Music seen at SPACE Gallery, November 14
SPACE Gallery showcased a "Seven Sirens" all-lady lineup last Friday, in front of a packed house.
Portland icon Emilia Dahlin took the stage with her permanent smile, her mother's vintage shirt, and stand-up bassist Adam Frederick, and proceeded to woo the audience, as she tends to do. She not only played crowd favorite "Loneliness Is," but was unafraid to put down her guitar. She engaged in some good old-fashioned foot-stomping and hand-clapping to accompany the slapstick bass line, while trying out new material, an adaptation of Nina Simone's "Be My Husband."
Dahlin's set was a nice 30-minute display of how far she has come since busking on Exchange Street. She is increasingly pushing boundaries and delving into risky vocal areas like scatting and covering a blues legend, and she's doing it well.
She was followed by Darien Brahms, who introduced herself by celebrating Barack Obama's presidential-election victory and suggesting fans might want to dance. After a brief moment of lassitude (the folky-singalong blues?), the crowd moved all the chairs out of the way, and started to groove to her roots-influenced punk style.
It wasn't what we might call dancing, but the energy did climb a few notches from its seated level. Among the highlights was fan fave "Sweet Little Darling," off Number 4, her most recent disc, complete with saxophone and trombone flourishes. Brahms was in fine form, alternately celebrating and ranting, both through the mic and on her guitar.
: Live Reviews
, Barack Obama, Nina Simone, Emilia Dahlin, More