YOB, KISS IT GOODBYE, EIGHT BELLS
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) Eugene, Oregon's YOB achieve the difficult feat of making doom metal that balances heaviness with airiness. They can write a 23-minute track called "Catharsis" that doesn't really deliver what the title promises, but it's cool: YOB's early Earth meets Monster Magnet guitar tones and Mike Scheidt's oddly effeminate-witchy vocals strike just an off enough chord to make them stand out from the hirsute masses of similar artists. YOB's ability to avoid the stodgy, monolithic dynamics common to doom metal also elevates them into a rarefied realm where rangy heavies like Black Sabbath and Kyuss dwell. DAVE SEGAL
ADVANCE BASE, KEY LOSERS
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) If Owen Ashworth's last band was called Casiotone for the Painfully Alone, his new one could be called Omnichord for the Criminally Ignored. Okay, that's a little bit of a stretch; I only really hear omnichord on a couple tracks from his new album A Shut-In's Prayer (Ashworth's new band is called Advance Base, by the way), but it's clearer than ever that Ashworth is a songwriter deserving of a much broader audience. The gentle, bummed-out ballads of Casiotone for the Painfully Alone are still in full effect ("My Sister's Birthday" is stunning in its stark emotionality), but there's also an eloquence and depth that Ashworth has been hinting at for years; with Advance Base, and this lovely new record, he's reached it. It's time for him to get his due. NED LANNAMANN
JUST LIKE VINYL, THE GODDAMNED ANIMALS, MERCURY TREE, XUOSOUX
(Backspace, 115 NW 5th) In high school, the Fall of Troy were one of those bands I desperately wanted to love (mostly so I could impress my "cool" friends and pretty girls who dressed in black), but never was able to. I tried convincing myself that they were merely a Yes/Weezer hybrid, which in hindsight I realize was a fucking ridiculous—but necessary—delusion. I eventually accepted that they weren't my deal. And then I pretty much forgot about them altogether, until I heard the debut from Thomas Erak's new band, Just Like Vinyl, last year—which, well, sounds unmistakably like everything else he's done (in particular, his old band's swan song, In the Unlikely Event). Even if Erak hasn't evolved at all since then, his new material could have been a lot worse—and it'll at least keep fans pacified until the inevitable TFOT reunion. MORGAN TROPER
JAPANTHER VS. NIGHTSHADE
(Disjecta, 8371 N Interstate) Billed as a "shadow puppet punk rock micro-opera," The Revenge: Japanther vs. Night Shade sets the clever, high-concept puppetry of Night Shade against the rowdy art pop score of Japanther for three nights of intricate, avant-garde spectacle. ALISON HALLETT
IMPROVISATION SUMMIT OF PORTLAND: BLUE CRANES, THE TENSES, THICKET, GROUPER, GINO ROBAIR & MORE
(Bamboo Grove Salon, 134 SE Taylor) The Improvisational Summit of Portland is a brand-new festival, not only for entertainment, but also for the purpose of expanding creative boundaries and challenging the structures that have settled into place for the performing arts. Sometimes this type of event can leave you feeling like you just slept through a lecture, but it seems the Creative Music Guild (a Portland non-profit that cultivates the local avant-garde music community) has put in a lot of work to make sure this is a mind-blowing event. There will be two nights (Friday and Saturday) of live film scoring, dance, and experimental improvisational music. Intellectually stimulating interactive activities will happen early on Saturday, but highlights include performances by the beautifully hazy, ambient, noise-pop artist Grouper, the Tenses (reformed from the legendary underground experimental collective Smegma), and exploratory art-jazz quintet Blue Cranes on Saturday night. ROCHELLE HUNTER
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