This Week in the Mercury


Monday, May 13, 2013

Music Monday! The Taxpayers, Carcrashlander, Alela Diane, Dust, the Ecstatics, Black Prairie

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Mon, May 13, 2013 at 3:50 PM

We already heard a new Typhoon song this morning, but there's much more Music Monday!


Local DIY punk-folk-goof-etc. band the Taxpayers have a new album on the way titled Cold Hearted Town, and and here's the opening title track, in two parts: "Cold Hearted Town Pt 1" and "Cold Hearted Town Pt 2." A rollicking, seasick-drunk jaunt with ragtime overtones, the two-parter is lively, dark, and immediately gripping—"Pt 2" in particular is really outstanding. The album comes out digitally on June 1, then June 15 on CD via the band's own Useless State Records, and will also be issued on vinyl in July. It's available for pre-order on Bandcamp, and those pre-sales will fund the physical release.

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Carcrashlander, the musical project of Portland's Cory Gray, has a new record on the way as well. A Plan to Tell the Future is slated for release on August 13, but things being what they are in this crazy computer age, you can hear all of it right now over on Bandcamp. Here's the album's second track, the spectacularly moody "All My Light Begins to Dissipate," a song that's thick with clattering boxcar percussion, rusty guitar moans, barroom piano, and Gray's own trumpet emitting golden shafts of light through the darkness. Go over to Bandcamp to hear and buy the whole thing; a vinyl edition will be available on local label Jealous Butcher, and cassettes to come via Curly Cassettes.

More Music Monday—with tracks from Alela Diane, Dust, the Ecstatics, and an EP stream from Black Prairie—after the jump!

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The title track from Alela Diane's forthcoming album About Farewell appeared on Spin last week, and you can hear it here, too. It's a sad, winsome song that falls well within the album's reported theme of breakups and goodbyes. (More about the new album here.) With this heartbreaking track and the excellent "The Way We Fall," this new record could easily prove to be perhaps the best one from Diane yet. About Farewell comes out June 25, but meanwhile Diane performs this Sunday, May 19 at Portland Playhouse.
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Local emcee Dust just put out a new mixtape with producer the Operator, called, naturally Dust vs. OP. The whole thing's worth a listen, a series of four musical/lyrical ideas reiterated over the course of 16 tracks—four a piece. Rather than function like a series of remixes or what have you, the pieces are developed over different musical backdrops, functioning like hiphop suites. In Dust's words, it's a mixtape "collaging whisky-soaked breakups, soul samples and the apathetic loss of loved ones." Listen above, starting with the relatively brief "Cobwebs I-IV" and work your way to the closing, 11-minute "Tel Aviv I-IV." You can also check it out on Bandcamp.
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Local dance-poppers the Ecstatics have a new version of their song "Float," which premiered on Nylon Mag. I posted a video for an earlier version of the track a little while ago, but here's the newly recorded version all spiffed up, a taste of the band's upcoming debut EP. The song's so ridiculously catchy that having two versions of it is just fine. The Ecstatics perform Friday, June 7 at Burgerville in a fundraiser for KZME (Facebook event here).
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We'll close today with the full EP/mini-album/whatchamacalit from Black Prairie. As iterated, Wild Ones is a soundtrack to a book about endangered species—the author Jon Mooallem has a piece over on Slate discussing the musical aspect of the project. I imagine most of the song titles come from material in the book, but that doesn't mean these aren't some fantastic song titles (I'm talking about you, "A Tranquilized Polar Bear Rising Through an Autumn Sky").

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