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This Week's Music Previews

JACK NAME Sun 1/26 Mississippi Studios

JACK NAME Sun 1/26 Mississippi Studios

WEDNESDAY 1/22

DTCV, NIGHT MECHANIC
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) DTCV (formerly Détective, currently pronounced "detective") are James Greer (ex-Guided by Voices), Guylaine Vivarat, and Chris Dunn. They've had a very productive couple of years, releasing two EPs (Very Fallen World and Basket of Masks) and a full-length Burger cassette (However Strange) in 2012, plus a big ol' 26-track double album called Hilarious Heaven: a blend of shadowy post-punk dotted with loose sketches/sound snippets and ambitious detours ranging from spacey free jazz to cool pastel bedroom pop to a flute-heavy cover of the Monks' "Shut Up." Think '90s-alternative-style "indie," from its earlier, more respectable days as an adjective. EMILY NOKES

JAKE BUGG, ALBERT HAMMOND JR., THE SKINS
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) Of all the Strokes' solo careers, Albert Hammond Jr.'s has been one of the subtlest, despite the fact that he's likely the group's most talented songwriter. In his solo work, Hammond has tapped into both meaty, guitar-driven garage rock and synth-led hipster dance-punk, each undertaking brimming with heartfelt sentimentalism and lovesick letters of growing up. That Hammond has basically grown up as a songwriter in front of the whole world is likely a blessing and a curse, but if his new EP, AHJ, is any indication, his willingness to confront his myriad musical muses is still strong, especially on tracks as carefree as the opener, "St. Justice." It's not as nuanced a pop statement as his 2006 solo debut, Yours to Keep; but AHJ proves that AHJ isn't full of BS. RYAN J. PRADO

LORD HURON, NIGHT BEDS
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) Evidence suggests there is no such thing as a universal human experience—only that which we encounter and perceive as individuals—but I'll be damned if I'm the only person in this world who has driven much too fast while blaring Lord Huron's "The Man Who Lives Forever." It is an invincibility ballad guaranteed to soothe even the most persistent existential agita. In fact, the band's entire Lonesome Dreams album is pretty life affirming; it coaxes one to get out and explore. And while founder/guitarist/vocalist Ben Schneider does deal with this matter lyrically—he himself made the pilgrimage from the Midwest to California—the stringed instruments, keys, and aerial voices stretching out across the album's tracks do well to fully evoke the freedom (dare I say, universally) inspired by the wide open spaces of the West. RAQUEL NASSER

THURSDAY 1/23

MUTUAL BENEFIT, BEVELERS
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) Read our article on Mutual Benefit.

VOLCANO CHOIR, THE CLOAK OX
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) Read our article on Volcano Choir.

DANNY DELEGATO, NETHERFRIENDS, A IS FOR ANYTHING
(Blue Monk, 3341 SE Belmont) Shawn Rosenblatt has been cranking out bedroom-pop gems as Netherfriends for half a dozen years or so. For some of those years, he had a rotating cast of bandmates, but these days he's making the rounds as a one-man band, armed with an array of synths, drum machines, and loop pedals. In 2010, he set out on a tour in which he wrote and recorded a song in every state, and he unveiled the results last year with an interactive map on his website. In the accompanying blog, about the track "Portland, OR," he said he "wrote a song about how Haters will Hate, but will they ever create something that someone else will hate?" MATTHEW W. SULLIVAN

YUCK, THE WE SHARED MILK, TENDER AGE
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Yuck's 2011 self-titled debut contained, at most, two great songs—opener "Get Away" and "Shook Down." The remaining 12 were middle-of-the-road Ride rewrites and other one-dimensional distillations of the "'90s sound." These flaws notwithstanding, it was a really significant record, and here's why: Yuck were arguably the first turn-of-the-decade blogosphere darlings to heavily reference Dinosaur Jr., the Creation Records roster, and classic emo. Consequently, they've spearheaded what some critics have gone on to dub the '90s revival, an admittedly lame term that would have seemed culturally alien in the music press only a few years ago, but is now related to seemingly every band with quiet-loud dynamics and fuzzy predilections. Yuck released their follow-up, Glow and Behold, last fall, and it's ultimately much better and more consistent than the debut, even if it lacks a big rock anthem like "Get Away." MORGAN TROPER

