(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) Though he was only inducted into “the class” by XXL this past summer, Denzel Curry is far from a hip-hop freshman. Since garnering the interest of producer Spaceghostpurrp at the tender age of 16, Curry has been on the cusp of recent hip-hop trends. His style is distinct and unflinching; he raps staccato, with machine gun bars that are vastly different from the slow, drawling style popularized by his industry-appointed peers, 21 Savage and Lil Yachty. Curry’s timing and fast-paced delivery are technically impressive, and incite a sense of angry liberation. He could easily seem jaded, even at 21 years old, but instead sounds self-assured and hopeful. EMMA BURKE

(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Read our story on Subrosa.

(Star Theater, 13 NW 6th) The Who’s Roger Daltrey recently told Britain’s Sunday Times that rock music has “reached a dead end,” but the Orwells might disagree. Since emerging in 2012, the Illinois rock traditionalists have possessed all the qualities necessary for greatness, but have yet to overcome their own suburban sensibilities. (See the band’s breakout single, “Mallrats (La La La).”) Last month they released two new tracks from their forthcoming release, Terrible Human Beings: “Buddy,” a punchy nugget of proto-punk that’s less Ty Segall and more Midwestern grit, and “They Put a Body in the Bayou,” a swampy Eric Burdonesque stomper. It may be too soon to tell, but perhaps on Terrible Human Beings the Orwells will outgrow their current role as masterful imitators of rock ’n’ roll’s finest moments. WILLIAM KENNEDY


(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) It’s been a good year for electronic pop in Portland, and tonight’s lineup is proof. This year Small Million released a stellar debut EP, Before the Fall. Producer Benjamin Tyler, who releases music under the moniker Small Skies, is also gearing up to unleash a new record after lending his magic to local projects like Gold Casio and Explode into Colors. 2016 saw My Body return to Portland after years spent living in Brooklyn, and they’ve got a shiny new EP, Seven Wives, that’ll drop in January—tonight’s show celebrates the release of the synth duo’s single “Mood.” “Blowout” is the EP’s lead single; the track starts simple, showcasing producer Jordan Bagnall’s elastic voice. “Blowout” builds subtly with playful harmonies that feel sexy and fun as Bagnall croons, “I just want to make the kind of beats to make you move.” Don’t worry, they do. JENI WREN STOTTRUP

(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Any stoner metal nerd can tell you that when Sleep—arguably the genre’s most important band—split up in the mid-’90s, guitarist Matt Pike went on to embrace his ear-shattering physicality with High on Fire, while the rhythm section re-emerged as OM. In this configuration, the group has expanded on the powerfully cyclical oneness that made them legends: Al Cisneros’ paralyzing bass/vocal mantras and the methodical polyrhythms of drummer Chris Hakius were left bare in OM’s stark minimalism, while faithful fanatics drowned in a tsunami of hypnotically low frequencies. Sleep has since reformed to glorious acclaim, but Cisneros never stops cathartically chanting OM’s dark missives to the burgeoning legions. These days Emil Amos of Grails has taken over drum duties, while avant-garde soundscapist Robert Lowe augments the Valhallian rumble, lifting Cisneros’ blackened séance to the stratosphere. CHRIS SUTTON

FRIDAY 11/18

(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) You can find DJ Solo (originally from Accra, Ghana) burning up dance floors at first Thursdays at Fifth Avenue Lounge and first Saturdays at Local Lounge with his signature blend of current and throwback dancehall, hip-hop, Afrobeat, and Top 40 remixes. His nights bring in a diverse crowd looking to get sweaty and stretch out their hips dancing to globally minded pop music with a tropical feel. For The Way Up Afro/Caribbean Dance Party he’s teaming up with veteran DJ Freaky Outty, who’s behind events like SNAP!, Body Party, and 50: A Possible History of Dance Music. With their combined reservoirs of heaters, the duo will bring a worldly perspective to Holocene’s lineup with a spirited mix of dancehall, soca, Afrobeat, reggae, reggaeton, and all manner of international club music. It’ll be a polyrhythmic and Caribbean-tinged departure, so come prepared to give up those gray days for a moment and add some sunshine to your night. DANIELA SERNA

(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) Over the years Chicago-based Lupe Fiasco has given us some catchy-ass hits with a powerful message. Call me corny but I really enjoy that “Old School Love” collab with Ed Sheeran, and 2011’s “Show Goes On” still feels relevant as ever. The Crystal’s bouncy floor caved in at the Rae Sremmurd show last week, but here’s hoping someone comes out and fixes that bitch in time. JENNI MOORE

