Shows of the Week: No One Does Exquisite Queer Anguish Like Xiu Xiu

What to see and what to hear.


No one does exquisite queer anguish quite like Jamie Stewart, frontman of the long-running avant-rock project Xiu Xiu. They’re the kind of band that might’ve helped you get through high school, but unlike, say, Hawthorne Heights, you don’t have to get into them by a certain age for them to mean a lot to you. Their bleak but empathetic worldview is as easy for anguished teens to relate to as those who connect with “Adult Friends,” one of the bleakest visions of growing older ever recorded by a rock band. Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison St., 503-239-7639, 8 pm. $20. All ages.


Before math rock meant “prog you can study to,” there was Deerhoof, one of the most distinctive and idiosyncratic Bay Area bands ever. Even if their name predicted the 2000s trends toward critical darlings with animal-related names, their sound is wilder and weirder than that of just about any of their contemporaries, built around the human-horn squawk of singer Satomi Matsuzaki and the brilliant, relentless drumming of Greg Saunier. Their new album, Miracle-Level, is their first in Matsuzaki’s native Japanese. Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie Ave., 503-234-9694, 8 pm. $22. All ages.


In a certain sphere of pop fandom, ex-Chairlift singer Caroline Polachek commands the same devotion as the likes of Mariah Carey and Beyoncé (in fact, Beyoncé's “No Angel,” one of her most complicated and uncomfortable songs, was co-written by Polachek). Though Polachek’s great new album, Desire, I Want to Turn Into You, draws on the early-web, quasi-New Age aesthetic of late ‘90s and early ‘00s pop, it eschews the bratty irony of her “hyperpop” peers for the kind of dignity and sang-froid that comes naturally to a confident and talented music industry veteran. Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside St., 503-225-0047, 8 pm. $39.50-$70. All ages.

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