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Up & Coming

Highlights in Music the Week of March 15-21

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THURSDAY 3/15

PUSSY CONTROL
(Yes and No, 20 SW 3rd) See My, What a Busy Week!

BRAINSTORM, SUN ANGLE, ADVENTURES! WITH MIGHT
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) This might sound alarming, but don't freak out: The Brainstorm that you know and love has changed. Tonight the band introduces a third member, bassist Tamara Barnes, into its lock-tight interplay of Pacific Northwest scruff-rock and African rhythms. Judging by the competence and taste Brainstorm has displayed in the past, throwing a third musician into the mix is no casual move. Check out the newly expanded lineup tonight, before Brainstorm heads off to the (completely amazing-sounding) Treefort Music Festival in Boise. NED LANNAMANN

HEADPHONE PARTY ALBUM LISTENING PARTY
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Headphone Party is a new supergroup of sorts that pairs emcee AED, from next-level hiphop crazies Tony D. and the Flippers, with Portland electronic music producers DJ Tan't, Wilding, and Quiet Countries. The self-titled debut is impressive, particularly the way AED manages to deftly maneuver over an apocalyptic sonic jungle of backing tracks that would trip up lesser emcees. The thematic playfulness of AED's persona in Tony D. and the Flippers is still evident on Headphone Party, but it has been transmuted into a voice that's left the party upstairs and is now chilling in the basement, which syncs well with the multi-layered futuristic production. Tonight's early-evening listening party also sees the premiere of their new music video. RYAN FEIGH

FRIDAY 3/16

GEORGE CLINTON AND PARLIAMENT FUNKADELIC
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!

PINEHURST KIDS, THE WOLFMAN FAIRIES, MODERN LIVES
(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) The new split 7-inch single from Pinehurst Kids and the Wolfman Fairies is unleashed upon an unwitting public this eve, and both bands offer snarling new tunes that have juices dripping from their maws. Pinehurst Kids' side, "Clockblocker," is decidedly more agitated than some of the power pop in that group's 15-year back catalog. With clanging guitars and a howled chorus that wouldn't sound out of place in a headbangin' metal tune, it feels like the release of years of pent-up aggression—all while sounding catchy at the same time. (Full disclosure: Pinehurst Kids frontman Joe Davis is the Mercury's production manager.) And Wolfman Fairies' "Red Hot Mother of Buckman" is a speedy declaration of lust in full-bore Buzzcocks mode. Both solid tunes are also available on Pinehurst Kids' Bandcamp page. NL

TOPE, TxE, LIVING PROOF, BEATSGALORE, VERBZ, THE ANGRY ORTS
(Backspace, 115 NW 5th) Portland emcee Tope is a busy man. In addition to being an in-demand beatsmith for other rappers, he also holds it down as a member of local groups Living Proof and TxE. On top of all that, he finds time for solo projects, the latest being Until the Next Time We Meet, whose release is being celebrated tonight. The fact that Tope is the only hiphop artist signed to local label Amigo/Amiga Recordings is a testament to his work uniting the local hiphop and indie-rock worlds—a marriage that also sees tonight's hiphop bill augmented by the Angry Orts. Until the Next Time We Meet is Tope's most mature recording to date, a mellow but hype meditation on love and relationships with strong thematic parallels to the classic '70s soul records he has sampled and championed. RF

JERRY JOSEPH AND THE JACKMORMONS
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) The first thing out of Jerry Joseph's mouth on his new double album is this: "I've got to tell you, I'd really love to get high." I'm guessing he achieves this goal almost immediately thereafter, because for the rest of the very lengthy Happy Book, Joseph and his longtime band the Jackmormons offer cheerfully blunted, jammy rock that's both energetic and totally glassy-eyed, dude. The breadth of this band is formidable, which is both a blessing and a curse: Joseph and Jackmormons effortlessly jump through countless stylistic hoops in their widely varying roots-rock, with guest appearances from members of the Decemberists and Richmond Fontaine—but sucking in the entire bulk of Happy Book can feel like trying to read an oversized book on a crowded bus. The band ushers the new record into the world at tonight's release show, and be certain there will be some jamming 'til the wee hours—you have been informed/warned. NL

