Tuesday, March 31, 2009

April Fools Day Virus aka CONFICKER

I just found out about The April Fools Day Virus aka CONFICKER otherwise I would have blogged this earlier. Oh well, I hope this helps.

From NPR:

March 31, 2009
The fast-moving Conficker computer worm, a scourge of the Internet that has infected at least 3 million PCs, is set to spring to life in a new way on Wednesday — April Fools' Day. read more

From PC Magazine:

March 31, 2009
Unless you're living in a cave, by now you've heard that a worm known as Conficker (or Downadup, or Kido) has infested computer systems around the world, and that it will do something April 1st, though nobody knows exactly what. How can you be sure your computer doesn't become a casualty? Here are eight action items—things you can do yourself to weather the potential storm. read more

Some tools to help protect yourself:

Microsoft Windows Malicious Spyware Removal Tool


I Thought Hamm's Was A Pacific Northwest Beer

Though I discovered it (with it’s beautifully redundant, double “M”s) on my first visit to Portland, it turns out that it’s a Midwest beer.

And you can get one and a shot of whiskey for 5 bucks at The Hideout which I declare my ground zero as I try to figure out Chicago and how to face down being an old music nerd in a new city.

Separated from the oh-so-indie neighborhood of Wicker Park (Liz Phair wrote Exile in Guyville there! It’s the setting of High Fidelity! It was the inspiration for a Skinny Puppy record?!) by the hulking mass of the Kennedy Expressway and hidden in an industrial corridor, the geography of the joint seems to echo it’s gestalt.

While there is no shortage of tattoo sleeves and black framed glasses, The Hideout seems to have one foot firmly in the trench of relevant Chicago art and music without having to scrape any of the less desirable hipster effluvia from the soles of their shoes.

The first night I was there, as I walked in, a man in a camel’s hair coat with a mature hair-line was excitedly talking about the “new age of reason and science” and the “end of the ideologues”. He later welcomed everyone from the stage, leading me to presume he helped run the place. An hour or so later he was 86ing someone, confirming my guess. The next night I was there, it was announced that this same guy, Tim Tuten, was one of the owners and had just secured a gig as a deputy to Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan.

Last week, Patrick and I were there to see Devil in a Woodpile but were instead presented with the Golden Horse Ranch Square Dance Band. I have to admit I found their country stylings a bit “by the numbers” and I grew lonesome for North Carolina (and The Good Times, the best damn country trio that few people have ever heard). However, there was no denying the atmosphere of lighthearted fun and hearty friendliness. Rare stuff these days.

Last night, Sarah and I went by to see Leroy Bach (multi-instrumentalist and Wilco vet) and Dan Bitney (Tortoise) play house band as Ghostrest. The bartender was cracking friendly jokes and at one point I looked over my shoulder and realized he (the bartender, mind you) was playing a tape loop machine.

So maybe I should be more concerned with finding a job, but having already found a good, cheap bar (one with friendly folks and a place able to deliver a night of improv post-rock back to back with an evening of down home Americana) has me breathing a sigh of relief.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Album Review: Double Dagger "More"

As in "Balti-."

I am learning to be suspicious- and rightly so- of bands' press releases. I'm not sure if there is simply a modality of writing and presenting them that persists from the old days of Payola and pin-striped hustle, some sort of stone tablet of Madison Avenue commandments. Whatever it is, I am always being burned by a deep discrepancy between what I am led to expect by slick bios and what I actually find in the music itself. I read a press release or a band's website and I am reminded of vinyl album liner notes. "Here's a band with a Fresh Sound, and the kids will soon be Freaking to the new Beat." There's a certain desire to please, a presentation of rock music, especially groundbreaking or psychedelic that needs to at least sound palatable in a verbal marketing-type sense to some gray-haired executive whose concept of avant-garde ended with Stravinsky. Pick up an LP with liner notes from back then, read deeply, and be embarassed.

There was an inevitable backlash, bands and albums that came in sub rosa with nothing at all to tell you about how to listen, what to expect, and there was almost a defiance in this. "No music here, move along!" The modern age has its electronic cognates to these, of course, but they're really no different. On the obfuscatory side, you have label websites with involved flash/RoR constructions that make you think you're reading some old book or are floating in a void. Or you have the effusive yet misleading band bio, whether in an emailed press kit or on a myspace page. We're back at the beginning, and here's where Double Dagger comes in.

Their album comes courtesy of Thrill Jockey records (who put out the excellent Extra Golden), and I think that TJ are less operators of guile than they are victims of tradition and enthusiasm. If you were to only go by the Double Dagger bio, which describes their wholesome recording adventures (almost straight out of some indie-rock Boxcar Children story) and displays a picture of them holding some synths, you'd believe them when they say that their music is 'loud pop.' Which would make them sound like all kinds of loud pop, probably twee, that comes out these days. I certainly was expecting that.

What I got however, was a great lofi hardcore album. Hardcore with no genre qualifiers, think Black Flag. The album, which apparently was recorded in a condemned building, and sounds it, is a testament to the power of the overdub, as without a guitarist their bassist's heavily distorted extra accents were really the things that were going to make or break these songs for me. What it comes down to is that this is a high energy raw album from a band that probably does thrive in a live setting as they claim. Look for them to bounce around and kick ass in your town. I'm really beginning to like everything that comes my way from Thrill Jockey- watch them.

One thing to note. As part of my ongoing growth as a mature proponent of critical theory, I wanted to share some of my reasoning in my review approach. Astute regular readers may notice that often I give what seems to be short shrift to the actual album I am reviewing. This is not necessarily so. I post reviews for albums that have made me think about important and worthwhile topics, and anyone can write about whether they did or did not like the new Golden Girls theme song remix album, and how frickin' brutal and metal it was- you don't need to read me to tell you that. The wonderful thing about the critical arts is that they are egalitarian. It doesn't require a vast education to appreciate the arts, only a willingness to broaden yourself in unexpected and unseen directions.

So bands, artists, labels, take heed: I do it how I do it to provide a little something extra, and I welcome any conversation or metacriticism that comes my way. Yee-haw!

Musical Etiquette: Dealing with haters

Hello Musical Etiquette:
I just read a review of our bands last show. The guy who wrote it is obviously some kind of asshole. He just went on and on about how lifeless we were on stage.
What should I do about this guy? He's ruining our reputation!


Criticism is one of the most important parts of music. A well thought out critique of your music can be insightful and help to improve your abilities in almost every fashion. Sadly, many critics fail to realize the merits of criticism and instead say the most unspeakably vile and contemptuous things about your work without offering up any advice or real insight. Any publicly performing artist will deal with both of these types of criticism during their careers and it can be challenging to see the difference between them. At times even the most mean spirited critique of your art may be of a deep and abiding value if you can see the meaning underneath the words. Likewise high praise can be trite and meaningless if it does not contain real truth and an honest evaluation of the work. The line between a critic and a hater is very blurry sometimes but with some knowledge and patience, you can learn to tell the difference.

You're The One Who Stepped Out On Stage.

If you make art, you're going to have to deal with criticism. If you don't want to open yourself up to the rest of the world's opinions it's best to never play live, never release a recording and not let anyone hear what you're up to. The only way to stop people from expressing their opinions is to ensure that they never hear you in the first place. Well, that seems like a terrible idea to me. You want to be heard, why else are you making noise? Remember that you take personal responsibility for the act of stepping out on that stage and playing music. No one can force you to play. If you are unable or unwilling to listen to the unending stream of hate that humanity can generate at will, I suggest you find a less public pursuit.

