CLIMBER Someday Lounge, 10/9

THURSDAY 10/7

CORIN TUCKER BAND, THE GOLDEN BEARS

(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) See My, What a Busy Week!

GUIDED BY VOICES, TIMES NEW VIKING

(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) Read our article on Guided By Voices

SO COW, SIMPLE, PINK WIDOWER

(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Read our article on So Cow.

FALL INTO DARKNESS: BLACK COBRA, WITCH MOUNTAIN, STONEBURNER, WIZARD RIFLE
(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) San Francisco's Black Cobra are oft (incorrectly) lumped in with... well, every other sludge metal band in existence. The lone guitar of Jason Landrian does sound as if it came from a black lagoon—turbid and caked in scuzz—but it also fucking rips and thrashes like it's 1983. The two-piece (!) embraces the things that make metal metal—the reckless anger, riffs that gallop like the four horsemen of the apocalypse, and laser-precision tempo shifts drafted by drummer Rafa Martinez. Like some NWOBHM with your doom? These lads dish it up with a rusty fork. Helping Black Cobra kick off round one of the Fall into Darkness Festival (and the first night's free!) are Witch Mountain, Stoneburner, and Wizard Rifle—if you can survive these four days, you can probably make it through a mild nuclear winter. MARK LORE

PIGEON JOHN, DJ ABILITIES, DARK TIME SUNSHINE, SLEEP, DJ ZONE

(Backspace, 115 NW 5th) Pigeon John once told an interviewer for LAist that his nickname was given to him by Jesus. "I was walking through Inglewood one day, when out of nowhere Jesus rolled up on me in a '77 Cutlass Supreme... four doors, gray," he said. "He hopped out and handed me a dead pigeon. He whispered, 'Please have a good time, you're really bumming me out.' I watched him sink back into the cushioned seats and drive quickly away. And that's when it happened, the pigeon started shaking violently and became awake, picked up and flew away. I don't think I had a choice... it was 'pigeon' or die." Dark Time Sunshine's name is perhaps related to a lyric from their second album, Vessel: "You can find me hiding in the sunshine." Pigeon John and Dark Time Sunshine both make hiphop that's everything gangsta rap isn't: positive and hopeful. No bitches, no hos, no guns, no bumouts. Go to this show and have a good time. KELLY O

NUCULAR AMINALS, CAT FANCY, PSYCHIC FELINE, BLOOD BEACH

(East End, 203 SE Grand) Much buzzed-about local foursome Blood Beach have brought something new to the table by combining two elements close to the hearts of many: laidback garage music, and the chilling FX of an '80s B movie, as crackling as the soundtrack to a fuzzy horror VHS you got from a free pile. Beyond this novelty, the band's potential can be heard on "I Cannot Live in Your Pyramid," a track from their self-titled EP—it starts out at a dreadful, creeping haunted-house pace, then disintegrates into werewolf-style howls before climaxing in a flurry of drums, shredding guitar, and schizophrenic effects from Camella Weedon's theremin. One would think they've learned a thing or two from Portland stalwarts Nucular Aminals, who also use atmospheric augmentations to distinguish their indie pop from the masses. MARANDA BISH

SPELLCASTER, EVIL SURVIVES, EXCRUCIATOR, COMPULSIVE SLASHER

(Plan B, 1305 SE 8th) The old guards of heavy metal have been very prevalent recently. Bands like Iron Maiden, Scorpions, Slayer, and Judas Priest have all released albums within the past three years. As good as some of those records have been, they are all missing the spark and fire of youth. There is no gleam of excitement and virility, just the glare of ego and senility. Enter Portland's Spellcaster and the UK's Evil Survives. Both bands are traveling down familiar metallic paths that were forged 30 or more years ago. Each contain wailing vocalists, squealing leads, lightning speeds, and dual-guitar harmony attacks that are all torn from the pages of the heavy metal history books. However, whatever plagiarisms they may be guilty of, they can't be condemned for them. They are only students breathing life back into the wisdom of their elders. They are the young ones that prove the spirit of metal will never die! ARIS WALES

