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This Week's Music Previews

CAT POWER Crystal Ballroom, 11/4

CAT POWER Crystal Ballroom, 11/4

THURSDAY 11/1

DIA DE LOS MUERTOS: ORQUESTRA PACIFICO TROPICAL, EDNA VASQUEZ, DEATH SONGS
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See My, What a Busy Week!

SERA CAHOONE, THE PARSON RED HEADS, DESERT NOISES
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Sera Cahoone continues a streak of oddly trance-inducing country on her new full-length Deer Creek Canyon, her third LP solo record (out on Sub Pop) since her days as drummer for Seattle's Carissa's Wierd. Warm production, feel-good/feel-bad dynamics, and lilting vocal melodies provide more than a few engaging moments on Deer Creek Canyon, and Cahoone's arresting lyrics are situated center-stage for the savory, sweet, or sour in all of us. Take the transitory brood of the slow-burning "Naked" and its subsequent launch into the pick-and-grin campfire ditty "Nervous Wreck"—Cahoone's ability to weave her songwriting in and out of alt-country hallmarks and to shift emotional gears throughout the album makes it an inwardly scathing sort of journey. Whether you feel like shit about everything afterward is up to you. RYAN J. PRADO

FRIDAY 11/2

MENOMENA, RADIATION CITY, PARENTHETICAL GIRLS
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!

THE AFGHAN WHIGS, VAN HUNT
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) See My, What a Busy Week! and read our article on the Afghan Whigs.

WOODEN INDIAN BURIAL GROUND, AU DUNES
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) With shrieking-banshee guitar and a caravan full of echo, Wooden Indian Burial Ground have delivered one of the best records of the year—local or otherwise. The Portland four-piece's new self-titled album, whose vinyl incarnation came out October 30 on Mon Amie Records, is a devastating, earthquaking trip to catatonia by the funnest means possible. The heavy, dirty, garage squalor sounds like it will cast out old evil spirits and attract some new ones along the way. While they haven't quite broken through to name recognition in their own hometown, with the release of the eight-song Wooden Indian Burial Ground I confidently expect that to change; the group deservedly made a splash at CMJ a couple weeks back, and this record shows all that they're capable of. It's fearsome and awesome. Time to get on board. NED LANNAMANN

STATIC: ROMAN ZAWODNY, CTRL_ALT_DLT, SONE
(Groove Suite, 440 NW Glisan) All too often, people pigeonhole the world of techno music as being mercilessly overrun by bad top-40 remixes with cheesy four-on-the-floor beats that go nowhere, and rightly so—in some cases. But if you know where to look, you'll be inducted into a realm of music that inspires a type of musical energy unique in its ability to make you rock out. Portland underground electronic label SubSensory Records, notorious for pumping out the jams, hosts this evening's celebration of the heritage of electronica by featuring some of Seattle's most dynamic players. Roman Zawodny, whose sound has been described as "genre defying" by techno luminary Dave Clarke, alongside Ctrl_Alt_Dlt (Chris Aldrich) and Sone (Brian Sonnleitner) will give us a post-Halloween Friday night to remember. Costumes are encouraged, and don't forget your dancing shoes. CHRISTINA BROUSSARD

THE BUILDERS AND THE BUTCHERS
(LaurelThirst Public House, 2958 NE Glisan) Junk-folk-punk-busk band the Builders and the Butchers came messily into this world on Halloween weekend of 2005, and tonight they celebrate seven years of clattering, stomping, hollering, and ringleading. Playing wooden instruments and found percussion—pieces of which would be handed out to audience members—the band initially performed as buskers outside of other venues without the help of any amplification. But as word grew, so did the crowds, and the Builders and the Butchers quickly vaulted their way to the top of Portland's must-see-band list. They're still as good as ever, thanks to their indefatigable live energy and guitarist/songwriter Ryan Sollee's expert songwriting, and local label Jealous Butcher is gracing us with a vinyl reissue of their great 2007 self-titled debut. Seeing Portland's homegrown version of a New Orleans funeral band inside the intimate LaurelThirst Public House is going to be undoubtedly exciting, and probably sweaty. NL

SATURDAY 11/3

MR. GNOME, AND AND AND, EIGHTEEN INDIVIDUAL EYES
(Star Theater 13 NW 6th) See My, What a Busy Week!

NUCULAR AMINALS, THE WHINES, TINY KNIVES
(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) Read our article on Nucular Aminals.

JENS LEKMAN, TAKEN BY TREES
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) Read our article on Jens Lekman.

METZ, BISON BISON
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) Read our article on Metz.

