THE MEN, HURRY UP, HAUSU
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Brooklyn's The Men (not to be confused with MEN, or the long-defunct Santa Monica band responsible for "The Church of Logic, Sin, and Love") are a force to be reckoned with—just four dudes who believe in rock 'n' roll. If that sounds silly, then you probably take your music a little too seriously. If it strikes a chord, however, you know the power of a good rock band. The band's latest, Open Your Heart, sounds familiar without being a simple retread of what's come before—visceral with a little extra attention paid to the almighty hook. The Men are a band that simply does what feels right—kind of like the Replacements, minus all the booze. MARK LORE
WITCH MOUNTAIN, LORD DYING, SPELLCASTER
(Backspace, 115 NW 5th) Read our article on Witch Mountain.
SCOTT LUCAS AND THE MARRIED MEN, MISSION SPOTLIGHT
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) Everything That Floats, the debut EP from Portland's Mission Spotlight, finds that happy middle ground between high, lonely twang and boot-scuffled barroom rock. Ryan Lynn's pedal steel draws clean, sky-high lines above the band's chewy bottom end, and Kurt Foster's matter-of-fact vocal delivery imbues each fuzzy ballad with easygoing honesty. These are tales told over the clack of a pool table and illuminated by beer-light, a steadier, less impressionistic—but no less heartfelt—cousin to Richmond Fontaine's literary version of Pacific Northwest country (there's even a track called "Winnemucca"). To celebrate Everything That Float's release, Mission Spotlight plays an afternoon in-store at Music Millennium as well as tonight's set at Bunk Bar. NED LANNAMANN
OPERATIVE, BEE MASK, MATT CARLSON
(Little Axe Records, 5012 NE 28th) Philadelphia's Bee Mask (aka Chris Madak) is an ambient-music producer of exacting tonal adventurousness and a generator of some of the most transporting drones to which I've ever levitated. He's matched in compositional excellence by Portland's Matt Carlson (of Golden Retriever), who's a synthesizer player capable of extraordinary dynamics and textural range. I recently compared Carlson's Particle Language LP to Conrad Schnitzler's Rot, Gil MellÉ's Andromeda Strain soundtrack, and Morton Subotnick's Silver Apples of the Moon. Carlson's is some of the most riveting aural abstract expressionism happening today. DAVE SEGAL
GOREGON MASSACRE FEST
(East End, 203 SE Grand) What is it about gore and Oregon, other than pleasing alliterative qualities, that go so well together? Is it the long, dreadful seasons of weak sun, heavy rain, and persistent evenings? Is it the abundance of cheap, accessible spaces in which to create, perform, and experience music that destroys and demands renewal? For these and other inexplicable reasons, Portland assumes its role as rightful host of the third Goregon Massacre Fest (the first since 2007) in an all-ages smorgasbord of bands that crush and exalt. Over two days, groups from across North America will share the stage with local stalwarts such as Burials, Elitist, Transient, and Honduran, all of whom are marked by their relentless dedication to independent, self-sufficient music communities—including, but not limited to, those that desecrate and slay. MARANDA BISH
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