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Up & Coming

This Week's Music Previews

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WEDNESDAY 7/10

SUNDOWN AT ECOTRUST: ONUINU, ADVENTURE GALLEY
(Ecotrust, 721 NW 9th) See My, What a Busy Week!

MORNING RITUAL, DOUBLEPLUSGOOD, CHARTS, KIFFO, RYMES
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Morning Ritual's The Clear Blue Pearl is a lush and astonishing album, one that's surprisingly easy to listen to. The Clear Blue Pearl only masquerades as an indie pop album; in reality it's a single composition by local jazz keyboardist Ben Darwish. He's joined by William Seiji Marsh on guitar, Russ Kleiner on drums, and, awesomely, the Shook Twins on vocals. It was only a matter of time before a musical mastermind got those ladies off their back porch, took away their fucking banjos, and set their eerie harmonies to really good music. It has finally happened, and it works. The Clear Beautiful Pearl would be a great album anyway, thanks to its innovative song structures, perfect production, and the fact that, for a concept album, it's miraculously egoless. Still, their beautiful voices keep the wonkier jazz bits down to earth, infusing them with warmth and soul. REBECCA WILSON

KEPI GHOULIE, DOG PARTY, THE BLOODTYPES, PRIMITIVE IDOLS
(Katie O'Brien's, 2809 NE Sandy) If you missed Groovie Ghoulies founding member Kepi Ghoulie last August at SMMR BMMR when he was backed by the Mean Jeans, here is another chance to catch the prolific garage pop-punk staple playing a plugged-in set. He's doing two shows tonight at Katie O's, one early all-ages and a later set for the 21-and-over crowd. Last time I caught Kepi I was blown away by his next-level stage banter. He turned his acoustic set into a storytelling session, while peppering in enough jokes to hold the audience's attention whenever he put the guitar down for a few minutes. His effortless wit and enthusiasm left me feeling more connected to the music than I would have been had he rattled off songs one after another. Weeks after that set ended, any between-song banter I heard at a show felt bland and contrived after witnessing Kepi's mastery. CHIPP TERWILLIGER

THE OBLIVIANS, THE MEAN JEANS, THE PYNNACLES, SEX CRIME
(Dante's, 350 W Burnside) When I interviewed the late Jay Reatard for a story about five years ago, we spent a good chunk of time talking about the Oblivians. It's not hard to hear how the band's sleazy, snot-nosed, iconic garage rock informed Reatard's own songwriting sensibilities, but he credited the fellow Memphians for taking him under their collective wing and introducing him to records that bridged the gap from early influences like the Monkees to more obscure punk rock. The Oblivians were no more at the time, though Eric Oblivian (né Friedl) still ran Goner Records (which happened to release some of Reatard's early recordings). Fast forward to 2013, and the Oblivians have just released Desperation, their first studio album in 16 years. MATT SULLIVAN

ALTO!, MILLION BRAZILIANS, FRED MEYER
(Ash Street Saloon, 225 SW Ash) Alto! are the sound of the basement show filtered through the ethnographic present. Their debut self-titled LP is a study in progressive rock and harnessed noise, self-released on guitarist Derek Monypeny's Raheem Records. Within the three-song opus, droning samples and Eastern-scale guitar shredding fuse with bombastic dual drums to channel Kraut idols of the past, with scintillating speed and unwavering commitment to a mnemonic formula of polyrhythms and syncopated melodies. With a proper vinyl release celebrated tonight, Alto!'s jam manifesto sets south to tour the West Coast, spreading their honed blend of psych-prog to the heartland and beyond. WYATT SCHAFFNER

THURSDAY 7/11

LOGAN LYNN, BIG DIPPER, CONQUISTADOR, RICA SHAY, DARLING GUNSEL
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) See My, What a Busy Week!

THE GOOD HUSBANDS, TOPE
(White Eagle, 836 N Russell) Read our article on Tope.

CHRIS NEWMAN'S 60TH BIRTHDAY BASH: NAPALM BEACH, SNOW BUD, BOO FROG, THE DIVINING RODS, CNX
(Star Theater, 13 NW 6th) Read our article on Chris Newman and Napalm Beach.

