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Friday, May 18, 2012

Tonight in Music: Ramona Falls, Jackpot 15th Anniversary, Lindsey Buckingham & More

Posted by Lex Chase on Fri, May 18, 2012 at 2:56 PM


RAMONA FALLS, INCREDIBLE YACHT CONTROL
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) More than likely, you know Brent Knopf as the former one-third of Portland juggernaut Menomena, and if you're wise you've followed him to Ramona Falls, the emotionally and collaboratively hefty project that's launching its second release, Prophet, tonight. Come for the pretty songs, and stay for the good vibes. MARJORIE SKINNER Also, read our article on Ramona Falls.


JACKPOT! RECORDING AND JACKPOT RECORDS 15TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION: QUASI, THE MINUS 5, SYSTEM AND STATION, THE ALIALUJAH CHOIR, BLUE SKIES FOR BLACK HEARTS, PERHAPST, DAVE DEPPER
(Bagdad Theater, 3702 SE Hawthorne) As you know, Jackpot! Recording Studio and Jackpot Records have done a poop-ton to promote Portland's musical rep on a national scale. Now let's celebrate their accomplishments with this fantastic 15th anniversary show, featuring Quasi, the Minus 5, System and Station, Alialujah Choir, Blue Skies for Black Hearts, and much, much more! WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY


LINDSEY BUCKINGHAM
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) I may not be the planet's biggest Fleetwood Mac/Lindsey Buckingham apologist, but at this point I must rank within the top 20. More than any other album, I've defended Rumours against derision from people who have no idea what they're talking about (and missing out on). Sure, the Mac were a silly white boy blues band at one point in the late '60s; "Don't Stop" was famously performed by the group at Bill Clinton's first inaugural gala; and their later period may single-handedly emblematize "dad rock" nowadays—but don't let all that ridiculousness deter you. Rumours is a rock masterpiece, and the inter-band soap opera that inspired virtually all of its songs is fascinating on its own. It remains perhaps the cruelest kiss-off record of all time. MORGAN TROPER


THE POLISH AMBASSADOR
(Branx, 320 SE 2nd) For me, calling yourself a "Polish Ambassador" conjures up images of pierogi, Pope John Paul II, and polka superstar Frankie Yankovic (no relation to Al). What this Polish Ambassador—originally from Malvern, Pennsylvania, and now living in Oakland, California—really does is make self-described "electro-funked, glitch-tweaked, wobble-freaked breakbeats." Breakbeats that'll "have you dropping that bottom" like it's 1992. He claims the synthesizer is his primary weapon in annihilating all the bad beats from the earth. Could breakbeats be the new polka? More importantly, is "dropping bottom" the new "half-step-hop-step"? These are the important questions. KELLY O

DOGTOOTH, BAD MITTEN ORCHESTRE
(LaurelThirst Public House, 2958 NE Glisan) For an acoustic band, Dogtooth manage to be really loud. If you're suffering from banjo fatigue, their new self-titled probably isn't for you, but for a multigenerational boot stomp/barn dance, you'd be hard-pressed to find better. Dogtooth are workaholic performers about town, which is a good thing, since this music demands to be heard live. They have found that elusive sonic bridge between the Great Depression and this new one, with hooky songwriting and the authenticity of roots music, unadulterated by newfangled electric guitars. This is the sound that T-Bone Burnett has been chasing for the last 30 years. There are harmonicas, mandolins, and fiddles, and four-sixths of the band sings. Not with carefully composed harmonies, but in a way that sounds muscular and spontaneous—like maybe we could all join in. REBECCA WILSON


BROADWAY CALLS, DEAD TO ME, THE ARTERIES, LEE COREY OSWALD
(Backspace, 115 NW 5th) They say you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but at the surface Broadway Calls feel awfully impenetrable—it's pretty off-putting (and awkward) how intense their desire to be regarded as hometown heroes is. (What else could explain the superficiality of songs like "Back to Oregon" and "Meet Me at Washington Park"—Elliott Smith they are not). But their latest EP, Toxic Kids, while no less derivative than previous efforts, is at least a huge step in the right direction—away from mall-core inanity and toward crunchy, classic pop/punk reminiscent of Insomniac-era Green Day. "I'm So Ready to Be Done with My 20s," the indelible kickoff to Toxic Kids, very nearly absolves them of prior stupidities. MT


THE BLIND SHAKE, DI DI MAU, THE POLAROIDS, BOATS
(East End, 203 SE Grand) There's something about bands that are made up of brothers. They seem to have that lifelong connection that can really shine, and also that touch of sibling rivalry that can really drive a band (sometimes driving them to fisticuffs). There are some excellent brother bands: Ron and Scott Asheton in the Stooges, Ray and Dave Davies in the Kinks, Angus and Malcolm Young in AC/DC, and Sean and Erin Wood in the Spits. Two brothers—Mike and Jim Blaha—front the Blind Shake. They're garage-punks from Minneapolis who often collaborate with noise-weirdo legend Michael Yonkers. Their live shows are no bullshit and full of might and fury. Expect the unexpected. KO

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