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Up & Coming

This Week's Music Previews

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WEDNESDAY 6/5

HOLOCENE TURNS 10: SHY GIRLS, MAGIC MOUTH, MINDEN, & MORE
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) See My, What a Busy Week!

HAUSU, INDUSTRIAL PARK, CELLMATE
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) See My, What a Busy Week!, and read our article on Hausu.

BIKE THIEF, DE LA WARR, RARE MONK
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) On Facebook, Bike Thief say they "officially formed" in January of this year, a claim that gives the enchanting impression that their debut release, the six-song Ghost of Providence, sprang forth spontaneously on January 1, a sonic New Year's miracle. Of course, music this good doesn't arise out of nowhere, or even in a hurry. With its five members and dozen auxiliary contributors, Bike Thief are no lo-fi garage band. The diversity of instruments and the eerie harmonies suggest the swelling chamber pop of more recent Loch Lomond albums. But there is something extra special and exciting here, because this is a first record, one that hints at any number of avenues for a follow-up: It could be an esoteric concept album, a noise rock opus, a folk opera. Ghost of Providence contains elements of all these things. In particular, the title tracks (pts. 1 and 2) hint at a darkness that could be taken to sinister depths. REBECCA WILSON

THURSDAY 6/6

PEDALPALOOZA KICKOFF PARTY: FEDERALE, GRANDPARENTS
(Branx, 320 SE 2nd) See My, What a Busy Week!

MIKAL CRONIN, SHANNON AND THE CLAMS, OLD LIGHT
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Read our article on Mikal Cronin.

BLANK REALM, COOL MEINERS, PACIFIC CITY NIGHTLIFE VISION, FOCUS TROUP, DJ SPENCER CLARK, DJ MIKE McGONIGAL
(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) Tonight is a hallmark in the comings and goings of artistic talents in Portland, as Mike McGonigal, the creative force behind Yeti magazine and supporter of many innovations in art and music—locally and internationally—gives his last DJ set as a Portland resident (he's moving to Detroit later this year). The guests of honor are Australian band Blank Realm, who strike me as the ultimate incarnation of the thankfully abandoned "lo-fi" tag—embodying the aesthetic of forcibly relaxed yet viscerally scintillating pop music (which in this case, as with much of this alleged genre, is actually recorded with top-notch fidelity). Cool Meiners, a hybrid project of Eat Skull/Hunches talents, will also play tonight, as well as Focus Troup, the new project from prolific performer John Rau, whose early recordings bristle with the life-affirming qualities that hum in every Brian Eno song. MARANDA BISH

FRIDAY 6/7

MICHAEL JACKSON TRIBUTE: KENNY WIZZ
(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway) See My, What a Busy Week!

DIESTO, DRUNK DAD, ROHIT, REDNECK
(Ash Street Saloon, 225 SW Ash) Read our article on Drunk Dad.

LAURA IVANCIE, SOLOVOX, MANOJ, LINDA BROWN, CELLOTRONIK
(Star Theater, 13 NW 6th) Spanning spectrums of musical terrain, Portland's Laura Ivancie stokes a sultry, soulful serenade on Marrow. The new EP spends time bridging gaps between R&B, electronica, and soul, with Ivancie's explicitly simple lyrics thankfully anchored by the sheer sexiness of her voice. Lines like "I wanna get fucked up with you" (on "Up with You") almost surely resonate better on the dance floor. Additionally, it's fun to note that the granddaughter of former Portland Mayor Frank Ivancie (1981-1985), a staunchly conservative Catholic politico, is brazen enough to utter such a line to tape. But Ivancie's no one-trick pony, getting into Eastern European gypsy-soul on "Mr. Dinosaur" and shoegazing slow jams on "Candy." RYAN J. PRADO

EYELIDS, HOUNDSTOOTH, DENIM WEDDING
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) No one's heard Eyelids yet, but take a look at the Portland band's pedigree and you'll get a good idea of what's about to go down. Core members Jonathan Drews, John Moen, and Chris Slusarenko have had their paws in a number of noteworthy musical projects, including the Jicks and the Decemberists. They were also part of Robert Pollard's jangle-pop band Boston Spaceships. Eyelids have been working on a new record with Adam Selzer at Type Foundry Studios. The project looks to exploit the members' love of Kiwi pop and the paisley underground. Which is to say, this might be the best band you've never heard. Yet. MARK LORE

