BOAT, DIRTY MITTENS, THE NIGHTGOWNS
(Backspace, 115 NW 5th) Read our article on Boat.
LAURA GIBSON, HOLCOMBE WALLER
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) There's nothing in this world that could improve a Laura Gibson concert. Well, okay, maybe one thing: Holcombe Waller. This delectable pairing of singer/songwriters will include dual sets and some rare collaborations by two of the finest voices Portland music has to offer. EZRA ACE CARAEFF
SHUT UP AND DANCE: DJ GREGARIOUS
(Jack London Bar at the Rialto, 529 SW 4th) Named for the seedy hotel of yesteryear, the Jack London Bar is your newest source for dancing, comedy, and sundry infotainment. Tonight's grand opening includes the debut of both Call of the Witty comedy and Shut Up and Dance in their new home, plus DJs, a BarFly happy hour, and... a "meat cake." MARJORIE SKINNER
PRIORY, FINN RIGGINS, MACKINTOSH BRAUN
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) With their self-titled debut, Priory have made a polished and capable record that contains a few moments of greatness. Aided by the assured hands of Point Juncture, WA's Skyler Norwood, the Portland quartet's sounds are sometimes based on the folktronic palette of nylon-string guitar and pitter-pattering programmed percussion, but the songs build into earnest structures that bear both a progressive, exploratory edge and a mint-condition pop classicism. Kyle Dieker's high falsetto works in tandem with Brandon Johnson's lead—occasionally bringing to mind the harmonizing Laws brothers of Hosannas—which lightens the load of Priory's often weighty material. The sing-songy "Devil vs. Heater" is a giddily buoyant pop song, one of the most immediately infectious tracks released by a local band in recent months, and while the rest of the album is more ponderous, it's proof that not only is Priory a band full of compelling ideas, it's more than capable of executing them. NED LANNAMANN
BARRY BRUSSEAU, EZZA ROSE, SEAN CROGHAN
(Record Room, 8 NE Killingsworth) The act of tucking your punk-rock past into bed and moving forward can be as difficult a task as any musician has to face. Barry Brusseau knows this all too well, as his previous musical endeavors were heavy on the noise (the Jimmies, Legend of Dutch Savage), and his new EP A Cheap Charming Sound is a grand departure from volume altogether. Possessing an ornate baritone (Who knew?), Brusseau channels the hushed intimacy of a smoldering Leonard Cohen ballad on this six-song EP that is made up of three originals and three covers. Brusseau's songs are striking and barren, his voice the main component, while the covers show great range, from old-timey blues ("Cool Iron Bed") to the puzzling choice of Bob Seger's "Night Moves." The EP is limited to 50 copies and comes beautifully wrapped in a hand-stitched canvas sleeve, topped off by a one-inch button of Brusseau's face. Listen to the EP, and wear this man's face on your lapel with pride. EZRA ACE CARAEFF
MACROCOSM, PURPLE RHINESTONE EAGLE, AYAHUASCA TRAVELERS, BLUES DRUID
(East End, 203 SE Grand) If there is one show where it should be totally acceptable to hand out one-hitters to those in attendance, this is it. Purple Rhinestone Eagle will bring enough psychedelic guitar and drum thud that you'll feel like you're trapped inside a blacklight poster (one of those vintage felt ones, not the crappy kind you get at the fair or Spencer Gifts). Local act Macrocosm are lesser known, but equally pummeling. "I and Thou" is seven-and-a-half minutes of monolithic noise that can lay waste to eardrums, skulls, and city blocks. Picture the destruction of Mothra vs. Godzilla, except with a better soundtrack. MARK LORE
A GUY CALLED GERALD, BRYAN ZENTZ, TOM MITCHELL, DAVE BATE
(Groove Suite, 440 NW Glisan) As a founding member of the groundbreaking Manchester electronic dance band 808 State and creator of 1988's classic acid house track "Voodoo Ray," A Guy Called Gerald (Gerald Simpson) can take significant credit for germinating the early sounds of Chicago and Detroit across the pond in England at a pivotal time for dance music in Europe. Over the last 20 years, Simpson has reliably produced original dance tracks ranging from house, to drum and bass, to downtempo. His music is less bound together by genre than it is by a general warmth, sexiness, and tendency to be on the leading edge. His latest single—a collaboration with Benno Blome and Highgrade Records boss Tom Clark—is a prime example of this. Despite his old school status, Simpson has stayed ahead of technology and he's known for bringing his entire production suite into the club, which should be a nice lesson in both music history and modernity. AVA HEGEDUS
MINUS THE BEAR, THEMES, EMPTY SPACE ORCHESTRA
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) There was a period of time where Minus the Bear stopped liking Minus the Bear. At least, it sure seemed that way. The stop/start technical noodling and short-attention-span lyrics that were such integral cogs to the Seattle band's signature sound were kicked to the curb for 2010's Omni, an album that sounded closer to Maroon 5 than the Minus the Bear we've known and loved. To the band's credit, Omni is a grand statement—since it seemed as if the band had grown stagnant with the template that served them so well on their three previous full-lengths (technical precision + goofy song titles)—and better to be weighed down by ambition than to succumb to the pressure of recording the same album over and over again. Whatever, I'm just killing time until Sharks Keep Moving reunite. EAC
THE DRUTHERS, TYLER STENSON, BRYAN FREE
(Someday Lounge, 125 NW 5th) Tyler Stenson bills his music as "elegant folk," and who am I to disagree with that? The just-released Another Gleam is his re-recording of his 2008 album See That Gleam (he better complete the trifecta with a remix album entitled Gleaming the Cube), and it's a perfectly passable recording of sensitive dude folk music, not from removed from the quivering Gap commercial that is Damian Rice, or a surfer brah Jack Johnson. The sensibility of re-recording your old record aside, there is nothing to dislike about Another Gleam—it's utterly perfect in so many ways—yet it feels empty, like a pristine model home that lacks the charm of a more ramshackled, lived-in domicile. That's not to say you won't fall head over heels for Stenson (fans of Rice or Johnson certainly might), it's just that music with a little risk has always sounded better to my ears. EAC
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