JASON ISBELL, AMANDA SHIRES
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) Read our article on Jason Isbell.
NO, BLACK WHALE, DRESSES
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Read our article on Dresses.
MIDDAY VEIL, ALTO, GRAPEFRUIT
(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) For a few years, Seattle's Midday Veil seemed like an ominously vague, dark shape moving slowly and sleekly under the surface of the Northwest's psychedelic music scene. After an under-the-radar debut LP and two well-received improvised cassette releases, you knew that thing was going to come roaring out of the water at some point—it was just a matter of when. Now is the time. The exquisitely named six-piece's second full-length studio album, The Current, is a heady cloud of heavy incantations, cosmic krautrock, Middle Eastern meanderings, and synthesizers set to stupefy. The result feels spiritual and highly rhythmic, like blissful, heavy-lidded hymns for the transcendental traveler seeking a new shiver down the spine. BEN SALMON
TBA: THE JULIE RUIN
(The Works at Con-Way, 2170 NW Raleigh) See My, What a Busy Week!
I'VE GOT A HOLE IN MY SOUL: DJ BEYONDADOUBT, NICK WATERHOUSE
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See My, What a Busy Week!
COSMIC PSYCHOS, SUICIDE NOTES, SEX CRIME
(Dante's, 350 W Burnside) Cosmic Psychos formed in Australia in the early '80s, influenced by their rural upbringings and under the influence of countless bottles of beer. Since crawling out from under that rock, the Aussie punk band has toured the world and influenced countless bands of the "grunge" variety, including the Melvins, L7, and Mudhoney. This shit is for real: gnarly, nasty rock 'n' roll played at maximum volume with lyrics about bulldozers and killing off former bandmates. Needless to say, Cosmic Psychos have gone through their share of lineup changes in their three decades of existence. You can get the lowdown in the new doc Blokes You Can Trust, whose release coincides with the band's current American tour. What you hear tonight is essentially what you would have heard in 1985. Who says time travel isn't possible? MARK LORE
MOVING UNITS, SOME EMBER
(Star Theater, 13 NW 6th) When I was young, I resented kids who claimed Transformers were superior to GoBots. Transformers were cool, sure, but GoBots came first, and I believed they deserved to rule the vehicle-cum-robot-toy genre. Those feelings foreshadowed my take on early-21st-century dance-punk, which enjoyed a brief moment in the sun thanks in large part to the Rapture's DFA-powered "House of Jealous Lovers" single, a dance-floor fave and internet-buzz magnet in 2003. At the time, I loved Moving Units' debut EP, a four-track pack of rubbery bass lines, barbed guitars, and more melody than the Rapture ever conjured. "Moving Units deserve to be the dance-punk kings!" is a feeling I had that probably seemed important at the time, but definitely does not now. Anyway, Transformers eventually trampled GoBots into the dirt, and the Rapture is still a thing. Meanwhile, Moving Units have stuck to their dance-punk sound, as evidenced by their brand-new album, Neurotic Exotic, which sounds pretty punchy. (Postscript: Man, I forgot what a jam "Jealous Lovers" is. I wonder how much those Rapture dudes spend on James Murphy's Christmas gift each year?) BS
DIARRHEA PLANET, THE SO SO GLOS, BOOM!
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) See My, What a Busy Week!
(Hotel deLuxe Parking Garage, SW 15h & Yamhill) See My, What a Busy Week!
TURBO PERFECTO, BORN LOSERS, BROTHER JOSEPH
(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) Read our article on the Born Losers.
