Up & Coming 

This Week's Music Previews

GOLDEN RETRIEVER Sun 4/6 Holocene

GOLDEN RETRIEVER Sun 4/6 Holocene

WEDNESDAY 4/2

FANNO CREEK, TOMTEN, ANIMAL EYES
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) See My, What a Busy Week!

LYDIA LOVELESS, THE STUBBORN LOVERS
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Read our article on Lydia Loveless.

ZZ WARD, GRIZFOLK, THE OH MY'S
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) I've seen ZZ Ward—full name: Zsuzsanna Eva Ward—compared to Adele, but I'm more impressed that she got her start not far from Portland, playing blues with her father in Roseburg, Oregon. On Ward's 2012 debut, Til the Casket Drops, the songstress mixes the blues of Muddy Waters and Big Mama Thornton with the hiphop influence of Nas and Jay-Z. And it seems to work, although her voice is what really stands out—slinky and soulful. She writes good songs, too. Ward now occupies an interesting space in which she's found some success, but hasn't yet busted through like Adele. Despite that, I get the feeling she's in this for the long haul. MARK LORE

THURSDAY 4/3

KING MOUNTAIN PETROL, SIOUX FALLS
(Vincente's Pizza, 1935 SE Hawthorne) See All-Ages Action!

GAYTHEIST, TARTUFI, HUMOURS
(Kenton Club, 2025 N Kilpatrick) Tartufi kick off a three-day, three-city tour with Portland band Gaytheist tonight. The San Francisco trio is known for genre-bending, extensive sets that border on pop, electronic, and metal; amid layered and looped vocals and guitar, you'll find yourself lost in a sea of harmonies and intricate polyrhythms, as songs range from thrashing intensity to gentle, melodious (and never dull) volumes. Catch this bursting bill for only five dollars and get ready for your sonic levels to explode. RACHEL MILBAUER

FRIDAY 4/4

WESLEY STACE'S CABINET OF WONDERS
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) See My, What a Busy Week!

WEED, MODERN MARRIAGE
(Discourage Records, 1737 SE Morrison) See All-Ages Action!

A HAPPY DEATH, MISTER TANG, CAMBRIAN EXPLOSION
(Firkin Tavern, 1937 SE 11th) The new cassette Introducing: A Happy Death isn't my first introduction to the group; I first heard the Portland band on its debut 7-inch, which contained some fine psychedelic rock tunes—"Nazi Zombies," "Ghost House"—within its grooves. But if this is your first tango with A Happy Death, Introducing should work nicely. Apart from frontman Ryan Lella, the band's lineup has turned over completely since that earlier effort, but Introducing still contains plenty of spiky, lysergic rock suited for all shades of paranoia. "Wet Dreams" might be the highlight here, a deliberately paced, glam-tinged scorcher with a mumbled, comedown chorus of "I think I'll go back to sleep." Elsewhere, the band stretches things to freakout lengths, as if the UFO Club never shut its doors. While the brand of punk-flavored psychedelia that A Happy Death deals in isn't exactly uncommon these days, it's not often you hear a band do it this well. NED LANNAMANN

BAD SPORTS, YOUTHBITCH, PISS TEST
(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) I had two pressing matters to address in the direct aftermath of last September's Dirtnap Records 14th anniversary show. The pink goo smeared all over my shoes could wait, though—at least until I was able to throw on the latest Bad Sports album, Bras, in an attempt to work out a deeply rooted earworm or two. The shoe stains, as well as my newly kindled affinity for the Denton, Texas, garage-rock band, could be traced back to the same whirlwind of bodies and limbs that formed as the trio took the stage. Half a year later, rain has washed my shoes back to white, but I still can't get enough of a track like "Terrible Place," where Bad Sports take a Buzzcocks-esque punk snarl, pair it with some pogo-inducing power-pop hooks, and cap it off with a sing-along chorus just aching to be shouted to the rafters of dive bars everywhere. CHIPP TERWILLIGER

