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Sunday, May 4, 2014

Tonight in Music: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Rachel Taylor Brown, The Estranged/Radioactivity & More

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Sun, May 4, 2014 at 10:02 AM


THE PAINS OF BEING PURE AT HEART, FEAR OF MEN, ABLEBODY
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) The Pains of Being Pure at Heart are set to release their third album, Days of Abandon, on May 13, so expect to hear a bevy of new fuzzed-out songs from the New York band. Sad-voiced Kip Berman evokes the late '80s heyday of jumped-up jangly guitars, while laying thoughtful waste to any retro comparisons. This is indie-pop at its very finest. COURTNEY FERGUSON

"Alta," the first track on Fear of Men's Loom, is only 50 seconds long, but it plainly sets the tone for the English band's debut album: "We were born to name the beauty in this," Jess Weiss quietly sings, "in the hopelessness of always wishing for something else." From there, Fear of Men ramps up into a slightly more upbeat place, where dreamy twee, buoyant indie-pop, and low-key shoegaze mingle seamlessly, giving Weiss a glossy landscape in which to explore the cravings and the crumbles of human relationships. By the final track, also titled "Alta," she's finally ready to move on. "If you never leave me I'll never understand you/'cause I'll never know what I could've been without you," she sings. Loom is the most delightful bummer of the year so far. BEN SALMON


RACHEL TAYLOR BROWN, LEIGH MARBLE
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Read our article on Rachel Taylor Brown.



RADIOACTIVITY, SUSPICIOUS BEASTS, THE ESTRANGED
(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) Portland's the Estranged have been quietly honing their dark and moody take on post-punk for years, and the trio's new self-titled full-length is a perfect gateway if you've been sleeping on the band until now. It's an atmospheric and barbed collection of nine songs that's sonically expansive and dialed-in with a consistency from beginning to end. Meanwhile, Radioactivity is a brand-new garage-punk outfit of all-stars from the booming Denton, Texas, community. Fronted by the Marked Men's Jeff Burke and flanked by Bad Sports drummer Gregory Rutherford, guitarist Daniel Ford, and fellow Marked Man Mark Ryan on bass, the group delivers the overflowing pop-punk energy you'd expect from a group with that résumé. Their self-titled debut from last October picks up right where the Marked Men left off, and with a follow-up already on the way, Radioactivity should establish themselves as a power-pop force in no time. CHIPP TERWILLIGER


GAYTHEIST
(Music Millennium, 3158 E Burnside) Gaytheist play mercilessly catchy and clever punk/thrash/pop, and they're one of Portland's best live acts. This free show, which celebrates the release of their live album Live from the Banana Stand, kicks off at 6 pm and will undoubtedly be the most uncomfortable Music Millennium in-store you'll ever witness. MORGAN TROPER


STEEL PANTHER, FUTURE VILLAINS
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) It's important to have a sense of humor about yourself and the things you hold dear. However, if you plan on making a farce of something that people love, it should be done tastefully. For example, Spinal Tap is a timeless, brilliant ribbing of the music and culture of heavy metal. On the other hand, you have Los Angeles' Steel Panther, who need to learn a thing or two about subtlety. Take the lyrics from "Gloryhole," the third single from their most recent full-length, All You Can Eat: "I don't wanna know who's sucking my cock tonight/gonna blow my load at the glory hole." Metal and rock 'n' roll are rife with sex and drug references, but employing a simple literary device like the double entendre can go a long way. Musically, Steel Panther is quite skillful. Their emulation of '80s glam and hard rock is spot-on, but their stupid, sexist, homophobic lyrics certainly don't give this dog a bone. ARIS WALES


SENSORY: JAPPERWOCK, JONAS RAKE, ELECTROSECT, RUDEMENT
(Analog Café, 720 SE Hawthorne) Sensory puts together yet another great lineup of talented electronic musicians, this month featuring Electrosect (Patrick Haenelt) of Seattle. He's been honing his electro-inspired, cavernous dub for many years and his unique amalgam of styles is an intriguing treat for the heads. Haenelt has also been a long-time promoter of dance music events in Seattle and is one of the original members of Decibel Festival's event production team. He's had his hand in the Pacific Northwest's electronic music scene in one way or another for over a decade, capturing its essence and reflecting it through his own unique sound. CHRISTINA BROUSSARD


TODD SNIDER
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Portland is Todd Snider's original backyard. As a sharp satirist and stoner-lite Americana songwriter, his gritty, funny tunes have taken many forms; his between-song monologues are ripe for the page. In Snider's new book, I Never Met a Story I Didn't Like: Mostly True Tall Tales, his trials and tribulations are laid bare in memoir. He'll be thumbing through the book, reading passages, taking questions from the audience, and playing song requests. Snider's voice in his songs is already that of an anguished humorist; his new book is selling like hotcakes, which means he's probably equally as effective with the pen. RYAN J. PRADO


NAILS, IRON LUNG, BONE SICKNESS, SKINFATHER
(Star Theater, 13 NW 6th) With two albums totaling 32 minutes across 10 tracks apiece, Nails aren't much for excess. The hardcore/grindcore wrecking crew didn't mess with the template on album number two, last year's Abandon All Life, which is full of savage beatdowns and chugging metallic hardcore condensed into high concentrations of ugliness. They're joined on this West Coast swing by Iron Lung, a duo with an equal affinity for lean, vitriolic hardcore, and they offer plenty of similarly noisy stuff on their own label, Iron Lung Recordings. Olympia-based crust punks Bone Sickness and the Swedish death metal-loving Skinfather round out the bill. MATTHEW W. SULLIVAN

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