DAVID BYRNE AND ST. VINCENT
(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway) It's tediously predictable that Love This Giant blew my fucking mind. Consider the facts: Over the past five years, each album released by David Byrne (one) and St. Vincent (three) has sparked to life previously unknown synapses in my brain. So it's unsurprising that a collaboration between two such brainy rockers would be the best thing that's happened to my ears in 2012. What is surprising is how warm it sounds—positively inviting. David Byrne and Annie Clark of St. Vincent typically tend to hold the listener at arm's length, but Love This Giant sounds truly welcoming. Surprise Number Two: Clark's exceptional shredding skills are relegated to the sidelines, playing second fiddle to Surprise Number Three: the horns. What emerges is a thrilling synthesis of art rock, funk, and jazz, with Clark and Byrne taking turns on vocals. The live show apparently features lots of musicians and bizarre choreography. REBECCA WILSON
SUN AIRWAY, PURE BATHING CULTURE
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Each time I listen to Soft Fall, the second album from Philadelphia's Sun Airway (in the studio, a duo of songwriter Jon Barthmus and "sound sculptor" Patrick Marsceill), it sounds just so slightly different to me. The mix is not quite how I remember it; the vocals are either more prominent or sunk further down in the rich sonic solution; songs are either markedly more joyous or melancholy than the version that I have playing in my mind. In other words, it's a remarkable record of deep invention, and a sort of alarming lack of identity—in a good way, the way that keeps you coming back and projecting your own mood onto the record's expressive sounds. Constructed from studio recordings of a string quartet and other live instruments, which were then taken entirely apart in Barthmus' home studio, it's a record very much of its moment, outwardly resembling the many glowing, nostalgia-hazed, electronic-tinged pop music out there. But I think there's something more lasting to it as well, and with Sun Airway's five-piece live band and reports of elaborate projections, tonight offers the chance to get fully submerged. NED LANNAMANN
(The Old Church, 1422 SW 11th) Portland songster Nick Jaina has been seeing other cities. Well, one city in particular—New York City, where two song cycles he collaborated on with the Satellite Ensemble have been given performances with dancers from the New York City Ballet. Tonight Jaina and the Satellites perform the music from those two pieces (without any dancers). Cosmonaut is based on a true story about a New Jersey trucker who wanted to become an astronaut, and The Thief is about a hoarder of disused toys, with a secret lair underneath a river. Jaina leads the string ensemble on piano (the group includes Kaylee Cole, Amanda Lawrence, and Anna Schott), and even without the dance element of the performance, it promises to be an intriguing, assured evening of Jaina's excellent songwriting. It sounds like a one-time deal, too, so don't miss it. NL
GIMME THE NIGHT: DJ COOKY PARKER, DJ GWIZSKI, DJ MAXX BASS
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Portland's finest DJs, Cooky Parker joins Gwizski and Maxx Bass for a new night of electro, boogie, and modern soul called Gimme the Night. The cover's cheap, and the dance floor's waiting, so put on your party pants and get down. MARJORIE SKINNER
YARDS, DANNY DELEGATO, LOG ACROSS THE WASHER, ALEX ARROWSMITH, TEAGUE CULLEN
(Ella Street Social Club, 714 SW 20th Pl) I have reservations using words like "virtuoso" or "genius" when describing an artist—they're terms that are tossed around so indiscriminately, they contain virtually no value anymore—but Alex Arrowsmith could very possibly be one (or both, or a combination) of those things. His compositions suggest an inherent, encyclopedic knowledge of the pop genus. He has released 14 albums in the last decade, most of which are filled to the gunwales with hooky hits. If I won the lottery, one of my priorities would be to press my personal favorite, 2005's Wharfless, which sounds like an effortless admixture of Wish-era Cure and They Might Be Giants, onto vinyl (opaque gold wax, like it deserves). Had he been writing music in the '60s, Arrowsmith would have undoubtedly been penning hits for the Monkees. Today, for better or worse, Beatles-y pop like this appeals by and large to connoisseurs. MORGAN TROPER
TOO MANY MOTHS, ACROYEAR, SUNFALLS, NOYOUYESME, RUDEMENT & MORE
(Plan B, 1305 SE 8th) If electronic music is your bag, look forward to this stacked bill with a dozen Portland electronic artists, performing live in myriad subgenres including experimental ambient, drum and bass, and twisted forms of dark downtempo. The night will host a collaborative performance between experimental live electronic artist and cellist SunFalls (Uxepi Ipexu) and Noyouyesme (Jason Cesarz), who specializes in circuit-bent beats and the kind of "modulation mutations" likely to send you through a wormhole. The ever-talented Rudement (George Johnson) satiates your sonic cravings with a decadent live performance that takes you on a slow trip through "filtered realities," guided by an ingenious amalgam of bass-driven rhythms. Acroyear (Luis Tataje) has been creating contemplative sonic landscapes for nearly 15 years; his arrhythmic electronica is perfect for sliding into the introspective atmosphere of fall. CHRISTINA BROUSSARD
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