THURSDAY 11/13

DIGABLE PLANETS, REV. SHINES, DEMETRE BACA, NICOLUMINOUS

(The Station, 2410 N Mississippi)

THE DIRTBOMBS, EAT SKULL, LITTLE CLAW

(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) Well, Mick Collins, it's a new morning in America—not like Ronald Reagan said, but like, for real. In my own personal post-Obama afterglow, I wonder if the themes of Halliburton-sponsored paranoia and urban dystopia from the Dirtbombs' last outing, We Have You Surrounded, will continue into their next record. I hope not—and not just because I'm all doe-eyed with the promise of a better tomorrow, but because that album, as conceptual and poignant as it was, just wasn't the Dirtbombs' best moment. Whether I'm stocking up on AKs for the coming Blackwater coup, or sewing Obama quilts and baby clothes, I still need me another slab of raw-meat, Pabst-gut garagery. LARRY MIZELL JR.

THE DEAD BEETLES, BEYOND VERONICA , PALE BLUE SKY

(Fez Ballroom, 318 SW 11th) Portland's Dead Beetles aren't just blessed with a clever name (no, it's not bleak homage to the Fab Four); they're imbued with a musical abandon that rescues bold moments in pop-rock history and exposes them all over again. The band prides themselves on their ability to dance in and out of genres and moods, and their new album, Sending You a Postcard from the Dead Beetles, shuffles the deck to form an incongruous stretch of tunes, ranging from No Wave folk-punk ("End of the World"), to Randy Newman on Sesame Street-inspired ditties like "You're Not a Tree," to the funk-lite mix on "Postcard." The mix is infectious, to say the least, and I don't doubt that the crew would be a great band to catch live. RYAN J. PRADO

STEPHANIE SCHNEIDERMAN, KAITLYN NI DONOVAN, DJ DAVE ALLEN

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) On Dangerous Fruit, the latest from Stephanie Schneiderman, the Dirty Martini vocalist travels a long way from the polite leanings of her other musical endeavor. Here, Schneiderman's breathy vocals swoon atop minimalist beats, lush song structure, and a pulsating intrigue similar to that of Portishead—sans the decade-long delay between recordings. Schneiderman thaws the cold calculation of her electronic backdrop with a liberal dose of warm-blooded soul, wounded vocals, and emotional pining. And while Dangerous Fruit often drifts aimlessly within the context of its own songs, Schneiderman always seems to be there to reel it in and rescue her undeniably appealing sound before it's too late. EZRA ACE CARAEFF

MILES BENJAMIN ANTHONY ROBINSON, CASTANETS, MIMICKING BIRDS

(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) City of Refuge is the new album from the Ray Raposa-led, well-traveled ensemble Castanets. It follows the richly produced, thematically weighty In the Vines with a sound that's almost a throwback to the group's debut, 2004's Cathedral—complete with sparsely played instrumental interludes that punctuate the album. The lyrical themes expressed on City of Refuge are simpler, and likewise hearken back to Cathedral's primal narratives, and yet the approach seems well matched with the group's terse, daring live shows. On paper, Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson might seem an unorthodox tour-mate, but the two artists share a penchant for stark lyrical imagery and the occasional brutal turn of phrase. TOBIAS CARROLL

FRIDAY 11/14

GREY ANNE, GUIDANCE COUNSELOR, THE ONLINE ROMANCE

(The Artistery, 4315 SE Division) See Our Town Could Be Your Life

GWAR, KINGDOM OF SORROW, TOXIC HOLOCAUST

(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) If the music industry were a little healthier, Toxic Holocaust's Relapse Records debut would be one of those storybook three-way marriages: TH nether-god Joel Grind moves to the Pacific Northwest, reprograms Zeke pummel-machine Donny Paycheck, knocks on Nirvana producer Jack Endino's front door (Hi, is Bleach there?), and—blammo!!!—shits out the year's most popular cross-nuking black/thrash dog attack. But as An Overdose of Death... stood a week after its September release—selling a mere 1,400 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan—it seemed as if the crust-teetering, glam-haircut-appropriating, post-apocalyptic mania of Toxic Holocaust would remain our little secret. Welcome to Portland, Joel. This is how we prefer it. MIKE MEYER

