Holy Grove, Castle, Year of the Cobra
Castle emerged in 2011 around the same time that witchy, occult-themed rock was becoming all the rage. While the San Francisco band certainly has some of those trappings, their focus is less on creating a spooky, ritualistic atmosphere and more on honing their sharp sonic edge with dissonant, angular guitar riffs. On their new album Deal Thy Fate, Castle has more in common with Slayer than the Devil’s Blood or Jex Thoth; the riffs on “Can’t Escape the Evil” and “Skull in the Woods” would’ve fared just fine on South of Heaven. (Tonic Lounge, 3100 NE Sandy, 9 pm, $10) ARIS HUNTER WALES Also read our review of Holy Grove's new album, II.

Left to right: Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus left to right: Nolan Knight, HighRoadTouring, Matador Records


Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus
With a name that pokes at double standards in the music industry, Boygenius is the new supergroup uniting three of indie rock’s best songwriters (who happen to be good friends): Julien Baker, Lucy Dacus, and Phoebe Bridgers. Individually, all three musicians are already beloved, and their solo work shares the same basic formula of charging modern folk songs with emotionally raw lyrics and cathartic guitar riffs. But the trio’s collective power is proven on Boygenius’ self-titled debut EP, where each member brings her unique strength to the table: Baker’s emo sensibilities and gritty resilience; Dacus’ plainspoken, analytical lyrics; and Bridgers’ dry wit and anthemic choruses. There’s a moment at the climax of opening track “Bite the Hand” when all three of their voices harmonize sweetly around Dacus’ repetition of the line “I’ll bite the hand that feeds me” until something changes: “I’ll bite the hand that needs me.” That small but significant revision in wording represents a major realization—that maybe the hand that’s reaching out is grasping desperately rather than offering support. Another standout track is the stunning, Bridgers-led “Me & My Dog,” which echoes the feelings of being out of control that she expressed on her song “Motion Sickness” (from her 2017 debut Stranger in the Alps). Throughout Boygenius, Baker, Dacus, and Bridgers back each other up while they expose all of their hollow pain, gnawing insecurities, and debilitating trauma. And although they’re often singing about feeling bad, these six songs sound resoundingly powerful in their vulnerability. At their Portland show, each musician will perform her own set, but hopefully we’ll get a few Boygenius tunes, too. (Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside, 7:30 pm, $25-28, all ages) CIARA DOLAN

Uada, Dead in the Manger, Drouth
In case you were wondering what lurks in the shadows of Portland’s music scene, the answer is bands like Uada, a quartet of mysterious hooded figures whose sophomore album Cult of a Dying Sun is one of the best releases to come out of the city this year. The secret to Uada’s sauce is not its competent black metal-isms—dizzying blast beats, infernal imagery, howls ’n’ growls—but its ability to counterbalance the darkness with majestic guitar riffs. This is melodic black metal at its finest, right from your backyard. Now’s a good time to catch them as they’re just back from a tour across Asia and Australia and should be tight and slightly terrifying. (Tonic Lounge, 3100 NE Sandy, 9 pm, $10-13) BEN SALMON


Kweku Collins, Joseph Chilliams, Parisalexa
With distorted instrumentals built around piano and cello, somnambular beats, and introverted lyrics, Grey—the 2017 EP from Kweku Collins—broadens the scope of the dreamy universe the 21-year-old Midwestern rapper/producer introduced on Say It Here, While It’s Safe. From a strikingly pretty Yeah Yeah Yeahs cover (“Oasis2: Maps”) to the restless momentum of lead single “International Business Trip” to the warm, crackling production of standout track “Aya,” Grey is captivating from cover to cover. Collins’ newest single, “ET”—led by an acoustic guitar riff and heavenly, Auto-Tuned harmonies—proves his knack for moody melodies is only improving with time. (Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison, 8 pm, $12-15, all ages) CIARA DOLAN