(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) Musicians’ use of overt femininity in pop is an unexpectedly effective tool for battling misogyny. Pop music is closely linked to girl-ness; it’s historically been used to manipulate young women into submitting to capitalism by demeaning their interest in the genre and labeling it cute and kitschy, which undermines its value as art. Sleigh Bells wields this ownership of femininity with strength, taking the core, recognizable components of pop and then warping them with noise and screams. Lead singer Alexis Krauss’ vocals tie up each track with a pretty pink bow, evoking Grimes and Britney Spears while also conveying guttural states of anguish. The band’s newest single gives Krauss room to expand on her conventionally impressive range, but in doing so loses much of the avant-garde appeal that hooked listeners six years ago. EMMA BURKE

(LaurelThirst Public House, 2958 NE Glisan) Read our story on Michael Hurley.

(Dante’s, 350 W Burnside) In recent years, many seminal punk and hardcore bands from the early ’80s have felt impelled to “reunite,” often with only one original member. Southern California’s Agent Orange is no different. The band, led by Mike Palm on vocals and guitar, released its debut, Living in Darkness, in 1981, featuring the now-classic punk anthem “Bloodstains.” As the first punk band to incorporate surf-rock elements, Agent Orange showed promise in what was a very large and fertile field of California punk. But multiple lineup changes and a dearth of recorded output consigned the band to compilation discs and video game soundtracks, while its last full-length album, 1996’s Virtually Indestructible, was virtually indistinguishable from most other ’90s power-punk bands. Palm continues to lead Agent Orange, but there’s no denying the group’s limited appeal as a nostalgia act for aging punks just waiting for the opportunity to sing along to “Bloodstains” one more time. SANTI ELIJAH HOLLEY

(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) SALES has built steady buzz over the last couple of years with a series of small lo-fi releases, culminating in this year’s self-titled and self-released debut full-length. Lauren Morgan and Jordan Shih’s stripped-down arrangements layer drum loops and ambient electronics beneath the sort of restrained electric guitar work that would otherwise place them alongside bedroom-auteur peers like Frankie Cosmos and R.L. Kelly. The effect is endearing, if somewhat precious, but the Orlando laptop-pop duo manages to toe that line with assurance: Song titles like “Pope Is a Rockstar” and “Sorry Bro” suggest a band willing to embrace the goofy awkwardness of their aesthetic, and there’s even a post-ironic shout-out track at the end of the record for anyone who somehow missed the preceding 40-odd self-aware minutes. There’s nothing forced; the shtick is as unassuming as Morgan’s melodies, catchy if you let them sink in, and Shih’s beats, danceable if you feel like it. NATHAN TUCKER


(Black Water Bar, 835 NE Broadway) Portland’s Cockeye plays vicious, thrashing queercore punk that sounds like it could shatter glass. The duo released their four-track debut EP, Gold Star, at the beginning of 2016. Admission to tonight’s show is free with a sealed box of tampons or pads—all proceeds will be donated to the Bradley Angle women’s shelter. CIARA DOLAN Read our story on Cockeye.

(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway) He was an accomplished journalist, playwright, poet, pianist, editor, archaeologist, mathematician, lepidopterist, organist, astronomer, geologist, philosopher, and botanist in his day, but Camille Saint-Saëns will forever be known, first and foremost, as a classical composer. While on an Egyptian vacation in 1896, this polymathic Frenchman wrote his final piano concerto, creating a three-part, 30-minute soundscape of fascinating emotions and intriguing orchestral interplay. It’s quite fitting that Stephen Hough (a modern-day Renaissance man in his own right) joins our hometown orchestra as soloist to perform this astounding concerto tonight through Monday. Fueled by his celebrated diet of fine dark chocolate and loose-leaf tea, the unrelenting Hough will rip through the work’s pyrotechnic finale to remind listeners that the piano is, without question, a percussion instrument. BRIAN HORAY

