Monday, August 29, 2011

Ben Meyercord's Live Music Picks for Monday August 29th

Hello Dear Readers,

You guys know what I write about. I write about Portland shows that happen in Portland, Or. I was at work all day, so this a bit later in the day than usual but Here are the shows that look good to me today:

Valentine's is having as how with Evan Way, Zach Tillman (Seattle), and Alina Hardin. Evan Way seems to be doing a good job of playing in his other band The Parson Red Heads and going it alone. It is a tough thing to do. Of course since The Red Heads will be heading out on the road very soon with Viva Voce. In the mean time catch a glimpse of his slightly less country music. While you're at it you can check out the lovely Alina Harding. She makes folk music in a more traditional sense than a lot of people who get bunched up in that genre. She has recorded her second album which had her "creating and experimenting with new sounds and melodies." I really enjoyed the sounds and melodies of her fist album I bet I will enjoy her second offering as well. Zach Tillman usually plays under the name Pearly Gate Music. But then again he usually plays with a band. That band sounds like maybe the little brother of Fleet Foxes which is kinda funny considering that Zach Tillman is the little brother of J Tillman of Fleet Foxes. This will be a great show. The show is FREE and starts at 9 PM.

Beauty Bar is having a show with Pocketknife and Charts. Indie pop is a curious thing. I think there will always be kids making it. This show is a perfect example of what I am talking about. Pocket Knife plays pop music with lots of electric organs that for what ever reason reminds me of 90's twee. Not to mention they have a song called Cotten Candy. Charts on the other hand reminds me of all the bands from the 80s that made pop music with loads a bit reverb and a bit of noise (I am thinking of Black Tambourine or something). Regardless they both would fall into indie pop and are going over well worn territory, yet I still enjoy both. The show is FREE and starts at 9 PM.
If you see me at any of these shows please say, "hi". That would be the decent thing to do.


Alina Hardin is playing at Valentine's tonight

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Ben Meyercord's Live Music Picks for Sunday, August 28th

Hello Dear Readers,

It has been awhile since I have seen a show. It has been crazy having to get up early in the morning. That being said, I have had plenty of time to blog about shows. Here are the ones happening today:

Doug Fir is having it's Sunday patio series with Denver and Kyle Morton. Denver is the country rock band with about five singers all in harmony. There is mandolin and guitar solos. Kyle Morton used to play under the name White Lighter. Oh, and he front Typhoon. I would imagine he might play some Typhoon songs, but the more exciting thing is that he might play new songs. I saw him play a few months ago almost solo (he had Danielle Sullivan singing harmonies). He is a great songwriter and it truly shows in these stripped down sets. The show is FREE and starts at 3 PM.

Bar Bar is having a show with Death Songs and Rememomry. Nicholas Delffs made a name for himself in The Shaky Hands. Not much has been done in that band since they played New Years. On the other hand Death Songs seems to playing out a lot more. It is good stuff. And one of the members of the band, Justin Power, is Remomory. I think. I mean when I clicked on the link from Mississippi Studios it went to Justin's myspace page. Sadly, his music is no longer on there. You can hear some of his songs backed by The Portland Cello Project on the Thao & Justin Power sessions.The show is FREE and starts at 4 PM.

Mississippi Studios is having a show with Oh Captain My Captain, Monoplane (Salem), and Gay Ghost. Oh Captain My Captain is one of Portland's most under appreciated bands in Portland. It is lead by Jesse Bettis. I used to think that hose voice sounded a lot like David Bazan, I often described the band as sounding like David Bazan fronting Dr Dog. I still think that will get you close to what they sound like. Monoplane is aindie rock band that seems to have been raised on the indie rock classics ie circa 1998 bands. Gay Ghost is a pop band formed by Joe Mormann who used to front The Glib. The show is $5 and starts at 9 PM.

Rontoms is having a show with Monarques and Real Diamond. Monarques is a great throw back pop band. I haven't seen the current line up, but I think it no longer includes female backup singers. But I bet it still really fun. You don't get much more fun that early 60's pastiche. I am not sure but Real Diamond might be a Neil Diamond cover band. I can't confirm this but when I searched for Real Diamond this came up. The show is FREE and starts at 9 PM.

If you see me at any of these shows please say, "hi". That would be the cool thing to do.


Kyle Morton will be playing this afternoon at Doug Fir

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Ben Meyercord's Live Music Picks for Saturday, August 27th

Hello Dear Readers,

I played over seven hours of Monopoly while babysitting. Kids these days are crazy. I missed all shows that happened last night. Though I heard from a very credible source that the Blue Cranes show was really good. Anyways here are the shows happening tonight (not including Huey Lewis & The News at the Zoo). Check it out:

Hotcakes And Powell is having a show with Jordan O' Jordan (Olympia), Firs Of Prey, The Ocean Floor, Osito (Seattle), and DJ Selector Edmund. At first I did not see thread that connect these bands together. Then I saw that on the Electricity & Lust that Jordan o'Jordan, Girs of Prey , and The Ocean Floor all have records on that label. I heard of Jordan O'Jordan a long time ago. I have never seen him solo , but I have seen him perform as part of the excellent Polka Dot Dot Dot (also has records in Electricity and Lust). I met him too, he seemed a nice fellow. His is a nice mix of banjo and gentle crooning. Firs of Prey makes sweet songs that would do any of the Elephant Six proud. Plus I have seen footage of him doing some awfully sweet harmonizing with himself by way of looping pedal. I just wrote about The Ocean Floor the other day, but I will say it again. They are amazing. The ALL AGES show is by donation and starts around 8 PM.

