Want to see some live music tonight? Here are your best options, curated by the Willamette Week music staff.
FRIDAY, NOV. 6
Kowloon Walled City, Fight Amp, Sloths, Hang the Old Year
[FURIOUS DESPAIR] Anger is the secret ingredient in many of the best sad songs, but few bands are as fully committed to the pissed-off end of depression's spectrum as Kowloon Walled City. On the band's new album, Grievances, singer-guitarist-producer Scott Evans goes fetal in the dark place between sludge and post-hardcore and gives vent to the nasty and self-defeating thoughts that remain long after the tears have dried. There is no uplift and no hint of escape, but there is terrible beauty in Evans' slow-burning arguments with the abyss. It is a masterpiece of dark artistry to be cherished on the coldest nights. CHRIS STAMM. Black Water Bar, 835 NE Broadway St. 8 pm. $10. All ages.
Oddisee, Good Compny, Vinnie Dewayne
[HIP-HOP] Oddisee is an anachronism, and he knows it. "Glorifying music that's abusive and a threat to us," he raps on his latest album,The Good Fight, "and if you got a message in your records, you collecting dust." Indeed, in the era of monosyllabic trap rap, the former Amir Mohamed is part of a breed of MC that's dying not just in the mainstream but the underground as well, one that prizes ideas above empty punchlines and solutions over nihilism. Of course, a rapper complaining about their own obsolescence is normally a self-fulfilling prophecy. But Odd, who's been kicking around the D.C. scene for over a decade, isn't just grousing. There's a weariness to his flow (and his singing voice), and the chip on his shoulder that gives the music a distinct edge. And lest you dismiss him as a "backpack rap" throwback, his rainbow-bright production—informed by gospel and soul and other, more worldly sounds—goes way beyond retro boom-bap. "Feeling like it's me against the world, it's the other way around," he says on "Contradiction's Maze." But with the rise of Chance the Rapper and Kendrick Lamar, there's a sense that perhaps the hip-hop world is turning back in his direction. He may not be fighting the good fight alone much longer. MATTHEW SINGER. Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison St. 8 pm. $15. 21+.
Ellington and Strayhorn: A Celebration
[JAZZ ROYALTY] The 23rd International Duke Ellington Study Group Conference happens this year at Reed College, including performs, academics and authors of scholarly tomes about one of America's greatest musicians and his shy sidekick Billy Strayhorn, a superb composer who took the Ellington band's music to hitherto unparalleled heights of artistic sophistication and broad appeal. Best of all, Friday night's concert pairs for the first time two of Portland's top jazz stars, pianist-composer Darrell Grant and Rebecca Kilgore, in Strayhorn's luminous songs. You can't take the A train—the title of Strayhorn's most famous composition for Ellington—but you can take the Orange line. BRETT CAMPBELL. Kaul Auditorium at Reed College, 3203 SE Woodstock Blvd. 7:30 pm. Free.
Aboriginal Flowers, Ben Seretan, Jesse Hughley, Weather Exposed
[NEW WORKS] Aboriginal Flowers is a new project from Raf Spielman of the Woolen Men, and based on the one song available on Bandcamp, it's a far cry from his main project—anxious spoken word vocals over uber-minimalist electronic burbling and a light smattering of Afro-pop guitars. Color us curious. Turn Turn Turn, 8 NE Killingsworth St. 8 pm. $5. 21+.