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This Week's Music Previews

DRUNK DAD Fri 7/11 Information Warehouse

DRUNK DAD Fri 7/11 Information Warehouse

WEDNESDAY 7/9

YOUNG & SICK, BENT DENIM, EXROYALE
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) See My, What a Busy Week!

SPIRIT LAKE, BLUE SKIES FOR BLACK HEARTS, YOUNG VIENNA
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Read our article on Blue Skies for Black Hearts.

CIVIL UNION, BROKEN WATER, ARCTIC FLOWERS
(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) Channeling early Sub Pop and New York art rock, Olympia's Broken Water creates hazy, perfectly minimal, trance-inducing rock music. Their records are universally celebrated, and extend from the weighted pop songs of Tempest on Hardly Art to the experimental excursions of their self-released collaborative work with legendary Seattle cellist Lori Goldston, Seaside and Sedmirkrásky. Their live shows—while not at all flashy—are intensely mesmerizing affairs, and at their best convince you that Broken Water has found a holy intersection between drone and punk. JOSHUA JAMES AMBERSON

BAD HISTORY MONTH, DUST FROM 1000 YEARS, POST MOVES
(Discourage Records, 1737 SE Morrison) Bad History Month is the solo project of Bostonian Jeff Meff, who formerly recorded under the name Fat History Month, with releases called Sad History Month and Bald History Month. Dust from 1000 Years is a long-running, lo-fi, folk-ish band from Bloomington, Indiana, that's probably played in your friend's basement at least once. Both make DIY music seemingly inspired by never-ending bummers, and the two have combined their sad bastard powers for a pretty great split called Famous Cigarettes that's sometimes noisy, sometimes sparse, and rarely conventional. The same can be said for Portland's Post Moves, who open the proceedings at this evening's in-store at inner Southeast punk vinyl shop Discourage Records. MATTHEW W. SULLIVAN

THURSDAY 7/10

SUNDOWN AT ECOTRUST: PORTLAND CELLO PROJECT
(Jean Vollum Natural Capital Center, 721 NW 9th) See My, What a Busy Week!

SMALL SKIES, FOREIGN ORANGE, AMENTA ABIOTO
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Benjamin Tyler used to record under the name Stepkid, but he's morphed that project into the new Small Skies, enlisting the spontaneous contributions of friends to offset his carefully crafted, electronic-based sonic panoramas. Small Skies' intriguing debut album (self-titled) juxtaposes dark, coiled synths with booming, crashing live drums, and the results are both invigorating and ominous. For every joyous pop summit like "So Long," there's the wobbling, claustrophobic "New Home," and Tyler often overruns his melodies with echo, creating an indistinct, erased quality with his voice. What remains perfectly in focus is Tyler's piercing vision, and he injects a surprising amount of emotion into the abstractions on Small Skies, giving the record a gravity that's impossible to discount. NED LANNAMANN

THE FRESH AND ONLYS, THE SHILOHS, OLD LIGHT
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) You may've already heard the Fresh and Onlys. When the long-lost-then-found Rodriguez (subject of the Oscar-winning documentary Searching for Sugar Man) returned to the stage, the Fresh and Onlys, a four-piece garage band from San Francisco, backed him up. "The Fresh and Onlys are a very cultured band," Rodriguez told me in 2012. "They have kind of a caliber, a high caliber of performance—and also in their demeanor." That's high praise from a man of such demonstrated character and no-bullshit bona fides. To be sure, supporting Rodriguez did not make the Fresh and Onlys, it emphasized their past excellence. But at the same time it's almost impossible that getting so close to Rodriguez and performing his songs night-in, night-out didn't affect the Onlys, whose House of Spirits, released last month, is smoky, groovy, gritty, and marvelously played. Though likely much more, the Onlys must've at least learned from Rodriguez the blessing of humility, if not that the cosmos maintains, at best, a cruel sense of timing and justice. ANDREW R TONRY

