LUBEC, LIQUIDLIGHT, LADYWOLF
(The Liquor Store, 3341 SE Belmont) Fans of alliteration aren't the only ones who are going to be pleased by tonight's eclectic lineup of locals at the Liquor Store. Ladywolf gets things started with a set of bubblegum-rock tunes before making way for the blissed-out power-pop of LiquidLight. Lubec close out the evening with their sprawling blend of orchestral noise-pop. With Lubec drummer Matt Dressen and guitarist Eddie Charlton turning up the heat on their side project, Wet Trident, and keyboardist Caroline Jackson playing bass in Havania Whaal, Lubec have somehow still found time to return to Frawg Pound Studio and record a follow-up to their excellent 2014 album, The Thrall. I'm still holding out hope for someone to come along and give that album the vinyl pressing it deserves, but Lubec seem more than ready to move forward based on the strength of "Many Worlds," the recently released preview track off their forthcoming Concentration 7-inch. CHIPP TERWILLIGER
MFNW: AESOP ROCK, ROB SONIC,
DJ ABILITIES, ILLMACULATE
(Star Theater, 13 NW 6th) Aesop Rock is one of the most gifted rappers of the past couple of decades, a major figure in indie hip-hop's early-'00s bubble and, at this point, an underground legend who's earned the right to do what he wants when he wants. So when he takes a break from his solo stuff to produce other artists' albums or explore different strains of hip-hop with Rob Sonic (as Hail Mary Mallon) and Kimya Dawson (as the Uncluded), you kind of have to just roll with it. All of the above are fine—heck, Hail Mary Mallon's 2014 album Bestiary is great!—but that doesn't stop Aesop's fans from longing for a new full-length packed wall to wall with the man's tongue-twisting rhymes and rubber-band rhetoric. Until then, the two-song Cat Food EP, released on super-limited vinyl late last year and digitally earlier this year, will have to tide 'em over. (It's great, too.) BEN SALMON
TIM SNIDER BAND, SAEEDA AND THE WRIGHT WAY, MAX RIBNER QUARTET
(White Eagle, 836 N Russell) There is a good chance you haven't heard of Tim Snider. Since moving to Portland from Reno two years ago, the songwriter, composer, and looping impresario has rarely spent more than a couple months in the city, living on the road and painting the canvas on violin and voice with artists such as Nakho and Medicine for the People, and Snider's Brazilian project with Caio Andreatta. A child violin prodigy, Snider has decades of material under his belt, finding his bread and butter within the jam worlds. Yet it's his quieter moments as a songwriter that stand out and are worth considering. Tonight's show brings together many of his primary Portland collaborators, including the stunning Saeeda Wright, known for her work with Liv Warfield, and longtime collaborator Max Ribner. JENI WREN STOTTRUP
BLACK COBRA, HUNGERS, HUMOURS, R.A.W.
(Panic Room, 3100 NE Sandy) Duos always face the challenge of filling out space, but Black Cobra are anything but lightweight. Guitarist/vocalist Jason Landrian (formerly of Cavity) and drummer Rafael Martinez (formerly of Acid King) attack their instruments with a viciousness that makes their style of drone-sludge particularly compelling. The San Francisco band has been touring in support of 2011's Invernal for what feels like forever, but thankfully has a forthcoming new album, which they say reflects the continued progression of their sound and their ability to play increasingly complex music. KATHLEEN RICHARDS
MFNW: NICK WATERHOUSE,
DJ COOKY PARKER
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) While out at one of your favorite watering holes (maybe more than one), you may have noticed an album making the rounds with you. It kind of sounds like an old R&B gem from the '50/'60s vault, but it's not? You're right, it's a brand new thing from Nick Waterhouse. With home-turf ties to Ty Segall and Burger Records, the California native went another noisy route, one with less distorted psychedelic wonder and more hip-checkin' grooves. With a distinct throwback feel, Waterhouse still manages to make his songs feel current and unique, maybe simply from his voice's sonically matte-finished yet soulful timbre. One more fact about Waterhouse—he's a producer, too, having just finished with Portland's own Ural Thomas and the Pain's upcoming album. ROBIN BACIOR
MFNW: FOSTER THE PEOPLE, MISTERWIVES, MILO GREENE, LOST LANDER
(Tom McCall Waterfront Park, SW Naito & Yamhill) MusicfestNW 2015's main event launches tonight with four bands in the park, and while terrific local modern-popsters Lost Lander kick the evening off, you'll need to wait until Sunday for MFNW's best action, when we'll get, back to back: Divers, Pure Bathing Culture, Strand of Oaks, Lady Lamb, the Helio Sequence, Danny Brown, and the Tallest Man on Earth. All of these artists are performing some version of Western popular music at its finest (Strand of Oaks boasts the weekend's highest quotient of chills-per-song factor, if that interests you). That Sunday run concludes with a set from Modest Mouse, but if you've heard their new album, you can be forgiven for not sticking it out. Saturday's lineup is mixed, with evergreen pop alchemists Belle and Sebastian as the undisputed highlight. NED LANNAMANN Also see My, What a Busy Week!
