BLACK LIPS Sat 3/29 Hawthorne Theatre

WEDNESDAY 3/26

OUR FIRST BRAINS, VALLEY GIRLS, MR. BONES
(Laughing Horse Books, 12 NE 10th) See All Ages Action!

IMMORAL MAJORITY, CONSUMER, GLOCK, TWO CROWS FIGHTING
(Habesha, 801 NE Broadway) Read our article on Sonic Debris Multimedia.

THE ORWELLS, TWIN PEAKS, CRIMINAL HYGIENE
(Star Theater, 13 NW 6th) When the Orwells made their Late Show with David Letterman debut earlier this year, the Chicago-area garage-rock quintet tore through a sloppy, rousing performance of the title track from their recent EP, Who Needs You. Strings were snapped, and frontman Mario Cuomo seized the opportunity to give viewers at home a TV eye into his Iggy Pop-indebted persona. As Cuomo bounced from floor to couch, seemingly possessed and/or wasted, the band made it all look completely routine. Letterman and his bandleader Paul Shaffer instantly demanded an encore, with Shaffer going so far as to have his band deliver a bit of a reprise. While it's hard to gauge the sincerity of the hosts, the Orwells' organic performance is a weird and wonderful example of a young band going for broke when presented with a significant opportunity. CHIPP TERWILLIGER Also see All Ages Action!

CAMBRIAN EXPLOSION, HATS OFF, CLOUD BECOMES YOUR HAND
(Valentine's, 232 SW Ankeny) As the most obvious torchbearers for Portland's psychedelic revival, Cambrian Explosion possess both the youthful vitality and the chops to take you deep into a vortex of swirling soundscapes. The band's repetitive groove is given legs by deft keyboard mashing from the multi-talented Adria Ivanitsky, and triumphant wah-wah guitar from Nori Lockhart. The band's The Sun EP swims in trance-y seas, anchored by the explosive opener "Umbra of Mind." The soaring title track unfolds slowly, emitting hallucinatory drones and minimal vocals. In a relatively short time, Cambrian Explosion has commanded the attention of psych-rock purists as a pristine embodiment of the spirit of psychedelia's wanderlusting whims, and the attention is well deserved. RYAN J. PRADO

WILD CHILD, ROBERT ELLIS
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) While it once might have been easy to think of Robert Ellis as a throwback to the classic troubadour tradition of country music, he's given us a lot more to chew on with his latest, The Lights from the Chemical Plant. He's still mindful of those traditions, and he's skilled and familiar enough with the genre's tropes to bend them to his own devices. But he's broken new ground on Lights, employing cinematic arrangements to back evocative narratives. The personal songs, like the ode to his former hometown on "Houston" or the confessional "Tour Song," are the finest he's crafted so far. MATTHEW W. SULLIVAN

MILAGRES, THE FAMILY CREST
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) It's not every Kill Rock Stars release that can garner comparisons to the likes of Coldplay—close to none of them, in fact. That's what's been written about Brooklyn's Milagres, although you shouldn't let that lazy bit of journalism dissuade you from seeing their show. Sure, they've made the occasional reach for the stadium rafters on the wings of frontman Kyle Wilson's soaring vocals, but theirs is a much darker and more subdued sound than Chris Martin's mawkish act. Milagres' third and latest release, Violent Light, finds them adding a bit more polish, its best moments found in low-end heavy cuts like "Jeweled Cave," and "The Black Table," as well as the fractured first single "The Letterbomb." JEREMY PETERSEN

ANIMALS AS LEADERS, AFTER THE BURIAL, NAVENE-K, CHON, SISYPHEAN CONSCIENCE
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE César E. Chávez) Eight-string shredmeister Tosin Abasi started DC new age-y prog-metal band Animals as Leaders as a solo venture before recruiting a couple of like-minded noodlers to expand the band's sound. It's essentially music for those who prefer to fix their eyes on fretboards during live shows. Abasi will wow you with his finger flitting, although a half-hour of these instrumental shenanigans might start to wear thin. I'm listening to the band's latest The Joy of Motion, and I'm seeing visions of Joe Satriani and Yanni and Dream Theater. If that's your bag, then go forth. I'm sure it's something to behold. MARK LORE

THURSDAY 3/27

CRIMINAL CODE, NEIGHBORHOOD BRATS, ARCTIC FLOWERS, VEXX
(Blackwater Records, 223 NE Russell) See All Ages Action!

