TINY KNIVES Sat 1/16 High Water Mark
James Rexroad

WEDNESDAY 1/13

LOVE LIES DEEP WITHIN: A TRIBUTE TO JANET JACKSON
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See My, What a Busy Week!

EAR CANDY: LITTLE STAR, ALIEN BOY, DRUNKEN PALMS
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) 2016 has just begun, and tonight you've got an opportunity to check out a free showcase of Portland bands that could end up being the best bill you'll encounter all year, local or otherwise. I witnessed dozens of truly fantastic shows last year, but I would be hard pressed to pick a performance that moved me as much as Drunken Palms did in a Northeast Portland basement back in the waning days of summer. Hearing "Blush" and "Loop 5 (Now We Can Speak Louder)" for the first time left me completely blindsided. I should have seen it coming. The band has members of Modern Marriage, Sister Palace, and Golden Hour; the first two are prime examples of bands that left us too soon, and the latter is among the best bands going. Drunken Palms' ability to harness elements from those great acts into a raw and unflinching sound makes them an absolute must-see. CHIPP TERWILLIGER Also see My, What a Busy Week!, and read our article on Little Star.

BATTALION OF SAINTS, SCALPED, STEEL CHAINS
(Ash Street Saloon, 225 SW Ash) The past, present and future of hardcore converge at the Ash Street Saloon tonight. Holding down the "past" part is Battalion of Saints, the veteran San Diego punk band that has been thrashing about (off and on) since the early 1980s. Only George Anthony remains from the original lineup, but maybe that's just as well, because the band's new three-song EP for Southern Lord crackles with energy. The "present" belongs to Scalped, a highly touted San Francisco crew whose take on punk is dark and punchy and just plain fucking savage. If West Coast hardcore is indeed surging, these dudes are at the forefront. As for the "future"? Well, I don't have a crystal ball, but if female-fronted PDX melodic punkers Steel Chains are the future, well, that'd be pretty cool. They have a fine, tunefully crunchy demo on Bandcamp you should check out. BEN SALMON

BLACK BREATH, HELLSHOCK, USNEA
(Lola's Room, 1332 W Burnside) Seattle's Black Breath discard death metal's obsession with double-bass-drum-pedaling and blast beats, and infuse it with a decidedly '00s metalcore patina. Their inventiveness gives a boost to a subgenre that has taken a backseat to artier forms like drone and black metal in recent years. Not to mention that heavy music wiz Kurt Ballou recorded their album, illuminating their dynamics with an unfussy clarity. Ex-From Ashes Rises crew Hellshock and Portland doom outfit Usnea open the proceedings. The night is also a "beer release" (isn't there a beer release in the bathroom of every show?) for Crystal Brewery's special Black Breath-branded beer. The Lola's Room press release goes on to detail the malts used and the bitter properties of the beer, because they know all you drunken nerds need more talking points. MAC POGUE

DEVOTCHKA, LUZ ELENA MENDOZA
(Revolution Hall, 1300 SE Stark) Radiant four-piece and orchestral-pop powerhouse DeVotchKa started out playing the background music for burlesque shows, particularly those of famed model and dancer Dita Von Teese. This is fitting, given their dark-corners cabaret style of instrumental folk. Their incorporation of unusual instruments like the eerie theremin lends an otherworldly quality to their music, but that other world is some kind of glorious Burning Man Valhalla. DeVotchKa's sprawling post-rock unfolds and expands like a starry night overtaking the horizon. Their music also has a dramatic, cinematic element, like it's soundtracking an imaginary film projected onto the dark backdrop of a star-filed sky. CIARA DOLAN

JD McPHERSON, HONEYHONEY
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) Sing-along, clap-along, shake-your-body rock 'n' roll was once the mainstay of teenage boys' FM radios all across the heartland, but these days it feels like an anachronism, or worse, a nostalgia act. JD McPherson avoids the clichés of other throwback artists by writing songs that sound both fresh and classic, like a new pair of wingtips. And, of course, it doesn't hurt that he puts on a good goddamn show. Even a skeptic like me, who bristles at even the mention of the word "revivalism," was converted after catching his performances at Pickathon last summer. McPherson released his second album, Let the Good Times Roll, last February, but the record is no substitute for the live show, singing along and clapping along and shaking your body along with everyone else, where roll 'n' roll lives forever. SANTI ELIJAH HOLLEY

THURSDAY 1/14

LUPE FIASCO, THE BOY ILLINOIS, BILLY BLUE, ZVERSE, RACHEL WEST, VINNIE DEWAYNE
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) See My, What a Busy Week!, and read our article on Lupe Fiasco.

