Did you know that La Carreta has a private upstairs banquet hall? It does! And on Friday, January 3, it's gonna hold a one-of-a-kind rock 'n' roll show. The Mercury is co-hosting a very special, very awesome benefit for Sisters of the Road, featuring music by the Pynnacles, Eyelids, and a micro-set by Hutch Harris of the Thermals. If you don't know, the Pynnacles are the band of veterans that hearken back to the rough-and-tumble days of garage rock in the mid-'60s, doing so with authenticity and boundless energy; they're fronted, of course, by the legendary Sean Croghan. And Eyelids' ranks include John Moen (the Decemberists, Black Prairie), Chris Slusarenko (Guided by Voices), and Jonathan Drews (Sunset Valley); their debut single comes out in February. Lastly, Hutch Harris is... well, Hutch needs no introduction.
Tickets for the 2014 La Carreta Meltdown just went on sale this morning, and since the banquet hall is pretty teensy (only 80 advance tickets are available), you'll want to jump on it right now. Go here for tickets, and don't dilly-dally.
So yeah—a rock show in La Carreta, for an absolutely terrific cause. It's the best way to kick off the New Year.
The 2014 La Carreta Meltdown w/the Pynnacles, Eyelids, and Hutch Harris; La Carreta, 4534 SE McLoughlin, Fri Jan 3, $15 advance, tickets here
They tackle songs of Peggy Lee, Nick Lowe, Irma Thomas, Tom Waits, Roger Miller, Lee Hazlewood, and lots more, not always picking the most obvious songs, but finding secret gems with real heart and magic. Take a listen to a couple tracks, including Michael Hurley's "In the Garden" and the Kinks' "I Am Free."Jealous Butcher is releasing it on vinyl, in a limited edition of 100 with handmade covers, on November 1. That night, the band is playing what is likely to be their only show with the lineup that appears on the album—the record release show takes place at the Alberta Rose Theatre, and the album's producer, Adam Selzer, will also perform at the show in an unconventional way.
Selzer recently wrote a graphic novel based on his experience touring as a solo acoustic opening act for a band in Germany back in 2003, which he shortly discovered was a Christian rock band. Ami Go Home, illustrated by Nick Choban, is an experience of the sometimes comical mismatch, and Selzer will read from it as pages are projected, also performing the music as it occurs in the story. This also seems like a fine time to mention that Selzer's former band, Norfolk & Western, is performing a reunion gig at the Doug Fir on Wednesday, November 27 with a full lineup of Selzer, Rachel Blumberg, Peter Broderick, Dave Depper, Amanda Lawrence, and Cory Gray. That is going to be excellent.
Shelley Short and the Sure Shots w/Adam Selzer, Michael Hurley; Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 NE Alberta, Fri Nov 1, 8 pm, $12, tickets
Even the names of the conspirators sound blatantly like a gang of thieves and heartbreakers: There's Nigel Bubblesworth and Amora Pooley sharing the vocals; there's Hillstomp bucket-man Johnny Mao turning tricks on the bass; a guitarist named Justin Thorpe—okay, that could be legit, although sources indicated another ne'er-do-well by the name of Jesse Decker played on the recordings—and a drummer who goes by the alias Stony Buttons. (Sources indicate he's one Chris Hutton, probably using an alter ego to avoid Johnny Law). They have a brand new 10-inch vinyl EP called Now, But Not NOW Now, and we shall post the music here as a public service to show you what you need to look out for. Carefully observe these slambang garage nuggets and glittery gems in the comfort of your workplace or home computer, and learn their tricks so that you can avoid being seduced out in the real world.
Still, if you are going to remain heedless to these warnings, Now, But Not NOW Now is on local label Fluff & Gravy, which will no doubt soon be shut down and be seized in the criminal investigation that will ensue from the EP's release. We have a tip that Hong Kong Banana themselves will be present at a "release show"—some sort of degenerate bacchanal, no doubt—taking place tomorrow night, Friday, October 18, at the Analog Cafe (720 SE Hawthorne), during which they'll practice their criminal art alongside sinister-sounding gangs the Verner Pantons and Sharks from Mars. We'll alert the authorities.
