Up & Coming 

This Week’s Music Previews

BEST COAST Aladdin Theater, 5/21

BEST COAST Aladdin Theater, 5/21

THURSDAY 5/17

SCHOOLBOY Q, CASSOW, EMMORAL
(Peter's Room at Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Don't get the name twisted: LA's Schoolboy Q is not some backpack-wearing conscious rapper. Though he earned the moniker from an older member of the Hoover Crip gang (with which he was once affiliated) for earning good grades and starring in multiple sports in high school, Q excels at gritty street raps with enough lyrical chops and flow switches to avoid the repetitive hole some of this stuff falls into. His second official full-length, Habits & Contradictions, was front-to-back solid, and remains one of the strongest rap releases I've heard in 2012. MIKE RAMOS

WIZARD BOOTS, OBJECTS IN SPACE, SLUTTY HEARTS
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) Christopher Elsken has been keeping his far-out band Wizard Boots going for years, creeping out of the woodwork just enough to keep everyone looking over their shoulders. And with that, he now offers up a collection of outtakes, remixes, and remasters called Five Years on Earth with Wizard Boots... An Improper History, which should only add to the band's freak mystique. Choice cuts like "Retarded Love" and "Yogurt (I Just Ate Some)" are present and accounted for, along with 19 others that pile silliness inside tasty, rock-'n'-roll shit sandwiches. As would be expected, Wizard Boots offer an off-kilter take on rock from the past three decades—which is to say, drugs have been very kind to these guys and the music they love. MARK LORE

SUNSPOT JONZ, ACEYALONE, J NATURAL, DJ TRAM, MYG, DJ WICKED
(Refuge, 116 SE Yamhill) Aceyalone is arguably the Greg Ginn of the underground hiphop world. Hear me out. They both have an incredibly dense group and solo discographies, plus major indie cred and innovation in how their own (and those that they've mentored over the last few decades) music is marketed, packaged, and sold. If Freestyle Fellowship were Black Flag—both early but highly esteemed and revolutionary independent groups—then Project Blowed would be SST. In 1994, Aceyalone and Abstract Rude's first LA hiphop compilation (Project Blowed) completely transformed the way independent rappers gained success and acknowledgement. DIY tactics like encouraging people to share and swap music have made Project Blowed, after 18 years, not only a cult classic compilation series, but also an entity as a network of independent artists worldwide. Acey teams up with another LA game-changer and Living Legend, Sunspot Jonz, for the second JonzAlone Tour. ROCHELLE HUNTER

FRIDAY 5/18

JACKPOT! RECORDING AND JACKPOT RECORDS 15TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION: QUASI, THE MINUS 5, SYSTEM AND STATION, THE ALIALUJAH CHOIR, BLUE SKIES FOR BLACK HEARTS, PERHAPST, DAVE DEPPER
(Bagdad Theater, 3702 SE Hawthorne) See My, What a Busy Week!

RAMONA FALLS, INCREDIBLE YACHT CONTROL
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!, and read our article on Ramona Falls.

LINDSEY BUCKINGHAM
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) I may not be the planet's biggest Fleetwood Mac/Lindsey Buckingham apologist, but at this point I must rank within the top 20. More than any other album, I've defended Rumours against derision from people who have no idea what they're talking about (and missing out on). Sure, the Mac were a silly white boy blues band at one point in the late '60s; "Don't Stop" was famously performed by the group at Bill Clinton's first inaugural gala; and their later period may single-handedly emblematize "dad rock" nowadays—but don't let all that ridiculousness deter you. Rumours is a rock masterpiece, and the inter-band soap opera that inspired virtually all of its songs is fascinating on its own. It remains perhaps the cruelest kiss-off record of all time. MORGAN TROPER

THE POLISH AMBASSADOR
(Branx, 320 SE 2nd) For me, calling yourself a "Polish Ambassador" conjures up images of pierogi, Pope John Paul II, and polka superstar Frankie Yankovic (no relation to Al). What this Polish Ambassador—originally from Malvern, Pennsylvania, and now living in Oakland, California—really does is make self-described "electro-funked, glitch-tweaked, wobble-freaked breakbeats." Breakbeats that'll "have you dropping that bottom" like it's 1992. He claims the synthesizer is his primary weapon in annihilating all the bad beats from the earth. Could breakbeats be the new polka? More importantly, is "dropping bottom" the new "half-step-hop-step"? These are the important questions. KELLY O

DOGTOOTH, BAD MITTEN ORCHESTRE
(LaurelThirst Public House, 2958 NE Glisan) For an acoustic band, Dogtooth manage to be really loud. If you're suffering from banjo fatigue, their new self-titled probably isn't for you, but for a multigenerational boot stomp/barn dance, you'd be hard-pressed to find better. Dogtooth are workaholic performers about town, which is a good thing, since this music demands to be heard live. They have found that elusive sonic bridge between the Great Depression and this new one, with hooky songwriting and the authenticity of roots music, unadulterated by newfangled electric guitars. This is the sound that T-Bone Burnett has been chasing for the last 30 years. There are harmonicas, mandolins, and fiddles, and four-sixths of the band sings. Not with carefully composed harmonies, but in a way that sounds muscular and spontaneous—like maybe we could all join in. REBECCA WILSON

