Up & Coming 

This Week's Music Previews

EFTERKLANG Doug Fir, 3/13

EFTERKLANG Doug Fir, 3/13

WEDNESDAY 3/13

EFTERKLANG, NIGHTLANDS
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Efterklang singer Casper Clausen is something of a conversationalist, even when he confronts the extremes of landscape and humanity. His matter-of-fact delivery balances the drama and bombast of the Danish band's music, making it simultaneously more accessible and more mysterious. How is it possible to be so blasé about an icebound Russian mining town, long since abandoned? From as many as 10 members at times, the band has gradually scaled down to a trio. Their gorgeous fourth album, Piramida, proves that, creatively speaking, fewer voices are occasionally better. (A further three augment their current live lineup.) Piramida sounds cold and dramatic and strange, like the Arctic ghost town of the same name where the band recorded the noises that serve as the album's ambient foundation. The arrangements of strings, sublime choruses, and electronic sparkle create an effect that is equal parts radiant and existential. Nightlands, the project of War on Drugs bassist Dave Hartley, has just released a second album, Oak Island. Like a smash in the face of nostalgia, the album evokes the California soft rock of the 1960s—think the Association or the Mamas and the Papas—layered over chaotic percussion, horns, and noise. The harmonies sound like a box of pastel sweets, but don't be fooled: Underneath them are an ambitious sense of experimentation and, at times, surprisingly dark lyrics. REBECCA WILSON Also see My, What a Busy Week!

THURSDAY 3/14

FOR PETE'S SAKE: BENEFIT FOR PETE KREBS
(LaurelThirst Public House, 2958 NE Glisan) Tonight and tomorrow, literally dozens of Portland musicians—representing the local roots, swing, rock, folk, country, and jazz scenes, and beyond—take the LaurelThirst stage to raise money for guitarist Pete Krebs' medical bills. Suffering from a rare form of cancer, Krebs was the beneficiary of two shows in February, and these stacked bills will further aid the cause of helping a working musician who's currently unable to perform while he undergoes treatment. Much has been said about Krebs in the pages of this paper ["Everybody's Best Friend," Feb 20] but the need is just as great, and the assemblage of local talent spread across these two nights at the LaurelThirst is evidence of Krebs' importance. This is as good as causes get. NED LANNAMANN

HARLOWE AND THE GREAT NORTH WOODS, CATHERINE FEENY, ALAMEDA
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Since the release of Harlowe and the Great North Woods' self-titled 2010 EP, the band has recalibrated its brooding barriers with subtle instrumentation and good old doses of take-your-time. The group's deliberate processes can be heard in painstakingly beautiful motion on the tentatively titled "Water," a track from their untitled album due out sometime this summer. Similarly, Portland's Alameda has begun work on a new album to follow their excellent 2012 release, Procession. The band recently posted a new track, "A Violence," on the Mercury's blog, showcasing a collaborative effort that utilizes vocalist Stirling Myles' strong melodic sensibilities, as well as drummer Barra Brown's jazz background. Both bands emerge from winter hibernation tonight to warm your little hearts. RYAN J. PRADO

SOMEDAY LOUNGE GOING AWAY PARTY
(Someday Lounge, 125 NW 5th) Farewell, Someday Lounge. The downtown club and arts space is going to that great venue in the sky on March 18, shutting its doors "indefinitely," in the words of its owners. A possible sale to new owners is in the works, but it's by no means guaranteed, and if those doors do reopen, the Someday will likely be a noticeably different incarnation. Before they bid adieu, the Someday is hosting a number of closing events to commemorate the club's history of adventurous and diverse arts programming, ranging from hiphop to rock to metal to classical music, from readings to theater to puppetry. Tonight's "Viva L'Arte!" celebration brings together DJs, rappers, bands, poets, and more—including Someday's long-running Incubator, an open-stage event for works in progress (the series shall thankfully continue at the neighboring Star Theater)—for a no-cover-charge celebration of an all-embracing venue that housed many Portland creative and performance communities that more conventional clubs and theater spaces wouldn't. Goodbye, Someday, and thanks for the memories. NL

FRIDAY 3/15

HILLSTOMP, SASSPARILLA, HONG KONG BANANA
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!

PETE KREBS BENEFIT
(LaurelThirst Public House, 2958 NE Glisan) See Thursday's listing.

