The Joy Formidable Timothy Hiatt


JonnyX and the Groadies, Thrones, Nudity
The United States of America turns 243 years old today. Which, okay. Pretty decent number of years. Not too shabby. But we must not forget to honor fairly obscure local metal quartet JonnyX and the Groadies, who celebrate their 23rd anniversary today. In DIY years—which are like dog years but with even more naps—they have been around for something like four or five centuries. The long and short of it: Portland’s premiere space-age black metal band is older and maybe even better than the United States of America. It is simple math. (Thurs July 4, 8:30 pm, Cobra Lounge, 2027 NE MLK, FREE, all ages) CHRIS STAMM

Calidorestring Quartett Marco Borggreve

Calidore String Quartet, Soovin Kim, Gloria Chien
Chamber Music Northwest’s kick-ass summer festival continues with a program featuring a pair of American composers: perennial patriotic favorite Aaron Copland and the mind-blowingly brilliant Caroline Shaw. Copland appears twice on tonight’s setlist with a violin/piano sonata and a tight chamber arrangement of his Appalachian Spring Suite for small orchestra. Shaw, who won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for music, brings to the program a super-fresh work inspired by the lilt and rhythm of written language. Come witness as the Calidore String Quartet brings her stellar creation to life. (Thurs July 4, 8 pm, Kaul Auditorium at Reed College, 3203 SE Woodstock, $10-62.50, all ages) BRIAN HORAY

Don’t Shred on Me: Boink, Tribe Mars, Ex-Kids, DJ Jen O
Dig A Pony’s annual patriotic shredding event is back in all its glory. Stop by the Eastside dance joint to shake your star-spangled booty to R&B soul squad Tribe Mars, psych punk supergroup Boink, and some selections from XRAY DJ Jen O’s record collection. Boozy slushies, Jell-O shots, cookout grub, and sparklers provided, along with many other delights we left England for. (Thurs July 4, 8 pm, Dig A Pony, 736 SE Grand) ALEX ZIELINSKI


Waterfront Blues Festival
Now in its 31st year, this annual celebration of the blues—and the many musical styles that use that American artform as its foundation—is one of the highlights of the summer concert calendar. The lineup for the 2019 edition feels aimed for the longtime stans, with headliners including Trombone Shorty, Karl Denson, and Shemekia Copeland. But the weekend also boasts an impressively inclusive roster with the likes of Larkin Poe and Pam Taylor in the mix, and a tribute to the late Sister Rosetta Tharpe led by a team of local ladies. (Thurs July 4-Sun July 7, noon-11 pm, Tom McCall Waterfront Park, 98 SW Naito Pkwy, single day tickets $20-25, weekend passes $50-1,250, kids 12 and under FREE) BOB HAM


Soul Grinder, Solicitor
Read our story on Soul Grinder. (Sat July 6, 8 pm, The Lovecraft Bar, 421 SE Grand, $10)

Culture Abuse, Tony Molina, Young Guv, Dare, Regional Justice Center
First the punks went pop. Now they’re moving as a pack, touring across the country together, and invading your town with their endless supply of catchy tunes in tow. Let’s hit the highlights: Young Guv is the nom de pop of Fucked Up’s Ben Cook, who turns sad songs into Matthew Sweet-style hits of sunshine. Tony Molina is a former hardcore kid who now writes the sweetest, shortest, perfectest folk-pop melodies on Earth. And Culture Abuse are a gang of Bay Area dudes who sound like the Attractions of the California psych-garage scene. Short version: If you like hooky guitar music, this bill totes rules. (Sat July 6, 9 pm, Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside, $15) BEN SALMON


Alvarius B and the Invisible Hands
(Sun July 7, 9 pm, Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi, $12-15)

AC Porter Blues Jam
Monday nights have you singing the blues? Luckily for you, AC Porter has Sunday nights covered with their weekly jam session. Porter is well known in the Portland blues scene for very good reason: He’s one of the greatest living guitar players. The city of Portland is very lucky to have him as a staple of the blues community, and listeners are in for a real treat. You won’t be singing the blues for long... until you get to the Blue Diamond that is. (Sun July 7 & Sun July 14, 6 pm, Blue Diamond, 2016 NE Sandy, FREE) KATHERINE D. MORGAN

Heartbeat Opera
Rather than rolling over in a grave, Mozart is likely smiling grandly at Heartbeat Opera’s radical reimagining of his Don Giovanni. Invited to be part of Chamber Music Northwest’s ongoing festival, this NYC-based ensemble has created a stripped-down live version of the 1787 work for a 21st-century audience. This new version instills the tale of this shape-shifting seducer with fresh cultural perspectives for seven singing actors who are supported by a small band, allowing each performer to shine. An encore gig at this intimate venue happens Tuesday night, so Portland’s got two chances to catch the ingenious revelations of these trailblazing artists. (Sun July 7, 4 pm & Tues July 9, 8 pm, Lincoln Performance Hall at PSU, 1620 SW Park, $10-62.50, all ages) BRIAN HORAY

