Thursday, March 3, 2011

Ben Meyercord's Live Music Picks for Thursday, March 3rd

Hello Dear Readers,

Last night I didn't go to a show! Instead I practiced with Y La Bamba. Later in the post you will see why. Damn, there are a lot of good shows tonight. I have not had this many shows to write about in a while. Anyways, here are the shows that look good tonight:

The Portland Spirit is having a show with Red Fang and Builders and The Butchers.It is part of the Google Hotpot Series of concerts that are happening in the net couple of weeks. If you want to know more please check here (you can pick up tickets
at Trade Up Music, Jackpot Records, The Rebuilding Center, Music Millennium, Chopsticks II and the Peoples' Sandwich of Portland) (you can pick up tickets at Trade Up Music, Jackpot Records, The Rebuilding Center, Music Millennium, Chopsticks II and the Peoples' Sandwich of Portland)I think this show might be "sold out" by the time you read this, but I thought you guys should know about these shows. I mean Y La Bamba is playing one of the Google Hotpot shows with The Dandy Warhols and Typhoon. I am stoked. If I were you I would start following @HotpotPDX on Twitter. As for the actual music. Red Fang is one of the most bad ass bands in Portland. They make riff heavy rock music. Emphasis on heavy. They are releasing their debut record for their new home the heavy music-centric Relapse Records. I remember in high school picking up a free Relapse Records CD sampler because there was a band named Anal Cunt. I thought it was a hilarious name for a band. The funny thing is that The Decemberists' Chris Funk produced the Red Fang album. Which means that I can put The Decemberists in the same sentence as Anal Cunt. Actually Chris Funk produced the last Y La Bamba album, so I know and we did a lot of it at The Red Fang house. That house happens to be next door to some of The Builders and The Butchers folks. Small world, eh? The Builders and The Butchers released an album, Dead Reckoning on Tuesday. I am sure they will be playing mostly from that release. They have an energy that drives crowds crazy. If you are up front I am sure that you will have a good time. Ryan Sollee has a love it or hate it voice that will make or break the band for you. The ALL AGES show is FREE with a wristband at 7 PM.

Roseland is having a show with Devotchka (Denver), Y La Bamba, and Priscilla Ahn (LA). I will be honest, though I've heard the name Devotchka a lot over the last several years, I never listened to them until I found out that we were opening for them. Several members of Y La Bamba flipped their shit when they found out. We got offered to open up for them last year but we were already booked (we also had to turn down a Yann Tierson tour). Anyway the point is that I finally listened to them and they are really good. I am especially fond of the album 100 Other Lovers which they put out on Tuesday. They balance nasally indie rock and the Balkan folk that, because I am a sheltered indie rock guy, reminds me of Beirut. They have a really nice pallet of instruments to choose from including guitars, piano, theremin, trumpet, violin, accordion, Sousaphone, acoustic bass, drums and various percussion. You know who else has an accordion player? Y La Bamba. Yeah, that band that I play bass, sing, and play calvas in. We just finished a McMenamin's tour and I am feeling pretty good about what we are doing. We have a new song that we have been playing that I think will knock you socks off. So if you are a fan of very vocal heavy arranged folk music with a tinge of Latin influences, then we're your band. Prascilla Ahn is a woman from LA who has a really great voice. I listened to her myspace as her sweet and warm sounding vocals washed over me. I read that she uses a looper and utilizes a kazoo into her performances which initially turned me off. But her music is really good. Over all, I would say that this is a very good bill. Also it blows my mind that I am playing here. I have seen Bright Eyes, Of Montreal, Broken Social Scene, TV on The Radio, etc… play here. The ALL AGES show is $20-$30 and starts at 8:30 PM.

Holocene is having a show with World's Greatest Ghosts, Archers, and Heartbreak Beat. I love World's Greatest Ghosts. They are a great band. It matches really great guitar lines and equally as catchy synth hooks with great pop music that seems to jump of the stage grab the listener by the hand and encourage them to jump up and down. Archers are a newer band that share the ability to just let loose. Their performances are manic excursions in hyper active pop music that is equal parts pop and loud guitars. I have my eye on them for sure. Pick up their 7". You won't be let down. Heartbreak Beat is the latest band led by former Minders front man Martyn Leaper. The new trio makes pop music that isn't too far off from his old band. Thank goodness. The man is a pro at the pop music thing. The show is $7 and starts at 8:30 PM.

Doug Fir is having a show with Night Beats (Seattle), Drug Purse (Tacoma), Orca Team, and Midnight Sun. Everything I have read about Night Beats is how they are psychedelic and rock and owe a lot to the music of bands like 13th Elevator. I can see that. It is not that trippy but rather sounds like garage rock that overdosed on the 'verb. Drug Purse sounds like a perfect match for Night Beats. I think they are a bit more garage pop than garage rock, but they share the reverb ascetic of the previously mentioned band. They sometimes slow down their music like they consumed the contents of a drug purse and…Oh wait. I get there name now. The main reason I list this show is Orca Team. I think the local popsters are brilliant and I cannot convey how awesome I think it is that they are play a venue like Doug Fir. I feel like they could do with some bigger shows. They could win over anyone they play for. I am anticipating the new release that they are currently working on. Oh their sound incorporates reverb. Just like the other bands. But it also incorporates a tinge of surf and a lot more hooks. The show is $6 and starts at 9 PM.
Plan B is having a show with Amber Voltaire (WARNING: "Ya Boy Money" left a automatic player comment on this link) and Design.Drift.Distance. Amber Voltaire is a rock band that have a lot of changes in their songs that keep things interesting. It is kinda progressive in that sense. I am listing the show because of Design.Drift.Distance. I think they are pretty cool. They marry post-rock, math, and indie rock seamlessly. I really think they are work checking out. If you like any of the genres, I think that I am confident that they will have your needs covered. They have an EP in the works. Two of the songs are streaming on their myspace, They are sounding great. The show is at 8 PM.

The Woods is having a show with Key Losers, Ashley & Eli (Olympia), Motorbikes(Anacortes), and Davis Hooker. Key Losers is the latest in a many outfits that Katy Davidson has led. I first heard her music as the greatly underrated Dear Nora back when I was in Texas. Her new project is a lot more "out there" than anything that her previous incarnations ever did. In fact it is impossible not to drop the "p bomb". Psychedelic. However, I think it is impossible not to think of indie pop when hear her vocals. You can stream the first Key Losers album, Adjust P.W. Elverum and Sun. Probably because Phil Elverum produced. Also on the recording are members of Lake ( a great indie pop band from Olympia). You know who are members of Lake? Ashley and Eli. It definitely has some of the same feel of their other band (namely their sweet vocal harmonies), but it also includes some lite elements of electronics. Namely some keyboards and lite beats. I think it sounds great. Davis Hooker is a guy who plays around town sometimes. He has been highly recommended to me by a good friend with good taste in music. I think he performs as a dude and his guitar, but he surpasses most who tried this very played out format. Also his songs are a bit weirder and darker than most people who choose this route. The show is $5 and starts at 9 PM.

If you see me at any of these shows please say, "Hi". Or else.
-Ben


World's Greatest Ghosts play at Holocene tonight!