CUMULUS Sat 2/1 White Eagle
Jessy Lou D'Aprile

WEDNESDAY 1/29

RYAN VANDORDRECHT, COOPER AND THE JAM, SPIRIT LAKE
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Formerly of the bands Castella and Sidestar, Ryan VanDordrecht has readied a solo debut, and Beast of Love reveals the songwriter's talents in straightforward, admirable fashion. Nothing on the record heats up past a low boil, but the laidback, rootsy affair works perfectly well on its own terms, particularly on the twangy "Great American Life" and the boozy barroom slowburn of "I Ain't Coming Home Tonight." Pop smarts are imbued into almost every track, sidestepping the earnest singer/songwriter qualities that could have turned Beast of Love into a navel gazer. Instead, it's a grower, and the re-introduction of a worthwhile local talent. NED LANNAMANN

INTO IT OVER IT, THE WORLD IS A BEAUTIFUL PLACE AND I AM NO LONGER AFRAID TO DIE, A GREAT BIG PILE OF LEAVES
(Branx, 320 SE 2nd) If you follow music trends, you might have read about twinklecore sometime in the last couple of months. In case you're unfamiliar, it's a fancy and reprehensibly idiotic term being ascribed to a legion of bands influenced by "twinkly" mid-'90s emo (à la Braid, the Promise Ring, and the Kinsella brothers' oeuvre). The World Is a Beautiful Place and I Am No Longer Afraid to Die are usually the first band referenced in any article about this so-called resurgence (which is part reality, and part slow news year for a desperate music press), and it's annoying because they're far from its best practitioner. But it's easy to see what's allowed them to make the biggest impression on out-of-touch music writers attempting to make sense of a scene they have no involvement in: the pretentiously long name that's nearly impossible to curtail comfortably; the sensationalist, overtly emotional subject matter; and their overall musical and aesthetic humorlessness. MORGAN TROPER

THE AUTUMN DEFENSE, MELVILLE, BARNA HOWARD
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) The Autumn Defense, led by John Sirratt and Pat Sansone (members of Wilco), makes the kind of twangy, slide-guitar-centric sounds that make country music okay. The duo are on tour for their fifth album together, the newly released Fifth, which was made between busy tours with other projects. This seems like a less than ideal way to make a record, but there is a sense of full, bursting expression in these songs, like they couldn't stand being held back any longer. If you're in the mood for some American pop sensibility, get ahold of this lineup, with local folk rockers Melville to round it out. RACHEL MILBAUER

THE BINARY MARKETING SHOW, TROUBLED BY INSECTS, CHIFFON, AMENTA ABIOTO
(Habesha Lounge, 801 NE Broadway) The members of the Binary Marketing Show don't like to attach themselves or their musical output to any particular place. Though Abram Morphew and Bethany Carder are now residing in our rainy city, they seem to prefer to think of themselves as nomads, with their sounds sopping up influences from all corners of the world. It's the platonic ideal for any band, and this experimental duo expresses it through some truly melted-ice-cream visions of our technology-centric future. Their releases have all exhibited a fascination with circuit bending (customizing an over-the-counter electronic device like a Gameboy into a musical instrument) and verging on pop, but only occasionally giving themselves over to anything straightforward. Mercurial and wise, this is twitch music for the Twitter generation. ROBERT HAM

THURSDAY 1/30

WASHED OUT, KISSES
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) Washed Out's endless, shimmering synth is like taking an Ambien at noon, in the summer, and then drifting down to the beach with a cooler of peach mimosas. You laze on the sand, feeling vaguely buzzed, but mostly drowsy and disoriented as layers and layers of warm dance pop wash over you. In between dehydrated naps, a blurry voice assures you: "it feels all right," and "you're far away"—at least you think that's what he's saying. A couple hours or days later, you wake up draped in seaweed and sunburned. Washed Out (AKA Ernest Greene) plays tonight with LA duo Kisses, bringing you all the pastel new-wave music you can handle. EMILY NOKES Also see My, What a Busy Week!

