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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Tonight in Music: Cafeteria Dance Fever, Kurt Vile and the Violators, Dum Dum Girls,

Posted by Lex Chase on Sun, May 27, 2012 at 11:48 AM

(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) Read our article on Cafeteria Dance Fever.

(Star Theater, 13 NW 6th) Don't let Kurt Vile's sleepiness fool you—this guy can shred. The Philadelphia psychedelic king is no stranger to Portland, but it's nice to see him back. His fuzzed-out guitar sounds and dreamy vocals are seductively captivating. His guitar riffs are heavy, his lyrics are light, and no question he puts on a good show. ZIBBY PILLOTE

A black banana is more than a rotten piece of fruit that can only be saved by mashing it on a piece of toasted bread and covering it in crunchy peanut butter. Black Bananas, plural, is the new name for Jennifer Herrema's continually evolving rock 'n' roll art project that was once called Royal Trux. Don't go expecting fuzzy-druggy blues rock anymore, though. Think more Rolling Stones if they were suddenly horns-throwing butt-rockers from 1982. And I say "butt-rocker" in the fondest possible way—Black Bananas are keeping the '80s metal sound alive. Some never wanted it to die. KELLY O

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) One would be remiss to assume that the appeal of the Dum Dum Girls lies in the fact that they are smokin' babes with vintage guitars as accessories. The all-female ensemble has put an impressive amount of thought and work into crafting stylish pop music from a composite of influences, including the oft-cited doo-wop girl-group aesthetic and surf rock instrumentation. Their sophomore album Only in Dreams, released last fall, is far more sophisticated than their fuzzy first efforts, placing pristine vocals at the forefront and tackling heartbreaking subject matter—though that would be hard to discern from the upbeat tunes alone. "Heartbeat (Take It Away)" cloaks profound lyrical sadness in light, pleasing melodies, and the culminating effects of despair are beautifully portrayed on the shimmery, sobering "Coming Down." MARANDA BISH

(Rose Festival, Waterfront Park) Alabama Shakes haven't quite taken over the world yet, but they've still got plenty of time—after all, their top-10 debut album Boys & Girls is still less than two months old. That record is a fine document of the Shakes' soulful, Southern-rock stride, but the live show is truly where the band starts shedding sparks. With an incredible powerhouse singer in the form of Brittany Howard and an innate understanding of how to keep the beat both swinging and tight, these Alabama youngsters can play rings around musicians triple their age. Expect to be hearing a lot more from 'em; Alabama Shakes aren't going anywhere soon. NED LANNAMANN

(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Most first albums aren't produced by household names, but when you have the movie-star good looks and connections of Asa Taccone, I'm guessing it's easier to get Danger Mouse in the studio. Taccone fronts the buzzed-about Electric Guest, whose debut, Mondo, came out last month, though his best-known work so far was as the producer of the universally beloved "Dick in a Box." (Taccone's brother Jorma is part of the Lonely Island.) Mondo, an album of dance-friendly pop, is a pleasure to listen to, though it errs on the side of style; if this album were a dick in a box, you'd call it a shower, not a grower. Still, Taccone's vocals are soulful, each song has a hook, and Danger Mouse's glossy, commercial-ready production is easy on the ear canals. The undeniable catchiness of the first two singles, "This Head I Hold" and "Awake," makes them early contenders for most-played songs of summer 2012. REBECCA WILSON

(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Considering that "punk rock" doesn't really mean the same thing it used to, perhaps it's better to describe the music of Broncho as lean, mean, speedy, pissy, loud rock songs that clock in around two minutes apiece. The Oklahoma band, fronted by Starlight Mints keyboardist Ryan Lindsey, has a solid full-length, Can't Get Past the Lips, and a marvelous pop single, "Try Me Out Sometime," under their collective belts. There's an amphetamine tilt to everything they do, a greasy, yelpy, jackknife sound that probably contains eight of the 10 reasons why you started listening to rock 'n' roll in the first place. Lovers of fuzzy-guitar garage rock have plenty of shows to choose from tonight; Broncho's the under-horse (as it were) but fully deserve to be in the running—give 'em a fair shake. NL

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