Saturday, October 31, 2009

Ben Meyecord's Live Music Picks for Saturday, October 31st

Hello Dear Readers,

Happy Halloween! There is a lot going on tonight. Actually there is a mind numbing amount of stuff going on tonight. I am only going to cover the music and just thinking about it makes my mind hurt. Hopefully you have already decided what you are doing. If not, here are some options that involved some PDX tunes in the mix.

Saturday, October 31th

Redeemer Luthernan Church is having a show with Blue Cranes and Claudia Quartet. I love the Blue Cranes and their indie-jazz stylings. They never disappoint, but often go beyond expectations. They are seem to be very stoked about this Claudia Quartet. This is what someone said about the four piece, "The Claudia Quintet's music demonstrates that "Innovative jazz does not have to be harsh, angry, loud, shrill or grating; it can be delicate, witty, ethereal and radiantly lyric, as the Claudia Quintet pointed out..." (Chicago Tribune). Formed by composer/drummer/arranger John Hollenbeck in 1997, this NYC ensemble's sound explores The Edge without alienating the mainstream, proving that genre-defying music can be for everyone. Over the past decade, the group has released four CDs that are critically acclaimed world-wide and whose appeal extends well beyond, as well as including traditional jazz audiences. The group's first album, The Claudia Quintet, was released on the Blueshift CRI record label. The group has since established a long time relationship with the Cuneiform label." Sounds legit. The show is $8-$15 and starts at 7 PM.

The Press Club is having Michael Hurley play. This is not necessarily an exciting show. But it is a good one. Who knows who might join him? I know he has got some great folks in his corner. They are are folkers of the Appalachian type. Good stuff. The show is FREE and starts at 8 PM.

WonderBallroomis having a show with Starfucker, Deelay Ceelay, Nice Nice, and Wampire. This is a killer lineup. The last show Starfucker will play before officially changing their name to PYRAMIDDD. They have some seriously fun energy live and the catchy numbers to back up the energy. Deelay Ceelay is all about the performance. It is essentially two drummers playing to pre-recorded music. Sounds kinda boring right? Well they manage to make i t not boring by doing it to an awesome animation show that synchs up ridiculously well and that they created themselves. Also they usually employ hearty doses of fog not to mention that the pre-recorded music is pretty bomb. Nice Nice is a duo that specializes in making post-everything music via a series of well planned loops. And Wampire makes very chill and groovy lo-fi dance rock. I really like it. It will be very strange to see them in this setting though. I mean I am used to seeing them in very small settings. Wonder Ballroom is relatively huge. This ALL AGES show is $14 and starts at 9 PM.

Disjecta is having a show with Copy, E*Rock, Atole, Guidance Counselor, and DJ Automaton. This is what Disjecta had to say about the event, "Experience the massive and mysterious Disjecta like never before this Halloween. Set design impresario Drew Foster and the Disjecta team have transformed the building into a labyrinth of ghoulish charm. You won't find a more elaborate environment anywhere with Portland's best party bands. We guarantee it will knock your clown nose right off!" This is what I have to say about the event. It's a rad dance party. Some of Portland's finest. The show is $10 and starts at 9 PM.

The Woods is having Baba Yaga Ball with Vagabond Opera. I will be honest and say that I am not that into what Vagabond has to offer, but his sounds kinda interesting. "Halloween in a real mortuary? Vagabond Opera presents a night of haunting music, ritual, art and the sincere honoring of those passed in their second annual Halloween bash! Whether you want to dance, party, pray, or channel your ancestors, this night is for you. The night will feature a stunning interactive altar installation dedicated to honoring the dead, an apothecary and museum of weird objects, a divination table and an ancient fire ritual in honor of Baba Yaga, the Slavic Witch! Part event proceeds will support The HeART of Healing project of the Archimedes Movement, a grassroots effort to spark positive health reform in Oregon and beyond. To learn more visit" The Show is $17 and starts at 10 PM.

Doug Fir is having Best Little Horror House in Portland: this includes Red Fang and The Bugs. This is what they are offering," HORRIFYING HAUNTED HOUSE-STYLE TABLEAUS AND SKITS FROM PORTLANDS FUNNIEST COMEDY TROUPES!
COSTUME (STRIPPING) CONTEST!" I was sold at Red Fang. Those guys make awesome ROCK music. I saw them play at East End a few months a go and left with prune-y hands because of all the sweat.The show is FREE with a costume and $8 otherwise.

Rontoms has a show with Black Elk and Diamond Tuck & The Privates. Rontoms would be an ideal place to see a show this Halloween. I have been in there recently as last night and it is looking good. There are several dead bodies hanging from the ceilings and even more severed body parts. I hear that there will be loads of fog inside tonight as well. Black Elk music pretty much rules it if you like aggressive metal-ish music. Diamond Trucks etc... seem like an interesting pairing, though they still rock albeit in a completely different way. The show is $5 and starts at 11:59 PM.

If you see me at any of these shows please say "Hi". I will be the one in the snuggie (yeah I'm gonna buy a snuggie and yeah, I am going to wear it in public).


I think I know what Red Fang is going as for Halloween. You can see for yourself tonight at Doug Fir.