FRIDAY 10/8

JAMES, ED HARCOURT

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

EELS, JESCA HOOP, STEVE TAYLOR

(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) A happy Mark Everett still sounds pretty bummed out. The latest album from Everett's Eels project, Tomorrow Morning, is the third in a series of records that began with last year's Hombre Loco and continued with End Times earlier this year. Tomorrow Morning is meant to be the (relatively) uplifting conclusion to the intensely personal trilogy, which dealt with death and Everett's divorce. It's a record of collagist meta-pop, and it can't help but feel a little fabricated, especially coming after the devastating, folky End Times, one of the bleakest, most depressing albums in recent memory. If Everett feels like he's trying to escape the darkness on Tomorrow Morning, one can't really blame him, even if the music's not nearly as gorgeously sorrowful. NED LANNAMANN

AIDS WOLF, CHILD ABUSE, TERRAFORM, HOT FACE

(Backspace, 115 NW 5th) Depending on how you feel about blown eardrums, it's either good or bad news that, despite transitioning from quartet to trio, the scorched-earth experimental-punk maelstrom that is Montreal's AIDS Wolf has not lost any volume, intensity, or will to make you suffer. Last year, the then-four-piece band recorded an excellent full-length, March to the Sea, with Godspeed! You Black Emperor's David Bryant, then lost guitarist Myles Broscoe soon afterward. The record was released, but the band had already thrown out March's songs and began working on a new set. The rhythms pummel and rupture, demon guitar and vocals writhe and wail, effects heavy beyond recognition. AIDS Wolf's attack is as precise and antagonistic as ever—joyously uneasy listening, a noise malevolently carving their name into the consciousness of anyone who will submit. ETHAN JAYNE

VALIENT THORR, RED FANG, WITCHBURN
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) Valient Himself—that's the lead singer of Valient Thorr—has been leading his merry band of aliens through Earth's trenches for the past decade. As the story goes, the band came here from Venus in a time machine to save rock 'n' roll. I'll buy that. These bearded Venusians who call Chapel Hill home have been churning out some of the dirtiest, heaviest rock out there—like if AC/DC had an alien love child with Judas Priest. Valient Thorr's new platter Stranger continues the band's penchant for barbed riffs, political barbs, fear of barbers, and an undying desire to rock. If you think that sounds intense, wait until you see them live—you haven't lived until you've been sweated on by Valient Himself. ML

SATURDAY 10/9

LED ZEPPELIN COVER NIGHT: THREADS, PORTLAND CELLO PROJECT, & MORE

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

FRIGHTENED RABBIT, PLANTS AND ANIMALS, BAD VEINS

(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) While the angst-ridden Scots in Frightened Rabbit are justly respected for their albums—2008's lacerating Midnight Organ Fight, 2010's marginally more cheerful The Winter of Mixed Drinks—it's their live shows that seal the deal. Frontman Scott Hutchison sings every song like it's the first time, and the sheer force of his emotional will invariably moves the audience right along with him, from giddy exuberance to—when he busts out that acoustic cover of "Poke"—tears. (Want to see an emo dude cry? Ha! Trick question.) Yes, the name is dumb. Get over it—Frightened Rabbit is quite simply one of the best bands around. ALISON HALLETT

ROSS AND THE HELLPETS, THE CONTESTANTS

(The Waterheater, 750 N Fremont) Ten years ago Ross and the Hellpets played their first show at the LaurelThirst, opening for some band that time forgot (called the Decemberisms or something). A decade later the delightful Ross Beach & Co. are still churning out addictive little pop songs and celebrating a run that few bands can match. If you are unsure what to get the band for this anniversary—tradition dictates tin or aluminum—and don't want to give them a can of beer and a tinfoil hat, just make your presence known at this free, all-ages show at new North Portland showspace the Waterheater. EZRA ACE CARAEFF

