An Excerpt from American Savage and a Message All Straight People Need to Hear
SoHiTek Fourth Anniversary with Fanno Creek, Pegasus Dream, DoublePlusGood, Pocketknife; tonight at the Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside, 9 pm, $5.
By all accounts—and judging by the new material played at those very intimate shows she staged last year at Oaks Pioneer Church—About Farewell will contain among Diane's most personal material yet. From the press release:
"It serves as an eloquent goodbye to lovers from years past, coupled with some poignant last walks down memory lane. While the lyrics deal most directly with her recent divorce, the album explores her entire last decade of relationships with tremendous honesty and nuanced insight. To call the experience "cathartic" would almost be an understatement - for Alela, this was a record which direly needed to be made. In the writing process, she was able to lucidly articulate her emotions about her marriage, a process which led her to realize the necessity of ending one chapter of her life in order to begin a new one."
Let's hear that great new song "The Way We Fall" again. In the meantime, Diane will be performing at another local church—this time at a church-turned-150-seat-theater, Portland Playhouse (602 NE Prescott), on Sunday, May 19. It's part of the "No PA" series, back after nearly two years. Yes, this will be a quiet acoustic show, and Diane will share the bill with two artists from the local Mama Bird Recording Co. label, Vikesh Kapoor and Barna Howard. Tickets for that show are available here.
We've been eagerly awaiting Sun Angle's first full-length album Diamond Junk, and hooray, there's a stream of the full album that you can listen to right now. The album, produced by Menonema's Danny Seim, comes out next week on New Moss Records, and captures the trio in all their explosive, brain-liquifying, orgiastic splendor. There's also a new Into the Woods video for album track "Time Snakes," which you can check out above. It involves a house party, animal masks, and a lot of weed. (Are you surprised?)
OUR STORY SO FAR: Michelle Shocked had a concert scheduled for last night, April 25, at the Alberta Rose Theatre. Then she had some sort of meltdown/rant at a show in San Francisco on March 17, during which the formerly gay/currently born-again singer said some really unpleasant anti-gay remarks. She claims she was misconstrued, but the Alberta Rose show—along with several others on her current tour—were promptly cancelled. In its place, the Alberta Rose scheduled a fundraiser for Basic Rights Oregon called BROmance. Then on March 28, Shocked turned up in Santa Cruz outside one of her own cancelled shows, staging a bizarre protest for free speech, wearing a white jumpsuit and with her mouth taped shut. In this week's "My, What a Busy Week!" we sorta joked about her showing up to the cancelled Portland show and protesting here, too.
Well, that's exactly what happened last night. First, a weird tweet that suggested she was on her way to the Rose City:
God loves baguettes @ipadgoober Gnat in the Hat, is there anything else you like to add to that as we arrive at the city limits of Portland?
— Michelle Shocked (@MShocked) April 25, 2013
At KBOO with Daniel and Brino Send us the HARD questions, citizen journalists who rely on their facts from Reality Media bootlegs Til 7P NOW
— Michelle Shocked (@MShocked) April 26, 2013
Shocked was around the corner in white overalls, sparkly Converse shoes, and sitting on a drum, pounding along. In her mouth, attached to a gold beaded necklace, a gold noise maker... Behind her, a handwritten sign said, "A Poet Assumes Silence Speaks Volumes." She had a cameraman with her recording her and her interactions, though most people didn't seem to have any idea what was going on.White's done a great job with the story, so be sure to check out his full account. It's just a weird and sad story—even weirder and sadder than it seems on the surface. Hollywood Reporter did a lengthy, thoughtful piece about Shocked's recent events, suggesting that mental illness might be playing a role. Meanwhile, Shocked is on her way to Seattle right now, and has been composing impenetrable haikus on her Twitter feed.
"So what's your deal?" one woman asked.
Shocked responded by blowing her noisemaker.
The new issue features a cover story on Marnie Stern (who's playing at Mississippi Studios on Friday, April 26—she'll be in next week's Mercury as well). There are also pieces on Mary Timony (Helium/Wild Flag), nine-year-old wunderkind Zoe Thomson, Erin Smith (Bratmobile), and an article on female basses, including Kathy Foster of the Thermals, plus gear reviews and tablature. The new cover also showcases the new She Shreds logo, designed by Natalie Baker.
As for this Friday's release show, there will be live performances by Key Losers, Marisa Anderson, and the Ghost Ease, plus the premiere of a short film that documents LKN (Lauren K. Newman) and Lisa Schonberg performing together for the first time inside a local print shop (I watched it; it rips). There's also a raffle, with prizes including a Corin Tucker tote bag full of Kill Rock Stars goodies, and a guitar with two hours of rehearsal-space time from Guitar Center. Also, free Sizzle Pie from 8-9. All this sounds awesome, and now you know.
Troubadour Studio, 1020 SE Market, Fri April 19, 8 pm-midnight, $5, all ages
File this one under: weird but good.
