Quasi @ Mississippi Studios, Aug. 26
It's still unclear who's going to fill in for Janet Weiss on Sleater-Kinney's upcoming tour. But you can catch the legendary punk band's former drummer with her long-running duo Quasi, which puts her infectious, powerhouse percussion skills at the forefront. Quasi announced their tour a few weeks after Weiss dropped out of Sleater-Kinney and the band's upcoming string of shows. Whether that seems contentious or like a silver lining is entirely up to you.
Big Thief @ Crystal Ballroom, Oct. 24
You'd be forgiven if, prior to this past spring, Big Thief was the last band you expected to release one of the year's most resonant albums. The Brooklyn group have been critical darlings since their 2015 debut, but their wispy, outsider folk didn't exactly seem poised for a mainstream breakout or as if it would ever capture the zeitgeist. But the atmospheric, anxious beauty of their new album, UFOF, has clearly struck a cultural chord—it's the Brooklyn band's first album to chart, and it's launched them to a new level of critical adoration. Big Thief frontwoman and songwriter Adrianne Lenker recently played a solo show in Portland, but this will be the band's first show here since UFOF's release.
Angel Olsen @ Roseland Theater, Dec. 9-10
An Angel Olsen Portland show is hardly news—it seems the virtuosic folk singer plays this city at least once a year. But her shows are always captivating and always sell out. Plus, Olsen just announced a new album, All Mirrors, and tickets are sure to become scarce after it drops in October, if they aren't already gone by then. All Mirrors' dark wave-inflected lead single—along with the basement-disco vibes of her collaboration with Mark Ronson, "True Blue"—seems to imply a new era for Olsen. No word yet, though, on whether she's touring with the 14-piece orchestra that's reportedly on her new album.
King Princess @ Roseland Theater, Jan. 19
Finally, after several high-profile collaborations and hundreds of millions of streams of "1950," King Princess has announced her debut album will drop sometime this fall. Even with only an EP and a few singles in her repertoire, the breathy-voiced pop singer has managed to double the size of the venue she headlines each time she comes to Portland. That's understandable—if you're not already listening to "Cheap Queen" on repeat, you need to start.
Nas @ Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, March 19
Nas' summer tour with Mary J. Blige is skipping the Pacific Northwest. Instead, he's coming to Portland to perform his definitive 1995 album, Illmatic, with the Oregon Symphony. It may be a far cry from the boom-bap gold standard the album has come to represent, and maybe it'll feel a little weird singing along to "Life's a Bitch" at the glitzy Schnitz. But hey, Illmatic is nothing if not cinematic.