MEGAFAUN
Doug Fir, 10/6
Sara Padgett Heathcott

THURSDAY 10/6

ZOLA JESUS, XANOPTICON
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) See My, What a Busy Week!

CHAD VANGAALEN, GARY WAR, AAN
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Read our article on Chad VanGaalen.

MEGAFAUN, DOUG PAISLEY
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) The new self-titled record from Megafaun—out on sumptuous double vinyl from Portland label Hometapes—is a charmer the whole way through. Atonal saxes and outré sound experiments butt up against oddball pop, and rootsy backwoods numbers like "Real Slow" steal the Workingman back from the Dead. There's an extended guitar jam with Bon Iver's Justin Vernon on the slightly motorik groove of "Get Right," and the lovely, wobbling voice of Frazey Ford graces the lavish chamber-gospel of "Everything." There are also gorgeous ballads like "Hope You Know" and "Kill the Horns" alongside indescribable weirdness. It's the most esoteric recording those hairy oddballs from North Carolina have done yet, and while comparisons to another band's self-titled double album are inevitable, it's evidence of Megafaun's pleasures that it doesn't suffer from it. NED LANNAMANN

GIRLS, SONNY & THE SUNSETS, PAPA
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) San Francisco's Girls have proven themselves to be more than just a nascent blog band. Their second full-length, Father, Son, Holy Ghost packs as much classic pop punch as 2009's lauded Album, but with a more fearless execution. Christopher Owens—the band's rather unabashedly opiated frontman—sings out more on this record, and notably employs a three-piece gospel choir to lend their reverberating harmonies behind his somewhat tenuous voice on seven of the 11 tracks. And the album's subject matter delves a bit deeper than the last, referencing his spiritual background, his struggles with drug addiction, and his complicated relationship with his mother. But the breezy pop flourishes and slackened, carefree postures have not been abandoned entirely; the album's first track, "Honey Bunny," carries on with an infectious "Kodachrome"-esque exuberance that will leave any problem behind in a Camaro's exhaust. RAQUEL NASSER

FRIDAY 10/7

FALL INTO DARKNESS: AGALLOCH, ATRIARCH, SEDAN
(Branx, 320 SE 2nd) See My, What a Busy Week!

RICHMOND FONTAINE, IAN MOORE, MERCY GRAVES
(Star Theater, 13 NW 6th) Read our article on Richmond Fontaine.

DUM DUM GIRLS, CROCODILES, COLLEEN GREEN, DJ MARIO ORDUNO
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Did Dum Dum Girls just name an album after a Weezer song? Out last month, Only in Dreams (alternate title: Surf Wax America) finds the Los Angeles quartet filing down their once-buzzsaw rock sound to a more refined pop direction. The change suits them well: The bold "In My Head" and the hook-heavy "Bedroom Eyes" are a pair of their finest songs to date, as singer Dee Dee (Kristen Gundred) has grown into her voice, something she only hinted at on the Yours Alone EP and the I Will Be LP. Billmates Crocodiles heap out unfuckwithable doses of pop and noise, the finest combination of bubblegum hooks and eardrum-puncturing clamor this side of Psychocandy. My ears are still ringing from the band's 2008 show at Tube. That'll go away soon, right? Right? EZRA ACE CARAEFF

PORTLAND TATTOO EXPO PARTY: RABBITS, THE AX, WOLFPUSSY
(Bossanova Ballroom, 722 E Burnside) What could be better than turning your skin into hamburger and permanently marking yourself with ink? How about doing that, and then getting your brains scrambled by some serious rock and roll? The Portland Tattoo Expo and sponsor Rose City Steel have put together a trio of local acts to help numb the pain after you get that sweet barbed-wire armband. Relax and let Wolfpussy's tunes get you High on Fire and take you for a stroll through their Soundgarden (sorry). The Ax will bring their mechanical rock monster—composed of massive drums and gargantuan riffs—that will help distract you from the fact that your mother won't be pleased with that naked lady tat. And finally, press your butt to the speakers and let Rabbits' less-than-cuddly filth rock sandblast your ex's name away with frantic screams and guitars distorted beyond belief. Rock music and tattoos go together like regrets and laser removal. ARIS WALES

SAD HORSE, DEAF WISH, EIGER SANCTION
(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) Australian musician Max Kohane once compared the Melbourne group Deaf Wish to legends like the Wipers and Hüsker Dü. I've only experienced Deaf Wish's latest album, 2010's Mercy, but I'm hearing more of the former's speedy, linear clangor than the latter's gift for soaring melodies couched in symphonic, buzzsaw guitar heroics. Whatever the case, these are excellent reference points for a rock band and Deaf Wish's occasional forays into more subdued songcraft prove they can get poignant without ladling on the high-fructose corn syrup. DAVE SEGAL

SATURDAY 10/8

BUCK AND BOUNCE: BEYONDADOUBT, BRICE NICE
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See My, What a Busy Week!

DANAVA
(East End, 203 SE Grand) Read our article on Danava.

