THE LOWER 48, SHY GIRLS
(Rontoms, 600 E Burnside) The overhanging echo of '80s R&B in the sultry slow jams of Shy Girls is undeniable, but this isn't just a case of a band trying its hardest to ape a style that's cyclically come back into vogue. Rather, the Portland band has mastered the form with a complete appreciation for all its strengths and subtleties; now they're punching new boundaries for it. Their 2011 EP Sex in the City shows a sliver of that promise, finding a weird, magic pocket of swing and soul within its rigid electronic beats—it's that point just before funk gets stiff, where bump 'n' grind feels sexy without becoming pornographic. But for the real Shy Girls experience, get yourself in front of a stage where they are playing. The group is playful but tight, transforming these suggestive mating calls into something much grander. Bring a date, and become a believer: Shy Girls are one of the best live bands in town right now. NED LANNAMANN
KREATOR, ACCEPT, SWALLOW THE SUN, WEHRMACHT
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) At first glance, Accept and Kreator sharing a stage seems a little misguided. Accept's brand of traditional heavy metal rock 'n' roll doesn't seem to play nice with Kreator's lightning-fast, decapitating thrash. But if you read between the lines and look at the two bands' recent track records, the timing for this bill is perfect, because each of them are enjoying a welcomed resurgence. Within the past four years, both German bands have released two albums to virtually unanimous critical acclaim. Accept's Blood of the Nations and Stalingrad sound as good as anything from their golden years, but feature TT Quick's Mark Tornillo replacing Udo Dirkschneider on vocals. Despite some purists' wrinkled noses, Tornillo's gruff and Udo-like range complements the band's tough-as-steel riffs. Kreator's Hordes of Chaos and Phantom Antichrist both boil over with whiplash-inducing speed bursts and Mille Petrozza's signature snarl. The former has much more flair and dexterity then the latter, but both are good listens. Accept and Kreator are classic metal champions who are tired of experimenting. Thankfully, they still know that what they do best is what their fans want. ARIS WALES
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