This Week in the Mercury


Sunday, March 3, 2013

Tonight in Music: WHY?, Boats, Darwin Deez & More

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Sun, Mar 3, 2013 at 9:29 AM


WHY?, ASTRONAUTALIS
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) WHY? takes hiphop, stirs it up with a hefty scoop of indie rock, then tops it off with a sprinkling of psychedelic electro-pop. These Jewish art-school dropouts know how to emcee and throw down the beats—you'll see some mad strumming, plucking, and schvitzing all night, too. ROSE FINN


BOATS, WL, GREAT WILDERNESS
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) Winnipeg, Manitoba's Boats—not to be confused with Sacramento's Boats! or the much beloved BOAT from Seattle—have a new album out on Kill Rock Stars. A Fairway Full of Miners, their third effort, is a giddy, goofy treat, full of catchy tunes that might play dumb but are smarter than they look. Songs like "Great Skulls" work as manic party jams, but betray hidden depths. Not that this fun-loving bunch could ever sound melancholy. They actually could share a bill with the Seattle band BOAT—these Canucks have a similar sense of goofiness and balls-out fun in the face of everyday reality. Considering that BOAT is one of my all-time favorite bands, that's saying a lot. NED LANNAMANN


DARWIN DEEZ, CAGED ANIMALS, FANNO CREEK
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Look, Darwin Deez's first album annoyed the shit out of me. At the time of his 2010 self-titled debut, I also lived in Brooklyn, and he seemed like just one more headbanded dude with a pervy 'stache capitalizing on his ability to write irritating hooks, epitomized by the song "Constellations." People who liked it called it whimsical. But as much as it hurts me to say it, this second album has won me over. This, despite the fact that its title is Songs for Imaginative People. Deez (AKA Darwin Smith) has traded Brooklyn for Asheville, North Carolina, and cutesy for an authentically bizarre aesthetic. It sure helps that he knows how to play a guitar, but the main thing is his outré songwriting, which has rightfully given rise to comparisons with Prince and Beck. From the strange, hookless opener "(800) Human" to the vaguely loungey vibe of the final song, "Chelsea's Hotel," I was captured. REBECCA WILSON


MARCH FOURTH MARCHING BAND
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) If you're a resident of Portland and still haven't seen the funnest, badassiest brass 'n' drums band in town, do yourself a favor and celebrate MarchFourth Marching Band's 10th anniversary! Mixing funk, jazz, and rock with vaudevillian theatrics, costumes, and tons of get-down energy, they're what Portland is all about. Happy birthday, band! WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY™


CEREMONY OF SLUDGE: DOOMSOWER, DISENCHANTER, SOLAR ADEPT
(The Alleyway, 2415 NE Alberta) For the second year, NE Alberta's Alleyway Bar becomes a haven of all things loud and stoned, as the second annual Ceremony of Sludge festival showcases metal bands from around the Pacific Northwest. Taking into account the thousands of different microgenres within metal, what you need to know is that these bands traffic in thickness and heaviness, where the almighty riff dominates all. It's put on by the folks at Captain Couch Records, and all attendees receive a free download of the Ceremony of Sludge Vol. 2 compilation, plus the shows will be recorded for the possibility of a future comp. Get loud, get heavy, get sludged for three days straight. NED LANNAMANN


PORTLAND LINDY EXCHANGE: TWO MAN GENTLEMAN BAND
(Secret Society, 116 NE Russell) The joke with Andy Bean and the Councilman—otherwise known as the Two Man Gentlemen Band—is that though their general dispositions earn their gentlemanly moniker, their music is a tongue-in-cheek exposition of adolescent revelry. Their most recent album, Two at a Time, for instance, relishes such immature subject matter as cheese and crackers ("Cheese and Crackers"), peeping girls in their bathing suits during a pool party ("Pool Party"), and girls that taste like pork chops ("Pork Chops"). But set against the duo's jazz-swing foundation, every one of their songs makes me want to cut the nearest rug to shreds. The band's set at Pickathon 2012 was well received, and the band has been busier than ever bringing their juke-joint revival to clubs all over the country. They play this Sunday afternoon as part of the Portland Lindy Exchange. RYAN J. PRADO

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