Up & Coming 

Highlights in music the week of May 12-18

THE ONE AM RADIO
Backspace, 5/13

THE ONE AM RADIO
Backspace, 5/13

THURSDAY 5/12

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

FIN DE CINEMA'S BLOW-UP: MONARQUES, THE RESERVATIONS, ROCKY AND THE PROMS
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See My, What a Busy Week!

THE RAVEONETTES, TAMARYN
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) Read our article on the Raveonettes.

PETER BJORN AND JOHN, BACHELORETTE
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Yo, where my young folks at? A few years have passed since Peter Bjorn and John whistled their way to the top of the charts with the lovely Victoria Bergsman hook and cavity-inducing melody of "Young Folks." Following the distraction that was Living Thing, PB&J resurfaces with the cheerful Gimme Some, their closest effort to breakthrough recording Writer's Block. Swedophiles can breathe easy: There are some genuine moments of pure immaculate pop music on Gimme Some, and only a few lackadaisical lapses to mar the band's simplified sound. Joining PB&J will be the underappreciated sounds of Bachelorette, the visionary work of New Zealander Annabel Alpers. Her moody new self-titled release (out May 17) is bedroom pop at its finest, a vocal-rich collection of heartfelt songs that barely climb above a dulcet whisper. EZRA ACE CARAEFF

OF MONTREAL, PAINTED PALMS
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Just four short years ago, Kevin Barnes really seemed to be onto something. With the densely woven pansexual opera/freakout Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?, Barnes built on his band Of Montreal's previous seven albums with a kaleidoscope of glam pop that stuck out like a day-glo thumb in the otherwise muted color palette of indie rock. Of Montreal quickly evolved a must-see live band, with a mindfucking stage show that took primitive community-theater production values to grotesque extremes. That live show overshadowed Of Montreal's unfortunate follow-up record Skeletal Lamping, an inscrutable and hard-to-listen-to collection of ADD song snippets. Barnes' latest recorded effort, False Priest, corrects the scales somewhat, with funkless but coherent disco numbers that slightly dampen what made Fauna such an attention-grabbing breakout. So where does that leave us? With a boring but unconventional album and a bound-to-be-fuckin'-weird live spectacle—more than most bands offer, really. NED LANNAMANN

FRIDAY 5/13

A-TRAK, KID SISTER, THE GASLAMP KILLER, RUDE DUDES
(Branx, 320 SE 2nd) See My, What a Busy Week!

POINT JUNCTURE WA, PIGEONS, DJ BILL PORTLAND
(The Woods, 6637 SE Milwaukie) Read our article on Point Juncture, WA.

HOUSES, THE ONE AM RADIO, THEMES, RADIATION CITY
(Backspace, 115 NW 5th) The last four years have been a barren affair for those of us enamored with the One AM Radio. The musical solo vessel captained by Hrishikesh Hirway has been dormant these past few years, a deafening silence that implied the One AM Radio was no more. Thankfully that was not the case, as Hirway has resurfaced with new album and new backing band in tow. The texturally magnificent Heaven Is Attached By a Slender Thread finds Hirway in a far better place than 2007's woefully downtrodden (yet still wonderful, in a slit-your-wrist sort of way) This Too Will Pass. As always, Hirway's murmured vocals are gently perched atop a subtle foundation of chirping electronic beats and muted live-band instrumentation (recorded in his apartment, naturally), creating a lovely structure of intimate pop numbers that sound like a more grown up Postal Service. We now have a soundtrack for the next four years. EAC

