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fanno creek

We Danced the Night Away with Ezra Bell, The Bevelers and Fanno Creek

Music like the music that Ezra Bell makes is living proof that not all musicians need to hide behind heavy effects: fuzz, distortion, reverb, and even auto-tune to make music that people really enjoy listening to, and that was very apparent at their EP release last Wednesday. They played alongside the Bevelers and Fanno Creek, gracing Mississippi Studios with some deeply beautiful, danceable and heartfelt tunes.

The Bevelers played first as the crowd filtered in, and although the two-piece group has a soft demeanor, it was impossible not to pay attention. The foundation of their whole set is their two beautiful voices creating harmonies so sad and lovely at the same time that you want to get lost in the world that their voices create.

Ezra Bell played second in the evening when attendance was at its peak, kicking off their set with a few familiar songs. Ezra Bell is such a complex machinery of humans and instruments and it seems like having 7 people on stage, something shouldn’t work about their set-up. But everything works. Their music is complicated yet not cacophonous, focusing more on interesting sound pairings than everyone fighting for focus. Even the bass and drums took turns being the lead rhythmic force of a song, which felt uncommon, but was just one of many facets of their music that sets them apart from other folk-pop bands around Portland and beyond.

The audience at Mississippi Studios was stoked to see them, cheering loudly between songs and singing along with their older music, which sounds every bit as tight as their recordings. It’s rare that a local band can get an entire audience to dance along rather than stand stoically, arms crossed, but it’s really hard not to dance when you listen to them.

Fanno Creek ended the night with a surfier, and less folk influenced set by comparison. Ezra Bell was the ideal middle point between Fanno Creek and the Bevelers because unlike the previous bands, Fanno Creek is heavier and more bluesy. They were the perfect choice to end the night though, because, despite a big chunk of the audience leaving, those who stayed were ready to dance and Fanno Creek is dance-y as hell.

Together, all three bands were a match made in lineup heaven, giving the crowd a solid range of folk and pop music to groove along to all night long. You can check out Ezra Bell’s new EP, We Came by Canoe here:

- Photos and story by Sarah Eaton

A Fond Farewell to Fanno Creek: Live Review + Photos

Fanno Creek is one of Portland’s best bands. Unfortunately for the forseable duration of the calendar year, we will have to get along without the band's live performances as they go on hiatus to catch up on real-life shit. April 2nd at Mississippi Studios marked their farewell (for a while) show. 

Tour-tight Animal Eyes opened to an already substantial Wednesday night crowd. Seattle’s Tomten followed with an exciting dream pop set, joined by Radiation City’s Matt Rafferty on guitar.By the time Fanno Creek started the room was ready. All night friends and fans poured into the crowd to send off the local folk-pop rockers in style. Tonight the band was joined by Ryan Neighbors of Hustle and Drone on synthesizers and Ryan Wiggans of And And And on trumpet, adding elements of grit to their pretty arrangements. Their sound thrives on driving beats and unexpected rhythmic deviations, paired with catchy melodies and tight pop harmonies. Whether you’ve seen them as a duo, trio, four piece, or ten piece, Fanno delivers--and tonight was no exception. 

The empassioned crowd added a huge layer of energy to Fanno's live set--singing along, clapping when asked, dancing and screaming at all the right places. They ended the night with a fitting encore of “Don’t Go Away,” allowing fans to sing along their woes over the band taking time off.

 - Chandler Strutz

Photos by Todd Walberg


Fanno Creek at Valentines 2.5

Looking for the next addition to your music library? Fanno Creek has it covered. Their latest release, Monuments, is a treasure trove of melodic material. The band seems to have found the right ingredients from a variety of genres which produce a tasty sound, indeed. Songs like “Trilithon” are wonderfully simple in content and yet in that simplicity elegant and sweet, but don’t get too settled in, there is more to Fanno Creek than just that. “Page” provides the sour contrast to the sweet songs. It showcases their versatility by incorporating eerie, sweeping sounds that contrast with the more consonant sounds. The sweet & sour combination shows a conscious effort to produce not just good songs but a great album. One of my personal favorites from Monuments is “Bones”. “It has strong late 60’s/early 70’s, almost psychedelic quality to it that make this track very cool. The attention given to each song is evident and the result is a kick ass album. - Cory Huennekens


Fanno Creek dig up some early tunes.

For their second (professionally recorded) EP, released on Friday (7.27), Fanno Creek revisited some of the material they played as the band first came together; written between 2008 and 2010, the five songs featured on End Is End are a lovely marriage of early Shins influences and that youthful urge canalised in the full, rich sounds of Green Houses, which now comes swinging out, unleashing the cheerful energy of this little record 'for the fun', offered for free on bandcamp. Faster than any of Fanno Creek's earlier releases, End Is End takes the band's folk-rock aesthetic further into tones of rock and roll and foot-stomping alt-country. What an afwul cover, though. You can see the trio perform on August the 7th at Mississippi Studios. - Tracy Mamoun


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