THE HUGS, A HAPPY DEATH, FATHER FIGURE
(Mt. Tabor Theater, 4811 SE Hawthorne) Approximately five years ago, the Hugs were the sovereign turds of shit mountain. They had pretty much everything a young, aspiring band could dream of, and it all happened really quickly: coveted opening slots for the Walkmen and the Dandy Warhols, a sizable national and European following (thanks in no small part to MySpace), and most significantly, a record contract with 1965 Records, a subsidiary of Columbia. Fast-forward to present day and frontman Danny Delegato is the sole remaining Hug. The band's newest release, an EP titled Dirty Gems, is about as formulaic as you'd expect from a band following in the Kooks' and Libertines' footprints, but nobody can deny that Delegato and his new bandmates know their way around a hook ("Racy Girl" being the standout example). MORGAN TROPER

I CAN LICK ANY SONOFABITCH IN THE HOUSE, DRAG THE RIVER, BAD ASSETS
(Star Theater, 13 NW 6th) It's been an awfully long time since any new material from country-punk all-stars I Can Lick Any Sonofabitch in the House has materialized. That's not for lack of writing, however. The band's been hibernating, playing only sporadically in anticipation of their first release of new tunes since 2010's The Sounds of Dying, with this May's forthcoming Mayberry. ICLASOBITH executed a successful Kickstarter campaign to offset the costs of the back-end (CD pressing, PR, etc.), and now appear poised to unleash their raucous roadhouse rock onto a new generation of listeners. Sharing a bill with Fort Collins, Colorado's Drag the River (featuring Chad Price of All) isn't a bad place to start up from where they left off. RJP

OLD AGE, FANNO CREEK, THE WE SHARED MILK
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) John Lennon's best solo album is also his most difficult. Written and recorded in the immediate wake of the Beatles' breakup, and as Lennon was famously undergoing Arthur Janov's primal scream therapy, 1970's Plastic Ono Band remains a tough collision of naked emotion and rock 'n' roll attitude. The vitriolic squall of "Well Well Well" sits next to the tender balladry of "Love"; the broken, decimated trudge of "Mother" is mirrored by the stately, elegiac "God." It's a brutal, depressing, terrible-sounding album, and an absolute masterpiece. Tonight three worthy Portland bands take on the challenge of covering the thing, along with a short opening set of originals and some other Lennon songs thrown in for good measure. Ordinarily, covers nights cater to the most simplistic and uninteresting of an audience's desires, but Plastic Ono Band contains no obvious crowd-pleasers. With bands as skilled as the We Shared Milk, Fanno Creek, and Old Age holding things down, it's unlikely these will be mere retreads, either. NL

SATURDAY 3/16

THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: SYMPHONY OF THE GODDESSES
(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway) See My, What a Busy Week!

HILLSTOMP, THE PYNNACLES, PARADISE
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!

BOAT, AQUEDUCT, SHELLEY SHORT
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Read our article on BOAT.

SYNTHESIS: NORA POSCH, PHAEDRUS, DUNCAN IDAHO, CENTRIKAL
(The Rose, 111 SW Ash) It's always refreshing to find an electronic record label that appreciates and boldly celebrates experimentalism on the part of its artists. Seattle's Peloton Musique seeks out the hidden layers of brilliance that can be unearthed by promoting new ways of creating and listening to music. The label's first release, which is well worth checking out, featured a who's who of Northwest electronic artists armed with a sample pack of bicycle sounds with which to compose—an interesting way to illustrate their philosophy that the sum of a community is worth more than its individual parts. From the Peloton crew—whose ranks include tonight's performers Nora Posch, Phaedrus, and Duncan Idaho—you can expect a night varied in scope and alive with all that underground electronica has to offer, from beyond the dance floor and back again. CHRISTINA BROUSSARD

SUNDAY 3/17

MURS, PROF, FASHAWN, BLACK CLOUD MUSIC, SAINT WARHEAD
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE César E. Chávez) The humble and consistent rapper Murs—who's been at it for 17 years now—earned this writer's allegiance with one track, 2000's "24 Hrs. w/a G/The Two Step," which featured a slinky, funked drum/bass loop, a solid tale of a day on par with Ice Cube's best, and a chorus sung by Grover from Sesame Street. Go look it up right now. Eventually a prominent member of the Oakland/San Francisco Living Legends crew, Murs went on to drop his auspicious solo LP, The End of the Beginning, on longtime friend El-P's Definitive Jux imprint. Over the last two decades, he's collaborated with more people than you've met, and his latest two–one a collaboration with 9th Wonder and the other with co-biller Fashawn–are works of tempered reserve and formidable resolve. Murs doesn't need your respect, but you owe it to him anyway. GRANT BRISSEY

