While attempting to operate a motor vehicle in THIS MASSIVE SNOWSTORM, I happened upon a few familiar notes from the song "If I Find Love," off of Dolorean's latest, The Unfazed, on the FM dial. And then listened to this:
Dolorean: 'Unfazed' by Life's Challenges, on NPR's Fresh Air
Always nice to see a local band receive some good national press, and especially one that deserves it as much as Dolorean does; The Unfazed has been in the player for a while, and it just keeps getting better. Read the transcript of Ken Tucker's review here.
Wednesday night, 9 pm. It’s dark and dumping rain in the industrial triangle of North Tillamook and Kerby. Like a scene from some film noir movie, I walk down a long alley next to a glowing glass factory to find a large staircase which leads to a unmarked red door. On the other side of that door a decade's worth of music has been recorded and mixed—all of M. Ward’s albums, the Decemberists, Dirty Projectors, Thao & the Get Down Stay Down, Langhorne Slim, and hundreds more.
I give it a knock and test the handle, it’s open so I stroll in. Inside it’s toasty warm and cozy. Wooden furniture, Persian rugs and album covers from the decade of achievement line the walls of Type Foundry Studios.
Adam Selzer, the founder, musician, and man behind the console for hundreds of great albums greets me and invites me in. He’s tired after a long day of recording that started at 9 am with the crew from Blind Pilot (its the third day of recording for their follow-up to 3 Rounds And A Sound). On the computer screen behind him, Selzer gestures to the editing he’s doing to a song from The Baseball Project (Peter Buck, Scott McCaughey, Linda Pitmon, and Steve Wynn) then adds, “They recorded a song called 'Ted Fucking Williams,' (aka 'Ted Williams') and Fenway Park wants to play it during their games, but they don’t want the profanity... so I’m literally cleaning it up by cutting and replacing the bad words.”
Long before she upset Justin Bieber and took home the Grammy for Best New Artist—thus unleashing the wrath of those stricken with Bieber Fever—Esperanza Spalding was an up-and-coming musician from Portland. Before she set off for college and (eventually) jazz stardom, Spalding fronted the trio Noise for Pretend, who was signed to local imprint Hush Records (Laura Gibson, Nick Jaina, etc.). Here's a brief Portland exit interview she conducted with our Julianne Shepherd, way back in August of 2002.
If you're planning on hitting up the Slabtown Bender tonight, you better get there early to catch Pure Country Gold. The thunderous, stomping two-piece garage band announced yesterday via Twitter that they're amicably splitting ways, after playing together for almost six years. Patrick Foss, Pure Country Gold's howlin' wolf/guitarist, offered the following statement about the break:
"We've been playing non-stop since we started and are both burnt out. Perhaps we should have taken a break sometime to prevent this, but at this point I'm anxious to move on creatively and, for the moment at least, I look forward to not being in a band for a while. I'm still writing songs and starting to record at home and we'll see where that takes me. I can't speak for Jake, but he's a motherfucker on the drums and I'm sure people will be knocking down his door for the chance to play with him."
Foss says tonight's Bender show is the last show Pure Country Gold is booked to play, but there may be one final farewell show, though no specifics have been laid out. "I was reluctant to book a farewell show, because I hate to come across like we're trying to capitalize on that and because who knows if our minds will change. But, it has hit me that for the Bender we're playing a half-hour set at 7:30pm. I'm not sure I want to go out like that."
Tonight's Slabtown Bender line-up includes Paul Collins Beat, Head, Apache, Mean Jeans, and The Blind Shake and it all kicks off at 6pm. Better start drinking now. It's easier to cry when you're drunk.
Holy smokes! In anticipation of Eternal Tapestry's debut LP for Thrill Jockey Records, Beyond The 4th Door (out March 15), the label dropped the video to "Galactic Derelict" onto the world. And man, is it a colossal meteor of a tune. Clocking in at seven-and-a-half minutes, "Galactic Derelict" is made up of sturm und drang heavy psych that the Tap has been doing for years, falling somewhere between the headiness of modern psychonauts Plastic Crimewave Sound and exploratory Swedish psych visionaries Parson Sound. The video, which pulls clips of unknown sci-fi b-movies from the outer reaches of space, is a chaotic and visually stunning look into what we should be listening to when the world comes crashing down around us. It also serves as a reminder to put a bong and a stash of grass in the fallout bunker.
Eternal Tapestry play tomorrow, Feb. 4 at The Know with Pacific City Nightlife Vision Band
Wake up, people! Start your day with this gritty, new Mike Coykendall track "As Lost as You Are," wherein Mr. Coykendall assures us he's as wayward and directionless as the rest of us. Meanwhile, as I'm typing this in my pajamas—which I will wear all day—he probably just finished mixing She & Him: Volume 37. Oh, well.
(Really though, you should listen. It's good. And most importantly, it signals a new record from Coykendall in the near future! Details to follow.)
