Want to see some live music? Below, you'll find our picks for the best concerts coming through Portland this week, along with a Spotify playlist of representative songs from each artist.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 16
Extra Classic, Bart Davenport
[PAISLEY POP] Oakland native Bart Davenport used to play for the Loved Ones, a high-energy, pseudo-R&B act that opened for the likes of John Lee Hooker. His newest incarnation, as evidenced by latest record Physical World, blends jangly, ’80s-minded guitar with tantalizing metronomic effects and Davenport’s calculated vocals. If early Police moonlighted as a late-night lounge act, you might have something like Davenport. It’s groovy, with shimmering breakdowns and an echoey, reverberating feel that suggests the influence of Roy Orbison. Hallucinogenic San Francisco reggae-rock act Extra Classic headlines. MARK STOCK. Bunk Bar. 10 pm. $8. 21+.
Chamber Music Northwest
[CLASSICAL] The annual summer festival featuring top veteran and young classical musicians from New York and beyond continues with Wednesday's Club Concert at Doug Fir with the young Dover Quartet presents a yearning, dramatic quartet by the Austrian composer Viktor Ullman written a year before he was murdered by the Nazis at Auschwitz in 1944, a premiere by emerging composer Daniel Schlosberg, a Baroque concerto by Marcello—and actually does include the kitchen sink: Bohuslav Martinu's witty Jazz Age ballet score The Kitchen Revue, an absurdist Gerwshin-esque concoction about the marriage of the Pot and the Lid that includes a parody of Bolero, snatches of the Charleston dance, and other delights. Thursday's Reed College potpourri features a diverse slew of sonatas from 20th century composers Francis Poulenc, Samuel Barber and Elliott Carter, plus a Brahms movement and pair of Baroque gems from Telemann and Biber. Saturday and Sunday's shows at Reed and PSU star celebrated pianist Andre Watts and the Dovers in a Brahms Piano Quartet and the poignant clarinet quintet, The Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind, by one of today's finest composers, Osvaldo Golijov, which draws on his Jewish heritage. Monday and Tuesday's Reed/PSU shows include Schubert's dreamy Octet and one of the summer's major contemporary classical events: the Northwest premiere of the great American composer David Del Tredici's new Bullycide, an ambitious piano sextet inspired by the composer's outrage at the recent, bullying-induced suicides of Tyler Clementi and other young gay Americans, and his own teenage memories of being similarly tormented. BRETT CAMPBELL. Multiple venues. $15-$45. Through July 22.
Ladi6, Laura Ivancie, Sex Life DJs
[POP TAKEOVER] Sorry, haters, but I've got news for you: New Zealand, of all places, is really the new hotbed of pop music. After the runaway success of teenage pop sensation Lorde, it’s hard not to hear fellow kiwi singer Karoline Tamati’s 2013 album, Automatic, and question why this show isn’t at, like, the Roseland. Often compared to Erykah Badu, Tamati—who records under the name Ladi6—balances nu-soul tendencies with a more futuristic R&B bent that is equal parts “Royals” and post-chillwave production. She may never be a ruler, but here’s to hoping more people call Ladi6 their queen bee. MICHAEL MANNHEIMER. Holocene. 8 pm. $12 advance, $15 day of show. 21+.
THURSDAY, JULY 17
[SILENT SIDEMAN] Surely more people have heard Aaron Embry than you might think. More an avid support musician than an acclaimed solo artist, the California-based songwriter began his career backing Willie Nelson and the late Elliott Smith on the road, only to later become Edward Sharpe’s touring pianist. His exquisite 2012 album, Tiny Prayers, snaked under the radar, quietly pirouetting with melodic tenor guitar and jazzy piano ballads that speak to his past collaborations. There’s a calming fragility to his voice, one often interrupted by short bursts of old-time harmonica and mandolin, giving his heartbreaking songs an endearing quality few can replicate with such nonchalance. BRANDON WIDDER. Bunk Bar. 10 pm. $10. 21+.
[FOLKSY EXHUMATION] More important than his auld-tyme manner of dress or that Jack White’s Third Man Records released his latest single, Los Angeles-based Frank Fairfield seeks to exhume lost American music and retrofit otherwise seemingly exhausted styles. Whether he’s fiddling or playing guitar, Fairfield lights upon a pulsing vein of rustic, rural composition most folks think only exist in Coen Brothers movies. The B-side of his most recent effort, “Devils Dream Medley,” finds Fairfield fiddling through soldered-together sections of a composition that’s pretty old—old enough that there’s no real way to pinpoint its origin. Whether it sounds “authentic” is secondary: Fairfield’s doing significant cultivation, and manages to make it entertaining. DAVE CANTOR. Duff's Garage. 9 pm. $10. 21+.