DARKSIDE, HIGH WATER
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) When electronic producers meld their efforts with those of more traditional, pop-oriented artists, at best you get the Postal Service. At worst, you're stuck with Skrillex and the Doors. Darkside, the collaboration between New York-based musicians Nicolas Jaar and Dave Harrington, falls securely on the Give Up side of this divide. The pair's debut album, Psychic (released last year on Matador), finds that sweet spot where Jaar's downtempo beats and Harrington's jazzy guitar playing and moody singing complement each other, creating a delicate warmth that pools out from the songs like a burbling oil reserve. The duo are joined on this run by High Water, a fellow sound explorer who brings elements of improvisational jazz into his roughly stitched-together dub electronics. ROBERT HAM

FANNO CREEK, EIDOLONS, MODERN MARRIAGE
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) At the end of last year, Fanno Creek released Monuments, a fantastic full-length that culminated years of playing together, finding the pinnacle of their sound. Over time, the band has moved away from zippy folk tunes to patient, cohesive songs that take their time—and that validate the wait. Their live show is as upbeat and energetic as ever, with harmonic lead vocals to songs that'll make you want them to never stop playing. Eidolons play tonight as well, their first local show in a while after touring for their understated yet awesome record Skyhook. RACHEL MILBAUER

FRIDAY 1/24

BIG ASS BOOMBOX
(Various locations) See My, What a Busy Week!

TIGERFACE, GRANDHORSE, FUR COATS
(Kenton Club, 2025 N Kilpatrick) A mysterious series of postcards, designed to look like vintage telegrams, have recently turned up in the Mercury mailbox. Suggesting an overseas trip—possibly during wartime?—it turns out they're the work of local band Tigerface, whose debut EP, On the Beach, doesn't quite contain the widescreen scope or romantic desperation of the namesake work it mines for inspiration (Nevil Shute's 1957 post-apocalyptic novel, and its accompanying Gregory Peck-starring film from 1959). Nor do the bedroom recordings have the same stoney, tossed-off vibe of the classic 1974 Neil Young album, although they do share the same sense of jangled nerves. The apocalyptic weirdness of opening track "Control" gives way to the more conventional, ear-pleasing "Leaving (for a While)," but this is a bleak offering, with strange and inventive arrangements. Like the postcards, it's a little more cryptic than heartfelt, but that may not be the case when Tigerface performs these songs in the flesh at tonight's record-release show. NED LANNAMANN

JOSH RITTER, GREGORY ALAN ISAKOV
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) It's not often that incredible Idaho folk singer Josh Ritter shares the stage with a songwriting equal, but that will happen twice this weekend at the Aladdin Theater, where Coloradoan Gregory Alan Isakov will open both of Ritter's sold-out acoustic shows. Isakov is a brilliant tunesmith with three terrific albums under his belt, including last year's rich, self-released The Weatherman. But the highlight of his career so far is 2009's This Empty Northern Hemisphere, a dusky collection that is both deeply rooted—Isakov is a trained horticulturist and owner of a small gardening company—and delicately luminous, as if its creator has crafted modern songs about love, life, and land using only an ancient star chart as his guide. If exquisite, enchanting folk-pop songs appeal to you, find a way into one of these shows. No doubt, Portland will host few, if any, bills better for that kind of thing this year. BEN SALMON

TOXIC HOLOCAUST, EXHUMED, RAMMING SPEED, MAMMOTH GRINDER
(Branx, 320 SE 2nd) Well, if this isn't one hell of a lineup: Portland's Toxic Holocaust are keeping the dream of '80s thrash alive in Portland, and Joel Grind & Co.'s latest release, Chemistry of Consciousness, drives it home with a sledgehammer. And Exhumed's blackened gore grind continues to taste great while going well beyond good taste. Ramming Speed and Mammoth Grinder round out the bill, bringing elements of punk into their metallic finish. Needless to say, if you're not exhausted after this one, you're not doing it right. There should also be some bruises and soreness—four hours of head-whipping action is just what the doctor ordered. MARK LORE

THE SHIVAS, BOOM!, MOPE GROOVES
(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) All three of the bands on tonight's bill are part of the Gnar Tapes family, Portland's cross-eyed but venerable cassette label. Well, that is, the label that grew up in Portland. Word is that Gnar's head honchos, Rikki Gage and Unkle Funkle of White Fang, along with the rest of the group, have headed south for greener pastures, relocating in LA. The move is bittersweet. First, here's wishing the bad boys continued success in spreading their top-notch lo-fi pot pop and free lovin' across this great land. Second, here's hoping Gnar's influence continues to be felt in their former home. Take Mope Grooves, for instance, a band of winking slackers that Gnar hipped us to. Check the video for the eponymous single, "Mope Grooves." It's marvelously catchy and proudly stupid—in other words, total embodiment of the Gnar ethic. ANDREW R TONRY

