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This Week's Music Previews

YOUNG FATHERS Wed 4/29 Holocene

YOUNG FATHERS Wed 4/29 Holocene

WEDNESDAY 4/29

DIVERS, SANCHO, SAID GONER
(Loco Locos Burritos, 1728 SW Broadway) See My, What a Busy Week!

LIGHTNING BOLT, LITURGY, CONSUMER
(Dante's, 350 W Burnside) Read our article on Lightning Bolt.

NIKKI LANE, THE LONESOME BILLIES, THE WESTERN SHORE
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) As one of the birthplaces of country music, Nashville has seen its fair share of twang-based innovators. The emergence of Nikki Lane in the last year has again helped to redefine what it means to hail from the mecca of country and western. All or Nothin', Lane's 2014 Dan Auerbach-produced debut, has its roots in Americana, but bowls other Nashville conventions out of the way, with sultry lyrics on love and chaos, coming off like a leather-donning pinup queen rather than a gee-shucks country gal. Lane had a huge 2014, appearing at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, Austin City Limits, and performing on Conan, and 2015 appears to be no less busy. RYAN J. PRADO

DARKSWOON, SUPERSUN, PUREST SPIRITUAL PIGS, REACTION CLINIC
(Habesha, 801 NE Broadway) Darkswoon is the electronic duo of Portland's Jana Cushman and Christian Terrett, who just released their debut, Year One, an impressive, dark EP with layers of expressive melodies and driving rhythm kissed by distorted electronics. It's an introspective collection that showcases the emotion of Cushman's gritty voice, and the influence of grunge is apparent, reflected in Cushman's electric guitar. Also on the bill are Purest Spiritual Pigs, a collaborative multimedia project led by conceptual and performance artist Helena Thompson. The sound is reminiscent of post-punk, consisting of drone synth and distorted guitar elements under well-placed percussion, with Thompson's highly charged lyrics alluding to a riot grrrl aesthetic. CHRISTINA BROUSSARD

YOUNG FATHERS, MAS YSA, HOSANNAS
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Young Fathers have been on a meteoric rise from obscurity to fame after their last album, Dead, won 2014's highly coveted Mercury Prize. But even now, most folks still don't know quite what to make of these three young lads from Edinburgh. Sounding at times like Shabazz Palaces or early TV on the Radio, Young Fathers have prompted plenty of conversation, from their diverse, multi-ethnic backgrounds, to their dystopian rock/hiphop sound, to the name of their new album, White Men Are Black Too (you'll want to read the band's press statement to understand the brilliance of this title). Regardless of all the buzz surrounding them, Young Fathers have a clear idea of who they are and what they hope to accomplish, and while occasionally addressing issues like class, race relations, and identity, White Men Are Black Too is, in their own words, "a pop album, our interpretation of what a pop album should be." SANTI ELIJAH HOLLEY

THURSDAY 4/30

PORTLAND CELLO PROJECT, RACHEL GRIMES
(Revolution Hall, 1300 SE Stark, #110) See My, What a Busy Week!

THE HANDSOME FAMILY, WILDEWOOD, LEWI LONGMIRE
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) The husband-and-wife duo known as the Handsome Family have been making odd Americana albums for the past 21 years. The songs are led by Brett Sparks' deep baritone voice, but it's largely Rennie Sparks' lyrics that make them so notable. From historical fiction to odes to inanimate objects, they combine a gothic taste for the macabre with dry, absurdist humor. Their mix of sincere folk tradition and clever alt-country has made them a difficult band to pigeonhole—too weird to fit among Steve Earle or Gillian Welch, not over-the-top enough to be on a playlist with Silver Jews or the Magnetic Fields. While they've been critically acclaimed and widely covered for years, it's the use of their song "Far from Any Road" as last year's True Detective theme that's brought their music to a wider audience. Tonight, expect a curious convergence of wide-eyed newcomers and long-time obsessives. JOSHUA JAMES AMBERSON

FRIDAY 5/1

BUBBLIN': TODD EDWARDS, KAHN, BEN TACTIC, LINCOLNUP
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See My, What a Busy Week!

OLD TIME RELIJUN, SECRET DRUM BAND, LIKE A VILLAIN
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Read our article on Old Time Relijun.

VISIGOTH, SPELLCASTER, TANAGRA
(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) Read our article on Visigoth.

