NEAL MORGAN Tues 6/3 Holocene

WEDNESDAY 5/28

BLACK FLAG, CINEMA CINEMA, THE LOSS, CLACKAMAS BABY KILLERS
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE César E. Chávez) See My, What a Busy Week!, and All-Ages Action!

MONNONE ALONE, ANDREW KAFFER
(Red & Black Café, 400 SE 12th) See All-Ages Action!

PAPERCUTS, EDJ, RITCHIE YOUNG
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) The gorgeously ornamented songs of Jason Quever have littered six fine Papercuts albums to date, and the newest one, Life Among the Savages, marks the San Francisco musician's transition to the newly established Easy Sound label. Beyond that, the differences between the new album and older Papercuts might be hard to pinpoint—which is absolutely fine, as Quever's brand of breathy, candlelit pop is still stop-in-your-tracks good. "New Body" and "Staring at the Bright Lights," in particular, are lovely spine-tinglers. Quever & Co. will be joined by EDJ—AKA Eric D. Johnson, who also made the leap from Sub Pop to Easy Sound in the wake of putting his longtime band Fruit Bats on ice. EDJ's first song released under his new solo moniker, the great "Lose It All, All the Time," marks a turn for Johnson's songwriting toward the melancholy, perhaps, but its kaleidoscopically keening backdrop and tumbling drum fills suggest a broader sonic scope in store for the upcoming EDJ album, due out in August. NED LANNAMANN

PIGEON JOHN, GRAYSKUL, CHICHARONES, BAD TENANTS, THE RUNDOWN
(Star Theater, 13 NW 6th) The list of hiphop stars that have paraded through Portland in recent weeks is as diverse as it is impressive, from the neo-gang-stas (Freddie Gibbs, YG) and weedheads (Devin the Dude) to the marketing wizards (Riff Raff, Tyler the Creator) and loveable oddballs (Danny Brown, Tech N9ne). Given the state of rap music in 2014, where personality is prized, you'd think there'd be room for Pigeon John to rise. Sprung from LA's legendary Project Blowed scene, John has, for more than a decade, been making positive, playful hiphop that owes as much to pop as it does to rap. His breakthrough, so far, is "The Bomb," a song that soundtracked a Volkswagen ad and climbed the charts in Europe, but John has always deserved more stateside success. His new album, Encino Man, may or may not make that happen, but at least the current climate is such that it has a chance. BEN SALMON

WHITEHORSE, ATRIARCH, SCARD
(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) The Aussies in Whitehorse just released Raised into Darkness this past April, an ugly and claustrophobic masterwork of death/doom and noise. It's only their third full-length since 2007, but their catalog is otherwise littered with split releases, including one in 2011 with the soon-to-be Portlanders in the Body. Beyond splitting sides of a record, both bands also share a fixation on atmosphere and look for new ways to fill the negative spaces in their crushing riffs. Also on the bill is local heavy death-rock shape-shifters Atriarch, who are set to hit the studio this summer to record their third full-length, and first for new label home Relapse Records. MATTHEW W. SULLIVAN

THURSDAY 5/29

THE DECEMBERISTS, LAURA VEIRS
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!, and All-Ages Action!

TWEAK BIRD, GAYTHEIST
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) Read our article on Tweak Bird.

REV SHINES, DJ COOKY PARKER
(Dig a Pony, 736 SE Grand) Scott Magee carries a soul-snapping pistol in each hand. With the left, he cracks the snare as drummer of Ural Thomas's backing band, the Pain. In the right, he spins old 45 RPM records as DJ Cooky Parker. And, of course, one hand washes the other. As musical director of the Pain, Magee curates the setlist (despite Thomas' marvelous, show-stopping "Pain Is the Name of Your Game," the Pain remain largely a cover band, at least for the time being). Conversely, the tunes Magee plays with the Pain are a window into his DJing: Eddie Bo and Inez Cheatham's "Lover and a Friend" has the crisp, slamming break-beat foundations; Mack Rice's snake slinks on "Baby I'm Coming Home"; Freddie Scott's "I'll Be Gone" is a red-hot stomper. Since DJ Beyonda left Portland for the Paradise City, Cooky Parker's appetite for wild 45s has become all the more precious. ANDREW R TONRY

FRIDAY 5/30

THE DELINES, MICHAEL DEAN DAMRON
(Kenton Club, 2025 N Kilpatrick) See My, What a Busy Week!

THE DECEMBERISTS, SALLIE FORD
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!, and See All-Ages Action!

