TED LEO
Backspace, 2/26
Matias Corral

THURSDAY 2/24

SORTED: JIMMY EDGAR, LINCOLNUP, BEN TACTIC

(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) read about Jimmy Edgar.

NODZZZ, NUCULAR AMINALS, THERAPISTS, THE NO TOMORROW BOYS

(East End, 203 SE Grand) There was a brief time, well over two years ago, when you couldn't walk into a record store without hearing one of its slack-jawed employees yammering on about the scrappy little jangle-pop group Nodzzz from San Francisco. The band was on the sought-after What's Your Rupture? label and released an EP and a few 7-inch singles, including the bratty slacker anthem "I Don't Wanna (Smoke Marijuana)" that later went onto their self-titled debut LP. Nodzzz seemed like a trio of nerdy little brothers who only barely learned to play their instruments a short time ago, and couldn't write good, thoughtful lyrics for their life. It was like hearing a male version of the Shaggs for the very first time. To their credit, the songs were much more tuneful than the Shaggs', and evidently just as lasting. Here, over two years later, the band is out touring to promote their second full-length Innings, forthcoming from Woodsist. I haven't a clue what Nodzzz now sound like, but I can just imagine it being like your little brothers finally growing up, while still being the punk-ass little brothers they always were. TRAVIS RITTER

CALEB KLAUDER BAND, JOEL SAVOY, JESSE LÉGE

(The Secret Society, 116 NE Russell) One of the most fun shows in recent months was the Caleb Klauder Band joined by Cajun accordionist Jesse Lége and fiddler Joel Savoy, back in September at the Spare Room. So it's excellent news that the whole gang is returning to do it again, this time at the Secret Society Ballroom—and a ballroom is the ideal place for this type of show, since there will be plenty of dancing. On their own, Klauder's band makes mid-20th-century country-and-western music with unparalleled authority and authenticity; when Lége and Savoy are along for the ride, it becomes a Cajun celebration. There's a serious craft to what these musicians do, and their mastery of these timeworn sounds is the result of serious love and dedication. But you won't need to concern yourself with any of that tonight; it's going to be a flat-out party, so consider yourself invited. NED LANNAMANN

ARBOURETUM, ENDLESS BOOGIE, ETERNAL TAPESTRY

(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) This lineup overflows with outward-bound psych-rock vibes. Baltimore quartet Arbouretum are perhaps the earthiest crew in the bunch, but their elegantly rugged roots rock has transcendental tendencies thanks to lead singer Dave Heumann's eloquent guitar calligraphy. Arbouretum's fab new album, The Gathering, is inspired by Carl Jung's Red Book. Portland's Eternal Tapestry have achieved hard-driving and drone-mongering psychedelic peaks on releases for Not Not Fun and Three Lobed; their forthcoming Thrill Jockey LP, Beyond the 4th Door, mellows out and billows into epic cosmic drifts ideal for consciousness-raising sessions. New York's Endless Boogie ramble and chug as if infinity is their plaything. Their ramshackle, OCD-afflicted boogie accrues psychotropic properties through sheer repetition of primal Keef Richards/Mick Taylor riffs, with incisive filigrees added for spice. It's primitive sonic alchemy by guys old enough to be your dad. DAVE SEGAL

FRIDAY 2/25

PDX JAZZ FEST: ESPERANZA SPALDING

(Newmark Theatre, 1111 SW Broadway) Read about Esperanza Spalding.

THE BUILDERS AND THE BUTCHERS

(Everywhere in Portland) Today the Builders and the Butchers will become the Builders and the Buskers. In support of their excellent new album, Dead Reckoning, the band is about to play to every single soul in Portland, like it or not. The Butchers are hitting the streets for eight shows in as many hours. From the Rebuilding Center to Powell's—no location is safe from the Butchers today. Take a long lunch and catch them at the carts, or knock back a couple domestic beers and watch them at the Doug Fir patio. Or, if you see them all eight times, they'll probably let you join the band—I hope you can play the tambourine and really like touring. Here's a list of their performances: noon at Trade Up Music (1834 NE Alberta); 1 pm at the Rebuilding Center (3265 N Mississippi); 2 pm at Mississippi Marketplace Food Carts (4233 N Mississippi); 3 pm at Jackpot Records (3574 SE Hawthorne); 4 pm at Powell's City of Books (1005 W Burnside); 5 pm at Voodoo Doughnuts (22 SW 3rd); 6 pm at the Doug Fir Patio (830 E Burnside); 7:30 pm at Music Millennium (3158 E Burnside). EZRA ACE CARAEFF