FensePost Review "Thom Yorke: The Man can do no wrong"

Thom Yorke: Feeling Pulled Apart By Horses (12" Single Review)
By Fense* at
October 30th 2009

The Man can do no wrong. Capital M: He deserves it. Thom Yorke’s latest project finds him slipping further into experimentation; the avant garde. As if we haven’t seen this coming since 2000’s Kid A, easily one of the most prolific albums of the decade. “Feeling Pulled Apart By Horses” and b-side “The Hollow Earth” are a play on the hypnotic. Both leave the listener with a true experience. click here to read full review


Friday, October 30, 2009

Ben Meyercord's Live Music Picks for Friday, October 30th

Hello Dear Readers,

Last night at Mississippi Studios was awesome. Though I missed the first several songs of ioa, I caught that last several and I thought they were very good. Then The Robinsons came on. There were really good too. Just as I predicted they pulled from both Viva Voce and Blue Giant. And then Britt Daniel came on. Lord is he good at what he does, and lord how I love it. He mostly played solo and debuted a new Spoon song called "Mystery Zone". I thought it was good, but with the rest of Spoon backing him I could see it being really good. Speaking of backing him, near the end of the set Janet Weiss came out to back him on the drums. Though it was a little off at times it was very enjoyable they both looked like they were having fun. They did an amazing cover of Kathy's Clown by The Everley Brothers and and ended their encore (yeah they did an encore) with a cover of a Wipers song. It was so sweet. Any way, here is what looks good to me tonight.

Friday, October 30th

Doug Fir is having a show with Church, Run On Sentence, Jared Mees & The Grown Children, and AAN. Tender Loving Empire always puts together the best shows. For real these are all really good acts. Church is one of my absolute favorites for their dark moody and sudden guitar outburst tactics. Run On Sentence is a good story teller and his songs are really good. He always throws together a top notch band. Jared Mees and company are one of the most fun live bands to see. They are super positive people and tonight they will be backed with a horn section. AAN is my latest favorite Portland band (I have many favorites which I realize is contradictory). They also create moody music. But it so good. Every detail seems preordained and necessary. This show is not to be missed. The show is $8 and starts at 9 PM.

Ella Street Social Club is having a show with Moodring, Carson McWhirter (of the Advantage), Mason Lindhal and +CNCTD. Moodring is a Rollerball spin-off. This is what their myspace said, "Moodring is centered around Rollerball's Monte Allen and Mae Starr. While it’s easy to hear that Moodring is awesome, other words to describe them are a bit harder to come by. The presence of piano and clarinet give a free post-jazz flavor. Mae Starr’s ghostly vocals sound like the lounge music on a sinking ship. The deep groove jams sink in to form some kind of modern American gamelan sound. The music is so raw and infectious and immediate that it feels more proto-everything than post-anything. So just soak it in and sink into the doom." That sounds pretty cool , right? I am also a fan of The Advantage, the Nintendo cover band. +CNCTD as far as I can tell is one guy a lot of reverb a guitar and some made up language. Please correct me if I am wrong. Oddly enough I find it a little compelling. The show is $5 and starts at 9 PM.

If you see me at any of these shows please say "Hi".


Church plays the Doug Fir Tonight. Hooray!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Ben Meyercord's Live Music Picks for Thursday, October 29th

Hello Dear Readers,

Yesterday I was sick. I basically could not think due to a massive sinus head ache. I had most of the post for yesterday done, but I just could not bring myself to do anything. I pretty much checked out for 24 hours while awaited my recovery. I did not make it to any of the shows. Did you? If you did let me know what I missed. Here are the shows that look especially good to me tonight.

Thursday, October 29th

Mississippi Studios is having a PDX Pop Now! benefit with Britt Daniel, The Robinsons, and ioa. Now as many of your may now, I am a huge fan of all things PDX Pop. How cool is it to have a FREE ALL AGES festival with loads of Portland bands? Very. Anyway this show will help them out a bit financially (apparently it is not free to put on) while being a sweet show in general. Britt Daniel is probably best known for his band Spoon. I love that band. They have a sense of rhythm and melody that is unstoppable. I have seen him play as Britt Daniel twice here in Portland. I remember the first one about four years ago a Dante's when he play really solo with the exception of some CD boom box backup drums. It was awesome. Then I also saw him at last years MFNW show at Wonder Ballroom which was way cool because Janet Weiss joined him on a couple of numbers. She is such a good drummer. Rumor has it that he will be recording a solo album eventually. He has at least a couple of non-Spoon songs that he has been known to play at solo gigs. Plus he might play some new Spoon songs from the album coming out next year. The Robinsons are probably better known for their main project Viva Voce, or maybe their side project/super group Blue Giant. Regardless, I am saying you probably know about them. Viva Voce has a bit of a classic rock feel and a whole lot of hooks. Blue Giant has a psychedelic country sound not far off from The Beach Wood Sparks (a band that I really like and that if you have not heard, you should look into). So they will probably pull from both of these and maybe some songs that nobody has heard yet. ioa is also best known for her role in the band Point Juncture, WA. Her solo project definitely has some of the aspects of PJW like lots of members of PJW and therefore lots of trumpet and vibes and such. But these songs are obviously not from the same band. Many of them have a breezy bossanova thing going on. It sounds good. The show is $25 and starts at 8 PM.

Holocene is having a show called Chix w/ Stix. It is a show that celebrates the female drummer. It features Rhinestone Eagle, Palo Verde, Broken Water (Olympia), Hot Victory, and DJ L Train. Purple Rhinestone Eagle play riff laded rock music. They have garnered Black Sabbath comparisons from some, I sort of see that what with all the riffs and fuzz and all. Palo Verde is the Heavy-ish improv group that includes LKN on drums. Though it sometimes feels jammy, it always sounds awesome. Broken Water sound pretty awesome. From the top of the dome it reminds me of both Sonic Youth and My Bloody Valentine. Hot Victory has "Chick" drummer and a "Dude" drummer. They make really beats together and have another guy make weird sounds over with synth type stuff. But the main focus is totally the drums. As far as I know DJ L Train has no drummer female or otherwise. The show is $6 and starts at 8:30 PM.

If you see me at any of these shows please say "Hi".


Boxcar Children by ioa from Weird Tapes on Vimeo.

