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Friday, February 24, 2012

Tonight in Music: The Jealous Sound, Caleb Klauder Country Band, Slabtown Reopening & More

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Fri, Feb 24, 2012 at 11:58 AM


THE JEALOUS SOUND
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) Read our article on The Jealous Sound.


CALEB KLAUDER COUNTRY BAND, PETUNIA AND THE VIPERS
(The Spare Room, 4830 NE 42nd) I don't care if you don't like country music: the Caleb Klauder Country Band is the best live band in Portland. When this crack team of ace players lets 'er rip, the dance floor explodes in a hullabaloo of twangin', twistin', good old-fashioned American music. Don't miss the expert yodeling of opening band Petunia and the Vipers. NED LANNAMANN


SLABTOWN REOPENING: CHEMICALS, BLOODTYPES, DEFECT DEFECT
(Slabtown, 1033 NW 16th) After changing hands following this year's Bender, Slabtown reopens its doors tonight, ushering in a new era of rock, booze, pinball, and other disreputably fun times. If that's not enough, how does Giant Ruinous Monster Wrestling grab ya? For tonight's grand reopening, Slabtown's new owner Doug Rogers claims that there will be exactly that—it's kind of their own version of Boston's Kaiju Big Battel, in which grown adults wear monster costumes (along the lines of Godzilla and Gamera) and grapple each other. I can't think of anything more hilarious, and neither can you. There will also be live music and DJs, plus free food—so there's no excuse to miss the dawning of the new Slabtown. NL


BREATHE OWL BREATHE, MICHAEL HURLEY
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) As their name suggests, Breathe Owl Breathe give a lot of consideration to our animal friends, both real (parrots, lions) and imagined (dragons). So it makes perfect sense that frontman Micah Middaugh has written and illustrated (with woodcuts, naturally) a children's book to accompany their new 7-inch "The Listeners/These Train Tracks." But don't let the innocence fool you. This is not your typical indie-pop trio: AndrÉa Moreno-Beals plays cello at the same time that she weaves operatic vocals over the top of catchy pop melodies and Middaugh's sincere, deadpan lyrics. Breathe Owl Breathe's whimsical lyrics and eccentric stage personas may alienate the more cynically minded, but you get the feeling that they're too preoccupied with crafting sophisticated music to care. REBECCA WILSON


QUASI, YOUNG PRISMS, STAY CALM
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) The two-headed monster is back: Portland mainstays Quasi have reverted to their original lineup of Sam Coomes and Janet Weiss. (Bass player Joanna Bolme is off with Stephen Malkmus' Merry Band of Jicks.) Although Coomes and Weiss have both been busy with numerous other projects—such as the little band that Weiss plays in called Wild Flag—they've got some new material at the ready, which bodes well for a follow-up to 2010's American Gong. Quasi never fail to deliver in the live setting, offering an at-times brutal attack that dances back and forth between soothing, earwormy melodies and art-punk dissonance. They're a band that just keeps getting better, and the chance to suck in some new Quasi sounds should not be missed. NL


PORTLAND JAZZ FESTIVAL: BILL FRISELL
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) Guitarist Bill Frisell's reach goes beyond jazz. Sure, he attended the Berklee College of Music and got his start playing with the late jazz drummer Paul Motian, but Frisell's touch has been all over recordings from John Zorn to Dylan Carlson's drone doomers Earth. The Seattle musician performs two nights for this year's Portland Jazz Festival. The first performance—titled "For Portland Only"—will feature his interpretations of work from noted pedal steel player "Speedy" West, guitarist Jimmy Bryant, and some fellow named John Lennon. Things get a little more obtuse for night two, as Frisell performs solo before being joined by his 858 Quartet, who recorded an album based on the works of German artist Gerhard Richter. It should be nothing short of a fine mess. MARK LORE


OPERATION MISSION, PLAIN FLAVORED, PAUL OWENS, OVEN RAKE, MECHLO
(Backspace, 115 NW 5th) Better known by those outside the insular realm of 8-bit beats as Ray Rude of the Builders and the Butchers, Operation Mission is a somewhat surprising side gig for the unassuming percussionist. Eschewing organic anti-gospel folk for intricately layered chiptune soundscapes, Rude hashes out dark blips and bloops via an arsenal of hacked Game Boys and otherwise discarded software, sidestepping the ordinarily brisk tempos of chiptune-techno for more introspective manipulations. A staple at haunts like Ground Kontrol (naturally), Operation Mission's spiraling dark-wave din occupies sometimes spooky realms, head-bob-ready though it may be. For those hell-bent on the pogo, thumb-mashers like Plain Flavored and Paul Owens will also be on hand for this Portland Indie Game Squad presentation. Power Gloves and Duck Hunt Zappers sold separately.
RYAN J. PRADO


JENN RAWLING, PILLOW FIGHT, LIBRARIANS
(Alberta Street Public House, 1036 NE Alberta) Songwriter Jenn Rawling has crafted a stirring album with her debut, Take the Air, which also features partner Basho Parks on violin and viola. Take the Air initially seems like your typical, folk-flecked collection of string-driven things—not exactly a rare commodity in this strummy town—but Rawling's songs contain striking details, offering intricate shadows within acoustic, open-faced honesty. It's hard to ignore the simple power of songs like "Oh Delia" and "Big Old Lake," which sound like lost folk standards, bearing what seem like decades of accumulated joy and melancholy on their bones. Boasting immaculate musicianship and clean, unobtrusive production, Rawling and Parks' Take the Air is a record that won't wear out its welcome anytime soon. NL


SLUTTY HEARTS, DJ HERO WORSHIP, BATH PARTY
(Record Room, 8 NE Killingsworth) Slutty Hearts' debut album is an endearing cassette called We Learned It By Watching You, a dreamy, decadent interpretation of garage rock. Slutty Hearts have made their name by defining and riding the perfect line between grungy and coy, which could be why the album seems to be the perfect backing track for a neo-burlesque show. Like a twirling pair of pasties, Slutty Hearts is tongue-in-cheek seductive with songs that tell stories, but not ones that you would ever take seriously. Marty Smith's vocals tend toward the slap-happy, but fortunately Marisa Laurelle does most of the singing. Her voice is as light and sweet as cotton candy, even when delivering the polka lyrics on "Ballad of the Food Stamp Office": "I don't wanna go to church, I don't wanna save my soul/I just wanna trick-or-treat, check out girls, and rock and roll." RW

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