This Week in the Mercury

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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Tonight in Music: Arcade Fire, The Futureheads, The Parson Red Heads, Ancient Age

Posted by Ezra Ace Caraeff on Thu, Sep 30, 2010 at 4:22 PM

ARCADE FIRE, CALEXICO
(Memorial Coliseum, 300 N Winning Way) See My, What a Busy Week!, Read our article on Arcade Fire.

THE FUTUREHEADS
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) The flashing guitars and whole-throated choruses of the Futureheads don't leave a lot of room for subtlety, but they don't really need to. Blasting onto the scene with a perfect debut album in 2004, the Sunderland quartet has struggled a little bit to find variations on its post-punk formula, but its fourth album, The Chaos, reveals that keeping things big and loud and shouty works just fine. "Struck Dumb" and "Heartbeat Song" are terrific blasts of electricity, virtually insisting that you fist pump along. Meanwhile, a couple tunes from the first record have found their way into the Rock Band repertoire, ensuring that the Futureheads will continue to be heard by new generations even as radio continues its ugly death throes. Also of note: I managed to write an entire blurb about the Futureheads without once using the word "angular," so... ah crap, I just used it. NED LANNAMANN

CORY CHISEL AND THE WANDERING SONS, THE PARSON RED HEADS, KASEY ANDERSON
(Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) The Parson Red Heads have played enough shows in town that it shouldn't come as a shock that they finally left Los Angeles for good, relocating to Portland this past summer. Perhaps the band (born in Eugene before moving to La La land) will bring the sunny weather with them. They definitely bring with them the sounds of Southern California (pre-Governator and budget woes, of course) to our gray skyline, finding a happy medium between the breezy country of the Byrds and the spiky power pop of the Nerves. The Red Heads—which can range in size from five to 15, occasionally dressed all in white—are already making themselves at home, playing loads of shows in the coming months, including an upcoming residency at Laurelthirst in November. I have a feeling they'll do just fine here. MARK LORE

ANCIENT AGE, GIT SOME
(East End, 203 SE Grand) Tonight's lineup has too much energy for its own damn good. Ancient Age features both current and former members of Portals and Last of the Juanitas, and delivers heavy, gruff riffage that is akin to Red Fang (another band they cross pollinate with), but the Ancient Age sound has a bit more gallop and crunch to it. The Denver-based Git Some is made up of current and ex-members of Planes Mistaken for Stars and Kingdom of Magic, and their role is to supply heaviness to the bill, as their music sounds like it's been rolled in the gutter—rock and roll with a greasy punk film smeared all over it. Frontman Lucius Fairchild belts out his vocals like a wide-eyed street preacher standing on a soapbox, and his panicked energy will surely translate to the live setting. ARIS WALES

Full show listings can be viewed here!

Introducing the Bar Bar Apartment Sessions

Posted by Raquel Nasser on Thu, Sep 30, 2010 at 3:52 PM

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Attention, citizens! Another assembly of music videos, known quite frankly as the Bar Bar Apartment Sessions, has surfaced in our fair city. As you, saavy reader of words, might have already guessed, these videos are all shot in various nooks of the vacant apartment above Bar Bar, the relatively new establishment adjacent to Mississippi Studios, and are beautifully devoid of frills; you're likely to find bands playing at the dining room table or sitting (fully-clothed, so far) in the bathtub, taking full advantage of the good reverb. Local director Ben Fee has made it his mission to capture local and visiting acts in their element, most of which play Mississippi Studios or are bombarded and whisked away by Fee after they've played some other venue in town.

For a fine example, we have Denver's The Lumineers playing their little hearts out under a bare bulb in the main stairwell. Simple, but lovely.

The Lumineers - Flowers In Your Hair from bar bar apartment sessions on Vimeo
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Check the site for more videos, and keep an eye out for what's to come!

