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Friday, May 16, 2014

Tonight in Music: Agalloch, Floor, YG & More

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Fri, May 16, 2014 at 10:56 AM

(Star Theater, 13 NW 6th) Read our article on Agalloch.

(Branx, 320 SE 2nd) Read our article on Floor.

(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Halfway through "BPT," the first song on YG's My Krazy Life, producer DJ Mustard drops a familiar, squiggly synth line into the mix, an unmistakable nod to Dr. Dre's revolutionary productions of the 1990s. If the narrative around My Krazy Life hasn't made it clear, YG and Mustard will connect the dots for you: West Coast gangsta rap is back in the spotlight, and these two are its sound, fury, and conscience. They're a devastating team. Mustard's beats are lean and playful, obvious heirs to the G-funk throne, while YG singsongs his way through a day in his LA: hanging out, partying, juggling relationships with various women, robbing houses, getting caught. He wraps with "Sorry Momma," a heartfelt tale of regret that paints a 3D picture of rap's new ratchet-anthem kingpin. Hiphop's evolving in strange ways these days, but if it's a pure, fun rap show you desire, YG's your man. BEN SALMON Also see My, What a Busy Week!

(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside)The great progressive bluegrass (some people call it "newgrass," which I refuse to do, because I am not an idiot) trio Nickel Creek have been MIA since 2007, but they're finally back and they have a new album—and tonight, they're playing the Crystal. Due to the whole "seven-year hiatus" thing, it sold out fast—but c'mon. There are ways. ERIK HENRIKSEN

(Alhambra Theatre, 4811 SE Hawthorne) "Well, I walked into the house/and you punched me in the mouth." This arresting couplet opens Violent Psalms' debut album, Slow to Speak, and things only get more tumultuous from there. The local band operates in the familiar power-trio format, with lean folk-rock arrangements and a frequent spangle of guitars that knock out their forceful, blustery compositions delivered at unhurried speeds. All seven tracks of Slow to Speak are meaty and worthwhile, and while some of the melodies occasionally meander off-course, low-key highlights like "Sleeping Pills" and "Broken Pieces" turn out to be explosive sticks of dynamite with long fuses. NED LANNAMANN

(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) Ten years after the dissolution of Olympia post-hardcore legends Unwound, former frontman Justin Tropser quietly snuck back into the Northwest music scene at the helm of Survival Knife. In the two years since, the band has built a reputation for creating a meeting zone of disparate genres—the frantic energy and jerky rhythms of post-punk, mixed with occasional prog-rock song structures, power-pop hooks, and '80s metal riffs. After teasing fans with 7-inches on Kill Rock Stars and Sub Pop, Survival Knife released their first full-length a few weeks ago on Isaac Brock's Glacial Pace label. With the momentum of a new album behind them, and former Unwound drummer Sara Lund's band Hungry Ghost opening the night with their angular take on sludgy blues, this is a show well worth coming out for. JOSHUA JAMES AMBERSON

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Loop's sizzling acid trip was a short one. The London neo-psych quartet set sail in 1986 before calling it a day five years (and three albums) later. In that time, they strung together songs that often seemed endless, drug-addled, and on the brink. The band was often compared to Spacemen 3 (to the chagrin of Spacemen 3) as they brought the Summer of Love into a brave new world, making for a very modern and intensely apocalyptic experience. Frontman Robert Hampson recently reformed the band, because... well, because this shit still sounds intense and fresh. And when the world finally does end—whether it's tomorrow, or 200 years from now—Loop's music is going to still sound just as mind-melting as it did nearly three decades ago. MARK LORE

(Future Shock, 1914 E Burnside) As Portland venues continue to wrestle with unwarranted interference surrounding hiphop shows, a positive consequence is the proliferation of musical performances in non-traditional venues. Considering hiphop was born in community centers and public parks, it's only natural to find a flourishing local community sprouting out of basements and studios into college campuses and art galleries. Tonight's a celebration of Gums and Antitune, the self-titled release from producer Antitune and emcee Gums. Antitune's production features dusty jazz samples augmented by MPC beats, providing the ideal canvas for rapper Gums to paint his dexterous bars. Emcee/producer Zoo?—AKA Dylan Muldrew of the Renaissance Coalition—and K-Mass of London Victory Club get the party started. RYAN FEIGH

(Laughing Horse Books, 12 NE 10th) Living Eyes is a smart, terse, hardcore "supergroup" from Oakland featuring both current and previous members of Ceremony, Punch, Loma Prieta, and more. What are the chances that their name is a reference to one of my favorite Bee Gees songs? MORGAN TROPER

(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) Getting ready for Detroit's annual Movement Festival, one of North America's premier dance music events, requires planning and preparation. It helps to prime yourself with some dark, dirty, pumping techno so you can be ready for the high-speed bass blowback you might experience if you're lucky enough to make it to Detroit for the weekend of hardcore dance music. Raiz—the team of brothers Vangelis and Vidal Vargas—will descend upon Portland to give us a taste of that unflinchingly raw energy. With a string of successful techno releases on their own Droid Behavior label, be confident that a night of serious homage to rhythm awaits. CHRISTINA BROUSSARD


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