Famous rodents predicting a short winter, lots of shows
As the days get longer (especially in the Pacific Northwest), the music community is starting to provide lots of choices in the near future for some great live entertainment. Sasquatch Festival tickets went on sale today, signaling that many of the bands slated to play there in late May might swing through smaller venues on the West Coast, starting tonight.
Wake Owl – February 8th (Bunk Bar). This small and intimate show with the band comprised of a Portlander and a fellow from Montreal will serve as a nice warm-up for their Sasquatch gig. If you appreciate edgy folk (influenced by hip-hop sensibilities….sounds like my thing, actually) you should check it out.
Mark Kozelek – February 9th (Aladdin Theater). The SF based-man who might be responsible (for better or worse) for the “slo-core” genre visits our working-class town to (presumably) play tunes from his vast catalog of Red House Painters and Sun Kil Moon music.
John Wesley Harding – February 13th (Aladdin Theater). This benefit show is already sold out, but if you can find a way, try to get in. Lots of locals will be helping the well-traveled Harding showcase his unique brand of folky troubadorism, and showmanship – all to help the Children’s Cancer Association.
Ruby Suns – February 15th (Doug Fir). This New Zealand based (though supposedly Scandinavian transplanted) artist is sure to satisfy the electronic-world-pop fans with melodies and sounds galore.
Deer Tracks/Magic Wands – Tuesday, February 19th (Mississippi Studios). Here’s a chance to really get your “folktronica” groove on, with some folks who’ve got it down.
Camper Van Beethoven – Saturday, February 23rd (Mississippi Studios). Here’s where David Lowery (Cracker) and others started – and you can check them out in a tiny place.
Kishi Bashi/Shogu Tokumaru – Sunday, February 24th (Holocene). KB, Japanese by way of Georgia has already established himself as a musical/commercial force to reckon with (having toured/played with Of Montreal, among others). The expert violinist, and multi-instrumentalist, will team up with opener Tokumaru – unharnessed Japanese pop whirlwind. You may not get a chance to see either of these two in as intimate venue ever again.
Toro Y Moi, Sinkane – Thursday, February 28th (Wonder Ballroom). Another rare treat of a double-bill, two studio wizards meld electronics, catchy beats and hook-laden songcraft to expert effect.
Richard Buckner – Friday, March 8th (Doug Fir). Troubadour, gifted songwriter plays (with fellow roots musicians the Maldives), in support his 2011 gem, Our Blood.
Foxygen – Sunday, March 24th (Holocene). Delight in the heartfelt paisley pop of these 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace and Magic (per press release). Begin spring break on a musical high!
Low – Friday, April 5th (Mississippi Studios). Legendary Duluth, Minnesota band plays tiny venue. This could be a real treat.
Johnny Marr – Tuesday, April 16th (Aladdin Theater). Arguably one of the most accomplished guitar players of the modern era (founding member of The Smiths, recorded with Talking Heads, and Portland’s Modest Mouse, among many others), SLP admits to ignorance regarding Marr’s own “solo” output – he will soon release his solo album, “The Messenger”.
*This Brit is an honorary Portlander through-and-through, however: aside from his work recording with MM in Southeast PDX, and as a member/producer of The Cribs (who relocated from Marr’s Manchester home to Portland), Marr was also nearly a member of Manchester City’s futbol club (got that, Soccer City USA?). Lastly, he appeared on an episode of season 2 of Portlandia…trying to reclaim his bicycle.
Bat For Lashes – Wednesday April 17th, (Wonder Ballroom). Smells Like Pop had the privilege of seeing the gifted young Brit Natasha Khan at the Doug Fir; she has more than enough talent, and now three full albums worth of materials, to wow a crowd at the Wonder.
Unknown Mortal Orchestra , Wampire– Friday, April 5th (Aladdin Theater). Touring on the heals of their well received debut, and now their solid sophomore effort, II, these Portlanders (by way of New Zealand) will try to show that they are more than studio wizards, channeling everything from the quirky pop of the Plastic Ono Band to the sloppy-funk of Shuggie Otis.
There are plenty of artists (Tame Impala @ Crystal Ballroom, etc.) who have already announced pre-Sasquatch gigs – but some of these are big venue shows that SLP isn’t terribly excited about. We’ll keep you posted if we here anything else, or change our minds.