CHARLY BLISS Mon 5/8 Mississippi Studios SHERVIN LAINEZ

SUPER PICK

CHARLY BLISS, LITTLE STAR
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Eva Grace Hendricks sounds like she broke into a Party City store, sucked some helium tanks dry, and scream-sang her darkest secrets into the plastic microphone of a karaoke rental. Charly Bliss is Hendricks (guitar/vocals), her brother Sam (drums), Spencer Fox (guitar), and Dan Shure (bass). They formed in New York City in 2012, and released their first EP, Soft Serve a couple years later. Listening to the band’s brand-new debut LP, Guppy, feels like returning to your childhood home and finding an unopened, decades-old can of soda in the closet—it’s a time capsule of the explosive, preternaturally sweet energy of teenage years. Charly Bliss applies the anthemic musical principles of ’90s/early ’00s bands like Veruca Salt, Weezer, and Paramore to overly carbonated, emo-tinged power-pop with big guitar swells and self-described “bubblegum-grunge” hooks. At first, it’s a lot to handle. But Hendricks cuts the bubbly sweetness with brutally honest lyrics that capture our lifelong ride on the Slip ’N Slide of human emotion. Take, for instance, her admission at the beginning of “DQ”: “I laughed when your dog died/It is cruel but it’s true/Take me back, kiss my soft side/Does he love me most now that his dog is toast?” Hendricks spits out LOL-worthy one-liners like “Stuck my gum on his soul” and sings about mustering her will to live in the same song (“Black Hole”), and dedicates an entire track to her therapist (“Ruby”). With Guppy, Charly Bliss builds a fort of nostalgic sounds where it’s safe to let these intense feelings into the light. CIARA DOLAN


WEDNESDAY 5/3

LYDIA AINSWORTH, DOLPHIN MIDWIVES, JOHANNA WARREN
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Read our story on Lydia Ainsworth.

E-40, KOOL JOHN, CLYDE CARSON, SKINNY PETE, THA NATIVE
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Over the years, Earl James Stevens (AKA E-40) has become a true rap legend. He’s the unofficial ambassador to the Bay Area—mention Uncle E-40 to anyone from the region and just watch their reaction—but he’s the kind of dude you have to like. E-40 keeps it real, and he’s always giving back to his community. Also, he’s responsible for creating the premixed, rum-based cocktail Sluricane. (Not long ago he visited a Fred Meyer in Northeast Portland to promote one of his other beverage projects—wine.) But let’s not forget the real reason E-40 is iconic: He makes turn-up music with loud, unforgiving bass, absurd synthesizers, and club-ready BPMs. Last November, the rapper released his 23rd studio album, The D-Boy Diary Books 1 & 2, which has over 40 tracks with noteworthy features from Gucci Mane, Lil B, and E-40’s son, Droop-E. GUADALUPE TRIANA

THE MAGNETIC FIELDS
(Revolution Hall, 1300 SE Stark) Stephin Merritt turned 50 in 2015, and—as he is wont to do—wrote about aging extensively, meticulously, and hilariously. Throwing 50 years of autobiographical song-stuff into the Magnetic Fields’ 2017 LP, 50 Song Memoir, Merritt’s curmudgeonly beauty is laid out chronologically, with full respect to the minutiae of his half-century lived. “’68: A Cat Called Dionysus,” is an ode to the childhood pet he loved, though it hated him. Later down the road, “’85: Why I Am Not a Teenager” folds the playful instrumentation of a pump organ and a Casio-lite beat over Merritt’s prepubescent plots to take over the world. It’s singularly Stephin Merritt, as you’d expect, and undeniably endearing in almost every way. There are obviously 50 songs on 50 Song Memoir, so the Magnetic Fields will perform the album in its entirety over the course of two consecutive nights. RYAN J. PRADO

THURSDAY 5/4

EYELIDS, JACKSON BOONE, POINT JUNCTURE WA
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Read our review of Eyelids’ new record, Or.

