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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tonight in Music: Phantogram, The Coathangers, Ultra Peach

Posted by Lex Chase on Tue, Jul 24, 2012 at 3:47 PM


PHANTOGRAM, PORCELAIN RAFT
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) This Phantogram show will be oodles of pretty—from Sarah Barthel's luxurious voice, to the multimedia backdrop, to the Portlanders in their breezy sundresses. Grab an icy cocktail and dance to the chill, spacey pop of the New York band. COURTNEY FERGUSON


THE COATHANGERS, DIVERS
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) The Coathangers are living proof that there's no excuse to sit on your ass and NOT start a rock 'n' roll band. In 2006, the quartet of women from Atlanta found themselves sharing a predilection for good times and good tunes, so they learned how to play guitars, keys, and drums, and formed a band that instantly won audiences over. Now touring in support of their third album, Larceny and Old Lace, released last year on Suicide Squeeze records, their musical chops are considerably honed, with songs that are an engaging blend of styles, including charging rock ("Hurricane"), sultry disco-feel ("My Baby"), and classic-style girl-group tracks, incorporating "oohs" and "ahhs" alongside punk-rock swerve. All four members sing on each track and switch up vocal duties, making their music feel and sound like a collaborative effort among friends. MARANDA BISH


JOSH AND MER, ULTRA PEACH
(The Waypost, 3120 N Williams) Seeing Ultra Peach (more or less a solo moniker for Spokane-based singer/songwriter David Plell, although additional musicians appear on the recordings) perform was one of this year's best musical surprises so far. I know it's tacky to describe something as "genre-defying" but Plell doesn't ever follow a single definitive template, so I'm not really left with much choice. His songs employ a variety of instruments—guitars, keys, and notably a glockenspiel (live, he uses a loop pedal)—and he rarely adheres to the ordinary (predictable) verse/chorus/verse structure. "Learn Hello," the second track off Ultra Peach's newest EP Ask for Dust, is especially rad. This is like if Harry Nilsson made music for videogames. MORGAN TROPER

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