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Friday, August 23, 2013

Tonight in Music: Street Nights, Harvey Girls, The Stepkids & More

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Fri, Aug 23, 2013 at 10:42 AM


STREET NIGHTS, REGULAR MUSIC, DJ AVANT TO PARTY, DJ NEVER FORGET
(Record Room, 8 NE Killingsworth) Read our article on Street Nights.


HARVEY GIRLS, LEVATOR, CHERIMOYA
(Firkin Tavern, 1937 SE 11th) Holladay is the Harvey Girls' third EP release this year, and it's the Portland trio's most rocking and straightforward release yet. That's not to say it's conventional—it opens with a pair of mathy prog-rock exercises to make you properly dizzy, before settling into the catchy (relative) pop of "Bacon's Autobiography of the Moon." It's rounded out by the slow smorgasbord of "Jittery Anne" and the dark basement-psych grunt of "Red Plastic Chairs." Still, despite all the weird trappings, this is the Harvey Girls at their most accessible to date, and the most cleanly representative of their current live show, which is a marked evolution from their strange folk-stew home recordings from a couple years ago. They celebrate the fascinating EP's release tonight, and have plans to follow it up with another EP by year's end. NED LANNAMANN


STONES THROW SOUL TOUR: DAM-FUNK, THE STEPKIDS, MYRON AND E
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Stones Throw is best known for its releases by Madlib and J Dilla, but the roster of this venerable Los Angeles indie imprint doesn't stop with underground hiphop, encompassing rough-hewn post-punk, neo-soul, and outsider oddities like Gary Wilson, too. Consistent quality is mandatory for survival when you champion as many weirdoes as Stones Throw does, and this package tour delivers: Dam-Funk's outré electro conjures up the ghosts of Rammellzee and Zapp's Roger Troutman, while newcomers Myron and E deploy finely tuned classic soul grooves. And the Stepkids, who drop their superlative sophomore set Troubadour next month, operate in a world all their own, infusing jazz, '70s pop, psychedelia, and tight vocal harmonies into sinewy funk grooves—their kaleidoscopic support slots for the Horrors in 2011 damn near eclipsed the headliners. KURT B. REIGHLEY


FLIGHT 64 BENEFIT SHOW: MAGIC MOUTH, BONNIE MONTGOMERY, ONUINU
(Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 NE Alberta) Help local print studio Flight 64 celebrate 10 glorious years of providing affordable studio space. The member-run nonprofit is throwing a kickass benefit with music by Magic Mouth and Onuinu, along with greased-up laffs from stand-ups Nathan Brannon and Shane Torres. Yay for awesome artwork and the artists who make it. COURTNEY FERGUSON


BAD HABITAT, THE BAD TENANTS, BEEJAN, DAS LEUNE
(Blue Monk, 3341 SE Belmont) Hiphop can often be a dicey prospect when performed live. An otherwise talented emcee or group can astound you with their lyrical talent on wax, but then underwhelm when bringing that same material to the stage. Southeast Portland's Bad Habitat thankfully does not suffer from that affliction, instead bringing a high-energy performance that gets the crowd hyped sans prompting. Their latest full-length, Paper People, just dropped this summer, showcasing their unique brand of hiphop melded with punk and classic rock. The Bad Tenants, who recently moved to Seattle from their native Bellingham, are another hiphop trio that pushes the limits of the genre, with a bluesy take that features soulful crooning and blue-collar brass. Both bands are at the forefront of Northwest acts infusing hiphop with the ethos and enthusiasm of a top-notch bar band. RYAN FEIGH


PLOW UNITED, FASTER HOUSECAT, TIGHT BROS
(Slabtown, 1033 NW 16th) I completely missed out on Plow United when they were around in the '90s—when I listened to nothing but punk rock—so I thought the Delaware trio who just released a new record, Marching Band, were new on the scene. Oh, how wrong I was. Plow United existed through most of the '90s, breaking up late in the decade only to reunite just a couple of years ago at Riot Fest East. They have hooks reminiscent of the Loved Ones or the Menzingers, and they bring some punk-rock fire on par with early Rancid or Good Riddance. How did I miss this?! I'm guessing I won't be the only one in the room who didn't get to catch them the first time. MEGAN SELING


NASALROD, SLEEPTALKER, DRAMADY
(Slim's, 8635 N Lombard) Amanda Wilson and Zac Stanley make it look seamlessly easy to create a band's worth of music with only two people. Their musical chops surely assist in this endeavor—the duo has been playing together as Dramady since 2006, and in myriad other esteemed local projects for even longer. This impressive longevity is a testament to the unassuming dedication that motivates their fine pop music, which provides both effortless listening pleasure and an entertaining live spectacle. Stanley simultaneously sings deadpan baritone, keeps the beat on drums, and bangs out keyboard riffs, while Wilson delivers stalwart bass, velvety reed undertones, and saccharine vocal contributions. MARANDA BISH

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