Jawbox Katherine Davis


Jawbox, Helms Alee
During their original incarnation in the late ’80s and ’90s, Jawbox almost broke into the mainstream with their rough-hewn combination of Wire’s deconstructivist blurts and Killing Joke’s angular assaults. But like many of their peers, they were washed away by the arrival of nü-metal and the dominance of hip-hop, splitting up in 1997. The DC band’s reunion for a 12-date tour that stops by Wonder Ballroom tonight isn’t an attempt to reclaim the throne; it’s a high-volume reminder of their unique power and unshakable chemistry. (Wed July 10, 8:30 pm, Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell, $28-30, all ages) BOB HAM

Beck Citizen Kane Wayne


CRITIC PICK: Beck, Cage the Elephant, Spoon, Starcrawler, Beck, Cage the Elephant, Spoon, Starcrawler

For me, 1994 was the year of Beck Hansen. In that one year, Beck released his major-label breakthrough Mellow Gold, his K Records bedroom-folk masterpiece One Foot in the Grave, and his epic punk-label oddity Stereopathetic Soulmanure. I was 12 years old, and I loved them all. But the one I put on the most was Stereopathetic. Not because it was the easiest or most pleasant, but because it was unlike anything I had ever heard. A sprawling 25-track assortment of noise rock, field recordings, lo-fi country, live street performances, skits, and samples from a friend’s low-budget movie, the album opened my young ears to genres and sounds I’d never previously considered listenable. Beck recorded Stereopathetic between 1988 and 1993, in his late teens and early 20s. Listening to it today, 25 years after its release, it’s striking what a distinct artist Beck was from the very beginning. With his range of influences and the unmistakable style he placed upon everything he did, he could have established himself as a cult icon had he followed any of the potential paths presented on Stereopathetic. But, obviously, he followed none of those paths. Instead, he made lounge music and orchestral-pop, psych-folk, trip-hop, bargain-basement hip-hop, and bizarro R&B. While none of it excited me as much as his trio of ’94 albums, I was along for the ride up until his largely garbage 2005 album Guero, and I haven’t been particularly interested in anything he’s done since. But I appreciate that—in the age of reissues, reunion tours, and general ’90s rehash—Beck never repeats himself. He always tries something new. Even if I don’t care for most of what he’s done in the past decade and a half, he’s nonetheless building up one of the wildest and most varied discographies of any living artist. (Thurs July 11, 6 pm, Sunlight Supply Amphitheater, 17200 NE Delfel, Ridgefield, WA, $29.50-313, all ages) JOSHUA JAMES AMBERSON

Miss Rayon, Mini Blinds, Cay is Okay
“Domestic Gesture,” my favorite track off Miss Rayon’s 2018 album Eclipse, pairs hard, driving drums with jarring guitar licks and eerie vocals reminiscent of a Gregorian chant. It’s moody but danceable, with clear post-punk influences and a disco undercurrent. The song wouldn’t be out of place on a mixtape with Au Pairs or ESG. Eric Sabatino, who’s played in Cat Hoch and Vexations, started Miss Rayon as a solo project, but it grew to include musicians-about-town Jenny Logan and Hannah Blilie. This Holocene lineup includes local dream-pop outfit Mini Blinds and Cay Is Okay, whose honest, quiet lyrics sound like words pulled from a diary. (Thurs July 11, 8:30 pm, Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison, 8:30 pm, $8) ISABEL LYNDON

Kyle Craft & Showboat Honey
Expanding upon the raucous Americana shuffle of his 2018 LP Full Circle Nightmare, Kyle Craft and his newly minted band, Showboat Honey, dials up the spacey psych-rock on their new self-titled record. Craft is an adventurous lyricist in the vein of Dylan and Bowie, and his strengths lie in his ability to go beyond mere idol worship into dynamic rock ’n’ roll explorations that propel songs like “2 Ugly 4 NY” and the heavy-lidded “Johnny (Free & Easy)” into anthems for a new tomorrow. Craft is playing two album release shows—on July 10 at Music Millennium and tonight at Mississippi Studios, so you have few excuses not to bear witness. (Thurs July 11, 9 pm, Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi, $15-17) RYAN J. PRADO

Cate Le Bon Ivana Kličković



Cate Le Bon’s music turns the world upside down and shakes vigorously until all of the weirdness falls out. It’s a gorgeously choreographed mess, like ballet in a mud pit. The Welsh musician named her last album, 2016’s Crab Day, after a holiday created by her niece, who was incredulous about the purpose of April Fool’s Day and instead decided to spend April 1 celebrating crustaceans. Crab Day reflects life’s absurdity (such as Le Bon’s discovery that for years she’d observed her birthday on the wrong day) with equally absurd pop melodies that simultaneously sound like the products of careful calculation and a total surrender to the unpredictable currents of her stream of consciousness. Le Bon wrote her new album, Reward, while living alone in England’s Lake District. “There’s a strange romanticism to going a little bit crazy and playing the piano to yourself and singing into the night,” she says in the record’s liner notes. Le Bon also says that Reward is about searching for meaning at a time when the very concept of “meaning” feels as though it’s going extinct, and how the word “reward” signifies positive reinforcement but also reveals a power dynamic, since it “depends on the relationship between the giver and the receiver.” The album contains a song titled “Sad Nudes,” which should really be reason enough for you to listen, but if you demand more: Listen for the clock chimes in the background of opening track “Miami,” a faint but constant reminder of passing time; saxophones tooting and gurgling like a Greek chorus of fussy babies throughout the record; the way Le Bon tenderly crochets together “I love you”s on “Daylight Matters”; and her beautiful and grotesque contortions of the word “man” on the epic closing track “Meet the Man.” (Fri July 12, 9 pm, Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside, sold out, w/Conscious Summary) CIARA DOLAN

