This Week in the Mercury

Friday, August 26, 2011

Tonight in Music: Celilo, Wooden Shjips, Braille & More

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Fri, Aug 26, 2011 at 11:53 AM

(Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 NE Alberta) Local laidback rockers Celilo started working on Buoy Bell way back in 2009, but the recording process took a devastating setback when drummer Kipp Crawford was killed in a hit-and-run accident. Now two years later the band has recovered the best they could and are prepared to share this wonderfully layered recording—with elements of spacious folk and dirt road Americana. EZRA ACE CARAEFF

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) My reaction to the droning, groaning psych from San Francisco band Wooden Shjips can run both hot and cold: I've been stirred by their immersive space beats, sucked into their lysergic whorls of guitar and organ, seen red-hot synesthetic flashes behind my eyelids as their fuzzed-out acid rock pulses through my skull. I've also been lightly, casually bored at one of their shows, jangling ice cubes in an empty glass instead of succumbing to their repetitive, somewhat wanky vortex. The Shjips' latest, West, finds them (very slightly) tightening up the sprawling grooves in favor of melody, a trick that worked splendidly for the Black Angels on their last record. Tonight's show is sponsored by Sailor Jerry Rum, not exactly a psychotropic substance, so you may want to do a little prep work before descending to the Doug Fir's underground bunker. Get in for free by RSVPing at NED LANNAMANN

(Branx, 320 SE 2nd) Portland native Braille is already a seasoned hiphop veteran despite the fact that he has yet to celebrate his 30th birthday. Braille's latest solo album, Native Lungs, is his seventh and a welcome return to form. The wish list roster of producers, beat crafters, and record scratchers is reason alone to cop the album. Producer S1 (Kanye, Jay-Z, BeyoncÉ) lends a track and legendary DJ Rob Swift showcases his scratching abilities on another. Local up-and-coming producers Trox and Calvin Valentine are also featured, proving that Braille is still repping his hometown hard despite his international accolades. Lyrically and thematically the album is a masterful balance between playful and dead serious, broaching serious themes without ever taking itself too seriously. While Braille's Christian faith is one of those themes, it never comes across as preachy. Think "Jesus Walks," not DC Talk—thank God.

(Edgefield, 2126 SW Halsey, Troutdale) Two years. That's the word around the water cooler, at least. The Decemberists, riding high as kites upon the much-deserved success of their masterful The King Is Dead, are on the precipice of a hiatus that is rumored to stretch—Mayan Apocalypse pending—well into 2013. It'll be a lengthy respite, since never in their history have the Decemberists been as relevant—and just plain good—as they are right this very moment. Joining them for this two-night (temporary) farewell are the marvelous Okkervil River, who, despite overreaching on the unnecessarily dense I Am Very Far, are still one of the finest domestic bands of the past decade. EAC

(Mission Theater, 1624 NW Glisan) Take drugs. Before McGruff and the long paw of the law get on my case about that statement, you really should to be in your endorphin-oozing happy place to fully enjoy the audio/visual splendor of Cloud Cult. The Minneapolis act is splitting their sets with new material from their fine Light Chasers LP, plus all the old hits you crave, and they are doing so with a fancy new visual backdrop. Much like that one time you made magic happen with a medicinal brownie, Dark Side of the Moon, and a VHS copy of The Wizard of Oz, the band has created intricate backing visuals that perfectly sync with their vivid and inspiring brand of experimental pop. Just be sure to properly hydrate and find a ride home—remember, stoners, safety first. EAC

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