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Up & Coming

Highlights in Music the Week of March 8-14

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THURSDAY 3/8

PRIORY, CAMPFIRE OK
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) How much warm, buttery folk-pop can a single audience imbibe before they collectively explode from pleasure? For the benefit of science, Priory and Campfire OK will perform this sonic experiment on a batch of unsuspecting Portlanders. On their self-titled debut, Priory fuse infectiously warm melodies with intricate layers of electronic keys and bass. The harmonies alone are worth coming back for, but the sophisticated production means that you hear something new every time. And there's no point in denying that Campfire OK have a banjo, but don't write them off as time-warping artifacts. On last year's Strange Like We Are, Campfire OK resuscitated Americana music with lush instrumentation and songwriting that's as tight as a tick. They effectively innovate an entire genre out of its box, thanks in no small part to a synthesizer and a horn. REBECCA WILSON

FRIDAY 3/9

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

THE ALIALUJAH CHOIR, RYAN SOLLEE, CARLOS FORSTER, SHELLEY SHORT
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Read our article on the Alialujah Choir.

ANDREW JACKSON JIHAD, LAURA STEVENSON AND THE CANS, ROAR, KIND OF LIKE SPITTING
(Backspace, 115 NW 5th) Listening to Andrew Jackson Jihad's latest LP, Knife Man, in solitude is dissatisfying. It isn't because their material is vapid—as a matter of fact, this is some of the sharpest, prettiest, most provocative folk-punk around—but because these are songs that downright require sweaty, tempestuous, top-of-the-lungs sing-alongs in order to reach their full potential. The songs on Knife Man are uncomfortably misanthropic and heartbroken (not to mention heartbreaking) and at moments sound like the work of a sugar-high Randy Newman; the fact that their song "Darling, I Love You" stirred up the same sort of controversy "Short People" did 35 years ago is testament to the comparison, and reveals that, by and large, people still misinterpret satire. Also on the bill is the long-awaited return of Ben Barnett's Kind of Like Spitting; the new incarnation includes two of Barnett's former students from the School of Rock. MORGAN TROPER

NEW MULTITUDES, SARAH JAFFE
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) Woody Guthrie wrote far more songs than he recorded, and in many cases he didn't write the music down. When he died in 1967, he left behind scads of lyrics; Billy Bragg and Wilco famously teamed up to record some for the two Mermaid Avenue albums. Now four more songwriters have done the same thing, tackling a batch of unearthed Guthrie lyrics that largely date from his time in Los Angeles. The resultant New Multitudes album is, as to be expected, a grimly reverential but rewarding collection, highlighted by contributions from Centro-matic's Will Johnson—one of the most vital American songwriters currently functioning—and Son Volt's Jay Farrar. Elsewhere, My Morning Jacket's Yim Yames (who still insists on being called Yim Yames for some reason) offers airy, meandering gibberish that reminds me of that godawful "What's Become of the Baby" song from the Dead's Aoxomoxoa. And Anders Parker, from some band you've never heard of, is the guy whose voice you don't recognize. Get there early for opener Sarah Jaffe, who's fantastic. NED LANNAMANN

GRAVE BABIES, LIGHTHOUSE, MILK MUSIC, CHROME WINGS
(East End, 203 SE Grand) Pretty cool that Olympia-based Milk Music don't give a shit about signing to a label, or maintaining even the slightest presence on the internet, yet they're still one of the most buzzed-about bands in the Pacific Northwest right now. When you see the four-piece live, you'll understand why: Milk Music are one of the most motivated and authentic bands around, looking shockingly like, um, a real band. And it's all for the love of music. Steeped in punk lore and alternative traditions of the Northwest, Milk Music are doing things the way bands used to 20 years ago, unspoiled by the digital hype machine. Seriously, these guys legitimately sound like they could have come out of Seattle in the late '80s, like an SST compilation circa the slack-about glory days of alt-progenitors Dinosaur Jr. and Hüsker Dü. CHRIS CANTINO

