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WEDNESDAY 12/4

LORDE
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!

FANNO CREEK, SAMA DAMS, HANDS IN
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Read our article on Fanno Creek.

ARCTIC MONKEYS, BATTLEME
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Although Josh Homme helped produce the third Arctic Monkeys LP, Humbug, the UK band didn't really let the desert sprawl and smoked-out ideals of Queens of the Stone Age sink in until they recorded album number five, AM (on which Homme is also a contributor). The 2013 release, apparently inspired by a breakup that singer/guitarist Alex Turner went through, is a slow-boiling tar pit of psychedelics, bulbous riffs, and some of the sexiest rhythms the quartet has ever attempted. Moving away from the rapid-fire tempos and lyrics of the past was a welcome evolution for the Monkeys, and helped generate one of the year's best rock albums. Fear not, though, old-school fans: All live footage I've seen of the band's current tour proves that they can still kick up a hell of a storm onstage. ROBERT HAM

CHURCH OF MISERY, SAVIOURS, WIZARD RIFLE
(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) Oakland's Saviours have made a lot of hay out of their melodic, serpentine riffs, taking Black Sabbath's heft and marrying it with Thin Lizzy's guitarmonies and the new wave of British heavy metal's gallop. Saviours aren't reinventing the wheel, but they are saviors of classic metal shredding and ol' fashioned headbanging. They're opening for Japanese doom metal legends Church of Misery, who've spent the past two-and-a-half decades carving monuments from giant slabs of riff in the name of miserable things like serial killers and mass murders; the Church is making a rare trip to this side of the Pacific to make up for a cancelled date in October. MATTHEW W. SULLIVAN

THURSDAY 12/5

CATE LE BON, KEVIN MORBY
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Welsh singer/songwriter Cate Le Bon sounds like a sensitive aristocrat on the mic, her voice a distinctive combination of Nico's stolid delivery and umlaut-y vowels and Joni Mitchell's mellifluousness. Le Bon's 2012 album, Cyrk, is a banquet of high-IQ rock full of elegant, baroque melodies built to last and sporadic, shockingly great rave-ups. Her new full-length, Mug Museum, sounds slicker than past releases, but Le Bon's songs retain certain structural peculiarities and melodic quirks—revealing affinities with Pavement and Gorky's Zygotic Mynci—that keep blandness well at bay. Pay close attention to her. DAVE SEGAL

PURE BATHING CULTURE, THEM HILLS, NICK REINHART
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) The twinkling, astral pop of Pure Bathing Culture got me through one winter, and as the warm weather again recedes far into the rearview, it seems certain the Portland band is capable of getting me through another. Centered around keyboardist/vocalist Sarah Versprille and guitarist Dan Hindman, and augmented by bassist Zach Tillman and drummer Brian Wright, PBC only released their first full-length in August—the glimmering, dimension-spanning Moon Tides—but these songs already seem like old favorites, as they've been highlights at the countless number of hometown live shows the group has played since their Portland debut in January 2012. No matter what the temperature is outside tonight, Pure Bathing Culture's humid, human, cleansing pop is guaranteed to fog up Holocene's windows. NED LANNAMANN

VADEN TODD LEWIS, SEAN CROGHAN
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) I never understood the blank comparisons between the Toadies and the rest of the grunge pack. There was always something a little darker and creepier about their lyrics. They had a certain twang that came from being a product of Texas. And frontman Vaden Todd Lewis sounded like his vocal cords were being run through a meat grinder. To some, the Toadies will always be the "Possum Kingdom" band ("Do you wanna diiiiieeee..."); their cult followers know that subsequent releases like Feeler and Hell Below/Stars Above are as good, if not better than their 1994 debut Rubberneck. And the Toadies are still putting out music. But for the time being Lewis is playing some solo gigs, digging up Toadies material as well as songs from Burden Brothers, his project with members of Reverend Horton Heat. MARK LORE

SIR MIX-A-LOT, BAD HABITAT, AMERIKAN OVERDOSE, CARMINE
(Analog Café, 720 SE Hawthorne) Whether or not they'd admit it, my parents know the song "Baby Got Back." Shit, yours do, too. Along with just about every other person you've ever met: Sir Mix-a-Lot's magnum opus is one of the most ubiquitous, lasting hits of the last 20 years. Which leads one to believe that the royalties have kept rolling in—I mean, at least enough to eat and keep the house. So, assuming Mix-a-Lot still has some dough, it would seem that he's playing a place like the Analog Café for 15 bucks because he WANTS to, right? Surely the Prince of Posteriors will be bumping "Baby Got Back." But what the hell else is on the menu? Myriad lesser hits? Deep cuts from Return of the Bumpasaurus? Or maybe even something new? Certainly, questions abound. But in a relatively intimate venue, for a reasonable price, those answers seem worth seeking. ANDREW R TONRY

