In the crowded scene of Tuareg guitarists, Mdou Moctar stands apart from his peers. Playing in the repertoire of desert guitar popularized by groups like Tinariwen and Bombino, Mdou is pushing the boundaries of the genre with a unique personal sound. With versatile compositions and genre defying albums, Mdou's music has been an underground success with an international following, set on redefining the sound of the desert.
Mdou Moctar hails from a small village in the Azawagh desert of Niger, a remote region steeped in religious tradition. As a child, he taught himself to play the a homemade guitars, cobbled together out of planks of wood. It was years later before he found a "real" guitar, teaching himself in secret. In an area where guitar music was all but prohibited, he quickly rose to the status of local celebrity amongst the village youth. In 2008 he traveled to Nigeria to record his first album "Anar." A psychedelic reworking of the Tuareg sound, the electronic tracks featured innovative pitch bending synths, drum machines, and autotune. In 2010, he teamed up with the label and collective Sahel Sounds, releasing his first international album, "Afelan." In 2015, he co-wrote and starred in the first ever Tuareg language film, "Rain the Color Blue with a Little Red In It," a Saharan remake of Prince's "Purple Rain." In 2017, he again shifted gears to another sound with "Sousoume Tamachek," a mellow blissed out recording evoking the calm desert soundscape, tackling religion, spirituality, and matters of the heart.
In the past years, Tuareg rock music has gotten faster. There is a preference for this new style, both in the raucous weddings of Agadez and in Berlin rock clubs. The wavering guitar solos, rapid fire drums and heavy distortion has become characteristic of the contemporary sound. Mdou takes on this challenge, but with an ear towards tradition. Rooted in traditional, with borrowed polyrhythms of traditional « takamba » and lyrics sung in the style of old nomadic poets, his guitar playing is wild and unrelenting, equal parts nomadic bard and Eddie Van Halen. Mdou Moctar and his band have toured Europe and North America, playing sold out shows from small DIY rock clubs in Portland to New York City's Lincoln Center. His music has been featured in the BBC, The Guardian, Pitchfork, New Yorker, NPR, Rolling Stone, Les Inrocks, and his film continues to be screened at film festivals around the world. From underground star of Niger to international film star, Mdou Moctar has undoubtedly one of the quickest rises to success.
Songwriter, songstress, and actor, Amenta Abioto is on the cutting edge of all that is musical, theatrical, and literary. Her music is boldly mystical and soul-fired, and her raw live performances invoke elements of both theatrical surprise and magic through ancient African diasporic sounds and stories. Weaved into syncopated rhythms and dichotomies of comedic proportions, Amenta surprises and tantalizes audiences with mind-bending ideas. She brings to the music scene funky academia while skipping vocally from soul-shaking gospel to smooth jazz and then onto hip-hop rhythms wrapped in West African beats.
SECRET DRUM BAND
Secret Drum Band is a percussion ensemble based in Portland, Oregon.
Going strong for 30 years, Suicide Commando have not only been pioneers of the harder Electro genre, but continue being innovators up to this very day.
Formed in summer 1986 by Johan van Roy, the band made a name for itself through a series of self-released tapes from the late Eighties to the early Nineties. When the group released its first full-length CD "Critical Stage" in 1994, it soon would evolve into one of the most popular and important acts of the scene.
On this and all of the subsequent releases, Van Roy explores the dark side of humanity with lashing beats, haunting atmospheric electronics and an addictively psychotic and relentlessly aggressive vocal style. With eternal club hits, such as the seminal "See You In Hell" or "Hellraiser" and an impressive roster of successful album releases, from the classics "Mindstrip", "Axis Of Evil", "Bind, Torture, Kill" and "Implements Of Hell" to the apocalyptic 2013-masterpiece "When Evil Speaks", Suicide Commando continue to be genre-defining while always evolving their very own trademark sound of synthetically-induced mayhem.
They are a regular guest at the biggest scene-related festivals around the world and are renowned for their energetic stage performance. With an ever-growing rabid fan base at their back, Suicide Commando are one of the most popular live acts of the entire scene.
The band is currently working on the next album and, judging from the sold-out advance single "The Pain That You Like", it will be nothing short of another Hard-Electro-milestone.
HIVE Dance Party!