THE RUGS, EVAN WAY, BARNA HOWARD, SAMSEL AND THE SKIRT
(White Eagle, 836 N Russell) If you haven't acquainted yourself with the Mama Bird Recording Co., you should probably do so with haste. The Portland-based micro-label is reviving the purest folk-heart with new voices, including that of Portland-via-Missouri balladeer Barna Howard. There's a strong John Prine sonic resemblance, but there's also something purely Howard's own that comes across in his live shows that's stark, pure, and the best side of folk. Speaking of throwbacks, Californian '60s revivalists the Rugs are joining the bill as well, with strong melodies, full-band sing-along harmonies, and luscious guitar solos. Samsel and the Skirt will be there, too, bringing the smooth country heat. ROBIN BACIOR

LATE NIGHT SLEEP TV, ERMINE, QUACKHAMMER, SAME SELF
(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) Reclusive Portland synth pop project Late Night Sleep TV comes out of hiding for tonight's benefit show. With a good sense of humor and a penchant for power pop and '80s goth, Late Night Sleep TV manages to be both ecstatic and brooding. It's more of a tribute to synth music of bygone eras than a parody, but it could be read either way and still sound good. Opening the night is the tape-loop experimentation of Albuquerque's Ermine and the electric ukulele of Quackhammer. The unifying thread of tonight's line-up is the Portland Zine Symposium: The show is one of its kick-off events, and all tonight's artists are long-running, respected zinesters who are tabling at this weekend's gathering. JJA

FRIDAY 7/11

50: A POSSIBLE HISTORY OF DANCE MUSIC, 1964-2014: DJ COOKY PARKER, DJ GREGARIOUS
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See My, What a Busy Week!

TIKI KON KICKOFF PARTY: SATAN'S PILGRIMS, LUSHY, DJ DREW GROOVE
(Star Theater, 13 NW 6th) See My, What a Busy Week!

PORTLAND CELLO PROJECT
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!

KITTEN CRISIS, AMY BRUCE SPACESHOW, THE BRICKS
(Slabtown, 1033 NW 16th) See All-Ages Action!

DRUNK DAD, HEALTH PROBLEMS, HONDURAN, BIG BLACK CLOUD, TYRANTS
(Information Warehouse, 411 SE 6th) At long last, here is the Drunk Dad album Ripper Killer, released July 1 on the unfuckwithable Eolian Empire imprint. Can the Portland blast masters sustain their particularly nihilistic brand of speed-sludge-noise over the course of a full-length? Unquestionably so. While a small amount of intestinal fortitude is required to make your way through the not-to-be-listened-to-lightly Ripper Killer, it's a fascinating, involving record that measures its bleakness with a truly intelligent approach to noise. And its bottomless wellspring of energy is a kick in the ass. Drunk Dad are one of Portland's most pulverizing live bands, and there are four other brutal bands on the bill, so ramp up those expectations: This show's going to be insane. NL

AMEN DUNES, AXXA/ABRAXAS
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) Damon McMahon's third album under the name Amen Dunes is by far his most accessible and put-together. Whereas McMahon's first two full-lengths—2009's DIA and 2011's Through Donkey Jaw—were mostly sparse affairs, made swiftly and solitarily, the new one, simply called Love, is relatively lush, featuring playing by longtime collaborators as well as members of Godspeed You! Black Emperor. (McMahon recorded Love in Montreal.) Old-school fans may long for Amen Dunes' more spartan days, but the luxuries of time and outside assistance help anchor McMahon's floaty, faraway folk songs and bring his resonant, drawn-out melodies into focus. The result is bewitching without sacrificing peculiarity. Songwriters get dragged out of the lo-fi lowlands all the time; if the songs are strong enough—Darnielle, Malkmus, Elliott Smith, etc.—they'll translate with a little sheen. McMahon's are strong enough. BEN SALMON

COCKEYE, LOVE AND CARING, CHILDBIRTH, LISA PRANK
(The Foggy Notion, 3416 N Lombard) I'm a sucker for almost any witty name given to a music project. That said, it's pretty infrequent for the sound behind such a name to be worth mentioning, and even rarer for the music to actually relate to the clever wordplay at hand. Enter Lisa Prank, the alias of recent Seattle transplant Robin Edwards. Armed with a guitar and a drum machine, Edwards' debut cassette, Crush on the World, completely owns her self-described "Trapper Keeper pop punk" style. The tape is five tracks of lo-fi, bubblegum-shaded cuddle-core, with sentimental lyrics that would feel right at home scrawled out in milky pen and folded into the neon pockets of a three-ring binder. Making the trek down I-5 along with Edwards is the Seattle-based punk-rock supergroup, Childbirth. Featuring members of Tacocat, Pony Time, and Chastity Belt, the trio embody a playful, yet vital gender-bias, targeting attitude within amusing and vivacious anthems. CHIPP TERWILLIGER

