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Saturday, December 14, 2013

Tonight in Music: December to Forget, the Greatest Toy Drive Ever, Anna Von Hausswolff & More

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Sat, Dec 14, 2013 at 9:55 AM


DECEMBER TO FORGET: OLD LIGHT, HUSTLE AND DRONE, THE WE SHARED MILK
(Manifestation PDX, 2020 SE Bush) At the December to Forget party, all the favors conspire to make your evening a blurry, sweaty, hazily recalled night of glory. Party checklist: lasers, bubbles, booze, food carts, the bands Old Light, Hustle and Drone, the We Shared Milk, and some top-secret guests. But don't forget to bring a food or toy donation—this amnesiac's paradise is for charity! COURTNEY FERGUSON


THE GREATEST TOY DRIVE EVER: MISTAH FAB, GRAYSKUL, COOL NUTZ, SERGE SEVERE, & MORE
Ash Street Saloon, 225 SW Ash) If you missed the first two shows in prolific Portland emcee Cool Nutz's Greatest Toy Drive Ever Concert Series, don't sweat it. Tonight's lineup—headlined by preeminent whip-ghosting aficionado Mistah FAB—is the best of the bunch. Bring the toy you would have given to your spoiled nephew and it's just $3. A Christmas miracle! DIRK VANDERHART


ANNA VON HAUSSWOLFF, NOVELLER
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) As a death-fearing sissy, I was initially troubled by Swedish pianist Anna von Hausswolff's latest release, Ceremony. Just scanning through the track list was enough to send me cowering in the recesses of my apartment, and I sheepishly skipped past "Deathbed" and "Funeral for My Future Children" on that first listen. However, once I inevitably became enveloped in the soft calm of the organ's drone, and the startling beauty in the physicality of von Hausswolff's voice, that ever-present fear turned to fascination, then to reverence. And though some of her songs can certainly skulk—like "No Body," which could effectively score a highly realistic psycho thriller—vitality is restored in the life-affirming major scales of "Mountains Crave," and the unbearably breathtaking "Liturgy of Light." Ceremony is a truly lovely balance of light and dark, control and abandon, and other familiar dichotomies that will outlive us all. RAQUEL NASSER


PULSE EMITTER, ILYAS AHMED, DOLPHINITY
(Little Axe Records, 5012 NE 28th) The four tracks on Crater Lake, the latest collection of modular and keyboard synth instrumentals from Daryl Groestch (AKA Pulse Emitter), are named after satellite moons of other planets in our solar system. That may seem a little on the nose, but it's a fitting way to connect the expansive compositions—rich with rippling, droning melodies and light arpeggiated rhythms—with the inky blackness of the world outside our atmosphere and the beauty of the celestial bodies floating in it. The 39-minute LP (released on Immune Recordings) could in fact be a fine alternate soundtrack to Gravity, with tracks like "Io" mirroring the tension and fear portrayed on screen, and opener "Europa" showcasing the stark beauty of outer space. ROBERT HAM


BUTT 2 BUTT, HEARTS AND TIGERS, WORMBAG
(Langano Lounge, 1435 SE Hawthorne) If you've waited this long before getting to know Butt 2 Butt, it may be too late. Almost. The Portland duo of drummer Sarah Jayne Reynolds and guitarist Zach Dunlap boast not only a really, really terrible band name, they've also got two modest but terrific records out this year, both of which you need to track down on Bandcamp: (the equally awfully named) My Bed, My Bitch and (the significantly improved) Under New Management. Don't let any of those names fool you: This is smart, gnashing, fun, rocking pop, played point-blank and stripped of all unnecessary ornament. "Lights Out" kicks off Under New Management with a simple, snotty line you'll want to teach yourself on guitar (it won't take you long to learn), and My Bed's "Way Out" boasts Cheap Trick riffage and the immortal chorus, "Your parents fucked/Just make the best of it." It's the last Butt 2 Butt show before Dunlap and Reynolds head to South America for six months (or longer) to travel—hopefully spreading some Butt 2 Butt cheer around the continent in the process. They've finished 15 new songs, though, so perhaps we'll get another Butt 2 Butt record or two before they say farewell. NED LANNAMANN


CHRISTIAN MISTRESS, BURIALS, DIMESLAND, USNEA
(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) There's a good number of bands putting the Northwest on the radar when it comes to black metal. While all of them are producing quality, genre-complementing music, the real blip to watch is Portland's Burials. The band's seamless newest record, The Tide, possesses elements you'd expect from most black-metal recordings: blast beats, tremolo picking, raspy, snarling vocals, and so on. However, there is one thing missing, and it doesn't affect them negatively in the slightest. Burials have taken the scary, bone-chilling riffs of typical black metal and replaced them with a much more awe-inspiring tone. Think of standing on a vast shoreline looking out into the endless ocean, or gazing up at a towering mountain, instead of creepy graveyards and cobwebbed haunted houses. That's not to say Burials' music lacks intensity, because it definitely doesn't, but they are playing with much more then just the black-metal deck. ARIS WALES


ANA SIA
(The Rose, 111 SW Ash) San Francisco-based Ana Sia, celebrated selector and up and coming producer, is on the edge of a release on Hot N Heavy Recordings, and she touches down in PDX for more damage, sporting her signature heady, bass-driven tunes. Her DJ sets are eclectic, spanning from house and techno to Miami bass and back—offering a rich tapestry of sound for those inclined to groove. Pumping out fresh beats with more than a tinge of West Coast attitude, this gangster has been dropping some seriously funky cuts that continue to shake up the too often two-tone world of EDM. CHRISTINA BROUSSARD

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