Music » Up & Coming

Up & Coming

This Week's Music Previews



(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Daniel Lopatin (Oneohtrix Point Never) and James Ferraro first appeared together on ambient supersession FRKWYS Vol. 7 with David Borden and Laurel Halo, and they make for an intriguing bill. Both producers are masters of conflating kitsch with sublimity. Ferraro's a prolific, shape-shifting musician who's gone from the sculpted noise of Skaters and nightmare chillwave of Lamborghini Crystal to a solo career in which enigmatic transformations abound. He's ranged from Popol Vuh-like sacred-space musik to warped abstract surrealism to open-sky guitar-and-synth hypnagogia to ironic '80s TV-movie themes to, more recently, pallid, nocturnal R&B (NYC, Hell 3:00 AM) and disturbingly anodyne pop that doubles as meta-commentary on ephemeral internet culture and sound palettes (Far Side Virtual). On the new Skid Row, Ferraro's still angling to subvert suave R&B loverman tropes; he sneaks pointed social commentary about racism and police brutality (broadcast news reportage and Rodney King figure prominently) into tracks meant to get listeners libidinous, and that's radical. Oneohtrix Point Never has a new album, too: Garden of Delete. It's his most varied, crazed, and accessible record to date—a chaotic pile-up of paradoxes and odd juxtapositions from one of electronic music's most perverse, profound minds. DAVE SEGAL Also See My, What a Busy Week!

(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) No doubt about it, Thanksgiving week is a relatively quiet time for Portland's music scene. But here's the cool thing about holidays: When you live in a city with a lot of great bands and musicians, you invariably get to see stacked bills of locals, occasional one-offs or non-official shows, folks who are often out on tour sitting in with friends, and so on. Everyone's home for the week and it's a celebratory time! All of which is to say that tonight's bill at Mississippi Studios is a cornucopia of dreamy, locally made music. Souvenir Driver synth-rocks with enough force to cut through its ever-present sheath of smoky cool. Jackson Boone and Boone Howard take a more laidback, lysergic approach to psychedelic pop. Two Boones on one bill! Anyway, this'll be a fine night for swaying along and snagging a bit of culture before diving into family time on Thursday. Pass the turkey. BEN SALMON


(The Liquor Store, 3341 SE Belmont) See My, What a Busy Week!

(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) The cover of Swedish group the Orange Revival's 2011 LP Black Smoke Rising is a pair of glistening Cuban heels, affirming the group's unabashedly nostalgic bent. Songs like "Ever" follow a pretty risk-free template—fuzzy guitars, saturated vocals, and a torpid rhythm that sounds like a grittier version of Norman Greenbaum's "Spirit in the Sky." Since then, the Orange Revival have tantalized us with a couple of terrific singles—2013's "Lying in the Sand" and this year's "Saturation," and their new album Futurecent brings to mind classic post-punk and the Madchester canon in addition to the eternally vital—though eminently well-worn—pool of Nuggets bands. MORGAN TROPER

FRIDAY 11/27

(The Spare Room, 4830 NE 42nd) See My, What a Busy Week!

(Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 NE Alberta) For five years, members of Portland's music community have come together each Thanksgiving to restage The Last Waltz—the November 25, 1976 farewell performance of the Band, which was turned into an album and film and featured an army of all-star guests. Known as The Next Waltz, the Portland version has become the biggest fundraiser of the year for the Jeremy Wilson Foundation, and a yearly celebration of life that features a who's-who of folk and Americana artists spanning the last 20 years of Portland music. In the summer of 2014 the show went on the road to the Oregon Country Fair and included a touching performance by soul revivalist Ural Thomas, who returns again for these two Thanksgiving performances. As the scope of the event builds each year (at press time, Friday's show had sold out), the foundation is releasing a compilation album of songs by this year's artists, available exclusively on their website Giving thanks through music has never been so easy. JENI WREN STOTTRUP

(Club 21, 2035 NE Glisan) You've just spent Thanksgiving listening to your Trump-supporting uncle and a brother-in-law who believes America's borders need to be secured against "foreigners." And now you need to seriously blow off some steam. You can either punch your fist repeatedly into a brick wall—as you did last year and the year before that—or you can head over to Club 21 and dance your ass off to loud, fast, unapologetically sloppy rock 'n' roll from Portland's finest. Between the garage-rock antics of Hong Kong Banana, the Cry's melodic pop-punk, or the Weaklings, who have been playing don't-give-a-fuck rock 'n' roll since the mid-'90s, you're guaranteed a night of catharsis and release. And maybe you can shed some of that turkey weight while you're at it. SANTI ELIJAH HOLLEY

