SUN AIRWAY Doug Fir, 10/18
Shawn Brackbill

THURSDAY 10/18

GIMME THE NIGHT: DJ COOKY PARKER, DJ GWIZSKI, DJ MAXX BASS
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See My, What a Busy Week!

DAVID BYRNE AND ST. VINCENT
(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway) It's tediously predictable that Love This Giant blew my fucking mind. Consider the facts: Over the past five years, each album released by David Byrne (one) and St. Vincent (three) has sparked to life previously unknown synapses in my brain. So it's unsurprising that a collaboration between two such brainy rockers would be the best thing that's happened to my ears in 2012. What is surprising is how warm it sounds—positively inviting. David Byrne and Annie Clark of St. Vincent typically tend to hold the listener at arm's length, but Love This Giant sounds truly welcoming. Surprise Number Two: Clark's exceptional shredding skills are relegated to the sidelines, playing second fiddle to Surprise Number Three: the horns. What emerges is a thrilling synthesis of art rock, funk, and jazz, with Clark and Byrne taking turns on vocals. The live show apparently features lots of musicians and bizarre choreography. REBECCA WILSON

SATELLITE ENSEMBLE
(The Old Church, 1422 SW 11th) Portland songster Nick Jaina has been seeing other cities. Well, one city in particular—New York City, where two song cycles he collaborated on with the Satellite Ensemble have been given performances with dancers from the New York City Ballet. Tonight Jaina and the Satellites perform the music from those two pieces (without any dancers). Cosmonaut is based on a true story about a New Jersey trucker who wanted to become an astronaut, and The Thief is about a hoarder of disused toys, with a secret lair underneath a river. Jaina leads the string ensemble on piano (the group includes Kaylee Cole, Amanda Lawrence, and Anna Schott), and even without the dance element of the performance, it promises to be an intriguing, assured evening of Jaina's excellent songwriting. It sounds like a one-time deal, too, so don't miss it. NED LANNAMANN

YARDS, DANNY DELEGATO, LOG ACROSS THE WASHER, ALEX ARROWSMITH, TEAGUE CULLEN
(Ella Street Social Club, 714 SW 20th Pl) I have reservations using words like "virtuoso" or "genius" when describing an artist—they're terms that are tossed around so indiscriminately, they contain virtually no value anymore—but Alex Arrowsmith could very possibly be one (or both, or a combination) of those things. His compositions suggest an inherent, encyclopedic knowledge of the pop genus. He has released 14 albums in the last decade, most of which are filled to the gunwales with hooky hits. If I won the lottery, one of my priorities would be to press my personal favorite, 2005's Wharfless, which sounds like an effortless admixture of Wish-era Cure and They Might Be Giants, onto vinyl (opaque gold wax, like it deserves). Had he been writing music in the '60s, Arrowsmith would have undoubtedly been penning hits for the Monkees. Today, for better or worse, Beatles-y pop like this appeals by and large to connoisseurs. MORGAN TROPER

TOO MANY MOTHS, ACROYEAR, SUNFALLS, NOYOUYESME, RUDEMENT & MORE
(Plan B, 1305 SE 8th) If electronic music is your bag, look forward to this stacked bill with a dozen Portland electronic artists, performing live in myriad subgenres including experimental ambient, drum and bass, and twisted forms of dark downtempo. The night will host a collaborative performance between experimental live electronic artist and cellist SunFalls (Uxepi Ipexu) and Noyouyesme (Jason Cesarz), who specializes in circuit-bent beats and the kind of "modulation mutations" likely to send you through a wormhole. The ever-talented Rudement (George Johnson) satiates your sonic cravings with a decadent live performance that takes you on a slow trip through "filtered realities," guided by an ingenious amalgam of bass-driven rhythms. Acroyear (Luis Tataje) has been creating contemplative sonic landscapes for nearly 15 years; his arrhythmic electronica is perfect for sliding into the introspective atmosphere of fall. CHRISTINA BROUSSARD

SUN AIRWAY, PURE BATHING CULTURE
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Each time I listen to Soft Fall, the second album from Philadelphia's Sun Airway (in the studio, a duo of songwriter Jon Barthmus and "sound sculptor" Patrick Marsceill), it sounds just so slightly different to me. The mix is not quite how I remember it; the vocals are either more prominent or sunk further down in the rich sonic solution; songs are either markedly more joyous or melancholy than the version that I have playing in my mind. In other words, it's a remarkable record of deep invention, and a sort of alarming lack of identity—in a good way, the way that keeps you coming back and projecting your own mood onto the record's expressive sounds. Constructed from studio recordings of a string quartet and other live instruments, which were then taken entirely apart in Barthmus' home studio, it's a record very much of its moment, outwardly resembling the many glowing, nostalgia-hazed, electronic-tinged pop music out there. But I think there's something more lasting to it as well, and with Sun Airway's five-piece live band and reports of elaborate projections, tonight offers the chance to get fully submerged. NL

FRIDAY 10/19

FIRST AID KIT, DYLAN LEBLANC
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) See My, What a Busy Week!

