TOXIC HOLOCAUST, HOLY GRAIL, KRUM BUMS, EXCRUCIATOR, DR. LOOMIS
(Branx, 320 SE 2nd) The first track on Toxic Holocaust's new record Conjure and Command is the aptly named "Judgment Awaits You." It's 1:56 of blisteringly fast early-'90s Sepultura-esque thrash—the perfect way to kickstart an extremely brutal album that makes the wrath of God seem cowardly in comparison. Proceeding tracks like the chugging, bloodthirsty "Bitch," the slow and slithering "I Am Disease," and the straight-ahead rocker "The Liars Are Burning" contain all the elements that have made thrash great over the years, yet none of them come off as stale or done to death. Joel Grind is a modern thrash-metal genius. That, or he has an amazing record collection that provides endless inspiration. Either way, we win in the end. ARIS WALES
CLAUDE VONSTROKE, THE PERFECT CYN, SAPPHO, RYAN WALZ
(Refuge, 116 SE Yamhill) Claude VonStroke's instant classic "Who's Afraid of Detroit?" had to be the most played summer dance-floor hit of '06. The song came to define VonStroke, making his sound patently recognizable in a vast sea of competing bleeps and bloops. He seemed to be at the absolute top of his game, as did his San Francisco-based tech house imprint Dirtybird Records and now, five years later, VonStroke hasn't slipped at all. As a DJ he has incrementally remade himself with each new production, exploring the possibilities of ever-chunkier basslines while gaining popularity on the international dance-music circuit in the process. His recent Makeovers remix collection chronicles the wide range of sounds he has produced over the years, all of which will surely be heard in tonight's set. As an added bonus, presale tickets include VIP access to make the acquaintance of Mr. VonStroke at a private artist meet and greet. AVA HEGEDUS
SCREAM, TRAUMA, RABBITS, FRENZY, DJ SKELL
(East End, 203 SE Grand) With the exception of a back flip from H.R. or Minor Threat kicking it on the porch of the Dischord house, there are few things in DC punk more iconic than Scream. Primarily known outside the beltway as that one band Dave Grohl played with before joining Nirvana (ex-Pen Cap Chew), Scream churned out tidy blasts of melodic hardcore for nearly a decade (1981-1990) before splitting and eventually reforming in '09. The band's original lineup (Grohl-less; he joined in '86) is currently all accounted for and their just-released Complete Control Recording Sessions EP was produced by Mr. Foo Fighter himself. He won't be behind the kit tonight, but drummer Kent Stax—the man who he replaced, and who later replaced him—can easily hold his own. EZRA ACE CARAEFF
RAY LAMONTAGNE, VUSI MAHLASELA
(Edgefield, 2126 SW Halsey, Troutdale) Ray LaMontagne is the talented, nice guy whose music you don't mind receiving wider approval—better him than half the garbage out there with the "Grammy Award-winning" prefix. Over just four records LaMontagne already boasts a solid body of earthy folk songs. His even heartier voice puts a nice ribbon on the package, a smoky rasp that makes it all sound genuine and human. Most notable is the fact that with each album LaMontagne has taken steps—if not leaps—in both production and songwriting, seemingly trying to distance himself from becoming a dreaded one-dimensional folk troubadour. 2008's Gossip in the Grain has more tension and soul than almost anything dubbed Americana in the past five years. I guess we can thank Stephen Stills for giving LaMontagne a reason to write a song. MARK LORE
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