The Mercury's first-ever Chili Jamboree is coming October 6 to Mississippi Studios, filling your Sunday with beans, meat, spice, and great country music. Be sure to get your tickets now before it's too late, and check out all the event deets right here. In the meantime, let's get to know each of the fantastic bands playing this Sunday.
LUCERO—For 15 years, these Memphis boys have made a spine-tingling amalgam of Southern music: lonesome country, fist-pumping rock, Big Star pop, and hardscrabble Dixie punk. Their most recent album Women & Work displays overt gospel and soul influences, while keeping alive the tradition of alt-country's magnificent songwriting. While their lyrics betray literary references, their live shows are beer-spattered things of legend—Lucero knows that a functioning soul needs some wild catharsis alongside those more subdued moments of contemplation.
STURGILL SIMPSON—Kentucky native Sturgill Simpson was an indisputable highlight of this year's Pickathon festival, and his debut album High Top Mountain is one of the best things to come out of Nashville in decades. Echoing outlaws of the past—Waylon, Willie, Johnny, Lefty—but able to cast his own shadow, Simpson has quickly earned a reputation as one of the saviors of country music. There's nothing backward-gazing or reactionary about his music; rather, Simpson keeps a keen eye out for the truth and doesn't waste a single instant on the bullcrap. "Life ain't fair and the world is mean," he sings, but with music like Simpson's, it's obvious that things can't be all bad.
Learn about Daniel Romano, Shelby Earl, and Mission Spotlight after the jump!
And now, a visual representation of how this Sunday's first-ever Chili Jamboree will make you feel:
Chili from celebrity chefs, country music from the nation's best acts, and general good times for all four arms of your body. Need further persuasion? Here's the lowdown:
The Portland Mercury has teamed up with Mississippi Studios, Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Nicky USA to bring you the first annual CHILI JAMBOREE!That right there in the video is the Chili Belt itself, and I'm of the opinion that no greater prize can be awarded to a human being. It'll go to one of these incredible local chefs and their chili: Jonathan Berube (Radar), Jason French (Ned Ludd), Alton Garcia (Broder), Rick Gencarelli (Lardo PDX), Tynan Gibson & Charlie Phillip (Tasty & Sons), Gregory Gourdet (Departure), Rodney Muirhead (Podnah's Pit), BJ Smith (Smokehouse 21), Johanna Ware (Smallwares), Justin Woodward (Castagna). Don't forget there's also pie from Mary Casaneve Sheridan of the Honey Pot!
We're bringing together spicy, savory, slow-cooked chili from Portland's best celebrity chefs, and adding a full deck of boot-scootin' country bands—and we mean the GOOD kind of country—for a party your mouth and ears won't ever forget. Taste 'em all, then vote for the chili champ, who'll be awarded the first-ever, highly coveted Chili Belt.
But there's more to do than stuff your face. There's also gonna be really great music from Lucero, Sturgill Simpson, Daniel Romano, Shelby Earl, and Mission Spotlight. I've been spending the past couple weeks listening to these guys and can happily vouch for every single one of 'em—really terrific stuff, the perfect soundtrack for stuffing your face with chili and booze. It all goes down this Sunday, October 6 at 2 pm at Mississippi Studios, but you'd better get your tickets now (buy 'em here). See you there, chilifriends.
Special thanks to Mike Wilson for the awesome video!
That's not all: The good people at Mississippi Studios put together an amazing bill of country music to go with the event, headlined by Lucero and also featuring Sturgill Simpson (my pick for best new discovery at this year's Pickathon), and performances by Daniel Romano, Shelby Earl, and Mission Spotlight out on the Bar Bar patio. Good lord, this is going to be amazing. And if chili's not your thing, Lucero's gonna play a second special late show as well after the cookoff.
Tickets are on sale here, so scoop some up before the pot is empty. And just check out that beautiful bronze belt buckle, made by the talented folks at Studio Acorn. Click the jump for a look at the buckle's other side.
