PAPER BRAIN, SORTA ULTRA, JON TIMM
(Kelly's Olympian, 426 SW Washington) I know I'll sound like a brat saying this, but bear with me: Anybody with enough money can be in a shoegaze or dream-pop band. It's amazing how little effort and imagination creating "atmospheric" music requires, but it is the blunt truth of the matter—those effects pedals are doing all the work, folks. Few self-described dream-pop bands (okay, this band describes themselves as "death pop/sunshine fantasy metal," so I'm paraphrasing here) pull it off with the sort of precision Paper Brain demonstrate on their brand-new EP Begin Again. The already-established group has at last perfected their aesthetic. They're hazy sounding without being boring or tuneless; the vocal melodies are captivating, and songwriter Mike Wrobelwski has the sort of musical intuition many of his peers clearly lack. The title track reminds me of the self-titled Telescopes album. These guys would have been huge in '92. MORGAN TROPER
THE AVETT BROTHERS
(Edgefield, 2126 SW Halsey, Troutdale) Long before Mumfords took over the world, there were the Avett Brothers, playing folk-flecked pop with real heart. The good news is that the Avetts are still setting crowds alight, as they will during this two-night run at Edgefield. The other good news is that an album is right around the corner, so expect lots of new tunes. NED LANNAMANN
NEIL DIAMOND'S HOT AUGUST NIGHT 40TH ANNIVERSARY: SUPER DIAMOND, FUNK SHUI
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) Read our article on Hot August Night.
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