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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Tonight in Music: Just Lions, Chris Thile

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Wed, Oct 2, 2013 at 1:01 PM


JUST LIONS, NEW MOVE, BOMBS INTO YOU
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) If you haven't checked out Just Lions yet, what are you waiting for? The Portland trio has a new EP, Paper Cage, and it's very fine indeed. In three mere tracks, Just Lions pack in enough sound and melody to fill up a full-length album, finding new and creative ways to use the rock template laid out by old stalwarts like the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and Radiohead (it's usually a bad sign when a band cites these types of generic, omnipresent influences, but in Just Lions' case, the comparisons are apt). What they remember is to make all this classic-rock studiousness sound like actual fun, and their jubilant songs bounce, grin, stutter, sparkle, and—yes, when the situation calls for it—rock. NED LANNAMANN


CHRIS THILE
(Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 NE Alberta) Chris Thile is a genius. Plain and simple. He is one of the planet's finest mandolin players, rising to prominence as the face (and the fun) of California popgrass band Nickel Creek. He is the founder of genre-bending acoustic powerhouse the Punch Brothers, and he collaborated with equally brilliant musicians (Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer) on 2011's The Goat Rodeo Sessions, an impressive exercise in classical-meets-'grass. When he wants to, he can straight-up burn the barn down, as evidenced by the outstanding traditional bluegrass album he made with guitarist Michael Daves, also in 2011. And if all that ain't enough, consider why Thile stops in Portland tonight: to promote his new album, Bach: Sonatas and Partitas, Vol. 1, a collection of, yes, three Bach pieces written for solo violin three centuries ago. One more thing: Chris Thile is 32 years old. BEN SALMON

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