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Artist of the Month
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May 2016
Mo Troper
"Beloved
"
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 Yes, you've heard the name Mo Troper before. Possibly as a part of Sancho and Your Rival, or maybe as a founder of blowing up label Good Cheer Records. Regardless, his recent release, late April's Beloved, has already reached levels of critical acclaim in just its first few days of actual release. And I'm adding to the pile - Beloved is one of the best new records to come out of Portland so far this year, and it's our new Album of the Month.

With a witty tongue and a sneering outlook on many things in life, Troper blares through Beloved's 13 tracks like an emotional Facebook feed. He, like the rest us, has shitty friends, a distaste for most social situations ("Star Wars") and a rollercoaster relationship with dating ("Princess," "Somebody Special"). He bitingly belts out his lyrics as if he's reliving every situation that's inspired him, making for a brashly heartfelt stock.

Beloved has received heavy comparisons to certain Elvis Costello albums and while that's fair in its own right, isn't entirely the whole case. The album does play into a Costello-esque domination of word play, but it holds a cult like influence closer to that of, say, the Get Up Kids and Saves the Day.

For his first release on his own, Mo Troper has already established himself as a solid solo artist to follow. Beloved will inevitably be added to a list of "classics," and his next album is already baiting with anticipation.

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scene blog

The Bottlecap Boys Rework Classic Sounds in "East to West" 4.19

The Bottlecap Boys Rework Classic Sounds in "East to West" 4.19

The Bottlecap Boys will be releasing their new album, East to West, April 19th at the Wonder Ballroom. East to West takes an old classic house of music with chipped white paint, broken windows, porch falling apart and remodel it into something beautiful. The foundation of this musical house is a solid base of the greats of country and bluegrass. A certain Hank Williams Sr. waltz sound and good old fashioned Bill Monroe form the foundation, with some tinges of what might be called Irish-punk adorning the walls. What’s important is that the Bottlecap Boys take well worn grooves then rework, polish and innovate the sounds to make something new and fresh. Among the notable aspects of their new album are the lyrics and vocals. Most bluegrass(y) groups have the standard elements - thumping bass, the devil’s fiddle wailing away and mandolin plucking around like a chicken. The Bottlecap Boys lack nothing in the standard elements but instead bring inventive songwriting and lyrics to the table as well. A great example of this is the slower-paced track, “Bridges,” which is a wonderful synergy of country waltz, bluegrass particulars and a hint of sea shanty. The release of East to West promises to be one hell of an event, so be there or be square. Friday, April 19th at the Wonder Ballroom. - Cory Huennekens 

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