Here's the NFL Network's commercial for the 2013 NFL Draft, which will take place later this month (April 25-27), and it focuses on the emotions of the players and their families. But what's that eerie, evocative, uplifting music playing underneath? That's "Dry Up Those Tears," the 1972 single from blind Oregon guitarist/songwriter Bob Desper.
That single, and Desper's '74 album New Sounds, were reissued in recent years, bringing Desper back into public view after years of only making music for himself and his church. I wrote a review for New Sounds here, and did an interview with Desper here, and also, here's a few words about the amazing, truly amazing show he did at the Woods in June 2010, with Dolorean's Al James and Jon Neufeld backing him up.
While Desper's profile has certainly been raised in recent years, seeing him soundtrack a commercial is pretty unusual, but maybe not all that surprising: Al James works at Mutt Industries, which created the ad for the NFL Network. You can here all of "Dry Up Those Tears" (really a great song) by going here.
Thanks to Paul Montone for the tip.
Will Johnson, frontman of Centro-matic and South San Gabriel, is playing two shows in Portland this week, only I can't tell you where they are. Johnson is in the midst of his Western States Living Room tour, which takes him to a variety of house shows throughout the Western United States. The tour kicked off in Tucson last week, and Johnson plays Eugene tomorrow night, followed by two Portland shows (in two different houses) on Wednesday, April 17 and Thursday, April 18. To buy tickets—and to find out where these shows are—check out the Undertow Tickets page (Facebook events here). Tickets are $15 and each show can only hold around 35-50 people. I'd wager that Johnson will perform a song or two from his 2009 collaborative album with the recently passed Jason Molina, and will probably share a story or two about the man. The chance to see Johnson perform in a club is not an opportunity to pass lightly; the chance to see him in a Portland living room is downright unmissable. Just don't spill any red wine on the carpet.
More info about these shows here. You can also hear Johnson's latest solo album, Scorpion, on Soundcloud. Also, after the jump is the video for Centro-matic's "Only in My Double Mind" from their last album Candidate Waltz, simply because that song is awesome.
In related news, you are old.
But to soften the blow to those aching creaky joints of yours, there's the annual Make It Pop! benefit concert, a show to raise money for the free music festival and the associated nonprofit. This year as always, Make It Pop! takes place at the Cleaners at the Ace Hotel, so mark your calendar for Thursday, May 9, as the lineup is a good one. This year's performers are Kelli Schaefer, Monarques, Grandparents, Ezza Rose, and DJ Jeremy Petersen, and they'll also announce the tracklist for the 2013 PDX Pop Now! compilation album.
Tickets are $20 and there's also (via the press release) "complimentary hors d'oeuvres from Olympic Provisions, Fifty Licks, Saint Cupcake, and ¿Por Que No?, along with beverages for purchase from 10 Barrel Brewing Company and Division Winemaking Company." There's also a raffle ($5/ticket) and the general sense of well-being that comes from supporting a great local institution like PDX Pop Now.
Manos: The Hand of Fate opens this Thursday, April 11, and Blitzen Trapper fans will want to take note: The band's drummer, Brian Adrian Koch, is the production's director and adapted the 1966 film to the stage. He's also one of the stars of the production, which takes the silly camp classic—once spoofed by Mystery Science Theater 3000—and turns it into a stage comedy, not unlike recent translations of Road House, The Lost Boys, and Weekend at Bernie's. (However, this adaptation of Manosn first premiered all the way back in 2006, predating the current wave of bad-movies-reinvented-as-hilarious-Portland-theater.) The show's humor shouldn't come as a surprise to those who've seen Koch perform (like in this tour promo video for the band Poor Moon).
That's not the only Blitzen Trapper connection. The house band is made up of three musicians, one of which is BT frontman Eric Earley. The band is rounded out by two other local heavy-hitters—Kevin Robinson of Viva Voce and Charlie Hester of the Parson Red Heads.
Since Manos sounds hilarious in its own right, the fact that a bunch of great local musicians are part of it is just the tip of the icing... or the cherry on the icing... or chopped nuts? Or something. Anyway, the damn thing's an iceberg sundae. More info and tickets over on Capital I Production's website.
We've loved Hausu for many moons. It was announced this week that the Portland band has signed with Seattle label Hardly Art, known for excellent, at times challenging work. This is a match made in rock 'n' roll heaven.
Hausu's debut full-length Total—that's the front cover above—will come out June 25, and the lead track "Leaning Mess") is available for your ears right this second. Featuring the band's unmatched blend of post-punk, regular punk, punk-pop, post-hardcore, and... ugh, sorry. Just typing that made me hate myself. Let me put it this way: Hausu fucking kicks ass, and so does this song. It's noisy and sweet and weird and heavy and light, all at once. I can't wait for the whole album, which was recorded here in town at YU Contemporary (where Dirty Projectors recorded the now-legendary Bitte Orca) with Naomi Punk collaborator Dylan Wall.