VOODOO DOUGHNUT RECORDINGS WORLD PREMIERE: THE DOUGHNUT BOYS, DEEP FRIED BOOGIE BAND, DJ DAIRY
(Matador, 1967 W Burnside) Voodoo Doughnut is obviously very good at the business of doughnuts, so far be it from me to criticize the Portland institution's venture into the business of music. On paper, Voodoo Doughnut Recordings looks like a bit of a boondoggle, a label that specializes in 1,000-run editions of colored 7-inch vinyl featuring doughnut-related songs. And the first single on the label, a split that features the Doughnut Boys' "It Ain't No Cupcake (Workin' at Voodoo Doughnut)" on the A-side, probably isn't going to burn up the charts anytime soon. (The song is a swanky '90s funk-dance vamp with an aggravatingly nasal voice—possibly Voodoo co-founder Tres Shannon, or someone imitating him—saying things like, "No, you cannot smell me!" and "You're siiiick! You're sicker!" It was probably hilarious to those who were there when it was recorded; outside of the studio, it's anything but.) But the single's B-side from Pink Boxxes, and the label's second release—a 7-inch from the Deep Fried Boogie Band featuring Quasi's Sam Coomes—are decidedly more appealing. Best of all, Voodoo has an open submission policy, so if you've got a song about a doughnut, this could be your big break. NL

WL, BRETT AND BLAKE, SCHOOL OF ROCK SHOW BAND, MARRIAGE + CANCER
(Slabtown, 1033 NW 16th) Equal amounts of influence rush from each member of WL on their debut album, Hold. It's a feat that ought to be commonplace for new bands, but the distinction of symbiotic interplay found on songs like "Sugar Pill" and "You're Not Really Here" speak to sonic deliberations that champion three parts making the whole for the trio. Misty Mary's elusive vocals fit snugly over Michael Yun's inspired guitar squall, which in turn never buries the smart, steady drumming of Stevie Sparks. As much indebted to the repetitious, guitar-forward dynamics of Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo as they are to whatever shoegaze means anymore, WL have locked into a compelling alcove of Portland rock that's fun to watch unfold. They're joined at tonight's all-ages show by a band of School of Rock's finest players. RYAN J. PRADO

ULTRA BIDÉ, THRONES, RAT PARTY, THE EX-GIRLFRIENDS CLUB
(Hawthorne Theatre Lounge, 1507 SE César E. Chávez) When people discuss the roots of current noise-rock bands like Metz, Pissed Jeans, and Young Widows, they typically point to the '90s rosters of Touch & Go and Amphetamine Reptile. Fair enough—Jesus Lizard, Big Black, and Killdozer certainly continue to wield their influence. But what about the Alternative Tentacles catalog? C'mon, certainly Alice Donut, Nomeansno, and Japanese dual-bass machine Ultra Bidé deserve equal credit. After all, Ultra Bidé have cranked out their low-end-heavy skuzzy no wave for longer than most of the current noiseniks have been alive. Their latest album, DNA vs DNA-C, came out after a 15-year gap between releases, but it's still as warped and abrasive as their early records. Let the old guys show the young 'uns how it's done. BRIAN COOK

FRIDAY 1/31

ST. LUCIA, SIR SLY, SEX LIFE DJS
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE César E. Chávez) There's nothing new to be gleaned from the sound of St. Lucia, the Brooklyn-based synthpop ensemble formed around South African-born producer/songwriter Jean-Philip Grobler. That's not to say the sparkling, crystal-wave '80s retroglide of Columbia-released debut album When the Night doesn't contain its pleasures. Big gated drums, glassily glossy guitars, "All Night Long" street-dancing rhythms, and multiple saxophone solos put this squarely in the realm of nostalgia zeitgeist, and it might very well sound astonishing to those who were too young to dig Simple Minds the first time around, or those who missed Swedish band Studio's capable, wonderful reinvention of the Balearic sound in the mid '00s. Still, St. Lucia's songs sound awfully good, even on repeat listens, reminding me that solid songwriting trumps affectedly retro production every time. NL

GRAVES AT SEA, RABBITS, NORSKA, DRUNK DAD
(Tonic Lounge, 3100 NE Sandy) The reanimation of Graves at Sea began in 2012, when the vaunted sludge/doom band regrouped after a four-year hiatus caused in large part by distance (for years, founding members Nick Phit and Nathan Misterek lived 600-plus miles apart, in Portland and Oakland, respectively). But earlier this month, Misterek officially moved north to our fair city, and 2014 is looking like the year he and Phit reclaim their rightful place at the top of the West Coast's heavy scene. With three releases and extensive touring planned in the coming months, Graves at Sea appears ready, willing, and able to give the people what they want: devastating, downtempo doom metal paired with Misterek's strangled howls and growls. It's a combination that is positively suffocating, in a good way. They'll begin their sonic assault Friday night with three other Portland-based heavies: Rabbits, Norska, and Drunk Dad. BEN SALMON

