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Friday, May 20, 2011

Tonight in Music: Portland Cello Project, James Blake, the Thermals, and More!

Posted by Arian Jalali on Fri, May 20, 2011 at 4:00 PM



PORTLAND CELLO PROJECT, AGESANDAGES, LAURA GIBSON, WEINLAND, TOMO NAKAYAMA

(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) Portland Cello Project concerts are no mere shows, they are events. The inspiring cello ensemble returns to Portland armed with some charming guests (AgesandAges, Laura Gibson, and more) and a set of both traditional pieces and a few more modern arrangements (Kanye West) as well. EZRA ACE CARAEFF


JAMES BLAKE, NITE JEWEL

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Read our article about James Blake.


THE THERMALS, NURSES, PURPLE RHINESTONE EAGLE

(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) The one constant in the Thermals is that no matter how much they change—new drummers, new record labels, new Furbys—they ultimately remain the same. And that's a good thing. Anyone who delved deep into the underappreciated second half of last year's Personal Life can attest that this is not a bout of mid-career complacency, but more a deep comfort in style. From Suburban Legends to the twee-tastic Hutch and Kathy, hook-heavy pop is what Hutch Harris and Kathy Foster do best. Joining them will be the bong-rattling classic rock of Purple Rhinestone Eagle and the equally-as-stoney art-pop of Nurses—the latter of which will be debuting new material from the much-anticipated follow-up to their pristine debut, Apple's Acre. EAC


NW BLACK CIRCLE FEST: INQUISITION, MYSTICISM BLACK, PANZERGOD, TORMENTIUM & MORE

(Branx, 320 SE 2nd) Having left Colombia and thrash metal behind in the mid '90s, Inquisition landed in Washington State with freshly applied corpse paint and a mission to play some solid riffs for a new goat-worshipping horde. The band's approach is a bit out of character for what most black metal bands are doing in the Pacific Northwest. This is not your art-school dropout's "Cascadian" black metal that sings about protecting wolf habitat or the nobility of the rain forest. Inquisition is a band that sings praise of he who walks with cloven hoof. They offer advice to those summoned by ancient wizards under a black moon. And most importantly, they speak to the heshers that are, as my friend would say, "sworn to the darkness who won't break the oath" (AKA black metal fans that roll their eyes at fluffy tree metal and appreciate the continuous-grinding-buzzsaw sound of early Immortal records). JAY WILLIAMS


ADAM SWEENEY AND THE JAMBOREE, THE BEAUTIFUL TRAINWRECKS, BOY AND BEAN

(The Woods, 6637 SE Milwaukie) Mere months removed from the release of the Wildest Rose EP, Adam Sweeney teams with his trusty backing band the Jamboree for yet another recording. On the just-released self-titled LP, the local singer/songwriter dabbles in dusty-road rural Americana (think Ryan Adams) and a more straightforward sound that would feel at home on radio dials programmed to KINK FM (think Josh Ritter). While the meandering "Fighting Sort" might be too vanilla for most palates, rootsy opening number "Bound to Go" accentuates Sweeney's dialed-in approach to penning concise folk-rock songs without need for gimmicks or unnecessary flair. Sweeney & Co. will be at home in the Woods tonight, as the cozy venue acted as an impromptu recording studio for part of this release. EAC


THIS WILL DESTROY YOU, SLEEP OVER,
PURE X

(Ted's, 231 SW Ankeny) San Marcos, Texas' finest This Will Destroy You hate it when people call them "post-rock." They prefer "doomgaze." So do I, actually. The self-appointed term cleverly conjoins "doom metal" with "shoegaze," accurately depicting the brooding heaviness and gauzy melodicism that distinguish This Will Destroy You's music. TWDY also probably loathe comparisons to fellow Texans Explosions in the Sky, but damn it, similarities between the two bands do exist. Both groups favor lull-explode dynamics marked by placid passages that build to meaningful crescendos. Thankfully, TWDY imbue said dynamics with great poignancy. Bring earplugs, preferably wrapped in a hanky. DAVE SEGAL

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