KESHA, SAVOY MOTEL
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Most people know Kesha Rose Sebert for her infamous 2010 debut single “Tik Tok.” The record-breaking hit sent a shockwave through mainstream pop—who was this, singing about getting crunk and brushing her teeth with hard alcohol? With the help of producer Dr. Luke, Kesha cultivated her reputation as pop music’s unapologetic bad girl. She grew up in Nashville with ties to the music industry—her mother Pebe Sebert is a country singer/songwriter who co-wrote the 1978 Joe Sun single “Old Flames (Can’t Hold a Candle to You),” which was popularized by Dolly Parton’s 1980 version—then dropped out of high school and moved to Los Angeles to focus on music. Between 2010 and 2013 Kesha released three number-one singles, but paused her career in 2014 and checked into rehab. During this period, she recorded 14 new songs and dropped the dollar sign from her name. Later that year, Kesha sued Dr. Luke for sexual and emotional abuse throughout their 10-year working relationship, but the highly publicized legal battle was dismissed in 2016. In August she released her third studio album, Rainbow, on Dr. Luke’s label Kemosabe Records (though he’s no longer the CEO). On the record’s lead single, the piano ballad “Praying,” Kesha belts an empowered kiss-off to her former producer: “‘Cause you brought the flames and you put me through hell/I had to learn how to fight for myself/And we both know all the truth I could tell/I’ll just say this is ‘I wish you farewell.’” It sets the tone for the rest of Rainbow—in the title track, she sings about seeing in color after living in darkness for years. The album’s 14 songs don’t stick to one genre: There’s R&B (“Woman”), high-octane pop (“Let ’Em Talk”), and country (“Hunt You Down”). Opening track “Bastards” and “Finding You” are unpolished and gorgeous—it’s shocking how good Kesha sounds when she’s returning to her Nashville roots, singing with a slight drawl over simple acoustic guitar, pedal steel, hand-claps, tambourine, and swelling horns. She even includes a rockabilly tribute to “Old Flames (Can’t Hold a Candle to You)” with backing vocals from Dolly Parton herself (swoon). Unfortunately, some of the mistakes she makes on Rainbow are inexcusable: “Woman” features the excellent Dap-Kings Horns, but also the line “Don’t touch my weave,” which sounds cringey coming from Kesha, a white woman who’s done her fair share of appropriating Black culture. “Hunt You Down” is a country stomper that pays homage to the Carter-Cash clan, but it’s tone-deaf to call yourself a “blue-eyed gypsy.” Rainbow is an imperfect comeback—it’s invigorating to hear how powerful Kesha sounds after enduring so much, but disappointing that she also sounds pretty ignorant. CIARA DOLAN
DENZEL CURRY, TRASH TALK
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE César E. Chávez) Miami rapper Denzel Curry came to town earlier this year to headline a sold-out show at the Doug Fir. Even though I didn’t know too many of his songs at the time (besides “Knotty Head”), the show was the perfect level of rowdy, and an absolute blast. If you need to blow off some steam, Denzel Curry’s hyper-lit show is for you. JENNI MOORE
DRACULA: PHILIP GLASS, KRONOS QUARTET
(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway) Dracula has seen many iterations, adaptations, and evolutions over the years. Bram Stoker’s 1897 gothic novel spawned so many horror subgenres, there’s no way to fully measure its influence on popular culture. The original 1931 talkie film starring Bela Lugosi had no score and only two pieces of music, with almost no dialogue. In other words, it was the perfect canvas for legendary composer Philip Glass to create the first original musical score for the re-release of Dracula on video in 1999, with the multi-pronged talents of the equally legendary Kronos Quartet in mind. For this special event at the Schnitz, the entire film will be shown as Glass and the Kronos Quartet perform the score live in tandem. RYAN J. PRADO
THE JESUS AND MARY CHAIN, COLD CAVE
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) Is there any album that marries angelic songwriting and soaring melodies better than Psychocandy? The Jesus and Mary Chain’s 1985 debut isn’t just a perfect rock record, it’s a tour de force of pop deconstruction and dark aesthetics. Much like Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, these barbed-wire reverberations inspired riots and violence during the band’s performances in 1980s Scotland. These days, doomy gems like “Just Like Honey” are better suited for rainy weekend bike rides through the city. The Jesus and Mary Chain’s long and successful career has seen them dial back the chainsaw Phil Spector sonics while developing an influential swarthiness. The band’s new album, Damage and Joy, proves they’re still as sharp and insolent as ever. CHRIS SUTTON
