After a half-dozen listens to Portland, Ore.'s Jared Mees and the Grown Children, you'll be singing along like you're on a school bus returning from a field trip, arm flung around your best pal. Something in Mees' slightly nasally sing/talk could convince the most competitive opposing kickball teams to meet in center field for an awesome dance party.
Mees' first album, If You Want to Swim with the Sharks, was essentially a solo effort, but he rounded up some Portlanders to add team spirit to his second album, Caffeine, Alcohol, Sunshine, Money. Released on his and wife Brianne's record label Tender Loving Empire (see CD Review on Page 30), Caffeine garnered Mees some much-deserved attention from both NPR and PDX Pop Now.
"Between having more people, more time, more room and more money, it yielded a much bigger, broader recording and sound," said Mees, taking a break from watching Kubrick's Lolita. "There was a more anthemic nature to these songs than the first album."
Caffeine's standout track, "Tallest Building in Hell," starts off with the plucky guitar of Weezer's "Sweater Song," then leaps into something more Mates of State-y. With offbeat, singalong choruses, squeaking violins and trashcan-lid drums, the song ends with "You still laugh in your sleep / I take that seriously." We're serious when we say: Go see this band.
With Finn Riggins, 8 p.m., $3, Neurolux, 111 N. 11th St.