Up & Coming 

This Week's Music Previews

TWIN PEAKS Wed 5/27 Mississippi Studios

TWIN PEAKS Wed 5/27 Mississippi Studios

WEDNESDAY 5/27

TAME IMPALA, KUROMA
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) See My, What a Busy Week!

SPOKENEST, BACKBITER, ALIEN BOY, SHITTY WEEKEND
(Anarres Infoshop, 7101 N Lombard) See All-Ages Action!

GIRLSCHOOL, CRUCIFIED BARBARA, OLD JAMES, VELVET BLACK
(Bossanova Ballroom, 722 E Burnside) Read our article on Girlschool.

TWIN PEAKS, CHASTITY BELT, MODERN VICES
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Conveniently named Chicago quintet Twin Peaks' (just think about all that residual web traffic!) first album, Sunken, was a terrific collection of reverb-sodden, future-classic power-pop gems, exuberantly pillaged from a variety of Nuggets forebears and Creation Records' mid- to late-'80s roster in equal measure. (Running at eight songs and 20 minutes, it's one of those curious releases that occupies an RIAA blind spot between EP and LP—in other words, it's the perfect length.) The group's latest, last year's Wild Onion, is a little meatier and a little more focused, without surrendering any of the youthful vitality that made the band's debut so enjoyable. Standouts include the criminally infectious "Mirror of Time"—mellotron alert!—and the sweetly mundane "Making Breakfast," which sounds like Lou Reed joining the Traveling Wilburys. MORGAN TROPER Also, read our article on Chastity Belt.

SDMPDX MONTHLY: REGOSPHERE, CHEFKIRK, TERROR APART, GREASE ENVELOPE, TELLURIS, DAVE MOSIER
(Habesha, 801 NE Broadway) The June installment of Sonic Debris Multimedia's monthly concert series is concentrating on some of the region's best noise musicians, including two incredible sound artists from Eugene: Regosphere and Chefkirk. The former's version of noise can be a little more palatable, avoiding some of the harsher aspects of the genre, but still relies on what he refers to as "anxiety electronics." A recent cassette release wends samples of police chatter during a standoff between the LAPD and a disgraced former officer with metallic thrumming and an unholy guitar racket involving a violin bow and effects pedals. Chefkirk, on the other hand, feels like a straight-up challenge to your sensibilities, as best heard on his most recent digital release, Variations on a Cream, which features extended tracks that sends the feedback from his little mixing board through a microcassette player, torturing each squiggle and piercing tone by hand. ROBERT HAM

GOTHIC TROPIC, LIFE SIZE MAPS
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) As band names go, Gothic Tropic is a pretty good one. It's evocative, it rolls off the tongue, it sort of rhymes, and it somehow captures the aesthetic of the Los Angeles trio. Led by Cecilia Della Peruti—daughter of a well-known jazzman and an acclaimed mezzo-soprano—the band's upcoming album Fast or Feast is an eccentric take on psychedelic pop-rock that subdues Gothic Tropic's bittersweet melodies and barbed guitar licks with the liberal use of effects pedals. The result is a record that sounds like it's playing on a boombox submerged in neon goo and sitting around the corner of a massive cave. Gothic Tropic specializes in sounding both vibrant and dark at the same time. See? Gothic Tropic. Not a bad name! BEN SALMON

SHAKEY GRAVES, THE BARR BROTHERS
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) Alejandro Rose-Garcia is a smart young man. After a brief acting career—most notably as "the Swede" on Friday Night Lights—Rose-Garcia moved back to his native Austin, reinvented himself as a ramshackle one-man band, branded himself with the edgy, bluesy name Shakey Graves, and self-released his debut album, 2011's lo-fi Roll the Bones. Since then, Graves has built up a strong following, been invited to all the more illustrious folk festivals, and was given his own day by Austin's mayor. His most recent album, And the War Came, is a more polished effort than his previous releases, and finds Graves delving deeper into the fashionable pop-Americana sound, which has not yet fallen out of vogue, as tonight's super-sold-out show can attest. SANTI ELIJAH HOLLEY

