POISON IDEA Sat 5/23 Dante's
Jason Charles

WEDNESDAY 5/20

THE HELIO SEQUENCE
(Music Millennium, 3158 E Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!

STEVE POLTZ, GRANT-LEE PHILLIPS
(Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 NE Alberta) As every Blazer fan knows, Portland is where knees come to die. This is why quiet, resigned disappointment greeted the news of Grant-Lee Phillips' torn ACL here a few years ago, an injury that robbed us of a Grant Lee Buffalo show in the process (I'm still not over it). Not sure if his hops are back yet or not, but Phillips' honey-drenched tenor persists. It's still every bit the voice that busked in those Gilmore Girls episodes you cried over once upon a time, the one that's starred in the under-appreciated solo catalog that followed his Buffalo days. While the best moments among that output remain early on (look to 2000's Ladies Love Oracle and 2004's Virginia Creeper, in particular), Phillips broke ground on his eighth studio album last month in Nashville and he sounds energized by the results thus far ("unhinged" and "raw," he's called them). The money's on him laying some of that new stuff on us tonight as he shares headline billing with Rugburns frontman Steve Poltz. JEREMY PETERSEN

THE HOLYDRUG COUPLE, THE HUGS, BESTIE
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) The Holydrug Couple's 2013 album Noctuary was a mighty fine slice of shoegaze, but not the kind that sheepishly peeks out from behind a thick sheet of distorted guitars. Instead, the Chilean band employed a more outgoing style: cleaner, janglier, unabashedly melodic. Even so, the first track from the band's brand-new album Moonlust is a bit of a shocker. A lithe and bubbly electro-pop number, it pits buzzy '80s new wave against eternally cool Euro-elegance, à la French cosmo-pop icons Serge Gainsbourg and Air. It's... different. The rest of Moonlust shifts slightly back toward Holydrug's spacey sound and languid pace, landing somewhere near psychedelic dream-pop. Which, let's be honest, isn't that far down the genre spectrum from shoegaze. But whatever. Bleeps, bloops, and bliss-out sounds—this is the Holydrug Couple's aim. BEN SALMON

EX-CULT, PRIVATE ROOM, DARK/LIGHT, DJ SUZANNE BUMMERS
(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) Ex-Cult sound a bit like Mayyors on quaaludes (and, in fact, they sound a little bit like Quaaludes, but let's not push it). For three years the band has terrorized their hometown of Memphis, the West Coast, and everywhere in between with their twisting, looping post-punk, a combination of fried, acid-dosed riffs backed by a continuously deconstructing rhythm section. Their psychedelic motorik attack unites punks of all stripes, from the garage kids to the reformed hippie punks to the neck-muscle floor-punchers, kind of like a weird punk Summer of Love. See them trip everybody out with similarly minded Portland freak punks Dark/Light, and Private Room, a collaboration between members of Iron Lung and Criminal Damage that will hopefully make up for the dearth of Iron Lung shows in 2015. MAC POGUE

THURSDAY 5/21

FUZZ, OLD LIGHT, GRANDPARENTS
(Dante's, 350 W Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!

REAL ESTATE, WOODS
(Revolution Hall, 1300 SE Stark #110) See My, What a Busy Week!

NOTHING, MERCHANDISE, CLOAKROOM
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Nothing (the band) is a bomb-shelter wall of layered sound. Everything from Nothing's guitars to drums to vocals carries with it an extreme danger, as if to say, "Death is coming no matter what." Without being able to understand any of the lyrics that come out of singer Dominic Palermo's mouth, an intense dose of existential anxiety accompanies the music. Don't feel ashamed of being scared, though—Nothing's music is clearly coming from a pitch-black place, as Palermo went to prison for stabbing a person at a show with his previous band Horror Show. For a slightly cheerier listen, shapeshifting Tampa punks Merchandise is also on the bill. CAMERON CROWELL [UPDATE: Nothing has canceled this show, but Merchandise and Cloakroom will still perform.]

