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This Week's Music Previews

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WEDNESDAY 9/18

WOODS, THE FRESH AND ONLYS, THE WOOLEN MEN
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) See My, What a Busy Week!

WINDHAND, BELL WITCH, IONOPHORE, STONEBURNER
(Ash Street Saloon, 225 SW Ash) Read our article on Windhand.

BOSNIAN RAINBOWS, AAN
(Dante's, 350 W Burnside) Over the past decade or so, Omar Rodriguez-Lopez has released, under his own name, a flood of EPs and full-length albums that are as eclectic as they are eccentric. (This is not counting his work with the Mars Volta.) It's great stuff, most of it, but it can sometimes come off as an exercise in self-indulgence. His latest project, Bosnian Rainbows, is quite the opposite, a band in the truest sense. In fact, unless you were told, you might not even know Rodriguez-Lopez was in the band. His wiry guitar and prog arrangements are replaced with sinewy synths and simpler pop structures. Teri Gender Bender (of Le Butcherettes) takes the lead, adding sass and sensuality to these moody nü-wavers, including "Turtle Neck," which might be one of the best songs of 2013. MARK LORE

HAVANIA WHAAL, MISTER TANG, THE MISHAPS
(Tube, 18 NW 3rd) Local trio Havania Whaal have been playing loud and poppy garage rock on drums, bass, and mandolin guitar for more than a year now. Tonight the band celebrates the release of Château de Chienne, their noisy and fuzzed-out 10-track cassette album. The release is packed with all the rollicking energy you might expect from a lo-fi rock band, but it's the underlying current of sweeter pop elements on a song like "My Dude" that manage to cling tightly to your brain. "Teen Guilt" sees both sides of this sound collide. The track lulls you in, building ever so slightly for two minutes, then completely shifts gears and explodes with driving rhythm and bloodcurdling shrieks and shouts from every angle. If the music video for Havania Whaal's "Foine" is any indication of how this band parties, tonight could very well end up escalating into a real shit show. CHIPP TERWILLIGER

CURREN$Y, AHS, GUTTER FAMILY, E ROC THE ROC-IT MAN
(Alhambra Theatre, 4811 SE Hawthorne) New Orleans' Curren$y is (1) one of the best modern-day rappers with a dollar sign in their name and (2) at least partly responsible for making weed rap as insanely popular as it's become since his 2009 release, This Ain't No Mixtape, a step outside his previous No Limit/Young Money comfort zone. With a drawl that's relaxed by the herb but somehow never lazy, and an ear for jazzy, sample-based beats that never sound outdated, Curren$y's music is the audio equivalent of being extremely stoned in an expensive foreign car, perhaps with "Arizona grape in the cup holder." While weed rappers' live performances can be hit-or-miss, a chance to hear some new material from Spitta's upcoming Pilot Talk III may be reason enough to head to this show. MIKE RAMOS

HUMAN EYE, SEX, LITTLE PILGRIMS
(East End, 203 SE Grand) Human Eye play post-apocalyptic proto-garage from Detroit. They're led by Timmy Vulgar, formerly of the Clone Defects. Word is they don't get out much. But when they do, Human Eye bring the Motor City with them—not only the raw, driving, destitute sounds of the industrial Midwest, but also its gnarled, post-industrial, bloodshot eyes. This is confrontational shit. It's loud, screeching, and proudly unrefined. It's spit and beer and an intellect sharpened by concrete and mud. Along with Human Eye are Sex, a new project from Hart Gledhill (formerly of the Hunches) and Rod Meyer (of Eat Skull). No word as to what Sex sound like, or if they've even rehearsed. Gledhill, however, became animated—and agitated—when describing Human Eye. "Just talk about the urgency of getting your pizza on time from Domino's delivery drivers from Detroit, and RoboCop," he said, as if the implications were obvious. "Domino's is from Detroit," he explained. "Drivers were killed. Tim [of Human Eye]delivered for them. Do I need to explain RoboCop as well?" ANDREW R TONRY

THURSDAY 9/19

TBA: BODY/HEAD
(Con-Way, 2170 NW Raleigh) See My, What a Busy Week!

