Up & Coming 

Music previews for the week of August 23-29.

PAPER BRAIN Kelly's Olympian, 8/25

PAPER BRAIN Kelly's Olympian, 8/25

THURSDAY 8/23

CHUCK PROPHET AND THE MISSION EXPRESS, REDWOOD SON
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) You won't find a more versatile, yet underappreciated, musician and songwriter than Chuck Prophet (although those in the know know). Aside from a career that has seen him dabble in punk, country, and pop (his first band Green on Red was big in the mid-'80s Paisley Underground movement), Prophet is also a gifted storyteller whose solo work is just as enthralling. His latest album, Temple Beautiful, is a love letter of sorts to his longtime San Francisco home, offering up obscure references to Bay Area geography and history as well as dropping more familiar names like Harvey Milk, Bill Graham, and Willie Mays. Simple, workingman's rock can often go unnoticed, but you're far too savvy to miss this one. MARK LORE

THE VERY BEST, SEYE, DJ JEFFREY JERUSALEM
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) The transcontinental pop scene has been dominated by the Very Best for a few years now, ever since Esau Mwamwaya, from Malawi, famously sold a bike to Etienne Tron, the French half of the hiphop production team Radioclit. But after one critically adored mixtape and an even more lauded debut LP (Warm Heart of Africa), Etienne had enough, leaving Johan Hugo Karlberg and Mwamwaya to forge on without him. MTMTMK, their second album, was recorded in Lilongwe, Malawi. Expectedly pleasurable, the album features lots of predictable guest stars—Baaba Maal, Amadou and Mariam—as well as bilingual vocals. The generous spirit that made the album possible seems to have spilled over into many of the songs, an impressive feat given that the production ranges from shiny to the slickly commercial. Fortunately, the Very Best radiate a warmth and authenticity that could find its way out of even the most elaborately designed packaging. REBECCA WILSON

DAVID ALLAN COE, HONKY TONK UNION, MICHAEL DEAN DAMRON
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) David Allan Coe is a mixed bag. On the one hand, he's responsible for penning the maudlin country classic "Would You Lay with Me (In a Field of Stone)" and "Take This Job and Shove It," which has Superchunk's "Slack Motherfucker" beat as the ultimate anti-employment anthem. But these accomplishments don't absolve him of subsequent foolishness, which there is quite a bit of. Much of Coe's recent work borders on self-parody (admittedly, it's sort of a disproportionate comparison, but think a hillbilly Weird Al). Even worse is the stuff that's unintentionally ridiculous, like Coe's collaboration with the late Dimebag Darrell, Rebel Meets Rebel, which remains perhaps my favorite party record of all time (why does everyone hate my parties?). I have no idea what he's playing tonight, but most of it is bound to be agonizing. MORGAN TROPER

TEISHA HELGERSON TRIBUTE
(Kruger's Farm, 17100 NW Sauvie Island) Teisha Helgerson, the singer for Amelia, died last year from chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Her friends took her unfinished recordings and made Carry On, an album that intermingles Helgerson's sketches and lyrics with fleshed-out songs from all the contributors. It was a tricky operation, but the assorted Portland musicians on Carry On have not only made a tasteful, moving tribute to Helgerson, they've made a unified album that finds the joy in Helgerson's life story rather than getting bogged down in her illness and too-soon death. Tonight's release show benefits the Teisha's Place and Jeremy Wilson Foundation charities. Performers will include Jim Brunberg, Michael Jodell, Matt Brown, James Low, Mark Orton, Wendy Pate, Aaron Walker, Miss Tulie, Susannah Weaver, Scott Weddle, Rachel Taylor Brown, and Stephanie Schneiderman. Poet Scott Poole, and dancer Margarita Barragan will also be there, with Live Wire!'s Courtenay Hameister hosting. NED LANNAMANN