GHOSTLAND OBSERVATORY, DJ GREGARIOUS
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) At this point, Austin-based duo Ghostland Observatory need little introduction. For over six years, singer Aaron Behrens and producer/drummer Thomas Turner have been creating straightforward electronic/rock hybrids that they've released on their own Trashy Moped imprint, and toured consistently, regularly selling out mid-to-large venues across the country off the reputation of their flashy live show that feels like a rave at a rock concert. Here's the thing, though: Ghostland Observatory cater primarily to the common denominator, those who never tire of the whiny and agitated Freddie Mercury-esque vocals and Daft Punk-inspired electro beats and vocoder treatments that have hardly changed over the course of four albums. But if dudes are looking to start a party and get drunk ladies on the dance floor, Ghostland Observatory's frat-tronic sound has that sort of undeniable magnetism. If you like stupid lyrics, ramped up BPMs, and occasionally listen to Ke$ha on the radio because "it's fun," you'll be in good company tonight. But you probably already know that already. TRAVIS RITTER

SATURDAY 5/14

DREW GROW AND THE PASTORS' WIVES, QUASI
(Ella Street Social Club, 714 SW 20th Place) See My, What a Busy Week!

JARED MEES AND THE GROWN CHILDREN, YOUR RIVAL, WILD ONES (6 pm)
(Backspace, 115 NW 5th) Read our article on Jared Mees and the Grown Children,

JARED MEES AND THE GROWN CHILDREN, DIRTY MITTENS, AND AND AND (9 pm)
(Someday Lounge, 125 NW 5th) Read our article on Jared Mees and the Grown Children.

X RAY EYEBALLS, GRAVE BABIES, HURRY UP
(East End, 203 SE Grand) Read our article on Grave Babies.

YACHT, LIGHT ASYLUM, BOBBY BIRDMAN, JEFFREY JERUSALEM
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) Perhaps the most divisive of Portland acts, YACHT are either pop music savants or snake-oil peddlers of vacant slogans and vague, cultish ideologies. Or perhaps a little of both. Regardless, the duo of Jona Bechtolt and Claire Evans have always been kicking it years ahead of the pop music curve, creating a sound that everyone else will be emulating come 2013. Now backed by the Straight Gaze—featuring an expanded group that includes a robust lineup of all-star local musicians (Jeffrey Jerusalem, Bobby Birdman, Katy Davidson)—YACHT is prepping a June release of Shangri-La on the house that James Murphy built (but not the one Daft Punk played at), DFA Records. They'll play the album in its entirety tonight, including lead single "Dystopia (The Earth Is on Fire)" which borrows a well-used hook from Rock Master Scott and the Dynamic Three's "The Roof Is on Fire" and just might be the band's finest dance-floor burner to date. People of Portland, put your triangles to the sky. EAC

JOE PUG, CELILO, STRAND OF OAKS
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Strand of Oaks—though also known by his God-given name, Timothy Showalter—has remained one of the northeastern states' best-kept secrets for some time now. Stationed in Philadelphia, Showalter has filled many an art space and venue back east to the brim with his barren folk rock (think the stripped honesty and fine china-wielding capabilities of Bruce Springsteen's Nebraska: a lone storyteller with a Telecaster). This run with Chicago troubadour Joe Pug is Showalter's very first tour beyond the Great Divide, and it's a journey that should treat him kindly. Pope Killdragon, Strand of Oaks' second album, is a spectacular collection of songs shaded with relatable sadness and wrought with appearances from religious idols and historical figures, as familiar as if they were past lovers and next-door neighbors. It's highly recommended you head to the Doug Fir early and listen close, for who knows when Strand of Oaks will be back this way again? RAQUEL NASSER

FEMI KUTI AND THE POSITIVE FORCE, DJ SANTO
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) The new album by Femi Kuti, Africa for Africa, sounds primarily driven by political anger. Recorded in Kuti's home country of Nigeria in the crushingly huge city of Lagos, it's the sound of a globetrotter keenly focusing his world-weary eyes on problems at home. There is talk of "Bad Government" in the song of the same name; a plea of food for the hungry and democratic change in "Dem Bobo"; he name-checks Patrice Lumumba, Nelson Mandela, and plenty others in "Make We Remember." Femi is carrying the torch, of course, and although he does not blaze the trails of his famous father Fela so much as follow their established path, his music is brimming with a contemporary urgency. Transposed against the pure, near-rapturous physicality of his Afrobeat music—again, a shadow of his father's, but we'll take it—this show will be a fiery dance party, ignited by a call to activism. NL

