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Monday, November 26, 2012

Tonight in Music: World Party, Jonathan Richman, & World's Finest

Posted by Lex Chase on Mon, Nov 26, 2012 at 2:44 PM

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Read our interview with World Party's Karl Wallinger.

(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) Can Jonathan Richman do anything that isn't fluidly genuine? The man has nothing but sardonic class running through his veins. I'll write strongly about anyone who chooses to play a song called "I Was Dancing at a Lesbian Bar" for his national TV debut. Truly, to see him live at the Know can accurately be tagged with the staggeringly non-selective American pop-culture label of something you "can't miss." Not because he's been described as the godfather of punk, but because he's effortlessly tactful—almost, it seems, by accident. From the Modern Lovers to his recent productions, it's within the realm of possibility to suggest that Richman probably shows up to recording sessions with no plan and simply vocalizes whatever thought he scrounged together en route to the studio. JONATHAN MAGDALENO

(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) Sometimes you come across a combination that you didn't know you wanted: oysters and stout, French fries and chocolate milkshake, the Ramones and Phil Spector, Zola Jesus and David Lynch—all of those combos work splendidly. Portland genre-jumping band World's Finest and their mashup of ska and bluegrass doesn't quite work so well for me. With clucking banjo providing the offbeat "chk" rhythms, mellifluous upright bass holding down the bottom end, and a proliferation of vocal harmonies, there are elements of folk and bluegrass in their second album, 33 (which is ushered into the world tonight). But folksy accoutrements aside, this sounds pretty much like white-guy reggae to me, but if that's your bag, World's Finest has it all sewn up. NED LANNAMANN


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