THURSDAY 4/3

GHOSTLAND OBSERVATORY

(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!.

HOLCOMBE WALLER & THE HEALERS, THE GOLDEN BEARS, TOM BROSSEAU

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) The Golden Bears are guitarist/keyboardist Seth Lorinczi and drummer/vocalist Julianna Bright, formerly of the Quails. Their new album, Wall to Wall, was recorded at their Portland home while they were expecting their first child, and somewhat awesomely, it's being released exclusively on vinyl (and as a download) by Viva Voce's Amore!Phonics label. It's an absolutely fantastic record, with sumptuous medieval prog sitting side by side with garage rock, sitar drones, free jazz saxophone, and mystical piano ballads. Flowing and evolving as a stately 12-song suite, it's as good as British folk-psyche-prog classics like Fairport Convention's What We Did on Our Holidays or Fleetwood Mac's Then Play On. The album's level of composition is deliberate and commendable, but perhaps due to its homespun conception, it manages to be warmly inviting, even casual, and the hope and excitation of Lorinczi and Bright's arriving child indelibly colors the record. Simply put, Wall to Wall is the best local album released this year, and tonight's record release show—most certainly NOT a CD release show—should not be missed. Visit endhits.portlandmercury.com for a full review of Wall to Wall. NED LANNAMANN

ORIGINAL BEAT DOWN BEAT BATTLE X: FOGATRON, SEOUL BRO #1, KING TIM 33 1/3

(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) Hosted by Fogatron, Portland's finest, and only, vegan beatboxer, the Beat Down Beat Battle assembles a dozen producers for a bloody kumite of on-the-spot beat making. While the contestants are allowed to bring their own equipment, they only have 60 minutes to use provided samples to produce a beat, and it'd better be spectacular. After an hour elapses, the spontaneous beats are played for the crowd. Votes are cast for the most bumping number, and a winner is crowned. It's a genius idea—and it sure beats the tired "battle of the bands" concept—that showcases our town's finest behind-the-scenes beat makers, especially those who can keep cool under pressure. EZRA ACE CARAEFF

PAN-ZEN: CHROMOSOME 23, TRY MY CABBAGE, HTEAH, b0t23

(Branx, 320 SE 2nd) Pan-Zen is an ever-evolving eccentric community of Pacific Northwest musicians, video artists, sound designers, and dancers, known for producing out-there events of experimental deviance. Every first Thursday at Branx, the collective hosts Mutation, a party that embodies the offbeat presence that Pan-Zen has been transmitting for over 10 years. Sounds range from dark ambience to IDM to more dance floor-friendly electro incarnations. This month features b0t23, a local producer of electro-breaks and related subgenres that should fit the dark underworld atmosphere quite nicely. Tonight's show also doubles as an after-party for the 2 Gyrlz performance art installation that takes place next door at the Hippodrome. AVA HEGEDUS

SWITCH, DJ BEYONDA, DJ HOOP DREAMS

(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) The only path to redemption for a producer like Switch, whose technical DJ skills don't quite match up to his studio acumen, is to overshadow his shortcomings behind the decks with great track selection. Luckily, the UK producer's catalog is deep enough that he can play a set almost exclusively of his own material and still deliver handily in that regard, his tracks willing even the haughtiest critics to dance over the rough spots in the mix. DONTE PARKS

FRIDAY 4/4

SANTOTZIN

(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) See Music Feature.

PANTHER, HORSE FEATHERS, NEW BLOODS, DJ NIGHTSCHOOL, DJ MAGIC BEANS, DJ DOG DAZE

(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See My, What a Busy Week!.

THE BLACK KEYS, JAY REATARD

(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) See Once More with Feeling.

THE CONTESTANTS, SEA CAVES, WELSH RABBIT

(Towne Lounge, 714 SW 20th Pl) While the Empty Set was never a band to restrain itself when it came to pop choruses, the new project to rise from their ashes, the Contestants, have refined their skills to an entirely new level. On their brand-new long-player, A Fitting Retreat (which is released tonight), the quintet's harmonies are layered thick, the tempo is loose, and the influence is set squarely on Alex Chilton. It's a bit too mature to fall under the category of bubblegum pop (more Big Star, less Box Tops). Instead, it's classic power pop with mammoth hooks, sans the guilt of listening to something so indulgent. EAC

AMERICAN MUSIC CLUB, CARLA BOZULICH, GHOST TO FALCO

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Come have a whiskey with the ultimate sad drunk bastard, Mark Eitzel. Alongside sidekick/guitarist Vudi, singer/songwriter Eitzel and his awesome American Music Club will be tearing through some melancholy heart-squeezers at the Doug Fir tonight. Touring for their solid ninth full-length, The Golden Age, Eitzel & Co. have recently moved the band from San Francisco to Los Angeles and their new lineup reflects the migration. So while they have been less than prolific over the last decade, AMC will undoubtedly transport you back to all those lonely headphoned walks around campus at night, wondering why you can't escape the ghosts of your failures. Ah shit, now I really want a shot and a chaser—maybe then I'll be ready for all that beautiful misery. COURTNEY FERGUSON Also see Music Feature.

