MIMICKING BIRDS Fri 5/23 Doug Fir (early show)
Ben Moon

WEDNESDAY 5/21

ARTHUR RUSSELL TRIBUTE: ZAC PENNINGTON, DANIEL RAFN, NICK DELFFS, KEIRAN MCKEON
(Valentine's, 232 SW Ankeny) See My, What a Busy Week!

LAKE, JUAN WAUTERS, THE OCEAN FLOOR
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) See My, What a Busy Week!

DISCOURSE, HOMEWRECKER, OUR FIRST BRAINS, HEMINGWAY
(Slabtown, 1033 NW 16th) See All-Ages Action!

YUM YUM, DJ TRE SLIM, DJ HAR-1
(Black Book, 20 NW 3rd) The electronic psychosis of Yum Yum inhabits a really dark place. With blown-out beats, narcotized raps, and ominous abattoir synths, this is music that leaves a gummy trail of residue on your skin (metaphorical) and in your ears (possibly real). In other words, it's perfect late-night party-sleaze music, and Yum Yum's second album, Dark Meat, is the kind of record you hope your little sister never hears. Boasting a cornucopia of guest rappers, it comes from the possibly deranged subconscious of Minh Tran (who is, full disclosure, a Mercury contributor). Tonight also serves as a farewell to Tran, who will soon be moving from Portland to Chicago. It'll be a chance to hear some fucked-up beats and score a copy of Yum Yum's new one from local label Futro Records. And it's also a chance to say goodbye to a great dude who's responsible for some incredibly warped and inventive music. NED LANNAMANN

EARLY MAN, WERESQUATCH, GLADIUS
(Hawthorne Theatre Lounge, 1507 SE César E. Chávez) As awesome as it was to see Matador Records release Early Man's 2005 debut full-length, Closing In, I don't think it did the duo any favors. Here was a straight-up thrash metal band sitting on the same roster as the New Pornographers and Cat Power. Something in the water didn't compute. Mike Conte and Pete Macy are a well-oiled, black-T-shirt-clad machine grinding out anthems that sacrifice goats on the altar of Tony Iommi and require much pumping of fists from all within its blast radius. These dudes should be headlining a damn arena, but instead will be threatening the structural integrity of the cozy Hawthorne Theatre Lounge. ROBERT HAM

WOODEN INDIAN BURIAL GROUND, OLD LIGHT, AU
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) Old Light's trajectory as a band has a direct correlation to frontman Garth Klippert's beard—the shaggier he gets, the shaggier the songs have become. Early on, the band kept it somewhat clean, unleashing CSN harmonies over autoharp with the occasional Sabbathian blast. These days, the music has become a little more unwieldy ("Transformation") and grimy ("Magic Bag"), but you can count on the fact that you can't really put a finger on what they're doing. And their live shows have become religious experiences—for audiences and perhaps more so for the band. There's only one thing I can say with a degree of certainty: Old Light is one of the best Portland has to offer. MARK LORE

THURSDAY 5/22

JEX THOTH, WITCH MOUNTAIN, USNEA
(Star Theater, 13 NW 6th) Read our article on Jex Thoth.

NEKO CASE, THE DODOS
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) Neko Case and the Dodos are no stranger to each other. A few years back, the San Francisco-based folk-rock duo of Meric Long and Logan Kroeber toured in support of Case's part-time power-pop supergroup, the New Pornographers. After that tour, Case lent her voice to a handful of tracks on the group's 2011 release, No Color. Taking quite a departure from her solo material and New Pornographers tracks, Case's siren voice haunted the background of the album, and that actually proved a good thing. Long's signature, blues-influenced guitar-picking technique has always paired nicely with Kroeber's stormy, rattling percussion. When the two combine, they create a beautiful racket of their own with just a drum set and an acoustic guitar. The band recently finished recording a sixth album, so expect them to break out new songs this time around. CHIPP TERWILLIGER Also see My, What a Busy Week!

NEKA AND KAHLO, ANIMÉ, AVIEL, MAZE KOROMA, BLOSSOM, ASTRO KING PHOENIX
(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) While there's no shortage of worthwhile acts of all stripes in this city, the duo of Neka Perini and Mila "Kahlo" Kokich is something to get especially excited about. Ostensibly couched in hiphop, Neka and Kahlo burst the genre apart at the seams, bringing rock, pop, and electronic dance music into something that I don't think Portland has ever quite heard before. Tonight, they celebrate their new 7hirdwav3 EP, and while I haven't heard the whole project yet, the advance track "Alchemistress" is a tour de force, marrying Kahlo's lyrics with Neka's impressive singing and production; midway through, the track turns inside out, into a quick-fire funk-rock blitzkrieg. These two are well worth keeping our eyes on. NL