(Various venues) Festicide is Portland's anti-fest, nullifying the city's other summer music festivals by staying indoors, staying local, and staying cheap. But in its second year, Festicide seems less like a knee-jerk response to heavily advertised events like MusicfestNW and more of its own thing: a celebration of loud, heavy, underground bands that don't fit in nicely with the multitude of sponsor logos that appear on the bottom of some festival posters. You can't go wrong with any of the fest's nine events—at various venues throughout North and Northeast Portland, mostly—but what's really depressing is how many of last year's Festicide venues are no more: Slabtown, Alhambra Theatre, East End... and this year, proposed events at Habesha and Beacon Sound had to be canned, too. Hmm. Maybe we really do need to get out of the park and back into the bars. The weekend's highlights include Danava and Rabbits tonight at Black Water Bar, Gaytheist and Drunk Dad at Star Bar on Saturday, and a Sunday afternoon record swap at the American Legion on NE Alberta with music from Jenny Don't and the Spurs. NL Also see My, What a Busy Week!
MFNW: THANKS, JUST LIONS
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Of the many retro-soul, rock-soul, and indie-soul bands to pop up in the last few years, Thanks might be the only one that owes as much to Echo and the Bunnymen as Etta James. Thanks are regularly described as "dark soul," but that designation makes them sound like brooding shoegazers rather than the catchy and exciting group they are. The pairing of electric guitar, bass, and drums with haunting synth and cello give the band their gothic rock 'n' roll vibe, while singer Jimi Hendrix's sultry, impassioned vocals give them their soul. They released their first EP in 2012, Silver Scars Will Be Our Constellations, but they refined their sound more tightly on 2014's full-length, Blood Sounds, one of last year's best local albums. Thanks might have the least googleable name in the world, but their sound is completely their own. SANTI ELIJAH HOLLEY
SIX ORGANS OF ADMITTANCE,
(White Eagle, 836 N Russell) Nearly 20 years into his career, Six Organs of Admittance guitarist/vocalist Ben Chasny continues to find new ways to make rock sound vital. His latest album for Drag City, Hexadic, revolves around a system of guitar-oriented composition determined by a deck of cards and notes for a book Chasny wrote titled The Hexadic System. You can get the full explanation at sixorgans.com, but suffice it to say, the new approach has spurred Chasny to create his most brutal collection of songs yet. In places, Hexadic even surpasses the cyclonic fury of his other band, the on-hiatus Comets on Fire. This is noise rock executed with wily instincts, broken up sporadically by spare, brooding meditations. DAVE SEGAL
MFNW: BEARCUBBIN', 1939 ENSEMBLE
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) The lines of math rock and progressive jazz don't fall too far from one another. Thus comes tonight's pairing of Bearcubbin' and 1939 Ensemble, a mix that will likely suck jazz, prog, and math heads down the same rabbit hole. Both bands are heavily driven by masterful drums—at the hands of Mike Byrne and Jose Medeles, respectively—and are layered by tight precision and intricate play from their bands' melodic sections (Bearcubbin's Chris Scott and Patrick Dougherty, and 1939's Dave Coniglio and Josh Thomas). Stylistically different, the two bands find a common core with complex, playful compositions, creating an auditory experience that ranges between light and dark—a rollercoaster for the ears. JWS
MFNW: BEIRUT, BELLE AND SEBASTIAN, TWIN SHADOW, BATTLES, TITLE FIGHT, CAYUCAS, TALK IN TONGUES, SALES,
THE ALIALUJAH CHOIR
(Tom McCall Waterfront Park, SW Naito & Yamhill) See My, What a Busy Week!, and Friday's preview.
