THEMES
The Woods, 1/15

THURSDAY 1/13

KURTIS BLOW, HIVES INQUIRY SQUAD, NOTES FROM UNDERGROUND, & MORE

(Mt. Tabor Theater, 4811 SE Hawthorne) See My, What a Busy Week!

POLAROIDS, THERAPISTS, TRASH TV, CHEAP MEAT

(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) Read our article on Therapists.

MONARQUES, ARCH CAPE, YOURS

(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) If you feel like you've been waiting a long time for retro-styled party band Monarques to finally unleash their debut full-length, get ready to wait just a bit longer. The band recently underwent a lineup change—acquiring a new drummer and keyboardist, Scott Magee and Dave Depper, respectively—and they've decided to shelve their nearly finished album in order to re-record it with the new band members. This delay will pay dividends for patient fans, as the switcheroo reportedly sees Monarques' Enchantment-Under-the-Sea-style doo-wop rock 'n' roll sounding tighter than ever before. Tonight's your first chance to catch the new lineup in all its glory. NED LANNAMANN

FRIDAY 1/14

KURTIS BLOW, DESTRO, L PRO, ROCKET ONE, BROWN CAESAR, OZROC, DJ SPARK

(Mt. Tabor Theater, 4811 SE Hawthorne) See My, What a Busy Week!

PETER WOLF CRIER, RETRIBUTION GOSPEL CHOIR, LITTLE HURRICANE

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Read our article on Peter Wolf Crier.

ICARUS THE OWL, LIGHTS OUT DANCING, ASTEROID M, THE LAST DEPARTMENT

(Branx, 320 SE 2nd) Where have you been all my life, Icarus the Owl? The local quartet flew—owl pun, I'm awesome at my job!—under my radar for far too long, but that ends with the release of the Qualia EP, the follow-up to 2009's The Spotless Mind. An explosive and masterfully crafted exercise in precision post-rock, Qualia channels the energy of the earliest work of Minus the Bear—sans the self-referential jokes and distracting song titles—and the passionate gushing of Thursday. The intersection of math rock and late-'90s emo is not sacred territory by any stretch of the imagination, but Icarus the Owl do a commendable job of creating a sound that feels relevant among the stale output of their peers. EZRA ACE CARAEFF

PIGEONS, SCRIMSHANDER, WAX FINGERS

(Backspace, 115 NW 5th) Pigeons' debut record, The Talking Wire, is easily one of the best local releases of late, each song confidently testing the boundaries of garage rock and Americana. For that reason, you could clumsily shuffle them under the "experimental" rug with your mukluks, but that title does them absolutely no justice. Justin Ready's hoarse wail, even at its most intense, is lightly sweetened by Angie Kuzma's violin, reeling along throughout most of the songs' melodies, and when the whole band is in the throes, the raw energy of their music is overwhelming. And captured to tape, no less! Which is damned near impossible to do. RAQUEL NASSER

OLD-TIME MUSIC GATHERING

(Scottish Rite Center, 709 SW 15th) If you have even the slightest inclination toward old-time music—that revival of the acoustic-based bluegrass, blues, folk, country, and gospel that more or less became the groundwork for almost every kind of American song-based music to come since—then the Scottish Rite Center is where you're going to want to spend your weekend. Throughout the building's three floors and five different performance spaces, visiting and local pluckers, pickers, fiddlers, and grinners will perform, workshop, and jam. Since $15 ($10 in advance) gets you in the door each day, there's definite bang-for-your-buck factor, and if you're the kind of person who just can't get enough square dancing, you'll probably spend more minutes this weekend promenading than the rest of the winter combined. The Portland Old-Time Music Gathering stretches beyond the weekend to different venues around town; visit bubbaguitar.com for the full schedule. NL

DASHBOARD CONFESSIONAL, CHRIS CONLEY, LADY DANVILLE

(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) It’s been 10 years since Dashboard Confessional released Swiss Army Romance, a record that was basically the diary of every heartbroken kid in America, turned into sensitive acoustic songs about how confusing and horrible both love and life can be. At the time, you either loved or hated Dashboard Confessional for the heart that frontman Chris Carrabba unapologetically wore on his sleeve, with lyrics like, “Your hair, it’s everywhere/Screaming infidelities and taking its wear.” So if you drank the Kool-Aid and you care enough to attend the show, tonight will be either a satisfying dip into a pool of comfortable nostalgia, or an unbearable evening of embarrassment that forces you to reflect on all the unrequited crushes, relationships, and records on which you wasted your time, forcing you to ask, “What the fuck was I thinking?” MEGAN SELING

SATURDAY 1/15

DEFIANCE OHIO, KIMYA DAWSON

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

OLD-TIME MUSIC GATHERING

(Scottish Rite Center, 709 SW 15th) See Friday's listing above.

