RTX
Mississippi Studios, 9/10

THURSDAY 9/8

MUSICFESTNW: CHARLES BRADLEY, DENNIS COFFEY, MONARQUES
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) Read our article on Charles Bradley.

MUSICFESTNW: ARCHERS OF LOAF, SEBADOH, VIVA VOCE
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) Read our article on Archers of Loaf.

SLAID CLEAVES, MARY GAUTHIER
(Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 NE Alberta) Sorrow and Smoke is the latest from singer/songwriter Slaid Cleaves, and it's a double disc recorded live at the Horseshoe Lounge, a seedy bar in his adopted hometown of Austin, Texas. The record's stripped-down versions of tunes from Cleaves' already stripped-down repertoire expose the honesty at the center of Cleaves' work. And with chatter and clinks coming from the live audience, it adds a welcome casualness that effectively loosens up Cleaves' polite, expertly written songs. Originally from Maine, Cleaves' music can sometimes be austere, even wintry, but with two decades of Texas under his belt, the Northerner has found the sunny, easygoing pace of the South to be a good match. NED LANNAMANN

MUSICFESTNW: PHANTOGRAM, WHITE ARROWS, PURITY RING, BRAINSTORM
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Phantogram have been behaving more like phantoms than mere optical illusions as of late. And as they should. Since duo Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter—the true pride of Saratoga Springs, New York—graced us with their glorious debut last year, it's been difficult to ignore the pawing for more. But Eyelid Movies has more than sufficed for the wait, with its stirring compendium of tinny hiphop beats, fragrant synths, and astral walls of sound, all perfectly combining beneath the rising steam of Barthel's lithe vocals. There has been no official fanfare yet, but the band has cast out plenty of internet allusions to work on a sophomore release, and hopefully this show will contain some of the new gems birthed out in the barn (which, of course, refers to their Harmony Lodge studio, a rickety old thing teeming with musical machinery further upstate). RAQUEL NASSER

MUSICFESTNW: EMA, TWIN SISTER, BLOUSE, SUN ANGLE
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) On her debut album/personal crisis Past Life Martyred Saints, local spitfire Erika M. Anderson (EMA) eclipses the primal intimacy of her prior bands, Gowns and Amps for Christ, thanks to some bottom-of-the-spiral lyrics that rival the anxiety saturating her purgative noise-rock. With refreshingly candid lyrics and the kind of callous you can't fake, Anderson sings, "I'm just 22/I don't mind dying," and it seems that she actually believes it. The record's explicitness is its most endearing quality, forcing listeners to wonder what wrought her gush of confessionalism. That's what EMA does best. She sucks you into her world. This is vicarious and visceral music, intended for the damaged and fearless. CHRIS CANTINO

MUSICFESTNW: HANDSOME FURS, TALKDEMONIC, SUUNS, BREAKFAST MOUNTAIN
(Branx, 320 SE 2nd) It seems that the reports of Talkdemonic's death were greatly exaggerated. Following the release of 2008's Eyes at Half Mast the duo of Kevin O'Connor and Lisa Molinaro went silent, parted ways with their booking agent and record label, and seemed to be headed directly to splitsville. Momentum is everything for a small band and they let theirs slip away. Then the strangest thing happened: Talkdemonic returned, better in every way, with a bigger label, bigger booking agent, and bigger sound—the stellar Ruins (which won't be out until October 4). Billmates Handsome Furs don't need to dramatically come back from anything; the highly boneable couple of Dan Boeckner and Alexei Perry are on a run of three consecutive albums of wonderfully damaged electro-pop, their latest of which is Sound Kapital, whose X-rated cover photo was snapped in the sexiest of Portland locales, under a freeway bridge. EZRA ACE CARAEFF

FRIDAY 9/9

THIS! FEST: HURTBIRD, PAPER UPPER CUTS, ARCHEOLOGY, PIGEONS, PETOSKEY, IOA, TEAM EVIL, & MORE
(The Woods, 6637 SE Milwaukie) See My, What a Busy Week!

THE SLACKERS, GEORGETOWN ORBITS, RENDERED USELESS
(Plan B, 1305 SE 8th) Read our article on the Slackers.

MUSICFESTNW: MACKLEMORE, RYAN LEWIS, SHABAZZ PALACES, TxE
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Read our article on Shabazz Palaces.

