Wednesday, Aug. 19
Red Bull Sound Select presents Aesop Rock with Rob Sonic & DJ Abilities and Illmaculate
[FUTURE-FACING RAP] As much as they want to do anything, MCs Aesop Rock and Rob Sonic want to ârock the spotââor, at least, that's the chief concern on âThe Soup,â a track off their 2014 duo release as Hail Mary Mellon, Bestiary. Trying to maintain that sort of party atmosphere while commenting on American life should be a struggle. But supported by DJ Wiz Kid (and live by the turntablist half of Eyedea and Abilities), the robotic, future-facing productions all come off as a profound dance party. Supported by Portlandâs Illmaculate, whose beat selection hedges toward classic, fuzzy psych, itâs unlikely the eveningâs going to be short on political commentary. DAVE CANTOR. Star Theater, 13 NW 6th Ave. 9 pm. $3 with RSVP at redbullsoundselect.com. 21.
Thursday, Aug. 20
Dr. Martens Kickoff Party with the Helio Sequence and Divers
[LOCAL HEROES] What better way to kick off Portland's biggest music festival with two of the city's best band? Helio Sequence are the veterans, cleverly blending the electronic with the acoustic for over a decade and who just put out perhaps the grooviest album of its career. Divers, meanwhile, are Portland's reigning Best New Band, and once you witness their sweaty, urgent live show, you'll understand why. Dr. Martens Parking Lot, 2 NW 10th Ave. 5 pm. Entry with VIP wristband or free ticket available at Dr. Martens during regular business hours.
Doug Fir presents Nick Waterhouse with DJ Cooky Parker
Red Bull Sound Select presentS Shlohmo with Manatee Commune and the Flavr Blue
[EMOTIONAL DANCE MUSIC] Shlomo is responsible for bringing brooding, electronic hip-hop beats to the EDM foreground. The video for his latest single, "Beams," from his darkly blase new record Dark Red, is a handheld POV braggadocio covering all the regrettable decisions you and your friends would make if someone bankrolled your weekend in New York. The artist known as Henry Laufer and his Wedidit crew out of L.A. have managed to brand independent production with an admittedly impressive business acumen as synonymous with melancholic rave music. But what started as a DIY-bedroom style project with pop sensibility that led to a collaboration with R&B star Jeremih now embraces the bass-drop-meets-trap melody convention which so enfranchises millennials. WYATT SCHAFFNER. Star Theater, 13 NW 6th Ave. 9 pm. $3 with RSVP at redbullsoundselect.com. 21+.
Friday, Aug. 21
MFNW, Soul'd Out & Double Tee present Miguel with Dorothy
Red Bull Sound Select presents Fucked Up with And And And, and Wimps
[THE SHAPE OF PUNK TO COME] Hardcore has never been a genre open to experimentation. Anti-establishment and hyper-political, sure, but the music coming out of the DC and L.A. punk scenes in the â80s wasnât a place to push things sonically as much as socially. So while Canadian sextet Fucked Up upholds many of the ideologies associated with hardcore, theyâre also constantly striving to push the boundaries of what is acceptable in âloud rock musicâ whilst still making songs that just sound really awesome blaring out your car speakers. Punk-rock opera? Check. A series of singles based on Zodiac signs? Duh. Modern classical experiments and guitars layered like a My Bloody Valentine orchestra? Chyeah! The bandâs latest album, 2014âs Glass Boys, ditches some of the narrative constructs of past works to focus on singer Damian âPink Eyesâ Abrahamâs thoughts on art versus commerce and trying to be a band with ideals in a world where you kind of need that Coachella money to survive. Abrahamâs vocals are still rough and shouted, with both feet fully planted in the hardcore scene, but the songs continue to push Fucked Up into a world where pop and punk meld into a beautiful thing. Star Theater, 13 NW 6th Ave. 9 pm. $3 with RSVP at redbullsoundselect.com. 21.
