THE HEAVY
Wonder Ballroom, 11/4

THURSDAY 11/4

ALOE BLACC, THE GRAND SCHEME

(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Read our article on Aloe Blacc.

BRAINSTORM, ARRINGTON DE DIONYSO'S MALAIKAT DAN SINGA, O BRUXO

(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Read our article on Brainstorm.

THE HEAVY, WALLPAPER

(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) The Heavy have a little something for everyone: funk, soul, ska, and a singer that sounds like he won Curtis Mayfield's voice in a poker game. Stirring things up over the course of a pair of Ninja Tune-released full-lengths, the band recently got a boost from a Kia ad campaign (the one where the sock monkey gets a tattoo) that has certainly put the band on the pop culture radar screen. It's a tough break that the British band has to compete for your attention on the same week that their peers in Aloe Blacc and Mayer Hawthorne pass through town, but if you miss the Heavy tonight, don't sleep on their How You Like Me Now? EP, which features some brass backbone courtesy of the Dap Kings horn section. EZRA ACE CARAEFF

ALAN SINGLEY AND PANTS MACHINE, LARRY YES, PONY EXPRESS

(The Woods, 6637 SE Milwaukie) While many have likened Alan Singley's songwriting favorably to Burt Bacharach, his twee-oriented material is equally as strong. Audiobicyclette's brilliant-in-its-elegance "Nicole, I Hardly Know Ya," and Lovingkindness' "Highways of our Minds" are the best two examples of this. His latest effort—last year's Feelin' Citrus—is the best of both Alans, with the catchiest, most straightforward pop song he's written to date, "Le Rain," and his great jazz pop pastiche (just try to imagine the Carpenters covering it) "Watching Days Become Years." Tonight Singley is playing with the full seven-piece Pants Machine ensemble, and it'll be worth every penny. MORGAN TROPER

FRIDAY 11/5

LAURA VEIRS AND THE HALL OF FLAMES, LESLIE STEVENS AND THE BADGERS, LED TO SEA

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

MARNIE STERN, AGESANDAGES, SIELAFF/SCHONBERG

(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Read our article on Marnie Stern.

LYRICS BORN, RAKAA

(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) We all know that Lyrics Born is not one to skimp on the funk, usually doling it out in heroic doses with a gruff-voiced flair. But sadly it seems like the most party-friendly emcee to formerly reside in the Quannum Projects has lost a few steps along the way. His just-released As U Were is a head-on collision of pop and funk, and you'll need the jaws of life just to pick out the remnants of anything that can live up to 2003's fantastic Later That Day. Even lead single "Lies X 3" lacks the charisma of Lyrics' earlier work, instead sounding like an overly slick number weighed down by far too many ideas and a unsettling level of overproduction. In the process of bringing funk to the masses, Lyrics Born left us all behind. EAC

THE LOWER 48, GREAT WILDERNESS, JOHN HEART JACKIE

(The Woods, 6637 SE Milwaukie) There is a band in our midst that has all the makings of excellence, and most people don't even know it yet. But they will. Great Wilderness formed this year in the style of an indie-rock tribe aesthetic—think Arcade Fire or Blind Pilot—with five members of Portland's young, beautiful, and flannel-clad. The group is anchored by the talents of a trio of ladies, including the achingly sweet and clear vocals of Emily Wilder, vocals and percussion from Jamie McMullen, plus Laura Kucera on violin and cello—those magical instruments that so deftly turn a regular song into a mystical one. With their powers combined, the Great Wilderness effect is that of a family making music together in their living room—which we as the public are lucky enough to be able to listen in on. MARANDA BISH

FENBI INTERNATIONAL SUPERSTARS

(Ash Street Saloon, 225 SW Ash) There is no Fenbi on the map. But if this fictional locale did exist, your pushpin would reside somewhere deep in landlocked Europe, a mythical land that borders both Ireland and Russia, populated by roma and other borderless musical gypsies. Portland's Fenbi International Superstars borrow from all those locales, creating a vast and palatable global sound that sounds at times like Shane MacGowan and others like Raffi (seriously). Their five-song self-titled EP is out tonight, and the band is adding some visual flair by broadcasting their cute animated video for its finest track, the slinking "Two Miles from Home." Such ambitious musical globe-trekking doesn't always work for the Fenbi International Superstars—there's just too much ground to cover—but if the band can stay focused on a single sound, they might have something here. EAC

LORD DYING, WOLVSERPENT, STORY OF RATS, RYE WOLVES, WIZARD RIFLE

(Plan B, 1305 SE 8th) Blood Seed, the fourth LP from Boise's Wolvserpent (formerly and uncomfortably known as Pussygutt), contains two crushing doom tracks that each clock in over the 20-minute mark. A patient and open-minded listener will find the album to be as tragic and devastating as it is beautiful. "Wolv," the first song/side of the record, begins with weeping violin and celestial noise that create a vibe of desolation and sadness before it grows and swells into dark, dreadful riffs and thumping drums. It's the sound the last man on Earth hears as he watches the sun disappear behind atomic ash. The flip side, "Serpent," sounds like it was recorded in a black, towering cathedral. Echoing chants, cackles, and howls seep through more crawling riffs and thundering drums. The snare drum is absent throughout, so there is no "crack" to pull you out of the sludge you are slowly sinking into. ARIS WALES