KARL BLAU, JERRY HIGHLUND, NATE ASHLEY, THE GIFT MACHINE

(The Artistery, 4315 SE Division) One quick listen to Karl Blau's music and it becomes painfully obvious where he's from—Anacortes, Washington. From the folk songs that sound like they're on the verge of collapse, to the spooky indie dance jams, to the found-sound collages, Blau manages to effectively capture the speed and style of what it's like to live in that hidden gem of a city. What sets him apart from the other thousands of potential K Records recording artists is his fearless experimentation, as Blau's songs only find communion through the voice in which they're sung. ROB SIMONSEN

IMAAD WASIF WITH TWO PART BEAST, REPORTER, ADRIAN H & THE WOUNDS

(Plan B, 1305 SE 8th) The fanfare that accompanied Imaad Wasif's 2006 debut may have been accentuated by his status as the touring guitarist for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Folks who delved into the album, however, may have been surprised to find a songwriting mind closer in tone to Michael Gira's, with acoustic instrumentation and a dry delivery exploring the darker avenues of human experience. Wasif's latest, Strange Hexes, finds him joined by a full band (Two Part Beast) and veering into full-on electric territory, with jagged solos released across a cloud of feedback. It's a more open sound, and while his music is certainly one that can channel obsessiveness, its moments of outstretched bliss and joy serve as a fine contrast. TOBIAS CARROLL

SUBHUMANS, CRIMINAL DAMAGE, ETHER CIRCUS, AUTISTIC YOUTH

(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) Rumor has it that Dick Lucas of Subhumans has never had a real job, which is believable considering the consistent popularity and tour schedule of both Subhumans and his ska-punk band Citizen Fish. Plus, from the looks of things, he cuts the sleeves off a new shirt about once every eight years. Therein lies the advantage of Subhumans: While most aged punk bands are comprised of (relatively) normal adults playing punk, Subhumans are punks. Dick is still gangly, with wild eyes under his Harry Potter spectacles, and when he belts out, "Are you prepared to die for your beliefs or just to dye your hair?" you believe in his conviction and can revel in his wit. Sure, the band may have to lower the key so he can sing it, but it still sounds better than most young bands. Maybe it's because they spend too much time at work. ZACH BROOKS

PATTERN IS MOVEMENT, WILLIAM HOLLEY

(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) Pattern Is Movement write songs that come at you furiously and are fueled by an intensity that's unrelenting yet doesn't seem at all extracted from the evolution of a punk aesthetic. The material on their new album, All Together, is typically driven by keyboards and pulsing drums, with Andrew Thiboldeaux's vocals often heading toward falsetto territory. Since the band's inception, they've shifted toward their current two-piece configuration that—as talented multi-instrumentalists tend to do—achieves a sound simultaneously expansive and terse. The sweeping flourishes of "Trolley Friend," the furious rush of "Bird," and the ambient give-and-take of "Brown and Hard Curtains," are bound together by Thiboldeaux's distinctive vocals and a frenetic, memorable approach to songwriting that rarely covers the same ground twice. TC

SAY HI, BLUE SKIES FOR BLACK HEARTS, INVISIBLE ROCKETS

(Someday Lounge, 125 NW 5th) Say Hi are a different band than they were in 2006, when I was introduced to them via Impeccable Blahs. Back then, Say Hi were called Say Hi to Your Mom, and they were based in Brooklyn, where founding (and sometimes only) member Eric Elbogen crafted sweet-natured, sleepy-eyed, instantly charming pop in his basement. Say Hi's new album, The Wishes and the Glitch, finds the band relocated to Seattle, and successfully experimenting with a more aggressive sound. Clearly something about the move sits right with Elbogen; the strongest track is an ode to his new home called "Northwestern Girls," a cresting, emotional electro-pop number that ends with Elbogen unstably chanting, "It must be in the air here..." MEGAN SELING

SATURDAY 4/5

HR & DUBB AGENTS, SINGING VERNON, THE MEDIAM, YODAS EYE

(Ash Street Saloon, 225 SW Ash) See My, What a Busy Week!.

ASTRONAUTALIS

(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) See Music Feature.

MOD MONTHLY: THE SUGARLUMPS, DJ GABRIEL, DJ MICHAEL MAKER, DJ WYLD CHYLD, DJ KATHY T

(East End, 203 SE Grand) For a brief period in the mid-'60s, before Sgt. Pepper and Piper at the Gates of Dawn rewrote the rulebook, British mod bands explored the boundaries of hard R&B by pushing guitars through distortion and tremolo, and singing words that characterized the English experience rather than aping the boy-meets-girl narratives of Motown. The results were undeniably potent rock songs, like the Creation's "Painter Man" and the Pretty Things' "Defecting Grey." (Many of these freakbeat classics are now collected on Rhino Records' Nuggets II box set and the level of quality is startlingly high.) Superstars, one-hit wonders, and no-hit wonders alike all rode the collective wave of bursting creativity that characterized mid-'60s London. The Sugarlumps, a freakbeat cover band with DJ Gregarious on lead vocals, pay accurately frenzied homage to the singles of the era, taking their name from the Smoke's 1967 classic "My Friend Jack"—the titular Jack being a compulsive gobbler of acid-dosed sugar cubes. NL

