THE HOLD STEADY Thursday 7/17 Wonder Ballroom
Danny Clinch

WEDNESDAY 7/16

NATURAL CHILD, THE ABIGAILS, JOEL MAGID
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) See My, What a Busy Week!

GLOBELAMP, JEREMY BURTON, WHOREHOUND
(Kenton Club, 2025 N Kilpatrick) See My, What a Busy Week!

FILTER, HELMET, LOCAL H, DEMURE
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE César E. Chávez) When Filter's debut album, Short Bus, dropped in 1995, industrial music was reaching a climax of wrench-clanging, steam-valve-sampling glory, typified by the crossover success of a song that featured in its chorus a pre-Hulk Trent Reznor whispering, "I wanna fuck you like an animal." Saucy stuff. Filter's "Hey Man Nice Shot," a vague endorsement of the public suicide of shamed Pennsylvania politician Budd Dwyer, launched them into the spotlight on Nine Inch Nail's coattails, and the band—whose frontman Richard Patrick actually played in NIN at one point—achieved modest success by almost completely aping Reznor's catalog, before finalizing their pop ambitions with the airy 1999 single "Take a Picture." Luckily Helmet are on this bill, too, and they've retained pretty much every inch of their clout since 1992's Meantime. RYAN J. PRADO

THE HIVE DWELLERS, MECCA NORMAL, SPIDER AND THE WEBS
(Red & Black Café, 400 SE 12th) Of all the bands that emerged from the vibrant '90s underground scene, the one that's most unfairly glossed over is Mecca Normal. It's likely something to do with the Canadian duo's uncompromising sound: the slashing guitar chords of David Lester snapping at singer Jean Smith's challenging feminist lyrics and fearless singing. It was blues music filtered through a punk prism. Twenty-plus years later, and the pair haven't shifted their aesthetic in the least, only calmed it a little. Their most recent album, Empathy for the Evil, was recorded with former Bongwater founder Kramer, who adds a welcome psychedelic tinge that lends a strangely wistful quality to these often stirring political anthems. This show continues M'lady's Record's series of shows celebrating the Portland label's seventh anniversary. ROBERT HAM

THURSDAY 7/17

TINY RUINS, BIG HAUNT, AU DUNES
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Read our article on Tiny Ruins.

THE HOLD STEADY, CHEAP GIRLS
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) On Tuesday, the Minnesota Twins hosted the MLB all-star game for the first time since the week I was born. As someone who grew up spending summers along the Mississippi, I wanted nothing more than to spend that day in the Twin Cities. I'm positive Hold Steady frontman Craig Finn felt the same way while he was busy on the road, spinning coming-of-age tales, packed full of hope in the face of despair. Finn spent his youth watching Twins baseball and dragging his dad to record stores to purchase Replacements albums. Three decades on, he's composed a ballpark anthem for the team, and his band are primed to share the stage with Westerberg and Stinson at their homecoming reunion this September. Finn thoroughly embodies his life-affirming, classic-rock laden anthems, and it's this trait that makes witnessing the Hold Steady live an experience that's as genuine and inspiring as they come. CHIPP TERWILLIGER

FRANK FAIRFIELD
(Duff's Garage, 2530 NE 82nd) Frank Fairfield has had good luck with record labels in his young career. His first two albums—2009's self-titled and 2011's Out on the Open West—came out on Tompkins Square, one of the world's finest excavators of ancient and contemporary folk music. And earlier this year, Jack White's Third Man Records put out a Fairfield 7-inch called "Duncan and Brady," which is probably not a tribute to the great San Antonio Spurs big man and the handsome New England Patriots quarterback. Point is: There's a good chance that Jack White, lover of things that are a bit odd and out-of-time, has heard Fairfield's mesmerizing, pitch-perfect take on traditional music and pre-war folk-blues. And if Jack and Third Man are behind Fairfield, who's to say he couldn't blow up? Old-time music for old souls everywhere. Let's do this. BEN SALMON