JAMES TAYLOR
(Moda Center, 1 Center Ct) I'm tolerant of a lot of shittyass music. Hey, I've been known to enjoy some shittyass music myself upon occasion. Jackson Browne? Yeah, okay. Dan Fogelberg? Sure, fine. Gordon Lightfoot? Sign me up, bitches. But the dulcet tones and rock-solid finger-picking of Rock-a-Bye Sweet Baby James Taylor is where I draw the line, folks. (How much of an asshole do you have to be to write a lullaby to yourself?) Like a lot of you, the music of James Taylor was ever-present in the house where I grew up, but it remains quite literally the only music from childhood to which I failed to develop any sort of sentimental attachment. (I hated it then, too.) Considering how sentimental I've grown over some very dicey music (hi, Dad's old Little River Band albums!), I think this is saying a lot. Sweet Baby James' gelded soft rock is wincing and bankrupt, suitable only as a possible soundtrack for putting your dog to sleep. NL

CLUB TROPICANA: SUZANNE KRAFT, NATURAL MAGIC, ACID FARM, DANIELA KARINA, BREAK MODE, KITCHEN DJ
(Tonic Lounge, 3100 NE Sandy) Bed of Roses' paradise-themed showcase series is back for another round of up-and-coming electronic producers and unpretentious fun. Headlining the festivities this time is LA producer Suzanne Kraft (AKA Diego Herrera of Pharaohs and Blasé), bringing his uniquely playful experiments in pushing the bounds of house music. Come early and catch resident DJ Break Mode do his own boundary pushing, too. Mixing eras with ease, his sets are invariably well-crafted journeys backed by a career of working in a variety of genres. A full range of local beat-makers round out the lineup, and the one-and-only Chanticleer Tru of Magic Mouth serves as the conga line-leading master of ceremonies. JOSHUA JAMES AMBERSON

FATHER MURPHY, EXTRALONE, MOON MIRROR
(East End, 203 SE Grand) As the US grapples with the behemoth that is the new Swans record, here comes Father Murphy, an Italian band that not only recognizes the dark heart beating under the jackhammer percussion and emotional bombast, but also boasts a similar, Swans-like organ. The group's latest four-song EP, Pain Is on Our Side Now, has almost more impact than Swans' To Be Kind—in part because its four songs are much shorter and therefore cut to the quick. This gives you less time to steel yourself for the onslaught of scrabbling percussion and inky swells of droning guitar and bass. ROBERT HAM

EVIAN CHRIST, SAMO SOUND BOY, MAGIC FADES
(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) One day you're holed up in your Merseyside home, studying to be a teacher and making beats for fun, and the next you're one of the dudes who worked on Yeezus. Such is life for Josh Leary, better known as Evian Christ, the English bedroom producer-turned-man behind the track "I'm in It," the dirtiest song on Kanye West's abrasive 2013 album. Kanye reportedly learned of Leary's music through his self-released mixtape Kings and Them, and brought the twentysomething in for his gritty, ground-shaking sound, which blurs the lines between traditional boom-bap beats, woozy R&B, and glitchy electro-pop. The result is thunderously odd and charmingly jarring, and it's a perfect fit for white-hot electro/avant-rap label Tri Angle, home to Christ's new Waterfall EP, which Resident Advisor called "as brightly promising as it is stark and cold." BS

DATAPORT: RHINOSTRICH, BRYFACE, TEMPLE MAPS
(Alhambra Theatre, 4811 SE Hawthorne) With the possible exception of Anamanaguchi, the popularity of modern chip music (which is, for the uninitiated, an esoteric offshoot of electronic music created using hardware from old 8-bit videogame consoles) is confined to a small niche of diehards. Otherwise, it's severely underrepresented, which is understandable—a lot of it is unsurprisingly inaccessible—but unfortunate, as many of the genre's practitioners are incredibly talented composers who happen to be working in an extremely nerdy medium. The organizers of DataPort, an upstart chip-centric showcase that's set to occur monthly at the Alhambra, intend to change that. This month's show features performances from New York artist Rhinostrich, Canadian Gameboy-pop specialist Bryface, and Temple Maps. MORGAN TROPER

CAMPER VAN BEETHOVEN, MILLER AND SASSER
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE César E. Chávez) As they recounted the bands they played alongside, the Dead Milkmen remembered Camper Van Beethoven thusly: "We returned from a tour once to find them camped out in our house." Which sounds about right. Like the Milkmen, Camper Van came up as cheeky '80s punks, playfully sneering, too smart for their own good. Coming up as a dumb teenage punk in the '90s, I was introduced to Camper Van Beethoven by a cool-as-fuck friend with taste wise beyond his years. To this day, "Take the Skinheads Bowling" rings as uppity and marvelously as it ever has, a stick-in-the-eye, brush-the-dirt-off-your-shoulders nugget. As an oddity in pop, its triumph is eternal. And though the band did take the '90s off, Camper Van Beethoven aren't done making stuff. The group's about to release the slightly sweeter, somewhat more refined, yet still skronky and spiky El Camino Real next week, their second album in as many years. ART

SATURDAY 5/31

DOLOREAN, BARTON CARROLL, MERIDIAN
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) See My, What a Busy Week!, and read our article on Dolorean.

