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THURSDAY 4/1

BLACK PRAIRIE, THE ALIALUJAH CHOIR
(The Woods, 6637 SE Milwaukie) See My, What a Busy Week!

DEAD MEADOW, IMAAD WASIF, THE UPSIDEDOWN
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See Music.

THE MORNING BENDERS, MINIATURE TIGERS, BLUE HORNS
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) In a 2008 email interview, Morning Benders frontman Chris Chu told me they'd been listening to a lot of Grizzly Bear, and had recently discovered the Grizzly Bear side project Department of Eagles. I imagine he must have been thrilled to snag Chris Taylor (Grizzly Bear's bassist and producer of the last Department of Eagles record) to man the boards for the Morning Benders' second album, Big Echo. And the result is a terrific pop record, with the Benders' trademark sloping, shuffling tunes given the baroque Grizzly Bear treatment. Its best moments come off sounding like The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society as it might have been produced by Brian Wilson—in other words, pretty fucking great. The Morning Benders' first full-length album, Talking through Tin Cans, was certainly an enjoyable collection of catchy melodies, but with the new record, they've catapulted themselves into another realm entirely. NED LANNAMANN

LUDICRA, JONNY X AND THE GROADIES, TRANSIENT
(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) The black metal genre was built on a foundation of sensationalism and violence that often overshadows the music itself. The list of distractions ranges from silly stage theatrics like corpse paint or severed pigs' heads to actual murder and church burnings. Thankfully there are bands like San Francisco's Ludicra. They don't need to breathe fire or spit blood to prove their credibility. The band's fourth album, The Tenant, recently received the album-of-the-month nod from Terrorizer over the new release from the legendary Burzum. Rightfully so. The Tenant breathes some much-needed creativity into the black metal genre. Ludicra's tunes aren't saturated with blast beats and tremolo picking, but the darkness that black metal fans crave is still there as Laurie Sue Shanaman provides larynx-shredding vocals while guitarist Christy Cather sings a layer of haunting melodies over the top. The result is abrasive, yet beautiful. ARIS WALES

FORMER GHOSTS, ASSS, ROMANCING, WAMPIRE
(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) "Your memory is your worst enemy sometimes," writes Los Angeles-area producer and self-described computer musician Freddy Ruppert on his blog, "and at other times it is an old friend." This distinctly human paradox is the backbone of the music Ruppert makes with trio Former Ghosts, combining talents with Nika Roza and Jamie Stewart (of Xiu Xiu fame). Their debut album Fleurs is a collection of incredibly reverb-laden yet still sparse synthesized anthems of longing and isolation. About to head on a tour of Europe with Portland's own Parenthetical Girls, Ruppert's new tracks for an upcoming album include "This Is My Last Goodbye," where, in an Ian Curtis-esque timbre, he sings of being in a place "where memories can't save us." Roza's female vocals respond like a former lover's voice in his ear, crooning, "Who is going to love you like I do?" Probably no one, but our memories keep us asking. MARANDA BISH

FRIDAY 4/2

NICK JAINA, SALLIE FORD AND THE SOUND OUTSIDE, FUTURE HISTORIANS
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Nick Jaina isn't the only act on the bill celebrating a record release tonight. Future Historians' newest, If You Slip into the Fog, also sees the light of day, and it's a bighearted folk-pop record that plucks not only the strings of the band's acoustic guitars, but also those of your heart. (Awww.) For those of you keeping score at home (with your mammoth Pete Frame-style diagrams of Portland's music scene), Future Historians frontman Dave Shur also does time as the drummer of the Crosswalks, while guitarist Andrew Stern also plays with Blue Horns. If You Slip into the Fog is a laidback, entirely satisfying record in which every tune is imbued with sunny good vibes. NL Also see My, What a Busy Week!

