VHÖL, ATRIARCH, HONDURAN
(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) For a band that plays heavy music, genre adherence and specificity are overrated. It's much more interesting to throw off the metal nerds and slack-jawed journalists (points to self) that need to box things up so they can safely describe bands to their friends and readers. In the case of local trio Honduran, there are so many genres and sub-genres interlaced in their full-length debut, Street Eagles, it's not worth mentioning a single one. What is worth mentioning: If you enjoy tunes rife with ferocity and furor, Honduran is right up your alley. If you like it grinding fast or methodically slow, then you're also happy at home with Honduran. Basically, Honduran has enough energy to power 10 city blocks, and light the torches of the mobs rioting on those blocks, too. ARIS WALES Also, read our article on VHÖL.
DESCHUTES STREET FARE: THE MINUS 5, HOOK AND ANCHOR, MARIACHI LOS PALMEROS, FUNK PLASTIC
(Deschutes Brewery and Public House, 210 NW 11th) Portland loves its street fairs. Unless, maybe, you happen to live or work on those streets that annually cater to hordes of pedestrians, circus folk, food carts... and more circus folk. Still! Street fairs have their moments, and the Deschutes Street Fare (get it?) ought to have some killer ones. In its fourth year, the Street Fare is teaming up with local businesses and bands to raise money for Meals on Wheels. All proceeds go toward helping sustain the business of providing hot meals for the elderly, and that's hardly a bummer. Plus, the music lineup is pretty fantastic, with a little bit of funk (Funk Plastic), a little bit of mariachi (Mariachi Los Palmeros) and a presumably amazing set by Portland's own the Minus 5. Food highlights include Touchdowns BBQ and Cheese and Crack. I bet there'll be beer there, too. RYAN J. PRADO
SMITH WESTERNS, WAMPIRE
(Doug Fir 830 E Burnside) I can't be the only one surprised Smith Westerns are still around, let alone still making decent records. But this Chicago four-piece survived their growing pains and released Soft Will this year, an album that cribs from '70s glam and '80s new wave, but kills you with jagged hooks and big choruses. Smith Westerns have never necessarily been dangerous or challenging, instead relying on doing what they do well. That's not a backhanded compliment, either. These kids... err, men, know how to craft fantastic pop songs. It's something that often gets overlooked these days, but I get the feeling Smith Westerns will have the last laugh. MARK LORE
FOCUS TROUP, ETERNAL TAPESTRY, GRAPEFRUIT, 4x4 DJS
(Valentine's, 232 SW Ankeny) Tonight's show serves as a capstone to one of Portland's most prolific and enigmatic young musicians before he leaves for LA's sprawling wasteland of opportunity. Serving this community as a dedicated sound engineer and a jack-of-all-trades instrumentalist, John Rau is an impassioned promoter for avant-rock of all stripes. This will likely be the final show for his labor-of-love project Focus Troup, a group that sounds like trying to fall asleep with a head full of Ambien while listening to early Deerhunter. In Focus Troup's lone released track "To," pools of shimmering synthesizer loops and minimal drumming provide a backdrop to Rau's driven guitar lead, marching the band through a triumphant composition fused by experimental and pop undertones that harken to Yo La Tengo's emotive simplicity. Also featured will be the kosmische synth explorations of Charlie Salas Humara's Grapefruit and the anti-dad album rock of Eternal Tapestry, two bands that share in Rau's quest for epistemological zones. WYATT SCHAFFNER
PLANNED PARENTHOOD'S FIFTH ANNUAL PINK PARTY: DJ ANJALI, DJ SAPPHO, DJ HERO WORSHIP
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Oregon has the least-restrictive abortion laws in the country, but that wouldn't be the case if we didn't have organizations like Planned Parenthood actively guarding our rights. Tonight's Pink Party benefit celebrates an organization that provides birth control, sex education, STI testing, and more to thousands and thousands of women and men. ALISON HALLETT
Tip for End Hits?
Email them here.
Get the best of the Mercury each week in your inbox!