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Monday, April 22, 2013

Music Monday! Blue Cranes, Natasha Kmeto, Portugal. The Man, Bear & Moose, Gaytheist, Grouper

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Mon, Apr 22, 2013 at 4:34 PM

Mmm, mmm, it's Music Monday!

Portland jazz-and-beyond ensemble Blue Cranes will release their fourth album, Swim, on June 4 via Cuneiform Records, and the record was produced by Decemberists bassist Nate Query. As tenor sax player Joe Cunningham says of the album, "It’s a lot denser than our other records. It’s got this heaviness to it, and a lot of dissonance. I think we were all sort of okay with that because of how we were feeling. It’s dark, but it’s not all dark." Here's an advance song from it, the reassuringly titled "Everything Is Going to Be Okay," which was written as a tribute to alto sax player Reed Wallsmith's sister in law, Franya Berkman, after she was diagnosed with cancer (Berkman has since passed away). Blue Cranes will play a release show on May 24 for Swim, which will be available on blue vinyl—you can pre-order it here.

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Local singer/producer/musician Natasha Kmeto has a new album on the way, and she premiered the opening track from it, "Take Out," on Fader last week. Here it is, a minimal but very upfront track with Kmeto's voice front and center that gains momentum as it goes along, with Kmeto fastening R&B together with electronic music in some surprising and unconventional places. The new album, Crisis, comes out on June 18 on Dropping Gems and includes track titles like "Morning Sex" and "Vodka Diet," and no doubt will be further evidence of Kmeto's awesome ability to inventive, introspective club music that sounds like nothing you've ever heard.
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Portugal. The Man have another new song—and the new video premiered today as well, check back on Vriday for that—from their upcoming album Evil Friends, which was produced by Danger Mouse and comes out on Atlantic on June 4. (We told you a little bit about it back in March, and showed you the video for the title track.) Here's the terrific "Purple Yellow Red and Blue," which includes guest vocals from two members of Haim and has the catchy tagline "I just wanna be evil." P.TM just played Coachella and will appear on Jimmy Kimmel tonight; no word on a hometown show just yet.
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Bear & Moose, the local drums and guitar duo, have a new album on the way. Inside the Eyewall will be out June 8, and that night they'll perform a release show at the Doug Fir. Inside the Eyewall follows up Bear & Moose's double-album debut, and this track "Dreamer" finds the energetic, noisy interplay in the duo along with hints of pop and blues.
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Man-loving metal band Gaytheist have two new songs from their upcoming album Hold Me...But Not So Tight (previously posted news on that here) available for internet listening—they're not embeddable, but listen to "Spread 'Em" over on Exclaim and the ingeniously titled "Wisdom of the Asshole" over on Metal Underground.
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Lastly, Grouper (AKA Liz Harris) did a 35-minute mix for FACT magazine called "The Image of True Death." I can't embed this one here either, but you can listen to it, and download it, on either FACT's site or Soundcloud. It's a weird assemblage of spooky folk and the deep-burrowing sound excavation that Harris is known for. She declined to provide a track list for the mix, but it includes tracks from Jandek and Ivor Cutler. It's beautiful and chilly and weird.


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