PALMA VIOLETS Holocene, 4/25

WEDNESDAY 4/24

JAMES BLAKE, FALTY DL
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) The usual thing for young adults—in art and in life—is to start out with too much and scale back over time as they decide what can stand on its own. James Blake subverted this formula. Two years ago, his self-titled debut showed the soulful possibilities underlying calculated electronic tracks, the gut-wrenching potential of sonic scarcity. So it was inevitable that his second album, Overgrown, would have more going on, and in some ways it does seem less unified. Its atmospheric layers don't demand attention the same way the self-titled did, which is probably for the best, because it lends itself to more listening environments than staring at your ceiling with headphones on. There's more R&B now ("Retrograde") and even hints of gospel. What haven't changed are the two things that made the first album such a pleasure: Blake's voice and his good taste. REBECCA WILSON Also see My, What a Busy Week!

AESOP ROCK, ROB SONIC, DJ BIG WIZ, BUSDRIVER, GRAYSKUL
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) After postponing his January show due to a broken rib, Aesop Rock is back for a rescheduled date with cohorts Rob Sonic and DJ Big Wiz. Aesop—born Ian Matthais Bavitz—released his sixth album, Skelethon, last summer, and it's a showcase for his prodigious flow, offering a steady stream of images and ideas, akin to poring through a cluttered junk shop, or cleaning out a dead grandmother's basement, or head-scratching your way through a recent Pynchon novel. But sifting through Skelethon is all of the fun, and its hooks—subtle pinpricks at first—turn into full-fledged barbs, refusing to let go. Busdriver's on the bill, too, perhaps the only emcee who's capable of stuffing more imagery and sound into a single track than Aesop. NED LANNAMANN

THE PROCLAIMERS, JP
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Unbeknownst to me, the Proclaimers have put out six records since 2001—that's more than Radiohead and Wilco. I was actually pretty happy to discover this. The brothers Reid are best known, of course, as the nerdy but loveable twins behind the hit "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)," which became soundtrack fodder and forever solidified their place as one-hit wonders, here in the US anyway. The Scottish duo are more like four-hit wonders elsewhere in the world, while generally being regarded as great pop-smiths. The Proclaimers' latest LP, Like Comedy, was released last year on Cooking Vinyl, and shows they can still deliver great quirky pop. So don't be that guy yelling out, "Play the 500 Miles song!" There's a good chance you'll be the only one. MARK LORE

THURSDAY 4/25

BROMANCE: A BENEFIT FOR BASIC RIGHTS OREGON
(Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 NE Alberta) See My, What a Busy Week!

PALMA VIOLETS, GUARDS, EIDOLONS
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) When NME named Palma Violets' "Best of Friends" the song of the year for 2012, they were actually onto something. That terrific song—a bright, brash, bashed-out anthem with the kind of hoarse chorus that worms its way into your heart like a wiggly puppy—bested Japandroids at their own holler-along game. What's astonishing, then, is how diverse and incredible the rest of Palma Violet's debut album 180 is, bouncing from smart, moody, Kinks-y pop to cool Walkmen-style organ-and-croon saunters. That's not to mention the ample helping of great, explosive rock tunes, which fully legitimizes every outrageous claim of the band's awesomeness made by the British music-press hype machine. But don't let them give you pause: Palma Violets are really and truly great. Getting the chance to catch the British quartet, barely into their 20s, at their first Portland show following triumphs at SXSW and Coachella should be something to behold. I wouldn't miss it for the world. NL

SERGE SEVERE, GOLDINI BAGWELL, ILLMACULATE, DJ SPARKS, & MORE
(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) Tonight marks the release of Portland emcee Serge Severe's latest release, Boom Bap & Bars Vol. 1., which features exclusive production from local wunderkind 5th Sequence. The EP is full of dusty samples, jazzy hooks, and lyrical dexterity that harkens back to the golden era of hiphop. Don't get it twisted, though—this has nothing to do with nostalgia. Severe and 5th have instead resurrected the soul of '90s boom bap culture and updated it to the present day. All superlatives launched Severe's way are well deserved, as he's a rapper's rapper who crafts bars and spits metaphors with workmanlike precision. Following this show, "The Double S" is headed to Europe to tour with Sandpeople's Illmaculate, Goldini Bagwell, and DJ Spark. Catch him while you can. RYAN FEIGH

