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THE BUILDERS AND THE BUTCHERS Mississippi Studios, 6/22

THE BUILDERS AND THE BUTCHERS Mississippi Studios, 6/22

WEDNESDAY 6/19

CSS, MS MR, IO ECHO
(Lola's Room, 1332 W Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!

THERE IS NO MOUNTAIN, SIREN AND THE SEA, SAM COOPER
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Read our article on There Is No Mountain.

MATTRESS, XDS, SWAHILI, GRAPEFRUIT
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Portland one-man psychiatric pop progenitor Mattress' latest six-song cassette is called Fuck the Future, although it's less a dystopian look forward than it is simply a statement to live in the now. And while the man behind the curtain, Rex Marshall, seems to draw influence from both the future and the past, his dark synth hymns are very much embedded in the present. The EP's first track, "Beautiful Moment," sounds like someone confessing to doing wrong, but still relishing the experience. In fact, there seems to be an underlying bright side in all this darkness, but that doesn't mean Mattress won't keep you up at night contemplating your own future. MARK LORE

THURSDAY 6/20

TORRES, LADY LAMB THE BEEKEEPER
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) See My, What a Busy Week!

EMILY WELLS, 1939 ENSEMBLE
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Emily Wells' 2012 LP Mama was a meeting of folk, hiphop, and classical—a vessel for all sorts of unique instrumental divergences. The spectrum-spanning Wells has expanded on those experimental urges by stripping away the not-insubstantial production from Mama on her new Mama Acoustic Recordings. The title gets straight to the point, but it's worth mentioning that the virtuosic Wells lays herself bare within the frail shells of her sprawling melodies to the degree of uneasiness. Songs like "Los Angeles" flitter about like haunted fairy tales, supplemented by little more than a creaky acoustic guitar and a breathy Wells whispering words into a cavernous room. How well that translates or how much of the acoustic renditions she'll play tonight is unknown. What you can count on is Wells' ability to command the atmosphere either way. RYAN J. PRADO

COLIN STETSON, JUSTIN WALTER, GRAMMIES
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Colin Stetson doesn't really play the saxophone; he inhabits it. As a sideman, Stetson has performed on albums with the likes of Tom Waits, TV on the Radio, and Feist while touring as a member of Arcade Fire and Bon Iver, but his solo output is a different beast entirely. His latest, New History Warfare Vol. 3: To See More Light (featuring occasional guest vocals by Bon Iver's Justin Vernon), is as good a place to start as any. The saxophone is recorded with no overdubs, with looping phrases made possible by circular breathing, overtones the result of embouchure, percussion courtesy of Stetson's fingers flying across the instrument and the stamina to do it all at once coming from sheer force of will. But Stetson's solo work is more than just a marvel in technique—it's a bubbling stew that's as hearty as it is exotic. MATT SULLIVAN

FRIDAY 6/21

CLOSER PDX
(Refuge, 116 SE Yamhill) See My, What a Busy Week!

CAMERA OBSCURA, MARISSA NADLER
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) Read our article on Camera Obscura.

HUGH MASEKELA, LARRY WILLIS
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) The music industry can feel so inundated with egotistical skinny white guys that the idea of seeing not just a musician, but a really good musician, who actually stands for something is such a rare and delectable treat. Trumpeter Hugh Masekela is one such rare treat. Born in South Africa in the 1930s, Masekela spent 30 years of his life in exile from his home country during the period of apartheid. Studying music in Manhattan and working under jazz leaders Dizzy Gillespie and Louis Armstrong, Masekela moved to Los Angeles during the '60s, playing at Monterey Pop and later on Paul Simon's Graceland tour. With a classically trained jazz background and roots in a country no stranger to violence, Masekela beautifully blends the energy and synchronicity of golden-era jazz with the passion, lively tempos, and peace-promoting messages that define afrobeat. ROSE FINN

COME, REBECCA GATES AND THE CONSORTIUM, SAD HORSE
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Come made four albums in just six years, the most recent of which, Gently, Down the Stream, turned 15 earlier this year. Nevertheless, the darkly angry Bostonians have reunited to celebrate the anniversary of their first album, 11:11, which single-handedly brought blues rock out from under the shadow of good ol' boyishness. Revisiting Come's catalog from a distance, it's surprising how current their loud, unapologetically cerebral albums sound. But all of this obscures current events: Come had their heyday in the '90s, but frontwoman Thalia Zedek just came out with a new solo album, Via. Zedek is a tenacious rocker, and it's oddly comforting that she has never moved past the rage that threads its way through every album she's been involved with. Her raspy voice sounds much the same as it ever did: sad and mad and take-no-prisoners. REBECCA WILSON