SARA JACKSON-HOLMAN, HOLIDAY FRIENDS, SWANSEA
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Portland singer/songwriter Sara Jackson-Holman follows up 2012's Cardiology with a brighter, brasher sound with her new River Queen EP. Those melancholy, meditative piano chords are still in play on songs like "Feel It Now" and "Keep Score," but they're augmented by danceable radio-ready electro beats on "Push Back" and "Hurricane." The result is a slightly schizophrenic listen, as the EP's three dance jams are alternated with its three piano ballads, but Jackson-Holman pulls off both approaches with aplomb, and River Queen contains some of her best work to date, particularly on the slower songs, which achieve gracefulness while side-stepping any potentially maudlin qualities. NL

SATURDAY 7/12

MISSISSIPPI STREET FAIR
(N Mississippi between Fremont and Skidmore) See My, What a Busy Week!

PORTLAND CELLO PROJECT
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!

RUN ON SENTENCE, STAR ANNA
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Read our article on Run On Sentence.

ARCTIC FLOWERS, THE NERVOUS, PISS TEST, LUNCH
(Boogie's Burgers and Brew, 910 E Burnside) See All-Ages Action!

SHEER TERROR, POISON IDEA, LONGKNIFE, & MORE
(Star Theater, 13 NW 6th) See All-Ages Action!

PETER MATTHEW BAUER, JAPANESE GUY
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) Many critics loved erudite New York indie-rock band the Walkmen, but not this one. Sonically speaking, they struck me as one of the blandest acts of the '00s. I saw them perform once in Orange County, and it felt like being politely force-fed mayonnaise on white Wonder® Bread sandwiches. Peter Matthew Bauer played bass for the Walkmen, so he shares some of the blame for their offenses. But his debut solo album, Liberation!—while not a bastion of innovation by any means—contains more flavor per song than his old unit's albums ever did. Liberation! revolves around Bauer's upbringing in a Hindu yoga cult and explores the nature of belief and its repercussions. Overall, it sounds like a hybrid of Brian Jonestown Massacre's vaguely Eastern-leaning psychedelia and Tom Petty's blue-collar rock—which is more interesting than the Walkmen. DAVE SEGAL

FLOTSAM AND JETSAM, EXMORTUS, HATCHET, MANIAK, HYBORIAN RAGE
(Tonic Lounge, 3100 NE Sandy) Known for a spell as Metallica bassist Jason Newsted's former band, Flotsam and Jetsam did just fine without him after his departure in 1986. No Place for Disgrace remains one of the band's finest hours, so much so that the members of Flotsam and Jetsam re-released it this year with a new mix. I can't say I know any F&J fans, but they must be out there, as No Place For Disgrace 2014 came about per the request of fans (and was ultimately financed by them via Pledge Music). Now Flotsam and Jetsam are taking it on the road in America and beyond, including a stop at Portland's Tonic Lounge, which has become a hot spot for past-their-prime hard rock and metal bands. Much to my delight. MARK LORE

SUNDAY 7/13

ST. EVEN, BARRY BRUSSEAU
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!

