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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Tonight in Music: Alejandro Escovedo, Apes Tapes, Digable Planets

Posted by Ethan Jayne on Wed, Aug 18, 2010 at 10:00 AM

ALEJANDRO ESCOVEDO AND THE SENSITIVE BOYS, AMY COOK (Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) SENSITIVE BOY—What can we say about Alejandro Escovedo that hasn't already been said? The man's as good as it gets songwriter-wise, and his latest album, Street Songs of Love, finds him barreling down boulevards of the human heart with all the anthemic gravitas of Springsteen. NL
w/Amy Cook; Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie, 8 pm, $20, all ages

ONUINU, SOAP COLLECTORS, ADVENTURES! WITH MIGHT, YOUR CANVAS (Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) I'm not sure how I feel about this latest cassette revival. It seems largely to be done, with varying degrees of irony, by musicians who were often too young to have actually lived through the cassette era. Tapes never sounded very hot. Rewinding was never fun. And now it is so unbelievably cheap to burn a CD—or post an mp3, for that matter—that manufacturing a run of tapes is best suited for the format-obsessed and the willfully weird. But the good thing about the tape revival is that a lot of new bands are receiving exposure as a result. Nascent cassette label Apes Tapes is putting out their first release, the Mixed Ape compilation, and tonight's launch party includes sets from Onuinu, Soap Collectors, Adventures! With Might, and Your Canvas, all hardily exploratory bands with skewed and fragmented sounds, regardless of the format. So perhaps the tape revival will tidily end in a couple years, when these cassettes—as all cassettes eventually do—break and clog your deck with ribbons of useless brown tape. 'Til then, there's plenty of good music to be heard. NL

DIGABLE PLANETS (Mt. Tabor Theater, 4811 SE Hawthorne) Sadly, most hiphop reunions—or any show following long periods of dormancy—should be approached with great caution. As any Wu-Tang fan who witnessed some half-assed variation of the band with only U-God onstage can attest, you never know what you'll get. It's been nearly two years since Digable Planets got "Cool Like Dat" in Portland, and while we're not sure of the status of the band since Ishmael Butler went from "Butterfly" (his smooth-flowing Digable moniker) to Shabazz Palaces (his newest role, which is currently docked at the evolutionary forefront of modern hiphop), odds are you'll get enough of the early '90s lineup to suffice. EAC

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