THROWING MUSES, TANYA DONNELLY
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) Read our article on Throwing Muses.

GLACIER PALACE, HYENAS, THE DEE DEES
(Habesha, 801 NE Broadway) Joel Magid's new album, Hyenas, is a homegrown porridge of lo-fi anti-pop, record-store-geek jangle, stormy garage-rock of the classic '60s variety, and a few moments of indefinable weirdness. In other words, it's a blast—full of attitude and sunlight and darkness and fun. "Snakes, I Love You" has relentless forward momentum, while "The Most Terrible Mountains" is a cool, mentholated sermon from a lonely mountaintop. Magid is celebrating the release of Hyenas by forming a group of that name to play the record-release show. The live band features members of And And And, the Protons, and the Ex-Girlfriends Club, and should be the perfect outfit to convey Hyenas' sloped-shoulder shuffle. NL

BLOOD RED SHOES, RADKEY
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) UK duo Blood Red Shoes have been at it—and at each other's throats—for the better part of a decade. Their self-titled fourth album sums up the band best: noisy, warped blues with a thin layer of polish. Lyrically, they continue to reside in an angsty and macabre desert. Fortunately, it doesn't come off as packaged frustration. Sometimes Blood Red Shoes disfigure their influences enough to make them unrecognizable; other times you have to wonder how much blood, sweat, and tears actually went into it. MARK LORE

METALACHI, EDNA VAZQUEZ
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) When I described Metalachi to a group of friends over beers, they gave me the look you give your stoner friend when he says he's going to be the next president. "No, really," I insisted. "They do, like, mariachi-style covers of metal songs." Whether or not those fuckos come to the show, it will be difficult for anyone not to smile and dance through the whole performance. Metalachi clearly demonstrates their ability to play mariachi music with utmost sincerity, as well as a passion for Black Sabbath and Guns N' Roses. Though one could argue their name is not the most creative, Metalachi performs true-blue mariachi music, with pinpoint trumpeting and the shortest of cut-off shorts. Take 'em or leave 'em. ROSE FINN

THE BRIEFS, SEX CRIME, YOUTHBITCH, THE CRY, DJ ROXY EPOXY, DJ KEN DIRTNAP
(East End, 203 SE Grand) This is the first tour for Seattle skinny-tie punks the Briefs in over seven years. It also marks the 15th anniversary for the group—who now have members scattered all over the West Coast and as far away as Berlin. Their 2000 debut album, Hit After Hit, recorded when Bill "Slick Willie" Clinton was still president, has one of the catchiest, '77-style pop-punk anthems ever written—a little ditty about being "Poor and Weird." I expect the band will still be poor. And weird. And bleach-bottle-blondes. And you can bet your mother's bathroom slippers they're still as rowdy as all hell—they were always the next best thing to traveling back in time to see the Adverts or the Buzzcocks. KELLY O

ELECTRICIAN, THE BINARY MARKETING SHOW, WHALES WAILING, ACTUAL BIRDS
(Red & Black Café, 400 SE 12th) Electrician is made up of two new parents who tour in a motor home and sing about the end of the world. Led by songwriter Neil Campau (formerly of the brilliantly chaotic freak-folk group World History), Electrician's ominous pop songs are the political equivalent of the traditional murder ballad—instead of a lover dying, it's civilization as a whole and all the symbols of power that come with it. But unlike other groups with a political agenda, their aim is not didactic lecturing or anthemic preaching, but simply to bring buried feelings to the surface. They ask you to deal with any looming interior dread and let it out. What results is an almost celebratory trip into the things that scare us. JJA

