Up & Coming 

LUCK-ONE Roseland, 4/8; Crown Room, 4/9

LUCK-ONE Roseland, 4/8; Crown Room, 4/9

THURSDAY 4/7

RAVISHERS, DERBY, RED JACKET MINE

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) The self-titled debut album from Ravishers, following up their Singles for Singles EP, is mannered, tailored pop that's as well groomed and appealing as an expensive haircut. Every piano note and guitar stroke is perfectly in place, while frontman Dominic Castillo croons along to keep things at an even boil. Songs like "The Chase" and "I'm Him" are the pleasingly catchy results of skilled pop songwriting, and "Cruel Love" is crisply emotive without dipping into treacle. Like LA's the 88, you expect half these tunes to turn up as the opening credits for TV sitcoms. In other words, it's all pleasant ear candy, without a single thing wrong—some of these songs you'll probably want to hear over and over. It would, however, be interesting to hear Ravishers use their plainly evident talent to color outside the lines a little bit. NED LANNAMANN

FRIDAY 4/8

ICE CUBE, LUCK-ONE

(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Is there an essence of Ice Cube? Meaning, is there one thing that says everything about this veteran rapper and filmmaker? Can we find a line, a rhyme, a track that fills up Ice Cube's whole mode of being? I think there is, but it would be hard to locate, because Ice Cube has accumulated a huge body of work. Only the most dedicated fan could come close to this one thing. For me, however, there are five words in an Ice Cube track that capture not the essence of the rapper, but the essence of a time (the early '90s) and place (West Coast). Those five words, which are in "It Was a Good Day": "The Lakers beat the SuperSonics." CHARLES MUDEDE Also see My, What a Busy Week! .

TYPHOON, AND AND AND, BRAINSTORM

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) With the stunning new A New Kind of House EP, Typhoon expands on musical ideas they flirted with on last year's full-length, Hunger and Thirst, feeling very much like a theoretical Side Three to that album. The exultant refrain of "The Honest Truth" was coyly hinted at with "Mouth of the Cave," while the slow-burning, choir-laden "Claws Pt. 1" puts Hunger and Thirst's "Claws Pt. 2" into revealing relief. If anything, Typhoon sounds even better on this EP—heavier, spookier, wiser, and stronger. This new batch of songs should be mostly familiar to anyone who's seen the expansive ensemble at one of their excellent, passionate live shows, but the EP is proof positive—proof that you can hold in your hands—that right now Typhoon is making some of the finest music not just in Portland, but in the world. NL

SATURDAY 4/9

MS. LAURYN HILL, DONALD HARRISON, HOT 8 BRASS BAND

(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway) See My, What a Busy Week!, and read about Lauryn Hill.

THE BASEBALL PROJECT

(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) See My, What a Busy Week!

THE RURAL ALBERTA ADVANTAGE, LORD HURON, AAN

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Read about Lord Huron.

LUCK-ONE, KEAK DA SNEAK, COMMOTION, REVA DEVITO

(Crown Room, 205 NW 4th) True Theory is the debut full-length from Luck-One, the much-anticipated release from local emcee Hanif Collins and his team of collaborators. That it's mixed by producer extraordinaire Terminill and featuring guest spots from some of Portland's top-notch talent are more than enough reasons to demand a listen, but at the end of the day it's the lyrical ingenuity and bravery of such a thematic undertaking that makes this record an instant classic. Intelligent without being pedantic, hardcore without being herd-headed, and conscious without being condescending, Collins masterfully balances the subjective tightrope without ever falling into the pit of preachy—regardless of your beliefs. The lyrical flow swings from coolly casual to punishing with deft precision, yet regardless of the tempo it's always powerfully passionate. Those looking to celebrate the beauty of being aware should get on board by any means necessary. RYAN FEIGH

WITCH MOUNTAIN, NETHER REGIONS, RABBITS, WIZARD RIFLE

(Backspace, 115 NW 5th) For those who worship at the altar of Doom, this is a night 10 years in the making. Witch Mountain have been Portland's resident heavy metal band since 1997, when Rob Wrong, David Hoopaugh, and Nathan Carson exploded on the scene with a sound so hard that only an audience of primarily European rock fans could handle what they were throwing down. Since their debut full-length Come the Mountain in 2001, the world has seen no releases from Witch Mountain—until tonight. Their trademark instrumentals, droning and maddening, were forever altered by the addition of Uta Plotkin as singer in 2009, and their brand-new sophomore record South of Salem incorporates the band's intensely dosed musical madness with the enchanting fury of Plotkin's vocals that, for lack of any better word, are simply bewitching. MARANDA BISH

MOON DUO, ETERNAL TAPESTRY, YOUNG PRISMS, KAREN

(East End, 203 SE Grand) San Francisco's Moon Duo (guitarist/vocalist Ripley Johnson of Wooden Shjips and keyboardist Sanae Yamada) excel at the repetition-as-transcendence mode of rock. Like a more stripped-down Wooden Shjips, Moon Duo write songs redolent of white-line fever, ideal soundtracks for accelerating down freeways in the wee morning hours as you speed toward a debauched encounter. They take on Suicide's raw, cool sexuality—Johnson's vocals loll somewhere between Alan Vega's and Sonic Boom's—along with that deadpan duo's linear, minimalist attack, while also nodding to Hawkwind's space-trekking propulsion. Moon Duo's new album on Sacred Bones, Mazes, finds them gaining melodic accessibility without losing their scorched-ear sensibility. It's going to make a lot of smart people's top-10 lists of 2011. DAVE SEGAL

