TOM BROSSEAU Fri 3/6 Alberta Abbey
Carey Braswell

WEDNESDAY 3/4

STARS, LEISURE CRUISE
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) See My, What a Busy Week!

PARTY BOYZ ZINE RELEASE: PSYCHOMAGIC, IS/IS, BED
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Tonight, local podcast crew Party Boyz are teaming up with the folks at Treefort Music Festival to throw a doozy of a winter beach party. The event functions as the official Portland Treefort launch event as well as a release for the second issue of the Party Boyz zine. Self-described slow-fi trio Bed get the evening started with their rumbling blend of shoegaze-leaning pop. Next are enchanting witch-gazers Is/Is, who recently announced that they'll be heading into Jackpot! Studio to record, making tonight's show the perfect opportunity to get a glimpse of some new material. Finally, the tireless garage-rock merrymakers in Psychomagic return to the Mississippi Studios stage; the band headlined the venue back in December when they released their excellent sophomore album, Bad Ideas, so they should be loose and ready to get extra freaky this go-around. CHIPP TERWILLIGER

AYEM RAY-DIO, CHICHARONES, MY-G, MISTA CHIEF
(Alhambra Theatre, 4811 SE Hawthorne) Los Angelenos Abstract Rude and Myka 9, core members of influential golden-age hiphop collective Freestyle Fellowship, have recently joined forces as the throwback backpacking duo AyeM Ray-DIO. And how does the material on their self-titled, Bandcamp-released album stack up against their celebrated mid-'90s output? By old-school metrics like breath control, mic technique, Seuss-shaming rhyme schemes, and speed of flow, these guys haven't lost a step. Heads fiending for pre-Gorillaz Del the Funky Homosapien or Project Blowed-style multisyllabic rap could do worse than jams like "KnowNotMentis" or "Weight Gain." KYLE FLECK

CONNOR GARVEY, JEFFREY MARTIN
(Alberta Street Pub, 1036 NE Alberta) Jeffrey Martin's music is not widely known, which is a shame, because he might be the best songwriter in Portland. With lyrics that read like Raymond Carver stories and a voice that's one breath away from breaking completely apart, Martin's songs are beautiful, sparse, and utterly devastating. His most recent album, Dogs in the Daylight, was released last August on Portland's Fluff and Gravy label, and the 15-song album is a testament to a songwriter's enduring power to wreak havoc on the listener. On "Draw the Line," Martin doesn't so much sing as sigh: "You don't remember making all those plans, but I do/And you don't remember promising to never do it again, but I do/Now you're down on your knees one more time/And I don't know where to draw the line." If there is any justice in the world, Martin's music will soon reach a wider audience and inflict devastation on a much larger scale. SANTI ELIJAH HOLLEY

CHEAP GIRLS, RESTORATION, CHRIS FARREN, HARD GIRLS
(Dante's, 350 W Burnside) I'll never understand why Lansing, Michigan's Cheap Girls are so often lumped in with modern pop-punk. Frankly, it's a huge insult to a band that in no way evokes any of that egregious bullshit. Superficially, there's not a whole lot punk about Cheap Girls in the first place: They remain stubbornly attached to the mid-tempo, major-key template established with their frequently brilliant first record, 2009's My Roaring Twenties. But palpably angsty singer/bassist/songwriter Ian Graham's pop penmanship improves markedly with each release, and on the group's latest, last year's Famous Graves, the songs are more concise and affecting than ever before (call-to-arms opener "Slow Nod"; "Man in Question"), bringing to mind the best aspects of '90s radio-rock bands like the Lemonheads, Gin Blossoms, and Counting Crows (the elephant in the room is that Graham more-than-sorta sounds like Adam Duritz). Also playing are San Jose punk staples Hard Girls, whose latest record A Thousand Surfaces was one of the best punk albums of 2014. MORGAN TROPER

THURSDAY 3/5

FIRKIN FEST: TALKATIVE, FOG FATHER, NATURE THIEF, LIQUIDLIGHT
(Firkin Tavern, 1937 SE 11th) See My, What a Busy Week!

SUMMER CANNIBALS, MÁSCARAS
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) Read our article on Summer Cannibals.

