THEOPHILUS LONDON Wonder Ballroom, 1/19
Jonathan Mannion

THURSDAY 1/19

LOVERS, ANATURALE, BRITTLE BONES
(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) See My, What a Busy Week!

THE PACK A.D., MY GOODNESS
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) There's that self-destructive point in a breakup where, when you're not getting shit-faced and crying, you're punching holes in the wall. That's something Elisabeth Kübler-Ross overlooked that when describing the Five Stages of Grief, possibly because she had never heard the Pack A.D. On their fourth album, Unpersons, the Vancouver, BC, garage-punk duo ride the line at the nexus of pissed-off and dissipation with a ferocious energy. With only a drum kit, a guitar, and the voice of Becky Black, The Pack A.D. creates a wall of rock that's just as aggressive as it is brutally honest. On "Rid of Me," Black sings, "Well I drank two bottles of wine/and I threw up and felt just fine." Rid of Me is also the second album by PJ Harvey, a clear influence on Black's singing style, with some unmistakable Grace Slick thrown in as well. REBECCA WILSON

THEOPHILUS LONDON, K FLAY
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) Theophilus London's brand of crosswired, genre-spanning pop shouldn't be as much of a rarity in today's age of all-access internet, in which any piece of recorded music is but a button click away—but the fact remains that the Trinidad-born musician's indefinable style is totally, uniquely refreshing. There's electric funk, but not like Prince's; there's heartfelt, silk-sheet soul, but not like Al Green's; there's indie-rock quirk, but not like TV on the Radio's (well, not too much); and there's hiphop, but not like anything else that's out there right now. Theophilus London is the best kind of entertainer there is: an artist who is never less than fully of the moment, but at his very best, is outright futuristic. NED LANNAMANN

CHOOGLIN'!: DRUNK DAD, VALKYRIE RODEO, DJ PARTY DOGG, DJ BOOZE CRUIZE
(East End, 203 SE Grand) In the 2005 documentary about the Minutemen, We Jam Econo, bass player Mike Watt eloquently reflects on the need for people to be participants in music, not merely spectators. This idea informs much of Portland's music community and events like tonight, where the price is negligible and the bands are local and like-minded. Valkyrie Rodeo continues to threaten and entice audiences with unsettling antics and features Jake Thomas and Tuviya Edelhart—an ominous presence simultaneously at the drum kit and on the mic who has been described as "spastic" more than once. Drunk Dad has expanded to a four-piece and is making more noise than ever. Their very good EP Suicide Cop, available for download on Bandcamp, samples Twin Peaks among its crushing guitar lines and thus has won my heart forever. As for "chooglin'"—it comes from Creedence Clearwater Revival, an unabashed love of whom was also shared by the Minutemen. MARANDA BISH

SPECTRAL TOMBS, DISEMBALLERINA, HEATHEN SHRINE
(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) To tap into the unholy vein of metal hearts, Disemballerina doesn't use twin Marshall full stacks or a ripping Jackson Flying V. They don't enlist a four-armed drummer with a 100-piece drum set, and they certainly don't need a vocalist to scream bloody gore. Instead, these three minstrels manipulate darkness and dread with an acoustic guitar, a violin, a viola, a harp, and a bajo quinto (it's a 10-string Mexican guitar—I had to ask). Disemballerina's bleak, sullen, brooding string arrangements would provide the perfect accompaniment on a ride across the river Styx. After hiding in the shadows for over a year, tonight they emerge with a full set of haunting new material and Fiona Petra of Lost Lockets on violin. Make sure you bring coins for the ferryman. ARIS WALES