MARCELLUS PITTMAN, MI ELLIOTT THOMAS, MORGAN H
(Blue Monk, 3341 SE Belmont) Detroit electronic music legend and founder of Unirhythm Records, Marcellus Pittman has been making a name for himself in the house music world for over a decade—a name that lends itself to sincere passion for the art form. Known for his unique blend of soulful house tinged with elements of jazz and funk, Pittman brings the best elements of electronic music into the foreground, lighting up dance floors in the process. His deep knowledge of electronic music is obvious, as his DJ sets draw from a spectrum of tunes from many decades. Portland is in store for a treat with this rare Northwest appearance. CHRISTINA BROUSSARD

SATURDAY 2/1

AAN, DESERT NOISES, BOYS BEACH
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Read our article on Aan.

THE MANTLES, STILL CAVES, HD PERSONALITIES
(Alhambra Theatre, 4811 SE Hawthorne) The Mantles are a product of the same booming Bay Area garage-pop community spearheaded by the likes of Ty Segall and Thee Oh Sees, but sonically they've managed to follow a different path than many of their peers. Unlike their ultra prolific and unruly brethren back home (many of whom have actually relocated to LA in recent months), the Mantles walk a more delicate line, bringing to mind '60s practitioners as well as Flying Nun-esque Kiwi rock on a track like "Hello" off their lovely 2013 release Long Enough to Leave. Meanwhile, the vibrant noise-rock played by Portland's Still Caves can ignite a flame in any audience it comes into contact with. The freak flag is at full mast as the band pounds out a crackling mishmash of lo-fi psychedelia and fuzzed-out punk. It's a pairing that should have the Mantles feeling right at home. CHIPP TERWILLIGER

45TH PARALLEL, JACKSTRAW, & MORE
(Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 NE Alberta) The players of the Oregon Symphony are unquestionably the hardest working musicians in town, and any moron who says otherwise can blow it out their skinny-jeaned ass. Case in point: Greg Ewer. When this fiddler isn't tearing it up with our orchestra's outrageously tight string section, he's busy leading 45th Parallel, one of Rip City's most consistently impressive small-scale classical outfits. In addition to his technical mastery and emotional depth, Ewer also has a knack for putting together magically eclectic programs; tonight's smorgasbord of virtuosity not only includes the 45th Parallel quartet, but also performances from brilliant percussionist Sergio Carreno, the Oregon Symphony's chief trumpeter Jeff Work, beatboxer Gabe Gleason, and local composer Kenji Bunch, who proves once and for all that, yes, it's quite possible to shred on a viola. The other half of the show belongs to Jackstraw, a kickass bluegrass group featuring the dreamy twang of Jon Neufeld's guitar. And I've got your fucking vegan icing on your goddamned gluten-free cake right here: The gig goes down at the Alberta Rose Theatre, so all you pathetic lushes will finally be able to listen to classical music and sip the night away. ANGRY SYMPHONY GUY

OLIVER MTUKUDZI AND THE BLACK SPIRITS
(Star Theater, 13 NW 6th) One of Southern Africa's living musical legends, Oliver Mtukudzi continues to innovate in inspiring ways well into his 60s. With over 50 releases to his credit, beginning with 1978's Ndipeiwo Zano, Mtukudzi's prolificacy has been matched only by his humble craftsmanship of working-class odes for fellow Zimbabweans, sprouting his very own niche of sound dubbed "tuku music." With the Black Spirits, Mtukudzi orbits the peppy polyrhythms he's pioneered over his solo career—as well as with South African supergroup Mahube—but folds melancholic melodies into his oeuvre on tunes like "Messenger" from the 2011 LP Chikonzi. Mtukudzi's latest, Sarawoga, is an uplifting, technically engaging masterwork, easily one of his best releases. Expect a smattering of old and new from Mtukudzi's long and road-tested quiver of tunes. RJP

