KENDRICK LAMAR Sun 5/6 Sunlight Supply Amphitheater Larry Busacca/Getty Images

SUPER PICK

KENDRICK LAMAR, SZA, SCHOOLBOY Q, JAY ROCK, AB-SOUL, SIR, LANCE SKIIWALKER
(Sun 5/6 at Sunlight Supply Amphitheater, 17200 NE Delfel, Vancouver WA) With his current status as the world’s greatest living rapper, Compton native Kendrick Lamar continues to defy what was once socially expected of a hip-hop artist. At 30 years old, Lamar has developed a habit of shattering musical records: Two of his four studio albums—2012’s Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City and 2015’s To Pimp a Butterfly—are certified platinum, while his newest album Damn. was the first and only album to receive a double platinum certification in 2017. Most significantly, perhaps, is his recent triumph as the first non-classical or jazz musician to win a Pulitzer Prize in music (for his work on Damn.) since the prestigious award was introduced in 1943. Lamar’s Pulitzer marks the beginning of a new era for hip-hop, one where it’s rightfully considered high art. Damn., like Lamar’s previous albums, centers on themes of self-discovery, stark internal and external conflicts, and blunt honesty about the perilous realities of life in the hood. Although his origin story and rise to fame might seem like a modern-day American Dream epic, applying this narrative is an insult and erasure of what it means for some to be Black in America today. On the masterful track “XXX,” Lamar sets the record straight in three parts: First, he illustrates a setting where survival must be brutal, and draws parallels between famished sharks and gangs in Compton. Then K. Dot, a teenaged Lamar, forgoes his faith when the need to avenge his friend’s death overpowers it. Finally, Lamar turns his lens to the criminalization of communities of color and the ultimate hypocrisy of America: “You overnight the big rifles, then tell Fox to be scared of us/Gang members or terrorists, et cetera, et cetera, America’s reflections of me, that’s what a mirror does.” EMILLY PRADO


WEDNESDAY 5/2

OF MONTREAL, LOCATE S,1
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) Of Montreal have many great releases, but their latest, White Is Relic/Irrealis Mood, is not one of them. A bladder-busting, 40-minute EP, it doubles down on the icy electronic sound of 2016’s Innocence Reaches. The big difference here is in the execution: Kevin Barnes’ perversion of the radio pop idiom on Innocence Reaches made for a compelling listen, and the message in songs like “Let’s Relate” and “It’s Different for Girls” was at least cogent. By comparison, White Is Relic leaves a lot to be desired in the melody department, and its lyrics seem to confuse radical sentiment with disjointed clusters of Twitter buzzwords—Bushwick! Gentrification! A reference to “DMs” in the opening line of “Soft Music/Juno Portraits of the Jovian Sky.” Barnes’ current inability to effectively tackle social and cultural issues with his music is even more depressing when you realize this was the person who wrote “Tim, I Wish You Were Born a Girl”—still one of the subtlest, most profound meditations on gender identity in the entire pop canon. MORGAN TROPER

ELECTRIC WIZARD, RIP
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) That rumble you’ve been hearing? That’s the mighty Electric Wizard rolling up the West Coast on a rare US tour. The English doom lords last played Portland in 2015, and before that... well, let’s just say Satan was in diapers back then. Scarcity is one reason tonight’s show is sold out, and another is that they’re one of the heaviest bands on the planet, the kind whose sound is so big, deep, and loud, it actually feels like they’re sucking the air out of the room. Over the past 25 years, Jus Oborn & Co. have conjured up a particularly sinister brand of doom metal by combining chest-caving guitar riffs, glacial rhythms, and lurid tales of sex, drugs, and murder. In Electric Wizard’s world, there is nothing else. BEN SALMON


THURSDAY 5/3

AND AND AND, THICK BUSINESS, BRYSON CONE, AH GOD
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) And And And always manages to find ways to take fans by surprise. For instance: When drummer Bim Ditson ran for Portland mayor in 2016 and accumulated a surprising number of supporters, or when the band used the release of their latest album Idiot to take a firm stance against the internet and music streaming services. And And And’s next release is set to be just as interesting, and it’s something they’ve been working on for the last four years. Tonight at Holocene they’ll premiere And And And & the Philosopher’s Stoned, the band’s puzzle-piece of a short film made up of five DIY music videos with interconnected storylines and cockamamie visuals. After the screening they’ll perform alongside fellow locals Ah God, Bryson Cone, and Thick Business. If you can’t get enough of ...The Philosopher’s Stoned, there’ll be copies of the DVD for sale at the show. CERVANTE POPE


