This Week in the Mercury

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Tonight in Music: Huey Lewis and the News, Jaill, Jeffrey Lewis & More

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Sat, Jul 6, 2013 at 10:13 AM

(Oregon Zoo, 4001 SW Canyon) Read this week's Debate Club on Huey Lewis and the News.

(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) The jangly, diamond-hard rock 'n' pop of Jaill has attracted ears as distinguished as Johnny Marr's, so get on board with their loveably bratty, infectious tunes. The Milwaukee band has a new single, "Pointy Fingers," and their live shows are pantloads of fun, so bring a pal, grab a drink, and watch as good times spontaneously happen like magic. NED LANNAMANN

(Backspace, 115 NW 5th) In a recent article for the New York Times, Jeffrey Lewis takes some time to dissect the impact that comes along with slight lyrical alterations in a song. He examines some classic songs and their early demos, handwritten lyric sheets, and live bootlegs to find slight tweaks in words and delivery that are able to elevate a message to new levels. It's a great read, especially coming from someone like Lewis, who has to be one of the most complex and literate lyricists making music right now. His songs are so jam-packed with allusions that you could spend days picking apart an album, attempting to footnote it line by line. Reading how a small live slip-up can send a lyric in a better direction, and of his regret in knowing the song is already committed to an album, makes you appreciate just how fine-tuned Lewis' songwriting is. CHIPP TERWILLIGER

(Kenton Club, 2025 N Kilpatrick) Earlier this year, Night Mechanic released Working Late and gave Portland yet another peppy, lightly punk-tinged, super-melodic guitar rock album to cram on the shelf along with all the others. But Working Late is something special, filled with joy and sorrow and the ingredients that make up everyday life—a deep and abiding love of music, the elation and frustration of professional sports, the much-needed stress release of hanging out with friends, the surging rush of an alcohol buzz, the sting of a first date gone terribly and irreversibly wrong. It's an album that sounds great and feels even better; Night Mechanic are not just making excellent smarty-pants rock, but they also sound like they're having a shit-ton of fun doing it, too. NL

(Edgefield, 2126 SW Halsey, Troutdale) They're a long way from the streets of Dublin, Ireland, and even farther from Mexico City. But Rodrigo y Gabriela's soul-stirring virtuosity is still planted in the same soil of wonder where it first took root. Since the duo burst onto the international scene in the early '00s, its rampant fanbase has grown to include not just connoisseurs of percussive, instrumental acoustic music, but also lovers of metal (several heavy metal acts are direct influences on their mariachi-jazz-roots hybrid) and even hiphop. Their most recent album, Area 52, was their first with a backing band, and followed their film-scoring successes with Puss in Boots and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. But the band will always be most in their element in the live setting. RYAN J. PRADO

(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE César E. Chávez) Say Anything might be the least "punk" band who identify as such, and that's really saying something when you think about how many other bands that applies to. The group's opus, ...Is a Real Boy, sounds perfect: Sonically the album is more dense than any other modern rock record I can think of, possibly with the exceptions of Weezer's Green Album and Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. But the songs! When lead singer/obnoxious egoist Max Bemis isn't waxing poetic about scene politics he isn't articulate enough to effectively disassemble (which he does on at least half of ...Is a Real Boy), he hits it out of the park. Heck, "Every Man Has a Molly" was one of my favorite songs in high school (although I just listened to it for the first time in more than a year and I sorta cringed). MORGAN TROPER

(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) Featuring members of revered punks like the Epoxies, Thee Headliners, and more, Portland's Sex Crime converges at a peppy crossroads of scrappy, female-fronted new wave punk that's both absurd and wholly infectious. The Farfisa is tuned to the key of "wheeeee!" and breakneck power-chord mashing runs rampant. The band's May release, a 7-inch on Danger Records called Night Vision, is a ramshackle, fist-pumping, punk-rock tidal wave, which—given the anticipated temperature of the Know this evening—is something you're totally going to want. Considering the sinister nature of this lineup based solely on band monikers alone, you may want to hide your wallets and keep your drinks in your field of vision at all times. RYAN J. PRADO


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