SIOUX FALLS, COOL AMERICAN, ROD
(PSU's Smith Memorial Student Union, 1825 SW Broadway) See All-Ages Action!

THANKS, CAT HOCH, ASTRO TAN
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) With the death of pop superhero David Bowie, dark wave has become as relevant as ever. Local power-punk-pop artists Thanks have made a name for themselves exploring the fringes of danceable, bloody soul. Utilizing the skills of their large ensemble—including driving drums, chime-affected keys, thick guitar, cello, and vocalist Jimi Hendrix's cooing snarl—their sound would easily fit in Bowie's '80s era. The band is set to release their sophomore LP later this year, which stays consistent with the sound they've built over the last two years. Tonight they're playing one of their last shows until spring, sharing the stage with Cat Hoch, whose fall EP, Look What You've Done, is a refreshing psych dreamscape that marries her gritty underbelly with soft, washy vocals. Both artists bear the mark of Ziggy Stardust, a legacy Bowie would surely have approved. JENI WREN STOTTRUP

NICK JAINA, STELTH ULVANG, EZZA ROSE
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) He may not be a household name, but Nick Jaina is one of Portland's brightest treasures. His last full-length album, 2013's Primary Perception, was a master class in musicianship and traditional songwriting that brought to mind the meteoric if slightly unfocused brilliance of Bob Dylan's mid-'70s LPs. Jaina is also an acclaimed author, whose first book, Get It While You Can—an undeniable complement to his musical output—is a 2016 Oregon Book Award finalist. Also performing is singer/songwriter Stelth Ulvang, whose latest album, And as Always; the Infinite Cosmos, is a collection of songs as vast and reflective as its title suggests. MORGAN TROPER

ANTI-YOU, RAW NERVES, FOLLIA, RECESSIONS
(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) Italian aggro-punx Anti-You have steadily established a sizeable underground base of devotees. This can be attributed to the six records since their 2008 inception, but it could just as easily be because of their manic live shows. The band's most recent LP, Blank Stares, is a hardcore punk maelstrom, swelling with breakneck four-on-the-floor drumming underneath classically busy, DC-hardcore-inspired guitars. It's rare to find an Anti-You song that lasts longer than one minute, as found on the defiant "Too Young to Die," a standout from Blank Stares. The four-piece stop at the Know as part of their West Coast tour tonight, a venue seemingly tailor-made for the erratic noise-bombs Anti-You embodies. RYAN J. PRADO

GREGORY ALAN ISAKOV, OREGON SYMPHONY
(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway) Gregory Alan Isakov is a perfect person to play a concert with the Oregon Symphony. The South African-born and Colorado-based singer/songwriter (and horticulturalist, by the way) makes music that lives near the intersection of fluttery folk and celestial pop, with string-section swells playing a complementary role in many of Isakov's prettiest songs. And the guy turns out more than his share of those. Isakov's two most recent albums—2009's This Empty Northern Hemisphere and 2013's The Weatherman—are positively gorgeous, and both showcase their maker's uncommon gift for arrangements that somehow feel both intimate and as big as the sky. Hemisphere, in particular, will touch your heart or the horizon—or both—depending on your need at any given time. And that's why tonight's concert at the Schnitz is sure to be special. Together, Isakov and the symphony will fill that theater with simple, beautiful triumphs. BS

FRIDAY 1/15

ACT RIGHT: DIMITRI, MAXX BASS, NATHAN DETROIT
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See My, What a Busy Week!

LADYWOLF, MOPE GROOVES, KAZ MIRBLOUK, LORD BECKY
(Clinton Street Theater, 2522 SE Clinton) The waves of influence that Gnar Tapes left on the Portland rock music scene are still flowing, leaving behind sandy, lo-fi pop seashells for stoner punks to pick up. Like any genre, this can go horribly wrong if a band substitutes catchy hooks for fractal projection light shows or Mac DeMarco copycat silliness. However, Mope Grooves' laidback power-pop builds its own sandcastle, one with an empty Rainier-can foundation but not without a certain architectural flair. Songs like "Weird Girls," off their 2014 LP of the same name, take the quick-hitting, two-minute jingles of modern garage-pop staples like the Reasoners, and play them delicately downtempo. Joining is Nick Barnaby and the rotating cast of friends that make up the wild scuzz-pop of Ladywolf, coming off their split EP with fellow Portland band the Goobs and an appearance on the fall Semi-Ok Zine compilation CD. CAMERON CROWELL

