(Disjecta, 8371 N Interstate) Stef Chura is kind of blowing up right now. Her debut full-length, Messes, just dropped at the end of January, and though it may seem like the Michigan singer/songwriter arrived at the head of grunge rock fully formed, she’s actually been sitting on a number of Messes’ tracks for years. Chura caught my attention a while back when a Michigan acquaintance shared her slowly insistent (but catchy as hell) ballad “Speeding Ticket.” It’s the closing track on Messes, but versions of “Speeding Ticket” also appeared on Chura’s 2010 self-titled release and her 2011 demo, so you can hear the song recorded a few different ways. And while the skeleton of “Speeding Ticket” remains unchanged, the lo-fi nature of its initial incarnations is uniquely chaotic. I knew I wanted to keep tabs on Chura, so I was excited when her nostalgic, up-tempo track “Slow Motion” started showing up in places like Pitchfork last year. “Slow Motion” feels like a complaint you can tap your feet to, and I found myself thinking about it when I was waiting in lines. Chura’s songs exist half the time on my stereo, and the rest of the time in my head. Her sound is like a California surf-rock update on ’90s feminist grunge, or a strange marriage between Throwing Muses and early Liz Phair. Messes is a really carefully constructed record—it’s like one long wave. After the inauguration, my go-to Chura track was “Human Being,” where she slowly croons, “Someday/They’re gonna know/You’re a/Real human being.” It always feels weird to talk about an artist’s looks, but Chura definitely has a well-defined aesthetic accompanying Messes. Her sun-faded clothing, large glasses, and pastel palette read strongly as casual and unproduced. It’s exciting when women artists are allowed to be themselves. SUZETTE SMITH


(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Read our story on Itasca.

(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) Surely my fellow millennials remember JoJo, the pop singer discovered as a tween for her mature voice and mind-blowing covers of R&B classics. JoJo signed a record deal at age 12, and released her gold-certified single “Get Out (Leave)” in 2004, followed by “Too Little, Too Late” in 2006. Then it got messy: JoJo sued her shady record label, and was eventually released from the contract that had halted her career. For the past six years she’s been preparing for an epic comeback. Her new album, Mad Love, is quite solid. The 26-year-old’s new music is extra sultry, sassy, and 4/20-friendly. Highlights include lead single “Fuck Apologies” featuring Wiz Khalifa; “FAB” (AKA “fake ass bitches”) featuring Remy Ma, and the hopeful and poppy love anthem “Rise Up.” After seeing her play Bumbershoot last year and an intimate acoustic set at a radio station in the fall, I can attest that the bitch is still a bad one. And she’s singing with more ferocity, range, and control than evaaa! If you come to the Wonder tonight, JoJo won’t leave you disappointed. JENNI MOORE




No disrespect to Chance the Rapper, but last year’s most anticipated Chicago hip-hop release was not Coloring Book, but Telefone, the full-length debut from the relatively obscure and obscurely named Noname. Hailing from Bronzeville—the Southside neighborhood celebrated by poet Gwendolyn Brooks—Noname (born Fatimah Warner) came up in Chicago’s open mic and slam poetry scene. She applies that same aesthetic to her rap style, a mix of spoken word and offbeat lyrics. Noname made her first official appearance as an emcee in 2013, contributing a verse to the track “Lost” on Chance’s Acid Rap mixtape, and the following year with a verse on Mick Jenkins’ The Waters mixtape. After promising to release her own record for the better part of three years, Noname finally dropped Telefone last July. Rather than the big production and tabernacle-sized choruses of Coloring Book, Telefone sounds like a quiet night kicking it with your best homie, smoking weed and talking until sunrise. Her delivery doesn’t always fall on time, but jumps around as if playing verbal double dutch. Over jazzy, laidback beats, Noname waxes on topics both serious (identity, black womanhood, violence against African Americans) and light (relationships, ice cream on the front porch, “only wearing tennis shoes to clubs with dress codes, ’cause fuck they clubs”). While her Windy City contemporaries are falling all over themselves climbing that long ladder to success, Noname has been busy in the kitchen, discreetly cooking up a classic. SANTI ELIJAH HOLLEY

