went for part of it—the turnout was kind of lame. That’s why I’m happy that this year’s bill, curated by StarChile, is a well-rounded representation of the city’s new wave. DJ O.G. One will be spinning tunes, with Stoopid Burger and Hana’s Authentic New Orleans Snowballs providing the eats. JENNI MOORE
SCREAMING FEMALES, STREET EATERS, MACHO BOYS
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Screaming Females are a bit of an anomaly in the 21st century: a successful rock band that’s been around for more than a decade, still comprised of the same members. Oh, and they’re good—one of the best rock bands going, in fact. The band’s lone screaming female Marissa Paternoster is one of rock’s most creative guitarists, fluidly laying down riffs and peeling off blistering leads. The airtight rhythm section of drummer Jarrett Dougherty and bassist “King” Mike Abbate have been holding it down with Paternoster since Screaming Females’ early basement days in New Jersey. The band is now a festival staple, and critically lauded records like 2009’s Power Move and 2012’s Ugly proved they could capture their sweaty and rambunctious live performances on wax—all while holding tight their punk rock ethos. Simply put: This fucked-up world we live in needs more Screaming Females. ML
HELP IS ON THE WAY PUERTO RICO FUNDRAISER: NEFTALY BORICUAS GROUP, TOBAJ SINGER
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) See From Slacktivism to Activism.
THE AFGHAN WHIGS, HAR MAR SUPERSTAR
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) This is a tough time to be alive, with a world in peril and legends dropping like flies. But we have the Afghan Whigs back, and it seems like they’re sticking around. Greg Dulli and his partners in noir-rock crime released In Spades, the second album of the Whigs’ fruitful second act, earlier this year, and it’s just as spooky, smoky, sexy, and soulful as their ’90s classics. Live, they’re as triumphant as ever. NED LANNAMANN
TERA MELOS, SPEEDY ORTIZ
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Math-core trio Tera Melos could be classified as one of those bands that likes to flit around on the necks of their guitars—like an upbeat OXES or Hella gone post-rock. They stayed glitchy in the years that followed, but also pulled their songs into more listenable shapes. Tera Melos’ 2013 album X’d Out contains “Melody Nine,” which seems to riff on Barry Manilow’s “Mandy,” and I believe that was what originally endeared them to me. Their new record, Trash Generator, represents a further bridge from experimental song structures into precise, unusually arranged works. They sound a little like Devo on this one, especially on ballads of mundane mockery like “Men’s Shirt.” SUZETTE SMITH
SOUND + VISION: THE WILD BODY, MISS RAYON
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) The Merc’s serving up a bitching pair of Portland trios for this month’s Sound + Vision showcase. Miss Rayon brings their tuneful, contemplative post-punk to the party, and just as you’re succumbing to the blissed-out abyss—BAM!—the prolific showpeople of the Wild Body jangle you back to your feet. DIRK VANDERHART
MEWITHOUTYOU, PIANOS BECOME THE TEETH, STRAWBERRY GIRLS
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE César E. Chávez) See All-Ages Action!
WARNING, THE BODY, WORM OUROBOROS, DISPOSSESSED
(Tonic Lounge, 3100 NE Sandy) Warning’s original existence was relatively short, but its output was potent. Formed by singer/songwriter Patrick Walker in the mid-’90s in a town outside London, the band put out a couple promising demos and a very good debut before making its mark on metal forever with 2006’s Watching from a Distance. The album is a towering achievement of traditional doom—it’s heavier than a mountain, slower than molasses, and endlessly melodic. Warning’s riffs are one big helping of sugarcoated sludge after another. But the band’s most distinctive feature may be the vocals of Walker, who emotes as openly and affectingly as any metal frontman. Walker ended the band in 2009 (and started recording under the name 40 Watt Sun), but this week at Tonic Lounge, Warning will play Watching from a Distance in its entirety as part of not only a rare US tour, but also a ridiculously stacked bill. BS