JULIE BYRNE Sat 1/13 & Sun 1/14 Mississippi Studios TONJE THIELSEN

Super Pick

STEVE GUNN and JULIE BYRNE
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Since releasing his self-titled debut in 2007, Steve Gunn has become an incredibly prolific and consistent songwriter. Schooled in the rootsy, primitive guitar calisthenics of John Fahey and the eastern modal wormholes of sitar players like Ravi Shankar, Gunn’s an expert at weaving dizzying tapestries through jammy guitar freak-outs. His breakthrough album was 2014’s fantastic Way Out Weather, which finds him operating within a meditative Appalachian groove when he isn’t conjuring the meandering licks of the Grateful Dead and contemporary primitive practitioners like Glenn Jones and Ryley Walker. He’s further upped the ante in his collaboration with fellow fret-shredder Kurt Vile, as well as his instrumental duo with drummer John Truscinski. Gunn’s 2016 Matador Records debut, Eyes on the Lines, finds him carving out trippy musical mind melds on tunes like “Ancient Jules” and “Nature Driver,” creating both bucolic witchiness and a cautious sense of connection with the modern world. Joining Gunn on this West Coast tour is the equally bewitching singer/songwriter Julie Byrne, whose 2017 LP Not Even Happiness is full of contemporary folk tunes with lush, whispered sensitivity, like the stunning opening track “Follow My Voice” and standout “Natural Blue.” Both artists are performing back-to-back evenings at Mississippi Studios this weekend—if you haven’t procured tickets yet, I’d recommend doing so immediately. RYAN J. PRADO

STEVE GUNN Sat 1/13 & Sun 1/14 Mississippi Studios CONSTANCE MENSH

WEDNESDAY 1/10

GIRL FEST: GIFTED GAB, FRITZWA, PARIS ALEXA, DRECKIG, SHEERS
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) The month of January is traditionally pretty quiet as far as town happenings are concerned. That’s why I’ve been grateful to at least look forward to GirlFest NW the last four years: an all-female, all-ages showcase that’s spotlighted Pacific Northwest acts like Blossom, Dodgr, Coco Columbia and Karma Rivera. Until recently the event has gone down at Lola’s Room in the Crystal Ballroom, but this year it’s been moved to Holocene. As usual, the lineup is pretty is hip-hop focused. Seattle rapper Gifted Gab tops the bill, while Fritzwa (R&B poet/DJ) and DJ Anjali are also big draws. It’ll also be tight to see Paris Alexa, a dope singer-songwriter from Seattle who was a semifinalist in the Emerald City’s 2016 Sound Off! competition (you should seriously check out “Cashitus” on YouTube). There will also be krautrock from Dreckig and trip-hop from local band Sheers. So, something for everyone! Now go drop $10 in support of local, talented, hardworking women in music! JENNI MOORE Read our preview of Girl Fest.

ANGELICA ROCKNE, THE VERNER PANTONS, GOLDEN PROMISE
(The Liquor Store, 3341 SE Belmont) Despite the title of Angelica Rockne’s 2017 debut, Queen of San Antonio, the cosmic country singer/songwriter hails from California and currently lives in a small town near the state’s Sierra Nevada mountain range. The album’s eight tracks draw inspiration from the psychedelic twang of the Byrds’ 1968 crossover album, Sweetheart of the Rodeo, Bobbie Gentry’s sultry purr, and the lovelorn ballads of the Grievous Angel himself. Rockne sings about the usual country song stuff: nursing heartbreak with whiskey, smoking in a downpour, existential restlessness, and bopping around the western half of the United States with reckless abandon. Rockne’s album might reference Texas, but it’s 100 percent Californian—this is sunset music, through and through. CIARA DOLAN

DESTROYER, MEGA BOG
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) In recent years, Dan Bejar’s work as Destroyer has seemed to exist in its own time and space, disconnected from the real world and unconcerned with its aesthetic and cultural currents. That feels especially true on 2011’s Kaputt, a masterpiece of synth- and sax-filled lounge-pop that pushes the boundaries of easy consumption with tracks running up to 11 minutes long. In October, Bejar released his 12th Destroyer full-length, Ken, which takes Kaputt’s formula and punches it up with more guitars, forward momentum, and concision. The result: a highly listenable work that combines the best of Destroyer past and present without sacrificing any of Bejar’s distinctive voice and poetry. Tonight, he begins his 2018 North American tour in Portland. BEN SALMON


