BELLS ATLAS Thurs 11/2 Holocene BRENDAN WEST

SUPER PICK

BELLS ATLAS, ORQUESTRA PACIFICO TROPICALE, Y LA BAMBA, SÁVILA, DANZA AZTECA
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Two artists helped carry me through the stormy first weeks of 2017: Solange and Bells Atlas, an Oakland group that’s been around since 2011, but that I only first heard about with the 2016 single “Spec and Bubble.” The band has since released another single, “NCAT (Nothing Comes After This),” and it’s just as stellar. Sandra Lawson-Ndu’s soft vocals lace together delicate handclaps, minimalist synth, and droning guitar riffs. Bells Atlas’ dynamic melodies drip with cosmic funk—the band self-describes its sound as “kaleidosonic soul punch.” They’ll join Y La Bamba frontwoman Luz Elena Mendoza’s sixth annual Dia de los Muertos celebration, which also serves as the 10th anniversary party for her record label, Tender Loving Empire. (It’s part of TLE’s All Together Festival.) Community members are encouraged to meet at Sunnyside Elementary School for a guided procession through the Lone Fir Cemetery with customary face paint, candles, and canciones. Once the procession arrives at Holocene, floral altars will pay homage to the departed as traditional Danza Azteca by a local group cleanses the space. (Be sure to abstain from drinking during the ceremony.) Both the living and the dead will be encouraged to party “all together.” EMILLY PRADO


WEDNESDAY 11/1

CULTS, CULLEN OMORI, HIDEOUT
(Star Theater, 13 NW 6th) Cults is the Willy Wonka of bubblegum pop. On 2011’s Cults and 2013’s Static, melodies are saturated with sugar, untethered from their moorings, and left to float around the factory. The New York band’s breakthrough single, “Go Outside,” is almost overbearingly twee, with xylophone and lyrics about frolicking in the sunshine. But throbbing bass lines and a sample of Jonestown cult leader Jim Jones cut the cute and allow darkness to lurk in the shadows. There’s an intoxicating contrast between the sweet and the sinister, especially on tracks like “Always Forever,” where frontwoman Madeline Follin sings, “You and me, always forever/Say you’ll stay, never be severed.” Last month Cults released its best record to date, Offering, which moves away from the rosy, candy-coated pop in favor of something even more gripping. CIARA DOLAN

KELELA, LAFAWNDAH
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE César E. Chávez) Like Sade in 1984 and Aaliyah’s collaboration with Timbaland in 1996, Kelela’s 2013 debut mixtape Cut 4 Me created a sea change in R&B. Thanks to genre-fluid producers like Nguzunguzu, Jam City, and Kingdom, Cut 4 Me works within contradictory extremes—it’s atmospheric but beat-heavy, ominous but delicate. Four years later, her first official full-length has finally arrived, and it doesn’t disappoint. Keeping with what made Cut 4 Me so unique, Take Me Apart is even more complex and emotionally resonant. While she treads similar sonic territory to FKA Twigs and Jessy Lanza, I predict we’ll be listening to Kelela decades from now, still trying to puzzle out her understated brilliance. JOSHUA JAMES AMBERSON

CHELSEA WOLFE
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) Chelsea Wolfe is done fucking around. The singer/songwriter just released her sixth full-length, Hiss Spun, and it’s her heaviest, doomiest record to date. Add her emotionally weighty lyrics sung in icy vocals, and listeners are set to be crushed. This time around, Wolfe surrounded herself with the likes of Converge’s Kurt Ballou and Isis’ Aaron Turner. While Hiss Spun ups the sludge factor, it’s still the dichotomy between the riffs and her vocals that makes the album unique. Wolfe’s ability to defy easy categorization has drawn praise, but also ire from those who say she’s not goth enough, or metal enough, or folk enough—but with each release, she gives naysayers a black-nailed middle finger. Chelsea Wolfe’s music will likely continue to be filled with darkness, but in the end she’ll undoubtedly have the last laugh. MARK LORE


THURSDAY 11/2

DIA DE LOS MUERTOS: ORQUESTRA PACIFICO TROPICAL, Y LA BAMBA, SAVILA, BELLS ATLAS, DANZA AZTECA
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Read our super pick.