Mike Coykendall- "As Lost As You Are"
Mike Coykendall and The Golden Shag play Mississippi Studios on Thursday, February 3rd with Whale Bones and Pearly Gate Music.
Once again it's another chapter in our series of 10 (or so) questions with musicians that live in Portland, but play all over the world.
Rainy, wet days like these call for Shelley Short and the native Portland singer songwriter’s album A Cave, A Canoo (2009, Hush Records). If you’re not familiar with the record, it could be considered a regional anthem to our soggy, yet beautiful, part of the globe. Whether it’s the recorded sound of rain on Short’s front porch, or the 1920’s found-sounds of a young girl singing, the album is a perfect fit to our neck of the woods. If you’ve have an upcoming road trip and are in the market for a mellow yet rich soundtrack experience, get your self a copy of A Cave, A Canoo.
I met up with Shelley at the Breakside Brewery, not far from her home in North Portland. She had just returned from a snowy three week European tour with fellow Portland musician Alexis Gideon.
What’s your favorite place to eat:
My kitchen. I also like The Prescott Cafe, have you ever been there? It’s on 62nd and Prescott, so it’s a bit out, but it’s always really good and there’s always a table. The waitresses are super and the food is good—razor clams for breakfast.
You grew up here, right?
Yeah, in Northwest.
Do you have any thoughts on how Portland has changed?
Yes, it has changed a lot! And everyday it’s constantly changing. It does seem like there’s a lot of people moving here. I wonder if it’s like that with most cities? I suppose it is—it’s the flow of things. One thing that’s different is the amount of 20-somethings living here now... it’s different than it used to be. Not in a bad way. Touring around the U.S., when we meet people and tell ‘em were from Portland, they say 'Oh my friend’s moving there, or I’m moving there.' In every city. So, it’s a hot-spot right now.
As a native Portlander, how does that make you feel?
It’s nice to talk to old friends and people who grew up here and know the old Portland. It used to have a much different feel. To try to remember old school Portland is fun.
What’s your favorite place to play a show in town?
The Woods. I really like that place.
What’s one of your more memorable last shows you’ve seen here?
Future Islands, they’re from Baltimore - I’ve played with them a few times. Went to see them at... I think... Rotture, a few months ago. They are always so good live. An amazing show.
Where did you record A Cave, A Canoo?
In my house in North Portland.
What’s a favorite PDX based band?
The Golden Bears. Alexis Gideon. Norfolk and Western.
Do you collaborate with anyone else local, beside Alexis?
Alia Farah. She’s in the band the Alialujah Choir with Adam Selzer and Adam Shearer (Weinland). We met at Type Foundry Studios singing back-up on Darren Hanlon's album. Alia and I both love singing harmony so we’ve been hanging out and doing covers. We’ve only gotten together once though.
Do you bike?
I used to all the time, but I don’t now.
Do you boat?
Yeah sometimes I go kayaking on the Columbia Slough. It’s really fun and there’s amazing birds.
What’s the status of your next album?
It’s called Then Came The After. It’s finished. It’s done. I don’t know when it’s coming out. There’s two version of one song—one that was recorded by Mike Coykendall and the other was recorded by Alexis Gideon. One version will be coming out in February on a 7-inch on an Australia label called Flippin Yeah. I haven’t had the frame of mind to put it out yet since we just got back from tour. It’s 11 songs.
What’s next for you?
We’re back here in Portland until my next tour starts up in Australia this February.
Shelley Short - "A Cave"
I thought it was crazy a few months ago when an album by an anti-Portland Police themed band was dropped on my desk: Tazer Crazy by band Five-O.
But now I've come into possession of a new album by an entirely separate, second local anti-Portland Police band, Pigs Gone Wild by group Feral Pigs.
This second album to appear in the burgeoning anti-police genre shares some similarities with Tazer Crazy. For example, both album covers feature erratic photoshopping. On the front of Tazer Crazy, a pirate looms behind a policeman with a guitar who ignores a pixelated anti-war protester lying on the sidewalk; on Pigs Gone Wild, a Halloween Hot Cop struts her stuff in front of a police car inscribed with "Porkland Police" which patrols an Old Town street transformed by a Photoshop filter. The music of both bands shares a lot in common, too, but I'm terrible at describing music (it's fast? and loud?) so I'll just link to Feral Pig's Myspace and you can get the idea.
Break out your gaudiest thrift store duds and don't forget the goat! Miracles Club, the newish house music project from Valet's Honey Owens and partner Rafael Fauria, has thrown a Soul Train-meets-Paradise Garage-worthy dance party for "Church Song," the new single off their forthcoming Mexican Summer 12" EP, A New Love. This time warp of a video, directed by Judah Switzer, is solid proof that some Portland hipsters (and a goat) can actually dance. I should probably dig out my gold lamé cape and tigers in space sweatshirt before hitting the dance floor. Now, where did that damn goat run off to? I need a date.