URBAN WILDLIFE, SWANSEA
(The Secret Society, 116 NE Russell) Strangers, the second album from Portland quartet Urban Wildlife, is an album of involving, tendril-like folk that feels both natural and ominous—like a building gradually getting consumed by moss and vines, or once-living carbon-based matter slowly turning back into dirt. Jazzy but restrained vocals by Emily Logan keep the music's dramatic flourishes from dipping into the realm of ostentatious; in fact, the entire ensemble works well within the realm of taste and moderation. This allows Urban Wildlife's mature sound to weave its quiet but undeniable spell, planting hooks in the listener's imagination and offering a sound unique within Portland's crowded folk-music wildlife preserve. NL

SATURDAY 1/25

SCHOOL OF ROCK'S BEST! OF PORTLAND
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) See My, What a Busy Week!, and read our article on School of Rock's Best! of Portland.

BIG ASS BOOMBOX
(Various locations) See My, What a Busy Week!

PREFUSE 73, NOSAJ THING, FALTY DL
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See My, What a Busy Week!

JOSH RITTER, GREGORY ALAN ISAKOV
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) See Friday's listing.

THE AX, DEADKILL, COUGAR
(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) Black Flag is a reference point that gets thrown around a lot in press coverage for Deadkill's new album No, Never!. It's not unjustified—there's certainly no shortage of unmitigated Rollins-style fury in Bryan Krieger's vocals and no lack of Damaged-era anthemic nihilism in their songwriting. Hell, the backing vocals on "Hoof Polish" even sound sneakily similar to the shout-along on "Six Pack." But a big part of Black Flag's sonic identity was Greg Ginn's jazz-fueled faith in wrong notes. Where Black Flag's plan of attack involved forays into counterintuitive chord progressions and absurdly random leads, Deadkill is propelled by streamlined, no-bullshit, four-chord riffs. And that disparity is a good thing, especially considering what Black Flag became in 2013. Keep your copy of Slip It In, but consider getting your modern fix of aggression from No, Never! BRIAN COOK

FUTUREBIRDS, DEATH SONGS, MARISA ANDERSON
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Athens-based Futurebirds are not reinventing the wheel. No one has to, really—the wheel works quite well in its current form. That said, the band's latest release, Baba Yaga, is a thoroughly enjoyable country rock album that performs all of the genre's necessary functions. Put it on, and it fills a vacant afternoon with a gust of four-part harmonies, dopamine-boosting guitar tones, and a rambling pedal steel that will entertain your most fruitful daydreams. Yes, tracks like "Virginia Slims" and "Tan Lines" arrive in your house truly sopping with reverb—have towels ready—but anyone who has so much as uttered a note in the shower knows that everything sounds better this way. Combine a sturdy knowledge of this excellent record with attendance at the band's notoriously kinetic live show and you're in startlingly good shape. RN

SUNDAY 1/26

GOTHAM A GO-GO: BATMANIA, DJ GREGARIOUS
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See My, What a Busy Week!

HUNGRY HUNGRY HIP HOP: STEWART VILLAIN, MAZE KOROMA, GLENN WACO, MILC
(Mississippi Pizza Pub, 3552 N Mississippi) Tonight marks the first time the free monthly hiphop showcase Hungry Hungry Hip Hop is hosted by Milc of Load B, as event founder Mighty Misc recently relocated to Michigan. This month's bill is an exceptionally strong one, featuring 22-year-old North Portland native Glenn Waco. Waco's latest release, the ambitious 17-track mixtape NorthBound, has recently been getting a lot of well-deserved attention around town; it was easily my favorite recording of 2013, including releases from national artists, so believe the hype. Waco joins North Portland peers and collaborators Vinnie DeWayne and Mic Capes in a new movement of young rappers who blur the lines between street and conscious rap, culminating in a style all their own. Maze Koroma (of the Renaissance Coalition) brings a slightly more psychedelic slant to that same theme, as featured on his latest solo release, Yoshi Breeze. RYAN FEIGH

MODERN KIN, YOUNG VIENNA
(Rontoms, 600 E Burnside) After marinating in a Northeast Portland rehearsal space for the better part of a year, fine-tuning a well-armed rock 'n' roll menagerie, Young Vienna are stepping out for their very first live gig with a whole lot of buzz. Showcasing sugar-sweet vocals against smart cuts of indie-pop giddiness, the band's debut album is currently under construction, helmed by band member/engineer-about-town Rian Lewis (Crosstide, Backside Disaster). The band is so new, in fact, that only a quick three-song recording is available online, but promising aural alcoves are evident already. Coupled with the recently morphed incarnation of Drew Grow and the Pastors' Wives, Modern Kin, and this Sunday's Rontoms session just got real. RJP

