You are about to enter another dimension. A dimension of A/V. This is the middle ground between mediocre and too-good-to-be-true, between something called "reggae" and the sound angels emit. You are traveling deep into the realm of rad tuneage. Next stop, Now Hear This!
Straight outta Oakl&
Zachary James Watkins and Marshall Tramell aka Black Spirituals bring "black resonance" to Spirit Abuse (1103 Fourth Street NW) tonight. Our interview "Postmodern Black Spirituals" yielded more insight than we could fit in print. For instance, the project's name originates from Watkins finding a dusty cassette in a closet; the recording within was a 1970s lecture by activist, scholar and singer Bernice Johnson Reagon on the roots music of black slaves in America. Black Spirituals tour in support of their forthcoming SIGE Records cassette Of Deconstruction. Five bucks gets you in to the most intriguing concert of the week. The sympathetic vibrations amp up at 9pm, and Bigawatt and Mesa Ritual open the show. I'll see you there.
Signs of the horns
If you feelin' more metal than avant-garde, scope Alibi resident hesher Constance Moss' previews of two heavy gigs. Tonight at Sister (407 Central NW) revel in crossover metal, hardcore, "low desert punk" and sludge metal with Corrosion of Conformity, BL'AST!, Brant Bjork and Lord Dying. Scope "Melt Your Face Off" for all the deets.This 21-plus gig starts at 8:30pm, and admission is $15.
On Sunday night at Sunshine Theater (120 Central SW), Geoff Tate's Queensrÿche—featuring former members of Dio, Ozzy and AC/DC—brings a mishmash of nostalgia and brand-new heavy. Read Moss' Show Up! column to learn more about the drama surrounding Tate's physical and verbal abuse of his bandmates and consequent firing, the ensuing legal battle and future of Queensrÿche. According to our in-house metal expert, this show will not be a "pathetic and flaccid mockery of itself." Irish rock outfit The Voodoos open this all-ages concert, and presale tickets are $25.
Last week in "Now Hear This, Vol. V" I hyped much-buzzed about hometown swervegaze idol REIGHNBEAU's inclusion in tonight's Nothng Forevr showcase at Burt's Tiki Lounge (313 Gold SW). Burqueño electro standouts BK Beats, The 1960 Sci-Fi Era and Nathan New round out the bill for this 21-plus vowel-eschewing celebration. The aforementioned artists begin casting sonic spells at 9pm, and there's no cover, man.
Corrosion of Conformity, an influential crossover metal band originating in the early '80s, needs no introduction, but don’t let C.O.C. overshadow its supporting acts. The name Brant Bjork may be unfamiliar, but he’s no lightweight. Perpetrator of the Palm Desert stoner rock scene, Bjork is best known as the drummer for Kyuss, the first “desert rock” band to be signed to a major label and achieve international success. In addition Brant previously played with BL'AST! and its members in various incarnations.
BL'AST! began its hardcore punk journey in the mid '80s. Their second album, It’s In My Blood, was released in ’87. In the mid '90s, two members moved on to form Blackout. BL'AST! reunited briefly in 2001 but never went back into the studio. Dave Grohl and Southern Lord remixed and remastered Blood in 2013, which prompted a new incarnation of the band with the recruitment of Nick Oliveri and Joey Castillo.
Prepare for a desert stoner rock family reunion. We’re talking members of Queens of the Stone Age, Kyuss, Mondo Generator, Wasted Youth, Sugartooth, Fu Manchu, L.A.B., Dusted Angel and the list goes on. Get to Sister (407 Central SW) tomorrow night by 8:30pm to see Lord Dying. A newer Portland band, Lord Dying has opened for Red Fang and Down and plans to rule the metal scene with an iron fist. You’ll be able to say you saw them way back when in a cool little bar in Burque. Admission to this 21-plus show will run you $15. Sister • Sat Aug 23 • 8:30pm • $15 • 21+ • View on Alibi calendar
In celebration of its 20th anniversary, the Toadies will perform Rubberneck in its entirety at Sister (407 Central NW) tomorrow night. Lazily categorized as “post-grunge,” the songs that comprise their platinum-selling debut album are more intricate and timeless than this subgenre would suggest. It's a clever balance of slightly progressive roughness with a Southern-fried tinge, all wrapped up in a sinister bow, thanks to the macabre, cerebral lyrics of frontman Vaden Todd Lewis. Without a single weak track, it only seems proper that the album be played front to back. The first two legs of the Rubberneck Anniversary Tour were so well received that a third leg was added with a stop in the Duke City.
