Up & Coming 

This Week's Music Previews

DJ TAN’T Rotture, 1/23

DJ TAN’T Rotture, 1/23

WEDNESDAY 1/23

DJ TAN'T, REGULAR MUSIC, HATS OFF, DJ KEVITUP
(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) It's been six years since DJ Tan't (that's short for Tantrum) released Notes of Abrasion, and his new joint Mega Bloks is aptly named. Chunky, day-glo building blocks of sound are clicked and locked together to form thick beats—some that have the elasticity of hiphop and others the rigidity of chiptune. Tan't is the alter ego of Paul Lynch, who's filled the gap since Notes of Abrasion by working on his other projects, (((In Mono))) and Headphone Party. But Mega Bloks sees Lynch corralling a formidable list of Portland talent—including Sophie Vitells, Oh, and the ubiquitous Papi Fimbres—into an album that's playful, bright, and with surprising nuance, like a model city made out of toys that, on closer examination, reveals exhaustive and exacting detail. NED LANNAMANN

BIG BUSINESS, RABBITS
(White Owl Social Club, 1305 SE 8th) Seattle sludge-metal juggernaut Big Business is consistently one of the most engaging live acts around. The band's recorded catalog is nothing to sneeze at, either, with LPs Here Come the Waterworks and Mind the Drift dominating the headspace of pretty much anyone who's ever heard them. Core members Jared Warren (bass/vocals) and Coady Willis (drums) have spent the last six years or so as half of Melvins, too, embarking on lots of touring and recording, thus relegating Big Business' road regimen to a mere whimper of what it used to be—the lava-low thud of the band's compositions has become an increasingly rare sight to behold. Equally ferocious Portland outfit Rabbits are opening, making this one of the rawest and loudest events scheduled in the history of mankind. RYAN J. PRADO

KEN STRINGFELLOW, THE MALDIVES
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) The first thing I ever wrote for the Mercury was a preview for a Posies show, when I was but a dewy-eyed, 18-year-old boy (as opposed to the 21-year-old manboy I am today). It was around the time of the Posies' 2010 LP, Blood/Candy, which was a flawless pop comeback if ever there was one. Ken Stringfellow and Jon Auer, the two constant members of the Posies, are well into their 40s, yet somehow managed to make a record as raw and vernal as their early work. Comparatively, Stringfellow's new record, Danzig in the Moonlight, is movingly disappointing. Gone is pretty much all and any semblance of power pop, the genre that the Posies peerlessly personify. Danzig is dark, subdued, and generally lacking in terms of melody, perhaps the sole constituent that in the past has ranked Stringfellow so far above his peers. I get it: He's going for the "mature solo artist" thing. But sometimes growing up is the worst thing you can do. Stringfellow also plays an in-store at Music Millennium (3158 E Burnside) earlier in the evening. MORGAN TROPER

DÉTECTIVE, THE MEMORIES
(White Eagle, 836 N Russell) Détective is the latest fabulous thing to come from 21st-century renaissance man James Greer. A former member of Guided by Voices and senior editor at Spin, Greer now spends most of his time writing excellent novels. In France, naturally. Greer's collaborator in Détective is Guylaine Vivarat, a former member of the LA bands Useless Keys and Tennis System. Since Greer doesn't half-ass anything, Détective have released two EPs, Very Fallen World and Basket of Masks, and a full-length album, However Strange, in the past 10 months; a further double album is planned for March. Oh, and they opened for GBV on a national tour. However Strange is a solid, sophisticated rock album whose songwriting stands out just as much as its musicianship. Vivarat's low, effortless voice makes even the straightforward "Holy Ghost Citizens Club" sultry and mysterious, but the real magic happens when Greer sings too ("Telephonia" and "Cornflower Blues").  REBECCA WILSON

DOWN, WARBEAST, LORD DYING
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Down has stuck around longer than I ever anticipated. The band—featuring former Pantera vocalist Phil Anselmo and Corrosion of Conformity guitarist Pepper Keenan—was more a side project than anything. But more than two decades after first coming together, Down rages on. In that time, many lesser bands have latched onto Down's swampy metal sludge. It's no-frills stuff, given more weight by the band's stellar lineup. The band's latest, Down IV Part I: The Purple EP, is as lean and mean as their 1995 debut. And they've proven themselves road warriors, too, bringing graying metalheads and young heshers into the same pit. Down aren't in the same league as the "Big Four" of Slayer, Metallica, Anthrax, and Megadeth, but an argument can be made that they could take one of those bands out on a good night. MARK LORE