BURIALS, CONNOISSEUR, HONDURAN, DRUNK DAD
(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) When you think of stoner metal, you probably think of something played slow and low—something closer to doom than hardcore. Last year, Oakland's Connoisseur released an EP called Stoner Justice, which contains song titles like "I Am the Weed," "Full Blown Marijuana Addict," and "Pot Hole," but hardcore is definitely the entry point. Connoisseur takes the crusty powerviolence of bands like Spazz and Crossed Out and coats that sound thick with bong resin. "Stoner violence," they like to call it, which is a better descriptor than I'm ever going to come up with. An expanded full-length version of Stoner Justice is due next month. MATTHEW W. SULLIVAN

STREETLIGHT MANIFESTO, DAN POTTHAST, SYCAMORE SMITH
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) Popular opinion suggests that ska died long ago in a mystical decade known as the 1990s at the hands of Hot Topic and white guys with dreadlocks. Streetlight Manifesto, however, is a beacon of light for the oft-ridiculed genre. This is mostly due to frontman Tomas Kalnoky's legitimately innovative music, a brand of ska that's more than just muted downstrokes, silly lyrics, and ironic covers (although their rendition of "Such Great Heights" is fantastic). Streetlight Manifesto blends thick, hardcore-punk, guitar riffs with tight, fast-paced drums and an aggressive, non-gimmicky horn section, and tops it off with Kalnoky's honest, existential lyrics. Also, "Streetlight Manifesto" is a full synonym with the name of fellow New Brunswick, New Jersey band the Gaslight Anthem. Coincidence? I don't know. Probably, but I'm going to the show to try and find out. CAMERON CROWELL

THURSDAY 5/28

HOP ALONG, FIELD MOUSE, LITHUANIA
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Read our article on Hop Along.

BARRY MANILOW, DAVE KOZ
(Moda Center, 1 Center Ct) See My, What a Busy Week!, and read our interview with Barry Manilow.

CHUI WAN, HORNET LEG, STILL CAVES
(Foggy Notion, 3416 N Lombard) It's easy to overlook, but North Portland's Foggy Notion has established itself as one of the best spaces to catch a show in the entire city. With delicious fresh pierogi, cheap drinks, and an intimate stage that harnesses the energy of bands and audiences better than most venues, the only strike against the bar (its location) seems a petty complaint to make. That goes double tonight, with the experimental-rock four-piece Chui Wan coming all the way from Beijing. Like their compatriots and Maybe Mars labelmates Carsick Cars did with indie-rock, Chui Wan have developed their own unique blend of psychedelia that pulls from a wide palette of familiar and far-flung styles. The band's latest, a self-titled album released earlier this month, finds the group synthesizing influences from Southeast Asian folk and Sufi meditation music into an entrancing collage of driving rhythm and deliberately crafted noise flourishes. CHIPP TERWILLIGER

QUINTRON AND MISS PUSSYCAT, NOTS, FIRST!
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) An inventor and a puppeteer combine to reimagine what a show could be, or should be. Quintron and Miss Pussycat create unhinged, bizarre-party performance art where robot drum machines spin in front of mini-theater sets and keyboards are housed in car grills. In their music, a distinctly New Orleans party-in-the-street joy meets goth electro-pop. It has the ability to sound like an Estrus Records trash-rock kegger crashing a chin-scratching experimental music festival. Or the B-52s playing an analog rave. Quintron and Miss Pussycat is a music project whose appeal is broad and unlikely, and they exist as a wonderful unifier—an insane party band that, on some level, everyone can agree on. JOSHUA JAMES AMBERSON

LAIBACH
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) If Laibach is thought of at all in this country, it's via their late-'80s proto-industrial covers of pop standards like "Sympathy for the Devil" and the Beatles' Let It Be, turning both into trudging, deep-throated commentaries on religion and totalitarianism. The Slovenian group has been producing some prescient and surprisingly melodic work since then, especially over the last few years. Their 2006 album Volk adapted the national anthems of various countries into new downtempo and techno tunes that left plenty of room for lyrical commentary on the geopolitical landscape. Last year's Spectre concentrated Laibach's gaze on what they saw as a troubled European Union, fracturing under the weight of personal excess and political malfeasance. RH

FRIDAY 5/29

BERLIN, THE SMITHEREENS, THE TUBES
(RoZone at Tom McCall Waterfront Park, 1020 SW Naito) See My, What a Busy Week!

