ALT-J Star Theater, 12/15
Jory Cordy

WEDNESDAY 12/12

PINEHURST KIDS, EMPIRE ROCKET MACHINE, CHARTS
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Read our article on Pinehurst Kids.

FAMILY OF THE YEAR, JOSH AND MER
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) Sorry, there will be no fun. tonight. The punctuation-happy pop juggernaut has postponed their Portland show for the second time in a row, apparently forgetting that "We Are Young" isn't the kind of sentiment that lasts forever. Fun. will be back in March, if you're still interested at that point. Fortunately, tonight's ticketholders can still amble down to the Crystal and catch Family of the Year for free, along with Portland duo Josh and Mer in the opening slot. (It'll cost you a buck to get in if you aren't already holding a fun. ticket.) LA's Family of the Year makes perfectly amiable folk-rock with slight hippie leanings; their latest, Loma Vista, is sun streaked, harmony laden, and almost suspiciously pretty. Repeat listens happily reveal there's little guile in their major-chord gushing, and rather than getting mired in empty pothead posturing (à la Edward Sharpe), Family of the Year offers a surprising amount of passion—and even a little vitriol—in their laidback strumming. NED LANNAMANN

THURSDAY 12/13

PORTLAND CELLO PROJECT
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) See My, What a Busy Week!

I'VE GOT A HOLE IN MY SOUL: DJ BEYONDADOUBT, DJ PRIMO
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See My, What a Busy Week!

KREAYSHAWN, RYE RYE, HONEY COCAINE, CHIPPY NONSTOP
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) I'll never forget the first time I saw Kreayshawn's weird/viral "Gucci Gucci" video on YouTube. A tiny gal, best friend in tow (plus enough makeup and accessories to start a successful second-hand Claire's), she raps about being fed up with "basic bitches" who covet tired brand names and act like Barbies (she then rhymes Barbie with Arby's). I was skeptical at first, but I grew to love her off-kilter style. I felt, with the assuredness that comes with being very stoned, that Kreayshawn was some kind of comedic genius ("I got the swag and it's pumpin' out my ovarieeeees"). After scoring a contract with Columbia, Somethin' 'Bout Kreay debuted in September, and for better or worse, it's only getting weirder. EMILY NOKES

WOOLEN MEN, STILL CAVES, THE HOODED HAGS, CHRISTIAN PROFETA
(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) The Woolen Men have a lo-fi, garage rock sound that pleasantly surprises you with its delicacies. Members Rafael Spielman, Lawton Browning, and Alex Geddes share vocal and instrumental responsibilities, writing songs that are fuzzy with reverb and warm with '70s nostalgia. Their music has a grungy yet bright sentiment that is true to its Northwest rock roots, with an added sprinkle of pop. They already have a number of cassettes released by Eggy Records and Gnar Tapes, with a new record on the way on Woodsist early next year. We can hope for and expect an album that is as catchy and tight as their last, as this trio continues to become an integral part of the Portland musical landscape. RACHEL MILBAUER

TY SEGALL, THE NIGHT BEATS, NUCULAR AMINALS
(Star Theater, 13 NW 6th) Ty Segall had a busy year, releasing three albums under slightly different monikers. For as prolific as Segall is, what's even more amazing is the quality of his output. There's nary a dud in the bunch, and his music carries the unhinged excitement and pop sensibility that helped make Nirvana what it was. Segall's collaboration with White Fence saw him making lo-fi psych punk ready-made for summer, while Slaughterhouse (recorded as the Ty Segall Band) will peel the paint off walls; his latest, Twins, is the official follow-up to his excellent Melted and Goodbye Bread solo records. Segall, along with Thee Oh Sees and Sic Alps, has made a name for San Francisco over the past few years, but tonight he belongs to Portland. MARK LORE

FRIDAY 12/14

PORTLAND CELLO PROJECT
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) See My, What a Busy Week!

