THE BOXER REBELLION, CANON BLUE
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) The Boxer Rebellion has the kind of international Anglophone lineup that gives rise to suspicions of record studio execs with deep pockets and clever marketing strategies—One Direction for the parents of One Direction fans. This couldn't be further from the truth. At one point, nine years ago, the Boxer Rebellion were in fact signed to a record label, Poptones, which promptly went bust. Despite critical acclaim in the UK and a key secondary roll in the atrocious Drew Barrymore vehicle Going the Distance, they've remained unsigned ever since. On The Cold Still, the Boxer Rebellion have written a third album of sweeping, beautiful rock-pop that brings to mind early Radiohead, young Chris Martin, and especially Doves, another band that prizes epic, chiming guitar music over the whims of fashion in either music or hairstyle. REBECCA WILSON
IRON BUTTERFLY, MAGIC CARPET RIDE
(Mt. Tabor Theater, 4811 SE Hawthorne) Iron Butterfly is a band shrouded in mystery. Everyone's heard the urban legend about "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" and how it was supposed to be sung "In the garden of Eden," but vocalist Doug Ingle was so drunk he slurred his words. Then there's the strange death of bassist Philip Taylor Kramer; conspiracy theorists claim he had discovered a math formula that the CIA didn't want him to. The most recent mystery: What the hell are they doing playing in Portland on a Sunday night?! The band has gone through more lineup changes than Spinal Tap could even joke about, so who knows what you'll get at this show. The band's most recent inception does have one member from the "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" lineup: bassist Lee Dorman. So maybe they'll play it? ARIS WALES
SLEEPY SUN, THE UPSIDEDOWN
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) I wouldn't have guessed that the glue holding Sleepy Sun together was the feminine touch. Singer Rachel Fannan—who shared vocal duties with Bret Constantino—left the otherwise all-male band in 2010 under intensely acrimonious circumstances, and at the San Francisco group's last show here in town (opening for the Black Angels at the Wonder last May), it felt decidedly like something was missing. Instead of the enchanting, lysergic, ice-and-fire psychedelia the band brandished with Fannan, Sleepy Sun sounded thuggish. Their shape-shifting sounds felt cumbersome instead of transformative; their mystic, tribal vibe was replaced by disappointingly conventional bro-down rock. Sleepy Sun's third album Spine Hits (their first without Fannan) sounds fine enough—Constantino and the remaining Sleepy crew still have a formidable grasp on dramatics and dynamics—even if there's nothing as mind-reeling as those highlights on the first two records. NED LANNAMANN
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