RADIOACTIVITY Sun 10/11 Panic Room

WEDNESDAY 10/7

YOUNG THUG, RACHEL WEST, EASY MCCOY, I$$A
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) See My, What a Busy Week!, and read our article on Young Thug.

NEIL YOUNG AND PROMISE OF THE REAL
(Chiles Center at University of Portland, 5000 N Willamette) Read our article on Neil Young.

THE SHIVAS, WET NURSE, SABONIS
(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) While Gainesville-based No Idea Records has been bringing punk rock to Northern Florida for more than a decade by means of their annual music festival, The Fest, and Tampa's active DIY hardcore and punk scene continues to flourish on the Gulf Coast, the Central Florida city of Orlando is overlooked. Wet Nurse are looking to change that, and given the strength of their brand-new album, So It Goes, they are well on their way. Led by twin sisters Nina and Susana Chaplin, Wet Nurse have been churning out catchy pop-punk since 2010. Based solely on their name, one might be inclined to group them with Seattle's Childbirth, and that wouldn't be too far off. It's easy to draw comparisons to Tacocat, too, given both bands' penchant for crafting brightly energetic garage-pop nuggets, and their ability to blur the lines between performance and party. CHIPP TERWILLIGER

AND SO I WATCH YOU FROM AFAR, MYLETS, BLIS, BEARCUBBIN'
(Analog Café, 720 SE Hawthorne) Hailing from Belfast, prodigious post-rockers And So I Watch You from Afar have occupied the same sonic terrain as bands like Do Make Say Think and other heavy instrumental groups. To say that their output has been unoriginal would be unfair, though, considering how tight the band's new record, Heirs, is. It's unfortunate that their Irish influences are relegated to the background, but Heirs is still a great listen, and the quartet's obviously having a killer time on tunes like the prog-centric opener "Run Home," the first indication of the band's foray into vocal-led songs. With a healthy following thanks in large part to the band's noodle-heavy riffage and nebulous persona, ASIWYFA's faithful still come out in droves. RYAN J. PRADO

WL, ILYAS AHMED
(LaurelThirst Public House, 2958 NE Glisan) Longtime Portlander Ilyas Ahmed's music most immediately smacks of fellow Portlander (and one-time collaborator) Liz Harris, AKA Grouper. Ahmed's hushed guitar strums occupy the same liminal space as Harris, dredging beauty out of the gap between noise and quiet. His songs have taken a more distinctly song-like shape on his latest album, I Am All Your Own. Ilyas is joined by dream-pop crew WL (for parents and other societal holdouts that cling to the past by using vowels, that's pronounced "well"), whose 2013 album Hold has, ahem, held up considerably well. Live, the band has continuously ratcheted up its MBV-indebted version of amplifying incredibly quiet sounds to the brink of destruction. Well, well, well. MAC POGUE

THUNDERCAT, MONO/POLY
(Star Theater, 13 NW 6th) Over the past 10 years Stephen Bruner, better known as Thundercat, has laid his bass lines all over numerous records, both as a band member and a session player. From his early days slapping the bass with Suicidal Tendencies and Erykah Badu to his more recent turns on Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp a Butterfly and Kamasi Washington's fantastic jazz odyssey The Epic, Thundercat has proven to be versatile, but maybe only now is he coming into his own. His recent Pickathon performances were fantastical new age jazz-funk freakouts, reflective of his latest EP, The Beyond/Where the Giants Roam. Thundercat's bass is always the focus, but there's plenty going on in his work. And while his résumé is impressive, the best is surely yet to come. MARK LORE

CLEARANCE, CHUGGER, MANHOLE, MO TROPER
(Valentine's, 232 SW Ankeny) There's no getting around it—Chicago indie-rock quartet Clearance sound a heck of a lot like Pavement. If an error at the pressing plant had somehow caused the band's brand-new debut LP, Rapid Rewards, to be sent out in place of the recent Pavement B-sides compilation, a devout Pavement fan could be tricked into thinking he'd unearthed some rare, unheard basement tapes that had been buried for the past 20 years. That's not meant as a slight, though: Both Rapid Rewards and the band's compilation of early 7-inches, Catalogue Nos., come across as sincere, inspired, and fully formed packages, chock full of the finest slacker-pop gems you'll hear all year. Songs like "You've Been Pre-Approved" and "Crowded Out" are sure to jangle their way into your head until you're left casually singing along with lyrics that easily rival the Malkmus-isms you already know and love. CT