SUNN O))), DEAD IN THE DIRT, LOINCLOTH, FONTANELLE
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Read our article on Sunn O))).

LUCK-ONE, BIG MO, J. BURNS
(Backspace, 115 NW 5th) At this point it appears that Luck-One, despite self-generated rumors to the contrary, is just getting started—as evidenced by his latest full-length, which also features the talents of singer, musician, producer, and master hook-writer Dizz. The effort, titled Critical Mass, dropped months ago, yet the duo is only now getting around to celebrating its release in a live setting. The guests on the record—including Portland's own Mica Parris, Tope and Epp from TxE, and Seattle's SPAC3MAN—make a strong case in favor of Luck's continued evolution as a recording artist. It's never a bad thing to back out of a planned retirement after you realize you're at the top of your game. This one dude Shawn Carter even did it. As long as Luck avoids becoming the hiphop Cher, we'll all be straight. RYAN FEIGH

LAVENDER DIAMOND, CALICO ROSE, LUZ ELENA MENDOZA
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) As airy and edgeless as a soap bubble floating in the sunset, Lavender Diamond are weird precisely because they are so sincerely and single-mindedly committed to being pretty, surely the least bizarre of any aesthetic. Apparently, pretty can't be rushed. Incorruptible Heart, their second album, came out this year, five years after their debut, Imagine Our Love. Fronted by LA-based singer Becky Stark, Lavender Diamond strikes a chord for people who are pretty sure the Carpenters represent the pinnacle of popular music. Occasional digital blips, swelling horns, and guitar effects—rarely on the same song—provide just enough texture to signify that all this softness is intentional. The album's A-list producers (OK Go's Damian Kulash Jr. and Dave Fridmann) keep things bright and just a little zany by drawing on a symphony's worth of instruments. REBECCA WILSON

ARANYA, ORDER OF THE GASH, CREATURE GUTS
(Club 21, 2035 NE Glisan) With track titles like "Crom Ghund Walest I" and "Ostp Wird Laugh Fec," you might expect Aranya—the other band of Witch Mountain singer Uta Plotkin—to make metal of the doomiest, darkest, most medieval sort possible. And while there is a streak of black magic running straight through Farabequah, their new split 12-inch (Speed of Darkness helms the flipside), it's more than countered by the band's pastoral tendencies, which rein in a much tamer, but perhaps more exotic beast. "Grasp" sounds like a particularly stormy Fairport Convention (Sandy Denny era), while the Celtic-flavored "Wraith" has inter-looping guitar and fiddle lines that sprout into stoner riffing and a banshee wail from Plotkin. In between the three longer pieces are "ritual chants," a cappella pieces repeated in some arcane, possibly invented tongue. It's to Aranya's credit that their metal-tinged folk-prog never tips into the ridiculous, but remains adventurous, atmospheric, and powerful. NL

CLOSELY WATCHED TRAINS
(East Burn, 1800 E Burnside) Closely Watched Trains will make you want to stand up and square dance (or pretend you know how to). This folk-inspired band plays old-time country with dashes of bluegrass, creating a crisp Americana flavor. Vocalist Lanie White's tones range impressively, commanding your attention with full-bodied power. The band shares instrumental and vocal responsibilities, creating songs that have a natural and complementary flow. As a band that began as a jam session, they've come a long way in performing and perfecting their music. Closely Watched Trains will make you crave summer nights spent around a campfire, but for now, we can sip hot toddies and do a little boot-stompin'. RM

DAVID BAZAN, STAGNANT POOLS
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) David Bazan put Pedro the Lion to rest in 2006 and said adios to God no later than 2009, when his first solo LP, Curse Your Branches, came out. It was a breakup album, to put it mildly. On last year's Strange Negotiations, Bazan resolves faithlessness and skepticism with all the grace of somebody who has come to terms with not having any answers. The best part of this is that, though Pedro is no more, Bazan's solo albums sound less like solo projects and more like a continuation of the indie band that gave Jesus a toehold on college radio in the late '90s. To that end, tonight he's revisiting Pedro's 2002 album Control in its entirety. RW

SATURDAY 12/15

MICHELE WYLEN, THEE MIKE B, DJ BLVD NIGHTS
(Someday Lounge, 125 NW 5th) Read our article on Michele Wylen.

