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This Week's Music Previews

PICTORIALS Doug Fir, 10/1

PICTORIALS Doug Fir, 10/1

THURSDAY 9/27

GARBAGE, SCREAMING FEMALES
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) See My, What a Busy Week!

FOGHORN STRINGBAND, CAROLINE OAKLEY
(Velo Cult, 1969 NE 42nd) Read our article on Foghorn Stringband.

COLLEEN GREEN, PLATEAUS, STILL CAVES
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Colleen Green wants you to know that if it weren't for early American punk rock, she may never have started making music. Her debut LP, Milo Goes to Compton, is a less-than-subtle reference to the Descendents' first album, and the first song is a cover of their "Good Good Things." But lest you think her punkophilia is limited to the West Coast, "I Wanna Be Degraded" extols the Ramones and S&M. I like Green because she doesn't sound like she lives in LA (which she does), and because I suspect that she is so much more than the pastiche she has made herself out to be. To me, her psychedelic girl-group interpretations of her favorite genre hint at untapped wells of creativity. Green will follow California punk-poppers Plateaus, but the most genuine punk of the night will come courtesy of seat-of-their-pants locals Still Caves. REBECCA WILSON

PATTERSON HOOD AND THE DOWNTOWN RUMBLERS, HOPE FOR AGOLDENSUMMER
(Star Theater, 13 NW 6th) Drive-By Truckers are on the road pretty much constantly, which means that the band is cooped up on a bus for the majority of any given year. With all that free time, vocalist Patterson Hood began to take a stab at a novel centered around a recently divorced musician in his late 20s (wonder who that was...) whose car is stolen, and whose band's van is stripped before he leaves his hometown for good to live in Memphis. Hood's story was to be accompanied by a soundtrack, which he was also penning during the same time. But when the story stalled, Hood erred toward his more accomplished talents, completing his third solo album under the novel's working title, Heat Lightning Rumbles in the Distance. Along with backing band the Downtown Rumblers, Hood explores a more melodic, vocally assured Americana that's as much memoir as music. RYAN J. PRADO

PUSSY RIOT BENEFIT SHOW: SISTAFIST, FOREVER, HAVIANA WHAAL
(Tonic Lounge, 3100 NE Sandy) Of all the human rights taken for granted in 20th century America, is there any greater than that of free speech? Many are rightly outraged that three young women from the band Pussy Riot are facing four-year jail sentences for staging a performance of public protest against the Russian government and Orthodox Church. Rather than canonize these individuals for their riotous act, people around the world are heeding their call to awareness and activism by staging events of their own. Tonight's Portland version features female prowess across a spectrum of performers, from avant-rap troupe Sistafist—who promise the solidaritous use of masks, inverted crosses, and nudity—to a stand-up set from the viciously self-aware and hilarious Kristine Levine. Proceeds will benefit the families of the incarcerated. MARANDA BISH

KIMBRA, THE STEPKIDS
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) Kimbra is best known for her counterpoint vocal in "Somebody That I Used to Know"—I'm sorry for bringing it up, just when you got it out of your head for the first time in months—but it's not a stretch to think that Kimbra's star will soon outshine Gotye's. The New Zealand-born singer has a fine album of adventurous pop, Vows, plus a remarkable stage presence and that prodigious voice. Meanwhile, the Stepkids make sticky vintage soul that's uncannily good; last year's self-titled debut is nothing short of a 21st-century soul masterpiece, and the Connecticut trio's formidable musicianship is bound to send future efforts off into many ambitious directions. NED LANNAMANN

FRIDAY 9/28

CALEB KLAUDER COUNTRY BAND, DAVE STUCKY AND THE RHYTHM GANG
(The Spare Room, 4830 NE 42nd) See My, What a Busy Week!

RABBITS, DIESTO, HOT VICTORY, TOWERS
(Slabtown, 1033 NW 16th) Read our article on Rabbits.

PATTERSON HOOD AND THE DOWNTOWN RUMBLERS, HOPE FOR AGOLDENSUMMER
(Star Theater, 13 NW 6th) See Thursday's listing.

