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This Week's Music Previews

JUST LIONS Wed 10/2, Mississippi Studios

JUST LIONS Wed 10/2, Mississippi Studios

WEDNESDAY 10/2

JUST LIONS, NEW MOVE, BOMBS INTO YOU
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) If you haven't checked out Just Lions yet, what are you waiting for? The Portland trio has a new EP, Paper Cage, and it's very fine indeed. In three mere tracks, Just Lions pack in enough sound and melody to fill up a full-length album, finding new and creative ways to use the rock template laid out by old stalwarts like the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and Radiohead (it's usually a bad sign when a band cites these types of generic, omnipresent influences, but in Just Lions' case, the comparisons are apt). What they remember is to make all this classic-rock studiousness sound like actual fun, and their jubilant songs bounce, grin, stutter, sparkle, and—yes, when the situation calls for it—rock. NED LANNAMANN

CHRIS THILE
(Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 NE Alberta) Chris Thile is a genius. Plain and simple. He is one of the planet's finest mandolin players, rising to prominence as the face (and the fun) of California popgrass band Nickel Creek. He is the founder of genre-bending acoustic powerhouse the Punch Brothers, and he collaborated with equally brilliant musicians (Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer) on 2011's The Goat Rodeo Sessions, an impressive exercise in classical-meets-'grass. When he wants to, he can straight-up burn the barn down, as evidenced by the outstanding traditional bluegrass album he made with guitarist Michael Daves, also in 2011. And if all that ain't enough, consider why Thile stops in Portland tonight: to promote his new album, Bach: Sonatas and Partitas, Vol. 1, a collection of, yes, three Bach pieces written for solo violin three centuries ago. One more thing: Chris Thile is 32 years old. BEN SALMON

THURSDAY 10/3

FIONA APPLE, BLAKE MILLS
(Newmark Theatre, 1111 SW Broadway) See My, What a Busy Week!

NURSES, PWRHAUS, JOHN GENTNER
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See My, What a Busy Week!

ROBERT EARL KEEN, THE STUBBORN LOVERS
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) Robert Earl Keen used to tell a story about talking to a buddy who'd told him about happening upon 20 guys hanging out in a backyard in San Marcos, Texas. It was a hot day, and there was an extension cord running from the house to a window air conditioning unit sitting on the picnic table, running. They were drinking Schlitz beer. "And I thought, man, I haven't had a Schlitz beer since elementary school," Keen said. And maybe you too used to drink Schlitz beer in elementary school and you're thinking you aren't that different from Keen. But Keen wrote "The Road Goes On Forever," and the rest of us didn't. He might be the only guy who can get away with—is required to?—play his Christmas song ("Merry Christmas to the Family") all year round. And he does this with the easy, slightly lurid charm that the best Texas singer/songwriters wear so well. RYAN WHITE

J. RODDY WALSTON AND THE BUSINESS, GRINGO STAR, TANGO ALPHA TANGO
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) J. Roddy Walston, frontman of Baltimore band the Business, once said he'd never play a gig with a synthesizer or keyboard, opting instead to schlep around his 150-pound traveling Yamaha piano from gig to gig. He'll likely do more damage to his spine than all those other Nord converts on the road, and perhaps this reason alone is enough for you to sink your teeth heartily into Essential Tremors, the new J. Roddy Walston and the Business record and their first for ATO Records. It's a grimy, raspy, thickly buttered bit of Southern rock, full of glam-spangled boogie without any of the often-attendant white-guy funk, and approachable enough for you to palm off to your friend who won't stop listening to the goddamn Black Keys. Parts of it earn Zeppelin comparisons, while the shrieking harmonies on "Take It as It Comes" are pure pop perfection. Even if Walston doesn't keep his word about lugging around that damn piano, he plays plenty of guitar on Tremors, too, so either way, this is gonna be one hell of a rock 'n' roll show. NL

