LIZZO Sun 1/29 Doug Fir JABAR JACOBS

SUPER PICK

LIZZO, DIZZY FAE
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Last year Minneapolis-based soul singer/rapper/flautist Lizzo dropped her major label debut, Coconut Oil, an exuberant follow-up to her 2015 full-length, Big Grrrl Small World. Throughout the new EP Lizzo radiates warmth, drawing listeners closer to gather around like she’s a bonfire, and directing her own attention inward for six tracks of pure self-love. Within seconds you’re reminded that Lizzo’s voice is unparalleled but also versatile as fuck—horn-heavy opener “Worship” finds her channeling Aretha as she demands not just to be respected, but worshipped. Then she blazes through the bars of “Phone,” which is about the very relatable experience of losing your cellular in the club. “Scuse Me” is the body-positive centerpiece of Coconut Oil: Lizzo pauses to appreciate her reflection in the mirror, singing “I don’t see nobody else/’Scuse me while I feel myself” amid slow-burning R&B tempo changes and glittery keys. “Deep” is the EP’s vibrant, danceable standout, a lush detour into West African rhythms. And the feel-good anthem “Good as Hell” is a final hair toss to toxic relationships, centered on stomp-clap beats and the call-and-response mantra “Baby how you feelin’?/Feelin’ good as hell!” The final song (and title track) of Coconut Oil is the release’s most reflective moment; it begins with organ and flute, her first instrument, and includes sound bites from her family’s church. In an interview with Nylon, Lizzo explains: “In this place in my life right now, it’s all about my self-care. I’ve been trying to figure out the best way to take care of myself in all of this. Coconut oil is the definition of that to me—it’s the answer to all things... ‘Coconut Oil’ connects to my girls—black and brown, my afro girls—but it also represents much more.” Coconut Oil is playful and joyous, and though it’s shorter than 20 minutes, it sounds like Lizzo’s completing an intimate cycle of emotional renewal. CIARA DOLAN


WEDNESDAY 1/25

BATTLE TRANCE, BLUE CRANES
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Read our story on Battle Trance.

SHY GIRLS, THE LAST ARTFUL, DODGR
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) I have a lot of feelings (they’re negative, naturally) about cis men using terms for womxn in their dumb band names, but we’ll save that discussion for another time. Shy Girls is actually a performative guy, namely Dan Vidmar, who makes electro R&B that some publicists refer to as “avant soul,” as they apparently don’t know what either of those words mean. The music is pleasant and spacey and sensitive-white-guy-James-Blakey, like a soft alien nightclub make-out with some lyrical plot points harking back to very high-school moments, if you happened to be a really hot girl in high school about whom random dudes wrote electro-R&B songs (I wasn’t, so you’ll have to tell me about it sometime). It’s not weird enough to truly take you places, but it is just sensually bleep-bloopy enough to at least make you switch it out for your Top 40 the Weeknd or DJ Snake x Justin Bieber tracks. KIM SELLING

AMERICAN WRESTLERS, ELLIS PINK
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) Gary McClure makes big moves. Not only has he relocated from Manchester, England, to St. Louis, Missouri, but he’s also taken what used to be a solo, bedroom pop project and expanded it into the traditional makes of a full-fledged band, now known as American Wrestlers. McClure’s disposition towards power pop rhythms, drenched in the lo-fi reverberations of shoegaze, have landed a record deal with Fat Possum with American Wrestlers’ newest album, November’s Goodbye Terrible Youth. Music influences and experiences from McClure’s childhood, along with his move to the States and the flourishing romantic relationship that served as the move’s catalyst, were integral facets in the scopic development that soon became the album. It touches on the appeals of youthful naivety to adult realization, offering a score for coming of age. If there’s one thing McClure and the rest of American Wrestlers understand, it’s that we all seek to say goodbye to our terrible youth. CERVANTE POPE

