- Rob Cullivan
- Portland Tribune - Features
Eye in the Sky
Portland electro trip-hoppers Oracle, featuring vocalist Orianna Herrman and guitarist Michael Herrman, are debuting some new songs during this show. The siblings have been jamming with electronic engineer and producer, Keith Schreiner, who's worked with Dahlia, Sheryl Crow, Suckapunch and Auditory Sculpture, among others. The group is reportedly going in a more poppy direction, away from the low-key sound for which they've become known. Orianna - who you may have seen pop up in the TV series 'Leverage' - has one of the more distinct voices in town, a full-range set of pipes that can whisper sweet-nothings in your ear, then utter mournful cries of realization.
Oracle, Natasha Kmeto, DoublePlusGood, 9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 11, Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E. Burnside St. $7. Info: 503-231-WOOD, dougfirlounge.com.
Portland's Joe Powers can play everything from blues to tango, and is one of the finest chromatic harmonica players on this planet. He's teaming up with Japan's top tango pianist, Naoko Aoki from Tokyo, for a not-to-be-missed music and dance concert. Power's fluid style on the chromatic brings to mind Larry Adler or Toots Theilmans, two other masters of the instrument whose versatility rivaled, and often exceeded, the musicianship of those who accompanied them. Meanwhile, Aoki is a stellar tickler of the ivories, playing the piano with the finesse of a harpist strumming strings.
Tango Passion, featuring Joe Powers, Naoko Aoki, Alex Krebs, 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 13, The Old Church, 1422 S.W. 11th Ave. $20 in advance, $25 at the door; $15 in advance for students and seniors. Info: 503-224-0328, pan musica.net.
Groove times three
Trio Flux consists of guitarist and composer Neil Mattson of the James Gregg Quintet, bassist Julio Appling of jam-grassers The Student Loan and drummer Adam Oschborn. Fans of cats from Wes Montgomery to Pat Metheny will enjoy the trio's easy-on-the-ears compositions, which contain both deceptively simple melodies, complex improvisations and interweaving musical thoughts and conversations, but little chatter and no argument. The group's performance is part of on ongoing Sunday night series of fine jazz, world beat and other genres at the Crow Bar.
Trio Flux, 9 to 11 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 13, The Crow Bar, 3954 N. Mississippi Ave. Free, 21 and older. Info: 503-280-7099.
Really big show
If you dig epic Orange County rockers Young the Giant, but were unable to score tickets to their sold-out show at the Crystal Ballroom, fear not - you can see them for free at this in-store performance. Taking a page from The Killers, Young the Giant likes to write 'em big - shimmering chords, high-register vocals, pounding drum lines, and pretty decent lyrics to boot. They're also not afraid to take some chances, dabbling in doo-wop, Caribbean and techno sounds here and there. If they stick together, they might just be asked to play halftime at the Super Bowl, and won't need Usher to save them.
Young the Giant, 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 19, Music Millennium, 3158 E. Burnside St. Free, all ages. Info: 503-231-8926.
Mason Smith's Eastside Bluegrass Series features bluegrass and traditional American music every third Saturday of the month. The second season kicks off with a great show featuring The Stumptown Stars, including the 2008 National Yodeling Champion Larry Wilder and Andy Emert, winner of the 38-to- 58 age category of the 2010 National Fiddling Championships. The Martin Brothers will perform a brief set followed by the Fern Hill Bluegrass Band, an acoustic quintet from Rainer whose sound is strongly influenced by the classic bluegrass bands of the 1950s and '60s.