Don't Be A Whiny Little Bitch!
Now that you've come here under the bright lights of the stage, please don't whine about how bright they are. I know how harsh it can be, but making music isn't for wimps. You need to develop a tough skin when you're looking at reviews of your work but remain open to real critique. Please, don't cry and moan about how hateful people can be, we all know. Responding to what you deem a hateful review in an equally juvenile manner can generate some seriously bad press and the fact is, you don't want to stoop to their level. The best thing to do is to give no credence to the babbling inane hatred of an unsophisticated reviewer. Ignore them, it's just noise. And please don't bitch about it. Bitching is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do but it won't get you anywhere.

There Are Haters Everywhere.
The truth of the matter is, there are a lot of opinionated people out there and some of them are world class assholes. They will pan your work as meaningless drivel, a waste of their time or an insult to the word music. They will hate on you night and day, at parties and at home, on the internet and in print. Haters will invent new words to describe just how awful you are at what you do. Some of these hateful bastards have jobs being Professional Haters with major media corporations and get paid quite well to shit on other people's dreams. Most of these assholes are just as mean spirited and spiteful in the rest of their lives and in all probability are miserable because of it. Take solace in the fact that most haters hate themselves as well and haven't experienced joy in many years.

Sometimes The Haters Are Right, Sometimes They're Just Haters.
The primary difference between a hater an a critic is in intent and delivery. A reviewer may describe a live show as "An utter failure to be alive on stage, it was like watching zombies fuck to the tune of early 90's shoegaze." So is this being a hater or a critic? It's about context. If you and your band mates lack any kind of real stage presence than it may be a valid critique of your performance. True, it's couched in negative language and could be construed as mean spirited but if it's true, it's true. There might be nicer ways of saying it but no one is obligated to be nice. Real hate can do better than that. "A useless waste of my fucking time, I have never seen a band suck that hard on stage." What's really useless is an insult without insight. What can a band gain from this statement? Nothing, this guy is just a Grade A Dickwad.

Be Your Own Best Critic.
The key in many situations is to be able to see the difference between useless hate and honest feedback and attempt a objective view on what you've achieved or failed to achieve. This can be exceedingly difficult given the fundamentally personal and emotional nature of art and requires considerable experience and hard work. If you are truly interested in improving on your music, you must learn to become your own critic. Spend some time each day listening to what you've done as an outsider. Imagine that you've never heard this piece before and listen to it with a fresh mind. I've found that leaving several days between the writing of a new song and listening to it can do wonders for your perspective. Once you've gained some experience in critiquing your own work it becomes easier to separate the haters from the critics.

Pay Attention To Real Critique.
Not everyone is a hater. There are plenty of people that craft meaningful an insightful reviews of music, live and recorded. These are true critics. They might not always like what you're doing musically but they can express the reasons behind their opinion clearly. It is an art form. It is said that critics are all failed musicians. This is simply not true. Haters are failed musicians. A true critic is the most successful kind of artist. One who has a direct line to their feelings and can express them lucidly and with the intention of improving a fellow musicians work. One's success as an artist cannot be measured in dollars or listeners. It is measured in your ability to express emotions directly to your audience and to some extent your technical ability. This holds true for music criticism as well.

Keep those haters where they belong kids. In the trash.
Eriq Nelson.

Drop me a line at musicaletiquette@gmail.com


Saturday, March 28, 2009

Album Review: Charlotte & Magon "Love Happening"

Well, I hope that the boy/girl duo... how to say, convention? Trope? Fad? Archetype? Whatever, I hope that it doesn't burn itself out. I've commented in other places about its ubiquity these days, but one aspect of it that seems to be just as is the romantic connection between the two folks involved. A dysfunctional Buckingham Nicks or White Stripes, sure. That's there. Plenty of that sort of thing. This band Charlotte & Magon certainly seems to exist on the other end of that spectrum, a French-Israeli duo with a charming courtship and romance-laden recording consummation. I'd like to think that not all BGDs end up this way, with the result either good or bad. Did Plant and Krauss hook up? Dear lord... someone please provide me with counterexamples! The Postal Service does NOT COUNT.

"Love Happening" had the good fortune to immediately hit me in a tender spot... my desire for a new Zero 7 album to come out. It is lushly orchestrated, thick synths and flutes and fuck-all washing over the young lovers' crooning, then veering into minimal grooves that made me think I was listening to "The Garden." The interplay between- what were their names again?- the two singers is very intimate, and the weight of their highly charged backstory adds a certain fumbly urgency to their delivery. As my readers may recall I appreciate the encroachment of real life into the delivery of art, and wherever it may have interefered with the 'professionalism' of the recording, it increased the value of the emotional impact. I'd like to believe that Magon fights a raging boner everytime he sings "You are my muse..." And why not? He's in love. Charlotte's voice, and the 70's artistic theme they've chosen, hearkens me back a little to Serge Gainsbourg, which disturbs and excites me.

This is an exquisite album, and I hope that the brightly flaring love story that powers it can sustain many more. My one quibble is that one version of their cover art is perhaps the most monstrous thing I've ever seen. Sorry, kids, I call it how I see it.


EDIT Postscriptum: Late-breaking update.

Apparently the aforementioned image is not an alternative cover, but a piece of fan-submitted art. Much like the Charlotte/Magon fanfic I'll be writing later. Rrrowl!!!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Album Review : Logan Lynn From Pillar to Post (2009, Beat the World)

Logan Lynn is a Portland Electro-pop artist who has been recently signed to the Dandy Warhols' label, Beat The World. I may be a freak of nature because although a Portland resident and NW native, I have never really listened to the Dandy Warhols. I have heard of them, though, of course. However, enough about that, because this review is about Logan Lynn's forthcoming record, From Pillar To Post. I experienced mixed feelings about this album. A surface description - Logan Lynn combines mainly electronic music tracks with storytelling lyrics, mainly about love, loss, and feeling sad or confused about said topics, in the vein of The Postal Service or whatever else the kids are calling it nowadays.
Pros : The musical aspect as a whole is super good, combining a catchy beat with varied melodies and interesting sounds that sometimes lean more towards Boards of Canada (pretty much the only "IDM" type thing I listen to, but I like them a LOT, so this is a compliment.) than your average pop song, and also the whole album sounds good, as in well produced, catchy, and radio-ready.
Cons : For my taste, sometimes a little too produced. Especially the vocals - on a lot of tracks they have that too-perfect, slightly-vocoded sound, which is obviously a stylistic choice, but kinda weirds me out.

My favourite tracks on this album were the short ones that seem more like "bumper" tracks than actual songs, but showcase Lynn's creativity well. "Prey on the Power" and "I Have To Do it" take spoken word source material and add a musical track behind it, and "To Bed, Up The Wooden Mountain", is purely instrumental. They're all about a minute and half long each and pure gold.

Out of the full-length songs on the album, standout tracks for me were "Bottom Your Way to the Top" and "The Dotted Line", for their excellent mood and instrumentals - though for the life of me I can't figure out what Bottom Your Way.. is supposed to be about, but it seems like it might be dirty? with Feed Me To The Wolves coming in a clean third for being damn catchy. "Write it on my left arm" and "Bleed Him Out" were the only ones that came up a little too emo for me, but on his Myspace, Lynn describes himself as "emotronic" so I guess I should have known what to expect.