(High Water Mark, 6800 NE MLK) The first album by Memphis four-piece Nots was the sound of a group trying to coalesce. Founding members Natalie Hoffmann and then-bassist Charlotte Watson hit the studio soon after, adding keyboardist Alexandra Eastburn and new bassist Meredith Lones (Watson became the group’s drummer) to the mix. The album that came out of those sessions, 2014’s We Are Nots, was still great, an appropriately agitated fusion of riotous punk and new wave angularity. After a healthy amount of touring and working together, Nots has found its collective center, and the latest full-length, Cosmetic (released last year via Goner Records), feels much more lived-in and steady as a result. The quartet mess with slower tempos, more atmospheric touches, and songs that stretch out and ride a rhythm straight at the molten-hot core of what we call post-punk. ROBERT HAM

(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) Stephen Bruner is the audacious hero the modern generation of minority music needs. Bruner knows nothing of the categorical bounds of genre, and has done everything from playing bass with crossover thrash act Suicidal Tendencies to collaborating with queen of everything Erykah Badu. But it’s his solo jazz and R&B project Thundercat that calls for the most attention. His third full-length in this electrifying feline form, Drunk, demonstrates Bruner’s keen ability to tackle anything, including yacht rock. The album’s first single, “Show You the Way,” even features Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins. CERVANTE POPE

ANGEL OLSEN Fri 2/17 Crystal Ballroom amanda marsallis


(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) On the track “High & Wild” from her 2014 album Burn Your Fire for No Witness, Angel Olsen sings, “I’m neither innocent or wise when you look me in the eyes/You might as well be blind/You might as well be blind/’Cause you don’t see me anymore.” Throughout her catalog, Olsen embodies this lyric; she’s intentionally difficult to nail down, and defies easy categorization. Listening to the echoing folk of her 2011 LP debut, Strange Cacti, feels voyeuristic, like hearing your neighbor sing an entire opera in their shower. 2012’s Half Way Home sounds like the neighbor realized you’d been eavesdropping, with these wild but secret aquatic arias reforming as sparse acoustic numbers. 2014’s Burn Your Fire for No Witness plugs in for blowout guitar-rock that’s bruised but biting with lyrics like “Will you ever forgive me/A thousand times through/For loving you?” 2016’s My Woman is full of anti-love songs, and finds Olsen soaking in the spotlight of pristine production without ever letting you close enough to truly know her: “Intern” opens the record with spacy synth-pop, but the twangy “Shut Up Kiss Me” centers on Olsen’s guttural Roy Orbison-inspired crooning, with guitar riffs that rush into the chorus like a nosebleed. The album’s second half is entirely different, and sprawls into the white-light horizon of seven-minute ballads. On My Woman, Olsen doesn’t linger on any one genre or subject long enough for you to make any assumptions about her. Anything that seems certain—other than her stunning capacity as an artist—is just a trick of light. CIARA DOLAN

(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) REJOICE: The one and only David Duchovny—actor, writer, director, and the FBI special agent of our hearts—is coming to Portland... because he's also a musician, and he wants to play us some of his alt-country rock 'n' roll! Alas, IT'S SOLD OUT, because DAVID DUCHOVNY. But if you can't beg, borrow, or steal a ticket, join the screaming hordes outside the Aladdin, where we shall chant His name into the starry heavens for hours on end: DU-CHOV-NY. DU-CHOV-NY. DU! CHOV! NEEEEEEEEEEEE!!! ERIK HENRIKSEN Read our story on David Duchovny.

(The Lovecraft, 421 SE Grand) Like messages transmitted from a distant galaxy, the music of Drab Majesty descends in a cloud of digital haze, leaving the spirit in a state of frigid weightlessness. Each isolationist musing from LA personality Deb DeMure’s nom de sound is seemingly birthed in a bucket of dry ice and frosted with a melancholy sheen of guitars, synths, and depressed drum patterns. Though the word “goth” instantly comes to mind, this highly inspired project serves as a conceptually charged evolution of the genre. By combining Robert Smith’s mopey operatics, David Bowie’s dystopian androgyny, and ’80s cold wave minimalism, Drab Majesty creates an excitingly macabre futurism. CHRIS SUTTON


(Star Theater, 13 NW 6th) Read our story on Arthur Brown.

