- Barbara Mitchell
- Portland Tribune - Features
You Am I
It's been nearly a decade since Aussie rockers You Am I seemed poised to break out in America, courtesy of a rip-roaringly good major-label album ('#4 Record') and a jaw-dropping live show that converted even the most die-hard doubting Thomases.
The band's back to finish what it started, and maybe even then some. 'Convicts,' just out on Yep Roc Records, is the band's most focused album since the start of the new millennium - a tightly wound dose of old-fashioned, melodic, pissed-off rock 'n' roll that's even more energetic live.
If you think rock is dead, You Am I is here to change your mind - or maybe even blow it.
9:30 p.m. FRIDAY, March 30, Dante's, 1 S.W. Third Ave., 503-226-6630, free
Seattle singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile has been racking up countless accolades and fans over the past three years, thanks to nonstop touring and a crystal-clear voice that cuts like a knife.
While she counts Elton John as her biggest influence, Carlile is really more like Melissa Etheridge - her passionate take on personal pop is both soaring and searing.
She's got a new album, produced by the masterful T. Bone Burnett, coming out in a few days. This is your chance to preview the songs in a rare acoustic setting.
7 p.m. and 10 p.m. SATURDAY, March 31, Mississippi Studios, 3939 N. Mississippi Ave., 503-288-3895, $20
You're probably more familiar with Ghost Stories' Ron Lewis than you think. This shape-shifting Seattleite has impeccable indie cred - he's toured with the Joggers and the Fruit Bats and played with Colin Meloy in an early incarnation of the Decemberists.
Do yourself a favor and pick up Ghost Stories' debut album, 'Quixoticism.' It's a gentle, sophisticated take on lo-fi, high-quality indie rock with songs that oh-so-nicely seep their way into your subconscious and politely lodge themselves for eternity.
9 p.m. SATURDAY, March 31, Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E. Burnside St., 503-231-9663, $12
With a name like Failure, Ken Andrews' breakthrough band may have been doomed from the beginning. But Andrews' work in that outfit - and in subsequent production and recording projects - has been very successful.
Sonically ambitious and almost narcotically addictive, Andrews' music could be described as a cross between Nirvana's most accessible material and Tool's seductively sinister sonics.
Andrews' latest release, 'Secrets of the Lost Satellite,' more than upholds the standard of quality. Go see him live before he once again retreats into the studio.
9 p.m. SUNDAY, April 1, Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E. Burnside St., 503-231-9663, $10
The label 'Hawaiian music' probably brings to mind brightly colored floral shirts and ukuleles.
While Pepper's reggae-tinged rock certainly has the breezy, easygoing feel normally associated with an island vacation, it's unlikely that the band (which co-headlined the Jägermeister Music Tour and will be performing on this year's Warped Tour) will be pulling out any Don Ho covers.
Summer might be a couple of months off, but you can get a taste of it here.
9 p.m. SUNDAY, April 1, Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W. Burnside St., 503-225-0047, $15, all ages