Up & Coming 

TALKDEMONIC, Doug Fir, 5/8

TALKDEMONIC, Doug Fir, 5/8

THURSDAY 5/6

SOUTHERLY, SUPER XX MAN, SOFT TAGS

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See Music.

AAN, Y LA BAMBA, THE SLAVES

(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Aan started off as Bud Wilson's solo project Amor Ad Nauseum, and it's now a trio that straddles a huge array of styles with amazing diversity. Their first official release is the brand-new EP I Could Be Girl for You, out now on Infinite Front, and none of the songs resemble one another, other than that each is the result of a confident, capable band testing its limits—and happily not finding them. "Heart Is the Ocean" is strikingly energetic, with eerie whistling and Wilson's high-pitched vocals leading a speedy waltz and a circling guitar figure. Meanwhile, "For Mable" shifts its shape through a few different movements, juggling loud and soft passages easily, and "Sunday" has a backwoods blues-swamp vibe butting up against a tinned drumbeat and what sounds like a harpsichord. It's all terrific, and in five songs Aan have proved that they're weird, and great, and confusing, and entirely worth listening to. NED LANNAMANN

YOUR CANVAS, SOAP COLLECTORS

(The Parlour, 2628 SE Powell) Meow Meow, the Hush, Grape Drink, Food Hole, Solid State... the list of defunct all-ages clubs in Portland is startling, especially when compared to the longevity of their boozy brethren, the bar venue. Age-restricted clubs seldom close up shop, but few ventures are more doomed to fail in this town than the all-ages showspace. With their cozy confines and mustachioed logo, the Parlour has been struggling to keep their head above water as of late and will shut down by the end of this month unless they raise some much-needed capital. Tonight's "Save the Moustache" benefit show intends to do just that, which will hopefully assist the Parlour in avoiding a fate that has claimed so many previous all-ages spaces in town. EZRA ACE CARAEFF

LUPE FIASCO, B.O.B., DOSAGE

(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) As a recording artist, Lupe Fiasco spent most of last year engaged in an intricate game of bait and switch, grandly announcing impending releases—the three-CD LupE.N.D., the one-disc Great American Rap Album—before shelving/postponing each one. Lucky for all, Fiasco's sole 2009 release—the free mixtape Enemy of the State—was a complete delight, gathering sharp-as-his-best lyrics over 22 minutes of wonderful music, from Radiohead's "The National Anthem" to Timbaland and Drake's "Say Something." Tonight Fiasco brings his endlessly ambitious self to town, with support from hot-poop newcomer B.o.B. and Philadelphia rapper Dosage. DAVID SCHMADER Also see My, What a Busy Week!

HEARTLESS BASTARDS, HACIENDA, AMY COOK

(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) Heartless Bastards sound as if they were yanked from 1971 and dumped into our modern, dystopian, iPod-obsessed world. Of course, there are many bands that recall the days of black-light posters, lava lamps, T. Rex, and Blue Cheer, but the Bastards sound like they truly live it—at the very least, completely own it. Frontwoman Erika Wennerstrom's voice says it all—deep throated, strong, and vulnerable. So does her guitar, which drags heavy and warm amid the clatter of drums, bass, and the occasional fiddle and banjo. Heartless Bastards' third LP—the aptly titled The Mountain—is less raw than the band's previous work, but still retains plenty of barroom grit... which, heard in an actual bar, might make you forget what year it is. MARK LORE

TITLE TRACKS, BLUNT MECHANIC, INCREDIBLE YACHT CONTROL

(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) Not deliberately, mind you, but I have been on John Davis' trail for about a dozen years now. At first, he was just another fellow fanzine kid (if obscure music zines are worth anything, I am sitting on a goldmine of Held Like Sound back issues), then he graduated to the fantastic post-punk Dischorders in Q and Not U. Following their demise, he resurfaced once more with the underappreciated co-ed pop outfit George James. That band in particular seemed to be on their way out following a less-than-spirited performance at the Artistery two years back, but now Davis has returned with Title Tracks. The band offers Davis a proper vehicle for his tightly wound pop songs—comparisons to a less jittery Ted Leo would be apt—and the band just wrapped up a series of dates (with the aforementioned Leo) in support of their It Was Easy full-length. EAC

TRANSIENT, ORGANIZED SPORTS,

ARTERIAL SPRAY

(Branx, 320 SE 2nd) Listen to one of Transient's viciously blistering metal tracks and you will wonder what sort of creature is singing into the mic. These throat-shredding howls and screeches could emit from man or woman, a human or otherworldly entity. A little research will show you that it is in fact Krysta Martinez, a petite powerhouse who hails from Flagstaff, Arizona. The band as a whole channels discontent and despair into lyrical pleas full of naturalistic imagery (like "savage talons" and "parasites") alongside grinding, tightly wound metal that rattles the bones. With multiple releases and several West Coast tours since forming in 2007, Transient has, contrary to their name, formed quite a home base in our fair city. If you want to still hear at the end of the night, bring earplugs. MARANDA BISH