Doug Fir is having a show with DoublePlusGood, XDS, and Wild Ones. This is part of Jack Daniels' "Black & Blue" series. It is also the CD release for DoublePlusgood's CD, Here They Come, The Birds of My Youth. If you have not heard it, you should click on that link. They are so poppy. In such good way. Much more than most bands who get pegged as electro-pop. XDS is a highly impressive art rock duo. If you have never seen a guitar with six outputs to six different amps while a drummer holds down a beat and a cassio at the same time, this is your chance. And I love Wild Ones. They are a great band who have been doing a great job of soundtracking my summer. The show is $5 and starts at 9 PM.

The White Eagle is having a show with Jared Mees & the Grown Children. Jared Mees is a busy man. He helps run a store, a record label, and fronts a band. It is incredible that he gets anything done. But he does get stuff done. Including playing some of the most fun shows ever. The songs are al anthems and the energy is always high. The words are smart and the music makes you smile. The show is $6 and starts at 9:30 PM.

If you see me at any of these shows please say, "hi". That would be the nice thing to do.


DoublePlusGood will be releasing their new CD tonight at Doug Fir.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Ben Meyercord's Live Music Picks for Friday, August 25th

Hello Dear Readers,

So I am babysitting tonight. Apparently being a rock star is not as glamorous as I thought it would be. But hey, I get my meals for free. Anyway here are the shows I will be missing tonight. Check it out:

Elizabeth Caruthers Park is having a show with Blue Cranes. This sounds really cool. First of Blue Cranes is one of my favorite live bands. They play music that is hard to not describe as jazz. That being said they all listen to a lot of indie rock. You can tell because they aways covering it. They even put out an EP of covers called Cantus Firmus which features covers of Blonde Redhead, David Bazan, and Mark Kozelek. The show is FREE and starts at 6 PM.

Langano Lounge is having a show with Purple & Green, Dirty Mittens, Pocketknife, The Golden Hours, The Definite Articles (San Francisco/Sacramento), and Leroy Jerome. That is a lot of music. Explanation: It is a Mini Festival. Purple & Green is Adam Forkner and Justin Leon Johnson. Adam makes all the music and Justin is the one doing all the singing. apparently they "experiments in r&b soul-hop psychedelic digital funk party music". Dirty Mittens is a great soul pop act. I have seen them a number if times. They are great. Pocketknife is one of the better electro pop acts. I have not seen them yet. The Golden Hours is a good indie pop outfit. The Definite Articles is a indie pop group from California that I am not familiar with. Leroy Jerome is a guy who has made a bunch of music on his computer. I am not sure how he will do it live. The show is only $3 and starts at 6 PM.

Edgefield is having a show with The Decemberists, Okkervil River, and AgesandAges. The Decemberists are pretty popular. You know about them right? You also probably know about AgesandAges. I mean you should. They have made a near perfect album. Actually maybe it is a perfect album. Regardless it would be cool to see them in such a nice venue. Their vocal arrangements are great. The hooks will not leave your brain for days. The show is $38 and starts at 6 PM.

Mississippi Studios is having a show with Au, Operative, and Archers. Au is the duo of Luke Wyland and Dana Valaltka. Together they make a cacophony of artful music. There is a new album that has been finished and I am sure they would love to play your songs from it. Operative is band that I don't know. Archers is a band that I do know. They are great. It sounds 90's indie rock. you can get all of their music, and should, here. The show is $7 and starts at 9 PM.
Backspace is having a show with Brianstorm, Religious Girls, Kotten Dik, and Moon Pearl. Brainstorm is a great band in the tradition of great duo's. They have very pop oriented music that is offset by interesting structures and subtle pro tendencies. Religious Girls is a band that keeps popping up on shows I right about. The album that they have for download is very good and can be had for the cost of being on a email list (it is worth it). It is post-indie rock pop. There are a lot of cool almost choral to animal collective type vocals. and nice cool keys and synths through out. Kotten Dik seems very noisy. The show is $5 and starts at 9 PM.

Alberta Rose Theater is having a show with Celilo, Sean Flinn & The Royal We, and Carcrashlander. This is the CD release show for Celilo. They are one of the better Americana bands in town. Sean Flinn is one of the better song writers in town. He always has a great band and always puts on a good show. Carcrashlander is a great band. They do not play out enough. You should see them if you can. I find myself listening to the reggae influenced Born in a Hospital often. Like a lot. It is great. The show is $12 and starts at 9 PM.

Place Gallery at Pioneer Place Mall is having something called Harmonic Series. The site said this is "An exhibition of sound artists and modern electro-acoustic music. Curated by Adam Bailey, Palma Corral, and Will Justice" Tonight White Rainbow and Zac Nelson are going to be highlighted tonight. Both of these guys make pretty and somewhat droney music. It is good if you are in the mood. It is soothing and not at all what you would expect from a mall concert. I am not sure is Adam Forkner aka White Rainbow is pulling double duty tonight. I know that Purple & Green (another one of his projects) is playing tonight too. Regardless it will be good. The show

If you see me at any of these shows please say, "hi". But seeing as to how I won't be attending any that would be difficult.


Dirty Mittens will play tonight at Langano Lounge with many many other bands

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Ben Meyercord's Live Music Picks for Thursday Ausgust 24th

Hello Dear Readers,

So I am scheduled to work tonight until 1:30 am. That means that I can't see any shows tonight. The thing is that I will be working at Wieden & Kennedy. Tonight Daniel Johnston is doing a performance there for his Space Ducks art show in their lobby. Anyway here are the shows going on tonight. Check it out:

Hotel deLuxe is having the Top Down: Rooftop Cinema. Basically this is a series bands playing on top of Hotel deLuxe followed by the screening of a movie. It is a great idea. I have only been to one, but it was a lot of fun. Tonight they have Hosannas play a set followed by a screening of Goldfinger. If you have not seen Hosannas before, you are missing out. They are really cool. They are always tweaking old songs and playing new ones. They are currently a duo of brothers Brandon and Richard Laws. They make use of a few keyboards, sampler, guitar and great use of vocals. They have amazing sense of dynamics and a aesthetic that seems very honed. They have a hint of chillwave with their programmed beats and cool guitar tones. And you can't much cooler that James Bond. The show is $9 and starts at $9 and starts at 8 PM.

