Buck the bad luck

Unfortunately, Friday the 13th has been passed down through folklore for generations as a day known for common shit-luck happenings and bogus killers haunting your dreams.

Unfortunately, Friday the 13th has been passed down through folklore for generations as a day known for common shit-luck happenings and bogus killers haunting your dreams. This Friday, though, everything seems to be just the opposite of that nonsense. Yes, the stars and planets must have come to a meaningful, and yet cliché, alignment because this 13th there is going to be an amazing spectacle put on by four very talented groups. Starting around 9 p.m. at Backspace, the acts Houses, The One AM Radio, Themes and Radiation City will all be showing off their own unique styles of music.

Bringing back the ’70s vibes in full force, Houses gives listeners a legitimate teaser of what it would have been like if Doors organ- player Ray Manzarek ever teamed up with the unstoppable songwriting force of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. This sweet, familiar classic rock is done so eloquently that this Denver four-piece has already gained enough prestige around the country to behoove many who realize the group was only formed in 2008. Citing their sources of inspiration as whiskey and beer, these nostalgic rockers, led by founder Andy Hamilton, have released four EPs since 2009 and remain hard at work touring and writing new material. These guys should put on quite a performance.

Not falling into any preconceived notion that the above group Houses brings to the table, The One AM Radio has got the backs of those in the audience who lean toward electronic, upbeat indie-pop music. One AM Radio is the project of singer/composer Hrishikesh Hirway. His acoustic/electric/dream-wave music has been coming out from the East Coast since 2003–04. Hirway, acting as the main creative engine behind the moniker, started composing songs while still attending college as an art and film major at Yale University. After gaining copious amounts of highly acclaimed criticism in regard to his tunes via publications such as “Time Out New York” and many electronic music blogs, the young virtuoso put out his EP “On the Shore of the Wide World” in January of 2005, receiving much praise. It must have been a humbling surprise to Hirway and his then-newly-formed L.A. team, consisting of band mates Scott Leahy and Fontaine Cole, to find that their hard work had paid off, remaining in top-10 album lists for the electronic genre for over three weeks.

The third name playing this superstitious evening is Themes. Beginning its existence in Santa Rosa, Calif., Themes was founded in 2005 by close friends who only seem to go by their surnames, Mcintosh and Crawford. These guys have been making their comforting post-rock tunes for years, frequently juggling back and forth between hometowen Minneapolis and Portland. The latest news on Themes is that they are currently on tour to promote their newest release of an 8-track album titled “The Phantom.” This new work is said to be the most refined songwriting that these two friends have come to write yet, encapsulating listeners’ ears with the album’s eerie feel.

Last but definitely not least is Portland’s very own Radiation City. This merely year-old band, made up of folks from Spesus Christ and Soap Collectors, recently gained some footing by making an appearance in the Willamette Week’s Best New Band contest. Radiation City tied for the 12th and 13th spots with another band, The Reservations. However poorly decided these results were, that still ain’t bad for making the top 25 list. The band is made up of Cameron Spies (guitar, vocals), Lizzy

Ellison (vocals, piano), Matt Rafferty (bass) and Randy Bemrowe (drums).  Their music is best described as The Beach Boys vs. Wayne Coyne and the distant Brazilian bossanova cousin of Lou Reed. Radiation City goes even further than Houses into the realm of nostalgic style, making music that faintly echoes the ’50s, consisting of softly sung dreamy lullabies that have a feel of post-apocalyptic radio broadcast rock. (Perhaps in a city after nuclear fallout?)

All in all, this Friday the 13th leaves you with the option of opting out of watching that damn movie for the umpteenth time and going to see a mighty fine show put on. The only unlucky thing I can think of about this event is that it’s $10. The next thing left over to probably anticipate on this notorious day of shit-luck is that the show will be sold out. Knock on wood. ?