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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Tonight in Music: Goat, Slow Music, Questlove & More

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Wed, Apr 16, 2014 at 2:51 PM


GOAT, HOLY WAVE
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) Read our article on Goat.


SLOW MUSIC, THE HUMANS
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Read our article on Slow Music.


QUESTLOVE, MOON HOOCH, STEVEN VAUGHN KRAY
(Alhambra Theatre, 4811 SE Hawthorne) Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson loves music more than you. Hell, the hi-hat-battering luminary behind the Roots might very well love Portland more than you (he named it his favorite city in a 2011 interview). At tonight's DJ set, expect him to share that love, with deep cuts, chill beats, and just generally pleasant sounds. DIRK VANDERHART


THOU, CLOUD RAT, O PAON, DRUDEN
(Slabtown, 1033 NW 16th) If you like heavy music, you must go see Thou tonight at Slabtown. Because who knows when you’ll have a chance to do so again? A note on the Louisiana-based band’s website says touring is “logistically harsh” for Thou because its members live in far-flung places, one of them hates long jaunts, and they’re “all relatively poor.” Of course, scarcity is just part of the draw for tonight’s show. The other is Thou’s music, a punishing blend of lurching, atmospheric sludge and Bryan Funck’s blackened howl. The fiercely DIY band’s new album Heathen is equal parts melodic and harrowing, and its lyrics read like scriptures of suffering and subjugation. “Rejoice in the miseries of life unkind,” Funck screams in “Ode to Physical Pain,” which is every bit as bleak as its title. “Here, and only here, are the senses stretched and contracted.” Go. Rejoice with Thou. And then support these folks and buy some merch. BEN SALMON


CHRIS SPEED TRIO, BLUE CRANES
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Former Seattle resident Chris Speed is, like most great jazz players, always in demand, constantly busy recording and performing live. And on either clarinet or tenor sax, he's able to wander the worlds between the genre's freeform expressions and its more traditional modes. With his latest trio, Speed keeps things tuned toward the latter. The recently released album Really OK—recorded with bassist Chris Tordini and the Bad Plus drummer Dave King—is a smashing post-bop collection that matches Speed's original compositions with great renditions of tracks written by fellow sax players Ornette Coleman and John Coltrane, as well as an austere take on the standard "All of Me." ROBERT HAM


CARAVAN PALACE, BOMBINO, MEDIUM TROY
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) In 2009, Sublime Frequencies released their second volume of Music from Niger: Guitars from Agadez, which for many Western audiences was the introduction to the Tuareg guitarist known as Bombino. That compilation, credited to Group Bombino, included a collection of meditative acoustic tracks and a set of electric live performances. The recordings felt like a revelation, a lost desert-blues classic in the vein of Ali Farka Touré or Tinariwen. Two years later, Bombino released his first proper studio album, Agadez, a record that doubled down on the trance-like, cyclical, precise guitar work he'd already introduced, adding elements of psych-rock and supplementing traditional tracks with his own politically charged songs. Last year, Bombino traveled to Nashville to record with the Black Keys' Dan Auerbach, and the resulting Nomad fuses those hypnotic grooves with the sort of fuzzed-out blues and occasional funk licks that makes aspiring guitarists wonder why they even bother. MATTHEW W. SULLIVAN


PHONE CALL, MAGIC FADES, RAP CLASS, DJ PORTIA
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) The word "sultry" comes to mind when listening to Portland electro-funk duo Phone Call. "Derivative" is a less accurate descriptor, especially seeing as how the former Strength members have a stranglehold on a shoegaze/R&B/chillwave hybrid that's uniquely cultivated. Bailey Winters and Johnny Zeigler hatched the project in 2012, hoping to combine the melodic interplay of Prince and Justin Timberlake with heavy hiphop beats, culminating in a nearly instant connection with those showgoers who prefer to get as sweaty as possible. Outside of a few songs posted online, the band still seems largely unknown, though that is likely to change with the release of their debut album, currently in production. Far from phoning it in, KPSU has hit the nail on the head with this lineup for their fundraiser. RYAN J. PRADO


FAUN FABLES, PWRHAUS, ARRINGTON DE DIONYSO
(The Old Church, 1422 SW 11th) Faun Fables' otherworldly folk music time-travels from medieval England to the prairies of the American frontier to the campfire at a black metal festival. Known to incorporate theater, performance art, and puppet shows into their concerts, Faun Fables are a band always worth seeing—if only for the sake of surprise. Tonight's opening acts offer equal amounts of mysterious possibility. Former Old Time Relijun frontman Arrington de Dionysio's shows can range from meditative flute solos, to William Blake poems throat-sung in Indonesian, to tai chi freak-dance parties. And local band Pwrhaus' set will include new songs they wrote specifically for the venue. It's hard to say what this show will be like, but it will certainly be unlike other shows—probably in the best possible way. JOSHUA JAMES AMBERSON


ARLO GUTHRIE
(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) Arlo Guthrie's career began in 1967—the same year his legendary father Woody Guthrie passed away—with Alice's Restaurant. That album is a lopsided opus featuring the truly great, 18-minute "Alice's Restaurant Massacree" (which has come to be considered the best—perhaps only—"Thanksgiving song," even if the holiday couldn't be further from the song's focus) on one side and a bunch of blithe folk filler on the other. While the younger Guthrie's canon obviously lacks the social ramifications and staying power of his father's, Alice's Restaurant is one of the only hippie anthems that's not completely confined to its date of conception—it's a dexterous and often funny anti-war ditty that genuinely never bores. Just stay away from the goddamn movie.... MORGAN TROPER


KING PARROT, VATTNET VISKAR
(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) Wild-eyed Australian thrash/grind demons King Parrot will headline tonight's show, but fans of more nuanced metal should arrive in time for Vattnet Viskar, a youngish New Hampshire band that put out a stunning album, Sky Swallower, last year for metal super-label Century Media Records. At eight tracks and nearly 40 minutes, Sky Swallower uses black metal as a base camp for forays into skyscraping post-rock, chest-caving death metal, thunderous doom, and, occasionally, fractured folk and noisy drone. It's an impressive, genre-blind artistic statement from a killer up-and-coming band that deserves an audience tonight. BEN SALMON

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