PAPERCUTS Thurs 11/29 The Liquor Store One beat pr


Magic Sword
The mysterious cloaked figures of Magic Sword—who are, in reality, three dudes from Boise—play retro-futuristic synth-rock that’s like a whirling tornado of John Carpenter, Judas Priest, Daft Punk, and gamer influences. The anonymous musicians go by the aliases the Seer, the Weaver, and the Keeper. They speak in riddles and have sworn to defeat somebody known as “the immortal Dark One.” Laser eyeballs glow behind their weird masks; they kind of look like Power Rangers having a spa day. No one really knows who they are, but there are rumors that I am not presently built to spill. Magic Sword has released a comic book and two records on Portland label Tender Loving Empire. “Reborn,” their newest single, is a melodramatic synthesizer epic that would make my eyes roll if it weren’t so undeniably righteous. (Dante’s, 350 W Burnside, 8 pm, $16) CIARA DOLAN

Papercuts, Sugar Candy Mountain, Ezza Rose
Parallel Universe Blues, the new record from San Francisco’s Papercuts, picks up right where 2014’s Life Among the Savages left off, which is to say frontman Jason Quever’s washed-out dream-pop sound is in no danger of being abandoned. This time around, there are fewer anthemic tunes like “Still Knocking at the Door,” but the album’s lo-fi take on Quever’s skillset still causes gooseflesh on songs like “Sing to Me Candy” and “How to Quit Smoking.” Papercuts’ music is still characterized by repetition and a lot of reverb, but more obvious nods to shoegaze icons like the Jesus and Mary Chain make Parallel Universe Blues feel like an instant classic. (The Liquor Store, 3341 SE Belmont, 9 pm) RYAN J. PRADO

ANNA TIVEL Fri 11/30 Doug Fir


Mary Gauthier, Anna Tivel
Everything about Mary Gauthier is astonishing. The openly gay Nashville songwriter got her first major label record deal at age 42. Her raw folk songs often address the addiction, abandonment, houselessness, and complete emotional devastation she experienced in her younger years. Gauthier wrote her newest album, Rifles and Rosary Beads, as part of the Songwriting with Soldiers program, which pairs wounded veterans with songwriters who help put their experiences to music. It’s a gutting chronicle of physical and emotional trauma, survivor’s guilt, and America’s systemic failures to adequately care for its soldiers once they return home from war. Tonight, she’ll be joined by Portland singer/songwriter Anna Tivel, whose powerful new single “Fenceline” (from her forthcoming LP The Question) addresses our country’s inhumane treatment of immigrants with its story of a harrowing border crossing. (Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside, 9 pm, $25-28) CIARA DOLAN

Uniform, The Body, Author and Punisher, Street Sects
The latest entry in the Body’s shapeshifting discography finds Portland’s grim soothsayers teaming with the industrial punks of Uniform to draft yet another map of hell. With song titles lifted from revered works about WWII (“Come and See”), self-mutilation (“In My Skin”), and parricide (“We Have Always Lived in the Castle”), the seven churning tracks on Mental Wounds Not Healing evoke a post-everything nightmare of unholy grafts and infinite grief. Melting guitars, agonized howls, and throbbing drum machines cohere into a soundtrack for the worst possible version of the future, and like the best works of horror, it strafes our relative comfort with startling visions of what should not be. (Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi, 9 pm, $12-14) CHRIS STAMM

Echo and the Bunnymen, Enation
These days, Echo and the Bunnymen is pretty much just Ian McCulloch and original guitarist Will Sergeant (plus some new guys). In October the Liverpool post-punk band released The Stars, the Oceans, and the Moon, a collection of songs from their backcatalog transformed by “strings and things.” “I’m not doing this for anyone else,” McCulloch said in a press release. “I’m doing it as it’s important to me to make the songs better. I have to do it.” McCulloch’s gotta do what McCulloch’s gotta do, but I’m sticking with the originals—it’s pretty hard to improve “Lips Like Sugar,” even when you’ve got “strings and things” at your disposal. (Revolution Hall, 1300 SE Stark, 8 pm, $60) CIARA DOLAN