KRISTIN HERSH, MBILLY
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) I've loved Kristin Hersh ever since I heard Throwing Muses' "Call Me" on a mixtape. Hersh was a 20-year-old baby then, with a distinctive, angry bray like some sort of punk-rock lamb. With that staccato "Summer's gone/summer's over/somebody here's too smart," Hersh foretold her musical output a remarkable 26 years later. She's now a solo artist (and wrapping up new work from Throwing Muses), writer, mother, and co-founder of the nonprofit musician-aiding project CASH Music. Her latest album, 2010's Crooked, is a collaboration for which 20 demos were remixed by fans and polished up by Hersh into 10 album tracks and two auxiliary EPs. It's very much an autumn record—too heavy and introspective for these hot August days—but it'll feel as good as your favorite wool shirt once the days darken. Hersh's bruised-peach voice still sounds as fantastic and rich as ever on Crooked's folky, grown-up collection. Let her be the lovely voiced harbinger of the upcoming leaf change. COURTNEY FERGUSON

PARENTHETICAL GIRLS, WAX FINGERS, HOSANNAS, PALMAS, AAN
(Rontoms, 600 E Burnside) Tender, the new EP from Portland prog trio Wax Fingers, burns brightly in all the right places, plotting smart, subdued weirdness that's swayable and deliciously psychedelic. Their follow-up to 2010's self-titled debut finds the band reeling in their considerable technical prowess, relying not on flashy time signatures or swelling symphonics alone. Tender guts the core of the group's mad science on the septic-dark opening track "Bauhaus" and the ebbing-flowing title track. But it's not all insular restraint; "I'm So Limber" allows a late-breaking volume-spike, while EP closer "Almost Always Sailing" pairs heavy synth soundscapes with frantic drumming and score-worthy instrumentation—provided the film chronicles the slow demise of a psychotropic-popping druggie. Beauty and brawn work in tandem here, producing a wonderfully diverse slice of outsider pop. This show is the official release for Tender, so bring money. RYAN J. PRADO

CANNIBAL CORPSE, PERIPHERY, VEILOT MAYA, JOB FOR A COWBOY, GOATWHORE, EXHUMED & MORE
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Cannibal Corpse is kinda like the Metallica of death metal. At their inceptions, both were special, groundbreaking bands that changed the game, widening a few eyes in the process. Just like Metallica, Corpse had four perfect records before it all started going to pot. For Metallica, the initial slip into blaring mediocrity and failed experimentation can be traced to the moment they lopped off their luscious locks. For Cannibal Corpse, the entrance of George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher replacing Chris Barnes on vocals was the beginning of the slide. In the subsequent years, original members Alex Webster (bass) and Paul Mazurkiewicz (drums) have done a good job of keeping the gore-drenched, chummified riffs and album covers alive, but good ol' Fishgrinder has done nothing except make all the new records boring. Death metal vocalists don't necessarily have range, but they should have flair, and personal style that stands apart from the countless other gurgling frontmen in the sub-genre. Unfortunately, Fishgrinder's got nothing. Thanks for dragging a good band down, dick. ARIS WALES

THE BUGS, LAME DRIVERS, WOOLEN MEN
(Record Room, 8 NE Killingsworth) Portland weather is on the fritz, which means summer-fun music is about to head into hibernation, making room for serious things. But these three bands are serious about keeping music fun. Portland garage-punk two-piece the Bugs keep a pretty low profile for being a band that's been playing in Portland for 14 years. Their uptempo, catchy hooks like "Maybe you and I should just get stupid" are probably smart satire, but since the songs only last a minute and a half, it's hard to figure out before you're already stomping your feet to something like "Fuckin' A Right" on the next song. Portland favorites the Woolen Men and Brooklyn's 10-year-young band Lame Drivers make a stop on the West Coast segment of their two-part summer tour to make this lineup super nice. ROCHELLE HUNTER

NASHVILLE PUSSY
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) Yes, you read correctly: Nashville Pussy is still around. With their fire-breathing stage antics and sexed-up lyrics about Southern livin', these Georgians are KISS-meets-Skynyrd. This will probably sound awful to many, but over the past 15 years or so, Nashville Pussy have amassed a (largely European) cult following, which is the best kind of following. Husband-wife duo Blaine Cartwright and Ruyter Suys are the only mainstays from the early days, but the new material is almost indistinguishable from their debut, Let Them Eat Pussy. Evolution in rock 'n' roll is overrated anyway. Nashville Pussy are the embodiment of "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." ML

