(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) Can Jonathan Richman do anything that isn't fluidly genuine? The man has nothing but sardonic class running through his veins. I'll write strongly about anyone who chooses to play a song called "I Was Dancing at a Lesbian Bar" for his national TV debut. Truly, to see him live at the Know can accurately be tagged with the staggeringly non-selective American pop-culture label of something you "can't miss." Not because he's been described as the godfather of punk, but because he's effortlessly tactful—almost, it seems, by accident. From the Modern Lovers to his recent productions, it's within the realm of possibility to suggest that Richman probably shows up to recording sessions with no plan and simply vocalizes whatever thought he scrounged together en route to the studio. JONATHAN MAGDALENO
NEW JACK CITY DANCE OFF
(Dig a Pony, 736 SE Grand) Your rayon memories of '90s middle-school dances need not stay memories! Relive those days in all their Aqua Net-drenched, pleated-pantsed glory, fueled by New Jack City DJs playing the masterworks of Teddy Riley, Bell Biv DeVoe, Keith Sweat, and more! BOBBY ROBERTS
(Ash Street Saloon, 225 SW Ash) Nicholas Matta records indescribable, elemental work under the name Aux.78. The Sun Decays Them is Matta's new work, recorded partly in his previous home of El Paso and partly in his current home of Portland. Some of it sounds like upside-down folk performed by a prankish group of inmates (Matta's responsible for all the overdubbed weirdness therein). Other tracks sound like they're not made by man at all, but rather an invasive variety of sonic plants and vines that have taken root and steadily, insidiously grown from sun and rain and dirt. While The Sun Decays Them is a decidedly unsettling listen, Aux.78's involving depth of field is worthy of praise. This is desert-mirage music, in which shadows stretch to unreasonable, ghastly lengths, and the most frightening things out there are actually in your head. NED LANNAMANN
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