Making Marks: Here are Portland's Art-Makers to Watch This Spring
SUPERCHUNK, TEENAGE FANCLUB, TELEKINESIS
(Jackpot Records, 203 SW 9th) They may be taking daily baths in all that Merge Records money these days, but Superchunk is back. With a new album—Majesty Shredding, their first since 2001—and tour, the legendary Chapel Hill indie-rock band brings their fuzzball pop to the Wonder tonight, and they're playing an acoustic in-store set in the afternoon as well! NED LANNAMANN
SHINE A LIGHT: GUIDANCE COUNSELOR, WAMPIRE, SALLIE FORD AND THE SOUND OUTSIDE
(Portland Art Museum, 1219 SW Park) For the second fabulous year in a row, the Portland Art Museum turns itself over to the crazy kids at PSU's social practice art program for one brilliant night, called Shine a Light. The artistes put on over a dozen performances throughout the museum, including nude wrestling, beer sampling, and music by Guidance Counselor, Wampire, and Sallie Ford.. Michelangelo, et al., would be proud. And drunk. SARAH MIRK Also see our article on Shine a Light.
Wax Fingers, Richmond Fontaine, The Ascetic Junkies, and Murder City Devils, as well as a link to the complete show listings, after the jump!
WAX FINGERS, NO KIND OF RIDER, EMPTY SPACE ORCHESTRA
(The Knife Shop at Kelly's Olympian, 426 SW Washington) The three mad scientists in Portland's Wax Fingers have just emerged from their laboratory with their self-titled debut LP, a record that throws everything but the proverbial kitchen sink into the mix. Not in a pretentious, self-indulgent way, mind you. Wax Fingers' songs move, and they explode at just the right times. Pop hooks lurk underneath the band's squirrelly guitar and synth attack—and, of course, the more you listen, the more noises will start to emerge. "Fasten the Hook" mixes Afro-Cuban rhythms with massive guitar rumble, and "DJ3G" is what the Max Rebo Band should have sounded like. Wax Fingers will likely play these and more at tonight's record-release show, which will presumably be a cross between a punk-rock show and a sci-fi convention. In the best possible way. MARK LORE
RICHMOND FONTAINE, FERNANDO, BINGO RICHEY
(Satyricon, 125 NW 6th) As part of Satyricon's farewell victory lap, the iconic club is bringing back Richmond Fontaine for one final night of woeful songs about drunks, jockeys, horses, and drunken jockeys on drunker horses. Back when Richmond Fontaine were regulars on the Satyricon stage they were not the tempered vehicle for Willy Vlautin's wondrously depressing lyrics that they are now. Instead that early incarnation of the band was louder and less focused, an accidental roots band that was discovering their talent as they went along. This is best captured on a live-audience recording of their October 1, 1999 date at the club, currently available on Richmond Fontaine's Bandcamp page. You can hear the band come into their own, as the raucous "Savior of Time" bleeds into a loose take on "Harold's Club," and finally into a slowed version of "Winner's Casino" (where a crowd member yells "fuck you" at Vlautin during his introduction). It's proof that it wasn't exclusively punk bands growing up inside Satyricon's blackened walls. EZRA ACE CARAEFF
THE ASCETIC JUNKIES, JARED MEES AND THE GROWN CHILDREN, THE ANGRY ORTS
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) There are plenty of bands where lyrics aren't all that central to the music, but the Ascetic Junkies aren't one of those bands. They even have a page at songmeanings.net—remember that site?—and their repertoire is perfectly Portland in many ways, largely delivered in sweet, earnest conversational lyrics from vocalists Matt Harmon and Kali Giarritta, who spin plaintive appeals to lovers, friends, and the powers that be. Tonight marks the release of their latest collection, This Cage Has No Bottom, 12 numbers with such straightforward titles as "God/Devil/Gov't" and "(Don't) Panic." This Cage has the feeling of a modern life put to song, hymns made for and among good friends doing their best in the here and now. It makes sense that folks would want to know what the Ascetic Junkies are saying, and perhaps tonight they'll even sing along. MARANDA BISH
MURDER CITY DEVILS, COLD LAKE, BATTLE HYMNS
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) The past few years have found the Murder City Devils going from official working band, to breaking up, to reuniting, to existing in limbo, to touring, and finally to whatever their current status is. The one constant has been that MCD—when together—has never stopped making temperamental, fist-pumping, ass-shaking rock and roll. Many fans are left wondering if these recent tours and murmurs of polishing new material are for real, or will the band vanish like a long-haul trucker going back on the road for who knows how long? To the dedicated followers that have yet to shake their "final show" hangover, it doesn't really matter. What matters is that the pissed-off heartbreak and drunken drama of MCD is here. If you wish to join the rest of us as we look to Captain Spencer Moody to navigate the whiskey-soaked swells and sways of this show, by all means, get your dancing shoes and swagger out of the closet. If you want to dissect where the band has been and what is to come, then stay home—because we're going to a rock and roll show. JAY WILLIAMS
Complete show listings can be viewed here.
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