SHY GIRLS, P. MORRIS, BLOSSOM
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) Something was lost when Shy Girls stopped being a six-piece live band—a whip-tight outfit with live drums, backing singers, and soprano sax—but the idea man behind those silky-smooth slow jams, Dan Vidmar, hasn't thrown his bae out with the bathwater. Shy Girls' new mixtape, 4WZ, is an immersive dip into surrealist bedroom R&B, with liquid synths layered on thicker than lotion, and after-hours rhythms that tick by scarcely faster than a pulse. If some of the project's originality was lost in Shy Girls' transitive grab for a slice of the Weeknd pie, you can't really go wrong when Vidmar's emotive songwriting and clear, clean vocal chops are at the helm. Unlike the '80s and '90s influences that dominated Shy Girls' early material, 4WZ is very much of this particular moment in time, and Vidmar's versatility suggests a long evolution of similarly seductive Shy Girls releases to come. NED LANNAMANN

VURSATYL, DJ REV SHINES, RENAISSANCE COALITION
(Analog Café, 720 SE Hawthorne) Tonight celebrates Crooked Straights, the debut solo release from Portland emcee Vursatyl. The veteran rapper initially blew up as a member of Lifesavas, with cohort DJ Rev Shines and emcee partner/producer Jumbo. Crooked Straights is 10 tracks of soulful sounds and lyrical mastery, courtesy of venerable UK-based label BBE Records, with a roster that includes Pete Rock, Madlib, and J Dilla. Despite Vurs' international cachet—evidenced by Maseo of De La Soul releasing an exclusive preview mix of the album online—the record finds the Portland emcee collaborating with many local artists, including production from Dave Notti and Hi-Res alongside cuts from DJ Flip Flop. Standout track "Super" has a video with cameos from young Portland hip-hop talents Trox, Mic Capes, Zoo?, and Maze Koroma. The latter two emcees, both of the Renaissance Coalition, open the show. RYAN FEIGH

DOKKEN, KILLER BEE
(Bossanova Ballroom, 722 E Burnside) Dokken deserve more credit than they receive. Ask anyone who their favorite hard-rock/glam band is from the '80s, and odds are they're gonna tap Mötley Crüe, Cinderella, or (maybe) Poison before they think of Dokken. It's really a shame because in a lot of ways, Dokken are a much more competent band than the other three ever were. First off, they're much more tenured, having recorded their first demo in 1977. Secondly, Dokken didn't need over the top feathered hair, make-up, or lacy post-apocalyptic clothes to distract from their music. They had the solid guitar work of George Lynch and the flawless vibrato of Don Dokken. They didn't use Aqua Net or pucker their lips; they had well-written, catchy rock 'n' roll tunes instead. And they're still pretty good. Dokken's 2012 release Broken Bones sounds like any other slab they released during their heyday. It just has bigger production, and features the capable Jon Levin on guitar instead of Lynch. ARIS WALES

REFUSED, WHITE LUNG, DON'T
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Nearly 20 years ago, Refused released The Shape of Punk to Come, effectively pioneering—or at least popularizing—intellectual hardcore, the genre's limpest appendage. In hindsight, it's hard to understand why so many people thought this shit was profound (it's kind of like the Fight Club of punk); the record's flirtations with music outside the punk spectrum—jazz, electronica—are as perfunctory as the strings on an Electric Light Orchestra album (not to mention as embarrassingly dated). And its underlying "message"—that Refused were somehow more "authentic" than their contemporaries because they cross-pollinated punk with forms of music that hadn't yet been appropriated by the Warped Tour contingent—is completely nullified by the fact that the band fucking reunited for transparently capitalistic reasons. To say that The Shape of Punk to Come is a "bad" record might just be an iconoclastic stretch; it has its moments (and then it has its other moments, where it literally sounds like Limp Bizkit with synthesizers). But it embodies an elitist musical ideology that, while perhaps novel in 1998, feels antithetical to punk as a whole, a medium that's always been most effective at its stupidest and least self-conscious. MT