THE MAGNETIC FIELDS
(Revolution Hall, 1300 SE Stark) See Wednesday’s preview.

FRIDAY 5/5

GIGANTIC BREWING FIVE-YEAR ANNIVERSARY: Y LA BAMBA, WOODEN INDIAN BURIAL GROUND, BED., COMFY BOYZ
(Star Theater, 13 NW 6th) Gigantic Brewing—the local brewery that claims to make “the best damn IPA in Portland”—is celebrating its fifth birthday with a blowout party at the Star Theater. There’ll be lots of beer (naturally) and live music from some major players in the Portland music scene, like Y La Bamba and Wooden Indian Burial Ground. All of the bands on the bill have or will participate in the brewery’s seasonal release series, where they pair a new beer with a song. CIARA DOLAN

VIVALDI'S WORLD: MONICA HUGGETT, PORTLAND BAROQUE ORCHESTRA
(First Baptist Church, 909 SW 11th) No one knows the 17th and 18th centuries quite like Monica Huggett. This London-born, Portland-based violinist has devoted her entire life to the Baroque era by performing, educating, establishing festivals, and founding orchestras all over the world dedicated to the music of that time—a passion that’s included expertly leading the Portland Baroque Orchestra for the past two decades. Tonight through Sunday, Huggett and the band wrap up their 2016/2017 season by exploring the sonic world of Antonio Vivaldi and his contemporaries, with a set list chock full of showpieces for the cello, violin, lute, and the always kickass bassoon. Each brilliant composition will be performed on period instruments for that old-school sound. Heads up: The final concert on Sunday takes place in Kaul Auditorium at Reed College, one of the finest venues for chamber music in town. BRIAN HORAY

SON VOLT, ANDERS PARKER
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) Jay Farrar is an old soul. He has been since at least 1992, when he stripped most of the punk power and fury from his band Uncle Tupelo and recorded an album of prewar traditionals and acoustic originals called March 16-20, 1992. His longtime project Son Volt has always had an anachronistic feel, whether tackling road-weary roots-rock (as on the band’s 1995 debut Trace) or classic country (see 2013’s Honky Tonk). Son Volt’s newest album, Notes of Blue, continues this theme, exploring a frenetic, electric strain of the blues inspired by 20th-century legends like Mississippi Fred McDowell and Skip James. Present as always is Farrar’s voice, one of the most distinctive in roots music, and his reliable cache of cozy melodies. Listening to the guy sing is like opening an old leather book. The appeal never wears off, no matter how many times you do it. BEN SALMON

SATURDAY 5/6

OPEN SIGNAL OPEN HOUSE: BLOSSOM, ALEXIS CANNARD, PERINI
(Open Signal, 2766 NE MLK) With classes, training, and equipment, Open Signal gives the people of Portland access to video production and the ability to host cable TV shows. This weekend, its organizers are hosting an open house at their community center featuring performances from local singers and hip-hop artists: Blossom, Alexis Cannard (Ascxnsion), and Neka Perini. It’s free, plus free pizza and booze if you RSVP. CIARA DOLAN

LIL PEEP
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE César E. Chávez) A complex understanding of cultural references (specifically of the “sub-” and “pop” varieties) is required to explain both the punchline of a meme and Lil Peep. The 20-year-old, face covered in tattoos and hair dyed an ever-changing highlighter hue, specializes in slow, emo-infused rap. He tends to combine tropes from both genres, often in the same lyric: “I used to wanna kill myself/Came up, still wanna kill myself.” This makes me think Lil Peep’s musical point of reference is cultural panic. He glorifies sex, drugs, suicide, and anime—taken together, it’s an incredible tableau of the media that has scared parents shitless for the past 30 years. Lil Peep raps over the Microphones, samples old cartoons, tweets incessantly, and has a faithful crew of equally sad boys who operate under the name GothBoiClique. I think his emo revival/rap/internet-core hybrid is entertaining, but I can feel myself understanding less of Lil Peep’s art with each passing second. EMMA BURKE

VIVALDI'S WORLD: MONICA HUGGETT, PORTLAND BAROQUE ORCHESTRA
(First Baptist Church, 909 SW 11th) See Friday’s preview.

