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Saturday, February 1, 2014

Tonight in Music: Aan, the Mantles, Cumulus & More

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Sat, Feb 1, 2014 at 10:31 AM


AAN, DESERT NOISES, BOYS BEACH
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Read our article on Aan.


THE MANTLES, STILL CAVES, HD PERSONALITIES
(Alhambra Theatre, 4811 SE Hawthorne) The Mantles are a product of the same booming Bay Area garage-pop community spearheaded by the likes of Ty Segall and Thee Oh Sees, but sonically they've managed to follow a different path than many of their peers. Unlike their ultra prolific and unruly brethren back home (many of whom have actually relocated to LA in recent months), the Mantles walk a more delicate line, bringing to mind '60s practitioners as well as Flying Nun-esque Kiwi rock on a track like "Hello" off their lovely 2013 release Long Enough to Leave. Meanwhile, the vibrant noise-rock played by Portland's Still Caves can ignite a flame in any audience it comes into contact with. The freak flag is at full mast as the band pounds out a crackling mishmash of lo-fi psychedelia and fuzzed-out punk. It's a pairing that should have the Mantles feeling right at home. CHIPP TERWILLIGER


DRESSES, CUMULUS, THERE IS NO MOUNTAIN
(White Eagle, 836 N Russell) Cumulus is the type of band whose music saves lives. Not literally, of course—although who knows, stranger things have happened—but the Seattle group's sincere guitar-ringing pop is so lovely and warm that it feels just as vital as blood and breath. Their latest album, I Never Meant It to Be Like This, was released on Chris Walla's Trans-Records label, and it doesn't take much to hear what Walla heard in Alexandra Niedzialkowski's personable singing, or in the group's surprisingly muscled interplay. Songs like the winning "Middle" find that perfect, cozy balance of sunny and forlorn before locking into a rock-out, teeth-rattling coda. Cumulus shares a bill with Portland's Dresses, whose heartfelt, friendly pop is winning devoted fans of its own. NED LANNAMANN


45TH PARALLEL, JACKSTRAW, & MORE
(Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 NE Alberta) The players of the Oregon Symphony are unquestionably the hardest working musicians in town, and any moron who says otherwise can blow it out their skinny-jeaned ass. Case in point: Greg Ewer. When this fiddler isn't tearing it up with our orchestra's outrageously tight string section, he's busy leading 45th Parallel, one of Rip City's most consistently impressive small-scale classical outfits. In addition to his technical mastery and emotional depth, Ewer also has a knack for putting together magically eclectic programs; tonight's smorgasbord of virtuosity not only includes the 45th Parallel quartet, but also performances from brilliant percussionist Sergio Carreno, the Oregon Symphony's chief trumpeter Jeff Work, beatboxer Gabe Gleason, and local composer Kenji Bunch, who proves once and for all that, yes, it's quite possible to shred on a viola. The other half of the show belongs to Jackstraw, a kickass bluegrass group featuring the dreamy twang of Jon Neufeld's guitar. And I've got your fucking vegan icing on your goddamned gluten-free cake right here: The gig goes down at the Alberta Rose Theatre, so all you pathetic lushes will finally be able to listen to classical music and sip the night away. ANGRY SYMPHONY GUY


OLIVER MTUKUDZI AND THE BLACK SPIRITS
(Star Theater, 13 NW 6th) One of Southern Africa's living musical legends, Oliver Mtukudzi continues to innovate in inspiring ways well into his 60s. With over 50 releases to his credit, beginning with 1978's Ndipeiwo Zano, Mtukudzi's prolificacy has been matched only by his humble craftsmanship of working-class odes for fellow Zimbabweans, sprouting his very own niche of sound dubbed "tuku music." With the Black Spirits, Mtukudzi orbits the peppy polyrhythms he's pioneered over his solo career—as well as with South African supergroup Mahube—but folds melancholic melodies into his oeuvre on tunes like "Messenger" from the 2011 LP Chikonzi. Mtukudzi's latest, Sarawoga, is an uplifting, technically engaging masterwork, easily one of his best releases. Expect a smattering of old and new from Mtukudzi's long and road-tested quiver of tunes. RYAN J. PRADO

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