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Friday, March 25, 2011

Tonight in Music: Toro Y Moi, Sic Alps, Talking to Turtles, and much more

Posted by Colleen Smyth on Fri, Mar 25, 2011 at 3:53 PM


TORO Y MOI, BRAIDS, CLOUD NOTHINGS

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) The music of Toro y Moi (one Chaz Bundick) employs guitar plucking, dreamy electronica, and reverb-y Beach Boys crooning to the tune of a soundtrack for a planetarium. Put him on rotation as background music—then see him live and get your chill on. JENNA LECHNER


SIC ALPS, ORCA TEAM, THE WHINES, GUANTANAMO BAYWATCH


(East End, 203 SE Grand) Sic Alps' new long-player Napa Asylum is not unlike an early Ween record like The Pod, with its gluttonous feast of hissy, stoned-out sensitivity and nonsensical humor piled into a Tascam four-track. Stretching 22 tracks over 47 minutes, Napa Asylum physically flirts with minimal, catchy lo-fi pop structures and hollow folk demos as much as it fidgets with noisy, experimental interludes. Few bands have established a sound that breaks audiophile rules like the inherently raw Sic Alps, who translate well over a tiny mono speaker, bulky cans over your ears, or a power PA. They make that transition from the dank practice space/bedroom to the stage as a three-piece unit with deliciously scuzzy results. The Whines, who don't get out much these days, are similarly analog by nature, meshing the beautiful with the dirty and the honesty with the deceit. There's no-fi like lo-fi.
TRAVIS RITTER


GROWLER, TALKING TO TURTLES

(The Knife Shop at Kelly's Olympian, 426 SW Washington) In case you are unfamiliar with Hamburg, Germany's music scene, you might not have Talking to Turtles on your radar. But please don't let such geographic distances stand in your way, since fans of indie-folk the world over should be listening to the duo of Claudia GÖhler and Florian Sievers. The vivacious Talking to Turtles don't weigh themselves down with much more than their intertwined vocals (sung in English) and a quirky song structure reminiscent of the Moldy Peaches. The band is in the States for SXSW and to record their forthcoming LP up in Seattle, making their debut Portland performance a rare treat. EZRA ACE CARAEFF

A complete listing of this week's shows can be viewed here.


MONGOLOID VILLAGE, LOZEN, DOG SHREDDER

(The Saratoga, 6910 N Interstate) Bands with just two members have their work cut out for them, especially when it comes to creating a sound big enough to captivate a live audience. Justine Valdez and Hozoji Matheson-Margullis (or Juice and Hoz) make up Tacoma's Lozen, a dynamic duo that can sonically fill out any room and command whatever stage they walk onto. With two drum sets, two vocal mics, and a bass-and-guitar setup, Lozen crank out oddly timed, mechanical Melvins riffage with a snarling and frothing primal energy. Juice and Hoz play off each other's fierce vocals with patterns and harmonies that often sound like hypnotic chants. Thankfully, Lozen's music isn't saturated with technology like loop pedals and drum machines. They know how to intensely manipulate their instruments and voices, so there's no need to cheat. ARIS WALES


THE GROUCH, ZION I, BLU, SHOTGUN WEDDING QUINTET, TOPE, DESTRO, L PRO, GEPETTO, VERBZ

(Branx, 320 SE 2nd) I know that Zion I is still very active, still dropping new science, still making fresh beats and productive collaborations (one of which was with the Grouch, who also performs tonight). The Bay Area duo (DJ AmpLive and MC Zumbi) are still not loving the police, still about the keeping the peace, still spreading the love, and still finding harmony within. Yes, Zion I are not stuck in the past. Nevertheless it's impossible to separate this duo from that important moment in the late '90s/early '00s that witnessed the emergence of hiphop's undergound. The West Coast gave us crews like Lootpack, Planet Asia, and Rasco; the East Coast gave us Black Star, Company Flow, Aesop Rock, and Scienz of Life. To not see Zion I in the light of that vanishing world is to miss their essence, their reason for being here. CHARLES MUDEDE


HELLO ELECTRIC, TURBO PERFECTO, YARN OWL, PORCHES

(Ella Street Social Club, 714 SW 20th Pl) Hailing from the Eastern Washington town of Pullman, rock-folk-pop quartet Yarn Owl sound like a burst of sunlight fighting—and winning—its way through breaking clouds. Their new full-length, the relaxed MontaÑa y Caballo, was recorded in a barn outside of Moscow, Idaho, and its brawny yet gentle charm is highlighted in tunes like album opener "Go" and the album's de facto title track, "Embrace Our Place (MontaÑa y Caballo)." Yarn Owl has a Northwest rock pedigree—bassist Tim Meinig once drummed for Band of Horses—and their songs are vocal- and guitar-driven in equal amounts, sounding at times like a plugged-in Fleet Foxes. With the joyful MontaÑa, Yarn Owl have instantly leaped forward as one of the most competent, confident bands in the Northwest, and their guilelessly bright, lush sound should be turning more ears than ever before. NED LANNAMANN

A complete listing of this week's shows can be viewed here.

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