UNTOWARD: A BENEFIT FOR THE CMG
(Bamboo Grove Salon, 134 SE Taylor) Portland's creative class has long been privy to the importance of the nonprofit Creative Music Guild, a bastion for experimental dance, performance art, music, and more. For over 20 years, CMG has curated exciting installments like the Outset Series at North Portland's Revival Drum Shop, which provides a venue for completely improvised live music. Similarly cutting edge are the annual Improvisation Summit of Portland and the Visiting Artist Series. This year's benefit features an engaging collective of improvisational dancers, interspersed with improv musical performances by Neal Morgan, Parenthetical Girls' Zac Pennington, Wet Wool, and more. Half of the money raised will be used specifically to pay local creative musicians, dancers, and other performance acts through the 2012-2013 season, so leaning on the steeper side of the $8-800 sliding scale would be a huge help. RJP

JULIANNA BARWICK, MARIA MINERVA, FATHER FINGER, DJ VS. NATURE
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Both Maria Minerva and Julianna Barwick are transplants that made rather drastic moves to pursue their art—Minerva moved to London from Estonia, Barwick to Brooklyn from Louisiana. They both make otherworldly sounds that orbit around their most important instruments: their voices. But even they can be hard to pin down, as both women manipulate their vocals to the point where they're not what they seem. There are plenty of differences between their arty constructions, but Minerva and Barwick both make hypnotic pop that's epic enough to reach arena rafters, and at the same time intimate enough for a dark, unkempt bedroom. Here's to finding out what tonight's performances at Holocene will look and sound like. MARK LORE

AMANDA PALMER AND THE GRAND THEFT ORCHESTRA
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) Naming your band the Grand Theft Orchestra is just asking for trouble—particularly when you ask musicians to volunteer their services for free. That's what Amanda Palmer did for this current tour; she sought to recruit local string, brass, and wind players to play just for the fun of it (and some beer, too) at shows on her current tour, in support of her just-released Theatre Is Evil. The problem? Palmer had already raised 1.2 million dollars from her fans via Kickstarter to support and promote the album, which lent her recruitment of gratis musicians a particularly stinky taste of shit in everyone's mouth. (Local musician Amy Vaillancourt-Sals of Classical Revolution PDX wrote a very well-thought-out indictment of Palmer's blunder on her blog, to which Palmer responded directly.) Steve Albini got involved, Palmer changed her tune, and all the musicians are now going to be paid. Fans of Palmer's dramatic flair should be satisfied, and the rest of us can happily go back to ignoring Palmer's insufferably arty, look-at-me pretense-rock. NL

SATURDAY 9/29

ARIEL PINK'S HAUNTED GRAFFITI, DAM FUNK, BODYGUARD
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) See My, What a Busy Week!

UNNATURAL HELPERS, DEFECT DEFECT, RAT PARTY
(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) Read our article on Unnatural Helpers.

CARRION SPRING, OUR FIRST BRAINS, CROOKS
(Backspace, 115 NW 5th) I'm hesitant to refer to Carrion Spring as screamo for a few reasons; the first being that I'm terrified of potential backlash from Tumblr-core pedants insisting that it's an inaccurate delineation of the group's music, and the second is that I genuinely feel like there's more to this band than that. I guess the third is that I just find that term inexplicably repulsing, so I'll just go ahead and say they're a "rock band." The group's semi-new LP, A Short History of Decay (which has been remixed and re-released on vinyl), rocks indeed, and suggests a breadth of influences—the title track and the series of "Selah" interludes, in particular—that extend beyond the typical touchstones of hardcore. Sycophantic, flavor-of-the-week phoniness this is not. These dudes know their shit and play from the balls. MORGAN TROPER

DEERHOOF, BUKE AND GASE, RALEIGH MONCRIEF
(Branx, 320 SE 2nd) Deerhoof has made a name for itself by keeping listeners off-balance over the course of 11 albums. The San Francisco four-piece's Breakup Song is another jittery, sharp, left-right U-turn for the band, filled with massive, arty instrumentation and production shoehorned into three-minute bubblegum pop songs. It's J-pop meets ADHD meets dystopian Los Angeles. Basically, there's enough ear candy here to give you a bellyache, but damn it if it doesn't taste good. And for a band that seems to morph with every release, Deerhoof has remained pretty consistent. But no matter your drug of choice, tonight's performance will likely be a long, strange trip. ML