COPY, PAPER UPPER CUTS, VOX MOD, GRAPEFRUIT
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) You don't see the band Sun Angle on the bill, but all three members are playing tonight. Grapefruit is the exciting new project of the prolific Charlie Salas Humara, who hasn't really done anything quite like this before: arpeggiated synth patterns, repeated over and over at different intervals of time to create spiraling fractals of sound in the manner of Tangerine Dream and Jean Michel Jarre. Paper Upper Cuts, meanwhile, is the ongoing concern of the equally prolific Papi Fimbres, who is putting the finishing touches on an upcoming album, which no doubt will continue Paper Upper Cuts' expert balance of mellifluous tones and frantic rhythms. And Copy is Marius Libman, the remaining third of Sun Angle, who has evolved bitsynth sounds to keep many a Portland party going 'til the wee hours. They're joined tonight by Seattle's Scot Porter, AKA Vox Mod. NL

A LULL, DELETED SCENES, RAVENNA WOODS
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Ravenna Woods are an anti-folk folk-rock band. Sure, they have some great harmonies, really impressive acoustic guitar skills, and plenty of handclaps, shakers, tambourines, and other such sounds often experienced while sitting around a campfire with a bunch of hippies, but instead of singing words about the snow and birds and shit, the lyrics in their tightly structured tunes evoke darker images of things like headless men and the desire to shoot someone in the face. MEGAN SELING

FRIDAY 1/20

GARDENS AND VILLA, HOSANNAS, AAN
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) Read our article on Gardens and Villa.

BLACK ELK, NETHER REGIONS, RABBITS, WIZARD RIFLE
(Branx, 320 SE 2nd) Forgive the labored analogy, but if you will: Black Elk has shed its old antlers, and now sports a new rack for a new year. Ugh, I am sorry. Anyway, they've reformed and regenerated, lurching back onto the stage with their assaultive combo of metal and hardcore. Formerly a wholly Portland band, guitarist Erik Trammell has since relocated to Southern California, recruiting a new bassist and drummer who seem well-equipped to deal with the mathy intricacies of Black Elk's repertoire (which could at times be paved over by the band's power blast). They're working on a new album, but for now they're revisiting the Northwest for two shows with the new lineup—and tonight's Portland show is totally free. NL

RAGS AND RIBBONS, WATER AND BODIES, FOX AND THE LAW
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Wanna know what the real fringe of the local music community is up to? Portland's Rags and Riches play polished, piano-driven pop that's catchy as it is unobtrusive—nothing folky or chamber-y or metal-y about it. Their list of influences range from Queen and Sigur Rós—which I don't hear—to Coldplay and Snow Patrol, which sounds more accurate. Formerly known as Galaxy Farm, R&R have just released their first proper LP The Glass Masses, a sparkling, well-produced collection of pop that zeroes in on the ears of the 13-to-16 and 50-and-over sets. That's assuming they've never listened to Queen or Sigur Rós. MARK LORE

AXXICORN, BARNABY WOODS, GHOST ALIEN, GODDESS
(Plan B, 1305 SE 8th) Classic metal trio Axxicorn have been Portland favorites since forming in 2010, and tonight they celebrate the release of their first full-length. Having honed their chops on the show circuit, Axxicorn went to the studio and made War of the Giants, a monstrous and truly epic album. Seven tracks on mythological themes deliver the spectrum of rock sounds, from scorching anthems to frenetic meditations. Vocalist Kerr Mahnke channels Ozzy while maintaining a highly original vocal presence, a mix of honey and gravel. Jeremy Hansen's guitar work is thunderous, meticulous, and percussive while verging towards the unhinged. Mike McDonnell dominates every inch of the drum kit, hitting it at all angles to superb effect. And while the album surges with the energy of a live show, the instrumentation shines with polished production. It's a record for the ages. MB

SATURDAY 1/21

RADIATION CITY, WILD ONES, PURE BATHING CULTURE, PEGASUS DREAM
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) UPDATE: Due to bad weather, Youth Lagoon has cancelled and is no longer on the bill. Wild Ones and Pegasus Dream have been added. Read our article on Youth Lagoon.

