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High Notes: The Best Live Music in Portland This Week, April 14-19

Tuesday, April 14, 2015


Discriminating music fans needing a reason to celebrate will be in hog heaven, as this week brings us not only the star-studded Soul’d Out Festival, but the eagerly awaited Record Store Day, in which hordes of rabid record collectors storm the gates of our local vinyl emporiums in search of newly released treasures.

Photo credit: Bad Brains by Atibe Jefferson

Soul’d Out Festival

April 14-20 

Nearly 30 shows in one week promises to be quite a ride for any festival junkie, especially with this lethal lineup. An evening with Yasiin Bey (better known as rapper-actor Mos Def) and D.C. reggae-hardcore heroes Bad Brains (April 17) has all the makings of a sound spectacle, and performances by Gramatik, Lyrics Born, Allen Stone, California Honeydrops, Kimbra, and soul man supreme Charles Bradley should keep all the stars in their proper alignment. Don’t overlook the locals! Radiation City, Wild Ones, and Quick and Easy Boys will be representing the Rose City in all its glory. 

Various venues, souldoutfestival.com

Lord Huron

April 16 @ 8pm

The sophomore full-length album from Los Angeles group Lord Huron, ‘Strange Trails,’ expands on the literary leanings scattered about its debut record ‘Lonesome Dreams.’ In new songs like “Fool For Love,” “Dead Man’s Hand,” and “Meet Me in the Woods,” singer Ben Schneider narrates/sings a spate of hard-luck tales in a booming voice that recalls My Morning Jacket’s Jim James. The music follows a similar path, chasing the Americana dream from coast to coast with meticulous harmonies swooping and gliding over acoustic guitars drenched in reverb. 

$20-22. Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside St. 

D.O.A. courtesy of Sudden Death Records

D.O.A., Defiance

April 16 @ 8pm

Very few punk bands can match the longevity (37 years and counting) of this politically charged trio from Vancouver B.C., fronted by Joey “Shithead” Keithley. D.O.A.’s most recent live album, ‘Welcome to Chinatown,’ reveals there’s still plenty of anger in the tank. Standards like “Smash the State,” “Woke Up Screaming,” and “Slumlord” get served up with a ferocity that belies their years. Portland punk collective Defiance, comparative youngsters at 22 years in the game, are also on the bill. Respect your elders! 

$10. Star Theater, 13 NW Sixth Ave.  

Lady Sings the Blues: Billie Holiday Tribute Night

April 18 @ 7pm

Siren Nation’s yearly salute to the immortal Lady Day never fails to draw a crowd, as a squad of Portland artists, including Michael Jodell, Natasha Kmeto, Sara Jackson Holman, Darka Dusty, and former Calobo singer Michele Van Kleef step up to the mike with distinctive interpretations from the Billie Holiday songbook. The event serves as a key fundraiser for Siren Nation’s annual music and arts festival. 

$12-15. Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 NE Alberta St.

Record Store Day

April 18 

Vinyl vultures look forward to this date with the same unbridled joy as a hyperactive kid pouncing on a loaded Christmas tree. All manner of Portland collectibles and coveted reissues, such as a post-Heatmiser album from guitarist Neil Gust’s band, No. 2, and an outtakes and rarities collection from the Wipers, will be available. Local label Tender Loving Empire will be hosting three bands—Genders, Ali Muhareb, and Run On Sentence—at its Hawthorne location starting at 4:30. Nearby Jackpot Records is featuring noteworthy guests DJs throughout the day, including Mudhoney’s Steve Turner and Witch Mountain drummer Nathan Carson. 

Various venues. recordstoreday.com


John Chandler has been writing about rock and/or roll for 25 years with The Rocket, Portland Tribune, Portland Monthly, Magnet, Dagger, No Depression, and Puncture. He also writes about beer, booze, and bars for Portland'sBarFly website and plays in a couple goofy bands when the mood strikes him. He can most often be found at the wheel of horrificflicks.com, a review website dedicated to horror movies.


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