Wolf Parade's Portland Video

Posted by Ezra Ace Caraeff on Thu, Sep 30, 2010 at 10:08 AM

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Our fair city is the backdrop for this gorgeous new Wolf Parade video for "Yulia." Directed by Scott Coffey, the clip has a cool Cold War-era Baikonur Cosmodrome vibe to it, and was filmed in both Portland and Romania (!), although the majority of the filming was done here in town. Since we don't have a lot of Russian cosmonauts around here, the beach at Kelley Point Park and the (unfortunately named) Failing Pedestrian Bridge seem to be the most visible local shots. If you can find any additional ones, you win a trip to the Russian space station.

You can watch the video here.

Win Tickets to Jamie Lidell!

Posted by Ezra Ace Caraeff on Thu, Sep 30, 2010 at 9:14 AM

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Despite his nerdtactular glasses, British accent, and pasty exterior, Jamie Lidell just might be the most soulful man on the planet. No longer just a spastic one man show of beatboxing, soul crooning, electronic noise, and jittery dance moves, Lidell is now armed withy mighty backing band and touring in support of his fine Compass LP. If you have never seen the man in concert before, you are in for a treat.

Speaking of, we have a pair of tickets to giveaway to see Lidell in action this Sunday at the Hawthorne Theatre. Wanna win them? Just comment below and tell us about your favorite Lidell song before 9 am tomorrow (October 1) morning. The winning comment will win two tickets to this all-age show. Good luck.

LISTEN:

Jamie Lidell - "The Ring"

Comments not your thing. Worry not, you can still buy tickets here.

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Party in the Park with Lifesavas

Posted by Ezra Ace Caraeff on Thu, Sep 30, 2010 at 8:43 AM

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What are you doing right now? Wrong answer. You should be calling in sick because we are one day away from October, it's 80 degrees outside, and Lifesavas are about to play a free show in the park blocks. Party in the Park is primarily for "new PSU students" but just grab a Trapper Keeper and do your best Freshman impression, since the 'Savas and their full backing band get started around 11:15am.

Work is for suckers.

This Week's Mercury Music Section

Posted by Ezra Ace Caraeff on Thu, Sep 30, 2010 at 7:43 AM

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Another week, another Mercury music section to ignore while you chug down another bottle of that Queen Latifah water.

Arcade Fire releases The Suburbs, a conceptual record based entirely on the 1989 Tom Hanks and Corey Feldman joint, The 'Burbs.
LISTEN:

Arcade Fire - "City With No Children"

Tally ho my god the Clean are touring America! The Kiwi band that influenced everyone is coming to Holocene, plus bassist Robert Scott will take part in a Q&A session at Bunk Bar next Wednesday as well.
LISTEN:

The Clean " Tally Ho"

Harmonies, harmonies, and harmonies. Old Light does not skimp on the harmonies on their debut LP The Dirty Future.
LISTEN:

Old Light - "Cmon"

Despite a few embarrassing missteps in the '80s, Raven have returned to their early British metal roots and grace us with a rare Portland appearance.
LISTEN:

Raven - "Hard Ride"

Hosannas - "When We Were Young" Video

Posted by Ezra Ace Caraeff on Thu, Sep 30, 2010 at 7:13 AM

"When We Were Young" is the first single from Together, the latest from the recently slimmed down Hosannas. The song now has its very own video and it's full of eggs. Eggs. Eggs. Eggs. So many damn eggs. Looks like those Egg Council creeps really got to Hosannas.

Together will be properly releases this Sunday at Mississippi Studios, and you can download the eggcellent song here. Ha, eggcellent! Get it?

Kill me now.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Tonight in Music: Dirty Projectors, Robyn Hitchcock, Matt & Kim, and More

Posted by Morgan Troper on Wed, Sep 29, 2010 at 2:44 PM

DIRTY PROJECTORS, DOMINIQUE YOUNG UNIQUE

(Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie) See Tuesday's preview and My, What a Busy Week!, pg. 17.

ROBYN HITCHCOCK, JOE BOYD

(The Woods, 6637 SE Milwaukie) Also see My, What a Busy Week!, pg. 17.

MATT AND KIM, FANG ISLAND, DELTA BRAVO

(Roseland, 8 NW 6th) See My, What a Busy Week!, pg. 17.

School of Seven Bells, Lifesavas, and Jon Langford and Skull Orchard, as well as a link to the complete show listings, after the jump.

