Up & Coming 

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THURSDAY 3/17

THE RESIDENTS

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

NIGHTCLUBBING: THE MIRACLES CLUB, AVALON K, LINGER AND QUIET

(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Read about The Miracles Club.

Y LA BAMBA, DENVER, PRAIRIE EMPIRE

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) For a newish record, Lupon is pretty old. Y la Bamba's initial long-player was years in the making (recording started in 2008), then the album collected dust for two years while Luz Elena Mendoza's whimsical folk outfit awaited a proper suitor—a role eventually filled by Tender Loving Empire. For album number two, the band Sam Adams recently called "Why La Bamba" expedited things and turned to Kickstarter to quickly raise over eight grand in funding; but if you want to pelt them with—paper, not coin—money tonight, I doubt they'll complain. Supporting them is Denver, the ramshackle all-star country band composed of Blitzen Trapper singer Eric Earley and Alela Diane's guitarist/husband Tom Bevitori. EZRA ACE CARAEFF

GIRL TALK, MAX TUNDRA, JUNK CULTURE

(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Sold out harder than 2003 Liz Phair, tonight's Girl Talk show brings America's most ambitious, shameless, and beloved mixmaster to the stage to lord over a dance party that'll have sweat dripping from the ceiling. Where the crunk-meets-classic-rock concoctions on 2008's Feed the Animals kept me laughing, the similar creations on 2010's All Day keep me thinking; I love them both. Opening tonight's party: UK electronica wizard Max Tundra and Greg Gillis's Illegal Art labelmate Junk Culture. DAVID SCHMADER

ALEXIS GIDEON, WHITE HINTERLAND, PLASTIC PUSSY

(The Woods, 6637 SE Milwaukie) Last year, Alexis Gideon unleashed the staggering Video Musics II: Sun-Wu Kong upon the world, a multimedia rock opera/film of sorts that took as its source Journey to the West, the classical Chinese epic novel. A small team fully animated the story while Gideon provided a complete musical score that incorporated hiphop, Chinese sounds, progressive rock, and other indefinable elements. It was, to be certain, a piece of singular genius, and Gideon performed a live interpretation of the piece many times over the course of last year. Now Video Musics II is available as a double-vinyl record—with accompanying DVD including all the animation—and to celebrate its release, Gideon performs it in full tonight. It's a weird, astonishing piece of art, a fully formed highbrow artistic statement that also works as an epic adventure story and a bizarrely funny cartoon. I can safely say you haven't ever seen anything like it. NED LANNAMANN

FRIDAY 3/18

SUPERNATURE: ANCIENT HEAT, PURPLE AND GREEN, STARLIGHT & MAGIC, DJ E*ROCK, DJ COPY, DJ BJ

(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) Read about Purple and Green.

WARPAINT, PVT, FAMILY BAND

(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) After dropping the vowels from their original name, Pivot, the Sydney-based, Warp-signed PVT released Church with No Magic, the follow-up to 2008's O Soundtrack My Heart. But where they left the vowels, they found a voice. The synthy, mostly instrumental post-rock/prog pollination of O Soundtrack My Heart has made way for experimental vocal treatments, brighter tones, and ricocheting beats that bounce off the walls of Church with No Magic. The Aussie trio isn't minimal or restrained by any regard, and they fill all available gaps with a busy, multi-tracked assault of synthesized elements that constantly bombard the listener at that point where darkness meets daylight. And you'll be wide awake to experience it. TRAVIS RITTER Also see My, What a Busy Week!

GREAT WILDERNESS, COME GATHER ROUND US, HARLOWE AND THE GREAT NORTH WOODS

(The Woods, 6637 SE Milwaukie) Prepare to be smitten. Relative newcomers Great Wilderness are releasing their Rest EP this evening, and it's as strong a debut recording as you are likely to hear for quite some time. Produced by Victor Paul Nash (Point Juncture, WA), the six-song recording is compiled of texturally flawless folk songs anchored by the feathery soft vocals of singers Jamie McMullen and Emily Wilder. The confessionary "Helium" centers around the creeping violin of Laura Kucera, yet is neatly hemmed in by the song's doomed chorus ("fire eats away my heart, fire eats away my mind") and gradual descent into silence. Much like the opening notes of our introduction to Laura Gibson on 2006's If You Come to Greet Me, there is an instant comfort and ease to Rest, a natural beginning of what is likely to be a long, fruitful relationship between both artist and fan. Lucky us. EAC

