ROCK & ROLL PROM: MONARQUES, RADIATION CITY, YOUTH
(Rontoms, 600 E Burnside) Hey lover! While your actual prom may have been an emotional disaster, try this reboot on for size: The third annual Rock 'n' Roll Prom, featuring classic '50s and '60s rock covers from absolutely dreamy local bands Monarques, Radiation City, and Youth! (And try to dress the part, okay? You don't want to screw it up this time!) WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY
COVER LOVERS: SLANG, THE STRANGE SUGAR BOMB
(Club 21, 2035 NE Glisan) It wouldn't be Valentine's without a terrible fight, then a make-up session soundtracked by sweet music. Watch this annual scenario play out in entertaining fashion with the Cover Lovers, a cover-band battle between Slang (Drew Grow and Janet Weiss) and the Strange Sugar Bomb. They'll each play covers of Paul McCartney, Tom Waits, Aretha Franklin, Jeff Lynne (ELO) and more. COURTNEY FERGUSON
HOUNDSTOOTH, PURE BATHING CULTURE, THE SOFT HILLS
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Pure Bathing Culture is the new project of Sarah Versprille and Daniel Hindman, who made the move to Portland not too long ago—say hi if you see 'em on the street! The two play in Vetiver as well as countless other bands (their recent stint backing Jessie Baylin at the Doug Fir was especially memorable), but here they're playing their own tunes, which, as evidenced on their Bandcamp page, are lovely, dreamy, gossamer pop songs that could just as easily be morning eye-openers as seductive nighttime lullabies. (I dare you to escape the entrancing charms of "Lucky One" without hitting the repeat button.) Pure Bathing Culture's live ranks have swollen to include Pearly Gates Music's Zach Tillman; tonight they share the bill with Houndstooth, which in its short lifespan has already become one of the most reliably exciting bands in town, and the Soft Hills, a Seattle group whose album The Bird Is Coming Down to Earth has the auspicious US release date of February 14 (hey, that's today!). Oh, and tonight's show is completely free—don't worry, your valentine will have so much fun that they'll totally forgive you being a cheapskate. NED LANNAMANN
AND AND AND
(Record Room, 8 NE Killingsworth) There are far worse ways to spend Valentine's Day than by helping Portland's most prolific writers of drinking songs celebrate the release of their new 10-inch record, Lost. Especially since the one song that actually is about drinking, "I Want More Alcohol (It Makes Me Sadder)," is a tragic story of thwarted love. Perfect! Set solidly in the musical vernacular of 1970s folk rock, Lost represents a musical coming of age for the quintet, especially singer Nathan Baumgartner. While it's more cohesive and focused than previous releases—it seems like an actual album rather than a collection of songs—it's still varied enough to showcase their impressive songwriting chops. But the biggest change might just be production value. From the passionate, almost operatic "Hiding Place" to the poppy bombast of "Buy You," each song has been assembled, arranged, and recorded with the utmost care. REBECCA WILSON
GARY CLARK JR., WHITE DRESS
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) If you ignore his duet with Alicia Keys (and you should ignore the "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" cover currently making the rounds on the Information Superhighway), you'll notice that Gary Clark Jr. plays some mean blues guitar, as evidenced on his debut EP, Bright Lights. Add to that singing chops and the fact that he's a handsome young black man, and you've got a record contract with Warner Bros. Either way, "Don't Owe You a Thang" is a fucking jam, and this dude is going places. Opening are White Dress, whose experimental punk blues is scary and interesting. Download their EP for zero dollars at arumrae.blogspot.com. GRANT BRISSEY
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