Mississippi Records’ 15th Anniversary
Celebrate Mississippi Records’ big 1-5 with the soulful tunes of Ural Thomas and the Pain, Lonnie Holley, Michael Hurley, and Dead Moon’s Toody Cole. Come for the music, stay for the slideshow presenting each and every terrible mistake the record label has made. Fun! Read our interview with Mississippi Records founder Eric Isaacson. (Hollywood Theatre, 4122 NE Sandy, 8 pm, $10; Fri w/The Space Lady, Marisa Anderson, Dragging an Ox Through Water, Mon w/Lonnie Holley, Toody Cole, Ural Thomas, Michael Hurley)

NEKO CASE Sat 12/1 Roseland Shore Fire Media


Neko Case, Destroyer
Recorded while her house was literally burning down on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, “Bad Luck”—the standout track from Neko Case’s new album, Hell-On—showcases the grit and humor that continues to make her music so great. “It’s not as bad as I thought it’d be,” Case sings over one of the record’s many buoyant pop melodies, “But it’s still pretty bad luck.” (8 pm, Roseland, 8 NW 6th, sold out, all ages) CIARA DOLAN

The Chocolate Watchband, The Pynnacles, The Reverberations, DJ Major Sean
Wielding one of the more ferocious sounds of the West Coast’s garage rock scene in the 1960s, the Chocolate Watchband played freaky tunes like “Are You Gonna Be There (At the Love-In)” and “I’m Not Like Everybody Else.” Tonight the Nuggets-enshrined legends rip the top off the Mission with a reunited lineup that includes original members alongside young guns, plus a groovy liquid light show! (8 pm, Mission Theater, 1624 NW Glisan, $25) NED LANNAMANN

Owen, Fred Thomas
Fred Thomas should be indie rock royalty by now. If the DIY lifer’s years at the helm of pop darlings Saturday Looks Good to Me and City Center weren’t enough, he’s done stints in a dozen other bands, produced countless albums, and—with his recently released Aftering—completed a stunning trilogy of lyric-driven solo records. Together, the albums could be looked at as a sociological study in not wanting what everyone else wants, or perhaps a philosophical treatise on why we have nostalgia for things that weren’t especially great. At the very least, the albums are Thomas’ memoirs of an adulthood spent staring out the windows of tour vans, hiding in the corners of basement shows, and taking it all in. (Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi, 9 pm, $18-20) JOSHUA JAMES AMBERSON

SKATING POLLY Sun 12/2 Mission Theater angel ceballo


Pale Waves, Kailee Morgue, The Candescents
The music offered by Manchester, England’s Pale Waves are drops of pop-goth goodness that will relieve your pining for ye olden days of the Cure, while providing salve for your various emotional heartaches. Influences such as the Cranberries, Cocteau Twins, and New Order are easily identified—particularly on songs like “Kiss” and “Eighteen”—but their sound owes just as much to the ’80s pop of Prince and Madonna (and maybe some of the brilliance of Taylor Swift?). Their newest record, My Mind Makes Noises, hits all the sweet spots of pop lust while digging deep at the heartstrings with clear-eyed, laser-focused lyrics. (BTW, keep an eye on frontwoman Heather Baron-Gracie—her sweet, harrowing vocals and Robert Smith vibe make her a potential breakout star.) (Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE César E. Chávez, 8 pm, $14-16, A) WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY

Skating Polly, Potty Mouth, On Drugs
The three siblings in Skating Polly were born to rock like it’s 1993, never mind the fact that they’re in their teens and early 20s. Formed when they were just nine and 14 years old, respectively, sisters Kelli Mayo and Peyton Bighorse knew from the beginning that their home state of Oklahoma didn’t quite match up with their buzzy, sweet-’n’-sour alt-rock sound. So the whole family moved to Tacoma in 2015, and brother Kurtis has since joined on drums. After a few albums of impressive Veruca Salt- and Bikini Kill-worship, Skating Polly’s new record The Make It All Show finds the trio rocking out with a bit more restraint. (Mission Theater, 1624 NW Glisan, 7:30 pm, $10-12, all ages) BEN SALMON