SUPERFRESH: DANGEROUS BOYS CLUB, BREAKFAST MOUNTAIN, SERIOUS BUSINESS, & MORE

(Branx, 320 SE 2nd) A semiannual culmination of the monthly Supernature dance party, this second installment of Superfresh is going to be an epic, all-ages affair, starting before the dinner hour and stretching until the wee hours. Most of the acts etch compulsively danceable beats out of digital sounds and squiggles, but the Dangerous Boys Club—whose debut album VRIL got a proper release this week on Fast Weapons, the label of Nathan Howdeshell (AKA Brace Paine of Gossip)—has fat, chomping synth lines and a bottom end that'll suck you in like quicksand. Led by the dramatic baritone of Aaron Montaigne and boasting talent from Mac Mann, Mark Burden, and Sam Ott, the music of Dangerous Boys Club offers a quick, lightning flash of extreme violence, slowed down and stretched to a graceful, glacial pace. NL Also see My, What a Busy Week!

THEMES, JAMES APOLLO, SEXO TROPICO

(The Woods, 6637 SE Milwaukie) The Phantom, the full-length released last summer by Portland-by-way-of-Minneapolis-by-way-of-Santa Rosa duo Themes, is a haunting, smoky collection of slow-paced torchburners, bearing ghostly arrangements and a male-female vocal dialogue from Jacy McIntosh and Kelsey Crawford. They're sharing the bill with longtime friend James Apollo, the New York-by-way-of-Arkansas troubadour whose latest, Til Your Feet Bleed, is a spare, dusty collection that comes in the aftermath of a motorcycle accident that kept Apollo off his feet for six months. There's resignation and frailty in his songs, but also an untarnished optimism that gives them a woozy romanticism. NL

SCHOOL OF ROCK PERFORMS STONE RROCK

(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) Leading your children to a subgenre of music referred to as “stoner rock” might be considered ill advised for most parents. However, for the forward thinkers who enroll their tots at Portland’s School of Rock, it’s an opportunity to show their offspring that the heaviest and best riffs are often found underground (even if they have to purposefully misspell the event to emphasis the “rock” instead of the “stoner”). In lieu of handing the tykes a bong and a copy of Sleep’s Holy Mountain, the School of Rock places instruments in students’ hands and teaches them that chops are not necessarily measured by speed or a crisp guitar tone. Tonight, the troop explores fuzzy tracks by the likes of Pentagram, Electric Wizard, Kyuss, and High on Fire. They’ll be joined on stage by local riff-professors from Red Fang, Danava, Nether Regions, plus the original guitarist from Blue Cheer, Leigh Stephens, playing their original tunes alongside the young hopefuls. Parents, be proud. Your kids are cooler than you are. ARIS WALES

SUNDAY 1/16

ACEPHALIX, ANHEDONIST, KNELT ROTE, RITUAL NECROMANCY

(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) Recently San Francisco has been receiving plenty of attention for being quite the hotbed of rock (no, not the San Andreas Fault) with bands like Thee Oh Sees and Ty Segall. Turns out SF is also a haven for music of the darker, crustier variety. Acephalix have been grabbing the attention of Bay Area hair-whippers for years, and not just for their name—a sort of metalli-hybrid of "acephalic" and "acephalous" (meaning "headless" or "without a leader"). The four-piece cooks up the blinding sludge of old-school Swiss metal crew Celtic Frost with the intensity of Cro-Mags in one steaming black cauldron. Mix in songs like "Fluid Communion" and "Rectal Grave" and you have a concoction that stinks so good. MARK LORE

XDS, BROKEN WATER, HAPPY PRESCRIPTIONS

(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) There have been two notable changes for Experimental Dental School: First off, drummer Shoko Horikawa has left the band, having been replaced by Ben Taylor, and secondly their name has been condensed to XDS (Kids hate vowels these days, right MGMT?). The former is more important than the latter since Horikawa was an integral component of the duo’s jerking art-rock sound, but given the inventive nature of singer/guitarist Jesse Hall—if anyone can MacGyver a song together from a few broken effects pedals, a battered floor tom, and a stick of gum, it’s him. With Hall at the helm, it’s safe to assume XDS’ best days are still yet to come. Catch them tonight along with Olympia lo-fi coed outfit Broken Water, and the spacious sounds of local shoegazers Happy Prescriptions. EAC

MONDAY 1/17

Happy birthday, Kid Rock!

TUESDAY 1/18

CROCODILES, FLEXIONS, DIRTY BEACHES

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

WEDNESDAY 1/19

NIGHTSHIFT: PRESCRIPTION PILLS, SHERMSTIXX, SUPPORT FORCE

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

THE HEAD AND THE HEART, KELLI SCHAEFER, BRYAN JOHN APPLEBY

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Read our article on The Head and the Heart.