EMILY WELLS Doug Fir, 1/12

THURSDAY 1/12

EMILY WELLS, TIMMY STRAW
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) When considering New York-based Emily Wells, one cannot help but observe, in awe, the amount of sounds that can emit from one woman. Beginning as a classically trained violinist, Wells merges perfectly the well-groomed nuances of symphonic grandeur with the undeniably carnal, primal pulse of heavy hiphop beats, in cooperation with whatever other devices might exist to help her achieve looped sonic bliss. Wells' relatively quiet internet presence depicts her as blurry and enigmatic. Not to mention the scant recordings; she has only three official albums to date, with the curiously dulcet Dirty EP last appearing in 2009 (and containing the best cover of Biggie's "Juicy"... well, ever). However, she undoubtedly made it out here with something to show, and supposedly she has a renewed interest in live drumming, which should make for a particularly enlivened performance. RAQUEL NASSER

LICK, DEFENERATE, SLIPPERY SEATS
(Plan B, 1305 SE 8th) The new 12-inch release from local noise act Lick takes place on a dense, charred landscape of digital squall and institution-sized thrum. The two lengthy, side-long pieces—"The Earth Burns, a Black Detroit" and "Dripping Mass Fire Whispss"—stitch their numerous, unsettling themes into massive suites of discord, lurching from wet, dripping caverns to blown-out fuzz. Some passages are coiled up in metallic feedback while others are bathed in bright synths; the percussion clatters arrhythmically, offering no sense of anchor. With their faces concealed, Lick improvises their live sets on the spot, so while you'll want to pick up a copy of the self-titled 12-inch, you'll probably be hearing a completely different shade of cacophony emitting from the stage. NED LANNAMANN

ARCTIC FLOWERS, MUNDO MUERTO, AUTISTIC YOUTH, DJ SKELL
(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) Hmm... frenetic punk rock with a female vocalist that hits Geddy Lee registers? Could work. Actually, it does work. Portland's Arctic Flowers are a powerhouse, a band I could imagine laying waste to a live audience. And for a group that has such a (cold, black) punk-rawk heart, there are an awful lot of moving parts—spiky, angular guitars, hairpin-turn dynamics, spooky vocal melodies—and their latest LP Reveries manages to bottle up all that fury. Arctic Flowers are their own deal, doing what all good bands do: take their influences and make their own rock 'n' roll mess. Tonight they headline the Know's seven-year anniversary bash. MARK LORE

DAVID DONDERO, ST. EVEN, VIKESH KAPOOR
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) David Dondero is nothing if not a musical fixture. The man has been playing and touring nonstop since 1990, beginning with Clemson, South Carolina-based punk band Sunbrain, and moving out on his own in 1998. And while Dondero is a prolific and renowned songwriter, last year's A Pre-Existing Condition is mostly covers—the album's credits read like a list of country legends, and there is a lithe quality to the recording, which is glaringly uncharacteristic of Dondero's other work. Charley Pride's "(Is Anyone Going to) San Antone?" lopes gently, while Little Feat's "Willin'" opens the record appropriately, as Dondero sings, "I've been kicked by the wind/Robbed by the snow/Drunk and dirty/Don't you know/But I'm still willin'." By the time the dobro makes its sliding entrance, it's clear that this album exists to rejuvenate an artist stretched thin across the relentless highways, and thank god for that. RN

SQUID ATTACK!, MYTHOLOGIES, LATHER RINSE REPEAT, IBID
(Backspace, 115 NW 5th) Squid Attack! is the loveable father-son band from Portland, and tonight Issac and Sid Scott return for their first local show since the younger Scott (Issac) left town for Evergreen State College. While up in Olympia, Issac started a solo project, and he'll be preceding the Squid Attack! set with one from his new act Mythologies, which also releases its debut EP, Mud Bay, at tonight's show. While the self-appointed genre descriptor of "ambient punk/noise pop" is partially accurate, I'd also add in the terms "electric folk" and "slow-burning guitar overtures." With Mud Bay, Issac has crafted a subtle but involving work of plugged-in meditations, using layers of amplified stringwork to evoke both dread and desire. To round out the Mythologies live lineup, Issac will be joined by Squid Attack! bassist Ben West, and drummer Alan Bishop. NL

FRIDAY 1/13

BIG ASS BOOMBOX
(Backspace, 115 NW 5th; Someday Lounge, 125 NW 5th; Floating World Comics, 400 NW Couch; SoHiTek Records, 625 NW Everett) See My, What a Busy Week!, and read our article on Big Ass Boombox festival.

FOREST PARK, AAN, YOUTH
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Read our article on Forest Park.

PICKWICK, BRYAN JOHN APPLEBY, DEEP SEA DIVER
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Read our article on Pickwick.

