BLACK RAINBOW Sat 5/23 Anarres Infoshop

Black Rainbow, Broken Water, Hens Teeth w/Red Shadows; Anarres Infoshop, 7101 N Lombard

Black Rainbow's self-titled debut LP is a candidate for one of the best under-the-radar rock records released this year, succinctly highlighting the San Francisco/NYC band's dual strengths. "Airless Spaces II" is a raucous, straightforward crash course in effective, no-frills punk songcraft, while "Possible" takes the more melodic, midtempo route, curiously bringing to mind seminal, skinny-tie power-pop bands like the Records and 20/20 (by way of Jawbreaker). "The Now Instant" sounds like the Replacements if Paul Westerberg never shaped up, with "Color Me Impressed"-esque chord changes and seemingly inconsequential rhythmic trickiness. Which is not to say the band is completely derivative—lead singer Ivy Jeanne's throaty warble is totally unique, and the overall songwriting quality towers above a lot of music cut from similar cloth. Also playing are creepy, druggy Olympia shoegazers Broken Water, plus Hens Teeth (also from Olympia), whose impeccable Green Tape is reminiscent of groups like the Rentals and the Anniversary and any other emo/pop band I'm forgetting that uses that iconic mid-to-late '90s synthesizer patch... you know the one. This will be one of the first shows at the new and improved Anarres Infoshop, a relatively nascent collective and all-ages venue that is quickly becoming the preeminent bastion of DIY music in Portland. 


Vexx w/Bi-Marks, Chemos, the Cigarette Burns; Black Water Bar, 835 NE Broadway

Vexx is a frighteningly energetic punk band from Olympia, whose self-titled debut recalls unadulterated rock 'n' roll, early '80s hardcore, and the riot grrrl oeuvre in equal measure.