SATURDAY 5/30

HOUSE PARTY PAJAMA JAMMY JAM: KID 'N PLAY, MIX MASTER MIKE
(Star Theater, 13 NW 6th) See My, What a Busy Week!

THE MOUNTAIN GOATS, BLANK RANGE
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) See All-Ages Action!

LUMPY AND THE DUMPERS, MONGOLOID, MEAT HEAD, MPK
(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) Every generation has its Lumpy. Whether it be Flipper, Miley Cyrus, No Trend, or any other avatar for America's puerile fascinations, someone has to filter out all of the metaphors and double-entendre from art and make a song like "Sex Pit." Lumpy and the Dumpers' cassette-only releases come wrapped in grotesque Schiele-cum-Gremlins illustrations, looking like the work of a middle-school bully destined for the Rhode Island School of Design. If you catch them on a good night (bring your finest huffables) they might throw out the slime, or the fireworks, both of which earned them the title of "poseurs" from New York's Alright Festival Organizer Dan O and an appearance on Tosh.0, the television show that thinks you're too dumb to figure out YouTube. Catch them with fellow ignorance worshippers (and blood relatives) Mongoloid at the Know. MAC POGUE

THE MOTHER HIPS, PWRHAUS
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) While Tim Bluhm's better half Nicki continues to garner more mainstream attention for the ramblings of her band the Gramblers (which Tim also plays in), there will likely never be a time and place where the importance of the Mother Hips to West Coasters can be overstated. Ensconced as they are in the traditions of California rock 'n' soul, Americana revivalism (before that was a thing), and the velvety harmonies of Bluhm and Greg Loiacono. The Hips have steadily re-entrenched themselves following the releases of two LPs in as many years: 2013's Behind Beyond and last year's Chronicle Man. The cult heroes return to Portland to share the stage with Pwrhaus, whose steady march of impressive live performances has finally carved a visible niche. RYAN J. PRADO

ALELA DIANE, RYAN FRANCESCONI, MARIEE SIOUX, KACEY JOHANSING
(Oaks Pioneer Church, 455 SE Spokane) The tiny Oaks Pioneer Church is a favorite venue for Alela Diane for exclusive reveals of new material. Tickets to its mere 75 seats are long gone, but if you're lucky enough to get inside you'll be among the first to hear songs from a forthcoming collaborative album with Ryan Francesconi. It's been under pretty tight wraps, but allusions have been made toward new age-y vibes, and surely happier ones than on Diane's last, the devastating About Farewell. The not-to-be overlooked forested magic of Mariee Sioux, and Kacey Johansing's upbeat tunes and Karen Dalton-esque vocals should make for perfect accompaniment. MARJORIE SKINNER

FREEFORM PORTLAND RADIO BENEFIT: PALO VERDE, BAD CANOES, TSEPESCH
(Foggy Notion, 3416 N Lombard) The last time that Lauren K. Newman and Marissa Paternoster shared a stage, the result was a master class in shredding that nearly blew the roof off Holocene. Newman was playing as part of the Newman/Schonberg/Reyna Group, and Paternoster was in town with her own band, New Brunswick's Screaming Females. Tonight's bill, a benefit for Freeform Portland Radio, reunites the two, and while neither will be wielding guitars this time around, faces are guaranteed to be melted once again. You should already be familiar with Palo Verde, the psychedelic-rock duo with Newman on drums and guitarist Terrica Kleinknecht, who have been heavy-rock staples here in Portland since 2006. They are joined by Bad Canoes, an experimental punk outfit fronted by Paternoster's unmistakable vocals. The band has been honing their sound playing basement shows around the Northeast since late 2013, and here's a rare opportunity to catch them out west. CT

