Up & Coming 

STARS 
Aladdin Theater, 6/17

STARS
Aladdin Theater, 6/17

THURSDAY 6/17

Music in the Schools Benefit: Sandpeople, Atole, Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band, Blue Horns

(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) See My, What a Busy Week!

Kathy Foster's A Few of My Favorite Things: Y la Bamba, Love Always, STLS, E*Rock, DJ Magic Beans

(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See My, What a Busy Week!

Bob Desper, Al James, Michael Hurley

(The Woods, 6637 SE Milwaukie) See Music.

Stars, Dead Child Star

(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) We were all hooked when we first heard that ominous opening refrain of "When there is nothing left to burn you have to set yourself on fire," and ever since those first chilling seconds of Set Yourself on Fire, few pop acts have proved as worthy as Stars. Since that moment, this unassuming quintet has compiled a series of stellar recordings—In Our Bedroom After the War, the Sad Robots EP—all leading up to the forthcoming The Five Ghosts. Their foundation—the intertwined co-ed voices of Torquil Campbell and Amy Millan—remains unchanged, and while Ghosts passes through the crushing highs and lows of their past few releases, it also marks a return to the bouncy keyboard pop the band absolutely perfected on Set Yourself on Fire—see lead single "Fixed" for proof of this. Other highlights from Ghosts include "I Died So I Could Haunt You," an emotional gusher with lyrical dramatics that even the Moz would approve of, and "The Last Song Ever Written," which just might be the band's most sullen ballad. That is really saying a lot. EZRA ACE CARAEFF

LORDS, CHRISTIAN MISTRESS, DEATHCHARGE

(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) Every note that comes from Lords is optimally designed to make you say, "Fuck... yessssss." With speed-damaged punk-metal songs that pass in the blink of an eye, the Louisville, Kentucky, band makes Southern hardcore that's full of bile, but Chris Owens' lung-ripping shouts usually sound more playful than outraged. With the sheer power of a bulldozer, they've paved over the lame-brained hardcore and dopey metal squealing of countless inferior bands. Lords' history is a ribald string of lewdness that includes homoerotic album artwork, the punching out of band members, and a tiny bit of pee on the audience—totally not their fault, the band insists—but their real legacy is the intricate architecture of their riffs, in which drums, guitar, and human shrieks are artfully put together to make the finest chaos possible. NED LANNAMANN

THE Brian Jonestown Massacre, Federale

(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) He may be notorious for mental instability, for losing band members left, right, and center, and for label-jumping with abandon, but Brian Jonestown Massacre leader Anton Newcombe has forged a sonically consistent career over the last 17 years. This megalomaniac reveres 1960s rock, devoting his life to capturing the spirit, sound, fashion, and songwriting tropes of that era with a fundamentalist zeal. Newcombe and his retro-activist bandmates succeed in spinning countless variations on psych-, garage-, and drone-rock patterns; they've got it down to a science—and an art. Everything's vividly familiar if you're immersed in the same scenes as BJM, but the derivativeness is presented with such precision and passion, (almost) all is forgiven. Onstage, watch the nonchalant showboating of tambourine/maraca shaker Joel Gion and prepare for a Newcombe rant or punch at any moment. DAVE SEGAL

Run DMT, Blissed Out, Chrome Wings

(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) Just a quick glance at his album titles—including Bong Voyage and Get Ripped or Die Trying—and you know that Mike Collins, also known as Run DMT, loves him some weed. His collections of blown-out, tropical bedroom electronica cobble together and condense different influences into brief, hazy audio nugs—sort of like your stoner friend playing you 30-second clips of all his favorite records. And before you go thinking that this show will be one really stoned dude and a sampler, Run DMT has enlisted a drummer to accompany his live loops, guitar, and vocals, giving new energy and urgency to his psychedelic, dream-glitch sound collages. ETHAN JAYNE

Bob Log III, Cicada Omega

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Oh hey, Bob Log III, One-Man Band. What's new with you? You still evidently love boobs and scotch, and ceremoniously introducing fine ladies to both your left and right leg onstage. Your trademark helmet, complete with telephone-microphone, hasn't left your head in God knows how long, plus your skintight jumpsuit—preferably gold or bedazzled black—is still your garment of choice. It's good to know that some things never change. We won't recommend you toss any glasses at Bob tonight, as was the tradition in his earlier, more raucous days, but instead just revel in the ridiculous anonymity that such a persona allows, and never cease to be amazed at the sound this guy makes with only two hands and two feet: filthy, frantic Delta blues, brought to you by a man who is truly out of this world. MARANDA BISH

FRIDAY 6/18

THE WOODS' One-Year Anniversary: Mike Coykendall, Pancake Breakfast, Ash Reiter

(The Woods, 6637 SE Milwaukie) See My, What a Busy Week!