SHELBY EARL, ZACH FLEURY
(Al's Den, 303 SW 12th) One of the more consistently excellent live music options in town is the weekly residency series at Al's Den. It's afforded the opportunity to catch artists as they stretch their creative limbs a bit, playing seven nights in the low-key basement venue that's steeped in (sordid) Portland history. Seattle's Shelby Earl begins her run of performances there tonight, and they'd be can't-miss even if they weren't free. Her Damien Jurado-produced Swift Arrows arrived late last year, boasting a confidence and ease rare in second albums, with songs like the title track and "Grown Up Things" approaching a timeless sound that's even less common. More recently, a version of Michael Jackson's "P.Y.T."—recorded for an episode of Grey's Anatomy this past spring—showed off the kind of adventurous spirit that's helped Earl avoid the familiar trappings of the singer-songwriter. JEREMY PETERSEN

ANIMAL EYES, MOTHERTAPES
(Rontoms, 600 E Burnside) Wax Fingers were a bold testament to the freaky lengths that experimental progressive rock could be taken. Since their disbandment, two remaining members—guitarist/bassist/vocalist Pete Bosack and drummer Tommy Franzen—have been incubating an equally engaging experiment in Mothertapes. The two-piece specializes in frenetic fits of texturized chaos, bleeding and blippy guitar squalls, and melodic interludes with liquid synths. Mothertapes' debut album is currently being mastered, and features no shortage of the thrilling guitar calisthenics that made Wax Fingers such an anomaly. With the first single, "Do Make Say," as barometer, Bosack and Franzen have embraced more of their pop side, folding in danceable patchworks of controlled atmospherics, and making it sound both fun and emotionally cathartic. RYAN J. PRADO

LECHEROUS GAZE, SONS OF HUNS, P.R.O.B.L.E.M.S.
(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) Rising from the ashes of Annihilation Time, Lecherous Gaze takes the West Coast hardcore of three of its four members' former band and re-purposes it with '70s hard-rock swing. Last month they released sophomore effort Zeta Reticuli Blues, which ups the ante from 2012's On the Skids: better riffs, better production, better performances. It's just a better record. Singer Zaryan Zaidi's vocals sit somewhere in between Lemmy and Beefheart—so, you know, raspy—and the whole thing is presented in campy, B-movie-style fun. They share the bill with brothers in vintage hard-rock worship, Portland's Sons of Huns. MWS

A SUNNY DAY IN GLASGOW, GOLDEN RETRIEVER, TENDER AGE
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) A Sunny Day in Glasgow started in Philly but are now scattered across two continents. So when it came time to make their third album, Sea When Absent, the band was forced to piece together its fizzy dream-pop; arrangement responsibility shifted, a new lyricist emerged, production was handled by an outsider, and so on. As a result, the new album finds ASDIG sounding more kaleidoscopic and less shoegazey. Led by two beautifully airy female voices, Sea When Absent is playful and elusive, unafraid of sonic and rhythmic shifts. It sounds like perfect dream-pop chopped up into pieces and tossed into a swirling, sugary wind. It's also one of the best records of 2014. If you miss School of Seven Bells, after Ben Curtis' death in December, make a beeline for A Sunny Day in Glasgow. BS

MONDAY 7/14

WYE OAK, PATTERN IS MOVEMENT
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!

SHELBY EARL, KYLE O'QUIN
(Al's Den, 303 SW 12th) See Sunday's listing.

TUESDAY 7/15

EAR CANDY: BLACKWITCH PUDDING, STONEBURNER, BURIALS
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) See My, What a Busy Week!

WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM, NOMMO OGO, DRUDEN
(Star Theater, 13 NW 6th) Read our article on Wolves in the Throne Room.

SHELBY EARL, SEAN NELSON
(Al's Den, 303 SW 12th) See Sunday's listing.

GLOBELAMP, ADVENTUROUS SLEEPING, THE OCEAN FLOOR
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) Olympia's Elizabeth le Fey records as Globelamp, and her new album, Star Dust—released on cassette by Gazelle Recordings—is an absolute stunner. Less discerning ears might hear it as jumbled, lo-fi murk, but in point of fact it's a dizzying, careering quilt of psychedelic folk, so trippy it'll inflict a contact high. Le Fey's songs meander, but never aimlessly; their intricate details are like being given the godly gift of seeing all life forms in a vast forest at once, with birds swooping through branches, thorns twisting through gnarled brush, and subterranean creatures burrowing through fecund earth. Le Fey gained some notoriety as a touring member of Foxygen—yes, those were her Tumblr posts that shone a spotlight on that band's acute growing pains during their 2013 tour—but with Star Dust, it's clear that the miraculous, medieval-tinged sound tapestries she makes as Globelamp are all anyone should be talking about. NL

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