WATERFRONT BLUES FEST: ROBERT PLANT AND THE SENSATIONAL SPACE SHIFTERS, ROBERT RANDOLPH AND THE FAMILY BAND, MAVIS STAPLES, TAJ MAHAL, & MORE
(Waterfront Park, SW Naito & Columbia) Hey hey mama, it's the one and only Robert Plant, headlining the Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival! Plant's best known as the belter for Led Zeppelin, but he's a serious appreciator of roots, blues, folk, and world music, and his new band the Sensational Space Shifters turns these elements into a psychedelic stew that'll get you dazed and confused—in a good way. Dancing days are here again! NED LANNAMANN
THE B-52s, THE GO-GOs
(Oregon Zoo, 4001 SW Canyon) It's your right to detest the B-52s for what the smash single "Love Shack" has wrought on our country's karaoke bars. But the aging Athens, Georgia, outfit has genuine talent. And if you can swing $40 for a ticket, you can certainly afford to be in line for concessions when the tambourine begins to shake on that most-loathed orgy paean. DIRK VANDERHART
REVA DEVITO, GOTHIC TROPIC
(Rontoms, 600 E Burnside) LA trio Gothic Tropic make compelling, brightly distorted pop/rock/psych/garage music (they're all over the genre spectrum), with far-away tin-can vocals and instantly likeable rambliness. Their four-song EP, Awesome Problems, has been in my ears since I found it, but I suspect it's just a teardrop in Gothic Tropic's ocean of coconut-flavored reverb. EMILY NOKES
THE LONESOME BILLIES, ALBATROSS
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) The Lonesome Billies have a future, but it remains to be seen whether it will be as a band, a troupe of performance artists, or playing Johnny Cash covers in a Vegas revue. The four members all claim the name Bill (and, presumably, a solitary worldview), and singer Billy West Kimsey has the deep voice and conversational singing style of the Man in Black. But this band also has a little something in common with Ween's brilliant genre album 12 Golden Country Greats. See, thematically, the Lonesome Billies run heavy on bizarre imagery and nihilism, which makes for a surprising and at times humorous contrast ("Rats at Your Feet") to the sing-along choruses and acoustic guitars. Also with a flair for the dramatic, Albatross are storytellers of tales that probably aren't going to end well. Their call-and-response narratives and purple violins call to mind morose Civil War ballads. They kick off the Doug Fir's free summertime patio series, Pickin' on Sundays. REBECCA WILSON
PLAYGROUND PARK PARTY: AUDIOELECTRONIC, RICH LACHAPELLE, PHIDELITY, & MORE
(Cathedral Park, N Edison & Pittsburg) Now in its seventh year, the annual Playground Park Party is upon us, just in time for gorgeous Northwest summer weather. This all-day event is held in Cathedral Park and features some of Portland's favorite musical gurus dropping everything from "Deep Caribbean Soul Boogie" to "Cosmic Reverent Balearic Groove." If the past seven years are any indication, the varied and interesting styles of dance music are guaranteed to get you up and moving on the grassy knoll, amid children young and old. The picturesque landscape of Cathedral Park will be the absolute perfect backdrop for a blissful day filled with summer fun and relaxation. CHRISTINA BROUSSARD
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