LA LUZ The Know, 3/31
Kelly O

WEDNESDAY 3/27

KING DUDE, OF THE WAND AND THE MOON, A STORY OF RATS
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Would you believe the soundtrack for the apocalypse is being made by a guy named King Dude? Actually, his name is TJ Cowgill, a metalhead from Seattle who, these days, is a true freak-folkie painting grim pictures of hell and the folks who will surely end up there. It's like Slayer minus the intensity. King Dude is actually more entrenched in country and '50s rock 'n' roll—even at his darkest, Cowgill still has an ear for the occasional sweet melody. But add a croon that sounds like it comes from the bowels of Hades, and you know you're not living with the Cleavers. Unless there's a mushroom cloud involved. MARK LORE

MAJOR LAZER, LUNICE, PAUL DEVRO
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Diplo and his Mad Decent label have been wildly increasing their influence in the EDM scene—Baauer's "Harlem Shake," for example, came out on MD subsidiary Jeffrees—popularizing dancehall, dub, reggae, and other bass-centric styles. For their new Free the Universe full-length, Major Lazer have reeled in an eclectic cast of guest musicians like Dirty Projectors' Amber Coffman, Vampire Weekend's Ezra Koenig, Peaches, Bruno Mars, Wyclef Jean, Santigold, Flux Pavilion, and Busy Signal. This is still primarily hyper-animated, alpha-human party music—an unabashed soundtrack for your next Caribbean-themed bash. DAVE SEGAL

THURSDAY 3/28

LAID OUT: GOSSIP CAT, POCKET ROCK-IT, MISTI MILLER, SPF666
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See My, What a Busy Week!

MERCHANDISE, WET HAIR
(Backspace, 115 NW 5th) Read our article on Merchandise.

PHEASANT, SUMMER CANNIBALS, FANNO CREEK
(Doug Firr, 830 E Burnside) Just over a year ago, Pheasant released Black Field, their laidback debut. Its sloppy guitars fused pleasantly with horns, and Matt Jenkins' husky voice delivered easy, pastoral lyrics. It's an old-sweater kind of album: It wears well and its imperfections make it more likeable, but it may have gotten lost behind shinier options. For their second album, Pheasant had a choice: They could go for chiming, pristine folk rock, or they could embrace the garage rock that jangled just beneath the surface of Black Field. Wisely, they chose the latter. Gravel Beach is sharper around the edges, with the more refined sound of a band that's come into its own. Its sound is jagged and naughtier; there seems to be the same number of instruments, but the sound is generally slimmer. Even the slower, folkier songs ("Country Young" and "Debtors") are less sunny. REBECCA WILSON

FRIDAY 3/29

ANTHRAX, EXODUS, HIGH ON FIRE, MUNICIPAL WASTE, HOLY GRAIL
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!

MICHAEL NESMITH
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) See My, What a Busy Week!, and read our article on Michael Nesmith.

1939 ENSEMBLE, PAPER UPPER CUTS, GULLS
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Read our article on 1939 Ensemble.

DVS1, SHINE, JAK, MISS VIXEN, LILROJ, MARIO MAROTO, SEQWENZER, ART OF HOT, JAIRONAUT, ANDREW BOIE, DAVID SOLMES
(Bamboo Grove Salon, 134 SE Taylor) Read our article on DVS1.

MUDHONEY, DEEP FRIED BOOGIE BAND, JAGULA
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) It seems like Mudhoney is only discussed in the context of the grunge boom in its totality, and I suppose lot of that can be attributed to the fact that Mark Arm allegedly coined the term. But the suggestion that Mudhoney are merely a "primordial grunge" band (which is either the gentlest dig or the nastiest compliment) is still selling the group short. To me, Mudhoney bear little resemblance to the hordes of bands who claimed to have followed suit: Unlike compeer Kurt, Arm actually had no interest in deliberately crafting pop hits, and in no way did he ever approach the same level of frilly, histrionic self-importance as Alice in Chains or Soundgarden, either. To me, Mudhoney's self-titled LP and Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge always just sounded like scrappy, Nuggets-y psych rock cranked to 11. Which is rad. But still, it's hard to imagine a world in which the scatterbrained Superfuzz Bigmuff was revelatory to an entire generation of aspiring axe-wielders. I guess the '80s really were that fucked. MORGAN TROPER

GLITTER WIZARD, THE SHRINE, DIRTY FENCES, TINY LADY
(Club 21, 2035 NE Glisan) Last July the Shrine released their full-length, Primitive Blast, then promptly ripped onto the scene like greased lightning. The Venice, California band crept onto Decibel's top 40 albums of 2012 at slot #37, and were quickly embraced by the new and old guard of rock 'n' roll. Earlier this year they toured with Sweden's Graveyard, and in April they'll get on the bus with Dinosaur Jr. This all makes tons of sense because Primitive Blast, and the band's live set, are a barrel of monkeys. The Shrine pumps heavy, snarling, rip-roaring rock 'n' roll with a little bit of goof and fun. The boys are an unassuming bunch, too, looking like a trio of bros that just got up from a curb outside a convenience store, or climbed out of an empty pool with skateboards under their arms. But rest assured, when they mount the stage and grip their instruments, you'd best stand back. ARIS WALES