KINGS OF LEON, LOCAL NATIVES
(Moda Center, 1 Center Ct) You know, the face of mainstream rock could be a lot worse. Kings of Leon's discography certainly can't be accused of overflowing with classic albums, but the inevitable Greatest Hits is going to be a motherfucker. Yes, they'll have to put "Use Somebody" and the ridiculous "Sex on Fire" on there, but they'll probably also find room for "The Bucket" and the wonderfully jangly, breakneck "Happy Alone," too—not to mention the pretty-okay "Supersoaker" from their latest, the otherwise predictable Mechanical Bull. Perhaps they'll even find room for the original version of "California Waiting," from the long-lost Holy Roller Novocaine EP, perhaps the best thing these Southern boys have laid to tape. Put them all together, and that's a collection no one would toss off the jukebox. NED LANNAMANN

FRIDAY 3/28

YOB, GRAVES AT SEA, HOT VICTORY, DEATH GRAVE
(Branx, 320 SE 2nd) See My, What a Busy Week!

BRAIN SCRAPER, PLEASURE CROSS, ORDER OF THE GASH, HONDURAN
(Slabtown, 1033 NW 16th) See All Ages Action!

BUN B, KIRKO BANGZ, TxE, YOUNG EASTLIN, DJ BIGGZ, GET IT SQUAD
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE César E. Chávez) Bun B (AKA Bernard Freeman) secured his place in the pantheon of hiphop greats back in 2007, thanks to his sleek, smart verse in "International Players Anthem," the massive posse cut featuring his duo UGK and Atlanta's own Outkast. But, as all the great rappers do, this Houston-based rhymer has kept pushing upward, through the pain of losing his UGK partner Pimp C and into a solo career that has provided copious rewards. Freeman's most recent effort, Trill OG: The Epilogue, is, at times, bloated with guest appearances and bouts of sentimentality (an unused Pimp C verse pops up here, as does a tribute to the late Houston producer DJ Screw), but it still manages to galvanize, due to Freeman's sharp-edged verbiage and the lovingly tarnished funk that could only come from the Dirty South. ROBERT HAM

THE STRYPES, THE CRY
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) The nutty thing about Irish quartet the Strypes is they play the sort of overdriven blues rock and careening pub rock that their parents—or maybe even grandparents—probably worshipped. These mugs are young (16 to 18 years old), but their musical predilections are ancient. Apparently, unlike many of their peers, they don't give a damn about EDM, and that's kind of adorable. The Strypes would rather emulate British pub-rock badasses Dr. Feelgood or tear through the sort of moves that made director Michelangelo Antonioni want to cast the Yardbirds in Blow-Up. To pull off this sort of retro fetishizing, a band needs above-average chops and the kind of zealous conviction for the cause that's immune to criticism. The Strypes succeed on both counts. Here's hoping they go through a psychedelic phase next. DAVE SEGAL

CODY CHESNUTT, LIZ VICE
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Atlanta-born Cody Chesnutt fits in perfectly with the recent music trend of neo-soul funk/rock. Chesnutt's classic soul voice rivals Aloe Blacc in smooth honey tonality, evident on his most recent album Landing on a Hundred, although most know him from the funky R&B cut "The Seed 2.0," which he wrote and performed with the Roots, and his appearance in Dave Chappelle's Block Party. Though Chesnutt can go a little heavy on the major chords, the richness of his voice, his socially conscious lyrics, and the funky guitar riffs create an uplifting sound that can connect you to a bygone soul era, and will probably make you shimmy and smile. ROSE FINN

