September: A Month of Portland Concerts in 20 Songs

From icons like Art Garfunkel and Boyz II Men to plenty of new blood, here's a 20-track playlist to guide you through Portland’s live music acts this September.

By Michelle Porter August 31, 2016

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Bloc Party's new lineup comes to the Roseland.

Out with the sandals, tank tops, and that Don Henley song. In with more layers, everything pumpkin spice, and some sounds to get us through the darkening days. Portland has a lot of comeback acts tripping through town this September, from Art Garfunkel to Boyz II Men to Bebel Gilberto, but they're joined by plenty of fresh blood. Hit our playlist to check in on old-school icons and get acquainted with the new guard.

September 2: Barns Courtney, “Hands”: Last year, the British singer/songwriter's track "Fire" was featured in the Bradley Cooper flick Burnt. This year, Courtney gets more tactile, reaching further up with his new single.

September 3: Ages and Ages, “Something to Ruin”: Known for their big vocal harmonies and catchy handclaps, Ages and Ages has just released a new record, also titled Something to Ruin. Listen to them move toward synth grooves and electronic textures.

September 6: Kristin Andreassen, “The New Ground”: Join this John Lennon Songwriting Contest winner as she explores a melodic world that goes beyond a box of crayons.

September 7: Ruthie Foster, “Stretch”: With a voice as soul-cleansing as holy water, this Texas singer—she’s got church choir in her background—has a mind-opening request: Stretch yourself.

September 8: Mipso, “Louise”: Follow this indie folk band’s descriptive narrative about a young family trying to make it through trying times—with just a little luck.

September 9: The Dear Hunter, “Light”: Teen angst and rebellion are fairly standard subjects in the music world. But for all the good boys and girls, this is a song of imperfect yet unconditional parental love.

September 10: The Mavericks, “All Night Long”: If you wanna get your groove on, you might want to consult the experts. And trust us, this western swing band has been doing it for 27 years.

September 12: Juliette Lewis, “Hello Hero”: You may have seen her Emmy nomination-nabbing performance in Hysterical Blindness, or you may have heard her voice a fictional radio host in Grand Theft Auto IV. Either way, Lewis is bound to turn heads. After shocking everyone with her 2009 album, Terra Incognita, this longtime actor makes an edgy comeback.

September 13: Boyz II Men, “Losing Sleep”: Known for ballads like “I’ll Make Love to You”, and “On Bended Knee,” the most commercially successfully R&B group of all time returns to woo Portland audiences, one smooth note at a time. Arlene Schnitzer Hall,

September 15: Bloc Party, “The Good News”: Three years and two band members down, Bloc Party’s new (breakup) record is here. With two new members, their style has spun into something more restrained and soulful.

September 16: Sara Watkins, “Without A Word”: This song, inspired The Great Gatsby, is from Watkins's third album, Young In All The Wrong Ways, which she describes as a breakup record with herself.

September 18: Garbage, “Empty”: Four years after their first independent album release, Garbage is bringing grunge back, with a lead single about imposter syndrome.

September 19: The Temper Trap, “Fall Together”: After touring with the likes of Coldplay and the Rolling Stones, the Temper Trap's latest album features songwriting blends from Lana Del Rey and Sia songwriter Justin Parker.

September 21: Ezra Bell, “You Go Out And Dig”: This eight-member folk band heralds from Portland—you’ve probably seen them busking along the waterfront—and has a down-to-earth sound that pairs particularly well with a joyride on Northwestern country roads.

September 21: Sigur Ros, “Oveour”: There’s more to Iceland than just Björk. Originally formed in 1994, this Icelandic experimental rock band is known for their otherworldly sound. Keller Auditorium.

September 25: Art Garfunkel, “I Only Have Eyes For You”: The famous duo’s curly-haired half unleashes his lilting countertenor.

September 26: Brian Culbertson, “You’re My Music”: He’s worked with musical giants like Michael McDonald, Barry Manilow, and the late Maurice White of Earth, Wind, & Fire. Now he’s in town to show off his velvety smooth rhythmic stylings, perfected over more than two decades.

September 28: Twin Peaks, “Making Breakfast”: Formed in high school, recorded their first album in a basement, and went on the road—check, check, check. This garage-inspired band may have made it the old-fashioned way, but they’ve got a punk sound that’s very much here and now.

September 29: The Music Of David Bowie, “Space Oddity”: No one can replace the Thin White Duke, but vocalist Tony Vincent and a full band will put forth a valiant effort. If there was ever an occasion to dress up for the symphony, even in casual Portland, it’s tonight. Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall.

September 30: Bebel Gilberto, “Harvest Moon”: Born in New York and raised largely in Rio de Janeiro, Gilberto unites influences from both cities with her trademark electronic bossa nova. Now is the time to get sonically transported to sultry Brazil—sunscreen optional. Winningstad Theater.

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