Friday, May 27, 2011

Ron's Picks: Stephanie Schneiderman's Rubber Teardrop

There seems to be a whole lot of "fusing" going on these days.  In fact, there doesn't seem to be much interest in standing on solid and familiar ground.  And, honestly, can we call this a bad thing?  What if The Stones hadn't held onto their Chicago blues love, while creating pop hits that stirred up an entire generation?  Or if Cee Lo hadn't added the Green, and only stuck to dirty south style hip hop?  We'd definitely be missing out.  And we might have been able simply look past the shoegaze goddess Stephanie Schneiderman and her delightful trip-hop/folk (how's that for "fusing") and her intriguing album Rubber Teardrops.

Schneiderman's vocals are most definitely demanding of well deserved auditory attention.  And the songs she writes are obscurely beautiful as they drifter over electronic beats and a modest amount of fuzz and latitude meets longitude sense of folk transparency.  It is down in the play list when things slow down from the dancematic beginnings, into a soft bit of beautiful melodrama.  This is where Rubber Teardrop's true colors begin to come to light.  And while the sweet and sensual original tracks like "Avalon" and "Hush Now (Remix)" are obviously highlights, there is one track that will absolutely drop you to your knees.  It is Stephanie's cover of "Between The Bars" that puts this album completely over the top.  You have never heard Elliot Smith like this before.

Within the fusing, the madness, the complete and utterly confusing (in a good way) mix of transparency that was fore mentioned, there is also a common and gentle bond with the deepest of human emotions scattered about the album's track list.  Love is present, as to be expected.  But, the love expressed within Schneiderman's lyrics is of the up most respectable type.  It's the coffee the morning after sort of love.  As well as the secret disposal of a previous nights Romanticisms.  It's as if Rubber Teardrop is simply a throwing stone for this songstress's everlasting search for peace of mind, and the also never ending process of taming the beast of fortitude and luxury that we will probably never get over.  No emotion is barred.  No derogatory stone is left unturned.  This is human experience in the greatest musical sense imaginable.  This is good stuff.

Check out the entire album at

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


I've mentioned my buddy Forrest (outside of his literary work, he goes by Brandon) Armstrong here before, under his moniker Gasoline Monk. We were acquainted through literary circles, and I got the chance to have a real funky jam session with him before he moved back to Boston. Now, Gasoline Monk is living the dream... serving an electronic music apprenticeship in a haunted castle in Denmark. On the occasion of his release "Dislocated Joints, Vol. 1", he took some time out from setting up a music festival to talk to me about it.

Okay, first things first. You're in Denmark. We need to figure out how that happened.

Haha yessir, studyin electronic music at Engelsholm castle. My mom lived in Denmark for the past couple years, and after coming here, and actually staying long enough once to make that whole Weed mixtape here, I got kinda hooked...

Gotcha. Are you seriously studying in a castle?

Yeah man, in fact it's a well enough known castle that one time i was flipping through a picture book of famous stuff in Denmark and saw it in there. I was suspended at the time, so it just made me realize how amazing the place was and how i gotta keep cool enough to get to stay here!


Yeah man, you know, we had a trip together to Amsterdam....that's like a playground to a kid like Gas Monk

Right. So is the castle haunted?

Yeah man, by a dog and an alchemist. and "the white lady."

Holy shit.

I'm down with the alchemist ghost man. I believe he helped teach me synthesizers.

I can believe that. You need to catch an EVP and work it into a song.

Haha man, that's what its all about...

Well, when I hear castle, the first thing I think is "reverb". Are you using the acoustic spaces yet, or is everything in the box?

Actually everything is mad electronic... my department is extremely talented, a lot of artists doing a lot of different things - led by Spejderrobot, who's one of the dopest electronic musicians in Denmark - so it's actually if anything getting more computer than ever. There's definitely people who're more drawn to that kind of field recording here, and that's mad cool, and something I'm down with, and something I'll probably get around to in good time. Just gotta do things when the feeling is burning up there, or rather chase the feeling that is currently burning up. For me now, that's stuff like synthesizers, breaking audio into something new, stuff like that... also of course keeping the drums as bumping as possible.

Are you getting a chance to work with old school synths?

I'm mostly working with digital synths, but I've played with a lot of hardware synths here and that's real cool too. Something I love about a synthesizer is that its so simple, it's just sound waves and maybe multiple sound waves layered well... so I dont think there's ever too drastic a difference between synthesizers, if it's only oscillators and filters etc they're working with.

Personally, I think a lot of the mystique of the old analog synths comes from their output stages- you know, warm wires and their fucking speakers. I mean, how many people have actually straight listened to an analog synth, as opposed to a recording? By which I mean to say I think that the analog vs. digital thing is a little silly. I'm perfectly happy using synths in the box.