WEEDEATER, STONEBURNER, HONDURAN, USNEA
(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) If crusty, sludgy, debauched, THC-fueled metal is your thing, then Weedeater's your fix. The North Carolina trio is playing its first Portland show since July, and like last time, there isn't a new album or anything to promote—not that there's anything wrong with that. To paraphrase Marlo from The Wire, an excess of Weedeater shows is one of those good problems. This time they're complemented by local heavyweights Stoneburner, whose own grizzled sludge-metal is well worth the price of admission in its own right and whose next album, Life Drawing, is slated for release later this year on Neurosis' Neurot Recordings. MWS

DENT MAY, JACK NAME
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) If you're a purveyor of loveable lo-fi post-glam rock, you couldn't ask for a better résumé builder than time spent as a guitarist for White Fence. John Webster Johns has that, and his great debut album, Light Show—released under the just-as-great appellation Jack Name—is a totally bizarre monster mash of Rocky Horror prom pop, with sinuous sensuality and both grit and glitter under the fingernails. "Born to Lose" might already lay claim as the best song released thus far in this short year; "Pure Terror" is the ultimate soundtrack to your next intergalactic joyride. There's supposedly a post-apocalyptic sci-fi story tucked within Light Show's layers, but there's no need to get bogged down into its Ziggy Stardust-isms on the first few listens, as you're guaranteed to give it plenty more. NL

MONDAY 1/27

BOOM!, TOMORROW'S TULIPS, COSMONAUTS, DJ MODERNIST
(East End, 203 SE Grand) Keeping up with the latest releases from the Fullerton, California, cassette-driven record label Burger Records became a lot harder when my car's tape deck finally bit the dust. I miss the feeling of sending off $6 in a blind exchange for an album to blast on my daily commute. Cosmonaut's blown-out cover of the Beach Boy's "Little Honda" is a perfect example of the consistent goodness packaged on those releases. With a reputation for pushing the volume on their lo-fi garage rock through the roof, the Orange County band morphs the classic pop song into a psychedelic meltdown, while somehow holding true to the original. Cosmonauts' latest, 2013's Persona Non Grata, offers a bit of a break from the surging madness. Shrieks and shouts become smooth-out vocals, as songs are pulled along past the six-minute mark by heady and atmospheric guitar rock. CHIPP TERWILLIGER

TUESDAY 1/28

ASH, DEAF HAVANA, VENDETTA RED
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Britpoppers Ash might have a ravenous following and a ton of hits in their native UK, but here in America they've always been more of a secret-handshake band. The group's first full-length, 1977 (released in 1996, confusingly), is one of the most underrated and critically under-discussed—in the US, at least—pop-punk albums ever released. But it's a pretty staggering achievement, especially considering the group's collective immaturity at the time of its release. (They were only teenagers, and it shows: The record opens with a TIE Fighter sample and the squeaky, friable guitar tones almost sound like they're at the tail end of puberty themselves.) Ash was never really able to better themselves artistically, which is not to say they ever took a misstep, either—but it's the wide-eyed and ultimately ephemeral pop naïveté of songs like "Girl from Mars," "Goldfinger," and the eternally gorgeous ballad "Lost in You" that makes 1977 so timeless in the first place. Pop is the province of the young, after all. MT

THE WOOLEN MEN, SHELLS, BREAKUP FLOWERS, CHARLIE SLICK
(Red & Black Café, 400 SE 12th) Shelley Salant is a music-scene mover and shaker from Ann Arbor who's won the hearts of DIY-minded folks far and wide for her tireless work supporting bands and shows in her home region. She's also a musician; she has played in indie bands like Tyvek and Saturday Looks Good to Me, and she's currently touring the West Coast behind In a Cloud, the debut album of her solo project, Shells. On it, Salant unfurls nine lo-fi psalms of meditative, reverberant electric guitar, each built around a pattern of notes that act as a foundation for her groggy, addictive tunes. In a Cloud feels like a companion piece to Drifter's Temple, the excellent 2013 album from Portland psych-folk act Plankton Wat. Except with Shells, it's not desert canyons that fuel these transportive jams, but afternoon daydreaming under the slate skies of winter. BS

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