Weyes Blood Katie Miller

THURS AUG 15

KayelaJ, Quinn, Bocha
It’s no secret that Portland-bred rapper/radio personality KayelaJ has had a huge break-out year in the Portland scene, and for good reason. Li’l homie has been hard at work releasing quality output, including her debut album D.Y.K.E. Just recently, the young MC released a music video/short film that tackles three tracks from her Homage mixtape (“Thank You Lil Kim,” “Thank You Lauryn Hill,” and “Thank You Missy Elliott”). Predictably, it’s exceedingly enjoyable. Her upcoming gig at Mississippi Studios will mark her first time headlining a venue of that size, and also showcase Houston transplant Quinn, whose Detached Thoughts project is worth a spin, and Bocha, one of the town’s buzziest rappers. (Thurs Aug 15, 9 pm, Mississippi Studios, $5) JENNI MOORE


FRI AUG 16

Dundee Lodge Campout, Vol. 2
If the robust second year of the Dundee Lodge Campout is any indication, this fresh music and camping fest might be around for a while. The second installment delivers a more expansive lineup of artists, including representatives from Portland and beyond. Nestled in the bucolic confines of Gaston, the two-day event welcomes Marisa Anderson, the Lavender Flu, Nasalrod, and Møtrik to the revelry, which also includes art installations, a sound bath, full bar, food carts, and nearby swimming and hiking trails. DJs Just Dave, Cuica, and Kevin Failure fill the gaps between the more than 20 bands performing. (Fri Aug 16-Sat Aug 17, 3 pm, Dundee Lodge, 50845 SW Dundee, Gaston, all ages, $25-60) RYAN J. PRADO

Taj Mahal paradigm agency

Critic’s Pick: Taj Mahal, Marc Cohn featuring Blind Boys of Alabama
When I got my first turntable, my mom came into my room and ceremoniously handed me a copy of Taj Mahal’s 1969 double album Giant Step/De Ole Folks at Home. “This is a good album,” she said. “Put this on.” As a person who, even as a preteen, couldn’t focus on one genre, I was immediately drawn to the album’s variety. It was idiosyncratic and playful, the work of a singular artist doing whatever he wanted. Listening to Giant Step today, on its 50th anniversary, its best songs seem to have only grown more striking, more transcendent. “Ain’t Gwine Whistle Dixie Anymo’,” “Giant Step,” and “Further on Down the Road (You Will Accompany Me)” are some of the most underrated songs of the ’60s. But it’s the bargain-basement jug-band joy of “Cakewalk into Town” from Taj Mahal’s 1972 album Recycling the Blues & Other Related Stuff that I always come back to. “I had the blues so bad one time it put my face in a permanent frown,” the song begins, “but I’m feeling so much better, I could cakewalk into town.” To me, it’s the perfect distillation of everything Mahal does best: taking something familiar (the classic “I’ve got the blues” format) and turning it on its head, making a song structure built for mourning into one of celebration. The song is arguably a precursor to everyone from Tom Waits to Beat Happening to Willis Earl Beal. Live, you never know what to expect. The one time my mom saw him in the late ’70s, he played reggae songs. When I saw him in high school, he played solo piano and told stories. He won’t necessarily perform the songs you want to hear, but embraces the moment, putting on a performance you aren’t likely to forget. (Fri Aug 16, 7 pm, Oregon Zoo, 4001 SW Canyon, all ages, $39.50-99.50) JOSHUA JAMES AMBERSON


Kamasi Washington Durimel

SAT AUG 17

Herbie Hancock, Kamasi Washington
Saxophonist/producer/bandleader Kamasi Washington is one of the most renowned contemporary jazz musicians working today. Known mostly for his sometimes-smooth and sometimes-erratic stylings on the tenor sax, Washington has ascended into the realm of world-class artistry; both his studio debut The Epic and its follow-up Heaven and Earth received universal acclaim, and he’s played on an array of important works, like Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly, You’re Dead by jazz fusion artist Flying Lotus, as well as Thundercat’s heartbreak-y space-funk single, “Them Changes.” Now he’s on tour with veteran jazz pianist Herbie Hancock, who helped redefine the role of the jazz rhythm section and has gone on to have one of the most illustrious jazz careers of all time. More recently, Hancock has also worked with Thundercat and Flying Lotus, as well as hip-hop fusionist Robert Glasper. Together, Hancock and Washington are helping shape the future of jazz through collaboration, innovation, and genre fluidity. (Sat Aug 17, 7 pm, Oregon Zoo, 4001 SW Canyon, all ages, $42.50-102.50) JENNI MOORE

