LA LUZ Sat 5/19 Aladdin Theater Chona Kasinger

Super Pick

(Sat May 19 at Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) Although the band was formed in Seattle, La Luz never sounded like they belonged in the Pacific Northwest. The garage-pop four-piece’s reverb-heavy music felt far too laid-back and dreamy to have emerged from the damp climes of the Emerald City. Perhaps heeding the sonic call that came from within their first two full-lengths (2013’s It’s Alive and 2015’s Weirdo Shrine), the group picked up stakes and relocated to Southern California, where they concocted their latest and greatest album, Floating Features. If the new LP is anything to go on, the move hasn’t changed La Luz all that much—Floating Features fits comfortably into the band’s steady trajectory. Instead, the new environs have inspired principal songwriter Shana Cleveland to dig deeper into the essential building blocks of her group’s aesthetic. The tempo and mood are more languid, with even the peppiest tracks feeling like they’ve been pitched down a few beats per minute for maximum hallucinatory effect. And when things slow down, as on the swimmy “My Golden One” and the stoned “Walking into the Sun,” it’s like a glorious overdose of cheap beer and vitamin D. Cleveland reveals the impact of La Luz’s new ZIP code within Floating Features’ lyrics—there’s plenty of giddy romanticism, a few pangs of regret, and some discomforting memories of recent nightmares. But the core of the album is found in “California Finally,” a sigh of relief delighting in “one endless summer after another” and finding the peace to do what she wants, at her own unhurried pace. Sounds damn enticing. Who knew dreams still came true in Los Angeles? ROBERT HAM


(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) With a lineage that includes bands such as Drive Like Jehu, Obits, and Rocket from the Crypt, San Diego snarlers Hot Snakes have come and gone and come again—and thankfully, at present, they’re grand-slamming fresh bruisers with their new album, Jericho Sirens. See the post-hardcore legends tonight and pretend no time has passed. NL

(Tonic Lounge, 3100 NE Sandy) In life, there are good coughs and bad coughs. Normally, bad coughs are associated with physical malaise, but on the opposite end of the spectrum, there are good kinds of coughs—like the Richmond-based quartet of that name. In their own particular way, Cough has done quite a bit of contributing to the metal scene, even though they haven’t released an album since 2016. That album, Still They Pray, was a feat within itself, being the first Cough album in more than five years. Produced by Electric Wizard vocalist Jus Osborn, Still They Pray’s finesse is the kind that only a Virginia band can really show off, with a deep and depressive energy that reflects the reclusive nature of the woods of Appalachia and the South. Cough makes doom metal for the abrasively introspective soul, and once experienced live, their recorded sounds become an experience that’s all encompassing. Sludge and doom will always have their moment, and Cough definitely does its part to keep the styles in the spotlight. CERVANTE POPE


(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Swim Swam Swum initially came up in a small network of Portland bands that rode the Myspace wave, their name appearing on show posters alongside luminaries like Starfucker and Typhoon. That was a fucking decade ago, before I was old enough to buy cigarettes. (And that was when you only had to be 18 to buy cigarettes.) Swim Swam Swum aren’t “scene” heavyweights anymore—their social media presence is limited to an out-of-date website and a Twitter that hasn’t been updated since 2010. But we’re lucky to have them back in the mix. The band’s lone LP, 2010’s Circumpolar Westerlies, is a great indie-rock record, chock-full of spindly riffs, colorful arrangements, and impressive Doug Martsch imitations. Maybe it will remind you of being young and in love with the world, too. MORGAN TROPER


(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Almost like clockwork, Andre Nickatina seems to hit the road every year, and Portland has always been a frequent stop. Though he’s toured mostly for the fun of it in recent years, Nickatina’s got a couple of things to celebrate with his current “King of March” tour. Not only is his birthday in March, but Nickatina also released his newest album Pisces during that month as well. Pisces marks a point in Nickatina’s career where he can ride on the relevance of Bay Area rap and his contributions to it, while also marking the resurgence of his record label, 75 Girls. The label actually came back secretly last year, but Pisces is 75 Girls’ official return, and it’s accompanied by a new roster of Bay Area talent. Nickatina claims he doesn’t listen to much new rap, and that may have influenced how much Pisces sounds like classic-era Nickatina. He proudly keeps things old school, with both his own sounds and those of his 75 Girls artists. With the constant movement of the rap game, it’s refreshing to have the consistency and confidence that Andre Nickatina brings. CP


(The Old Church, 1422 SW 11th) Read our story on Alela Diane.

