MIGHTY GHOSTS
White Eagle, 11/13

THURSDAY 11/11

NATASHA KMETO, GRAINTABLE, NICKY MASON

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

BLUE GIANT, BOBBY BARE JR.

(Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 NE Alberta) Kevin and Anita Robinson have dabbled in full-on rock and pop as Viva Voce, but while their work in Blue Giant takes a noticeably different approach—digging into American roots music—the Robinsons have not completely abandoned their penchant for psych-pop. Blue Giant essentially combines Kevin and Anita's 'Bama roots with the gray, indie-rock climes of Portland. And it works. The songs on their self-titled LP are twangy and—to the point—still muscular, and always catchy. Live, Blue Giant is a force. Harmonies are constant, guitars plenty loud, and you never know what covers the band might have up their sleeves. There's also a chance you won't be able to distinguish the covers from the BG originals—never a bad thing. MARK LORE

FITZ AND THE TANTRUMS

(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) Los Angeles–based Fitz and the Tantrums sprang to mild notoriety a year or so ago based largely on the quality of their lead-off single "Don't Gotta Work it Out," which is a damn fine revival of the soul-pop from which it descended. It's their best work, but almost anything from their catalog will get my lazy ass moving. Michael Fitzpatrick, AKA the founder/singer/songwriter with the weird hair, has a decent voice and range, but the real treat here is co-vocalist Noelle Scaggs, whose onstage charisma and charm may be worth the price of admission alone. GRANT BRISSEY

FRIDAY 11/12

THE GHOST INSIDE, FIRST BLOOD, DEEZ NUTZ, HUNDREDTH, LADY OF THE LAKE

(5 PM)

(Branx, 320 SE 2nd) See My, What a Busy Week!

WATAIN, GOATWHORE, BLACK ANVIL

(10:30 PM)

(Branx, 320 SE 2nd) See My, What a Busy Week! and Read our article on Watain.

JUNIP, SHARON VAN ETTEN

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week! and read our article on Sharon Van Etten.

AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY BENEFIT: MONO/POLY, YUK, HERU, DEVONWHO, GRAINTABLE, BROWNBEAR

(Whiskey Bar, 31 NW 1st) Portland's Dropping Gems collective is hosting a benefit for the local chapter of the American Cancer Society. They've invited a couple of likeminded musicians from Los Angeles' thriving beat scene, including the brash and overtly political Mono/Poly, who is as influenced by Noam Chomsky as he is by time spent at LA's eminent Low End Theory night. Also appearing is Yuk, whose tape collages merge calming organic sounds with swells of layered elegance that you can't help but compare to Flying Lotus. Throw in a chance to check out a handful of obscure but inspired local electronic musicians and the fact that 100 percent of the door money goes to a testicular cancer grant research project at Oregon Health and Science University, and you have somewhere to be tonight. AVA HEGEDUS

POMEGRANATES, OH NO OH MY

(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Don't be fooled by the cover of One of Us, the third record from Cincinnati's Pomegranates. While it depicts a skull evilly glaring out at the world, the songs contained inside are as bright and sunny as pop music can get without becoming dumb or sickly sweet. In fact, Pomegranates are downright masterful at their game, weaving complex and sonically arresting arrangements around simple—but not simplistic—melodies. This time around they've incorporated some psychedelic tricks, like whirling synths and organs, and guitar lines that stoop and pose moodily around the rest of the band. And Pomegranates drop brain-candy hooks (a synth line here, a falsetto vocal there) that're so damn catchy, they're irresistible. Getting hooked never sounded so good. NED LANNAMANN

VELELLA VELELLA, DAT'R, THE BRAN FLAKES (10 PM)

(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Way back in the first phase of LCD Soundsystem, James Murphy did an "Invisible Jukebox" interview with Pitchfork in which they played him a track off Michael Mayer's album Touch (Mayer and Murphy both being label bosses as well as flagship artists). Murphy's reaction was something like, "Oh, great, a reverse key-follow filter? What's the point of this shit? It never goes anywhere." (I'm paraphrasing from memory.) He was talking about mid-'00s minimal techno, but the same critique can just as easily be applied to live-band electro funk. Which brings us to Seattle outfit Velella Velella, whose synth and guitar workouts have always been pleasing enough to the ear and persuasive enough to the feet, but which have often seemed not quite capable of arriving entirely where they mean to go. (Also: if you're going to power your dance music with an iPod instead of a live drummer, those backing beats better bang.) Maybe the band's forthcoming album, Atlantis Massif, will put an end to any such aimlessness and finally fix the band's effervescent grooves to a more fully satisfying course; if I had a promo copy of the album handy I would tell you for sure. ERIC GRANDY