DENIM WEDDING, ANNE-MARIE SANDERSON, BLUE BLOCKERS
(LaurelThirst Public House, 2958 NE Glisan) Jennifer Faust and Brian Kunkel are Denim Wedding, a rustic Americana duo that, remarkably, stands out in a crowded field of local rustic Americana bands. Denim Wedding's new EP, Fancy Diving, is dreamlike and succulently earthy, a collection of five subdued but provocative tunes that range from upbeat Southern soul ballads ("Ankles Off") to delicate bell-and-accordion songs ("Ebb and Flow") to haunted dirges ("Traveling Circus"). While the music Faust and Kunkel sometimes make is spare, it is never stark, and it's imbued with a warmth that's impossible to fake. Fancy Diving's utmost strengths, though, are its songs, which are adventurously written—and impeccably dressed, even if Denim Wedding's name might make you suspect otherwise. NL

THURSDAY 1/24

PLETHORA MUSIC FEST: HARVEY GIRLS, DRUNK ON PINES, THE BETWIXTIES, DRAMADY, SAM DENSMORE
(Firkin Tavern, 1937 SE 11th) See My, What a Busy Week!

GRANDPARENTS, PAPER BRAIN, STILL CAVES
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Read our article on Grandparents.

THE PARSON RED HEADS, HE'S MY BROTHER SHE'S MY SISTER, RAYLAND BAXTER
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Evan and Brett Way—husband and wife, and one-half of the Parson Red Heads—had their first child last year. In a way, it's almost as if the whole band is one big family. Since moving from Eugene to LA in 2005 and then up to Portland in 2010, they have carved themselves a cozy home. Their music flexes its folk-rock roots, and appeals to the Northwest sensibility of living consciously and cooperatively with your neighbors and surroundings. The recent re-release of their album Yearling is plumped up with six additional tracks, further evidence that this is a time of great growth and reflection within the group. RACHEL MILBAUER

NIKI AND THE DOVE, VACATIONER
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Sometimes the usually astute Sub Pop makes decisions that make you scratch your head—and not in a good way. For example, signing Swedish duo Niki and the Dove. If you wrinkled your nose at CocoRosie getting a deal with Jonathan Poneman's company, you may shake your noggin senseless at the secretary-friendly Niki and the Dove (vocalist Malin Dahlström and keyboardist Gustaf Karlöf), who make Zola Jesus sound like Diamanda Galás. On their self-titled debut album, Niki and the Dove make that antiseptic, blandly cute electro pop at which Scandinavians often excel. The best way for Sub Pop to atone for this gaffe would be to issue a Love Battery box set with a bonus disc of previously unreleased gems. DAVE SEGAL

HANNAH GLAVOR, HI HO SILVER OH, CHARLYNE YI, CAROLINE BELK
(Someday Lounge, 125 NW 5th) If the name doesn’t ring a bell, surely you’d recognize Charlyne Yi if you saw her. She’s an actress who’s had bit parts in Knocked Up and 30 Rock, and is a regular on House (so says Wikipedia, anyway; I’ve never watched it), and, more notably, she wrote and starred in the film Paper Hearts, co-starring Michael Cera. But she’s also a comedian! Yi uses songs and storytelling to make the crowds laugh, and it comes off so effortlessly and charming that you forget you’re at a “show” and feel like you’re hanging out with a new friend who just happens to be really entertaining. She has both original material and some covers up her sleeve, and if the recent postings on her YouTube channel are any indication of what she’ll perform on tour, we’ll get covers of “Be My Baby” and “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” and she’ll probably forget some of the words. MEGAN SELING

PINBACK, JUDGEMENT DAY
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) There are two types of people in this world: Those who couldn't tell you a single Pinback song, and those who can recite every track from every full-length and EP going back to the band's 1999 debut. Pinback plays rock music that doesn't veer very far toward the fringe, but you can always tell it's a Pinback song. Rob Crow and Zach Smith have been steering the ship from day one, creating pop songs that are lush and well crafted. Full-length releases come but once every few years for these guys, which shows the kind of TLC they put into each record. If you haven't dug into Pinback's catalog, when you do, you're likely to come away humming one of those immaculate melodies. ML

FRIDAY 1/25

BEST! OF PORTLAND 2: SCHOOL OF ROCK AND GUESTS
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) See My, What a Busy Week! and read our Q&A with the event organizers.

