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THE BREEDERS Wonder Ballroom, Friday 8/30

THE BREEDERS Wonder Ballroom, Friday 8/30

WEDNESDAY 8/28

CALEB KLAUDER COUNTRY BAND
(SW Main & Broadway) See My, What a Busy Week!

DESTRUCTION UNIT, THE BUGS, AUTISTIC YOUTH
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) The new album from Arizona's Destruction Unit—Deep Trip, released last week by Sacred Bones Records—is a heavy slab of rock 'n' roll that will suffocate yer ears and blitz yer brain, and you'll love it. D-Unit's origin story is hazy, stretching from the Mississippi Delta to the Sonoran Desert and touched with the presence of Jay Reatard somewhere along the way. But Deep Trip is the first real studio record from the current lineup (after a slew of cassettes and other releases), and it's an absolute beast, the kind that emerges from a swamp of serrated, psychedelic noise-punk and puts a three-guitar-shaped hole in your chest, bashing away in motorik time. Of the current wave of no-frills rawk bands (Milk Music, the Men, Purling Hiss), Destruction Unit is the most aptly named. And the most sinister. BEN SALMON

TINY HEARTS, THE BEDROOMS, TRY THE PIE
(Record Room, 8 NE Killingsworth) I consider myself an advocate of songs, and while that might sound ridiculous, a lot of people are far more concerned with artifice than essence. It doesn't matter how many drummers you have or what vintage synthesizers you used on your record—if the song is fundamentally garbage, then it's not worth it to me. Tiny Hearts is the sort of band I wish was celebrated more, in Portland and in general: Singer/songwriter Dani Fish is clearly a connoisseur, as there's an undeniable pop sense oozing forth from basically every cut on the group's quaint debut EP, Nuthin' Fits. On opener "Brene and the Power," Fish bears resemblance to PDX antecedent Katy Davidson of Dear Nora, and the ersatz-soul "Going St. House" contains more than a few delectable hooks. But it's the dewy-eyed, Jonathan Richman-esque anthem "Sound South" that really does it for me. Live, Fish employs a revolving cast of musicians. The quality of her compositions, however, remains consistent. MORGAN TROPER

THURSDAY 8/29

ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND TRIBUTE: BROTHERS AND SISTER
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!.

THE ZOMBIES, ET TU BRUCÉ
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) Read our article on the Zombies.

FUN., TEGAN AND SARA
(Edgefield, 2126 SW Halsey, Troutdale) Do people still care about Fun.? The inescapability of the New York City band's two massive hits ("We Are Young," "Some Nights") has already receded; the follow-up single, "Carry On," made a much smaller dent in the public consciousness. Anyone who watched the trio win the Best New Artist Grammy in February has already filed them in the same place they filed previous Best New Artists. And serious music thinkers have redirected their vitriol from Fun.'s flamboyant Broadway pop to Macklemore's earnest Zubaz rap. None of this changes the fact that Fun.'s Some Nights was one of 2012's best albums, a powder keg of Jock Jams beats, bombastic choruses, and angsty-but-hopeful lyrical themes blurred by alcohol and/or tears and delivered deftly via Nate Ruess' versatile voice. But if no one cares anymore, why is Thursday's Fun. concert at Edgefield sold out? Maybe people snapped up tickets to see opener Tegan and Sara, whose deep catalog of well-crafted new-wave pop is a strong argument that, in a just world, they'd be headlining this show. BS

FRIDAY 8/30

ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND TRIBUTE: BROTHERS AND SISTER
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!

TAYLOR SWIFT, ED SHEERAN
(Moda Center, 1 Center Ct) Read our article on Taylor Swift.

HEART, JASON BONHAM'S LED ZEPPELIN EXPERIENCE
(Sleep Country Amphitheater, 17200 NE Delfel, Ridgefield WA) Read our article on Heart.

THE BREEDERS, TWEENS
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) It was a mere 40 minutes long, but the Breeders' Last Splash made huge waves in the pool of our '90s consciousness. In fact, it's still lounging out there on its floaty, with strawberry daiquiri firmly in hand, showing all the fresh young cabana boys and girls how to do it. It's been 20 years and that shit still sounds fantastic. Reverb clings all over the Breeders' 1993 sophomore classic in a huge fuzzy tangle of psychedelic noise and layered bits of lullaby, like drowning in a hook-filled deep end. The band's original album lineup is touring for Last Splash's anniversary with a deluxe 4AD re-issue of the album called LSXX—a three-CD or seven-disc vinyl set with all the bells and whistles, like B-sides and live recordings. (Who knew vinyl was the appropriate 20-year anniversary gift?!) For the first time since 1994, Kim and Kelley Deal, Josephine Wiggs, and Jim Macpherson will be on deck to dish out the nostalgic trippy delights. It's going to be quite the luau at the Wonder tonight. Go say aloha! COURTNEY FERGUSON Also see My, What a Busy Week!.

