This Week in the Mercury


Friday, June 8, 2012

Tonight in Music: Tu Fawning, In the Cooky Jar, the Minus 5 & More

Posted by Lex Chase on Fri, Jun 8, 2012 at 3:48 PM


TU FAWNING, HOOKERS, REGULAR MUSIC
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Read our article on Tu Fawning.


IN THE COOKY JAR TWO-YEAR ANNIVERSARY: DJ COOKY PARKER
(Eagles Lodge, 4904 SE Hawthorne) In the Cooky Jar, the fantastic soul and R&B night by DJ Cooky Parker, has reached its terrible twos! What better way to celebrate than getting down to some of his best new records at the monthly show's newest home, the Eagles Lodge. ALEX ZIELINSKI



FLOATER, THE PARSON RED HEADS, THE MINUS 5
(Rose Festival, Rose Festival) I guess Floater is headlining this show at the Rose Festival's RoZone stage, but the real news is that it's your first chance to see solo material from a member of R.E.M. since the band's breakup last year. That would be courtesy of Peter Buck, who plays bass for Scott McCaughey's the Minus 5 and has been a frequent fixture on the low-key Portland scene even as he's been a member of one of the biggest bands in the world. Buck recently gathered a crew of locals for five days of recording at Type Foundry; his debut solo album is due to come out later this year on a tiny, vinyl-only run of 2,000 on the equally tiny Mississippi Records label. Buck'll strap on the guitar and sing a few songs from the record at tonight's 6 pm set, before he and the rest of the Minus 5 dash over to Dante's to take part in the Neil Young tribute. NED LANNAMANN


JAPANTHER VS. NIGHTSHADE
(Disjecta, 8371 N Interstate) Billed as a "shadow puppet punk rock micro-opera," The Revenge: Japanther vs. Night Shade sets the clever, high-concept puppetry of Night Shade against the rowdy art pop score of Japanther for three nights of intricate, avant-garde spectacle. ALISON HALLETT


NEIL YOUNG TRIBUTE: THE MINUS 5, LEWI LONGMIRE BAND, DON OF DIVISION ST.
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) True love means accepting a person's worst points along with the best, so what better way to honor Neil Young, grumpy spirit animal of all folk rockers, than by covering two albums that are considered his best, along with one that's decidedly not. The Minus 5 have accepted the very real challenge of 1981's Re•ac•tor. Scott McCaughey, with his self-effacing charisma, seems better equipped than Young to deliver nine solid minutes of "Got mashed potato/Ain't got no T-bone"—repeated over and over on the album's most notorious track, "T-Bone"—but I have a hard time believing that even they could make it not annoying. The Lewi Longmire Band covers 1969's Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, Young's first collaboration with Crazy Horse, featuring "Cinnamon Girl" and "Down by the River." The Don of Division Street, with Longmire and McCaughey, get the best one: 1975's Tonight's the Night, which, like all the greatest rock albums, is about drugs and mortality. REBECCA WILSON


BRENDAN BENSON, YOUNG HINES, THE HOWLING BROTHERS
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Brendan Benson is best known for being one quarter of the bubblegum blues-rock supergroup the Raconteurs, playing second fiddle to the far more prominent Jack White. Benson's solo material has always had a more difficult time reaching a larger audience, and understandably: On his first two records, One Mississippi and Lapalco, Benson shamelessly pillaged Raspberries and Big Star records, and both albums contain several songs co-written with Jason Falkner of seminal '90s power-pop band Jellyfish. It's no surprise, then, that Benson would suffer the same fate as the genre's unappreciated forebears: critical approval but commercial disregard. Thankfully it hasn't deterred Benson yet—his latest LP, titled What Kind of World, is more of the same, and that's totally fine by me. MORGAN TROPER


THE BLOODTYPES, STALINS OF SOUND, DENIZENZ
(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) The Bloodtypes are a garage-punk band with an obsession/marketing strategy based on all things bloody. It's tempting to blame the vampire craze, except that these kids seem to draw their aesthetic more from mid-century B-movies. Or at least Quentin Tarantino. The singer's name, for example, is Schneck Tourniquet, the drummer is Matt O Dermic—you get the idea. Anyway, it sure makes for a fun press release. All of this is unnecessary, because their debut album, Just Your Type, is a well-produced collection of energetic, brief punk songs. It's telling that the best—and most original—of the bunch, "Until It Bleeds," slows the pace, opting for a darker, surfier vibe. What really sets them apart isn't a gimmick, but Tourniquet, an undeniably great singer who holds claim to something rare among punk rockers: a pretty voice. RW


IMPROVISATION SUMMIT OF PORTLAND: KEVIN SHIELDS, SAM COOMES, BRIAN MUMFORD, TIM DUROCHE AND RECONSTRUCTION OF LIGHT & MORE
(Bamboo Grove Salon, 134 SE Taylor) The Improvisational Summit of Portland is a brand-new festival, not only for entertainment, but also for the purpose of expanding creative boundaries and challenging the structures that have settled into place for the performing arts. Sometimes this type of event can leave you feeling like you just slept through a lecture, but it seems the Creative Music Guild (a Portland non-profit that cultivates the local avant-garde music community) has put in a lot of work to make sure this is a mind-blowing event. There will be two nights (Friday and Saturday) of live film scoring, dance, and experimental improvisational music. Intellectually stimulating interactive activities will happen early on Saturday, but highlights include performances by the beautifully hazy, ambient, noise-pop artist Grouper, the Tenses (reformed from the legendary underground experimental collective Smegma), and exploratory art-jazz quintet Blue Cranes on Saturday night. ROCHELLE HUNTER


NINJA TURTLE NINJA TIGER, BÉISBOL, NIGHT SURGEON
(Someday Lounge, 125 NW 5th) Like cupcakes, bacon, and the word "viral," ninja have not fared well in the hands of the internet. Need a catchy signifier for, oh, any remotely neat person? Use "ninja." Despite this, Ninja Turtle Ninja Tiger may have good reason to view themselves as recording ninja. Their debut album, I'll Find You in the Colors, was recorded and produced by Dustin Brown, the singer and guitar player, in his living room. This isn't exactly unheard of these days (it is Portland, after all), except that the resulting sound is straight out of an LA recording studio. Harnessing nostalgia for late-'90s emo to a shiny wall of dance sounds (À la the Faint), NTNT's four-on-the-floor tunes are upbeat enough for a spin class and sufficiently celebratory for graduation night. The best song, "Mr. Keown, This City's Falling" is a massive dance anthem, seemingly tailor-made for jumping teenagers. RW

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