KINDNESS, PELL
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Kindness is a one-man British band brainstormed into being by Adam Bainbridge. He makes literate dance music that flits around funk, house, and R&B with understated polish. Kindness' tracks would segue well with those by Hot Chip and Toro y Moi, and his singing is similarly unflamboyant, hovering in the lower registers of Arthur Russell and Vini Reilly. "This Is Not About Us" is a dead ringer for the sophisticated, laidback funk of Soul II Soul, and a gently galloping and sincere cover of the Replacements' "Swingin' Party" is a nice surprise. Despite the obvious care put into the songwriting and the richness of the production, something about Kindness' albums—World, You Need a Change of Mind (2012) and Otherness (2014)—indicates that they mainly function as music for models to strut stoically to. If your cheekbones are not visible, you may feel that you have no business listening to Kindness. DAVE SEGAL

NAOMI PUNK, PC WORSHIP, LITHICS
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) PC Worship are a shape-shifting New York City noise-rock vehicle spearheaded by songwriter Justin Frye. The project's intriguing web presence, coupled with a prolific output of avant-garde grunge and scuzzy psych releases, has earned them a mysterious reputation that's rare to see in 2015. If Brooklyn-based rock outfit the Men had continued to explore the dingy New York underbelly they briefly tapped into on 2011's Leave Home, they might have ended up sounding something like PC Worship. While the Men went north to the Catskills for porch strumming and lap steel guitars, PC Worship rounded up some mangled homemade instruments and tape manipulation devices, and retreated into the depths of the NYC sewers. On the band's 2014 release, Social Rust, Frye's strong songwriting carries a beautifully bruised album from start to finish. Buried within the sludging racket and blaring saxophone wails lies some of PC Worship's most approachable material to date. CT

FRIDAY 3/6

REPLAY: THE ART OF VIDEO GAMES
(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway) See My, What a Busy Week!

EROTIC CITY
(The Spare Room, 4830 NE 42nd) See My, What a Busy Week!

FIRKIN FEST: THE HILL DOGS, SAM DENSMORE, PRETTY GRITTY
(Firkin Tavern, 1937 SE 11th) See My, What a Busy Week!

COOL NUTZ, VINNIE DEWAYNE, STEVO THE WEIRDO, DUBZ, DJ OG-1, DJ FATBOY
(Ash Street Saloon, 225 SW Ash) Read our article on Cool Nutz.

MOTIONLESS IN WHITE, FOR TODAY, NEW YEARS DAY, ICE NINE KILLS
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE César E. Chávez) See All-Ages Action!

SWEETLIGHT SOCIAL: TOM BROSSEAU, BARNA HOWARD
(Alberta Abbey 126 NE Alberta) LA folksinger Tom Brosseau recorded his new album in a theater in Bristol, England, in front of a single microphone. But you wouldn't guess it from the clarity of Perfect Abandon, which includes gentle backing from upright bass and drums and a mostly spoken story for an opening track. But the recording's immediacy is perfect for Brosseau's breezy Jonathan Richman-esque songs, as he weaves autobiography and tall tales together, and his church-plain voice becomes something indelibly, timelessly American. The album's intimacy will carry over to tonight's concert, the first in the new Sweetlight Social series from local label Mama Bird Recording Company. These shows are intended to provide a respite from booze-spattered rock clubs, and will take place at different non-traditional venues around town with local food and beverages available before and after the show, and an emphasis on performance. That means turn off your damn cell phone for once. NED LANNAMANN

IN FLAMES, ALL THAT REMAINS, WOVENWAR, SIMON SAYS DIE
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) When people tell you they're fans of Swedish metal band In Flames, it's often followed by the words "the old stuff." The band set the bar so incredibly high with three back-to-back classics, The Jester Race, Whoracle, and Colony, it was almost impossible to continue the flawless streak. So instead of retracing their old steps, In Flames shifted sounds dramatically in the early 2000s and introduced electronic elements, catchier hooks, cleaner vocals, and simpler riffs—all things that appealed to a much wider mainstream audience but alienated their once rabid underground-metal diehard fans. KEVIN DIERS

THEOPHILUS LONDON, FATHER
(Star Theater, 13 NW 6th) The song is called "Look at Wrist." The rapper calls himself—presumptuously, perfectly—Father. Hailing from the current hotbed of hip-hop creativity (Atlanta) and from the crew at the forefront of said innovation (Awful Records), Father has distilled the past half-decade of vacant-eyed weirdo trap into three simmering minutes of decayed, vacant grime. "Never had to whip a brick, but I get the gist," Father admits, winking at rap culture trading authenticity squabbles for colorful characters and meme-able choruses. To wit, Father's endless, slurred repetitions of the word "wrist." To paraphrase OG rap softy Will Smith: Your parents just won't understand. The headliner, a fashion-minded, Kanye-cosigned dance-hop dandy by the name of Theophilus London, has much to learn about swag from this deadbeat Father. KF