CHET FAKER, STARRO
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Like Portland's Philip Grass and Seattle's Com Truise, the Australia-based electronic act Chet Faker (AKA Nicholas Murphy) has been able to catapult over his pun-driven stage name. It's been a slow-building process, though. For the past two years, Murphy's released music in small chunks, with short EPs that showcase his buttery-smooth vocals and a production style that emphasizes '70s keyboard melodies and sultry downtempo beats. That he was able to pull off a version of Blackstreet's "No Diggity" that did the '90s hit proud is just a bonus. Last month, Murphy finally released a fine full-length, Built on Glass, that expands on his otherwise intimate production style with the welcome incursion of New Romantic sleekness and moments of widescreen beauty. RH

FRIDAY 5/23

THE GROWLERS, GUANTANAMO BAYWATCH, SUMMER CANNIBALS
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) See My, What a Busy Week!

NEKO CASE, THE DODOS
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) See My, What a Busy Week!, and see Thursday's listing.

WAKE OWL, MIMICKING BIRDS, BIG HAUNT (EARLY SHOW)
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) It's tempting to lump Mimicking Birds into the "folk-rock" category, but listening to their great new album Eons, no term could feel less apt. Yes, there are finger-picked acoustic guitars, and songwriter Nate Lacy's songs are given delicate touches, but despite the fluttering banjo strings and dust-dry drum thumps, this is music for the spheres—celestial sounds for the cosmos that exist both within and without. "Bloodlines" is both expansive and restrained, while "Owl Hoots" puts jittering electronics atop a bed of acoustic guitar; the first half of "Acting Your Age" tumbles like a coldwater stream down a mountainside. This is music that quietly beams in glowing gorgeousness; the Portland band has mastered subtlety down to a very fine art. NL

PARQUET COURTS, NAOMI PUNK (LATE SHOW)
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Read our article on Parquet Courts.

CHRISTINA PERRI, BIRDY
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) Christina Perri's breakthrough came in 2010 when her song "Jar of Hearts" was featured on the television show So You Think You Can Dance. If you're a cynical jerk like me, you assume this was all part of an orchestrated plan to make Perri a star, a shameless act of cross-promotion executed by a record label and a TV network from the same multinational conglomerate's family tree. Not true, according to that bastion of veracity, Wikipedia. Apparently, Perri was unsigned at the time, a Philly songstress pursuing a music career who just happened to have a friend in common with the show's choreographer. Friend passed along the song, and the rest is history. Pretty cool! Anyway, Perri is an inoffensive pop star: Her songs are earnest and catchy, the arrangements crescendo with focus-grouped precision, the lyrics are inspirational and relatable. This is red-meat music for America's prime-time viewing audience. BEN SALMON

TYLER, THE CREATOR
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Tyler, the Creator is a young, spindly little iconoclast who just might be more interesting as a thought-leader, designer, humorist, and instigator than he is a rapper. Sure, his jams are tight, all dark and vicious and shit. But his Twitter rants—calling out celebrity poseurs, whipping sheepish followers, and breaking himself back down to size—are just as good. And when he yells about being nothing and that everyone else should just be making shit, too, and that we're all creative and whatever we really think we want is bullshit anyway, well, fuck yeah, get it! And keep not taking drugs, and when mainstream cool comes calling with credit cards, keep subverting their whole jam. We can all learn something from Tyler, who makes and does his own shit. It's inspired and inspiring. So what if I might be happier wearing his designer shorts than spinning his records? ANDREW R TONRY

BL'AST, TRAGEDY, TRANSIENT, 13 SCARS
(Star Theater, 13 NW 6th) Like an archeologist unearthing ancient bones, every once in a while someone digs up an old, forgotten, or skimmed-over band and reveals its influence to the world. Thanks to Southern Lord Records and a who's-who list of musicians like Dave Grohl, Nick Oliveri, and Joey Castillo, '80s Santa Cruz legends Bl'ast have been resuscitated. Their menacing, sneering, classic West Coast hardcore sounds like a much more vicious and technically proficient Black Flag. The band recently released Blood! and The Expression of Power, old recordings newly mixed by Grohl, and now original vocalist Clifford Dinsmore and guitarist Mike Neider have hit the road to support the releases with Oliveri and Castillo filling out the rhythm section. With all the bullshit surrounding the different incarnations of Black Flag lately, Bl'ast is a refreshing alternative for those who want to hear authentic, mean mid-'80s hardcore. ARIS WALES