BLUE CRANES, DYLAN RYAN SAND, THE KANDINSKY EFFECT
(The Goodfoot, 2845 SE Stark) Since 1984, Cuneiform Records has been one of the preeminent imprints for forward-thinking jazz, prog, and folk acts. Tonight, the label gets a small celebration here in Portland with three of its current acts featured on one bill—the first time that's happened on the West Coast. You likely already know local heroes Blue Cranes, whose 2013 release Swim is a masterwork of tight grooves and the ropy sax work of Reed Wallsmith and Joe Cunningham. So, it's a good chance to acquaint yourself with the Paris/New York electronic/jazz hybrid trio the Kandinsky Effect, and Dylan Ryan Sand, the trio led by drummer Dylan Ryan that swings like vintage bop but puts a higher premium on Tim Young's fiery guitar work and the blast of freeform musical chaos. RH

FRIDAY 12/6

SHUT UP AND DANCE: DJ GREGARIOUS
(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) See My, What a Busy Week!

KINK'S JINGLE BELL JAM: THE HEAD AND THE HEART, WILD FEATHERS, FRANK TURNER AND THE SLEEPING SOULS
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Two things work against Seattle folk-pop band the Head and the Heart in the eyes of indie-rock's cred police: (1) The band's rise from open-mic jam thing to headliner of big rooms happened quickly, with very little paying of dues in small, smelly clubs. (2) The group's sound—all-in harmonies and friendly handclaps set to the easily digestible strum of acoustic guitars—has about as much edge as a cue ball. But on its self-titled debut album, self-released in 2010 and reissued by Sub Pop in 2011, the Head and the Heart delivered a set of tunes so undeniably catchy that listeners with an ear for well-crafted pop music could only give credit where it was due. Now, the band is back with its second effort, Let's Be Still, which features more melancholic grappling with big questions and life lessons. These new songs don't seem to have quite as much immediate appeal as the band's previous work, but perhaps that's a good thing. BEN SALMON

PIERCED ARROWS, AUDIOS AMIGOS, DIVERS
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) It's a good time to be a Fred and Toody Cole fan living in Portland. Come fall and winter, this always seems to be the case, but this year seems especially noteworthy. And between stripped-down unplugged sets, Pierced Arrow's annual Halloween show, and a Dead Moon reunion show set for January, it would be a shame to overlook tonight's show. We're lucky enough to be able to witness the trio's legendary garage-rock all over town, but in a setting like Mississippi Studios you can really come to appreciate the fine-tuned songwriting and unparalleled chemistry that lurks behind the force. Be sure to arrive early: While opening act Divers might be best known for rowdy house and dive bar shows, they are more than capable of bringing down the house on their own. CHIPP TERWILLIGER

LEE RANALDO AND THE DUST, EYELIDS
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Lee Ranaldo was always something like Sonic Youth's George Harrison: consigned to one or two songs an album, holding it down with subdued flair on guitar, going underappreciated. As leader of his own band in recent years, Ranaldo's flaws become more apparent. His voice's dullness doesn't stand up to scrutiny over an entire album, and his songwriting lacks the fiery dynamics and tonal adventurousness of the best Sonic Youth material. Sadly, I don't think Lee has an All Things Must Pass in him. His last two albums as a leader—Between the Times and the Tides and Last Night on Earth—chug and jangle with the underwhelming pleasantness of late-era R.E.M. Nothing quite unsettles or seethes like earlier Ranaldo songs such as "In the Kingdom #19," "Eric's Trip," or "Pipeline/Kill Time." Mellowing with age isn't a crime, but it does often lead to shrug-worthy releases. DS

SATURDAY 12/7

BASIA BULAT, ALAMEDA
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Making sentimental music must be pretty easy—there's an awful lot of it out there, and most of it is like listening to an uncomfortably needy stranger breathe hotly down your neck while yelling melismas in your ear. Which makes Basia Bulat's careful, hopeful music all the more miraculous. Her plain but gorgeous voice and no-nonsense melodies—often strummed on autoharp and charango—act like a balm spread over cracked lips, a roasty fire to warm chilly fingers and toes. The Canadian songwriter's latest, Tall Tall Shadow, continues her string of absolutely lovely recordings; it's perhaps her fanciest effort to date, with larger arrangements and production by Arcade Fire conspirators Tim Kingsbury and Mark Lawson. But Bulat's bittersweetly humane outlook shines through even the busiest tracks on the winning Tall Tall Shadow, and it's even more vibrant when you seen her in person, which is a highly recommended experience. NL