Continue reading »

Nick Jaina Launches US Tour From Behind Prison Walls

Posted by Travis Ritter on Wed, Sep 29, 2010 at 11:37 AM

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You might be asking, "What did Nick Jaina do to go to prison?" Well, nothing, actually, unless you consider making gentle folk music a crime. The Portland artist is pulling out his Johnny Cash card by kicking off his upcoming U.S. tour from behind the thick, razor-wired walls of the Two Rivers Correctional Instituion in Umatilla, OR. This is the only show taking place in a prison on the tour (I guess Folsom was booked). Jaina says, "I've played a lot in the Pendleton area and the warden of the prison contacted me a while ago to see if I would play there. I thought it would be a good opening show for the tour. The show is only for the inmates, and only the good ones at that. They get rewarded for good behavior by getting to go to concerts."

I wonder if the inmates will get all weepy-eyed when he plays the song, "Days in My Room"?

Jaina's homecoming show will go down Nov. 16 at Alberta Rose. If waiting a month and a half for him to play in town is too much for you to handle, there are plenty of stupid things you could do to go to jail in time to see him play next week. Heck, you might even be released by the time he gets back.

Tour Dates after the jump...

Continue reading »

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Menomena on Last Call with Carson Daly

Posted by Ezra Ace Caraeff on Wed, Sep 29, 2010 at 8:32 AM

We mentioned it on Monday, and here it is: Menomena on Last Call with Carson Daly. In his weird introduction (Is it always like this? Who the hell watches this show?) Daly mentions that the band has had four records, which is not correct unless he counts the expendable Under an Hour recording. Well, do you, Carson?

Wait, I just boasted about knowing more about indie rock than Carson Daly. I have never felt so worthless in my entire life.

Name This Band: Dress Up Day at the Beach Edition

Posted by Ezra Ace Caraeff on Wed, Sep 29, 2010 at 8:31 AM

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Name this band over at Blogtown. You know you want to.

Whoa, man: Arthur Magazine's New Compilation Blackout

Posted by Travis Ritter on Wed, Sep 29, 2010 at 8:00 AM

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  • Artwork by Arik Roper

We've been there: getting drunk on a handle of cheap whiskey or high on nature's candy, listening to music out in the woods with some friends. You're surrounded by the rustle of the trees, the crackle of the fire, and the snaps of twigs caused by some creature hunting prey. Just beyond where light turns to darkness, someone who drank too much whiskey (or just took too many drugs) is passed out on the ground, and will later wake up covered in spiders and other insects that have mistaken the human body for a log. Oh lord, have we been there. But wasn't it great?

Well, those heady, peaceniks over at Arthur Magazine think so, and have made an excellent new compilation, Blackout, featuring the likes of San Francisco's Moon Duo, Thrill Jockey psych barons White Hills, and Psychic Ills related-project Messages. Blackout will either touch your deepest spiritual core if listened to while meditating in the forest, or wrestle with your brain after eating few wild Psilocybin mushrooms. The eight-track compilation, compiled by Arthur editor Jay Babcock (a key instigator of New Weird America's progressive, cult-ish "under-the-counter" culture), is available to download for as little as $4.20. It's a small price to pay for some of today's most psychedelic, folky, experimentalists. Plus it helps a great magazine/webzine that continues to further and alter our ears and minds. (I would love to see you in print again, Arthur!)

DOWNLOAD Blackout HERE

Portland Bootlegs

Posted by Andrew R Tonry on Wed, Sep 29, 2010 at 1:30 AM

Elliot Smith at EJs in 1998
  • Elliot Smith at EJ's in 1998

I've always found it strange that bootlegging concerts hasn't become more prevalent in the internet age. Recording technology is more portable and easier to use, and online sharing is fast and efficient (forget waiting for the tapes to dub at regular speed, then dropping them in the mail—and shit man, when Jere Bear drops the 80-minute version of "Truckin'," that's a whole cassette right there). I have a feeling it has something to do with the way bands play—a lot less improvising, and near-facsimile sets—but that's just a guess. Maybe it's just that the only people who ever really wanted to hear all a band's shows were dirty, stinking hippies.