In closing, I can see Logan Lynn's From Pillar To Post gracing the MP3 players of misunderstood teens everywhere in a few months, as well as those adults who think they're too sophisticated for that kind of thing, but still can't help bopping along when it comes on the jukebox. For music snobs, Lynn would fall under the category of "guilty pleasure" - but one with good taste and influences whose work is a cut above most others in his style.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

PDX Racist D-bag

This is the guy that punched my 2 friends at different times at Tube. He hit one at Hot Mess (2/6) and and the other at Townbombing (3/20)

Not only did he assault my friends he also yelled racial slurs at me and come to find out was aiming his punches at me when he accidentally hit Leigh!

Don't let him get away with this! Please post this anywhere and everywhere you can!

Goes by the tag name: KERO and supposable his name is Danny.

If you happen to have any information on this boy please contact me.

He hangs out at Tube and Breeze Block Gallery! Please take note that the Breeze Block Gallery has info but will not come forward.

-- Coco Madrid
djchachapdx (at) gmail (dot) com

reposted from a note on facebook. please feel free to leave info as a comment. I can pass it on. - goldie

Rant: The Death Of The Album

I love Twitter. It's an amazing way to connect with random people all over the web and babble on endlessly about things you care about. Earlier today I was tweeting back and forth with Dave Allen of Pampelmoose about the nature of music distribution. This is really an extension of that conversation. ( You can follow me here or holler at Goldie over here.)

A Brief History Of Music Recording

A weighty topic to be certain, but one that can be wrapped up quite neatly. Prerecorded music started in the player piano parlors of the 19th century, passed through wax cylinders and landed squarely on the vinyl discs that remain relevant today. Until the late 40's the technology had not advanced enough to allow for longer collections of music and it was soon after this period that the modern concept of the "album" was born. Birth Of The Cool by Miles Davis and company is a great representation of artists just starting to feel around in the LP format and take up some shoulder room. By the time the 70's rolled around albums had become a standard musical format that sat side by side with singles as the means of selling music to the population. In my opinion, Pink Floyd's The Wall is a great example of the vinyl album, long playing and epic in it's scope. It showcases a band willing to work extensively to produce a single running narrative that would have been very difficult to listen to on a shorter playing format.

Compact cassette
and 8 Track didn't really make any waves as far as length and format are concerned so for the purposes of this discussion they're not that relevant. What really made an impact was the CD. A 78 minute (later 80) digital format offered artists and producers a broad palette to paint a picture on and they went to town. Ænima clocks in at 76:40 and would not be the same if Tool didn't have that amount of room to play around in. By the 90's artists and producers had gained considerable experience in long running formats. By the early 2000's the cassingle was no more and CD single sales had dropped to an almost negligible level. The album reigned as king at last.

MP3 has changed the game almost completely. The fact of the matter is we're still not certain what the long term impact of the technology shift towards digital distribution models will be. Only time will tell. Leaving to the side all of the weighty and convoluted arguments about ownership rights, DRM and the changing nature of profit from music sales I instead want to focus in on the nature of musical narrative and the influence of technology on that process. It is evident that the way we distribute music has dramatically changed the way we as artists approach the creation of the work. Knowing in advance what media you have to work with influences the writing process pretty heavily. It enforces a restriction to the length of the material. Many experienced artists will tell you that limits are wonderful things. They force your creativity into gear and will propel you past a lot of sticking points.

Musical Narrative: The Wall by Pink Floyd

This album holds a very special place in my musical collection. I first heard this album as a teenager and it is the album that cemented my feelings towards Pink Floyd and rock music in general. There is a plethora of critical praise heaped on it, there are a diverse range of opinions regarding it's place in history and I'm certain that there's a thesis about it somewhere in academia. None of this was relevant to me, I had no idea that any of it existed the first time I heard it. It made a huge impression on me and a few months later I went up to Plan 9 in Richmond and picked up a CD copy for myself. I listened to this album obsessively and it broke open a huge range of music to me that I had never heard. I wasn't really into rock music at the time, mostly hip-hop, jazz and soul and this album led me right down a new path into a now epic obsession with rock music.

Nostalgia aside it was also the first album I ripped to MP3 in the late 90's. I had finally gotten a new computer that could handle MP3 conversion at something other than a glacial rate and the first album I reached for was The Wall. After about an hour of ripping and organizing later I sat down and popped my headphones on and listened for the first time to The Wall, uninterrupted and without pause. No flipping records, no changing CDs , just me and an hour and a half of uninterrupted bliss. I could only think that this was the first time I could listen to this album the way it was intended. One rock solid slice of rock opera pie taking up a good chunk of my evening. It was amazing. I still didn't understand just how important that moment was. It was just a record, and I was just listening to it. Only later have I come to realize the extent to which technology and narrative intertwine.

Musical Narrative: The Hazards Of Love by the Decemberists

This is as fresh as it gets, I just bought this album today. It's quickly gaining my affections as an excellent record and more importantly it follows a single narrative thread throughout the album. It's a perfect example of a band who know the media they're writing to, it clocks in at 58:36 and plays perfectly well on CD and MP3. It isn't nearly as long as The Wall but that isn't really the relevant issue here. What is the issue is the nature of "The Album As Form" and the influence of technology on it. This album was conceived, developed and recorded with the full understanding of modern musical media and there is no feeling of being rushed through the story. It does not labor under clumsy editing, it flows easily from scene to scene and ensures that the listener stays rapt throughout. In essence, the media supports the narrative quite well.

What I see here is the confluence of an extremely talented songwriter and superb production resulting in an essential example of The Album as an art form. Whatever gripes one may hold with The Decemberists or their relative merits aside (Full Disclosure: I LOVE The Decemberists.), I think there are precious little arguments to be made against this statement. The idea that this form has died in light of modern digital distribution models seems like saying that digital cameras are making fine art photography obsolete. It's true that the advent of digital media has changed the profit structures of record labels, bands and retailers alike and that it is still a developing model but what's at stake here is the form, not the function. Again, we don't really know what's going to evolve out of this sea change in the music industry but I'm thrilled to be here watching it all.

The Album Evolved

My earlier position stands, we really don't know what MP3 will do to musical narrative. The longest album I can think of released as a digital download is NIN's Ghosts I-IV. Being an instrumental album, the vast majority of the narrative is implied through personal interpretation of the music and the associated artwork. The fact that the art book is available only with the physical media makes me remove this from the equation. As a purely sonic work it does not present the listener with a single narrative thread, instead it comes across as a series of vignettes that paint a broader emotional picture. Not to say that this detracts from it's intrinsic value as a work of art, but more that is separated it from the previously discussed albums by merit of it's intention.

Imagine now what unlimited play time can do to a more structured narrative! This is a whole new media form with regards to its technology and I am curious to see how it impacts the structure of future albums. Will it support it? Will the lack of restriction lead to drawn out stories and clumsy editing? Or will this lead to an album that is so radical in its conception that it vaults to the top of critics Top Tens overnight? I really don't know. What I do know for certain is that The Album is not dead at all. It is cocooning, preparing itself for the 21st Century and when it finally emerges from it's chrysalis it will amaze and delight us all.

