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Friday, April 19, 2013

Tonight in Music: Lee Fields/Lady, Tweak Bird, Evelyn "Champagne" King & More

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Fri, Apr 19, 2013 at 12:09 PM


LEE FIELDS AND THE EXPRESSIONS, LADY, ELDRIDGE GRAVY
(Star Theater, 13 NW 6th) Lee Fields and the Expressions know their way around a stage. Fields has been in the trenches since the late 1960s, amassing wistful, rambunctious soul tracks. Listening to the man live is a strange thing: You can't believe a voice that great is in the same room with you, but you're ecstatic it is. DIRK VANDERHART


TWEAK BIRD, DANAVA, DIESTO, SAINTAN, REGULAR MUSIC
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) The two-day Stumpfest brings metal and heavy psych thundering across the Mississippi Studios stage, and tonight the weekend kicks off with headliners Tweak Bird, a pair of brothers who make peyote-swallowin' biker meth music with the volume firmly in the red. Local favorites Danava, Diesto, and Regular Music round out the very heavy bill. NED LANNAMANN


EVELYN CHAMPAGNE KING, DJ GEORGE
(Conga Club, 4923 NE MLK) Evelyn "Champagne" King had a long string of R&B hits from the disco era up through the '80s, including the great "Shame" and "I Don't Know If It's Right." But the greatest jewel in King's bubbly crown is 1982's classic jam "Love Come Down," an almost godlike boogie-funk tune with a wistfully romantic synth line, a perfectly taut beat, and thick bass for miles. King's what drives it all home, in a silky, soulful vocal that's practically playful. It's one of the most irresistible songs of 1982, and yes, that was the year Thriller came out. With boogie, post-disco, new jack swing, and the Minneapolis sound all coming back into vogue—and a new breed of synth-laden R&B revivalists like Shy Girls at the forefront of Portland music—perhaps Evelyn King's vast catalog is ripe for rediscovery. At the very least, I know where the dance party's happening tonight. NL


THE MOONDOGGIES, MIRAH, SHENANDOAH DAVIS
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) For some reason Mirah is opening for the Moondoggies—a strange development following her recent move to Brooklyn after more than a decade in the Pacific Northwest. Regardless of the lineup, it's good to have her back. It's been two years since Thao and Mirah and four since the transcendent (A)spera. What this means, clearly, is that it's high time for a new Mirah album. Her generosity and kindheartedness shine through a genre-spanning catalog as much as in her collaborations with Thao Nguyen and Phil Elverum of Mount Eerie. She's often at her best when collaborating, and that's saying a lot: She's a much better singer than most singer/songwriters, but the reason she packs a room is probably because her lyrics have a way of gripping the shit out of your brain. And even at her most somber and weird, even when her voice sounds ghostly and cold, there's a feeling of giddy experimentation. REBECCA WILSON

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