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Up & Coming

This Week's Music Previews

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WEDNESDAY 2/6

BIG FREEDIA, DJ BEYONDA
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) See My, What a Busy Week!

SOUNDGARDEN
(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway) Of all the bands that could have reunited from the grunge era, Soundgarden is number one on my list. Not just because they were always my favorite band to come out of that period, but also, getting back together with someone with as unique a guitar-playing style as Kim Thayil just might keep Chris Cornell from making any more poor musical decisions. Remember Audioslave and the solo album produced by Timbaland, anyone? (Or are we all still trying to forget?) When Soundgarden released its retrospective Telephantasm in 2010 with the perfect new song "Black Rain," my expectations for a full-length went soaring into the cosmos. Upon delivery, 2012's King Animal falls just barely short. They display the same talent of writing disjointed riffs and bizarre rhythms, but every song has that slick, commercial glaze over it. None of the tracks has the filthy harshness of "Fourth of July" or "Jesus Christ Pose." King is a good, solid effort, but it's too bad even the old ones like Soundgarden can't get away with having an edge anymore. ARIS WALES

MAGIC MOUTH, KINGDOM CRUMBS, DUAL MODE
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) It's no secret that the magic mouth of Magic Mouth is the one positioned on Stephfon Bartee's face. His singing is mind-blowing to such an extent that Magic Mouth could be a runaway success as an a cappella solo project. Indeed, the song "Pick It Up" off their Believer EP comes close: Featuring only voices—soulful and dark—and Ana Briseño's urgent drumming, it sounds almost like a neo-spiritual. It's a real spine-tingler, partly because it's so different from the euphoria of their other songs. None of this is to say that the other three members of Magic Mouth are peripheral. Brendan Scott's funk bass, Peter Condra's guitar, and Briseño's drums are essential to their driving soul-funk, which demands to be danced to. REBECCA WILSON

ELLIE GOULDING, ST. LUCIA
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) Ohhhh, Ellie Goulding! I have seen her hair everywhere these days, painted on buildings and in store windows. I just found out she used to date Skrillex, which makes me sooooooo happy because it makes me think maybe their haircuts were just dating and they had to play along? Like if you were a conjoined twin and your twin really fell for someone, you'd have to sit through their coffee chats and makeout sessions. That's probably what Skrillex and Goulding were doing, so you should respect them for making the sacrifice. As for her music—and it does not escape me that I spent a paragraph talking about a female musician's hair, but I'M SORRY, that's just the way this one worked out—it doesn't make me feel one single feeling. Maybe confusion. I think everyone thinks she's really smart because she has a British accent, but that's not a real thing, you guys. It just sounds like regular pop to me. ANNA MINARD

AAN, INCAN ABRAHAM, CUCKOO CHAOS
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Portland band Aan is releasing their much-anticipated 7-inch on Cool Summer Records, and tonight we celebrate. Mystery Life offers two songs that are a most excellent tease of their rumored upcoming full-length. Bud Wilson sings fierce melodies that range fearlessly from delicate whispers to explosive howls. The band continues to re-imagine pop and create music that ventures into the weird and unpredictable, while remaining catchy and fun; plus they're tighter than ever with the addition of Jeff Bond on guitar. Aan has been rapidly captivating Northwest audiences with their unique sound, and I expect that trend to spread with the unbound energy of their new material. RACHEL MILBAUER

CLOUDBURST, MEDICINE CABINET
(Revival Drum Shop 1465 NE Prescott) Cloudburst is only one of Tim Westcott's alter egos, but when a guy has been building sound universes for going on 20 years, he probably has room for any number of electronic doppelgangers. Westcott's best compositions tend to be long, minimalist, and ambient. Longform works give Westcott the time he needs to weave together found sounds with the subtle intricacies of his own creativity. The result is intentional and thick, a fully realized atmosphere to soundtrack the alien film playing in your brain. Westcott isn't adverse to the occasional melody or dance beat, but it's sparse and judicious. A year ago, guitarist Dan Duval and reed player Lee Elderton formed Medicine Cabinet after playing together in a bunch of local jazz ensembles. Flux is at the heart of jazz, and these guys have taken this to heart, specializing in whatever contemporary avant-garde chamber music is supposed to be. RW

THURSDAY 2/7

INTO THE WOODS' THREE-YEAR ANNIVERSARY: NAOMI PUNK, LITANIC MASK, WL, FF, DJ ROM COM, MAGIC FADES
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See My, What a Busy Week!

