Local Music News

Maybe it's the time I spent living in Russia, but there's nothing I like better than a government-supported, free, all-ages concert. Whether you have similar socialist instincts, need a live primer on contemporary Portland music, want to improve your cool quotient with your kids, or are simply a light-in-the-pocketbook, fixed-gear-wound-having hipster, you would be well served by the Musicfest NW-affiliated show beginning at 5 pm on Thursday, August 23 in front of city hall (1221 SW 4th). You can't do any better than the un-amplified American gothic squall of the Builders and the Butchers, the rock of lo-fi torchbearers recallseven, the garage stomp of post-Dead Moon project Pierced Arrows, and the joyous nasal jangle of the Shaky Hands (who just got tapped by the Shins to open some tour dates)!

While we Portlanders are the beneficiaries of occasional state-sponsored concerts, the children of Venezuela are universally entitled to a free, world-class musical education. Perhaps this sheds some light on local lounge jazz experimentalists—and Marriage Records all-stars—the Watery Graves' mysterious obsession with Caracas. The cover to their new album, Portland, which should soundtrack your next cocktail party, bears a picture of Caracas, whereas their previous effort, Caracas, was actually graced by a photo of Portland. Question the band about this strange duality at their album release show at the Artistery on Friday, August 24.

Looking for a Friday night record release with a more hippity-hoppity flavor? Then head on over to the Roseland and carouse with the "Voice of Northeast Portland" himself, Cool Nutz, in honor of his new collaboration album with Sacramento rapper Luni Coleone.

Alternately, if you prefer your hardcore with guitars, drums, screams, and indecipherable lettering, or have ever felt uncomfortable about the disparity between punk ethos and punk reality, do not miss B.A.B.E. Fest, happening August 24-26. Many of Portland's most egalitarian, queer-and-gender-friendly, badass bands, including Anon Remora, the Vonneguts, and Tandemnation, play Friday at the Ranch (5306 NE 15th) and Saturday at Satyricon. Workshops will also be taking place around town on punk scene topics including substance abuse, size-ism, and women of color.

Organizers explained, "Clearly issues of gender equality are prevalent in all scenes and society in general, however, those in the punk community (unlike other segments of society) generally claim to be practicing gender and racial equality and dealing with conflict and issues in a non-hierarchical or oppressive way. However, a lot of this is just lip service or not truly practiced and we'd like to open up that dialogue and talk about ways how we, as a community, can address these issues." See babefestpdx.com for more info.