Friday, May 23
Tyler the Creator
[BASTARD RAP] There’re MCs twice Tyler the Creator’s age who haven’t issued three albums worth listening to—and the L.A. native’s already released that many revisitable odes at the ridiculous age of 23. His debut, 2009’s Bastard, was more interesting than an autobiographical piece by a teen should have been. He amped up the weirdo productions for Goblin two years later and continued his vulgar (and hilarious) raps on last year’s Wolf. All his talk about balls and bitches might not sit well with proper liberals, but Tyler’s work is confessional. And if he couldn’t speak frankly, an utterly unique perspective in hip-hop would simply be lost. DAVE CANTOR. Roseland Theater, 8 NW 6th Ave., 224-2038. 8 pm. All ages.
Third Angle presents New Ideas in Music
[MUSICAL INNOVATIONS] Third Angle, the ensemble of Oregon Symphony members and other top local classical musicians, has been performing contemporary sounds for more than a quarter century. For the past few years, it has also helped generate them via the annual New Ideas in Music competition. Each year, the group issues a call for scores from emerging composers and, with help from a panel of some of today’s most accomplished composers, chooses innovative works that promise to connect with audiences—a valuable contribution to refreshing the string-quartet repertoire. This year’s choices include music by Adam Borecki, Max Duykers, Kerrith Livengood, Charles Nichols, Amao Wang and May Kay Yau. BRETT CAMPBELL. Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 NE Alberta St., 719-6055. 7:30 pm Friday, May 23. $10-$30. Under 21 permitted with legal guardian.
The Spirit of the Impossible-Strange: Portland Jazz Composers’ Ensemble Celebrates Sun Ra
[COSMIC JAZZ] Whether Herman Poole Blount was born in Birmingham, Ala., or, as he claims, on Saturn, the eccentric pianist who became Sun Ra was one of jazz’s most adventurous composers and one of American music’s most colorful characters. His bands mixed disciplined performances with Egyptian-inspired costumes, sly humor, mysticism, Afro-futurism, dancers, fire-eaters and more. Since his death in 1993, Sun Ra’s legacy continues not only in his still-touring Arkestra but in shows like this one, featuring compositions in tribute to his offbeat spirit by PSU prof Charley Gray, Trio Subtonic’s Galen Clark and a trio of recent New York transplants who’ve already boosted Portland’s jazz scene: pianist George Colligan, native Oregonian trumpeter-composer Douglas Detrick and guitarist Ryan Meagher. BRETT CAMPBELL. TaborSpace, 5441 SE Belmont St. 7:30 pm Friday, May 23. $5-$60 donation suggested.
Parquet Courts, Naomi Punk
[STONED AND STARVING] As easy as it is to compare wisecracking Brooklyn indie-rock outfit Parquet Courts to heroes of yore—Slanted & Enchanted-era Pavement, the Velvet Underground, even Polvo—it’s just as simple to say who they don’t sound like, which is just about every other new rock band of the 2010s. Breakthrough record Light Up Gold saw the band alternate between garage burnout rave-ups (“Borrowed Time”), sprightly mumbles (“N Dakota”) and the instant classic “Stoned and Starving,” which, with its insistent guitar racket and lyrics about stumbling through Ridgewood, Queens, looking for more Swedish Fish, made it a contender for the Best New York Rock Song since Julian Casablancas got kinda fat. With new record Sunbathing Animal promising to push the tempo even more, it’s time to ditch those GBV shirts and worship a new kind of drinking band. MICHAEL MANNHEIMER. Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside St, 231-9663. 9:30 pm. $12. 21+.
Hip Chicks Do Wine Tasting
[WINE] Screw those limos snaking off into the hills of Dundee or the strip malls of Newberg. Go local: Twice a year, including this entire Memorial Day weekend, urban winery Hip Chicks opens their cellars wide and offers a tasting of every single one of their wines, which will amount to 10-12 wine tastes for a mere $15, with live music and such, besides. Wine Club members are free. Hip Chicks Do Wine, 4510 SE 23rd Ave., 234-3790. Friday and Saturday 11 am-8 pm, Sunday and Monday 11 am-6 pm. $15.
