At Last! Saoirse Ronan Isn't Wasted!
KISS, DEF LEPPARD
(Sleep Country Amphitheater, 17200 NE Delfel) While I'm no card-carrying member of the KISS Army, I'm certain that tonight's show from New York City's finest practitioners of kabuki rock will be nothing short of a complete and utter blast. Too bad about the openers, Def Leppard, who haven't released anything good since On Through the Night, and whose deluded defenders are the very definition of untrustworthy. NED LANNAMANN
It's unfortunate that the authors of the greatest rock lyric of all time ("Do you take sugar? ONE LUMP OR TWO??!!"), Def Leppard, have to share company with the bland corporate poseurdom that is KISS. The good news is Leppard's up first, so just hold your nose on the way out after their set. MARJORIE SKINNER
HOOK & ANCHOR, CATALDO, BARNA HOWARD
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Hook & Anchor, the self-titled debut album from the Portland roots-rock ensemble, is a terrific introduction to the talents of its members—but it's likely no introduction is needed. Kati Claborn, Luke Ydstie, and Ryan Dobrowski all play together in Blind Pilot, and indeed, you might initially think of Hook & Anchor as a kind of splinter project, a Black Prairie to Blind Pilot's Decemberists. But that downplays the contributions of guitarist Erik Clampitt and fiddler Gabrielle Macrae, who put their stamp on Hook & Anchor as well. Throughout, the group embraces a folksier, more traditional old-time vibe than you'll find from Blind Pilot, although outcroppings of rock 'n' roll jut up here and there. It's most accurate to characterize Hook & Anchor as a record of great songwriting and playing—when the music's this good, the band's tangled family tree is more or less incidental. NED LANNAMANN
QUIET MUSIC FESTIVAL: MARISA ANDERSON, MARK EITZEL, NEAL MORGAN, PULSE EMITTER, CHRISTINE SHIELDS, JONATHAN SIELAFF
(Disjecta, 8371 N Interstate) The idea behind the Quiet Music Festival is right there in its name: to bring musicians together to play their music with as little volume and bombast as possible. And with the soft lighting and cozy atmosphere put together by Disjecta, catching a catnap mid-show or falling into a blissful state of zen are distinct possibilities. This year's edition offers a fascinating array of local and national talent including, on the first night, a lounge-y, jazzy set from American Music Club frontman Mark Eitzel, a set of solo guitar instrumentals from Marisa Anderson, and beat poetry-inspired songsmith/drummer Neal Morgan, who performs both by himself and in collaboration with modular synth genius Pulse Emitter.
YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, ULI JON ROTH, GARY HOEY, BUMBLEFOOT
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Yngwie Johan Malmsteen is one of rock's most polarizing figures. His persona represents the absolute apex of '80s penis-metal bravado, but he's also undeniably one of the most impressive and innovative guitarists of all time. (That's not hyperbole—he makes Brian May look like Sid Vicious.) Malmsteen's a careerist to the bitter end, though, and lacks anything close to a perceivable musical "soul," which makes sense, as rock 'n' roll's influence on Malmsteen is reportedly limited to the time he saw Jimi Hendrix smashing a guitar on TV. His latest album, Spellbound, is standard Malmsteen fare, featuring plenty of to-be-expected, sterile, faux-classical wankery and some, well, genuinely spellbinding riffage. Regardless of how you feel about him, Malmsteen remains a beacon of influence for pimple-faced, aspiring guitar gods who don't yet realize how dorky this shit is. MORGAN TROPER
TRUNCATE, ANDREW BOIE, JAK, TRACY WHY
(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) Truncate is the most recent techno/house project from well-known hit maker Audio Injection (David Flores), geared toward producing DJ-friendly tunes that are stripped down and focused, and that build to ferocious energy. Flores' production and arrangements are attuned to the dance floor, and are designed to shift and mold its intensity with precise intent—a philosophy that's set him apart in the ever-rising tides of techno producers. Flores has kept front-and-center with releases on notable labels such as Droid Behavior, CLR, 50Weapons, Modularz and Mote-Evolver, as well as headlining appearances at Fabric and Berghain. Portland is in for a dose of the real deal. CHRISTINA BROUSSARD