PLEASEEASAUR, JOE JACK TALCUM, THEBROTHEREGG

(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) Whenever I visit my dad, I feel incomplete unless I dig through his old home movies and endeavor to view the tape of me and my siblings balls-out screaming the lyrics to the Dead Milkmen's "Punk Rock Girl" during my ninth birthday party. It's not for pure nostalgia or to prove some epic lineage of radical music imbibing; it's to remember how much music like theirs made me feel alive or insisted on me having fun. And Joe Jack Talcum, singer for the long disembodied Milkmen, still has that coy troubadour swagger down. Talcum has been moderately prolific in recent years, continuing to release tapes and home-recorded LPs from the mid-'80s. Currently he's celebrating the release of his new split CD with Philadelphia's Mischief Brew, and resting in my mind as one of the best punk songsmiths ever. RJP

RACHAEL YAMAGATA, THAO NGUYEN, MEIKO, KATE HAVNEVIK, LENKA, EMILY WELLS, CATHERINE FEENY

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) The Hotel Café is a dark, cozy, somewhat romantic venue in Hollywood and home to numerous singer/songwriters. It's a place to take a date, snuggle up at a table, and sway wistfully to the longing sounds—either that, or to laugh at some total boner in $500 jeans crooning from the stage about his oh-so-tragic life. The Hotel Café Tour brings these same aesthetics to the road, and while in Hollywood the schlocky, status-seeking, well-manicured, predictable singer/songwriters might fly, they don't so much in Portland. Breaking the Café mold, however, is Thao Nguyen, a member of the Kill Rock Stars roster hardly needing her big break. Nguyen will be without her talented band here, which will put her charismatic quibbles and punchy guitar playing even further up front. And while it's strange Nguyen joined this tour rather than kicking out danceable indie sweetness with the band, she's probably the best reason to show up. ANDREW R TONRY

ARMY NAVY, THE SHYS, TAKEOVER

(East End, 203 SE Grand) Traces of Children of Nuggets favorites like the Three O'Clock, Dream Syndicate, and Rain Parade line Army Navy's debut self-titled album. So it makes perfect sense that the band hails from Los Angeles, home to the Paisley Underground scene of the mid-'80s that housed all those influential acts. However, while Army Navy's guitars still jangle and Justin Kennedy daintily sings with twee preciousness, the band is much more than just a tired homage, giving in to slick production values and their obvious pop sensibilities. Now is the time to jump on the bandwagon, too, because with a recent inclusion on the soundtrack for Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, chances are your little sister is already hip to this band and they won't stay in the underground—paisley or otherwise—for much longer. ROB SIMONSEN

BASSNECTAR, LAZER SWORD, BEATS ANTIQUE

(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) Bassnectar can seriously rock a party with his music and energy alone—consistently commanding thousands of fans into one churning mob of synchronized pogo dancers with crushing, wobbly bass and addictive hooks. His sound is enticing on its own, taking cues from drastically different styles including hiphop, dubstep, and recently the whole gypsy circus thing (fellow San Franciscans Beats Antique join him on tour). But what really gives Bassnectar depth and staying power is his political angle. Lyrics cover media reform, underground resistance, and the need for grassroots activism. With the current hyper-elevated hopes about our political future, enthusiasm at tonight's show should be at a fever pitch. AVA HEGEDUS

MICKEY AVALON, BEARDO

(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) As a kid I was most fascinated with two things: rap, and the scummy pavement of West Hollywood. Somehow, Mickey Avalon has reconciled the two into a bonafide phenomenon—the last show of his I saw was filled with oversexed teens all groping for his vacuum-sealed Levi's and screaming along with his coke, dick, bitch, suck, fuck, coke rhymes. Okay, he was never the epitome of raw lyricism, but his shit is good sleazy fun, and it's hilarious to watch him slowly break the rap status quo. As mismatched as he was in a commercial with Young Jeezy (did the Snowman know he was sharing screen time with a bisexual ex-prostitute?), maybe the two could do an album together called Let's Shoot It: Drug Motivation 101. LM