MINISTRY, DEATH GRIPS
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Any bill that contains both Ministry and Death Grips promises to showcase the best of industrial music. The long journey of Ministry has transformed the dark wave pioneers into soul-destroying digital horror mavens. Classics like “Jesus Built My Hotrod” introduced the mainstream to the band’s sonic brutalism and inspired a new generation of aspiring cyber degenerates. Death Grips are heirs to the throne of technological malevolence Ministry perfected. Though it’s often labeled a hip-hop group, in reality Death Grips is a hydra-headed monster of incendiary music and confrontational aesthetics. Producers/musicians Zach Hill and Andrew Morin fuse their tempestuous, experimental brains with MC Ride’s vocal brawn to create A Clockwork Orange-style sensory assault. CHRIS SUTTON

KALI UCHIS, PHONY PPL
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) In just a few years, Colombia-born, Virginia-raised singer/songwriter Kali Uchis went from living out of her car to collaborating with the likes of Gorillaz and Tyler, the Creator. Uchis has made a career backing other musicians, but this year she’s already dropped two singles (“Tyrant” and “Nuestro Planeta”) from her forthcoming debut LP. The suaveness of her raspy croon harkens back to old-school ’90s R&B, with a type of magic that’s sure to translate beautifully in her live performance. CERVANTE POPE


FRIDAY 11/3

MIC CAPES & DRAE SLAPZ, RASHEED JAMAL, FOUNTAINE, KARMA RIVERA, ROMEO AKIL
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) In support of Capes and producer Drae Slapz’ late-summer release Sheesh, behold Capes’ first headliner show at the Roseland. Expect all the regular “slapz” like “Five Finger Discount,” and “No More,” and also newer cuts off the EP like “Well Known,” and “Passion Froot.” And of course, Capes has tagged a slew of local talent to back-up the bill, including Rasheed Jamal, Fountaine, Karma Rivera, and a young R&B singer by the name of Romeo Akil. JENNI MOORE

DRECKIG, AMENTA ABIOTO, BROWN CALCULUS
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) Tonight the percussion-driven dance/krautrock/cumbia project Dreckig celebrates the release of its sophomore album, Space in Time/Time in Space, with some of Portland’s most visionary artists. Brown Calculus is Brown Alice (co-founder of the Y.G.B. art collective) and Brown Calvin, two intergalactic spirits convening on this plane to embody their message of unity through jazz. They recently dropped a video for their single “Self Care,” a dreamy reminder to love and care for yourself and those around you—a much-needed message in this time of communal stress. Amenta Abioto weaves soulful stories of the African diaspora through her experimentation with loops, syncopated rhythms, and manipulations of her voice. Abioto infuses her live performances with a raw power that draws the audience into her transcendental, genre-hopping aural world. Make sure to catch this impressive lineup of some of Portland’s most imaginative artists of color. DANIELA SERNA

DELICATE STEVE, THE BLANK TAPES
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Delicate Steve’s 2012 breakthrough Positive Force is shimmery modern instrumental music that favors fun over austerity. Brimming with funky, dreamy guitar mutations, Steve’s compositions take nebulous forms, regurgitating traditional rock ’n’ roll into psychedelic funhouse scores with a malleability that’s provided him opportunities to collaborate with Lee Ranaldo, Built to Spill, Sigur Rós, and Mac Demarco. Steve’s new record, aptly titled This Is Steve, trades in the ambient aesthetics of his previous releases for riff-heavy tunes, as heard on the trashy punk heave of “Cartoon Rock” and the bizarro hip-hop approximation of the quirky “Swimming.” It’s a magical kind of performance art that should be seen live to truly comprehend. Lucky for you, Steve’s coming to Portland tonight to coax you out of your comfort zone. RYAN J. PRADO


SATURDAY 11/4

FLEETMAC WOOD: SISTERS OF THE MOON DISCO
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) There’s a single-minded beauty to the Fleetmac Wood shtick. The LA-based DJ collective deals in Fleetwood Mac and only Fleetwood Mac, looping wispy little snatches of Stevie Nicks’ vocals to a beat, setting a pounding bass line behind some forgotten corner of Rumours. It’s far more danceable than it sounds. Bring a pan flute for the hell of it. DIRK VANDERHART

KING KRULE, MAL DEVISA
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) There are moments on King Krule’s new LP, The Ooz, that’re so uncomfortably eerie, you’ll feel like you’re eavesdropping on someone’s nightmares. The unassuming British singer/songwriter (whose real name is Archy Marshall) pokes the fabric of surreality on the opening track “Biscuit Town,” a surly dub banger that sounds like it was recorded in a rain-slicked alleyway. Marshall delivers poetic verses in a frighteningly gruff baritone, belying his childlike exterior. His voice seethes on freaky, drug-hazy cuts like the “Dum Surfer,” and later on the underworld post-punk of “Half Man Half Shark.” As the follow-up to King Krule’s 2013 debut 6 Feet Beneath the Moon, The Ooze flips the canvas over—it’s one of the most wildly unique records of the last several years, and certainly one of the best of 2017. RJP

ANN MAGNUSON AND THE BONGWATER SONGBOOK, STEPHEN MALKMUS
(PICA at Hancock, 15 NE Hancock) For seven years in the late ’80s and early ’90s, Bongwater was the premiere underground act in New York’s art rock scene. Led by classic rock enthusiast/guitarist Mark Kramer and actor/vocalist Ann Magnuson, the group released a handful of albums that bent psychedelia to their will and built sonic collages around spoken-word fantasies of dining with David Bowie or a young couple trying to escape Nazi-occupied Europe. Bongwater ended with some acrimony in 1992, but as with many short-lived outfits, still maintains a great deal of cult appreciation, thanks mainly to Magnuson, who’s been performing the best of her former band’s work with some other ex-members (including wizard guitarist David Rick). That project stops by for a rare Northwest visit this weekend to help celebrate the opening of Steven Doughton’s film Delta at PICA. If that weren’t enough: Stephen Malkmus is going to open the show. ROBERT HAM


SUNDAY 11/5

JESSICA BOUDREAUX, CANDACE, STRANGE BABES DJs
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Read our review of Jessica Boudreaux’s new record, No Fury.

