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Saturday, July 20, 2013

Tonight in Music: PDX Pop Now!, 8 Track Relay, Lifesavas & More

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Sat, Jul 20, 2013 at 9:17 AM


PDX POP NOW!
(SE Salmon & Water) This is the most wonderful time of the year: PDX Pop Now! time! The three-day, all-ages, all-local, all-free festival kicks off today with bunches of terrific bands, and this year's fest also includes the first round of the annual Rigsketball tourney, in which Portland bands compete on a rigged basketball hoop attached to the back of And And And's van. Summer is NOW, yo! NED LANNAMANN Read our feature on PDX Pop Now!


8 TRACK RELAY: MENOMENA, BLITZEN TRAPPER, THE CAVE SINGERS, NURSES, THEE SATISFACTION, QUASI, & MORE
(Portland International Raceway, 1940 N Victory) The 8 Track Relay takes everything a healthy Portlander loves (outdoor exercise, local music, food, beer, Sam Adams) and crams it into a 24-hour intensive. Gather a team and run the all-night relay course, or just come for the stellar music lineup (Menomena, Blitzen Trapper, the Cave Singers, so many more), fireworks show, giant bonfire, and contact fitness buzz. MARJORIE SKINNER


LIFESAVAS, TxE
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Ten years ago, Lifesavas released their first album, Spirit in Stone, and it remains a high-water mark of Portland hiphop. At the CD release party back in '03, the trio of Vursatyl, Jumbo, and Rev. Shines packed the Roseland to capacity, and it felt for a moment like Portland—along with its fertile but ultimately not particularly diverse music scene—might have more to offer the world than white guys toting guitars. Spirit in Stone was a deep, thought-provoking album that didn't dwell in darkness; it touched upon important themes without capsizing under its own weight, and fittingly for Portland, its hooks and beats were suited equally for both the club and the coffee shop. The Portland hiphop scene arguably hasn't topped that moment, and while Lifesavas have given the world so much more than that just that one sparkling record (such as 2007's Lifesavas joint Gutterfly and a number of solo projects), they've been absent from the scene as of late. Tonight they celebrate Spirit's 10th anniversary, and with the promise of another Lifesavas record—tentatively called IDentifi—on the way, it's looking like Portland hiphop still has a rich future ahead of it. NED LANNAMANN


BUSTIN' SURFBOARDS: DAVIE ALLEN, GUANTANAMO BAYWATCH, ADIOS AMIGOS, THE PROTONS, DJ DANNY DODGE
(Star Theater, 13 NW 6th) Finally! The dirty, dancey sounds of surf rock are paired with Mexican masked wrestling in a one-night event called the world's first Luchador Surf Party! Expect raucous surf music from Davie Allan, Guantanamo Baywatch, Audios Amigos, and more, plus taco eating and "the twist" contests, AND live Mexican wrestling! That's what we call a match made in heaven! WM.™ STEVEN HUMPHREY


CATHEDRAL PARK JAZZ FESTIVAL: CHUCK ISRAEL'S JAZZ ORCHESTRA, STAN BOCK AND THE NEW TRADITION, TRIO FLUX, & MORE
(Cathedral Park, N Edison & Pittsburg) Maximize the fine Portland summer by spending it lounging on the grass while surrounded by the sounds of the West Coast's longest-running free jazz festival—the Cathedral Park Jazz Festival, now on its 33rd year. MARJORIE SKINNER


SOMETIMES A GREAT NOTION FESTIVAL: ROSE WINDOWS, KEN STRINGFELLOW, CAMBODIAN SPACE PROJECT, THE MALDIVES, MATTHEW HELLER
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Sean Hocking started his Metal Postcard Records label in Sydney, Australia, then moved it to New York before finally ending up in Hong Kong. Lately he's taken an interest in Portland, and the label's second Sometimes a Great Notion festival kicks off this weekend. Headlined by Pink Skulls and Das Fluff, Friday's lineup features alternative takes on electronic music, complemented by locals Pinks Quieter, Pulse Emitter, and garage-rock shit-kickers White Fang. Saturday night's wide-ranging lineup includes Ken Stringfellow (the Pogues and sometimes REM member), Seattle heavy-hippie group Rose Windows, alt-country from the Maldives, and local songwriter Matthew Heller. MATT SULLIVAN