MALAIKAT DAN SINGA, OZARKS, SHAPES, ANGELO SPENCER ET LES HAUTS SOMMETS, MEDIA THEM

(The Artistery, 4315 SE Division) Tonight marks the release of Portland band Ozarks' split 7-inch single with singer/songwriter Davis Hooker, out on local imprint Wil-Ru Records. Both sides are equally strong: Ozarks' "Pyramids of Love" is a woozy, winding post-psychedelic comedown, with a hushed vocal and staccato organ building to a carefully lush chorus. It's a song that gets progressively better with each listen. Meanwhile, Davis Hooker—formerly of A John Henry Memorial—might even be more subdued on his side of the 7-inch. A slow, folky number in three, "Amis" sounds like Hooker whispering right up against the speaker, were it not for the rowdy chorus of singers off in the distance. It's an excellent split single, with the promise of further releases to come on Wil-Ru. NL

BOATS, WH WALKER, BLOODTYPES, MIDNIGHT CALLERS

(Plan B, 1305 SE 8th) It always seemed like the bubblegum pop-punksters in the Soda Pop Kids were just one recording away from breaking through to the masses, but sadly the band called it day back in 2007 (although their final show came in 2009). While the Pop Kids were dissolving, a pair of its members—Devin Clark and Alan Torres—were teaming up to form Welcome Home Walker (now known as WH Walker). While they might have been raised by punk rock, WH Walker's seven-song Suds! is Spector-obsessed and unafraid to dip into classic '50s pop. While the title track sounds like a detergent jingle—in a good way—the ragged garage pop of "Second Hand Store" could make any guitar romantic weak in the knees. EAC

ASHIA GRZESIK, GREY ANNE

(The Secret Society, 116 NE Russell) I've never heard anything quite like Bison Rouge, the new solo EP from Portland Cello Project and Vagabond Opera cellist Ashia Grzesik. The captivating opening track "Country Will Do Her Well" sounds like lieder updated for the 21st century, and it's followed by the handsome two-step of "Rip Up Your Stitch," then "Broken Crowns," which sounds like a conservatory string quartet slumming with Appalachian folk before Grzesik meanders in with a vocal that sends the whole thing into outer space. I haven't even mentioned the song that she sings in Polish. The EP's instrumentation is almost exclusively strings and accordion, with plenty of pizzicatos alongside hints of gypsy and cabaret. Grzesik's music is a strange and beautiful thing to listen to, and tonight's release show—which will include belly dancers as well—should provide ample evidence of her talent and ambition. NL

VERSUS, CORIN TUCKER BAND, HUNGRY GHOST

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Indie pop bands came and went throughout the '90s, but few had the impact of New York's Versus. The quartet led by Richard Baluyut and Fontaine Toups struck a perfect balance between discordant guitar rock and a sweet yet oddly sinister coed pop sound. 1998's Two Cents Plus Tax—along with its processors The Stars Are Insane and Secret Swingers—belong in the LP library of any true indie connoisseur sporting a decade-old TeenBeat T-shirt (oh, don't act like you gave yours to Goodwill). Following nearly 10 years of indefinite hiatuses and side projects, Versus has returned with On the Ones and Threes, a comparable addition to their deep catalog. Openers the Corin Tucker Band are best known for their singer's brief cameo in an episode of Portlandia. EAC

BALKAN BEAT BOX, SOULICO, DJ ANJALI, THE INCREDIBLE KID

(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) The reason why this Balkan music craze didn't immediately burn out the way the Squirrel Nut Zippers-inspired swing revival of the '90s did is simple: Balkan music is still a living thing. Musicians like Beirut and, especially, Balkan Beat Box embrace the classical elements—the brass, the swirling beats—but they fold electronic elements into the songs seamlessly, making it something altogether new. Not every BBB experiment works (some of the rap interludes are painful, especially when the music is slowed down to put the vocals front and center), but a musical failure at least signifies that music is alive. Whether B3 are failing or succeeding, music doesn't get much more alive than this. PAUL CONSTANT

