This Week in the Mercury

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Tonight in Music: Heeb Remixed, Youthbitch, Zodiac Death Valley & Charts

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Thu, Feb 2, 2012 at 2:54 PM

(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) The Oregon Jewish Museum has enlisted Weinland's Adam Shearer and Aaron Pomerantz to put together Heeb Remixed, a night of local Jewish songwriters and musicians. Weinland will play, naturally, along with Gideon Freudmann of Portland Cello Project and St. Even (AKA Steve Hefter)—plus knishes and Manischewitz cocktails. L'chaim! NED LANNAMANN

(Star Bar, 639 SE Morrison) Punked-up greaser fetishists Youthbitch are readying their pomade and switchblades for a spazzed-out take on power-poppy Brit-punk À la the Buzzcocks and the Clash that's unlike anything Portland has seen since our beloved Exploding Hearts. Tonight the band is celebrating the official release of their future-classic album YouthbitchYouthbitchYouthbitchYouthbitchYouthbitch on cassette for local pot-punk playboys Gnar Tapes, and you better believe the boys are gonna be revved up to give you one hell of a show tonight. Sure, they're rakishly charming, and the songs stick in your ears for days, but expect the unexpected—there's a good-natured wild streak underpinning the tunes and personalities that make up Youthbitch, one that's bound to stir up the unpredictable, and the fun, wherever they go. CHRIS CANTINO

(Kenton Club, 2025 N Kilpatrick) "Jail," from Zodiac Death Valley's debut LP, is a dark and druggy blues number loaded with whacked-out guitars, throbbing organ, and vocals so full of swagger, you might think singer Nic Abodeely came from the loins of Jim Morrison. That is to say, this San Francisco five-piece is rock and roll. Or as they put it: "The loudest folk band in the world." The new record is certainly a mesmerizing listen (not at all folky), filled with strange twists and turns that lead you far from your comfort zone and toward that dark place you feared as a child but can't get enough of as a thinking adult. MARK LORE

(Ella Street Social Club, 714 SW 20th Pl) Charts are the most unassuming pop/rock band in Portland. There, I said it. They manage to supernaturally channel a variety of British Invasion forebears without sounding (or appearing) oppressively retro. They're lush without employing any orchestral ruses. So how do these guys pull off the preposterous? It's all about the songs, which the members of Charts are particularly adroit at crafting. Catchy-as-all-heck standout "Sad Thing" off their debut EP, Birds and Bees, is one of the most elegant pop songs I've heard in a hot minute, and it begs comparison with the Troggs or even "Do Wah Diddy Diddy"-era Manfred Mann. And fitting closer "End of Time" would be the perfect soundtrack to a wholesome last dance if it weren't for that raucous last minute. Surely nobody could have gotten away with that in the early '60s. MORGAN TROPER

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