THURS NOV 2
Phony Pplw/Kali Uchis; Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell
As the Twitter handle “noGENRE PhonyPpl” suggests, Phony Ppl doesn’t stay within the boundaries of any one genre. The Brooklyn group draws from funk, R&B, hip-hop, and soul to create music that defies easy categorization. But rather than overwhelm, Phony Ppl’s experimental approach results in ridiculously fun, high-energy songs made for dancing your day away. “Why iii Love the Moon”—a track from their 2015 debut, Yesterday’s Tomorrow—has more than 14 million Spotify plays, which is rather impressive, considering they self-released the album. Whatever Phony Ppl are doing is working; they’ve even gotten praise from rap star Tyler, the Creator.
FRI NOV 3
Basement w/the Front Bottoms, Bad Bad Hats; Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside
Basement’s quick shot to success in 2012 was a whirlwind: The UK pop-punk band had released two full-length albums (I Wish I Could Stay Here and Colourmeinkindness), toured extensively, then announced a hiatus, all in the same year. They briefly returned in 2014 to release the EP Further Sky, and made what’s hopefully a long-term comeback with the record Promise Everything, released last year via Fueled by Ramen. Though it’s still steeped in the band’s DIY ’90s punk influences, there’s a noticeable shift in their sound—it’s less polished, but with more honest and heartfelt lyrics. As many of their Warped Tour counterparts continue toward more aggressive pop-punk melodies, Basement’s latest is refreshingly soft.
MON NOV 6
Ian Sweet w/Ted Leo and the Pharmacists; Revolution Hall, 1300 SE Stark
I firmly believe that powerhouse femmes will soon take over indie music (if they haven’t already). One of the artists leading this crusade is Jilian Medford, the ridiculously talented singer/songwriter and guitarist of Ian Sweet. On the Brooklyn band’s self-titled debut EP (released last year on Hardly Art), Medford’s unique vocals command and hold your attention as sticky-sweet pop collides with dark and brooding experimental sounds. Her lyrics are both deeply personal and widely relatable, covering everything from annoying skater boys to festering anxiety. Ian Sweet’s idiosyncratic yet intoxicating songs reveal what it’s like to be a young adult figuring out how to navigate this mess of a world.