ANAMANAGUCHI, CHROME SPARKS, THE SHORTSLEEVES
(Backspace, 115 NW 5th) Premiere chiptune group Anamanaguchi make music that sounds like a convulsive, coked-out interpretation of the Dragon Warrior soundtrack. But it's the variety of pop influences that extend beyond standard nerd-dom to which the band's immense popularity can likely be attributed: Songwriter and guitarist Peter Berkman claims to be immensely influenced by Weezer and the Beach Boys, in addition to the classic videogame scores that obviously inform much of the band's sonic leanings—the grainy, 8-bit aspect of their music is programmed using the same hardware responsible for the music in old NES and Gameboy games. Their penchant for pop is evidenced on the band's new record, the ludicrously titled Endless Fantasy, specifically on the cut "SPF 420," which totally does sound like Weezer... in outer space! MORGAN TROPER

FRESH: CRYSTAL FIGHTERS, ALPINE, CHROME SPARKS
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) It is possible to enjoy Crystal Fighters, the British-Spanish dance band, but a few key rules must be followed: (1) Most importantly, be among herds of the dancing, like the ones found at Holocene's monthly Fresh dance party. (2) Be in a place that is loud enough so that you can't discern the fatuously spiritual lyrics. (3) Drink enough so that you can't detect the singer's fake Spanish accent. And then you should be set! By no means should you listen to Crystal Fighters early in the morning, while reading poetry/the newspaper/celebrity gossip, or while driving in rush hour. The music is lush and bombastic, but the lyrics—and their self-serious delivery—will make you mad. They really are that bad. Take "Wave," the single from their just-released Cave Rave: "Get on the wave, universal suns/One thousand suns/With the power of one thousand universes from the mind of one." RW

RYAN BINGHAM, WILD FEATHERS
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Ryan Bingham's professional accolades read like someone who's been around a lot longer than his 32 years. But the Grammy Award-winning, Academy Award-winning, Golden Globe Award-winning singer/songwriter (he had quite the success with "The Weary Kind" from the 2009 film Crazy Heart) is probably only just reaching his prime. Bingham, who split with his ballyhooed Dead Horses in 2012, along with his longtime label, Lost Highway, returned late last year to release Tomorrowland, his fourth studio album, on his own Axster Bingham Records. The gravel-voiced singer's intuitively timeless songs continue to shape-shift and expand on traditional folk, roots rock, blues, and country. RJP

SATURDAY 6/8

CEREMONY, SURVIVAL KNIFE (EARLY SHOW)
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Looking for a way to pump yourself up for the Naked Bike Ride? Here is an all-ages hardcore-punk matinee show in one of the best sounding rooms in town. California's Ceremony seamlessly channel different eras of hardcore and punk into something totally fresh. They blend quick and raw powerviolence tracks with classic punk rock to create an end product that is always an engaging live spectacle. Don't miss this chance to see vocalist Ross Farrar, shirt pulled over his head and mic in mouth, bounce off the cabin walls of the Doug Fir. Olympia's Survival Knife includes members Justin Trosper and Brandt Sandeno, both of the Pacific Northwest noise-rock band Unwound. They have a 7-inch out on Sub Pop, and hearing the heavy, ripping, and amazingly catchy B-side "Name That Tune" should be just the thing to take your morning coffee buzz to the next level. CHIPP TERWILLIGER

BEAR & MOOSE, OLD AGE, A HAPPY DEATH, THE WE SHARED MILK (LATE SHOW)
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) There are a lot of surprising things about Bear & Moose, but the most shocking is that there are only two people in the band. Eric Mueller, the singer and guitar player, and Simon Lucas, on drums and cell phone, manage to sound like three times that. On Inside the Eyewall, their second album, they use their robust superpowers to create some of the smartest, most expectation-thwarting music I've heard this year. At its most basic, the album is fun and noisy, thanks to big, bright Pavement-y stoner jams and tinges of psychedelic surf. "Days of the Week," one of the weirder tracks, combines a loop of frogs, a lilting guitar riff, and a vocal that sounds like a medieval chant. This kind of thing can easily be jokey at one end of the spectrum, or humorless at the other, and yet it's neither. In fact, the harmonies in the chorus are one of the vocal highlights of the album. RW

