Spike Mafford
THURSDAY 9/4

U SCO, POSTMADONNA, FEARLESS LEADER, TRYING

Portland's technically ablaze instrumental math-core act U SCO (with former members of Duck. Little Brother, Duck!) headline a night of math-rock mania. U SCO's approach is unforgiving, and they execute their mechanical fury with a fiery precision. The band's venomous Hella-style hard math bites with the vengeance of a zombie cobra head, guitar riffs relentlessly cauterizing ears. Fans of post-hardcore nihilism and post-rock spaciness should have much to bliss out/freak out to here. I've lavished praise on the Eastside force Postmadonna's feel-good frenzy of discombobulated prog-math several times before, and they continue to delight "ADHD" sub-subgenre nerds with their flustered, manic prog-punk. Fearless Leader—another Seattle-based time-signature-change-embracing act—write emo/post-hardcore torch songs that should add even more unapologetic catharsis to the night. If you're into noodly guitars, parallel time signatures, and general shredding, this is not a show you should miss. Black Lodge, 9 pm.

MONDAY 9/8

OWEN PALLETT, AVI BUFFALO, FOXES IN FICTION

Academy Award–nominated composer Owen Pallett began his musical life in Toronto under the alias Final Fantasy. Resurrecting the one-man band with a loop pedal and a violin, Pallett told heartfelt and bizarre stories that simmered in the hearts of mid-2000s indie-pop fans. The orchestral avant-pop/classical-folk phenom continues to tell lush pop stories—now under his legal name—and has since contributed compositions to albums by Linkin Park, Taylor Swift, and Robbie Williams (whaaa?), is a touring member of megagroup the Arcade Fire, and has created music for Spike Jonze's Her. With his latest release, In Conflict, Pallett lyrically explores "liminal states" and viewing "insanity" positively; the album also features Brian Eno on backup vocals throughout, as well as briefly on synth and guitar. Pallett possesses a rare ability to fuse mainstream pop accessibility with art-focused weirdness, and his eerily familiar freak-pop always renders spine-tingling refinement. Come early to get lost in Foxes in Fiction's Balearic, dreamy plush-gaze and the summer-friendly indie pop of '90s Death Cab revivalists Avi Buffalo. Neumos, 8 pm, $17 adv/$20 DOS recommended