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Up & Coming

Highlights in Music the Week of May 3-9

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THURSDAY 5/3

PDXOXO: ANYA MARINA, EMMETT MONTGOMERY, MICHAEL LERNER
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!

FELLWOODS, R.I.P., BROXA
(East End, 203 SE Grand) Read our article on Fellwoods.

INTO THE WOODS QUARTERLY: STAY CALM, ONUINU, GRAPEFRUIT, WHITE FANG, DJ SECRET KEBAB
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) A word of advice: Look your hottest for Into the Woods' latest showcase of live performances and music videos. The crew will be filming the show (footage for "an undisclosed project"), and you will definitely be on camera. Talk about meta. The surprisingly prolific documentary collective, who produce band videos for free, has curated a lineup featuring Stay Calm, Onuinu, DIY darlings White Fang, and the arpeggiated kosmische musik of Grapefruit, the latest guise of Charlie Salas Humara, whose record release party is in tandem with this show. ITW's videos can vary drastically in weirdness, as well as quality—which is not a criticism because, again, it's all done by volunteers. Their latest batch premieres tonight and includes Neal Morgan, Eleanor Friedberger, and YACHT in, naturally, a laser tag arena. REBECCA WILSON

TY SEGALL AND WHITE FENCE, NUCULAR AMINALS, YOUTHBITCH
(Star Theater, 13 NW 6th) Ty Segall's been heralded by critics as the "next Jay Reatard" too many times to count, but the similarities are, for the most part, superficial. There's something distinctly Californian about Segall's songs and indolent style of singing, and his latest LP, last year's Goodbye Bread, displays more solo Lennon than Oblivians influence (chances are Segall would have picked up a guitar and begun cutting records even if that whole punk thing had never happened). But like Reatard, Segall is overwhelmingly prolific—he's been involved in more than 40 releases since his first in 2005, and his latest, a split LP with psychedelic pop band White Fence titled Hair, is one of his most consistent to date. MORGAN TROPER

GAUNTLET HAIR, YUKON BLONDE, DANA BUOY
(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) Summer Bodies, the debut album from Dana Buoy, is one of those happy records where you just can't decide which song you like best. They're all good! Dana Buoy—the alter ego of Akron/Family percussionist (and Portland dude) Dana Janssen—isn't the type of project one would expect from someone known best for his drumming. Sure, it's undeniably rhythmic, but not overly so—nor does Janssen go the Phil Collins route and ladle on the treacly piano ballads. Rather, he's made a tropical-tinged, supremely appealing collection of songs that's expansive, expressive, and emotionally personal, even as it reaches toward a communal universality. Janssen recognizes the intrinsic sturdiness of a simple phrase of melody, and his dreamy arrangements blow glowy, trippy smoke rings around 'em instead of obscuring them with busy work. Summer Bodies is a terrific record, and a more than worthy solo debut from a member of one of the most versatile, forward-looking bands of the past decade. NED LANNAMANN

COLIN STETSON, SARAH NEUFELD, GREGORY ROGOVE
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) One could take the cynical route and say that avant-garde bass saxophone player Colin Stetson is well accepted in the zeitgeist because he's worked with acts like Arcade Fire and Bon Iver and is lauded by institutions like Pitchfork. Or one could simply listen to his music and have her or his mind blown. Stetson records with no loops or overdubs, and the utterly wondrous, alien compositions he creates are nothing like you've ever heard. GRANT BRISSEY

FRIDAY 5/4

WILD FLAG, THE THERMALS, EMA
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!

JOE PUG, BAILIFF, KASEY ANDERSON
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Joe Pug makes literate folk sound fresh again, plain and simple. His second full-length album, The Great Despiser, expands the grandeur of 2010's Messenger with fractured tales of the American dream and crisp arrangements full of texture. The Austin-by-way-of-Chicago singer/songwriter's quick rise to national consciousness is likely to receive another bump with the release of Despiser, as will the well-deserved perpetuation of Pug's fan-first ethos. His punk-rock propensity for keeping ticket prices low aside, Pug's music is made sweeter by the uplifting bent of his compositions. Take the album's title track, featuring backing vocals by the Hold Steady's Craig Finn, in which Pug pontificates on forgotten bonds and surfacing hope amid gritty guitars and plunky piano. RYAN J. PRADO

GRANDPARENTS, THE WE SHARED MILK, SURFS DRUGS, DJ TED
(Ella Street Social Club, 714 SW 20th Pl) As another Portland summer impends, a fresh crop of local bands prepare to endear themselves to swooning, sun-drunk concertgoers, and tonight's lineup is a promising triumvirate of music makers who want to be your new favorite. The We Shared Milk are riding the tide of last fall's highly enjoyable EP SUH, marked by stylized vocals and tight-knit throwback instrumentation. Surfs Drugs, with a name both enticing and annoying, have been popping up on bills all over town lately, but unfortunately they don't have much of an internet presence to match. A search reveals more about their excitement for the upcoming season of Rigsketball (the tournament sport inaugurated last summer in which bands play three-on-three basketball games using a hoop attached to a traveling van) than any opportunity to hear their laidback, guitar-driven music—one long song on Soundcloud aside. Come on, guys. We're looking forward to Rigsketball, too—but give your potential fans something to go on! MARANDA BISH

