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Friday, July 11, 2014

Tonight in Music: Drunk Dad, Amen Dunes, Childbirth & More

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Fri, Jul 11, 2014 at 12:05 PM


DRUNK DAD, HEALTH PROBLEMS, HONDURAN, BIG BLACK CLOUD, TYRANTS
(Information Warehouse, 411 SE 6th) At long last, here is the Drunk Dad album Ripper Killer, released July 1 on the unfuckwithable Eolian Empire imprint. Can the Portland blast masters sustain their particularly nihilistic brand of speed-sludge-noise over the course of a full-length? Unquestionably so. While a small amount of intestinal fortitude is required to make your way through the not-to-be-listened-to-lightly Ripper Killer, it's a fascinating, involving record that measures its bleakness with a truly intelligent approach to noise. And its bottomless wellspring of energy is a kick in the ass. Drunk Dad are one of Portland's most pulverizing live bands, and there are four other brutal bands on the bill, so ramp up those expectations: This show's going to be insane. NED LANNAMANN


AMEN DUNES, AXXA/ABRAXAS
(Bunk Bar, 1028 SE Water) Damon McMahon's third album under the name Amen Dunes is by far his most accessible and put-together. Whereas McMahon's first two full-lengths—2009's DIA and 2011's Through Donkey Jaw—were mostly sparse affairs, made swiftly and solitarily, the new one, simply called Love, is relatively lush, featuring playing by longtime collaborators as well as members of Godspeed You! Black Emperor. (McMahon recorded Love in Montreal.) Old-school fans may long for Amen Dunes' more spartan days, but the luxuries of time and outside assistance help anchor McMahon's floaty, faraway folk songs and bring his resonant, drawn-out melodies into focus. The result is bewitching without sacrificing peculiarity. Songwriters get dragged out of the lo-fi lowlands all the time; if the songs are strong enough—Darnielle, Malkmus, Elliott Smith, etc.—they'll translate with a little sheen. McMahon's are strong enough. BEN SALMON


COCKEYE, LOVE AND CARING, CHILDBIRTH, LISA PRANK
(The Foggy Notion, 3416 N Lombard) I'm a sucker for almost any witty name given to a music project. That said, it's pretty infrequent for the sound behind such a name to be worth mentioning, and even rarer for the music to actually relate to the clever wordplay at hand. Enter Lisa Prank, the alias of recent Seattle transplant Robin Edwards. Armed with a guitar and a drum machine, Edwards' debut cassette, Crush on the World, completely owns her self-described "Trapper Keeper pop punk" style. The tape is five tracks of lo-fi, bubblegum-shaded cuddle-core, with sentimental lyrics that would feel right at home scrawled out in milky pen and folded into the neon pockets of a three-ring binder. Making the trek down I-5 along with Edwards is the Seattle-based punk-rock supergroup, Childbirth. Featuring members of Tacocat, Pony Time, and Chastity Belt, the trio embody a playful, yet vital gender-bias, targeting attitude within amusing and vivacious anthems. CHIPP TERWILLIGER


50: A POSSIBLE HISTORY OF DANCE MUSIC, 1964-2014: DJ COOKY PARKER, DJ GREGARIOUS
(Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison) DJ Cooky Parker had the Eagles Lodge clutched in the needle-sharp talons of groove on New Year's Eve, when he spun his take on the last 50 years of dance music. So it's fantastic news that Parker and DJ Gregarious are bringing the concept back tonight, with 50: A Possible History of Dance Music, 1964-2014. Highly recommended. DIRK VANDERHART


TIKI KON KICKOFF PARTY: SATAN'S PILGRIMS, LUSHY, DJ DREW GROOVE
(Star Theater, 13 NW 6th) The annual Tiki Kon is a weekend-long festival celebrating everything Polynesian kitsch—including pig roasting, pool swimming, but mostly fancy cocktail drinking. And it all starts tonight at the Tiki Kon Kickoff Party, starring surf rock legends Satan's Pilgrims, Seattle's Lushy, burlesque by Meghan Mayhem and Tana the Tattooed Lady... and tropical cocktails, of course! WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY


KITTEN CRISIS, AMY BRUCE SPACESHOW, THE BRICKS
(Slabtown, 1033 NW 16th) As a "critic," I feel like it's my responsibility to get this out of the way: Kitten Crisis is a movingly bad band name. This is coming from somebody with a very low sensitivity to stupidity. (I was once in a band called the Moving Pictures. Please do not Google us.) There are plenty of good bands with cringe-inducing names (e.g., Radiohead, the Beatles), and Illinois-based Kitten Crisis is one of them. Their latest release, the appropriately titled Summer 2014 Demo, is four tracks in less than eight minutes, and it's roundly irresistible—in particular the unbearably cute, Tiger Trap-ish "Vegan Love Song," to which I can totally relate even though I love eating animals. So hey, Kitten Crisis, keep doing what you're doing, but you might want to consider changing your name—just don't take any suggestions from me. MORGAN TROPER


SARA JACKSON-HOLMAN, HOLIDAY FRIENDS, SWANSEA
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Portland singer/songwriter Sara Jackson-Holman follows up 2012's Cardiology with a brighter, brasher sound with her new River Queen EP. Those melancholy, meditative piano chords are still in play on songs like "Feel It Now" and "Keep Score," but they're augmented by danceable radio-ready electro beats on "Push Back" and "Hurricane." The result is a slightly schizophrenic listen, as the EP's three dance jams are alternated with its three piano ballads, but Jackson-Holman pulls off both approaches with aplomb, and River Queen contains some of her best work to date, particularly on the slower songs, which achieve gracefulness while side-stepping any potentially maudlin qualities. NED LANNAMANN

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