(Yale Union, 800 SE 10th) Finding a genre distinction with which to frame the music of Lubomyr Melnyk is a difficult task. The Ukranian-born musician—often cited as the world's fastest pianist, capable of playing 19.5 notes per second with each hand simultaneously—could fall very easily under the contemporary classical fold, as his work feels like an extension of the melodic principles set forth by composers like Arnold Schoenberg and Philip Glass. But there's a fluidity to his work that allows him to find a comfortable home among the post-rock community as well, especially when looking at The Watchers, his 2013 collaboration with guitarist James Blackshaw that finds the musicians blending melodic figures together into a complex tapestry. Whatever box you want to place Melnyk in, the bigger picture remains that he's a rare talent and one worthy of witnessing in person at this, his first-ever performance in Portland. ROBERT HAM
THRONES, PRIZEHOG, POLST
(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) With most heavy rock bands in the Northwest chasing the long tail of the Melvins, the only group that seems to have caught up with Buzz and the gang long enough to take a bite off is local trio Prizehog. The band's fourth album, Re-Unvent the Whool, comes out March 4 on Eolian Empire, and it's the sound of sludge rock melting before your very ears. Each of its seven tracks is a psych-smattered firebomb covered in the goo of the group's heavily processed vocals. Little phrases or words come bubbling out of the murk, providing a bit of muddy color to the already sticky canvas. RH
CIBO MATTO, SALT CATHEDRAL
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) You can't keep Cibo Matto down. The adorable and upbeat duo of Yuka Honda and Miho Hatori saw their heyday in the '90s with tasty and irresistible songs about food. They took an overly long hiatus and now the Japanese band have a new album, Hotel Valentine, delighting audiences all over again with bouncy pop creations. COURTNEY FERGUSON
NICKI BLUHM AND THE GRAMBLERS, CARLY RITTER
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers first snuck beyond the mellowed-out Americana camp with their Van Sessions on YouTube, where they covered everything from Linda Ronstadt’s “You’re No Good” to Deniece Williams’ “Let’s Hear It for the Boy.” Since then, their version of Hall and Oates’ “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)” has received more than two million views, and the band recently landed a performance on Conan. The Gramblers, which include Bluhm’s husband Tim of the Mother Hips, make their own music, too. Their latest self-titled LP is filled with rootsy, ’70s-AM pop that nestles somewhere between the Band and Fleetwood Mac. It sounds like they’ve found their niche, but between the spotless musicianship and the emergence of Nicki Bluhm as a commanding frontwoman, it looks as though the sky’s the limit. MARK LORE
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