PERFUME GENIUS, BRIGHT ARCHER
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) See Music, pg. 19.
THE CALEB KLAUDER BAND WITH JESSE LÉGE AND JOEL SAVOY
(Spare Room, 4830 NE 42nd) The impeccable credentials of Caleb Klauder's whip-tight country band have never been in question for a second; their excellent, just-released Western Country album revisits the sounds of '50s and '60s country with authentic thump and twang. So now that Klauder's band has teamed up with Cajun accordionist/singer Jesse Lége and fiddler Joel Savoy, they can add the sounds of the bayou to their masterful repertoire. Like the truest Cajun music, this collaboration plays timeless dancehall tunes in a boozy, spicy two-step. Lége's vocals, sung in Cajun French, have all the careworn sound of a lifetime of honky-tonk Saturday nights and churchgoing Sunday mornings, while Klauder's agile band cracks and strums behind. Forget the DJs and the drink specials—this is going to be the best dance party of the week. NED LANNAMANN
THE VERY BEST, WARPAINT, ZOLA JESUS
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See My, What a Busy Week!, pg. 17, and Music, pg. 19.
DREW GROW AND THE PASTORS' WIVES, FENCES, THE HEAD AND THE HEART
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) See Music, pg. 20.
TENDER FOREVER, JOEY CASIO, SELECTOR DUB NARCOTIC
(Kennedy School, 5736 NE 33rd) Many Portlanders got their first earful and eyeful of Melanie Valera last week at PICA's Time Based Art festival, in which Valera—as Tender Forever—concocted a high-tech show with a huge array special effects including green screen, an iPad necklace, and a fake Skype chat with Beyoncé. It'll be interesting to see the France-born, Portland-residing Valera relatively stripped of these high-tech accoutrements. Tonight's show will put emphasis on Valera's comic onstage persona (a gag that makes biting fun of the typically over-inflated egos of pop stars) and Tender Forever's warmly melodic electro-pop songs, like those on the recent K Records release No Snare. K hosts tonight's "Zip-Pak Party," showcasing the label's new online MP3 subscription series, along with Joey Casio and Selector Dub Narcotic—the DJ alter ego of K Records founder Calvin Johnson. NL
CHRIS ROBLEY AND THE FEAR OF HEIGHTS, THE ALIALUJAH CHOIR
(Secret Society, 116 NE Russell) The knock on Chris Robley was always that he was more songwriter than singer. Robley's gift with the pen always seemed to overshadow his recorded output, which isn't necessarily a bad thing—most of his peers should be envious of such a gift—just confirmation of the man's prowess for creating effortless prose. This all changes with Ghosts' Menagerie, the most ambitious recording from Robley and his backing band, the Fear of Heights. Breezy opening number "The Charango Song" (named for the South American stringed instrument that highlights the track) lays a foundation that Robley continues to build upon with heavily structured rock songs ("Andalucian Pines"), swelling orchestral numbers ("Half Awake, Half Asleep"), plus the obligatory barren acoustic ballads ("Ghosts"). It took four recordings, but Ghosts' Menagerie is a glimpse at Robley at his very best. EZRA ACE CARAEFF
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Any music journalist who's locked horns (tangled hair?) with Buzz Osborne knows the Melvins frontman does not give a fuck about anything—you, me, he, she, it, or them. But he does care about his band. Perhaps it's why the Melvins are heading into their third decade, outlasting most of their peers and probably a few cockroaches as well. It doesn't hurt that King Buzzo and longtime crony/drummer Dale Crover keep reinventing the band, while staying true to the sludgy mess they made back in 1983(!). The Melvins steamroll through more psychedelic metal on their latest LP The Bride Screamed Murder with some help from the kids in Big Business, who brought some extra heavy mettle to their last two records. And as the Melvins get louder, and as Osborne's hair gets bigger and his disposition more cantankerous, there appears to be no end in sight. MARK LORE
GRAY MATTERS, TxE, NOTION, DIEZEL P, ATLAS
