It's kinda like the ever-so-lovely Camera Obscura is giving me an early birthday present this year with the release of their new album, Desire Lines, on June 4. I don't think there's a more gorgeous-sounding band on this whole wide earth—Tracyanne Campbell's bruised peach voice just kills me. Then they go and drop their new song "Fifth in Line to the Throne" and I'm sorta feeling guilty... I didn't get them anything. The Glasgow quintet recorded their newest with Portland's Tucker Martine here in ol' Sogtown.
LISTEN: Camera Obscura, "Fifth in Line to the Crown"
From the press release, Campbell explaining a bit about "Fifth in Line to the Throne":
[It's] a song about someone in a seemingly perfect relationship but there is a dark underside to it. We wanted to sound menacing and give folk the creeps. I believe Princess Beatrice is fifth in line by the way.
XRAY.FM, named after the influential X-Ray Cafe venue from Portland's past, has been a long work in progress for the folks at the Cascade Educational Broadcast Service (CEBS). The station is hoping to offer true, listenable free-form radio, much in the manner of the influential New York-area WFMU station. The self-proclaimed mission is "to advance a new radio outlet focusing on the exposure of innovative recording artists, presented by music anoraks heavy-into collecting vinyl." So yeah, you'll be wanting to free up one of those preset buttons on your car stereo.
In the meantime, XRAY Fest has a lot to offer, including DJ sets from Mudhoney's Steve Turner, Voodoo Doughnuts' Tres Shannon, and former mayor Sam Adams, plus live shows from the Bats, Kelli Schaefer, and lots more—plus some cool film screenings as well. Check out all the goings-on after the jump, and hop over to XRAY Fest's site for more info.
By all accounts—and judging by the new material played at those very intimate shows she staged last year at Oaks Pioneer Church—About Farewell will contain among Diane's most personal material yet. From the press release:
"It serves as an eloquent goodbye to lovers from years past, coupled with some poignant last walks down memory lane. While the lyrics deal most directly with her recent divorce, the album explores her entire last decade of relationships with tremendous honesty and nuanced insight. To call the experience "cathartic" would almost be an understatement - for Alela, this was a record which direly needed to be made. In the writing process, she was able to lucidly articulate her emotions about her marriage, a process which led her to realize the necessity of ending one chapter of her life in order to begin a new one."
Let's hear that great new song "The Way We Fall" again. In the meantime, Diane will be performing at another local church—this time at a church-turned-150-seat-theater, Portland Playhouse (602 NE Prescott), on Sunday, May 19. It's part of the "No PA" series, back after nearly two years. Yes, this will be a quiet acoustic show, and Diane will share the bill with two artists from the local Mama Bird Recording Co. label, Vikesh Kapoor and Barna Howard. Tickets for that show are available here.
It ain't easy to make this year's four-day series of Open Season fashion shows even more exciting than their all-star lineup already is, but Pendleton's The Portland Collection has scored a nice little feather for their cap: Joining them for their presentation of the new Fall 2013 collection on Wednesday, May 15 at Rontoms (6 pm) will be the live accompaniment of none other than kickass Portland band Lovers.
This year's series takes place at some of the loveliest inner southeast venues, but they're relatively small, so don't dillydally on picking up advance passes while they're still here!
SOME THINGS OF NOTE:
• Kenny Wizz is a decidedly unfortunate name. Perhaps he imagines the name will have people recalling MJ's role in The Wiz, but everyone will agree it sounds more like he's a porn star who specializes in "wet work."
• The music in this trailer is oddly terrifying for a Michael Jackson show. It's reminiscent of Battlestar Galactica meeting Carmina Burana.
• The press release states that "Michael Jackson HIStory Show brings to the stage a level of production that will exceed all expectations." They seem pretty confident, so let those expectations soar!
• Kenny Wizz looks like ghoulish, scary later-period Michael Jackson. Is this the MJ you want to pay money to see impersonated?
• There. Right there. At 2:40-2:43 in the promo video. What. The. Fuck? Is Wizz unaware of Jackson's questionable legacy in this regard?
• SERIOUSLY THIS MUSIC IS FREAKING ME OUT
The Undertow music collective is responsible for a lot of these shows we're seeing (the company's creative director Mark Ray lives here in Portland, where he works at the North branding agency). Will Johnson of Centro-matic recently came through town on his living room tour, and other acts are about to do the same. Califone have two Portland shows in June—June 3 and June 7, both of which are already sold out, unfortunately. Shelby Earl is playing one on April 30, although I can't find a ticket link for that so it may be sold out, too [UPDATE: The Shelby Earl show has been postponed]. And David Bazan, king of the living-room tour, is playing Portland on June 2, doing a living room show that is also sold out. The Appleseed Cast and Anders & Kendall also have tours in the works that will likely stop by a Portland residence near you.
