JESSICA LEA MAYFIELD Thurs 2/1 Doug Fir Ebru Yildiz

SUPER PICKS

JESSICA LEA MAYFIELD, SUN SEEKER
(Thurs 2/1 at Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Nashville singer/songwriter Jessica Lea Mayfield’s 2014 album Make My Head Sing... is among my all-time favorites, and for good reason: Throughout, Mayfield sings numbly about turbulent romance, drugs, and her own death, with periodic sparks of deadpan wit (like her stuttered “sa-sa-sa-sa-sa-sadness” on “Seein* Starz”). She’s an incredible storyteller—just listen to “I Wanna Love You,” which is told from the perspective of her stalker against the sinister guitar riff from Blue Oyster Cult’s “Don’t Fear the Reaper.” But even as Mayfield sings about painful experiences, on Make My Head Sing... she sounds cool and detached, suspended in outer space with her glittery pink electric guitar echoing across the cosmos. Before releasing her new album Sorry Is Gone last year, Mayfield posted a photo to Instagram showing herself in a hospital bed, with a message explaining that she was recovering from an injury related to a domestic violence incident. “This is not uncommon,” she wrote. “I want to tell anyone who is protecting their abuser that it’s not worth it... My silence helps no one except the person who did this to me.” Sorry Is Gone deals with the aftermath of this abusive relationship, but the focus is always on the highs and lows of Mayfield’s recovery. And her recovery isn’t a linear path—the album continuously cycles through hopelessness, fear, hope, anger, and joy. The anthemic title track is its most assured: “I deserve to occupy this space without feeling like I don’t belong,” Mayfield belts over warm organ beams, “I’m done excusing myself/I’m sorry, I’m sorry, but sorry is gone.” But that’s not where the album ends; there are nine more songs after “Sorry Is Gone” that struggle with isolation (“Bum Me Out”), flashbacks (“Soaked Through”), and wondering if anyone’s safe to trust (“Safe 2 Connect 2”). With her new record, Mayfield unapologetically tells her story and empowers other survivors by illustrating how healing from trauma can be a lifelong process. CIARA DOLAN

KATY PERRY, CARLY RAE JEPSEN

CARLY RAE JEPSEN Fri 2/2 Moda Center Courtesy of the Artist

(Fri 2/2 at Moda Center, 1 Center Court) Katy Perry tops this bill, but the real focus should be on Carly Rae Jepsen, the reigning cool queen of pop. After all, Perry is sooooo 2010-to-2013, and her new album, Witness—its painfully “woke” promotional rollout, and its chart-allergic singles—has fueled speculation among the pixel-pushing class that her career is all but over. But I’m not ready to give up on Katy! Lest we forget, she’s the superstar behind one of the greatest runs in Billboard Hot 100 history: when Perry placed five straight songs from her Teenage Dream album into the #1 spot. Never mind the fact that you couldn’t escape (the admittedly aggravating) “Roar” in 2013, and that her most recent mega-hit, “Dark Horse,” just might be her best single ever. (No one will agree with that last one, but I believe it.) Sure, the over-the-top, luxe-pop production on Witness doesn’t quite jibe with Perry’s new, enlightened brand message. And the album has more listless filler than we’d like. But... she’s going to play “California Gurls” and “E.T.” and “Firework” and “Last Friday Night,” right? She’s not going to not play them, and those songs still bang. And be sure to get to the Moda Center on time, because Jepsen is a master craftswoman of pop music who had that one big hit years ago, yes, but also put out one of the very best albums of the 21st century so far: 2015’s E•MO•TION. She’s headlining arena shows in that alternate timeline we all wish we were living in. BEN SALMON


WEDNESDAY 1/31

BARNA HOWARD, RYAN OXFORD, KELE GOODWIN
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) There was a time when country balladeers like Barna Howard were a dime a dozen. The scope of Howard’s Midwestern missives extends well beyond its regional boundaries, finding a home wherever the acoustics resonate best. But in 2018, his real-deal sentimentalism is a treat, and a throwback to the storytelling of songwriters like John Prine and Townes Van Zandt. Howard’s steady tunes drip with nostalgia, especially on his sophomore album Quite a Feelin’, released in 2015 via Mama Bird Recording Co. The easy-does-it range of poignant songs like “Indiana Rose” and “Rooster Still Crows” pairs timelessly with more rugged barn-scorchers like “Pull Us Back or Wind Us Up.” In either gear, Howard’s boy-next-door charms and unwavering relatability make him one of the best songwriters in Portland and beyond. RYAN J. PRADO


THURSDAY 2/1

JESSICA LEA MAYFIELD, SUN SEEKER
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Read our Jessica Lea Mayfield super pick.