That is very true man. You don't really feel what's going on till you've got a board with the knobs and its totally mutating the sound. It's such a simple thing synths are doing - which i did not expect before trying to understand them .- We oughta feel blessed a synth is so cheap to own (digitally) nowadays!

I've noticed a lot of synth manufacturers are working on the experience- you know, simple knobs and faders to control specific things. It's a good direction.

Exactly. you use Ableton, yeah? Think about the way Operator in Ableton works. It couldn't be more skeleton than that.


But you can make anything, then when you consider making synths out of your own sampled soundwaves, fuck, it's really infinite.

Exactly! It's a great foundation for people to learn HOW synths do what they do.

With a synth you are generating it, but I'll always have sampling as my foundation. I'll always dig.

So when you get to something like Alchemy, you're going to be going in really crazy directions combining sample and waveform, etc.

Yes, totally. Combining sample and waveform and then fucking it up even more.

I tried my hand at beat juggling the other day. It was hard.

Haha, it's just what mindset you're coming at it with, man... the sample chop stuff is very natural to me, because of the kind of things I'm always listening to for pleasure. The things that aren't natural to me are things like constructing melodies from scratch! It's been so long since I've even done shit like play guitar that my mind works different.

Well, I was juggling some slices of "Hey hey what can I do" by Zeppelin with some death metal. So it was kind of nasty. I'll graduate to Wu Tang and Curtis Blow before long.

Ahh, righteous man. Now thats perfect - bring the ruckus!

I know what you mean about it being a different mindset- that's partially why I'm learning the DJ skills so slowly. That and it's hard to bump when you have a 2-year-old who needs to nap RIGHT THE FUCK NOW.

Haha yeah man, I used to DJ in a soundproof basement... when you gotta rock some computer speakers in an apartment or whatever, you don't really mix the same. You're riding so much of emotion when you mix that you're style is bound to be a little more subdued (in the worse conditions).

That's interesting. I know my compositions feel different when I am wearing cans vs. blasting the monitors.

Totally. And that's one thing that is hard at this castle - I'm wearing cans too often.

So tell me about your new mixtape.

My new mixtape is me trying to combine everything i love. at least within the realm of electronic beat music - hip hop, dance stuff, weirder stuff... I'm coming at it with a love for 90s hip hop mixtapes - I don't mean that people did recently, I mean things like Crooklyn Cuts or DJ S & S or Doo Wop tapes. I kind of naturally apply that style to this 2011 music that's way more hi-fi and often a lot less metronomic. I dont mean metronomic in a bad way... but I'm trying to work with any style of beats I really like and still feel can make you wanna dance. And not all 2011 music, but you know, from anywhere in the past up until now.

Now, I mentioned to you that this mix was much tighter than your previous stuff, but I FEEL that you're trying out your skills some. You know, I would hear a bitcrush coming in, and I'd say to myself "Yep, he's riding it right there."

Yeah, thanks man. Hey Jess, I will be right back - DJ Luftwaffel just arrived for the Plugout Festival and I gotta just let him know where to go.

No prob.

Okay, sorry. I'm definitely trying out new things. Another thing about being in an electronic music program is that I'm listening to so much, whereas in Boston I might have just been listening to hiphop and going to house clubs and stuff. Now I'm listening to anything and everything,so I want to reflect that when I mix.

Do they have like a syllabus of "Here's some stuff you need to listen to"?

Haha well, I've always been terrible at listing things other than what gets me really juiced AT THIS MOMENT... but I'm real excited about Meyhem Lauren, Edo G's new album, Celph Titled & Buckwild as far as in the hip hop realm... Paco Osuna because he's so nasty for minimal/tribal house stuff... Roy Ayers for the synths, of course... those are some really strong things. Try the underground hiphop groups from the 90s to see how good underground stuff that nobody knows about now could be.

Awesome. So you have a festival gig coming right up. Can you tell me more about that?

Yeah, actually the past few days we've been sweating getting it all set up! It's me and the crew here at Engelsholm putting it on, Plugout Festival... three days of nothing but electronic music, man. We got some nice Danish names like FUKT and La Cuchina Som Sistema, Inga Dinga... and I'll be playing, and a lot of the homies here, like the Greased Up Records dudes - Shatter Hands, Sylle Struck, HORS, Lokode...

An electronic music festival in a haunted castle. Yes please!

It's gonna be real tight. We've sweated to make sure about that. Fuckin pure party.

Don't party too hard.