ALT-J, WILDCAT! WILDCAT!
(Star Theater, 13 NW 6th) With a Mercury Prize underneath their belt, Alt-J have risen above early buzz—and a truly unfortunate name—to become a force to be reckoned with. This, their first Portland show, is already sold out (their September date opening for Grouplove was cancelled), proving the British band's inventive blend of twirling paisley pop, clockwork folktronic beats, and Thom Yorke-ian drama has not fallen upon deaf ears. NL

MELLOWHYPE, TRASH TALK, CASSOW, RAW NERVES
(Branx, 320 SE 2nd) This bill boasts two different incarnations/affiliates of LA skate-punk-rap collective Odd Future. Rapper/producer duo MellowHype features Hodgy Beats, who has demonstrated some serious growth as a lyricist on the group's recent Numbers and the Odd Future Tape Vol. 2, and Left Brain, whose woozy, blunted beats provide an ideal setting for Hodgy's aggressive, abstract rap styles. Odd Future label signees Trash Talk do hardcore the way it should be done in 2012: loud, fast, and devoid of the genre's cornier, formulaic elements—look elsewhere if you still think every hardcore song needs a bro-tastic breakdown. MIKE RAMOS

NUGGETS NIGHT
(Slabtown, 1033 NW 16th) Slabtown's Nuggets Night is one of our city's coolest annual music-related events. Every year, assorted Portland power-pop/punk kinfolk gather under the bar's roof to pay tribute to the indescribably influential '60s US garage compilation, Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era 1965-1968, an album whose curator, Lenny Kaye (later of Patti Smith's backing band), incidentally coined the term "punk rock" in reference to the bands on the record. On top of simply being an awesome premise for a covers show, the event has always been for a good cause; it began as a benefit for none other than Question Mark himself of ? and the Mysterians, and this sixth Nuggets Night is no exception. Proceeds will go toward the Oregon Music Hall of Fame's scholarship fund, and a portion of bar sales will be donated to WFMU and legendary garage label Norton Records, both of which were affected by Hurricane Sandy. MORGAN TROPER

HORSE FEATHERS, FRANK FAIRFIELD, EZZA ROSE BAND
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) Horse Feathers' fourth album, Cynic's New Year, sounds positively upbeat. No, really, bear with me. The abundance of instruments—horns, strings, woodwinds—encases Justin Ringle's mournful voice and sad stories in a warm blanket of company. Even as he fixates on life's most personal and (possibly) most profound tragedies, there's a metaphorical sense of uplift and a very real sense of nuance. The bigger sound is compelling and mature, and it makes for a wonderfully cohesive listening experience. Meanwhile, opener Frank Fairfield may have been born 100 years too late, but he isn't trying to capitalize on old-time nostalgia. The fact that people happen to be possessed of nostalgia for this type of music is a happy coincidence, one that took him off the streets of LA and into our concert venues. Fairfield may be a time capsule, but he's the real deal. RW

HIGH ON FIRE, GOATWHORE, LO-PAN, APE MACHINE
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) Bands like Sleep and High on Fire were unleashing billows of sludge and smoke before stoner metal was a thing. It was loud and low, with riffs meant to be paired with spliffs. What ties these bands together is guitarist Matt Pike, whose specialty is dropping lumbering riffs and reeling off epic solos. After a two-month stint in rehab for alcohol abuse, which led to the cancellation of dates from Sleep and High on Fire, Pike is leading HOF back out on the road. Of course, this is not to be missed. And just because Pike is clean doesn't mean the rest of us have to be. ML

SUNDAY 12/16

BLIND PILOT, ALLEN STONE, JD MCPHERSON
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) See My, What a Busy Week!