PEACH KELLI POP, THE MEAN JEANS, YOUTHBITCH, BRAIN ATTACK
(East End, 203 SE Grand) Nearly two weeks after Burger Records' big Caravan of Stars Tour rolled through Portland, one of the powerhouse garage/punk/pop label's most promising melody brokers—Peach Kelli Pop, AKA White Wires drummer Allie Hanlon—will visit East End tonight. Hanlon's lo-fi sound leans more toward the bedroom than the garage; her 2012 self-titled album is a smile-making mix of bouncy bubblegum, tinny new wave, and '60s girl-group pop filtered through the dustiest boombox at the thrift store. Those melodies, though... they're sticky like syrup, and never get lost in the fuzz. Joining Peach Kelli Pop are Austin, Texas, shout-punkers Brain Attack, plus local rowdies Youthbitch and the Mean Jeans. This'll be the Mean Jeans' last local show before a US tour, so head down there and say farewell in style. BS

FRIDAY 10/4

PET SHOP BOYS
(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway) See My, What a Busy Week!, and read our article on Pet Shop Boys.

TRIO SUBTONIC, BLUE CRANES
(Jimmy Mak's, 221 NW 10th) Trio Subtonic's understated technicality makes them one of the region's more formidable jazz trios. Led by the nimble digits of Galen Clark and his fluid piano tinkling, Trio Subtonic operates under free-ranging fits of fusion and funk, often melding the two into bafflingly good covers, like Radiohead's "Pyramid Song." The band's brand-new LP, Night Runners, moves at a brisk clip, covering meandering neo-jazz terrain while keeping one foot cemented in an experimental limbo of bizarre feedback and spiraling, gorgeously chaotic instrumentation, as found on the appropriately titled "Existential Crisis" and the title track. Trio Subtonic's ability to weather musical storms both sunny and sordid places them in an exciting league of forward-thinking, jazz-based groups. That they're joined by the equally ambitious Blue Cranes tonight only sweetens the deal. RYAN J. PRADO

THE CABIN PROJECT, CUMULUS, YOU ARE PLURAL
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Heliotrope is the second album from the Cabin Project, the Portland group that describes itself as "orchestral indie pop from the Pacific Northwest." This phrase evokes the sound of the majestic Heliotrope perfectly; it's a record whose prettiness is vast and rainy and windswept, and rooted in what seems like a small and sturdy community. Singer Katie Sawicki's understated voice lets the album's spangled arrangements do much of the work, as songs like "Eastern Minds" and "Rolfast Luna" sail effortlessly across the music's widescreen storminess. The result is lovely and absolutely compelling. The group celebrates the record's release tonight before hitting the road for a short West Coast tour. NL

HORRENDOUS, VASSAFOR, RITUAL NECROMANCY, SEMPITERNAL DUSK
(Ash Street Saloon, 225 SW Ash) Sometimes, metal shows can be scary. Not like in a scared-for-your-personal-safety way, but in a pit-of-your-stomach, ominous, impending-doom kind of way. For the next two nights, Dark Descent Records has put together a showcase of 10 bands who specialize in aural terror. The highlights (or darks) on Friday include the crawling death metal of Sempiternal Dusk, and the evil, bottom-feeding brutality of Portland's Ritual Necromancy. On Saturday, Seattle's Anhedonist will provide a crushing doom/death dirge, while Portland's Weregoat and Victoria, BC's Mitochondrion will twist your bowels with chaotic riffage and blast beats. Don't be scared, it's only metal. ARIS WALES

MAN MAN, XENIA RUBINOS
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE César E. Chávez) Man Man are difficult to pin down, traversing the musical landscape like a band of gypsies and employing an ample amount of eccentricity. They're either geniuses or just too much, depending on your own headspace. Finding out what makes them tick almost trumps the actual music. Over the years Man Man have refined their sound, from their earlier ragged gypsy-folk to their more recent, polished junkyard tales. Their records are filled with deep layers of sounds and dark emotional baggage that carry over into intense live sets. Like I said, Man Man is not for everyone, but one thing is certain—no one else sounds like them. MARK LORE