SHAWN COLVIN, HIP HATCHET
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) Shawn Colvin will forever be etched in my memory from the time I was eight years old, dancing around my friend's living room as my friend stood on a chair lip-syncing "Sunny Came Home," with thunder and lightning striking outside in the mid-August heat. This song catapulted Colvin into the mainstream, winning her a Grammy for both Song and Record of the Year in 1998. Colvin is best known for this hit, but will be playing tonight from Uncovered, a thoughtful compilation of folk-ballad covers. Colvin has toured with Suzanne Vega and played with everybody from Joni Mitchell to Crosby, Stills & Nash, influences that shine through in her soft, ambient-folk-rock as well as her sweet, crackly, unaffected tone. ROSE FINN

T.S.O.L., LEFT ALONE, WILD MOHICANS
(Dante's, 350 W Burnside) Obsessed with death and surrounded by violence, T.S.O.L.'s early story plays out like a slice of LA noir. While early Black Flag traded in violent images of hate—hate of self, hate of authority, hate of society—their peers in T.S.O.L. traded in violence. The band's legacy today mostly focuses on their darkly melodic takes on punk, but early T.S.O.L. and its precursor, Vicious Circle, were more gangs than band. Marc Spitz and Brendan Mullen's We Got the Neutron Bomb recounts early shows as prototypical of hardcore punk's brutality, with the band often starting fistfights with the crowd a song or two into their set. Mike Watt undersells bellicose band leader Jack Grisham: "[he] is really into this bellig style." While early LA punk played host to a collection of outré weirdos, violence had rarely tinged events in the ways they did at T.S.O.L. and their Southern California hardcore brethren's shows through the '80s into the new millennium. Their arrival on the scene helped spur both goth music and hardcore brutality. MP

TANGERINE
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) Seattle's Tangerine is sisters Marika and Miro Justad along with Toby Kuhn. Despite their name, the trio makes music closer to a juicy blood orange in quality and texture. Under the peel you'll find raw, sticky-sweet pop that'll bleed red all over your fingers. Surfy riffs cut through the funkiest beats like the satisfying bitterness of citrus sucker-punching your tastebuds. February will bring their newest EP, Sugar Teeth, following 2013's Pale Summer ("Lake City" is the perfect song to daydream to) and 2014's Behemoth! "Tender," Tangerine's first single from the forthcoming release, promises "everything is better now" to the tune of bright guitars and dreamy synth. CD

BRAD PARSONS, THE COLIN TRIO, AMANDA BREESE
(The Secret Society, 116 NE Russell) When he's not backing up Horse Feathers as a multi-instrumentalist, Brad Parsons writes and performs as a solo artist and fronts his own band, the Local Talent. The Idaho native has been an under-the-radar fixture in Portland for years, as a vocalist and guitar player for the BellBoys (his former bandmates have gone on to form local folk-rock supergroup Fruition), and as a solo singer/songwriter. Parsons' music shouldn't be compared to either Fruition or Horse Feathers, but to more introspective Americana artists like Jason Isbell. So far he has released only one solo EP, 2012's Anywhere the River Runs, but a handful of new demos on his website hint at a promising follow-up. SEH

HALF MOON RUN, EMILIE AND OGDEN
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Contemplative and deliberate, Half Moon Run return with their sophomore effort Sun Leads Me On, a lyrically dark excavation between simple drum, bass, and guitar arrangements and layered pop orchestrations. Driven by vocalist Devon Portielje, the Toronto trio simplifies their sound, grounding their acoustic roots in songs like "Devil May Care" and "Warmest Regards" alongside nods to a fuller, more affected modern sound in "Turn Your Love" and "Consider Yourself." Like contemporaries Of Monsters and Men and Mumford and Sons, the band is still figuring out what's going on, but aren't afraid to explore. JWS

CARRION SPRING, PARDONER, PLUSH, ICE QUEENS
(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) There aren't very many Portland bands bolder than Ice Queens. The relatively new project—which features music-scene luminaries Evan Houston and James Taylor of Minden, and Brandon Nikola, the former booker and bartender at tragically defunct punk beacon Habesha Lounge—released a three-song EP in the beginning of last fall, and it's a razor-sharp marriage of modern, jagged indie and pre-Candlebox grunge. The highlight is the catchy and spastic opener, "Bow," which evokes an alternate reality in which a young Doug Martsch preferred amphetamines to weed. Ice Queens are proof that brazen, unapologetic rock 'n' roll can still be cool—and if nothing else, Ice Queens are certainly the coolest band who sound remotely like Queens of the Stone Age since, well, Queens of the Stone Age. MT