NICKI BLUHM AND THE GRAMBLERS, THE BROTHERS COMATOSE
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Nicki Bluhm has received some attention over the past year, not for any recorded output so much as the "Van Sessions" (which amount to very well-executed sing-alongs shot between tour stops) she makes with her band the Gramblers. The clips have seen these country rockers cover everyone from Funkadelic to Hall & Oates (their cover of "I Can't Go for That (No Can Do)" has received almost two million YouTube views). That said, these guys are true road warriors. NB&TG are Cripple Creek and Laurel Canyon wrapped into one, and vocalist Bluhm (whose husband, Tim, also plays with the Mother Hips) has become an electrifying frontwoman—whether she's onstage or behind the wheel. MARK LORE

FRIDAY 2/8

OLD JUNIOR, OLD GROWTH, SCIENCE OF YABRA, THE CUT 45, SLEEP TALKERS, THE BETWIXTIES, JOHN SUTHERLAND
(Kenton Club, 2025 N Kilpatrick) Read our article on Old Junior and Old Growth.

MARCO BENEVENTO, GRAMMIES
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Read our article on Marco Benevento.

MICHAEL HURLEY, DRAGGING AN OX THROUGH WATER, HYENA, PAPER UPPER CUTS
(Record Room, 8 NE Killingsworth) The recent Smithsonian Folkways reissue of Michael Hurley's debut recordings, appropriately dubbed First Songs and first released in 1964, has come at a crossroads of sorts for the folk-roots guru. With a new generation of stripped-down folksters idolizing Hurley's matter-of-fact dissertations on werewolves or his desire not to live in the twilight zone, his legendary lo-fi approach is more popular than ever. Hurley, however, remains somewhat of an underground enigma despite releasing more than 20 albums over six decades, and influencing newer buzzworthy artists like Jessica Pratt and, perhaps more indirectly, C.W. Stoneking. Getting the chance to see Hurley, a resident of Astoria for many years now, inside the intimate confines of Record Room is going to be one of the more special shows this year. RYAN J. PRADO

HOT WATER MUSIC, LA DISPUTE, THE MENZINGERS
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE César E. Chávez) Gainesville's Hot Water Music are touring the country on their first record in eight years. That record, Exister, shows what happens when punks are still working out some demons but have something to prove as musicians. The group has arguably the best rhythm section in punk rock today, not to mention two soulful, wounded, and hopeful singer/guitar players. The message comes through loud and clear in a Southern punk-rock soul gospel revival, where you would almost expect these shows to be played in a large tent with rows of pews. Exister places Hot Water Music very firmly at the beginning of the third chapter in the story of their band—with the driving anthems of Forever and Counting being chapter one, the Epitaph years as the second, and now the solid rock 'n' roll of Exister to keep the story going. JAY WILLIAMS

WAMPIRE, ETERNAL TAPESTRY, THE SHIVAS
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Wampire has grown into one of those distinctive local bands about which you'll probably be saying, "I saw them when." They recently signed with Polyvinyl Records and are now labelmates with fellow Portland-based musicians STRFKR. Meanwhile, Jake Portrait of Unknown Mortal Orchestra produced Wampire's upcoming album, Curiosity, which the band has described as a collaborative songwriting effort between themselves and Portrait. Synthy sounds and organ pitches introduce their advance track, "The Hearse," and promise a swirling, dark, but dance-y vibe for the full-length. Tonight they play with local psychedelic and surf rockers Eternal Tapestry and the Shivas. RM