HYSTERICS, RUBY PINS, VEX, NUCULAR AMINALS
(Ethos/IFCC, 5340 N Interstate) Local label M'lady's Records is celebrating their sixth birthday tonight with this outstanding and eclectic lineup. Olympia's Hysterics play fast and catchy hardcore punk with an in-your-face intensity that is rivaled by few. The four-piece feminist rock group use that force to create a rowdy but safe space for whoever wants a part in it. In a hardcore scene that is often dominated by machismo and violence, Hysterics get loud and make sure that their shows can be enjoyed by anyone. Sharp and powerful lyrics take cues from Naomi Wolf's The Beauty Myth and the "girls to the front" disposition of the riot grrrl movement. They lash out against a patriarchal hardcore scene, and take aim at the never-ending struggle to achieve glamour within our consumer-driven society. It's a message that still needs to be shouted, and classic DIY punk is the perfect outlet for it. CHIPP TERWILLIGER

JOHN GRANT, JUDSON CLAIBORNE
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Somehow still relegated to cult favorite, John Grant's path away from his former life as singer for the Czars has taken yet another bend with his second solo album, Pale Green Ghosts. Just as his debut solo LP, Queen of Denmark, writhed in a kind of self-loathing psychotherapy—Grant mining his '70s FM radio influences with the fantastic Midlake as backing band—Pale Green Ghosts' transparent emotional hubris and '80s dance-club vibe offers an intriguing sound-space for such threadbare lyricism. There are still flashes of the piano-led easy-listening tunes Grant expertly delivers (tongue-in-cheek though they may be), and vocal cameos from Sinead O'Connor flesh out a creepy harmonic interplay. Anyone who has the balls to write a line like, "I am the greatest motherfucker that you're ever gonna meet" is someone you should pay attention to. Pale Green Ghosts ought to be on the shortlist for album of the year. RJP

SATURDAY 6/22

CLOSER PDX
(Refuge, 116 SE Yamhill) See My, What a Busy Week!

NATASHA KMETO, GROWN FOLK, BEN TACTIC, LINCOLNUP
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Read our article on Natasha Kmeto.

THE BUILDERS AND THE BUTCHERS, SONS OF HUNS, RIVER GIANT
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) See My, What a Busy Week!

JOHN PRINE, KENDEL CARSON, DUSTIN BENTALL
(Oregon Zoo, 4001 SW Canyon) John Prine's Lost Dogs and Mixed Blessings—arguably one of the spottiest LPs in the prolific songwriter's dauntingly extensive catalog, in case you were wondering where not to start—was probably one of if not the only CD in my parents' car stereo for three years. As a result, Prine's tuneless squall supplemented every medium-to-long car ride within that period of time, and the aforementioned album remains among my first genuinely immersive experiences with "good" music, even if I didn't really have a choice in the matter (and even if it's far from Prine's best). But I appreciate John Prine infinitely more now that I'm (technically) an adult. I am older and contain an enhanced emotional palette; I am receptive to heartbreaking music because I know what it's like to have a broken heart. And listening to Lost Dogs again... I can't believe my parents didn't realize how depressing this shit is. At least I didn't hear Bruised Orange until I was 18. That really would have messed me up. MORGAN TROPER

BIG BUSINESS, THE BUGS, SELEKTOR MANCAMPUS
(White Owl Social Club, 1305 SE 8th) You may have forgotten about Big Business, the loud-as-fuck two-piece made up of metal-maniac funny guys Jared Warren (Karp, Tight Bros from Way Back When) and Coady Willis (Murder City Devils, White Shit). You may have forgotten, NOT because you're eating too many pot cookies, but because Warren and Willis joined the Melvins a few years ago and bounced around the world several times in the King Buzzo bandwagon. Well, lemme tell you, THEY didn't forget their biz. Noooo! They've added another guitarist, a long-hair named Scott Martin, and now they're touring and playing new songs from a record due out this fall called Battlefields Forever. I say Big Business forever. KELLY O

