Up & Coming 

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THURSDAY 10/15

GRIZZLY BEAR, THE MORNING BENDERS

(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!

AH HOLLY FAM'LY, A WEATHER, AAN

(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See Music.

WHY?, MOUNT EERIE, NO KIDS

(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) Yoni Wolf's lyrics come across as if he wrote them while a gun was being held to his head: You feel like you're getting the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. On Eskimo Snow—the latest release from his inquisitive music project Why?—Wolf strays further from his hiphop leanings and closer to tuneful indie rock. Of course, the record is all over the place, diving and dipping intermittently into folk, psych, and post-rock while Wolf drowsily delivers half-spoken vocals. For such an oddball mix of styles, the music always maintains its memorable pop sensibilities, although at the end of the day it's Wolf's impressive amalgamation of peculiar one-liners that end up getting stuck in your head. MARK LORE

SHAYNA AND THE BULLDOG, NO CITY LIGHTS

(Mississippi Pizza Pub, 3552 N Mississippi) Like Hootie & the Blowfish, Shayna and the Bulldog are actually a quartet of humans—no animals—and they've just sent their first album, States, out into the world. Like Hootie, every song sounds suspiciously like a hit, but unlike Hootie, this band is actually really good. Fans of Hootie (if there are any of those left) will take comfort in the durability of their classic rock sound, but others will appreciate the inventive, crackling songwriting. Check out the way "Expatriate" transforms from a bittersweet midnight ballad into a bright and boppy sing-along, or how "Again Today" sounds like a jackknife-sharp dialogue between early Tom Petty and current-day Patterson Hood. There's nary a misstep from the Davis, California, band—States is as good a debut as you'll hear this year. NED LANNAMANN

FRIDAY 10/16

KPSU 15TH ANNIVERSARY: FIST FITE, NEW CENTURY SCHOOLBOOK, DEAD AIR FRESHENERS, DON'T HURT MILES, GUYVE

(Smith Ballroom at PSU, 1825 SW Broadway) See My, What a Busy Week!

KING KHAN & BBQ, JONATHAN TOUBIN, GREG ASHLEY, GARDENS

(East End, 203 SE Grand) With all the shitty, talentless nonsense the lo-fi/no-fi/shitgaze scene has cranked out over the last year, it's stunning that Greg Ashley's name isn't on the tip of the nation's collective tongue. Not to suggest Ashley has much in common with the hack parade (I'm looking at you, Wavves) aside from a reverence for vintage sounds and guitars—it's just hard to believe that anybody who digs '60s aesthetics could resist getting on this bus. Ashley's songs are expertly colored and composed, and his melancholic writing voice is wholly unique in today's bubblegum world. Perhaps Ashley—and his terrific band, Gris Gris—aren't more widely known since their touring has been sparse. Or maybe it's the macabre themes. Just don't blow this chance to see Ashley perform solo at East End, or with Gris Gris at Saturday's Scion Garage Fest. ANDREW R TONRY Also see My, What a Busy Week!

THE CAVE SINGERS, THE MOONDOGGIES, SHANE TUTMARC

(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Foot-stompin', hand-drummin', eyes-raised-to-the-heavens style get-down: Thus are the Cave Singers. Combining the tribal, down-home revelry of Portland's the Builders and the Butchers with the simple songs and wistful harmonies of Seattle favorites the Dutchess and the Duke (who are playing Saturday at the Scion Garage Fest), the Cave Singers have been delighting crowds since 2007 with songs about love, sharing, bridges, and long roads. Works from their Matador debut Invitation Songs like "Helen" and "Dancing on Our Graves" cemented their spot in the love-rock echelon; this year's Welcome Joy followed suit. MARANDA BISH

BOB MOULD, SPIRAL STAIRS

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Having co-powered the best American band of the 1980s through a legendary string of releases, Bob Mould could've hung up his guitar in 1987 with enough laurels to rest on for the remainder of his life. Instead, Mould's post-Hüsker Dü existence has been a whirlwind of creativity, ranging from his ongoing musical output (solo, with Sugar, and as part of Hedwig and the Angry Inch's studio band) to scriptwriting for World Championship Wrestling. But writing and performing his own music remains Mould's deepest calling, and his new Life and Times finds him blasting through a fresh set of tracks combining the depth and richness of his 1989 solo LP Workbook with the straightforward blast of Sugar. Also on the bill: Scott "Spiral Stairs" Kannberg, the Pavement/Preston School of Industry founder who'll open the show with a solo set. DAVID SCHMADER

STRIKE ANYWHERE, POLAR BEAR CLUB, RUINER, CRIME IN STEREO

(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) There is an unspoken rule that, as music fans, we require bands to develop and change along with us, thus hopefully bridging a relationship that evolves beyond our initial exposure to their music. But when it comes to Strike Anywhere, fuck all that shit. This Richmond, Virginia, punk act (although word has it that dreadlocked lead singer Thomas Barnett is now a Portlander) will never change—and thank god for that—as they deliver yet another offering (Iron Front is their latest; it sounds like all the others) of mosh-heavy political anthems. And just because ol' W is back in the shrubs of Texas, the band's snarl is still as threatening as ever, as "Hand of Glory" makes plain its demand: "Washington, DC: Burn it down." EZRA ACE CARAEFF

