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Up & Coming

Highlights in music September 29-October 5

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THURSDAY 9/29

BOO FROG, CRIMSON DYNAMITE, SLUTTY HEARTS
(Plan B, 1305 SE 8th) Boo Frog's lyrical garage oblivion is stamped with just a kiss of the hoodoo, enough to spellbind even the most skeptical of our city's storied punk scene. Not that Chris Newman needs to employ folk magic to impress. The legacy of his former band, Napalm Beach, is one whose influence will not soon fade away. Along with Dead Moon's Fred Cole and the Wipers' Greg Sage, Newman helped create the Portland punk offshoot that prefaced the '90s movement we all know as "grunge." But those days were long ago, and since then Newman's been through the mill, even spending a few years in Tarp Town, San Francisco. Meanwhile, his music has only gotten better. It's evolved into a distinctly swampy version of itself, as though it's been dredged through the pits and rescued at just the last moment: nearly fossilized and slowly dripping. CHRIS CANTINO

FRIDAY 9/30

TORO Y MOI, UNKNOWN MORTAL ORCHESTRA, BASS DRUM OF DEATH
(Branx, 320 SE 2nd) See My, What a Busy Week!

SNAP!: DR. ADAM, COLIN JONES, J. GREEN
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See My, What a Busy Week!

BOATS, BLOODTYPES, COMPANY, MORMON TRANNYS, DESTROY NATE ALLEN
(Plan B, 1305 SE 8th) Don't confuse Sacramento's Boats with the band from Winnipeg of the same name (who were signed to Kill Rock Stars recently). And don't confuse them with Seattle's charming BOAT, either. No, this Boats is a snotty punk band with songs that crash and jump and are all over in less than a minute and a half. Actually, their nosebleed songs are so goofy and full of giddy excitement that they'll give Seattle's BOAT a run for their money in the lovability sweepstakes. Boats' songs thump like the fast-wagging tail of a particularly excitable dog, knocking everything—oh no, not the bong!—off the coffee table and onto the floor. With new guitarist Charles Albright and drummer Patrick Shelley in tow, they'll blast through town, leaving behind a stinky puddle that no carpet cleaner can erase. NED LANNAMANN

LOVERS, THE SHONDES, FORSORCERERS
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) This paper has done a poor job of cloaking our collective Lovers fandom—okay, fine, it's a creepy obsession, you happy now? Last year the trio delivered Dark Light, a remarkable album that seems to improve with each passing listen and has the distinction of not even being their best work to date—that honor goes to its sunnier predecessor I Am the West. Joining them are the ladies (and the one dude) of the Shondes, a dynamic quartet unafraid to add some jarring violin notes to their uptempo punk sound. The Brooklyn band is making the rounds in support of Searchlights, which is a more fleshed-out effort than their intensely personal 2010 release, My Dear One. EZRA ACE CARAEFF

HANK III
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) It's gotta kinda suck to live in the shadow of your super-famous grandpa, and your only-kinda-famous father—people constantly comparing, debating, critiquing your every last little similarity or difference. Really, the only thing you can do is say, "fuck it" and blaze your own trail. If you try to compare Hank III to 1940s Hank Williams Sr., you will be sorely disappointed. If you're open to mixing up traditional country with an occasional speed-metal riff, then Hank III will make you very happy. Ghost to a Ghost/Gutter Town, a double album Hank III released this month alongside two other new albums, features guest appearances by Tom Waits and Les Claypool and a song called "Cunt of a Bitch." Oh, the Grand Ole Opry it ain't. KELLY O

SATURDAY 10/1

OMD, WASHINGTON
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) See My, What a Busy Week!

BROADWAY CALLS, LIVING WITH LIONS, LEE COREY OSWALD, STARK HEROES
(Backspace, 115 NW 5th) As much as I hesitate to make the claim, Broadway Calls are a pop-punk band. Undeniably so. But with the exception of those who still attend the Warped Tour, or declare White Trash, Two Heebs, and a Bean to be the defining recording of our generation, the pop-punk landscape is hardly preferred musical real estate these days. Yet as their peers try to capture the sounds of a bygone era, Broadway Calls progress forward. Their follow-up to 2009's Good Views, Bad News is the just-released Toxic Kids EP, a crisp, six-song offering that has all the components you'd expect—three chords, rapid-fire drums, bratty vocals, and hooks aplenty—along with a newfound sense of restlessness (sample song title: "I'm So Ready to Be Done with My 20s") that fits the Rainier band quite well. Now that Green Day have swapped Gilman for the Great White Way, I hereby nominate Broadway Calls to take their seat upon the pop-punk throne. EAC