THURSDAY 1/26

TALIB KWELI, STYLES P, K’VALENTINE
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) If I can make one complaint about Talib Kweli’s brilliant artistry, it’s that he squeezes so much intellect into every line of his verses that all of the compacted knowledge and wisdom starts to fold over on itself like stretched taffy, often requiring intense scrutiny to sort through the labyrinth of incendiary information. That being said, it is because of this lyrical density and academic ethos that Kweli is considered one of history’s greatest rappers, and he continues to earn high praise from famous contemporaries. Initially introduced to the public as the Afrocentric scholar half to Mos Def’s bohemian vagabond in their influential supergroup Black Star, Kweli has since parlayed this breakout into a long and respectable multimedia career that includes solid solo LPs, energizing cameos, and critically lauded collaborations with superstar producers like DJ Hi-Tek, 9th Wonder, and Madlib—a career that equals a breathtaking avalanche of black genius. CHRIS SUTTON

NEW MOVE, Y LA BAMBA, HUSTLE AND DRONE
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) As you’d imagine from a self-titled debut, Portland quintet New Move’s full-length from last year is a statement of intent—34 minutes of streamlined pop. Though frontman Jesse Bettis’ songwriting and arrangements often recall the doo-wop sunshine of the ’50s and ’60s, the record is awash in the hyper-compressed, crunchy production that’s become the calling card of the modern radio hit machine. The effect is not unlike hearing the Drifters produced by Max Martin. New Move came out a year ago, and now the band is releasing a remix album of sorts, entitled New Move II: Back in the Habit. Each of the 10 songs is reimagined by a different Portland artist; the first single, released back in November, sees Y La Bamba injecting New Move standout “When Did We Stop” with an infectious Latin groove and a raucous horn section. At this release show, New Move will serve as the backing band as the album’s guests perform their alternate versions. NATHAN TUCKER

THE SECRET SEA, JOHANNA WARREN, INDIRA VALEY
(Turn! Turn! Turn!, 8 NE Killingsworth) Tel Aviv, Israel, singer/songwriter Amit Erez of the Secret Sea has a knack for oddly melodic acoustic-pop hooks. It’s certainly fitting that after moving to Portland he recorded with the legendary engineer and Elliott Smith archivist Larry Crane (Jackpot! Studio) for his 2016 LP Everest. Israeli musician and electronic producer Gil Assayas (who releases music under the name Glasys) contributes synths, Hammond organ, and piano to Everest, adding an icy chill to Erez’s sparse and majestic acoustic soundscapes. On “Canada,” Erez’s world is as lush and green as a British Columbian winter; all of his songs are a calming reminder of the value of occasional escapism. Joining the Secret Sea is beloved Portland songwriter Johanna Warren (don’t sleep on her most recent album, Gemini I) for a night of quaint, emotionally tender indie-folk. CAMERON CROWELL

JUBILEE, THE LARGE, BARISONE, PRSN
(The Liquor Store, 3341 SE Belmont) Wake the Town is the vision of local selectors Barisone and PRSN, celebrating hard-hitting bass music and tropical club sounds. To celebrate the party’s two-year anniversary, they’re bringing Mixpak Records powerhouses Jubilee and the Large to turn up the Liquor Store’s basement. Fresh off the release of her celebrated full-length debut, After Hours, Miami-raised and NYC-based producer Jubilee is a lifetime club kid skilled at creating bubbling party-starters that draw from dancehall, Miami bass, and Detroit techno, filtered through the lens of contemporary bass. UK transplant and Mixpak label manager the Large connects the dots between club cultures, starting as a radio DJ and music writer and now working as the creative director for artists like dancehall breakout star Popcaan. Her DJ sets are well-informed collections of uplifting party tracks, seamlessly blending heaters from around the globe with a heavy dancehall influence. DANIELA SERNA

FRIDAY 1/27

DOWN GOWN, QUEEN CHIEF, EXCUSES
(Kenton Club, 2025 N Kilpatrick) Read our story on Down Gown.

