BIG FREEDIA, DJ BEYONDA
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) Bounce on down to the Wonder for Big Freedia's guaranteed fun New Orleans-style sweat-maker. I think you'll be surprised by the Olympic feats of motility the human buttocks can attain. Not to put too fine a point on it, but Big Freedia knows how to get all places moving. COURTNEY FERGUSON
(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway) Of all the bands that could have reunited from the grunge era, Soundgarden is number one on my list. Not just because they were always my favorite band to come out of that period, but also, getting back together with someone with as unique a guitar-playing style as Kim Thayil just might keep Chris Cornell from making any more poor musical decisions. Remember Audioslave and the solo album produced by Timbaland, anyone? (Or are we all still trying to forget?) When Soundgarden released its retrospective Telephantasm in 2010 with the perfect new song "Black Rain," my expectations for a full-length went soaring into the cosmos. Upon delivery, 2012's King Animal falls just barely short. They display the same talent of writing disjointed riffs and bizarre rhythms, but every song has that slick, commercial glaze over it. None of the tracks has the filthy harshness of "Fourth of July" or "Jesus Christ Pose." King is a good, solid effort, but it's too bad even the old ones like Soundgarden can't get away with having an edge anymore. ARIS WALES
AAN, INCAN ABRAHAM, CUCKOO CHAOS
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Portland band Aan is releasing their much-anticipated 7-inch on Cool Summer Records, and tonight we celebrate. Mystery Life offers two songs that are a most excellent tease of their rumored upcoming full-length. Bud Wilson sings fierce melodies that range fearlessly from delicate whispers to explosive howls. The band continues to re-imagine pop and create music that ventures into the weird and unpredictable, while remaining catchy and fun; plus they're tighter than ever with the addition of Jeff Bond on guitar. Aan has been rapidly captivating Northwest audiences with their unique sound, and I expect that trend to spread with the unbound energy of their new material. RACHEL MILBAUER
MAGIC MOUTH, KINGDOM CRUMBS, DUAL MODE
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) It's no secret that the magic mouth of Magic Mouth is the one positioned on Stephfon Bartee's face. His singing is mind-blowing to such an extent that Magic Mouth could be a runaway success as an a cappella solo project. Indeed, the song "Pick It Up" off their Believer EP comes close: Featuring only voices—soulful and dark—and Ana BriseÑo's urgent drumming, it sounds almost like a neo-spiritual. It's a real spine-tingler, partly because it's so different from the euphoria of their other songs. None of this is to say that the other three members of Magic Mouth are peripheral. Brendan Scott's funk bass, Peter Condra's guitar, and BriseÑo's drums are essential to their driving soul-funk, which demands to be danced to. REBECCA WILSON
ELLIE GOULDING, ST. LUCIA
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) Ohhhh, Ellie Goulding! I have seen her hair everywhere these days, painted on buildings and in store windows. I just found out she used to date Skrillex, which makes me sooooooo happy because it makes me think maybe their haircuts were just dating and they had to play along? Like if you were a conjoined twin and your twin really fell for someone, you'd have to sit through their coffee chats and makeout sessions. That's probably what Skrillex and Goulding were doing, so you should respect them for making the sacrifice. As for her music—and it does not escape me that I spent a paragraph talking about a female musician's hair, but I'M SORRY, that's just the way this one worked out—it doesn't make me feel one single feeling. Maybe confusion. I think everyone thinks she's really smart because she has a British accent, but that's not a real thing, you guys. It just sounds like regular pop to me. ANNA MINARD
CLOUDBURST, MEDICINE CABINET
(Revival Drum Shop 1465 NE Prescott) Cloudburst is only one of Tim Westcott's alter egos, but when a guy has been building sound universes for going on 20 years, he probably has room for any number of electronic doppelgangers. Westcott's best compositions tend to be long, minimalist, and ambient. Longform works give Westcott the time he needs to weave together found sounds with the subtle intricacies of his own creativity. The result is intentional and thick, a fully realized atmosphere to soundtrack the alien film playing in your brain. Westcott isn't adverse to the occasional melody or dance beat, but it's sparse and judicious. A year ago, guitarist Dan Duval and reed player Lee Elderton formed Medicine Cabinet after playing together in a bunch of local jazz ensembles. Flux is at the heart of jazz, and these guys have taken this to heart, specializing in whatever contemporary avant-garde chamber music is supposed to be. RW
Tip for End Hits?
Email them here.
Get the best of the Mercury each week in your inbox!