Fri 3/30 Star Theater Lydo Le

Super Pick

(Star Theater 13 NW 6th) In an interview last year with Pitchfork, New York singer, producer, and DJ Yaeji explained that her creative process involves “a lot of thinking less and making a mess.” It’s a reasonable starting point, considering the type of music she creates: Yaeji’s catalog is almost entirely made up of club tracks, banging blends of hip hop, future R&B, and house that’s the perfect soundtrack to those endless nights when your id is in the driver’s seat and “regret” has been removed from your vocabulary. Her music works just as well in the daylight hours, where the depth and nuance of her lyrics can be better appreciated. Sung in a breathy, quietly quavering voice, Yaeji’s words delve into unusual topics for dance music, like the benefits of therapy and struggling with Western beauty standards. In the video for the teetering, glitchy house track “Last Breath,” she holds an almost ironic makeup tutorial as she lip-syncs lines (sung in Korean) like, “Put the unexpected tomorrow on the back of your hands and spread it in a circular motion/This product is called depression/And it stays on for 24 hours.” Yaeji’s voice is one that the dance music community has clearly been longing for; her videos have racked up millions of YouTube views, and last September she was filmed performing at a party for the taste-making underground music website Boiler Room. And almost all of the dates on her upcoming tour—including her Portland stop at the Star Theater—sold out fast. Sometimes making a mess can get you a lot of attention. ROBERT HAM

CHELSEA WOLFE Wed 3/28 Roseland Kristen Cofer


(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Those old-school goths rushing to the Roseland to witness the classic industrial metal of Ministry (because after all, every day is Halloween) should not miss out on the new-school sludgy darkness of Chelsea Wolfe. Now six excellent albums in to her career, Wolfe’s angelic voice rises from the pits of hell in an unstoppable wave of gothic heavy metal (with help from instrumentalist Ben Chisolm). Armed with smart, esoteric lyrics and a multi-layered sound, Wolfe piles on the dirge with beautiful, elegant ferocity. WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY

(American Legion Post 134, 2104 NE Alberta) See All-Ages Action!

(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) With her sophomore album, 2015’s Two, Liza Anne cemented her reputation as a master of melancholy tunes. Earlier this month the Nashville singer/songwriter released Fine but Dying, 11 songs that braid her experiences with depression, anxiety, and paranoia into fleshed-out rock arrangements, trading lush strings and airy percussion for buoyant drums and punchy electric guitar. Even Anne’s vocal melodies have a little more kick, especially on tracks like “Paranoia,” with its heavy beat and skipping verses. Her catchy choruses haloed by angelic harmonies share similarities with the familial timbres of Portland’s own Joseph (who Anne’s toured with in the past). Tonight, she’s sharing a bill with Los Angeles four-piece Valley Queen, who sound like a slightly grittier, country-tinged cousin to Anne’s pop. ROBIN BACIOR

MOUNT EERIE Thurs 3/29 Revolution Hall Jeff Miller


(Revolution Hall, 1300 SE Stark) Few albums illustrate the death of a loved quite as starkly and beautifully as A Crow Looked at Me, which beloved lo-fi singer/songwriter Phil Elverum released last year under the Mount Eerie moniker following the passing of his wife. Elverum’s new record Now Only also ruminates on loss, but with more distance and grounding. It’s not going to be the most uplifting show of your life, but these are gorgeous, sparse, and heart-wrenching songs played by one of the most talented and prolific musicians in the Pacific Northwest. CIARA DOLAN

(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) There have been moments of tongue-in-cheekiness to Sonny Smith’s music in the past, namely with his nebulous art-folk band Sonny and the Sunsets. The multidisciplinary Smith just released a new solo record, and though the title might belie its earnestness, Rod for Your Love is one of his finest musical declarations. Produced by Black Keys frontman Dan Auerbach, the album centers on Smith’s hook-heavy pop, channeling Ric Ocasek and Tom Petty on the infectious “Adventures.” Later, “Refugees” employs copious percussive flourishes to a lush song about the malleability of borders and the absurdity of unchecked nationalism. It’s not as ambitious as Smith’s vaunted 100 Records project, but the sentimentality and steadiness of Rod for Your Love is the perfect companion for the last gasps of winter. With the Strange Babes DJs spinning all manner of kitschy rock, pop, and punk, this is the kind of evening you’ll regret missing in the twilight of your life. RYAN J. PRADO  


(Star Theater, 13 NW 6th) Read our Yaeji super pick.