(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Lest you think all music writers are super up-to-date on all the hippest new bands in this city, I am just now hearing the Domestics' self-titled debut album a full 14 months after its initial release, nine months after the band was the subject of a feature article in these very pages, six months after they finished second in Willamette Week's Best New Band poll and four months after the album was reissued by Tender Loving Empire. Powered by the songwriting partnership of Michael Finn and Leo London, The Domestics is simply a killer pop-rock record that's built around ragged guitars, rollicking pianos, and a couple of guys' easy way with melody. In an increasingly digitized world, it's pretty refreshing to hear something that sounds like it could've been imported from 1974. Tonight the band is joined by former Paper Bird singer and recent-ish newcomer to Portland Esmé Patterson, who writes beautiful, distinctive folk-pop songs. BS


(Revolution Hall, 1300 SE Stark) See My, What a Busy Week!

(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) Read our article on JoJo.

(Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 NE Alberta) See Friday's listing.

(Keller Auditorium, 222 SW Clay) It's easy to regard Puscifer as some kind of ugly stepchild to Tool—but that probably depends on how you feel about Tool. Really, the only mutual connection is Maynard James Keenan as frontman, but that's not exactly the smallest of connections. Keenan has the tendency to define a band with a dynamic vocal presence that explores worldly melodies, regardless of the musical accompaniment. The title of Puscifer's new album, Money Shot, sounds like it could be another visit to the chuckle factory, thanks in large part to the band's elaborate onstage comedy ruses. Separating Puscifer's live performance from the meat of their records can be a lot to ask, but with Money Shot, the band's electro-rock depths are plunged to new, macabre depths, as Keenan unearths the kind of lyrical clarity he's explored with Tool in a decidedly more vibrant musical setting. RYAN J. PRADO

(Turn! Turn! Turn!, 8 NE Killingsworth) Tonight, long-running Portland project Awkward Energy releases some new sounds after a couple of years of silence. A vehicle for the tunes of Jack Lewis—who's played with his brother Jeffrey Lewis for many years—Awkward Energy combines oddly imaginative story-songs with genre-hopping abandon. On the new 7-inch, "Heavy Metal Kidz," fuzz guitar wanders over Jonathan Richman-inspired rhythms while Lewis weaves a tale of watching heshers merrily frolic in secret. It's released on People in a Position to Know, a lathe and specialty vinyl label that's gone from a barely-scraping-by Olympia unknown to a world-renowned operation, cutting grooves into hunks of polycarbonate at music conferences and releasing albums by the Flaming Lips and Mike Watt. "Heavy Metal Kidz" is a very limited release, so come out and pick up a 7-inch while you can. JOSHUA JAMES AMBERSON

(Twilight Café and Bar, 1420 SE Powell) Consumer's cascading loops roll over sounds and pick up noise like an aural Katamari ball. Like a more traditionally "electronica" take on the pre-language sounds of Beaches and Canyons-era Black Dice, Consumer aims to expose melody in sound. Portland dream-pop stalwarts Lubec join Consumer on the bill, shrouding high-pop melodies in a wash of noise and cymbal crashes, acting as an inverse to Consumer's something-out-of-nothing approach. Upstarts Naked Hour also play tonight, and they toy with song structure and melody in quietly audacious ways. Their songs circle like lost Unicorns songs, tossing melodies between instruments, and thrashing out in unexpected ways. MAC POGUE

(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) There are few people that can truly make a banjo sing. Tony Furtado is one of these rare exceptions—he's a master on the strings, be it slide guitar, banjo, or guitar. His most recent album, The Bell, recalls the classic picking of Creedence Clearwater Revival and touring jam bands like Béla Fleck and the Flecktones, while integrating modern indie harmonic elements reminiscent of Jose Gonzales and Bon Iver. Furtado's lyrics are touching, and his voice carries a hint of vulnerability. Tonight he continues his yearly tradition of hosting a post-Thanksgiving show, now in its fifth year in Portland after moving from Furtado's former hometown in Boulder, Colorado. Also continuing his tradition of hosting stunning artists, this year features songstress and fellow stringmaster Anna Tivel, whose husky voice crafts poignant stories of the American landscape. JWS

(Kenton Club, 2025 N Kilpatrick) If you've heard Die Like Gentlemen's second self-released LP, Five Easy Lies, you're aware of the sludgy patchwork the four-piece is capable of stitching together. On the strength of uncomfortable metal epics like "Unstoppable," the band has stood out among their underground peers with an ability to find roots in both strong, heavy riffage and the wanderlust of contemporary progressive rock. It's a potent cocktail, and one that is given new legs. The band is nearly finished with the recording of a new EP and a new five-track LP, tentatively scheduled for release this winter or next spring. RJP

SUNDAY 11/29

(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) See My, What a Busy Week!

