- Rob Cullivan
- Portland Tribune - Features
Vengeance is mine, sayeth The Edge
In the 1980s, it wasn't clear they were going to last beyond the 1980s, but that decade's musical ideas apparently soaked the brains of children born then and since, causing them to grow and create dozens of modern rock bands featuring Edge-like guitar effects; earnest soaring vocals; no-frills drumbeats and synth-pop arrangements that owe less to blues and country wailing than they do to classical layering. Three such rock bands share this bill: She Wants Revenge, a very capable and cinematic band out of the San Fernando Valley; The Californian, who mix in some old-fashioned surf with their new waves, so to speak; and Portland's own Black Mercies, who sport some pretty impressive vocal harmonies and competent melodramatic and epic arrangements.
She Wants Revenge, The Californian, Black Mercies, 9 p.m. Friday, March 25, Dante's, 350 W. Burnside St. $20 in advance, $25 at the door. Info: 503-226-6630, danteslive.com.
Holy Sons, Batman!
Emil Amos' Holy Sons' 'Survivalist Tales,' which came out last fall, is an ode to the dime novels in the early 1900s that peddled the stories of wilderness explorers, roaming vigilantes and eccentric gold miners as a metaphor for the record being a re-counting of near-death adventures. That's par for the course for the experimentalist Amos who has been recording Holy Sons' records since 1992, with their sonic wanderings and strange song structures. Holy Sons joins the riveting folk-country popsters Dolorean as well as the experimental atmospheric and ghostly blues-tinged Castanets for a wonderful evening of Portland weirdness meeting American wayfarers. You know, the kind of music that got Congress to look at pulling NPR's funding.
Castanets, Holy Sons, Dolorean, 9 p.m. Saturday, March 26, Mississippi Studios, 3939 N. Mississippi St. $10. Info:503-288-3895, mississippistudios.com.
Groove Gumbo Super Band draws on music from south of the border to north of the Baltic to create its jazz-funk-salsa-Nordic stew. Anchored by Claes Brondal on drums, the New York-based band is an ongoing collaborative effort of several players and will feature Portland jammers Joe Sorce on saxophone and flute, Ben Gardiner on guitar and Garrett Jelesma on upright bass.
Groove Gumbo Super Band, 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 29, Blue Monk, 3341 S.E. Belmont St. $3 to $7 sliding scale. Info: 503-595-0575, thebluemonk.com.
Yee ha, ha
She'll be comin' 'round the mountain all right, with a wagonload of guitars, harmonies and primal drumbeat, all played by Ha Ha Tonka. These Ozark Americana-meets-punk-rock boys live somewhere between Wilco and Kings of Leon, playing like guilt-ridden hicks too sinful to go back to church but too kind to burn it down despite the fact the preacher threw them out. In other words, they're what real rock 'n' roll is, a middle ground between heaven and hell where saints stop crying and sinners stop laughing long enough to jam together before they go back to their mutually exclusive pursuits of happiness.
Ha Ha Tonka, Hoots and Hellmouth, Kasey Anderson, 9 p.m. Tuesday, March 29, Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E. Burnside St. $8 in advance, $10 day of show. Info: 503-231-9663, dougfirlounge.com.
Ain't no fools
Portland's Klickitat features Sean DeGregorio on guitar, Alan Krassowski on bass, Rhonda Piasecki on drums and Josh Lava on keyboard. The group just released its live album, 'Year of the Tiger,' and combines the jamminess of the Grateful Dead, the funkiness of Tower of Power and the tastiness of Pat Metheny for an appealing stew of jazz, rock and fusion. They're made more for a summer outdoor festival than an indoor bar gig, but given how little sunshine we've had as of late, it's probably not a bad idea to disco down and check out the show.
Klickitat, 9 p.m. Friday, April 1, Twilight Room, 5242 N. Lombard St. Free. Info: 503-283-5091, myspace.com/thetwilightroom.