Rasheed Jamal, Mic Capes, Mal London
First of all, Rasheed Jamal is one of the most impressive and experienced rap performers in Portland. He’s got a rapid-fire, rhythmic flow, raw lyrics, and an intensely gated control in his delivery that’s both exciting and pleasing to the ear. According to his social media, he’s gearing up to release an album soon. As the show’s headliner, Jamal is reason enough to head on down to the Jack London Revue. But with North Portland’s Mic Capes (who recently released his project Cold Blooded Vol. 1 on all streaming services) and rapper/singer/producer Mal London, this is sure to be a super-solid night of high-quality live rap and neo-soul. (Fri July 12, 10 pm, Jack London Revue, 529 SW 4th, $10-15) JENNI MOORE

The Joy Formidable, Warbly Jets
Having vacated their Atlantic deal in 2016 and overcoming the romantic split between lead singer/guitarist Ritzy Bryan and bassist Rhydian Dafydd, the Joy Formidable are an indie rock band once again. They’re currently touring in support of their fourth studio album Aaarth, which dropped last September. Live, the Welsh band really rips. As someone who doesn’t seek out alternative rock music, I found out about the Joy Formidable because I happened to be passing through their mainstage set at Seattle’s Capitol Hill Block Party a few years ago. After hearing them bring a relentless barrage of guitars and crashing drums, I was sold. They simply rock. (Fri July 12, 9 pm, Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi, $28-30) JENNI MOORE

Punk in Drublic 2019: NOFX, Bad Religion, Anti-Flag, The Last Gang, Mean Jeans
Few things would have titillated my interest as a 16-year-old trapped in a deadbeat town more than a beer festival/concert with NOFX, Bad Religion, MXPX, and Anti-Flag. I’m damn near 40 and it still sounds like a fucking great time. There are craft beer tastings until 4 pm, and NOFX is planning to tackle their epic 1999 EP The Decline in full with Baz’s Philharmonic Orchestra. It’s like a better curated Warped Tour... with beer! Portland punks Mean Jeans are also on the bill, and it’s a great way to say farewell to Portland Meadows, too. (Fri July 12, 3 pm, Portland Meadows, 1001 N Schmeer, $45-185) RYAN J. PRADO


Tyler Ramsey, Carl Broemel
Tyler Ramsey and Carl Broemel have spent lots of time in bands fronted by songwriting supernovas—Ramsey alongside Ben Bridwell in Band of Horses, and Broemel with Jim James in My Morning Jacket. Now they’re touring together, both promoting solo albums that showcase their skills as craftsmen of high-quality, rootsy rock ’n’ roll. Broemel’s Wished Out is more varied and psychedelic, a little more bluesy, and a bit weirder. Ramsey’s For the Morning, on the other hand, is a consistent collection of ultra-melodic, harmony-heavy country-rock that rolls in like a pillowy soft cloud with nary a wisp out of place. The two men will play solo sets and also promise some collaborative moments throughout the night. (Sat July 13, 8 pm, Polaris Hall, 635 N Killingsworth Ct, $15-17) BEN SALMON

Love Mercury Music Coverage?


The Sun Ra Arkestra
We were blessed with an incredibly rare visit from the Sun Ra Arkestra in January, and the blessings have multiplied; they’re returning for a three-night engagement at the Hollywood. The Arkestra performs the music of its namesake, legendary jazz pioneer Sun Ra, who brought together big band, avant-garde, free jazz, and cosmic exploration, leaving behind a unique artistic legacy now being kept alive by 95-year-old Arkestra bandleader Marshall Allen. If you slept on those sold-out January shows, don’t miss these. (Sun July 14-Tues July 16, 8:30 pm, Hollywood Theatre, 4122 NE Sandy, $40, all ages) NED LANNAMANN

Tal National Jason Creps


Tal National
Tal National is one of the biggest bands in Africa, with an ever-rising profile outside its home continent, too. The rollicking collective has released critically acclaimed albums, toured all over the world, and made inroads in the United States. But even with all their success, Tal National has kept its artistic roots in its hometown of Niamey, Niger, where the band recorded its most recent album—the muscular and exuberant Tantabara—in a spartan recording studio using dilapidated instruments. The reason? To ensure all members of the band could participate in the recording and bring their distinctive backgrounds and skills to the album. The result is music that truly represents all of Niger by incorporating Afrobeat, highlife, desert blues, griot tradition, and Western rock ’n’ roll into its sound. (Tues July 16, 9 pm, Jack London Revue, 529 SW 4th, $12-15) BEN SALMON

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