AN HORSE, DIRTY MITTENS
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) Australian duo An Horse sailed across the ocean on the back of their wonderful debut, 2009's Rearrange Beds. With guitarist Kate Cooper's lightly curdled vocals and drummer Damon Cox's steady timekeeping, the pair made a sound that was addictive in its simplicity: poppy without being pandering, brash but not invasively so. With this year's follow-up, Walls, An Horse is continuing their course of writing smart, sharp songs that sweetly refuse to break the mold. If Walls isn't as fresh as Rearrange Beds, and if An Horse's odder corners sound slightly smoothed out, there's still much on the new record that'll get attached to that interior space in between your ears and your heart—particularly on the lovely title track (with its reassurance of "just sit tight, it will be all right") and in the clanging guitar that anchors the album-opening fanfare of "Dressed Sharply." NL

CANT, MIRROR MIRROR, BLOOD ORANGE
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Nostalgia has become woefully nearsighted. Let the sunburnt Polaroids become kindling for the bonfire. We're up to our ears in hippie gurus, nihilist clubbers, and tribal electro Indians, yet find relatively few Funkadelics, pitiful Princes, and not a single Shuggie Otis. In the Daptone revival we have bright, big-band soul. But what about its steamier, sexier, dark side? Where are the candles and velvet? Buried at the bottom of an already overly hyped bill is Blood Orange, the thumping, falsetto funk of New York's Devonté Hynes, who's also recorded under the name Lightspeed Champion. Like the aforementioned Prince and Otis—along with the venerable Stevie Wonder—Hynes is a multi-instrumentalist and a deft arranger. Shimmering guitar arpeggios and unassuming hooks creep among a more assured low-end. The pocket is subtle, yet punchy and tight. This is Hynes' first tour as Blood Orange, and there's no telling how his marvelous compositions will translate to the stage, but if they work anything like on record, he'll never open another show. Wait, what? The album is called Coastal Grooves? Fuck, well, give it a chance anyway. ANDREW R TONRY

NOMEANSNO, BLOOD BEACH, WAX EDISON
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) It's been said that NoMeansNo invented "math rock" back in '79, in which case it was probably done using an abacus. The Brothers Wright have been steering the Canadian trio though uncharted waters ever since, combining the power of punk with the elegance of jazz. The Canucks have a long paper trail of albums and singles and EPs dating back to 1980, although their output has slowed over the past five years. But NoMeansNo continues to tour, which is where you want to catch them anyway (their studio work has yet to capture the controlled chaos of their live shows). It's no wonder that bands (knowingly and unknowingly) continue to take lessons from these wily vets. MARK LORE

SUNDAY 10/2

JESSE SYKES AND THE SWEET HEREAFTER, THE ANUNNAKI, THE PHYSICAL HEARTS
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Read our article on Jesse Sykes.

LIAM FINN, MARQUES TOLIVER, THE YOUNG EVILS
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Read our article on Liam Finn.

ODD FUTURE WOLF GANG KILL THEM ALL
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Critically writing about Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All is akin to taking an aluminum baseball bat to a dangling hornet's nest. You know the impending fallout of your actions, and yet despite that, here you are with an Easton in hand. The greatest hiphop ensemble since the Wu-Tang Clan is also the rapey-est, so your take on Tyler, the Creator & Co. likely hinges on how much you can stomach lines like: "I'ma change my name to Uncle Phil/'Cause every girl I deal and fuck it's always against her will." As Tegan and Sara are now well aware, OFWGKTA is unapologetically misogynistic and homophobic, an outfit unwilling to lyrically waver (or whatever their "hugging Elton John" equivalent is) despite outside pressure that will likely include some protesters lingering about the Roseland tonight. Their talent has never been in question—my OFWGKTA power rankings: 1. Earl Sweatshirt; 2. Frank Ocean; 3. Tyler, the Creator; 4. Tie, everyone else—the only real question left is how you justify (or don't) lyrics that take such pleasure in crossing the line. EAC

MELT-BANANA, RETOX, ARANYA
(Star Theater, 13 NW 6th) Convulsive Japanese art-punks Melt-Banana are gonna fuck you up. I mean, good God, have you ever heard a band this fast and spastic? Somewhere between Boredoms on sherm sticks and Merzbow having a seizure, Melt-Banana make the kind of piss-pants music that belongs in the record books. If the band's intense speed and writhing guitar noise aren't enough to trip you up, the canine yip-yap of singer Yasuko Onuki will surely milk your spine to trigger a number of bad acid flashbacks. And, oh yeah, you're gonna wanna monitor your alcohol consumption more closely, too. Sure, the band might have already played through 20 songs, but wait... it's only been half an hour. Listen, I'm not saying you shouldn't go to this show, just don't tell your sponsor. CC