THURSDAY 1/11

FIN DE CINEMA: JEAN COCTEAU’S BEAUTY AND THE BEAST: LIKE A VILLAIN, NOAH BERNSTEIN, JOHN NIEKRASZ, JONATHAN SIELAFF, AMENTA ABIOTO, PATRICIA AND CM WOLF
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Fin de Cinema shows at PICA’s TBA Festival this year were so fun. Now you can check them out at Holocene. Head to the Southeast Portland venue to watch director Jean Cocteau's classic 1946 film version of the 18th century fairy tale. It’s in black and white. It’s in French. It’s legendary. A bunch of awesome and experimental Portland musicians—Like a Villain, Noah Bernstein, Jonathan Sielaff, Amenta Abioto, Patricia Wolf, and C.M. Wolfe—will be performing a surreal original live score for it. Two good things at the same time. DOUG BROWN


FRIDAY 1/12

THE PRIDS, MURDERBAIT, FOTOFORM
(The Know, 3728 NE Sandy) Read our story on the Prids.

TENDER AGE, SURFER ROSIE, REALIZED, FANTASTIC PLASTIC
(Clinton Street Theater, 2522 SE Clinton) Surfer Rosie’s debut EP helped counteract the feelings of anxiety that seemed to wash over us all last year. Some moments are loud and cathartic, with fuzzed-out riffs cutting through atmospheric noise with frantic energy. But these settle into quiet and contemplative valleys, only to rev back up again for acute sonic whiplash. Surfer Rosie’s music captures the kind of hope that’s perfect to soundtrack the beginning of a new year. DELANEY MOTTER


SATURDAY 1/13

STEVE GUNN, JULIE BYRNE, REBECCA GATES
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Read our super pick.

BLACK BELT EAGLE SCOUT, NSAYI MATINGOU
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) Last year Katherine Paul of Black Belt Eagle Scout quietly released her debut LP, Mother of My Children, via Portland’s Good Cheer Records. Paul—who plays every instrument on the album herself, including guitar, vocals, percussion, bass, keyboard, vibraphone, organ, and piano—lets her inspirations shine on hypnotic tunes like “Indians Never Die” and the brilliantly restrained title track. Her musical advocacy extends beyond her work as Black Belt Eagle Scout; she’s also board chair for Portland’s Rock ’n’ Roll Camp for Girls. Former Ghost Ease drummer Nsayi Matingou opens, so be sure to arrive promptly. Is it too cold out to chug one of Bunk Bar’s signature frosty Icebergs? You decide. RYAN J. PRADO

EAGLES LODGE GRAND RE-OPENING CELEBRATION: KARAOKE FROM HELL
(Eagles Lodge F.O.E. #3256, 4904 SE Hawthorne) The East Portland Eagles Lodge has emerged triumphant from a battle with the Fraternal Order of Eagles, who’d hoped to sell the Hawthorne District building that’s housed the local chapter for over half a century. They’re hosting an all-ages “Survival Party” to celebrate the Eagles Lodge’s grand reopening, with entertainment courtesy of Karaoke from Hell. It’s a prime opportunity to jump onstage with the original live karaoke band—they’ve been backing guest belters around Portland for more than 25 years, and know hundreds of songs, including some on-theme choices like Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive,” Queen’s “We Are the Champions,” and even the Misfits’ “Where Eagles Dare” (but please, god, don’t sing that one in front of the children). CD

STRAVINSKY’S RITE OF SPRING: ELINA VÄHÄLÄ, OREGON SYMPHONY
(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway) Igor Stravinsky’s violent ballet score has been circulating among the world’s concert halls for over a century now, but The Rite of Spring still manages to jolt modern ears with riotous noise, often whipping the orchestra into a seemingly uncontained frenzy. The Oregon Symphony has decided to crank this particular performance to 11, commissioning Brooklyn-based multimedia artist Matthew Haber to create a video installation that will accompany Stravinsky’s music. As if that weren’t enough, the show’s setlist also includes Joseph Haydn’s brilliant Symphony No. 70 and Béla Bartók’s fascinating Violin Concerto No. 2—the latter featuring Finnish soloist Elina Vähälä and her 237-year-old fiddle. BRIAN HORAY


SUNDAY 1/14

STRAVINSKY’S RITE OF SPRING: ELINA VÄHÄLÄ, OREGON SYMPHONY
(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway) See Saturday’s preview.

STEVE GUNN, JULIE BYRNE, SIR RICHARD BISHOP
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Read our super pick.