(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See My, What a Busy Week!

(Rontoms, 600 E Burnside) The name Seance Crasher evokes an image of the fumbling ghost of Homer Simpson appearing as paranormal enthusiasts try in vain to conjure the spirit of Rasputin or someone equally formidable. In reality it's the electro-pop duo of brothers Kevin and Daniel Rafn, whose synth-heavy tracks involve cerebral, poetic lyrics that seem atypical for bubbly dance music. They have three records out, most recently April's City Bus EP. The title track is the highlight, a tiptoeing, melancholy pop song that's unexpectedly hit by a lightning-bolt guitar riff midway through. Seance Crasher will be joined by the lovely Little Star, who create dark, chugging melodies that are permeated by the bright, gentle voice of lead singer Dan Byers, like the Teletubbies laughing-baby sun parting stormy skies. CIARA DOLAN

(Moda Center, 1 N Center Ct) Yes, I know, they're cheesy in the extreme and not even actually from Siberia, but Trans-Siberian Orchestra's jolly blend of electric-guitar shredding and Christmas music is like the flu: It comes around every year and it's extremely catchy. That being said, if I'm going to be afflicted with pinch-harmonic-inflected cheer, then I'm at least going to focus on the upside. TSO formed from the remains of the excellent and under-appreciated power-metal outfit Savatage, whose interpretation of Edvard Grieg's "In the Hall of the Mountain King" probably sparked the whole classical-music-meets-metal fad. Now if only they still had Alex Skolnick from Testament in the band. JOSEPH SCHAFER

MONDAY 11/30

(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Frank Zappa is classic rock's most polarizing figure, and his notoriously daunting discography isn't without duds—like his topical comedy music and lots of desultory fusion shit. But there's also gold, from the unbridled, exploratory madness of the first two Mothers of Invention albums, Freak Out! and Absolutely Free, to the tuneful, Turtles-assisted counterculture coup de main We're Only in It for the Money, which is timeless in its wariness of hollow social and political trends (whether it's flower power or a fleet of Priuses with Bernie Sanders bumper stickers), to portions of 1979 masterpiece Joe's Garage. For nearly a decade, Zappa's son Dweezil has been routinely touring with his "Zappa Plays Zappa" show, performing the cream of his father's catalog with a rotating cast of musicians that occasionally includes former members of the Mothers. The material certainly isn't for everyone, but that doesn't mean it isn't genius. MT


(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) My introduction to Nashville singer/songwriter Bobby Bare Jr. came when he and his band, the Young Criminals Starvation League, opened for Guided by Voices. While watching them tear through songs from their 2014 album, Undefeated, I briefly forgot who I had originally come to see that evening. With his long, curly hair blown straight back by the giant industrial floor fan at the foot of the stage, Bare mixed emotive alt-country twang with thundering, soulful, psych-tinged garage rock in a far-too-short set that raised the bar quite high, and left the lo-fi legends from Dayton with plenty to prove. As the son of Country Music Hall of Famer Bobby Bare, Bare Jr. has Nashville DNA embedded in his bones, but his rock-solid and prolific output has established him as a force of his own. CHIPP TERWILLIGER

(Valentine's, 232 SW Ankeny) Sonic Debris Multimedia is never short on great concepts, and this is one of their most inspired. For each Tuesday in December, they've booked a batch of local experimental soundmakers to perform at Valentine's, and for each show, they'll dub 25 cassettes of tunes cooked up by the artists for sale that night only. It's a great promotional hook and the perfect way to draw in the music collectors who treat any limited-edition release like they're Pokémon. It helps, too, that they've got excellent taste, as the trio of acts on board for the first installment reveals. The inaugural event features the rubbery fever-dream dub-pop of American Merkin, ABSV's slowly desiccating downtempo, and the even farther-gone ambient/hardware electronic compositions of Temple Maps. ROBERT HAM

Add a comment

Quantcast Quantcast