(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) Read our La Luz super pick.

(Moda Center, 1 N Center Ct) Too often, we never know if this particular tour is gonna be our favorite aging musician’s last one ever. (We learned the hard way with Prince and Tom Petty.) Which is why it’s incredibly helpful that legendary New York songwriter Paul Simon has kindly informed us this current jaunt will be his farewell tour. This is the guy who wrote “The Boxer,” “Graceland,” and “Slip Slidin’ Away,” and this is your last chance, Portland. NL

(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) One of Portland’s most beloved (and long-lasting) folk-pop artists, Laura Veirs, is back to charm the pants off of us with her newest solo album, The Lookout. Influenced—but not overwhelmed—by our current, chaotic times, The Lookout makes a strong case for self-protection and especially protecting others. The songs are gorgeous, warm, and just the thing to soften up your crusty shell for a bit—so protect yourself and listen to Veirs sing these soon-to-be classics live! WSH

THE POSIES Sat 5/19 Doug Fir Alan Lawrence

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) For a brief spell in the early ’90s, Seattle’s Posies must have felt on top of the world. In between cutting their own records, Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow—the band’s core creative force—had one of their songs covered by Ringo Starr and played alongside Alex Chilton and Jody Stephens in the reformed Big Star. The Posies’ 1993 album, Frosting on the Beater, is one of the best rock albums to come out of the Pacific Northwest. Highlights like the micro-hit “Dream All Day” and the dizzyingly gorgeous “Solar Sister” embraced grunge’s timbres but eschewed its nihilistic glorification of incompetence. The result is an album that almost sounds like it’s playing dumb; soaring, Brian May-inspired guitar solos and magisterial vocal harmonies are buried beneath layers of fuzz. Though Frosting on the Beater was something of a breakthrough, the Posies have since gone the way of their idols, Big Star—a “secret handshake” band championed by wizened indie rockers and pasty power-pop cultists. But unlike Big Star, the Posies still make great records—in particular, 2010’s Blood/Candy, which saw the band return to the bouncy Hollies worship of their earliest material. MT


(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) For many in the Portland music scene (myself included), Moorea Masa first grabbed our collective attention as a vocalist in Ural Thomas and the Pain. She’s since gone on to work with the Brent Knopf/Matt Berninger collaboration El Vy and sung for the Decemberists and kd lang, but concurrently, Masa’s also been proving herself an artist fully deserving of her own spotlight. Tonight marks the local record release show for Masa’s first solo album, Shine a Light, a soulful, magnanimous collection of songs that sounds fully contemporary even as it boasts vintage garnishments like a whirring Hammond organ and Motown-esque stabs of strings. Masa would likely sound fantastic in front of any backdrop, but Shine a Light is the perfect showcase for her terrific voice, tinged with soul, R&B, folk, and pop. It’s an album good enough to turn Masa into the kind of superstar she so clearly is destined to become. NED LANNAMANN


(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) You’ve probably heard New York duo Sofi Tukker before. At this point it’s nearly impossible to have missed them—their single “Best Friend” was featured in the 2017 ad for the iPhone X, and following their initial rocket to 15 solid minutes of fame, the band also had songs featured in the FIFA 18 video game and another Apple spot. Their commercial appeal is surely no mistake. Sounding more like a pair of friends emerging from an overgrown, wild forest than a pair of urbanites, Sofi Tukker makes jungle pop music for the masses. It’s upbeat, danceable, and playful, just about everything you could ask for when you’re trying to forget about the pain of your day-to-day life. The band is an escape—from typical, run-of-the-mill radio pop, and the hustle and bustle of city life. DELANEY MOTTER


(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) The standard-bearer of a tambourine-laden, British-beat-informed strain of turn-of-millennium American psychedelia, the Brian Jonestown Massacre wielded a huge influence on the garage-rock boom of the early ’00s. The group—fronted by Anton Newcombe—has ventured into more experimental offerings in recent years, but their latest album, Something Else (the Kinks reference is surely deliberate), marks a return to their earlier, song-oriented sound. With masses of strummed six- and 12-string guitars providing both the forceful forward momentum that characterizes the album and its feather-bed sense of beauty, Something Else ushers the sound of BJM classics like Take It from the Man! and Their Satanic Majesties’ Second Request into a cathedral-like space of echoing grandeur, a sound that suits Newcombe’s dazed, day-tripping songs excellently. It’s the first of two albums scheduled this year for the Brian Jonestown Massacre; a self-titled effort is due out in the fall. NL