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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Tonight in Music: Kelli Schaefer, Eleanor Friedberger, They Might Be Giants & More

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Thu, Jun 13, 2013 at 12:18 PM


XRAY FEST: KELLI SCHAEFER, THE BEAUTY, VIN BLANC, GHOST TO FALCO, NO MORE TRAIN GHOSTS, DJ BILL PORTLAND
(Union/Pine, 525 SE Pine) Read our article on Kelli Schaefer.


ELEANOR FRIEDBERGER, TEEN
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) An occupational hazard of being in a band with an exceptionally talented sibling—especially one as good as the Fiery Furnaces—is that folks will tend to perceive one of you as being the more gifted, the other as being the hanger-on. Matthew Friedberger has always been seen as the main Furnace, but Eleanor's solo career has proven that she is so much more than the lesser sibling in a buzz-worthy indie band. On 2011's Last Summer, and now with her just-released Personal Record, Friedberger's songwriting, instrumentation, and lyrics shine in new and unexpected ways. On this latest album, she collaborated with NPR darling John Wesley Harding, whose ironic worldview is perfectly tailored to Friedberger's self-aware subversion of singer/songwriter tropes. Meanwhile, Kristina Lieberson, formerly of Here We Go Magic, is responsible for the keyboard drones that serve as the backdrop for Teen's atmospheric vocals and complicated percussion. REBECCA WILSON


[[video best be viewed in a darkened room]

THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS, MOON HOOCH
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) What has 16 albums, four arms, six eyes, and two Johns? Nope, not a very specific prostitute! It's the loveable goofballs They Might Be Giants, touring the land with their backing band on the wings of new album Nanobots. Maybe you've seen the rowdy popsters before, but have you ever regretted it? COURTNEY FERGUSON


RICHMOND FONTAINE, IAN MOORE AND THE LOSSY COILS, THE GEODES
(Dante's, 350 W Burnside) Last month, Richmond Fontaine played a week's worth of stripped-down sets at Al's Den, but tonight they play their first full rock show in over a year and a half. Led by songwriter/author Willy Vlautin and with new bassist Freddy Trujillo in tow, Richmond Fontaine is nothing less than one of the greatest Portland bands of all time, and yes, I'm including the Wipers and Dead Moon. Traversing the wide, fascinating space between keening, melancholy country and shit-drunk bar rock, Richmond Fontaine hasn't turned in a dull record in more than 15 years of existence, and their last album, 2011's The High Country, was a fearlessly experimental radio play of sorts (don't let their laidback, drawling music fool you, it is one of the most ambitious records you'll hear). The possibility of hearing new Richmond Fontaine songs tonight is enough to get you in the door, but even if they don't play any, the old ones will do just fine. NED LANNAMANN


AM AND SHAWN LEE, DON'T TALK TO THE COPS, ADVENTURE GALLEY
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Shawn Lee is a phenomenal multi-instrumentalist who can play a zillion instruments in a zillion different styles. Check out his ever-expanding catalog for ample proof. Miles of Styles might be an opportune place to start; Tabla Rock—a clever track-by-track reinterpretation of the Incredible Bongo Band's breakbeat bonanza Bongo Rock—might be a fortuitous spot to end... but only temporarily, as more Lee-conceived music is surely coming. With guitarist/vocalist AM, Lee focuses his songwriting within a more accessible funk/pop framework, with occasional forays into reggae/dub (check the Sleng Teng riddim of "Two Times"). Their two albums together, Celestial Electric and La Musique Numérique, are slick, pro-studio-dude works that abound with big, honkin' hooks and in-the-pocket beats. The duo's sparkling, devotional cover of "Steppin' Out" surely will make Joe Jackson—and probably you—ecstatic. DAVE SEGAL


PELICAN OSSMAN, MONTGOMERY WORD, DRAMADY
(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) After a very long hiatus, Dan Currin and Virginia Currin of Pelican Ossman are back with Quarantine, their debut for local label Ewe of Now. The 10 tracks of anti-folk musings are tighter and less serious seeming than their songs from last decade. Pelican Ossman are unconcerned with folk rock that stands under a pristine and lush banner. Rather, they strive for lo-fi authenticity, a specific bedraggled mood that is totally lacking in preciousness. Frankly, it's a breath of fresh air. But with all its murky guitars and fuzzy samples, Quarantine doesn't eschew prettiness: "War" and "Come Along" are both surprisingly lovely. Ewe of Now labelmate Montgomery Word's druggy R&B pastiches will follow Amanda Mason Wiles and Zacery Quintin Stanley, the talented multi-instrumentalists in Dramady. Produced live, their layered pop songs are as much an exercise in impressive choreography (each person plays several instruments at once) as they are in songwriting. RW

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