MUSICFESTNW: GIVERS, AGESANDAGES, LOST LANDER, PICKWICK
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Read our article on Givers.

MUSICFESTNW: BLITZEN TRAPPER, SHARON VAN ETTEN, WEINLAND (Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) It's no small thing that the cosmic cowboy rock of Blitzen Trapper is still with us, fully intact. Following the Portland group's 2007 national breakthrough Wild Mountain Nation, they've treated us to an embarrassment of riches—including three more full-length albums and assorted EPs and singles—without breaking up or lapsing into Shins-y commercial-driven stupor. Instead, they've become one of Portland's most consistent and prolific bands, and their latest, American Goldwing, continues their MO of turning FM classic rock on its ear, injecting psychedelic flourishes while donning the dust-covered cowboy boots that lurk at the heart of frontman Eric Earley's songs. "Love the Way You Walk Away" initially sounds like a song you've heard coming out of your dad's radio countless times, but then there are the synth warbles and foggy mountain banjo that come in toward the song's end. Don't miss Sharon Van Etten on tonight's bill; as this paper has said countless times, she is among the very best. NL Also see My, What a Busy Week!

MUSICFESTNW: CENTRO-MATIC, OLD LIGHT, MBILLY, MISSION SPOTLIGHT
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) Adding on to the band's already lengthy discography (not to mention their alter ego as South San Gabriel), this year's Centro-matic outing, Candidate Waltz, is as satisfying and rewarding as any in their history. Songs like "Solid States" find Will Johnson and his gang of longtime stalwarts in genial popster mode, while elsewhere the band finds a darker, noirish edge with plenty of guitar clang and atmospheric echo. The backbeat hymn of "Only in My Double Mind" is the kind of heart-on-sleeve anthem U2 hasn't been able to pull of since The Joshua Tree, and "Estimate x 3" is the type of sumptuous ballad Ryan Adams hasn't been able to put together since Heartbreaker. Perhaps their consistency has been something of a detriment to audiences looking for something flashier, but as time goes by, the plainer it seems that Centro-matic is one of the best American bands currently plying their trade. NL

HOT NIGHTS/WARM COATS 4: YUNG MIL, JERZ 503, LA WHITE, TRAGEDY, THE GOONIEZ, AL-ONE FT DJ SPARK, SOLE PRO
(Bossanova, 722 E Burnside) Tonight kicks off the three-day hiphop festival and coat drive curated by Ozone (AKA Jessie Sponberg). While all three nights are free to attend, Sponberg recommends bringing a gently used winter coat that will go toward outfitting children in need across the Portland area through Impact NW. Tonight is the sole all-ages lineup, headlined by Yung Mil, the Park Rose high-school student who won the Def Jam "Get Schooled" video contest last June that led to a meeting with Russell Simmons and an appearance on BET's 106 & Park. The rest of the weekend is littered with a diverse sampling of local talent, with highlights including the laidback jazz samples, scratches, and breezy lyricism of North Scientifik on Saturday, as well as the manic punk-rock energy of Abadawn backed by his band the Kill Party on Sunday.  RYAN FEIGH

MUSICFESTNW: GLASS CANDY, PURPLE AND GREEN, SUPER MELODY, REPORTER
(Branx, 320 SE 2nd) Glass Candy are the real-deal haute couture of the indie-electronic scene. Singer Ida No and music maker Johnny Jewel make the weirdest, prettiest sounds in the veins of Italo disco and electro pop—perfect for both dance floors and fashion runways; in fact, Karl Lagerfeld and the French label Chloé have had their models walk to Glass Candy songs. This is the sort of show at which you almost expect to see the ghosts of Andy Warhol and Nico floating beside you in the audience. Even the most beautiful weirdos like to dance sometimes. KELLY O

MUSICFESTNW: THEE OH SEES, BARE WIRES, BOAT, ARCHERS
(Star Theater, 13 NW 6th) I'm convinced that Jim Dwyer never sleeps. Thee spazzy Oh Sees frontman is set to release his second platter of the year—Carrion Crawler/The Dream—in November. And for those who've seen the band live, you already know that Dwyer is insane. The best part about the San Francisco (now) five-piece is the fact that they're near impossible to peg, playing jagged, unmercifully loud and fast rock and roll that will leave you scratching your head and tapping your feet, but not folding your arms (a true test in coordination). Essentially, Thee Oh Sees is what happens when art rock and punk rock are done right. MARK LORE

