RVIVR, DOGJAW, CHIN UP MERIWETHER, DIVERS
(Backspace, 115 NW 5th) Read our article on Divers.
STRANGLED DARLINGS, EZZA ROSE
(Secret Society, 116 NE Russell) Whether mining the sideshow soundtrack of an abandoned carnival or marveling in the festive underworld where free jazz and folk collide, Portland's Strangled Darlings are freaks of nature. In the most flattering way possible, mind you. With the release of their new long-player, Red Yellow & Blue, the duo of George Veech and Jessica Anderly get less bawdy, but more brave—if that's possible—with dashes of organ-infused lounge on the title track, and other surprises throughout. "Halfwit" is a kind of Dixieland blurter disguised as a back-porch mandolin jam, while its follow-up "Orange Peel" gives weight to the band's "literary doom pop" standing with a polka-pocked ditty that plods with clunky banjo and Anderly's excellent cello-as-bass manipulations. It's a quirky, fun, intoxicating slice of Portland's bazaar-busker world—ya know, if that's your thing. RYAN J. PRADO
PLANKTON WAT, TUNNELS, SUN CYCLES
(Little Axe Records, 5012 NE 28th) Dewey Mahood—multi-instrumentalist for Portland's Eternal Tapestry—brings his avant-maneuvers to more tranquil frontiers with Plankton Wat. Blending the organic with the robotic, Mahood layers intricately plucked acoustic guitars, harmonium and banjo over mechanized whirs and beats. His new album Spirits is a psychedelic trip through the Pacific Northwest landscape that—even at its most claustrophobic—still manages to get in touch with nature. Picture Portland in 1967, only slightly more dystopian. Or imagine what Ravi Shankar would have done that same year if he had all sorts of futuristic gadgets at his disposal. If Plankton Wat is the sound of the future, planet Earth might just make it out alive after all. MARK LORE
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