In case you haven't noticed, it's really fucking cold outside. I don't know what you do to get through these days of numb, but personally, I enjoy setting the dials of my sputtering radiant wall heater and sun lamp to "Very High" and listening to "Sloop John B" on repeat. There are also some light imaginative exercises involved in the warming process, including simulating waves crashing against a boat's hull by tipping over containers of rice, eating lunch on a gimbaled table and envisioning being chased by pirates on speedboats with eye patches and cutlasses... but I guess we don't need to get too far into all of that.
Err. Anyways, it's usually the Brothers Wilson singing it, but today, it's Musee Mecanique. They do a good job with this tune; I can't imagine it's an easy one to sing. Plus, it's really difficult to argue with a band that uses a typewriter as percussion.
When End Hits finally opens its long-awaited, music-themed food cart, we're gonna run the name by Westin to see what he thinks. Here's a short list of candidates:
Achy Breaky Cart
Sleater-Kinney and Zuke's
"My Sharona" by the Snack
You Gotta Fight for Your Right to Carty
Grand Bunk Railroad
Simon and Cartfunkel (serving parsley, sage, and rosemary—but no motherfucking thyme, goddammit!)
Marky Mark and the Funky Lunch
Originally from Tulsa, No Kind Of Rider, have been kicking around town for over two years now, playing the hell out of Portland since the release of their second EP Danger in September. Getting their name from the Of Montreal song "Bunny Ain't No Kind of Rider" they claim to "play moody music that makes your booty drop." I agree.
Here's something from their 2008 The Black Swan EP.
No Kind Of Rider - "Clearcoat"
No Kind Of Rider play The Knife Shop at Kelly's Olympian tonight with Wax Fingers and Empty Space Orchestra, doors are at 8pm, $7, 21 and over. Now go!
So this happened:
Yes, it's a Portland Police brutality-themed punk group. Yes, there's a pirate on the cover for some reason. Some songs feature "Lester The Arresta", another features the well-known "Oinker McBacon."
Here's the title track:
Tazer Crazy, performed by Five-O
Though the flyer for tonight's show at East End lists The Besties as the opening act, it is not the Brooklyn twee-punk band who called themselves The Besties before they broke up last year. Nope, the band who kicks off the night is Portland's own Besties (no "the"), made up of singer/guitarist Leif Anders (Orca Team), bassist Sara Proctor (Reptilian Civilian), and drummer Cody Seals (Blood Beach). They are one of the more interesting pop acts going on right now in Portland, fusing calypso-like tones (Anders guitar is tuned to sound like a steel drum) and bright, tropical pop polyrhythms that would go well with a strawberry daiquiri in hand.
You'd think the band named themselves Besties because they play together like they are long time BFF's. On the contrary, the members barely knew each other when they formed six months ago. So where does the name Besties come from? It draws from the song's lyrical subjects: the best friends of Anders ("Sydney Don't Leave," "Jessica, You'll Be My Girl," "Thomas Maximus," etc). Sure, it might sound overtly precious, but they're onto something. Singing about your good buds guarantees a built-in fanbase. (It reminds me of the short-lived Houston hardcore band Friendship, that no one outside of Houston would ever remember.)
Besties open the show at 9pm sharp. Mark Sultan (BBQ), Robert Scott (The Clean/The Bats), and Pure Country Gold round out the bill.
Nick Jaina is making a new record, but it wont be Nick Jaina singing on it. So who will it be, you ask? Charles Shaw? Brad Davis? The rest of the talented-but-unmarketable folks behind the moving mouths of Milli Vanilli's Rob and Fab?
Nope. Luckily, The Beanstalks That Brought Us Here Are Gone will feature Jaina's songs as interpreted by some amazing female vocalists/musicians, all of whom are regionally recognized (at least) for their ability to throw sailors off course when they open up and sing.
Here's a gander at the tracklisting:
01. "No One Gives Their Heart Away" featuring Laura Gibson
02. "The President of the Chess Club" featuring Amanda Spring (of Point Juncture, WA)
03. "You Were So Good To Me" featuring Jolie Holland
04. "When the Blind Man Rings That Bell" featuring Kaylee Cole
05. "Once But Never Again" featuring Luzelena Mendoza (of Y La Bamba)
06. "Awake When I'm Sleeping" featuring Audie Darling
07. "Ortolan" featuring Myshkin
08. "James" featuring Johanna Kunin
09. "Whiskey Riddle" featuring Annalisa Tornfelt (of Black Prairie)
10. "Missing Awhile" featuring Corrina Repp (of Tu Fawning)
And here is some more info on the project and a cyber wishing well in which to toss your digital pennies; there is still quite a bit of fundraising that needs to happen in order for this undoubtedly beautiful album to ever find its way into your ear canals. Plus, for only 5,000 pennies donated, you get a bunch of musical swag, a personalized song written by Jaina (though there is no guarantee he will be the one singing it) and a pint of his blood! Also, an organ—and no, I don't think he's referring to a Wurlitzer. (Go for a kidney? You can always use an extra one of those).
Tip for End Hits?
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