This Week in the Mercury


Saturday, February 22, 2014

Tonight in Music: Cécile McLorin Salvant, Cheatahs, Turn! Turn! Turn! Grand Opening & More

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Sat, Feb 22, 2014 at 11:39 AM


PORTLAND JAZZ FESTIVAL: BUSTER WILLIAMS, CÉCILE MCLORIN SALVANT
(Newmark Theatre, 1111 SW Broadway) Read our article on Cécile McLorin Salvant.


CHEATAHS, PONY VILLAGE
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) Read our article on Cheatahs.


GRAND OPENING: MARISA ANDERSON, THEE HEADLINERS, PENDEJO, SAD HORSE
(Turn! Turn! Turn!, 8 NE Killingsworth) Tonight marks the grand opening of Turn! Turn! Turn!, a brand-new establishment taking over the space recently vacated by Record Room. The MO is pretty similar—a variety of beers on tap and racks full of records to sift through—but owner Scott Derr takes the appropriate next step. There are sandwiches to be consumed, vintage audio equipment to be tempted by, and a choice selection of old zines to page through while you're sipping your IPA. The celebration tonight is capped off by a lineup featuring the guitar wizardry of Marisa Anderson and the first show in ages from gritty rockers Thee Headliners. ROBERT HAM


POISON IDEA, LONG KNIFE, BI-MARKS
(Star Bar, 639 SE Morrison) The first time I saw local hardcore act Bi-Marks, they were sharing a bill with Brooklyn's Nude Beach. Nothing could have prepared me for the force Bi-Marks were about to unleash, but the Tom Petty-indebted power-pop played by Nude Beach certainly made for an amusingly incongruous introduction. Soon, fist-pumping anthems quickly made way for a breakneck onslaught of punk, along with one of the rowdiest circle pits I've ever witnessed. As tables were tossed and turned, the bartender bravely abandoned his post to create a human barrier between the possessed crowd and accumulating piles of broken glass. Any track off Bi-Marks' relentless 2012 release The Golden Years would fit nicely on an early-'80s hardcore compilation that would have featured a few of the genre's progenitors—say, for instance, Portland's own Poison Idea. Tonight those two forces combine for what should feel like something of a highly combustible torch-passing ceremony. CHIPP TERWILLIGER


SHAWN SMITH, HEARTS OF OAK, STENNER GLEN
(Dante's, 350 W Burnside) Shawn Smith's voice could caress wallpaper from the walls, like panties in Prince's proximity. The two share a soulful, funky vocal fortitude, but I think Smith's rocking through the religious era of the Purple One's history right now. And it turns out Jesus-y music does not make for great sexytimes. (I know, right?!) Smith has made some fantastic albums in his two-decade career, with Seattle bands Brad (Shame), Satchel (The Family), and Pigeonhed (The Full Sentence), and don't even get me going on his collaborations with Greg Dulli in the Twilight Singers (Twilight as Played by the Twilight Singers). Now that he's turned his recent solo efforts to singing about redemption—as on the prolific musician's newest album Kid Bakersfield—his songs feel a little toothless, garnished with a certain number of religious platitudes, which makes for sadder, older, life-questioning fare. Yet his talent is undeniable—see album standouts "The Life You Saved" and "The Man that You See in Me." Smith's voice is still a really awesome instrument; I just wish he were still into singing soul instead of saving souls. I suspect everyone's underpinnings will stay firmly in check at the show... unless the back catalog comes out to play. COURTNEY FERGUSON


APE MACHINE, MOS GENERATOR, DIESTO
(Tonic Lounge, 3100 NE Sandy) Portland's Ape Machine chose the right band name. Their music is primal, but they take their Sabbathian riffs into a brave new world. The band has tightened their stoner grooves on their latest full-length, Mangled by the Machine, making the melodies as lethal as the riffs (which are on full display from start to finish). Ape Machine will make you forget that blues and boogie and mustaches ever went out of style only to eventually come back in style. Pop it into the eight-track player, peel the sun roof off the ol' Firebird, and let the good times roll. MARK LORE


PORTLAND JAZZ FESTIVAL: TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI, LEW TABACKIN
(Dolores Winningstad Theatre, 1111 SW Broadway) What makes Toshiko Akiyoshi unusual isn't her 14 Grammy nominations, the documentary made about her, or her background of numerous immigrations. She's one of very few women of her generation to lead a jazz band and compose, let alone with such technique and finesse. Jazz historically planted roots in African musical traditions, but Akiyoshi early on began to implement the chord progressions of her Japanese heritage, integrating those with influences like Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, and Bud Powell. Having once self-described her music as putting more emphasis on the quality of notes rather than quantity, Akiyoshi combines unique piano hooks with improvisation so crisp and intricate, it could have fallen out of the lining of Miles Davis' right pocket. ROSE FINN


PUBLIC SERVICE BROADCASTING, KIEV
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Public Service Broadcasting's method of writing songs around samples from public domain educational films and documentaries isn't the most original of ideas. New York's the Books spent the better part of 12 years mining similar material for inspiration. But that doesn't mean PSB is any less delightful. What serves the London duo and their debut album, Inform - Educate - Entertain, best is the steady drumming of multi-instrumentalist Wrigglesworth and the cheeky, borderline cornball melodies cooked up by the band's leader J. Willgoose, Esq. Their first show in Portland should prove to be a geeky feast for both the eyes and the ears. ROBERT HAM


RINGO DEATHSTARR, PURPLE DAYDREAM MACHINE, TENDER AGE
(Ash Street Saloon, 225 SW Ash) If there were a prize for the most ridiculous name in noise-pop, Austin's Ringo Deathstarr would certainly share top honors with the just-as-absurdly-named Cardiff group Joanna Gruesome. But when you look to the vast sea of acts that are pounding pedals and blasting out amps in an attempt to channel shoegaze pioneers like My Bloody Valentine, choosing a name that's sure to elicit a quick double-take suddenly doesn't seem all that crazy. Since forming in 2005, Ringo Deathstarr have been writing songs that ably justify the attention they might receive for their name. Fresh off tour with the Smashing Pumpkins, the band hits 2014 running on the stormy mini-LP Gods Dream. The release keeps an appealing fuzz-pop sensibility firmly intact as the trio breaches the realms of shoegaze revival with some of their heaviest material to date. CHIPP TERWILLIGER

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