AMOS LEE, BLACK PRAIRIE
(Oregon Zoo, 4001 SW Canyon) Amos Lee is having a nice love affair with the West Coast, as evidenced by multiple performances a year up and down the I-5 corridor. Following the explosive success of the Joey Burns-produced LP Mission Bell in 2011—which debuted at number one on Billboard—and the equally tantalizing, bluesy-roots follow-up Mountains of Sorrow, Rivers of Song, Lee is as busy as ever. He's joined by Portland's own dark Americana crew Black Prairie, whose new album, Fortune, finds the band transmogrifying yet again. And the Oregon Zoo's Croc-sporting masses are certain to join in rhythmic unison with the stewing lions in the Serengeti exhibit or the chimps in the primate habitat. Remember that sex scene in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective where Jim Carrey and Courtney Cox get down in sight of an audience of exotic birds to "The Lion Sleeps Tonight"? Yeah, it'll be almost exactly like that. RJP

FRIDAY 7/18

PDX POP NOW!
(AudioCinema, 226 SE Madison) See All-Ages Action!

CATHEDRAL PARK JAZZ FESTIVAL
(Cathedral Park, N Edison & Pittsburg) See My, What a Busy Week!

THE HOONS, DEAD REMEDY, THE LOVELY LOST, GUN FU
(Ash Street Saloon, 225 SW Ash) The Hoons based their latest batch of songs on stories from Radiolab, but you won't hear arty audio collages or documentary-style interview segments on the band's new self-titled album. Rather, the Hoons specialize in meaty, potato-ey rock, with two guitars and room-filling drums. The band moved to Portland from Anchorage, Alaska, in 2012 after having done time on Warped Tour, and there's a utilitarian sound to the record, as if the band knows how to get its message across without too much fuss. It works well on The Hoons, as the band moves from wiry indie riffs to Southern boogie to radio-ready choruses over the course of the record's 11 tracks. NED LANNAMANN

ISAAC PIERCE, THE HELIGOATS, JONAH LUKE
(The Waypost, 3120 N Williams) Isaac Pierce spent most of the last six years playing shows. Traveling around the country with sincere folk music that's neither pretentious nor cheesy, Pierce has played at electronic shows, punk shows, open mics, and even a Hyatt Regency, performing for kids who had just marched in Chicago's Thanksgiving parade. He's seemingly open to any and every opportunity to perform. His songs are purposefully wandering, image-heavy, chorusless beings that are influenced by both '60s and modern folk, but aren't exactly either. Watching him perform these songs is like having someone reminding you to keep going, keep trying. It's simple, hopeful, and powerful. JOSHUA JAMES AMBERSON

OPIO, FREE THE ROBOTS, PHILIP GRASS, CITYMOUTH
(Hawthorne Theatre Lounge, 1507 SE César E. Chávez) “Sci-Fidelity,” a cut off Free the Robots’ stunning Ctrl Alt Delete album for Alpha Pup, pretty much captures his music’s essence in one neat phrase. Sure, a lot of musicians take inspiration from science fiction and space-age/comic-book effluvia, but Free the Robots (AKA Chris Alfaro, Santa Ana, California’s finest producer) forges those familiar raw materials into potent laser beams of kitsch-free, bass-heavy productions that sound like a more fun-spirited Flying Lotus. Steeped in jazz, funk, hiphop, weird early electronic music, prog, and psych rock, Free the Robots disperses his eclectic influences into eventful, equilibrium-upending tracks that put him in the upper echelon of Low End Theory-affiliated artists. DAVE SEGAL

VINCE STAPLES, AUDIO PUSH, SKEME, J. SIRUS
(Alhambra Theatre, 4811 SE Hawthorne) Vince Staples first came to the attention of the hiphop world in 2010 via his association with the various threads of the Odd Future gang, nabbing guest verses on Earl Sweatshirt and Mike G's solo efforts. The young Californian has since catapulted beyond his peers, particularly this year with the release of his mixtape, Shyne Coldchain Vol. 2. With the help of producers No ID and Scoop DeVille, Staples is by turns sinister (the scrabbling, challenging "Shots"), ruminative ("Nate," where he explores his fractious relationship with his father), and boastful (the chest-pounding, Wu-Tang-inspired "Trunk Rattle"). He's joined by Audio Push, a duo of Golden Staters who are deeply tied in with the limber-limbed dance movement known as jerkin'. RH