The Toadies are still going strong, having released two noteworthy albums since reforming in 2008. In a recent Alibi interview with drummer Mark Reznicek, he touched on the band's signature sound, created by the tendency to veer away from standard 4/4 time. “Initial ideas can sound too straight,” Reznick said, so they'll add a couple beats every few measures to make it interesting. “It can come naturally or by accident,” but the goal is for the listener to “not even know it's odd. If there's away we can screw up a time signature and make it work, we'll explore it.”
Get there early for Ume (pronounced “ooo-may”), a three-piece outfit that joined Toadies and Helmet on a prior tour. Speaking of their front woman and guitarist, Lauren Larson, Reznicek boasts, “You won't believe that all that sound comes from one small lady.” With doctored crap being passed off as music these days, it's easy to become cynical about live music. Rest assured, Toadies will get that vampire blood pumping through your veins, raise the hair on the back of your neck and leave you at the end of it all with a dirty, satisfying feeling. The 21-and-up show costs $20, and the music kicks off at 9pm. Sister • Tue Jul 29 • 9pm • $20 • 21+ • View on Alibi calendar
My sister and I sleep on the grass in the front yard of our childhood home. The whole town has been abducted by aliens. They fly north overhead in lighted cylinders in long procession. The grass around us grows long.
Think for a moment about the word “entrance,” as both a verb and a noun: to captivate or fill with wonder, and a place of entering. In the case of Lady Uranium aka Mauro Woody, her self-released CD Vulpes Vulpes serves as an entrance into her charming synth-pop realm. Okay, that sounds a bit cheesy. No, she isn’t some Belladonna-like enchantress, just a very talented individual who has lent her distinctive stamp to other local outfits like Animals In The Dark, The Glass Menageries and 5 Star Motelles.
But there is a feeling here of being escorted to a private place, not dark or brooding—which has been in vogue for too long now—but sweetly contemplative, inviting you to have conversations with the self. This is no surprise since there are echoes of Cocteau Twins and Kate Bush beneath quietly impassioned vocals, simultaneously robust and fragile. And yes, there are some great pop hooks, too. Vulpes Vulpes is a strong first solo release. As an EP, these five songs feel way too short, but it bears repeated listening; and you will be doing quite a bit of that while awaiting her next release. Perhaps she’s first luring us in with this teaser CD. A cunning strategy. Get captivated tomorrow night at 9pm at Sister (407 Central NW) when Lady U looses her hounds of love. Show is $3. Sister • Sat May 3 • 9pm • $3 • View on Alibi calendar
Tomorrow YOU will play Sister (407 Central NW). Not necessarily the person reading this preview—although that's certainly possible—YOU is actually a chunky, four-piece outfit from Albuquerque that combines psych influences with blues-inflected rock stylings that are guaranteed to have you alternatively grooving along, reflecting dreamily or yearning for release.
This show at Sister is an album release party, celebrating the outfit’s latest, Ambivalence. This new work is infused with a sound that effectively transits the uncanny valley. The fourth track on Ambivalence, “Young Witch Eternal Gliss,” is a potent psychedelic anodyne, while tunes like “Saturday Night” prove the group can handle bluesy rock with serious aplomb. Baton Rouge, La.-based band Moon Honey—recently produced by Deerhoof—are touring with YOU; As In We and DJ Caterwaul start the evening off with their own brands of sonic intensity. Tickets for this 21-and-up cosmic exhibition are only five silver talents, and the metaphorical curtain rises around 9pm. You should be there. Or be square. Sister • Thu Apr 24 • 9pm • $5 • 21+ • View on Alibi calendar
UPDATE 4/18/14, 4:35pm - According to OM's Facebook page, this performance is unfortunately CANCELED.
Local heavy metal legend Al Cisneros brings his dark, droning psych-rock collaboration with Emil Amos, an eldritch thing called OM, to the stage at Sister (407 Central NW) tomorrow night. Cisneros, of influential doom band Sleep, and Amos—who also drums in PDX post-rock outfit Grails and conjures soundscapes with Alex Hall in Lilacs & Champagne—are well known in both these parts and the metal universe for generating sounds that are massive, entrancing and louder than goddamned hell.
OM takes its moniker from the Hindu concept for the sound the universe makes; if that descriptor is anywhere near the ensemble’s musical truth, then this world’s vast emptiness is a triumphantly noisy affair that careens between chaos and transcendence. Robert Lowe's contributions to the band’s latest release, Advaitic Songs, and touring efforts add a shimmery crunch to OM’s cosmically unpronounceable, sonically arcane journey. But why read words that attempt to describe something all-at-once too simple and complicated to make words out of ... when you can take the trip yourself for 10 bucks. Opening act Watter—featuring Britt Walford of Slint and Grails' Zak Riles—takes the stage at 10pm, and this show is 21-plus. Sister • Sat Apr 19 • 10pm • $10 • 21+ • View on Alibi calendar