BRIAN JONESTOWN MASSACRE, THE BLUE ANGEL LOUNGE
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) Since Brian Jonestown Massacre formed in 1990, the band's had fortysomething members come and go while making 11 studio albums, seven EPs, two live and four compilation records, and 15 singles. At a live show, you never know which version of the group you're gonna get—the neopsychedelic, the moody folk or country blues, the shoegaze, or, after 2010's Who Killed Sgt. Pepper?, the retro-electronic. The only consistency is the band's one constant member, Anton Newcombe. The capricious king of asshole geniuses never fails to deliver a wildly unpredictable performance. KELLY O

SATURDAY 5/5

BLACK PRAIRIE, PERHAPST
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Black Prairie are much more than a quick shot in the arm for those suffering from whimsy withdrawals in the wake of the Decemberists' indefinite hiatus. Their second album, The Storm in the Barn, just came out, and while its title and Appalachia-with-accordion aesthetic sounds like a natural, if more somber, follow-up to their Feast of the Hunter's Moon, it's actually the soundtrack to a play of the same name at the Oregon Children's Theater (which runs at the Winningstad Theatre through May 20). The Storm in the Barn may nominally be a children's album, but it has to be the scariest children's album in existence. Only the last song, the haunting "Do You Believe," has lyrics. The 16 preceding instrumental tracks evoke a landscape that's as sinister as it is dusty, and sounds not unlike Cormac McCarthy if he decided to record a bluegrass album. RW

MAHMOUD AHMED
(YU Contemporary, 800 SE 10th) It was a bit of a miracle when Mahmoud Ahmed came to Portland to play a show on New Year's Day, 2011. Now the Ethiopian singer is returning for another, this time at the YU arts space, which seems to be getting into the habit of hosting more musical events to the public. This one's not to be missed: Ahmed's glitzy version of traditional Amharic music doesn't have a ton in common with the familiar Ethiopian instrumental jazz-funk that came into vogue among Western listeners a few years ago. Rather, Ahmed marries the slowly curling, snakelike approach to melody that's also found in other styles of music like Qawwali with very crisp, accessible jazz-pop arrangements. Now in his 70s, Ahmed is a superstar at home; seeing him here in Portland might just be a twice-in-a-lifetime experience. NL

DELTA SPIRIT, WATERS, TIJUANA PANTHERS
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) Avoiding the sophomore slump—if that's even a thing anymore—with 2010's History from Below, San Diego's shimmery rock crew Delta Spirit sounds downright reborn on their new self-titled LP. The band's renowned experimentalism is ever-present, with warm guitar accents and bold melodies courtesy of vocalist Matthew Vasquez. Fantastic moments of atmospheric bombast abound on loud tracks like "Tear It Up," segueing into more reserved, synth-y sonic blasts on tunes like the catchy "California." "Idaho," on the other hand, is a rollicking sermon on the malaise of the Potato State, awash with alternately chopping and sweeping guitar patterns. The dichotomy works, and is one of many great examples as to why Delta Spirit took up residency in the Billboard 200 upon its release, and why the band has amassed a varied and loyal fanbase, which is bound to only keep growing. RJP

SPELLCASTER, WITCHBURN, DON JAMIESON, JIM FLORENTINE, EDDIE TRUNK
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) It's Saturday night and you're a metalhead. There are usually only two options of things you can do. Option A: Sit on your sunken couch, guzzle beers, and smoke doobies with your bros, listening to records while discussing such things as the impact Metallica cutting their hair had on the metal world. Option B: Don your prized denim vest, go to a ripping show, drink some beers, and smoke doobies with your bros. You're in luck, because tonight you can do both in one place (well, maybe smoke the doobies somewhere else). Jim Florentine, Eddie Trunk, and Don Jamieson have taken VH1 Classic's That Metal Show on the road—although for some reason they don't seem to be allowed to call it that. There will no doubt be plenty of metal philosophizing, trivia, and other silliness. Backing them up are Portland's heavy metal gods supreme Spellcaster, and Witchburn, a heavy riff rock band who, despite the fact that there are only two sets of balls between the four of them, are Seattle's ballsiest band. Looks like you get to have your head and bang it too! ARIS WALES

SUNDAY 5/6

WILLIS EARL BEAL, COLIN JENKINS, VIKESH KAPOOR
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Read our article on Willis Earl Beal.