DALE WATSON, JENNY DON'T AND THE SPURS
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) An outlaw country revival had to emerge at some point. It appears that with the attention songwriters like Sturgill Simpson, Whitey Morgan, and Israel Nash are receiving from traditionally country-cold-shouldered national publications like Rolling Stone and uber-hip outlets like Pitchfork, it's no flash in the pan. Ultimately, when your songs are anywhere near as good or funny as Dale Watson's, it doesn't matter much. He hates being referred to as country. He makes fun of the country revival on tunes like "I'd Rather Be an Old Fart (Song for Blake)," in which he lays into his best George Jones imitation to croon "I'd rather be an old fart than a new-country turd." Watson's new album, Call Me Insane, is out now, and the longtime road warrior will make you smile, cringe, and wink away tears all in one song. RJP

THURSDAY 10/8

KEXP LOVES PDX: LOST LANDER, HOSANNAS, TENDER AGE, DJ INGMAR
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See My, What a Busy Week!

HAMMERHEAD, QUI, DRUNK DAD
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) What a wonderful noise-rock treat this bill is, top to bottom. Headlining is the great Hammerhead, a trio that exploded out of Fargo/Minneapolis in the early 1990s with a relentlessly jagged and bruising sound, like the Melvins and Helmet goofing off in the back of math class (but still acing the tests). Hammerhead's 1994 album Into the Vortex is one of the finest releases in the storied history of Amphetamine Reptile Records, and their great new album New Directionz is their first since getting back together in 2010. Also, two of the three members' names are Paul. On tour with Hammerhead is LA zigzag-pop duo Qui, who've been making oddly alluring music for 15 years. Qui's Paul count? One. (Also, David Yow is no longer in the band, FYI.) As if that's not enough, gnarly Portland heavies Drunk Dad open. They have zero Pauls. Step up yer Paul game, Drunk Dad! BEN SALMON

BATTLES, BUKE AND GASE
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE César E. Chávez) The sound of La Di Da Di, the third full-length by Battles, is that of a band fully coming into its own. The group spent much of its previous LP, Gloss Drop, trying to reckon with the sudden departure of founding member Tyondai Braxton, which forced many rewriting sessions and the integration of guest vocalists into the mix to make up for the loss. The new album bears no such growing pains, with multi-instrumentalists Dave Konopka, Ian Williams, and John Stanier settling into some seriously wicked grooves that make good use of processed guitar tones, modular/Eurorack synths, and whipcrack breakbeats that sound like the bastard children of Ziggy Modeliste and Sly Dunbar. In concert, the three get sweaty and vicious, barrelling through their set nonstop for maximum hypnotic effect. ROBERT HAM

THE NEW MASTERSOUNDS, BROWNISH BLACK
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) It's always 1969 in the New Mastersounds world. Funk was at its stripped-down peak around then, as James Brown and the Meters and their countless disciples competed to see who could lay down the funkiest cuts with the fewest amount of elements. (In the process, these artists built the foundation for hip-hop, as producers sampled the hell out of their concise grooves.) Anyway, Britain's New Mastersounds are modern-day true believers of the funk, studious yet soulful acolytes who've nailed those Zigaboo Modeliste beats, head-bobbing bass lines, swirling organ fills, and clipped guitar punctuation. And, thankfully, they rarely feel the need to add vocals to their tightly coiled compositions. Recent releases find the New Mastersounds flexing boogie and fusion moves, but they never lose that essential funkiness. DAVE SEGAL

FRIDAY 10/9

ARIEL PINK, THE BLACK LIPS, NINA TARR
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) See My, What a Busy Week!

PATRICK WATSON, BLOOD AND GLASS
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) If Patrick Watson is one of those names that you've heard of, but still maybe haven't actually heard, it's time to gain some knowledge. The Canadian singer/songwriter—who says he's not a solo act but just happens to front a band that's also called Patrick Watson, and yeah, let's move on—is responsible for some seriously ravishing sounds. His latest, Love Songs for Robots, is a juicy prime cut of star-lidded swoon-pop, with carefully orchestrated sounds that massage the listener from all angles. While the album is a little stiffer and less pornographically gooey than its "science-fiction R&B meets Vangelis erotica" description suggests, it's still a heart-huggingly lovely thing. NED LANNAMANN