STANKHOUSE RECORDS THREE-YEAR ANNIVERSARY: THE HOODED HAGS, BIG BLACK CLOUD, PSYCHIC FELINE, GAYDOLF SHITLER
(The Alleyway, 2415 NE Alberta) It would be disturbing if the only enduring portrayal of life now in Portland were urban utopia. Thankfully, a label called Stankhouse has been chronicling another sonic history entirely, one in which the unconvinced, pissed-off, and fucked-up embrace the paradox that life is a party and we are doomed. For their role in developing and preserving a place for this music, we are indebted to the people of Stankhouse, who show no signs of stopping as they celebrate their third anniversary and latest release: the mutant-pop "Exxon Baby" 7-inch from the Hooded Hags. Along with Big Black Cloud—with whom the label began and with whom it evolves—and friends, the Hags kick off the label's next chapter on this blessed day of dissonance. MARANDA BISH

BEST OF PORTLAND: SCHOOL OF ROCK
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) The prodigious School of Rock kids are capable of tackling virtually any band in the world, but tonight they're doing something they've never done before: performing songs exclusively by Portland bands. It's a benefit for PDX Pop Now! and PROWUS music scholarships, and that would make it special enough, but members of Portland bands will be sitting in with the teenage musicians, making this a once-in-a-lifetime show. And look at who'll be playing with the School of Rock kids: members of Menomena, the Thermals, M. Ward, Red Fang, Laura Veirs, Typhoon, Blitzen Trapper, the Dandy Warhols, YACHT, Danava, Radiation City, Brian Jonestown Massacre, the Mean Jeans, Ancient Heat, and Nether Regions. Holy cow. It's the biggest show to date from the Portland chapter of the School of Rock, and it'll close out with an all-ages dance party hosted by '80s Video Dance Attack. I'd tell you this is a must see, but you've probably figured that out already. NL

COCK BLOCK: J. PHLIP, THE PERFECT CYN, MISS VIXEN
(Groove Suite, 440 NW Glisan) The newest EP from J.Phlip (Jessica Phillipe) is called "Barbary Coast," a reference to the red-light district in San Francisco where prostitution, gambling, and various other activities involving loose women and lawless men thrived in the mid and late 19th century. Tracks like "Bootyberg" and "Big Ass, Party Hat" typify J.Phlip's style with huge basslines that pull inspiration from Miami ghettotech and Detroit electro, but maintain a signature sound that is equal parts don't-give-a-fuck and get-your-booty-lower-now. The combination of seriously broken-up beats and a silly attitude has put J.Phlip right in line with Dirtybird Records labelmates like Claude Von Stroke and the Martin Brothers. Tonight J.Phlip plays as part of Cock Block, an all-women DJ party that hasn't seen a slow night on the dance floor since its inception about six months ago. AVA HEGEDUS

FU MANCHU, LORD DYING, WITCHBURN
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) Like marijuana, stoner rock will probably always be with us. And that's comforting. That a band like Fu Manchu can sustain a 25-year career brings one a sense of stability in this volatile world. The SoCal group doesn't scale the dizzying heights of Kyuss or Monster Magnet, but over 10 albums they've created a solid body of work with few seeds or stems. Burly, furry riffage descended from Black Sabbath and Deep Purple buttressed by boogie-funk rhythms is a formula as recession-proof as pizza... and weed. Fu Manchu reliably delivers those heavy, hedonistic vibes like some kind of Pagliacci of stoner rock—but without the cheese. Tonight they perform all of 1996's In Search of... DAVE SEGAL

SATURDAY 1/14

GLASS CANDY, CHROMATICS, DESIRE, MIKE SIMONETTI
(Branx, 320 SE 2nd) See My, What a Busy Week!

JAI HO!: DJ PRASHANT
(Lola's Room, 1332 W Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!

FOREST PARK, DUCK LITTLE BROTHER DUCK, YOUR RIVAL
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Read our article on Forest Park.

RABBITS, FIST FITE, NASALROD
(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) Read our article on Nasalrod.

THE NO TOMORROW BOYS, THE LORDY LORDS, YOUTHBITCH, CHERRY CITY DEADBEATS
(Club 21, 2035 NE Glisan) The No Tomorrow Boys seem to be well over drinking age, but it's possible they retain fond memories of their time in juvie—or at least they want you to think so. Despite their pompadours and leather jackets, they aren't a period piece with a James Dean fixation. In fact, they sound a lot more like authentic 1950s garage rock than the bands that jacked the style two decades later and called it punk. Like deep cuts off early Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard albums, and most especially like the great Tacoma band the Sonics, the No Tomorrow Boys rock out about innocent things, like girls and cars. But they do it with such uninhibited frenzy that you finally get why early rock 'n' roll caused mothers to cry into their aprons and dads to ship the kids off to parochial school. REBECCA WILSON

KEITH MURRAY, DJ ZIMMIE, LOVE LOUNGERS
(Crown Room, 205 NW 4th) Keith Murray first burst upon the scene back in 1994, a young protegé of EPMD's Erick Sermon. His debut album, The Most Beautifullest Thing in This World, was a critical success and the title track was a crossover pop hit. Unfortunately, soon after Murray was convicted on an assault charge in a Connecticut nightclub, and spent three years in prison. While he was away, Murray's label put out two hastily assembled albums against his wishes, the unimaginatively titled It's a Beautiful Thing and The Most Beautifullest Hits. After a quick stint at Def Jam, which was marred by micro-managing and lack of promotion, Murray is now finally at a place in his career where he is able to release quality records through independent labels, which affords us all the enviable ability to catch a golden-era icon in such an intimate venue. RYAN FEIGH