KIDZ IN THE HALL, 88 KEYS, IZZA KIZZA, DONNIS
(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) After a career of sample-heavy production and positive flow, Chicago's Naledge and Double-O (that's Kidz in the Hall to you) are primed for big things with Land of the Make Believe. Granted, switching directions like this is a risky endeavor, especially seeing how Make Believe shimmers with glossy production, is free of borrowed samples, and has its sights squarely aimed at a much larger market. The Just Blaze cameo in "Take Over the World" (which would be a more fitting title for this album) works nicely with the vocoder hook, as does its opposite, the stripped-bare structure of opening track "Introlude," with its killer hoops-centric line, "Every Rip Hamilton, there's five Eddie Griffins/10 Len Biases, a hunnid Ben Wilsons/a thousand Will Gates." Opening is Izza Kizza. He knows Timbaland. You don't. EZRA ACE CARAEFF

HANK III, ASSJACK, KYLE TURLEY
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) The two most prominent descendants of country legend Hank Williams Sr. have approached their celebrity careers with the entitlement and elbow grease of the Hilton sisters. Both Hank Jr. and his son, Hank III, have spent much more energy polishing their "rebel" credentials than writing memorable music—the difference between them being that the youngest Hank trades his dad's redneck populism for cheap provocation (typical lyric: "I'm here to put the dick in dixie and the cunt back into country"), sticks some distorted guitars over banjos, and calls it "hellbilly" music. The shtick must be worth something, though, because it's been carrying III for more than a decade and provided opportunities to play with respected luminaries like the Jesus Lizard's Duane Denison and the Melvins. Of course, he's outlived Hank Sr. by eight years without ever stepping off that man's coattails, so maybe longevity isn't a good thing. DAVE BOW

SATURDAY 4/3

BLUE SCHOLARS, MACKLEMORE, RYAN LEWIS, BAMBU, DJ PHATRICK
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) See My, What a Busy Week!

MUSE, SILVERSUN PICKUPS
(Rose Garden, 1 Center Ct) See Music.

SURFER BLOOD, TURBO FRUITS, DIRTY MITTENS
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See Music.

OWL CITY, LIGHTS, PAPER ROUTE
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) See Music.

HUGH CORNWELL, TONY SMILEY (6 PM EARLY SHOW)
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) How great were the Stranglers? Tough enough to blast through the pub-punk rock scene of the UK in the 1970s but musically rich enough to keep the world listening for decades. Hugh Cornwell was a bluesman before he became a rocker and his recent solo work is a little more earthy and low to the ground than the Stranglers' psychedelic/waltzy/baroque rock. ("Punk plus and then some," as bass player and songwriter Jean-Jacques Burnel described them.) Cornwell's new songs sound relaxed and groovy with a bluesy shuffle at their core while wearing a sweater of slightly fuzzy, slightly jangly guitars. It's good music for gray days. BRENDAN KILEY

KAY KAY AND HIS WEATHERED UNDERGROUND, LIZZIE HUFFMAN
(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) For all intents and purposes, Gatsbys American Dream was hardly a remarkable band. But perhaps, just like the equally as unspectacular Anatomy of a Ghost—who gave way to the stellar Portugal. The Man—great things have sprung forth from GAD (even their acronym was borrrring). Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground is a glorious side project that blossomed into a fully functional pop outfit courtesy of former GAD'ers Kirk Huffman and Kyle O'Quin. The Seattle trio swells to 11 members on occasion, and expands their pop palette to incorporate the baffling combination of bubblegum psychedelia, ragtime piano, and classic rock riffing. With so many ideas colliding at any given moment, Kay Kay occasionally sound like Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band... if that record had been performed by every single person on the cover. But ultimately for Kay Kay, despite such indulgences, their sound works wonders. EAC