HOUSES, AMP LIVE, JENI WREN
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) It can't be punk rock all the time. I don't care how tough you think you are—sometimes you just need some devastatingly pretty music to soothe your jangled nerves. I resisted A Quiet Darkness, the new album from Houses, for a good long while, judging it to be needlessly poignant, touchy-feely, Coldplayish adult comtempo. But slowly and surely, its warm, enveloping melodies and breathily airy sounds worked their delicate magic on me. "The Beauty Surrounds" is a lullaby so stunning that the only thing left for it is to graft it onto a car commercial someday; the rest of A Quiet Darkness—which the couple of Dexter Tortoriello and Megan Messina recorded in a series of abandoned houses along the West Coast—is equally as ravishing. This is music for putting on slippers, making tea you can't pronounce, and writing letters to old and cherished friends. If you're too cool for that, I don't wanna know you. NL

SATURDAY 10/5

LAURA VEIRS, KARL BLAU
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!

OLD LIGHT, KELLEY STOLTZ, ERIC D. JOHNSON
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Read our article on Old Light.

INSANITY, MITOCHONDRION, ANHEDONIST, GRAVEHILL, WEREGOAT, DIRE OMEN
(Ash Street Saloon, 225 SW Ash) See Friday's listing.

FRIENDS AND FRIENDS OF FRIENDS VOL. 6 RELEASE SHOW: BRAINSTORM, WOODEN INDIAN BURIAL GROUND, THE WE SHARED MILK, HOLIDAY FRIENDS, PHILIP GRASS
(Star Theater, 13 NW 6th) The sixth volume of Tender Loving Empire's Friends and Friends of Friends is a star-studded compilation—tracks by local favorites Genders, Charts, and Wild Ones are joined by out-of-towners like Ash Reiter, Social Studies, and Delicate Steve, to make up one huge, double-disc playlist that will keep you fueled for hours. This night hosts a lineup of champions, and offers a glimpse into the variety and quality of taste that the TLE label represents. The newest band to the roster, Holiday Friends, begins the evening of Pacific Northwest rock, later capped off by Brainstorm, who headlines with their characteristic tropic-bounce, sweet-pop sounds that will surely lead into late-night after-parties. RACHEL MILBAUER

NO JOY, HEAVY HAWAII
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) No Joy's last few trips to Portland have seen them playing the role of a supporting act, and frankly, the band's loud and entrancing blend of noise pop is not very well suited to open a show. That's because when Jasmine White-Gluz and Laura Lloyd stop singing and put down their guitars, you're going to feel the need for a long walk and some fresh air. The stunning harmonies and melodic moments buried within the sheer volume take aim directly for the back of your brain, and the strong songwriting will continue to haunt you, long after your ears stop ringing from all the feedback and distortion. Tonight, No Joy gets the headlining spot that its music lends itself to. Rightfully so; the band's excellent second album from earlier this year, Wait to Pleasure, has placed them at the forefront of a wide pack of current-day shoegaze-influenced acts. CHIPP TERWILLIGER

ARANYA, BLACK WITCH PUDDING, ORDER OF THE GASH
(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) Aranya is one of the most bizarre bands you're likely to come across. Arriving at a crusty crossroads of operatic prog-metal that often nibbles at the rinds of the fantasy genre, Aranya's new double EP Friction/Refraction is at least an adventurous undertaking. The Friction half of the combo is described as "four songs describing sexuality through heat metaphors." Refraction, then, is "five songs of reflection and rejuvenation." As far as double concept EPs go, Aranya may have the market cornered. Musically, there are moments of strange greatness, as in Refraction's Eastern European-swathed "Chicory Key" and "Sisyphus," a noble exploration into carnival metal-lite. Quoting Hunter S. Thompson seems appropriate in reference to this release, beg pardon: "A high-powered mutant of some kind never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die." RJP

DJ QUIK, SUGA FREE, COOL NUTZ, CHILLEST ILLEST
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Rapper, manager, and host of the Northwest Breakout show (the only mainstream radio hiphop show in town), Cool Nutz has been active in Portland’s hiphop scene since 1992. His sound is much like the regional underground hiphop artists he plays on his Sunday night show, full of innovative splicing and sampling, and always the freshest of beats. He’ll be opening for Suga Free and DJ Quik, who is just beginning to play again after a six-year hiatus from his Platinum career. Between his hiphop show, hosting Portland’s only hiphop festival, managing his own record label, and recording and playing shows, Cool Nutz is the breath of fresh, funky air keeping Portland’s rap flame alive. ROSE FINN

SUNDAY 10/6

CHILI JAMBOREE: LUCERO, STURGILL SIMPSON, DANIEL ROMANO, SHELBY EARL, MISSION SPOTLIGHT
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Read our article on the first annual Chili Jamboree.

