MAN OR ASTRO-MAN?, AUDACITY
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) One of the most prolific bands of the '90s, Man or Astro-man? is still successfully blurring surf punk with spacey synth to produce an entirely original sound. Their latest release is called Defcon 5... 4... 3... 2... 1, and while still sporting their trademark space surf vibe, they seem to be heavier and goofier (in a good way) than ever. WM™ STEVEN HUMPHREY
THE PAUL COLLINS BEAT, BLUE SKIES FOR BLACK HEARTS, THE CRY, THEE FOUR TEENS
(East End, 203 SE Grand) Paul Collins recorded an album in 2010 called The King of Power Pop, a title that might come off as a bit ostentatious if there weren't some truth to it. Collins formed the Nerves—the short-lived LA power trio—back in the late '70s with Peter Case and Jack Lee. From there he formed the Beat, whose 1979 debut is still one of the catchiest slabs of power pop around. That was a long time ago, but good pop songs never go out of style. Over the past few years Collins has been pushing to turn "power pop" into a movement. I can't imagine that involves much, except some good ol'-fashioned gripping and ripping. I mean, everyone's a sucker for a good pop song, right? MARK LORE
A SIMPLE COLONY, SWANSEA,
(Mission Theater, 1624 NW Glisan) Michael Dodson and Lara Michell are A Simple Colony, and their first album Make It Start runs a wide gamut of styles, most falling into some category of careful, minor-key ballad. With acoustic and electronic textures and Dodson's pliable voice, the band escapes the trap of seeming scattered and unfocused—rather, A Simple Colony seem fully in command of all its various guises. The duo often performs acoustically on their own, but tonight's CD release show will likely see them in their full-band incarnation with bassist Nancy Hess, keyboardist Rebecca Sanborn, and drummer Ned Failing. NED LANNAMANN
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