WELCOME HOME WALKER, TENSIONS, DJ PAULTIMORE
(Star Bar, 639 SE Morrison) Welcome Home Walker is a very, very good rock 'n' roll group who released an astounding grand slam of a pop record last year entitled Duds! (10 tracks, a meager 25 minutes, countless hooks, not a single "dud"), plus an excellent music video set to the album's slick and ambiguous, Flamin' Groovies-esque single "Suds!"—which is arguably this planet's finest, if not its only, tribute to bubble bath/booze catharsis. Frontman Devin Clark, who sounds like a rambunctious Colin Blunstone, is an LA dweller these days, so there's no telling when their next Portland show will be. MORGAN TROPER

RIVIERA, PILAR FRENCH INTENTION, NICOLE CAMPBELL
(Secret Society, 116 NE Russell) Alt-country band Riviera left Chicago—understandably, as that city has many, many other alt-country bands—and made the move to Portland, where there are no alt-country bands. Oh, I kid. Actually, the term "alt-country" unfairly boils down Riviera—who, yes, have their share of twang and strum and high, lonesome harmonizing, but also have depth in each of their songs, telling fairly involved stories in plain and appealingly uncomplicated ways. Their Watching Western Skies EP is an impressive introduction to these new Portlanders, offering ditties both pretty and nitty-gritty. Pilar French also has a new EP, Deliver, and it's a gently traipsing affair that's lighter and looser than her 2009 album Alive; she performs with her backing band, the Pilar French Intention, to introduce the EP into the world tonight. NL

SATURDAY 3/17

SANDPEOPLE, CHASE MOORE, FLASHMATICS, CALVIN VALENTINE, QUIZ, V. DEWAYNE
(Branx, 320 SE 2nd) See My, What a Busy Week!

WIZARD RIFLE, JONNYX AND THE GROADIES, SONS OF HUNS, YOUTHBITCH
(Backspace, 115 NW 5th) There are many gadgets and gizmos and loop pedals that musicians can use to sound huge, but in the end, the true beef has to come from the players. And Sam Ford and Max Dameron of Wizard Rifle offer beef in blazes. Their Speak Loud Say Nothing, a self-released CD that's being re-released by Seventh Rule Records, is a butcher's delight. Its five meaty piles of deconstructed post-hardcore are held together by huge riffs and pummeling drums; think Fugazi doing Big Business with the Melvins for some High on Fire heaviness. On top of this mess, Wizard Rifle also channel a little Queens of the Stone Age at their strangest. The result is some seriously weird but very delicious headcheese. ARIS WALES

SEUN KUTI AND EGYPT 80
(Mt. Tabor Theater, 4811 SE Hawthorne) Two months ago, Seun Kuti was protesting the removal of fuel subsidies as part of Occupy Nigeria. Now, two months into his 30th year, he's back on tour with his dad Fela's world-famous band, Egypt 80. Being a funky protester is Fela's legacy, one Seun has been upholding since he was just 14 with absolute conviction: The lyrics of last year's From Africa with Fury: Rise catalog atrocities perpetrated by the white man, the police, the military, and other objectionable characters. But the music imagines a world of justice and sunshine, where people are too busy dancing to oppress each other. Egypt 80 still perform many of Fela Kuti's classics, and even though they now collaborate with Western luminaries like Brian Eno, they have held on to all the best elements of Afrobeat—horns, layers of percussion, call-and-response choruses, and Seun's signature saxophone. REBECCA WILSON

THE RAINCOATS, GRASS WIDOW, TOMBSTALKER, STAY CALM
(Star Theater, 13 NW 6th) There's always been something of a mystique surrounding UK post-punkers the Raincoats, and along with that, a cult following as well. All it took was the Cobain Bump and a couple of reissues in 1994 to pull these women out of the periphery, at least for a few hours. And so it remains: Those who are in the know, know, and those who aren't, really should be. The band's sparse studio output—especially 1981's Odyshape and their 1979 self-titled debut—are must-owns. It's music that sounded fresh then and still does. The Raincoats are again coming out of hibernation in 2012, performing at the Jeff Mangum-curated All Tomorrow's Parties festival as well as a few scattered US dates, including their first Portland performance in nearly three years. Needless to say this is not to be missed. MARK LORE

KMRIA, SASSPARILLA
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) It wouldn't be St. Patrick's Day in Portland without the welcome return of KMRIA (that's Kiss My Royal Irish Arse to you, boyo). Including members of the Decemberists, Eels, the Minus 5, and many more among its ranks, this all-star Pogues cover band reconstitutes (after taking last St. Pat's off) for this highest of holy days. As ever, KMRIA shall play the patented Celtic punk of the Pogues, with singers Casey Neill, Ezra Holbrook, and Scott McCaughey taking turns tackling the gutter-drunk gnarr of Shane McGowan—hopefully without too much method acting. It's a night for black beer (not that green stuff) and a casual stroll toward oblivion. Just be sure to find your way back. NL

SUNDAY 3/18

FRANK FAIRFIELD
Al's Den, 303 SW 12th) Read our article on Frank Fairfield.