OREGON SYMPHONY, ELINA VÄHÄLÄ
(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway) For all you ignorant fucktards who wrongly assume orchestras just play old music: Tonight our Oregon Symphony busts out a violin concerto written in 2006 by Finnish composer Magnus Lindberg. With its drastically stripped-down orchestration focused on high-strung pensiveness, Lindberg's 27-minute work is nothing less than a sonic wonder for the ears and an ethereal playground for the soul. Plus, I'm pleased as proverbial punch to report the evening's guest fiddler is none other than Elina Vähälä—sliding, scratching, and plucking her way to stratospheric heights on a 335-year-old Stradivarius. If Vähälä's last few appearances at the Schnitz are any indication, this Nordic gypsy's powerful technique and astounding grace will certainly produce spellbinding results. But hang on to your goddamn Poler hats—there's more! P-town's biggest band opens up this show with the sly, dry wit of Prokofiev's The Love for Three Oranges' surreal orchestral suite and closes it down with Tchaikovsky's flamingly over-the-top Symphony No. 4. What's that? Tonight you'll be texting while listening to some pasty lad in pearl-snap buttons whine through masturbatory lyrics? Lucky for you, the program repeats Sunday and Monday, so you've got exactly zero excuses for missing out on the orchestra's last classical concert of 2013. ANGRY SYMPHONY GUY

DRUNKEN PRAYER, ROOT JACK, DENIM WEDDING
(Dante's, 350 W Burnside) For the third Drunken Prayer album, mastermind Morgan Geer stripped things down. Fittingly, the result is titled House of Morgan, and it finds Geer performing most of the parts himself, recording in his bedroom with a Tascam cassette recorder, a Radio Shack mic, and a copy of GarageBand. The album is a personal collection of wildly dissimilar tracks (some of which are re-recorded songs from previous releases), from gutbucket blues-rock to warped back-porch folk, with a choral piece ("Lay Down") and a kitchen-sink bedroom pop song ("I Saw It with My Own Two Eyes Again") thrown in for good measure. Taken as a whole, House of Morgan begins to make a kind of sense on its own White Album-esque terms, and tonight Drunken Prayer performs a record release show for the album, released by local label Fluff and Gravy. NL

THE LONG WINTERS, SEAN NELSON
(Star Theater, 13 NW 6th) 2003 was a banner year for indie rock: the New Pornographers, Broken Social Scene, and the Shins were at the height of their powers. Ben Gibbard released two classic albums with Death Cab for Cutie and the Postal Service. The Decemberists and Sufjan Stevens were literately introducing themselves to the world. Jose Gonzalez, Damien Jurado, and Sun Kil Moon put out quiet masterpieces. Holding their own in this crowd were the Long Winters, a little-known Seattle band led by razor-sharp frontman John Roderick, whose baroque pop-rock blossomed on When I Pretend to Fall, a near-perfect album of tight harmonies, technicolor hooks, and clever turns of phrase. Pretend established Roderick as one of our smartest songwriters, a reputation he cemented on 2006's excellent Putting the Days to Bed. And then? We're still waiting. In the meantime, the Long Winters stop in town to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Pretend by playing the whole thing. BS

FITZ AND THE TANTRUMS, THE FEATURES
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) Fitz and the Tantrums is probably the only band to have opened for Maroon 5 that doesn't typically play for girls in their early stages of puberty. Based out of Los Angeles, the Tantrums are five dudes and a soul singer making radio friendly indie pop with a Motown/soul twist. In much the same vein as Mayer Hawthorne, the Tantrums include pop riffs and crooning, post-modern Elvis-style vocals. Their most recent album, More Than Just a Dream, contains the hit "Out of My League," a simplistic yet catchy love song that's best played while riding a bike in a skirt at summer's dusk. ROSE FINN

THE LOVESORES, NO TOMORROW BOYS, THE SUICIDE NOTES, THE PYNNACLES, DJ HWY 7
(Tonic Lounge, 3100 NE Sandy) For a look at the current state of Portland's garage-rock scene, you can do no better than to slap on a copy of Stumptown Rock City, the new 10-inch compilation record from Spanish label Ghost Highway Recordings. On it, four Portland bands—the Lovesores, No Tomorrow Boys, the Suicide Notes, and the Pynnacles—each offer up a new tune, then cover a classic Portland band (the Wipers, Paul Revere and the Raiders, Dead Moon, and the Miracle Workers, respectively). It's a rowdy, slam-bang party of a record, rife with distorted guitars, breakneck drums, and vocals with no shortage of attitude. Tonight, all four bands celebrate the record's release—of which a limited number will be available—and it's gonna be a fun enough show to severely curtail any Sunday morning activities. If this is the state of the union of Portland rock 'n' roll, then the state of the union is strong. NL

SUNDAY 12/8

URAL THOMAS AND THE PAIN, Y LA BAMBA
(Rontoms, 600 E Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!

