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State of Emergency


State of Emergency

Claudia Rankine's Citizen Should Win the National Book Award

Hall Monitor


Hall Monitor

It's Time for the Nuclear Option

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Tonight in Music: Jolie Holland, Arctic Flowers, Dolly Parton Hoot Night & More

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Sat, Jun 14, 2014 at 9:18 AM

(Star Theater, 13 NW 6th) Jolie Holland has been known to kick up her heels in Portland from time to time, but her new album, Wine Dark Sea, makes full use of New York's downtown experimental scene. Guitars drunkenly hum and squeal as drums either buzz subliminally or thump like a loud neighbor. It's a more direct, more dynamic sound for Holland, and it anchors her weightlessly jazzy vocal tendencies, which would sometimes threaten the calico backdrop of her previous, more folk-oriented work. If weirdo blues stomps like "Dark Days" scare off the gentler constituency of her fanbase, ripe country plums like "Route 30" and the shivering R&B in Holland's cover of Joe Tex's classic "The Love You Save"—one of the greatest songs of all time—will surely win them back. NED LANNAMANN

(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) Tonight's show marks the vinyl release of local punk-rock four-piece Arctic Flower's excellent full-length, Weaver. While the album has been on the group's Bandcamp for a few months, tonight's the first chance to get a hold of a physical copy. Released by Canadian label Deranged Records, the music takes on a gothic post-punk sound, but refuses to get dragged down by any brooding as it keeps an up-tempo pace for much of the album. Stan Wright's guitar work and singer Alex Carroccio's vocals pull the space between your ears from one extreme to another while battling for supremacy at the forefront of the mix. Along with plenty of melody, the album also includes Carroccio's cutthroat delivery on "Anamnesis," bringing forth the band's aggressive side and serving notice that Arctic Flowers are unwilling to be cornered by any influence or style for long. CHIPP TERWILLIGER

(Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 NE Alberta) Between the high camp of Dollywood and our 1980s-style fetish for big boobs, it's easy to forget something essential about country icon Dolly Parton. Her delightful music. And at tonight's annual Dolly Parton Hoot Night, a benefit for Siren Nation's annual women's arts festival, a ton of Portland acts are planning to remind us all. Again. DENIS C. THERIAULT

(Slabtown, 1033 NW 16th) Originally scheduled for February but postponed due to snow, the now-annual tradition of Nuggets Night brings together Portland bands to cover the trash rock, proto punk, grungy garage, and psychedelic psychosis of the influential Nuggets compilation albums, which captured the seamier side of '60s rock 'n' roll. The shadow of those indelible tunes grows larger year by year, and tonight, 14 local faves like Blue Skies for Black Hearts, the Zags, the Pynnacles, and many more will rev up the way-back machine. Expect to hear classics by the Chocolate Watchband, the 13th Floor Elevators, the Kingsmen, and loads of others. NED LANNAMANN

(White Owl Social Club, 1305 SE 8th) Kick off Pride with Control Top, a night so packed with rump-shaking opportunities, your butt might drop off. (Call the doctor!) Go crazy to Baltimore hiphop prodigy Rye Rye, while outside on White Owl's patio, the DJs will spin wild jams. Dress to impress... and bring an extra butt, in case of dance emergencies. COURTNEY FERGUSON

(Laughing Horse Books, 12 NE 10th) The cat's out of the bag, everyone: Female musicians are severely underrepresented and seldom taken as seriously as their male counterparts. It's nice to make believe that gender equality in rock 'n' roll has come a long way, but the antediluvian perception persists in male-dominated music culture that a female's role in a rock band is limited to cheerleader/sidekick status (à la Linda McCartney) or the electric bass guitar (which is why I'm pro-Haim, who had the gall to call out critics for constantly pegging them with the "girl band" tag, a condescendingly vague designation). Actually, the majority of worthwhile new artists are all female-fronted acts, speaking both locally (the Ghost Ease, Summer Cannibals, Like a Villain) and nationally (Perfect Pussy, Swearin', Taylor Swift). Currently on its fifth issue, She Shreds is a pretty fantastic Portland-based publication that's dedicated to the exposure of female guitarists and bassists; past subjects include Marnie Stern, Kim Gordon, and La Luz. Tonight's show at Laughing Horse features performances by weirdo-post punks Priests from Washington, DC, the wistful twee of Olympia's Spider and the Webs, and discomforting, frenetic punk from Portland upstarts Love and Caring. MORGAN TROPER

(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) A theme as old as lovers forms the crux of Tom Brosseau's "Cradle Your Device": "You don't pay attention to me the way you used to, and damn the one that's caught your wandering eye." But it's not a romantic rival that has his partner's gaze; it's the glow of a smartphone, throwing a distinctly 21st-century wrench into the familiar formula—it would be funny if so many didn't recognize it as true (okay, it's still pretty funny). The song appears on Grass Punks, the excellent new album from the South Dakota-born, LA-based Brosseau, who's put together an uncommonly good and unabashedly earnest body of work over the past decade. Specializing in simple, unadorned arrangements, Brosseau's music places his unorthodox voice front and center. It's a nasally delivered throwback and an acquired taste for some, but ultimately helps set him apart from the hordes of guitar-playing singer/songwriters. JEREMY PETERSEN

(Alhambra Theatre, 4811 SE Hawthorne) You might find the music of Paul "Sage" Francis at the intersection of a poetry slam and a hiphop show. Though his sound is sometimes frenzied and his beats aren't the most resonant, his words are poetry, creating rich visuals and evocative messages. His verses veer between intensely personal and political, wrapped in a dramatic delivery, transforming hiphop into his own personal genre. Much like his earlier work, Sage's new album Copper Gone is filled with songs that aren't always immediately accessible, with no obvious melody or hook, but his lyrics are so intelligent and complicated that you're compelled to keep listening. ROSE FINN

(Red & Black Café, 400 SE 12th) Portland band Blowout could only come from the Northwest. Following a long tradition of bands whose take on punk comes with a weighted brooding that's particular to this part of the country, Blowout's music is celebratory and heartbreaking in equal measure. Channeling long-forgotten '90s greats like Seattle's Kill Sybil and Portland's Hazel, the group has an almost ethereal dreaminess lingering beneath its straightforward surface. The five songs on their debut EP, We All Float Down Here, are carried by the perfectly understated vocals of Laken Wright, and insist to be played on repeat. JOSHUA JAMES AMBERSON

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