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This Week’s Music Previews

JAILL Doug Fir, 7/23

JAILL Doug Fir, 7/23

THURSDAY 7/19

SUNDOWN AT ECOTRUST: HOLCOMBE WALLER, SARA JACKSON-HOLMAN
(Ecotrust, 721 NW 9th) See My, What a Busy Week!

AWAKENINGS: DESERT DWELLERS, KALYA SCINTILLA, AMANI FRIEND, TREAVOR MOONTRIBE, RARA AVIS, DRUMSPYDER, BLUE SPECTRAL MONKEY
(Refuge, 116 SE Yamhill) Read our article on Kalya Scintilla.

AESOP ROCK, ROB SONIC, DJ BIG WIZ, EDISON, DARK TIME SUNSHINE
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) Aesop Rock has been a major player in the indie hiphop scene for well over the past 10 years. After a brief hiatus he is back at it, touring for his new album Skelethon. If you've been listening to Aesop since back in the day, and you think you've seen it all—just wait, there's more. Ever been at a show, thinking the only thing that could make it better would be if your favorite emcee called you on stage and started shaving your head during your favorite song? No? Well, they're doing it anyway. Also, Seattle-based Dark Time Sunshine are about to put out their fourth and strongest project yet. Producer Zavala brings bubbly yet intense, completely danceable beats and emcee Onry Ozzborn (Grayskul) creates catchy hooks and throws in the local NW music references. Their highly anticipated LP ANX is slated for release July 24. ROCHELLE HUNTER

SHEARWATER, HUSKY, GOLD LEAVES
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Legend has it that Jonathan Meiburg founded Shearwater in 1999 as a quieter alternative to his other band, Okkervil River. Possibly the only ironic thing about Animal Joy, Shearwater's seventh studio album, is how loud it is. Liberated from even the most oblique references to folk, Animal Joy relies instead on a sweeping, beautiful bombast. In most hands, this would come across as overblown, as if some record producers were really intent on forcing you to feel some feelings. Instead, it sounds like the natural progression from 2008's quiet, tender Rook—a perfectly conceived story arc in which we've now reached all the exciting parts. In both singing and songwriting, Meiburg—a method actor of a vocalist if ever there was one—manages theatricality with the most affecting sincerity. Husky (low-key indie by way of Australia) and Seattle's gorgeous Gold Leaves are opening. REBECCA WILSON

BIG BLACK CLOUD, PRIZEHOG, BILLIONS AND BILLIONS
(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) Like the Portland bands with whom they share this bill, Prizehog exist in total defiance of convention or verse-chorus-verse formula. For more than five years, the San Francisco trio has been making music that reaches to the depths and limits of sonic expression. Their recorded tracks build powerfully upon meditative conglomerations of instrumentation—one of their latest, "Swayback," begins with lilting harmonica before undergoing heavy assault from drums and guitar. The riffs then soften with a ringing sense of hollowness before descending into more thunderous, trudging territory, along with primal vocal howls and synthetic swirls from the keyboard. The result is music that reflects, with unsettling tangibility, on what it feels like to be human. This evening, acquire their latest vinyl EP A Talking To and participate in a unique show that could likely alter your composition, if allowed. MARANDA BISH

FRIDAY 7/20

PORTLAND CELLO PROJECT'S EXTREME DANCE PARTY
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!

PDX POP NOW!
(Refuge, 116 SE Yamhill) Read our article on PDX Pop Now!

ANTIKYTHERA, DRUNK DAD, PALO VERDE, AERIAL RUIN
(East End, 203 SE Grand) Read our article on Antikythera.

