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Cambrian Explosion





MOGO Fest Pick 3: Pynnacles, Cambrian Explosion and LiquidLight at Dante's

*photo by John Keel

MOGO Fest wouldn't be a definitive Portland faction without a little bit of psychy garage. Veronica Booking is handing this arena for the festival, with one of her bills being one of our picks for today's festivities. 

On tonight's bill at Dante's, the self proclaimed dancey "trash jewel" output of '60s throwback band The Pynnacles headlines this night of psychedelic pleasantry. This is also somewhat of a "welcome back" show for progressive stoner rock group Cambrian Explosion, who have been on the road for much of February. Rounding out this nod of a classic night is some space rock from LiquidLight, who came out on top in our Best of 2015 readers' poll

Dante's is sure to transform into a land of trippy lights, so come prepared to be immersed in impressive soundscapes and colorful visuals. Music starts at 9pm, with tickets running $10.





Portland Psych Fest is back and begins tomorrow!

Back for its second year, the Portland Psych Fest has made good with presenting what's finest in the psych realm along the West Coast. This is exactly what we can expect from this weekened's happenings as well.

Starting tomorrow night and running all day Saturday, Portland Psych Fest features 17 artists and 3 DJs from here all the way down to Mexico, with a couple hailing from Idaho and Chicago. Four artists are slated to represent good ol' PDX, with two performing each night of the fest.

The much adored Jacksoon Boone will be taking the stage Friday along with Zozma, whose witchy psych includes trippy elements pulled from Middle Eastern pop.

Hawkeye's lo-fi indie britpop will surely delight fans of Spiritualized, as their influence can be heard throughout Hawkeye's songs. For a band made up of members of Souvenir Driver and Hollow Sidewalks, the influence makes sense and has only been perfected by the members' all around mastery. 

Portland psych can't really be discussed without mentioning Cambrian Explosion, who even for being in the scene three years have already solidified their place in it. Internal changes within the band haven't hindered them in any sense musically. They'll be on a few slots before headliners Spindrift and will be helping properly close out an intense weekend.

To view the few lineup and purchase tickets, visit the Portland Psych Fest website. Howler opens up the fest at 7:30pm tomorrow, so make sure you come out early.





Wishyunu Single Release: A Sampler of Psych

Walking in to Mississippi Studios last Sunday, it felt like the three band pairing of Cambrian Explosion, Jackson Boone and Wishyunu would be a strange one. Based on their recordings, it appeared that there was very little to tie all the music together aside from the fact that each band identified with psych music in some way. What seemed to be an evening of mismatched artists turned out to be an ideal sampler of all the variations that psych-rock can take. 

Cambrian Explosion played first, their set a dark dreamscape. Members of Cambrian Explosion appeared introspective on stage, incredibly invested in the music, which didn’t leave the audience with much to look at. However, the intricacy and unpredictability of the music gave the audience plenty to focus on: songs exploding surprisingly into sound, heavy distortion, and instruments blended so expertly it was difficult to decipher who was playing which part.  

Playing second was Jackson Boone whose take on psych is both dreamy and jazzy. Their set seemed like a fitting middle-ground between the dark vibes of Cambrian Explosion and the more pop-centric focus of Wishyunu. Jackson Boone’s specialty seems to be creating psych-pop lullabies that develop quietly into full psych-rock cacophony. “Open” was decidedly the most experimental song they played, straying away from the easy rhythms and soft melodies comprising most of their set. The crowd was receptive and seemed more willing to nod their heads along as the night progressed.

Wishyunu’s set started with some technical difficulty, probably in part because the duo is so busy on stage, with Bei Yan filling the role of guitarist, synth-player, and vocalist. As Yan sorted out her issues on stage, dropping in an out of sound, drummer Tony Bertaccini remained solid on the drums, helping the audience stay engaged as they waited. Wishyunu’s songs are progressive, layering beat on top of beat and then dreamily disintegrating melodies into new ones, catchy hooks giving way to unexpected drum fills. The energy of their set was frenetic, unlike Cambrian Explosion or Jackson Boone, their music made your blood move faster, catapulting you forward with them as they played.

Their new single “Photoplay” is a dark electro-pop song that seemed to show a new direction for the band, less ambient than their older songs and more driven. The other song off of their 7-inch, “Summer Suit” was ethereal and focused, especially compared to the older songs they played surrounding their new releases, again proving that Wishyunu has started refining their vision and sound. You can catch them next in Portland on June 21st at the Holocene. 

-Sarah Eaton

Photos by Lena Knofler





Foxy Lemon + Cambrian Explosion to Release Split EP 3.14

Foxy Lemon and Cambrian Explosion, two distinguished bands in the Portland music scene, will release a split Joint EP, on Saturday, March 14th. In support of the release, the two bands headline Kelly's Olympian Saturday night along with Moon By You and Spirit Lake.

What sets Foxy Lemon and Cambrian Explosion apart from other active bands in the Pacific Northwest? They're honest and genuinely alternative. There aren't any hidden motives. Pop lullabies won't sneak around the corner. Though the two share the broad genre in common and indulge in their own specifics, that common thread is evident. Foxy Lemon introduce the split release with four songs that ebb and flow on a high tide. Keishi Ihara's vocals might be clouded by reminders of Jack White and Black Keys, but Ihara projects a certain type of rawness when he sings. This is a good thing. Listen to "Just Because I Can". The song begins and ends with Ihara's isolated strain. Their half of the album isn't the kind of contribution to throw into your music player, plug in head phones and zone out to. These songs are definitely well-suited for a faster drive in and out of town, with that kind of sassy attitude that could get you into trouble.
 
Cambrian Explosion have had an intense career within the local independent scene already. Their three songs on the EP indulge in fuzzy complex guitar melodies and distant and gentle cooing. Though consistently and easily filed under "psychedelia", there's a strange science fiction aspect to their sound that can't be shaken. There's a struggle between the nods to 60s-70s reverb and drug-heavy rock and futuristic noise that spells out definite progression. There's an obvious lasting impression. This split leads the listener to ask, "what's next?"
 
- Colette Pomerleau

 

 





LIVE TONIGHT: Mufassa Reunion Show at Kelly's Olympian

Mufassa is not dead!! At least for tonight, Portland's soulful garage rock band is alive once more. However we can’t undo the wildebeest stampede from The Lion King, as much as we might like to.

Don’t miss out on this delightfully unexpected Mufassa reunion show at Kelly’s Olympian. If you’ve seen them before you know this is going to be a monster of a set. If you haven’t...well, it’s going to be a monster of a set! Think classic rock meets psych, done in a dirty basement by total beefed out dudes. Reminiscent to the smooth sounds of King Kahn, these boys croon. Check out the song “Tyrone” from their 2014 debut album Pride, then listen to the next track, “Down,” for a totally different side of their musical spectrum. Mufassa had been making quite a name for themselves over the past couple years before taking an indefinite hiatus after their lightning-fingered bassist Stephen Moore ran off to architecture school in San Francisco. Moore heads back to sunny California tomorrow, so don't hold your breath for more opportunities to catch this band again anytime soon.

Also playing tonight are stoney psych-shredders Cambrian Explosion and new guys, Lightning Rules. All brought to you by Jeremiah from Eyez Front booking.

- Chandler Strutz

Photo by Todd Walberg

 

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