THE WAR ON DRUGS, JOSEPH GIANT
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) The War on Drugs had a banner year in 2014. The Philly band released the gorgeous Lost in the Dream, their best effort to date, and one of last year's best records. And they were everywhere. There aren't a lot of albums with songs that are equal parts Neil Young and Can, which goes a long way in explaining what makes Lost so good. A manufactured controversy courtesy of Sun Kil Moon's Mark Kozelek kept them in the news even when their songs weren't on the radio. Ramblin' rock forms the backbone of what the War on Drugs does, but dream-pop, psych-rock, and krautrock form the rest of the skeleton. That balancing act keeps the classic-rock tropes from becoming rote and the art-rock tendencies from becoming gimmicky. MATTHEW W. SULLIVAN

THE MINDERS, THE WELFARE STATE
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) It's 2015—do you know whatever became of your favorite Elephant 6 band? If it's the Minders, then you've been teased by fits and starts in recent years: two or three singles, some lineup changes, a handful of shows—all of it hinting at a full-fledged reboot that never seemed to materialize. That all changes tonight as the Minders officially launch a crowd-funding campaign for Into the River, which will officially be the first release from Martyn Leaper's band in nine years when it emerges in October. Bits of the new record have appeared if you've known where to listen, much of it boasting strings (courtesy of the Portland Cello Project's Douglas Jenkins, no less) that hearken back to a slightly different part of the Brit psych-pop spectrum that's always informed Minders songs. The show also serves as a mini-tour kickoff for seven West Coast shows the band will play with old E6 cohorts Neutral Milk Hotel. Minders, reanimate! JP

FRIDAY 5/22

LANA DEL REY, COURTNEY LOVE
(Amphitheater Northwest, 17200 NE Delfel, Ridgefield, WA) See My, What a Busy Week!

AVA LUNA, SAMA DAMS, CORRINA REPP
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) Read our article on Corrina Repp.

FATHER JOHN MISTY
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) Read our article on Father John Misty.

EX HEX, DIARRHEA PLANET, SUMMER CANNIBALS
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) This bill is almost too good. Any one of these bands alone would be more than worthwhile, but putting all three of them together is just plain reckless. The night hits full speed right away with Portland's Summer Cannibals, still riding high after the March release of their excellent second album, Show Us Your Mind, followed by Nashville's punk-rock hellraisers Diarrhea Planet, whose performances verge on that thin line between order and chaos. And if you have an ounce of energy remaining, or if Mississippi Studios hasn't yet detonated from unbridled frenzy, Mary Timony and her power-pop trio Ex Hex ought to finish the job, once and for all. Don't say you weren't warned. SANTI ELIJAH HOLLEY Also see My, What a Busy Week!

THE MAVERICKS, BRENT AMAKER AND THE RODEO
(Revolution Hall, 1300 SE Stark #110) The Mavericks stood out among the many solid country acts in the '90s, mainly on the strength of frontman Raul Malo's silky tenor, but also because the band dabbled in rockabilly, '50s pop, and Tex-Mex. Essentially the Mavericks did whatever the hell they wanted—and did it well. Almost 25 years removed from their debut, the band released Mono earlier this year, which might be the furthest thing from Nashville the Mavericks have ever made (it actually was recorded in mono). It's a gritty and romantic country-rock record that not only upholds the band's legacy, but pushes them even closer toward being one of the best country acts of the past three decades. MARK LORE

RASHEED JAMAL, LANG, MAZE KOROMA, SLAPZ
(Kelly's Olympian, 426 SW Washington) As part of Portland hip-hop collective the Renaissance Coalition, Maze Koroma has somewhat quietly emerged as one of the tightest emcees in the Rose City underground. Championing the kind of old-school flow that toes the lyrical line of grimy street poetry and posi-empowerment, Maze's solo work and collaborations with his Renaissance cohorts (as heard on the track "Time Traveler") point to a burgeoning career that you'll want to keep an eye on. Rasheed Jamal, in turn, was just voted one of Portland's best new artists by Willamette Week, and is finally basking in some of the spotlight he's helped in throwing on Portland's hip-hop scene. This show is a slam-dunk banger, and you better be there. RYAN J. PRADO

BROTHERS OF THE SONIC CLOTH, ATRIARCH, RABBITS, MANE OF THE CUR
(Dante's, 350 W Burnside) There's heavy, and then there's Brothers of the Sonic Cloth. The newish project from legendary Seattle rocker Tad Doyle is a hulking beast of sludge-punk and doom metal that moves at a glacial pace, scraping sickening filth off the walls as it lumbers along. The band's new self-titled album is Doyle's first recording in 15 years, who spent the time working a day job, falling in love, moving to San Diego and then back to Seattle, and generally staying away from playing music after the dissolution of his seminal grunge band Tad. But then, according to a recent interview with Decibel, he discovered Oregon doom giants Yob and got inspired to start writing again. The result is one of the slowest, most suffocatingly heavy records of 2015 so far. Tonight, local volume dealers Atriarch and Rabbits join Brothers of the Sonic Cloth on a devastating bill. BS

SATURDAY 5/23

BLACK RAINBOW, BROKEN WATER, HENS TEETH, RED SHADOWS
(Anarres Infoshop, 7515 N Alma) See All-Ages Action!