LAKE, MORNING RITUAL, PORT ST. WILLOW
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Olympia band LAKE have been hard at work—along with touring and side/solo projects from some members, they managed to put out two albums this year. Circular Doorway was released on their own label, and The World Is Real is out this week on K Records. Their airy, pop-laced songs are bright and spacious, with pronounced, funky bass lines and echoed keys. Their music has a faraway feeling—beautiful, eerie, and daydreamy at the same time, like maybe it knows something you don't. RACHEL MILBAUER

STAR SLINGER
(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) In the age of SoundCloud ubiquity, few electronic musicians have established themselves as dynamically prolific a collaborator and producer as Darren Williams, better known as Star Slinger. Williams is a testament to the DIY ethos of bedroom recording as an underground industry. While maintaining a presence as a club promoter in Manchester, he's lent his producer credits to stateside characters like Lil B and Juicy J, hiphop artists who prefer an ethereal backdrop to their poignant non sequiturs. With a debut EP forthcoming on EMI after a blog-decade's worth of mixtapes and remixes, Star Slinger is a notable up-and-coming international alchemist of psychedelic soul, house, and the appropriated urban sphere that those across the pond refer to as bangers. WYATT SCHAFFNER

LUNCH, BABYSITTER, WIRE EYES
(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) Backtracking through Babysitter's Bandcamp page is quite a journey. The Victoria, BC, punk-rock band have issued a half-dozen cassette releases dating to 2010, in addition to a handful of split 7-inch appearances. Their full-length, Eye, released late last year, serves as a re-recorded greatest hits album from that lo-fi tape series. The evolution of the band's sound can be tracked from one tape to the next, and Eye does a great job in harnessing all the elements into an outstanding collection. "Talkin' 'Bout the New Generation" kicks the album off with a full force rock anthem, while softer ballad tracks like "Crace Mountain" strip things down to reveal the band's dynamic range. Local acts Lunch and Wire Eyes will be sure to get things moving right out of the gate. CT

FRIDAY 9/20

DIRTNAP RECORDS' 14TH ANNIVERSARY: MARKED MEN, BAD SPORTS, MEAN JEANS, & MORE
(Slabtown, 1033 NW 16th) Tonight, 10 bands—most of which are very good, luckily—will perform back to back under one roof, of an assuredly humid Slabtown, in celebration of the 14th birthday of Portland's Dirtnap Records, which is one of this country's preeminent indie record labels, punk or otherwise. Aptly headlining the show are Denton, Texas' Marked Men, whose 2009 LP Ghosts effortlessly marries hardcore velocity and terseness with '60s pop-caliber melodicism (vocalist Jeff Burke sounds like a drunken, depraved Sonny Bono). Marked Men's 2006 album Fix My Brain, too, is just about perfect. Also playing are hometown heroes the Mean Jeans, who amazingly aren't annoying yet. It's gonna be one hell of a racket. MORGAN TROPER Also see My, What a Busy Week!

THE BELLFURIES, PETE KREBS & HIS PORTLAND PLAYBOYS, JEREMY WAKEFIELD
(Secret Society, 116 NE Russell) The promoter for tonight's show by Austin rockabilly swingers the Bellfuries recently dropped off a growler of fresh beer by the Mercury office. I'd like to tell you that these precious column inches can't be bought with free booze, but I'm worried that might dissuade other bands and promoters from trying a similar tactic. So, um, the Bellfuries... the Bellfuries inject a lot of stylistic breadth into their infectious roots-rock. Their press materials cite comparisons to Sam Cooke, the Beatles, and Roy Orbison, and believe it or not, I hear 'em all. They've received a ringing endorsement from none other than JD McPherson, who covered a Bellfuries song on Signs and Signifiers. The truth is that this band delivers a crisp, cool, refreshing take with an ample malt profile and a swift, delightfully hoppy kick and... sorry, I got distracted for a second. NED LANNAMANN

BLOUSE, FEATHERS, LITANIC MASK
(Star Theater, 13 NW 6th) Imperium, the new album by nostalgia-centric Portland trio Blouse, embodies alternating energies—whether digging deep toward the odd-timed chord progression buzz of early Pixies as on the title track, or cooing a washed-out lullaby in "Eyesite," or mining Vaselines-like dream-pop in "1,000 Years." It's a testament to the sprawling foundations of Blouse's core lineup, which includes chameleonic vocalist Charlie Hilton, Unknown Mortal Orchestra's Jacob Portrait, and bassist Patrick Adams. Imperium's charm is smudgy and smeared, like drinking wine from a cloudy goblet; but though a common palate is sometimes hard to pinpoint, this is a great second record for Blouse, showcasing the band embracing disparate, time-travelling sounds, and their ability to shake memorable, scrappy, and sage tunes from waves of cascading melody. RYAN J. PRADO

RUN ON SENTENCE, PANCAKE BREAKFAST
(Al's Den, 303 SW 12th) 'Tis time to take your last bite of Pancake Breakfast—by which I mean the Portland band/gang spearheaded by Mike Midlo. For a few years now, they've offered short stacks of fun-time party folk and sing-along rock, encouraging audiences to dump on as much syrup and butter as they saw fit. Pancake Breakfast's self-titled album from 2010 is a wonderland map of adventure and intrigue, and that's just the album cover. So stop by tonight's free show and get your last licks; Midlo is moving to Eastern Oregon, where he'll be working for Fishtrap, a literary nonprofit. He'll be missed; this city won't be quite the same without Pancake Breakfast. NL