FRIDAY 5/4

COLTER WALL, JADE BIRD, IAN NOE
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) Throwback country is “a thing” right now, as a new generation of twangy singer/songwriters rebel against the airbrushed glitz that pumped out of Nashville over the past couple of decades (and still does today). Colter Wall does not qualify as part of this movement. His guy-with-guitar-plus-pedal-steel sound fits, certainly, but “throwback” seems like the wrong word for a dude who looks and sounds like he time-traveled from the mid-20th century to play pitch-perfect, downcast, barstool country-folk songs for modern times. Wall is from a tiny town in Saskatchewan, so he’s got that windswept Canadian Plains quality to his music, and though he’s only 22, he has the voice of a 77-year-old with a mouth full of molasses—think Waylon Jennings, Townes Van Zandt, and Johnny Cash. Only time will tell if he ever comes anywhere close to those guys’ level, but for now: Yes, he seems to be that good. BS

SMOKING POPES, BAD COP BAD COP
(Dante’s, 350 W Burnside) The door Green Day kicked open swung both ways: For seemingly every kid that chased the scent of “Longview” into the basement, where harsher and obscurer sounds lived, there was a punkish band making the opposite trip, up into the rarefied air of modern rock radio and fleeting MTV exposure. Among the more deserving bands that made the latter journey were the Smoking Popes, whose 1995 breakthrough Born to Quit blends old-fashioned crooning and mall-friendly pop-punk to create a singular hybrid that didn’t quite jibe with anything else happening at the time. I don’t think anyone back then was wondering what Screeching Weasel would have sounded like if Ben Weasel had decided to become Frank Sinatra, but the Smoking Popes answered the question no one was asking, and it sounds as unexpected and lovely now as it did two decades ago. CHRIS STAMM


SATURDAY 5/5

CLUB KAI KAI SELENA TRIBUTE: DJ ILL CAMINO, DJ POCKET ROCK-IT
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) You love things that are over the top—so you’ll adore the hilarious fun of the drag dance party, Club Kai Kai. But tonight’s edition is especially especial because it’s a tribute to the late, great Mexican/American diva Selena, as well as being a fundraiser for Pueblo Unido PDX, which supports East County community members facing deportation. Tonight’s show is hosted by the divine Daniel Giron and Kat Salas, with a performance by Selena impersonator Mynx, drag deliciousness from Hydrangea Strangea, Lola Coquette, and Boujee Cherry, as well as lots of DJ dancing magic! Celebrate the legacy of Selena while having the time of your life. WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY

FERNANDO Y LOS COCHINOS, SÁVILA, TRUJILLO
(Star Theater, 13 NW 6th) It’s been 20 years since Oregon Music Hall of Fame inductee Fernando Viciconte released Pacoima, his groundbreaking Spanish language record that marries the hard rock of his now-defunct band Monkey Paw with the musical traditions of his native Argentina and nostalgia for his former home in the Pacoima neighborhood of California’s San Fernando Valley. For Record Store Day last month, Viciconte and his band Los Cochinos geared up for the 20th anniversary by dropping The Pacoima Radio Sessions, a stirring collection of live versions of the songs recorded before the album’s release. Tonight he’ll celebrate Pacoima with a blowout show at the Star Theater, joined by two fantastic local openers: psychedelic Chicano rocker Trujillo and up-and-coming cumbia band Sávila. CIARA DOLAN Also read our story on the 20th anniversary of Fernando’s record Pacoima.

SABA, JOSEPH CHILLIAMS, JEAN DEAUX
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE César E. Chávez) Saba’s new album Care for Me is outstanding, and over the next several months, you’ll undoubtedly hear critics praising it as a surprise stunner from the next big thing out of Chicago. This is half correct; Saba is (or should be) the next big thing out of Chicago, but anyone who was paying attention to his wondrous 2016 mixtape Bucket List Project could’ve seen this coming a mile away. On both Bucket List and Care for Me, Saba proves himself to be a deft rapper, a thoughtful lyricist, a sharp ear for beats, a vulnerable human being, and an ambitious artist who seems completely unaffected by whatever everyone else in hip-hop is doing. That’s why Care for Me feels rounded and resonant in a way that a lot of rap albums don’t these days, and it’s why Saba deserves your support, or at least your attention. BS

GAYTHEIST, NASALROD, HUMOURS
(Tonic Lounge, 3100 NE Sandy) Nasalrod’s explosive new LP Building Machines is the sort of record you put on when you’re conflicted. Woven into the folds of a wide-ranging musicality, it splices ’80s progressive punk, socially conscious ’90s thrash, and everything in between. Shades of early All, Nomeansno, and Living Colour get hazed out in surly tunes like “Wage Slave” and the weirdo metal-lite “Yaphet Kotto Made My Day.” Nasalrod’s live performances exceed expectations, with vocalist Chairman embodying an unhinged hybrid of David Yow, Keith Morris, and Mike Patton, rarely standing still and typically hovering about four feet off the ground. The dynamic, rhythmic interplay between bassist Mandy Morgan, drummer Spit Stix (formerly of LA punk legends Fear), and guitarist Mustin Douch is easily one of the most formidable aural attacks in the city. With perennial thrashers Gaytheist headlining, this is a must-see show. RYAN J. PRADO