THE VOLT PER OCTAVES, BERNIE WORRELL, HURTBIRD

(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Make some room for Dr. Woo—that's Bernie Worrell to you, the legendary funk keyboardist who was a member of Parliament/Funkadelic during their historic '70s run and also contributed to classic Talking Heads records in the '80s. You've heard Worrell's synths, and you've heard the countless imitators who have come since. Worrell sits in tonight with Volt Per Octaves, made up of husband-and-wife duo Nick and Anna Montoya, plus their daughter Eva. The Montoya family employs Moog synthesizers to make a wobbly, retro-futuristic sound, the Moog (rhymes with "rogue," don't let your music-snob friends hear you saying otherwise) being one of the first widely produced analog synths. Initially a hugely cumbersome device, the Moog was brought to the masses by Wendy Carlos' 1968 Switched-On Bach album, and was refined and streamlined (and reduced to a much more manageable size) in the later Moog Modular and Minimoog models. On their own, the Volt Per Octaves often make a spacey, languid sound, but rest assured that with Worrell sitting in, those bubble-squeaky synths will be utilized for some very warped funk. NL

THE MOTHER HIPS, THE PARSON RED HEADS

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) If ever a musical group is named the patron saints of College Bands Who Stood the Test of Time, the Mother Hips should be top nominees. Formed in the early '90s as undergrads at Chico State, they lived the dream of being signed by Rick Rubin to American Records—of Johnny Cash fame—while still in school. Although that didn't last, the band has steadily churned out records of hazy, psych-tinged California pop in the two decades since. In the absence of any widespread fame or fortune, the Hips have garnered legions of devoted fans only slightly calmer and less far-out than those of Phish. And despite hiatuses and member shake-ups, an incarnation of the original group continues to play and release new material, most recently, 2009's perfectly pleasant Pacific Dust. MARANDA BISH

SATURDAY 3/19

DESTROYER, THE WAR ON DRUGS

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Read about Destroyer.

HANDSOME FURS

(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) Before a short East Coast tour in April and a longer tour of Europe later in the spring, Handsome Furs are doing a one-off show at Bunk Bar. We're not sure why the married duo of Alexei Perry and Dan Boeckner are coming through town, but we suspect Bunk's delicious sandwiches might have something to do with it. The two have been hard at work on the third Handsome Furs album, recorded in Montreal with producer Arlen Thompson, who you might know from Boeckner's other band, Wolf Parade. Plenty of rock fans are familiar with Boeckner's songwriting via that well-known band, but much of his best work is contained in the more electronic, punkier Handsome Furs catalog. Judging from past efforts, the new record will be a collection of sparse but addictive glam-synth anthems, as sweet and deadly as a razorblade stuffed inside a piece of candy. Handsome Furs also pulsate with a barely contained sexuality—evidenced by their eye-catching press photos—and their live show often unleashes the energy and heat of a full-fledged dance party. NL

FXFU: STIFFWIFF, PIGEONS, MIKE COYKENDALL AND THE GOLDEN SHAG, OLD LIGHT, WHAT HEARTS, ON THE STAIRS, YES FATHER, DJ BLACK SANDWICH, DJ NICHOLAB

(Eagles Lodge, 4904 SE Hawthorne) The annual South by Southwest music conference in Austin, Texas, is everything good and bad about the music industry rolled up into a few days of fevered exhaustion. Therefore, the month of March is a time of both dread and joy for musicians and hangers-on alike, as SXSW looms its head over basically everything else that's happening musically. Skipping it altogether might result in fewer gray hairs, but there's always a slightly bitter sense of disappointment at missing out on the frenzy. No more! The first annual FXFU "festival" takes place this Saturday within the time-warp of Southeast Portland's Eagles Lodge. A tall stack of local acts make up the extraordinarily diverse bill—including the improvised jams of Stiffwiff and the Petty-ready folk-rock of Mike Coykendall—and there'll be no need for the schmoozing and networking that are the low points of this weekend's other music fest. NL

NASALROD, TINY KNIVES, SWAMPBUCK

(Tonic Lounge, 3100 NE Sandy) Witnessing a Nasalrod show is like watching the guy at the freak show hammer nails into his nose. It's a fascinating and perplexing display of talent and pure lunacy. Chairman, the band's crazy-eyed hyperactive front man, flails around the room with complete disregard for his own personal safety (or his bandmates' for that matter). Flying kicks and leaps from the stage are frequent, and spectacular. Coupled with his kooky yet soulful vocals, Chairman owns your attention. All together, Nasalrod sounds like the Dead Kennedys riding a Tilt-a-Whirl at the fair while listening to R&B records. Each song is more manic and fun then the last. Nasalrod has found that originality and insanity can go hand in hand. ARIS WALES