THESE ARMS ARE SNAKES, DD/MM/YYYY, RABBITS

(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) The world will always have a need for hectic, youthful groups like DD/MM/YYYY. Smart kids with surplus energy who can create memorable, exhilarating music are rare commodities, and the DDs (you do call them that, right?) harness those skills and lifeforce into compositions that range from tuneful math rock to no-wave-y freakouts to wonky, synth-heavy prog fantasias (for the latter style, see the excellent "Birdtown" from the recent Black Square album). Seattle's These Arms Are Snakes (featuring sometime Mercury freelancer Brian Cook) have a new, momentous album, Tail Swallower and Dove, that's ready to scald your hapless ears. Their obelisk-shaped rock tunes seethe and fulminate with scrupulously crafted truculence. Tail Swallower is an arty catharsis. DAVE SEGAL

SATURDAY 10/17

SCION GARAGE FEST

(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd; Dante's, 1 SW 3rd; Satyricon, 125 NW 6th; Someday Lounge, 125 NW 5th) See My, What a Busy Week!

DIGITAL LEATHER, DJ KID CONGO POWERS, DJ HOWIE PYRO, JONATHAN TOUBIN

(East End, 203 SE Grand) See My, What a Busy Week!

THE SALAMANDERS

(Kenton Club, 2025 N Kilpatrick) If you missed the boat on getting a wristband for tonight's Scion Garage Fest—whether by accident, or with the idea that the fest had nothing to offer you—have no fear, the Salamanders are here. Straight out of Bozeman, Montana, with a more legitimate rock 'n' roll sound than half the bands on the Scion fest roster. No offense to those guys, but with the over-saturation of the "garage" sound these days, the real thing can be hard to determine. What's the real thing? Unassuming sincerity, balls-out energy, and the fearlessness to borrow from other bands and sounds with the intent of making original, interesting music rather than a carbon copy of what people already like to hear. Bringing Dead Milkmen-type punk agitation, twangy surf style, and even a slight bit of classic country at the edges, the Salamanders are sure to stomp and shred the place into a frenzy. Yeah, these guys are it. MB

OWL CITY, THE SCENE AESTHETIC, BROOKE WAGGONER

(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) In two years, Adam Young went from twiddling knobs in his parents' basement in Minnesota to becoming a MySpace phenomenon under the moniker Owl City with a sweet and sappy number called "Hello Seattle," a song heavy on Auto-Tune and light on much else. Tweens swooned and—magically—so did a record label. Young released Ocean Eyes earlier this year with more sweet and sappy songs that come off as Postal Service lite. Young's voice even sounds like Ben Gibbard at times, but with a grating affectation straight from the Tom DeLonge school of singing. It's electronic music for the emo set. What took so long? ML

POINT JUNCTURE WA , BEN BARNETT, THE GLOBES

(The Artistery, 4315 SE Division) Local favorite Point Juncture, WA play incredibly polished technical pop songs, with all the flavors and trappings one would expect from a Portland band that has carved a modest foothold into the music scene over the years. Perhaps the only disappointing aspect is the length between releases: four years between Mama Auto Boss and their latest, Heart to Elk. But don't get me wrong, it was worth the wait—Heart to Elk shines in terms of sheer craft, with each band member presenting a distinct quality to the record. PHILIP GAUDETTE

SUNDAY 10/18

CONTENT 09: DIRTY MITTENS, NUCULAR AMINALS, EZRA CAREY

(Ace Hotel, 1022 SW Stark) See Feature.

KURT VILE AND THE VIOLATORS, EAT SKULL, THE WHINES

(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Anyone who saw Kurt Vile at Berbati's in September can be excused for wondering, "What the fuck was that?" Vile's set was a bit docile and uninspired, his deep voice just droning on. There were moments when the Pittsburgh songwriter rose above the fray, but not enough. All the blame shouldn't go to Vile, however—the set suffered from a poor mix and constant feedback that the soundman was either unwilling or unable to remedy, perhaps inhibiting Vile from maintaining a groove. Whatever the reason, it's time to give Vile another chance. He's back this time with a full band—the Violators—and all the problems of that solo gig should disappear as they jack up the tempo, expand the spectrum, and give Vile's deep voice more room to wiggle and relax. And instead of the solemn disposition Vile might convey with his long hair covering his face, seeming like a weird, unwelcoming loner in a strange place, the band should allow his sunny, buzzing compositions like "Freeway" and "Freak Train" to shine through, warming up your weary bones. ART

