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Monday, December 9, 2013

Tonight in Music: High on Fire, Rhett Miller, Oregon Symphony

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Mon, Dec 9, 2013 at 10:22 AM


HIGH ON FIRE, KVELERTAK, WINDHAND
(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE César E. Chávez) Last year, High on Fire released De Vermis Mysteriis, a concept album about Jesus' twin brother who died at birth and then time traveled—or something along those lines. Later that year, frontman Matt Pike checked into rehab. But instead of letting that rob the band's momentum, Pike & Co. came out the other side and unleashed a pummeling double live album of their trademark, Motörhead-ish sludge metal. Now they're punctuating 2013 with a mega-bill tour featuring Norway's Kvelertak—think Scandinavian black metal meets tough-guy hardcore meets classic rock meets Jock Jams—and Virginia's up-and-coming doom-metal titans Windhand. MATTHEW W. SULLIVAN


RHETT MILLER, BIG HAUNT
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Rhett Miller is always working—either fronting high-octane garage-twangers the Old 97's, or cranking out solo material. And if he's not in the studio, he's on the road. Miller just wrapped up recording a new 97's record, and he's kicking off a string of solo gigs that'll take him into the New Year. One thing I've discovered is that Miller's material works on lit-up rock stages or more intimate settings. Great songs will do that. Then again, just because this is an acoustic performance doesn't mean Miller will be going all coffee shop on us. Expect plenty of sweat, stomping, and rapid-fire strumming. And when that's all done, expect a new Old 97's record. MARK LORE


OREGON SYMPHONY, ELINA VÄHÄLÄ
(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway) For all you ignorant fucktards who wrongly assume orchestras just play old music: Tonight our Oregon Symphony busts out a violin concerto written in 2006 by Finnish composer Magnus Lindberg. With its drastically stripped-down orchestration focused on high-strung pensiveness, Lindberg's 27-minute work is nothing less than a sonic wonder for the ears and an ethereal playground for the soul. Plus, I'm pleased as proverbial punch to report the evening's guest fiddler is none other than Elina Vähälä—sliding, scratching, and plucking her way to stratospheric heights on a 335-year-old Stradivarius. If Vähälä's last few appearances at the Schnitz are any indication, this Nordic gypsy's powerful technique and astounding grace will certainly produce spellbinding results. But hang on to your goddamn Poler hats—there's more! P-town's biggest band opens up this show with the sly, dry wit of Prokofiev's The Love for Three Oranges' surreal orchestral suite and closes it down with Tchaikovsky's flamingly over-the-top Symphony No. 4. What's that? Tonight you'll be texting while listening to some pasty lad in pearl-snap buttons whine through masturbatory lyrics? Lucky for you, the program repeats Sunday and Monday, so you've got exactly zero excuses for missing out on the orchestra's last classical concert of 2013. ANGRY SYMPHONY GUY

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