AMEN DUNES, OKAY KAYA
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) “This is your time. Their time is done. It’s over,” a child’s voice echoes in the first few seconds of Freedom, the colossal new record from Amen Dunes (AKA New York songwriter Damon McMahon). “Screw ’em—this is your time! Now go out there and take it.” This monologue is lifted from the 2004 hockey movie Miracle, and it’s followed by audio of McMahon’s mother reading a quote from abstract painter Agnes Martin: “I don’t have any ideas myself. I am a vacant mind.” Released in March on outlier indie label Sacred Bones Records, Freedom is an experimental pop album that seems to ruminate on the tension between those two recordings—the first encourages listeners to seize their golden moment of personal glory and power, while the latter completely lets go of the idea of self and relinquishes control to the greater mechanics at work in the universe. The album’s 11 tracks conjure smoggy horizons, violently crashing waves, and the feeling of observing Earth from an airplane, with warped, immersive melodies built from moody bass, steely guitar riffs, controlled and chameleonic drums that make tempo changes feel as elemental as rip tides, nuclear sunset synth hues, and McMahon’s unique voice, which at times kind of sounds like a bleating goat (in the best way). The album was largely inspired by modern masculinity, McMahon’s relationships with his parents, and examining the chaos of his childhood in retrospect, but most tracks work with different characters, like the midcentury surfer and convicted fraudster “Miki Dora,” AKA the “Black Knight of Malibu.” It’s the album’s best song, but other highlights include the intoxicating momentum of “Blue Rose” and the expansive closing track “L.A.,” which is spliced with the Miracle monologue from the beginning of the album. “Throw the saint in the fire, baby/Long day,” he sings. “Power’s something you believe in/Something you gain.” Freedom is Amen Dunes’ best record yet, and appropriately ends with anxious whispers, droning synth, and the driving force of drums that propel listeners forward into the unknown like a rogue roller-coaster. CIARA DOLAN
PYRRHON, SUCCUMB, DROUTH, FLOOD PEAK
(High Water Mark, 6800 NE MLK) On “Cancer Mantra,” the opening track of Pyrrhon’s 2015 EP Growth Without End, Doug Moore delivers an intense coda that is equal parts menacing threat and artistic statement of purpose: “Always keep growing and changing, never stop spreading,” he growls repeatedly until the sentence becomes infected by its own message. That spirit of mutation and expansion follows Pyrrhon through every twist and turn on 2017’s mammoth What Passes for Survival, which cements the metal quartet’s position at the vanguard of extreme sounds. The band might be a wily and genre-bending monster, but it abides by an honored tradition that can be traced back to the dizzying feats of metal and grindcore pioneers like Exit 13, Human Remains, and Brutal Truth. Like those bands, Pyrrhon is clearly fucking with the formula out of love for what has come before and hope for what might come after. CHRIS STAMM
DAVID LIEBE HART, NASALROD, DIM WIT, TIG BITTY, JAY SHINGLE
(Star Theater, 13 NW 6th) With his strange puppetry and musical performances on Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!, David Liebe Hart brought even more weirdness to the already bizarre antics of Heidecker and Eric Wareheim. Backed by Portland power-pop crooner (and Mercury contributor) Mo Troper for the West Coast leg of his current tour, whatever Liebe Hart decides to do onstage will likely be random, awkward, and completely captivating. Plus, there are some fantastic opening acts on the bill: Nasalrod brings an energetic prog-punk vibe, while Tig Bitty’s electro-hip-hop finds the ideal balance between good beats and cheeky lyrics. Expect wigs to be bopping about once Dim Wit starts playing, and with soloist Jay Shingle, you never really know what you’re going to get in the best way possible. CERVANTE POPE
YGB + BLACK PANTHER
(Lents Park, 4808 SE 92nd) In one of the most organic mash-ups I’ve ever come across, YGB (Young Gifted and Black/Brown) is hosting a Black Panther screening as part of the city’s “Free Movies in the Park” summer series. St. Johns rapper Mic Capes will perform before the movie starts, along with soul singer Scooty. There will also be free face painting by artist Tazha. A few ground rules: You should eat your edibles (since vaping and smoking in the park is prohibited), leash your dog, and don your very best Wakanda-inspired garb. Alcohol consumption is allowed for personal use during the concert and movie. JENNI MOORE
SÁVILA, SISTER MANTOS, DJ ANJALI AND THE INCREDIBLE KID, LIBERACES, WE THE DREAMERS
(Polaris Hall, 635 N Killingsworth Ct) Named for the plant non-Spanish speakers know as aloe, Portland-based cumbia band Sávila plays music with similar healing properties. Already beloved for the surfy riffs of guitarist Fabiola Reyna (founder of She Shreds magazine), the haunting vocals of Brisa Gonzalez, and the insistent rhythms of percussionist Papi Fimbres, the trio is finally releasing their long-awaited debut this Friday and celebrating with a blowout party at Polaris Hall. CD
JAWBREAKER, SWEARIN’, HURRY UP
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) One of the most influential bands to ever exist, LA-via-NYC band Jawbreaker sweetened hardcore punk’s bile and paved the way for countless emo and pop punk bands to come. Reunited after two decades, Jawbreaker’s original lineup is packing ’em in for two nights at the Crystal, and while ticket prices are hefty, it’s one of the most impressive triple bills of the year: Swearin’ and Portland’s own Hurry Up are opening, so be prompt. NED LANNAMANNAlso read our story on Jawbreaker.