TOYBOAT TOYBOAT TOYBOAT, TAPE DECK MOUNTAIN, Q UN Q, FASTERS
(Record Room, 8 NE Killingsworth) Travis Trevisan is the king of Tape Deck Mountain; he started the band four years ago as a way to bring his songs to life with the help of a rotating cast of friends and musicians. A debut album and a handful of EPs later, Trevisan is gearing up for the release of his second full-length, Sway, on his Nineteen98 record label. Trevisan lives in New York City but is from San Diego, and he wrote most of Sway in Austin, Texas. No matter where he calls home, however, Tape Deck Mountain stands as monument to the power of effects pedals: Sway is an impressive slice of shoegaze, where showers of sparkling, arpeggiated guitars crescendo into a satisfyingly fuzzy crunch. Ascend at your own bliss. BEN SALMON

MAGIC MOUTH, DOUBLE DUCHESS, GLITTERBANG, DJ BEYONDA, SETH MYZEL
(Tonic Lounge, 3100 NE Sandy) Chanticleer Tru was born to be the frontman of Magic Mouth. Exuberant, boisterous, charismatic... these words hardly do him justice. The group has been gaining momentum since 2010, but in the last few months, their energy and ingenuity has skyrocketed. The band mixes blues, funk, rock, and soul in one wonderful and poetic package. Magic Mouth will make you dance and lift your spirits in lieu of the quickly fading summer weather, and after going on tour with Gossip, headlining PDX Pop Now!, and capturing the hearts of Portlanders, they are certainly destined for big things. RM

SATURDAY 9/21

BURGERAMA CARAVAN OF STARS: THE GROWLERS, COSMONAUTS, GAP DREAM, TOGETHER PANGEA, LA LUZ, WHITE FANG, COLLEEN GREEN
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) Read our article on Burger Records.

TBA: NATASHA KMETO
(Con-Way, 2170 NW Raleigh) See My, What a Busy Week!

LOVERS, TENDER FOREVER, NIGHT CADET
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) For their seventh studio album, Portland sound-collage trio Lovers wrangle sharply crafted songs that ebb from the group's more ardently danceable material. Ensconced in lush clouds of sound via soft synth manipulations and bright harmonies, Lovers—songwriter Carolyn Berk, producer/sound artist Kerby Ferris, and producer/percussionist Emily Kingan—take a cautious, though no less engaging, electro-pop turn on A Friend in the World. Songs like "The Modern Art Museum of the Modern Kiss Goodbye" sail on Berk's cerebral lyrics and Lovers' neo-disco groove, articulating fissures in modern romance as well as emphasizing the group's oft-cited feminist politics and sexual undertones. It's an understated, trance-like vignette of bouncy rhythms, and it ought to be received with open arms at tonight's record release. RJP

THE NATIONAL, FRIGHTENED RABBIT
(Edgefield, 2126 SW Halsey, Troutdale) If rock 'n' roll is typically a teenager's medium—soda pop and bubblegum—then the National are scotch and cigars, about as adult as popular music can get. Their sixth full-length, this year's stately and stunning Trouble Will Find Me, is a perfectly tailored three-piece suit of an album, bearing a mien of aloof, authoritative cool. But underneath the crisp façade is all the turmoil and anguish of what it's actually like to be a grownup—the money worries, the cutthroat competition of careerism, the raw romantic angst, the questionable drinking decisions, the family problems that never quite recede into the rearview. It's a beautiful, terrifying album, reaching its apex on the masterful "I Need My Girl." Frightened Rabbit also navigate the waters of being a grownup, with all its attendant dread and desperation, but also with a sense of humor and ecstatic release. The four B-sides on their new single "Late March, Death March" are just as good as the tracks on their sterling Pedestrian Verse. This outstanding double-bill sold out weeks ago, because of course it did. These two bands are among the best in the game. NL

PORCELAIN RAFT
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) Italy-born, New York City-based Mauro Remiddi—AKA Porcelain Raft—put out his sophomore album, Permanent Signal, on Secretly Canadian earlier this year to much anticipation and acclaim. He's been called a cross between M83 and Beach House, but seems to have lived several musical lifetimes: one as a traveling musician in the Berlin Youth Circus playing gypsy klezmer music, one scoring soundtracks for foreign films, and one as a pianist in off-Broadway productions. Rich, gauzy dream-pop woven under Remiddi's alluringly androgynous, reed-like voice creates an emotive soundtrack for an alien world where acoustics mingle with electronics to complement a wistful melodic sensibility like none other. CHRISTINA BROUSSARD

SUNDAY 9/22

SUNDAY SESH FEST: MINDEN, GRAPEFRUIT, NO KIND OF RIDER
(Rontoms, 600 E Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!