Till next time,
Eriq Nelson

Monday, March 23, 2009

Ben Meyercord's SXSW 2009 Experience Days 2 to Day 5

Day Two

Day two was not very productive as far as music seeing goes. I saw a stripped down version of Department of Eagles ( a Grizzly Bear side project) at Howe Gelb, again at Waterloo, which was awesome. I love anything that man does. He does not give a god damn what anyone thinks. I guess you could say, he keeps it real. Then we went back to Adam's Grandparents for a meal. Then I went to the Parlour and played a very short (2 songs) Meyercord set and a regular Y La Bamba set. It was a pretty intimate setting which was fine.

Day Three

Day three was way fun. At about 1PM my band mates dropped me off downtown after I expressed that all I wanted to do was see shows. They went and did nerdy band stuff like got to music stores and stuff like that. I on the other hand, with out any sort of schedule, went around to see what I could see. I saw a lot of people and a lot of bands. One band, whose name I don't remember, was performing next to an open window which at the climax of the set was jumped in and out of several times wrapping the mic cord through said window. It was pretty crazy. Then I walked around some more and ran into Shelly Short and Alexis Gideon from Portland. Then at the same time, I was still talking to them, Casey Jarman, of Local Cut, showed up. I hung out with him for a little bit at the The Sidebar for a bit waiting for a band called Here We Go Magic. There I also saw Rob of CD Forge and End Hits. After waiting around for what seemed a bit too long. I bid farewell to Casey and headed over to Emo's Annex to catch Blind Pilot, the local Portland band that I seem to never be able to catch at home.

At the Blind Pilot show I ran into Matt the Booker for Doug Fir. He was enjoying the show to the point of mouthing the words of Blind Pilot. The rest of the guys from AristeiA showed up a little bit after Blind Pilot finished. We all gave high fives to Matt and headed out to see what else we could find.

Adam suggested that we go to Lovejoy's because it was his favorite bar when he lived in Austin. We had know idea what we were getting into. There was a band playing Bang Camaro. It was nuts. They are a butt rock band from Brooklyn with six lead singers. I mean they all had their own style going and poses and everything, but they sang in unison. Adam and Brandon were hooked and ended up splitting the cost of their new album Bang Camaro II. It comes with a documentary and everything. We left feeling like we had discovered the next big thing. Later we found out that they were featured on Rock Band 2 and The Sims 3. Crazy.

After that we headed over to The Parlour where AristeiA performed a set. I had the pleasant surprise of some family showing up. The band that played after us Cartright used to play an open mic that I ran in Denton. That was a pleasant surprise. There were a good amount of people and everyone was really cool. All the bands were good. It seems like everyone we talk to is either jealous of or is considering moving to Portland. It is kinda cool to to rep a cool place. The night ended with a hip-hop act named Phranchyze who through out a very large t-shirt to an inebriated Brandon Gordon of AristeiA who immediately put it on and looked like a little boy with a goofy beard. He danced around continuously "dusting his shoulders off". It was a good time.

After ward we ran into a band called See Me River. They are Band of Horses related band from Seattle. We talked to them earlier in the night when the roadie guy noticed our Oregon plates. Pacific North West Brethren unite! We traded CDs and talked about the people we kinda know in common. They mentioned a band that I have written about here on CIMTB called Spinning Wheels (if you guys read this, what's up?). Then we drove to where we were staying at Nick's house.

Day Four

Day four was a busy one. Honestly I don't remember how it started. I do remember parking the van very far from where anything was and then catching Asobi Seksu. We kinda know them we talked to them a little bit after their set and then wen t on a very long walk to check out this pedestrian bridge that we heard some bands play. Then we took a very long post-Taco Cabana walk back to the heart of things after seeing the poster and guitar show at the convention center (not much to report here, I mean it was cool but whatevs).

We were able to catch our host, Nick, play trombone in one of the many bands he plays in, The Low Lows. They were really good. They had six people on stage and the lead singer apologized that they were missing two integral members. It was a very full sound including two trumpets to complete the brass section (if you include Nick's trombone).

Then We saw Explosions in the Sky in an outdoor venue that held 100,000 people easy. It was crazy. They sound was no good, but it was cool to see fireworks at the end of their set. Very appropriate.

We then headed over to that Pedestrian bridge we scoped out earlier. We eventually found out that there was a show planned there that we were able to jump on. There were like eight other bands including a girl who used to live in Portland called US Girls. There was also a punk rock band called Tyvek who played a showcase earlier that week with Portland's Eat Skull. I learned that the bassist for Eat Skull sprained his ankle. I hope he gets better, cause I am sure it sucks to tour with an ailment like that. We met a lot of cool people and stayed as long as we could but called it a night at 3 am.

Day Five

Day five we kinda took it easy. We had some Tex Mex.We only saw one show and was a Red 7. It was the first and only show I payed for all week. But it was such a cool show. Providing you like metal or post-rock or all those bands that straddle the two. The four main bands that I had heard of and wanted to see were Pelican, Wolves in the Throne Room, Caspian and Junius. I was however really impressed with every band I saw though. We were so tired by the end of the show. So very tired.

So that is the most of what my SXSW experience was. I kinda wish I got to see more shows, But after talking to some other people, this feeling is inevitable. I would eager to hear from other people who went to see what shows I missed (just like at home).


I was at this show. It was the first time I have seen Asobi Seksu play, where the vocals were in the mix.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Musical Etiquette: Dinner Music

Dear Musical Etiquette:

Recently I was invited to a semi-formal dinner party by a co-worker. Everything went off without a hitch but the music he played was too loud and abrasive. How do I let him know that it wasn't appropriate? What kind of music should I recommend?

Signed, XXXXXX

Critiquing a host's dinner music is a delicate situation. Often times your host has put a considerable amount of time into the selection of music for the evening. As we know all too well, the correct music is as important a part of the atmosphere as the place setting, the lighting and the food itself. If you find that your dinner host has selected music that does not fit the atmosphere of the party, and you know your host quite well, then it is best to mention it discretely when the opportunity arises. In the case of an unfamiliar host or a formal dinner party, the thank-you note is considered the polite way of voicing your concerns.

A well written thank-you note can do wonders for your social standing. There are a few things to keep in mind. You are a guest, so it is upon you to thank your host for their time and effort. It is also upon you to not waste their time. A thank-you not should be short without being terse and as formal as the situation demands. Any criticisms of the party should be mild and couched in pleasantries. I have included a letter from a recent dinner with an acquaintance to guide your hand should the demand arise.


I'd first like to extend my thanks to you and your wife for inviting me to your dinner party last weekend. Rarely am i presented with such excellent company and stellar food at the same time. The orange glaze on the duck made every sense I posses dance with such fervor that I find myself reliving the experience over and over in my mind even now. The ethereal beauty of the table setting and your lovely abode likewise remain etched forevermore in my mind. Bravo to you and yours good sir, Bravo indeed.

There is, however, a small matter that may be worth your attention. Now I think we all like Too Short, he is an MC of unparalleled skill and wit. I did find it difficult to discuss the easement of import restrictions with the Minister of Foreign Affairs while the stereo was bumpin' and I'm not certain that a litany of sexual references are appropriate for hors d'oeuvres. In much the same way I did not find your blend of Deicide, Animal Collective, Wagner and Brittany Spears for the main course to be in sync with the airy and light ambiance of the party. Perhaps Enoch Light, Terry Snyder or a collection Satie piano pieces would complement your next dinner party better. I would have mentioned it at the time, but I did not wish to seem an ungrateful guest.

