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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Tonight in Music: St. Johns Bizarre, The Dead Milkmen, Light Asylum and more!!

Posted by Lex Chase on Sat, May 12, 2012 at 10:21 AM


ST. JOHNS BIZARRE: CORIN TUCKER BAND, AU, OLD LIGHT, DUSU MALI BAND,
GRANDPARENTS, & MORE

(N Lombard & Philadelphia) The St. Johns Bizarre and Parade are a Portland rite of spring. Come for the retro kitsch—pirates, classic cars, marching bands, and waving politicians—and stay for food, booze, and music from the likes of the Corin Tucker Band. DENIS C. THERIAULT


THE DEAD MILKMEN, THE WE SHARED MILK, THE EX-GIRLFRIENDS CLUB
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) Read our article on the Dead Milkmen.


LIGHT ASYLUM, LITANIC MASK, LIGHT HOUSE
(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) Shannon Funchess' voice is a force of nature. Powerful, chilling, almost elemental in its ferocity—her voice sounds like it could knock down the Walls of Jericho. Obviously, Funchess' singing is the focal point of Light Asylum, the electro-goth (or darkwave, or whatever the hell you want to call it) duo of Funchess and Bruno Coviello. Their debut self-titled full-length is a collection of rigidly mechanized dance tracks with well-worn '80s sonic palettes that sound convincingly post-apocalyptic. It would be all striking enough on its own—hell, Funchess could make anything sound compelling—but there's some solid songwriting under all that corrugated steel and electrical tape. Witness how "Pope Will Roll" evolves from rigid goosestep into soulful floor-bumper via a yearning chorus; most of the tracks on Light Asylum pull off a similar trick. The duo's made good on the promise of their excellent early EPs, becoming an act that's now impossible to ignore. NED LANNAMANN


BEACH FOSSILS, MAC DEMARCO, WHITE FANG
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) Beach Fossils' first full-length rolled onto shore in May 2010. It mixed the winsome songwriting of Dustin Payseur with some signifiers (heavy effects, wan production) of what was then becoming the hot-shit trend called chillwave—only Beach Fossils were using all traditional instruments, and the sound was relatively fresh and exciting. Last year's What a Pleasure EP doesn't exactly expand on the band's template, and the songs don't quite achieve the same quality, but this should still be a pleasant, medium-head-bopping show. GRANT BRISSEY


LAURA VEIRS, THE ALIALUJAH CHOIR
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) There is a sparse quality on even the most abundantly arranged of Laura Veirs' songs, a feeling of nothing-extra, which allows the warmth and generosity of her voice to stand alone. According to the cover art, Veirs' most recent album, Tumble Bee, is supposed to be for kids—hopefully ones who don't pay close attention to lyrics. Because while all of the songs sound child-friendly, and many of them are, Veirs refused to sell out her banjo-plucking ancestors by sanitizing nature's dark side: a fox's massacre of barnyard poultry, the fly-covered corpse of a lamb. This serves to illustrate what is so compelling about Veirs, what keeps her from getting lost in the white noise of folky singer/songwriters: As lovely and inviting as her music sounds, with even the occasional hook, she has never hesitated to confront the dark spaces—of nature, the world, her own mind. REBECCA WILSON



HOODIE ALLEN, J-PHENOM
(Peter's Room at Roseland, 8 NW 6th) I wonder what it's like to be a 16-year-old rapper from Portland. After listening to J-Phenom's new mixtape Topic of Discussion, it seems a lot like being a 16-year-old anything else, except your intense realization of independence mixed with depression is exposed and promoted, not being hidden away behind closed doors. J-Phenom reveals his drive for personal progression with playful antics ("Oh wait, I'm still young/Maybe that's why I'm so dumb"), but also uncovers a darker side, as in the introspective hook for "Lost Ones": "I think you're wrong if you don't think I wonder why sometimes/Why sometimes I'm livin'/Laying down looking at the sky up high/Damn I think I'm trippin'." From party rap to more emotionally stirring themes, there's definitely some potential here. Also, having your first show—outside of sweet 16s and pep rallies—at the Roseland with college-bro favorite Hoodie Allen doesn't hurt. ROCHELLE HUNTER



BLACK DICE
(YU Contemporary, 800 SE 10th) I spent part of this morning listening to Black Dice's new record, Mr. Impossible, and man, it is still seriously fucking with me. The bitcrushers and hisses and unnaturally abrasive sounds are all there—as are the sudden, knife-stab loops and irregular, lurching rhythms—but there's also a bit of melodic sweetness hiding in all that confrontational noise. I think that's what's fucking with me. Black Dice corrupts the ear into tricking the mind, and they will lull you into thinking that these almost-steady rhythms are going to keep stable, that these boinging synths are something you could have heard on Innervisions, that these faint traces of melody are going to play by the rules. But the Brooklyn-by-way-of-Providence experimental collective never plays by the rules, which makes their warped weirdness that much more invasive and unsettling. Black Dice used to be known for playing aggressive 15-minute sets, but without an opener on tonight's bill, they're bound to stretch out a bit. NED LANNAMANN

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