ZOMBI, AUTHOR AND PUNISHER
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) One of the more satisfying movie trends of the last decade has been the resurrection of grandiose synth soundtracks. Zombi cofounder Steve Moore has enjoyed some success in this realm—his throwback score for the 2014 horror film The Guest lifted that glorious genre mashup into the stratosphere—but he hasn’t abandoned the project he started with drummer Anthony Paterra in the early 2000s. Although Zombi’s slick and sinister melodies are deeply indebted to the seminal work of John Carpenter and Goblin, the duo has also clearly spent some time studying the post-rock canon, especially the futuristic explorations of Trans Am. The resulting pastiche, like the band’s baleful namesake, is strangely familiar and downright eerie, an uncanny exhumation and a promise of future devastation. To listen to Zombi is to invite terrible images in through your ears: doors inching open, gloved hands reaching through your window, and endless nights spent in the presence of something your god was too afraid to name. CHRIS STAMM
YELLE, LEWIS OFMAN
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) The story goes that while promoting their 2007 debut, Pop-Up, French electropop band Yelle ran out of small T-shirts, and lead singer Julie Budet effusively encouraged Portland fans to wear XL sizes cinched with a belt. This scrappiness and optimism (evidence of how unprepared Yelle was for their own fame) never fails to make me smile. Occupying a perfect island of cheeky, beat-driven raps, melodic dance pop, and dazzling performative fashion, Yelle—composed of Budet and producer GrandMarnier—never fails to produce energizing hits that are good for both heart-racing aerobics and bright-eyed enthusiasm. Budet still staunchly refuses to sing in English, although on the new single “Interpassion” she comically riffs some travel guide-inspired lines like “Are you from California?” and Spanish phrases like “Hola, qué tal?” SUZETTE SMITH
ALVVAYS, JAY SOM
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Two indie pop heavy-hitters are landing in Portland this week to play two sold-out shows at the Doug Fir. Alvvays broke into the spotlight with the 2014 earworm “Archie, Marry Me” (how hasn’t this appeared on Riverdale?) and just released their second album, Antisocialites. They’ll be joined by Jay Som, the solo moniker of Melina Duterte, responsible for one of the catchiest hooks of 2017 with “The Bus Song.” CIARA DOLAN
MIC CHECK: RASHEED JAMAL, GLEN WACO, TROX
(White Eagle, 836 N Russell) Everyone knows that the White Eagle is haunted as shit, so late October is an especially apt time to check out the funky McMenamins outpost’s monthly Mic Check showcase. This time around, local emcees Rasheed Jamal and Glenn Waco are stopping by to get spooky with the rhymes. DIRK VANDERHART
MICHAEL NAU, THE PARSON RED HEADS
(The Old Church, 1422 SW 11th) Michael Nau’s recent solo releases have made it clear he’s a songwriter of an entirely different caliber than most people previously assumed. Farther reaching than either of his former acts—folk-pop outfit Page France and the hazy alt-country band Cotton Jones—Nau’s solo work bounces freely between musical palettes. On first listen his releases seem a little unfocused, almost reminiscent of those albums of B-sides and rarities that proliferated in the ’90s. But they’re also sneaky and, if you stay with them long enough, will reveal Nau’s subtle genius. Part of this genius is how his lyrics sidestep most expectations of singer/songwriters: his songs aren’t confessional, they aren’t stories, and they aren’t trying to sound philosophical. What Nau captures in his unlikely pop masterpieces is the feeling of when things work out, when cares fall away, and when the gratitude for the people in your life feels immense and uncontainable. JOSHUA JAMES AMBERSON
TEGAN AND SARA
(Revolution Hall, 1300 SE Stark) It’s been a decade since twins Tegan and Sara Quin released The Con, an indie pop masterwork that’s hook-heavy, accessible, and emotionally charged. To celebrate its 10th anniversary, Tegan and Sara recruited an impressive roster of musicians to cover tracks from the album. Hearing these reimagined versions by genre-spanning contributors like Ryan Adams, Mykki Blanco, and Shamir emphasizes the foundational strength of the original songs, as well as Tegan and Sara’s importance in the music world. For the duo’s current tour, they’ll perform The Con in its entirety, and a portion of the profits will go to the Tegan and Sara Foundation, which “fights for health, economic justice and representation for LGBTQ girls and women.” EMMA BURKE
ALVVAYS, JAY SOM
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See Thursday's preview.
