PDX POP NOW! 2012 COMPILATION RELEASE: SUN ANGLE, WILD ONES, HOLLYWOOD TANS, MC ROSE, DJ PORSCHE CAYENNE
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Compilations are a tricky thing but PDX Pop Now! always puts out a great collection of songs to accompany their super fun weekend fest of local Portland talent that happens in July. This year's album release party has live performances by Sun Angle, Wild Ones, and more. SUZETTE SMITH
(The Secret Society, 116 NE Russell) If the Portland Cello Project flexes the limitations of the classical ensemble, then Gideon Freudmann has completely busted the boundaries of what a solo cello can do. When he's not playing with the Cello Project, Freudmann makes explorative, stylistically diverse recordings, using effects and loops to make his cello sound like a million different things. He layers light, rain-on-the-windowpane plucks with sonorous bowed laments; he puts his cello through a fuzz pedal and makes the damn thing howl with feedback. Freudmann's new album Rain Monsters is a celebration of this rainy city, and his compositions range in impact from light drizzle to heavy downpour. NED LANNAMANN
HAUSCHKA, NAOMI LAVIOLETTE
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Last year, Hauschka released an album of house music. This wasn't a shocking event—unless you knew that Hauschka, real name Volker Bertelmann, from Düsseldorf, is a composer and pianist. He's famous for sticking objects in the guts of his pianos, John Cage-style, to create lovely, understated compositions. Endearingly, the best song on Hauschka's 2010 album, Foreign Landscapes, is called "Mount Hood." If you didn't know better, you'd guess, "maybe Satie?" On 2011's Salon des Amateurs, Hauschka collaborated with mÚm drummer Samuli Kosminen, Calexico's John Convertino and Joey Burns (who may have inspired the great use of horns), and a computer. The piano is still unplugged, so the term "house" should be read loosely, but maybe not as much as you'd think. By the end of each song, the layered tracks come together to create sophisticated, supercool dance grooves. REBECCA WILSON
LIKE A VILLAIN, HAGS, EACH OTHER, COLE BABY
(Record Room, 8 NE Killingsworth) If BjÖrk were stranded on a desert island and had to reinterpret the score to the original Pink Panther with only a loop pedal, a glockenspiel, and a clarinet, I would imagine it would come out similar to "Glass Watch" on Like a Villain's The Life of a Gentleman. The music of Like a Villain, the minimalist avant-garde solo project of Holland Andrews, is hauntingly beautiful. She layers her voice, field recordings, and mostly non-chordal instruments to create a voluptuous yet raw backdrop for her lyrics, which are sparse but emotionally intense. Watching her stack layers on top of layers in live performance is a highly recommended experience. ROCHELLE HUNTER
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