THE ZAGS Sat 8/9 Doug Fir

WEDNESDAY 8/6

EAR CANDY: DEEP FRIED BOOGIE BAND, AUDIOS AMIGOS, SPECTRUM CONTROL
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) See My, What a Busy Week!

THE SIDEKICKS, SUNDIALS, DOWSING, THE ODDLY HOT
(Slabtown, 1033 NW 16th) See All-Ages Action!

HEARTS AND TIGERS, MEMORY BOYS, EXPLODING TEETH
(Valentine's, 232 SW Ankeny) Portland band Hearts and Tigers release their new 7-inch at tonight's show, and it's a twin pack of dreamy, shiny pop. The A-side, "Hapless Hearts," swoops and chirps like a cartoon bird in a Disney movie, while the B-side, "Your Love Is a Sound," finds a slower, sadder sound in the six-piece's twee-informed indie pop. Although the band played their first show a little over a year ago, and some of the playing and singing is a little rough around the edges, Hearts and Tigers have the songwriting dialed in: Both tracks are earwormy and simultaneously happy and sad in the best twee pop tradition. Hearts and Tigers are joined by Memory Boys, whose charming album Send It Across to Me still sounds terrific two years after it came out. NED LANNAMANN

CROCODILES, TWEENS, APPENDIXES
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) Man, the world is crawling with young, snotty garage-pop bands, isn't it? And by the world, I mean the internet. The latest is Tweens—not a union of the Twerps and TEEN, it turns out. Tweens are a band from Cincinnati whose crash-pop-punk comes with a thick layer of grit and a heavy '60s girl-group influence, thanks in part to the commanding and compelling vocals of Bridget Battle. The group's self-titled debut album is a fun listen, though it's probably one you've heard a few times before. Still, it'll be worth showing up on time to Bunk Bar tonight. The headliners are San Diego-turned-NYC band Crocodiles, whose glistening psych-pop masterpiece Crimes of Passion was woefully overlooked and underappreciated last year. BEN SALMON

JAKE RAY AND THE COWDOGS
(Landmark Saloon, 4847 SE Division) Wednesdays at Landmark Saloon can make almost anyone feel at home. The place fills to the brim, but the crowd doesn't dare spill onto the dance floor, where Portlanders of all shapes and ages come out and swing dance, switching up partners and steps like polymers. Serenading the shakers are Jake Ray and the Cowdogs, playing old country that feels like a big goofy grin, with the precision of a dermatologist lasering off a mole. It's just about the most polite rowdy bar one can find. But whatever you do, don't take someone else's seat; chairs are much-coveted things. ROBIN BACIOR

THURSDAY 8/7

POP + PUPPETRY: PWRHAUS, SARA JACKSON HOLMAN, MOJAVE BIRD
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See My, What a Busy Week!

U SCO, GREX, THE SARCASTIC DHARMA SOCIETY
(Slabtown, 1033 NW 16th) Read our article on U Sco.

CHUCK PROPHET AND THE MISSION EXPRESS, RED JACKET MINE
(White Eagle, 836 N Russell) We've still got Ray Davies, but even if we didn't, Chuck Prophet would be more than adequate compensation. The San Francisco songwriter's knack for melody and eagle eye for emotional truth has resulted in a gratuitous wealth of terrific music, and his 13th solo album, Night Surfer, comes out in September. Until then, 2012's Temple Beautiful is more than enough to tide me over: That album's "Museum of Broken Hearts" and "Willie Mays Is Up at Bat" are marvelous evergreens, full of sadness and life and regret and hope. Prophet's one of America's best living songwriters, up there with Jason Isbell and David Dondero and Willy Vlautin. Peter Buck guested on Night Surfer, so if he's in town, maybe he'll come out for a song or two. NL

THE WIMPS, LUNCH, THE RAT, MOPE GROOVES
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) Don't let the name fool you. Seattle trio the Wimps have distilled everything you could want from catchy, pogo-worthy punk rock into a rapid-fire set of loud, hook-driven tunes. The songs that fill out the Wimps' debut album, Repeat, rarely surpass the two-minute mark, but somehow they still find a way to shape the band's world-weary but all too relatable state of mind. The four cuts from their follow-up EP, Party at the Wrong Time—released earlier this year on Seattle-based upstart Help Yourself Records—find the band continuing to whittle away at this sound. Not that they need to sharpen much. They've quickly homed in on a style that's guaranteed to get an audience shaking, making any show the Wimps play a sure bet for an amusingly rowdy night out. CHIPP TERWILLIGER

