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Saturday, May 17, 2014

Tonight in Music: TURN DOWN FOR WHAT!!! and some other stuff

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Sat, May 17, 2014 at 9:38 AM


THE PYNNACLES, THE CRY, RAF MOD BAND
(Dante's, 350 W Burnside) You might think you already know the Pynnacles' bag. The Portland band celebrates and embodies the retro garage-rock sound of the mid-'60s—specifically, "the '65-'68 Top 40/Garage/Psych sound," according to their latest 7-inch—with a fervent devotion to tradition. But the Pynnacles are not a museum piece; they're a powerhouse live band ignited by Sean Croghan's legendary vocal cords, blasting out rock 'n' roll with passion and relevance. The Pynnacles' formidable live capabilities don't necessarily translate ideally to wax, something the band might be aware of on their new record. Rather than try to cram their live fire into its rotating grooves, they've devoted both sides to covers of a Pomona, California, band called the Deepest Blue. It's a wise and perhaps scholarly choice, and the 7-inch includes a detailed history of the obscure group, with plenty of photos. NED LANNAMANN


ICE BALLOONS, BABES, STILL CAVES, GRAPEFRUIT
(High Water Mark, 6800 NE MLK) I've never been in charge of running a bar or venue myself, but I'd imagine that a savvy management team will typically do everything in its power to avoid inviting flies into the premises. Brand-new Northeast Portland venue High Water Mark Lounge goes the opposite direction tonight, as they play host to Brooklyn-based noise rock band Ice Balloons. Fronted by a half-man, half-fly and backed by psychedelic visuals, the group's live shows become small spectacles, all while the band dumps layers of whirling synth and fuzzy noise on top of a catchy, driving garage-rock foundation. Ice Balloons boast members from a handful of other acts, including TV on the Radio's Kyp Malone, and with a strong self-titled debut that strikes a balance between truly bizarre and headbang-worthy, welcoming an insect like this should actually prove a shrewd move for the new venue. CHIPP TERWILLIGER


LIL JON (DJ SET), SIDESTEP
(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) TURN DOWN FOR WHAT!!!!


STEELHORSE, ONE FROM MANY
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) The last time Bon Jovi came to Portland was in 2006. I was fucking there, and it was glorious, but 2006—2006—was a long time ago. Too long. So thank the rock gods for Bon Jovi tribute band Steelhorse, who, tonight, will light up the Doug Fir's stage in a blaze of glory for all of us who've been keeping the faith. ERIK HENRIKSEN


KYLE GASS BAND, DOUGLAS COUNTY DAUGHTERS, BRAD PARSONS
(Alhambra Theatre, 4811 SE Hawthorne) With the disbandment of the excellent Trainwreck in 2010, Kyle Gass found himself with some more downtime while his other half in the uber-popular Tenacious D gallivanted off to star in Hollywood films. Solution? Form a ridiculously tight band and slap his famous name on it. The Kyle Gass Band, then, falls in line with the satirical, fantastical, whimsical scope of the D and Trainwreck, fronted by Band of Bigfoot guitarist Mike Bray and filled out by longtime Tenacious D electric guitarist John Konesky. The similarities are palpable between all three projects, but Gass’ regimen of riffage is notable regardless of the tongue-in-cheek content of the tunes. The band’s macho façade is backed up by ball-breaking rock, as found on “Manchild” from the group’s self-titled debut. RYAN J. PRADO


VASTUM, DIOCLETIAN, GRAVEHILL, DEAD CONSPIRACY, CEMETERY LUST
(Tonic Lounge, 3100 NE Sandy) Most popular modern death metal is locked into a style that consists of blinding technicality, buzz-saw blast beats, and riffs that sound like a swarm of insects. While creating chaos certainly plays a role in extreme metal, there's something to be said about hook and simplicity when it comes to brutality. Letting the music breathe is just as important to heavy music as it is to jazz. Last year San Francisco's Vastum released Patricidal Lust, the band's second full-length since their inception in 2009. With Lust, Vastum have penned a trudging, oozing masterpiece of brutalization. The weight of the record thickens the air as it goes from one murky riff to the next, and the crawling speeds have a paralyzing quality. The decipherable yet ghastly voice of guitarist Leila Abdul-Rauf and the gurgling sludge of Daniel Butler's co-vocals only add to every grievous moment on the record. Vastum has evoked pure sonic terror, and it's scary good. ARIS WALES