I think she looks kinda crazy in this video, but ioa sounds good. She plays tonight at Mississippi Studios.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Question of the Week: Island Edition

Many of you are probably familiar with the game Island, wherein one poses a hypothetical question involving being stranded with three people (often people the players know, or sometimes celebrities or fictional characters) on a desert island. Everyone must choose which of the three they would a) send off the island for help, b) talk to but never touch, c) touch but never talk to.

Some of my friends and I created a version of Island involving bands instead of individual people. Say you're stranded on a desert island with three bands, which do you a) send for help, b) get high with/talk to, and c) have a total band love fest with?

So this week's question is Island: Portland Band Edition.

Who would you pick for each of those three scenarios if you were stranded on a desert island with the following three bands:

Red Fang

Loch Lomond

...and because I get a kick out of always throwing giant ensembles into this game (my friends always roll their eyes at me as I inevitably pose something like 'The Cleveland Orchestra' or 'The Mormon Tabernacle Choir' as a choice), the final band is...

March Fourth Marching Band

Also, feel free to use the comments section to pose your own Island band scenarios.

A Portentous Announcement

It is the honor of this humble(stop snickering) blogger to be interviewing the great Meshell Ndegeocello here in the next few days. I wanted to get this out there because not only is this a big first for the blog, moving into the interview area, but Meshell's tour is coming to an end tomorrow night here in the Northwest. She's playing tonight, October 27th at The Triple Door in Seattle, and the final tour date tomorrow, October 28th at the Nightlight Lounge in Bellingham.

So in the meantime, while you wait for the awesomeness, go to Meshell's myspace and check out some of the tracks from her newest, "Devil's Halo," the review of which I will present along with the interview. It's fucking fierce. And you- dearest readers- if you have any burning questions for Meshell Ndegeocello, or any suggestions for questions, by all means leave them in the comments. Remember, we're all in it together.

Besides, do you really want to leave this all up to me?

I can't wait!

Ben Meyercord's Live Music Picks for Tuesday, October 27th

Hello Dear Readers,

One thing I have learned about myself, is that I cannot bring myself to go to a show that has already started. The thought of missing part of the show kills me. I would rather not see any of the show than miss part of it. The only time I go to a show late is if I do not know that I am late or it is an all day festival type thing. That being said last night I got home from AristeiA practice at 10:30 PM. All shows had started. I did not go to any of them. But tonight we start practice earlier so there is a chance of getting out earlier. Here are some shows I am interested in seeing:

Tuesday, October 27th

The Doug Fir has a show with Shonen Knife (Osaka, Japan), Explode into Colors, and Panther. This looks like a very fun show. Shonen Knife is an all female Japanese pop-punk band. I first heard of them because one of my favorite pop-punk bands, The Mr. T Experience, covered them. They write cute and cathchy songs. Explode into to Colors is a band that I have only seen once but because they are every one's radar, they are on my radar. From what I recall there was a lot of cool rhythmic stuff going on and a ridiculous amount of reverb and some dubby delay. They are also an all female band. The thing that I find most impressive though is the amount of creative outlets each member seems to have outside of the band. Check out their myspace for a full list of what these ladies are up to when they are performing. Panther is an all male band. A two man band, if you will. They do not have a "Panther Sound". They are constantly changing and mixing it up. Last time I listened in there was a lot of piano involved. They have a new 12" out that I have yet to listen to (though I read that it comes with 8 bonus mp3s, which I think is pretty cool). The show is $13 and starts at 9 PM.

The Woods is having a show with Southern Belle, Birds & Batteries (San Francisco), and Ravishers. I have never seen Southern Belle proper. I have seen a show where is was mostly acoustic and not at all what they usually sound like. However, over time I have managed to write about them and listen to them online an like what I have heard. There are three distinct Voices in the band. One of which I and probably everybody else will compare to Spencer Krug of Wolf Parade, because honestly he sounds a lot like him. They do the very vague tag of indie rock proud. Birds and Batteries are a band that I played with last time ArtisteiA played in Oakland. I remember thinking they were all right, though a weird fit for us. Speaking of all right, Ravishers are all right. They seem to make the pop-rock music and uh...Well they are not bad at all. But I am not sure if I would recomend them on a weaker bill. The show is $6 and starts at 9 PM.

Rotture is having a show with Struck by Lightning (ex-Mouth of the Architect), Nanda Devi, and Dopesmoker. Over the past couple of years my AristeiA band mates have started listening to heavier music. Over the past year it has started to grow on me. Now I don't claim to like this whole line up, I do really think that Nanda Devi is a really cool band. They make a DOOM/Metal kind of music that is both really dark and epic. I am a fan of any kind of epic music. Quite honestly, I don't to much care for the other acts on this bill, but for real Nanda is really good. They just recorded an album (they are also very prolific) and I bet they will play mostly music off of that tonight. The show is $7 and starts at 9 PM.

Valentine's is having a show with Why I Must Be Careful, Sedan (Olympia), and A Very Dead Horse (Joe Haege of 31 Knots). This is a no brainer for me. I really like the very organized madness that the drums and Rhodes create in Why I Must Be Careful. It is, dare I say, Genius. Sedan is a band based out of Olympia that has strong ties with many other NW bands. They are also a drum and piano based duo. I want to say that they are heavier, but that is mostly because I see that they have played with Thrones a few times. A Very Dead Horse is the solo piano project of Joe Haege. I think I mentioned his name earlier. Anyway this is his justification for this project, "it’s like classical piano is so ridiculously played out in this day and age, but for me to go and do it in this day and age at an all-ages space that mostly has punk bands, I dress in a suit and play a digital piano through a guitar amp, really loud. I’m trying to capture the magic that I hear, and I feel like a lot of people will hear the intensity and really like it. It’s just more of a contextual thing that keeps people from liking it.” Piano and piano like instruments all around. The show is FREE and starts sometime after 9 PM.

