OLD TOWN BLOCK PARTY: DEELAY CEELAY, THE JOGGERS, THE MEAN JEANS, LOVERS & MORE
(NW 4th & Couch)The second annual Old Town Block Party is upon us, with another rippin' lineup of bands (Deelay Ceelay, the Joggers, the Mean Jeans, Lovers) and DJs, plus local vendors shilling food and other goodies. Like beer. MARJORIE SKINNER
BOB DYLAN, JOHN MELLENCAMP, THE DOUGH ROLLERS
(Edgefield, 2126 SW Halsey, Troutdale) Okay, his best years are behind him. Sure, his voice is a wreck. But look: it's Bob fucking Dylan, as monumental a figure as exists in American music. Would you turn down the chance to see Shakespeare write a play in person? Or watch Picasso paint a picture? Dylan's in the same category; don't miss the chance to witness a legend in the flesh. NED LANNAMANN Also see our article on John Mellencamp and Frank Cassano's Imbecile Parade.
SEAN FLINN AND THE ROYAL WE, MUSEE MECANIQUE, EZZA ROSE
Pure Country Gold, Blue Cranes, Facts Machine, Baths and Sapient after the jump!
PURE COUNTRY GOLD, OLD GROWTH, DJ HWY 7
(Club 21, 2035 NE Glisan) The raucous, brawling duo of Pure Country Gold are ready to foist their new album Tough Tuesday upon the world, and for the release show they're inviting all their closest friends to get blind drunk at their favorite watering hole. That includes you, so booze up and watch 'em blast the doors off legendary Northeast dive Club 21—which is just a stagger away from the legendary Northeast Mercury offices. Guess we're not driving. NED LANNAMANN
Undoubtedly punk as all fuck, the unruly boys of Pure Country Gold are popping the tops of countless domestic beers tonight in celebration of their brand new album, Tough Tuesday. Bar bands come and go, but none can come close to the sloppy anthems and boozy rasp of frontman Petey Foss along with his drumkit-punishing partner in crime, Jake Welliver. PCG know what the ringing ears and bruised livers of its target audience crave, so the band initially stocked Tough Tuesday exclusively in the best dive bar jukeboxes Portland has to offer. Fittingly, tonight's show will be at the delightfully dumpy Club 21, where the PBR flows freely and the air is equal parts oxygen and tater-tot grease. EZRA ACE CARAEFF
BLUE CRANES, REBECCA GATES AND THE CONSORTIUM, JONATHAN SIELAFF
(Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 NE Alberta) Yes, Blue Cranes have a couple horns in their lineup, and sure, their instrumental pieces are largely improvised. But to pigeonhole them as "jazz" is not exactly accurate; the Portland five-piece makes use of Ji Tanzer's powerful drumming to pack its punchy swing full of gravity, and the chord progressions recall soul and R&B classics more than fake-book charts. On their third album, the brand new Observatories, Blue Cranes trade heavy math grooves with airy melodies, straying far from the scholarly museum pieces or schmaltzy elevator muzak that make up today's contemporary jazz. (Which raises the question, how did jazz end up there anyway?) If anything, Blue Cranes hearken back to jazz's exploratory days, when anything was fair game except for setting rules. And they do so without sounding at all retro—instead, the music of Blue Cranes is informed by a very vital, of-the-moment Northwest indie mentality. NED LANNAMANN
FACTS MACHINE, NOTORIOUS BEN, NOAH23, THE CYCLOPS, YAMIO 263
(Bossanova, 722 E Burnside) Search all you want, but odds are you won't hear a recording more truthful than Polygraph. Facts Machine—the local emcee duo of Moodswing and Calmpleks—dispense the truth in heroic doses on their debut long-player, proof positive that the next generation of local hiphop has plenty to offer. The rhyming partners that make up Facts Machine are no mere tourists to hard living and their destructive upbringings are a constant theme on Polygraph. "Gitemout" is a perfect balance of bravado and well-constructed rhymes, a theme they continue with both "Liars Landscape" and the hazy "Grand Scheme." With the exception of the misguided party jam "Ego Trip," Polygraph is as strong of a Portland hiphop debut you'll find. EZRA ACE CARAEFF
JOGGER, BATHS, DJ OBE
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Los Angeles-based musician Will Wiesenfeld learned to play classical instruments after being exposed to BjÖrk in his early teenage years. More recently, an invitation to play alongside beat luminary Daedelus inspired him to learn how to perform complicated electronic/acoustic compositions as a one-man show. Appropriately renamed Baths, the solo undertaking maintains the same floating, sentimental, dreamy aesthetic Wiesenfeld is known for. Cerulean, his first album under the Baths moniker, is a beautiful and intimate reflection of Wiesenfeld's romantic outlook. Skilled organic instrumentation conveys heaps of emotions while sound samples collected from Wiesenfeld's apartment give the listener a sense that they are personally involved in the music. As the dynamic album title suggests, songs range dramatically from washy shoegaze loops to upbeat almost-pop. What holds it all together is a firm grounding in the new sounds of LA's future beat scene. AVA HEGEDUS
SAPIENT, DEBASER, JOSH MARTINEZ
(Satyricon, 125 NW 6th) On his newest release, Barrels for Feathers, Portland producer/emcee/singer Sapient further spreads his wings to rise above the hiphop underground. Or possibly just away from it. The album marks the completion of his metamorphosis from strictly sample-based backpacker to slick keyboard composer, and though that transition may slightly sadden some of his older fans, his new music is no less banging or skillfully produced. Sapient acknowledges this movement on "Blissless Yield" by explaining, "My style will change but I'm still Sape." That self-aware statement is the truth, with his newer songs reminding the listener variously of Maroon 5, Gnarls Barkley, or Ratatat, if those groups featured a crisply talented Caucasian rapper. After Barrels for Feathers it's hard to predict where Sapient's flight will take him, but one thing is for sure—it'll be somewhere with hard-ass drums. GRAHAM BAREY
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