PLETHORA MUSIC FEST: PINEHURST KIDS, IRIE IDEA, SAM WEGMAN, BUBBLE CATS, ROCKET 3
(Firkin Tavern, 1937 SE 11th) See My, What a Busy Week!

"CITIES" COVERS NIGHT
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Read our article on the "Cities" covers night.

E-40, MANIAC LOK, YO-X, J-PHENOM
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) I made a bet with a friend from the Bay Area almost a decade ago and it was a bad one. He predicted hyphy, both as an adjective and its corresponding rap sub-genre—as pioneered by E-40—would soon permeate Portland's popular culture. I lost. I should've known better than to bet against a legend. Now closer to 50 than 40, the Vallejo progenitor remains as relevant as ever. Last year, 40 released a whopping five records: a three-part suite and a pair of collaborations with Too Short. Tracks like "Function," from the Block Brochure collection, and 2011's "My Shit Bang" go head to head with the bounciest strip-club bangers of today as well as yesterday. But lest we write off Earl Stevens as slobbering or single-minded, E-40—who's family first, forever funky, always repping his city, uncompromised, and unrelenting—is a man in every sense of the word. And certainly not one you should bet against. ANDREW R TONRY

KING BRITT, NATASHA KMETO, MR. ROMO, DJ MICHAEL GRIMES, DJ KEANE
(Someday Lounge, 125 NW 5th) Moving ever forward in an exploration and formulation of the deepest corners and hidden facets of sound, King Britt, whose musical career has spanned over two decades, comes to us with the freshest in mind-melting electronica. While most may recognize him chiefly as a globetrotting house producer and DJ, his experience does not stop there. Involved in many projects that bring elements of world music cultures together, Britt's unique sound resonates with unpredictable moments of sonic bliss enveloped in a kaleidoscope of recontextualization. The wheels of steel will be set aside tonight for a special live improvised performance, sure to be an interesting reflection of his many years of dedication. Also performing live is Portland's own one-woman powerhouse, electronic producer and vocalist Natasha Kmeto, sure to make this night one to remember. CHRISTINA BROUSSARD

SATURDAY 1/26

THE WALKMEN, FATHER JOHN MISTY
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) See My, What a Busy Week!, and read our article on the Walkmen.

PLETHORA MUSIC FEST: HEADSHAPES, THE CENTURY, VANESSA ROGERS, THE WEATHER MACHINE
(Firkin Tavern, 1937 SE 11th) See My, What a Busy Week!

CAT DOORMAN, TWISTED WHISTLE (EARLY SHOW)
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Read our article on Cat Doorman.

TRISTAN PRETTYMAN, PAUL CANNON
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Tristan Prettyman is an astonishingly pretty lady—indeed, a former Roxy model—who makes accessible, radio-friendly music in the vein of Florence and the Machine. Aside from ensuring healthy sales, Prettyman's sunny songs are note- worthy because her latest, Cedar + Gold, is her second album about breaking up with Jason Mraz. The first, Hello..., came out in 2008. But then they got back together and one thing led to another, and then it all fell apart, and now... You know how it is. Still, the heartbreak of Cedar's more melancholy songs ("Second Chance," "I Was Gonna Marry You," "Come Clean") is tempered by hefty doses of literalism and summery surfer-cowgirl twang. This makes the songs universally relatable, but my favorite, "Bad Drug," is the weirdest, most oblique song on the album, and the only one that evokes emotional confusion rather than just feeling kinda bummed out. RW

