LIF TO EXPERIENCE—Just because George W. has slinked off to Texas doesn't mean political hiphop is dead. Take in an earful courtesy of the wise Mr. Lif, the voice of modern political rhyming. He's the rare emcee who just might be better onstage than in the studio. EAC
Doc Adam; The Crown Room,
205 NW 4th, 9:30 pm, $5
MUSICFESTNW: BIG FREEDIA,
DJ BEYONDA, DAT'R, THE UPSIDEDOWN
MUSICFESTNW: SLEEP, SCOTT KELLY, YOB
Tera Melos, Titus Andronicus, Sleep (Hip-Hop), The Dodos, Shabazz Palaces, Menomena, Crooked Fingers, The Decemberists and Smashing Pumpkins all after the jump. My, what a busy night!
In addition to these shows, you can find our complete live show listings here.
TERA MELOS, WHY I MUST BE CAREFUL
(The Artistery, 4315 SE Division) Sacramento's Tera Melos built a lofty rep for playing insanely intricate and spasmodic math rock—you could say they guzzled Hella Trumans Water, and their piss stream is rich in those groups' nourishing nutrients. At its best, Tera Melos' music careens thrillingly, emitting flurries of rusty guitar chimes and mercurial, precision-slapped beats while toggling schizophrenically between no-wave-y abrasion and fruity melodic flourishes. With the covers EP Idioms Vol. 1 and their new album, Patagonian Rats, Tera Melos have swerved into a more tuneful demeanor. They're good at this new, more accessible approach, but Tera Melos are really special when letting their inner Captain Beefheart run riot. Let's hope we get both sides of them tonight. DAVE SEGAL
MUSICFESTNW: TITUS ANDRONICUS, BOAT, THE GLOBES, AND AND AND
(Backspace, 115 NW 5th) If you only listen to one album inspired by the Civil War this year, well, sorry, Matmos. If you only go to see one Springsteen-echoing New Jersey act this week, well, sorry, Gaslight Anthem. Garden State band Titus Andronicus' recent sophomore album, The Monitor, takes the War Between the States as the loose thematic underpinning for a raucous and winning folk-punk album that has less to do with history, whether 19th century or Springsteenian, than it does with what it feels like to be alive and struggling at it right now. Frontman Patrick Stickles' vocal shudder, vague populist rage, and the band's fried electric guitars recall Conor Oberst's excellent old agit-prop rock act Desaparecidos, while the band's beery, gutter-mouthed ballads—lines like "I am covered in urine and excrement, but I'm alive" sung over a honky-tonk piano and the slow, steady saw of a fiddle—bring to mind Against Me! before they went all soft. Shit's on fire like Sherman's March, y'all. EG
NW HIPHOP FEST: SLEEP, MIC CRENSHAW, ROSE BENT, SOUL P & MORE
(Slabtown, 1033 NW 16th) The second night of the NW Hiphop Fest continues to bring a musical feast of local hiphop acts, with the female trio of Rose Bent rocking their inimitable infectious party rhymes combined with lyrically ingenious metaphors and fertile creativity over head-nod beats. Other highlights include Soul P, whose unfathomable depths of emotion unite with his gritty experiences to create soulful street bangers, as well as Sleep from the Oldominion crew, whose recent efforts have unsurprisingly been lauded and embraced by a national audience. In addition to the stylistic smorgasbord offered musically, both nights also include a multi-media experience including screenings of Northwest hiphop videos as well as artwork provided by Someone Clothing and photography courtesy of Arian Stevens. Raffle giveaways and prize packages from local hiphop labels and artists are just the cherry on top. RF
MUSICFESTNW: THE DODOS, SUCKERS, DIRTY MITTENS, THE HEAD AND THE HEART
(Berbati's Pan, 10 SW 3rd) For their 2008 breakthrough Visiter, San Francisco's Dodos came north to Portland to record at Type Foundry Studios, and for their forthcoming album they're doing the same. The early word is that things are sounding heavy, with plenty of guitar solos. Perhaps we'll get a chance to hear some of the new material tonight when they take a break from tracking to do a one-off show. Meanwhile, Seattle's the Head and the Heart are starting to make waves with their melody-driven folk-pop. Built around piano, violin, and layered harmonies, the songs of the Head and the Heart stack up a lot of musical ideas and tempo shifts in short periods of time, but leave plenty of room for their songs to grow. NL
MUSICFESTNW: SHABAZZ PALACES, CHAMPAGNE CHAMPAGNE, CLOUDY OCTOBER, THEE SATISFACTION,