If you see me at any of these shows please say "Hi". Specifically to me. We will have a moment.

Panter is playing tonight at Doug Fir. It will be kinda like this.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Ben Meyercord's Live Music Picks for Monday, October 26th

Hello Dear Readers,

Last night was awesome for me. If anyone who reads this was at the show I played last night, thank you. I totally did not regret not seeing the other awesome shows that were going on because of you. If you did not go to Valentine's last night and did go to another show, how was that? Anyway here of couple really good shows I think you guys should check out.

Monday, October 26th

Lola's Room is having a House of Rock Benefit: Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside, and Katie Sawicki. The show actually benefits Habitat for Humanity Portland and Metro East's Woman Build. Sallie Ford and her band The Sound Outside are great. They make retro-sounding indie pop with a bit of a bluesy/jazz tinge. Plus I would find it hard to argue that this is not a good cause. And what's more is that it is probably early enough to make it so that one can catch more than one show. Hmmm... The show is $6 and starts at 7 PM.

Mississippi Studios is having a show with Mirah, Led to Sea (Seattle?), and Kane Mathis (Seattle). This is kinda of sad. Apparently, Mirah is moving. Next time she plays Portland, it will not be as a local act. She has lived in Portland for a while now and I feel I made the most of it. I have seen her play several times. I think her music is great. It ranges from very intimate to very large scale much like her frequent collaborator Phil Elvrum of Mt. Eerie. Her voice is warm and strong and often writes what seems to be very personal lyrics. I honestly can't get enough. Led by Sea is Mirah-esque but is augmented by the occasional experimental outburst of string craziness. She will be in Mirah's touring band. Kane Mathis makes world-folk incorporating the sounds of West Africa and the Middle East. I am mostly really into Mirah. The show is $13 and starts at 9 PM.

If you see me at either of these shows please say "Hi". Then be all like, "I read the blog." I would love that


Mirah plays for the last times as Porland resident tonight at Mississippi Studios.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Ben Meyercord's Live Music Picks for Sunday, October 25th

Hello Dear Readers,

Did you guys notice that other people started posting on the blog? Pretty cool, right? Anyway, I ended up staying in last night. I wanted to get my rest because there are some good shows happening tonight. More on that now:

Sunday, October 25th

I am playing at Valentine's on Sunday for FREE with the new line up of Meyercord which includes Perry Pfister (of Black Heart Moon) on stand up bass, glockenspiel and vocals and Holland Andrews (of Like a Villian) on vocals, clarinet and glockenspiel. Also the wonderful Lindsay Clark who just moved from Nevada City will be playing a set. Hearing that she is from Nevada City conjured up the folk sounds of Alela Diane and Joanna Newsome in my head. And I am happy to report she is in the same ballpark. Mike Elias is the guy with the huge mustache that usually asks to see your id when you enter Valentine's tonight you can hear his music. I have only seen him a couple times, when his good friend Kele Goodwin played, but I remember liking what I heard. Folk music forever! The show is FREE and starts at 9 PM.

Doug Fir is having Le Loup (D.C.)and Nurses play. This is totally the show I would be at if I were not playing tonight. Seriously I love both of these bands. Nurses play very infectious off kilter pop music that incorporates the very tasteful and almost tribal drumming and harmonies and a lot of looping and even more reverb. The guys of this band are great and seem to love making their music, assuming their herky-jerky dancing is an indication that they are enjoying themselves. They have been touring for a while now so I bet that are super tight so that will be cool to see as well. Le Loup is D.C. band who I fell in love with when they dropped their first album The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations’ Millennium General Assembly. They now have another album under their belt , the first that was written as a band, and therefore there is no relying on electronic elements as often happens when someone is recording an album all by themselves as Sam Simkoff did on the debut record. That album was kind of darker but had unlike many people who are making a dark album by themselves, it was also very big if not epic sounding. This time around it is less dark but it retains the big sound. Also I want to add what they said they sound like because I really like it, "SELF-INDULGENT ORGASTIC DECADENT FLOWERY DELICATE SATURNINE INTRICATE BOMBAST EXPLOSIONS SCRATCHING HOWLING HEDONISTS BROKEN PIECEMEAL GLUED BACK TOGETHER AND PARANOID FULL AND FRAGILE FLOATING AND FERAL AND FUTILE AND BORN OF CITIES AND SKYSCRAPERS LIKE OBSIDIAN MOUNTAINS AND SOOT-BLACK BILLOWY PLUMES FROM CHIMNEYS STABBING SKYWARD LE LOUP." The show is $10 and starts at 9 :30 PM.

Rotture is having a show with Ugly Colors, Housefire, and Duck Little Brother Duck. I am writing about this show because of the openers, Duck Little Brother Duck. They are amazing. To me it feels like if Cap N' Jazz was mathier and faster. The songs are absolutely insane in the best way possible. Each song has a million parts that rarely if ever repeat themselves. All the members are phenomenal at their instruments. I cannot say enough good things. I briefly checked out the other bands and formed some thoughts. Ugly Colors sounds like an emo band with some very emo vocals that sometimes does some cool guitar stuff. Housefire seem to have a bit of a Radiohead thing going on. But unlike most bands that have a Radiohead thing going on, this band does not completely blow. In fact I liked what I heard and will try to catch them in the future. The show is $5 and starts at 9 PM.

If you see me at my shows please say "Hi". I will be the one with the beard singing. If you go to these other shows, enjoey them for me.


Nurses play the Doug Fir tonight. Welcome them home.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

BAT COUNTRY!!! Volume 2

So after stacking the beginning of the last installment with cool new videos and degrading into sheer weirdness, I got to thinking about what exactly it was that I was trying to accomplish here. Still not having figured it out, here are some crazy-ass videos that I either found on a whim or have been pestering people with for a long time.