WTF Bikes is having a show with The Ocean Floor, James Rabbit (Santa, Cruz), Zach Jammin', and Shelby Sifers. The Ocean Floor is one of my favorite bands. Lane Barrington has made some great music over the years. In the past year he has also assembled a great band. It includes Shannon Rose Steele (violin and vocals), Holland Andrews (clarinet and vocals), and William Wienert (stand up bass). James Rabbit is a very fun sounding guy from Santa Cruz. I think I met him along time ago when he was living with Rachel Williams (Birds Fled From Me and Sleepy Suns). Shelby Sifers is someone who writes very good songs and who I have not seen in a very long time. I know that she has been making music of a more electronic variety as part of Peacock Dreams. But I first fell in love with her songs as just her and an acoustic guitar. The show is by donation and starts at 7:30 PM.

Holocene is having a show called Intuitive Navigation. The bands are Midday Veil (Seattle), Swahili, Golden Retriever, Billions & Billions, and Black Science (Seattle). I have written about most of these more experimental bands before. But this is more than just a music performance. Here is what the website said about the event, "INTUITIVE NAVIGATION invites like-minded performers from Portland and Seattle to transform the atmosphere of Holocene into a hypnotic, self-reflective zone. Five bands will showcase the spectrum of possibility found in psychedelic music while focusing on one central goal: to unite concertgoers in a similar consciousness of meditative bliss. Bands will pair up with at least one dancer and one visual artist for costumed performances which celebrate the act of ritual -- a mode of expression as symbolically cathartic as it is aesthetically pleasant. Drawing inspiration from philosophers of mythology such as Joseph Campbell, C.G. Jung, and Alan Watts, performers will explore the ways in which decisive physical actions, when imbued with the intentions of their authors, can become healing and transcendent acts." Neat. The show is $5 and 8 PM.

Mississippi Studios is having a show with Grass Widow, Blood Beach, XDS, and Nature. Grass Widow is a band that I have kept hearing a bout for awhile now. I just listened to them. It sounds really cool. There are female vocals and it is rock music. It touches on early 90's indie-pop but still manages to seem fresh. Blood Beach is a bout as psychedelic as a band can get. XDS is a cool art rock duo that packs quite a punch. Think lots of amps and one guitar. Nature seems to make proto-rock with vocals buried underneath several waves of reverb. Cave person rock? The show is $12 and starts at 9 PM.

Edgefield is having a show with The Decemberists, Okkervil River, and Point Junture, WA. Say what you will about The Deceberists, but they do have some good songs. I know I would love to see them play some of the old stuff. I have not really gotten into most of their recent output, but I am glad to see a Portland band do as well as they have. Plus they always seem to support good local bands by having said band support them. Case in point. Point Juncture WA. This is a great band. I love them and they deserve any break they can get. They have a new album out, Handsome Orders out now. They have a very sweet sounding indie rock sound. It keeps getting refined with every album. I have heard of Okkervil River. They are supposed to be good. The show is $38 and starts at 6 PM.

If you see me at any of these shows please say, "hi". That would be super.


The Ocean Floor play tonight at WTF Bikes. Be amazed.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Ben Meyercord's Live Music Picks for Wednesday, August 24th

Hello Dear Readers,

I haven't seen any shows recently. But the good thing is that they happen everyday. There is an abundance of them. Especially here in Portland. Anyway here are the shows going on tonight. Check it out:

Mississippi Studios is having a show with Nick Jaina, Dovekins (Denver), and Run On Sentence. This is the CD Release show for Nick's new album, The Beanstalks That Have Brought Us Here Are Gone. I remember hearing about this album a long time ago. It sounded like a great concept. Take a great songwriter, Nick Jaina, then get a group of lovely female voices to sing his new album. There is a lot of great local talent including Luzelena Mendoza (Y La Bamba), Annalisa Tornfelt (Black Prairie), Johanna Kunin (Bright Archer), Amanda Spring (Point Junture, WA), Corrina Repp ( Tu Fawning), Audie Darling, and Laura Gibson. There is also some other women from other places as well. Take Jolie Holland and Kaylee Cole. I am not sure if he is having any of these ladies to sing the songs tonight, but regardless it should be a great show. I mean someone who has toured as much as Mr. Jaina knows how to perform. Plus Dovekins will be playing. I have written about them before. They make really good music folk based music. But they do more than just that. I mean they backed AU before. Run On Sentence is Nick's Hush Records label mate and has in the past shared members. But they also sound very different. I feel like Dustin Hammond of Run On Sentence is something to be experienced. The music flows though him. Unlike Nick Jaina's carefully crated songs. I really like both but feel they come from opposite sides of the songwriting spectrum. The show is $10 and starts at 9 PM.

Holocene is having a show with Mattress, Religious Girls, The Crow, and Jizz Wisard. Mattress is one of the musical outlets of Rex Marshall. He also does time in The Reservations. But Mattress is where I first became aware if him. He made very minimal techno with Nick Cave-esque soulful vocals. He used to back himself with a tape cassette. He has a new tape out today called Lonely Souls. And his first release is being put out vinyl. Religious Girls is a crazy experimental group. The Crow makes electro influenced pop music. Jizz Wisard is a mix of a few different kinds of more aggressive electronic genres. The show is FREE and starts at 8:30 PM.