HIATUS KAIYOTE, COCO COLUMBIA
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) Describing Australian soul-inspired quartet Hiatus Kaiyote is a challenge. While their debut album, Tawk Tomahawk (which featured the Grammy-nominated track "Nakammara") plays deep in jazz pop realms, their most recent release, Choose Your Weapon, expands into more psychedelic landscapes. Singer Nai Palm flirts with lyrical sophistication in the space between Dirty Projectors and Erykah Badu, and the quartet's playfulness is evident in tracks like "Swamp Thing," with a Prince-worthy arrangement and dissonant crashing sonic waves. This attention to music's malleability is what makes seeing Haitus Kaiyote live a guaranteed high for any lover of satisfying improvisation and composition. The night opens in good company with Coco Columbia, the Northwest's answer to Kaiyote's vibe of playful performance art and complex masterfully produced songs. The drummer/songwriter/keyboardist is working on her second album, a work she claims will define her sound. JENI WREN STOTTRUP

JUST CAUSE FEST: SLOTHS, DARK/LIGHT, COMM, SABONIS, UNCOOL NIECE
(Black Water Bar, 835 NE Broadway) The Portland People's Outreach Project is a volunteer organization that provides free, clean syringes as needed without requiring a direct exchange (the procedure commonly employed by needle exchanges). Just Cause Fest is a weekend-long micro music festival with proceeds benefitting the group, and it's no slouch: Headlining the event's Friday bill are tuneful, angular self-identified "mutant punks" Dark/Light and all-ages metal mainstays Sloths, while Saturday will feature performances by Pass—an early Merge signee in some alternate reality—and reformed goof punx Shitty Weekend. Following Saturday's hour-long open discussion and zine exchange at 6:30 pm is even more rock—notably, apprized post-punk freaks Tyrants and the dense, atonal anti-pop of Vice Device. MORGAN TROPER

CHARLIE PARR, KORY QUINN
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Things seem to be happening for Charlie Parr. The Minnesota-based guitar/banjo man has been turning out primitive folk and old-time country-blues since the early 2000s, building himself a reputation as a sort of bedraggled Americana cult hero. But in 2014 he released an album of experimental instrumental guitar music and this year's Stumpjumper is his first-ever album recorded with a full band and his first for respected folk label Red House Records. Stumpjumper was recorded in North Carolina with Phil Cook (Hiss Golden Messenger, Megafaun) at the helm, and Cook made a handsome-looking short film about the process. Now Parr stops in Portland to play Mississippi Studios, and the first thing I thought when I read that was: "Huh! That's a bigger room than I'd expect Charlie Parr to play." So things seem to be happening for Parr, and that's a wonderful, welcome thing. BS

JOHNNY KEENER AND THE BELLS, FUTURE HISTORIANS, LEE ALLSTAR
(The Old Church, 1422 SW 11th) Songwriter Johnny Keener has been making terrific overlooked music in Portland for a few years now (check "Go Through It" from his splendid 2009 self-titled album). That level of attention deserves to change with Keener's newish outfit, Johnny Keener and the Bells, and their brand-new album, the not-quite-self-titled Johnny and the Bells. It's filled with dashingly handsome songcraft in a jangling vein of folk-rock that emphasizes tunefulness over any genre accouterments. Aided by a backing band that includes Wilson Carr, Dave Shur, and Jason Greene (the album also features appearances by Tiburones' Nick Delffs and Horse Feathers' Justin Power, among others), Keener's in complete charge of his genially seductive sound. Highlights on Johnny and the Bells abound, but if the specific melodies of "Inspirational Speaker" and "Louise" leave you cold, you are probably dead inside. NL

SATURDAY 10/10

BOO BOMB: SALT-N-PEPA, NAUGHTY BY NATURE, COOLIO, SHOCK G, TONE LOC, ROB BASE
(Moda Center, 1 N Center Ct) See My, What a Busy Week!

JUST CAUSE FEST: VICE DEVICE, STEEL CHAINS, ANTECESSOR, TYRANTS, GRAND ARBITER, BOBBY PERU, BACKBITER, SHITTY WEEKEND, PASS
(Black Water Bar, 835 NE Broadway) See Friday's listing.

GZA
(Analog Café, 720 SE Hawthorne) In most cases, it's right to be skeptical when someone proclaims himself "The Genius." When it comes to GZA, I, for one, am not. Setting aside his contribution in co-creating one of the most important cultural fixtures of the past half-century, GZA has released a platinum solo record in Liquid Swords, guest lectured at MIT, become a grandmaster in chess, and began work with a youth educational charity that combines rap and science. GZA's unique style of wordy bars over consistent scratch beats and interesting voiceover short stories on top of breakup songs continues as a thread in hip-hop today. Tonight's proof that Wu-Tang still ain't nuthin' to fuck with. CAMERON CROWELL

