Tracyanne & Danny High Road Touring


The Lemon Twigs, Jackie Cohen
It’s probably a little too late to be awarding year-end superlatives, but the Lemon Twigs were the most overhyped indie rock band of 2018. Some critics were quick to declare the group’s latest LP, Go to School, a power-pop masterpiece, but it is not. Go to School is a spiritually inert, hour-long concept album about a monkey who goes to school, a premise apparently conceived by two adults. (The adults in question are brothers Brian and Michael D’Addario, sons of super-successful session player Ronnie D’Addario.) At its absolute best, Go to School evokes Ray Davies’ turgid, occasionally inspired mid-’70s concept albums with the Kinks (particularly 1975’s Schoolboys in Disgrace). At its worst, Go to School comes off like the D’Addario family flaunting their limitless recording privileges and impressive Rolodex. (Todd Rundgren and Big Star’s Jody Stephens both make guest appearances.) Beneath the flashy veneer, these songs just sound like an A.I. unit trying to make sense of classic pop songcraft—and it’s beginning to seem like the machines might actually replace us. (Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell, 8:30 pm, $15-18, all ages) MORGAN TROPER

The Cabin Project, Camp Crush, DJ Anjali and the Incredible Kid
Helmed by married duo Jennifer Deale and Chris Spicer, Camp Crush is a project with a polished sound that’s heavy on silky synths, skyscraper melodies, and a grand sense of drama. Tonight they’re celebrating the release of a new four-song EP, Run, which is an impressive throwback to lush ’80s pop. As for the Cabin Project, the veteran Portland quartet will celebrate its new album Decenter. Expect multi-part harmonies, horizon-wide vibes, and plenty of cozy roots-pop songs augmented with beautiful string sections. This stuff is well traveled but tuneful, and deeply relatable yet ambitious. (Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside, 9 pm, $12) BEN SALMON


For nearly half a century, Kiss has been one of rock ’n’ roll’s biggest and most divisive bands, and this year, they say they’re calling it quits. For many, this day couldn’t come soon enough. But for millions of people around the world, Kiss’ demise will leave a strange and sudden void. That’s not hyperbole—Kiss fans are nuts. I know because I am one. Okay, I don’t have an entire room dedicated to the band, and neither of my kids is named Frehley (though that does have a nice ring to it), but for better or worse, Kiss has been a constant in my 45 years on Earth. Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley, and Peter Criss formed the band in New York in 1973, donning black leather and striking makeup that reflected their individual personas. The whole thing could’ve easily fallen on deaf ears (and blind eyes), but by the late ’70s, Kiss had ascended to the greatest heights of stardom, only to find it crashing down around them a few years later. Being savvy businessmen, they took off the makeup and made a decent run in the ’80s and ’90s, which set up their massive and inevitable reunion tour in 1996. That ride was short-lived, as Frehley and Criss would again exit the band, (but not before an initial “final tour”); then Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer stepped in with their makeup to keep the Kiss machine rolling for years to come. Which brings us to 2019. Am I going to feel a void? Nah. It’s time. It’s been time for a while. People will continue to find reasons (some warranted) to make fun of Kiss... and I will probably keep defending them. That says a lot about the band. And me. (Moda Center, 1 N Center Ct, 7:30 pm, $41.50-997, all ages) MARK LORE

Yuvees, Martha Stax, Tom Ghoulie, Rain Cult
Martha Stax has a limited internet presence and, disappointingly, no music currently available online, but they’re quickly becoming one of Portland’s hardest-working bands. With their subtly sardonic live presence and borderline discordant anti-pop songs about posers and bro intellectuals, Martha Stax could be perceived as Portland’s contribution to the burgeoning Devo-core movement—an exhilaratingly weird punk sub-genre with roots in the Midwest that our corner of the country has been slow to embrace. It will be interesting to see how Martha Stax’s music manifests on record; hopefully they release something soon to capitalize on all the local momentum they’ve generated. (The Fixin’ To, 8218 N Lombard, 9 pm, $7) MORGAN TROPER