JAKE SHIMABUKURO
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) In March of 2006, Jake Shimabukuro was a respected ukulele player who toured around Hawaii and played the occasional Hawaiian music festival in California or Japan. In late April of that year, he video-recorded a shockingly virtuosic ukulele version of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" while sitting in Central Park. The video hit YouTube and Shimabukuro became one of the first viral-video internet sensations. Phone calls started pouring in and, since then, Shimabukuro has played with Yo-Yo Ma, Ziggy Marley, Bela Fleck, Jimmy Buffett, Cyndi Lauper, and many others. Recently, he accompanied Bette Midler in a performance for Queen Elizabeth. Whether he's playing traditional Hawaiian music, covers of pop songs, or his own compositions, Shimabukuro almost single-handedly has taught the world to respect the ukulele. BRENDAN KILEY

GLITTER EXPRESS, JIZZ WISARD, NASALROD, A GENTLEMAN'S PICNIC
(Club 21, 2035 NE Glisan) Trapped between that fightin' urge to get out some pent-up aggression and that ever-lovin' need to just hump the universe and dance, dance, dance? With Glitter Express, you don't have to choose. The Portland party band has found a stimulating blend of disco and punk, and it sounds a hell of a lot better than whatever all that electroclash business was about a few years ago. Glitter Express' debut EP Casual Encounters has all the danger and excitement of a hookup with a stranger—right down to the possibility of ripped clothing, bite marks, and a wicked hangover—as it rides a wave of swishy hi-hat and fuzzy guitar groan over the course of songs with marvelous titles like "Gay Car Wash" and "Je M'en Bats les Steaks." Singer Noelle Magia's punk wail doesn't have a hint of diva preciousness, but what Glitter Express lacks in R&B smoove, they make up for in raw power. NL

ADAM ARCURAGI, RUBY FEATHERS, JENN RAWLING
(Ella Street Social Club, 714 SW 20th Pl) I have a creeping suspicion that Adam Arcuragi has it all figured out. Like a lot of guys these days, he takes a mishmash of Americana—soul, country, bluegrass, gospel—and makes it his own. But unlike most, he never gives the impression that he sits up at night thinking about his feelings. This is partly because Arcuragi is so effortlessly masculine and charismatic, both as a singer and performer. But the lion's share of the responsibility lies with the songs: Infectious and beautiful, they tend to be centered on the vocals, like traditional gospel, but with sweeping melodies and complex instrumentation. His new album, Like a Fire That Consumes All Before It, is out January 31. RW

MALAIKAT DAN SINGA, SCOUT NIBLETT, LARKIN GRIMM
(Project Grow, 2156 N Williams) Larkin Grimm's brand of folk music would rather snuff out the campfire and wander the forest alone than engage in contrived bonhomie. On 2008's Parplar, Grimm's vocal style is intimate, with hints of both vulnerability and sinister intent, and her lyrics delve into some blunt explorations of sexuality. Her new Tony Visconti-produced album, Soul Retrieval, bears more orchestral embellishment and more conventionally "pretty," refined songwriting. Arrington de Dionyso, performing as Malaikat Dan Singa, is a wild man who blends Indonesian garage rock, free-jazz sax, and throat singing into galvanizing sound art. DAVE SEGAL

THE QUAGS, THE SCHILLS, THE HONUS HUFFHINES
(Kenton Club, 2025 N Kilpatrick) I wonder if all those '50s bands had saxophones in them to make that jagged pill of rock 'n' roll sound just a little sweeter, giving a touch of class to that newfangled, scary, raw music. Indeed, the sultry-smooth tootling of the sax adds immeasurable glamour to the rough-and-tumble garage rock of the Schills, a local band that celebrates the release of its debut EP, Wrapped Up in Stars, at tonight's show. This group loves the proto-punk sounds of the 1960s' meanest bands, like the Stooges, the MC5, the Velvet Underground, but with the addition of Steve Johnson's baritone sax, the Schills boast a hepcat noir vibe that's snazzy, jazzy, and ready for some Enchantment Under the Sea. NL