THE OVERCASTERS, HAPPY PRESCRIPTIONS, WE MISS THE EARTH

(The Knife Shop at Kelly's Olympian, 426 SW Washington) In this oversaturated musical climate, my favorite kinds of bands are the ones who, far from angling for a record deal on the latest wave of hype, unassumingly create music and make it available for little to no cost, knowing that true appreciation will eventually follow. Local band Happy Prescriptions has released a handful of albums in the past two years, all of which are available for free or minimal charge online. Comprised of Nate Wey plus a revolving cast of characters that flesh out his stark songs, the Happy Prescriptions released Fear of Love last year, a lovely, New Wave-influenced collection that is diverse, curious, and heavy with localized atmosphere. Their latest single "Feed" starts out with a throbbing bass line that is quickly swallowed by synths and drums, then Wey's caterwauling vocals—always at arm's length, thanks to a reverb-heavy disconnect—become as savage or tremulous as the moment demands. MB

SATURDAY 11/6

KURT VILE AND THE VIOLATORS, THE SOFT PACK, PURLING HISS

(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) This past June, the last time Kurt Vile came through town, he left his backing band, the Violators, back in Philly. Since the majority of Vile's back catalog—including his latest, 2010's Square Shells EP—is folky, solo bedroom psych, the set turned out just fine, buoyed by Vile's ever-sharp songwriting and lyricism. Still, you could be forgiven for pining for the fuzzy squall of the Violators—Vile's crew are featured on the best, boldest cuts from 2009's excellent Childish Prodigy LP, helping to transform their fearless leader from lo-fi troubadour to stomping, acid-spitting wolfman. Now back in town with the Violators in tow, here's hoping Vile plays us some full-band classics—the staggering, squalid blues of "Hunchback" and the krauty, punk-Springsteenisms of "Freak Train"—and has some new material fleshed out with the group as well. ETHAN JAYNE Also see My, What a Busy Week!

THE PAINS OF BEING PURE AT HEART, GLASSER, WEEKEND

(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See Read our article on Weekend.

WOODSMAN, WHITE FANG, GAUNTLET HAIR

(The Artistery, 4315 SE Division) When they desire, Denver band Woodsman are capable of harnessing a mammoth sound. While the recent Mystery Tape EP contains dewy, traipsing, ambient psych—the sound of Animal Collective picking mushrooms on a foggy morning—the forthcoming track "Insects," from next year's full-length Rare Forms, is a huge, thumping rock song. A repeated, crystallized motif locks in with hi-hat and snare, while a sonic boom falls on the downbeat. With two drummers and two guitarists/knob-twiddlers, Woodsman make definitively exploratory and exciting sounds, and tonight we'll get a chance to see if it's as interesting to watch as it is to hear. Gauntlet Hair, also from Denver, make similarly messy and effects-laden noises for their enormous, hollered pop songs, bridging the gap between the mossy psych of Woodsman and the hazed-out, good-time rock and roll of Portland's own White Fang. NED LANNAMANN

SUNDAY 11/7

TIM KASHER, DARREN HANLON, THEMES

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

ALESSI'S ARK, GREYLAG, BRIGHT ARCHER

(The Woods, 6637 SE Milwaukie) At a mere 20 years old, Alessi Laurent-Marke has already been recorded by superproducer Mike Mogis, had a record released on Virgin, and edited her own zine. Having parted ways with Richard Branson and Co., Laurent-Marke—recording under the name Alessi's Ark—has just released the Soul Proprietor EP, a slight but charming four-song release that showcases Laurent-Marke's girlish yet all-knowing voice, not a million miles from Björk or Amy Millan. Its best moments are downright McCartneyesque, with lightly rollicking beats, nonsense syllables, whistling, and a devotion to melody as if one's life utterly depended on it. This is the Londoner's first show in Portland, but her homegrown method of injecting delicate folk-pop songs with gravitas will be right at home here. NL

MONDAY 11/8

MATTHEW DEAR, SMALL BLACK, CLASS ACTRESS, YOUNG PRISMS

(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) In the 10 years since he co-founded the all-important Ghostly International imprint, Matthew Dear has stayed far ahead of the musical curve. His 2003 debut album Leave Luck to Heaven offered a fresh perspective on minimal house before the about-to-get-super-boring genre was even due for a wake-up call. Under the Audion alias, he combined obnoxious techno with seizure-inducing imagery, mocking warehouse rave music in the most flattering way. More recently, Dear has departed from straight-ahead dance music for more meditative fare created by an actual band with instruments. You still hear hints of his earlier work in the newly released Black City, but the album explores a new and shadowy atmosphere that truly escapes definition. Though he's constantly experimenting with sounds and reshaping his ideas, Dear always succeeds in presenting highly refined concepts that feel salient and fun at the same time. AVA HEGEDUS Also see My, What a Busy Week!

