SEXLESS Sat 9/26 Black Water Bar

The SMART Collective Second Anniversary Party w/Panorama, Helens, Super Secret Hot Girls Club, Kyla Precourt, Naked Hour, La Grippe, the Wherewithals, the Hex Tremors; SMART Collective, 6923 SE Foster

The SMART Collective—a newer though eminently valuable all-ages venue within a skate shop—is celebrating its two-year anniversary this week. Live performances by a whopping eight bands, including all-ages stalwarts Helens, Naked Hour (a new project featuring Ethan Conroy and Jackson Walker of Robot Boy), and more will be accompanied by food, raffles, and obligatory skateboarding. 

Sexless w/Emasculator, Nick Kruse and the Victims; Black Water Bar, 835 NE Broadway

Oakland-based new grunge (not to be confused with nu-grunge) band Sexless cover a lot of ground in less than five minutes on their most recent release, the Don't Stray 7-inch. The first 30 seconds of the title track bring to mind Cobain & Co. at the their most discordant and indignant, and then shit gets weird, with a flurry of hits that sound like a skipping record and lead lines that suggest a technical proficiency several tiers above what they let on. Their Bandcamp tags provide a more concise description than I ever could: "Kickass" (one word) and "Guitar solos."


Lil Dowager w/U Sco, Tyrants, Haunted Head; Anarres Infoshop, 7101 N Lombard

Tonight's bill boasts two of Portland's premiere weirdo punk bands: instrumental prog fetishists U Sco—whose debut LP Treffpunkt was one of the best Portland records of 2014—and angular post-punk outfit Tyrants. Never Too Late to Hate, the new EP from off-kilter, surrealist Oakland punks Lil Dowager, have both bands matched in the weird department—no easy feat. Prepare to feel unsettled.