QUIET LIFE, HEY ROSETTA, HIP HATCHET
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Just when you think Quiet Life has put down roots in one place, they pack up, load their van, and head for the next town. While infuriating to those of us who were proud to call them a "local band," it makes sense for a band like Quiet Life, who draw inspiration for their roots-Americana sound from open roads and friendly strangers. The Spellman brothers, Sean and Ryan, have hung their hats in such locales as New Jersey, New London, San Luis Obispo, and Portland. Even the five songs on their most recent album, last August's Housebroken Man, were recorded in five different studios. With contributing vocals by Jim James and Shovels & Rope's Cary Ann Hearst, Housebroken Man manages to capture Quiet Life's restlessness and world-weariness, harking back to days of road bands leaving behind little more than a trail of cheap hotel receipts and broken hearts. Catch them tonight, before they jump in the van and once again head out to places unknown. SEH

SATURDAY 3/7

GOOD AND PLENTY: LADIES OF CLASSIC SOUL
(The Spare Room, 4830 NE 42nd) See My, What a Busy Week!

FIRKIN FEST: TANGO ALPHA TANGO, TRIBE MARS, WALKING STALKING ROBOTS
(Firkin Tavern, 1937 SE 11th) See My, What a Busy Week!

FUNDRAISER FOR FRIENDS OF OUTDOOR SCHOOL: ARBO, ROBOT BOY, DAD ROCK, HELENS
(SMART Collective, 6923 SE Foster) See All-Ages Action!

NO KIND OF RIDER, NATIVE LIGHTS, WRAY, NOVOSTI
(Kelly's Olympian, 426 SW Washington) Read our article on Native Lights.

GUANTANAMO BAYWATCH, HURRY UP, CUMSTAIN, POOKIE AND THE POODLEZ
(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) On Guantanamo Baywatch's upcoming album, Darling... It's Too Late!, the traditionally raucous garage-surf trio reined in their rough-and-tumble rock abandon for a slightly more polished sound. Take lead single "Too Late," which glides in a slow-dancing, first-wave rock 'n' roll cocoon, slathered with soulful refrains that are given extra wings from the vocal talents of Burger Records' Curtis Harding. The band ascended out of the basement and over to Atlanta's Living Room Recording to track the record, where the likes of the Black Lips and Jacuzzi Boys have laid bare their own brands of skuzzy rock. The album's due out in May on Suicide Squeeze Records; in the meantime, come see the band off in style before they head to Austin for SXSW. RYAN J. PRADO

LADYSMITH BLACK MAMBAZO
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) By the time they collaborated with Paul Simon on the now-iconic 1986 album Graceland, Ladysmith Black Mambazo had already been a group for 22 years and were superstars in their home country of South Africa. Singing in the isicathamiya vocal style—a Zulu style defined by its hypnotic male harmonies and choreographed dancing—Mambazo make gorgeously understated a capella songs. As ambassadors of South African culture and advocates for peace and social justice, the group tours relentlessly, spending at least half of each year on the road. Some questionable career choices—ridiculous Life Savers and Heinz beans commercials, a host of fairly silly collaborations—have made them an easy target for jokes (best demonstrated in Mean Girls), but Ladysmith Black Mambazo are an institution beyond compare. Fifty-one years into their career, they still contrast their meditative songs with energetic, aerobic performances. JOSHUA JAMES AMBERSON

MADE IN ITALY: THIRD ANGLE
(Portland Art Museum, 1219 SW Park) To help celebrate their exhibition of Italian fashion from WWII to the present day, the Portland Art Museum has brought in the modern classical ensemble Third Angle to provide a one-night-only soundtrack for the frocks on display. The group will follow much the same timeline as the exhibit, performing works by Luigi Dallapiccola, the modernist who came to prominence in the '30s and '40s with his impassioned musical protests against the rise of fascism in his home country; Luciano Berio, the experimentalist that embraced the possibilities of the human voice and electronic instruments; and contemporary Salvatore Sciarrino, whose daring operas and chamber pieces employ dissonance and chaos to provocative emotional effect. ROBERT HAM