SMALL SOULS, EZZA ROSE, SHOESHINE BLUE
(Secret Society, 116 NE Russell) The self-titled album of Portland folkers Small Souls is decorated with the usual ornamentation: plucked acoustic guitars, keening saw, clucking banjo, high lonesome pedal steel. The unusual thing is that Bryan Daste, one of the two members anchoring the band, is playing all of these; the multi-instrumentalist has transformed the lean, appealing songs of bandmate and songwriter Brian Rozendal into elegant, near-symphonic folk. Of course, a bevy of guests—including vocalist Ezza Rose and Radiation City's Patti King on violin—add to the sumptuous surroundings as well, making Small Souls not just the calling card of a fine local band, but also a snapshot of the fertile musical community that birthed it. NL

MIC CRENSHAW, RADICAL KLAVICAL, RAFAEL VIGILANTICS, JANA LOSEY AND THE TUESDAY PROJECT CRAY, DJ GRIMM ROCK
(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) Local emcee Mic Crenshaw hasn't performed in Portland for a while, as he recently returned from an international networking trip to Africa. He's heading back next month, performing with a hiphop caravan that is touring to six different cities across the continent. He will be joined by Dead Prez, the Coup, and some of Africa's top hiphop artists. Tonight's show is a benefit to help offset his travel expenses, a worthy cause that will help spread conscious hiphop culture, beginning in Capetown in early February and culminating at the World Social Forum in Tunis at the end of March. Be sure to arrive early for Elton Cray, a 20-year-old rapper who some may recognize from the high-energy Big Bang collective. Cray's latest solo mixtape, the criminally slept-on Indevelopment, is a masterfully mature recording that belies his young age. RYAN FEIGH

WILD ONES, GENDERS, PAPER BRAIN
(Backspace, 115 NW 5th) I'm still holding out for Wild Ones. It's been almost a year since they were playing as frequently as I'd like them to, but they're back with a batch of new live shows. Hopefully that time off the stage has meant perfecting this new record and music video I keep hearing about. Their You're a Winner EP from 2011 is earnestly adorable synth-pop, but I'm expecting something deeper and more intricate after such a hiatus. As for Genders, they cannot be stopped. They are steadily winning over and inspiring everyone around them. It might seem like standard beach-pop at first, but there's a depth in the songwriting and a power in the delivery that keeps your eyes wide. There's also something to be said for a four-piece that really works as a team; although the lead vocals are strong, they're intertwined rather than sitting on top of the mix, offering a more compelling sound overall. ROCHELLE HUNTER

SUNDAY 1/27

WILLY MASON, HIP HATCHET
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Willy Mason's third album, Carry On, came out in the UK last month (a taster EP, Don't Stop Now, is available Stateside now). At age 28, Mason still sounds like a 60-year-old hillbilly down on his luck. This time, it sounds like maybe he's finally realized that he's a gruff-voiced anachronism trapped in this postmodern age. Dan Carey, who has produced the likes of Kylie Minogue and Hot Chip, worked with Mason on Carry On and Don't Stop Now, which must explain those digital drums and electric guitar. Thematically, though, the songs are still centered around hard work and heartache, as on "Restless Fugitive" and "Pickup Truck." Martha's Vineyard, the tony East-Coast vacationer's island where Mason was raised, probably doesn't offer too much in the way of blue-collar wisdom. But Mason was born with a comforting wool sweater of a voice, which seems to have come with a down-to-earth soul. Mason will follow the starkly beautiful folk songs of Portland's Philippe Bronchtein, AKA Hip Hatchet. RW

MONDAY 1/28

RIVAL SONS
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) With the release of their third album, Head Down, already generating enormous buzz overseas (it debuted at #1 on the UK rock charts), Long Beach's Rival Sons have suddenly become the new what's-next. Which is interesting, considering that the band is essentially a direct throwback to a hundred million other rock 'n' roll purist outfits. The difference, maybe, is that Rival Sons harness the not-so-effortless swagger of blues and hard-driving rock, and seem to believe in it. Similarly devoted patrons of the bad-boy rock 'n' roll rulebook—say, Buckcherry—came off gimmicky. Here's hoping that Rival Sons' accolades thus far—Jimmy Page is a fan—hold true, and one of them doesn't start dating a Kardashian or something. RJP

TUESDAY 1/29

THE LOWER 48, GLOSSARY, INCREDIBLE YACHT CONTROL
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) See My, What a Busy Week!

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Comments are closed.

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