This one originates, as I recall, on metafilter. Heard it a long time ago but didn't know there was a video.

And in a corollary to the last Turn My Headphones Up! it's shot on location in Portland, apparently.

Hey, it's Prong's old bass player Mike Kirkland, smoking that same cigar from like 20 years ago!

The New Evils "The Way"

Soundco Records | MySpace Video

I really like this song. And band, too, I think.

This guy has the Bowie thing goin', so I was trying to portmanteau 'ninja' and 'Ziggy' but...

"Golden shining ninja light." Wait... what?

The man... the myth... the Frenchman.

That's my former bandmate Mikael there crooning and destroying lives. Je t'aime, Mik!

This is a fucking great song and video.

You may recognize MC Know One from his day job providing the McDonald's 'Sweet Tea' nostalgia theme.

And now:


This guy claims to have gone to high school with me.

I would ask for a blood test or something before I agreed with that statement, because I'm sure that song and video really sucked.

They're Canada's biggest Lovecraftean groove metal band! Now that's targeting a demographic!

Their bassist is a pretty nice guy.

You know, I forgot how much I liked this band. And those nice young man have some interesting things to say that are meaningful even today!

And that blond kid singing looks familiar...

It was really hard to resist posting every single thing I could find from this band.

Go to youtube and look up 'Ten Masked Men.' YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT.


Sometimes I forget that Crappy Indie Music not only has bloody Portland roots, but also a local focus. Hey, since I live here and love it here it might as well be time to celebrate.

XUOSOUX- "Under Sun" EP

You know, it's almost a family theme tonight. Almost. Xuosoux is a metal trio, and their bassist/vocalist/mastermind Bob Azevedo is the little brother of a high school girlfriend. "Under Sun" is a pretty straightforward hearken back to those mythical '90s that I periodically wax nostalgic for, and of course comparisons to Fugazi or Freemasonry on a set of songs like these are inevitable. The thing that is troubling about Xuosoux's entry is that it is a bit underwhelming for me soundwise. It's very tape-y, as befitting the decade it would fit in thematically, and has a real basement vibe, which is surprising given how studio-focused and driven I know Bob to be. So perhaps it's an aesthetic choice. Check it out yourself.


So, family. Brave Recordings is the record label my little bro helped start, and this sampler- a double 7" with a song from each band kicks it off in style. Now, I have to say this for the thing- it's a fucking great package. Golden vinyl, each band gets a full surface of art, and there's a sweet faux little league card inside with the download code. All the songs are top-notch. Lake, from Oly, throws in an upbeat pop tune reminiscent of the Juno soundtrack only without any hint of cloying shittiness like that film or its music. The Old Believers represent very mellow, but in this track, as well as in their live performance, dude singer Nelson seems to be going for some '70s soul frontman jive that doesn't really convince. With as powerful a chick singer as Keely in house, why ever step up with less than full game? But that's just me. Congratulations' "Juice And Syrup" is probably the strongest track here, but this band used to be named Eskimo & Sons, and I guess I don't have to say much more. Overall, though, based on their song here and a truly solid live performance, I would overall say that Red River is the band to watch out of this group of talented musicians. My one worry, though. With a fab release and epic tour out of the way, follow-up is the name of the game, and Brave Recs seems to be all but invisible on the web front. Avoid the sophomore slump, y'all.

SPAZZTIC BLURR- "Befo Da Awbum"So yeah. In high school I found one of the most badest-assest compilations ever, GRINDCRUSHER. On said compilation, amidst all the grindcore and death metal and such, was a particularly goofy but nevertheless blistering speed metal song called "He Not A Home(Me Marko)". Due to a reference to buying a tape at Second Avenue, I was convinced that this was a Portland band, and in those pre-internet days I didn't have any way to check. Of course, the internet is our god and our magic wand and our milk-laden breast these days, so I managed to not only confirm that Spazztic Blurr are from Rip City, but managed to get hold of their only album. It's more of the same- and a surprisingly good album. They predated John Zorn's experimental blastbeat eclectica in Naked City by a number of years, and are not only faster but considerably funnier and more listenable. My only problem is that as with any metal of this bpm, the vocals become ridiculous when attempting to keep up, and Tito's vocals were already pretty much ridiculous to start. A hell of a lot of fun nevertheless.

AristeiA: new drummer and new recordings

AristeiA drummer Devon Shirley in studio with Adam Steinfink at Toadhouse

I have listened to the rough tracks of AristeiA's most recent recordings. I hear a subtle, powerful new movement forward towards a signature sound. This movement is driven by the drums.

They are coming over this afternoon to listen and make notes for the mixing and shiz. I love watching the process of writing and recording music. It's so not hum-drum. Anyway maybe I will try my hand at a REAL review when it's all finished.

That's all for now. Baby blogs back into the blog of things.

-- Goldie

Music I am currently totally into:
Julia Kent

Music Podcast I am TOTALLY into:
Sounds Of The Apocalypse


Ben Meyercord's Live Music Picks for Saturday, October 24th

Hello Dear Readers,

So I want to talk about this one show that I did not list because a) it happened before I posted this and b) because it was sold out. The Kennedy School had something called You Who. It featured the The Decemberists, The Phantom Hillbilly, Hooliganship/Cartoon Exprez, DJ Anjali, hosted by Eric Stern (Vagabond Opera). Basically it was a rock show for kids. It included skits and sing alongs and a Halloween parade . Apparently it will be a monthly thing. So if you have kids keep a look out for more of the You Who on the horizon. Anyway here are some shows that haven't happened yet.

