STRFKR, BLACKBIRD BLACKBIRD
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Read our article on STRFKR.
SUN ANGLE, DEATH SONGS, GRANDPARENTS
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) One of the current projects of musical genius Charlie Salas Humara (Panther, Ylang Ylang), Sun Angle is beating down its rays of slightly jazzy psychedelic rock—consider it a chance to hear their forthcoming debut record in gestation form. It may not be the kind of sun angle you'll find in Palm Springs, but this shit will keep you warm. MARJORIE SKINNER
ALAMEDA, HOLIDAY FRIENDS, PHEASANT
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Astoria, Oregon's Holiday Friends make the kind of happy-go-lucky sing-along folk and gently twinkly synth-pop that is burning up the charts and headlining outdoor musical festivals these days. Actually, Holiday Friends have quite a bit more personality than that comparison might suggest; in fact, there's something guilelessly charming about the band and their 2012 debut, Chicks. These are big, brash puppies of songs, wide-eyed and eager to please, and Holiday Friends recently holed up in Portland's Type Foundry Studio to ready a follow-up, tentatively scheduled for release in August. However, let it be known that drummer Brian Bovenizer—also of Astoria's Fort George Brewery—recently purchased the Ludwig Vistalite drum kit that I included in my section of the Mercury staff's holiday wish list ["WE WANT. GIVE IT TO US," Dec 5, 2012] and kept it for himself. Therefore, he and I are now mortal enemies. En garde, Bovenizer! NED LANNAMANN
ULI JON ROTH, STONE SENATE, WITCH MOUNTAIN, HOLY GROVE
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE Cesar E. Chavez) For those of you saying, "Who is Uli Jon Roth?" let me be the one to say you've done yourself a huge musical disservice. Roth is the German Jimi Hendrix. Best known for his stint in Scorpions from '74 to '78, Roth played on arguably the four best Scorpions full-lengths (and one double-live album). His Fender tone and bluesy-classical style injected feel and soul into the Scorp's heavy rock 'n' roll before they morphed into an anthemic arena-rock band. While Schenker & Co. have given up on their '70s era, Roth apparently still plays some of those classic tracks. If that weren't enough to sell you, he will also be playing his Sky guitar. Roth had the guitar built some time in the '80s to his specifications, with extra frets to get to those hard-to-reach high notes. It's easy to say someone has reinvented the guitar, but Uli Jon Roth literally did it. ARIS WALES
DAVE ALVIN AND THE GUILTY ONES, MARSHALL CRENSHAW
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) Like all the best singer/songwriters, Dave Alvin appears in his songs only as an onlooker. He's a storyteller, so his words come together to form snapshots of characters. Alvin has been making music for over three decades now, which means that he has the experience to back up his tales of hookups and breakups and old friends. This is especially true on his most recent album, Eleven Eleven. He's also an astounding blues guitarist with an avuncular voice and a knack for putting together a mind-blowing band, currently called the Guilty Ones. Meanwhile opener Marshall Crenshaw's vocal cords have drunk from the Fountain of Youth. He's almost 60, but he sounds like he could be 27. The 2009 album Jaggedland is Crenshaw's 10th, and it also sounds like it could have been written by a much younger man. His songs are thematically timeless, but his guitar playing consistently powers past expectations. REBECCA WILSON
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