THE MOUNTAIN GOATS, MATTHEW E. WHITE
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) Read our article on the Mountain Goats.

SONS OF HUNS, GAYTHEIST
(Rontoms, 600 E Burnside) Sons of Huns really don't half-ass anything. That's why, even though their new release is a two-song 7-inch, it's fully loaded with all the punishing riffs, thunderous drums, and buzzsaw bass you'd expect from one of the hardest-rockin' hard-rock bands in Portland. The 7-inch features "Leaving Your Body" and "Wanderer"—two of the group's more rollicking numbers, each familiar to those who've seen the group's punk rock shred-fest live over the past year. To boot, tonight's show is the official release of the record, is totally free, and will be opened by the equally ferocious/melodic rock juggernaut of Gaytheist. It may not be summertime anymore, but Rontoms is gonna be one big sweaty sauna of Hessian heaven this Sunday. RYAN J. PRADO

JOE HAEGE FAREWELL: STREET NIGHTS, GHOST TO FALCO, SLIM FORTUNE
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) Songwriter/musician/carnival barker Joe Haege, of Tu Fawning and 31Knots, is bidding Portland adieu. After spending 14 years here, the bountifully creative cornerstone of this city's music scene has been bitten by that most seductive of bugs: acting. Haege's move to LA is less of a boondoggle than it seems—his impressive turns in locally made indie films like How the Fire Fell and Field Guide to November Days clearly show that the man knows how to behave in front of a camera. (Let's not get into Exhibit C, Haege's bizarro turn as a Jellicle cat in the commercial for Beech St. Parlor.) Haege says goodbye with a stacked bill of his close friends' bands, and he also threatens to open the evening with a short set of songs from his new solo project, recorded under the name Vin Blanc/White Wine. Digital downloads of the album will be available for sale as well. NL

MONDAY 12/17

MAN FOREVER, NEAL MORGAN, VIRGIN BLOOD
(Record Room, 8 NE Killingsworth) Kid Millions' ever-morphing percussive meditations in Brooklyn ambient-rock crew Oneida are put to roiling, bizarre ritual with his side project, Man Forever. Within the first five minutes of "Surface Patterns"—track one of the two-track, 40-minute-long LP, Pansophical Cataract—assessments from anyone within earshot could range from "it sounds like mutant insects taking over the planet" to "I don't understand what's happening here." Both are reasonably accurate deductions, considering the swell of repetitive drum patterns and textured tendrils of unfettered noise. Millions' experimental bents are utilized to the absolute furthest corners of contemplation, daring listeners to turn away from the hypnotic drive of multi-minute drum rolls before anything else happens. Recommended as crucial background music if you ever find yourself shirtless, traipsing in the spirit world with Jim Morrison, Terrence McKenna, and Timothy Leary. RJP

TUESDAY 12/18

VICE DEVICE, STAY CALM
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) See My, What a Busy Week!

KOMMANDANT, SANGUIS IMPEREM, WEREGOAT, CEMETERY LUST
(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) Only one week until Christmas!! What better way to celebrate the advent of the lord's b-day than by seeing some blaspheming metal fit for Halloween? The blackened thrash of local ghouls Cemetery Lust will have you decking the halls with upside-down crosses, leather, and spikes. Five long-haired, sweaty dudes churning out tunes about digging up graves and defiling their contents? They're the perfect gift for baby Jesus! The other treat of the evening is Chicago's Kommandant. The band plays tight, militaristic black metal while donned in gay apparel (i.e., black uniforms, crossbelts, and gas masks). As the band stands rigid, vocalist Marcus Matthew Kolar growls from behind a podium, gesturing like a mad dictator. Aesthetically intimidating and aurally devastating, Kommandant will have you dreaming of a Black Christmas instead. ARIS WALES