SATURDAY 11/13

PDX POP NOW BENEFIT: GUIDANCE COUNSELOR, WELCOME HOME WALKER, ONUINU, STARPARTY

(Backspace, 115 NW 5th) See My, What a Busy Week!

BUILT TO SPILL, LE FLEUR, LORDS OF FALCONRY

(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) [Editor's note: Normally Courtney Ferguson is on the Built to Spill beat around these parts, but since she is feeling creatively bereft about Mr. Martsch & Co., we'll let her BTS-lovin' husband take it from here.] A summer afternoon 16 years ago brought together all the elements necessary for the creation of a hopeless indie-rock fanboy. I'd smoked a little dope, skated over to the local college, wound up in some co-ed's front room listening to There's Nothing Wrong with Love, and the rest is history... going to all their shows I possibly could, listening to them every day at work, requesting "Car" at my wedding for the first dance between me and my new wife. Look, I'm 36 years old—too old for these fanboy shenanigans, right? Doesn't matter, because every time I see Doug and the boys live, I start grinnin' and air-guitarin' like an idiot, angling for the front of the crowd and waiting for the crazy to kick in. When all Hell does finally break loose, with the layers of cascading guitars and effect pedals smoking and wheezing and generally trying to keep up with the mayhem, there's Built to Spill, cool as cucumbers, keeping us amazed, and making it all look so easy. E.M. BACHER

BUILT TO SPILL AFTERPARTY: DJ DOUG MARTSCH, SWEET JIMMY T

(Valentine's, 232 SW Ankeny) See listing above.

WILD FLAG, ROYAL BATHS, KELLI SCHAEFER

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Unless you are named Mary Timony, Carrie Brownstein, Janet Weiss, or Rebecca Cole, then chances are you have never heard a single note from Wild Flag. But that hasn't stopped the deafening hype from building to a robust roar following the formation of this local supergroup, one that features an absolutely unfuckwithable pedigree of former bands: Helium, Sleater-Kinney, Quasi, the Jicks, the Minders, just to name a few. While they've joked about the secrecy that surrounds the band—stating that for all you know they might just be a polka band—chances are if you are a fan of any of their previous projects you will be smitten with what you hear tonight. Especially if it's polka. EZRA ACE CARAEFF Also see My, What a Busy Week!

MIGHTY GHOSTS, ERIN LEIKER

(White Eagle, 836 N Russell) Once there was Mighty Ghosts of Heaven, now it is simply Mighty Ghosts. Prior to the release of their brand-new album Aberdeen, which celebrates its release tonight, the Portland five-piece streamlined their name, added a drummer, and altered their repertoire. The traditional old-time tunes they were playing evolved and changed along with the band; the songs became the Mighty Ghosts' own, and vocalist Gus Smith wrote a fair shake of his own to go along with them. The new album is a jaunty, relaxed collection of country pickin', bluegrass harmonies, and back-porch folk, sounding as effortless and carefree as a ribbon in the wind. It's the kind of American roots music that many have tried, but few have mastered—and with Aberdeen, it's clear that Mighty Ghosts are in the latter camp, joining this town's elite of expert roots, old-time, and folk practitioners. NL

ATLAS 7-YEAR ANNIVERSARY: DJ ANJALI, E3, THE INCREDIBLE KID

(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Pretty much as long as there has been Holocene, there has been Atlas, the finest booty-shaking, passport-stamping global dance party our fine city has to offer. So pop open a Kingfisher and give a shout-out of a la sature to Anjali, E3, and the Incredible Kid, because tonight Atlas turns seven years old. Before their vast collection of LPs—from bhangra to reggaeton, Arabic hiphop to mambo—hit the decks, the Atlas DJs will screen the film Taqwacore: The Birth of Punk Islam (see Film, pg. 38) which examines the Muslim punk community, from its roots inception to its current incarnation. Calm down fatty, there will be cake as well; they are promising an artery-clogging 25 pounds of "Portland's finest tres leches cake." A suggestion for Atlas' eighth anniversary: lap-band surgery. EAC