SUPER DIAMOND, UNDER A BLOOD RED SKY
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) On a hot August night, a friend and I went to the Crystal Ballroom to see Super Diamond, the purveyors of "a high-octane [Neil] Diamond tribute show" and, arguably, the world's preeminent musicians devoted to such a noble cause. Yet even as the realization dawned that we were, perhaps, the youngest people in the crowded room—we are both in our early 30s, practically dead—our hopes remained high: This was Super Diamond, and if anything can improve "Shilo" (unlikely), then that something would surely be a surplus of octane. But we ended up leaving before the ending of what felt like a very long show. The ideal of any cover band experience is to remind the audience how much they like the particular band and/or songs being covered, and while Super Diamond certainly accomplished this, they did so with the sort of tongue-in-cheek showmanship usually witnessed at bar mitzvahs or off-Strip acts in Vegas: This was a show, and one devoted as much to the virility the gentlemen of Super Diamond possessed as to Diamond's effortless neo-classics—the true siren calls that had beckoned us there. "Get out of the way, Super Diamond, and simply transfer the Essence of Neil to us," I remember mumbling, sadly, into an overpriced plastic cup of Terminator Stout. But no one heard at all, not even the beer. ERIK HENRIKSEN

THE WOOD BROTHERS, SETH WALKER
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) Whatever musical voodoo was in the water consumed by the Wood family growing up, it's worked wonders. Chris and Oliver Wood have forged a virtuosic trail of bluesy roots, neo-bluegrass, and plain old rock/soul over four studio albums, one EP, and two live LPs. The second installment of their live series, Live 2: Nail and Tooth, is another solid slice of the group's mastery of expansive soundscapes, made to look effortless via the modest instrumentation of double bass and acoustic guitar. The brothers' pseudo-stony dispositions—not to mention Chris' already sizable influence via the success of the Medeski Martin & Wood collaboration—are a subtle glaze on an otherwise hyper-impressive musical dexterity that you really should experience live. RJP

SATURDAY 2/9

THE HELIO SEQUENCE, TALKDEMONIC, YETI SWEATER
(Cleveland High School, 3400 SE 26th) See My, What a Busy Week!

THAO AND THE GET DOWN STAY DOWN
(Jackpot Records, 3574 SE Hawthorne) I hate the term "girl crush" because who gives a shit if, as a woman, your crush is a girl or a boy? That said, I have a total no-pronoun-necessary crush on multi-instrumentalist Thao Nguyen of Thao and the Get Down Stay Down. She is, at once, folk, punk, feminine, and badass. She has collaborated with Mirah and the Portland Cello Project, and she totally nailed a cover of "Push It" with Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein as her backup band. Be my best friend, okay, Thao? We can make cupcakes and listen to records and it'll be like an episode of Girls, but without the insufferable conversation and constant bad decisions. MEGAN SELING

MARK KOZELEK
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) Mark Kozelek is well known for treating his audience like absolute shit. But the abuse is definitely worth tolerating—for the uninitiated, Kozelek is the brains behind Red House Painters and Sun Kil Moon, two musically different but evenly brilliant vehicles for Kozelek's gorgeous pop dirges. Two tracks off the Red House Painters' eponymous second (which fans have rechristened Rollercoaster)—"Grace Cathedral Park" and "Katy Song"—are among the seven songs that have ever actually brought me to tears. Kozelek's arrogant, sure—but I'll argue arrogance is permissible if you're actually brilliant. MORGAN TROPER

OM, SIR RICHARD BISHOP
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Bay Area trio Om have morphed from theosophical doom-metal minimalists to theosophical psych-drone minimalists boosted by an uncorny Eastern mysticism. They're so heavy they're featherlight. Ain't nobody like 'em. Master guitarist Sir Richard Bishop is a national treasure whose sound is international. He's revivified ye olde American baroque-folk convolutions of John Fahey and his acolytes, but his 10 dexterous, articulate digits speak fluently in Arabic, Central European, North African, spaghetti Western, raga, drone, and other modes, too. Experiencing the fluidity, beauty, and inventiveness of Bishop's playing is spiritually revelatory. DAVE SEGAL

ONUINU, PHONE CALL, DUTTY WILDERNESS
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Like all musical rages, the disco-pop trend has had varying results, many of which have been annoying. As Onuinu, Dorian Duvall is at the top of the genre—and it seems likely to last. For one thing, you get the feeling that he's in it for reasons other than sexy clothes and the fun of copying beats from much-loved songs that are four decades old. Duvall is a craftsman, and the breadth of his knowledge deepens his dance confections so that they become truly interesting rather than merely enjoyable. His first full-length, Mirror Gazer, is definitely a dance album, but its bouncy beats and addictive melodies are awash in synth effects that range from dreamy and new age to something along the lines of Toro y Moi. The album's standout, "Always Awkward," epitomizes everything that's best about Onuinu: the sexiness of Duvall's voice, rock-solid songwriting, and detail-oriented production. RW

SUNDAY 2/10

MIX IT UP FUCK IT UP RELEASE SHOW: LUNCH, TIGER HOUSE, FLESH LAWN, TINY KNIVES, BIG BLACK CLOUD
(Slabtown, 1033 NW 16th) Read our preview of the Mix It Up, Fuck It Up release show.

