Courtney Marie Andrews Laura E. Pertain

SUPERPICK

COURTNEY MARIE ANDREWS
(w/Taylor Kingman; Fri May 11, Mississippi Studios 3939 N Mississippi) Country singer/songwriter Courtney Marie Andrews’ new LP May Your Kindness Remain is already one of my favorite albums of the year. Released in March via Fat Possum Records and Mama Bird Recording Co.—the Portland label that’s recently been responsible for introducing the best folksingers in the Pacific Northwest to the rest of the world—it follows 2016’s Honest Life with a collection of songs about everyday despair. That’s a popular subject in the country genre, but Andrews’ lyrics about trying to stay empathetic “when your sweetness surrenders to the cruelness of this world” feel especially resonant at this moment in history. The blues seem like they’re an even deeper shade of blue these days, and personal micro-tragedies seem ever-more tied to larger systemic failures—something Andrews masterfully illustrates on tracks like “Two Cold Nights in Buffalo,” where she surveys the crumbling infrastructure of the Rust Belt city and laments the “American Dream dying,” as well as the blistering “Border,” which was inspired by the tensions in her hometown of Phoenix, Arizona, and tells the story of a Mexican immigrant struggling to cross the Sonoran Desert and then struggling to succeed in this country. It’s relevant and powerful protest music, but the album’s true beauty lies in rousing guitar riffs, golden-toned organ, and Andrews’ ability to contextualize her own despair within a much bigger picture, all sung in her emotive vibrato, which can resemble the iconic voices of Joni Mitchell, Linda Ronstadt, and Loretta Lynn within the span of the same song. There are also a few truly spectacular heartbreak ballads, like the slow-burning “Took You Up,” but if May Your Kindness Remain has a mission statement, it’s “Kindness of Strangers”—the way Andrews throws her voice into the phrase “you need the kindness to survive” feels like a much-needed reminder to prioritize tenderness, even as the world seems to quake and spiral out of control. CIARA DOLAN


Ezra Furman Jason Simmons

WEDNESDAY 5/9

EZRA FURMAN, SHANNON LAY
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Ezra Furman isn’t worried about coloring inside the lines. Whether it’s ignoring musical genre boundaries on his latest album (the jagged electronic-soul opus Transangelic Exodus) or inspiring fans with his refusal to exist within gender demarcations, Furman follows the beat of his own drum. Luckily, that drum is pounding out some terrific tunes, and Furman is simply one of the finest songwriters operating right now. NED LANNAMANN

UNKNOWN MORTAL ORCHESTRA, MAKENESS
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Read our review of Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s new record, Sex & Food.

PEDRO THE LION, DAVID DONDERO
(Revolution Hall, 1300 SE Stark) Seattle singer/songwriter David Bazan is probably best known for fronting Pedro the Lion from 1995 until the indie rock band’s dissolution in 2006, after which point he went solo. But last year Bazan announced he’d be reviving the project, much to the joy of longtime fans—he’s a creative force, and is credited with influencing countless modern musicians. His songs under the Pedro the Lion moniker often use first-person to tell deeply emotional narratives about relationships and his faith. Now that the hiatus has been broken, there are rumors of a new album in the works. DELANEY MOTTER


THURSDAY 5/10

NADA SURF
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) At a certain point in their career, every band releases an album that defines their sound for years to come. For Nada Surf, that album was 2002’s critically acclaimed and pop-packed Let Go. In the spirit of its 15th anniversary, the NYC group re-released Let Go as a covers album titled Standing at the Gates: The Songs of Nada Surf’s Let Go. This iteration is rife with guest appearances from the likes of Aimee Mann, Rogue Wave, Manchester Orchestra, and Portland’s own Eyelids. Standing at the Gates is also a charity album, with all proceeds going to the ACLU and the Pablove Foundation. Who knows if Nada Surf will bring any of the album’s guests onstage to help perform Let Go’s songs during this anniversary celebration? As long as we get to hear “Inside of Love” and “Popular,” everyone’s sure to leave satisfied. CERVANTE POPE


FRIDAY 5/11

DIRTY REVIVAL, CON BRIO, THE LIQUE
(Star Theater, 13 NW 6th) If you’re celebrating an anniversary of some sort today, I feel sorry for ya—because the rest of Portland is going to be partying HARD at tonight’s Dirty Revival fifth anniversary show! And seriously, you can’t blame them, because Dirty Revival (led by the boisterous vocals of Ms. Sarah Clarke) produces some of the best hand-clapping, ass-wiggling soul music ANYWHERE. Toss in a Memphis-style horn section and the occasional soulful barn-burner, and you’ve got an anniversary show that cannot be missed. (So maybe postpone yours until next week?) WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY

HORSE FEATHERS, DEAD HORSES
(Revolution Hall, 1300 SE Stark) Read our story on Horse Feathers.

