KING PRINCESS Sat 7/21 Doug Fir Clare Gillen

Super Pick

KING PRINCESS
Like the name suggests, King Princess (AKA Mikaela Straus) makes music that plays with gender and artfully subverts the status quo of mainstream pop. In February the 19-year-old genderqueer singer/songwriter and producer dropped her debut single “1950,” a song inspired by the lesbian love story in Patricia Highsmith’s 1952 novel The Price of Salt (which was recently adapted with the film Carol). “Queer love was only able to exist privately for a long time, expressed in society through coded art forms,” Straus explained to The Line of Best Fit. “I wrote this song as a story of unrequited love in my own life, doing my best to acknowledge and pay homage to that part of history.” With more than 108 million Spotify streams, “1950” is one of the biggest pop hits of the year, and for good reason—it’s an update on the old-school torch song, and finds Straus (who played every instrument on the track herself) struggling like a levee to hold back her surging desire and devotion. “I’ll wait for you, I’ll pray/I will keep on waiting for your love,” she sings in the chorus over patient finger-snaps, swoony backing vocals, and crackling, synth-heavy production, her voice fluttering over the last word like even the thought of reciprocation is about to make her melt. Straus released her debut EP Make My Bed in June, and between her falsetto delivery of the bedroom jam “Holy” and the combustible catharsis of “Talia” (a heartbroken sequel to “1950”), it’s proof that the greatness of her breakthrough single wasn’t an isolated incident. Within King Princess’ domain (which she rules “with the velvet tongue”), queer romance is the norm; she recently told Them that “it’s very difficult [to be] stuck in, like, a vortex of straight shit.” Make My Bed escapes that hetero vortex with songs that are catchy (and gay) as hell. Straus has sold out nearly every show on her current tour, including tonight’s stop at the Doug Fir, which is a fraction the size of the venues she’ll probably play on future visits. CIARA DOLAN


WEDNESDAY 7/18

BIG UPS, PRINCE DADDY AND THE HYENA, STRANGE RANGER, SNOW ROLLER
(Black Water Bar, 835 NE Broadway) Prince Daddy and the Hyena’s 2016 album I Thought You Didn’t Even Like Leaving was largely a word-of-mouth success. It didn’t receive any big blog endorsements, nor was it championed by the “right” Twitter personalities; instead, it caught on due to the sheer strength of the band’s songwriting. While punk’s elder statesmen like Joyce Manor and Modern Baseball were making their big, self-consciously mature statements that year, I Thought You Didn’t Even Like Leaving served as a welcome reminder of how fun and cathartic classicist pop-punk can be. The record’s highlights include the title track—which somehow manages to reference Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: Secret of the Ooze in a way that doesn’t seem forced—and “I Forgot to Take My Meds Today,” a mid-tempo, basement-rock scorcher for all us heavily medicated punks without pill minders. MORGAN TROPER

ACID TONGUE, THE SAVAGE FAMILY BAND, SUGAR CANDY MOUNTAIN
(The Liquor Store, 3341 SE Belmont) Though they’ve relocated from Seattle to New York, the garage-punks of Acid Tongue will head down I-5 once again for this show with Oakland-based psychedelic group Sugar Candy Mountain. Both bands aren’t shy when it comes to their fondness of mind-altering substances; Sugar Candy Mountain approximates a beachy, lighthearted strain of hallucinogenic fuzz-pop, while Acid Tongue’s 2017 debut LP Babies is a crash course in all things angsty and adolescent. Through a multi-colored lens, the album is strung along by hazy, distorted guitars and occasional bits of twang from singer Guy Keltner. While Acid Tongue gets too literal at times (“Accidental Drug Use”), they perfectly capture the awkwardness of puberty with tracks like “Humpty Dumpty” and “If I Really Loved Her.” ANNA KAPLAN


THURSDAY 7/19

GEEZER, DOLL PARTY
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Self-described as “Portland’s premier geriatric Weezer tribute band,” Geezer (members of the Dovecoats and Summer Cannibals) plays hook-heavy hits borne from the strange brain of Rivers Cuomo. Tonight they’ll power through the Blue Album and 1996’s Pinkerton, along with some B-sides. Perhaps reality will invert completely and they’ll bless the audience with a cover of Weezer’s recent cover of Toto’s “Africa.” The blonde-wigged Doll Party will open the night with homage to Dolly Parton, the merciful queen of all that is good and holy. CD