SEA WOLF, HEY MARSEILLES
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Sea Wolf's new album, Old World Romance, marks a return to frontman Alex Church flying mostly solo, a big departure from 2009's White Water, White Bloom. But even with the drum machines and flawless production, this third album emerges as Sea Wolf's most mature and captivating. Understated and personal, Old World Romance makes authentic connections rather than bombarding listeners with an occasionally histrionic assault of feelings, something I always find hard to relate to. Perhaps Sea Wolf went to therapy and learned "I feel" language. Whatever the cause, the dreamy textures, pared-down electronics, and swelling Church-on-Church harmonies create an atmosphere of introspective hopefulness. My favorite song, "In Nothing," features bass melodies and Ian McCulloch-style vocals, a singular foray into the 1980s on this mostly very contemporary-sounding album. REBECCA WILSON

OREGON SYMPHONY: MAHLER'S SIXTH
(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway) Gustav Mahler was a much better human than I'll ever be. Case in point: If someone gave me a sledgehammer, my first impulse would be to enter Ned Lannamann's pathetic cubicle at the Mercury offices and start swinging away at any computer (or fingers) I could find, with the aim of silencing this hopelessly uninformed, wildly myopic, so-called music editor for a good long while. Luckily, when the muses presented Mr. Mahler with a sledgehammer, the composer bravely resisted any destructive inclinations, and instead inserted this bluntest of instruments into his Symphony No. 6. The epic work might be labeled a symphony on paper, but in a live performance, this music will be nothing less than cathartic sacrament—nearly 90 solid minutes of 96 classically trained musicians on the Schnitzer stage wrestling with sonic nihilism and bitter chaos! Folks, this is Gustav fucking Mahler we're talking about here. Witness. This. Show. ANGRY SYMPHONY GUY

OLD LIGHT, HUNGRY GHOST
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) It's hard not to think that Old Light could be the collective musical fantasy of every Caucasian dad in America—at least those who own the entire CSNY catalog in every existing format. These are the same people who are eternally mystified by rap, which they are convinced is the only thing that anyone under the age of 30 listens to. This conversation is never not excruciating, so redirect them toward Old Light. On their first and only LP, The Dirty Future, Old Light combine all the best parts of all the best rock bands of the last 40 years. Indeed, this quartet of bearded fellows makes jamming out seem kind of cool, especially when the extended licks are countered by Beach Boys harmonies, which are further tempered by face-thawing guitar anthems. And then there's the autoharp. RW

SUNDAY 11/4

OREGON SYMPHONY: MAHLER'S SIXTH
(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway) See Saturday's listing.

CAT POWER, THE GOAT
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) Sun marks the first album of non-covers in six years from Chan Marshall, who as Cat Power has made a name for herself—not only for her own dark and breathy songs, but her make-them-her-own interpretations of others. She's the singer responsible for the overused descriptor "hauntingly beautiful." The mythology of Cat Power is bigger than her body of work, but as Marshall enters her 40s she seems to be more self-aware than ever. Less brooding, too—Sun might be the least melancholy album of her career. Marshall still gives you plenty to think about, but it's less a peek into her journal than it is reading the morning news together. We'll call it cautiously beautiful. MARK LORE Also see My, What a Busy Week!

THE WALKING WILLOWS
(The Old Church, 1422 SW 11th) Stephen Cohen's old group, the Eugene-based psychedelic folk band the Tree People, didn't garner a ton of attention during their initial stint, but they were posthumously discovered by record collectors worldwide and eventually had their 1979 and 1984 albums reissued. Now Cohen's new band, the Walking Willows, have a record that should similarly delight record collectors and fans of off-the-beaten-path folk. By Hand is a sparse, playful collection of songs performed by Cohen and double bassist Rich Hinrichsen, and they're performed with clarity, precision, and vibrant humor, as on "1 Hit Song" and "Mathematics." There's also some good old-fashioned, rain-sodden Oregon weirdness, and the result is a unique, entrancing folk record that doesn't sound like anything you've heard before. NL

THE SEA AND CAKE, MATTHEW FRIEDBERGER
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) You really can't talk about the Sea and Cake without mentioning their consistency—even what some might consider an "off" album is still pretty good. It's thinking-man's pop that has been accused of occasionally being too stuffy, other times a little eccentric. Whatever your particular take, over the past two decades the Sea and Cake have simply done their thing, releasing a body of work that weathers trends and flavors of the month. That might sound boring, but it also explains their longevity. And to those who have followed the band from the beginning, the Sea and Cake's durability trumps all. ML

MONDAY 11/5

KID KOALA, ADIRA AMRAM AND THE EXPERIENCE
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See My, What a Busy Week!

TWIN SISTER, PURE BATHING CULTURE
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) See My, What a Busy Week!

OREGON SYMPHONY: MAHLER'S SIXTH
(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway) See Saturday's listing.