NUGGETS NIGHT: THE VERNER PANTONS, THE PYNNACLES, THE SATIN CHAPS
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Portland's Rock 'n' Roll Camp for Girls is a cultural institution, secretly connecting the dots between our town's disparate scenes since 2001. Members of PacNW standards like LAKE, Dear Nora, STLS, and newer generations of bands like Golden Hour and Blind Lovejoy have all volunteered for or attended Rock Camp—the list of associated projects could fill this piece's word count alone—and countless Pacific Northwest music fans have benefitted from the institution's empowering effect on our music scene. To raise funds for the institution, a spread of Portland's most garage-indebted bands will play the music of Nuggets, Jac Holzman and Lenny Kaye's 1972 compilation of the then-burgeoning psychedelic and garage music scenes of the recent past. MP

SUNDAY 5/31

KING CHIP, TRE REDEAU, MATT BURTON, HARRIS RUDMAN, NYCE LUTCHIANO
(Peter's Room at the Roseland, 8 NW 6th) See My, What a Busy Week!

MOOREA MASA, LUZ ELENA MENDOZA, CATHERINE FEENY
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) There's been a bit of online commotion lately over the lack of recognition for female musicians within Portland. This word count's not long enough to wander into that dark, brambled topic, so let's instead stop and smell the roses: There are some great female musicians here in our community—yesterday, today, and tomorrow—one of which is the folky siren Moorea Masa. After years of contributing to other impressive projects (vocalist for Ural Thomas and the Pain, guest singer on the Decemberists' newest record), Masa has moved to the forefront, debuting a solo endeavor with an EP, Oh Mother, that showcases her honeyed, flawless vocals, with some instrumental aid from other lady shredders like fiddle folkateer Anna Tivel (with her own gorgeous solo project). Masa will celebrate the release at Mississippi Studios with a stacked bill of Luz Elena Mendoza and Catherine Feeny, both strong sonic pillars within the Portland community as well. There's a theme here. Enough said. ROBIN BACIOR

MIAMI HORROR, DE LUX, DIRTY RADIO, GOLD CASIO
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Melbourne's Miami Horror is on tour to promote their second album, All Possible Futures, a dreamy, danceable nod to the '80s and the future, simultaneously. The band started as a solo project from DJ/remixer from Benjamin Plant in 2007, and eventually accumulated three additional musicans to create an outfit steeped in feel-good vibes. Miami Horror's sound is clearly part of a larger global dance trend, but their songs are finessed, immediately grabbing you with infectious beats and hooks that sound like they could've fallen out of Michael Jackson's ghost pocket. (What else is in there, we dare not guess.) With songs as catchy as these, you're likely to soon hear them on iPod commercials and while you're trying on pants. ROSE FINN

MOPE GROOVES, DEGREASER, HOWARDIAN, SUPER HIT
(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) The Gnar Tapes crew appear stronger than ever, leaking out lo-fi garage punk nuggets a lot more often than getting their hair cut. Mope Grooves, one of the more melodic artists on the label, plays a slick slice of grimy slacker-rock, boasting endearingly out-of-tune vocals from Stevie Sensitive (formerly of Youthbitch) and mean lead guitars. Last November saw the release of the project's first full-length, a quirky collection of bubblegum rhythms over songs about eating lunch on the bus, sleeping in your jeans, and something called "Psychic Debt." Whatever it is Stevie's ruminating on, it's really fun to listen to, and tonight's show will not be a bummer. RJP

T-PAIN, NATASHA KMETO
(Bossanova Ballroom, 722 E Burnside) In retrospect, Faheem Najm's choice of the name T-Pain appears unusually prescient. Through the back half of the 2000s, the singer became a pariah for some sort of perceived inauthenticity, joining the likes of Creed and Nickelback as bottom-rank entertainers persecuted mostly for the act of sincerely making music that is out of fashion. After years of enduring never-ending verbal assaults from Jay-Z's fans and Kanye West himself, T-Pain has opened up about a debilitating depression that nearly ended his music career. His forthcoming album, Stoicville, ditches the club anthems of the past in favor of direct rapping about his experience. In an inspired pairing, Portland's chilly R&B/electronic producer Natasha Kmeto opens; her album Crisis mines similar feelings of finding oneself in a non-stop chorus of competing voices. MP [UPDATE: This show has been canceled due to "safety concerns." See Blogtown, May 24, 2015.]

