PHOEBE BRIDGERS Wed 4/25 Doug Fir Frank Ockenfels

SUPER PICK

PHOEBE BRIDGERS, LOMELDA

The musical background of Los Angeles singer/songwriter Phoebe Bridgers is wildly diverse: She studied vocal jazz in high school and formerly played bass with beloved LA/Brooklyn-based punk band Sloppy Jane, whose performances often include nudity and the lead singer vomiting blue paint. But Bridgers’ phenomenal 2017 debut Stranger in the Alps is made up of folksy confessionals about the relationship between desire and control (“Killer”), premature death (“Funeral”), intimacy as an anchor (“Smoke Signals”), and the subtext of sexting (“Demi Moore”), along with a Conor Oberst duet (“Would You Rather”), and a cover of Mark Kozelek’s “You Missed My Heart.” She’s already gotten cosigns from the likes of Julien Baker (whom she’s toured with), Ryan Adams (she released her debut 7-inch Killer on his label Pax-Am Records in 2016, and in an accompanying bio he described her as a “unicorn”), and John Mayer (who also called her something weirdly mystical: a “giant”). It’s easy to see why; Bridgers’ lyrics are honest to a degree that’s almost uncomfortable, like they were never meant to be heard by strangers, and she delivers them like she drank a truth serum before jumping onstage. It’s kind of radical to expose this much, especially given the overuse of words like “intimate” and “vulnerable” to describe people singing about their feelings. It’s also completely electrifying—Bridgers injects her sometimes brutally critical self-reflections with winking humor that feels like a very complete portrait of who she is. A perfect example is the music video for standout track “Motion Sickness,” where she rides around on a Razor scooter while wearing a suit and singing the driving hook, “I have emotional motion sickness/Somebody roll the windows down/There are no words in the English language/I could scream to drown you out.” CIARA DOLAN


MY BODY Wed 4/25 Holocene Jeremy Hernandez

WEDNESDAY 4/25

DISCO/TECH: FRINGE CLASS, MY BODY, LISA VAZQUEZ, DJ LAMAR LEROY
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison)
Since Fringe Class’s 2018 and getting through each day is basically an award-worthy accomplishment, a mid-week dance party is exactly what you need. Holocene’s got you covered with Disco/Tech, their weekly dance night/showcase of everything from synth to hip-hop to disco. This week’s lineup is great, with the high-energy, retro-tinged synth band Fringe Class, the electro-pop duo My Body, and one-woman hip-hop innovator Lisa Vazquez. ERIK HENRIKSEN

BROWN CALCULUS, ADEBISI, MAL LONDON
(The Liquor Store, 3341 SE Belmont) Intergalactic jazz duo Brown Calculus headlines tonight’s show in the Liquor Store basement, but the move here is to arrive early, since the show could also serve as an introduction to Seattle artist/producer Mal London, as well as Adebisi, a new neo-soul band based in Portland. You’d be well-advised to wear your dancin’ shoes. JENNI MOORE

FLATBUSH ZOMBIES, KIRK KNIGHT, NYCK CAUTION
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Flatbush Zombies’ raunchy and visionary new album Vacation in Hell can be best described as Dawn of the Dead-meets-cloud rap. It’s the follow-up to the New York crew’s 2016 debut 3001: A Laced Odyssey, and across 19 tracks, Meechy Darko, Zombie Juice, and Erick Arc Elliott pass the mic seamlessly, rapping over psychedelic soundscapes about ego death, sex, invincibility, self-loathing, and mortality. The record is saturated with humanity, humility, and the uncertainty always looming in dark corners of their music. MARY CUMPSTON


AMA LOU Thurs 4/26 Wonder Ballroom Primary Talent Intl

THURSDAY 4/26

KPSU’S AMP FEST: LITTLE WINGS, BLACK BELT EAGLE SCOUT, NSAYI MATINGOU
(Parkway North at PSU’s Smith Memorial Student Union, 1825 SW Broadway) Portland State University’s student-run radio station KPSU is hosting its third-annual Amp Fest for its 2018 pledge drive, with two nights packed with music from some of the best musicians currently residing in the Pacific Northwest. Nsayi Matingou (Kusikia) kicks things off Thursday, followed by Black Belt Eagle Scout (AKA Katherine Paul), who released one of 2017’s best local indie records in Mother of My Children, and Little Wings, the folksy songwriting alias of K Records stalwart Kyle Field. Friday’s lineup is a doozy, starting with Good Cheer Records up-and-comer Gillian Frances, who’s releasing the EP Born Yesterday next month. Then comes Olympia dark folk band Oh, Rose, who deliver one of the rawest, most hair-raising performances I’ve ever witnessed; watch the spooky (and bloody) music video for “Seven” and you’ll understand why. They’re followed by Seattle-based loop master Briana Marela and Olympia pop outfit Lake, with Portland’s own Sávila closing out the festival with cumbia rhythms. CD

