Win Tickets ($55): Jason Isbell @ Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall | w/ Damien Jurado, Rock

We are giving away a pair of tickets to Jason Isbell @ Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall on August 8. To win, comment on this post why you’d like to attend. Winner will be drawn and emailed Friday, August 7.

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From our sponsors:
Jason Isbell @ Arlene Schnitzer Concert HallJason Isbell w/ Damien Jurado
August 8, 2015
Doors 7 p.m., Show 8 p.m. | $27.50 – $37.505 | All Ages
Tickets: aladdin-theater.com

Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
1037 SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97205
(503) 248-4335

Every once in a while, and not that often, a popular musician comes along whose work is both profoundly personal and evocative of the larger moment, merging the specifics of lived experience in a particular time and place to the realities of our shared journey as a community, a people. The work of such artists as Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen, and Kurt Cobain – and now Jason Isbell, I would argue, with his new album Something More Than Free – spreads irresistibly outward from the soul, that private well of vision and emotion, into the broader realm of cultural history, sharpening our ability to see, expanding our ability to feel, and restoring our sense that we belong not only to ourselves but to an extended spiritual family. The songs create a space to be together, and closer together than we were before.

To fans and the music press, the personal story surrounding Isbell’s last, breakthrough album, Southeastern, is widely known and easily reprised. A troubled young troubadour, newly married, stepped away from the darkness of addiction into a new, uncertain life of clarity and commitment, reflecting ruefully on his hard won victories and the price he paid attaining them. It was an album of aching elegance, marked by the sort of lyrical precision that brought to mind certain literary masters of the melancholy American scene, from Flannery O’Connor to Raymond Carver. By avoiding the hairy-chested bombast of arena country music while crafting music with solid melodic contours Isbell created an album, and a sound, of memorably infectious empathy.

With Something More Than Free, he stretches himself further, greatly expanding the boundaries of Isbell country, that territory of the heart and mind where people strive against their imperfections, and simultaneously against their circumstances, in a landscape that’s often unfriendly to their hopes. As always, he starts with the subjects he knows best: the dignity of work, the difficulty of love, the friction between the present and the past. “I found myself going back,” he says, explaining the direction he chose to take, “to family and close personal relations.” The opening cut, “It Takes a Lifetime”, so loose and summery and optimistic, invites us into this circle of kindred souls, instantly making us feel at home. And while Isbell may be singing about himself or someone else who’s inner life he’s privy to when he mentions fighting ‘the urge to live inside my telephone,’ isn’t that everyone’s challenge nowadays?

Once you’ve cleaned up your act, what should your next action be, and your next? That’s one of the questions handled in “24 Frames”, the album’s bracing second cut, whose narrator seems to be managing life deliberately, step by step, with peril all around. “You thought God was an architect. Now you know/ He’s something like a pipe bomb ready to blow.” The danger of self-destruction is always near, and the way to defeat it seems to be putting self-seeking and vanity aside and taking the next right action, however simple. “After you’ve looked your fears in the eye,” Isbell tells me on the phone, “What’s important now?” Maybe he knows and maybe he’s still learning — this isn’t an album of easy certainties -– but what makes his songwriting so rich and gripping, besides its observational precision, is the honesty of his inquiries. He doesn’t flinch. He doesn’t cheat.

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31 Responses to Win Tickets ($55): Jason Isbell @ Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall | w/ Damien Jurado, Rock

  1. Dustin July 29, 2015 at 4:51 pm #

    I want to see Jason Isbell because of that line where he says football stardom is “A boy’s last dream/And a man’s first loss.” Not too many people are writing like that these days.

  2. Christopher July 29, 2015 at 5:10 pm #

    Because AUGUST 8th IS MY BIRTHDAY! And, because I’ve been following Damien Jurado since he was the frontman for Seattle post-punk band Coolidge. Would be so cool to see him on that Schnitzer stage!