SATURDAY 1/16

SAINTS OF BASS: DJ SHIVA, NANCY DRU, TRACY WHY
(The Liquor Store, 3341 SE Belmont) In the flooded market of electronic and techno, finding good music can be tricky. Thankfully, three talented DJs converge under one roof tonight to share diverse perspectives and form unique works of art. DJ Shiva, out of the Midwest and founder of the Subterror Radio podcast, has been showcasing the meanest cuts for global audiophiles online and in person, and keeps them coming back for more. Nancy Dru, from Vancouver, BC, has been immersed in dance music as a producer for many years, and now as a DJ hones a well-oiled sound. Portland's own Tracy Why is known for a driving and dark style that at time moves into industrial territory; she gives the real heads something to listen to. Although they have each developed individual styles, one thing they share is a multi-faceted and forward-thinking point of view that calls for an alternative to the cookie-cutter world sometimes referred to as EDM. CHRISTINA BROUSSARD

TINY KNIVES, RABBITS, HOODED HAGS, TIG BITTY
(High Water Mark, 6800 NE MLK) Tiny Knives' more unhinged moments recall Crass' reckless musical abandon at times, and His Hero Is Gone's crushing anger at others. This show marks the release of the trio's first vinyl, Black Haze, pressed with the help of local heavy weird purveyors Eolian Empire. The Portland trio fit right in on the label with their ability to careen between anarcho-indebted freneticism and post-punk melody. The gear change between the fraught "Magic Xians" and "Silk in the Water" showcases this flip. "Xians" surges headlong over marching-band snare-rolls, with Jai Milx's growls threatening to rip the track wide open as it goes straight into the languid "Silk," a study in post-rock dynamics reminiscent of the other Portland titans of quiet-loud-quiet, the Ghost Ease. Fellow Eolian freaks Rabbits, blown-out party jammers Tig Bitty, and fuzzy garage rockers Hooded Hags open the proceedings. MP

SMOKE RINGS, DIE ROBOT, DJ HORRID
(The Lovecraft, 421 SE Grand) Led by local noise-pop band Havania Whaal's drummer Noelle Magia, Portland's own Smoke Rings release their debut full-length, Boxes, this month. On the new album, Magia screams down empty, fluorescent-lit hallways. Their echoey, synth-heavy punk drips with the numb angst of a soggy and bleak Pacific Northwest winter. Tracks off Boxes veer into early 1980s-era U2's interpretation of new wave (particularly their debut, Boy), with angular guitars and gothic soundscapes. The title track is haunting but rumbling, and sounds like it could soundtrack a Buffy the Vampire Slayer fight scene inside the Bronze. Like when Buffy goes head-to-head with Spike the bleached-blond badass vampire, defending her high school classmates from his eerily chiseled jaw and bloodlust. CD

DRAEMHOUSE, AH GOD, CANDACE
(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) After a heartfelt Facebook status detailing how unintentionally their former name "Is/Is" became associated with horrific atrocities, Portland's guitar-pop coven, consisting of Sarah Rose, Sarah Nienaber, and Mara Appel, begin a new chapter in 2016 as Candace. They are a group whose cloudy music is filled with dark mysticism, but consistently channel it into beautiful, empathetic pop songs. Their 2015 tape Return to Zero was highlighted by "Midnight Blue," which breathes with Robert Smith's weighty inflection, but descends into a cacophonous pit of sounds before emerging again with a chilling synth hook. The four-piece Seattle outfit Draemhouse self-describes their music as "satinic jazz," which apparently means a happy polygamous relationship between dream-pop, shoegaze, and chillwave. Their debut three-song EP, Woundlicker, was released on Everett, Washington, tape label Blind Blind Tiger Records. CC

SUNDAY 1/17

SEA OF BEES, SUNMONKS, BEN BRADEN
(Rontoms, 600 E Burnside) Sacramento invades Portland for tonight's Sunday Session, with two of the city's most respected artists, including Sea of Bees. Meanwhile, Sunmonks' Geoffrey CK and Alexandra Steele forged a bond over tribal-pop beats à la David Byrne and Fela Kuti, expelling an anti-modern ooze to their output. Their 2014 debut EP, Desert of Plenty, was mixed at Panoramic House studios in Stinson Beach by the band's producer—and Tape Op publisher—John Baccigaluppi. The EP boasts textures both sultry and funky, conspiring together on "The Deaf," an addictive, danceable track rife with horns and Steele's elegantly bare vocals acting as anchor. RJP Also see My, What a Busy Week!