I gotta MC the house stuff tomorrow night and play on Friday, so you know... most of my crazy party gotta happen in the AM!

It's homework, right!

The best kind tho, man.

I'm super happy for you, brother. You are living the dream. What's next for Gasoline Monk?

I wanna get an EP straight of the songs I've been making here, because besides random leaks and putting them in mixes, nobody really knows what I've been doing. It's pretty different, more colorful. Then back to Boston at the end of June.

I'd be interested in hearing some more of your synth composition-

You're gonna, buddy!

You've established yourself as a mixmaker pretty damn well, I'd like to hear more of your freaky side.

Yeah, I hope the kids who got into me for that real lo-fi grimy hip hop stuff will still feel this, but I gotta keep trying new things to keep this music stuff as fun as it is.

Well, I'm gonna wrap this up. Thank you so much for this!

Thank you, Jess! Real nice chatting, bro.

If you get some video from the fest, I'd love to post that up.

That sounds dope. I am hoping kids will film it, sounds like they will.

Excellent. Well, enjoy the fest, I'll catch you later.

Thanks homie! Peace.

Plugout Trailer from Plugout Festival on Vimeo.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Sweet summer shows at the Aladdin

Ben will probably notify all you kids about these when they are a little closer, but here is a sneak preview of a pretty amazing run of shows at the Aladdin Theater. Thanks to new friend of the blog Emily W. for giving us the hot skinny!

June 18- the Mountain Goats
So yes, I will definitely be on this show. My good friend Tim (one of the best unattached vocalists in this town, BTW)turned me on to this group, and I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that frontman John Darnielle is one of the best songwriters around. If you're a fan of the clever lyrical wordplay of Benjamin Gibbard or Colin Melloy, you're a douchebag. The stellar talent of the Mountain Goats will probably be wasted on you, but it's probably your cup of tea anyway, so get out there and support an actual indie band! Not to be missed.

July 23- Thurston Moore/Kurt Vile
I'm not sure I should have to say anything about who Thurston Moore is. I've always thought he had the least rock n' roll name ever- he should have been Thurston Thornhump Worthington III. That would have been awesome.
And so will
his performance. I am not familiar with Kurt Vile, but according to Wikipedia "His music has been likened to that of Bruce Springsteen..." which could also apply to The Killers, if you think about it. Let's hope Squire Thurston's faith in him is not misplaced.

August 10- Eels

Eels is one of those projects that can't seem to make up its mind how cool it is. On one hand, they are the work of a true auteur. On the other hand, they're that band from Shrek (no, not Smashmouth). One one hand Mark Oliver Everett is an inspired songwriter, on the other he calls himself "E". Dude, fuck you. Seriously. Nonetheless, I have it on great authority that this is a fun band to see live, whose show is perpetually changing. Worth a watch!

September 17- Low

Low is one of those bands that is just cool, and creepy, and kind of slips in your house with a gun and makes you listen. They're alternately dense and airy, and sort of sound like Morphine if all the dudes from Morphine stepped out of the studio and Low stepped in.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Top 5 Most Hated Music Artists in the World

Top 5 Most Hated Music Artists in the World

Thanks to my new metal buddy Sandra!


[From BandPromo.Me -- Kick ass band promotion for Indie bands and artists]
Add this graphic to your site

Thanks to Keith at for the fun submission!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Ben Meyercord's Live Music Picks for Thursday, May 12th

Hello Dear Readers,

Last night I played in Providence, RI at Lupo's. With Neko Case. I got to meet her very briefly. Hopefully i will get to actually hang out soon. Anyways, here are the Portland shows that look good to me tonight:

Hollywood Theatre is having something called Sound and Vision Fest. It is curated by Matt McCormick, Carrie Brownstein & Lance Bangs. It is a three day thing that has a lot of cool stuff by film people. But there is a lot of music related stuff too. Matt McCormick and Lance Bangs have both made a lot of music videos and therefore have made. Tonight they have Goodnight Billygoat and Eluvium. They both make very cinematic music. Goodnight Billygoat goes one step further and makes actual films. Animations to be specific. Eluvium has always had a cinematic sound. But recently he finally made the leap and actually scored a full length film. Matt McCormick's Some Day are Better Than Others. While the majority of his career has been instrumental, Eluvium has started to add vocals recently. I think it's pretty nice. The show is $10 and starts at 7 PM.

In other film related shows, Holocene is having Fin du Cinema tonight. If you are not familiar, it is where local bands are asked to make a score for sections of a film. Tonight the film is 1966's Blow-Up. The original score was done by Herbie Hancock. Tonight the bands making music to the pictures are Monarques, The Reservations, and Rocky and The Proms. It will be interesting since both Monarques and Rocky and the Proms are both known for doing retro 60's pop. The Reservations don't really fallen that category but none of the bands sound anything like Herbie Hancock. This is always a fun and interesting experiment in music. The show is $6 and starts at 8:30 PM.