Saturday, October 24th

Doug Fir is having a show with Blitzen Trapper and Wye Oak (Baltimore). So essentially Blitzen Trapper blew my socks off last night. They are a real rock band for sure. How do I know? The bassist wears a leather wrist band. There are a lot of guitar solos and even more guitarmonies. There was a acoustic set in the middle of the regular set. It was awesome. I imagine tonight it will be similar. The openers have been on tour with them for several weeks now. They are a duo and listening to their recordings which are very rich with instruments, it will be interesting to see how they pull off their music as a two piece. The show is $15 and starts at 9 PM.

White Eagle is having a show with Blue Cranes and Round Mountain (Santa Fe). I think the Blue Cranes version of Jazz for the kids who grew up on indie rock is great. Their two records are good but do not reach the greatness of seeing them live. They have very firm grip on how to utilize dynamic shifts to evoke a response in me that I find quite impressive. Round Mountain is a sibling folk group that features the brothers Rothschild. It seems pretty good. The show is $6 and starts at 9:30 PM.

The Woods is having a show with Norfolk and Western, The Golden Bears, ans The Low Lows. I last saw Norfolk and Western at PDX Pop 2008. They were a rock band. Which surprised me because I recalled them being a folk-rock band. It had seemed that they had dropped the folk for electric guitars and loud choruses. It was super fun. The Golden Bears are a band that I think I have written about several times, but have yet to make it out to one of their shows. They are a duo that have been in several bands together and seem to have developed some chemistry together. I really don't know how to describe it though. It is not rock. It is not folk. It is not country. It is not hip-hop. It is not dance. I don't know...just click on the link I provided to see what they sound like. The show is $8 and starts at 9 PM.

The Artistery is having a show with Neal Morgan, Why I Must Be Careful, and ASSS. This is a somewhat experimental show. Not that it is really far out there, but it is a little farther out there than most shows. Neal Morgan is a drummer. He is also a singer in this project he has combined these two abilities. He has been getting some help in the singing department by Damris Peterson. He has just released a record called Drum and Voice Record. It is pretty straight forward. But do not be mistaken both the drums and the voice are really good. Why I Must Be Careful is made up of two pretty amazing musicians, John Niekrasz and Seth Brown. They play drums and Rhodes piano respectively. And they both play very fast and with very calculated precision. It is kinda math-y and really interesting. The music progresses in very organic ways that still seem unpredictable. ASSS is an experimental band. The experiment? To try to make a band as a drum and oscillator duo. Granted that also use vocals, but this is not your normal band. It is kinda cool though. The ALL AGES show is $6 and starts at 8 PM.

Berbati's is having a show with Times New Viking (Columbus, OH), Eat Skull, and Hey Lover. Times New Viking makes very loud and noise laden pop music. Wait a does Eat Skull (although maybe not as noise laden). Hey Lover's garage pop has its louder moments. What does all this mean? I guess it means that if you need both your pop needs and your noise needs fulfilled tonight, that this is the show for you. The show is $10 and starts at 8: 30 PM.

If you see me at any of these shows please say "Hi". I will be all like, "Hi." and we can take it from there.


Why I Must Be Careful will play at the Artistery tonight. Cool, right?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Ben Meyercord's Live Music for Friday, October 23rd

Hello Dear Readers,

Last night I didn't make it out to any shows. Did you? Did I totally drop the ball on any major shows or anything? I was at a Y La Bamba practice until late. Which leads me to the following:

Friday, October 23rd

Doug Fir is having a show with Blitzen Trapper and Y La Bamba. There is no shame in my game. I feel like this is one of the best shows going on tonight. I think Blitzen Trapper seems to be getting better with every release. If you have not heard their latest, Black River Killer, I suggest that you do. I have been listening to it all morning and it is good. To be fair, I guess the lead/ title track is from their last full length Fur, but the other six tracks are new. The thing I like the most about the band is their melodies. It seems like the vocal melody is a wave that kind of goes where ever it will and the music kind of rides it out. Y La Bamba is a female led six piece folk pop band that makes the most out of all the voices that the band contains. There are a lot of three part and even some four part vocal harmonies. The songs can range from stark arrangements to full on rock songs. From English to Spanish. From Spiritual to lost love. The one unifying element is Luz Elena's distinct and quite beautiful voice. The show is $13-$15 and starts at 9 PM.

The Banana Stand is having a show with Southern Belle, Bohdi, and Padriac Finbar Hagerty-Hammond. If I were not playing a show tonight this is the show I would be attending. Mostly because of Padriac Finbar Haggerty-Hammond and his wonderful songs. He is a really clever lyricist and has a really good sense of melody too. I think he has said that he wish he could write show tunes. Which makes sense because most of his sings are pretty narrative. Most of his songs are very sweet but some have a sense of longing that often hits a little too close to home for me. Whatevs. He is great. I swear I almost cry every time I hear his "X-Mas" song. Southern Belle is a band that seems well versed in indie pop and indie rock. I am not sure which one, but one of the band members has a voice that is a dead ringer for Spencer Krug (of Wolf Parade/ Sunset Rubdown). But there are two other vocalists which makes them pretty interesting. I am a fan of bands that have multiple songwriters (like Wolf Parade). Bohdi is a rock band. They seem to have a wide variety of influences and blend them very well. Maybe some Cars, I don't know...some other new wave-y bands. Oldies rock and roll? Whatever it is. It sounds good. Plus their keyboardist is Padriac Finbar Haggerty-Hammond. Over all this seems like a very fun show. The ALL AGES show is FREE and starts at 8 PM.