MASONIC WEIRD, ERGOT, NEMESIS, JETPACK MISTRESS
(Red Room, 2530 NE 82nd) The music of McMinnville's Masonic Weird hones in on a precise time and place and never lets go. The trio's sludgy take on howling '90s grunge is less Singles soundtrack and more the shadowy backwoods where the Green River Killer (the dude, not the band) lurked. It's an uncompromising direction for a band to take, yet to their credit, they don't use the handy crutch of nostalgia to tidy up what was once—and still should be—a dangerous sound. "Phobic" sounds like Billy Corgan fronting a post-Layne Staley Alice in Chains (actually, that would have been great, and not just because it would have rid the world of Teargarden by Kaleidyscope) and while Masonic Weird are still feeling themselves out as a band, they make a respectable case for the benefits of looking back, and not forward. EAC

MUSICFESTNW: PIG DESTROYER, A STORM OF LIGHT, TRANSIENT, ELITIST
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) Man, I haven't seen the name Pig Destroyer since the '90s. It's the sort of band name that really sticks to your brain. Guitarist Scott Hull, formerly of Anal Cunt (a name that sticks to something else) once said in an interview that "Cop Killer" or "Cop Destroyer" would be "tactless," so they decided on "pig" instead. Nothing about Pig Destroyer is subtle. They're still the heavyweight champs of American grindcore—extremists in the most extreme of all the metal genres. If you stand too close to the speakers, allegedly your inner ear will melt a little bit. KO

MUSICFESTNW: RHETT MILLER, DAN MANGAN, FERNANDO, CALEB KLAUDER
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Vancouver songwriter Dan Mangan's ear-catching US debut Nice, Nice, Very Nice came out last year, but he's already got a new album to follow up that splendid introduction. Oh Fortune is denser and more tangled, with Mangan's personable voice helming songs that are augmented by orchestral flourishes and production-effect flairs. The result is a record that's not as immediately grabbing as Nice, Nice, Very Nice, but rewards repeat listens as disparate fragments of Mangan's strong songwriting tumble out from previously unnoticed corners. Still, it should be a treat to hear these songs in a relatively unadorned live setting, and he should hold his own with seasoned songwriters like Rhett Miller of Old 97's and longtime Portland mainstays Fernando and Caleb Klauder—the latter of whom is responsible for the finest country music this city has to offer. NL

BURNING LEATHER, DON'T, PROBLEMS
(Tube, 18 NW 3rd) With an affectionate nod to their obvious influences—this band could very well be re-named Motöramones—Burning Leather are Portland's resident stoner-pop rockers, fusing a glorious union between everyone's favorite pop-punk instigators and gravel-voiced metal-heads. And despite the tough moniker, these dudes are charming as hell. The band has released a handful of albums that screech and scorch in all the right places, the latest being last year's Daylight Nights, a singed homage to the breakneck balladry of Lemmy (via vocals by Jason Roberts) and the melodic riffage of Johnny Ramone (from guitarists Brian Hopper and Scott Goto, with Kelly Halliburton on bass). Joe Schuerger is the heavy metal drummer that brings it all together, with a live show that promises to get your head banging and fist pumping.  MARANDA BISH

SATURDAY 9/10

THIS! FEST: POINT JUNCTURE WA , KIND OF LIKE SPITTING, DEER OR THE DOE , WIZARDS, BRIGHT ARCHER, & MORE
(The Woods, 6637 SE Milwaukie) See My, What a Busy Week!

MUSICFESTNW: BIG FREEDIA, DJ BEYONDA, SERIOUS BUSINESS, CJ AND THE DOLLS, 1-2 BUCKLE MY SHOE
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) See My, What a Busy Week!

JEAN GRAE, MR. LEN, PHILLY'S PHUNKESTRA, DJ ZIMMIE
(Crown Room, 205 NW 4th) Read our article on Jean Grae.

MUSICFESTNW: EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY, THE ANTLERS, TYPHOON, ELUVIUM
(Pioneer Courthouse Square, 701 SW 6th) Read our article on the Antlers.

MUSICFESTNW: BLIND PILOT, AVI BUFFALO, ALELA DIANE, BLACK PRAIRIE
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) Read our article on Blind Pilot.