(Satyricon, 125 NW 6th) Gray Matters is a hiphop trio that features Portland battle rap vet The End (AKA Mr. Mr) and DJ Nykon, while Seattle emcee Introspective, whose baritone bark resembles a more grounded Aesop Rock, rounds out the squad. Their debut album, Intelligent Decline, dropped in 2008 and featured guest turns from local heavyweights including Illmaculate, Sapient, and Mo-B from the Sandpeople crew. Despite some intermittent live shows in the interim, Gray Matters have been quiet on the recording tip lately, and here's hoping tonight's show is a sign of more things to come on that front. Local trio TxE—featuring Tope, Epp, and producer G_Force—have been grinding hard this year and I know for a fact that they're currently hunkered down working on some new material. Peep this rare, all-ages, back-to-the-future insight of PDX hiphop. RYAN FEIGH
GOLD CODE, JON GILLHAM, MUTOR SOUNDSYSTEM, SERGIO GREGORI, AUDIOELECTRONIC , DJ Craig
(BC's, 2433 SE Powell) Portland is not exactly well known for its minimal tech-house scene. There are some talented local DJs who champion the deep and sexy sound, plus some occasional interest in touring acts, but that's the extent of it. That could all be changing with the launch of Nude Photo Music. With only a handful of releases, the newish Portland record label has curated an impressive stable of international talent and attracted support from prominent producers in Europe and beyond. The defining sound of the label is warm and melodic, regularly spiked with touches of dubby techno and electro as well. Tonight's showcase celebrates recent releases with a sampling of the label's top artists, including San Francisco's Gold Code, Miami's Sergio Gregori, and Portland's very own Audioelectronic (AKA Gustavo Lanzas, Nude Photo's founder). Not on the bill is the collection of skilled local producers who have contributed remixes and, combined with better-known remixers like Swayzak and John Selway, could just put Portland on the map as a source for soulful house music. AVA HEGEDUS
SCHOOL OF ROCK PERFORMS DETHKLOK
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) See My, What a Busy Week!, pg. 17.
PANCAKE BREAKFAST, ON THE STAIRS, TRIP THE DARK FANTASTIC
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) The best breakfasts have a lot more variety than just a quick slice of burnt toast or some soggy cereal. And no one knows this better than local hootenanny horde Pancake Breakfast, whose loveably goofy music doesn't fit neatly into a single category. The band's newly released, self-titled debut full-length album features guitar crunch ("Jakebrake"), oom-pah waltzes ("Balloon in the Sky"), creeping-vine lounge ("Trouble"), and unspeakably silly sing-alongs ("¿Who Is Wearing Pants?"). The nine-member outfit is led by Mike Midlo, who sings like a charming, slightly dotty schoolteacher, and all members sing together for a crunchy-granola, barnyard ball. The band is planning to film music videos for every tune on Pancake Breakfast, and the first one for "Pedro Infante" features Midlo mournfully singing, "I'm the saddest man in town." Don't believe him for a second. NL
DEAKIN, PRINCE RAMA, ETERNAL TAPESTRY
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) How can you lose when you record your album in Kurt Vonnegut's grandson's cabin and a 135-year-old haunted church, with Animal Collective's Avey Tare, Deakin, and the Present's Rusty Santos at the controls? We don't even need to mention the Hare Krishna commune upbringing, do we? No. Prince Rama sound like a zeitgeisty culmination of the new American underground's fascination with mysticism—portentous chants, wailing in tongues, and all—come to blazing, bizarre fruition. A ritualistic seriousness, thunderous drums, and cavernous reverb color Prince Rama's Shadow Temple, their new album on AC's Paw Tracks imprint. If while this is playing you don't feel like you're tripping nads in a Far East Asian house of worship, you should have your psychedelic bona fides revoked. DAVE SEGAL
LOCAL NATIVES, THE LOVE LANGUAGE, UNION LINE