PARENTHETICAL GIRLS, EXTRA LIFE, COPY
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) For a band approaching a 10-year anniversary, Parenthetical Girls have maintained an impressive commitment to being weird. Or maybe it's a commitment to being impressively weird. For example, their fourth full-length album, Privilege, is being released in five vinyl-only increments of 12-inch EPs as they are completed. All but one have come out, each numbered in the, um, blood of the band member depicted on the cover. The extended unveiling left plenty of space for the band to release a handful of other EPs in the ensuing two years—including a Christmas EP and a free selection of wonderful Kate Bush covers on Bandcamp. What all of these have in common are sweetly pretty orchestrations and former Mercury Music Editor Zac Pennington's dramatic vocals. It's an aesthetic that makes me think of new wave as much as the Magnetic Fields, in all the best ways. RW

JUNIOR MEMBAH, THE MEMORIES, MOPE GROOVES
(Plan B, 1305 SE 8th) It's sort of amazing that PDX DIY mogul Erik Gage has found the time to foster yet another full-time project, between operating his tape label Gnar Tapes and Shit and fronting the thoroughly established (and industrious) White Fang—but he has, and thank goodness for that. I'm referring, of course, to the Memories, Gage's excellent new pop band who have just released a great (if terse) LP on Underwater Peoples Records after dawdling creatively for a few years. And man, do they pillage from pop's greatest: "Softly," for example, contains a hook lifted directly from the semi-obscure Zombies cut "How We Were Before," and elsewhere the band steals from doo-wop all the way to mid-'00s Top-40 R&B. Like Picasso (and many other geniuses of equal merit) purportedly said, "Good artists borrow, but great artists steal." I'd drink to that if I drank. MORGAN TROPER

SHOESHINE BLUE, HUCK NOTARI, ST. EVEN
(The Secret Society, 116 NE Russell) For several years now, Michael Apinyakul has been delivering low-key, affectionate folk around town under the Shoeshine Blue moniker, and he's just finished a new EP of gentle twang with the help of some Portland compadres. Tell Yourself It's Only the Weather bundles together five of Apinyakul's early-morning melodies, which he recorded at home without much tracking or overdubbing. The homespun care is clearly evident, and a close listen on headphones puts you right in the room where the songs were laid down. Shoeshine Blue has been quietly, reliably providing amiable folk just beneath Portland's radar; with tonight's release of Tell Yourself It's Only the Weather, some much-deserved light will shine on an overlooked local talent. NED LANNAMANN

SATURDAY 7/21

PORTLAND CELLO PROJECT'S EXTREME DANCE PARTY
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!

SPACEGHOSTPURRP, TRASH TALK, TxE, TRANSIENT
(Branx, 320 SE 2nd) See My, What a Busy Week!

GREASEBALL PICNIC: PITCHFORK MOTORWAY, GUNROOM MELODIES, BITCHSCHOOL, THE CRAG DWELLERS, THE PYNNACLES, THE LORDY LORDS, GHOSTWRITER
(Club 21, 2035 NE Glisan) See My, What a Busy Week!

PDX POP NOW!
(Refuge, 116 SE Yamhill) Read our article on PDX Pop Now!

ANTIKYTHERA, MICS, PRIZE HOG, SLOTHS
(Record Room, 8 NE Killingsworth) Read our article on Antikythera.

DAM-FUNK, VINNIE DEWAYNE
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) It would be easy to pigeonhole Dam-Funk as a retro act, riding the dual wave of frenzy for DIY and early '80s nostalgia. Aural reminiscing definitely has its place, but it's an ass-backward way to listen to Dam-Funk. It's a happy coincidence that the arbitrary masses finally caught up to what he has been doing for years—making electro-funk in his garage. When heard from start to finish on earphones, Adolescent Funk and Toeachizown show the full range of his keyboard ingenuity. Still, spending so many years in solitude can give a person his own way of doing things, and Dam is an iconoclast when it comes to details: from the pleasing immediacy of synthetic percussion and bouncy bass, to the sparse use of sexy Princeisms, to the fact that he does it all without using any of those familiarly aggressive sexist and racist epithets. RW