FROG EYES, DEER OR THE DOE , HERE COME DOTS

(The Woods, 6637 SE Milwaukie) God bless Carey Mercer, and god bless the weird, operatic, majestically frenzied music he makes with Frog Eyes. Hailing from nearby Victoria on British Columbia's Vancouver Island (not to be confused with the city of Vancouver, which is farther north on Canada's mainland), Frog Eyes makes elemental sounds that tug fiercely at your heart, even if you have no idea what the fuck Mercer is singing about. Paul's Tomb: A Triumph carries forward their flawless string of albums, and it's a ferociously gorgeous record, finding and exploiting the flaws that make their songs sound so delightfully off-kilter. The initial reaction to hearing Frog Eyes is, "Whoa, this sounds weird." Each subsequent reaction is how weird everything else sounds in comparison. NL

CLIMBER, THE RO SHAM BOS, VIPER CREEK CLUB

(Someday Lounge, 125 NW 5th) Over the course of three albums Climber have filed down their Anglophile tendencies to create a concise pop sound that is more telling of domestic shores. Problem is, with The Mystic, it doesn't always work. "The Simians Speak" stumbles out of the block, a directionless soul-funk hybrid that can't possibly end soon enough. But perhaps it's a matter of song sequencing, since The Mystic rebounds nicely from there. The resonating bass line from "Stepping into New Rooms" lingers long after the track winds down, and the spacious ballad "The Risk of the Middle Way" is nicely anchored by the swelling voice of frontman Michael Nelson. Ironically it's closing number "Advice," with its muddled electronic beats, that is the album's finest song and the exact moment where you'll swear you were listening to The Mystic in the wrong order. (You weren't.) EAC

SOUL CLAP DANCE PARTY: MARK SULTAN, PURE COUNTRY GOLD, ROBERT SCOTT, THE BESTIES, JONATHAN TOUBIN

(East End, 203 SE Grand) It's been quite the year for Mark Sultan, AKA BBQ, AKA Kib Husk, AKA Blortz, AKA Celeb Prenup. There was a new album with Montreal crazy-man Bloodshot Bill, under the moniker the Ding-Dongs. There was Coachella with King Khan and the Black Lips, under the moniker the Almighty Defenders. There was the time Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson flew BBQ and King Khan to Australia to play for them at the Sydney Opera House. There were tours of Europe and Asia—even a show at the Cannes Film Festival. The past year also saw the untimely death of King Khan and BBQ as a band. And a new solo album called $. Some of these things were very good. Some of these things were very bad. $ is one of the things that's very good. "I'm playing as a one-man-band on this tour," says Sultan, "supporting $ but also playing stuff from the last 10 years of different incarnations." This show will surely be a history lesson—taught by a highly esteemed professor and inventor of punk-rock doo-wop. KO

SUNDAY 10/10

GIRLS TO THE FRONT BOOK RELEASE: FEELIN' ALRIGHT, TARA JANE ONEIL, GHOST MOM, JANET PANTS, DJ SNOWTIGER

(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) Read Girl Fucking Power.

BETTIE SERVEERT, CHARMING BIRDS

(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) Bettie Serveert are the Dutch band forever enshrined in many indie rockers' hearts for their 1992 debut album, Palomine. Featuring the beguiling, Jodie Foster-esque vocals of Carol van Dyk, the LP boasted some of the most memorable tunes of the '90s, especially "Tom Boy," "Palomine," and "Kid's Allright." Like a Dutch Blake Babies, Bettie Serveert charmed listeners with understated jangles and twinkles and perfectly timed, heart-catching key changes—all of which made them ideally suited to devote an entire album to Velvet Underground covers. Bettie Serveert's new album, Pharmacy of Love, shows the band in robust, tuneful form, their melodies as immediately appealing and well contoured as ever—and the nine-and-a-half-minute-long "Calling" finds Bettie Serveert getting surprisingly epic without showing any strain. This is solid indie rock that probably won't change your life, but it will brighten your night. DAVE SEGAL

