LOVERS, TENDER FOREVER, NIGHT CADET
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) For their seventh studio album, Portland sound-collage trio Lovers wrangle sharply crafted songs that ebb from the group's more ardently danceable material. Ensconced in lush clouds of sound via soft synth manipulations and bright harmonies, Lovers—songwriter Carolyn Berk, producer/sound artist Kerby Ferris, and producer/percussionist Emily Kingan—take a cautious, though no less engaging, electro-pop turn on A Friend in the World. Songs like "The Modern Art Museum of the Modern Kiss Goodbye" sail on Berk's cerebral lyrics and Lovers' neo-disco groove, articulating fissures in modern romance as well as emphasizing the group's oft-cited feminist politics and sexual undertones. It's an understated, trance-like vignette of bouncy rhythms, and it ought to be received with open arms at tonight's record release. RYAN J. PRADO
THE NATIONAL, FRIGHTENED RABBIT
(Edgefield, 2126 SW Halsey, Troutdale) If rock 'n' roll is typically a teenager's medium—soda pop and bubblegum—then the National are scotch and cigars, about as adult as popular music can get. Their sixth full-length, this year's stately and stunning Trouble Will Find Me, is a perfectly tailored three-piece suit of an album, bearing a mien of aloof, authoritative cool. But underneath the crisp façade is all the turmoil and anguish of what it's actually like to be a grownup—the money worries, the cutthroat competition of careerism, the raw romantic angst, the questionable drinking decisions, the family problems that never quite recede into the rearview. It's a beautiful, terrifying album, reaching its apex on the masterful "I Need My Girl." Frightened Rabbit also navigate the waters of being a grownup, with all its attendant dread and desperation, but also with a sense of humor and ecstatic release. The four B-sides on their new single "Late March, Death March" are just as good as the tracks on their sterling Pedestrian Verse. This outstanding double-bill sold out weeks ago, because of course it did. These two bands are among the best in the game. NED LANNAMANN
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) Italy-born, New York City-based Mauro Remiddi—AKA Porcelain Raft—put out his sophomore album, Permanent Signal, on Secretly Canadian earlier this year to much anticipation and acclaim. He's been called a cross between M83 and Beach House, but seems to have lived several musical lifetimes: one as a traveling musician in the Berlin Youth Circus playing gypsy klezmer music, one scoring soundtracks for foreign films, and one as a pianist in off-Broadway productions. Rich, gauzy dream-pop woven under Remiddi's alluringly androgynous, reed-like voice creates an emotive soundtrack for an alien world where acoustics mingle with electronics to complement a wistful melodic sensibility like none other. CHRISTINA BROUSSARD
(Con-Way, 2170 NW Raleigh) After experiencing nearly two weeks of heady, explosive art... you really need to dance! And that's why TBA's closing night party is gonna be a jaw-dropping ass-shaker. Making it all happen is the sultry voice of singer/producer Natasha Kmeto and the fat beats of Rap Class, who team up to produce soulful, sweat-inducing, and jam-packed dance floors. WM.™ STEVEN HUMPHREY
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