The Return of Owen
1045p - close
Star Theater, 13 NW 6th, Portland
When asked to describe the title track from his new record, Kyle Thomas--aka King Tuff--takes a deep breath. ͞It͛s a song about hitting rock bottom,͟ he says. ͞I didn't even know what I wanted to do anymore, but I still had this urge--this feeling--like there was this possibility of something else I could be doing... and then I just followed that possibility. To me, that͛s what songwriting, and art in general, is about. You͛re chasing something, there is something out there calling to you and you͛re trying to get at it. ͚The Other͛ is basically where songs come from, it͛s the hidden world, it͛s the mystery. It͛s the invisible hand that guides you whenever you make something. It͛s the thing I had to rediscover--the sort of voice I had to follow--to bring me back to making music again in a way that felt true and good.͟After years of non-stop touring, culminating in a particularly arduous stint in support of 2014͛s Black Moon Spell, Thomas found himself back in Los Angeles experiencing the flipside of the ultimate rock and roll cliche--that of an exhausted musician suddenly unsure where to go or what to do, held prisoner by a persona that he never meant to create, that bore little resemblance to the worn out person they now saw in the mirror. Thomas was suddenly at odds with the storied rock and roll misfit mythology that he͛d spent the past ten years, four full-length albums, a handful of EPs, and multiple live records, unwittingly bringing to life.
The ten tracks that would eventually become The Other represent a kind of psychic evolution for the King Tuff. No less hooky than previous records, the new songs ditch the goofy rock and roll bacchanalia narratives of earlier records in favor of expansive arrangements, a diversity of instrumentation, and lyrics that straddle the fence between painful ruminations and reconnecting with that part of yourself that feels childlike and creative and not corroded by cynicism. The soulful and cosmic new direction is apparent from the album͛s first moments: introduced by the the gentle ringing of a chime, acoustic guitar, and warm organ tones, ͞The Other͟ is a narrative of redemption born of creativity. As Thomas sings about about being stuck in traffic, directionless, with no particular reason to be alive, he hears the call of ͞the other,͟ a kind of proverbial siren song that, instead of leading towards destruction, draws the narrator towards a kind of creative rebirth. Elsewhere, tracks like ͞Through The Cracks͟ and ͞Psycho Star͟ balance psychedelia with day-glo pop hooks. ͞The universe is probably an illusion, but isn't it so beautifully bizarre?͟ he asks on ͞Psycho Star,͟ providing one of the record͛s central tenets. At a time when everything in the world feels so deeply spoiled and the concept of making meaning out of the void seems both pointless and impossible, why not try?
Join us for an exciting evening of Latin music and dancing hosted by DJ Blas and DJ CJ!
Whether her music has slipped into your consciousness behind hit TV shows (Fox's Lucifer, The Royals, VICE, Wentworth, VICELAND, The Fosters, So You Think You Can Dance, Reed Krakoff adds), or from her own visually stunning live multi-media concerts, ANML's message is strong, her voice is quirkily recognizable, and her passion is contagious. This Canadian born, LA based singer/songwriter/producer isn't afraid to walk the edge in sound and in vision. Puking rainbows, gun to head, exploding animals, human road kill, a pregnant woman on a cross... she will put herself in the way of comfort in order to bring her message, vision and feelings into the forefront, displayed through her lovingly charming Canadian personality. ANML's live show utilizes interactive 3D mapped visuals projected onto a human-animal sized cage which surrounds her. The show leads the audience through a journey from embryo into confinement and ultimately freedom creating a one of a kind performance.
ANML's newest 6 song ep, RELEASE! which comes out early 2018, plunges into the unavoidable letting go's of life; from death to reawakening, while living true to her coined genre, "avant-pop". The first single, IT'S OVER dropped on Oct 3rd 2017 and has already been making waves with nearly a million views within the first few days of release. While her last album, WE.ANIMALS. was a bridge between her music and her passion for animal rights and environmentalism, her new album is more of a personal thinking and emoting driven by her thunderous rhythms and production.
Named after a powerful but obscure Head on the Door b-side, it's not surprising that Portland, Oregon, USA-based Cure tribute theXplodingboys deliver more than a collection of best-of singles--live shows are the full experience of the Cure in their prime.
The band is comprised of die-hard Cure fans whose knowledge spans every song ever to hit stage, vinyl, analogue tape, or binary code. Dynamics, nuances, and an occasional twist or mash-up are carefully thought out, and set lists are crafted to enhance the impact of every song. Personas are also dead on, down to the eyeliner, big hair, and lipstick.
Whether you know one Cure song or you know all of them, you will come away impressed by the breadth of catalogue and the caliber of the musicianship of theXplodingboys. So pull on your face, pull on your pout, and get a little piece of the Cure close to you. You'll fall in love with somebody else, again, tonight...
A weekly showcase for Portland's songwriter scene...
Come join us on the Starlight Patio at the historic Star Theater Portland every Wednesday this summer for an open-air evening of intimate acoustic music. Hosted by Christopher Worth, this event will feature some of Portland's premier songwriters as well as touring troubadours from the road.
FREE | 6-9pm | 21+ | FOOD & DRINK SPECIALS
Screamvina and *Fiends* are part of Screamvina Presents, a Goth and Horror themed variety show renowned for its wide range of spooky entertainment. Featuring acts such as blood thirsty burlesque, demonic dance, and sinister singing, Screamvina and Fiends have evil entertainment that everyone will enjoy!
Find us online at www.facebook.com/ScreanvinaPresents