BRIGHT EYES, TITUS ANDRONICUS

(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) The wavering voice of Titus Andronicus frontman Patrick Stickles has earned his band numerous comparisons to Bright Eyes' Conor Oberst, so it shouldn't be a surprise to see the New Jersey upstarts opening for the Monster of Folk. But Titus Andronicus is no mere imitation—in fact, their passionate, epic, howlingly good music has very little in common with Bright Eyes, save a flair for the dramatic and a little bit of vocal bleating. Titus are two albums into a monumental career, with last year's sprawling The Monitor being among the greatest rock records released this millennium—anyone who's listened to the whole thing knows that isn't an exaggeration—and a live show that is 100 percent committed to transcendence. Titus Andronicus is the best thing to come out of Jersey since Bruce Springsteen; actually, I have to say that, note for note, I think I like them better than Springsteen. And I like Springsteen a lot. NL

FENCES, GREYLAG

(Peter's Room at the Roseland, 8 NW 6th) The Pacific Northwest is a good place for burgeoning talent; everything grows here, so long as it can withstand the rain. Which is why within minutes of hearing Portland-based Greylag, it's clear that it won't be long until the group drums up some serious attention. The band's first single, "Black Crow," possesses those introspective-yet-effervescent folk tropes that sparked the meteoric rise of fellow Pacific Northwesterners the Head and the Heart. Additional Greylag cuts from a sampler—they have yet to put out their first proper album, The Only Way to Kill You, and there is enough material for almost three—darken in shade, featuring frontman Andrew Stonestreet as a deeply confessional songwriter with a hurdling voice. While the band is still in the preliminary stages, nurturing talents and honing in on their craft, their future is as promising as those first green buds in spring. RAQUEL NASSER

THE RESERVATIONS, HELLO ELECTRIC, SONS OF HUNS

(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) What separates Portland band Sons of Huns' self-titled debut EP from your everyday, run-of-the-mill, crudely recorded, homegrown garage punk? Quite a lot, actually, but let's start with the most obvious: These guys can fucking play. Nearly every song is emblazoned with whirling guitar solos, catapulting these compact, abrasive nuggets out of the basement and into that rare, awesome area where psych, prog, punk, and metal all bump fists and pat asses. "House of Groan" caroms like an amphetamine bender, with Peter Hughes' guitar looping and twirling around the thunderous fretless bass of Shoki Tanabe—yes, it's fretless, and yes, it totally works—and firecracker drums of Ryan Northrop. And "Behemoth Hop" plays like the B-side of the trashiest single from the grimiest '60s garage band that ever lumbered into a dirt-cheap recording studio. In other words, Sons of Huns are incredible, and you will love them. NL

SUNDAY 4/10

LIGHTNING BOLT, FLEXIONS, THE GREYS, DJ YETI

(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) At its best (which is pretty much all the time), Lightning Bolt's music represents some sort of culmination of noise-rock evolution. Over five ferocious albums, their no-wave speed-metal pyrotechnics have made a convincing case for Uzi-fied beats and OCD riffmongering. Drummer/vocalist Brian Chippendale and bassist Brian Gibson have hit upon a formula from which they rarely deviate, because doing so would be a tragic waste of such awesome firepower and dynamics. Lightning Bolt typically set up on the floor and let crowds converge on them, creating an almost unbearable sense of claustrophobia for both parties. The emergency-state raging that commences makes nearly every Lightning Bolt show an exercise in catastrophic catharsis. Expect some new material—including one song that sounds like Motörhead, according to Chippendale—along with a grip of old warhorses. DS Also see My, What a Busy Week!

BLACK JOE LEWIS AND THE HONEYBEARS, THOSE DARLINS

(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears were the unicorns of my SXSW experience. I vehemently sought after the Austin band, insistent upon catching at least one of the nine-odd shows they played, though every time I arrived at a venue, some red-faced individual would inform me that the Honeybears had "just finished" their set and so, I eventually decided that they did not exist. However, by the good graces of the Soul'd Out Festival—whom I trust to bill bands that are not mythical creatures—Black Joe Lewis will travel directly to me (and you! Well, Dante's). Their very recently released sophomore album Scandalous flawlessly fuses blues, garage soul, and funk with just enough fire and grit from Lewis himself, who interchangeably channels Lightnin' Hopkins and Bootsy Collins. Want to shake the cobwebs this week? No need to attend another vintage soul DJ gig; get yourself directly to this show. RN