The Knife Shop is having a show with Egg Plant and On The Stairs. Egg Plant is a band that I first heard of because my friend Tucker Jackson, who I used to play with in The Royal We, plays pedal steel in that band. I have been meaning to see them, but have not gotten a chance to yet. They are self described folk rock. Their recordings give off a sense of pop that is not inherent in a folk rock tag. It is good. On The Stairs is a good pairing. I have talked a lot about Nate Clark's latest album A Muted Dawn. It is mostly because I think it is good. Especially the song "Stand". That is a song that sounds like it was an old soul number, but it isn't. The show is $4 and starts at 9 PM.

Al's Den is having a show with Nate Lacy (Mimicking Birds). Nate Lacy has been booked to play every day this week at the happy hour time of 7 PM. You get to see Mimicking Bird in a super stripped down setting for FREE. It is a way of getting you to check out the new Crystal Hotel. Issac Brock produced self titled Mimicking Birds album. It reminds me a of his side project Ugly Cassanova. Which may be my favorite thing that Issac has done. I think that it is very promising for Nate Lacy's carreer as well. Check him out for FRE while you can. The show is FREE and starts at 7 PM.

If you see me at any of these shows please say, "hi". Actually this will not be possible because I will be in Woodstock.


Good Night Billygoat will be playing in The Hollywood Theatre tonight. Big Screen!

Ben Meyercord's Live Music Picks for Wednesday, May 11th

Hello Dear Readers,

Last night I stayed in Bringhampton, New York. Y La Bamba starts our tour with Neko Case, today. It is pretty hard to believe. Anyways, here are the Portland shows that look good to me tonight:

Laurelthirst is having it's Wednesday happy hour show with Michael Hurley. I have written about Michael Hurley a few times now. I saw the folk legend play once at Holocene with Alela Diane. It was really cool. I was looking at the line up for a music festival in Nelsonville, Ohio aptly named TThe Nelsonville Music Festival. It looks like Michael plays on the same stage right before us. Pretty cool. anyway if you can't make it out to Ohio, then you can continue to see him at Laurelthirst every Wednesday this month. The show is FREE and starts at 6 PM.

Rotture is having a show with Autopilot is For Lovers, Mike Coykendall, and Alameda. Autopilot is a band that we here at Crappy Indie Music are fans of. I think that Adrianne Hatkin's voice is cool. I have been informed that it is a love or hate voice. She writes songs on the accordion, piano and guitar and therefore switches between them all. Interesting fact: Alameda features a few members that used to play in Autopilot. I am not sure if they will, but it would be awesome if they joined Adrianne on a few numbers. Mike Coykendall is probably best recognized from the liner notes of several great artists. Most notably M.Ward. I believed he was also in the She and Him band. Anyway his solo stuff is good. It is in the Americana rock vein. Though sometimes he uses his studio knowledge to mark dark sounding elements most don't ever get. Alameda is a group that creates lush backdrops of traditionally orchestral instruments like strings and such for indie folk. It is nice when it all comes together. They have a few releases under belt that you can check out. The show is $5 and starts at 9 PM.

Mississippi Studios is having a show with Empty Space Orchestra (Bend, OR), Brouhahaand, and Yeah Great Fine. Empty Space just released their self titled debut album yesterday. It is an exploration of their many and varied influences. I am not sure, but from what I can tell the music is instrumental and leans towards loud. Apparently all the members are actually trained, that means they know how to break rules. Broughaha is a band that spans the distance of Portland and Seattle. They too are instrumental and seem to be somewhere between a post-rock band and a jam band. The reason am writing about this show is because of Yeah Great Fine. They have vocals in their music and they are oh so sweet. Their music is summery fun and catchy as hell. Their are elements of progressive music in there but it never compromises the pop elements of their music. You really should check them out. The show is $8 and starts at 9 PM.
The Knife Shop is having a show with Harlowe & The Great North Woods, Pat Hull (Brookyn, NY), and Kelly Blair Bauman. Harlowe & The Great North Woods are make shimmery arranged folk pop music. One of the dude vocalists reminds me a bit of Horse Feathers' Justin Ringle. That and the uses of similar instruments lead me to want to make the comparison to the two bands, but honestly I think they take opposite approaches. Harlowe goes big where Horse Feathers goes small (or stark or whatever). Pat Hull is a guy and an acoustic guitar. His voice is strong and relatively high and piercing. I think if you are a Jeff Buckley fan you will find a lot to like in his music. Kelly Blair Bauman is an Americana Rock guy who does what he does perfectly. I really like it. The music mostly has a country feel to it like on "I Made It Up", but occasionally it is just jangle rock like on "I See Stars. The show is $4 and starts at 9 PM.
Al's Den is having a show with Nate Lacy (Mimicking Birds). Nate Lacy has been booked to play every day this week at the happy hour time of 7 PM. I will say it again like I did yesterday. This is a promotion to get you into Al's Den. I can guarantee you that if I were in Portland I would fall for this ploy. Because ultimately everyone wins. You get to see Mimicking Bird in a super stripped down setting for FREE. Cool. They get you into their new place. Cool. Honestly it is hard to imagine the songs of Mimicking Birds in a none intimate way. Over the last year I have grown quite fond of the Issac Brock produced self titled album. It reminds me a of his side project Ugly Cassanova. The show is FREE and starts at 7 PM.

