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This Week's Music Previews

CADENCE WEAPON Holocene, 10/28

CADENCE WEAPON Holocene, 10/28

THURSDAY 10/25

DAN DEACON, HEIGHT WITH FRIENDS, CHESTER ENDERSBY GWAZDA, ALAN RESNICK
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) Read our article on Dan Deacon.

SERENGETI, CARS & TRAINS, BIG PAUPER
(Berbati, 19 SW 2nd) Read our article on Cars & Trains.

ROBYN HITCHCOCK, YOUNG FRESH FELLOWS, PETER BUCK
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) The combined history of the musicians on the marquee tonight forms a substantial piece of underground and overground rock goodness (yes, R.E.M.'s '80s catalog is still important and vital). Back when he led the Soft Boys, Robyn Hitchcock used to be the most convincing Syd Barrett disciple in the world. He later channeled that lucid lunacy into several solo albums and full-lengths with the Egyptians that combine surreal verbal acrobatics with acidic/pastoral, tuneful rocking and rolling—my favorite being Black Snake Diamond Röle; seriously, check "Acid Bird." Hitch may have mellowed over the years, but his knack for beautiful melodies and poignant, skewed lyrics remains strong. DAVE SEGAL Also see My, What a Busy Week!

CONVERGE, TORCHE, KVERLERTAK, NAILS
(Branx, 320 SE 2nd) Before drowning in Converge's serious-as-fuck hardcore, it'll be nice to lighten the vibe with Torche's triumphant blast of buoyant rock. Their latest album, Harmonicraft, is one of the best of the year (with pretty great cover art, to boot). It sounds fresh and bright, while still being intensely heavy. It's a sonic sun lamp. The soaring guitar riffs and throbbing drums will permeate your brain and make endorphins rush through your system, lifting your mood 10 times above what any anti-depressant/Vitamin D/herbal-tea cocktail could ever do. This will be the record that helps you survive the winter. Get a head start on feeling good tonight—their songs are even more gloriously forceful live. MEGAN SELING Also read our article on Converge.

ANCIENT HEAT, ADVENTURE GALLEY, BÉISBOL, SEX LIFE DJS
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) I don't know what the critical divide is that separates a group of like-minded, similarly dressed people from a full-on cult, but Ancient Heat are toeing the line. Or at least they were when they numbered nine. Now that they're down to a more manageable seven, they still espouse the gospel of the discothèque with amazing efficacy thanks to their jaw-dropping live shows. There has always been something a little wacky about disco that revival acts don't always capture. But Ancient Heat own their eccentricities like a sexualized Polyphonic Spree. Breanne Antonius' and Krista Wangner's vampy vocals float atop pulsating beats and synths and, of course, horns. Even with its silly chorus, their flagship track, "Oh... You Bad," is among the most dance-fueling songs I've ever heard. The swoon-worthy trumpet solo toward the end transcends any amount of dancehall gimmickry. REBECCA WILSON

FRIDAY 10/26

ORQUESTRA PACIFICO TROPICAL, 1939 ENSEMBLE, SUN ANGLE, GULLS, ELECTRIC ILL, DJ MICHAEL BRUCE
(Oregon Portland Cement Building, 111 SE Madison) See My, What a Busy Week!

WEINLAND, DENVER, THE LOWER 48
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Read our article on Weinland.

CULT OF YOUTH, ARCTIC FLOWERS, INDUSTRIAL PARK
(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) As a general rule of thumb, the decision by members of previously snarling rock, punk, or metal groups to begin a solo acoustic project should be taken with a whole lotta bath salts. With the tendency to expose one's vulnerability by being quieter, it's a tricky proposition. That is, unless you say fuck it to the ordinary route like Cult of Youth (former Love as Laughter bassist Sean Ragon) does on his new LP Love Will Prevail. Ragon's conflicted vocal sneer, sea-shanty melodies, and neo-Celtic uppers are an inviting vessel for boldly evolving tunes like "Garden of Delights." You get the perfect taste of Ragon's worldly sonic ambitions, as well as a lethal, nightmarish song that piles on flutes, car-horns, background static, and huge guitars underneath equally inspiring/pissed-off vocals. Think of this as a political rally in a punk-house basement and you're close enough. RYAN J. PRADO

