CLASSICAL REVOLUTION PDX, COPY, MATT CARLSON, DANIEL MENCHE, THOMAS THORSON, DJ E*ROCK
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) 66 Records is no record label. It's an art project spearheaded by Claudia Meza from Explode into Colors and photographer Megan Holmes to document exactly 66 artifacts (music, film, books). The pair is behind New Musics, a brand-new quarterly event of musical exploration that kicks off with Classical Revolution PDX doing Philip Glass' "String Quartet No. 5" and working with the likes of electro-pop wizard Copy, plus plenty more. EZRA ACE CARAEFF
PETER HOOK AND FRIENDS PERFORM UNKNOWN PLEASURES
BROKEN BELLS, MIMICKING BIRDS
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) Broken Bells is what I imagine the Shins would have ended up sounding like had James Mercer not completely dismantled the band a couple years back. Instead, he decided to make it work with Gnarls Barkley's jack-of-all-trades Danger Mouse, who leaves his mark all over the group's debut while still allowing space for Mercer's indie rock leanings to come through. Essentially, listeners got exactly what they expected from the two collaborators, which at times sounds like Wincing the Night Away meets Gorillaz. If you already have your ticket for the group's sold-out Portland show, you're stoked. If not, you'll just have to wait; who knows, the next time Mercer performs here it may be with his previous band. MARK LORE
Trawler Bycatch, Andrew Jackson Jihad, Nux Vomica, and New Jack Swing Night, as well as a link to the complete show listings, after the jump!
KENSETH THIBIDEAU, TRAWLER BYCATCH, SECRET CODES
(The Woods, 6637 SE Milwaukie) The vision quest that Trawler Bycatch went on before creating their newest effort Schlep'm must have been an intense one. The record sounds like the band went looking for musical inspiration by streaking through the woods, eating handfuls of peyote, and howling at the moon to present them with their guardian animals. From front to back, Schlep'm maintains a constant flow of primal, unhinged prog-tastic acid-rock psychedelia. Each track has a presence and personality all its own. The record begins with the erratic "Thissletia," a song that turns from a creepy, swelling groan to a funky, spaced-out bootyshaker, then quickly drops you right back into the haunting abyss. With the tracks "Blinded by Fun" and "Heaving through the Seasons," the band cuts loose, displaying rocking riffs and riotous vocals. Throughout all of Schlep'm's freakouts and technicolor madness, Trawler Bycatch employs a quirky sense of silliness, which helps keep the record grounded just enough. ARIS WALES
ANDREW JACKSON JIHAD, ROYAL MONSTERS
(The Artistery, 4315 SE Division) Funny lyrics about Con Air and the awkwardness of personal songwriting ("at least we're saying something/And I hope that no one's listening/ Because this is kind of embarrassing/And everyone who hears this thinks we're joking") can only go so far. But Andrew Jackson Jihad backs up the They Might Be Giants-style white-boy faux-lofty musing with actual songwriting skills—rocked-up folk songs with horns and a wall of guitars—and a sense that they won't kill a song's essence for a cheap joke. It's rare that you encounter a jokey, quirky band that feels like a collection of people you think would actually be smart and literate in "real life." AJJ is just doing what comes naturally, and they sound good doing it. PAUL CONSTANT
(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) Portland by-way-of Baltimore metal outfit Nux Vomica continue to receive attention for blurring genres—from crust punk to black metal—at the same time baffling even their most dedicated followers. It works to great effect, too—so much so that the band has been referred to as "the Yes of crust." Before you attempt to wrap your head around that description, consider "Corpses with Egos," a 12-minute epic whose brute force is almost lost to the song's calculated arrangements and a few creepy, well-placed samples from the movie Jesus Camp. There's no doubt heshers have a lot to love in Nux Vomica. But smarty-pants post-punkers might enjoy watching this unit operate just as much. MARK LORE
NEW JACK SWING NIGHT: DJ HUMAN HIGHLIGHT FILM, DJ COOL IT NOW
(Langano Lounge, 1435 SE Hawthorne) It's the new dance night at least some of you have been screaming for! New Jack City—featuring the turntable stylings of DJ Human Highlight Film and DJ Cool it Now—spins the best of your fave New Jack Swing singles. Think New Edition, Tony! Toni! TonÉ!, and of course Candyman's "Knockin' Boots." WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY
Complete show listings can be viewed here.