How the Waterfront Went from a Shit-Filled Disaster to Portland's Real "Living Room"
BENDER: CHEATER SLICKS, MISSING MONUMENTS & MORE
(Star Theater, 13 NW 6th) The Bender has left its home at Slabtown, but all else for the annual punk-garage-rawk fest remains the same. For three solid days—including a matinee show on Saturday and a special exclusive show on Sunday for those with weekend wristbands—stuff your ears with the likes of Monoshock, the Cheater Slicks, Black Bananas, the Cynics, and tons more. NED LANNAMANN Read our guide to the Bender.
RLLRBLL, KOONDA HOLAA, MUSTAPHAMOND, KOMAL SA
(Kenton Club, 2025 N Kilpatrick) Koonda Holaa, also known as Kamilsky—actually, Czech-born musician Kamil Kruta—has a long and confusing résumé, including stints with the Residents and Pseudo Pseudo, time in Czechoslovakian prison just before the Velvet Revolution, and collaborations with X's Exene Cervenka and others. While this is all very interesting, Koonda Holaa and the Beetchees' most recent album, 2009's 10 Acres of the Finest Sand, speaks for itself. It's the sound of a dark harvest of something mystical from familiar folk tropes, with Kamilsky's deep voice both inviting and terrifying; the record's mix of organic and bizarre instrumentation sounds both pan-global and entirely otherworldly. Kamilsky has been in the States for many years now, but his music has so many widespread roots that it's unlike anything you've ever heard. This guy might be a genius. NL
THE PROTONS, PRIMITIVE IDOLS, 42 FORD PREFECT
(East End, 203 SE Grand) Surf rock in Portland takes on a slightly darker bent than if a band was from, say, Miami. Surprisingly, there's no shortage of it here—Guantanamo Baywatch is the most notable band to creep its way in with the hipster crowd. The Protons are working on it, too, and they might just get there with the release of their latest The Explanatory Gap EP. It's noisy and otherworldly while adhering to the blueprint laid out by the Surfaris back when your grandparents were hip. Basically, surf music might be better here than anywhere else in the world. There's just something about songs inspired by the beach that are actually written and performed in a dark, moldy basement. MARK LORE
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
COCK BLOCK: PUNISHER, MISS VIXEN, ANNA LANGLEY, LAVONNE LOVE
(Groove Suite, 440 NW Glisan) The last Cock Block goes out with a nice big bang before it moves on to its next venue (yet to be determined), with Punisher—AKA Michelle Herrmann—on the decks. Known for busting out celebrated live performances with drum machines and synthesizers as well as work behind the turntables, Herrmann is a prolific producer with over 40 releases under her belt and a career that spans more than 20 years in the dance music industry. She's been steadily building her reputation as founder of not one, but two lauded techno imprints: Hej Records and Seismic Records Detroit, in addition to performing all over the world alongside electronic music greats; her signature style is sure to make you get down. CHRISTINA BROUSSARD