WILD ONES, MINDEN, PAPER BRAIN
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) This is one of those not-to-miss bills that comes along every once in a while, showcasing a trio of locals who truly shine at what they do. Paper Brain makes smooth, harmony-driven rock with piercing, surf-guitar-inspired riffs. Minden never fails to get the bodies moving with their sleek, sexy pop tunes and spandex outfits—check out the new record, What's More Than Appropriate, for a taste of their sparkly magic. Wild Ones headline the evening, playing songs from their phenomenal full-length, Keep It Safe. Each song stuns with a fully realized pop sensibility, as frontwoman Danielle Sullivan projects delicate yet brutally honest vocals. RM

MONDAY 10/7

MARK LANEGAN, SEAN WHEELER, ZANDER SCHLOSS
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) See My, What a Busy Week!

JACCO GARDNER, OZARKS, FUR COATS
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Read our article on Jacco Gardner.

TRANSIENT, LAMPREY, PAGERIPPER
(The Alleyway, 2415 NE Alberta) Transient have been a cornerstone of Portland's grindcore scene for quite some time now. After taking a few months off, they return tonight to celebrate the release of their self-titled debut album and kick off a tour. The band has released a handful of 7-inch splits over the years, and their first proper full-length is a striking statement, from the eye-popping cover art all the way down to the final pulverizing groove of wax. Credit to all involved in the recording for doing an outstanding job of transferring the band's fierce live show to the studio, as every bit of energy has been harnessed on these tracks. It's a fitting release for a sharpened four-piece that has been unleashing upon audiences for over half a decade, and I can't think of a better place to take it all in than on the stageless open floor of the Alleyway. CT

TUESDAY 10/8

SHOVELS AND ROPE, DENVER
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) See My, What a Busy Week!

SUN ANGLE, CHASTITY BELT
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) Read our article on Chastity Belt.

LE1F, ANTWON, LAKUTIS, MAGIC FADES DJs
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Le1f is performance art through the guise of a Tumblr explosion. The NYC rapper is an icon of a flourishing post-vogue ballroom scene, where fashion, dance, and hiphop collide as an affirmation of style and future-forward amalgams of identity. His rhymes are laced with hyperaware digs and cultural criticisms with enough attitude to tear the fake nails off Kreyshawn. Take Le1f's recent critique of Macklemore and his gay-rights "anthem" as proof for how art can uphold an unapologetic social consciousness. Tonight also features the Biggie-esque boom bap revitalism of San José-based rapper Antwon, another bit-coin rich chamillionaire risen from the internet underground. WYATT SCHAFFNER

DIVERS, PRANK WAR, PEEPLE WATCHIN
(Red & Black Café, 400 SE 12th) There's a scene in Portlandia that pretty accurately characterizes the city's relationship with loud music, in which a number of fictional, impossibly quiet groups compete in a "Battle of the Gentle Bands" to see who can rock the least. Over the last several years, the pop scene in Portland has eschewed balls-to-the-wall rock bands pretty much entirely, but Divers (who indeed fit that bill) seem like they're on the cusp of crossing over. It's not inexplicable by any means—the two compositions on the group's lone release (a self-titled 7-inch) are absolutely impeccable, and the band has managed to balance the sour with the sweet, synthesizing Paul Westerbergian, full-throated swagger with vaguely dance-y drum beats and saccharine, inescapable vocal melodies. Here's hoping they don't wait too much longer to put out another release. MORGAN TROPER

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