BIZ MARKIE, REV. SHINES, DJ GEMO

(Branx, 320 SE 2nd) "Have you ever met a girl that you tried to date? But a year to make love she wanted you to wait?" Biz Markie penned these timeless words in 1989 and, well, we haven't heard much from him since. Other than serving as an opening DJ for Chris Rock in his 2008 No Apologies tour, television cameos, and commercials for Radio Shack, Markie hasn't put out much in the way of new material since that amazing single dropped. Yet his legacy has endured, no doubt because "Just a Friend" is one of those songs none of us will ever forget—due to the indelible rhymes, epic music video, and eternal subject matter. True fans should know that Biz first made his mark as a talented beatboxer and will probably be showcasing his skills tonight, in addition to singing the song for which we all know and love him. MARANDA BISH

SUNDAY 11/14

BENOÎT PIOULARD, CINEMA VERITE, CHARLES STANYAN, PIONEER

(Valentine's, 232 SW Ankeny) See My, What a Busy Week!

CANDY CLAWS, CHAIN GANG OF 1974,

EUX AUTRES

(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) The bookworms of Fort Collins, Colorado, pop duo Candy Claws make records that can whisk you away from that crappy desk job, often taking you places you may have only read about in Hemingway novels. Inspired by Rachel Carson's book The Sea Around Us, 2009's In the Dream of the Sea Life is exactly that—a shimmering pop record that has plenty of unpredictable dark moments. Not surprisingly Candy Claws' latest Hidden Lands was inspired by another book, Richard M. Ketchum's The Secret Life of the Forest. The album title alone imbues exotic locales; the music within (headphones recommended) will guide you on your journey. Even when things are at their darkest, you can be sure sunlight is always around the corner. Dream pop, indeed. ML

MONDAY 11/15

BAD RELIGION, BOUNCING SOULS, OFF WITH THEIR HEADS

(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) See My, What a Busy Week!

DAVID DONDERO, THE MOANERS, ALAMEDA

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Read our article on David Dondero.

SAMOTHRACE, MEGATON LEVIATHAN, ABSENCE OF LIGHT, EALDATH

(Plan B, 1305 SE 8th) Portland band Megaton Leviathan aren't another doom metal band, exactly. The droning, cavernous songs have just the right amount of razor-wire edge to give their downtempo sludge a crisper sheen, brightening the scorched earth with shoegaze-y, infinite echo and distinctly human singing from vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist Andrew James Costa. Their debut album Water Wealth Hell on Earth is a four-song beast, with the title track split into two lengthy segments, and a 33-minute finale in the form of the amorphous drone of "A Slow Death in D Minor." Water Wealth Hell on Earth is available in a limited edition of 500 from Spanish label Feretro Records, and tonight marks the hometown CD release show. Record collectors might want to get their copy before they’re all gone: Megaton Leviathan are already talking about re-tracking the drums with the band’s original drummer Matt Brim for a re-release of the record at some point down the road. NL

NOSAJ THING, TORO Y MOI, JOGGER

(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Did Nosaj Thing move to the Pacific Northwest? Seems like he plays here at least every other month. I'm not complaining, because Nosaj is one of the deftest producers of this whole post-Dilla hiphop diffusion/explosion of the past few years. His melodies have emotional depth and resonance, and his sound design and rhythms possess a precise crispness that inspire gear-geek 'gasms. You may like 'em, too. Toro Y Moi (young South Carolina producer Chazwick Bundick) has risen to somewhere near the top of the glo-fi pop heap on the strength of Causers of This, his debut album for Carpark Records. His confectionary dance-and-swoon songs shimmy by in an ethereal, pink haze, playing flowery solos on sensitive youths' heartstrings. Said it before, will say it again: Toro Y Moi is going to be big. DAVE SEGAL