It is a small matter, of course, I would be delighted to attend any future gatherings you host and look forward to our continuing acquaintance.

Eriq Nelson

I hope this advice sees you through the difficult act of critiquing a hosts dinner music. If you need to make recommendations, remember to keep them light and common. Dinner music is a background, it should not challenge the ear. The excitement should come from conversation and food and serve to complement them both rather than drown them out.

Until we meet again,
Eriq Nelson

Questions about Musical Etiquette? Send me your quandaries at musicaletiquette@gmail.com


Friday, March 20, 2009

Live Music Review: A Cautionary Tale 3/18/09 @ The White Eagle

Nick O'Donnell of A Cautionary Tale (it was really that orange!) Photo by Goldie Davich

I walked into the saloon with the a mission. I wanted to encapsulate the band I was about to see into a custom fit genre. We've talked a lot about genre these days. How describing bands sound is an annoying task. I wanted to do it for this band because from what I could tell from listening to their Mysapce there were no clear veins to start with. A Cautionary Tale's Myspace page headline reads "gleefully unmarketable". They know they don't quite fit in. I haven't heard any band in town make music that sounds anything like it.

Summing up A Cautionary Tale's sound:

Stephen Malkmus makes comfortable and unexpected love to Friends of Dean Martinez on a deserted beach in the Mediterranean.

Live Music Review:

The performance was a joyful display of talent producing an edgy sophisticated sound.

Watching honest to goodness musicians practice their craft in such an intimate venue was luxurious. I wanted to have them in my back seat playing for me on the way home. The room was filled with sound, people and a soft orange glow. I enjoyed the blend of saxaphone (Chris Glabb), classical guitar (Rich Boles), slide guitar (Nick O'Donnell), steady flexible rock and jazz drum beats (Kevin Van Geem).

My favorite part was when they played this song and I really liked it and then I found out the name of the song was "Your friends are bitches". Then it was my favorite song!

A Cautionary Tale has a CD release party at Holocene Wednesday April 22nd with Grey Anne and Sleepy Eyes of Death. It will be $6 at the door.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Hello Dear Readers,

I am in Austin. I wanted to share with you my vision of the SXSW festival. Sadly my bandmate left the digital camera at my sister's place, so these words will have to do.

Yesterday was my first day of SXSW. It was super fun. I started the day by playing a set at the Ioda stage with Y La Bamba. Directly after our performance we were interviewed by Dave Allen of Pamplemoose. I did not realize what it was until afterwards when I talked to his assistant Scott of The Penny Jam. I then showed Dave Allen my I Anatomical Heart Crappy Indie Music. He didn't really say much to me after that. I think he had to interview some more bands After us was some more pretty cool bands whose names escape me. My Dad and stepmom and sister and her friend David were there too.

Then I went over to see my friend's friend's band at Love Joys. Then I walked around where there was a lot of good people watching and eventually found my way to The Belmont where AristeiA was set to play. There I met with the rest of AristeiA and more family. There were a couple good bands and a lot of bad bands. but whatevs.

I took a break and ate at Countyline an eatery that reminded me of how hard it was to be a vegetarian growing up in Texas.

Then I got dropped off back in the heart of SXSW. I went and got on the guest list for the Decemberists show one of the many perks of having your band produced by Chris Funk. We hung out a bit backstage which was cool because I was no longer surrounded by very drunk people shouting "wooooo!". Then I went back out to see them play their entire new album Hazard's of Love. It was cool because it was a rock opera. Also I bumped into a bunch of Portland band folk including people from Loch Lomond and Laura Gibson's band. Later after wards I saw Cary Clarke from The Mercury. Afterwards, I caught bus home to find sweet sweet sleep.


Rude Dudes & Serious Business open for Rye Rye April 15th @ Rotture

Rude Dudes consist of one of my favorite DJ's DJ Solomon and RAD!. Solomon hosts the super fun, super guilty pleasure Special People's Club dance party. I'm gonna check out Serious Business when I am in front of a computer that has the flash media player working. These Portland party people will be opening for Rye Rye Wednesday, April 15th @ Rotture.

Rye Rye
April 15th, 2009
$10.00 advance tickets
$12.00 at the door
320 SE 2nd
Portland, OR

Next Special People's CLub will be held at BOTH Branx and Rotture! It will be two stories of dancing and prancing!

Special People's Club
Saturday March 28th, 2009
+21 at 10:00pm - 2:30am
@ Branx (downstairs)
& Rotture (upstairs)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Worst Band I've seen @ SXSW SO FAR

Oh No Not Stereo

photo by Wes Naman

OMG! WHile I was listening to one of the guitar solo's of this pop/punk/LA Trash my sinus infection came back.



Watch SXSW Live online @ The Belmont March 13th-21st in Austin, TX

Watch some of SXSW for free, from your bedroom, office or phone! I'm doing it right now. AristeiA is going on in a little bit... Please let me know of any other cool streaming of SXSW!

CLICK HER TO WATCH: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/ustream-studio

Tuesday March 17th – uStream/The Belmont

“Green With Envy” (St. Patty’s Day Party)
Details: Find the Leprechaun at The Belmont for a FREE Green Beer
No Cover, Free Live Music, No wristband ALL DAY, ALL NIGHT
Amazing Drink Specials

2pm-2:30- Pat Green
2:45-3:15- Bucky and The Blues Buckets
3:30-4:15-Roster McCabe
530-6:15- Daughters of The Sun
630-7 15- Evening Rig
7:30-815- Kevin Devine and the God Damn Band
8:15-10- Jake Dilley and The Color Pharmacy
10:15-11:15- Peter Himmelman – Furious World Live from The Belmont
11:30-12:15am- John Cruz
12:30am – 2am (Special Guest)

Wednesday March 18th – uStream/The Belmont

11am -7pm- “Cardiac Music Group Party”
Details: Free Beer
Free Live Music
No Cover, Free Live Music, No wristband ALL DAY, ALL NIGHT

The Straw man Complex (Phoenix)
The Silent Armada (San Diego)
Rosemary’s Garden (L.A.)
Underwater Get down (Phoenix)
Matt R (Phoenix)
Tugboat (Phoenix)
Aristeia (Portland)
This Twilight City (Michigan)
Egress (Texas)
Sorry Ok Yes (Italy)
Kalab (Las Vegas)

Covalent Records Presents

8:00-8:30- Dark, Dark, Dark
8:45-9:30— The Evening Rig
9:45-10:30—Jake Dilley and The Color Pharmacy
10:45-11:30- O’brother
11:45-12:30—The Jakes
12:45-2am- Jonathon Tyler and The Northern Lights

Thursday March 19th – uStream/The Belmont

“Covalent Records Presents”:
Details: Free Live Music
No Cover, Free Live Music, No wristband ALL DAY, ALL NIGHT
$3 Beers, Wells, $5 House wine 3 -7pm, $5 Apps Menu

2:45-3:30- Speakeasy
3:45-4:30- The White Iron Band
4:45-5:30pm- Moving Matter
5:45-6:30pm- Little Red Radio
6:45-7:30pm- Sea Bird
7:45-8:30pm- Chris Pierce
8:45-9:30pm- Mae Day
9:30-10pm- Set up for Mandy Lauderdale
10:00-11pm- Mandy Lauderdale
11:15-12am- Amazing Baby
12:30am-2am- (Special Guests)

