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Monday, July 14, 2014

Tonight in Music: Wye Oak, Shelby Earl

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Mon, Jul 14, 2014 at 10:32 AM

(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Baltimore two-piece Wye Oak have reinvented themselves with Shriek, a synth-heavy album created while drummer Andy Stack was living here in Portland. Singer Jenn Wasner ditched her guitar in favor of bass, creating an altogether new sound for her songs, which'll no doubt take on Wye Oak's customary live magnetism. NED LANNAMANN

(Al's Den, 303 SW 12th) One of the more consistently excellent live music options in town is the weekly residency series at Al's Den. It's afforded the opportunity to catch artists as they stretch their creative limbs a bit, playing seven nights in the low-key basement venue that's steeped in (sordid) Portland history. Seattle's Shelby Earl begins her run of performances there tonight, and they'd be can't-miss even if they weren't free. Her Damien Jurado-produced Swift Arrows arrived late last year, boasting a confidence and ease rare in second albums, with songs like the title track and "Grown Up Things" approaching a timeless sound that's even less common. More recently, a version of Michael Jackson's "P.Y.T."—recorded for an episode of Grey's Anatomy this past spring—showed off the kind of adventurous spirit that's helped Earl avoid the familiar trappings of the singer-songwriter. JEREMY PETERSEN


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