THE PARSON RED HEADS, GENDERS
(Alberta Street Pub, 1036 NE Alberta) For a decade now, the Parson Red Heads have been pumping out warm, easygoing folk-pop-rock that's slightly psychedelic, a tad twangy, heavy with beautiful harmonies, and catchier than a cold. Led by namesake redheads Evan and Brette Way, the band—which spent a few years in LA before moving back to Oregon—has quietly built up an impressive catalog of albums, EPs, and singles that consistently sound like unearthed recordings from the missing link between the Byrds and Big Star. You Are the Cosmos, a Spanish label that specializes in vinyl releases, is highlighting the band's best work with a 12-track collection called In a Hazy Dream: Retrospective (2004-2014), which happily includes my personal favorite Red Heads song, the propulsive, hand-clappy "Punctual as Usual" from 2006's King Giraffe. This weekend, the band celebrates the release with a two-night stand at Alberta Street Pub. BEN SALMON

HEARING VOICES: THIRD ANGLE
(Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 NE Alberta) One of the most impassioned and informed books on classical music in recent years was The Rest Is Noise, a look at some of the most interesting voices and works from the 20th century by New Yorker critic Alex Ross. Fluidly written, the Pulitzer Prize-nominated tome brought the work of Sibelius, Copland, Morton Feldman, John Cage, and John Adams to vibrant life, and brought well-deserved acclaim to its author. The new music ensemble Third Angle have invited Ross to help close out their 2014-2015 season with a program that focuses on avant-garde composers from the West Coast. Through readings and musical selections, both writer and players will complement one another, highlighting the compositions of Californians Harry Partch and Henry Cowell, Seattle's Janick Giteck, and local heroes Lou Harrison and John Luther Adams. ROBERT HAM

SIR RICHARD BISHOP, ROBERT MILLIS, DRAGGING AN OX THROUGH WATER
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) Searching for the perfect spot to dive into the work of virtuoso guitarist Sir Richard Bishop can be a bit intimidating. Having spent years in the Phoenix/Seattle shape-shifting rock outfit Sun City Girls, Bishop has had a hand in crafting some of the most diverse and otherworldly music of the past three decades, and with more than 80 releases credited to that band, even the most robust primer could only cover the tip of the iceberg. As a solo performer, Bishop's output is slightly more approachable, and much like Sun City Girls, it incorporates a strong improvisational aspect that's used to bridge a wide range of far-flung styles. Tonight he's touring behind his recent gypsy-jazz and flamenco-influenced album Tangier Sessions, which was recorded in the Moroccan city using a mysterious, 19th-century guitar that Bishop picked up while performing a residency in Switzerland. CHIPP TERWILLIGER

WAXAHATCHEE, GIRLPOOL, BRIANA MARELA
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) "Before the World Was Big," the poignant title track from Girlpool's forthcoming debut album, is going to knock down walls for the Philly-by-way-of-LA band. The duo flips punk's maximalism on its head with their drumless bombast, creating wiry tension out of restraint. Their ability to conjure vivid images and skip the usual signifiers of youth-focused music demonstrates a self-assured maturity that can only grow with time. Harmony Tividad and Cleo Tucker's taut melodies induce the very sense of wonder they describe in their lyrics. "Before the World Was Big" seeks not to trip on childhood nostalgia, but to transport the listener right back to his or her 12-year-old self. Girlpool will be joined by Katie Crutchfield's Waxahatchee (riding the high of her Merge debut, Ivy Tripp) and Briana Marela, a Seattle songwriter who summons mesmerizing ghosts out of emotional electronic setpieces. MAC POGUE

MICHAEL DEAN DAMRON, FERNANDO, JOHN MORELAND, SEAN TAYLOR
(Dante's, 350 W Burnside) Michael Dean Damron is one of the strongest flag-bearers for the old guard of Portland country-punkers whose songwriting remains as sharp as it was 10 years ago. As leader of the explosive band I Can Lick Any Sonofabitch in the House, Damron's songs have struck a thematic balance of angry political diatribes and nostalgia for '50s pop culture, all while railing against homophobia and a lot more. A former boxer who also served with the Army's 101st Airborne, Damron's wellspring of material comes to the forefront on his new solo LP, When the Darkness Come. Produced by Fernando Viciconte, When the Darkness Come posits earnest tunes confronting aging, alcoholism, womanizing, and disability ("Diabetes Blues") in new sonic avenues for Damron. Ambient instrumentation decorates Damron's typically story-driven vignettes of underdogs, and puts this debut solo effort in a new class for the longtime singer/songwriter. RJP

