As the first Triple Crown of 2011 we got a little bit of everything, from the evolved reincarnation of a Portland favorite to the melancholy moan of southwest country apparitions. This might be the year you lose some weight or quit smoking, but wouldn't a resolution to catch more live music be so much more fun.
Friday, January 14th
115 NW 5th Ave
The term Folk pop might seem like a oxymoron to some but the powerfully atmospheric music of the Scrimshander's lends nothing to contradiction. The powerful earthy elements Andy Furgeson and Peter Valois carried over from their former incarnation of Bark, Hide and Horn still ring true but are now enhanced into an exotically lovely beast by new electronic accents. Like the hymns of a digital forest the phoenix that has risen in this new band is fresh with life and without bounds; a definite must see. Joined by fellow PDX'ers the Wax Fingers, with their energetic electro-dream pop, and the Pigeons whose emotionally complicated music is both aggressive and relatable, this should be a night of dynamic moods and great music.
Saturday, January 15th
Wayne "The Train" Handcock
The Red Hills(formerly The Runaway Boys)/Truckstop Darlin'
350 West Burnside
$10 Adv./$12 Day of
Possessed by the sprites of the Grand Ole Opry, Wayne "The Train" Handcock sings like Hank Williams and plays his guitar like the godfathers of country and rockabilly. His music is the sound of dog eared copies of On the Road, rag-top Studebakers and the long stretches of ol' Route 66. Vintage as your grandfather's pocket watch and fresh as the air after a thunderstorm these songs make you want to pull your best girl close and dance until the echo of last call has faded and chairs are on the tables. So grab your dancing shoes and make sure you make it their early, because if "The Train' wasn't enough, opening up for him will be a rare performance by The Red Hills, formally The Runaway Boys. I'll have to admit that I'm almost as excited about this opening set because by my reckoning they are one of the best band of troubadours to call Portland their home. Finishing off this great lineup is the country-fried rock of Truckstop Darlin' who's gravel rough tones will make you whiskey thirsty before the first song is over. So grab your girl and leave your car home cause you might walk away from this but you sure won't want to drive.
Saturday, January 22nd
My Life in Black and White
Spittin' Cobras/Last Watch/Cathead and The Blistering Sun
3100 NE Sandy Blvd.
The honest hard working blue colloar punk of My Life in Black and White is played by men with grease beneath their finger nails and whiskey polished souls. In my opinion one of the top ten bands playing in Portland at this time and one of the best live shows you'll ever see. Any chance to catch these boys live is a must. Part Johnny Cash, part Social Distortion and all revved up with the speed and power of a runaway train this band is unstoppable, a fact that might be leathal in the confined quarters of the Tonic lounge. Oh, but what a way to die. Joining the boys is an awesome lineup that's sure to blow the plaster off the walls and includes the Spittin' Cobras, Last Watch and Cathead and The Blistering Sun. At these prices you can't afford not to catch this show, so grab your friends, head on down to the Tonic and raise a toast to the new year and great music.