JAI HO! BOLLYWOOD THRILLER DANCE PARTY: DJ PRASHANT, DJ KI, DJ SKEE
(The Whiskey Bar, 31 NW 1st) DJ Prashant presents the latest iteration of his Halloween-themed dance party, blending Bollywood excesses with bassy beats, costumes, choreography, and more.
A$AP ROCKY, A$AP FERG, A$AP TWELVYY, A$AP NAST, A$AP ANT, PLAYBOI CARTI, KEY!, COZY BOYS
(Moda Center, 1 N Center Ct) Read our story on A$AP Mob.
(High Water Mark, 6800 NE MLK) Long ago, critics overused the word “angular” when writing about guitar-based rock bands, and now that word comes off as corny and clichéd when you try to use it to describe music. So let’s say just say this: Multi-task, the new album from Atlanta’s Omni, sounds like a Rubik’s cube taped to a T-square that’s glued to a geometry textbook... and go ahead and draw a scalene triangle around the whole thing for good measure. These dudes put out a really good debut in 2016, all wiry post-punk and breezy vibes. But Multi-task is a significant step up, sharpening the trio’s corners while also exploring some heavier, funkier grooves. If a band that sounds like the whirs and clicks of a machine dipped in dead-eyed cool and understated melody appeals to you, you must bring Omni into your life ASAP. BEN SALMON
THE BLACK HEART PROCESSION, SAM COOMES, DRAMADY
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) There are times when sadness feels more like an unholy haunting than a mental slump, times when time itself, destroyer of love and manufacturer of regret, reveals itself as the real enemy. Those are not fun stretches, but such painful retrospection is necessary, and the Black Heart Procession has always understood that. Between 1998 and 2009, the San Diego band made six albums that map this melancholic zone, this land where we long for people and places that have become phantoms of the mind. Although it never made a bad or even halfway mediocre record, the Black Heart Procession earned a spot in the sadsack pantheon with its first three albums. Unassumingly titled 1, 2, and Three, they compose a devastating triptych of gothic Americana that evokes the kind of disconsolation that doesn’t end until every last tear has been wrung out. This is music for crying until your face hurts. Give yourself over to it. CHRIS STAMM
BOLLYWOOD HORROR XV HALLOWEEN PARTY: DJ ANJALI AND THE INCREDIBLE KID
(Analog Café, 720 SE Hawthorne) Anjali & the Incredible Kid return once again for one of the biggest, bassiest, bhangriest Halloween parties the city has ever seen, with support from Adam McCollom on the Panjabi dhol drum, performances from Seattle's Splinter Dance Company, special guests, a costume contest, and much more!
LOST BOYS BALL: DJ COOKY PARKER, DJ JIMBO, DJ LAMAR LEROY, DJ BOBBY D
(Eagles Lodge F.O.E. #3256, 4904 SE Hawthorne) In what is becoming a cant-miss Halloween tradition, Cooky Parker rounds up his boys (Lamar Leroy, Jimbo, and Bobby D) and hits the decks for one of Portland's guaranteed best dance parties. This year, his boys are lost ones, and the night pays homage to those sweaty, denim, shirtless sax-lovin' vibes from the 1987 Joel Schumacher classic.