Truckasauras, Head Like a Kite, Smoosh, The Kindness Kind

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) After they recover from the shock of getting a penny back on a 99-cent purchase, or the sheer joy of not pumping their own gas, four diverse Seattle acts will showcase their stuff for us slack-jawed Oregonians. Head Like a Kite might be the most underrated act in the Pacific Northwest, a genre-blurring duo that incorporates outside vocals (contributors include Her Space Holiday's Marc Bianchi, Saturday Knights' MC Tilson, and plenty more) and have such a following up north that they even have a blend of coffee named in their honor. Meanwhile, since it's been awhile, let us check back in on Smoosh. Yup, still adorable. Sisters Asya and Chloe are now both officially teenagers, which means in addition to piloting their own tour vehicle, they'll have more time to spend promoting their upcoming full-length—and follow-up to 2006's giddy Free to StayThe World's Not Bad. Let us not take sides in an Emerald City versus Stumptown battle, since if the past has taught us anything, all these bands will probably be living in Portland soon enough. EAC

Hillstomp, Yogoman Burning Band, Sassparilla

(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) Portland junk-blues duo Hillstomp celebrates the release of their third full-length album, Darker the Night, at tonight's show. In some regards, they've come a long way from their early days as a guitar and bucket combo—percussionist John Johnson has added some more drums to his kit, guitarist Henry Kammerer branches out with rapid-strum Appalachian banjo—but their statement of purpose is clearer and more direct than ever. Joining together blues, punk, bluegrass, and some more dirty blues by means of sticky tar and rusty nails, Hillstomp makes boot-stompin' music for those who don't mind a little slide guitar or washboard rattle—or the side effects of some 100-proof rotgut whiskey. NL

Emeralds, Black Wizard, Burning Leather, DARK BLACK

(East End, 203 SE Grand) Any band that plays straight-ahead, punk-driven rock and roll is influenced by Motörhead to some degree. Burning Leather seem to have found a forgotten demo tape at Lemmy's rummage sale and are passing its songs off as their own. The band is talented and their tunes are rocking, but so is Overkill. Black Wizard and Emeralds aren't exactly fanning the flames of innovation either. Both sling throwback heavy rock with never-ending harmonized riffs, quivering guitar solos, and psychedelic lyrics filled with mysticism and drug references. While these bands are all very skilled, if you're not looking to mindlessly pump your fist and feel the energy of a rock show, you'd be better off staying home and listening to Bomber. ARIS WALES

ELLA STREET SOCIAL CLUB One-Year Anniversary: LES ETRANGERS, Ezra Carey, DJ ELECTRO

(Ella Street Social Club, 714 SW 20th Place) Hey, Ella Street, it's your birthday. A year ago today, give or take, you swung open the doors to the former Towne Lounge space, thus rescuing it from its rumored fate—soulless cubicles and office space. To celebrate a year of intimate shows and cheap drinks, you are giving us, well, an intimate show and cheap(er) drinks. In addition to PBR for a buck, you'll get a set from Les Etrangers, local troubadour Ezra Carey, plus something billed as "surprised special guests." I hope those guests aren't too surprised to play. EAC

SATURDAY 6/19

Blow Pony Bash Back: Christeene, Logan Lynn, Kaj-Anne Pepper, Boy Joy, & MORE

(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) See My, What a Busy Week!

And And And, The Beautiful Train Wrecks, Or the Whale, The Lower 48

(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) See Music.

SHELLSHAG, WAMPIRE, GOLDEN HOURS

(East End, 203 SE Grand) The pair responsible for seminal San Francisco performing arts space Starcleaners are also responsible for Shellshag, a chomping garage duo whose latest album, Rumors in Disguise, is like a mixtape of the best of '90s underground rock compiled by your coolest friend from college. Shellshag, now based in Brooklyn, makes the most out of a sparse palette consisting of Johnny Shell's fuzzed-out guitar, Jen Shag's minimal toms-and-snare setup, and the pair's dueling vocals. There are moments of tossed-aside, carefree punk next to guitar grandeur, and the discovery that the band's rougher edges—there are plenty, and they are charming—are harnessed by their unerring sense of melody. As much as their sound lovingly evokes '90s indie rock, there's just as much likelihood that Shellshag's own tunes will be as fondly recounted in decades to come. NL

Drag the River, I Can Lick Any Sonofabitch In The House, Dry County Crooks

(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) First off, I need to get something off my chest: Years back, when my job at this paper involved pixels not pens, I designed a listings ad for the Ash Street Saloon where I accidentally misspelled I Can Lick Any Sonofabitch in the House as I Can Like Any Sonofabitch in the House. I pray the band didn't catch this guffaw, but if they did, my apologies for unintentionally sweetening up their moniker. Their first recording in over three years, The Sounds of Dying is exactly what you'd expect from the volume-pushing, liver-punishing I Can Lick crew. Frontman Michael Dean Damron has that wounded Patterson Hood rasp, a hard-living voice propped up by whiskey and pulled down by regret. While the band earns their keep with fuck-you-let's-fight numbers like "Bad Days Ahead," their best moments come in slower-paced, mournful ballads like "Montana" and "Ghost," proving that even the toughest of barroom brawlers need to take it easy from time to time. EAC

