Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Ben Meyercord's Live Music Picks for Wednesday, April 6th

Hello Dear Readers, I didn't go to the shows last night. I don't really have a good reason other than, I think I have so much stuff to do all the time. And I don't want to do it. So I put it off until I absolutely need to do it and then I can't do the stuff I want to do. And stuff. Anyways, here are the shows happening tonight: Valentine's is having a show with Ruthann Friendman (Venice, CA), The Ocean Floor, and Fort King (LA). Ruthann may have only put out one album, Constant Companion, but she is pretty big in certain circles. I cannot help but see a somewhat parallel of Vashti Bunyun. Similarities: both put one folky albums in the early 70's. Then kinda disappeared. Vashti's first album was re-released in 2002 renewing interest. She returned with a new album in 2005. Ruthann's album was re-released in 2006. Perhaps a new album is just around the corner? Differences: Vashti is English. Ruthann is American. Vashti was relatively obscure. Ruthann had a song that The Association made huge, "Windy". Plus Ruthann's music was far more pop oriented and experimental than the traditional soft folkiness of Vashti. Anyway, I have read that she sometimes plays around the LA area and people have written some very positive things about those performances. This is the first time I have read about a tour; she is on the road with LA's Fort King. Fort King is a pop band that is pleasantly lite and feature many male/female double vocals (one of my favorite tricks). Then there is the Ocean Floor. They are what initially caught my attention for this show. I am in love with the arrangements and the melodies, and the words. Hell I just think they are great. Interesting note. Holland Andrews aka Like A Villain aka member of The Ocean Floor played with these bands last night too. The show is FREE and starts at 9 PM. Laurelthirst is having a show with Norman and The Vicious. Laurelthirst has a good thing going on their Wednesday nights. Every month they have a new band doing a happy hour residency. This month they will be letting Norman, the only Willamette Valley band I know of, take over their stage every "hump day". This band has range and their latest release, Hay, Hay, Make a Wish and Turn Away, released last May covers a lot of it. I would say that the genre that is hardest to deny when describing the band is Americana. With song titles like, "Broken Hearted" and "Saddest Songs". You kinda expect it to be country influenced for sure. But they can lay down some rock with the best of them. Not the dissimilar to Blitzen Trapper. The Vicious Kisses list themselves as Indie Powepop. That is exactly how I would describe them. The show is FREE and starts at 6 PM. Mississippi Studios is having show with Danielson, Old Light, and 1938 Ensemble. Danielson is about as quirky a band as you can find. The guys voice is high pitched and weird. A lot has been written about their Christianity. But they are mostly known for their cool arrangements. It is no surprise that Sufjan Stevens got his start with these guys. It is rare that you find a band that is as weird as it is cool. I have not heard their new album, but their last one killed. Old Light is a band led by Garth Steel Klippert. It is said that he wrote the songs that were to become Old Light as as a taxi driver. A good occupation to find inspiration, I am sure. The music is mostly based around a heavily effected auto harp and three part harmonies. Many of the songs are what would be considered, "foot stompers". I am really interested in the third band, 1939 Ensemble. They are an instrumental drums and vibraphone duo. They list Tortoise as a main influence and from what I have heard, they rule it. The show is $12 and starts at 9 PM. The Press Club is having a show with Ed & The Red Heads, Hip Hatchet (Vermont), and Jenny Wayne. My educated guess is that Ed & The Red Heads is the natural continuation of Ed & The Red Reds. Ed & The Red Reds was a natural continuation of Ed Thanhouser formerly of Westhaven. Ed Thanhouser is also what you might call, a man about town. Hip Hatchet are a promising sounding down tempo Americana band fronted by low voiced Philippe. Jenny Wayne may best be known as the female half of John Hearts Jackie. She has a beautiful voice and sometimes plays accompanied by cello. I have always been very impressed when I have seen her play out. Lovely. The show is FREE and starts at 8 PM. If you see me at any of these shows please say, "hi". That would be a kind thing to do. Ben The Ocean Floor is gonna blow some socks off at Valentine's tonight!

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