THE SHIVAS, BURNT ONES, JOLLAPIN JASPER, FINE PETS
(East End, 203 SE Grand) I first encountered the Shivas at the 2012 installment of the PDX Pop Now! festival, but it wasn't until I witnessed them again, late last year, that I became fully smitten. Sandwiched between Calvin Johnson and his band the Hive Dwellers, and Ian Svenonius' latest outfit, Chain and the Gang, the Shivas blasted through a ferocious mixture of melodic '60s garage-pop, surfy guitar riffs, and stunning vocal harmonies. They easily rivaled great sets from both the K Records' founder and the former Make-Up frontman. I left Lola's Room with Shivas tracks like "You Make Me Wanna Die" and "Gun in My Pocket" buzzing around my head for quite some time. Throw in the sun-drenched psychedelic pop of San Francisco's Burnt Ones, and this show becomes the perfect late-night detour, should you grow weary of the opening night festivities at this year's PDX Pop. CT

SATURDAY 7/19

PDX POP NOW!
(AudioCinema, 226 SE Madison) See All-Ages Action!

WEINLAND, HOOK AND ANCHOR, PETER RAINBEAU
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!

CATHEDRAL PARK JAZZ FESTIVAL
(Cathedral Park, N Edison & Pittsburg) See My, What a Busy Week!

DENVER, MICHAEL HURLEY
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Read our article on Denver.

LYLE LOVETT AND HIS LARGE BAND
(Edgefield, 2126 SW Halsey, Troutdale) When country sounds good, it sounds like Lyle Lovett. This Texas-born artist has been a household name for longer than you can remember. With a career that's spanned more than three decades, Lovett has not only played it all, he's defined his own brand of country, incorporating blues, jazz, and even gospel into his rich, intricate sound. His sweet tenor voice and signature curly mop have made numerous film and television appearances, in addition to his many years of live performances. He's the original cowboy hipster—a shy, slender singer/songwriter, ready to envelop you in his complex lyrics and quiet charm. ROSE FINN

DREAD ZEPPELIN, COMMONLY COURTEOUS, ROTARY AGE, MR. PLOW
(Tonic Lounge, 3100 NE Sandy) This is quite a week for throwbacks, including the expected (Journey and Steve Miller at Sleep Country Amphitheatre, Sun July 20); the always welcome (Rakim at Hawthorne Theatre, Tues July 22); the shrug-I-guess-that-makes-sense (Grand Funk Railroad at the Linn County Fair in Albany, Sat July 19); and the oh-dear-god-kill-it-already (the Crystal Method at Whiskey Bar, Sat July 19). But the weirdest, most WTF throwback this week has got to be Dread Zeppelin turning up on the Tonic's calendar. An iffy prospect even in 1990, Dread Zeppelin were perhaps the first band to take nostalgia to grotesque extremes, performing awful reggae versions of Led Zeppelin songs (who had a couple awful reggae songs of their own already—looking at you, "D'Yer Mak'er" and "Fool in the Rain"). Their lead singer was/is a 300-pound Elvis impersonator named Tortelvis, and they somehow parlayed their gimmick into a contract with IRS Records and an opening gig with INXS. I don't know who on Earth is going to this show, but they're probably the same ones who shelled out for that Macaulay Culkin pizza thing a couple months ago. NL

SUNDAY 7/20

PDX POP NOW!
(AudioCinema, 226 SE Madison) See All-Ages Action!

AU REVOIR SIMONE, DRESSES, THE LOWER 48
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!

CATHEDRAL PARK JAZZ FESTIVAL
(Cathedral Park, N Edison & Pittsburg) See My, What a Busy Week!

