WED DEC 9
Sun Kil Moon; Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie
2015 was the year it became officially hard to like Mark Kozelek. The Sun Kil Moon frontman's surly, embittered indie-dad shtick—which has long skirted an ethical gray area—crossed unequivocally into wanton misogyny this summer, when Kozelek debuted a vile new song in London about female journalist Laura Snapes: "Laura Snapes totally wants to fuck me/Get in line, bitch," went the refrain, reportedly eliciting guffaws from countless closeted MRAs.
For those of us who consider ourselves forward-thinking but are longtime fans of Kozelek's work, his spike in indefensible behavior is extra shitty, especially since it coincides with the release of the 2014 Sun Kil Moon album Benji and this year's Universal Themes, the two most important, unflinchingly personal records of Kozelek's entire career. He's always been honest about his hypocrisies, placing him a notch above the Woody Allens of the world and exempting him from the entire "artist vs. art" dialogue to begin with—there's no separation here and there never was, which is precisely what makes his work equal parts compelling and repellant. And while Kozelek has released some of the best, most enduring indie-rock records of all time—notably with his first band, Red House Painters—enabling his hyper-oppressive personality both on- and off-stage is becoming increasingly difficult to do without feeling complicit. Who would have thought that awful people are capable of making such great music? [Note: The Aladdin Theater's website states that those under 21 can attend this show with a parent or legal guardian.]
SAT DEC 12
Roxbury, Dog Thieves w/Glacier Veins, Cool American, Disco Volante; Anarres Infoshop, 7101 N Lombard
Roxbury are the latest in a glut of young Portland bands that have found the '90s. Their bite-sized debut EP, Roxbury Demos, is brimming with promise, particularly "Mississippi Ave," a rocker which strongly evokes There's Nothing Wrong With Love-era Built to Spill in its homespun indie ennui and haphazard clang of barely-intonated electric guitars. Roxbury performs with likeminded group Dog Thieves, the solo vehicle for singer/songwriter Garret Linck, whose Adult Dog is one of the best local EPs released this year.