Tonight in Music: Pond, Saul Williams, Dad Rock
POND, DOCTOPUS, PETER BIBBY
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) To Portlanders, Pond may always be the local trio of Charlie Campbell, Chris Brady and David Triebwasser, who recorded a couple of albums for Sub Pop in the '90s and were one of our town's true buzz bands back when most of the buzz was happening three hours up I-5. But it's 2014, not 1993, and a different band named Pond consists of a shaggy bunch of Australians who make psychedelic pop-rock that's as pure and pretty as fellow Perth exports Tame Impala, with whom Pond shares a few members. Pond's last two albums—2012's Beard, Wives, Denim and 2013's Hobo Rocket—weren't anything you haven't heard before, but they were packed to the gills with fuzzy, soaring melodies. A new one, Man, It Feels Like Space Again, is due out in January. BEN SALMON
SAUL WILLIAMS, MIC CRENSHAW, UNICORN DOMINATION
(Star Theater, 13 NW 6th) Saul Williams has been producing experimental hiphop—alongside artists of his ilk, such as Blackalicious and KRS-One—since the late '90s. One part hiphop, one part poetry slam, one part dark, spoken performance art, Williams creates an intensely innovative sound unlike what we normally think of as hiphop. Where hiphop and rap often veer into self-congratulatory, flashy, or abrasive modes, Williams molds it into a self-reflective, poetic art form that transcends traditional ideas of word-against-beat. His musical backing and obtuse lyrics push boundaries, but do not lack passion or musical roots. Most hiphop artists do not have their master's in acting from NYU's Tisch School and are probably not vegans living in Paris, but most hiphop artists are not Saul Williams, one of the most intellectual and unique performers around. ROSE FINN
DAD ROCK, ELECTRIC HYMN, LOCALS ONLY
(Slabtown, 1033 NW 16th) See All-Ages Action!