FLASHER, FACS, DARTO, STRANGE BABES DJs
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Constant Image—the new album from Washington, DC, band Flasher—is one of the best rock records released this year so far. Instead of gleaning from the indie rock zeitgeist’s current obsessions (Enema of the State, the Cure, etc.), Constant Image recalls legendary Paisley Underground bands like the Three O’Clock (glorious British affectations abound, especially when the word “telephone” is sung) and Neurotica-era Redd Kross. But Flasher aren’t mere psych revivalists; they’ve figured out how to expertly synthesize infectious ’60s-via-’80s songcraft with the geometric urgency of post-hardcore. As a result, Constant Image is one of those rare records that appeals to both adults who still like Fugazi and real adults like my mom. MT


FRIDAY 7/20

MIRA DEATH, ANOTHERNIGHT, TSAR ANISE
(No Fun, 1709 SE Hawthorne) Over the past couple of years, Portland musician Mira Death dropped two vampire-centric releases with her glam-punk band Sweeping Exits—the 2016 EP The Projectionist and the 2017 LP Glitter and Blood—and played some of the most exciting shows in town, with lots of fake blood and dry ice. Death recently debuted some excellent new solo songs on Soundcloud, including the pummeling “Ivory (Now My Teeth Are in My Hands)” and “Holly,” an eerie storm of cascading piano and electronic beats. CD.

CATHEDRAL PARK JAZZ FESTIVAL
(Cathedral Park, 8600 N Lombard) As if you need an excuse to hang outside on a summer’s day in one of Portland’s most beautiful parks—but here it is, the annual Cathedral Park Jazz Festival, three days of free, local jazz smack-dab in the middle of summertime. The solid lineup includes the best on the local scene, plus there’s a beer garden, a food court, and the stunning St. Johns Bridge overhead. NED LANNAMANN

BOMBINO, THE DOGON LIGHTS
(Star Theater, 13 NW 6th) For the past several years, the droning desert blues of the Tuareg people of Saharan Africa has been growing in popularity around the world, to the point where the New York Times recently called it “arguably the most successful world music genre to break through since reggae.” The Nigerien guitarist known as Bombino has been one of the genre’s guiding lights, but after recording his last three albums in America (with big-name producers like the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach and Dirty Projectors’ Dave Longstreth), he decided to record his brand-new record, Deran, closer to home. Bombino ended up at a studio owned by the king of Morocco, where he and his band laid down an intoxicating blend of dusty rock, swaying rhythms, mellow blues, entrancing vocals (sung in the Tuareg language of Tamashek), and some of the finest guitar-playing this version of Earth has to offer. BEN SALMON


SATURDAY 7/21

KING PRINCESS
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Read our King Princess super pick.

CATHEDRAL PARK JAZZ FESTIVAL: TAHIRAH MEMORY, THE QUADRAPHONNES, & MORE
(Cathedral Park, 8600 N Lombard) See Friday's preview.

THE ROOTS
(Oregon Zoo, 4001 SW Canyon) It’s been said the Roots put on the best live show in the entire hip-hop genre. I don’t doubt it. The legendary Roots Crew, led by drummer Questlove and rapper Black Thought, have been challenging the genre’s status quo since 1987. They even pull off being a house band for a late night show without losing their effortless cool. But, if there’s one thing that could make their live show even more magical, it’s ZOO ANIMALS. ALEX ZIELINSKI

FATHER JOHN MISTY, BLITZEN TRAPPER
(Edgefield, 2126 SW Halsey, Troutdale) Although singer/songwriter Josh Tillman’s Father John Misty persona is really starting to wear on me, his 2018 record God’s Favorite Customer is pretty dang good. Its first single, “Mr. Tillman,” is sung from the perspective of a hotel concierge trying to deal with the former Fleet Fox while he has a breakdown. A few of the best lyrics: “Mr. Tillman, for the seventh time/We have no knowledge of a film that is being shot outside/Those aren’t extras in a movie; they’re our clientele/No, they aren’t running lines and they aren’t exactly thrilled.” Hometown heroes Blitzen Trapper will open the outdoor show with songs from their 2017 album/stage production Wild and Reckless. CD