COOL NUTZ, VURSATYL, TONY OZIER, DJ KLYPH
(Blue Monk, 3341 SE Belmont) Portland-via-LA rapper Libretto is a current casualty of the prison industrial complex, serving federal time for the foreseeable future after being sentenced for armed robbery—a charge Libretto firmly disputes. His friends have put together a bill of local talent in an effort to help support him and his family through this arduous event. The lineup features some local hiphop heavyweights, including Cool Nutz and DJ Fatboy, fresh off their Summer of Strange tour. Vursatyl, who recently reunited with Jumbo and Rev Shines as Lifesavas to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of their classic recording Spirit in Stone, will also perform a rare solo set. DJ Klyph, of KZME's Welcome to the Neighborhood, hosts the evening, proving that Portland's hiphop community can come together and support each other when it matters most. RYAN FEIGH

DIESTO, HONDURAN, FELLWOODS
(Foggy Notion, 3416 N Lombard) Diesto might be the Gentle Ben of Portland's heavy vibes scene. That's not to say that their music isn't built upon mean, lumbering drums or massive riffs. And it has nothing to do with the three-to-one beard ratio among the members, either. While each of their songs is as towering and fuzzy as a grizzly bear, they each have a certain cuddliness to them, too. Local peddlers of harshness Eolian Empire are set to release the band's fifth full-length, For Water or Blood, later this month. The record harbors a fair amount of dissonance and noise along with the weighted doom riffage, but it still has that somber introspection and sensitivity as well. ARIS WALES

LEMURIA, SOFT SKILLS, HEMINGWAY, OUR FIRST BRAINS
(Laughing Horse Books, 12 NE 10th) Lemuria are playing in Portland. Lemuria are playing in Portland! It hasn't happened in three years and it probably won't happen again for a long time. The group hails from New York, although they have inescapable ties to this city due to a stellar split they released in 2006 with Ben Barnett's Kind of Like Spitting, titled Your Living Room's All Over Me. Seven years and countless releases later (although their side of the aforementioned split is still their best), Lemuria are considered lodestars of the scene and have carved out a reliable formula for themselves. I'm hesitant to describe the band's latest, The Distance Is So Big, as "mature"—because that's all-too-often an indirect way of saying something by a band known for rocking rocks less than its previous efforts—but I'm not sure what else I'd call it. And hey, I guess it does rock a little bit less than previous efforts, but the band makes up for it with an enhanced melodic sense and a newfound penchant for arrangement. MT

SATURDAY 8/31

CLUB CROOKS: DJ IZM, DEV FROM ABOVE, MR. MARCUS
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See My, What a Busy Week!

NAOMI PUNK, FORMICA MAN, ROSES, PAST DESIRES
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) I don't have enough fingers to count the number of great punk- and '90s-guitar-rock-influenced bands pouring out of Olympia right now. Refreshingly, each band has its own unique take on this style, and there are few phoned-in throwbacks to be heard. Like many of their peers, Naomi Punk have managed to place themselves on the national radar. Brooklyn label Captured Tracks reissued the group's second album, The Feeling, last year. The explosions of guitar and crashing, rhythmic drumbeats on songs like "Burned Body" will drill their way into your head after a listen or two. That album is now a couple of years old, and the band has been working to evolve their sound drastically. Tonight's appearance is the perfect place for them to show just how far they've come. CHIPP TERWILLIGER Also see My, What a Busy Week!

HAVOK, WORLD OF LIES, KONG AT THE GATES, CHRONOLOGICAL INJUSTICE, WARKRANK
(Branx, 320 SE 2nd) With 2011's Time Is Up, Havok set themselves apart from the faceless mass of throwback thrash metal bands that have popped up in the last several years. But they didn't do so by messing much with the template—they didn't set out to play the fastest or shred the hardest. Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax, and Slayer became thrash's Big Four because they also knew how to fashion a hook, and Havok has those in spades. There are still plenty of sick riffs and killer leads, but the brand-new Unnatural Selection succeeds because of the songwriting chops, maintaining a classic sound without sounding like a total retread. MATTHEW W. SULLIVAN

DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE, DEEP SEA DIVER
(Edgefield, 2126 SW Halsey, Troutdale) Looking back, it's fair to say Benjamin Gibbard had a solid 2003. That February, the Seattle singer/songwriter (in collaboration with Dntel's Jimmy Tamborello) released an album of chirpy electropop under the name the Postal Service that went on to become a surprise smash hit. Eight months later, Gibbard's primary vehicle, Death Cab for Cutie, put out its fourth album, Transatlanticism, which propelled the band to a major label and is considered by many to be its finest work. Ten years later, the music industry sees anniversaries as opportunities to squeeze more dollars out of an album, so Gibbard has been busy revisiting his past. He just wrapped up the first Postal Service tour in years, and on Saturday, he and his three fellow Death Cabbies will play Transatlanticism in its entirety at Edgefield. The only bummer: Assuming the band plays these songs in order, that means the title track—easily the best song on the album—can't take its traditional spot at the end of the setlist. BS

