Up & Coming 

This Week's Music Previews

THE VON TRAPPS Fri 12/26 Mississippi Studios

THE VON TRAPPS Fri 12/26 Mississippi Studios

WEDNESDAY 12/24

PUSSY CONTROL: PRINCE TRIBUTE NIGHT
(Dig a Pony, 736 SE Grand) See My, What a Busy Week!

THURSDAY 12/25

HOUSE CALL: UGLY SWEATER PARTY
(Tonic Lounge, 3100 NE Sandy) See My, What a Busy Week!

FRIDAY 12/26

THE VON TRAPPS
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Buried in the back of most of our heads is a childhood memory of watching The Sound of Music. Maybe a hazy memory includes Julie Andrews' polished smile or a row of sharply clad children vocally bouncing through "Do-Re-Mi." And maybe even further down in our minds is a memory of the true story, that this was based on a real people who eventually made their way from Austria to America as a family band. Generations later, the von Trapps are a sibling quartet who prove the theory that it runs in the blood. Earlier this year, the von Trapps—Sofia, Melanie, Amanda, and August—paired up with Pink Martini for Dream a Little Dream, a highly eclectic mix of standards and originals. You can hear their perfect harmonies, passed down from generations of von Trapps, on the day after Christmas. What better way to emerge from the holi-daze? ROBIN BACIOR Also see My, What a Busy Week!

TONY STARLIGHT'S NEIL DIAMOND EXPERIENCE, HOLIDAY STYLE
(The Tony Starlight Showroom, 1125 SE Madison) I come from a long line of dedicated Neil Diamond enthusiasts, but I admit that some later-period Diamonda has eluded my notice. For instance, 2009's A Cherry Cherry Christmas collection, the crooner's third collection of yuletide-themed tunes. (The irony of Diamond having such a deep catalog of Christmas music is not lost on me, but a quick, digressive plea: Can we all stop calling Diamond the Jewish Elvis? Elvis didn't write any of his own songs—not a one. Diamond, meanwhile, remains one of the great American songwriters, the throughline from New York's Brill Building pop of the '60s to the California singer/songwriter period of the '70s to whatever revisionist karaoke era we're currently living in.) Last Christmas, my brother asked if I had heard Cherry Cherry Christmas' title track. I hadn't. Grinning, he dialed it up on Spotify, and the phone emitted the most ridiculous, pandering, wonderful piece of Christmas music I've ever heard. In it, Diamond shamelessly namedrops several of his own songs—an example: "Wish you a very merry cherry cherry Christmas/And a holly holy holiday, too." Or: "Let's raise a Christmas toast of red red wine/We'll even sing Sweet Caroline while the whole world sings along." And lo, there's also a super-swanky saxophone solo. The song is a masterwork, a thing of awe-striking beauty. Tonight, Portland's premier Neil Diamond tribute artist, Tony Starlight, performs a Diamond-inflected holiday show, drawing deep from the man's triptych of Christmas albums. Let's hope "Cherry Cherry Christmas" is on the program. NED LANNAMANN

SATURDAY 12/27

BLOW PONY
(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) See My, What a Busy Week!

LARRY AND TERI
(The Spare Room, 4830 NE 42nd) See My, What a Busy Week!

HOLIDAY FRIENDS, THE WEATHER MACHINE, SNOWBLIND TRAVELER
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Well now, this is a bill of enjoyable, local-ish acts who live in different-but-similar places on the spectrum of folk, pop, and rock. Snowblind Traveler is Long Island-born, Portland-based singer/songwriter Matt Dorrien, who makes downcast folk and barroom blues for the modern set. His 2014 album, Confederate Burial, will be a perfect soundtrack for any of the gray days ahead of us. The Weather Machine's self-titled album is a cozy combo of frontman Slater Smith's strummy folk songs, his love of alt-rock (i.e., Modest Mouse, the White Stripes), and his band's baroque-pop savvy. Add it all up and it sounds like Idaho songwriter Josh Ritter when he's in full-band-fun-times mode. Finally, Holiday Friends, from Astoria, take straightforward pop-rock songs and dress 'em up with synths, programmed rhythms, and other future-stuff. In a world where mildly electronic, post-MGMT pop-rock bands are huge, Holiday Friends are capable of big things. BEN SALMON

SUNDAY 12/28

DO RIGHT SUNDAY
(Dig a Pony, 736 SE Grand) See My, What a Busy Week!

