RAE SREMMURD, LIL YACHTY, EEARZ, BOBO SWAE, IMPXCT
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) Any hip-hop lover searching for the freshest vibrations in the Southern youth movement should look no further than Mississippi’s Rae Sremmurd. The two brothers zapped into the national consciousness in 2014 with “No Flex Zone” and “No Type,” two ominously spaced-out radio jams that introduced the world to Slim Jxmmi and Swae Lee’s squeaky bravado and the subwoofer genius of a Mike Will Made It production. Since then, the duo’s cavalier youthfulness and energetic performances have continued resonating with a growing fanbase while agitating grumpy old-school purists. The same critics dismiss Atlanta’s Lil Yachty by glibly describing his music as “mumble rap.” But it’s hard not to love Yachty, from his laconic and infectious lyrics to his bright red braids. CHRIS SUTTON
NATASHA KMETO, CRATER, MAARQUII
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Portland’s Natasha Kmeto is one of the rare electronic musicians whose innate powers as a vocalist are equal to those she’s honed as a producer. Kmeto’s deep, soulful voice is nestled unassumingly into her older songs’ production, but last year’s Inevitable brought her powerful singing to the forefront. The shift in focus benefits a more pop-oriented record than anything in her back catalog, and firmly casts Inevitable as a strong, emotionally centered follow-up to 2013’s Crisis. Where Crisis documents a time of upheaval, romantic turmoil, and the fallout Kmeto experienced in coming out as queer, Inevitable sees her turn and face the world with confidence. Standout “I Thought You Had a Boyfriend” opens with some of the album’s more abstract production as Kmeto navigates a confusing romantic encounter before oscillating synths and the belted refrain transform the track into a dance floor anthem. NATHAN TUCKER
THIRSTY CITY: VURSATYL, MIC CAPES, KARMA RIVERA, SLICK DEVIOUS, DJ LAMAR LEROY, DJ DEENA BEE
(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) For more than two years, the Know—a longtime haven for the crustiest and gnarliest metal and punk bands—has hosted the monthly showcase Thirsty City, showcasing local and touring hip-hop, rap, and other electro-alchemists. Tonight sadly marks the final installment of Thirsty City before the Know’s Alberta location closes at the end of the month (unless the showcase continues at the Know’s new spot on NE Sandy). But they’re turning all the way up for this one. In addition to sets from up-and-coming emcee Karma Rivera and space-rapper Slick Devious, tonight brings together veteran emcee Vursatyl—from iconic Portland group Lifesavas—and Mic Capes, who is on track to assuming the mantle of a new generation of Portland hip-hop. With DJ sets by the always-on-point Deena Bee and Lamar LeRoy, tonight isn’t so much the end of an era as it is a celebration of a new one. SANTI ELIJAH HOLLEY
THE LAST ARTFUL, DODGR, MIC CAPES, FOUNTAINE, DONTE THOMAS, TON JUNGIR
(The Liquor Store, 3341 SE Belmont) This is what we’re talking about. Fresh off the despair of the 2016 election, the Liquor Store hosts the sort of great-sounds-meet-amazing-art event this town needs more of. Hit the basement for a collection of the city’s premier emcees (Dodgr, Fountaine and Mic Capes among them), and ogle the Technicolor talents of Sarai Lopez at the ArtxSarai art sale while you’re at it. DIRK VANDERHART
MS. LAURYN HILL, SEUN KUTI
(Keller Auditorium, 222 SW Clay) The career of hip-hop icon Ms. Lauryn Hill is full of stops and starts: She’s released just one studio album, 1998’s The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, and is known for cancelling shows at the last minute (hold your breath, Portland). But nearly 20 years after her debut, Hill’s blissed-out harmonies continue to age into well-worn but never exhausted classics. CIARA DOLAN Also see Sneaker Wave.
