Fin de Cinema – Wednesday @ Holocene
The second installment of the series that asks some of Portland’s best bands to play the live soundtrack to some of cinema’s most avant garde films (the last night saw Nurses and others performing alongside the Czech classic Valerie and her Week of Wonders) highlights the work of director Kenneth Anger. The underground filmmaker has been direction short films since the late ’30s but came into his own in the ’50s and ’60s with works that mixed psychedelic imagery, homoeroticism and plain ol’ weirdness. Tonight’s program features three of his short films that will be perfectly matched up with the heavy sonic meanderings of Purple Rhinestone Eagle, Eternal Tapestry, and Wilderness.
Harlem – Friday @ Dante’s
While I admire the chutzpah of a bunch of white gents from Austin, Texas playing music under the name Harlem, what I admire more is the band’s rambling, rumbling garage pop. You’ve heard this sound a dozen times over, sometimes even handled with more aplomb than these boys manage. What keeps this group afloat is their obvious sense of humor (they did write an ode to “Psychedelic Tits”, after all) and a devil-may-care attitude that they seem to come by honestly. They are gearing up for the release of their Matador debut this summer with a West Coast tour that will certainly have them back in their hometown to be feted at this year’s SXSW festival. Catch them now while you can still afford to.
Andrew Oliver Sextet – Thursday @ The Woods
Andrew Oliver is just one of a new generation of composers and performers that are dazzling the Portland jazz scene over the last 5 years or so. Tonight, he takes to the stage of The Woods with his Sextet, a sharp combo that works a cool jazz/post-bop vibe that pulls in rhythms and energy from the influences of world music, indie rock, and radio pop. Pay particular attention to the loving and lovely interplay between the group’s two sax players Mary-Sue Tobin and Willie Matheis and their sharp, nimble guitar player Dan Duval. When they weave around each other, it can turn into a beautiful kind of tangled mess of interlocking melodies and ideas.