Stephen Paulus’ “To Be Certain of the Dawn” (2005) will be played by our local symphony, with help from the Heart of the Valley Children’s Festival Choir, Corvallis Repertory Singers, and OSU Chamber Choir. The oratorio features singing in Hebrew, German, and English, and is a beautiful composition. With metal-sounding pieces like “Veil of Tears,” it’s a complex work of music and a challenging concert for our local musicians.
Wild Hog in the Woods, Calapooia Brewing Company, 140 Hill St. NE, Albany. 7:30 p.m. Free
Just in case you’re not burnt-out on string bands playing Americana and folk, here’s one of the best local bands who deal in the hard stuff. This is that super-authentic roots music that makes you feel like you’re in an episode of Justified. I’ve always posited these guys would make an amazing and yet a little depressing wedding band. Getting to see them for free without any nuptials will have to tide you over. Y’all come back now, y’hear?
Bombs is absolutely murdering in January with maybe my favorite show of the month. That Coyote is an excellently eclectic local group of rockers who do a nice blendy set of alternative, Americana, progressive, punk, and more. They’ll be playing with the astounding Human Ottoman, a Portland power trio that doesn’t have bass or guitar. Instead, they replaced those with cello and vibraphone and decided to get weird with it. The result is sort of like a metal band with Tom Waits, but he’s not singing. Yeah, it’s like that. This is a bona fide show-of-the-week alert.
Vina Moses Center Benefit with Matt Neely, Imagine Coffee, 5460 SW Philomath Blvd. 7:30 p.m.
Matt Neely will bring the acoustic thunder to this show which benefits the Vina Moses Center, which organizes giving trees at the holiday in addition to other projects to help Oregon’s neediest residents. Without Vina Moses, a lot of families in the Willamette Valley would go without food, clothing, and other essentials. This show is pretty relaxed and family-friendly, so bring the kids and a few bucks for a good cause.
I appreciate how concise the term “cowboy surf poetry” fits these guys. That’s exactly what you’re getting, and it’s awesome. They belong in a movie, preferably directed by Alex Cox or Monte Hellman. The Svens tell an avant-garde tale of gun smoke and hearts afire with their live show, and sound a bit like Cake mixed with A Prairie Home Companion. The Svens deserve more attention than they get, so remedy that this week.
Hair Fire, Asterion and Macrofocus, Bombs Away Café, 2527 NW Monroe Ave. 9 p.m. Free
This is a show that switches the dial a lot, and that can work for you or against you. I’m optimistically guessing that the folk into prog-metal into inspirational pop rock is going to land… but honestly just typing it out has me second-guessing myself. Give this incredibly mixed bag a shot and see if it works. Hair Fire is energetic folk, Asterion is progressive metal with a fair amount of polish, and Macrofocus is… a little Maroon Five-ish. Take that in whatever way you want.
Sometimes it takes the expressiveness of a genre like the blues to capture how much none of us want to go back to work on Monday. That’s why this little blues jam at Calapooia is an elegant solution to my Sunday woes. If it weren’t for this little get-together, I’d have to clean up my house, prepare for the week ahead, and maybe exercise. For two hours every Sunday afternoon you can forget your week of worries ahead with some of our talented locals cutting loose.
Hoolyeh Folk Dancers, First Congregational UCC, 4515 SW West Hills Rd. 7 p.m. $2 for First Congregational members, $3 for non-members
This twice monthly get-together get-down has been going on for 50 years. That’s a whole mess of dancing, and they’re still going strong. In this, the first Sunday edition, the focus is on Balkan dancing; the second Sunday in two weeks is Isareli-style. These Balkan dances have some line elements to them, so if you’re a fan of country line dancing… you may still hate this, but I doubt it. So bring your aromatic cheeses and kefir, and get ready to get down.
Fefafe provides the music for this dance class that should have you dancing in the traditional style of West Africa, if I understand the title correctly, and I believe I do. There aren’t many options on Monday nights, so your option is to listen to music or listen to music and learn to dance. This is the latter of those two options. For the former, move on to the next item.
Bryson Skaar, Imagine Coffee, 5460 SW Philomath Blvd. 7:30 p.m. Free
Bryson Skaar is reliable like Monday Night Football, and from what I’d like to see on his covers list, easy like Sunday morning. If you want live entertainment without the dance instruction portion, Bryce is your guy with his piano stylings keeping things lively. Imagine is a great place to relax, meet a local, see some art, get out of the rain, and Bryce is one of the reasons why.
My Man Godfrey (1936) is on the docket for this 32nd installment of CMNYK at the Darkside. A rollicking and warm-hearted romantic comedy, starring screen greats Carole Lombard and William Powell, this film was recently added to the Library of Congress’ film registry for preservation as a culturally significant classic. Don’t miss it, along with the awesome pre-show goodies including cartoons, newsreels, and an intro from curator Ygal Kaufman. Did we mention it’s free?
Timba Tuesday, Impulse Bar, 1425 NW Monroe Ave. 8 p.m. Free
The fine foot-tapping people of Rumbanana, Corvallis’ Salsa dance experts, put on this free Salsa dance party every Tuesday night. If shaking your ass to the sounds of modern salsa artists, in addition to classics like Ruben Blades and the Fania All Stars, is your thing (and if it’s not, I’m not sure we can be friends), then Timba Tuesday should be your jam. Impulse is maybe the only decent dance club in town, so this is a match made in Havana heaven.
Joe Martines specializes in house concerts, which makes him a kindred spirit to me. The best shows I ever played when I used to rock were house parties. Now it should be noted, Joe deals in singer-songwriter acoustic mellowness, not the costumed glam metal I used to think fit house parties so well. But he does inspire the crowd to get up and shuffle their feet to his smooth sounds. Check out Jangles at Bombs, and then consider booking him to play your living room. He promises to take off his shoes.
Wednesday Acoustic Live!, Les Caves, 308 SW 3rd St. 8 p.m. Free
The band for this Wednesday is still a mystery, but if the pattern holds, it will be some form of local stalwarts Gumbo. And Gumbo is just darn terrific. You’ve probably seen them at the farmers’ market, or at Les Caves, or one of the many places this talented group shows up. They play easy swinging jazz and folk and other types of roots music to get you bobbing your head. Caves is one of my favorite places to see these guys, which is probably because they pair well with a sour bier. In the event it’s not Gumbo, don’t show up at my door with a pitchfork and a torch—whoever does play on Wednesday will likely be worth the cover price (Hint: it’s free).
No performer can truly know if they suck or not until they’ve run the open mic night gauntlet. Fortunately Corvallis has a bunch of OMNs for young American Idol hopefuls to scrape a knuckle on. I like Bombs Away’s for its close proximity to the frat houses. That way if you hear something spectacularly bad, you have a place to go trash. They won’t notice anyway. This weekly courage test switches locations between Bombs and Cloud & Kelly’s, so you should never have to suffer a Thursday night without some amateur music.
Old Time Appalachian Music Jam, Old World Deli, 341 SW 2nd St. 7 p.m. Free
The only thing that complements a deli sandwich better than coleslaw is some older dudes, preferably with ZZ Toppian beards, playing on things like jugs, washboards, and Jew’s harps. Okay, that was a mouthful, but you must trust me here. I swear it makes the sandwich taste better. Get your Deliverance on with some excellent Appalachian jamming at the Old World.