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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Tonight in Music: Mike Sempert, PDX Pop Now!, Au Revoir Simone & More

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Sun, Jul 20, 2014 at 9:14 AM


MIKE SEMPERT
(Rontoms, 600 E Burnside) Read our article on Mike Sempert.


PDX POP NOW!
(AudioCinema, 226 SE Madison) See All-Ages Action!


AU REVOIR SIMONE, DRESSES, THE LOWER 48
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Put together three keyboard-wielding ladies from Brooklyn, and you end up with the swoony, dreamy pop of Au Revoir Simone. (Note: This may not work with just any keyboard-wielding ladies from Brooklyn—as there are probably hundreds. Make sure you get the right three.) Last year's Move in Spectrums was Au Revoir Simone's smartest and sharpest work so far, and their live show is always a delight. NED LANNAMANN


SAY ANYTHING, THE FRONT BOTTOMS, THE SO SO GLOS, YOU BLEW IT
(Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside) Tonight's the second time emo staples Say Anything have performed in Portland in less than a year (not counting Max Bemis' solo performance at the Doug Fir in January). This time, it's on the heels of a new LP entitled Hebrews. Curiously, not a single guitar, electric or otherwise, appears on Hebrews. The rock-band instrumentation has been exchanged for a bevy of horns and strings and other symphonic embellishments, a huge and potentially polarizing departure for the traditionally guitar-centric band. Occasionally, it's an organic-sounding approach ("Kall Me Kubrick," the harpsichord-adorned "My Greatest Fear Is Splendid"), resulting in sort of a mall-core ELO (which is only half-bad). Elsewhere, it's an ill-executed gimmick (pretty much every other song). But oh well: It'll be worth it when they roll out the half stacks for the ...Is A Real Boy encores, at least. MORGAN TROPER


FEVER THE GHOST, MORGAN DELT, SPACE SHARK
(Hawthorne Theatre Lounge, 1507 SE César E. Chávez) Morgan Delt's self-titled album is the kind of record where you hit "play" and—if you're really listening, if you let yourself be carried away by the sound— a half-hour later, you pull off the headphones, rub your eyes, and wonder what just happened. This is psychedelic music of the highest order, created by a mysterious-ish LA pop-broker and released earlier this year by the unimpeachable Trouble in Mind record label out of Chicago. From the frayed, fuzzy guitars and sun-kissed keyboard smears to Delt's breathy (but indelible) melodies, Morgan Delt is a kaleidoscopic masterpiece, not only for its songcraft, but for its authenticity; it doesn't sound like some retrophile's Zombies/Byrds/Nuggets-worshiping period piece, but a genuine artifact pulled out of a Great Lost Psych-Pop-Rock Records of the '60s Time Capsule (which should exist, if it doesn't). It's that weird, and that wonderful. BEN SALMON


SANCTUARY SUNDAY: BEN GLAS, GUMMI, METRONOME
(Lightbar, 1401 SE Morrison) This month's Sanctuary Sunday features three experimental sound artists whose ambient psychedelic music could very well send you down a rabbit hole, where atonal sound waves and exotic pulsations reign supreme. Inspired by the Apollo 11 moon landing—which happened 45 years ago, on July 20, 1969—local DJ and experimental electronic composer Metronome (David Brancheau) will perform an improvised set using modular synthesizers and audio samples from the space mission. Brancheau will be equipped with an array of drum machines, square waves synced up via infrared, and custom modular synth patches to create droney space melodies, reminding you that outer space is closer than you ever imagined. CHRISTINA BROUSSARD


OK GO, MYLES HENDRIK
(Hollywood Theatre, 1507 SE César E. Chávez) When OK Go's breakthrough second record, OK No, was released in the mid-'00s, the group garnered comparisons to Weezer and Fountains of Wayne—which, in hindsight, seems sort of like comparing the Knack to Big Star and the Raspberries. OK Go mined the best aspects of their genuinely nerdy predecessors and, inexplicably, contorted them into something that wouldn't sound out of place blaring in an Abercrombie & Fitch. Nevertheless, the group is an (immensely) guilty pleasure of mine, right up there with Rooney, later-era Oasis, and Brendan Benson. The borderline plagiaristic Cars pastiche "Here It Goes Again" is indisputably catchy, and the song's accompanying music video—with its four Ivy League, hipster-chic-circa-2005 bros dancing on treadmills—is deservingly ranked among the medium's all-time finest moments. MORGAN TROPER

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