THE PITY FUCKS, PURE COUNTRY GOLD, MUDDY RIVER NIGHTMARE BAND
(Slabtown, 1033 NW 16th) Commercial success must be the main drive behind naming a band the Pity Fucks. Okay, so the Portland quartet's music comes as close to the words "commercial" or "success" as this planet does to Pluto, but the Fucks aren't inventing anything new, plowing headfirst into the proverbial mosh pit where punk rock slam dances with R&B and garage rock. The guitars are loud, the vocals are loutish, and the Hammond organ sounds as if it's being played with someone's elbows. I'm assuming the best place to witness all of this would be live; then again, if you are seeing this firsthand it means there's a good chance you're at a biker bar in some Midwestern podunk, to which I offer this advice: Don't look scared. MARK LORE

ADAM GREEN, THE DEAD TREES
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) Count me among the many who were only vaguely aware of the Moldy Peaches while they actually existed, who paid just as little attention as the band's two members went their solo ways, and who found their resurgence via Juno merely cute. But maybe coming to Adam Green's latest album, Minor Love, with such a lack of expectations is actually the best way to approach the former Peach's sixth solo album, as it largely dispenses with both the gross-out gags of his earliest work and the pop gloss of his more recent albums. On the cover, Green strikes an awkward pose in a leather jacket and jeans, the NYC nighttime lit up behind him; on the record, he wears those downtown signifiers better, especially on the Lou Reed–copping "What Makes Him Act So Bad." ERIC GRANDY

RUN ON SENTENCE, SUPER XX MAN, JOHN VECCHIARELLI
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Music-makers in our fair city waste no time in cross-fertilizing sounds and talents (think super-groups like Blue Giant, and the many projects of Laura Gibson), and Run on Sentence is another prime example of this. Frontman Dustin Hamman fleshes out intimate acoustic compositions with an ever-revolving cast of players, including near-permanent collaborator William Joersz and various other musicians about town (Nick Jaina, John Vecharelli, et al.). The effect is a swinging contrast between Hamman's hushed vocals and the grandeur made available by orchestral sounds. Riding the success of 2008's Oh When the Wind Comes Down, the band's follow-up is also being made in a nontraditional fashion, one that's emerging as a trend in these trying times: Fans are asked to make donations to cover production costs, with the reward of being the first to receive the finished product. MB

MOM, REPRESSIVE PROTEINS, BUK BUK BIG UPS, POLYPS, DIRTY BEACHES
(The Wail, 5135 NE 42nd) Canada's Dirty Beaches achieve an ultra-cool, stripped-to-the-marrow rockabilly steez that sounds like a sedated Alan Vega crooning over Link Wray tunes that have been rerecorded in a gas station bathroom. The vocals are largely reverbed babble and the fidelity's lower than a snake's belly, but the overall effect is lethal. I thought rockabilly was beyond redemption in the 21st century, but Dirty Beaches prove me wrong. DAVE SEGAL

SUNDAY 4/4

PAUL WALL, CHAMILLIONAIRE
(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) Before their beef, before "Still Tippin," "Riding Dirty," or any terrible Travis Barker collaborations, Paul "Wall" Slayton and Hakeem "Chamillionaire" Seriki were a beloved Houston rap duo who helped blow up H-Town's already steady-bubbling indie scene promoting the Swishahouse label and, of course, with their own big-selling debut Get Ya Mind Correct. But the two childhood friends split and found themselves on opposite sides of a beef. Paww Waww ended up back with the Swishahouse crew just as it started to blow sky-high, and Cham's Color Changin' Click (which he founded with Paul) found themselves getting dissed by Wall's labelmate Mike Jones (who? no really, who?). All that, thankfully, is water under the bridge, and now the reunited pair can shine together forever, like a ridiculously expensive and permanently diamond-encrusted orthodontic accessory. Swang 'em. LARRY MIZELL JR. Also see My, What a Busy Week!

