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This Week's Music Previews

ANGEL OLSEN Bunk Bar 4/18

ANGEL OLSEN Bunk Bar 4/18

WEDNESDAY 4/17

BAT FOR LASHES, HOTT MT
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) See My, What a Busy Week!, and read our article on Bat for Lashes.

TREY ANASTASIO BAND
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) Whoa, this is, like, the week to end all weeks. First, we got Trey on Wednesday night, playin' tasty tunes from his new solo jam, Traveler. I mean, it's no Ghoti but we'll take what we can get, amirite? I bet you he'll dig into some dank Phish nugs, too. Probably not "YEM," because that is hallowed ground (Halloween '95, yo—BEST "YEM" EVER), but I'm hoping he'll dust off a cherry "Gotta Jibboo" and maybe even a swiggety-sweeeet "Sand." Dude, did I ever tell you about the time I freaked out during "Split Open and Melt"? I'd gotten a little greedy with the boomers, sure, but it was a baaaad time, man, I'm telling you. Not cool. But yeah, this week, dawg—Trey on Wednesday, then we get TWO nights of Dark Star at the Aladdin, and then Saturday? It's 4/20, the high holy holiday, man. Get it? High holy holiday. Yeah, man. Rainbows for miles. NED "CHEECH" LANNAMANN

LONE MADRONE, RED JACKET MINE, THE MY OH MYS
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Red Jacket Mine's third album is called Someone Else's Cake, a nice turn of phrase that matches the buttercream polish of its production. It's an effortlessly likeable album because it's so apparent that these guys spent their teen years listening to upbeat pop by the Minus 5 and Steely Dan. Lincoln Barr's soulful voice is perfectly suited to his storytelling lyrics. Meanwhile, the My Oh Mys' first full-length album is rock 'n' roll for a midlife crisis, or for those times when you strongly suspect you've let yourself down in a big way. Existential moments lend themselves to good art, mostly by men (see: Bellow, Updike, Springsteen, Tweedy), and A Howl Against the Wind is a respectable addition to the canon of male anxiety. The album sounds familiar, with a wall of guitars, drums, and bass—music so straightforward that it transcends decades, but so well produced that nothing seems overdone. REBECCA WILSON

CAPTURED! BY ROBOTS, THE BLOODTYPES
(Slabtown, 1033 NW 16th) If you were to be kidnapped by any one band, it might not be bad to hit the road with JBOT, the human, and his band of robots—the two stuffed monkeys on cymbals, a severed doll's head who plays the drums, a freaky-eyed robot on the bass guitar, three bloody and headless "hornsmen" on horns. Part head-scratching performance art, part experimental metal concert, Captured! By Robots would be easy to tour with—they probably don't need to eat, or sleep, or ever stop the van to pee. KELLY O

THURSDAY 4/18

TERA MELOS, TTNG, APE MACHINE
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Read our article on Tera Melos.

ANGEL OLSEN, VILLAGES
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) If I heard Angel Olsen coming from the apartment next door, I'd probably think the building was haunted. I wouldn't stop listening, though. The Chicago-based singer has a rich, lost-in-time quality to her voice, a voice so full and ripe that it blots out fears and boredom and frustration even as it sounds unnervingly inhuman. It's the kind of voice (like Edith Piaf's, or Vera Lynn's) that you can imagine soothing war-stricken and starving citizens, despite—or maybe because of—its fragility. Actually, forget what I said about Olsen sounding inhuman. She sounds ultra-human, sounding so honest and unblinking it's almost terrifying. The dusty, funereal bluegrass on her latest album Half Way Home is evidence enough (Jagjaguwar recently plucked her up), but seeing her live should be a full-fledged heart-in-throat experience. NL

CUSSES, THE EX-GIRLFRIENDS CLUB, HOPELESS JACK AND THE HANDSOME DEVILS
(Tonic Lounge, 3100 NE Sandy) Savannah, Georgia, trio Cusses have been compared to Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and they wield a big, brash, brutal sound on their debut self-titled full-length album. Also like Yeah Yeah Yeahs (at least in the early days), Cusses get by merely on drums, guitar, and voice—all of them thundering, particularly lead singer Angel Bond, who's as good as rock vocalists come. She throws her voice to its furthest limits, where it cracks appealingly (with echoes of Joan Jett) but never breaks. Apart from Bond's charisma on the mic, I'm not quite sure what, if anything, makes Cusses unique among the millions of other guitar-driven hard-rock bands out there, but their music sounds terrific at loud volumes, and that's plenty. NL

FRIDAY 4/19

LEE FIELDS AND THE EXPRESSIONS, LADY, ELDRIDGE GRAVY
(Star Theater, 13 NW 6th) See My, What a Busy Week!

TWEAK BIRD, DANAVA, DIESTO, SAINTAN, REGULAR MUSIC
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) See My, What a Busy Week!

