This Week in the Mercury


Friday, March 23, 2012

Get to Know the Malt Ball Bands! Part III

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Fri, Mar 23, 2012 at 2:13 PM

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Tomorrow's the Malt Ball! Yes, indeed, and since you are coming (you are coming, get your tickets here) we're continuing with the final installment in our gripping and suspenseful weeklong series, Get to Know the Malt Ball Bands! (Don't miss a single installment: Part I is here, and Part II is here.)

We've got four more bands to tell you about in this stirring conclusion, but don't forget to check out our own handy beer-and-band guide, PLUS the Oregon Brewers Guild has even more info about the beers that'll be pouring tomorrow. They've also got a list of the sandwiches that the People's Sandwich of Portland will have available—each one is named after a band!

Click the jump for profiles on Weinland, Denver, Stay Calm, and Archers.


Hopworks has brewed an outrageously strong beer for Weinland—it's around 10 percent ABV—and while it might seem an odd match for mellow folk-rock, anyone who's been to a Weinland show knows that things can get a little rowdy. Weinland's superb fourth record is on the way, and while we can't share any of it with you yet, it's some of the band's best work to date. In the meantime, here's one from their last album, Breaks in the Sun. Weinland plays tomorrow at 10:05 pm.

Outlaw country band Denver are the real deal. This isn't city-slicker cornpone posing. Take a listen and hear the echoes of country's raw, dangerous past—something that's in short supply in Nashville these days. Guess it takes the ragged forests and mountains of the Northwest to inject some real fire back into country music. Not that you should take this as any kind of recommendation, but Denver sounds damn fine after a few, or a few too many. Denver hits the stage at 6:45 pm.


Stay Calm is the whirling, propulsive trio of Claudia Meza (formerly Explode into Colors), Angela McIlvain, and Ben Tyler. Their deconstructionist dance music is rhythmic, heavy, and totally immersive. It's got a dark sound to it—traces of evil—but the music is ultimately uplifting in a primordial, physical way. Stay Calm plays at 4:30 pm.


And Archers encapsulate the guitar heroics of the past 40 years in one irresistible package, echoing new wave, punk, and post-punk as well as power pop, '90s indie rock, and countless other touchstones, coming up with something that sounds completely unique. (Full disclosure: guitarist Chris Cantino is a Mercury contributor.) Their songs are more complicated than initially meets the ear, but enjoying them is anything but. They're taking the Malt Ball stage at 3 pm tomorrow.

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