VEXX, BI-MARKS, THE CIGARETTE BURNS, CHEMOS
(Black Water Bar, 835 NE Broadway) See All-Ages Action!

HUTCH AND KATHY, S, ALLIE GOERTZ
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Before the Thermals stormed out of the gates in 2003 with the lo-fi, indie-punk classic More Parts Per Million, guitarist Hutch Harris and bassist Kathy Foster established a foundation as a duo under the moniker of Hutch and Kathy. The pair's only release, a 2002 eponymous album, was reissued by Jealous Butcher Records for this year's Record Store Day, and Hutch and Kathy are hitting the road to revisit the endearing, oft-overlooked piece of Thermals' history. The album works as a perfect precursor to the body of work Harris and Foster have built over the years, serving up some heart-on-sleeve, melodic folk-pop that showcases the pair's undeniable chemistry through some raw yet elegant vocal harmonies. Tonight, Hutch and Kathy are joined by the playful and sincere songwriter Allie Goertz, as well as Jenn Ghetto's S, whose 2014 album, Cool Choices, is a vulnerable and intimate shot delivered straight through the heart. CHIPP TERWILLIGER Also see My, What a Busy Week!

POISON IDEA, THE DERELICTS, EXACERBATORS
(Dante's, 350 W Burnside) Poison Idea might hold the title of Portland's most influential band, but they're not resting on their laurels. The hardcore legends just released their first album in nine years, and Confuse & Conquer is a breakneck, bruising collection of 11 loud, angry, fast tunes that pummel the listener into submission, or at least some sort of awe. Eric "The Vegetable" Olson, who appeared on 1987's War All the Time, is back in the fold, and Poison Idea's blitzkrieg punk rock is leavened by piano interludes and passages of doom-march metal. It's a brilliant move, allowing the record to ebb and flow, giving time for the listener to catch a breath or two. There's even a pseudo-pop tune in the form of the garage-rock nugget "Hypnotic." In short, it's a terrific album that's just one of many classic recordings in Poison Idea's lengthening legacy. NED LANNAMANN

APPENDIXES, GRAVE BABIES, SO PITTED
(The Foggy Notion, 3416 N Lombard) Have you ever wondered what the Cure and Public Image Ltd. would sound like underwater? Look no further than darkwave post-punkers Grave Babies. Signed to Sub Pop subsidiary label Hardly Art, the Seattle four-piece varies from slow, chugging art rock to dancey synth-punk. Grave Babies' minimalist guitar riffs and drum beats (kick-snare-snare-repeat) overlap with bells and lead singer Danny Wahlfeldt's interesting, droned vocals, bringing a new twist to the goth genre without losing any of the original melancholy. Their third album, Holographic Violence, comes out this summer and does not appear to let up on the nihilism, judging from the record's first single, "Eternal (On and On)." CC

SUNDAY 5/24

LUBEC, MISERABLE FRIEND, HAVANIA WHAAL
(The Foggy Notion, 3416 N Lombard) The hazy noise-pop of Portland's Lubec has a smartly balanced dreaminess—vocals that aren't up front but aren't completely buried, guitars that are somewhere between a shoegaze wash and a C86 jangle. Their music floats, but never spaces out. They sound like a group of musicians equally inspired by sweet Northwest melancholy and fuzzy English pop. Imagine the vocal interplay of Eric's Trip or Carissa's Wierd sitting against a backdrop of Slowdive or the Wedding Present. Their debut full-length, The Thrall, was easily one of the best albums to come out of Portland last year, and it seems highly likely that the band's addictive qualities won't be a local secret for much longer. JOSHUA JAMES AMBERSON

ED SCHRADER'S MUSIC BEAT, LOST CITIES
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) Ed Schrader's Music Beat navigates an unnervingly minimal tributary of noise rock's winding pathways. The band's two members push the limitations of their bass/drums/screaming skronk past the point of no return, creating a sound somewhere between the no-wave pulse of Liquid Liquid and the theatrical horror of the Screamers. Since 2009, they've crisscrossed the East Coast seemingly hundreds of times, honing their sometimes tenacious, sometimes precocious thud into a wiry force of fury. I don't really get their online obsession with Frasier, although I guess bassist Devlin Rice really seems like the Niles of the crew. MP