Northwest String Summit
[STRING JAM] When you've curated your own three-day festival for more than a decade, you're somewhat expected to headline at least one night—or in the case of Colorado’s Yonder Mountain String Band, all three. But just because the bluegrass icons are the only band poised to take the stage at least three times at the 2014 Northwest String Summit doesn’t mean they’re the only outfit of note. This year’s lineup includes big-name mainstays like Greensky Bluegrass and Railroad Earth, along with a refreshing return of many Pacific Northwest acts. Polecat, with it’s brushed percussion and occasional reggae-licked nostalgia, is making the return for a midday slot, along with the keen Americana of Portland’s Fruition and the stupendous interplay of the Wood Brothers. While the haunting harmonies of Shook Twins and the up-and-coming Gipsy Moon round out the notable late night sets, the Lil’ Smokies—winner of last year’s String Summit Band Competition—and the flatpicking fervor comprising Burle and the No Brainers break up the midday lull. Elsewhere, you have bands like the Infamous Stringdusters, a band known to touch on Middle Eastern influences while throwing in the occasional U2 cover along the way, pushing beyond purist notions of what encapsulates a traditional sound. Other standout moments are bound to include fiddler Allie Kral and ace mandolinist Sam Bush, but String Summit isn’t about the names, it’s about the camaraderie. And when you have four dedicated stages and more than 35 bands, you can expect plenty where that came from. BRANDON WIDDER. Horning’s Hideout, 21277 NW Brunswick Canyon Rd., North Plains. See stringsummit.com for ticket prices and complete schedule. All ages.
The Hold Steady, Cheap Girls
[POWER POP] See Craig Finn's Top 5 Ideal Casting Choices for Characters for Hold Steady Songs here. Wonder Ballroom. 7:30 pm. $23 advance, $25 day of show. 21+.
FRIDAY, JULY 18
Vince Staples, Audio Push, Skeme
[HIP-HOP RISING] Probably best known for collaborations with those rascals in Odd Future, Long Beach’s Vince Staples is finally poised to step into the spotlight. The rapper’s latest mixtape, Shyne Coldchain Vol. 2, was released earlier this year to rave reviews. Coldchain confirms that the impressive lyricism Staples displayed as a frequent album guest was not a fluke, and that his knack for gritty subject matter stretches beyond his years. Staples is definitely an artist with the potential to blow up in the near future. This is a chance to scope him out before he does. SAM CUSUMANO. Alhambra Theatre. 9 pm. $18 advance, $23 day of show. All ages.
PDX Pop Now!: Wampire, Blouse, Summer Cannibals, many more
[ALL-PORTLAND] See our picks for the 10 local bands you need to see at this year's festival here. Audio Cinema. Free. All ages. See pdxpopnow.com for complete schedule. Through July 20.
Cathedral Park Jazz Festival
[JAZZ] The 34-year-old Cathedral Park Jazz Festival has been embroiled in a midlife crisis for awhile. Fortunately, the Jazz Society of Oregon rode to its rescue by raising funds and enlisting Quadraphonnes sax siren Mary-Sue Tobin to curate a strong lineup of local jazz stars in free, family-friendly outdoor performances under the St. Johns bridge, with local food, beer and wine vendors. Friday night focuses on blues acts, while Saturday afternoon's schedule is highlighted by Bobby Torres's Latin All Stars, Mel Brown's sturdy Septet, tenor sax titan Devin Phillips, Farnell Newton and a jazz vet quartet with Tom Wakeling, Alan Jones, Randy Porter and David Evans. Sunday's mainstage shows are topped by the always-spicy Quadraphonnes sax quartet, propulsive pianist George Colligan's Theoretical Planets, Louis Pain's B3 Trio and more. BRETT CAMPBELL. Cathedral Park. Free. All ages. See cpjazz.com for complete schedule. Through July 20.
AK1200, Akison, Casey Vann
[D&B PR] AK1200 is an American drum-and-bass OG—that’s not up for debate. But apparently some disillusioned fans had their critical remarks deleted from the Facebook event page. Dave Minner, aka AK1200, showed up in the comments section just to set the record straight: He has “never, and will never play dubstep,” and his interest in the offshoot drum-step was only for “a VERY brief period.” Your takeaways: d’n’b fans are voraciously committed to their genre, and d’n’b DJs are just as devoted to their fans. MITCH LILLIE. The Whiskey Bar. 10 pm. $10. 21+.
SATURDAY, JULY 19
Weinland, Hook & Anchor, Peter Rainbeau
[AMERICANA] Adam Shearer has mostly been occupied by his "supergroup" Alialujah Choir the last few years, but tonight he returns to his original beloved indie-folk outfit, Weinland, for its first show in a while. Doug Fir Lounge. 9 pm. $12. 21+.
