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Sunday, November 3, 2013

Tonight in Music: Death, Mazzy Star, Destroyer & More

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Sun, Nov 3, 2013 at 10:00 AM


DEATH, P.R.O.B.L.E.M.S., VULTURES IN THE SKY
(Branx, 320 SE 2nd) In the mid-'70s, a band of Detroit brothers called itself Death and played pioneering, earth-shattering proto-punk. Trouble is, no one was paying much attention. The recent documentary A Band Called Death told the Hackney brothers' remarkable story, and now the reconstituted band is coming to blow minds. Better late than never. NED LANNAMANN Read our article on Death.


MAZZY STAR, THE ENTRANCE BAND, MARIEE SIOUX
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) It's been 20 years since Mazzy Star wanted to hold the hand inside you (eeeeew!) with "Fade into You." And 17 years since their last album. (God I'm old.) But the gorgeous, melancholy voice of Hope Sandoval is back with Seasons of Your Day, bringing achingly slow, steel guitar-steeped nostalgia into your hearts. Prepare to get a little weepy. Maybe a lot. COURTNEY FERGUSON Read our article on Mazzy Star.


DESTROYER, PINK MOUNTAINTOPS
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Dan Bejar—AKA Destroyer—is one of music's most adventurous spirits. Each addition to his ever-growing discography allows the 41-year-old songwriter a new chance to explore different sonic textures—whether that's adapting his songs to the shivering tension of the band Frog Eyes (the 2005 EP Notorious Lightning and Other Works), trying his hand at glittery '80s pop (2011's Kaputt), or collaborating with experimental electronic composers Tim Hecker and Loscil. If that weren't enough, Bejar helps class up every New Pornographers album by adding a couple epic tunes to the mix. His latest Destroyer EP, Five Spanish Songs, features covers of tunes written by Antonio Luque of long-running pop band Sr. Chinarro. True to form, Bejar plays with the raw material, adding a dash of disco and glam to the proceedings. ROBERT HAM


MIKE DOUGHTY, MOON HOOCH
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) It's always a dicey proposition when a musician re-records their earlier, better-known work (see also: John Fogerty, Ray Davies). Mike Doughty's newest is a collection of tunes from his '90s alterna-hiphop-rock band Soul Coughing, and he's gone on record many times to express his dissatisfaction with the work from that period. By Doughty's own admission, though, a lot of his feelings are tied up in the drug addiction and inter-band problems he was experiencing at the time. Whether that makes his new collection of Soul Coughing covers—the album's title is the names of all its songs strung together; we'll refer to it as Circles Super Bon Bon—a noble endeavor isn't really the point. (I'll argue it doesn't, as the album doesn't really contain anything essential or even all that illuminating.) What matters is that Doughty remains a captivating live performer, peppering his songs with terrific stories and banter; his recent memoir The Book of Drugs was garishly entertaining. That he now has the excuse to dust off Soul Coughing tunes for this show makes it all the more promising. NED LANNAMANN


BRITTEN'S WAR REQUIEM: OREGON SYMPHONY
(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall 1037 SW Broadway) Long before Moonrise Kingdom introduced his brilliant music to a wider audience, Benjamin Britten was, unfortunately, known primarily in rarified classical circles for an impressive string of operas and for the War Requiem—a monumental later work that solidified his place of honor in the pantheon of musical geniuses. Dedicated to those who died during World War II, the requiem premiered in 1962 for a British audience that, just 20 years earlier, kept calm and carried on through terrifying blitzkriegs and a tremendous loss of life. It's unsurprisingly somber music, yet decidedly bold in its orchestration, requiring a trio of internationally renowned vocal soloists, a souped-up choir, a children's chorus, and two distinctly separate orchestras. (Yes, TWO fucking orchestras!) I realize the idea of sitting through 90 Twitter-less minutes seems utterly #lame to the majority of Mercury readers. But for those brave souls willing to embark on a lengthy sonic contemplation of humanity's futile brutality and questionable redemption, Britten's masterpiece is guaranteed to provoke profound thought and feeling. We may not like what we hear, but we certainly have a need to hear it. ANGRY SYMPHONY GUY

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