HALEY BONAR, THE LOWER 48

(The Woods, 6637 SE Milwaukie) I'm not saying Portland needs to enact its very own SB1070 law aimed at Minnesotans, but the Twin Cities' influx of relocated musicians is gaining momentum. First the charismatic Haley Bonar blazed a trail west, bringing along her stellar bedroom folk music. She'll be debuting new material tonight, in her first headlining gig in quite some time. The Lower 48 soon followed Bonar's lead, taking with them a solid debut EP entitled Everywhere to Go and a bright future. While you are captivated by the wondrous sounds of these transplants, I'll be diligently building a wall between Portland and Minneapolis, because at this rate, a statue of Kirby Puckett will replace "Portlandia" before we know it. (Does this make me the only Minuteman to actually listen to the Minutemen?) EAC

FRIDAY 5/7

JONATHAN RICHMAN

(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) See My, What a Busy Week!

THE BESNARD LAKES, JULIE DOIRON, HOLLERADO

(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) See Music.

GROUNDATION, ORGONE

(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) Big, multiracial LA ensemble Orgone have put in long, intense hours studying funk, soul, and Afrobeat in order to distill their essences into jams that make large crowds happy and sweaty. But not only are they master technicians of these styles, they also convey a passion for them that translates into original compositions and covers that convince you that, if they were alive, James Brown, Otis Redding, and Fela Kuti would be Orgone fans. Sonoma, California's Groundation are similarly big and multiracial, but traffic in reggae with utmost reverence for Jamaica's best-known sonic export. Male and female singers emote with smooth soulfulness over bubbling skanks that will be familiar and welcome to anyone who's seen a Bob Marley poster, puffed ganja, or earnestly harvested dreadlocks. DAVE SEGAL

SATURDAY 5/8

JONATHAN RICHMAN

(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) See My, What a Busy Week!

ST. JOHNS BIZARRE: EXPLODE INTO COLORS, PIERCED ARROWS, LEWI LONGMIRE BAND, & MORE

(St. Johns Plaza, N Lombard & Philadelphia) See My, What a Busy Week!

DEBASER, SANDPEOPLE, GRAY MATTERS, ANIMAL FARM, Z

(Satyricon, 125 NW 6th) See Music.

MUSICARES BENEFIT: TALKDEMONIC, IOA

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) When touring bands roll their vans on black ice, are diagnosed with expensive-to-treat diseases, or are in desperate need of assistance, MusiCares is who they turn to. A portion of this show's door will make sure that nonprofit MusiCares keeps offering their medical safety net to musicians in dire need. Speaking of need, we need a new Talkdemonic record. Thankfully the duo of Lisa Molinaro and Kevin O'Connor return from their lengthy absence and will use tonight's show to offer a glimpse of material from their upcoming full-length. Speaking of bands that need to release a record, they'll be joined by IOA, the wonderful project of Point Juncture, WA's Amanda Spring. EAC

DOSH, WHITE HINTERLAND, CARS AND TRAINS

(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) What's in a song? According to Dosh, whatever you want. The Minneapolis musician—whose birth name is Martin Luther King Chavez Dosh; somebody name a boulevard after this guy—isn't concerned with melody and harmony as much as pure texture, letting the timbres and beats create a circumlocution of sound that functions as abstract canvas just as much as pure ear candy. His new album is entitled Tommy, and it's a heady double-disc rock opera about a mute, sightless boy who plays a competitive round of pinball... oh no, sorry, it is not about that. In fact, it's not about anything. It's a pure celebration of sound, no concept necessary. NL

EMBERS, CULL, SQUALORA, MURDERESS

(Plan B, 1305 SE 8th) There's currently a handful of bands coming out of the Bay Area that are taking black metal's vibe and leading it down strange, creative paths. Embers, hailing from Oakland, incorporate a classically trained pianist, a viola, and some crusty Amebix-style darkness into their particular brand of black metal. The extra instrumentation makes their songs sound orchestral, and create a somber dread. Crossed with thick guitar riffs and high and low vocals, the band builds an atmosphere that feels like a warning of impending doom. And with song titles like "Wrath," "War," and "Awakening," maybe they know something we don't. ARIS WALES

SUNDAY 5/9

HOSANNAS, TU FAWNING, AH HOLLY FAM'LY

(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) See My, What a Busy Week!

HURRICANE BELLS, HELLO ELECTRIC

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Longwave's Steve Schiltz has kicked off his solo career as Hurricane Bells with debut album Tonight Is the Ghost, a somewhat mopey singer/songwriter record that he recorded by himself on a laptop. Hurricane Bells has already found itself a slot on the New Moon soundtrack, and there's little on Tonight Is the Ghost that would offend either radio programmers or the compilers of teen vampire movie soundtracks. The record's best moment is "Crocodile," a brief one-minute instrumental that finds common ground between the soaring guitar from the Top Gun soundtrack and back-porch acoustic strumming and whistling. The rest of Ghost isn't nearly as weird, or as good. NL

MONDAY 5/10

MONO, THE TWILIGHT SAD

(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) See My, What a Busy Week!