JOHANNA WARREN, BIBLIOTHEK, TOJI
(Kelly's Olympian, 426 SW Washington) Portlander Johanna Warren's new album Nūmūn isn't out until May 19, but rest assured: It is one of the best local recordings of 2015. Sparsely arranged and spiritually attuned, Nūmūn is dedicated to the moon, according to Warren: "By honoring her phases, I am restoring balance to my body and making peace with the cycles of all natural things," she says on the Team Love label's website, "and to the divine feminine." Want to know more? Maybe ask Warren herself. Sonically, I can tell you that Nūmūn is collection of 11 gorgeous songs full of Warren's warm and versatile voice, her beguiling melodies, occasional found sounds, and delicately plucked acoustic guitar. It's an awe-inspiring assemblage of half-lit folk hymns from one of our own. BS

SATURDAY 5/2

HUSTLE AND DRONE, PSYCHOMAGIC, TALKATIVE
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!

THE PARSON RED HEADS, HOUNDSTOOTH
(Alberta Street Pub, 1036 NE Alberta) See Friday's preview.

ARTTU PARTINEN, MSHR, THE TENSES
(S1 Gallery, 4148 NE Hancock) Unlike most other knob twiddlers and sound collagists, Arttu Partinen cannot seem to stay still when he performs. The Finnish artist shakes his hands out, twists his shoulders around, and twitches as if being physically affected by the music he is creating with stray samples of Warner Bros. cartoons, free jazz solos, world music recordings, and squelching noise makers. He's like a one-man Art of Noise, completely stripped free of any pop sensibilities. He's joined tonight by the art ensemble MSHR, who'll bring their own multi-colored sonic sculptures along to celebrate the release of their new cassette RHSM. RH

FOG FATHER, SMALL SKIES, MOTHERTAPES
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) The start of summer is still officially a few weeks away, but that isn't going to stop some of Portland's more radiant experimental pop acts from sending out some warm, whimsical pop vibes at Bunk Bar tonight. Fog Father's debut EP, Razzle-Dazzle, which was released late last year on Track and Field Records, instantly calls to mind the sun-drenched sounds of the Beach Boys. Synths and tape collages soothingly doodle away at the ears throughout its 15-minute runtime, and the hazy, slow-burning opener "Cone House" and the spaced-out, laser-driven funk of "Ghost Colors" are sure to squirm their way through your head as they attempt to tickle the farthest reaches of your brain. Sharing the bill with Fog Father are the driving, trippy pop-rock duo of Mothertapes and the chilled-out sounds of Small Skies, a new band spearheaded by local beat-maker Benjamin Tyler. CT

BARDO:BASHO, CAMINO ACID, ADHERE TO FORM, PATRICIA HALL
(Beacon Sound, 3636 N Mississippi) The self-titled debut release from Kristen Thom's solo musical venture Bardo:Basho offers up a blending of the Seattle artist's various musical interests. The haunting spirituality of new age sidles along swooping downtempo beats, ghostly clouds of drones, and Thom's steady and passionate vocals. It's a decidedly sensual mix of sounds that feels at times like it's taking shape before you. Enjoy it live while you can, as it sounds like Thom is going to be taking a break from live performances after this gig. Also on the bill tonight is Camino Acid, a local purveyor of fractured beats and bliss-inducing acid house, and a solo venture by a member of Vice Device called Adhere to Form. RH

SUNDAY 5/3

THE DIPLOMATS, DJ FUNKMASTER FLEX
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) See My, What a Busy Week!

LIVE S.E.T. STUDENT SHOWCASE: EDNA VAZQUEZ, THE RESISTANCE, FRINGE CLASS
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) See All-Ages Action!

THE LOWER 48, THE WEATHER MACHINE
(Rontoms, 600 E Burnside) There's a fine line in the Portland independent music scene between Mountain Goats- and Decemberists-inspired, thoughtful music, and hip-dad contemporary. The Lower 48 treads lightly, and their high-intensity, '60s-influenced power pop (all the way down to their matching suits) thankfully falls into the first category. These Minneapolis transplants have been hard at work playing shows in Portland bars for several years now, and they have refined their sound from bland folk to a much richer-sounding psych-pop. Powered by clean guitar riffs, quick, sometimes jazzy drum beats, and beautifully executed vocal harmonies, the Lower 48's musical presence is manicured without crossing into bubblegum territory—or broccolini for all those healthy dads. CAMERON CROWELL