FINN RIGGINS, HOSANNAS, EMPTY SPACE ORCHESTRA

(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) We were very sorry to have missed Tender Loving Empire's recent birthday party at the Wonder Ballroom—the Mercury's 10-year anniversary bash fell on the same night—but thankfully, after giving us plenty of time to shake off our hangovers, two of TLE's best bands return for a rousing Saturday night show. Finn Riggins might be the hardest-touring band in the biz, clocking more time on the road than off, and the Idaho trio comes through Portland so often they almost seem like a local band. Despite their prolificacy, their energetic pop-rock never wears out its welcome. Hosannas, meanwhile, are working on the follow-up to their excellent Song Force Crystal album and are still riding high on the recent Hush Records reissue of their early material. This is Hosannas' homecoming show after a tour that kicked off with a surprisingly sparsely attended goodbye show at Backspace in May. That show was excellent. Don't miss this one. NL

Wang Chung, Hello Morning

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) It's kind of sad that Wang Chung are embracing their place in history as an '80s novelty act just as the last embers of the '80s revival fizzle away. The British duo is touring in support of their first album of new material in 20 years, Abducted By the '80s, a double-disc recording that's half farcical new material and half inessential re-recordings where they once again demand that everybody have fun, and/or Wang Chung, tonight. But Nick Feldman and Jack Hues used to be capable of so much more. Like Ric Ocasek, Hues was once a vocalist who could infuse the self-awareness and artificiality of '80s new wave with a poignancy that has proved surprisingly hard to duplicate in the years since, both by imitators and the band itself. They may never release something as moving as "Dance Hall Days" or "Hypnotize Me" again, but Wang Chung were once more than even they seem to realize. DAVE BOW

THE WOODS' One-Year Anniversary: Monarques, Black Whales, Pink Widower

(The Woods, 6637 SE Milwaukie) Night two of the anniversary for this former corpse shack—er, onetime respected funeral home—carries on with an excellent lineup of local talent. Monarques are sitting on a goldmine of dazzling vintage pop songs, but with only an all-too-brief EP to their name, they need to roll tape on their debut full-length as soon as humanly possible. With a growing fanbase including hip tastemaker Garrison Keillor, plus any Portlander that has crossed paths with their enchantingly refined sound, Monarques are primed for great things. Here's hoping that record comes before the Woods' second anniversary. EAC

Kid Crash, X's for I's, OLD HIGHWAY

(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) Throughout Gravity Wins Again, the rigid post-punk fury generated by local quartet X's for I's comes in furious doses of yelped vocals and unmalleable guitar work. There is a definite similarity to the underappreciated Hal al Shedad here, as the X's for I's crew tears through nine complex songs with a raw fiery urgency, plus some production assistance from local super-producer Skyler Norwood. Tonight's show is acting as the official release for Gravity Wins Again, so lay off the Old German and pinball long enough to pick yourself up a copy. EAC

SUNDAY 6/20

Matmos, So Percussion, Lexie Mountain Boys

(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See My, What a Busy Week!

The Psychedelic Furs, She Wants Revenge

(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) Upon their early-'80s US debut, the Psychedelic Furs were lumped with 1,001 "new wave" bands I have zero interest in hearing today. (Have you tried listening to Heaven 17 lately? Terrible.) But the Furs' holy trinity—1980's arty The Psychedelic Furs, 1981's punky Talk Talk Talk, 1982's lush Forever Now—have only become more beloved as the years pass. Chalk it up to the aforementioned artiness, punkiness, and lushness, and the eternally compelling clash of Richard Butler's sneering sexiness and his band's pop-art racket. Opening the show: California dance-rock duo She Wants Revenge. DAVID SCHMADER

Mattress, ASSS, Alaskas, Haunted Horses

(Valentine's, 232 SW Ankeny) In addition to sharing tonight's bill and a penchant for the letter S, Mattress and ASSS are two local acts who share a predilection for the stylings of the Smiths. Mattress' Rex Marshall is a solo performer bent on Moz-esque self-aggrandizement, and two-piece ASSS describe themselves as "the Smiths, but with only drums and oscillators." Mattress is renowned for his torch-song lyrical delivery over grinding electric guitar or disconnected synths, having the same effect on listeners as a ride on the Gravitron—you may be left plastered to the wall. ASSS' allegiance to the Smiths may be more tongue in cheek, but pop tendencies can be detected under the droning, tribal-psychedelic permutations they put out. MB

