Fast forward to present day, when isolated murmurs are heard about a new nightclub--no, it's a performance space. A movie theater. A supper club. Whatever it will be, it isn't yet. For the time being, you can witness a work in progress and call it B-Complex.
What is being billed as a "construction party" (the actual grand opening is in mid-May) is a weekend of shows featuring four groups that are each their own forward-looking manifestation of the music of the last half-century. Jazz, rock, hip hop, funk, and the proverbial kitchen sink are permutated through the aural stylings of Bullfrog, FCS North, J Boogie's Dubtronic Science, and the DJ combo of Z-Trip & P.
Bullfrog's notoriety has been on the rise since the release of their DJ's debut album on Ninja Tune (Kid Koala's Carpal Tunnel Syndrome). But don't think that their live show hinges on his turntable antics. They've been playing jazz festivals across their native Canada, and if their appearance on the Ninja Tune tour was any indication, they'll be rocking their brand of jazz/funk fusion far outside of the realm of the prototypical hip hop backing band.
And don't even try that fashionably late shit. J Boogie's dubby, afro-funk crew Dubtronic Science complements one of the most accomplished party-rockers on the West Coast, while DMC turntablists Z-Trip & P lay down everything from Kenny Rogers to rare groove. Although most of the bill is at least rooted in turntable/DJ culture, Seattle's FCS North take their cue from the likes of Sonic Youth and Miles Davis' Spanish Key: sparse melodies suspended in molasses with frenetic, syncopated drumming gliding underneath.
While this line-up is impressive, it's equally as rare for it to be in Portland for a weekend. Unfinished or not at this point, B-Complex is yet another step toward our fair city coming into its own.