LOCAL NATIVES, SUPERHUMANOIDS
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) Local Natives' second album, Hummingbird, is an altogether less showy album than 2009's Gorilla Manor. It's not nearly as fun. But it does what the first album didn't come close to doing—it makes me take this band seriously. Plus, it's fantastically beautiful. On Gorilla Manor, they seemed like capable musicians who wore their influences a little too obviously, like the new kid at school trying to fit in with the right pair of shoes. But on this second album, the post-punk party vibe has given way to a lovely, sparkling melancholy. This is a remarkable counterpoint to the complicated percussion that has always been the band's best feature. Taylor Rice's voice also seems better suited to longer, dreamier songs like "Breakers" than the more extroverted songs on Gorilla Manner. The somber beauty is, at least in part, thanks to National guitarist Aaron Dessner, who produced and acted a sort of fifth band member. RW

FRIDAY 4/26

MARNIE STERN, SISU, SWAHILI
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Read our article on Marnie Stern.

NOMEANSNO, FORD PIER, DIRTCLODFIGHT, BISON BISON
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE César E. Chávez) Read our article on NoMeansNo.

ABSU, RITUAL NECROMANCY, L'ACEPHALE, PLEASURE CROSS
(Ash Street Saloon, 225 SW Ash) Read our article on Absu.

GHOST B.C., IDES OF GEMINI, LORD DYING
(Wonder Ballroom 128 NE Russell) Meditation is a very personal thing. To accompany the inward journey, some might use incense, or acupuncture, or whale songs, while others might prefer morose, crawling, down-tuned doom. For those, Ides of Gemini could be the perfect soundtrack for peering through your third eye. The band's style of doom oozes ethereal qualities, seemingly aiming to melt your subconscious. Sera Timms' ghostly, angelic vocals swell like an ancient chant, hypnotically gliding over the methodically slow pace of drummer Kelly Johnston, the lurching gloom of Timms' bass lines, and the guitar licks of (world-class metal journalist) J. Bennett. Don't shoegaze too hard, because Ides of Gemini could send you to an extremely saddened state of nirvana. ARIS WALES Also see My, What a Busy Week!

TRANSIT, SEAHAVEN, ALL GET OUT, YOUNG STATUES
(Backspace, 115 NW 5th) Boston-based pretty boys Transit are ridiculous. They embody the sort of histrionic self-indulgence that drove the emo/pop-punk synthesis of the early '00s completely over the top by the end of the decade. But—and maybe this is just because I really am a sucker for teenage poetry and comprehensively embarrassing melodrama—this music actually does make me feel things. Take "Outbound," the saccharine, irresistible-as-fudge acoustic closer to the group's 2009 EP Stay Home, for instance. It's corny and hackneyed, for sure, but there's also something undeniably real about it. Pop? Definitely. Punk? Your grandparents might find it mildly subversive. MORGAN TROPER

SATURDAY 4/27

BLIND PILOT, OREGON SYMPHONY
(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway) See My, What a Busy Week!

FIN DE CINEMA: STAR TREK
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See My, What a Busy Week!

RODRIGUEZ, JENNY O
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) For a musician whose most recent studio album came out 42 years ago, Detroiter Sixto Rodriguez is doing okay for himself. Now at age 70, after riding the waves of what has to be the most capricious music career ever, he's finally achieved stardom in his home country. This isn't his first brush with fame—he became wildly popular in Australia in the 1970s, and his fanbase has always leaned heavily, and surprisingly, South African. His first album, Cold Fact, was released in 1970; it's a masterpiece of baroque, drugged-out folk rock, clearly influenced by the British invasion and Bob Dylan. Along with 1971's Coming from Reality, Cold Fact was re-released last year, with the soundtrack to Searching for Sugar Man, the excellent Oscar-winning documentary detailing the efforts of two Cape Town fans in the late 1990s to find out what had become of him. RW

INDUSTRIAL PARK, HAUSU, WARM
(Recess Gallery, 1127 SE 10th) Industrial Park's hot-off-the-presses 7-inch isn't technically new—it contains the group's two best cuts off their Cold White EP, released last year—but it's certainly good, regardless of how current the material is. Industrial Park shamelessly flaunt their influences, equal parts post-punk (specifically Bauhaus) and shoegaze pioneers like Slowdive and My Bloody Valentine, with maybe a pinch of the Vaselines thrown in for good measure. But they manage to be as stirring and melodic as they are atmospheric, a crucial part of the admixture that remains foreign to many art-punk fetishists (exemplified particularly well on the B-side "May"). Their label assures us this single is just a "tease of what's to come." You have my attention. MT