Plan B is having a show with Wax Edison, Grrlfriend, Vises, and Winter Ox. Wax Edison is an awesome band that makes very riff heavy music. It is really cool. Grrlfriend is messy and noisy shoegaze rock music. Vises is punk rock music. Winter Ox is heavy music with some schreeked vocals. The show is at 8 PM.

Backspace is having a show with Mystery Siblings, On the Stairs, Jon Gary Williams, Denim Wedding, and Jonah Luke. Mystery Siblings are a folk rock band that I am not too familiar with. It sounds pretty promising. You can get their album for FREE here by clicking the reel to reel icon. The reason this show caught my eye was because of On The Stairs. This group lead by Nate Clark is pretty good. His last album, At Muted Dawn, is sided with some soulful and sometime latin sounding brass and contains my favorite track of his "Stand" which seems to be a nod to 60's soul. Denim Wedding Wedding sounds like a bad idea, but it also sounds like what happens when Jennifer Faust and Brian Kunkel get together to make slower country tinged music. The show is $5 and starts at 9 PM.

Lola's Room is having a show with The Protomen and Airwar. Okay I have beaver heard of The Protomen but I am impressed with what I have learned today. They are a band that makes concept albums based on Mega Man. Crazy, I know. They have recently released their album called Act II and will be playing it along with Act I at Lola's Room tonight and tomorrow night. Apparently their performances are very theatrical. Cool. I a lsting the show because of Air War a band that is kinda sot rock kinda porgy and kinda underrated. The show is $15 and starts at 9 PM.

If you see me at any of these shows please say, "hi". That would be the nice thing to do.


Nick Jaina is gonna tear it up tonight at Mississippi Studios.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Ben Meyercord's Live Music Picks for Thursday, August 19th

Hello Dear Readers,

I have had a few busy days. Mostly I have been having to work at seven in the morning at a place with out blogging capabilities. Stupid I know. Anyway there are some shows going on tonight. Check it out:

Refuge is having the Conflux Beer Release Party. I have not ever heard of a beer release party, but I think this is a good idea. I mean I probably never heard of Conflux beer where it not for my love of Portland music. The show will feature Monarques, Sean Flinn & The Royal We, Good Night Billygoat, and The Commodorks. I have not seen Monarques with the current line up. In fact I don't really know what the current line up is, but I know that they make pop music that would make the early 60's proud. Sean Flinn is another group that I know have made some line up changes. I used to sing back up vocals in this group because…well, because I think the songs are really great. It is pop song-craft at it's finest. Good Night Billygoat is the multimedia attack of some dudes animation and the band they formed to back it up with a live and intricate and fitting cinematic live soundtrack. It should not be missed. The show is FREE and starts at 9 PM.

Mississippi Studios is having a show with The Parson Red Heads, Dolorean, and Jeremy Benson (NY). I know that I am a sucker for most things that fall in the roots music or folk music cannon. This is a good line up of some bands that play music that touches on those genres. I wrote about The Parson Red Heads on Tueday when their new album, Yearling, was released. This is your chance to see them play songs from it before hitting the road with Portland favorites Viva Voce. Dolorean makes music that is less sunny and harmony centric. Theirs is a music more somber an often is focused on Al James vocals and guitar. But the band makes a very tasteful sound to encase this singer-songwriter. The show is $5-$7 and starts at 9 PM.

The Press Club is having a show with Ezza Rose. I played a show with Ezza last Sunday and was way impressed with the way her music sounded in the former church. The Press Club is hardly a church. The acoustics are not as majestic, but to be honest you don't need much when your band is as good as hers is. They are mostly acoustic and probably wont need to mic much in a space the size as Press Club. I also want to mention that the women that she has on violin and cello have voices that blend with Ezza's in a way that is sweeter than anything that I have heard in a long time. The show is FREE and starts at 8:30 PM.

Backspace is having is show with Beware of Safety (LA), You May Die in The Desert (Seattle), We're From Japan!, and Amos Val. This is a show for those of you who love instrumental post-rock music. All of these bands are fine examples of the genre. Also it is nice to see them all next to each other to exemplify how different bands can sound and still fall under the post-rock tag. Fans of epic music with major dynamic shifts take note, you should see this show. The ALL AGES show is $8 and starts at 9 PM.

If you see me at any of these shows please say, "hi". That would be sweet.


This is exactly what Amos Val sounds like live. I mean it is a live recording. Come see them at Backspace tonight.

Thank the gods for the Indie Bank

Hey there Crappy Indieland! I've been makin' them comix. Mr. Gulbranson thought you'd enjoy this and I bet he's right. Now I know how to spend all my Scene Points! You should all check out Sarah Becan. Do eet.

Also: This shirt is fucking amazing. If you see me biking around, repping courtesy; holler.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Ben Meyercord's Live Music Picks for Tuesda, August 16th

Hello Dear Readers,

Yesterday instead of going to any shows, I went and saw X-men First Class. Man did I have mixed feelings on that movie. Anyway there are some shows going on tonight. Check it out:

Music Millennium is having an instore performance with The Parson Red Heads. They released their new album, Yearling, today. Yearling is usually a reference to a horse that has not quite reached maturity. This is a band that has been together for eight years. It is hard to imagine them getting their sound more mature than what I have heard of this album. They folk rock in the vein of when the Byrds were county influenced. It is also hard to imagine that the "Parson" in there name is not a s reference to Gram Parsons (the person who took The Byrds in their country direction). Anyway if you are a fan of really nice vocal harmonies and classic sounding songs, you should swing by this inshore. The ALL AGES show is FREE and starts at 6 PM.