MIKE WATT AND THE MISSINGMEN, DIVERS
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Bassist Mike Watt needs little introduction—when your references include the Minutemen, fIREHOSE, the Stooges, and more, your CV speaks for itself. Watt's newest record, 2011's Hyphenated-Man, is a collection of 30 short blasts of dizzy rock-jazz weirdness inspired by Hieronymous Bosch. So no, it's not meat and potatoes rock, although parts of it do assuredly rock. For more traditional, stomach-lining rock 'n' roll, look to openers Divers, who are steadily plowing their way to Portland's head of the class. Although they only have a (marvelous) 7-inch recorded so far, Divers are in full command of a repertoire of tough, heartfelt, sing-along-'til-you're-hoarse punk anthems. Rising from the ashes of brothers Harrison and Seth Rapp's former band Drunken Boat, Divers have become one of the absolute must-see bands in town. NL

TENDER LOVING EMPIRE'S FIFTH ANNIVERSARY: FINN RIGGINS, AAN, BODY PARTS, THE SHIVAS, HUSTLE & DRONE, THE MORALS
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) The time has come to celebrate the fifth anniversary of local record label and craft proprietor Tender Loving Empire. Although tender and loving indeed in their aesthetic and ceaseless propagation of their art, the stake the label claims on heartfelt indie rock in the Pacific Northwest is nothing less than imperial. For proof, look no further than the 37-track compilation of TLE-affiliated artists being released tonight, and to the performers. Finn Riggins are a prime example of all the label works to put into the world: exuberant, thoughtful, and innovative art, being created nightly on unique stages as energy interchanges between audience and performers. MB

SUNDAY 9/30

BEACH HOUSE, DUSTIN WONG
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Read our article on Beach House.

WILLIAM ELLIOTT WHITMORE, SAMANTHA CRAIN
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) William Elliott Whitmore is the classic old soul—he's a 34-year-old in modern Facebook America who sounds more like he's 60 and caught in the Dust Bowl. There aren't many others that pull it off with the sincerity of Whitmore, who spins yarns with the aid of only his banjo and the vocal rasp of a lifelong smoker. Whether he's waxing political, as he did on 2009's Animals in the Dark, or on the salvation of hard work on last year's Field Hymns, Whitmore's voice cuts to the bone. Perhaps it should come as no surprise that he was reared in the hardcore scene of Lee County, Iowa—Whitmore's songs have the punch of an early-'80s punk band, and far more raw power. ML

MONDAY 10/1

PICTORIALS, LOS CHICHARONES, A HAPPY DEATH
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Like sunny fall days that grow dark too soon, Pictorials' debut EP, Learning, is glorious and then it's done. At just four songs long, it's the best possible advertisement for the album they damn well better be hard at work making right now. The songwriting is beautiful and the lyrics sound as if they really mean something, but Pictorials are a rock band, and the guitar is the most important part. Guitarist/vocalist Morgan Nicholson sounds a little something like Julian Casablancas, but that may just be a coincidence, because as new as this band is, Pictorials seem to have a fully developed sense of themselves. Pictorials come at the head of a surprising lineup, which features those upbeat multinational rappers the Chicharones and A Happy Death, whose dark, psychedelic stories have cemented them in place as one of my favorite Portland bands. RW

TUESDAY 10/2

RADIATION CITY, MAUS HAUS, THE OCEAN FLOOR
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) See My, What a Busy Week!

AIMEE MANN, FIELD REPORT
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) I've heard rumors that Aimee Mann might be a boring show to attend. I, however, refuse to accept these vicious whisperings. WHO IS TELLING LIES ABOUT AIMEE?! This is the gal who made the film Magnolia a fucking wonder to behold and watch over and over with her incredible soundtrack. So I suppose in the unlikely event I get antsy watching this singer/songwriter, I'll think about the following relevant points in a dreamy manner: She is a beautiful six-foot-tall Amazon, an improbable 52 years old, with a long-awaited new album, Charmer. Girl likes lingonberry pancakes. (The movies don't lie, right?) She's funny! Listen to her on the Comedy Bang! Bang! podcast. (I'm going to do my best NOT to think about her cleaning-lady turn on Portlandia.) But honestly, I can't imagine having to resort to any of this mind-trickery to enjoy the talented musician, creator of one of the world's most perfect albums, 2000's Bachelor No. 2. COURTNEY FERGUSON