 

SUNDAY 5/6

KENDRICK LAMAR, SZA, SCHOOLBOY Q, JAY ROCK, AB-SOUL, SIR, LANCE SKIIIWALKER
(Sunlight Supply Amphitheater, 17200 NE Delfel, Ridgefield, WA) Read our Kendrick Lamar super pick.

STEPHEN STILLS AND JUDY COLLINS, KENNY WHITE
(Revolution Hall, 1300 SE Stark) The best-known fruit from the late-’60s union of Judy Collins and Stephen Stills is the song Stills wrote about their breakup, “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes,” which Stills later made famous with some dudes named Crosby and Nash. But their brief romantic relationship began as a musical one, when Stills played lead guitar on Collins’ excellent 1968 album, Who Knows Where the Time Goes. Fresh out of Buffalo Springfield and not yet a mega-star with CSN, Stills was at the time a wunderkind with talent oozing out of every pore, and the crystalline-voiced Collins was at the peak of her powers as a folksinger and interpreter. Who Knows Where the Times Goes contains, of course, the shiveringly lovely Sandy Denny song of the same name, plus the first recording of Rolf Kempf’s “Hello, Hooray” (which Alice Cooper would later cover), but the stunner is the closing track, a loose, haunting jam on the murder ballad “Pretty Polly,” which features Van Dyke Parks, drummer Jim Gordon, and Gram Parsons collaborator Chris Ethridge alongside Collins and Stills. It’s a jaw-dropping recording, one of those takes that just has the “spook” to it. With any luck, Collins and Stills have brought some of that magic to this current tour, which supports their new collaborative album Everybody Knows. At the very least, Stills is gonna sing “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” while Judy Blue Eyes is in the room, which has to be awkward. NED LANNAMANN


MONDAY 5/7

STEPHEN STILLS AND JUDY COLLINS, KENNY WHITE
(Revolution Hall, 1300 SE Stark) See Sunday’s preview.


TUESDAY 5/8

SALLIE FORD, MIKE COYKENDALL, THE FLOATING EASEMENTS
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Soul Sick, the 2017 album from beloved Portland musician Sallie Ford, was produced with the help of local jack-of-all-musical-trades Mike Coykendall, and tonight the two perform a stripped-down guitars-’n’-drums set of Ford’s irresistible tunes. Plus, Coykendall plays a set of his own, and the whole shebang’s kicked off by Astoria’s cosmically twangy Floating Easements (formerly known as the Polite Decliners)! NED LANNAMANN

CULLEN OMORI, THE GLOOMIES
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) The cover of New Misery, Cullen Omori’s 2016 solo debut, depicts a promising green sapling sprouting from a pile of dirt. It’s tempting to read the image as a heavy-handed shot at his former band Smith Westerns, several of whose members now operate as the jaunty indie rock group Whitney. Upon viewing the music video for the album’s ’80s pop-indebted lead single “Cinnamon,” wherein Omori ignites several Smith Westerns posters in CGI flames, little doubt remains. When he released New Misery, Omori clearly hadn’t reached a point where he could look back on the band he grew up in with fond nostalgia. Fortunately, that seems to have worked in his favor—his debut is a confident and satisfying step into the solo spotlight, echoing the glam-rock sensibility of his past while still taking enough synth-driven risks to dodge cries of redundancy. As Omori continues to share fresh material (like his new song “Four Years”), it’ll reveal how much the gulf between him and Smith Westerns has widened. BEN WEINSTEIN

PIANOS BECOME THE TEETH, THE WORLD IS A BEAUTIFUL PLACE AND I AM NO LONGER AFRAID TO DIE, QUEEN OF JEANS
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Two pillars of the current emo/punk scene roll into town tonight to rock with feeling. Pianos Become the Teeth are from Baltimore, and their take on this music is brawny but overtly melodic, with a singer who can really sing (not just howl) and lots of post-rock influence in the guitars. The World Is a Beautiful Place and I Am No Longer Afraid to Die makes poppy rock songs that are sparkling, airy, and ambitious, with some folksiness in the vocals. Rounding out the bill is Queen of Jeans, a very interesting newish Philly band that updates the ’60s girl group sound for the 21st century, complete with reverb, swinging rhythms, and real-deal backing vocals. BS