SATURDAY 11/15

FISHBONE, RED EYE EMPIRE, HEAVY MOJO, NATIVES OF THE NEW DAWN, QUINN ALLAN

(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th)

THE DBZ CREW DANCE PARTY

(The Station, 2410 N Mississippi)

MIC CRENSHAW, HUNGRY MOB, X-VANDALS, GEN. ERIK, GOOD SISTA/BAD SISTA

(The Blue Monk, 3341 SE Belmont) See review>

MICKEY AVALON, DIRTY NASTY, BEARDO

(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd).

VIC CHESNUTT, ELF POWER, RUN ON SENTENCE

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Elf Power's recent In a Cave isn't an overwhelmingly flashy, conceptually dense, or structurally byzantine pop album. Instead, it's a simple, slow-burning, and ultimately satisfying psychedelic folk-rock album, full of singer/songwriter Andrew Rieger's bleary hallucinogenic visions and serene existential contemplations, all wrapped in warm blankets of gentle amplifier fuzz and aided by able drumming, bass, and hints of synthesizer, strings, harmoniums, and more in the atmosphere. It's all sneakily catchy as hell, and so cozy that you feel as though Elf Power have taken you into their pastoral home and sat you down by the fire before quietly dosing your chamomile tea. This time around, they're touring behind Dark Developments, their recent collaboration with bill-mate Vic Chesnutt. ERIC GRANDY

BARK HIDE & HORN, BLUE HORNS , RESIN HITS

(Backspace, 115 NW 5th) The debut LP from Blue Horns celebrates its awaited release tonight; it's also called Blue Horns, although its eight peppy songs don't really feature anything in the way of blues or horns. It's jangly, good-time indie rock, not a million miles from the Shaky Hands, particularly in the frenzied shuffle of "Boots On" and "God Had Other Plans." The wordless hooks of "Shotgun Wedding" dig in deep, and seem to do so without much effort, but the momentum of a song like "Ships Sink" is carefully built, and "Let's Go Hunting" has a stately, loping Television gait. Brian Park's vocals have a joyous, snotty energy, and the whole band sounds like the soundtrack to a glorious, sun-baked Portland summer. I don't know about you, but as we turn the corner into the depths of dark, wet winter, that sounds pretty damn good to me right about now. NED LANNAMANN

SPINDRIFT, THE UPSIDEDOWN

(Someday Lounge, 125 NW 5th) The West Coast is a perennial hotbed of spacey rock that wants to take you higher. LA's Spindrift—whose lineup includes former and current Brian Jonestown Massacre and Warlocks members—inject a little Morricone-esque spaghetti western dust into their psych rock gestures; unsurprisingly, Quentin Tarantino chose Spindrift's "Indian Run" to appear in his executive-produced Hell Ride flick. Spindrift don't get too far out, nor do their tempos rarely exceed a leisurely amble, but their strummy, ringing tones have a shivery sundown splendor. Bring some cash to purchase Spindrift's new album, The West. DAVE SEGAL

SUNDAY 11/16

NICK JAINA, TU FAWNING, ISRAEL NEBEKER

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See,a href=http://www.portlandmercury.com/events/Event?oid=924567>Listing, and Once More with Feeling

MONDAY 11/17

JOHN HIATT & THE AGELESS BEAUTIES, BEN TAYLOR

(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) See My, What a Busy Week!.

TUESDAY 11/18

THE MIGHTY UNDERDOGS, GIFT OF GAB, ZION I

See (Satyricon, 125 NW 6th).

