COVID or not, the Rose City is seldom quiet when it comes to music and creativity. This week we’re discussing a couple of must-watch videos and performances, a promising upcoming hip-hop show, and a forthcoming covers EP from Portland’s Spaghetti Western-inspired rock band, Federale.
A can’t miss upcoming show.
The Thesis: Karma Rivera, Dreemy Alpha, TROX, Alana Rich, DJ Verbz
There’s no slowing down The Thesis, Portland’s long-standing hip-hop and soul series showcasing talented local artists (and beyond) at Kelly’s Olympian. In addition to the headliner, local stalwart rapper Karma Rivera and Portland-to-San Antonio producer Trox, another big highlight on this month’s bill is Dreemy Alpha, a nostalgic hip-hop artist whom T-Pain has even co-signed via posting his music video for “K.I.L.L.A” on Twitter. He’ll be no doubt performing tracks from his latest project, ReLOADN. Genre-fluid pop singer Alana Rich will open up the show, after DJ Verbz spins some locally-minded cuts on the ones and twos.
Kelly’s Olympian, 426 SW Washington, Thurs Feb 3, 9 pm, $15 adv, $20 door, tickets here
Great new releases from two locally relevant artists.
“Bounceman Freestlyle,” Wynne
Earlier this week, Portland hip-hop champion Wynne dropped a highly anticipated music video for “Bounceman Freestyle,” a highlight from November’s Christo-produced project, DO MY OWN STUNTS. The darkly lit, somewhat abstract video is directed by Tim Slew and the rapper herself, and creatively directed by Wynne’s engineer and right-hand man, Itay Lerner. The visual sees her on a tree-lined Portland sidewalk, appropriately making a bouncing motion as she wears scrubs and pushes a gurney, and then we see her switch to the role of the patient in the bed wearing a hospital gown. A casually dressed Wynne is seen reading the Portland Tribune on a bench, and then we flicker back and forth between her three versions—curling a dumbbell or holding a PlayStation controller—as an ambulance rolls away behind her. Check it out below and make your own interpretations.
Esperanza Spalding: Tiny Desk (Home) Concert
A couple weeks ago, Portland-born jazz bassist/singer/songwriter Esperanza Spalding performed a 21-minute set for the acclaimed Tiny Desk concert series, which is currently filming its stripped down sets via a work-from-home situation. In front of a seven-piece band, Spalding performs four tracks from her Grammy-nominated 2021 album Songwrights Apothecary Lab: “Formwela 3," "Formwela 4," "Formwela 8," and "Formwela 3." The intentional project has a healing effect, and the performance is no different—a result which Spalding achieved by consulting with music therapists, neuroscientists, and psychological researches for the album, in an effort to speak to various stresses and emotions. In addition to the band, she’s accompanied by “Loving Presences,” AKA seven backup vocalists, and one dancer. The performance also takes the “at home” space to the next level, utilizing a green screen to depict lots of mesmerizing images.
ADDED TO THE QUEUE:
Some upcoming music buzz to put on your radar.
Our Side Of Their Story, Federale
Portland-based rock seven-piece Federale is releasing a new EP of covers titled Our Side Of Their Story, out on Saturday, February 5 on Jealous Butcher Records. Federale recorded the album last year on the two hottest days in Portland history when temperatures reached 116 degrees. In addition to collaborating with engineer Elliott Smith and Tape Op magazine’s Larry Crane for his mixing/mastering/recording prowess, the record also features harmonica player Mickey Raphael, strings by Andrew Joslyn, and jazz bassist Todd Sickafoose. Last month the band released the project’s lead single, “Sundown, Sundown,” originally performed by Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazelwood. Check it out below.