Hausu kick off a nationwide tour on June 5 with a show at Mississippi Studios. You'll be hearing more about them from us, without a doubt. (You can also check out "Leaning Mess" on YouTube.)
The predictions were for the show to take place at the Crystal, but now it's confirmed:
When the venue opened its doors in 1913, it was a movie house called the Alhambra. It changed its name to the Mt. Tabor Theater along the way—this photo from 1980 shows its incarnation as a soft-porn theater—before becoming a music venue. Over the past 10 years or so, Mt. Tabor has switched ownership and management a few times, including stints as Sabala's and the Mt. Tabor Legacy. Now the current owners are giving it an overhaul, evoking the theater's original incarnation.
Mt. Tabor/Alhambra director of advertising Chase Varga tells us, "We are renovating the theater in phases starting with the entryway, hallway and bathrooms. In phase one, small touches will also be done to the Lounge and Concert Hall while awaiting phase two, which will be a full remodel of both rooms. We are striving to bring the theater back to its original glory in decor, technology, hospitality, and entertainment. Through extensive digging we have found photos of the old theater and have been pulling everything we can to rebuild what time took away."
The change won't affect the upcoming Bridgetown Comedy Festival in April, but the grand reopening of the Alhambra will be celebrated with a five-day-long May Day Music Festival, with an impressive lineup of talent. Here's the bill, with additional acts to be announced:
Wed May 1—Red FangTickets for the May Day Music Festival go on sale tomorrow through the venue's new website (now live). Apart from the May 2 show which is free, all days are $15-20, and a full festival pass is $50.
Thurs May 2—Eleven Magazine/Deli Magazine FREE showcase featuring: Glassbones, Catherine Feeny, Sama Dams, Pheasant, Summer Cannibals, Jolliff
Fri May 3—Black Prairie, Hook and Anchor
Sat May 4—Y La Bamba, the Lower 48
Sun May 5—Sage Francis, Prolyphic
At Yoshi's San Francisco on Sunday night, singer Michelle Shocked pretty much shocked her audience by saying, among other things, "God hates fags and you can tweet that I said so." This came about halfway through the show, in the middle of a rant against gay marriage, tweeted James Patterson, who was at the show. Something like two-thirds of the crowd walked out.Shocked, who has perhaps identified as gay in the past (source), is allegedly a born-again Christian now and also reportedly said, "I live in fear that the world will be destroyed if gays are allowed to marry.” Further info about the incident is at the Bay Area Reporter.
Earlier this afternoon, the Alberta Rose Theatre announced the Shocked date was not happening, stating on Facebook: "Michelle Shocked concert on April 25th has been CANCELED! Thank you for your feedback & support." I've asked the Alberta Rose if there is an official statement about the show's cancellation and will update if I hear back.
UPDATE: Statement from Alberta Rose owner Joe Cawley:
We are deeply saddened by today's news regarding Michelle Shocked, but our decision to cancel her show was an easy one to make. We are in the planning stages of turning this unfortunate situation into something useful and positive for our community. Please stay tuned for a special benefit concert for Basic Rights Oregon on April 25th at The Alberta Rose Theatre.
Highlights of this year's fest, which takes place April 10-21 at venues throughout Portland, include the already announced Ghostface Killah show at Mississippi Studios, the Lee Fields/Lady show at the Star Theater, Dam Funk also at the Star, local emcee Sapient (not sure what night he's playing), and the return of Soul'd Out mainstays like Dr. Lonnie Smith and Midnite. Check out all the shows, and peep the fest poster after the jump!
Ghostface Killah w/ Live Band: Mississippi Studios - 4/10
Jesse Cook: Aladdin Theater – 4/10
Anuhea: Doug Fir – 4/10
Dam Funk w/ Starship Connection: Star Theater – 4/10
SpaceGhostPurrp: Peter's Room – 4/10
Future: Roseland Theater – 4/11
Snarky Puppy w/ Afromassive: Dante's – 4/12
Holmes Brothers: Mississippi Studios – 4/13
Just People: Dante's – 4/13
Booker T. Jones + Charlie Hunter: Dante's – 4/14
A Tribe Called Red w/ Dj Anjali & The Incredible Kid: Holocene – 4/16
Mimosa w/ Modestep: Roseland Theater – 4/16
Wheeler Brothers: Mississippi Studios – 4/17
Medeski, Martin & Wood: Roseland Theater – 4/18
Nahko & Medicine For The People, Paula Fuga & Mike Love and Worth: Star Theater – 4/18
Petunia & The Vipers: Mississippi Studios – 4/18
Lee Fields & The Expressions, Lady: Star Theater - 4/19
Midnite: Roseland Theater – 4/20
Los Amigos Invisibles: Star Theater – 4/20
Random Rab: Refuge – 4/20
Dr. Lonnie Smith: Star Theater – 4/21
Lee "Scratch" Perry: Refuge – 4/21
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