Light of the Stereo

Light of the Stereo

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Triple Crown: 02/15 - 02/28

A little bit country and a little bit rock'n'roll this Triple Crown is marked by some amazing shows and artists whose song writing skills are unmatched. So grab your coat and head out the door because with a city full of music you now have a guide to three of the best concerts in town.

Tuesday, February 15th

Murder By Death
The Builders and the Butchers/
Damion Suomi & the Minor Prophets
The Wonder Ballroom
128 NE Russell
Doors:8PM/ Show:9PM
Adv. :$13/Day Of:$15
21 & Over

Like a gathering of thieves and outlaws this show at the Wonder Ballroom of gritty dust bowl rock'n'roll-noir calls out to the corrupt emotions buried in us all. With a sound that falls somewhere between a pulp mystery and a Steinbeck novel the music of Murder by Death is all raw emotions and shadowy intentions. Adam Turla 's scratch gravel voice tells half shaded stories of evil deeds and bad luck mishaps, while his band of accomplices play an angry carpet-bagger's country-rock that is striking and haunted as a empty desert road at sunset. Reminiscent of a late night barroom confession their live show leaves the audience hanging on every word with the anticipation of the gallows rope.
Joining them on stage is the brooding storm that is Portland's own The Builders and the Butchers. Nearly as dark as their headlining cohorts but with an energy that always seems to set the crowd to dancing, this band has one of the most unique sounds in the music industry today mainly due to the distinct voice of Ryan Sollee. Rounding out the bill is the powerful imagery of song-writer Damion Suomi and his band the Minor Prophets, whose energy and beautiful lyrical tapestries are positioning him as one of my new personal favorites. You don't want to miss a line up this good, so make a night of it with a little pulled pork from across the way at Russel Street BBQ and your night might just reach perfection.

Sunday, February 20th
Justin Townes Earle
Dawn Landes
Mississippi Studio
3939 N. Mississippi
Adv.:$15/Day Of:$17

If I wasn't certain that Johnny Cash is playing sold out shows in heaven I'd think that he was haunting the music of Justin Townes Earle. A beautiful mix of country and blues Earle sings from a soul twice his age and through which the Mississippi river runs rain fat and whiskey brown. Soft and comforting as the right woman's gaze, you can lose yourself in these songs. With compellingly honest lyrics and music that might have naturally sprung up in a Arkansas cotton field, this show will be a real treat and perfect for the the intimate environment of Mississippi Studio. Joining him, like his June Carter, is Dawn Landes, whose music has a powerful personality of it's own. A wonderful mix of her Kentucky roots and Brooklyn seasoning, her songs have the sophisticated edge of the city and the airy openness of the country, like a rodeo queen strolling through Time Square. With a voice reminiscent of Suzanne Vega and Gillian Welch and lyrics that are just as powerful, Landes is quickly making a name for herself. This show is sure to hold some wonderful surprises and shouldn't be missed. I'm sure that Johnny would make it if he could.

Saturday, February 26th

I Can Lick Any Sonofabitch in the House
My Life In Black &White/
The Red Hills
350 West Burnside
Adv.:$7/Day Of:$8
21 & Over

Each of these bands alone is worth the price of admission but together they make for a showcase of some of Portland's best rock'n'roll. Not only are we talking power and force but all three of these bands are led by phenomenal song writers of the highest caliber. Between the reformed rockabilly of The Red Hills, the blue collar punk of My life in Black and White, and the redneck philosophy of I can Lick any Sonofabitch in the House it will be a miracle if any of us are left standing at the end of the night. Another common thread running through these bands is they all share the six-string mastery of Guitar-savant "Handsom" Jon Burbank, who is celebrating his 30th birthday. To mark the occasion Burbank will be playing all three sets, a feet rarely attempted, but one that should produce tales of legend for all who bare witness.
Combined, these three bands make for one of best line ups to grace the stage of Dante's in sometime. If you like loud guitars, great lyrics, and a hell of a good time this is the place to be Saturday night and the perfect way to top off February's Triple Crowns.