This Week in the Mercury


Sunday, March 31, 2013

Tonight in Music: Wooden Indian Burial Ground/Genders, Flume, the English Beat

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Sun, Mar 31, 2013 at 9:14 AM


WOODEN INDIAN BURIAL GROUND, GENDERS
(Rontoms, 600 E Burnside) Tonight's homecoming show follows Wooden Indian Burial Ground's month-long tour, in which they brought their dark, twisted, freakout garage-psych to unsuspecting citizens. Now's your chance to see one of Portland's most hallucinatory bands for free and get your mind blown. NED LANNAMANN


FLUME, BARISONE, NATHAN DETROIT
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Flume has been making music for nearly a decade, which doesn't sound impressive until you learn the kid formerly known as Harley Streten is only 21. Flume, his self-titled debut, is for real and his soulfulness shines bright, making it easy to overlook the occasional misstep. The album is surreal and dreamy and weird, and its electro R&B wraps you up in digital sparkles that melt and fluctuate like a Dali clock. I'll admit that it's also a pretty sexy album, despite the man behind it being a skinny Australian guy who looks even younger than he is. James Blake was about the same age when he released his self-titled debut, which makes for an easy, and possibly unfair, comparison. Though precocious, Flume doesn't astonish in the way Blake's minimal and heartrending compositions do—the abundance of the songs doesn't leave much space for emotions, but he'll probably get there in an album or two. REBECCA WILSON


THE ENGLISH BEAT
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) I Just Can't Stop It, the English Beat's phenomenal 1980 debut LP, is probably the two-tone movement's crowning achievement. The songwriting is fantastically catchy, transcending its second-wave ska trappings to excel simply as golden pop. Subsequent albums like Wha'ppen? and Secret Beat Service have their moments, but they lack the front-to-back punchiness and sweet hookiness of I Just Can't Stop It. Now based in LA, English Beat leader Dave Wakeling is the only remaining original member. This scenario usually makes for a depressing night out for diehard fans, but the English Beat's catalog emits so much pleasure—even when telling an odious political leader to quit with "Stand Down Margaret"—that even a makeshift lineup should result in a memorable stumble down memory lane. DAVE SEGAL

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