Thursday, May 9
Laura Stevenson, Field Mouse, Dresses
[INDIE-POP] It is easy to dig a band when they let their freak flag fly as though it is the most normal thing in the world. Laura Stevenson and the Cans combine upbeat tempos with silly and clever wordplay, all to the imperfectly polished range and cadence of Stevenson's borderline euphoric vocals. But this is more than unabashedly happy-sounding pop music: The band gleefully inserts instruments like the glockenspiel and accordion into the mix, ensuring that you can never be truly sure what they will do from one song to the next. BRIAN PALMER. Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside St., 231-9663. 9 pm. $10 advance, $12 day of show. 21kknd.
Friday, May 10
The KPSU Kruise: Onuinu, Grandparents
[YACHT ROCK] Remember: Yelling and/or Tweeting "I'm on a boat, motherfucker," is played out and lame. "I'm the king of the world," though, is coming back into vogue, so go for it, funny guy! Portland Spirit, Southwest Front & Salmon Streets, 224-3900. 10:30 pm boarding time, 11 pm show. $10 students, $15 general admission.
Night Mechanic, The Rarities, DJ Charles Austin
[ALBUM RELEASE] Portland four-piece Night Mechanic's first album largely passed unnoticed in 2011, but that isn't likely to happen with its latest, Working Late, especially among fans of melodic, open-throated, '90s-leaning guitar pop. Record Room, 8 NE Killingsworth St., 544-7685. 8 pm. Free. 21kknd.
MartyParty, Salva, Buku
[LUCKY ASS GLITCH] A decade ago, back when Martin Folb was just another corporate drone desperate to find a creative outlet for rather specified talents of computer science, EDM was still enough of a niche genre that the South African ex-pat taught himself Ableton Live out of sheer professional curiosity. Even blessed with old pal Ooah of Glitch Mob as counsel (the two would later collaborate as tender trap duo PANTyRAiD), it's hard to imagine careerism fueling a middle-aged engineer's obsessive pursuit of "purple" soundscapes writ binary coding, on albums like last year's MVP, a singular notion of instrumental hip-hop with vocals replaced by wobbly basslines flitting above clubland beats and Top 40 dynamics. As a story of tireless commitment to personal vision, there's something admirable about thousands of kids cheering on the newly-christened MartyParty's onstage laptop-work. As songs, there's something unsettling about a muse driven by bombastic dubstep. The road to Skrillex is paved with good intentions. JAY HORTON. Star Theater, 13 NW 6th Ave., 248-4700. 9 pm. $15 advance, $18 day of show. All ages.
[GRACE PERIOD] It doesn't take long for 22-year-old Chichester prodigies blessed with tousled blond locks and Jeff Buckley pipes to earn the keys to the United Kingdom, and a recent tour across the pond to promote debut EP Songs From Another Love found sold-out crowds swooning Tom Odell's every measured sigh. Signed to Lily Allen's label, Odell's songwriting betrays the limited experiences too often accompanying troubadours of prodigious talents and preternatural ambitions, but a healthy streak of boozy sass enlivening early performances suggests the boy desires something more than a sheltered climb to stardom midst likeminded peers. Though Taylor Swift famously descended upon the lad following his Critic's Choice victory at the Brits, they remain only friends and, for that, hallelujah. JAY HORTON. Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell St., 284-8686. 9 pm. $15 advance, $16 day of show. All ages.
Sunday, May 12
Magic Fades, Daniel Rafn
[BLOG&B] Viral sensations Magic Fades and Warble Records' Daniel Rafn both play after-hours bedroom R&B influenced by memories of early '90s radio. Rafn—who also takes cues from the cosmic pop of Kate Bush and Bjork—celebrates the release of his new album, Now the Branches are Coming Into Leaf. Rontoms, 600 E Burnside St., 236-4536. 9 pm. Free. All ages.
Monday, May 13
Kate Nash, Peach Kelli Pop
[ENGLAND'S DREAMY] Nash, the brassy Brit who rose to fame in the U.K. playing Lily Allen-ish take-no-shit radio pop then turned into a one-woman girl-group with her second album, returns to the states having shifted shapes yet again, this time wearing the guise of snarly pop-punker on her third effort, Girl Talk. Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi Ave., 288-3895. 8 pm. $15. 21kknd.
Tuesday, May 14
Yeah Great Fine
[HELLO GOODBYE] Its been a rough year for Yeah Great Fine. After releasing a well-received seven-inch in late 2011, the band—which blends herky-jerky rhythms, Afropop guitars and skyscraping harmonies into a math-y sort of dance music—hit the road. Upon returning to Portland a month later, drummer Dave Hires checked himself into rehab, and the group's future was uncertain. With Hires now 10 months sober, the band is celebrating a delayed triumphant homecoming. It won't last long, though: Singer-guitarist Jake Hershman is moving to California, meaning this show is both a reunion and a farewell in one. But as they say, it's better to rock out than fade away. And considering how close the band was to just fading away, this night should be extra celebratory. Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water Ave., 894-9708. 9 pm. $3. 21kknd.
Also this week, indie-folk darlings Black Prairie release a new EP, Wild Ones, the "soundtrack" to the new book of the same name by Jon Mooallem. Although the band isn't scheduled to perform in Portland until June 11, appearing alongside Mooallem at Powell's, the record is available digitally May 14 through Captain Bluegrass Records. Check out the trailer for the book by Sachi Cunningham below, featuring the song "Dawn Departure, Jefferson County," and place orders for the album here.