THE DIRTY DOZEN BRASS BAND
(Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 NE Alberta) If music were food, Portland's funk and soul scene would be a rich tomato soup: tangy and fun, with maybe a little kick of cumin. New Orleans, however, would be gumbo, and you don't fuck with gumbo. The Dirty Dozen Brass Band is one of the prime examples of a real New Orleans second line band, defined by a swinging rhythm and heavy use of the offbeat. The Dirty Dozen is a 35-year institution; they've traveled with everybody from the Black Crowes to Widespread Panic, and recorded with Dizzy Gillespie, Elvis Costello, and numerous others. Polished and always well-seasoned, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band is what true gumbo should taste like. ROSE FINN

FRIDAY 8/8

PANTHER, COPY, E*ROCK
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) See My, What a Busy Week!

MY LIFE IN BLACK AND WHITE, GET DEAD, THE HOLLOWPOINTS, THE BRASS
(Dante's, 350 W Burnside) Formed in 2005, My Life in Black and White came back from a brief hiatus last year, and it's been a fruitful rebirth: The Portland band just released its fourth album, Columbia, which I'm guessing they named after the river, and not the university or the record label. Alongside the accelerated tempos and shouted harmonies, the group throws in a few acoustic guitars and hoedown beats, but this is a 21st-century punk record through and through, and a very capable one. From opening track "The Last of the Young Guns," through the full-throttle "(Hold Fast) San Francisco," to the album's not exactly cheery closing stretch of "Dead at 21," "Wasted," and "Smile and Say Goodbye," Columbia is melodic and loud and full of good instincts, a flannel punk-rock album that doesn't compromise. NL

JOHN HIATT, TAJ MAHAL
(Oregon Zoo, 4001 SW Canyon) Fifty years ago, Henry Saint Clair Fredericks left behind the farms of Massachusetts to come west and become the mighty Taj Mahal. In his long career he's collaborated with everyone from electric blues pioneer Howlin' Wolf to transcendent Malian kora player Toumani Diabate, from the Rolling Stones to Etta James. His catalog is equally varied, and extends from the joyously broken jug-band charm of "Cakewalk into Town" to the folk-blues-meets-Caribbean perfection of "Queen Bee." Mahal makes consistently interesting music and is a true character on stage, unlike any other. If you see Taj at the Zoo, you won't just find an artist who's able to demonstrate his importance in American music history—you'll also find an artist who's unafraid to break out a kazoo on stage. JOSHUA JAMES AMBERSON

SATURDAY 8/9

WHITEY MORGAN AND THE 78s, JOE MCMURRIAN, DAVID LIPKIND
(Dante's, 350 W Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!

BREAD CLUB, SNAGGLETOOTH, ROBOT BOY, BLOWOUT, CASEY JONES
(Laughing Horse Books, 12 NE 10th) See All-Ages Action!

KEVIN MORBY
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) Read our article on Kevin Morby.

SPRAY PAINT, THE WOOLEN MEN, HONEY BUCKET, PENNY MACHINE
(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) One of the best things about following Matador Records founder Gerard Cosloy on social media is seeing the vibrant underground rock scene of Austin, Texas, through his eyes. A far cry from the buffed and polished fare that populates SXSW every year, it emphasizes scuzzy, ugly guitar rock that's influenced by early Flying Nun bands (the Clean, the 3Ds) and the stateside garage-punk scene. One of the best acts to emerge from that foul-smelling pool of talent is Spray Paint, a gritty trio who adore group vocals and take a lo-fi approach to recording that sounds like they left their master tapes to cook on a dashboard in the Texas heat. ROBERT HAM