PINK SLIP, OBJECTS IN SPACE, THE GOOD SONS
(Plan B, 1305 SE 8th) Sometimes even the most well-balanced pessimists become enraged and need to blow off steam. For that, we have Pink Slip. They like to keep things very loud and very raw, a charming contrast to their apparently jolly personalities. The three members share vocals, but you're going to want to keep an eye on Claire Daemon (actually Nelson), the guitar player. She's an outstanding singer, with a voice that chimes from deep within, like she learned to sing in a church choir of mohawks and leather vests. With Mike Blackburn on drums and Kim Rowan on bass, they have nailed the the thing that made Bikini Kill and the Gits (Pink Slip's favorite band) so compelling back when the radio was saturated with the Spice Girls. Now Pink Slip have taken up the DIY mantle, bringing punk to the cheerfully incensed masses. RW

FRIDAY 8/24

LASER MENOMENA!
(OMSI, 1945 SE Water) See My, What a Busy Week!

RAYMOND BYRON AND THE WHITE FREIGHTER, HOUNDSTOOTH, AL JAMES
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Read our article on Raymond Byron and the White Freighter.

NEIL DIAMOND'S HOT AUGUST NIGHT 40TH ANNIVERSARY: TONY STARLIGHT
(Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 NE Alberta) Read our article on Hot August Night.

BENEFIT FOR HARRY STRONG: THE LOVESORES, WIZARD RIFLE & MORE
(Tonic Lounge, 3100 NE Sandy) On July 19, Harry Strong (age: five) and his sister (age: 18 months) were playing on the sidewalk at SE 72nd and Flavel when a car came up on the curb and hit them. Harry suffered a very serious brain injury, but the good news is that he is out of ICU and now at Randall Children's Hospital in the process of making a slow recovery. A number of local bands have joined together to play a benefit show to help Harry's family with his substantial medical expenses; stand-up comedy and a silent auction are also scheduled. With punk revivalists the Lovesores, howling firebrand psych from Wizard Rifle, and a stacked bill of other fine acts, this will not only be a terrific evening out—it's just about as good a cause as exists on Earth. NL

TIME WHARP, M. CONSTANT, RAP CLASS, D. POETICA, GUMAR, BROWN BEAR
(Groove Suite, 433 NW 4th) Tonight marks the release of the latest recording from Portland producer Rap Class, eight tracks of original sample-based electronic music created between 2006 and 2009, somewhat deceptively titled Greatest Hits. Anyone expecting a hiphop tutorial, or any rap at all, will be sorely disappointed, but fans of experimental soundscapes will find there's a lot here to enjoy. Rap Class is the musical pseudonym of John Kammerle, a member of the local Dropping Gems collective, whose work is distinct from a lot of electronic music, in part due to the sample-chopping he creates on an all-hardware setup. Time Wharp and M. Constant from Boston's Jass collective close out the night. RYAN FEIGH

NIGHT BEATS
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) You can take the musicians out of Texas, but good luck trying to wrestle the Lone Star State out of Night Beats. A few years ago, singer Danny "Lee Blackwell" Rajan and drummer James Traeger relocated to Seattle, where they joined forces with Tarek Wegner on bass. They may be named after a Sam Cooke album, but their sound is pure psychedelia—specifically, 13th Floor Elevators, who broke sonic ground in Austin in the late '60s. For such a sprawling, depraved-sounding band, Night Beats are remarkably conscientious about details: From the far-off vocal, the pounding echo of the bass, the distorted surf of the guitar, and the tight songwriting, their self-titled LP sounds remarkably like a 45 with a half century of collected dust. Does this make them a period piece, based on the sonic novel by Roky Erickson? Yes, please. RW

SATURDAY 8/25

THE AVETT BROTHERS
(Edgefield, 2126 SW Halsey, Troutdale) See My, What a Busy Week!

NEIL DIAMOND'S HOT AUGUST NIGHT 40TH ANNIVERSARY: SUPER DIAMOND, FUNK SHUI
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) Read our article on Hot August Night.

