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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Tonight in Music: The Pack A.D., Theophilus London, Lovers & More

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Thu, Jan 19, 2012 at 3:05 PM

THE PACK A.D., MY GOODNESS
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) There's that self-destructive point in a breakup where, when you're not getting shit-faced and crying, you're punching holes in the wall. That's something Elisabeth KÜbler-Ross overlooked that when describing the Five Stages of Grief, possibly because she had never heard the Pack A.D. On their fourth album, Unpersons, the Vancouver, BC, garage-punk duo ride the line at the nexus of pissed-off and dissipation with a ferocious energy. With only a drum kit, a guitar, and the voice of Becky Black, The Pack A.D. creates a wall of rock that's just as aggressive as it is brutally honest. On "Rid of Me," Black sings, "Well I drank two bottles of wine/and I threw up and felt just fine." Rid of Me is also the second album by PJ Harvey, a clear influence on Black's singing style, with some unmistakable Grace Slick thrown in as well. REBECCA WILSON

THEOPHILUS LONDON, K FLAY
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) Theophilus London's brand of crosswired, genre-spanning pop shouldn't be as much of a rarity in today's age of all-access internet, in which any piece of recorded music is but a button click away—but the fact remains that the Trinidad-born musician's indefinable style is totally, uniquely refreshing. There's electric funk, but not like Prince's; there's heartfelt, silk-sheet soul, but not like Al Green's; there's indie-rock quirk, but not like TV on the Radio's (well, not too much); and there's hiphop, but not like anything else that's out there right now. Theophilus London is the best kind of entertainer there is: an artist who is never less than fully of the moment, but at his very best, is outright futuristic. NED LANNAMANN

LOVERS, ANATURALE, BRITTLE BONES
(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) The lady trio of Lovers, Portland's makers of beautiful haunting albums like Dark Light and I Am the West, lend their audacious musicianship to raise money for their friend Natalie who is suffering from pricey neurological problems. Join the gals for a good cause, then stick around to dance the night away with DJs Linoleum and Kinetic. COURTNEY FERGUSON

CHOOGLIN'!: DRUNK DAD, VALKYRIE RODEO, DJ PARTY DOGG, DJ BOOZE CRUIZE
(East End, 203 SE Grand) In the 2005 documentary about the Minutemen, We Jam Econo, bass player Mike Watt eloquently reflects on the need for people to be participants in music, not merely spectators. This idea informs much of Portland's music community and events like tonight, where the price is negligible and the bands are local and like-minded. Valkyrie Rodeo continues to threaten and entice audiences with unsettling antics and features Jake Thomas and Tuviya Edelhart—an ominous presence simultaneously at the drum kit and on the mic who has been described as "spastic" more than once. Drunk Dad has expanded to a four-piece and is making more noise than ever. Their very good EP Suicide Cop, available for download on Bandcamp, samples Twin Peaks among its crushing guitar lines and thus has won my heart forever. As for "chooglin'"—it comes from Creedence Clearwater Revival, an unabashed love of whom was also shared by the Minutemen. MARANDA BISH

SPECTRAL TOMBS, DISEMBALLERINA, HEATHEN SHRINE
(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) To tap into the unholy vein of metal hearts, Disemballerina doesn't use twin Marshall full stacks or a ripping Jackson Flying V. They don't enlist a four-armed drummer with a 100-piece drum set, and they certainly don't need a vocalist to scream bloody gore. Instead, these three minstrels manipulate darkness and dread with an acoustic guitar, a violin, a viola, a harp, and a bajo quinto (it's a 10-string Mexican guitar—I had to ask). Disemballerina's bleak, sullen, brooding string arrangements would provide the perfect accompaniment on a ride across the river Styx. After hiding in the shadows for over a year, tonight they emerge with a full set of haunting new material and Fiona Petra of Lost Lockets on violin. Make sure you bring coins for the ferryman. ARIS WALES

Phase accidents by Grapefruitmusic

COPY, PAPER UPPER CUTS, VOX MOD, GRAPEFRUIT
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) You don't see the band Sun Angle on the bill, but all three members are playing tonight. Grapefruit is the exciting new project of the prolific Charlie Salas Humara, who hasn't really done anything quite like this before: arpeggiated synth patterns, repeated over and over at different intervals of time to create spiraling fractals of sound in the manner of Tangerine Dream and Jean Michel Jarre. Paper Upper Cuts, meanwhile, is the ongoing concern of the equally prolific Papi Fimbres, who is putting the finishing touches on an upcoming album, which no doubt will continue Paper Upper Cuts' expert balance of mellifluous tones and frantic rhythms. And Copy is Marius Libman, the remaining third of Sun Angle, who has evolved bitsynth sounds to keep many a Portland party going 'til the wee hours. They're joined tonight by Seattle's Scot Porter, AKA Vox Mod. NL

A LULL, DELETED SCENES, RAVENNA WOODS
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Ravenna Woods are an anti-folk folk-rock band. Sure, they have some great harmonies, really impressive acoustic guitar skills, and plenty of handclaps, shakers, tambourines, and other such sounds often experienced while sitting around a campfire with a bunch of hippies, but instead of singing words about the snow and birds and shit, the lyrics in their tightly structured tunes evoke darker images of things like headless men and the desire to shoot someone in the face. MEGAN SELING

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