Weyes Blood, Dustin Wong
As improbable as it might seem for a ’70s-obsessed, easy-listening crooner to thrive in the 2010s, nostalgia is a powerful drug and Weyes Blood is your source for the purest strain. That’s the shortcut synopsis, of course. On her stunning new record, Titanic Rising, Blood delivers sepia-toned folk and pop-tinged tunes that wade in the melancholic waters of vintage Neil Young, Joan Baez, and even Kate Bush. It’s an intoxicating, trippy listen at times and has catapulted the singer from novelty to vocal necromancer, as heard on instant classics like “Everyday,” which she recently performed during her national TV debut on Late Night with Seth Meyers. (Sat Aug 17, 9 pm, Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell, all ages, $16-18) RYAN J. PRADO


SUN AUG 18

Tribe Mars, Strange Hotels
When the seven-piece band Tribe Mars gets all its members on a stage, the result is a musical collage of jazz, funk, and rock. The group has three vocalists, a guitarist, keyboards, saxophone, and so much more. And their live shows feel like jam sessions, loose and fun. Robert Grubaugh and Brett Van Patten started Tribe Mars when they moved to Portland in 2013. They’ve since expanded their ranks to include other locals, like Vaughn Kimmons and Andre Burgos, who also make music under the name Brown Calculus. They’ll play Rontoms with Strange Hotels, another jazz-oriented duo with a pop mentality. (Sun Aug 18, 8 pm, Rontoms, 600 E Burnside, FREE) ISABEL LYNDON

Montavilla Jazz Festival: Mel Brown, Gordon Lee, PJCE
With an annual focus on fresh offerings from our local music scene, the Montavilla Jazz Festival brings together a spectacular pair of luminaries to close out this year’s celebration. Back in the day, former Motown session drummer and honest-to-god Stumptown jazz legend Mel Brown provided the backbeat for folks like Diana Ross and Smokey Robinson, and tonight he teams up with long-time artistic collaborator Gordon Lee, a pianist/composer who has arranged original works specifically for this evening’s performance. Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble (PJCE), a brilliant 12-piece big band, lends their support to the phenomenal duo. (Sun Aug 18, 8:10 pm, Portland Metro Arts, 9003 SE Stark, all ages, $15-30) BRIAN HORAY


MON AUG 19

The Appleseed Cast, Muscle Worship, Phil Hesh
Along with the emo revival of the past half-dozen years or so, there’s been a wave of reconsideration for the bands that carried the flag for heartfelt, melodic guitar rock in the ’90s and ’00s; Jawbreaker, American Football, Jimmy Eat World, and Taking Back Sunday are all bigger than ever. One band that never seemed to get its fair share of the spotlight back then was Lawrence, Kansas, product the Appleseed Cast, who spent roughly a decade filling albums with sparkling, ambitious rock ’n’ roll that earned them comparisons to Radiohead, if not Radiohead-sized crowds. A decade or so later, not much has changed: The Appleseed Cast has just released a wonderful album called The Fleeting Light of Impermanence, and you can see them do their thing tonight in a medium-sized venue. And you should! (Mon Aug 19, 8 pm, Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi, $13-15) BEN SALMON


Koffee Raggamuffin

TUES AUG 20-WED AUG 21

Critic’s Pick: Koffee
In addition to fresh-faced stars like H.E.R., Billie Eilish, and Lil Nas X, Jamaican reggae vocalist Koffee is yet another example of how people born at the turn of the century are killing the music game, lighting a fire under the asses of their elders. With cosigns from Chronixx and Protégé, and just one EP to her name, the 19-year-old singer/songwriter appears to be just what reggae needs for a modern and hip—but still socially conscious—update that’s long overdue. Her first single, the excellent and addictive “Burning,” was written when she needed motivation to move forward when she didn’t get into post-secondary school Sixth Form after graduating high school. On her recent EP Rapture, Koffee proves that a strong melody, thoroughly practiced delivery, and a few delightful ad-libs can work wonders for how your music connects, regardless of the genre or language. (Koffee’s ad-lib of choice is an endearing “mm-hmm!” and sometimes she’ll hit you with an “all right.”) To put a finer point on it: Even if you can’t always understand her patois, Koffee’s message is felt. On “Raggamuffin,” she calls out gun violence and governmental neglect of youth, while “Toast” finds her expressing gratitude for her blessings and encouraging her audience to do the same. Perhaps Koffee’s highest point is the darker-hued title track, “Rapture.” Her performance of the song on online music series Colors is one of the best I’ve seen, with the singer demonstrating that her intricate delivery and melodic hooks don’t rely on technology. In the many live videos available, Koffee is captivating and pitch-perfect, often singing fiercely through braces with the meticulous stylings and language of an old soul. Recently, Koffee’s also cracked her way into the pop world, appearing on a remix of Justin Bieber and Ed Sheeran’s “I Don’t Care,” and she also has music in the works with Rihanna. Seeing the promising reggae sensation in person, opening for R&B singer Daniel Caesar, might just be enough to spark a much-needed glimmer of hope for the future. (Tues Aug 20 & Wed Aug 21, 8 pm, Roseland Theater, 8 NE 6th, all ages, sold out, w/Daniel Caesar) JENNI MOORE