MIKE SEMPERT
(Rontoms, 600 E Burnside) Read our article on Mike Sempert.

SAY ANYTHING, THE FRONT BOTTOMS, THE SO SO GLOS, YOU BLEW IT
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) Tonight's the second time emo staples Say Anything have performed in Portland in less than a year (not counting Max Bemis' solo performance at the Doug Fir in January). This time, it's on the heels of a new LP entitled Hebrews. Curiously, not a single guitar, electric or otherwise, appears on Hebrews. The rock-band instrumentation has been exchanged for a bevy of horns and strings and other symphonic embellishments, a huge and potentially polarizing departure for the traditionally guitar-centric band. Occasionally, it's an organic-sounding approach ("Kall Me Kubrick," the harpsichord-adorned "My Greatest Fear Is Splendid"), resulting in sort of a mall-core ELO (which is only half-bad). Elsewhere, it's an ill-executed gimmick (pretty much every other song). But oh well: It'll be worth it when they roll out the half stacks for the ...Is A Real Boy encores, at least. MORGAN TROPER

FEVER THE GHOST, MORGAN DELT, SPACE SHARK
(Hawthorne Theatre Lounge, 1507 SE César E. Chávez) Morgan Delt's self-titled album is the kind of record where you hit "play" and—if you're really listening, if you let yourself be carried away by the sound— a half-hour later, you pull off the headphones, rub your eyes, and wonder what just happened. This is psychedelic music of the highest order, created by a mysterious-ish LA pop-broker and released earlier this year by the unimpeachable Trouble in Mind record label out of Chicago. From the frayed, fuzzy guitars and sun-kissed keyboard smears to Delt's breathy (but indelible) melodies, Morgan Delt is a kaleidoscopic masterpiece, not only for its songcraft, but for its authenticity; it doesn't sound like some retrophile's Zombies/Byrds/Nuggets-worshiping period piece, but a genuine artifact pulled out of a Great Lost Psych-Pop-Rock Records of the '60s Time Capsule (which should exist, if it doesn't). It's that weird, and that wonderful. BS

SANCTUARY SUNDAY: BEN GLAS, GUMMI, METRONOME
(Lightbar, 1401 SE Morrison) This month's Sanctuary Sunday features three experimental sound artists whose ambient psychedelic music could very well send you down a rabbit hole, where atonal sound waves and exotic pulsations reign supreme. Inspired by the Apollo 11 moon landing—which happened 45 years ago, on July 20, 1969—local DJ and experimental electronic composer Metronome (David Brancheau) will perform an improvised set using modular synthesizers and audio samples from the space mission. Brancheau will be equipped with an array of drum machines, square waves synced up via infrared, and custom modular synth patches to create droney space melodies, reminding you that outer space is closer than you ever imagined. CHRISTINA BROUSSARD

OK GO, MYLES HENDRIK
(Hollywood Theatre, 1507 SE César E. Chávez) When OK Go's breakthrough second record, OK No, was released in the mid-'00s, the group garnered comparisons to Weezer and Fountains of Wayne—which, in hindsight, seems sort of like comparing the Knack to Big Star and the Raspberries. OK Go mined the best aspects of their genuinely nerdy predecessors and, inexplicably, contorted them into something that wouldn't sound out of place blaring in an Abercrombie & Fitch. Nevertheless, the group is an (immensely) guilty pleasure of mine, right up there with Rooney, later-era Oasis, and Brendan Benson. The borderline plagiaristic Cars pastiche "Here It Goes Again" is indisputably catchy, and the song's accompanying music video—with its four Ivy League, hipster-chic-circa-2005 bros dancing on treadmills—is deservingly ranked among the medium's all-time finest moments. MT

