This Week in the Mercury


Sunday, April 15, 2012

Tonight in Music: Ed and the Red Reds, Porcelain Raft, Guitar Wolf and More...

Posted by Lex Chase on Sun, Apr 15, 2012 at 2:12 PM


ED AND THE RED REDS, COUNTRY MICE, MELVILLE

(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) With a terrific debut album in the form of Lost Leader and a live band that's aces, Ed and the Red Reds' whoop-'em-up country-tinged folk rock is some of the best on offer in town. See them for cheap on a Sunday, and spend the rest of your week with frontman Ed Thanhouser's expert tunes rolling around in your head. NED LANNAMANN


PORCELAIN RAFT, PURSE CANDY

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) My problem with a lot of dream pop is that it's so gauzy and ethereal that I feel like I need to stuff my ears with coarse gravel just to get some edge back. Mauro Remiddi, AKA Porcelain Raft, manages to balance soothing and sexy, woozy and wasted on his first LP, Strange Weekend. This is largely the result of good production, which combines bleary-eyed arrangements with the occasional electric guitar. It also helps that Remiddi's androgynous vocals aren't a mixed-low afterthought. The real secret is that, despite the overall spaced-out aura, nearly every song is built around choruses with hooks so groovy that they will be soundtracking the revelatory scenes in self-conscious indie movies for at least the next decade. REBECCA WILSON


GUITAR WOLF, THE TRANSISTORS,
THE MEAN JEANS

(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) I learned the essence of Japan's Guitar Wolf personally from lead singer/guitar player Seiji the last time they played in town. About halfway through their set he grabbed my wrist and, with a little push from my friends, he pulled me up on stage. He gestured toward his screeching guitar; I picked it up and tried to hand it to him. He pushed it back hard into my chest, and motioned for me to put it on instead. He grabbed my wrist again, produced a pick from his mouth, put it in my hand, and with a fiery look in his eyes, he said, "Rock and roll!!" He pointed at me yelling repeatedly, "Rock and roll! Rock and roll!" He counted the band down from four, and then I rocked and rolled with them. I fretted furiously and strummed the strings until I bled. It didn't sound very good (I'm a drummer after all), but the experience showed me what was at the core of Guitar Wolf's philosophy—anyone can rock and roll. It doesn't just come from an instrument. ARIS WALES


TRUST, VICE DEVICE, ASSS, DJ MAXX BASS, MUSIQUE PLASTIQUE

(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) The new 7-inch single from Vice Device is jittery, juddery, shuddery synth pop with stabbing synths, grumbling bass, and yelped vocals covered in smears of reverb. It's tense, claustrophobic, and compelling. The A-side, "Breathless," gets gruesome mileage out of the track's Reeperbahn sax and relentless synth-drums; the B-side, "I Sign My Name with an X," is even more ominous, with a slow buildup to a tense beat that never quite lands where you expect it to. Both sides manage the feat of being simultaneously robotic and roilingly seasick—and both demand repeat listens. Tonight's show sees the release of the 7-inch on 2510 Records, and if that number looks familiar, that's the street address of Clinton Street Record and Stereo (2510 SE Clinton), the excellent record shop of label head Jared White, AKA DJ Maxx Bass. NL


SOUL'D OUT MUSIC FESTIVAL: DOM KENNEDY, RICH HILL, POLY, COOL NUTZ

(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) A native of Leimert Park, LA, Dom Kennedy's unique brand of independent self-promotion and steady touring schedule has earned him a loyal fanbase across the country. Kennedy's career began by releasing a series of free mixtapes from 2008 to 2011, culminating in his most recent project and the first available for purchase, From the Westside with Love II. His previous hustle certainly paid off, and he ended up selling over 6,000 copies on iTunes the first week alone and eventually cracked the top 10 worldwide. His long awaited follow-up, Yellow Album, is dropping very soon, featuring collaborations that have not been announced but that promise to be legendary. Local legend Cool Nutz gets the party started, having just returned from touring in Japan as an international ambassador of Portland hiphop. RYAN FEIGH


FOXY SHAZAM, MANIAC, CADAVER DOGS, GHOST ANIMAL

(Branx, 320 SE 2nd) Artists with a marked Queen adoration traditionally don't stay afloat in the cutthroat waters of rock 'n' roll for long. The Darkness, for example, plummeted to the sea floor after its debut and has since become a pathetic interminable mess, and the obnoxiously innocuous Mika is currently wriggling in the recesses of obscurity (where he belongs). Foxy Shazam, however, has proven to have a little more staying power. While the guitar tones and histrionic background vocals are unmistakably Queen, frontman Eric Sean Nally's voice is actually pretty distinctive, if anything sounding more like Pat Benatar and Dee Snyder's hypothetical lovechild than Freddie Mercury. The group's latest record, The Church of Rock and Roll, would have likely been too smart and self-aware for most '70s cock-rock audiences. MORGAN TROPER

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