PANTERA CELLO PROJECT
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) There is only one band in Portland who could adequately pay tribute to the 20th anniversary of Pantera's Vulgar Display of Power, and that band is... the Portland Cello Project. Known for executing unexpected genres, PCP might deliver the only Pantera concert that doesn't threaten a case of tinnitus. MARJORIE SKINNER
PORTLAND JAZZ FESTIVAL: BILL FRISELL, 858 QUARTET
(Newmark Theatre, 1111 SW Broadway) 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
BLOW PONY FIVE-YEAR ANNIVERSARY
(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) Every five-year-old's birthday party should have pony rides. Well, at dance night Blow Pony's five-year party your inner pony will be dancing all night long to a whole corral of DJs and live bands like Leslie & the Lys and Pennyhawk. This is going to be an unbridled blast. COURTNEY FERGUSON
JAMES LOW WESTERN FRONT, THE SUMNER BROTHERS, W.C. BECK
(LaurelThirst Public House, 2958 NE Glisan) Dear James Low Western Front, I have a question about the title of your new record, Whiskey Farmer. How does one, exactly, become a whiskey farmer? I'd very much like to learn, so I can grow my whiskey from dirt—like a turnip! Or oregano. So do I just plant some empty whiskey bottles in my backyard? How long before the crop matures? How close should I plant them together? What do I water it with? (Sorry, stupid question.) Growing my own whiskey at home will really save me a bundle, so let me know. In the meantime, I'll be listening to your charmingly forlorn Whiskey Farmer album for any cultivation tips that might be contained within its sad, lonely country laments. Thanks in advance. Your friend, NED LANNAMANN
PORTLAND JAZZ FESTIVAL: CHARLIE HUNTER, SCOTT PEMBERTON TRIO, BEN DARWISH
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) The finely honed R&B groundwork of Charlie Hunter's multi-pronged oeuvre is often overshadowed by his experimental approach to playing. Wielding the singular talent to play basslines, rhythm, and solo guitar on one seven- or eight-stringed instrument, Hunter's notorious onstage grunts and insanely disciplined forays into jazz, funk, rock, and more have necessitated his collaborative work with artists like Christian McBride, Les Claypool, D'Angelo, and Michael Franti. But Hunter's jazz-fusion mash-ups are where he shines, alternately doing justice enough to satiate jazz purists while elbowing into more progressive realms. Expect odd aural vignettes spliced with imaginative meditations on the ultra-prog territory of contemporary jazz. RYAN J. PRADO
HOWLIN RAIN, MY GOODNESS, DATURA BLUES
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) I'm not so sure that Rick Rubin's good for Howlin Rain. The producer extraordinaire's done some outstanding work, of course, but his dealings with Ethan Miller's troupe haven't accentuated their strengths. Howlin Rain excel when they're raging with rawness, when their mountain-sized classic rock spirals into psychedelic arabesques, like a slightly less feral, more soulful Comets on Fire (Miller's former band). On the new The Russian Wilds, Howlin Rain sound stodgily conventional, the fire in their bellies tamped down by Rubin's glossy production technique. Let's hope Howlin Rain can retain their earlier hell-raising bravado onstage tonight. DAVE SEGAL
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