BLUE SKIES FOR BLACK HEARTS, THE SINGLES, THE ZAGS
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) The Zags just dropped the Small Bags EP, essentially a collection of singles the band has released digitally over the past year (with the exception of the second track, "Hey!" making its first appearance). The group—though relatively new—encapsulates the best aspects of tightly constructed guitar pop (specifically Squeeze, Cheap Trick, and the entire Bomp! canon). The five songs on Small Bags are equal parts melodic and tough, a huge compliment considering most power-pop bands only manage one half of that equation. Principal lead singer David Ricardo is also one of the most convincing pop vocalists this city has seen in some time, evoking the nasally grit of Glenn Tilbrook as well as Eric Carmen's effortless, melodramatic croon. They're simply a great band, and hopefully they won't keep us waiting long for a new batch of should-be hits. MORGAN TROPER

BRAINOIL, GRAVECODE NEBULA, PENDULOUS, TSEPESCH
(Slabtown, 1033 NW 16th) Pay attention to punk and metal shows in Oakland and you'll see a name that seems to pop up on more bills than any other: Brainoil. There are at least three reasons for this. First, Brainoil is awesome, a trio of heavy-vibed lifers who combine sludge metal, doom, and crusty hardcore into something crushing and concise. Where many bands find a riff and ride it into eternity, Brainoil gets in, lays waste, and gets out. Second, Brainoil has always done most of its damage live, releasing only two full-length LPs since its formation in the late '90s. When you add these guys to your show, you know you're getting your money's worth. And third, Brainoil commands tremendous respect in the East Bay, thanks to its members' longstanding contributions to the scene. Oakland's new wave of heavy bands are stoked to put Brainoil's name on their flyers. As they should be. BS

SUNDAY 8/10

LIKE A VILLAIN, TENDER FOREVER, ARRINGTON DE DIONYSO'S SONGS OF PSYCHIC FIRE
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Read our article on Like a Villain.

DROPPING GEMS SHOWCASE: BONE ROCK, BREAK MODE, BROWNBEAR, CITYMOUTH, DJAO, GHOST FEET, NATASHA KMETO, PHILIP GRASS, RAP CLASS
(White Owl Social Club, 1305 SE 8th) In the last several years, Dropping Gems has gone from a small group of electronic producers and hiphop heads playing Evergreen State College dorm parties to an internationally recognized label and party crew based right here in Portland, Oregon. Their releases premiere on Spin and Fader, they get featured on Xlr8r and Impose, they make top 10 lists on Vibe, and they've created their own scene for electronic music in the Northwest. Dropping Gems' roster of artists extends from the underwater pitch-shifted ambience of Citymouth to the dancefloor-ready skewed R&B of Natasha Kmeto, all while maintaining a particular aesthetic—one that's more about textures than genres. Today's daytime party celebrates the release of their 21-track cassette compilation Gem Drops Four, showcasing the impressive community they've created over the years. JJA Also see My, What a Busy Week!

PICKIN' ON SUNDAYS: BEVELERS, EZRA BELL, REBECCA MARIE MILLER
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Portland duo Bevelers are set to release a split EP with Boston-based band Erica Russo and the Good Sport. The Bevelers' half is fragile, unadorned, and beautiful, often just a single guitar and a pair of voices; the intertwined harmonies of Lee Aulson and Adria Ivanitsky are braided in vine-like ways, given a big sonic berth and plenty of ghostly echo. The recording's small details accentuate its pleasures, whether it's the sound of rainfall as a backdrop ("Tomorrow") or a low, even bellow from a cello ("Can't Seem to Smile"). Opening track "Cryptic Company" is a stunner, a gentle folk ballad holding hidden strength, like a young tree being battered by the wind but standing resolutely tall. Bevelers celebrate the release of the EP at this afternoon's free Pickin' on Sundays show before heading to the East Coast for a tour with Erica Russo and the Good Sport. NL

SEX CRIME, THEE HEADLINERS, DARK/LIGHT
(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) Dark/Light might not be immediately recognizable, but the members' former bands, the Triggers and Sleepwalkers RIP, go back a ways in Portland's punk scene. Dark/Light have put out a handful of singles that are twisted in all sorts of knotty directions, with an affinity for Ohio punk (early Devo, Pere Ubu, Deadboys) and new wave from New York. "Young Habits" is spaced-out and ramshackle—some perfectly noisy and otherworldly shit that bursts out of all molds. Dark/Light seem poised to make a serious racket locally; if anyone's going to keep Portland weird, it's gonna be these weirdos. MARK LORE