MONDAY 7/21

MAGIK MARKERS, XDS, ARCTIC FLOWERS
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Woe to the Magik Markers completist. The Hartford band has long been the Guided by Voices of nouveau no wave; Discogs.com puts the band's run of homemade tapes, CD-Rs, and official releases at 51 since 2001, but that still somehow seems a little low. Amid those titles are standouts like 2005's I Trust My Guitar, Etc. and 2007's Boss, along with dozens and dozens of hidden gems. But even with that massive output, the East Coast noise-mongers' reputation as a live band dwarfs it. Song structure hasn't always carried much importance in the trio's oeuvre, so just hearing them isn't always enough. Sometimes you've gotta feel them, too. MATTHEW W. SULLIVAN

THE FOREIGN EXCHANGE
(Alhambra Theatre, 4811 SE Hawthorne) Rapper/singer Phonte (formerly of celebrated supergroup Little Brother) and Dutch producer Nicolay didn't meet in person until after the release of their first album (hence their name, the Foreign Exchange), but Connected was an instant classic based on its backstory and breezy indie-rap sound. All of the results since the two finally met and collaborated in person—including last year's Love in Flying Colors—have taken a much more grown-'n'-sexy R&B approach than their debut, with Phonte almost completely abandoning rapping for singing, which he fortunately does well. Though fans of their initial head-nodding, backpacker-friendly stuff might be turned off by this, the Foreign Exchange's music is pretty well-suited for a live environment, especially if it's on a date night. MIKE RAMOS

RYLEY WALKER
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) Ryley Walker's bio doesn't hide from the 24-year-old Chicagoan's influences: American folk-jazz heroes Tim Hardin and Tim Buckley and British folk-rock pioneer/Pentangle founder Bert Jansch are cited in the third sentence. When you put out a record as good as Walker's debut, see, you don't have to play coy. All Kinds of You, released in April, is a stunning collection of modern folk songs that sound as old as time, where fingerpicked guitar ambles along with melodic ease, regularly making way for a swollen string section or Walker's perfectly weathered voice. Besides the sonic similarities, his songs share an adventurous quality with Pentangle's work, in that they take bits of beauty, bind them together, and gather momentum in a way that feels bold and assured but sometimes on the verge of ruin. If you're driving, it no doubt makes perfect sense. If you're not, you wonder. And that's exciting. BS

TUESDAY 7/22

SEUN KUTI AND EGYPT 80, CASCADIA 10
(Star Theater, 13 NW 6th) See My, What a Busy Week! and read our article on Seun Kuti.

COTTON JONES, NEW GOD
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Cotton Jones makes summer jams. But not the excitable kind that get you dancing in the street. Their summer jams are reserved for porch sitting, watching the garden grow, warm summer nights, letting the days roll by. Their two full-lengths on Seattle's Suicide Squeeze Records, Tall Hours in the Glowstream and Paranoid Cacoon, are casual masterpieces of sunny alt-country. It takes a while for it to sink in how special they are—their songs are the kind that sneak up on you—but once you get there, these albums can be played on endless repeat. A great live band, there's no better time to see a Cotton Jones show than in the heat of mid-July. JJA

SUMMERLAND 2014: EVERCLEAR, SOUL ASYLUM, EVE 6, SPACEHOG
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) This is a legitimately fun-sounding feast for '90s fetishists, so let's keep the snark to a minimum, shall we? Everclear's Sparkle and Fade is a very good radio-rock album, and the Portland band'll play at least three songs from it—including, presumably, the one that gave this package tour its title. Soul Asylum had a Replacement in their group at one point, which is nothing to sneeze at. And I don't remember a single thing about Eve 6, so they can't have been too terrible. But I'm reserving the bulk of my excitement for openers Spacehog, whose sole American hit, "In the Meantime," is still a pretty fantastic, Beatles-meets-Bowie glam slam that bests Oasis at their own game. The rest of their 1995 debut album, Resident Alien, wasn't too shabby, either, and 1998's underachieving The Chinese Album had its share of coulda-been sleaze-gems ("Carry On," "Beautiful Girl"). Had Spacehog's bombastic glitter rock reached as many ears as their luckier contemporaries, I bet we wouldn't bat an eye at seeing them at the top of a bill like this. NL