In the meantime, Sarah Jaffe has an upcoming living room show in Portland—actually I'm told this one will take place in a basement. It's scheduled for Sunday, May 19, and of course I can't tell you where it is, but I can tell you where to get tickets—here. (Once you get a ticket you'll find out where the show is.) The Denton-based Jaffe is an exceptional, underrated performer and an outstanding songwriter. Her first full-length, 2010's Suburban Nature, was a beautifully mournful, twanging, folk-flecked singer/songwriter record, while 2012's The Body Wins was something altogether different, a glossy, assured collection of smart pop. I'm guessing this living room show will lean towards the former, but you can take a look at Jaffe's range in the two videos I'm posting after the jump. Seeing her in your neighbor's cozy home, with the very real possibility of petting a dog, should not be missed.
But the full festival lineup is now available, and it's excellent—well worth taking a goose at. Or a gander, I mean. (Curse you, confusing animal sexual terminology.)
Wednesday, May 1—Red Fang, Dog Shredder, Sons of HunsAll shows are $15 in advance and $20 at the doors, except for Thursday May 2, which is free. There are also $50 five-day festival passes on sale now, too, which are being touted as half off the door price, although I can't quite get that math to work—I think you'd need to chuck a $20 at the door guy for the free Thursday show, and if that's the way you ride I would like to join your posse.
Thursday, May 2—Hustle and Drone, Social Studies, Glassbones, Catherine Feeny, Sama Dams, Pheasant, Summer Cannibals, Jolliff & more
Friday, May 3—Black Prairie, Hook and Anchor, The Lower 48
Saturday, May 4—Y La Bamba, Old Light, Chris Pureka
Sunday, May 5—Sage Francis, Prolyphic, Device Grips
The Alhambra is being refurbished over the next few months to revert back to its original silent-movie glory days, when the theater was one of the city's cinema jewels. While the Mt. Tabor Theater, in recent years, has not had any long-lasting incarnations (the place memorably changed hands numerous times in the past decade), its reincarnation as the Alhambra seems like a great new chapter in the space's history. And all five of these May Day Music Fest shows sound great; here's hoping to see many more great bills on the Alhambra's calendar.
In related news, you are old.
But to soften the blow to those aching creaky joints of yours, there's the annual Make It Pop! benefit concert, a show to raise money for the free music festival and the associated nonprofit. This year as always, Make It Pop! takes place at the Cleaners at the Ace Hotel, so mark your calendar for Thursday, May 9, as the lineup is a good one. This year's performers are Kelli Schaefer, Monarques, Grandparents, Ezza Rose, and DJ Jeremy Petersen, and they'll also announce the tracklist for the 2013 PDX Pop Now! compilation album.
Tickets are $20 and there's also (via the press release) "complimentary hors d'oeuvres from Olympic Provisions, Fifty Licks, Saint Cupcake, and ¿Por Que No?, along with beverages for purchase from 10 Barrel Brewing Company and Division Winemaking Company." There's also a raffle ($5/ticket) and the general sense of well-being that comes from supporting a great local institution like PDX Pop Now.
[UPDATE: This contest is closed and the winner has been notified.]
We've given you the scoop on this year's Bender, which goes down April 12-14 and moves from its original home of Slabtown to the Star Theater this year after Slabtown changed hands. We also told you how to get your weekend wristband, which will not only get you into all three nights of madcap punk 'n' roll, but ALSO get you into the exclusive VIP Sunday afternoon show. (More doody on that Sunday party here.)
So what's left to tell you? Well, take a look at the new Bender poster below, made by the Big Boys' Tim Kerr, who will also be playing the fest with his Freedom Band. Oh, and we've got a pair of wristbands to give away! These are the goods, getting you into all the shows plus the VIP dealie on Sunday. Want to win? Of course you do. Simply send an email to this address with "Send me to the Bender!" in the email address. Please include your first and last name in the email, along with which Bender band you're most stoked to see. We'll select a winner at random and hook them up with two wristbands. Sounds good, right? Get your entries in by Friday at noon, though, as this one's not gonna last!
But most importantly there's music. This year's performers include Purity Ring, XXYYXX, Polish Ambassador, A-Trak, YACHT, and lots and lots of other electronic performers. (I hope Wolf Run Ranch has some extra power outlets.) Peep the full lineup over at the site, where tickets will also go on sale tomorrow at 10 am.
Well, this is good timing: Ash Reiter, the San Francisco band that's returning to Portland on Wednesday (April 3) to play at Holocene with Wild Ones—they were just here on Monday to play the Treefort Fest afterparty at Bunk—have released a BOB SEGER COVER. Since we are all about all things Bob this week, it makes sense to post it for you here. Ash Reiter didn't try to knock off lesser Seger, either—they're going after The Big One.
Also, their publicist tells us, "Ash Reiter have just begun a collaboration with artist Danny Scheible, known for his tape sculptures called 'Tapigami.' Ash Reiter will be incorporating his art designs into their live performances, which you can get a preview of in the glasses and masks included in their photo above." I don't... I don't really know what to make of that, but Seger AND origami? It's like they have been reading my dream journal.
