Well folks, we made it to Oregon’s wettest, muddiest month, and when it rains it pours. That goes for the music scene, too. There’s no shortage of new material, upcoming shows, and exciting sounds to get into this spring. This weekly column serves as a good starting point, and all of it’s right Hear in Portland.
Can’t miss upcoming events.
A Beat Happening
As recently as February, we sang the praises of monthly hip-hop showcase A Beat Happening. It's got a lot of things we like to see: It's all-ages, it's free, and it shines a spotlight on hip-hop producers in the Portland area. As usual, the event starts in the late afternoon, featuring a set from DJ Mr Mom, along with producer / mixing engineer Purple Matter. You'll hear synth pop and hip-hop from Echoik, electroacoustic instrumentals from Oppenheimer, and genre-fluid beats from Listening Listener and Southern Cali-raised producer Hot16. While some months also feature an emcee taking the stage, this installment will center beats, beats, and more beats. (Lolo Pass, 1616 E. Burnside, Sun April 16, FREE, all ages)
New release(s) from a Portland-relevant artist.
“Chet,” Jeffrey Silverstein, feat. William Tyler
Fans of country and pedal steel guitar, will want to give Portland-based songwriter Jeffrey Silverstein’s new instrumental single “Chet” an immediate listen. From his forthcoming sophomore album Western Sky (out May 12, via Arrowhawk Records), “Chet” is a stunning example of Silverstein’s “cosmic country” vibes. Collaborating with Nashville guitarist William Tyler, the two musicians weave a gorgeous soundscape inspired by the natural wonders of the Pacific Northwest. Play it as you vibe out to spring blossoms, warm breezes, and starry skies. There’s also a chance to catch Silverstein live this month, when he opens for Dougie Poole’s show at Polaris Hall on April 27.
“Fast Forward,” Mat Randol
Marking his first release in two years, North Portland native rapper Mat Randol dropped a new track, “Fast Forward,” on April 5. It's also the first single from his forthcoming EP, The World Keeps Spinning. In a visual for the track, Randol smokes an unknown strain of weed that zips him into his golden years. In theatrical makeup and a yellow cardigan, Randol walks the stacks at Central Library, plays basketball at Irving Park, and rhymes beneath the St. Johns Bridge. Production by Goldenbeets (samples of gospel choir) provides a buoyant foundation for “Fast Forward." Randol's rhymes handle the rest. Watch it below!
ADDED TO THE QUEUE:
Some upcoming music buzz to put on your radar.
Sampa the Great
In case you’re one of the sad souls who missed Sampa the Great at Pickathon last summer, here’s another blessed chance to catch the artist live. Flanked by dancers (or at least she was when we saw her) and a band from her native Zambia, the rapper and singer-songwriter delivers electrifying live performances of her epic and empowering songs like “Never Forget,” “Let Me Be Great (ft. Angélique Kidjo)” and “FEMALE.” On her Black power anthem “Final Form,” the artist spits bars: “Third world win it/ 1st world outdated/ No mentor all my heroes assassinated/ We've been here, reincarnated/ 'Tryna finish what they started and we made it.” I, for one, will also be looking forward to hearing her croon on slowed down tracks like “Lo Rain.” (Revolution Hall, 1300 SE Stark, Thurs, May 18, 8 pm, $28, tickets here, 21+)