- Rob Cullivan
- Portland Tribune - Features
As anyone who has traveled Cambodia knows, there's a number of haunting female Khmer singers there who love Western pop and combine the two styles in any number of clubs in Phnom Penh and elsewhere. The six-member L.A. based Dengue Fever has bridged East and West by combining melodies and approach of such singers with rock 'n' roll psychedelia. Creating a sort of B-52s meets the Mekong Delta hybrid is singer Chhom Nimol, keyboardist Ethan Holtzman, guitarist-singer Zac Holtzman, bassist Senon Williams, Paul drummer Paul Smith and saxophonist David Ralicke. It's a little goofy, often spacey, romantically innocent and definitely danceable, kind of like garage rock with a lot of soul and heart. If you open yourself up to it, it can lead your ears to some of the grooviest aural experiences you'll have on this globe.
Dengue Fever, Maus Haus, Niayh, 9 p.m. Friday, April 22, Dante's, 350 W. Burnside St. $13. Info: 503-226-6630, danteslive.com.
Off and stunning
Off! is a hardcore music lover's supergroup. Vocalist Keith Morris fronted Black Flag and Circle Jerks, guitarist Dmitri Coats did his time with Burning Brides, bassist Steven McDonald thundered with Redd Kross and drummer Mario Rubalcaba pounded the skins with Earthless, Hot Snakes and Rocket From The Crypt. Taking advice from the ghost of Johnny Ramone, who hated long songs, the band's debut album features 16 punk songs in 18 minutes. It's bands like this that make America a place still worth defending.
Off!, Mikey and The Mistakes, Mean Jeans, Blood Beach, 9 p.m. Saturday, April 23, East End, 203 Grand Ave. $11. Info: eastendpdx.com.
Eye thought so
Portland's The Ocular Concern is made up of Dan Duval on guitar, Andrew Oliver on keyboard, and Stephen Pancerev on drums. Oliver and Duval have been playing together for over five years in many configurations, most notably the Andrew Oliver Sextet, and Duval has been active in numerous groups as well, including his own sextet as well with Ben Darwish's Commotion and composing for the Portland Jazz Composers' Ensemble, and other activities. The trio is releasing their eponymous debut EP and will be joined by Portland's Pachi Pamwe (Shona for 'Together Again') featuring Eric Miller and Matt Gordon, who use mbira - Zimbabwean thumb piano - and acoustic guitar to create hypnotizing melodic interplays. This show should appeal not just to jazz lovers but to lovers of eclectic sounds, including the roots music of jam bands, Afro-influenced and Arabic groups and anybody who ever broke out of the confines of Western musical tempos.
The Ocular Concern, Pachi Pamwe, 9 p.m. Saturday, April 23, The Blue Monk, 3341 S.E. Belmont St. $5. Info: 503-595-0575, thebluemonk.com.
A grand evening
You like piano? How about 10 GRAND PIANOS?! That's right, Portland pianist/composer Michael Allen Harrison is presenting 10 pianists playing simultaneously on one stage, banging out classical, jazz and modern music. In addition to Harrison, the concert will also feature Tom Grant, Antonio Lecomte, David Lanz, Janice Scroggins, Michael Kaeshammer, Barbara Roberts, Naoko Aoki, JJ Guo, and Raouel Diaz. Hometown harmonica hero Joe Powers, one of the world's leading chromatic tango players, will join pianist/former NFL player Joey Harrington to fill out the bill. Proceeds benefit the Snowman Foundation, which funds music programs, projects, and scholarships for schools, nonprofits and community organizations in Oregon and Washington.
Ten Grand Pianos, Joey Harrington, Joe Powers, 7 p.m. Saturday, April 23, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 S.W. Broadway. $31.25 to $94.50. Info: 503-248-5335, pcpa.com.
Dana Fuchs - who played Sadie in the Beatles-themed 'Across the Universe' - looks a bit like a female Robert Plant in his younger golden god days, and sings like a deeper voiced Melissa Etheridge. But she's not just a pretty face with a nice set of pipes, she's a serious student of soul, blues, gospel and rock 'n' roll and brings grit and guts to her show and music. After two or three beers, you'll stop analyzing and start yee-haw-ing. Portland's prized soul sisters Linda Hornbuckle and Janice Scroggins fill out this uplifting bill.
The Dana Fuchs Band, Linda Hornbuckle and Janice Scroggins, 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 27, Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 N.E. Alberta St. $20. Parent or guardian must accompany minors. Info: 503-719-6055, albertarosetheatre.com.