(The Fixin’ To, 8218 N Lombard) See All-Ages Action!

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) By the time I started listening to underground music from the Pacific Northwest in the mid-’90s, Boise’s Treepeople had already disbanded, existing solely in the realm of legend. But they were still the source of some of the most unique groups of that particular moment—Built to Spill, Stuntman, The Halo Benders—groups that, like Treepeople, didn’t fit neatly into any of the scenes or sounds happening on this side of the Cascades. But while Treepeople were talked about with reverence, there was also confusion over what to make of the artifacts they left behind; their albums are wild and disjointed rides through garage punk, noisy indie rock, and metal riffing. Their catalog contains no obvious masterpiece, no easy entrance to their greatness, though there’s a surplus of gems in between each record’s misses. And today—underneath the dated production, teen angst, and endless guitar solos—their albums still hold some of the best songs to come out of the Northwest in the late ’80s and early ’90s. JOSHUA JAMES AMBERSON

(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) Sometimes a collaboration is exactly the sum of its parts. Such is the case with Riddles, the new album from Ed Schrader’s Music Beat, a Baltimore-based duo that’s carved out a niche in the underground with its weird, Suicide-style noise-rock. Apparently aching to push its sound into new places, the band invited Dan Deacon to dive deep into the third Music Beat album. Deacon—known for his experimental electro-pop and exhilarating live shows—spent two years working with Schrader’s gang, playing the role of co-writer, arranger, and producer. The result is Riddles, which essentially sounds like the wild-eyed post-punk of Ed Schrader’s Music Beat got hit by a bunch of Dan Deacon glitter bombs, with songs that are bigger, buzzier, grittier, and groovier than anything the band has done before. BEN SALMON

(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) Metal doesn’t always have to be accompanied by piercing screams, squeals, or growls. In fact, a lot of the genre’s power can come from the din under the surface, or what isn’t even there at all. For more than a decade, Chicago trio Russian Circles has proven this to be true, often forgoing vocals altogether with their immersive instrumentals. Like Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s hesher cousin, the band’s atmospheric post-metal never grows stale. Russian Circles are currently on the road with their newly signed Sargent House labelmates King Woman, who pack a different kind of punch. Singer Kristina Esfandiari’s low, breathy intonations create an airy, contemplative feeling that makes King Woman unlike any other doom band out there right now. CERVANTE POPE


(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Seattle’s SassyBlack (AKA Catherine Harris-White, of the now-defunct THEESatisfaction) plays yet another Portland show, offering with her signature hologram funk and psychedelic soul, while San Francisco-based six-piece the Seshen round out the bill. Led by singer Lalin St. Juste and bassist/producer Akiyoshi Ehara, the band make eclectic cocktail of electronic music, synth-pop, and R&B. Their live renditions of songs like “Spectacle” and “Oblivion” are spellbinding. JENNI MOORE

KEVIN MORBY Mon 4/2 Mississippi Studios & Tues 4/3 Aladdin Theater Adarsha Benjamin


(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Across four marvelously moody solo albums, Kevin Morby has established a solo career of smoky, dusk-lit rock with plainspoken lyrics, minimalist song structures, and occasional forays into punk, folk, and drone. He’s drawn so many ears that Mississippi Studios couldn’t hold two back-to-back shows, and moved the second show over to the larger Aladdin Theater. It, too, has sold out. NED LANNAMANN