PATTY GRIFFIN, BUDDY MILLER
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) Patty Griffin's newest album Downtown Church is pretty much a straight-up gospel record, recorded in a church in Nashville with the usual suspects (Buddy Miller, Emmylou Harris, Shawn Colvin), but also gospel heavyweights like Regina and Ann McCrary. It's a successful exercise for the most part, but a little disappointing that Griffin—who has always been a particularly gifted songwriter—only penned two of the songs. While her Lilith Fair peers often traffic in chalky sentiment and soaped-down versions of Americana, Griffin always puts a bit more fire and grit underneath the surface of her songs. Tonight's show will showcase the new gospel tunes she recorded on Downtown Church, but also a number of the exquisite tunes that make up her impressive back catalog. NL

TOXIC HOLOCAUST, DEATHCHARGE, DETONIZE, CORPSE, FUTURE TERROR
(Satyricon, 125 NW 6th) Since Quorthon of Bathory died in 2004, and Venom's last two albums were forgettable at best, there has been a shortage of simple, straight-ahead, blasphemous metal. Thank the Dark Lord for Joel Grind and Toxic Holocaust. Since his 2003 debut Evil Never Dies, Grind has been pumping out sacrilegious thrash all by his lonesome. Grind plays every instrument on Toxic Holocaust's recordings, save the recent An Overdose of Death... album, which features Donny Paycheck of Seattle's Zeke on drums. Grind isn't reinventing the wheel with his tunes, but the speeds are breakneck, the energy is fierce, the riffs are crunchy, and the subject matter is evil. All those things combined make Toxic Holocaust a mushroom cloud of old-school metal mayhem. Brace for the fallout. AW

DAT'R, TERROR PIGEON DANCE REVOLT, THE SHAKES, REVERSE DOTTY
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) We hear you asking and the answer is no, In Defense of the Corporate Jet, the new Dat'r album, isn't ready yet. But it sounds like it's getting reeeally close: The final mixes are getting done, and the band is back in full swing as a live entity. Dat'r's new material is a mind-expanding amalgam of electro beats and samples, even taking time to give a full-on bear hug to hiphop—both its beats and attitude—along the way. The duo of Paul Alcott and Matt Dabrowiak are patiently taking every step to make sure the insanely complicated music of Corporate Jet is just right, just for you; one mustn't rush these things. NL

MONDAY 4/5

Happy birthday to Kid 'n Play's Christopher "Kid" Reid. You are 46 years old.

TUESDAY 4/6

MURDER BY DEATH, HA HA TONKA, LINFINITY
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Good Morning, Magpie, the latest from the gothic guzzlers in Murder by Death, opens with "Kentucky Bourbon" and then transitions naturally to a song entitled "As Long as There Is Whiskey in the World." It's not a subtle message that this Indiana band (with a single Portlander, drummer Dagan Thogerson) is pouring, but when it comes to kissing the bottle and singing murder ballads, Magpie knows its rightful place. Snug between the Pogues and Nick Cave, the woeful world of Magpie is boozy and violent, where one goes from "shavin' with a knife" to challenging God to a round at the bar. It might not be the ideal way to live life, but it sure sounds cool in the context of a song. EAC

DOUBLEPLUSGOOD, CARS AND TRAINS
(The Woods, 6637 SE Milwaukie) Portland electro duo DoublePlusGood have "released" the second volume in their Heart Drive Crash EP series—meaning that they've left a bunch of copies in the free/flyer section of some of their favorite hangouts and record stores. Like its predecessor, Heart Drive Crash Vol. 2 is intended just to be a fun sketchbook of tracks they've been working on as they prep their full-length for release. And it doesn't contain anything earth shattering, but is all the more enjoyable for its casual breeziness, particularly in the pretty melodies of "I Neon What You Want" and the mashup of Prince's "I Would Die 4 U" with work-in-progress "Something Else." DoublePlusGood is hoping to have a new installment in the series every month until the album is done; meanwhile, they're getting better and better at the remix game, and their own songs are shaping up nicely. NL

WEDNESDAY 4/7

AH HOLLY FAM'LY, GHOST TO FALCO, BILLYGOAT, GREY ANNE
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See My, What a Busy Week!

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