THE DEATH SET, WIN WIN, BREAKFAST MOUNTAIN, SERIOUS BUSINESS
(Branx, 320 SE 2nd) Within the new generation of electro-rap party music (Girl Talk, Chromeo), the Death Set bring something unique to the table. The Brooklyn-via-Australia act do so via a montage of electric and digital instrumentation (conjuring former tourmates Japanther) alongside high-energy dance beats (in the style of their mentor Diplo), and some punk rock sung/shouted/spouted vocals as well. The trio has spent half a decade producing their frenetic, genre-bending music, with a current incarnation that includes founding member Johnny Siera with support from Japhet Landis and Daniel Walker. Their latest, Michel Poiccard, is an impressive snapshot of the band at their finest, including a few more indie-tinged numbers (such as "I Love You Beau Velasco," an homage to a former member of the band who has passed away) that will likely cause their dreamy fans to swoon. MARANDA BISH

SUNDAY 5/15

YELLE, FRENCH HORN REBELLION
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) See My, What a Busy Week!

EZRA FURMAN AND THE HARPOONS, TRISTEN, THE APACHE RELAY
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) If you don't already, Ezra Furman is a name you need to know. With his three-piece band the Harpoons, Furman has released three sturdy albums—including the brand-new Mysterious Power—that plainly indicate the Chicago-based singer/songwriter is one of the best in an overcrowded field. With vocals that go from tender to waveringly strident, and songs that run the gamut from gentle folk to bashed-out anthems, Furman and the Harpoons make songs that insist on being held close, becoming an integral part of your life whether you like it or not. It's the kind of music—like Springsteen, or the Violent Femmes, or the best of Dylan—that, once it's grabbed your attention, inspires a deep-seated devotion that doesn't go away. One listen to a song like Mysterious Power's "Teenage Wasteland" and you'll be singing it for the rest of your life. NL

CURREN$Y, TRADEMARK, YOUNG RODDY, FIEND, CORNER BOY P
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) As easy as I find it to write off the majority of blog-weight rappers from the last three or four years (if you can name even one member of, say, Pac Div, you have too much time on your hands), I can’t help loving the output of one Shante Franklin, AKA Curren$y. Formerly known by his suffix Tha Hot Spitta (or just Spitta, if ya nasty), Curren$y has surfed the crest of some of Southern rap’s most powerful movements, as a one-time signee of both No Limit and Cash Money Records; it is his evolution into the unfazeable rap Lebowski of today, however, that is the most remarkable. Dedicated to high-grade weed, fine women, and vintage muscle cars, Spitta’s lifestyle tunes ooze a rare Devin the Dude-esque cool, while his wordplay and flow are damn near peerless. Jets… fool. LARRY MIZELL JR.

MONDAY 5/16

JOHNNY FLYNN AND THE SUSSEX WIT, CAITLIN ROSE
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!

TUESDAY 5/17

PARENTHETICAL GIRLS, HAUSU, SUPPORT FORCE
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) See My, What a Busy Week!

AAN
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) Aan has been playing a shit-ton of shows lately, nabbing prestigious opening slots, headlining their own bills, and generally becoming one of Portland's most prolific live bands. But up until now, they've only had one recording—last year's five-song I Could Be Girl for You EP—to their name. That changes with tonight's release of the "Somewhere's Sunshine" 7-inch single, which further displays that Aan refuses to follow any standard course. As ruthlessly experimental as their accomplished EP, these two tracks follow circuitous routes around any pop comforts, ending up in a much more innovative place, where frontman Bud Wilson stretches the upper range of his elastic voice and surrounds himself with tangled guitar lines. NL

WEDNESDAY 5/18

GHOST ANIMAL, PRESCRIPTION PILLS, HAUSU, PERIOD ROMANCE
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Read our article on Ghost Animal.

