I remember, many years ago, being told that Exile On Main St. was the best Rolling Stones album. And I remember buying it, bringing it home, flipping on the stereo and thinking what? Why this one? So it made me happy when Ben Ratliff, in last Sunday's New York Times, shared my sentiment:
I find most of “Exile” good, but not great. (That era of Stones music, fantastic. The album, not so much.) I can’t see it as a masterpiece, not only because I distrust the idea of masterpieces, but because I especially don’t want one from the Stones, who make songs and albums like birds’ nests — collaborative tangles with delicate internal balances — and have a history of great triage work, assembling bits and pieces recorded over a long period. But “Exile” remains the preference of the most judicious Stones fans. Why? What is its essence?
But Ratliff's essay does much more than judge Exile and it's newly released disc of previously unheard material. It explores—and debunks—many the myths surrounding the record while exploring the nature of albums themselves.
I've never been a big fan of guest DJs—unless they are actually, you know, DJs—but this weekend at Rotture will feature a pair of (possible) big names to spin into the early morning hours. Following Friday's Reflection Eternal show at the Aladdin, Talib Kweli will be swapping roles with DJ Hi-Tek and spinning at an "official" afterparty. Not sure what Hi-Tek does while Talib spins? Take the mic to spit some lines? Drink at the bar? Text Mos Def?
As for Saturday's special guest DJ, rumor was that LCD Soundsystem was going to spin at Supernature. What the what?!? Then it came out that it might not be James Murphy himself, but possibly members of his touring band. Oh. When reached for comment, Rotture's Conrad Loebl gave us this vague reply: "member(s) of LCD will be spinning after their show." Well, there you go.
For all the Portland newbies out there, Pan Tourismos were a fine local act that played around town in the early aughts (let's just call it the Blackbird Era) and even released a posthumous split seven-inch with the Joggers a few months back.
Since bassist Demetri Kassapakis is the owner of the fine The Hilt establishment on NE Alberta, his old band gets a pizza named in their honor. That got me thinking, why are there not more menu items devoted to local bands? Considering the amount of musicians that work in the food service industry, plus there are plenty of band names just begging for something to be named in their honor (Breakfast Mountain, Keep Your Fork There's Pie, Pancake Breakfast, Brkfst Sndwch, etc.), it's a surprise that this isn't a common thing around town. If Denny's can do it, I think Portland restaurants can as well.
You know it's a big deal when the Rotture crew dusts off their bottom floor (aka, Plan B, aka Meow Meow II, aka Loveland, etc.) for an event. That is exactly the plan for the second year of Supernature's massive Superfest dance party throwdown.
Superfest2 stretches over a pair of days—July 16 and 17—and will feature 15 different local acts, all performing for an all-age crowd. The lineup...
Friday, July 16: Copy, Wampire, Fake Drugs, Hosannas, Strategy, Joey Casio & Rude Dude DJs
Saturday, July 17: Deelay Ceelay, Strength, Atole, Operative, E*Rock, Pegasus Dream & DJ Linoleum
Tickets are $8, or $12 for a two day pass, and if you are looking for a PDX Pop warmup show, this is going to be it.
Good morning folks. Not much to say about this photo from Cannes, where the great King Khan drops trou in front of a clearly horrified Lindsay Lohan. I just thought it had to be posted.
That is all.
Sharon Jones and her faithful band of Dap Kings have a brand new album gracing record stores the nation over, I Learned the Hard Way, and to celebrate, we are giving away some goodies.
• A Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings slipmat
• A copy of I Learned the Hard Way
• A "rare 45" from Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings
To win this box of awesomeness, just comment below and explain why it should be yours. The best comment by Monday at 5pm takes it all home. Also, don't forget Ms. Jones and company will be at the Crystal Ballroom on June 22, and anyone who has witnessed her onstage can attest, the woman is incredible in concert. Do not miss it.
Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings - "I Learned the Hard Way"
We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but Explode into Colors is breaking up. The band has yet to release a formal statement on the matter, but their final performance will be their June 5th show at Rotture (coincidentally our 10th anniversary party—but don't blame us, it's not our fault).
In their brief yet triumphant run, XIC quickly became one of the most popular bands in Portland (and beyond), a remarkable feat considering that the trio of Claudia Meza, Lisa Schonberg, and Heather Treadway never released a full-length recording.
Wow. Unless you know one is a band and the other is a label, that headline makes no sense. Pass the bong.
Take it away press release:
(Eternal Tapestry) plans to start recording for their Thrill Jockey debut this summer. The new material will come from the band's current live set, a combination of fast punk inspired songs and epic krautrock influenced guitar improvisations. A tour of the East Coast is planned for the fall.