(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) As a child, my younger sister listened to Raffi so goddamn much that “Baby Beluga” is still burning in my ears. Overexposure drove me to maniacally create my own version, setting the Canadian Egyptian singer/songwriter’s lyrics to the melody of Dobie Gray’s rendition of “Drift Away.” It was one of the coolest things I’ve ever done, yet impressed no one, least of all my parents. Raffi is now coming to Portland, and both of his shows are sold out—likely because he is a lovely and talented man who has dedicated his life to honoring children through goofy, playful music. If Gray (himself an iconic soul/R&B singer) hadn’t passed away in 2011, I’d still be dreaming of a Raffi-Gray co-headlining tour. CIARA DOLAN

(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) Bands evolve in lots of different ways: Some find their home on the road, developing new strengths on stage. Others make big artistic changes from album to album. And then there’s Terry Malts, the California punk trio that’s been inching toward something cool for years. The trio made a splash in 2012 with its near-perfect full-length debut, Killing Time, a buzzy fusion of weirdo punk and new wave that’s as lo-fi as it is catchy. Ever since, Terry Malts has been cleaning up its sound in tiny intervals, first working with a real producer and then recording in an actual studio. The band’s third album, Lost at the Party, is its best-sounding yet, with nods to Beatles pop, R.E.M. jangle, and ’60s soul. Not all of the punk rock scuzz has been scrubbed from Terry Malts’ sound, but enough that the band’s natural knack for perfect pop-rock shines through. BEN SALMON

(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE César E. Chávez) Leave it to the old dudes in Off! to keep doing punk the right way. The SoCal supergroup, which formed in 2009 out of nowhere, keeps ripping across America and beyond, making barebones hardcore and playing as though time has stood still. These lifers’ breakneck songs—which usually clock in at under two minutes—nod to their former bands (Redd Kross, Black Flag) and are a testament to the idea that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. It’s no surprise that Plague Vendor would join Off! on the bill. Although the band takes a slightly more nuanced approach to punk rock, the results are equally potent. As with Off!, Plague Vendor’s songs rarely pass the two-minute mark, but they dynamically hit on garage rock’s unbridled rawness and the more ominous mood of new wave and post punk. With both bands firing off two-minute ragers, it’ll be hard to catch your breath. MARK LORE

(High Water Mark, 6800 NE MLK) The Ransom is the kind of Portland punk band that conjures the spit-in-your-eye tenets of Northwest rock’s past. The trio of bassist/vocalist Charley Nims, drummer Faith Davenport, and guitarist David Nelson has lurked in the shadows of local punk shows at haunts like the Vern, the Firkin Tavern, and the Ash Street Saloon, and they’ve been regular performers at the annual Centaurpalooza festival. Nims typifies the band’s wily energy, spouting trashy punk epics full of rowdy hooks over Davenport’s four-on-the-floor drumming and Nelson’s deft buzzsaw assaults. Under the pseudonym “Myrtle Tickner,” Nims was part of one of the last lineups of the legendary Portland hardcore crew Poison Idea, most notably on the band’s 1990 LP Feel the Darkness. Last year the Ransom released Sell the Kids, which builds on a playful explosion of humorous punk on deliciously titled tunes like “Pratfall,” the thrashy “Eyeless on 82nd Avenue,” and its penultimate scorcher “Throw Garbage Everywhere.” RYAN J. PRADO

SUNDAY 11/20

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) “College rock” as a category of alternative music might seem like a misnomer in 2016—campus stations these days are mainly shriveled appendages of the grandstanding blogosphere, more than happy to peddle acts who are already thoroughly established—but in its ’80s pre-internet heyday, college radio provided a real alternative to the barren mainstream airwaves (which is perhaps proof that an artistic countermovement can only be meaningful when the prevailing artistic culture is totally fucking vapid). Tonight’s two shows feature a handful of great and diverse Portland acts paying tribute to alternative rock’s forebears: heavyweights like the Smiths and the Smithereens (obviously), but hopefully also underrated icons of the era like the dBs, Let’s Active, and XTC. Tonight’s two shows are also benefits for p:ear, an organization that pledges to form relationships with homeless and transitional youth through art and education. MORGAN TROPER