JORJA SMITH, AMA LOU
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) For pop, R&B, and hip-hop artists, there may be no quicker path to credibility, buzz, and stardom right now than a co-sign from Drake. The man is the current King of the Zeitgeist (with no sign of relinquishing that crown anytime soon), and collaborating with him is like an overdose of PEDs for a music career. Now consider Jorja Smith, the British singer/songwriter who not only scored a feature on Drake’s 2017 album More Life, her first name actually appeared in one of the song titles. “Jorja Interlude” is a two-minute bounty of beats, one Drake verse, and a Smith refrain that leads into “Get It Together,” a song prominently featuring Smith’s soulful vocals set to house music. Smith was already rising before More Life, but since she has collaborated with fellow hotshots Khalid, Kali Uchis, and Stormzy, performed on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, and turned heads at Coachella. Did I mention she’s 20 years old? And doesn’t have an album out yet? Get used to hearing her name. BEN SALMON

PISS TEST, FIRE NUNS, HAYLEY AND THE CRUSHERS
(Alleyway Cafe & Bar, 2415 NE Alberta) Piss Test is one of the busier bands in Portland’s teeming underground—over the past six years, the trio’s put out a slew of EPs, splits, and two LPs. On their sophomore album (released last year via Dirt Cult Records), the trio’s thrashy first-wave punk comes in quick, raw, bombastic clips, screeching out of the gate on the scathing “Marianne” and later taking aim at police strong-arming on the rapid-fire resistance track “Arizona Cops.” Piss Test will be joined in the Quonset hut-like confines of the Alleyway by fellow Portland ragers Fire Nuns, whose Neither the Nor Thee EP operates in freakier sonic enclaves, and San Luis Obispo’s Hayley and the Crushers, whose sugary-sweet skuzz-pop was last heard on record on 2016’s peppy LP Jewel Case. RYAN J. PRADO  

POST MALONE, 21 SAVAGE, SOB X RBE
(Veterans Memorial Coliseum, 300 N Winning Way) Post Malone’s breakthrough single “White Iverson” is still getting radio play three years after it dropped. Since its release, his meme-worthy tattooed face and Muppet-like mullet have grown ever more endearing, and the mellow hip-hop tracks of his new album Beerbongs & Bentleys are just as catchy and likable. Issa king 21 Savage will elevate the trappiness of the tour, which kicks off at Portland’s Memorial Coliseum following Post Malone’s Coachella stint. With Vallejo, California, rap crew SOB x RBE (whose track “Paramedic!” is featured on the Black Panther soundtrack) opening things up, this bill is lit for all the right reasons. CERVANTE POPE


FRIDAY 4/27

DANAVA, PAINTED DOLL, PUSHY, DJ DENNIS DREAD
(Tonic Lounge, 3100 NE Sandy) The indomitable riff wizards of Danava have a new album in the works, and tonight—their first show of 2018—will be your first chance to hear some of the great new tunes the local heroes have been spit-shining. But save plenty of room for the Tommy James and the Shondells-meets-Blue Öyster Cult psych-pop of their Tee Pee labelmates Painted Doll, plus the dirty denim boogie of Portland’s own Pushy! NED LANNAMANN

AWESOME TAPES FROM AFRICA, DJ PYTHON, SAHEL SOUNDS AND CUICA
(The Liquor Store, 3341 SE Belmont) Thanks to the magic of the internet, Awesome Tapes from Africa proliferates and amplifies some of the incredible music being made on the other side of the world. Tonight, the man behind the label/blog, Brian Shimkovitz, stops through the Liquor Store to spin a set of some of his dopest finds, and he’ll be joined by New York’s DJ Python and Portland’s Sahel Sounds and Cuica. NL

KPSU’S AMP FEST: SÁVILA, LAKE, OH ROSE, BRIANA MARELA, GILLIAN FRANCES
(Parkway North at PSU’s Smith Memorial Student Union, 1825 SW Broadway) See Thursday's preview.