BIG STAR: NOTHING CAN HURT ME SCREENING: KEN STRINGFELLOW AND SPECIAL GUESTS
(Hollywood Theatre, 4122 NE Sandy) No band is as ripe for the documentary/exhumation treatment as Big Star, perhaps the ultimate cult band. In the early ’70s, the Memphis power-pop group created three staggeringly brilliant LPs that all sank without a trace, and figurehead Alex Chilton had a weird, winding music career that made some of the catchiest pop the world has ever heard, along with willfully off-putting no-wave and broken-down singer/songwriter confessionals. Unlike in Searching for Sugar Man or the more recent, excellent A Band Called Death, the many interviews with insiders and fans in Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me don’t seem likely to turn on new fans to the very real magic of Big Star. The converted, though, will be perfectly satisfied in hearing “September Gurls” pump out of movie-theater speakers at full volume. Saturday’s screening will be followed by a performance of Big Star songs by Ken Stringfellow and “special guests.” NED LANNAMANN


CENTAURPALOOZA: AVENUE VICTOR HUGO, STEAK KNIFE, PITCHFORK MOTORWAY, THE COOL WHIPS, THE SUICIDE NOTES, THE SATIN CHAPS, & MORE
(Centaur Guitar, 2833 NE Sandy & Katie O'Brien's, 2809 NE Sandy) The parking lot of Centaur Guitar is once again undergoing its yearly transformation from ho-hum asphalt wasteland to stomping grounds for rockers of every creed. Featuring a stupefying number of bands, this year's Centaurpalooza spills over into neighboring bar Katie O'Brien's. None of this affects the price of admission: totally free. Genres be damned here; acts as diverse as the Satin Chaps, the Decliners, Big Foot Dick, Bitch School, and the Last Regiment of Syncopated Drummers all have a turn at the stage. It's unfortunate that the fest's dates coincide with those of PDX Pop Now! this year, but any port in a storm, right? RYAN J. PRADO


SAM HUMANS, THE WEAK KNEES, DINOSAUR HEART
(The Foggy Notion, 3416 N Lombard) Portland jangle-art-rock band the Weak Knees release their very impressive second album, Until You Can (They Will Tell You You Can't), at their record release show tonight. The four-piece combines tropical guitar, danceable new-wave rhythms, and a left-of-center artiness, coming up with a familiar-sounding yet durably intriguing combination. The band's original modus operandi was "Motown meets Modest Mouse," and traces of those elements remain in the Weak Knees' sound—Modest Mouse in the thickly tangled guitars and the inversion of typical rock pomp, and Motown in the crisp songwriting and effervescence of sound. Until You Can is a solid album from front to back, and the turmoil caused by recent lineup changes within the band is hard to locate in the band's confident, carefully assembled songs. NED LANNAMANN


SIX FEET UNDER, DECREPIT BIRTH, CANNABIS CORPSE, ABIOTIC
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE César E. Chávez) If you locked a metalhead and a hippie in a room together, they could probably see eye to eye on two things: long hair and weed. Tonight's bill is proof positive that heshers like their greens, and I'm not just talking about Chris Barnes and his support of marijuana law reform. The band with the squintiest red eyes tonight could be Cannabis Corpse. Don't be fooled by their moniker—while it may make them sound like some goofy Cannibal Corpse cover band that changes the lyrics to be about weed, rest assured only part of that observation is correct. They most definitely sing about weed, but these songs are wholly original, and brutal like it's 1992 in Florida when death metal was king. They even pay homage to the likes of Cannibal Corpse and Deicide with tongue-in-cheek song titles like "Tube of the Resinated" and "Lunatic of Pot's Creation." ARIS WALES


PORCHLIGHT: THE SONGS OF BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN: HOLCOMBE WALLER, RACHEL TAYLOR BROWN, CASEY NEILL, & MORE
(Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, 147 NW 19th) There's no shortage of free live music this weekend, but here's another worthy choice: a tribute to Bruce Springsteen, performed by a diverse group of Portland musicians on the steps of Northwest's Trinity Episcopal Cathedral as the sun sets and the evening slowly cools off. To fit in with the churchy setting, the show is meant to focus on Springsteen's spiritual side, but that more or less includes every song he ever wrote. Musicians like Holcombe Waller and Rachel Taylor Brown will be among those interpreting the Boss, and while the show is free, any donations will go to Trinity's hunger programs. NED LANNAMANN

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