Sunflower Bean Andy DeLuca

Interpol, Sunflower Bean
Sunflower Bean masterfully infuses all things weird and whimsical into their gripping, distorted indie rock. The band says New York’s DIY scene helped shape their sound, and the same goes for tonight’s headliner—Interpol drastically changed the direction of alternative rock with their unforgettable 2002 debut, Turn on the Bright Lights. Both bands released new music in 2018, so prepare to enjoy some fresh tunes from two former DIY darlings who made it big. (Keller Auditorium, 222 SW Clay, 8 pm, $34.50-59.50) ANNA KAPLAN

Eyelids, Federale
Proving once again they’re one of the most prolific bands in Portland, Eyelids have a busy year ahead of them. On the heels of 2018’s half-studio, half-live album Maybe More, tonight the band is releasing a two-song 7-inch as part of a US tour kickoff. Eyelids was in the studio this past December tracking their forthcoming third album, The Accidental Falls—a Peter Buck-produced collaborative record that will feature lyrics from the legendary poet Larry Beckett (who has, in the past, written for Tim Buckley). (Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi, 9 pm, $14-16) RYAN J. PRADO

Efrim Manuel Menuck
Godspeed You! Black Emperor founder Efrim Manuel Menuck’s second solo album, Pissing Stars, was inspired by Entertainment Tonight personality Mary Hart’s mid-’80s romance with Mohammed Khashoggi, son of oilman-cum-arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi. The fitful exultations of GY!BE do not exist at this intersection of wealth and fame and terrestrial devastation. Instead, Menuck summons plaintive drones and ghostly chants to transform a tabloid love story into a late-capitalist lament. Pissing Stars isn’t a slow riot or a skinny fist lifted to heaven, but a sad howl sent up to the sharp sliver of a waning moon. (Polaris Hall, 635 N Killingsworth Ct, 8 pm, $12-15) CHRIS STAMM

Ascended Dead, Ossuarium, Cavurn, Autophagy
2018 was a marquee year for 20 Buck Spin. Instead of listing the many great titles the Olympia record label released last year, let’s just say they had their finger on the pulse (or lack thereof) of underground death metal across the globe. It’s already shaping up to be another inimical year: This month 20 Buck Spin will release Portland band Ossuarium’s crushing debut LP, Living Tomb. Ossuarium’s first album is old-school doom at its ugliest—the kind of rancid death metal you can almost smell, inspiring slow, punishing terror and visions of oozing black goop burping up from a forgotten crypt somewhere deep in the forest. Song titles like “Vomiting Black Death,” “Writhing in Emptiness,” and “Malicious Equivalence” will have you shitting your pants before the first pestilent note is even struck. (Tonic Lounge, 3100 NE Sandy, 8:30 pm, $13) ARIS HUNTER WALES


Oregon Symphony, Gregory Dahl, Chelsea Duval-Major, John Easterlin, Maeve Höglund, Jenny Schuler, Yungee Rhie, Pacific Youth Choir
The Oregon Symphony teams up with six brilliant guest vocalists and the Pacific Youth Choir to present Hansel and Gretel, Engelbert Humperdinck’s 1892 opera inspired by hungry siblings and cannibalistic witches. Not only will projected supertitles translate the original German lyrics in real time, but this Brothers Grimm tale will also be interpreted through shadow puppetry hovering above the stage—a feast for the eyes accomplished by vintage overhead projectors, multiple screens, puppets, and actors from the Chicago-based performance collective Manual Cinema. (Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway, 7:30 pm, $24 & up) BRIAN HORAY


Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band
Color me un-American, but I’ve never liked Bob Seger. When I was rolling in leagues, I named my bowling ball “Bob Seger, the Silver Bullet Ball,” because I felt it best to roll with hate. Every time I hear Seger’s music, all I can think of is a young Tom Cruise prancing around in his socks and underwear and the cheesy Chevrolet ad campaign from the early ’90s that featured “Like a Rock.” But Bob Seger is an American icon, and cynical ding-dongs like me don’t get to discount him too much. If you’re any kind of fan, this is apparently your last chance to catch him. (Moda Center, 1 N Center Ct, 7:30 pm, $69-374.53, all ages) ARIS HUNTER WALES