MISSING PERSONS, GENE LOVES JEZEBEL, BOW WOW WOW, THIRD GATE
(Tonic Lounge, 3100 NE Sandy) On display tonight is not just a trio of bands who had sizeable hits in the '80s, but also a look at the fuzzy world of naming rights for bands. Take Gene Loves Jezebel: In the US, they can use that name, but overseas, thanks to a lawsuit between the twin brothers who formed the goth-pop group back in 1980, it must be listed as Michael Aston's Gene Loves Jezebel. The opposite is true for brother Jay's version of the group, which tours the UK regularly. In the case of the two other spotlight acts on the bill, both still go by their original monikers, although Bow Wow Wow and Missing Persons each now feature a single founding member: bassist Leigh Gorman and singer Dale Bozzio, respectively. It's like a stroll down memory lane as viewed through a funhouse mirror! Caveat emptor, music fans. RH

SATURDAY 5/24

LIARS, MASSACOORAMAAN
(Star Theater, 13 NW 6th) See My, What a Busy Week!

WAXAHATCHEE, PERFECT PUSSY, POTTY MOUTH (EARLY SHOW)
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See All-Ages Action!

NOTHING, WHIRR, YOUTH CODE (EARLY SHOW)
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Read our article on Nothing.

ELBOW, JOHN GRANT
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) Read our article on Elbow.

OLD LIGHT, PANZER BEAT
(Habesha, 801 NE Broadway) See Wednesday's listing.

MOGWAI, MAJEURE
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) For nearly two decades, Mogwai have been among the finest creators of sullen, slow-burning post-rock, widely lauded for their ability to transform gently chiming guitars into an unholy roar and make it look easy. On their 2014 album, Rave Tapes, the Scottish quintet's destination hasn't changed much, but the journey has. Don't fear: Mogwai's guitars aren't gathering dust here—the song "Hexon Bogon" has the band's familiar epic quality, for example—but they do take a backseat to synthesized sounds and electronic beats that feel warm and weathered, like a muted march through a field of vintage tartans. Aesthetically, Rave Tapes is sort of a lateral move. But mechanically morose charmers like "Remurdered" and "No Medicine for Regret" make Mogwai's eighth studio album a fantastic addition to one of the most dynamic catalogs in indie rock. BS Also see All-Ages Action!

ROBERT FRIPP AND THE ORCHESTRA OF CRAFTY GUITARISTS
(First Congregational Church, 1126 SW Park) You know that the master guitarist Robert Fripp runs a tight ship, so when he gathers an orchestra of guitarists, the results will surely be super-disciplined... and mind-boggling. What he does with his fellow Crafty Guitarists deviates from the florid, torrid prog rock he manifested with the legendary King Crimson. Rather, Fripp & Co. create massive minimalist compositions that flow and swarm with the manic intensity of certain Philip Glass and György Ligeti pieces, but realized with acoustic guitars. Fripp's Crafty Orchestra members have been known to wander around concert halls or assemble in circles while playing their intense, oscillating drones and stark, needling passages. As with anything Fripp touches, the results should be challenging and stimulating. DAVE SEGAL

TRASH AUDIO SYNTH MEET: RICHARD DEVINE, OLIVER DODD, & MORE
(Muffwiggler, 1414 SE Morrison) Gear heads and synth explorers alike will drool in delight over the offerings of Portland's newest boutique synth shop, Muffwiggler, where heavy focus is placed on modular synthesizers—think wall-to-wall space-music machines with lots of knobs and switches that you jack cables into, like an old-fashioned switchboard. They celebrate their grand opening in conjunction with Trash Audio's Synth Meet 14, which features musical performances by several experimental sound manglers, including Richard Devine, whose distinguished career might be the soundtrack to your science-fiction dreams. Many specialty synth manufacturers will be on hand to show off their impressive designs during the day, while these same types of instruments will be used in the evening's musical performances. CHRISTINA BROUSSARD

BRODY DALLE
(Dante's, 350 W Burnside) When's the last time we heard from Brody Dalle? For me, it was when she joined hubby Josh Homme on Queens of the Stone Age's ...Like Clockwork album from last year. For others, it may have been Dalle's work as the frontwoman of the Distillers, where she proved that she was one of the best voices in punk rock. A short stint with Spinnerette showed she was still a force to be reckoned with. It's been five years since Dalle's put out any of her own music, and she's going it alone with her first solo record, Diploid Love (okay, so not completely alone—she enlisted Shirley Manson and Warpaint's Emily Kokal to contribute to the album). The new tunes range from punk-rock rage to more interesting and textured turns. Even when she's not in full rawk mode, Dalle's lyrics and delivery are just as potent. It's nice to have her back. ML