JAWBREAKER, SWEARIN’, HURRY UP
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) See Friday's listing.
TENDER LOVING EMPIRE’S ALL TOGETHER FEST: LUZ ELENA MENDOZA, CHANTI DARLING, SISTERS, THE FUR COATS, NIGHT HERON, & MORE
(White Owl Social Club, 1305 SE 8th) It just feels good to support local record label/boutique/gallery Tender Loving Empire. Not only is their collection of handmade goods from local artists and makers absolutely adorable, making it one of my top Portland destinations to buy gifts for friends and family (and myself, obvi), but TLE also lends its support to some of the city’s most talented rising music stars. Case in point: the All Together Festival. In celebration of the label’s 11th annual Friends and Friends of Friends compilation album, TLE has curated 12 hours’ worth of stellar acts—including DJs Rap Class and Maxx Bass, who will close out the evening. Whether you’re interested in hearing soul-infused garage-pop from the Fur Coats, synth-focused dance music from Dan Dan, or Luz Elena Mendoza’s Mexican-rooted indie folk, there’s something for everyone! There’s also a big draw in Chanti Darling, who turns every venue into a dance party with their irresistibly dancey blend of R&B, disco, funk, and new jack swing. The fact that all of this is free makes it a no-brainer. JM
GREEN HOP BLOCK PARTY: DEAD PREZ, RESISTANCE CREW, RISKY STAR, BLOSSOM, & MORE
(Green Hop, 5515 NE 16th) After celebrating its grand opening earlier this summer, Green Hop—the “world’s first historical hip-hop dispensary”—is hosting a fundraising block party for Green Hop Academy, an internship program designed to bring more people of color into the cannabis industry. The lineup includes none other than Dead Prez, along with beloved local MCs like Mic Capes and soul singer Blossom. CD
(The Fixin’ To, 8218 N Lombard) Artist/musician Marius Libman (Copy) moved to San Francisco not too long ago, placing his multitude of Portland-based music projects on hold. Happily, one of those will be taken off the shelf tonight when Sun Angle plays a reunion show. Libman, on bass, will be joined by drummer Papi Fimbres and guitarist/vocalist Charlie Salas-Humara, and the trio will whirl through a diverse, mind-expanding blend of psychedelia, punk, and pop. The show also serves as a delayed release show for their album Skullflower, which came out on XRAY Records in 2016 but never received its live due, since Salas-Humara suffered unexplained hearing loss and Libman left town shortly thereafter. Fortunately, good things come to those who wait, and tonight Sun Angle is a whole entity again. Witness them lay their disparate mosaic tiles of avant-garde sound, hyper-danceable rhythms, and sunshine acid-blotter melody—who knows when the chance will come again? NED LANNAMANN
CARDIOID, CAT HOCH, DAN DAN
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) For years, Radiation City was one of the most popular bands in Portland, thanks to their snappy blend of synth-pop, indie rock, and modern soul. But they splintered in late 2016, and keyboardist/singer Lizzy Ellison struck out on her own, forming Cardioid with Unknown Mortal Orchestra drummer Riley Geare, recording an excellent and efficient pop-rock album called Parts Dept., and moving to Los Angeles. Tonight, Cardioid returns to Portland for a hometown show, this time with a sophomore album in the works—the merch section of their website teases: “Fantasy Metal - Coming Soon!” There’s no official word of what that means, exactly, but show up tonight and see if Cardioid has anything new up their sleeves. BEN SALMON
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ROBERT PLANT!
Keep ramblin’ on.
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Boris has made no shortage of stops in Portland over the years. But who knows how many more there will be? Last year, the Japanese giants of heavy music hinted that their latest album Dear was at one point going to be “some kind of potential farewell” for the band. And this year’s 25th anniversary tour—which stops in Portland tonight—culminates with a September show in Tokyo that’s listed on the Boris website as “Final.” It’s likely, of course, that the Tokyo date is simply the last anniversary show before Boris goes back to business as usual. But still, Takeshi, Wata, and Atsuo have been at it for a long time, and they could bring Boris to an end whenever they feel like it. So get out and see one of the great drone/doom/noise/experimental/post-rock/metal acts of our time while you can. You don’t want to take a band like Boris for granted. BS