THE WORLD RADIANT
(Kelly's Olympian, 426 SW Washington) At one point, Southern Belle encapsulated everything great about the all-ages music scene, and as a result, they seemed destined for wider success. Instead, the group dissipated after a little over two years, and bandleader Ross McLeron quietly retreated. McLeron's new songwriting vehicle, the World Radiant, which includes Ben Johnson from the Rainy States on bass, puts him right back where he left off—as one of Portland's best songwriters (imagine a slightly more optimistic Either/Or- era Elliott Smith). While Southern Belle's breakup was a heartbreaking tragedy for a certain generation of showgoers, the World Radiant fills the gap more than adequately. MT

MONDAY 5/7

AGESANDAGES, SUN ANGLE, DEATH SONGS
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) See My, What a Busy Week!

THE BLACK KEYS, ARCTIC MONKEYS
(Rose Garden, 1 Center Ct) Read our article on the Black Keys.

LOTUS PLAZA, WYMOND MILES, FRANKIE BROYLES
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Bradford Cox gets a lot of the facetime in Deerhunter, but it's guitarist Lockett Pundt who likely reins in Cox's dalliances with electronica. Or, I suppose I'd like to believe that. At the very least, Pundt was responsible for two of the best songs on 2010's Halcyon Digest. His side project Lotus Plaza is a natural extension of his Deerhunter contributions—in the songs themselves, but also in the shimmering guitar lines that run throughout his latest release, Spooky Action at a Distance. "White Galactic One" is punchy and demure at the same time, with a twisted lead and Pundt's echoey vocals. It reminds me a little of his excellent Deerhunter contribution "Desire Lines." It also perfectly captures Pundt's stoic and reliable songwriting abilities. MARK LORE

TUESDAY 5/8

FATHER JOHN MISTY, HAR MAR SUPERSTAR
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Read our article on Father John Misty.

AMEN DUNES, PRESCRIPTION PILLS, DJ YETI
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) It's hard to identify which element of Brooklyn-based Amen Dune's music is more arresting. There's the plaintive reverberations of electric guitar that veer from pleasing melody to clamoring distortion, achieving an eerily affecting personification; then there's bandleader Damon McMahon's unique vocal yawp, which oscillates through a range of tone and expression, ringing in aching clarity with alternately strangled sweetness and unsettling edge. On recordings such as last year's Through Donkey Jaw (on Sacred Bones Records), the combined elements blur across a spectrum of the manmade and organic, culminating in an alchemy of human sentiment and aural rumination that is both discombobulating and sublime. In live performance, subtle, mallet-led percussion augments the songs and buzzing digital instrumentation, giving body to McMahon's haunting song-skeletons. MB

WEDNESDAY 5/9

BLACK MOTH SUPER RAINBOW, LUMERIANS, PICTORIALS
Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See My, What a Busy Week!

ORDER OF THE GASH, DIMESLAND, NASALROD, BRONSON ARM
(Plan B, 1305 SE 8th) Order of the Gash (featuring the Merc's own Aris Wales on the skins) sounds evil... then not so evil, then evil again. Okay, it's evil. And relentless. The trio's new full-length Configuration takes Norwegian black metal and turns it on its ear. Yes, there's the speed and precision, and a vocalist who sounds like Beelzebub, but Order of the Gash also have the punk-rock 'tude that informed many of the NWOBHM bands of the late '70s. Basically, OotG don't follow the familiar metal tropes or take themselves too seriously. In fact, the best song on the record is called "Rigormortis on the Rocks"—it's fast and brutal, but it's more Evil Dead 2 than The Exorcist. ML

REVA DEVITO AND ROANE NAMUH, TxE, DJ KEZ
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Soul and R&B fans in Portland are usually S.O.L. for local live shows. You're 100 times more likely to see us digging through dusty crates and groovin' on our headphone-jams than at a venue (or, we're at a venue dancing to someone else's records). Live music? What's that? Luckily, Portland singer Reva DeVito and DJ/producer Roane Namuh have paired up to create and perform their latest release Cloudshine. Making a departure from DeVito's 2011 debut EP, where her ethereal, loungy vocals floated somewhere above a collection of beats with divergent moods, Cloudshine is an R&B album, reminiscent of Janelle Monáe or Estelle. There is something to be said for a focused sophomore project—just because you can make music in more than one style doesn't mean you necessarily should. Cloudshine gives the people what they want—slow jams for the honeys! ROCHELLE HUNTER

SAMIYAM, MONO/POLY, RYAT, MAST AND BONES
(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) Los Angeles-based record label Brainfeeder is a definitive meeting point for experimental beatmakers. Run by Flying Lotus, the don of LA's future beat scene, the label has been a key platform for the chopped-up, bulky basslines that have kept hiphop fresh by putting it in an IDM context. Tonight's lineup features three artists from the label. Samiyam has a way of deconstructing and reassembling sounds so that they take on the qualities of a clogged drain, coaxing your body into moving along with the undulating grunge. In addition to releases on Brainfeeder, Samiyam's tracks have also come out on the highly respected Hyperdub, Ninja Tune, and Warp record labels. Ryat combines skittery sounds with gorgeous vocals in a way that just can't avoid comparison with the creative weirdness of Björk, while Mono/Poly's heavier, more intense sound is appropriately matched to the political undertones in his music. AVA HEGEDUS

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