Tracyanne & Danny, Photo Ops
Tracyanne Campbell and Danny Coughlan aren’t necessarily household names, unless your household is well versed in elegant European pop music. Campbell is better known for her prominent role in Scottish indie-pop band Camera Obscura, while Coughlan, a Brit, records soulful ballads under the name Crybaby. Together, they make beautiful music that reflects both their main projects, and their debut album as a duo—simply titled Tracyanne & Danny—was one of 2018’s loveliest listens. Smooth, patient, and endlessly tuneful, it’s a must-hear document of what can happen when two skilled and experienced songwriters fit together seamlessly. (Polaris Hall, 635 N Killingsworth Ct, 8 pm, $17-20) BEN SALMON

Mic Capes, Zyah Belle, Mal London, Bocha
There’s not nearly enough hip-hop shows happening in North Portland, but here’s one: According to a press release, Cabin Fever is “the first of many shows this year that Mic Capes will be throwing and curating” at the Fixin’ To in St. Johns. It’s hosted by Shrista Tyree, and the first lineup is great. There’s local staples Capes and Bocha, but I’m most interested in catching sets from the artists I’ve never seen before: Sacramento-based singer Zyah Belle and local hip-hop/R&B artist Mal London, who is also a producer. His Soundcloud tracks like “Soul Food” already piqued my interest, but his most recent Kcoyi-directed music video “Wayvmode” is what sold me even more. (The Fixin’ To, 8218 N Lombard, 9:15 pm, $10) JENNI MOORE


Hippo Campus, Now Now
Do not be repelled by Now, Now’s emo past-life, as I once foolishly was: The Minnesota duo’s Saved was one of the best albums of 2018. Standout tracks “SGL” (an abbreviation for “shotgun lover”) and “AZ” (like the hot state) are understated pop masterpieces, with KC Dalager’s voice breezing over catchy synth melodies and Brad Hale’s adrenaline-charged drumbeats. It’s the perfect music for angsty scream-singing with the windows down (so I guess Now Now’s still a little emo after all). (Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside, 8 pm, $26-28, all ages) CIARA DOLAN

Richard Thompson Electric Trio, Ryley Walker
Ryley Walker’s 2018 gem Deafman Glance was a sordid, jazz-flecked dissertation on his Chicago home, alternatingly warm and revealing even when it was overtaken by his interpretive guitar freak-outs. For the irreverent songwriter’s November follow-up, he did a full-album cover of Dave Matthews Band’s lost 2001 record, The Lillywhite Sessions, in what could be a glimpse into the musical roadmap that took Walker from disillusioned, ska-loving suburban punk to the sardonic troubadour he is today. He’s one of the most interesting artists zig-zagging the country right now, and his opening slot with Richard Thompson’s Electric Trio ought to expose his strange brand to a whole new audience. (Revolution Hall, 1300 SE Stark, 8 pm, sold out) RYAN J. PRADO


Orquestra Pacifico Tropical, Amenta Abioto, Brown Calculus
When they met a few years ago, Andre Burgos had been making music as Brown Calvin, and Vaughn Kimmons went by the moniker Brown Alice. They joined forces to become Brown Calculus, and together they make slow, simmering electronic soul with cosmic influences. Tonight at Holocene, they’ll play with singer/songwriter Amenta Abioto, who performs looping sonic art pieces, and Orquestra Pacifico Tropical, a 11-piece psych-rock cumbia collective whose members hail from Portland bands Bitch’n and Máscaras. (Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison, 8 pm, $10-12) ISABEL LYNDON

Long Hallways, Volcanic Pinnacles, Gazelle(s)
Read our review of Long Hallways’ new album. (Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi, 8 pm, $5)


Cowboy Junkies
The one time I saw the Cowboy Junkies, I fell asleep. My mom’s friend had bought us tickets to see them in Seattle for “The Caution Horses” tour, with Townes Van Zandt opening the show. I was seven years old. They likely played songs off their then-recent breakthrough, The Trinity Session, an album that, 30 years after its release, still holds up as one of the best alt-country records of all time. Each time I hear it, I remember drifting in and out of consciousness, Margo Timmins’ voice pulling me between dreams and reality. (Revolution Hall, 1300 SE Stark, 8 pm, sold out) JOSHUA JAMES AMBERSON

