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Saturday, May 10, 2014

Tonight in Music: St. Johns Bizarre, Oh Darling, Oregon Symphony & More

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Sat, May 10, 2014 at 10:13 AM


ST. JOHNS BIZARRE: URAL THOMAS AND THE PAIN, AAN, ILLMACULATE, SUMMER CANNIBALS, EDNA VAZQUEZ, RED YARN
(N Lombard & Philadelphia) Holy shit! The St. Johns Bizarre, located in the heart of the quaint and wonderful St. Johns neighborhood, just became Portland's most diverse festival, musically and otherwise. Come for Aan, Summer Cannibals, and Illmaculate; stay for Portland-bred soul legend Ural Thomas and his first all-ages show with his new backing band the Pain (other than You Who!). MORGAN TROPER Also see My, What a Busy Week!


OH DARLING, SEAN FLINN AND THE ROYAL WE, DJ COOKY PARKER
(Secret Society, 116 NE Russell) Portland-originated band Oh Darling returned from a stint in LA in time to release their fourth album, Beauty in Commotion. And it's a guileless pop delight, full of sugar-sweet melodies and alternately propulsive and dreamy beats. The immediate winner is opening track "Runaway," which will make bereft fans of the Sundays happy for the first time since that band quit in 1997. The sunny, strummy tune is a pleasure pill that will surely be licensed by TV and film in no time (if it hasn't been already). "I Feel Right" is even better, juggling a deft, interlocking song structure with perhaps the album's most impassioned performance; its wordless hook is something Nate Ruess could turn into a massive global hit, but there's no way he could make it sound any better than Oh Darling does. The four-piece celebrates Beauty in Commotion's release with a show in the Secret Society's ballroom, just up the stairs from the studio where the album was recorded. NED LANNAMANN


OREGON SYMPHONY: GUSTAV MAHLER'S THE SONG OF THE EARTH
(Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway) If you want to finally check out some live classical music, please stay the fuck away from the Schnitz tonight and Monday. All right, come for the miraculous Haydn symphony that opens up the program, but toddle off after its final movement and carry on with your evening. Stream that new political zombie comedy everyone's talking about. Maybe score a rimjob on Grindr. It's for your own damn good because, after intermission, the stage belongs to music so unusually mind-blowing and so exceptionally heartbreaking that classical greenhorns might not be ready for the shock: A drunken tenor and an otherworldly alto join the band to perform a symphonic song cycle based on Chinese poetry, sung in German, and steeped in existential wanderings so potent, composer Gustav Mahler worried that folks would go home and shoot themselves after hearing his work. I'm willing to take that chance, though—not just because it's been 34 years since the Oregon Symphony's last performance of The Song of the Earth, but because Jessica Sindell on flute and Marty Hébert on oboe promise to be unstoppably brilliant throughout this epic endeavor. Even if the worst-case scenario does come to fruition, the silver lining will be having Mahler's quixotically gorgeous melodies still ringing in my head as I pull the trigger. ANGRY SYMPHONY GUY


SATYRESS, MONICA NELSON AND THE HIGHGATES, VICIOUS PLEASURES
(East End, 203 SE Grand) It looks like there's a few more dark corners in Portland for bands to crawl out of than we realized. As if from some looming, black rain cloud, Satyress materialized suddenly, stormed a few stages, and are already releasing their first full-length, Dark Fortunes. The band plays doom metal the way it should be played, with minimal atmosphere and build-up, measured song lengths and tempos, and catchy, bluesy, groove-laden riffs accompanied by solid solos. All of the elements sit nicely under a bleak and heavy umbrella that's held up by the sultry, sinister vocals of Jamie LaRose. Satyress has certainly hit the ground running and are gaining speed swiftly. ARIS WALES


AND AND AND, OLD LIGHT, XDS
(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) Your crafty, parade-laden Saturday ends in proper Portland fashion, as three of the city's better bands—Old Light, And And And, and XDS— converge in a dank NE Alberta watering hole. Sure, put a bird on some shit. Just don't forget to rock. DIRK VANDERHART

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