KIEFER SUTHERLAND, RICK BRANTLEY
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) When it comes to teenaged ’80s film villains, no one can touch Kiefer Sutherland. Whether portraying the bleached-blond, switchblade-wielding Ace Merrill in Stand by Me or the bleached-blond, blood-sucking David in The Lost Boys, Sutherland was reliably the coldest and scariest character onscreen, because it genuinely felt like he did not have a soul behind those heterochromatic eyes. This lack of a discernible conscience suited him for what would become his legacy-defining role: the Muslim-bashing Jack Bauer on the long-running television series 24. But now that Bauer has retired from protecting the country from brown-skinned bad guys, Sutherland is free to follow his heart and do what every other white, middle-aged male actor has done before him: play mediocre Americana music. To be fair, Down in a Hole, Sutherland’s country-rock debut, is not as embarrassing as many of his kinsmen’s, and he offers a surprisingly impressive portrait of a tough guy with a sensitive heart. But despite the display of tenderness and attempts at vulnerability, it’s still difficult to believe Sutherland has anything resembling a soul. SANTI ELIJAH HOLLEY

SUNDAY 5/7

VIVALDI'S WORLD: MONICA HUGGETT, PORTLAND BAROQUE ORCHESTRA
(First Baptist Church, 909 SW 11th) See Friday’s preview.

PJ HARVEY
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) There are few artists from the 1990s with a discography as diverse as PJ Harvey. Sitting alongside the greats of alternative rock, the British multi-instrumentalist pulls together disparate elements with her seamless, cohesive body of work. Harvey is a pop music metalworker, masterfully welding together genres like they’re pieces of scrap metal. Her nine studio albums span from Lou Reedesque garage rock to chugging indie rock to singer/songwriter piano ballads to straight-up hardcore punk, and she tours each genre with appreciation and skill for each style. Songs like “A Perfect Day Elise”—with its sinking, iceberg-slow bass line, subtle strings, and lo-fi vocals—meld all of Harvey’s aesthetic dabblings into a perfect, darkly energetic jam. CAMERON CROWELL

MONDAY 5/8

CHARLY BLISS, LITTLE STAR
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Read our Charly Bliss super pick, above.

Love Mercury Music Coverage?

JAMEY JOHNSON, MARGO PRICE, BRENT COBB
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) So often I hear people explain that they like “OLD country… like Loretta and Dolly,” condemning (rightfully, in my opinion) the more contemporary country-pop that often plays like a parody of itself. For purists, Margo Price is a reason to celebrate. The folksy songs on her 2016 debut Midwest Farmer’s Daughter are undoubtedly modern, but capture the warm nostalgia of past greats—like the aforementioned country queens—without ever seeming like a byproduct of the genre. Hopefully Price’s success foreshadows an old-style country revival. EMMA BURKE

OLD CROW MEDICINE SHOW
(Revolution Hall, 1300 SE Stark) Fifty-one years ago, fueled by pills and all-night sessions in a Nashville studio, Bob Dylan recorded Blonde on Blonde. Released as a double album, back when such a thing was basically unheard of (the Beatles would release their self-titled “White Album” two years later), Blonde on Blonde isn’t just one of the greatest records in Dylan’s long and prolific career—it’s one of the greatest records ever made. In tribute to this 50-year milestone, Nashville string band Old Crow Medicine Show recorded a Blonde on Blonde tribute album and are taking these songs on the road. It makes sense for OCMS to helm this project, as the band is best-known for their adaptation of the uncompleted Dylan song “Wagon Wheel,” which has since become all but mandatory for every would-be folk singer to cover in the last decade. Until Dylan transitions from his current phase of lamentable Sinatra standards, this show might be the closest we’ll get to a direct experience of that “thin, wild mercury sound.” SANTI ELIJAH HOLLEY

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