BLOWPONY’S HOMOWEEN: DJ AIRICK X, DJ JUST DAVE, DJ MATT CONSOLA, DJ MATT STANDS, DJ TOCSIN
(Bossanova Ballroom, 722 E Burnside) Queer Halloweens are the best Halloweens, so get yourself to the always INSANE Blowpony’s Homoween with an appearance from Shea Coulee (RuPaul’s Drag Race)!
KESHA, SAVOY MOTEL
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Read our super pick on Kesha.
SHAPE/SHIFT/SPACE/TEMPLE: GAMELAN WAHYU DARI LANGIT, DOLPHIN MIDWIVES, LOCATION SERVICES, SEA MOSS, INSTITUTE FOR CREATIVE DYING, FRANCISCO BOTELLO, CHLOE ALEXANDRA
(Leaven Community, 5431 NE 20th) Billed as a sequel to last year’s Invisibility ritual, this multi-act concert has lofty aims: “to transform physical space and consciousness as we know it,” according to the Facebook event page. Knowing the artists on this lineup, there’s a good chance they will achieve that spiritual goal. Key to the cause is Dolphin Midwives, the ever-evolving project of Sage Fisher. Her sets of late have been foggy and staggering mixes of harp melodies distended by effects pedals and her own impassioned vocals. Fisher will be joined by collaborators like the Institute for Creative Dying, a composer of guitar-based agitations, and Francisco Botello, an artist who uses field recordings captured in the jungles of South America. Throw in a gamelan ensemble and a gaggle of other experimentalists for good measure, and you’ve got a night of heady sounds ahead of you. ROBERT HAM
EMA, THE BLOW, DECORUM
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) I was lucky enough to move to Olympia in 2002, at the very moment Khaela Maricich was doing her first performances as the Blow. Existing somewhere between show and conceptual art, early Blow performances were perfectly odd events that everyone could see was the beginning of something remarkable. Soon after, the Blow became a Portland band and created the electropop masterpiece Paper Television, before Maricich moved to Brooklyn and solidified the project as a duo with Melissa Dyne. Last month they put out their first album in four years, Brand New Abyss, a largely successful plunge into modular synths that contains my pick for single of the year, “Get Up.” A raw, playful, much-needed battle cry against apathy, the song features Maricich playing the role of the badass aunt who’s been there, seen the limitations of cool, and is now filled with a boundless enthusiasm for life that she can pass along to you, if only you’ll listen. JJA
BILLY STRINGS, TROUT STEAK REVIVAL, WHISKEY SHIVERS
(Revolution Hall, 1300 SE Stark) Pickathon hasn’t forgotten its roots, even as it’s grown from a tiny folk and bluegrass fundraising party to the nationally renowned festival it is now. Though recent years have seen increasingly more diverse acts, from Afrofuturist hip-hop to stoner metal to legendary soul singers (RIP Charles Bradley), you can still count on finding plenty of old-timey guitar picking and banjo hammering. This summer Pickathon saw the return of Billy Strings—a baby-faced singer and guitar virtuoso from Traverse City, Michigan. The aptly named Strings (born William Apostol) played in heavy metal bands before embracing bluegrass, and his flat-picking style is a sort of mix between Doc Watson and Randy Rhoads. Strings returns to Portland in support of his solo debut, Turmoil & Tinfoil, a collection of neo-traditional bluegrass songs addressing such contemporary matters as meth addiction and police shootings, while remaining rooted in dusty fields and muddy rivers. SANTI ELIJAH HOLLEY
COLLEEN, DEREK HUNTER WILSON
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Multi-instrumental French composer Cécile Schott’s 2005 record The Golden Morning Breaks was a total showstopper of earthily sampled, heavenly looped bliss, especially the imperfect, halting “I’ll Read You a Story,” which was composed using a modified music box. Her later record, Colleen et les Boîtes à Musique (which translates to Colleen and the Music Boxes), was devoted entirely to music boxes—including some large, antique models that she played with small mallets. Around the time she released 2015’s Captain of None, Schott’s compositions began to include sparse but poetic vocals. Thrill Jockey signed her, and brought her work from experimental to larger indie listening audiences. If there are feelings of rhythmic emergency or loving homages to city sounds on Schott’s latest, A Flame My Love, a Frequency, they are likely influenced by the November 2015 Paris terror attacks, which she missed by a matter of hours and cites as a major influence on this new record. SS