CSS, MEN
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) Wha, CSS are still going? Well, "Alala." The Brazilian group generated a Sub Pop-ian buzz in the mid '00s with their catchy electronic pop, enlivened by frontwoman Lovefoxxx's brashly alluring pipes and provocative stage demeanor. CSS (Cansei de Ser Sexy, if you're nasty) have a new album called La Liberación, and it shows some telltale signs of "maturity": slower tempos, dabbling with reggae rhythms ("Hits Me Like a Rock," featuring Primal Scream's Bobby Gillespie), slicker production values, collaborations with David Bowie/NIN/Smashing Pumpkins session pianist Mike Garson. Still, they seem like they've retained their fun vibe and their fluff is high-quality fluff. DAVE SEGAL

MONDAY 10/3

NEON INDIAN, COM TRUISE, PURITY RING
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Prodigious New Jersey-based synth waver Com Truise (presumably an android of Scientology) is futurebeat progstep for the computer age. Equal parts Giorgio Moroder and Boards of Canada, sci-fi and psychedelia, it's analog as fuck, and replete with enough side-chained Linn drums and stuttering NES squelches to properly inflate your cerebellum. That's about when you can expect Com Truise's muscled psych motifs to drop from the ceiling and cleave your skull right in half, exploding gray matter all over the Doug Fir's wooden interior. Now, I realize you might have bought tickets for this show with the intent of "jammin' out" to indie darling Neon Indian. Just make sure you show up early enough to see Com Truise steal the show. CC Also see My, What a Busy Week!

TUESDAY 10/4

TALKDEMONIC
(Music Millennium, 3158 E Burnside) Read our article on Talkdemonic.

A.A. BONDY, NIK FREITAS
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Read our article on A.A. Bondy.

WEDNESDAY 10/5

BLACK PRAIRIE, RITCHIE YOUNG
(LaurelThirst Public House, 2958 NE Glisan) See My, What a Busy Week!

JUSTIN TOWNES EARLE, JASON ISBELL AND THE 400 UNIT, CAITLIN ROSE
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) It's a bill made in outlaw-twang heaven: Justin Townes Earle (offspring of Steve Earle and a fine singer/songwriter in his own right) and Jason Isbell (former ace songwriter/guitarist for Drive-By Truckers and now frontman of his own crackerjack band, the 400 Unit). Earle has had the more tumultuous personal life of the two, having been kicked out of his dad's band and entering rehab after an arrest a year ago, but his music is smoother and sweeter than Isbell's, who's found a ragged place where Southern rock and whiskey-soaked country share their grievances. Isbell's latest, Here We Rest, is a flawless coalescence of the expert songwriting chops he's been wielding for years. To top it all off, relative newcomer Caitlin Rose opens up the show with her vital update of Nashville country. If you've ever had a twang in your heart, this is the only place you need to be tonight. NL

ERASURE, FRANKMUSIK
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) I completely lost track of Erasure since—whoa, since 1994's I Say I Say I Say and the "Always" single, a song that always threw me for a loop since its hook contained that weird extra beat at the end. That's actually a big no-no in the rulebook of club hits, which states that everything must be 4/4 or die. Listening back to their older hits and glancing over the eight (huh, really?) albums since I Say I Say I Say, it's clear how inventive Erasure has been in the rigidly prescribed format of dance music. Listen to the joyful "A Little Respect" again and imagine it hitting dance floors for the first time today—it would blow people's bass-addled, dubstep-dumbed-down brains. And that's why Vince Clarke and Andy Bell have been around as long as they have: Erasure always manage to find room for songwriting smarts within a format that's historically favored rigor over invention. NL

THE LONELY FOREST, THEMES, THE HAGUE
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) It makes sense that Chris Walla produced the Lonely Forest's latest album, Arrows, and released it on his Trans imprint: the Anacortes, Washington, quartet shares many qualities with Walla's day-job band, Death Cab for Cutie—the most obvious of which is a sunny disposition that peeks, sometimes inadvertently, through the furrowed-brow angst of their rumpled guitar pop. There's also a heap of John Roderick's Long Winterisms in the voice of Lonely Forest frontman John Van Deusen, which leaves one hard-pressed to determine exactly what it is that the Lonely Forest is doing differently from their fellow Pacific Northwestern rock brethren. The real answer is: not very much, although the group has fully hit their stride with Arrows (part of which was recorded here in Portland), an unsurprising but fully satisfying record that fills the empty pastures the Band of Horses left behind. NL

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