JOHN MAUS MON 12/3 Wonder Ballroom Shawn Brackbill


Suuns, Graham Van Pelt
For more than a decade, Suuns has been fusing post-punk, krautrock, electronic sounds, and psychedelic vibes into something weirdly catchy and undeniably appealing. But where their first three albums felt like the work of serious artists with furrowed brows, this year’s Felt is looser, groovier, more spacious, and easier to embrace. It sounds like art-rock underground heroes Clinic and art-rock arena-fillers Radiohead found a pot full of golden, pulsing pop songs at the end of the Black Moth Super Rainbow. And then they went to space, recorded them, and buried them under the floorboards of their rocketship. (Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi, 9 pm, $15) BEN SALMON

John Maus, Schaus
John Maus’ latest record, Addendum, wavers somewhere between catchy, obscure, and experimental—it’s a little bit reminiscent of Gary Numan or the composer Vangelis. After releasing 2011’s We Must Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves, Maus spent six years living in a small Minnesota town, finishing his PhD in political philosophy, and building the synthesizers he would use to record Addendum. On the new album, he holds pop at a frustrating, compelling arm’s length. Maus doesn’t just play music—he wrestles with it and attempts to wrench meaning from it. (Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell, 8:30 pm, $20-22) ISABEL LYNDON

PINBACK Tues 12/4 Wonder Ballroom Drew reynolds


Matt and Kim, The Knocks, Good Samaritan
Indie and dance pop isn’t my typical area of musical enjoyment, so I consider it a fateful blessing that I had nothing better to do during Matt and Kim’s set at 2014’s Capitol Hill Block Party. After stumbling upon the Brooklyn duo/couple’s performance, I quickly deduced that Matt Johnson (vocals/keyboards) and Kim Schifino (drums) bring an insane amount of energy to their bubbly live sets and are some of the most expressive onstage musicians I’ve come across. The duo took a hiatus in 2017 (after Schifino’s ACL injury), but now they’re back on tour on the strength of their new album, Almost Everyday. Don’t miss ’em. (8 pm, Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside, $38, all ages) JENNI MOORE

Pinback, Morricone Youth
Pinback’s pristine compositions are clockwork marvels, stunning little contraptions powered by the kind of magic that only gets more impressive as one’s critical eye moves closer. Rob Crow and Armistead Burwell Smith IV have written a number of mixtape-ready crushers made for post-breakup moldering, songs that drop from the brain into the heart, but the duo’s chilly precision has a way of banishing the murk and muck of a good wallow before everything gets too maudlin. It’s a joy to bear witness to the impossibly smooth interplay between Crow and Smith, their voices and guitars bound up like soulmates, each song a testament to human connection. (Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell, 8:30 pm, $19.99-25, all ages) CHRIS STAMM


Metallica returns to Portland for their WorldWired tour. (Moda Center, 1 N Center Ct, 7:30 pm, sold out)

ANDY SHAUF Wed 12/5 Mississippi Studios Geoff Fitzgerald

Andy Shauf, Tomberlin
Andy Shauf’s foam cushion drum tones and gentle, Kermit-y chirrup belie his material’s epic narrative scope. The Canadian songwriter’s 2016 album, The Party, is a dense collection of overlapping vignettes set at the same house party. Shauf imbues his diverse and neurotic cast of characters with an almost Salingerian depth: There’s that one perpetually early attendee, an amateur magician, a possessive asshole convinced he’s being cheated on by his girlfriend because he can’t find her anywhere, and poor, poor “Alexander All Alone”—who dies at the party before remanifesting as an unfulfilled spirit. Shauf’s preoccupation with social drama might feel decidedly current, but much of this music sounds like it could have been made before punk broke, from the Harry Nilsson-esque chromatic playfulness of “The Magician” and “The Worst in You” all the way through to achingly tuneful closer “Martha Sways,” which evokes Judee Sill’s best work. (Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi, 9 pm, sold out) MORGAN TROPER