BOAT, THE ANGRY ORTS, ZOO ANIMAL, ORCA TEAM
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Although the earnest punk-rock adherent in me is perturbed by BOAT's dilettantish approach to making music (creative helmsman D. Crane once admitted that the band isn't a "primary focus of his" and he began "writing songs just for fun"), it's pretty difficult to stay irked when everything they've done has been nothing short of irresistible. (Perhaps it's just jealousy, then.) Last year's Dress Like Your Idols is no exception—"(I'll Beat My Chest Like) King Kong" in particular contains hooks as colossal as its titular behemoth. BOAT purvey some of the finest pop in the Pacific Northwest, and I wonder if they even realize it. MT Also see My, What a Busy Week!
MBILLY, QUE AND THE WHATS
(LaurelThirst Public House, 2958 NE Glisan) Following PDX folk-popper Mbilly's 2009 debut Mister Nobody Baby—and its bright vignettes of thoughtful rockers and pensive finger-plucked ditties—you'd have expected his sophomore LP Malheur to continue that trend. But opening track "V Is for Valiant" slithers in slow, all tremolo guitar leads and sad piano, giving way to a trigger-drummer downer on the title track. There's a brief respite on the peppy rock track "Your Famous Name," but it becomes clear by "Sick for a Spell" that this is a different Mbilly. Written following a close friend's death, the album oozes with feeling, germinating in oft-times inspiring blasts of redemptive verse, even with that ominous, sparse instrumentation. Despite the glumness, Mbilly's remarkable songwriting chops manage to rise above, and showcase a rising talent in the Rose City. RYAN J. PRADO
JOHN C. REILLY AND FRIENDS
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) People enjoy describing John C. Reilly as an everyman, a preposterous accusation that couldn't be further from the truth: As an actor, he's as well known for his gut-wrenching roles as for hilarious ones. In his most recent, We Need to Talk About Kevin, he plays the father of a psychopathic mass murderer, a far cry from his role in musical biopic satire Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story. That wasn't Reilly's first time singing on screen, but it did make the public take notice—he can sing a song just as well as he can act a role. So far, he's recorded two acclaimed country singles on Jack White's Third Man Records, covering old country standards with his pals Becky Stark (of Lavender Diamond) and Tom Brosseau. Don't worry, Reilly isn't trying for a second career—he plays country music because he's good at it, he loves it, and he wants you to love it, too. REBECCA WILSON
MOTLEY CRUISE: SAME OL' SITUATION
(Portland Spirit, in the middle of the damn Willamette) While this doesn't get my vote for the best boat-themed show of the night (that would be BOAT over at Mississippi Studios—seriously, go see them; they are as fun as bands get), this one sets you off on a two-hour cruise with a MÖtley CrÜe tribute band. On a boat. In the middle of the river. Yeah, you know what you want. NED LANNAMANN
ROOKIE TOWN, TREES AND STARS, STILL SEA, DUCK LITTLE BROTHER DUCK
(Laughing Horse Books, 12 NE 10th) Duck. Little, Brother Duck! personify Portland's bustling yet severely underrepresented DIY community better than anyone else. Since forming in 2009, Duck (as the kids so lovingly refer to them) have played countless shows within the city, embarked on multiple tours around the country, and released a sterling, hour-long LP—all without any assistance from a label or very much in terms of local press buzz. Their refreshingly impetuous, song-oriented brand of math rock has earned them an enthusiastic, national fanbase, and most recently the attention of esteemed East Coast punk label Topshelf (who will be re-releasing their debut). In an era where an acute fashion sense and a reverb pedal can apparently skyrocket any simpleton to the vanguard of our music scene, it's encouraging to see a band attain popularity the old-fashioned way—by being so goddamn good at writing and performing music. Remember that stuff? MORGAN TROPER
COOL NUTZ, DJ FATBOY, ARJAY, STEVO, TRIPLE SB, DANNY MERKURY
(Someday Lounge, 125 NW 5th) In the past two decades, Cool Nutz has gone from putting out his first rap record in 1993 to being a full-on music industry professional. He organizes and promotes local hiphop fest POH-Hop, DJs for Wild 107.5 with a locally oriented hiphop radio show called NW Breakout, owns his own label, Jus Family Records, and manages up-and-coming artists like Illmaculate. Nutz is one of the most acknowledged faces in PDX hiphop history, and he's still on his rap game. He put us on the map and still keeps it real—maybe even too real for people who only draw inside the lines, adamantly marking his territory and exposing alternative income sources. Sharing the stage is Ginuwine-esque local R&B singer Arjay and scratch-master/ridiculous internet personality DJ Fatboy, who also happens to be the official DJ for rowdy SF diva Kreayshawn. ROCHELLE HUNTER
MARK LANEGAN, SEAN WHEELER AND ZANDER SCHLOSS
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) On his first solo effort since 2004's Bubblegum, Mark Lanegan has earned his versatility stripes once again, combing his sandpaper soul for moody blues, gloomy rock, and dark electronic cuts. Blues Funeral (credited to Mark Lanegan Band, actually, and including contributions from Jack Irons and Greg Dulli) sounds like just that: a putting to bed, or a transcendence of Lanegan's old muses to the warmth of some more bizarre bosom. Through that wormhole, Lanegan manages to propagate molasses-slow dirges fit for a wake, and throwback rockers that could have been Screaming Trees B-sides, like the shredding "Riot in My House." The influence of all his post-Trees collabs (Gutter Twins, his duet albums with Isobel Campbell) has rubbed off on Lanegan in some head-scratching ways over the last decade, but never in a more intriguing manner as this. RYAN J. PRADO
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