Friday March 20th – uStream/The Belmont

12pm-6pm- Vanguard and Russell Carter Mgmt
Details: No Cover, Free Live Music, No wristband ALL DAY, ALL NIGHT

Sarah Borges
Death on Two Wheels
The Bridges
5:00pm - The Indigo Girls
9pm-10pm- Into the Presence
10:15-11pm- Elisabeth and The Catapult
11:15pm-12am- Rachel Goodrich
12:15am-1am- Abalone Dots
1am-2am- (Special Guest)

Saturday March 21st – uStream/The Belmont

12pm-4pm- Favorite Gentlemen Party

12:00-12:30 Harrison Hudson (acoustic)
12:45-1:15 Winston Audio
1:30- 2:00 Leslie
2:15- 2:45 Kevin Devine
3:15- 3:45 Gringo Star
4:00- 4:30 Manchester Orchestra
4:45pm- 5:30pm- Into the Presence

6pm-2am- Roxwel Party

7:30 pm- Fake Problems
8:30pm- The Von Bondies
10:00pm- Death Confederate
11:00pm- Right Away, Great Capitan!
12:00am- Glasvegas
1:00am- The Knux


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Fun Portland Dance Party: Electric Feel

PDX PIPELINE gave this night a stellar write up calling it a "A Deeply Satisfying Dancegasm".

I'm gonna check out Electric Feel this Saturday night at the Fez Ballroom. I hear this is going to be fun night full of indie/electro/dance music, with some guilty pleasures, 80s, britpop, etc mixed in. I'm totally gonna bust out my latest dance move (not plural).

Electric Feel is every 3rd Saturday of the month (this Saturday the 21st) The Fez features guest DJ's and performances along side with resident DJ Rhienna. This Electric Feel features DJF.

DJ RHIENNA 11:45pm-2:30am
robots in disguise - the sex has made me stupid
telepathe - chromes on it
yelle - je veux te voir
robyn - cobra style
peaches - i u she
strokes - last night
smiths - this charming man
electric six - danger! danger! high voltage!
justice - D.A.N.C.E.
scissor sisters - tits on the radio
dandy warhols - not if you were the last junkie on earth
blur - song no. 2
arctic monkeys - i bet that you look good on the dancefloor
MGMT - time to pretend
css - music is my hot hot sex
justin timberlake - rock your body
prince - gett off
le tigre - deceptacon
gang of four - damaged goods
beck - clap hands
kylie m. - speakerphone
justice vs. simian - we are your friends (remix)
arcade fire - rebellion (lies)
depeche mode - just can't get enough
mount sims - how we do
cut copy - lights and music
black ghosts - repetition kills you
pulp - common people
bell X1 - flame (chicken lips remix)
pet shop boys - domino dancing
mag fields - long forgotten fairytale
erasure - ALR
queen - radio gaga
the rapture - no sex for ben
MGMT - electric feel
clap your hands say yeah - the skin of my yellow country teeth
franz ferdinand - this fire
yoko ono - kiss kiss kiss (feat. peaches)
chicks on speed - mind your business
of montreal - wraith pinned to the mist (and other games)
white stripes - seven nation army
goldfrapp - number one
daft punk - harder, better, faster, stronger
kings of leon - taper jean girl
james - sometimes
wham! - everything she wants

The Fez
315 SW 11th
Starts 9pm
$5 at the door

Sounds like fun. Doesn't it?

-- Ste. Goldie

Monday, March 16, 2009

Ben's Live Music Picks is on a vacation.

Hello Dear Readers,

I will be away for a month. AristeiA is going on tour. In my absence, please check out PC-PDX. They are pretty good at listing the shows and stuff. But CIMTB is going to be fine without me. I am sure you have been noticing the excellent content that has been posted as of late.


p.s. You can see what I'm doing at the AristeiA blog


Unfiltered: Wednesday @ The White Eagle

A Cautionary Tale, Photo by Arian Stevens

Hey Gang! I totally forgot about The White Eagle! It wasn't until I caught up with Nick O'donnell of A Cautionary Tale that I remembered about this venue. I haven't been there in yeeeears. I liked the place but apparently no one I've wanted to see has played there until now. Well, actually this band from Seattle called The Maldives played their last month but I couldn't go. See, I forgot about it until just now! He's the one that informed me about The White Eagle's indie rock showcase. It's held every third Wednesday of the month. It's called Unfiltered.

This months show is this Wednesday March 18th and features a band I considered heavily influenced by almost every band know to man, A Cautionary Tale, The Future Historians and the band whom the Oregonian says they are "Kurt Cobain meets Leonard Bernstein" Echo Helstrom. SWEET! I love grunge and I LOVE musicals. I am defiantly going to this show.

Here's what the Willamette Week says about The Future Historians:

The five-piece band leans toward the rootsier side of the spectrum, offering a hybridization of folk-country and Shur’s unique wordplay, highlighting his strong knack for catchy vocal melodies interspersed with strong indie hooks. The end product is at once jarring and soothing, drifting between the upbeat and the lucid with a fluidity that sucks you right in and keeps you listening. -- AP KRYZA

WOW! I have no idea what that means but it sounds impressive!

The show's FREE, and starts at 8:30 sharp!

The White Eagle
836 N. Russell St.
Portland, OR 97227

-- Ste. Goldie

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Musical Etiquette: The First Date And The Music Collection

If you have a serious music habit, chances are you met your date at a record store, music shop or show. This makes it hard not to talk about music on the first date, since for all you can tell, it's the only thing you've got in common; except a shared desire to be in an awkward situation with a total stranger. It's OK, you can talk about music, just keep this advice in mind when sitting down in front of that record crate or scrolling through that iPod for the first time.

1. Try to find some similarities in your tastes:
Everyone has a few things in common, even it's the fact that you both eat food and walk on two feet. It's even easier with music! If you met your date at a show, talk about the band you saw! If it was a record store, make sure you remember what they bought and just talk about that. C'mon, you can do it!

2. Never make this face. Ever.

For any reason. Seriously... date over.

3. People will disguise their favorite artist.
It might be the fifth record, or the third or any record at all. Often people disguise their favorite tracks as 'just another song' to gauge your reaction. I know what you're thinking; "How unfair, why wouldn't they just tell me?". Well, if they tell you it's their favorite then you're more inclined to just tell them what they want to hear. Be prepared for this! Offer your honest opinion at all times but tread lightly.

4. Vinyl People are Insane

Just let them handle the records, it's Extremely Important to them and they don't know you well enough to trust you yet. There are plenty of people who will jump into bed with you in a heartbeat but won't let someone they've dated for five years put on a record without them in the room. It's alright, most of these people have an incredible record collection and love to talk about it.

5. It's alright to be ignorant.
The truth is, you can't know everything about music. I know, I've tried. Unless your date demands some heroic feat of memory and information consumption it's perfectly acceptable to be slightly ignorant of a record. In fact, it can do a great deal towards getting your dates attention. It's good to feel knowledgeable and important, and you want your date to feel good about themselves and by extension feel good about you. Be sure to listen to what they have to say about that band!

