This Week in the Mercury

Friday, May 23, 2014

Tonight in Music: Parquet Court, Mimicking Birds, Tyler the Creator & More

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Fri, May 23, 2014 at 9:54 AM

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Read our article on Parquet Courts.

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) It's tempting to lump Mimicking Birds into the "folk-rock" category, but listening to their great new album Eons, no term could feel less apt. Yes, there are finger-picked acoustic guitars, and songwriter Nate Lacy's songs are given delicate touches, but despite the fluttering banjo strings and dust-dry drum thumps, this is music for the spheres—celestial sounds for the cosmos that exist both within and without. "Bloodlines" is both expansive and restrained, while "Owl Hoots" puts jittering electronics atop a bed of acoustic guitar; the first half of "Acting Your Age" tumbles like a coldwater stream down a mountainside. This is music that quietly beams in glowing gorgeousness; the Portland band has mastered subtlety down to a very fine art. NED LANNAMANN

(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Tyler, the Creator is a young, spindly little iconoclast who just might be more interesting as a thought-leader, designer, humorist, and instigator than he is a rapper. Sure, his jams are tight, all dark and vicious and shit. But his Twitter rants—calling out celebrity poseurs, whipping sheepish followers, and breaking himself back down to size—are just as good. And when he yells about being nothing and that everyone else should just be making shit, too, and that we're all creative and whatever we really think we want is bullshit anyway, well, fuck yeah, get it! And keep not taking drugs, and when mainstream cool comes calling with credit cards, keep subverting their whole jam. We can all learn something from Tyler, who makes and does his own shit. It's inspired and inspiring. So what if I might be happier wearing his designer shorts than spinning his records? ANDREW R TONRY

(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) With a springtime rash of perfect-weather days, Portland can be forgiven for jumping the gun on summer. And now that we've started, why stop? Here's a beach-blanket rock 'n' roll show to kick off the holiday weekend, with Costa Mesa's prolific patio-party rockers the Growlers, Portland surf-rock torchbearers Guantanamo Baywatch, and the righteous snarl of local faves Summer Cannibals. NL

(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) Neko Case and the Dodos are no stranger to each other. A few years back, the San Francisco-based folk-rock duo of Meric Long and Logan Kroeber toured in support of Case's part-time power-pop supergroup, the New Pornographers. After that tour, Case lent her voice to a handful of tracks on the group's 2011 release, No Color. Taking quite a departure from her solo material and New Pornographers tracks, Case's siren voice haunted the background of the album, and that actually proved a good thing. Long's signature, blues-influenced guitar-picking technique has always paired nicely with Kroeber's stormy, rattling percussion. When the two combine, they create a beautiful racket of their own with just a drum set and an acoustic guitar. The band recently finished recording a sixth album, so expect them to break out new songs this time around. CHIPP TERWILLIGER

(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) Christina Perri's breakthrough came in 2010 when her song "Jar of Hearts" was featured on the television show So You Think You Can Dance. If you're a cynical jerk like me, you assume this was all part of an orchestrated plan to make Perri a star, a shameless act of cross-promotion executed by a record label and a TV network from the same multinational conglomerate's family tree. Not true, according to that bastion of veracity, Wikipedia. Apparently, Perri was unsigned at the time, a Philly songstress pursuing a music career who just happened to have a friend in common with the show's choreographer. Friend passed along the song, and the rest is history. Pretty cool! Anyway, Perri is an inoffensive pop star: Her songs are earnest and catchy, the arrangements crescendo with focus-grouped precision, the lyrics are inspirational and relatable. This is red-meat music for America's prime-time viewing audience. BEN SALMON

(Star Theater, 13 NW 6th) Like an archeologist unearthing ancient bones, every once in a while someone digs up an old, forgotten, or skimmed-over band and reveals its influence to the world. Thanks to Southern Lord Records and a who's-who list of musicians like Dave Grohl, Nick Oliveri, and Joey Castillo, '80s Santa Cruz legends Bl'ast have been resuscitated. Their menacing, sneering, classic West Coast hardcore sounds like a much more vicious and technically proficient Black Flag. The band recently released Blood! and The Expression of Power, old recordings newly mixed by Grohl, and now original vocalist Clifford Dinsmore and guitarist Mike Neider have hit the road to support the releases with Oliveri and Castillo filling out the rhythm section. With all the bullshit surrounding the different incarnations of Black Flag lately, Bl'ast is a refreshing alternative for those who want to hear authentic, mean mid-'80s hardcore. ARIS WALES

(Tonic Lounge, 3100 NE Sandy) On display tonight is not just a trio of bands who had sizeable hits in the '80s, but also a look at the fuzzy world of naming rights for bands. Take Gene Loves Jezebel: In the US, they can use that name, but overseas, thanks to a lawsuit between the twin brothers who formed the goth-pop group back in 1980, it must be listed as Michael Aston's Gene Loves Jezebel. The opposite is true for brother Jay's version of the group, which tours the UK regularly. In the case of the two other spotlight acts on the bill, both still go by their original monikers, although Bow Wow Wow and Missing Persons each now feature a single founding member: bassist Leigh Gorman and singer Dale Bozzio, respectively. It's like a stroll down memory lane as viewed through a funhouse mirror! Caveat emptor, music fans. ROBERT HAM


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