D.O.A., MILLIONS OF DEAD COPS, THE RANSOM, MR. PLOW
(Tonic Lounge, 3100 NE Sandy) There are only a handful of hardcore bands more influential than Vancouver, BC's D.O.A. Gestating in the fertile late-'70s North American punk scene, the band's legendary 1981 LP Hardcore '81 is a foreshadowing of the blueprint for what thousands of budding leftist punx became. Led by the only remaining original member, Joey Shithead, D.O.A. have existed in fits and starts for more than 35 years, and have endured numerous lineup changes over albums as disparate as the reggae-tinged 1982 EP War on 45 and the thrash-tastic 1990 LP Murder. In the past year, D.O.A. have played several shows on their elongated farewell tour; lucky for us, tonight they play alongside Portland's equally legendary Millions of Dead Cops. This is basically your chance to check out the Punk Rock Super Bowl. RJP

SATURDAY 3/29

COMA SERFS, CAMBRIAN EXPLOSION, SURFS DRUGS
(Foggy Notion, 3416 N Lombard) See Wednesday's listing.

BLACK LIPS, THE COATHANGERS, SUMMER CANNIBALS
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE César E. Chávez) Take a preemptive Tylenol, because this show is going to end in you limping home covered in fun-bruises. Atlanta's Black Lips are back with a smoothed-out, less-distorted sound on new album Underneath the Rainbow, which feels like a natural (10-plus-years-as-a-band) progression that still maintains their signature grimy aura. The update comes as a relief; while 2007's Good Bad Not Evil was legitimately very great, and it's not Black Lips' fault they patented a reverbed-out, swampy scuzz-rock ripe for Xeroxing—I could do without the dudely rip-off bands that still pour out of basements and garages worldwide. Also from Atlanta (and on tour with the Lips) are raucous rock queens the Coathangers. They may be down to a trio (they're going forward without their keyboard player), but their new Suicide Squeeze full-length, Suck My Shirt, proves that the Coathangers' aggressive/melodic snarl/wink punk still does the trick. EMILY NOKES Also see My, What a Busy Week!

PRETEND SWEETHEARTS, THE MOONSHINE, MARSHALL McLEAN BAND
(Secret Society, 116 NE Russell) Pretend Sweethearts are the duo formerly known as Vagabond and Tramp, made up of Brianna Lynn and Drew de Man. Their debut EP, I'm with You, is an easygoing, country-tinged trove of orchard-ripe tunes, guided by acoustic guitars and Lynn's striking, cloudless voice. It's a sweet and reassuring listen, covering a breadth of Americana styles without spreading itself too thin. Highlights include the meditative "Of the Sun" and the stripped-down, delicately gorgeous "Honey, Please Rain," which features Lynn and de Man harmonizing to remarkable effect. Tonight they perform an EP release show, joined by the Moonshine from Portland, and the Marshall McLean Band from Spokane. NL

PORTLAND METAL WINTER OLYMPICS: ZIRAKZIGIL, DISENCHANTER, SATYRESS
(White Owl Social Club, 1305 SE 8th) While the closing ceremony for the Sochi Olympics was a month ago, there's still one more gold medal to award—in the Portland Metal Winter Olympics. The single-elimination, battle-of-the-bands tournament has been ramping up to a conclusion since beginning in January, with the competition pitting two local metal bands against each other weekly. Tonight, the three final contenders vie for the gold. In one corner is the extra-nerdy prog-metal of Zirakzigil, whose Tolkien-referencing EP Battle of the Peak comes in a cassette packaged to look like a Super Nintendo cartridge. In another corner is the doom-metal of Disenchanter, whose EP On Through Portals is a time warp straight to the '70s. And in the third corner: Satyress, whose Dark Fortunes is a heavy, doomy nightride, captained by vocalist Jamie LaRose. May the best, evilest band win. MWS

SUNDAY 3/30

THE WAR ON DRUGS, WHITE LACES
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) See My, What a Busy Week!, and read our article on the War on Drugs.

ANNE, INTERIORS, MAGIC FADES, DJ QUARRY
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Read our article on Anne.

