Thursday, June 3, 2010

Ben Meyercord's Live Music Picks for Thursday, June 3rd

Hello Dear Readers,

Last night I went to The Ella Street Social Club (what's up Chris) and saw a pretty darn good show. Problems opened the show and actually sounded different than what I recall them sounding like. Then came the always impressive The Sarcastic Dharma Society. I think that this was the best that I had ever seen them (it is a duo comprised of Mat Vuksinich and Padriac Finbar Haggerty-Hammond). These two are always rearranging and fine tuning their songs. The songs are usually I don't know...sad. But they also seem to be very honest and I find myself relating to them and I would be surprised if others did not relate as well. Then came the out of town act. That act took forever to set up and then did not really deliver. They tried to engage the audience and often fell a bit flat. I try to talk trash too much, but it was difficult not to last night. It was worth the wait for Like a Villain though. Holland played wonderfully. This was my second time to see her and I feel her looped clarinet and glockenspiel tunes are super good. I think that you will hear about her in the near future. Anyway, there are a lot of good looking shows today. See:

Holocene is having the the PDX Pop Now! CD release show. They have Deelay Ceelay, The Angry Orts, Tope, and The Great Mundane. I love PDX Pop Now! And really, what is not to love? They give us one of the best music festivals in Portland every year. For FREE and they make sure it is ALL AGES. And do the near impossible task of making sure that the line up includes well known and not so well known Portland artists. While in all probability there is a chance that your favorite Portland musician is not playing, I can promise you that if you go you will find out about a band that you like that you did not know existed. Tonight you can get the CD which has the same effect of showcasing a nice mixture of known and unknown Portland artists for FREE (assuming you pay to get in). Yeah they are throwing in a copy of the CD for all of those who come out tonight. Score. Plus Deelay Ceelay are an experience that I feel you should at least try out. Assuming you like smoke machines video projections and an awful lot of dancing. The Angry Orts are a female led Indie rock band. I saw them play at Rontoms last year and they got the usually pretty static crowd to dance. Impressive. Tope is an emcee that has started to appear on my radar. He has a pretty midtempo flow and has really cool production from the tracks that I have heard. The show is $10 (I repeat: includes a copy of the CD). The doors are open at 8:30 PM.

Aladdin Theater is having Live Wire! tonight with musical guests John Roderick (the guy from Seattle's The Long Winters and Dirty Mittens. Live Wire! is a variety show that is pretty fun and often times funny. In addition to the musical acts there is puppet show or something. Oh and Dirty Mittens are pretty great. Their perfect mix of indie pop and soulful vocals is a winning combination. Plus they have two sax players. Two of them!. Sounds pretty promising, right? The show is $15-$30. The ALL AGES show starts at 7:30 PM.

The Woods is having a show with On The Stairs, Sara Jackson-Holman, and Team Evil. I just saw On The Stairs for the first time the other day. I really liked what I heard. He played a set of all new material last time. Though he just put out his full length in April. Some people are just prolific like that. All the new songs were pretty cool. Especially this soul song he had. Hopefully he has his brass section for tonight. They add a lot. It reminds me of Van Morrison a little bit. I just read this paragraph regarding Sara Jackson-Holman, ""I had seen Blind Pilot and fell in love with their music," explains Jackson-Holman. "I wrote on their Myspace wall. It was a typical fan post, telling them I loved their music and asking if they were planning to come back through anytime soon. Their label (McNamer), was looking through their comments one day, randomly clicked on my picture, heard my music, and wrote me asking if I had a demo CD." She was signed soon after that." That kinda blows my mind. Team Evil is another project for Skyler Norwood who is best known as a Point Juncture, WA member. This is a bit different but just as good in this guy's humble opinion. The show is $7 and starts at 9 PM.

Branx is having a Stankhouse Records showcase with Big Black Cloud, Purple Rhinestone Eagle, Hornet Leg, Tiny Knives, Don Hellions, and Dragging an Ox Through Water. If you have read this blog before you will recognize many of these band names. I am especially fond of Don Hellions and Dragging an Ox Through Water. Don Hellions somewhat remind me of The Walkmen. Perhaps the prominent use of organ. Maybe the ways the vocals are crooned out. Either way, I think you should check them out. Dragging an Ox Through water plays highly experimental music juxtaposed with folk music. It is not for everyone. But I think it is really cool. The way the noise breaks through the songs in really unexpected ways. The show is $5 and starts at 9 PM.

The Know is having a show with Orca Team, Best Friends Forever (Minnesota), and Sex Hair. I really need to see Orca Team. I really need to get their tape. I have long talked up this band without seeing them. They know how to write incredibly catchy pop songs. They do so through a somewhat lo-fi neo surf rock lens. I love it. BFF also tend to craft very catchy lo-fi indie pop gems. They are from Minneapolis so you should catch them while you can. The show is FREE and starts at 8 PM.

Dunes is having a show with The Constellation Branch (Phoenix), Mama Sunshine, The Jezebel Spirit, and Grananda. The Constellation band is a rock band. To me they sound like they might be fans of...Oh I don't know, The Mars Volta. Which is to say that their music is pretty progressive and has really high vocals. Not a bad thing. They are playing with Mama Sunshine which is a band that I have been meaning to see for quite some time. It is led by Elliott King. He used to play quieter more Elliott Smith influenced numbers. Some time over the last couple of years he turned very positive and started singing sunnier numbers and put together a nice band. The songs are very poppy and have a lot of melodic "hooks". The Jezebel Spirit is an awesome instrumental post-rock band that do their BroFam Collective proud. They only have two tacks up on their myspace page but they are an awesome mix of influences including traditional instrumental bands and math rock sensibilities. AristeiA played a show with them way back. They are constantly getting better. The show is probably FREE and starts at 9 PM.

Ella Street Social Club is having a show with Dead Peasant, Rozendal, and Sweet Williams Ghost. I think that Dead Peasant might be pretty cool. I just listened to their song "The death of Anna". It features some pretty cool guitar work. Rozendal is the songs of Brian Rozedal. He has a lineup that includes a female bassist (who also adds some backing vocals), a lap steel payer and drums. Basically I am jealous of that kinda instrumentation. I feel like I have heard of Sweet Williams Ghost before. But I have not seen them before. From what I have heard it it seems to be some really nice folk tunes centered around the male/female vocals of Dean Gorman and Ali Ippolito. Also there is some pretty tasteful Dobro/lap steel in this band as well. The show is $5 and starts at 9 PM.

If you see me at any of these shows please say, "Hi". That would be pretty nice of you.


The Jezebel Spirit are playing tonight at Dunes. Kinda like in this video.

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