KEXP LOVES PDX: MINDEN, SUMMER CANNIBALS, BOONE HOWARD
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) In the world of indie radio stations, few are as trendsetting as Seattle's KEXP. Their plentiful in-studio sessions are a virtual marker on the trajectory of up-and-coming bands, bouncing at the pulse of the underground and setting an example for stations such as Portland's burgeoning XRAY. This week KEXP sets its gaze on Portland, with a series of in-studio recordings and two shows featuring a virtual prom court of the coolest of the cool in Portland music today. Saturday's eclectic lineup features Portland dance staple Minden, raucous punk rockers Summer Cannibals, and the brilliant sensual solo stylings of former We Shared Milk frontman Boone Howard. With each band right on the edge of breaking out past the Portland bubble, KEXP continues to hit the mark for what is bound to be a deeply satisfying night of future rock stars. JWS

LITHICS, SAD HORSE, DEAD CHANNEL
(Mothership Music, 3611 NE MLK) Containing members of Psychic Feline, Formica Man, and Nucular Aminals (Marriage + Cancer's former incarnation), Lithics is a veritable Portland supergroup, easily one of the most exciting projects to emerge on the local music scene this year. The band's minimalist post-punk pulses and chirps, manically pushing forward and pulling back, while building insistent loops before pretending to fall apart, as vocalist Aubrey Hornor brings an understated, bordering-on-spoken-word nonchalance. This restraint, at least on record, keeps the tension high, while also keeping something bubbling below the surface, waiting. JOSHUA JAMES AMBERSON

THE LAVENDER FLU, WARPFIRE, PANZER BEAT
(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) If you dug garage punk in Portland during the '00s, you remember the Hunches, the most explosive local group of the era. Frontman Hart Gledhill turned antagonizing an audience (and torturing himself) into high art. But the Hunches were more than crashing punk pranksters—the songs were serious and strong. Much of the writing was done by guitarist Chris Gunn, who returns with the Lavender Flu. Gunn is also full of righteous energy, but he channels it inward, the opposite of Gledhill. And while in performance the new band reminds at times of the Hunches—particularly Gunn's songwriting sense, his sharp, bending, circular riffs, and the buildup/breakdown/loud/quiet surges of drummer Ben Spencer (also of the Hunches)—the Lavender Flu employ a wider, more dynamic musical vocabulary, free from garage punk's narrow trappings. There are bits of plucky fingerpicking, spacey delay, noise washes, and more, swirled in purposeful arcs. Gunn has been working on a soon-to-be-released double album, Heavy Air, practically since the Hunches' 2009 demise. It's been a long time coming, and if a fabulous first show and a few snippets on Soundcloud are any indication, it will be worth the wait. ANDREW R TONRY

MO TROPER AND THE ASSUMPTIONS, TALKTIN AND EASY, LITTLE STAR
(Anarres Infoshop, 7101 N Lombard) The Romantic World of Little Star is the sound of guitarist/vocalist Dan Byers inviting you into his home after you've been out walking with your head weighed down by pouring rain. The dense, warm guitars are an electric blanket, the heady bass lines are a fresh cup of tea, and the rain through the window becomes distant pattering drums. Byers' vocals feel like a comfortable confession of deeply held anxieties in a setting free of any judgment, while Kelsey Morris' harmonies are gentle coos of affirmation. Little Star's two most recent songs, "Calming Ritual" and "Calming Ritual #2," were tacked onto their first Bandcamp EP, Love and Kisses. Both are short stories that take the listener from the fringes of squeaky emotional wreckage to self-realizing autonomy in the span of a pair of two-minute bedroom-pop melodies. CC

SUNDAY 10/11

EAR CANDY TWO-YEAR ANNIVERSARY PARTY: VINNIE DEWAYNE, WL, BLACKWITCH PUDDING, BIG HAUNT
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) See My, What a Busy Week!

RADIOACTIVITY, LOW CULTURE, DIVERS
(Panic Room, 3100 NE Sandy) Radioactivity has its roots in two bands: Denton's the Marked Men, who were punk rock royalty and whose swan song Ghosts was arguably the best neoclassicist pop-punk record since the Exploding Hearts' Guitar Romantic; and the Novice, a short-lived project from former Marked Men Jeff Burke and Mark Ryan while the two were living in Japan. Since moving back to Texas, the Novice changed its name to Radioactivity and recruited a new drummer and guitarist. The resulting, self-titled LP—which consists of new Burke compositions in addition to recycled Novice ones (see: a sped-up take of "What You Want," which was released as a Novice 7-inch back in early 2013)—felt like a culmination of the band's collective legacies. Released on Portland's Dirtnap Records, it's a near-perfect marriage of razor-tight punk velocity with a gooey pop tunefulness that charms without compromising the outfit's toughness. Radioactivity's new effort, Silent Kill, is nearly every bit as good as its predecessor: Highlights include trashy, angular opener "Battered," the nervy, Stiff Records callback of the title track, and "Where I Come From", which is potentially the best power-pop song released this year so far. Silent Kill—like Radioactivity itself—is a great argument against sequel inferiority. MT