Bunk Bar is having a show with Run On Sentence, Wooden Indian Burial Ground. I was so excited about this show that I accidentally wrote about it one week too early last Tuesday. This is what I said, "Run On Sentence is a band that is best appreciated in a live setting. I do not want to dissuade from their recorded material. But to see Dustin Hammond's voice fill a room is have his band take control of an audience is a magical thing. Speaking of his band the guitar player of the band, Justin Fowler, has his band Wooden Indian Burial ground releasing a new CD tonight. He used to play under this name a few years back. Then he started the band Hello Loneliness. Now he he is back to Wooden Indian Burial Ground with some help of the Run On Sentence/Loch Lomond rhythm section of Perry Pfister and Dan Galucki and some other friends. I could not be more pleased. It is rock and roll with some very Justin Fowler aesthetics. It sounds jammy and old and it is just really good." I stand by every word. The show is FREE and starts at 10 PM.

Valentine's is having a show with Denver and Hookers. I know what you are thinking. How can they fit the entire of state of Denver into that small of a space and still have room for call girls? Well sorry to disappoint but Denver is the name of a band of country rockers based right here out of Portland. They have many what I refer to as whiskey sorry songs. So as you may have guessed they lean heavy towards the country side of things. They often have four part harmonies. They have a sweet mandolin player and Eric Early (Blitzen Trapper) letting hot licks fly from his guitar. I honestly don't know anything about Hookers. I assume it is a band, but when I googled "Hookers Portland" nothing musical was found. The show is FREE and starts at 9 PM.

If you see me at any of these shows please say, "hi". That would be awfully kind of you to do.


I was at this show. Denver are pretty fun to see live. You can do so tonight at Valentine's.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Ben Meyercord's Live Music Picks for Sunday, August 14th

Hello Dear Readers,

Yesterday afternoon I played McMenamin's Americana Festival as part of Y La Bamba. It was fun especially since we got to see AgesAndAges afterwards. They were great. Plus I got a free lunch. I guess it wasn't free. I mean we did play. Anyway there are a bunch of shows going on tonight. Check it out:

The Old Church is having a show with Ezza Rose, Shenandoah Davis, Harlowe and The Great North Woods, and Meyercord. I used to write about Ezza Rose's voice when she seemed to be singing backing vocals for everyone in town. She recently released her second full length, Jacob. It is a nice collection that showcases her honey sweet vocals and an impressive group of musicians. I am unsure of how many will be playing tonight but it will be good. Shenandoah Davis is a person that I have been wanting to see for a long time. Her music is beyond good. It is great. Her voice is amazing and she plays piano like a mad woman. She has a new album, The Company We Keep. Harlowe & The Great North Woods is a band full of accomplished and pro musicians. They orchestrate their folk based music to a level of classiness that most bands never even attempt. For example, Meyercord. This is the band that I front. I am unsure what to call it, but it is basic. I usually have Holland Andrews (Like a Villain) filling the music out with her beautiful voice and clarinet, but she could make this show. Luckily I have the good fortune of having Dan Galucki to sit in tonight on a simple drum kit. Guitar, bass, drums and one vocal. Very Basic. I will do my best to sing my heart out, though. The ALL AGES show is $7 and starts at 7 PM.

Bar Bar is having a show with Death Songs and Nathan Baumgartner. Y La Bamba recently played with Death Songs at Doug Fir. I was honestly impressed by the fullness that the three piece displayed. The band consisted of a guitar, Rhodes, and drums and vocals. The Shaky Hands' Nic Delffs leads the group on the rhodes occasionally playing Guitar. There are some harmonies and a whole lot of rocking. Nathan Baumgartner is better know as the lead guy from And And And that didn't quit the band. He has a voice that only an indie rocker could love. Which is to say that you may not be into it. But if you are into it, you will find plenty to enjoy of his high energy yelped songs. The show is FREE and lasts from 4 PM to 7 PM.

Valentine's is having a show with Grouper, Golden Retriever, Ilyas Ahmed, Steve Gunn, and En. This is a showcase for San Francisco label Root Strata. Many of the artists on the bill have something or will soon has something put out on the label. Grouper has perfected atmospheric folk. Golden Retriever do a fine job of creating very chill modern compositions. Ilyas Ahmed also makes pretty atmospheric folk which makes sense as to why he often collaborates with Liz Harris of Grouper. Steve Gunn is a finger picking folkster whose songs meander along in and entrancingly slow pace. It should be noted that this is a pretty experimental show and will not have your standard rock band or types of instrumentation. But trust me the experiments being conducted tonight warrant a good listen. The show is $7 and starts at 9 PM.
If you see me at The Old Church show please say, "hi". That would be stupendous.


Ezza Rose - Trigger from The Sights Of Sounds on Vimeo.

Ezza Rose plays tonight at The Old Church tonight!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Ben Meyercord's Live Music Picks for Friday August 12th

Hello Dear Readers,

You know what? I found that it is difficult to do the blog as regularly as I used to. That being said, I will do it as often as I can. I am still trying to keep on top of what is happening. I am still listening to new bands. I am still keeping my ears open for new Portland bands. Anyway, here are the shows that are happening tonight. Check it out:

Doug Fir is having a show with Y La Bamba, Wild Ones, and Death Songs. Many of you know that I play bass and sing in Y La Bamba. That is why I am listing the show first. Duh. Anyway if you have not heard us, Y La Bamba is a very vocal heavy indie rock band that incorporate aspects of folk and Latin percussion to create a bed for our lead singer Luzelena's amazing voice. Tonight we are finally releasing last year's album, Lupon, on vinyl. I am so stoked. We are playing with Wild Ones, a great pop band with a rapidly increasing reputation. They are formed from the ashes of Congratulations! which was formed from the ashes of Eskimo & Sons. If you are looking for the soundtrack to your summer, I think that you should check out there website where they offer all of their music at a name your price rate. You should download them and prepare for tonight's show. They just released a new single two days ago. I had seen them play it live, but their recordings are great because singer Danielle Sullivan adds harmonies that are sadly not part of the live show. Death Songs is a band that is a direct off shoot of the more well known Shaky Hands band. Originally I thought this was just a side project, but now they are playing more and more shows. Plus I think The Shaky Hands are on hiatus as far as I know. The songs are just as good. There is a slightly different feel, but it is still a really fun project. The show is $12 and starts at 9 PM.