DRESSES, CUMULUS, THERE IS NO MOUNTAIN
(White Eagle, 836 N Russell) Cumulus is the type of band whose music saves lives. Not literally, of course—although who knows, stranger things have happened—but the Seattle group's sincere guitar-ringing pop is so lovely and warm that it feels just as vital as blood and breath. Their latest album, I Never Meant It to Be Like This, was released on Chris Walla's Trans-Records label, and it doesn't take much to hear what Walla heard in Alexandra Niedzialkowski's personable singing, or in the group's surprisingly muscled interplay. Songs like the winning "Middle" find that perfect, cozy balance of sunny and forlorn before locking into a rock-out, teeth-rattling coda. Cumulus shares a bill with Portland's Dresses, whose heartfelt, friendly pop is winning devoted fans of its own. NL

SUNDAY 2/2

WHITE DENIM, CLEAR PLASTIC MASKS
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!

REGGIE AND THE FULL EFFECT, DADS, PENTIMENTO
(Branx, 320 SE 2nd) I was a little surprised to learn that Reggie and the Full Effect are still around, but lo and behold: a new album and tour. The brainchild of former Get Up Kids keyboardist and Coalesce drummer James Dewees (he's also done tours of duty in New Found Glory and My Chemical Romance), Reggie released a comeback album of sorts in November, No Country for Old Musicians. This comes five years after Last Stop: Crappy Town, which was heavier and more serious than usual and was followed by chatter about a farewell tour. The Kickstarter-funded No Country is something of a return to form: emo-y pop-punk songs about silly stuff interspersed with skits and "special guest" appearances by Dewees' alter egos, the German industrial metal band Common Denominator and the British electro-pop group Fluxuation. MATTHEW W. SULLIVAN

SOULFLY, AMERICAN ROULETTE, CHRONOLOGICAL INJUSTICE, BETRAYED BY WEAKNESS
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE César E. Chávez) At this point Soulfly might be tossed off as an oldie by younger, hipper heshers. And that's fine. Frontman Max Cavalera has been at it a long time, and let's just say not all of his post-Sepultura work has been on point. Soulfly's latest offering, Savages, does have some pretty great moments (the album cover art is not one of them). But "Bloodshed" and "Cannibal Holocaust" are absolute slayers. Then there's "Ayatollah of Rock 'n' Rolla" which, despite some stoney guest vocals from Clutch's Neil Fallon, sips and slides in its own silliness. The band has always done its damnedest to remain current (including some ill-advised lapses into nu-metal), but this time around it's all for the better. MARK LORE

MONDAY 2/3

ACTION BRONSON, PARTY SUPPLIES
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) See My, What a Busy Week!, and read our article on Action Bronson.

TUESDAY 2/4

THE HELIO SEQUENCE, GENDERS, MODERN KIN
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!

HERE COME DOTS, BALMS, BLACK IS BRIGHT
(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) Here Come Dots might be a clever anagram derived from the words "the Morse code," but you won't find the Portland band telegraphing any punches on their 2013 album A House in the Country.  The group proves its penchant for crafting evocative and ethereal moments throughout the release, and you can find it on full display in a haunting and mysterious track like "In the Country." The album's layered production adds an alluring glisten under the hood, and this dense and rewarding structure gives the songs a little more to reveal each time you give them a spin. Bright Is Black, the latest local shoegaze outfit to rise from the ashes of the Silent Numbers, opens things up. Check out the brand-new cassette EP, Dust, for a taste of ambient pop that's equal parts hushed and blustery. CT

MAYER HAWTHORNE, QUADRON
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) If rough edges are an integral part of your enjoyment of a band and/or its recordings, you want nothing to do with the music of singer Coco O. and producer Robin Hannibal, who work together under the name Quadron. The Danish duo's sophomore album, Avalanche, is a paragon of smooth and seamless electro-soul, where Hannibal—a studio wizard who is also half of the alt-R&B group Rhye—polishes his computer-assisted funk, jazz, and pop into a gleaming foundation for Coco O.'s rich, expressive vocals. The result is spellbinding; the only disruptions are the first single, "Hey Love," an uptempo anthem that sounds like Amy Winehouse airbrushed into oblivion, and the final track, "Better Off," which features a bubble-piercing verse from Kendrick Lamar. Even K. Dot isn't himself, though; Lamar sounds like he entered the studio with a healthy dose of Hannibal's soulful sedative in his veins. BS