WOLF PARADE, CHARLY BLISS
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) While almost every other popular punk-flecked indie rock band is borrowing from the same rancid pool of Warped Tour effluvia and that one Built to Spill record everyone loves so much, Brooklyn’s Charly Bliss has carved out a lane all to itself. The group’s 2017 debut Guppy might be forthright in its ’90s reverence, but lead singer Eva Hendricks’ influences fall slightly outside the oft-regurgitated college rock and pop-punk genera. Guppy sounds like an alternate version of the ’90s, where power pop classicists Velvet Crush and Teenage Fanclub triumphed over grunge and changed the course of music history. (Imagine a world... where nobody cares what Dave Grohl thinks!) And although Charly Bliss has one eye on the past—it’s no secret that the band draws heavy inspiration from the rebooted Josie and the Pussycats soundtrack, which features Jason Falkner from Jellyfish, Anna Waronker of That Dog, and Matthew Sweet, among other prominent members of the ’90s-guitar-pop glitterati—Hendricks’ lyrics belong firmly to the present. “I laughed when your dog died/It is cruel, but it’s true,” she sings with a twinge of irony at the beginning of mid-record comedown “DQ,” and her doubt and anxiety over a stagnating relationship are beautifully articulated in the devastating and infectious “Glitter.” But the album’s real standout is “Ruby,” a Pinkerton-indebted love letter to Hendricks’ therapist. Not only is “Ruby” galaxies better than anything Rivers Cuomo has written in the past 22 years, it’s one of the best power pop singles ever. MORGAN TROPER

SLØTFACE Sun 1/14 Bunk Bar MARTIN HOYE

SLØTFACE
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) If you wanted to use an album title to sum up our collective state of being over the past year, you could do much worse than the name of Sløtface’s debut full-length, Try Not to Freak Out, which came out late last summer. And rest assured, Sløtface feels approximately the same way—the young Norwegian quartet spikes its music with pop-culture references, plenty of punk spirit, and progressive lyrics that touch on feminism, environmentalism, gender equality, and politically fueled anxiety. “I’ve filled my quota of boys with acoustic guitars,” sings Haley Shea in “Nancy Drew,” a song about busting up boys’ clubs. “But more are born every year.” This is true, of course. But it’s bands like Sløtface—with breakneck speeds, roaring guitars, killer melodies, and socially aware perspectives—that will be indispensable as we move forward into the future. Let’s all try not to freak out together. BEN SALMON


MONDAY 1/15

STRAVINSKY’S RITE OF SPRING: ELINA VÄHÄLÄ, OREGON SYMPHONY
(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway) See Saturday’s preview.

ROBT SARAZIN BLAKE, CORWIN BOLT, JEFF DONOVAN 
(Turn! Turn! Turn!, 8 NE Killingsworth) Robt Sarazin Blake is a folksinger with punk-rock DIY ethics. For two decades, Blake has recorded and released his own albums while also booking his own tours, driving his own van, and selling his own merch. Logging hundreds of gigs each year, Blake seems at home performing virtually anywhere, from punk clubs and dive bars to coffee shops and bookstores. Like his baritone-voiced predecessor Cisco Houston, Blake sings songs championing the working class and supporting leftist politics, but he also writes love songs and heartbreak songs that’ll stop you cold. Listen to “Up in Your Attic Room” from 2001’s A Crowd of Drunken Lovers, which sounds like it could be a Blood on the Tracks outtake. The Bellingham, Washington-based singer is returning to Portland in support of his 2017 double album, Recitative. SANTI ELIJAH HOLLEY


TUESDAY 1/16

COCO COLUMBIA, LIQUIDLIGHT, CHILDSPEAK
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) It might seem like power pop and prog rock are diametrically opposed—the former genre values tightly constructed, sub-three-minute gems, while the latter is defined by sweeping, neoclassical epics and Tolkien allusions—but that wasn’t even the case in the ’70s. The more succinct material from early Peter Gabriel-led Genesis owes an awful lot to crunchy ’60s pop bands like the Kinks and the Move, and even Emerson, Lake, and Palmer—the most excessive classic prog band—toyed with power pop in the form of 1978’s Love Beach, a painfully earnest record that sounds like the Bay City Rollers with expensive synthesizers. Inversely, power pop auteur Todd Rundgren got his prog kicks with Utopia, the band responsible for some of the worst album art of the decade. (And that’s saying something.) Portland’s Liquidlight are one of the only modern bands I can think of that embraces this forbidden union, and their new album Wicked Radio is like if someone put the contents of my iPod Shuffle from high school into a blender. Singers Anthony Medici and Cory West craft nasal vocal harmonies reminiscent of the Posies’ Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow, but they’re also way more adept than your average Big Star votaries, as evidenced by the technical bombast of “Too Much!” and the staggering “Disappearing Ink,” which reimagines Yes’ Fragile as a shoegaze landmark. Liquidlight is just as good when it’s sticking to the script: “Nice Guy”—despite its tired conceit—is jangle-pop gold replete with “I Am the Cosmos”-caliber guitar pyrotechnics. MT