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) Local Natives struck it big this year with their middle-of-the-road, California-sunburn indie-rock distillation, but their music is a total snooze. Having comprehensively assimilated each of their (perfectly tasteful) influences, the band has forgotten to add anything new to the equation. Listening to their debut, Gorilla Manor, has all the lasting emotional impact of thumbing through an IKEA catalog—you might find something that unobtrusively matches today's lifestyle, sure, but next season's catalog is going to drop in your mailbox before too much longer. The good news, then, is that the Love Language is also on tonight's bill; their debut self-titled album, released on Portland label Bladen County, was a trove of lo-fi gold, and the band's bigger-than-life, celebratory live shows see the band reaching for nothing short of transcendence. The Love Language's new album Libraries, out on Merge, contains a significantly sleeker sound but no shortage of swinging for the fences. NL
LODUBS SHOWCASE: CLUBROOT
(Someday Lounge, 125 NW 5th) It's hard to find a review of Clubroot (AKA Dan Richmond) that isn't either glowing or comparing his sound to Burial. Both are fair assessments, as Richmond was heavily influenced by the groundbreaking London dubstep/house producer and has pretty much created his own class within the genre. Like Burial, Clubroot doesn't fit neatly into the dubstep box, and can be credited for extending the commonly accepted boundaries of that genre. His early interest in dark drum and bass, film scores, and ambient electronica are all represented in his signature sound, which is probably more aptly described as dark downtempo or deep ambient. There is a whole other world hidden somewhere in his thick, seething cloud of ethereal atmosphere and I imagine the vision is somehow illuminated in his live performance. Tonight will be one of only a handful of stops on Clubroot's inaugural tour of the West Coast; don't miss it. AVA
BAY CITY ROLLERS
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y NIGHT! ...and that's probably all you know about the Bay City Rollers. But did you know that the band once had their own NBC Saturday morning show, produced by Sid and Marty Krofft? Or that the Scottish act reeled off five consecutive gold albums here in the States? And that they probably never saw a dime from those sales, thanks to an allegedly crooked manager and a bad record contract? In fact, Who Got the Rollers' Millions? is a documentary that examines how the band ended up with empty pockets after their run as '70s pinup pop rockers. You're sure to be a hit at parties with all this newfound Bay City Rollers knowledge—or maybe not, but at least you can catch the band reunited alongside original frontman Les McKeown. EAC
JESSE MALIN AND THE ST. MARKS SOCIAL, MONEYBROTHER, YOURS
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) It's a bit too easy to tease Jesse Malin about his days fronting glam-punkers D Generation, his hair product addiction, or a couple solo recordings that attempted a bit too earnestly to cling to the denim coattails of Ryan Adams. But truth is, the New York singer/songwriter can write a song like no one's business. While he has yet to make a recording that lives up to his potential—his Heartbreaker, if you will—the just-released Love it to Life comes pretty close. Also don't miss the quirky song stylings of Sweden's Anders Wendin (that's Moneybrother to you). On Real Control Wendin sounds like Joe Strummer, had the punk icon given up on the Clash and chosen a musical direction paved by reggae, soul, and a bit of American rock and roll thrown in for good measure. Sound crazy? It sure as hell does, but with Moneybrother it works oh so well. EAC
DAD FAG, BLOOD BEACH, HOT FACE
(Valentine's, 232 SW Ankeny) Named in honor of an early '80s splatter B-movie ("Blood Beach, it's an okay place to visit, but I wouldn't want to die there") of the same name, Portland's Blood Beach (which features Mercury freelancer Ethan Jayne) are more content blowing out speakers than they are making the tide run red. On their boastfully lo-fi debut EP, vocals are submerged deep into the mix, as the band eschews punk rock's tempo for a surprisingly reserved pace and plenty of unexpected instrumentation—most notably the howling theremin on "Soft Serve" and "I Cannot Live in Your Pyramid." Oh and Dad Fag, if you are not a tribute act to '90s brit-rockers Gay Dad I'm going to be deeply disappointed. EAC
NEON INDIAN, PREFUSE 73, MINIATURE TIGERS
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) See My, What a Busy Week!, pg. 17.