(Eagles Lodge F.O.E. #3256, 4904 SE Hawthorne) There’s nothing more terrible than Christmas music. Nothing. During the equally unbearable shopping season, this cheesy hokum is virtually inescapable. The wretched clangor of sleigh bells and holiday melodies is guaranteed to pipe into your helpless ears no matter what mall, shop, or restaurant you visit. If selling your soul to corporate consumerism while being force-fed musical “joy” is not your bag, then the second annual Black Sunday: Gifts and Riffs will probably fall in line with your “Bah Humbug!” attitude. Peruse 30 vendors’ worth of handmade goods while being leveled by local acts Shrine of the Serpent, Hungers, and Nightfell. Doom/death factions Shrine of the Serpent and Nightfell are the antithesis of cheer. Both bands’ crawling pace and riffs give songs girth, and their dark, depressive vibes will serve to wash away the terrible feeling you get after hearing “Jingle Bells” for the millionth freakin’ time. Shrine of the Serpent is fairly new on the scene, and Nightfell rarely offers up live performances, so seize the opportunity to get some “Frosty the Snowman”-free shopping done, and hear some tectonic plate-shifting tunes. ARIS HUNTER WALES

(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Vocally delicate and rhythmically dense, LA producer Ringgo Ancheta creates tracks that go right to the brain’s pleasure center, feeding both id and ego with glowing soul radiation. Using the moniker Mndsgn and armed with dusty drum machines, endless caches of rubbery bass lines, and a shimmering chord palette, Ancheta probes for the meaning of life while easing sultry rhythms into your ears at caramel-like BPMs. Sensationalism aside, Mndsgn’s output is further evidence that Los Angeles is at the nexus of the new hip-hop/R&B avant-garde. It’s no surprise that Stones Throw Records is nearby to shine a nurturing light on the vibrant local beat-making scene he sprouted from. On his newest LP, Body Wash, Mndsgn’s mastery of futuristic nostalgia and throbbing positivity is on full display, touched with just enough psychedelia to transport listeners to the grooviest of realms. CS

(Rontoms, 600 E Burnside) Aan’s 2014 debut Amor Ad Nauseum was a long time coming, released eight years after guitarist/vocalist Bud Wilson first started self-recording songs under the name after a previous band’s demise. Not quite two years later, Aan is back with a follow-up, Dada Distractions, out this week on Party Damage Records. There are probably a number of reasons for the quick turnaround, but one thing’s for sure: Wilson has had no shortage of personal hardship to fuel his writing. In 2015 alone, the guy had two close friends die, a six-year relationship end, and some bandmates move on from Aan. On Dada Distractions, Wilson’s songs soar and skitter with unconventional grace, a restless union of prickly pop-rock, weirdo rhythms, and psychic pain dipped in acid and left to sparkle in the sun. The results are beautiful and slightly disorienting. BS

MONDAY 11/21

You’ve flung open doors to mysterious sonic realms that we’re still trying to wrap our noggins around. Thank you, Blessed Queen, for bestowing upon us so many bizarro, free-range art-pop gems. We’re not sure what your life’s like in Iceland, but we imagine that you drive a swan to work in a recording studio made of rose quartz. CD


(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway) In Wes Anderson’s The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, Brazilian musician Seu Jorge played Pelé dos Santos, Team Zissou’s safety expert and nautical balladeer. Throughout the 2004 film, Jorge covers 15 David Bowie classics in Portuguese with just an acoustic guitar as accompaniment. Tonight he’s bringing these songs to Portland in tribute to the late Ziggy Stardust, who once praised Jorge’s sweet and stunning adaptations. CIARA DOLAN Read our story on Seu Jorge.

(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) As the Know wraps up its last days at the original NE Alberta location (never fear, the Portland punk dive will be opening the new location on NE Sandy in 2017), heart-on-sleeve rockers and kinda-sorta house band Divers will be gracing the old Know stage for one final time. If that weren’t enough, the show is a benefit for a new local nonprofit, Not OK PDX, which aims to create a support network for survivors of domestic and sexual violence. Great cause, great music, great night. NED LANNAMANN

(Lola’s Room at the Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) If there are two things in life that are almost always better together, it’s metal and beer. It’s a pairing even our parents touted—you just can’t beat the heaviness of some seriously shredding riffs alongside the crispness of a cold one. So when the idea for the Blasphemous Collaboration Series bred itself out of the second Sabertooth Micro Fest earlier this year, salivating mouths began anxiously awaiting a taste of the foamy head of their favorite band’s brew. With Seattle trio Helms Alee’s September release Stillicide perfectly encapsulating all prototypical aspects of Pacific Northwest-ness—grunge, alternative, and most importantly, metal—it’s a no-brainer as to why they were chosen as the basis for the premiere potion. Take a seat on one of the bar’s thrones, have some Stoli for Stöller, and get “Untoxicated” on Helms Alee’s ale. CERVANTE POPE