BRAINSTORM, KITTIN, SLOTHS, STAND BACK! IT'S REACHING CRITICAL MASS, COLOR CRASH

(Backspace, 115 NW 5th) Satyricon is dead. The Artistery will be soon as well. Underage patrons seeking local music are running out of options, but that's not stopping Portland's next generations of musicians from joining together for this much-needed Music in the School benefit. The non-profit MITS raises money for music education in the cash-strapped Portland school district, and tonight a few of the best high-school acts will battle it out for your enjoyment. Capping things off will be a set from the fresh-faced, but definitely not high-school-aged, duo Brainstorm. Your attendance tonight will support Portland music, local all-ages venues, and help get music education in our schools. Not bad for a Friday night. EAC

SATURDAY 2/26

DEERHOOF, NEAL MORGAN (6 PM); DEERHOOF, BEN BUTLER AND MOUSEPAD (9:30 PM)

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

LOCH LOMOND, RAMONA FALLS

(Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 NE Alberta) Read about Loch Lomond.

TED LEO, FORBIDDEN FRIENDS

(Backspace, 115 NW 5th) Bon Jovi made $201 million last year. That astronomic number is solely from 80 dates on the road (it does not include their catalog sales, nor does it factor in the cost of Tico Torres' hair plugs). I mention this not because it's soul-crushingly unfair—it is, we all know this—but because Ted Leo recently implied that he's near the end of his run due to financial concerns. The Jersey rocker behind Chisel and an incredible string of releases—both solo and backed by the Pharmacists—Leo admitted in a 2010 interview that he was exhausted from sluggish record sales and the sheer financial insanity that comes with attempting to feed yourself after two decades of life as a touring indie musician. Leo isn't ready to hang up the denim jacket quite yet, but for the love of Christ, go see him. Tonight. Right fucking now. Leo's penchant for writing jittery rock and roll songs is criminally underappreciated. Let's break it down: if you like Thin Lizzy, you will like Ted Leo; if you like Fugazi, you will like Ted Leo; if you like Elvis Costello, you will love Ted Leo. If your musical interests are not covered in any of the aforementioned bands, then never mind, we could never be friends anyway. EAC

MARISA ANDERSON, LARRY YES AND THE TANGLED MESS

(Eagles Lodge, 4904 SE Hawthorne) The Golden Hour, the second solo record from guitarist Marisa Anderson, is a collection of 12 solo improvised compositions that sound like transmissions from the dusty roads of America's past. Some songs rattle and groan with amplifier rust, while others dance nimbly from Anderson's fingerwork, embracing the physicality of country and blues music while inhabiting a more mystical headspace. It's music for the mind and the body, and Anderson's sure, steady hand (which has also done time with the Dolly Ranchers and the Evolutionary Jass Band) goes fearlessly into unknown territory, places that are rich with dirt and ghosts and loss—and also joy. Tonight's show celebrates the release of the record, pressed onto vinyl by Mississippi Records. NL

LARRY AND THE RICKETS, THE MEAN JEANS, THERAPISTS

(East End, 203 SE Grand) On Bainbridge Island, just across the Puget Sound from the Seattle's blossoming grunge scene, the Rickets were on their way to becoming one of the Northwest's finest underground punk bands. The trio, who formed in 1990, were the Northwest's own Circle Jerks—snotty, miscreant, speed-addled, don't-give-a-fuck hardcore that liked to party. The band went under the guises of Larry Diarrhea, Peter Phlegm, and Scott Thyroid, and they made their way up and down the West Coast supporting high profile punk acts like Rancid. The Rickets went through a few line-up changes before hanging up their boots in '96, but reformed with the original trio this past December at Seattle's notoriously celebrated punk dive, the Funhouse, in the wake of their Anthology LP release. Portland's own notoriously celebrated punk dive East End will host Larry and the Rickets, who will be supported by poppy booger punks the Mean Jeans, and caustic, self-deprecating revelers Therapists. TR

