- Rob Cullivan
- Portland Tribune - Features
Wear only your most outrageous Halloween costume to Vagabond Opera's fifth annual Transylvanian Voodoo Ball, and CD release party. The ridiculously talented VO will share the show with Russian party band Chervona, belly dancer Rachel Brice, fire artist Amy Hotfield and dance revue the Dolly Pops. To give you an idea of what VO sounds like, just play your favorite opera, klezmer, Gypsy and Kurt Weill records all in a row. Or better yet, throw down some money for their fourth album 'Sing For Your Lives!', the title track of which showcases VO's musicianship par excellence and storytelling as well.
Vagabond Opera, Rachel Brice, Amy Hotfield, Dolly Pops, 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29, The Star Theater, 13 N.W. Sixth Ave. $15 in advance, $20 at the door. 21 and older. Info: 503-248-4700, www.vagabondopera.com/Halloween.
Orchestral maneuvers for a lark
Speaking of epic music, if you love epic rock you'll find plenty at this show, headlined by Atlanta's Manchester Orchestra. These melodic Georgia boys write pretty nifty arrangements and have already penned decent epic rock tunes like this year's 'Simple Math.' Meanwhile, Austin's White Denim wants to reinvent rock 'n' roll, drawing on punk and psychedelic rock to blues and soul. They like their repetitive riffs, their primal drumbeats and sounding like good ol' fashioned joy. Next up, Rhode Island's The Dear Hunter should be writing Broadway musicals, so help us Andrew Lloyd Weber. Finally, San Diego man-woman duo Little Hurricane mine blues, rock and old timey music to create a new take on some old forms. Overall, this is a show of BELIEVERS, so check your smirk at the door and just let the spirits take you.
Manchester Orchestra, White Denim, The Dear Hunger, Little Hurricane, 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29, Wonder Ballroom, 128 N.E. Russell St. $16.50 in advance. $20 day of show. All ages. Info: 503-284-8686, www.wonderballroom.com.
One night a certain Tribune music writer of Irish descent stumbled into a local pub and heard Portland's Pass the Whiskey, which features David Ross on vocals and rhythm guitar, Steven Lillegard on lead guitar, and Dylan May on bass. Said writer was pleasantly surprised by their Irish music, which featured a number of obscure ballads only someone familiar with the Emerald Isle's tortured history could understand. But don't mistake this band for a bunch of history-spouting bores, there's a reason they're named for a drink - they like their screaming solos and speedy jams and present a warm, high energy show, whether they play originals or songs by Flogging Molly and Woody Guthrie.
Pass the Whiskey, 9 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 30, Kells, 112 S.W. Second Ave. Free. Info: 503-227-4057, www.kellsirish.com.
Hawaiian-bred, Santa Barbara-based reggae pop rockers Iration like their reggae laid back, or, in their own words 'lei'd back.' The band features Kai Rediske on vocals and percussion, Joe Dickens on drums, Adam Taylor on bass, Cayson Peterson on keyboards, Micah Pueschel on guitar and vocals and King on dub controls. The clean-sounding sextet concentrate on melody, easily understood lyrics, and simple, infectious rhythm, and compete head to head with pop writers for can't-get-out-of-your-head songs.
Iration, Tomorrows Bad Seeds, Through the Roots, 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 30, Hawthorne Theatre, 3862 S.E. Hawthorne Blvd. $13 in advance, $15 day of show. All ages. Info: 503-233-7100, www.hawthornetheater.com.