MARY LAMBERT, MAL BLUM
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Many know Seattle’s Mary Lambert for her breakthrough vocals on Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ “Same Love,” but she’s got more where that came from. Her 2014 debut Heart On My Sleeve included the hit single “Secrets,” a relatable song about self-awareness and self-acceptance, and just one more example of Lambert working in themes of body-positivity and LGBTQ love. Now she tours in support of her poppy new album Bold, and the super-intimate Mississippi Studios is the perfect house to host. JENNI MOORE
HOCKEY DAD, PSYCHOMAGIC, ON DRUGS
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) Australian punks Hockey Dad play surf-infused pop with lovesick melodies, crafty garage-rock riffage, and harmonic interplay. With 2016’s Boronia, vocalist/guitarist Zach Stephenson and drummer Billy Fleming fill the empty spaces with layers of gooey, beachside rock, and exhibit the sort of innate songwriting chemistry that stems from being friends and neighbors since their childhood in the ’90s. Though there isn’t much flash to the pair’s aural onslaught, songs like “Jump the Gun” and “Can’t Have Them” allude to good times free of anything super cerebral. Hockey Dad turns up the fuzz on songs as saccharine as “Hunny Bunny” and “I Need a Woman,” but they seem to prefer cruising in the middle lane. Sometimes that’s exactly what the doctor ordered, especially on a Monday night. RJP
HOCUS POCUS PARTY: THE SHIVAS, STAR CLUB
(The Liquor Store, 3341 SE Belmont) Disney’s 1993 cult classic Hocus Pocus is criminally underrated. It’s set in Salem, Massachusetts, and stars Kathy Najimy, Sarah Jessica Parker, and BETTE FREAKING MIDLER as three resurrected witches who are really ticked off about the shit they went through in the 1690s. Thankfully, Portland appreciates the timeless glory of Hocus Pocus, and you can spend this Halloween shaking your bones to tunes from Star Club, the Shivas, and a spooky secret guest (please come through for me, Bette) while it’s projected behind the bands. CIARA DOLAN
SCREAM QUEENZ HALLOWEEN DANCE PARTY
(Darcelle XV, 208 NW 3rd) A night of classic Halloween drag with special guests and a costume contest, hosted by Alexis Campbell Star.
(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway) A deity to many and perhaps a demon to some, you’ll be hard-pressed to find an icon as polarizing as Morrissey. Whatever your opinion of his work, few can dispute his impact on alternative subcultures and androgynous pop. As lead singer of the Smiths, Moz played the role of operatic poet and introduced a generation of young John Fluevog enthusiasts to frolicking literature worship framed by clove-scented English soundscapes. When the Smiths dissolved, Morrissey took his rapier-sharp prose and rabid fanbase while continuing to refine his whimsical songcraft through a slew of well-received solo albums. This consistency of ego genius has rightfully earned him status as a legend—and as long as he continues to bring his audaciousness to the stage, his devotees will continue to drown him in fresh gladiolas. CHRIS SUTTON
TURNOVER, ELVIS DEPRESSEDLY, EMMA RUTH RUNDLE
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE César E. Chávez) Turnover is clearly having some sort of major growth spurt. A few years ago, the Virginia Beach band was part of emo’s new wave, cranking out buzzy pop-punk tunes on a couple of albums released by Run for Cover Records. But on Good Nature, Turnover completes its transition into a dreamy indie pop band, with chiming guitars, laid-back vocals, and gauzy vibes. Often when this kind of thing happens, the artist stays tight-lipped on the reasons, but Turnover is open and honest about the stylistic shift, which it attributes to a wider palette of influences over the past few years: vintage soul and blues, Frank Ocean, electronic music, the Beach Boys, bossa nova music, and jazz. Add lo-fi heroes Elvis Depressedly and post-rock badass Emma Ruth Rundle to this bill and it’s a can’t-miss. BS