THE CONCRETES, MILLIONYOUNG, SCARS ON 45

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Years before our iTunes playlists were hijacked by the likes of Jens, Lykke, and the Tallest Man, Stockholm's the Concretes held the title as best Swedish pop band in the land. The band resurfaced last year with the precocious WYWH, a sparkling disco-pop recording for the kids who'd rather cross their arms and prop up a wall than actually dance. Credit the Concretes not only for their spirited comeback, but also for pulling off the seemingly impossible swap of vocalists, as singer Victoria Bergsman left the band and was replaced by longtime drummer Lisa Milberg. Just like Genesis! Thankfully WYWH is not their We Can't Dance. Heaven forbid anyone revisit that record again. EAC

FERNANDO, RICHMOND FONTAINE, MASSY FERGUSON

(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) With the exception of the agricultural machinery-named openers (Massy Ferguson), this might as well be a 1997 show at EJ's. Fernando Viciconte and Willy Vlautin of Richmond Fontaine are two of Portland's finest and most enduring songwriters, and just like old times they'll be sharing a stage. Fresh out of retirement, Fernando is making the rounds in support of last year's True Instigator, while the hard-drinking gentlemen of Richmond Fontaine have just finished rolling tape on full-length album number 10. But you won't hear a peep of that record tonight, since the band is treating us to 2002's Winnemucca in its entirety. Let's get dropped off at "Winner's Casino" once more. EAC

SUNDAY 2/27

PDX JAZZ FEST: MACEO PARKER

(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) My, What a Busy Week!

SWANS, WOODEN WAND

(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) It's been a long time coming, but the decade-plus wait has been worth it. Swans, the legendary masters of noir, released My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky, one of the 2010's coolest, creepiest records, not to mention one of the strongest comeback albums any band has ever done. My Father... is a testament to the band's power and energy, clamoring with heavy percussive accents, doomsayer riffs from a world beyond, and Michael Gira's damning lyrical imagery. Few things could force a man to face and fight his innermost demons and beat them down to a pulp, but Gira's words are one of those things, and his band's music acts as the foot soldiers who will ultimately bury all known evils that stand in the way, deep in the ground. His troubled troubadour bleakness as Angels of Light has tided Swans fans over for the last decade, but now it's time for his punishing, desperado, post-punk band to take us down that fateful path with him. TR

HOW TO DRESS WELL, GROUPER, GOLDEN RETRIEVER

(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Liz Harris, better known as Grouper, has two new albums in the works. Dream Loss and Alien Observer were both recorded over the past four years, with Dream Loss collecting some of Harris' older songs and Alien Observer focusing on the aftermath of a difficult time in Harris' life. The two records are meant to be of a piece, halves of the same whole, and they'll be out on vinyl and MP3 in April. Tonight she shares a bill with How to Dress Well, the strange project of Brooklyn's Tom Krell, who records washed-out, blurry pop songs that echo with R&B's yearning, often delivered in keening falsetto. The music of How to Dress Well is lumpy, elusive, broken-sounding, and—more often than not—staggeringly gorgeous. It's a perfect counterpart to the similarly waterlogged sounds of Grouper, whose chilly flicker might be beamed in from the same ethereal plane as the hot bath of How to Dress Well. NL

JARED MEES AND THE GROWN CHILDREN, MONARQUES, ROCKY AND THE PROMS

(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) If you got stood up for last week's Rock and Roll Prom at Rontoms (how could your sister do that to you? I'm telling Mom), then you need to be front and center at Mississippi Studios tonight. Compiled of a similar lineup to the Prom, but without the dress code or pressure to get all the way to second base, this is an evening of true local talent. The giddy rock numbers of Rocky and the Proms fittingly kick things off, followed by the finely tuned popsmiths of Monarques, and finally, Jared Mees and his band of Grown Children. The Mees kiddies have a new record under their belts in Only Good Thoughts Can Stay, but since it's not out until May we won't spoil the surprise now. Okay, fine, we will. It's really, really good. EAC

MONDAY 2/28

THE THERMALS, LIFESAVAS

(Oak Parks Skating Rink, 7805 SE Oaks Park) My, What a Busy Week!

ERIC CLAPTON

(Rose Garden, 1 Center Court) Read about Eric Clapton.

TUESDAY 3/1

WILD NOTHING, ABE VIGODA, GHOST ANIMAL

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

WEDNESDAY 3/2

BATHS, BRAIDS, GOBBLE GOBBLE

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