ANI AND NIA SULKHANISHVILI
(Newmark Theatre, 1111 SW Broadway) It's not hard to see a world-class piano player in this town, but the chance to catch 20 virtuosic fingers and 176 keys on the same stage is rare indeed. Portland Piano International doubles your pleasure this afternoon by hosting Ani and Nia Sulkhanishvili, an elite team of sisters hailing from Tbilisi, Georgia. These wonder twins will activate their powers of seamless interplay and remarkable dexterity, busting out an eclectic program that features Mozart, Dvoák, Chick Corea, and many more. But perhaps the most exciting detail of this gig is where the Sulkhanishvili siblings will be performing. Over the years, I've been lucky enough to witness a host of unplugged classical shows in folks' living rooms, the Schnitz, and everywhere in between; no venue compares to the perfection that is the Newmark Theatre. An 880-seat hall that remains intimate with brilliant sightlines and killer acoustics, the Newmark just seems to make every concert within its walls especially memorable. BRIAN HORAY

THE BODY, FULL OF HELL, PRIZEHOG, A VOLCANO
(High Water Mark, 6800 NE MLK) Full of Hell make menacing, horrifying music, but the scariest part might be that they look like they all just graduated high school. How the Baltimore, Maryland, foursome became fluent in extreme music at such a young age is a mystery, but the fact remains: Full of Hell make intense, punishing music reserved for noise freaks in need of a fix. Their collaboration with Japanese noise satan Merzbow showcases some of the most over-the-top combinations of rhythm and noise laid to tape. The record plays like a rap battle, with each party trying to one-up the other, except instead of rhymes, they use blast beats and pig squeals and white noise and crap. Full of Hell is joined by the Body, a doom/noise duo whose recent move to Portland is a truly terrifying gift that doesn't stop giving. MP

MONDAY 5/4

EAST INDIA YOUTH, NEIGHBOR WAVE
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) East India Youth (AKA William Doyle) is one of those young British artists who sort of sneak up on your consciousness one day with a sweet recording contract on a big indie and a nomination for the Mercury Music Prize—causing you to say, "Huh? Who?" He calls himself a "sound gardener/song architect," but on his second album, Culture of Volume, Doyle sounds nothing like the group who cut Badmotorfinger and other grunge-metal touchstones. Rather, he writes ambitious, electro-orchestral dance-pop songs of lushness and sophistication, and Steve Reich-esque ambient pieces with the occasional abrasive texture to keep the grannies away ("Entirety" is actually a noisy, bruising techno track). Doyle's voice captures an earnest, angelic vibe, complementing the music's glistening, frictionless grandeur. DAVE SEGAL

INTER ARMA, YAUTJA, ATRIARCH
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Richmond, Virginia-based Inter Arma is something of an extreme metal chameleon, shifting from doom to black metal to Pink Floyd-inspired grandiosity whenever the moment's right. A lot of times it sounds like they have too many ideas to fit into a single song. Case in point: last year's The Cavern, an "EP" consisting of one song that clocks in at just over 45 minutes. Their tourmates, Yautja, hail from Nashville, and stir up a similar melting pot of metal subgenres, with grind, doom, and crust punk swimming around in a sludgy broth. MATTHEW W. SULLIVAN

TUESDAY 5/5

SLEATER-KINNEY, THEE SATISFACTION
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!, and read our article on Sleater-Kinney.

DEERHOOF, SUMMER CANNIBALS, KILLER GHOST
(Dante's, 350 W Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!

DOLDRUMS, MOON KING
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) One of Sub Pop's newest signings, Doldrums continue to navigate a wave of multilayered textures, heavy percussives, and sampledelic synthetic songcraft on 2015's The Air Conditioned Nightmare. With no sound or stylistic element off-limits, the Montreal-based Airick Woodhead has created a hypnotic dance-pop record that nods to literary geniuses of yore (the title alludes to a 1945 Henry Miller book) and retells its own abstract story in the form of 10 disparate songs that sonically venture into darker territory with a shimmering light that intensifies with every listen. While it's certainly primed for dance floors worldwide, The Air Conditioned Nightmare's underlying weirdness will keep it from bursting into the charts. (Shh, don't tell Kanye!) TRAVIS RITTER

GAYTHEIST, BABY GURL, WIZARD HITS
(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) If the music of Gaytheist were a vehicle, it would be a semi, late on its delivery, blazing down I-5, the speed limit only a laughable suggestion as the trucker begins to have Tron-like hallucinations from 38 hours of no sleep and caffeine-pill cocktails. With only three members, Gaytheist leaves you wondering how they create such a heavy, intricate layering of sound. Tonight they kick off a joint tour with Salt Lake City's Baby Gurl, and today also marks the release of a split EP from the two bands. CC

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