BETTY WHO, ZAK WATERS, CARDIKNOX
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) I've never been to Australia, but I imagine if I transported my hipster lifestyle to a sunny beach in a country with gun control, Betty Who would write the soundtrack. Who sounds like a more mature version of Chvrches' Lauren Mayberry, and her neo-'80s indie pop is set against a backdrop of very danceable songs slathered in synth beats. Her "Somebody Loves You" recently reached number one on Billboard's dance chart, but unlike a lot of popular club music, it has a good riff and the structure of a well-crafted pop song. ROSE FINN

DARSOMBRA, THRONES, EIGHT BELLS, PRIZEHOG
(Tonic Lounge, 3100 NE Sandy) Baltimore's Darsombra draws just the right amount of influence from metal, krautrock, drone, and the psychedelic firepower of Hawkwind. The brainchild of former Meatjack guitarist Brian Daniloski, the duo also includes visual artist Ann Everton, who creates backdrops at live shows, as well as adding synths and voice. Darsombra's latest LP, Climax Community, fittingly kicks off with a 23-minute opus that showcases Daniloski's penchant for getting lost in his own world. Upon first listen, it verges on dude-sitting-on-the-edge-of-his-bed-with-a-guitar-at-3-am sort of obliviousness. But another spin or two and it starts making sense. I haven't decided if Daniloski is a genius, or if I just drank the Kool-Aid. ML

MARCO BENEVENTO, OLD LIGHT
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Old Light has slowly but surely secured itself as a cornerstone in the Portland music community. The group has released album after album of fuzzed out, melodic, spacey rock that will weasel its way into your raging, lo-fi, feedback-loving heart. Old Light released five full-lengths in 2013 alone, all available as an incredible box set from local label Curly Cassettes. Tonight they play with experimental jazz keyboard phenomenon Marco Benevento. After the recent release of TigerFace, his most pop-influenced album yet, Benevento has been on the West Coast a lot, and this summer will be at Pickathon for the second year. Using loops and circuit-bent toys, Benevento makes smart, catchy electronic music just right for dancing. RM

SATURDAY 4/5

DUMPSTER BURGER, WITH THE SHADES DOWN, MOIST MONEY, WORMBAG
(Slabtown, 1033 NW 16th) See All-Ages Action!

FUTURE ISLANDS, ED SCHRADER'S MUSIC BEAT, JASON URICK
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Read our article on Future Islands.

DOUG WIESELMAN, MICHAEL HURLEY, BATTLE HYMNS AND GARDENS
(Information Warehouse, 411 SE 6th) Multi-instrumentalist Doug Wieselman has been a fixture of the New York music scene since the '80s, performing on clarinet or guitar alongside such luminaries as John Lurie and Yoko Ono. Lately he keeps a steady gig as a member of Antony Hegarty's backing band the Johnsons. Earlier this year, Wieselman took a step out on his own with the release of Water, an ornate collection of clarinet instrumentals that was his attempt to notate the music he heard in the trickling of rivers and the crash of ocean waves. This is hardly a placid new-age album, though. Its 10 tracks use looping melodies and tasteful effects to approximate the sensation of a constantly evolving natural world. ROBERT HAM

TENDER AGE, WE MISS THE EARTH
(The Lovecraft, 421 SE Grand) Portland noise-pop foursome We Miss the Earth have been one of the most quietly prolific bands around. With their newest four-song EP, Destroyed, the band's fuzzy shoegaze hypnosis has only strengthened under the capable vision of Chris Koza and the Prids' Mistina La Fave. Destroyed begins with a wall of distortion on its title track, opening wide to swallow everything around it, while Koza's voice swims beautifully throughout. In turn, Tender Age's 7-inch "Anything/Mirrors"—released tonight on local upstart label Track and Field Records—is a thoroughly dreamy slice of dark pop, hemmed in by heavily reverbed, mesmerizing vocals by Tauna Leonardo. "Mirrors," in particular, paints an oddly reassuring glimpse of bleak realms, like a song you might hear in your head as you're drowning. That's meant to be a compliment. RYAN J. PRADO

