MICHELE WYLEN, THEE MIKE B, DJ BLVD NIGHTS
(Someday Lounge, 125 NW 5th) Read our article on Michele Wylen.
ALT-J, WILDCAT! WILDCAT!
(Star Theater, 13 NW 6th) With a Mercury Prize underneath their belt, Alt-J have risen above early buzz—and a truly unfortunate name—to become a force to be reckoned with. This, their first Portland show, is already sold out (their September date opening for Grouplove was cancelled), proving the British band's inventive blend of twirling paisley pop, clockwork folktronic beats, and Thom Yorke-ian drama has not fallen upon deaf ears. NED LANNAMANN
MELLOWHYPE, TRASH TALK, CASSOW, RAW NERVES
(Branx, 320 SE 2nd) This bill boasts two different incarnations/affiliates of LA skate-punk-rap collective Odd Future. Rapper/producer duo MellowHype features Hodgy Beats, who has demonstrated some serious growth as a lyricist on the group's recent Numbers and the Odd Future Tape Vol. 2, and Left Brain, whose woozy, blunted beats provide an ideal setting for Hodgy's aggressive, abstract rap styles. Odd Future label signees Trash Talk do hardcore the way it should be done in 2012: loud, fast, and devoid of the genre's cornier, formulaic elements—look elsewhere if you still think every hardcore song needs a bro-tastic breakdown. MIKE RAMOS
(Slabtown, 1033 NW 16th) Slabtown's Nuggets Night is one of our city's coolest annual music-related events. Every year, assorted Portland power-pop/punk kinfolk gather under the bar's roof to pay tribute to the indescribably influential '60s US garage compilation, Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era 1965-1968, an album whose curator, Lenny Kaye (later of Patti Smith's backing band), incidentally coined the term "punk rock" in reference to the bands on the record. On top of simply being an awesome premise for a covers show, the event has always been for a good cause; it began as a benefit for none other than Question Mark himself of ? and the Mysterians, and this sixth Nuggets Night is no exception. Proceeds will go toward the Oregon Music Hall of Fame's scholarship fund, and a portion of bar sales will be donated to WFMU and legendary garage label Norton Records, both of which were affected by Hurricane Sandy. MORGAN TROPER
HORSE FEATHERS, FRANK FAIRFIELD, EZZA ROSE BAND
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) Horse Feathers' fourth album, Cynic's New Year, sounds positively upbeat. No, really, bear with me. The abundance of instruments—horns, strings, woodwinds—encases Justin Ringle's mournful voice and sad stories in a warm blanket of company. Even as he fixates on life's most personal and (possibly) most profound tragedies, there's a metaphorical sense of uplift and a very real sense of nuance. The bigger sound is compelling and mature, and it makes for a wonderfully cohesive listening experience. Meanwhile, opener Frank Fairfield may have been born 100 years too late, but he isn't trying to capitalize on old-time nostalgia. The fact that people happen to be possessed of nostalgia for this type of music is a happy coincidence, one that took him off the streets of LA and into our concert venues. Fairfield may be a time capsule, but he's the real deal. REBECCA WILSON
HIGH ON FIRE, GOATWHORE, LO-PAN, APE MACHINE
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) Bands like Sleep and High on Fire were unleashing billows of sludge and smoke before stoner metal was a thing. It was loud and low, with riffs meant to be paired with spliffs. What ties these bands together is guitarist Matt Pike, whose specialty is dropping lumbering riffs and reeling off epic solos. After a two-month stint in rehab for alcohol abuse, which led to the cancellation of dates from Sleep and High on Fire, Pike is leading HOF back out on the road. Of course, this is not to be missed. And just because Pike is clean doesn't mean the rest of us have to be. MARK LORE