RODRIGUEZ, LP
(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Halll, 1037 SW Broadway) Of all the long-lost, underappreciated musicians unearthed by modern retrophiles in recent years, none has gained as much traction as Sixto Rodriguez, the subject of the 2012 documentary Searching for Sugar Man, which followed two South Africans' efforts to track down the Detroit singer/songwriter who'd all but disappeared after significant success in their home country in the 1970s. It's a compelling story—Sugar Man won the Oscar for Best Documentary last year, although the weird news of director Malik Bendjelloul's suicide last week has cast a pall over that redemption story. Before heading up to Sasquatch!, Rodriguez will stop at the Schnitz, an ideal place to hear his likeable, singsong psych-folk, which sounds a little like a trippier, more gregarious Bob Dylan. BS

THE GHOST OF A SABER TOOTH TIGER, SYD ARTHUR
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Sean Lennon's done a remarkable job not cowering in the shadow of his father John and mother Yoko's imposing artistic accomplishments. It would've been easy for him to retreat from music altogether, but he's plugged away for years doing his thing—a diaphanous, poised strain of psych pop that has surprising durability, if not the immortal sublimity and mass appeal of the Beatles' 1965-1968 run (what does?). The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger is Lennon's latest project with vocalist/girlfriend Charlotte Kemp Muhl, and what I've heard of their new album, Midnight Sun, suggests that their songs' hushed splendor—think in the vein of "Dear Prudence"—continues to take on charming new shapes. If Lennon and Muhl's relationship is as harmonious as their singing, they should be together for a long, long time. DS

SUNDAY 5/25

MUSIC IN THE SCHOOLS: CASTAWAY KIDS, DAD ROCK, GRANDPARENTS, BOYS WITHOUT TOYS
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE César E. Chávez) See My, What a Busy Week!

PRINCESS
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) See My, What a Busy Week!, and read our article on Maya Rudolph.

BENEFIT FOR CADE: SISTAFIST, IBQT, BOMB ASS PUSSY, DJ OG MEG
(East End, 203 SE Grand) Four years ago—having gloriously risen from the ashes of electro-clash group Lactacious—SistaFist entered the Portland music scene. In those years, the female-fronted hiphop crew opened for everyone from Japanther to Lords of Acid, inspired those wise enough to see their brilliance, and offended everyone else. With impressively dirty minds and a completely unhinged stage presence, SistaFist is an unparalleled force that pushes boundaries while starting dance parties. And this is your last chance to participate in the madness they induce, because after tonight they're officially calling it quits. Joining forces one last time to raise money for a friend in medical need—and bringing local boy-band sensations IBQT along for the ride—this is a not-to-be-missed wild party for a good cause. JOSHUA JAMES AMBERSON

DIE ANTWOORD, BOMBS INTO YOU
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) I'll never forget the initial batch of videos that South African rappers Die Antwoord unleashed back in 2009. That was the year the trio—emcees Ninja and Yolandi Visser and producer DJ Hi-Tek— took the internet by storm with a full-force viral media assault. The video for their first single, "Enter the Ninja," along with the Zef Side mini-documentary and footage of the band performing in the back of a taxi, combined with the group's mysterious origins, piqued the interest of millions of viewers worldwide. The crew has since collaborated onstage with Aphex Twin and worked alongside filmmaker Harmony Korine on the short film Umshini Wam. With the video for the lead single off of the group's upcoming third album, Donker Mag, set to drop just in time for this tour, Die Antwoord's vitals continue to flourish, even after most of their outlandish mystery has faded. CT

MONDAY 5/26

PINK MOUNTAINTOPS, GIANT DRAG, DAYDREAM MACHINE
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) Read our article on Pink Mountaintops.

BANKS, JEROME LOL
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) When Jillian Banks' debut album arrives later this year on Harvest Records, it would only be fair of her to thank SoundCloud in the liner notes. That online music platform has been instrumental in getting her music to the masses, who have taken to it handily. Going only by her surname, the LA singer has racked up a string of internet hits, from the excellent, melancholic but tightly ratcheted "Brain" to the plodding, self-pitying "Waiting Game" (produced by SOHN, who incidentally appears at Holocene on May 22). It's electronic R&B that makes as much sense in earbuds as it does at the club. Her latest single, "Drowning," is like looking at a crisp photograph rendered in tight pixels; the clunky rough edges are there, but only if you zoom in close enough. All these songs and more will finally get a proper home on the perhaps immodestly named Goddess album, due on September 9. NL

TUESDAY 5/27

TYVEK, WOOLEN MEN, THE BUGS
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) See My, What a Busy Week!