THE PHYSICAL HEARTS, 1939 ENSEMBLE, CELILO

(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) The Physical Hearts' second EP, Shepherd's Gun, is a well-polished collection of midtempo numbers that manage to straddle both slick modern radio rock and earthier, rootsier sounds. Lead singer Nathaniel Talbot lucidly sings in an immaculately smooth register reminiscent of James Taylor, while the rest of the quartet tastefully shifts between clean and distorted tones. The Physical Hearts' approach to melody is appealingly circuitous, showing an adventurous refusal to retread familiar paths, and while the grand gestures don't always work—the bogged-down prog of "Porch Light," for instance—the smaller ones often do, like the charming Clarence White-isms tucked into the background of "Mayflower." NL

MOSLEY WOTTA, THE ASCETIC JUNKIES, HOT BODIES IN MOTION

(Mt. Tabor Theater, 4811 SE Hawthorne) Mosley Wotta hails from Bend and is fronted by charismatic emcee Jason Graham, whose theater background is notably evident in a live setting. It would be a misnomer to classify the group as strictly hiphop, considering the heavy funk influence as well as forays into jam band territory that thankfully stop well short of abhorrent needless noodling. The name Mosley Wotta alludes to the fact that all people are mostly water, creating a musical MO focused on uniting and uplifting that trickles down from the Spearhead tributary of hiphop. Seattle's blues/funk hybrid Hot Bodies in Motion and Portland's own genre-bending Ascetic Junkies open, the latter bringing their distinct blend of bluegrass, pop, and funk with a punk ethos. This bill is about one act shy (jazz-influenced shoegaze/grindcore perhaps?) of covering nearly every musical genre. RYAN FEIGH

SUNDAY 3/20

LEAVES RUSSELL, NICOLE BERKE, DKOTA

(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Available tonight, Tale of Two Basements is the new five-song offering from local quartet Leaves Russell. The Russell boys are technically gifted nearly to a fault, creating songs loaded down with grandiose instrumentation (so much violin!) and a slightly disjointed structure. While opener "Heart of Things" doesn't skimp on the melodrama, the band sounds more comfortable on precise rock numbers like "Paperthin." And the less said about weepy ballad "La Zona Rosa" the better. While it's clear that Leaves Russell's intentions are in the right place, Basements struggles mightily to progress through its overly ambitious song structure, proof that sometimes the simplest of ideas work the best. EAC

MONDAY 3/21

THE FINCHES, KEY LOSERS, ALINA HARDIN

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

TUESDAY 3/22

MUSIC FOR ANIMALS, THE FOREIGN RESORT, WAX FINGERS

(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) The Eric Bana-looking lead singer of Music for Animals has a really fucking great voice. Sometimes he's doing his best Robert Palmer impression, a kind of skeevy '80s come-on whisper, but there are hints in some of their best songs—especially the opening of "If Looks Could Kill"—that he could really open up and blow us away with something exceptional and possibly early Bono-ish. But for now, Music for Animals are wallowing in a retro groove, and that's fine. As long as they're tossing out juicy disco cuts like "Nervous in New York" and hippie freakout "Love Love Love," they're keeping me entertained. PAUL CONSTANT

LUCY WAINWRIGHT ROCHE

(The Woods, 6637 SE Milwaukie) The Wainwright best known not for being named Loudon, Martha, or Rufus, Lucy Wainwright Roche has a lot to prove in entering the family business. Yet the New Yorker singer/songwriter held her own on her pop's Grammy-nominated Charlie Poole tribute High Wide & Handsome, along with last year's solo release, Lucy. The immaculately arranged Lucy lacks the stylistic rage of Martha or the grandiloquence of Rufus, aiming instead to be little more than a pleasant folk recording, the kind of album where Joni Mitchell is the primary influence and the Indigo Girls' Amy Ray drops on by for a cameo. EAC

WEDNESDAY 3/23

MEN, LOVERS, MACROMANTICS, SILVER INTERIOR, MR. CHARMING

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

SLUTTY HEARTS, THE GRAND ATLANTIC, EVRIM

(Twilight Café and Bar, 1420 SE Powell) The songs of Brisbane, Australia, quartet Grand Atlantic toll familiar bells to anyone familiar with '90s psych-rockers reviving '60s psych rock. In other words, they sound like a carbon copy of a carbon copy, but the original thing is so pleasurable that even third-generation replicas possess estimable charms. Grand Atlantic's facile way with soaring melodies and alluring hooks, along with Phil Usher's smooth vocals, add up to a sunshiny stroll down a late-'60s Memory Lane. Still, the vicarious thrill perceptible in Grand Atlantic's amiable psychedelic-pop facsimiles is undeniable. DAVE SEGAL

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