EVELYN CHAMPAGNE KING, DJ GEORGE
(Conga Club, 4923 NE MLK) Evelyn "Champagne" King had a long string of R&B hits from the disco era up through the '80s, including the great "Shame" and "I Don't Know If It's Right." But the greatest jewel in King's bubbly crown is 1982's classic jam "Love Come Down," an almost godlike boogie-funk tune with a wistfully romantic synth line, a perfectly taut beat, and thick bass for miles. King's what drives it all home, in a silky, soulful vocal that's practically playful. It's one of the most irresistible songs of 1982, and yes, that was the year Thriller came out. With boogie, post-disco, new jack swing, and the Minneapolis sound all coming back into vogue—and a new breed of synth-laden R&B revivalists like Shy Girls at the forefront of Portland music—perhaps Evelyn King's vast catalog is ripe for rediscovery. At the very least, I know where the dance party's happening tonight. NL

THE MOONDOGGIES, MIRAH, SHENANDOAH DAVIS
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) For some reason Mirah is opening for the Moondoggies—a strange development following her recent move to Brooklyn after more than a decade in the Pacific Northwest. Regardless of the lineup, it's good to have her back. It's been two years since Thao and Mirah and four since the transcendent (A)spera. What this means, clearly, is that it's high time for a new Mirah album. Her generosity and kindheartedness shine through a genre-spanning catalog as much as in her collaborations with Thao Nguyen and Phil Elverum of Mount Eerie. She's often at her best when collaborating, and that's saying a lot: She's a much better singer than most singer/songwriters, but the reason she packs a room is probably because her lyrics have a way of gripping the shit out of your brain. And even at her most somber and weird, even when her voice sounds ghostly and cold, there's a feeling of giddy experimentation. RW

SATURDAY 4/20

RECORD STORE DAY
(Various locations) Check out your handy guide to Record Store Day.

THE THERMALS, WAMPIRE, WOOLEN MEN
(Branx, 320 SE 2nd) Read our article on the Thermals.

BIG DIPPER, HOLD MY HAND
(Eagle Portland, 835 N Lombard) Read our article on Big Dipper.

OLD LIGHT, WOODEN INDIAN BURIAL GROUND, AU DUNES
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Tonight, Old Light release their latest cassette, titled Time. Engineered by Mike Coykendall, it's the second in the band's series of five releases on local tape label Curly Cassettes, to come out over the course of 2013. Each quickly recorded entry is to be produced by a different member of the band, and mixed directly to cassette. The first tape from January (titled No) was great, and so is Time, showcasing the band's experimental bent and fondness for dark psychedelia. A dubby, krauty version of "Kruise Kontrol" kicks things off, and along the way there's sun-drenched Summer-of-Love pop next to Devo-esque spiky robot rock and a sludgy freakout or two, plus the Led Zeppelin III-isms of "Bad Drugs" thrown in for good measure. Time is the work of a band operating with a surfeit of ideas, wandering down strange paths and trying everything on for size. To Old Light's credit, they pull off everything they attempt, making these tapes some of the most interesting—and fun—music being made in Portland right now. NL

GAYTHEIST, RABBITS, SONS OF HUNS, HUMOURS
(Kenton Club, 2025 N Kilpatrick) If your THC-drenched mind isn't already clouded and confused enough by today's festivities, loosen your grip on that bong, roll a couple doobs for the road, and head to the Gaythiest show. There, you will hear a band that manages to blend genres better than your dreddy college roommate blended strains in your basement. Gaythiest somehow bent together the charm, humor, and melody of a band like Built to Spill with the heaviness, timing, and tempo wizardry of Big Business. They're gently loud, and harshly soft. Gaythiest drops pop appeal into a boiling vat of fuzz and frenzied drums and creates a delectable tincture. Dude, we gotta get some of whatever they're smokin'. ARIS WALES

MINDEN, GENDERS, SAMA DAMS
(Kelly's Olympian, 426 SW Washington) Tonight's triple bill goes to benefit Bark, a nonprofit to aid the preservation of the Mt. Hood National Forest. (Because the Lorax isn't real, and the trees really have no one to speak for them.) It's also the release celebration for Minden's new Live from the Banana Stand album, recorded at last year's Halloween party at the secret Southeast Portland house-show venue. While Minden's disco-dipped dance pop is enough of a draw, rounding out the bill are two further (and excellent) local bands. Genders make furry, expansive rock that's cozier than your favorite sweater; they're responsible for one of the best live shows in town right now. And Sama Dams makes beautiful, complicated music that's dazzlingly technical but never at the expense of melody. This is state-of-the-art Portland music at its best, and for a great environmental cause to boot. NL

FLOOR, LORD DYING, NORSKA, BLACK PUSSY, HOT VICTORY
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Miami, Florida, doomsters Floor are one of those bands that became more popular after they'd broken up. Formed by Steve Brooks (who now fronts Torche) back in the early '90s, the band released a handful of singles before initially calling it quits in 1996. More reunion tours brought more followers. Now the band plans to release a new full-length this year, and of course play some warm-up shows. The song "Dove" is proof that it doesn't get much slower or lower than this. For OG doom fans, this will feel like old hat. For the young 'uns—welcome to the cult. MARK LORE