The International Rose Test Garden is having a show with Blue Cranes. This is a collaboration between The Cranes, one of my favorite live bands, and NW Dance Project. The performance is comprised of dancers that have choreography tailored specifically to the jazz that The Blue Cranes create. I love the expressiveness of their music. I can only imagine what expressiveness a person who's job it is to express himself/herself by means of their body will offer. Plus it is in the Rose Garden. I have been there a few times this summer already and can attest to it's beauty. The show is FREE and starts at 6 PM.

Proper Eats is having a show with Michael Hurley. Michael Hurley is really enjoyable to watch perform. It is kind of crazy, but I had not seen him until Y La Bamba played a festival with him in Nelson, Ohio. He plays weird back porch count folk. He peppers his performances with little stories and funny little asides. The show is FREE and starts at 7 PM.

Disjecta is having Quiet Music Fest of Portland. Artist Chris Johanson curated the show which will the festival features "special performances by a spectrum of bands from across the country, highlighting this unique genre of "emotional, vibrant and low volume" music." Today will feature the music of Sun Foot, Kyp Malone (TV on The Radio), Tom Greenwood (of Jackie O Motherfucker), The Golden Bears, Larry Yes, and Franklin's Mint. The ALL AGES show is $7-12 and starts at 8 PM.

If you see me at The Doug Fir show please say, "hi". That would be ideal.


Come get your copy of Y La Bamba's Lupon on Vinyl tonight on Vinyl at Doug Fir!


Hey kids, another non-music post here. This one's for a good cause! And I'd like to think the awesomeness of my last interviewee makes up for it...

I'm sure you've all heard about the tragedy in Japan, earthquakes and tsunamis and nuclear plants wrecking shit like a boss. Well, it's always good to chip in in whatever weird way you can. I've mentioned that 9/11 benefit Iggy Pop tribute nite that I shared with the fabled DJ Greg- part of the reason I bring it up is that the good feelings it engendered have stuck with me in a very positive way. That's why I jump at the chance to bend my creative energies to a good cause, like Children of Mercy. Or now, Kizuna.

Kizuna: Fiction For Japan is the brainchild of Brent Millis, a friend and literary colleague of mine who is an American expatriate living in Japan with his wife and kids. So they felt the earthquake pretty keenly. Brent got the idea to put out a charity anthology, and it steamrolled from there. This anthology features some great stuff: big names like Michael Moorcock, John Shirley, Trent Zelazny, and Robert Price; Bizarro fiction stalwarts like Ash Lomen, Bradley Sands, David Agranoff, Andersen Prunty, and Garrett Cook; more international authors than you can shake a stick at; and of course, something by yours truly.

I'm particularly happy with my piece, "The Norwegian Makes Lemonade", part of my 'Norwegian' cycle of stories, which are seeing a hat trick of publication this year. Having read the rest of the anthology, I'll say that anyone who likes flash fiction, horror, scifi, absurdism, or just plain reading in general, will not be disappointed.

So, everyone, check out Kizuna: Fiction For Japan. It's a bit pricier than the average Kindle download, but it's 75 stories by some great authors, and an amazing share of the proceeds go to benefit... you guessed it, suffering Japanese orphans. You can't go wrong there.


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Ben Meyercord's Live Music Picks for Tuesday August 9th

Hello Dear Readers,

I found some shows that look good today. I saw that the Builders & The Butchers played Noon Tunes today at Pioneer Court House Square, but I was not able to blog before noon due to a recording obligation. I am sure it was fun and at the very least free. Anyway there are plenty of good shows that haven't happened yet today. Check it out:

The Woods is having a show with Laura Gibson, Bright Archer, and Rauelsson. This is a Birthday BBQ for Ms. Gibson. She will be one year older and we get to help her celebrate…BBQ style. There will also be a cake walk hosted by Brian Perez. You know that dude from Musee Mecanique. Or maybe you know him as that dude that hosts Bingo Monday nights at The Woods? The important thing is that there is a chance to win a cake! That being said, the real reason I write about the show is because I really like Laura's music. It has always been a calming force for me, but I have noticed that she has been leaning towards more upbeat tunes. I have have not heard the recording that will comprise her fort coming album. I have talked to others who have and have been assured that it is amazing. I am sure that she will play some of that material tonight. I have not seen Bright Archer, but I remember hearing a really liking Johanna Kunin's music when she lived in Seattle. She moved to Portland A while back and did some time in Loch Lomond. Now she is focusing on her time on new moniker and AgesAndAges. Rauelsson is also quite good. He splits his time between Portland and somewhere in Spain. Making some beautiful and tastefully arranged folk sung in Spanish. The show is $10 and starts at 9 PM.