OLD AGE, FERNS, DEER SOULS
(Firkin Tavern, 1937 SE 11th) Two years ago, Ferns drove up I-5 from Eugene to record at Old Standard Sound with engineer Justin Higgins. The trio had a simple goal: to put out a 7-inch. But life got in the way, and Ferns couldn't afford to press the vinyl. Up to this point, the story is far from exceptional; more often than not, smallish bands wish well beyond their means. But rather than let the dream die, Ferns stuck to it, stashed away bits of cash when they could, and finally got the damn thing made. And so tonight the group, led by guitarist Jacob Pavlak (formerly of Yeltsin), celebrate the overdue release of two angular, driving, precisely executed rock tunes etched into sweet, sweet wax. But this little tale is about more than that—it's about following through. So indeed, cheers are in order. To perseverance! ANDREW R TONRY

BLOCKHEAD, YPPAH
(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) To call someone "Twitter famous" is to damn with faint praise, but Twitter-famous hiphop producer Blockhead can certainly claim his share of real musical accomplishments. He rose to prominence in the early '00s thanks to production work for Aesop Rock; his moody, cinematic beats became a signature sound of underground rap's heyday. Since, Blockhead has released four solo albums of left-of-center boom-bap on the Ninja Tune label. But there's also a whole generation of folks discovering Blockhead through his Twitter feed, which is full of witty observations ("Musicians with corny sensibilities are often pretty successful cause, as it turns out, most people are pretty corny"), and his gut-busting blog, where he reviews rap demos, opines on up-and-coming emcees, and doles out advice "from a niche hiphop producer who dropped out of college." Blockhead is doing the web right: He doesn't seem like a social-media opportunist, but a regular dude. A regular dude who makes dope beats. BEN SALMON

CHARLIE PARR, BETSE ELLIS
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) It's hard to believe that country blues guitarist Charlie Parr is a modern-day musician from Duluth, Minnesota, but it's certainly encouraging that musicians like him still exist. The accomplished guitarist (and doppelganger for Cheech) is seemingly unaffected by our image-driven musical age, his weapons of choice being a resonator guitar, an acoustic 12-string, a fretless banjo, and a husky mid-range voice that complements his plucking. Parr will restore your faith that there are still musicians who don't need eyeliner or a laptop, but just want to play a mean guitar. ROSE FINN

SUNDAY 4/6

NEUTRAL MILK HOTEL, ELF POWER, THE MINDERS
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!, and All-Ages Action!

DUM DUM GIRLS, BLOUSE, STRANGE BABES DJs
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!

GOLDEN RETRIEVER, LITANIC MASK, VALET, PINHEAD IN FANTASIA
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Golden Retriever's third album, Seer, is a lightning strike stretched out to 40 stunning minutes—you'll be shocked and awed into dumbfounded incredulity by its intensive, deliberate slow motion. The duo of bass clarinetist Jonathan Sielaff and modular synth player Matt Carlson have a far greater range of sound than those two instruments suggest; Seer is filled with cosmic night-sky transmissions, sylphlike underwater lullabies, heartbeats amplified to canyon-sized magnitudes, and forest sounds from planets not yet discovered. Against significant odds, Sielaff and Carlson have made a robust and worthwhile catalog of music out of their very unusual musical pairing, with each of Golden Retriever's recorded documents offering new surprises along the way. Seer is their latest, and—perhaps this is not surprising anymore—it is a stunner, possibly their best work yet. NL

SENSORY: RAS MIX, MR. ROMO, DELYRIA, RUDEMENT
(Analog Café, 720 SE Hawthorne) It's such a treat when a club night assembles the elements that make for a really enjoyable experience. Sensory does just that, with a record for meticulously discriminating curation that draws interest from even the most seasoned of electronic music heads. The killer sound system at Analog Café, along with a backdrop from a new artist each month, makes for a worthwhile audiovisual experience. This month brings together an array of styles within the category of uptempo electronic live performance, including Ras Mix (Aaron Saloman), who's on the heels of his most recent release, Adventures in Clown Town, on Portland-based SadoDaMascus Records. Offering a glimpse into his live show, the album was recorded as a one-take performance, and is an homage to experimental industrial music and avant-garde electronica. CHRISTINA BROUSSARD

MONDAY 4/7

NEUTRAL MILK HOTEL, ELF POWER, THE MINDERS
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!, and All-Ages Action!