CALIDORE STRING QUARTET
(Winningstad Theatre, 1111 SW Broadway) Back in 2010, four students at a music conservatory in LA joined forces to create the Calidore String Quartet, and they’ve been selling out prestigious concert halls around the world ever since. Tonight this smoking-hot chamber group finds itself in town with cello, viola, and fiddles in hand, primed to illuminate the lives of listeners with masterpieces by Haydn and Mendelssohn—two brilliant composers with the sunniest of musical dispositions. If modern sounds are more your thing, the evening’s stellar set list also includes the Pacific Northwest premiere of a 2016 work by Pulitzer Prize-winning artist Caroline Shaw. If you’re lucky enough to attend, please prepare for a night that spans centuries, breaks hearts, and blows minds. BRIAN HORAY
BASS & FLOW: DEAFMIND, MIC MAR, SEAN P B2B APPROACHING SANITY, PENNYWEIGHT, BRYSON, THE ALIEN, SLING
(Lola’s Room in the Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) Bryson, the Alien’s trippy, outsider hip-hop is equal parts emotional and playful. The Portland musician experiments with vocal effects and beats that draw from slow, cinematic jazz samples and Super Mario-inspired synth. On his latest single, “new york.,” Bryson spins a narrative about eating an edible at an art gallery and meeting an enigmatic artist from Staten Island within a lush, jazzy keyboard melody and spurts of saxophone. The single (produced by Jonny Cool) details the beautiful mundanities of falling in love as collaborator Mai Mae delivers ghostly, reverb-laden harmonies. But embedded in the track is Bryson’s declarative statement of self-love—“Just a Midwest kid on a mission/Feelin’ like I’m what the game missin’.” This serves as a thesis statement for the Ohio-bred rapper, who burst onto the scene this year with a debut solo mixtape, hVil mVry, and songs on two Semi-OK Collective mixes. CAMERON CROWELL
FLUFF AND GRAVY RECORDS 5-YEAR ANNIVERSARY: HILLSTOMP, CEDAR TEETH, MIKE COYKENDALL
(Star Theater, 13 NW 6th) Over the course of just five years, Fluff and Gravy Records have built one of the most solid rosters in Portland music. The recording studio and label—helmed and curated by Vacilando’s John Shepski—celebrates their wood anniversary with four shows over three days, featuring 13 bands and musicians who are either on or friends with the label. Local luminary Mike Coykendall, gut-bucket blues band Hillstomp, and Oregon Music Hall of Famer Fernando Viciconte share stages with the next generation of accomplished songwriters, from Catherine Feeny and Chris Johnedis, to singer/composer and Oregon Book Awards finalist Nick Jaina, to grievous balladeer Jeffrey Martin. This may also be the last chance to catch the great Richmond Fontaine before they hang up their hats for good. You could pop into any one of these shows and leave satisfied, but with a weekend pass you’ll also walk away with 5 Years of Gravy, a compilation disc of five years’ worth of unreleased tracks by the label’s artists. SANTI ELIJAH HOLLEY
(Newmark Theatre, 1111 SW Broadway) Kris Kristofferson turned 80 this past June, but entering his sixth decade of songwriting the legendary outlaw countryman shows few signs of slowing down. This year alone he’s been inducted into the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame and received the Woody Guthrie Prize. Few of his albums were commercial successes, save for his 1970 debut Kristofferson and his supergroup collaboration with the Highwaymen. Tales of alcoholic down-and-outers (“Sunday Morning Coming Down”), lost love (“Jody and the Kid”), and scoundrels (“The Pilgrim, Chapter 33”) are the backbone of his oeuvre, but Kristofferson’s acting career has been just as bountiful, having appeared in dozens of films since the ’70s. His latest tour is another victory lap of sorts, though Kristofferson also released the Cedar Creek Sessions double LP earlier this year. RYAN J. PRADO
DESCENDENTS, BULLY, BROADWAY CALLS
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Read our interview with Milo Aukerman of Descendents.
FLUFF AND GRAVY RECORDS 5-YEAR ANNIVERSARY: RICHMOND FONTAINE, VACILANDO, NICK JAINA, JEFFREY MARTIN
(Dante's, 350 W Burnside) See Friday’s preview.