If you see me at any of these shows please say, "hi". But you can't cause I am on the opposite coast.


Mike Coykendall plays tonight at Rotture!


For the uninitiated, this FREE mixtape is a head-nod must-have intro into PRTLND hip-hop. Ghosts of past, present, & future are all accounted for and the online liner notes about the history of each track is a very nice touch.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Ben Meyercord's Live Music Picks for Tuesday, May 10th

Hello Dear Readers,

Last night I stayed in South Bend, Indiana. We in Y La Bamba are on our way across the country to play a tour with Neko Case. I am beyond stoked. Also, we picked up a mobile hotspot for the van, so looks like I can maybe blog from the road. I men today is the first day it appears to be working. Thanks to Eric for meeting up with us last night we now have three drivers. Anyways, here are the Portland shows that look good to me tonight:

Mississippi Studios is having a show with Crystal Stilts (Brooklyn, NY), Case Studies (Seattle), and Archers. I will admit it that it is hard to wite the blog in the van. Many places have spotty Internet signals. There is also the instruction of other people in the van. Crystal Stilts are a band that I know I have heard of of at least seen their name around the Internet. I just listened to them. On the first listen they had the same reverie vibe as other NY bands like the Walkmen. It is a good sound. Seattle's Case Studies lists 13 members on it's Facebook. It also describes the band as a "revolving door singalong/playalong art project". I can see that if there are in fact 13 members, that most of them are a choir. The music seems to revolve around a deep voiced man and an acoustic guitar. I really like it. The reason I was drawn to the show however was Archers and their hyperactive rock and roll. Admittedly it is kinda crazy to be hit with all of their energy at once, but you should see them anyway. The show is $10 and starts at 9 PM.
Valentine's is having a show with Pelican Ossman, Pool of Winds, and Love Menu. Pelican Ossman is a band that I think mostly does some acoustic songs and then to throw me completely have also recorded a noisy keyboard freak out. I am not sure what to expect. Pool of Winds has something to do Sex Life. I am not sure if it will deviate from the sexy electro of that band or not. Pool of Winds sounds less sexy, or does it? Love Menu is one Emily Katz. The last I checked in with her musically she performed most of her songs on the folkiest of instruments, the autoharp. I have not seen her play in a long time. She has been busy with her many artistic outlets. I ran into her the other night and she told me that she has written many new songs and would be playing mostly a new bunch of songs. I bet it is good. The show is FREE and starts at 9 PM.

Tonic Lounge is having a show with Besties, Charts and Shapes. I normally never have to write about The Tonic Lounge. But it looks like there is a new booker there that actually has some good bands playing there now. Besties is a band that I have not seen that is fronted by the guy from Orca Team (another band I have been meaning to see). Much like his other band, this one has amazing pop sensibilities and cool melodies. But where as Orca team lifts lightly from surf, Besties lifts very lightly from a different kind of beach. A Caribbean beach. Their myspace lists The Little Mermaid and The Smiths as influences. Charts are a good pop band that I have yet to see. I have listened to a couple of their unmastereed demos and some of their live tracks and I think they contain a lot of potential. It is nice to know that pop music will never die. I am pretty sure that Shapes is side project of one the guys from BOOM!. You can get some live demos that feature a double drum set, guitar and omnichord right here. The show is $3 and starts at 9:30 PM.

Bunk Bar is having a show with The Golden Hours. The Golden Hours is a band that I have been meaning to check out for a while but have not yet. I have been writing about them based on the three songs they have on their myspace. It promises a great girl/boy indie pop band. A really good one. They also have and entirely sold out back catalogue to attest to how good they are as well. The show is FREE and starts at 10 PM.