SATURDAY 4/28

STRANGE BABES SOUL AND FUNK REVUE
(Killingsworth Dynasty, 832 N Killingsworth) Just try and convince me this event doesn't sound like everything missing in your life. The lady DJ trio Strange Babes invites you to "feel all the feelings on the dance floor" at their monthly dance party, featuring soul and funk jams from New Orleans, Memphis, Detroit, Philly, Chicago, and more. Dance it out, Portland. ALEX ZIELINSKI

RED YARN
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) See All-Ages Action!

KHRUANGBIN, MATTSON 2
(Revolution Hall, 1300 SE Stark) Read our story on Khruangbin.

DAVID J, JOSHUA CHARLES McCASLIN
(Turn! Turn! Turn!, 8 NE Killingsworth) If you’re a fan of post-punk, you’ll recognize the lithe physique and angular features of David J from his days playing bass in the legendary groups Bauhaus and Love and Rockets. While his ex-bandmates have been attempting to reclaim their thrones in the pop universe, he has turned into a wandering troubadour, performing in small spaces and venues across the US where he pulls from the catalogs of his former projects, dips into some surprising covers, and brings out original material that eschews gothic haze in place of ruminative acoustic-based beauty and sadness. Joining him on the bill is Joshua Charles McCaslin, a local singer/songwriter whose work aligns with the country-blues tradition, capped off by the perfect twang of his heartrending vocals. ROBERT HAM


ZAYTOVEN Sun 4/29 Holocene Courtesy of the artist

SUNDAY 4/29

ZAYTOVEN, DJ MAXX BASS, DJ BNICK
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) The sound of 21st century hip-hop booms out of Atlanta, and a whole bunch of those booms originated from the mind and fingers of Zaytoven. The producer established his reputation in the early 2000s through a series of mixtapes he made with Gucci Mane, which the pair sold out of the trunks of their cars. He earned a Grammy for his work on Usher’s “Papers” in 2011, backed Migos’ “Versace”-clad breakthrough in 2013, and produced Future’s Beast Mode mixtape in 2015. Through it all, his signature sound has remained more or less the same: deep bass, crisp snares, and—most prominently—the prettiest keyboard parts in the game. Find yourself a good pair of headphones and listen to Future’s “Just Like Bruddas.” It’s like kicking back in a bathtub full of diamonds and dirty Sprite. BS

MONDAY 4/30

SAVAGE MASTER, BEWITCHER, SOUL GRINDER
(Tonic Lounge, 3100 NE Sandy) Wise performers understand that spectacle is just as important, if not more important, than the music. A band’s musical talent can be immense, but if they stand onstage motionless and expressionless in a pair of khakis and a sweater, said talent is essentially wasted. Upon witnessing a performance from Portland’s Soul Grinder, it’s clear these metal fiends know exactly what it takes to hold an audience’s attention. Bassist/vocalist April “Prilzor” Dimmick commands the stage like Trash from Return of the Living Dead: She feathers her florescent green hair to the ceiling, paints her face with colorful, blacklight-activated face paint, and grits her teeth like a demon throughout their set. The theatrical potential of metal is not lost on Soul Grinder, and their music goes right along with their ghastly image. Their 2017 EP Terraflesh is five songs of vicious, filthy heavy metal. Prilzor’s vocals are a cross between the vibrato of Betsy Bitch and the evil sneering of King Diamond. Guitarist Alex Avery and drummer Kevin Ross round out the band’s sound with the hopelessness and heaviness of a dank dungeon. Soul Grinder is the executioner and the guillotine all in one. You’ve been warned. ARIS HUNTER WALES


KHALID Tues 5/1 Theater of the Clouds at Moda Center Kacie Tomita

TUESDAY 5/1

KHALID, PRETTYMUCH
(Theater of the Clouds at Moda Center, 1 N Center Ct) This up-and-coming Grammy-nominated R&B artist is in town for his “Roxy” tour; in honor of his adopted pit bull Roxy, one dollar of every ticket sold will go to local animal shelters. Khalid’s known for his hit single “Location” and is touring in support of his studio debut, American Teen. JM

ZOLA JESUS
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) See All-Ages Action!