When: Wed., Oct. 12, 7:30 p.m. 2011
The decade of almost total inactivity Portishead entered after the release of 1998's Roseland NYC Live—which for the next ten years would look like the climactic end to their brief but stunning existence as a band—was brutal for their many diehard fans. But it was almost worth it, just for the way it set up 2008's Third (Mercury), where primary members Geoff Barrow, Beth Gibbons, and Adrian Utley revealed themselves to be not only unmellowed by age but more aggressive than ever. Cuts like the ominous, Krautrock-heavy "The Rip" and the downright unsettling "Machine Gun"—which has one of the meanest beats in recent memory—made the shallow misconception of the group as purveyors of mannered, coffee-shop-friendly trip-hop look even further off the mark than it already was. Portishead has moved at a typically glacial pace since Third—they've released one song, "Chase the Tear," in late '09—but sonic mastermind Barrow has been on a tear. He's abandoned his reclusive habits to work on other projects, including the even Kraut-ier band Beak—a development that bodes well for another album from his main gig before they hit retirement age. —Miles Raymer Thought Forms open.