FESTICIDE: NASALROD, BLOWOUT,
SANCHO, MALL CASTE
(Anarres Infoshop, 7101 N Lombard) If you want a snapshot of the current Portland DIY pop-punk scene, look no further than this daytime show, an all-ages event that's part of this year's Festicide. Opening is no-wave political-punk band Mall Caste, whose analog-recorded cassette Decreate is like a thrashy anti-gentrification Descendents. Following up is sad-pop four-piece Sancho, coming back together after Lee Corey Oswald guitarist Lee Ellis's stint on Warped Tour (full disclosure: Sancho also features Mercury contributor Morgan Troper on guitar and vocals). Then comes possibly the hardest working band in Portland, Blowout, who are working on their debut LP but are still able to both play at least a show a week and host some of the city's best house shows in their warehouse basement. Ending things is experimental hair metal-punk band Nasalrod, which sounds like Ronnie James Dio told Black Sabbath to shove it and formed a punk band. CAMERON CROWELL Also see My, What a Busy Week!, and Friday's Festicide preview.
MFNW: MAGIC SWORD, WILLIS EARL BEAL, TRANSISTOR SEND
(Star Theater, 13 NW 6th) Since arriving in Portland, notoriously nomadic crooner Willis Earl Beal has had some growing pains. A June show at Bunk Bar saw the seemingly intoxicated solo artist perform nearly an entire set standing on top of a bar stool, which threatened to topple at any moment, while imploring the audience not to clap after his songs. The result was like waiting patiently to watch a man jump from a building. A more recent Bunk Bar set concluded with a broken window and Beal arrested for criminal mischief and harassment, for which he spent two weeks in jail. Beal's magnetic weirdness has established an outsider aura and a cult following since his lo-fi home recordings surfaced in 2012. His more incendiary moments, however, belie the oddly calming collection of songs emanating from his forthcoming LP, Nocturnes—an impressively narcotic-sounding R&B record coming out on Portland's Tender Loving Empire later this month. RYAN J. PRADO
NO ALOHA, ADIEU CARIBOU, NAKED HOUR
(Turn! Turn! Turn!, 8 NE Killingsworth) Local indie-pop trio No Aloha began as a collaboration between Brette Irish and Blake Ferrin in 2009. The pair started off playing under the moniker Brette and Blake, and in 2013 released Hi-Five, a charming debut album full of light and breezy synth-driven pop numbers. With the scope of the project expanding, the band decided to take on a new name, and having already professed their love for the Pixies by means of a gorgeous cover of "Wave of Mutilation," Irish and Ferrin turned to a Breeders track in selecting their new namesake. Thus No Aloha was born. Ferrin and Irish continue to hone their ability to craft twinkling pop music, while peppering in just enough coarse texture to keep you on your toes. All of this is on display in their excellent recent single, "Fall Away," where the band's love for the Deal sisters comes full circle. CT
RUM REBELLION, IN DEFENCE, FATAL FIX, WHISKEY DICKERS, NOT A PART OF IT, REPELLENT
(Ash Street Saloon, 225 SW Ash) Rum Rebellion recently returned from a month-long tour, their longest yet, and though it wasn't without its share of drama, beef, and vandalism, the tour was mostly a victory for Portland's long-running hooligan punk band. Having formed in 2005 as acoustic, Irish-themed buskers, Rum Rebellion went on to meld their Irish influences with Cockney punk and Oi!, along the lines of Dropkick Murphys and the Pogues, and they've built up a loyal fan base from the denizens of the old, crusty, pre-Portlandia days of yore. They released their fourth album, Another Round, in March, an 11-song collection of street anthems and shanty punk sing-alongs, combining electric guitar and drums with traditional Irish instruments, including accordion and the most badass tin whistle you'll ever hear. SEH
MFNW: HOMESHAKE, SHEER AGONY
