SAD HORSE
Chris Woo

WED SEPT 10

Sad Horse w/Swamp Buck, Consumer, Steelhymen; Slabtown, 1033 NW 16th

Sad Horse are easily one of the strangest bands in Portland. Their music is at once featherweight and abrasive. When it seems like some sort of musical hook is finally being established, everything comes flying off the rails—a musical psych-out reminiscent of the more challenging works of the late, otherwise inimitable Captain Beefheart. It's tempting to write this music off as artsy twaddle, but a more intent listen to Sad Horse suggests this is fundamentally pretty straightforward—dare I say, rootsy—rock 'n' roll, tipped off balance by a constant barrage of geometric, borderline proggy digressions. It's that dichotomy that makes Sad Horse such a captivating band in the first place.

FRI SEPT 12

Code Orange w/Twitching Tongues, War Hungry, Wreck, Funerals; Alhambra Theatre, 4811 SE Hawthorne

Converge protégés Code Orange Kids are now officially Code Orange—a decision perhaps motivated by the fact that everyone who reviewed the group's debut record, Love Is Love/Return to Dust, two years ago seemed preoccupied with how young the band members were. In other words: Having "Kids" in their name only emphasized their relative youthfulness, which sucks when you want to be taken seriously. And they deserve to be: Code Orange have been one of the hardest-working DIY bands since their inception six years ago, and their sophomore record, I Am King, is a welcome reminder that—if you're able to look past the kinda Korny, theatrically dour aesthetic they've been sporting lately—the most exciting and meaningful rock music is typically made by, well, kids. Also, read our article on Code Orange.

SAT SEPT 13

All-Ager Rager w/Excruciating Terror, Mass Grave, Splatterhouse, Stapled Shut, Transient, Raptor, Dödläge, Trepanation, Snakes, Dead Issue; Slabtown, 1033 NW 16th

Headsplit Records and Soundcontrol PDX present the All-Ager Rager, the latest in what feels like a never-ending continuum of heavy-music-centric all-ages festivals. Although, I suppose, the more the merrier: This round is headlined by LA-based grindcore veterans Excruciating Terror.