(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) OMG! OMD!—The one and only Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark—or OMD, if you are nasty—have dusted off their synths, reunited their original members, and returned to the stage. All nostalgia aside, OMD's back catalog is untouchable, a perfect time capsule of '80s synth pop without any of the gimmicks. In lieu of dancing to "99 Luftballons" for the 99th time at some tired '80s night, come see the real gems of that decade in action. EZRA ACE CARAEFF
AN HORSE, DIRTY MITTENS
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) Australian duo An Horse sailed across the ocean on the back of their wonderful debut, 2009's Rearrange Beds. With guitarist Kate Cooper's lightly curdled vocals and drummer Damon Cox's steady timekeeping, the pair made a sound that was addictive in its simplicity: poppy without being pandering, brash but not invasively so. With this year's follow-up, Walls, An Horse is continuing their course of writing smart, sharp songs that sweetly refuse to break the mold. If Walls isn't as fresh as Rearrange Beds, and if An Horse's odder corners sound slightly smoothed out, there's still much on the new record that'll get attached to that interior space in between your ears and your heart—particularly on the lovely title track (with its reassurance of "just sit tight, it will be all right") and in the clanging guitar that anchors the album-opening fanfare of "Dressed Sharply." NED LANNAMANN
CANT, MIRROR MIRROR, BLOOD ORANGE
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Nostalgia has become woefully nearsighted. Let the sunburnt Polaroids become kindling for the bonfire. We're up to our ears in hippie gurus, nihilist clubbers, and tribal electro Indians, yet find relatively few Funkadelics, pitiful Princes, and not a single Shuggie Otis. In the Daptone revival we have bright, big-band soul. But what about its steamier, sexier, dark side? Where are the candles and velvet? Buried at the bottom of an already overly hyped bill is Blood Orange, the thumping, falsetto funk of New York's DevontÉ Hynes, who's also recorded under the name Lightspeed Champion. Like the aforementioned Prince and Otis—along with the venerable Stevie Wonder—Hynes is a multi-instrumentalist and a deft arranger. Shimmering guitar arpeggios and unassuming hooks creep among a more assured low-end. The pocket is subtle, yet punchy and tight. This is Hynes' first tour as Blood Orange, and there's no telling how his marvelous compositions will translate to the stage, but if they work anything like on record, he'll never open another show. Wait, what? The album is called Coastal Grooves? Fuck, well, give it a chance anyway. ANDREW R TONRY
BROADWAY CALLS, LIVING WITH LIONS, LEE COREY OSWALD, STARK HEROES
(Backspace, 115 NW 5th) As much as I hesitate to make the claim, Broadway Calls are a pop-punk band. Undeniably so. But with the exception of those who still attend the Warped Tour, or declare White Trash, Two Heebs, and a Bean to be the defining recording of our generation, the pop-punk landscape is hardly preferred musical real estate these days. Yet as their peers try to capture the sounds of a bygone era, Broadway Calls progress forward. Their follow-up to 2009's Good Views, Bad News is the just-released Toxic Kids EP, a crisp, six-song offering that has all the components you'd expect—three chords, rapid-fire drums, bratty vocals, and hooks aplenty—along with a newfound sense of restlessness (sample song title: "I'm So Ready to Be Done with My 20s") that fits the Rainier band quite well. Now that Green Day have swapped Gilman for the Great White Way, I hereby nominate Broadway Calls to take their seat upon the pop-punk throne. EAC
NOMEANSNO, BLOOD BEACH, WAX EDISON
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) It's been said that NoMeansNo invented "math rock" back in '79, in which case it was probably done using an abacus. The Brothers Wright have been steering the Canadian trio though uncharted waters ever since, combining the power of punk with the elegance of jazz. The Canucks have a long paper trail of albums and singles and EPs dating back to 1980, although their output has slowed over the past five years. But NoMeansNo continues to tour, which is where you want to catch them anyway (their studio work has yet to capture the controlled chaos of their live shows). It's no wonder that bands (knowingly and unknowingly) continue to take lessons from these wily vets. MARK LORE
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