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Monday, March 10, 2014

Tonight in Music: JD Samson and Men, Cayucas, Bartok Quartet No. 3, & More

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Mon, Mar 10, 2014 at 10:43 AM


JD SAMSON AND MEN, LAVENDER MIRROR, GLITTERBANG
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) JD Samson might be best known for her stint in Le Tigre, but if you've slept on her work with JD Samson & Men... well, quit it. Their new album, Labor, is political but fun; brainy but balls-out danceable. Or tits out. Or both! THAT'S THE BEAUTY OF IT! This show's almost too good for a Monday. ALISON HALLETT


CAYUCAS, MINER
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Is there a wintry equivalent to the dog days of summer? If not, there should be, because it's early March and the gray days, chilly temps, and biting wind have officially worn out their welcome. That said, perhaps there's no better time to duck into a bar and take in the sunny music of Cayucas, a fast-rising LA band fronted by cold-blooded pop savant Zach Yudin. Last year, Cayucas made a splash with its debut album, Bigfoot, a warm, sparkling synthesis of pastel pop-rock, sentimental lyrics, memorable melodies, and nostalgic haze. This is sugary stuff that will fit snugly in between the Shins and Vampire Weekend on your "beach day" playlist. Ultimately, Cayucas' music is not ideal for a night of deep thought or gritty self-reflection, but if it's a temporary escape from seasonal affective disorder you seek, here's your soundtrack. BEN SALMON


BÉLA BARTÓK'S STRING QUARTET: QUATUOR ÉBÈNE
(PSU Lincoln Performance Hall, 1620 SW Park) Coming on the heels of the PDX Jazz Festival, March Music Moderne provides a wonderful modernist counterpoint to its more august cousin. The schedule for the fourth annual festival, organized by local musician and composer Bob Priest, looks to be a stunning one, including this rare Portland appearance by Quatuor Ébène. The French string quartet will perform a daring and somewhat brooding 1929 work from Bartók that was inspired by the folk music of the composer's native Hungary, and whose punchy stabs of melody influenced Bernard Herrmann's score for Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho. ROBERT HAM


HILARY HAHN, OREGON SYMPHONY
(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway) While I'm not advocating the Oregon Symphony jacks up its ticket prices, the first half of tonight's program is worth the goddamned cost of admission all by itself. Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg gets the party going with the Suite No. 1 from Peer Gynt, which contains both of his biggest hits. I'm hoping my impulse control is strong enough to resist bitch-slapping fellow concertgoers who will inevitably hum along with these magnificently infectious tunes. After their visit to the Hall of the Mountain King, those in the supremely lucky Schnitzer crowd shall witness nothing less than the most influential classical violinist currently residing on our planet: Hilary Hahn. She's sitting in for three glorious days with Rip City's biggest unplugged band, to bring another Scandinavian composition to life: a fiddle concerto penned in 1911 by Denmark's favorite musical son, Carl Nielsen. The work's enigmatic emotional flare and sweet-ass solo turns will dazzle with fresh intensity in the hands of this thirtysomething virtuoso. Hahn's appeal is so universal her fucking violin case has amassed 25.4K followers on Twitter, so prepare to have your tiny, weed-encrusted minds blown when you catch the owner of this luggage in the flesh. You'll need an intermission to recover. ANGRY SYMPHONY GUY

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