SAT NOV 21
The Fall of Troy w/Kylesa, Powwers, We the Wild; Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE César E. Chávez
Post-hardcore band the Fall of Troy's self-titled debut was released in 2003 when its members were still in high school. It's a perfect time capsule of the punk rock of that era: flatly recorded and hastily performed, but brimming with musical invention and a callow urgency that's only possible to conjure at that age. The Mukilteo, Washington, band's 2005 follow-up, Doppelgänger, is a hyper-produced older brother that, notably, features a faster, wankier rendition of the first album's anthem, "F.C.P.S.I.T.S.G.E.P.G.E.P.G.E.P." That album saw the Fall of Troy ascend from precocious punks to mallcore poster children, while 2007's Manipulator represented the band's artistic peak, blending the mathy grandstanding of previous efforts with a courageous and occasionally bizarre pop swagger (as in "Caught Up").
And then... they lost us. 2008's Phantom on the Horizon saw the group surrender completely to the trite, proggy temperament that had been nipping at their heels but hadn't yet eclipsed the other, more worthwhile aspects of their music. And 2009's In the Unlikely Event was an unfocused smorgasbord of disparate styles that jumped the shark entirely—it remains one of the flabbiest swan songs in the last two decades of pop music history. Tonight, the band reunites with all of its original members in honor of Doppelgänger's 10-year anniversary. Reportedly, they're working on a new album, too; hopefully they've learned from recent mistakes and can draw on past triumphs.
MON NOV 23
Minus the Bear w/Murder by Death; Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell
Minus the Bear's debut LP, 2002's Highly Refined Pirates, is one of the more enjoyable exercises in Jade Tree Records fetishism from the early '00s. It captured the spirit of the genre's forebears (the jangly, open tunings; the deliberately puerile lyrics; the obnoxiously long and esoteric song titles), while still carving out a unique identity for itself. Since then, Minus the Bear have evolved into perhaps the quintessential emo-dad band, and 2014's Lost Loves—a collection of outtakes the spans the group's entire history—is the perfect soundtrack for autumnal cuddle sessions and 2016 Honda Civic ads alike.