Al's Den is having a show with Nate Lacy (Mimicking Birds). Nate Lacy has been booked to play every day this week at the happy hour time of 7 PM. I am pretty sure that it is a marketing ploy to get you to check out the newly opened Al's Den. I can guarantee you that if I were in Portland I would fall for this ploy. Because ultimately everyone wins. You get to see Mimicking Bird in a super stripped down setting for FREE. Cool. They get you into their new place. Cool. Honestly it is hard to imagine the songs of Mimicking Birds in a none intimate way. Over the last year I have grown quite fond of the Issac Brock produced self titled album. It reminds me a of his side project Ugly Cassanova. The show is FREE and starts at 7 PM.

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


Besties play at Tonic Lounge tonight!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Ben Meyercord's Live Music Picks for Friday, May 6th

Hello Dear Readers,

Last night I played a specials Cinco de Mayo show at Mississippi Studios. It was super fun. Los Estupidos started things out strong. Everyone, myself included, was dancing. The Grand Hallway came on stage. I mentioned in my post yesterday that Cory Gray had produced their new album. Last night he sat i for their usual pianist Shenandoah Davis. Shenandoah has a solo thing that, no offense to Grand Hallway, I like even better. We played after they did. I was nervous because I had not used my voice for singing in days. The last show I played, my voice cracked because I was sick. My voice did not let me down last night Anyways, here are the shows that look good to me tonight:

Mississippi Studios is having the Best New Band show. The show is And And And, Brainstorm, and Wild Ones. Did you guys pick up the latest Willamette Week? Yeah, they released the Best New Bands. Very much like last year, I thought that the 1 band (then Sallie Ford and The Sound Outside) was good, but the 2 band was amazing (then Typhoon). This year, I think And And And are good, but I think that 2 band, Ages and Ages, are amazing. Whatevs. I couldn't believed Archers just missed the list. Anyway it is a nice thing they do over at WWeek to put on a free show. It is even better when I like all the bands. And And And are full of energy and write some good songs. The vocals are love or hate. Brainstorm are a great band whose efforts to push pop music boundaries have some pretty awesome results. Wild Ones are a pop band that I have been meaning to see since I devoured their ep (several times). The show is FREE and starts at 9 PM.
Branx is having Ladies Night with Reporter, Wampire, Arohan, and Linger & Quiet. Reporter is a cool electro sound. I am not huge electro guy, but I could see myself getting this in a live setting. It seems to be the sort of music that I would get caught dancing to at a red light. Wampire is a band that I have been into for a while. Now. I have not seen them since that achieved full band status. I think they still play to some prerecorded tracks. I have seen a video and it seems to liven up the set quite a bit. I am not sure that I know my electronic music genres well enough, but I think that it is micro house? The show is $3 for ladies and $7 for the fellas. and starts at 9 PM.

The White Eagle is having the show with Early Hours, On The Stairs, and Lewis Childs. I could't find out any information on Early Hours. That's okay. I am listing the show because of On The Stairs. I really like Nate Clark's songs. His last album is chock full of great horns which add a flavor of soul music to his work. It is a very nice thing. Lewis Childs is a guy who I have not previously heard. I am glad that I have now. It is kinda roots/country/jazz influenced. I think he is a good match with On The Stairs. The show is $6 and starts at 9:30 PM.

Twilight Cafe and Bar is having a show with The Harvey Girls, Terwilliger Curves, and Marlena. The Harvey Girls is a great duo of well executed experimental pop music. They have a lot free music available online. Check the link I provided as a starting point. Terwilliger Curves is a psychedelic rock band that tend to lean towards the lo-fi side of things. They add parts of talk-sing and crazy sounds. Marlena also sometimes has talk-sing parts. But they also have some heavy parts. But not always. This is a bill with tons of bands that are hard to describe. The show is $5 and starts at 9:30 PM.

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


wild ones from Mike Turner on Vimeo.

Wild Ones will play tonight for FREE at Mississippis Studios!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Ben Meyercord's Live Music Picks for Thursday, May 5th

Hello Dear Readers,

Last night I didn't go to any shows. I was making sure that I got better (I have been sick the last several days) I feel all better now. Also, happy Cinco de Mayo. Anyways, here are the shows that look good to me tonight:

Mississippi Studios is having a Cinco de Mayo celebration with Y La Bamba and Grand Hallway (Seattle). This show is gonna be fun. There will be a mariachi band. A DJ group called Los Estupidos. I play in Y La Bamba and am stoked to say that we are about to go on tour with Neko Case on the East Coast. We have some newer songs that we have worked out on our tour that we just got back from. Once we get back we will go straight into the studio. It is all very exciting. Grand Hallway is a band from Seattle that we have played with before. They make well orchestrated folk pop music. That, no offense to Seattle, sounds like it's from Portland. Upon researching them a bit more I see that their soon to be released album Winter Creatures was produced here in Portland by Gary Gray (Carcrashlander). It sounds great. Also, last I checked Brian Wright (also of Carcrashlander) was drummer for the group. The show is $12 and starts at 8:30 PM.

