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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Tonight in Music: Pancake Breakfast, Meshell Ndegeocello, Defiance Ohio and More

Posted by Ethan Jayne on Wed, Jun 30, 2010 at 9:00 AM

MUSIC ON MAIN STREET: PANCAKE BREAKFAST (SW Main between Broadway & Park, 5-7 pm, FREE, all ages) PLAY IN TRAFFIC—This afternoon marks the first Music on Main Street of the summer, in which the street outside the Portland Center for the Performing Arts is blocked off for a local band to play every Wednesday. Check out Pancake Breakfast and their jaunty, family-style backyard folk, performed with a full backup choir. NL

GIL SCOTT-HERON COVERS: MESHELL NDEGEOCELLO, STEPHANIE SCHNEIDERMAN (Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 NE Alberta) Why is it fitting for Meshell Ndegeocello to perform an evening of Gil Scott-Heron covers? What connects these two artists? Before answering that, let's look at what disconnects them. The main disconnection is that they come from and represent very different moments and moods in the history of black popular music. Scott-Heron is associated with the black power movement of the early '70s; Ndegeocello is associated with the post-feminist rebellion of the '90s. Scott-Heron is all about race, about the color of his skin, and the history of that skin color in America. Despite being political, Ndegeocello is not so much about her skin. She instead has about her the mode of the post-racial. So what connects them? It is their relationship with the arts. Both emerged from an education in the arts. In the way Ndegeocello could easily have followed a path to a career in jazz, Scott-Heron could easily have followed a path to a career in literature. CHARLES MUDEDE

DEFIANCE OHIO, FOOT OX, THE DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES (Satyricon, 125 NW 6th) Defiance Ohio is a name that rings true with those who know that the words This Bike Is a Pipe Bomb is not a terrorist threat, or those who remember Against Me! when they were a neckbearded acoustic punk act from the Florida 'burbs. The Columbus band—not actually from the city of Defiance—primarily steers clear of three chords (and three-pronged outlets) in favor of staying acoustic and relying on the very un-punk combination of cello, upright bass, harmonica, violin, and acoustic guitar. But punk is not a volume war, and on their brand-new full-length, Midwestern Minutes, Defiance's positive message and inspiring anthems are deafening compared to their all-noise, little-substance punk rock peers. The highlight of this is "Cigarettes," a song that packs a wallop despite clocking in under the minute mark. Let's hear it for efficiency. EAC

Rebecca Gates and the Consortium after the jump!

As always, you can find our complete live show listings here.

REBECCA GATES AND THE CONSORTIUM, THE GOLDEN BEARS (Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Through the '90s, Rebecca Gates helmed the Spinanes, releasing a string of great records on Sub Pop and Merge before drummer Scott Plouf went off to drum for Built to Spill and Gates embarked on a solo career of her own. It's been several years since she released her first solo record, Ruby Series, but Gates has kept busy appearing on albums by others, including Ted Leo, Willie Nelson, the Decemberists, and many more. She's also got a new album in the works, and her backing band the Consortium features a revolving door of Portland talent, including the Decemberists' Nate Query on bass and Blue Cranes' Ji Tanzer on drums. Meanwhile, the Golden Bears are hard at work on a second album of their own, meaning tonight will be a showcase of eagerly anticipated, unreleased new material from both bands. NL

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