Ibid, Secret Secretaries @ Backspace

Secret Secretaries turned in a raucous, engaging performance. I'll be keeping my eye on the San Francisco trio, hoping they come back, and wishing they lived here.

Deelay Ceelay @ Doug Fir Lounge

There was nowhere I would have rather been tonight than the album release celebration for one of Portland's most enjoyable live acts.

Sunday August 7

Yours, Lost Lander @Rontom's

If Robin Pecknold ever incorporated the louder elements of Neil Young into his repertoire or Nick Delffs of The Shaky Hands ever fronted Spoon, it might end up sounding something like Yours, who turned in a great performance that had me listening to their songs repeatedly online the next day. Yours got next.

Monday August 8

The Early, Forest Park, Mojave Bird @ Someday Lounge

What better way to celebrate the 50th birthday of the Edge than with the shimmering, atmospheric guitar work of local ax masters Alex Lewis of The Early and Forest Park's Katherine Paul and Maya Stoner? Also of note: The Early's drummer Jake Nussbaum, who swept madly across his whole kit like a conductor directing a symphony or a painter painting a masterpiece. Brilliant.

Wednesday August 10

Gun Party, The Welsh Bowmen, Youth @ Someday Lounge

The Welsh Bowmen and Youth are the latest projects from some familiar faces—almost Portland sized super groups, if you will—the Welsh Bowmen are Andy Naify (The Whips and the Whales, The Minders), Christian Carmine (Fist Fite) and Aaron Sweet (the Professional Man) and Youth feature the double barreled songwriting prowess of Maggie Morris and Elec Morin. Both bands turned in great sets, no surprise there - the unexpected pleasure of the night was the blistering set from Gun Party, playing their sixth show, and fitting in perfectly on down the line from where The Estranged revived what the Wipers left off with. Hell yeah! Just this one time, count me in for being pro gun anything.

Thursday August 11

Arctic Monkeys @ Crystal Ballroom

At the band's MFNW 2009 performance(one of the best shows I've seen in the last six years - no seriously), Alex Turner's hair fell to his shoulders. Tonight it was slicked up and, with a white t-shirt, he would have passed for a 50's greaser. Arctic Monkeys are pretty much all grown up now, darker, bigger and more sophisticated than the first of what we heard from them. It's great to see that the band appears to be in it for the long haul.

Friday August 12

Beirut @ Crystal Ballroom

Maybe an almost predictably brilliant and beautiful performance which exceeded my expectations. When I closed my eyes I was sailing away on a clear blue sea. Going in I would not have been surprised if I had cried at some point but instead I walked away grinning from ear to ear, elated and energized. When I finally laid my head to rest around 4:30 am, Beirut was still reverberating around my head. Magic.