- BARBARA MITCHELL
- Portland Tribune - Features
Lewi Longmire and his ace band are venturing forth from their regular Thursday night perch at the Laurelthirst for an evening of first-class roots rock at the White Eagle that includes local jug band Sassparilla.
Longmire's experience as one of the city's most in-demand musicians serves him well as a frontman and bandleader - there's a wonderfully loose vibe to his working-class blues and a palpable sense of musical camaraderie.
9:30 p.m. FRIDAY, Jan. 11, White Eagle, 836 N. Russell St., 503-282-6810, $6
Sweet-voiced songstress Ali Wesley manages to pull off the improbable on her debut album, 'All Things (My Two Fish),' delivering a record that's sweet and fragile and gritty all at the same time.
Wesley's voice and the delicate, stripped-down arrangements draw you in like a sleeping puppy in a pet store window, but her words can sting as well as soothe.
In her musical world, crushing loss, ecstatic joy and the complexity of everyday living all are exquisitely beautiful things.
9 p.m. FRIDAY, Jan. 11, Towne Lounge, 714 S.W. 20th Place, 503-241-8696, $5
Seattle rapper Gabriel Teodros understands that hip-hop always has thrived as a medium for confrontation and questioning.
Thankfully, this socially conscious artist uses a light touch and some deft rhymes to thoughtfully provoke his listeners into considering everything from sexism and homophobia to the confusion and displacement he's faced as a second-generation Ethiopian raised in the Pacific Northwest.
It's no wonder publications like Rolling Stone and Urb have pegged him as one of hip-hop's artists to watch.
10 p.m. SATURDAY, Jan. 12, Berbati's Pan, 10 S.W. Third Ave., 503-226-2122, $7
The Mother Hips
The Mother Hips play music that is brilliantly and unmistakably Californian - full of sunny SoCal melodies and the mellow, laid-back grooves of their Chico State beginnings. There's a sprinkle of the sage and eucalyptus scent of Laurel Canyon and a slightly lysergic dose of vintage San Francisco mojo topping it all off.
After taking a break for much of the first half of the decade, it's great to see the band back in action and touring regularly.
Give yourself a break from the dreary Northwest winter by injecting some of the Mother Hips' radiant, good-time rock into your life.
9 p.m. FRIDAY, Jan. 11, Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E. Burnside St., 503-231-9663, $15
There's not a lot of subtlety or subtext to the music of Iceage Cobra, but sometimes loud, messy rock and roll is just what the doctor ordered.
This young Seattle-by-way-of-Spokane trio burns up the stage with an energy that's practically feral and definitely incendiary.
If you're looking for big rock riffs played with punk's primal fury, this is a band you need to know.
9:30 p.m. FRIDAY, Jan. 11, Tonic Lounge, 3100 N.E. Sandy Blvd., 503-704-8481, $5