GENDERS, THE WE SHARED MILK, THE GHOST EASE
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Read our article on Genders.

THE DISMEMBERMENT PLAN, TELEKINESIS
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) Read our article on the Dismemberment Plan.

OREGON SYMPHONY, ELINA VÄHÄLÄ
(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway) See Saturday's listing.

THE MEAN JEANS, AUDACITY, ROYAL NOBLE
(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) Audacity, a four-piece from Fullerton, California, are exactly what you want from a garage-punk band: They're loud, they sing and play with no small amount of attitude, and they tear through songs with speed and authority (on their latest album, Butter Knife, they knock out 13 songs in a half-hour). The group may even exhibit some signs of maturity—tracks like "Autumn" and "Company Time" are power-pop gems that would make Alex Chilton green with envy—but the blunted expressions on their faces in recent publicity pictures reveal these gents to be as puckish and youthful as their music. RH

TENDER AGE, THE DANDELYONS, AMERICAN CREAM
(Valentine's, 232 SW Ankeny) If you're looking for a warm and cozy escape from the cold, Valentine's has got you covered. Portland quartet Tender Age released a self-titled EP a month back that offers a great sampling of their haunting blend of shoegaze. With three tracks clocking in at nearly 15 minutes, there's plenty of room to be lured into the band's hazy, dream-like world, and with an opening track as hypnotic as "Anything," it should only take a few moments. Light and airy vocals twist around a blissed-out guitar riff, while layers of heavy reverb and steady percussion keep it all from drifting too far off. The Dandelyons take a more traditional rock approach.  On "Sunny," the opening track of their debut album, Flowers 'n' Dirt, they ride a moment of carefree pop that could bring visions of summer into even the most darkened barroom. CT

JENNIE WAYNE, EZZA ROSE
(Secret Society, 116 NE Russell) Jennie Wayne is one half of local folk duo John Heart Jackie, and she now has a solo joint of her very own. The Great Remembering is a delicate but sturdily constructed birdcage of lovely, sun-dappled folk songs, with backing from members of Blind Pilot and recorded by Musée Mécanique's Sean Ogilvie. As strings and horns provide a backdrop, Wayne's clear, captivating voice pilots these songs square toward one's heart—and they invariably make their destination, as Wayne's songwriting is clear, simple, and truthful, from the wistful recollection on the title track to the firm declaration of love on "Come on Home." Wayne celebrates the release of the 10-song The Great Remembering tonight. NL

MONDAY 12/9

OREGON SYMPHONY, ELINA VÄHÄLÄ
(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway) See Saturday's listing.

HIGH ON FIRE, KVELERTAK, WINDHAND
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE César E. Chávez) Last year, High on Fire released De Vermis Mysteriis, a concept album about Jesus' twin brother who died at birth and then time traveled—or something along those lines. Later that year, frontman Matt Pike checked into rehab. But instead of letting that rob the band's momentum, Pike & Co. came out the other side and unleashed a pummeling double live album of their trademark, Motörhead-ish sludge metal. Now they're punctuating 2013 with a mega-bill tour featuring Norway's Kvelertak—think Scandinavian black metal meets tough-guy hardcore meets classic rock meets Jock Jams—and Virginia's up-and-coming doom-metal titans Windhand. MWS

RHETT MILLER, BIG HAUNT
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Rhett Miller is always working—either fronting high-octane garage-twangers the Old 97's, or cranking out solo material. And if he's not in the studio, he's on the road. Miller just wrapped up recording a new 97's record, and he's kicking off a string of solo gigs that'll take him into the New Year. One thing I've discovered is that Miller's material works on lit-up rock stages or more intimate settings. Great songs will do that. Then again, just because this is an acoustic performance doesn't mean Miller will be going all coffee shop on us. Expect plenty of sweat, stomping, and rapid-fire strumming. And when that's all done, expect a new Old 97's record. ML

TUESDAY 12/10

PHOENIX, DRESSES
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!

SNAPSHOT: KELLI SCHAEFER, NOVOSTI, TRE BURT & A BIG GUST OF WIND
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See My, What a Busy Week!

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