MORGAN AND THE ORGAN DONORS, MAGIC JOHNSON, THE HOODED HAGS

(Tonic Lounge, 3100 NE Sandy) When Portland musicians play musical chairs, beautiful things result. The Hooded Hags, for example, are a fresh incarnation of a few of our town's finest: Karen Harrington, axe slinger and slinky singer from Cat Fancy!; the multi-talented Chris Sutton of Hornet Leg/Gossip on guitar and vocals; and the dynamic Nick Capello from Big Black Cloud behind the kit. With Harrington and Sutton sharing fronting duties, a male/female intermingling rounds out the barebones beat of Hornet Leg to a pleasing pop sound, and some of the mind-bending melodies of BBC are subtly present, combining to create playful, demented punk that reminds this reviewer of deconstructive bands like the Mummies. The band themselves says they don't even know what they sound like yet—but I can tell you now that it sounds good. MB

PIGEONS, SAM HUMANS AND THE LIGHT, BESTIES

(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Back in January, Portland's Greyday Records released a split 10-inch record with one side dedicated to Bellingham, Washington's the Heligoats, and the other side to Portland shapeshifter Sam Humans (Modernstate, ...worms, O Bruxo). Given Humans' many guises over the years, his six tunes are performed with relative straightforwardness: "Firedrill" is a corrosive guitar song with a chain-gang beat; "Can't Stop the Sun" feels like an obscure, folkier Pink Floyd ballad from one of their pre-Dark Side soundtrack albums; "Hate Is the New Love" offers an unflinchingly bleak message with a cheerfully chiming guitar; "As a People" is an amphetamine rave-up. Every song on Humans' side of the split is musically adventurous, widely varied, uniformly good—and deeply rewarding. NL

MONDAY 4/11

RAPHAEL SAADIQ, QUADRON

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

RISE AGAINST, BAD RELIGION, FOUR YEAR STRONG

(Rose Garden, 1 Center Court) It makes sense that Rise Against would tour with Bad Religion. In fact, Rise Against should be so fucking lucky—if it weren't for Bad Religion's angst-ridden So-Cal punk (they've been at it since 1979), Rise Against never would've come into existence 20 years later. And it's not like Rise Against haven't put in the work—10 years and six records comprise a career of consistently blistering melodic hardcore that's as aggressive as it is politically correct (some members of the band are straight edge, they all support PETA, and they often sing about human rights). But do they really get to headline over Bad Religion? I mean... it's Bad Religion! (Related: Get off my lawn!) MEGAN SELING

THE SUBMARINES, NIK FREITAS, OH DARLING

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Nik Freitas has done time in some very high-profile bands, including Broken Bells and Conor Oberst's Mystic Valley Band, but the music he records under his own name is superior to anything else he's lent his talents to. His 2008 Sun Down album was an overlooked gem, and his forthcoming release Saturday Night Underwater, due out later this year, is just as enjoyable, a conglomeration of forlorn folk songwriting, classicist pop assemblage, and warped space electronics. When he comes back down to earth, as on "Hold That Thought," the result is damn-near perfect pop, which should pair perfectly well with the Submarines, a pair of fellow Angelenos whose new record, Love Notes/Letter Bombs, continues their run of sweet, skilled pop that's sugary as hell but manages to stay far away from diabetic overkill. NL

TUESDAY 4/12

WIRE

(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) See My, What a Busy Week!

THE JULIET LETTERS: FEAR NO MUSIC, HOLCOMBE WALLER, LEAH YORKSTON, STEPHEN BEAUDOIN, ANGELA NIEDERLOH

(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) See MMy, What a Busy Week!

AGESANDAGES, LAKE, THE GOLDEN HOURS

(The Woods, 6637 SE Milwaukie) Read about LAKE.

CULTS, MAGIC KIDS, WHITE ARROWS

(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) New York's Cults create heat-hazy, sucrose-heavy pop that exudes youthful innocence and earnestness. Cute female/male vocals, neck-hair-raising glockenspiel embellishments, euphoric keyboard swells, and immediately catchy melodies put Cults on the same fast track for medium-sized stardom down which Best Coast are zooming. They are going to be intensely loved by many people in their late teens and early 20s. And then they won't anymore... sooner rather than later. DS

WEDNESDAY 4/13

DAS RACIST, HOLY GHOST, REPORTER, RUDE DUDES

(Branx, 320 SE 2nd) See My, What a Busy Week!, and read about Das Racist.

KODE9, RYAN ORGAN, LINCOLNUP, BEN TACTIC

(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) After celebrating the fifth anniversary of his influential London-based Hyperdub record label and publishing Sonic Warfare, a scholarly work about how sound and sonic environments affect individuals and society, Kode9 (Steve Goodman) is finally releasing a new album. Black Sun is a departure from previous work, particularly in the sense that it is not nearly as bass driven. This sounds a little odd considering Goodman is credited with popularizing a deeper, darker side of dubstep, a genre that has come to rely almost entirely on the low end of the frequency spectrum. Goodman has lightened things up a bit with shiny synthesizer work, the addition of a female vocalist, and a new take on long-time collaborator the Spaceape's vocals (think more hiphop, less evil static drone). It's exactly the kind of inventive forward motion one would expect from the man who launched Burial's career. AVA HEGEDUS

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