THE LUMINEERS, DR. DOG, NATHANIEL RATELIFF
(Memorial Coliseum, 300 N Winning Way) In little over a year, the Lumineers have gone from wide-eyed, hard-working, smiley-strummy blog darlings to being simply everywhere. You've seen them on TV; you've joked about their name around the office; you've overheard "Ho Hey" leaking from the SUV stuck next to you in traffic. This is where I'm supposed to tell you that the Colorado folkers are hackneyed and trite, that all banjos signify artistic death, that their self-titled debut album is a beached whale in the vast ocean of cool underground snob-rock. Well, fuck that. This paper said nice things about the Lumineers before they got big, and there's no reason we're gonna change our tune now that they're headlining arenas. Plus, you get Philly's Dr. Dog in the bargain, who are perched on top of another fine album, B-Room (out October 1). If anybody's up to the challenge of making the enormous glass-and-concrete prison of Memorial Coliseum sound halfway decent, it's these guys. NL

ISLANDS, BEAR MOUNTAIN
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) No matter what he does, Islands' frontman/principal songwriter Nick Thorburn will likely always have his output unfairly held up against the 2003 demented indie-pop classic he made with the Unicorns, Who Will Cut Our Hair When We're Gone? And while it may be impossible to equal the freewheeling lo-fi weirdness of that album, his work with Islands is a slicker, more polished, and more mature-sounding take on the Unicorns' quirky formula—one that still contains much underlying lyrical angst and emotion. Islands' just-released latest album, Ski Mask, is deceptively bright and shimmery in some parts—see lead single "Becoming the Gunship"—but at its core it's "a record about being angry." The beautifully dark balance struck here sounds like exactly what Islands have been striving for since their 2006 album, Return to the Sea. MR

MONDAY 9/23

BEN GOLDBERG'S UNFOLD ORDINARY MIND, BLUE CRANES
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) See My, What a Busy Week!

TUESDAY 9/24

HOT VICTORY, ANTECESSOR, DJ BESTIAL WALRUS
(White Owl Social Club, 1305 SE 8th) Read our article on Hot Victory.

URAL THOMAS AND THE PAIN, PWRHAUS
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) In the style of Sharon Jones, Charles Bradley, and all of the luscious fruits that fall from the Daptone tree, Ural Thomas is ready to regale you with a new wave of old-school soul. A native (dare I say it) Portlandian, Thomas grew up singing doo-wop on street corners, later opening for such soul staples as Otis Redding and Stevie Wonder. Through a series of unfortunate events, Thomas never attained the worldwide fame that his talent could have easily earned him. Luckily for us, this Portland gem is coming out of the woodwork, starting to play frequent shows with his excellent new band, the Pain. Thomas retains the same sense of power he's always had, offering a gospel-and-fire performance that only a son of a minister and arbiter of soul could. ROSE FINN

WILD BELLE, SAINT RICH
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) For months I didn't know who sang the song "Keep You," which was featured in the film Pitch Perfect and played here and there on the radio. I assumed it was Lana Del Rey contemplating why, despite a pretty face and a nice dress, her guy would keep straying. I was wrong. The slightly whiny, psych-plus-reggae-inspired track is by Wild Belle, a brother-and-sister duo from Chicago who serve up their music with about as much passion as a chef would hand over a slice of Velveeta cheese on a paper plate. While singer Natalie Bergman does have a lovely voice, she sounds bored by her own words. Her brother's baritone sax solos come with a matching lack of energy. Sax solos should never lack energy! It sounds nice, but so, so tired at the same time, giving me no reason at all to presume their live show would be more stimulating than staying home and watching their record spin in circles. MEGAN SELING

JACKSON SCOTT, THE WE SHARED MILK, A HAPPY DEATH
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) In interviews, Jackson Scott touts his love of Nirvana, Weezer, and Pink Floyd's original mastermind, Syd Barrett. So for a young guy who (apparently) wasn't raised on lo-fi, late-'90s indie rock, Scott sure does have the lo-fi, late-'90s indie rock sound down. The Asheville, North Carolina, resident's new album Melbourne is a likeably languid exercise in homemade dream-pop that recalls an embryonic Elephant 6 collective (specifically, the Apples' Fun Trick Noisemaker) or early Elliott Smith without the obvious preternatural genius. And Scott's affinity for woozy, tape-warped warble brings to mind another Southern bedroom wunderkind, Deerhunter's Bradford Cox. Melbourne isn't perfect—it can feel a bit rudderless and half-baked in places—but it is a promising debut from a guy with a knack for melody and an experimental streak. BS

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