THE DEAD TREES, OH CAPTAIN MY CAPTAIN, SHAPED LIKE SHARKS

(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) Relocated from Cambridge, Massachusetts, the Dead Trees are recent Portland transplants who play charming, groovy rock 'n' roll with folksy twists, wordless falsetto backing vocals, and durable melodies. It's a sound that's either lost in time or perfectly of the now; their terrific EP, Fort Music, moves from Let it Bleed to Slanted and Enchanted without pretense or strain. Like their former Cambridge compatriots Drug Rug, the Dead Trees have mastered the art of being both laidback and passionate. Kicking off with the light finger-pickin' of "Television," Fort Music continues with the frantic hollering of "Shelter," which builds to a coda that hints at epic possibilities, and moves on to "Second Hand Drugs," which makes the desperation of Iggy Pop's "Turn Blue" sound like fun. They've got a Daytrotter session under their belts, and apparently, are sticking around for a while. So, welcome to Portland, guys. Nice to have you here. NL

SUNDAY 4/6

AUTECHRE, ROB HALL, MASSONIX

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See Music Feature.

FIST FITE, JONNYX & THE GROADIES, EXPERIMENTAL DENTAL SCHOOL, VENDETTA VALENTINE

(Exit Only, 1121 N Loring) When I was sitting through the soul-smothering OLCC meeting a few months back, I was wracking my brain for a way to convince these stuffed shirts of the sheer power our amazing all-ages scene can yield. Of course, common sense tells me that the best case is to be made on their level—petitions, organized letters, politely raising my hand before yelling at them—but fuck common sense. I want to drag all of them to the new all-age space, No Exit, for a blistering set of cosmic grindcore from JonnyX & the Groadies, a band so devoted to all-age politics that they've never played an age-exclusive show in their nearly 12-year history. But with the strobe lights, screaming, and ferocious blasts of noise, it might be a bit much. For now, baby steps. EAC

MONDAY 4/7

ACID MOTHERS TEMPLE, DANAVA

(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See My, What a Busy Week!.

TUESDAY 4/8

MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE, BILLY TALENT, DRIVE BY

(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!.

PWRFL POWER, PARENTHETICAL GIRLS, AAN, DOMINIQUE LEONE

(The Artistery, 4315 SE Division) Writing songs like Jonathan Richman, playing the guitar like John Fahey, and obviously indebted to the wide-eyed wonderment of early K Records, Seattle-based Kaz Nomura manages to create some incredibly charismatic lo-fi pop-folk songs under the name PWRFL Power. With childlike naiveté, he disarmingly tackles life, love, and loss with such sincerity that it's nearly impossible to not be infinitely charmed. This is the music you wish you had found when you were 16: Rather than trying to deal with complex problems while sounding profound, his music sounds like the older brother who should have taken you aside and assured you that everything was going to turn out fine in the end. RS

WEDNESDAY 4/9

MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE, BILLY TALENT, DRIVE BY

(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!.

SCOUT NIBLETT, HOLY SONS, OREGON PAINTING SOCIETY

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!.

PWRFL POWER, MODERNSTATE, DOMINIQUE LEONE, BACHELORETTE

(Someday Lounge, 125 NW 5th) See Tuesday's listing.

MY LIFE WITH THE THRILL KILL KULT, DJ KENOY, MR. MUMU

(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) In what is now officially the season of industrial nostalgia, My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult will begin their 20th anniversary tour right here in Portland. On the heels of Ministry's final Portland show, it couldn't be a more timely fit. Of course, both one-time Wax Trax! acts have gone in very different directions since their salad days. Ministry has spent the last 16 years assimilating into an arena-rattling form of political heavy metal, while TKK have done their best to ditch early abrasiveness for disco pop. TKK's latest full-length, The Filthiest Show in Town, is a cleaner effort than its title implies. "Jet Set Sex" and "Jive Ass Ave." celebrate plain funk as much as they do sex—certainly nothing here is as dirty as their classic "Waiting for Mommie." MIKE MEYER

DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN, THE BLED, HEAVY HEAVY LOW LOW, FALL OF ENOSIS

(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) Forget about Kemado Records being the most divisive thing in American metal. The Sword, Danava, and Saviours all seem to have as many haters as they do supporters, but Dillinger Escape Plan take the cake when it comes to the ability to both repel and attract heavy music fans. Many can't stand vocalist Greg Puciato, who sounds like Mike Patton yet is built like a quarterback. When he's screaming, he's even less original, undermining the band's experimental song-structuring with status quo metalcore. Still, a perfect spiral occasionally loosens out of Puciato's overbearing grip. On Ire Works' "Horse Hunter," schizophrenic shredding, laser beams, and crazed jazz unite in a space that might otherwise be filled with a breakdown. It dares to go over our heads without running on top of us, which Puciato literally did to start a 2005 set in New York City. Bad man, good band. MM