SETH AVETT AND JESSICA LEA MAYFIELD SING ELLIOTT SMITH
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) Singer/songwriter Jessica Lea Mayfield and the Avett Brothers’ Seth Avett recently came together to record a full album of songs by the late Elliott Smith. They kept the project simple, approaching it as two fans singing their favorite songs rather than putting emphasis on reworking the material. The arrangements stayed sparse, and even the song choices came from Avett and Mayfield simply trading their favorites back and forth. ROBIN BACIOR Read the full article on Seth Avett and Jessica Lea Mayfield.


PUNCH BROTHERS, GABRIEL KAHANE
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) “Empire Liquor Mart (9127 S Figueroa St.)” is an idiosyncratic composition, with electric guitars, chamber strings, charging drums, and backup choirs. It’s a chapter in Gabriel Kahane’s wide-ranging, multifaceted story of Los Angeles, The Ambassador. “I wanted to find a way to understand that ache of the city,” Kahane says, “and to understand how it is that a city has a reputation that really reflects only a tiny fraction of the life that actually goes on in that city.” ANDREW R TONRY Read the full article on Gabriel Kahane. Also, see our preview of Punch Brothers in Up & Coming.


THE VELVET TEEN, SLOW BIRD, HOT VICTORY
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) Although the group originally hail from Santa Rosa, the Velvet Teen could be considered honorary citizens of the Pacific Northwest. In addition to being something of a "secret handshake" band among the city's more venerable tastemakers, the group's first record, Out of the Fierce Parade—a staggering, anomalous indie rock album that sounds like Jeff Buckley fronting Braid—was produced by Chris Walla (whose sonic impression is unmistakable) and released by Slowdance Records, a now-defunct indie operated by former Mercury Music Editor Ezra Caraeff. Follow-up opus Elysium saw the group move further away from classicist emo and college-rock fanaticism and toward a more lush, orchestrated sound ("A Captive Audience," borderline Rufus Wainwright sound-alike "Poor Celine"), while 2006's Cum Laude conversely eschewed conventional song structure pretty much entirely, instead opting to showcase the group's technical abilities and suppressed proggy predilections. The group's most recent release, 2010's No Star EP, sees the band returning to the more traditional "rock band" aesthetic of Out of the Fierce Parade without sounding stale or like an amenable "return-to-form." They've still got it, and likely always will. MORGAN TROPER


ALL-AGES ACTION PRESENTS: OLIGOPOLIST RECORDS SHOWCASE: BONE ROCK, STUDENETS, ITALICS
(328 NE Broadway #114) Portland beat stronghold Oligopolist Records (say it three times fast) are a near-perfect embodiment of the "musical collective" ethos: In addition to being an incredibly prolific source of some of Portland and beyond's most interesting electronic music, the label's output extends to its members' creative lives, purveying their visual art and short prose, with eventual plans to publish a collective-curated zine. Like any cohesive artistic community, Oligopolist is insular without necessarily feeling exclusive, at once willfully representing a common artistic goal without being dull or homogenous. On top of that, it's one of Portland's few bastions of local, weirdo, DIY-minded electronic music. Tonight's show features performances by three of the collective's principal contributors: Italics, Studenets, and Bone Rock. MT See All-Ages Action!


KITTY DAISY AND LEWIS, GEMMA RAY
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!


EPROM, AKKA, JAMESZOO, TORUS, DANNY CORN
(Branx, 320 SE 2nd) A sampling of renowned Amsterdam electronic music culture is headed to Portland. Rwina Records, lauded for its experimental aesthetic, hosts a diverse array of producers and styles that work to revamp the culture of dance music. Tonight's show features several artists from the label, traveling thousands of miles to share genre innovations that range from screwed hiphop and bass music to dreamy uptempo ambient styles of epic proportions. Portland-based Rwina artist EPROM is also on the bill, set to spin some of his signature mind-melting sound artistry against the visual backdrop of local alchemists Prism Lab and Adapt Lighting in an audio/visual spectacular that doesn't come around very often. CHRISTINA BROUSSARD