BROADWAY CALLS, DEAD TO ME, THE ARTERIES, LEE COREY OSWALD
(Backspace, 115 NW 5th) They say you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but at the surface Broadway Calls feel awfully impenetrable—it's pretty off-putting (and awkward) how intense their desire to be regarded as hometown heroes is. (What else could explain the superficiality of songs like "Back to Oregon" and "Meet Me at Washington Park"—Elliott Smith they are not). But their latest EP, Toxic Kids, while no less derivative than previous efforts, is at least a huge step in the right direction—away from mall-core inanity and toward crunchy, classic pop/punk reminiscent of Insomniac-era Green Day. "I'm So Ready to Be Done with My 20s," the indelible kickoff to Toxic Kids, very nearly absolves them of prior stupidities. MT

THE BLIND SHAKE, DI DI MAU, THE POLAROIDS, BOATS
(East End, 203 SE Grand) There's something about bands that are made up of brothers. They seem to have that lifelong connection that can really shine, and also that touch of sibling rivalry that can really drive a band (sometimes driving them to fisticuffs). There are some excellent brother bands: Ron and Scott Asheton in the Stooges, Ray and Dave Davies in the Kinks, Angus and Malcolm Young in AC/DC, and Sean and Erin Wood in the Spits. Two brothers—Mike and Jim Blaha—front the Blind Shake. They're garage-punks from Minneapolis who often collaborate with noise-weirdo legend Michael Yonkers. Their live shows are no bullshit and full of might and fury. Expect the unexpected. KO

SATURDAY 5/19

RVIVR, DOGJAW, CHIN UP MERIWETHER, DIVERS
(Backspace, 115 NW 5th) Read our article on Divers.

STRANGLED DARLINGS, EZZA ROSE
(Secret Society, 116 NE Russell) Whether mining the sideshow soundtrack of an abandoned carnival or marveling in the festive underworld where free jazz and folk collide, Portland's Strangled Darlings are freaks of nature. In the most flattering way possible, mind you. With the release of their new long-player, Red Yellow & Blue, the duo of George Veech and Jessica Anderly get less bawdy, but more brave—if that's possible—with dashes of organ-infused lounge on the title track, and other surprises throughout. "Halfwit" is a kind of Dixieland blurter disguised as a back-porch mandolin jam, while its follow-up "Orange Peel" gives weight to the band's "literary doom pop" standing with a polka-pocked ditty that plods with clunky banjo and Anderly's excellent cello-as-bass manipulations. It's a quirky, fun, intoxicating slice of Portland's bazaar-busker world—ya know, if that's your thing. RYAN J. PRADO

PLANKTON WAT, TUNNELS, SUN CYCLES
(Little Axe Records, 5012 NE 28th) Dewey Mahood—multi-instrumentalist for Portland's Eternal Tapestry—brings his avant-maneuvers to more tranquil frontiers with Plankton Wat. Blending the organic with the robotic, Mahood layers intricately plucked acoustic guitars, harmonium and banjo over mechanized whirs and beats. His new album Spirits is a psychedelic trip through the Pacific Northwest landscape that—even at its most claustrophobic—still manages to get in touch with nature. Picture Portland in 1967, only slightly more dystopian. Or imagine what Ravi Shankar would have done that same year if he had all sorts of futuristic gadgets at his disposal. If Plankton Wat is the sound of the future, planet Earth might just make it out alive after all. ML

SUNDAY 5/20

THE WE SHARED MILK, LOG ACROSS THE WASHER, PLUM SUTRA
(Rontoms, 600 E Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!

LUZ ELENA MENDOZA
(Al's Den, 303 SW 12th) See My, What a Busy Week!

WHAT HEARTS, HOUNDSTOOTH, CALICO ROSE
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Read our article on What Hearts.

MONDAY 5/21

LUZ ELENA MENDOZA
(Al's Den, 303 SW 12th) See My, What a Busy Week!

JULIA HOLTER, JIB KIDDER, CLOAKS
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Renaissance pop curio Julia Holter is known for communicating more with the plaintive pace and silence of a single song than certain louder artists might yield in a lifetime, and her breakthrough record Ekstasis is an exquisite balance of such tense, threadbare moments. There's an emphasis on emphasis there, and a sense of devotion one might even call liturgical—no wonder Holter's been referred to as this generation's "savior of reverent music." But for all this talk of vibe and structure, what sticks most in the end is Holter's talent for intent, elegant melodies, and clinically orchestrated pop songs. CHRIS CANTINO Also see My, What a Busy Week!