TITLE FIGHT, PIANOS BECOME THE TEETH, SINGLE MOTHERS, LEE COREY OSWALD
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) Possibly following examples set by the Sidekicks and the Menzingers earlier this year, Title Fight are the latest East Coast punk institution to renounce their goofy and admittedly hoary pop-punk roots in favor of a more timeless aesthetic. And they've arguably done it better than either of those bands, to boot; the result, Floral Green, is a near-perfect LP that will almost certainly be included in my best of 2012 list. It's far more suggestive of early- to mid-'90s indie-cum-emo forebears like Seaweed and Archers of Loaf than anything that's ever been featured on a Warped Tour compilation, and that's a really, really good thing. The autumnal "Leaf" is the most genuine and emphatic exposition on the insignificance of human existence I've heard in a hot second (after all, what better way to get over a broken heart than to realize that nothing matters?). Title Fight are sentimental and emo-as-fuck without ever seeming mawkish, and that's exceptional. This record gives me goose bumps, in addition to high hopes for the future of rock music. MORGAN TROPER

SKELETONWITCH, HAVOK, MUTILIATION RITES, NIGHT NURSE
(Branx, 320 SE 2nd) Skeletonwitch plays the musical equivalent of medieval torture. Plucking all the finer points of speed and intensity from black, death, and thrash metal, the band writes tunes that make the act of impalement look like someone getting a little splinter, and the breaking wheel look like a carousel. Along with the unholy butchery of the band's riffs, Skeletonwitch also maintains a balance of triumphant harmonies. So, not only do your enemies receive the painful smiting they deserve, but you also get the appropriate soundtrack to celebrate the glory of your victory! May all those who conspire against you—musically, that is—fear the brutality that Skeletonwitch wields! ARIS WALES

ZAMMUTO, AU
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) The ethereal pop melodies of the Books kept us company throughout the absurdities of the last decade. In 2010, their last album, The Way Out, encapsulated the fragmentation and post-ness of the age with surreal stories and snippets of found sounds. Then they called it quits. Now, guitarist Nick Zammuto is back with a new, self-titled band and album. Still agile, still experimental, Zammuto nevertheless has embraced a more substantial aesthetic: He sounds like a man with a band now. Does this mean the world is getting less ridiculous? Um, no. Zammuto-the-band is a conceptual antidote to the crumbling world order, a foundation of authenticity that nevertheless confronts chaos head on. Have fun while you still can, preferably while enjoying every musical genre, from acid house to Afro-funk. The heroic chorus of "Yay," the album's opener and zenith, will be stuck in your brain for days. RW

TUESDAY 11/6

TILLY AND THE WALL, ICKY BLOSSOMS, ADVENTURE GALLEY
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) See My, What a Busy Week!

BLOOD BEACH, CLOAKS
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) Fresh off a September European tour, Blood Beach have returned to Portland with their psycho-garage explosion in tow. Completing a successful Kickstarter campaign this past July to fund a tour-only 7-inch (the creepy-cool "Dead Maester's Tongue" b/w "Factory Dream") and to curate a Portland music cassette compilation (dubbed Keep Portland Normal), the band have been playing more than a passing role in the expansion of the Rose City's burgeoning outsider-rock underworld. They're as good a vessel as any to harbor such a task; Blood Beach's vaguely sophomoric garage-pop combo cocks the knockout punch of free-roaming jams as well as punkier psychedelic territory. Their 2011 vinyl LP, Return of the Curse of the Creature's Ghost, posits acid-washed wah-wahs, anti-melodic yelps of reverb-heavy rock, and other spooky delights that carry songs like "Candy" into eerie realms. RJP

NAPPY ROOTS, SERGE SEVERE
(Mt. Tabor Theater, 4811 SE Hawthorne) Nappy Roots are a Kentucky hiphop group that met at college in the mid-'90s. The turn of the century found them capitalizing on major label interest, due in part to the success of Southern acts such as Ludacris, Master P, and OutKast. Their major label debut, 2002's Watermelon, Chicken & Gritz, went platinum and allowed them to tour the world, although subsequent albums did not replicate their former glory. Their most recent full-length, Nappy Dot Org, is a welcome return to form, with all production handled by hit producers Organized Noize. Local emcee Serge Severe has recently returned from performing high-profile stage and radio shows in New York City, where his management resides. Severe is one of the most talented lyricists in Portland, and his intelligent wordplay, combined with his punishing delivery, sends the don't-sleep meter to code red. RYAN FEIGH

WEDNESDAY 11/7

STARS, JETS OVERHEAD
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) See My, What a Busy Week!

THOSE DARLINS, HEAVY CREAM, DON'T
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) While Nashville's Those Darlins started out as what you might imagine—an old-timey female trio ready-made for return appearances on This American Life,—these ladies and (now) gents have dropped the pickin' and grinnin' for sex, hugs, and rock 'n' roll. There's still a slight shuffle in their step, but the band has become the South's answer to the Ramones. Those Darlins' sophomore LP Screws Get Loose captures it perfectly, right down to the Spectoresque production. What separates these darlings from, say, the Vivian Girls or Dum Dum Girls is they carry themselves with snotty abandon. The proof is on the cover of Screws, which features one of the members with a finger in her nose. ML

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