COURTNEY MARIE ANDREWS, TAYLOR KINGMAN
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) See our Courtney Marie Andrews super pick/

JOEY BADA$$, BOOGIE, BUDDY, CHUCK STRANGERS
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) In interviews, Joey Bada$$ often talks about what he’s reading. He likes poetry—Maya Angelou, for example—and philosophy. In an interview with The Breakfast Club, Charlamagne Tha God mentioned that most interviewees go straight for the liquor, but Bada$$ went for the bookshelf. The Brooklyn rapper’s latest album, 2017’s All-Amerikkkan Bada$$, is a nuanced and poetic examination of his ambivalent relationship with the US. On “Land of the Free” he raps, “300-plus years of them cold shoulders... Obama just wasn’t enough, I need some more closure/And Donald Trump is not equipped to take this country over.” Bada$$’ music directly addresses the fact that America was built on slavery and racial violence—Obama couldn’t solve all of the country’s problems, and those problems can’t be reduced to Trump alone. Throughout All-Amerikkkan Bada$$, the rapper pivots easily from political ruminations to joyful bops, like his hit “Devastated,” and that’s what makes him great. ISABEL LYNDON


Fritzwa Dan Ostergren

SATURDAY 5/12

ST. JOHNS BIZARRE: WILD ONES, BLACKWATER HOLYLIGHT, FRITZWA, MELT, OLD UNCONSCIOUS, TRIBE MARS, VURSATYL, WIMPS
(St. Johns Plaza, N Lombard & Philadelphia) The 12th annual St. Johns Bizarre returns to the North Portland neighborhood’s main drag this weekend to kick-start Portland’s street festival season. The late spring revelry will include an open-air craft fair with more than 125 vendors, activities for kids (like balloon animals, jugglers, and “bubble artists”), activities for grown-ups (like beer gardens with brews from Occidental Brewing and Oregon Mead and Cider), and live music from some of the Pacific Northwest’s most talented performers: R&B singer Fritzwa, heavy psych-rockers BlackWater HolyLight, indie pop sweethearts Wild Ones, Blackalicious collaborator Vursatyl, Seattle punk band Wimps (whose music is decidedly un-wimpy), and many more. Bonus: It’s free! CD

PREOCCUPATIONS, MOANING
(Star Theater, 13 NW 6th) For Canadian post-punks Preoccupations, calling their latest album New Material was probably a no-brainer. Ever since the band’s ill-advised original name Viet Cong sparked cancelled bookings and general outrage, they’ve been forging ahead under their new banner with the same anxious and suffocated modus operandi. Now fully settled into their post-controversy career, focus can return to Preoccupations’ music, and New Material is more than deserving of the attention. Other than the droning enormity of closing track “Compliance” and the synth-heavy moodiness of “Doubt,” the album is often as streamlined in performance as it is in presentation (or at least lacks a 10-plus minute track, unlike their previous two records). Hollow, danceable opener and lead single “Espionage” feel directly inspired by Faith-era Cure, while the immediacy of songs like “Decompose” and “Antidote” lays in the tight, hypnotic grooves of bassist Matt Flegel and drummer Mike Wallace. These details will likely translate into a live show invigorating enough to make us forget that, as Flegel snarls, “to live is to suffer again and again.” BEN WEINSTEIN


Against Me! Casey Curry

SUNDAY 5/13

PDX POP NOW! COMPILATION RELEASE PARTY: DEATHLIST, BRYSON THE ALIEN, RILLA
(Lagunitas Community Room, 37 NE Broadway #300) Portland’s best and only free, all-ages music festival PDX Pop Now! returns in July, but first it’s time to celebrate the release of this year’s compilation, which features songs from nearly 40 local musicians. Jenny Logan’s post-punk project Deathlist, extraterrestrial rapper Bryson the Alien, and the indie rockers of Rilla will play sets, and the price of entry includes a copy of the comp. CD

SABROSO CRAFT BEER, TACO, AND MUSIC FESTIVAL: THE OFFSPRING, PENNYWISE, AGAINST ME!, LIT, UNWRITTEN LAW, LOS KUNG FU MONKEYS
(Portland Meadows, 1001 N Schmeer) The first time I heard Against Me! was on a mix CD made by my high-school crush. I didn’t have the track listing, but was struck by the simple, muted guitar line, xylophone, and Laura Jane Grace’s feeble shouts of “When you sleep, nobody’s homeless/When you sleep, you can’t feel the hunger.” The song was “8 Full Hours of Sleep,” and I listened to it on repeat until the mix CD became too scratched to play. Then I bought the band’s 2002 debut, Reinventing Axl Rose, and also played that until it wore out. I grew to love their whole discography, from the cheesy (“I Was a Teenage Anarchist”) to the real heart-bleeders (“True Trans Soul Rebel”). But I always came back to “8 Full Hours of Sleep,” a song so perfect that listening to it at different points in my life I felt angst, anger, love, longing, emptiness, helplessness, and, on the rare occasion, real hope. CAMERON CROWELL