LUCK-ONE, BIGMO, J. BURNS, DJ EPS
(Kelly's Olympian, 426 SW Washington) Portland emcee Luck-One was recently featured on MTV's RapFix Live and shared the video of his song "Dem Say Yeah" with hiphop journalist Sway and New Orleans rapper/label president Mack Maine. Luck appeared wearing a Grant High School sweatshirt, gave props to Vinnie Dewayne and Illmaculate, and humbly praised his peers rather than self-aggrandize, saying of his hometown, "Man, there's a lot of talented rappers. That's where I draw most of my inspiration from. All of the homies out here are killing it." Tonight, Luck premieres his newest project, Curse of the Pharaoh, further laying to rest any lingering notions of his (self-proclaimed) retirement. If national recognition of Luck's music continues to accelerate at its current pace, this could be one of his last performances in such an intimate venue. RYAN FEIGH

THE SHOOK TWINS, LOST LANDER, BIKE THIEF
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) Shook Twins have a lot going for them: eerie harmonies, brazenly good voices, and an ability to recruit fantastic musicians. The thing is, it's asking a lot of an audience to cope with more than one layer of nostalgia at a time. They sound like folk musicians of the '60s, who were aping musicians from the '30s, who were playing 50-year-old songs—it's a sonic rabbit hole that is ultimately unsustainable. I hope that soon they hitch their wagon to a band with stellar songwriters—a band like billmates Lost Lander, for example. Like Shook Twins, nobody can accuse Lost Lander of not taking themselves seriously. They too are earnest, with a spine-tingling vocalist and excellent musicians. But they are their own deal, epic and thrilling and unlike anything else. There is passion in Matt Sheehy's voice, but it's not the kind that sets your teeth on edge. RW

SATURDAY 3/30

BOB MOTHERFUCKING SEGER & THE SILVER FUCKING BULLET BAND, JOE WALSH
(Rose Garden, 1 Center Ct) Read our feature on Bob Seger.

SILENT DISCO PDX: DJ DANNY K
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See My, What a Busy Week!

CHRISTOPHER OWENS, MELTED TOYS
(Star Theater, 13 NW 6th) Read our article on Christopher Owens.

FUZZ, WOODEN INDIAN BURIAL GROUND
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) It's fair to say that Ty Segall makes too much music. He probably agrees, as he attempted to keep anonymous his latest guise—Fuzz, the new band he's formed with guitarist Charlie Moothart and bassist Roland Cosio (Segall plays drums and sings). That secret didn't keep, but there is something refreshingly different about Fuzz, which reworks Black Sabbath-y power-trio stoner metal of the late '60s and early '70s to fun effect, buried under gnashing distortion and dinosaur stomp. Segall, a limber but not especially heavy-handed drummer, lends a looseness and swing to Fuzz's debut 7-inch, and the full-length due later this year should be further evidence of the very best thing about Segall's astonishing prolificacy: music-making for the pure joy of it, regardless of what name is on the front cover. NED LANNAMANN

THE PYNNACLES, THE NO TOMORROW BOYS, VERNER PANTONS
(Tonic Lounge, 3100 NE Sandy) If you're like a lot of newer Portlanders, you may not know the name Sean Croghan. You probably have no idea what a Crackerbash is, or a Satan's Pilgrim for that matter. And you've certainly never been to Kleveland. That written, it doesn't matter much. Suffice it to say that Portland's Pynnacles come from some pretty impressive regional rock 'n' roll pedigrees, and have assembled one of the more promising collections of new-wavey punk-rock fun with their self-titled debut, which sees its release tonight. The band shuffles bar-band blues, keys-heavy pop, and punchy punk with equal aplomb, generating a head-nodder of a listen that makes me want to roll my pant legs up, grease my hair back and smoke every cigarette on earth forever—which is to say that The Pynnacles makes you feel like you're in on something dangerous and cool. (Don't smoke). RYAN J. PRADO

CLUTCH, ORANGE GOBLIN, LIONIZE, SCORPION CHILD
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) When people talk about stoner rock (or whatever you wanna call it), and its practitioners, Clutch is all too often left out of the conversation. Which is asinine. Starting with 1993's Transnational Speedway League, the Maryland four-piece has been dropping sinewy Zep-and-Sabb riffs that are worth their weight in gold. And Neil Fallon's gravelly bark spins tales that retell history, drop the occasional pop-culture reference, or take you to another world entirely. Their 1995 self-titled LP is still spotless. And this year's Earth Rocker—their 10th full-length—is their best in years, another cult classic by a great cult rock band. ML

