We’re almost to summer, music nerds! Whether you’re into rock, jazz, or pop, there’s a little something for everyone this week, thanks to an increasing amount of genre-fluidity running rampant these days. Here are two shows and one new release to dig into this month and beyond... right Hear in Portland!
Upcoming local show(s) featuring local artist(s).
One of Portland’s most enduringly epic rock groups, the Prids, will soon bring their atmospheric indie shoegaze to Lollipop Shoppe's intimate stage. While they haven't released a proper album since 2018’s Do I Look Like I’m In Love, there were a number of worthwhile reissues in 2020 (a fine thing to do in 2020), and last spring the group put out a two-pack of singles, including “Small Amounts,” and “Liar of My Dreams.” The former track features hushed vocals and an eerie energy, to compliment lyrics about emotional unavailability: “We go through with it/ Half way out the door/ You want apologies/ You’ve given your last tour.” In keeping with this show’s dark-ish vibes, support comes in the form of gothic post-punk from fellow Portland bands Vueltas, as well as experimental/industrial trio Ism. (Lollipop Shoppe, 736 SE Grand, Fri June 9, 8:30 pm, $18, tickets here, 21+)
New release(s) from a Portland-relevant artist.
Self-Titled, Roman Norfleet and Be Present Art Group
Driven by Portland multi-instrumentalist and bandleader Roman Norfleet, Be Present Art Group just released a self-titled debut EP via Chicago's Portland's Mississippi Records. [Record label Mississippi Records thinks it lives in Chicago now, but the store and the SPIRIT remain in Portland. -eds.] “The album emerged out of drum gatherings in Washington DC’s Malcolm X Park—a pocket of freedom built on collective improvisation and shared rhythm,” the album's liner notes read. Norfleet assembled a collective of artists, in Portland channel the energy of those DC sessions, working with vocalists Jacque Hammond and Mia Raiah, percussionists Darian Anthony Patrick and Elijah Jamal Asani, and Brown Calculus members Andre Raiah (Brown Calvin) and Vaughn Kimmons (Brown Alice). The resulting album is earthy, cosmic, and transgenerational. Its inspirations span time and space, via the African diaspora from spirituals to the jazz era. “Brothers Gathering” is all chimes and bells. “Cosmic Forces" leans into sax and percussion. “A Vessel” and “Future Ancestors/Awaken” are each a whopping eleven minutes long—the latter is exquisite, featuring lots of erratic saxophone over progressively jazz-informed organ, and ending with a bevy of guttural vocalizations. The upbeat track “Joy” isn’t a slow burn like the others, but rather a jam session named for its repeated mantra, one of the only constants in the song. The final track, “Turiya the Butterfly,” features vocals from the titular toddler Turiya, the daughter of band members Andre and Mia Raiah.
ADDED TO THE QUEUE:
Some upcoming music buzz to put on your radar.
On June 9, Janelle Monae fans finally receive her long-awaited fourth studio album, The Age of Pleasure, and the teaser album video—which portrays Monae’s naked chest—has everyone beyond excited. I was obsessed with Monae's outstanding 2018 film and album, Dirty Computer, and I’m looking forward to hearing her attempt to improve upon it, especially since lead single “Lipstick Lover” is absolutely ravishing. I want the Kris Bowers and Brian and Caleb Chan—the orchestra behind Bridgerton's orchestral pop covers—to do an all-strings version of it for season three, and I want it to play while an epic love scene takes place. JUST AN IDEA! The singer and rapper returns to the Pacific Northwest with her “Age of Pleasure Tour” on September 2, marking her first visit since slaying Edgefield in 2018. For some reason the show will be at RV Inn Style Resorts Amphitheater in Ridgefield, instead of literally any other place. Concertgoers should buckle up for some serious post-show parking lot traffic. (RV Inn Style Resorts Amphitheater, 17200 NE Delfel Rd, Ridgefield, WA, 8 pm, $124 and up, tickets here, all ages)