NIGHT OF THE LIVING ALES: BOY EATS DRUM MACHINE, OH DARLING
(Burnside Brewing, 701 E Burnside) Dodging the dictates of fashion, Boy Eats Drum Machine's sixth album, The Battle, is aurally overwhelming, with all the layered abundance of 2005. This is not to say that the songs aren't enjoyable or relevant (see "Election Drinking Song"), just that the pared-down, thinner turn that electronic music has taken lately clearly doesn't speak to Jon Ragel. His monolith of sound—samples, electric guitars, synths, saxophone, and percussion, along with his soulful vocals—means that your brain simply can't comprehend everything that's happening at any given time. "I, William Your Ex-Lover" is an irresistible song with an addictive hook, whose crowd samples and carnival bloops are tethered by fuzzy, muscular guitars and marching-band style drums. The small trade-off for BEDM's continuous experimentation is that, despite the recurring religious imagery, The Battle sounds more like a collection of songs than a unified album. RW

PERFUME GENIUS, DUSTED
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) There's something so raw about the songs Perfume Genius (Seattleite Mike Hadreas) makes, something so transparently painful, that you almost want to turn away, but they're also mesmerizing and immensely rewarding, inducing rolling waves of angst and longing, grief and gratitude, suffering and relief. ANNA MINARD

HUSKY, HANNAH GEORGAS
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Husky have absolutely nothing to do with purple and gold sports teams, and everything to do with four-piece fragile-folk from Melbourne, Australia. Husky get their name from lead singer Husky Gawenda (questions he must never get sick of: "Did you have hippie parents? Dog-enthusiast parents? Were you an overweight baby?"), and their music is like watercolor painting—very soft and layered, delicate and subtle. It's the kind of music you have to focus on and listen to intently, because it's not going to jump out and bite your face. This Husky would never do that. EMILY NOKES

THE ASTEROIDS GALAXY TOUR, MILLIONYOUNG, FOREIGN ORANGE
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) If you want to sate your ambitious Danish-pop jones, the Asteroids Galaxy Tour have you covered (in kaleidoscopic glitter). Over the albums Fruit and Out of Frequency, the sextet—led by vocalist Mette Lindberg and multi-instrumentalist Lars Iversen—has crafted sweetly melodic, rhythmically punchy songs that brashly claw their way into your consciousness. They have that Scandinavian glossiness that somehow seems less obnoxious than their US/UK counterparts. If "Heart Attack"—the ridiculously catchy, carefree standout from Out of Frequency—isn't a worldwide hit by the time you read this, I'll slowly shake my head in disbelief. DS 

SATURDAY 10/27

MATT AND KIM, OBERHOFER
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) See My, What a Busy Week!

WICKED AWESOME: JUDAS H. PRIEST, PLANET CLAIRE, THEE ZOMBETTES, BOMB ASS PUSSY
(Plan B, 1305 SE 8th) See My, What a Busy Week!

WEINLAND, TANGO ALPHA TANGO, KELLI SCHAEFER
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Read our article on Weinland.

BOWERBIRDS, STRAND OF OAKS, PRYPYAT
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) On Strand of Oaks' new LP, Dark Shores, the enormity of Tim Showalter's musical ambitions is reeled in to a dull roar. There's something familiar and warm about it all, likely thanks to the production of John Vanderslice at SF's Tiny Telephone Studios. "Last Grains," however, thunders out of the second half of the album at a rock 'n' roll clip, with fussy drums, piano, and the first strained vocal of the collection. Showalter's lovelorn aesthetic bends in cosmic fashion during the man-on-the-moon (literally) ballad "Spacestations," which was originally leaked as a synth-washed beater earlier in the year. It's obvious here that even a scaled-back Strand of Oaks can be every bit as grand as 2010's Pope Killdragon, and Dark Shores is an excellent lyrical wormhole into the mind of a modern-folk Bowie. RJP

SUNDAY 10/28

THE SUICIDE NOTES, MODERN LIVES
(Rontoms, 600 E Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!