JAMIE LIDELL, EMPRESS OF, LUDWIG PERSIK
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Jamie Lidell's metamorphosis from riveting electronic-music experimentalist to slightly left-of-center R&B crooner has not always been satisfying. Blessed with a chameleonic soul man's voice and expert beatboxing skills, Lidell peaked with 2005's Multiply, a phenomenal convergence of challenging and accessible tracks. Since then, though, he's leaned a bit too hard on sentimental balladry and rote, slick dance numbers. The new Jamie Lidell album reveals flashes of his mid-'00s brilliance, but more often sounds effortfully mediocre. Lidell's more conventional moves likely have made his label and manager happy, but they've surely left many fans of his earlier, riskier works disgruntled. Here's hoping Lidell brings to the Doug Fir some of the next-level funk and vocal origami that left a speaker smoking at 2006 Bumbershoot. DS

PHOENIX, MAC DEMARCO
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) Versailles, France popsters Phoenix dip through Portland on a West Coast jaunt centered around Coachella to amp up interest for their fifth album, Bankrupt!, which won't be out until April 23. Judging from the advance single "Entertainment," Phoenix are happy to keep things consistent, as they fasten heart-soaring pop onto tik-tik guitars and breezily danceable beats, something they've done many times before. The new song has a larger widescreen vista, perhaps, but could pretty easily fit onto their 2006 breakthrough It's Never Been Like That. Although Phoenix isn't breaking molds or challenging listeners, their smilingly likeable pop ensures that, despite the name of their new album, they'll never be short on cash. Ideas? That may be a different story. NL

SUNDAY 3/31

WOODEN INDIAN BURIAL GROUND, GENDERS
(Rontoms, 600 E Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!

FLUME, BARISONE, NATHAN DETROIT
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Flume has been making music for nearly a decade, which doesn't sound impressive until you learn the kid formerly known as Harley Streten is only 21. Flume, his self-titled debut, is for real and his soulfulness shines bright, making it easy to overlook the occasional misstep. The album is surreal and dreamy and weird, and its electro R&B wraps you up in digital sparkles that melt and fluctuate like a Dali clock. I'll admit that it's also a pretty sexy album, despite the man behind it being a skinny Australian guy who looks even younger than he is. James Blake was about the same age when he released his self-titled debut, which makes for an easy, and possibly unfair, comparison. Though precocious, Flume doesn't astonish in the way Blake's minimal and heartrending compositions do—the abundance of the songs doesn't leave much space for emotions, but he'll probably get there in an album or two. RW

THE ENGLISH BEAT
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) I Just Can't Stop It, the English Beat's phenomenal 1980 debut LP, is probably the two-tone movement's crowning achievement. The songwriting is fantastically catchy, transcending its second-wave ska trappings to excel simply as golden pop. Subsequent albums like Wha'ppen? and Secret Beat Service have their moments, but they lack the front-to-back punchiness and sweet hookiness of I Just Can't Stop It. Now based in LA, English Beat leader Dave Wakeling is the only remaining original member. This scenario usually makes for a depressing night out for diehard fans, but the English Beat's catalog emits so much pleasure—even when telling an odious political leader to quit with "Stand Down Margaret"—that even a makeshift lineup should result in a memorable stumble down memory lane. DS

MONDAY 4/1

MORRISSEY-N-MARR ACOUSTIC JAM SESH
(Sneezy's Bar & Grille, 401 SW Redwood) Each and every Monday night, these two local troubadours—better known to their friends as Stevie and Johnny—play covers, originals, and whatever they damn well feel like. As Marr strums and Morrissey croons into the mic, you'll watch these two seasoned vets bicker, make up, and bicker some more, over the course of three lengthy sets. These two rascally minstrels will work tirelessly for your contribution to the tip jar. Plus, Mondays are Mango Margarita Madness! Miller Chill for $3; get in free with miniskirt. MD

TUESDAY 4/2

TALIB KWELI, CORY MO, LOS CHICHARONES, DJ BIGGZ
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE César E. Chávez) See My, What a Busy Week!

ESBEN AND THE WITCH, HELIOTROPES, NIGHTMARE FORTRESS
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) See My, What a Busy Week!

BILLY BRAGG, KIM CHURCHILL
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) When he's not busy lending his support to various left-leaning political standoffs, Billy Bragg is one of the world's steadier producers of folk and protest music. His muse never far from his sleeves, Bragg's collaborations with Wilco for the Mermaid Avenue series featured a reimagining of the Woody Guthrie cache of unreleased lyrics set to new music, and became one of his more notable contributions to the folk canon, despite his own prolific tendencies. Still, his new album, Tooth and Nail, is his first release of all new material since 2007's Mr. Love and Justice, and is a bit of a resigned listen, if only for its relative lack of Bragg's subtle lyrical snarls. As you might expect by now, Tooth also includes a Woody Guthrie cover, but don't let his tributes to old folksters lull you into thinking Bragg's had it. See this show for proof. RJP