WED AUG 21

Lubelski & Bassett, Ecstatic Music Band, the Tenses
One of my favorite records from last year was Flickers at the Station, a breathy collection of warped pop tunes from New York artist Samara Lubelski. But that album represented only one side of a multi-faceted musical personality. We’ll get to see Lubelski from another angle tonight at Turn! Turn! Turn! when she sits down to perform a set of droning experimental wonderment with violinist Marcia Bassett. It will be intimate, wild, and loud. (Wed Aug 21, 8 pm, Turn! Turn! Turn!, 8 NE Killingsworth, $5-15) ROBERT HAM


THURS AUG 22

Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Marisa Anderson
Existence on Earth has always been difficult and unfair, so you could plop Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s mournful epics down at any point of the human timeline and find an appropriately bleak scene to soundtrack. Somewhere in the band’s stormy sound are slim threads connecting caveman scuffles to ghoulish CEOs, and the discovery of fire to the atomic bomb. But GY!BE’s special gift is light: Their death marches morph into triumphal catharses before the grief becomes too much to bear. Because we have to go on, find reasons to live, and ways to fight. (Thurs Aug 22, 8 pm, Revolution Hall, 1300 SE Stark, all ages, $39.50-45) CHRIS STAMM


Brandi Carlile Alysse Gafkjen

FRI AUG 23-SUN AUG 25

Brandi Carlile
Folks who’ve lived in the Northwest for a while know that Brandi Carlile’s been working hard to make sure her music is heard for a long time. Fifteen years ago, the Seattle singer/songwriter started out filling nightclubs in the region with her huge voice and charisma, if not filling the rooms with bodies. A decade ago, she graduated to playing theaters on the strength of her 2007 breakthrough album, The Story, which showcased Carlile’s songwriting skills and that of her longtime collaborators Phil and Tim Hanseroth. And last year, Carlile released her best album yet, By The Way, I Forgive You, which earned her a Grammy for Best Americana Album, a nomination for Album of the Year, and headlining status at amphitheaters and festivals. Still, she makes those big shows feel like intimate club gigs, and that’s why Brandi Carlile is one of the most likable success stories in music these days. (Fri Aug 23-Sun Aug 25, 6 pm, Edgefield, 2126 SW Halsey, Troutdale, all ages, $49.50-99.50) BEN SALMON


Makaya McCraven David Marques

FRI AUG 23

Japanese Breakfast
The woman behind the Japanese Breakfast moniker is Eugene-bred experimental pop/lo-fi artist Michelle Zauner, who drew critical acclaim for her 2016 studio debut Psychopomp and its 2017 follow-up Soft Sounds from Another Planet. Her recent single “Essentially” is a sunny, bass-driven groove that’s never too anything. And you just can’t help but smile after watching JB’s dreamy music video for “Boyish.” When it comes to live performance, Zauner’s also a pro. And since the first show Zauner ever saw was Built to Spill at the Crystal Ballroom, her upcoming show at the McMenamins venue will be a full-circle moment. (Fri Aug 23, 9 pm, Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside, all ages, $25) JENNI MOORE

Makaya McCraven, Brown Calculus
The subheading for Makaya McCraven’s website sums up the Chicago-based musician’s milieu perfectly: “Drummer, Producer, Beat Scientist.” The 35-year-old doesn’t just play a trap set in a variety of settings with an assortment of mostly jazz ensembles. His aesthetic involves using recordings from his many live dates as raw material for the albums he has released to date (most via the Chicago/Portland label International Anthem). On each, lo-fi and hi-fi collide, and the music folds in on itself like a dying star, readying anyone within earshot for an explosion of ideas, sounds, beats and pieces. (Fri Aug 23, 9 pm, Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi, $16-18) ROBERT HAM