ESMÉ PATTERSON
(Al's Den, 303 SW 12th) Read our article on Esmé Patterson.

HALFBIRD, TERROR APART, UNEASY CHAIRS, WITHERING OF LIGHT, AMERICAN MERKIN
(Habesha, 801 NE Broadway) Read our article on Withering of Light.

REIGNWOLF, DOWN AND OUTLAWS
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) There's no shortage of blues-rock duos these days. Ever since a young, romantically ambiguous two-piece out of Detroit shot to worldwide fame, followed closely by two guys from Akron, the blues-rock duo has since become a genre unto itself. As far I know, Reignwolf holds the exclusive title as a blues-rock solo band. Reignwolf—real name Jordan Cook—looks and sounds eerily like a young Peter Green, and plays guitar as though he were engaged in a wrestling match with Jehovah. Taking endless runs up and down the guitar neck, tapping the frets, playing behind his head, etc., Cook has all the trappings of yet one more brash, young, guitar hero to add to the list—except for the fact that he is the only person standing on stage. Hailing from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan—not exactly a blues Mecca—Cook relocated to Seattle, and has taken to occasionally bringing a proper drummer and bass player on stage with him. Though Reignwolf's music is not especially new or original, he (they?) is injecting life into what has become an otherwise predictable genre. SANTI ELIJAH HOLLEY

RICK BAIN AND THE GENIUS POSITION, THE HUGS, MISTER TANG
(Rontoms, 600 E Burnside) Indefatigable garage-rock misfits Mister Tang have released a total of two EPs, two digital singles, and played nearly 100 local shows since relocating from across the pond (i.e., the Col-umbia River) in late 2012. For those with no concept of what it's like being in a band: That's a busy two years. But the hard work might finally be paying off for Mister Tang, who have been making waves among the city's (self-elected) elite as one of the scene's most formidable live acts, and their latest e-single, "Sleep," is one of the finest of the group's already respectable repertoire—a catchy, woozy slab of neolithic rock 'n' roll done right. Don't let these boys out of your sight. MORGAN TROPER

ORDEN MUNDIAL, WILD MOHICANS, PMS 84
(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) In case you were wondering whether punk rock has wormed its way into every nook and cranny on Earth, here comes Orden Mundial, a hardcore band from Mallorca, a Spanish island in the Mediterranean Sea that's popular with well-heeled tourists. If you Google "things to do in Mallorca," you'll get 104,000,000 results, but I'm guessing few of them were truly feasible options for these guys—so they turned to punk, as bored young people sometimes do. In July, Orden Mundial put out an album called Obediencia Debida that rages through 10 tracks in well under 20 minutes. The singer (whose name I'm afraid I do not know) howls and growls in Spanish as his mates throw down a slab of crusty, buzzy noise at breakneck speed. Good stuff! Orden Mundial's currently halfway through a tour of America, so hit up the Know tonight and welcome them to our fair burg. They'll be back in their sunny island hell soon enough. BS

MONDAY 12/29

PORTLAND COUNTRY UNDERGROUND
(LaurelThirst Public House, 2958 NE Glisan) See My, What a Busy Week!

ESMÉ PATTERSON
(Al's Den, 303 SW 12th) Read our article on Esmé Patterson.

TUESDAY 12/30

ODE TO JOY—A HOLIDAY CELEBRATION: ESPERANZA SPALDING, THARA MEMORY, OREGON SYMPHONY
(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway) See My, What a Busy Week!

ESMÉ PATTERSON
(Al's Den, 303 SW 12th) Read our article on Esmé Patterson.

Tags:

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

From the Archives

Staff Pick Events

Most Commented On

Top Viewed Stories

All contents © Index Newspapers, LLC

115 SW Ash St. Suite 600
Portland, OR 97204

Contact Info | Privacy Policy | Production Guidelines | Terms of Use | Takedown Policy