DIRTY PROJECTORS, DOMINIQUE YOUNG UNIQUE
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) There is still no deft group of words that exists to pin the exact sound of Brooklyn's Dirty Projectors. We all know that David Longstreth and company have a penchant for the experimental deconstruction and subsequent remodeling of the music we're used to, but that description doesn't do them enough justice. So for now, we'll just casually mention that in the midst of constant touring, the band recently collaborated with Björk to make a conceptual EP (Mount Wittenberg Orca) in which each member sings the part of a whale family swimming together near San Francisco. Naturally, Björk is the mother whale. And though your ears may have a good time panning in and out, from left to right, while trying to hear the musical mechanisms of each song on 2009's acclaimed Bitte Orca, the live show is by far the best way to experience this well-oiled machine at work. RAQUEL NASSER Also see My, What a Busy Week!, pg. 17.
HAYES CARLL, QUIET LIFE, BONNIE WHITMORE
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) In a perfect world the Texas-tinged, husky voice of Hayes Carll would be omnipresent: Ford truck commercials, voiceovers (I wager he's cheaper to hire than James Earl Jones), and of course on turntables and jukeboxes the world over. Carll and his rambunctious backing band could just as easily hold their own behind chicken wire at a jukejoint, or steal the show (as they did) at a roots festival like Pickathon. On 2008's Trouble in Mind Carll takes us back to the days of Steve Earle's Guitar Town (way back before Earle's looks and thin frame escaped him), a place where country and rock and roll fit so nicely together. Granted, Carll doesn't show a whole lotta range, but he doesn't need to. His hard-luck tales of bad breaks, bad women, and liver-bruising booze are all any man needs, and in the end, it all comes together like the pearl snaps of your granddad's old H-Bar-C shirt. EAC
DIRTY PROJECTORS, DOMINIQUE YOUNG UNIQUE
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) See Tuesday's preview and My, What a Busy Week!, pg. 17.
ROBYN HITCHCOCK, JOE BOYD
(The Woods, 6637 SE Milwaukie) Also see My, What a Busy Week!, pg. 17.
MATT AND KIM, FANG ISLAND, DELTA BRAVO
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) See My, What a Busy Week!, pg. 17.
SCHOOL OF SEVEN BELLS, ACTIVE CHILD, THEMES
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Alpinisms, the first album from School of Seven Bells—the collaboration of sisters Alejandra and Claudia Deheza with former Secret Machines guitarist Benjamin Curtis—featured some whooshingly gorgeous music that sounded like a hit of pure oxygen. Their second record, Disconnect from Desire, is a bit more stifled, a bit more grounded in early '90s sounds, and a bit more darkly dance-goth than the ethereal sounds of Alpinisms. If that means the new record isn't initially as mysterious as its predecessor, it also means that School of Seven Bells have stripped away some of the ornamentation from their songwriting and musicianship, to good effect. The melodies are some of their best yet—"Windstorm" and "Bye Bye Bye" tickle deep reaches of your pop-music memory to sound instantly, reassuringly familiar—and the Dehezas' vocals are now even more capable of steering the band's widescreen vistas. NL
ACLU UNCENSORED: LIFESAVAS, THE ANGRY ORTS, DJ ANJALI
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) I know it's Banned Books Week and I know how absolutely essential the ACLU is to our society and how great their second annual Uncensored Celebration will be, but honestly all I care about right now is Lifesavas. Portland hiphop's finest, the 'Savas have been more or less dormant since the album cycle for Gutterfly died down last spring. Details are scarce on their new recording, tentatively titled iDentifi, but anytime you hand mics to Vursatyl and Jumbo, and place DJ Shines behind the ones and twos, good things happen—as they most surely will tonight. EAC
JON LANGFORD AND SKULL ORCHARD, WALTER SALAS-HUMARA, EUGENE WENDELL AND THE DEMON RIND
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Jon Langford continues to be the great rock and roll bridge between punk's back alleys and country music's windswept plains. For more than three decades Langford has had his hands in countless projects, most notably the Mekons, the band he helped form at the University of Leeds in 1977 (also the birthplace of Dave Allen's Gang of Four). That started the paper trail for the Three Johns, the Waco Brothers, Killer Shrews, Pine Valley Cosmonauts, Hillbilly Love Child, his several solo albums for Bloodshot Records, and collaborations with everyone from the Old 97's to Barbara Manning. His new project, Skull Orchard, offers up more cynical yarns—spun by Langford's gruff pipes and fleshed out by a band that's as much CBGB as it is Grand Ole Opry. ML