TUESDAY 11/16

DANZIG, POSSESSED, MARDUK, TOXIC HOLOCAUST, WITHERED

(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) In most circles, Possessed are considered the pioneers of death metal. Their 1985 release Seven Churches features thrash metal with a really bad attitude and growling vocals that influenced countless bands that later defined the genre. The only original member currently performing in the band is singer Jeff Becerra, who reformed Possessed in 2007. Becerra was paralyzed from the waist down after he was shot during a mugging in 1989, so he delivers his vocals from a wheelchair. His perseverance shows that you don't need to have a towering presence onstage to front a band. I guess Danzig proves that as well, but unfortunately not with his current effort. Deth Red Sabaoth has been hailed as a return to form for metal's favorite crooner. I would be inclined to agree, if it wasn't for the rhythmic "squealing" guitars that sound more like alarm clocks, the vacant and abysmal production, and Danzig's vocals generally low in the mix so you can't hear him strain. Maybe his mesh shirt was too tight during the recording sessions? ARIS WALES Also see My, What a Busy Week!

WEDNESDAY 11/17

YEAH GREAT FINE, BLUE HORNS, ONUINU

(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Depending on your frame of mind while you're listening to it, the self-titled debut album from Yeah Great Fine is a shiny, friendly pop album. Or an energetic, wirey post-punk record. Or a dance-friendly, slightly stoney collection of jams. Or a dense and heady slab of math-rock. That Yeah Great Fine is all these things and more simply indicates the number of tricks the Portland quintet has mastered. The guitars spiral in African circular patterns; the drums refuse to settle on a 4/4 beat; the whole ensemble occasionally clicks into a viselike, proggy "YYZ" pattern before soaring into a smooth, cloudlike vista of vocal harmonies. But their greatest trick of all is to do each of these things while keeping their music inviting and tastefully infectious. NL

HIGH PLACES, SOFT CIRCLE, WHITE RAINBOW, TEARIST

(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) The duo of Mary Pearson and Rob Barber—better known as High Places—recently relocated from Brooklyn to sunny Los Angeles, and while it's tempting to attribute the brightening of their sound to the move westward, the cheerful sounds of their recent High Places vs. Mankind were hinted at even on their first singles in 2007. And whatever Balearic ecstasy is demonstrated on the new record still remains ambiguous and subdued—the beats lightly trip over themselves, and the synth washes shimmer in and out of focus. But Pearson's voice has never been heard with such clarity, and the band never sounded as ready to commandeer a rave 'til dawn. Perhaps all that newfound sun plays a part after all. NL

CIRCLE PIT, PIGEONS, WELSH BOWMEN, FABULOUS DIAMONDS, DJ YETI

(East End, 203 SE Grand) While it's not always safe to judge a book by its cover, just a cursory look at the front jacket of Bruise Constellation, the debut LP from Circle Pit, does the record inside justice. The grainy cover photo shows core members Jack Mannix and Angie Bermuda smoking and splayed on a bed—looking detached, drugged, grimy, and pretty fucking cool. The two Aussies—who previously were two-thirds of DIY punks Kiosk—maintain that aesthetic through 10 queasily swaggering tracks of junkie blues, gutter psych-raunch and a bilious Iggy vs. Courtney vocal dialogue. With its one-take, no-overdub rock and roll ripped and frayed to threadbare, heroin-chic fits, Bruise Constellation begs to be seen live—don't miss out, this is the only chance you'll get before Circle Pit stumbles back to Sydney. ETHAN JAYNE

CLINIC, THE FRESH AND ONLYS, WAX FINGERS

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Clinic's music once seethed and throbbed like a subliminal threat. It was an exhilarating, melodica-augmented, garage-psych update of Suicide's minimalist menace, marked by Ade Blackburn's nervy, grudgeful vocals. Yeah, these surgical-mask-wearing Brits began to repeat themselves over the years, but theirs was a steez worth reiterating. Clinic's sixth album, Bubblegum, however, softens the attack and aerates the angst. Change is often good, but Clinic have ditched nearly everything that made them enticing, save for a few beguiling melodies. Maybe Bubblegum's a grower. We'll see. The Fresh and Onlys play reverberant, melodious, ’60s-flecked rock, like a slightly less interesting Outrageous Cherry. Some people really dig F&O, but they fail to elicit real or virtual exclamation marks from me. DS