A BENEFIT FOR VGMF: FERNANDO, TRUJILLO, EDNA VAZQUEZ
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) In 1975 a six-year old girl named Virginia Garcia died after receiving a small cut on her foot that became infected. In honor of her legacy, the Virgina Garcia Memorial Fund was started as means to provide migrant and seasonal farm workers with access to health care and to prevent similar preventable deaths from occurring. Each artist performing at this concert has generously offered their talents for free to raise awareness and funds EMILLY PRADO

THE THESIS: BLOSSOM, HOT16, THE PARIAHS, COVI
(Kelly’s Olympian, 426 SW Washington) Monthly hip-hop showcase The Thesis is the best place to see rising stars in the local scene. February’s edition is proof—performers include soul singer Blossom and producer Hot 16, who released their collaborative LP Tease last summer. It’s dreamy, jazz-infused R&B with compelling energy, especially on tracks like “Superwoman.” CD

DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS, LILLY HIATT
(Roseland Theater, 8 NW 6th) I really like the Drive-by Truckers, but the gem on this bill is the opening act. Last year Nashville country singer Lilly Hiatt released Trinity Lane, a powerful, gritty record with songs about breaking up, getting sober, and grieving the late David Bowie. Hiatt sounds like a young Lucinda Williams—her voice is gravelly and thunderously emotive, especially when backed by an autoharp on “All Kinds of People.” CD


FRIDAY 2/2

KATY PERRY, CARLY RAE JEPSEN, PURITY RING
(Moda Center, 1 N Center Ct) Read our super pick.

KYLE CRAFT, THE SHIVAS, GHOST FOOT
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Local lad Kyle Craft celebrates his second solo record tonight with a pull-out-all-the-stops release show featuring his rambunctious rock ’n’ soul. Produced by the Decemberists’ Chris Funk and released on the venerable Sub Pop label, Full Circle Nightmare is a throwback stomper, with shades of twang and glam to aid in the telling of Craft’s tales of lust, love, and other natural disasters. NED LANNAMANN Also read our story on Kyle Craft.

DRUNKEN PALMS, BEING AWONE, BABEHOVEN
(Black Water Bar, 835 NE Broadway) Read our review of Drunken Palms’ new EP.

CURTIS SALGADO AND ALAN HAGER
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Tonight the seasoned duo of soul singer/songwriter Curtis Salgado and guitarist Alan Hager will celebrate their new collaborative album, Rough Cut. Released via Alligator Records, it’s an easygoing collection of originals and stripped-down covers (like Muddy Waters’ “I Can’t Be Satisfied”) that debuted at number two on Billboard’s Blues chart. The event will be fully seated—perfect for some foot-tappin’. CD

ASHLEY BATHGATE
(The Old Church, 1422 SW 11th) The final concert of the inaugural Spontaneous Combustion New Music Festival features Ashley Bathgate in a solo performance that everyone in the attendance will likely remember for the rest of their lives. A cellist who plays with the internationally acclaimed sextet Bang on a Can All-Stars, the indefatigable and eclectic Bathgate is equally at home with a traditional classical concerto or a Questlove collaboration. Her setlist for this evening includes several works with and without electronics by living composers, like minimalist pioneer Steve Reich and the endlessly fascinating 2016 Guggenheim Fellow Andrew Norman. Time and time again, the Old Church proves itself as one of the finest venues for experiencing chamber music, and this particular opportunity to witness a brilliant musician stretch the sonic boundaries of the cello will undoubtedly result in spontaneously combusted minds and hearts in every pew. BRIAN HORAY

BRICKBAT MANSION, A TRIBUTE TO THE CURE: VIBRISSAE, DJ CURATRIX, DJ WEDNESDAY
(The Steep and Thorny Way to Heaven, 1464 SE 2nd) In Portland, tribute nights usually take the form of costumed bike rides and overpriced dance parties honoring dearly departed legends like Bowie and Prince. Brickbat Mansion is the long-running darkwave night led by Curatrix and DJ Wednesday, and tonight they’re celebrating the Cure. Don your finest goth attire and enter the darkly chic Steep and Thorny Way to Heaven for Cure tunes spun at the right speed, and in an appropriately mysterious setting. The venue is almost like the Eagles Lodge—members get to purchase drinks with their cards, while non-members are cash-only, but the event itself is free if you RSVP on Facebook. CERVANTE POPE

PANZERGOD, FUNERAL CHANT, PANDISCHORDIAN NECROGENESIS, MANIA
(Twilight Café and Bar, 1420 SE Powell) Few extreme metal bands possess names as fascinating as San Francisco’s Pandiscordian Necrogenesis. It sounds like a symptom of a collapsing utopian planet, or a rapid and disruptive ecological evolution that decimates continents. Musically, Pandiscordian Necrogenesis is as raw, creepy, and nasty as black metal can get; it’s the kind of music you could sand a boat with. If you’re wondering what collective of rabid minds came up with such a devastating sound, you’ll be surprised to learn that Pandiscordian Necrogenesis is a one-man operation. Steve Peacock, AKA Ephemeral Domignostika, plays guitar, sings, and manipulates a bass and snare drum with his feet while performing. It’s a far cry from a busker with a series of instruments attached to their person controlled by various appendages, but man, if it doesn’t look like a mind-melter to witness. ARIS HUNTER WALES