THE LEGENDARY JOHN HENRY'S '80S NIGHT
(The Foggy Notion, 3416 N Lombard) The world doesn't need another '80s dance night, to be certain, but what about a revival of an '80s night... from the past? Apparently, '80s Night at John Henry's bar in Eugene is the stuff of local legend for anyone who went to U of O between 2000 and 2012. Ben Hubbird of Party Damage Records tells the Mercury, "I credit them with turning my Thursdays into Fridays and my Fridays into hungover disasters for most of my early 20s." Under new management, John Henry's has undergone a renovation and is currently called 77 Broadway—and the venerable Thursday night tradition is but a shadow of the past. Fortunately, the party's coming north with the original trio of DJs for one night only, so tonight's your chance to relive those memories—or lack thereof. NED LANNAMANN
SWAMP DOGG, THE PYNNACLES
(Dante's, 350 W Burnside) While Swamp Dogg's tight, kicking, '70s funk tunes may not ring a bell, his record sleeves might. The most (in)famous features Dogg riding the back of a giant albino rat. He is stocky, mustachioed, and black, wearing a fringed leather vest and a matching shirt and beret while smiling wide, his arms raised in celebration. Recently Dogg—AKA Jerry Williams—expounded on the image to LA Weekly: "That cover was about me finally getting on top of the white man... Notice that the rat is smiling. He knows I'm gonna fall off soon." Indeed, Dogg is nothing if not far out. And while his latest touring incarnation may appear a bit more anodyne, a bit more church band than the crisp, raspy, quick-burning folk-funk found on the original recordings—in particular, the album The Total Destruction of Your Mind—Swamp Dogg's oeuvre amounts to much more than just a few iconic images. ANDREW R TONRY
LOVERS WITHOUT BORDERS, MEMORY BOYS, SILM, BLIND LOVEJOY
(Habesha, 801 NE Broadway) Karl Blau is making a trip south from Anacortes, Washington, and after opening for Why? on Wednesday with a solo marimba set, he's playing with his irresistible pop-rock band, Lovers without Borders. The group is Blau on sax and vocals, guitarist Allen Peril, and Jessica Bonin playing a kid-sized drum kit and providing backing vocals. The light and mellow pop music the band plays is every bit as tender as the name might suggest. It's impossible not to smile and sway with Blau's soothing vocals as they float along on a track like "She Wants a Baby" off of the band's recent 7-inch. Portland trio Memory Boys make for a nice, warm pairing here. The band, often joined by members of Olympia's LAKE, used this expanded five-piece lineup to record 2012's excellent Send It Across to Me. The chemistry at work throughout the release makes for plenty of unique and playful pop moments to tease the ear, and they released a cassette EP in June called Second Layer. CHIPP TERWILLIGER
JULIA HOLTER, NEDELLE TORRISI
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) I don't quite know what to make of Julia Holter and maybe you don't either, but the good thing is that her art is generous and involving enough that there's plenty to take away, even if the larger picture is elusive. Her new album, Loud City Song, is a riff on Gigi—the novella, and possibly also the movie, which I saw a long time ago and couldn't stomach for more than 10 minutes—and the sounds contained in it traipse from wine-drunk cabaret to electronic minimalism to brittle modern classical, often within a single song. Holter's working from her own sense-memory, and if Gigi is the particular door she found into Loud City Song's world, I found it vivid enough to evoke my own sense-memory (which conjured up a world somewhere in between Melville's Bob le Flambeur and Ludwig Bemelmans' illustrations). It's a defiantly strange, confounding, and occasionally breathtaking record, and I have no idea how she'll manage to reproduce it on the stage. NL
GRAVES, WOODEN INDIAN BURIAL GROUND, WOOLEN MEN
(Langano Lounge, 1435 SE Hawthorne) If you've been to the Langano Lounge, you're familiar with the scene. There's maybe one bartender who's a total sweetheart, making all the drinks and bussing all the tables herself (probably making small plates of food, too), and she never complains. When there are shows, the stress level heightens, and you feel for her. Wooden Indian Burial Ground has toured incessantly, played one of the best sets ever at this year's PDX Pop Now! festival during peak capacity, and are generally revered regionally as one of Portland's best live bands. Toss in the meandering pop of the Woolen Men and Graves, and I'm pulling for that bartender's sanity to overcome what ought to be a deluge of rowdy patrons. Tip, tip, tip. RYAN J. PRADO
THE GHOST EASE, PINK SLIP, A HAPPY DEATH, YOUNG DAD, SHADY CHARACTERS, DJ HERO WORSHIP
(Record Room, 8 NE Killingsworth) The Ghost Ease has taken on several shapes and shifts since its inception in 2010, and the band's current state is the perfect storm of collaboration. Guitarist Jem Marie is joined by bassist Fabi Reyna and drummer Nsayi, and the trio creates mesmerizing tracks that are seductive and edgy, with vocals that tease on the border of Cat Power and Deerhoof, and instrumentation that claims territory both in the deep, dark garage and the otherworldly dream realm. Their sound is simultaneously urgent and delicate, and possesses a raw honesty that grabs you in the gut. They play a loaded bill to celebrate the release of the Cassingle and Loving It label's new compilation, Friends and Acquaintances—not to be confused with Tender Loving Empire's excellent, long-running Friends and Friends of Friends series. RACHEL MILBAUER
VALIENT THORR, LORD DYING, RAMMING SPEED
(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) See My, What a Busy Week!