PIGEONS, MIKE COYKENDALL, ST. FRANKIE LEE

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) The Talking Wire from Portland band Pigeons is easily one of the best local debuts in recent memory. The young group—based around the nucleus of guitarist/vocalist Justin Ready, violinist Angie Kuzma, and keyboardist Luke Matter—has been together for a couple years, but the album, recorded with the help of Mike Coykendall and Skyler Norwood, exhibits a confidence that far more experienced bands never attain. Listen to how the rollicking "Valiant Down, River Wide" boils in a frenzy, then simmers to an eye-in-the-storm calm before letting loose again. Or the stately gait of "A Thousand Miles," which makes fine use of Ready's slightly Isaac Brock-like howl. Or the slow burn of "Cinderella," in which the band sifts through angry wreckage to find a hopeful sound. Or opening track "Autumn Sound," which is as fine an introductory fanfare as a band could hope for. Packaged in unique, handmade sleeves for its vinyl release, The Talking Wire is an album brimming with highlights, and indicates that Pigeons is a great, graceful, exciting band, worthy of all the acclaim that is undoubtedly going to be heaped on them. NL

ULRICH SCHNAUSS, SOUND POOL, YLANG YLANG

(rontoms, 600 E Burnside) Ulrich Schnauss masterfully marries idyllic IDM to shoegaze rock. At times his music has an icy majesty that can drift into saccharine new age-isms, but at their best, Schnauss's compositions combine unexpectedly funky beat programming with the sort of lush synth and guitar textures and wistful melodies that make you want to slowdive with your bloody valentine. After two outstanding albums—Far Away Trains Passing By and A Strangely Isolated Place—Schnauss dropped a dud with Goodbye, but his live shows supporting that 2007 album were much more sublime than that weak release would lead you to believe. Three years later it's hard to know what to expect, but as Schnauss was picked to open for Chapterhouse on their recently postponed US tour, we might just get rocked right down to our soles. DS 

MONDAY 10/11

K-OS, SHAD, ASTRONAUTALIS, ANIMAL FARM, DJ SPARK

(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) See My, What a Busy Week! and read our article on K-OS.

PS I LOVE YOU

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

TUESDAY 10/12

Happy birthday, Neil Young and Tonya Harding. Long may you run.

WEDNESDAY 10/13

PHANTOGRAM, JOSIAH WOLF, MNEMONIC SOUNDS

(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) See My, What a Busy Week! and read our article on Phantogram.

FLOATING WORLD ANIMATION FEST: NICE NICE, ATOLE

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

MANU CHAO

(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) Manu Chao is the septualingual citizen of the world born in France to Spanish parents and renowned all over the globe for his thrilling sound amalgamations, in which far-flung samples, rhythmic chants, found sounds, and Chao's own singing/songwriting collide to create ridiculously hypnotic dance music. Portland is one of only four cities Chao is visiting on his quick-hit US tour, and fans of globetrotting musical intoxicants would be fools to miss it. DS

LIZ PHAIR

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) No matter your feelings about '90s nostalgia, Liz Phair made two of the strongest albums of the decade. Exile in Guyville made 1993 a little bit dirtier–Phair's flat, deadpan delivery and dry humor resulted in severe cases of endemic sailor mouth on college campuses. 1994's Whip-Smart was true to its name, mining the same ground that Guyville covered—seamy frankness and the shitfalls of relationships. But then came the '00s... where Liz didn't Phair so well (I'm sorry), as she explored glossier, poppier sounds that made her '90s fans angrier than a frustrated blowjob queen. We all sort of lost touch after that, but Phair has kept at it with her sixth album Funstyle, which came out in July. She raps over bhangra beats on "Bollywood." "Smoke" is a tangle of cartoony voices. In short, it's a hot mess. Who knows which Liz will show up at the Doug Fir tonight (Will it be indie darling, Lilith Fair songwriter, or teenybopper wannabe?), but it's bound to be an entertaining—if not nostalgically fulfilling—evening. COURTNEY FERGUSON