ANGEL ALANIS, JAK, TRACY WHY, SEQWENZER
(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) The privilege of being able to say that you've been at something for over a quarter of a century usually means you are good at it, and that certainly rings true in the case of techno producer Angel Alanis. Hailing from the Midwest, Alanis founded two successful imprints, Slap Jaxx and D-Form (with partner Steve Parker), and with releases on countless other tastemaking labels, he's had the opportunity to inject his strain of exceptionally hypnotic techno and acid into the veins of feening dance music junkies everywhere. Also performing are three of Portland's most uncompromising techno purists, Jak, Tracy Why, and Seqwenzer. Get ready for a night of merciless bass domination. CHRISTINA BROUSSARD

THE CRY, WILD BELLS, THE ZAGS
(The Secret Society, 116 NE Russell) Perhaps in this era more than any other, it's unusual for a band to come out of virtually nowhere as a totally realized force. The Zags, however, are one such anamoly: The group's debut EP, Small Bags, was a collection of five delectable morsels of future-classic power-pop that immediately and definitively established the still nascent band as one of the best pop practitioners in town. Tonight the group celebrates the release of its self-titled debut LP, and it predictably delivers on all the promises made by its predecessor. The kickoff cut, appropriately titled "Play It Loud," is a divine Bomp/Rundgren/Squeeze admixture that previously only existed in the dreams of the bubblegum junkies among us, and songs like the vaguely arrhythmic "Frozen Toes" and "Messin' Around"—which sounds like it could be the theme song to a long-lost Sid and Marty Krofft show—reveal a deep-seated, instinctual understanding of pop secrets their peers noticeably lack. All in all, The Zags is everything a great pop record should be: tender, smart, fun, and perhaps most significantly, catchy as hell. MT

THE TWILIGHT SAD, PORT ST. WILLOW
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Scottish trio the Twilight Sad first lunged into international acclaim with 2007's Fourteen Autumns and Fifteen Winters, an expansive, dark slice of gothic pop. On the band's 2014 release, Nobody Wants to Be Here and Nobody Wants to Leave, the band cherry-picked from the swath of influences they'd previously explored—mega-loud shoegaze walls of sound and more intimate experimentations in stripped-down sonic real estate. Forged in the bosom of equally loud instrumental wunderkinds Mogwai's Castle of Doom studio, the album sounds as big as the band does live. RJP

SUNDAY 3/8

PRHYME, YOUR OLD DROOG, BOLDY JAMES, SERGE SEVERE, DJ ZIMMIE
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE César E. Chávez) See My, What a Busy Week!

RETOX, WHORES, RABBITS, PHANTOM FAMILY
(Ash Street Saloon, 225 SW Ash) If Wikipedia is to be believed, Justin Pearson of the Locust once said about his San Diego-based synth/spazz/noise/metal band: "I wanted to change the way people perceive music, or maybe just destroy it in general." (There's no citation for that quote, but it's 2015, and citations are for old farts and wusses, right?) It's probably generous to say Pearson accomplished that goal, but the Locust have been rearranging brains with their weirdo grind for two decades. In recent years, Pearson has turned most of his attention to his band Retox, releasing three albums of straight-up hardcore that's almost as fast and nasty as the Locust, but considerably more accessible. The group's new record, Beneath California, lands one throat-punch after another, but with enough groove and melody to keep you coming back for more. Meanwhile, Whores, from Atlanta, produce some of the grimiest, fuzziest thunder known to man. BEN SALMON

MICHAEL RAULT
(Dante's, 350 W Burnside) Among those whose record collections include Big Star and Badfinger, Michael Rault deserves a warm reception. Rault hails from Toronto by way of Edmonton, and his debut, Living Daylight, plays as if punk has yet to happen. He inhabits a power-pop world full of tambourines and cheap sunglasses (Redd Kross can be found haunting the same bubblegum-scented space). Sometimes, Rault growls like Marc Bolan; at other times, his voice stretches until it shatters into a million shimmery pieces. If his cover of "Dancing with Tears in My Eyes" seems especially rickety in light of X's stellar version, fuzz-pop gems like the Beatles-esque "Suckcess" win the day. KATHY FENNESSY