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Montreal-based guitarist Peter Sagar had had enough of touring with Mac DeMarco, so he used the anomie he felt while on his last tour with the Canadian indie star to fuel his recent solo work under the name Homeshake. On 2014's In the Shower, Sagar concocts a suite of lackadaisical bedroom slow jams that makes those early Ween records sound like ELP. With guitar riffs that are the sonic equivalent of a stoned shrug, mopey just-woke-up vocals, and slackly funky beats, Homeshake's songs glimmer with charm, despite these unassuming elements. Absurdly, Sagar's trying to be D'Angelo, but he comes across more like Dean Ween. And that's okay. DS
MOON BY YOU, CHRIS MARSHALL AND THE AUGUST LIGHT, KYLE CRAFT
(The Secret Society, 116 NE Russell) This past July's PDX Pop Now! essentially became a city-wide introduction to the groovy psychedelic mind-trip that is Moon by You. With soul-skewed rock as their thrust, the multi-instrumental quintet matched the shimmer of their glittery outfits with an impressive cavalcade of sounds, like a Shangri-Las acid trip or a time-travel to a free Jefferson Airplane gig in Golden Gate Park, replete with onstage dancers and the unassuming energy from frontwoman Sarah Kue. The band's performance stole the show with exciting theatrics and chops on one of the city's more ballyhooed stages, and their gig tonight at the Secret Society ought to be every bit as big a spectacle. RJP
MFNW: MODEST MOUSE, THE TALLEST MAN ON EARTH, DANNY BROWN, THE HELIO SEQUENCE, LADY LAMB, STRAND OF OAKS, PURE BATHING CULTURE, DIVERS, BEAT CONNECTION
(Tom McCall Waterfront Park, SW Naito & Yamhill) See My, What a Busy Week!, and Friday's preview.
(Various venues) See My, What a Busy Week!, and Friday and Saturday's previews.
MUTOID MAN, WILD THRONE
(Hawthorne Theatre Lounge, 1507 SE César E. Chávez) If you locked three of the most vicious hardcore musicians alive right now in a storage crate with a tape recorder and nothing to listen to but a copy of Cream's Disraeli Gears, the result might resemble Mutoid Man, the supergroup featuring members of Cave In and Converge. The band's recently released debut LP, Bleeder, sounds like '60s psychedelia strapped to the hood of a '67 Camaro with the brakes cut. Bellingham power trio Wild Throne will play direct support—they also have a shreddy new album, Harvest of Darkness. JOSEPH SCHAFER
CASTLE, SPELLCASTER, DISENCHANTER
(Ash Street Saloon, 225 SW Ash) The San Francisco band Castle is one of the best-kept secrets within the West Coast's metal scene. That's not to say they're an unknown, because they're not; this is a band that has toured all over the world, including premiere heavyfests like Roadburn, and whose albums have been lauded by the Canadian Juno Awards and Metal Hammer website's Norwegian branch. (Norway knows something about metal, ya know.) Still, Castle feels like it's flying under the radar, at least in their home region. Their 2014 album Under Siege is a sturdy collection of dark, doomy hard rock that sounds like it was shipped in from the '70s, and Castle's live show is a can't-miss, primarily because bassist/vocalist Liz Blackwell is nothing less than a blazing beacon of badass stage presence. She commands the room like few other frontpersons in metal today, and the band that backs her can kick out some serious jams. BS
MÁSCARAS, MOTHERTAPES, YEAH GREAT FINE
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) If you've put a minute into the Portland music scene, chances are you've crossed sonic paths with Theo Craig. Lately, Craig's been in the cyber-circulating bloglines for his split with Rontoms as booker for their Sunday shows, but he's also a DJ for XRAY.fm and in a little band called Máscaras. Their psychedelic sound makes you want to dance, and it's infused with Latin rhythm, punk heart, and an all-around melodic sturdiness that makes the instrumental jams just plain good. They're sharing an evening with catchy progressive-pop duo Mothertapes (check out the recently debuted "Do Make Say") and the crystalline textured tones of Yeah Great Fine. What binds the night together are three bands who put great care into their aural palettes—come for the tunes, stay for the tones. RB