MR. GNOME, AND AND AND, EIGHTEEN INDIVIDUAL EYES
(Star Theater 13 NW 6th) There's nothing tiny about the sound of Mr. Gnome. The Cleveland duo makes a whirling, infatuating sound that spans from cloud-soft dream to thunderous cataclysm. Between last year's Madness in Miniature album and their powerhouse live show, Mr. Gnome are bound to be your new favorite band—if they're not already. NED LANNAMANN
NUCULAR AMINALS, THE WHINES, TINY KNIVES
(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) Read our article on Nucular Aminals.
JENS LEKMAN, TAKEN BY TREES
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) Read our article on Jens Lekman.
METZ, BISON BISON
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) Read our article on Metz.
SEA WOLF, HEY MARSEILLES
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Sea Wolf's new album, Old World Romance, marks a return to frontman Alex Church flying mostly solo, a big departure from 2009's White Water, White Bloom. But even with the drum machines and flawless production, this third album emerges as Sea Wolf's most mature and captivating. Understated and personal, Old World Romance makes authentic connections rather than bombarding listeners with an occasionally histrionic assault of feelings, something I always find hard to relate to. Perhaps Sea Wolf went to therapy and learned "I feel" language. Whatever the cause, the dreamy textures, pared-down electronics, and swelling Church-on-Church harmonies create an atmosphere of introspective hopefulness. My favorite song, "In Nothing," features bass melodies and Ian McCulloch-style vocals, a singular foray into the 1980s on this mostly very contemporary-sounding album. REBECCA WILSON
OREGON SYMPHONY: MAHLER'S SIXTH
(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway) Gustav Mahler was a much better human than I'll ever be. Case in point: If someone gave me a sledgehammer, my first impulse would be to enter Ned Lannamann's pathetic cubicle at the Mercury offices and start swinging away at any computer (or fingers) I could find, with the aim of silencing this hopelessly uninformed, wildly myopic, so-called music editor for a good long while. Luckily, when the muses presented Mr. Mahler with a sledgehammer, the composer bravely resisted any destructive inclinations, and instead inserted this bluntest of instruments into his Symphony No. 6. The epic work might be labeled a symphony on paper, but in a live performance, this music will be nothing less than cathartic sacrament—nearly 90 solid minutes of 96 classically trained musicians on the Schnitzer stage wrestling with sonic nihilism and bitter chaos! Folks, this is Gustav fucking Mahler we're talking about here. Witness. This. Show. ANGRY SYMPHONY GUY
OLD LIGHT, HUNGRY GHOST
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) It's hard not to think that Old Light could be the collective musical fantasy of every Caucasian dad in America—at least those who own the entire CSNY catalog in every existing format. These are the same people who are eternally mystified by rap, which they are convinced is the only thing that anyone under the age of 30 listens to. This conversation is never not excruciating, so redirect them toward Old Light. On their first and only LP, The Dirty Future, Old Light combine all the best parts of all the best rock bands of the last 40 years. Indeed, this quartet of bearded fellows makes jamming out seem kind of cool, especially when the extended licks are countered by Beach Boys harmonies, which are further tempered by face-thawing guitar anthems. And then there's the autoharp. RW
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