For the most part horrible jam bands like String Cheese Incident (1,141 shows) and Ekoostik Hookah (493 shows) dominate archive.org's Live Music Archive. But poke around and you might find something a little less dank, like the 93 different recordings of Elliott Smith or 28 outings of the Minutemen. Each of the 83,364 shows at the site is available for free download.

Better yet the concerts are searchable by city and venue, which in Portland's case you means can thumb through a few of the bygone days at venerable clubs like La Luna and EJ's. They aren't always great quality, but it's pretty cool to listen to Elliott Smith back in the mid-90's when he beginning to hit his stride—gives the whole thing a little extra weight.

There are a number of bootlegging sites like archive.org out there, and if you know any good ones, please share. I guess that's how it works now—instead of trading tapes we trade sites.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Sentence We Never Thought We'd Type: Three Mile Pilot Has a New Album

Posted by Jacob Schraer on Tue, Sep 28, 2010 at 4:22 PM

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Every time I put on Three Mile Pilot a friend of mine would say, "Now I want to kill myself." My own reaction was that of a ridiculous teenager: I wanted to lock myself in my room, or get high with my friends and talk about how its awesomeness, or get tossed and rock out to it like I did when I finally got to see them at the Doug Fir last summer. Even though I grew up in San Diego, somehow I missed TMP's heyday.

Their first album, Na Vucca Do Lopo, released in 1991, consisted of just bass, drums, and vocals. It is sparse and haunting yet catchy. Singer Pall Jenkins couldn't play guitar at that point, though he grew into a stellar and unique rhythm guitarist by the time they released their opus, Another Desert, Another Sea, in 1997 [To each their opus, but I think Chief Assassin to the Sinister is their best record.—Ed.]. Buffered by the addition of Tobias Nathaniel on keyboards, who went on to be in Jenkins' next project, Black Heart Procession, the band's sound was fully realized on Another Desert, Another Sea. Still haunting with a solid pop sensibility, the band became an indie rock classic.

A few years later they had split into two a pair of bands: Black Heart Procession and Pinback. The success of those two distinct acts kept a reunion on hold for years. Often rumored, Three Mile Pilot finally started playing shows last year.

Excited as I was about the reunion I'm even more thrilled to hear that the band has finally recorded a new album, something that was rumored in San Diego for most of the last decade. The Inevitable Past is the Future Forgotten will be released today via onetime Portland label Temporary Residence. It's written, recorded and produced by all the original members and hopefully will be followed by another visit to Doug Fir.

LISTEN:

Three Mile Pilot - "Days of Wrath"

Abe Vigoda's Quantum Leap

Posted by Ethan Jayne on Tue, Sep 28, 2010 at 2:49 PM

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I suppose if you've been living in Los Angeles, seeing Smell-punks Abe Vigoda leak their new material at shows and such, their brand new long-player, Crush, won't shock you all that much. For the rest of us, the album is pretty much the curveball of the year—reviewers, bloggers and fans have been emphasizing the huge stylistic jump from their last proper full-length, 2008's Skeleton. The "tropical punk" tag that was thrown around ad nauseum after Skeleton is not even close to applicable here. Crush finds the boys gettin' goth—deeply rooted in dark '80s new wave, with the drum programming, pomp and sheen of Bauhaus or OMD.

It's definitely a quantum stylistic leap to make in just two short years, but if you want to get really big picture: Skeleton itself was also a rather big, melodic departure from the band's beginnings as angular, stabbing noise-punk from the Inland Empire. Take a listen below—the first track is from Crush, the second from Skeleton, the third is the title track off their 2005 debut Sky Route/Star Roof—no-wave to new-wave in five years flat.

LISTEN:

(2010) Abe Vigoda - "Dream Of My Love (Chasing After You)"

LISTEN:

(2008) Abe Vigoda - "The Garden"

LISTEN:

(2005) Abe Vigoda - "Sky Route/Star Roof"

Personally, I love it when a band throws me for a loop like this, keeping me interested and guessing from album to album. I suppose the real question I'm getting at is—can anyone think of any other bands who have shape-shifted this much, this completely, this quickly? Drop it in the comment box if so.

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