DIRTNAP RECORDS' 14TH ANNIVERSARY: MARKED MEN, BAD SPORTS, MEAN JEANS, & MORE
(Slabtown, 1033 NW 16th) Tonight, 10 bands—most of which are very good, luckily—will perform back to back under one roof, of an assuredly humid Slabtown, in celebration of the 14th birthday of Portland's Dirtnap Records, which is one of this country's preeminent indie record labels, punk or otherwise. Aptly headlining the show are Denton, Texas' Marked Men, whose 2009 LP Ghosts effortlessly marries hardcore velocity and terseness with '60s pop-caliber melodicism (vocalist Jeff Burke sounds like a drunken, depraved Sonny Bono). Marked Men's 2006 album Fix My Brain, too, is just about perfect. Also playing are hometown heroes the Mean Jeans, who amazingly aren't annoying yet. It's gonna be one hell of a racket. MORGAN TROPER Also see My, What a Busy Week!
BLOUSE, FEATHERS, LITANIC MASK
(Star Theater, 13 NW 6th) Imperium, the new album by nostalgia-centric Portland trio Blouse, embodies alternating energies—whether digging deep toward the odd-timed chord progression buzz of early Pixies as on the title track, or cooing a washed-out lullaby in "Eyesite," or mining Vaselines-like dream-pop in "1,000 Years." It's a testament to the sprawling foundations of Blouse's core lineup, which includes chameleonic vocalist Charlie Hilton, Unknown Mortal Orchestra's Jacob Portrait, and bassist Patrick Adams. Imperium's charm is smudgy and smeared, like drinking wine from a cloudy goblet; but though a common palate is sometimes hard to pinpoint, this is a great second record for Blouse, showcasing the band embracing disparate, time-travelling sounds, and their ability to shake memorable, scrappy, and sage tunes from waves of cascading melody. RYAN J. PRADO
TOYBOAT TOYBOAT TOYBOAT, TAPE DECK MOUNTAIN, Q UN Q, FASTERS
(Record Room, 8 NE Killingsworth) Travis Trevisan is the king of Tape Deck Mountain; he started the band four years ago as a way to bring his songs to life with the help of a rotating cast of friends and musicians. A debut album and a handful of EPs later, Trevisan is gearing up for the release of his second full-length, Sway, on his Nineteen98 record label. Trevisan lives in New York City but is from San Diego, and he wrote most of Sway in Austin, Texas. No matter where he calls home, however, Tape Deck Mountain stands as monument to the power of effects pedals: Sway is an impressive slice of shoegaze, where showers of sparkling, arpeggiated guitars crescendo into a satisfyingly fuzzy crunch. Ascend at your own bliss. BEN SALMON
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