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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Tonight in Music: Dawn of Midi, King Buzzo, the Menzingers & More

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Wed, Jun 18, 2014 at 4:55 PM

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Read our article on Dawn of Midi.

(Hawthorne Theatre, 1507 SE César E. Chávez) It's long past due for Buzz Osborne to go soft, so if you heard he's put out an acoustic record after more than three decades of fronting sludge-metal titans the Melvins, you'd be forgiven for thinking the time for King Buzzo to mellow had finally arrived. But take away the distortion and subtract Dale Crover's pulverizing drums, and you've got the basic template for This Machine Kills Artists, King Buzzo's first solo record. The riffing here isn't a huge departure from the Melvins, other than some busier strumming here and there, and Osborne definitely hasn't penned any ballads. I don't think this is what people had in mind when they used to toss around the phrase "freak folk," but it's a pretty freaky folk record. MATTHEW W. SULLIVAN Also see My, What a Busy Week!

(Branx, 320 SE 2nd) Perhaps the less you know about the Menzingers, the better. Ignore the cookie-cutter suburban upbringing, the ghosts of rude boys past rattling in their closets (specifically, a ska band unforgivably named Bob and the Sagets), or how the Philadelphia quartet somehow emerged unscathed from the murky, heavily chummed depths of modern emo. Instead, all you need to hear is this year's Rented World, a spectacular rock 'n' roll recording from a young band that's just hitting its stride. While you can check off the usual symptoms on display—youthful malaise ("Bad Things"), crippling anxiety ("Transient Love"), a willingness to not be an asshole anymore ("I Don't Want to Be an Asshole Anymore")—the Menzingers have rightfully tended to the emotional hemorrhaging of previous recordings, pushing them light years beyond their peers. This newfound maturity suits them quite well, and it's more than enough to overlook whatever lurks in their past. EZRA ACE CARAEFF Also see All-Ages Action!

(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) There are no rules or taboos in extreme music. You can basically do, say, or play whatever you want—as long as it's loud, and guaranteed to furrow the brow of any squares who don't have the ear for it. Portland's Contempt combines elements of crust, melodic death, black metal, atmospheric doom, and grind to create a ripping tornado that has nothing but scorn for pigeonholes. Despite the subgenre soup that Contempt cooks, they do have one element that's consistent from track to track: complete and total confidence. As the band jumps from genre to genre, whether they splice acoustic interludes into emotional, 12-minute epics or rip through tremolo riffage and growling terror, they know exactly what they're doing, and have the talent to execute it. ARIS WALES

(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) The 2013 documentary Muscle Shoals, which profiled the Allman Brothers and Lynyrd Skynyrd alongside an array of R&B legends, served as a reminder that Southern rock emerged more as a mix of races and cultures—black and white, church and juke joint—than Confederate flags and the other markers of hate and ignorance that have tarnished its rep over the years. So, Birmingham-bred quartet Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires have their work cut out for them. Fortunately, the new Tim Kerr-produced album Dereconstructed proves they're the ideal outfit to spur some serious reconsideration. With potent lyrics about social injustice and the weight of history, these Sub Pop signees infuse their rock with punk and protest, a surefire recipe for an incendiary live show. KATHY FENNESSY

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