WL, FUR COATS, POLST
(East End, 203 SE Grand) Following the release of their debut cassette, Hold, and a well-received set at PDX Pop Now!, WL are steadily earning the larger audience they most certainly deserve. Already well into the recording of album number two—provisionally titled Light Years, named after the 1988 René Laloux film (also known as Gandahar) for which WL provided a live soundtrack last year—the Portland trio has mastered a remarkable range of styles and dynamics, from chainsaw-buzz shoegaze to water-drop Zen stillness. Their live show, too, is one of the best in town, propelled by Stevie Sparks' phenomenal drumwork and Misty Mary's unearthly spellbinder of a voice. Continue to expect great things. NL
COMA SERFS, CHARTS
(Rontoms, 600 E Burnside) The free Sunday shows at Rontoms are some of the city's best for scoping upcoming local acts. Increasingly, these new bands arrive swathed in fuzzy auras, swollen with feedback and deep-fried in oily vocals. Portland's Coma Serfs fit this mold handily, barking bratty vocals like "I don't wanna take it" in the spazzy garage-punk number "Closer" from their brand-new demo tape (available for preview on the band's Bandcamp). Drawing from the traditional wellspring of skuzzy surf guitar rock means any subtlety is sparse, but Coma Serfs make up for it with genuinely engaging blasts of psychedelic mindfucks that fans of locals like Wooden Indian Burial Ground and Still Caves will fall deeply in love with. RJP
LEE FIELDS AND THE EXPRESSIONS, BROWNISH BLACK, DJ STEPHEN KRAY
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) See My, What a Busy Week!
BILLYGOAT, HEATWARMER, PWRHAUS
(Record Room, 8 NE Killingsworth) We're blessed with beauty around Portland in so many ways. For me, the opportunity to catch the audio/visual performance of local trio Billygoat ranks pretty high on that list. David Klein and Nick Woolley relocated the project from Los Angeles to Portland back in 2009. Not long after moving, they added drummer Corey Nelson to fill out the band and replace samples and drum machines. The group performs lush live scores using harp, keyboards, and percussion, while projecting some of the most beautifully intricate stop-motion films you'll ever lay eyes on. When they aren't out touring or giving a TED Talk performance, I imagine them laboring non-stop in some remote workshop, cluttered with photos and cutouts resembling the fragments of a dream world. When they do find the time to step out and play a show like this, you owe it to yourself to be there to witness it. CT
(Hawthorne Theatre Lounge, 1507 SE César E. Chávez) See My, What a Busy Week!
DEAP VALLY, MYSTIC BRAVES, JJUUJJUU, CHARTS
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE César E. Chávez) The White Stripes and the Black Keys are most obvious and superficial reference points for any new guitar-and-drums duos, but Deap Vally doesn't exactly shy away from those comparisons. The twosome's Sistrionix is full of enough fuzzed-out, bluesy garage-rock licks that the similarities are hard to ignore. But while the two older bands eventually grew into that whole maturity thing, the women in Deap Vally are still all spit and snarl, which might seem a little at odds with the band bio nugget that says the members met in a crochet class. After the pair plays Portland, the band's next biographical curiosity comes next month: playing on a cruise ship with Lynyrd Skynyrd. MATTHEW W. SULLIVAN
DIZZY WRIGHT, EMILIO ROJAS, FUTURISTIC, MYKE BOGAN
(Peter's Room at Roseland, 8 NW 6th) If you're sick of Bone Thugz-N-Harmony and have tired of your Kendrick Lamar albums, then it might be time to start listening to Dizzy Wright. Based out of Las Vegas, Wright has been rapping since he was eight, when his mom, a concert promoter, wrote rhymes for him. Wright's words present a unique approach to rap, touching on everything from spiritual philosophy to his early years in Flint, Michigan to balancing all of the obstacles in his life. Though showing roots in early '90s hiphop, his music pursues an ethereal, contemplative sound that current hiphop has been embracing. Wright's latest mixtape, The Golden Age, represents his sound and philosophy well: jazz-inspired songs, varied tempos, and messages revolving around his eternal quest for peace. ROSE FINN