ALKALINE TRIO, BAYSIDE, OFF WITH THEIR HEADS
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE César E. Chávez) There's something inexplicably listless about the new Alkaline Trio album, My Shame Is True. It sounds like it has a cold. It doesn't mark any sort of dramatic departure for the band, stylistically; this is mostly everything those who still expect things from Alkaline Trio have come to expect from a new Alkaline Trio record. If that's you, it's definitely not a disappointing effort. Maybe it's Matt Skiba's vocals—always more or less the focal point of the band—which sound deliberate and detached here, an approach that hardly suits his signature bleeding-heart teenage (at age 37) poetry. Alkaline Trio have always been a little too calculating for their own good; My Shame Is True, however, signifies what could very possibly be a complete emotional plateau. At least they'll probably play "Hell Yes." MT

THE HOT LZs, BITCH SCHOOL, THE RANSOM
(Tonic Lounge, 3100 NE Sandy) Raised on Love Gun-era KISS, every Thin Lizzy record ever, and probably a copious amount of the Stooges, Portland's Bitch School doesn't exactly break new molds as much as it completely ignores them. The ladies' new 7-inch, Get Nasty on You, is a well-worn but ruggedly wailing crossroads of barroom metal that is best enjoyed with hands white-knuckled around a cratered Rainier. With references to drinking beer, getting nasty, and basically raising all kinds of hell (sample lyric: "Your love is hotter than Mexico"), Bitch School's sneering howls are the perfect antidote to the kind of heady, often ridiculous, self-flagellating realms that hard-rock bands attempt to traverse. This is fun, fuck-you, sing-along rock 'n' roll. RJP

ALMOST DARK, RAINSTICK COWBELL, TIME AND THE BELL, CLASS M PLANETS
(Foggy Notion, 3416 N Lombard) When Rainstick Cowbell—AKA Scott Arbogast—finished his third album, Damage Control Damage, he promptly dropped off something like nine copies at the Mercury office. And when he followed up with an email letting us know about tonight's record release show, he attached a photo of himself nude in the bathtub, penis floating freely in the water. So yeah, it's safe to say this guy is looking for some exposure in the press. Luckily, Damage Control Damage is worth mentioning—it's a bitter, dark descent into Arbogast's interior psychology. Songs wind and meander with the mostly minimal instrumentation of voice and guitar ("Please, don't call it folk for fuck's sake," writes Arbogast). It's punk-rock nihilism of the mind, and without the release that accompanies more physical music, it's oppressive—but often fascinating. So is Rainstick Cowbell needy for attention? Yeah, probably. Is he overlooked? Definitely. But no, we're not printing that dick pic. NED LANNAMANN

SUNDAY 6/9

METHOD MAN AND REDMAN, SERGE SEVERE, DJ WELS
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!

ROSE FESTIVAL: SHAGGY, CARLY RAE JEPSEN, SEAN KINGSTON, & MORE
(Waterfront Park, 1020 SW Naito) Pop music has always been about sex. But rarely has the subject been so brazenly penetrated as deeply as with Shaggy's smash ode to adultery, "It Wasn't Me." Sugary smooth guest vocalist Rikrok steals the show, extolling the ins-and-outs of getting caught. "Picture this," he croons, "we were both butt-naked, banging on the bathroom floor." While grinding alongside the porcelain, however, Rikrok's girlfriend suddenly appears. (It seems he forgot that he'd given her the extra key.) Seething, the girlfriend remains silent as he turns and resumes ravishing the neighbor. Rikrok is bouyed, however, by a denial stupefying in its simplicity: "It wasn't me." And here it is a quip that knows no bounds. Caught kissin' on the counter? "It wasn't me." Busted bangin' on the sofa? "It wasn't me." Even had her in the shower? "It wasn't me." All the while, wrapped in such a sunny, unshakeable melody (and perhaps whatever it is Shaggy's blathering on about), "It Wasn't Me" proves that ignorance can indeed be bliss. ANDREW R TONRY