The Artistery is having a show with Rose Melberg (Vancouver, BC), Kellarissa (Vancouver, BC), and The Fall Colors. One of my favorite kinds of music growing up was female led indie pop bands. Guess what this show is. Glorious female led indie pop all around. The Fall Colors are a band that have gotten comparisons to Cannanes or The Clean (both very good compliments). Does that help you at all? If not you can always click on the link I have provided for you. Rose Melberg was in the group Tiger Trap and The Softies. Remember those bands? They were pretty cool. I especially liked The Softies. I must have listened to their album, Holiday In Rhode Island a million times. It was soft music with very pretty sleepy female harmonies. Rose Melberg's solo output is very similar to the Softies feel. Kellirissa sounds like lo-fi electro pop. It is not very dance-y, but seems to incorporate a lot synths and some beats. The ALL AGES show is $6 and starts at 8 PM.

Rotture is having Supernature with Breakfast Mountain, May Ling, DJ Copy, E*Rock, and DJ BJ (one of the dudes from Atole). So the deal with Supernature is that it is a dance party that occurs every month that is made up some live bands and the three resident DJ's (Copy, E*Rock, and DJ BJ). This is the 19th installment. Breakfast Mountain is the result of someone who loves dance music and hip hop and mixing them in to something upbeat and exciting. May Ling is basically Reporter sans a member and even more dance oriented. The resident DJ's are very experienced in keeping the audience dancing. So if you want to do a little or even a lot of booty shaking I suggest you go to this show. The show is $5 and starts at 9 PM.

Ella Street Social Club is having a show with Hillfolk Noir, and Shoeshine Blue. You know what. There is a lot of folk music. Honestly sometimes I feel like it is maybe too much folk music? But at the same time I really like it. When did everyone else decide that this was going to be the predominant form of music? It seems like an unlikely genre to champion. Whatever. Future Historians are very good at it adding a very nice touch of pop sensibilities to their folk. Hillfolk Noir are very country and blues leaning in their folk. Actually so is Shoeshine Blues. The last time I saw Shoeshine he was backed by two girls providing very beautiful backing harmonies and sometimes some flute. It was really nice. Jeez. I guess this is a really good show too. The show is $5 and starts at 9 PM.

If you see me at the show please say "Hi". If you go to any of the other shows have a good time.


Padriac Finbar Haggert-Hammond plays for FREE at Banana Stand tonight.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Ben Meyercord's Live Music Picks for Thursday, October 22nd

Hello Dear Readers,

I went and saw Leonard Mynx play at Berbati's last night. Solid. He had three guitars going and it sounded pretty good. There were a few minor sound issues that got sorted out. Honestly, the restaurant is not designed to have live music, so the fact that they make it work at all is impressive. Anyway there was at one point some sweet guitarmonies. The openers, John Heart Jackie, were pretty good. I was told that Jennie Wayne, the girl in John Heart Jackie has a solo thing that I need to check out. It is called Jennie Wayne. I listened to it and indeed liked it very much (so pretty). Anyway these shows look good to me.

Thursday October 22nd

Doug Fir is having a show with Alela Diane and Merrisa Nadler (Brooklyn). This is a folk show. So. What's the big deal? The big deal is that both of these ladies are really good. I first saw Alela play a while back in 2005 at PDX Pop. I was immediately taken with her voice and the starkness of her solo performance. After one song, I ran down to the merch table and was lucky enough to purchase one of the few remaining copies of her then self released album Pirates Gospel. It is so good. Her take on folk is very traditional in the acoustic elements. And while on her last album she added more instruments, it still maintained the county side folk that I love. I have not heard much of Merrisa Nadler, but I really like what I have heard. It sounds more like the folk from the 60's . Like something from a peace loving whatever flower power hippy dippy persons record collection. But in a good way. I could be way off here. But regardless, I really like it. The show is $10 and starts at 9 PM.

Ella Street Social Club is having a show with Il Gato (San Francisco), Monique Full of Grace, and Paschal Coeur. I like it when bands actually have a good description of themselves on their myspace page. Sometimes when I am lazy I like to just cut and copy it in these write ups. Check out this about Il Gato, 'The current incarnation of Il gato may best be described as indie-baroque-folk: utilizing the repetition of the loop pedal and a broad palette of instrumentation (acoustic guitar, trumpet, violin, mandolin, banjo, upright bass, harmonica, melodica, banjo, drums, etc.). Il gato writes emotionally complex songs about love and loss and how if you are going to be a lover in this world you are undoubtedly also going to be a loser and how maybe that isn't such a bad thing. Maybe it is even a beautiful thing." Pretty accurate. Monique Full of Grace makes slow paced music that is pretty good. I especially like the toy piano driven number on her myspace page "Sad But True". It kinda has a Buddy Holly feel. Paschal Coeur say they are soul. They kind of go for that sound, but the lead sings voice falls a little short of soulful. But it is good. Most of the songs that are posted on their myspace are live. They are pretty tight. It reminds me of like a less poppy Dirty Mittens. The show is $5 and starts at 9 PM.

Tonic Lounge is having a show with Olina, Prairie, and Silver & Glass. Olina is a band apparently formed by friends who wanted to play each others songs. The end product is a sleepy American band that will playing tonight for your pleasure. Prairie is in the same ballpark, thought they have been at it a bit longer and there fore to, me seems a bit more polished and have more indie rock in the mix. Good stuff. The show is at 9:30 PM.

Dunes is having a show with Worker Bee (Bay Area), The Man Dies, and Ghosting. I like Worker Bee. I have not heard of them before, but I suggest you check them out. They make kinda moody indie rock that knows makes good use of band dynamics to slowly build a song from the beginning to end. I suggest you listen to their song "Come Back" on their myspace. Very nice. The Man Dies doesn't have any music on their myspace. Ghosting does, though. It sounds like some pretty to pretty cool soundscapes with some "ghostly" vocals mixed in the woven layers of distorted sounds. I could not find a cover listed anywhere, but the show is at 9 PM.

If you see me at this show please say "Hi". Then, if you choose, you can have a conversation.