Mississippi Studios presents Thanks and Just Lions
[SOUL ROCK] If you're going to see Thanks, you're going to hear frontwoman Jimi Hendrix's voice. Sure, it's a rock band with a cellist, which is pretty cool, but considering Hendrix's pipes are half Adele, half the Kills' Alison Mosshart, the vocals are a hard-to-beat selling point. But the keyboard-driven psychedelia and catchy, blues-y guitar hooks of Thanks' 2014 debut, Blood Sounds, certainly aren't shabby. As for what to make of the fact that her name—maybe her given name, maybe not—is Jimi Hendrix, you're on your own. But damn can she howl. SHANNON GORMLEY. Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi Ave. 10 pm. $10. 21.
Doug Fir presents Twin Shadow with Lany
[INDIE POP] George Lewis Jr. was a Florida kid from the Dominican Republic who grew up in the '80s and listened to a whole lot of FM radio. His latest LP, Eclipse, draws references from the guilty pleasures you'd imagine a kid from the suburbs indulges in whenever they're feeling a little cinematic. On his first few records, Lewis took cues from the Smiths and Echo and the Bunnymen, but on Eclipse, the inspiration comes more from the pop fluff of the era. It's understandable to want to go from John Hughes to Joel Schumacher, though, and Lewis is still capable of producing an entire album's worth of dance floor-filling bangers, even if the production is a bit kitschy. CRIS LANKENAU. Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside St. 9 pm. Sold out. 21.
Bunk Bar presents Bearcubbin and 1939 Ensemble
[FRANTIC FRETWORK] It's difficult to know what to expect from a band called Bearcubbin', yet the name is appropriate given the the unpredictable nature of the trio's sound. Guitarist Chris Scott has a freakish affinity for stringing together some of thecrispest notes imaginable, while bassist Patrick Dougherty and tour-de-force drummer Mike Byrne—a Smashing Pumpkins alum—not only hold the rhythms down, but instill them with melodic elements from jazz and post-rock. The band's latest effort, Girls with Fun Haircuts, is a perfect snapshot of its math-rock eccentricities, abetted by inventive percussion, repetitive loops and synthesizers that are nearly as wacky as the masks the band members don in their press shots. BRANDON WIDDER. Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water Ave. 9:30 pm. $8. 21.
Saturday, Aug. 22
Magic Sword with Willis Earl Beal and Transistor Send
[ELECTRO-ROCK] Last year, on a balmy night in mid-August during MFNW, a trailer rolled up in Old Town carrying a bunch of gear and two masked men in full-length druid cloaks. It was a sight to behold: two Ghosts of Christmas Future cloaked in LED masks, playing heavy-metal electronica by way of a nostalgic gamer. Magic Sword is no less mysterious now—all we really know about the band is it originated in Boise—but it has gone legit, getting itself on an actual MFNW-branded bill. It'll be joined by Willis Earl Beal, the acclaimed lo-fi bluesman who recently moved to Portland and whose new album, Noctunes, is being released through Tender Loving Empire. MARK STOCK. Star Theater, 13 NW 6th Ave. 10 pm. $10. 21.
Doug Fir Lounge presents Brothers & Sister (recreating the Allman Brothers' At Fillmore East)
[NOT QUITE ALL-MAN] Lewi Longmire and Anita Elliott lead this co-ed Allman Brothers tribute, which will be recreating the classic 1971 live album At Fillmore East in full tonight. Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside St. 9 pm. $10 advance, $12 day of show. 21.
Mississippi Studios presents Homeshake with Sheer Agony
[BEDROOM TAPES] From his bedroom in Montreal, Peter Sagar records languidly groovy, off-kilter lo-fi soul as Homeshake. It's rough around the edges and slightly out-of-tune, but also bizarrely funky. Dig it. Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi Ave. 10 pm. $10. 21.
Sunday, Aug. 23
Daze of the Dead and Hive present Prayers with Force Publique