Backspace is having a show with Like a Villain, Moniker, and Lynnae Gryffin. Like A Villain is Holland Andrews's vocal/carinet/glockenspiel looping project. Her songs are beautiful and very dramatic. Often on the verge of being uncomfortable. In a good way. She has an amazingly strong voice with an impressive range. It often gives me chills. Lynnae Gryfinn is a woman who has applies very unique song structures to make herself stand out in the ever crowding portland "folk" scene. I find that it takes a few listens to fully appreciate her music, but very rewarding in the end. Moniker is the um…moniker for Monica Metzier. She is a mullet instrumentalists whose incorporates her guitar, drums, strings, keys, singing and looping abilities to create a live show that I have yet to see. The show is $5 and starts at 9 PM.

Mississippi Studios is having a show with The Fatty Acids (Milwaukee), Yeah Great Fine, and Your Canvas. I have never heard of The Fatty Acids before. I just previewed their latest, Leftover Monsterface. It seems like they bring a heavy psyh-pop punch to listeners ears. The kind that doesn't hurt and is actually pretty fun. Yeah Great Fine is tons of fun too. And more than that, they are impressive. I mean they are doing some crazy time signatures and complicated music while maintaining a very strong pop sweetness. A hard thing to accomplish, but they seem to do it with out breaking a sweat. I know that they have been working on new material for a while. I bet they will play some of it tonight. Your Canvas is a band that I played a show with several months ago and was seemed really promising. I made a mental note to keep my eyes on them and here they are again n my radar. It is lead by the bouncy keyboard and soulful voice of Jessica Bourdeaux and the tasteful guitar and backing vocals of Marc Swart. The show is $5 and starts at 9 PM.

Bunk Bar is having a show with Run On Sentence, Wooden Indian Burial Ground. Run On Sentence is a band that is best appreciated in a live setting. I do not want to dissuade from their recorded material. But to see Dustin Hammond's voice fill a room is have his band take control of an audience is a magical thing. Speaking of his band the guitar player of the band, Justin Fowler, has his band Wooden Indian Burial ground releasing a new CD tonight. He used to play under this name a few years back. Then he started the band Hello Loneliness. Now he he is back to Wooden Indian Burial Ground with some help of the Run On Sentence/Loch Lomond rhythm section of Perry Pfister and Dan Galucki and some other friends. I could not be more pleased. It is rock and roll with some very Justin Fowler aesthetics. It sounds jammy and old and it is just really good. The show is FREE and starts at 10 PM.

If you see me at any of these shows please say, "hi". That would be very pleasant.


Wooden Indian Burial Ground promise to be as bad ass this clip which actually has a few scenes from Holy Mountain the movie (NSFW but only for a little bit)

Monday, August 8, 2011


Well, after seeing some fresh new faces and wise mentors from different fields, it's time to jump right back on the indie music horse, so to speak. And what a horse! I mean, um... dammit. Let's start over.

Above, you can see a polaroid of yours truly, circa 1994, about to deliver a red bottom to a dear friend of mine. Note the firm jaw, the severe ponytail, and... yes, the Bauhaus shirt. I was turned on to this band in high school, as well as their spinoff Love+Rockets. One of my greatest rock n' roll moments was a mere year or two after that polaroid, when I was in the noisy art-rock band Joys of Oil, rocking a Halloween party in a mansion in NW Portland. All five of us were dressed in Masonic robes. There were spider webs, and fuming beakers of colored liquids... while we set up our amps, and got everything connected, a couple of DJs were spinning some good old-fashioned vinyl, and what should I hear, but "Bela Lugosi's Dead"? So, like the annoying bass player I was, already plugged in and ready while my bandmates were still toking up, I started noodling along with the classic David J composition.

Now, despite what some readers may say, I'm a humble man. It was in a brief moment like this, in some weird primal bass communion, that I was closest to the illustrious David J, he of the raw dub-influenced basslines and intimidating Ray-Bans. That is... until now.

Loyal readers may recall that earlier in the week I did a quick writeup on David J's newest project. As luck would have it, I was able to follow that up with a quick Q&A with him, where he shares some wonderful insights into the creative process, and even answers some reader questions! I wish I could have had more time with him. Now, without any further ado, here's a man who really does not need any introduction, here it is, my


JESS GULBRANSON: Well, some colleagues of mine from our writing group got a chance to see your soundcheck at the Lovecraft Bar here in Portland. I unfortunately missed that. What was the focus of this tour?

DAVID J: It wasn't really a tour, just a couple of gigs with Adrian H and the Wounds. The Lovecraft was a very stripped down version of the full show. Very Weimar cabaret in feel, that one. I feel that this band are to me what the Blockheads were to Ian Dury. I'm having a blast playing with this great band.

Do you have a preference for the small venues like that?

I do enjoy that intimacy, yes.

Tell me about "Chanteuse and The Devil's Muse". You've been working on this project for a while, yes?

Well, I wrote the original song cycle with Ego Plum a few years back. It was for an independent movie called 'The Devil's Muse'. With the play, we are revisiting these songs and performing them in the context of a theatrical production. In this theatrical staging, the music works as a framework around which another related story is interwoven, that of torch singer, Madi Comfort. The part of Madi Comfort will be played by Daniele Watts and the part of Lieutenant Frank Jemison by Douglas Dickerman. The play will also feature the internationally acclaimed Butoh performer, Vangeline.

Is your writing always informed by music- and vice versa?

Music is not always a part of the process when it comes to writing. I have written a few screenplays with Don C. Tyler where music was not a part of the picture.

On that note, I caught part of your interview with Juliet Landau. Great idea. It's always interesting hearing about the creative process. The editing was interesting... there were a lot of slightly awkward reaction shots.

You mentioned in that interview that "I'd like to be done writing songs." What is it about the intensity of the creative process that makes it feel like it might be a burden?

It's just the thing of being a slave to the Muse. She can show up at the most inconvenient of times! Still, I love that intense moment of creativity as well and if the Muse should ever depart, I know that I would miss her desperately!