CARCASS, THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER, GORGUTS, NOISEM, BASTARD FEAST
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Remember all the nonsense you had to deal with in high school, like homework, curfews, your friends' relationship silliness, and on and on? Imagine if you could've bagged all that and hit the road with your band instead, joining a bill with three legendary acts, all under the umbrella of the premier extreme music magazine in the US. No more teachers, no more books, just blistering solos and thrash metal hooks. Baltimore's Noisem have made that impossible fantasy a reality. Out of the five members of the band, not one is older then 18. Last year they released their debut album, Agony Defined, on A389 Recordings, and nine tracks of brutalizing metal later, Noisem have proved to the greater metal community that it's not how old you are, it's how many whiplash-inducing stop-breaks, pummeling drums, and burly riffs you can stack into 25 minutes. If Slayer could do it with Reign in Blood, so can five dudes who haven't cut their hair since they were 13. ARIS WALES Also read our article on Carcass.

UME, LKN, HURRY UP
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) For a while, Ume has been one of those bands that's always on the verge of breaking through. Heck, the Denver Post even described the Austin trio as "perpetually touted by critics as the next big thing," and that was two years ago. In a just world, the band's excellent new album, Monuments, would push it over the top. Released this month by influential indie label Dangerbird Records, it's a tightly packaged, 12-track collision of frontwoman Lauren Larson's skyscraping guitar heroics and her sweet-and-sour pop-rock vocals, backed by a band with a distaste for the brake pedal. The result is a hybrid of silvery shoegaze and gritty alt-rock—efficient, melodic and muscular—that recalls labelmates the Joy Formidable, but with a bit more raw swagger. A band with this kind of charisma, chops, and dues paid on the road deserves its moment. BEN SALMON

TIBURONES, COLDAIR, AU
(Rontoms, 600 E Burnside) If Sufjan Stevens had jumped a plane from Michigan to Warsaw a decade ago, only to later realize he'd left his beloved banjo behind in the taxi, he might have composed something similar to Coldair's 2013 album, Whose Blood. The solo project of Polish multi-instrumentalist Tobiasz Bilinski, Coldair crafts delicately balanced folk-pop, arranging falsetto vocals, guitars, keys, trumpet, and percussion to piece together songs that are elegant and grandiose. Bilinski masterfully conjures up a strong and instant sense of nostalgia, and then mainlines it directly through your headphone cord. Just listen to a track like "Wraith" and try not to become immediately haunted by the narrow streets and looming factories of Poland's capital city. The rare opportunity to catch Coldair stateside, alongside the last AU show before the local experimental pop group lay low to work on new material, make this a free Sunday session that's not to be missed. CT

MONDAY 3/31

LA DISPUTE, PIANOS BECOME THE TEETH, MANSIONS
(Branx, 320 SE 2nd) See My, What a Busy Week!, and All Ages Action!

TUESDAY 4/1

SHARON JONES AND THE DAP-KINGS, JAMES HUNTER
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!

BIG FREEDIA, MAGIC MOUTH, THANKS
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) See My, What a Busy Week!

CROSSES (†††), JMSN
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE César E. Chávez) When Crosses (†††), a dark electronic side project of Deftones frontman Chino Moreno, surfaced a few years ago, it was met with snickers online, where the industrial occult-hop sound of witchhouse had recently blown through and evolved from curiosity to joke in record time. Because of Crosses' visual aesthetic—shadowy imagery, the religious cross—the association remains, but one listen to the trio's recorded output reveals how misguided that is. Crosses' new self-titled album, which collects two previous five-song EPs and five new songs, is a seamless (sometimes snoozy) blend of downcast, symphonic trip-hop and the innate arena-ready pop instinct of Moreno, who is rumored to have recently moved to Bend (he has reportedly been spotted at a DJ-focused downtown club). In the past 18 months, Moreno has released Deftones' critically successful Koi No Yokan, his art-metal project Palms' first record, and now †††. It's starting to sound like he's spreading himself too thin. BS