MY BODY, BLOSSOM
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Perhaps it goes without saying that we’re lucky as hell to live in a city with a constantly evolving, genre-rich musical landscape. But here, in a city with something for everyone, there have been seasons where bands seem to be playing in concerts geared towards compartmentalized “scenes.” This show represents a perfect melding of sound; both acts exist on such a complementary wavelength, I can’t imagine a better way to showcase their respective talents. In case you’re not up to speed: My Body makes perfectly dense and dark pop songs, and tonight they’re celebrating the release of a new EP, Seven Wives. Blossom’s soulful R&B feels easy and pristine—expect enough heat to melt what’s left of this winter sludge. JENNA FLETCHER

SATURDAY 1/28

BEST OF PORTLAND 5: PORTLAND SCHOOL OF ROCK, SUMMER CANNIBALS, CAT HOCH, BLOWOUT, THE DOMESTICS, CHANTI DARLING, YOB, MINDEN, THE LAST ARTFUL, DODGR, COCO COLUMBIA, URAL THOMAS AND THE PAIN, MOOREA MASA, TAYLOR JOHN WILLIAMS, ALAN JONES GROUP
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) It takes a village to raise a child, but it requires funding to teach a child the arts. Music and other arts programs are often the first to get cut in public schools, leaving volunteer organizations and individual support to pick up the slack. The nonprofit organization Portland Rock On With Us (PROWUS) offers grants to Portland Metro students ages eight to 18 for music lessons at the school or studio of their choice. And like most other arts nonprofits, they rely on donations and fundraising to keep going. Tonight’s benefit for PROWUS—co-sponsored by School of Rock and featuring the Alan Jones Academy of Music—is billed as the “Best of Portland,” and this is no hyperbole. With the local powerhouses of Summer Cannibals, the Last Artful, Dodgr, Chanti Darling, Yob, Coco Columbia, Minden, and more, all performing onstage with local kids, this isn’t your average benefit concert, but one of the best concerts you’re likely to see all year. SANTI ELIJAH HOLLEY

OREGON SYMPHONY, STEFAN JACKIW
(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway) Tonight, tomorrow, and Monday, Portland has the chance to witness otherworldly musician Stefan Jackiw perform sonic miracles with his fiddle. Our hometown orchestra shares the stage with Jackiw to perform Sergei Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 2—a fascinating composition from 1935 guaranteed (at least with this virtuoso at the helm) to astonish the uninitiated and satisfy even the most rabid, hardcore classical fans in the crowd. Maestro Carlos Kalmar and the band open the program with a 21st-century work and shut it down ironically with the Romeo and Juliet overture from Tchaikovsky. In other words, prepare yourself for what just might be the highlight of the Oregon Symphony’s utterly spectacular 120th season. BRIAN HORAY

THE BEATNUTS, RAPPER BIG POOH, TERMANOLOGY
(Dante’s, 350 W Burnside) When I’m transported back to my late-’90’s hip-hop heyday, I remember the Beatnuts as one of the era’s few rap groups that were able to bedazzle the subwoofers of the glitziest dance clubs and still be lauded as breakbeat aficionados by monkish vinyl scholars. Though not officially members of the legendary Native Tongues posse, DJs Psycho Les and Juju signified their street-prankster point of view on the collective’s periphery while embodying the multicultural expressionism, dayglo appeal, and revolutionary creativity that characterized the movement’s spirit. Add this colorful ethos to a ludicrous arsenal of rare funk samples and aggressively Dionysian tales of ghetto excess, and you have a concoction that produces classic singles like “Watch Out Now” and “Off the Books,” timeless bangers that have embedded themselves onto the eternal playlist and solidified their footnote in Hispanic b-boy iconography. CS

OHTIS, MANDARIN DYNASTY,  LEVI THOMAS, ANYWHERE WEST
(The Waypost, 3120 N Williams) Last time I was in Detroit, all the boys were crying because they loved Ohtis so much. Every house I walked into had someone cueing up a handful of beloved demos that were being passed around. Ohtis sounds like David Byrne’s pared-down country ballad band, so I was on board. The folksy, casual duo formed via high school bicycle rides in central Illinois but put their band on hiatus while half the group, Sam Swinson, wrestled with a life-threatening drug addiction—something Ohtis remains remarkably upfront about (probably because it’s in the lyrical subject matter of many songs). During that period, Ohtis’s other half Adam Pressley moved to Detroit and started some great indie bands: Prussia and the subsequent Jamaican Queens. Ohtis seems slow to produce a record, content to kernel their songs out to the web one at a time, so their shows may be the only place to hear the whole as-yet-unperfected collection. SUZETTE SMITH

