2010 preview

Music Seen
By CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  December 30, 2009

In the last days of 2009, I'm getting an early jump on a perennial New Year's resolution failure: to actually use a planner. Here are some of the concerts getting penciled in to avert the winter doldrums.

The year begins with the debuts of some new concert series. For more on the WPB PRESENTS dance night, beginning January 2 at Port City Music Hall, see our Editor's Picks. Promoter Jay Jasch begins the RED CURTAIN MUSIC SERIES at the North Star Music Café on January 16. Each month will offer a batch of emerging local and national songwriters in the round, and the venue will be prettied up with cabaret-style accoutrements for the third-Saturday shows. Filling up the Tuesday night hole normally occupied by Clash of the Titans this winter will be TWO, a weekly pairing of two local artists for $2 with $2 microbrews beginning at 8 pm on January 19 at Port City Music Hall.

Other exciting local artist happenings coming up include: the return of Jose Ayerve and SPOUSE to Portland, on January 22 at Empire Dine and Dance; the first outing in ages from doom-folk outfit MOSS MOUNTAIN PROJECT, also at Empire (February 6); and the return of the wildly successful band-generation marathon, the 48 HOUR MUSIC FESTIVAL, at SPACE Gallery, on March 6 (also worth noting: SPACE's First Friday event in February, "DRUM SWAP," will feature 30+ drummers in a Boredoms' "Boadrum"-inspired cacophony, surely another tradition in the making).

And, quickly, some national acts worth buying early tickets for: electric mandolin player CARRIE RODRIGUEZ (One Longfellow Square, January 26); 12-string guitar god JAMES BLACKSHAW (SPACE, February 1); BROOKLYN RIDER, a string quartet fast gaining comparisons to Kronos (USM's Hannaford Hall, February 27); three excellent shows to choose from on March 26 (undervalued Old 97s frontman RHETT MILLER at Stone Mountain Arts Center, wry folk icon LOUDON WAINWRIGHT III at One Longfellow, and the PUNCH BROTHERS at Merrill Auditorium). Big April shows include Starbucks soundtracker extraordinaire DAVID GRAY at the Merrill on April 7, and the young guitar virtuoso KAKI KING headlining at Port City Music Hall on April 20.

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