NUCULAR AMINALS, GALLONS, HAUNTED HORSES
(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) Nucular Aminals spent most of March touring Europe, and tonight's homecoming show also doubles as the release show for their latest 7-inch single, out on Hovercraft. The A-side, "Alice Day," and the B-side, "Come On," are two of a kind—mellow but miffed minor-key rock with the band's serious pop chops tempered by their macabre artiness. Nucular Aminals' last album, November's terrific Start from an End, was their best work to date, which is saying a lot for a band that has released plenty of material but no weak sides to speak of. "Alice Day" continues that trend, making pop weirdness that's not obvious, but intriguing enough to want to crawl around inside of for a while. NED LANNAMANN
DINOSAUR JR., THE SHRINE
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) I first saw Dinosaur Jr. at the Crystal Ballroom in 2007, when the band was touring in support of their comeback album, Beyond. Being the perspicacious rock dork I was and still am, I was pretty well acquainted with Dino by that point. My expectations weren't exactly nebulous. I knew they fucking rocked. But, at the risk of repeating a stupid cliché usually associated with J. Mascis & Co., it was probably the loudest show I had ever been to. Of course, since then I've been to plenty of shows that were infinitely louder (most of which have occurred in basements), but that show in particular was significant because it was the first really loud show I had ever been to. They say you never forget your first time, and they're right—tinnitus is a permanent condition. MORGAN TROPER
ANIMAL EYES, BEAR AND MOOSE, PAPER BRAIN
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Animal Eyes have been tearing apart the Portland scene for well over a year now. If you haven't seen them play, you've seen their name plastered on every telephone pole around town. To say they've been working hard is an understatement, as every time I've seen them live, their performance is better than the last. As they continue to build their bursting, gung-ho rock vibe, their compositions become more intricate and clean, giving weight to the old saying—practice makes perfect. Catch them for their first show at the Doug Fir, accompanied by rose-hued, happy ballads by Paper Brain. RACHEL MILBAUER
MOUNT EERIE, ASHLEY ERIKSSON, LIKE A VILLAIN
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Mount Eerie takes effort. Phil Elverum's fragile vocals seem to be the only constant among his evolving and academic albums. I admit that I had to try to get past the feeling that his music is over my head. But it was ultimately worth it. Because each album, no matter how disparate, is built on the same bedrock of warmth, of seeking connections in a confusing world. Another unifying factor is the Pacific Northwest. Elverum is from Anacortes, and on last year's two LPs, Ocean Roar and Clear Moon, he explores two sides of his island. On Clear Moon, anxiously ambient overlapping layers of guitar evoke an environment that is fertile and soothing, with an awareness of viciousness and transience. With thick, dark drones, big guitars, and organs, Ocean's Roar is a more straightforward interpretation of the Pacific. Opening are Ashley Eriksson, of Olympia-based pop band LAKE, and the unsettling and pristine Like a Villain. REBECCA WILSON
GRRRL FRONT FEST
(Slabtown, 1033 NW 16th) It's been far too long since I've been grrrled at, but that's about to be fixed: The Slabtown Grrrl Front Festival is four all-ages days of talented ladies in music (Busy Scissors, Litto Fox) and stand-up comedy (Bri Pruett, Marcia Belsky), plus an art show, zine workshop, roller derby sign-ups, a demo for a riot grrrl-themed videogame, a clothing swap benefit, and the kitchen sink. MARJORIE SKINNER
Tip for End Hits?
Email them here.
Get the best of the Mercury each week in your inbox!