Also, while we're on the topic of Seger covers! (Mention Metallica and you are dead to me.)
Big thanks to Kiala for alerting me to this amazing performance by Tina Turner and a bunch of other people's hair, doing Seger's immortal "Hollywood Nights." Bask in this, and enjoy the start to your weekend.
Check out this year's killer lineup after the jump! (Spoiler alert: Monoshock. Cheater Slicks. White Mystery. Black Bananas. The Mallard.)
This year's Bender has been announced, and there are some big changes to the three-day punk-rock binge. For starters, for the first time ever, the Bender will not be taking place at Slabtown this year, instead finding its new home at the Star Theater. It's taking place April 12-14, and they've already got a bevy of rockin' bands, with more to come:
Cheater Slicks, Black Bananas, The Cynics, Monoshock, White Mystery, M.O.T.O, Head, The Mallard, Warm Soda, James Arthur’s Manhunt, King Louie & and the Missing Monuments, Rhett & Dean, Glitz, Big Eyes, Life Stinks, MUSK, The Fireballs of Freedom, Sex Crime, Pity Fucks, Youthbitch, The Pynnacles, The Bloodtypes, Therapists, Wimps, The Suicide Notes, The Unnatural Helpers, Bad Tats, Big Eyes, Guantanamo Baywatch, Pataha Hiss, Moyster, Thee Headliners, Paradise, Flash Flood & The Dikes.That's already an excellent lineup, and the Star Theater boasts that awesome outdoor patio, which is going to host some of the music as well.
In the past, the Bender has hosted a Sunday matinee show, which won't be the case this year. However, there will be a "Wristband Party" for those who have bought weekend wristbands. Bender organizers Sam Soule and Brinda Coleman have this to say: "The party is going to be totally feted-out will be free food and drink AND a whole assortment of amazingly killer special performances that Bender fans are just not going to want to miss. We can tell you that Cheater Slicks will jam live with some of this city’s finest noise-makers; Tim Kerr will lead a horn-heavy soul jazz session; and King Louie is busting out his banjo."
More info as it arises, including when and where to get your Bender wristbands, over on the Bender site. This is going to be a Bender to remember. Wear a smock.
Posting this a little late in the day, so maybe it is second-hand news, but...
Break out your twirliest scarves and your dangliest belt balls (or whatever those things are): FLEETWOOD MAC IS COMING TO PORTLAND.
Original members Mick Fleetwood and John McVie and latecomers Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks announced a F.Mac 2013 tour a little while back, which didn't include a Portland date. Thankfully they have corrected that oversight, and will be Go-ing their Own Way and Don't Stop-ing* at the Rose Garden on Sunday, June 30. Tickets go on sale February 16 at 10 am at Live Nation, Rose Quarter, the Rose Garden box office, and TicketsWest locations.
*I apologize for the general shittiness of this sentence
I would now like to take this opportunty to pedantically point out that the best Fleetwood Mac album is not the vastly overplayed Rumours, but the superior, Stevie Nicks-less and Christine McVie-less Then Play On from 1969. Okay!
But just take a look at the list of participating bands, each of which will have members on hand to play with the School of Rock kids: Red Fang, Blind Pilot, Blitzen Trapper, Typhoon, Radiation City, Brainstorm, Lost Lander, Portugal. The Man, Laura Gibson, The Mean Jeans, AU, Lovers, Wild Ones, Sons of Huns, Magic Mouth, Blouse, Sloths, 1939 Ensemble, Guantanamo Baywatch, Autistic Youth.
I asked School of Rock's Danielle Fish and Ed Thanhouser to tell us more about this incredible event, which will be awesomer than a bull stampeding across an alien landscape, and which you absolutely should not miss. Seriously. Do not miss this show.
DANI FISH: Local music is at the heart of School of Rock Portland. Everyone on staff plays in bands. We support each other's bands and are all really excited about other local bands. I talk with the kids about Portland bands all the time. A few weeks ago I ran into one of the Best! of Portland 2 kids at Typhoon's merch table. She was buying a tank top, and I was buying a record.
Personally, I live to nerd out on music, and putting the setlist together is one of my favorite School of Rock activities of the year. It's like putting together a DJ set, only you'll actually get to see everyone play the songs live. I'm not exactly sure how the idea came up, but I know it was obvious that it had to happen, that I had to direct it with Ed, and that we had to make it a benefit. After how killer last year was, there was no question about doing it again.
As far as getting the bands to play, it doesn't take too much convincing. Occasionally there are bands who aren't interested, but luckily we aren't interested in bands who don't get how amazing this is. Usually, if a band is in town, they are totally psyched about playing the show. It's a great opportunity for everyone—playing the Crystal is great exposure for the bands, the money goes to a good cause, and it's life changing for the kids. Fun!
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