THERAPISTS, THE WHINES, STILL CAVES
(Club 21, 2035 NE Glisan) I'm writing this from New York, where I'm having trouble breathing after the whirlwind of saturation known as the CMJ Music Marathon. It's worth mentioning because yesterday I caught an unofficial show at a warehouse where the vast majority of the bands on the bill had female lead singers. And listening to the Whines' Karianne Oudman made me realize how powerful it is when a frontwoman embraces all elements of her natural vocal range. Oudman has the same power that Courtney Love or early Chan Marshall have become known for, and the music behind her presence edges roughly like the Replacements if they were formed in the '90s. JONATHAN MAGDALENO

CADENCE WEAPON, KINGDOM CRUMBS, TOPE
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Cadence Weapon is the stage name of Canadian emcee/musician/poet Rollie Pemberton. Pemberton's latest, Hope in Dirt City, is a wildly adventurous album both in its sonic structure as well as in its thematic decisions. The production eschews standard boom bap, and features nods to electronica and jazz skronk alongside fractured lyrical bars that include references to Jean-Paul Satre and Louis Theroux. Seattle four-piece Kingdom Crumbs bring breezy street flows, spat over shimmery beats. It's a style all their own, if reminiscent of a smokier Shabazz Palaces. Local emcee Tope gets the party started with his final solo set prior to embarking on a West Coast tour with Los Angeles rapper Abstract Rude in November. RYAN FEIGH

BALMORHEA, DRAGGING AN OX THROUGH WATER
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) As the world gravitates toward greater cultural homogeny, we see the role of geography play less of a role in shaping artists' work. Thankfully, Balmorhea retain a hint of their native landscape. Hailing from Austin, Texas, the group appropriately sounds like it operates from that particular Southwest oasis. There's a foundation of Americana in their dusty instrumental pieces—banjos are plucked, acoustic guitars are strummed—but there's a strong current of Austin's artful weirdness at play as well. The songs carry a pastoral timbre, suggesting the optimism of the open West in one song, storm clouds brewing over horizon in the next. Yet Balmorhea's urban base provides a metropolitan filter of cinematic post-rock, ambient minimalism, and heady neo-classical arrangements for their rustic sounds. BRIAN COOK

AU DUNES, THE EERIES, THE BE HELDS, SUPERSUN
(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) A band relinquishing its lo-fi roots in favor of a cleaner, more consumable sound inevitably splits its fanbase (for a great example, see the Ric Ocasek-produced Guided by Voices record Do the Collapse, which is despised by diehard fans for no other reason than the fact that it sounds really good). It's my belief that great songs deserve the clarity that higher-quality recordings provide (although not without exception), and the Eeries write great songs. The group's first full-length record, Home Alone, follows a string of singles and EPs, and it's their best release yet in spite of the crystal-clear production. It's consistently infectious and harmony-laden, and specifically reminiscent of Nuggets lodestars like the Beau Brummels and the Knickerbockers. Studio gleam notwithstanding, the Eeries are cozy and loads of fun. MORGAN TROPER

DYSRHYTHMIA, DOG SHREDDER, U SCO
(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) Dysrhythmia has an impressive ability to approach thrash and black metal without ever fully diving into either. Their music is what a calculus textbook might sound like, and is disconcerting in a disarmingly, strangely refreshing way. I can see these guys opening for Romantic Warrior as well as Converge, with both potential audiences thoroughly appreciating their set. To sit down and watch their songwriting process must be documentary-worthy. Part of me needs to take a step away and drink some water after listening to Psychic Maps, their 2009 full-length released via Relapse Records, and I can't even imagine the psychic trauma everyone will undergo alongside Bellingham's Dog Shredder and Portland locals U Sco. It'll be way worth your time and the subsequent hearing damage. JM

MONDAY 10/29

BUXTON, CHAMBERLIN
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) See My, What a Busy Week!

TUESDAY 10/30

GARY WAR, SUN ANGLE, STREET NIGHTS, PURPLE PILGRIMS
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Bid a (hopefully temporary) adieu to Street Nights; guitarist Dan Wilson is departing the West Coast for New York City. Wilson's been responsible for some of the finest fretwork in town, as anyone who's seen Street Nights—or the Joggers, or Hookers—can attest. Tonight's sorta-farewell show puts all three bands in flux (Hookers play their farewell tomorrow, at DJ Cooky Parker's In the Crematorium dance party at Holocene) but Street Nights have a full-length recorded and will, with luck, carry on in some fashion. With each jam, frontman Jake Morris (drummer for the Jicks) steps out from behind the drum kit to sing Golden Earring-worthy fist pumpers of pure FM gold, as the rest of Street Nights deliver the kind of butt-kicking rock that inspires airbrushed paintings on the sides of vans. Get your kicks in now, and here's hoping for many more nights of Street Nights in the future. NED LANNAMANN