HOT NIGHTS/WARM COATS 4: MIGHTY, HALFMANHALF, DJ OZROCK, BAD HABITAT, MAC SMIFF, STARZ OF DA BIZARRE, TOP SHELF, PELE WON, NORTH SCIENTIFIK
(Bossanova, 722 E Burnside) See Friday's listing.

MUSICFESTNW: NEUROSIS, GRAILS, YOB, AKIMBO
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Neurosis has come a long way since Pain of Mind. That 1987 album is the sound of a hardcore band through and through, but over the years the Oakland-based band has been infinitely more flexible than most of their peers, incorporating quieter passages, folk-influenced melodies, and cataclysmic rumbles into their sound, and stretching compositions out to prog-rock lengths. The heavier elements of their sound have always suggested metal, and a great many metal bands—often on the doomier end of the spectrum—owe huge tribute to Neurosis, but they're simply in a class of their own. They've found a pair of perfect billmates in tonight's show: Portland-based Grails began as Godspeed-style post-rock with a dark streak, but the instrumental band has grown to incorporate some truly chilling sounds into its arsenal, echoing both folk and metal while belonging to neither. And Eugene's YOB plays stoned-out Northwest doom as if they invented it, and, well, they kind of did. NL

MUSICFESTNW: TED LEO, REBECCA GATES, DEATH SONGS, WILD ONES
(Backspace, 115 NW 5th) Things to do when I rob a bank (and then tell everyone I won the lottery): (1) Buy Mom a house. (2) Give the rest of the money to Ted Leo. Our savior of domestic punk—even if his music barely touches the margins of what the liberty-spiked masses consider punk—Leo has weathered the storm of bankrupt record companies and countless other bad breaks over the course of an untouchable multi-decade career (both solo and as the frontman to Chisel—who join Lifter Puller as the other respected band of yore that you know about, but probably have never listened to). Even if your very core is a cold, empty pit of cynicism, hatred, and despair, you will find solace in his inspiring working-class anthems. Leo is a goddamn national treasure, and it's time we started treating him like one. Ted, the cash is in the mail. Watch out for that dye pack. EAC

MUSICFESTNW: TY SEGALL, RTX, HEAVY CREAM, DRUNK LADIES
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) When Royal Trux's Jennifer Herrema started RTX following her split with longtime bandmate Neil Michael Hagerty, she really let her balls-out-rocking persona wave its freak flag. Less arty and subversive than Royal Trux, who were one of the greatest rock combos of the '90s, RTX flaunt a bell-bottomed boogie-rock attack that flirts with parody, although Herrema seems so unlike the ironic type. For better or for worse, she means every venomous sneer, blocky power chord, and pig-squealing guitar solo. She and her hirsute California boys grind out meatloaf-and-mashed-potatoes rock for hockey arenas and hockey-haired dudes—somewhere between Thin Lizzy and a beardless ZZ Top. Check out "Speed to Roam" for RTX's one certifiable classic. DAVE SEGAL

SUNDAY 9/11

THE DO-OVER
(Produce Row Café, 204 SE Oak) See My, What a Busy Week!

KE$HA, LMFAO, SPANK ROCK
(Rose Garden, 1 Center Ct) See My, What a Busy Week!

HOT NIGHTS/WARM COATS 4: ZANY THE WORDSMITH, TONE G, DAMI, POVERTY'S POSTERBOY, PAULIE THINK, J-RITZ, SAYWORDS, & more
(Bossanova, 722 E Burnside) See Friday's listing.

QUASI, BLOOD BEACH
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) Holy shit (or, Hot Shit!), Quasi is playing Bunk Bar! That should be your reaction, since after all, Sam Coomes and Janet Weiss—plus not-so-new member Joanna Bolme—are the very foundation for this quaint little indie-rock world we reside in. And unlike other seminal acts whose status has grown stale over the years, Quasi are still relentlessly plowing forward, releasing albums—like 2010's American Gong—that rival their earliest efforts. Joining them are Blood Beach, the wonderfully disjointed garage act that will haunt your very soul with their hook-heavy, theremin-heavier, disjointed sound. Your obsession with Quasi (and pulled pork sandwiches) might bring you in the door, but you'll leave with a Blood Beach song rattling around your head. EAC