TRANS AM, NICE NICE, JONAS REINHARDT

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

COLOUR REVOLT, PRIORY

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Colour Revolt released a terrific debut full-length in 2008 with Plunder, Beg and Curse, and now the Mississippi band has returned with The Cradle. The band lineup has changed dramatically, but the ragged voice of frontman Jesse Coppenbarger still leads the pack. Some of the propulsive, angry energy of Plunder has mellowed and matured, a little surprising when you consider how many hard knocks the band has suffered the past couple years—dropped by their label Fat Possum, and having more than half the band go their separate ways. But The Cradle still has moments of tightly wound rock, a fiery, post-emo sound that betrays little in the way of Southern swamp, despite the band's Mississippi home. If you bought your ticket to this show in advance, show your ticket stub at the merch table, and you'll get a free download of The Cradle. NL

TUESDAY 11/9

BENEFIT FOR KARP LIVES

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

MAYER HAWTHORNE AND THE COUNTY, GORDON VOIDWELL

(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) Like Raphael Saadiq (but Caucasian), Mayer Hawthorne makes an utterly convincing case for the legitimacy and primacy of devout soul revivalism—while wearing a tie, to boot. When you can sing like Saadiq or Hawthorne—all buttery croon and beautiful yearning—why not rekindle those Motown and Stax flames? Hawthorne is the Ann Arbor, Michigan, singer/songwriter who won over the discerning ears of Stones Throw Records' Peanut Butter Wolf, and the strange arrangement has proved fruitful for both parties. Whether singing in broken-hearted or love-swoon mode, Hawthorne hits all the right notes with grace. One hesitates to use such a moldy adjective, but there's no denying that Mayer Hawthorne's music oozes class. DAVE SEGAL

GLASS CANDY

(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) There's little point on providing a Glass Candy primer; you either know or you don't. Thankfully by this point in their career, the duo of Johnny Jewel and Ida No are known the world over, constantly stamping their passports with an enviable tour schedule—in November alone they will be in Singapore, Jakarta, Miami, and, of course, Portland. The band is showcasing material from their (hopefully calisthenics-themed) forthcoming LP Body Work, which will (fingers-crossed) see the light of day sometime in the new year. Until then, expect wall-to-wall hotness, both from the sweltering dance floor and from what Jewel and No create onstage. EAC

SUBLIME WITH ROME, SEXRAT

(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) With Bradley Nowell in the ground for nearly 15 years now, the bank accounts for the surviving members of Sublime have probably seen better days. Enter Rome Ramirez, a pudgy and unfortunately pierced 22-year-old who sounds exactly like Nowell, except, you know, with a pulse. Sublime with Rome—the original Sublime moniker was registered to Nowell's estate, who most definitely do not give their blessing to this project (they sued)—is the revamped new take on the same old bro-tastical Long Beach pop, ska, and white-dude reggae. It's still early, but it's pretty clear that this is the worst Frankenstein'd musical monstrosity since someone left Ray Manzarek unattended and we were all stuck with the Doors of the 21st Century. EAC

WEDNESDAY 11/10

DOOMTREE: P.O.S., LAZERBEAK, DESSA, SIMS, CECIL OTTER, MIKE MICTLAN, PAPER TIGER

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

SUBLIME WITH ROME, SEXRAT

(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) See Tuesday's preview.

FREE ENERGY, HOLLERADO

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) If you are a fan of Free Energy you'd likely say that the Philly band are disciples of the one and only Thin Lizzy. If you aren't, start dusting off the American Hi-Fi comparisons. Personally, I'm somewhere in the middle, as the band behind the bouncy, saccharine pop hooks of Stuck on Nothing sure are no Phil Lynott, but they are hardly the homogenized flavor-of-the-week behind, well, "Flavor of the Weak." The catchy title track and the guitar heroics of "Bang Pop" are keepers, a pair of songs worthy of a non-ironic fist pump to the heavens. Fight as you might but resistance is futile: Stuck on Nothing will burrow into your brain like a Ceti eel—oops, just stumbled into that nerd trap—with each anthemic song establishing residency in your head and not escaping anytime soon. EAC

TOMUTONTTU, GROUPER, JAMES FERRARO, EYE MYTHS, DJ CHARLES BERLITZ, DJ ROCCO MARTINI

(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) Finnish experimental artist Jan Anderzén records under the name Tomutonttu, and the music he makes is utterly fucked-up, psychedelic, homebrewed noise. Animal growls, primitive folk plucks, shamanistic howls, and burping synths all find their way into Tomutonttu's bloody fray. It's jarring, unsettling, disquieting music—rhythms are not tied to any particular beat, instruments are bashed seemingly without technique, melodic tones are smeared all over the sonic canvas like muddy boots across a carpet—but it's also riveting and at times hypnotically beautiful. Anderzén is also the leader of Kemialliset Ystävät project, and remains one of the experimental music world's true weirdos. The chance to see him in a Portland venue doesn't come along very often, so for a certain type of music fan this show is absolutely unmissable. Other types would be happier to stay far, far away. NL