THE ESTRANGED, CHEAP TIME, WELCOME HOME WALKER , MEERCAZ, DJ NATE C

(Ground Kontrol, 511 NW Couch) Tennessee's Cheap Time are playing the mammoth garage fest on Saturday, but fortunately for those without RSVPs, they're playing a hangover set tonight at Ground Kontrol. Some of their stuff sounds like Keith Moon's primitive songwriting contributions to the Who ("Girl's Eyes," "Waspman"), and some of it is just straight-up Ramones. All of it's good, glammy punk, played with perfect sloppiness and no scrimping on the soda-pop melodies. They play with the Estranged, perhaps Portland's wiriest, nimblest garage punk band, who have recently layered their lean sound with some goth shadings. Two other fine Portland bands round out the bill: the mustachioed, fun-as-hell power pop of Welcome Home Walker, and the murky Scotchgard fuzz of Meercaz. NL

SOLE AND THE SKYRIDER BAND, ASTRONAUTALIS, RAFAEL VIGILANTICS

(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) It felt like the entire hiphop world stopped spinning on its axis when Sole dropped Selling Live Water. It was a record that joyfully smudged the racial lines of emceeing among the rapidly gentrifying wastelands of urban Oakland, by a Caucasian kid who waited all of one song before dropping the line: "The white man... is the fucking devil." But such bravado is a thing of the past, as Sole has long since fled California—first for the desert of Arizona, now for the mountains of Colorado—and currently he's backed full-time by the Skyrider Band. Plastique is their latest, and while his slippery flow is anchored in hiphop, there is so much more going on here that it boggles the mind. As for tourmate Astronautalis? He's just the finest living emcee you have probably never heard of. EAC

MONDAY 10/19

BRAKESBRAKESBRAKES, EZRA FURMAN AND THE HARPOONS, RACHEL GOODRICH

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!

BLK JKS, THE GROWLERS

(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) See Music.

DAVILA 666, THE MEAN JEANS, DJ KEN DIRTNAP

(East End, 203 SE Grand) With clanging tambourines, crunchy guitars, and bratty, dirty vocals, Davila 666 make music that's perfect for the garage rock craze, with the added appeal that it's sung in Spanish. (They're from Puerto Rico! Exotic!) After putting out an album on In the Red this spring, the band is on its second trip through Portland in as many months. Let's hope this leads to lasting popularity for the group, who show signs of distinction. See them live (either tonight or at Saturday's Scion Garage Fest) and know that they deserve continued attention, with the five members of the band—each with a Ramones-esque "Davila" title—exploding off the stage with unapologetic enthusiasm. MB

TUESDAY 10/20

DRAGONETTE, FLESHTONE, DIAMOND LIARS, RUDE DUDES

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!

YO LA TENGO, JACKIE-O MOTHERFUCKER

(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) See Music.

WHITE RAINBOW, NICE NICE, BOBBY BIRDMAN, JUICE TEAM DJS

(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) New Clouds is what seems like the umpteenth release from Adam Forkner (AKA White Rainbow) but it's perhaps his most approachable, most soothing, nicest music to date. Each of the four tracks sprawls over the course of 12 to 20 minutes, breathing and evolving kaleidoscopically. Opener "Tuesday Rollers and Strollers" is the strangest and most interesting; within a watery shuck-shuck percussion pattern, sound fractals grow in blossoms of keyboard and guitar. Meanwhile, final track "Monday Boogies Forever Forward" is a beautiful, cathedral-esque meditation that—its title notwithstanding—certainly does not boogie. New Clouds celebrates its release tonight, preceded by the always rewarding hypno-rock of Nice Nice. NL

WEDNESDAY 10/21

THESE ARE POWERS, REPORTER, SEX WORKER, DON HELLIONS

(The Artistery, 4315 SE Division) Noise bands certainly fit into a niche market—especially ones like These Are Powers, a Brooklyn/Chicago trio that combines electronic and house elements with tribal weirdness to create jittery songs that sound like a dial-up modem having an existential crisis. Vocalist Anna Barie belts over the mess of industrial drums and synthy rhythms, most of which are only held together by bizarre found samples, distorted and looped guitar, or 20 seconds of people coughing in the middle of a song. Comparisons to Gang Gang Dance can be drawn here, but These Are Powers lean toward more composition and less trance, opting for something dirtier and ultimately more interesting. PG

THAO WITH THE GET DOWN STAY DOWN

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Honorary Portlander Thao Nguyen spent many a day and night in our fair town—alongside her trusty Get Down Stay Down backing outfit and producer Tucker Martine—while crafting the just-released Know Better Learn Faster. The Bay Area band was in the precarious position of following their splendid We Brave Bee Stings and All—Kill Rock Stars' top-grossing release of last year—that propelled them into the forefront of the pop music world, and crowned Nguyen as a limber-voiced singer with a gift for crafting wondrously playful lyrics. Thankfully Know Better is a complete and total success. It's an endlessly endearing recording that's full of life—in all its pleasures, regrets, and just about every other emotion in between—yet still nimble enough to never lose track of its intended directive (to make the finest pop music possible). When Nguyen makes the tender appeal of "I need you to be better than me" in the title track, it's abundantly clear that she is making a request that no one could possibly deliver. EAC

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