PURLING HISS, THE LAVENDER FLU, THE WOOLEN MEN
(High Water Mark, 6800 NE MLK) Purling Hiss started out as a solo project from left-of-center guitarist Mike Polizze, but has now evolved into a full-on rock band. With hook-heavy songs characterized by guitars that jangle more than explode, the group continues to smooth out the rough edges of their rock ’n’ roll sound. But there’s a part of me that misses the unhinged, overblown weirdness of tracks like “Midnight Man,” from the band’s 2011 Lounge Lizards EP. There’s still no mistaking Purling Hiss, even on their most recent and accessible record, High Bias, but the trio has definitely settled into the kind of garage rock that’s been losing its thrill in the past decade. Perhaps after another pop record or two, Polizze will get the urge to unleash something with sharper teeth. Until then, live performances might be your only opportunity to get drenched by Purling Hiss’ guitar hysterics. MARK LORE
STURGILL SIMPSON, THE LONDON SOULS
(Keller Auditorium, 222 SW Clay) Sturgill Simpson's 2014 album Metamodern Sounds in Country Music was a left-field blockbuster in every way, shape, and form. A near-perfect slice of super-likeable, slightly psychedelic throwback country, the record raked in effusive reviews and propelled Simpson from little-known fringe artist to theater-filling powerhouse. Once the dust settled, Nashville had a new next great hope, and he was left with the daunting task of recording a follow-up. His third album, A Sailor’s Guide to Earth, came out last spring, and it's an expensive-sounding amalgam of roots-rock, vintage soul influences, swollen string sections, and Simpson's easy way with melody and emotion. Any skepticism about his artistic vision or long-term viability can be shelved; this guy's seriously got the goods. Tonight, he'll play a room in Portland that holds about 3,000 people, and it'll be a packed house. BEN SALMON
VEKTOR, BLACK FAST, WERESQUATCH
(The Raven, 3100 NE Sandy) I regret to inform all metal bands that Philadelphia thrash cosmonauts Vektor have done it again. If you haven’t heard, or just didn’t feel the shockwave when it crashed to Earth as if jettisoned from some otherworldly spacecraft, Vektor released a new full-length this year called Terminal Redux. When Vektor releases a record, it pretty much signals a vast leap forward in all things creative, innovative, or otherwise expansive for the metal genre. Terminal Redux is no different. It’s 10 tracks and over 73 minutes of speeds, rhythms, and time signatures you’ve only had nightmares about trying to play. There are dual guitar harmonies so brutal, strange, dissonant, and beautiful that even with six extra strings and a few extra digits, you’d probably still need a lifetime to figure them out. Oh, did I mention it’s a concept album that also has choral arrangements? Yeah, Vektor has again dwarfed all of your musical efforts and talents. Now it’s time to scrap everything and start over. Sorry. ARIS HUNTER WALES
DREAM. DO. DAZZLE: A CELEBRATION OF LISA LEPINE: ED AND THE BOATS, CHERVONA, THRILLBILLY, & MORE
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) Portland’s beloved “ProMotion Queen” Lisa Lepine worked for nearly three decades in the city’s music communities as a promoter, publicist, band manager, and booker for the McMenamins organization. The late Lepine also fostered the Laurelthirst Pub’s roots community in the ’90s. Following her untimely death this past July (due to complications from uterine cancer surgery), tonight’s memorial show serves as a celebration of her life, with performances from more than 20 of her former clients. All proceeds from ticket and merch sales will benefit the Jeremy Wilson Foundation’s Lisa Lepine Musicians Relief Fund, which aims to support local musicians and their families in the wake of medical emergencies. CIARA DOLAN
FLUFF AND GRAVY RECORDS 5-YEAR ANNIVERSARY: FERNANDO, THE HILL DOGS, DAN STUART AND TOM HEYMAN, KEVIN LEE FLORENCE
(Star Theater, 13 NW 6th) See Friday’s preview.
JENNY HVAL, MATTRESS
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) On her brand-new record, Blood Bitch, Norwegian avant-garde musician Jenny Hval coolly sings about blood—specifically menstrual blood (periods!! I said periods!!). There’s also a super-meta track called “The Great Undressing” where Hval announces her album is about vampires. Either way, this latest effort finds her burrowing further into the depths of spacey pop that sounds like it’s coming from an ice cave. CIARA DOLAN Read our story on Jenny Hval.
THE GOTOBEDS, PRIVATE ROOM
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) The latest from the Gotobeds—the very punnily titled Blood//Sugar//Secs//Traffic—is the band’s second full-length and debut for Sub Pop. It’s also a serious contender for 2016’s punk album of the year. Like the Replacements at art school, or a jocular keg party at a private liberal arts college, the Gotobeds make jittery, anxious guitar rackets under shouted one-liners from vocalist/guitarist Eli Kasan like “Fuck Rolling Stone/That trash rag.” The album mixes the artsy feel of British bands like the Fall or Swell Maps with the tallboy reputation of the group’s hometown of Pittsburgh. Funnier than Mission of Burma and less aloof than Pavement, the Gotobeds inject much-needed blood into the seemingly moribund indie rock and punk scenes of 2016. WILLIAM KENNEDY
A TRIBE CALLED RED
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) In the wake of No DAPL protests, the message of Ottawa’s A Tribe Called Red couldn’t come at a better time. The First Nation DJ trio describes their sound as “powwow step,” a meld of traditional powwow singing with house, dancehall, and hip-hop. Their latest release, We Are the Halluci Nation, features a diverse group of artists, including Yasiin Bey (formerly Mos Def), throat singer Tanya Tagaq, Toronto-based Colombian singer Lido Pimienta, and readings from the late indigenous poet John Trudell. There’s no question that ATCR’s protest music wants to start a conversation about indigenous rights with everyone, not just native listeners—it’s a collaborative effort to share their cultural ideology. That’s why tracks like “R.E.D.,” which features Yasiin Bey, Iraqi Canadian emcee Narcy, and Black Bear resonate so powerfully. JENÉ ETHERIDGE