Hello Dear Readers,
Yesterday was crazy busy for me. I had to take the AristeiA band van in to get looked at(the day prior we had a unfortunate parking incident with a wall), I had two practices (Sean Flinn & The Royal We and Meyercord), and then I played a house show. I had all my shows picked in yesterday but I didn't get a chance to post. It seems most of the time I have a show I run out of time and don't get to post about it. But I was pleasantly surprised to find that there were a good amount of people who came anyway. I can't blame them. The line up was super good. I started of the night with a short set of songs that went well. The last song I was able to get everyone to sing with me. Very cool. Then The Sarcastic Dharma Society played a very good set. It included a hilarious and sweet snippet of a musical that Mat Vuksinich and Padriac Finbar Haggerty-Hammond are currently writing. I really hope they finish it because I would love to see it. Mat, the songwriter of the group, is one of my favorite songwriters in Portland. I always that and I forget to mention, that the actual musical compositions are also really good and obviously thought out. Next up was Aaron Godwater on tour from the Bay Area. He borrowed Fin's guitar. It sounded so good. I can't imagine what his songs would have sounded like on the nylon string that he brought with him. He had a very cool voice that I can't really describe. But I liked the songs enough to get a CD (which I was pleasantly surprised features many layers of his voice and an array of other backing instruments). Then Purrbot played. I had only seen him once two years ago but I have listened to the album I got at that show on and off for since then. It is really refreshing to see a singer-songwriter who doesn't use a guitar (he used banjo, piano, and Ukulele). Plus he also has a cool voice. The night ended on a very high note (not literally) with The Ocean Floor (Lane Barrington of Hosannas (used to be Church)). I had only seen this band once before a while back at Rontoms. I thought it was cool then, but last night it was amazing. Lane and his musical partner Shannon Steele killed it. He plays really cool and crazy guitar parts balancing fragile vocals on top of them. She plays a couple instruments that weave in and out of the songs in a way makes most bands look very lazy in their arrangements. She mostly played what I think is a violin (is it a viola?) but also played a harmonica, bowed glockenspiel, and backing vocals. She has one of the sweetest voices I have heard in a long time. And when those two harmonize...whew. It is good. Anyway, here are the shows that look good to me today:
Thursday, January 28th
Ducketts Public House is having a a show with Hornet Leg, Droni Mitchell, Go Go Simba (Olympia), and Bodhi. The first time I heard the music of Hornet Leg I thought to myself that this sounds like K Records. Sure enough they are on K. The reason I thought it sounded that way is because they are the kind of punk rock that is very poppy and a little grooving. It reminds me of the music of K main man Calvin Johnson with a much higher voice. Droni Mitchell is a new project of Travis Wiggins. Their myspace headline reads, "Cinematic Psychedelia". I will not argue that it doesn't sound like drugs. Because it kinda does. It also sounds like punk rock. Drugged out punk rock at times just blissed out in others, I would imagine it would be "a trip" to see them play live. Go Go Simba sound like modern grunge. Neo-grunge? Just last night I was talking about how I didn't know how to describe Bodhi very well. I like them and I think they sound like rock and roll with a higher than average groove factor and some very nice new wave touches. The show is FREE and starts at 9 PM.
Doug Fir is having a show with The Upsidedown, Starry Saints, XDS, and French Miami (San Francisco). I was drawn to this show because XDS the awesome Deerhoof-esque band was scheduled to play it. But they had to cancel. But after investigating it looks like it will be pretty cool anyway. The Upsidedowns are related to the Dandy Wharhols and subsequently play psychedelic pop rock music. After I heard the first song on their myspace I was ready to talk about how boring this music makes me, but then I heard another song which I thought was actually very good called "Umbrella (Laura Palmer)" which changed my mind. Based on that song alone I think this band is worth checking out (the female vocal hook is great). Hey, do you guys remember that band The High Violets? I vaguely remember seeing them at a PDX Pop years ago and liking it. This is a band that features members of that band and is like their former group a shoegazing pop band. French Miami are a very cool band from the Bay where XDS used to call home. I found a quote from RCRD LBL that I thought summed them better than I ever could, "Their electric kool-aid post-punk is stilted by Telecasters winding up the same kind of prickly riffs that bands like Battles and Fiasco usually turn into proggy freak outs, but instead of going all aggro, French Miami end up sounding like a Guy Picciotto band that wouldn't need SPF1000 at the beach." The show is $8 and starts at 9 PM.
The Knife Shop is having a show with Future Historians, Eggplant, and Peter Murray. Future Historians is band that surprised me. I have up until recently heard a couple of their tracks on a couple of comps. They seemed like a good enough pop band. Then I go to their myspace recently and see that they list themselves as folk. I didn't remember them being folk at all. But these recordings do have elements of the genre. Brushed drums, acoustic guitars, and banjo are included in the recordings which are much better than the ones I had heard previously. Some of the songs also kinda have a feel of throw back pop. It is good and you maybe should check out this group. Eggplant seems like like a easy going Americana pop band. At least that is what the music I heard suggests. Bands know this, one of the quickest ways to win my favor is to have a pedal steel player (note: the Pedal Steel playing in this band, Tucker Jackson, also plays in Celilo and in a band with me in it called Sean Flinn & The Royal We and many others). The show is $4 and starts at 10 PM.
If you see someone who looks like me at one of these shows please say, "Hi". This greeting gets a response from me 99% of the time.
The Upsidedown play at The Doug Fir tonight.