MICKEY AVALON, SEXBOTS
(Dante's, 350 W Burnside) Mickey Avalon's bio reads like a West Coast reboot of a Lou Reed song. The alleged ex-model/ex-junkie/ex-hooker/current rapper is noted for getting booed off the stage during a 2007 Red Hot Chili Peppers tour, but a few years ago after hearing his catchiest song, "Jane Fonda," I went to check out one of his shows. It was a mind-blowing, campy atrocity of glam rap featuring a bed on stage, "sexy" backup dancers climbing a chain-link fence backdrop, and, unfortunately, a lot of songs less catchy than the hit. I figured I wouldn't be hearing much from him again, but recently his new single "Girlfriend" has gathered some attention. I wouldn't necessarily recommend going to Dante's to listen to a sleazy ex-model from LA rap about his dick, but this is Mickey Avalon, and his shtick is bigger than yours. BREE MCKENNA

FLIGHT: JON AD, SAPPHO, JAMAR, RICHIE STAXX
(The Rose, 111 SW Ash) A relatively new night in Portland's electronic musical sphere, Flight is quickly becoming a go-to event for quality dance music. It's the latest brainchild of music producer and event promoter Chris Demetras, AKA Art of Hot, who's been working within the electronic music industry for well over two decades. The fifth installment of the night will feature several talented performers including Jon AD, the legendary DJ, label owner of LoDubs Records, and owner/operator of Portland's very own electronic-music record superstore, Anthem Records. DJ Sappho will also throw down her usual funked-up booty-bangin' jams as well. Step into the mile-high club for your pre-weekend summer dance party, and don't forget your dancing shoes. CHRISTINA BROUSSARD

FUTURE BIBLE HEROES, LUXURY LINERS
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Partygoing is Future Bible Heroes' third album, and their first in 10 years. But what it really feels like is a makeup for last year's phoned-in Magnetic Fields album, Love at the Bottom of the Sea. Stephin Merritt, music's most committed misanthrope, is a dictator of a small universe of bands, each of which is a permutation of the rest: On this one, Christopher Ewen writes the backing tracks, and Claudia Gonson trades vocal duties with Merritt, as she has since 1991. The cozy friendship of Merritt's world belies his deep conviction that life is fundamentally absurd, and the happy synth-driven pop enfolds lyrics that uniformly despair of humanity. In "Drink Nothing but Champagne," Merritt imagines a cloned Jesus who returns to cheerfully deliver a singular message: "Don't drink the water, 'cause water's mostly piss, children/Drink nothing but champagne/It makes life shorter...". RW

FRIDAY 7/12

IN THE COOKY JAR: DJ COOKY PARKER
(Eagles Lodge, 4904 SE Hawthorne) See My, What a Busy Week!

PORTLAND CELLO PROJECT
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!

THE NEIGHBOURHOOD, JMSN
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) Just in case you've been wondering who does that song on KNRK that's like, "It's too co-o-o-o-old for you here, so let me ho-o-o-o-o-old both your hands in the holes of my sweater," they're called the Neighbourhood, and they show promise. Their bittersweet, hollowed-out-log sound pairs perfectly with rain and pale skin. Formed in California two years ago, the Neighbourhood's first album I Love You has hit the ground running with just the right amounts of poppy riffs and distorted effects for angsty folks to jump on board. Though that radio hit, "Sweater Weather," is probably the best song on the album, the time is ripe to see them before they get too big for their sweaters. ROSE FINN

THE BAPTIST GENERALS, BLESST CHEST
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) It took the Baptists Generals 10 years to record Jackleg Devotional to the Heart, the follow-up to the Denton, Texas band's 2003 album No Silver/No Gold. (Band ringleader Chris Flemmons reportedly junked an early version of the album back in 2005.) Not that Jackleg is a monolithic endeavor like m b v or a mammoth clusterfuck like Chinese Democracy. Far from it. It's a fairly modest, folk-flecked, sleepy-eyed album that has more than a few moments of transcendent liftoff, most notably the "Turnunders and Overpasses"/"Oblivion" two-fer that comes somewhere near the end of Side One. Off-kilter lyrics and arty shards of pop stick out from the band's organic arrangements, which are a little reminiscent of Califone, and the songwriting is uniformly terrific, even if Flemmons' enthusiastically bleared howl is not always as, um, musical sounding as the rest of the album. Beatlesesque string arrangements complete the confection, making Jackleg Devotional to the Heart a rewarding and lasting listen. NED LANNAMANN

SATURDAY 7/13

MISSISSIPPI STREET FAIR
(N Mississippi between Fremont & Skidmore) See My, What a Busy Week!

BASTILLE DAY: SUN ANGLE, GULLS, TOPE, WOODEN INDIAN BURIAL GROUND, CHARTS, & MORE
(Pix Patisserie, 2225 E Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!

PORTLAND CELLO PROJECT
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week!

DEAFHEAVEN, MARRIAGES
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) Read our article on Deafheaven.