Chili Jamboree, Sun Oct 6, 2-9 pm (additional late show with Lucero at 10 pm), $20-30, 21+, tickets here
The cyborg known as Janelle Monáe is releasing her album The Electric Lady tomorrow, but you can listen to that crazy shit right now—it's streaming over here. Um guys, it's awesome. Go and get an earful. Her sophomore album is a gigantic, arching playground for Monáe's hyper-creative, epic songs/stories, which blast from R&B to dance to emotive ballads to hiphop (and is that Prince, I hear?!). She continues her ongoing dystopian soundscapes about a world where persecuted cyborgs and music revolutionaries are hunted, loved, and empowered through ass-shaking funk. Through the haze of her futuristic rock operas, I think one aspect of her big-idea music gets overlooked: She kills it. Monáe's a dance-powered freak machine with interstellar pipes, and even without buying into her carefully constructed world she's going to make you move that junk. But added bonus: If you take the plunge and dive into her constructs, she'll make your mind—not just your feet—go blammo. She may be a tiny pompadoured fireplug, but her albums are huge weird sci-fi monsters built to enslave measly human brains. Pitchfork has a great cover story right now about her Wondaland artsy commune with its dance parties, teepee think tanks, and legion of rug-cutting art kids, not to mention Monáe's ambitious origin story.
Janelle Monáe plays the Roseland on October 29. Hone those moves.
Next week, Thursday through Saturday, KEXP is bringing a dozen great bands into the cool, dark Doug Fir basement to play daytime shows. These sets are totally free—you don't even need a MFNW wristband—and provide a great opportunity to see some really good music before you get blackout drunk at the FIDLAR/Mean Jeans show and have to spend the rest of the weekend in bed. (Don't lie! You know you're gonna.) Check out the bands they've got lined up:
Thursday, September 5A chance to see (among many others) Titus Andronicus, Sonny and the Sunsets, and Chvrches for free? Yes please. Again, these are totally free shows and are open to all ages. The Doug Fir holds around 300; attendance is first come, first served.
12:30 pm—The Baseball Project
Friday, September 6
10:30 am—The Shivas
12:30 pm—Washed Out
2:30 pm—Beat Connection
4:30 pm—The Love Language
Saturday, September 7
1:30 pm—The Dodos
3:00 pm—The Thermals
4:30 pm—Sonny and the Sunsets
You'll be stuck at work? Cheer up, Charlie; you can listen to the performances on KEXP through the magic of computers.
Silent Disco is coming! Wait—how can a dance party be silent?
In a “silent disco” you'll dance to DJs via wireless radio signals transmitted to headphones you receive upon arrival. The idea was born from European clubs, where dense population and noise pollution complaints made headphones a permanent feature of some party venues—but guess what? They also found out it was super fun!In other words, it's the dance party where you can talk to your friends or get those digits from that special someone without getting blown away by the DJ. Tickets just went on sale, and they'll go fast; go over here to get 'em. It's a Friday the 13th dance party under the stars, and since all the music is inside your headphones, it'll go straight into the wee hours!
Headphones allow you to adjust your own volume or you can remove them to easily speak with other partiers. Each headset also has two channels so you can switch between them and shake it down to either of the DJs spinning that night including DJ Beyondadoubt, DJ TJ, plus two special guests. But perhaps the best part of all, when a popular song comes on the entire crowd starts singing the words together and that's when you realize that Silent Disco is a fun and sweaty one-of-a-kind experience.
Silent Disco, Hotel deLuxe Parking Structure Rooftop, SW 15th & Yamhill, Fri Sept 13, 10 pm-3 am, $20-25
We tapped some of the city's brightest culinary lights to create their best, meanest competitive chili. Like who, you say? Oh just badasses such as Radar's Jonathan Berube, Ned Ludd's Jason French, Broder/Savoy's Alton Garcia, Lardo's Rick Gencarelli, Tasty & Sons' Tynan Gibson & Charlie Phillip, Departure's Gregory Gourdet, Podnah's Pit's Rodney Muirhead, Smokehouse 21's BJ Smith, Smallware's Johanna Ware, and Castagna's Justin Woodward. The best chili—and the inaugural winner of the Chili Belt—will be determined by you after busting a gut sampling each and every submission.