Truth be told, I was a little underwhelmed with Girl Talk's Feed the Animals, Gregg Gillis' follow-up to the excellent Night Ripper. It's not that Animals was a bad recording, it was just more of the same, as Gillis' short attention mashups were losing their charm and becoming more novelty than anything else.
But thanks to this excellent site, I've rekindled my love for Girl Talk. You can watch (and listen) in realtime, as every single sample is shown as they appear in his songs. You can pinpoint the exact moment where DJ Smurf, The Cure, Usher, and Megadeth all come together at the same time. It's a great way to waste time while at work (as if you were really going to get anything done today).
Be sure to check out this week's article on Frog Eyes, which contained a tiny portion of the lengthy interview I had with frontman Carey Mercer. The new Frog Eyes record, Paul's Tomb: A Triumph, is a wonderful, weird, woolly, and densely packed record with plenty of guitar shredding, highlighted by Mercer's unique vocals and his spiraling, arcane lyrics. It's music that appeals to the emotions and intellect at the same time, and although that sounds unbearably pretentious, Frog Eyes is pretty amazing.
Anyway, the interview with Mercer turned out to be one of the most interesting conversations I've had in a while, so we're posting the whole thing for you after the jump. Very big thanks to intern Brianne Turner who plowed through the thankless transcription duties despite being hopped up on painkillers.
Frog Eyes play Sunday, May 23 at Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison, w/Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band & Typhoon, 8:30 pm, $8
Portland Cello Project shows tend to be full of guest vocalists and oddly well-behaved crowds, so it's safe to say that their performance this Saturday at the Aladdin will have plenty of both. But in addition to collaborations with Storm Large, Laura Gibson, Sallie Ford and plenty more, the band will be debuting a video for "Denmark."
Never heard of that song, well that is because it's the first single from their forthcoming album, which won't see the light of day until July 20th. We can't post the "Denmark" video here—booooo—but we heard it includes life-sized marionettes and was directed by the same folks who made that amazing Weinland video.
To see the video in its entirety, you'll need to be inside the Aladdin on Saturday. If you are, bring a video camera and bootleg us a copy. While you're at it, can you record Iron Man 2 as well? I still haven't seen that one.
Another week, another Mercury music section to ignore while you are captivated by this video of Ronnie James Dio and Lemmy drinking beer on a leather couch. That's what heaven looks like, right?
Get spiritual with the holy secular sounds of Pearly Gate Music. Can I get an amen? No? Alright, fine, whatever.
Pearly Gate Music - "Big Escape"
Peep the quirky and triumphant sounds of Vancouver's Frog Eyes. Also, look for our full interview transcript with frontman Carey Mercer in a bit. He's an interesting fellow.
Frog Eyes - "Lear in Love"
Toro y Moi pulls the thread of music's sweater vest and unravels it all.
Toro y Moi - "Blessa"
Local trio the Quick & Easy Boys have a little something for everyone. I have to agree with their description of sounding like "Band of Gypsys, Funkadelic, James Gang, Willie Nelson, and the Minutemen." I'm a sucker for a James Gang reference.
The Quick & Easy Boys - "Take Your Medicine"
After spending a considerable amount of time getting lost in the YouTube labyrinth, I've discovered the most exciting musical collaboration I've heard in a while (sorry, Broken Bells). This video is guaranteed to make you forget that the weather has developed multiple personality disorder for a second, and maybe even grant you enough clarity to pick out a fucking outfit.
...I know! I'll wear black!
Burhenn camped to Cottage Grove, Oregon (it's near Eugene), to record What We Lose in the Fire We Gain in the Flood at the studio of musician/producer Richard Swift (where Damien Jurado recorded his latest). Burhenn and Swift reportedly laid down nearly all the tracks themselves, which, when you hear the stunning arrangements and orchestrations, is positively mind-boggling. But those Oregon woods can have some magic to 'em, and actually at least one article wrongly claims that Burhenn even lives in Portland. She doesn't. She's based in Omaha currently (home of her label Saddle Creek), and is about to embark on a tour in support of the record. No Portland date, yet, however. Which is a damn shame.
(Burhenn—please come back to Oregon! And play a show in Portland. We can't wait to have you.)
The Mynabirds: "Numbers Don't Lie"
You ARE aware Nice Nice are playing free tonight at Holocene, yes? Well if you don't know, now you know.
And as it begins the loopy duo's cross country tour to promote their latest, Extra Wow, give 'em an extra big shove with some good luck and a shot of confidence.
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