So get out there killer, enjoy your first date and try not to make an ass of yourself! Remember not to come on too strong though. If your date isn't into calypso then don't push! Music is an intensely personal thing and people all have different rates at which they're comfortable progressing a relationship. If you're meant for each other you'll be doing the limbo down lover's lane and swapping mixtapes in the moonlight in no time.

Till next time,
Eriq Nelson

Questions about Musical Etiquette? Send me your quandaries at musicaletiquette@gmail.com

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Guided History of PDX Past Volume 2 - THE DUTCH FLAT


OK. So I've come to realize that in a town/scene/era of this size, as welcoming as it can be, certain bands/projects end up slipping through the cracks.
So that said, I've decided to do a weekly documentation of some of these musical projects that maybe never really made it out of the basement but still deserve some shine.
Most of these musical endeavors never had the push of any label or any other monetary benefactor, yet in spite of that had some heartfelt passion. At least enough to make the history of Portland bands that never really "made it" but that are still are near and dear to my heart.
I will briefly expound on them and then leave a link to download a sample track.

I've also realized that while my previously proposed title, "Secret History of Forgotten Portland Bands" may sound sexier than the current title, I had to switch it up because -

A) None of these bands are/were a secret. Being underrated and not as appreciated as they perhaps should have been does not a secret make.
B) I've also come to realize that these projects are anything but forgotten. In fact if anything they are, in the parlance of the popular yearbook bon mot = 2 Good 2 B 4gotten.

Ok. Semantics lesson over. Time travel commences....

BAND: The Dutch Flat

LABEL: Woodson Lateral Records

DESCRIPTION: Much like my previous post re: Laserhawk this was a pretty big band in the old early millennium Blackbird on Sandy scene that brought a welcoming breath of fresh air to the culture of, for lack of a better term, experimental post-rock in Portland. When I first moved to Portland in 2001 I found it to be a haven for genre-defying local bands that existed in a pre-MySpace/pre-Holocene/pre-Doug Fir/pre-Roturre /pre-Towne Lounge/pre-PDX-POP/pre-Local Cut world. And as this link attests Portland was still seen as the ugly step-sister to Seattle 10+ years after the whole grunge thing went down. I could go on and on with the pre-'s here, but at the time it was pretty much Elliott Smith, Dead Moon and the Dandy Warhols as far as the rest of the country was concerned.

In fact the Dutch Flat actually began as a Seattle band, and their page on the Woodson Lateral website is as succinct a place as any to gather further biographical info. And to buy the full CD from them direct. Don't front, you know you want to.

WHERE ARE THEY NOW: Matt Genz and Sam Schauer have both continued playing together in the inimitable ......worms with Scott Sloan (who recorded "Ghosts") along with the batshit crazy - off the chainsaw vocal stylings of my man Davis Hooker.

Sam Schauer also continues to release solo recordings under the name Modernstate which I've put out on my label, Lucky Madison. The first of which, Highwater Moonboot, was co-released with Woodson Lateral as I was just coming up and had no national, or local for that matter, distribution at the time.

I'm not sure what Tim Graham's up to these days, hopefully some of our readers can help fill in the blanks on that.

MUSIC LINKS: the epic 14:33 track Ghosts/Button Thief

Or, if that's too much for you to handle here's the equally amazing but only clocking in @ 2:10 track 1000 Deaths

PS It's come to my attention that as I am not currently a paid member of Rapidshare as of yet, this link as well as the Laserhawk one can only be downloaded 10 times and expires in 90 days. I will be rectifying this situation early this week. When my paycheck clears and I can pay for a membership so that these downloads can be available for everyone.

MTV Flashback 1983 / Personal Flashback 1995

In between talking to the Vanity Fair Twitter gal and watching this video I almost didn't feel sick today. My eyes burn as I type this but I love you guys to much not to share something that brought a smile to my snotty swollen face. It's one of my favorite songs. I can say I've seen the Ramones* which made me an instant fan but I have close friends** who are hardcore fans so I can't even front. I hope it makes you happy and not sick for a little bit too.

The director of this video is unknown. If you find out who it is and can prove it I will send you a present.

Ste. Goldie

*I saw them at The Roseland sometime around 1995
**I was with Stephen Charbonneau and Jason Dodson. We were standing on Burnside and someone threw a half gallon of Newman s Own Lemonade at us.


Friday, March 13, 2009

Ben Meyercord's Live Music Picks for March 13th to March 15th

Hello Dear Readers,

I could have sworn that I had included yesterday in my last post. It really is a shame cause I meant to list the show I played at a House called the Arctic Circle Pit with His Name Shall Breathe. He was so good. He certainly knows his way a guitar. And knows how to write a song. I was looking forward to see how he was going to pull off his songs. On his album a lot of his songs flow into one another. He did the same last night except this time he had help from Blake and Nicole Hooper (of Day of Lions) singing some very nice harmonies. Plus they played a couple of their own tunes. The night ended with a rare performance of The Indigo Boys who do covers/mash up covers of popular 90's female lead bands. It was pretty interesting, and very funny. Anyway, here is what is going on this weekend show wise.

Friday, March 13th

Oh Captain My Captain is having a show at their house with a band that rhymes with purses. I would check out 14th and Division if you are interested in this show (and you should be).

Backspace is having an amazing show with Parenthetical Girls, No kids, East Burn is having a show with Reclinerland and Shoeshine Blue. I like both of these dudes song's. The show is $ and starts at 10 PM.

Chaos Cafe is having a show with New Century Schoolbook, Hearts and Minutes, Treva Jackson. Amber (Dawn) shout alert. New Century Schoolbook is pretty fun to see. The ALL AGES show is FREE.

The Grind Coffee House is having a show with Generifus (Seattle/Olympia), Shelby Sifers, Temple Vibe (Seattle), We Play Quiet (Vancouver, WA). Shelby Sifers is so good. This ALL AGES show is $5 and starts at 7 PM.

Saturday, March 14th

Mississippi Studios is having a sweet ass show with Loch Lomond, The Old Believers and Brothers Young. This is an awesome line up. Seriously, check out the links. This show is $12-14 and starts at 7 PM.

Doug Fir Lounge is host to a really good show featuring Portugal. The Man, We're from Japan, Themes and Dr. Helicopter. I love me some WFJ! I laso have been hearing good things about Themes (they are also currently band space with me). This show is $10-12 and starts at 9 PM.

East End is having a show with Past Lives (Seattle), White Circle Crime Club (Belgium), Vanishing Kids and Mega Church. Past Lives were Blood Brothers in a uhhh...past life. Also I want very much to attend a MEGA*CHURCH mass. This show is $8 and starts 9 PM.

Rotture is having an edition of Supernature with Supernature: Copy, Hooliganship, E*RockM and DJ BJ (of Atole). I love Copy so much. I am not really into dance music. This is one of the exceptions. The show is $5 and starts at 9 PM.

East Burn is having a show with Audie Darling and Monique Full of Grace. Both of these lovely ladies are pretty great. I think the show is FREE. The show is at 10 PM.

Mississippi Pizza is having a show with Hearts and Minutes, The Brightest Comet and Moments in Static. The Brightest Comet is the very good side project of WFJ!. Hearts and Minutes has Vince, ex- AristeiA and current CIMTB model. There is a FREE show with 9 PM.

Kelly's Olympian is having a show with The Jezebel Spirit, Hearts and Minutes and Moments in Static. These bands use a lot of pedals. And again, ex- AristeiA and current CIMTB model Vince. The show is $4 and starts at 9 PM.