The Thesis: Swiggle Mandela, Marco Pavé, 1 Young Micah
Remember last May, when Swiggle Mandela took a piss on a Willamette Week newspaper in his ruthless music video for “Dear Willamette Week”? The song basically told them to STFU when it comes to hip-hop and took shots at their lack of coverage of gentrification, and meanwhile, all of us over at the Mercury just waited quietly to see if we’d be next in line to get dragged? [SIGH] Good times! Well, now the outspoken Portland rapper is headlining the Thesis, which is an otherwise very non-Portland bill: Marco Pavé is coming from Memphis to play his set, and 1 Young Micah is here from New Orleans. (Kelly’s Olympian, 425 SW Washington, 9 pm, $7) JENNI MOORE

Thurs Feb 7-Sat Feb 9

Torment Is Flesh
Read our story on Torment Is Flesh. (Tonic Lounge, 3100 NE Sandy, 9 pm, $30-85)


Fiji, Sly and Robbie, The Taxi Gang with Bitty McClean
In the early ’70s, Sly Dunbar was working as a studio musician in his hometown of Kingston, Jamaica, where he’d already drummed for Lee Perry and played on an Upsetters track. When he met Robbie Shakespeare, one of Kingston’s most sought-after bass players, the two clicked. Over the duo’s multi-decade partnership, Sly and Robbie have worked with Peter Tosh, Grace Jones, Gregory Isaacs, Joe Cocker, Joan Armatrading, and more. Remember that Chaka Demus and Pliers song “Murder She Wrote?” That’s a Sly and Robbie sample. (Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie, 9 pm, $30, all ages) ISABEL LYNDON

Broncho, Pinky Pinky, Oh Rose
It seems like every other band that captures more than its fair share of buzz comes from a big city. This is understandable, but it also means acts like Broncho—a fine pop-rock combo from little ol’ Tulsa, Oklahoma—are often left to toil in the shadows. The solution? Record killer albums and tour like crazy so people have no choice but to pay attention. For nearly a decade, Broncho has been one of America’s great (if underappreciated) purveyors of poppy guitar rock, and their new album Bad Behavior finds them mixing in more beats, more ’80s vibes, more echo, and more danceableness. That’s not a word, but then again, neither is Broncho. (Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi, 9 pm, $17-20) BEN SALMON

Adrianne Lenker Buck Meek


CRITIC’S PICK: Adrianne Lenker, Luke Temple, Joshua Thomas

The details of Adrianne Lenker’s 27 years on Earth are stranger than fiction: In interviews Lenker has described how she was born into a religious cult in Indianapolis, moved around the Midwest frequently throughout her youth, and at one point was being groomed for child pop-stardom. Now she’s the frontwoman of the wildly popular indie folk-rock band Big Thief and has spent most of the past three years touring the world, nomadic once again. Big Thief songs like “Mythological Beauty”—which recounts a near-death experience from her childhood involving a railroad spike and a head injury—are like grainy Polaroids capturing moments in the same fragmented, slightly distorted way the brain retains memories. Lenker’s songwriting opens windows into other universes; there’s so much going beyond our view, but we’re only able to stand at the threshold peering in. Recorded in West Marin—a deceptively peaceful swath of California countryside that sits atop the San Andreas Fault—Lenker’s new solo album abysskiss is a collection of musical vignettes that open these universe-windows with just a few guitar notes, while her mind ambles through passing thoughts and observations like wind rippling through a field. Lenker’s music is also deceptively peaceful; there’s untold power thrumming behind songs like “symbol” and “out of your mind.” (Fri Feb 8, Polaris Hall, 635 N Killingsworth Ct, 8 pm, sold out, all ages; Sun Feb 10, The Old Church, 1422 SW 11th, 8 pm, sold out) CIARA DOLAN


Year of Asé: Guayaba, DJ Larsupreme
Ori Gallery, a North Portland space dedicated to showcasing the art of Black, Indigenous, and QTPOC artists, is celebrating one year of steadfast work! Join them at this gathering of creatives and community partners, with plenty of fundraising opportunities to directly support them. Enjoy performances by experimental Afro-Latinx musician Guayaba, DJ Larsupreme, and House of Flora’s Bouton Volonté, with hosting from Carlos the Rollerblader. (Disjecta, 8371 N Interstate, 6 pm, FREE, all ages) EMILLY PRADO

