This event is in the past.

Randy Newman


Revolution Hall Southeast
Tue., Oct. 10, 8 p.m. 2017 All Ages


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I love Randy Newman, and I never, ever want to hear him sing. Over the years, Newman’s proved himself to be probably greatest American musical satirist of all time (sorry, Tom Lehrer), but more importantly he’s evolved the template of the singer/songwriter to encompass musical comedy, film scores, ragtime, Dixieland jazz, avant-garde classical music, and more. He’s a genius, no question. And his voice is terrible—somehow abrasive as a pumice stone and soft as a bowl of jelly. Newman’s latest, Dark Matter, is an insanely ambitious work that includes tracks like “The Great Debate,” a gospel opera that dramatizes the conflict between scientists and religious wingnuts, and “Putin,” which skewers the Russian leader via boot-stomped Soviet martial fanfare. These are brilliant songs, and I find them entirely unlistenable. Even as they tickle my brain with fascinating ideas, Newman’s woozy, lurching shifts in musical tone and gargly mush of a voice make me feel seasick. So I’m glad Newman’s in town, and astonished such a remarkable personage is playing a venue like Revolution Hall. It should be an incredible evening for his biggest fans. I wish I could get over my physical revulsion toward his sound and join them in appreciating his brilliance. But I can’t. I just can’t. NED LANNAMANN

Revolution Hall

1300 SE Stark #110, Portland, OR 97214

Event Times
This event is in the past.
  • Tue., Oct. 10, 8 p.m. 2017