You know, it gets mentioned a lot about certain locales inspiring music scenes... Detroit, Manchester, etc. Do you think there was anything in your upbringing that was an influence to your later artistic career?

Sure. Northampton was an eternal grey, bleak place. We had create our own alternate reality and we did but a lot of that melancholy seeped in.

Similarly, "Chanteuse" is based on a rather morbid bit of history. Do you draw inspiration from macabre historical happenings as a conscious part of writing?

I don't go looking for subjects, morbid or otherwise. The subject finds me. These things just bubble up. It is true though that I have always had a fascination with the macabre. I was reading and loving Edgar Allan Poe when I was twelve.

One thing I am struck with is the breadth of your work- especially in collaborations. Is blending genres something you strive for?

I love the collaborative process. It conjures chimerae. Also, there is a lot to what William Burroughs referred to as 'the third mind'. When two collaborators put their heads together and produce a work that has a distinct personality that is atypical of either artist.

And with the collaborations, are they easy because it's a function of your personality? Or your musical tastes? Or both?

They are only easy if they are working and for that to happen, each collaborator needs to let go of control to a great degree which is a very healthy exercise. Especially for a control freak like me!

You're known for bass as your 'A' instrument. Do you start writing music from there?

Never. I nearly always start with the words then I select an instrument for the music, usually the guitar and on very rare occasions, the piano. (Rare, due to inability.)

Now, a couple of questions from the readers of the blog. First up is Gustavo, a local DJ and music producer. "Is a Love + Rockets reunion in the cards at all?"

The closest you're going to get to that is to see me perform with the 'Luv n' Rockets' tribute band! We are currently playing a few live shows which may well be the last as well.

Next, from Shreya Bollock, singer for the band Coeur Machant. "I loved No New Tale to Tell. What was your inspiration for writing that?"

Insights gleaned from LSD trips.

From journalist Emily Popek: "What is he saying there?" (she's referring to the lyrics of Rainbird, 'When you had to work so hard, working for a pittance in a ____ yard')

'In a boot and shoe yard'. Which is a reference to the main industry in Northampton, ( my home town ) which is shoe making.

I'm glad to finally settle that one! Next, Michael A. Rose, author and electronic musician, would like to know "If there are going to be any more orchestrated or electronic music from you as a solo artist?"

Nothing planned in that line but you never know.

Another from Gustavo Lanzas: "Talk about The Bubblemen!" Yes, please do.

The Bubblemen are sacred clowns!

That's it from the readers. I wanted to say how awesome it is to get a chance to talk to you. Thanks for your time. Oh one more thing- I noticed there's a spoken word artist called David J. He's pretty good... any relation?

'Don't know him. This could mean pistols at dawn!


Well, that's another great interview! Thanks again to David J for taking the time to answer my questions, and Robert at Gorgeous PR for hooking us up. Check out all the various wonderments at

Ben Meyercord's Live Music Picks for Monday August 8th

Hello Dear Readers,

Last night I went a show! I went to Rontoms. It was the first show I had attended in quite some time. I sadly missed the first band, What Hearts. I did not know they were playing otherwise I would have made it out earlier to see the beautiful harmonies of those women. I did get there just in time to see YOURS. Those guys are great. Matthen has probably the best rock voice in town. And the band he has assembled is awesome. It has a nice blend of classic rock and more contemporary influences. Then Matt Sheehy's new band, Lost Lander, took the stage featuring Sarah Fennell, doing double duties last night as drummer of What Hearts and Keyboardist for Lostlander, and special guest Dana of Akron Family. It was a good time. Anyway, today I have the day off and decided to blog. I saw that there are some shows happening tonight. Check it out:

Al's Den is having a show with Eric Nordby and Evan Way. Eric Nordby is more commonly seen fronting the band Norman. Evan Way is more commonly seen fronting the band The Parson Red Heads. Both of their other bands touch on the the Americana genre. Some of you may not know this, but that genre is an outlet of choice for many closet singer-songwriters. I guess Evan Way is not so closeted seeing as to he has a myspace page in his name. Whatever. The important thing is that the two are both accomplished song writers and are good. Plus the show is FREE. Al's Den is the latest McMenamin's pub in Portland. So far they have had some good people play there. Hopefully they continue that trend. The show is FREE and starts at 7 PM.

The Someday Lounge is having a show with Mojave Bird, Forest Park, The Early, and Desert of Hiatus. The is a showcase of experimental music. I have written about Mojave Bird back in February when she first released something. In may she released another batch of reverb drenched tunes. It somewhat reminds me of Grouper but with some piano. Forest Park is a nice combination of post-rock touches applied to this female fronted rock band. As an added bonus they have they amazing drumming of Cyrus Lampton. Desert of Hiatus is near ambient and pretty music. Perfect for tuning out the rest of the world. The show is $5 and starts at 9 PM.

Valentine's is having a show with The Golden Hours, Filardo, and St. Ranger (AZ). The Golden Hours is a band that make kinda sloppy but very fun and infectious pop music. I have never seen them, but I have heard a lot of good things about them and have been impressed by the songs on their myspace. Sometimes there is a female lead vocal, sometimes a male vocal leads the song,but there are always strong pop sensibilities. Filardo is Tom Filardo's considerably less messy but just as poppy project. He has a tape out now called Enter The Edit Suite (check out the link I provided to download it). He has has been on tour with Arizona's St. Ranger. They have sweet harmonies which are often arranged cin choral parts.. They have sweet guitar parts. They have good songs. You should check them out. The show is FREE and starts at 9 PM.

If you see me at any of these shows please say, "hi". That would be very pleasant.


Evan Way plays for FREE tonight at Al's Den