PAPER BRAIN, SORTA ULTRA, JON TIMM
(Kelly's Olympian, 426 SW Washington) I know I'll sound like a brat saying this, but bear with me: Anybody with enough money can be in a shoegaze or dream-pop band. It's amazing how little effort and imagination creating "atmospheric" music requires, but it is the blunt truth of the matter—those effects pedals are doing all the work, folks. Few self-described dream-pop bands (okay, this band describes themselves as "death pop/sunshine fantasy metal," so I'm paraphrasing here) pull it off with the sort of precision Paper Brain demonstrate on their brand-new EP Begin Again. The already-established group has at last perfected their aesthetic. They're hazy sounding without being boring or tuneless; the vocal melodies are captivating, and songwriter Mike Wrobelwski has the sort of musical intuition many of his peers clearly lack. The title track reminds me of the self-titled Telescopes album. These guys would have been huge in '92. MT

SUNDAY 8/26

KPSU KRUISE: UNKNOWN MORTAL ORCHESTRA, RADIATION CITY
(Portland Spirit, SW Naito & Salmon) See My, What a Busy Week!

THE AVETT BROTHERS
(Edgefield, 2126 SW Halsey, Troutdale) See My, What a Busy Week!

DESAPARECIDOS, VIRGIN ISLANDS
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) Read our article on Desaparecidos.

TARA JANE O'NEIL'S SEV ENTRAIN, DRAGGING AN OX THROUGH WATER, LIKE A VILLAIN, DJ YETI
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) I can't imagine what Tara Jane O'Neil's new composition, Sev Entrain, sounds like. It's described as "an interpretation of a graphic score"—meaning that while I think there's technically sheet music, it eschews formal musical notation in favor of sonically representing a series of O'Neil's line drawings. She's not performing it alone; Rachel Carns, Lisa Schonberg, Heather Treadway, and Kanako Wynkoop will also be part of the ensemble for this one-time performance. Judging from O'Neil's past work, Sev Entrain is bound to be full of subtle, watery beauty, but it won't make use of O'Neil's compelling guitar work. Rather, the sounds will come from gongs, tubes, drums, organs, voice, and more. An art book accompanies the piece, which was funded by a RACC grant. NL

HYBRIS, MINDS EYE, RYAN ORGAN, EWOK
(Groove Suite, 433 NW 4th) Don't miss your chance to catch drum and bass of the highest caliber, transmitted via the brain-searing tunes of Hybris (Evan Vischi), now based in Prague (by way of DC). The man's work can hold up to even the most skeptical of old school drum and bass heads, and keeps tension building adroitly with serpentine bass lines coiling around ruthlessly taut beats. Releases on several heavy-hitter labels including Metalheadz and Invisible Recordings are just another day at the office for this savvy beatsmith, whose refreshing take on drum and bass seems to be gaining steam for a genre kept underground far too long. CHRISTINA BROUSSARD

MONDAY 8/27

MOUNT EERIE, KEY LOSERS
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) See My, What a Busy Week!

TUESDAY 8/28

ATLAS GENIUS, TU FAWNING
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) It doesn't matter whether you are a fan of glossy Aussies Atlas Genius (they're okay, kinda!). The real news is that Tu Fawning is opening, and this show only costs 94 cents. That's a chance to see one of Portland's greatest, most artistically visionary acts for less than a dollar. It looks like the show has already sold out, so find a friend with an extra ticket, toss 'em a buck, and tell 'em to keep the change. NL

WEDNESDAY 8/29

OMSI AFTER DARK: LOST LANDER, BLUE SKIES FOR BLACK HEARTS
(OMSI, 1945 SE Water) See My, What a Busy Week!

REFUSED, SLEIGH BELLS
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) See My, What a Busy Week!, and read our article on Refused.

GREYLAG, CATHERINE FEENY, SUZANNE TUFAN
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Greylag had been simmering in a cross-country creative tailspin prior to relocating to Portland a few years back. Their debut EP similarly stewed in a holding pattern as the band found footing, settling into themselves and establishing an almost immediate fanbase. There's an extremely good reason for that. The Only Way to Kill You plays like a Zane Grey fever dream, with a rich, continental imagery that focuses on the holy trinity of melody, music, and lyricism. "Black Crow" is a great example of this—its underlying tribal thrust belies a terrifically textured, affecting Americana pop that's heavy with percussion, mandolin, and harmony. Greylag was already part of this year's Sasquatch festival, so the secret's certainly out. But it's exciting to ponder what sort of alchemy could follow from a band as relatively fresh as this. RJP

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Comments are closed.

From the Archives

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