PDX POP NOW!: BLACKWATER HOLYLIGHT, FOUNTAINE, & MORE
(AudioCinema, 226 SE Madison) With other Portland-area summer music festivals taking some time off, PDX Pop Now! is more important than ever. The city’s beloved free, all-ages music festival is celebrating its 15th year with a full-weekend of live music spread across two stages under the Hawthorne Bridge. With a diverse range of rising local talent sharing the spotlight with longtime Portland favorites, and food carts, vendors, and a beer garden to keep you occupied between sets, the latest installment of the annual summer tradition is as unmissable as ever. CHIPP TERWILLIGERAlso read our story on PDX Pop Now!

POISON IDEA, THE ACCUSED A.D., DOG SOLDIER
(Bossanova Ballroom, 722 E Burnside) There are few Portland bands as influential as Poison Idea. Since forming in the early ’80s, they’ve explored the realms of punk rock, hardcore, and heavy metal, and this year, they’re celebrating the 30th anniversary of their pivotal record Feel the Darkness. It’ll be the band’s first local show in a while, and they’ll commemorate the occasion by playing Feel the Darkness in its entirety and re-releasing it as a remastered double album including band outtakes, bonus tracks, and more previously unreleased material. With the Accused A.D. and Dog Soldier opening the night, it’ll be quite the dirty 30. CERVANTE POPE


SUNDAY 7/22

CATHEDRAL PARK JAZZ FESTIVAL: TAHIRAH MEMORY, THE QUADRAPHONNES, & MORE
(Cathedral Park, 8600 N Lombard) See Friday's preview.

PDX POP NOW!: URAL THOMAS AND THE PAIN, DONTE THOMAS, & MORE
(AudioCinema, 226 SE Madison) See Saturday's preview and read our story on PDX Pop Now!

OPIA, PLEASURE CURSES, LEO ISLO
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Making their Portland debut tonight is the emerging Connecticut-based electronic duo Opia. On their 2017 debut EP Faded, guitarist Cole Citrenbaum and keyboardist DJ Stanfill build songs out of synthesized rock beats, upper-range vocals, and heartbreaking lyrics about love. As they prepare to release their second EP, Opia will headline this all-ages night of indie electronic music, supported by local acts Pleasure Curses and Leo Islo. LUC HOEKSTRA


MONDAY 7/23

SAM EVIAN, BLACK BELT EAGLE SCOUT
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Celestial Shore frontman Sam Evian’s brand-new sophomore solo album You, Forever is exceedingly pleasant indie soft-rock that’s best summed up by the first line of standout track “Where Did You Go?”: “I had a dream of a clear blue sky where you tell me your name and the temperatures rise.” With breezy vocals, steady-rolling rhythms, and psychedelic melodies that gently warp like plastic melting in the sun, the record lives in that bittersweet summer fantasy for the span of 11 songs. Like Woods and Avi Buffalo, Evian’s music is pretty but paranoid, recalling the unsettling beauty of apocalyptically orange sunsets, night drives with the windows down, and getting lost on country backroads. CD


TUESDAY 7/24

MOURNFUL CONGREGATION, BELL WITCH, NIGHTFELL
(Tonic Lounge, 3100 NE Sandy) Few bands move slower than Mournful Congregation. For the past 25 years, the Australian heavies have been perfecting their plodding take on doom metal’s slower, darker, dirge-ier cousin: funeral doom. In January, the band released its first full-length studio album in nearly seven years, and it is a doozy. The Incubus of Karma clocks in at six tracks and almost 80 minutes long, which gives Mournful Congregation plenty of time and space to do what they do better than just about anyone. The rhythm section moves at a glacial pace, and the guitars stretch up and up and up, past the horizon and into the stars. The result is music that’s a mind-bending combo of crushing and beautiful—and one of the best heavy albums of 2018 so far. Also on the bill tonight is Seattle’s Bell Witch, whose 2017 album Mirror Reaper is a modern classic of funeral doom. BS