(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) The Darkness’ 2003 debut Permission to Land is a quintessential early ’00s record in the same way that Grease is a quintessential late ’70s film: Both paid tribute to bygone eras while inadvertently defining a zeitgeist. Certainly, Permission to Land and its omnipresent lead single “I Believe in a Thing Called Love” instigated a renewed appreciation for classic rock camp, for better or worse. And the band’s lead singer and guitarist Justin Hawkins is sort of the primordial late ’00s “hipster”—a dude whose cynical attitudinizing is a cover-up for genuinely cheesy tastes. By the Darkness’ second record, 2006’s One Way Ticket to Hell... and Back, Hawkins had essentially become the caricature he built a career out of lampooning: The album’s title track is a “Thing Called Love” facsimile about being fucked up on expensive drugs (as opposed to fucking). In an alternate universe, the Darkness packs it in after Permission to Land and are eulogized ad nauseam in blogosphere think-pieces for producing a terrific rock record of minor cultural significance. (See: Jeff Buckley.) But in our boring, sort of shitty universe, the Darkness released four more boring, sort of shitty albums that recontextualize Permission to Land as the soulless comedy-rock album its detractors always said it was. That’s what you get for believing. MORGAN TROPER

(Analog Café, 720 SE Hawthorne) Sometimes the best bands are also the hardest to categorize. Such is the case with Triathalon, who play velvety, synth-heavy music that hangs somewhere between the genres of bedroom indie pop, lo-fi R&B, and surf-punk. The seductive and slightly smug air of the Brooklyn band’s new album Online pairs well with tender, sincere lyrics, along with the smooth voice of Adam Intrator and soft, sultry beats. Listening to Triathalon is guaranteed relaxation, whether you’re on your high-stress evening commute or just chilling at home. DELANEY MOTTER

THE GARDEN Tues 4/3 Analog Cafe Cara Robbins


(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway) The sisters Haim are the undisputed masters of anthemic synth-pop, middle parts, synchronized dance moves, and Shania Twain covers. With their latest album, 2017’s excellent Something to Tell You, the Los Angeles trio draws inspiration from Motown-era R&B, the layered harmonies of Fleetwood Mac, and the new wave pop of the Go-Go’s. Queen Lizzo rounds out this magnificent bill—if you haven’t yet listened to her uplifting, empowering 2016 EP Coconut Oil, do so immediately. CD Also read our interview with Lizzo

(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) See Monday's preview.

(Dante’s, 350 W Burnside) Though the “soul collective” formed in Japan in 1995, Acid Mothers Temple’s mind-melting experimental psychedelia sounds like it was born in some distant galaxy and hurtled through outer space, only to crash-land on earth in the middle of the ’70s. It’s meditative, cosmic, and trance-inducing, with endlessly spiraling guitar riffs, gurgling electronics, unpredictable bursts of percussion, and bizarre, droning vocals. Acid Mothers Temple are legends, and you should absolutely experience their strange, hypnotic, extraterrestrial-sounding music live. CD

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(Revolution Hall, 1300 SE Stark) Nils Frahm has long been a brilliant artist, and now he has a place to focus on being brilliant full-time. The German composer and musician—whose work generally sits somewhere near the centerpoint between ambient, electronic, and modern classical music—spent the past few years building his dream studio inside an old Berlin art space called the Funkhaus. He named it Saal 3, and it’s as much a part of Frahm’s incredible new album as the man himself. Throughout All Melody, you can hear him exploring new territory by modifying sounds, adding voices, repurposing instruments, and not only capturing the atmosphere of the room, but incorporating it seamlessly into the whole. By pairing Saal 3’s possibilities with his own command of dynamics, Frahm takes his music to more humanly beautiful heights than ever before. All Melody is a breathtaking work, and if you want to see him perform parts of it, here’s hoping you already have a ticket to tonight’s show, because it’s sold out. BS

(Analog Café, 720 SE Hawthorne) The Garden used to be my favorite band. Twins Fletcher and Wyatt Shears make weird, aggressive new wave punk with just drums, bass, and sometimes an 8-bit video game synth beat. Songs like “We Be Grindin’” are repetitive, but with catchy hooks dramatically contorted as if to see whether dancers can still keep up with the spikes in energy, like a hardcore game of musical chairs. I was obsessed, but after the Garden signed to major punk label Epitaph Records for their sophomore LP, 2015’s Haha, the Shears twins did something unforgivable: They started dressing like French clowns. The Orange County band’s alliance with one of the most objectively creepy things in the world made me feel a little betrayed, but I’ll just listen at home, because their new single “Stallion” (from their brand-new album Mirror Might Steal Your Charm) is still so good. CAMERON CROWELL

SLAY Film Fest
In person at the Clinton St. Theater 10/29 & 10/30