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Sunday, November 11, 2012

Tonight in Music: Genders, Leonard Cohen, Holcombe Waller & More

Posted by Lex Chase on Sun, Nov 11, 2012 at 11:40 AM

(Rontoms, 600 E Burnside) When Portland group Youth split earlier this year, members Maggie Morris, Stephen Leisy, and Matthew Hall quickly picked up the pieces and formed Genders, adding drummer Katherine Paul (Forest Park) to round out the new group. Now Genders is releasing their debut EP, a self-titled, three-track record that's sparkly, buoyant, and forlorn—the group describes themselves as "psych-pop-mope-dance" and it's tough to find something more precise than that. Their EP is excellent, highlighted by "Sugarcoat," a yearning pop tune that shifts from calm and collected, to soaring with abandon with the shrugging shift from chorus to verse. Genders celebrate the release of their EP with LA's the Black Apples and Woodwinds, the project of Megan Spear of Jared Mees and the Grown Children, who also have a new record released tonight. NED LANNAMANN

(Rose Garden, 1 Center Ct) The 2009 return of Leonard Cohen will rightly be remembered as one of the greatest resurrections in pop music history. Finding himself close to broke after a lifetime of work thanks to a shady manager, Cohen got his 70-something self back onstage, and created a ravishing musical spectacle that captured Cohen in full, new bloom. Songs drawn from over 40 years were brought to life by a ridiculously accomplished band, over which Cohen murmured his one-of-a-kind words. Audiences swooned, and Cohen came off tour inspired enough to bang out a new record, 2012’s wonderful Old Ideas. Tonight, the 21st-century Leonard Cohen Experience returns, and anyone with a gazillion dollars should totally go. (Seriously, dude’s prices are almost Barbra Streisand-high.) DAVID SCHMADER Also see My, What a Busy Week!

(The Secret Society, 116 NE Russell) It's a live show and a recording session: StationToStation is the brainchild of engineer Sean Flora, who captures bands in the live setting for an internet simulcast ( and a rebroadcast on KZME 107.1 at a later date. Tonight StationToStation's subject is Portland songwriter Holcombe Waller, who you last saw playing keys for Menomena, and has some new material to share. I think the idea is that this concert/session will provide recorded material for Waller's next album, although both he and Flora likely won't know for sure until they see what's on the tape. At any rate, Waller is worth seeing in any capacity, playing subtle but knife-twisting folk that dances with the elements, sung in an elastic voice with a remarkable range. NL

(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) The Pacific Northwest exports a lot of melodious Americana, and now two of the most widely loved are sharing the stage. Blitzen Trapper, of course, needs no introduction, which must be why they're opening. Out with her fourth LP is country songstress Brandi Carlile. Hailing from the boonies of Washington, Carlile grew up obsessed with Patsy Cline. She doesn't seem to have grown out of this, and that's why I find her so compelling. Her fourth album, Bear Creek, is a soulful, leisurely album, easy to listen to, with a few soundtrack-ready singles. The album gracefully confronts the blahs of turning 30 in a surprisingly mature way. But Carlile is nothing if not backward gazing, and her sweetly textured voice is meant for country. That's probably why I favor her more old-timey songs ("Keep Your Heart Young" and the gospel tune "Raise Hell") over the incursions into roots rock ("Hard Way Home"). REBECCA WILSON

(Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 NE Alberta) Fans of Puscifer—one of the side projects of Tool's Maynard James Keenan—will recognize singer Carina Round, as she has lent her vocal talent to that project. But Round's solo career is what's really worth paying attention to. The British-born, LA-based singer/songwriter released the excellent Slow Motion Addict in 2007 and the even better Tigermending earlier this year. With macabre, powerful, adult pop, Round is a force of nature. Almost no one showed up at her last Portland gig, so she took the opportunity to drink a lot of whiskey and get to know the tiny crowd. Even then, Round put on a great show—so don't miss this one. NL

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) The first (and only) time I saw the Mynabirds was at Pickathon this summer. Yes, Laura Burhenn was wearing that wolf hat you see in photos, and yes, she took command of the nighttime crowd and had everyone dancing in the moonlight. Generals is a strong, exclamatory follow-up record that was apparently inspired by the Avedon photo "Generals of the Daughters of the Revolution." To say the album is solely about female empowerment would be untrue, but there is a political charge to it, paired with poppy dance beats, anthem-like lyrics, and blues guitar. The more I listen to her music, the more I don't want to miss her at this year's Siren Nation Fest, where we'll be able to catch her as part of the new generation of revolutionary women. RACHEL MILBAUER

(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) New Orleans duo Generationals make pop music that's instantly catchy and instantly familiar. It's also difficult to pin down exactly where their hearts reside, as members Ted Joyner and Grant Widmer cycle through American and British pop from the '60s through the '80s. Maybe that's where the name comes from. If anything, Generationals' brand of pop will take you back to your youth—summers off, school dances, growing pains. If you're presently living this glorious period in your life, Generationals are here for you. The bonus is they'll hopefully open your ears to a flood of great music that came before them. MARK LORE

(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) All right, you seasonally depressed heshers out there, stop pining for the return of the sun—because Portland's newest doom troop Ephemeros is here with the soundtrack you need for your weather-induced despair. A Portland all-star band of sorts, Ephemeros features members from such faded greats as Anon Remora, Nux Vomica, and El Cerdo. For those who like their heavy emotions complemented by equally heavy riffs, Ephemeros provides the desolation and sadness you crave via some serious sonic devastation. Think Pallbearer, but with much harsher vocals and a smidge less melody. Bring a hefty bag of juicy imaginary oranges ripe for the squeezing, because this is epic, claw-raising shit. ARIS WALES


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