DEAD CONFEDERATE, APOLLO SUNSHINE, FERAL CHILDREN

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Apollo Sunshine's Shall Noise Upon spawns from three multi-instrumentalists whose joyous, expansive songcraft channels the spiritual bliss of George Harrison's All Things Must Pass without obviously emulating that landmark LP's Spectorized Krishna rock. Apollo Sunshine—Jesse Gallagher, Sam Cohen, and Jeremy Black—lean toward psychedelia's whimsical end, but not cloyingly so. And they throw a few change-ups, too: "Brotherhood of Death" chugs headlong, like if Canned Heat joined forces with early Meat Puppets; "The Funky Chamberlain (Who Begot Who)" recalls Lothar and the Hand People's "Machines" (always a good thing), but it's funkier; "Green Green Lawns of Outer Space" sounds like Raymond Scott gone Hawaiian. Casual, free-range brilliance lives. DS

WEDNESDAY 11/19

KATHLEEN EDWARDS, JOHN DOE

See (Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie).

O'DEATH, HILLSTOMP, CICADA OMEGA

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Given the scraggly beards, the harnessing of a vintage sound, and the deafening media hype, it would be forgivable to assume O'Death is from around these parts. But, alas, their frantic Appalachian and bluegrass pile-up of acoustic instruments and strained backwood vocals is actually from Brooklyn, or as we like to call it here, Portland East. Regardless of where they lay their heads, this motley ensemble has created a serenading, haunting assembly of gothic country numbers that ignore the rigid bounds of regional authenticity (never has a group from the land of electroclash bands, gentrified railroad apartments, and corner bodegas sounded so downright Southern). Instead, they sharpen the craft of penning gorgeous songs that linger like restless ghosts. EAC Also see listing.

TOM BROSSEAU, HAUSCHKA, GROUPER

(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) If ever there was a truly underappreciated artist, Fat Cat folkster Tom Brosseau would be it. With a gentle warble, Brosseau borrows from bluegrass, gospel, and folk, churning out subtly sad songs in return. Though his recorded output can be spotty—one need look no further than last year's Cavalier, a fine but ultimately forgettable record—Brosseau is a master performer, a storyteller in the classic fashion. His shows tend to be both funny and heartfelt, with songs spliced together with good ol' North Dakotan charm, and, like many troubadours before him, it is in front of the crowd where his genius truly shines. RS

PLUSHGUN, ALEXIS GIDEON, LA COSA NOSTRA

(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) Plushgun is the nom de plume of Dan Ingala, a Brooklynite who makes bleepy-bloopy laptop pop with greeting card lyrics and rock undertones; indeed, Plushgun is a perfect name, evoking softness and power in equal measures. "Just Impolite" is his calling card, citing both "I Walk the Line" and "A Day in the Life" as it navigates a delicate umbrella-patter beat with pretty pianos and power-ballad guitar. It's a little concerning, then, that "Maybe Tomorrow" is almost exactly the same song, and new single "Dancing in a Minefield" doesn't vary from the template at all. But "Just Impolite" is that rare pop song that works completely; even with its fake tympani booms and canned strings, it'll fit on that mixtape for your sweetie without either of you being totally embarrassed by it. NL

IN FLAMES, ALL THAT REMAINS, GOJIRA, 36 CRAZYFISTS

(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) If you're a boy, you either love or hate the death-metal blasphemy that is In Flames. The Swedish band clings to its once-novel invention: An incessantly clean choral brigade that's either uplifting (like a church choir with tremolo picking) or Hysteria-cal (like a John "Mutt" Lange gang-vocal production with less of a grasp on the English language). But tonight's concert isn't strictly for the serotonin—or girlfriend—deprived. Gojira (France's Metallica-by-way-of-Magma) has one of the more urgent rhythm sections in contemporary music. This year's The Way of All Flesh makes bass-punctuated chord progressions and bony drum patterns sound as if they were coming from within—an intrinsic pulse amid death-metal decay. Considering Gojira's firm environmentalist lyrics, this organic framework is doubly effective. MM