LOS AMIGOS INVISIBLES, MRB
(Star Theater, 13 NW 6th) Latin Grammy winners Los Amigos Invisibles are Venezuela's answer to Thievery Corporation or Kinky. LAI's slick, suave, upbeat dance music is tastefully sensuous if not exactly bursting with original flavor. Their latest album, Repeat After Me, bubbles with slightly quirky synth and percussion sounds, but overall maintains an amiable demeanor and loungey disco/house rhythmic clip for folks in business-casual attire to party fairly responsibly to. DAVE SEGAL

KIN TRIO
(Ford Food and Drink, 2505 SE 11th) Saxophonist Sunjae Lee, upright bassist Andre St. James, and drummer Tim DuRoche have formed Kin Trio, and tonight they release their first album, Breathe. Described as "minimalist bebop," it's a mellow-cool jaunt into a world of subtle shade and light, as each member displays perfect restraint and excellent taste. Lee's sax leads the charge here, but Lee always goes for mood setting rather than flashy chops. Kin Trio also displays an impressive breadth of diversity, whether it be the weightless free-jazz excursion of Sonny King's "Nevele," or the nocturnal lullaby of Charlie Chaplin's "Smile." The rest of the compositions, by Lee, are the equals of these standards, and seeing this band at their album release show—with no mics or speakers in between you and the instruments—should be a treat. NL

SUNDAY 4/21

PRINCE
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Read our article on Prince.

PUSSY CONTROL
(Dig a Pony, 736 SE Grand) See My, What a Busy Week!

TELEKINESIS, MOUNT MORIAH
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Read our article on Telekinesis.

SPARKS
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) Sparks are the most prolific band that you might not have heard of. With a career spanning four decades, 22 albums, and countless genres, with musicians from Morrissey to Björk calling them a major influence, and with their most recent albums being just as relevant and cutting edge as their younger contemporaries, the time to discover Sparks is now. This current tour, titled "Two Hands One Mouth," puts the Mael brothers—vocalist Russell and pianist Ron—front and center without an accompanying band. This has resulted in their first-ever live album and a rare tour in the US. You may think this tour will offer a kind of "Unplugged" version of their songs, but this is far from the case. The show is full of the frenzied energy so indicative of Sparks, with song choices spanning their entire career, made even more beautiful by the piano-and-vocal-only renditions. ELIZABETH MOLLO Read our Q&A with Sparks' Russell Mael.

THE MEN, CCR HEADCLEANER, THE PROTONS
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) The Men's latest album New Moon is less of a rock 'n' roll blitz than its predecessors. Since the release of 2012's excellent Open Your Heart, the Brooklyn quartet has softened its jagged rawk into more of a sepia-toned twang. Some of this might have something to do with the departure of bassist Chris Hansell after the recording of Open Your Heart. But, rest assured, it still sounds like the Men, and they're still one of the best rock units out there. After seeing them live last year I felt like I was 18 again—minus the zits and the insecurities and the mullet. ML

MONDAY 4/22

THE VEILS, HOLIDAY FRIENDS
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Read our article on the Veils.

WORLD BOOK NIGHT: LAURA GIBSON
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See My, What a Busy Week!

DAVID LONGSTRETH
(Eagles Lodge, 4904 SE Hawthorne) David Longstreth doesn't often play solo these days—he's got an army of a band called Dirty Projectors that occupies a fair amount of his time. It's been five years since Longstreth has performed solo in Portland. So what brings him out here for his first solo gig since 2008? It's a fundraiser for Yale Union, the nonprofit art space where Dirty Projectors recorded Bitte Orca (it also benefits the Oregon Food Bank, so bring a canned good). Hearing Longstreth's songs—normally layered and twisted—in their pure form should give them even more of a good dusting in the ramshackle confines of the Eagles Lodge. ML

TUESDAY 4/23

PURITY RING, BLUE HAWAII
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) See My, What a Busy Week!

MAPS AND ATLASES, YOUNG MAN, HUSTLE AND DRONE
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Bands with a penchant for math and angularity don't always endear themselves to listeners, but Maps and Atlases seem to have figured it out on their most recent album, Beware and Be Grateful. The album is one of abundance, with constant surprises among the angular guitars. Neat little loops and layers rise and fall, only dawning on you after you've been listening to them for a few minutes. But good songs aren't built on cool tweaks, so it helps that Maps and Atlases can write a melody. It doesn't hurt that Dave Davison sounds an awful lot like Kyp Malone—sincere, soulful, and smart all at once. But unlike TV on the Radio, no song ever feels half-assed. Is there too much going on? Some songs feel a bit cluttered, but there are no throwaways here. RW

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