SAPIENT, CHICHARONES, IAME, EVIL EBENEZER, CLOUDY OCTOBER, ILLMACULATE
(Branx, 320 SE 2nd) Read our article on Sapient.
LAURA GIBSON, NICK JAINA, DANIEL HUNT
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Laura Gibson's lilting, thoughtful folk songs are by turns urgent and fanciful, playful and deeply emotional. Throw in a generous, stealthily commanding stage presence that just about guarantees a great live show, and there's no way around it: She's a goddamn Portland treasure. ALISON HALLETT
RAMONA FALLS, SOCIAL STUDIES, THE ECSTATICS
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Let Portland's Ramona Falls wrap you in warm and spacey tunes from their most recent album, Prophet. Former Menomena-man and current Ramona Falls frontman Brent Knopf's songs are beautiful, arching creations that sail through stories and dreamy soundscapes with verve. COURTNEY FERGUSON
CEREMONY OF SLUDGE: SIOUX, LAMPREY, BEARD OF BEES, HUNGERS
(The Alleyway, 2415 NE Alberta) For the second year, NE Alberta's Alleyway Bar becomes a haven of all things loud and stoned, as the second annual Ceremony of Sludge festival showcases metal bands from around the Pacific Northwest. Taking into account the thousands of different microgenres within metal, what you need to know is that these bands traffic in thickness and heaviness, where the almighty riff dominates all. It's put on by the folks at Captain Couch Records, and all attendees receive a free download of the Ceremony of Sludge Vol. 2 compilation, plus the shows will be recorded for the possibility of a future comp. Get loud, get heavy, get sludged for three days straight. NED LANNAMANN
SAMA DAMS, WALTER MITTY AND HIS MAKESHIFT ORCHESTRA, TIANANMEN BEAR, AMENTA ABIOTO
(Backspace, 115 NW 5th) Sama Dams is a band who, despite your go-to thought, is not named after the former mayor of this city. A different guy named Sam Adams is the central singer and guitarist of the band, which started as a solo project and has evolved into a multi-faceted, highly textured, and intricate sound, reminiscent of Radiohead and Dirty Projectors. The addition of Lisa Adams (keys, vocals) and Chris Hermsen (drums), combined with Sam's cathartic vocals—which range from slight whispers to skewed, surprising tonal yelps—never cease to bring the audience to a moment of awe and appreciation of their experimental, ghostly compositions. RACHEL MILBAUER
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