FRI FEB 23
w/Wild Ones, Amenta Abioto; Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside
After a five-year hibernation, Typhoon finally released their fourth record Offerings last month, and now the 11-piece indie rock band is rolling back into Portland for a hometown show at the Crystal Ballroom. Across 14 tracks, frontman Kyle Morton illustrates the struggle of a character who’s losing his memory. Though this existential dread lingers in every dark corner, the band still manages to coax out those catchy, orchestral melodies that helped their last album, 2013’s White Lighter, hit No. 2 on Billboard’s Heatseekers chart. Despite Typhoon’s past mainstream success, Offerings is deliberately experimental; the record opens with Morton’s warning, “Listen: Of all the things you’re about to lose, this will be the most painful,” and it’s often unclear where one song ends and the other begins, adding to the sense that Offering is meant to be ingested as one whole body of work. Sometimes the album’s dip into dystopia can feel a bit forced, but it’s a welcome return from one of the city’s most successful bands.
SUN FEB 25
w/Tune-Yards; Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell
The self-titled debut EP from Sudan Archives is one of the most interesting releases of last year; inspired by Sudanese fiddlers, Brittney Denise Parks sings and loops her violin over intricate, often hand-clapped rhythms, and the result is a lush, technicolor marriage of experimental folk and R&B (the best example is the standout “Oatmeal”). If you’re going to see headliner Tune-Yards, get there early—based on the weight and creativity of this first EP, it’s safe to say Sudan Archives is going to be a big name in the years to come.
MON FEB 26
w/Blank Range; Revolution Hall, 1300 SE Stark
If you’re wondering where all the Lorettas and Dollys and Tammys have gone, look no further than Margo Price. The Nashville musician’s 2016 debut Midwest Farmer’s Daughter and 2017 follow-up All American Made pay homage to the first ladies of country while kicking down the fences that’re still holding her back, especially on songs like “Pay Gap”—a modern update of Parton’s “9 to 5” where Price laments “ripping my dollars in half” with shrewd analysis of the fact that “This institution, a dead revolution/Is giving young women abuse.” She’s not afraid to criticize Trump and his supporters in her anti-Americana anthems, and even collaborated with fellow alternative country icon Willie Nelson on the track “Learning to Lose.” Margo Price preserves the best parts of country music—the defiance, twang, and homespun warmth—and shucks off the bullshit.