BILLYGOAT, PWRHAUS
(Rontoms, 600 E Burnside) Billygoat's music is lovely and dreamy, hypnotic and intricate—and impossible to separate from the transcendent animations they make to go with it. Or maybe the music is made for the films? It's hard to say which comes first, but it doesn't matter. Billygoat's mostly instrumental post-rock soundtracks miniature stop-motion films that range from the heartbreaking to the exhilarating. Aesthetically, the films are warmer and more homemade-feeling—and sometimes spookier—than their aural accompaniments, but they never feel amateur. Even as David Klein and Nick Woolley switch among their impressive trove of instruments, the morphing objects and photographs onscreen pluck at your heartstrings. Billygoat, who briefly called themselves Good Night Billygoat but are apparently back to their original moniker, will follow the blissful dream soul of Pwrhaus. Less eerie, perhaps, but just as transporting, the earnest vocals of Pwrhaus' Tonality Star exist in a world where true love collides with saxophones. RW

KEVIN SECONDS, SEAN CROGHAN, SORTA ULTRA
(Slabtown, 1033 NW 16th) Whether or not Kevin Seconds means anything to anyone anymore is of little concern to a certain legion of punk-rock faithful. Seconds, whose run with the legendary Sacramento hardcore crew 7 Seconds is the reason some of us made it through high school, has scaled back his vitriol over the years, fostering arts and culture in Northern California when he's not on tour. While 7 Seconds still tours occasionally, it's Seconds' solo career that keeps him moving these days. The fact that Seconds' moonlighting as an acoustic troubadour in 1989 foreshadowed the modern migration toward organic instrumentation is fitting, considering his seminal status as a punk-rock icon. That doesn't mean, however, that Seconds' solo work is really all that good. Either way, I'll probably be there. RJP

MONDAY 3/18

MILK MUSIC, GUN OUTFIT, BATH PARTY
(Star Theater, 13 NW 6th) Read our article on Milk Music.

DJ MONTGOMERY WORD
(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) The beats of Montgomery Word seem crafted precisely to inspire fantastical lucid dreams during an afternoon nap. In his self-applied descriptions, Word invokes Robitussin and codeine, which isn't inaccurate, but these sleepy pharmaceuticals belie a focused work ethic. Telephone, Word's first full-length sonic collage, came out in August, and now he's released Nite Lyf. There's much to like in its 16 tracks. The music's druggy indolence camouflages Word's strengths as an electronic musician: judicious editing and a masterful sense of just-enough. Layers of lo-fi fuzz and samples range from pretty to strange, from dreamy to bizarre, but every piece seems precisely crafted. Most importantly, the songs are so entertaining that it's sometimes easy to forget they're experimental. Though Nite Lyf resembles a mixtape in a lot of ways, the mood is consistently otherworldly and laidback. RW

ANDRÉ RIEU
(Rose Garden, 1 Center Ct) Have you ever flipped through the stations when they're showing an André Rieu concert on PBS? That shit is insane. The waltz-master (read: schmaltz-master) and his gigantic orchestra have put the "light" back in light classical, playing hilariously drippy, gloppy treacle ranging from Johann Strauss II's user-friendly "Blue Danube" to over-the-top choral versions of songs like "When the Saints Go Marching In" and "What a Wonderful World." Rieu makes Lawrence Welk sound like G.G. Allin. He also has a flamboyance that you can comfortably misread as showmanship, carrying on the dubious tradition of Mantovani and Liberace. This is the musical equivalent of eating an entire canister of whipped cream, and the kind of show my (very square) grandparents wouldn't be caught dead at. Are those ruffians in Il Divo too tough for you? Rieu's got your back. NL

TUESDAY 3/19

ANAÏS MITCHELL AND JEFFERSON HAMER, FRANK FAIRFIELD
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Read our article on Anaïs Mitchell and Jefferson Hamer.

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