(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Sallie Ford’s second solo record, Soul Sick, arrives at a crossroads of her rockabilly yesteryear and a newly refined focus on rollicking rock ’n’ roll. You’ll still find the playful, secretly sneering Ford that was present on 2014’s Slap Back, her first record without backing band the Sound Outside. Yet Soul Sick, as the name implies, is a decidedly different beast. Born from a therapeutic period in the songwriter’s life, the record’s ’60s-rock edges lay bare Ford’s insecurities, wrapped up with tales of waking up sour on sweet summer days, being misunderstood, and screwing up. Speaking of, “Screw Up” opens with a Ronettes drum intro, blooming into Ford’s fluttery lamentations. Tonight’s release show includes guest musicians from the Soul Sick sessions, including producer Mike Coykendall and saxophonist Ralph Carney. RYAN J. PRADO


(Analog Café, 720 SE Hawthorne) Bay Area doom metal outfit King Woman began as Kristina Esfandiari’s solo project, with 2014’s Doubt EP, a four-song statement of intent that earned instant fans, propelling her alto forward on a tidal wave of down-tuned guitar sludge. Doom fans will feel at home in King Woman’s familiar cocoon of dense distortion, yet the band’s sound supports Esfandiari’s anthems of feminine empowerment, a subversive move in a genre not exactly known for progressive gender politics. Having briefly been part of the thankfully now-defunct transphobic shitstain that was Bay Area shoegaze band Whirr, Esfandiari clearly no longer has patience for oppressive men: King Woman left a tour with doom legends Pentagram last summer, citing “disrespectful and gross” treatment. They don’t have time for that bullshit anyway—their Relapse debut, Created in the Image of Suffering, comes out later this month. NATHAN TUCKER

(Rontoms, 600 E Burnside) Portland multi-instrumentalist Sam Wenc has quietly amassed a prolific back catalog under the Post Moves moniker, putting out an album a year (2014’s Little Jews, 2015’s Reset Father Time) in addition to multiple EPs. However, 2016’s Mystery World Science Show found Wenc fleshing out his pedal steel-heavy indie rock, with drummer Julian Morris (Lay Person, Little Star), bass player Nathan Kornet, and Nathan Tucker (Cool American, Snow Roller) adding lounge lizard saxophone on a of couple tracks. The album plays out like Wenc’s funhouse dream—the walls could close in or elongate, giving an air that’s gentle but surreal. His lyrics are consistently imaginative and playful, with song topics covering rhinestone-adorned country stars, graveyard undertakers, and “Toothpaste.” CAMERON CROWELL


(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Sound + Vision, the Mercury and Banana Stand Media’s free monthly showcase, is the kind of gift that keeps on giving. Hearing Boreen’s whispered, yet vivid blend of kaleidoscopic bedroom pop will whet your appetite just in time for the release of their forthcoming full-length, Friends, while Cool American’s thoughtful indie rock contains more than enough sharp melodic hooks to stick with you until we do the whole thing again next month. CHIPP TERWILLIGER


(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) They say it’s not about what you know but who you know, and that’s probably true. I don’t know if it’s true for rock ’n’ roll, but if it is, then Jason Narducy’s gonna be the next Bruce Springsteen. That’s because the veteran Chicago-based musician has played bass with basically everyone, most notably Bob Mould, Superchunk, and Robert “Guided by Voices” Pollard—a hot-damned holy triumvirate of indie rock right there. But Narducy knows what he’s doing, too. When he makes his own music, he does it under the name Split Single, which just released its second album, Metal Frames, last fall. It features the rhythms of indie-rock super-drummer (and top-notch Tweeter) Jon Wurster, the bass lines of Wilco’s John Stirratt, and the scruffy, soaring songs of Narducy, who ably blends anthemic choruses with a perfectly sandpapered voice. The results sound very Mould-y, or like an amped-up version of the great Texas band Centro-matic. Simply put: This is pure, fist-pumpin’, flannel-flyin’ roots-rock ’n’ roll done right. BEN SALMON

(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) At first blush, the electro-pop of Canadian brother/sister duo Tennyson sounds playful and pleasant. But this initial assessment simplifies what’s actually quite sophisticated work for two musicians still on the edge of their teens. With a sound that lends itself to dreamy jazz electronica, they’ve been compared to seminal electronic band Boards of Canada—a mighty accolade. But the siblings’ natural-feeling collaboration makes sense, given the fact that they were playing Weezer covers together before they hit double digits. Their live shows feature Tess on drums and Luke, the primary composer, holding down synths and samples. With an already massive online following, it seems they’ve tapped into a refreshing sound that speaks right to the heart of electronic music lovers. CHRISTINA BROUSSARD