OLD AGE, FANNO CREEK, THE WE SHARED MILK
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) John Lennon's best solo album is also his most difficult. Written and recorded in the immediate wake of the Beatles' breakup, and as Lennon was famously undergoing Arthur Janov's primal scream therapy, 1970's Plastic Ono Band remains a tough collision of naked emotion and rock 'n' roll attitude. The vitriolic squall of "Well Well Well" sits next to the tender balladry of "Love"; the broken, decimated trudge of "Mother" is mirrored by the stately, elegiac "God." It's a brutal, depressing, terrible-sounding album, and an absolute masterpiece. Tonight three worthy Portland bands take on the challenge of covering the thing, along with a short opening set of originals and some other Lennon songs thrown in for good measure. Ordinarily, covers nights cater to the most simplistic and uninteresting of an audience's desires, but Plastic Ono Band contains no obvious crowd-pleasers. With bands as skilled as the We Shared Milk, Fanno Creek, and Old Age holding things down, it's unlikely these will be mere retreads, either. NED LANNAMANN
HILLSTOMP, SASSPARILLA, HONG KONG BANANA
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) You can't go wrong with a band that has a guitarist and a bucket player. Portland band Hillstomp serenades and entertains with their classic "punkabilly" twang and upbeat tunes for two nights at the Doug Fir. The hick-punk-hipsters in all of us welcome back their dance-friendly blues. ROSE FINN
THE HUGS, A HAPPY DEATH, FATHER FIGURE
(Mt. Tabor Theater, 4811 SE Hawthorne) Approximately five years ago, the Hugs were the sovereign turds of shit mountain. They had pretty much everything a young, aspiring band could dream of, and it all happened really quickly: coveted opening slots for the Walkmen and the Dandy Warhols, a sizable national and European following (thanks in no small part to MySpace), and most significantly, a record contract with 1965 Records, a subsidiary of Columbia. Fast-forward to present day and frontman Danny Delegato is the sole remaining Hug. The band's newest release, an EP titled Dirty Gems, is about as formulaic as you'd expect from a band following in the Kooks' and Libertines' footprints, but nobody can deny that Delegato and his new bandmates know their way around a hook ("Racy Girl" being the standout example). MORGAN TROPER
I CAN LICK ANY SONOFABITCH IN THE HOUSE, DRAG THE RIVER, BAD ASSETS
(Star Theater, 13 NW 6th) It's been an awfully long time since any new material from country-punk all-stars I Can Lick Any Sonofabitch in the House has materialized. That's not for lack of writing, however. The band's been hibernating, playing only sporadically in anticipation of their first release of new tunes since 2010's The Sounds of Dying, with this May's forthcoming Mayberry. ICLASOBITH executed a successful Kickstarter campaign to offset the costs of the back-end (CD pressing, PR, etc.), and now appear poised to unleash their raucous roadhouse rock onto a new generation of listeners. Sharing a bill with Fort Collins, Colorado's Drag the River (featuring Chad Price of All) isn't a bad place to start up from where they left off. RYAN J. PRADO
PETE KREBS BENEFIT
(LaurelThirst Public House, 2958 NE Glisan) Tonight and tomorrow, literally dozens of Portland musicians—representing the local roots, swing, rock, folk, country, and jazz scenes, and beyond—take the LaurelThirst stage to raise money for guitarist Pete Krebs' medical bills. Suffering from a rare form of cancer, Krebs was the beneficiary of two shows in February, and these stacked bills will further aid the cause of helping a working musician who's currently unable to perform while he undergoes treatment. Much has been said about Krebs in the pages of this paper ["Everybody's Best Friend," Feb 20] but the need is just as great, and the assemblage of local talent spread across these two nights at the LaurelThirst is evidence of Krebs' importance. This is as good as causes get. NL
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