ALTO, THE EARLY, RYAN A. MILLER, LOG ACROSS THE WASHER
(Ella Street Social Club, 714 SW 20th Pl) For explorations of pure tone, there's no better option tonight than this quadruple bill, which slices through the rich terrain of Portland's music scene and comes up with unconventionally pleasing sounds. The Early (whose guitarist Alex Lewis—full disclosure—is a contributor to End Hits, the Mercury's music blog) makes languid, almost pastoral instrumental music that's evocative of time-faded photos and gentle beams of sunlight peeking through autumnal mornings. They're working on a new cassette that will come out at some point in 2012. Meanwhile, Alto's wordless music is of a slightly more aggravated variety, featuring the jagged, wiggling guitar of Derek Monypeny hashing it out with two dueling drummers. Guitarist Ryan A. Miller spins richly ornamented tangles of acoustic finger-plucking as well as disconcerting, mathy bits of electric squalor, sometimes within the same composition. And Log Across the Washer, the project of former And And And-er Tyler Keene, makes captivating, dense, brainy pop songs that don't sound quite like anything you've heard before. NED LANNAMANN
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