Our First Brains w/Discourse, Homewrecker, Hemingway; Slabtown, 1033 NW 16th
Our First Brains are sort of like a pop-punk Crosby, Stills, and Nash. Writing and singing duties are shared quasi-evenly among bassist Ben Relampagos and guitarists Derek McNeil and Caleb Misclevitz—guitarist and singer of once-upon-a-time all-ages ambassadors Starparty, which tragically disbanded in 2011. The democratic nature of the group results in a lot of variety (possibly the last word usually associated with a pop-punk band). The group's 2013 EP, Feelings and How to Destroy Them, is a great record, particularly the Misclevitz-penned bookends "Colder Now" and "How to Destroy Them," and the group's rendition of the Nerves' "Hanging on the Telephone" is almost as good as the original—and certainly better than Blondie's version.
Mogwai w/Majeure; Roseland, 8 NW 6th
As proven with new album Rave Tapes, Mogwai is still the best boring band in the world.
Waxahatchee and Perfect Pussy w/Potty Mouth; Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside
By combining Warped Tour lyrical tropes with a decidedly K Records-esque façade of naivety, Katie Crutchfield—who performs under the solo moniker Waxahatchee—has concocted the coolest folk-pop the blogosphere has ever heard. "Be Good," the faux-depressed Tumblr hit off Crutchfield's first record American Weekend, is bound to become something of a folk anthem for my generation, with all of its frighteningly identifiable allusions to the interminable boredom, pointlessly ambiguous relationships, and premature alcoholism that define the "millennial experience." The devastating "Bathtub," from the same album, is one of the most straightforward, emotionally authentic breakup songs I've ever heard. Waxahatchee's latest, Cerulean Salt, is more of a studio affair and features some full-band accompaniment courtesy of Swearin', the project of Crutchfield's twin sister, Allison.
Perfect Pussy is arty punk that sounds a little like a Flying Nun band and Life Without Buildings had a baby with hardcore inclinations. The group's full-length, Say Yes to Love, is an impetuous, caustic affair, and lead singer Meredith Graves is one of modern punk's most captivating figures. Go for the jams, stay for the temper tantrums.