SPORTING, THICK IN THE THROAT, HONEY, IT’S OK, GIRL
(Leaven Community, 5431 NE 20th) Working in a musical duo can require a tricky balance, since you must support your fellow performer while also trying to maintain your own artistic personality. Keep that in mind as you watch this concert, which brings together a trio of duos for one stirring evening. The good news is that the pairings on display tonight have a great level of comfort with one another. That’s certainly the case with Thick in the Throat, the collaboration between sax/flute player John C. Savage and his wife Claudia. He brings the swirling free jazz expressions while she intones blank verse poetry between his torrents of notes. Sporting combines the expressive and dizzying playing of longtime friends and frequent colleagues Luke Wyland of AU and percussionist phenom John Niekrasz. Rounding out the evening is It’s OK, Girl, featuring sax player Ben Kates improvising to the dancing of Danielle Ross. ROBERT HAM

TEAM DRESCH, SEX STAINS
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) When Team Dresch formed in Olympia, Washington, more than two decades ago, they were a defiant flicker of light in a country that still preferred to leave LGBTQ folks in the closet. Since then, certain attitudes and laws have changed for the better, but the battle continues on a much larger scale. Founder Donna Dresch’s activism goes back nearly 30 years when she started the seminal queercore zine Chainsaw in the late ’80s (which later became a record label), giving voice to female artists and the LGBTQ community. She and core members Kaia Wilson and Jody Bleyle continue to be hugely important in the ongoing fight for LGBTQ rights, part of the much larger movement that they helped shape. While Team Dresch hasn’t released any new music since 2000, their reunion at the Olympia queercore festival Homo-a-Go-Go in 2004 was a welcome one, and the band continues to perform, inspire, and inform. MARK LORE

RIZZLA, PRINCESS DIMEBAG, MASSACOORAMAAN, DJ RAFAEL
(Jade, 315 SE 3rd) This weekend Brooklyn-based DJ Rizzla makes his Portland debut, bringing his globalized club-ready productions to DJ Rafael and Massacooramaan’s Ecstasy party. Informed by his background in postcolonial studies and art history, Rizzla’s work plays out as cross-cultural dialogues set against the grimy and liberating backdrop of late-night warehouse parties—an amalgam of Caribbean syncopation, hardstyle’s aggressive momentum, and ballroom’s frantic energy, embedded with a nightmarish spirit of dissent. Following sporadic releases of bootleg bundles, his debut EP Iron Cages was released in 2015 on LA’s lauded Fade to Mind label. The EP tells the story of a protagonist seeking to escape Earth as society collapses, soundtracked by knife-edge rhythms and police sirens, aggressive yet sensual in its approach. Rizzla is a regular fixture in alternative nightlife and art institutions, and a founding member of the irreverently uncompromising queer artist collective KUNQ (alongside similarly iconoclastic producers like False Witness, Battyjack, and Shyboi). DS

SUNDAY 1/29

OREGON SYMPHONY, STEFAN JACKIW
(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway) See Saturday’s preview.

LADYSMITH BLACK MAMBAZO
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) Even if you’ve never heard the name Ladysmith Black Mambazo, you may well have heard them sing. The South African vocal ensemble’s place on Paul Simon’s seminal 1986 album Graceland launched a globe-trotting career that’s included four Grammies. This breakthrough also embroiled the group in the controversy surrounding Graceland, given that Simon had broken the cultural boycott imposed on the apartheid regime by the rest of the world. This seems a bit overwrought in hindsight—after all, championing black artists performing traditional mbube vocal music isn’t exactly tacit support for South Africa’s segregationist government, and Ladysmith Black Mambazo have since become among the country’s preeminent cultural ambassadors. Besides, what’s more egregious is Graceland’s absurdly exaggerated ’80s production, which Ladysmith’s performances are presumably free of these days. NATHAN TUCKER