JAPANTHER, UNSTOPPABLE DEATH MACHINES, BLOOD BEACH, YOUTHBITCH
(Branx, 320 SE 2nd) What is the only thing better than Andrew WK? Two Andrew WKs. Until your cloning device becomes a reality—almost there, just watch Multiplicity a few more times—the closest thing you'll ever witness to doubling up on the WK is Unstoppable Death Machines. Compiled of a pair of shaggy-haired siblings—Billy and Mike (too busy raging to provide the media with their surname)—this Brooklyn duo tears through concise blasts of brutal fury, a balls-out party band unafraid to spill a little beer, or blood, in the process. Their Slumlord EP sounds like a bros-icing-bros version of Lightning Bolt, and their live presence is even more intense. Unstoppable Death Machines isn't just louder than bombs, they are louder than Jägerbombs. EAC

FALL INTO DARKNESS: ACID KING, PREMONITION 13, WITCH MOUNTAIN, TOMBSTALKER
(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) Scott "Wino" Weinrich is the best kind of legendary musician: he's humble, flies under the radar, and has been cranking out quintessential doom/rock records since the late '70s. Within the past three years, Wino seems to have hit his stride. He's released a pair of solo albums, participated in the monumental and star-studded one-off Shrinebuilder record, toured with doom godfathers Saint Vitus, and formed his most recent project, Premonition 13 (which has already released a 7-inch and LP this year). Premonition 13 have Wino's signature guitar tone and cosmic note-bending solos, but they also have a calm, transcendent quality to them. Wino has always injected his music with his own brand of spirituality, but with Premonition 13 it feels like he may have found his enlightenment. AW

VURSATYL, VITAMIN D, REV. SHINES
(Up Front Bar and Grill, 833 SW Naito) Has it really been eight years since Spirit in Stone? One of the definitive Pacific NW hiphop recordings, the Lifesavas' flawless debut has aged surprisingly well, and even the baby-faced emcees who got next in the game are quick to pay their respect (listen closely to Macklemore's "The Town" for a sample of "Hellohihey") to the likes of Vursatyl, Jumbo the Garbageman, and Rev. Shines. With a follow-up to Gutterfly only a myth at this point, it's a pleasant surprise to see that not only is Vursatyl still clutching the mic, he's making his initial descent into solo waters. Actually, it's Vursatyl's birthday this evening, but the presents are coming to us as the charismatic emcee plans to debut some material from his forthcoming solo disc. EAC

FOUNTAINS OF WAYNE, MIKE VIOLA
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) Fountains of Wayne—or Sloan, as they are known in Canadian—are pop music's perennial could-have-been-a-contender, a band unable to write a bad song, yet mired in deep obscurity, banished from the FM dial and shunned from their rightful home atop the Billboard charts. Or, at least that's what we've been told throughout the years. Truth is, Fountains of Wayne are doing just fine. As songwriters, Adam Schlesinger and Chris Collingwood have assembled a remarkable résumé—songs in countless films, Grammy nominations, Emmys on the mantle—and they've never sunk to the underappreciated depths of Alex Chilton, professional dishwasher. FOW's latest, Sky Full of Holes, is as solid as you'd expect it to be, with its highlight coming not in bouncy lead single "Someone's Gonna Break Your Heart," but in the clever touring ballad "A Road Song." Anyone who has ever spent time daydreaming in the claustrophobic loft of a tour van will surely appreciate the line "I bought you a light blue T-shirt last night from some band I couldn't stand/But their logo's all right." EAC

SUNDAY 10/9

CUT COPY, WASHED OUT, MIDNIGHT MAGIC
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) See My, What a Busy Week!

CUT COPY AFTERPARTY: MIDNIGHT MAGIC, THE MIRACLES CLUB, CUT COPY (DJ SET)
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See My, What a Busy Week!

ASTRONAUTALIS, IAME, HURTBIRD, DOPE THOUGHT
(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) Astronautalis is to hiphop what Radiohead is to Britpop. Sure, there might be some vague similarities lingering about, but the splendid catalog of this Minneapolis (via Seattle, via Texas, via Florida) emcee transcends the simple predictability of beats and rhymes. It took him a couple years, but the just-released This Is Our Science is a far more refined work than its conceptual predecessor, Pomegranate. With no two songs alike, Science covers a colossal stretch of musical real estate with its nimble title track, the dizzying Tegan Quin duet "Contrails," and the confessional simplicity of "Measure the Globe," where Astronautalis does something I assume no other rapper has ever done before: namedrop Kevin Seconds. EAC

WILD BEASTS, EMA
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Wild Beasts seldom live up to their feral moniker; instead the British quartet creates resplendent sounds capped by the soaring and effeminate delivery of singer Hayden Thorpe. Released this summer, Smother masterfully balances the delicate with the dramatic and the band basks in their over-the-top textural sounds (without a visual component, you'd half expect Wild Beasts to be compiled of foppish waifs—they're not). We're 10 months deep into 2011 and I have yet to hear a better record than EMA's stunning debut, Past Life Martyred Saints. Unflinchingly raw and as dangerous as recordings come, Erika M. Anderson's songs are unruly little monsters of confessional noise and brutal truth. Showing up late for this show will not be tolerated. EAC

MONDAY 10/10

THE DRUMS, VERONICA FALLS, IO ECHO
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!