Crystal Ballroom is having the last of several days of celebrating the grand opening of The Crystal Hotel. There will be several days of M. Ward. Tonight he will be joined by Doug Martsch, and The Lord's Own Choir. I have been writing about M. Ward for days. I don't know if I have any new spin of something to say. I feel like you guys know who he is and what his music is like. If not, click the link I provided and be prepared to have a new favorite artist. Doug Martsch is also a huge name. Have you ever heard of BUILT TO SPILL? Yeah that is the Dough Martsch show. He has a very unique though much imitated vocal presence. His songs are brilliant. They are instantly lovable and often have thought provoking (if on a stoner level at times) lyrics. I have a couple CD-rs of him doing solo shows and they are great. In addition to the BTS oup put, he has his awesome blues inspired solo album Now You Know. And he often pulls out great covers. The show is $25 and starts at 9 PM.

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


Y La Bamba plays at Mississippi Studios tonight!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Ben Meyercord's Live Music Picks for Wednesday, May 4th

Hello Dear Readers,

Last night I didn't go to any shows. I am sick, yo. Anyways, here are the shows that look good to me tonight:

Laurelthirst is having a show with Michael Hurley. Michael has been around for a while. He has made a name for himself around the folk music scene. Like many of his current Portland contemporaries he is not afraid to mix a little rock and roll or pop music with folk traditions. He has been doing it for quite a while. This is the first of his month long residency every Wednesday at Laurelthirst. The show is FREE and starts at 6 PM.

Doug Fir is having a show with Battles (NYC) and 1939 Ensemble. Battles are an extremely technical band. Their music is straight up mathy. That being said it is also poppy and fun. Their latest single is called "Ice Cream" from the about to be releasedGloss Drop. The band truly fits as much as they can within the confines of a pop song stretching boundaries. They no longer have Tyondai Braxton on Vocals, but then again it never was about the vocals. 1939 Ensemble is a new group that I have yet to see, but really want to. I think it may be a duo. Regardless it is all about the vibes and drums. They make instrumental music, so that mixed with the vibes will obviously lead to Tortoise comparisons. Not a bad thing. The music is cool. It is engaging and the beats are just great. I am not sure if they have officially released any music, but I want what they have. The show is $15 and starts at 9 PM.

Crystal Ballroom is having the third in several days of celebrating the grand opening of The Crystal Hotel. There will be several days of M. Ward. Tonight he will be joined by David Bazan, and The Lord's Own Choir. I love M Ward's music. I listened to a lot of it while writing yesterday's post. It is just so good. Instantly classic. Eternally timeless. David Bazan is also one of my favorites. He is about to put out a new record called Strange Negotiations on Barsuk. You can hear/download the track "Wolves At The Door!" here. I am not sure if he will be playing with a band or not, but I hope so. "Wolves At The Door!" would not be as bad ass with out a full band. It could be me, but it seems that Mr. Bazan has stopped writing about God and started addressing America. Though he started doing this way back in 2001 with his song "Backwards Nation". Speaking of which, have you been paying attention to the news? Anyways, the show is $25 and starts at 9 PM.

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


1939 Ensemble plays Doug Fir Tonight!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Ben Meyercord's Live Music Picks for Tuesday, May 3rdd

Hello Dear Readers,

Last night I didn't go to any shows. I am sick. Anyways, here are the shows that look good to me tonight:

Crystal Ballroom is having the first in several days of celebrating the grand opening of The Crystal Hotel. There will be several days of M. Ward. Tonight he will be joined by Corin Tucker Band, and The Lord's Own Choir. M. Ward is a Portlander who hasn't really played Portland or anywhere recently. Or at least under his own name. He has been out on the road with She & Him Volume and Monsters of Folk before that. Mr. Ward doesn't have a new album out to my knowledge, but he has plenty of great records to pick from to make an excellent set list. He makes retro sounding pop with several different elements that come together in a unique way to create his very distinct sound. I will be honest. I was never a huge Sleater-Kinney fan. I did really like their Dave Fridmann produced The Woods. The Corin Tucker Band is lead by former Sleater-Kinney guitarist Corin Tucker. It also features former Unwound drummer Sara Lund and current Golden Bears Seth Lorinczi on bass. As you might guess from her former output, this new band continues in her rock and roll tradition. Lord's Own Choir is a six piece group that makes traditional sounding country music. It includes a prominent banjo and many group vocals and harmonies. The show is $25 and starts at 9 PM.