GALLOP, HARLOWE AND THE GREAT NORTH WOODS, BARNA HOWARD
(Piano Fort, 1715 SE Spokane) Calla Mapel and Jesse Waldman arrived in Portland in 2009 and put together Gallop around Mapel's forlorn, sea-swept folksongs. Increasing their ranks to six with banjo player Kyle Bruser, backup singer Haley Keegan, violinist Angie Kuzma, and cellist Lauren Vidal, Gallop now has a self-titled debut album—being released tonight—and an appealing catalog of warmly dramatic music, which can be differentiated from the current crop of local folksters by Gallop's brittle classical flourishes and the striking resemblance of Mapel's voice to Linda Thompson's. You can pick up Gallop tonight, and they've got an upcoming three-song video with the Portland Sessions that will be premiering online in the coming days. NL

SUNDAY 7/22

YOUTH LAGOON, FATHER JOHN MISTY, AVA LUNA
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) See My, What a Busy Week!

PDX POP NOW!
(Refuge, 116 SE Yamhill) Read our article on PDX Pop Now!

PORTLAND QUEER MUSIC FESTIVAL
(Backspace, 115 NW 5th & Someday Lounge, 125 NW 5th) A successful inaugural festival in 2011 has meant a bigger, bolder, and dare we say queerer Portland Queer Music Festival in its sophomore run. Taking over both Backspace (all ages) and Someday Lounge (21 and over) all day long, organizers have managed to this year include the below-drinking-age set, and also compile an impressive list of LGBTQ and allied artists, most impressively with the quirky alt-rock of San Francisco's Imperial Teen. Local reps include the goth-electro musings of Mattachine Social, the moody, crude rap of Damon Boucher, and the decadent pop-punk of queer-fronted quartet Kiss Kill, among 20-plus other crazily monikered, glittery, fabulous acts. RYAN J. PRADO

SPOEK MATHAMBO
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) I don't quite know how to describe Spoek Mathambo. Hell, I don't even know how to pronounce it. But since it's in my job description to attach clumsy, inexact words to something that's already a complete expression in and of itself, I will elect to cram a bunch of unrelated terms together into what I hope will be a somewhat illuminating phrase: day-glo garage Afro-fusion funk-pop. Sigh. Since that's totally unhelpful, I should mention that Spoek Mathambo's set at SXSW was one of the most inventive, invigorating performances I caught in that whole weeklong mess. By infusing the bizarrely arty with compulsive rhythms and ear-candy timbres, Spoek Mathambo—the alter ego of Nthato Mokgata of Johannesburg, South Africa—makes something as unforgettable as it is indefinable. NL

RELIENT K, HELLOGOODBYE, WILLIAM BECKETT, HOUSE OF HEROES
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) In terms of lyrical ghastliness, even Nickelback doesn't hold a candle to Relient K: "We should get jerseys, because we make a good team/But yours would look better than mine, because you're out of my league," the opening lyrics to the band's execrable 2007 smash hit "Must Have Done Something Right," contend for some of the most nauseatingly banal couplets ever penned. And let's not forget those insidious religious implications and the band's questionably titled, collectively authored dating book The Complex Infrastructure Known as the Female Mind—this is horrid, hollow, faux-profound high-school horseshit. Plenty of people (even within the "punk" community) are much too kind to this band, and it isn't just. They are next-level bad. MT

FLORENCE AND THE MACHINE, THE WALKMEN
(Edgefield, 2126 SW Halsey, Troutdale) The Walkmen have somehow, relatively quietly, finagled an important role in the spectrum of guitar-driven garage-pop. Despite their obvious successes, they're hardly a household name; despite their penchant for blowing away their headliners on tour after tour, they're mired in a perpetual opening slot for up-and-comers. Fair, schmair, we suppose—but the group could do worse than christening a gig at the sprawling outdoor oasis of Edgefield for so uplifting a pop squad as Florence and the Machine. That British group, led by the oddly entrancing Florence Welch, ignited a powerful following in a very short time in the US after the success of their second LP Ceremonials, as well as a memorable stateside TV appearance on SNL, which prompted myriad imitations of Welch's unique, vibrant delivery. This is a pretty devastating one-two punch. RJP

MONDAY 7/23

KING TUFF, JAILL, THE MEMORIES
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Read our article on King Tuff and see My, What a Busy Week!