SATURDAY 10/20

BOSNIAN RAINBOWS, CRYPTS
(Star Theater, 13 NW 6th) Read our article on Bosnian Rainbows.

SPOOKIES, DEATH SONGS
(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) I don't know much about Death Songs' new album except its title (Sung Inside a House) and where you can hear it (go to post-consumer.com posthaste, where it is streaming in full). I don't know when it is coming out, or what physical format it will take, or if it will even have a physical release; I don't know when you'll be able to download it, or if there will be a record release show, or a tour to support it. Here's what I do know: Sung Inside a House is a marvelous collection of breezy, folky, rocky pop that slips on like that perfect pair of shoes, and clear evidence of the songwriting skill of frontman Nick Delffs, who's been doing great work with Death Songs since moving on from his previous band, the Shaky Hands. Live, Death Songs are capable of capturing lightning in a bottle, turning ramshackle major chords and Delffs' woolly, cracked voice into something that thumps along in time with your pulse. It's sweaty-palmed, lean-forward-on-your-tiptoes rock 'n' roll. Let's hope Death Songs and Post-Consumer make the record available outside of the intertubes soon. (Sidenote: Two weeks ago Delffs reunited with his ex-Shaky Hands bandmates who now play in Spookies; tonight's bill touts a secret/special guest alongside Death Songs and Spookies. You have now been presented with all the information....) NL

HOWLIN RAIN, ASSEMBLED HEAD IN SUNBURST SOUND
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Before Rick Rubin manhandled Howlin Rain into a slightly brawnier Black Crowes (so unnecessary!) on 2012's The Russian Wilds, the San Francisco quintet harnessed an oft-feral breed of acid-y country rock that blew back your hair and pinned back your ears with Hollywoodish drama. Howlin Rain still make big, sprawling rock, only now they're trying to squash their natural tendency to fly into the sun with freaky abandon into songs with accessible choruses and "pretty" vocals. Nevertheless, those tunes from the self-titled album and Magnificent Fiend should still sound storming. DAVE SEGAL

NEIL HALSTEAD, ALINA HARDIN
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) I'd rather be bummed out by Neil Halstead than just about anybody else. His first band, Slowdive, were shoegaze pioneers, and their 1993 album Souvlaki is still what I put on to force a case of the weepies. On Halstead's new, third solo album, Palindrome Hunches, Halstead is just as melancholy, though about 75 percent more minimalist than his shoegaze roots or even than his highly folk-driven second band, Mojave 3. It's impossible to talk about Palindrome Hunches without mentioning Nick Drake—the gorgeously affecting vocals, the acoustic guitar—but as melancholy as it is, there's none of Drake's hopelessness. Part of this is thanks to Halstead's brilliant harmonies, as well as to a judicious sprinkling of catchy hooks, best shown on "Bad Drug and Minor Chords." And while the album sounds sparse, violins provide warmth and companionship at times.  The song "Hey Daydreamer" is positively upbeat! RW

THE HAGUE, SPECIAL EXPLOSION, SUN VALLEY GUN CLUB, HOLY TENTACLES
(East End, 203 SE Grand) Weird, potential conflict-of-interest disclosure here: Earlier this year my band competed against the Seattle-based Special Explosion in a battle of the bands. They stomped us. But they were gracious and humble, and even invited us out to eat with them afterward. I couldn't be happier that my once-adversaries have found the time to head south to play Portland—their eponymous EP is one of my favorite Northwest releases of this year so far. "Lifeguard" and "Every Shade of Green" are examples of '90s indie-rock fetishism at its finest and most intense. But it's the "Jack and Jill" vocals provided by siblings Lizzy and Andy Costello that give the group's music a truly distinct flavor all its own. Hopefully they'll keep this momentum going—one day they'll be unstoppable. MT

