(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) The glossy, glassy synth pop of Chvrches has already built a steady mass of listeners, thanks to the strengths of early singles "Recover" and "The Mother We Share." Their debut album, The Bones of What You Believe, comes out later this month on Glassnote, but right now the only chance to hear most of these songs is by seeing the Scottish trio in person. While the group plays perfectly into the zeitgeist of current, '80s-gazing electronic music, every tune is built upon serious songwriting chops, and their remarkably speedy rise to headlining major venues feels entirely deserved. NED LANNAMANN
JUSTIN TOWNES EARLE, HISS GOLDEN MESSENGER
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) Wednesday's lineup at the Aladdin will show what North Carolina can do to a man. The headliner is Justin Townes Earle, who shed his throwback-twang thing last year with the release of Nothing's Gonna Change the Way You Feel About Me Now, a sublime soul album recorded in the Appalachian hippie-haven of Asheville, North Carolina. Opening the evening will be Hiss Golden Messenger, led by songwriter MC Taylor of Durham, North Carolina, the trucker-capped godhead of the region's burgeoning cosmic Americana scene. Along with longtime collaborator Scott Hirsch and an all-star cast of pickin'-wizard friends, Taylor has released a slew of excellent records in recent years, culminating with Haw in April. For lack of better words, Haw is darn near perfect, an adventurous amble through low-key country-rock, front-porch folk, sleepy '70s pop, Southern soul, and spiritual imagery that'll make you want to pack up your necessities and take a pilgrimage to the Piedmont. BEN SALMON
DEERHUNTER, LONNIE HOLLEY
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) Over the past few years Deerhunter has transformed from a noisy and polished post-punk band to essentially one of the best garage rock bands around. We got a taste on 2010's excellent Halcyon Digest, and with their latest, Monomania, Bradford Cox & Co. have gone deeper into the dilapidated garage inhabited by bands like Thee Oh Sees and Sic Alps. Cox is an unapologetic music sponge, and his lyrics veer from brash whimsy to autobiography on "Punk (La Vie Antérieure)," whose sinewy guitar line recalls Deerhunter's earlier work. But even when Cox wants to grip and rip, it's always elegant. MARK LORE
GOLD FIELDS, RUSH MIDNIGHT, MACKINTOSH BRAUN
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) One thing Rush Midnight and Gold Fields have in common is a knack for a smooth, synthy, pop sound that will make your Lee dungarees wiggle and bounce. Though Gold Fields only recently put out their debut album, this Australian quintet sounds like they've been the soundtrack to more than a few indie movie montage scenes. Bringing the dancey kick of Daft Punk to sensual chord progressions, Gold Fields overlays strings and haunting melodies onto straightforward pop roots. Gold Fields pairs well with Rush Midnight, an ambient, electronically based artist from Brooklyn. One could argue Russ Manning got his stage name after his friends said his name five times fast, but his music demonstrates real creativity. Rush Midnight innovatively combines his vocals with such a full-bodied sound that the absence of a band goes without notice. ROSE FINN
MURDER BY DEATH, LARRY AND HIS FLASK, THE 4ONTHEFLOOR
(Dante's, 350 W Burnside) Murder by Death hasn't shape-shifted so much as adapted and outrun any quantifiable niche. Charting time within the gothic Southern folk arena on breakout LP In Boca Al Lupo, then the devilish folklore overtones of Red of Tooth and Claw and Good Morning, Magpie, MBD stretches its legs on their newest record, Bitter Drink, Bitter Moon. The band's first release for Bloodshot Records is just as dark as previous efforts, and vocalist/guitarist Adam Turla's spooky baritone is equally as menacing. Those main elements are drizzled over a richer, fuller sound, which at times reaches into heavier cuts like the sinister "Straight at the Sun." Bend, Oregon's Larry and his Flask promise an explosive opener to MBD. Their new record, By the Lamplight, proffers a grass-punk revival of epic proportions. RYAN J. PRADO
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