SOULJA BOY, MALIK, YUNG MIL, GET IT SQUAD, DUBZ
(Alhambra Theatre, 4811 SE Hawthorne) Which Soulja Boy would you like to talk about? We could concentrate on the boastful, slow-burbling rapper who has, at the age of 24, released more than 40 mixtapes, four albums, and made guest appearances on Snoop Dogg and Nicki Minaj tracks. Or we could talk about the boastful shit stirrer who has spent the last few years making death threats and challenges toward fellow hiphop artists via social media. Whichever side of Soulja Boy you care to examine, there's no denying that the Atlanta rapper has had his creative batteries recharged, if the three mixtapes of wealth-obsessed, drank-addled jams he's put out this year are any indication. RH

MONDAY 8/11

GROUPLOVE, PORTUGAL. THE MAN, TOKYO POLICE CLUB
(Edgefield, 2126 SW Halsey, Troutdale) See My, What a Busy Week!

BROKEN BELLS, CAYUCAS
(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway) I wouldn't have guessed the world needed a second album from Broken Bells, the collaboration between the Shins' James Mercer and producer Danger Mouse, AKA Brian Burton. But instead of Broken Bells being just a one-off blip in both of their discographies, the pair came together again for this year's After the Disco, which is not just a better album than its predecessor, but an album that, more often than not, realizes its rather lofty ambitions. The sci-fi disco-soul concept album contains strings and a choir, a contrivance that could have spelled disaster if songs like "Perfect World" and "Holding on for Life" weren't as solidly hooky and bubbly as they are. Not since Air's Moon Safari has this type of musical retro-futurism sounded so appealing and natural, and while After the Disco's lowest moments are when it devolves into pop wallpaper that was probably devised for lucrative licensing to TV commercials, at its best, it's the liveliest Mercer has sounded since the Shins' Chutes Too Narrow. NL

TUESDAY 8/12

TOM PETTY AND THE HEARTBREAKERS, STEVE WINWOOD
(Moda Center, 1 Center Court) See My, What a Busy Week!, and read our article on Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

UNA BESTIA INCONTROLABLE, IRON LUNG, BI-MARKS, VX GAS ATTACK
(Boogie's Burgers and Brew, 910 E Burnside) See All-Ages Action!

UNDERGROUND RAILROAD TO CANDYLAND, TREASURE FLEET, LENGUAS LARGAS, WHITE NIGHT
(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) It's been 25 years since Todd Congelliere founded the DIY label Recess Records in his Torrance, California, bedroom. Started as a means to release Congelliere's output as the one-man band F.Y.P (AKA Five Year Plan), the label grew quickly as it added other like-minded punk bands to the roster over the years. In 1997, Recess moved its headquarters to the home of the Minutemen—San Pedro, California—so it only seems fitting that Congelliere has decided to hit the road in a bona fide Our Band Could Be Your Life fashion to celebrate the label's 25th anniversary. The "Cavalcade of Clowns" tour is spearheaded by one of Congelliere's current outfits, the weird and melodic-punk rippers Underground Railroad to Candyland, and he's got a slew of other Recess bands in tow to round out a rockin' party-on-wheels and commemorate the special occasion. CT

RAY LaMONTAGNE, THE BELLE BRIGADE
(Edgefield, 2126 SW Halsey, Troutdale) I've never been a huge fan of Ray LaMontagne, the New England singer/songwriter who made a splash in 2004 with the shuffling "Trouble," a mom-and-dad-in-the-bedroom groover that made full use of LaMontagne's acrobatic, androgynous singing. It seems as though LaMontagne finally got as bored with himself as I was, as his new album Supernova is a wonderful, kaleidoscopic pop record of surprisingly deep dimensions. Among the many welcome changes are the hints of freakbeat, Tropicália, and '60s acid rock that transform "Lavender" and the title track into some of this year's best and weirdest pop. LaMontagne's current backing band includes Portland's own Swiss army knife of a musician, Dave Depper, and they sounded fucking tight on Letterman, which makes tonight's show at Edgefield a very promising prospect—although they'll probably need to play "Trouble" at some point. NL