Janelle Monae @ Edgefield, June 13
The singer and actress has always presented herself as an R&B android, a kind of Westworldian creation with James Brown's consciousness programmed into her AI. But her new album, Dirty Computer, is a fleshier affair, in terms of both the more personal subject matter and, well, did you see the video with the vagina pants? Tickets on sale May 2.
Deafheaven @ Wonder Ballroom, Aug. 12
Metal's most confounding band, at least to metal puritans—screech like you're being tortured by Pinhead all you want, but add some melody and shoegaze dynamics and every dude in corpse paint clutches his upside-down cross—recently teased their upcoming fourth album with an 11-minute post-rock epic, suggesting they're just trolling the headbanging church-burner crowd now. Tickets on sale now.
Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit @ Oregon Zoo, Sept. 7
Blood Orange @ Roseland Theater, Sept. 16
One of the endearing qualities of Dev Hynes' sterling retro-funk production is that it truly sounds like the work of a shy genius who'd rather communicate from behind the boards than from the front of a stage. But you've got to leave the house some time. This somewhat rare tour brings him to Portland for the first time. Tickets on sale April 27.
Chvrches @ the Schnitz, Sept. 26
There's a glut of interchangeable synth-pop groups in the world right now, but album after album, Glasgow's Chvrches prove they're the one most worth paying attention to. The latest confirmation, Love Is Dead, is coming in late May. Tickets on sale May 2.