BIG K.R.I.T., CASEY VEGGIES, BIG SANT, TITO LOPEZ, SERGE SEVERE
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) Big K.R.I.T. has the ability to make high-energy Southern rap suitable for parties or cruisin' the block in a lowrider Impala, but like other Southern rappers who've really crossed over to pop music like T.I. or Big Boi, he also has a sensitive side. His style can just as easily switch to deep, heartfelt real talk about real experiences, which is what really separates him from a lot of bigheaded pusherman rappers out there today. After putting out several incredibly well received self-produced mixtapes, and having a project stuck in record-label limbo-land for almost two years, his official, although slightly stale, Def Jam debut Live from the Underground came out this June. Tonight he's joined by a few friends from the South and, of course, one of Pitchfork's favorite rappers: Casey Veggies, an LA native and OFWGKTA affiliate. RH

THE PSYCHIC PARAMOUNT, PHIL MANLEY LIFE COACH, ETERNAL TAPESTRY
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Over the last 20-some years, Phil Manley's manned the guitar for post-rock charmers Trans Am, post-metal dudes the Fucking Champs, and krautrock rehabilitators Jonas Reinhardt. In 2011, he finally came out with his first solo project, cheekily named Phil Manley Life Coach. The Life Coach album—on Thrill Jockey—continues Manley's obsession with the myriad permutations of '70s German rock: motorik cruise-control jams, pagan-folk balladry, sonorous, cloud-busting drones, and twinkling, Manuel Göttsching-like meditations. DAVE SEGAL

TUESDAY 7/24

PHANTOGRAM, PORCELAIN RAFT
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) See My, What a Busy Week!

THE COATHANGERS, DIVERS
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) The Coathangers are living proof that there's no excuse to sit on your ass and NOT start a rock 'n' roll band. In 2006, the quartet of women from Atlanta found themselves sharing a predilection for good times and good tunes, so they learned how to play guitars, keys, and drums, and formed a band that instantly won audiences over. Now touring in support of their third album, Larceny and Old Lace, released last year on Suicide Squeeze records, their musical chops are considerably honed, with songs that are an engaging blend of styles, including charging rock ("Hurricane"), sultry disco-feel ("My Baby"), and classic-style girl-group tracks, incorporating "oohs" and "ahhs" alongside punk-rock swerve. All four members sing on each track and switch up vocal duties, making their music feel and sound like a collaborative effort among friends. MB

JOSH AND MER, ULTRA PEACH
(The Waypost, 3120 N Williams) Seeing Ultra Peach (more or less a solo moniker for Spokane-based singer/songwriter David Plell, although additional musicians appear on the recordings) perform was one of this year's best musical surprises so far. I know it's tacky to describe something as "genre-defying" but Plell doesn't ever follow a single definitive template, so I'm not really left with much choice. His songs employ a variety of instruments—guitars, keys, and notably a glockenspiel (live, he uses a loop pedal)—and he rarely adheres to the ordinary (predictable) verse/chorus/verse structure. "Learn Hello," the second track off Ultra Peach's newest EP Ask for Dust, is especially rad. This is like if Harry Nilsson made music for videogames. MT

WEDNESDAY 7/25

DIRTY PROJECTORS, WYE OAK
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!

YUM YUM, DJ TRE SLIM, HAR-1
(Yes and No, 20 NW 3rd) If you want to see Yum Yum, tonight may be your only chance. The electropop outfit has a new, self-titled full-length, and it's a platter full of sticky, sumptuous sex jams with a strong hint of melancholy (a very welcome thing, as the vacantly euphoric sex jams always smell a bit bullshitty). To celebrate its release, Yum Yum plays this single live performance, for which Voodoo Doughnuts is concocting a special doughnut to maw on as well. In the interest of full disclosure, we should mention that Minh Tran—who contributes photos to the Mercury's End Hits and Mod blogs—is the primary chef in the kitchen behind Yum Yum's decadent, synthy dessert. He's made a lush, futuristic batch of slow jams that infuse alien sounds with a human heart. NL

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