MONDAY 6/21

A Place to Bury Strangers, Light Pollution, THE GLOBES

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

No Babies, Stag Bitten, Terraform, Hawnay Troof

(Ducketts Public House, 825 N Killingsworth) Don't bother looking for Portland's best new release in a record store. The most vital, consistently awe-inspiring sounds of our city have not yet been made available to purchase, and anyone who has ever been born again in the sweaty, basement-thrash bliss of a Stag Bitten performance will tell you as much. Eschewing the conventional "write-record-sell" model, Stag Bitten have spent the last two years releasing their music one shitstorm of a live show at a time. Despite the lack of a recorded debut, they continue to blow minds and hold their live audiences rapt, doing so, most importantly, on their own terms. EJ

Brokencyde, Jeffree Star, Blood on the Dance Floor, Stereos, Pink Noise

(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) We have two words for you: emo crunk. That is all.

TUESDAY 6/22

Sharon Jones AND The Dap-Kings, The Heavy

(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) See Music.

TINARIWEN, DUSU MALI BAND, DJ GLOBALRUCKUS

(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) To fully understand the story of Tinariwen, you must also know the long history of the Tuareg, a nomadic desert tribe in northern Mali who were marginalized by their country's government for decades. The members of Tinariwen have lived through two Tuareg uprisings, a period as refugee soldiers in Qaddafi's Libyan army, and many years of obscurity and poverty as musicians. Tinariwen, however, have since gained a global ear and well-deserved acclaim for their unique music; they've become the figureheads of what is referred to as "assouf" music, a kind of Saharan, guitar-based blues that feels as rootless and free as the desert wind. Tinariwen founder Ibrahim Ag Alhabib built his first guitar out of a stick, a can, and a piece of wire taken from a bicycle, and his playing still has that same ingenuity all these years later. NL Also see My, What a Busy Week!

WEDNESDAY 6/23

WE LIKE CATS, ROB WALMART, STAG HARE, SELECTOR DUB NARCOTIC

(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Proper Eats, the debut album from We Like Cats, has been described as "a dub reggae-inspired, cat-themed, psychedelic jammin' summertime record." Before you flee in terror from the many, many red flags that description raises, you should know that We Like Cats is actually Adam Forkner of White Rainbow, Honey Owens of Valet and Miracles Club, and Eva Salens of Inca Ore. The album, recorded at the Marriage Records studio over two days last summer, is definitely dub-influenced, with wiggling basslines buried under bits of day-glo sparkle, airhorn sirens, and Scotchgard-huffing brain damage. If the name We Like Cats—not to mention the titles of some of the songs ("Meow Hear Me Roar," anyone?)—doesn't tell you that this is a goof, the somewhat annoying music should let you know loud and clear. Meanwhile, the mobile synth-dance party wagon of Rob Walmart will be parked outside, waking up the neighbors and celebrating the release of his new triple album Everybody Hurts. NL

Kurt Hagardorn, Blake Mackey, Prairie

(Ella Street Social Club, 714 SW 20th Place) Kurt Hagardorn's Leaves is an utterly charming, yet not entirely life-changing, recording from this North Carolina transplant. Your palatability for Leaves will depend on how much you cling to the local singer/songwriter's warm voice and penchant for pop hooks, both of which come to him with a natural ease. "Only a Dream" has a pleasant late-era Teenage Fanclub pace to it, deliberately unfurling slowly over the course of the song to reveal a lovely chorus to some sort of sleepwalked waltz. Hagardorn has equal success with the lovestruck "Blow Away" and the album's sprawling closing number "Be Peaceful." While it would have been nice to hear more musical risks from the talented Hagardorn, Leaves demonstrates that even the simplest of songs can resonate in countless ways. EAC

Lou Barlow, Sarah Jaffe, John Vecchiarelli

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) At 43, Lou Barlow has a ridiculously prolific discography (under various guises) to his credit, and he's recently reunited with Dinosaur Jr., not just to tour on their laurels, but to record new material that stands up alongside the best of the band's back catalog. He's stayed predictably productive on his own as well. Barlow's latest full-length, last year's Goodnight Unknown on Merge, sounds humble and home-recorded, cleaner and calmer than his most notable mid-'90s work. It's mostly just Barlow singing and playing acoustic guitar, although he's aided on some tracks by friends like Dale Crover of the Melvins and Imaad Wasif, and the songs here display his usual penchant for pop melody and bared lyricism without any obstinate, noisy hurdles. A new digital EP with backing band the Missingmen, Sentridoh III, dials up the fuzz and clamor on both new songs and reworks of numbers from Goodnight Unknown and 2005's Emoh; the band describes it as an "almost live representation" of their live show. EG

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