CYNDI LAUPER, CHARLIE MUSSELWHITE
(Oregon Zoo, 4001 SW Canyon) For just a girl who wants to have fun, Cyndi Lauper has certainly done well for herself. After 25 years and tons of record sales, Lauper has shown herself to be a multifaceted singer/songwriter who is also an actress, a sly feminist, a gay rights activist, and now with her latest album, Memphis Blues, a soulful Southern belle. CAMILLE PANDIAN
STEREO TOTAL, ALLISTER IZENBERG
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Stereo Total is like a Berlitz-language-school version of They Might Be Giants. They sing their comic lyrics in a cornucopia of different tongues—English, German, French, Spanish—and grace them with herky-jerky, new-wave-influenced arrangements and a '60s mod-pop mentality. Actually, Stereo Total covers quite a broad stylistic array of pop music, much like TMBG, and although they do so with tongues gouging holes through cheeks, it's never at the detriment of melody. Based in Berlin, the French/German duo of FranÇoise Cactus (French) and Brezel GÖring (German) have just released their eighth American full-length, Baby Ouh!, on Kill Rock Stars. NED LANNAMANN
BLACK SUMMER VIDEO ART SHOW: MATTRESS, THICKET, STAG HARE, ACTUAL MAGIK, DJ NIGHTSCHOOL
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) The music of Rex Marshall—AKA Mattress—goes much deeper than a sea of electronic bleeps and whooshes. In fact, the first thing you'll notice is Marshall's voice—a deep, almost sinister croon that has the power to both soothe and jolt. The vocals are high in the mix (as they should be), backed by the low whir of synthesizers, jagged shards of guitar, and occasional loose and clangy drums. Mattress' sophomore recording Low Blows defies categorization; it's definitely one of the most intriguing local releases of the past year. Marshall writes weirdo songs that sound like Devo's Freedom of Choice being tossed into a meat grinder with Ministry's The Land of Rape and Honey, which can be taken as a selling point or a scare tactic. MARK LORE
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