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Friday, September 7, 2012

Tonight in Music: Menomena, Mr. Jonathan Toubin, Fucked Up, Helio Sequence & More

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Fri, Sep 7, 2012 at 4:04 PM


BEIRUT, MENOMENA, GARDENS AND VILLA
(Pioneer Courthouse Square, 701 SW 6th) Read our article on Menomena.


MR. JONATHAN TOUBIN, DJ BEYONDADOUBT, DJ COOKY PARKER
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Read our article on Mr. Jonathan Toubin.


FUCKED UP, POISON IDEA, SONS OF HUNS, BISON BISON
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) Toronto punks Fucked Up composed their magnum opus with 2011's David Comes to Life, and tonight they perform the rock opera in all its hoary, heavy, magnificent glory. It's a work of remarkable depth, reinventing and recontextualizing hardcore punk into something more accessible but just as revolutionary. NED LANNAMANN


THE HELIO SEQUENCE, UNKNOWN MORTAL ORCHESTRA, RADIATION CITY, HOSANNAS
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) The hometown trio of Unknown Mortal Orchestra recently played a set aboard the Portland Spirit as the vessel cruised along the Willamette; the dated aesthetic and overall schmaltz of the Spirit proved an inspired atmosphere. Neon lights pulsated amid waterfront scenes as the unassuming, delightful performance took place. UMO's sound is distinguished by intriguingly chameleonlike qualities—there's frontman (and New Zealand transplant) Ruban Nielsen's pleasingly accented vocals, Julian Ehrlich's polished and perfectly punctuating drums, and guitar riffs from Nielsen and bassist Jake Portrait that run the gamut of instrumental intonations, from twangy to trippy. MARANDA BISH Also, read our article on the Helio Sequence.


DIVERS, SOMETHING FIERCE, OCCULT DETECTIVE CLUB, CHEMICALS
(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) Local label Dirtnap's newest platter is served Texas style: The 10-inch record is split between two bands from the Lone Star State, Houston's Something Fierce and Denton's Occult Detective Club. Something Fierce's half is delightful, power-poppy punk that's almost insidiously infective. "Warlords of Information" is the resonate gem here, but "The Sound on the Northside of Town" has 12-string jangle and soulfully pained vocals, and "Get on or Get Off" digs up just the right amount of sleaze. Occult Detective's side is full-speed-ahead punk, thick and muscled with sing-along choruses. It's basically a flawless record—something Dirtnap seems to have a knack for—and the two bands have been making their way up the West Coast on a tour to support it. With Portland's Divers also playing tonight, this single bill gives the entirety of MusicfestNW a run for its money; Divers have quickly vaulted to the top of the Portland music food chain, devouring everything in sight with passionate, sweaty, hoarse-throated tunes that positively rock. They're already one of the best bands in Portland, and while it feels a little music-critic-bullshitty to say stuff like this, I bet it's only a matter of time before they're one of the biggest. Join Team Divers tonight; I swear you won't regret it. NL


BONNIE RAITT, MAVIS STAPLES
(Edgefield, 2126 SW Halsey, Troutdale) Sure, it's not polite to talk about a woman's age, but it should be mentioned that Mavis Staples and Bonnie Raitt have more than a collective century of music making under their belts. Raitt didn't make herself really known until she was in her 40s, finally letting the rest of us in on her bottleneck guitar prowess. While some of her recorded output leans toward the adult contemporary stratum, she's one of the best—if not the best blues player alive. Staples is currently enjoying her own resurgence. The release of the Jeff Tweedy-produced You Are Not Alone in 2010 introduced her music to new ears, while reinforcing what many already knew. At 73, she still has the pipes, and this performance by these two legends is important on so many levels. MARK LORE


MIRRORRING, DREAMBOAT
(The Old Church, 1422 SW 11th) Mirrorring is the duo of Jesy Fortino and Liz Harris, and if you've ever spent any time with records by Fortino's Tiny Vipers or Harris' Grouper, this pairing will no doubt have you salivating. Earlier this year, Mirrorring released its debut, the slow, hushed Foreign Body, and it sounds more or less like what you'd imagine a collaboration between Tiny Vipers and Grouper would sound like. That also means it's as achingly gorgeous as you'd expect, as it marries Fortino's spindly, coldwater folk with Harris' glacier-melting pulses. It's a record that can envelop a willing listener; seeing the pair perform at downtown's atmospheric Old Church has the very real possibility of being transcendent. NL