Mope Grooves, All Hits, Cool Flowers
Mope Grooves are on a ridiculous run. In just over two years, the Portland band has released four remarkable albums of strange, beautiful art-punk, the latest of which, Desire, seems to have been made with late-night headphone trips in mind. A bit less prickly than Mope Grooves’ previous records, Desire is more of a dreamy whorl, all serpentine patterns of stuttering drums, warbling keyboards, and buzzing guitars. It lives in the same in-between realm as the best Brian Eno albums: somehow anxious and blissed at the same time, like a thought caught at the lip of sleep. It’s a wonderful place to be. (Fri Aug 23, 8 pm, Post 134, 2104 NE Alberta, $5-10 sliding scale) CHRIS STAMM


SAT AUG 24

Leading Psychics, The Upsidedown, Secret Spies
Read our story on Leading Psychics. (Sat Aug 24, 9 pm, Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside, $10-12)

All Together Festival
To celebrate the release of its latest two-disc compilation, Friends and Friends of Friends Vol. 12, Tender Loving Empire is throwing a FREE all-day show on White Owl’s expansive patio. In addition to stellar live sets from local stars like the Shivas, MELT, Shadowgraphs, and Ripley Snell featuring Blossom, there will also be a prize wheel with giveaways. And copies of the record label’s zine, ZiNEiTH, will be available for purchase, with proceeds going to RAICES, a nonprofit that promotes justice by providing free and low-cost legal services to refugees and immigrants. (Sat Aug 24, 9:30 pm, White Owl Social Club, 1305 SE 8th, FREE) JENNI MOORE


SUN AUG 25

The 5.6.7.8’s
Japanese surf/rockabilly trio the 5.6.7.8’s are probably best known to American audiences for their appearance during the House of Blue Leaves sequence in Kill Bill, Vol. 1. Make sure that beehive is perfectly coiffed, and get ready to twist and boogaloo the night away with their insanely fun brand of retro garage rock. (Sun Aug 25, 8 pm, Star Theater, 13 NW 6th, $18),

Help, Wild Powwers
What happens when a trio of pop-rock dudes start a politically charged hardcore band? You get throat-shredding aggression without sacrificing melody. You get an uncommon combo of hooky guitar riffs and lyrics about class war. You get protest songs you actually want to listen to! This, friends, is the Portland band known as Help, which counts as its members Ryan Neighbors (former Portugal. The Man/current Hustle & Drone), Bim Ditson (indie rabblerousers And And And) and Boone Howard (former The We Shared Milk/current solo psych-popster). Pissed off about the state of the country and inspired by a Metz show, they started a punk band. Their debut EP comes out August 25, and it’s stuffed wall-to-wall with songs that’ll make you want to jumpstart the revolution, one pogo at a time. (Sun Aug 25, 8 pm, Rontoms, 600 E Burnside, FREE) BEN SALMON

Support The Portland Mercury


MON AUG 26

Close the Camps Benefit Show for Immigrant Rights: Lakes, the Ghost Ease, Choking Kind
Would you have guessed that, in the year 2019, there would be literal concentration camps at the southern border? Here’s the first in a series of four concerts around Portland to raise money for immigrants’ rights groups and combat the racism and xenophobia that’s apparently part of US policy these days. Tonight’s lineup is spectacular, featuring Olympia’s beloved LAKE, the Ghost Ease, and Choking Kind. And stay tuned for more Close the Camp shows to come in September at Kenton Club, the Fixin’ To, and Bunk Bar. (Mon Aug 26, 8 pm, Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi, $15-18) NED LANNAMANN


Drab Majesty Dais Records

WED AUG 28

Drab Majesty, Xeno & Oaklander, Body of Light
There are a lot of bad band names out there, so let’s give credit where it’s due: Drab Majesty, the LA-based project of enigmatic musician Deb Demure, came up with a moniker that perfectly matches his band’s look and sound. Drab Majesty’s aesthetic is androgynous and avant-goth, while their new album Modern Mirror is a modern reinterpretation of Ovid’s “Narcissus” myth filtered through a towering wall of lush synth-pop, dazzling darkwave, pastel dreams, and deadpan delivery. One of the year’s most uniquely interesting albums, it’s majestic, for sure, and drab not in sound, but in state of mind. (Wed Aug 28, 9 pm, Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell, $14-16) BEN SALMON