LA FEMME, SUICIDE NOTES, SEX CRIME
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) On their debut album, Psycho Tropical Berlin, La Femme chose a title that only begins to scratch the surface in labeling their eclectic sound. Hailing from Biarritz, a beach city on the southwest coast of France, the group rode whatever waves the Bay of Biscay sent to their shore. Somewhere along the way, they unearthed a strong knack for Ventures-style surf-rock guitar. The band mixes that surf twang with eerie synths and theremin on the album's opener, "Antitaxi," giving Psycho Tropical Berlin a sci-fi bent out of the gate. Elsewhere, "Sur la Planche 2013" resembles the score to a '60s spy thriller, while "It's Time to Wake Up" slows things down to add a synth-driven krautrock groove to the mix. The vocals, mostly all in French, channel yé-yé pop with a cool French New Wave vibe, adding a unique flair to the band's mysterious sound. CT

VERTICAL SCRATCHERS, BEAR AND MOOSE
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) John Schmersal has already cemented a place in the indie-rock pantheon for his contributions to the hopped-up new wave band Brainiac and his founding of the equally tense and wondrous outfit Enon. But he's moved forward with aplomb via his new project, Vertical Scratchers. The sound is much more easygoing than any of his prior work, yet still bristles with electric shocks of energy. In fact, the LA duo's debut album, Daughter of Everything, moves by so quickly, you'll be thrown when you realize Schmersal and cohort Christian Beaulieu have whipped through 15 songs of ragged garage pop in the amount of time it takes you to choose a movie on Netflix. RH

TUESDAY 4/8

EAR CANDY: THE GHOST EASE, MARRIAGE + CANCER
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) See My, What a Busy Week!

DEAD MEADOW, GRANDPARENTS, BILLIONS AND BILLIONS, STILL CAVES
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE César E. Chávez) See My, What a Busy Week!

BRYAN FERRY, DAWN LANDES
(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway) Read our article on Bryan Ferry.

SUFFER ALONG, YEARS OF LEAD
(Laughing Horse Books, 12 NE 10th) See All-Ages Action!

CYNE, BOP ALLOY, MAZE KOROMA
(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) CYNE, pronounced "sign," is an acronym for Cultivating Your New Experience. The four-piece hiphop group formed in Gainesville, Florida, although their most recent release finds them a trio following emcee Akin Yai's departure. Thankfully, their latest, All My Angles Are Right, doesn't suffer from Yai's absence. Cise Star brings the intelligent wordplay that brought the group international acclaim, while producers Enoch and Speck hold down their end—and Speck now calls Portland home, having recently joined our burgeoning local hiphop community. Bop Alloy, the self-described "jazz hop" duo of Maryland emcee Substantial and Seattle producer Marcus D, are promoting their latest, Another Day in the Life of..., which drops tonight. Portland's own Maze Koroma, of the Renaissance Coalition, gets the party started right. RYAN FEIGH

CHUCK RAGAN, WHITE BUFFALO, JONNY TWO BAGS
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) Chuck Ragan's impassioned growls have only intensified on his newest solo album, Till Midnight, despite his instrumentation progressing toward safer terrain. Backed this time around by the Camaraderie—an all-star band featuring members of Lucero, Blind Melon, Foo Fighters, Social Distortion, and more—Ragan's typically anthemic, muscular tales of heartbreak and workingman's laments are planted in the same milieu he's been exploring since 2007's excellent Feast or Famine. Finding his inner Springsteen has been fortuitous for a legion of edgy country loyalists, and Till Midnight is well poised to launch Ragan into another level of notoriety, even further from his aggro-punk roots in Hot Water Music. If he's not already, Ragan ought to be the soundtrack for a new generation of Americana devotees. RJP

Tags:

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Comments are closed.

From the Archives

Staff Pick Events

Most Commented On

Top Viewed Stories

All contents © Index Newspapers, LLC

115 SW Ash St. Suite 600
Portland, OR 97204

Contact Info | Privacy Policy | Production Guidelines | Terms of Use | Takedown Policy