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Talkative
"Hot Fruit Barbeque
"
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Whitnessing the growth of Portland punky psych-pop outfit, Talkative, over the years, has been an absolute pleasure. Each of their albums has a home in my music library and heart. Not to mention the dudes in the band are some of the finest gents among the Portland music community. I knew we'd be good buds from the first time I met guitarist/synth/vocalist Cody Berger in 2011, after my own band played a show at Kelly's Olympian, and I reluctantly let an intoxicated Cody, saying "hey man, I heard you like to smoke pot too, cool!" hop a ride back to the SE with me to shorten his walk home. 

Talkative's latest stoney efforts, Hot Fruit Barbeque, takes their raucous high energy sounds to new levels. And it's not just upscaled production. The album feels more purposeful than their previus work, each song commanding you to yield and listen or dance (I prefer to wiggle). Lead single "Rudy Huckleberry" will be left lingering in your ear as you try to recreate Berger's catchy but mostly unintelligible vocal hooks for the remainder of the day. Equally as catcy, "Snow Jobs" and "Hava Nagila" showcase the impressively explosive capabilities of Casunn Taft's drumming. The boys explore slightly more worldly rhythms and tones alongside their distorted guitars on "Gentrifuckation" for an overall excelent, bouncy, party track. 

Hot Fruit Barbeque easily falls at the top of my list of favorite albums in 2014. Listen here.

- Travis Leipzig


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scene blog

If you're a fan of the music by Adam Brock and his talented band of merrymakers as much as we are, you'll surely be excited about the quartet's reincarnation as Old Wave. Feast your ears and eyes on their brand new single "Indian Summer," accompanied by a playfully wacky dance video, off of their forthcoming debut full-length album out January 15th. An official release show is scheduled for January 18h at Mississippi Studios with Big Haunt and the stunningly beautiful (both physically and sonically) Luz Elena Mendoza (of Y La Bamba and Tiburones). 

- Travis Leipzig

December 17, 2014
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It wouldn’t be wise to end the year without a solid night of rock and soul. This Friday, the Doug Fir hosts a pre-Christmas eggnogger with some of the hottest bands on the circuit. The night starts with Moon By Youand their psychedelic surf-soul then gravitates to some bluesy Motown soul with local nine piece Brownish Black. Continuing the festivus will be The Lower 48. Their sweet mix of folk and vintage pop combined with slightly grungy rhythms and soft vocal harmonies has come together to create the Lower 48’s own brand of soul. They are returning from a rainy California tour and are putting on a party to celebrate another rainy, Portland Christmas. Tickets are $10 and the show starts at 9PM.

- Colin Hudson 

December 17, 2014
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Boldly striking out into the gray terrain of potential copyright infringement is local avant-indie act Sama Dams. However, if it comes down to it they have a good shot of sidestepping the issue, not only because the inventive post-rock pearls they compose could make even the most protective Samuel Adams employee raise their pint glass in repect, but also one of the dudes in the band is legitimately named Sam Adams.

Sama Dams’s new release, titled Comfort In Doubt, is a testament to what the band is capable of when bandmates Lisa Adams and Chris Hermsen unite with Sam and displace that sneaky ‘A.’ CID showcases the band’s incisive awareness of compositional, rhythmic, and tonal elements, and their execution situates them among bands such as the Dirty Projectors or St. Vincent. These mavericks of their genre share a common mindset in their attempts to push the boundaries of alternative music, shoving off from the cruise liner that alt-rock has become in their tiny musical dinghy, with just their unorthodox sensibilities to guide them through a turbulent and unforgiving seascape of creativity.