HISS GOLDEN MESSENGER
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) Last August, Hiss Golden Messenger posted an open call on its Instagram page inviting people to share videos of themselves performing one of two songs from the band’s new record, Hallelujah Anyhow, in exchange for a pair of tickets to any concert of their choosing. The response was overwhelming. Within two days, people from coast to coast sent videos of themselves playing guitar, banjo, and piano—singing solo, or accompanied by their spouses and children. One of those songs, “When the Wall Comes Down,” was the most widely covered, with its unifying message of love and perseverance through uncertain times: “Whatcha gonna do when the shackles fall, when the shackles fall?” frontman MC Taylor sings. “What you oughta do is melt them down, melt them down/Turn them into tools and make a garden on the prison grounds.” With its bright, rollicking country-soul and folk-rock vibe—like Street Choir-era Van Morrison—Hallelujah Anyhow is a tribute to friendship, family, and staying hopeful despite all odds. SANTI ELIJAH HOLLEY

TYLER, THE CREATOR
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) If anybody in hip-hop’s current vanguard is blessed with the kind of eccentricity that pushes artistic boundaries, it’s Tyler, the Creator. His reputation began as the Johnny Knoxville of Odd Future’s Jackass-esque multimedia psycho-world, a neo- Nietzschean prankster producing damaged beats to match his conflicted internal issues. However, with each successive LP, Tyler has slowly matured into a misunderstood renaissance man armed with a surrealist TV show and an ultra-hip fashion line with the aesthetic of Adventure Time-themed streetwear. His industrious work ethic also vitalizes the success of peers like Frank Ocean, Earl Sweatshirt, and Vince Staples, who’ve all benefitted from being within the vicinity of Tyler’s infectiously twisted worldview. His newest offering, Flower Boy, teems with the contemplative urban psychedelia. CS


MONDAY 11/6

TED LEO AND THE PHARMACISTS, IAN SWEET
(Revolution Hall, 1300 SE Stark) Remember 2008? I still had a crush on Seth Cohen, every cool kid in the world had a Ted Leo and the Pharmacists poster in their dorm room, and we were about to enter the halcyon days of the Obama administration. Now, Seth Cohen’s almost 40, and politically, we’re fucked, but we can still rely on Ted Leo’s good-natured, up-tempo punk. MEGAN BURBANK Read our story on Ted Leo and the Pharmacists.

CLOAKROOM, MØTRIK
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Ever since Cloakroom emerged on the heavy scene in 2015 with its debut LP, Further Out, much has been made about the trio’s roots in northwest Indiana, and the fact that its members were factory workers. And if you try real hard, you can probably project some Rust Belt day-job dreariness onto the band’s sound, or conjure up a correlation between Cloakroom’s faintly twangy rock and the rural-meets-industrial nature of its home region. But it’s simpler to just say that drummer Brian Busch, bassist Bobby Markos, and guitarist/lead vocalist Doyle Martin excel at a moody but melodic amalgam of syrupy shoegaze, hazy slowcore, gentle doom, and some sparkling post-hardcore elements that sound like they’ve melted in the backseat of a beige hooptie. Cloakroom’s new album, Time Well, is a masterwork of sleepy-eyed riffs, mumbled melodies, and downcast vibes. BEN SALMON


TUESDAY 11/7

MANDOLIN ORANGE, RACHEL BAIMA
(Revolution Hall, 1300 SE Stark) Bands get big in all kinds of weird ways these days. Some come up through YouTube or SoundCloud. Some score prominent placements in TV commercials or movies. Some have powerful publicists. And some still do it the old-fashioned way: write great songs, record them well, get them into the ears of people, travel around the country, and play shows that feel special. That’s what Mandolin Orange has done. The duo of songwriter Andrew Marlin and multi-instrumentalist Emily Frantz has risen quickly over the past several years, from fresh-faced, bluegrass-rooted Americana act to roots-pop powerhouse that sells out increasingly large venues far from their Chapel Hill, North Carolina home. No doubt, the band’s top-shelf picking, melodic sensibility, and beautiful, slow-burning songs have made Mandolin Orange into stars. Tonight, they play one of those sold-out, far-from-home shows at Revolution Hall. BS