YACHT, ONUINU, KEY LOSERS
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) It's hard to go wrong with YACHT! The electro dance-rock band and belief system known as YACHT brings every platinum-haired, gender androgynous, genuinely cool person down to the dance floor. Sweaty conversations about magick ensue. SUZETTE SMITH
LEIGH MARBLE, THE ASCETIC JUNKIES, KELLY ANNE MASIGAT
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Cancer is enough to throw a pall over any artistic endeavor, and in Leigh Marble's case, his girlfriend's breast nearly sent him into irredeemably dark depression. Marble found his way back—and married his girlfriend, who, thank goodness, went into remission—and the journey is documented on his powerful new record, Where the Knives Meet Between the Rows. Wielding far greater gravity than anything the local singer/songwriter (and fixture on the Portland music scene) has produced before, the new record has black funeral ballads, electrified folk blues, cautiously optimistic pop, and one scathing indictment of hipster culture in the form of "Holden." It's the one moment where Marble's angst is directed outward instead of inward, and it's the only part of Where the Knives that rings false. The rest is a bleak, morose—and, subsequently, gripping—listen that proves Marble is yet another songwriter on the local musical landscape that's worthy of more attention. NED LANNAMANN
SUN ARAW BAND, ETERNAL TAPESTRY, MATTHEWDAVID, M. GEDDES GENGRAS, DIVA
(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) A rare Portland appearance from Sun Araw should be enough to make the city's pointy-headed record nerds salivate over tonight's bill, as Sun Araw—the project of California's Cameron Stallones—makes truly trippy, mushroom-swallowing weirdness. Within a lengthy catalog of drones, bubbles, washes, twinkles, and lots of guitar-edelics, there's also a deconstructionist-pop mindset at work, as Stallones is not above mimicking TR-808 drumbeats or howling the lyrics of famous pop songs into his indecipherable strangeness. Portland's own Eternal Tapestry collaborated with Sun Araw on a split LP last year—Night Gallery, released by Thrill Jockey—so hopes are high for the two to share the stage for some improvised, lysergic, probably baffling wizardry. NL
JIM WHITE, BLIND BARTIMAEUS
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) Jim White was 40 years old in 1997 when he released his first album, Wrong-Eyed Jesus. At the time, teenaged me felt challenged and surprised to enjoy something that closely resembled (but still wasn't quite) country. Since then, White has continued to challenge both himself as a songwriter and me as a listener. His 2007 album, Transnormal Skiperoo, was a sunny chronicle of White's middle-aged contentment as a husband and a father. Where It Hits You, released last month, is the opposite—a heartbreak album recorded in the midst of his wife leaving him. Sadness is responsible for all the best music, and White's is no exception. Let's be clear: This is no therapy album; there is no wailing of either guitars or vocals. Jim White is above such gimmicks. His beautifully sorrowful songs, arranged with utmost sophistication and restraint, continue to unfold over the course of multiple listens. REBECCA WILSON
SOULFLY, DIRTNAP, SEPARATION OF SANITY
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) Max Cavalera continues to fuse Brazilian tribalism with American thrash to great effect, and it's strange to think that the guitarist/vocalist has now been fronting his band Soulfly longer than he fronted thrash legends Sepultura. That'll make a metalhead feel old. Just don't tell that to Soulfly, which released its eighth LP Enslaved this month—it's heavier than anything the band has done in years (older + crankier = heavier?). As with Sepultura, Soulfly's lineup continues to change and revolve around one core member. But this is 2012, and kissing and making up for a moneymaking tour has become par for the course. I predict a full Sepultura reunion—demand or not—in the next year... and that includes you, too, Igor. MARK LORE
LOST CITY, UGLY FLOWERS
(Matador, 1967 W Burnside) Local band Lost City makes major-chord punk with touches of heartland rock: "American anthems for faded tattoos," as the band puts it. Their new self-titled EP burst forth from the speakers without any fancy tricks—just chiming guitars, high-gear drums, and matter-of-fact vocals that tell it like it is. This is a band that takes Springsteen's big-band arena anthems and distills them down to their pure, essential core. The result isn't going to redefine the airwaves or set the blogosphere on fire, but these songs—and their stories of shitty jobs, busted relationships, getting older, raising kids, and living a life, more or less, for rock 'n' roll—do something much more important: They tell the truth. NL
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