BEST COAST, JEFF THE BROTHERHOOD
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) Best Coast's 2010 debut, Crazy for You, captured people's souls because it was so rooted in place. Sunny surf pop played by a lo-fi garage band just sounds like SoCal. Not since Red Hot Chili Peppers or N.W.A has a band evoked niche LA so well. Their second LP, The Only Place, certainly doesn't suffer from second-album syndrome, but the fuzzy homemade feel is gone and the crashing surf has given way to Anywhere, USA. Best Coast has traded up for a glossy, commercial-ready production, courtesy of Jon Brion (who's done such great things for Kanye). The songwriting is better, and Bethany Cosentino's lyrics have gotten more confessional and less comical. The refrain of the album's sixth track could apply to fans, producers, and critics alike: "I don't wanna be how they want me to be," she sings over and over. Point taken, Bethany. RW

TUESDAY 5/22

LUZ ELENA MENDOZA
(Al's Den, 303 SW 12th) See My, What a Busy Week!

ROGER WATERS: THE WALL
(Rose Garden, 1 Center Ct) If you told tiny, adorable, 10-year-old me that I would one day have a chance to witness a fully staged production of Pink Floyd's bloated, indulgent, over-the-top tribute to bloated, indulgent, over-the-top rock stardom, I would have shrieked with glee (in a high, girlish voice). Well, a lot's changed since then, not just my voice. I had a pretty bad falling out with The Wall, along with most of Pink Floyd's catalog, in ensuing years. (I blame The Division Bell, really; who can love a band that has their name on a turd that massive?) But I've since come around a bit, and while you will never see me move faster than I do to turn the dial when the opening guitar arpeggios of "Hey You" come on the classic rock station—as they do every 1.32 hours, as mandated by law—I'm actually pretty damn excited to see all those bricks in the wall, in the flesh. Grumpy ol' Roger Waters has mellowed out considerably in his old age, and although the rest of Pink Floyd won't be in tow (RIP, Syd and Rick), expect this to be a loving, nostalgic, communal revisit to one of the most caustic and bilious albums ever recorded. NED LANNAMANN

WEDNESDAY 5/23

LOUDON WAINWRIGHT III, THE OLIVE GROVE
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) Loudon Wainwright III is the singer/songwriter/humorist/actor with a soft spot for freakishly talented musical brunettes (his marriage to Kate McGarrigle produced Rufus and Martha Wainwright, his later relationship with Suzzy Roche produced Lucy Wainwright Roche) and a family tradition of hashing out family shit in song. Proud pop Loudon celebrated his baby son's breastfeeding with "Rufus Is a Tit Man"; years later he paid tribute to his soon-to-be-departed mother with the fearlessly emotional "White Winos." Meanwhile, daughter Martha Wainwright's song about her dad is titled "Bloody Mother Fucking Asshole." Tonight Loudon Wainwright III takes the stage for a set that'll likely blend tracks from his 2012 release Older Than My Old Man Now with older songs from all over tarnation. DAVID SCHMADER Also see My, What a Busy Week!

LUZ ELENA MENDOZA
(Al's Den, 303 SW 12th) See My, What a Busy Week!

GUANTANAMO BAYWATCH, JR. MEMBER, YOUTHBITCH
(Club 21, 2035 NE Glisan) Read our article on Guantanamo Baywatch.

AVENGERS, PANSY DIVISION, MORAL CRUX, THERAPISTS
(Dante's 1, SW 3rd) The bookers at Dante's should be commended for conveniently slotting seminal San Francisco punk band Avengers during the maelstrom that is The Avengers' Hollywood-blockbuster summer. But puzzled Marvel nerds may be in for a surprise if they neglect the fine print; tonight's show is a time capsule of old-school punk, featuring poppy queercore pioneers Pansy Division. It's been a long time since the group was thrust into the faces of mainstream America on Green Day's Dookie tour in 1994, but Pansy Division's legion of man-lovin' loyalists hasn't waned a bit. With sporadic releases dotting the last decade of their trailblazing career, and as subjects of the 2009 documentary film Pansy Division: Life in a Gay Rock Band, their elder statesmen status almost makes you forget they wrote "He Whipped My Ass in Tennis (Then I Fucked His Ass in Bed)." Tonight, you'll remember. RJP

SCOTT WALKER TRIBUTE: MATTRESS, GHOST ANIMAL, WL, ...WORMS, DJ COMEDIENNE
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) The current governor of Wisconsin has done a lot of unpleasant things in just a year and a half, not the least of which has been to give a dickish connotation to the name Scott Walker. That's too bad, because the OG Scott Walker is one of the great all-time vocalists/songwriters/bass players. He's known as much for his heartthrobby baritone as for his eccentricities and the many turns his career has taken: from the oldies radio staple "The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore" to his production of Pulp's We Love Life, and his resurgence in popularity following the 2006 documentary Scott Walker: 30 Century Man. The showcase takes its name from the final album of his sometime band the Walker Brothers, but anything from his oeuvre is up for grabs. Except, I'm assuming, his strange, misguided country phase? RW

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