Bare Bones Balance
Listening to Madeleine Peyrouxs music, you cant help but feel cool, calm and relaxed. Even if some of the song titles from her last release, 2009s Bare Bones, sound anything but soothing ã take "River of Tears” and "Love or Treachery” for example ã theres just something about the way the slow jazz and bluesy numbers combine with her easygoing vocals to make even the hardest experiences sound more bearable. Its a tricky balance, but Peyroux makes it work. Groovy pianos and acoustic guitars lead the way on tracks like "Instead,” where Peyroux croons about the benefits of looking for lifes many silver linings, and the lazy, dreamy sounds of "Damn the Circumstances” are enough to put you totally at ease about an epic disaster heading for your doorstep. "You Cant Do Me” has a funky, bluesy piano beat that will get you dancing, and "To Love You All Over Again” has that cool, straight-ahead jazz dynamic that will make you feel like you're in a dimly-lit lounge somewhere.
Her vocals are in the vein of Diana Krall, though Peyrouxs voice is not as deep as when she sings, and theres a hint of a rasp which makes her performance more unique. Peyroux has been working on a new album, Standin on the Rooftop, which will release in June, and two of the tracks can be previewed digitally: one an all-new composition and the other a cover of the Beatles "Martha.” Madeleine Peyroux plays The Shedd, 7:30pm Tuesday, April 5; $34. ã Brian Palmer
As dance music continues its devolution into the obnoxiousness of house and the monotony of dub step, there are at least a few brave souls willing to experiment. Beats Antique is one of those groups. The San Francisco trio has traveled across the world to develop their sound, a mishmash of Middle Eastern grooves, electronica and belly dancing. The result is a pleasant groove that dares you to listen with funky beats, hand drums and eastern horns. World Music, they call it. This is the genre at its most accessible, groovy and just plain cool.
Their frenetic live performances focus on the dancing talents of Zoe Jakes, who is joined on stage by myriads of other dancers, objects and, occasionally, a Potato Head pi¿ata. Jakes, David Satori and Tommy Cappel have traversed the globe in search of sounds, costumes and dances to incorporate into their live act.
Professionally trained belly dancer, Zoe Jakes undulating on stage in traditional garb is quite a show unto itself. The music, the lights and the costumes combine with the hypnotic dancing to create a hedonistic atmosphere that never lets up. You will be confronted by the weird, maybe even the unknown, and you will like it.
Beats Antique plays many of the wildest stops on the festival circuit. They try to bring a bit of the crazed sensory overload from the playa at Black Rock City, Oustside Lands and Lollapalooza to every one of their shows.
The Beats Antique play with Eskmo and The Tailor at 8 pm Thursday, March 31; at the McDonald Theatre; $17advance, $20 door. ã John Locanthi
Enjoying the Restof the Ride
To those of us who devotedly kept set lists at every Grateful Dead concert, the re-creation of entire shows by the Dark Star Orchestra BRING's all of the flashback without the side effects.
The Dark Star will shine its lovelight on the McDonald Theatre Saturday April 2 for a limited seating dancehall event. Part of the Four Winds Tour, this Eugene stop-over is sure to get fans in shape for the upcoming festival season. For those who were there, its a chance to reconnect. For those who werent, its an apportunity to catch up. Guitarist/vocalist Rob Eaton says , "Its a chance to re-create some of the magic that happened for us over the years. We offer a sort of historical perspective to what it would have been like to see shows over the decades.” The bands mix of old set lists offers even the most devout Deadheads something they have never seen.
DSO recently played their 1,900th show, following in the footsteps of the good ole Grateful Dead. Their summer tour schedule is packed with concerts and gatherings nationwide, often featuring members of the Dead and collaborations with jam-band favorites. Perfect if you want to dust off the tie-dyes, unbox the tape collection, pack up the bus and hit the road. Dark Star Orchestra plays at 8 pm Saturday, April 2, at McDonald Theatre; $20 advance, $25 at door. ã Bronwynn Manaois
Female Blues Bands Flood Wow Hall
A striking showcase of Oregons most popular blues bands, all fronted by women, will take to the stage in what will be KRVMs seventh annual Live Broadcast from the WOW Hall. The Vicki Stevens Band will open the event with their lively signature style sparked by the blazing stage presence and belting voice of award-winning eponymous female vocalist Vicki Stevens. Playing the bottleneck slot will be The Broh Taylor Band, an acclaimed conglomeration of Texas and Chicago-style blues and funk. Noted for the soulful vocals of singer Joanne Broh, The Broh Taylor Band was awarded the Rainy Day Blues Societys Best New Blues Act award in 2009 and since has lived up to the accolade. Headlining the showcase will be Karen Lovely, a blues powerhouse whose project has garnered multiple awards and award nominations for bridging the gap between traditional blues and its new school incarnation. Lovelys live show is proof enough that she deserves the hype of her consecutive back-to-back Cascade Blues Society Muddy Waters Awards: Best Female Vocalist as well as Best Performance. An act worthy of its international notoriety and well backed by a cast of venerated female showwomen, Women in Blues is not to be taken lightly. Quite the contrary, they are an exceptional meeting of talents. Proceeds from the show will go to support KRVM-FM. Women in Blues play the WOW Hall Doors at 7 pm Saturday, April 2, $15 suggested donation. ã Dante Zu¿iga-West