That was dramatic. But seriously, Sama Dams certainly does deliver some refreshingly unpredictable musical tasties that’ll knock that Big Data song out of your sorry head. CID starts with “My Ears Are Ringing,” a tune illustrative of the band’s typical sound. It begins with sustained vocal harmonies (a la Dirty Projectors) between Sam and Lisa before Sam takes us aside to tell us the verse. His dry-throated, emotive voice falls somewhere between Dan Auerbach and Nate Reuss (that will be the only Fun. reference in this article thankfully), and fluctuates seamlessly between loud and soft, high and low, passionate and aloof. The instrumentation is sparse, syncopated, and can seem disjointed at times--but in the most musical way of course. The drums seem to do everything in their power not to intrude on the delicate magic at play between vocals and guitar, making themselves as spare as possible. Near the end of the song, a fuzzed out guitar tumbles out onto the musical canvas and screams through a solo that moves between melody and atonal noise. It’s like a noise solo you would hear coming from the likes of Billy Corgan, but with an emphasis on the noise. Not to disparage Sam’s guitar playing… we just can’t all be Billy Corgan, you’ll understand.

Throughout the album you will see these motifs arise--the jagged vs smooth textures, disjointed and sparse instrumental punctuation, the anything-but-a-standard-rock-beat drums, the noisy solos--along with some other surprises including a few startlingly pop sensible melodies (chorus of “Maggie” or “Ton Weight Down”), which stand as beacons through the avant-haze. If you have an ear for bands that gracefully break the mould of indie, are sick of hearing standard bom-ts-kah (to use a technical term) drum beats, or just want to put another feather in your esotericist cap, Comfort In Doubt is worth a spin. 

Catch Sama Dams live Wednesday, December 17 at the Doug Fir Lounge for their official hometown release of Comfort in Doubt along with the support of psych pop savants Grandparents and dream pop charmers WL.

- Bryce Woodcock

December 13, 2014
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Sunday night began with fire-gazing and considering a million things I couldn't shake from my thought process: why are yoga moms on my neighborhood street at this hour? How long am I going to feel out of place in this cruel world?

I had no idea how much I'd be satisfied with the opening act at the Know, Ladywolf. Three-piece baby faced musicians, from beginning to end, raged in their subtle yet effective way through the medium of garage rock. Silly lyrics involving babes, goth babes and beyond weren't off-putting in the least. In fact, as a straight woman, I appreciate them knowing what they like and expressing themselves in this specific way without disrespect. Lead guitarist and vocalist Nik Barnaby's got a way with his oooh's and wails, inserting into songs just at the right moment. All three dudes were together enough, yet still getting it out in their own way to amuse anyone watching. Though most audience members kept their distance, it felt warm and friendly in the venue. 
 
Ladywolf was the figurative fire to end my evening and it couldn't have been done any better. 
 
- Colette Pomerleau 

December 11, 2014
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Sons of Huns and Glitter Wizard will be conjuring evil spirits on Friday December 12 at Club 21. It might as well be Friday the 13th. Club 21, a local favorite could not be a more fitting venue for an evening of evil stoner metal filled with precision fuzz riffs and high caliber musicianship. 

Making their way from San Francisco is Glitter Wizard. Their sound pairs so well with Sons of Huns that I wouldn't be surprised if they did a split release or toured the Netherlands together. Carrying the torch of 70s heavy metal, Glitter Wizard dip heavy into some dark psych sounds that I recommend for your next spin with a Ouija. Not sure if an acoustic guitar will be riding up from San Francisco with them, but the track from their 2012 release Hunter Gathers, “Sunlit Wolves”, would make it well worth it. It’s a standout track and departure from their self-described “pink metal” that channels from some Forever Changes era Arthur Lee. 

Local favorites Sons of Huns need no introduction. Pete Hughes riffs conduct mini dark art symphonies. Here is hoping their track “Rollin’ the Dice” gets put on the next Guitar Hero game and helps pave the wave for a new generation of face melting shredders. 

 -M.Rowan

December 08, 2014
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You Down With OPT? Yeah You Know Me! Portland's premier Cumbia band, Orquestra Pacifico Tropical, bring the fuel for your dance party fire. Warm up your frigid winter hide this Thursday evening at Mississippi Studios in one of your last opportunities to catch this lively troupe before their drummer extraodordinaire Papi Fimbres and wife head to Germany for the year. Turntin the temp up even higher Thursday night, Tezeta opens the show with their jazzy 70's Ethiopian dance music. Music starts at 9. Don't be a dufus, shake yo feet!

- Travis Leipzig

December 02, 2014
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