COMM, KAYLEE ROB, BLOODY PANDA
(Kenton Club, 2025 N Kilpatrick) One of the best releases to come out of Portland last year was Electric iLL's Twisted Light EP, a concise and enjoyable set of future-retro electro-soul that mostly flew under the radar. Kevin Robinson and Ragen Fykes were the duo behind it, and while Fykes has gone on to join Ural Thomas and the Pain, Robinson has continued on a divergent musical path since the disbanding of his two long-time acts (Viva Voce and Blue Giant). He's collaborated with Papi Fimbres (in King Tarahumara) and Paulo Zappoli (AKA Pall Jenkins), and moonlighted as drummer for the Dandy Warhols. Lately, Robinson has arrived upon Kaylee Rob as a solo alter ego of sorts. Early live returns suggest a complete reinvention, with a destination set somewhere near the stratosphere—here's the first of a few chances over the next month to catch him along the way. JEREMY PETERSEN


SAINT VITUS, MOS GENERATOR, SONS OF HUNS
(Branx, 320 SE 2nd) One of the bedrock bands of doom metal, Saint Vitus didn't hit their stride until the mid '80s and early '90s. While thrash and the nascent death metal and grindcore of the day were often testing land-speed records, Vitus delivered three classics of plodding, bluesy, groove-oriented metal in Born Too Late, Mournful Cries, and V. Not that there isn't plenty to enjoy on their other records (with singers Scott Reagers or Chritus Linderson), but it's those with Obsessed/Spirit Caravan frontman Scott "Wino" Weinrich that resonate best. So when Saint Vitus released its first album in 17 years (2012's Lillie: F-25), the fact that Wino was once again behind the mic made it all the sweeter. MATTHEW W. SULLIVAN


BATHS, YOUNG FATHERS
(Rotture, 315 SE 3rd) Tonight's bill features two sides of the same coin, if that coin is murky electronic beats. The headliner is Baths, AKA Will Wiesenfeld, a Southern Californian whose 2013 album Obsidian is a nifty little headphone world where porcelain falsetto vocals swirl around the bloodless thud of cuddly lap-pop. The result is something like a less gregarious Passion Pit, or a more precious, helium-soaked Postal Service. Opening is Young Fathers, an experimental Scottish trio that made a splash over the past few years with two mixtapes that showcased a lo-fi, left-of-center take on hiphop. Their new album, Dead, delivers on that, immersing the group's raps and R&B into a deep well of glitchy fuzz. Young Fathers' boom-bap is intimate, dark, and not for the claustrophobic. If nothing else, roll to this show to hear what tastemaking alt-rap label Anticon is into these days. BEN SALMON


MARRIAGE + CANCER, THE NUMERATORS, LOST CITIES
(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) Like a Merry Pranksters acid party with the Hell's Angels, the Numerators mix silly and sinister in equal measure with unchecked abandon. Their songs build garage grooves under a blanket of reverb-drenched howls and slithering drawls. It's demented rhythm and blues, it's party rock gone wrong, and there's no better venue for it than the glory of the Know, where bands can let their inherent wildness hang out. And there's no better companion for the Brooklyn (by way of Lubbock) trio than Portland's own Marriage + Cancer, who'll headline tonight's tour kickoff with their unique brand of ominously infectious post-punk. JOSHUA JAMES AMBERSON


IS/IS, DANDYLIONS, PSYCHOMAGIC
(Club 21, 2035 NE Glisan) I've always been a big fan of the Land of 10,000 Lakes, and between the Replacements announcing an appearance at this year's Bumbershoot and me catching up on the fantastic Fargo TV series, this past week has had me feeling even more Minnesota than usual. I've also been introduced to the psychedelic rock trio Is/Is, who recently relocated to Portland by way of Minneapolis. The move reunites guitarist Sarah Rose and bassist Sarah Nienaber with the group's original drummer Mara Appel, and the band has brought their tumultuous, yet soothing new self-titled release along with them. The eight-song album channels the sounds of early '90s shoegaze and dream pop particularly well, and it hits a fantastic stride as it heads into its back half, with "Gleam" and "Shine Down" bleeding some sweet, melodic vocals into the mix of heavy reverb and piercing feedback. CHIPP TERWILLIGER

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