MIDNIGHT STAR
(TAO Event Center, 631 NE Grand) Soul-funk outfit Midnight Star got its start in the late '70s, but it wasn't until 1983 that the Frankfort, Kentucky, band hit it really big with their breakdanceable hit "Freak-a-Zoid." That song alone is worth getting your grubby little mitts on a copy of No Parking on the Dance Floor, although "Slow Jam" and "Wet My Whistle" are also jams. To pre-game for tonight's show, treat yourself to a new refrigerator. Take the box it came in and splay it on the asphalt. Invite your friends over and give yourselves a crew name like PD-Xtreme Mo-Shun. Test out your pop-and-lock skillz. Pull a muscle. Enjoy the show. ML

FUNDRAISER FOR FREEFORM PORTLAND: STUMBLEBUM, THE DECLINERS, TOY, BUTTERCUP
(Ash Street Saloon, 225 SW Ash) The folks behind Freeform Portland are putting together another fundraiser to spread the word and generate some cash for their cause. That cause is a nonprofit, low-power FM radio station that plays zero commercials, gives the music-spinning power to the DJs without the grubby hands of corporate sponsors, and generally provides a freer radio listening and producing experience for everyone involved. Freeform already has a permit from the FCC to utilize a non-commercial low-power FM radio channel, but they're still about 30 percent away from totally funding their Indiegogo crowd-sourcing campaign. Support the hell out of this; for more info on Freeform Portland, visit freeformportland.org. RJP

WILL BUTLER, THE DOMESTICS
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Will Butler's singing voice sounds quite a bit like Win Butler's singing voice, which is no surprise. They're brothers! What's cool about that is this: If Win Butler makes an album with his band Arcade Fire (of which Will is a member), it's a big deal that'll come with a promotional rollout, praise, backlash, and whatever bias you personally bring to a new Arcade Fire album. But when Will Butler makes his first solo album, calls it Policy, and stocks it full of ragged rock songs with occasional orchestral and electronic touches, you can kind of listen to it like a new Arcade Fire album without all that Arcade Fire-related baggage. Or you can just listen to it as a concise collection of fun and stylistically diverse songs from a guy exploring the freedom to do exactly what he wants. BS

MONDAY 5/25

CROCODILES, VICE DEVICE, CAT HOCH
(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) See My, What a Busy Week!

SPEEDY ORTIZ, ALEX G, BROKEN WATER
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Read our article on Speedy Ortiz.

PARAMORE, COPELAND
(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway) For a group that's been one of the stronger-selling American bands of the past few years, Paramore are surprisingly absent from the overall cultural conversation. This might be due to their likeable but relatively weightless take on emo-rooted pop, or their Tennessee origins, which imbue a glittery Nashvegas sparkle over their cheerful, arena-ready sing-alongs. More likely, it's due to the utter anonymity of their sound, which—despite the sizable charm of lead singer Hayley Williams—bears no real fingerprint, instead offering a threatless amalgam of Avril Lavigne, the Killers, and Rilo Kiley, with a sprinkle of Radio Disney for good measure. This isn't meant to be a jab; Paramore have no doubt served as a terrific set of training wheels for a generation of listeners who really aren't used to hearing guitars or actual drums in their music anymore. The real question is: Where will those listeners go from here? NL

TUESDAY 5/26

HOT CHIP, SLOW MAGIC
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) See My, What a Busy Week!

PHOX, YOYA
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Phox remains one of the most promising up-and-coming bands around. When so much current music can feel like a barren wasteland of laser beams, synth beats, and soulless devil vocals, it's refreshing to hear real instruments melding with finely constructed songs. Lead singer Monica Martin gives Phox a very distinctive flair with smooth, rich vocals that sound like they could be a more optimistic cousin of Nina Simone. Keys, banjo, and backup harmonies accentuate Martin's lovely voice and illuminate Phox's bittersweet, end-of-the-weekend tone. Though their self-titled debut album came out less than a year ago, they've already played Lollapalooza and South by Southwest, and have opened for Dr. Dog, Blitzen Trapper, and the Lumineers. ROSE FINN

WIRE, MILD HIGH CLUB
(Dante's, 350 W Burnside) In 2017, English post-punk outfit Wire will turn 40. While the prospect of a string of Don't Look Back tours celebrating Wire's trio of seminal art-punk albums released from '77 to '79 might put dollar signs in the eyes of festival promoters, guitarist/vocalist Colin Newman, bassist Graham Lewis, and drummer Robert Grey seem to have their sights firmly facing forward. The band just released their 14th album last month, the self-titled Wire, which is their first album recorded with new guitarist Matthew Simms. While the band's 2013 album Change Becomes Us saw them tapping into a trove of unfinished work from the late '70s, Wire offers up 11 new songs written by Newman and the band while on tour. The album finds Wire delivering their atmospheric rock at its most vital and accessible, making tonight's intimate appearance the perfect time for new fans to dive in. CT