CHAD VALLEY, SKI LODGE, RENNY WILSON
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Nostalgia is a powerful drug. And this bill will easily dose those hungry for goopy, laidback pop ensconced in mid-'80s Top 40 or the more recent wave of chillwavers. UK group Chad Valley's "Fall 4 U" is an unapologetic nod to the kind of low-grade pap that made Billy Ocean such a hit, only double the irony. Edmonton's Renny Wilson rides a similar groove, but with a little more substance. His latest LP—the fittingly titled Sugarglider—straddles the line between kitsch and sheer brilliance, a cohesive piece of work where songs dissolve into one another and rarely let up. It's best not to over think things here. Just let the sugar rush take over and let the good times roll. ML

CASUAL ENCOUNTERS: CHLOE HARRIS, APOLINARIO
(The Rose, 111 SW Ash) A talented composer and DJ, the founder of Further Records Seattle, and an all-around doyenne of the international electronic music scene, Chloe Harris is the full package. She's quite a prolific producer to say the least, churning out releases under her experimental ambient moniker, Raica, at breakneck speed, as well as techno under her own name to much acclaim. Also worth checking out, Further Radio is Harris' long-standing podcast where you can discover a ton of mixes going all the way back to her early days; they're an insightful presentation of electronic music through the years. CHRISTINA BROUSSARD

SUNDAY 4/28

WHITE FANG, THE SHIVAS, BOOM!
(Burgerville, 1122 SE Hawthorne) See My, What a Busy Week!

DAWES, DR. DOG
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) Dr. Dog (neither doctors nor dogs) is back in Portland for the first time since co-headlining Pickathon last summer. Vocalists Toby Leaman and Scott McMicken collaborate on lead vocals, creating Beatles-derived harmonies that scream for simpler times and summer barbeques. Their recent album, 2012's Be the Void, is their most clean cut to date, but still retains the lo-fi fuzzy charm that attracted us in the first place. It's been exciting to hear their sound evolve between albums, from homemade garage project to creamy, polished rock. While the recordings are a good place to start, their gritty, dynamic performances are the best way to experience their inventive and vibrant sound. RACHEL MILBAUER

DROPPING GEMS: WIRES FOR SALU, GHOST FEET, DJAO, CITYMOUTH AND BONE ROCK, PHILIP GRASS
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) The six tracks on Dropping Gems' latest compilation, Gem Drops Three, provide a glimpse at the state of electronic music, from the Northwest and beyond. All but one of the contributors (the Boston-based M. Constant) will be on hand for tonight's release celebration, including Portland duo Philip Grass, Portland/Olympia duo Ghost Feet, and visitors from Seattle and San Francisco. The music contained on Gem Drops Three is uniformly lovely and runs quite the gamut—Dropping Gems has provided some handy genre descriptors, like "maximalist shuttle launch," "emo-juke," and "underground lake narrative"—but what's remarkable is how well Gem Drops Three works as a whole. All these contributors complement each other rather than drown each other out, and the same should prove true for tonight's bill. NL

MONDAY 4/29

CRYSTAL CASTLES, PICTUREPLANE
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) See My, What a Busy Week!

LILACS AND CHAMPAGNE
(Dig a Pony, 736 SE Grand) When they're not making darker-than-black instrumental music with Portland band Grails, Alex Hall and Emil Amos spin platters as Lilacs and Champagne. Tonight they take the tables at Dig a Pony, and lord knows what sort of uneasy alchemy they'll make. If their new album Danish and Blue, just released on Mexican Summer, is any indication, they'll dig up plenty of old weird samples, haunted exotica, navel-gazing prog, lounge-riffic swank, some dope beats, and unnerving spoken word, tying it all up with audio clips plucked from Scandinavian porn and '60s B movies. The result is startling, intoxicating sound, with hints of terror and beauty in equal measures. NL

TUESDAY 4/30

A VOLCANO, AH GOD, YOUNG DAD, MISTER TANG
(Backspace, 115 NW 5th) Young Dad might be the perfect antidote to all the '90s-revival folk and pop music that's in heavy rotation around town (not that it's a problem, there's just a lot of it). This four-piece makes loud, cathartic, noisy music that you'll want to thrash your head along with. Their Bandcamp page is stocked with some new, rowdy recordings that will be exciting to check out live. Meanwhile, Ah God is Chad Davis and Cody Berger of Talkative, and they make explosive, experimental noise rock that spirals into the melodic and makes you feel like you're stoned. Oh wait, you probably are stoned. Paired with A Volcano's fantastic, raging shreddy-metal, this is a lineup of hugely underrated PDX bands. RM