SATURDAY 2/3

HAVANIA WHAAL, SUPERMOON, HUSKY BOYS
(Firkin Tavern, 1937 SE 11th) Supermoon’s Playland was one of my favorite albums of 2016; put out by Mint Records, it’s full of indie pop songs as bright and colorful as the neon flashing lights of carnival rides, with subject matter that lurks in darker corners of the amusement park. The Vancouver, BC, band sings about living in a mansplained world, the power of having your own secrets, and navigating life’s gray areas in sugary vocals, with surf guitar riffs that recall other Pacific Northwest groups like Chastity Belt and Tacocat. Much like the lunar phenomenon that inspired their name, Supermoon’s free show at the Firkin Tavern is a rare opportunity to see something awesome for zero dollars. CD

LIGHTS
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) Born from the same era that produced mainstream electro-pop acts like Owl City and Hellogoodbye, Lights was once a hidden gem on the genre’s fringes. Since then, she’s released four full-length albums, the most recent being 2017’s Skin&Earth. It’s a testament to the Canadian musician’s ability to update her sound without abandoning her roots. The record incorporates distinct hallmarks of modern pop, like climactic anthems and soft ballads. Lights has transformed herself from a mid-2000s obscurity to an electro-pop powerhouse with ties to big names like Tegan and Sara, Chvrches, and Broods. DELANEY MOTTER

SWEEPING EXITS Sat 2/3 Bunk Bar Dani Ransom

LITTLE STAR, WAVE ACTION, SWEEPING EXITS
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) Sweeping Exits’ Glitter & Blood is unlike any album you’ve heard before. Frontwoman Mira Glitterhound is the mind behind the expansive, 16-track rock opera, narrating stories of murder, love, revenge, and queer vampires—imagine if Anne Rice wrote an erotic thriller about the Vampire Lestat’s goth band. Glitterhound playfully jumps from genre to genre, but each song is meticulously crafted, with traces of Bowie glam on “The Palace,” while “Lady Death” is more reminiscent of a wispy Carpenters song, and “The Queen’s Ball” sounds like doo-wop surf-rock. Glitter and Blood is an album made to be experienced live—fog machine, fake blood, glitter, and all. CAMERON CROWELL


SUNDAY 2/4

PRAWN, CARAVELA, SÓL, LOWGLOW
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) New Jersey’s Prawn play the kind of thoughtful, dynamic post-rock imbibed mightily during the early ’00s, when I and everyone I knew weren’t sure why we were so pissed off at everything. The band’s 2011 debut, You Can Just Leave It All, possesses the kind of fuck-it-all aesthetics that made bands like Further Seems Forever, Thursday, and Taking Back Sunday virtually household names, primarily anchored by a sonic disembodiment from its angst-laden lyrics. That’s not to say the band is merely rehashing an old formula; Prawn is a talented quartet that squeezes the most out of its influences, and occasionally points its gaze forward. That sentiment is mostly applicable to the band’s sprawling 2017 LP Run. It’s not against the rules to be pissed off and aimless, even when you’re firmly entrenched in your 30s. For those about to brood, Prawn salutes you. RJP


MONDAY 2/5

PRETTIEST EYES, BOMBAY BEACH, MEMORY BOYS, PENNYMART
(The Know, 3728 NE Sandy) Prettiest Eyes’ 2017 LP, Pools, didn’t make a single year-end list I looked at, and I looked at a lot of those lists. I made one of those lists. Prettiest Eyes was not on it. The whole damn system is broken if something as powerful and pure as Pools is slipping through the cracks. The album opens with hypnotic synth stabs and echoing vocals that recall Suicide, but within a minute, Prettiest Eyes ditches the menacing groove for the primal release of punk chaos. The rest of the album pursues variations on that theme: the Los Angeles trio will lay down a deep, head-bobbing throb before ascending into feral oblivion that is all fog, strobe lights, and stinging sweat. Bands have been chasing the unholy magic of the Screamers for decades now, but few have come this close to actually capturing it. CHRIS STAMM


TUESDAY 2/6

YACHT, FRENCH VANILLA
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Yacht’s relocation from Portland to Los Angeles hasn’t soured their hometown one bit. The multi-pronged art conglomerate followed up their 2015 LP I Thought the Future Would Be Cooler—the band’s first for Downtown Records—with the bouncy electro-pop of 2017’s Strawberry Moon EP. This newest offering forges the danceable production of Jona Bechtolt with Claire L. Evans’ playful pop vocals. Above all, though, it’s just fun. Yacht appears to have addressed its almost universally negatively critiqued sex-tape hoax of 2016 with “Shame,” the super-catchy manifesto of contemporary social media metaphysics that dares a generation to escape their “thingness.” Whether you can claim to have seen them play a party to, like, 15 people in someone’s basement in 2004, or whether you’d heard of them before you even moved here makes no difference to the band, probably. RJP