The Mountain Goats w/Loamlands; Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell
John Darnielle's songwriting genius is one of the few things pretty much everyone can agree on. His group/solo project, the Mountain Goats, is probably one of the best, and certainly one of the most consistent, indie-rock acts ever. Tonight the Goats will likely play a bevy of songs off the most recent album, 2012's stellar Transcendental Youth—which is great and all, but I'm just crossing my fingers for "Jenny."
She Shreds Presents: Priests, Spider and the Webs, Love and Caring; Laughing Horse Books, 12 NE 10th
The cat's out of the bag, everyone: Female musicians are severely underrepresented and seldom taken as seriously as their male counterparts. It's nice to make believe that gender equality in rock 'n' roll has come a long way, but the antediluvian perception persists in male-dominated music culture that a female's role in a rock band is limited to cheerleader/sidekick status (à la Linda McCartney) or the electric bass guitar (which is why I'm pro-Haim, who had the gall to call out critics for constantly pegging them with the "girl band" tag, a condescendingly vague designation). Actually, the majority of worthwhile new artists are all female-fronted acts, speaking both locally (the Ghost Ease, Summer Cannibals, Like a Villain) and nationally (Perfect Pussy, Swearin', Taylor Swift). Currently on its fifth issue, She Shreds is a pretty fantastic Portland-based publication that's dedicated to the exposure of female guitarists and bassists; past subjects include Marnie Stern, Kim Gordon, and La Luz. Tonight's show at Laughing Horse features performances by weirdo-post punks Priests from Washington, DC, the wistful twee of Olympia's Spider and the Webs, and discomforting, frenetic punk from Portland upstarts Love and Caring.