Zyanose, Lebenden Toten, Frenzy, Physique
It’s easy (and admittedly kind of fun) to crack wise about crust punk and its peacocking adherents, but this lineup of Discharge descendants pushes the trusty formula so far into the red that they break through to a realm beyond reproach. From Physique’s coiled, Doom-laden attacks to the distortion-worshipping storms of Japan’s Zyanose, tonight’s blistering showcase will reach deafening intensity. You might not be able to hear anything tomorrow, which will be okay: You’ll have already experienced the end of music. (Black Water Bar, 835 NE Broadway, 7 pm, $12, all ages) CHRIS STAMM

Y La Bamba, Sávila
Y La Bamba’s newest single, “Mujeres,” remains the most powerful response to the machismo bullshit of 2018. As we enter a new year, allow Luz Elena Mendoza’s invincible, ethereal vocals and her Portland bandmates’ dynamic rhythms light the way. Y La Bamba will be joined by another local group with Mexican roots, Sávila, with melodies that give classic cumbia beats a Portland spin. (Revolution Hall, 1300 SE Stark, 9 pm, $16-18, all ages) ALEX ZIELINSKI

Drama, Chanti Darling, Claire George
Comprising vocalist Via Rose and producer Na’el Shehade, Chicago-based duo Drama makes a moody blend of electronic soul, pop, and house music. Drama’s already reason enough to pile into the Wonder Ballroom, but with Portland’s own retro-futurist disco and soul outfit Chanti Darling also on the bill, this show is surely one of the most fun ways to get warm this weekend. (Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell, 9 pm, $15-17, all ages) JENNI MOORE

Love Mercury Music Coverage?


King Tuff, Tropa Magica, Máscaras
Kyle Thomas wrote his 2018 album The Other after an identity crisis left him feeling disconnected from King Tuff—the “party monster” alter ego he’d assumed on his previous three records of grimy, glammy rock ’n’ roll. In an interview with the Mercury last year, Thomas explained that the inspiration for his new album is “kind of indescribable, and that’s what makes it ‘other.’ You can’t really pin it down, but it’s there, I know it’s there. Sometimes you get an idea or a flash of something and you’re like, ‘Where did that come from?’ It’s the beyond—that’s what I’ve always been after.” Throughout The Other, Thomas contemplates the cosmos and ditches the guitar solos for Sun Ra Arkestra-inspired horns and warm organ tones. King Tuff is dead; long live King Tuff! (Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell, 8:30 pm, $18-20, all ages) CIARA DOLAN

Wiz Khalifa, Curren$y
Wiz Khalifa is expected to put out a joint album with New Orleans rapper Curren$y this year, so it only makes sense that they’ve decided to go on a 22-date North American tour together. They’ll probably be playing new shit, and definitely some stuff from their joint How Fly mixtape from 2009. And we won’t have to wait long to see the live collab: After kicking off in Seattle, Portland is just the third date on the trek. (Roseland, 8 NW 6th, 8 pm, $39.50-250, all ages) JENNI MOORE


Tangerine, Wet Dream
Tangerine’s sisters Marika and Miro Justad have been making music with Toby Kuhn since childhood, and in 2017 the trio moved from Seattle to LA. Their latest EP, White Dove, contains breezy, glittering pop, but adds an air of maturity and ’80s influences. The anthemic “Cherry Red” highlights the trials and tribulations of navigating your 20s, backlit by twinkling keys and melodic guitars. (Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside, 9 pm, $10-12) ANNA KAPLAN

Steve Gunn, Meg Baird
If seeing two pillars of the psychedelic folk-rock underground perform on one stage sounds like your kind of thing, then the Aladdin Theater is your destination tonight. Meg Baird is a multifaceted musician who established herself as the spectral voice of beloved Philly band Espers, and who more recently could be found fronting West Coast psych supergroup Heron Oblivion and playing alongside adventurous harpist Mary Lattimore. Steve Gunn, on the other hand, is a guitar hero riding an incredible streak of excellent albums full of woozy and winsome Americana. His latest—The Unseen in Between—further illuminates his drive to conquer worlds far beyond the one built around fingerpicked acoustic guitar. (Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie, 8 pm, $18-20, all ages) BEN SALMON

SLAY Film Fest
In person at the Clinton St. Theater 10/29 & 10/30