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Old Age, Fanno Creek, The We Shared Milk 

When: Fri., March 15, 9 p.m. 2013
Price: $5
John Lennon's best solo album is also his most difficult. Written and recorded in the immediate wake of the Beatles' breakup, and as Lennon was famously undergoing Arthur Janov's primal scream therapy, 1970's Plastic Ono Band remains a tough collision of naked emotion and rock 'n' roll attitude. The vitriolic squall of "Well Well Well" sits next to the tender balladry of "Love"; the broken, decimated trudge of "Mother" is mirrored by the stately, elegiac "God." It's a brutal, depressing, terrible-sounding album, and an absolute masterpiece. Tonight three worthy Portland bands take on the challenge of covering the thing, along with a short opening set of originals and some other Lennon songs thrown in for good measure. Ordinarily, covers nights cater to the most simplistic and uninteresting of an audience's desires, but Plastic Ono Band contains no obvious crowd-pleasers. With bands as skilled as the We Shared Milk, Fanno Creek, and Old Age holding things down, it's unlikely these will be mere retreads, either. NED LANNAMANN

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