COCK BLOCK: CAMEA, DJ CLAIRITY, MISS VIXEN
(Groove Suite, 440 NW Glisan) Originally from Seattle, Camea became interested in the sounds of minimal techno just as the scene was emerging internationally. She moved to New York in the early '00s and started up the now-thriving Clink Recordings with like-minded producers Tim Xavier, Ambivalent, and Tony Rohr. Clink served as an important outpost of a particular brand of minimal techno that was otherwise largely based out of Europe at the time. Now a Berlin transplant and operating at the very top of her game, Camea's swinging back through the Pacific Northwest to boost up a couple of local dance parties with the patented Clink sound. Years of producing music and performing live around the world have shaped her music into something original—a perfect combination of minimal and heavy, with just enough funk and playfulness to keep a dance floor engaged for the long haul. AVA HEGEDUS

SATURDAY 3/10

SOULCIETY: DJ DREW GROOVE, KATRINA MARTIANI
(Secret Society, 116 NE Russell) See My, What a Busy Week!

RIDING THE LOW, WOLFMAN FAIRIES, BARNABY WOODS
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) Read our article on Riding the Low.

THE PERCEPTIONISTS, LOVE LOUNGERS, DJ ZIMMIE
(Crown Room, 205 NW 4th) The Perceptionists are a Boston-based supergroup of sorts, a trio featuring emcees Akrobatik and Mr. Lif with DJ Fakts One handling the turntables. Their sole full-length, 2005's Black Dialogue, paid respect to hiphop's golden era with cameos from Guru and Shock G on the mic and some prominent samples from KRS-One, Public Enemy, and the Beastie Boys featured throughout. Make no mistake, though: While it's clear that they respect their hiphop roots, the record is far from a nostalgia trip, with futuristic beats and diverse subject matter. Conscious examinations of current politics coincide with party anthems, alongside humorous send-ups of one-dimensional emcees, showcasing their ability to further the evolution of hiphop. RYAN FEIGH

SUNDAY 3/11

ISLANDS, IDIOT GLEE
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) In addition to being a magnificently passive-aggressive way to wreak vengeance upon an ex, releasing a breakup album on Valentine's Day is guaranteed to garner some press. Especially an album made by Islands shape-shifter Nick Thorburn. Over the course of four albums and frequent personnel changes, the only consistent thing about Islands has been Thorburn's unwillingness to embrace a specific sound or style, skipping among synth-pop and various flavors of indie. A Sleep & A Forgetting was allegedly written with only the aid of a piano and heartbreak. This could be why it's the best Islands record to date, with an overarching mood of intimate authenticity rather than unfocused experimentation. And with a garage-pop aesthetic, it's certainly not a downer. The lyrics do tend to be about having your heart ripped out, but the hooks feel like pure sunshine. RW Also see My, What a Busy Week!

MEMORYHOUSE, ARRANGE
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) Originally intended as a multimedia performance art project combining photography and music, Evan Abeele and Denise Nouvion of Guelph, Ontario, have evolved into more of a fully realized band—a move that's paid off with the release of one of the best albums of 2012 thus far. Memoryhouse's The Slideshow Effect unleashes lush, richly imaginative arrangements and sharp lyrics that lend themselves to the photographic aesthetic of memory and time; but it's the collision of nostalgic meditation and melody on songs like "Punctum" that burrows into your whistling regimen for an entire day. These songs are simply timeless, pretty, sad, and ambitious—a pristine indie-pop record that ought to transfer well over to the live setting just as easily as it's become my plaintive go-to listen. RYAN J. PRADO

MONDAY 3/12

Very sincere, heartfelt birthday wishes to LaBamba of Conan O'Brien's house band. Also, grouchy and reluctant birthday wishes to Mitt Romney.

TUESDAY 3/13

ONUINU, LAVENDER MIRROR, POOL OF WINDS, NEW DADZ
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See My, What a Busy Week!

ANYA MARINA
(Music Millennium, 3158 E Burnside) Read our article on Anya Marina.

WEDNESDAY 3/14

THE LOWER 48, JOHN HEART JACKIE, ALINA HARDIN
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) See My, What a Busy Week!

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