Alela Diane plays tonight at Doug Fir.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

New OHP Lottery

This isn't a music-related post, but something that is probably relevant to many musicians and, well, a hell of a lot of Oregonians.

When I got sick a few weeks ago and visited the Outside In clinic, I learned that the Oregon Health Plan is having another lottery to determine which low-income and uninsured Oregonians will be able to be added to the state insurance plan. (They had a similar lottery back in the winter of 2008.) They're expanding the program to 35,000 more people, but there are many, many more eligible folks than that in Oregon, so they must determine who gets insured by random drawings. And while it's a pretty fucked up world we live in where who gets healthcare is determined by chance, at least the program is expanding instead of cutting coverage.

So, if you think you might be eligible and are uninsured, you can sign up to be part of the lottery on the DHS website starting November 1st.

You can read more about the lottery here.

Question of the Week: Minor Postings VI

Remember in spring of 2008 when the infamous bureaucrats at the OLCC approved changes to their minor posting rules, making it somewhat easier for venues that serve alcohol to also host all ages shows? That was an awesome victory for Portland music, and due to a lot of effort put forth by musicians, show-goers, Carey Clarke and other folks at PDX Pop Now!, and the Musicians' Union.

So, I've been out of town for a while, and am a bit detached from new Portland music goings-on, and I haven't been able to find much from a half-assed google search, and was wondering if anyone has noticed any changes due to the more lenient minor posting rules. Are more venues taking advantage of this?

I think it's a good idea to keep looking at this issue, see if the changes are making a noticeable difference, or if perhaps there's more that could be done to promote the expansion of all ages shows in a fashion that's profitable and practical for local businesses. I have noticed that Backspace serves beer now, which should cut down on folks walking out on shows to get a drinks at a nearby bar, and probably significantly benefits their bottom line. Have any of you PDX music-savvy folks noticed any other changes since the ruling? Are there are any new all ages venues, shows, or better attendance at venues that already had all ages shows, but can now serve alcohol?

Ben Meyercord's Live Music Picks for Wednesday, October 21st

stHello Dear Readers,

I missed out on all the shows last night. Did anyone go to any of the shows I mentioned? Did anyone go to any of the shows I didn't mention? I am looking for some interaction with you who reads this. Especially those who make it out to the shows. Shows? I got your shows right here:

Wednesday, October 21st

Doug Fir is having a show with Thao & The Get Down Stay Down (SF,Richmond, NYC), Weinland, and David Schultz (Richmond). I have seen Thao and her band once, and I was skeptical. For what ever reason I was just feeling like I was going to like it, but by the end of the set I was dancing with everyone else. The three piece is really good ad creating very catchy music with really cool music parts led by Thao and her distinct vulnerable sounding voice. I have not seen Weinland in a long time, but they make really well arranged Americana music. It kinda sounds like if Neil Young and the ghost of Elliot Smith's gentler music had a love child. I have never heard of David Shultz before. He apparently makes America or Folk Rock or whatever. It don't sound bad at all. He is going to go on tour with Thao & The Get Down Stay Down and the Portland Cello Project very soon. Maybe will be hearing more about him in the future. The show is $13-$15 and starts at 9 PM.

The Artistery is having a show with These Are Powers (Brooklyn/ Chicago), Reporter, Sex Worker and . These Are Powers makes cool sounding electronic based music. It seems the kinda post-everything kind of music. I like it but it hard to describe. It seems aggressive, but it is not fast. It seems like it would work best at loud volumes. I have a confession to make. I have not really listened to Reporter in a long time. I just checked out their myspace page and they seemed to have turned into a full fledged electro-rock band when I wasn't looking. It sounds awesome. I found no information on Sex Worker, but one can guess how it might sound. Don Hellions seems like perhaps the odd man out on this bill, but I can guarantee you that they hold their own. I saw them for the first time at PDX Pop this summer and was quite impressed. What really makes this band stand out is the combination of lead singers yelp and organ playing with the sax players wail and the drummer keeping it together. Basically if I had to describe, and I am making myself do just that, I would say that they play new wave soul music. I really like it. The ALL AGES show is $6 and starts at 7:30 PM.

Berbati's is having a show with Leonard Mynx and John Heart Jackie. Last week I talked about how I thought that Leonard might have changed his name because of Leonard Cohen. Guess what. Leonard is his middle name. Boy did I feel foolish. What made me feel even more foolish is that I missed the first installment of his residency at Berbati's restaurant. I have mention John Hear Jackie once before. I think that they make very pretty music. They have only one release under their belt, the Women & Money ep, but it is very good. They are a girl/ boy duo that employs both the feminine and masculine vocals mixed acoustic guitars and some piano, or banjo or whatever other folk instruments are laying about. The show is FREE and starts at 10 PM.

Laurelthirst is having the return of Two Beer Veirs with Laura Veirs and her friends. I believe that her friends tonight will be Annalisa Tornfelt and Jon Neufeld (Brooklyn). From what I recall in these events, Laura sings traditional old country songs and encourages you to drink beer? The show is FREE and starts at 6 PM.

The Know is having a show with Stiffwiff and Tom Heinl. Stiffwiff are a jam band. I hate to say because, that leaves a bad taste in most respectable people's mouths (mine included). But from what I understand, the band performs improv most of the time. Because they have a revolving cast of very good players, I hear that it mostly works. And they have a record out on Arena Rock that is pretty cool sounding if you like slightly funky grooves. Tom Heinl seems to be a strange pairing to go with Stiffwiff, but I think I like his traditional sounding county. He honestly has a voice that reminds me if Johnny Cash. Plus many of his songs are funny. The show is FREE and starts at 7 PM.

If you see me at this show please say "Hi". Cause then I will like you. And you want to be liked, right?


John Heart Jackie play at Berbati's tonight.