DAVID DONDERO, KORY QUINN
(Al's Den, 303 SW 12th) Traveling songsmith David Dondero is apparently just going by his surname for this batch of gigs, a weeklong residency in the basement of McMenamins' Crystal Hotel featuring a special guest each night. Still, Dondero is the reason to go—as evidenced by brilliant albums like South of the South, Simple Love, and #Zero with a Bullet, Dondero is a heartbreaker of the most expert and devastating sort. Each of Dondero's songs are like open wounds, raw and pulsing with life but extraordinarily painful to stare into for long periods of time. Still, tunes like "Pornographic Love Song" and "Rothko Chapel" are masterpieces, the work of one of America's best living songwriters. He's playing for free all week long. You owe it to yourself to catch a show. Or seven. NED LANNAMANN
THE MALLARD, THE HOODED HAGS, FEEL YOUNG
(Record Room, 8 NE Killingsworth) The Mallard are quickly becoming one of the more recognizable groups hailing from the Bay Area's fertile psych-garage set. Originally the solo project of Greer McGettrick, the Mallard's first recordings were selfless slabs of fuzzy punk set to warbly, thin percussion. The band has beefed up since then from trio to quartet, and their 2012 Castle Face Records debut Yes on Blood showcases both McGettrick's patience for the craft of the lo-fi recording process as well as a knack for hiding hooks under lots of squealing ax work. Forget for a second that the band has been more or less weaned from the(e) Oh Sees teat; the Mallard are a solid band deserving of autonomy, and you'd do well to catch them while you can. RYAN J. PRADO
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