(Jimmy Mak's, 221 NW 10th) When it comes to Shabazz Palaces, believe the hype. Believe every single word, each breathless and hyperbolic description of the Seattle crew's graceful avant rap, their surreal flow, and their artistic production values. Emcee Palaceer Lazaro (yeah, that's "Butterfly" from Digable Planets) along with drummer/mbira player Tendai Maraire might be the finest hiphop offering the Pacific Northwest has ever had, and news of their recent signing to Sub Pop is only going to direct the national spotlight our way. Get ready, world. EAC
AKRON/FAMILY, TU FAWNING
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) Menomena's new album, Mines, continues their drift toward conventional indie rock and away from their earlier quirky restlessness. Now the local trio is poised to fill big rooms with the sort of crowd-pleasing, widescreen, orchestral rock that many other mid-level bands peddle—you know, the kind of thing that earns the approval of middlebrow folks who work mid-management jobs at medium-sized companies. Mines' songs are well-written, well-played, well-produced, well-arranged, and... well, well. The band's maturing, softening its edges, becoming more popular, and aiming, it seems, to inspire mass bonhomie rather than befuddlement—although "Oh Pretty Boy, You're Such a Big Boy" comes close to achieving the latter feat. Menomena's trajectory resembles Mercury Rev's, which means Mines is their Deserter's Songs. You like 'em just fine. DS
p>MUSICFESTNW: CROOKED FINGERS, PORTLAND CELLO PROJECT, THE MYNABIRDS, BARTON CARROLL
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Isolating yourself in North Portland during a music festival that is primarily based downtown is a risky endeavor. But to miss a show like this—with the most diverse bill you might find anywhere—would be unwise. The Mynabirds are the delectable vintage pop vehicle of one Laura Burhenn, one-half of the criminally forgotten Georgie James. We'd be lying if we said her What We Lose in the Fire We Gain in the Flood debut hasn't already locked in a spot on our year-end top 10. The Portland Cello Project lives for shows like this, and will have a pair of special guests—Janet Weiss on drums and Adam Thompson from Thao with the Get Down Stay Down on bass—backing them up. Speaking of backing, PCP will be doing just that for a handful of songs from the enigmatic Eric Bachmann of Crooked Fingers. Pour a new drink for the old drunk and don't you dare go anywhere. EAC
THE DECEMBERISTS, LAURA VEIRS,
BLUE GIANT, WEINLAND
(Pioneer Courthouse Square, SW Broadway & Yamhill) This isn't the first time a show has been put on in Pioneer Courthouse Square—bands play all the time for the lunch hour, not to mention the infamous Dave Chappelle incident last summer. Nor is it the first occasion of a ticketed concert taking place on the bricks: Wilco played there in 2000. But this show is essentially the best of what Portland has to offer in the folk-rock department circa 2010. The Decemberists headline on the heels of their summertime recording session in the barn at Pendarvis Farm—the site of Pickathon—where they reportedly built a shrine to Neil Young. Not sure how explicitly the new material is influenced by Young, but the three new tunes they played at Bumbershoot all featured frontman Colin Meloy on harmonica. Here's hoping the hometown crowd gets to hear more of the same. NL
MUSICFESTNW: SMASHING PUMPKINS, BAD CITY
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) It's not hard to find a punchline about Billy Corgan. Ha ha, he dated pill-popping, fame-addicted trainwreck Tila Tequila. Ha ha, he dated—and musically collaborated with (!?)—Hollywood's favorite country bumpkin Jessica Simpson. Ha ha, he got Smashing Pumpkins back together for a mediocre new record and an entirely new lineup because none of his former bandmates wanted anything to do with him. LULZ TIMES INFINITY! But despite Corgan's current joke status, the dude wrote some killer songs 10-plus years ago, songs that are still so great they've allowed him and all his recent fuckery to still be held in high regard by tens of thousands of Smashing Pumpkins fans. It says something about how good Gish is that you can still forget the whole Tila Tequila phase while listening to it. MEGAN SELING
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