MUSICFESTNW: BAND OF HORSES, CASS MCCOMBS, MORNING TELEPORTATION, BOBBY BARE JR.
(Pioneer Courthouse Square, 701 SW 6th) Cass McCombs is for real. His personality might be prickly and his tenderly soft songs might be drowned out by a Blue Line train rumbling through the Square, but damn if McCombs isn't a truly special performer. Headlining this show on the bricks is Band of Horses, touring in supporting of long-player number three, Infinite Arms. The album shines, and not in that it glimmers, no; it shines like "Shine," the woefully dated token hit from Collective Soul. The Horsies' first album for Columbia, and first away from the Sub Pop nest, is glossy and uninspired, a hollow recording that is frigid and distant when compared to the warmth and personal appeal that was so present in Cease to Begin and Everything All the Time. Oh heaven, let your light shine down. EAC

MONDAY 9/12

TIM EASTON, JOHNNY CORNDAWG, DRUNKEN PRAYER
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) If you have somehow overlooked Tim Easton in the past 13-plus years of his road-weary existence, I do believe that now is the time to change that. Choosing to take up occasional residence in Joshua Tree, California—the veritable confluence of all things cosmic in this nation—Easton has channeled all possible prowess, effortlessly ruling the six-string while oscillating between unholy rabble-rouser, rasp-ridden hoodoo man, and tender balladeer. Easton's latest exports, the hollowed-out Since 1966, Vol. 1 and Beat the Band (the latter recorded with the Freelan Barons, who he may or may not have abused into submission) highlight his prolific tendencies and long-winded efforts, retreating back to the Jayhawks-meets-Junior Wells proclivities of 1998's Special 20. However, this is undoubtedly Easton at the top of his career; don't miss it. RN

TRIPLEHORN, DOOMSOWER, GYPSYHAWK, HUNTRESS, DJ NATE C, DJ SMOOTH HOPPERATOR
(East End, 203 SE Grand) Gypsyhawk is a cross-country Harley ride through '70s riff-rock and NWOBHM. In that order. In other words, there's nothing subtle about these guys—they have a song called "For Those Who Love the Lizz," fer chrissakes. These four horsemen from Pasadena, California, deal out riffs of the highest order, dueling guitarmonies alongside the mightiest of handlebar mustaches. Eric Harris—formerly of Ohio bruisers Skeletonwitch—trades in gloom for full throttling. It's greasy, it's messy, it's a bong on the coffee table with black light posters on the walls, and it's Lemmy-meets-Lizzy good times. Gypsyhawk's full-length LP Patience and Perseverance is mind numbing and brainless all in one—both of which are definitely good things. ML

TUESDAY 9/13

ANR, WE BARBARIANS
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) We Barbarians' debut LP There's This There's That was fine, but not exactly world changing. The just-released EP Headspace is quite excellent, a dramatic improvement for this trio that relocated from the LBC to the BK (uh, that would be Long Beach, California, to Brooklyn, New York) a couple years back. The problem with There's This There's That was that it really sounded like the Walkmen (there certainly are worse bands to be linked to; see our Band of Horses preview for proof of that). Now that the band is an East River away from the Walkmen—running into Hamilton Leithauser at the bodega must have been so awkward—the band has crafted their own style on Headspace. It's stark and barren, channeling that cold emptiness of Turn on the Bright Lights, and capped by the crisp voice of frontman David Quon. It's an impressive transition, one that can only signal good things to come from We Barbarians. EAC

WEDNESDAY 9/14

DEF LEPPARD, HEART
(Sleep Country Amphitheater, 17200 NE Delfel, Ridgefield, WA) Def Leppard's relevancy expired over two decades ago, and they know it. Their most recent effort Mirrorball is a double live album featuring chart toppers from their platinum days in the mid '80s and early '90s, plus three new/unbearable studio tracks. How is it that after 20-plus years of producing drivel, they can still headline amphitheaters? "Pour Some Sugar on Me" is an infectious stripper anthem, but it's hardly worth $100. A one-armed drummer? Now that's worth a hefty ticket price! Whether you look at Rick Allen's missing limb as a joke lyric in a Bloodhound Gang song or as a symbol of the unbreakable human spirit, the spectacle of a one-armed man playing the drums is a draw. Personally, I don't think rehashing their hits is what allows Def Leppard to continue touring; its Allen's phantom limb that keeps us coming back for more. ARIS WALES