This stuff will rule harder than Qaddafi, or your money back. (That is half true.)

Enjoy PNW beer on Cascade's DIY Bike 'n' Brews
Grab a friend and enjoy Cascade Bicycle Club's urban bike ride, a PNW microbrew lover's adventure

Sic Alps, Puberty, Idle Times

Part of San Francisco's fuzzed-out rock scene, Sic Alps trade in hazy, sun-bleached garage jams that transport you to another time/place. Want to feel like you're high on mushrooms in the mountains? Sic Alps might just make that happen. Puberty are the latest brainchild of tireless Intelligence ringleader Lars Finberg, with Susanna Welbourne, Drew Church and Mike Jawarski (the Cops), Curtis James (formerly of the Old Haunts), Dave Hernandez (the Shins), and Ryan Leyva (the Chevy Chasers). This is their record release show, and you are just dumb if you miss it. March 23, Funhouse. GRANT BRISSEY

Mount Kimbie

London duo Mount Kimbie (Dominic Maker and Kai Campos) have become one of the most interesting presences in the mercurially mutating post-dubstep field. Their 2010 album for the world-class Hotflush label, Crooks & Lovers, struck an immediate chord with those immersed in basscentric music, but it could also act as a gateway drug to the uninitiated. With exotic but oddly accessible melodies, creatively Cuisinarted vocals, and crackling, subtle rhythms that coax you to move in unobvious ways, the album rewards repeat listens. This is music that strikes an ideal balance between mysteriousness and infectiousness. March 30, Baltic Room. DAVE SEGAL

'Portable Shrines Magic Sound Theatre Vol. 1' Release Pre-Party

The folks who run Seattle's Portable Shrines collective—Aubrey Nehring, Darlene Nordyke, and Midday Veil members Emily Pot­hast and David Golightly—have elevated the city's psychedelic culture and spirit to stellar levels. Since 2009, Portable Shrines' brain trust has been throwing inspired shows on a regular basis, including two editions of the multi­media spectacular Escalator Fest, a gathering of transcendentally minded West Coast bands. The crew's efforts now expand into record releasing, with the Translinguistic Other imprint, which will issue the 18-track compilation Portable Shrines Magic Sound Theatre Vol. 1 on Record Store Day, April 16. The lavishly packaged double-LP comp spotlights the depth and diversity of psych-­oriented talent in the Northwest—and here's a concert by the savvy trip-facilitators. Heads, we win. April 2, Lo-Fi Performance Gallery. DS

Start Your Own Band

There is absolutely nothing like the rush of playing music in front of a crowd. Do you have a few friends and a few hundred dollars between you? Scour Craigslist and the want ads for cheap equipment and rent a practice space. (They're inexpensive and smelly!) Take lessons if you want, but some of the most successful musicians didn't know how to play properly. When you finally get together for the first practice, set a goal of leaving with one song written. Simple is best. In the words of musical wise man Lars Finberg: "Verse, chorus, verse, chorus, done." Anytime, anywhere. GB

Lightning Bolt

There are two living drummers everyone should strive to see in a lifetime: Zach Hill of Hella (and a million other projects) and Brian Chippendale of Lightning Bolt. Couple the latter with bandmate Brian Gibson and his monolith of amps plugged into a heavily distorted bass guitar, and you have one of the most deafening noise-rock outfits ever to produce noise and rock. The pair hasn't been touring much in the last few years (tinnitus is a bitch)—in fact, there was a nasty rumor floating around that they'd called it quits. But last year's Earthly Delights is as strong as anything they've released, and this may be the last chance to witness the absolutely enthralling spectacle that is a Lightning Bolt show. April 9, Healthy Times Fun Club. GB

Zola Jesus

Zola Jesus (aka Nika Roza Danilova) will shock the hell out of you. Pale and diminutive, she sings not like the pixie you'd expect, but rather in a commanding Nico-meets-Siouxsie mezzo-soprano that claims mountaintops as its natural habitat. On releases like Stridulum and Valusia, Zola Jesus—a trained opera singer—exudes a solemn grandeur that has the uncanny ability to stir souls in people who are skeptical about the existence of souls. Christ, she really nails it. May 4, Crocodile. DS

Support The Stranger


Scottish masters of the quiet-loud, ebb-and-flow dynamic (you'd be surprised how lucrative this line of work is), Mogwai continue to rank as one of (post) rock's mightiest proponents. Steadily accruing power and renown over 16 years and seven albums, they recently dropped their debut full-length, Hardcore Will Never Die, but You Will (cheers), for local juggernaut Sub Pop. Album standouts "Mexican Grand Prix," featuring the vocals and violin of ex–Long Fin Killie member Luke Sutherland, and "How to Be a Werewolf" find Mogwai revving into gradually intensifying motorik grooves that won't make you forget your Neu! LPs, but will upgrade your adrenaline levels. Meanwhile, the bouncy, Boo Radleys–­esque "George Square Thatcher Death Party" might be the most conventional indie rocker Mogwai have ever conceived. At a time in their career when most rock bands start to flounder, they remain vital and true to their fundamental aesthetic: erecting monuments to guitar and keyboard storm systems that make you feel heroic and indomitable. May 7, Showbox at the Market. DS recommended