Tonight in Music: PDX Pop Now!, Cathedral Park Jazz Fest, Dessa & More
PDX POP NOW!
(SE Salmon & Water) This is the most wonderful time of the year: PDX Pop Now! time! The three-day, all-ages, all-local, all-free festival kicks off today with bunches of terrific bands, and this year's fest also includes the first round of the annual Rigsketball tourney, in which Portland bands compete on a rigged basketball hoop attached to the back of And And And's van. Summer is NOW, yo! NED LANNAMANN Read our feature on PDX Pop Now!
CATHEDRAL PARK JAZZ FESTIVAL: BLUE CRANES, VENTURA TRIO, ERI YAMAMOTO TRIO, JESSIE MARQUES, & MORE
(Cathedral Park, N Edison & Pittsburg) Maximize the fine Portland summer by spending it lounging on the grass while surrounded by the sounds of the West Coast's longest-running free jazz festival. The Cathedral Park Jazz Festival is on its 33rd year, boasting a lineup that includes tonight's performers Blue Cranes and the Eri Yamamoto Trio. MARJORIE SKINNER
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) The only female member of Minneapolis rap collective Doomtree since their first release, False Hopes, Dessa has always stood out from her peers with her poetic, spoken-word rap style. On her latest solo effort, Parts of Speech, she indulges further in the singing and songwriting abilities she often hinted at in her past solo material and work with supergroup Gayngs, but wisely spares any acoustic cheesiness by sticking to her tried-and-true in-house producers Paper Tiger and Lazerbeak. Even the softer songs still manage to hit hard, Dessa's lyrics taking focus when the beats thin out. There's definitely an art-house element to it all, but it should go over well in a live setting with a crowd that's been down with Doomtree since their backpack glory days. MIKE RAMOS
CENTAURPALOOZA: THE LAST REGIMENT OF SYNCOPATED DRUMMERS, IN TROUBLE, TOY, THE HALOGENS, BUTTERCUP, & MORE
(Centaur Guitar, 2833 NE Sandy) The parking lot of Centaur Guitar is once again undergoing its yearly transformation from ho-hum asphalt wasteland to stomping grounds for rockers of every creed. Featuring a stupefying number of bands, this year's Centaurpalooza spills over into neighboring bar Katie O'Brien's. None of this affects the price of admission: totally free. Genres be damned here; acts as diverse as the Satin Chaps, the Decliners, Big Foot Dick, Bitch School, and the Last Regiment of Syncopated Drummers all have a turn at the stage. It's unfortunate that the fest's dates coincide with those of PDX Pop Now! this year, but any port in a storm, right? RYAN J. PRADO
PETER MURPHY, OURS
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE César E. Chávez) Peter Murphy—the Subaru Forester-driving Godfather of Goth—has pretty much beat his recent methamphetamine possession and DUI charges, stemming from a hit-and-run accident in Glendale, California, and is out on the road with his "Mr. Moonlight Tour." Don't expect any solo songs from the high-cheekboned King of Gloom—Murphy will perform 100 percent from the Bauhaus catalog. No other members of Bauhaus will perform with him, but expect rivers of mascara-soaked goth tears to flow anyway when Murphy croons the infamous 1979 hit "Bela Lugosi's Dead." KELLY O
LECHEROUS GAZE, SONS OF HUNS, ACID WASH
(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) You know that weathered, grizzled, greasy, long-haired rocker standing outside of the show smoking cigarettes and staring into space like he knows something you don't? If you handed that guy a microphone and a guitar, then scraped some band members out of the gutter for him, Lecherous Gaze would be the result. Equal parts punk and good ol' rock 'n' roll, Lecherous Gaze kicks it out like the Dead Boys and MC5. The guitar solos and bass lines scream Back in the USA, while the vocals sound like someone choking Stiv Bators. Basically, Lecherous Gaze plays old-fashioned rock 'n' roll that has a real bad attitude. ARIS WALES
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) Rock historians love to talk about how Nirvana "rescued" us from the music drought of the '80s. Candlebox—and pretty much every other post-Nevermind group that self-identified as grunge—are proof that those people are stupid. The mainstream's acceptance of Nirvana and grunge merely blazed a trail for an abhorrent new species of rock to follow, one that proved far more regrettable and enduring than any offshoot it succeeded (see also: Creed). Nirvana didn't save rock 'n' roll. Their popularity merely persuaded hair metal bands who missed the party to revise their aesthetic. And Candlebox are the most offensive of the bunch; "You" remains one of the worst songs I've ever heard. In my entire life. Courtney didn't kill Kurt—bands like Candlebox did. MORGAN TROPER