FATLIP, SLIM KID TRE, J-SWIFT, LA JAY, LATYRX, SPEAKER MINDS, MOSLEY WOTTA
(Barracks, 1235 SW 16th) Maybe you remember the Pharcyde as another J Dilla project, or maybe as the soundtrack to frat party Jell-O shots circa '93. Now we know them as (partially) back together: Fatlip and Slimkid3 are teaming up to play their first album, Bizarre Ride II, from start to finish. It's a '90s hiphop dream. ROSE FINN
DENVER, RAYMOND BYRON AND THE WHITE FREIGHTER, MERIDIAN
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Eschew the company of your cat and malt liquor this Thanksgiving Eve and feel mournful in the company of strangers and pedal steel guitars. And, unless you happen to be a member of the headlining band, you will not even be the drunkest person at the Doug Fir. Capable of bridging several generation gaps in a single song, Denver is a handsome honky-tonk supergroup with a number of Portland standouts. Their self-titled LP sounds big—like it was recorded in a cathedral in Montana—and all three frontmen (Mike Elias, Tom Bevitori, Birger Olsen) sound like they're singing about heartbreaks from 20 or 30 or 40 years ago. Despite their lonesome twang, they nevertheless have a reputation for a rowdy, whiskey-fueled live show, and this'll be their last performance before drummer Sean MacNeil moves to New York City. Get there early for the Southern gothic blues narratives of Raymond Byron and the White Freighter (AKA Ray Raposa of Castanets) and the chilling country harmonies of Meridian. REBECCA WILSON
WALK THE MOON, FAMILY OF THE YEAR
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) There is a lot to like about Walk the Moon's self-titled album: synthy hooks, a predilection for new wave, cerebral lyrics, easy comparisons to Passion Pit. Adorably, their best-known song, "Anna Sun," is named after one of the band's professors at Kenyon College. These undeniably charming attributes, combined with dance-worthy beats and immaculate production, go a long way toward balancing out Walk the Moon's more toe-curling aspects: There are the occasional forays into Killers-style vocal histrionics; the video of "Anna Sun" features a throng of young white people cavorting in something uncomfortably similar to Native American garb; and frontman Nicholas Petricca has voiced his pleasure at people "fratting out" to their songs. I don't actually know what that means, but it sounds miserable. While certainly worthy of eye rolls, these are things that will probably (hopefully?) dissipate as the band grows into their excellent songwriting skills. RW
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