This Week in the Mercury

Sold Out

Columns

Sold Out

Content 2014


Get a Rip

Music

Get a Rip

No Rest for Ex Hex



Thursday, July 10, 2014

Tonight in Music: Portland Cello Project, Small Skies, the Fresh and Onlys & More

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Thu, Jul 10, 2014 at 11:57 AM


SUNDOWN AT ECOTRUST: PORTLAND CELLO PROJECT
(Jean Vollum Natural Capital Center, 721 NW 9th) Ecotrust kicks off a series of four free summer sundown concerts tonight with an "all-ages dance party" from the popular Portland Cello Project. The PCP's similar "extreme" dance parties are known to sell out quickly (shows on Friday and Saturday at Doug Fir are already full), so here's your chance to skip the scalper's punishing gouge. DIRK VANDERHART


SMALL SKIES, FOREIGN ORANGE, AMENTA ABIOTO
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Benjamin Tyler used to record under the name Stepkid, but he's morphed that project into the new Small Skies, enlisting the spontaneous contributions of friends to offset his carefully crafted, electronic-based sonic panoramas. Small Skies' intriguing debut album (self-titled) juxtaposes dark, coiled synths with booming, crashing live drums, and the results are both invigorating and ominous. For every joyous pop summit like "So Long," there's the wobbling, claustrophobic "New Home," and Tyler often overruns his melodies with echo, creating an indistinct, erased quality with his voice. What remains perfectly in focus is Tyler's piercing vision, and he injects a surprising amount of emotion into the abstractions on Small Skies, giving the record a gravity that's impossible to discount. NED LANNAMANN


THE FRESH AND ONLYS, THE SHILOHS, OLD LIGHT
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) You may've already heard the Fresh and Onlys. When the long-lost-then-found Rodriguez (subject of the Oscar-winning documentary Searching for Sugar Man) returned to the stage, the Fresh and Onlys, a four-piece garage band from San Francisco, backed him up. "The Fresh and Onlys are a very cultured band," Rodriguez told me in 2012. "They have kind of a caliber, a high caliber of performance—and also in their demeanor." That's high praise from a man of such demonstrated character and no-bullshit bona fides. To be sure, supporting Rodriguez did not make the Fresh and Onlys, it emphasized their past excellence. But at the same time it's almost impossible that getting so close to Rodriguez and performing his songs night-in, night-out didn't affect the Onlys, whose House of Spirits, released last month, is smoky, groovy, gritty, and marvelously played. Though likely much more, the Onlys must've at least learned from Rodriguez the blessing of humility, if not that the cosmos maintains, at best, a cruel sense of timing and justice. ANDREW R TONRY


THE RUGS, EVAN WAY, BARNA HOWARD, SAMSEL AND THE SKIRT
(White Eagle, 836 N Russell) If you haven't acquainted yourself with the Mama Bird Recording Co., you should probably do so with haste. The Portland-based micro-label is reviving the purest folk-heart with new voices, including that of Portland-via-Missouri balladeer Barna Howard. There's a strong John Prine sonic resemblance, but there's also something purely Howard's own that comes across in his live shows that's stark, pure, and the best side of folk. Speaking of throwbacks, Californian '60s revivalists the Rugs are joining the bill as well, with strong melodies, full-band sing-along harmonies, and luscious guitar solos. Samsel and the Skirt will be there, too, bringing the smooth country heat. ROBIN BACIOR


LATE NIGHT SLEEP TV, ERMINE, QUACKHAMMER, SAME SELF
(The Know, 2026 NE Alberta) Reclusive Portland synth pop project Late Night Sleep TV comes out of hiding for tonight's benefit show. With a good sense of humor and a penchant for power pop and '80s goth, Late Night Sleep TV manages to be both ecstatic and brooding. It's more of a tribute to synth music of bygone eras than a parody, but it could be read either way and still sound good. Opening the night is the tape-loop experimentation of Albuquerque's Ermine and the electric ukulele of Quackhammer. The unifying thread of tonight's line-up is the Portland Zine Symposium: The show is one of its kick-off events, and all tonight's artists are long-running, respected zinesters who are tabling at this weekend's gathering. JOSHUA JAMES AMBERSON

Comments (0)

Subscribe to this thread:

Comments are closed.

All contents © Index Newspapers, LLC

115 SW Ash St. Suite 600
Portland, OR 97204

Contact Info | Privacy Policy | Production Guidelines | Terms of Use | Takedown Policy