MONDAY 1/30

SOUND + VISION: HONEY BUCKET, MOPE GROOVES
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Snicker and scoff at the name all you want, the fact remains that shapeshifting pop trio Honey Bucket were responsible for one of 2016’s most captivating local releases with their scrappy and playful full-length, Magical World. Witness the charm first-hand tonight when the Mercury and Banana Stand Media present Sound + Vision, a free 'n' local monthly showcase and concert filming series at Mississippi Studios. CHIPP TERWILLIGER

OREGON SYMPHONY, STEFAN JACKIW
(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway) See Saturday’s preview.

TUESDAY 1/31

THE LOVE MOVEMENT: BROWN, CALCULUS, JONNY COOL, AKELA JAFFI
(Valentine’s, 232 SW Ankeny) The second show in the Love Movement's new weekly series will focus on "Jazz for the Future You Want to Live In." In addition to jazzy futuristic soul from Brown Calculus (featuring lo-fi singer Brown Alice), series co-creator Jonny Cool performs as well. And dancer Akela Jaffi, who you may have seen sharing stages with artists like Chanti Darling, will embellish the evening's vie by modeling joyful movement. JENNI MOORE

Love Mercury Music Coverage?

LYDIA LOVELESS, ANGELICA GARCIA, MICHAEL DEAN DAMRON
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) How do you follow up a masterpiece? That was the question facing Lydia Loveless, the Ohio singer/songwriter whose 2014 album Somewhere Else is basically perfect. Brawny, buzzy, tough, twangy, tender, vulnerable—the record captured everything wonderful about her expressive songs. The world took notice, piling on praise and heightening anticipation for whatever was next for Loveless. So last year, she rolled out an album called Real, an excellent 10-track collection that’s very worthy of its place in line behind Something Else. This is rootsy rock ’n’ roll in its highest form, with Loveless singing about heartbreak and hangovers against assured electric guitars that chug and chime. The songs are decorated with twangy flourishes, punk ’tude, and the occasional synth squiggle, but as always, the main attraction is Loveless, her dynamic alto, and her ability to sing about real life better than just about anyone else right now. BEN SALMON

SERATONES
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) As the birthplace of jazz, Louisiana has produced enough influential artists to fill Lake Pontchartrain, most recently the Seratones. Lead singer AJ Haynes sculpted her righteous pipes at age six at Brownsville Baptist Church in Columbia, Louisiana. The band’s four members found each other a few years ago after playing in various Shreveport punk outfits. Upon signing with the Black Keys’ label, Fat Possum Records, the Seratones slathered a hearty handful of swampy blues rock all over their full-length debut, Get Gone, recorded at Dial Back Studios in Mississippi. Between Haynes’ Karen O-inspired vocals, dirty guitar licks with a hint of melancholy, and constant nods to old-school soul, it’s safe to say the Seratones aren’t stuck in any genre. ROSE FINN

LEMURIA, CAYETANA, MIKEY ERG
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Hey, guess what? While you were reading articles about albums that are turning 20 years old and thinking to yourself, “Holy shit... I’m old,” other albums were turning 10, and a whole other batch of people were thinking the same thing. Take, for example, seminal pop/punk/emo band Lemuria’s debut, Get Better. To celebrate its 10th anniversary, the Buffalo, New York trio is reissuing the record and going on tour. If you’re unfamiliar with Lemuria, don’t worry: They’re a good band, and Get Better is a good record packed with buzzy guitars, male/female vocals, and melodies for days. One listen and you’ll be convinced that these folks had a significant influence on a whole bunch of current, likeminded East Coast bands like Hop Along, Tancred, and Speedy Ortiz. Speaking of which, likeminded East Coast bands Cayetana and Mike Erg will open the show. BEN SALMON

Sponsored
SLAY Film Fest
In person at the Clinton St. Theater 10/29 & 10/30