OH WONDER, GEMS
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) Tonight's Oh Wonder show was initially booked at the Doug Fir. But then ticket sales surged and it was moved to the Wonder Ballroom, which is almost triple the size of the Doug Fir. Plenty of room, right? Wrong. Now the Wonder show is sold out in advance, as are 13 of 15 dates on Oh Wonder's upcoming US tour. If you're wondering who Oh Wonder is, well... so was I! Turns out Oh Wonder is Josephine Vander Gucht and Anthony West, a fresh-faced songwriting duo from London who wrote, recorded, and released one bleary, blip-bloop R&B song per month from September 2014 to September 2015, then compiled them into a self-titled album. And that's it! If you have tickets to tonight's show, enjoy. If not, you're probably better off staying home and listening to David Bowie records. BS

SANCTUARY SUNDAY: BENOÎT PIOULARD, KYLE LANDSTRA, RYAN CHAVIRA, ANT'LRD, PULSE EMITTER
(Xhurch, 4550 NE 20th) It's nice to live in a town where you can take your pick from any number of stellar nights devoted to the different genres of electronic music. Sanctuary Sundays have long held it down in the variety of ambient that encourages closing one's eyes and floating off into iridescent clouds. Tonight Baro Records showcase four artists, all astoundingly brilliant in their own right, including Seattle's Benoît Pioulard, who has been catching lots of attention for his blissfully scattered new-age ambience that effortlessly carries one into a state of exquisite tranquility. CB

MONDAY 1/18

LANGHORNE SLIM AND THE LAW, SAWYER FREDERICKS
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) See My, What a Busy Week!

VENOM INC., NECROPHAGIA, FATAL FIX, CHEMICAL WARFARE
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE César E. Chávez) Tracing black metal back to the beginning will usually lead you to Venom's 1981 classic Welcome to Hell (if that's not clear enough, their second record was called Black Metal). The British stalwarts were making ugly, tooth-gnashing metal before anyone. Of course, if a band is around long enough, as Venom has been, there's a good chance they'll become more business than band. So here we are in 2016 with two versions of Venom—the Venom with original vocalist Cronos, who released a pretty decent metal record last year called From the Very Depths, and Venom Inc., which features former members Jeff Dunn and Anthony Bray. The latter plays tonight. It's a good way to hear some Venom classics, but it'll likely feel slightly less black. MARK LORE

SUGAR CANDY MOUNTAIN
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) Song-based psychedelia continues to thrive in the 2010s, as this bill proves. Oakland's Sugar Candy Mountain live up to their name with songs that soar with a sweet assortment of distorted organ whirs, rippling and fizzing guitar effects, and vocals that sound like they're emanating from Mount Shasta's peak. Their music may not be innovative but it sure is endorphin-rich and redolent of sunshine. Check out SCM's 2013 album Mystic Hits for a sunshiny blend of the Millennium at their frilliest, Os Mutantes at their breeziest, and even a touch of Jean-Jacques Perrey's pop-electronique masterpiece "E.V.A." DAVE SEGAL

TUESDAY 1/19

HOLLOW SIDEWALKS, HAVANIA WHAAL
(The Liquor Store, 3341 SE Belmont) I slept on Hollow Sidewalks' debut album, Ain't No Way, when it came out in May, but having spent some time mainlining the album's whirling yet focused psychedelic post-punk straight into my cranium, I can safely say that it gets my vote for being one of the most overlooked local releases of 2015. Singer/guitarist Nora Murphy Hughes' reverb-drenched vocals command your attention and don't let go until the album draws to a close. You can grab Ain't No Way for free on Hollow Sidewalks' Bandcamp page, and SE Belmont bar and basement venue the Liquor Store are helping to get the word out by booking the band for a month-long residency to kick off the new year. Tonight marks the second of three free shows, and a spot-on pairing in the form of local noise-pop trio Havania Whaal make tonight's show well worth your time. CT

SUMA, ZIRAKZIGIL, HANDS OF THIEVES
(Panic Room, 3100 NE Sandy) Swedish heavy noise band Suma makes music for the apocalypse. It moves hypnotically slow, and before you know it, you've been consumed and devoured. The band has been doing this for the past 15 years, putting records out on their own label, and they seem ready to do the same here in the States. Suma is set to record their forthcoming record, The Order of Things, with local metal go-to Billy Anderson, who will no doubt bring their sound to new, devastating levels. This rare US performance is where the end of the world begins. ML