Denver, Michael Hurley
[STIFF COUNTRY] The byproduct of rocky relationships, loneliness and one too many drinks, Rowdy Love is nothing if not downtrodden. Denver’s sophomore record speaks to midlife troubles with the wisdom and sincerity of someone on his deathbed. Perhaps that’s to be expected from a co-frontman in Tom Bevitori, who has gotten closer to death than most due to infections stemming from Crohn’s disease. MARK STOCK. (Read the full review here.) Mississippi Studios. 10 pm. $10 advance, $12 day of show.
Uzala, Dead to a Dying World, the Siege Fire, Satanarchist
[DARKNESS AND DOOM] Boise’s favorite children of doom return to Portland’s new home for metal. Uzala is two parts Idahoan: Darcy Nutt and Chad Remains operate tattoo parlors while crafting psychedelic metal influenced by Norse mythology. Drummer Chuck Watkins lives here in P-Town, and his bearded grin can also be found behind the kit in local supergroup Ephemeros. Along with a catalog of heavy-duty vinyl and cassette releases, Uzala brings along Dallas sextet Dead To A Dying World. DTADW marks its territory in the apocalyptic blackness with long, contemplative passages led by Eva Vonne’s violin. And while I have no idea who the opener Satanarchist is, that’s a hell of name to live up to. NATHAN CARSON. Slabtown. 9 pm. $10. 21+.
SUNDAY, JULY 20
[POP PUNK] For years, Max Bemis has been writing tongue-in-cheek, self-deprecating pop-punk with Say Anything—songs simultaneously full of smile-inducing ticks and quirks on top of the heavy subject matter from self-loathing and suicide. The band's most recent effort, Hebrews, sees the group continue to turn the lens on themselves, only this time with breakneck orchestral flare. Album opener “John McClane” leads with a fluffy xylophone-inspired keyboard line and twinkles of harp. “Lost My Touch,” a slow, minimal ballad consisting of thoughtful keys and vocals, presents the first chance to take a deep breath on the album…until it devolves into Bemis’ grizzly shout. Then there’s “Boyd,” perhaps Say Anything's heaviest song to date. But despite the new, more orchestral sound, Say Anything maintains the same broken interior underneath. KAITIE TODD. Crystal Ballroom. 6:30 pm. $16.50 advance, $20 day of show. All ages.
MONDAY, JULY 21
[LEFT-LEANING FOLK] See profile here. Bunk Bar. 9 pm. $8 advance, $10 day of show. 21+.
Magik Markers, XDS, Arctic Flowers
[NU NO WAVE] So you gave up on Yeah Yeah Yeahs after their second record failed to cash in on the confrontational art-rock revival you’ve held your breath for since the early 80’s. Throw away the fashion and the polish (and the synths), add a healthy dose of feedback and angst, shake until explosive, and voila—you have Connecticut’s Magik Markers. The antagonistic hijinks of singer Elisa Ambrogio have been dialed back just a tad on 2013’s Surrender to the Fantasy, but don’t expect the focus on melody to vibe out the harshness any time soon. PETE COTTELL. Mississippi Studios. 9 pm. $10. 21+.
TUESDAY, JULY 22
[THE R] Rakim is the Marlon Brando of hip-hop. When he came on the scene in the mid-'80s, no one had heard rap quite like his: His way with words was knottier and more dexterous than anything that came before, and pointed toward the future of the form. No matter how much the culture evolves, classics like "Paid In Full" and "Follow the Leader" remain jaw-dropping (and tongue twisting) decades on. Hawthorne Theatre. 8 pm. $30. 21+.
Seun Kuti & the Egypt 80, Cascadia 10
[AFROBEAT] Although he usually performed barefoot, when Fela Kuti died in 1997, he left behind massive shoes to fill. For 30 years, the Nigerian bandleader reigned over the genre of Afrobeat, a brand of Africanized funk he invented and controlled so masterfully no one even attempted to step up as a potential successor. It ultimately fell to Fela’s youngest son, Seun, who was only 14 years old at the time of his father’s death, to pick up the torch. In contrast to the music of his older brother Femi, who began blending their dad’s horn-drenched polyrhythms with elements of hip-hop in the late ’80s, Seun (pronounced “Shay-oon”) adheres to the traditional sound of Afrobeat. This year's A Long Way to the Beginning presents a broader palette of sounds than his past efforts, but it still sounds like it could be a lost Fela album from the 1970s. MATTHEW SINGER. Star Theater. 9 pm. $20. 21+.