MONDAY 3/9

SWERVEDRIVER, GATEWAY DRUGS
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) With the progenitors of the '90s shoegaze movement reassembling to hefty ticket sales, it was only a matter of time before Swervedriver got into the mix. The Oxford-born band distinguished itself from its contemporaries on albums like 1991's Raise and 1993's Mezcal Head by fully embracing the muscular overdrive of US acts like Dinosaur Jr. and Sonic Youth. But when the group brought in lighter influences of psych-pop, folk, and dance beats, the music started to suffer and their commercial prospects dimmed, resulting in a long hiatus that started in 1998. Swervedriver has since reconvened for a few tours, but this current jaunt is their first in a long time meant to support new music—in this case, the album I Wasn't Born to Lose You. It's a fine record that balances out their softer side with agitated anthems like "Deep Wound" and "Autodidact." RH Also see My, What a Busy Week!

2:54, HONEYBLOOD
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) 2:54 and Honeyblood are both from the British Isles—the former from London, the latter from Glasgow—and they each play guitar-driven pop-rock. Sisters Colette and Hannah Thurlow are 2:54, and they gained traction in 2012 with their self-titled debut, which combined moody alt-rock with hints of shoegaze, drawing lots of comparisons to the Cure. Their new album The Other I delivers more of the same. Honeyblood is primarily the vehicle of singer/songwriter Stina Tweeddale, whose 2014 self-titled debut is hookier and slightly punkier, like Best Coast meets the Breeders. Both bands are good, but still have some work to do to be more than that. BS

MUTILATION RITES, MANTAR, DROUTH, URZEIT
(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) Brooklyn blackened crusties Mutilation Rites are all about the subversive, which manifests in down-tuned riffs and lyrics that don't offer much hope. It's relentless, which effectively separates Mutilation Rites from many of their black-metal brethren. The real highlight of this bill, however, is Hamburg's Mantar, whose latest full-length, Death by Burning, was one of the best metal releases of 2014. The band drops the bass and ups the guitars, delivering memorable riffs and groovy passages that bands like Helmet and the Melvins lived for in the '90s. Lyrically Mantar is darker than those bands, which makes the riffs all the more gnarled. It's the stuff of nightmares. MARK LORE

BROODS, MIKKY EKKO
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) Broods is a New Zealand brother-sister duo that plays electronic pop, with smooth harmonies and catchy riffs. Their first full-length album, Evergreen, is surprisingly cohesive for a debut. Although the escalating strings and dark notes create an angsty, end-of-film feel, their poppy beats and melodies will get stuck in your head, and not in a "get out of there, Carly Rae" way. The duo is uncomfortably young, having signed with Capitol Records worldwide before either of them was old enough to enjoy a celebratory champagne in the US. But the depth of their vocal tones and song construction shows wisdom beyond their years. If you enjoy electro indie pop, this will be your new favorite band. ROSE FINN

ENSLAVED, YOB, ECSTATIC VISION, ATRIARCH
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE César E. Chávez) A full stream of Enslaved's new album In Times appeared on the internet Monday, and it's a doozy. The Norwegian black metal giants have for years been scaling back the shrieks and blast beats in favor of a more progressive, melodic direction, and In Times is the most compact and distilled document of this shift yet. Guitars still chug, drums still thunder, and Grutle Kjellson still snarls, but these six songs feature more than enough clean vocals and catchy melodies to expand Enslaved's appeal considerably. There are times it sounds a little like heavy, moody, new wave-ish prog-pop! Very few bands can juxtapose extreme music with easily likeable sounds as naturally as Enslaved, and In Times is the ultimate proof. They're joined by Oregon doom masters Yob, who made their own melodic move on last year's Clearing the Path to Ascend, probably the best heavy album of 2014. BS

TUESDAY 3/10

BURIALS, IN THE COMPANY OF SERPENTS, SATANARCHIST, DISPOSSESSED
(Tonic Lounge, 3100 NE Sandy) Burials is a prog band run amok. The Portland four-piece go for big, sweeping instrumental passages and noodly guitar parts, but it's all roasted over a Ninth Circle inferno. Burials are one of the few bands I've witnessed that can satiate those who want to stare at what the members' nimble fingers are doing, and those who simply want to close their eyes and whip their hair. It's a lethal combo, some of which brings to mind Rust in Peace-era Megadeth (not a slight in the slightest). They're mind-blowing and mosh-worthy, and right in our backyard. ML