SUNDAY 1/22

YOUTH, CHAIRS MISSING, STILL CAVES
(http://www.portlandmercury.com/portland/rontoms/Location?oid=271996, 600 E Burnside) Hopping on that ubiquitous surf rock bandwagon, Youth's music possesses the litheness characteristic of their namesake. With reverb dials turned far to the right, guitars and voices shimmer and resound in a way that, when paired with the right accoutrements, could induce a summer day. All one needs are some raw oysters, white wine, and no qualms about jacking up the heat. Youth spent the fall touring the West Coast with Typhoon and Wild Ones, occupying the opening slot in what they tout as their first "non-house show" tour, and now are working through a slew of formidable shows throughout the Northwest this winter. And while they're far from fully formed, the band shows promise and guarantees a good time. RAQUEL NASSER

JEFFERTITTI'S NILE, JASON URICK, TUNNELS, MILLION MISTS
(Valentine's, 232 SW Ankeny) There have been lots of guesses, but it's probably safe to say that nobody actually knows what kind of music Jason Urick makes. I guess you could call it ambient, or maybe abstract electro collage... One thing's for sure, though—you could definitely call it experimental. Regardless of how you want to tag it, Urick himself doesn't seem much concerned with labels. His new record for Thrill Jockey, I Love You, was constructed entirely on his laptop, and its arrival establishes Urick as a kind of trash saveur, a no-nonsense producer of ultra-digital, hyper-affected electronics and voice with a knack for bridging the gap between the organic and synthetic. Having recently moved to Portland from his former state of Maryland, Urick is on a stacked bill of local talent tonight, rounded out by fellow trendbuckers Nick Bindeman of Tunnels and Gift Tapes hero Jamie Potter, AKA Million Mists. CHRIS CANTINO

MONDAY 1/23

NOFX, OLD MAN MARKLEY, POISON IDEA
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Read our article on NOFX.

TUESDAY 1/24

CONCRETE BLONDE, MENKENA
(Star Theater, 13 NW 6th) Read our article on Concrete Blonde.

FITZ AND THE TANTRUMS, AMERICAN TOMAHAWK, REVA DEVITO
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Bubbling above the recent swell of revivalist, blue-eyed soul, Fitz and the Tantrums have seen their fair share of mainstream success in the past year. Their swaggering track "Moneygrabber" permeated radio waves for much of the spring and summer, and a few supporting slots on high-profile tours exposed the LA band's highly infectious music to an even larger population sample; a pandemic was born. But while "Moneygrabber" is well and good in its poppy dredge, it pales in comparison to many of the other songs on 2010's Pickin' Up the Pieces (including "Breaking the Chains of Love" and the title track, at the very least). The band is absolutely bombastic, while Fitz and Noelle Scaggs command the vocals and the audience with finesse; prepare for a night of over-the-top fun. RN

WEDNESDAY 1/25

NATIONALE THIRD ANNIVERSARY
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See My, What a Busy Week!

HORNET LEG, HEY LOVER, DAD AND DAD, DJ KEN DIRTNAP
(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) Maybe the most attractive aural value of Portland's Hornet Leg is the inherent fun found in their particular brand of jangly fuzz-punk. The vocal dynamic between founder Chris Sutton—who's also played sporadically in K Rec flag bearers Dub Narcotic Sound System and C.O.C.O.—and former drummer Claudia Meza summoned the sunny harmonies of a youthful Black Francis-Kim Deal tandem, abounding with oft-times blues-grooved chord progressions (Still Life's "Ghost House"), and skewed menageries of melodic mischief. But with the additions in recent years of Nucular Aminals' frontman Robert Comitz on the skins, and Bob Desaulniers on bass, Hornet Leg's minimalist onslaught—though still potent—is coiled in tighter quarters, allowing Sutton's songwriting to rise above the din. RYAN J. PRADO Also see My, What a Busy Week!