Sunday, March 15th

Worksound is hosting the Portland Round 7. There will be music by Sallie Ford (aka Down South Sallie), Poetry by Lisa Wells, and art from Jeremy Okai Davis. This is amazing. Sallie is so good, and Jeremy is so good. I am unfamiliar with Lisa Wells, but it looks real good. The show starts at $5-7 and starts at 8 PM.

There is also a house show that will serve as a benefit show for Y La Bamba to go to SXSW. It will be all the bands that comprise Y La Bamba including Make Nice, Secret Codes, and Meyercord. Kelli Schaefer will also play. She is always great. There might even be a performance of Y La Bamba. You can email me if you want the address. The show will probably have a cover (it is a benefit), but it will probably be cheap it starts at 7 PM.

This is what looks good to me this weekend. So say "Hi" if you see me, or I might say it to you first.


We're From Japan! (not actually from Japan, though to be fair they have visited) is playing on Saturday at Doug Fir

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Rant: I hate you Indie Genre Tag.

I listen to a lot of music. By a lot of music I mean I border on obsession. I listen to every kind there is, all the time I'm not playing it. Before you can say "Everything? Who does this guy think he is?" I will tell you this. My last few procurements are a collection of ancient Chinese folk songs, some Blur albums (Parklife is great by the way, very 80's in spots) and bunch of old ragtime records I found in a thrift store. So I'm into it, hardcore ya know?

A few years ago my CD collection had grown to an unmanageable size and I decided it was time to rip the whole thing into MP3. It took me about 2 years to get through it all but it was totally worth it. Now I had most of my music in a searchable index and I was pleased. Soon as my collection grew beyond it's original 60GB size it started getting harder and harder to search so I decided that it was time to start tagging all of my music. The only fields open to me were Artist, Album and Genre. I groaned, I wailed, I pulled on my hair and finally sat down and started creating genres for my music.

I hate genre. I hate it with a burning passion, I think it's a terrible way of describing music in any but the broadest of terms. So I stick with some pretty broad terms; Opera is easy to distinguish from Punk Rock, Hip-Hop sounds very different from Mexican Bolero etc. The real bitch of it comes in truly modern music. Where the hell do I put Devotchka? They're a Gypsy/Bolero rock band from Denver for fucks sake. Genre? They want nothing to do with it, just enjoy. What about Beck? Every album sounds like a new street drug I've never tried and any attempt to file it in my collection feels wrong.

Alas a gigantic music collection requires some organizing or I'll find myself back with my CDs, staring at a giant cluster fuck of boxes and buying the same album three times in one year because I don't think I own it. So I can either create a genre tag for every Balkan Beat Box that keeps scribbling outside of genre lines or I can try and group some of this crap together so I can find it. Recently a genre tag that I truly despise is creeping into my digital music.


I hate you, Indie genre tag. You are a method for distributing music, not a damn genre. You describe nothing, but so much of what I'm all about these day keeps landing in this pile. Again, Devotchka? Where the hell do you go Devotchka? Beyond creating a specific genre for Ukranian/Mexican Rock I can find little else to place them in. Maybe rock, but it still doesn't fit quite right. I'm not rocking out while I listen to them, I rock out when I hear The Black Keys. Or to make things worse, where am I to file Beirut? Gypsy-folk? AAAARG!

I've tried replacing the Indie tag with a few others and I've managed to extract Indie Pop and Psychedelic into their own categories but honestly it's painful work and not something I'm interested in spending a lot of time laboring over. I want to enjoy my music, not spend a couple hundred hours organizing it. That is the exact reason I went to MP3s so long ago, it's supposedly very convenient. Prove it to me MP3s, be more convenient.

I want music playing software that allows me to write in my own fields and then populate them with data that matters to me. Like what kind of sex goes good with this particular Leonard Cohen collection, or what color fruit reminds me of this Animal Collective track. I want emotional tagging. I want to be able to ascribe a mood to every track and every album in my library so when I'm feeling pissy I can just scroll down through my Ani Difranco records and listen to all the tracks tagged as "Pissy". Where's my Magical iPod that can do all of this? Damn you Indie genre, damn you for being useful and annoying.

Fuck it, someone please just take a picture of me every time I play Gulag Orkestar and tell me where it should be filed.

Thanks for listening to me rant,
Eriq Nelson.


Monday, March 9, 2009

Ben Meyercord's Live Music Picks for March 9th to March 11th

Hello Dear Readers

I want to ask one thing. Why do not more bands incorporate french horn? Last night I saw Matt Sheehy play with his new band The Menders for the first time. It sounded great. A lot in part of the addition of Jen who plays french horn in everything from indie-bands to the Vancouver Opera. Thats Range!. That is not to take away from the rest of the band which in cluded Ryan Doliver, Pia (of Loch Lomond), Justin Power, Michael (3 Leg Torso) Dan, Anyway, I thought they were great. Plus as part of the encore they pulled up Ritchie Young (of Loch Lomond) on stage for a very fun if not perfect version Tears for Fears "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" (Brent knoff of Menomena also played piano on the cover song).

Monday, March 9th

Okay, So I have not been able to listen to many of the bands this week. So I will bfreifly justify my listing of every show.

Aladdin is having a show with M. Ward, Tu Fawning, and Blue Giant. This show as of when I am writing this is not sold out. I thought was but it might not be. I think M. Ward is just a phenomenal musicican and songwriter. He always assembles a top notch band and is fun to see live. This show appeals to me more as a Portlander because all the acts are from right here. Tu Fawning is the joint effort of Corrina Repp, Joe Haege (The Decemberists and that dude formerly of Swords. I have never seen them before, but would love to tonight. The show is $20 and starts at 8 PM.

    Valentine's is having a show with TacocaT, Forever and Nucular Aminals. I list this cause Valentine's is pretty rad, and the name TacocaT is even radder. The show is FREE and starts at 9 PM.

    Backspace is having a show with These Are Powers, Guidance Counselor, and Fuck You Safari. Guidance Counselor makes me dance. I like to dance sometimes. The ALL AGES show is $5 and starts at 9 PM.

    The Know is having a show with The Friendly Skies and CJ Boyd. The show is

    Tuesday, March 10th

    Same deal as above. Short and sweet justifications.

    Valentine's is having a show with Evolutionary Jass Band, Kusikia and Palo Verde. Evolutionary Jass Band Rules it. Justified! This show is FREE and starts at 9 PM.

    The Know is having a show with Les Flaneurs and Pigeons. Les Flaneurs is part of that Leonard Mynx/Audie Darling etc... circle of really good musicians that play in eachother's bands. This show might be FREE? I think it starts at 8 PM.

    Wednesday, March 11th

    Justifying is easy. See.

    Holocene is having an amazing show with Phosphorescent, Nurses and The Battle of Land & Sea. Nurses is one of the best bands in Portland right now. The Battle of Land and Sea's music is so pretty and they hardly ever play. The show is $8. The doors are at 8:30 and the music starts at 9 PM.

    Slabtown is having a show with Elder Mason, and Bear Hat. I have heard good things about Curious Hands. I am, dare I say, curious about them? The show is $5 and starts at 9 PM.

    So if you see me at these shows. Give me a "Hi" and I will give you a "What Up?".


    This Jass band plays Valentine's on Tuesday. It will be "Jassy".