THE PAINS OF BEING PURE AT HEART, DAUGHN GIBSON, MOON DUO, AAN
(Star Theater, 13 NW 6th) The golden sounds of Daughn Gibson sound like breaths of the vintage past come to life, although there's a bit of test-tube trickery going on. Gibson builds his easygoing but gripping version of country-soul out of classic samples, opting for authentic, revival-camp warmth over inhumanly chilly electronic beats. Gibson vocalizes over it all in a cavernous, Scott Walker croon, and the result is disconcerting but oddly consoling. His new full-length, All Hell, is a minor masterpiece, and it sounds like warped transmissions from a busted AM radio, catching fragments of signals from America's musical past. Fittingly, it caught the ear of Sub Pop, which just inked Gibson to their roster. NL


MELVINS LITE, BIG BUSINESS, FEDERATION X, OLD MAN GLOOM
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE 39th) Few bands can say they've been together since high school, achieved international fame, and stayed staggeringly productive and independent for damn near 30 years together. The Melvins can. They are one band that never left, with 18(!) full-length albums, not to mention abundant EPs and singles. Tonight's show is billed as Melvins Lite, a three-piece incarnation with Buzz Osborne (he of the hair), Dale Crover (stalwart drummer), and Trevor Dunn on bass, although it's just as crushing, doom-laden, and cheekily creative as ever. This go-round, they're attempting to set the Guinness world record for fastest tour of all 50 states by a band. MB


FUTURE ISLANDS, FORT LEAN, BATTLEME
(Branx, 320 SE 2nd) Baltimore synth ravers Future Islands recently released a pair of sterling albums—2010's In Evening Air and 2011's On the Water—and it sounds like another one is on the way. Their current set lists include a clutch of new material, great news for anyone who's been swayed by the trio's potent combination of rigid, New Wave rock and blood-on-sleeve, near-operatic emoting, courtesy of vocalist Samuel Herring's hoarse howling. Future Islands have been steadily winning over new fans at each performance, establishing themselves as a must-see act. I dare you to remain unconvinced. NL


A-TRAK, THE HOOD INTERNET, BAAUER
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) What more can be said about someone who won the 1997 DMC World DJ Championship when he was only 15 years old and acted as Kanye West's touring DJ in 2004? Even if you haven't heard his work, A-Trak's clout is blatant. He's not necessarily doing anything breathtakingly new, but he has a keen sense for making music that keeps a party both alive and optimistic. One of my favorites has been his Dirty South Dance series, which, as the name implies, is a composite of Southern rap songs constantly blending in and out of each other to form a near hour's worth of seamless club songs. Put it on and you either want to run a mile or take drugs or dance or do some seizure-like version of all three. JONATHAN MAGDALENO


TALKDEMONIC, MIMICKING BIRDS, FRENCH CASSETTES
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) In a perfect world, Talkdemonic would play hometown shows every week. As it is, the Portland duo of drummer Kevin O'Connor and violist Lisa Molinaro only play here every few months, which is all the more reason to make sure you don't miss them at tonight's Glacial Pace Recordings showcase. Their last album, 2011's Ruins, continues their string of daring recordings that explore a wide swath of instrumental music, finding the shared common ground in folk, electronica, hiphop, and post-rock. Talkdemonic remains one of Portland's most unique bands and one of its most reliably exciting live acts. NL


CHRISTEENE
(Washington High School, 531 SE 14th) Called "the filthy future of drag," a "drag terrorist," and a "sexually infused sewer of live rap," queer performance artist Christeene (Paul Soileau) takes rapping to a new... I was going to say "level," but let's go with "alternate universe." Dressed in a filthy wig, and sporting broken teeth and a penis barely disguised by nude pantyhose, Christeene writes and performs incontrovertibly grotesque dirty South-style raps such as "Fix My Dick," "Bustin' Brown," "African Mayonnaise," and the subtly titled, "Tears from My Pussy." And as dirty (and catchy!) as her songs may be, expect even more hilariously filthy onstage shenanigans. (Eating pudding out of a backup dancer's butt is not unheard of.) You'll be pleased to note that beneath the insanely nymphomaniacal persona, there beats the heart of a sweet and canny performer who knows how the media and superficiality of the world can create monsters. WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY

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