But that's not all! The chili sampling will be soundtracked by an ass kicking roster of country bands headline by Lucero (!) including Sturgill Simpson, Daniel Romano, Shelby Earl, and Mission Spotlight. Tickets for this are gonna fly, and they just went on sale, so get yours quick, and don't forget to pack the joint with your homies and stay up on Chili Jamboree developments via FB.
Friday, Aug 16—Firkin Tavern (9 pm, FREE)
Hustle And Drone, Souvenir Driver
Saturday, Aug 17—PALS Street Fair at SE 8th & Caruthers (2-10 pm, FREE, all ages, 21+ BYOB)
Fanno Creek, A Happy Death, Bubble Cats, Tiger House, Pony Village, Talkative, De La Warr, Just Lions, L'anarachiste
Sunday, Aug 18—Firkin Tavern (9 pm, FREE)
Bevelers, Eye Level Eye
Monday, Aug 19—The Know (9 pm, $5)
Sun Angle, Bad Weather California, Sauna
Tuesday, Aug 20—Bunk Bar (9 pm, $3)
Tango Alpha Tango, Eidolons, Sama Dams
Wednesday, Aug 21—The Blue Monk (9 pm, FREE)
Old Age, Cambrian Explosion, Noble Firs
Thursday, Aug 22—Kelly's Olympian (9 pm, FREE)
Animal Eyes, Alameda, The Underscore Orkestra
Levi's is pimping their new bike-friendly Commuter line with a national tour of free local music showcases paired with also-free bike tune-ups/simple repairs/washing/valet, and tailoring, and the Portland stop is coming right the hell up on Tuesday at the Wonder Ballroom.
Whether or not you're interested in "performance fabric, functional details, and uncompromised style," the lineup is hella decent, and worth undergoing a little corporate soft sell: Pure Bathing Culture, Onuinu, and Magic Mouth will take the stage around 8, while the "bike shop" will be open from 5-9 pm. (Like I said, it's free, but you are supposed to RSVP/probably sign up for Levi's spam here.)
Hate reading? Let the video explain:
Goblin—yes, THE Goblin, the Italian progressive rock band that soundtracked all those great horror films like Dario Argento's Suspiria, George Romero's Dawn of the Dead and more—is playing their first Portland show in over four decades of existence. They play the Hawthorne Theatre on Saturday, October 19 as part of a national tour. This post on the Progressive Ears forum has more information about the tour, including the current lineup of the band and what they'll be playing. They have a new EP of newly recorded versions of older songs that they'll be hawking on this tour as well, and HOLY SHIT GOBLIN IS PLAYING YOU GUYS.
Looks like Halloween's coming a couple weeks early this year.
h/t to our pals over at Line Out.
He recommends it!
(Note: I agree with Carson about Zirakzigil. They are fun.)
UPDATE: As Carson has indicated in the comments, his name on the bill is leftover and he is not performing at this show; the Know has confirmed this and WW has updated their listing as well. Meanwhile, Zirakzigil play fun instrumental Tolkien metal and their new tape is super cool and it comes in a case that looks like an old NES game and if you went to this show you would have a good time. The end.
Here's the cool part: MercPerks is selling half-price passes for the music portion only—for those not participating in the race—so you can see all these bands for 20 measly bucks. (Ordinarily, festival-only passes are $40.) So hop over to MercPerks and score.
[Caveat: I'd be remiss if I didn't also mention that PDX Pop Now!, Portland's terrific, all-ages, totally free music fest is happening the exact same weekend. That's where I'll be. Although I suppose I could check out PDX Pop Now! on Saturday until close, and then hop over to 8 Track Relay around 2 am to watch the bands playing 8 Track's overnight slot, until PDX Pop Now! kicks off again around noon the next day. That is logistically possible, and probably insane, and I doubt I'll actually do it. Check back tomorrow for the lineup for this year's PDX Pop Now!]
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