  3. Jeana July 30, 2015 at 1:41 pm #

    The Arlene Schnitzer Concert hall is my second home! I love all the artists that perform here and would love to hear Jason Isbell live!

  4. Perry July 30, 2015 at 2:45 pm #

    This is going to be such a fun night!

  5. Tim July 30, 2015 at 4:05 pm #

    I just found out about this guy and I really like his music. Would love to have tickets to take the spouse out for a night of great music!

  6. Ron T July 30, 2015 at 9:15 pm #

    Jason Isbell w/ Damien Jurado are a sight to see and hear. I know this only
    from what I read, but, I can tell this is my kind of music. I’d love to listen.
    Please pick me.

  7. DebB July 31, 2015 at 8:37 am #

    Jason Isbell is awesome! Would love to see him perform at the Schnitz.

  8. Brad July 31, 2015 at 9:09 am #

    Sounds soulful.

  9. WhenPigsFly July 31, 2015 at 2:43 pm #

    I like music, and free tickets are the best!

  10. david July 31, 2015 at 6:01 pm #

    woah. what an eve this would be. been digging these gents for some time now, yet never had the opportunity to catch ’em live!

  11. Janet August 1, 2015 at 10:17 am #

    on my bucket list

  12. Kathy August 2, 2015 at 8:52 am #

    Would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to see Jason while we’re in Portland next weekend. Great giveaway, thanks!

  13. Janna August 2, 2015 at 9:16 am #

    it would be so much fun.

  14. Linda S August 3, 2015 at 8:55 am #

    Never have seen him before.

  15. Audrey August 3, 2015 at 10:05 am #

    i wanna go bc the music is GOOD!

  16. Erin August 3, 2015 at 10:27 am #

    Love me some Jason Isbell and what better place to see him than the Schnitz! Pick me. Please.

  17. Leonard August 3, 2015 at 12:14 pm #

    Sounds like a great show

  18. maggie August 4, 2015 at 3:40 pm #

    Awesome! Fingers crossed!

  19. Melanie August 4, 2015 at 4:33 pm #

    Would love love love to go!

  20. Jamey August 6, 2015 at 11:14 am #

    I want to go because Jason Isbell is extremely talented and I’ve never seen him perform live.

  21. susan August 6, 2015 at 2:34 pm #

    Oh I have dreamed of going to this show – fingers crossed!

  22. Kimi August 6, 2015 at 3:11 pm #

    My boyfriend and I mark the beginning of our relationship 5 years ago, with a Damian Jurado show. Therefore, we like to see him every chance we get!

  23. Rae August 6, 2015 at 4:13 pm #

    “Oh My Husband Would Absolutely Luv This!!! #Cheers PDXPipeline! :)

  24. Aaron August 6, 2015 at 4:57 pm #

    The Schnitz, baby! Also, those influences look amazing. I’ve heard of these artists, but have never seen them live.

  25. Sky August 6, 2015 at 6:16 pm #

    Now this is how country music is supposed to sound!

  26. Grier August 6, 2015 at 6:53 pm #

    Just got married and with hectic schedules, my partner and I could only manage a few days out of Southern Oregon so, what better way to celebrate than with great music in a great city?!

  27. Alex S August 6, 2015 at 9:32 pm #

    I can’t wait to go…..:}

  28. Dana G August 6, 2015 at 9:57 pm #

    I have not listened to much Jason Isbell but I can only imagine how amazing he would be to see live. I’d love to win tickets to see him and Damien.

  29. Tom P August 7, 2015 at 6:36 am #

    I feel like a winner

  30. Britt August 7, 2015 at 9:57 am #

    PICK ME! I JUST GOT LAID OFF AND IT’S OUR 6 YEAR ANNIVERSARY!!! <3 We were going to buy tickets but couldn't spend the money now. Help a wifey out!

  31. Sandy August 7, 2015 at 3:03 pm #

    Have been a fan of JI’s since his days in the Drive-By Truckers

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