CYMBALS EAT GUITARS, HOORAY FOR EARTH, BRAINSTORM
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) If you were to listen to a single solitary song from New Jersey (by way of Staten Island) quartet Cymbals Eat Guitars, you'd be left bewildered. The beauty of Cymbals Eat Guitars lies in their completed work, with each album—this year's Lenses Alien and 2009's Why There Are Mountains—being a wonderfully assembled summary of its respective parts. Yet the band has no definitive single, no quaint three-minute representation of what makes their complex arrangements and the speak/sung lyrics of Joseph D'Agostino so appealing. This band requires both patience and faith, two elements seldom associated with our modern methods of musical hoarding. Those looking for a quick rock-and-roll fix will be left unfulfilled, but those willing to devote some time will be rewarded with a texturally rich sound that is most definitely worth the wait. EAC

TUESDAY 10/11

CHROMEO, MAYER HAWTHORNE AND THE COUNTY, SAMMY BANANAS
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Nostalgia ain't going nowhere—might as well have skilled artisans reviving shit, right? And that's what this bill offers: two of the top pasticheurs in North America. Montreal duo Chromeo sleaze up electro and disco with utmost skill and oleaginousness. Mayer Hawthorne and the County flash back in style to the intricately arranged and heartfelt '60s soul that Motown Records mass-produced to world-changing effect. That Hawthorne's a nerdy-looking Caucasian adds a crucial WTFness to his superior craftsmanship and Curtis/Smokey-esque vocals. DS Also see My, What a Busy Week!

ARBOREA, ALINA HARDIN
(The Woods, 6637 SE Milwaukie) If you could take a shiver and slow it down so that it lasted for 50 minutes, you'd have Red Planet, the fourth album from Arborea. It's folk music that runs through your veins ice cold, but in a way that's so compelling and irresistible you can't help be moved by it. Red Planet is released by Portland label Strange Attractors Audio House, but Arborea actually hail from a spot much closer to the other Portland; the husband-and-wife duo of Shanti and Buck Curran live in Maine, a state of rugged beauty, endless forests, summertime bugs the size of hummingbirds, and a cold and rocky coastline. Shanti's voice rises above sparse instrumental backing like a cool fog, and while the pair has earned comparisons to acts like Pentangle and Alela Diane (whose sometime backup singer Alina Hardin opens tonight's show), to me Arborea sounds utterly unique and entirely captivating. NL

WEDNESDAY 10/12

NICK LOWE, JD MCPHERSON
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) I do not believe in Jesus of Nazareth, but I most certainly believe in the Jesus of Cool. Nick Lowe is power pop's silver panther, the unflappable and infinitely hip elder statesman who, with his snowy swath of white hair and dapper outfits, has aged all too well. Three decades after Jesus of Cool (or, Pure Pop for Now People for us Yanks) appeared on turntables the world over, Lowe is still doing what he does best. On this year's The Old Magic Lowe's once-frenzied tempo might have tapered off, but Lowe's songwriting gifts are eternal, as he confronts the cold hand of mortality on "Checkout Time," opening the song with the frank confession: "I'm 61 years old now/Lord, I never thought I'd see 30." Be cruel, be kind, but whatever you do, just realize that the coolest man in the world is the one standing onstage tonight. EAC

GARDENS AND VILLA, YOUNG MAN, YOURS
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Santa Barbara band Gardens and Villa camped out in back of Richard Swift's studio in Cottage Grove, Oregon, as they recorded their self-titled debut album during the summer of 2010. The result sounds as carefree as living out of a tent should, although instead of strummy acoustic guitars and stoned, bearded harmonies, Gardens and Villa is more interested in making avant synth-pop with rigid backbeats and expansive sonic vistas. The result is a good, weird pop record, one with a decidedly Oregonian feel to it—comparisons to Nurses spring to mind—and at least one perfect pop song that sounds imported, part and parcel, from the '80s: "Star Fire Power" is a hit that you know you've heard before, maybe on the radio in your parents' station wagon, sandwiched between Soft Cell's "Tainted Love" and Kim Carnes' "Bette Davis Eyes." NL

THE ASTEROIDS GALAXY TOUR
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) Heineken. As in, this is the band from the omnipresent Heineken ads, that one commercial you swore was scored by Annie. Before they were hawking terrible suds, the music of the Asteroids Galaxy Tour was best known for slinging the iPod Touch. Hmm, see a theme here? Before they were a glimmer of light in every advertising director's eye, the Copenhagen sextet was making the rounds in support of a handful of uneven recordings—many of which aren't available Stateside—that tend to overreach and lean too heavily on the nasally delivery of frontwoman Mette Lindberg. But that doesn't mean the Asteroids Galaxy Tour aren't fun. Besides, who am I to stop you from enjoying a set that includes "The Safety Dance" (which they cover for some reason on their The Golden Age EP) and all your favorite commercial jingles. EAC