KATHRYN CALDER, THE DIMES, HIMALAYAN BEAR
(Mission Theater, 1624 NW Glisan) Victoria, British Columbia's Kathryn Calder is one of the many links in the chain of Canadian power pop that is the New Pornographers—she's the niece of Carl Newman, and has been a member of the band since 2005—and her first solo album Are You My Mother? comes after her 2008 departure from another Victoria band, Immaculate Machine. Mother? was written and recorded as Calder's mother succumbed to Lou Gehrig's disease, but it's not a gloomy wake of a record. Rather, it's a collection of pleasant, girly, sorrowful pop; it stands up against the many fine records in the growing New Pornographers galaxy. Considering her peers are Destroyer, Neko Case, and Newman's own (vastly underrated) solo work, that's no small thing. NL

MAN MAN, SHILPA RAY AND HER HAPPY HOOKERS
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) Philadelphia's Man Man have become gradually more refined over the last eight years or so, but their early shows were riotous affairs involving much instrument swapping, white tennis outfits, acrobatic percussion feats, and intricate, goofy vocal interplay. It was kind of like watching a band of Tom Waitses trying their hands at no wave and klezmer music while lit on rum. Man Man's new album, Life Fantastic, somewhat reins in the weirdness and manic energy, though you can still hear residual quirks in their boisterous pop songs—as well as an occasional reliance on sentimentality in the melodies. Still, expect dazzlement onstage. New York's Shilpa Ray and Her Happy Hookers rock hard, tunefully and noisily, sometimes coloring outside of the lines to unpredictable, psychedelic effect. DAVE SEGAL

THE GREENHORNES, JEFF THE BROTHERHOOD, THE NIGHT BEATS, THE ANGRY ORTS
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) Certified badasses Jeff the Brotherhood are makers of high-octane riffs and turbo-charged beats that muscle cars were designed for rallying to on the open road. What's most shocking is how much sound the Nashville duo can get out of their barebones setup. But this band of brothers, Jake and Jamin Orrall, make the most out of their finite components (a three-stringed guitar and three-piece kit), sounding like a beefed-up V8 engine that's really a four-cylinder underneath the hood. Their songs, found on their excellent 2009 debut LP Heavy Days, and the just released We Are the Champions (as well as a slew of highly-coveted OOP 7-inch singles), are grungy, raw, and uncompromisingly psychedelic, with powerful melodies that swirl around the brain for days on end and rock ascensions that strap in and floor it, leaving you sitting idle in the place where their trail of burning rubber and asphalt meet. TR

MIDNIGHT, SAVIOURS, LIGHTNING SWORDS OF DEATH, ARCHONS
(Plan B, 1305 SE 8th) Cleveland's Midnight takes the metallic rock and roll from the likes of Motörhead and Saxon and puts it through a Venom filter. When it comes out the other end, it's dripping satanic ectoplasm and it's trying to put its hand up your girlfriend's skirt. Since Midnight's first release in 2003, the band's trademark sound has remained raw and rancid, consistently depraved, and with production that is equally as rotten. Songs from their self-titled debut EP to 2009's Berlin Is Burning are virtually interchangeable. They started simple and filthy not because they had shitty equipment and no money, but because that was the plan. Odds are Midnight will stay that way until they crawl back into the grave they came from. ARIS WALES

HAYES CARLL, QUIET LIFE
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Country singer Hayes Carll has carved himself out quite a niche as a rough-and-tumble guitar-toting troublemaker. Now that Steve Earle has forwarded his subscription of Mother Jones to his place out in the 'burbs, the Guitar Town sound now belongs to the husky rasp of Carll. The Texas singer's latest is KMAG YOYO (or, "Kiss My Ass Guys, You're on Your Own," for those unfamiliar with military acronyms), which wastes little time establishing Carll as a roots-rock heavyweight, as he joyfully boasts "I'm like James Brown/Only white and taller/All I wanna do is stomp and holler" on opening track "Stomp and Holler." But it's not all bravado and swagger with Carll, as his twang-heavy ballads have the tendency to water down drinks with fallen tears. You might want to order another round, just in case you "get something in your eye." EAC

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