VETIVER, GOLD LEAVES
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Gold Leaves makes more of that mellow, golden-glowed folk rock that pervades Seattle like Starbucks franchises. One can grow blasé about this sound (I sure have), but this Gold Leaves fella, Grant Olsen (ex-Arthur & Yu), writes songs in this mode with slightly more craftiness and subtlety than most in the crowded field; "Endless Dope" is especially lovely. The Ornaments, his 2011 full-length on Hardly Art, strikes a resonant chord of nonchalant down-heartedness à la the immortal Lee Hazlewood. In a similar vein, San Francisco Sub Pop fixtures Vetiver amble and drawl like they have more time to do exactly what they want than you do. Andy Cabic and his crew really know folk-rock history, and they emulate the music's greats with exquisite aptitude and care. DAVE SEGAL

MONDAY 3/19

BÉISBOL, MORNING PARADE, ADVENTURE GALLEY
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!

FRANK FAIRFIELD
(Al's Den, 303 SW 12th) Read our article on Frank Fairfield.

TUESDAY 3/20

FRANK FAIRFIELD, GARETT BRENNAN
(Al's Den, 303 SW 12th) Read our article on Frank Fairfield.

MUDHONEY, FEEDTIME
(Star Theater, 13 NW 6th) Mudhoney frontman Mark Arm should take some of the credit for nudging Aussie noise-blues trio feedtime into the light (although the "Arm Bump" sounds more like a medical issue than a stamp of approval). A power trio in the truest sense, feedtime—NO CAPS—began chugging away in the late '70s along with Aussie brethren the Moodists and the Celibate Rifles, and were gone a decade later. Sub Pop just released a boxed set entitled The Aberrant Years, a four CD/LP collection from the band's early daze with Aussie label Aberrant Records. The band will perform a handful of US dates, including a pair—fittingly—with Mudhoney. Simply put: One listen to "Motorbike Girl" and you will forget everything that arrived after feedtime. ML Also see My, What a Busy Week!

ONSLAUGHT, MPIRE OF EVIL, EVILDEAD, MOTORTHRONE
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) There are many reasons for metal fans to be very excited about the Scream for Violence tour. First, there's English thrash legends Onslaught, who since 1985 have never once jumped the pond to bring their metal forces to the US. Second, there is Mpire of Evil (a name that feels very gross to type). Mpire formed in 2010 and features Mantas, Antton, and the Demolition Man, who all spent time as members of Venom at one point or another. Unfortunately, the not-so-exciting part of this show is both band's new stuff. Onslaught's recent efforts are pretty basic thrash with little to no frills. It's not the worst, but there's not much to it. Mpire of Evil (ICK!!!) kind of sound like your uncle's thrash band would if they did a reunion show. It's incredibly clunky, and feels like old men desperately trying to rehash past glories. But it'll be worth attending, because you can rest assured that Onslaught will reach into their back catalog, and Mpire will play lots of classic Venom songs, even though for part of the time you may have to grin and bear it. AW

WEDNESDAY 3/21

KRONOS QUARTET
(Kaul Auditorium at Reed College, 3203 SE Woodstock) See My, What a Busy Week!

THE MAGNETIC FIELDS, HOLCOMBE WALLER
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) See My, What a Busy Week!

FRANK FAIRFIELD, MEMBERS OF BLACK PRAIRIE
(Al's Den, 303 SW 12th) Read our article on Frank Fairfield.

DUSTIN WONG, WOODSMAN, WHITE FANG
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Read our article on Woodsman.

DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS, ROBERT ELLIS
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) Since early December, Drive-By Truckers have been performing sans their erstwhile secret weapon, bassist/singer Shonna Tucker. That's a shame, because she brought pathos to the country-western tunes she sang on last year's Go-Go Boots that I'm not sure the dudes in the band will be able to replicate. Still, their well-crafted tearjerkers stand on their own, evoking smoky bars and small-town tragedies. Even after starring in a documentary and achieving wide renown, Drive-By Truckers still sound like they'd rather be sitting on the back porch, spinning depressing yarns about missing husbands and preachers who murder their wives. In addition to their thunderous Southern rock, Drive-By Truckers can make country music like it was 40 or 50 years ago—sad, but with touches of cynicism that keep things from getting emotionally manipulative. RW

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