THE FAINT, REPTAR
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) While cleaning out my garage last weekend, I found a 2003 issue of an old Chico music magazine called Devil in the Woods. The cover photo showed a bunch of twentysomethings hanging out in front of a stone wall under the headline "The Year Omaha Broke." Jenny Lewis was there, as was Conor Oberst. I assume the Faint were there, too, given that they're Omahans, but I wasn't sure, because I don't know what they look like. I do know, however, that the Faint are survivors. After their self-released 2008 album, Fasciinatiion, the band ended, and members went their separate ways until last spring, when they gathered again to make their sixth album. Doom Abuse showcases all of the band's good and bad attributes: pulsing synths, post-punk spirit, pop melodies, glammy swagger, and so-so songwriting. The Faint are older and presumably wiser, but they still seem to have just one sonic gear. BS

WOLVSERPENT, HELL, WILL O' THE WISP, HAIL
(Slabtown, 1033 NW 16th) Boise's Wolvserpent makes the kind of cinematic metal that turns dreams into nightmares. Even scarier is the fact that this apocalyptic noise comes from just two people—multi-instrumentalists Brittany McConnell and Blake Green. Three quarters of the way through the 16-minute "Within the Light of Fire," and I'm ready to retreat to my shelter. And that's one of their shorter pieces. Wolvserpent creates ambient not only with guitars and drums, but also strings and field recordings, opting for the slow build over the straight bludgeon. It's compelling stuff, and being in a dark room with a group of strangers should only give the music more weight. ML

SUNDAY 6/1

EDNA VAZQUEZ
(Al's Den, 303 SW 12th) See My, What a Busy Week!

MØ, ERIK HASSLE
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Read our article on Mø.

MONDAY 6/2

EDNA VAZQUEZ
(Al's Den, 303 SW 12th) See My, What a Busy Week!

BANANA STAND SECRET SHOW
(Double Dragon, 1235 SE Division) See My, What a Busy Week!

EAGULLS, TWIN PEAKS
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) The debut full-length by Leeds, England, quartet Eagulls is one of the more overlooked records of 2014. Like their peers in Savages, this all-male outfit sounds as if they were force-fed a diet of early Joy Division, Gang of Four, and Siouxsie and the Banshees records. But Eagulls' version finds the sensuality hiding beneath the granite guitar tones and twitchy singing. Their allure is all the better to coax you in so vocalist George Mitchell can snap your head off while the rest of his band picks the meat off your willing bones. RH

THE HOLMES BROTHERS
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Made up of brothers Sherman and Wendell Holmes, as well as "brother" Popsy Dixon on drums and back-up vocals, the Holmes Brothers dish out hymns so emotive, they could qualify as the original slow jams. Their background in gospel shows through in the Holmes' sweet melodies and harmonies. Having recorded with a whole host of established musicians (Willie Nelson, Van Morrison, and Joan Osborne, to name a few), the Holmes' latest album, Brotherhood, is certainly not their first rodeo. Though it contains many covers, their sound is so distinct and true to form that whatever they play, they truly make their own. RF

LOCAL H, BAD VEINS, AGAINST THE RAGING TIDE
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE César E. Chávez) It wouldn't be wrong to call Local H a one-hit wonder, but it's a little bit like only knowing Joy Division for "Love Will Tear Us Apart." Or maybe the Butthole Surfers' "Pepper" is a better parallel. Both are a stretch, sure, but what I'm getting at is there are a ton of Local H songs way cooler than "Bound for the Floor." That song made them a '90s footnote in the post-Nirvana major-label feeding frenzy, but the duo's blend of grungy hard rock, Cheap Trick power-pop, and smirking lyrics has aged well. "Bound for the Floor" is still pretty good, too. MWS

TUESDAY 6/3

YACHT, WAMPIRE, SNOWBLIND TRAVELER
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) See My, What a Busy Week!

EDNA VAZQUEZ
(Al's Den, 303 SW 12th) See My, What a Busy Week!

BANE, TURNSTILE, TAKE OFFENSE, YOUNG TURKS
(Alhambra Theatre, 4811 SE Hawthorne) See All-Ages Action!

NEAL MORGAN, PULSE EMITTER, WL, JOHN BOWERS
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Listening to Neal Morgan's music can induce a chilling kind of claustrophobia. It's something to do with its minimalism; most songs are nothing more than a repetitive drum passage with Allen Ginsberg-like poetry spoken over the top. That also sounds like a bad night at the coffee-shop open mic, but there's an intoxicating quality to Morgan's work that's easy to get drawn into. Credit his use of language; his upcoming self-titled album (out June 17 via local imprint Party Damage) features an economical amount of words—something akin to Raymond Carver's best work, revealing just enough imagery and philosophical insight that will have you leaning in, waiting almost breathlessly for the next line. That is if you're not already in some kind of hypnotic state, dancing to his unyielding beats. RH