CASUAL ENCOUNTERS: BIG BULLY, TYLER MORRISON, HIGH + TIGHT, CTRL_ALT_DLT, RODDIMUS
(The Rose, 111 SW Ash) It's not everyday you find a celebrated house and techno producer/DJ who can also add singing to his roster of talents. This rarity, along with releases on some of the most influential electronic music labels in the world, distinguishes Big Bully (AKA Dawson Baca) in a most interesting way. His smooth and sexy beats are funky enough to make you move without realizing it. Add a live vocal performance to his DJ skills—if you put Keith Sweat and Prince together, you might come up with a creature who croons a bit like Baca. CHRISTINA BROUSSARD

SUNDAY 9/1

AU DUNES
(Rontoms, 600 E Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!

GARY NUMAN, COLD CAVE
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) Read our article on Gary Numan.

MGMT, BLACK BANANAS, KUROMA
(Edgefield, 2126 SW Halsey, Troutdale) As someone who didn't dip further into the catalog than Oracular Spectacular—still a fine album in many regards—I can say I've heard enough MGMT to last a lifetime. The omnipresence of "Kids" and "Electric Feel" revealed the surprisingly long-lasting durability of those songs, but like all things shiny and disposable, they eventually wore out their welcome. That means I was sick of the band by the time Congratulations came out in 2010, and that album's willful sophomore weirdness didn't endear it to anybody the way their debut did. Maybe it's an unheralded masterpiece? Maybe. But I seriously doubt it. MGMT have album number three on the way, and it's one of my least anticipated releases of the year. But who knows? MGMT have a way of subverting expectations; maybe they'll go beyond the pervasiveness of Album 1 and the perversity of Album 2, and actually make something that lasts this time. They're joined by Black Bananas, who are making up for their last-minute bailing on the Slabtown Bender back in April. The story goes that Jennifer Herrema got too fucked up and passed out backstage. 911 was called, Herrema was fine, but the Bananas didn't play. NED LANNAMANN

MONDAY 9/2

GLASS KNEES, MINES, CAMPFIRES
(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) See My, What a Busy Week!

TUESDAY 9/3

JOEY BADA$$, ANTWON, NACHO PICASSO, GANG $IGN$
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) See My, What a Busy Week!

REDD KROSS, BLACK BANANAS, SUMMER CANNIBALS
(Dante's, 350 W Burnside) "Stay Away From Downtown," off Redd Kross' 2012 comeback album Researching the Blues, is one of the most killer earworms I've heard in years. Modern power pop doesn't get any better. The band has, for the most part, clung on to cult status, getting their start in the early '80s as a scrappy, rough-and-tumble punk band and evolving into the power-pop successors to Cheap Trick. Redd Kross' body of work is solid all the way through. And hearing the band hammering out classics like "Linda Blair" alongside newer material will demonstrate how good a band Redd Kross really is. MARK LORE

ALT-J, LORD HURON
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) There are simultaneously urgent and calm forces in Alt-J's music. Straightforward, clean vocals give way to spiraling keyboard verses and rhythmic, quirky drumming. Their debut record, An Awesome Wave, took the UK and the rest of the music world with gale force last year, presenting an immediately catchy and distinctive sound. Harmonic lead vocals escalate into expansive choruses that break down in a flood of energy and dance-floor emotion. The beauty of Alt-J's music is its intuitive intricacies; the band knows when to withhold and when to give the audience everything it's got. RACHEL MILBAUER

NERVE BEATS, MUSTAPHAMOND, SOUP PURSE
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) Nerve Beats are bringing their self-described situationist art punk all the way from Honolulu, Hawaii, for a West Coast run and a handful of Portland-area shows. It's a homecoming visit of sorts for Travis Wiggins, the member of Nerve Beats who used to live in Portland and played in bands like Please Step Out of the Vehicle, Wooden Indian Burial Ground, and more. Tonight's show, the last of the Portland run, takes on an experimental lean; Nerve Beats are joined by the manic solo noise project Soup Purse and the rapid, thundering drums and guitar one-two punch of Mustaphamond. Nerve Beats' recent live album, Radio Action, has the three-piece romping through an energetic and jazzy blend of post-punk. It's an excellent live document that's lively and spastic, but also tight and focused. If it's any indication of the set they have lined up for tour, the group should find plenty of new followers during their short Portland residency. CT 

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