DARK DARK DARK, EMILY WELLS
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) Dark Dark Dark's name is fitting. The Minneapolis band plays the type of moody pop made for gray winter days—if there is a light, it's only a candle flicker. Their latest LP, Who Needs Who, is filled with sparse arrangements, held together by the voice of Nona Marie Invie, who lays out dear-diary lyrics without any reservations. The specter of Fleetwood Mac looms as Invie sings of the aftermath of her relationship with bandmember Marshall LaCount. It's pretty raw stuff. Maybe they should add another "Dark" to their name. Also on the bill is Emily Wells, who's collaborated with the Portland Cello Project, and who for the past few years has been mixing classical music with elements of hiphop to equally moody effect. Add another "dark" to tonight's performance. MARK LORE

TOADIES, HELMET, UME
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) The easy critique to make about both Toadies and Helmet is also probably the dumbest: that their '90s heyday is currently being co-opted by kids born in that decade, leading to renewed interest in packaged reunion-type tours. Problem is, neither band ever really went anywhere. Helmet's Page Hamilton remains a consistent contributor to film soundtracks, as well as flying the (lineup-shaky) Helmet flag on world tours year in and out. The band's angular alt-metal chug went on to influence a lot of bands who became terrible third-wave '90s rockers, of which Toadies is not one. While Toadies did have a significant hiatus (2001-2005), their new album Play.Rock.Music is an understated punky bust-up, belching forth smart guitar interplay and Todd Lewis' typically brazen vocals. Along with Ume opening (do yourself a favor and arrive early), this is a night of generational bridging not to avoid. RJP

NNEKA, FLY MOON ROYALTY
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) On Soul Is Heavy, Nneka's eclectic fourth album, there is a song called "God Knows Why," done in collaboration with Black Thought from the Roots. It is a deep cut, but it is by far my favorite on this very good album. The song expresses the same skepticism and bitterness with religion and politics found throughout, but on this one, Nneka raps. Her singing voice has a lot of charm—she sounds a little like Erykah Badu—but her Nigerian accent only comes through when she speaks, forcing attention to her angry, cerebral lyrics. Add to that the dark, frantic production, with a menacing piano and vinyl crackle, and it's a showstopper. Soul Is Heavy is Nneka's fourth album but only her second with an official US release. It fuses Jamaican reggae, soul revival, and Nigerian funk with the producerly electronic flourishes that position the album perfectly in 2012. RW

WEDNESDAY 10/31

PIERCED ARROWS, PILLOWFIGHT, BLACK PUSSY
(Ash Street Saloon, 225 SW Ash) See My, What a Busy Week!

THE MIRACLES CLUB, MIDNIGHT MAGIC, LITANIC MASK
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) See My, What a Busy Week!

LUKAS NELSON AND THE PROMISE OF THE REAL, TY CURTIS BAND
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) Most of the spawn that come from the loins of music legends get at least some of their parent's talent. (Then there is Hank III.) In the case of Lukas Nelson, whose father is that one guy who smokes a lot of pot and wrote "Hello Walls," you can see the resemblance immediately. And you can even hear some of his pop's DNA coursing through his fingers when he plays the guitar. But this kid sounds equally influenced by Hendrix and Texas bluesman Freddie King. While the Son of Willie still has some piss and vinegar in him, he remains true to his father's name and the players he came up with. I think there's a bright future ahead of this kid. ML

PINE STREET MASSACRE: BÉISBOL, SUN ANGLE, POINT JUNCTURE WA, FOREIGN ORANGE, MOON BY YOU
(Union/Pine, 525 SE Pine) There are already a lot of choices for the over-21s to spend Halloween night, but here's another terrific option: The Pine Street Massacre boasts five excellent local bands, plus plenty of booze, candy, and costumes, all in the nifty Union/Pine space, which is spacious enough for a damn good party but intimate enough for you to get cozy with that mysterious stranger who came dressed as the Jesus fresco. There'll be some Misfits covers (bands like to dress up, too!), horror movies, and likely some awkward bumping and grinding in costume. In other words, it'll be a blast; be there. NL

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