MONDAY 6/1

JOSH ROUSE, WALTER MARTIN
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) It's a long way from Oshkosh, Nebraska, to Valencia, Spain, but that sleepy Mediterranean town is where Josh Rouse and his family now call home. It's also where Rouse recorded many of the songs for his latest album, The Embers of Time. The other songs were recorded in Rouse's former home in Nashville, where he first began a career that has now spanned nearly two decades, 11 albums, and a considerable amount of critical praise. The Embers of Time was recorded following a nearly ruinous anxiety crisis, but even though the album is one of the most confessional Rouse has ever recorded, it's also one of his catchiest. Layers of guitar, piano, vibes, and harmonica hearken back to the days of carefree country-rock, with echoes of the Band and Neil Young (who Rouse pays tribute to on the Laurel Canyon-countrified "New Young"). SEH

DINERS, ALIEN BOY, PS-AX
(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) Phoenix's Diners make casually celebratory power-pop music. It's a melancholic feel-good—mid-tempo muted bass grooves, twee-folk sensibilities, beach party riffing, and the occasional Thin Lizzy-inspired mini solo. Diners' songs are fascinated with the minutiae of phone calls and mixtapes and nice breezes, but somehow sidestep the insincere innocence and frustrating privilege that occupies much of the music that can be described as twee. They create well-crafted pop songs that aren't terribly weighed down by the burden of self-importance. What Diners does best is offer a humbler narration on quaint simplicity—a dream of a pre-jaded existence that's worth escaping to. JJA

TUESDAY 6/2

RED BULL SOUND SELECT: ZOLA JESUS, MAGIC FADES, GHOST FEET
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) See My, What a Busy Week!

PUDDLES' PITY PARTY
(Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 NE Alberta) See My, What a Busy Week!

PALMA VIOLETS, PUBLIC ACCESS TV
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) If there's anything the British music press loves more than all-out hype (generally administered in the act of prematurely bestowing proclamations like The Next Beatles! upon naïve but well-intentioned new bands), it is the subsequent de-hyping of said bands come next album (if not next week). For every Arctic Monkeys, there seem to be 50 Vines, the build-up executed only for the take-down. London quartet Palma Violets began on this path, their first single "Best of Friends" and 2013 debut 180 leading the hometown press to herald them as the Great New Hope roughly five minutes after a chance meeting at the Reading Festival led to their formation. It's to Palma Violets' credit, then, that their new follow-up, Danger in the Club, arrives with a swagger, avoiding the ol' sophomore slump with a shambling, often anthemic set rife with the kind of call-and-response energy their live shows have become known for. Expectations? They're still tossed around—the New Clash, Second Coming of the Libertines, and the like. It's almost enough that a band of 21-year-olds cares to draw from acts like that in the first place, let alone do it so well. JEREMY PETERSEN

AND AND AND, COUCHES, MÁSCARAS
(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) Tonight's show at the Know features two of the city's best bands, And And And and Máscaras, so that's cool in and of itself. But joining those two is Couches, a San Francisco trio that's turning heads with its relentless tour schedule and a classic indie-rock sound. The band's most recent release, the Slackin' Since the 80s EP—released last year on 20 Sided Records—pairs the bent jangle and amiable crunch of Pavement with airy, elongated melodies that remind me of the late, great Athens, Georgia band the Glands. Pavement and the Glands? That, friends, is splitting one seriously fine hair. Anyway, the point is: '90s-inspired, guitar-driven indie rock is back, and Couches do it well. Don't use their set tonight as a smoke break in between seeing your buddies' bands. BS

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