UNCLE TUPELO TRIBUTE: COFFEE CREEK COLLECTIVE, HOOK AND ANCHOR, MBILLY, LEWI LONGMIRE, NATE WALLACE
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) I've come to the realization that Uncle Tupelo is probably the one band I will never see take the now commonplace victory-lap style reunion tour. It's okay, though. Jeff Tweedy has Wilco, Jay Farrar has Son Volt, and Portland has the Coffee Creek Collective. The group, which takes their name from an Uncle Tupelo side project used by the band to play their favorite dive bar once they got too big, prides themselves on playing the music of Uncle Tupelo "pretty true to life." A whiskey-soaked night with these devotees and a few of Portland's finest roots rock and Americana musicians is a great way to celebrate the band that, embrace the term or not, paved the way for the alt-country genre over two decades ago. Plus, you know that "Black Eye" is going to hit harder here than it ever would at an overblown Coachella reunion show. CT

MONDAY 6/10

PHAROAHE MONCH, GRAY MATTERS, BAD HABITAT, DESTRO
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE César E. Chávez) Since cracking open hiphop's cerebellum with the dizzyingly dark, swirlingly complex, and intellectually sizzling Organized Konfusion in the early '90s, New York's Pharoahe Monch has remained many things: poignant, profound, political, punk as fuck, and even, perhaps, a bit picky. Over 20-plus years Monch has released precious little: three records with Organized Konfusion, and three solo outings (and relatively few guest spots). Part of this, it seems, is Monch's desire to complete whole albums rather than chase singles. Monch's LPs establish arc, flow, and narrative through-lines. Although he's always tugged at the threads of conspiracy and injustice—not to mention gleefully throwing wrenches at pop music's twisted hierarchy—in the Obama era, Monch has become increasingly appalled by the US's imperial warmongering abroad and ever-expanding threats to both privacy and equality at home. Monch's most recent record, 2010's W.A.R. (We Are Renegades), sounds prescient, as if written in response to the news of today. Which makes the long-awaited, soon-coming P.T.S.D. (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) all the more scintillating. Expect to catch a glimpse tonight. ART Also see My, What a Busy Week!

FULL OF HELL, HABITS, SEVEN SISTERS OF SLEEP, WORTHLESS EATERS
(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) Personally, I'm not really a big fan of hardcore, or any band that even slightly peppers their music with elements from said genre. Everybody just seems all puffed-up and mad, and I just can't get behind music fueled by hate and fury alone. But the Pennsylvania/Maryland-based outfit Full of Hell I can get behind, because I sure don't want to be standing in front of them. On their new full-length Rudiments of Mutilation, Full of Hell sounds really, really, REALLY fucking pissed off. Rudiments is 10 tracks and 24 minutes of pure ferocity. You can almost hear the throbbing veins in their foreheads vibrating with wrath. Its grinding noise and blasting hardcore riffs induce total, eye-widening terror. Perhaps the main reason I enjoy Full of Hell so much is because I'm scared not to. ARIS WALES

FREE ENERGY, BATTLEME
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Exactly 64 seconds into its sophomore album Love Sign—self-released in January to avoid "perfect soundtrack for summer" buzz, I guess?—Free Energy provides plainspoken guidance on how to best enjoy its music: "Turn it on. Turn it up. Let the moment breathe!" As the internet splinters music into a million pieces, these Philly power-pop partisans recall a simpler time, when bands like Cheap Trick, the Cars, and T. Rex walked the earth and the cowbell wasn't a tired punchline from a TV show. Love Sign is a sweet, nostalgic record packed wall-to-wall with songs about girls: hanging out with 'em, dancing all night with 'em, falling in love with 'em before the sun comes up. Free Energy is a throwback band with a knack for massive hooks that aim straight for your heart and hips, but want little to do with your brain. BEN SALMON

TUESDAY 6/11

XRAY FEST: REV SHINES, DJ SAM ADAMS
(Produce Row, 204 SE Oak) See My, What a Busy Week!

WILD ONES READING: JON MOOALLEM, BLACK PRAIRIE
(Powell's, 1005 W Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!, and read our review of Wild Ones.

THE BATS, EAT SKULL
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) Read our article on the Bats.

GENERATIONALS, YOUNG EMPIRES
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Generationals make timeless pop, mining the best practitioners from the past four decades. The New Orleans two-piece have a few records under their belts, but their latest, Heza, is easily their best. "Spinoza" is such an earworm you might actually need surgery to remove it. Not many bands can bring sounds from vastly different eras into a cohesive whole, but Generationals have managed to pull it off. Heza, their first for Polyvinyl, should attract a few more ears, and maybe put no-frills pop back in the spotlight. There's nothing flashy here. But a good hook is forever. ML

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