Doug Fir is having the second of two nights of Menomena. Tonight they are playing with Talkdemonic. I think Menomena are a great band. They have a very interesting way about creating songs uses a system of checks and balances between the original three members. Not there are only two original members. But they have two additional members to help them play live. Having helping hands is not new to the band. Last year the band hired Joe Haege (31 Knots/Tu Fawning) to help with the live show. Not having Brent Knopf will probably still take some getting used to. Talkdemonic makes great records that incorporate acoustic instruments (like Lisa Molinaro's viola and cello) with not so acoustic instruments and lay them atop some awesome beats (courtesy of the other member Kevin O'Connor). Live it is all about the drums, though. Kevin O'Connor is a very captivating drummer. Of course, it doesn't hurt that the music is very pretty. The show is $18 and starts at 9 PM.

Mission Theater is having Notes from the Underground. This time it will feature Joe Manis Trio and Why I Must Be Careful. If you did not know, Portland has some pretty cool jazz musicians in town. These two are prime examples of what Portland has to offer. It is not indie music, but Why I Must Be Careful have played many of the indie rock venues or are at least part of the circle enough to be on my radar. I think that the duo of drums and rhodes is great. The show is $5 and starts at 8:30 PM.

Valentine's is having a show Amir Coyle (San Francisco), Benoit Pioulard, and Birch Cooper. Amir Coyle is kind out there. He best known for his performances. I have only watched one video of one, "Projection of Heaven", and it is crazy. There are costumes and dramatic lighting and highly effected vocals and just plain weirdness. That being said. I bet it would be incredible to see in the flesh. Benoit Piolard is a musician that rides the line between acoustic pop and ambient music. A line that one wouldn't necessarily think was that close. It is really good. You should check it out. Birch Cooper is best known as half of the drone pop band The Slaves. I am not sure what he would sound like solo, but I bet it is cool. The show is $5 and starts at 8:30 PM.

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


Talkdemonic plays the Doug Fir tonight!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Ben Meyercord's Live Music Picks for Monday, May 2nd

Hello Dear Readers,

Last night I got back from an Y La Bamba West coast tour. We drove from L.A. to Portland. 15 hours is a long drive for anyone. It felt even longer thanks to my new found head cold. I am not sure that I will make it out tonight. I think I need to recover. Anyways, here are the shows that look good to me tonight:

Doug Fir is having the first of two night of Menomena. Tonight they are playing with EMA and Hosannas. Menomena has been of of my favorite Portland acts for a long time. It has been a balance of the three people who despite all odds kept it together and made some of the coolest music ever. Brent Knopf recently left the band to focus on his new band Ramona Falls. I have yet to see the band in its new configuration. It is a bummer that I will never get to see my favorite Menomena song "Wet & Rusting" performed live again. But there are plenty of other great songs that they can lay. Especially now that they have both members of Dat'r (Paul Alcott and Matt Daborwiak) at their disposal. I have seen some video's and they seem to pull off their material. Though it should be noted that it took two people to replace Brent. EMA is a girl from Sioux Falls who got into music via "accidental performance art/teenage bar bands". I have not heard much from her. But I trust Menomena's judgement. Especially when they pick an opener like Hosannas. Another band that lost a bit of their band recently. They have changed their direction to incorporate more electronics that touch on "chill wave" vibes. But the dynamics and great harmonies remain in tact. The show is $18 and starts at 9 PM.
Valentine's is having a show with DoublePlusGood and Pocketknife. DoublePlusGood is a electro pop band that is pretty great. I have liked them since I saw them play a show with Church (now Hosannas) a long time ago at Rererato (now The Alice Coltrane Memorial Coliseum). The music is made of memorable melodies and cool keyboard lines, courtesy of Erik Carlson. There are beats on the recorded music, but live I believe there is live drummer, Andrew Nelson. Pocket Knife seem to make very danceable music. I only found one song on their myspace entitled "Cotton Candy". I could only hear 30 seconds of it but it sounded pretty promising. Erik Carlson of DoublPlusGood also runs the label SoHiTek Records which has put out DoublePlusGood and Pocket Knife and re-released Pegasus Dreams excellent album Painting Pantheons. This is a bit of a label showcase. I think you should keep an eye on these bands and this label The show is FREE and starts at 9 PM.
If you see me at any of these shows please say, "hi".


Menomena will play Doug Fir tonight. And then again tomorrow!