SANDRIDER, GAYTHEIST, BROKAW, MONGOLOID VILLAGE
(Plan B, 1305 SE 8th) Tonight's show is the Portland record-release party for Seattle heavy-rock trio Sandrider (Jon Weisnewski and Nat Damm of Akimbo, and Jesse Roberts of the Ruby Doe/Kid Congo and the Pink Monkey Birds). Sandrider bolt streamlined, steamroller chord progressions and TIG-welded riffs that take turns driving and flying over Damm's notoriously unflappable beats. It's hard rock, but you can read to it (which is nearly impossible with most rock records). You could do lots of pursuits to this forceful and sophisticated avalanche of sound: world domination. Fortress building. Ruling your kingdom. Taking asses and kicking names. Drag racing. Fishing. GRANT BRISSEY

SUNDAY 1/15

THEE CORMANS, THEE HEADLINERS, CECILIA UND DIE SAUERKRAUTS, AUDIOS AMIGOS, CHEMICALS, DJ HWY 7
(Kenton Club, 2025 N Kilpatrick) See My, What a Busy Week!

LARRY AND HIS FLASK, WATER TOWER
(Doug Fir, 830 E. Burnside) Roots revival rock! Punkgrass! Swampcore! Post-Steinbeck! Whatever notions you're keen on employing with regard to the Dust Bowl ditties of Bend, Oregon's Larry and His Flask are likely to be scrambled like a campfire breakfast the moment they step on stage. Like rampaging cabinfolk, the sextet casts a formidable (read: chaotic) presence from the get-go, generating enough energy via headbanging, screaming (and harmonizing), jumping into the crowd, jigging and strummin' up lightning-fast folk-punk stanzas to power a small club. Luckily for the audience, this make-up performance marks a chance to see the band from in the intimate confines of the Doug Fir before they're whisked away across the country opening for the Reverend Horton Heat, then later in the year with Lucero to much larger crowds. Get ready to sweat. RYAN J. PRADO

BLOOD BEACH, HAUNTED HORSES, ANNE
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) The original Blood Beach was a 1980 horror movie in which a monster lurking under Venice Beach shredded sunbathers to death. If it had benefited from production value, the soundtrack would have sounded like the band of the same name. Blood Beach's theremin suggests the creature prowling beneath the summery surf of the lyrics, but the melodies also tend toward The Twilight Zone—just ominous enough that you can't relax, but too much fuzzy reverb to not be completely enjoyable. Haunted Horses are another band that make you feel like something terrifying is imminent. The Seattle duo stared post-modernity in the face and it scared the shit out of them, so they set it to music: a noisy, fractured bundle of dark guitar melodies and vocals straight out of a nuthouse corridor. But it's the furious drums that tie it together and propel us along to our self-made demise. RW

MONDAY 1/16

CITY AND COLOUR, THE LOW ANTHEM
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) Dallas Green's newest album, Little Hell, exists in a limbo of sorts for his longtime fans. At once immediately recognizable, but also something of a so-long to his staunch acoustic troubadour roots—found most memorably on 2008's breathtaking Bring Me Your Love—the album is at least an eyebrow archer, and at most a total triumph in evolution for the Canadian singer/songwriter. Under his City and Colour moniker, Little Hell tests the anchor of Green's velvety vocals and striking songwriting skills against his maturation as a solo artist willing to take risks into more pop-oriented worlds (as with single "Fragile Bird"). With newfound autonomy in tow—his Ontario post-hardcore group Alexisonfire announced a breakup in August—it's exciting to ponder where his muses might take him next. RJP

TUESDAY 1/17

HAWKEYE, SOUVENIR DRIVER
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) In English, "souvenir" is a noun, but in the original French it's a verb, meaning "to come again," or to remember. Fittingly, with his new project Souvenir Driver, Nate Wey has created a musical conduit for exploring the living of and reflecting on life's most electrifying moments. From a set of songs chronicling Wey's travels and inner experiences comes a full band effort and an arresting record. Joy bears the familiar trappings of shoegaze—hushed vocals, droning guitar licks, blissful cymbals—and every inch is gorgeous, from the striking cover art to the moving trajectory the songs take as a whole. Some drone and drip with syncopation, making palpable the angst and anxiety of a life in motion ("Night Bus"), while others are heart-stopping in their swirling reverberation and calm acquiescence to the perpetual present ("A Moment"; "Farm"). MB

WEDNESDAY 1/18

THE MILK CARTON KIDS, BRENDAN HINES
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) With two acoustic guitars and two just-as-acoustic voices, the Milk Carton Kids—the duo of Kenneth Pattengale and Joey Ryan—offer stripped-down strumming without much in the way of flourish, but there's plenty of comfort to spare. The LA duo veers more toward Welch-and-Rawlings type austerity than overly sincere, knit-cap coffeehouse folk (thank goodness), all while boasting ear-catching harmonies and Pattengale's nimble fingerwork. The Milk Carton Kids give away their albums for free on their website, but seeing this kind of intimate musicianship up close can't be replicated at home. NL