Saturday, May 24
[NO WAVE NU-RAVE] The pod people in Brooklyn’s Liars have slithered into a different host body with practically every release stretching back more than a decade. Emerging alongside the likes of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs at the turn of millennium with a blackened take on revivalist disco punk, each record seems to be a reaction against the last. As such, the band’s discography is now a grab bag of experiments both successful (the awesomely unnerving Sisterworld) and failed (the almost unlistenable They Were Wrong, So We Drowned). This year’s Mess falls in the former category. Seven albums in, Liars have come back around to working with dance rhythms, albeit with more focus on electronic instrumentation. It’s a throbbing, burping, oozing record, but make no mistake: It’s also a heavy groover, made for those whose idea of a fun night out is slamming back a cocktail of bath salts and throwing a rave in the sewer. MATTHEW SINGER. Star Theater, 13 NW 6th Ave. 9 pm. $16. 21+.
Dream Team Presents: Cat Ladies
[COMEDY] Portlanders Dylan Reiff and Garrett Palm launch a new monthly showcase that brings improvisers from around the country to the clown-covered walls of Funhouse Lounge. First up is the long-form improv troupe Cat Ladies, a trio of women with impressive comedy pedigrees. The show also features stand-up from proven funny people Amy Miller and Shane Torres, a smattering of local improvisers and a surprise monologist (“a secret guest celebrity,” quoth the press release). Funhouse Lounge, 2432 SE 11th Ave., 841-6734. 9:30 pm Friday, May 23. $10-$12.
Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Nell Robinson, Jim Nunally
[FOLK LEGEND AND FRIENDS] Portland’s been fortunate over the past few years to host a handful of visits from folk music’s elder statesman Ramblin’ Jack Elliott. If you’ve yet to take advantage of those opportunities, don’t waste any more time. For background on Elliott’s storied career, check out the documentary The Ballad of Ramblin’ Jack, a revised edition of which is being digitally released this week. His dextrous guitar picking, wily voice, intellect and sense of humor all remain tack-sharp at 82. On this trip, the so-called Brooklyn Cowboy is joined by Southern-rooted singer-songwriters Nell Robinson and Jim Nunally for what’s dubbed the Seeds and Stories Trail Tour. JEFF ROSENBERG. Alhambra Theatre, 4811 SE Hawthorne Blvd. 8:30 pm. $20. 21+.
The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger, Syd Arthur
[LENNON BY NAME] Sean Lennon, the only son of John and Yoko, was born with big shoes to fill. As expected, the music he’s crafted with his model girlfriend Charlotte Kemp Muhl under the moniker Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger has never strayed far from his DNA—until recently. The duo’s latest effort, the superb Midnight Sun, ditches the pair’s formerly arcane sound in favor of a straight-up rock record, bulging with meaty guitar that gives way to ’60s-inspired psychedelia with a tinge of Middle Eastern instrumentation and lyrics about kidnapping the grandson of an oil tycoon. But it would still be daft to simply ignore the nasally, spaced-out vocal similarities Sean shares with his father. NATHAN CARSON. Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi Ave., 288-3895. 9 pm. $13 advance, $15 day of show. 21+.
The Playboy of the Western World
[THEATER] Often debated but rarely staged, Irish playwright J.M. Synge’s play prompted riots when it was first produced in 1907. Synge intended the play as a farce, but early audiences objected to its suspect morality—the story centers on a young stranger who struts into a remote town telling tall tales of murder and quickly finds himself a romantic hero. Artists Repertory Theatre, 1515 SW Morrison St., 241-1278. 7:30 pm. $25-$55.
Lompoc Brewing Soccer Fundraiser
[BEER] Lompoc’s Fifth Quadrant throws a fundraiser and silent auction to raise money for the West Side Timbers Premier Soccer Club U13 Copa, the youth soccer team that just won the Oregon State Cup and is advancing to regionals. The majority of beer sales will go toward the youth team’s travel costs, and Lompoc will donate a portion of annual proceeds from Kick Axe pale ale kegs toward a new field at Jefferson High School. Fifth Quadrant, 3901 N Williams Ave., 288-3996, lompocbrewing.com. 3-6 pm.
Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger
[MUSIC] Sean Lennon, the only son of John and Yoko, has rarely strayed from Beatles-y pop, but Midnight Sun, the latest album from his duo with girlfriend Charlotte Kemp Muhl, is straight-up rock with meaty guitars and lyrics about kidnapping the grandson of an oil tycoon. Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi Ave., 288-3895. 9 pm. $13 advance, $15 day of show. 21+.
Waxahatchee, Perfect Pussy
[MUSIC] This special all-ages matinee pairs the trembling tenderness of Waxahatchee’s Katie Crutchfield with Perfect Pussy’s feminist post-hardcore din—two seemingly divergent styles that actually make a lot of sense together. The latter is making up for a Portland date it canceled in March. Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside St., 231-9663. 4 pm. $13 advance, $15 day of show. All ages.
Sunday, May 25
[BOOKS] National Book Award finalist Joshua Ferris (Then We Came to the End) turns his oft-profound sense of humor on the contradictions and absurdities faced in our modern culture. His new protagonist, Paul O’Rourke, is a technology-addicted Luddite and a God-fearing atheist who is just trying to make sense of life and love in the new book To Rise Again at a Decent Hour. Powell’s City of Books, 1005 W Burnside St., 228-4651. 7:30 pm. Free.
Wild Ones, Anne, Teen Spot
[THE POWER IN POWER POP] Oh man, do the songs on TeenSpot’s debut EP, Aggressive Inline Skating, appeal to just about every musical pleasure zone in my brain. Like the work of his other super power-pop outfit, Your Rival, Mo Troper can channel the best of Superchunk, the Raspberries and the New Pornographers into tightly wound, irresistibly catchy pop nuggets. Tonight, the band opens an almost perfect night of PDX, um, pop, alongside the darkwave-inspired synthscapes of Anne and Wild Ones, who just might be the best synth-pop band in town. I don’t really believe in supergroups, but I do believe in super bills. MICHAEL MANNHEIMER. Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside St., 231-9663. 9 pm. $10 advance, $12 day of show. 21+.
[PRINCE-SS] Maya Rudolph from SNL leads a Prince cover band. You either want this or you don't, and you know who you are. Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell St., on Sunday, May 25. 8 pm. $30. 21+.
Dragon Boat Races
[DRAGON BOATS!] The run-up to serious dragon-boat racing season begins on the rough-and-tumble waters of Vancouver, Wash. Because dragon boats aren’t just an imperialist recruitment and training tool for the Chinese navy anymore. Vancouver Lake Park, paddleforlife.org. 9 am. Also on May 24. Free.
Monday, May 26
Memorial Day Free Cake
[CAKE] In an annual tradition, Salty’s on the Columbia is giving out free cake to military veterans with lunch or dinner in honor of Memorial Day, plus throwing down a $20 gift card for a future visit. Call ahead to make sure you get your cake. Salty’s on the Columbia, 3839 NE Marine Drive, 505-9986, saltys.com/portland.
Pink Mountaintops, Giant Drag, Daydream Machine
[PSYCHO POP] It’s been a difficult journey for the L.A. group Giant Drag. After being dropped by Interscope Records and dealing with lead singer Annie Hardy’s numerous health problems, the two-piece called it quits in 2013. But after some time off, Giant Drag is apparently back. While the group was previously renowned for its tongue-in-cheek lyricism and three-chord formula, the recent Band Car EP is a more experimental, acoustically driven effort, exploring a realm beyond the simple, sunny garage pop it was once so familiar with. Headliner Pink Mountaintops, the psychedelic side project of Black Mountain’s Stephen McBean, just released its fourth album, Get Back. ASHLEY JOCZ. Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water Ave., 894-9708. 9 pm. $12. 21+.