BERNHOFT, SUN RAI
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) There's something strangely likeable about Sun Rai's music. His infectiously poppy riffs could almost be placed in the same genre of lamer, more aggravating artists like Jason Mraz or Maroon 5, but his musicianship and the catchiness of his songs keep me interested. Once the frontman for the popular Australian band Thirsty Merc, Sun Rai has now broken off to pursue a solo career in Los Angeles. His voice and elegant piano skills make him almost sound like Adam Levine's more mature Australian cousin. One of his signature moves is playing on two keyboards at once, somehow seeing through his mop of bramble-bushy hair. Even if Rai's style of music has its cheesy, pop-infused moments, he's undeniably talented and will get you dancing, or at least inspire a strong head bob. RF

SUNDAY 6/23

EX-CULT, LILACS AND CHAMPAGNE
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) When they get around to remaking Russ Mayer's films for the 21st century, Lilacs and Champagne will write the soundtrack. The production team of Alex Hall and Emil Amos, known primarily for their work in Grails, create mood music with a hazy mélange of B movies and softcore action sequences fused together with downtempo beats. Each track on their latest release, Danish and Blue, is a dense narrative of lo-fidelity nostalgia and found audio as beat-futurism, with a heavy dose of psych rock as the dominant hue on the psychic palette of their cut-and-paste methodology. The new album appears to be a departure from the Tales-of-the-Crypt-hop of their self-titled debut; horror samples and high kitsch remain, but the new album resonates with a greater emphasis on organic song composition and the slo-jam core of R&B. Lilacs and Champagne make their debut as a live band tonight. WYATT SCHAFFNER

MINDEN, YOURS
(Rontoms, 600 E Burnside) The music of Portland band Yours lives in a world that pops with piano and rages with classic-rock psychedelia. Matthan Minster's vibrant, melodic vocals punch and pull you into songs that swirl with joyous guitar riffs. With the addition of two members since their 2011 incarnation, it will be exciting to hear their new dynamic sound. Minden performances are always a welcome spectacle—the band decks out in velveteen nightgowns, spandex, masks, and more. These costumes only accessorize their already glittery pop grooves. This lineup of catchy tunes will surely bliss you out, and what better way to keep the weekend going than with a Rontoms patio show? RACHEL MILBAUER

MONDAY 6/24

INDIAN JEWELRY, MIRACLE FALLS, THE MEMORIES, BATH PARTY
(SStar Theater, 13 NW 6th) See My, What a Busy Week!

VALLEYS, WEEKNIGHT
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Montreal-based Valleys had broken hearts when they wrote their second album, Are You Going to Stand There and Talk Weird All Night? Sadness is the obvious emotion here, but the music is too transcendentally beautiful to be depressing. Though electric guitars are never far below the surface and sometimes even manage to break through, it's the thickly layered electronics that characterize this occasionally ambient and sometimes even industrial mood album. Matilda Perks and Marc St. Louis share vocal duties on every song, and it is the restrained loveliness of their voices that make this so very unrestrained music accessible, moving, and addictive. Also an electronic male-female duo, NYC’s Weeknight are less suited for solitary bedroom musings than a time-traveling space romance. The pair’s unison vocals are big and cavernous and darkly mysterious, but the glittering synths and surf guitars make for a vibe that is more intriguing than introspective. RW

TUESDAY 6/25

THE WOOLEN MEN, FURY THINGS, LUNCH
(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) Tonight's self-proclaimed celebration of fuzz pop sees a pair of great local bands sharing the stage with Minnesota's Fury Things. The Woolen Men's lo-fi Flying Nun style should pair up nicely with the amp-blasting pop rock played by the Twin Cities trio. In less than a year, Fury Things have already self-released two catchy and hook-filled EPs that channel the best of '90s indie rock. Bands like Dinosaur Jr., Sebadoh, Superchunk, and Sugar immediately spring to mind. With three of those bands back and strong as ever and Bob Mould's recent return to Sugar form, we're still getting a fix straight from the greats. That said, I don't think I'll ever tire of the day when a band like Fury Things can come along and effortlessly drop heartfelt fuzz bombs, one after another. They've got plenty to show on this first visit to the Northwest, and I'm excited to see what's to come. CT

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