ENSLAVED, PALLBEARER, ROYALTHUNDER, ANCIENT VVISDOM
(Branx, 320 SE 2nd) The metal magazines' and websites' 2012 best-of lists were all bursting with depressive doom bands. Taking it slow and heavy is all the rage these days, and Pallbearer is at the top of the heap. Their full-length debut, Sorrow and Extinction, is the perfect meld of tragic melodies and crawling sludge. Plus, the beautiful and decipherable vocals of Brett Campbell are a refreshing change of pace to the gurgling growls of other doom acts. And tonight, you'll be thanking the dark lord profusely for the sounds of Pallbearer, because you'll need that crushing doom to blast the diarrhetic shit that is Ancient Vvisdom out of your ears. If Staind and Creed were your bag back in the day, by all means, enjoy the acoustic jams of Vvisdom. But if you find an entire set of interludes and build-ups that lead to nothing useless, and you understand that two V's don't make a W, then you'll definitely want to turn your back to the suck. AW

HEART BEATS: NO KIND OF RIDER, SUCKER FOR LIGHTS, THE WILDISH
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) For more than five years, Vibe of Portland has helped fill the void caused by cuts in arts and music programs in elementary schools across the city. Through hands-on classes, taught by Portland artists and musicians, children have the opportunity to stack their chops learning the essentials of guitar, percussion, choir, illustration, and general art. But Vibe can't do any of that without your help. That's why tonight they're going all out to generate funds for their future phases, inviting Portland bands like No Kind of Rider, Sucker for Lights, and the Wildish along for the ride. Don't be a jerk; go, so your kids can grow up to be better at everything than we are. RJP

MONDAY 2/11

BROADWAY CALLS, BURN THE STAGE, LEE COREY OSWALD, ABSENT MINDS, ALL FALLS THROUGH
(Backspace, 115 NW 5th) In the handful of years that have vanished since the release of the superb Good News, Bad Views, Portland-based punk act Broadway Calls have been relatively quiet. The culprits are the usual suspects—a switch in members and labels, plus the usual everyday dregs that harness the momentum of young bands—but the trio has emerged with a recording worthy of such a prolonged silence. Again teaming with production/drummer god Bill Stevenson, the wildly energetic Comfort/Distraction cements Broadway Calls' legacy as one of the last worthwhile survivors of the infertile pop-punk landscape. Stevenson's crisp production on Comfort/Distraction reminds us all of the time when Milo was still slogging away at college, while frontman Ty Vaughn's hook-heavy choruses follow a similar path to the band's closest not-quite-pop-punk peers, like those of the Gaslight Anthem, or the Menzingers (who open for Hot Water Music on Friday). There is little doubt Broadway Calls can make a Monday night release party in the doldrums of February inspirational. EZRA ACE CARAEFF

OFF!, NEGATIVE APPROACH, BAD ANTICS
(Branx, 320 SE 2nd) It was sweet on many levels when OFF! released their self-titled debut LP last year. Hearing punk rock so primal and pissy, where substance trumped style, was as refreshing as a urine cake on a Saturday night. Not to mention the band was fronted by OG Black Flag vocalist Keith Morris, a guy who's probably three times the age of most kids who call what they do punk. Morris is still pissed. It doesn't even matter how, or why—just know that he's going to spit one-minute fireballs of pure punk vitriol all night long. When Morris sings, "You think you're the king of the scene that you created" in "I Got News for You," it's just another way of saying, "Get off my lawn!" And you better listen. ML

TUESDAY 2/12

RHYTHM AND BOUNCE MARDI GRAS
(Dig a Pony, 736 SE Grand) See My, What a Busy Week!

GRAVEYARD, THE SHRINE
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) Read our article on Graveyard.

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