BARRY BRUSSEAU, JON RANSOM, CAIT OLDS
(The Secret Society, 116 NE Russell) Veteran Barry Brusseau has done time in punk and metal bands, but his second solo album, The Royal Violent Birds, continues his exploration of a much more intimate vein. With acoustic guitars, brushed drums, bowed strings, and Brusseau's hushed baritone (and his just-as-hushed falsetto), these watercolor tunes communicate in delicate, naturalistic patterns. It's a beautiful record, and the packaging is just as sumptuous: 12-inch vinyl in a custom-made canvas bag in a super-limited edition of 25. (A further 275 will be issued without the special packaging.) It's released on Brusseau's Gorbie International label, following up the label's first release from earlier this year, Jon Ransom's overlooked and lovely On a Lark. Also on the young boutique label is Cait Olds' winning debut, Prison City, and the Portland songwriter also performs at tonight's record release show. NL

SUNDAY 10/21

LOST IN THE TREES, MIDTOWN DICKENS, DANA BUOY
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!

CALEXICO, THE DODOS
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) Read our article on Calexico.

MONDAY 10/22

A$AP ROCKY, SCHOOLBOY Q, DANNY BROWN, A$AP MOB
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Harlem's A$AP Rocky blew up in 2011, going from relative unknown to signing a $3 million deal with Sony/RCA on the strength of two viral videos ("Purple Swag" and "Pe$o") and the subsequent LiveLoveA$AP mixtape. In 2012, he has released exactly one good song ("Goldie"), and his A$AP Mob entourage's recently released Lord$ Never Worry—surprisingly good for a posse album—featured Rocky getting thoroughly out-rapped by his cohorts. This doesn't matter, though, as the addition of LA's sharp-flowing ScHoolboy Q and Detroit bruiser/hybrid Danny Brown makes this bill one of the best in high-powered, big-name modern rap to come through town in a while. The thought of a live rendition of A$AP Rocky's "Brand New Guy" with Q actually there to deliver his legendary "What this popcorn about?" verse should be enough to get some away from Netflix on the couch. MIKE RAMOS Also see My, What a Busy Week!

LORD HURON, NIGHT MOVES
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) You mean to tell me Lord Huron isn't from the Pacific Northwest? Bandleader Ben Schneider actually makes his home in Los Angeles, after moving there from North Michigan a couple years back. Makes sense. Lord Huron's music recalls some of the chamber-pop folkiness that our fair city likes to dress up for, but there's also more of an eccentric bent to it that screams LA. Never mind the fact that Schneider likes to be referred to as "Lord" in interviews; his music contains ghostly choruses, occasional electronic flourishes, and Afro-Caribbean rhythms (at least on 2010's Mighty EP) that pull it out of Dust Bowl predictability. Basically, there are a lot of great moments in Lord Huron's otherwise unchallenging tunes. Sometimes that's all folks need. MARK LORE

TUESDAY 10/23

THE MOB, TRAGEDY, BI-MARKS
(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) See My, What a Busy Week!

SNOW PATROL, NOEL GALLAGHER'S HIGH FLYING BIRDS
(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway) Read our interview with Noel Gallagher.

THE WHIGS, THE RECORD COMPANY
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) The Whigs began auspiciously with 2005's great, thunderstruck Give 'Em All a Big Fat Lip, and if the Athens, Georgia, trio hasn't managed to raise their profile too much since that promising beginning, it's not because they haven't delivered the goods. They have, consistently. Now on their fourth album, Enjoy the Company, the Whigs have settled into the role of reliable Southern garage-rock makers, replacing their youthful exuberance with assured and calculated songcraft. The Whigs certainly aren't reinventing the wheel, but when "wheel" means loud drums and fuzzy guitars and sing-along lyrics, then no need to fix what ain't broke. NL

WEDNESDAY 10/24

DIO DISCIPLES, WITCHBURN, MAIDEN NW, MOTORBREATH
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) Read our article on Dio Disciples.

EARTH, FONTANELLE, STEBMO
(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) For me, Earth is get-shit-done music. With that hypnotic drone plugged into my ear canals, procrastination magically evaporates and the words flow, possibly to compensate for the ponderous song arcs and Adrienne Davies' deliberate percussion. For the last seven years, Earth have been less about making esoteric metal and more about esoteric whatever-Dylan-Carlson-wants. Add to that Karl Blau's untethered eclecticism and Lori Goldston's cello, as menacing as a wounded animal. Still, it's highly accessible, a fitting, mostly wordless soundtrack capable of transforming the mundane into something dark and mysterious. This year's Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light II continues the experimental project that began in 2011 with Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light I. The songs on this second album were recorded at the same time as those on the first installment. The opener, "Sigil of Brass," is a surprisingly brief (3:32) and mournfully lovely duet between guitar and cello that sounds like the ominous setup before an Old West shootout. RW