IAN McLAGAN
(White Eagle, 836 N Russell) As a member of Small Faces, British keyboardist Ian McLagan's earned an exalted place in the rock pantheon. His soulful swells, strident vamps, and gorgeous filigrees helped make Small Faces one of the greatest R&B/psyche-pop units of the '60s. From that heady high, McLagan went on to play with Faces and Ron Wood, plus on sessions with luminaries like Chuck Berry, the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Frank Black, and Nikki Sudden. He's also been a member of Billy Bragg's band since 1997 and has been leading his own trad blues-rock group in Austin, the Bump Band, since 1977. Expect a combo of Small Faces/Faces tunes plus selections from his solo career; here's hoping he does "Here Comes the Nice." DAVE SEGAL

LORD MASTER, MARMITS, THUNDERBIRD MOON DEBRIS
(Slim's, 8635 N Lombard) A few days after a visit from Nashville shredders Diarrhea Planet, Lord Master are inviting you to come down to Crap City. No, that's not a cheap shot at the lovely neighborhood of St. Johns or the fine establishment that is Slim's. It's actually the title of the debut album from the local avant-rock four-piece. The journey you will take over the course of this nine-song release is far more pleasant than the name might lead you to believe. It's chockfull of fine-tuned hooks and catchy pop songwriting, and never takes itself too seriously. "Rock 'n' Roll Is Excellent" is a quirky love letter to the genre featuring bouncy sprechgesang vocals that instantly bring to mind Fred Schneider of the B-52s. I'm not sure I'm ready to pack a U-Haul and move just yet, but a visit to Crap City is worth the trip. CT

WEEDEATER, ASG, STONEBURNER, SIOUX
(Ash Street Saloon, 225 SW Ash) What has 30 fingers, 29 toes, and a ton of riffs? Weedeater! One of the two better-known factoids about bassist/vocalist "Dixie" Dave Collins—aside from him being a founding member of cult-favorite sludge-metal pioneers Buzzoven—accounts for the missing toe; he accidentally shot one off while cleaning his shotgun three years ago. The other is that he frequently barfs onstage. All this feeds into the legend of Weedeater, the Collins-fronted stoner metal trio with a penchant for puns (see: Jason... The Dragon, And Justice for Y'all, the band name, etc.) and an affinity for mind-altering substances. But aside from all the extra-curricular stuff, Weedeater's molasses-slow groove and 10-ton riffs are reason enough to get blunted. MS

SUNDAY 7/14

DEAD PREZ, GRAY MATTERS, PACKARD BROWNE, SAINT WARHEAD
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE César E. Chávez) See My, What a Busy Week!

GRANDPARENTS, WL, GRAMMIES
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Read our article on WL.

MONDAY 7/15

SHUGO TOKUMARU, TARA JANE O'NEIL
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Tara Jane O'Neil earned accolades for her bass and vocal work in the Slint-onic post-hardcore band Rodan and in folky indie-rock duo Retsin, among others. The Portlander's solo output throughout the 21st century has veered toward introspective balladry of dew-dappled beauty. On TJO's 2011 album with Japanese vocalist Nikaido Kazumi, the twosome delicately shatter typical song forms with abstract, tangled structures and problem-child vocal oddities. Shugo Tokumaru is a Japanese multi-instrumentalist pop star who writes cute, instantly catchy songs accentuated by quirky percussion that wouldn't ruffle the down on a baby bird. Fun fact: Shugo's cover of Peter Bjorn and John's "Young Folks" permanently busted the Twee Meter. DS

TUESDAY 7/16

OLD AGE, THE WE SHARED MILK, CHARTS
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) See My, What a Busy Week!

JIMMY EAT WORLD, X AMBASSADORS
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) I foolishly anticipated Jimmy Eat World's new album Damage would be a spiritual descendent of the group's heart-wrenching emo masterpiece Clarity—or at least of its followup, the considerably more commercial but still frequently arresting Bleed American. Jim Adkins himself described Damage in an interview prior to its release as "raw and warm," and mentioned that "there was less of an emphasis placed on being clean and perfect" during the process of making the album—was it unreasonable to assume? Turns out "raw and warm" by Adkins circa 2013's standards is still pretty prefabricated compared to the group's landmark '90s releases. But the good news is that the songs are by no means bad: Like antecedent pop craftsmen Paul McCartney or Tom Petty, Adkins' songs are always sturdy, if sometimes emotionally vacuous. And the other good news is that, unlike some bands from the same era, J.E.W. never purposefully disowned their emo roots. They still play "Crush" from time to time, and that's all that fucking matters. MORGAN TROPER

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