EXTORTION, LEBENDEN TOTEN, RAW NERVES, WHITE WARDS
(Black Water Bar, 835 NE Broadway) Black Water Bar continues to host some of the finest outsider music in the city. Taking over show operations from the old secretive-by-virtue-of-non-advertisement Blackwater Records space, the venue regularly hosts conceptually and sonically abrasive music in a more accessible environment, featuring living-legend groups from both the Northwest and all over the world. For example: Extortion, a decade-old Australian powerviolence-indebted act, will play the venue on Sunday with Lebenden Toten, an exotic freakish noise-hardcore outfit from Portland that were releasing records before MySpace. Portland's pummeling Raw Nerves and Washington natives White Wards round out the bill, bolstering the show's Northwest offerings. MP

MONDAY 10/12

GANG OF FOUR, THE NEW REGIME
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!

MANILLA ROAD, SPELLCASTER, CEMETARY LUST, MAGNABOLT, DJ WES C
(Panic Room, 3100 NE Sandy) Read our article on Manilla Road.

HINDS, PUBLIC ACCESS TV, MOON BY YOU
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Get ready for the summer of Hinds! Except it's October and the Spanish quartet's debut album doesn't come out until January, so... get ready for the winter of Hinds! This fledgling band has had no trouble attracting positive attention from influential outlets like The Fader, Rolling Stone, and Pitchfork, despite having released only a handful of songs. Granted, they're nice songs—breezy, lo-fi garage-surf-pop, perfect for a summer afternoon spent doing nothing with buds. And that pretty well describes Hinds' hilariously low-budget video for "Chili Town," which features the four ladies hanging around a graffiti-covered bench, smoking cigs and sipping brightly colored drinks while mugging for the camera. They look like they're having fun, and that's great. Fun is a good thing to be having. Did I mention hype seems to find Hinds? No matter the season, get ready to hear about Hinds. BS

AUTRE NE VEUT, GEMS
(Star Theater, 13 NW 6th) Autre Ne Veut (the moniker of Brooklyn musician Arthur Ashin) made its presence known in 2010 with a home-produced oddity of an album. The self-titled effort sounded like a lost outsider synth-pop classic—a work that could have believably been dug from obscurity in a wave of reissues—and it was sickly-sweet enough to be a one-off hoax, so off-kilter it made you queasy. But with 2013's Anxiety—a desperate break-up album to top all other desperate break-up albums—any previous hints of satire were wiped away. And the just-released Age of Transparency pushes these levels of sobering intensity even further. While it maintains plenty of moments of Ashin's guilt-pop genius, it's also his most challenging work yet, containing R&B-tinged pop heartbreak recorded with a live jazz band, then cut up and sewn back together into a digitally manipulated masterpiece of extremes. The initially uninviting surface becomes more coherent with each listen, unveiling a vision so grand it's staggering. JJA

JULIA HOLTER, THE CRENSHAW
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) Like a Douglas Sirk film painfully come to life, Julia Holter's songs play on the drama of melodrama. "Sea Calls Me Home," the sweet pop core of her new album, Have You in My Wilderness, finds Holter narrating the fear before the plunge. The placid clarity of the ocean terrifies the narrator, for she can see in ever-frightening detail the exact size of the chasm she must swim across. The song floats on top of plaintive harpsichords (maybe the first pop appearance of such since a Joanna Newsom or Jim O'Rourke song?) that are straight out of "God Only Knows," belying the narrator's wracked anxiety. Holter uses pop to lure the listener into a false sense of security; that's when the deepest fears must be confronted. MP

TUESDAY 10/13

CHVRCHES, MANSIONAIR
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) Read our article on Churches.

HUDSON MOHAWKE, THE-DREAM
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE César E. Chávez) Even if you don't know Hudson Mohawke's name, chances are you've heard his work. That's his syrupy beat rolling slowly over Drake's "Connect" and his steely interjections underpinning Kanye's insistence of "I Am a God" on Yeezus. On his own, the Scottish DJ/producer lets a little bit of neon light into his work, as with his sharply honed 2015 release, Lantern. Shades of the Art of Noise's cut-and-paste compositions and the influence of Janet Jackson collaborators Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis appear in his version of the rumble and slap of modern hip-hop production. RH