TYCHO, DJ HEATHERED PEARLS
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Every four years or so, Tycho puts out an album perfectly calculated for chilled-out circumspection. Without a doubt, the best of these is last year's Dive—which is fortunate, since we'll likely be waiting a while for its follow-up. Will Dive change your life, bring tears to your eyes, and catalyze a super-deep epiphany? No, thank god. But it will make your bad days better and your good days seem a couple notches cooler. Tycho is the alter ego of a San Francisco-based graphic designer named Scott Hansen, and it's probably not a coincidence that his ambient electronic tunes sound more designed than they do composed. It's easy to like richly textured, decadently layered synth music, but Tycho opts instead for elegant minimalism—lovely melodies over meditative beats. Nothing extra, nothing missing, Dive is an island of self-assured calm amid the chaos. RW

WEDNESDAY 10/3

FIN DE CINEMA
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See My, What a Busy Week!

HOT WATER MUSIC, BROADWAY CALLS, ABSOLUTE MONARCHS
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) The rift left behind from Hot Water Music's prolonged, intermittent hiatus/disbandment since 2004's The New What Next has been only partially filled by a dizzying array of side projects. Chris Wollard's moonlighting, Cro(w)s, made great artistic headway, as did HWM offshoot the Draft. Still, none of those projects touched the immediacy of Chuck Ragan's rootsy solo records. For now, all of that squabbling side-work can be shelved, as Gainesville, Florida's favorite fuzzy punks embark on their first substantial US tour since their 2008 reformation. In May, the group released their eighth studio LP, Exister, to ravenous praise by the band's loyal fanbase. The sweet-and-sour vocal combo of Wollard and Ragan is omnipresent, best used on the album's experimental high-water mark "Boy, You're Gonna Hurt Someone." Exister solidifies the band's relevancy even now, in a punk landscape far different from the one they left. RJP

DIRTY THREE, CENTERS
(Mission Theater, 1624 NW Glisan) Australian instrumental-rock trio Dirty Three keep on truckin' in their own lane, changing little over the last 20 years while maintaining high quality. They have two songs that I think tower over all of their others: "Indian Love Song" and "Furnace Skies." The former is a gorgeous, ragged waltz marked by Warren Ellis' relentless, melismatic violin motifs and Mick Turner's excoriating guitar flares. The latter, from their latest album, Toward the Low Sun, roils and rumbles like a free-jazz storm inside of a gypsy-music lament, augmented by Turner's madly cyclical bass riff and a surging, Alice Coltrane-esque organ. Of course, Dirty Three have many more fine songs, but these two lift them into the pantheon. Go for the riveting music, stay for Ellis' absurdist between-song banter (assuming he still does this...). DAVE SEGAL

MONO, CHRIS BROKAW, SWAHILI
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) In the past few years, the term "post rock" has been popping up everywhere, with bands such as Pelican, Explosions in the Sky, and Red Sparowes gaining worldwide success for their slightly ambient yet driving brands of soundtrack-esque gorgeousness. If said bands are your bag, make sure you don't sleep on this show, as Japanese instrumental post-rock quartet Mono put on a soaring, killer live show that displays their beautifully constructed, jaw-droppingly epic soundscapes perfectly. Seattle underground superstar Chris Brokaw (of Codeine) will open the show, sharing his distinctive brand of stripped-down singer/songwriter awesomeness. KEVIN DIERS

REIGNWOLF
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) The days of "wolf" bands are not over. (And the best one of them all, UK's Wolf People, has yet to tour the States.) Actually, Seattle's Reignwolf isn't a band, exactly; it's the one-man outfit of Jordan Cook, who plays a guitar powered through heavy stacks and kicks on a bass drum. It's nothing you haven't heard before—white dudes have been trying to simulate Hendrix's dilated-pupil version of Chicago blues for damn near 50 years—but Cook's got chops for shredding, and the kind of howl-y voice that should reassure fans of classic rock radio. NL

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