SWIM SWAM SWUM, THE SHONDES, HORNET LEG, CAT FANCY

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Nostalgia can be a double-edged sword in music; for every fan drawn to the familiar, there are plenty who have no time for a band that wears its influences so proudly. Swim Swam Swum clearly benefits from paying homage to a sound that has only now just entered the history books. That the Portland trio sound like Superchunk and Sunny Day Real Estate is a fact, but I've missed those bands (yeah, yeah, they're kinda still together, but you know what I mean). Circumpolar Westerlies wasn't the most original debut album I heard last year, but it was definitely one of the most welcome. DAVE BOW

TUESDAY 5/11

FUCKED UP, BURNING LEATHER, ABANDON, DR. LOOMIS

(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) See My, What a Busy Week!

THE TALLEST MAN ON EARTH, NURSES

(Mission Theater, 1624 NW Glisan) See Music.

STARFUCKER, WAMPIRE, XDS (EARLY SHOW); STARFUCKER, STRENGTH, XDS, DJ COPY (LATE SHOW)

(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Boy, that was a rough few months, huh? Don't worry, it's all over now. Despite their name change to Pyramiddd, I never stopped thinking of Starfucker as Starfucker. Did you? No, right? Anyway, they're back to Starfucker now—for good, hopefully—and we can put this whole unfortunate name-change business behind us. Starfucker is playing two shows tonight, the first being an early all-ages affair that is bound to be a bumpin' dance party, and the second a boozier 21-and-over affair. Also playing both shows is XDS, which used to be Experimental Dental School, but has since changed its name... has history taught us nothing? Actually, this is more a name shortening than a full-on switcheroo, like ELO or BTO or NIN. Just don't get them confused with XIC (Explode into Colors). NL

OWEN PALLETT, SNOWBLINK

(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) Owen Pallett's Heartland, his first record since dropping the copyright-fraught Final Fantasy alias, is a rare accomplishment: an album as easily enjoyable as it is eccentric and ambitious. Pallett dresses up pop songs in symphonic pomp and derails them with virtuosic experimentalism (the rapid arpeggios on "Midnight Directives" could be sequenced, but they could just be Pallett dexterously plucking a violin). The heartland in question is the fictional realm Spectrum, of which Pallett is sole deity; the album is sung from the perspective of an "ultra-violent farmer" named Lewis, who is trying to come to terms with Spectrum's creator—all of which is admittedly just an artful way for Pallett to sing about art, faith, and his own interior world (the land of his heart) anyway. If, like Lewis says, "this place is a narrative mess," you'd be forgiven for not noticing it in Pallett's beautiful, if perhaps not quite godlike, singing. ERIC GRANDY

WEDNESDAY 5/12

ANNUALS, THE MOST SERENE REPUBLIC, WHAT LAURA SAYS

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Well, they certainly sound serene. You could think of the Most Serene Republic, a Canadian collective with an ever-changing cast that records calmly sprawling indie pop for Arts & Crafts, as a less Broken (but also considerably less striking) Social Scene. On their most recent album, last year's ...And the Ever Expanding Universe, founding frontman Adrian Jewett and since-departed singer Emma Ditchburn sing soft-spoken male/female harmonies over busy, sputtering drums; layers of loose guitar strum; and occasional touches of strings, brass, keys, and banjo. If it all sounds rather familiar, perhaps it's because the record was produced by David Newfeld, who also worked on BSS's best-known efforts. It's all perfectly pleasant, sometimes sounding like a less conceptually concerned Sufjan Stevens; it's just not the most memorable republic. EG

EARTH CRISIS, FIRST BLOOD, THICK AS BLOOD

(Satyricon, 125 NW 6th) Not as depressing as that time Rick Ta Life played someone's rumpus room in Vancouver, Washington, the reunited shards of Earth Crisis come flexing through town following their lengthy—yet not long enough—split. The band's legendary sXe/vegan/vaguely pro-life (!) doctrine always seemed to overshadow their music, and rightfully so, since Earth Crisis' finer moments were few and far between, and instead the band primarily churned out dogmatic doses of a knuckle-dragging collision between metal and hardcore. Bored at work? Might I suggest viewing any number of their live videos—especially from exotic locales such as their hometown of Syracuse, New York—for a frightening glimpse of (unintentionally homoerotic) rampant thuggery that can rival anything that goes down with the clowns at the Gathering of the Juggalos. EAC

FREEDY JOHNSTON, JOHN VECCHIARELLI

(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) For many people, Freedy Johnston's name will forever be synonymous with his best and best-known record, 1992's Can You Fly, a still-breathtaking collection of power-pop melody and high-art lyricism that rightly set up expectations of greatness. Since then, Johnston's kept on trucking, making more of his well-wrought pop while patiently awaiting (or not) the success his talent deserves. In a perfect world, he would find himself at the center of one of those arbitrary Grammy storms that revolutionized the life of Bonnie Raitt. In our world, Johnston's touring in support of his newest release on Bar/None Records, Rain on the City. DS

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