TRICKY, YOUNG MAGIC
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) Tricky has always seemed like a visitor from another world. Even after pioneering the musical genre that’s now known as trip hop, he stood a great distance apart from his contemporaries, as though he were stubbornly unconcerned about his influence or his imitators. With the help of frequent collaborator Martina Topley-Bird, Tricky released an uninterrupted stream of masterpieces in the mid- to late-’90s, and while most artists who first gained popularity in that decade sound embarrassingly dated and obsolete today, Tricky has been spared that fate, largely by doing what he’s always done: remaining distant from changing fads and trends, and staying true to his craft. His post-millennium output—including 2013’s False Idols and his most recent album, 2017’s Ununiform—proves that Tricky is still on top of his game and still the only one who can do what he does. Tonight’s show was moved to Wonder Ballroom after immediately selling out Doug Fir, so you’ve got a second chance to score tickets for this rare Earthly visit from the Knowle West Boy. SANTI ELIJAH HOLLEY


MONDAY 5/14

BUILT TO SPILL, THE AFGHAN WHIGS, ED HARCOURT
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Like the musical chocolate-and-peanut-butter combo of your dreams, Boise’s Built to Spill and Cincinnati’s Afghan Whigs have teamed up for a co-headlining tour, delivering back-to-back sets of indie rock greatness. When there’s even the slightest chance of hearing “Carry the Zero” and “Summer’s Kiss” in the same evening, staying home is no longer an option. NL

X_X, CONDITIONER, HOT LZS
(Turn! Turn! Turn!, 8 NE Killingsworth) The band X_X (pronounced “ex blank ex”) have always been a step or two behind the curve. By the time this Cleveland art-punk ensemble released their first two 7-inch singles in 1979 and 1980—the piranha attack of “A” followed by the slashing, bumbling “No Nonsense”—they had already broken up. And while the group, led by former Electric Eels founder John Morton and Rocket from the Tombs member Craig Bell, reunited and finally released an album called Albert Ayler’s Ghosts Live at the Yellow Ghetto in 2015, they’re just now getting around to promoting it. Regardless of the timing, their appearance in Portland is going to be explosive if their recorded work is anything to go on. Their full-length is mostly short, jagged chunks of songs, punctuated by guitar parts that feel like running a piece of metal over your fillings, and capped off by an agitated cover of “Ghosts,” a composition by free jazz pioneer Albert Ayler. ROBERT HAM


TUESDAY 5/15

P!nk Ryan Aylsworth

P!NK, KID CUT UP
(Moda Center, 1 N Center Ct) Ever since Alecia Beth Moore, better known as P!nk, stepped onto the scene in 2000 with her debut single “There You Go,” she’s continued to prove herself as a powerful pop vocalist and revolutionary feminist badass. After seven studio albums, P!nk’s collected far too many Billboard achievements to even begin to list here, and her most recent Beautiful Trauma project landed on Rolling Stone’s “20 Best Pop Albums of 2017” list. At her Portland tour stop, I’ll be most excited to hear deep cuts like “Don’t Let Me Get Me,” “Just Like A Pill,” and pretty much anything else she’s released in the last 18 years. JM

THE LONGSHOT, FRANKIE AND THE STUDS, THE TRASHBAGS
(Dante’s, 350 W Burnside) Billie Joe Armstrong steered Green Day away from populist bombast and revolutionary sloganeering with the ¡Uno!, ¡Dos!, and ¡Tré! trilogy, but 2012’s course correction was a chaotic scramble with too few stretches of pop pleasure. Armstrong’s new band, the Longshot, which features Green Day sideman Jeff Matika and two members of Prima Donna, finds pop punk’s greatest songwriter going back to basics again, and this time it’s a scrappy, hook-happy triumph. The band’s brand-new debut, Love Is for Losers, evokes an alternate reality in which Green Day ignored our 21st century breakdown and got deep into power pop revivalists like the Exploding Hearts and Gentleman Jesse instead. Unlike Armstrong’s past side projects, which always seemed like downtime larks (Foxboro Hot Tubs) or vehicles for someone else’s vision (Pinhead Gunpowder), the Longshot sounds like a fully realized version of something that’s been on his mind for a while now, and it’s a joy hearing him have fun with it. CHRIS STAMM