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High Notes: The Best Live Music in Portland This Week, Sept 22-27

Tuesday, September 22, 2015


Photo credit: Phil and Dave Alvin by Jeff Fasano

It’s too easy to get swamped by the demands of our dreary lives, and we forget how fortifying a set of live music can be to an overburdened soul. For anyone in need of rejuvenation, this week’s calendar is chockfull of juicy possibilities.

Dave & Phil Alvin

Sept 24 @ 8pm

The feuding siblings from Downey, California, first made hay as the fuel behind punk-roots dynamos the Blasters in the early ’80s, before younger brother Dave quit the group and earned his wings as a Grammy winning singer-songwriter. With old fences properly mended, the Alvin brothers reunited for last year’s ‘Common Ground’ a well-received album of Big Bill Broonzy covers, and again, for their current release, ‘Lost Time,’ a tribute to influential artists like Big Joe Turner, Leadbelly, and The Hardest Working Man in Show Business himself, James Brown.

$25-30. Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie Ave.

Laetitia Sadier

Sept 25 @ 9pm

As principal chanteuse for continental synth sophisticates Stereolab, Sadier provides a distinctive voice and an activist sensibility to partner Tim Gane’s disco-tech Velvet Underground red carpet treatments, like “Lo Boob Oscillator” and “I’m Going Out of My Way.” She’s currently hitting the bricks on the behalf of ‘Something Shines,’ her third solo album, but if you behave like a good little audience, perhaps an old Stereolab gem like “Infinity Girl” or “John Cage Bubblegum” might be unearthed for the occasion. You never know.

$12-14. Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside St.

Photo courtesy of Blackalicious.com

Disenchanter Album Release

Sept 25 @ 9pm

Guitarist and singer Sabine Stangenberg has the riffs and register of a metal priestess in the making. Her formidable powers are in full effect on Disenchanter’s ripping new record, ‘Strange Creations,’ which should give the Portland band a major boost in the recognition department. There’s no guttural growling in this castle; Stangenberg’s heroic siren infuses tunes such as “On Strength of Steel” and “Sorceries” with Iron Maiden’s warrior nobility, backed up by Black Sabbath’s infernal combustion engine. They’ll probably kill us all.

Free. Kenton Club, 2025 N Kilpatrick St.

Clinton Street Block Party

Sept 26 @ 1pm

Since we’ve already spent an obscene amount of coin during the summer festival season, why not wind down at this no-cover, all-day gathering in a hoary hipster ’hood? Reps from Commons and Gigantic breweries will be on hand with liquid refreshment (not free), as a string of worthy local bands, including Hauer Things, Ellis Pink, Cascade Drifters, Smokey Mountain, and the mighty Gern Blanston court your approval. The party culminates with an outdoor screening of ‘This Is Spinal Tap,’ so make sure the hors d’oeuvres are all the proper shape.  

Free. SE 25th Ave and Clinton St.


Sept 26 @ 9pm

It’s been 10 long years since the last Blackalicious album; so all ears are on Gift of Gab (MC) and producer Xcel for a return to form. The good news is that ‘Imani Vol. 1’ is a monster, and Gift of Gab remains one of the most dexterous dudes in the business. “On Fire Tonight” is everything it should be, with his scattergun rhymes welded to a horny funk groove that’s tighter than Sally’s sweater. Hometown bonus: Vursatyl and Jumbo from Lifesavas, and ace producer Bosko make guest appearances on the record. Is a drop-in doable?

$18. Star Theater, 13 NW Sixth Ave.

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's BarFly 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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